Despite, as we all know, his happy place being the kind of waves we all want to see at Pipeline, Jack can summon the fortitude to win in those that no-one wants to watch. Is that not three victories where Finals Day has taken place in terrible conditions? Margaret River and G-Land last year, and Pipe today? That’s World Champion material. | Photo: WSL

Australian child prodigy Jack Robinson early favourite for world surfing title, “Is that not three victories in terrible conditions? Margaret River and G-Land last year and Pipe today? That’s World Champion material!”

"If we ignore Trestles, of course. And I plan to, for as long as possible."

That’s the difference, isn’t it? Between men like us and men like Jack Robinson, I mean.

And I don’t mean the Brazilian model wife. Or the lucrative sponsorships. Or even the ability to hurl himself over the ledge at waves that would shatter mortal men.

I mean the ability to keep going, to endure, to battle through objectively terrible conditions when the will of others is crumbling around you.

The quality of being “grindy”, in WSL-speak.

Liam O’Brien is a grinder, so said Kaipo. He was absolutely sure of it, too. It was a strangely certain assertion just three heats into O’Brien’s career at this level.

I’m not sure I’d like to be known as a grinder, or being grindy. It sounds a bit like a sexual threat.

But endurance and doggedness are the qualities I do admire, and those I like to explore in myself.

I’ve done my time with discomfort and pain. It’s mostly why I run, I think. I like to suffer the vagaries of weather and explore the limits of physical resilience. It’s all preparation for any given doomsday scenario, apart from anything else.

I can be dogged with other things, too. If there’s a problem needing fixing I’ll be terrier-like until it’s sorted. Chainsaw not running, van broken down, spreadsheet formulae not functioning, axle broken off monster truck that’s been thrown down the stairs…

But what I can’t endure, what I alluded to yesterday, is dullness.

Jack Robinson surely can. Despite, as we all know, his happy place being the kind of waves we all want to see at Pipeline, he can summon the fortitude to win in those that no-one wants to watch.

Is that not three victories where Finals Day has taken place in terrible conditions? Margaret River and G-Land last year, and Pipe today?

That’s World Champion material.

(If we ignore Trestles, of course. And I plan to, for as long as possible.)

You’ll forgive me if I spare you the Xs and Os today. Heat totals speak for themselves, including the final itself where neither Fioravanti nor Robinson could break ten points.

Not even John Florence could make a silk purse out of what was on offer. His 19.33 heat total from yesterday remains a masterful blip. The WSL should thank him for glossing over so much mediocrity.

The frustrating thing for me is that we can’t even blame the WSL for this one. The event window just didn’t deliver, and this was all the more painful in context of last year.

Ross Williams did mention something early on about “taking advantage of these conditions.” An odd statement, I thought, but no more than we’re used to.

It was somewhere around the appearance of Richie Porta’s head, an event I’ve grown to love. What is his actual role these days? Is he employed by the WSL?

I hope he is. I hope he has a fancy WSL title.

The Judge Of Christmas Past.

Chief Of Judge’s Humanity.

Richie told us they were still looking for barrels today. There was only one of note.

To the surprise of no-one, the best wave of the day was bequeathed on Caio. The 9.00 awarded was by far the best score and highlight of the day.

I was sure I heard a voice.

“That’s your lot, son,” it whispered in the ether.

I wasn’t sure if it was meant for Caio or me.

Ibelli would go on to lose his semi against Leo, but in the very next heat my world came tumbling down.

I’d bet heavily on Toledo in this event. Something I never normally do, but his odds were just irresistible. All I needed was for him to win that semi against Chianca. After that it would’ve been gravy.

For my money, he was the better surfer. Chianca had a couple of nice turns (literally two) but Filipe was more dynamic, yet unrewarded.

Such is life.

On the beach, when asked who he’d prefer to surf against next, Chianca said he thought he might have a rivalry with John, and that he had “a really competitive atmosphere with Jack inside the Volcom house.”

It was a welcome departure from the typical vanilla response to this question, normally something along the lines of “Oh, I don’t really mind, everyone’s a really great surfer, I’m just out here having fun etc etc…”

We see you, Joao.

Somewhere around this time I started to question my life choices.

Is this not self-flagellation of the highest order? I stay up all night watching pro surfing in objectively poor conditions. Lack of sleep and time impairs my family life and my job. (I’ve got sixty school reports incomplete with a deadline of yesterday, you know.) I enjoy the writing, obviously, and there’s financial recompense. But I’ve burned all that and much more in pursuit of…what?

“That’s your lot, son,” the discombobulated voice breathed again.

I stood up, wobbled a little, then sat down again.

The waves on screen blurred.

Someone in the peripheries of this confusing soundscape said “spicy”. But it might have been sendy or grindy.

The voice spoke again.

I chose to ignore it and continued my descent into the abyss.

I’ll be back in time for Sunset.

Luck always turns, right?

Tizi prepares the baby White for feasting with happy spectators!

Sexy “extreme eater” Tizi Jin who thrilled her eight million followers by eating a juvenile Great White shark is fined $20,000 by Chinese authorities, “It may look vicious, but its meat is truly very tender!”

Spectators watched as Tizi laid down beside the Great White to illustrate its size, sliced it in two, barbecued the tail then boiled the head in a spicy broth!

Six month ago, the sexy food blogger Tizi Jin thrilled her eight-million followers by cooking and eating a juvenile Great White shark, a protected species even in her native China where exotic animals are regularly enjoyed as delicious treats.

