Laura Enever (pictured) with award. Photo: World Surf League
Laura Enever (pictured) with award. Photo: World Surf League

Charges of retaliation fly after World Surf League employee Laura Enever wins Guinness record!

"Catty, rude and morally bankrupt!"

What should be a joyous hangover, today, for the surf world is, instead, one of the rotten varietals. Stomach sick. Head not right. For not even 24-hours ago, Narabeen’s own Laura Enever was awarded the Guinness record for “largest wave surfed paddle-in (female).” The beast was snagged roughly ten months off off Oahu’s North Shore. It was officially measured by World Surf League selected scientists.

Wonderful and happy.


The questions around the complete ignoring of Justine Dupont, who had ridden a probable 75-foot monster earlier in the year, soon began to bubble. Dupont won three awards for the feat at the just-wrapped Big Wave Awards now no longer affiliated with the aforementioned “global home of surfing.”

Enever, of course, an employee.


Now, charges of retaliation by the World Surf League against Dupont are flying.

You will recall that the Frenchwoman was snubbed, three years ago. The XXL Big Wave Awards, then owned by the World Surf League, hosted the affair. Brazil’s Maya Gabeira was awarded the “Ride of the Year” and also gifted a Guinness record “for the largest wave surfed (unlimited)” thanks to those World Surf League selected scientists.

While the wave was very impressive, Gabeira, much like Laura Enever, did not ride away cleanly.

Or at all.

Dupont took to Instagram at the time to declare, “The @wsl announced that the record for the biggest wave surfed would be awarded to a surfer who does not finish her wave. I decided to smile about it even though I am deeply hurt to be subjected to a decision that I believe is totally unfairI’m especially disappointed and ashamed of this league which claims to represent our sport.”


Would the World Surf League be so catty and rude? So institutionally fraudulent, as to do Dupont dirty, again, for speaking out back then?

More as the story develops.

Kelly Slater wavepool in Abu Dhabi compared to Lemoore prototype.
The magic W-shaped bathymetry at Kelly Slater wave pool in Abu Dhabi. | Photo: gil olson

Online sleuth reveals game-changing difference between Kelly Slater wave pool in Abu Dhabi and Lemoore prototype!

"I could see a scenario where we may see up to 20X more surfers catching waves with the same amount of energy compared to Lemoore."

The Kelly Slater wave pool in Abu Dhabi has attracted much fanfare over the past three days, tears from the progressives, excitement from surfers who’d die for a little slice of that warm-water Persian Gulf magic.

Strider Wasilewski, whose protuberant nipples has made him a surfing pinup, described the joy of surfing the perfect Kelly Slater wave blooming from the desert sands.

“The transitions and contour of the wave lend to your attack on it and the toob… The toob sections don’t chase you down, they lift you up and carry you forward. You can play on the foam ball of the toob and your heart races while it happens.”

Strider Wasilewski at Kelly Slater wavepool in Abu Dhabi.
Strider “Attack Dog Tits” Wasilewski revels in Persian Gulf perfection.

A common refrain among surf fans, however, was disappointment that the Kelly Slater wave didn’t appear any different to the prototype in Lemoore, California.

Oh, but they are so wrong.

An online sleuth from New Jersey, Gil Olson, has put paid to that notion with an extensive comparison of the two tanks using Google Maps and published on LinkedIn in July.

And the difference between the two Kelly Slater pools?

Well, first, it’s almost twice as wide (450 feet compared to 250), although the foil mechanism, which pushes the water to make the wave, is roughly the same.

The groundbreaking diff is the bathymetry of the two Kelly Slater pools.

Writes Olson,

The most noticeable upgrade (from satellite images, at least) is the “W” shaped features in the lagoon.No sane person knocks the quality of the waves at The Surf Ranch. The “achilles heel” for KSWC’s technology system has been the rate of wave generation.

In Lemoore, the system generates a 1-minute wave after ~4 minutes of settling, or about 12-13 foil runs (full pool length waves) per hour. It looks to me like The Oasis will significantly improve these metrics through innovative engineering that produces secondary, and possibly even tertiary, rideable waves on the “W” Reef Formation.

At The Oasis, it looks like the primary wave will traverse the entire length of the pool and break before the excess energy reforms on the “W” shaped reef. The three arms of the “W” could produce waves of different intensities and heights, accommodating surfers of varying skill levels. I could see a scenario where we may see up to 20X more surfers catching waves with the same amount of energy compared to the Lemoore Ranch.

