Surf music fans left reeling as Skegss creative force and “Rage” founder Toby Cregan flees band for health reasons

"I want a simpler more wholesome life where I can spend more time with family, friends and my dog."

The music world is a little poorer tonight after Toby Cregan, the wildly charismatic bass player and singer with Skegss, the Australian surf-centric act which was co-founded by Noa Deane, played his last-ever gig with the band. 

Toby Cregan, who is the son of Ocean and Earth founder Brian Cregan, said he was throwing the four-stringer in the garage to “live a simpler more wholesome life where I can spend more time with family, friends and my dog.” 

Skegss, if you didn’t know, was founded in Byron Bay in 2014 by Cregan, Deane, lead singer and legit shredder Ben Reed and Jonny Lani. Deane quit soon after ‘cause he wanted to concentrate on his lucrative surf career, back then he was on 650k a year and oowee he wasn’t gonna throw that whale back, but not before the band released their breakout single LSD, an ode to the simplicity of existence, Live, Sleep, Die.  

In 2018, the band poured their cash into self-recording their first long-player, My Own Mess, fifteen bangers that captured Byron living, the boozing, drugs, surf life and so on.

If the name Toby Cregan got a familiar ring to it that’s cause he co-founded Rage and is a surf filmmaker of considerable note, including the edit of your ol pal DR’s trip to Israel years back (Tel Aviv Jumps), his use of the Velvet Underground’s I Found a Reason over the credits still gettin’ eyes moist. 

Toby said goodbye to fans at Byron’s Splendour in the Grass, winding up his nine years on the road with, appropriately, his self-penned and performed classic Road Trip.



Kelly Slater launches hydra-headed fusillade against Brazilian surf fans for ongoing vitriol against besieged Olympian Ethan Ewing!

“Ethan is an incredible surfer and your rant against him and me changes nothing, it just makes your country and fans look bad.”

Two months ago at the Surf Ranch Pro, Brazilian surf fans were left in tears after Gabriel Medina’s shock quarter-final loss to Australian Ethan Ewing and Italo Ferreira’s defeat in the final against Griff Colapinto. One fan was so sad he promised a gruesome public death should Ewing ever visit the South American nation. 

“One day, you will compete here in Brazil and us will remember you. Get ready,” André Guideline wrote in a DM to Ewing. “I’m saying again, here in Brazil, we will kill you. Saquarema will be your funeral.” 

Ethan posted the DMs with the note, “How good are surfing fans!”

Biz as usual, of course. 

You’ll remember the sad Brazilian faces, of course, when Griffin Colapinto beat Filipe Toledo in El Salvador last year.

Read, Brazilian surf fans apoplectic following Californian Griffin Colapinto’s “shock” win over world title favourite Filipe Toledo, “World Shame League! This event was a joke!” and Latin surf fans vow to create chaos at next World Tour event in Brazil following Filipe Toledos controversial loss to Californian in El Salvador, “The biggest protest in history in Saquarema! Bring banners, balloons, planes, boo all the time! Make them leave due to emotional stress!”)

Now, in response to Brazilian surf fans ripping on ol Ethan on the World Surf League’s Instagram account, the eleven-time world champ Kelly Slater has come to the Australian’s defence with a series of impassioned comments. 

@ceniovictor who writes, “Ethan is a regular surfer who only surfs the edge, he doesn’t know how to do radical manoeuvres or progressive surf. He only has that score because the WSL chooses a surfer to try to push down his threat, but he is nothing more than a surfer that we see in the thousands in free surfing” 

To which Kelly Slater, who carries an army of K-Fans in the millions, replies, “Do you surf? It’s insane to hear a few Brazilian fans try and say this about Ethan, probably the best and cleanest power surfer on tour today.” 

@ceniovictor’s response, 

“maybe you need to review your concepts, and see the real surf revolution that were made by brazilians. I know this must hurt deep down in your soul every day, not just for you but for all gringos. you should just pay homage to the surf revolution made by brazilians. that simple. a young man who surfs today doesn’t want to imitate you surfing, let alone Ethan. they want to be and surf like Medina, Italo, Chianca and mainly Toledo. this will hurt your soul for years to come. sorry brother. and finally, as for Ethan surfing, it reminds me of surfing in the 90s. there is absolutely nothing there but you guys overestimating the average surfer. good night brow.” 

Slater quickly hit back, 

“Congratulations on proving my point. I made no bad mention about any of these surfers (who I think are all incredible and evolving the sport). Yes, I think Ethan and Medina had a close heat and that Ethan won. I thought Italo should have won the final v Griffin. You do realise I’m friends with all these guys right? I’m proud of where surfing is and this is not a nationalistic opinion for me. Filipe just surfed a couple of waves as good as I’ve ever seen this past week. Surfing is in a good place and I’m proud I’ve been a part of it for a few decades. Time waits for no man and sport and abilities evolve everywhere. Don’t be so insecure you can’t have to attack me. Ethan is an incredible surfer and your rant against him and me changes nothing, it just makes your country and fans look bad.” 

