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Over the past few years, Carissa has made backside barrel riding her project. The first time the women competed at Cloudbreak she said it scared her. Now, she’s surfing Pipe. | Photo: Inset photo courtesy Red Bull content pool/Ben Thouard

Carissa Moore sends ominous message to fellow competitors ahead of crucial Tahiti Pro at Teahupoo

"I really hope there are barrels. I feel like this is not too much to ask of the universe. I’m just a girl standing in front of the ocean asking for barrels."

In late July, Carissa Moore posted a clip from last winter. In the video, she’s deep in the barrel on a clean day at Pipe. In the caption she said her boards were already packed for Tahiti. Her flight wasn’t for another ten days. She was that excited to surf Teahupo’o.


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A post shared by Carissa Moore (@rissmoore10)

Over the past few years, Carissa has made backside barrel riding her project. The first time the women competed at Cloudbreak she said it scared her. Now, she’s surfing Pipe. Not big, unruly Pipe just yet, but she’s riding legit barrels at Pipe.

Carissa’s success in surfing has come from her non-stop determination to improve her surfing and the ability to actually do it. Carissa’s world number one for a reason, though Tyler Wright is damn close to overtaking her. Caity Simmers has a similar talent to Carissa for learning new tricks. Sometimes, it feels like Caity can shape-shift her surfing in the space of a heat or two. Wild.

Here’s your women’s Teahupo’o preview, because we can’t let the boys have all the fun. There’s a final five spot and Olympic selection in play — and maybe if we’re lucky, some barrels. The waiting period starts tomorrow. Let’s take a look.

Before we get into it, let’s talk about the rule book again — and specifically Olympic qualifying. You know how I feel about the rule book. But here we go: Olympic qualification is determined by rankings at Trestles. I thought it was after Tahiti, but I was super wrong about that part. Trestles does count, so the Brazilian men’s selection may be in play on finals day. On the women’s side, it’s not likely to change anything.

For the women, the main source of suspense on the Olympic qualifying front is the battle between Lakey Peterson and Caity for the third spot on the U.S. women’s team. I’m assuming that CT rankings determine who gets the third spot on the U.S. team — and I’m not entirely clear on that detail. There are too many details, it seems!

Back to Teahupo’o. Last year Courtney Conlogue won ahead of Brisa Hennessy. Finals day in 2022 featured scattered barrels, onshore winds, and mostly small conditions. This year’s forecast, well…. do we really want to know? Okay, okay, I’ll be honest with you: It doesn’t look good. It looks small and windy. Sometimes, it’s better not to know before you go.

There’s only one spot in the final five in play for the women. Currently, Caity is just over 3k points ahead of Lakey who is in sixth. The gap between them is just close enough to make it interesting, and Lakey has a realistic shot at this one. It’s a battle between experience and raw talent, and I’m not sure who will come out on top. Steph, meanwhile, is in seventh roughly 4k behind Caity. That’s a pretty big ask for Steph, especially at a left.

There are only four heats in the post-cut opening round on the women’s CT. The next iteration of the WSL, whatever that looks like, needs to change this aspect of the Tour. There are far too few opportunities for women to compete, especially with the young talent flooding into surfing right now. The draw should have an equal number of men and women. Slim down the men’s tour, drop the cut, and equalize the draw between men and women. This is the future.

Bettylou Sakura Johnson is out with a shoulder injury. She says on Instagram that she tore her labrum at J-Bay. She’ll have surgery to repair that thing and hope to be ready for this winter’s shenanigans. Aelan Vaast replaces her in the draw.

Let’s look at some heats. It’ll be fun, maybe!

The opener gives us Molly Picklum, Caity, and Gabriela Bryan. Molly and Gabriela are feisty as fuck, and I love watching them compete. I’m not sure Caity’s ever surfed Teahupo’o and she finished ninth at Pipe. Caity needs to make heats if she wants to hold her top five, so it should be interesting to see what she does here. Molly and Gabriela just want to win. The ocean permitting, this should be a good one.

I did not know that Tati West could barrel. I feel like I have mostly seen her going straight at Pipe. Yesterday she posted a very nice clip at Teahupo’o and I must eat my words. They do taste good!


