Candace Owens and Ricky Basnett
Conservative hero Candace Owens and former tour surfer Ricky Basnett. Both like to use big-boy words like "Genocide!"

Is Ricky “Bobby” Basnett the Candace Owens of surfing?

"I do not stand for genocide," says the former tour surfer.

The American conservative hero Candace Owens threw herself under a bus a couple of days ago when she claimed Muslims were being corralled inside Jerusalem, oowee, slave-like etc.

On her own podcast, Candace Owens said Jerusalem’s “Muslim quarters (sic)” gave her chills, ‘cause her grand-daddy grew up when the US’s South was segregated.

“When I’m walking through Jerusalem, and you see, and they say ‘these are the Muslim quarters, this is where the Muslims are allowed to live,’ that doesn’t feel like a bastion of freedom to me,” Candace Owens said. 

It took Candace Owens’ guest, Jewish comic Ami Kozak, to explain that there were four-quarters in the Old City, Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, and that the Muslim part of town wasn’t a barracks for enslaved Mohammedans.

The podcast came after a tweet, viewed eleven million times, where Candace Owens wrote, 

“No government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever. There is no justification for a genocide.”

Now, I ain’t no military man, new Saint Laurent combat boots aside, happy birthday to me etc, but the Jews got nukes, almost three-mill citizens trained to fight (Israel allows the openly gay to serve, take that newly created Instagram account Queers In Palestine), 581 planes, including a couple hundred F-16s and thirty-six of the awesome F-35, seven warships, six subs etc.

If Israel really wanted genocide, well, difficult takes a day, genocide takes a week. 

But here we are, surfers, looking at our little telephones, saying big boy words like “genocide” and parroting the Islamic war-cry “From the river to the sea” (Yeah, there are different interpretations but in the current context it is what it is) without knowing what they mean.

And then we come to the former tour surfer Ricky Barnett whom you read in these pages clashing with Jewish surfer and former world champ Shaun Tomson, both men from South Africa. 

“I want to make you all fucking very aware of something. I will never fucking stand for oppression, hatred, discrimination,” says Ricky, shaking with righteous fury. “ I will never fucking back down from my beliefs. I don’t give a fuck who you are, I will never stand for hate.”

So far so good! I’m with Ricky!


“In saying that, I want you to know that this is about eradicating hate…I do not stand for genocide. 

Oh Ricky! 


Nine years ago, after a lesser Hamas incursion into Israel, rockets, a few Israeli kids slaughtered, I wrote a piece for the slightly to the left mainstream press in Australia. 

With your permission (or not) I publish below. 

In February, five months before the Gazan conflict, I asked the question, Are We Anti-Semitic? The response was as predictable as it was proof of the column’s premise.

“Boycott Israel until they mend their evil ways!”

“I have no time for a country that steals another country’s land and then then shoots people who throw stones at them. Reap what you sow!”

“Try getting a smile or a hello or ANY communication from the majority of jewish people around here and you’ll be snubbed!”

“The Israeli hard-right would give Hitler a run for his money if they were to compete for who was the most abhorrent human being!”

And a lone voice: “As a rabbi I have been escorted home by security, my 7-year-old child went to therapy being scared to leave the house as once he was walking and a group of youths [18 year olds] threatened to beat him up. I have needed to evacuate my house [4 children] at the advice of the AFP at 10:30pm at night as a man threatened to come and harm us. I ask why, I am 5 generations Australian, have relatives that died as ANZACs, donate of my time to the general public, sing the anthem with pride, why should I have people yelling at my family when I walk in the street?”

Around the same time as I wrote the column an Australian woman I knew started talking, entirely out of context, about the security detail around the various synagogues, schools and childcare centres.

“The Jews bring their hate into our communities,” she said.

And then, four weeks ago. Israel responded to Hamas rockets and tunnels into their country and the murder of three Israeli kids, by fighting back. We see terrible footage of children torn to shreds. Of houses and apparently neutral shelters destroyed. A body count supplied by Hamas ticks over into the thousands. American and European correspondents from Gaza city tell of endless Israeli atrocities.

Is it Dahiya, Lebanon, redux, the military strategy of ruining civilian infrastructure as a deterrent? Or are we buying the Hamas line, with reporters naively believing their terrorist handlers? I don’t know; and neither do you.

