North County, San Diego stepchild Ashton Goggans (insert) displaying his keg. Photo: Instagram
North County, San Diego stepchild Ashton Goggans (insert) displaying his keg. Photo: Instagram

Emily Ratajkowski identified as “Fatphobic” throwing San Diego-area surfers into paroxysms of self-doubt!

Blame IPA.

North County, San Diego has two famous first children and one almost famous third stepchild. Rob Machado and Emily Ratajkowski as the former. Ashton Goggans as the latter during those occasions when people mistake him for Anthony Bourdain re-incarnate. This, here, above La Jolla, below Camp Pendleton, is a simple life where the Hollywood gilt don’t mean much. Hard-working salt of the earth folk who like their bicycles electric and their coffee flat and white.

Regular dudes.

Except that Emily Ratajkowski.

Ooooooh as much as “the crew” likes to keep it “real,” Ratajkowski’s perfect skin, her pouty lips make them all want to give it up, move to Soho and crush that Loewe game.

BeachGrit regulars will remember when the model-actress Encinitian became single one year ago. Swamis locals crawling all over each other to win her hand first. Chris Cote re-thinking his entire life.

Though she has gone on a series of A-list dates during that time, the San Dieguito Academy alum has yet to settle down and candles still flicker from Del Mar to Leucadia.

Except.

Emily Ratajkowski outed as “fatphobic” by Page Six

The svelte 32-year-old posted a photo to Instagram standing in one leg of a plus-sized pair of jeans sending the hoi polloi into an absolute furor.

“What in the fatphobic hell is that second picture … so distasteful and disgusting…. how did anybody okay that,” one wrote.

“Designers won’t make plus sizes unless it’s for a photo opp where a thin person can be quirky,” another added.

Now, North County surfers don’t care about the social implications of all that, but they do wonder if their drinking habits are giving them a leg down in winning her hand.

IPA beer, you know, rules here. The fattiest beverage ever crafted. And now Cardiff Reef rippers are peeling down wetsuits after sessions and pinching tummies, wondering if the shot has been blown.

Wondering if it can be melted away quickly with a switch to hard kombucha.

Paroxysms of self-doubt.

Difficult days ahead.

And sugar-content headaches.

More as the story develops.


New house for Sabre Norris and family and with Derek Rielly
The epic new joint for Sabre Norris and fam and doin' an interview with the kid on her backyard mega ramp.

Surf-skate prodigy Sabre Norris and fam buy $40 million of real estate in the one Bondi street

The power of a gentle but relentless positivity!

It’s a very easy thing to fall under the spell of Sabre Norris and her family, Olympian Daddy Justin, wife Brooke, kids Socki, Biggy, Naz, Disco and Charm aka the Norris Nuts.

Years back, see, I spent a day with the surf-skate prodigy Sabre Norris and her fam. It was two days before Christmas and Sabre gifted me the true nature of family.

While my own house of cards was collapsing in a welter of sorrow, the foundations made rotten by poor husbandry, hers was exalting in each others’ complexities.

Sabre Norris, whose surfing is expressive and features a grab bag of tricks, is also a fantastic skateboarder.

When she was nine, and before she’d mastered riding a bike without training wheels, Sabre launched a thousand worldwide headlines by riding out of a 540 on the monster ramp in her backyard.

In my story, I’d admitted that the kid had become my new favourite surfer and Sabre Norris responded with a hand-written letter thanking me and inviting me to drive up and see ’em, “surf all day” and wrap it all up with dinner at Crinitis, an Italian restaurant famous for its crisp pizza bases and delicious toppings.

Sabre Norris and letter to Derek Rielly
Sabre’s letter to DR.

At the time, Sabre lived with her two younger sisters and little brother (now there’s two more in the mix) in an industrial estate called Thornton, thirty minutes drive inland from Newcastle.

Their dad, the Olympian swimmer Justin Norris who beat Michael Phelps at the 2000 games, built a swim school out there and the family lived in a two-bedroom apartment attached to the rear of the compound.

The apartment was attached to the swim academy is small, maybe fifty square metres. Two bedrooms.

