As Ivanka Trump declares she is finished with politics, speculation runs wild that former first daughter has developed severe addiction to meddlesome surfing!

No Work City.

It is political season in great America again and, no doubt, you are thrilled to death with the intrigue, posturing, red or blue waves either materializing or not. Thinking about Iowa. Various caucuses. Republicans vs. Democrats for the soul of the free world etc. but where do you find yourself on this exciting spectrum?

Hanging on every chad?

Frustrated when person behind you in line for coffee mentions Nate Silver and his perpetually off prognostications?

Oh, I know you are a surfer, more than anything, and thereby really only care about the issues that relate to us including subsidies for Kelly Slater’s Outerknown, World Surf League tax breaks, Conan Hayes costumery and Ivanka Trump bowing out of politics just as her father announced his presidential candidacy for 2024 in a gilded evening.

The 45th President’s oldest daughter was at Donald Trump’s side, non-stop, during his first term, there helping with policy, being an ambassador and senior advisor etc. but, yesterday, declared, “While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics.”

The “private life” they are “creating as a family,” it must be noted, very much involves surfing.

You’ll certainly recall when Trump nearly decapitated her son with a waterlogged soft top in Miami. That might have been enough to shake even the most motivated VAL but, in the months since, the taller blonde has been seen regularly surfing all around greater southern Florida both with and without her children.

Lately, mostly without.

Surfers, everywhere, both understanding and recognizing this affliction, disease as it were. The act of riding waves getting placed above every and anything until the aforementioned “private life” is in shambles.


Light a candle for the children.

George, at right, and Cidco, sexing up Crescent Head.

Sexy Bali hotelier and founder of denim label Ksubi set to transform drab country motel near iconic Australian point into “70’s-inspired surf-club” boutique hotel, “I love surfing and the wave is one of the best in Australia!”

"With artisan-produced furniture and crafts juxtaposing audacious art and progressive thinking."

The gorgeously dishevelled Australian designer turned hotelier George Gorrow, along with model wife Cisco Tschurtschenthale, is set to transfigure the old Crescent Head Resort & Conference Centre five hours north of Sydney into a “70’s inspired surf club hotel.”

Ain’t nothing romantic about the old joint at 30-34 Pacific St, four hundred or so metres from the relatively fun, if undemanding, point that last shot into the news in July, 2021, when a longboarder was hit by a ten-foot Great White.


The old CC resort.


“The 70’s inspired surf club / hotel merges exceptional international design with laid-back surf culture.”

Gorrow and Cisco, who created The Slow in Bali, call the new place SEA SEA.

The sell?

It offers “an acute sensitivity to textures and an irreverence for tradition. 70’s surf-inspired interiors feature throughout, with artisan-produced furniture and crafts juxtaposing audacious art and progressive thinking. The design plays with an abundance of natural textures, with the idea of making you feel immersed in your surroundings. The rooms will feature world-class minibars, and 24hr in-house radio curated by Reverberation.”

A hotel for me is like this concept, and for me, the hotel now can be the place, not just a bed you use to sleep in while visiting a town,” says Georgie. “The hotel can be the key experience. This is what drives me, this is the experience I seek, and the experience I try to deliver all the different aspects of the hotel through 360-degree experience.”

Sexy, yeah?

SEA SEA opens in May, 2023, bookings start in December, 2022.

Thanksgiving comes early for Quiksilver, RVCA and Billabong workers as CEO of parent company announces mass-sackings in lead-up to takeover, “Losing talented employees is always difficult and I want to recognize the departing staff for their contribution”

Moving forward!

Any day now, a press release, dressed in florid prose, will detail the symbiotic relationship between the Authentic Brands Group and its new buy, Boardriders Inc, the parent company of Quiksilver, Billabong and RVCA. 

Boardriders Inc is currently majority owned by Oaktree Capital, an American global asset management firm, but is in the process of being bought, or so we are told, by Authentic.

Wild, of course, that in the last couple of decades, those two great Australian icons Quiksilver and Billabong, have become little more than a logo and a bit of goodwill, play things for asset managers. 

RVCA is even more interesting. Its co-founder Pat Tenore, one of the canniest cats in the biz, turned the surf brand into a pivotal player in MMA, then sold out for thirty-seven mill, having bought out the other founder, Conan Hayes, a well-known man in election circles, for seven and a half mill in 2011.

