Young hero (top left) Chris Ward approved.
Young hero (top left) Chris Ward approved.

10-year-old boy who stole mom’s car in attempt to drive from Florida to California becomes hero to surfers worldwide!

The great American surf road-trip.

Anti-depressive news broke hours ago, buoying surfers who have become extremely morose in recent days. In a whirlwind of bummer, the World Surf League announced that Filipe Toledo will be crowned champion in 2024, premium subscription surf blog Stab got to work erasing the problematic word “Teahupo’o” from its archives in preparation and the Wall of Positive Noise grew that much higher.

Dark times.

But ho! What light through yon window breaks?

It is a 10-year-old boy and his 11-year-old sister stealing their mother’s car in Florida and making it over 200 miles in an attempt to make it to California and instantly becoming the heroes a beleaguered surfing community so desperately needs.

Police deputies stopped their car near Gainesville at 3:00 am after it had been reported stolen. They were prepared to face off with some hardened criminal though were shocked when a small pair of hands flashed through the window. The young ones were, thankfully, not harmed with their mother driving three hours to fetch them. Police marveled at what a good driver the boy was while surfers remembered that great American roadtrips used to be part of our culture.

When was the last time you tossed your board into the back, buckled up and really drove somewhere far away in order to surf? Ten-ish years ago, I was rented a car in Orlando and drove to every corner of the Sunshine State, sampling waves in New Smyrna, Pensacola, Tampa, even Miami.

Just me and the open road.

It was a wonderful time and, thanks to the brave work of that brother-sister duo, front of mind once again.

Exactly what we all needed.

But where would you go on your ideal great American surf roadtrip?

Or great Australian surf roadtrip, if you happen to be down under?

Did I ever tell you about the time that I was in Margaret River for the contest? So, I was in Margaret River for the contest, fourteen, or so, years ago, standing in the parking lot when the dustiest car rolled up. Bugs splattered across windshield etc. Chris Ward got out and declared that he had rented a car, after the Bells contest, and driven across the entire continent, arriving just before his heat.

Some 3500 miles.

Later, I learned that he had to drive the rental all the way back to Torquay because they wouldn’t accept it in Perth.

That’s the sort of pluck I’m talking about.

Richo wins World Masters in El Salvador in 2011 and, inset, bloodless in Bali.

Aussie surf star gravely ill in Bali hospital, “I am in desperate need of some blood transfusions, I have lost a lot of blood.”

"My blood type is rare to find in Indo and I am looking for anyone who is a negative or O negative."

The Gold Coast shredder Mark Richardson, a four-time Aussie champ who was famously stripped of his 2011 World Masters Title two years after winning it for testing poz to weed, the first and only surfer in history to be publicly shamed for delivering a positive test, has put out a call for blood from his hospital bed in Bali. 


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“Hey guys, this is a bit of a serious post. I am in a Bali hospital and desperate need of some blood transfusions. I have lost a lot of blood. My blood type is rare to find in Indo and I am looking for anyone who is a negative or O negative to help me recover from this problem I have been facing.

Docs call O neg blood the the universal donor, although only about seven percent  of the world’s population have got it. This rarity makes O negative donors invaluable in emergency situations and for patients with rare blood types, as O negative blood can be safely transfused to people with any Rh factor, including those with positive blood types.

Like Richo, here. 

You in Bali, maybe throw a little claret a brother’s way.

As for that 2011 World Masters gold medal, ripped away in 2013, Kelly Slater waded into the controversy, saying the system is pretty dumb, anyway, and that he, as the world champ, was only tested once. 

“They tested us at the first event and I never got tested again all year. Why talk about it and not do it? Why bother? Either do it of don’t do it.”

So funny to see my mind trying to comprehend what just happened at the end there! It’s a feeling that words just fall short trying to explain. But if I had to try I’d say it’s like jumping off a big cliff and cuddling someone you love at the same damn time

Hawaii’s almost Ultimate Surfer Koa Smith goes heartbreakingly close to breaking the one-minute long tuberiding barrier!

“It’s like jumping off a big cliff and cuddling someone you love at the same damn time.”

The three-time NSSA champ and runner-up to Zeke Lau’s Ultimate Surfer, Koa Smith, has revealed he came heartbreakingly close to completing a one-minute tuberide at Skeleton Bay recently.

Twenty-seven-year-old Smith, born in Kauai and a student of Bruce and Andy Irons, is a prized fashion model as you know, but he also dominates some of the best waves in the world including, Teahupoo, Pipeline and, yeah, Namibia’s Skeleton Bay. 

On a five-foot-six Disorder asym, Smith weaves and weaves and weaves.

Try and hold your breath for the entire ride. So hard! 


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On my journey to my goal of getting the ONE MINUTE BARREL! This one felt close! Technically I would say I came out of the barrel around that 25 sec mark which resets the time clock! 

Let the drops on the lens reflect the tears in my eyes that I did come out 🥲😂. In real time it all felt like one long blurry friggin TUBE! 