In the main, a mattress hit three of the four walls. In the kid’s room, it was bumper to bumper. Nazzie against one wall, Sabre the other, Biggie and Sockie in the middle. When Sabre got scared at night and she worried that someone was gonna come in and kidnap ’em, she wrapped her arms around her sister to keep her safe.

The main room was an open-plan kitchen and living room. There was one lounge chair, in red velvet, rings hanging from the roof that Justin used to train with, half-a-dozen guitars (the kids busk in Newcastle to raise cash) and the world’s tiniest Christmas tree.

This year, after a wild run on social, 4.6 mill Instagram followers between ‘em and 6.69 mill YouTube subscribers and deals with Nintendo, Mattel, Disney, Lego, Hasbro, Woolworths and the Cartoon Network that nets ‘em ten gees a day, Christmas is looking lil more glitzy.

Recently, the Norris’ bought a six-bedroom fifteen-mill house one street back from Bond Beach and with views over a pretty lawned park and into the blue Pacific.

Back in July, the Norris’ had scooped up a block of six apartments next door for $10.5 mill with rumours it’ll one day be converted in a big ol house for the kids.

The original plan had been to move from Newy to the Gold Coast and the fam bought up two waterfront blocks with a hundred feet of riverfront frontage for $11.5 mill with plans to build a wild modernist joint complete with “a bright red winding interal slide, floating wine cellar display, and massive pool with sunken sun loungers and marked swim lanes.”

They ended up selling one for $6.42 mill and keeping the other. A smart move, I think. Never sell if you don’t have to is the wise Jewish advice.

Back in 2016 when I met the fam, Sabre Norris followed up my visit with a story of her own, “A day in the life of Derek Rielly.”

“I actually nearly didn’t get to meet Derek in real life because a couple of days earlier my Mum wanted to ban Derek from coming to our house,” wrote Sabre Norris. “She thought he was going to cook me in his writing.

“When Mum said he couldn’t come I had to fight for him.

‘Come on Mum, this guy is the inventor of Stab and now he’s inventing BeachGrit! That’s the equivalent of winning two world titles, maybe even equally Kelly Slater’s eleven. Please don’t blow this chance for me.’ With a lot of begging and pleading, mum reluctantly said yes.”

Readers, I’ve never been more thrilled to have new neighbours.


Warshaw (pictured) being lionized for surfing.
Warshaw (pictured) being lionized for surfing.

Cultural icon Matt Warshaw lionized, again, by most important magazine on earth for going surfing!

Huzzah, old sport.

Oh to be Matt Warshaw. Surfing’s premier, and only, historian certainly has it all. Author of best-selling books, past checkered with a who’s who of notable surf personalities, respect from every corner. He is not like us. He is a cultural icon and, such, has been lionized for the second time by the most important magazine on earth.

Yes, The New Yorker, founded in 1925, matters to people who make money and hold power. It employs Pulitzer Prize winning writers, not racist AI bots. The topics it covers are discussed in various salons whilst the well-heeled sip brandy.

The first time, Warshaw was lauded for being the Oxford dictionary’s surf consultant. His caricature appeared thusly.

The second time, just yesterday, Warshaw was praised for going on a surf trip to Fiji. His pasquinade presented so (Warshaw on right).

“The first Zephyr surfboard ever made was made for me,” Warshaw told the writer. “My brand-new Jeff Ho surfboard had been stolen. I was twelve, and heartbroken. I was with Jay Adams, who later became the most famous of the Z-Boys.”

A double-barreled flex that makes Kelly Slater’s various boastings seem downright humble.

Somewhere, Sam George is weeping into a crumpled photograph of Nia Peeples, pleading, “Why not me? Why doesn’t The New Yorker love me? Why doesn’t The New Yorker choose me?” to a silent universe.


Emily Morgan (right) and Drew Ortiz (center) at The Arena Group office.

Surfer Magazine owner blasted for using fake AI-generated writers in scathing expose!

Very embarrassing.

The Emily Morgans, as they say, have come home to roost. A bomb dropped in the media landscape, yesterday, when it was revealed that the Arena Group, parent company to once-proud Surfer Magazine, was publishing AI-generated content under false author biographies and photographs.

