Slater (pictured) on top of the world at the start of last year. Lined up for the gulag this one. Photo: WSL
Slater (pictured) on top of the world at the start of last year. Lined up for the gulag this one. Photo: WSL

In unmitigated blow to California and Hawaii, Kelly Slater’s hometown of Cocoa Beach, Florida named “best surf town in America” by respected travel blog!

Every rose has its thorn.

The World Surf League is halfway through a three-year deal to host its most famous, insanely watched Final’s Day there on Lower Trestles cobbled stone and, no doubt, San Clemente officials are confident of their place in the pantheon. Yes, the Spanish Village by the Sea is often considered one of the best surf towns in America what with its Trestles (uppers, lowers, middles), Andinos, Colapintos, Bioloses etc. Oh, Huntington Beach, just up the 405, dubbed “Surf City, USA” might have something to say about that and, likely, Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii too there across the Pacific but San Clemente has Final’s Day and that speaks volumes.

Though apparently not volumes enough for, hours ago, San Clemente along with Huntington Beach, Haleiwa, Santa Cruz, Princetown, Coos Bay, Kill Devil Hills, various Newports were stunned as respected travel blog ParkSleepFly dubbed Kelly Slater’s Cocoa Beach, Florida the “best surf town in America.’

Per Travel + Leisure:

The world’s best surf spots have more than just reliable waves. To get the ultimate surf vibe, you need warm water, plenty of breaks, and a nice long beach. And it doesn’t hurt if there’s a fun surf posse out in the water, too.

The travel blog ParkSleepFly took this all into account — and more — while evaluating some of the best surf spots in the U.S. The site considered natural factors like the number of surf breaks, water temperature, and the length of coastline in addition to social factors like the number of Google searches and Instagram tags. And Florida’s Cocoa Beach came out on top with a score of 8.32 out of a possible 10.

The long-time surf town beat out other spots like Waikiki Beach in Hawaii and Huntington Beach, California. And it made the win look easy. In Cocoa Beach, which produced world-renowned surfer Kelly Slater, the average sea temperature is a balmy 80 degrees, and there are 78 surf breaks packed in almost 12 miles of coastline. The beach is also trending online, with more than 3,000 surfing-related Instagram hashtags and 5,800 Google searches.

But as any surfer knows, a good surf spot is about more than good breaks and a cool crew. To keep the stoke alive, you need to eat and sleep — and if you’re a newbie, chances are you’ll need a lesson. Here’s how to plan a surf break (see what we did there) in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

But have you surfed Cocoa Beach? I’ve been, once, and went to the giant Ron Jon surf shop and also the Kelly Slater statue. The waves were sub-knee high (Surfline 5 – 8ft) during my visit and I didn’t consider paddling. Had I known that it was trending on Instagram, though, I might have thought differently.

Pop a bottle of… something to celebrate.

Slater (right) in a bad spot.
Slater (right) in a bad spot.

Surf fans go into mourning as dreams of fairytale reunion between Kelly Slater and Gisele Bündchen suffer gruesome dislocation by swank jiu-jitsu instructor!

Rear naked.

The sun rose on surf fans this morning but provided no warmth, not even in Cape Town where it is forecasted to be in the mid-90s or Puerto Escondido, Mexico where it will be the same. No, a cold grey pall hangs heavy in the air. A joyless fog obscuring any bit of good for last night images began leaking out of Gisele Bündchen out and about in Costa Rica, enjoying the pure single vida with a dashing man not named Kelly Slater.

As you know, the Brazilian supermodel and her husband of many years, Tom Brady, declared their union over earlier last month and surf fans immediately turned their eyes and hopes to Kelly Slater. Bündchen and the 11x world champion had dated for some portions of 2005 – 2006 forming up the most powerful couple since Kaipo dated Madonna and dreamers began seeing a return to Shangri-la.

2005 – 2006 just so happened to be the best years in surfing history.

