Looking to buy on Florida's Space Coast? Hit up Cliff, tell 'em your pals at BeachGrit sent ya.

World champion surfer CJ Hobgood launches “Space Coast” real estate team including surfer-specific channel for finding perfect beach house!

You like little waves and rockets? CJ got the beach house for you!

Many years ago, twenty or thereabouts, I met the world champion surfer Clifton Hobgood at a homestay in Teahupoo called Papa Teva. 

I was struck, then, by the depth of his character and good humour despite my relentless barrage of theologically immature attacks.

And, a few years back, when Chas and I ate him up on Dirty Water ol Cliff was in classic form. He talked about the meth dealer who lived three doors down from him in Orlando, the infidelity that stomped his first marriage and why he refused to hide behind a public mask.

“The only way I can understand being free is to totally expose everything about me,” he said. “I want to be free in this world. That’s what fights off the depression, feeling super lonely, feeling what every human feels. I gotta face the unknown.”

How could you not love a man who possessed such candour?

Now, and following his success in surfing, a surf shop, his epic documentary (“And Two If By Sea”) and the clothing brand Salty Crew, Cliff and his wife Cortney have launched their own real estate team, Florida only at this point and specifically the Space Coast. 

“Selling real estate relies heavily on people knowing and trusting you and CJ built up alot of friends and followers in his career as a professional surfer,” says Cortney, “so his transition to becoming a real estate agent was very seamless. I was already selling houses so it just made sense. 

Cliff says he’s got more including selling real estate to surfers specific to their favourite kinda waves.

“I don’t want to give too much away right now, but I have something in the works to really capitalize on the growth of the sport of surfing and helping surfers around the world find a vacation home in a place that suites their surfing. More to come.”

Hard-line Bali governor to ban tourists renting motorbikes and scooters following wild Instagram pranks, multiple deaths and boozy hijinks, “Bali successfully trying to nuke its own tourist industry!”

You know how it is. Y’got a skinful of booze, no helmet, no license, fanging around as if the laws of physics can’t touch you. 

Only three months after becoming a local hero when he exempted Bali’s tourists from Indonesia’s puritanical sex laws that included year-long jail terms if an unmarried person’s sexual energy became such you had no choice but to come, full blast, into a woman, man or beast, the island’s governor has asked the federal government to ban tourists riding scooters and motorbikes. 

Y’see the authorities in Bali ain’t too impressed with how tourists conduct ‘emselves when they get on two wheels.

You know how it is. Y’got a skinful of booze, no helmet, no license, chick or, if late tranny, on the back, fanging around as if the laws of physics can’t touch you. 

The problem of tourists doin’ dumb things on bikes was brought into relief three years when a Russian influencer with five-million followers uploaded two videos of him and his gal launching off of a Balinese jetty on his scooter.

The no-helmet, no-license, fake numberplate thing has also been driving ‘em nuts. 

“So the tourists have to travel using cars from travel agents. They are no longer allowed to use motorbikes or anything that is not from a travel agent,” Bali’s governor Wayan Koster told ABC. 

Pretty wild, yeah? 

Try getting anywhere in Bali in a car and it’ll do your head in although maybe better than losing it when you hit a truck ‘cause you didn’t look when you overtook on that blind corner. 

If you’re Russian or Ukrainian, it gets worse. Koster has asked the government in Jakarta to revoke visas on arrival for ‘em. 

Eighty-five thousand Russians and Ukrainians arrived in Bali in the back half of last year. 

“If they make it hard to get visas for Russians, Ukrainians, we will look for other places to go. South-East Asia is not Indonesia alone. Thailand has beautiful places,” ussian tourist Alexander Ivanov told ABC. “We can move there. It will be a big loss for Indonesia itself.”

Not the worst thing that could happen, I’d suggest.

President of Portugal attends MEO Rip Curl Pro, makes universal face of “person watching competitive professional surfing for the very first time!”

"This isn't real, is it?"

There is much that divides us, seemingly more all the time. Language, left/right positioning, opinion regarding transgendered athletes and their participation in sport which makes the just-wrapped MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro that much more endearing. Oh, the third event on the World Surf League Championship Tour schedule was not without alienation. Absurd crowd size was viciously argued over as well as the commentary value of Jesse Mendes.

