Redneck Rivierans await greatness.
Redneck Rivierans await greatness.

“Redneck Riviera” surfers let out rebel yell as new hurricane Idalia promises to turn gulf stretch into “Confederate Teahupo’o!”


Yesterday, Florida turned its eyes to Southern California for advice on how to prepare for a powerful hurricane named Franklin that had formed in the Atlantic. Should they be scared? Board up their windows? Horde? Think about possibly surfing? Great advice poured in from the Golden State, which survived its own hurricane just last week.

Today, an even greater force is whipping up in the gulf and promising to send monster waves toward the “Redneck Riviera” and neighboring Alabama turning the usually docile shore into that place of broken skulls.

A Confederate Teahupo’o.

The storm, which is quickly strengthening off of Cuba and tracking directly toward Horseshoe Beach, is fierce.

“This is going to be a major impact,” Florida’s governor Ron DeSanctimonius stated in a quickly-organized press conference. “You need to be executing your plan now. This storm is expected to hit sometime early Wednesday.”

Along with windy wind and rainy rain, though, an expected wild storm surge will create monster waves.

“Storm surge can be life threatening at just two to three feet,” Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie told CNN. “Some of these areas are going to experience storm surge well over seven foot. Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. It happens quickly and can endanger you, your family and your home.”

Surfline, ignoring panic, is calling Pensacola a good bet on Wednesday, claiming potential 10-foot waves.

“Good confidence on Idalia now and expecting a solid shot of SSE swell for the region with N winds setting up good conditions. This is the day so would get wet. Surf peaking AM hours with smaller swell/surf toward end of the day.”

Do you think Kelly Slater might swing in for a rare session, mixing it up with locals in his home state, maybe even politely declining to drop in?

What about current world surfing champion Filipe Toledo?

That was a trick question.

End of Billabong’s once mighty surf empire official as massive Gold Coast headquarters shuttered and offered for rent!

Tumbleweeds blow through 1 Billabong Place, Burleigh Heads, former ground zero of the world's biggest surf co.

It was a bleak yuletide last year when Billabong, part of a brace of surf companies then owned by Oaktree, and including Quiksilver and RCVA, sacked sixty employees from its Burleigh Heads HQ. 

The mass layoffs were designed to streamline the biz on paper, sharpen the bottom line.

“I am confident that these changes will set us on the path to achieving our goals and creating a more agile company suited to adapt to the evolving environment,” said Boardriders CEO Arne Arens in a press release, stating the very obvious. Kill the soldiers, fill in the trenches and watch your payroll bill vanish.

Industry insiders told The Gold Coast Bulletin, the sacking were “brutal especially just before Christmas. No one knew who was going to lose their jobs or keep them.”

Now, Billabong’s once-iconic eight acre compound, with parking for 466 cars, a two-storey stand-along retail store, all amid landscaped gardens and on its own little road, is being offered to rent. 

Need space for your burgeoning t-shirt biz? Here’s the sell.

The offering comprises:

• An impressive 2 level standalone retail/showroom fronting Billabong Place; and

• A 2 level office/warehouse building serviced via 2 driveway entries off Billabong Place and capturing around 14,937sqm of GLA across office, warehouse and retail/showroom and ancillary uses.

• Onsite café with outdoor breakout area available to building occupants and their visitors

Office Component:

The main building includes air-conditioned office space over 2 levels serviced via stairs and lift. The standard of office fitout is to a high level with the overall design reflective of the creative nature of the existing business with a blend of floor, ceiling and wall finishes reflecting different zones of the business, substantial breakout and meeting spaces for collaborative working, high ceilings and plenty of natural light. The office space is sub-dividable to suit larger users from 800sqm plus.

Warehouse Component:

The warehouse is 5,456sqm with 560sqm of mezzanine air-conditioned office, kitchen/breakout space, high clearance and loading docks. The access via 2 driveway points enables access for larger vehicles.

At its peak, Billabong was valued at five billion Australian dollars, with its marquee riders all on multi-million dollar salaries, but eventually sold for $390 mill or one dollar a share. A good sponno at Billys now is twenty grand and a small plastic zip-lock bag with stickers of a stylised wave.

Good news for consumers, howevs, as tees are now being schlepped at discount retailers for $13.99 instead of, what, fifty, sixty bucks?

American patriots vow to silence Brazilian surf fans as San Clemente’s Griffin Colapinto seeks unlikely world title victory over one-foot-and-under king Filipe Toledo!

“Don’t let the invading hordes be heard”

Finals Day, the one-day shootout for the men’s and women’s world titles, has taken a jingoistic turn following a post from the one-time CT surfer Kolohe Andino. 

Andino, whose phenomenal skill wasn’t allowed room to breathe on the world tour which led to his premature departure, posted a screed from Griffin’s shaper Matt Biolos, a literal call to arms from the Commie-hating, part Jewish millionaire. 

Along with a party where t-shirts emblazoned with “Here’s Griffin” will be sold, Andino hopes to  harness the power of American patriotism to give his BFF Griffin Colapinto a home-court advantage over his four opponents.

Yeah, Toledo lives in San Clemente, but Griff is home-grown, as much a part of San Clemente as Bear Jew Biolos and the juvenile Great Whites that prowl the lineups. 

