Cold Water Classic moves back to Santa Cruz’s historically significant Steamer Lane after near-decade absence!

Welcome to the Westside.

Santa Cruz and the surf brand O’Neill go together like Gisele Bündchen and Kelly Slater. A seamless fit. Founded by the pirate-looking Jack O’Neill in San Francisco in the early 1950s but quickly moved to Santa Cruz, the outfit has been making very fine wetsuits since and has also been hosting “Coldwater Classics” for decades in waters that demand the aforementioned fine wetsuits.

Happy marketing though quite surprising that hometown Santa Cruz has not hosted for more than ten years. Well, all that is set to change in a matter of weeks as the World Qualifying Series 1000 event plunges in to the historically significant Steamer Lane.

“It’s pretty epic to have the Cold Water Classic back after all these years,” local Nat Young told Lookout Santa Cruz. “It’s been such a big part of the surf culture up here in Santa Cruz. The Lane is just such an amphitheater of a wave. You look back and the whole cliff is just lined with people, and you can hear all of them out there while you’re in the water.”

Young counts himself a past winner alongside Tom Curren, Martin Potter and Peter “The Condor” Mel.

A WQS 1000 is the bottom of the World Surf League barrel and it is lightly strange that the event is not rated higher. Does Santa Monica hate cold water?

It would seem such with the only truly chilly waves on tour being Bells and J-Bay and maybe the Lemoore if the tule fog drops in.


But will you head to the Lane to watch in person or will the 1000 rating put you off?


Surf fans ecstatic, re-light candle nubs as Kelly Slater and Gisele Bündchen both uninvited to billionaire octogenarian football owner’s wedding; Tom Brady forced to attend sad and alone!

Signs everywhere.

Signs continue pointing to “YES!” for a potential reunion between Kelly Slater and Gisele Bündchen as surf fans, sitting by windows, candles lit, have been willing, willing, this power couple boom.

For those just getting caught up, the Brazilian supermodel had, until weeks ago, been seemingly happily married to football great Tom Brady, living an idyllic life. Then, wham, both were hiring divorce lawyers and the facade shattered. Surf fans, whilst trying to be respectful of the sadness, couldn’t help but dream of a re-kindling of flame between Bündchen and the world’s best surfer Kelly Slater.

Those two famously dated from 2005 through 2006 and looked sexy cool.

Well, there have been many ups and downs, including Bündchen saging her car and Slater and Bündchen following each other on Instagram though neither following, or followed by, Tom Brady, the best sign came days ago when it was revealed that Tom Brady went, solo, to billionaire 81-year-old Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wedding.

Per People magazine:

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, 45, attended New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wedding to Dana Blumberg by himself amid marriage troubles with his wife, Gisele Bündchen.

A source at the wedding event told PEOPLE Brady was “great” and he “looked happy” while paling around with his former teammates, including Randy Moss, Vince Wilfork and Drew Bledsoe. The source noted that even with an away game on Sunday, Brady stayed at the party for a long duration.

Kraft, 81, and Brady have a years-long friendship, given the NFL superstar spent the entirety of his football career with the New England Patriots before joining the Buccaneers in 2020. The New England team selected him in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.

In photos obtained by Page Six, Brady can be seen exiting a black SUV while wearing a black suit, which he paired with a white dress shirt that was left unbuttoned at the top.

Notably absent were both Gisele Bündchen and Kelly Slater.

While there is no suggestion they were together, it must be noted each has a home in Florida.


While you are here, though, if you make it to 81-years-old and you are single, do you think you’ll get married?

Something to ponder while cleaning melted wax off the windowsill.

Billie-Jean King (left) pre-awareness of surfing.
Billie-Jean King (left) pre-awareness of surfing.

In stunning example of the World Surf League’s astounding recent growth, iconic tennis player Billie-Jean King said to “know about surfing!”

What a time to be alive.

The World Surf League, as you know, has been on an unprecedented tear of late. Stratospheric engagement, viewing numbers through the roof, partners rapping on Santa Monica’s door, begging to be involved. Boom, boom and boom. Surf fans, typically grouchy, couldn’t help but rub their eyes in disbelief at all the growth, first squinting hard to see if it could all really be true then breaking into a slow round of applause.

What will the reaction be, then, when those same surf fans learn that tennis icon Billie-Jean King KNOWS about surfing thanks to the World Surf League?

Per the WSL’s Senior Vice-President Jessi Miley-Dyer, “I met @billiejeanking last night and it genuinely made me realize the impact of all of our hard work because SHE KNEW about surfing, and what we have done for women in the sport. She even knew details! People who say ‘you shouldn’t meet your heroes’ are just picking the wrong people to look up to.
Plus, she has three names too which we also talked about.”

