Prodan (left) with professional surfing's greatest ass et.
Prodan (left) with professional surfing's greatest ass et.

Retreaded Surfer Magazine nominates ultimate apple-polisher Dave Prodan as best candidate for recently vacated World Surf League CEO position!

"But perhaps it’s time for a return to someone on the inside."

The reemergence of once-proud Surfer Magazine, founded by the legendary John Severson, helmed by Nia Peeples’ ex-husband amongst many other icons, as a retreaded kook machine is one of the funnier bits of our current surf era. That and the World Surf League’s most wild implosion.

Two weeks ago, the casual observer would have imagined everything was just plain wonderful. The momentum of professional surfing, the extremely popular Chief Executive Officer of the World Surf League declared, was real.

But then, overnight, the charismatic Oklahoman, who had a magical wetsuit of armor, was ruthlessly and brutally fired right in the middle of an event. No information was given in the terse press release and none from the booth, where Joe Turpel instructed those listening that if they wanted to know what it felt like to surf like a professional, they should play a video game.


But who could replace the man known as ELo?

Who could?

Currently the WSL’s Chief People and Purpose Officer, Emily Hofer, and Bob Kane, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer, are at the helm but they will clearly not stay long. Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer seems to have been angling for the top job for some time now and could slip into ELo’s vacated office fairly easily. Other’s feel the International Surfing Association’s Fernando Aguerre would be a nice fit.

Kelly Slater? Some seem to think the greatest of all-time might be able to take a break from making turtle sandals and inspire.

Surfer, though, has another option. Per the Bible of the Sport:

(Dave) Prodan would be a good call, someone the surfers know and trust. The WSL took a big swing with E-Lo, an outsider to the industry with strengths in certain areas (broadening surfing’s appeal to the masses) and weaknesses in others (knowing much at all about surfing or surf culture). But perhaps it’s time for a return to someone on the inside.

Dave Prodan has been in the room for decades now, polishing the apples of this or that leader. He has survived at least five different regimes and that sort of knack means… something. Who are some very famous lackeys that have survived regime change besides the universally adored Dr. Fauci?

Currently, Prodan runs a podcast that is the most effective World Surf League propaganda machine around though does it mean he can lead?

Who would there be to polish his apples?

More as the story develops.

Dora (pictured) hoisted high. Photo: WSL
Dora (pictured) hoisted high. Photo: WSL

Least promising event window of season delivers best final’s day as Yago Dora defeats Ethan Ewing and points way to real future for pro surfing!

(Two events in Brazil, anyone? Brazilian CEO?)

And so it was that the least promising event window of the season delivered one of the best final days.

Conditions weren’t perfect, but they were the best we’d seen. The kind of clean, sunny beachbreak that makes you glad to be alive.

The success of the day was in no small part due to the consistently superb Brazilian fans. It is an undeniable fact that Brazil not only produces the greatest surfers in the world, but also the finest and most vociferous supporters of professional surfing.

(Two events in Brazil, anyone? Brazilian CEO?)

The clientele for finals day were also fresh and clean. Only one top five surfer remained in Ethan Ewing, perhaps the most unlikely.

In the end, it was to be Yago Dora who claimed his first CT victory, a hometown favourite with universal appeal and an undeniably broad skill-set. The manner of his victory is matched only by the considerable style with which he wields foam, resin and water.

But before that, the prelude.

Sammy Pupo’s hot streak came to an end against Ryan Callinan. The latter being the first of Mitch Salazar’s predilections to take out the event victory.

Throughout the day Salazar was to make several claims with the emboldened bluster of a tarot card reader. These ranged from wildly inaccurate to patently bloody obvious.

“In my view, he’s a top ten surfer of all time”, he said of John Florence, in a tone that suggested it was a hot take. “I think people forget just how complete a surfer he is.”

They don’t, Mitch. They really don’t.

Salazar approaches his job like a self-appointed sage, imbued with profundity and wisdom, but the substance of what he says carries all the weight of a tortilla.

