Steds and baby mama Darsan O'Connor in Croatia, inset, and sprawling beach house in Suffolk Park.

Former world #11 surfer and jiujitsu expert Luke Stedman buys beach compound in hot new surf ghetto Suffolk Park for $1.67 million!

Canny ex-pro surfer takes advantage of plunging property prices around Byron Bay!

Luke Stedman, whom I’ve known for two decades and who has so far avoided any sort of obvious age-related decay, is one of those rare surfers who, although never highly monied, flourished post tour.

He is the son of the man who created the billion-dollar ugg boot empire; is a part-time model; a surf coach; is a teacher of the western world’s next yoga-esque craze ginastica natural; carries a brown belt in Brazilian jiujitsu (one rung off black) and is a swordsman par excellence.

So good, in fact, even your ol pal DR was forced to bow to his bravura performance during a three-day long battle for a French television show host in Tahiti in the very early two thousands.

Two years ago Luke, who is forty-six, moved from California to just behind Lennox Head to form a family cocoon, a commune, around his Daddy Shane, creator of the ugg boot and the eponymous surfboard manufacturer SHANE, one of the most authentically Australian Australians alive. 

Shane had just turned eighty and was a few months out of surgery to remove “balloons” in his chest. These growths squashed his lungs, reducing his ability to breathe by eighty-five percent. 

They sold the family house of almost forty years at 61  Hillcrest Avenue at Mona Vale there for five mill and bought a hunk of land at Tintenbar, five miles north-west of Ballina. 

“Buying some land, throwing a couple of shacks on it and moving dad up the coast so he can watch the grandkids and we can keep an eye on the old grommet,” Luke said at the time. 

Now, Luke has spent $1.67 million Australian dollars on a four-bedder in Suffolk Park, that one-time bleak as hell offshoot of Byron Bay that has now become the hottest surf ghetto since 2009 Bondi Beach. Throw a Gucci sandal and you’ll hit some surf industry figure in the beak. 

The joint, which has the strong bones of a double brick suburban house although little of the gimcrackery glamorous Luke might prefer, is a canny buy for the Daddy of two and husband of sexy hair stylist gal Darsan O’Connor after property prices tumbled twenty percent in the area over the course of the last six months. 

It last sold in 2016 for 945k, a handy seven hundred in the pocket for the vendor although Luke also benefited from beachside Australia’s wild surge in property prices.

A year back he sold his Avalon place for $2.4 million after buying it for one-one mill in 2006.

Miley-Dyer (foreground) prepares to eat Erik Logan. Photo: Instagram
Miley-Dyer (foreground) prepares to eat Erik Logan. Photo: Instagram

World Surf League Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer deafeningly silent as boss Erik Logan continues to get brutally poked in wake of Surf Ranch Pro insurrection!

The king is dead, long live the queen?

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s Instagram account, which boasts 23k followers and quirky videos of him ordering employees to take their shirts off, is not generally a place for controversy. His posts, self-congratulatory, ultra-positive, tone deaf, mostly just draw neutered praise. Professional surfers litter a few raised hand or heart emojis. Various whozits and whatzits commenting light kudos but that’s all.

Fifteen to forty-two comments max.

His latest, a piece praising himself for creating equality in professional surfing, is, so far, at one-thousand-four-hundred-five and counting.

All unchill.

A sampling.

Hey Erik, how does it feel to be at the forefront of what will surely become the most shameful era of professional surf? Money, fame and connections might look cool now, but eventually this all goes away and it will only be your name left as the person who allowed for extreme lack of professionalism by judges in this era of the sport. Please please prioritise the sport over people’s personal interests!! Please have your name be the one of a person who decided to stand up and do the right thing!!

2- You guys should just apologize for the bizarre judging mistakes, it happens…
3- To change the whole judge panel, end with the head judge position
4- repete or don’t point the last day of the competition (which is not hard to do since it is on a Pool).
5- Don’t fuck with our sport anymore, don’t script it, make it better and your public will naturally increase

This has happened many times and nothing has changed. However, the credibility of the company is falling, against the growth of the sport. The subjectivity in the same wave (pool) was partially and clearly on purpose of the sponsor. We long time spectators deserve at least an explanation

Dark day in competitive surfing history, no explanations whatsoever are going to make up for what happened.

