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

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.

Except.

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.”

Dead.

They will all be dead.

Bah humbug.

RIP.


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.


Photo: WSL

Long Read: The complete unabridged saga of how surf fans stunned the world by lighting candles en masse for a Kelly Slater, Gisele Bündchen fairytale reunion thereby probably bringing it about if it wasn’t for that pesky Brazil!

2022's most compelling saga in full.

Chapter 1:

Very sad news broke, today, that football’s greatest of all-time, one Tom Brady, and his wife, the Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen have each hired divorce lawyers. The two, married since 2009 and sharing two children, have been at the highest peak of Mt. Power Couple for years and have seemed to live in a fairytale though rumors of discord began percolating this year.

Per Page Six:

As previously revealed, the couple have been living separately for the past couple months following an epic fight — and they’re now apparently looking at dividing up their multimillion-dollar empire.

“I never actually thought this argument would be the end of them, but it looks like it is,” one source in the know tells Page Six.

“I don’t think there will be any coming back now. They both have lawyers and are looking at what a split will entail, who gets what and what the finances will be.”

And, again, very sad though surf fans, ever vulgar, are quietly rubbing their hands in glee, lighting candles in the hope that a newly single Bündchen may just might rekindle her flame with professional surfing’s greatest of all-time Kelly Slater.

GOAT jumping.

Students of our sport’s history know that Slater and Bündchen enjoyed a year long romance from 2005 through 2006, two seasons he maybe not coincidentally won World Titles.

While Slater is currently in a relationship with a girlfriend he describes as “Chinese,” stranger things have happened than two old lovers connecting after decades of separation.

See: Ben Affleck and J-Lo.

Where’s your head at in all this?

More importantly, I suppose, where is your heart?

Chapter 2:

A bombshell exploded, this morning, in the scintillating though sad story of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen and the greatest football player of all-time Tom Brady each hiring divorce lawyers. Radar magazine is reporting the reason for the split is that the “marriage has gone cold as ice,” according to an NFL insider close to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback. “Gisele is a Brazilian supermodel with a super sex drive and she’s told her friends she needs more from her all-American husband.”

Brady, you see, appears to be one of those sorts of sportsmen who believes that love making, before partaking in an athletic feat, diminishes… virility when pushing against other men, I suppose.

The actor Dax Shepard asked Brady directly about sex before sport on a podcast, once, Brady demurring before offering, “That wouldn’t be my pregame warm-up.”

The news sent surf fans, already sitting by lit candles, into an obscene frenzy.

Bündchen and the greatest surfer of all-time, one Kelly Slater, you see, were involved with each other, romantically, in 2005 and 2006. Two years when Slater, maybe not coincidentally, won world titles. As everyone but World Surf League CEO Erik Logan knows, surfing is not, in fact, a sport so unaffected by a little night music.

Now, Slater is currently in a committed relationship but Ben Affleck was in one with Ana de Armas and Jennifer Lopez was in one with Alex Rodriguez before they reunited in a flurry of marriages.

Mt. Power Couple.

Chapter 3:

Surf fans, already whipped into an obscene frenzy over Gisele Bünchen and Tom Brady’s sudden split, could not believe the news, this morning, that the Brazilian supermodel very publicly took a wad of sage out to her car in order, presumably, rid the ride of the star quarterback’s bad juju.

Those who are aware of sage’s mystical properties know that its burning has purifying, restorative effects. More to our point, though, the move might also have been a smoke signal, as it were, to the greatest surfer of all-time Kelly Slater.

Slater and Bündchen famously dated across 2005 and 2006, those years, maybe not coincidentally, being two of eleven championship seasons for the Boy from Cocoa Beach.

A lost day and age when surfers dated stars. When our kind was embodied by pure gorgeous as opposed to adult-learning flubber.

Might we be back, though?

As it happens, Sage Erickson is an ambassador for Kelly Slater’s Outerknown, a company that prides itself on renewability etc. The right way to live. Etc.

Per Vogue:

Last year, sustainable men’s label Outerknown debuted its first women’s collection with a unique campaign. Founder and 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater certainly could have asked a few of his athlete or celebrity friends to participate, but instead, he cast a trio of activists working in climate change and sustainability. To the average Instagram user, they probably weren’t familiar, but the women Outerknown hoped to engage likely already followed them. It was an early example of how a brand can align its vision, mission, and marketing in a truly authentic way.

Burning sage.

Oh not “burning” in our parlance but restorative, spiritual, healthy burning. Exactly like surf fans, everywhere, are burning candles down to nubs for a Slater-Bündchen reunion.

Sleepless nights.

Chapter 4:

Surf fans have been on a roller coaster, for the past four days, since it was revealed that Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen may be headed toward divorce after each hired lawyers. The football great and Brazilian supermodel have allegedly been living in a “sexless marriage” among other such troubles whipping the aforementioned fans into an obscene frenzy.

History’s best surfer, Kelly Slater, you see, dated Bündchen for a year plus and candles were lit in hopes that the two might rekindle their storied romance.

