Tributes pour in for world #2 surfer Ethan Ewing reportedly “not in good shape” as long road to recovery begins following spine-shattering wipeout in Tahiti

Sources say Ewing may have to wait three months for an operation followed by six months out of the water. 

The world number two surfer Ethan Ewing, whose run for the world title was stopped three days ago when he broke his back at Teahupoo, is reportedly “not in good shape” and may have to wait three months for an operation, followed by six months out of the water. 

The twenty-four-year-old Australian’s accident was met with aquarium-like silence by the drama-adverse World Surf League, who merely mentioned he’d been scratched from the upcoming Tahitian Pro and replaced by a local surfer. 

Now, the boy from North Stradbroke Island with the velvet smooth style who spectacularly won this year’s Bells event forty years after his late mama’s victory there, has addressed his fans via Instagram. 

“I hit the reef really hard at Teahupoo the other morning fracturing bones in my lower back. The wipeout was a huge shock and I’m super devastated that I’ve withdrawn from the Tahiti Pro but also grateful that I wasn’t more seriously hurt. So many people helped me that day but I especially want to say a massive thank you to @tahuraihenry for helping me out of the impact zone and getting me safely to the beach. Also, Vairao Firefighters for the transport, the Papeete hospital staff for their care and professionalism.” 


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A post shared by EE (@ethan_ewing)

A who’s who of the world’s best surfers lined up to praise the blue-eyed blond college boy looking surfer who has everything that represents paradise on earth: the style, the critical praise, the handsome body, money in the bank, worldwide popularity. 

“Love you Eth dog,” wrote Griffin Colapinto. 

Carissa Moore: “We love you Eth.” 

Mick Fanning: “Heal up strong mate. Sending lots of positive vibes.” 

Rescuer Tahurai Henry, “You’ll be back stronger than ever mate ! Wish you the best recovery and hopefully see you soon ! Thanks for the magic boards.” 

Spinal fractures aren’t a straightforward recovery, surgery, braces, physical therapy and, often, life is never quite the same after busting your back. 

Wild ol year for Ethan. Prior to his accident, he’d endured an avalanche of criticism, including a death threat, after a favourable decision at the Surf Ranch Pro.

“One day, you will compete here in Brazil and us will remember you. Get ready,” wrote André Guzelini in a DM to Ewing, and whose profile photo on Instagram showed him trussed up in some sort of military uniform suggesting he was a weapons sorta guy. “I’m saying again, here in Brazil, we will kill you. Saquarema will be your funeral.” 

Others promised to soak the sands of Saquarema a blood red.

Let’s invade Saquarema! Protest against this rigged league

When Brazil’s stage arrives, the judges get piano and judge even right, last year it was like that. Because the previous leg was El Salvador and there was that robbery there of Filipe against Griffin in the final.

Griffin is WSL darling for being American just like Ewing and Robinson for being Australian. The guys don’t accept the World Championship of another Brazilian for a financial reason and appeal to the two most important markets for surfing: USA and Australia. Justice, righteousness, right, have been relegated to the background because interest is financial. WSL is a SHAME

Ruin the sport with no shame

Bullshit!!! Medina win in water and judges win in paper….Nonsense

how far has it come. For the USA to beat the Brazilians just by stealing. Shame league!!!!!

Finals Day at Lowers, a one-day grand final that’ll run on the best day of surf between September 8 and 16 and decide the world champion, will now feature four, and not five surfers, following Ewing’s withdrawal.

Daring Hawaiian surfer Kai Lenny savages government response to “absolute tragedy” in Maui as bureaucrats block urgent deliveries of life-saving medicine!

“Did you ever think you would have to illegally smuggle supplies to help people in need?”

The big-wave surfer Kai Lenny, the boy with the mild, defenceless eyes of a lamb flung down between the hyenas and the tigers of the world, has mobilised his over one-million followers after supplies of insulin to fire-ravaged Maui were blocked by government bureaucrats.