And, while Ethan Ewing, Joao Chianca and Jack Robinson will also feature in the one-day showdown that’ll run on the best day between September eight and sixteen, Griff and Pip are the clear favs.

In a clipped staccato meter reminiscent of Hemingway after the plane crash that turned his formidable brain to weeds and channelling Jean Raspail, Biolos writes: “Are you a surfer? Living in San Clemente? Living in Southern CA? A fervent, lord even casual, follower of surfing competitions? Do you have a sense of support for your local or greater community? Do your duty in Sept, when it’s called on and the WSL Finals run,. Run from work, school and otherwise worldly responsibility to support a native son, as he defends his local turf, his local surf, against the world’s best. Get behind him. Stand in front, knee deep in cobblestones, cheering and let him know you’re here. In front. Right behind him. Don’t let the invading hordes be heard. Silence them with our local pride. With our local passion. Griffin Colapinto, of San San Clemente. Son of a school teacher. Will take on the World and battle for a World Surfing Title. At his home break. In September. The waves call the day. It’s so important to be there. Up front. Right behind him. Cheering. Cheering for Griffin. Cheering for your community. Everyone.” 

The support of surf-mad San Clemente is assured, I think, although what is less clear is how God will place his chips given Griffin’s recent swing to an ego-transcending spiritual practice from India and his new-found role as the Ghandi of Surfing. You’ll remember Kolohe Andino a believer in the Christian doctrine, issued a grave three-world theological warning to his pal writing, “No false idols.” 

Toledo, meanwhile, takes Christian dogma very seriously.

Time will tell etc.


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Southern California surfer (insert) tracking storm. Photo: Fox
Southern California surfer (insert) tracking storm. Photo: Fox

Southern California surfers offer to send advisors, experts to America’s East Coast as Hurricane Franklin barrels toward Florida

Thoughts, prayers and guidance.

East coast surfers woke this morning extremely concerned as the Atlantic tropical storm Franklin had strengthened into a category one hurricane and began barreling toward-ish Florida. It is expected to strengthen further as it passes Bermuda, into a category three, before moving out to sea and fading away.

“This is not going to be a landfall for us,” Fox meteorologist Britta Merwin declared. “We have a series of troughs coming off the East Coast and that’s going to be our protector. You don’t have to worry about this making landfall on the East Coast, but we could see some rough surf conditions.”

Those rough surf conditions causing worry up and down the east coast.

What should surfers do?

How can they handle?

Southern California’s surfers, all the way across the country, are nodding, bravely, sympathetically but also offering to lend advice and expertise.

Last week, you certainly recall, Hurricane Hilary slammed into northern Baja then dragged up toward Compton, leaving terror in its wake. Puffs of wind and sprinkling rain plagued the region as school was cancelled in Los Angeles and San Diego, Catalina was ordered evacuated and dinner parties postponed.

While certainly unnerving, the response to the weather event of the century was remarkable.

Some tips:

-If Hurricane Franklin makes rain, drive 40 mph in the fast lane with hazard lights blinking.

-If a green waste bin gets blown over or a bush bow lightly bends, wait until days later to address.

-Horde early and often.

-Definitely don’t surf as these things are unpredictable.

-Don’t even look at the ocean.

-If you look at the ocean don’t expect help as you will be straining the system.


We are here for you, in any case, East Coast. A phone call away.

Thoughts, prayers and guidance.

Logan (left) sucking the life out of world number five Jack Robinson. Photo: Instagram

Ghost of Erik Logan dances lecherous jig as head Surfline forecaster predicts overhead waves for World Surf League Finals Day

Filipe Toledo, meanwhile, sings a dirge.

Former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan gave us many things before his untimely demise. Mostly they were laughs at him, with a hefty amount of wincing at him thrown in for good measure, but he also delivered a mid-season cut and finals day there on the cobbled stone of Lower Trestles.

The cut, I think, a necessary evil that should be increased and maybe applied twice per season.

Finals day silly in its current iteration, and at Lowers, but some version of a one-day shootout is not bad and maybe even good.

In any case, this year’s tour ender, set to run sometime between September 6 and 18, will not be like every other 2023 stop. Those were each ravaged by climate change, no waves during the waiting period thanks to big oil. Plenty of waves before and after thanks to World Surf League bush planting. Lowers, though, seems to back bucked the trend.

Kevin Wallis, chief forecaster at official wave prognosticator Surfline, took to Instagram days ago to declare:

Looking ahead to the WSL Finals at Lowers, there are decent odds for medium-size swell around the 8th-11th. This doesn’t look like a monster, but could be in the real sweet spot for Lowers on swell direction, period and size. Resulting surf could be in the head high to overhead range.

We’re still more than a week from the South Pacific storm forming, but there is good general agreement on the pattern developing across the various models (GFS and Euro), ensembles, etc. We’ll see how things play out in the next few days – and quality of surf will obviously be dependent on local wind and if/how much local NW windswell might get into the mix – but a promising sign roughly two weeks from the start of the event window.

While good news for surf fans, what do you imagine the feeling is in Filipe Toledo’s camp? The world number one, who will surf last and get another chance to redeem himself in case he loses, is a small wave maestro but his knees go weak in the bigger stuff. Do you think a little PTSD might kick in? Him, swinging, paddling, seeing those aforementioned cobbled stones and getting flash backs to Teahupo’o?


Stay tuned.