Today, though, troubling reports are emerging that Slater may have competition. Page Six has listed Bünchen’s past boyfriends including model Scott Barnhill, polo player Rico Mansur and businessman João Paulo Diniz. Slater, concerningly, finds himself sandwiched between actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh Hartnett with other actor, and Captain America, Chris Evans just trailing.

The respected gossip source writes, “Shortly after her split with DiCaprio, Bündchen started dating professional surfer Kelly Slater. The pair lasted until early 2006 before they decided to go their separate ways.”

Not overly turgid.

This is the time, though, surf fans must be strong and not give up hope. Our champion will be tested, no doubt, but we must have faith in his prowess and ability to outshine stars. He is, after all, very skilled in managing priority etc.

Still, light two candles, please.

Chapter 5:

The most exciting surf-adjacent story of the last decade, one that has kept our kind up for days now, has taken yet another wild twist. Surf fans have been on edges of settees since it was revealed that Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady had each hired lawyers amid an unraveling marriage.

There had been whispers of troubles ever since the star quarterback had decided to un-retire and continue playing the game earlier last year but nobody expected divorce so sudden, so swift.

Eyes immediately turned to Kelly Slater. The greatest ever surfer and Bündchen had dated from 2005 through 2006 and not only formed a striking pair but also made each other very powerful. Slater won two of his eleven world titles in those years and Bündchen appeared on many, many magazine covers.

Might the two get back together and shine brighter than ever before?

Surf fans lit candles in hope though were thrown into panicked disarray when it was revealed, yesterday, that Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh Hartnett had emerged as potential challengers for her coveted hand.

Those same fans transitioned, today, however, to manic glee as the Brazilian supermodel stepped out with an altered tattoo.

Per Page Six:

As the sun appears to be setting on Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady’s marriage, the supermodel has made some eye-catching changes to one of her celestial tattoos.

On Thursday, the Brazilian beauty was snapped visiting a building in Miami (that happens to house legal offices) wearing cuffed jeans and a pair of flip-flops that showed off the updated ink on her right ankle.

While the design previously depicted a crescent moon surrounded by three stars, Bündchen appears to have turned it into a tree, with several branches curling upward around the stars.

A tree with several branches curling upward around the stars?

Absolutely not.

Even recently converted surf fans clearly recognized Slater’s iconic hairless head and steely gaze as witnessed at this past year’s Pipeline Pro (examine here).

First sage, now this.

Candles burning brightly.

Chapter 6:

Surf fans woke this morning, covered in dried candle wax, not knowing how much more their hearts could take. It was almost a week ago when news leaked that Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen had each hired divorce lawyers and were very likely headed toward a split. The couple, who had seemed nothing but ideal over the past decade-plus, had apparently been dealing with issues for some time, some unspecified big fight finally blowing the wheels right off.

While divorce is never a happy affair, surf fans immediately began wondering if the Brazilian supermodel and her former flame, surfing great Kelly Slater, may just might rekindle their romance. The two seemed to share very much including “beach vibes” and having dated from 2005 to 2006.

News breaking today suggests there is even more. Page Six is reporting that Bündchen was seen today visiting a “faith healer.”

Per the respected gossip source:

Gisele Bündchen is happy to namastay right at her healer’s office.

The former Victoria’s Secret Angel was spotted visiting her Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Ewa Wieruszewska Lierle, on Friday for the second time as she continues to grapple with her seemingly broken marriage to Tom Brady.

The visit seemed to be a more casual one, as Bündchen was spotted carrying an Amazon Prime box out of the office while the doctor held a Tupperware container of what appeared to be split pea soup.

The Brazilian model and Wieruszewska Lierle wore similar beaded necklaces during their visit, which concluded with Bündchen getting into her car while participating in a serious phone conversation.

But who could forget Slater’s own Wieruszewska Lierle, one Charlie Goldsmith? He was introduced to us three years ago via the World Surf League.

Derek Rielly wrote at the time:

Were you as thrilled as I was by the appearance of “healer, inventor, businessman” Charlie Goldsmith in the Kelly Slater episode of Sound Waves, the WSL’s excellent new series? Goldsmith is very famous, at least in Australia, for his ability to cure the sick with his personal electric vibrations, as well as tap into the wellness zeitgeist with various business start-ups. In a three-month study carried out by the Australian television show Sunday Night, and screened last August, we are privy to the miracle of Goldsmith who “claims he possesses a mysterious energy that can cure the sick using just his mind…he can end chronic pain, cure crippling arthritis, even save lives.”

Goldsmith was eighteen years old when he “first felt a strange sensation between his hands. He says he soon discovered this energy could heal people. Worried about exposing himself to a world of doubters, he wanted to keep his gift secret until science supported his claims.”

A match made in the heavens?

I do believe Slater also enjoys split pea soup.

One more candle please.

Chapter 6:

What a week it has been. Exactly seven days ago, news broke that Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen had each hired divorce lawyers. The exceptional quarterback, who currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Brazilian supermodel had seemed the picture of happiness and success over the course of their decade-plus marriage but oh what we each don’t know, don’t see behind the closed doors of lives.

Apparently the two had been having issues for some years and the whole business unraveled after a “big fight” at the beginning of this year’s NFL season.

