Photo: Instagram

In moment described as “most visually disturbing in surfing history,” World Surf League CEO Erik Logan wears likeness of reigning champion Filipe Toledo’s naked breast!

A golden era of goof.

Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch swings wide its gates tomorrow morning at roughly this time and is your alarm set? Will you rise early, prepare the perfect americano, tune in and thrill or will you remember that it is running mid-day, reluctantly click over and feel a pit of depression mixed with loathing deep in your tum-tum?

Or maybe you purchased one of the deeply discounted tickets and will be there in person, attending the yoga class, concert, buying Surf Ranch Pro swag from the booth, living, laughing, loving?

Nice.

Our own Jen See will be there, turtle sandals on the ground, reporting all the news that fits except she missed one moment, yesterday, that is already being called the most visually disturbing in surfing history.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, you see, decided to get a t-shirt printed with current world champion Filipe Toledo’s naked chest. The Brazilian father of two or three has a readily identifiable lion covering his heart and has apparently added some sort of robotic sunburst business to it. Logan, anyhow, stifling giggles, said, “Filipe Toledo has the most insane chest tattoo. So I just had this shirt made and I’m going to go surprise him with it.”

He then goes over and tells Toledo to take his shirt off, the two hug et voila.

The whole scene is wildly odd and you should watch and savor. I had just gotten finished telling David Lee Scales, during our weekly chat, that we are living in peak absurdity as it relates to the World Surf League, its day-to-day operations, staff, decisions etc. Number one funny time and not enjoying, not relishing every single moment is a sin against comedy. It would be like being on the set of Monty Python and the Holy Grail or The Big Lebowski or Idiocracy while it was being filmed and doom scrolling the news instead of soaking up the laughs.

This is not going to last forever.

Billionaire owner Dirk Ziff’s wife will eventually get bored, the clown show of Logan, Jessi Miley-Dyer et. al. will be dismissed and we will be poorer for it. Sure it may be replaced with world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves, “man against nature” as David Lee Scales is always harping about but, mark my words, you will miss this golden era of goof.

You will miss it deeply.

Listen, here, for more good advice.


Medina and his newest Cabianca quiver. | Photo: Lucas Balbino

Gabriel Medina’s shaper Johnny Cabianca reveals magic pool toys the three-time champ will debut at Surf Ranch Pro and Medina’s “sickness” for Olympic gold!

"He wants to arrive in the playoffs at Lowers, sure, but the Olympic Games is a sickness for him now."

The last time I lit up Johnny Cabianca’s telephone it was two years ago and his team rider Gabriel Medina had just finished hiking Filipe Toledo’s dress to his waist in a two-heat Lowers whitewash, although the third world title could barely salve the pain of missing a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. 

The Brazilian-born, Zarautz-based Cabianca has been building Medina’s boards for a decade and a half, ever since step-daddy Charlie, an old pal from Brazil, got him to make boards for the European leg of the 2009 WQS.

You’d be surprised how little the boards he made for the kid in 2009 have changed in the ensuing years, a little tweak here and there, but still the usual five tens and five elevens, the flatter rockered Medina model and the slightly wilder DFK (Da Freak Kid and not to be confused with the Channel Islands DFR, Dane Freaking Reynolds). 

Caba is a classic cat. He says he lives in a Tower of Babel, his kids speaking German to his Swiss wife, Basque at school, Portuguese with him and watching TV in Spanish. 

“I don’t understand nothing!” he hoots. 

And, he knows living the Basque Country keeps him hidden away from the major markets, but the reach of Medina is strong and there’s Cabanas being shipped to emerging markets in Taiwan, Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Israel, as well as a re-emerging Japan.

The great Johnny Caba outside his Zarautz story with Medina’s fleet of pool toys.

But, still, those boards, those boards with what he calls a magic invisibility, built because he doesn’t want Medina to think,  ‘Oh motherfucker-son-of-a-bitch board!’ are sublime underfoot. 

