Medina (left) comforting Neymar Jr.
Medina (left) comforting Neymar Jr.

Bicurious surf fans dabbling in World Cup Soccer heartbroken to see Gabriel Medina’s “wildly close” pal Neymar Jr. go down with twisted ankle in first game!

Blackest Friday.

While Ben Gravy rehabilitates his shattered collarbone and before the start of Haleiwa, can we surf fans turn our scrutiny, for just one moment, to soccer? Oh as an American it is not the primary game that I follow, nor I suspect you, but here we are at the four year bash dubbed the “World Cup” and it is impossible not to pay attention. To wonder what life might be liked cheering for a sport with actual fans instead of you, me, JP Currie and 8 million figments of WSL CEO Erik Logan’s imagination.

My United States takes on England in but an hour and I am torn on where my rooting interests should lie. The country where I live or the country with superior ballet.


Also, I was very surprised and saddened to see Neymar Jr. go down with a twisted ankle in Brazil’s opener against Serbia. Surf fans are, likely, only aware of the star as surf champion Gabriel Medina’s “wildly close” pal and of the friendship that caused much furor in the land of order and progress, media speculating that it was “not normal to see two men like this.

Neymar Jr. and Danilo, another star but without a surf connection, both hit Qatar’s manicured turf and were unable to return to action.

Per CNN:

Brazilian team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed both players will miss the team’s next match against Switzerland on Monday, but remained hopeful they would play again in the tournament.

“We thought it was important to do an image exam, an MRI so that we had more data on the evolution of the two players,” Lasmar said.

“The scans showed a lateral ligament injury to Neymar’s right ankle along with a small bone swelling. And a medial ligament injury to Danilo’s left ankle.

“Players remain in treatment. It is very important for us to be very calm, peaceful, this assessment will be carried out daily so that we have information and make the best decisions based on that.

“We can already say that we will not have the two players for our next game, but they remain in treatment with our objective of trying to recover in time for this competition.”

Light a candle?

David Lee Scales and I did not discuss Neymar Jr. on today’s podcast but we did discuss Gabriel Medina and also Kanoa Igarashi. Worth a listen while you Black Friday.

“Woody Harrelson lookalike” surf icon who was hospitalised following horror wipeout shocks fans with updated prognosis, “It’s worse than previously thought. A lot worse!”

“I’m here, I’m still breathing, I’m walking, I’m talking…”

The beloved surf YouTuber Ben Gravy, who bears a “striking resemblance to Woody Harrelson”, has updated fans on the state of his collarbone following a horror wipeout at El Slammo in New Jersey last week.

Gravy, a high-end intermediate surfer who has almost two-hundred thousand followers, shattered his collar bone in four places at the experts-only wave in Longport, a pretty little Jersey borough pointed at the Atlantic. 

“I never saw this coming. I went for a casual surf this morning & never, ever thought that I would end up with a shattered collarbone,” Gravy said. “I’m surprised, I’m baffled, I’m disappointed and I’m confused.”

Gravy, who is thirty-four and who surfed all fifty American states in 2017 for his insanely popular YouTube channel, gobsmacked his legion of fans today when he revealed the extent of the injury. 

“It’s pretty shocking. The break is a lot worse than previously thought,” he says. “I thought I’d walk away clean and it’s not the case.” 

Still, the reformed drunk, “I was getting wasted every day, ten, twenty cans,” is using his trademark optimism to get him through. 

“I’m here, I’m still breathing, I’m walking, I’m talking,” he says. 

According to Statsmash, Ben is worth seventy-eight thousand dollars and earned thirteen dollars today, eighteen dollars yesterday for a total of $218 for the week.


Bluestar Alliance set to gobble up the surf brand triumvirate, Billabong, Quiksilver and RVCA.

Rumour: Authentic Brands Group pulls out of Billabong-Quiksilver-RVCA sale as owner of Hurley moves in to create “the greatest assemblage of surf brands the world has ever seen!”


First, it was Vans circling the beleaguered Boardriders Inc, owner of Billabong, Quiksilver and RVCA, then Authentic, “a robust house that includes the licensing rights to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali” and now, owner of Hurley, Bluestar Alliance, is picking over the bones.