Surf fans around the globe immediately turned attention toward the the world’s greatest surfer, Kelly Slater, and a possible, glorious reunion. Slater and Bündchen had famously dated during 2005 – 2006, two of eleven championship years for the Boy from Cocoa Beach, and candles were lit for a rekindling.

“Things” have been extremely volatile since.

Hearts were sent soaring when Bündchen saged her car then crashed when Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh Hartnett emerged as possible competition. Up again when the one-time Vickie’s Hush-Hush model appeared to alter a tattoo to look like Slater to say nothing about her turn to faith healing, but, now, plunging again as Brady has re-emerged, publicly, sending a clear shot over Slater’s bow.

On a podcast interview hours ago, the seven-time Super Bowl winner declared:

There’s things I’m going through in my 40s and it’s life. And you learn to grow up and you learn to deal with life. And that’s what we’re all trying to do. We’re trying to do it the best way we can. I think you realize that there’s a lot, especially in today’s day and age, with how fast things are happening in life for all of us, and the amount of responsibilities we have. You wake up every day trying to do the best you can do, understanding that life has its stresses. And to deal with them with a great support system and understanding and having some introspectiveness in your life where you can look at yourself and say, “Where do I need to commit my time and energy to? And how can I lessen some of the stress and lessen the burden on me so that I can be good for people around me.” So those are all different things that I work at.

To repeatedly refer to Slater as a “thing” seems very calculated, very… pointed. Certainly a shot over the bow but how will the sitting Pipeline Pro respond to the slight? In a battle of GOATs, where would you side? I mean, as a surf fan obviously with Slater but who do you think would, could actually re-win Bündchen’s love?

Tom Brady has millions of dollars and lived in Derek Jeter’s house.

Kelly Slater knows pretty much everything.

Fingernails to nubs.

Chapter 7:

Can you, as a surf fan, take anymore? The wild highs, the depressing lows of this ongoing saga involving Gisele Bündchen, her estranged husband Tom Brady and one-time flame Kelly Slater? It is, truly, almost too much but surf fans are, if anything, steady in wanting, needing to see a reconciliation between the Brazilian supermodel and her surfing champion.

As you may, or may not, know, the two dated from 2005 through 2006 and very successfully. Bünchen appeared on many magazine covers and walked many runways. Slater won two of his eleven world titles. A power couple we had not since Madonna dated our Kaipo Guerrero in 1985.

Bündchen and Slater represented a second coming but life, in the form of a dashing quarterback, got in the way.

Hope, though, has bubbled through and surf fans have lit candles, riding the wild highs and depressing lows in the same manner we follow the big wave career of current champion Filipe Toledo.

Days ago, it appeared as if Bündchen sent a coded message to Slater by saging her car. Days after that she visited a faith healer. And now? Well, hours ago, life coach Jay Shetty took to Instagram and penned, “You can’t be in a committed relationship with someone who is inconsistent. Read that again.”

A fine sentiment that Bündchen responded to with a praying hands emoji.

And there has been no more consistent surfer than Kelly Slater what with his aforementioned eleven world titles and also general je ne sais quoi. The Pipeline Master rarely breaks surprises in his long-held positions. He doesn’t like flat earthers and never has. He does, on the other hand, enjoy golf and always has. He is skeptical of big pharma, environmentally conscious, doesn’t “go along with the crowd,” etc.

As solid as a stone.

Concordant.

Could this be it?

Is there anything else we can light besides candles?

Chapter 8:

What a difference a day makes. Less than twenty-four hours ago, surf fans had never been so high, riding to the very crest of a wave that has been building all week. Namely, the revelation that Gisele Bündchen and her husband Tom Brady had each hired divorce lawyers and were not “hanging out,” as it were.

The two had been married for over a decade but suddenly, and seemingly without warning, separation hung heavy in the air. While this fact was, and is, sad, surf fans couldn’t help but feel a rush of emotion, of hope that maybe Bündchen was on her way back to the world’s greatest surfer, Cocoa Beach’s Kelly Slater.

The Brazilian supermodel and eleven-time world champion had dated during 2005, 2006 and formed the very picture of beauty, brains, international sexy.

Yum.

And, thus, the aforementioned surf fans have been hanging on every drip, every drop from the saga, finding references to Kelly Slater everywhere. Bündchen was seen sending smoke signals to Slater, saging her car, visiting a faith healer, altering a tattoo, dropping praying hands emoji underneath a comment about love and commitment (or something).

The pure joy but today, now, possible heartbreak looms as a new revelation directly implicates Slater’s life choices as “unaligned.”

Per the New York Post:

Speaking recently to Us Weekly, an insider said friends of Brady, 45, and Bündchen, 42, “are upset” at the Buccaneers quarterback “for going back on his word and coming out of retirement,” referencing his NFL change of heart.

“They hate the way Tom is refusing to bend for Gisele,” the source continued.

Allegations of discord between Brady and Bündchen first surfaced in September, when Page Six exclusively reported that the pair had engaged in heated arguments over his NFL return. A source later stated, however, that their issues have “nothing to do with his decision to return to the NFL,” noting the claims are “sexist.”

