I am currently mid-air, somewhere west of Atlanta with countless miles to go until reaching São Paulo. I feel myself getting softer sitting in this metal tube, idling my brain with Sex in the City re-runs. Weaker. Every minute weaker while former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan remains missing.
Did he not return from the country of Progress and Order on purpose, instead heading up the Amazon in order to find more young men with insane chest tattoos that he could wear? Is he being held against his will or is he kind of liking it? What are the reasons for his banishment?
Still no peep on his once-robust social media channels.
Well, while I’m forced to cool my heels, we can at least discuss Filipe Toledo’s victory of Ethan Ewing to claim the J-Bay crown and increase his stranglehold on the 2023 championship tour. If I can read World Surf League emoji correctly, it appears that he, Ewing and Griffin Colapinto have all, officially, stamped their inclusion in the Final Five day at Lower Trestles meaning the brave coward can sit Teahupo’o out.
Good for him.
It’ll be impossible to knock him off his pole position and can Filipe Toledo, the best small wave surfer on the planet, be undone twice in a row at baby Lowers?
What did you think about the win?
Just give me 20ish more hours of travel and I’ll know something.
Sex in the City.
Kelly Slater leaves Corona Open J-Bay “under a dark cloud” after finishing in last place in final-ever African appearance!
"Bizarrely, judges are scoring Slater down a little. I wonder who he’s offended from on high?"
Few observers (well, perhaps WSL pundits) would go to the stage of calling it an historic day of surfing, mainly because the stakes were not high enough, but no-one would laugh at you for calling it that either.
Conclusively, it was one of the best days of waves we’ve seen on Tour this year.
Was it all you dreamed of?
Is it ever?
Overlapping heats saw us steam through sixteen heats of men’s professional surfing at Jeffrey’s Bay. There were one or two slow-ish heats, but that’s the nature of the beast, and there was nothing to dim the shine of the day as a whole.
First, our wellness check on Mr Slater, the last that will be necessary at this event. His heat was held this morning, a match-up with the out-of-sorts Jack Robinson that some fancied he could win. Their heat took place before the waves really turned on, the sort of bad cosmic juju that seems to be following Slater this year, perhaps atonement for all those years of luck.
Or maybe, as they say, you make your own luck. Kelly Slater can’t buy a seven point ride this year. It’s all he needed today, all he’s needed many times this year. His semi-claimed little barrel on the inside was a grimly sad expression of his current status.
To my eye, bizarrely, judges are scoring him down a little. I wonder who he’s offended from on high? We’ll see who he sacks when he takes over as CEO, Head Judge, Director of Tours and Competition, Chief PR Strategist, and perennial wildcard entry.
I’m all for Slater the boss. I just hope he realises that’s the only path he has left to get what he wants from this game.
But he left the event site under a dark cloud today after vigorous water slapping of the disgruntled kind. A lot of “mixed emotions,” said Strider, as we watched Kelly huff around in his wetsuit. “Safe to say he’s not very happy,” replied Paul Evans, rightly checking Strider’s euphemism.
But out with the old, in with the new. Jack Robinson was back today, sort of. After defeating Slater, he went on to vanquish Fioravanti in the round of 16, albeit narrowly.
The most memorable moment of this match-up between childhood rivals came in an extended paddle battle. Robinson started slightly behind then tried to paddle over Fioravanti’s legs and take the inside as they ducked oncoming whitewash. Leo seemed to emerge a few yards ahead, but Jack hunted him down like a crocodile stalking prey. “I thought I’d let him get out there a bit,” he said afterwards. “Then he wouldn’t see me coming.”
But this shrewd and entertaining effort can’t mask a lingering doubt about Robinson’s surfing. It’s no-where near as convincing as it was earlier in the season, a view consolidated by his demeanour.