What I do know is I’d rather be living alongside members of the IDF than Hamas. Does anyone remember the Hamas v Fatah power struggle in Gaza back in 2007? When Human Rights Watch reported of public executions, the targeting and killing of civilians, throwing prisoners out of high-rise buildings, fighting from hospitals and shooting from jeeps marked with “TV”? Familiar refrain isn’t it.

Another exercise is to Google “Hamas children” and then “Israeli children” and you’ll get what I mean.

But the level of anti-Jewish, and not just anti-Israeli, fever runs high. Yesterday a school bus in my neighbourhood was attacked by drunken teenagers, obviously fuelled by the one-sided reporting, screeching Nazi slogans.

A child calls her mother. “Hey Mummy, please help us, there are strange men who have been let on to a school bus and they are screaming ‘Heil Hitler! Kill the Jews!’ they want to cut out our throats’”

Even as a agnostic Australian I was shocked by Glen Le Lievre cartoon in the SMH (since withdrawn) featuring a fat, hook-nosed Israeli sitting in an armchair marked with the star of David pushing a remote control to set off munitions. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a copy of that old fake The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the corner of the frame.

Meanwhile, in France, Jews flee for Israel (2200 this year compared to 600 last year) as riots envelope the country. Shops are looted. Slogans daubed. Franзois Pupponi, the mayor of Sarcelles, the site of rioting, said: “We have never seen such an outpouring of hatred and violence in Sarcelles. This morning people are stunned, and the Jewish community is afraid.”

I receive emails from Israeli friends and they say they are wounded by the anti-Semitism.

“You know,” wrote one. “So many people are in shock about the anti-Semitism. My wife really wanted to move to the States and I kept telling her, this is our home. And now she understands. It’s not safe for us anywhere. Only here. Nothing has changed since the Holocaust. The hate is alive and strong.”

But, he says, “I talked with some of my friends in Gaza yesterday and I feel so sorry for them. Many of them are against Hamas but terrified to death to raise their voice.”

We toe the Hamas line at our peril.

The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing, to quote Jean-Baptise Alphonse Karr.


Shaun Tomson (left) and recently fired Ricky Basnett (right). Photo: Instagram
Shaun Tomson (left) and recently fired Ricky Basnett (right). Photo: Instagram

Beloved Ricky “Bobby” Basnett torched then fired by surf great Shaun Tomson over stance on Israel

The return of the Blood Feud.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas war, now a month along, has been nothing if not heartbreaking. From the vicious opening salvo to the overwhelming response, each day seems to bring new horrific scenes. Families ripped apart. Innocents slaughtered. Thousands of miles away, in every direction, the conflict has polarized and already wildly polarized world. Marches staged in support of Palestine. Marches staged in support of Israel. No mercy for anyone with a different opinion as to who is right and who is wrong.

Israel backers immediately lumped in with Nazis. Those who lean Palestinian also immediately lumped in with Nazis.

Tentacles of disdain reaching all corners from Hollywood to tech to surf.

And here, let us travel to South Africa where former Championship Tour surfer Ricky “Bobby” Basnett finds himself center stage. The junior standout, who came up for a cup of coffee during the middle 2000s, became an inspiration after leaving drink behind and re-imagining a life well lived. The stylish regular foot, and Mr. Price Pro winner, now dabbles in art, tattooing and, of course, surfing. Days ago, he unveiled a new Instinct sticker on his board, thrilling all.

But you certainly remember the 1980s brand founded by South Africa’s greatest ever surfer Shaun Tomson. While not as popular as Tomson cousin Michael’s Gotcha, Instinct made a mark. Shaun Tomson recently revived the brand and all was going well until Basnett took to Instagram to post a slide reading “From the river to the sea.”

The phrase, of course, loaded and either referencing autonomy for Palestinians or the complete eradication of Israel, depending on bent.

“Your anti semitism is disgusting to me”

Tomson, who is Jewish, became incensed, sending Basnett a strongly worded letter reading:


You can support Hamas and the kidnapping murder rape and dismemberment of babies all you want. You are parroting the same old anti semitic tropes I have heard all may life. The same old Jew hatred that has been around before you and will be around after.

Support Hamas and be proud of your choice. Initially I thought you were simply ignorant but now I know that is not the case. I will not be aligned and support an anti semite, someone who calls for the destruction of Israel. Certain things in life like values and human decency are more important than business.

Genocide – do you even know what the word means. 6 million Jews died in the 1940s. That was genocide.

