Three-time champ Medina and current world #2 Chianca, floored by virus days Brazilian Surf Federation.

Triple world champion Gabriel Medina and #2 rated surfer João Chianca sensationally flee from Olympic surf qualifier due to mysterious COVID-like virus!

ISA World Surfing Game's biggest stars evacuate event amid fears the virus could turn into pneumonia, pleurisy, nephritis or empyema.

Earlier today, news that the highly fancied Team USA which included world champs John John Florence and Carissa Moore as well as tour leader Griffin Colapinto and Caroline Marks had plunged to 21st place overnight. 

Along with the withdrawal of Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and João  Chianca it had become obvious the long and confusing contest had drained the interest of the world’s best surfers whose eyes were fixed on the CT event which begins in two days and which is also in lesbian-unfriendly El Salvador.

The question we asked, therefore, was were tour surfers throwing heats through a lack of interest and making a mockery of the system by withdrawing mid-contest? 

Maybe no! 

In a statement released by the Brazilian Surf Confederation, the governing body of the competitive side of things down in that feisty joint, both Gabriel Medina and João Chianca had been withdrawn from competing on finals day due to a mysterious COVID-like virus. 

“In a joint decision between the athletes and the director of sports of CBS Paulo Moura it is with sadness that we announce that Gabriel and João will not continue competing in the ISA Games that is taking place in El Salvador.”

According to Paulo Moura,

“Gabriel had the flue two days ago and João also woke up with the flu and considering the proximity to the WSL event that counts towards the world title and the Olympic position we opted to withdraw them from competition… if the contest was not so close we would still be in the event but Gabriel Medina and João Chianca cannot risk it because they need to be one-hundred percent for the weekend.” 

A sound decision, if indeed the pair are reporting headaches, coryza (that inflammation of the nose’s mucous membrane), a temperature and great prostration, they must must rest, hydrate and so on lest the virus turn into pneumonia, pleurisy, nephritis, empyema or aught else of importance.

Prayers etc.


Kelly Slater breaks eight-year silence on claim he deliberately launched seminal wave pool footage to sabotage Adriano De Souza’s world title celebration!

“Maybe we should’ve waited a week to sorta be politically correct or respectful enough to Adriano."

In the American winter of 2015, the Brazilian Adriano De Souza mounted a wonderful and brave charge to win the Pipeline Masters and the world title. When you saw his trembling little lips, it made you want to put a biscuit in his mouth and peck away the crumbs.

Did sport get any better? The unfancied and unpretty Adriano De Souza, throbbing to his own pulse, galloping to victory. But Adriano was gifted approximately 15 hours at the summit of the surfing world before the spotlight was turned off and aimed at Kelly Slater and the wave pool he, along with fluid mechanics engineer Adam Fincham, created near Fresno in California.

Chas Smith opined, “Kelly Slater is an absolute master of stealing the spotlight any time it drifts, slightly, from his handsome face. He was mad at me for having a cup of coffee and not talking about him and so he released a perfect video that is burning the Internet down.

“Worse still, though, is poor Adriano de Souza. Hours ago, literally hours, he was on top of it all. He was champion of the world, the first ever Brazilian Pipe Master too! He had etched his name into the record books and could sit back and be lauded for a hard-fought year. Except he couldn’t because when he woke up this morning the lauders were glued to computer screens not watching his year’s highlights but ogling Kelly Slater’s magnificent wave.

“I want to be frustrated but he is so good at it, so utterly masterful, that all I can do is stand, mouth agape, like everyone else. Oh, my mouth is not agape at the wave. It scares me in a way that I cannot explain. Like, really points to the end of the world somehow.”

Of course, it doesn’t matter what people call you unless they call you pigeon pie and eat you up. But did you think Adriano taking the world title determined the timing of the wave pool clip, and that it snatched a glimpse of the shadow in Kelly’s feelings towards Adriano?

Long ago history, I suppose, and a mystery never commented upon by the eleven-time world champ. Until now as Slater has finally cracked after sustained and wilting pressure from Emmy-award winning journalist and biz man Graham Bensinger.

