Breakout star of Apple TV's excellent Make or Break series, Tyler Wright.

In bombshell interview on eve of world title showdown, queer icon Tyler Wright claims she was “silenced” by WSL over transgender views!

“It was so confronting… That whole thing was a colossal mess.”

The two-time world champ Tyler Wright, who is three heats away from winning a third crown, has given a bombshell interview with Australia’s Fairfax Press, revealing more detail on her troubled relationship with Daddy Rob, why surf culture sucks and, in a devastating blow to the WSL, how she was silenced over her views on trannies in sport.

Wright, who is twenty-nine, sure don’t hold back when she gets the mic, welcome given the stiffness of surfer media interviews although her views are not always popular with the proletariat who, rightly or wrongly, don’t see the problem in someone being pushed into a sport that has made them a world champ and a millionaire.

(Keen readers will note Wright’s net worth got shaved a little when Shane Maree Hatton, a family friend of the Wrights who managed the Wright’s cash, stole $586,805.07 from her. Owen got fleeced of $818,642.80, Mikey, $151,201.23, and their mum and Dad, Rob and Fiona, lost $81,025.29. Hatton used the money to pursue her love of horses and games of chance.)

Anyway, you know an interview with Tyler ain’t gonna be dull.

In the story, she fires fusillade after fusillade, at culture, her daddy, the WSL etc.

“Sometimes I get so let down by the surfing community that I feel like quitting.”

“I thought I was gonna die.”

“When I look at surfing, for years I wrestled with my anger towards surfing because of how it’s positioned itself in the world of progressiveness. ‘We’re counterculture, we’re inclusive… My experience of surfing from a young age was definitely not that.”

“I think WSL having the (trans) policy is amazing. It’s inclusive, it’s moving forward … But it was so confronting, that to a certain extent I was being told to keep quiet, keep my head down because of this blow-up.I didn’t say much and I still don’t, [because] obviously it’s wildly confronting for someone like me to be in the crossroads of this.”

“I believe in inclusivity and equality. It doesn’t just come and go when I like it.”

“You know what I did? I quietly quit in certain spaces. But not in the spaces that matter most to me.”
“Sometimes I get an hour to take some pain relief. Other times I get nothing, my body goes into such severe pain and shock that I’ll just start throwing up.”

A little warm-up read for Finals Day tomoz! 

But even if Toledo deserves the title on the day (and because he’s earned the number one spot this season) it will leave a sour taste in the mouths of some. Don’t be surprised if this sentiment bubbling below the surface sways the judges into some controversial decisions. Don’t be surprised if we have a world title marred by judging controversy. Wouldn’t that be an appropriate reflection of the season and the organisation?

World surfing title to be decided between a “Homeschooled simpleton”, a “grubby little taxi driver” and a “winsome blond au pair”!

Even if Toledo deserves the title on the day it will leave a sour taste in the mouths of some. Don’t be surprised if this sways the judges.

The end of the year is upon us. A time to reflect, a time to heal. But not before we deal with the immediate future, the big hurrah: The Final Five at Trestles’ famed and overrated cobblestones!

Try as they might, the WSL just don’t seem able to conjure any anticipation for this, their grand showcase. Everything they do seems flimsy, somehow. More chintzy high school prom than world title showdown.

Has your phone been buzzing away with god-awful WSL notifications too?

How bad is that content? How can it be so bad?

So busy. Such blandness. Such sanitised, homogenous pish.

Whatever happens next within that organisation, they need to hire some professionals, ideally people who actually surf and care. The quality of their media output is so lacklustre, so amateur, that I almost never look at it. Which leaves me wondering: who is? I mean, it’s part of my job to take an interest in this stuff, but they offer nothing of substance, and nothing that doesn’t come with a sheen of try-hard flimsiness.

What about those jerseys? Are they the most embarrassing merchandise ever cooked up by an apparently professional sporting organisation? You’d be forgiven for assuming that all creative work had already been outsourced to a primitive chatbot. If not, it should be.

And the practice session stream…what the actual fuck was that? Aside from Erin Brooks, who seems quite lovely, it was an abomination.

Clearly, the WSL still has a serious identity crisis. It doesn’t know if it’s they, them or ze. It’s an ongoing problem for pro surfing, but not more so than in the last couple of years. It’s not serious or organised enough to be defined as a proper sport (and the cap don’t really fit) but embracing the stoner Cali vibe just makes it look like an idiot.

Regardless, we’ll watch the Finals in spite of them, and here’s what to make of the men:


When my partner was pregnant she lost an entire load of washing. She found it later. In the freezer, obviously.

Another morning she texted me in a panic from work. Had I seen her phone? Had she left it in the van when I’d dropped her off? She couldn’t find it anywhere!

Have you checked your hand? I asked.

Baby brain’s a real thing. For someone like Jack, who likes (needs) to keep a tight leash on the mush between his ears, it could be a killer.

As a man and a surfer, I’m a fan. This Tour is better for the presence of Jack Robinson, his tube wizardry, and his latent psychopathy.

Does any of that mean I think he can beat Ethan, Griff or Filipe at Trestles? Not likely.