Candles were bought, in bulk, lit, put on windowsills and fate seemed to be bending in our direction. Bündchen visited a faith healer, saged her car, traveled to Costa Rica just miles away from the Ayahuasca retreat center where Slater sits on the board. Only a matter of time before the paparazzi captured the two canoodling over a steaming breakfast bowl of gallo pinto.


Except, overnight, surf fans and our eyes, dreams, candles have been put in a rear naked choke hold.

Per Page Six:

Costa Rica is for couples!

Gisele Bündchen appears to have a new man in her life after her divorce from Tom Brady, stepping out with jiu-jitsu instructor Joaquim Valente on Saturday.

The duo grabbed a bite to eat at Koji in Provincia de Puntarenas with the 42-year-old model’s two children — Benjamin, 12, and Vivian, 9.

Bündchen showed her stomach in a cropped top and flowing black pants on the dinner date.

The Valente Brothers co-creator, for his part, was all smiles in a gray shirt and shorts.

While it is unclear when the pair’s possible romance began, Bündchen and Valente did a shoot for Dust magazine with his brothers, Pedro Valente and Giu Valente, in 2021.


While Slater does play jiu-jitsu as well, his bonafides have been directly challenged, in the past, by surfing’s great polemicist Joel Tudor.

Would Bündchen go for a questionable purple belt or once going black is it impossible to go back?

Currently more questions than answers though

Hot questions swirl around World Surf League’s drug testing policies after star promotes banned substance on social media!

Trouble in paradise.

The World Surf League, riding a wave of unmitigated success, growing more robustly than any student of professional sport could have ever imagined, so wildly healthy that streaming giant Netflix and its “offer” could be openly rejected then mocked.

Surfing for the win.

Surfing for the gold.

Which brings us around to the Olympics. You certainly recall the surfing’s grand debut two northern hemisphere summers ago there in Japan. Leading up to the games was much talk about how the big stage would introduce trillions of new fans and if the just-wrapped Final’s Day is any indication, what with its 8 million (and counting) live streams, prognostications were spot on.

Surfing bigger than curling.

With the Olympic spotlight, though, comes great responsibility for governing sporting bodies like not being overtly racist, brutally sexist, drug testing athletes etc. And while the World Surf League is not the official governing body of Olympic surfing, it does provide the main path for our heroes and heroines into the big show. Now, the League promises to drug test in accordance with international standards but an Instagram post, yesterday, by Hawaiian star Alex Smith threw the whole program into much question.

Smith, who most recently competed at the Sunset Pro just weeks ago, finishing in the round of 64, shared a photo of his “daily boosters,” superfood powders MOTS-C+ BPC-157 peptides.

As it happens, BPC-157 is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA.

Per the United States Anti-Doping Agency:

There appears to be no legal basis for selling BPC-157 as a drug, food, or a dietary supplement, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed there is also no legal basis for compounding pharmacies to use BPC-157 in compounded medications.

However, there is evidence that BPC-157 is being illegally included in some wellness and anti-aging treatments and products.

Prior to 2022, BPC-157 was not prohibited, but it has been added to the WADA Prohibited List after the annual review of the List and is prohibited starting on January 1, 2022. It’s prohibited under the S0 Unapproved Substances category of the List.

But who at the World Surf League is responsible for educating and testing its surfers?

Erik “Double Deuces” Logan?

Jessi Miley-Dyer?


And if this sort of sloppiness is not dealt with, will the International Olympic Committee remove surfing from the competition slate like it did wrestling thereby squishing historic gains?

Currently more questions than answers.

Cocaine and MDMA are also considered banned.

Florida degenerates thrown into mass confusion as they attend Jacksonville Beach Super Girl Surf Pro and catch high-performance surfing instead of bikini-clad honeypots cuddling golden retrievers!

Hurricane Nicole.

Northern Florida was thrown into a state of bewilderment, this weekend, as the Super Girl Surf Pro descended upon Jacksonville Beach and its car-friendly sands. Degenerates, you see, had come from far and wide, flooding the southern panhandle in an attempt to witness a live version of Surfer (The Girl) contest only to be met with a different sort of game in which girls actually surfed.

