"Lemme get this straight, one-to-seven-foot, y'said, for thirty-five k upfront, fifteen hundred a month…yeah, yeah, small, very coy…"

Member’s-only wave pool to open in Long Island, New York; promises one-to-seven-foot waves at $1500 per month, plus $35k joining fee, for “the man with a coy little phallus!”

The Crest Surf Club is gonna built its pool in Shirley, Long Island, a lil west of The Hamptons, projected completion date of summer 2024. 

Don’t y’wish advertising told it like it is? 

Anyone who’s gonna throw down thirty-five k on joining a wave pool country club in Long Island that’ll still cost you fifteen-hundred a month to surf, and that’s using tech so new the company supplying it only has a primitive landing page, well, don’t it suit perfectly the “man with a coy little phallus.”

New York City is the master of balancing the inclusion/exclusion axis, dangling fruits in front of its subjects that seem so tangible yet so outta reach.

From the DMV-sized lines outside Studio 54 in the ’70’s to the roped off entrances of Limelight and The Tunnel in the 90’s with their thick as brick bouncers and razor thin entrance judges, The City knows how to titillate. 

Sure, the oxidized lady in green at the harbor with the torch and crown will take you in if your tired and poor, but she ain’t gonna get ya reservations to Nobu on a Saturday at 7pm. 

Now, Long Island isn’t Manhattans little sister, if anything it’s its evil twin wrapped in suburban safety swag. The scalpelled noses are a little less sharp, but the attitude is more robust, swelled by property taxes that would give Donald Trump a nosebleed. 

The Crest Surf Club is gonna built its members-only joint in Shirley, Long Island, about 28 miles west of The Hamptons, with a projected completion date of summer 2024. 

The Crest website has a layout of what the pool and facility will look like, click here etc. But, like most things in NY, ya gotta submit a little piece of you (email inquiry) to get to the real guts. 


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Two days after the submission and a few follow up emails later, a Crest representative loosed the finer details.  

The entire facility covers 3.5 acres. The actual tank is 1.5 acres. Rides 85 yards long. Heated in the winter and open from five in the morn to midnight. Reserve your time slot, one-hour session, 10-20 waves per person, 8-12 peeps on the drink, or flies in the champagne, at a time. 

Like The American Dream wave pool who retained the services of big-waver Will Skuden to give their place street cred, Crest has given local pro Leif Engstrom their flag to wave at the bow of their ship.

Leif’s air game is tighter than a lit Roman candle and will give Crest legitimacy.   

Crest call ’emselves “the first and finest” wave pool country club but someone might wanna tell ’em about the Wiseman’s Surf Lodge, a seventy-five mill build an hour-and-a-half north of Sydney.

Same deal there, too, thirty or sixty gees to join, ongoing rates to surf and so on.

Bombshell Wall Street Journal report declares streaming giant Netflix attempted to buy World Surf League late last year though negotiations fell apart over price tag!

House of Cards.

We surf fans know, better than maybe any other grouping of sports fans, that our governing body, the World Surf League, is pure smoke and mirrors. From ridiculous bullishness on numbers, fortified Walls of Positive Noise, Stalin-esque reimaginings of history, Erik Logan etc. the whole operation is gloriously absurd but the whole shootin’ match was allegedly almost purchased by streaming giant Netflix earlier this year.


Per reporting from The Wall Street Journal via 9 to 5 Mac:

Meanwhile, Netflix pursued low-cost ways of diversifying its own catalog with streaming sports. The Journal reports that Netflix has considered bidding or has bid on specific sports streaming rights in Europe:

The company recently bid for the streaming rights for the ATP tennis tour for some European countries, including France and the U.K., but dropped out, one of the people said. It also discussed bidding for a series of other events including U.K. rights to the Women’s Tennis Association and cycling competitions, the people said.

What’s even more intriguing is the possibility of a subscription video service just outright buying a sports league. That’s apparently what Netflix attempted to do with surfing:

The company late last year was in talks to buy the World Surf League, but negotiations fell apart because the two organizations couldn’t reach an agreement on a price, people familiar with the potential deal said.

The Journal goes on to explain how sports streaming could create new opportunities for Netflix:

Some Netflix executives believe that given the size of its platform, Netflix could turn lesser-known sports like surfing into big franchises, and create new sporting tournaments or events, the people said.

How you like them apples?