I truly hope that the new CEO, whoever it may be, recognises that some slash and burn is needed with the commentary team. Mitch and Kaipo have to go. That’s unequivocal.

As for Turpel, I waver, just as you might at the vet with a beloved family pet. He’s utterly useless, but easy to sympathise with. We’re so used to having him around.

But when he told us yesterday, without a hint of irony or humour, that if we’d ever wondered what it was like to surf like the best in the world, we could download a game from the App Store to find out, it was the nail in the coffin. Verbatim, the note I recorded: “Fuck you, Turpel, honestly. I’m out. Hopefully you are too.”

I’m sure people think that we just enjoy using the pundits as punching bags here at BG, but our ire and humour conceals a serious point. We spend so much time listening to this broadcast team, they are the faces and voices of the sporting performances, and they can make or break our viewing experience. They absolutely need to be better.

But back to those performances. Ewing vs Fioravanti was settled in the opening exchange of quarter final number two. The smoothness of Dora rendered a virtual no-contest against Jadson Andre in the next.

The fourth heat of the day, an all Hawaiian match-up between Florence and Mamiya, was a different matter.

The crux of the heat was Mamiya’s final wave. With a minute on the clock and needing an 8.27, he executed four seamless backhand strikes, the first of which was the turn of the heat. It wasn’t the biggest wave of the day, but there was plenty of reciprocal power.

He claimed vigorously, like he felt he’d got the score, and upon direct comparison with Florence’s 8.93, his upwelling of emotion seemed justified.

John’s 8.93 had started with a wrap and finished without drama or verve. Barron’s was full throttle from beginning to end. It should’ve turned the heat.

Two judges agreed, one giving a nine, another an eight-five. But the rest settled on flat eights and the result was 8.17.

Florence took a long time on the beach before this heat, head bowed, caressing his board in his arms as if in prayer. To whom or what ends is uncertain, and it may be he was just trying to return to the ubiquitous present amidst the baying crowd, but it did make me recalibrate my sense of how much winning heats might mean to him.

Regardless, by the semi final this centre could not hold. Against Yago he was barely able to summon a wave let alone a score. He exited the competition with a whimper, sitting astride his board with a 6.50 heat total, albeit after a semi final finish that sees him in striking distance of a shot at a third world title.

Both semis were lacklustre in the warbly, inconsistent high tide. Callinan and Ewing were both mistake prone in the other, with the latter stitching a couple of solid scores among the falls with some searingly smooth rail surfing.

But it was the final that capped the day as a resounding success. And a nod once again to the crowd that made this a reality. So often it’s pure WSL ministry of truth style fiction, whether in ELo’s manufactured numbers or those in the booth reporting things our eyes tell us are lies. But in Brazil these crowds are real.

Drone shots showed thousands of people packing the beach, tanned limbs pressed up against barriers, jammed skin to skin and grinning. Brazil is what the WSL has always dreamed pro surfing could be. Even through a screen the atmosphere is tangible.

As the finalists were announced, combat style by the Brazilian announcer on the blue runway, their personalities seemed to have been momentarily switched. Ewing grinned from ear to ear, an outward expression of happiness seldom seen.

Dora, by contrast, was steel-eyed, terminator-like. “I’ve never seen Yago in the fifteen plus years I’ve known him with that much intensity in his eyes”, said Jesse Mendes.

On the birds-eye angle, each combatant cast long shadows in the late afternoon sun. One man in blue, the other in red. One dark and moustached, the other blond and clean shaven. It was a vision that stirred images of an empty street with a man at either end of it.

Ewing took a wave almost immediately. Mere seconds in, Mitch “Nostradamus” Salazar proclaimed his victory. “I think this is the way Ethan wins this final”, he stated conclusively.

Fortunately, everyone ignored him.

The decisive blow was Dora’s ten point ride for a gigantic full rotation, spun and landed as clean as it gets. It was a flat, snowboard-like rotation, of a type few in the world might execute with such panache.

Certainly it was not the type of surfing we’ve seen from Ethan Ewing, nor are we likely to. This isn’t a slight, but rather to make the point that there was no answer he could give in this situation. This gulf in range made Dora a worthy winner.