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A post shared by Tatiana Weston-Webb (@tatiwest)

Tati meets Carissa and Aelan Vaast in the second heat. On paper, I’d call this one for Carissa, but a local wildcard at Teahupo’o is not the same as a wild card at your average beach break comp. A regular foot, Aelan looks sick in the barrel and will potentially give the CT girls a run for it. I’d love to see Carissa and Aelan go at it in good waves. Too bad we can’t have nice things.

Local girl Vahine Fierro made the semifinals last year. A goofy-foot, she’s an easy favorite to win here — and medal at the Olympics. She has an intuitive grace in the barrel and has ridden some solid-sized waves over the past year. She just missed making the CT for 2023, so she’s no slouch as a contest surfer either.

Watch her here.

Vahine faces a pile of world titles in her opening round heat with Tyler Wright and Steph Gilmore. Neither Tyler nor Steph are known for their backside barrel riding, and all the world titles in the world won’t make up for that at Teahupo’o. Vahine should win this one for a fast track to the quarterfinals.

The final heat is a veteran’s party with Caroline Marks, Lakey, and Johanne Defay. I’d call Caroline the favorite here. She’s posted some beautiful clips from Teahupo’o and seems to have a confidence here that she so far lacks at Pipe. Caroline finished ninth at Pipe this year, and didn’t look especially motivated there. Based on her clips this week from Tahiti, Caroline’s looking good so far.

Lakey is fighting for her spot in the top five and making this heat would go a long way toward helping her cause. Last year, Lakey lost in the quarterfinals to eventual finalist Brisa. Johanne loves to go left and always brings it, but she’s struggled to find her rhythm since returning from injury.

I really hope there are barrels. I would love to see these heats go down in glassy, dreamy Teahupo’o. I feel like this is not too much to ask of the universe. I’m just a girl standing in front of the ocean asking for barrels.

Bring me your barrels!

As a postscript: I’m donating my fees from this story to the Hawai’i Community Foundation to assist with Maui fire relief efforts. Maybe you’d like to donate, too.

New details of former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s rage problem emerge as leak reveals randy boss told beloved top five surfer “I’ll ruin you!”

Logan gone but collaborators remain.

Former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan has been ruthlessly fired for weeks now. His dismissal coming without warning or explanation, while he was at the Vivo Rio Pro touting stuff and being weird, per the usual. His final message being, “As we take these learnings from Brazil to other parts of the world, I am filled with excitement and anticipation. Surfing is not just a sport, it’s a global community that connects us all. I can’t wait to see the ripple effects of this program across the globe. Here’s to fostering a deeper understanding of the beautiful sport of surfing, its business, and its power to inspire and connect us all.”

That “power to inspire and connect” dropped like a guillotine overnight, the next missive coming from the World Surf League and simply reading, “Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately.”


Like that, gone.

Idiotic silence from the aforementioned World Surf League (WSL) ensued, and hovers to this day, but intrepid surf journalists have uncovered Logan making surfers “feel uncomfortable” and, today, his wild rage exploding all over them.

We, of course, recall when the Oklahoman with a wetsuit of armor savaged a young woman named Taylor Swift, penning, “For someone who draws such power from being the ‘voice’ and against all the things you talk about, I’m watching you violate what you allegedly stand for. You’re the real bully.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that Logan brutalized the entirely lovable Conner Coffin, who had the unfortunate task of being the surfers’ representative ahead of the pre-season cut. According to fresh information, Logan would berate Coffin on phone calls after the near-perfect Santa Barbran shared discomfort amongst the ranks, telling him to get the surfers in line, telling him he’d “ruin him” in rage-filled tirades that have, allegedly, been recorded.

Disgusting behavior, especially when directed at an angel who, essentially, was ruined by falling off tour and losing his longtime sponsor which just so happened to headline Logan’s “Final’s Day.”

Logan is gone, thankfully (except for all the jokes, those beautiful jokes). World Surf League cutting out cancer except…

Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer remains. She, once a professional surfer herself, was privy to the bad behavior yet did nothing but protect her own skin while ladder climbing.

Chief of Propaganda Dave Prodan, who knew it all yet refused to lend a hand, also remains.

Milquetoast collaboration to the core.

Skin, momentarily, saved.

Is it time to demand a true reckoning?

Who knew what, when they knew it and what they did about it?

