Nikki Van Dijk gives hell to the Best during one of the early sessions a few years back.

Surfer sues Australian wavepool after allegedly suffering “gruesome” neck injury at Tullamarine tank; blames design fault on Wavegarden tech, “I feel incredibly lucky that I’m not a paraplegic or quadriplegic after hitting the concrete so hard!”

Urbnsurf say he surfed in an advanced session “when he knew or ought to have known this was beyond his skill and capability”.

Always gonna happen, I suppose, someone hitting the concrete bottom of a tank and busting their neck.

I’ve been to Urbnsurf, Australia’s first commercial tank, down in Melbourne four times and on two separate occasions a decent sorta surfer has bounced off the bottom, headfirst. 

The first was Swellnet’s Stu Nettle on media day there three years ago, a gorgeous summer day where the temperature hit 110 degrees, and where the pool was loosed to the clowns for a dozen non-stop hours. 

Real early in the piece, Stu was sucked up the face of a lefthand tube and into the concrete bottom when a layback went awry.

As he wrote at the time,

“Before setting foot in the pool everyone signed a waiver about surfing being an inherently dangerous activity. It’s a formality of course. I expected as much. But it takes on significance when you realise the danger. 

“Yeah, the danger.

“Allow me to provide some perspective.

“The first time you hit bottom is a shock. It’s hard concrete and maybe thigh deep where the lip hits. Fall on take off and you’re trying to find a place to hide in knee deep water as the lip of the next wave pitches and the rider and board pass overhead.

“My session ended after two hours when the toe side rail caught during a layback and I went over leading with my head and shoulder, each making contact and hard. The lifeguards, who’d just stitched up another punter, were quickly onto me, sitting me down and assessing damage. They decided on glue and steristrips, and an enforced end to the session. Tail between my legs, I went poolside to dry off.”

On another all-dayer a pal head-butted the bottom after being sucked up the face of the righthander and ended the day in the hozzy.

But you take your lickings. You sign the waiver; you know the bottom ain’t sand; and if it barrels, it’s gotta be shallow. 



Peter Nolan, a thirty-five-year-old surfer and carpenter from the beach town of Ocean Grove an hour-and-a-half out of Melbourne, has filed a writ saying he suffered fractures in his spine and at the base of his neck after being belted by the pool last December 30. 

Nolan says he was “picked up by a wave and thrown into the concrete surface of the pool” and has been off work ever since. 

Nolan claims Urbnsurf should’ve warned him about the dangers despite anyone who gets in the tank signing a waiver which details “the risk of harm associated with surfing … as an obvious risk.” 

He told the Herald-Sun, “I feel incredibly lucky that I’m not a paraplegic or quadriplegic after hitting the concrete so hard, especially since my surgeon told me that many people who experience something like I did end up in a wheelchair… The psychological impact has been tough, and I pretty much avoid surfing now out of fear of getting hurt.”

Urbnsurf, in their defence, say Nolan surfed in an advanced session “when he knew or ought to have known this was beyond his skill and capability”.

Bummer for Nolan, but not sure what else Urbnsurf could’ve done to y’know, make it a safe space and so on. 

The case goes to court in October, 2023.

If the suit succeeds the implications could be myriad, helmets, an end to Beast sessions etc.

Slater, on the phone to Goldsmith.

Surf fans rub eyes in disbelief as Gisele Bündchen follows former-flame Kelly Slater’s lead, leaps into arms of faith healer amidst drama with estranged husband Tom Brady!

Peas in a pod.

Surf fans woke this morning, covered in dried candle wax, not knowing how much more their hearts could take. It was almost a week ago when news leaked that Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen had each hired divorce lawyers and were very likely headed toward a split. The couple, who had seemed nothing but ideal over the past decade-plus, had apparently been dealing with issues for some time, some unspecified big fight finally blowing the wheels right off.

While divorce is never a happy affair, surf fans immediately began wondering if the Brazilian supermodel and her former flame, surfing great Kelly Slater, may just might rekindle their romance. The two seemed to share very much including “beach vibes” and having dated from 2005 to 2006.

News breaking today suggests there is even more. Page Six is reporting that Bündchen was seen today visiting a “faith healer.”

Per the respected gossip source:

Gisele Bündchen is happy to namastay right at her healer’s office.

The former Victoria’s Secret Angel was spotted visiting her Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Ewa Wieruszewska Lierle, on Friday for the second time as she continues to grapple with her seemingly broken marriage to Tom Brady.

