Olympic surfing seeks influencer to “Tap into Tahiti!”

Desperately seeking the next Joe Turpel!

The 2024 Olympics is almost here. This summer will see various runners, swimmers and fencers descending upon Paris, France. It will also see surfers purchasing tickets and flying halfway across the world to Tahiti. Yes, Teahupo’o will host the wave sliding portion of the Games though trouble is brewing. Protestors, for example, are publicly very angry about organizers replacing the wooden judging tower on the reef with a mangy aluminum one. Sitting world champion, Filipe Toledo, is privately fuming that his least favorite wave will determine who is adorned in gold.

Well, in any case, America’s National Broadcasting Corporation, which holds the rights to Olympic coverage, is excited about it all and actively seeking an influencer to cover the fireworks. NBC sent out a casting call, overnight, seeking a “content creator” to make TikToks for the surf fan audience.

Tap in to Tahiti

The program, which will select its candidate based upon “skills, style, technical expertise and ability to inspire,” is asking applicants to send a 30-second video. The bold and beautiful are instructed to describe a “gold-medal worthy day” at the beach. They are required to use the hashtag #TapIntoTahiti2024.

While you might be tempted to participate, I think the leading candidate must be OnlyFans star Nathan Florence. He is a fine performer in Tahiti already.

Or maybe movie star handsome Ben Gravy.

Recently disgraced Selema Masekela certainly in desperate need of help to “tap in to” anything?

The handicapped boy who couldn’t duck dive Pipeline?

Do you have any better ideas?

While you are thinking, do you imagine this influencer push by NBC is a slight mistake? That the executives and producers don’t know that youth participation in surfing has plummeted?

You’ll remember when Derek Rielly reported a couple of years back when the “organisers of a surfing contest in New Zealand were forced to add a new age-group after an eighty-year-old kneeboarder signed up.”

Maybe the kneeboarder should give the influencer gig a go.

Tahiti time.

Food for thought.

The great Joey Cabell sliding through secrets.
The great Joey Cabell sliding through secrets.

Surf-adjacent rumor rocks NBA on season opener!

The NBA game is fast and fun. The playoff format is sensible and does not end at Lower Trestles. And its rumors sizzle like bacon!

The surf world is small but it does have tentacles everywhere. Like, someone knows someone knows someone who knows a surfer. And, thus, we find ourselves on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. But before we dig in, are you a fan of professional basketball at its highest level? The World Surf League of that sport, called the National Basketball Association, is, by my account, the finest there is.

The NBA game is fast and fun. Its stars shine brightly, dating and marrying starlets. The playoff format is sensible and does not end at Lower Trestles. There have been whole wonderful and different basketball eras. Showtime, Bird and the Parish, Dead Ball, the reign of His Airness, twenty years of Bron, and more.

Winning Time

But back to Oahu where we find our hero, Joey Cabell. Now, you must recall the “finest all-around surfer in the world,” circa the 1960s. He was one of the first thread the tube, re-engaged with surfing as boards got shorter and, most importantly, co-founded the Chart House restaurant.

Have you ever eaten at a Chart House? It is one of the greatest pleasures of mid-40s life. I recommend going early, at 5:00 pm or such and ordering a Grey Goose dirty martini with blue cheese olives and a dozen oysters with your better half. Next, share a prime rib with jus and extra fresh horseradish. Add one side salad et voila.

The first Chart House was in… I can’t remember. The second, Honolulu, I think, where Cabell lived. At the time, he was married to Los Angeles Laker star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s ex-wife.

Well, The Captain allegedly told her, when they were coupled, that other Laker star Magic Johnston and Piston’s dynamo Isiah Thomas had some sort of “special relationship.”


Even if you cannot believe, that is why the NBA is > than the WSL.


If two professional surfers were to carry on, secretly, which two would you most wish for?

Nice choice.

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed this bombshell alongside… you know, I can’t remember that either. Take some headphones down to your local Chart House on a journey of discovery and enjoy.

Foil-boarder hit by whale
"Took me down about 20, 30 feet. I was able to escape by my leash breaking."

Breaching whale collides with wing foil surfer in near decapitation and drowning!

"It landed straight on top of me and took me down twenty or thirty feet!"