(@ohi_marketing writes, @kellyslater, ok old man, shut pls.) 

Slater pivots, howevs, when one fan, @cams_consciosness, brings up a conspiracy theory that forces humans into “this indentured servitude human farm.” 

@kellyslater so lost in nationalism that many are not even consciously aware of the words coming out of their mouths and the thoughts out of their minds. Just another program. Nationalism is a form of enslavement. Simply more division. These are temporary human avatars for our light bodies. Our light bodies all look the same. People get so caught up in these avatars. Even more so now with social media. By design. They want us locked in the sacrum low frequency that is Primal and tribal. So that we hate one another. Instead we should love one another. We should be able to travel freely without a passport. I could go on and on when you start talking about exotic Technologies which have been secretly kept hidden from us in order to keep us in this indentured servitude human farm. Look into the invention secrecy Act of 1951. Lockheed Skunk Works perfected radiant energy acquisition technology which would have gotten rid of all other Energy Technologies in October of 1954. That’s only one of them. That alone would completely change our civilization. We need to awaken our consciousness and the Kundalini serpent within us to come up the 33° of the vertebrae to the hypothalamus and then opening the pineal gland to awaken dormant brain cells to enlightenment. When that day comes, division will be gone.” 

Slater replies, 

“@cams_consciousness, sometimes you lose me and sometimes I’m right there with your comments. Locked in on this.” 

Have you read about the Lockheed Skunk Works story? Wild! 

Are technologies being hidden from us to keep us enslaved by rich masters etc?


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The wild true story of how a sexy Laguna Beach surfer inspired The Endless Summer and its search for the mythical Perfect Wave!

The discovery of Cape St. Francis is only one of his epic stories. My first thought was, “How have I never heard of this guy?”

We surfers, we players upon the seas, are, at our worst, Instagram-loving kook heads craving attention and affirmation from other Instagram-loving kook heads in a vicious, empty void where our stomach is our god and our glory is our shame.

At our best, though, we are gallant adventurers. Original explorers of exotic, far-flung lands that we brave hell and high water to reach. Tropical disease-ridden, spoiled stomach aching, impoverished, exhausted beyond exhausted yet still driven. Caring not for fortune or fame but the simple, momentary joy of sliding down a wave for that very first time.

The Endless Summer, the 1966 Bruce Brown masterpiece which captured the very best of the surf travel life. Mike Hynson and Robert August, flying here, motoring there in search of the perfect wave until they stumbled upon it in Cape St. Francis, South Africa.


But did you know that an American man had surfed the break years before Brown and crew’s indelible discovery?

A man who was decidedly not an Instagram-loving kook head, caring nothing for the praise of strangers, who was content merely to experience what he had experienced?

A man named Dick Metz.

“I first heard of Dick Metz,” Richard Yelland tells me over the sound of jackhammers and taxi blasts in New York City, “from my lifeguard buddies in Laguna Beach. I worked as a lifeguard there and those watermen really do a great job of keeping the legends and the stories alive. Stories of pioneers, people who did it first. Dick’s name popped up early and was almost always included but I didn’t really know know his story until 12 Miles North.”

Yelland, a filmmaker from Laguna who directed the award-winning documentary 12 Miles North about the life of Nick Gabeldon, the first African-American surfer who made a name for himself at Malibu in those early halcyon years. His latest, Birth of The Endless Summer, follows Dick Metz, now 90, back to Cape St. Francis.

“So, I was reintroduced to Dick because he was an expert on 1950s Malibu. He was the only guy still alive who was old enough to really be there for it. I interviewed him a lot, heard his stories and began tying in what I had heard from the lifeguards and basically figured out that he had been to Cape St. Francis before Bruce Brown.

“Now, when Bruce died and so many people were writing tributes about what The Endless Summer meant to them, how it had impacted them, it made me re-realize what a powerful film it was. Surfing was pretty divided when Brown died, I mean, it still is, but The Endless Summer bonded everyone so I decided to revisit it with Dick. He told me the entire story and I understood how huge it was and now I had to make this film.”

Oh but you must watch the film to see the details, to understand how and why a young California surfer took off on a three-year surf tour, one of many, that circled the globe. How he discovered the “perfect wave” and what he did with it.

I was exceptionally curious about what Dick felt today. Bitter that Bruce Brown and cast got all the credit? The attention and affirmation? Holed up in a dark room doing squats and dips while staring at his picture vowing revenge?

