Shock as Vans sacks staff and pulls lucrative sponsorship from iconic US Open of Surfing aka “Super Bowl of Action Sports” after sales fall below one billion dollars for December quarter!

Tears in HB tonight.

After what was apparently a real bad December quarter, nine hundred mill in sales, down nine percent, Vans has pulled its sponsorship from the US Open of Surfing and shown some staff the door.

With the money saved, Vans says they’re gonna “prioritize” their own events instead, including the Vans Pipe Masters, which I enjoyed very much despite no one kissing the sky as promised, and the Duct Tape Festival, a longboarding event.

“This decision allows our brand to lead from the front, across our core brand pillars of Action Sports, Music, Art, and Design,” the company said in a statement to Shop-Eat-Surf, using that nonsensical corporate language that eats up words but says little and serves only to muddy the air.

You’ll remember, or not, I didn’t, Vans took up the sponsorship of the US Open ten years ago after Hurley/Nike pulled out of the event.

VF prez Benno Dorer told analysts,

“On Vans, we clearly have been challenged for some time now. This is predominantly a challenge in the Americas, and it is mostly executional in nature…The number of consumers buying Vans during the last 12 months was up, as was brand advocacy. But many people buy the brand less often, so what we do need to do is to fuel the brand more consistently and give people more reasons to buy more Vans. That is on us. And that’s what we will do.”

Y’don’t have to trawl too deep into a surfer or skater’s wardrobe to find a dirty ol pair of Off the Walls or Authentics, shoes mercifully unchanged in almost fifty years, although that ain’t enough to fuel an empire.

World Surf League roils surf fans following catastrophic “worst day of surfing” and decision to allow biological men to compete against women, “What a horrible week for pro surfing!”

And pressure builds for Kelly Slater’s “trans-only” division…

It ain’t easy being what is loosely called a progressive organisation.

The World Surf League, one of the first sports to deliver equal prize money for men and women, gay pride flags on jerseys etc, has been hit by a fusillade from its own fans following yesterday’s decision to run the women’s quarter finals in two-foot waves, saving today’s vastly better conditions for the men, and its announcement that biological men are officially welcome in the gal’s division if they can tone down the T.

Despite the trans-thing being a bit of a chimera, ain’t no dudes with tits lining up to take on Carissa Moore and co, fans have reacted poorly to the move.

Alongside a benign post of gay icon Tyler Wright riding the one good wave that came through yesterday, fans used the forum to express their dismay at both decisions.

Shaking my head… because on paper, your telling us that women are just a concept… nothing tangible, unique, precious, … just whatever someone wants. Thought #WSL was at least on the best end of corporate-think… but hell… WSL is just #Pfizer / #Amazon of it’s wine business sector. At least some surfers are speaking up!

I as well as many others are quickly losing interest in this league. I hope you all are listening

Very bad call by WSL directors…. this should not of run, bad for the progression of Women’s surfing!!!!

The WSL apparently chose to identify the waves as 12-15ft today. Cuz they can do that now

The wsl: the Woke Shitty League!

62 years old. Never surfed w a trans. Seen many grifters get rich off climate change. First,ice age then warming, many end of the world predictions come and go to whatever. Just be an environmentalist not an activist …please stop the woke crap.

I’m OK with trans “ women”competing in the WSL, as long as i’m allowed to bet! ‘Yes, I would like to put all my money on the 200 pound “lady” with the mustache, ….I got a feeling about her’!!!!

World Transgender League, you have nothing to do with surfing now, its all about politics

It goes on and on, a confected tale of outrage, a little peek into the ongoing culture wars in the west, a bullying left against a reactionary right, facts bent outta shape, everything a “narrative” and so on.

The WSL was broadsided by some of its biggest stars two days ago when the sport’s most inspirational surfer Bethany Hamilton, one-arm etc, recorded a piece to camera damning the WSL’s new policy on trans-women.

Hamilton agreed with Kelly Slater who called for a trans-only div and said she’d boycott events if it went ahead.

