Perry (right) likely horrified by our tribalism. Photo: Friends
Perry (right) likely horrified by our tribalism. Photo: Friends

Surf world bitterly divides over Matthew Perry death speculation

Truth in the time of dengue fever.

Yesterday, the surf world came together in order to mourn the untimely passing of Matthew Perry. The 54-year-old most famous for playing Chandler Bing on Friends had, earlier, roiled that same community. In his recently published memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry had excoriated surf hero Keanu Reeves. Even wishing death upon him.

“Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?” Perry seethed.

Reeves, of course, originated the role of Johnny Utah in Point Break, the greatest surf film ever, and surf fans took the slur seriously.

United in rage against Matthew Perry.

Perry, feeling the heat, quickly pivoted in an apology and removed the reference from his best-seller. “I pulled his name because I live on the same street,” he said. “I’ve apologized publicly to him. Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it.”

United in forgiveness of Matthew Perry

And united in aching over Matthew Perry’s demise until details of his last moments began leaking. TMZ initially reported that no drugs had been found near the hot tub where he died after coming home from a pickleball session. Perry had, of course, a long history with addiction. He was in therapy fifteen times and allegedly spent over $7 million on sobriety.

So no drugs.

Except then his wonderful Friend’s co-star Lisa Kudrow speculated via a friend, “Although no one wants to believe it was medication – prescribed or not – of course that is a thought in their minds. They are thinking he must have taken something that did not mix with the warm water.”

So drugs?

The surf world immediately broke into two camps. One believing that personal matters should stay personal and not ruling out dengue fever. The other believing that honesty serves the greater good and an honest reflection of a life truly lived is art.

Deeply divided and reflecting past surf world traumas.

The last drop.

The surfer mindset (pictured). Photo: Fast Times at Ridgemont High
The surfer mindset (pictured). Photo: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Reddit co-founder peddles debunked “surfer mindset” to rubes!

“You’ve got your GoPro out. You got a good selfie, and you feel good about yourself."

Masses starving for insight often look to the wildly rich. Last week, Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian attempted to provide. The 40-year-old delivered a keynote address at his alma mater Virginia University. The audience was likely packed with dreamers and rubes. Those hoping to get a leg up in this modern world by following in the path of the tech rich.

Ohanian, worth $70 million, gazed upon their upturned faces, their innocent eyes, and gifted a critically debunked way forward.

“The Surfer Mindset”

“There’s a really good analogy about life and business and surfing … Some waves come by, and you rip them perfect, and you are just killing it,” he said. “You’ve got your GoPro out. You got a good selfie, and you feel good about yourself. Afterward, you might paddle back out … and wait five hours for another good wave.”

The “waiting five hours” apparently the key.

“That mindset is the right mindset for a life well-lived,” he continued. “If you spent all your time on that board, just being anxious about the wave you just missed, you’re going to miss the next one. If you spend it just daydreaming and trying to relive that one amazing wave you just had, you might miss the next one.”

The Reddit maestro continued to share about “catching Ls” and bouncing back. Attendees, no doubt, taking furious notes.

Social scientists everywhere shaking their heads.

They proved, long ago, that the “surfer mindset” is actually a feral and stilted state. A small, selfish path reducing its practitioner to a life poorly lived.

An unbroken string of “Ls.”

A Reddit Ruse

Ohanian’s attempt to kneecap future competition should have been apparent with the “good selfie” and “GoPro” references. Alas, it is now a VAL world. We are just living in it.

It is a shame the rich man did not gift actual advice. He married the greatest ever athlete Serena Williams and imagine the game he played there. The baseline hammers, net charges, power serves. Etc.

I suppose he will keep the secrets of the “tennis mindset” all to himself.

Nathan Florence wins big wave awards
Nathan Florence with award and loving congratulations of photographer Zoard Janko.

Nathan Florence named World’s Best Surfer after sweep of prizes at Big Wave awards!

There's a new alpha male in the storied Florence family!

The Oahu surfer Nathan Florence, brother of US Olympian John John, has officially spiked the Jan Brady curse and become the alpha male of the Florence squad, which also includes little brother Ivan.

Florence, who is twenty-nine and whose couronne of red hair is masked by the bleaching effects of sun, has leveraged his big-wave skills and a deft touch on social media to become the world’s most talked about surfer over the past twelve months.

First, a wave some big-wave surfers called the “best barrel ever” at a remote Irish reef last November, the swell generated by the remnants of Hurricane Martin.


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A post shared by Nathan Florence (@nathan_florence)

“When riding the lightning all comes together!” said Nathan Florence. “One of the rides of me life, thanks all local boys for having me in their beautiful land and inspiring always to send!”

Compliments were quick to follow.

Mark Healey, no stranger to oversized waves, wrote, “You may have my two favourite backhand tube ride ever.”

From WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski, “Best heavy wave surfer in the world.”

Pipe Pro runner-up Seth Moniz, “Best Barrel ever.”

Florence’s brother, John John, older by two years was quick to collar tie the middle bro of the Florence triumvirate, writing with a masterfully droll wit, “Could’ve been deeper.”

A few months later, the sexy powerlifter turned Only Fans star who has a face like a benevolent sea turtle, was almost paralysed after a wipeout during a a twenty-foot day at Jaws. The force of the wave snapped a vertebrae in his spine. Florence credited his regime of deadlifts for saving him from a life in a chair.

“I got picked up and I fell through the barrel. I fell a lot longer than I thought,” said Florence. “After the initial impact, I got sucked up and fell again. As I was falling, I was pulling my vest. I just fell a lot farther than I thought and my body was in a weird position. I just slammed on my back on the bottom of the barrel, which is just hard water. Right when I slammed, I just felt kind of a snap in my lower back, right on my spine.”