Your stance as CEO (translated in the open letter published today) is simply an embarrassment to the surfing community around the world! How can you penalize the innocent (surfers), and clear the guilty (the head judge and other referees), not even admitting that there is something wrong when the whole community is seeing it? The names of all of you will be in the pages of the history of this sport as responsible for the darkest period in history, with the removal of countless passionate fans, sponsors and other things. in other words , you will be known for kicking the sport back ! Have the slightest courage to change (or more correctly, all sin to leave!)

And you get the feeling.

Zero word, however, from Logan’s left hand, Jessi Miley-Dyer. Even though she is the World Surf League Chief of Sport, and even though she is not at all shy about putting herself front and center at conferences, blessings, equality makings, she in entirely absent during this great insurrection.

Not one word of support.

Zero attempt to take some of the heat.

But how do you think Erik Logan feels about that? Sitting alone in a darkened room, lightly twisting the nipples of his customized Filipe Toledo t-shirt, thinking about money, fame and connections maybe looking cool now, but eventually going away and only his name left as the person who allowed for extreme lack of professionalism by judges in this era of the sport or just plain sad?

It can’t feel good, that abandonment in time of need especially from a one-time barrel buddy.

The professional surf watcher, though, must wonder if Miley-Dyer’s hush-hush is purely strategic. Waiting for the guillotine to fall on the lonely CEO’s neck then swoop right in and snatch the crown.

A mid-season cut of sorts.

With friends like these etc.

All hail JMD.

Winner of Surf Ranch Pro Griffin Colapinto delivers Gandhi-like address to apoplectic Brazilian surf fans, “I understand that there are different cultures but in the end we all feel pain and we all feel love”

“Who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong? Life doesn't make sense sometimes."

The controversial winner of last Sunday’s Surf Ranch Griffin Colapinto has addressed the furore surrounding his victory in a generous post to Instagram. Writing in a general mood of gaiety, free of rancour etc Griff explains,

“We are all human beings! We are all one. Each person seems to have something difficult that is happening in their life. Some times lashing out on others can stem from something deeper that we have no idea about. Raise your hand if you are guilty 🖐️ I know I have been before. And that’s okay, we are humans that have been born into a world run by the overthinking mind and the feeling of separation. But deep down there is a love that understands we are all one. I understand that there are different cultures but in the end we all feel pain and we all feel love. There are so many different perspectives and points of view out there. Who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong. We grow up in different circumstances that shape our perspectives. Life really doesn’t make sense sometimes, but surely it’s more fun that way. Because now we have the unexpected. The element of surprise. There seems to be some growing pains in our surf community right now. But guess what? We are growing! Much love to everyone that is passionate about the sport of surfing. Without the passion, there would be no growth. Thank you!”


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A post shared by Griffin Colapinto (@griffin_cola)

Colapinto, who is a twenty-four-year-old from San Clemente but who looks very much less than his age, is a brave man. Like Mahatma Gandhi, he has the courage to believe that human society can be built only on moral principles and that no lesser means will prevail. 

Gabriel Medina who wrote an open letter to the WSL after losing in a quarter-final with Australian Ethan Ewing wrote, replied simply, “Love you brother.”

Colapinto ain’t no stranger to the heat of Brazilian surf fans. Last year, following his win over Filipe Toledo in El Salvador, chaos was promised on the sands of Saquarema if he dared show his face.

Read, Brazilian surf fans apoplectic following Californian Griffin Colapinto’s “shock” win over world title favourite Filipe Toledo, “World Shame League! This event was a joke!” and Latin surf fans vow to create chaos at next World Tour event in Brazil following Filipe Toledos controversial loss to Californian in El Salvador, “The biggest protest in history in Saquarema! Bring banners, balloons, planes, boo all the time! Make them leave due to emotional stress!”)


LGBTQ icon Tyler Wright protesting. The great Longtom writing, "I want to honour the intent but the corporate embrace of woke culture makes me deeply queasy. Another commodified product for the corpos to package up and sell in the guise of moral purity."
LGBTQ icon Tyler Wright protesting. The great Longtom writing, "I want to honour the intent but the corporate embrace of woke culture makes me deeply queasy. Another commodified product for the corpos to package up and sell in the guise of moral purity."

