Two-time champ Tom Carroll and ancient head wound.

Iconic news broadcaster shamed after running three-year-old Tom Carroll head injury story!

"Four days ago," says Tom Carroll, "my fin collected me in the head."

A few days back, an item appeared on the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s news site, repurposing an Instagram story where the two-time world champ Tom Carroll recounts a terrible head injury at Off the Wall.

“So there’s my nicely broken, beautiful, six-five Rawson TC Impala…a beautiful quad fin that I broke at off the wall about four days ago during a wipeout, just pulling in. You know, pretty standard, pull in, jump forward, the board broke, the tail followed me in the barrel and the fin collected me…”

Here Thomas, who will turn sixty-two in November, peels off his helmet, which he wasn’t wearing in the wipeout to reveal a skull half peeled open with stitches from forehead to crown. 

“…just there! It would’ve been covered had I been wearing this puppy. This is a soft serve helmet which would’ve done the job. Even though it’s kind of annoying to put something on your head when you surf it’s not a bad idea. It would’ve saved me!”

Thomas, vividly described as “small and well-muscled with huge energy-storing thighs” and “a power surfer with uncommon finesse” then moves into some criticism of the helmet, some believing it might’ve made things worse. 

“See, the edge of this, there’s a little impression on the edge of the cut. Some may say that it could’ve lifted the edge of this up and possibly forced the board back into my eye. I’ve talked to some people about this…and…deliberated, as we do as humans, we like going over things, right, fact is, I’ve still got an eye, thankfully, and I’m wearing this more often!” 

I used to be a surfer once, and during my belle epoch years even travelled every year to the North Shore, and so a little alarm bell chimed in my head when I saw the piece. 

September? A little early to be getting decapitated at Off the Wall, no? And when was the last time Tom hit the North Shore so early? 

Turns out ol Tom got sliced in February 2020, shortly before a terrible pandemic shook the world off its rocker.

More poetry on Tom from you know who,

“In waves from four to 20 feet Carroll was a marvel: planting his back foot squarely over the tail section of his board and assuming a fencer’s stance, he adapted perfectly to the given surf break, drawing long and sinewy lines across the bottom-heavy rollers at Sunset, or hooking fiercely under the curl at Bells Beach, or flying arrowlike through the tube at Pipeline.” 

Skate fan made sad by Italo Ferreira's "move." Photo: The Basketball Diaries
Skate fan made sad by Italo Ferreira's "move." Photo: The Basketball Diaries

Surf champion Italo Ferreira accused of cultural appropriation after releasing “wacky” skateboard clip!

"You, sir, are no Jack Florence."

Having been in or around “extreme sports” for the better part of fifteen years, I have seen some things while drawing some conclusions. Professional skaters, snowboarders, surfers generally respect what each other do and are often passable in their non-dominant pursuit. Every paid snowboarder I know both surfs and skates. Most sponsored surfers I know snowboard. A handful of competitive skaters I know snowboard though none of them surf.

Still, a general respect and understanding of specific nuance, which makes surf champion Italo Ferreira’s recent clip that much more amazing.

In a spot of Cariuma shoes, the Brazilian ditches his trusty surfboard for a little quarterpipe session. Having seen Ferreira do all manner of crazy surf air, I was expecting greatness, so was shocked to see him awkwardly pump back and forth before the camera cuts to a stunt double’s feet doing a “trick” before a model comes out and snaps a pic of Ferreira faking a “move.”

It is truly like he’s never seen anyone skate before and might be considered straight satire but, with the obvious lack of any awareness, it simply falls into the accidental cultural appropriation bin.



I’m going to say “yes.”


Do you think you skate better than Italo, anyhow?

You, sir, are no Jack Florence.

Dora being mocked by KK (insert).

Miki Dora rolls over in grave after Malibu mayor accuses Kourtney Kardashian of lying about fake baby shower!

"City Staff Sells Out to Kardashian!"

It’s all circling the drain, man. President Biden flubbing LL Cool J’s name, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner divorce getting nastier by the second even though she sits on the Iron Throne, Real Housewives of Orange County’s Shannon Beador driving into a house and copping a DUI after dinner at the very same restaurant that hosted this surf journalist and his brave friends after enduring “the weather event of the century.

Pop culture really on the ropes.

The biggest blow, though, happening in the very town where “California surf cool” was born.


For it was there, on the relatively unremarkable sands fronting First Point, that Mickey Dora, Tubesteak et. al. defined what it should look like to pursue the surfing life wholeheartedly. Shack livin’, beer drinkin’, all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

But now look at it. A VALs paradise where not even the extravagant baby showers are real.

That last bit became too much for Malibu’s mayor, Shell Silverstein, who put Bob Kardashian’s girl Kourtney on blast over the weekend after the influencer pulled a permit in order to host a “baby shower” which was, instead, a giant pool party for her multi-million dollar cosmetics line Poosh.

