Sporting Valhalla (pictured).
Sporting Valhalla (pictured).

Surf legend Kelly Slater seats himself between Lionel Messi and Lewis Hamilton, across from Serena Williams at sporting Valhalla’s grand banquet table!


But where do the world’s greatest athletes go when that final whistle blows, ultimate hooter sounds, forever last closing minutes tick off the clock? To sporting Valhalla, of course, where a GOAT fills every seat and electrolyte-rich health drinks fill every horn.


Babe Ruth is lounging around that long wooden table and so is Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Jesse Owens enjoying his time alongside Sonja Henie. It is a fine time, though an extremely exclusive ticket, and have you ever thought if our Kelly Slater would make it in?

If “surfing” would pass the smell test of those wolves guarding the door?

Assuming it does, the 11x world champion has seated himself between race car stud Lewis Hamilton and soccer sensation Lionel Messi, right across from Serena Williams.

Prime territory.

Taking to social media after the just-wrapped Lauren’s World Sports Awards, the 51-year-old Pro Pipeline declared:

Congratulations Lionel Messi, well deserved Laureus’s Sport Awards following your incredible achievements last year. A historic two Laureus Awards last night (joining me and my friend Lewis Hamilton each with four) and also winning Team of the Year, tying the incredible Serena Williams with 5 Laureus Statuettes.


Though did you know that Slater was a 4x Laureus winner?

Was it essential for him to bring up whilst praising Messi?

I mean, clearly it was… but was it?

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, did not discuss the Laureus World Sport Awards on our most recent chat but we did wonder how magical it would be to have Slater bring his guitar along on a ten-day surf-seeking boat trip in order to serenade as the sun set.

Close your eyes and picture now whilst listening to conversations about surfing, I think.


Open Thread: Comment Live, Final’s Day of the Gold Coast Pro where surf fans remain wicked and naughty, very naughty, as much as they are fickle!

This is the end!

Carter Doorley (pictured) being un-grumpy.
Carter Doorley (pictured) being un-grumpy.

New Jersey youngster puts cranky old-timers to shame, surfs 1000 straight days without complaining about VALs, kooks or that dastardly World Surf League chief Erik Logan!

“My inner voice tells me to surf, so I surf!”

Many years ago Dirk Ziff was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore. Daddy’s favorite heir had just purchased the Association of Surfing Professionals, for free, rebranded it as the World Surf League, sat back and waited for praise to roll in from all corners.

Gushing over him and his benevolence like a geyser.

Except for some unknown reason, a subset of the surfing public poked fun at him, his fortune, his hires and his ideas.

And so he stood up at The Waterman’s Ball, or some such, and declared:

Some of you are here in this canyon. Journalists, and other influential voices who unload on social media. I wonder if some of you get up every day and stir the milk into your coffee, thinking about what you can write that day that might humiliate the WSL. It goes way beyond constructive criticism, which we all need and which the WSL frequently deserves, and into the realm of foul spirited attack, which I think we can all agree we have enough of right now in this country.

I have a message to the haters, and it is simple. Be tough. Call us out. Keep us honest. Tell us what we need to improve.

But don’t pretend you don’t know that when you go beyond constructive criticism and cynically try to rally negative sentiment towards the WSL, when you try to take us down, you are not just going after us. You are going after Kelly Slater. You are trying to take down Lakey Peterson. You are going after the dreams of Caroline Marks and Griffin Colapinto. You are undermining the hopes of every kid who lives with salt in their hair, dreaming of being a world champion one day.

And I ask you: Why? It seems pretty obvious that if the WSL keeps growing in popularity, and surfing takes its rightful place among the great and elite competitive sports, everyone connected with our sport, and certainly all the members of SIMA, will prosper, except maybe a few grumpy locals who have to deal with some new faces in the lineup. So…why not work together?


