The Silver Bullet at Pipe.

Tributes pour in for Pipeline charger who popularised helmets at the deadly Hawaiian wave, “He had a silver board, a silver helmet and became the Silver Bullet!”

"He got a 10, a 9.9 and a 9.8 all in the same Pipe Masters heat. Legendary performance in big waves too.” 

The 1990 Pipeline Master Liam McNamara, along with three-time winner Tom Carroll and decorated Pipe charger Strider Wasilewski, have led tributes and shared stories of the Japanese surfer Naohisa Ogawa, who has died of cancer. 

McNamara wrote of his pal of thirty years, 

“For everyone out there to know Nao was a part of the crew of goofy foot helmet wearing Japanese chargers in the late 80s early 90s and into the 2000s! Takayuki Wakita Atsushi Imamura and Naohisa Ogawa were the 3 samurai helmet wearing kamakaze pilots for a couple decades! They pushed each other to a crazy level! All 3 would post up deep deep at my peak

“The Wakita peak!! 


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A post shared by Liam Mcnamara (@liam__mcnamara)

“So many crazy waves ridden no one could really tell them apart as they  all charged so hard!! Small in stature but big balls and true honor and respect for everybody! Nao had a silver board and a silver helmet and became the “Silver Bullet”Nao was the most genuine soft spoken respectful guy you would ever meet! He would also smile at you and say hi in or out of the water. He competed in the Pipeline Masters over a dozen times getting 10 point rides making a name out out that heaviest wave on the planet!” 

The Hawaiian-based Australian photographer Sean Davey recalled Ogawa’s epic heat in the Pipe Masters. 

“I recall the year that the Pipemasters was invitational. If memory serves me correctly, Naohisa got a 10, a 9.9 and a 9.8 all in the same heat. Legendary performance in big waves too.” 

The relatively to harmless to humans blacktip reef shark ends its days on a New Smyrna beach with a knife in its head.

“Mass-triggering” of animal lovers after shaka-throwing fishermen execute shark in front of beachgoers, “All kids in high school should have to visit a slaughter house to see how animals are processed!”

"This is a dick measuring contest to perform masculinity."

Two fisherthems, as the noted chanteuse Sam Smith would call them, have come under fire after killing a beached shark with a knife through the brain, ignoring the leas of shocked onlookers who had offered to drag the fish back into the ocean.

In the minute-long clip posted to Twitter, we see two men dragging a blacktip reef shark up the beautiful New Myrna beach sands as Mariana Sabogal, who filmed the event on her telephone, protests.

“Can you put it back?” she says.

“You put it back!” says one of the men.

“We will! I’m not a vegetarian. You should not be doing that with animals. Please do not do anything to it. Please do not do anything.”

One man picks up a knife and plunges it into the rough location of the fish’s brain, which is just behind the eyes although it doesn’t die instantly suggesting a missed shot.

“It’s legal harvest!” he says. “There’s nothing you can do!”

“Why are you doing that?” asks Mariana.

“Because it’s natural!”

“Are you fucking insane, honestly,” she says. “Are you enjoying this?”

“No, I’m taking this to eat. “

Shortly after the ruckus, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released a statement that read in part,“It is common practice for anglers to euthanize sharks after landing for ethical and safety concerns. This video is not currently under investigation as no violation of state law regarding the method of harvest occurred.”

One man’s euthanasia is another’s execution, of course.

“There’s a lot of things that are legal, but they are not morally right,” said Mariana.

Bit of back and forthing in the comments with many readers correctly pointing out that the method of dispatching a shark ain’t no different to what is dealt to millions of delightful sea creatures every day, including the wildly intelligent octopus.

Others not thrilled.

“This is a dick measuring contest to perform masculinity.”

Where do you stand on this matter?

I swing both ways.

Bodyboarder feels the chilly breath of a surfboard on his neck!

Graphic: Legrope debate explodes after man almost dies at Californian big-wave hotspot The Wedge! “This surfer is lucky to be alive!”

Feel the chilly breath of the engine of slaughter upon your neck!

The ol’ leash-or-no-leash debate has exploded following the near-scalping of a bodyboarder at The Wedge, Newport Beach’s mutant cross-wave that takes a south swell hitting the rock wall and creates “a titanic slingshot that breaks with enough pounds per square inch to send Stone Cold Steve Austin to the mat.”