Well, while we’re waiting for those huckleberries, David Lee Scales and I also discussed Rochelle Ballard being a complete champion and Bethany Hamilton lighting up a kook at Pavones. Seriously worth a listen for those two Pros in the Wild.


Complete silence from World Surf League regarding current number two Ethan Ewing’s broken back highlights its fraudulence as governing body!

I stand amid the roar of a surf-tormented shore.

Tear-hoo-poh-oh will open its window in exactly twenty-four hours. The forecast is bleak, continuing a year long trend for the World Surf League. Waves pumping before a contest, waves pumping after a contest, waves quiet during a contest. Oh it is not the World Surf League’s fault, how can the Santa Monica-based organization be blamed for nature, except is it?

Professional surfing’s governing body is, truly, a dumb pile of fraud that clearly and daily hates its own audience so much that maybe the universe herself bends an ear and grants a wish.

Take the departure of former CEO Erik Logan, for instance. The randy fella who forced us to observe his antics, daily, was disappeared without trace or explanation. Only through the hardest bit of surf journalism ever done in the history of surf journalism was any hint as to his demise revealed. The World Surf League buttoning up tight. But imagine that the NBA’s Adam Silver or the NFL’s Roger Goodell was fired overnight. There would be press inquires, certainly, but those leagues would also release details about what happened and why as they are both real and not fake.

But imagine that Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Denver Broncos, or LeBron James, power forward of the Los Angeles Lakers, broke his back in practice. There would be press discovery, no doubt, but those leagues would also release details about what happens and why as they are both real not fake.

The World Surf League’s continued insistence on appearing a hoax might be the actual truth, I suppose, at the end. An institution set up as a front for… what? Selling counterfeit ladders? Greenwashing the Great Wall of Motors?


Sam George (pictured) wiping out. Photo: WSL
Sam George (pictured) wiping out. Photo: WSL

World Surf League forecasting partner Surfline shreds “Saltwater Buddha” Sam George’s linguistic treatise on pronunciation of Teahupo’o ahead of final contest of season!

"There can be only one 'world's heaviest wave', and that title rests soundly with the wave at Teahupo'o (don't make saying it more difficult than it need be; it's pronounced Cho-poo)."

The World Surf League, and its ever diminishing stable of surfers, is headed toward the final stop of the season, rendered largely irrelevant by the much ballyhooed, increasingly dumb “final’s day” at a soft wave breaking over cobbled stone.


The end of the road.

Yes, former CEO Erik Logan destroyed much during his nearly five year reign, including his own marriage and life, but the Championship Tour (formerly known as the Dream Tour) has suffered the brunt of his horny idiocy.

It doesn’t matter what happens at the heavy left, one responsible for breaking the back of Australia’s great hope Ethan Ewing. For the “big showdown” at Lower Trestles is set.

Filipe Toledo for the win.

The brave coward, too, scared to paddle the aforementioned “Chopes” but no matter because no waves will appear during the increasingly cursed waiting period ushering him directly to his second championship with, I suppose, much adulation.


But also “Chopes.”

Days ago, the world’s preeminent surf thinker, a veritable Buddha, published an important piece on the intimate outdoor blog The Inertia declaring that the Tahitian wave has been misgendered.

Per his reporting:

And even though I know better, having grown up in Hawaii and spent considerable time in Polynesia, I’ve been mispronouncing Teahupo’o along with everybody else. Perhaps that’s why it seems to me that this ramp-up to the Summer Olympics is a good time to change that egregious habit. Soon the eyes of the world will be turned to a tiny, incredibly picturesque village on the island of Tahiti, perceived entirely in the context of international surfing. A village whose residents have, for decades now, been incredibly generous, sharing their remarkable natural resource with the hordes of foreigners who descend on this little slice of paradise every season to shoot their videos and hold their contests and establish their reputations and earn their salaries…and yet still say the place’s name wrong. Yeah, let’s fix that. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the proper pronunciation is “Tear-hoo-poh-oh.”

Surfline, though, the World Surf League’s official broadcast partner, shredded the deity with one simple line.

There can be only one “world’s heaviest wave”, and that title rests soundly with the wave at Teahupo’o (don’t make saying it more difficult than it need be; it’s pronounced Cho-poo).


Sam George crying into his Nia Peeples scented pillow tonight?

Should we make a Nia Peeples scented candle for him tonight?