In direct provocation, one-time surf champion Gabriel Medina signals intent to steal Kingdom of Saquarema from sitting ruler Filipe Toledo!

Battle of Brazil.

Professional surfing, at its second tier, is back upon us and are you relieved? Thrilled for man-on-man, or woman-on-woman penultimate action? Oh, I’m certain the Challenger Series has been wildly successful for our World Surf League, millions, like tennis icon Billy Jean King, ready to tune in to see who will head to the Big Dance, who will stay home.

And let us turn our eyes toward Brazil and its days’ away Corona Saquarema Pro. There are many surfers of note in the draw, including Miguel Pupo and Jadson Andre, but none bigger than Gabriel Medina who is making a return from mental injury and, if I recall, a knee injury too.

Fire burning in belly.

Missing is sitting champion Filipe Toledo though he currently rules the region.

King of Saquarema.

You, certainly, remember when Toledo marked his conquest with a tattoo featuring the town, some palm trees, a gaping barrel and the years 2018, 2019 and 2022, applied to his lower calf by a competent artist. By all accounts, the population has been pleased with Toledo’s reign and doesn’t chafe under his yolk.

A light burden.

If Medina wins the event and steals the throne, will he be as benevolent?


Or will he invite friend Neymar Jr. in and turn the place into a den of iniquity with droit du seigneur etc.?

Classic bad guy stuff.

Tragic video shows brother and sister jumping off forty-foot high Huntington Beach pier, killing one, “Immediately they knew they made the wrong decision”

“They were both screaming frantically for help. There was no way I was going to be able to save them both.”

A woman tossed herself off the Huntington Beach Pier into the lineup last Sunday. Her brother did the lemming walk close behind.

She? Fine.

He? Dead.

Witnesses on the pier told police that a woman, 36, was dangling off the pier’s rail along with a male, 36, identified as Fenton Austin Dee, 43. She was claiming that she wanted to jump but was wavering.

According to onlookers, the two were debating about the plunge.

“It looked like she just wanted to jump for fun, like she wanted to do it and then she didn’t,” Edmundo Alarcon, who recorded the event on video, told the LA Times.  “You can tell he didn’t want to [jump]. I don’t know if he was trying to stop her.”

Surfer Landon Holman, bobbing in the solid evening swell, saw the duo hovering above.

“We’re kind of bantering back and forth,” he told People Magazine, “but I said no, it’s not a good idea to jump, not only will you get in trouble. It’s dangerous in these waters if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

They jumped anyway.

“Immediately they knew they made the wrong decision,” Holman said. “They were both screaming frantically for help. I got there pretty quickly — they were both grasping onto my board. There was no way I was going to be able to save them both.”

After getting the woman to the sand, Holman went back to help Dee, brought him in and attempted CPR until medics arrived, but Dee was already gone. Eight bells.

Last month, I wrote about the sad sack who stuffed a gun in his face in the Vero Beach, Florida, line-up. I suggested we write it off to the unknowable crockpot of the head.

But this?

Brother and sister: full-on thrill seekers. Forget life’s controlled burn.

Let it rip, damn the consequences. At least that‘s what the sister can say, huh?

Toxicology reports yet to be released.

By the way, what’s the oddest thing you’ve seen fly off your local pier?

Italian surf Olympian and House of Gucci pinup dumped by long-time sponsor as once-fabled surf industry crashes to wild new nadir, “(Unlike surfing) in fashion, you can be whatever the f**k you want to be!”

Surf is dead!

The Roman surfer and face of Gucci Leonardo Fioravanti, who now lives in a pretty house on the beach in Hossegor, France, with step-daddy Stephen “Belly” Bell, has been dumped by his sponsor of fifteen years, the once-iconic Quiksilver.

“When I started surfing at 6 years old my dream was to be sponsored by Quiksilver, because Kelly was there, because it was the best surf company in the world, because they made the best boardshorts in the world and especially because the story they told inspired everyone in the surfing world,” Leo, who is twenty-four and an ambassador for Gucci for the past five years, wrote. “I signed with Quik when I was 9 years old, 15 years ago… today is the end of a chapter for me but especially the start of a new and even more exciting one.”


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A post shared by Leonardo Fioravanti (@leofioravanti)

Quiksilver, of course, led the surf industry charge through the seventies, eighties, nineties and two thousands before theatrically crashing into bankruptcy and eventually selling the name, brand, logo and whatever else that was worth a few nickels to the circling vultures.

Leo’s estrangement from the surf industry began earlier this year when he gave hell in a mainstream newspaper interview, comparing the stiff surf world with the glorious freedom offered by dressing pretty.

