Photo: Instagram
Photo: Instagram

Former first daughter Ivanka Trump continues wild affair with surfing on exotic Costa Rican mission!

"Conservative women do it better."

The surf world has been roiled since a troubling study was made public revealing that our favorite pastime is no longer pursued by young sun-kissed teens but almost exclusively by upper-middled aged cis white males. The aura of vitality, of bleeding edge cool all but exploded overnight.

We are Erik Logan.

But might we also be Ivanka Trump? The former first daughter, and second most attractive of the Trump children after Donald Jr., was recently snapped on a surfing vacation in exotic Costa Rica continuing on a wild affair a near tragedy.

But you certainly recall, holding your collective breath two years ago when images leaked out showing the then-vulnerable adult learner nearly removing the head from her five-year-old son Theodore’s body with a very thick foam surfboard whilst taking a lesson in South Beach near Miami.

The Daily Mail reported at the time:

The 39-year-old was seen hitting the waves with her three children – Arabella, nine, Joseph, seven, and Theo, five – on Sunday, however it was far from smooth sailing for the former First Daughter, who suffered several tumbles during the session, as well as a scary collision with her younger son.

Thankfully, the youngster appeared unharmed, and proud mom Ivanka was later seen waving her hands, clapping, and flashing a thumbs up while watching her kids conquering the ocean on their own boards, all while under the watchful eye of several instructors.


Two years on, though, Trump seems to have progressed to a pop-out longboard. “Soaking up the summer solstice,” she poetically inscribed the image of her confidently strolling on the sand. Board, wax side out, glimmering in the sun.

Praise was near universal from her dedicated fanbase.

“Conservative women do it better,” one wrote.

“More pretty than a super model,” another added.

Cue Kelly Slater?

New judging brouhaha bewilders surfers and spectators at Vivo Rio Pro, “No wonder the athletes are confused!”

The entirety of the scoring criteria for the season to date is to be scrapped. One manoeuvre waves are the order of the day.

Not perhaps a day for the annals of surf history, but not without interest either.

I do enjoy Rio. The fans (real, as opposed to a WSL figment) make it seem like there’s something at stake, even if there isn’t.

Pre-comp, the ghost of judges past, Richie Porta, informed us via a short video clip posted to the WSL channels what the judges “may” be looking for. But if the wording was noncommittal, the examples given certainly were not.

The first was Carissa, scoring 9.5 for two solid yet unflashy backhand snaps. In light of the recent scoring debacles it was more than a little jarring. I wondered briefly if Porta was mocking us.

Is he even employed by the WSL anymore? In what capacity? Or has he just run off with the keys and is posting these things for his own titillation whilst still (apparently) under house arrest?

The second example given was an 8.67 for Italo for a well-executed backhand rotation of the type he can do to a tune. If this sort of surfing scores high eights then there can’t be many safer surfers to bet on here than Ferreira.

The third example was Filipe, in last year’s final I believe, getting a ten for a single aerial.

It seems that in Rio the entirety of the scoring criteria for the season to date is to be scrapped. One manoeuvre waves are the order of the day.

Given the recent furore about progression and above the lip surfing being unrewarded in favour of flow, it beggars belief that this is where we are. It’s a judging aneurysm that takes a special kind of doublethink to understand. No wonder the athletes are confused. I can’t think of another sport where the success criteria is in such constant state of flux.

Or perhaps it’s just WSL capitulation to the global superpower that is Brazilian surfing. ELo flew in as an envoy, joining the booth today to wax lyrical about Rio as a surf destination and how absolutely awfully fantastically spiffingly wonderful the people are.

There was some classic ELo awkwardness, of course, when he referenced Tatiana Weston Webb, “or ‘Tati’ as they call her here” in a half-questioning tone, turning to Jesse Mendes for reassurance, as if the abbreviation of her name was some kind of obscure or sordid nickname.

Maybe he’ll be wearing a t-shirt with her tatis on it next.

And where, pray tell, is JMD? Conspicuous in her absence, if not missed, there is no explanation for her recent disappearance.

But onto the surfing.

Rio Waida’s airy style very nearly saw him through the first heat of the day, if not for a buzzer beater win for Ethan Ewing who squeaked into first place by just 0.07 points.

The red jerseys of top seeds Chianca and Toledo took the next two heats, though the latter was run close by a sparky Sammy Pupo, who, upon seeing, I realised I’ve actually quite missed. In general I’m supportive of the mid-season cut, but there will always be one or two surfers on the wrong side of it who seem more unlucky than lacking quality. Sammy Pupo exemplifies that emerging archetype, just as Chianca did last year.

