Slater ain't hanging around in Portugal.

Surf world reeling after Kelly Slater threatens retirement following catastrophic showing in Portugal and reveals the death threats in response to his robust Instagram presence, “Literally, I’ll come find you!”

"The social media thing is sad… it's toxic."

Portugal’s Supertubos and its wildly tricky tide affected waves has long been the graveyard of Kelly Slater’s dreams, a loss to wildcard Fred Morais in 2013 scuttled that year’s title run; same thing the following year when Slater destroyed a board after losing to Aritz Aranburu.

A couple of nights back, his dream of swinging out of the spotlight with an Olympic gold at Teahupoo is close to being shuttered after losing to the Brazilian Joao Chianca.

In response to the loss, Slater said, in a roundabout sorta way, thanks for the laughs but I ain’t never coming back to this hellhole again.

Now, in a just-released podcast with Amy Morin of the Verywell Mind Podcast, fifty-one-year-old Slater has spoken of his mental health, the therapy he does with his Chinese girlfriend Kalani, issues he had with his parents, retirement and so on, but also the heavy pushback he gets for his robust social presence.

“Social media can be toxic. I’ve had people wish me death on social media many times for a comment or an opinion, literally I’ll come find you. Almost like scary stuff. And I think those people probably don’t even remember they did that, it’s weird because there’s this separation. You’re not in front of the person. Fifty years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, they could just punch you in the face. Now there’s a paper trail and it turns into this whole thing. It’s like a legal battle, but at the same time people can say whatever they want with no accountability behind that. And so the face-to-face interactions with people are really what should build you up and make you who you are. And I think the social media thing, it’s sad because you see a lot of kids struggling with it. There’s a lot of bullying that goes on. I think there’s a lot of stuff that you don’t see unless you’re really right in these little pockets of people. I hear these stories of kids being bullied in school by other people and then committing suicide and it’s just terrible just because people want to be mean, it’s life’s a struggle for everybody in some capacity. And social media can make it harder.”

The Champ also talks about winning Pipe last year, and which opens season two of Apple TV +’s docuseries Make or Break.

“There’s this one moment in the contest where I should have lost and just in the last moment I end up winning. And that was about, it was just in the third or fourth round of the contest. And that was really the thing that springboarded me into just getting in the flow for this event and ultimately winning it. But I was going through a lot of stuff in my own mind that gets in the way. When you don’t win for a long time. I spent a lot of years winning on average, every fourth event that I surfed for 30 years basically. And then I didn’t win a contest for five years, a couple years I had off for injury and stuff. But still it starts to creep in your mind, I don’t know if I can do this. And just like the opposite when you’re young and you start to win, when you start to get on tour and you start winning some events, you see some of the young guys now, Jack Robinson, Gabe Medina, John John, Felipe Toledo, Griffin Colopinto, all these kids coming up. Once they start winning a few heats and beating the guys that they thought maybe they couldn’t beat at some point when they were younger, the confidence just gets there. You don’t question it. And so there’s a lifeline for all things. And so I was getting to this point where I didn’t know whether I could win again. And I knew I could on paper, I knew I could, but inside you go through your own struggles throughout an event and you have doubts. And even when it was seconds from happening, I was like, I can’t believe this is real. And so the feeling was really, for me, it was really pure and magical like when I was a kid again. And as far as the other episodes throughout the year, I haven’t watched them all, so I couldn’t tell you. But Filipe Toledo had an amazing year last year. He was definitely the standout surfer of the year and he won his first world title and I’m sure they’re going in depth to cover that. And each individual event, somebody’s going through something good and bad. And it’s just interesting to see all those stories that even if you’re not a fan of this sport, even if you don’t surf, there’s a lot of people who’ve been sucked into Formula One through what Box To Box has done and now they’re getting into the golf as well. And I think it’s the individual stories that are compelling for people to learn about. And I think through each of those, if they’re told right, you learn about yourself.”

Gabriel Medina (insert) in the crosshairs. Photo: Everything, Everywhere etc.
Gabriel Medina (insert) in the crosshairs. Photo: Everything, Everywhere etc.

“Chinese Cyclone” threatens to overwhelm “Brazilian Storm” as utopian People’s Republic experiences scintillating surf boom!

Everything, Everywhere, All at Once!

You are, likely, watching day three of the MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro, right now, maybe cheering for Gabriel Medina in his round of thirty-two, heat fifteen matchup against Hawaii’s Seth Moniz. Medina is but one of many excellent surfers who have poured into the champion tour ranks, en masse, during this past decade. The deluge, called the “Brazilian Storm” has gifted us, surf fans, phenomenal talents which to observe and enjoy.

Surfing was erroneously said to arrive in the land of order and progress via Australia though our grand historian Matt Warshaw directly refuted in his weekly must-read newsletter (subscribe here).

