Scottish surfers (pictured). Photo: Trainspotting
Scottish surfers (pictured). Photo: Trainspotting

Scottish surf scene continues stratospheric rise as “teenage tale of surfing, sex and hellfire” set to open Edinburgh International Film Festival!


The surprise of the year, so far, has certainly been the implosion of the World Surf League and subsequent disappearance of its Chief Executive Erik Logan, who appears to have entered the witness protection program after infuriating then infantilizing the proud South American nation of Brazil. Near eclipsing, though, has been the continued stratospheric rise of Scotland as a surf culture powerhouse.

Who could have possibly seen that coming?

But here we are and it’s true. The northern bit of that Great Britain, usually known for delicacies made from intestines and plaid, has placed itself firmly alongside California, New South Wales, Hossegor as an arbiter of wave sliding cool.

It all started to shoot skyward, of course, with a keen-eye’d writer from one town, or another, up there who rose to be the definitive professional surf tour correspondent. Yes, a contest is not truly over until JP Currie has opined. How are we supposed to feel about what we saw without his direction? Without his dissection of this or that? He is, now, firmly number one stepping right over the great Longtom and whichever hungry hippo Stab has trying to make sense of Callum Robson’s backside attack.

And continues its vertical climb with the just-announced opener of the august Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Per Variety:

The world premiere of Scottish writer-director Johnny Barrington‘s debut feature “Silent Roar” will open the 2023 Edinburgh International Film Festival on Aug. 18. Billed as a “teenage tale of surfing, sex and hellfire” set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, the film stars emerging actor Louis McCartney as Dondo, a young surfer struggling to accept his father’s recent disappearance at sea. Caught up in grief, he is brought to his senses by rebellious crush Sas (Ella Lily Hyland), a high achiever who dreams of escaping the island. When an oddly-behaved new minister arrives on the island, Dondo begins to have cosmic visions.

By the description a must-see but have you ever been to Scotland?

I have, once, to the aforementioned Edinburgh, in fact. I was very taken by its Georgian scowl, medieval fortress perched on giant stone, glowering. It felt exactly like it should feel, which is a fine trait in a city and I ate many fishes and many chips and read Irvine Welsh, or at least thought about someday reading Irvine Welsh.

An injection, anyhow, of the Scottish flavor to our surfing world is so very welcome. Less preening, more punching.

No Oklahoma.


"Great facial expression before entry and tried to generate speed for a large entry. But he held onto the board for the full slide, which cost him."

Mick Fanning strips almost naked to pose as the Silver Surfer to help raise $2 million for research into “Stephen Hawking disease”

“It might take me a couple of weeks to get it off, but it’s all for a good cause.”

You never wanna get hit by motor neurone disease, one of the cruellest ways to slowly descend into a cauldron of misery. If you want evidence, watch any sorta video of the theoretic physicist Stephen Hawking, who lived with MND for fifty-five years, body increasingly twisted and ugly while his brilliant mind stayed forever sharp.

Mick Fanning, who is fit as a trout and as strong as a bear, meanwhile, has joined a who’s who of Australian celebrities, including Hollywood superstar Eric Bana, to help raise money to support Australian football legend Neale Daniher’s Fight MND campaign.

Fanning, who turned forty-two yesterday and whose staggering wealth had him crowned “one of the most successful post-retirement business athletes in Australia” stripped to a sexy shimmery leotard, covered himself in silver body paint and plunged into a pool filled with freezing water in front of tens of thousands of Australian football fans.

Although a firm fan favourite, analysis from Fox commentators was less than kind, sending the three-time world champ a rare defeat, finishing ninth from nine.

Costume: The ‘Silver Surfer’ from the old Marvel Comics. Brave choice to go topless with silver body paint and silver pants on a cold Melbourne day for a plunge into an icebath. Jonathan Brown though said it was a “missed opportunity” there was no inflatable shark in the water.
Entry and splash: Great facial expression before entry and tried to generate speed for a large entry. But he held onto the board for the full slide, which cost him.
Best quote: “I was thinking of wearing something minimal and getting really, really cold. It might take me a couple of weeks to get it off, but it’s all for a good cause.”

