Callum Robson with Yeti cooler prizes for ten-point ride.
Callum Robson and his Yeti cooler, a prize for scoring a ten-point ride. Now listed for $550.

Aussie surf star lists iconic contest trophy for sale online at only $550!

“At the apex of WSL gimmicky and actually quite demeaning.”

Six months ago, the relatively unfancied Australia Callum Robson rode the first perfect wave of the season at the Portugal CT event.

In his heart-pounding report from the day our tour correspondent JP Currie wrote,

“He spun on a wave that seemed to rise from nowhere. A tube as thick as it was tall spat like a Targaryen dragon trying to incinerate the Aussie chippy, yet he emerged from the fury for an undeniable perfect score.” 

Robson, who turns twenty-three in one week, finished the event in third place and the year at twentieth overall on the tour ratings. 

As reward for his perfect ride, Robson was awarded a Yeti cooler, a generous gift, although it was quickly slammed by the Grammy-nominated DJ and former pro surfer FISHER. 

The thirty-six-year-old who was nominated for Best Dance Recording category at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for the nipple-twisting hit “Losing It” hit out at the WSL for giving any surfer who scores a ten-point ride in the season a Yeti cooler or in Australian parlance, an esky.

Yeti signed a three-year deal with the WSL in January, the brand hosting “on-site activations, including Hydration Stations, Activation Coolers, and branded event bottles, at select competitions, in addition to a branded-content series exploring the iconic locations on the WSL CT and Challenger Series featuring YETI ambassadors John Florence and Stephanie Gilmore.

“I’m pondering on the fact that when a surfer gets a ten-point ride on the world-fucking-championship tour they get a fucking esky! A fucking esky!” said Fisher. “Are you fucking kidding me? That is unbelievable. What are they going to do, fill it full of beers and use the lid to go down some hills?

“A ten-point ride and you get a fucking esky! Unbelievable. Mate, what about a thousand bucks, just thousand bucks. Are you kidding? You used to get a Nixon watch worth ten-grand for a ten, now you get a fucking esky! Wow!”

As JP Currie wrote,

“It was the first ten of the year, and the best wave we would see all day by some margin. The Yeti cooler he gets as a reward won’t just be a fucker to lug back on the plane, and the apex of cheesy WSL gimmickry, but is actually quite demeaning in the context of that wave.”

At the time, I noted that if the gifted Yeti was the famous 82-gallon Tundra 350, it had a retail value of $1300. 

Now, it can be revealed Robson was given the much cheaper Tundra 110 Hard Cooler, retail around half that.

We know this because surf fans can buy this significant piece of history after Robson’s girlfriend Mayha Nowlan listed the prize on Facebook Marketplace for $550. It’s been kicking around online for two weeks already so maybe you can ask Mayha or Callum to sharpen their pencils on the ticket price.

It is brand new and the vendors request cash only. Pick up in Tweed Heads, a five-minute drive from Snapper Rocks.

Also for sale is a fleet of what look like superb surfboards including a Mayhem, a Bradley, a DHD and a few JS’s, prices ranging from $350 to $550. 

Filipe Toledo, Brazilian Olympian, unlikely to win gold at Teahupoo.
“There’s nothing left to prove to anyone,” says Filipe Toledo in his excellent documentary series Peace & Power.

Filipe Toledo’s hopes for Olympic gold shattered as Paris 2024 remains at Teahupoo despite push to move to insipid beachbreak!

The small-wave wizard has long struggled at Teahupoo, site of Paris 2024 Games.

Only one week ago, it appeared Christmas had arrived early for the Brazilian Olympian Filipe Toledo following bombshell comments from the president of French Polynesia who wanted to move the Olympic surf event from Teahupoo to the beachbreak Taharuu.

The small-wave wizard Filipe Toledo whose two world titles have come in little soft-breaking waves near the Republican stronghold of San Clemente has long struggled at Teahupoo.

But, Filipe Toledo’s formidable form in the small waves meant he beat reigning Olympic surfing gold medallist Italo Ferreira and two-time Teahupoo winner Gabriel Medina into the team. The other Brazilian male is João Chianca.

(Long-time fans of pro surfing will point out that Filipe Toledo’s famous zero-point heat at Teahupoo came alongside Italo Ferreira who surfed rings around his timid countryman.)

The push to move to Taharuu forty clicks back towards Papeete came following a furore over Paris 2024’s decision to demolish the old wooden judging tower and replace it with a five-million dollar aluminium structure.

FP’s prez Moetai Brotherson said Paris 2024’s surfing should be moved from Teahupoo and to the insipid beachbreak so the damn reef didn’t need to be drilled for the new tower’s concrete pylons.

Now, insipid is a strong word, but any wave that draws tears of joy and little shivers of excitement from your old pal DR after a couple of weeks going over the falls and getting gooned at Teahupoo is, likely, insipid.

Anyway, instead of going with the beachbreak option organisers have pushed back against the dumb idea and compromised a little on the tower, reducing its footprint by twenty-five percent to make it the same size as the old wooden one.

Also, the pylons aren’t gonna be drilled quite so deep, dry toilets instead of running water ones and there’s only room for twenty-five to thirty officials instead of forty.

“The new tower, less imposing and reduced in size and weight, installed on new permanent foundations, is the solution that will ensure the longevity of the tower and guarantee that future sporting events can be held at Teahupo’o,” organisers said in a statement.

