U.S. Presidential race upended as “surf deity” Laird Hamilton and Kelly Slater break for fit and fabulous disruptor Robert F. Kennedy Jr.!

The all-important surf vote!

It is impossible not to be at least vaguely aware that citizens of these United States will march to the polls in just over a year’s time with the task of electing our next president. Conventional wisdom suggests only two viable options. The same two options as four years ago. 80-year-old “Sleepy” Joe Biden and 77-year-old Donald Trump.

On the Republican side, the base seem to truly love their aged showman (Trump) and are not put off by his age or antics. On the Democrat side, though, there is much consternation about putting up an octogenarian with, clearly, diminished facilities and an almost universally disliked VP.

One might think, therefore, that other options would be welcomed but no. The Democratic National Committee has preordained Biden, like it did last election, and he will be wheeled out come hell or dementia.

Thus making Laird Hamilton and Kelly Slater’s public backing of a “disruptive” candidate that much more intriguing.

Who could have ever imagined a man, or woman, carrying the surname “Kennedy” would be a Democratic outsider but here we are in brave new days.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., extremely muscular, tan, married to Larry David’s television ex-wife, son of the assassinated Robert Kennedy, nephew of the assassinated John F. Kennedy, should be the savior of the left but the DNC has decided it hates him, the mainstream media following suit, tarring him wherever he goes.

Laird Hamilton and Kelly Slater, though, ain’t sheeple and have thrown their weight behind baby RFK, flying right into the teeth of “the way things are supposed to be,” even attending fundraisers even though Slater has a reputation of being notoriously cheap.

Kennedy, taking to X, wrote, “At Kennedy for President fundraiser in Malibu with Big Wave surf deity Laird Hamilton and his wife volleball champion @GabbyReece + With @KellySlater, 11 time World Surf League Champion at Brentwood fundraiser.”

Photo: X
Photo: X

Will they be punished for the move? The New York Times publishing a nasty expose on Slater’s environmentalism? The Washington Post putting Hamilton on its front page as “cancellable cultural appropriator?”

I once promised the all-important “surf vote” to Republicans in Florida even though I couldn’t really deliver.

Politics, man.

Surfers rally around Aussie surf star gravely ill in Bali hospital, “He doesn’t have time!”

“We are desperately seeking funds to medi vac him from Bali to save his life.”

A couple of days back, the four-time Australian champ and 2011 World Master Mark Richardson put out a call for blood from his hozzy bed in Bali.

“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.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mark Richardson (@markrichosurfcoach)

Pretty serious is right.

Now, Richo, who was famously stripped of his 2011 World Masters Title two years after winning it for testing poz to weed, has sent a fresh call for neg blood types.

Looking like hell from his bed, colour drained from his tanned face he writes, “Hey guys still needing more donations of negative blood. If you already donated and didn’t use the slip on my last story I am not getting the blood so please use much appreciated.”

One pal ain’t happy to wait and see what happens in Bali. She’s organised a fundraiser to get the fifty k needed to medi vac Richo back to Australia.

“Hi my name is Fiona Meyer and we are desperately seeking funds to medi vac Mark Richardson back to Australia from Bali to save his life. Insurance is taking forever and he doesn’t have time. He is currently in ICU, and needs to be in Australia.”

In four hours, almost ten k has been raised, CT stars Liam O’Brien and Callum Robson throwing in five hundred apiece and gal shredder Isabella Nichols two-fifty.

(Fiona has thrown in five hundred, too.)

Still no word on what put Richo into intensive care but if you want to help get him on a bird home, throw some cash here.

Surf fans (right) wary. Photo: Don't Worry Darling
Surf fans (right) wary. Photo: Don't Worry Darling

Premium surf blog Stab drops self-affixed “trusted media of core surfers everywhere” moniker after marriage to World Surf League revealed!

But is the union already troubled?

The raging surf media war, which has captured hearts and minds over an otherwise dull weekend, is sadly dying down. Though who could have seen a poorly conducted, though otherwise innocuous, interview with the World Surf League’s Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer on the premium subscription surf blog Stab exploding into mutually assured destruction?

“Mutually” referring to Stab and the World Surf League, of course.

Certainly not me, referring to the “seeing it.”

But let us review the past few days’ events.

On September 20th, Stab published the World Surf League’s 2024 Championship Tour schedule hours before any other surf outlet, chasing it, later, with a softball interview with the World Surf League’s Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, where no tough questions were asked.

After a small bit of tweaking from readers and anti-depressive surf sites over the goofy softball business, Stab’s founder Sam McIntosh became angry enough to publish The Dickhead Index in which he, very white teeth flashing, defended the commercial art of being a pussy.

JP Currie responded with a fierce takedown which led to comment threads here and there with even more revelations, from Stab’s editor-in-chief Mikey Ciamarella, detailing that the aforementioned Jessi Miley-Dyer was only allotted fifteen minutes of chat time and required a North Korea-esque minder to be on the phone.

Now, Sam and crew could have easily let the Miley-Dyer interview slide, taken a few licks in the comment section and moved on. In trying to defend, their cozy relationship was spectacularly blown up in what can only be called an act of sheer editorial incompetence.

“Paid media” is never supposed to be obvious. The payer, in this case the World Surf League, is already struggling with legitimacy and, therefore, attempting to curry quiet favor through favors (“access” and footage). The payee, in this case Stab, was supposed to simply provide cover while accepting said favors.

Instead, Stab made the notoriously controversy averse World Surf League look thirsty then pathetic, and also the center of an unfortunate story.

No doubt McIntosh is beating himself up, tonight, over the disaster he created.

World Surf League brass, likely, quietly fuming and reconsidering the coupling.

Well poisoned.


Another casualty?

Stab’s Google byline.

It used to read “Trusted media of core surfers everywhere.”

Now simply “We are writers, video editors, and photojournalists. But mostly, we just like to surf.”

Goodbye, integrity. I’m flying over you.

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.