King, who very famously beat Bobby Riggs in 1973’s Battle of the Sexes, must have been quite amazed to see men and women sliding on ocean water, sometimes even inside that ocean water, for the first time. Wearing colorful singlets, often sitting there, straddling what must have appeared to be little miniature boats. Magical words like “hand jam” and “priority interference” would have surely delighted.

And all thanks to the World Surf League.

What a time to be alive.

A Vulnerable Adult Learner surfer is consumed by pollution near popular ex-pat enclave Canggu.

Bali’s reputation as tropical idyll shattered following report by Kelly Slater detailing island’s catastrophic pollution, “It’s the first time I’ve ever had to get out of the water anywhere in the world and stop surfing because of garbage!”

"It’s unfathomable how much garbage is in the ocean.”

Ain’t no surprise that Bali, once the prettiest island on earth, has crumbled under the burden of millions of tourists, its third-world infrastructure overwhelmed by the waste of four thousand hotels and innumerable villas, homes and whatever else.

I first went to the joint as a kid in the eighties when there were still lingering vestiges of its Morning of the Earth idyll, the water out there on the Bukit so vividly green it was impossible to catch on film; and the water around Canggu, then a series of untouched rice paddies, was free from any sort of plastic drinking vessel.

Yeah, well, Bali in 2022 is a whole new thing.

The food is better than its ever been, yoga studios, wellness centres, spas have pushed out the grimy singlet and pirate perfume stores and the well-manicured sip twenty buck cocktails amid some of the most awe-inspiring architecture on earth.

But, the water? Ain’t a place like it on earth.

Kelly Slater knows.

He was there for three months earlier this year and has described his horror at the rivers of waste floating through the lineups, at one point even being unable to surf ‘cause of the garbage.

“You couldn’t surf. It’s the first time I’ve ever had to get out of the water anywhere in the world and stop surfing because of garbage… it’s unfathomable how much garbage is in the ocean.”

Last week, a video of a VAL consumed by garbage while learning to surf near Canggu was a huge hit on socials, the wretched woman appearing to scream as she flees the filth.

Emily (pictured) with Encinitans.
Emily (pictured) with Encinitans.

Normally chill residents of quaint San Diego beach town go berserk after spotting classic surfer lie in famous first daughter Emily Ratajkowski’s attempted denial of amorous coupling with world’s sexiest man Brad Pitt!

Pure smoke.

Encinitas, California, some thirty minutes north of San Diego and hugging the Pacific, is not used to much excitement. Residents enjoy waking up early, riding electric bikes down to VGs donuts for breakfast, or, if time allows, Pipes Café. Maybe going to drink a craft IPA at Union Kitchen after a little limbering yoga. A paddle at Beacons or Swamis might follow, swell dependent, before the sun is watched setting with many ooohs and aaahs about “the green flash.”

Simple folk, living simple lives and, thus, not prepared for the bombshell that exploded in their simple Vuori-swathed laps but a few weeks ago.

For, then, it was revealed that model/actress Emily Ratakjowski might just may be involved in a smoldering bit of amor with the world’s sexiest man, one Brad Pitt.

But a recent denial?

Per Page Six:

All the single ladies … now put your hands up!

Emily Ratajkowski clarified that she is still single amid rumors that she’s dating actor Brad Pitt.

The model, 31, discussed her split from Sebastian Bear-McClard in a Variety interview published Wednesday, saying she is learning to “let go.”

“I’m newly single for basically the first time in my life ever, and I just feel like I’m kind of enjoying the freedom of not being super worried about how I’m being perceived,” the “My Body” author told the outlet.

Any surfer who has ever tried to protect a favorite spot knows that is pure smoke.

Em Rat, as she is affectionately called here and as you certainly know, was born in England though raised in Encinitas, attending San Dieguito High School just down the street etc. The most famous Encinitan since Chris Cote doesn’t count since he lives in Leucadia.

Now, residents are freaking right out, stalking the Hamburger Hut with autograph books, not even looking at the sunset anymore as “Brad spotting” has replaced wearing hats as favorite hobby.

I just happened to see Emily at Seaside a few months back, as shopped for cleaning products, and also sat next to her at an intimate dinner up in Los Angeles. We chatted about North County and other glamorous things until some guy named Josh Tillman pulled out his guitar and started crooning. I thought he was a douche because he wore fussy cowboy boots and acted all affected and only later learned he was Father John Misty.

An evening to remember.