California surfers (pictured) huddling. Photo: Panic Room
California surfers (pictured) huddling. Photo: Panic Room

California surfers board up windows, frantically call Floridian brothers and sisters for advice on hoarding etiquette etc. as category 4 Hurricane Hilary set to make historic landfall!


California surfers have been glued to various wind finder applications, overnight, witnessing their very first hurricane twisting and turning just off the southern tip of Baja Mexico. Hilary be her name. Meteorologists are predicting she will make landfall, in San Diego, as a tropical storm sometime on Saturday being the first to do so since 1939.

Currently she is a category 4 and predicted to strengthen.

“The combination of heavy rainfall, the potential for flash flooding and strong winds could very well make this a high impact event for Southern California,” Samantha Connolly, a National Weather Service meteorologist in San Diego, wrote in a Thursday morning forecast.

Exciting but what about waves, boarding up windows with plywood, hoarding and other such activities? The aforementioned California surfers are used to all. manner of disaster including, but not limited to, traffic jams, the U.S. Open, Jonah Hill’s ex Sarah Brady moving to Hawaii and gloomy weather in June but never a hurricane.

Many are frantically calling brothers and sisters in Florida, as state that sees many of them, and asking advice.

The CDC reccommends:

Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them on the refrigerator or near every phone in your house. Program them into your cell phone too.

Prepare an emergency supply kit.

Locate the nearest shelter and different routes you can take to get there from your home. If shelter locations in your area have not been identified, learn how to find them in the event of a storm.

Pet owners: Pre-identify shelters, a pet-friendly hotel, or an out-of-town friend or relative where you can take your pets in an evacuation. Local animal shelters may be able to offer advice on what to do with your pets if you are asked to evacuate your home.

But the CDC is… sort of discredited now, no? Like we don’t trust, yes?

Florida brothers and sisters, help!

Surfing “holy war” erupts after Kolohe Andino issues grave three-word warning to Griffin Colapinto as world number two explores Indian ego-transcending spiritual practice

“I feel nothing and I can’t understand why. Why do I work so hard to feeling nothing?"

Two weeks before he shoots for an historic world title at his home beach, Griffin Colapinto has posted an extraordinarily personal message on Instagram, exploring his feelings of emptiness and his search for meaning despite becoming the most successful Californian surfer in over thirty years. 

Not for nothing is the twenty five year old referred to as the Gandhi of surfing. One month ago, he helped cool heads following the furore from Brazilian surf fans after he won the Surf Ranch Pro in May.

Amid death threats and promises of retribution on the blood-soaked sands of Saquarema, Brazil, Griffin penned an open letter to the surfing community, preaching a philosophy of non-violence and the togetherness of man. 

“We are all human beings! We are all one. Each person seems to have something difficult that is happening in their life. Some times lashing out on others can stem from something deeper that we have no idea about. Raise your hand if you are guilty 🖐️ I know I have been before. And that’s okay, we are humans that have been born into a world run by the overthinking mind and the feeling of separation. But deep down there is a love that understands we are all one. I understand that there are different cultures but in the end we all feel pain and we all feel love. There are so many different perspectives and points of view out there. Who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong. We grow up in different circumstances that shape our perspectives. Life really doesn’t make sense sometimes, but surely it’s more fun that way. Because now we have the unexpected. The element of surprise. There seems to be some growing pains in our surf community right now. But guess what? We are growing! Much love to everyone that is passionate about the sport of surfing. Without the passion, there would be no growth. Thank you!”

In his latest missive, Colapinto writes of his pivot to Sādhanā, an ego-transcending spiritual practice from India.