In a scene similar to an 18-wheel semi truck swinging into your blind spot and impacting with the force of an Israeli Python air-to-air missile, a Sydney wing foil surfer had a whale breach and land on his chest while foiling.

Surfer Jason Breen, who is fifty-five, was foiling at Mona Vale on Sydney’s northern beaches when nature’s own IED (Improvised Explosive Device) decided to break the surface and detonate.

“I knew it was a whale. I saw the head come out, then I saw the body come out and then I saw the whole thing above me. It got bigger and bigger. It landed straight on top of me,” Jason told local news.

“Took me down about twenty-thirty feet. I was able to escape by my leash breaking. When it came down on top of me it got caught on my leash then it dragged me down with it. Something that’s not meant to break, broke. Thats why I’m here today.”


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Jason said it felt like a calf because as he was surfacing and his face was rubbing against the whale’s skin he didn’t feel any barnacles.

If there were, he says, his face would have been torn to threads.

Jason, who now calls himself The Whale Guy, is lucky he crossed paths with the kid and not his mama.

Even better she wasn’t around as we all know the wrath a feral beast gets possessed by when its offspring is threatened or even approached.

Wing foil surfing, of course, is a thrilling water sport that has gained popularity in recent years, combining elements of windsurfing, kiteboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Enthusiasts of this exciting activity ride the waves while holding onto a handheld wing, which resembles a small sail.

It represents the cutting edge of modern water sports.



Kelly Slater revealed as secret BeachGrit user in shock video that has surfing fans reeling!

Online sleuths with magnifying glasses show Kelly Slater using BeachGrit as a special in-your-pocket encyclopedia!

You don’t have to dig too far into the ol archives to realise that Kelly Slater, greatest athlete of all time with the possible exception of Rickson Gracie, ain’t a fan of your ol pals at BeachGrit. 

A few years back a New Zealand reader had a little back and forth with Kelly Slater, described in these pages as the world’s most thin-skinned surfer. When BeachGrit came up he wrote “Fuck those guys.” 

Many good times over the years, of course.

The Chinese girlfriend blood feud with a troll, a favourite.

Anyway, online sleuths, have foiled Kelly Slater’s supposed avoidance of all things BeachGrit in an Instagram post by Bob Hurley, the “razor sharp surf magnate”.

Kelly Slater looking at BeachGrit on his phone.
Kelly Slater and his guilty BeachGrit-lovin’ telephone.

It’s an innocuous enough post.

Kelly Slater talks about a surfboard Florida’s Matt Kechele had made for the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool, which is now in his possession. It is five-foot five long and  featured on the cover of Surfing in 1988. Subsequently, it was owned by the Malloy brothers and used as a learn-to-surf tool by their kids.

But look a little close and…yes…Kelly is using BeachGrit! Referencing the story, “Revealed: A history of Kelly Slater’s Pool!” which spoke highly of the pool’s technical architect the Jamacian-born Adam Fincham.

An  excerpt:

Adam Fincham was a research professor from the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Southern California. When Kelly came knocking in 2006, swinging his idea of a barrelling man-made wave.

Fincham had worked mostly in Europe and didn’t know who Slater was. But Fincham “pulled together a team of colleagues and undertook a pilot study in 2007.

They decided that, yes, it was possible.”

Two years later, Fincham was director for science at KSWC, working out of a lab in Culver City, just of out of LA, and using a 1/15th model scale for testing.

Kelly Slater referencing BeachGrit while at his pool? His essential guide to all things surf? Kelly Slater’s portable reference tool?

Readers ask: does this suggest better days ahead for the two spearheads of surfing?


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Doc Paskowitz delivers surfboards to Gaza
The great Doc Paskowitz, eighty-six at the time, delivers boards to Gazan surfers. | Photo: Surfing 4 Peace

Israeli surfer who organised surfboards for Gazans warns pro-Hamas west, “How will you react when evil breaks down your door?”

Sixteen years ago, Dorian Paskowitz said, "God will surf with the devil if the waves are good.” He was wrong.

Like any other Israeli surfer, me and my bro Alex’s life revolved around the surf and skate park at Hilton Beach in the eighties and nineties.

But that childhood as an Israeli surfer had a wild background, a background of a country seeking peace on one hand and constant threat on our lives from the other.

