Surfing's only Nepo Baby (left). Photo: Supplied.
Surfing's only Nepo Baby (left). Photo: Supplied.

As “Year of Nepo Baby” controversy grips Hollywood, professional surfers jealously ponder which amongst themselves has benefited from ill-deserved gain!

Or is professional surfing a perfect meritocracy?

Those, here, who indulge in more than simply surf news are certainly aware of the “Nepo Baby” controversy exploding throughout Hollywood. Long simmering, New York magazine’s Vulture released a cover featuring children of movie stars, who have become movie stars themselves. Children with a path to fame and fortune, connections and name recognition already pioneered for them.

Nepo babies.

The piece begins:

Like psoriasis, the label was something you were born with, and those who had it found it equally irritating. Maude Apatow (daughter of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann) told Porter magazine the term made her “sad.” It filled Zoë Kravitz (daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet) with “deep insecurity.” Gwyneth Paltrow (daughter of Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow) commiserated about it with Hailey Bieber (daughter of Stephen Baldwin and niece of Alec) on the latter’s YouTube channel: “People are ready to pull you down and say, ‘You don’t belong there.’” Scratching the itch could only make it worse. At 16, the model and actress Lily-Rose Depp landed her first campaign with Chanel, the same house her mother, Vanessa Paradis, worked with; the year before, she’d made her film debut alongside her father, Johnny Depp. In a November Elle profile, she brushed off suggestions that her path had been cleared for her: “It just doesn’t make any sense.” The response was swift. On TikTok, floating heads begged Depp to “shut up and stop being delusional.” Her fellow models castigated her on Instagram. “i have many nepo baby friends whom i respect,” the top model Vittoria Ceretti wrote in an Instagram Story, “but i can’t stand listening to you compare yourself to me. i was not born on a comfy sexy pillow with a view.”

And erupts from there. A full historical analysis, current cultural ramifications, what it means, where it’s going.

In the aftermath, celebrity nepo babies are lashing out. Ice Cube’s baby saying he “gets his ass up and works everyday.” Kate Moss’s sister Lottie “so sick of others blaming nepotism for their lack of wealth.”


While many fingers are being pointed, professional surfers are busily patting themselves on the back. There are currently only two males on tour from professional surfing stock (I think): Kolohe Andino and Seth Moniz. Maybe none on the female side (unless I’m missing one).

Thus the question is begged, is surfing a paradise of meritocracy where hard work and devotion are the only things that matter and will bust down any door?

Should Hollywood turn its eye toward the beach and learn valuable lessons?

Currently more questions than answers.

Brutal. Photo: Surf cam
Brutal. Photo: Surf cam

Florida wildlife officials desperately seek surfer help in identifying man who bludgeoned shark to death with hammer and dragged its lifeless body around beach!

Barbarian days.

Florida wildlife officials are desperately seeking surfer help with identification after a wave camera captured footage of a man appearing to beat a shark to death with a hammer and then parade its lifeless body around the beach. The man, who seems to be middle-aged with a classic surfer, maybe SUPer, mop, blue sleeveless shirt and blue trunks was said to be fishing when he hooked a larger shark and proceeded to bust his skull in with a series of decisive blows.

While the act may not have been illegal, if the shark had been fried up and served alongside chips, the viciousness of the killing is being questioned, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigating “potential resource violation,” while local news broadcasters horrified, warning viewers at home to shield their young children’s eyes.


But if you were watching your local wave cam and saw this bashing of brains out of a toothy fish, would you become enraged and do your best to see the perpetrator brought to justice or would you simply shrug and sigh, “To each his own…”?

What if you lived in Florida where it must be imagined all sorts of funny business is regularly caught during surf checks?

Between the poor surfer caught in Huntington Beach and this, the coming war between surfers and fishermen appears to be growing nearer.

Where will you cast your lot when it begins in full?

Barbarian days.

Tyler Wright (pictured) riding on the shoulders of giants. Photo: WSL
Tyler Wright (pictured) riding on the shoulders of giants. Photo: WSL

New York Times profiles Keala Kennelly, Tyler Wright, door bustin’ women surfers ushering in era of equality at world’s most famous wave!

Blue crushing it.

As grumbly and grouchy as surf fans can sometimes get, there is no denying that we are all in the middle of a glorious, gilded shift. Namely, women professional surfers and their meteoric rise. While the men’s draw coming into the 2023 Championship Tour season is littered with familiar names and styles, it is the women who are providing true excitement. Rookies like Molly Picklum, Sophie McCulloch, Caitlin Simmers join the already exciting Caroline Marks, Isabella Nichols, Carissa Moore in what is certain to be a knock down drag out brawl to the dastardly mid-season cut.

Well, The New York Times, finger ever on pulse, has recognized this brave new world and, minutes ago, published an exhaustive profile on the state of women’s surfing, focusing particularly on Pipeline.

The piece begins with a recollection of the film Blue Crush, which depicted a fictional surf contest between women at “the world’s most famous wave,” and how it took one of its stars, Keala Kennelly, all of those two decades to bring it to reality. “It had been a dream of mine to have a legit women’s event at Pipeline,” she declared before the just-wrapped Pipe Masters which was won by the aforementioned Picklum.

“If I had known it would take half a century to get a contest at Pipe or pay parity, I probably would have given up,” added Patti Paniccia, one of professional surfing’s founders.

The work of Kennelly and others is chronicled, building to the present day with Tyler Wright about to paddle out at Pipe, declaring, “It takes a lot of minor, small, minute shifts for progress to really happen. My view of the overall picture is that women’s equality takes a long time because we’re only getting the investment today. Give us 50 years of insane money and equality and access and value and inclusive lineups and you’ll have a pretty similar product (to the men’s side).”