And he does need to have a word with whoever is advising him on the non-endemic fashion alignments and his general social media output, because it is crrriiiiiinnngggeee. “Reminiscing on my first times in the ocean with the clean scent of #PoloBlue” he says in one post, whilst wearing an unbuttoned white shirt, holding a bottle of aftershave and looking constipated.

See you next year, Jack. Your washing’s in the freezer.


Joao announced himself on Tour this year with great vengeance and furious anger by hammering and slicing his way to world number one in the early part of the season. Three semi-finals and a victory in the first five events is no fluke.

There remains the sense that Chianca will be most at home in meaty waves rather than dribbly cobblestone points, and taking the title at Trestles from his position seems unlikely. But it won’t be his last shot. Though a little skittish and elbowy at times, Chianca attacks sections like they killed his pets.

I find Joao an intriguing character. The contrast between his softly spoken interviews, where he professes gratitude and humility, and his tear-your-face-off, paddle around, over, up and in you approach in the water is truly fascinating. He comes from the Brazilian school of surfing that enjoys blood in the water, it doesn’t matter who it belongs to. If we had a whole Tour of guys like this pro surfing would be a mainstream sport.

He said it best himself: cold blood, warm heart. (Though I’m not totally buying the latter.)

Don’t be surprised if he wins his first match-up against Robinson through sheer force of animal energy. If you believe in more, bet on it. You’ll get 25/1 and more from most bookmakers.


If you’d asked me about Ewing’s chances a week ago I’d have told you they were adjacent to zero. Not because he supposedly had a broken back (medical marvel or misreported?) but because I just don’t think he has the game to tackle Filipe in small to medium waves.

However, to Antipodean delight, I’ve got a little inkling that we might see Ewing make it all the way to a match-up with Filipe after all.

Beyond the capacity for superhuman healing, Ewing has otherworldly, picture-perfect style that make fifty-year-old men weak at the knees. And, as has been well established throughout the course of this season, the judges (and the surf industry, for that matter) are largely men in their fifties and sixties. Ethan might as well be a winsome blonde au pair.

He’d be a popular world champ, a victory for aesthetics and eugenics. He can lay a surfboard on a rail like almost no-one else in the world.

Unfortunately Filipe Toledo is almost no-one else.


Little Griff has won my heart this year. Underneath all the self-help psychobabble there’s just a homeschooled simpleton waiting to break free, eat crisp sandwiches and rub Nutella all over his face.

Only the sourest of pusses (or Brazilian fans) could dislike Griffin, smiling widely and nodding along to his little rap beats, imagining he’s straight gangster. To be fair, men like him have propped up the rap industry for years. Nothing quite says gangster like homeschooling, golf carts, and second and third homes at the beach.

Regardless, he’s here on merit. He has the game to beat Filipe, and homefield advantage. More importantly, Toledo knows it.

And if he doesn’t? Well we can read all about it in pidgin English on Instagram, via a photo of a crumpled diary piece covered in snot and tears.

Ah, 2023.


For most, Filipe has been a lock for this world title all year. Not just because he’s our reigning champ, but because no-one in the world generates speed and explosiveness in small to medium waves like he does.

I like the big hair he’s sporting this season. I like that he looks like a grubby little taxi driver, with eyes that will almost certainly rob you. But above all I like how fast he goes, how he generates speed like he has jets.

And I especially admire his sickle-like turns. And yes, they are as good as Ethan’s. Not quite as stylish, perhaps, but technically perfect.

He’ll need to sound out the judges. Do they want carves and flow? Or would they prefer some balls-out aerials? No matter for Filipe, he can do it all. If he puts his laces through one early it’s game over. If Griff or Ethan get a jump on him we’ll be in for a match.

But even if Toledo deserves the title on the day (and because he’s earned the number one spot this season) it will leave a sour taste in the mouths of some. Don’t be surprised if this sentiment bubbling below the surface sways the judges into some controversial decisions.

Don’t be surprised if we have a world title marred by judging controversy. Wouldn’t that be an appropriate reflection of the season and the organisation?

Ironically, as a distraction from the gaudy production, it might also be the best thing for them.

I’m off to place some bets.

Rumor: World Surf League to run Finals Day tomorrow to avoid peak of hurricane swell and NFL opening Sunday!

Not any given Sunday.

Do you recall, many years and multiple CEOs ago, when the World Surf League’s Paul Speaker stood before an audience and vowed that someday, and soon, professional surfing’s elite tour would eclipse the storied National Football League? The New York Times reported him as saying, “Our strategy has been, since the beginning, let’s remove all stop signs and turn them into welcome mats..”

The surfing audience, he declared, was massive and un-tapped and simply turning stop signs, all menacing and un-chill, into welcome mats, warm and fuzzy, would be enough to beat out viewership numbers for every major sporting league.

Halcyon days.

Surfing for the win.

Alas, his prognostication has no borne out. Speaker was replaced by Goldschmidt who was replaced by Erik Logan who made an oopsie and was replaced the the Chief of Human Resources and the Chief of Legal. The World Surf League took down the stop signs, fashioned them into a Wall of Positive Noise and here we are today.

Bailey Ladders.

