Andre, a happy movie seal, main photo, and the result of a ruckus with a bad seal in Cornwall. | Photo: Inset @walesonline

Surfing legend has leg snapped in two by rogue seal, “I felt my foot hitting the back of my leg. I just started screaming with pain!”

“My mate said he thought my board had snapped because of the sound but then I realised it had been my shin!”

If it ain’t a Great White coming atcha from below, eyes dead, jaws ready to cleave you in two, now it’s jacked seals turning surfers into bottom bitches.

Cornwall’s Nathan Phillips,  “a local surfing legend”, was shredding at Porthleven, one of the best waves around, last Friday when a seal started giving him heat as he paddled back out.

The animal pulled on his leash, whiplashing his board into his stilt, breaking it in two.

Phillips, forty two and standing six-five in high-heels, was then too big to squeeze into the Air Ambulance and was forced to lay in “stinking” water inhaling a “cocktail of antibiotics”.

“I had just been paddling out and something started tugging on my leash,” he told Walesonline. “It kind of freaked me out because I didn’t know what it was. After I worked out that it was a seal and fended it off, it was just playing I think, but a wave then crashed down on me just after at a weird angle and sent my board flying into my shin.

“I remembered my mate saying he thought my board had snapped because of the sound – but then I realised it had been my shin when I felt my foot hitting the back of my leg. I just started screaming with pain, and my mate dragged me onto his board and told me to start paddling back to shore.”

Phillips is in a Devon hozzy awaiting surgery with his leg pinned by a metal frame.

A GoFundMe has been set up etc.

“He’s currently on morphine waiting for surgery so the least we could do would be to set up a page to try and raise some money for him,” said his pal Alec. “Him and his partner are expecting their next child in only a few weeks too, so it’s not the best time.”

As for seals,

“We do get a lot of ’em down here in Cornwall and they do try and play with you or mess about with you a bit sometimes.”

The Great White, still the number one apex predator in the movie kingdom.

Marine biologist reveals gruesome method Orcas use to kill Great White sharks to feed their macabre foie gras addiction, “When you’re underwater you can actually hear the shark ripping and it sounds like velcro!”

"This isn’t just something that they do by mistake. They’re very calculated."

It’s yet another curio of the animal kingdom that Orcas enjoy eating the fatty and delicious hearts and livers of Great White sharks.

In a technical sense, it’s impressive how the Orca gets to their favoured organ. They make a small tear near the liver or heart and suck the son of a bitch out.

The method is as surgical as it is gruesome. 

“When they come in after they’ve debilitated a shark, whether that’s a ‘karate chop’ or ramming, then they tend to try and flip it upside-down, and that induces tonic immobility, and then the shark basically becomes catatonic, and it’ll just lie there,” explains Doctor Ingrid Visser, who founded the Orca Research Trust in 1998.

“And at that stage the Orca will come in, and they’ll typically grab it from the pectoral fin, then they’ll give it a good shake — viciously, violently, very, very hard — and when you’re underwater you can actually hear the shark ripping, and it sounds like Velcro being ripped apart.

“And then they’re going for the liver, and that’s the real thing they’re targeting — it’s the liver that they’re after.”

It’s the heavyweight showdown of the marine kingdom, says Visser. 

“When you look at how an apex predator like an Orca hunts another apex predator, you see that they think about this, this isn’t just something that they do by mistake. They’re very calculated, they’re very cautious, and sometimes even when it’s a sure thing they’ll come in very slowly.”

It’s a surprise to learn that killing a Great White shark isn’t that hard. These peerless, top-of-the-chain tanks are just as vulnerable as the surfers, the swimmers and the scuba divers they’re suddenly killing with unprecedented regularity.

And you can do it! 

Just make a rope lasso. Let the fish swim through the noose and when the rope passes those iconic, collectable, priceless jaws and just before it reaches the dorsal fin, pull tight.

Four, maybe five minutes, and the White is dead. Hanged.

“Get ’em on the hook and they go neanderthal,” says a shark fisherman who wisely prefers anonymity and asks that I don’t reveal his home port. “Use a powerhead and if you hit the wrong spot the spot the shark’s going to take off with half its face blown off. Of course, the lasso method ain’t perfect, either. Use the wrong people and they can get dragged over the side.”

Illegal in most places, of course.

Sexy as anything WSL CEO Erik Logan.

