Australian big-wave surfer films extraordinary encounter with fifteen-foot Great White shark!

“I was terrified of sharks before, now I’m even more scared of their power and speed!”

The last time I had cause to telephone the big-wave charger Justin “Jughead’ Allport he’d blown his lungs and ribs out after getting “fucking annihilated” on a fifteen-foot wave at Tasmania’s infamous Shipstern Bluff.

This morning it’s to fill in the deets on his encounter with a truck-sized Great White shark on Wednesday morning while in southern Australia chasing his favoured big-wave slabs.

Three weeks earlier, at nearby Elliston, a local school teacher was hit and killed by a Great White while surfing a sleepy point with a bunch of kids, his last act to warn others to save ‘emselves and get out of the water.

Jaiden Millar, a twenty two year old, saw the attack.

“It was such a confronting incident. It could have been anyone. The worst part was there was a 13-year-old out there and he witnessed everything,” Millar told Adelaide Now. “There was a bloke on the beach tooting his horn and as I turned around I saw everyone paddling in. I saw his board tombstoning, which means he’s underwater and his board’s getting dragged under … trying to fight his way back up to the surface… He was gone. (We) saw the shark just thrashing around out the back. The shark’s obviously let go and come back and got him for a third time”.

Jug, who’s forty-nine and a firefighter a couple hours north of Sydney at Bateau Bay, said he’s never seen a shark in the wild before, only dead on the beach. That was a twenty-foot White that had been washed onto the sand of a Victorian west coast beach. His pal and said he thought he could get inside of it for a photo but Jug stopped him warning he’d never be able to wear that wetsuit again.

And, so, when a South Oz local said there were a fleets of Great Whites around and maybe he should take the jet skis out and have a squiz at a few hanging off the tuna pens, he thought, yeah, ‘I wanna go have a look.’

It’s a decision that’ll probably haunt the habitué of lonely outer reefs for the rest of his life.

“I’m scared of sharks, yeah, I’m terrified,” says Jug. “But I’d never seen ‘em while surfing and now I’m even more scared of the power, how fast it was. Things hit you when you see one in real life. Everything about it. I know guys who’ve seen Great Whites swim past, how mellow they are, how they don’t get touched, and drone footage of sharks following people, but that thing was so quick, so fast and powerful I shit myself. Anyone who says they’ve been chased by a shark, no you haven’t. If a shark was chasing you, it would eat you. Maybe a shark stalks you, it never chases you.”

Jug says he’s always thinking of sharks. His pal and workmate Tim Doherty, brother of the storied surf journalist Sean Doherty, was surfing at Tuncurry in 2020 when a surfer visiting from Sydney, Mark Sanguinetti, was hit in three feet of water.

“He watched this guy get fully mauled. There were six or eight guys in the water and the guy that saw the shark was the guy that got eaten. He said calmly, ‘There’s a shark I’m going in’ and everyone started slowly paddling in and it took him and Tim was within four metres of the whole thing.”

Another pal, the slab hunter Brett Burcher, was also hit by a shark after moving to Tuncurry-Forster from the NSW South Coast.

“Hit and punched off his board,” says Jug.

With all the shark noise in his head and the visuals of a giant White near where he’d been chasing barrels in South Oz, I jokingly ask if he plans on hitting that coastline anytime soon.

“Thinking about going back down there this weekend, to be honest,” he laughs.

Volkswagen uses “Riot City, USA” as backdrop for unveiling brand new electric bus “synonymous with Southern California surf culture!”

"Surfing, the bus, the sun, the smoke from burning lifeguard stands... it's fantastic."

We don’t spend nearly as much time as we should discussing automobiles here. You drive one, I drive one and most of us drive one to the surf unless we are driving our electric bicycles. Cars and trucks, SUVs and vans are as much a part of our deal as the surfboards we so cherish. But what is your current vehicle? Mine is a 2017 Toyota Tacoma 4×4. It is black, has four doors, a cracked windshield, or windscreen for our Australian and British brothers and sisters, a sticker on the back right side featuring Cryin’ Jordy Smith surrounded by the words “I want my BeachGrit” and boasts 97,000-ish miles.

It has been very good to me and I have no complaints but in a perfect world I might have a 1971 Porsche 914/6 M471 with the “Competition Option.” I would not have a Volkswagen bus of any year though many consider it the “ideal surf transportation.”

Well, the German manufacturer just unveiled its redesigned all-electric version of the bus yesterday and chose Southern California’s Huntington Beach due its moniker “Surf City, USA.”

The Orange County Register reported that 100s of Volkswagen bus aficionados came out for the event and the day was dubbed “International Volkswagen Bus Day” by National Calendar Day founder Marlo Anderson. He receives 25,000 applications a year and only accepts 30 of them.

In any case, Volkswagen surrounded their new bus with surfboards borrowed from the Surfing Heritage Culture Center. Cameron Batten, senior vice-president and chief communications officer for Volkswagen Group of America declared, “The VW bus reminds us to smile, relax and take life a little less seriously.”