In a clip posted on YouTube shorts by the world’s most famous redhead Jamie O’Brien, an almost-forty-year-old vlogger from Pipeline Beach on Oahu, we see the bodyboarder going right against the prevailing traffic, before the axe of the dreaded engine of slaughter almost lands upon his neck; enough to feel its chilling breath.

Of course, the man being a bodyboarder fed into a long-held prejudice about riders of the little foam crafts.

“That’s not a surfer. Thats a boog.”

“Sponger. Not surfer. There’s a difference.”

“Less body boarders the better lol.”

“That’s not a surfer. He’s a bellyboarder.”

“That’s not a surfer, that’s a boogie boarder!”


Which begs the question, are bodyboarders people too and are therefore endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?

Or no?

I think yes! Some of my best friends etc.

Conventional wisdom shockingly upended as new study suggests surfing actually good for those suffering traumatic brain injury!

Happy days are here again!

Months ago, professional surfing saw the official retirement of Owen Wright. The 33-year-old had, earlier, delighted his fans by releasing the “gut-wrenching, heroic” must-read memoir Against the Water in which he shared the story of suffering a traumatic brain injury whilst duck diving a wave in Hawaii, having to re-learn to walk, talk etc. and eventually winning bronze for his Australian home at surfing’s Olympic debut.

The massive damage done without actually receiving a knock on the head was a real wake up call to surfers around the world, though.

Is surfing, in any capacity, massively dangerous to the brain?

Conventional wisdom suggested “yes” but a new Welsh study undermines those very notions.

According to a neuro-rehabilitation program run by Swansea Bay and Hywel Dda University health boards, those who have suffered traumatic brain injury can actually improve their overall well-being by “immersing themselves in the dynamic elements of the, wind and sea.”

Per the academically rigorous yet fun The Conversation:

Some of our participants reported that surfing had taught them that all types of emotions – whether positive or negative – are an important part of the human experience. Instead of trying to control them, accepting them can help people find meaning in their lives.

Making room for difficult thoughts enabled some of our brain injury survivors to reconnect with their values and hobbies too. Surfing gave them meaning and a “valid reason for being alive”. It also showed them that “despite being a bit broken in some places,” they were still capable people. This helped them to renegotiate their identity.

Connecting with people in similar situations can also be crucial after brain injury. Many report that they don’t feel understood by family and friends. Yet belonging is a basic psychological need.

Happy days are here again.

Photo: Jaws
Photo: Jaws

15-year-old surfer who considered shark attacks a “joke” after seeing Jaws brutally mauled off coast of New Jersey!

Fate strikes.

Fate is a wily beast, man. It has a way of lulling folks like you, I, or a fifteen-year-old New Jersey girl into a worn out old rut. The sun comes up. The sun goes down. The hours in between are spent more or less the same. Scrolling news to find surf related stories, drinking a glass of refreshing Athletic Greens, scrolling some more, making an Americano, finding one, publishing it, looking at World Surf League Chief Executive Erik Logan’s Instagram, looking at World Surf League Sport Chief Jessi Miley-Dyer’s too, rinse, repeat.

The magic sorta drains away, you know? Surprise but an old folktale.


That’s when fate strikes.

Take the aforementioned teen, one Maggie Drozdowski who just so happened to be surfing in Stone Harbor with a friend when she felt… something.

“I felt something around my foot, and it pulled me down a little bit,” she told the local Fox News affiliate. “I shook my leg as hard as I could to get it off, but it just wouldn’t.”

Her friend, Sarah O’Donnell, said, “I went over the wave and she went under it, she screamed and I turned around because I thought she was drowning or something, but she got up and she said ‘I think something bit me.”

Something is right. A toothy, nasty shark.

Drozdowski was transported to a local hospital where she received not nearly as many stitches as she might have had she not been wearing a wetsuit, though she was still stunned the by encounter.

“I’m just in shock, I just thought that wouldn’t be something that would ever happen to me because I watched all the Jaws movies and stuff, and I thought it was a joke,” she concluded.

Fate, man. A cagey weirdo.

New Jersey officials, in any case, have not closed the beach but have warned surfers that they might be next.

The last unprovoked shark attack in New Jersey was in 2017.

BeachGrit’s gory years.

I meant glory years.