"You mean we weren't friends?" Photo: Simple Jack
"You mean we weren't friends?" Photo: Simple Jack

General public disgusted as collaborationist surf media rounds on its onetime champion, ex-World Surf League CEO Erik Logan!

Stab in the back.

You have, by now, heard that World Surf League CEO Erik Logan has been unceremoniously fired in the most humiliating fashion possible.



While his former employer did its damndest to shame the former chief, a greater surprise is collaborationist surf media, previously found suckling Logan’s Filipe Toledo shaped nipple, rounding on the Oklahoman who came to us with a paddle and a dream.

The Inertia, which previously praised Logan as “visionary” and “cool guy, someone we should emulate” mocked his departure by likening the fallen to fat Elvis in a cruel headline reading “Erik Logan has left the building.”

Stab, which has attempted to recreate a miniature Wall of Positive Noise around its offerings, recently excoriating subscribers who dared question why the premium surf blog ran gambling ad with an open comment reading:

Thanks for the input. Just so you understand, the money isn’t impossible to resist. It literally allows us to keep our staff employed. One month of Betonline promotion = three people’s salaries. So would you rather that we put three people out of work (also meaning we’d be able to create less content for you to enjoy) or put a little betting blurb at the bottom of our comp reports? We appreciate where you’re coming from, but for us it’s a pretty simple equation.

Passive-aggression like that not seen since the aforementioned Logan penned:

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

Homage, maybe, but Stab then released an evidence-free smear utilizing “unnamed sources” as to why Logan might have been “forced out.”

Cruel coming from the resource that once described him as “visionary” and “iconoclastic.”

Will more former allies flee the beleaguered former chief’s side?

More as the story develops.

Comment live, Finals day, Vivo Rio Pro, “This odd little community of misfits that can feel at once caustic and caring!”

Join your brothers and sisters in a warm, safe environment… 

The Roman Leo Fioravanti surfs with gusto! | Photo: WSL/Diz

Ghost of fallen WSL CEO Erik Logan continues to haunt Viva Rio Pro! “We don’t have much light anymore”

Who are the sycophants and acolytes that hitched their wagons to ELo’s toothy, Hollywood dreams?

I’m in a hospital, writing this on my phone. It’s a high dependency unit of a children’s ward in Inverness. My son lies in the bed, the one who celebrated his fifth birthday less than two weeks ago.

I’ve discovered the thing that some of you might unfortunately also know, there can be few things worse than seeing your children suffer.

Life, at these times, seems both overwhelming complex and really fucking simple. In the days we’ve been here, often utterly helpless, the simplicity of it all rings out.

Nothing matters beyond the day you’re living. Nothing matters beyond him getting better.

And nothing in life matters more from this point forward than the health of the people I love, children first.

When suddenly you are removed of agency and choice, all those decisions and desires you fret over seem less than insignificant.

Certainly, surfing doesn’t matter. Certainly my obligations to you don’t matter. My agreement to write something on every day men fight meaningless battles against other men in the realms of professional surfing.

So why do it?

Well, for one, after a hellish few days, it looks like my boy might have turned a corner. We’re not out of the woods yet, but things are working. He’s eating for the first time in a week. He’s talking to us. He’s playing with kinetic sand and the Hot Wheels monster trucks his brother brought him.

And he’s angry. Utterly furious, in fact, about all the wires and needles and cajoling and promises of the things he’ll get to do when he finally gets out of this horrendous place where you’re confined to a bed and children scream and wail all around you, and adults pace and poke and prod, and you understand nothing but pain.

He ripped off the wires used to monitor his vital signs. He tore out a cannula, spraying blood and fury everywhere. He’s had enough, and I don’t blame him. It’s hard to explain that people hurting him are actually helping.

For another, writing things down helps. And as much as I’ve found it hard to respond to messages of support from family and friends, and in many cases just haven’t, somehow it’s easier to communicate with a readership of perfect strangers. Here, on BeachGrit. This odd little community of misfits that can feel at once caustic and caring.

But I’ll confess to not having watched a huge number of the many heats run today in Rio, and you can let me know if there are salient points missed.

And of course, ELo!

I’m terribly interested to watch the fallout of the coming days. Who are the sycophants and acolytes that hitched their wagons to ELo’s toothy, Hollywood dreams?

Who replaces him? Would Kelly do it? A salivating prospect in many, many regards. The only man who would give us more mileage than ELo, who would thrill and titillate us at every turn.

And what really happened? To be axed mid-event, one he was attending on the other side of the world, seems odd.