Anyway, Boardriders CEO Arne Arens announced today that 170 jobs are gonna be cut “to enable the company to respond nimbly to the market and its customers in the face of an uncertain and changing economic landscape.”

In a statement sent to Shop-Eat-Surf, Arens said 110 jobs were slashed in the Americas and 60 in Asia-Pacific. 

“Losing talented employees is always difficult and I want to recognize the departing staff for their contribution to Boardriders. Moving forward, we are fully focused on setting Boardriders up for success,” said Arens. 

Enjoy the turkey stuffing, kids! 

Wild inflation hits surfers as the once-mythical thousand-dollar surfboard becomes the norm and the secondhand market soars, “I didn’t choose this life. It arose out of economic constraints!”

War is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Secondhand board purchases run on a similar rhythm.

While you off-the-rack normies browse algorithm-curated catalogues or dial in your every need with a trusted shaper, I sift the pages of Marketplace and Gumtree ad listings like I’m rifling through my neighbour’s bins.

Shirt sleeves rolled up, elbow-deep in digital refuse. Searching for hidden treasure. Satiating my wicked desires.

All the while taking stock of my own meagre supply of sale-ready boards, calculating which will be the next to be swapped or sold in some Dickensian trade.

It takes dedication. Discipline. A horse-trader-like shrewdness for wheeling and dealing.

There’s highs. Lows. Moments where I think I’ll never again find a good board.

War is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror, they reckon. Secondhand board purchases run on a similar rhythm.

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

I didn’t choose this life. It arose out of economic constraints first and foremost. Yes there’s the ethical dimension to it. Buying second hand. Upcycling. Not flooding the world with more junk.

But truth be told if I could afford all the new boards I wanted, I’d be snatching them up fresh like a mid-noughties sneaker freak.

Not going to happen, though.

Sacrifices have been made whereby I earn less than I could to avoid sucking too much of the corporate D, while still keeping the family clothed, housed, fed etc. A reverse Faustian bargain, I guess, which allows me to salvage some degree of cosmic dignity.

But, the board budget sits further down the pecking order.

Plus, I have a large appetite.

So I sit.


Sift marketplace and gumtree with one hand holding my nose. Praying for that confluence of desire, cost and availability to appear.

And then it does.

Like my latest summer board. One of the greatest rides I never had.

Here’s the story. Here’s what happened:

Last year I did in fact save some shekels and go all-out on a newbie. I like ‘em big and round, as you know. Had my eyes on a Crime 7’10” longfish for some time.

Crime’s a softboard company out of the US. But these aren’t entry-level foamies. They’re boards built to ride, wrapped in more of an all-over grip tape than a standard foam cover. As soon as they started distributing in Australia I pounced. It was a wild board. Not an easy ride by any means. A traditional keel fish.

But jeez it hooked. We had us some good summer fun before I slammed the nose into a sandbar on a small day and creased the fuck out of it. It rode on admirably for quite a few more months, but with each surf it was dying another little death.

I’d place my front foot over the crease while trimming and feel it flapping like a loose tooth in the wind. Finally on my recent trip up the coast it gave way, duckdiving no less.

Apparently, I’m the first person to ever snap one. Some achievement.

(This is not a slur on Crime, either. They’re sick boards, and heavy-duty to boot).

So, I buried myself in the personals. Bided my time on an old 5’11” fish for the small days. But kept my eyes out for a replacement. Something Big.

Finally it appeared one Saturday morning (prime browsing time). A 9’0” Glider. Quad. My eyes lit up. Perfect for making small clean days at home interesting. An invaluable addition for the annual north coast run.

Very rarely do they come on the secondhand market. Especially in my local town.

And only $500 on it. I had to move.

I was in the middle of a hectic house move/sale with money flying out my ears. Already on a tight budget

So I raided the garage. Started horse-trading in my head.

I cobbled together a few boards I wasn’t riding anymore.

A 6’6” Black Beauty, quite old now but in good condition, and they always retain their value. A beautiful 7’4” Sam Egan gun I’ve profiled here previously, but which has been recently superseded by a 7’6” McCabe custom (oh yeah… I guess that was another one I bought new. But let’s not ruin the narrative).

