Legendary surf photographer delivers wild backhanded compliment to LGBTQ+ big-wave world champ, “Imagine going on all the waves she’s attempted… knowing there’s zero to one percent chance of making it”

"Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” 

Four days ago, handkerchiefs were moistened when the forty-four-year-old big-wave champ and LGBTQ+ icon Keala Kennelly hinted she was done with the pro surfing game after suffering one of the worst wipeouts of The Eddie Invitational.

“My entire surfing career has been about pushing the limits in women’s surfing. This is what pushing your limits looks like, it isn’t always pretty but the ones that I’ve had in my career where I went #fullsend and was successful were incredible. This might be my last #send. My body can’t take this shit anymore…I hope you enjoyed the show.”

A 2011 visit to Teahupoo ended with a trip to the emergency room in Papeete to remove pieces of coral embedded in her face and to insert a subsequent forty stitches. Kennelly described as like having a car accident.

In 2020, Kennelly was awarded wipeout of the year at the Red Bull Big Wave Awards following a parachute jump at Jaws that still gives the viewer a little shiver.

It speaks volumes that Kennelly, who famously won her world crown despite not making a takeoff on her two waves in the one-day title decider, paddled out on a day at Waimea so heavy former Eddie winner and greatest surfer of all time Kelly Slater stayed on the beach and handed his spot to lifeguard Chris Owens.

Keala does send it.

And, now, the former photo editor of Surfing Magazine Jimmy Wilson, a man who once stiffed me so hard on a tour rumour about John John Florence I was subsequently forced to double-check the veracity of every rumour hence, has delivered the wildest of backhanded compliments.

“Is Keala Kennelly the most psycho charger of all time?” tweeted Wilson. “Skill:Send ratio is out of this world. Imagine going on all the waves she’s attempted, knowing in the back your mind, there’s a 0-1% chance of making it.”

There’s something very Atticus Finch about Kennelly. 

Finch, the white lawyer in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, delivers a wonderful speech about courage to his bro when he takes on the futile task of defending a black man wrongly accused of rape (this was before #believeallwomen).

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” 

The antithesis of Kennelly, I suppose, is the current men’s world champ Filipe Toledo whose preternatural skill would see him through anything the ocean throws at him, but still, even after all the silly barbs and skewed looks and talk of asterisks next to his name, Filly Don’t Go.

A little hypothetical for y’all.

If magic existed and you could possess the bravery and chutzpah of Keala or the small-wave skills of Filipe, what would your choose and why?

World Surf League (center) wonders where the love went. Photo: House of Gucci
World Surf League (center) wonders where the love went. Photo: House of Gucci

Blood Feud: Official forecasting partner of World Surf League savagely snubs Pro Pipeline after tasting its own dizzying success with “best day in surfing history!”

Where has the love gone?

Today is the very first day of professional surfing, at its highest level, for 2023 though you’d be hard pressed to know it if you were lallygagging at Surfline. The official forecasting partner of the World Surf League, usually gratingly effusive before Championship Tour events, is entirely silent. Not one slide referencing the Billabong Pro Pipeline, not one sidebar mentioning that its window is now open, no photographs of Kelly Slater doing this…

Or this…


A Google search for “Surfline Billabong Pro Pipeline forecast for 2023” will turn up Surfline’s 2022’s call plus Swellnet’s current one. And a trip to Surfline’s Pipeline section has not been updated (at 9:13 am Pacific Standard time of writing), declaring the surf to be 8-12ft “poor to fair” with Sunday’s outlook “poor quality overall — jumbled, mixed-up surf and with onshore wind. Cleaner for leeward areas of the island.”

And what sort of snub is this?

Which manner of savagery?

Could it be that after staging the “best day in surfing history” Surfline has seen the future and that it should be the “global home of surfing” as opposed to Santa Monica?

As you recall, Surfline was responsible for The Eddie and its memory is still lingering. The aforementioned slides not referencing the Pro Pipeline at Surfline.com are stocked with Eddie nostalgia, the sidebars selling women’s underwear.

All causing surf fans to wonder.

Is there a coup underway?

And if yes, would you prefer Surfline or the World Surf League as stewards of this sport of kings?

Much to ponder.

Don't give others the ghoulish joy of you missing the cut!

Twelve hours until trading closes on world’s richest and most cold-blooded surf fantasy league, “What if you could control your own destiny? Bend reality to your will?”

"Forecast for Pipe looks shit. Good luck everyone, get ready for a bloodbath."

You ever had a dream?

Ever spun the roulette wheel?

Dropped your business card in a raffle, your keys in the ol swinger’s bowl?

What if you could control your own destiny? Bend reality to your will.

I’m talking about our little creation, the anti-Fantasy game called Surfival League. It’s not a game of chance. It’s simple but requires a deft hand.

All you gotta do is pick one surfer to make it past the Round of 32.

If they advance, you advance.

You can’t pick the same surfer twice.

If you can do this better than everyone else over the course of the season, you will get the spoils.

Spoils? Yeah. Unlike Fantasy Surfer, we’re giving $5,000 and three PANDA surfboards to the winner.


