World Surf League CEO Erik Logan (insert) marvels at what a real television show looks like.
World Surf League CEO Erik Logan (insert) marvels at what a real television show looks like.

Television series featuring wild days and sultry nights of North Shore lifeguards and surfers greenlit by Fox!

Introducing Rescue: HI-Surf!

There has been no official announcement, of yet, that Apple Television’s Make or Break has been cancelled though those on the ground in Margaret River have declared there appears to be no cameras or crew filming our World Surf League heroes and heroines.

For his part, World Surf League Chief of Executives Erik Logan continues to be extremely bullish on the “entertainment” side of the business even after shuttering WSL Studios, having Ultimate Surfer ranked “most embarrassing show ever” and getting canceled after one season and now allegedly losing Make or Break.

In a recent sit down with the West Australian in which Logan spoke of “bringing the razzle-dazzle” back to surfing and said, “The real key for us is keeping in mind that the media part of this is the vehicle by which we connect the fans to the sport. That for me is what really excites me.”

“E-Lo,” as he must have insisted on being called for the piece, then hints at a disturbing sensual relationship with Kelly Slater before ending with, “I’m an energy guy and I love just being in the presence of people so I feel the energy of what’s going on. Just walking through the town, listening to the conversation or how people walk around the IGA it’s so fun. It is a surfing community.”

Cool for Logan, but what about the rest of us? Those “non-energy guys” who require surf-based television programing?

Thankfully, we have Fox television.

The network, it is being reported, has sent a straight-to-series order for Rescue: HI-Surf.

According to Deadline:

“Rescue: HI-Surf brings an edge-of-your-seat style to the North Shore of Hawaii, where lifeguards and surfers collide with visceral rescues, great character drama and all-around fun,” said Michael Thorn, President of Scripted Programming, Fox Entertainment. “This new franchise is pure beachfront property for Fox, especially with the powerful auspices of John, Matt and our incredible partners at Warner Bros.”

No mention of the World Surf League.

Thrilling news, in any case, and I do hope producers and writers spend time with Mick O’Brien. Jamie’s father worked for many years as a North Shore lifeguard and has enjoyable stories. Back when I was working on the hit film Who is JOB? I had the pleasure of living with Mick in that famous Pipeline-front house. Mick would wake me up at 3:30 in the morning and make me go fishing with him. We’d drive circles in his boat and drink light beer while he regaled me with tales. If we caught any fish, he’d make me drive with him to Honolulu to sell it at the market. We’d come back home very late and start again the next morning.

An honest life and probably good for at least one episode.

Energy guy.

Tinkerbell and Byron crazies!

Controversial three-time world champion Joel “Tinkerbell” Tudor fires brutal salvo at Byron Bay council’s world-first “hipster surfer” law, “Good job Australia you just invited parking attendants to the lineup!”

“Never in history has a free party been made better by inviting cops!”

The ultra-purist three-time world surfing champion Joel Tudor has fired a brutal salvo at Byron Bay council after its decision to enforce the wearing of legropes by law. 

Following a series of gruesome collisions with untethered surf craft, piloted mostly by hipsters high on the retro-nostalgia beat, Councillor Cate Coorey successfully drove through a motion that puts cops on the beach writing on-the-spot fines of $75 or $1100 if you unsuccessfully challenge the penalty in court. 

“This is not all about being punitive,” said Coorey. “Some have said, ‘surfers are a rebellious community and they won’t support it’, but they nearly all do because they nearly all wear leg ropes,” 

Anyway, Tudor, who is forty-six and nicknamed Tinkerbell, wrote on the epically savage LordsofByronBay Instagram account, 

“Never in history has a free party been made better by inviting cops! Good job Australia you just invited parking attendants to the lineup.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lords of Byron Bay (@lordsofbyronbay)

Although I don’t often agree with Tudor, except, perhaps, on the efficacy of jiujitsu once a fight hits the ground, I second his remarks and find little to recommend giving little men with guns the authority to wade into beach politics.

But maybe not so bad?

As another follower pointed out,

“If you read the council minutes (invigorating) the Legal Counsel comments were “I would anticipate a close to 0% successful prosecution rate on any fine that was court elected”. The whole thing is a farce that is there to distract the public from real issues that face the shire, such as overdevelopment and affordable housing. It will be a gross waste of the courts time, the ratepayers money and a horrible job for the poor soul trying to enforce this silliness.”

Where there's smoke, there's a smoke show.
Where there's smoke, there's a smoke show.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan reveals disturbing sensual relationship with Kelly Slater after 11x champ gifted special wildcard!

"...after Kelly Slater wins a heat and walks up and pinches me, it’s pretty cool."

The dust is now fully settled in Margaret River where Gabriel Medina and Carissa Moore hoisted the trophies at the end of that eponymous championship tour stop and the rankings are set heading into the back half of the season. As you know, underperforming surfers were chopped in Western Australia leaving the twenty-two best-thus-far and one Kelly Slater.

