Toledo (pictured) repping. Photo: WSL
Toledo (pictured) repping. Photo: WSL

Pressure grows on Filipe Toledo to vacate Olympic slot after shock admission that he’s afraid to surf Teahupo’o

"Pull in or pull out."

How do you solve a problem like Filipe? Yesterday’s not surprising though shocking admission by the current, and likely future, world surfing champion Filipe Toledo’s father that the very talented Brazilian is, in fact, scared of Teahupo’o was certainly… something. We have watched the still-young man fail to paddle for waves for years now, historic 0.00 heat totals, getting smoked by two fifty year-olds, gifting heat wins to competitors just so he can get out of the water though he has always denied fear.

Denied it, that is, until his much-loved father Ricardo opened up and declared:

The truth is that he is afraid of hitting the coral bottom. That is the fear he has, of hitting himself there and really hurting himself and suffering an irreversible injury. It’s something that stays in his head… He’s already surfed big Waimea and Pipeline. He doesn’t have the know-how like John John has, like Medina has or as Italo acquired over the years. It is something that we know but at no time does it detract from the quality of the athlete that he is.

Why let the scaredy-cat out of the bag now, though? Why dig up a fact that has been meticulously buried?

Next year’s Olympics will be contested at “The Place of Broken Skulls” or “Tear-hoo-poh-oh” and Toledo has already secured his spot on the Brazilian team. There he will be, standing shoulder to shoulder with Gabriel Medina or Italo Ferreira or Yago Dora quaking knees wrapped in gold and green.

Admitting that hitting the coral bottom “stays in his head?”

Unfortunately it does completely detract from the quality of the athlete that he is.

His terror is completely obvious, and reasonable for any mere mortal, but not for Ubatuba’s first son. Toledo has super human reflexes and ability. God-gifted talent above and beyond plus resources to hone and maximize. He could swing on any gaping beast and, though sheer capability, navigate. That he has refused to grow the heart, to this point, to spend time and money, gin up confidence, learn is a mark directly against him.

And, so, if he continues to refuse to try this year, with truth of trepidation out in the open, shouldn’t he claim gut injury and vacate his Olympic spot to either Gabriel Medina or Italo Ferreira or Yago Dora?

If he doesn’t, will it be a historically selfish act?

Placing self directly above country?

Tell me how I’m wrong.

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, briefly discussed Toledo’s cowardice on today’s program alongside solving the blight of racism. Worth a listen and the episode will soon be enshrined in the Smithsonian.

Former surf brand Hurley releases the “Hurleyverse” where fans can “surf the wave of web3” with a “customizable NFT sloth”

A happy place where Filipe Toledo can't get hurt (physically at least).

The former surf brand Hurley, main sponsor of last year’s world champion and this year’s world champion, the timid Filipe Toledo, has put competitors Quiksilver, Billabong, RVCA and Volcom on notice, hours ago, first teasing, then releasing the stupidest piece of surf adjacency yet.

You, certainly, thrilled days ago when Billabong and RVCA, all owned alongside Quiksilver and Volcom by Authentic Brands Group as of tomorrow, began dumping uncool t-shirts in Costco. The “Battle for Beard Oil” certainly on as the four onetime legitimate brands became simple logos ready to be slapped on hand sanitizer, blenders and spice cabinets.

An arms race with the aforementioned Hurley, owned by Bluestar Alliance, which slaps its simple logo on fingernail clippers, inflatable pool toys and dog collars.

Early betting was favoring Authentic Brands as they have four logos including a mountain plus wave, stylized wave, RVCA and “the stone” to Bluestar’s one )(.

Alas, Hurley’s genius should never have been doubted for, days ago, the logo’s Instagram account teased something that looked dumb, declaring, “Something big is coming… 8.30.23”

But how dumb would it be?

Dumber than even the most bullish could imagine.

Introducing The Hurleyverse™.

“Surf the wave of web3, Hurley style with the Hurley Super Surfer video game. Power up your gameplay by collecting Hurley Sand Dollars, surf with a customizable NFT sloth, and more. Link in bio to learn more and download now.”

The only change I can suggest is making the sloth a cowardly lion instead and make the wave a shallow barreling left so that surf fans could make the li’l guy paddle.

Otherwise, ball’s in your court Authentic Brands Group.

Condolences and tributes flow as Gabriel Medina admits “roughest trip of my LIFE!”

“Time to go back home.”

The three-time champion of the world Gabriel Medina, the boy with a mouth no longer ready for squalls and tantrums, has been flooded with condolences and tributes after a moving post on Instagram.

Medina, who turns thirty in December and two years off a divorce dissected in all its lurid details by media as well as an estrangement from his mammy and step-daddy, failed to make the top five and secure a spot on Finals Day.

When it looked like he might slide in via Ethan Ewing’s vacant spot, even his countryman Filipe Toledo turned against him telling a Brazilian media outlet,

“(Medina and co) surfed all year, they had 10 chances to win the points needed to be in the finals and they didn’t and then because of the other being third, 20,000 points ahead, he gets hurt and they still have a chance to enter. I don’t think it’s fair, I think that if you didn’t get the necessary score to play in the Finals, you don’t get to be there.”

After celebrating his premature season’s end with a vacation in a $2000-a-night over-the-water villa on Bora Bora with pals, Medina addressed his eleven-million followers,

It could have been one of the most important achievements of my life professionally speaking, but it wasn’t. And it turned out to be the roughest trip I’ve ever done in my LIFE.

