Rio Waida. Photo: ISA World Surfing Games
Rio Waida. Photo: ISA World Surfing Games

Brave Indonesian superstar Rio Waida lays bare fraudulent World Surf League claims in devastating CNN profile!

"Every time we see a bad wave we don’t get excited to surf …"

The World Surf League, which has dubbed itself the “global home of surfing,” has been on the ropes of late. An insurrection after the Surf Ranch Pro wherein three former champions, each from Brazil, assailed the judging criteria and demanded account. After two days of fumbling, WSL CEO Erik Logan excoriated them in a scathing letter, declaring, that it was “unacceptable for any athlete to question the integrity of our judges.”

Veteran tour reporter JP Currie, shocked alongside all surf fans, declared Logan’s tone fell “somewhere between a dictator and a domestic abuser.”

Logan and his number two, Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, quickly retreated behind the Wall of Positive noice in order for the troubles to pass except it seems they are mounting.

The El Salvador Pro, in the second day of its waiting period, has gotten off to a slow start with lousy surf after putting on quite a show for the just wrapped ISA World Surfing Games.

Worse, though, Indonesian superstar Rio Waida has just laid bare the World Surf League’s main claim of hosting “the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves,” a mantra repeated over and over and over again, in a devastating new interview with CNN. After a brief introduction to the current Championship Tour number 20, the interview turns to why there are not more Indonesian surfers competing in the top ranks.

“In Indo, we have the best waves and every day is good waves. That’s why we kind of get spoiled,” Waida told the struggling news outlet. “If you go to Europe, it’s going to be cold and we have to put a wetsuit on and stuff; we don’t put wetsuits on in Indo. Every time we see a bad wave we don’t get excited to surf … But if we want to win, we have to go through that and then do our best in any conditions. So that’s kind of what I did and it’s working.”

World’s best surfers.

World’s increasingly mediocre waves.

It has been long known, of course, that in order to become a professional surfer, mastering sloppy 2ft nothings is essential. Once in the big leagues, though, all that scrap was once rewarded with a “dream.” Cloudbreak, G-Land, Mundaka, etc. These days, the best of the best are forced to slide for their supper in the aforementioned El Salvador, Surf Ranch, Saquarema all culminating at Lower Trestles.

Worse year over year and how much worse can it get before the Rio Waidas of the world, those hidden talent gems, take a look and think, “You know, no thanks?”

Or is the time finally exactly right for Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to swoop and dominate?

I think CNN’s former boss Chris Licht might be available and willing to take the reins.


Black's (pictured) with famous nude.
Black's (pictured) with famous nude.

San Diego surfers doleful as local biggish wave treasure Black’s Beach fails to crack top 20 “Best Beaches for Nude Sunbathing Around the World!”

Indecent lack of exposure.

It’s a grey in Southern California, again, this morning. A blanket of blah covers the sky refusing to let the sun shine down. A light, cold wind tickles the flat Pacific. Glumness reigns. And, in San Diego it also reigns in hearts usually filled with arrogant pride of being “America’s Finest City,” for the local biggish wave treasure, Black’s, has basically been omitted from the august list of “best beaches for nude sunbathing around the world.”

The “well-known secret spot,” just off the likely soon cancellable Ho Chi Minh Trail, has long been cherished as a swell magnate and also clothing optional liberalism. Surfers can enjoy people watching various older nudes strolling the sand underneath the sandstone cliffs whilst waiting patiently for plus-sized kegs.


And yet neither the waves nor the cliffs nor any such think helped in the definitive rankings, compiled, oddly, by a British bikini company.

Number one was Haulover Beach in Miami where exhibitionists can rent beach chairs and umbrellas and also receive helpful advice from pantless guides wearing green hats. Number two was Praia de Tambaba in Brazil which has dazzling water and proximity to surf champion Adriano de Souza’s home. Number three was in Greece, four in Turkey, five in Spain and we must drift all the way down to thirty-eight to find Black’s.

No description is given.

The index score a lowly 49.2

Thoroughly depressing.

