Papa Logan in happier day with, left, Jackie Rob and, right, Pip Toledo.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan slammed over response to Surf Ranch Pro furore, “The WSL might be your golden chariot, but it is their career, their passion. Their voices should be more important than yours”

"You perpetuate your own myths, half-truths and propaganda inside the WSL echo chamber. Daddy knows best!"

To Erik Logan and the “WSL community” (whatever that means),

I wish to address your recent letter, written in response to the judging criticisms from Surf Ranch. 

Once again, you respond to criticism of the WSL (from your athletes, no less, your most valuable commodity) with a tone that lies somewhere between a dictator and a domestic abuser.

“It is an important reminder to us all that words have consequence,” you write.

Let’s ignore the poor sentence construction for the moment and focus on the sentiment. Words do have consequences, Mr Logan, they absolutely do. And of course you well know this, because when you’re not wielding corporate psychobabble like a weapon, you’re spinning language into something so inconsequential it might as well be gossamer on a breeze.

I would suggest the words of your athletes are not just words in the way you understand them. Rather, it’s their voices, and you might do well to listen to them.

You reference the “WSL community” but what or who is this exactly? Is it just you and JMD? Does Prodan get to join the tea party sometimes? What about the rest of the Santa Monica office? Because honestly, your organisation couldn’t feel less like a community. All I see is a corporation fluffing their own feathers in wanton ignorance of their fanbase. Clique yes; community, no.

“We completely reject the suggestion that the judging of our competitions is in any way unfair or biased,” you say.

But of course you do. 

The response of any organisation that cannot justify its actions is to batten down the hatches. And you might snarl from the corner asking where’s the evidence? Where’s the evidence? But the very same question should be levelled at you. You are the authority and the defendant. It’s up to you to produce the evidence.

You make the point that the judging criteria is provided to the athletes prior to each competition, but what do you mean? Do you mean the generalised judging criteria that applies to all surf competitions, that being: Commitment and degree of difficulty; Innovative and progressive maneuvers; Combination of major maneuvers; Variety of maneuvers; Speed, power and flow? All judged on a scale of 0-10? That same, wishy-washy, opaque criteria that has been in place since 2010?

If so, then why would the athletes question it? And what would they hope to gain by having the criteria for all competitions reiterated?

If not, and what you are referencing is more specific information about which elements of this criteria might take precedence over others, then can that be shared publicly?

Judging criteria needs tweaked depending on the wave, as we know. You can’t well judge J-Bay in the same way you might judge Teahupo’o, but in the pool surely it’s all on the table?

Despite this, the crux of the complaints is that the judges placed flow above all other elements (contrary to Richie Porta’s pre-comp judging explainer). Was this stated to the athletes?

You mention transparency of the judging process, and the protocol you have in place to allow any athlete to review their judged waves. I’d be interested to know how many athletes are aware of this protocol and how many have utilised it.

Furthermore, why not make this information public, in the same way the NBA provide referee reports for the final two minutes of officiating? It would seem a sensible and efficient way to address the concerns of the fans and athletes if you were to release justification of the scoring publicly. Far more sensible, say, than penning a letter condemning your athletes for questioning your process.

It seems to me that your judging process has always been shrouded in mystery, perhaps deliberately. It took a third party documentary TV series to finally give us some sense of how this process works, and that in itself left more questions than answers (see my previous report).

You say “a number of athletes at the Surf Ranch Pro received points for elements such as progression and variety” but this is disconcertingly vague. Are you saying that specific points were allocated for these elements? How many? To whom? Whilst I appreciate you cannot address all scores, this statement is just as dismissive and unhelpful as you believe your athlete’s opinions are.

You say that these athletes have no cause for complaint because they have won previous events this season, and because your rules have been applied consistently, but there are two major issues with this statement.

Firstly, your athletes are not questioning the rules, they’re questioning the judging process, specifically. A rule is hard and fast. Judging criteria is vague and seemingly flexible.

Secondly, to condemn them for questioning an inconsistent process, simply based on the fact they’ve had past success, is condescending in the extreme. It is precisely because they have had success that they have a right and cause to question the process.

The WSL might well be your golden chariot, but it is their career, their livelihood, their passion, their talent that they have sweated and bled for. Their voices should be more important than yours.

But of course, you “welcome a robust debate” right?