“Dick never felt ripped off at all by The Endless Summer,” Yelland laughs between bites of whatever delicious New York street delicacy he had ordered. “He is so in the moment. He never had any designs on what was doing to happen. For him, he just didn’t want to go east of the Pacific Coast Highway. Didn’t want to go to a job that required lace-up shoes. I mean, those guys wrote the rules. When he and Bruce Brown talked about it, Dick would just make it a joke. Claiming is such a construct of our modern surf culture because some of us are trying to make it a living. Brown struggled immensely trying to get The Endless Summer distributed in those early days. Had to mortgage his house, play to sold out auditoriums in snow-bound Iowa in order for the studios to pay attention. It was crazy hard work. Dick Metz, on the other hand, never envisioned a career in surfing. He was just doing it because that’s what he loved.”

And what a lesson for these look-at-me look-at-me times. But is it resonating? Are kids watching Birth of The Endless Summer today? Is there anything even left to explore today?

“I know for sure there’s tons to explore and also how to explore,” Yelland raises his voice to reach above a garbage truck rumbling down the street. “If you’re going to places to blow up your Insta… that’s now what it’s about. It’s about getting lost. The world is so much smaller now, you can get anywhere, so how much do you have in terms of hunger? I’ll say this, the young people who have come to the show have loved it. There’s a connection between generations, somehow. They’ll come and watch the film then stick around for an hour to hear Metz talk then stick around for another two hours to get him to sign a poster. There’s an analog nature that is getting passed along.”

Which brings us back to Dick Metz himself. The first time I’d ever heard his name was from David Lee Scales. This discovery of Cape St. Francis is only one of the wild Dick Metz stories out there. When David Lee Scales told me about him, anyhow, my first thought was, “How in the world have I never heard of this guy?” I think this is true of everyone. Dick Metz getting passed from person to person in a classic oral tradition. Now, with Yelland’s film, the glories of adventure, of exploration, can spread like fire.

But wait, there’s more.

The singular Jamie Brisick, award-winning author, professional surfer, has written an accompanying book for the film. Birth of The Endless Summer: A Surf Odyssey is available now on Scribd and, of course, I had to speak with surfing’s greatest living author as well, though he was not in sexy New York City but rather… to be honest there were no auditory clues. Malibu, I suppose.

But Brisick’s voice, warm and charming, needs no enhancement.

“When Richard made the film he also made a deal to do a book and approached me and at our first conversation, I realized I had to write it,” he says. “I had to write it because I’ve become a much better person by traveling. So much wrong with the world today is that people aren’t exposed to other cultures.”

I asked if he had known of Dick Metz before working on the project and what took his story so long to break out.

“I had,” he tells me, “but not that much about him. Just knew vague details and why did it take so long? Maybe it’s the bouncy, sprightly nature of Metz. He’s so unique, so lighter than air and maybe as he’s gotten older it’s become easier to peg him down. Or maybe his uniqueness, today, is just more obvious. I look back on my own journey and, maybe early it seemed like it was about winning surf contests but really it was about traveling. Gathering experience. For me, when I first started, there was no email, no social media. Phone calls were expensive and maybe every two weeks you’d call home just to say, ‘Mom, I’m fine…’ then hang up. I was immersed in that travel experience. Now people travel and it’s a photo op. It breaks the dream and the spell. Dick Metz, his story, is both dream and spell.”

“Our north star.” That’s how Richard Yelland describes Dick Metz. Not just the man but how the man lived and why it matters.

Why it matters now more than ever, damned Instagram-loving kook heads.

Catch the film on 7/26 at Laemmle Santa Monica Film Center. 

7/27 at Laemmle NoHo

7/29 Doris Duke Theater, Honolulu

Buy the book here.

Toledo (pictured) hexed.
Toledo (pictured) hexed.

Mortal terror ripples through Filipe Toledo’s camp ahead of Tahiti Pro after revelation that Brazilians have no idea who li’l lionhearted surfer is!

The horror, the horror.

Deeper, man. Losing myself then finding myself. Horror and mortal terror becoming my friends. The bullshit coming out of Santa Monica had piled up so high that I needed wings to stay above it. I Had to leave. Had to come to the last place former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan was before becoming brutally fired then ruthlessly vanished.


I can smell what happened now. Like caipirinha in the morning.

My idea of great r & r has become a cold cachaça-based cocktail and warm acarajé com vatapa de inhame. The only ways home death, or victory. And on that note, before we get to what Logan did, where Logan is, I asked the rooftop bar staff at the iconic Hotel Fasano if they knew anything at all about competitive professional surfing at the highest level last night.

The World Surf League.

English is not universal, here, which shouldn’t surprise but did and the two women plus four men scrunched their noses, repeating “World Surf Leash?”

“Gabriel Medina?” I wondered and boom, they all broke into smiles and wild hoots. Pumping fists, showing passion.