You want to turn, you wanna cruise? Cabianca’s boards got multiple settings. A rare thing. 

Anyway, I’ve called because I wanna hear what he’s cooked up for his boy to ride at the pool. Turns out Medina has hit 185 pounds, a legacy of all the metal plates he lifts everyday, up from 175 the previous year. 

The boards, therefore, are hitting the twenty-nine plus litre mark, the Medinas, 5’10” x 19 3/8 x 2 3/8 with a full rail for 29.5 litres, the DFKs, 5’11” x 19 x 2 1/2 but with a domed deck, meaning a more sensitive rail and hitting 29 litres. 

Some are swallows some are round tails. Medina likes the swallow for the left, the round-tail for the rights. 

Medina don’t like his boards light, either and he “hates epoxy boards,” says Cabianca. 

“I don’t feel the board if the board is super light,” he tells Cabianca. 

His favourite board, perversely then, is a wild five-nine twin built using carbon tech, vacuum sealed and called a Candy Twin. Cabianca made it for Medina after a Biolos RNF, a gift to Medina from Kolohe Andino, had given the champ enormous pleasure.

Medina loved it, said he’d ride it in the pool whereupon Cabianca recoiled and said ‘No! This is not a technical board! This is just for having fun!”

Medina replied, “Maybe I try!”

Cabianca laughs.  “For sure, Andy King (Medina’s coach) is not going to let him ride it.” 

Medina’s fav toy, the Candy Twin.

Andy King. You know the name, the Australian WQS pro from Cronulla who lost his hearing after a street fight in 2004, a hard-charging goofy footer who grew up with an alcoholic pops (Andy kept a knife under his pillow for protection) and who shifted to surf coaching after his tour comeback was stymied by his deafness.

Cabianca says King’s arrival has stilled Medina’s emotional state, elevated his performance, after his family got nuked by in-fighting. 

And not just his emotional state. His surfing has shifted more to the rail. 

“Before he’s very consistent, but a kid surfing. Many aerials. Always extreme risk. With Andy it’s more classic, more power surfing, more reading the waves, but keep doing the aerials and high-risk manoeuvres well.” 

If you think surfing is all about world titles for Medina, well, it ain’t. He wants Paris Olympic gold around his neck. 

“He’s super focussed, he’s training every day. He wants to arrive in the playoffs at Lowers, sure, but the Olympic Games is a sickness for him now. For him, it’ll be great. Teahupoo!” 

You want a Candy Twin? Or the DFK? Or the Medina? 

Give ‘em a hit here, Johnny’s wife Kelli will help steer you into the board of your life. 

Longtom calls the DFK the “easiest pro level board I’ve wrangled.” 


Surf media watchers amazed by what The Inertia's Zack Weisberg has wrought. Photo: Gentlemen Broncos.

Surf media watchers stunned as involuntarily celibate website The Inertia reaches uncharted territory in a sweeping “beach wagon” review!

"For days like these, a functional beach wagon is an essential piece of the puzzle."

“The Inertia gonna Inertia” has long been shorthand for the law “a kook at rest remains at rest, and a kook in motion remains in motion at constant speed and in a straight line generally on a soft-topped surfboard unless acted on by an unbalanced force of local rage. The acceleration of a kook depends on the mass of the kook and the volume in the soft-topped surfboard but also the amount of gear brought to the beach which may include a changing poncho, pop tent, rinse kit, mat to stand upon whilst using rinse kit, wide-brimmed surf hat, etc.” and a fine shorthand it is.

The adult learner’s go-to website for all things involuntarily celibate was thought to have reached “Peak Inertia” some two years ago when it launched a speaker series called EVOLVE which featured “powerful short films and panels that pair thought-leaders from different spheres of surf and outdoor culture to tackle our most pressing topics to mobilize innovators as a force for good.”

Thought-leaders.

Months ago, the website re-scaled “Peak Inertia” in a gear guide which included all-important surf wax after the writer’s important discovery.

