Slater (high road) Lee (low one). Photo: WSL
Slater (high road) Lee (low one). Photo: WSL

Surf great Kelly Slater thumbs nose at curmudgeonly rock n roller Tommy Lee, informs ex-gal Pamela Anderson that he “looks forward to watching” her new documentary!

A man for all season.

Pipeline, man. I just now wandered over to Surfline, the World Surf League’s official forecast partner, to see how things were looking and the short answer is “not good.” Today is one of the best days of the dwindling waiting period and features smallish waves and lousy winds. It stays that way, or worse, until the 10th and then, mercifully, this 2023 kick-off contest is put out of its misery.

Now, in case you were wondering, last year’s Pro Pipeline was none other than surf great Kelly Slater. The then-almost-fifty-year-old amazed AARPs around the world with his stunning victory, showing everyone that age is only a number. This year, the now-almost fifty-one-year-old will come up against Yago Dora in Heat 10 of the “bracket round” in conditions that will certainly favor the younger Brazilian though he has already proven himself a winner.

Yes, the 11x World Champion took the highest of roads when it came to ex-girlfriend Pamela Anderson’s freshly released documentary Pamela Anderson: A Love Story. In it, she details her tumultuous life. Of course, her love interests are discussed including Kid Rock, Tommy Lee and the the aforementioned Slater.

Reaction, from them, has been mixed.

Lee, though an intermediary, declared that he “could care less” leaving the public confused as to if he actually would care less or simply leave his care where it is.

Slater, high roading, messaged Anderson’s son Brandon saying, “Congrats to you guys. Look forward to watching. :)”


I, myself, watched the documentary as well and found it both informative and moving. Anderson states she was dating Slater when she married Tommy Lee and was, in fact, supposed to be headed to Florida to visit his family but waylaid to Cancun for an impromptu wedding.

What if, though, Slater x Anderson had instead been written in the stars?

Slater Jr. surfing against Sammy Pupo in Heat 8?

The world will never know.

Ethan Wilson with family. Photo: GoFundMe
Ethan Wilson with family. Photo: GoFundMe

Florida firefighter who died while surfing America’s deadliest beach donates organs in “final act of lifesaving generosity toward others.”

True heroism.

New Smyrna Beach, some hour’s drive northeast of Orlando, has dominated the surfing news cycle of late. Just last week it was named the “deadliest beach in America.” According to Travel Lens, “With an overall danger score of 8.14, New Smyrna Beach had more shark attacks than any other beach at 32. This was more than twice as many as any other US beach.” It also ranked high in “surfing fatalities,” one which tragically befell local firefighter Ethan Wilson.

The 33-year-old was out, mid-week, near the jetty when he suffered what is described by local news as a surfing accident and became unresponsive. He was immediately transferred to an intensive care unit where he died days later, leaving behind his wife and infant son.

All unspeakably sad though he kicked off a champ, his wife releasing a statement reading, “In respect of Ethan’s wishes, he will be taken to surgery today to recover his organs to donate to people in need. In true Ethan fashion, his last act as a physical person of this world will be an act of generosity. The hospital staff has already matched some recipients and Ethan will give those recipients the ability to live a full and healthy life.”

True heroism.

Donate to the family here.

Hamilton and Doz.

World Surf League broadsided by surf legends, including Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Bethany Hamilton and its own North Shore water patrol, loudly denouncing new policy allowing trans-women to compete at highest level!

"Speak your truth! Less than 1% of people think this policy reflects fairness."

The world’s most inspirational surfer Bethany Hamilton opened a Pandora’s Box yesterday when she recorded a piece to camera damning the WSL’s new policy on trans-women competing in the gal’s div at the highest level.

The World Surf League has tentatively opened the door to trans-women competing so long as they’ve been a gal for at least twelve months and their hormone levels are real low, although the WSL said it wouldn’t be doing the testing, each athlete suppling their own supporting documents.

“The WSL is working hard to balance equity and fairness and it’s important for a policy to be in place,” the WSL’s newly anointed Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer told adult learner surfer website The Inertia. “We recognize that the policy may need to evolve over time as we get feedback and see new research in the field.”

Hamilton, who was thirteen when a tiger shark took off her arm in a bite “so clean and painless she noticed the sea had turned red before she realised her arm was gone at the shoulder”, said she was speaking for tour surfers who felt muzzled, 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. “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”

Hawaiian legend Kimo Leong, who owns Kanaka Solutions, security for Pipe, the Eddie etc, posted Bethany’s screed with “Let’s hear your Taughts!”

And, the Makaha lifeguard Noland Keaulana, who dramatically abandoned his jetski to save the life of Kala Grace at the Backdoor Shootout a couple of weeks back, posted a simple thumbs down.


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A post shared by Bethany Hamilton (@bethanyhamilton)

How will the WSL respond to the rumblings of mutiny?

Bated breath etc.


In thunderbolt new interview, Olympic gold medallist Carissa Moore reveals she “cried hysterically” and “took a month” to recover from world title defeat to Stephanie Gilmore, “I got the rug swept from underneath me… I was angry!”

"The process is very raw. I'm not gonna lie…I lost the world title after being in the lead all season."

It ain’t news that Carissa Moore owned the 2022 season, wrapping up the title in a normal year even before the usual Hawaiian gun fight.

