No big wave. Photo: Eurovision Song Contest.
No big wave. Photo: Eurovision Song Contest.

“Possessor of pop’s most piercing falsetto” Sam Ryder declares horror Hawaiian surfing accident altered his course from big-wave stud to sensual songbird!

Fire Saga.

But if you had to choose between being an international singing sensation or a noted wrangler of big waves which would you choose? Of course the two are not mutually exclusive. Makua Rothman, son of North Shore strongman Eddie, for example has conquered both worlds but it is exceptionally rare and, to be honest, I don’t know if you have the necessary double threat skillset.

So which?

Adored by fawning audiences whilst crooning or sliding down the face of monsters?

Well, British singer-songwriter Sam Ryder came to the aforementioned crossroads and chose the microphone. In a stirring interview with the BBC, the Eurovision musical contest runner-up declared that it was a horror surfing accident in Hawaii that guided his destiny.

“I was surfing in Hawaii and my board snapped. Then I got hit by a wave and I very nearly drowned,” he told Auntie. “It pushed me down so far into the water. And the turbulence of the water, the power, is incredible. Fighting against it, you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus.”

The terror left him bed-ridden for a week, pondering what to make of his life.

“Obviously, the golden rule in surfing is ‘never underestimate the sea,'” he continued, “but until it goes wrong, you can’t fathom it. You’re like, ‘I am insignificant in this body of water’. But that day was important to me because I wanted to be very good at surfing and ride the big waves – but [the accident] put me back on my true purpose. I was like, ‘You can’t do the thing you love most, which is music and singing, if you’re at the bottom of the sea.'”

A wise determination.

Ryder, who has luxurious long hair and soft beard, went on to amass more than 14 million TikTok fans, a record deal and Eurovision success.

As an American, I only really know of the business from Will Ferrell’s very funny Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

Worth a watch.

Also, though, are you sad not to be able to watch Ryder on the World Surf League’s Big Wave World Tour?

Something to think about.

Only one Makua.

Sad Logan and happy Styles (pictured) with hijackers. Photo: Goodfellas.
Sad Logan and happy Styles (pictured) with hijackers. Photo: Goodfellas.

World Surf League popularity viciously questioned after pop hunk Harry Styles has merchandise truck hijacked in home of Brazilian surf star Jihad Khodr!

Dark days.

The World Surf League, which will kick off its 2023 Championship Tour in mere weeks, was rocked overnight as an adoring public began questioning its popularity. Much was made, last year, by WSL CEO Erik Logan of the absolute exploding growth of professional surfing at its highest level. Millions upon millions of new fans devouring broadcasts, snatching up merchandise, packing beaches and nowhere more than Brazil.

Logan, and the rest of the League’s executive suite plus commentators, made much about the love their product received from South America’s largest nation. How adored they all were and the “passion” they were shown.

So much “passion,” it was uttered once every three years by the aforementioned team. Maybe more “passion” than had ever been unleashed before. Maybe the most “passion” of all time.

Until, that is, Harry Styles rolled into town.

The pop stud, who has been on a rocket to massive fame, was rolling into the country for a concert tonight, you see, when a truck carrying his merchandise was hijacked by armed gunmen. Per reporting, the bandits subdued the driver, took his truck and its loot of bedazzled t-shirts and fedoras and vanished into the warm night air of Curtiba, which happens to be outside of São Paulo.

More importantly, Curtiba also happens to be the home of World Surf League (née Association of Surfing Professionals) superstar Jihad Khodr. Of course you recall his campaign, which lasted from 2008 to 2009 and thrilled me because I enjoyed his name so much but also his passion.

In any case, no World Surf League merch truck has ever been hijacked in Brazil nor Australia nor Lemoore, California. Stephanie Gilmore jerseys and Italo Ferreira Jerseys and Ethan Ewing jerseys left unmolested. The adoring public wondering how popular the show really is.

Dark days.

Brutal near-decapitation at Pipeline draws ire from local surfers and death threats to VAL responsible, “Bodies were on top of each other …craziest sh*t I’ve seen in my 30 something years out there!”

"I’m truly scared to see what the future holds for this lineup!”

A wild collision at Pipeline that nearly stole the head from hot local surfer Makuna Pang on Wednesday has drawn a wild response from locals and death threats to the VAL responsible. 

“Look at this shit,” writes twenty-one-year-0ld Makana, son of legend shaper Dennis Pang. “I’ve gotten in the way tons of times out at Pipe, it happens, but if you cant even duck dive your round nose, squash tail plug on a four-foot day what the hell are you doing out there?

“This wave has taken more lives than any other wave on earth and inexperienced people paddling out because they’ve watched all the ‘Perfect Pipeline’ vlogs on youtube makes it twice as dangerous. 


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A post shared by M A K A N A (@m_pang)

“Any of you that have went out the past two swells have had a moment where a person(s) have gotten in the your way just paddling for or riding a wave I’m sure. 

“Maybe you are even that guy getting in the way and you are the problem? Nearly every set last Friday was littered with random people in the way of The Boys while paddling for waves when there should be a clear runway. 

“Two-thirds of the guys placing themselves underneath the locals don’t even belong sitting right there. The only people that should be sitting underneath the top dogs is the next generation of LOCAL teens. 