Your anti semitism is disgusting to me.

Basnett did not take the lashing quietly, taking back to Instagram and emotionally declaring he will not be silenced. Bra Boy Koby Abberton encouraged him along  saying, “Good for you, Ricky. Stand tall, back straight looking into the eyes of men who write emails. What’s happening in Palestine is wrong. The shift will happen and Shaun will hide under his bed just like when he was pushing the vaccine. Same people different year.”

Much to unpack in this classic return to the Blood Feud.

Shall we?

Sebastian Steudtner designing surfboards with Porsche
"For years, the surfboard industry has hindered my plans! They've put every kind of obstacle in my way!" | Photo: Porsche

German surfer Sebastian Steudtner and Porsche create “miracle surfboard” to conquer world’s biggest wave

"I shoot across the wave at 80 kilometres an hour and concentrate 100 percent. I don't think about the past, the present and the future."

The German big-wave surfer Sebastian Steudtner has joined forces with Porsche in a bid to strengthen his grip on the Guinness World Record for largest wave ridden. 

In 2020, Sebastian Steudtner, incorrectly referred to as Christian Steudtner by BeachGrit for many years, rode a whopping 86-foot Nazare bomb, its height certified by Kelly Slater Surf Ranch inventor Adam Fincham. 

Fincham traveled to Nazaré and stood at the locations where photos and videos of Steudtner’s ride were captured, calculating the camera angles and the distance of the camera to the wave face.

“He also interviewed the two photographers whose imagery was used to analyze the wave, learning more about the equipment they used and how they leveled their cameras,” explained The Washington Post.

Steudtner’s approach to big waves was simple, “I shoot across the wave at 80 kilometres an hour and concentrate 100 percent. I don’t think about the past, the present and the future. I’m in the flow. I don’t have time to think ‘wow, this wave is beautiful’.”

The handsome German, who is thirty-eight and from Nuremberg, famous in the thirties and forties for its lavish Hitler rallies and for the post-World War II trials that strung up as many of the bastards as the Allies could find, is a three-time winner of the XXL Biggest Wave award (2010, 2015, 2021).

(Readers might recall Christian Fletcher, son of surf pioneer Herbie, telling the awards audience, “And the winner is… Sebastian? The fucking German guy who can’t paddle?!”)

Now, Steudtner has combined with Porsche and autoparts specialist Schaeffler to build a surfboard he hopes will help him smash his 86-foot record. 

The surfboard, which is painted a pleasing yellow and black, has a special friction reducing coating and has a special nose, tail and edge shapes to improve hydrodynamics.

From Porsche,

“To reduce drag and stabilise the board, patented attachments known as aero edges were added to the front and back of the board”, explains Marcus Schmelz, Project Manager at Porsche Engineering. “We know this principle from automobiles: here, too, tear-off edges are defined, for example through the use of spoilers. They reduce air turbulence, making the car more stable and aerodynamic at high speeds.”

Beyond the structural changes to the board, aerodynamics tests in the Porsche wind tunnel also found other potential optimisations: adapting Sebastian’s body position while surfing and optimised equipment also produce significantly lower drag.

Steudtner’s new board was dubbed the “Caçador RS”. The name is a combination of the Portuguese word “Caçador” (hunter) and the classic Porsche designation “RS”, which is reserved for the sportiest Porsche models. With his new surfboard, Steudtner can now set off in pursuit of the next world record.

With his team of thirty, which includes special army doctors, Sebastian Steudtner now faces the challenge of his life.

“I’ll have to give my best,” he says. 

Hawaiian Airlines changes policy after Billy Kemper Instagram post.

Hawaiian Airlines dumps controversial surfboard policy after rebuke by Billy Kemper

“Aloha Billy, the revised policy went live yesterday”

After a very public rebuke by big-wave world champ and four-time Jaws winner Billy Kemper, Hawaiian Airlines has dumped their shitty policy regarding the carriage of surfboards.

You’ll remember but one month ago, Kemper chastising the airline for refusing to carry his two surfboards. The post unlocked a Pandora’s Box of complaints from a who’s who of Hawaiian surfing.

In the piece to camera posted on Instagram, Kemper’s eyes burned with the ultra-alertness of a Haitian priest speaking through a freshly severed human head.

“Surfing was born in Hawaii, it’s part of the HAWAIIAN culture. Wouldn’t you think @hawaiianairlines would have some sort of support to our sport? THIS HAS TO CHANGE!”

