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”.


World Surf League taps massive audience to push hair conditioner on Cyber Monday!

"Formulated with love."

The reports of the World Surf League’s death are greatly exaggerated… oh wait. The “Global Home of Surfing,” which made much news eight years ago, circa 1976, by acquiring professional surfing for free and promising its most ardent fans that the show will soon be bigger than the National Football League has experienced a precipitous fall since.

Real wine replaced by Barefoot Wine replaced by wine-flavored tap water as sponsors.

A regional Australian ladder company now the “face of the brand.”

And so it should come as no surprise that a never-before-heard-of hair conditioner was the only partner for the World Surf League’s Cyber Monday blast.

Clicking the link won the savvy shopper 50% off hair conditioner.

It must be noted that the beauty product was not made by Hurley.

Now, let’s be honest. With John John Florence leaving tour and Filipe Toledo penned in to win the next three small wave world championships, how much longer does the billionaire-backed enterprise have?

Under/over please.


Thomas J. Lochtefeld (insert) manically laughing as he does Ivanka Trump a "dirty water." Photo: Instagram
Thomas J. Lochtefeld (insert) manically laughing as he does Ivanka Trump a "dirty water." Photo: Instagram

America’s daughter Ivanka Trump viciously embarrassed by surf tank guru Tom Lochtefeld!

"She's riding the red wave."

It is political season in America. That wonderful time of year when nieces refuse to meet with uncles, grandchildren with the elderly over sharp disagreement. While opposing sides once lightly tolerated each other, these days each is busily petitioning Satan to open the gates of hell for the other, begging for front row seats so that nana and auntie can be watched writhing in eternal pain over the principle sin of a wrong vote.

And yet Ivanka Trump.

The former first daughter, now aged 42, is the rare creature that is universally adored. Beautiful, intelligent, a wife that puts the Stepfords to shame, a mother that makes Joan Crawford appear uninvolved. She has no enemies, save one.

Tom Lochetefeld.

While many assume that Kelly Slater invented the wave pool, the credit should mostly go to Thomas J. Lochtefeld. As Derek Rielly writes, “There’s no bigger name in the wavepool game than San Diego’s Thomas J. Lochtefeld, a former tax lawyer turned water park proprietor turned creator of surf dreams. Lochtefeld got his surf chops threading caves at Big Rock in La Jolla, San Diego, and has spent the last thirty-five years trying to recreate similar thrills at the punch of a button.”

Now, you are likely aware of the maestro’s current project in Palm Springs, but did you know he invented the FlowRider?

Again, Derek Rielly:

In 1987, he sold his share in a bunch of theme parks for two million dollars and used that cash, as well the sale of his beachfront joint at La Jolla for 950k to create a standing wave, called Flowrider, that ended up being installed in over 200 joints in thirty-five countries.

In 1999, the Swiss watch company Swatch toured a souped up version of the Flowrider called Bruticus Maximus and that caused more permanent injuries in one year than Teahupoo in the last thirty, around the world: from Florence to Munich, Vienna, Hanover, Long Beach, San Diego, Manila and Sydney, with Tony Hawke, Kelly Slater, Chris Miller and Terje Haakonsen wowing crowds with a surf, snow, skate combo of airs and tubes.

Re-Enter Ivanka Trump

A nasty tool, no doubt, and now look at Ivanka Trump trying it out, gliding high one moment…

Ivanka Trump before.
Ivanka Trump before.

…brought entirely low the next.

Ivanka Trump after.
Ivanka Trump after.

Thomas J. Lochtefeld’s maniacal laugh heard ringing.

The august Page Six declared, “She’s riding the red wave.

I don’t think the editors, there, know what that means.