“Just because you don’t see guys getting knocked out on the beach like before, doesn’t mean the amount of respect for the wave and people out there has changed. 

“Be aware & If you are apart of this problem KINDLY GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY PLEASE OR DONT PADDLE OUT.”

Responses came in their hundreds from a who’s who of Pipe superstars and world champs, most of ’em calling for a return to the days of not-so-yore when fists were thrown with impunity.

The world longboard champ Joel Tudor summed up the prevailing mood with his treatise on the situation. 

“Counted 92 people out that Friday and opted to watch instead of surf, at one point saw a set that had so many dudes paddling up the face it looked like salmon running…bodies were on top of each other …craziest shit I’ve seen in my 30 something years out there. Sadly though with the removal of localism it’s a wide open door to the masses, gone are the day of catching cracks for being a donkey …nowadays that donkey can risk your life and then sue ya for your house for hurting their feelings …anyone who owns anything out here or their family does is scared to death of what multiple live cams, drones and phones can record and because of that the old order and understanding has faded for this new era kook take over. I’m truly scared to see what the future holds for this lineup!”

The surfer model Kahealani Papke, who is Makana’s girlfriend, brought the fever down a little adding,

“The guy that bailed and hit @m_pang with his board is getting death threats. Don’t do that. He’s just being used as an example. The main focus of this post is to teach people that aren’t ready to paddle out to pipe to NOT do it. If you can’t duck dive then you sure as hell don’t belong out there. C’mon people this wave is one of the most dangerous waves out there it’s no joke maybe use your brain a little. Imagine if that board were to knock out @m_pang and he were to drown because you decided to paddle out when you shouldn’t have. Know your boundaries and if you have any doubts don’t go out before you accidentally kill someone.”

I hear it, I ain’t going near that joint.

What do you think possesses a soul to join the madness at the world’s heaviest wave with only rudimentary skills?

Smith (pictured) in book store.
Smith (pictured) in book store.

Literary world left speechless after surf journalist named one of 2022’s best true crime writers by culturally significant New York Times!

Take that, Nick Carroll.

The sun rose, today, on a bewildered literary community as it was revealed that The New York Times, arbiter of to read and what not to read, had named surf journalist Chas Smith’s Blessed are the Bank Robbers to its year-end list of best true crime books.

Smith, who was notified of the honor while frantically attempting to wedge Slovakian supermodel Veronika Rajek into a story about wave forecasting, was left surprised.

The book, described as “a rollicking true story of Bibles and bank robberies in Southern California, from a talented and highly praised gonzo journalist,” was first released in March 15.

Tina Jordan, deputy editor of the Book Review, wrote, “In Southern California in the late 1960s, the Courson family was a kind of ‘gilded evangelical Christian Camelot,’ Chas Smith writes in BLESSED ARE THE BANK ROBBERS: The True Adventures of an Evangelical Outlaw, which is filled with rich and powerful megachurch pastors. Smith — himself a member of the Courson family — tells the story of his cousin Danny, known as the ‘Floppy Hat Bandit.’ Danny once held up 19 banks in six weeks, and by Smith’s count, “he has to be within spitting distance of the U.S. record for bank robberies.”

The surf world, imagining Smith as half illiterate, at best, was equally befuddled.

You can hear him discuss the Pipe Masters as the ultimate gilded lily and other important matters below.

Moore (pictured) on top of the world. Photo: WSL
Moore (pictured) on top of the world. Photo: WSL

Hawaiian darling Carissa Moore smashes Heisman-winning quarterback, NCAA baseball player of the year and every other notable athlete becoming first surfer to win coveted Sullivan Award!

Much congratulations.

Let us all be quite frank. Fault can be found with every single professional surfer. Mikey Wright, for instance, bores me with his flair. Stephanie Gilmore can’t do an air to save her life. Italo Ferreira is a hype beast. And on we can go until, that is, we arrive at Carissa Moore. The only defect that can be found in the Hawaiian darling is that sometimes people call her ‘Ris, which is annoying though not her failing.

Moore charges, rips, barrels, airs, is gracious and winning. She is a multiple-time World Surf League champion and also surfing’s first female gold medal winner, smashing all-comers in Japan.

All surfers and, now, all athletes for hours ago she was named as 2022’s AAU James Sullivan Award winner.

The Oscars’ of sports.

The award, which is older than the Heisman, “has been given out since 1930 to the nation’s best athlete. Only one finalist will join the illustrious list of previous winners which include: Bobby Jones (1930), Doc Blanchard (1945), Wilma Rudolph (1961), Bill Bradley (1965), Mark Spitz (1970), Bill Walton (1973), Bruce Jenner (1976), Carl Lewis (1981), Joan Benoit (1985), Janet Evans (1989), Peyton Manning (1997), Michael Phelps (2003), Tim Tebow (2007), Shawn Johnson (2008), Missy Franklin (2012), and the Ohio State University running back Ezekiel Elliott (2014) and the first volleyball player to win the award, Lauren Carlini (2016) plus an illustrious group of past winners.”

Moore beat out Olympic wrestler Jordan Burroughs, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young, NCAA Softball Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo and NCAA Baseball Player of the Year Ivan Melendez to hoist the statuette becoming the first Hawaiian and the first surfer ever so to do.

We, as a group, don’t deserve her.

Much congratulations.