Bob Hurley, right, and mysterious deleted post.

Mystery surrounds “razor-sharp surf magnate” Bob Hurley post slamming direction of his eponymous brand as it’s quickly disappeared from internet!


It’s hard to imagine, now, the ruckus, disbelief, horror even, when Billabong’s US licensee, surfboard shaper Bob Hurley, handed back what had become a license to print money in 1998 and to strike out on his own. 

You gonna hand back the keys to Billabong? You gonna call it, what? Hurley? 

Under Bob’s expert hand, and helped by taking the designers, surfers and marketeers, and product patents he’d developed for Billabong, Hurley quickly grew into one of the biggest, and most respected surf brands in the world.

Three years later, “razor-sharp surf magnate” Bob sold to Nike for a hundred and twenty mill.

Bob was always around, howevs, the company had his name on it after all, and he took over as CEO for three years, 2012 to 2015, the glory years of the Nike-ownership era some might say. 

Four years later, Nike sold Hurley to Bluestar Alliance, a “brand management company”. The way Bluestar works is it identifies brands it wants to buy and once they get the keys, “our team of experts embark on a complete and thorough understanding of the brand’s potential channels of distribution and price point strategies. We create tools such as brand development profiles, trend guides, style guides and marketing strategies. These marketing materials portray graphic illustrations and a strategic marketing road map to enhance consumer brand recognition.”

The focus at Hurley shifted from R and D, maintaining a dazzling surf team, high-end accounts and so on to a model focussed on the bottom line, with multiple teamrider contracts quickly terminated. 

Soon, there were inflatable toy toys, beard oil, hair product, performance bodyboards, beach chairs. 

And, today, before it was quickly deleted from view, sixty-eight-year-old, Newfoundland-born Hurley, who now heads Florence Marine X, ran a couple of shots of Hurley’s “performance” bodyboards and a rack of beach chairs with the withering comment, 


Many comments ensued before the provocative post was disappeared. 

Obviously, comment has been sought, crickets thus far although it’s only been eleven minutes, but what’s your immediate reaction? Do you think Bob thought it was a little rough on Bluestar? A little weird to dunk on his own brand? 

Zuckerberg (left) going full retard. Ziff (right) with his best friend. Photo: Hell
Zuckerberg (left) going full retard. Ziff (right) with his best friend. Photo: Hell

“Super cool, super fit” Mark Zuckerberg and World Surf League owner Digglin’ Dirk Ziff locked in death battle for title of “worst billionaire in surfing!”

Cage match without the cage.

I think it can be firmly and unequivocally stated that 2023’s billionaires are the worst the world has ever seen. Tacky, unrepentant, malicious, nerdy all topped off with an utter disregard for style and class. It wasn’t always so. Billionaires like Gianni Agnelli and Joseph Stalin once roamed the earth cruising glassy waters on Rivas, dispatching enemies to freezing cold gulags instead of firing them without reason while they are doing the very best they can to make professional surfers feel wanted in Brazil.

Today’s batch is very yuck but two have emerged as peak yuck and both just so happen to be involved in our surfing.

Mark Zuckerberg became infatuated with the Sport of Kings via his onetime BFF Kai Lenny, who described the Facebook founder as “super cool, super fit.” Zuckerberg e-foiled lakes, talked about “doing a fair amount of extreme sport type stuff” including conquering 15-foot surf and generally made an ass out of himself. Thankfully, the world’s 7th richest man discovered Brazilian jiu-jitsu and seemed to be pivoting away from the water… but these warm summer months brought him back.


Dirk Ziff did one better than Zuckerberg, purchasing not only Kai Lenny but all of professional surfing for free in 2015 and doing the absolute best job he can to drive it straight into the ground. Bad hire after bad hire, after Erik “Buffa”Logan. His abject and complete hatred for his audience not seen since Augusto Pinochet.

But who is worse, Zuckerberg or Ziff?

David Lee Scales and I did not, exactly, discuss during our weekly chat but did touch upon bad billionaires, Ziff being an ass plus Jonah Hill’s warpath marching ex-girlfriend Sarah Brady. And then there is our new segment Pros in the Wild wherein good folk share real life encounters with professional surfers in the aforementioned wild.