But what is your position vis-à-vis nude beaches? Are you a major fan, shedding your swimmers and joining right in or conservative and shy? David Lee Scales spoke about them on our most recent chat. He wished he could feel more at ease and wanted to be able to shed both trunks and inhibitions. I was of the mind that those, especially men, without shame are those, almost alway men, who make poor decisions generally. The sort that get their ears pierced as adult males etc.

Sam George.

Back to you, though. Yay or nay when it comes to indecent exposure?

Or would you rather 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…

Horror wipeout at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch awakens childhood trauma of near-drowning for pro scooter rider Corey Funk!

"I never wanted to get in the water again. I never wanted to try surfing until I came here and I got swallowed up and it really scared me."

Corey Funk needs little introduction, of course. He is the storied twenty-six-year-old pro scooter rider (“Watch me twirl, daddy!”) from Temecula in California who operates the YouTube channel Funk Bros with his brother Capron and cuz Tyler. The gang have six-million plus subscribers with vids regularly hitting more than a million clicks. 

Plenty of social juice, an inspiration to god’s chillun etc.

Now, following a visit to Surf Ranch courtesy of his sponsor Red Bull who stumped up the seventy-gees to hire the joint and which confuses Funk who suggests, therefore, that each of his ten waves cost seven gees apiece, a wipeout sends the star into a nightmarish spiral back to when he nearly drowned as a kid. 

“My second time out,” he begins, tears forming, “I got swallowed by a wave (long pause) and it scared the crap out of me. It brought some trauma back from when I was a kid. I got sucked over a wave when I was a kid and I wasn’t able to get out the wave. Multiple waves came, back to back to back and kept me under the water. It really scared me. It scared me so much to a point where I just never wanted to get in the water again, I never really wanted to try surfing until I came back here and I got swallowed up again and it really scared me.” 

Redemption follows, this being the safest wave on earth, policed by the world’s best surf coach Tahitian Raimana Van Bastolaer, and Funk is soon barebacking the famous man-made wave, literally putting his life on the line for his YouTube video. 


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A post shared by Corey Funk (@coreyfunk)


Thinking back on all the people I've infuriated in our bubble during the last two decades, from the aforementioned Ridgway, Fanning, Speaker, Noggins, Slater to Sam George, I couldn't help but thinking Jonah Hill was the most genuine, the most self-aware. And self-awareness is the key that unlocks the doors of perception and/or surf nirvana and/or core-dom and/or this incorrigible surf journalist's broken heart.

“Bastion of Kook” Surfer Magazine further embarrasses itself while attempting to shame the greatest gift surfing has ever known Jonah Hill!

Surfer must go.

Yesterday, our wonderful friend Jonah Hill made a grand return to the surf consciousness.

Video captured the heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne belly sliding a longboard in his kingdom, mistakenly cutting off a 14-year-old boy who was trimming nicely down the line on a particularly glum day. The sort that now haunts Southern California from the beginning of may until the middle of June. The clip would have gone unnoticed if not for the famed Kook of the Day Instagram account, which has been cancelled and forced to operate under the somewhat balky moniker Kook of the Day OG.

“Being the kook of the day can happen to the best of us! Even Jonah Hill!” its mysterious moderator penned. “Seen here snaking @cormaccove maybe Jonah slipped? Or those stupid Ryan Lovelace boards he rides (shrugging man emoji).”


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A post shared by Kook of the Day (@kookofthedayog)

The comments were near universal in praising Hill, calling out Kook of the Day OG for daring insult an icon etc. and both Derek Rielly and I understood why.

You see, about six months ago I got a text from a dear surfer friend reading, “Someone you do not speak highly of reached out and asked for your number. Do you mind if I give it?”

I laughed while wondering who it could possibly be.

The most famous Goggansas from Shire Goggansas, Ashton, already has my number.

So does World Surf League CEO Erik Logan.

The world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater must have it because I have his and Paul Speaker is no longer, apparently, involved in actively destroying professional surfing.

I somehow landed on it being Mark Price, though I don’t recall why, so you can imagine my surprise when a text popped through reading, “Hey Chas it’s Jonah Hill. I would like the opportunity to chat with you human to human if you’re up for that. No anger nothing. Just truly want to talk. If not, all good.”

