Mike Stewart complains of being stripped of ranking. Kelly Slater supports him.

Kelly Slater rushes to support Oahu man described as the “Duke, Dora, Curren and Slater” of his sport stripped of ranking by “dictatorship regime”

Thoughts, prayers and so on for the great Mike Stewart as Kelly Slater hints at conspiracy.

For all his zen and humbleness, Mike Stewart must surely look at Kelly Slater and feel just a little bit of green in his heart.

Kelly Slater has operated in a world of big time sponsorship dollars, mainstream media appearances, a relatively stable and continuous now billionaire funded world tour with a quality series, full-time professional athletes, coaches, trainers, post-heat interview sponsor hat putter on guy, commentators….you get the point.

Kelly Slater has so engrained himself into the very DNA of surfing’s world tour when he failed to qualify after the mid-season cut this year he was most dubiously handed wild cards into the rest of the events, because, well he’s Kelly Slater.

Mike, at sixty years old mind, conversely started his 2023 campaign in what is now the International Bodyboarding Corporation (IBC) world tour by surfing from the trial rounds in many events after not securing a seeding last year after a shoulder injury sidelined him from many events.

(The IBC is essentially a promoters group who sanction events under the IBC banner if they meet certain financial and promotional criteria. Like the old ASP I suppose, but without the big surf clothing companies to prop it up and make it look all nice and flashy.)

The final IBC event of the year is the Fronton Pro, held at a wildly slabbing split peak which historically pumps. It’s far and away the best and most prestigious contest on the tour and attracts the largest number of potential competitors.

Now while Mike hasn’t set the world on fire in competition this year, he’d made it through enough heats in previous IBC contests to have himself seeded into the four round of competition at the Fronton Pro.

Our story really begins when Mike was unable to make it in person to the official riders check in meeting held on the 11th of October. Stewart maintains that he contacted IBC officials prior to the check in meeting that he would be unable to attend as he was still travelling from Java and had his sponsored team rider and current world tour leader Tanner McDaniel pay his entry fee and pick up his contest information package at the check in meeting.

However, because he failed to physically attend the check in meeting, Stewart was then informed by IBC officials that he would be stripped of his place in the fourth round and would have to again surf from the first round trials if he wished to compete in the main event.

Stewart has subsequently withdrawn from the competition maintaining that “there’s no rule in the rule book that they can strip my ranking.”

In a passionate piece to camera on social media Stewart states he is taking his position to ensure it doesn’t happen again to riders in the future and likens IBC officials to a “dictatorship regime” that are “completely unaccountable to anyone”.


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A post shared by Mike Stewart (@mikestewart)

So how valid is Stewart’s claim? A quick perusal of the IBC’s rule book throws up a few curly quotes.

Article 1.5.03 states “Failure to confirm intention to compete pursuant to 1.20.02 will result in loss of any seeding that competitor may have had going into the event.”

Article 1.6.03 gives us “Once a competitor is deemed to have entered an event, it will be assumed that they will compete at the event. Entrants are expected to confirm their attendance at an event check-in, details of which will be provided to all entrants prior to event commencement.”

In a separate email sent to all registered competitors regarding the competition check in meeting it was also stated, “Those competitors who do not attend without justification may be penalized in the competition and not receive their competitors kit”.

So, was Stewart’s contacting of officials prior to the event in writing that he would be competing enough to tick off his attendance?

Was it really necessary for the IBC to physically sight Mike Stewart, a man who’s been competing in every form of high level bodyboarding competition since 1982, has sat on multiple riders board committees, who helps sponsor events and also makes appearances in the IBC commentary booth to confirm that he was going to compete in the Fronton Event?

The fall out on social media is almost a landslide in favour of Mike’s position.

Damian Hobgood wrote, “Sorry Mike, pretty disrespectful that the goat of bodyboarding would be getting treated like this.”

Johnny Boy Gomes threw in “F#%k All Them & Their BS 🤬 Competition now days is a Circus run by Clowns🤡”

Tension series creator Chris White suggested, “Take a dump at the check in tent, see if that’s in the rule book.”

And Kelly Slater?

Well Kelly being Kelly smelled a conspiracy, “Sounds like Mike laid it out pretty objectively here and cried about nothing. Sounds like someone is glad he’s not in the event.”

Whatever the true story is, for a man who has won nine world titles and is all but a demigod in the bodyboarding world to bow out of professional competition after 41 years on a rule book technicality doesn’t seem fitting.

It wouldn’t have happened to Kelly.

With rumblings of John John Florence leaving tour growing louder, World Surf League takes opportunity to polish his apples

"Happy Birthday John John Florence!"

But who on this green earth does not love John John Florence? The one-time child prodigy done good, and two-time World Surf League champion, certainly tops most “favorite surfer” lists and for very good reason. The Hawaii-born Florence has a smooth approach to the scariest waves, a progressive air repertoire and an adventuring spirit.

All very wonderful.