The visit seemed to be a more casual one, as Bündchen was spotted carrying an Amazon Prime box out of the office while the doctor held a Tupperware container of what appeared to be split pea soup.

The Brazilian model and Wieruszewska Lierle wore similar beaded necklaces during their visit, which concluded with Bündchen getting into her car while participating in a serious phone conversation.

But who could forget Slater’s own Wieruszewska Lierle, one Charlie Goldsmith? He was introduced to us three years ago via the World Surf League.

Derek Rielly wrote at the time:

Were you as thrilled as I was by the appearance of “healer, inventor, businessman” Charlie Goldsmith in the Kelly Slater episode of Sound Waves, the WSL’s excellent new series? Goldsmith is very famous, at least in Australia, for his ability to cure the sick with his personal electric vibrations, as well as tap into the wellness zeitgeist with various business start-ups. In a three-month study carried out by the Australian television show Sunday Night, and screened last August, we are privy to the miracle of Goldsmith who “claims he possesses a mysterious energy that can cure the sick using just his mind…he can end chronic pain, cure crippling arthritis, even save lives.”

Goldsmith was eighteen years old when he “first felt a strange sensation between his hands. He says he soon discovered this energy could heal people. Worried about exposing himself to a world of doubters, he wanted to keep his gift secret until science supported his claims.”

A match made in the heavens?

I do believe Slater also enjoys split pea soup.

One more candle please.

Popular life coach inspires masses through powerful surfing metaphor: “See, because there’s something a surfer understands better about life than most other people!”

Win the game!

Surfing is such a wonderful way to pass the time but did you know it also provides a way for people to learn how to deal with life’s challenges? Real hardships? It’s true and we can find the latest powerful example in life coach David Bederman’s powerful recent teaching. Bederman, who declares, “First off, I’m not a life coach and I don’t have a coaching ‘certificate.’ Nobody has given me permission to do what I do,” took to TikTok and shared:

If you want to be happier, you need to use something that I call “The Surfer’s Mentality”. See, because there’s something a surfer understands better about life than most other people see a surfer once they get up on the wave. But they don’t make the mistake of believing that once they’re up that they’re going to stay there forever when they get up there. They enjoy it and they ride it as far as they can. But at every moment they realize that that wave is going to crash and that they’re going to fall and maybe another wave is going to crash on top of them. But they don’t let that get them down because a surfer understands that there’s always more waves coming. And that is the experience of surfing, trying to get up on the wave, waiting to get up on the next wave, getting ready and being prepared for the waves that crash over you. And if you can enjoy the entire experience of being alive, the moments that are challenging as much as the highs and understand that they are two parts of the same experience, then, my friend, you will have won the game.

Crash and fall.

Crash and fall.

The surfers’ way.

Prince Harry and Princess Meghan Markle take penultimate step before becoming true surfers, attend “millennial Jimmy Buffet” Jack Johnson concert in hometown Santa Barbara!

Welcome, Sussexes!

While the surf world had its collective eye on Tom Brady x Gisele Bündchen x Kelly Slater over the extended weekend, England’s most famous second son and his wife took the penultimate step before finally joining our ranks. As you know, Prince Harry and Princess Meghan Markle made beef with the crown, a few years back, packed bags and moved to the former American colonies. They looked for homes here and there before finally settling in beachfront Montecito, very near Santa Barbara.

Very near Rincon too.

Surf fans eagerly anticipated the two picking up surfboards and adult learning this Sport of Kings but it appeared there might be no real interest… or at least until this extended weekend for it was then that TMZ snapped photos of the Sussexes enjoying a Jack Johnson concert at the famed Santa Barbara Bowl.

Per Glamour magazine:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, back in California after Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral ceremonies, were recently spotted enjoying some soft rock at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Catching members of the royal family having fun at a nonroyal or charity-related event seems surreal to me somehow (like, can you imagine Kate Middleton at Coachella or King Charles III at Six Flags?).

TMZ published photos of the Sussexes taking in the mellow acoustic jams of Jack Johnson, the millennial Jimmy Buffet, at a packed concert on October 5 (no, I will not be explaining this epithet further). According to TMZ, Harry and Meghan watched the show from a special, cordoned section with 10 others, hugging and swaying along to the tunes like an almost normal married couple. Good for them!

Jack Johnson.

The penultimate step preceded by drinking Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Island Ale, wearing Patagonia shorts, feeling a whistling hollow in the soul. Followed by purchasing a Pyzel mid-length crisis.

Are you ready to welcome royalty?


"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.