It is expected to sell for around $75,000 when it hits the market next year, though enthusiasts hope it will become a collector’s item.

Two such fans, Jan Engelhardt and Vera Sanders came all the way to Huntington Beach from Germany for the unveiling. “It’s a great show,” Engelhardt told the Register. “Surfing, the bus, the sun… it’s fantastic.”

If the two are lucky, they will might also catch one of Huntington Beach’s other specialties.

A good, old-fashioned riot.


Back to us, though. What do you think World Surf League CEO Erik Logan drives?

I’m guessing a Tesla Y model that he feels socially conflicted about.

A child warns John John of the lifelong humiliation should he lose to Czech Robert Vysloužil, Keith Lewis from Trinidad and Tobago and Taiwan's Liu Ming Jang in his repechage heat.

Bloodbath at Olympic surfing qualifier in El Salvador as WSL stars John John Florence, Joao Chianca, Ethan Ewing and world #1 Griffin Colapinto all lose in early boilovers!

And reigning world champion Filipe Toledo soundly thrashed by Ireland's Gearoid McDaid!

As Teams India, Netherlands and China soar to hitherto unseen heights at the ISA World Surfing Games, embarrassment for the cream of the WSL crop after the two-time world champ and the current world numbers one, two and four were beaten in their round two heats in El Salvador.

John John Florence, who blitzed his round one heat against Taiwan’s Liu Ming Jang and Korea’s Dohoon Yun, lost in the second round against German Dylan Green and the Brazilian turned Italian Jesse Mendes.

Griff, beaten by Alex Suarez from Equador and Italian Leo Fioravanti; Ethan by Bali’s Rio Waida and Argentina’s Leandro Usuna; Chianca by Colombia’s Giorgio Gomez and Spain’s Bryan Perez.

And, although reigning world champ Filipe Toled was soundly thrashed in his round two heat by Ireland’s Gearoid McDaid, the small-wave wizard automatically progresses to the third round after finishing the four-man heat in second place. 

John John, Chianca, Griff and Ewing all bundled into repechage heats, Florence in a must-win or endure lifelong humiliation scenario against Czech Robert Vysloužil, Keith Lewis from Trinidad and Tobago and, again, hapless Taiwanese shredder Liu Ming Jang who felt the double-champ’s blade in round one. 

In other news from the event, Gabriel Medina is coasting through his heats and China’s Siqi Yang gave spectators a little glimpse into what surfing is gonna look like in a dozen years when she smoked the field in her round one hit-out. 

Still a little unsure about how surfers are selected for the 2024 Paris Games, the surf event being held at Teahupoo?

– 2023 Tour:Highest-ranking 10 eligible men and 8 eligible women.

– 2022 & 2024 The winning teams by gender, will qualify 1 place for their respective country. The NOC will nominate the surfer to participate following the conclusion of the Qualification System.
– 2023 Highest-ranking eligible man and woman per continent from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania (Total of 4 men and 4 women)
– 2024 Highest-ranking 5 eligible men and 7 eligible women

– Highest-ranking eligible man and woman in the surfing competitions will qualify a continental slot for the Americas.

– One man and one woman will be guaranteed a place for the host nation of France. If an athlete(s) from France already qualified, the slot(s) will be reallocated to the next highest ranking eligible surfer(s) from the 2024 ISA WSG.

– This is meant to promote development, provide opportunity to smaller nations, and progress the sport on a global scale. One man and one woman will earn a Universality Place, as per the IOC selection criteria. 

What is the over/under on Logan's remaining days?
What is the over/under on Logan's remaining days?

“Fair Weather Friend-Gate” stretches into agonizing fourth day as World Surf League Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, Chief of Strategy Dave Prodan continue to stand by and silently watch barrel buddy Erik Logan sway lonely in the breeze!

But a sympathetic ear awaits.

All’s quiet on the social and regular media World Surf League front, today, disturbingly hush hush. You are certainly very aware that nearly a week ago, professional surfing exploded in a ball of pent up rage. An insurrection after judging at the Surf Ranch Pro was deemed entirely not good by three former champions, each hailing from Brazil. Surf fans and surfers, alike, took sides, most directing ire at the World Surf League itself for being confusing and dumb. Chief Executive Erik Logan thought it would be a good idea to victim shame and patronize and the insurrection morphed into a full on war mostly against him.

An all out boom.

Stories were written about the World Surf League’s major problem, even reaching the mainstream media. Surf media focusing on little else than incompetence at the top.

The most focused upon thing in World Surf League history save Mick Fanning’s dance with a South African shark.

Yesterday, Dave Prodan, the Chief Strategy Officer took to the airwaves for his podcast The Lineup and decided the chief strategy would be to entirely ignore Gabriel Medina, Felipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira and the burning landscape. He got together with Mitch Salazar, who was there in the booth, calling the action, and spoke only of Caitlin Simmers and the “winners and losers” of the Surf Ranch Pro with zero mention of the mess or defense of embattled leader Logan.

