"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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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.


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.

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.