"When you're a skid you're a skid all the way..." Photo: West Side Story
"When you're a skid you're a skid all the way..." Photo: West Side Story

Western Australian skids rejoice as casting call seeks “BMX-riding, beer-delivering trouble causers” for new Nicolas Cage film The Surfer!

Drama nerds need not apply.

The great actor Nicolas Cage is, of course, a global treasure. The 59-year-old, who was born in Long Beach and carries the very famous Coppola surname, has appeared in more iconic films than you, I or Filipe Toledo could shake a stick at. From USS Indianapolis to The Boy in Blue, the ruggedly handsome Cage never fails to leave an impression and so you can imagine the thrill, the frisson bubbling currently in Western Australia where his next film, The Surfer, is set to begin shooting.

The Surfer, which was first reported upon in in May, is a sort of grumpy local revenge porn. The Hollywood Reporter describing thusly:

In The Surfer, when a man (Cage) returns to his beachside hometown in Australia, many years since building a life for himself in the U.S., he is humiliated in front of his teenage son by a local gang of surfers who claim strict ownership over the secluded beach of his childhood. Wounded, “The Surfer” decides to remain at the beach, declaring war against those in control of the bay. But as the conflict escalates, the stakes spin wildly out of control, taking “The Surfer” to the edge of his sanity.

Well, besides Cage and grumpy locals, the film also requires teenage toughs and skids. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported film producers have even begun searching for local baddies, sending out a casting call that reads, “We are looking for kids who are really confident with a bit of ‘attitude’ … we see them riding their BMXs delivering beer and generally causing trouble around town.”

A drama teacher at Margaret River Senior High School, Amy Johnstone, told ABC, “As soon as we found out, we put it out in the school notices, and we had a stack of boys lining up at our office door by recess, these guys are pumped to be in a movie. We will be holding lunchtime sessions where we can help give them some tips on audition techniques, how to present and maybe little monologues. Some of these boys who have put their hand up are not necessarily drama kids, it’s really awesome to see the different range of ages and kind of guys that are interested in doing it.”

Toughs and skids, man.

Theater nerds need not apply.

But did you ever harbor Hollywood dreams? That someday you might become a famous actor, yourself, much loved and desired?

I’m sorry it didn’t work out.

Indian sports tabloid wrongfully accuses leading surf influencer Jonathan Wayne Freeman of the mid-wave assault that has gone viral worldwide!

"Freeman describes himself as a coach and spiritual mentor. With the divided aggression of the community, what is your take on his vision?"

Three days back, a short clip of a man being attacked mid-wave at Byron Bay went viral, surfers divided on the merits of giving hell to kooks who drop in. 


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A post shared by KOOK OF THE DAY (@kookoftheday)

“This is exactly What!, you DO!!!,” wrote one. “Don’t let anybody snake you!!! And add a face punch!!” 

A riposte, “No doubt he’ll explode with road rage on the way home then beat his wife and kids. An upstanding citizen.”

In the comments, a couple of wags likened the attacker to the surfer-comic Jonathan Wayne Freeman, a man who last appeared on BeachGrit when he publicly challenged Facebook founder and MMA enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg to a cage fight. 

“Two Years Ago I was Privileged enough to Teach @zuck how to surf at the World Famous Doheny…not gonna lie…the cat was one ☝️ of the worst I have ever coached . He requested a @gathsports Helmet after his first wipeout and a Band Aid for a small boo boo he received on his elbow from a fin cut. My Favorite part of the Lesson however was when I spoon fed him with a shovel on The Art of the Towel Change. I hate to call him out on this but since @kookoftheday has been gone and we have to use our backup account @kookofthedayog the Gloves have come off. We could have had something Beautiful @zuck . I eagerly await your response about our MMA Fight. If I win @kookoftheday goes back up. If I lose…my Family disowns me and I am mocked for generations to come. We can do it at @rvca HQ or Kauai now that my ban has been lifted for daring to poke fun at the Greatest Singer/Surfer/Songwriter/Designer Power Couple of our Time.”

Now, the Indian sports tabloid Essentially Sports, infamous for spitting out four hundred clickbait pieces a day (like a souped-up BeachGrit minus the scorching tenderness) has wrongfully accused Freeman of being the attacking surfer in the story, “Too Much Violence, As a Fight Breaks Mid-Wave, the Surfing Community Rehashes the Debate Around Wave Etiquette.”

Author Divya Purohit, a gal who enjoys canvas painting, reading research papers, and playing badminton, bares her teeth but is poetic in her description of  Freeman. 

Jonathan Freeman, an active surfer from North County San Diego was seen hopping onto another surfer’s board while riding a wave at a popular surf spot in California. The violent and daring nature of Freeman’s surfing technique has made him well-known on social media. A video of the incident was shared on Instagram by @kookoftheday with the caption, “Incase you missed the fight.” Many criticized Freeman’s behavior for being risky and rude as the video rapidly went viral.

While Freeman is a free spirit, he regularly surfs big waves and uses his surfboard to the fullest extent possible. Surfing has been his first love since he was 15, the next year he committed to the sport for the rest of his life. Before his video went viral, he was also known for his appearances in a number of YouTube videos, one of which was an interview with The Temple of Surf. He has also been featured in the Ultra Core Surf Hour series, where he paddles big waves and seeks out sponsorship deals.

Knowing about his presence is already a source of great inspiration, and from all of his interviews, he comes off as a real surf geek. The knowledge that one earns despite being away from the competitive business but surfing between North and South jetties twice a week. He previously bragged about being an elite-level surfer in an interview and identified himself as a potential surfer in his 40s. When not surfing, he works across the state as a comedian and paramedic. While Freeman returned to work, it doesn’t seem like the internet is getting over this incident anytime soon.

After having spent more than 20 years in the waters, Freeman describes himself as a coach and spiritual mentor for surfing journeys. With the divided aggression of the community, what is your take on his vision?

Freeman was golfing when news broke of his supposed attack, filming his response for his more than one hundred thousand fans. 

“They’re very complimentary, yes, I do charge big waves, I am a free spirit so click on the link. Wow.”

And, via DM.

“My wife says I should sue for slander but I love everything this sweet lady reporter says about me!”

Surfers here and there, please contribute to Maui!

Ironic shakas ain't enough.

I wake up every morning knowing there is a community, here, to laugh with/at me. I truly can’t even imagine what life would be like without you but when life takes a wild turn, burning down an island that we all love or love adjacent… well. Let’s do what we can.

So let’s do what we can.

Click here.

And here.

Offer what you can.

Sincere and true thanks.

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.