Since when? This is a flat lie. 

The WSL is tone deaf to the core of its fanbase. You shun outside media, ignoring requests, emails and critique from surf media. BeachGrit is persona non grata, Swellnet, too. There are active communities on these sites who care about what you do. Foolishly, perhaps, we cling on, hoping things can change, like victims of domestic abuse. But you don’t listen. Our voices are tiny and insignificant.

The WSL is tone deaf to the core of its fanbase. You shun outside media, ignoring requests, emails and critique from surf media. BeachGrit is persona non grata, Swellnet, too. There are active communities on these sites who care about what you do. Foolishly, perhaps, we cling on, hoping things can change, like victims of domestic abuse. But you don’t listen. Our voices are tiny and insignificant.

Instead you perpetuate your own myths, half-truths and propaganda inside the WSL echo chamber. We’ve been complaining about the quality of the production, and specifically the broadcast team for years. Where is your action there? Where is the robust debate about this or the direction of the Tour? The last time a robust debate was threatened because of the mid-season cut, you shut it down, scalding the athletes like children. 

Daddy knows best!

You reference your judges as “elite professionals”. For one,  it seems ironic that you might shun the views of elite athletes whilst propping up the claimed professionalism of your judges; and for another, to borrow your own appeal, where is the evidence? Where are the judges’ credentials? And why are they kept locked away and silent like prisoners?

Finally, you say that “no one person or group of people are above the integrity of the sport” yet this is exactly the manner in which you operate. The fact that you can claim to know what the integrity of the sport is might be questionable for people who’ve been involved with it their whole lives. Rather than, say, someone who has discovered it in later life as a byproduct of slithering up the greasy corporate pole.

Fans of this sport, true fans, (whose commitment appears not to matter to you unless it comes with financial value) feel disenfranchised by the direction of the WSL, but you don’t seem to care.

The final five, Trestles as a venue, the mid-season cut, alignment with ladder companies, cups of noodles, Kaipo Guerrero… none of this is about protecting the integrity of the sport.

So when you belittle the opinions of all those who care about the WSL in the name of integrity, it comes across as nothing if not disingenuous.

But never mind the little people like us, you might do well to remember that without your athletes, your stars, there is no sport.

Champion Joel Tudor (pictured) hyped. Photo: Instagram
Champion Joel Tudor (pictured) hyped. Photo: Instagram

Longboard champion Joel Tudor, freshly released from World Surf League jail, celebrates the decimation of e-bikes by rogue wave at Lower Trestles!

A golden surf era.

Between surf champions Kelly Slater and Joel Tudor, surf chiefs Erik Logan and Jessi Miley-Dyer, surf heaven Brazil and surf hell Lemoore (see: the Satanic mirror) do you think we are right in the midst of a golden surf era? Oh sure it is easy to complain now and again, I’m certain there was grousing about lousy art in the midst of the high renaissance or grumbling about crap plays when Shakespeare was penning in his prime. People gonna people but back to Slater and Tudor et. al., we have a wonderful array of places to look, opinions to fondle, fun to have.

And let us examine the latest from Tudor. Longboarding’s GOAT, recently released from an absolutely draconian suspension for daring have an opinion contrary to the World Surf League, lit up social media this morning with a post celebrating the mass destruction of e-bikes at Lower Trestles.

“Not all cam rewinds are equal,” the jiu-jitsu master wrote “……this one of high tide lowers and all the e-bikes getting washed away might be the greatest moment in rewind history! Zoom in and enjoy.”

The video featured exactly that. Many e-bikes getting washed away.

Reaction was mixed, especially when one of the most handsome men to ever call the surf industry home, Frankie D’Andrea, replied, “Digging Deep for content these days. More surfing and heritage post, less eggy negativity Joel posts.”

Frankie is an e-bike aficionado, you see.

While many called him a “Karen” and a “barn” others agreed, wondering, “When everyone first started riding skateboards down the trail, did the old guys complain about them like Joel does the e bikes?”

Then there were the folks who just don’t jive with Tudor’s rancor.

“Crying and bitching post #233345,” wrote Papa Sunny.

“Tell me you have a e-bike without telling me you have a ebike bwhahahahhahahaha,” Tudor responded.

“An e-bike, not a e-bike. Left school at an early age I don’t blame ya. Hating must be exhausting,” Papa Sunny shot back.