As reported earlier last week, the last remaining vestige of Surfer (The Magazine) is a Jacksonville drinking establishment named Surfer (The Bar) which just so happens to host the aforementioned Surfer (The Girl), featuring scantily clad ladies who don’t actually surf but rather hold skateboards and cuddle golden retrievers.

Sponsored then un-sponsored by Rip Curl.

Well, the world’s biggest surf website got all twisted and turned, erroneously declaring the contest still underway when it, in fact, had wrapped this past summer leading us all to the current troubles.

Retrogrades flooding the bold new city of the south hoping to catch glimpses of butts, boobs n bow-wows were instead served the Super Girl Surf Pro featuring the best up-and-coming rippers.

Per local news:

This year’s Super Girl Surf Pro competition brought nearly 100 of the world’s best female surfers to Jacksonville Beach.
But just days ago, Hurricane Nicole had some guessing if the event would even take place.

Competitor Coral Schuster said she was relieved — and pleasantly surprised.

“Right now, having this hurricane swell, it’s great. It was definitely sketchy not being sure how that hurricane was going to go through or if it would still be here today,” Schuster said. “But right now, the conditions are great and it’s sunny. And I love this!”

The surfers said this is not only a competition, it’s also a chance to support one another — and get the next generation excited about the sport.

“I want to be an inspiration to these young girls because I was there once too,” Pinkerton said. “And just teaching them and showing them the way I feel like is the best way to keep women’s surfing progressing.”

Much better for them (the deviants), frankly, and hopefully there was much repenting of past ways and appreciations of real Surfer (The Girl)s.


"Grace and charm and art and beauty—those were Kemp’s virtues."

“Herky-jerky” Californian surf icon Kemp Aaberg, who surfed as if “god was pulling the strings,” dead at 82

"The guy was flight and fancy incarnate. He was very aware of the art of surfing."

It cheers me up every time I find out a well-known surfer was born hundreds of miles away from the ocean, or that they came to the sport relatively late in life.

I guess it allows me to imagine that the sport is open to all, or at least not fully closed off to anyone but us lottery winners who were born on the coast and dragging a board into the shorebreak as preschoolers. While Kemp Aaberg, who has died from complications related to Parkinson’s, was an attractive surfer any way you looked at him—and yes, let us absolutely include that aquiline XXL nose—I love the fact that he was born in Peoria, Illinois, and didn’t pick up a board until he was 16.

Kemp was a textbook obsessive, but at every turn, with every new interest (surfing, guitar, triathlons) he never allowed the new thing to divide him from his best qualities.

Kemp was always bright and generous, funny and warm.

In a 1964 Surf Guide article on Malibu, Kemp complains a bit about the crowds, but also has a broader—Midwestern, you might say—view of things.

“What happened,” he says of the surf craze that in a small part he’d help launch, as a favorite surfer in the early Bruce Brown films, “was that a new game had been discovered—a new entertainment, a new recreational device, a new economic device. Once surfing was discovered you certainly couldn’t expect [it] to be saved from the [crowd] explosion, just because it’s so much fun to do. And it makes you feel so good. Nothing makes you feel better. I always wonder how people inland really exist. What can they do? Do they really feel refreshed after a game of football?”

Aaberg was a surf stylist for the ages.

Herky-jerky at times, upright like a flag pole, then deeply crouched, back up, elbows and hands flying away at unexpected moments, the general effect very marionette, except it was like God himself pulling the strings.

The videos I’ve posted on EOS do not do Kemp justice. This one and this one were both filmed when he was 18, a few weeks out of high school, and had been surfing less than three years. This gets a little closer to his weird proud-chested free-jazz approach, but I have better footage on the hard drive and will try to make another clip soon.

Like Art Brewer, who died earlier in the week, Kemp gave us the best version of surfing.