World champions Filipe Toledo and Gabriel Medina whoop it up at La Libertad in El Salvador!

World Surf League accused of being mouthpiece for El Salvador government’s “Sportwashing” of human rights abuses!

Should countries be able to use sporting events as a way to improve their reputation, even if they have a poor human rights record?

El Salvador has been using Sportswashing as a means of improving its international reputation, despite serious human rights abuses perpetrated by its government.

The troubled Central American country of six-million souls has turned to professional surfing, particularly through its partnership with the World Surf League (WSL), to generate positive media coverage and international attention.

The WSL, as you know, casts itself as a real progressive organisation, equality, equity etc, first to throw equal cash at the gals, allow biological men to surf as women, they don’t like plastic and so on.

However, all the good shouldn’t be used to deflect attention from the problematic aspects of the WSL’s partnership with El Sals government.

I would suggest, sponsor cash aside, the WSL has a responsibility to use its platform to promote positive change and to ensure that its events are not used as a tool for government propaganda.

Government abuses in El Salvador have been particularly targeted towards those who are seen as critical of the regime, including journalists, human rights defenders, and members of the opposition.

The government has been accused of using anti-gang operations as a cover for targeted killings of suspected gang members and their families, as well as other individuals who are deemed to be “undesirable” by the government.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least seven journalists were killed in the country between 2019 and 2021. Many more have faced threats, harassment, and intimidation from both criminal gangs and government officials. Critics argue that the WSL should use its platform to speak out on behalf of journalists and human rights defenders who are under threat in the country.

The use of Sportswashing by El Salvador raises important ethical questions about the role of sports in international politics.

Should countries be able to use sporting events as a way to improve their reputation, even if they have a poor human rights record?

And what responsibility do athletes, teams, and governing bodies have to speak out about these issues?

More importantly, do you remember what happened last year in El Salvador when brave Griffin Colapinto stomped eventual world champion Filipe Toledo into the dirty brown water? And Brazilian sports fans threatened grave retribution, including Death to Griff, and boycotts at the following event in Brazil, which never happened?

The Surf City El Salvador Pro runs from June 9 to 18 at La Libertad.

Dino and Kolohe (pictured) with way toward winning.
Dino and Kolohe (pictured) with way toward winning.

Dearly departed surfer reveals “sins of father” responsible for onetime-prodigy Kolohe Andino’s inability to win a single championship tour event!

"Back in the day, when Dino was a hot commodity, I worked at Victory Wetsuits..."

San Clemente’s Kolohe Andino is, without doubt, one of America’s greatest surfing talents. The still-young man, strong and proud, has grown up in the spotlight. Born to a professional surfing father and showing much promise early, a bright future perched easy on his broad shoulders. Andino went on to win more National Scholastic Surfing Association titles in history then burst onto the then-Association of Surfing Professionals ready to conquer the world.

Except… a decade-plus on and he has yet to win a Championship Tour event.

Not one.

Making matters worse, he is currently sitting well below the mid-season cut line with grim prospects of Challenger and Qualifying Series ahead.

What went wrong?

Surf fans have scratched a collective head for years but the answer to the riddle, and its possible solution, was just delivered from beyond the grave.

David Lee Scales and I get together weekly for a chat, as you know, and some fantastic characters who have been part of that ride. One of the most memorable was Drummer Dave. On yesterday’s program, Drummer Dave’s longtime friend The Ripper called in to share that his pal had lost his fight with cancer and was no longer with us. David Lee and I reflected on the laughs, with David Lee providing an old email that Drummer Dave had sent.

“I heard you guys talking about Dino Andino today and it reminded me of an encounter with him,” it began. “I thought I’d share.”

Back in the day, when Dino was a hot commodity, I worked at Victory Wetsuits. I was the shipping guy and the iron on logo guy which by default made me the team wetsuit guy. Back then guys would get paid if they got a pic in a mag showing a logo. So the team guys would come in and get their suits and have me put logos where they thought they could get in a pic. Dino came in to get a suit and while he was waiting for me to do the logos he decided he would just go into the break room fridge and get something to eat and drink. The fridge was in the area that was an employee break room. It had a table with a coffee maker, micro wave, toaster oven, etc., the fridge, time clock, table for eating lunch, and a couch. Well Dino just dug in. All the people that worked in the warehouse were basically Chinese immigrants who worked in the gluing section or the sewing section, and I could see they were getting upset. I tried to tell Dino not to do it but he was just clueless and didn’t seem to get it. I wouldn’t want to accuse him of being high or anything but it wouldn’t surprise me. I told the boss about it and it was just swept under the rug because he was a team rider. It left a bad taste in my mouth for Dino from then on. And actually I find myself not allowing myself to even like Kolohe lol.


