Surf industry watchers fear eroding pretty privilege to blame for recent collapse: “Where is this generation’s dish? Its sex-soaked Kelly Slater, Luke Stedman, Laird Hamilton?”

Hunk needed.

Yesterday’s reported mass sacking of surf industry employees was but the latest in an unfortunate series. Sixty employees slashed from Boardriders’ (parent company of Billabong, Quiksilver, RVCA) Australian bureau. One-hundred and fifty disappeared from the U.S. a week earlier and right before the usually happy holiday season.

The troublesome part of all this blood-letting is that surfing, as a whole, is coming off one of the biggest booms in its illustrious history. The pandemic opening the door to millions upon millions of new participants. Aside from purchasing soft-topped surfboards and tuning into World Surf League broadcasts, though, these millions upon millions have clearly not been purchasing Billabong, Quiksilver, RVCA-branded t-shirts, hoodies, etc.

No mountain and wave covering heart.

The reason? Well, have you heard of “pretty privilege?” The concept has been around for some time and basically suggests that traditionally attractive men and women have an upper hand in life and also lead people towards imitation, trying to look like the beauty set. Now, when the surf industry had its initial spike, in the mid-1980s, it did so on the gorgeous backs of dreamy Laird Hamilton and Kelly Slater. The early 2000s, another lush time, brought the likes of lantern-jawed Andy Irons and Neco Padaratz, steamy Luke Stedman and Rizal Tanjung.

The good looks from the Momentum Generation, alone, could have lit Manhattan for a year.

Each of these men, these surfers, an absolute pin-up and surfwear sales exploded through the roof.

But these days?

While Gabriel Medina and Kanoa Igarashi form one half of a world-beating boy band, they are backed up by… jack. Oh, Filipe Toledo, Griffin Colapinto, Jordy Smith etc. are all decent appearing men, serviceable, but none come close to touching In God’s Hands’ Shane Dorian much less Laird Hamilton’s Cool Water.

Surfing is in desperate, desperate need of a hunk.

Will you answer the call before surf-branded sweatpants are but a faint memory?

Please do (if you have a lantern jaw, dewy eyes, plump lips etc.).

"You sit on a throne of lies!" A Gold Coast employee pleads with Boardriders Inc CEO Arne Arens not to cancel Christmas.

Christmas cancelled for sixty employees of once-great surf giant at former Gold Coast headquarters as mass sackings continue, “It was brutal…no one knew who was going to lose their jobs or keep them!”

“I am confident that these changes will set us on the path to achieving our goals and creating a more agile company."

Thirty-two days to the observance of Christ’s birthday, when a magic wand is waved over this dirty dirty world making everything softer and more beautiful.

Or as the wise say,

“One of the more glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

Am I feeling a little sentimental?

Salty prints under the eyes?

Yeah, and why not, life ain’t always about staring into the maroon eyes of a big-hearted tranny as your thighs quiver in violent orgasmic release, sweat glistening on her man-made tits..

Anyway, good times, the best times, and who don’t love Christmas?

Well, for sixty Boardriders Inc employees on Australia’s Gold Coast, once ground zero for the mighty Billabong empire, founded in 1973 by master shaper Gordon Merchant and his wife Rena, it’s gonna be a bleak ol’ Yuletide.

As mass sackings continue at Boardriders Inc, the parent company of Quiksilver, Billabong and RVCA, continue across the globe, it’s been revealed sixty of ‘em are coming from the GC.

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 Brands Group, “folding them into a robust house that includes Izod, Neil Lane, the licensing rights to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and many other brands plus personalities.”

The mass layoffs, we are told, are designed to streamline the biz on paper, sharpen the bottom line etc.

“I am confident that these changes will set us on the path to achieving our goals and creating a more agile company suited to adapt to the evolving environment,” Boardriders CEO Arne Arens said in a press release.

Industry insiders told The Gold Coast Bulletin, the sacking were “brutal especially just before Christmas. No one knew who was going to lose their jobs or keep them.”

All evidence, I think, that the sooner you can strike out on your own, whether it’s a plumbing biz or a stupid website mining for clicks, the better.

Loose the yolk, work for no man.

Twelve Tribes members (pictured) celebrating.
Twelve Tribes members (pictured) celebrating.

1115th best surfer in the world infiltrates dangerous alleged white supremacist cult that specializes in organic sandwiches and unconventional view that “slavery was a marvelous opportunity for black people!”

Brave work.

Professional surfers, by and large, are not considered to be overly “engaged” in exposing troublesome, potentially exploitative societal subcultures. The Spicoli stereotype of only needing a few tasty waves, a fine buzz and a 12.34 heat total is generally truer than not which makes Danny Berk’s current mission that much more notable.

The current World Surf League number 1115, whose best result on tour was 25th at the Shoe City Pro and only falling to Kolohe Andino, has been spending less time perfecting his Huntington Hop and, instead, heading into a San Diego compound that is home to a “Twelve Tribes” community in an attempt to shed light on some allegedly nasty business.