Mystery engulfs World Surf League over sexy CEO who left Oprah Winfrey to head pro surfing, “Who would leave a lucrative, high-visibility job in entertainment to run a failing sports entity with limited demographic appeal?

"How did he get here? Why was he available for hire on such a Keystone Cops project?"

The guard gates opened after a plethora of security protocol. Fingerprints, copy of my ID, vehicle registration and insurance docs, while another guard circled my car looking inside… not exactly a search, but a look see.

Thoroughly vetted, I drove past the small lake toward the home.

A friend of mine had gotten into trouble with a job and she called in a panic for help. The design room I entered was filled with nervous women chatting because they all feared the silence of their minds.

“I bet you don’t have to introduce yourself often, my name is Hippy”.

She had appeared out of a hidden stairway and I reached out my hand to greet her.

“You a Bear fan? We have a big game tonight.”

I was wearing a Chicago Bear hat.

“I loathe the Packers ma’am.”

The next three minutes were surprisingly alert in terms of her sports knowledge.

The rest of the room went quiet, like a vacuum of anxiety.

“If you guys need anything, let Carmen know in the kitchen, thank you for your hard work” was her exit. Crisp as her entrance had been.

The silence was broken once the gaggle was sure that our client had climbed the stairs.

“How did you do that?”

The ladies were in shock that I held a casual conversation with the woman of the house.

“You’ve met her before?” was all they could come up with.

“No, the Mrs has taught her but as you ladies saw, I didn’t mention yoga.”

Nelson Mandela was visiting the home that evening for a private dinner, fundraiser. Big wigs attending to dine and social network. Wealth doesn’t do Fuckbook, but they do expensive meals.

That morning was all I could think about when Chas typed something about Elo and how successful he is or was.

Something just didn’t feel right about it. Sure, he controls OUR sport and is terrible at his job, but how did he get there? More importantly, why was he available for hire on such a Keystone Cops project?

Let’s assume he had some responsibility for Oprah’s programming becoming a monster hit with middle-aged white women. His association with Harpo Productions has always been his pedigree when questioned about his new vocation.

Oprah is ELo’s street cred.

But who would leave an ascending, very lucrative, high-visibility job in entertainment to run a failing sports entity with limited demographic appeal?

He didn’t even surf.

I can’t think of one incentive he could have to make that particular job switch.

The only answer to such a downward career trajectory was he was fired or given the opportunity to step away with dignity.

Nothing else makes sense. No one would trade Oprah for JMD.

Sophie maybe, you ever see her legs?

But Erik appears to be a permanent bachelor, impervious to the charms of Sophie’s feet.

I left the home that day and met a woman walking half-a-dozen dogs, her full-time job. Stunning, she towered over me and I’m 6’1”. Nordic DNA and genetically perfect, yet cold AF personality wise and there was no way I was getting her to smile.

She interrupted me petting the Labs. I do love dogs.

“We have to bathe the pets,” was all she said, humorless.

As I pulled away, I wondered if the poor dogs had to be bathed because I had touched them?

That’s when the dots connected.

The security guards at the party were female… ish.

The huge staff of house keepers were all female. Landscapers, you guessed it, all female (when have you seen female gardeners?).

Was I the only penis on the property?

Heady times.

Why would Elo leave that world to promote such a horrific schedule end at Lowers?

Premier snowboarding event Natural Selection makes absolute mockery of World Surf League on live television!

Do yourself a favor and watch even five minutes.

And this. This is what it looks like when core members of a niche extreme sporting community launch a competitive tour with the goal of pushing boundaries, shattering perceptions, scaring the goodness gracious out of those in rider’s vests, dropping jaws of those watching at home, diluting none of the love, passion, raison d’être.

Natural Selection’s Revelstoke stop showed what is possible in wildest dreams instead of cursed Oklahoma-by-way-of-Oprah-Winfrey-mush.

For those unawares, the aforementioned Natural Selection was Travis Rice’s answer to Olympic snowboarding. Driven by a love of nature and wild backcountry feats, he wanted it to be more honest, closer in spirit to what turned him on rather than halfpipe trick ponying and/or artificial slopestyling.

And now in its third year, after Jackson Hole, Bald Face and Alaska features this Revelstoke business is… mind bending.

A playing field so wide, with so many native features, cliffs, chutes, crazy steep and just plain crazy as to utterly boggle.