“Something big is happening right now,” said Lenny in a piece to camera. “We’re trying to get insulin flown in from Kona but our flights are being blocked by the Department of Health…a lot of people need their medical needs met…people are suffering… we have no support…”

The strikingly unique Maui native whom no woman or man can resist, spoke about government, county through state and federal, hindering efforts to get medicines on the island including stopping jetski and boat deliveries.


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The absurd bureaucratic red tape alongside a lack of governmental support drew sharp fire from Lenny’s followers.

My thoughts are with you guys, Biden disgusts me, he can send billions to Ukraine and to prolong that war and the Maui islanders are struggling to get supplies and be blocked by red tape.

STOP VOTING FOR AND BELIEVING IN DEMOCRATS HAWAII! Case in point. @kai_lenny puts it down perfectly here. We are supporting through individuals, F the corrupt liberal government in evil DC

Did you ever think you would have to illegally smuggle supplies to help people in need?

So sorry for all you people over there are going thru. My take on this mess up with our government, the want us to completely depend on them for support and all. Then when we need them the most they aren’t there. Biden just left our state. Couldn’t figure out why he was really there but he shows up, and says he’s doing all he can to help you. “Maybe quit running around doing stupid stuff and send aid to those who need it most right now”!!

his is BS. The Health Department is schooled in disaster preparedness and in working with The Red Cross to make sure this “red-tape” crap doesn’t happen. Get the people of Maui the medication and everything they need!

Of course, no government is immune to the power of social media and shortly after Lenny’s post, The Department of Health cleared the flight and the Coast Guard agreed not to stop the skis and boats.

“Because everyone shared and posted about it it’s been cleared… this is the power of the people,” said Lenny.

The response to the fires, which have killed at least eighty people, has echoes of George Dub Bush’s response to ravaged New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Americans left to fend for themselves in wretched conditions despite the almost limitless resources of the world’s richest country.

It always surprises me, and it shouldn’t by now I suppose, when presidents don’t throw the kitchen sink at a disaster, launching choppers and ships and pouring money into boots and supplies on the ground. The political capital gained is immeasurable and the money spent can be found later.

Fly in, hug a few weeping mamas, visit the hozzy, promise to rebuild and so on.


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Smith and Scales (pictured) riding shotgun. Photo: Barbie
Smith and Scales (pictured) riding shotgun. Photo: Barbie

Barbie bomb drops on surf journalist and surf podcaster as Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing savages pair for being “Puppets of the Manosphere!”

Scorched earth.

A surf journalist and his longtime surf podcasting partner were staggered this morning after a devastating fusillade from the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing. The bombs and missiles were unleashed in the wake of the 228th episode of The Grit!, a weekly show wherein Chas Smith and David Lee Scales discuss surf adjacency. This Thursday’s chat ended with a open conversation on the feelings had when a man is witnessed sitting shotgun while his wife or girlfriend drives.

Smith had to admit, against all sense or evolution, that it makes him feel awkward. That even though he, himself, is a worse driver than his wife, he feels odd and squirmy when not behind the wheel. Antiquated to the core, but also so hardwired in that it has been difficult to reroute, and that he feels less for men who sit shotgun while wife or girlfriend drives.

Scales almost went down the path that men are superior drivers to women, genetically, but deftly pivoted to suggest some deeper primordial problem with men needing control and women not minding so much, overall.

In any case, The Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, which usually trains its potent ire on women, ripping them from limb to limb in the public square, took time out to, rightfully, scorch the aforementioned Smith and Scales

“Have you considered who drives the (car emoji) in a same sex relationship?” The Committee asked. “You’re (sic) disgust with men driven by women is not only gender discrimination it’s also homophobic. I imagine that’s already understood however it was not covered in your conversation with David. We get it, you and David are puppet$ for the manosphere…”

The “puppets of the manosphere” line particularly damning especially in light of the wildly successful Barbie film.

