Jordan R. Anast

“Photobombing great white shark” becomes most viral surf image of all-time frustrating World Surf League executives and their Stalin-esque hopes of total global domination!

Tears in Santa Monica.

Oh but certainly you’ve seen it, by now, and many multiple times. Jordan Anast’s stunning image of a longboarder mid-contest, at famed San Onofre, and that juvenile great white shark shooting skyward in the background. Snapped October 22, the photograph has taken on a life of its own, being featured in every major and minor media across the globe, most recently CNN.

Anast told the left-leaning service, “I didn’t know until I looked closely after, and saw the structures of the fins. Then I realized it was a great white shark.”

Wonderful and, officially, the most viral snap in surfing’s history.

The problem?

Well, the longboarding contest was not a sanctioned World Surf League event, rather a local San Onofre Surf Club shootout, thus leaving the “global home of surfing” far away from the glorious spotlight.

As you know, the World Surf League has been on a campaign to radically alter surfing’s past, present and future since its establishment in 2015 and headquartered in Santa Monica, California. Top officials quickly declared that it was actually founded 39 years earlier, in 1976, and dipped into various Wikipedias to burnish the narrative.

Kelly Slater’s first WSL championship, for example, came in 1992.

Sixteen years before the WSL came to be.

In any case, the most viral moment in non-Stalinist WSL history was when Mick Fanning became entangled with a great white shark during a contest in South Africa.

The moment was flashed on screens, globally, including CNN and World Surf League brass did their best to leverage into the stratospheric growth we are witnessing today.

Numbers to the moon.

Not, though, as high as this newest San Onofre sensation.

The question, I suppose, will the World Surf League absorb the San Onofre Longboard Club in order to lay claim or is Santa Monica’s hatred of longboarding more powerful?

Currently more questions than answers.


Robinson and his Gut Slider, with Tom Morey, inset, banging away in heaven. | Photo: Main photo Chris Hewgill/hewysurf_photography

Australian surfer reimagines Tom Morey’s iconic boogie board, dubs it ‘The Gut Slider’ and now miracles are afoot, “I’ve seen a guy who hasn’t been able to [stand-up surf] for years. He got on one of these things and was like 15 again.”

"I am on fire. I am dangerous, I am absolutely out of control.”

You’ll remember, of course, the death of surfing’s great gift to the world, the inventor Tom Morey, who died a couple of months after his eighty-sixth birthday, last October. 

Ol Tom exited blind and broke despite the outrageous success of the boogie board which had just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. 

Morey invented the 4’6”, 23” wide foam boog in 1971; it was more than a toy for kids to hold onto in shorebreaks, he explained, this was a profound shift in waveriding. 

“For anybody to become a graduate of this planet,” Morey who would sell out of his Boogie biz four years later thereby missing the rivers of gold said, “it is essential that they learn to enjoy this activity.”

Now, an Australian surfboard shaper from the sweet little country town of Nambucca Heads, a few hours south of Byron, has put his tweak on the iconic lid and says miracles are afoot.

Keith Robinson, who is seventy-four, says he made his fibreglass“gut slider” so his sixty-seven-year-old buddy, Toni Jovancay, who was so tortured with hip pain he’d holstered his sticks, could get back into surfing. 

“As soon as I paddled out in North Valla, I immediately knew this was fantastic,” Jovancay told ABC. “If I didn’t have other things in life, I’d say it has changed my whole life.”

Two weeks on the GS and he says, “I am on fire. I am dangerous, I am absolutely out of control.” 

Robinson says he’s been making a couple of ‘em a week for surfers who’ve been hobbled by uncooperative ankles, knees, hips or for riding post-op.

Nambucca Heads photographer Chris Hewgill said, “I’ve seen a guy who hasn’t been able to [stand-up ride] for years. He got on one of these things and was like 15 again.”

I’m about three years away from one of these things, although better to be in the water than not at all, no?

Or better to quit and never return?


Rumor: Industry insider declares World Surf League self-funded popular Make or Break show; “It’s like hiring a model to take to your reunion. Looks like you scored a hottie but it’s just bringing a working girl to the dance!”

Pretty woman.

One of the major World Surf League successes, in a historically successful year, was the glorious Make or Break, which aired on Apple TV to much acclaim and picked up for a second year. The “peek behind the Wall of Positive Noise” was loved by surf fans and others alike and the two groupings cannot wait for season two… except, is all as it seems? For a stunning new rumor from an impeccable industry insider declares our WSL actually funded the entire production as nothing more than an infomercial.

Per the source:

They were able to get it on the prestige platform by agreeing to hire the premium, high-end production company Box to Box but it is ONLY because the WSL is paying for the show that Apple picked it up. How expensive is this? Well, I believe it was 7 episode series last round, and in talking to a number of people about guessing — and it IS a guess — there’s no way the per episode production cost is less than $500,000, more likely in the $750,000 range. So at a bare minimum it’s an out-of-pocket cost of $3.5 million, and more likely $5,250,000 plus range for a season. I wouldn’t be shocked, btw, as others I talked to agree if the per episode cost was closer to million dollars. Also, according to my source, it’s because it’s free programming to Apple that there is a second season – not because it did particularly great, even if it was solid. It wasn’t numbers, it was that by using Box to Box, a premium and excellent production company, Apple agreed to this arrangement and as far as I know this hasn’t been disclosed anywhere, either by Apple or obviously the WSL. The whole campaign and pride, regularly boasted about by Logan in every interview is about being on this prestige platforms, but basically what you’re seeing is an infomercials which is why while there may be some semi controversial items (e.g. Wright’s woke politics) overall there are no true villains or controversy in the series. It’s the great Chinese Wall of Positive Noise!