So I come here to share my experience of “success”. This year I’ve finished 2nd in the world after a full season of 10 events. I look at that on paper and expect to feel an abundance of joy. But for some reason I feel nothing and I can’t understand why. So I try to think harder and feel harder but I only seem to fall further into the trap. What’s happening? What’s this all for? Do I deserve this? Why do I work so hard to feel nothing? Some thoughts that I’m having. This develops into an unease, low level of anxiety that I can’t quite put my finger on. Feeling scared to acknowledge this feeling. Distracting myself with randomness to escape that anxiety and when I’m back with myself the anxiety is back. Overtime if we don’t confront these things they build and we fall deeper into the trap. So what I’ve realized and with the help of journaling, meditating, and talking with my spiritual accomplice @treckert is that I’ve tended to look for a result or an achievement to give me feelings of ecstasy and most of the time that’s not how it works. In the moment of the event unfolding is when we feel the most! That’s because we are in the moment and that’s all that we are focused on but once that moment is over it’s over. So it’s in the moment to moment activities that we feel the best. We can’t expect to keep feeling the same joy days after the event by living in the past. So I’m deciding to let go of the attachment to an expected feeling. What’s most important is focusing on the little tiny details of our day right now. To practice Sadhana a spiritual practice of life. Every moment is an opportunity to become closer to awareness. Awareness of what we are feeling, thinking, speaking, and so on.

I am sharing this because If there’s anyone else out there that can relate to this and it can help them realize too, what is happening. Then thats what is important to me. Being vulnerable is one of the reasons I am here. To relate with others and hopefully help us not feel alone. 


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All very good etc, many nice things written by a who’s who of surfing including Tom Carroll, Zeke Lau, Conner Coffin,  all urging him to stay “real and vulnerable”.

Shock and division in the ranks, however, after fellow San Clemente hero Kolohe Andino, a believer in the Christian doctrine, issued a grave three-world theological warning writing, “No false idols.” 

The phrase is loaded as hell and is associated with the Ten Commandments where it warns against worshipping anything other than the divine. 

The comment brought in the Christians. 

thank you for your boldness in stating this! When we chase after anything but Christ we won’t find the fulfillment we need. Other forms of spirituality may provide a temporary buzz, but it won’t last, nor will it provide long term peace. Thank you for pouring Truth into these young surfers whether they listen now or not! They will see something in you that draws them to Christ. You are in the position you are in for a greater purpose! 

yes sir! Jesus and god provide the fulfillment and the foundation which will allow freedom and peace for top performances and fulfillment regardless the results!


Exodus 20:3. Solid Wisdom Brother

Exactly, been down many paths and Jesus is the only one that will give you peace. Hope you find peace griff and crush lowers!

Bible says finding ultimate fulfillment in anything other than God is like chasing wind. You’ll never catch it and you’ll feel empty. Those are the feelings you are feeling right now. Christ comes to give abundant life, trust in Him for your salvation & eternal joy 🙌 when everything else is changing, He is unchanging.

Of course, religions exist to provide a how-to for successful lives and there’s more than a few crossovers, Ecclesiastes in Christianity and its preaching that the pursuit of money, fame, cute trannies is futile, ain’t much diff to Sādhanā.

Also in the New Testament, Gospel of Matty, chapter five, “Turn the other cheek.”

Caity Simmers brought the house down with a nine two three in her semi; and victor Caroline Marks, comfortable in waves that would make the men's world champ shriek.

Caity Simmers and Caroline Marks dominate Tahiti Pro as world champ Stephanie Gilmore shows “little interest in being there”

"The women belong at Teahupo’o. The progression was significant compared to a year ago and it’s a joy to see that unfold in real time."

Wind raged across the lineup as Caroline Marks won the Shiseido Tahiti Pro ahead of Caity Simmers on Wednesday. It was not the most exciting heat you’ll ever see, and it would be a mistake to judge the women’s contest by the final.

In fact, the women made a strong case that they belong at Teahupo’o. There’s still have work to do, sure. But the progression looked significant compared to a year ago and it’s a joy to see that unfold in real time.

Let’s dispense with the Steph Gilmore question straight away. Somehow Steph made it through to the quarterfinals at Teahupo’o, but it was clear she had little interest in being there. Steph brought the fire to win last year’s world title, but she’s seemed unmoored this year, and has rarely shown her best surfing. It’ll always be a mark against Steph that she hasn’t made the same push to decode barreling lefts that her competitors have.