Decoding the ‘W’
The most obvious feature of The Oasis, even from satellite images, is the “W” shaped structure in the lagoon. In Lemoore, a single, minute-long primary wave is produced every four minutes. I’m betting on a dramatic improvement to ridable wave count, thanks to some ingenious engineering.
Maximizing Wave Count with better Energy Utilization

Dr. Fincham and friends have seemingly devised a method to harness residual energy, creating secondary, and potentially even tertiary, rideable waves along the “W” Reef Formation. This suggests more surfable waves per foil pull (ie. the same energy expense) and a faster wave frequency. My prediction? The turnaround time could drop to about 2 minutes, possibly even less.


The new design seems to suggest a more efficient use of energy. It appears the primary wave (“1” in Fig. 2) will traverse the pool’s length, and then lots of that excess energy reforms on the “W” shaped reef to create more ridable waves on each foil run.

Very clever, yes?

Click here for the full reveal!

Kelly Slater and sheiks in Abu Dhabi.
Kelly Slater and happy sheiks and, at left, his eponymous pool blooms from the desert!

Kelly Slater brings cavalcade of world champion surfers to controversial Abu Dhabi wave pool!

"There was room for error on the wave yet it still had power and a heavy barrel," writes Strider Wasilewski.

The world’s greatest athlete and, rapidly, one its most opportunistic businessmen, Kelly Slater, has brought a cavalcade of surfing champions to his eponymous wave pool in the Persian Gulf.

Two days ago, Kelly Slater drew back the curtain on the luscious bluewater wave, only the second of its kind ever, on the new gussied-up version of Hudayriyat Island in Abu Dhabi. 

Yesterday, the small-wave wizard Filipe Toledo, no lover of Teahupoo it’s true but the greatest ever in waves that ascend to the waist but not beyond, showed his “adult” and “barbaric turns” at the tank.

And, today, it can be revealed, he wasn’t the only surfing superstar to be invited to its unveiling.

The procession of stars included WSL in-water commentator Strider Wasilewski, noted for “attack dog tits”, three-time world champion Gabriel Medina, eight-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore, Caroline Marks, Jeremy Flores, “Human Viagra” Raimana Van Bastolaer, iconic filmmaker Taylor Steele, along with Kelly Slater’s former personal assistant Stephen “Belly” Bell. 

Strider Wasilewski at Kelly Slater wavepool in Abu Dhabi.
Strider “Attack Dog Tits” Wasilewski revels in Persian Gulf perfection.

Wasilewski’s take on the Kelly Slater pool is instructive.

“There was room for error on the wave yet it still had power and a heavy barrel,” writes Strider. “The transitions and contour of the wave lend to your attack on it and the toob… The toob sections don’t chase you down, they lift you up and carry you forward. You can play on the foam ball of the toob and your heart races while it happens. Who knew, what’s next, WTF!”

The popular commentator drew myriad comments from fans including the once-Democratic hopeful and surfer Tulsi Gabbard.

“And the left,” wrote Gabbard, leaving a love heart emoji.

“A world class wave in the UAE! Thank you for making us feel incredibly welcome and congratulations for bringing the project to life!” wrote Stephanie Gilmore.

Stephanie Gilmore at Kelly Slater wave pool in Abu Dhabi.
The most enticing photograph I’ve ever seen of a wave. Ain’t it wild it’s man-made and in the Persian Gulf.

It’s been almost a decade since Slater unveiled his man-made miracle to the world in the American winer of 2015, and the day after the Brazilian surfer, Adriano De Souza, with whom he’d engaged with in a long-running blood feud had just won the world title. 

The tank is part of a 51 million square metre development of the island that’ll add fifty-three clicks of coastline to the city, with attractions including a velodrome with a roof-top track, 220km of bike trails, a giant urban park, high-end residential communities built on two different hills affording 360-degree views of this paradise on the Persian Gulf.

Controversy has dogged the pool, however, with surfers swarming various Instagram pages. The argument, if it can be called such, is the Kelly Slater pool represents a cruel absurdity, with some even linking it to Gaza’s invasion of Israel.

(The UAE ain’t afraid to loose the hounds on its brother Muslims: “The military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen has killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes, tortured detainees, raped civilians and used child soldiers as young as 8,” reports the NY Times.)

