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.


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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!

Surfing Santas (pictured) pre-death. Photo: YouTube
Surfing Santas (pictured) pre-death. Photo: YouTube

Arctic bomb drops on Kelly Slater’s hometown of Cocoa Beach ahead of famed “Surfing Santa” bringing fears of mass hypothermia die off!

Bah humbug.

Cocoa Beach, there on Florida’s space coast, is known for two things: Kelly Slater and its Surfing Santas. The former, a multi-time world surfing champion who brings joy to middle-aged men by defying the odds of aging and continuing to remain vaguely relevant, and the latter, flooding the sea around Christmas time in traditional Santa garb and showcasing the inviting warmth of the region.

Rubbing the noses of those shivering in icy Wisconsin or chilly upstate New York in their whimsical warm water play.


This year Scrooge himself is dropping an arctic bomb on the proceedings, mocking the very idea of temperate.

Weather forecasters are predicting temperatures to be in the upper 20s (-3.8C) on Christmas Eve with freezing cold winds buffeting the whole business.

Brendan Schaper, a meteorologist at the NWS Melbourne station, declared, “It’s going to be pretty chilly. Gusts could reach up to 25 mph. Definitely going to be a cold one. It’ll be pretty memorable, I think.”

Pretty memorable as Surfing Santas die, en masse, due hypothermia. Falling asleep on the sand while children try to revive without success.

While the event usually draws thousands, Surfing Santa founder George Trosset said, “We’ll be lucky to get 300 surfers. Obviously, you’ll need to wear a wetsuit if you’re going in the water. It’s that cold air that’ll get you. I’ve talked to a couple of people who said they’ll be wearing booties and gloves with their wetsuitsOne person even said they’re going to wear a wetsuit hood – you never see those in Florida. But it’d be a good idea to keep your ears warm.”


They will all be dead.

Bah humbug.


Former professional surfers own beer brands and real estate ventures. Instead, he’s selling t-shirts and making videos. And standing there in his shop, he looks damn happy doing it. | Photo: Jen See

Former world #4 surfer famous for his go-for-broke style Dane Reynolds opens classic old-school surf shop in Ventura, “It’s easy to feel like surfing’s soul has drowned in a sea of soft tops and Sprinter vans!”

"Former professional surfers own beer brands and real estate ventures. Instead, Reynolds is selling t-shirts and making videos."

The green-painted building at 365 East Santa Clara Street in Ventura stands alone surrounded by parking lots in the shade of an Indian Laurel.

Heavy metal shutters swing across the windows and a wrought-iron gate guards the entry. It has variously served as a property management office and a check cashing outfit.

These days, the simple building houses Chapter 11 TV Surf Shop, the latest venture from Dane Reynolds. Black block lettering on the side of the building spells out Chapter 11 TV.

On Tuesday, Justin from Left Side Designs added “surf shop” to the sign. Stickers dot the two front windows. It looks fun, homegrown, and unassuming.

Let’s go inside.

A round glass table readily at home in your grandparents’ living room stands in the center of the room. It’s an obvious thrift shop find. Piles of stickers sit on the table’s two shelves. As a grom at heart, I took the free stickers, yes.

Surf films run on the video screens, which should not surprise you at all.

A poster hangs on the wall from the premier of “Glad You Scored” at the nearby Majestic Ventura Theater, a battered single-screen movie house. There’s a framed photograph of Reynolds surfing, and a framed movie flyer from Australia. Nothing fancy.

Clothing from Former runs along one wall. The line has subdued colors, which is to say, there’s a lot of black. Reynolds pulls design elements from eclectic sources, and the current collection brings a punk-mod vibe.

Reynolds is also producing clothing under his Chapter 11 TV label, and it occupies the store’s opposite wall. Bright, playful, and mostly hand-drawn, it feels entirely different from Former. The groms seem to like it — smaller sizes were scarce.

In an Instagram story, Reynolds explains one of the designs. While sending a text to filmer Hunter Martinez during the Haleiwa comp, Reynolds told him to “Capture the moment.” At the same time, Reynolds was drawing a shooting star for one of his daughters. It’s now a cute as fuck t-shirt and hoody. I regret not buying one.