The group is described by Southern Poverty Law Center thusly: “…a Christian fundamentalist cult born in the American South in the 1970s, is little-known to much of the country, and on first impression its communes and hippie-vibed restaurants and cafes can seem quaint and bucolic. But beneath the surface lies a tangle of doctrine that teaches its followers that slavery was ‘a marvelous opportunity’ for black people, who are deemed by the Bible to be servants of whites, and that homosexuals deserve no less than death.”

One of those “hippie-vibed” restaurants just so happens to be in Vista, California a handful of miles from Oceanside, where Berk and his partner Reckless Ben begin their dangerous mission. The two explain what the Twelve Tribes believe and how they plan on infiltrating and uncovering and then off they go for organic sandwiches then a trip to “the middle of nowhere.”

Berk and Ben fear if they are found out they might be killed, warning viewers neither are suicidal and so if their bodies happen to turn up deceased then, well, look no further than the deli.

Modern day Upton Sinclairs.

Surf King Laird Hamilton makes wildly unanticipated contribution to smash Afro-futurist hit Black Panther sequel Wakanda Forever!

Thank you, ancient Hawaiians.

The highly-anticipated follow-up to Black Panther, titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, stormed into theaters a little over a week ago thus far amassing 67 million dollars and is looking to rake in a further 40 million over the extended Thanksgiving weekend.

Critics are declaring, “Wow! You’ll say that over and over again as this mind-blowing, superhero epic unfolds. Wow!”

And, “The most unlikely Marvel film ever… they take these really small bites of grieving, and they can extend them and live in them, and still be able to tell an engaging action-oriented story.”

The story follows, I think, the fictional Afro-futurist kingdom of Wakanda as it deals with the death of its king and an adventure to the underwater world of Talokan, which is based upon the lost city of Atlantis.

But how does one prepare for life beneath the sea?

With special training from surf king Laird Hamilton of course.

According to Pop Sugar:

(The film’s star Lupita) Nyong’o recently gave fans a taste of what that was like. In an Instagram video posted Nov. 18, the 39-year-old actress showed snippets of her underwater workouts and captioned the post, “Swimming down to Talokan was not as easy as it looked!” No kidding. Nyong’o wasn’t just logging laps or practicing her flip turn. Her training consisted of swimming drills, crawling and walking along the bottom of the pool, and walking up underwater steps — all while holding one or two dumbbells in her hands. And of course, Nyong’o did it all while holding her breath, with no oxygen tank in sight. “I felt like a crawfish,” she says at one point during the video.


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A post shared by Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo)

It’s not a regimen you’d attempt without some expert guidance and coaching, and Nyong’o assures us that she was “safely supervised” by Mark Roberts, a human performance specialist and trainer with XPT Fitness, a “performance lifestyle system” by former pro athletes Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece. In a 2014 article he wrote for Men’s Journal, former pro surfer Hamilton extolled the benefits of working with weights in the water, an approach he attributes to ancient Hawaiians.

As beautiful as it is helpful but… I have just one small question.

If the ancient Hawaiians developed underwater weight workouts is XPT Fitness straight cultural appropriation?

Oh don’t answer. I take it back.

Wakanda Forever.

A pool for swimming and swinging!

Surfing superstar dumped from tour after 14 years and 108 consecutive events opens door to epic cliff top “beach shack” with private gym and wild swimming pool cantilevered over ocean!

Hollywood comes to the provinces!

The surfing superstar Sally Fitzgibbons, who was sensationally dumped from the tour after fourteen years and one hundred and eight consecutive events only to be shovelled a wildcard for the following year’s events following an enormous outcry, has opened the door to her just-renovated “beach shack” overlooking the drink on the NSW South Coast.

Thirty-two-year-old Fitzgibbons is a former world number one whose electric smile, dark and enormous eyes, rippled stomach and with skin painted a deep nutty brown suffused with pink, make her a favourite with sports fans of all pronouns.

Her latest property project, Highline House, built on the headland at Gerroa Beach, where Sally grew up, is a reimagining of the old weatherboard beach shack that used to squat on the dirt.

(Sally bought a place in Minnamurra, near Kiama, in 2009 for $515,000 and sold six years later for over a mill.)

The reno took a year and kept elements of the old joint while building a place she could live in or rent for top dollar, as they say, particularly during the frenetic months of summer when Australians will claw each others’ eyes out to get a piece of beachfront.

“This project became my anchor and why I love the Gerroa headland so dearly,” said Fitz. “Highline House has a unique feel, with quirks that sometimes make it hard to give it one particular style. It is a beach house when categorised, but it’s also open to interpretation, from the visuals of the salt-crusted rock platforms becoming the inspiration for the kitchen bench tops, to the warmth of the Baltic pine flooring and the history of the restored pieces from the original house, including the front door, oars and lifesaving ring.”

It isn’t the most original fit-out, Hamptons, Palm Springs blah blah, but the build looks solid, it’s got a swinging pool hanging out over the ocean, a private gym, and you can run down the grassy knoll to the beach.

Ain’t the greatest wave in the world, but it ain’t so bad either, middling crowd outside of summer weekends etc.

“I grew up in Gerroa so I like my own space. I like catching a lot of waves in the session,” says Fitz.