“Speak your truth!” wrote Shane Dorian, who was surfing’s best big-wave surfer until former BFF of Mark Zuckerberg Kai Lenny arrived on the scene.

“Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for what you believe. Don’t listen to people who hurl the word transphobic at anyone who’s beliefs don’t align perfectly with theirs. These are complicated problems with no clear solution. Regardless, there are many people who love and support the trans community who agree with you on these issues…Less than 1% of people think this policy reflects fairness. Quite the opposite”

More, much more, as it cums.


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Caio Ibelli, seconds after God interfered with judges' computer panels to send his fav boy through. | Photo: WSL

World’s richest fantasy surf league proves ruthless reputation is no joke as it culls an astonishing sixty-four percent of field after second round of the Billabong Pro Pipeline!

The heaviest losses came from Slater (41% of picks), Barron Mamiya (10%), Kanoa Igarashi (4%), Griffin Colapinto (3%) and Italo Ferreira (1%).

Over a thousand people entered the arena of the Surfival League, their dreams shimmering with thoughts of five-thousand American dollars in cash and three custom PANDA surfboards.

Winner take all.

Surfival League was born, of course, after years of surf fans winning the Surfer or WSL’s fantasy leagues and getting stiffed of prizes.

Three years back, we interviewed Shane Starling, a forty-eight-year-old cycling enthusiast, who picked ten of the eleven event winners that year and his victory came and went entirely unremarked and unacknowledged by the WSL.

The first year of Surfival, a handyman from Colorado won a thousand bucks (world champ CJ Hobgood placed second).

Last year, a butcher from Bondi won three-gees and a three-board quiver from PANDA surfboards.

Rules, real simple.

You pick one surfer, they advance past the Round of 32, and you advance. They don’t, you don’t. Winner take all.

Well, the round of 32 just concluded at Pipe and 64% of the league is out.

Six-hundred and forty players from that initial one thousand, gone. 

Usually 10-25% of the league is gutted after each event. 

This year, the heaviest losses came from Slater (41% of picks), Barron Mamiya (10%), Kanoa Igarashi (4%), Griffin Colapinto (3%) and Italo Ferreira (1%).

Who hath angered the Surfival Gods so?

What’s next for those 64% who are out?

Go back to Fantasy Surfer?

That’s no fun!

The Surfival Gods are cooking up a Loser’s League.

And we’re open to ideas.

Whatcha got?

Stab (pictured) enjoying the Pro Pipeline women's quarterfinals. Photo: Shame
Stab (pictured) enjoying the Pro Pipeline women's quarterfinals. Photo: Shame

Subscription surf blog declares women’s Pro Pipeline quarterfinals to be “worst day of surfing all year” in shameful attempt to deflect attention from own Pipe Masters disaster!


Is there no depth to which Stab will not dig? No shred of dignity it will not gladly untie and pitch into the slimiest of gutters? Apparently not for yesterday the subscription surf blog proudly stood up and declared it the “worst day of competitive surfing in 2023.”

It was, to be fair, objectively, bad.

The women were sent out into their quarterfinal matchup in complete garbage and the sorry affair needs no recap save to say the new Chief of Sport Jessie Miley-Dyer should apologize to both the surfers and BeachGrit Open Thread: Comment Live community and do so in a heartfelt manner.

But those who live in glass houses…

Stab, let us not forget, was responsible for the absolutely, and I really hate to use this word but, retarded re-imagined Pipe Masters that proudly declared the once second jewel of the Triple Crown as “the world’s best air wave” and trickeration would finally receive its long overdue praise. Air play plus turns plus who even knows what else.


It was a pointless shake and, adding insult to injury, there were no airs of note other than the space left with a number of notable names pulling out and generally rotten waves throughout the entire window.

And while it did, officially, happen in 2022 it was a whole awful event.

Not as bad as yesterday but also like winning a heat with a 3.45 total and claiming it like an out of control Kanoa Igarashi.


Open Thread: Comment Live on the Bracket Round of the Billabong Pro Pipeline where irritating fans is the jackpot!

It's go time!