And while he is a very big draw on the aforementioned World Surf League’s Championship Tour, there have been many rumblings of late that the still-youngish man is thinking about leaving it behind. His brother, Nathan, considered by most to be the smartest professional surfer alive, and not on tour, is actively petitioning his elder to leave the grind behind, and the League, itself, is not presenting in the best life, virtually guaranteeing at least three more consecutive Filipe Toledo championships by hosting Finals Day on the cobbled stone of Lower Trestles.

Conventional wisdom has Florence sailing into the sunset after the 2024 Paris Olympics which will be held at Teahupo’o.

The World Surf League, however, knows that Florence is loved and is making serious overtures to win his heart and keep his name on a singlet by wishing him happy birthday on Facebook.

Will it work? Will the just-30-year-old be moved enough to stay?

Looking to the stars, possible not. How Stuff Works declares:

Libras born on October 18 are dynamic, spirited, and energetic. They refuse to sugarcoat their opinions to please others. They are ambitious, even a little aggressive, but they wear it well. October 18 people are not afraid to display their confidence. They are self-starters who believe in taking control of their lives.

“Self-starters who believe in taking control of their lives” has a very ominous ring, as it relates to Florence remaining on tour.


More, certainly, as the story develops.

San Clemente accused of force marching homeless out of town ahead of World Surf League Finals Day


The World Surf League prides itself on bleeding-edge progression. From being the very first professional sporting governing body to guarantee equal pay between men and women to effectively greenwashing a power-sucking man-made wave lake in inland drought-stricken California, there is no progress that the “global home of surfing” won’t embrace.

You can be certain, then, that the new veterinarian-shared El Segundo office is shaking with impotent impotence after the revelation that San Clemente reportedly forcibly removed vulnerable unhoused people from town so as not to be a blight during the all-important WSL Finals Day.

The Voice of OC is reporting that the city bussed the homeless to nearby Dana Point for the night and given an evening in a hotel room ahead of Finals Day but after that they were left on their own. No offering of further shelter and no way to get back to San Clemente.

Activists excoriated the move, banning a letter that declared, “These three homeless San Clemente residents, with little money and no transportation, had been dumped in another city with no way home.”

San Clemente’s Mayor, Chris Duncan, didn’t care at all and said, “It both assured they (the homeless) would be safe and out of the hustle and bustle of everyone going to the competition and that there was room for folks to park and get to the shuttles down to the finals from that location.”

There is no word, as of yet, if the World Surf League secretly appreciated the move or is angry about being forced into yet another hypocritical position.

Maybe Ethan Ewing and Stephanie Gilmore can plant a hot dog at the top of the path to Lower Trestles next time they are in town?

Solution oriented.

Shark attack survivor Kevin Kanehe
Kev Kanehe gives a couple of tentative shakas from his hozzy bed and, inset, bad fish.

Hawaiian surfer survives tiger shark attack by “sticking finger in its nostril”

When he was paddling in after the attack he thought, “If I lose my leg I’m getting a prosthetic like Mike Coots so I can surf again.”

A wild old tale of survival in the news this morn after a fifty-year-old surfer survived a shark attack by giving the animal hell and jamming his fingers into its nostrils. 

Kevin Kanehe was surfing at Hanalei Bay, yeah the same joint that Andy and Bruce owned in the early 2000’s, when the shark, a fifteen-foot tiger, hit him on the leg. 

According to an account posted on his GoFundMe page, 31k of 75k raised ‘cause this is the US and ain’t no government gonna pull you outta your hole shark attack or not,

“He was paddling for a wave, sat up on his board to turn around and got hit hard from the left side. People that saw it have guessed 12-15 foot tiger shark. 

“The jaws grabbed ahold of his left leg and Kevin used his hands to try to lift it off, one of his fingers went in its nostrils and then it let go. Later the doctor said if it had clamped down and completed the bite he would have lost his leg

“Kevin paddled in with the help of Jeff McBride.”

On the beach a gal had a tourniquet and bandages to staunch the flow of claret. 

“The bite went to the bone above and below his knee, taking some chips off his femur, knee cap and tibia. He his knee was torn up pretty bad and into his joint too.There is still concern for infection.

“Dr. Ravinsky did a great job with the surgery to repair all he could with what was still there but Some muscle tissue was lost. His right hand ring and pinky fingers were sliced open and tendons cut. He will have surgery today to repair.

“He will remain in the hospital and the recovery will be tough, Doctor says maybe a year before full recovery.

“Everyone has said how calm Kevin was throughout it all. His state of mind is good and he remembers every detail and thought he had.

“I can’t believe when he was paddling in moments after it happened his thought was, “If I lose my leg I’m going to get a prosthetic like Mike Coots so I can surf again.”

The Hanalei attack has echoes of the Great White hit on Toby Begg at Port Macquarie a couple of months back. 

Begg was dragged so far underwater it went dark and he thought he was going to drown. He was only able to swim for the surface after his foot ripped off at the ankle. 