[The] City of Malibu Continues to Place Celebrities and the Uber Wealthy Over Residents: City Staff Sells Out to Kardashian and Grants Emergency Expedited Permit for Large Event in a Vacant Single-Family Home in Private Neighborhood,” Silverstein titled his modern poem before getting down to the meat.

As an elected official, however, I am appalled by the situation, and it helps me understand what residents throughout the city are dealing with. Not a good look for the city – although it is a great ad to non-residents who want to come here and destroy the residents’ peaceful enjoyment of their homes. I understand that the event has been represented to be a baby shower that is being hosted by the owner of the property. Both of those representations are contrary to what the event planner told me – which was that the house is being “rented” for an “influencer event.” Obviously, one story or the other is false.

Imagine the moral vacuum that must exist in one’s soul to use babies as bureaucratic shields.

Diplo, anyhow, attended.

Playing turntables while the Titanic sinks.

Diplo, man. Is there anywhere that guy ain’t?

Miki Dora rolling over in grave.

The old WSL judging tower at Teahupoo. | Photo: WSL

Wooden judging tower at Teahupoo to be destroyed and replaced by $5 million aluminium structure for “environmentally sustainable” Paris Olympic Games

A little rich, don't you think, given that Paris 2024 has positioned itself as the "sustainable" Games. 

Earlier today, the name of the Chinese-owned cargo ship that’s gonna host competitors and officials at Teahupoo for the Paris Games was named, details given and so on. 

The Aranui 5, which makes a 12-day circuit of French Polynesia every month, has been described as “the Pacific’s strangest cruise ship” and “the weird offspring of a love affair between a cargo freighter and a passenger liner.” 

It ain’t luxury by any stretch but a serviceable and pleasant enough joint to spend a couple of weeks on and necessary after a local Teahupoo hotel, which had been shut for 26 years, was unable be readied in time. 


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Locals, you’ll remember, are worried Teahupoo’s gonna get flattened by the Olympic influx. 

“I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupo’o Teahupo’o,” Henry Tahurai told The Guardian. He says he’s “scared “of  what might happen to his “little piece of paradise… We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for the next generation.”

If you’ve ever been to this town of fifteen-hundred souls at the literal end of the road in Tahiti-iti, seventy clicks or so from the capital Papeete, you’ll know what a low-fi place it is outside of the annual WSL event there when the only noise you’ll hear is the great swoosh of water as Filipe reverse paddles into a set.

Anyway, as an aside to the announcement of the boat, Tahiti’s Minister of Youth and Sports Nahema Temarii said that the old wooden judging tower is gonna be torn down and replaced by a magnificent aluminium structure at a cost of €4.6 million or £3.9 million/$US5.1 million.

Necessary, I suppose, the old tower is rickety as hell, and who wants to be responsible for officials plunging to their doom after a cross-beam snaps and brings the whole thing down, but a little rich, don’t you think, given that Paris 2024 has positioned itself as the “sustainable” Games. 

But, then, what does sustainable mean in modern parlance?

From what I can tell, it means you make clothing or hardwoods in China, Bangladesh or wherever, paying extra to greasy figures for “carbon friendly” factories and for various environmental certifications before wrapping the final product in brown paper and placing a sticker on the paper fold announcing your climate-friendly bona fides.

Contest runs July 27 to July 30. Either gonna be epic or not.

Surf media war continues unabated as Stab co-founder slammed by top-tier journalist for “writing furious, sweaty defences of their polluted ideologies”

"You’re not a radicaliser of surf culture, nor the arbiter. You’re just another pawn, serving up the same old flim-flam for ad revenue."

Dear Mr Sam McIntosh,

We don’t know each other, but I’d like to address your recent piece on Stab, the surf blog for entertaining educational ad copy.

Firstly, I know you think it was some grand justification of ideology, but it’s just nonsense.

For one, we know how surf media works, Stab especially. For the most part, it has served us sycophancy and trojan horse ad copy since it existed. If not for that, perhaps it never would have survived. You understand that, and you know what keeps lights on and pockets lined. We get it.

But to be magnanimous about it, as if kowtowing to people of influence is doing us a favour, well that’s just shite.

To address one of your arguments specifically, you assert that “modern media is essentially worthless” because athletes and organisations can speak directly to their fans via social channels.

Now, stop me if I’ve misunderstood what social media is all these years, but does this line of  argument not prove the exact opposite of your assertion?

Is social media not just what people want us to see, from a personal or algorithmic perspective?

In which case, modern media, independent outlets with objective voices that you can trust, is more valuable than at any point in history.

Modern media should exist to challenge what people want us to hear. It should exist to combat the algorithms. It should exist to ask the questions that people don’t want to answer.