“When I first started, I was surfing my home break in Santa Monica,” he wrote, “I was having trouble staying on my board while paddling out, while sitting in the lineup, and also while trying to paddle into waves. My board felt like an ice rink. Finally, somebody decided to spare me and bestowed this tip upon me: ‘Yo — you need to wax your board.’”

Like Mt. Everest’s famous crown, it was wonderful to revisit though the look, the feel, were roughly the same.

Surf media watchers were, therefore, stunned when, hours ago, The Inertia reached heretofore uncharted territory, and entirely new and even higher “Peak Inertia” that had previously been obscured by fog and stupidity in a sweeping “beach wagon” review.

Per the piece:

When daytime hours get longer and the mercury level climbs, it can only mean one thing: extended beach days with toes in the sand and butt in a chair soaking up the sun with friends and family. These are the days we live for, but the major downside of these magical moments coming together is the schlep. That is, getting everything you need (and want) for the day into the car and down to the beach. This goes double when the cargo includes small humans. For days like these, a functional beach wagon is an essential piece of the puzzle.

Schlep.

The best all-around beach wagon was the Radio Flyer Beach and Boardwalk Wagon which had “canopy for shade, folds fairly flat and stands upright, arm for beach chair storage” though was not ideal for kids under 18-months of age.

Amazing and with the new discovery surf media watchers are wondering if there is somehow, somewhere, even a higher peak. If there is, will The Inertia’s daring staff make use of the famously dexterous schlepas with the climb or will they trust fate and the bravery of those who went before?

Exciting days.


World Surf League quietly rescinds draconian suspension of longboard legend Joel Tudor under cover of darkness!

"Not very woke of you to treat the log gals with so much disrespect in regards to pay..."

The sun rose upon the surfing landscape that looked vastly different from when it set a mere ten-ish hours ago. Florida governor Ron DeSantis has officially thrown his Ron Jon surf cap into the presidential ring vowing to “Make America Cocoa Beach.” Across the country in bleak Santa Monica, The World Surf League’s Chief Financial Officer, and multiple others, have allegedly been relieved of their duties even in a season of “unprecedented growth.” And, the world’s most decorated longboarder, living legend, Joel Tudor is, officially, once again allowed to wear the World Surf League singlet in competition and will do so at the upcoming Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic in lovely Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The World Surf League’s Chief of Social Media shared the news in giddy post on its sub-tier lightly trafficked wsl.qs account reading, “Three-time WSL Longboard Champion @joeljitsu is back! The Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic pres. by Katin begins May 27 – 29.”

Left out of the message is where Tudor was before coming back.

Which just so happened to be the World Surf League’s brutal and craven “Suspension Dungeon” where professional surfers are forced to not surf professionally, or at least not in any sanctioned events, and instead use their time to ponder how their negative deeds and/or thoughts have no place anywhere but especially not as they relate to the World Surf League and its performative pandering socially, environmentally, culturally, other.

The 46-year-old San Diegan was “suspended following conduct detrimental to the integrity of the WSL per the WSL Rule Book, which includes the violation of the following provisions: sportsmanlike conduct (14.02), damage to surfing’s image (14.04), and verbal assault (14.08).”

That “conduct” began after rumors floated of a major slash to the longboarding world tour to which Tudor replied specifically to World Surf League Chief Executive Erik Logan and its Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, “Yo @wsl @jessmileydyer @elo_eriklogan can y’all explain this kind of equality? Not very woke of you to treat the log gals with so much disrespect in regards to pay? It’s kinda clear on your own Instagram which style is more favored by your audience! Urging all log gals , parents & friends to write the @wsl asking why this is still happening….also they are planning on canceling the longboard tour to a one event stop! Hit em up , post about it & make some noise to make things right!! Awoooooooooo!”