First, says Slater, it wasn’t his fault the pool shadowed brave Adriano’s win.

“We’d filmed this on December five and I wanted to put it out right away, or two days later, and the team decided they didn’t want to interfere with the world title, distract from that,” Slater tells Bensinger. “The day after it (world title) was done they said, ‘Let’s post it now.’ And then everyone thought I was doing it to mess with the world title. Which wasn’t the case.”

In hindsight, maybe a little cruel?

“Maybe we should’ve waited a week,” says Slater, “to sorta be politically correct or respectful enough to Adriano… I don’t think any of us foresaw how viral the thing was going to be. We knew people were going to be, ‘Oh that’s super cool.’ But we didn’t know it was going to take on a life of its own.”

Slater also reveals the joint was busted after the first day and that it took six months to get it running again.

“We had a problem in our design at the time and, essentially, what we designed broke after the first day. We didn’t run another wave until May. We had to break down the whole thing and redo it.”

Johnny Florence and Team India. | Photo: ISA/Pablo Franco

Bloodletting continues at Olympic surf qualifier as highly fancied Team USA plunges to twenty-first place after early exits by world champs John John Florence, Carissa Moore and tour leader Griffin Colapinto!

Italian Edoardo and Spain’s Gonzalo Gutierrez put double world champ to the sword in El Salvador…

The Olympic qualifier in El Salvador is, if anything, a lesson in relevance as highly fancied Team USA, whose team members included world champs John John Florence and Carissa Moore as well as tour leader Griffin Colapinto plunged to 21st place overnight. 

John John was put to the sword by Italian Edoardo Papa and Spain’s Gonzalo Gutierrez, Griffin, a no-show and Carissa exited courtesy of German Noah Klapp, Saffi Vette from New Zealand and Spain’s Garazi Sanchez. 

Venezuela (19), Israel (17), Germany (11), Italy (9), Canada (6), France (4), Peru (2) and Japan (1) all stand on the throat on the biggest surf nation in the world. 

Is this shift to surfing’s new world permanent or is there a little more to it, a nuance less discussed?

It ain’t easy to work out the format, endless heats, repechage loser rounds etc, but, bottom line, you can’t lose more than twice, and it would seem that, along with the withdrawal of Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and Joao Chianca, the endless format has drained the interest of the world’s best surfers whose eyes are on the CT event which begins in two days and which is also in lesbian-unfriendly El Salvador.

The question we ask therefore, is this: are tour surfers throwing heats through a lack of interest and making a mockery of the system by withdrawing mid-contest or is the diff between, say, John John from Team USA and Italy’s Edoarado Papa smaller than the surf industry might like you to think? 

I’d suggest the former although I’m open to any sorta conspiracy if it gets the click-o-meter spinning.


Premium subscription surf website proudly announces to world that it has precisely zero female readers!

Surfers VS Manopause.

Yesterday, late, Australia’s Tyler Wright bravely confessed the horror, debilitating horror, of her monthly cycle.“It’s hard when you put so much work into something, you feel great and then you have a period so horrible it hospitalises you 3 days out from an event,” the two-time world champion wrote on Instagram. “Competing after those 3 days of being mostly bedridden and unable to eat was the harsh reality of navigating my period while meeting requirements in my professional career. At times it’s deflating physically and emotionally, feeling like you have no say in it. Managing my period has been a journey. I’ve come along way from my teen years, not even knowing it wasn’t normal to suffer monthly excruciating pain that would lead to passing out, vomiting and hours on the toilet. These days my period management looks like a customised training program based around the 4 menstrual stages, listening and planning carefully for what my body needs – even if that means less time practicing in the water before comps, prioritising sleep and recovery leading up to my period and being aware this is the time I am at highest risk of injury. At this stage in my life I am also heavily reliant on painkillers while I menstruate. They aren’t ideal but my other option is to have surgery to try find and fix the reason for these debilitating periods. The surgery isn’t a guaranteed solution and I would have to take time off from competing as well as rebuilding.”

Media, both mainstream and surf across the vast gender spectrum, appreciated and applauded the confession.

