BlackRock (left) winning. Photo: The Karate Kid
BlackRock (left) winning. Photo: The Karate Kid

San Diego surf school owner crushed by controversial investment giant Blackstone in reverse David vs. Goliath horror story!

Big trouble in little Coronado.

We all, each of us, love a David vs. Goliath story. Little guy taking down the giant with moxie and a few smooth pebbles. Small crushing big. Though, in life, the hulk generally wins and the bantam is swept away. And let us travel to the island of Coronado, just off San Diego, to learn of a Goliath vs. David story that has a billionaires fist pumping and a sole proprietor surf school owner obliterated.

Teevan McManus, who has lived in Coronado for much of his life and runs the Coronado Surfing Academy. Much of his business comes from lessons through the iconic Hotel del Coronado but his contract has just been terminated and handed over to the Jamie O’Brien Surfing Experience.

Was McManus piloting a leaky ship? Making poor decisions? Losing much money?

“I would understand if we did a bad job, but we did everything that was asked,” McManus told The Coronado Times. “We doubled business without a lot of support. We were cranking. We were working nonstop seven days a week. We didn’t miss a beat. I was here 83 days in a row.”

Coronado Surfing Academy grew business by 86% as compared to the Del’s previous vendor, figured out how to make it all work though sewage spills and Covid and invested between $25,000 and $30,000 for new soft tops and wetsuits. It has a five-star rating on Yelp and hires local high schoolers as instructors.

The problem?

Again, per The Coronado Times:

McManus says the decision to terminate the contract wasn’t made by the Hotel Del. He says the hotel staff has been “great” and has had nothing but praise for the Coronado Surf Academy. But his bosses at the Hotel del Coronado also have bosses.

He says that Blackstone, the New York-based private equity giant that owns the Del, ultimately made the decision to replace him with a non-local company out of Hawaii. McManus says it’s bad business.

“We kicked butt,” said McManus. “Now, they are going to replace us with a guy (Jamie O’Brien) who’s not even going to be here.”

Turns out, in addition to owning the Del, Blackstone also owns Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, which is home to pro-surfer Jamie O’Brien’s surf school brand, the Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience. McManus says that it’s because of this corporate relationship that the change was made. Jamie O’Brien has no ties to Coronado, and is only contracted to actually teach at the Del about six times a year, according to McManus.

“The thing is, these guys aren’t local,” said McManus. “I mean, if I tried to go to Hawaii and open up Teevan’s Snorkeling Tours, they would lose their minds.”

But you have certainly heard of Blackstone, no? The firm worth almost one trillion dollars that was recently involved in a child labour scandal?

I would love to have dear Jamie O’Brien close by, though, even if just six times a year.

But Blackstone really is the worst.

Conflicted.


WSL embroiled in new imbroglio as fan releases racist theory for Brazilian dominance of surfing tour, “When you take an oppressed racial minority and let them compete against privileged, racist White people what happens?”

"You have a disease known as Angry Old Gringo Syndrome that afflicts surfers who've been forced to watch Griffin and Kelly lose too many times."

The World Surf League, still staggering over the recent Surf Ranch Pro PR disaster where three Brazilian world champs publicly lambasted the organisation for poor judging, has become embroiled in a new contretemps after a surf fan posted his racist theory on Brazil’s recent dominance of the tour. 

user112345567, who has zero followers and who self-identifies as Joe Schmo Average White Guy, writes:

“Quick history lesson. When you take an oppressed racial minority and let them compete against rich, privileged, racist White people what happens? Hint: The White people lose every time. You can see this in the NBA, NFL, MLB, Boxing, Track and Field and now surfing. Except in surfing it’s Brazilians not Blacks. White people don’t have the hunger, the drive, the motivation and the anger that an oppressed minority has bottled up inside them. When you are given everything, you have nothing to gain. That is why whites can’t win and will never be great athletes.” 

 

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When surf fans lunged at the bait, Joe Schmo doubled  down. 

“Kelly slater has double the world titles of brazil,” wrote Caleb Miller.

Schmo replied, “The NBA was all white before they finally let Blacks in. Now it’s 72.3% Black. Same concept. Different Sport.”

“The wsl never kept brazil out of competition there just was never a good enough surfer from brazil to compete at the time,” replied Miller.

Schmo, “You’re missing the point. It took Blacks time to catch up and finally surpass Whites at Basketball and it will take time for Brazil to surpass Whites at surfing but make no mistake it is happening.”

thats_what_you_git hit back, “Yet another L #troll

Schnmo, “@thats_what_you_git Hi, I’m Dr. Schmo, based on your symptoms I believe you have the very common disease known as “Angry Old Gringo Syndrome” that tends to afflict Southern California surfers who have been forced to watch Griffin and Kelly lose too many times. Sadly there is no cure for the disease which gets progressively worse over time as Brazil wins more and more world titles but I suggest driving more on the gridlocked freeway and surfing crowded summertime Lowers as much as you can to alliviate your anger and frustration.”

Apart from Italo’s well-catalogued humble beginnings learning to surf on a cooler lid and daddy selling fish to beachfront restaurants etc, Filipe and Gabriel appear to’ve come from relatively middle-class and, likely, European Portuguese stock which negates the “oppressed racial minority” line.

Or no?


Slater, likely, will formally announce his withdrawal from Rio event shortly.

Thoughts and prayers for Kelly Slater after deadly spinal meningitis diagnosis as online sleuths reveal surf great’s long-history of sickness prior to annual Brazilian contest!

"Has Kelly faked an injury yet or will she show up for a change?"