I, first off, wonder what the difference in price tag between professional surfing’s current owner Dirk Ziff and Netflix was.

I, then, think about how much better the show might be on a platform that would have a vested interest in building intrigue, better storylines, more dynamic locations, no Surf Ranch into the mix.

Time for some surf journalism.

Are you there Sean Doherty? It’s me, Chas.

More as the story develops.

Claw (pictured).
Claw (pictured).

In sponsorship earthquake, Gabriel Medina debuts Monster Claw on surfboard ahead of 2023 Championship Tour setting up potential bloody internecine war with Filipe Toledo!

The House of Monster ready to split?

The 2023 World Surf League Championship Tour season is nearly upon us, or not really nearly but maybe somewhere around the corner. Oh, I can tell that you are starting to thrill, beginning to get in the mood for hand jams and priority interferences. Joe Turpel and Raspberry Waz.

Like Christmas morning in late January.

The lackluster Challenger Series is entering the stretch run, who will qualify, who won’t, with its Saquarema Pro won, yesterday, by Gabriel Medina. There was controversy bubbling, the already-on-tour multiple-time world champion did not need to be there, but there he was, anyhow, squishing dreams under his brutal heel.

Blowing hopes to smithereens with sprays from his stark, white surfboard featuring a Monster Claw right in its middle.

That just so happens to be new and surf fans immediately turned their attention to Filipe Toledo, who did not surf in Saquarema, and a potential civil war bubbling in the glucose brine.

Toledo, of course, also surfs for the Claw.

Now, there is no apparent beef between the two Brazilian Stormers, not yet, but each is likely to be in contention for the 2023 crown, both almost certain to be standing on Lower Trestles’ cobbled stone at the end. Which will Monster throw its weight behind? Who will receive the best masseuse, board caddy, chauffeur, chef etc.?

In other professional sports, like the National Football League or National Basketball Association, when another superstar is brought in to the fold who plays the same position as another superstar, it causes extreme tension.

Much side-eye.

The House of Monster ready to split?


Photo: Brian Bielmann
Photo: Brian Bielmann

JP Currie on The Passing of Andy Irons and the Day That Followed: “For all those who believe surf journalism isn’t a real job, that surfing isn’t a subject that warrants or blooms quality work beyond skimming a few waves, read some Sean Doherty.”

"This one, in my eyes, might be the pinnacle of surf podcasting."

If, like me, you’re regularly disillusioned with surf “content” which often seems to fall short in terms of accuracy, quality or simply interest, I would strongly advise you listen to the recent “Ain’t That Swell” episode titled “The Passing of Andy Irons and The Days That Followed”.

It’s part of the A.T.S. “Greatest Stories Never Told” strand, which I’d have to say is my favourite.

This one, in my eyes, might be the pinnacle of surf podcasting.

Podcasting at its best (in my opinion) is a way to reinvigorate longform storytelling, to make great stories accessible and convenient to an audience of untrained readers.

In fact, the podcast I’d love to listen to (but never got around to making), would involve seminal and forgotten pieces from the history of surf writing, ideally read in full by the authors, followed by some questions about the process, reporting or situation in which the story occurred. This is a great example of why that format works.

It marks twelve years since Andy Irons was found dead in a Dallas hotel room, halfway home to his wife and unborn child; halfway away from life as a professional surfer.

One life burgeoning and full of promise; the other fading to a natural end.

The episode revisits Sean Doherty’s piece “Rainbow’s End”, written in the immediate aftermath of Irons’ death whilst Doherty was still in Puerto Rico, and he and countless others who knew and loved Andy tried to come to terms with what had happened.

As surfers, the tragedy of A.I. is burned in our collective consciousness. It’s a story with questions that remain unanswered, true of many stories that linger with us through our daily lives.

But what struck me about this episode was not questions about Andy’s death, but rather the phenomenal job by Doherty in capturing this moment in time.

What Sean Doherty did with “Rainbow’s End”, on a pure journalism level, is one of the finest pieces of surf writing ever produced.

The complexity of the situation and subject is unfathomable to me. To produce something coherent from it, something for people to cling to, beggars belief.

Doherty had been in Puerto Rico to report on Slater’s tenth world title, a seeming inevitability at that stage. In itself, this was a monumental story, perhaps the greatest ever in competition surfing history, and it was something he’d been working on for months.

Then Andy was dead.

And in the chaos no-one knew what to think, except they knew that everything was different.