Have you seen? I finally did just last night and it is very well done, especially in mocking the patriarchy and Kens. Not to spoil, but Barbie’s longtime male companion attempted to turn Barbieworld into a toxic man cave with bad taste and excess testosterone spewed here and there.

Hummers, saloon doors and brewski beers.


Thankfully, everything was put right, in the film, but I can’t help but wonder if this “manosphere” is a version of what Ken tried to create.

Matchbox 20, beach and oiled muscles.


But also, do you have an opinion on who drives and who rides shotgun? Hop in. The water’s warm.

On day one of the Tahiti Pro, Kelly Slater’s commitment to his art was evidenced once again. Straight from Skeleton Bay, Namibia, he came, into woolly, windy Tahitian tubes!

"Not the worst day of competition we’ve seen this year, not by a long chalk, but nothing like we hope for at the iconic Tahitian reef that tongue-ties surf scribes and simpletons alike."

It was fine. Just fine. Not the worst day of competition we’ve seen this year, not by a long chalk, but nothing like we hope for at the iconic Tahitian reef that tongue-ties surf scribes and simpletons alike.

I’m fine, too. Thanks for asking. Or I’m not. Really I’m not quite sure anymore. I’ve been away a bit over the past couple of weeks, scrabbling to rescue something from the ashes of another summer break which has smouldered to an uncertain close.

Each man’s choices come with their own pain. I’ve wished, throughout my life, to be more like Kelly Slater. Not specifically. Not even in skill, and certainly not character. But simply in being utterly besotted and entirely consumed, by one, single thing.

I’ve never found it. It’s why I write, I think. Because I’m searching. I look for answers by dipping vicariously into the lives of others, like a swallow on a summer river, flitting joyously in and out.

Except it’s not joyous. Not always. Mostly I just find it hard to feel satisfied with the stultifying ordinariness of existence, despite recognising my objective, multitudinous privilege. People tell me I should get therapy, but that seems too American, and more than a little conceited. There’s no reason or solution I can think of for such aching discontent.

Yet. Yet…

However, this summer I’ve come to a decision: after this school year I’m taking a break. I plan to pour myself into writing, for better or worse. Some ideas are half-started, some aren’t even that. I certainly haven’t worked out how it might work financially. It’s a gamble, sure. But if I don’t do it now, then when?

So if anyone out there wants to hire a writer of questionable temperament and moral fibre but unflinching commitment to the betterment of his art, I’m here for it.

Slater’s commitment to his art was evidenced once again today. Straight from Skeleton Bay, Namibia, he came, straight into woolly, windy Tahitian tubes.

Hardly for the first time, I was stunned by the endurance of the man. Nevermind the competition, and the various stresses on the meat suit he’s been punishing for more than half a century. What about the travel? The endless drudgery of getting from one place to the next. The waiting. The queues. The planes and trains and boats and hired cars. How many flights? How many connections and phonecalls and room bookings and card payments? How much stress? How does he take it?

I have no idea, but it tightens my chest just to think about it.

Teahupo’o was windy, sick looking, today. Not sick as in radical, but sick as in aw, that’s a wee shame you’re no feelin well. Slater was in heat one, and surfed with a freshness that belied the air miles. But the early heats were mostly decided in quite un-Tahitian fashion by turns rather than tubes. He did own the best single wave of his heat by some margin, a high six for a deep and technical barrel he airdropped into, but the relentlessness of Yago Dora’s hunt for a title shot was too much.

It’s painful watching the WSL broadcasts like this. Everyone knows what we’re watching is sub-standard, but no-one wants to say it. Instead, we get a veneer of positivity, the claptrap of disingenuity. I get it. No-one wants to watch a broadcast full of soorpusses, but who are the fans swallowing the narrative? Only the most ardent or naive.

Days of poor waves can’t be avoided, in competition or in life, but this season more than any has proven that scheduling the Tour stops around peak swell times is paramount. It seems trite to state this, but it’s not happening. It simply must be bulletpoint number one for ELo’s successor.

