"I was lucky not to be killed by the blackening of fumes, fire and exploding drums of resin acetone and surfboard material. I saved what I could in the minutes I had without getting in harm's way. Kainoa was not there and is OK, as he was with his mum at the time. It's a new chapter, the end of an era, and the Phoenix will fly from the ashes."

Son of soul-surfing icon “The Sultan of Speed” and renowned surfboard designer Joel Fitzgerald “lucky not to be killed by fumes, fire and exploding drums of resin” after Byron Bay forever home destroyed by fire!

“I don't think I would have ever left my house on the hill, but now it's gone."

The wildly beautiful middle son of seventies soul-surf icon Terry Fitzgerald has described a brush with death following an explosion at his joint near Byron Bay.

Joel Fitzgerald, forty-eight, forty-nine or thereabouts, and so brutally well-constructed the only reason any of us are with our women is because Joel didn’t get there first, describes the scene, 

“The primary fire was in the shaping bay, the cause possibly an electrical box or light that had blown by a surge in power; it’s unknown. In just a few minutes, the fire turned into an inferno, and then the fire started to inflame the house. My garden hose was doing its best, but little could be done until the firetrucks arrived.

“I went back in to save a burning board, a photo of my son and as many things as I could grab in a final run through the burning house, but at some point, I had to walk away as the fumes and smoke engulfed my beloved home. Then, finally, the fire trucks arrived from Ballina, Lismore and Lennox, and we managed to save what was left in the destruction after only what seemed like a few minutes.

“I was lucky not to be killed by the blackening of fumes, fire and exploding drums of resin acetone and surfboard material. I saved what I could in the minutes I had without getting in harm’s way. Kainoa was not there and is OK, as he was with his mum at the time. It’s a new chapter, the end of an era, and the Phoenix will fly from the ashes.

“I want to thank those who have supported Kainoa and me, and we are doing great, one day, one breath at a time.”

Joel says the house held enormous sentimental value. 

“The home where I fathered my son Kainoa from 1 to 4, where we played football down the halls and rode bikes and scooters inside the house, the Nth Coast dream was very much real. I was grateful in so many ways to have this little blue house with beautiful doors, green walls, a shaping bay, and a shed, helping inspire me to shape and design my surfboards.

“It’s hard to say goodbye. The emotions and feelings it brings are a little too hard. I would say it was time to move on. Regeneration will take on, like a seed that needs the right temperature to germinate, waiting for the ground to break or fire to come. I don’t think I would have ever left my house on the hill, but now it’s gone.

“The house will be demolished soon as it is condemned. But thankfully, it is a part of the Ballina development plan for new buildings, schools, and roads and will be built into a beautiful place once again.”

Joel’s big bro Kye has started a GoFundMe for Joel and Kainoa with a not unreasonable target of twenty-five gees.

So far four thou’ or so. 

Or order one of Joel’s boards, they’re epic. 

Here we gooooo!
Here we gooooo!

Surf fans manic with glee as Tom Brady’s soon-to-be ex Gisele Bündchen alters tattoo to resemble former flame Kelly Slater!

The most exciting surf-adjacent story of the last decade, one that has kept our kind up for days now, has taken yet another wild twist. Surf fans have been on edges of settees since it was revealed that Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady had each hired lawyers amid an unraveling marriage.

There had been whispers of troubles ever since the star quarterback had decided to un-retire and continue playing the game earlier last year but nobody expected divorce so sudden, so swift.

Eyes immediately turned to Kelly Slater. The greatest ever surfer and Bündchen had dated from 2005 through 2006 and not only formed a striking pair but also made each other very powerful. Slater won two of his eleven world titles in those years and Bündchen appeared on many, many magazine covers.

Might the two get back together and shine brighter than ever before?

Surf fans lit candles in hope though were thrown into panicked disarray when it was revealed, yesterday, that Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh Hartnett had emerged as potential challengers for her coveted hand.

Those same fans transitioned, today, however, to manic glee as the Brazilian supermodel stepped out with an altered tattoo.

Per Page Six:

As the sun appears to be setting on Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady’s marriage, the supermodel has made some eye-catching changes to one of her celestial tattoos.

On Thursday, the Brazilian beauty was snapped visiting a building in Miami (that happens to house legal offices) wearing cuffed jeans and a pair of flip-flops that showed off the updated ink on her right ankle.

While the design previously depicted a crescent moon surrounded by three stars, Bündchen appears to have turned it into a tree, with several branches curling upward around the stars.

A tree with several branches curling upward around the stars?

Absolutely not.

Even recently converted surf fans clearly recognized Slater’s iconic hairless head and steely gaze as witnessed at this past year’s Pipeline Pro (examine here).

First sage, now this.

Candles burning brightly.

