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.

Dead whale (pictured) with wind turbines and angry Australian surfers involved. Photo: photo
Dead whale (pictured) with wind turbines and angry Australian surfers involved. Photo: photo

Australian surfers accused of promoting gruesome whale death misinformation!

"Down with big wind!"

It is generally not wise to trust surfers on matters of importance. Other than Kelly Slater, who knows more than most doctors and also has a Chinese girlfriend, surfers are generally not well-read nor particularly discerning. Used to passing disinformation onto fellow surfers under the guise of hiding “secret spots.” Fairly vacant.

And Australian surfers, let’s be honest, a touch dumber than all others save American surfers, Brazilian surfers, French surfers, and definitely South African surfers. Portuguese surfers and Chilean surfers too. Canadian surfers. Etc.

Well, as it turns out the aforementioned Australian surfers are caught up spewing alleged lies over a planned wind farm that is to be built off the New South Welsh coast. While ecologists hail the proposal as exceedingly green, the surfers have joined with fishermen, tourism operators and politicians to oppose the business over citing “whale death” as the major concern.

Signs featuring beached whales in foreground, wind turbine in background now ubiquitous around the region.

Australian Surfers Push “Wind Kills Whales” Agenda

Though, apparently, the science does not support mass whale die-off due “Puff Power.”

Quentin Hanich, the editor-in-chief of the academic journal Marine Policy and professorial fellow at the University of Wollongong, has, according to The Guardian, “spent this week debunking a fake article shared on social media that purported to be from his publication which claimed offshore wind projects in the Illawarra and Hunter would kill 400 whales a year.”

“There’s been a whole bunch of continuing dialogue that suggests that windfarms kill whales without any actual evidence to demonstrate that that’s the case,” Hanich declared.

Australian surfers, apparently, don’t care and have planned paddle-outs to call attention to all the whales probably dying.

A very powerful tool though maybe they should have considered a billboard?

Something extra funny, cheap and character-revealing?

Whatever the case, those in favor of the turbines declare that surfers are in the pockets of “Big Mine” and are stupid.

Are they?

Do you have a position vis a vis wind?

Let’s hear it!