Laces out. Photo: Miami Dolphins
Laces out. Photo: Miami Dolphins

World Surf League rocked to core as NFL’s Miami Dolphins officially named “Greatest Show on Surf!”

The "momentum of professional surfing" looking less and less real.

It has, by any measure, been a rough year for our World Surf League. Small waves cursed the tour from the very beginning, its CEO Erik Logan got up to some “monkey business” in Brazil leading to his unceremonious firing and, to cap it all off, its once-proud Santa Monica headquarters placed on the market, forcing the “global home of surfing” to share space with injured animals.

Eight, or such, years ago there were only wide open vistas for the WSL. Future so bright. It had a billionaire funding and a bullish chief, Paul Speaker, who vowed to soon outgrown the powerful National Football League.

Alas, bummer upon bummer upon bummer until today where we have the NFL’s Miami Dolphins straight robbing the WSL, officially being dubbed “The Greatest Show on Surf.

There is speed for days with Tyreek Hill, De’Von Achane, Raheem Mostert being fed the skin by Hawaii’s Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa, and the team is pressing every advantage.

The Dolphins were honored with the tag after amassing 2568 total yards of offense in the first five games of the season, surpassing the 2000 St. Louis Rams team’s 2527 yards.

Those Rams were “The Greatest Show on Turf.”

“The Greatest Show on Surf” much cooler.

But there is certainly scrambling in the new WSL headquarters today. Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer scrambling around, trying to call various newspapermen in order to share viewership numbers from the most recent “Finals Day” at Lower Trestles.

Smashing into veterinarians along the way.

Weeping “the momentum of professional surfing is REAL!”

Is it though?

More as the story develops.

Makua, Doc and Slater. | Photo: Surfing 4 Peace

Kelly Slater and Jewish-Hawaiian big-wave champ Makua Rothman recall historic peacekeeping trip to Gaza

“If god and the devil were on the beach and the waves were going off 10-to-12-feet and barreling, I'm pretty sure they'd surf together."

The Hawaii-born surfer Makua Rothman, along with Kelly Slater, who is of Syrian descent, have shared details of their peacekeeping mission to Israel, for which Rothman wrote the song “Together People”. 

The pair joined the great Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, who introduced surfing to Israel in 1956, for a five-day trip to raise awareness about Palestinian surfers in Gaza, culminating in the delivery of boards to Gaza’s surfers and a Surfing 4 Peace concert in front of three thousand people in Tel Aviv. 

“In 2007 I had the opportunity to go with Kelly Slater and experience first hand for myself what was going on in the conflict zone between Israel and Palestine,” Rorhman wrote. “Our mission was to bring together through surfing the people of these two warring nations and let the ocean be the medium. What I witnessed was mind blowing, When we showed up it was very clear that there were 2 different groups of people, but as soon as we got them in the ocean everything changed dramatically. It was like there was no problem between these people at all. I for a very long time wondered why? I eventually came to the conclusion, that when there is a common uncertainty or there is something that demands your full attention where both parties are faced with the same unknown humans seem to work together and the problems they once had no longer exist, at least at that moment in time. Mahalo to Dorian “DOC” Paskowitz for the vision.” 


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In a piece to camera Rothman says, “If god and the devil were on the beach and the waves were going off 10-to-12-feet and barreling, I’m pretty sure they’d surf together.”

Ten years earlier, Slater was detained by cops in Tel Aviv after a little roughhousing with pap photographers trying to get shots of him and Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli, although this failed to dampen his ardor for the region.

Responding to Rothman, Slater writes:

“Devastating to see what is happening. Immersed in war is no way to experience life. I feel fortunate we experienced Israel with Doc. It was his dying wish for this project to live on and for people to experience peace through surfing.”



“Miracle on the Mainframe” hailed as cherished surf blog comment section fixed!

A ray of light in a sea of doom.

These are, without doubt, dark days. Gaza is burning, Ukraine and Russia still entirely tangled, China dreaming of eating soup dumplings across the straight. Inflation, climate change, no waves in Southern California for, like, a long time. But even in the murk, a light shines. For have you noticed? Have you perceived?

BeachGrit’s comment section is fixed!

In days’ past, it was completely random where good People™ who wanted to share ideas with other good People™ would end up. Say someone wanted to add a note to a story about surf feminist Lucy Small. Well, he or Jen See might end up leaving it underneath a story about the transgendered trailblazer Sasha Jane Lowerson.

Confusing as all heck.

But now fixed!

I think credit due our tireless back end saint who sorted… something out.