Notoriously private world champion surfer Mick Fanning reveals breathtaking renovation of his multi-level oceanfront estate by celebrity stylists, “Makes an enormous emotional impact…profoundly moving!”

Swing through Fanning's three-storey house on eleven-thousand square feet of beachfront dirt…

Mick Fanning may be rich as hell and one of the Gold Coast’s most significant land owners but Mick’s never forgotten that he grew up in hard-scrabble Tweed Heads.

Fanning, forty-two, was the good samaritan who spent days on his jetski evacuating the wretched from their watery prisons during “one-in-one-thousand-year” floods on the NSW north coast, an hour or so south of Mick’s joint on the Gold Coast.

There ain’t a charity he won’t help, a child in need he won’t shower in gifts, a cause he won’t lend his imprimatur.

And, now, Mick has opened the door (reclaimed wood) to his Hamptons-themed three-storey house on eleven-thousand square feet of beachfront dirt at Bilinga, just across the road from Coolangatta airport there.

Mick paid $3.25 mill for the block in 2011 and built the three-level house, complete with elevator for the lazy or invalided, two years later.

It’s the same place Mick’s mysterious strawberry blonde stalker busted into a couple of years back.

“I occasionally want to kill you … to end our occasional miserable bullshit,” the woman told Fanning in a letter prior to her unannounced visit.

Anyway, celebrity stylists Three Birds Renovation did a number on the joint, turning Mick’s house, which is available for holiday rentals ’cause Mick don’t live there anymore, into the sorta Palm Springs themed place André Balazs had in mind when he redeveloped the old Golden Crest Hotel Retirement Home on 8300 Sunset, West Hollywood.

(RIP The Standard West Hollywood)

Lot of white walls, white floors, ping pong table, sunken lounge, fireplaces etc.

Fanning, of course, retired from professional surfing four years ago to concentrate on family and money following seventeen years on the tour where he accumulated twenty-two wins, three world titles and a dreadful Great White encounter.

Surf fans break into cold sweat as Leonardo DiCaprio, Josh Hartnett emerge as challengers to Kelly Slater winning Gisele Bündchen’s coveted hand!

Troubling reports.

Surf fans have been on a roller coaster, for the past four days, since it was revealed that Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen may be headed toward divorce after each hired lawyers. The football great and Brazilian supermodel have allegedly been living in a “sexless marriage” among other such troubles whipping the aforementioned fans into an obscene frenzy.

History’s best surfer, Kelly Slater, you see, dated Bündchen for a year plus and candles were lit in hopes that the two might rekindle their storied romance.

Today, though, troubling reports are emerging that Slater may have competition. Page Six has listed Bünchen’s past boyfriends including model Scott Barnhill, polo player Rico Mansur and businessman João Paulo Diniz. Slater, concerningly, finds himself sandwiched between actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh Hartnett with other actor, and Captain America, Chris Evans just trailing.

The respected gossip source writes, “Shortly after her split with DiCaprio, Bündchen started dating professional surfer Kelly Slater. The pair lasted until early 2006 before they decided to go their separate ways.”

Not overly turgid.

This is the time, though, surf fans must be strong and not give up hope. Our champion will be tested, no doubt, but we must have faith in his prowess and ability to outshine stars. He is, after all, very skilled in managing priority etc.

Still, light two candles, please.

Disaster looms for world’s first wave pool after string of setbacks as local officials wring hands in worry: “Surf Snowdonia is important for the reputation of the whole of north Wales!”

But a silver lining?

Before Kelly Slater wowed us with his miracle in Lemoore, there was Surf Snowdonia. Oh but do you remember the very first commercial wave tank there in pastoral Wales? Do you recall the very first time you saw waves, almost real waves, peeling across a lagoon miles away from the coast?

Inspirational. Dream-like. The park, which opened in 2015, used Wavegarden technology and found itself in pastoral northern Wales but lo, things have gone sour of late and Snowdonia’s owners fear that they might have to sell the glory.

The head of Tourism North Wales, Jim Jones, put on a brave face about this bad news, telling the BBC, “I’ve no doubt it will continue. I think it’s extremely important to us in north Wales because we built our brand as ‘adventure capital’ on the back of Adventure Parc Snowdonia and many others. It’s probably one of the biggest attractions in north Wales, the investment in that site has been millions. It’s important not only for the rural areas of Conwy, but for the reputation of the whole of north Wales.”

The problems facing the tub are myriad including Covid closures and mechanical troubles though a new Hilton Garden Inn and Spa just opened providing hope.

Jim Jones added, “It would be a disaster if anything happened to it, but I’m absolutely convinced that an investor will come along and continue the good work that the Ainscough family have put into it.”

Worst case scenario, I suppose, Mr. Jones can lean into his name and turn the hotel and pool into a new Peoples Temple.