Johnny Florence and Team India. | Photo: ISA/Pablo Franco

Bloodletting continues at Olympic surf qualifier as highly fancied Team USA plunges to twenty-first place after early exits by world champs John John Florence, Carissa Moore and tour leader Griffin Colapinto!

Italian Edoardo and Spain’s Gonzalo Gutierrez put double world champ to the sword in El Salvador…

The Olympic qualifier in El Salvador is, if anything, a lesson in relevance as highly fancied Team USA, whose team members included world champs John John Florence and Carissa Moore as well as tour leader Griffin Colapinto plunged to 21st place overnight. 

John John was put to the sword by Italian Edoardo Papa and Spain’s Gonzalo Gutierrez, Griffin, a no-show and Carissa exited courtesy of German Noah Klapp, Saffi Vette from New Zealand and Spain’s Garazi Sanchez. 

Venezuela (19), Israel (17), Germany (11), Italy (9), Canada (6), France (4), Peru (2) and Japan (1) all stand on the throat on the biggest surf nation in the world. 

Is this shift to surfing’s new world permanent or is there a little more to it, a nuance less discussed?

It ain’t easy to work out the format, endless heats, repechage loser rounds etc, but, bottom line, you can’t lose more than twice, and it would seem that, along with the withdrawal of Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and Joao Chianca, the endless format has drained the interest of the world’s best surfers whose eyes are on the CT event which begins in two days and which is also in lesbian-unfriendly El Salvador.

The question we ask therefore, is this: are tour surfers throwing heats through a lack of interest and making a mockery of the system by withdrawing mid-contest or is the diff between, say, John John from Team USA and Italy’s Edoarado Papa smaller than the surf industry might like you to think? 

I’d suggest the former although I’m open to any sorta conspiracy if it gets the click-o-meter spinning.


Premium subscription surf website proudly announces to world that it has precisely zero female readers!

Surfers VS Manopause.

Yesterday, late, Australia’s Tyler Wright bravely confessed the horror, debilitating horror, of her monthly cycle.“It’s hard when you put so much work into something, you feel great and then you have a period so horrible it hospitalises you 3 days out from an event,” the two-time world champion wrote on Instagram. “Competing after those 3 days of being mostly bedridden and unable to eat was the harsh reality of navigating my period while meeting requirements in my professional career. At times it’s deflating physically and emotionally, feeling like you have no say in it. Managing my period has been a journey. I’ve come along way from my teen years, not even knowing it wasn’t normal to suffer monthly excruciating pain that would lead to passing out, vomiting and hours on the toilet. These days my period management looks like a customised training program based around the 4 menstrual stages, listening and planning carefully for what my body needs – even if that means less time practicing in the water before comps, prioritising sleep and recovery leading up to my period and being aware this is the time I am at highest risk of injury. At this stage in my life I am also heavily reliant on painkillers while I menstruate. They aren’t ideal but my other option is to have surgery to try find and fix the reason for these debilitating periods. The surgery isn’t a guaranteed solution and I would have to take time off from competing as well as rebuilding.”

Media, both mainstream and surf across the vast gender spectrum, appreciated and applauded the confession.

Media except for premium subscription surf website Stab, that is, which used the moment to proudly announce that it has precisely zero female readers nor cares to have any.

In a bit of tone deafness not seen since World Surf League CEO Erik Logan decided to victim shame Brazilian surfers for their passion, Stab used Wright’s highly personal disclosure to publish the think piece “Surfers VS Manopause” in which the pains and frustrations of males getting older and experiencing hangovers plus lower back pain, diminishing eyesight and desensitized taste buds.

“Around age forty, one begins to lose muscle mass and power. By age eighty, one has lost between a quarter and a half of one’s muscle weight. By the age of sixty, people in an industrialized country like the United States have lost, on average, a third of their teeth. After eighty-five, almost 40 percent have no teeth at all,” wrote Paul Evans, a Hemingway-esque adonis, “But what does that mean for our surfing?”

This country for old men.

“Tell me you have no women subscribers without telling me you have no women subscribers,” the initial hot take from stunned observers.

It is unclear if the move is purposeful, Stab declaring war on The Inertia by going directly after the beach wagon loving incel market, or accidental. A piece long planned but thwarted by Wright and her honesty.

Oceanside, or whichever newly-ish cool beachside community Stab now calls home, certainly recoiling tonight.

Over/under on it moving to San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district within three years, while you’re here.

More as the story develops.

Medina (pictured) out. Photo: WSL
Medina (pictured) out. Photo: WSL

Breaking: Stunner in El Salvador as Gabriel Medina pulls out of Olympic qualifier ISA World Surfing Games!

Listen all y'all.

The ISA World Surfing Games is currently underway in El Salvador’s lightish brown water and Olympic dreams are being made hourly. Jordy Smith has punched his ticket to Tahiti and so has Billy Stairmand who smashed Ethan Ewing and Ryan Callinan to take the Oceania slot. Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, on the other hand, has spectacularly withdrawn.