The WSL paying for production dollars for Make or Break is like hiring a model to take to your reunion. Looks like you scored a hottie (e.g. Apple TV) but it’s just like bringing a working girl to the dance.

A house of cards?

Oh House of Cards was cancelled after star Kevin Spacey made allegedly naughty with the nerdy ginger from Dazed and Confused… so maybe?

More as the story develops.


@lewishamilton

Race car superstar Lewis Hamilton heads to pal Kelly Slater’s recently scorned Surf Ranch ahead of Las Vegas Grand Prix, displays pure wicked gut bustin’ down the line speed!

Surf Rich.

Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, there in the methamphetamine-jazzed heart of Lemoore, came under much fire yesterday as an expert in the artificial wave technology space called its technology “defunct.” A real shocker sending the surf world reeling. As Derek Rielly reported, Skip Taylor, a Partner of Surf Park Management declared defunctness was the the reason there hadn’t been another Slater tank built since it’s unveiling in December 2015. “What happens time after time is once people start to dig into the financial feasibility and see the limited capacity, the large footprint of the venue, the scale of civil construction, and the awkwardness of the pool shape to build around, KSWC quickly gets dismissed in most cases.”

Well, I have had the joy of surfing there twice, and it is pure joy, and think there is one thing Taylor gets lightly wrong. Namely, Surf Ranch was never supposed to be for “The People™” what with financial feasibility, limited capacity, overall awkwardness. It is, rather, a place for the super rich and famous. A tank where each gorgeous wave costs a few thousand U.S. dollars and worth every penny for those who can afford.

Those like race car superstar Lewis Hamilton who just swung by ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, set to run November 16 – 18.

Lewis’s net worth is estimated to be around $285 million.

Surf Rich.

But as you examine the follow cam in the second slide, tell me you aren’t drooling. Tell me you wouldn’t want to taste that plow power for yourself. How much would you pay for a 10 wave bundle? Be honest.

While you’re here, what are your overall thoughts about Formula 1? We’ve had some discussions in the past but I think I’d like to become a fan. The Vegas Grand Prix looks chic. Advice?


“What happens time after time is once people start to dig into the financial feasibility and see the limited capacity, the large footprint of the venue, the scale of civil construction, and the awkwardness of the pool shape to build around, KSWC quickly gets dismissed in most cases.”

Surf world reels as expert reveals Kelly Slater wavepool “was obsolete the day it was unveiled” and likens famous tank to “Blackberry cell phone circa 2010”

"Much like Blackberry, KSWC pioneered a new technology. And like Blackberry, KSWC is stubbornly hanging onto its original blueprint."

If you ever have the good fortune to grace the fabled Kelly Slater wavepool in Lemoore, California, you will be awed by its size, the shore where the right extinguishes itself after one minute of riding barely able to be seen, even with squinted eyes.

I rode the joint in 2017, nine waves lassoed, and have yet to sight or command a wave, even close to as good.

Therefore, a terrific surprise this morning when a wavepool expert slammed the Kelly Slater Wave Co pool as “obsolete the day it was unveiled.”

Skip Taylor, a Partner of Surf Park Management told wavepool mag, the reason there hadn’t been another Slater tank built since it’s unveiling in December 2015 was that,

“What happens time after time is once people start to dig into the financial feasibility and see the limited capacity, the large footprint of the venue, the scale of civil construction, and the awkwardness of the pool shape to build around, KSWC quickly gets dismissed in most cases.”

Meanwhile, Wavegarden, Perfect Surf and Endless Surf, smaller, modular tech, dominate the market.

When the developers of that wild housing estate built around a pool near São Paulo, Praia da Grama and Boa Vista Village, looked at the various techs, they dug the Kelly pool but came to the same conclusion as everyone else, it don’t have the commercial potential of its rivals.

And that wild little double shot air combo? No way the Slater pool touches that. Surfers are already calling it the most high-performance wave on earth.

Author of the comprehensive story, Evan Quarnstrom, posits,

I liken the position of Slater’s pool to the Blackberry cell phone circa 2010.

Blackberry was a pioneer in the cell phone space and even the preferred option of then US president Barack Obama. They had an industry-leading 43% of the market share in the US at their peak.

Then came the iPhone with its touchscreen technology.

Blackberry insisted on sticking with a keyboard. Their complacency spelled the beginning of the end. After an initial aversion to transition with the market trends and a far-too-late attempt to enter the smartphone market, the Blackberry cell phone finally sputtered to an inevitable death with its final model in 2018.

Much like Blackberry, KSWC pioneered a new technology – in this case a wave that could mimic the power of the ocean. And like Blackberry, KSWC is stubbornly hanging onto its original blueprint. As markets demand a smaller pool with a higher wave rate, KSWC is sticking to its guns.

Read more here!