There’s much speculation and rumour and fun to be had, of course. Never fret, this opportunity to put the boot in won’t be missed. Like a ragged, saliva soaked dog chew, we’re not quite done with you yet, Erik Logan. But all in good time.

It was a day of big names falling. A day of the sort of peaky, mysterious beachbreak that might fade to nothing or offer a tempting section. Hardly classic conditions, but contestable. Some men rode their luck, others whinnied in frustration.

People’s champion Jadson Andre was back in the fold and doing very Jadson-like things in unspectacular defeats of higher seeds. Yellow jersey wearer Griffin Colapinto was first to be decapitated, establishing the trend for the day. Andre would go on to scythe Toledo from the round of 16 and will meet Yago Dora in today’s quarter finals.

The other giant killer of the day was Sammy Pupo, slaying Medina then Chianca. As I’ve said before, I do think young Pupo has a place on this tour, despite losing it after the mid-season cut. If it wasn’t necessarily a day to exhibit quality, it was one for grit, and Pupo seems to have both.

Jack Robinson was sent home early once again owing to a priority interference against Seth Moniz. Of all the surfers on Tour, none looked more assured for a top five placing than Jack Robinson. Now he finds himself outside looking in and praying for good fortune and better waves to round out the year.

Regardless, it might not matter much. He’s a man who might win a world title at Teahupo’o, but not Trestles.

Toledo’s loss today probably won’t see his top five position threatened by year-end, though the axing of Logan makes this year more critical for him. One would presume that the Trestles world title showdown will thankfully disappear into the annals of pro surfing cock-ups, and with it, Toledo’s advantage.

I can’t do the complex mathematics to tell you exactly what the top five ramifications are after today’s results (and it strikes me a new CEO might look to make this system easier to understand) but I do know that with four of the top five gone, and men on the fringes still in the competition – Yago Dora, Leo Fioravanti, John Florence and Ryan Callinan – things will be shaken up.

Unless I missed it, pundits today did not mention Erik Logan. A frankly absurd show of ignorance or psychological conditioning that prevents them from addressing obvious and pressing facts.

However, I did note the following exchange between Joe Turpel and Jesse Mendes, which was either a figurative allusion to the day’s events, or just very simple facts.

“It’s kind of getting dark out there, Jesse.”

“It is getting dark, Joe. We don’t have much light anymore.”

Fingers crossed for more light soon.

Elo and Italo, so happy together a few days ago, but unbeknownst to the pair storm clouds were gathering on the horizon!

Mystery deepens over sudden “disappearing” of World Surf League’s high-profile CEO Erik Logan!

“Erik Logan is a world-class media executive with a profound personal connection to the sport of surfing.”

A wall of silence has descended over the World Surf League following the Soviet-esque disappearing of its once-beloved CEO Erik Logan and the handing of the poison-filled chalice to Emily Hofer, WSL’s Chief People and Purpose Officer and Bob Kane, its Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer

Four days ago, Logan was in Brazil and having a hell of a time, vigorously posting videos on his Instagram account, even writing a passionate “love letter” to the same Brazilian surf fans who threatened death following several unfavourable judging decisions at the Surf Ranch Pro although he did write, prophetically, “Stay tuned for some exhilarating action.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Erik Logan (@elo_eriklogan)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Erik Logan (@elo_eriklogan)

Now, apart from a tersely worded press release from the WSL…nothing.

(It ain’t the first time the WSL has disappeared a key employee. Who remembers the former world champ turned commentator, once the sexiest surfer in the world, who was there one day and gone the next with not one word said?)

Compare Erik’s departing presser to the teary farewell Sophie Goldschmidt got from the WSL’s billionaire owner Dirk Ziff when she split in 2020


“Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately. As the WSL begins the process of identifying a new CEO, Emily Hofer, WSL’s Chief People and Purpose Officer, and Bob Kane, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer, will jointly lead the company and continue to drive the WSL’s mission to showcase the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves as the global home of competitive surfing.”


“Sophie has had a huge impact on the WSL. She is responsible for transforming both our business capabilities and culture in her tenure as CEO. With the converging trends in sports, media and entertainment, we mutually agreed it was time to make a change. Erik Logan is a proven leader and a world-class media executive with a profound personal connection to the sport of surfing. We are excited about what he will accomplish as CEO. We will always be grateful to Sophie for her contributions to surfing and we look forward to the WSL’s next chapter.”

While speculation, oh yeah we heard a few things too, is gonna end in tears for your pals at BeachGrit there’s a few reasons why CEO’s, and half of ‘em do get fired at some point, suddenly disappear.

1. Poor performance. If a CEO doesn’t meet performance expectations, financial targets, strategic goals or market share growth, the board is probably gonna ice ’em.