Oh, the world’s greatest surfer, fifty-one, needs no introduction but did not have a good 2023, competitively, and was left sprawled out, neck under guillotine blade alongside Kolohe Andino, Jackson Baker, Zeke Lau, Nat Young and many others.

It was to be the first time the 11x champion would fall off tour and surf fans wondered if he would retire. If he could retire.

Well, the World Surf League tipped its hand, weeks ago, when, under cover of darkness, the rule book was quietly changed to allow wildcard surfers to receive points for performances in championship tour events if they just so happened to be past world champions.


The path was greased for Slater to re-qualify with two average showings and then all but guaranteed when he was gifted a season-long wildcard.

Important for a few reasons. Not only will Florida’s finest remain on tour for the foreseeable future but, instantly, he is much closer to Olympic glory.

The mid-season cut, you see, was extra harsh to Americans, decapitating most. Griffin Colapinto is certainly in the driver’s seat, currently fourth, and John John Florence also looking sharp, hovering at sixth. Below him, and in the qualification chase, Barron Mamiya, Seth Moniz and Ian Gentil. Fine surfers all, but in no way dominant.

With the rules changed allowing Slater to continue, might a few more be changed allowing him to realize his Olympic dream?

Slippery slope etc.

But why all this bending over for the GOAT?

Certainly he is a great draw, historically meaningful etc. but more disturbing reasons may be in play.

Sensual reasons.

For in a just-released interview with the West Australian, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan let a small cat out of a smaller bag.

“Every event I go to, I’ll be in the locker room, I’ll be at the stairs, in Tahiti I was in the channel,” the Oklahoman told the broadsheet. “To be on the stairs after Kelly Slater wins a heat and walks up and pinches me, it’s pretty cool. I love being around it and I’m a fan, I don’t know what else to tell you.”

To be on the stairs after Kelly Slater wins a heat and walks up and pinches me, it’s pretty cool?

Pinches me?

Pretty cool?

Locker room?


Read the rest of how Logan is bringing the “razzle-dazzle” to surfing here.

Medina (pictured) back on top of the world. Photo: WSL
Medina (pictured) back on top of the world. Photo: WSL

Three-time world champion Gabriel Medina reasserts brute dominance over professional surfing with redemptive win at Margaret River!

For my money, there was no greater inevitability in pro sports than this comeback.

In life and in surfing, you might find perfect moments, but it’s our flaws that keep us going. Absolute, lasting perfection is a goal best left in the abstract.

Because once you get there, where’s left to go?

If there’s meaning to life, or surfing, it lies in the chase.

As we career towards a future where supreme intelligence is no longer human, and our very existence is uncertain, this chase is more vital than ever, because it binds us to humanity.

Hold tightly to your love, because it’s a uniquely human thing. But also cherish your losses, your tragic errors and your deepest flaws. These give us purpose.

Our weaknesses are agnostic to culture, or race, or gender. Our frailties trace vital lines of communication. We are comforted by the fact that others share them, but equally joyous in seeing people overcome them.

And in the perfect moments when flaws are vanquished, that’s where we find the greatest joy. Moments that become bubbles, where all of life’s grind and tragedy is temporarily suspended.

These moments are found in surfing, perhaps in something as simple as an exited barrel or single turn for most of us.

But for the men who’ve given their lives to the art of performance surfing, these moments come in victory over other men like them.

Any one of the four who made the semi-finals at Margaret River would have been a worthy winner, and all were worthy adversaries. Yet each have their flaws, some briefly conquered, others revealed.

For Joao Chianca, still the number one rated surfer in the world, his emotions are his weakness, a fact he noted. He approaches his fellow competitors like prey. A heat with Joao Chianca is like a crocodile’s death roll.

We might easily view this as his major strength, even if he thinks he doesn’t always get the balance right. “Cold blood, warm heart”, he stated as his aim. It was a perfect analogy for elite sports. It sounded too good to be original rather than something he’d heard on a podcast, but if it was his own turn of phrase then it should become both his catchphrase and guiding principle, and I’d expect others to steal it.

Chianca may be emerging as a far more cerebral athlete than first imagined, a fact alluded to by Britt Merrick on Ain’t That Swell recently. Chianca understood surfboard design, he said, on a deep level.

Regardless, he lost to Medina today, in a match-up I hope to see much more of, if only to watch them paddle off the contest site in order to establish priority, foaming at the mouth.

Medina is still the alpha, but Chianca is undeterred.

Until the semi-final loss to Colapinto, John Florence was more or less flawless.

The idea of Florence having flaws at all will be antithetical to most people, but if he does, it’s the inability to compromise his surfing to fit the confines of a heat. Florence knows no other way to approach a wave like Margaret River than with sheer, poetic violence.

It’s served him well, amassing forty-something excellent wave scores in the years he’s competed here. Contrast this with the next highest which is Jordy Smith with fifteen. One of those rare WSL stats that’s actually interesting.

The approach had also served him well until, quite ironically, he tried to address his often flawed approach to heat surfing by aiming for mid-range scores early rather than waiting for the best waves and terminating them. It was a tactic he based on the previous heat, and on many other days he would’ve been right. Today he wasn’t wrong, just unlucky.