“The problems are not due to his decision to play football again — sometimes things are complicated,” the source said.

While glimmers of optimism can be found in the later source, surf fans can’t help but remember when Slater said he was going to retire right after Joel Parkinson said he was going to retire then didn’t.

Let’s choose to still believe, though, that Slater’s past misstep won’t harm our future happiness.

Let’s light five candles each.

Chapter 9:

Surf fans, moments ago, were seen mournfully weeping, or it may have actually been woefully sobbing, after the shocking announcement that Gisele Bündchen had initiated divorce proceedings from Tom Brady as a result of his telegraphing retirement from professional football before reneging and suiting up again.

The world’s greatest and oldest surfer, Kelly Slater’s, own foibles as it relates to retirement suddenly thrust into the spotlight at the worst possible time.

But might those tears have been premature for those hoping, dreaming of a rekindling between Bündchen and Slater?

For those unaware, the Brazilian supermodel and eleven-time champion dated from 2005 through 2006 creating a dynamic duo our kind had only witnessed once before in history.

Their potential reunion the stuff of whispered myth.

But, alas, Slater’s refusal to hang up the singlet a major possible roadblock.

Except.

An enterprising surf journalist has uncovered the greatest hint of all. As any modern man, woman, none-of-the-prior knows, Instagram is the place to telegraph the heart’s true desire and look and see.

While Tom Brady is followed by both Slater and Bündchen…

He follows neither. But, they follow each other!

The candles surf fans have been lighting appear to be working!

Love, truly, is the way.

Though it may feel like we’ve finally crossed the finish line, more candles can’t hurt.

Buy in bulk, please.

Chapter 10:

Signs continue pointing to “YES!” for a potential reunion between Kelly Slater and Gisele Bündchen as surf fans, sitting by windows, candles lit, have been willing, willing, this power couple boom.

For those just getting caught up, the Brazilian supermodel had, until weeks ago, been seemingly happily married to football great Tom Brady, living an idyllic life. Then, wham, both were hiring divorce lawyers and the facade shattered. Surf fans, whilst trying to be respectful of the sadness, couldn’t help but dream of a re-kindling of flame between Bündchen and the world’s best surfer Kelly Slater.

Those two famously dated from 2005 through 2006 and looked sexy cool.

Well, there have been many ups and downs, including Bündchen saging her car and Slater and Bündchen following each other on Instagram though neither following, or followed by, Tom Brady, the best sign came days ago when it was revealed that Tom Brady went, solo, to billionaire 81-year-old Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wedding.

Per People magazine:

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, 45, attended New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wedding to Dana Blumberg by himself amid marriage troubles with his wife, Gisele Bündchen.

A source at the wedding event told PEOPLE Brady was “great” and he “looked happy” while paling around with his former teammates, including Randy Moss, Vince Wilfork and Drew Bledsoe. The source noted that even with an away game on Sunday, Brady stayed at the party for a long duration.

Kraft, 81, and Brady have a years-long friendship, given the NFL superstar spent the entirety of his football career with the New England Patriots before joining the Buccaneers in 2020. The New England team selected him in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.

In photos obtained by Page Six, Brady can be seen exiting a black SUV while wearing a black suit, which he paired with a white dress shirt that was left unbuttoned at the top.

Notably absent were both Gisele Bündchen and Kelly Slater.

While there is no suggestion they were together, it must be noted each has a home in Florida.

Hmmmmm.

While you are here, though, if you make it to 81-years-old and you are single, do you think you’ll get married?

Something to ponder while cleaning melted wax off the windowsill.

Chapter 11:

American football, at the professional level, is played on Thursday night, Sunday and Monday night but mostly Sunday and, as such, yesterday found Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady on the sidelines suffering an ugly loss to Pittsburgh’s Steelers. Brady is not used to losing, being the winningest player of all-time, and the sting was apparent as he exploded in rage at his offensive line before the first half ended.

Much ire.

While football fans assumed the outburst was simply directed at those players for playing poorly, surf fans imagined another possible reason. Namely that Brady was using his teammates as a proxy for us, surf fans, who have spent the last week-plus busily lighting and re-lighting candles in hope of a magical reunion between Kelly Slater and Brady’s estranged wife Gisele Bündchen.

As you may, or may not, know, word leaked almost two weeks ago that the football great and his Brazilian supermodel had each, separately, hired divorce lawyers. Stories began leaking of troubles, of frustrations in the marriage and while it was all certainly sad, surf fans began willing a reunion of the 11x surf champion and Bündchen.

The two famously dated during the 2005 – 2006 season and formed the absolute picture of gorgeous.

Talent, beauty, off-piste thinking.

Peak surf.

We have not had a couple so dynamic since, Jack Freestone and Alana Blanchard notwithstanding, and hope sprung for a return to Shangri-la.

Which must be annoying for Brady.

And, now, certainly his teammates.

Put your candle under a bushel?

Chapter 12:

Surf fans have been feeling pretty darn good about our chances of a fairytale reunion between Gisele Bündchen and Kelly Slater of late. Many candles lit, the Brazilian supermodel’s estranged husband acting ruffled, potential challengers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh Hartnett seemingly sidelined.