Media except for premium subscription surf website Stab, that is, which used the moment to proudly announce that it has precisely zero female readers nor cares to have any.

In a bit of tone deafness not seen since World Surf League CEO Erik Logan decided to victim shame Brazilian surfers for their passion, Stab used Wright’s highly personal disclosure to publish the think piece “Surfers VS Manopause” in which the pains and frustrations of males getting older and experiencing hangovers plus lower back pain, diminishing eyesight and desensitized taste buds.

“Around age forty, one begins to lose muscle mass and power. By age eighty, one has lost between a quarter and a half of one’s muscle weight. By the age of sixty, people in an industrialized country like the United States have lost, on average, a third of their teeth. After eighty-five, almost 40 percent have no teeth at all,” wrote Paul Evans, a Hemingway-esque adonis, “But what does that mean for our surfing?”

This country for old men.

“Tell me you have no women subscribers without telling me you have no women subscribers,” the initial hot take from stunned observers.

It is unclear if the move is purposeful, Stab declaring war on The Inertia by going directly after the beach wagon loving incel market, or accidental. A piece long planned but thwarted by Wright and her honesty.

Oceanside, or whichever newly-ish cool beachside community Stab now calls home, certainly recoiling tonight.

Over/under on it moving to San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district within three years, while you’re here.

More as the story develops.

Medina (pictured) out. Photo: WSL
Medina (pictured) out. Photo: WSL

Breaking: Stunner in El Salvador as Gabriel Medina pulls out of Olympic qualifier ISA World Surfing Games!

Listen all y'all.

The ISA World Surfing Games is currently underway in El Salvador’s lightish brown water and Olympic dreams are being made hourly. Jordy Smith has punched his ticket to Tahiti and so has Billy Stairmand who smashed Ethan Ewing and Ryan Callinan to take the Oceania slot. Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, on the other hand, has spectacularly withdrawn.

The current World Surf League number six is just coming off major disappointment/rip-off at the Surf Ranch Pro in Lemoore, California where he lost to Ethan Ewing in the quarters and ignited a firestorm, taking to social media in the form of an open letter.

“Dear WSL,” he began.

Please understand the importance of this discussion.

Surfing has been my life and my love for this sport is unconditional. I have put all my heart into and and want to leave a beautiful legacy one day when I look back at it.

However the surfing community, especially in Brazil, is mesmerized with the poor clarity and inconsistence of judging for many years now, but lately it has been even more shocking.

It is quite clear that judging is now rewarding very simple surfing, seamless transitions and have taken critical turns in critical sections off the criteria. This is very frustrating and is stagnating the sport.

Fans and sponsor will not accept this to continue and will in a near future be draw away once all they want is equal and fair judging to the sport.

Also, important to note that many coaches and managers have had the opportunity to speak to WSL after heats/events to ask about PROGRESSION and VARIETY in the criteria and the lack of reward for this space. The response given by them is always quite defensive by giving poor examples to illustrate THEIR point.

WSL needs urgently to clarify judging and apply equal and fair judging to save the progression of the sport.


Gabriel Medina and Brasil

Well, the World Surf League’s CEO, Erik Logan, did not like that open letter one bit and opened fire with one of his own, shaming Medina and all who dared question “the integrity of the sport.”

The Championship Tour, in any case, will follow the ISA World Surfing Games in El Salvador, though Medina’s withdrawal from the latter is quite stunning. As I understand it, the top two ranked surfers from a country on the aforementioned CT will receive tickets to the Games. Currently, Filipe Toledo and Joao Chianca are above Medina there meaning he will not get to participate in the five ringed dance unless a Brazilian wins the ISA World Surfing Games at which point Brazil will receive one more slot.

Surf watchers are busily wondering whether or not Logan will interfere and try to sabotage the South American nation’s chances like he allegedly did at Surf Ranch.

What do you think?

Will he or won’t he?

Medina’s withdrawal might also point to his feeling that, not matter what, he will dominate the rest of the CT and put himself in one of the two slots at the end.

But, again, sabotage.

Listen all y’all etc.

More as the story develops.