A miracle, in any case, either of the will or from above.

Revel in the pure joy before dipping back into the doom.

Happy days here again

Many business owners in Lahaina aren’t sure what to make of the aftermath. Jennifer Li, owner of Goin’ Left Surf Shop, the footprint of which still sits just off Font Street, recalls: "I had my friend walk down to my shop for me from the highway. When he returned, he told me the news - that it was completely burned down and still burning.  I wept the rest of the night, not just for my shop, but for our sweet little town that was changed forever."

A visit to Maui sixty days after apocalyptic wildfires killed 97

"For the bruised hearts of Lahina, moving on ain't so simple."

The West Maui fires are now sixty days past and most of us have moved on; the brain responds to novelty, after all, and each day’s headlines provides plenty of fresh panic.

But for the bruised hearts of Lahaina, moving on ain’t so simple. It’s stuck in my mind’s fender, too.

So, I go for a stroll to see underground shaper Josh Weisfeld of JAW Surfboards. He’s known around the islands for his top-shelf customs and color-resin jobs.

We sit in the living room of the Kihei house he’s staying in since fire ripped through his Lahaina shop and home two months ago. He’s not wearing a shirt or shoes, only a pair of worn-out board shorts that fall off his hips. I assume it’s his only pair, but I’m too polite to ask.

As he starts to talk, I’m offered a variety of elixirs but decline, also too polite to go mute and drooling on the linoleum within twenty minutes of our conversation.

“The power went out around four in the morning cause the winds were howling at sixty miles per hour. Huge trees and branches fallin’ everywhere. Roofs popping off, big sheets of tin flying. I rolled to my shop to do some damage control, then back to my house.”

Josh arrived home to find the winds doing the same job to neighborhood roofs. He pulled on a mountain bike helmet, jumped on his roof to sink some screws; they were going down as fast as they were springing up.

He then went back inside to continue the day, not thinking much more about the weather. High winds commonly cause trouble in West Maui. There was of course, no way to know what was to come.

“Around 2:30, I’m in my house and heard a voice on my front lawn yelling, ‘Help, help, I need water. I just escaped from the nursing home.’ This old lady was freaking. I walked to the edge of my street and saw pure chaos. Black smoke, straight flames.”

He saw the smoke and the fire and the panic in his neighbor’s eyes as they raced in their cars down the street. Three previous West Maui fires within five years have made Lahaina residents jumpy. To make things worse, cell phone service was already knocked out, making it impossible to gather information about the fire’s movement.

After getting the old lady some water, Josh and his wife grabbed their important documents, two rabbits, two boards, and the three Ukrainian refugees living next door: a mother, a three-year-old daughter, and the grandmother.

“The mom barely spoke English. Tears were pushing out of her eyes. I banged on their door and said, ‘You don’t have a car. The fire’s coming. We got 5 minutes and I’m gonna come back over there and get you.’”
I’m inspired by Josh’s selflessness. It’s hero stuff.

As the carpool of Josh, wife, refugees and rabbits sped off, the sounds of exploding transformers and cars rocked the air.

“Apocalyptic,” he says.

Josh is still in disbelief over what he witnessed. He hikes up his shorts with his hands then animates a play of his neighborhood crumbling around them.

“We were tripping! I saw cars blow up, exploding like in a war and big, hundred-year-old pine trees literally bursting in the middle from the heat. All the way out of town, it sounded like machine gun fire.”

As they drove, reality struck. “There’s no cell service, the wind is still blowing so hard against the van that I’ve got to yell everything I say while trying to keep everyone calm. I’m in charge of all these people and I realize a whole ‘nother level of responsibility has to kick in.”

That night, they moved around West Maui three times, each time thinking they were out of harm’s reach, each time being forced to retreat.

“Everything was orange that night. I thought the whole island was on fire,” Josh says.

And while his caravan sped inland, others were not as fortunate. Dozens of people found themselves out of real estate and were pushed directly into the water by the flames, forced to jump over the Lahaina Harbor break wall and bob into the night.

The U.S. Coast Guard deployed a 154ft Fast Response Cutter from Honolulu and a 45ft response boat crew (two crew members are born-and-bred Lahaina boys) from Station Maui. Two U.S. navy aircrews were also put into action.

Upon arrival, they located and plucked seventeen swimmers from the water. Another forty were helped onshore. The next morning, further search and rescue attempts were put on hold as the winds and smoke made efforts impossible.