As you’ll remember, in one of sport’s great comeback stories, Stephanie Gilmore sucked the juice out of the universe to win her eighth world title in one-day event at Lower Trestles, California. 

Gilmore came into Finals Day rated fifth in the world and, according to the format, had to win three consecutive heats to get a shot at the reigning champ Carissa Moore in a best-of-three showdown for the crown. 

And, then, in deteriorating two-to-three-foot surf, Gilmore rode the crumbling little waves in a hypnotically rhythmic manner, for no reason is she regarded as the most stylish surfer on earth, to beat the younger Hawaiian in two straight heats.

For some, including me, the format was an ingenious invention; for others a nightmarish farce.

As Carissa Moore tells it in a new interview, she was furious.

“The process is very raw. I’m not gonna lie…I was angry… It’s not like I picked myself up five minutes later and was, like, okay, let’s go! I lost the world title after being in the lead all season… I got the rug swept from underneath me. It took me, I would say, a solid month to get over that one.”

Moore says she alternated between fury and crying hysterically.

“You’re grieving over this,” she says.

(Although lest we forget the previous year when Moore raced her Cadillac Mayhems along Lowers’ smooth walls with the frenetic energy of a man whose nostril hairs are frosted with coke, winning title five. Not so many complains then etc.)

Kinda interesting that Gilmore ain’t sold on Finals Day either.

“A big part of me still thinks the world champion should be crowned over all the different conditions, surfing is about being able to compete in all different kinds of waves and being successful all through the year.”

Byron Bay, led by ol man Wills, second from left, take the cake!

Maligned surf town described as “a monument to greed wearing a spiritual cloak” shocks fans to win world’s most prestigious teams surfing event!

The format never fails, despite the conditions. The prestige grows.

Fuck, I love the ABB. I’ve written about it before. The Australian Boardriders Battle competition. An annual teams event pitting Aus’s best boardriders clubs in two days of feverish competition. Held in my hometown, at my home break. Newcastle Beach.

It’s one of the best weekends on the local calendar. You might remember my efforts last year. I had good reason to miss finals day. A category 10 hangover saw to it.

But this year I wasn’t in Newy, and was lucky enough to catch the webcast instead.

What a treat it was.

Byron Bay Boardriders, led by former ‘CT stalwart Danny Wills along with Soli Bailey, Dakoda Walters and a few others, took the title in a trademark nailbiter.

It was a classic final. BB came out swinging with eights and nines, leaving fellow finalists Merewether, Avoca, and Snapper Rocks reeling. But with father and daughter combo Josh and Sierra Kerr keeping Snapper on track, solid as a rock Ace Buchan ripping for Avoca and Morgan Ciblic taking control for Merewether it was always going to be tight.

Merewether were brilliant. Down and out two-thirds of the way through the hour long final, languishing in last place. Only for CT-adjacent Phillipa Anderson, sister of Craig, to drop an absolute smoker back into the rocks at Shark Alley. An 8.8 put them right back into first with only five or so minutes remaining.

Each club’s power surfer was required to paddle out, get a wave and make it back to shore and through the gate 50 metres up from the shoreline. Less than a couple of points between all four of them. A flurry of last-minute action action. Boards ditched on the rocks as competitors raced to beat the clock. BB coming out tops, just.

It’s heart pumping stuff. Always is.

Fuck, I love the ABB.

Do you know the format?

Each team has an open. A junior. A woman. An over-35.

One hour, five surfers (one goes twice for a nominated power wave).

Penalties if you don’t get through all of your surfers. Penalties if you don’t make it back up the beach in time. Bonuses if you’re first across the finish line. That’s 4 x 4 surfers per hour long heat. Very little down time. Lots of waves ridden. There’s tactics. Intrigue. Running races.

Every club in Australia worth its salt gets involved. And there’s more than a few. I know of at least five or six qualifying conferences that filter into the final comp. Must be 40 or more clubs in total.

You get father and son combos like the Kerrs. Former elite pros. Up and coming juniors. Core underground rippers. Legions of flag-waving support crews.They’re passionate. Committed. Ready to have fun.

It’s a festival atmosphere set to a backdrop of top tier surfing.

Then chuck in a professional webcast with the likes of Sean Doherty, Vaughan Blakey, Reggae Ellis, and a few women whose names I didn’t catch, doing the call (please let me know who I missed!).

Plus there’s Stace Galbraith doing vox pops with competitors on the beach. Stacy is great. Surely the most tuned in man to Australian surfing. Not afraid to stick a microphone in front of a surfer when they’ve just ran full pace back up the beach after nailing a score. Or lost a heat for their club. Yet they always answer. And it’s all in good spirit.

As a package the commentary is honest. Insightful. More often than not very fucking funny.

The format never fails, despite the conditions. It’s akin to the glory days of the Uncle Toby’s Iron Man broadcasts in the nineties.

Now in its tenth year at Newcastle beach, the prestige of the title continues to grow. As does the surfing level. As does the quality of the production. As does the entire package.

When it’s going to be elevated to the ISA?

The Olympics?

Can you imagine teams USA, Brazil and Australia battling out for medals?

Who would you back?

And to the WSL.

The poor old WSL.

We’re only one month into the year and they’re already running behind Da Hui, da Aikaus and now da ABB and Surfing Australia in terms of overall product quality.

I wouldn’t even know where to start.

But how about this: fuck, I love the ABB.