But also, a brilliant way forward for Kolohe? A breaking the log jam? I’d imagine all he needs to do is hire a food truck, pull it up in front of a factory where many Chinese laborers work, preferably one that makes wetsuits, and feed them all lunch.


And thank you, Drummer Dave.

Oz in Israel from a few years back and, inset, his Suffolk House, which you can buy.

Surfer-artist-minstrel Ozzie Wright, credited with creating modern hipster movement, lists redundant Byron Bay beach shack “footsteps from beach” with hopes of close to three million dollars!

Seven-thousand square feet of wildly fertile volcanic dirt one hundred footsteps from oft-times epic beachbreaks.

The Australian surfer Ozzie Wright, and musician wife Mylee, have listed their long-time family home in Suffolk Park, a short gambol south of Byron Bay, with hopes of close to three million dollars. 

The four-bedroom, two bathroom joint, with its adjunct studio, at 4 Beachside Drive is on seven-thousand square feet of wildly fertile volcanic dirt one hundred footsteps from oft-times epic beachbreaks.

“Sundrenched outdoor entertaining areas to the front and rear of the block enveloped by established tropical gardens and level lawns offering complete seclusion, there’s even room for a pool!”

Modest as is, unsurprising given the couple’s fleet of young kids, “There is definitely room to put your own mark on this property with a few personal upgrades and fully maximise your asset.”

Oz, who is forty-seven, and whose art and black-jeans-white-shirt approach to beachwear and homemade music inspired the hipster movement in the early 2000’s, ain’t no novice when it comes to buying, selling and renting houses. 

Two years ago, Oz listed for rent the holiday spread he and Mylee bought for $1.5 million in 2019, a dreamy beach shack on a quarter-acre of pristine national park dirt in Broadwater, one hour south of Byron.

Oz and Mylee’s Happy Sun House, is, as per the listing,  “a colourful beach shack perched on top of a hill, looking out to uninterrupted ocean views… A mystical meeting of beach and bush. A cosy and rustic shack not without things we love like, luxury linen sheets and a fully equipped kitchen… A truly blissful beach shack experience. A place where the sun hits the walls in a most beautiful way. An intentional space to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect to your creativity, gently allowing nature to ground down a busy mind.”

Four hundred bucks a night, if you want in, with a fifteen percent discount if you book for a week. A cleaning cost and service fee on top of that. Think three-ish gees for a week in a little slice of Australian heaven.

In 2018, Oz sold his two-storey Narrabeen house built in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright with its notes of Japanese Imperial Hotel, and which he’d owned since 2003 before moving out in 2013 and buying a house in Newport, a few suburbs north. (Later sold for 2.3 million.)

It was in the Narrabeen house, one hundred metres from the famous sandbottom left at 5 Loftus Street, that the surf movie classic Doped Youth was filmed in the summer of 2003-4. The movie, which was conceived and made by Ozzie and Waves editor Adam Blakey, starred Kelly Slater, Tom Carroll, Ozzie, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson and was released as a DVD with the magazine Waves.

Two years later 2015, the pair, with kids, joined the Sydney exodus north to Byron Bay, buying the house in Suffolk Park, which is currently for sale, for $1.15 million.

Logan (pictured) gloating. Photo: Tropic Thunder

World Surf League Chief Erik Logan claps back at “friends” who dared question wild crowd numbers for MEO Rip Curl Pro: “If you want to dispute the fact there was 51,000 people on the beach I’ll offer you this!”

Peak silly goose.

World Surf League Chief of Executives Erik Logan is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Mere days ago, at the end of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, the Oklahoman took to social media with a whopping claim that there were “51,000” souls on the beach to witness Joao Chianca’s maiden Championship Tour victory.

“THE MOMENTUM IS REAL” he exclaimed in all caps.