Our dad gone for months in the early eighties to fight radicals in Lebanon. 

The scud missiles being shot from Iraq in the early nineties.

Buses exploding in the heart of Tel Aviv in the mid-nineties. Stabbings and shooting on the streets in the 2000’s.

Always the feeling, what next? 

But there was always a great trust in our protective might, the IDF army and its leaders and the eternal motto of the Jews “Am Israel Chai” or “The people of Israel live.”

Fast forward to 2007 and we had the opportunity to join the legendary Dorian Paskowitz on a wonderful quest named Surfing 4 Peace where the Israeli surfer would help his Arab brothers and sisters.

In August 2007, two years after Israel disengaged from Gaza, forcefully evacuating Jewish families who lived there, the people of Gaza chose Hamas, whose very charter called for the extermination of the  Jewish state, as their democratically elected rulers.

It was a true volatile situation, even worse than before if that was possible.

But Dorian Paskowitz came with a surfer’s peace-driven idea, let’s get some boards and send em to the Gazans. A small act of kindness, a peace offering from Jewish surfers. 

Doc had read a story in the Los Angeles Times about the Gazan’s sharing one surfboard between ‘em. Soon he was on the phone to me to organise a stack of boards and by August we set out to the Erez Crossing, which today is completely demolished by the Hamas terrorists  who attacked our people on October 7.

But back in 2007, we brought fourteen surfboards made by Israeli shapers and through a peace organisation in Gaza named “One Voice” we managed to deliver the boards. Later, through an American partner who joined the project, Mat Olsen, we delivered even more boards. 

The animosity on both ends always existed but we believed we could create a little love in people’s hearts and show them that at the grassroots level, with no politicians, we could make a change.

Maybe it was only in our hearts to start with but we hoped we were planting the seeds of trust through surfing.

We are not clueless nor oblivious to the ongoing situation or history. Our Dad owned a restaurant that employed workers from Gaza and at times if needed they would stay in Tel-Aviv due to blockades and sleep in our beds. Yes they were our family! 

But they also stole from us. We always kept in mind, do the best you can to show you’re willing to co-exist but know who the other side is. Our parents raised us on the values of mutual respect and that giving starts the receiving process.

The bottom line of this story that most Israeli’s strive for peace until we cannot anymore and war is inflicted up on us. The world points the finger at us but the river of anti-semitism flows through the capitals of the world.

After all these years we realize this hate is on a subconscious level. We see student clubs from top universities in the US protest against Israel all the way to LGBTQ organizations and porn stars, people who would be executed in Gaza. 

We see Greta Thunberg protesting against Israel, without even understanding who Hamas is. 

We do believe that both the world will eventually say NO to radical Islam and appreciate the effort made by Israel, the only liberal nation in the middle east and the only productive nation in the region.


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Our people created a miracle in the desert in 75 years. We do not believe we are the chosen people but we are chosen now to sound the alarm of the risk of radical Islam to the world. 

Wake up and smell the dead bodies of October 7. The bodies mutilated. The women raped. The children shot.

With our country again under threat let me ask. Will the atrocities of October 7 free the people of Gaza?

The dream is dead.

When we stood at the Erez Crossing with the boards in our arms Dorian said, “God will surf with the devil if the waves are good.” 

Sixteen years later, I’m happy Dorian can’t see this because the devil doesn’t want to surf.

Instead the devil chants, “From the river to the sea” which means erasing Israel.

That Devil is now fuelled by an open river of antisemitism of the non-Muslim world which justifies the Hamas actions, people rejoicing after October 7.

The only question left is, how will you react when evil breaks down your door. 

Editor’s note: Posted above is a little movie I made on my first trip to Israel in 2014 to document the little state and the Israeli surfer. Shortly after it was released, I split Stab to start BeachGrit with dear ol Chas Smith, whom you know. After supposed pressure from readers, Stab cut the opening couple of minutes of the film which included footage of the death camps and the 1948 War of Independence, there as a little scene setting to explain why the joint was created in the first place, along with two important quotes.

First, from JFK: “Israel was not created in order to disappear – Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom” and, second, from the Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin al-Husseini on Radio Berlin, “Arabs! Arise as one and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.” Gotta remember, the mufti’s quote came before Israel existed.