2. Ethical or Legal Issues: Any sorta ethical breaches, misconduct, or involvement in illegal activities and you’re gone.

3. Leadership Problems: If the CEO demonstrates poor decision-making, a lack of transparency or an inability to effectively manage the company, he, or she, gotta go.

4. Culture Clash: If the CEO’s approach clashes with the organization’s desired direction or if they fail to align with the expectations of key stakeholders, you’re out.

5. Strategic Direction: A sudden change in the company’s strategic direction or a need for a shift in business priorities is gonna convince the board, the owner, to replace the CEO with someone with different skill set or a fresh perspective.

Many swords to fall on here.

It shows how tenuous the grip on the top job can be.

Just a few months back, Australia’s premier broadsheet The Sydney Morning Herald lovingly profiled the Okie-turned-surfer in the story, “‘Something the sport has never seen’: The former Oprah exec bringing soap opera to surfing.”

“He has led a series of seismic changes to the World Surf League’s (WSL) professional tours as it recovers from the pandemic – ruffling feathers and raising record revenue, all with narrative in mind.”

Critics of each new drama-driven concept exist at both a professional and pundit level, and the WSL is seen in some surfing quarters as overly sensitive, with a propensity to airbrush drama when it doesn’t suit.

Logan counters with a slice of Oklahoma simplicity.

“The growth and the explosion of the sport, with the firepower we have with our surfers is something that the sport has never seen. And our job as the WSL is really simple – to grow and create the world’s largest platform for professional surfing.”

Meanwhile, surf fans continue to dance on Erik’s freshly dug grave.


Logan (right) and his best pal in the world.
Logan (right) and his best pal in the world.

Brave surf journalist rallies to protect honor and dignity of beloved fallen WSL CEO Erik Logan!

He was just a boy with a wetsuit of armor and a dream.

I was standing on the dusty set of a horror film, deep in the Sierra Pelona mountains just north of Los Angeles, when Derek Rielly texted “Elo sacked!” A nasty bug was biting my ankle. My young daughter was in a cabin nearby, lit by a special effects fire, wearing a bonnet and eating a pork chop that was supposed to be the flesh of a human soldier.

“Well there we have it,” I thought quietly.

My heart didn’t race, like I might have expected it to, nor my mind explode with self-congratulatory fireworks. I have felt this was in the cards for a minute now, publicly stated multiple times in the past few weeks, and now the moment was here.

The question that pinged, though, was “why?”

Why was he culled so brutally, so openly, and right at this moment?

The statement, itself, was shockingly terse.

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately. As the WSL begins the process of identifying a new CEO, Emily Hofer, WSL’s Chief People and Purpose Officer, and Bob Kane, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer, will jointly lead the company and continue to drive the WSL’s mission to showcase the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves as the global home of competitive surfing.

That it happened in the middle of an event Logan was, himself, attending, stunning.

That Chief of People and Purpose plus Chief of Legal taking the reins, jointly, telling.

Erik Logan did something, or as the great Jen See surmised, “Someone from legal and someone from HR? Feels like some heavy custody. Like, cleanup aisle 5 vibes.”

Now, with complete lack of communication from the World Surf League, itself, i.e. no mention on today’s broadcast, surf fans will be left to speculate wildly.

Did he commit murder?

Rob a bordello?

Wear the skin of a professional surfer and dance seductively to the strains of a gorgeously melodic tune?

Goodbye horses.

But let us stop, for a moment, and consider the real villain.

Professional surfing’s owner Dirk Ziff.

Ziff hired Logan in the first place, an Oklahoman SUP enthusiast by way of Oprah Winfrey. Ziff then promoted Logan after he massively failed at his first job and even though signs of erratic behavior were extremely clear. Ziff then humiliated Logan by axing him whilst on the job in Brazil, a place he should have never been in the first place after publishing an ill-advised missive enraging that community, making Filipe Toledo take his shirt off, being an overall weirdo.

Dear Erik Logan was a symptom, yes, but he was not the disease. Just a boy with a wetsuit of armor and a dream.

Today’s silence from the booth regarding the matter is Dirk Ziff continuing to treat his only audience like a pack of dolts. Imagine the NFL’s Roger Goodell or FIFA’s Gianni Infantino getting the boot mid-season, right before a game. General reasons would be given, commentators would speculate, some form of honesty would prevail.

In professional surfing, though, a seething hatred of its fanbase by a billionaire is what we have.

Well, we’ve got three scalps on our belts now. Paul Speaker, Backward Fin Beth and sweet Erik Logan.

Dirk Ziff, yours is next.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programing.