A wild bit of head-in-sand and/or utter condescension.

Completely wild.

Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, never shy to pat her own back and celebrate herself and what she does for the World Surf League, equality, being an icon to the next generation, etc. has gone on a record breaking quiet streak, neither commenting nor storying for an entire five days. Her longest previous break was fifteen hours. No helping hand or rodeo clown attempt to deflect some of the heat from beset commander Logan.

Five days of standing quietly to the side and watching the Oklahoman Chief Executive, their barrel buddy, sway lonely in the breeze.

But have you ever encountered such a thing yourself? Attacked for some reason, or another, only to have colleagues or friends completely abandon you? It happened to me, once, when the aforementioned Mick Fanning complimented me but did so with a angry sneer. Fellow surf journalist Tim Baker was standing right there and could have had my back but did not and watched me get trotted out of the house against my will in order to receive punishment.

Tim Baker (center) not helping.
Tim Baker (center) not helping.


I wonder if Logan feels sad right now? Feels abandoned by his fellow chiefs. If he doesn’t, he should and can reach out for a sympathetic ear.

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed his ineptitude on our weekly chat, scooping Prodan, I suppose. I call him a boob multiple times so maybe he won’t reach out but you can listen and decide if I provided tough love or was simply tough in an unhelpful sort of way.

I appreciate it.

One woman play pitting surfing against God and the destruction of a marriage opens to tepid reviews at Brighton Fringe Festival!

To the WSL community...

I am generally not a huge theater goer. I have fallen in love with ballet, as you know, and adore attending the symphony but live theater, either dramatic, comedic or musical, often leaves me feeling slightly awkward. There’s something about the ramping up of over-earnest emotion, maybe. Having to sell love, hate, sadness, joy to the back of the room and I’m near certain I would have felt slightly awkward sitting in the audience of Surfing the Holyland, a one woman play currently running at Brighton Fringe there in coastal England, though I would have very much wanted to support and felt bad in my heart for it.

The staged story deals with Heather, a native Ohioan, and the culture shock she experiences when moving to Tel Aviv with her husband Zach who proceeds to “find God” in Orthodox Judaism. She, herself, finds surfing and experiences “life and companionship in the waves” from her “sexy surfing instructor.”

Plastic boxes are used as surfboard and re-arranged for different surfing scenes.

While reviewers praised the actor/writer Erin Hunter’s athleticism, and adored the “oodles of charm,” there was some complaint.

“It does not always feel deep enough in its switches between light and dark,” Arifa Akbar of The Guardian wrote, “and the analogy between surfing and Heather’s life – from her drowning in a new culture to learning to navigate its waves – does not feel penetrating. Zach stays a caricature and we cannot believe in the marriage. When it all comes to a head, we do not care enough; it is Heather we root for, and the awakening she experiences on her surfboard.”


When Erik Logan writes and performs his own one man play about the awakening he experiences on his surfboard do you think he’ll include the recent scene with Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo and Italo Ferreira or leave it on the cutting room floor?

Let’s read his letter once more, just for fun.

To the WSL community,

I want to address the conversation that happened in our community following the recent Championship Tour event at the Surf Ranch. As you likely know, a small number of athletes made statements questioning the judging of the competition and the final results.

I want to respond directly to those statements, however, we first need to address a much more important issue. In recent days, a number of surfers, WSL judges, and employees have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence, including death threats, as a direct result of those statements. Those things should never happen in our sport or any sport, and we’re devastated that members of our community have been subject to them. It is an important reminder to us all that words have consequences. We hope the entire WSL community stands with us in rejecting all forms of harassment and intimidation.

In terms of the statements made, we completely reject the suggestion that the judging of our competitions is in any way unfair or biased. These claims are not supported by any evidence.

Firstly, the judging criteria are provided to the athletes ahead of each competition. All athletes competing at the Surf Ranch Pro received these materials on May 20th. Every athlete had the opportunity to ask questions about the criteria at that time. None of the athletes who made these statements took advantage of this opportunity at the Surf Ranch Pro.

Secondly, our rules allow any athlete to review the scoring of any wave, with the judges, and receive a more detailed explanation of how they were scored with the judges. This process has been in place for a number of years, and is the direct result of working with the surfers to bring more transparency to the judging process. It is not acceptable, and is a breach of league policy, for surfers to choose not to engage with the proper process and instead air grievances on social media.

A number of athletes at the Surf Ranch Pro received points for elements such as progression and variety, so it is simply incorrect to suggest these are not taken into account in the judging criteria. Furthermore, our rules have been applied consistently throughout the season, including at events this season that were won by athletes who are now questioning those same rules.

Surfing is an ever-evolving, subjective sport and we welcome a robust debate around the progression of our sport and the criteria used to judge our competitions. However, it is unacceptable for any athlete to question the integrity of our judges who, like our surfers, are elite professionals.

No one person or group of people are above the integrity of the sport.

Erik Logan
WSL Chief Executive Officer

That’s better.