And what of the top five / Final’s Day structure, do we ditch this now ELo is gone? I’m not sure. Location notwithstanding, I quite like the concept. Surfing, on a pure sporting level, does need to feel more critical. There are very few heats where it feels like much is at stake. The Final’s Day structure theoretically goes some way to solving this, but the two we’ve seen have been lacklustre, and it brings its own set of problems.

JMD crept into the booth briefly today, sheepishly resplendent in lime green. She informed us, clinically, that the injured Ethan Ewing would not be replaced at Trestles. Noticeably absent was her lightness of manner during the Logan era. Gone is the insidious bluster of that time.

There was lots of talk of wildcards today, justified by the fact that Teahupo’o is a specialist’s wave where wildcards have done well. But only one, Mihimana Braye, a surfer whose name is new to me, prospered in the mediocre conditions.

Griffin Colapinto and Joao Chianca are the unfortunate top seeds that draw Matahi Drollet and Kauli Vaast in the elimination round. Good for betting, if you like that sort of thing. Bad for Chianca’s chances of going to Trestles.

Should we make more of this wildcard potential in surfing, as a USP, if you like? If there’s anything comparable in professional sport at the highest level I can’t think of it right now.

Or does it just point to the fallacy of judging one man’s surfing against another in a timed, restricted format?

There was no fallacy in the surfing of Gabriel Medina, John Florence and Jack Robinson today. Crucially, all are vying for a top five place (I’ll leave it to Joe Turpel to explain the ramifications of this) and each won his heat in convincing fashion.

It’s hard to accept that Gabriel Medina hasn’t nailed down a top five slot by now, but that’s the world we’re living in.

Also in with a shout of making the top five (as dull as that might be) is Leo Fioravanti. The Italian laid down the highest heat total of the day with 16.93. It’s still conflicting to me that the lone European on Tour is an Italian surfer. Not that he’s had a traditional upbringing in the country of his birth, plainly.

I have nothing against Italians. In fact, I quite admire their general vanity and arrogance. It’s just Italy is a place you go to smoke cigarettes and drink coffee, not to surf.

So we go to elimination. The interest lies in the battle between Medina, Robinson, Florence and Fioravanti, all chasing Chianca and Dora to fill the final two spots in the top five.

There is a glimmer in the forecast. Just a glimmer.

In surfing, as in life, that’s what we must hold onto.

Hawaiian hunk Jason Momoa excoriates tourists daring to see planned Maui vacations through in brutally honest riposte

"Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply."

The devastation suffered on Maui due to an out-of-control wildfire has not quite settled. 80 confirmed deaths and counting. Over 2000 structures burned. Historic old Lahaina town taken to the ground. Thousands of lives forever changed. It is both heartbreaking and sobering.

Surf great Kelly Slater shared with TMZ Sport as he flew from Africa to Teahupo’o, “Everyone within our surf community is rallying to get boats in, supplies, donate money. but that’s all not organized yet.” He vowed his help but said its difficult with communications still down and the harbor choked with debris. “One friend lost everything he owns but he was able to save his dog and a backpack and that was about it,” the 11x World Champion added. “I know at least two friends, right now, that lost their houses — actually three. I just got a text about another one, but that’s just the beginning.”

Hawaiian heartthrob Jason Momoa is also helping, financially, pointing people in the right direction and, importantly, excoriating potential tourists considering seeing their long-planned vacations through.

Taking to Instagram, the Aquaman star declared:

Maui is not the place to have your vacation right now.


Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply.

Mahalo to everyone who has donated and shown aloha to the community in this time of need.

Momoa added the same link provided earlier by Ian Walsh, the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund.

Good advice, I think. It would be difficult to sit poolside enjoying a frosty Mai Tai or trying to poach a corner at Ma’alaea Bay.

Bad form all the way around.