In a rare useful statistic from the broadcast team we were reminded (listen up, degenerate gamblers) that Filipe Toledo has won four from eight competitions here, and has an 83% heat winning percentage. Impressive. Enough for Mitch to claim it was the most dominant any surfer in history has been at one location. I’m not sure about that. Not because I have a counter-argument to hand, but just because Salazar is increasingly full of shite.

Which reminds me, I twigged today one of the things that niggles me about Joe Turpel. It’s the gross segues where he infers things that people do once are things they do all the time. For example, he might say something like: “Liam O’Brien. What a guy. Great hair. And now he’s using that hair to defeat number one ranked surfers in the world on the Championship Tour!”

Yago Dora and Italo Ferreira were impressive as expected in opening round victories, so too Medina who narrowly lost out to Dora.

But the highest heat total of the day went to a perhaps less fancied John Florence, courtesy of a nine point ride for a single backside alley-oop, as prophesied by Richie Porta.

The air was solid enough and with impressive altitude, but it was one manoeuvre on a fading swell, and to my eye not as good as similar airs from both Italo and Yago that scored less.

But it was good to see John get a victory and find a little verve that’s been hard to come by recently. I wondered, as I saw him pre-heat with Ross Williams, if that coaching partnership is really the right one for him. Florence clearly needs no coaching in terms of talent, but I’d guess he does need a very specific kind of motivational coach. I wouldn’t be so bold as to guess what that looks like. Maybe Williams is it. But I wonder if trying something different might reignite the spark that’s been missing from his competitive surfing.

Looking ahead, on evidence of the standards set by today’s scoring we can expect lots of hucking and hoping from here on in.

Money on Ferreira and Dora. Outside bets on Waida.

Surf feminist hero Lucy Small mounts Jan 6-style insurrection against pro event as women storm open division securing all but one position!

“Open divisions are a form of discrimination against women” says Surf Equity.

You’ll certainly know the name Lucy Small, who rocketed to fame a few years ago when she gave organisers of a longboard contest hell from the stage for paying women half the prizemoney as the men.

The effect was seismic and mainstream media went into overdrive, for who, after all, doesn’t love a little patriarchy busting?

Lucy even went head to head with the founder of professional surfing, Mr Ian Cairns, via Instagram DMs after she posted a meme featuring the hanging scene from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. 

Kanga took it as a personal affront, white man being executed; our guest did it to highlight the hypocrisy of an amendment to Texan abortion laws. 

Now, Lucy has mounted a January 6-style insurrection against the organisers of a longboard competition after it was announced there would be one pro division,  open to both men and women, instead of separate divs.

A reasonable decision given the recent evaporation of gender, everyone’s equal and so on, yes?

“The chances of a man winning the money is a lot higher so it’s not really fair,” argues Small who says she asked the organisers of the Kirra Longboard Classic to split the five gees prizemoney into two divs.

After the organisers said no, Small marshalled other female surfers, organised a women’s surf label to cover the $250 entry fee and secured fifteen of the sixteen slots in the open division, one man grabbing the final spot.

“We were, like, an all-girl’s division, what do we do, so we added him the group chat. He hasn’t responded yet, ha ha,” said Small.

As words come back to bite, as they tend to do, let’s go back one year to when Small claimed that men…didn’t…have any advantage over women as she argued the case for the inclusion of T-Girl Sasha Jane Lowerson into the women’s div.

Inspirational Sasha, you’ll remember, transitioned a few years back after a former life as male surf champ Ryan Egan.

“I competed against Sasha a few months ago and we welcomed her to the womens division.…What is just as infuriating is that all the men commenting here and saying this type of thing are operating under the assumption that because someone grew up biologically male they are automatically better than everyone in the womens division. This says less about it being unfair and more about your sexist attitude toward women’s performance level in surfing.”


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A post shared by Lucy Small (@saltwaterpilgrim)

As a bit of context to the Kirra contest organiser’s decision to run with one open division, we need to turn to the recent imbroglio over the Noosa Malibu Club who were threatened with losing their Surfing Australia sanction after seeming to give the gals less money than the men.

“It’s pretty straightforward. We have a rule book that says clubs must offer equal prize money to men and women in events affiliated with Surfing Australia. We’ve asked the club to compensate the female winner and rectify the situation,” Surfing Australia’s Chris Mater told the Courier-Mail.