Anyway, a wild ol year for Florence, who rarely missed a slab or ledge session whether it was in Hawaii, Australia, Scotland or Ireland.

And his diligence was rewarded last night when he was awarded Ride of the Year and Surfer of the Year at the Big Wave Challenge awards in Nazaré, Portugal.

In the gals, it was all France’s queen of big-wave surfing Justine Dupont, the first woman to surf mythical outer-reef Belharra. Justine’s ride of the year came at the famed Cortes outer bank.


Men – Nathan Florence (Hawaii)
Women – Justine Dupont (France)

Men – Nathan Florence at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland. Video by João Tudella
Women – Justine Dupont at Cortes Bank. Video by Johnny Decesare & Tucker Wooding

Men – Chacha Ibarra at Punta Lobos, Chile. Video by Oscar Fredes Rodrigues & Rodrigo Farias.
Women – Laura Enever at Outer Reef Oahu. Video by Ian Grose, photo by Daniel Russo.

Men – (TIE)
Nic Von Rupp at Nazaré, video by Tim Bonython
Shaun Walsh at Jaws, video by Carlo Carbajal. Photo by Fred Pompermayer
Women – Justine Dupont at Cortes Bank, video by Johnny Decesare. Photo by Frank Quirarte.

Danny Griffiths at Shipstern Bluff. Video by Talon Clemow

Ned Hart (Australia)

Tim Bonython (Australia)

Big Wave Tour founder Gary Linden
Nazaré Mayor Walter Chicharro

Click here to see all the contenders and the winning waves.

Matthew Perry (right) redeemed. Photo: Friends
Matthew Perry (right) redeemed. Photo: Friends

Surf world in mourning as redeemed Friend Matthew Perry drowns

A sad day.

The surf world is reeling, tonight, after the revelation that Matthew Perry has drowned. The beloved Friend roiled the selfsame surf world less than one year ago when he took a vicious swipe at hero Keanu Reeves. “Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?” Perry wrote in his memoir.

Surf fans, of course, venerate Reeves as a saint after his portrayal of Johnny Utah in Point Break, which remains the best surf movie ever made.

The tribal furiousness at the bash forced surf fans to round on the man who played Chandler Bing. Protests were in the process of being organized, acts of civil disobedience in the works, though Perry quickly pivoted and said he was sorry.

“It was a mean thing to do,” he declared to a live audience about smearing Reeves. “I pulled his name because I live on the same street. I’ve apologized publicly to him. Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it.”

Surf fans breathed a sigh of relief, happy not to lose Perry, and settled back into binge watching Serving Sarah.

Mourning, then, understandable when, hours ago, reports filtered out that the 54-year-old was found dead in his Hollywood home. He had come home in the morning, apparently, after playing pickelball for two plus hours. His assistant ran out on some errands, came back and found the actor drowned in his jacuzzi.

According to TMZ, no drugs were found at the scene.

A pure tragedy, then, one that will reverberate for some time.

Rest In Peace, Matthew Perry and thanks for the laughs.

Kelly Slater and Bikram Choudhury.
Kelly Slater, young and beautiful, and disgraced hot yoga king Bikram Choudhury.

Kelly Slater reveals guilt over sordid history of Bikram Choudhury in new interview!

“Then (Bikram Choudhury) tried to touch me!”

Just when you thought there was nothing left to know about Kelly Slater, multiple new story lines, including his view on hot yoga pioneer Bikram Choudhury, have been revealed.

Let us set the scene. 

Kelly Slater is in the recording pod of Stephen Glover aka Steve-O for an episode of his show, Steve-O’s Wild Ride! It is very popular and counts 1.63 million subscribers. Steve-O’s Wild Ride! has been running for three years and includes co-hosts Scott Randolph and Vincent Imperati aka Skinny Vinnie. 

There is much sexual excitement in the air, of course.

Steve O’s sadistic and masochistic overtones fitting into Kelly Slater’s long life as a sexual emblem. Together, they form one of the most intense and abrupt images of convulsive beauty you’ll ever see. 

First, the conversation turns to yoga, a holistic discipline that combines physical postures and ethical principles to promote physical and spiritual well-being. It does very few of these things in my experience except breed a superior minded person with stretched out tendons. 

Steve-O mentions he tried the activity once whereupon Kelly Slater trumps his host with talk of his love of hot yoga, a superior version of regular yoga created by Indian man Bikram Choudhury. It is recommended only for those in the most robust of health.

Steve-O asks if Slater watched the Netflix documentary Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator. The show paints the hot yoga pioneer in a poor light, Bikram apparently revelling in “sexual harassment, rape and maniacal control.”

Kelly Slater makes light of the Indian narcissus’s alleged crimes, “Then he tried to touch me!” and says he “felt bad” doing Bikram yoga.

Shortly after, Slater’s stint on Baywatch where he appeared in 27  episodes between 1992 and 1993 as Jimmy Slade, is discussed.

Slater says he threw the audition his manager organised, didn’t want to be there and deliberately acted poorly,

“They called a day or two later and said they loved me”.

Incredibly, says Slater, he was paid only $2500 per episode.

Even better, as a kid Slater saw himself becoming a comedic actor like Steve Martin.

“We spent endless hours watching The Jerk” and says both his parents were stars of the stage in Florida. 

Other highlights include never-before-discussed elements of Mick Fanning and Slater’s brush with White Death at Jeffrey’s Bay.