Fury in “falsely mytho-poetically rhapsodized” Byron Bay as former pro surfer almost killed by leashless longboard, “I nearly bled out on the beach and nearly lost my arm when someone dropped in on me at two-foot Wategos!”

"How do you look your wife in the eye if you've knocked a kid out just because you didn't want to wear a legrope?"

You don’t have to trawl too far into the BeachGrit archives to examine the ongoing debate about leashless longboarders in Byron Bay. 

A couple of months back, an aged care worker and mother of a disabled kid was crippled after she got belted by an out-of-control surf pilot who then criticised her for damaging his board with her bone and tissue. 

And this, from a little further back. 

Now, following the near-death of former professional surfer Matthew Cassidy on the pretty white sand of Wategos Beach after he was belted by a leashless log, there have been renewed calls for hipsters to allow legropes into their retro fantasies. 

“The Pass is full of kids, and I think there have been four incidents outside of mine in the last month or so,” Cassidy told ABC. “How do you look your wife in the eye if you’ve knocked a kid out just because you didn’t want to wear a legrope?”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mathew Cassidy (@qwocka5)

In a poignant message posted to Instagram Cassidy, who is forty-nine, writes,

Two days ago I nearly bled out on the beach and nearly lost my arm when someone dropped in on me out 2ft Watego’s without a legrope.

After an hour on the beach being held together by some absolutely legendary humans I was rushed via ambulance then helicopter to GC where I’m currently awaiting specialist advice.

I want to thank the following
* the people on the beach who followed my instructions on how to fashion a tourniquet and called 000 to get more expert advice. Without you I would have bled out in 5 mins. You somehow kept tourniquets in place for an hour. You saved my life.
* To the people who kept me conscious and focused, thank you. You saved my life.
* To the first responders, the emergency teams, the doctors, the nurses and the specialists, Thank you, you saved my life.
* To my friends who have gone above and beyond for me and my wife, Thank you. You are my life.

And, want a little twist of the ironic?

A legrope used as a tourniquet saved Cassidy’s life.

Slater, bottom right, amid cookers.

World’s greatest athlete Kelly Slater dubbed a “major cooker” or conspiracy theorist as Australian Press slams the surf star for his “bizarre opinions”!

"The rest of the cookers then erupt with mirth at (Slater's) stunning wit."

One year ago the notoriously unrestrained Australian press went after surfing’s greatest ever after he teed off on COVID vaccines on an obscure Instagram account.

“For people saying listen to the doctors,” Slate wrote, “I’m positive I know more about being healthy than 99% of doctors, but I wouldn’t trust me. But most of my covid info comes directly from doctor friends, many of them in disagreement with the official ‘science’.”

He added ominously.

“I had another of many friends have horrible reaction to the vaccine just today. She thought she was dying and fears her quality of life has changed in the past few days for good. My mom also is part of those underreported stats. Other friends have literally died from it. So anyone here shaming people who are affected or concerned does nothing but feed the ego.”

Everyone laughed, press came in swinging, but after recent revelations the vaccines may not have been the miracles they were promised, heart attacks as common as catching a cold, athletes collapsing mid-game, you think the press would be a little sheepish, maybe tone down the rhetoric? 


Earlier today, the Twitter account @KenBerhan, which shares “Oz Cooker News & Views”, a cooker is a conspiracy theorist in the Australian vernacular, ran a clip showing various “cookers” discussing “environmental lockdowns” and “smart cities.”

“Initially I assumed both [former Wimbledon champ Pat Cash and Kelly Slater] were just anti-vax, but it seems they are both much further down the rabbit hole than that, and majorly cooked!”

The Australian press gobbled it up.

This from News.com.au,

The footage begins with Cash griping about emission reduction targets, wildly claiming they were part of a wider “lockdown” conspiracy.

“The environmental lockdowns … are going to be subtle, just like everything else,” Cash begins.

“I live in London, I’m in Melbourne at the moment, but I live in London, and there’s a certain area of a suburb where you cannot drive down for emissions, and people in London will understand this, there’s an emission lockdown.

“There’s been signs for years, low emissions, all this sort of stuff. Now if you go into that area, you drive down that area and you don’t live there, you will get fined … an infringement notice, about 80 pounds so.