A 418-foot Coast Guard National Security Cutter was put offshore to further support search efforts. The Coast Guard with seven assets (two air, five water) and Navy (two air) along with county & state agency partners and their assets searched the waters in the Maui Triangle—all the way to Lanai & Molokai— for a straight seventy-two hours after the fires.

The Maui Fire Department with County Ocean Safety and State Dept of Land & Natural Resource personnel performed underwater dive operations with US Navy salvage divers throughout the Lahaina area a few weeks after the fire.

Their report has yet to come out to the public, but inside sources say none deceased were found in the water.

On land, the latest reports claim that ninety-seven residents of Lahaina perished that day. This, along with figures of gross destruction of properties: 2,200 acres burned and the same number of structures, homes, and businesses. 6,000 residents displaced.

Projections of four-to-six billion dollars in damages are conservative, predicts Moody’s Analytics.

Many business owners in Lahaina aren’t sure what to make of the aftermath. Jennifer Li, owner of Goin’ Left Surf Shop, the footprint of which still sits just off Font Street, recalls:

“On Wednesday night (before the National Guard blocked access to Lahaina) we drove down close to my shop.

The town was pitch dark, but still burning, and my anxiety was high,” she says.

Jennifer was too nervous to see her store firsthand.

“I had my friend walk down to my shop for me from the highway. When he returned, he told me the news, that it was completely burned down and still burning.  I wept the rest of the night, not just for my shop, but for our sweet little town that was changed forever. Early Thursday morning, we went back. I needed to see it with my own eyes. Everything, except for a few structures, was completely destroyed. I now knew what everyone meant on Wednesday morning when they said, ‘Gone.’”

Li is uncertain what to do now. Like Josh, the insurance she had on her biz ain’t nearly enough to recoup her losses. She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to rebuild. She doesn’t know who will be available to work in her shop.

Many have been forced to leave the islands for the mainland in search of employment. And what of the inventory supply? The delivery folk? The gas stations that provide the gas to the delivery trucks? It’s a webby mess. (Check out the essay “I, Pencil” if you wanna see the economic connectedness of it all.)

Li is, however, thankful of all of the support she and the people of Lahaina are receiving. Countless organizations are invested in propping up the community.

There’s Pastele House Maui, who provided free meals for thirty-five days straight. “All these people lost everything,” says Devin, the owner. We have our business. We can cook, and people out here need food.”

There’s Goodfellow Construction Co., which is faithfully taking care of the historic Banyan Tree, a symbol of hope for Lahaina residents.

Hope Chapel in Kihei opened their church as a major distribution center for the displaced. Daily, the parking lot is filled, people coming to get supplies. I toured the facility and was overwhelmed with the amount of goods available. Pallets of Cheerios, endless boxes of toothpaste, soap and toilet paper.

I even spied a pair of cowboy boots, which, in naked honesty, I thought about taking, picturing myself walking across the sand, fingers pointed in pistol position. Howdy, howdy, howdy!

Shocked by my lack of conscience, I put my eyes back to the piles of blankets and baby clothes. It’s great stuff they are doing. Thoughts and prayers work when hands do.

Albee Layer created the fundraiser with a goal of getting a grand to 200 families for Xmas.  He did one event a few weeks back, raised over forty grand and people are still donating.

And there’s ol’ Ian Walsh, always doing his part. You’ve likely heard of Ian’s board donation program,, which helps put planks back in the hands of those who lost them in the fire.
We see this pattern of surfers helping surfers throughout Maui. A ‘loving our crooked neighbors with our crooked hearts’ type of understanding.

But this kind of support can’t last forever and rebuilding is a must. There is concern from residents and business owners alike that things will not be put back as they were. Disaster capitalism, vulture realtors and the like have already surfaced their green heads.

In response, Mayor Richard Bisson has created a Rebuild Lahaina Advisory Council. Members include Kim Ball, owner of the Hi-Tech Surf Shop chain and Archie Kalepa, renowned big wave surfer. Kalepa, a ninth-generation Hawaiian, is sure to ease some of the concern over fair reconstruction practices.

Breaks are also beginning to open, too, thanks to some heft by locals. The area has been the practice field of so many elites: Eli Hanneman, Imai, Devault, Clay Marzo, Dusty Payne, Tanner Hendrickson, Kai Barger, Granger Larson. It’s a full roster. The breaks represent a history to the community, a source of Hawaiian pride.

But some breaks remain closed. The State has yet to release any information regarding ocean water quality.