Until now, she never needed to. Before its return to the women’s calendar in 2022, Teahupo’o last appeared in 2006. Steph’s first year on Tour came the following year in 2007. It’s worth lingering for a hot minute on Steph’s rookie year. Out of eight events, she won four — and she won the world title. Then Steph was world champion for the next three years in a row.

Each year’s world tour calendar featured enough rights — and Steph typically won them all — to secure her the title. Sometimes natural talent is both a blessing and a curse. When it all comes so easily, learning something new can feel like an insurmountable obstacle. Barreling lefts have turned out to be Steph’s curse. Caroline had no trouble sending her home in the quarters.

On paper, the quarterfinal between Vahine Fierro and Carissa looked like one of the best heats of the day. The ocean had other ideas. Carissa blew a take-off on a possible score early on, but in truth neither of them found much to ride. Vahine has a smooth grace in the barrel but could only muster a 6.83 and a 2.00. Vahine rightly won it, but it was a low-scoring heat all around from two surfers who had more to give.

Like several of the women in the draw, Tati has significantly improved her surfing in left barrels. Until now, she hasn’t shown much affinity for it, and I’ll confess to having images of her straightening out at Pipe etched in my mind. A first sign of the change came in the form of a pre-comp clip where she pulled into a solid one and rode it out.

Despite her progress, Tati narrowly lost to a hard-charging Tyler Wright. Their quarterfinal was one of the closest heats of the day, and the split between Tati’s 6.93 and Tyler’s 7.17 may well keep Tati up at night for a while. To my eye Tyler deserved the score and her seven was one of the better barrels of the day from a regular foot.

The heat between Molly Picklum and Caity was a straight-up huck fest. It was hilariously low scoring for the intensity they brought to it. Molly and Caity just fully went for it without any signs of fear. Reef? What reef? There they were, just pulling into close-outs like it was no big thing. Love that for them.

Molly had the highest scoring wave of this one, but Caity took the win by a narrow margin. It could easily have gone either way, and these two promise to make women’s surfing fun to watch for a lot of years to come.

Tyler has also done her homework, and she was a back-up score away from winning her semifinal against Caroline. With a heavy sideshore wind on it, the conditions favored the goofyfoots going front side. Still, Tyler managed to put up another high score with a 7.67. It wasn’t a long tube ride, by any means, but I don’t think she could have ridden it much better. After a smooth drop, she grabbed rail, set her line, and rode it out. I’ll forgive the claim, if you will.

By far the best wave the day belongs to Caity. It came just inside the 8 minute mark of her semifinal against Vahine. The first wave of the heat went to Caity, who dropped in for a quick tube and turn. 6.50. Vahine pulled into a sweet one, stalled, and came out for a high seven. She held a slim lead for much of the heat. For a while, the ocean seemed to go flat. As the clock ticked down, it looked like Vahine had it won. Caity needed a mid-4 to advance.

If you watch nothing else from this finals day, watch this wave from Caity. It shows plainly her unique intuition. It’s as though Caity feels a rhythm on that wave that few others can perceive. It reminded me of Steph’s front side barrel at Keramas a few years back, where she had that beautiful dancing two-step into the barrel. No one can teach that kind of feel for how the ocean moves.

Setting it up, Caity takes off from deep. The wave sections ahead of her, but she smoothly bottom turns around it. Remember now, she’s surfing backside. Caity throws a quick midface turn to line up the barrel. Then she grabs rail and pulls in.

Shooting through the crumbling lip, she makes a clean exit. She almost looks surprised that she made it. But she still remembers to throw in a quick down carve to finish it. The judges gave it a 9.23. I’m not sure what else they wanted there. Just give her the ten, you nerds!