Well, those watching the broadcast could see many people, two or three thousand, standing on the shore. Five thousand maximum. An insanely far cry from 51,000, pointed out directly by Derek Rielly who penned, “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.”

The “longtime Australian surf journalist” went on to recount absurdist people pumps from Egypt to Washington D.C. before circling back around to Supertubos and the ludicrousness of the 51,000 number.

Logan, mad as hell, not taking it, headed back to social media with a serious clap back.

“To all my ‘friends’ who want to comment and talk about the numbers I’d like to offer this PSA…” he wrote on Instagram Stories. “If you want to dispute the fact that there was 51,000 people on the beach I’ll offer this to you…” and littered an arrow emoji pointing to the next slide.

Mic drop.


A little research, as in first Google hit, will reveal some comparisons.

50,000 every seat full.

And/or a concert.

And/or a different concert.

What a silly goose that Erik Logan remains.

David Lee Scales and I discussed his willful, malignant ignorance today, anyhow, as well as laying rest to a dear old friend.

RIP Drummer Dave and your work in resuscitating Kolohe Andino’s career will echo through… probably not eternity but at least a couple years.

Listen now.

Australian surfer Blake Johnston smashes Guinness world record for longest surf session ever; raises $225,000 for mental health charity, “One minute you feel invincible, the next you’re in tears. It’s like you’ve got short-term bi-polar!”

“Blindness, infected ears, dehydration, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, sharks!"

The Australian surfer Blake Johnson, an early-rising maniac they call Forrest Gump around Cronulla, has just stepped out of the water after stomping the Guinness world record for longest surf session ever, surfing for forty hours straight, catching over 500 waves and raising almost a quarter of a million dollars for charity.

Johnson, who is forty-one, was gonna do an easy six-hundred mile run to Queensland to raise awareness for mental health but, after a little Googling, discovered the world record for longest surf sesh, set by South African Josh Elsin, was only thirty hours, eleven minutes, with 455 waves eaten up. 

“I reckoned I could smash it. I can run for forty hours,” Johnston told me back in December. “And, this way, I can surf with people I like and make a difference.” 

He wants to make a diff ‘cause suicide is something real close to Johnston. His daddy Wayne took his own life ,and when he was a kid riding for Quiksilver one of that company’s most popular employees Andrew Murphy, died at the hands of the black dog. 

“It affected me a lot. I have my own battles, too,” said Johnston. “I’m not nice to myself. I tell myself, ‘You’re hopeless at what you’re doing’. I’m pretty mean. I do these things to prove myself I’m worthy and that’s what my battle is. In those dark moments, I have to tell myself, well, how good is this? My boys (he’s got two of ’em, one with a spectacular mullet) deserve a strong dad.” 

And, so, last night, on the ten-year anniversary of his Dad’s death, Johnston hit a joint called The Alley, a wave next to a breakwall right in town, corporates paying for the thrill of surfing during a world record attempt and to challenge employees with a night surf. 

The money peeled off the corporates goes into raising mental awareness ie, helping to address the plague of suicides, particularly among young men.

I asked Johnston how he deals with the blackest moments during his endurance events, in the middle of the night when there ain’t nothing but your head, the voices.

“Man, you go to places… I’m thinking about making myself proud, my family proud. I put it on myself not to make it a big deal, that people can run further and for longer than I do. But it’s hard to explain. One minute you feel invincible, the next you’re in tears. It’s like you’ve got short-term bi-polar. It’s so up and down. One minute you think you’re killing it, then the next forty k’s feels like it’s going to take four years.” 

Fans cheer on Blakey J at dawn.


Listen, says Johnston, “You don’t have to be a superstar to live a full life. You just gotta make an effort. You gotta go after it.” 

At seven eleven am he broke the previous record of thirty hours and quickly came in and addressed what looked like the whole town.

“Everyone deserves to feel awesome,” he told ’em, before heading out for another ten hours.

The money raised goes to the or youth mental health initiatives with the Chumpy Pullin Foundation. Alex “Chumpy” Pullin was an Australian snowboarder and Olympian who died while spearfishing in 2020, aged thirty-two. 

Johnston wraps up his attempt at five pm today, Sydney time.

Seven hours to go!

Keep donating here.