Miley-Dyer clapped back with, “Hello everyone. I wanted to address a post that our 2021 Men’s Longboard champion made on his IG account yesterday that was both inaccurate and misleading related to the WSL’s approach to equality. Joel created confusion and called into question whether female athletes competing on the Longboard Tour receive equal prize money. It is important that you know, and that you hear directly from me, that we take great pride in the fact that our male and female longboard athletes all receive equal prize money.”

To which Tudor, not backing down, responded, “(They) want to run this fake shit about equality and inclusiveness. Don’t be a bunch of fucking phonies.”

And down he went for reprogramming.

But will you tune in and cheer the champ’s return or will you, instead, continue to worry about the jiu-jitsu blackbelt? Like, has he been broken by his dungeon time? Will he only say positive happy things about the World Surf League and its various chiefs (save the chief financial officer) or will he use the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic to bash away once more and carry professional longboarding to the lofty heights it so richly deserves?

More, certainly, as the story develops.


World Surf League Chief Executive Erik Logan (left) describes financial growth to surf legend Tom Carroll. Photo: WSL

Hot Rumor: World Surf League stuns with shock layoff of Chief Financial Officer, multiple others, amidst season of “unprecedented growth!”

The momentum of the Championship Tour, the World Surf League and professional surfing is... uh oh.

Shockwaves are currently reverberating throughout the surf universe this evening, stunned faces, stuttering mouths dribbling the creamed corn they were trying to enjoy for dinner, as, moments ago, a rumor surfaced suggesting the World Surf League has laid off its Chief Financial Officer and multiple others mere hours away from the Surf Ranch Pro kickoff.

Sources close to the levers of power in the World Surf League’s Santa Monica offices have shared that the devastating job destructions were entirely unexpected and ruthlessly executed though the Chief Executive Erik Logan and the Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer remain safe.

For now.

But the Chief Financial Officer, and multiple others, are through. Entirely surprising seeing as just months ago, Logan stood before a vast audience of hundreds and declared, “We have not even had the biggest day in pro surfing yet and we’ve already eclipsed some of the most amazing milestones we’ve seen in the history of the sport. Already this has been the most consumed live digital audience in the history of professional surfing before this day has ever happened. We’re up 13.4%, precisely, we like precise numbers. We’re ahead of that before the biggest day in professional surfing. The momentum of the Championship Tour, the World Surf League and professional surfing is real.”

He later declared, “This year will be a record-breaking revenue year for the history of professional surfing on a couple of different vectors. Not only in terms of revenue, but equally as important, in terms of a record number of partners that are on and how we’re seeing the renewals going down the road in terms of the partners re-signing. This is truly exciting.”

One of those partners was, of course, a regional Australian ladder company who signed on for the 2023 and 2024 seasons and very much looked forward to the continuation of the successful onsite activation. The “Bailey Ladders Leaderboard” was also greenlit for the live broadcast and across WSL’s social media channels.

“The WSL is happy to have Bailey Ladders increase their involvement to include the CT events in Australia for the next two years,” the World Surf League’s Australia-Pacific President Andrew Stark stated. “We had incredible feedback from fans onsite and watching from home on the Bailey Ladders Leaderboard. We look forward to continuing this activation across four events in 2023 and 24, both onsite and online. We’d like to thank them for their ongoing support and for seeing the value in professional surfing.”

Alas.

Neither vectors nor ladders were enough to stave off the hounds and the CFO, and multiple others, are now, allegedly, finished making dreams come true. But does this bit of quality gossip force you to pause and consider the overall health of professional surfing? The fortitude of its billionaire owner Dirk Ziff? The shared abilities/competence of Logan and Miley-Dyer?

Or does the bloodletting make you feel that sound business minds are prevailing? That Lee Iacocca has been reincarnated and doing painful but smart stuff that will allow professional surfing to soar like baby boomer years Ford?

Ahhh Lee Iacocca.

Did you ever read Talking Straight by Lee Iacocca?

Maybe now is the time.

Candles, anyhow, for the World Surf League’s ex Chief Financial Officer.