Kooks (pictured).
Kooks (pictured).

With incidents of kook misbehavior on rise, left-leaning Los Angeles Times publishes shockingly snarling guide to surf lineup etiquette


The tide has, possibly, turned. The pandemic, now in the rearview, certainly did seem to spike surf participation. Our favorite pastime could be practiced outdoors, socially distanced, a thin sheen of “cool” spread panic. Those who took up the Sport of Kings, though, generally did it poorly. No knowledge of social mores, nor care. When the unwritten rules were flaunted and a local got angry, he or she was deemed as a “gatekeeper,” likely racist, or at the very least xenophobic.

Regulation on the verge of cancellation.

But yet, this morning’s edition of the Los Angeles Times includes a definitive guide to lineup etiquette that has a snarling side.

Off my wave, barn.

While written in the language that kooks understand, the rules are true and clear (except rule 5).

1. Don’t paddle if you suck.

2. Only surf soft beach break junk, at first.

3. When ready to move on, sit and observe like Rick Kane, giving wide berth to locals.

4. Surfer on peak calls shot. Don’t drop in.

5. Communicate by yelling “going left” or “going right.”

6. If given a slap, learn from it.

7. Never ditch board.

Surprising, no? And while some rules were omitted (8. If you see former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, paddle away unless you want to be gently touched on the inner thigh), the aggressive tone is very welcome.

Speaking of the World Surf League, its official “Sports Performance and Counseling Psychologist,” Christian Glasgow, was quoted in the piece saying, “Lineups have become more crowded and more dangerous. Beginner surfers that do not know surfing etiquette were paddling out at places like Rincon and Trestles before learning the basics and becoming strong paddlers. This has caused a lot of frustration and injury for more experienced surfers. I have quite a few patients that have been injured in the last few years due to being hit by a surfboard, including significant brain injuries.”

Much to unpack here, including which professional surfer ELo brain damaged, but mostly that the World Surf League has an official Sports Performance and Counseling Psychologist.

Filipe Toledo with fewer and fewer excuses.

Going left.

Kelly Slater sends son of poor Brazilian fisherman the ultimate compliment, “One of the gnarliest things I’ve ever seen done on a wave!”

"Absurd," says Yago Dora.

It’s been four years, roughly, since I picked my way through a maze of serviced apartments in Margaret River, six o’clock of a cool May evening it was, for the honour of spending two days with Italo Ferreira. 

As clear as if it was yesterday, I recalled the way his mango-sized deltoids popped as he squeezed his hands together. I remember, also, Italo showing me the Instagram post from his then-girlfriend Mari which he’d examined prior to their first meeting and that made him fall in love with her.

Mari sits astride a chair in white bikini bottoms. Her yellow hair waterfalls over brown skin and a red brassiere. Both eyes are closed and Mari’s tongue laps at an imaginary milk bowl in the sky.

History, of course, tells us that Italo, the son of a penniless Brazilian fisherman, won the world title that year, putting Medina on the end of his boot at Pipeline. Two years later, he became surfing’s first gold medal Olympian although no longer with Mari at his hip.

A likeable man with good intentions and as flashing and as relentless as a rapier. But for a knee-injury at J-Bay it’s likely his volcanic energy would be all over Lower Trestles, doom for Filipe etc. 

Out of the game and with no contests for almost six months, Italo has been showering his almost three-million fans with posts, the latest a barrel to boogie-dodge to the gala performance of a frontside 540. 

Kelly Slater, fifty-one and a pioneer of aerial drama, describes it thus. 

“First off, this is one of the gnarliest things I’ve ever seen done on a wave. And I’m baffled that Italo Ferreira could do a year on Tour and not make the Top 5.”


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Zuck before (insert) and after. Photo: Meta
Zuck before (insert) and after. Photo: Meta

Mark Zuckerberg erases haunting sunscreen surfer sissy boy image in testosterone-fueled all-male floating battle royale


Mark Zuckerberg, man. And by “man” I mean MAN. The Facebook founder, once solely viewed as a vindictive nerd, has transformed himself into a vicious nerd and who would have seen that coming? Who could have? The pathway to peak end-of-the-world began when the milky 39-year-old discovered foil boarding. Befriending super boy Kai Lenny, Zuckerberg foiled here, he foiled there, he foiled everywhere.

Unfortunately, he was not cool and sometimes did it with a large American flag and sometimes did it with a face full of white cream.

Afraid of the sun.

The image became, instantly, meme-ified and Zuckerberg, while laughing it off, was most certainly frustrated by a public image he had tried so hard to chase by “riding big waves” and “doing a fair amount of extreme sports-like stuff.”

Very sad.

Well, lessons learned, etc., and now the world’s seventh richest li’l guy only wants a different sort of white cream on his face.


