“Kelly Slater has Charlie Goldsmith, Italo Ferreira has god.”
Four years ago, the surfing world was introduced to the faith healer Charlie Goldsmith, Kelly Slater’s “secret weapon”, in an episode of the excellent WSL series Sound Waves filmed at Slater’s Surf Ranch.
Goldsmith is very famous, at least in Australia, for his ability to cure the sick with his personal electric vibrations, as well as tap into the wellness zeitgeist with various business start-ups.
In a three-month study carried out by the Australian television show Sunday Night viewers were privy to the miracle of Goldsmith who “claims he possesses a mysterious energy that can cure the sick using just his mind…he can end chronic pain, cure crippling arthritis, even save lives.”
Goldsmith was eighteen years old when he “first felt a strange sensation between his hands. He says he soon discovered this energy could heal people. Worried about exposing himself to a world of doubters, he wanted to keep his gift secret until science supported his claims.”
Two years later, Goldsmith appeared again, this time in the Kelly Slater produced series Lost Tapes.
It is the 2019 season and Kelly is at Jeffrey’s Bay. Forty seven at the time, something the commentators keep reminding him of, the champ is even more introspective than usual.
“I’ve had a lot of days and time on the road where I’m not enjoying. And, it’s not pro surfing it’s my own life, my own personal issues, family stuff, relationship … sometimes you go surfing and forget about and you don’t think about it. Surfing becomes that drug that covers it up for a while.”
Goldsmith tells Slater, “The truth is, you’ve had so much success that if you didn’t have one more bit of success you’d have had more than anyone else.”
“(Charlie) gets me not-thinking,” says Slater. “I’m a heady person…even up to the minute I paddle out, I’ve had him on the phone.”
Around that time, I spoke with Matt Warshaw on surfing’s great Svengalis, men, always men, who come into the lives of great surfers offering success, happiness, friendship and just a little fairy dust.
“All athletes at that level, I’m guessing, are looking for any kind of edge or advantage they can find, mental and physical. Kelly has Goldsmith, Italo has God,” said Warshaw. “If putting your faith in some person or entity gives you peace of mind, relaxes you, distracts from the pressure, then it works. Goldsmith laying that New Age hoodoo on Kelly makes more sense than his girlfriend telling him again and again to ‘have fun.'”
Shock today, therefore, when Goldsmith, who is forty-three and the nephew of Grease star Olivia Newton-John, was charged with the assault of kid who was mucking around with golf clubs near his house in New Brighton, just north of Byron Bay, and allegedly belted a rock into his cleaner’s car.
Police allege Goldsmith drove to the scene, grabbed one of the kids and then “demanded they all sit while he berated them.”
Goldsmith denies the charge.
“I was made aware of a group of local youths using golf clubs to hit rocks, resulting in damage to a passing car,” Goldsmith told the Daily Mail. “I assisted the individual whose car was damaged. I am deeply disappointed that I have been charged with one count of common assault. I deny any violent conduct or physical contact with the teens. I strenuously deny the allegations and have instructed lawyers to defend the charge.”
He ain’t hanging around New Brighton for long, either. His joint there, with its barrel sauna, gym and hot tub, four beds, three bathrooms, five-car garage, pretty as anything, is currently listed for sale with offers around three million dollars sought.