A popular refrain,

I guess building pools is his gig now. This is not going to end well for his career. All of that hard work and building his reputation to throw it out for a stupid pool where Women, Gays, and the Lower class people are treated with 1400’s year old le laws. Nice going Kelly. This time you out did yourself.

Gotta love it when that Middle Eastern money spigot pours in your direction and far away from the stupid environmental regulations of Australia and USA, Queensland, Coachella and Florida, all promised superb versions of the pool but were scuttled by pressure from community groups.

Justine Dupont on a World Surf League ignored beast. Photo: 100-foot wave
Justine Dupont on a World Surf League ignored beast. Photo: 100-foot wave

Controversy explodes in wake of Laura Enever big wave record as World Surf League accused of putting dirty finger on scale!

The "global home of surfing" steps in it. Again.

The champagne was not yet warm when controversy rippled though the surf world over Laura Enever’s recent big wave record. Hours ago, the World Surf League declared Narabeen’s first daughter to be the Guinness World Records™ title holder for “largest wave surfed paddle-in (female).”

Awkward syntax aside, a real moment. Enever, 31, no doubt deserved all the praise and accolades for her North Shore bomb. The one-time junior champion’s transition to meaty water beasts truly an inspiration.

“Huge congratulations to Laura for this incredible achievement,” Jessi Miley-Dyer, World Surf League Chief of Sport, declared. “Laura is fearless, committed, and a real inspiration, and I’m so proud to celebrate her. These World Records really allow us to shine the spotlight on athletes like Laura who are pushing the boundaries of Big Wave surfing.”

Notably missing from any chatter, whatsoever and however, was France’s Justine Dupont. The French charger, who now resides in Nazaré, was part of a Cortes Bank strike mission. It garnered her three awards at the just-concluded Big Wave Challenge awards.

Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year and Surfer of the Year (women)

Her giant, while towed, was estimated to be 75-feet angry.

Notably, the Big Wave Challenge awards are no longer World Surf League owned.

World Surf League Puts Con In Condecession

The World Surf League, despite “really wanting to shine the spotlight on athletes pushing the boundaries of Big Wave surfing,” had no representative there with tape measure.

Thus zero Guinness love.

Now, those who have made big waves their business are properly bewildered by the seemingly condescending way that the World Surf League has co-opted the riding of giants. Billing itself as the “global home of surfing,” the WSL has made a mockery of everything that is not high-performance shortboarding. The longboard tour is a joke, the Big Wave World Tour a fraud.

It has also made a mockery of high-performance shortboarding just to make sure.

Every television production the World Surf League has attached itself to has either ended in embarrassment (The Ultimate Surfer) or failure (Make or Break).

Might Dupont’s wave being part of HBO’s award-winning 100-Foot Wave series be part of the cold shoulder?

Something more cruel?

Certainly more as the story develops.

Laura Enever (pictured) crushing.
Laura Enever (pictured) crushing.

Surf beauty snags record for largest ever wave by woman!

It's Laura Enever's world, we're just living in it.

To know Laura Enever is to love her. The flaxen haired beauty from Narabeen, Australia burst into minds and hearts as a feisty junior way back in 2009 when she was dubbed Champion of Youngsters. Her skill on a surfboard, undeniable. Enever completed on the World Surf League Championship Tour for years then somehow transitioned to a big wave surfer over the years, a pivot no one saw coming.

On Wednesday, she captured the official record for largest ever wave paddled into by woman.

43.6 feet to be exact.

The beast was stroked into off Oahu’s fabled North Shore. It was captured in all its glory by exceedingly famous water photographer Daniel Russo.

“I knew when it picked me up that it was a massive wave,” Enever told The Washington Post, “But then when I looked over the edge and saw how far I had to go down and how big the drop was, I was like, ‘Okay, this is the biggest wave you ever caught.’”

It took the World Surf League 10 months to certify the feat. The delay likely caused by ex-CEO Erik Logan making shenanigans.

Being a silly goose etc.

“At the end of the day, paddle surfing is just you in the ocean and being out there,” Enever continued. “You don’t have that assistance from a jet ski and all that speed and power to tow you into the wave. It’s just all on you and your ocean knowledge. Obviously, there can be a bit of luck to it, but it’s just about connecting with the ocean that day and that time.”

The 32-year-old’s wave topped the 42-footer that Andrea Moller paddled into at Pe’ahi in Maui in 2016.

Oahu > Maui or at least for now.

And please don’t forget that “democracy dies in darkness.”