John John (left) and Gabriel Medina (right) no showing. Photo: WSL

Kelly Slater, John John Florence and other top flight talent fleeing upcoming Pipe Masters leads to wild speculation amongst surf fans!

Mysteries abound!

The biggest surf news of the week has been the mass exodus from the upcoming Pipe Masters by every single good surfer on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour. John John Florence gone. Kelly Slater not showing. Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira, Filipe Toledo staying away. Stephanie Gilmore no more.

The event, which has long been the most prestigious in all of surfing, has created unforgettable heroes. Gerry Lopez, Rory Russell, Michael Ho, Jamie O’Brien, Andy Irons etc. And the thought of today’s surfers turning down an opportunity to Pipeline or Backdoor to fortune or fame has surf fans scratching their heads in disbelief.

Why?

Wherefore?

Well, speculation initially fell upon the World Surf League itself. As you know, the Pipe Masters used to end the Championship Tour until last year when it was decided that it should kick it off instead. Problem? January is the better time to begin but Vans, owner of the Pipe Masters name and window, did not want to make it in January forcing the WSL to rebrand their offering the Pipeline Pro. Vans then teamed up with Stab to create the “new and improved” Pipe Masters, an invitational specialty event that scores Pipeline, Backdoor plus airs at Ehukai.

With the WSL stars dropping out, certainly Santa Monica was either fining or disallowing participation.

Sources within the League’s office declare, definitively, that not to be the case. That the Pipe Masters has been sanctioned and any and all are welcome to play.

More noggin itching.

Much confusion.

And so, as a surf journalist, I reached out to a in-the-know industry source who has been around the game for decades and seen many iterations of professional surfing. The wizened soul who prefers to remain unnamed opined, “The Pipe Masters used to have real stakes. Best surfers with something on the line. Used to be the title itself. Anyhow, now it’s just a sorta strange exhibition event with no stakes at all. As much as surfers want to surf Pipe, to do it with a real lack of prestige and not against the best surfers in the world makes it a lot less enticing. I think it’s a lot like Vans turning the Triple Crown digital. They messed that up good with much less interest compared to when the events were each live and based on results.”

But do you think correct?

Has Vans attempted to fix something that was not broken?

And are you excited for the new format?

Speak from the heart, please.


Gals gone crazy!

Shockwave sent through women’s pro surfing as Australian star is accused of stealing another surfer’s wallet and illegally spending thousands of dollars online shopping following wild dinner in Hawaii, “Sorry! I was drunk!”

"There were multiple attempts at online purchases with credit cards in Australia, adding to over ten thousand dollars!"

There’s been reports of a “huge rift” between European and Australian surfers following a wild post-contest celebration and alleged theft at Lei Lei’s Bar and Grill on Oahu’s North Shore. 

According to our source, the wallet of a leading European surfer went missing at a dinner at the Turtle Bay eatery and bar following the conclusion of the Haleiwa Challenger, the final qualifying event of the season. 

Accusations flew and fingers were pointed causing much consternation and bad blood between the European and Australian camps, the colonisers versus the colonised y’might say.

The wallet was handed back by the alleged thief the following afternoon with the explanation, “Sorry I was drunk.” 

“But,” said our source, “here’s the kicker. There were multiple attempts at online purchases with credit cards (yes more than one) in Australia, adding to over ten thousand $$ that were made morning after the incident, like 9am the next day!” 

Various sporting bodies connected to surfing are reportedly trying to keep a lid on the incident. 

More as the curtain is pulled back.


A Murfer's Shangri-La or "a monument to greed wearing a spiritual cloak."

Surf-hippy utopia Byron Bay’s collapse into “malignant nightmare” continues as mother-of-one called a “whore” and left bleeding on beach after collision in surf and town divides into who was in the wrong!

“No other place on earth is so falsly mytho-poetically rhapsodized…Byron has the highest rates of violent and sexual assault outside of inner Sydney."

Shortly before his disappearance, BeachGrit’s tour correspondent and Russian-lit heavy “Longtom” wrote movingly of the collapse of Byron Bay from surf-hippy utopia into “malignant nightmare.” 

“No other place on earth is so falsly mytho-poetically rhapsodized…I see a different side of the Bay. Byron has the highest rates of violent and sexual assault outside of inner Sydney. This ain’t a peaceful place when drunk and drugged fuckers are wandering around outside closing time.

“It’s a monument to greed wearing a spiritual cloak. A glittering dream metastasized into a malignant nightmare. The bastard spawn of unhinged neoliberalism and grinning hippy capitalists running riot in an orgy of aimless consumption in the spiritual supermarket. Ayn Rand on a mid-length.”

Collisions in the surf as leashless logs and VALS with dreams of being the next Jamie O career through lineups are frequent, as the mother of a disabled kid and aged care worker found out on Sunday when she got belted by an out-of-control surf pilot.

Ayumi Noha, a forty-two-year-old surf vet of twenty summers, was paddling out at Main Beach when she was run over, ripping her stilt open. 

She was reportedly called a “whore” and criticised for damaging the man’s craft with her bone and tissue. 