One moment, though, united everyone.

Portugal’s President Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa taking in the action, live, from the stands.

While his politics certainly cause some to frown, his face was the universal visage of “person watching competitive professional surfing for the very first time.”

The same face made by grandmas in Chicago, co-workers in London, nieces in Timbuktu and nephews in Shangai.

Squinty eyes, mouth lightly agape, utter confusion spreading from ear to ear.

One silent thought repeating in a mind quickly draining.

“This isn’t real, is it?”

Yes, for one brief and glorious moment, President Rebelo de Sousa was all of our mothers.

Viva Portugal.

Hamilton (pictured) with jeering WSL Chiefs (insert).
Hamilton (pictured) with jeering WSL Chiefs (insert).

Confirmed: World Surf League brass informed championship tour surfer he was not allowed to celebrate Bethany Hamilton on International Women’s Day!

"She doesn't support the WSL and she doesn't support equality."

Portugal is now in the rearview, officially, with the non-alcoholic sparkling cider still drying from winners Joao Chianca and Caitlin Simmers’ fine singlets. The ones dedicated to inspirational women in honor of International Women’s Day which just so happened to fall on the opening day of the MEO Rip Curl Pro window. I cannot recall who Simmers wore, though would have every right to don “Simmers.”

Chianca opted for “Weston-Webb.”

Well, it was rumored, at the start of the event, that Bethany Hamilton’s name would not be allowed due her boycott of the World Surf League over its new inclusive trans policy.

You certainly recall, two months ago, when the World Surf League quietly announced a change allowing for transgender athletes to compete at the highest level of the sport. Hamilton joined a chorus of frustrated voices and in a to-camera piece, declared that she would be boycotting the WSL until the policy was undone.

Even though WSL Chief of Exective Erik Logan said he “respected her views,” her name was mysteriously missing from the long list on celebrated women even though it had been chosen three times the year before.


And now the pettiness has been confirmed. One of the Championship Tour surfers, on the men’s side, requested to wear “Hamilton” but was told he was not allowed. The reason given?

“She doesn’t support the WSL and she doesn’t support equality.”

Hmmm. That doesn’t read overly “respectful,” no?

In related Hamilton news, hours ago she confirmed that she is pregnant with her fourth child. It is yet unclear if the World Surf League will send congratulations or continue trying to scrub her, and her growing family, from history.

“Million man march” and “Tahrir Square” fever engulfs pro surfing as World Surf League quotes wild crowd numbers for Rip Curl Portugal Pro!

WSL in bullish mood as it claims record crowds for Rip Curl Portugal Pro but fans ask, record crowds or record chutzpah?

You and I know, well, we know that crowd estimates are at best a chimera and at worst a bold as brass lie.

If you’ve ever been at a stadium that holds fifty-thousand people you know the immenseness of that number, columns and columns of human beings sitting shoulder to shoulder as far as the eye can see.

But, still, wild crowd numbers are regularly thrown out by event organisers.

In Sydney, organisers of the the annual Mardi Gras parade would claim the fruity float show was viewed by a quarter-of-a-million spectators jamming the streets or five percent of the entire city’s population, a declaration never tested, for obvious reasons.

When the National Park Service, at one-time the go-to agency in the US for estimating crowds, said 450,000 to 600,000 souls went to Louis Farrakhan’s “Million Man March” in 1995 the National of Islam sued ‘em and accused ‘em of racism.

The NPS got out of the crowd counting game soon after.

During the 2011 Egyptian revolution Al Jazeera claimed two million protesters packed Tahrir Square calling for the removal of prez Hosni Mubarak. An expert later estimated it was close to 35k.

You get the picture.

So when the WSL’s CEO Erik Logan quoted 51,000 spectators at Supertubos for the Rip Curl contest, and that number was repeated by commentators Kaipo Guerrero and Petey Mel (1:47:58) , well, a little counting using a drone shot and the sample method where you take a portion of the crowd, count how many are in it and multiply it across the beach, was in order.

See this drone shot?

Finals Day in Portugal. How many souls you count?

Finals Day.

Two thousand people? Max?

How many souls you count?

Maybe the weekend was busier but two thousand percent busier?

The obvious question is

Record crowds or record chutzpah?


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