“*An. We start sentences with capital letters around here. Detention for you,” Ob_toon launched in.

“Around where exactly? I wasn’t writing a sentence, I was paraphrasing one. Look it up if you don’t know what that means,” Papa Sunny swung.

“Daddy left you at a young age?” Juicwah asked Papa Sunny, getting in on the action.

“Yes he met your mom on the sidewalk and ran off the bastard,” Papa Sunny replied.

“That was deep! Never aim for the head when ya can drop em with a body shot hahahhahhhahahahaha,” Joel Tudor exclaimed, entering the chat once again.

And what did I tell you.

A golden surf era.


Old chestnut “no good deed goes unpunished” proven true as waterman from Hawaii blasted with heavy fine for saving drowning newborn baby bison!

It's a cruel world.

The calendar has flipped to a new month and I’d imagine various chiefs inside the World Surf League Santa Monica headquarters are momentarily relieved. Things cannot possibly go worse in June than they did in May. Steam is still rising from Lemoore, California in the wake of the Surf Ranch Pro wherein Gabriel Medina, Felipe Toledo and Italo Ferreira, each former champions, all from Brazil, raised their voices as one and demanded account for questionable judging in Kelly Slater’s tub.

The furor from fans, from surfers, from industry stalwarts across the ideological spectrum was unlike anything seen in professional surfing since… well, maybe since ever.

Such was the brouhaha that WSL CEO Erik Logan was forced into writing a completely misguided open letter filled with paternalistic condescension and victim shaming making matters very much worse. Hoots of derision from the cheap seats. Calls for public termination.

But imagine being Dirk Ziff. Imagine being the benevolent billionaire who purchased professional surfing for free some eight years ago in order to make it bigger than the National Football League only to have CEO after CEO after CEO brought low by those dwelling in a “trash palace.” Imagine knowing all the good being done, a bush being planted to save the environment, Joe Turpel being gainfully employed, equality everywhere.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” he very likely moans to himself while wiggling his sad little toesies in equally sad little bunny slippers.

Well, he can at least take solace in knowing that old chestnut was, once and for all, proven true for, yesterday, a waterman from Hawaii plead guilty to saving a cute little bison baby from drowning and was slapped with a heavy fine.

According to reports, Clifford Walters was vacationing in Yellowstone National Park on May 20th when he saw a newborn calf struggling in the water after being separated from its mother. Waterman gonna waterman, of course, so Walters jumped into action, wading into the river and pushing the dear little thing to safety.

Park rangers later found the sweetie and tried to reunite it with the herd but it was rejected so they killed it dead.

Walters was charged a $500 fine, a $500 community service payment, a $30 special assessment and a $10 processing fee.


And you’d think there would be Good Samaritan laws for this sort of thing but, then again, I’d think Dirk Ziff would like to see Good Samaritan laws for rescuing professional surfing too.

It’s a cruel world.

Steds and baby mama Darsan O'Connor in Croatia, inset, and sprawling beach house in Suffolk Park.

Former world #11 surfer and jiujitsu expert Luke Stedman buys beach compound in hot new surf ghetto Suffolk Park for $1.67 million!

Canny ex-pro surfer takes advantage of plunging property prices around Byron Bay!

Luke Stedman, whom I’ve known for two decades and who has so far avoided any sort of obvious age-related decay, is one of those rare surfers who, although never highly monied, flourished post tour.

He is the son of the man who created the billion-dollar ugg boot empire; is a part-time model; a surf coach; is a teacher of the western world’s next yoga-esque craze ginastica natural; carries a brown belt in Brazilian jiujitsu (one rung off black) and is a swordsman par excellence.

So good, in fact, even your ol pal DR was forced to bow to his bravura performance during a three-day long battle for a French television show host in Tahiti in the very early two thousands.

Two years ago Luke, who is forty-six, moved from California to just behind Lennox Head to form a family cocoon, a commune, around his Daddy Shane, creator of the ugg boot and the eponymous surfboard manufacturer SHANE, one of the most authentically Australian Australians alive. 

Shane had just turned eighty and was a few months out of surgery to remove “balloons” in his chest. These growths squashed his lungs, reducing his ability to breathe by eighty-five percent. 

They sold the family house of almost forty years at 61  Hillcrest Avenue at Mona Vale there for five mill and bought a hunk of land at Tintenbar, five miles north-west of Ballina. 