The last time we heard from Mick on these pages, of course, was three weeks ago when it was revealed filmmakers Nick Pollet and Vaughan Blakey, whose stop-motion epic The Greatest Surf Movie in the Universe has taken the surfing world by storm, spared Fanning the humiliation of full-frontal nudity.

Why no dick for Mick?

“All the surfers fully trusted us on a level that was, I think, they knew we wouldn’t cook ‘em, in the way they present their lives and careers and their brand,” Vaughan said. All we did was amplify the perception of who they are. We knew we could flare up with Jack and Wilko.”

Why did Jack get a jock pussy and Wilko a noble shaft with a great thick cord, enlarged, charged, aching to get sucked?

“Toss of a coin,” said Vaughan. “At the premiere of the movie in Queensland someone asked Wilko if he liked the movie and he said, well, I could be biased ‘cause I have a huge cock in it but I loved it!”

Freestone, meanwhile, “was soooo stoked he had the tiny dick. He had such a good sense of humour about the dick. Fuck, it’s life imitating art!”

“We knew we couldn’t put a dick on Mick, no dick on Mick, basically, so Jack and Wilko were the only guys we could put dicks on.”


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A miracle!

World-ranked Aussie surfer finds $10,000 Rolex Submariner while snorkelling off wealthy coastal enclave, “I laughed and thought it must’ve been a Bali knock-off!”

"Looking over, I noticed a Rolex Submariner with its band caught under a rock."

The crush on Rolexes is the damndest thing although I ain’t immune. A decade back after selling one story for five gees I gave in to the pressures of status and sent off for an Air King, bought in Italy in 1962 and lovingly tended to by its owner for fifty years.

It’s a subtle sorta watch, I don’t get no comments except from elderly homosexual men, wizened like winter apples, who chance upon it while stroking my wrist.

Recently, after completing a private commission for a billionaire I expected, beside the generous renumeration of one-hundred thousand dollars, a parting gift of a Rolex. It would be, likely, a simple white golf Yacht-Master, roughly eight thousand American dollars.

It didn’t happen ‘cause as my billionaire pal said, “There’s a one-year waiting list!”

I would’ve waited! Oy vey!

Anyway, the longboard surfer Matt Cuddihy didn’t have to melt no credit card or wait around to drop his ten gees after finding a slightly worse for wear though not catastrophically wounded Rolex Submariner 5513 wedged under a rock near some lost surfboard fins at Noosa Heads, a monied holiday hamlet a couple of hours north of Brisbane.

“I was just snorkelling around the same areas I normally go to in Noosa, and there seemed to be a bit of sand that had shifted and exposed more rocks than normal. I found seven surfboard fins wedged between rocks. Looking over, I noticed a Rolex Submariner with its band caught under a rock. The glass was partially frosted over from the sand moving around it for so long,” Cuddhiy told our pals at watch site Fratello.

He ain’t a treasure collector so much as an aquatic garbage man, howevs.

“Everyone has different experiences in nature, and for me, growing up in a place that is surrounded by national parks and beautiful beaches has shaped my life to where I am today. Taking care of the wild places is everyone’s responsibility… I have been snorkelling around the points when there is no surf. Mostly just looking at fish and visiting the local turtles, I started noticing an influx of things that shouldn’t be there. So now I try to snorkel once a week with a mesh bag and fill it with garbage that ends up wedged in the rocks. Mostly surfboard fins and fishing lures. I normally post my treasures on Instagram, and through that, I have reunited one surfboard fin to a guy that had lost his at the same spot that I found one which was in perfect condition. Then a few weeks back, [I reunited] an Apple Watch with a local guy that lost his in a recent swell.”

Cuddihy, who is currently rated 92nd on the longboard tour, says he’s been inundated with messages concerning the miracle Swiss watch although, so far, no claims on the fins.

Kelly Slater once again proves exception to World Surf League rules, proudly flashes non-sanctioned “Sharkest Shark Watch of all-time” after bowing out of El Salvador Pro!

"What are you gonna do about it?"