As for exhuming Orwell then murdering him to justify your existence, that was just cold. And oh so wrong.

But that’s not really the point. Stab has never been about independence and objectivity (well, maybe a brief flash in the embryonic stages).

You don’t do objective journalism because no-one wants it. The surf world is too inconsequential for anyone to care, and we’re conditioned by what we’ve been fed for so long. I mean, come on, any surf media, and especially anything that involves the WSL is of interest to such a minuscule percentage of people who surf that it’s almost unsustainable, far less important.

It’s why the WSL seem to be constantly gasping for air, even though we know they have a product that should be worth something.

But here’s a thing. What if it’s not the product?

No-one takes surf media seriously, from inside or outside the industry. Those inside understand that what they’re served up is disingenuous or tone deaf, and people outside see through the veneer, even if they don’t know exactly why.

Does the WSL deserve a bigger audience, more attention from a greater number of surfers? I think so. Probably.

But it doesn’t speak to them. It never has. Instead it treads this no-man’s land between the Dream Tour and The Inertia.

Culture doesn’t change overnight. I know you (as Stab) see yourself as this great disrupter (how many times can you tell us you once used a floating dock?), but you’re not a radicaliser of surf culture, nor the arbiter. You’re just another pawn, serving up the same old flim-flam for ad revenue. The difference is, you’re asking people to pay for it now.

To be disruptive is to change things, to go against the flow. To sacrifice the back-handers and the bottom line because you believe in the work.

I don’t read Stab. Your content doesn’t speak to me, nor appeal. (It is a shame that Paul Evans’ writing is paywalled.) I subscribed for the first time a few weeks ago because Lewis Samuels had mentioned me in his interview and I wanted to see what that was about.

Ask yourself why Samuels mentioned me, of all the established voices he might have noted, why me? (And Shearer, of course.)

It’s not because I write for a major outlet, nor that I’m even very productive. This isn’t my full time job.

And it’s not because I’m a great writer who cares deeply about his audience and craft. (Though that is true, clearly.)

No, if I had to guess, I would say it’s because I’m not affiliated with anyone in the surf industry. They don’t pay me, they’re not my friends, so my voice remains my own. I’m just some chump on the other side of the world, in a small town in the Scottish Highlands (that’s not even very close to waves), saying what I see. It’s ridiculous, really. I think about it daily. I couldn’t be further removed from the surf industry. I’m a fraud, really. But also a Real One. And maybe if I’d sooked at the industry teat it would’ve changed me. Maybe if I met some of the people I comment on, my humanity would turn me into something different, something like you. So it’s nice to remain at arm’s length, valuable even.

But if you want the truth, I’m more interested in pursuing writing outside of surfing, because I don’t trust the majority of surf media, nor respect it. There is no objectivity here, no journalism, no real future. It’s a small pool that lacks talent and freshness, and there are so few credible outlets for writers to stretch themselves.

The Surfers’ Journal and BeachGrit. That’s it. (And apologies for missing one or two Australian titles I just don’t have access to. I’d guess that Sean Doherty is producing fine work.)

I am not loyal to anyone but those I respect for their work, not their influence. My eyes are clear, as is my conscience.

Who do I respect? Those who have independent, objective voices. Samuels himself, Steve Shearer, Derek Rielly, Matt Warshaw, Surf Ads (don’t want to out him). And yes, even Chas Smith. 

And if it’s just on pure writing talent and not objectivity, I’d throw Paul Evans, Sean Doherty, Jed Smith, Nick Carroll and Vaughan Blakey in there, too. (Shit, even Ashton and Mike C can be bright writers, if they weren’t so happy in voluntary confinement.)

Yes, Derek runs BG, and does so in a way that might be challenged. But I will tell you this: people can speak freely here. He lets me say whatever I like, and I value that. Only the overtly abusive, racist or discriminatory is off limits at BeachGrit, as it should be everywhere. Aside from that, it is objective and free.

Most importantly, it’s a place to exercise creativity in writing. I mean, I don’t need to tell you that, it’s why you poached your staff from here. And it’s no coincidence they’ve never been as good since.

But this is not to fluff DR’s feathers, this is just to say that there is another way. People can trust what they read here (if they can make it through the clickbait), and hopefully they will attract a greater number of independent voices because of that. Does it make them as much money as you? Absolutely not. But they don’t need to type furious, sweaty defences of their polluted ideologies either.

Like I say, culture doesn’t change overnight. And maybe we’ve gone too far. Maybe surf media will always be seen as glorified ad copy. Certainly, if no-one challenges it then nothing will change.

If I gave my kids chocolate and sweets for every meal they’d keep eating it, but it doesn’t mean it would be good for them.

What if I started charging them when they got hooked on the sugar?

Try serving some greens, Sam. People might not like it at first, but in the end they might thank you for it.