It was only the second maximum score of the entire season, and it couldn’t have been more different to Callum Robson’s genre bending barrel at Supertubos. Nevertheless it was valid.

Detractors could argue it was a capitulation to the partisan crowd and the moment, but if so, only by half a point.

Dora moves seven positions to number five in the world. He’s a threat at every venue, including Trestles, and if that fact isn’t already obvious, it will become more apparent in time.

For all the talk of surfing’s importance to culture in the likes or Australia and California, only in Brazil does it feel like real sport.

Stadiums are not the answer for pro surfing, packed beaches and quality broadcasts are. If the WSL is to have any future, they’ll follow the fans, not the money. Satisfy the first and the second will follow.

On a personal level, thanks for all the comments and messages of support, both in public and private. It has an impact. I’m still in the hospital. My boy isn’t out of the woods, but he’s on the mend.

I’ll be forever grateful for the healthcare in this country and the simple, human kindness shown by nurses in particular.

It’s a weird little thing this life. Do whatever you can with it, for yourself and others.

A little taste of what the Olympics might look like in July, 2024.

Fears tiny Tahitian town of Teahupo’o will be destroyed by 2024 Paris Olympic Games, “I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupo’o Teahupo’o”

All surfers to be housed in a pair of cruise liners anchored out the back of the famous wave.

In roughly one year, the world’s best surfers, as well some pretty ordinary fringe dwellers from landlocked countries and hundreds of officials and coaches, will descend upon the wildly pristine Tahitian town of Teahupo’o for the surfing part of the Paris Olympic Games. 

And locals are worried the joint’s gonna get flattened by the influx. 

“I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupo’o Teahupo’o,” Henry Tahurai told The Guardian. He says he’s “scared “of  what might happen to his “little piece of paradise… We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for the next generation.”

If you’ve ever been to this town of fifteen-hundred souls at the literal end of the road in Tahiti-iti, seventy clicks or so from the capital Papeete, you’ll know what a low-fi little joint it is outside of the annual WSL event there when the only noise you’ll hear is the great swoosh of water as Filipe reverse paddles into a set. There’s the occasional whine of a boat engine in the lagoon. The slap of rubber flip-flops on the road, the splashing of a school of fish chased by a tiger shark. 

You’ll find basic accommodation in A-frame huts built on acres of lush tropical grass or in family owned houses built at the water’s edge, the matriarch and patriarch your gracious hosts.

Here, you’ll sleep in what looks like a kid’s room with an electric fan blowing warm air on your face while the cute blonde radio announcer with breasts like soft plums, mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent protuberances, who came down to the contest from Papeete, laps at your balls as she tries to wake you up so you can give her a manually induced orgasm.

When the Olympics were first mooted to be in Tahiti, big plans were announced, a new bridge across the river so cars could get in, an Olympic village, a big hotel renovation. 

“I wasn’t against the Olympics being held here in Teahupo’o, but I was against all the buildings they wanted to build,” Cindy Otcenasek, president of the environmental defence association Vai Ara o Teahupo’o, told the Guardian. 

After months of meetings, all the development except a widening of the pedestrian bridge, better drinking water and an improvement in internet access, were shelved.

So what’s gonna happen to the 48 surfers and their teams if there ain’t no hotel? They’ll be staying on a pair of cruise liners anchored out the back of Teahupoo. 

“It’s not the best solution – the motors run all day,” says Otcenasek, “but it’s the one that won’t leave any lasting trace in Teahupo’o”.

As marine scientist Dr Sam Purkis, chair of Marine Geosciences at the University of Miami, says: “Providing that the ships anchor on sand and do not discharge their waste into the bay, the impacts of their presence will hopefully be minimal. In the end, it is the reef edifice which has grown over millennia which creates the wave that the competitors seek.”

Echoing his Polynesian brothers in Hawaii, Tahurai says, “The Olympics are welcome here but leave this place as beautiful as it was when you saw it for the first time.”

"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.

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