As funny today as it was in 2018 but, in fairness, Ziff was not altogether wrong. We are grumpy, grouchy, nitpicky and rude. We cajole and fun make and sneer often rudely. We are not like young Carter Doorley of Brigantine, New Jersey who has just surfed for 1000 consecutive days and has 1095 consecutive days firmly in his sights.

Three straight years.

The eleven-year-old surfs through hail, snow, freezing temperatures and summer crowds. He surfs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

His mother told New Jersey Monthly, “Every day he goes out there, we’re still amazed.”

The streak began when the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered playgrounds, skateparks and other outdoor facilities. Carter started surfing to keep the wiggles out and has just kept on, donating money to SurfAid, Save the Children and the Humane Society along the way.

He has surfed with Ben Gravy, Kai Lenny, Will Skudin and Ian Crane as well.

“My inner voice tells me to surf, so I surf,” he says.

So not grumpy.

Ultra pure and wonderful.

Extremely anti-depressive.

Viva Carter Doorley.

And suck it, Dirk Ziff.



Erin Brooks, thirteen, at Waco, with straps, howevs.

World surfing tour rocked as influential surf broadcasters launch wild fusillade at upcoming Surf Ranch Pro, “Erin Brooks has done a better turn in the Texas pool than the entire 44 CT in five years of surfing the GOAT pool!”

“Should we just send the CT to Texas to surf against a bunch of 13-year-old girls and see what happens?”

The WSL is on its knees tonight suffering if not mortal, then substantial damage, following a wild fusillade launched at the upcoming Surf Ranch Pro by the world’s most beloved surf broadcasters.

In between swizzling the fruit in their Old-Fashioneds and speaking through gusts of rank whisky breath, Jed Smith and Vaughan Blakey, performers on the podcast Ain’t That Swell, delivered a fatal choreography of blows to the unloved wavepool event, which runs May 27 through 28.

After the 2021 event, BeachGrit’s tour reporter Steve “Longtom” Shearer, jerked awake long enough to pull his head out of his pretzel bowl and write,

We’re five years into this thing now.

Five long years.

The gap between the rhetoric, that tubs were going to loose a tsunami of radical innovative surfing, and the reality, conservative surfing, is becoming clearer every day. It’s become what Orwell termed the “inadmissible fact.” It’s put us in upside down world, where Chris Cote, when he hears the train says, “ This never gets old” means “there’s something deeply wrong here but I can’t dare acknowledge it”.

Five years.

Can someone on the pro wavepool side of the argument explain to me why, given the basic repeatability of the wave, some new trick is not conceived, mastered and then executed to a stunned judging panel ala vert skating or snowboard half-pipe?

Wasn’t that the whole point?

Smith and Blakey sent a similarly cunty zephyr up the nostrils of the WSL.

“The GOAT pool, basically,” says Vaughan, “is challenging the world’s best surfers, with all their might and imagination to do one interesting thing on it.”

“We’re asking the best surfers in the world to, essentially, rip off a couple of turns and thread a three-foot pit,” says Smith. “Is that really the ratings bonanza that ELO and Ziff are craving so much at this point?”


“This is the weird thing, Erin Brooks has done a better turn in the three foot rampy fucking Texas wave pool that the entire 44 CT in five years of surfing the Goat Pool…Should we just fucking send the CT to the fucking Texas wave pool against a bunch of thirteen-year-old girls and see what happens? If you think about it, like, Erin’s frontside barrel roll is a more dynamic and interesting turn than anything Filipe or Gabriel have done at the wave pool.”

Vaughan did open the door a little to the possibility of the event being salvaged.

“The only thing that can save the GOAT pool is if they’ve got some new element to it that we don’t know about it. Have they dropped something into this pool that is going to blow our minds?”


Or are you thrilled, nevertheless, by sixteen hours of heats on identical waves, over two days, with static Stay Turned messages every ten or so minutes?

Open Thread: Comment Live, Day Four of Gold Coast Pro where surf fans long for a kiss on our hearts and one much lower down. Much lower…

Professional surfing for the win.... or something.