Futurism was made curious during a perusal of also once-proud Sports Illustrated, also owned by the Arena Group, when it stumbled across the byline for writer Drew Ortiz which read, “Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature. Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend that goes by where Drew isn’t out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents’ farm.”

Familiar?

Surf fans will certainly recall the aforementioned Emily Morgan, who was introduced right after The Arena Group purchased Surfer. The “trending news writer,” her bio declared, “resides in a small town nestled at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. She’s also a proud owner of a Pyrnesse-mix, her hiking partner, every time she hits a trail. Emily enjoys strong coffee, spicy food, and live music.”

Very cool.

Back to Drew Ortiz, though, Futurism dug in and realized he had no social media presence and no publishing history. His photograph was for sale on a website that sells AI-produced headshots. His described as “neutral white young-adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes.”

A person involved with content creation at Sports Illustrated revealed that Ortiz was not alone. Multiple frauds wrote daily.

“At the bottom [of the page] there would be a photo of a person and some fake description of them like, ‘oh, John lives in Houston, Texas. He loves yard games and hanging out with his dog, Sam.’ Stuff like that,” the whistleblower continued. “It’s just crazy.”

Futurism reached out to The Arena Group for explanation and, like Emily Morgan, all AI-generated authors disappeared off the site “without explanation.”

Later when made aware that the story was being published, a spokesperson with The Arena Group denied the allegations while deftly blaming a third party contractor.

AdVon has assured us that all of the articles in question were written and edited by humans. According to AdVon, their writers, editors, and researchers create and curate content and follow a policy that involves using both counter-plagiarism and counter-AI software on all content. However, we have learned that AdVon had writers use a pen or pseudo name in certain articles to protect author privacy — actions we don’t condone — and we are removing the content while our internal investigation continues and have since ended the partnership.

Very embarrassing.

Like, super.

But also racist.

Why was a robot with the last name “Ortiz”  a “neutral white young-adult male with short brown hair and blue eyes?”

More, certainly, as the story develops.


Billabong house in Hawaii
An epic shot of the Billabong team, along with its creator Gordon Merchant, at their North Shore house fronting Pipe. (Now sold.)

Surf giant Billabong slammed by Australian press for stiffing vulnerable retail workers!

“This was my first proper job and I trusted (they) were doing the right thing by me and paying me the minimum entitlements."

The iconic surf giant Billabong, although now cut to a rump of its former self, has been “exposed as a penalty rates dodger” according to a story in prestigious trade journal, the Australian Financial Review.

In a David and Goliath play, a teenage employee at an Adelaide surf shop owned by Billabong started asking questions why she wasn’t getting paid the usual penalty rates for working weekends, nights or public holidays.

What Sarah Strybos, who is nineteen, didn’t know what that for the past eight years Billabong had an agreement with the Fair Work Commission that allowed it to legally pay its workers less than the award minimum.

The agreement meant Billabong legally stiffed workers by up to ten bucks an hour.

“This was my first proper job and I trusted that Surf Dive n Ski (owned by Billabong) was doing the right thing by me and paying me the minimum entitlements,” Strybos told AFR.

“I was shocked to find out that even though I wasn’t being paid penalty rates or annual leave loading, what my employer was paying me was technically legal. They knew the agreement was disadvantaging me and they didn’t care – and that was really disappointing.”

An award, if you’re outside Australia, is a legally mandated rate for different sorts of jobs, levels inside those jobs etc. Like the absolute…minimum… you can pay an employee. Smart businesses usually pay a little extra to get talent although in the retail and hospitality game, employees come and go so it ain’t so crucial.

But, here and there, and usually whenever there’s a conservative government in power, loopholes are created.

If a biz can prove that an employee won’t be worse off under their rate, maybe they juice the usual hourly amount up a little, under what’s called a workplace agreement.

Anyway, with the help of her union, Strybos applied to have the agreement terminated.

Before it went to court, Billabong, which now belongs to US-based Authentic Group, “decided to increase employees’ pay in line with the award and…ti later conceded to the FWC (Fair Work Court) that the continued operation of the agreement would be “unfair for the employees covered by it”.