Back on the surface, the White hit him again, Begg scrunching into a ball, which would save his life, but causing his leg to take most of the impact.

“Then he was on the surface punching it in the head for ages,” said our source in Port Mac. “Both his hands were balloons from hitting it. After 30 seconds it let go and he started paddling in. It’d severed the femoral artery in his leg and the only thing that saved him was there was a doctor and emergency room nurse walking on the beach (separately who didn’t know each other).”

Lesson? Hit the cunts and pray for a medico on the beach.

Ryan Goz, on set of Barbie with pink surfboard.

Appearance of Barbie Wavestorm surfboards en masse a portent that “El Nino is coming, good waves are coming”

It feels like the first week of school. New boards, new outfits. How was your summer? Go anywhere good?

The other day, I saw the Barbie Wavestorm for the very first time. It was just out there in the ocean, riding waves like it was meant to be.

I wasn’t even at Malibu, where I might expect to see such a Barbie Wavestorm in its natural habitat. I’m sure you will not be surprised to learn that the Barbie Wavestorm is very pink.

The whole thing felt like a portent of some kind, though I’m not at all sure what it was trying to tell me. Reading the signs is not my strong suit. El Niño is coming. The typhoon is recurving. The moon briefly and incompletely eclipsed the sun.

If there’s meaning in the chaos, I haven’t found it yet.

A few weeks ago now, I walked down the trail at Rincon for the first time this fall. The warm, dry days feel magical after the summer’s relentless marine layer, and the waves sparkle under the dropping sun angle. Winter’s coming. But first, there’s these bright, golden days to savor.

Got any wax? A guy with a board of indeterminate age stops on his walk up the cobbles. I toss him a bar. He rubs wax on the deck in a desultory kind of way, and tosses what’s left of the block back to me. It’s covered in sand. Of course, it is. A pair of loose boards bump against the rocks on the inside. The sun’s out and all the characters are here.

A man wearing a spring suit, exuberant with tattoos, rides an 88 on his butt a long way down the line. No one drops in on him. They just sit back and let it happen. He walks back up the beach, carrying his board with its helpful carrying handle. Apparently, paddling isn’t cool now. Surfing has become its own worst enemy. Maybe it always was.

It feels like the first week of school. New boards, new outfits. How was your summer? Go anywhere good? There’s novelty in being here after the long summer. It all wears off far too quickly.

Good waves are coming. That’s the lie the forecasts tell us. Anticipation feels so sweet, but I’ll confess that I’ve run straight past it to impatience. At the coffee shop where I’m supposed to be writing, I daydream about riding waves like a kid stuck in school. Some things don’t really ever change.

At a nearby table, a girl eats Cup Noodles. I picture Trestles and millionaire pro surfers with their entourages. I imagine a Sprinter stocked with Cup Noodles. The joke fails. An avocado sponsor or a sourdough starter, now that’s synergy.

I paddle into a mirror one afternoon. The water shines with promise and small waves crease the surface. A rabid crew has descended on it like seagulls on a bag of chips. Hassle and shove, gotta get your share. A dude tells me how he and a friend are heading to Santa Cruz to get some real waves over the coming weekend. I wish him luck.

In the dry days of fall, I can’t imagine he’s the only one with that idea. The sun sets in a golden fury.

Another day, more windswell. It looks much better than it surfs. I run into a friend and we laugh at how bad it is. Rails sink into quicksand. We stand frozen, boards stalled, in the most ridiculous positions. Oh yeah, you think you can surf? There’s a lot of talk about he tide and boards, a sure sign the waves are bad.

A guy on a fish relentlessly snakes everyone. Angry words fly his way, but he doesn’t seem to care. He’s on his own mission, living his best life. I hear him tell his friend about his house nearby. He lives here, you know. He can do what he wants. I’ve never seen him before, but I’m not about to argue.

The forecasts taunt us, and the clock ticks down on the winter’s first swell. Are you ready? The lineup vibrates with anxiety. Gotta practice. Gotta get ready. Just one more — as though a few waves on a mediocre day will transform their surfing forever.

I admire the optimism. I scoop up a neglected corner. When I stand up, my leash coils like a snake under my backfoot. It’s all going according to plan.

Later I sit on the curb in the sun and eat ice cream dipped chocolate. Ice cream understands. Who needs surfing, anyway. A dog sits in the driver’s seat of a VW van. He’s ready to go. Where is everyone?

In the afternoon glimmer, I surf the incoming tide. My leash miraculously stays out of the way where it belongs. There’s no hype today, no striving, just a few little peaks. I turn on a cute section and then find another. Dance like no one’s watching, because in truth, no one is.

The sun falls. I tuck my board under my arm and walk down the point. Fall’s deep shadows stretch across the trail. A warm wind funnels through the canyon and carries away our secrets. Sunken rails and tangled leashes, they’re all forgotten now. I drive home in the fading light, windows open to the fast-cooling breeze.

Maybe this surfing thing is alright after all.