The current World Surf League number six is just coming off major disappointment/rip-off at the Surf Ranch Pro in Lemoore, California where he lost to Ethan Ewing in the quarters and ignited a firestorm, taking to social media in the form of an open letter.

“Dear WSL,” he began.

Please understand the importance of this discussion.

Surfing has been my life and my love for this sport is unconditional. I have put all my heart into and and want to leave a beautiful legacy one day when I look back at it.

However the surfing community, especially in Brazil, is mesmerized with the poor clarity and inconsistence of judging for many years now, but lately it has been even more shocking.

It is quite clear that judging is now rewarding very simple surfing, seamless transitions and have taken critical turns in critical sections off the criteria. This is very frustrating and is stagnating the sport.

Fans and sponsor will not accept this to continue and will in a near future be draw away once all they want is equal and fair judging to the sport.

Also, important to note that many coaches and managers have had the opportunity to speak to WSL after heats/events to ask about PROGRESSION and VARIETY in the criteria and the lack of reward for this space. The response given by them is always quite defensive by giving poor examples to illustrate THEIR point.

WSL needs urgently to clarify judging and apply equal and fair judging to save the progression of the sport.


Gabriel Medina and Brasil

Well, the World Surf League’s CEO, Erik Logan, did not like that open letter one bit and opened fire with one of his own, shaming Medina and all who dared question “the integrity of the sport.”

The Championship Tour, in any case, will follow the ISA World Surfing Games in El Salvador, though Medina’s withdrawal from the latter is quite stunning. As I understand it, the top two ranked surfers from a country on the aforementioned CT will receive tickets to the Games. Currently, Filipe Toledo and Joao Chianca are above Medina there meaning he will not get to participate in the five ringed dance unless a Brazilian wins the ISA World Surfing Games at which point Brazil will receive one more slot.

Surf watchers are busily wondering whether or not Logan will interfere and try to sabotage the South American nation’s chances like he allegedly did at Surf Ranch.

What do you think?

Will he or won’t he?

Medina’s withdrawal might also point to his feeling that, not matter what, he will dominate the rest of the CT and put himself in one of the two slots at the end.

But, again, sabotage.

Listen all y’all etc.

More as the story develops.

Open Thread: Comment Live on day seventy-five of the Surf City El Salvador ISA World Surfing Games!

It goes on and on and on and on and on!

All the President's Men was, of course, about The Washington Post but close enough.
All the President's Men was, of course, about The Washington Post but close enough.

World’s most influential surf website utilized in savage takedown of Elon Musk, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kelly Slater by august New York Times!

Pulitzer in the mail.

But is there any new source as powerful, as important as The New York Times? The answer, obviously, no. The Gray Lady, serious and sober minded, gently guides its public into all manner of truth and and the way to properly think about this or that. Indispensable. But that reputation, burnished to a fine sheen, has not been won overnight. The writing has to be flawless, research impeccable and sources above reproach.

I suppose, then, there is no surprise that the world’s most influential surf website was utilized in a fair and balanced piece gently titled “Robert Kennedy Jr., With Musk, Pushes Right-Wing Ideas and Misinformation.”

A sampling:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a scion of one of the country’s most famous Democratic families, on Monday dived into the full embrace of a host of conservative figures who eagerly promoted his long-shot primary challenge to President Biden.

For more than two hours, Mr. Kennedy participated in an online audio chat on Twitter with the platform’s increasingly rightward-leaning chief executive, Elon Musk. They engaged in a friendly back-and-forth with the likes of Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democratic congresswoman turned right-wing commentator; a top donor to Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida; and a professional surfer who became a prominent voice casting doubt on coronavirus vaccines.

The “professional surfer who became a prominent voice casting doubt on coronavirus vaccines” bit highlighted and hyperlinked to Derek Rielly’s seminal piece “History’s most decorated surfer Kelly Slater reignites vaccine mandate debate with most explosive social media post yet, ‘I could voice a lot about hypocrisy and lies from our media and politicians…'” in which Rielly quoted Slater as commenting on Instagram, “Maybe Stockholm Syndrome can now change its name to Melbourne/Australia Syndrome. It’s sad to see the celebrated division by the ‘virtuous; vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated why are you concerned/worried about anyone else’s status… unless, of course, it doesn’t protect you? Or you’re scared you’ll catch it or upset you had to take the risk of vaccination yourself? So much brainwashed hatred in people’s hearts regardless of vax status.”


The New York Times, in any case, without allowing an editorial position to seep out, declared Mr. Kennedy “repeated a host of false claims,” including that Democrats were getting more money from pharma than Republicans, Covid being a bioweapons problem and psychiatric drug use tied the rise of gun violence in the United States.

Musk and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s chat was listened to by more than 60,000 people, during its peak, and I’m still trying to sort out if Slater actually called in?

Tweeted in?

I don’t know. Who cares.