The latest deal with Authentic shot itself, we’re told, ‘cause current owner of Boardriders Inc, Oaketree, wouldn’t let go of the retail outlets, ironic considering all that dang bricks and mortar was a millstone around Billabong’s neck as sales shifted online.

Those of an advanced age will remember the glorious day in 2002 when Bob Hurley sold his eponymous brand to Nike for a hundred and twenty mill who in turn kicked it to the brand management company Bluestar Alliance, maker of clothes for the” confident, sexy modern woman!”

The way Bluestar works is it identifies brands it wants to buy and once they get the keys, “our team of experts embark on a complete and thorough understanding of the brand’s potential channels of distribution and price point strategies. We create tools such as brand development profiles, trend guides, style guides and marketing strategies. These marketing materials portray graphic illustrations and a strategic marketing road map to enhance consumer brand recognition.”

In layman’s terms, throw a logo on anything that moves, inflatable pool toys, beard oil, whatever dumb stuff people will buy ’cause it has a heritage banner on it.

If Bluestar gets the keys to the three iconic brands, it’ll create the greatest assemblage of surf brands ever created, rivalling even those honied days a decade or so ago when Billabong and Quik were throwing millions at even the silliest of provincial surf brands.

"Perfection." | Photo: @water_lilli

Tributes pour in for surfing superstar Tyler Wright and new wife Lilli, married after lightning twelve-month courtship, “Stunning and Beautiful. Two gorgeous souls connected for eternity”

Surfing’s first LGBTIQA+ wedding!

Not a dry eye in the house following Tuesday’s wedding of the two-time world surfing champ Tyler Wright to her gal Lilli Baker, now Mrs Lilli Wright.

A who’s who of surfing notables, including WSL CEO Erik Logan, heaped congratulations on the couple.

“Stunning and Beautiful. Two gorgeous souls connected for eternity,” wrote Elo.

From Swellian and Goons of Doom frontman Vaughan Blakey, “CONGRATS YOU LEGENDS! Looks magic!”

“Beautiful,” wrote Stephanie Gilmore.

And, from World Surf League commissioner Jessi Miley Dyer, a simple, “Perfection.”


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A post shared by Lilli Wright (@water__lilli)

Of their relationship, Wright describes it as flush with “ease and openness. There’s genuineness, love, respect and appreciation. Being with someone who encourages you to be more you is always a good time.”


Eyes now turn to the men’s tour where not one surfer in the sport’s almost fifty-year history has openly expressed his homosexuality, let alone walked down the aisle with his true love.

(Former pro Matt Branson came out after he split the tour in 1991, telling Fred Pawle, “It was fucking incredibly hard. You always felt like you were lying.”)

Either means the tour is a hotbed of straightness or there’s a helluva lot of closet hiding going on.

Sad, no?

World Surf League Head of Competition shatters patented Wall of Positive Noise, declares seven surfers on bubble for re-qualification including Ultimate Surfer Zeke Lau have had some “good results and some not so good results” this year!

A new nasty WSL.

Haleiwa, the traditional kick-off of surfing’s Triple Crown, is set to get underway in three short days and promises to be more exciting than ever. As you know, the North Shore wave near the town that shares its name is now a “Challenger Series” event meaning that it carries much points and the potential for qualification on the real “Championship Tour.”

Who will make the grade and celebrate (until the season’s mid-year cut when they shall be sent to the place of wailing and gnashing teeth once more)?

Who will falter (and just stay in the place of wailing and gnashing teeth)?

Well, there are currently seven surfers on the bubble and only room for three. Any first round losses from Micheal Rodrigues, Zeke Lau, Eithan Osborne, Dylan Moffat, Joao Chianca, Jacob Willcox at Haleiwa will all but guarantee heartbreak.

How did this magnificent seven end up here? In an absolute shock to longtime World Surf League fans, the Senior Vice-President of Tours, Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer shattered the patented Wall of Positive Noise by admitting in a to-camera piece, “They’ve been a little inconsistent. They’ve had some good results and some not so good results this year.”

“Not so good results” the most critical phrase ever delivered from WSL brass.

Does this signal a possible shift in tone? Joe Turpel declaring that a hand-jam might be lacking? Strider Wasilewski saying, “My psych-meter is at a six right now?”

Wild days.