A mistake that I genuinely regret is being party to the idea, handed along now for nearly 60 years, that Peter Troy introduced surfing to Brazil. Troy, a tall, lanky, blond-haired blue-eyed surfer from Victoria, Australia, cofounder of the Bells Beach contest, arrived in Rio in the winter of 1964, halfway through an epic four-year surf trip through Europe and the Americas. What happened there, exactly? In a 1968 SURFER profile, Troy was said to have “influenced surfing techniques in Brazil.” In a second profile, from 1987, edited by yours truly, it states without equivocation that Troy was “the first person to surf in Brazil.”

Surfing had, in truth, been introduced to Brazil much earlier but the question, for our time, is when it was introduced to the People’s Republic of China?

The world’s most populous country, some 1.4 billion and counting, has recently fallen in love with the sport of kings, participation booming by large percentages. CNN took important time out from giggling at rival Fox over hypocritical text messages to highlight why those who call the utopia home have taken it up.

“Surfing has been a rising trend in China over the last two years. It’s partly because of the efforts surfers and surf clubs like us have been putting into the scene for the last decade. But it’s also because of the pandemic,” surf club owner Zhang Chao told the news network. “As outdoor activities are preferred (amid Covid restrictions), many people head to the beach and start surfing… People are also becoming less work-oriented and are looking for an alternative way of life they enjoy.”

“Surfing gives you a sense of freedom because we are always looking at our smartphones and always sitting in the office so our mind is always occupied. So you just bring your surfboard and go to the ocean and you can forget about anything,” yogi and photographer Tina Tang added.

The piece profiles the most serious surf towns including Riyue Bay, Shuanyue Bay, Nanyan Bay, Liu’ao and Shilaoren Beach which leads to the important question “when will the Chinese Cyclone appear on our World Surf League?”

The aforementioned “global home of surfing” does not currently host any competitions in China which seems short sighted. It must be assumed that chiefs Erik Logan and Jessi Miley-Dyer will get on it as soon as their important speaking duties in Austin, Texas are finished.

Many flame emojis.

Also, while you’re here, did you watch the Academy Awards last night?


Live stream! Comment in real time as world title contenders Griffin Colapinto and Gabriel Medina fight for coveted tour leader’s yellow jersey at “wild and deadly” Portugal Pro!

"The forecast is not without promise that we might yet see classic Supertubos before the work is done."

A photo that shows the stark contrast between the poor sons o' bitches crawling over each other to get to the US and the breezy life of the Southern California surfer, hooded and ready to shred despite the haunting scenes. | Photo: OneSceneTV

Haunting scenes at iconic Californian surf spot Blacks as multiple bodies found following boat collision that killed at least eight, “Men and women washed up on shore for several hours”

"This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies in California."

The dangers of human trafficking came into relief for San Diego surfers this morning when multiple bodies were found washed ashore at Blacks following a mid-sea collision between two boats carrying at least eighteen migrants.

The San Diego Herald-Tribune reported,

Officials were alerted to the incident when a Spanish-speaking woman called 911 around 11:30 p.m. asking for help. She said two boats were near Black’s Beach, one with eight people on board and a second with somewhere between eight and 15 people.

Seven migrants still missing after mid-sea boat collision.

She told dispatchers the one she was on had made it to shore while the other had capsized and people were in the water.

“This is one of the worst maritime smuggling tragedies that I can think of in California, and certainly here in the city,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Lifeguard Chief James Gartland said.

In a statement the Consulate General of Mexico said,

“(We)  lament the maritime tragedy that occurred this morning near La Jolla. We are working to identify people of Mexican origin and assist their families.”

John John Florence reveals “dark side of winning world titles” in candid interview with powerlifting Only Fans sex bomb and scion of North Shore strongman, “I was sitting by the toilet, throwing up!”

"After my first world title, the first couple of months, I was really down. I didn’t know how to deal with it."

It’s rare, let’s admit, the interview with John John Florence where the two-time world champion looks at ease with the transaction of exposure for candour.

But who don’t loosen up alongside family and lifelong friends?

In the latest podcast episode from Koa Rothman and Nathan Florence, we find thirty-year-old John twitching and jerking wildly without his usual fetters.

The handsome son of Eddie Rothman, the boy with the sunny brown curls and slow-twitch muscle fibres, asks John about world titles and John talks about the wild build-up and the swift crash.

“The first one, it’s all you’ve wanted your entire life. After my first world title, the first couple of months, I was really down. Now what do I do? I didn’t know how to deal with it,” says John. “It’s such a hard thing, you build it all up to this moment, I’ll be happy, I’ll be set, it happens and, it’s a five second thing. You wake up the next morning and everything resets again.”

How do you find the motivation to hit it a second time? asks Rothman.

In a response that will resonate with drug users, John says it’s impossible to recreate the original high and that “if the first one didn’t make me happy, maybe the next one will make my life happy. You get stuck chasing it and chasing it.”

In another anecdote, which is very good, John talks of being violently ill before the Sunset Beach contest, spending the night prior barfing, and then giving up on a wave mid takeoff in his second heat and being pinned, sideways, to the famous reef, board wedged between his legs etc.