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


Surf virtuoso who cried for three days following backlash to WSL joke silences former Pipe Master (again) with latest knuckle-duster-in-your-face performance at Pipeline, “The dude will be savaged! He will be crying! He’s got a big mouth!”

"Let’s see that dude step up! People just let these dudes chirp. Step up and put up or shut up!”

You’ll remember, last year, when the great Shaun Tomson, a man who redefined backside tuberiding at Pipeline in 1975, slammed the Australian surfer Noa Deane for his since redacted anti-WSL stance.

“I’d love to see these wildcards, you know, the big mouths like Noa Deane, big mouth, I want to see that dude, give him a wildcard at ten-foot Pipe,” Tomoson said on the podcast, The Boardroom. “I want to see Noa Deane with his big mouth come up against Italo Ferreira and let’s see what happens… the dude will be savaged! He will be cryyyyying… with his body… he will be flayed. The guy’s got a big mouth and never stops whining about the WSL. Let’s see that dude step up! People just let these dudes chirp. Step up and put up or shut up!”

It was a silly thing to say, even for mouthy ol Shaun, as it was only three years previous when Noa took down world champ John John Florence at the Volcom Pipe Pro… at ten-foot Pipeline.

Now, more sand in the face for the sixty-seven-year-old Tomson after a hall-of-fame day at Pipeline yesterday afternoon in which we saw Noa galloping madly for the finish line on one of the waves of the day.

Noa, who is twenty-eight, will also compete as an invitee as this year’s Van Pipe Masters.


Open Thread: Comment Live, Finals Day where the surfers who believe in themselves, have pride and never quit will be winners!


Martin (pictured) dreaming of destruction. Photo: Coldplay's Yellow.
Martin (pictured) dreaming of destruction. Photo: Coldplay's Yellow.

Coldplay frontman and surf enthusiast Chris Martin buys architecturally significant Malibu home, flattens it to build modern monument to ego!

"If you don't like it, don't buy it!"

Chris Martin has been a fixture on the popular culture scene for some time now. The lead singer of Coldplay burst into our consciousness in 2000 with the band’s smash hit Yellow then cemented his place there by marrying historically significant actress Gwyneth Paltrow, making Apples then consciously uncoupling.

Martin has also been notable in our much smaller surf scene for almost equally long, taking up longer boarding and going left, or right, in Hawaii, Costa Rica and, of course, Malibu (Point Dume specifically) where he just purchased an architecturally significant home built by one John Lautner.

The architect, known for his beautiful use of space and form, he was also influential in his use of materials, Jean-Louis Cohen noting:

There is absolutely no dogma in Lautner’s attitude to materials; as a result he never subordinates the design concept of his buildings to any rigid rule that would require the primacy of a single material in a project. Even where he demanded rigorous continuity and integrity, as with wood in the Walstrom House and concrete at Marbrisa … he never allowed that to undermine the sense of structure and always took into account the need for a certain structural logic … He was happy to bring together wood and concrete … as he did in the Desert Hot Springs Motel … to have cables meet concrete and plastic, as in the Tolstoy House, to carry a wooden roof on steel supports, as in the Garcia House, or, so evident in the Chemosphere, to allow three radically different materials to work with each other – a structure of laminated lumber to enclose the dwelling area, metal struts to carry it, those struts bolted onto the vertical concrete column that anchors the unit to the hill.

Well, Martin decided he did not like the space, form or materials and ripped the entire thing down, The Lautner Foundation taking to Instagram and decrying, “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it! Shame on Chris Martin for knocking down the Garwood Residence… another Lautner lost to the ages…”

What will the singer build in its place?

One can only imagine.