The luck was on Colapinto’s side. It came first in a highly juiced 8.50, which I haven’t watched again but caused some ire from fans in the comment section. And it came second in being perfectly positioned for one of the waves of the day, ridden, to Colapinto’s credit, with the sort of speed and grace that warranted the nine points he was awarded. Few complaints about that one.

Florence was the best surfer of the entire competition, but Colapinto won that heat. So goes pro surfing.

The flaws in Griffin Colapinto’s game this year are increasingly hard to spot. He’s stylish, well-rounded, his head-game seems on point, and most importantly, he seems to have remarkable composure and belief that allows him to do his best surfing in a vest.

He elevates to a slightly higher level with each event, and firmly belongs in world title conversations alongside the likes of Robinson, Medina and Toledo.

But it was Medina who took the Margaret River title for 2023 in a dominant final where he threw away more points than Colapinto could amass. It was a performance reminiscent of the past, and if you ask his most ardent fans, myself included, it might just foreshadow the second coming we’ve never doubted.

It was Gabriel Medina’s first victory since coming back at this point last season, and the first result better than ninth this year. His hiatus from the competition landscape was due to the breakdown of his marriage and damage to his relationships with his mother and stepfather.

Medina’s flaws have always been personal, not professional.

When it comes to pro surfing, Medina is Him.

We know this, his competitors know this, and he knows this. Testament to his dedication to gym work, Medina muscled his way through the warbles better than anyone, manhandling converging sections of whitewater at Main Break and staying on his feet where others could not. It was not just poise and timing that carried him to victory, but sheer physicality.

Perhaps his personal problems have strengthened his resolve to reassert his dominance, his love of winning the key to his redemption.

God knows, we all have something to run to, for better or worse.

The flawed gamblers among us were surely rewarded by this return to form. Medina’s odds had been steadily lengthening with each ninth place finish. But for my money, there was no greater inevitability in pro sports than this comeback.

And so we roll onto the maligned Surf Ranch, where the major fault is faultlessness. We don’t enjoy waves of mechanical perfection. It’s unnatural. It’s inhuman.

But cast your eye over the current top seven surfers in the world, as well as some of the talented outliers. Only five of these men can make the cut off for Trestles, and right now I couldn’t pick them with head nor heart.

The Surf Ranch might not be your favourite Tour stop, neither is it mine. But at least the waves are assured, and my sleeping patterns can be planned.

More importantly, there’s no-where to hide in the baking heat of Lemmore.

After all, if the canvas is perfect, the flaws of the artist are revealed.

Child stars at top of the world. Photo: WSL
Child stars at top of the world. Photo: WSL

Two-time champ Tyler Wright stuns, delights fans by dragging heavy emotional baggage of child stardom to World Surf League’s highest peak!

"I really like what I'm doing at the moment."

The Margaret River Pro what with its mid-season cull, its wild and wooly waves, its happy, wine soaked locals is now officially in the books and wow. What a time. JP Currie will certainly recap the men’s side soon but the girls thrilled equally much, Carissa Moore taking down Bronte Macaulay in her semi, Tyler Wright dispatching Caroline Marks in hers, then meeting for the twelfth time in the final.


The day belonged to Carissa Moore, who continues to challenge Kelly Slater for the title of “greatest surfer of all-time.” She has beaten Wright nine out of twelve, in fact, an absolutely dominant percentage, and did so at Main Break with a selection of powerful carves and timely lip bashes.

The season thus far, though, is Wright’s who claimed the yellow jersey, climbing to the World Surf League’s highest peak.

Number one.

What made the feat even more impressive, stunning and delighting fans, is the fact that she has scaled that rocky crag laden with heavy emotional baggage strapped on by her father who made her surf when she was young.

You will certainly recall, days ago, when the two-time world champion opened up about the “different emotional and psychological abuse” she suffered at his hand, opening up to Dave Prodan on his usually tame podcast The Lineup and saying:

“I experienced that and I worked with a psychologist for years to understand my relationship with surfing and understand how that was born, how it was really unhealthy for me. I’m rebuilding a relationship with surfing because of the drastic and extreme circumstances that I was raised in…Look, this is not uncommon. Which is baffling for someone like me. If this is not uncommon, why don’t we have better solutions, better parenting programs, better informed industry? I’m not the first child this has happened to. I’m not the first child star this has happened to.”

Wildly impressive.

“I haven’t been in that [No 1] position for a long time,” Wright said after the final hooter sounded. “I really like what I’m doing at the moment. It’s been an amazing last few events. It didn’t go great for me in that final, but I’ve had a wonderful week, a wonderful Australian leg.”

The season goes quiet, now, for a month before those who survived The Cut are gifted a trip to Lemoore, California and Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch which may be flooded.

David Lee Scales and I did not discuss Wright’s feat of strength on our latest chat though we did dig deep into the issue of those who carry surfboards wax side toward body. I think you’ll be surprised by the conclusion.