The world’s greatest surfer holding priority.

For those unaware, Slater and Bündchen lived a dream, together, from 2005 though 2006. They were iconic, ideal and surf fans have never seen a better pairing.

Alas, Bündchen was swept off her feet by dashing quarterback Tom Brady, and surf fans gave up hope… until a week-plus, that is, when it was revealed that the couple had hired divorce lawyers and were heading for a split.

Surf fans immediately lit candles and tracked every development wide-eyed. Look, there is Bündchen saging her car, sure a sign. And now going to a faith healer exactly the same as Slater. But oh no, Brady’s refusal to retire may have led to the rift? And now, a new heretofore unseen young suitor materializing from nowhere?

Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers just so happened to play Pittsburgh’s Steelers over the weekend and, well…

A bold declaration.

While Slater has been very subtle in his signals, it may be time for him to go all in.

Maybe he can dip his challenger in the trash can like his good friend, the iconic comedian Bill Murray.

Light your traditional candles, please, along with a rosewood scented one.

Rosewood is said to have aphrodisiac qualities.

Chapter 13:

The demise of Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s marriage has been captivating surf fans for weeks now. As soon as news of trouble percolated to the surface, the aforementioned have dreamed of a magical reunion between the Brazilian supermodel and her one-time beau, the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater.

The two, as you know, famously dated during 2005 through 2006, those years marking absolute peak surf.

Candles have been lit by the pallet-load, windowsills so wax coated as to become fire dangers themselves.

But, hours ago, these same surf fans have been thrown into consternation as Brady, who is 45, just held a scintillating press conference in which he telegraphed that he would never stop playing professional football even though it is rumored that his playing may have led to Bündchen heading for the door.

When asked about his plans he firmly declared “No retirement in my future.”

Just exactly like Kelly Slater who only hints of his own leaving the surf game to steal thunder from Joel Parkinson.

But imagine the best potential best friendship of Brady and Slater, the two plying their respective crafts into 50s, 60s, 70s. Encouraging each other to never give up.

Is this what our candles have manifested?

Two forever athletes?

Chapter 14:

The power of surf fans, and their mass candle lightings, has suddenly taken on new intrigue. Rumors are currently breaking across TikTok that Tom Brady’s uncharacteristic performance struggles are directly related to his estranged wife, Gisele Bündchen and her various sagings plus visits to spiritual healers.

A hexing?

Brady, the greatest football player of all-time, has fallen hard of late, an embarrassing 21 – 3 loss to the lowly Carolina Panthers the most recent in a season-long string of bummer.

No touchdowns.

Much sad.

One-time coach and respected analyst Rex Ryan declared afterward, “This team is searching like crazy. At least they’re trying, they’re searching, but Tom Brady looks like a shell of himself. You look at him even physically. His personal life, obviously, is having an effect too. I get it. I don’t want to minimize this. It’s a factor. Obviously it’s something. This looks like there’s no answer because there’s no speed on the field.”

While Bündchen is taking most of the heat, surf fans are turning inward, wondering if the mass candle lightings undergone in a hoped-for reunion between the Brazilian supermodel and her beau from 2005 through 2006, Kelly Slater, are, in fact, to blame.

As you know, the two formed up the most powerful surf couple during those years, Bündchen at the height of her model powers, powers that have made her vastly richer than her current husband. Slater bagging two of eleven world titles.

As you may not know, candle lighting is essential to occultic practices.

Oh, I’ve never wanted you, us, to travel that dangerous path. I have encouraged purchasing various pumpkin spice offerings from Yankee Candle, but maybe you got lazy?

Maybe you accidentally bought candles from the witch down the street?

It’s one thing for us to hope for a grand romantic reunion. Quite another for us to curse a generational talent.

Driftwood, jasmine, raw coconut.

Yikes.

Maybe check your stock?

Chapter 15:

Surf fans could not believe this turn of events, this radical shift. Weeks ago, they were sitting by their windows, lighting candles as it was revealed that Gisele Bündchen and her husband Tom Brady were having a rocky go. Oh, there was no implied sadism, no hope for the destruction of a grand union, but there was an even grander union to repair.

Namely with Kelly Slater.

The Brazilian supermodel and world’s greatest surfer had dated over the 2005s and 2006s, forming up the grandest power couple in surfing history. She at the height of her art. He winning two Association of Surfing Professionals World Titles.

Aspirational.

As fate had it, though, Bündchen fell into the arms of a dashing quarterback, married, built a life but, now, all that is officially in the rearview.

Per People:

Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady will file for divorce after 13 years of marriage, PEOPLE confirms.

Sources tell PEOPLE that they will both file in Florida on Friday morning. (Update: Brady and Bündchen have since finalized their divorce, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.)

“The settlement is all worked out,” a source with knowledge of the situation tells PEOPLE. “They’ve been working on the terms this whole time.”

The source adds: “They agreed to joint custody of the kids.”

The couple’s split comes after months of reports that the couple had been struggling, and that Bündchen, 42, “is done with their marriage,” another source previously told PEOPLE.