After that drama, the final did not have much to offer. A gale blew through and turned the lineup into victory at sea. I’m not sure why they didn’t go on hold. I suppose they were afraid we’d all leave and do something else, as though people who watch surf contests have anything else to do. Spoiler! We don’t.

Buffeted by the wind-driven bumps swarming the lineup, Caroline won it with a five and a three. The conditions gave this heat a “what could have been” sort of vibe. In better conditions, it might have been a real one between Caroline and Caity.

There simply wasn’t much to do here — though Caity earned some serious core points for sending it hard and getting munched on one of the bigger sets of the heat.

Throughout finals day, Caroline skillfully threaded the wind-warped tubes on offer. She looks smooth and comfortable out there. Caroline’s a bit less deep in the tube than Vahine, who has the timing at Teahupo’o on lock. No doubt Caroline will be spending more time in Tahiti ahead of the Olympics.

With her second win of the season, Caroline finishes her comeback year third in the world ahead of the final at Trestles. She should be proud of that. It’s not easy to step away, reset, and return to the top level the way she has.

Unlike the men’s side, there were no changes to the top five. Carissa held her narrow lead over Tyler in second. Caroline sits third followed by Molly and Caity. The women’s finals will open with a heat between Caity and Molly. Really, I’m not sure we could ask for more out of this absurd format. That heat will be scrap. The winner meets Caroline. If anyone wants to make a run up the draw, they’ve got a very tough climb.

It’s perhaps fitting that Carissa and Caity sit at either end of the draw. In her first year on Tour in 2010, Carissa won two events and finished third overall. At the time, she was compared to Kelly and Dane for her progression, poise, and inventive surfing. Surfing her first year, Caity has also won two events, and currently sits fifth overall. She’s regularly compared to Dane and John John.

In the current moment, they sit at opposite ends of their careers. Caity combines flashes of sheer brilliance with youthful inconsistency. Carissa meanwhile steady refines her prodigious talent and has seemed to find inspiration rather than fear in the performances of younger surfers like Caity and Molly. Caity has everything ahead of her — both the good and the bad.

The meeting of these two generations promises to push them both. And along the way, they’ll surely raise the level of women’s surfing still further. Already, two years of women’s contests at Teahupo’o have shown us glimmerings of what’s to come. Ten years from now, it may all look entirely different. It’s sure to be one hell of a ride.

Stickers reading “Dave Prodan Killed Surfing” mysteriously appear at Lower Trestles ahead of Rip Curl WSL Finals!

World Surf League chief strategist outed!

Another World Surf League season is drawing to a close, this one mostly memorable for CEO Erik Logan getting ruthlessly fired and disappeared in the back half. Other than that, it was marked with generally poor surf, silly booth talk, Bailey Ladders, Kelly Slater’s make-believe wildcard, Make or Break getting canceled, Jessi Miley-Dyer promoting herself to Chief of Sport, greenwashing, sportwashing, Cup Noodles.

Who is to blame?

According no The Animal Chin, the buck stops with Dave Prodan.

In a scintillating expose from one month ago, Chin argued:

Recently, Surfer and Stab recommended that Dave Prodan, current Chief Marketing Officer, be groomed as successor to the ELo throne. While his pedigree and involvement may be what Dirk and others view as logical and prudent, he is absolutely the wrong man for the job.

To begin, Dave has sat idly by while the WSL turned into the “bullshit wannabe tennis tour” that Bobby foresaw. Along each step of the way, Dave was fully responsible for the hype and positioning of the company in this pivot.

Well, it appears as if others agree.

A few short weeks away from the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Lower Trestles, another bungled idea, stickers are turning up down that iconic trail reading “Dave Prodan killed surfing” next to a photograph of Prodan’s face once described by the great Derek Rielly as having enchanting “big eyes, delicate hands, never dirty, and silky hair that he smooths vigorously each morning in the hope of flattening a cow-lick which rears from the top of his skull.”

The stickers are on street signs, on guard rails, on light posts and trash cans.

Who placed them?

How did they arrive?