The Palo Alto local has taken up the fight game, of late, rolling around, choking out, arm baring and what not. Various big names in the MMA world have trained with, or on, Zuckerberg and he appears to be taking it very seriously. Though in a move certainly intended to chase Scaredy Zuck away, he outfitted a barge with a wrestling floor and wrestled men on it on the water.

Extremely cool.

Business Insider reports that stars Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski were present and the whole affair was filmed and posted to Meta with a Mission Impossible soundtrack backing. It looks INTENSE.

I have one quick question, though. Did billionaires of old, Rockefeller, Carnegie and the like hire old-timey photographers to follow them around while they play-acted bear wrestling then send the newspapers prints? Did Gianni Agnelli hire filmmakers to follow him around and take movies of him bouncing in a bounce house?

Just curious.

Busey (insert) dreaming of better moments in cars. Photo: Point Break
Busey (insert) dreaming of better moments in cars. Photo: Point Break

Beloved surf actor Gary Busey implicated in nasty Malibu hit-and-run likely tarnishing angelic reputation

"Utah, get me two (lawyers)."

Of all the surf characters in our pantheon, from Patrick Swayze to Keanu Reeves, Matt Adler to Matt McConaughey, Gary Busey is, without doubt, the most beloved. With important roles in Big Wednesday and Point Break, the the 79-year-old with an expressive face and wily mouth has been able to capture the best, the purest of who we are both in and out of the water.

It is with much shock and dismay, then, that it appears Busey was involved in a very un-gentlemanly hit-and-run whilst driving the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu just before America’s Labor Day. According to TMZ, a woman was minding her own business when SLAM! her back bumper became hit. Instead of stopping and exchanging information, which is customary, the offending newer Volvo station wagon zipped off.

Not about to be hit-and-runned, the woman follows in hot pursuit until the Volvo pulls into a restaurant parking lot. There she confronts the driver, who just so happens to be Gary Busey, looking peak surf chic in a baseball cap, glasses and a khaki jacket.

Very Former.

When asked why he did not stop and follow typical protocol, Busey boldly declared, “I’m private,” then forwent his lunch and zipped off again.

I’d imagine with the way the court of public opinion is these days that Busey’s angelic reputation will be tarnished.


But back to fender benders. Of course the thing for the offender to do is stay and exchange information, but I’ve always been of the mind that the offended should usually shrug and say, “Called a bumper for a reason, amirite?” I studied in Cairo, Egypt for six months during my college years, Arabic, Islam, history etc., and I was always impressed by the way Egyptians used their bumpers. They’d use them to move cars and fit into small parking spots, use them to push traffic along, once I was even in a cab and he used his to move a pedestrian from the middle of the road all the way to its other side. They aren’t legal sticklers, like us, all decadent and in moral and cultural decline.

Maybe the woman in the Busey exchange should think about that.

Walk like an Egyptian.

Australian surfer Ethan Ewing ends month-long silence over broken back and miracle return to surfing’s San Clemente world title showdown!

"Some days the pain is worse than others. I won't be one hundred percent."

Yesterday, the surf world reacted with shock, joy, whatever you want to call it, after world number three Ethan Ewing made a surprise return to the game after fears he would be bedridden for months following a wipeout one month ago.

Apart from a brief note to fans and a video of the wave he got hurt on, Ewing, twenty-five, had maintained a strategic silence following the wipeout.


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The baby-faced Australian from Queensland’s North Stradbroke Island with an ass described as “overwhelming” was driven by a desire to keep Gabriel Medina out of the Final Five, back when it was thought the WSL would make up the numbers with the sixth-rated surfer.

The favourite to win the contest is reigning world champion Pip Toledo, whose daddy, Big Rick, has claimed the only reason Pip don’t charge Teahupoo is ‘cause he wants to save himself for the Finals, something that didn’t bother mad-dog Ewing, and which also don’t ring true ‘cause his zero heat total was in 2015.

Anyway, the Brazilian filmer Bruno Lemos got hold of Ewing down there at Lowers yesterday and got a few words out of the man with camellia-white skin and dishwater blond hair. He looks rather tired, not surprising given his journey from his island home to Los Angeles, but not a whit less charming than usual.


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“When I first did it I thought, I’m not going to be surfing for a long time, maybe, ‘cause I knew there was something wrong with my back ‘cause I slammed it really hard on the reef,” he tells his South American interlocutor. “I got some scans, there were some fractures, not too bad, no risk for the spinal cord. Very lucky.”

Ewing admitted that some days the pain is “worse than others but I just have to keep doing my physio, getting better and better each day. I won’t be one hundred percent but I’ll do everything to put on a good performance.”

Apart from keeping Medina out of the mix, Ewing “didn’t want to finish my season injured and in a bad ending.”

The one-day surf-off will run some time between September eight and sixteen at San Clemente’s Lower Trestles, likely around the 14th or 15th.