Noha’s partner, Nharyan Feldmann, said the unknown surfer then left his gal on the beach to bleed out. 

“We have two kids, one with a disability. She won’t be able to walk or work for two weeks at least,” Feldmann wrote on Facebook. “This poor excuse for a human being abused her for the damage to his board and walked away.”

Feldmann says a couple of bystanders drove crippled Noha to hozzy. Byron Hospital said it was too messy to stitch so she was driven one-hour north to Tweed Heads where surgeons put her under a general anaesthetic for the procedure.

Cops said, “Police are not responsible for collisions during leisure sporting activities, whether that be in the ocean, at skate parks or on dirt tracks. However, police are responsible for investigating offences such as intimidation with intent to cause physical fear and threats of physical violence.”


The Rock (left) incredulous Rogan (middle) and inspiration (bottom right). Photo: Baywatch film

Joe Rogan trains ire on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; demands strapping Hawaiian “come clean” about physique as steroid-gate continues to roil!

Time to unleash the lion.

So did you see anabolic steroids becoming the it topic at the tail end of 2022? I’ll be honest, I did not. I thought vein poppin’ spray tanned big ol’ muscles were a relic of 1988 and, while they might still exist in odd subcultures, would not be major surf news. But here we are and all thanks to Brian Johnson.

Johnson, better known as the Liver King, recently came out as a steroid user, shocking his many fans who had believed that he had crafted his arms, chesty, abominables through the consumption of raw animal guts and raw animal guts alone.

It turns out that he lied, was on steroids and continues to be on them so as to help young men not commit suicide.

While professional surfers became intently curious if these blast from the past hormone boosters could help them paddle battle harder or maybe strengthen the spine and allow for dropping into Teahupo’o, notable surf personality interviewer Joe Rogan has made it his recent mission to publicly out potential users who are keeping their secret secret.

He began with Conor McGregor, declaring that his urine would burn a hole in the drug testing cup, before turning to Hawaii’s Snicker King Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson saying, “The Rock should come clean right now. He should make a video in response to the ‘Liver King’ video. I need to talk to you because The Rock’s been lying. There’s not a f—ing chance in hell he’s clean. Not a chance in hell. As big as The Rock is, at 50? He’s so massive, and he’s so different than he was when he was 30. There’s a responsibility you have to people who are listening to you. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s one thing. But if you do talk about it, there’s a responsibility you have to people listening to you and I think you have to be honest about it, which is why I’m honest about it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking hormone replacement.”

But what do you think about that?

Will it scare Filipe Toledo off or no?

I think it shouldn’t as Rogan casts no moral judgement and it doesn’t appear that the World Surf League has a serious testing program.

Time to unleash the lion.


Look but don't touch. Photo: WSL

Surfers panic as Indonesia bans sex!

Surf-rich archipelago declares "The old randy code what with its forbidden canoodling belongs to Dutch heritage and is no longer relevant!"

The Indonesian archipelago, a wonderful republic floating above Australia in the dreamy Indian Ocean, is known for many things including enchantment, fried rice, Komodo dragons but it is mostly known for surf. One can be standing on any of the 17000 islands, toss a rock and hit a historically important wave. Uluwatu, Lagundri Bay, Lance’s Right, Padang Padang, Lakey Peak but to name a tiny fraction.

As such, surfers have been flocking to paradise for many decades to surf, drink cold beer, maybe find love in the arms of a beautiful man or woman. Well, that final divertissement is now off the teak table for, hours ago, the government officially outlawed night music between non-married folk.

Per CNN:

Indonesian lawmakers unanimously passed a sweeping new criminal code on Tuesday that criminalizes sex outside marriage, as part of a tranche of changes that critics say threaten human rights and freedoms in the Southeast Asian country.

The new code, which also applies to foreign residents and tourists, bans cohabitation before marriage, apostasy, and provides punishments for insulting the president or expressing views counter to the national ideology.

“All have agreed to ratify the (draft changes) into law,” said lawmaker Bambang Wuryanto, who led the parliamentary commission in charge of revising the colonial-era code. “The old code belongs to Dutch heritage … and is no longer relevant.”

The penalty if caught in flagrante delicato is one year in prison and a lifetime of deep shame.

Tour operators on popular destinations such as Bali are extremely worried that the new statues will deter tourists from booking travel, declaring the rules would be “counterproductive” but they should not worry about surfers who will come anyhow, controlling their sexual impulses, swallowing snide comments about the president, in order to barrel and air. To glide over dreamy reefs, through tunnels of water, out again into the warm sun.

I suppose, at the end, it is a good thing that professional surfing’s governing body, the World Surf League, has decided not to return to Indonesia for this year’s Championship Tour and will instead go to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch there in Lemoore, California where sin of all kinds is not only allowed but encouraged at the nearby Tachi Palace.

Games of chance, drinking bottom shelf liquor from a flimsy plastic cup, making eyes at Leonardo Fioravanti.

In all seriousness, though, which professional surfer on tour, announcer, executive, senior vice president, judge would have gotten into trouble first?

I’m going to go with CEO Erik Logan.

Remember when he brought Covid to Hawaii?

Happier times.