Rumors boil that World Surf League may not run Finals Day at peak of new hurricane swell over worries it’ll be “too big”

"Rapidly intensifying" and "major hurricane" are certainly word combinations that the intrigue-averse World Surf League hates.

Students of professional surfing are growing increasingly excited for the upcoming World Surf League Finals Day. The top five men and top five women are, currently, at Lower Trestles where the window officially opens in just two days. Jack Robinson vs. Joao Chianca, winner takes Ethan Ewing, winner takes Griffin Colapinto, winner takes Filipe Toledo, for the men. Caitlin Simmers vs. Molly Picklum, winner takes Caroline Marks, winner takes Tyler Wright, winner takes Carissa Moore, for the women.

But swell?

Oh, there might be plenty.

But too many?

Tropical Cyclone Jova is currently spinning and twisting in the South Pacific, smoking on the waters, pushing a hurricane swell told Lowers that should peak this Sunday.

But too peak?

Inside rumors are boiling that the World Surf League may choose to skip the biggest day over fears that it might be overly big.

The National Weather Service is sharing satellite imagery that shows the aforementioned Tropical Cyclone Jova “rapidly intensifying” and turning into a “major hurricane” as early as tonight. Southern Californians, again, forced to horde and grumble at people who sail.

Oh, it’s not expected to make landfall but “Rapidly intensifying” and “major hurricane” are certainly word combinations that the intrigue-averse World Surf League hates.

Alongside current number one Filipe Toledo.

The Brazilian flyboy, who shunned his nation in favor of San Clemente, has a well-documented fear of larger lefts breaking on coral. Thankfully, Lowers is a smaller right breaking on cobbled stone but still. Spinelessness is not rational. So he’d be happy though everyone else sad. Especially, I’d imagine, Oahu’s Carissa Moore. The legend, still in prime, was utterly ripped off by the format last year. The same could be said this year if the World Surf League chooses to “siss the ‘riss.”

Scorecard thus far, Toledo happy, everyone else sad.

But what does the World Surf League’s official forecast partner Surfline have to say?

Unfortunately not as much, or interesting, as the National Weather Service. They have gotten out of the prognostic game and into the firing everyone to bolster bottom line one.


Though here we are.

Will Sunday be the day or won’t it?

You don’t care?


Bill Maher and kook (insert).
Bill Maher and kook (insert).

Comedian Bill Maher tars Hollywood writers on strike with dirtiest surf insult, describes demands as “kooky”


For those unaware, Hollywood is an absolute mess right now. Oh, not the typical myopic silliness, gender blah blah, Kevin Spacey getting handsy but a proper disaster with both writers and actors on strike. The issue at hand is the changing environment. “Streamers,” such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple etc. were not even a glimmer on the horizon when the last labor contract was signed and, thus, those who make and star in the entertainments are toiling under a weird, outdated yoke.

While most are publicly aligned with the worker, comedian and talk show host Bill Maher has broken with the pack and tarred the writers’ demands with the worst insult in our world.


In a devastating interview will fellow comedian Jim Gaffigan, Maher said, “They’re asking for a lot of things that are, like, kooky. What I find objectionable about the philosophy of the strike [is] it seems to be, they have really morphed a long way from 2007’s strike, where they kind of believe that you’re owed a living as a writer, and you’re not. This is show business. This is the make-or-miss league.”

Much like the World Surf League’s much-ballyhooed mid-season cut, I suppose.

Maher continued, “You’re either for the strike like they’re f*cking Che Guevara out there, you know, like, this is Cesar Chavez’s lettuce picking strike — or you’re with Trump. There’s no difference — there’s only two camps. And it’s much more complicated than that.”

Much like the pitched surf camps “Filipe Toledo is a sissy” vs. “Filipe Toledo has every right to be a sissy.”

Except that whole argument is not any more complicated than that.

Wild times.

But where do you stand on the matter of Hollywood strikes?

Or have you failed to care?

More as the story develops.

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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A post shared by Italo Ferreira (@italoferreira)

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.