What would you do in that situation?


Fly immediately home to your family?

Shed tears with your friends and say fuck the world?

Or would you, as Doherty did, recognise the significance of the moment, the necessity of story, and your responsibility to your vocation?

There’s a Carol-Anne Duffy poem called “War Photographer”, about a man who wrestles with his purpose. The poem presents us with difficult questions.

Is it ok to simply record the suffering of others, neglecting your individual humanity in service of the greater good?

Is the sharing of tragedy necessary, in the hope it might save future lives?

He remembers the cries
of this man’s wife, how he sought approval
without words to do what someone must

The “must” suggests the answer to these questions must be Yes.

Real journalists believe in this “must”. They understand that stories give shape and form to our existence.

In the life and death of Andy Irons, there are lessons for all of us.

Doherty’s piece doesn’t necessarily dig all of this out, but it doesn’t need to. What it does is capture the raw, human grief of the moment, and touch on the ways in which Irons inspired those who knew him, particularly in professional surfing.

In the wake of abject tragedy, the only meaningful response is to recognise and celebrate those who share the impact. Easier said than done.

Somehow, when confronted with tragedy and outpourings of sorrow from the friends he was surrounded by, Sean Doherty had the fortitude to write the story of what it was like to exist in these moments, creating a historical timecapsule in a way that only the written word can.

Even more impressively, Doherty managed to wrangle what seems an impossible juxtaposition of two disparate stories into one, coherent narrative, and somehow do justice to both, remaining true to his original brief and telling the story of Kelly’s tenth title in tandem with the fallout from Andy’s death.

Staggeringly, he did it in just a few days to deadline.

I can scarcely imagine telling a story in the face of such shared and personal tragedy. I can’t imagine grieving alongside friends, yet still trying to elicit and record quotations.

I’m certainly more of a Fuck The World first responder.

The WCT is often mocked for the “one big family” vibe. It’s why the athletes and pundits are so frustratingly milquetoast. I get it. If you’re part of a crew that gets to travel the world and surf, why would you do anything that might burst that bubble?

Sean Doherty is very much part of the machine, close personal friend as he is with many of the people on and around the Tour. Is he always clear-eyed and impartial? Probably not. But he recognised the importance of history in this moment, of remaining professional and impersonal to tell this story in the face of such deep hurt.

Perhaps, given his relationships, he was one of the only people in the world who could’ve done it. By conscious decision or instinct, he did the job, and for that he should be lauded.

For all those who believe surf journalism isn’t a real job, that surfing isn’t a subject that warrants or blooms quality work beyond skimming a few waves, read some Sean Doherty.

I missed this piece at the time, as I’ve surely missed many great pieces in Australian surf media over the years, so I’m grateful for this airing on Ain’t That Swell.

I would advise you to consume this episode on a long drive home from surfing, a little bit tired, a little bit stoned, and more than a little raw and emotional. Pull over and have a little cry if you want.

Then go home and kiss your children.

In wild last-minute boilover, Brazilian superstar Gabriel Medina wins in first contest back since world title ending knee injury; scuttles Moroccan’s world tour dream!

The King is back!

For all the asterisks surrounding Filipe Toledo’s world title, no John John, another failure at Teahupoo, Finals Day in two-foot waves thereby hobbling any chance Jackie Robinson would win, the most glaring might be the absence of three-time world champ Gabriel Medina.

Medina made a sensational return to the pro tour in 2022 following a six-month break for “emotional issues’ after splitting from wife Yasmin Brunet. He banked semi-final finishes at El Salvador and G-Land, but was forced to pull out of J-Bay with a tweaked knee. 

Down but not out, as you’ll see.

Medina, who will be twenty-nine next month, proved his ability to turn a contest at a whim earlier today when he won the Corona Saquarema Pro, stealing a last-minute victory from the Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam.

The victory scuttled, at least for the time being, the Moroccan’s dream of qualifying for the Championship Tour.

Boukhiam, a tall splendid creature with dark and enormous eyes and flesh that ripples into bronze ridges, now has to turn up the volume at the Haleiwa event in a few weeks to make the cut.

“He’s (Boukhiam) such a great surfer,” Medina said after the final, sinking breathless into a divan, his body continuing to move in rhythm with his heart. “I hope he can make it to the tour, he deserves this. He’s one of the best to surf in a QS event and I can’t wait to see him on CT waves.”