One corner holds hats and t-shirts from Trashboy, a creation from Courtney Jaedtke, Reynolds’s wife. It derives from son Sammy’s early obsession with the garbage truck, if I remember correctly. Between them, Jaedtke and Reynolds produce an almost dizzying array of clothing and art. It’s hard to keep up.

Boards and suits remain on the sparser side. A few boards hang from the ceiling with space for more. A stack of cards at the front desk stands ready for custom orders to Channel Islands. The extremely analogue approach fits. A rack holds a dozen or so wetsuits.

An opening in the back wall shows a small workspace with a four-color t-shirt printing press. It’s Saturday afternoon, and Reynolds is back there screening shirts. He looks relaxed and happy, like there are few places he would rather be. He waves a cheerful hello.

Surf today?

Nah, it was flat all the way down the coast. Looked like a swimming pool.

Did you check the harbor? He sounds like he’s trying to help us, like he really wants us to find surf today.

I admit that we did not check the harbor. It was so flat, you could have seen a whale fart.

We rehearse the call and response. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. It’s the slowest winter anyone has seen in years.

We buy a t-shirt and Reynolds thanks us for stopping by and for supporting the project. It feels genuine. He wants to succeed at this thing.

Former professional surfers own beer brands and real estate ventures. They fix and they flip. If Reynolds has a real estate empire, he’s kept it a secret. Instead, he’s selling t-shirts and making videos. And standing there in his shop, he looks damn happy doing it.

There’s a quality of giving back about Reynolds’ current chapter that’s hard to resist. He created Chapter 11 TV to serve as a video platform for the local rippers. He’s one of the many partial owners of Channel Islands surfboards. (The brand passed the hat among team riders, employees, and local friends to come up with Burton’s asking price.)

At a recent film night at CI, one of his daughters held her hands over ears. She felt the music was too loud. Ten minutes later, all three kids were asleep in their parents’ laps.

Outside 365 E. Santa Clara, traffic rushes by, and around the small building, time shifts the city. Walk two blocks, and find a bargain-rate Motel 6 and a liquor store.

Walk four more and arrive at a yoga studio and a vegan restaurant with modern apartments stacked on top.

A few blocks further still, Patagonia’s headquarters sprawls across several buildings.

Green grass from the recent rains pokes up through the dirt in a vacant lot.

As I wait to cross the street, I read the sign. A six-story building is coming soon. Retail on the bottom and apartments up top, the pattern repeats. Already, there’s Playa Vista and Cora, which boasts coastal luxury living and a resort-style skydeck. Live the future. Leases available.

Earlier in the afternoon, I stood in a parking lot with a crew of women who have built home-grown brands. They had brought their goods to sell in time for the holidays: Board bags and totes from upcycled fabrics, a newly launched magazine, hand-shaped surfboards, wetsuits, and art.

“All the most important things in surfing happen standing around in the parking lot next to the dumpster,” says Kassia Meador, whose bright spark lights up films like The Sprout and who now owns Kassia wetsuits.

Meador’s energy is infectious. She convinces me to try on a wetsuit, even though I don’t need one, even though I know that I wear a men’s medium in every brand. Come on, she says. Just try it.

It’s easy to feel like surfing’s soul has drowned in a sea of soft tops and Sprinter vans. The latest private equity firm to come along buys and sells the empty shell that’s left. Pull the shrinkwrap off another one.

Did it ever exist at all? Did surfing ever have a soul? Seduced by magic images and exuberant story-telling, did we imagine the whole thing?

I’m pretty sure our battered soul still exists, stuck to us like the last chunk of wax at the bottom of the box.

It might be the guy screening t-shirts in the back of his shop and making cheerful small talk about the waves and the forecast. It might be the next generation of groms falling asleep on movie night. It might be the women hanging out in the parking lot, talking about board designs.

I think maybe we pass the beat-up remnants of that soul from one person to the next wherever we manage to find one another. It’s there in those brief moments of connection, and it’s there in the shared scripts we repeat back to each other.

Get any waves today?

Maybe tomorrow.

Here we are, just passing time until the waves come again.