John John Florence, owning home. Photo: WSL
John John Florence, owning home. Photo: WSL

John John Florence announced as co-sponsor of upcoming 2024 World Surf League Pro Pipeline

Core town, USA

The calendar pages are, in all honesty, flipping by ridiculously fast. It seems as if only yesterday we were celebrating small wave world champion Filipe Toledo’s wildly unsurprising win at Lower Trestles. There the li’l lionhearted stood, hoisting the cup above head, ready to do it for three more years in a row. Caroline Marks next to him hoisting her own cup after clinching on the women’s side.

If you can believe, that was… only two months ago? Wow. It actually was basically yesterday but, in any case, a new Championship Tour season is knocking at the door.


The first event in the thoroughly mangled reworking is, as you recall, Pipeline though not the famed Pipe Masters but rather the Pro Pipeline. While it used to crown champions, the iconic wave now kicks everything off. And this year, the World Surf League just announced that perennial favorite John John Florence will be co-sponsoring it, through his brand Florence Marine X, along with Vissla.

Very wonderful and reminiscent of Kelly Slater sponsoring Teahupo’o and Cloudbreak.

The interesting part is, I suppose, that Vissla and Florence Marine X are both competitors in the market place. Both make enviable soft goods. Both make wetsuits. And has this ever happened in professional surfing’s long and storied history? Billabong and Quiksilver both sponsoring, say, J-Bay?

A silly question, I suppose, as Billabong and Quiksilver are both the same brand and J-Bay is no longer on tour but you get what I’m asking.

Florence Marine X and Vissla are both as core as core can be. Opposite of “Authentic” which owns every other surf brand and now means “inauthentic.” The surf fan can hope they will infuse some much needed juice into the broadcast and give us a Pipe we can all be proud of.

David Lee Scales and I discussed this yet another sign that the World Surf League is going broke and many other important matters. Like basecoat on a surfboard.


Surfing once again safe from terror. Photo: Cole Estrada
Surfing once again safe from terror. Photo: Cole Estrada

World Surf League relieved as massive TikTok audience now shielded from slain Osama bin Laden

A close shave with history.

It was a close one, there, for the World Surf League. Days ago, the “global home of surfing’s” biggest engaged audience, which enjoys the “viral” application TikTok, was under threat. The World Surf League has deftly used various silly goose to-camera behaviors to win the hearts and minds of today’s youth.

Like this.

Pete Mel acting like a teenage girl for the win.

All was almost lost, though, as mentioned. For in the vacuum created by a lack of Championship Tour surfing events, that same audience discovered Osama bin Laden. A letter he wrote to the American people some twenty-odd years ago began “trending” though “without context.”

That meaning the letter was all by itself without commentary telling the youngsters that it was wrong and bad and, maybe, that bin Laden was the mastermind of 9/11 which was, also, wrong and bad.

American congresspeople, always on the cutting edge of boldness and reason, threatened to ban TikTok from the land of the brave and free entirely. Various World Surf League chiefs only able to wring their hands and meditate.

TikTok to the World Surf League Rescue

Overnight, though, TikTok has come swinging in, assuaging fears, comforting the weary by declaring, “Content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules on supporting any form of terrorism. We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it got onto our platform.”

“There is never a justification for spreading the repugnant, evil, and antisemitic lies that the leader of al Qaeda issued just after committing the worst terrorist attack in American history,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told CNN, smh.


In any case, it appears, for now, the World Surf League’s TikTok-heavy audience will have to go “off platform” do discover more illegal things about Osama bin Laden.

I met one of his cousins, once. Bro like to keep it on the DL.

Smart, probably.

Joel Tudor (pictured) in shock while reading Snoop Dogg's announcement. Photo: instagram
Joel Tudor (pictured) in shock while reading Snoop Dogg's announcement. Photo: instagram

Champion surfer Joel Tudor in shock after Snoop Dogg announces he’s “giving up smoke”

A stunningly sad day. But a flicker of hope?

Joel Tudor is many things, of course, but first and foremost San Diego’s own is a surf champion. The longboarder, currently 47-years-young, was the youngest ever to win a contest, at fifteen, and also the oldest to ever win a tour season at forty-five. He won the fabled U.S. Open of Longboarding eight times and even founded his whole own league, the Duct Tape Invitational, in 2010, which he has won.

Joel Tudor’s two other passions, jiu-jitsu and smoking marijuana, are tied for second and so you can imagine the black belt’s stun when famous marijuana ambassador, Snoop Dogg, announced yesterday that he was saying goodbye to the weeds.

The Long Beach rapper took to Instagram posting a moving photograph signaling the move.

“After much consideration & conversation with my family,” the multi-platinum artist penned, “I’ve decided to give up smoke. Please respect my privacy at this time.”

Tudor, clearly in shock, trying to will away the horror, commented, “April fools is a few months away.”

Now, imaging the nimble-footed cross-stepper alone in his darkened room, tears streaming down cheeks, is more than I can think. Thankfully, and for the first time in my life, I can provide relief.

Yesterday, you see, my wife, an important agent regularly smeared by the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, was attending a Paris Olympic event at Universal Studios with her client Jagger Eaton. Snoop, who deftly called action for the Tokyo Games, was also there. The two got to talking, then took a picture together. As she got close to the Huggy Bear, she smelled the unmistakable fragrance of cannabis.

“You did not give up smoke,” she said.

He just smiled his Buddha-like smile and whispered, “For a day.”

And so, Joel Tudor, spark one up and rest easy.


Chas Smith