But you will certainly recall the wild good times we had with the Academy-nominated star as he discovered surfing. The journey of learning to be funny etc. He was a fixture, here, and though it was all in theoretically light-hearted and literarily valuable, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I braced for a thorough tongue lashing not seen since Rip Curl’s Neil Ridgway excoriated me with “I don’t like what is happening here. I don’t like the inaccuracies in what you write. Look, you come to us with your hand out, we put you up in a hotel and you write off the event? That doesn’t seem right to me” and “See I’m wearing a funny hat. Now you can write about that” some fifteen years ago in Portugal.

I did write it, directly, and mentally prepared to write whatever Jonah Hill was going to bark at me too, calling straight away.

“Hi, this is Chas Smith,” I said with that dumb lilt in my voice when trouble is coming and I can’t wait for it (see: Mick Fanning). “You wanted to talk?”

“Thanks so much for calling,” Jonah responded with such genuine warmth as to catch me entirely off guard.

We proceeded to chat for the next 30-plus minutes. He described how he had fallen in love with surfing, truly fallen in love. How he now understood the missteps he had made along the way, putting too much on social media etc. How he respected the history, the core, this BeachGrit community right here who also loves this odd water dance. How he reads, listens, learns. As proof of his devotion, he even deleted his Instagram account because he knew.

He didn’t ask for any changes in how we wrote about him. Understood that it came with the territory. Just wanted me to know that he simply loved surfing and was trying to honor that.

I was absolutely floored.

Later he called Derek and had a 45-plus minute conversation with him too on similar themes though my better half only recounted to me how much he wanted to get off the phone and go surfing.

Thinking back on all the people I’ve infuriated in our bubble during the last two decades, from the aforementioned Ridgway, Fanning, Speaker, Noggins, Slater to Sam George, I couldn’t help but thinking Jonah Hill was the most genuine, the most self-aware. And self-awareness is the key that unlocks the doors of perception and/or surf nirvana and/or core-dom and/or this incorrigible surf journalist’s broken heart.

And/or wait, is it?

Maybe, but in the meantime, zombie website Surfer Magazine continues to embarrass itself by reporting on the Kook of the Day OG post, writing, “a new clip shows Jonah breaking one of surfing’s biggest faux pas” and “Cowabunga, Jonah.”

“Breaking” a “faux pas?”


Surfer must go.

I shared this story, anyhow, during my weekly chat with David Lee Scales. We also discussed Ben Gravy and how Erik Logan is full on getting fired and/or resigning.


Sammy (left) and Jason getting it. Photo: Channel 9
Sammy (left) and Jason getting it. Photo: Channel 9

Australian parents mercilessly flogged in court of public opinion for daring let young children swim alone in ocean!

“I feel ill. Kids at the beach by themselves at that age makes me feel physically ill."

This world is a cruel place, seemingly crueler everyday, with opinions hewn into instruments of torture and used, mercilessly to flog those with wrong thinking or actions in the public square. Brutal flicks of the lash meant to leave deep scars and also scare others away from similar wrong thinking or actions. And let us travel, together, to Australia where two parents, Jason and Sammy, are currently tied to the sawhorse, backs exposed, for daring let their young children swim unsupervised in the ocean.

The revelation was made on the reality program Parental Guidance in which parents share tricks of the trade and brutalize each other when tactics diverge. The two engage in what they call “lighthouse parenting” in which they allow their oldest two children, Pepper, 10, and Jude, 6, go to the beach all by their big selves and splash splash away.

“It’s an opportunity for them to showcase how independent they can be, and give them some trust as well,” Sammy declared.

Well, people were not pleased, no not at all.

“I feel ill. Kids at the beach by themselves at that age makes me feel physically ill,” one mother spat.

“That water can change in an instant and from where you are and where the kids are, they’re gone,” another added.

Sammy, though, stuck to her guns, responding, “The thing with our parenting style is the children to be aware of their own limitations,” which brought out the big guns from World Surf League CEO Erik Logan who in an open letter stated:

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.


Back to Jason, Sammy and their crazy ways, do you stand with them, thinking that today’s children are over-coddled and need a little bit more freedom or are we not doing enough to keep them safe?

Do you let your own little ones swim or surf alone?

Do you dare utter if you do?

Watch out.