Kelly Slater called “world’s politest surfer” after fans and pro’s line up to share examples of champ’s astonishing etiquette in the waves

"I’ll never forget it… that split second interaction taught me so much about earning and giving respect."

In a video shared to Instagram earlier today, the gifted surfer and genial YouTube host from North Carolina, Brett Barley, provided further evidence, as if it was necessary, of Kelly Slater’s astonishing etiquette in the water.

In the fish stew that is Skeleton Bay, all sand and surfboards, Barley is filming from inside the tube when the greatest surfer of all time appears on the shoulder. Slater examines the rider in the tube but where most other pro’s would’ve swung into the maw, consequences be damned, he politely exits the scene, allowing Barley a clean exit.

Slater, who is fifty-one, had joined the shoe-sale conga line of tube-wranglers, which also included popular surf vloggers Nathan Florence and Jamie O’Brien, to the wave called Donkey Bay or, more colourfully, “The Namibian Rickshaw.”


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A post shared by Brett Barley (@brettbarley)

After sharing the post, surfers lined up to tell their own stories of Slater’s kindness in the water.

“Immediately after @kellyslater rescued a pelican and won the King of the Peak contest in 2001, he and I were the only two in the water down the beach towards Spanish house,” writes Gilby Grams.

“We were about 10ft apart, and a random overhead storm surf peak came right to us. I had only been surfing for like 2 years. The conditions were garbage, I was right on the peak, (probably too deep for my ability), but we both paddled for it. Kelly looked back from the shoulder and we locked eyes in that unspoken “you going?” moment, and I had a split second to commit or pull back for Kelly at his home break. I committed, and he yielded. Probably didn’t even register for him, but I’ll never forget it… that split second interaction taught me so much about earning and giving respect.

“For someone in Kelly’s position: It’s who you are when no one’s watching, and it doesn’t even matter to you.

“For someone in my position: no matter who it is- they may or may not show you respect- that’s outside your control- but they can only show you as much respect as you have for yourself… IF you can muster the confidence to express it.

“When you do, you may be pleasantly surprised- and when that happens, some of that confidence you mustered may stick around moving forward.”

Actually, he’s the only reader to tell such a story but I got one!

Years back, Slater at his nineties peak, when he was unbeatable, kicked ass like a horse, grotesquely, embarrassingly dominant, is surfing Burleigh Heads. I’m riding a seven-foot gun, snapped all the six-o’s, and was digging this ancient gunslinger, when I get a set from Cove and through to the inside. I dodge half-a-dozen attempts at collision and wave sharing when I see a man, beautiful head of chestnut hair, paddling on the next section. Just as I lift my shoulders and race to fend him off, he pulls back, smiling, so close if he’d had a gun he could’ve blasted out my brains.

Lovely man, and I’ll hear no word against him.

Medina and his gang of guy-pals in Bora Bora.

Happily divorced Gabriel Medina celebrates premature end of season with $2000-a-night Bora Bora vacay alongside guy-pals!

"Cold head, warm heart," writes the triple world champ, cryptically.

Four months ago, like a German tank crunching through straw huts on its way across a border Gabriel Medina stormed into title contention following a dominant performance at the Margaret River Pro. 

Ironically, it would be a misstep in Brazil, a seventeenth at the Rio Pro, that would leave him tantalising close to the top five,

Remember last week’s Tahiti final when Medina and Jack Robinson had a shoot-out for the last place on Finals Day? When Robinson sat in the windy Teahupoo lineup, watching as Medina collected six waves, accumulating fifteen points, even before he’d looked at one, only to coolly scoop up two near-excellent rides to win. 

With no need to traverse the globe to San Clemente where I believe he would’ve hiked Filipe’s dress to his waist and finished the reigning champ for good, Medina has celebrated his end of season with a vacay to Bora Bora with a very select group of guy-pals. 


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A post shared by Gabriel Medina (@gabrielmedina)

Staying at the Conrad, where the over-the-water villas cost around two thousand dollars a night, Medina shared a series of posts, shirtless in his little dunk pool, cycling with his guy pals, showering, looking pensive on deck with guy pal, also topless and with protuberances as indescribably magnificent as Medina’s, a buffet dinner, the hotel entertainer and so on. 

“Cold head warm heart,” he writes, cryptically on one page and, “Special days in paradise” on another.


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A post shared by Gabriel Medina (@gabrielmedina)

Medina, who turns thirty in December and divorced almost two years, is probably one of the most complicated men in surfing and the extraordinary fact is surf fans don’t know it. They think he’s simple, easy, a glamorous man in a handsome body and with an expensive house.

So be careful, as they say, when you lift the lid of the pot and look at what boils inside. 

Next year, he comes for Toledo, Colapinto, Ewing and a fourth gilded crown.

(Also, if you want to get onto the easiest pro boards to ride, a five-ten Johnny Cabianca-shaped Medina in my case, give ’em a hit here. Johnny’s wife Kelli will steer you into a life-changing new sled.)

"Surfer man" (pictured) bottom left.
"Surfer man" (pictured) bottom left.

Modern-looking “surfer man” captured in 1917 photograph registered as “proof of time travel”

"The long-haired man has seemingly attracted the attention of those around him..."

The world is changing, very rapidly, underneath all of our feet but particularly the tanned feet of surfers. Climate change has wrecked the World Surf League’s Championship Tour, California now gets hurricanes that don’t make very great waves, RVCA co-founder Conan Hayes is going to get mug shot for alleged election fiddling but to name only a few radical shifts within this year alone.