“It was never there, it’s there now, they’re starting to implement them bit by bit and that’s how it starts. ‘Oh, we’re looking at the environment in this area to protect the people from the pollution that’s coming out of the cars’.”

Kelly Slater then interjects, saying sarcastically: “Cause wind doesn’t blow? Is that what it is Pat?”, with the rest of the cookers then erupting with mirth at his stunning wit.

“These are the subtle things – so people, be aware of this, so when you go to your council, and they say, ‘oh we’re looking at doing the parking permissions and all this around whatever it happens to be’, be aware that this is how it starts, and it has started already,” Cash concludes.

Another participant then launches into a nonsensical tirade about “15 and 20-minute cities”, which appears to be a reference to a residential urban concept in which most daily needs and services, such as work, shopping, education, health, and leisure, should be located within an easily reachable 15-minute walk or bike ride from any point in the city, which most people would probably agree sounds ideal.

All this, says News, “comes amid a recent explosion in ‘cooker’ activity in Australia.

I ain’t one for conspiracies, although they certainly exist, the Dalai Lama working for the CIA, the same organisation’s MK-ULTRA program, the Gulf of Tonkin and so on.

And so I put to the reader,

How you feeling about cookers given recent revelations about the COVID vaccines, Pfizer, actors playing COVID victims and everything else?

An unfortunate, but innocent, episode or something more sinister?

#1 commentator Laura Enever, main photo, with sexy Hawaiian Kaipo Guerriero inset.

Post-Pipeline World Surf League commentator power rankings!

Who is number 1?

We are underway, the scale has been set and it’s time to power rank our dear commentators after their opening Pro Pipeline salvo. There was good, there was bad, and let us, without further ado, scientifically place them in order.

6) Joe Turpel: Mr. Plastic Fantastic does certainly have his moments. There are times and places where the breezy lilt of his voice fits both mood and action but those times and places are rare and the rest of it is spent completely out of tune with what is happening. The best anecdote happened on final’s day when Strider got caught by a rogue set and drilled to the reef. He explained his ordeal in a cool manner but it would certainly not have felt good, laden with microphone backpack etc. but the best Joe could offer in response was “gotta love it,” all happy like. Same as “he gets back on the ski and resets” after witnessing a shark attack. Turpel needs to find one other speed in order to move out of the basement.

5) Megan Abubo: It must be difficult to have to show up as a commentator rookie, having to jibber-jabber about professional surfing in very rotten conditions for hours and, with that being the case, Megan did not do horribly. She added some important Pipe insight and competitive secrets. The one real problem was when she fell upon the word “spicy” and could not stop saying it. Spicy turns, spicy boards, spicy paddling, spicy snaps, spicy meat-a-balls.

4) Ross Williams: There was once a day when Ross was the gold standard of World Surf League commentating. Low key, professional, intelligent, able to poke little holes in the Wall of Positive Noise without getting canned. He’s still good but hasn’t changed, isn’t bringing anything different to the dance and, thus, feels tired.

3) Strider Wasilewski: Strider in the channel is the one bit of professional surf commentating that might someday be boxed up and preserved in a museum. He is the perfect man for that job, sitting for hours in the drink, providing a different point of view, keeping the energy high. That might be his only chink, really, keeping the energy high when he should just flat out say that it sucks. Like when the women were out for their quarters. A dash of honesty is all he needs to soar.

2) Kaipo Guerrero: JP Currie is wrong on this one. Kaipo is aging like fine wine. His exaggerated pronunciations of any non-english word, his slow enunciation at critical moments, his rubber expressions when the camera heads into the booth. Kaipo knows his surfing, knows the game and also, especially late in the day after conditions grow trash, is not afraid to wink and nod at the beleaguered fan at home. This man is going places.

1) Laura Enever: The top of the pops, though, is without doubt Laura. Her effortless confidence, being cooler than any surfer she interviews, braver than current men’s world champion, smart, witty, wry. She is the whole package and the World Surf League is beyond lucky to have her. The real worry for the fan, I suppose, is that the League takes for granted and some other professional sport or E! TV swoops in a steals her away leaving us bereft.