So much failure that, according to a well-placed source, the World Surf League is afraid to put its Super Bowl up against the NFL’s measly opening day (Sun. Sept 9th) or a peak hurricane swell, avoiding waves that may be “too big.”

Yes, Finals Day is more likely than not to run tomorrow.

Per the just released presser:

YELLOW ALERT: Potential for Rip Curl WSL Finals To Run Tomorrow

Next Call: Saturday, September 9, at 7:30 AM PDT

-WSL Final 5 Prepare to Battle for the 2023 World Titles

-WSL Rising Tides Hosts Special Activation with World Champions Layne Beachley and Lisa Andersen

-WSL One Ocean and Partners Help Enhance Biodiversity at Trestles

Who do you think is most excited about this turn? Sitting champion Filipe Toledo avoiding bigger surf? The biodiverse bushes getting planted out amongst the cobbled stone?


Ready your fingers, in any case. It’s open thread time.

Watch on Caffeine for free!

McNamara (top) and Hamilton (bottom) consider glory.

Laird Hamilton, Garrett McNamara, other burly surf studs consider panicking to Florida as models show Hurricane Lee pushing mythical “100+ foot wave” to Sunshine State!

Destiny is calling. Who will answer?

If there is one thing that signifies to the outside world about our little surfing cloister, it is the conquering of a “100 foot wave.” Monsters, of course, in places like Nazare and Jaws have been ridden with much aplomb, though none have officially measured 100 feet. Garrett McNamara, savior of Portugal, made of the better surfing programs ever named “100 foot wave” but, he too, never found.

Which brings us to today and to Florida.

The Sunshine State, dangling off the southeast corner of these United States, is known for many things including Ron DeSanctimonuious, alligators, Jimmy “Cane” Wilson, Dion Sanders, the 2012 Republican National Convention, Palm Beach, The Flight of the Navigator, Ray Finkle, Hooters, Kelly Slater etc.

It is not known for overly large surf and yet here we are.

Climate change.

For a massive, major hurricane is twirling and swirling in the too-warm Carib pointing at Florida herself.

A category 5 named Lee.

CNN declares:

The hurricane was located about 630 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands, the hurricane center said Friday in the 5 a.m. update.

“Additional strengthening is forecast today. Fluctuations in intensity are likely over the next few days, but Lee is expected to remain a major hurricane through early next week,” forecasters wrote in the update.

Lee will likely reach its peak intensity by this weekend and is still expected to be a dangerous hurricane over the southwestern Atlantic early next week, though it’s too soon to know whether this system will directly impact the US mainland.

Dangerous surf and rip currents will spread across the northern Caribbean on Friday and begin affecting the US on Sunday, the center said.

Other models, however, state, “Even without a direct landfall eastern US will feel along the coast… starting with Florida early week. This map here for early Friday (next week). Later into the run showing 100+ feet.”

And there we have it.

100+ feet.

Laird Hamilton, the aforementioned Garrett McNamara, Sebastian Steudtner (who currently holds the Guinness World Record at 86 feet) and other big wave studs certainly must be considering dropping everything they are currently doing and heading directly south and east (if they happen to be on America’s west coast or Hawaii).

McNamara first and foremost, I’d imagine, as part of his popular “100 foot wave” could get a swift and catchy “100+ foot wave” rebrand.

Exciting times.

Son (left) and stepson.
Son (left) and stepson.

San Clemente transplant Filipe Toledo utterly rejected by hometown as “We Only Have Eyes for Griff!” banners fly over city’s freeways

The sad story of an unwanted stepchild.

Oh to be Felipe Toledo, the world at your feet, the world on a string. Coral, his main enemy, is rapidly dying everywhere due global warming, the World Surf League, where he competes, has pivoted almost entirely to small waves, the 2022 Championship Trophy already sits above hearth and space has been pre-cleared for the 2023 one which is almost assuredly his.

The cherry on top?

That hearth is in San Clemente, California, the selfsame hosting last “Finals Day” and this one too.


Filipe and his entire family moved from Ubatuba, in beautiful Brazil, to the Spanish Village by the Sea in 2014, nearly one whole decade ago. Basically a lifetime when it comes to rootless Southern Californians. By right, Toledo should be honored, celebrated, feted at Nick’s and South of Nick’s nightly but… no and emphatically no.

He is not and, moreover, his interloper status is rudely rubbed in his lightly puggish nose.

I had to drive north, very much too early this morning and very much too far. While passing through the Town That Andino Built I saw giant red banners stretching over the first 5 freeway pedestrian overpass, closest to Lowers. Being where I was, I assumed they read “Trump Won!” but as I got closer, Trump’s face somehow seemed more… squishy.

Closer still, I realized it was current world number two Griffin Colapinto’s face with the words “Griff for World Champ!” emblazoned.


I assumed the next overpass, though not closest to Lowers, would be a giant green banner, li’l lion front and center, reading, “Paddle Pip!”

But no.

And no on the next and next and none even when I entered San Juan Capistrano like a tired swallow.

But there has to be one brave San Clemente local who can break with the mob and cheer his or her neighbor.

Raise your hand, please.