“It’s a different world, I love it. In our world you get judged a lot for your surfing style, who you sponsor with or whatever and that’s how it goes. But in fashion, you can be whatever the fuck you want to be. You can dress however you want, nobody’s going to judge you for it, they’re going to respect you for it. That’s so cool for me. The first fashion show I went to, I was only dressing in black. Everyone looks good in black and no one’s going to judge you in black. Now if I’m going to a Gucci show, give me the craziest shit you’ve got. It’s so cool, and I know they’ll never judge you for it. Give me different every time.”


Reeves (pictured) contemplative.
Reeves (pictured) contemplative.

Beloved Friend Matthew Perry takes vicious swipe at surf hero in forthcoming book: “Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”

Spilled ink.

There have been, throughout our time, a very few proper surf heroes in movies. One handful. Vince, from North Shore, might be considered. Jan-Michael Vincent, from Big Wednesday, too. In God’s Hands’ Shane Dorian for those smoldering good looks and possibly Kate Bosworth from Blue Crush but that is it, that is all, save the best of all.

Keanu Reeves in Point Break.

Johnny Utah, as he was then called, was perfect inspiration. A football gunslinger turned FBI hotshot turned surfer who discovered the true meaning of stoke etc. learning at the feet of Patrick Swayze’s Bodhi.

Reeves’ laconic drawl, his slow eyes and languid movement were perfection and have aged like fine meatball sandwiches though, apparently, our champion is not appreciated by all.

Friends’ star Matthew Perry, for instance, was not and is not impressed. In a forthcoming memoir, Perry, without prompting, wondered, “Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”


Though the actor who played Chandler Bing later apologized, declaring, “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead,” the ink has already been spilled, printed, published, out soon.

Who among us has not written things in hardback that were later regretted though?

Certainly not me.

Buy here, here, here and here.

Layer (pictured) in air.
Layer (pictured) in air.

Maui flyboy Albee Layer publicly vents after insulting Pipeline snub: “I’ve spent most of the 31 years of my life giving ever fiber of my being to this sport and it still likes passing me (and a few others) over every chance it gets.”

Shame on Stab.

It seems odd to think that early winter, and its Oahu, North Shore boom season, is already upon us but here we are and here it almost is. As you certainly know, the World Surf League jettisoned the Pipe Masters in order to end its season at thrilling Lower Trestles and now runs the “Pro Pipeline.”

The Masters is held by Vans and, this year, there is a bold re-imagination wherein airs will be scored alongside barrels and something rather else. It is also by invitation only and, days ago, those names dropped.

Per Stab, the men’s draw consists of:

CT Surfers: John John Florence, Filipe Toledo, Jack Robinson, Italo Ferreria, Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater.

Hawaiian Invitees: Billy Kemper, Koa Smith, Mason Ho, John John Florence, Nathan Florence, Ivan Florence, Shayden Pacarro, Eli Hanneman, Makana Pang, Koa Rothman, Eli Olson, Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Jamie O’Brien, Matt Meola, Noah Beschen, Imaikalani deVualt, Jackson Bunch, Kala Grace, and Kaulana Apo.

Blow-Ins: Tosh Tudor, Eimeo Czermak, Kauli Vaast, Balaram Stack, Nic Von Rupp, Joao Chianca, Al Cleland Jr, Crosby Colapinto, and Riaru Ito.

Misfits: Matt Meola, Rio Wada (CT 2023), Craig Anderson, Mikey February, Harry Bryant, Noa Deane, and the Vans Stab High Winner.

Notably missing, big wave stud and Maui flyboy Albee Layer.

The aforementioned, peeved, took to Instagram in order to share his frustrations, writing, “I’ve spent most of the 31 years of my life giving ever fiber of my being to this sport and it still likes passing me (and a few others) over every chance it gets. I never got used to it and I never will.”

He found support below the line from the likes of Kai Lenny, who responded, “Verified. Big Barrels + Big Airs = Albee Slayer,” and Jesse Mendes to added, “I support.”

Unfriendly was Billy Kemper who declared, “Come surf pipe for once before you start another sob story. You still owe @healeywaterops a session out there on (mushroom emoji) (laughing face emoji).”

So maybe friendly after all.

But what do you think?

Do you stand with Albee?

I sure do.

Shame on Stab.

Tosh Tudor.

Also, what do you think of the “blow-ins, misfits” categories. Is Rio Wada really a dissenter?

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed Layer’s omission as well as the potential danger Nathan Florence might soon find himself in. The dreaded porn factory. Be ready for an intervention.