Kelly Slater’s millions of fans and followers were distressed, though not surprised, when the 11-time world champ revealed he was desperately ill, listing a distressing litany of symptoms on his Instagram account yesterday and just prior to the start of the Vivo Rio Pro.

“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.”

As amateur virologist Chas Smith posited from New York earlier today, “The long list of debilitating symptoms might suggest the greatest athlete of all-time is suffering from spinal meningitis, pneumonia, malaria or a stroke. The global surfing community, while devastated that Slater likely will be unable to travel to Brazil, is more concerned about him lasting another five days thus the candles and thoughts.”

Now, online sleuths have revealed the surfing great, who is fifty-one, hasn’t competed in Brazil since 2015 when he banked a thirteenth place following a shock loss to the unfancied Australian Matt Banting, cataloguing a long list of debilitating injuries and illnesses as well as the Champ’s fear of pollution and the Zika virus.

Hell hath no fury like a surf fan, of course, and many were quick to light up the WSL’s Instagram account.

“Has Kelly faked an injury yet or will she show up for a change?” wrote one prophet prior to Smith’s diagnosis of the potentially deadly spinal meningitis.

In 2018, and after missing Brazil for the third year running, I had a brief exchange with  Slater, perhaps the last time ever, when I asked whether or not he was worried of punitive action by the WSL if he surfed The Founders Cup at his pool but not Rio.

“Sorry, not gonna jump into this clickbait,” wrote the quick-fingered Champ, adding “Hasn’t Jamie O humped a turtle today or anything?”


Stab (left) holds surf fan while jumping off Ziff ship. Photo: Titanic
Stab (left) holds surf fan while jumping off Ziff ship. Photo: Titanic

Bootlicking World Surf League “premium” propagandist organ furthers rumors of professional surfing’s demise in Judas-like betrayal!

Stab in the back.

They say that death and taxes are the only things certain in this wild world but I would also include surfing’s Stab spinelessly bending to whichever way the wind is blowing. The media house, which has bounced from one hip location just passed its prime to another, has long, and I truly hate to be crass, sucked World Surf League dick.

Always cheering, never jeering, the now Oceanside-based members-only surf blog has vigorously championed every move made by the World Surf League since billionaire Dirk Ziff’s purchase for free in 2015.

Clearly hoping to get some o dat.

Alas, some o dat did not come and now the propagandist organ is stabbing, no pun intended, the aforementioned Ziff, Chief Executive Erik Logan and the whole shooting match directly in the back.

Judas-like.

In a new bit of paywall journalism, Stab has declared the WSL is up for sale while being extremely rude to figures it once fellated.

Back in 2013, an American billionaire with a surf-enthralled wife decided to buy the Association of Surfing Professionals. He then gave it a shiny new name, restructured the operation from top to bottom, and developed an AI software called “Erik Logan” to help sell the dream, creating the World Surf League that we all know and love today.

Unfortunately, the WSL has recorded tens of millions in losses since its inception. And because the WSL is a private company with no outside investment, that means Dirk Ziff has recorded tens of millions in losses since its inception.

When you’re a billionaire, this isn’t the end of the world — a “tax write-off” as some would put it (people who make a lot of money need some losses to offset their gains). But when you’re a billionaire, you also know when the time is right to make a deal. And from the intel we’ve gathered, Ziff is in the market for a sale. Reportedly, he’s already had meetings with “very serious” suitors who are looking to take the League off his hands.

Furthering our suspicions is the fact that at the recent Surf Ranch Pro, despite very public protests from some of surfing’s biggest stars at this same event, the WSL remained incredibly calm and level-headed, and minus a tongue-lashing from Erik Logan decided not to punish Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, and Italo Ferreira for their reprisals of the League

— at least not publicly.

Also: In recent weeks, we’ve heard whispers that WSL owner Dirk Ziff has been in talks to sell his entire enterprise — the league, broadcast channels, KS Wave Co, and everything in between.

The use of “whispers” and “intel we’ve gathered” is clearly disturbing, alongside Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo and Italo Ferreira’s “reprisals of the League” plus the lie of “no outside investment,” as Slater Wave Co. prospectors have been roped into the World Surf League, but I have been saying this World Surf League is cooked for months now.

Stab’s jumping off the ship like a rat further proof.

Extremely shoddy surf journalism to boot.

More as the story develops.


Slater (pictured) being comforted. Photo: WSL
Slater (pictured) being comforted. Photo: WSL

Surf great Kelly Slater ravished by possible spinal meningitis complains of “fevers, sinus, chills, headaches, stomach flu etc.” hours ahead of Rio Pro!

"Glad I made it home amidst the onslaught."

Surf fans the world over are huddled over candles, eyes tightly shut, thinking healing thoughts as Kelly Slater moments ago revealed that he is suffering from a incapacitating illness that has laid him low just hours before the Rio Pro is set to get underway. The 11x World Champion took to Instagram and shared a cryptic body temperature image with his most ardent supporters, writing, “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.”

The long list of debilitating symptoms might suggest the greatest athlete of all-time is suffering from spinal meningitis, pneumonia, malaria or a stroke.

The global surfing community, while devastated that Slater likely will be unable to travel to Brazil, is more concerned about him lasting another five days thus the candles and thoughts.

But do you think it will work?

Do you think the power of positivity will carry on the trades all the way to Slater’s home, whichever one he is currently inhabiting, and lift him off his death bed then plant him in the land of order and progress or will the man who was gifted a one-of-a-kind season-long wildcard be forced to sit this one out?

Please keep your candle lit.