What happened to the World Surf League’s much ballyhooed partnership with Apple Watch? Just months ago, the new technology was front and center, a beacon of massive synergies and vectors and success. “The momentum of the Championship Tour, the World Surf League and professional surfing is real,” Chief Executive Officer Erik Logan proudly declared. Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer made a nice Instagram post showing how it worked and pretty.

Well, things got off to a bit of a rocky start. Italian star Leonardo Fioravanti took to the airwaves after the Pro Pipeline contest and declared, “And, I just want to say our fricken watches weren’t working and that’s pretty heavy, like my watch wasn’t working. Nothing to take away from Apple or the WSL, what they’re doing is great, they’re trying to bring in some technology to our world, but if my watch doesn’t work from start to finish and I gotta ask for time. I’ve been used to having the time on me at all times in heats, we’re fighting for our careers. So, I hope they figure it out ‘cause my watch didn’t work from start to finish. And that’s pretty heavy.”

He was, of course, heavily fined for placing himself above “the integrity of the sport.”

Brazil’s Caio Ibelli complained that the watch didn’t tell time. Hawaii’s Carissa Moore refused to wear and then… nothing.

No “Let’s throw it down to Strider to see what’s who has Apple priority.” No “Kaipo, what do you see there from your Apple?”


It must be assumed that the relationship is intact but even that is now in doubt as Kelly Slater was filmed after bowing out of the still-running El Salvador Pro flaunting an all-to-obvious Shark Watch.

Like, the Sharkest Shark Watch ever, colorway-wise.

Will he cop a punishment or prove, once again, that he is the exception to every World Surf League rule?

Like when the entire book was changed to accommodate him forever?

Where’s Erik Logan?

Shepardson (pictured) dropping into fame. Photo: The Eddie
Shepardson (pictured) dropping into fame. Photo: The Eddie

Eddie winner and blue collar hero Luke Shepardson takes one step closer to Hollywood fame as GQ publishes exhaustive profile!

Popcorn ready.

Five, or such, months ago, surfer hearts around the world were warmed all toasty when The Eddie was won by a working lifeguard. Surfing’s most prestigious contest had not run in eight years at the hallowed Waimea Bay and fans were dying for it, breaking into lusty sobs when it was greenlit, crowding around various iPhone and MacBooks or, if lucky, wedging their automobiles into Kamehameha gridlock.

There were great storylines even before the hooter sounded, like former Eddie champ Kelly Slater gifting his slot to local standout Chris Owens in an act of blazing love, and there were phenomenal performances after the hooter sounded as the waves lived up to expectation. A veritable who’s who paddling their iconic guns, pitching themselves into history.

And yet the most unlikely hero of all emerged victorious at the end of the day.

“In building twenty-to-thirty-foot surf, Luke Shepardson, twenty-seven, who started the morning by clocking in to his gig as a North Shore lifeguard, took a few hours off work and by day’s end had beaten the most stacked field in the event’s history,” Derek Rielly wrote in the near aftermath. “Apart from defending champ John John Florence, who finished second, Shepardson outsurfed big-wave world champs Makua Rothman and Billy Kemper, both surprise competitors after suffering injuries at the Backdoor Shootout, Kai Lenny, Zeke Lau, Grant Baker, Ross Clarke-Jones and so on.”

A blue collar hero was born.

Shepardson did the rounds in the following weeks, appearing on surf-centric podcasts and what not, and then surf fans’ attention turned to other matters. The World Surf League securing a ladder sponsorship, for example.

The World Surf League CEO turning abusive, lashing out then disappearing.

The aforementioned Kelly Slater flaunting World Surf League rules and wearing a Shark Watch instead of the mandated Apple one (more soon).

But cream always rises and our hero has made a triumphant return in the form of an exhaustive GQ profile out just hours ago. “Casual Luke Rides the Big Wave” is a multi-thousand word piece that explores not only the historic day but what led up to it. Shepardson working as an electrician in jail to support a small family, for example. His highs and lows.

It is essential reading but also an important step on the major motion picture about his life. I’d imagine Hollywood executives are waking up this morning, rubbing cocaine out of their eyes and perusing the wire for material. What could be better than Luke Shepardson?

Not much.

Except the story of a young water-fearing Oklahoman with a dream.

First, we must find him, though.

Erik? Erik Logan are you there?