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.

Comment live, Vivo Rio Pro, as desperately ill Kelly Slater officially a no-show for eighth consecutive year!

Brazilian fans distraught, weeping on beach etc, as eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater misses event due to illness.

Movie-star handsome surf icon says “Kelly Slater is going to be pissed” after building a wave pool for less than two thousand dollars!

Truckers mowing through flooded streets the inspiration!

The popular vlogger and high-end intermediate surfer from New Jersey, Ben Gravy, says “Kelly Slater is going to be pissed” after he created a wave-making machine using a Toyota pickup with a fiifty-dollar piece of plywood bolted onto the front bumper. 

The tech, if you wanna call it that, ain’t that much diff to the ol train and sled used by the first Wavegarden and the current Slater pool. Gravy, however, got his inspiration from watching truckers mow through flooded roads, their bull-bars creating a surfable wake. 

This thirty-four minute featurette shows the genesis of Gravy’s idea from light bulb moment to concept drawing to pitching to major companies (fail!) and, finally, the moment de vérité in a brown-water swamp. In contrast to the Gravy pool, a single wave costs around seven-hundred dollars per person at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch; at any of the Wavegarden tanks around twelve bucks. 

Wildly non-essential but a pleasant ass fondle if you persist. 

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.