Protected groups stunned by World Surf League walking back social progression in wake of Surf Ranch Pro insurrection as CEO Erik Logan declares “No one person or group of people are above the integrity of the sport.”

The momentum is real.

Bonafides are only as good as they burnish and the World Surf League’s are suddenly looking extremely dull. Long known for advocacy and allyship, awareness and awaketivity, a new patriarchal head as emerged in the wake of the Surf Ranch Pro insurrection, horrifying protected groups who long considered professional surfing, at its highest level, a beacon.

The whole business started off on the right, or rather left, foot. A Native American blessed the plow there in Lemoore and off it whirred down the line, stirring up magical waves, not breaking down. But then came major complaints of fairness from three Brazilian surfers, each champions, and there exploded CEO Erik Logan, issuing an open letter dripping in victim shaming and white male fragility.

Let us read once more.

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

The last line particularly devastating.

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

Three, or such, years ago, the great Longtom commented on the World Surf League’s pivot to elevating one person or groups of people, writing at the time, “I want to honour the intent but the corporate embrace of woke culture makes me deeply queasy. Another commodified product for the corpos to package up and sell in the guise of moral purity. It feels hard not to gag on the hypocrisy.”

The pile on, anyhow, has showed no sign on slowing, new bodies joining the mass atop Logan every single hour. His milquetoast Instagram account filled with rage, Stab, generally a World Surf League safe space, seeping with opportunistic loathe. One person, though, has remained entirely silent. Jessi Miley-Dyer has posted nothing, released nothing, said nothing since the wildness has started. Quietly sitting by while her running parter, and boss, gets squeezed.

Do you imagine she is trying on the initials CEO before her name?

Standing in the mirror and practicing her introduction?

The momentum is real?

More as the story develops.

Two-time world champ John John Florence, happy with Yeti.

Grammy nominated DJ Fisher slams WSL in hilarious post to two million followers as former tour greats join the pile-on, “When a surfer gets a ten-point ride on the world championship tour he wins a f*#ing esky! Are you kidding me?”

“What are they going to do, fill it full of beers and use the lid to go down some hills?”

The former-pro-surfer-and-comic-turned-DJ Paul Fisher, who trades under the stage name FISHER, has slammed the WSL in a post to his almost two-million followers.

The thirty-six-year-old who was nominated for Best Dance Recording category at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for the nipple-twisting hit “Losing It” hit out at the WSL for giving any surfer who scores a ten-point ride in the season a Yeti cooler or in Australian parlance, an esky.

Yeti signed a three-year deal with the WSL in January, the brand hosting “on-site activations, including Hydration Stations, Activation Coolers, and branded event bottles, at select competitions, in addition to a branded-content series exploring the iconic locations on the WSL CT and Challenger Series featuring YETI ambassadors John Florence and Stephanie Gilmore.”

“I’m pondering on the fact that when a surfer gets a ten-point ride on the world-fucking-championship tour they get a fucking esky! A fucking esky!” said Fisher. “Are you fucking kidding me? That is unbelievable. What are they going to do, fill it full of beers and use the lid to go down some hills?

“A ten-point ride and you get a fucking esky! Unbelievable. Mate, what about a thousand bucks, just thousand bucks. Are you kidding? You used to get a Nixon watch worth ten-grand for a ten, now you get a fucking esky! Wow!”

(Note to readers: if the gifted Yeti is the famous 82-gallon Tundra 350, it retails at $1300.)


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A post shared by FISHER (@followthefishtv)

The post was wildly popular with world championship tour surfers and retired greats.

“For reals,” wrote Julian Wilson.

“This is the best fucking video ever!!!!! Captures the tour perfectly haha,” wrote Owen Wright.

“So good,” wrote Leo Fioravanti.

“Someone give me an average 10 years on tour how many 10’s??? Really want to know how many coolers I missed out on,” wrote 2001 world champ CJ Hobgood.

Dark days for the beleaguered organisation, dissent from within etc.