Surf fans (in background) starving. Photo: WSL

America and Australia mercifully ejected from soccer’s World Cup freeing nations’ surf-mad citizens to focus solely on upcoming World Surf League season!

8 million fans (and counting) can't be wrong!

The United States of America and Australia both met the same fate at yesterday’s World Cup of Soccer proceedings, namely knocked right out. The once-every-four-years extravaganza, hosted in this time in the migrant workers’ paradise of Qatar, has featured some dominant performances from traditional powerhouses Brazil, France, Portugal, a shock early exit by traditional powerhouse Germany and the US plus Australian teams making it out of group play.

While national media attempted to cover the various matches, citizens didn’t really care and only went along with the “hype” due pressure.

Now that the teams have been relegated to where they belong, i.e. not playing soccer, those aforementioned citizens can mercifully turn their full attentions to the upcoming World Surf League season.

As you know, there has been an explosion of surf fans making the WSL one of the most watched sports on earth, bigger than basketball, tennis and hugely bigger than soccer. Over 8 million, and counting, tuning into finals day with lots more vectors for growth according to CEO Erik Logan.

As you also know, the Haleiwa Challenger, just-wrapped, has introduced ten exciting new male surfers and five exciting new female surfers onto the 2023 Championship Tour.

Men: Leonardo Fioravanti, Ryan Callinan, Rio Waida, Ramzi Boukhaim, Ian Gentil, Ezekiel Lau, Michael Rodrigues, Liam O’Brien, Joao Chianca, Maxime Huscenot.

Women: Macy Callaghan, Molly Picklum, Caitlin Simmers, Bettylou Sakura Johnson, Sophie McCulloch.

It will be wonderful to see them all paddle out at Pipeline though very sad to see them all pack their bags after Margaret River to go home, or at least all of the men.

Who will you be most sad to see go?

Me too.


Mobile home in Malibu trailer park dubbed “world’s most expensive surf shack” lists for breathtaking four million dollars!

"Luxury with a touch of California surfer insouciance!"

Trailer parks aren’t the meth dens they used to be, at least if swinging ol Paradise Cove in Malibu, home to equality-in-surfing activist Minnie Driver, who keeps a little joint there painted mint green, Pamela Anderson, who dated the park’s electrician, and surf journalist Sam George, is an indication.

Built in the nineteen-fifties on eighty-five acres of classic Californian beachfront land, the park became the go-to for ocean-lovers who wanted affordable seclusion amid the craziness of Los Angeles.

As you’d expect, Paradise Cove has since been gobbled up, mostly, by actors, directors, LA’s monied set, although the occasional pauper like Sammy George squeezes his still pretty self into the milieu.

And amid all this is a mobile home, the world’s most expensive surf shack, reimagined by LA designer superstars Marmol Radziner in 2015, built into the hill of a cul-de-sac and without any immediate neighbours for a not entirely unreasonable $3.995 million dollars, although you still gotta pay almost two gees a month for the lot.

Good enough waves out front to bang around on, too.

As the realtor describes,

“This Marmol Radziner home in Paradise Cove is the ultimate coastal retreat, blending luxury and modern simplicity in one of Malibu’s most sought-after locations. Rustic barn wood adorns the exterior and a large push gate opens to a sanctuary surrounded by mature trees, drought-resistant succulents, and meticulously designed spaces.

“Inside, the home is appointed with James Perse furniture which is included in the sale. The living room boasts vaulted wood-beamed ceilings with a long center skylight, floor-to-ceiling windows, and stacking glass doors that connect to a wraparound deck. Casual living spaces gently lead to a dining area and well-equipped kitchen with a Thermador gas range, stainless steel appliances, and a breakfast bar. The spa-like bathroom features marble floors, a soaking tub, shower with a bench, dual vanities, and a water closet with a bidet. The primary bedroom overlooks the backyard and has a walk-in closet, vaulted wood ceilings, and corner sliding doors opening to a peaceful oasis. The backyard is completely enclosed and private with a large sun deck, outdoor dining area, gas fire pit, and bubbling fountain.

“At the rear of the property, there is a detached room that could be utilized as a guest bedroom, office, den, fitness/yoga studio, and more. Additional features include an outdoor shower, gated golf cart parking, and a laundry area with a sink. The property offers extremely low space rent of ~$1,786 to the new buyer and easy beach access to some of Malibu’s most beautiful sandy beaches, coves, and surf. Perfectly designed in one of Malibu’s most exclusive beachside communities, this is a truly rare opportunity.”


Liver King (pictured) surfing on steroids. Photo: TikTok

“Natural Caveman” Liver King admits using muscle-bustin’ steroids to combat low self-esteem amongst young men thereby buoying anxiety-ridden professional surfers!