I think you’ll enjoy.

Grouchy local sea otter terrorizes Santa Cruz vulnerable adult learner surfing community!

"How would you like it if a stranger went in your backyard and started playing there?"

For all intents and purposes, surf localism is a dying institution. Litigation-happy adult learners, cameras everywhere, sensitivity through the roof has rendered a stern lineup talking to mostly obsolete, to say nothing about waxed windshields or ear cuffs. And while Jonah Hill’s ex-girlfriend Sarah Brady is attempting to martial locals worldwide in order to keep the beloved actor off waves, there are fewer and fewer instances of territorial water behavior.

Fewer and fewer instances outside of Santa Cruz, that is.

For grouchy localism is surging in California’s other Surf City and not due methamphetamine or the famous east side vs. west side rivalry. No, a furious sea otter has been menacing those who dare paddle the iconic shoal.

Per National Public Radio:

Steamer Lane is a legendary point break in Santa Cruz, home to swaths of experienced surfers, as well as a 5-year-old female sea otter with a growing reputation for repeatedly confronting surfers and kayakers.⁠ Video and photographs show the otter chasing off surfers before commandeering their surfboards — on at least one occasion biting and tearing chunks off a board — and aggressively approaching kayakers.⁠

Federal wildlife officials said the otter’s behavior is highly unusual and the exact cause for such behavior is unknown. (Perhaps showing class solidarity with the killer whales attacking yachts?)

What NPR fails to mention, though, is that the otter is solely targeting adult learners. Every clip has her grabbing and smashing Wavestorms in the “Klassik Kook” 8ft range.

Misanthropes, everywhere, are applauding.

“So uh… We have been destroying the planet for a couple hundred years and we act surprised when the wildlife starts to rebel? We are severely lacking in self awareness as a species,” Sawatsky declared.

“I love to see aquatic mammals rising up against elites!” the sazziestofazzies added.

“We can’t applaud Gladys and then hate surf otter. I welcome all direct action from our animal comrades,” franceswygat chipped in.

“Stop playing in their backyard! How would you like it if a stranger went in your backyard and started playing there?” erikasadventures

Die, human, die.

Tech magazine calculates exact amount of unleaded gasoline needed to generate one ultra-green Kelly Slater Surf Ranch wave!

A money-makin' machine!

What wild days these are. Hollywood actors on strike and/or getting pelted by ex-girlfriends via Instagram Stories, unprecedented heat blanketing the planet, American students instantly debt free and Uncle Joe has a potty mouth. So much crazy that the concept of artificial waves breaking on demand seems normal.

But do you recall the shock when surf great Kelly Slater debuted his Surf Ranch facility for the first time? Watching that green mirage peeling out of the mist? Well it was enough to make everyone collectively forget that the brave Brazilian Adriano de Souza had won professional surfing’s crown forever.

Though did you ever wonder how much earth-saving energy it actually takes to power each wave? Well, now we know. Wired Magazine, using Surf Ranch’s patented plow technology, has come up with the exact formula.

Very cool but what does it all mean?

According to Wired:

OK, now that we know the energy it takes to make a wave, we have some options for how to create this thing. Suppose you use an electric motor to pull the hydrofoil. If the motor is 85 percent efficient, then you will actually need to put 19 million joules into it in order to get 16 million joules into the wave.

The average price of electricity in the US is 23 cents per kilowatt-hour. Power is a measure of how fast you use energy, and we can calculate that as P = E/ΔT, where T is time. If energy is in joules and time is in seconds, then the power would be in watts. So 1 kilowatt-hour is the energy you would get running 1,000 watts for 1 hour (3,600 seconds), or 3.6 million joules. That’s how much energy you get for just 23 cents. If you want 19 million joules, it would cost you $1.23.

What about a gasoline-powered hydrofoil? In the US, you normally buy gasoline by the gallon; in other parts of the world, it’s sold by the liter. Gasoline stores about 34 million joules per liter (or 128 million joules per gallon).

However, a gasoline engine has a much lower efficiency than an electric motor. At best, it would be 40 percent efficient. That means we would need to use 40.9 million joules, or 1.2 liters (0.32 gallons) of gasoline. Assuming you pay $3 per gallon (which is a bit lower than the US average in July 2023), that would cost close to $1, or about the same price as an electric-generated wave.