Is the statement true?

David Lee Scales and I discussed on our weekly chat. It is his inclination that the last man standing will have to take the blame and he is certainly right about Prodan’s tenure. He has weathered more regimes than I can even count, stretching back decades into the mists of Association of Surfing Professionals. He has slowly risen to a place of power, hosting the World Surf League’s popular podcast and exemplifying newspeak in its most pure form.

But killing surfing?

What are your thoughts.

David Lee and I also talked about Committees for Equity in Women’s Surfing and other such important things. I think you will enjoy.

Robinson (pictured) the winner. Photo: WSL
Robinson (pictured) the winner. Photo: WSL

Final day of World Surf League regular season at wind-eaten Teahupo’o reminiscent of a kids’ short story, where the writer bungs in a murder, drug deal, or explosion, hoping it will make the story exciting

When we’re left with a top five at year end that doesn’t include Medina or Florence, someone, somewhere, should be asking serious questions.

It was a still, humid day in August, and the clocks were striking three AM.

And with that, the regular season was done.

If you could script it (but of course you Can’t) you would certainly have pitted two of the world’s best tuberiders against each other in the final. A final that would decide which man had the chance to compete for a world title.

It was a seemingly perfect scenario from a WSL perspective. The kind of scenario Erik Logan surely pitched in clammy Santa Monica boardrooms.

Why, then, did it not feel perfect, or even exciting?

Did you feel anything? Were you rapt with the pleasure that great sporting moments bring?

Did you Australians cry tears of jingoistic joy when Robinson assured his place in the WSL Finals?

The waves were not perfect, this is true. They weren’t even particularly good, unless your baseline is the wave quality of the 2023 World Championship Tour as a whole. In which case they were well above average.

Maybe it’s the gloomy prospect of Trestles. Maybe the various final five scenarios were just too complex. Or maybe the WSL just did a poor job of communicating them. Likely all are true.

Certainly the little montages with Kaipo’s narration (after the final had started, no less!) were distinctly amateur. Partly it was Kaipo’s tone and the simple (and I do mean simple) content of his speech, and partly it was the dramatic strings, a scant attempt to make things seem momentous.

It was reminiscent of a kids’ short story, where the writer bungs in a murder, drug deal, or explosion, hoping it will make the story exciting.

It was a flaccid end to a day that could’ve been so much more.

We had salivated over the prospect of Medina vs Florence in the quarter final. “The guys are gonna try and eat each other”, promised Robinson. That’s what we all hoped, too. But in the end one devoured the other.

It was a match-up that might have been a classic. As it was, the confused, inconsistent swell which had declined from yesterday played into Gabriel Medina’s hands. It completely nullified Florence, who often seems lost in inconsistent seas.

Medina was vicious from the horn, locking in a low eight and a back up six with his first two waves. He was too strong, and Florence was comboed early and throughout.

It’s clear that Medina is the best barrel technician in the world. At Teahupo’o he sees things others cannot, and this is made clear on marginal days like today. Pete Mel noted the fact that he takes off already in the barrel, a technique which means he disappears for longer than anyone else. But this is far from his only technique, and it’s this adaptability that allows him to make the waves on any given day look far better than they are.

But it’s his relentless energy and sheer physicality that also separates him. Effete style be damned, speed and power equate to jaw-dropping surfing. In this regard, Medina is unmatched. Those who persist in criticism of his style should perhaps content themselves with Torren Marytn videos, not pro surfing.

Florence tried limply, first taking off on a dud that shut down ahead of him, then going over the falls on his next. It’s clear Medina makes him nervous. He makes everyone nervous.

In an ideal world, Medina and Florence could be the rivalry that makes pro surfing, in the same way the Andy vs Kelly battle lit the collective imaginations of the surf world: two men diametrically opposed, each with ardent supporters. But it seems unlikely this potential will ever be realised.
Medina went on to dispatch Barron Mamiya in the semi, catching seventeen waves to Mamiya’s three. Barring the opening exchange of furious paddling, at no point was it competitive.