So funny to see my mind trying to comprehend what just happened at the end there! It’s a feeling that words just fall short trying to explain. But if I had to try I’d say it’s like jumping off a big cliff and cuddling someone you love at the same damn time 😂!! for now… The mission for the 1 min tube continues!!!

I liked Jen See’s description of Koa when he appeared on The Ultimate Surfer,

“He is a 1950’s dad in disguise! Koa is so pumped up. He is a 1950’s dad with a coke habit in disguise.” 

Some years ago I lived with a coke daddy who would shovel me bumps as we bent down in the kitchen away from children’s eyes, the little ones thrilled by their carers’ sudden burst of energies once we appeared, again, above the island bench parapet.

Stab embraces new role as World Surf League shill by asking compromised World Surf League employees what they think about new schedule!

"WSL has enough critics for a free-to-air sport that’s doing the best it can on a shoestring."

Hate to beat a dead horse here but… who am I kidding? Dead horses are what I was made to beat! Stab admitting, just thing morning, bald-faced, to being a World Surf League shill has been a story of a day. The fact that it was just doubled upon, Kelly Slater level bald-head, is something special.

The word “dickhead” being used in the title while that word is verboten in their comment section also something special.

The World Surf League, anyhow, seeking to quash an early uneven reception to its 2024 Championship Tour schedule with the cancellation of J-Bay and the continued abortion of Finals Day at Lower Trestles, turned to its media partner in order to interview employees dependent on billionaire Dirk Ziff’s continued funding and have them prop it up.

While praise was seasoned with the perfect admixture of “WSL has enough critics for a free-to-air sport that’s doing the best it can on a shoestring. Don’t want to be too much of a critic as there’s more that goes into their decisions than most people realise,” the whole business stinks of a perfect collaborationist marriage.

Again, billionaire.

The World Surf League has found its mouthpiece all for the low low cost of providing free licensed footage.

Dave Prodan, suddenly, on the ropes.

More as the story develops.

Twins. Photo: @LairdSuperFood
Twins. Photo: @LairdSuperFood

Lonely surf journalist gets back down to “The People’s Work” after premium surf blog Stab abdicates duty!

Afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.

Well color me dumbb. I was stunned, this morning, after reading premium subscription surf website Stab’s heartfelt defense of “access journalism” after its Editor-in-Chief failed to ask the World Surf League Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer why former CEO Erik Logan was unceremoniously sacked whilst galavanting though Brazil.

Co-founder Sam McIntosh took to arms attempting to shred “dickheads” who would dare question the “global home of surfing” and risk losing the ability to licensing footage all while elbowing Steph Gilmore under the bus (oops).

Stab’s comment section, mostly a Wall of Positive Noise, much to my furthered shock. Many praise for brave open collaboration only punctuated by a few gems that snuck through the censors, like this one from filmmaker Paul Taubleib.

“You sold your soul for a two-hour jump on releasing a tour schedule? ‘Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted’ – the great HL Mencken on journalism. There is a wavy line in matters of trust and access but to admittedly descend into unadulterated toadyism, and to equate a bit of discretion in personal issue with covering a league is pure embarrassing solipsism.”

Well, it is time to leave consternation behind and re-shoulder The People’s™ Work.

Afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.

On that note, have you examined Laird Hamilton and his wife Gabby Reece lately? In a recent spot for Laird Superfood’s Pumpkin Spice creamer, the two are sipping autumn’s favorite flavor and it is, truly, impossible to tell them apart.

Not a bad thing, certainly. The couple is the very picture of health, bronze, healthy full hair.

They are also now twins.

And how do you feel about spouses transitioning into each other? A listener to The Grit! podcast wondered the same thing, today, and wrote in with his ponderings:

Gents, I’ve got a concern. I was on the sofa scrolling when I was fed an ad by Laird Superfoods. Laird’s chiseled, tanned image caught me and I stopped to watch. He was sitting at the counter and Gabby walks over with a cup of pumpkin spiced creamed coffee, sits down, and unison, they take a sip and nod approvingly at one another. And I’ll be damned if it didn’t look like Laird was looking straight into a mirror. Maybe through shared workouts, maybe through their shared diet, but Laird and Gabby have morphed into one another. Gabby’s musculature had increased, and if Laird’s sun kissed blonde locks are a mere 6 inches shorter than Gabby’s but certainly, by mid January that will match, too.

Almost aghast, I turned to share this epiphany with my wife and, lo and behold, I saw, for the first time, a version of me starting right back. We’ve been married for 22 years and if I look back at our wedding photos, there is a noticeable transition that has taken place in these two decades. We’ve swapped plenty of DNA in those years, but never did I think the results would transform our appearance. How is this happening? And, she’s gorgeous, so I shouldn’t be fighting it, but what if she’s morphs more towards me and I spoil her beauty. Science is of no help. Please boys, do you thing!

One other thing, Gabby runs his insta account!

She does.

How to navigate? David Lee Scales and I discuss, in depth, on today’s program without asking for Jessi Miley-Dyer’s approval.

Will you enjoy?


But would you like to give it a try anyhow?