Post-heats he’s full of chat, can’t talk enough, would give you the ins and outs of a cat’s arsehole about any subject you like. Contrast this with the steely-eyed boy who was winning comps, just “being present”. I’d suggest he needs to get his temperament back under tight control. With all the hormones flying round his house for the next few months, I’d say there’s almost no chance of that.
What is back under tight control is Gabriel Medina’s pro surf game. He looked relaxed and lethal in his dispatch of Ryan Callinan in the round of 16 today, an opponent whose surfing inspires him, or so he noted post-heat.
It was far from a gimme, with less than a point between their final heat totals, which seemed about right. Medina’s backhand hammers were just a little sharper, a little more critical. Just a little.
I still think a goofy-footed surfer will win both men’s and women’s divisions here, and I’m betting that’s Medina or O’Leary for the men.
I am transitioning to a deep and humbled affection for the surfing of Connor O’Leary. Deep, because his backhand poise is so great it should be recognised as one of the finest styles in the game, and humbled, because I’ve dedicated few words to O’Leary in all the time I’ve been covering the Tour. He’s rarely been a standout, despite some superb results. It’s not that I haven’t admired his game, just that I’ve never fully bought it. This is changing, especially in waves like J-Bay.
(And perhaps because I’ve put several pre-event bets on him, so I’m watching more closely).
O’Leary notched his highest ever WCT score in an elimination round victory over Callum Robson, a 9.57 for a series of backhand hacks that are somewhat demeaned by that description. At J-Bay, O’Leary has timing as good as anyone, a patient smoothness to his style, with zero hitches in bottom turns.
Freeze-framed, O’Leary’s backhand top turns should be considered in the same pantheon as Ewing on his forehand. There’s this thing he does, and you can only really appreciate it in slo-mo, where his front hand comes down, fingers spread, and touches the deck of his board as he comes back down the wave. Functional, clearly, but also an appealing aesthetic touch.
All that being said, he was lucky to get away with victory over John Florence today, courtesy of a last ditch score that shocked everyone involved, not least O’Leary himself.
Florence had opened the heat with a 9.23 and looked like the best version of himself. His stares towards the beach and presumably judges were symbolic of the fact he was feeling it too. He backed up the nine in short order with a seven, then bettered that with an eight. By this time O’Leary had notched a deserved 8.77, but Florence’s total of 17.23 matched his swagger, and he never looked in danger.
“Felt a little disjointed, didn’t have the cleanliness we’ve seen from Connor all day long,” said Pete Mel In analysis of O’Leary’s final wave and before the score was announced. “He’s probably questioning his wave choice. Bit of a bummer.”
It was, when the score was announced as an 8.70, with one judge even giving a 9.20, perhaps one of the most shocking decisions of the season. The wave was good, no doubt, but in comparison to his earlier surfing it was left wanting.
Florence acolytes are bound to feel sore, and probably justified in those feelings, but let me know what you saw? The heat’s worth re-watching you’re into that sort of thing, so too Medina vs Callinan.
There’s no way I’ve covered everything, no way I really could in the time frame and word constraints. There were eights and nines galore today, and much fine surfing I’ve neglected. But feel free to light up the salient points missed below.
Oh, and in case you missed it, we’re living in a post-layback world now. Joe Turpel debuted the “lean back” today. He said it was to distinguish between those who do them properly (think John Florence at one end of the scale) and those who don’t (Tyler Wright).
It’s a terrible name, Joe, but it might also be one of the more sensible things you’ve said.
Enjoy Finals Day, it should be a cracker.
Pip Toledo, hotter than ever!
Comment live, Finals Day, Corona Open J-Bay as WSL goes into damage control following John John Florence’s threat to quit tour!
"Omg now your stories are filled will you going after your OTHER ex!! You just don’t see how unstable and disloyal you look do you?"
After a final fifty-two pronged salvo at the Hollywood star Jonah Hill, and with anti-Hill ammunition seemingly exhausted, spurned ex Sarah Brady has now pointed her fury at the conservative firebrand Jackson Hinkle, a man she dated more than three years ago.