What would you do with the money?

Surf trip?


First tranny three-way?

The possibilities are endless (up to $5k)

Here’s the catch.

Surfival League registrations close in less than a dozen hours.

Join your fellow BeachGritters, former World Champs, surf dorks and industry insiders in the fun.

Sign up and pay $20 before Sunday Jan 29 8 am PST for a chance at the dream.

Pipeline waiting period starts tomoz but be warned, the surf forecast is rough or in the words of Santa Babs surf photographer Seth de Roulet,

“Forecast looks shit. Good luck everyone, get ready for a bloodbath.”

Wounded toe and bruise. | Photo: Yahoo/Letícia Dornelas

Bloodbath at lawless Australian surf spot The Pass as woman suffers horrific injury following collision with “insincere” surfer, “It’s like there are no rules out there sometimes!”

“I almost broke his board to be honest, I got so furious.” 

A Brazilian woman has lambasted the lawlessness of Australia’s lineups following a bloody collision with another surfer she describes as “sarcastic” and “insincere” at Byron Bay’s The Pass. 

Letícia Dornelas, who is twenty-four and a surf veteran of six years, told Yahoo News she had “excitedly” gone for a surf at The Pass to celebrate a pal’s birthday when the man stole her first wave of the day.

“I thought he was actually going to get out of the way but he looked at me and the way he jumped, it was like he was throwing his board toward my direction,” she said. 

After questioning the wave thief, the man responded in a “sarcastic” manner, said Dornelas, and that his apology was “insincere”.

Dornelas, who suffered a cut toe in the melee, says she swam to shore where a couple helped her dress the wound. When the man came out of the water she says she was so heat up, “I almost broke his board to be honest, I got so furious.” 

Medical treatment, x-rays etc, cost the Brazilian $400 although, this being Australia, she was covered by the country’s healthcare system. 

Dornelas says she went to the press ‘cause she wanted to warn others of the lawlessness in the surf and to care for each other out there. 

“It’s like there are no rules out there sometimes” she said.

This episode has echoes, if you’ll cast your mind back two years, to when a VAL was “verbally and physically assaulted by a guy with a dark green mini-man with dark short cut hair and moustache in black boards” at the same spot.

I followed surf etiquette (been surfing since I was 12) and did not hear any ‘yep!’ or other call on the wave definitely couldn’t see anyone else already on it on the inside or outside. The person who was paddling for the wave on the wave ontnhe inside gave up so I went for it. at the last minute this guys came across the front of my board from the outside to block me from a wave crushing my hand. I said ‘wtf dude’ in shock at what had just happened.

He then repeatedly tried to fight me by asking if I ‘wanted a go bro’ and rammed his board into mine second time creating a large dent on the bottom of my board the size of a breakfast bowl.

I was extremely confused and in shock. I had no idea where this guy came from or why he hadn’t called the wave as is normal if you can see another in front of you. I apologised even though I really did not think I was the one that had been in the wrong but he was too busy yelling over me to fight him..

I’ve never experienced this level of aggression or violence in or out of the surf ever.. and I grew up on the beach! Usually there are grumpy remarks and some apologies but it’s water off a ducks back and people would rather enjoy surfing.

Threatening another with violence is a crime and just sad way to be human. That anyone would consider that a way to interact with a stranger in any circumstances is fucked.

If anyone has had similar experiences at the pass I’d like to here from you. I’ll be making a police report because my property was damaged (board) and I was assaulted. I would suggest anyone who is assaulted make a police report so that the police are in a better position to act on this recurring crime.

UPDATE: in 20 mins you can clearly see from the comments and thier likes that some older white men are justifying or normalising the behavior. Women and parents have been sharing their experiences and mostly condemning the behavior.

Do you condemn or normalise?

Do you, or have you, surfed The Pass? And why?

Cunt of a joint, as we say in France.


Bündchen in previous Chanel campaign. Slater (insert) beside himself. Photo: Chanel

Brazilian bombshell Gisele Bünchen sets wicked thirst trap for surf great Kelly Slater as Pro Pipeline set to kick off!

Country über alles.

Kelly Slater’s head, and heart, should be one place, and one place only, at this very moment. Defending his crown as the oldest living person to win the Pro Pipeline surf contest that is set to get underway on Oahu’s fabled North Shore in mere hours. The 11x World Champion, now 51-years-young, stunned sports fans everywhere when he won the event at 50. The victory kept him above the mid-season cut line and here he is again.


Alas, maybe not for according to Page Six, Slater’s newly single ex-girlfriend Gisele Bündchen is currently partaking in a very seductive photo shoot in a “plunging Versace swimsuit.”


It must be noted that Bündchen, recently divorced from Tom Brady, and Slater were rumored for surf fans to want them to get back together toward the end of last year. It also must be noted that she is Brazilian as are 2023 Championship Tour favorites Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira, Miguel and Sammy Pupo etc.

Did she just set a wicked thirst trap for our elder statesman to trip and fall right into?

Country über alles?

Who could have ever thought our candle lighting might have led to this?

Pure voodoo.