On that note, might one of our kind decided to go back in time and try to fix some problems?

A resurfaced photograph, snapped in 1917 on Canada’s Vancouver Island, is causing genuine debate. Titled, “Last Picnic,” the image features a group of adults and children sitting on a hill. Everyone is dressed as one might imagine Canucks to be dressed in 1917, old-timey etc., except according to Microsoft News:

…some eagle-eyed viewers spotted one “surfer man” who wore baggy shorts and a large t-shirt and looked like he was straight out of the 20th century.

The long-haired man has seemingly attracted the attention of those around him as one man next to him appears to be staring at him, while a woman standing on the right of the image looks to be pointing in his direction.

The picture was shared online by YouTuber, Jamie D. Grant, who came across the interesting picture in Lester Ray Peterson’s 1974 historical book, The Great Cape Scott Story.

He questioned whether the image was “proof” of time travel, saying: “Notice the group, their clothes, their hats. Even how they sit poised for a photo.

“Now look closer. His head uncovered, his hair, his shorts. The man on the left stares in disbelief. Has a mysterious traveler proved the impossible and journey through time? What do you think?”


What do you think?

Also, if you had to travel back to a date to stop surfing from going so wrong, when, exactly, would you pinpoint?

Surfing (left) and Jiu Jitstu (right). The new peanut butter and jelly. Photo: Instagram
Surfing (left) and Jiu Jitstu (right). The new peanut butter and jelly. Photo: Instagram

World’s manliest boy Mark Zuckerberg combines love of fighting and surfing in one epic day date with BJJ champ Mikey Musumeci


The planned fight between South Africa’s Elon Musk and the world’s manliest boy Mark Zuckerberg appears to be off but that has not stopped the Facebook founder from “training for his MMA debut.” Zuckerberg, 39 going on 12, has not been shy about his falling in love with combat sport. His social media feeds constantly showcasing “rolling” with this or that fight star. He has a blue belt in Brazilian jiujitsu and appears to be learning the strike game these days.

Alas, there was once a time, and not long ago, where only surfing sparked the 5’7 145 lber’s eye. Dalliances with Kai Lenny, who described his as “super cool, super fit.” Admitting to tackling “big waves.”

Surfers, who had grown accustomed to and even fond of his attention, maybe taking it for granted, left cold and sad with his embrace of indoor gymnasiums and dojos.

But a glimmer of hope?

For just hours ago, Mikey Musumeci, a five-time International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation black belt champion, was taught to surf by Zuckerberg himself in what appears to be an exchange.

“LOOK WHO TAUGHT ME HOW TO SURF TODAY !!!” the 27-year-old captioned his post. “So many hours of training today and also my first time ever surfing (my surf professor @zuck) !! Having so much fun!!!!”

Surf Professor Zuck responded, “You nailed wake surfing your first session! And thanks for the training.”

Not all were ecstatic at the union.

“You are an awful individual. How many lives have you and the rest of the lizards ruined?” Santbc commented.

“Stop buying friends Richie Rich,” dnymarban added.

“@zuck is the enemy @mikeymusumeci he helped censor licensed phd dr during covid. His part of the problem. Never forget what they did we can forgive them but never forget,” lilpaul84 hit back.

“This man helped contribute to your coach losing his gym – and now you’re surfing with him? Embarrassing,” littlechild.bjj threw down.

Tough crowd.

In any case, is BJJ and wake surfing in the same day the new snowboarding and regular surfing in the same day?

Think upon it.

Things sure did look grim for Ewing after his Teahupoo wipeout.

Ethan Ewing’s spinal injury “blown out of proportion” and he will surf for historic world title on Finals Day

“He’s playing mind games with the Brazilians.”

Yesterday, the beleaguered World Surf League came under fire for “passive aggressively trolling Ethan Ewing” after it posted a heat draw for September’s one-day grand final.

As y’know, the top five rated men and women will compete at Lower Trestles some time between September 8 and 16 for a one-day shoot-out that’ll decide the world champions.


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A post shared by EE (@ethan_ewing)

Ewing, as you also know, busted a couple of vertebrae in his spine while practising for the Tahiti Pro and the early prognosis was a three-month wait for surgery followed by six months out of the water.

Hence no Finals Day or swing at title for Ewing.

“Maybe they could use a nice picture from him in hospital.”

So why put him in the draw? Surf fans felt the same and lit up the WSL.

This is starting to feel like you’re just passive aggressively trolling Ethan

there is a WSL obscenity all over the post putting this up.

maybe they could use a nice picture from him in hospital.

So is EE going to compete as a bodyboarder or how is he supposed to surf with a broken back?

The word on the street now, if that’s what you want to call it, is the WSL were right to feature Ewing on their graphics as the world number three-rated surfer’s injury has been “blown out of proportion”, he’s “definitely mobile” and will, likely, compete at Lowers.

Already, half a score of surfers from Ewing’s island home, North Stradbroke, have booked tickets to California to watch their hero bring home the trophy.

Ewing’s own silence on the matter is, according to one observer, his way of “playing mind games with the Brazilians” in particular the reigning champ and small-wave specialist Filipe Toledo who is expected to easily retain his title in the consequence-free waves.

Ewing’s relationship with Brazilian fans has been strained ever since WSL judges preferred his velvet lines over Medina’s bag of tricks at the Surf Ranch Pro a few months back, one even threatening to murder the innocent Australian.

The shift in judging, from rewarding frenetic but unpretty airs to melting over smooth combos, suits Ewing whose surfing is so beautiful it excites the sensitive soul to tears.