Billy Kemper complains about Hawaiian Airlines
Billy Kemper, furious with Hawaiian Airlines.

The pile-on was impressive in its expanse.

“I’ve had this same experience with @hawaiianairlines they told me leave my boards because i was 1lb over, not even a extra charge policy just said leave it we dont care,” writes Nathan Florence.

Mark Healey: “That’s why they’re called Hawaiian and not Aloha. Been dealing with that shit from them my entire adult life.”

Eli Olson: “When I won the Hawaii / Tahiti regional title and was trying to fly to California for the US Open to represent Hawai’i @hawaiianairlines never let me bring two of my boards that I needed. They told me leave the board.”

Shane Dorian, “SW is the shit! I love them. It’s ‘illegal’ to fly with 100 pound board bag, but they will allow you on the plane if you weigh 500 pounds. What’s that about? HA has some sketchy policies.”

Now, Hawaiian says they’ll accept surfboard bags up to 100 pounds, have cut prices between Hawaii and the US mainland by twenty-five percent (down from $100 to $75) and it remains free to bring boards between Hawaii and NZ.

“I personally would like to thank the team at @hawaiianairlines for hearing me out and understanding my issue and questions towards their board bag policy,” writes Billy Kemper in his latest missive. “I’ve dedicated my life to the sport of surfing and want to continue to help make it better for the future in anyway I can.”

Apart from a few disgruntled longboarders, many happy comments followed Billy Kemper’s latest missive.

“Billy regulated Hawaiian airlines board bag policy. Pe’ahi champ does whatever the fook he wants,” wrote one-time BeachGrit writer Jake Tellkamp.

“Spoke for us all,” wrote Dustin Barca.

And from American DJ and record producer Diplo, aka Thomas Pentz, “God damn…that’s results.”


Mister Business (right) wrecking perfect surf days for Tatiana Weston-Webb. Photo: Instagram
Mister Business (right) wrecking perfect surf days for Tatiana Weston-Webb. Photo: Instagram

Beloved top pro surfer’s wedding day almost marred by racist AI!

Zuck around, find out.

Show me one person one surf fan on this planet who does not adore Tatiana Weston-Webb and I will show you a fool. The 27-year-old powerhouse, a perennial top-five on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour, has been flashing her inimitable style for years. Weston-Webb is not afraid of meaty bigness. She is not afraid to carve and rip and slay. And even though she looks like the Mother of Dragons, the extreme platinum blonde is half Brazilian.

Yes, father hails from England but discovered surfing, moved to Florida and eventually to Kauai. Mother comes to us from the land of Order and Progress.

A one-time professional bodyboarder to boot.

Weston-Webb, whose double-barreled last name is from father, was raised on the Garden Isle but now surfs Olympicly for Brazil.

Not only is Tatiana Weston-Webb a Kauai local, a Brazilian, an Olympian and a perennial top-five, she is also Jesse Mendes’s gal. Yes, the two began dating long ago, forming up a surf power duo not seen since… Jack Freestone and Alana Blanchard. Mendes, who also occasionally surfs on the World Surf League Qualifying Series, is one handsome fella. Ironically, the São Paulo resident now surfs for Italy.

To the joy of everyone, the two tied the knot over the weekend.


Mark Zuckerberg vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb Photog

Except pure evil lurked on the fringes, trying to spoil the otherwise fairytale day. The wedding photographer, Caroline Cerutti, captured the stunning beauty and penned a moving tribute in Portuguese. The English translation read, “A happy and calm bride when she saw the sun rise then since rain was forecast. Mas divide due se fosse chuva iria mudar alguma coisa. Pois pensa numa noiva leve, que viveu tudo. It was beautiful, Nxxxx.

The last bit a seemingly racist slur.

Eagle-eyed fans were quick to point out the inappropriateness of the final bit though bilingual human saint reacted.

“That translation is not accurate. W don’t say the N word like that in Brazil. Nega or “neguinha” is a very common and loving way to call good friends at the south of Brazil.”

The AI, or artificial intelligence, owned and operated by Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg clearly doing a real dirty.

The caption was quickly changed to read “Foi Linda” or “It was beautiful at the end.”

Unnecessary though since no racist business was ever used in the first place.

Should the man Kai Lenny called “Super fit. Strong, strong, strong,” be censured?


More as the story develops.