In a series of stories designed to embarrass the hell out of the San Clemente native, Brady has sport with his switcharoo from democratic socialist and dedicated anti-plastic environmentalist to pro-Russki right-winger, even mocking his fragile mental health post-breakup.
“He was very angry when our relationship ended and said he was going to therapy because of me,” writes Brady, adding, “Lol.”
Brady, who amazingly survived her eighteen-month dalliance with the “misogynistic and narcissistic” Hill, has told followers she suffers PTSD, a condition usually reserved for combat soldiers who’ve accidentally put a bullet in the head of some kid.
“PTSD is a part of my diagnoses and I do actually get ‘triggered’ in the way that people who not have PTSD use the term,” writes Brady. “Me having an emotional reaction to something you say because I am triggered…”
Etc etc etc.
Meanwhile, on Brady’s own account people been lighting up in the comments. No so favourable in most instances.
Please stop using the word survivor. You are not a survivor. I understand you went through a lot and he’s a very difficult person I get that but you are not a survivor. Stop using that word. And move on. Your wasting your energy. You crazy person .
You need therapy. Just stop. This is going to embarrass you for years to come and no man will ever want to send you a text again. Disgraceful what you’ve done. Yea he had weird and insecure demands and rules. You walk away and not accept them. End of story. Grow up. This is awful what you’ve done. I wouldn’t date him. He’s too insecure. But you didn’t have to either. And he did not ABUSE you so stop using that word and making real victims of abuse feel horrible!!!!! Grow up
Thank god internet is here to stay and your name will be remembered. you sure look like a narcissist to many. Playing victim, not acknowledging standard bounderies, seeking attention and being as reckless as you are by trying to destroy someone’s reputation.
Omg now your stories are filled will you going after your OTHER ex!! You just don’t see how unstable and disloyal you look do you? Is this all for attention, or are you just flying high, unable to see future consequences?
Gas lighter, manipulator, and emotional abuser…. and I’m not talking about Jonah. Such an insanely narcissistic stance to take.
she got her 70k followers from this and is now on a crusade to destroy no just jonah but any ex she doesn’t like as a ode to “mental health” and “doing the right thing” ngl you look crazy and need to take a break there’s no way being on social media like this is healthy, jonah was right you live to be validated through social media by people who don’t know you,
Good times for all! And who next when Hinkle ammo runs out?
Deeply worried about viciously disappeared former World Surf League CEO, surf journalist books passage to Brazil in order to save onetime friend Erik Logan!
Erik Logan, former chief executive of the World Surf League, was fired in the rudest way almost three weeks ago. Since then, the Championship Tour has traveled to South Africa, Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer has reignited her love affair with swimming pools, Kelly Slater has lost another heat but Erik Logan, himself, has vanished completely.
The overactive social media user has silenced his channels, refused to respond to messages, is no longer asking young men to “take your shirt off” because he is wearing their skin. He has appeared on no red carpets alongside the effervescent Jessi Miley-Dyer, given no speeches about vectors and synergies, is just… gone.
The World Surf League, for its part, is pretending the former Oprah Winfrey Network boss never even existed.
My initial mirth at his dismissal soon turned to sorrow but now hovers in deep, deep worry.
While collaborationist surf media is moving on without care, praising the ELo years by spackling the Wall of Positive Noise, I am not able to rest. Sleeplessness haunts my nights. A spectre of Logan wearing latex, duct taped to a wall, ball gag in mouth. A shadow of Logan wearing leather, strapped to a table, ball gag in mouth. The owner of the World Surf League, Dirk Ziff is, as you know, a billionaire and… well, I’ll just leave it at that.
Logan was last seen in Brazil, getting uncomfortably close to his employees and praising a bright future while the WSL ran the Vivo Rio Pro in waist high slop. Thus, I must start in Brazil and find him or at least find rumors of where he might have gone.