World Surf League progressive bonafides put to screws as U.S. Open of Surfing home Huntington Beach votes to ban LBGTQ+ flags!

The exact same LBGTQ+ flag that proudly adorns the shoulder of Pro Pipeline runner-up Tyler Wright's jersey.

The World Surf League has officially wrapped up its very first event of the 2023 championship tour season and under an absolute culture war bombardment. Oh sure, things at the Billabong Pro Pipeline went as they went, Carissa Moore and Jack Robinson winning at the end but the attention, from the mainstream, was focused squarely on Bethany Hamilton who took to social media declaring a boycott over a new, progressively inclusive transgender policy.

Headlines around the globe focused on Hamilton’s stance, but you wouldn’t know any of it whilst watching the broadcast. No mention from Kaipo, Joe, Laura or Megan.

Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer keeping her talking points focused on the morning call.

Chief of Executives Erik Logan giving cheeky little behind-the-scenes peeks.

Nothing more.

Now, it could be thought that the powers’ that be would have considered the rule change and believe in it. It might be imagined that someone would have challenged Hamilton’s take, declaring the World Surf League to be a place of liberal idealism where all, regardless of gender identity, are welcome.

But all quiet.

Well, another chance for the World Surf League to brandish its progressive bonafides has just presented itself. Huntington Beach, home to the WSL sanctioned U.S. Open of Surfing has just voted 4 – 3 to ban the LBGTQ+ rainbow flag from flying on any city property.

The exact same LBGTQ+ flag that proudly adorns the shoulder of Pro Pipeline runner-up Tyler Wright’s jersey.

Aaron McCall, who hails from nearby Costa Mesa, is gay and vice chair of the Orange County Young Democrats declared, after the vote, “Those four members of the City Council are trying to give speech that LGBT people are not welcomed, they’re not celebrated and they’re not included. That’s crazy, because Huntington Beach is the people’s beach, Orange County’s beach. That’s where we all go, that’s where we all celebrate our birthdays, celebrate the U.S. Open [of Surfing] and they’re trying for the Olympics. But their stance is saying that their bigotry and their hatred toward the community is more important than the rest of the visitors and residents of Huntington Beach.”

Which brings us right back to the World Surf League. Will it boycott Huntington Beach for upcoming surf contests or abide by the no rainbow policy?

More as the story develops.

Kelly, sad. Photo: WSL
Kelly, sad. Photo: WSL

Surf legend Kelly Slater whipsawed again as it is revealed Pamela Anderson texted Tommy Lee “everyone sucks but us” and “I realize I only had one true love!”

Low, high, low.

Surf legend Kelly Slater has certainly been riding a rollercoaster this past few weeks. Low then high then low once again and you, certainly by now, have either seen Pamela Anderson’s documentary Pamela, A Love Story or read her memoir Love, Pamela. The pinup-turned-television-star has opened up about her life and loves, the aforementioned 11x world champion all over both.

Slater and Anderson dated for a few years, as you know, during the Baywatch years and formed quite a pair. Alas, Mötley Crüe dummer Tommy Lee slipped the notorious love drug ecstasy into the blonde bombshell’s drink right before she was supposed to meet the Pipe Master’s mother and the rest was history.

Lee and Anderson married on the beach after a whirlwind four days, had a personal video tape stolen from a safe, Lee domestic violenced Anderson and they became divorced.

Water under the bridge, though, as Anderson told People magazine that he was the only man she had ever truly loved, in a lead up to publication, leaving Slater out in the cold.

Well, Anderson had a change of heart, as these things go, and then called Slater “her big love, actually,” sending the Floridian’s heart soaring.

Top of the world.

Slater responded by commenting on Anderson’s son’s Instagram that he “looks forward to watching” the documentary in a bit thumb directed at Lee, who had stated he “could care less” about it.

Alas, it appears that rock n roll has beat surfing once more, though, as today we have learned that Anderson has texted Lee that he is, in fact, her one true love as TMZ has obtained screen shots of the exchange.

In the pits.

But do you feel bad for the surf great? Defeated by both Yago Dora and multiple times by Tommy Lee in the same week?

Bad enough to light a candle?

Let’s do it together.