In the video posted on Chinese streaming channel Duoyin, we see Tizi collecting the Great White at a fish market in Nanchong, a city in Sichuan Province, although she would reveal in court she ordered the White online for a thousand bucks from Alibaba-owned shopping site Taobao.

Spectators watched as Tizi unwrapped the fish, laid down beside it to illustrate its size, even if small by Great White standards, sliced it in two, barbecued the tail then boiled the head in a “spicy broth.”

The food was shared with the locals, who unanimously praised the rare meat.

“It may look vicious, but its meat is truly super tender,” said Tizi.

Suspicions were raised when Tizi said she got the animal legally, farm bred, which don’t happen, cause nobody can keep a White in captivity longer than a week before they start belting ‘emselves against the wall of a tank.

The local agriculture bureau said Tizi’s farm-bred claim was “inconsistent with the facts.”

DNA testing by authorities determined that, yeah, it was a White and Tizi was hit with a three-and-a-half gee fine for the value of the shark and eighteen g’s in punitive finds.

The merchant who sold the White was arrested last year.

Eating a Great White wasn’t any great pivot away from what Tizi, who is known as an “extreme eater”, usually posts.

Gal will eat ostriches, crocs, whatever she can stuff down her malleable and, dare we say it in these fraught times, pretty little throat.

Jackie Robinson, Pipe Master, world number one.

Breaking: Wild scenes on North Shore as Hawaiian hero Carissa Moore whips Tyler Wright, Australian wunderkind Jack Robinson cracks Leonardo Fioravanti, to take “awkward” Billabong Pro Pipeline crown!

Wild times in pro surfing.

“Spicy” was the World Surf League word of the day. Spicy boards, spicy moves, spicy wind, spicy clouds, spicy meatballs though not, let’s be honest, spicy waves. Small, wind thrashed weirdness. It was no one’s fault, of course, nature gonna nature but, let’s continue our honesty, it was newly installed Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer’s fault.

She needs to swap out her overlarge Gucci aviators and, seriously JMD, I can fashion help you.

Well, it is all over. The 2023 Billabong Pro Pipeline, and season kick-off, in the books.

Of course I will leave all the meat on the bone for JP Currie and his soon-to-come contest wrap but while you are waiting…

John Robinson beat John Florence in the heat of the day, which happened to happen in the semifinals. The waves were truly trashed but those two surfers are so good that they still put on a show. Truly wonderful watching which will be appropriately recapped later.

Carissa Moore, anyhow, beat Tyler Wright in the women’s final and again sits on top of the world, where she should have always been. Her surfing is aging like fine wine. She is set up to win out the year before heading to Lower Trestles and… who knows. Lose to Erik Logan.

Damn the WSL.

And Leonardo Fioravanti. He arrived too, facing the aforementioned Robinson in the men’s final feat. some of the worst surf I’ve ever seen due an absolutely rotten forecast.


But World Surf League gonna World Surf League and, live, it was one of the most unfortunate finals I have ever witnessed, continuing the theme, Turpel, Abubo, Williams unable to pivot and claiming it “spicy.”

“Sacrificing closeout sections for priority” being the go.

Also “awkward” but used as an affirmative.

So Jack beat Leo and heads into Sunset wearing yellow.






Open Thread: Comment Live on Final’s Day of the Billabong Pro Pipeline where every day takes figurin’ out all over again!

This one's for all the marbles!

Andrew Tate (pictured) liked.
Andrew Tate (pictured) liked.

Surf champion Kelly Slater caught “liking” missives from jailed women hating incel guru Andrew Tate!

Also a little dash of homophobia.

The last few days have not been kind to Kelly Slater. He is in paradise, of course, on Oahu’s fabled North Shore but apparently suffering from illness. Fever etc. And also Yago Dora not to mention FOMO. Yes, his mid morning heat at the Billabong Pro Pipeline was one to forget. Last year saw him shouldered up the beach, whooping and hollering, to hoist the trophy and inspire the AARP set.

This year saw him getting caught inside after a little Backdoor runner only to watch the best waves thus far roll in one after another.

“Not my day,” he woe’d to Strider Wasilewski in the channel afterward.

Maybe it was not his day because instead of tending to his health by sipping a warm ginger tea and going to bed he stayed up a little too late enjoying the collected work of jailed women hater and incel guru Andrew Tate.

The former kickboxer-turned-social media star is most well known for his extreme misogyny that he shares with a robust incel, or involuntarily celibate, fanbase. He has published all sorts of “women belong in the kitchen” thoughts and declares, “You can’t slander me because I will state right now that I am absolutely sexist and I’m absolutely a misogynist, and I have fuck you money and you can’t take that away.”

Well, he is currently in a Romanian jail on human trafficking charges though still communicating with his followers, telling them via Twitter, “I update my will from prison. I will be donating 100 million to start a charity to protect men from false accusations.”

Slater liked that.

And for good measure the 11x world champion also liked a Tweet by rapper Bryson Gray reading, “When will Hollywood realize that normal people don’t want to watch movies with a bunch of gays in it.”

I, personally, enjoy films in which Rupert Everett has a supporting role though haven’t seen one in quite some time. Maybe if Slater would have watched My Best Friend’s Wedding while sipping a warm ginger tea and going to bed early he would still be surfing, on his way to a Pro Pipeline title defense.

Something to think about.