While the Coast Guard placed a barrier around the Lahaina harbor to prevent oil, toxins, and ash from escaping into the ocean, the fire’s leftovers from elsewhere could be seeping into the breaks.

And the number of boats sunk in the Harbor have made some spots off limits. It’s expected to take months to remove the wrecks, as it’s a tricky task to remove the vessels without damaging the reef.

Popular spots including Shark Pit and Shark Pit rights, Breakwall, Lahaina Harbor, and Mala are closed. It’s crowding the other surf spots like Laperouz, Dumps, and Olowalu; even Maalaea, that normally no one surfs when its below chest high, is hosting bunches of people wanting to wash off the trauma.

Somehow, I’ve always been shy on the notion that surfing heals. I’m careful to avoid sentimentality and careful not to miscast the ocean as some soppy metaphor for salvation. Life is what it is and riding waves is no shortcut to health or happiness. It can, however, provide momentary escape, a temporary shelter, a kind of peace.

As artist AJ Dungo says, loss often leaves us alone “with only water to comfort.”

Josh, however, isn’t surfing much. Aside from his wife’s two small boards, he’s without a ride.

“I lost my tools, my templates, and all my boards. I basically lost all my savings and retirement in my board collection.”

His 401K included over a hundred beauties including two original Lis fishes, a Bolt from the seventies, a Reyner spoon, an original Gordon and Smith vee-bottom from ‘63, and a Stussy-shaped Brotherhood from ’72. He figures the boards added up to maybe a couple hundred grand. With all the heaviness of the last two months, Josh is feeling surprisingly light about the open road.

“Before the fire, I didn’t realize how all my stuff was weighing me down.And I just bought a box truck. I’m gonna wire it up and in three days I can start shaping anywhere, on the beach if I want.”

It’s a unique idea. We laugh as our minds are furnished with an army of well-heeled west coast kooks wanting to purchase one, pre-outfitted. (Josh’ll do the work if you are interested.)

The rabbit bouncing across my foot wakes me up to the reality of what Josh is facing. We talk about his future measured in days, not years. And everything is so uncertain that I don’t really know what to say when I leave, knowing I can go home, to my own living room, mute and drooling.

If you are interested in sporting a buck or a board for the people of Lahaina, KITV News 4 has a reliable list of places taking donations. And Kai Lenny throws out good info on his Instagram. Kelly does, too, assuming you’re not blocked.

If you wanna fine-tuned instrument from JAW Surfboards, give Josh a shout HERE.

If you’d like to throw a bone to Jennifer at Goin’ Left, she’s raffling off a longboard and a fish shaped locally. 

Kolohe (left) An Dino. Photo: Instagram
Kolohe (left) An Dino. Photo: Instagram

Treasured father-son combo Dino and Kolohe Andino share secret to raising surf prodigies!

A chicken in every pot and a quiver of Mayhems in every garage.

There is nobody, no not one person, on the face of this earth who has met Dino Andino and his son Kolohe and not fallen all the way in love. The 1980s standout father, known for his long hair and searing cutback, sired a prodigy. Kolohe, or “li’l rascal” in his native Hawaiian, was a star almost before he could walk, winning junior contests, receiving sponsorship from bluechips like Nike, Red Bull and Target, crashing onto the elite World Surf League Championship Tour just out of puberty.


Though success on “the big stage” didn’t come in the forms of “wins,” no heart wasn’t touched by Andino’s infectious giggle, his relentless drive and when his film Reckless Isolation came out, surf fans thronged to see him, see him, know him.

Well, Dino, Kolohe and their longtime friend/coach/mentor Mike “Snips” Parsons sat down, recently, for Red Bull’s new podcast offering Family Crest to discuss the highs and lows of fame, fortune and universal adoration.

Parsons shares an anecdote here:

I’ve got so many great stories of me and Dino going all over the world with Kolohe and taking him out into places. We took Kolohe out to Todos Santos Island when he was 9 years old, and it’s a big-wave spot. Dino was so adamant, “Oh, he’s got it.” It was solid ten-foot surf. I remember to this day, paddling Kolohe to the channel, thinking, “Oh my God, he’s going to get caught inside by a ten-foot set,” and his dad would be like, “No, he’s got it.” And I would be like, “Dino, he doesn’t got it. We’ve got to get him to the shoulder.” I think we were a good combination because Dino would push, and I’d be like, “Maybe he’s not quite ready for that,” or whatever.

But there is much, much more than King Richarding to make your own surf prodigy and the trio share its secret.


It might involve traveling to Tijuana for stem-cells.

Listen here!