To strike fear into the heart of the passive observer and the willing participant alike.

I attended the press/athlete mixer last evening before today’s running, the fact that they allow press and rider to mingle over alcohol, a feat in and of itself, but last evening no athlete was drinking. Terror clawed as Rice had naturally selected the apocalypse. I have, truly, never seen professionals so green in the face, outside Filipe Toledo at Teahupoo.

Jared Elston, the youngest rider and son of a professional surfer, said that he had been studying the course as much as he could (riders are not allowed on until their first run but can examine maps and drone angles) but Rice was the only one of them who had ever ridden anything quite like this.

Mikkel Bang, a viking, wasn’t drinking though I coaxed him into one beer. A proper viking. One beer.

The morning broke, blue sky’d and glorious, but a heavy chill hung in the air. The wife, who has collaborated with Rice for 20 years and was out the door for a sunrise helicopter to the course muttered, “Why did Travis have to pick this. Why couldn’t he have just gone a little more mellow.”

As if to rub everyone’s noses right in it, Rice elected to drop first into the untracked wild. I won’t get into the contest format, here, (though it is better than professional surfing in every way) and there he went, commentators holding breath, drones buzzing. The next four-plus hours featured some of the most stunning extreme sport in history. The best snowboarders in the world getting lost in the trees. The best snowboarders in the world getting hung up mid cliff and having to sort a way off as it would have been virtually impossible to help them. The best snowboarders in the world being forced to push the very boundary of potential, flipping, twisting racing down sheer vertical drop and not for some fake midwest fan, either, but for the core of the core.

For each other.

It was for snowboarders, by snowboarders and it sang.

Oh the women were there too. There was no quarter for them, no easier line or more comfortable conditions, and they made history, from Zoi Sadowski-Synnott to Hight to Kimmy Fasani fresh off beating cancer throwing some of the biggest hammers of the day.

In an alternate universe, World Surf League Chief of Executives Erik Logan and his Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer are headed to Austin, Texas for South by Southwest in order to speak on “Surfing’s Swell of Success and the Business Behind it” and praising themselves on social media for it.

They honestly suck.

President Trump (insert) and Asai-gate. The last interesting event to happen in professional surfing. Photo: Bystander.
President Trump (insert) and Asai-gate. The last interesting event to happen in professional surfing. Photo: Bystander.

Award-winning documentarian likens surfing’s most famous murderer to US ex-President Donald Trump!

"It is now a thing to run for elected office in our society and when you lose to just declare that you won."

Surfing is currently experiencing a vast character deficit. Men or women who slide their boards exceptionally but are also magnetic, polarizing, mildly interesting out of the water. Like Michael Dora, Michael Tomson, Micheal Peterson etc. Mercifully we still have Michael Ho but, unfortunately, the room is seasoned with so much Michael Rodrigues that it is sometimes difficult to taste.

Which makes the just-released four-part documentary series Murph the Surf that much more essential. Award winning director RJ Cutler tells the fascinating tale of Jack Murphy, a champion surfer who stole a very famous jewel, went to jail, came out and was convicted of murdering two women, came back out and preached redemption.

Murphy, though, was also a storyteller very much in love with his own narrative, though not the murder portion. Famous surf podcaster David Lee Scales once interviewed and said he would not want to talk about that bit and/or aggressively steer the conversation away, placing the guilt upon a make-believe fifth man.

Cutler agrees and likens Murphy to one Donald J. Trump in a new interview.

Per Newsweek:

He intended to dominate the conversation and to assert his will, and his desire for the series to be something [positive] which viewers of the series will be clear on. It was very important for him to kind of control the narrative, and he was very committed to that, and he went on [when speaking]. He reminded me of a certain recent president of the United States who I had the experience of meeting a number of times and who also liked to speak a lot, and without a particular interest in other people in a conversation speaking.

Jack is a bit of a Trumpian figure, and I think that this is another instance where you experience that there’s no limit to not only what he’s willing to fabricate as truth, but the fact that he thinks that people will swallow it, perhaps because so much of the truths he’s fabricated, or of the truths he fabricated over his lifetime, were swallowed by so many.

Maybe not the best personality trait but it would be welcome reprieve from cardboard cutouts surfing has now. Michael Pupo? Weary fans turn their lonely eyes to you.