“She was upset about it for a long time and it’s still difficult, but she feels like she needs to move on,” the source said in early October. “She doesn’t believe that her marriage can be repaired.”

Though what, exactly, was Bündchen upset about? Surf fans worried that it might be Brady’s refusal to retire as Slater also plans to surf, professionally, forever. But no! According to an Us Weekly source, “Gisele told Tom either he leaves football to spend time with the family or she is gone for good. She doesn’t want him to continue to get injured and not be able to enjoy life in the future. She is doing it for her family.”

And there we go.

Injury worry.

Ouchies are extremely rare in professional surfing. Slater, for example, hurt his foot a long time ago and, again, foot. Not head or anything important.

The Kid from Cocoa Beach will be fit as a fiddle for years to come and talk about having cake and eating it too.

Bolo de Rolo.

Divorce, anyhow, becoming official. The next step, for surf fans, is a sort of Parent Trap bit of intrigue.

Ideas?

Chapter 16:

All that candle lighting, it appears… is working! Not working perfectly, mind you, and it could be working much better, as I imagine some out there are yet to participate, their windowsills unwaxed, but let us, the tried-and-true, count our small victories this morning. Our inch-by-inch gains.

Namely, sports’ books have officially released odds on who Gisele Bündchen’s next boyfriend will be and our Kelly Slater is currently EIGHTH!

As you know, well, rumors began percolating early in the month that not all was well between the Brazilian supermodel and her then-husband Tom Brady. While the news, later confirmed, was sad, surf fans secretly hoped for a grand reunion between Bündchen and the world’s greatest surfer and began quietly lighting candles by windows for such. Hope sprang as she seemingly sent many signs to Slater, saging her car, visiting a faith healer, and the aforementioned surf fans began imagining, even seeing in minds’ eyes, the most handsome couple strolling various beaches hand in hand.

And now we have official odds.

According to betonline.com, the comedian Pete Davidson is the favorite to land Bündchen’s hand at +1200. The actor Jason Momoa is second at +1800 followed by Leonardo DiCaprio, John Mayer and Neymar all at +2000, Chris Evans and Bradley Cooper at +2500 and then our Kelly Slater at +3300.

Now, Davidson is a good bet, as well as Momoa, but I think we can rule out DiCaprio (Leo’s Law), John Mayer (Taylor Swift’s effective smear), and Neymar Jr. (Gabriel Medina). I don’t know much about Chris Evans or Bradley Cooper’s relative attractiveness, but nothing greater than Slater. Nothing a few extra lit candles can’t solve.

If you have yet to spark a flame, please do so now whilst on your way to your local bookie.

It’s Halloween, after all.

Chapter 17:

The ink is now well dry on Tom Brady and his official ex-wife Gisele Bündchen’s divorce documents. The books on thirteen years of marriage officially closed. Surf fans, as you know, have been watching the dissolution closely. Oh divorce is never a desired, or hoped for, outcome of any happy union but whispers are that the quarterback great and his Brazilian supermodel have been “living separate lives” for years and wouldn’t at least her separate life be better spent with Kelly Slater?

The two, famously, dated for some very successful months between 2005 and 2006, both reaching pinnacles of success in their fields. Bündchen the highest paid supermodel on earth during that time. Slater winning two of his eleven world titles and surf fans dreamed of a return to Camelot.

Certain worries have presented themselves along the way. Namely, that Pete Davidson opened betting season as Bündchen’s next beau followed closely by Hawaiian stud Jason Momoa. Slater fell  to eighth (+3300) but the fact that he was on the list at all drove the perpetually hopeful to bookies, lit candles in hand.

Another, how would Brady react to his ex and Slater’s almost inevitable rekindling?

Well, the quarterback showed much poise in a victory over the Los Angeles Rams, yesterday, and then declared in a press conference, “We (he and Bündchen) wish only the best for each other as we pursue new chapters in our lives that are yet to be written. We kindly ask for privacy and respect as we navigate what is to come in the days and weeks ahead.”

Only the best?

New chapters?

Surf fans rubbed their eyes, re-read and squealed in disbelief.

All roadblocks, save Pete Davidson, suddenly cleared. The gilded path almost wide open.

Light candles for Davidson and his rumored longed for reconciliation with Kim Kardashian please.

We’ve got this.

Chapter 18:

There is coincidence and then there is fate and surf fans, heretofore cynical empiricists, have magically, majestically fallen under sway of the latter. But who could have seen the series of events, unfolding during this past months, that would have had them buy candles, en masse, lighting them on windowsills? Who could have had them looking to the stars and seeing patterns forming up that beckoned a return to Shangri-la?

Namely 2005 – 2006 when surf brands made millions, surf contests drew thousands, lineups were Wavestorm-free, VALs merely were people from the valley and Kelly Slater was dating Gisele Bündchen.

Surfing’s greatest of all-time and the Brazilian supermodel were living, breathing representatives of the dream and all was perfect… or at least until the two parted ways and Bündchen became married to quarterback Tom Brady.

But who can stop fate?