$1 per wave?

Let’s guess that Surf Ranch pushes out 8ish waves per hour for 8ish hours a day. That’s $64 dollars of unleaded gasoline. Renting at $70,000 per day, that leaves $69,936 of pure profit.

No wonder Dirk Ziff is a billionaire.

Titanic director James Cameron lists sprawling oceanfront compound at mythical surfing Valhalla Hollister Ranch for $33 million!

"It’s the last bastion against Los Angeles! You know shit’s getting real in California when we summon up the bogeyman of Los Angeles."

The Canadian film director and deep sea explorer James Cameron is tossing the keys to his beachfront joint at The Ranch for thirty-three mill, saying he and his fifth wife spend most of the year in New Zealand so the joint is redundant etc.

Called Tranquility Base, Cameron bought 89 Hollister Ranch Road, Gaviota, in 1999 for a little over four mill. The parcel sprawls over 102 acres and includes an 8000 square-foot main house, 2000 square-foot guest house, two barns (one in which Cameron used to keep his helicopter), a tennis court and a divine swimming pool.

In the upstairs library, the Oscar-winning writer and director wrote a movie about blue lizard people called Avatar (Didn’t see, was it good or silly?), which eventually spawned a total of five movies thereby edging Cameron even close to billionaire status. (Currently he’s sitting on around 800 mill.)

Per the selling literature,

“Other features of this exceptional offering include a solar power system, wind generator, theater, and a spacious gym. Tranquility Base is mere steps from Drake’s Beach and miles of the beautiful ‘Hollister Ranch Shoreline Preserve,’ with its world class surfing waves, fishing, diving, paddling, beach combing, and abundant ocean-related activities. For those who love horses, one can ride their horse directly to the beach and up the coastline, all while experiencing the natural beauty of the landscape and also the common area of approximately 125 miles of roads & trails Hollister Ranch offers.

“Developed with self-sufficiency and sustainability in mind, this property is solar powered with ample energy storage. Southern California Edison is available, if desired. There are sumptuous vegetable gardens and an assortment of numerous varieties of fruit trees.”

All photos by Blake Bronstad.

Another angle on The Ranch, of course, is that there’s a “hard ugliness” to the place, as Warshaw wrote a while back.

The big issue is that private beaches exist at all in a state that, decades ago, mandated “maximum public access” to California’s entire 840-mile coastline. Not helping things are all the fence-sitting surfers, like me, who have forever both-sided the public-private debate when it comes to the Ranch—everybody doing the same mental gymnastics, which is basically a version of how do I get in there while everybody else is locked out and not feel like an asshole. Which of course is where the “conservation” part comes into play—the Ranch is the last piece of undeveloped Southern California coast and must be preserved at all costs—and I won’t change anybody’s mind here by saying it, but I myself am giving up on this line of nonsense.

Open up the Ranch. Limit access, charge a fee, patrol the beaches—whatever has to happen in order to limit or mitigate the environmental wear and tear that comes with allowing people in.

But enough stalling. Let people in.

There will be more mess, and possibly some environmental damage.

But that’s us, that’s our low-budget democracy, and even if trashcans overflow at the end of the weekend or if some big-truck assholes go offroading now and then, that is so much better than fantasizing about Vahalla over the hill and behind the gate, and there you are stuck on the wrong side without a key.

Even Jen See gets het up about the joint.

All your arguments about keeping Hollister Ranch private make you sound like elitist assholes. There. I said it. I said that whole thing in my outside voice. I will probably get punched in the face at the coffee shop tomorrow. Live dangerously, is a thing I always say.

It’s the last bastion against Los Angeles! You know shit’s getting real in California when we summon up the bogeyman of Los Angeles. The Ranch will become another Trestles! Or Rincon! Filled with kooks!

Just listen to yourselves. Omg! Other surfers like me might surf where I want to surf! I mean, I hate the kooks as much as you do, but really, you are losing your minds here.

Want to buy and keep The Ranch The Ranch ie shoo away povo scum like Warshaw and See? Call Emily Kellenberger here and tell ’em BeachGrit sent ya.