“Buying some land, throwing a couple of shacks on it and moving dad up the coast so he can watch the grandkids and we can keep an eye on the old grommet,” Luke said at the time. 

Now, Luke has spent $1.67 million Australian dollars on a four-bedder in Suffolk Park, that one-time bleak as hell offshoot of Byron Bay that has now become the hottest surf ghetto since 2009 Bondi Beach. Throw a Gucci sandal and you’ll hit some surf industry figure in the beak. 

The joint, which has the strong bones of a double brick suburban house although little of the gimcrackery glamorous Luke might prefer, is a canny buy for the Daddy of two and husband of sexy hair stylist gal Darsan O’Connor after property prices tumbled twenty percent in the area over the course of the last six months. 

It last sold in 2016 for 945k, a handy seven hundred in the pocket for the vendor although Luke also benefited from beachside Australia’s wild surge in property prices.

A year back he sold his Avalon place for $2.4 million after buying it for one-one mill in 2006.

Miley-Dyer (foreground) prepares to eat Erik Logan. Photo: Instagram
Miley-Dyer (foreground) prepares to eat Erik Logan. Photo: Instagram

World Surf League Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer deafeningly silent as boss Erik Logan continues to get brutally poked in wake of Surf Ranch Pro insurrection!

The king is dead, long live the queen?

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s Instagram account, which boasts 23k followers and quirky videos of him ordering employees to take their shirts off, is not generally a place for controversy. His posts, self-congratulatory, ultra-positive, tone deaf, mostly just draw neutered praise. Professional surfers litter a few raised hand or heart emojis. Various whozits and whatzits commenting light kudos but that’s all.

Fifteen to forty-two comments max.

His latest, a piece praising himself for creating equality in professional surfing, is, so far, at one-thousand-four-hundred-five and counting.

All unchill.

A sampling.

Hey Erik, how does it feel to be at the forefront of what will surely become the most shameful era of professional surf? Money, fame and connections might look cool now, but eventually this all goes away and it will only be your name left as the person who allowed for extreme lack of professionalism by judges in this era of the sport. Please please prioritise the sport over people’s personal interests!! Please have your name be the one of a person who decided to stand up and do the right thing!!

2- You guys should just apologize for the bizarre judging mistakes, it happens…
3- To change the whole judge panel, end with the head judge position
4- repete or don’t point the last day of the competition (which is not hard to do since it is on a Pool).
5- Don’t fuck with our sport anymore, don’t script it, make it better and your public will naturally increase

This has happened many times and nothing has changed. However, the credibility of the company is falling, against the growth of the sport. The subjectivity in the same wave (pool) was partially and clearly on purpose of the sponsor. We long time spectators deserve at least an explanation

Dark day in competitive surfing history, no explanations whatsoever are going to make up for what happened.

Your stance as CEO (translated in the open letter published today) is simply an embarrassment to the surfing community around the world! How can you penalize the innocent (surfers), and clear the guilty (the head judge and other referees), not even admitting that there is something wrong when the whole community is seeing it? The names of all of you will be in the pages of the history of this sport as responsible for the darkest period in history, with the removal of countless passionate fans, sponsors and other things. in other words , you will be known for kicking the sport back ! Have the slightest courage to change (or more correctly, all sin to leave!)

And you get the feeling.

Zero word, however, from Logan’s left hand, Jessi Miley-Dyer. Even though she is the World Surf League Chief of Sport, and even though she is not at all shy about putting herself front and center at conferences, blessings, equality makings, she in entirely absent during this great insurrection.

Not one word of support.

Zero attempt to take some of the heat.

But how do you think Erik Logan feels about that? Sitting alone in a darkened room, lightly twisting the nipples of his customized Filipe Toledo t-shirt, thinking about money, fame and connections maybe looking cool now, but eventually going away and only his name left as the person who allowed for extreme lack of professionalism by judges in this era of the sport or just plain sad?

It can’t feel good, that abandonment in time of need especially from a one-time barrel buddy.

The professional surf watcher, though, must wonder if Miley-Dyer’s hush-hush is purely strategic. Waiting for the guillotine to fall on the lonely CEO’s neck then swoop right in and snatch the crown.

A mid-season cut of sorts.

With friends like these etc.

All hail JMD.