Bündchen and Brady shockingly announced their break, surf fans began lighting those candles and now we have Bündchen vacationing in the surf paradise of Costa Rica just miles away from the Ayahuasca retreat Rythmia Life Advancement Center where Slater just so happens to sit on the board.

Per Page Six:

Gisele Bündchen is wasting no time living her best life following her divorce from Tom Brady.

The supermodel, 42, was all smiles on Monday when photographers caught her strutting her stuff in tropical Costa Rica.

For the seemingly carefree outing, Bündchen wore a matching taupe set featuring a low-cut crop top and stretchy pants. She completed her casual vacation ensemble with a makeup-free face and wavy hair.

Bündchen’s home is on the Nicoya Peninsula.

So is Rythmia Life Advancement Center.

You certainly recall when the 11x world champion visited there not so long ago, declaring, “I just had the most profound experience of my life. I literally decided to come here twelve hours before I came. It was something that was nagging at me for a few weeks beforehand, that this was something that could potentially change my life. I’ve had a lot of experience in my life. I’ve been all around the world… I’ve lived all around the world…and I’ve got to experience most worldly things. But…”

The experience was so profound, in fact, that Slater was invited to sit upon the board where he sits to this day.

So now?

Only the hardest of surfer hearts refuse to feel the alchemy bubbling underneath the tropical sun. Only the thickest of surfer brains are not hallucinating wedding bells, seeing sarong-clad figures on the beach in minds’ eyes.

Bewitching.

Chapter 19:

Things were going so wonderfully well for surf fans and their dreamed of reunion between Kelly Slater and Gisele Bündchen. The ink dried, almost instantly, on the Brazilian supermodel and her ex-husband, Tom Brady’s, divorce papers. She moved herself to Costa Rica, very near the ayahuasca retreat center where the world’s greatest surfer just so happens to sit on the board, and an announcement of conscious re-coupling seemed but days away.

Until, that is, cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed earlier this month.

Founded by Sam Bankman-Fried three years ago, the exchange promised to be the place that cryptocurrencies would be bought and sold. The future experienced in real time. No pesky “government printed dollar bills” getting in the way. Bright skies. Big horizons. Pure non-fungibility.

Megastars, including Larry David, Tom Brady, his ex-wife Bündchen were quick to sign on, invest, make beautiful commercials together.

But then came the crash.

Per CBS Sports:

The cryptocurrency market was rocked Friday by the collapse of FTX, which filed for bankruptcy and saw CEO Sam Bankman-Fried resign after his assets plummeted in worth from $16 billion at the beginning of the week to virtually nothing. The fall of FTX, which had been hailed as a trusted crypto platform, is set to have major consequences for its investors, several of whom are major figures on the field and in the business of sports.

One such prominent investor is Tom Brady.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB and his now ex-wife Gisele Bundchen are among the celebrity investors in FTX, as the two were announced as having taken major equity stakes in the company in 2021. He has served as a brand ambassador for the company and starred in its commercials, receiving cryptocurrency in return, while Bundchen was named the company’s environmental and social initiatives adviser.

Brady and FTX’s other major investors have now likely lost most if not all of their stake in the company, particularly after a deal for cryptocurrency giant Binance to rescue FTX fell through after a review of the company’s finances.

Bleak.

And it might be thought, amongst polite society, that Slater was spared the fall and would have plenty of reserves to sweep Bündchen out of financial despair.

Alas, surf fans know that our hero is a “diamond handed” crypto holder, extolling various tokens, going to war with Elon Musk over strategies.

Certainly, currently, taking a complete bath.

But silver lining?

Slater and Bündchen able to commiserate over losses?

A fun little competition of whose hands are diamonder?

Inexpensive camping trips and a re-connection with simpler times?

Ayahuasca?

Candle, please.

Chapter 20:

The world has finally taken notice of surf fans, our passion, candles lit for a grand reunion between Kelly Slater and his Gisele Bündchen.

Of the power of dreams.

And candles.

Subcontinental sporting website Essentially Sports posting to its 1.3 billion fans While Surfing World Reminisces Over Gisele Bündchen’s Fling With Kelly Slater, 11x Champ Recalls Another Iconic Moment From Over A Decade Ago.

It was not his fling with Pamela Anderson but rather a win at Pipeline (I think).

In any case, much hope has led into this almost new year, Bündchen beginning to date a jiu-jitsu instructor aside, though now a revenge of the nerds hovers just over the horizon.

Jilted crypto enthusiasts threatening to sue the Brazilian supermodel, her ex-husband Tom Brady, Pete Davidson’s exes’ father Larry David and more.

Per the New York Post:

Investors not only are suing Sam Bankman-Fried, but also celebrity endorsers of his bankrupt crypto company FTX, including Tom Brady, ex-wife Gisele Bündchen, Larry David, and sports stars like David Ortiz, Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal.

Attorneys including star litigator David Boies filed the lawsuit on behalf of Edwin Garrison, an Oklahoma resident who had an FTX yield-bearing account which he funded with crypto assets to earn interest, and others like him.

Celebrity endorsers such as David, who filmed a Super Bowl commercial for FTX, are accused of engaging in deceptive practices to sell FTX yield-bearing digital currency accounts, the suit claims.