A Bunny Chow I bought for a couple of hundred bucks a few years ago. Nothing wrong with it, but barely ridden.

All together at least $700 worth of boards, if sold separately. But I needed cash. Fast. Couldn’t miss out on this one. I went into the local secondhand board dispensary. Pulled the quiver of misfits reluctantly from the boot of the car.

Offered $400 for the lot.


A quick scoot across town to the Gumtree seller. It was mine, for only $100.

I took it home. Sat it up on the wall next to my 7’6”. Marvelled at the refined simplicity of the outline. Had it out in the water the next morning.

Go ahead, give me shit for riding them. I don’t care. I know I deserve it. But the early entry fade bottom turn to slingshot pivot is one of the finer feelings in surfing.

I clocked up five surfs in one week. Had dangerous amounts of fun.

The following Sunday dawned bright. An out of season, solid four feet of south swell had snuck in under the cover of darkness. A few bigger ones here and there.  A long period giving it more push than you’d expect. A slight ripple in the face from a straight north wind.

The south end was on. Hidden in plain sight from a local construction site. Me and one other fella out. The rest of town still sleeping.

A higher tide had the sets grinding over a sandbar they would usually break wide of. I had a shortboard in the car but was keen to see how the glider would handle some push.

Answer: pretty well.

Early entries into long, swooping runs. A few late drops negotiated surprisingly well. A few blown turns, as is my trademark.

After a good hour or so one of the mid-sized sets angled up on the bank. A double-up. I licked my lips. It paddled in easily enough. But sat above the pocket for a second and wondered if this was the right idea.

Well, the thing was three inches thick. Surely it will be fine. I took the drop. Free fell for a second before the nose dug. I went over the front. Rag-dolled.

I chided myself for not having a shorter board out here as the wave rattled down the line without me. Greedy. But thought no more of it.

Next wave was a wide set. I rode it through to the shorey with the intention of coming in. A closeout barrel presented and I couldn’t help myself. Pulled in. A bit of vision before the detonation.

But, as soon as I popped back up I could tell something was wrong. A slackness on the leash.

I looked to shore and saw just the tail of my board fly up from the wash.

A clean snap, just above the fins. Completely irreparable. The front two thirds of the boards flew up and over the rock shelf in front. I let the waves sweep me in.

Devastated. I tallied up the damage  as I walked up the beach, broken glider in two hands.

A net loss of five boards all told. Two boards in the literal bin. Three others out with some other lucky punter.

Back to browsing the digital bin. This time with an even emptier wallet.

Some summers they drop like flies, as Warren Ellis says. But this is the life I live.

Slater (pictured) with cheaper-than-yesterday merchandise.
Slater (pictured) with cheaper-than-yesterday merchandise.

Controversial surfboard manufacturer Firewire announces “once in a lifetime” American sale kicking domestic shapers square in the guts ahead of holiday season!

Everything must go!

It has been many years, now, since Firewire surfboards popped out on the surf scene. Founded by Nev Hyman in the middle 2000s, the computer drafted surfboard, pumped out of fancy machines in a giant Thai warehouse, are now ubiquitous in any lineup. The world’s greatest surfer, Kelly Slater, owns 70% of the business and uses the technology to create his Slater Designs boards under the Firewire banner along with Tomo and an assortment of longboard crafters.

Now, making boards in Thai factories then shipping them to the United States or Australia has long roiled domestic shapers who are saddled with higher taxes, more stringent environmental regulations, much increase for cost of labor, insurance etc. but it seems like the factions made a sort of peace and especially during the past three-year boom where surfing became very popular amongst the Covid-stuck.

Riches for all.

Everything that goes up, though, must come down and, per industry sources, surfboard sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Not horrible. Not great.

And here comes the trouble. Firewire, which appears have to overproduced through the good times, is, attempting to dump excess inventory in the United States via a “once in a lifetime” sale. Prices slashed by 20%. Retailers incentivized through a rebate program.

The margin for non-Thai board builders is between 30 – 40% which means, heading into the holiday season, they will all receive a swift kick in the guts from abroad.

The question for you. Is all fair in love and capitalism? Should surfers care about domestic board crafters or should they, rather, consider their surfboards similar to tennis rackets?

Globalism or protectionism?