Time to go back home

Many, or most, things will never be in our time. It was time to understand the process.. understand that sometimes gnt is part of other people’s process too. And this time I didn’t want to be selfish to think only of me. What if.. , but if I … , but… I did my best and prepared for that moment. This year was the most physical training in my career. So I came out calmly, and aware that I gave it all of me.

Job was done now got a spot here in Teahupoo. But I’ve already received so many waves that changed my life in this exact place.

For years and years, I have faith and believe in God’s plan It’s supposed to be that way. Tomorrow is another day

Choices, learnings and looking to evolve more and more


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Two weeks ago, you’ll remember, the Australian Jackie Robinson issued a grim warning to fragile world champ Toledo after he coolly steamrolled Medina in the final at Teahupoo, the winning scooping up the final Top Five pozzy.

Medina, now one of the most popular surfers on tour, with peers and fans, received almost two thousand comments wishing him further glories etc.

Wrote Julian Wilson, one-time title contender and sparring partner who once made Medina cry, “You had some hurdles and you delivered some brilliance once again. Love watching you compete. I believe there’s 5 guys feeling a little lighter not having you in the draw at trestles. Onto the next chapter and keep inspiring us all along the way. Hats off brother.”

“True champion,” wrote Connor O’Leary.

From close pal Diogo Canto, “As we’ve talked a lot on this trip, things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to. And it’s all right. Nothing happens by chance. I saw you become a champion in front of me in 3 stages and still your two championship! And none of those trips were as special as the one we’re living now. I was so sad when the ending was over but I’m so happy to see it’s maturity and growth mentally and spiritually. Seeing how positive you’ve been, and how well you’ve handled the stones that come your way… Daddy in heaven is up there in charge of everything, and I’m sure I’ll still see you lifting a lot of world trophies now! Let’s go together brother! I love you!”

And, from coach Andy King, “The Growth in and out of the water this year will set you up for life brother and you bring all of those around you up into being the best versions of themselves forever Grateful.”

EE en route to LA and plump ass that needs belting.

Ethan Ewing, owner of the “most spankable bottom in surfing” en route to Finals Day after miracle recovery from broken back!

"My pain levels have dropped significantly!"

As first reported on these pages over the previous week and despite being given no chance by fans, Ethan Ewing will be competing in the WSL Finals three weeks off busting two vertebrae in his back. 

Ewing, a baby-faced twenty-five-year-old Australian with the “plumpest and most spankable bottom in surfing”, was driven, we were told, by a desire to keep Medina out of the Final Five and to mop up the blood from last year’s failed title attempt. 

The favourite to win the contest is the small-wave wizard and reigning world champion Pip Toledo, whose daddy claimed yesterday the only reason Pip don’t charge Teahupoo is ‘cause she wants to save himself for the Finals, something that didn’t bother mad-dog Ewing.

“His focus is on the world tour final and another world title. Now is not the time to show that you throw yourself at Teahupoo,” said Ricardo Toledo. “Look what happened with Ethan Ewing… You have to know the moment to expose yourself and the time in which can expose yourself.”

(I’d suggest Pip throw this Patton quote on this wall, “Some men will get over their fright in a minute under fire, some take an hour, and for some it takes days. But the real man never lets his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood.”)

Now, in a stirring message to fans and foes alike, Ewing has demonstrated his fitness and strength with a series of clips from a gymnasium workout, even a  cursory glance at Ewing’s quadriceps will strike fear into the bowling pin-shaped Toledo, and concludes his posts with a photograph seated in biz class en route to Los Angeles.

Only eight days ago, the World Surf League was accused of “passive aggressively trolling Ethan Ewing” after including him in promotional material.

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

Brazilian hoses down Mexican drop-in.

“Game of grab-ass” at Desert Point divides internet as surfers argue finer details of surf-etiquette!

“He says he can catch every wave he wants because he is Brazilian!”

This magnificent video sketch of a Mexican surfer being attacked by a Brazilian mid-wave at Desert Point brings to light the absurdity of the once-secret wave, a wildly unforgiving left on the southern tip of Indonesia’s Lombok.

It’s a brutal lineup at Desert although once, and in the not too distant past, you and a few pals might’ve chanced upon it for a few hours, empty. Some years ago now, your ol pal DR jumped ship from a charter boat that was headed for Sumbawa for two hours of slick four-footers. Only one surfer out, a man called Jim Banks, who chewed through the drainpipes like a cornered rat.

Now, ooowee, ain’t nobody finding any sorta peace out there.

Puerto Escondido’s Alejandro Garza, pink shirt, is pictured here apparently dropping in a man before getting his comeuppance, as they say, clipped with an ass grab and tee pull.

Or so it seemed.


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“I’m the guy with the pink shirt,” writes Garza. “So this guy dropped on the wave behind me after I was already on the wave. He pushes me down and then yells at me saying he can catch every wave he wants because he is Brazilian and been surfing at Deserts for 20 years.”

And, so ensued many thousands of comments on the rights and wrongs of putting a slug into a drop-in and how surfers who snake should be violated.

And, for Rio Waida, an Indonesian tour rookie, an innocent “Ha! Ha!” led to one troll’s call for his dismissal from sponsor Quiksilver.

“Is this really the mindset of your athletes promoting violence in the surf? I mean regardless whose fault this was this could have ended up with a serious injury and you literally promoting this shit? If that’s the athletes you pick @quiksilver_indonesia then it’s for sure the last boardshort I bought from BOARDRIDERS. What an embarrassing role model u are @riowaida_”

Meanwhile the big-wave surfer Koby Abberton, a habitué of Deserts, summed up the mood well.

“No fun anymore,” he writes.


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