Hope.

Fans of big natural muscles were stunned, days ago, to learn that Brian Johnson, better known as the “Liver King,” did not actually get his big muscles, naturally, from eating raw animal guts but rather the old-fashioned way from anabolic steroids.

The initial story, leaked from an email, alleged that Johnson was on an $11,000 a month habit and instead of denying, the “caveman” came straight clean in a to-camera confessional.

“Yes, I’ve done steroids,” he says after a sigh, “and yes, I’m on steroids, monitored and managed by a trained hormone clinician.”

The reason?

Well, apparently the Liver King persona was birthed to help young men not commit suicide. “Everyone is depressed because they feel lost, weak and submissive,” he roars and fighting against that is why he exists. Oh, he feels bad that he lied about not using steroids in the past, but also declares that he is not a professional athlete so who is he cheating?

Anxiety-ridden professional surfers were, immediately, buoyed by the message. They, too, are not really “athletes” and, by every appearance, don’t get drug tested by the World Surf League. Might a little jab help one huck over Teahupo’o’s very scary ledge, for instance?

And for you? Even though you are not professional, might a little juice allow you to take over your local by out-paddling all those damned soft-tops? Though I suppose that has nothing to do with anxiety, it is still be something to think about.


Gilmore (pictured) raging against the machine. Photo: WSL

Iconic eight-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore savages sexist surf industry in new tell-all: “I felt pressure as an up-and-coming surfer to look good in a bikini and to have that hot beach-girl vibe!”

Rage against the machine.

Surf fans do not generally agree on much. The World Surf League Championship Tour is either too long or not long enough. There are either too many surfers or not enough. Kelly Slater either should have retired a decade ago or should surf until he’s seventy. The judging either rewards floaters too highly or not highly enough. The only area of universal agreement is that Surf Ranch is not an appropriate place to host an event. Or, rather, Surf Ranch is not an appropriate place to host an event and Stephanie Gilmore is absolutely without reproach.

The eight-time world champion is as graceful as she is stylish, and charming as brave. Her ability, tenacity, dignity all 10 out of 10. When she speaks we all listen and she just spoke to Stellar magazine, telling honest truths about the sometimes nasty surf industry.

Gilmore, who appears on the cover surfing in a yellow sundress, declared, “For my first eight years on tour, my pay was probably $12,000 to the men’s $40,000. But I didn’t question it because all I wanted to do was surf,” adding later that (the surf industry) can be a tough place for women to not feel intimidated” and “Yes, there were moments where I felt pressure as an up-and-coming surfer to look good in a bikini and to have that hot beach-girl vibe. But I’ve watched other female athletes like Serena Williams be fierce and feminine, and I feel like the older I get, I realise how fun it is to embrace both sides.”

The $12,000 to men’s $40,000 is truly egregious and it is a fine thing that it is now all fixed up. The early pressure she felt to have that “hot beach-girl vibe” is also unfortunate and should have been layered onto Mick Lowe instead.

Gilmore perfect just the way she is.


John John Florence (pictured) riding high. Photo: WSL

John John Florence returns from epic quest across the Pacific, slays all challengers in Haleiwa to hoist first glistening jewel of Triple Crown high above his handsome seafaring beard!

Blonde Ambition.

When I first became aware of John John Florence’s participation in the Haleiwa Challenger, I must admit to being lightly disappointed. Oh, it’s not that I don’t want to see the North Shore prodigy done good back in his home waters, it’s just that… I don’t know… I guess the World Surf League singlet just felt beneath him.

Florence, you see, had just returned from an epic quest across the Pacific on his catamaran and, as a sailor myself, could really imagine the terrors he faced as well as the ecstasy. Sailing is a difficult game, things always going wrong, problems perpetually needing to be solved punctuated by moments of pure sublime. Running with the wind, for instance, everything still while the hull, or hulls in Florence’s case, knife through the water. Or staring up at the starry skies unpolluted by man’s light.

Glorious and to come back from that to the sound of Joe Turpel, to groveling for 1.2s and 2.3s, seemed… sad.

Well, not everything can be Jules Verne, I suppose, and Florence came back not only participated but slayed all-comers, including Kanoa Igarashi, Ryan Callinan and Açai Rodrigues to hoist the first jewel of the Triple Crown high above his blonde head.

The waves, I must say, looked proper fun and Florence’s knee looked right with wicked blow-tails not seen since Conan Hayes.

Does this mean that he is the favorite to depose Filipe Toledo as the favorite heading into the 2023 season?

Imagine Florence sitting at first after dominating Teahupo’o, heading into Lower Trestles.

Oops.