The future is then presented in the form of Moana Jones Wong, how she battled through social perceptions that women did not belong out at Pipeline in order to carve a place for herself and others, before ending appropriately with the world’s greatest surfer Carissa Moore then back to Picklum and the glories just over the horizon.

You must read in full but tell me you aren’t appropriately moved.

Tell me you aren’t equally excited for the women this year.

Equality for the win.

Spectacular! | Photo: @zoard

World’s best surfer and US Olympian John John Florence marries horticulture student and model Lauryn Cribb in wildly glamorous North Shore wedding!

Come peer behind the curtain!

The shaggy haired boy who enchanted the world in Vogue fashion spreads and as the first tweenie to ride Pipeline, John John Florence, has just married his long-time girlfriend, the Australian Lauryn Cribb.

The just-turned thirty-year proposed to his long-time girlfriend, a model turned horticulture student, in 2019 using a diamond ring his mama Alex had found on the beach and right before a one-month yacht voyage.

Lauryn’s hen’s gala on December five was conducted on the couple’s vast beachfront estate with guests, which included Alex Florence and Nathan Florence’s wife Mahina, exquisite in all-black and no shoes, Lauryn the sole contrast in all-white.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Laurence (@lauryncribb)

A still of Lauryn smooching a doll effigy of her husband-to-be, complete in his famous number 12 jersey, steals the show.

And, although social media was light on images and videos from the wedding, biz as usual for the private couple, it can be revealed that John John’s daddy, also John, made it, as did North Shore enforcer Fast Eddie Rothman and the legendary Kai Garcia.

A string duo, violin and cello greeted guests, who danced the night away under a grand marquee festooned with lights, with the happy couple hoisted upon guest’s shoulders, forming a miracle of love against the heavens.

Mahina Florence, Kaiborg Garcia and Nathan Florence.

A fiery little pack!

Surf fan reveals secret blood feuds that rocked already controversial Vans Pipe Masters, “Testosterone is a rare poison!”

Newly formed blood feuds between Griffin Colapinto and João Chianca and Bettylou Sakura Johnson and Carissa Moore!

With the nonstop action over the year, and this being the time of year to rehash ‘em, one would be forgiven for missing out on currently unfolding events which are going to play out on tour next year.

As controversy surrounded the Vans Pipe Masters before, during and after the event, two events unfolded that flew under the radar, newly formed blood feuds between Griffin Colapinto and João Chianca, and Bettylou Sakura Johnson and Carissa Moore.

Let’s examine Griffin and João (and therefore all of Brazil).

You might recall the finals day crescendo, two-to-three-foot mini-Backdoor and grom Pipe.

With one hundred thousand dollars on the line for the winner, the no-priority format was sure to be tested, and tested it was.

João, a newly minted CT competitor for next year is a young male of uncommon beauty, a toy boy, a seducer, god, a winged angel, and he was within reach of attaining a prize purse almost twenty times the average Brazilian salary.

That sorta money drives he and his peers on tour, which translates into hyper-aggressive surfing and tactics. And, with a no priority heat, he was not to be denied.

The only problem was Griffin Colapinto.

Griffin is a hyper-competitive graduate from the school of sibling rivalry and infamous crusher of Brazilian dreams. Griff was not about to take the paddle battling lightly and engaged with João as he stalked the lineup.

At one point, things got extremely tense as paddles were battled and feet kicking in the face commenced, which ultimately allowed Balaram the winning wave.

Now while this may not have developed into death threats to Griff from a whole country, as per the hysteria from Filipe Toledo fans, one wonders if João had a chip on his shoulder for the humiliation dealt to Filipe in El Salvador in conditions he should be winning in his sleep.

And one wonders not if, but when, this will boil over in a future heat next year?

One also hopes that Griff’s mom, affectionately known as “Momma Bear”, does not get once again sucked into the black hole of keyboard wars.

On here and other forums she was berated and ridiculed, even called “batshit crazy”.

I would copy and paste such examples, but I am way too lazy to dig up the archives for that.

She ain’t batshit crazy for defending her son but she is batshit crazy for trying to reason with the BG comment crew.

That is a losing battle right there.

Now for the other newly formed blood feud between two girls a mother could only hope her son might marry some day, Carrissa and Bettylou.

Carissa, fresh off the wave of the contest, was poised to take her rightful prize.

Usually well-mannered and positive, Carissa appeared agitated as her younger rival shadowed her like an internet stalker.

Maybe it was the loss on Finals Day to a stylish but way less committed in heavy surf Stephanie Gilmore. She would have been crowned champion in any other alternate reality that didn’t include ELO, but she seemed intent on not letting history repeat itself.

But as history was indeed repeating itself, and as the waves sputtered to complete crap, the no-priority rule once again reared its grotesque head as she was called for interference on what was the only chance left to defeat Molly Pinkum, who was ahead on the merits of a bust-through-the-mush barrel on a small Pipe wave.

Whether Bettylou shadowed Carrissa and dropped in behind to deny her glory or Carissa dropped in ruthlessly to deny Bettylou her first chance at such glory is an open question, but the tension was obvious as not only did Carissa drop in, but was also noticeably absent after as the three other contenders gathered round for an interview with Mahina Florence.

Watching the girls go at it is not only what we as fans want to see, but outright demand as a condition for equal pay. That and some serious ball clenching charging in conditions of consequence.

Bettylou is on the map making statements and Carissa’s misfortunes are sure to translate into ruthless squashing of competitors dreams.

Watch this space!