Mater was forced into a swift apology when it was revealed anyone could enter the open division.

“I would like to offer my sincere apology to Noosa Malibu Club, its members and wider community,” he said. “I would also like to retract that I issued a ‘first and final warning’ and threatened to expel the club. The information I had at the time was wrong and I discovered that the club did not breach our rules.”

Some instructive comments below the line on Small’s IG post.

“The man who entered should withdraw in solidarity and voice strong support for a women’s division. Great work!”

“Open divisions are a form of discrimination against women.”

And so on.

Surf fans lose all faith in higher power as mass candle lightings for Kelly Slater’s miraculous healing from spinal meningitis yield northing!

Fists shaking skyward.

The surfers are in the water, as they say, down Saquarema way but where a joy should reign, a spirit of carnival, sadness is the only palpable emotion. Sadness and a Nietzschean nihilism that not reared its head since middle World War II. For the greatest athlete to ever live, one Kelly Slater, has shockingly not healed from an illness that must be spinal meningitis.

Two-ish days ago, the 11x world champion took to Instagram and informed his dear fanbase that “When my sickness started the other day. On day 5 of being sick now. Fevers, sinus, chills, headache, stomach flu, etc. Glad I made it home amidst the onslaught.”

He included cryptic data from an Oura ring to establish just how dire matters were.

Surf fans knew there was only one thing to do. Head to the pantry, unbox the best candlebox, select favorite, light and station by the windowsill, think healing thoughts.

Alas, those pleas did not work and Kelly Slater is not there forcing most, if not all, to abandon belief in a higher power altogether.

Dark days.

Sleuths have discovered that the icon has not, in fact, surfed in Brazil since 2015. Eight years of misfortune. Almost like a curse, if we still considered such magic.

David Lee Scales and I discussed Slater’s absence, anyhow, and also things I don’t accurately recall since I am part of surfing’s great greying. So are you. I recommend listening at the highest volume.


World Surf League CEO Erik Logan giggles in face of death threats, flies to Rio and forces “uncomfortable intimacy” on Brazilian stars!

Big boss boy.

The Championship Tour class of 2023, post-cull, is currently floating in the waters off Saquarema and did you think we would actually get to this place, here, or did you think the entire World Surf League would have come undone with frightful death threats, refusing to spew carbon all the way to the land of order and progress?

But you recall just last month when America’s Griffin Colapinto beat Brazil’s Italo Ferreira in the final of the Surf Ranch Pro thereby setting into motion a series of terrifying events. First, Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo and the aforementioned Ferreira publicly complained about the judging. Then Brazil’s “passionate” fanbase piled on, demanding justice. They were right, of course, as the judging was awful but World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, adopting a dismissive, paternal tone (after ordering Toledo to “take your shirt off”), dropped an absolute hammer.

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


He then went uncharacteristically dark, disappearing from view entirely, as his letter was not well-received. More threats. World Shame League. Etc. He stayed lost during the El Salvador event, the judges doing their best to ensure a Brazilian victory and no riots, and he stayed hushed all the way up to the beginning of the Vivo Rio Pro.


Maybe no for there he is in Brazil giggling in the face of death.

Taking to his preferred medium Instagram, Logan declared:

Touchdown Rio de Janeiro! It’s an immense honor to be back in Brazil, the land of samba, sun, and spectacular surf! We are thrilled to once again soak in the vibrant energy, stunning beaches, and powerful waves that this country is renowned for.

Hosting press conferences is always a highlight of our tours, and there’s no place quite like Rio to do this. We can’t wait to engage with the local and international press in this stunning city, share stories, and build anticipation for the World Surf League event.

It’s always an enriching experience for our surfers and staff alike to have the opportunity to meet, talk, and interact with the journalists who are as passionate about surfing as we are. The chance to answer questions, share insights, and engage in meaningful conversations about the sport we love is something we always look forward to.

But it’s not just about us – these events are as much about you, the fans and the incredible community that supports us. Your passion and enthusiasm are what drives this sport and make every wave, every ride, and every event so special.

Stay tuned for some exhilarating action on the waves, and as always, thank you for your unwavering support. Together lets make the World Surf League event in Brazil a surfing spectacle to remember!

He then did what he does best, forcing uncomfortable intimacy on his “buddies.”

Only those with cast iron stomachs are encouraged to watch.