“Famoush!” one hollered.

Buoyed, I offered, “Italo Fereirra?”

“Ohhhhhh!” The celebration grew in both tone and intensity. “Italo!”

On a roll, I dropped current world number one and champion Filipe Toledo, expecting his gilded name to bring the house absolutely down.

Spontaneous samba, vuvuzelas etc.

The celebration instantly stopped as they looked at each other, passing the name “Filipe Toledo” around the circle, each time accompanied by a light head shake, until it returned to me with a “Filipe Toledo? Não sei.”

I was shocked and wondered how the King of Saquarema was not known.

“Filipé Toledo?” I tried again, accenting the e.


What sort of voodoo spell had Logan cast while wearing the li’l lionheart’s skin?

Did he bring Toledo with him to hell?

Surf Journalist on mission to find savagely disappeared former WSL CEO Erik Logan falls into capoeira haze and experiences real “ordem e progresso!”

Chicken sacrifices etc.

I’m deep, man. Deeper than I thought I’d be at this point in my search for the viciously disappeared former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan. Way deeper. Out here, meu almofadinha.

Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted Logan to get fired, and for my sins the World Surf League did it. Fired him without mercy while he was in Brazil which meant I had to go to Brazil, a country I’d never been, in order to find him.

My mission was simple. To make sure he was ok or could at least breathe with the ball gag in his mouth, yeah, but also find out why. What manner of non-compliance he committed in order to be met with the most torturously terse press release in corporate history.

“The World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately.”

That’s it, that’s all, besides the other garbage the grocery clerks wrote about Chiefs of People and Purpose and Chiefs of Legal.

In the weeks since, I’d desperately tried to put the pieces together but nobody knew nothing and Dave Prodan, the World Surf League’s Chief Strategist, wouldn’t crack. I’d have to get beyond his timid, lying morality.

Knew I’d have to come to Brazil to crack it.

I’m north and east of Sao Paulo, now, where the winter sun beats hotter and the Atlantic laps brutalized shores. I should have come before. Should have come when Gabriel Medina won Brazil’s first title in 2014. Should have come when Adriano de Souza won right after him in 2015 except Kelly Slater forced me to forget. Should have come in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 when Medina won, Italo Ferreira won, Filipe Toledo won but I’m here now and a grande atração.

Did you know that Portugal moved its capital to Brazil in the 1800s? Sailed it straight from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro and settled it for fourteen years?

Here’s a rumor for you, drawn from multiple sources and pieced together with order and progress. World Surf League owner Dirk Ziff ain’t dumb. He knows that Bailey Ladders is not exactly a “vector of success.” Knows off-brand digital wallets aren’t “synergies of achievement.”

But think about it, cara esperto. He brought Logan in to head up the new WSL Studios but what did the studios make?

Absolutely nothing.

Folded after a couple of press releases yet the Oklahoman with the wetsuit of armor was promoted. Promoted all the way to the top spot where he continued to utterly and publicly fail. The Ultimate Surfer? The Trestles Final Five? Introducing Covid to the Hawaiian Islands?

Take your shirt off?

Do you think Dirk Ziff is that dumb?

No, irmão. He ain’t that dumb. He had a plan and that plan both was and is pools. Specifically, the new Kelly Slater Surf Ranch almost finished in Abu Dhabi. I’ve got it that Ziff is selling the whole shooting match to a gulf (Persian not Mexican) interest that will disappear the “annoyance” of lousy forecasts, waiting periods, inability to monetize live crowd all while using the World Surf League’s notable sport/greenwashing ability.

He needed Logan to fully tank this current iteration, this weird hold over from the Association of Surfing Professionals days which was held over from whatever Bronzed Aussie Ian Cairns dreamed up.

So it all goes to the Middle East.

But it all belongs in Brazil.

It has smacked me in the jaw since I’ve been here. Brazil is the natural home of competitive professional surfing. Smacked me and smacked me hard.

They have an appetite for weird niche here. Like dance fighting, foot volleyball, serious innertubing. Gabriel Media is as famous as soccer players. Tens upon tens of thousands pack the beach to applaud air reverses. Death is wished upon referees, competitors, judges who “get it wrong.

On broadcast television.

They care here unlike anywhere else. Care while producing the best crop of current and upcoming surf talent. Really, the only crop of current and upcoming surf talent, if we pause and be honest.

Ziff should move his capital to Brazil, like Maria I of Portugal did, but won’t and isn’t. Logan was needed to make a mockery out of it all. The perfect clown but what did he do, specifically, to be vanished so heartlessly and where is he now?

I think I’ve figured that horror out too, pessoa legal.

I’ll give it to you, tomorrow, if you still care.

But first I’ve got to sacrifice a chicken.