The highlight was Medina’s nine point ride on his third wave. A deep barrel with a clean exit on a set wave. He was blown out with his arms clasped behind his back, part claim, part assertion of superiority. You can’t do this, he seemed to say to Mamiya. And he was right.

Quiksilver prodigies Robinson and Fioravanti met in the opposite semi. It was a match-up of simmering jealousies, the two having been pitted against each other and billed as the Next Big Thing since they were kids.

Hats off to Fioravanti, despite his loss to Robinson, he was clearly one of the most skilled surfers at Teahupo’o, testament to both his competitiveness and the gym work that so impresses Joe Turpel.

But Robinson is now 5-0 in these battles, and Fioravanti must find a depth other than that of his squats if he hopes to challenge this.

This result bumped Yago Dora from the fifth seed at Trestles, which should be a genuine disappointment for surf fans who want to see Toledo challenged in September.

The final was truly a game of two halves.

Medina started with the same frantic pace that had demoralised Florence and Mamiya, catching everything going and somehow making it work. Priority didn’t seem to matter.

Robinson, finding his present and centre that served him so well in the early part of the season, sat and waited.

As a result, he was comboed early, and it looked for all the world like we were heading for another Medina walkthrough.

It might be spun that Jack Robinson is one of the very few men impervious to Medina’s all-consuming aura. In light of the result, Robinson himself might even believe it. But it would not be true.

Halfway through the heat, when Medina already had fifteen points and Robinson only had one score, it was Medina who sat calmly in the line-up, knowing he could afford to be more selective.

Robinson was not composed. He kept standing up on his board, like a meerkat, scanning for signs of waves. Left and right he looked, all around, and very consciously over Medina’s head. It was an attempt to rattle Medina, to assert a physical presence over him, the way an adult might tower over a scolded child. And it was a sign of Robinson’s insecurity.

But perhaps it worked, because Medina eventually paddled away, sitting far deeper than Robinson, as if they were surfing separate peaks.

The heat lulled. The early flurry from Medina had fizzled. The tension that should have been apparent was not. The commentary team gushed over Medina, repeated the same superlatives, adding nothing.

Then, with seven minutes on the clock, Robinson’s patience paid off. Taking just his fourth wave of the heat, a mid-sized wave with an open face, he threaded a drama-free tube, kicking out with a little fist pump that wasn’t trying to sell the score, but simply acknowledging he had it.

It came in at 7.83, exactly the same as the score he already held, and it was enough to seal the final.

The commentary team, in an apparent case of schizophrenia, immediately swung their allegiance and superlatives towards Robinson, as if he’d seemed like the winner all along.

And that was it.

We’re left with a final five of four at Trestles which includes: Filipe Toledo, Griffin Colapinto, Joao Chianca and Jack Robinson.

Once again, the “rule” that states Ethan Ewing should not be replaced is baffling. It’s yet another short-sighted WSL decision that can only serve to further alienate sponsors, fans, and crucially: talent.

I can’t say I’m enthused by the slim chances of anyone dethroning Filipe Toledo in the limp-wristed mush of Trestles. Colapinto is the only one with a shout. Dora would’ve pushed him, as would Medina. Florence if the waves were good. Not including these men is a wild loss for everyone.

When we’re left with a top five at year end that doesn’t include Medina or Florence, someone, somewhere, should be asking serious questions.

But let’s not go out with such negativity. Let’s believe that Trestles will turn on and everyone will be primed for blood and battle. Let’s believe the whole thing will be a fantastic finale that leaves us thoroughly entertained, satiated and satisfied with whoever our world champion might be.

Too much?

Well how about some humour: in accordance with the WSL qualifying protocol, the representatives for Brazil, at the Paris 2024 Olympics, to be held at Teahupo’o, will be Joao Chianca and…

Filipe Toledo.

If we can’t bring the WSL down, perhaps Brazil can.

If there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the proles.