“Part of the scheme employed by the FTX Entities involved utilizing some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment … pouring billions of dollars into the Deceptive FTX Platform to keep the whole scheme afloat,” the lawsuit states.

As any student of marriage knows, financial stuffs make or break and here we have Slater, potentially, on the hook for billions if he marries quickly without prenup.

The 11x Champ is notoriously cheap.

Ridiculously cheap.

Will he not do the required work that it will, no doubt, take to win Bündchen’s fated hand?

Will he sacrifice his stingy for love?

More on his discounting surfboards and curb stomping domestic producers tomorrow but until then…

…no more candles. Send money to Bündchen’s legal fund instead.

Chapter 21:

Surf fans who have spent the better part of the past two months lighting candles, setting them on windowsills, hoping, dreaming, consulting with various seers and tea leaf readers became extremely depressed weeks ago. The reason? Gisele Bündchen had not instantly taken up with onetime flame Kelly Slater in the aftermath of her breakup with Tom Brady both rather a jiu-jitsu instructor.

Though the world’s greatest surfer wears a purple belt (disputed), the Brazilian supermodel seems to have opted for Joaquim Valente who teaches the art of strangulation and dislocation.

All hope lost.

Except.

Former UFC fighter and jiu-jitsu participant Jake Shields, hours ago, dumped Laird Hamilton level ice-water on the potential of Valente and Bündchen lasting long. Per a hot message from Elon Musk’s Twitter, Shields declared, “As someone who’s done jiu-jitsu for over 20 years I can tell you it rarely ends well when guys bring their girls into training. If you’re the toughest guy in the gym it’s probably fine but otherwise don’t do it.”

And whoa.

Whoa!

The notion, I think, is that shame will be rolled onto vinyl mats, the love interest will see a better man et voila.

It makes perfect sense but now image paddling out into the surf with one Kelly Slater. Even at 50, almost 51, years of age the 11x World Champion reigns supreme.

Easy hand jams.

Unsurpassable carving 360s.

All Slater has to do is offer a fun little North Shore shred to Bündchen et really voila.

While you are re-discovering your faith, lighting a fresh Hanukkah candle for the union the world actually needs, I must ask. Have you ever taken a love interest surfing only to be outshined in the water?

Details please.

Postscript:

Gisele Bündchen is, currently, in Brazil’s surf paradise, recharging, while surf fans dreams, and their candles, have all been officially extinguished. If there is one thing Kelly Slater will not do, it is travel to Brazil.

Ever.

The end.


Digital assets. Photo: Surfer magazine

“Tech-powered” media company with alleged naughty CEO loses ever loving mind, purchases defunct Surfer magazine, Men’s Journal for $25 million U.S. dollars!

Butts n boobs for the win?

Now, I am not what would be described a “financial wizard.” But I have shared, with you, the time that I was invited to interview David Petraeus onstage in Miami and some ultra-exclusive moneyman gathering. The conference’s founder loved having a “wild card” at each of his events, thus me, and there I sat in a comfortable chair chatting Middle East business with the general.

Smith (right) and Petraeus having a little discussion.
Smith (right) and Petraeus having a little discussion.

Afterward, mingling with the hundred, or such, millionaires and billionaires, I got to speaking of my own investment strategies with the owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team. He listened, carefully, then said, “You are a unicorn. You get it exactly wrong such a large percentage of the time that you become valuable. Basically whatever you do, I would do the opposite and win.”

Yes, I have rotten instincts and so maybe the just-announced purchase of defunct Surfer magazine, plus the digital assets of Men’s Journal, Skateboarder, Snowboarder and other dribs and drabs from David Pecker’s a360 by “tech powered” media company The Arena Group for an alleged $25 million United States dollars makes all the sense in the world because I think it is stupid.

Per reporting, The Arena Group, which counts more than 240 titles including Sports Illustrated and Parade, the magazine that comes in newspapers that grandmas love, its own.

Ross Levinsohn, Chairman and CEO of The Arena Group, who had a spot of #MeToo trouble, bullishly declared, “For years, consumers have trusted Men’s Journal for exclusive lifestyle content and guidance on travel, gear, the outdoors, style, food & drink, and more. Additionally, the titles within the Adventure Network have long stood for excellence with passionate enthusiasts within the Ski, Surf, Biking, and Skateboarding communities. There are natural synergies between these brands and our existing audiences we can leverage and enhance through integration, distribution, and our playbook, driving incremental value, growth, and profitability. This strategic investment underscores our commitment to diversifying and devoting resources to opportunities where we see the most value across The Arena Group.”

Synergies.

Nice.

Not as nice as vectors, certainly, but still very cool.

A dear friend in the media space said unto me, “Hard to overstate how insane the $25 million figure is given that Men’s Journal was the only title driving any revenue at all and it’s unlikely it was doing more than $8 – $10 million, 90% of which was print and they’re shuttering print.”

Which leaves Surfer.

Was the butts n boobs contest a wild financial success?

Perfect for Levinsohn’s “frat house behavior trail” in any case.