Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli. Thoughtful. Photo: Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli. Thoughtful. Photo: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Iconic surf actor Sean Penn reveals premonition of Matthew Perry’s tragic drowning

"I can’t say that I was terribly surprised..."

Four weeks ago, the surf world fell into deep mourning as it was revealed that Matthew Perry had drowned. The beloved Friend had, just months previously, run afoul of the aforementioned watery group after he wished Keanu Reeves dead in his acclaimed memoir. “Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die,” he penned “but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”

Surf fans, of course, venerate Reeves as a saint after his portrayal of Johnny Utah in Point Break, which remains one of the best surf movie ever made and were ready to march upon Perry’s Pacific Palisades home with pitchforks. The 54-year-old quickly realized his error and apologized to Reeves, declaring he would remove the line from forthcoming editions of his book.

The surf world breathing a sigh of relief.

Now, the other best surf movie ever made is certainly Fast Times at Ridgemont High which brought to us Jeff Spicoli marvelously portrayed by Sean Penn. The star turn, really, created the surfer stereotype which has survived until this day.

Penn recently sat down with Piers Morgan and reflected on Matthew Perry, saying, “What a talented guy. I can’t claim to have known him well, but I liked him very much.” He then went on to praise him for his book, the people it would help etc. before adding, “It’s tragic, I can’t say that I was terribly surprised. I don’t know what the whole coroner’s report things and everything, but I know he had done a lot of damage to his organs over the years.”

Surf wisdom, I suppose, and it certainly is interesting that Matthew Perry had direct ties to the two greatest surf actors in the last days of his life.

More reasons to love and cherish.

The Millennial Wave feat. Laird Hamilton
The Millennial Wave feat. Laird Hamilton

Laird Hamilton shrieks like school girl as artificial intelligence makes Surfline irrelevant!

700 years of data, over a billion waves, 1 OMG.

To be honest, I don’t know if Laird Hamilton actually surfs big waves any more but he sure used to. King Poseidon taming the wild seas with quadriceps the size of watermelons, abs like a washboard, a jaw made from an old timey lantern. Who could ever forget his OMG Teahupo’o wave?


Now, that I think about it, I only really remember him surfing big waves during his strapped years. Jaws etc. Though was that him or Derick Dorner or that other guy?

Well, back to the issue at hand, big waves and how to find them. In years past, hunting beasts required much knowledge of weather data and swell blah blah plus a premium subscription to forecasting site Surfline. Overnight, all that has vanished.

For scientists at the University of Copenhagen and University of Victoria have plugged 700 years worth of data about “freakishly large” rogue waves into the artificial intelligence machine and can know predict when, and where, they’re going to strike.

“Basically, it is just very bad luck when one of these giant waves hits. They are caused by a combination of many factors that, until now, have not been combined into a single risk estimate. In the study, we mapped the causal variables that create rogue waves and used artificial intelligence to gather them in a model which can calculate the probability of rogue wave formation,” scientist Dion Häfner told

“Bad luck,” of course in the eye of the beholder. Shipping companies losing containers on the burly ocean etc.

Good luck if you are Laird Hamilton

“Our analysis demonstrates that abnormal waves occur all the time. In fact, we registered 100,000 waves in our dataset that can be defined as rogue waves. This is equivalent to around one monster wave occurring every day at any random location in the ocean. However, they aren’t all monster waves of extreme size,” explained other scientist Johannes Gemmrich.

One monster wave every day? This all really forces the question: what has Surfline been doing all this time?

Like, these Danish bros have plugged in over 1 billion waves to their algorithm and, as far as I can tell, make no money from premium subscribers.


Let’s now turn our attention to Sam George discussing OMG.

Balenciaga jupe towel and bondage teddy bears.
Balenciaga ain't afraid to court a little controversy. Pictured, left, happy-ish kid with bondage teddy bear handbag and, right, the towel skirt. | Photo: Balenciaga

Balenciaga accused of cultural appropriation after moving into surf fashion space with wearable $1000 towel

Fashion house goose-steps over ancient surfing tradition…

The French-owned fashion house Balenciaga has stared down claims of cultural appropriation from surfers after releasing a wearable “jupe towel” for a little under seven-hundred European shekels.  

Balenciaga, which was pilloried in 2022 after running an advertising campaign which featured happy kids holding teddy bear handbags dressed in sexy bondage outfits, shockvertising as they say, has appropriated the once-popular custom among surfers of changing out of wetsuits with a towel wrapped around waist.

Balenciaga jupe towel
Balenciaga’s new 700 Euro jupe towel.

Available only in beige, the “towel skirt” forms part of Balenciaga’s spring 2024 range. It is made of terry cotton, can be worn by men or women, features a regular fit, a mid-rise waist, an adjustable belt with a buckle inside, is knee-length and has a Balenciaga logo embroidered on the front.

It is made of one hundred percent cotton and to preserve its structural integrity must be dry-cleaned only.

The cargo pants worn by the model in the photograph cost 1600 Euros. 

Both items are, “made up of essential pieces with sophisticated finishes and noble materials. The house’s DNA is reflected in bold silhouettes without visible logos, precise cuts and minimalist manufacturing techniques.”

Importantly, Balenciaga is a brand that “strives strive to constantly reduce the environmental footprint of our products. The remaining carbon emissions linked to the entire life cycle of this product have been carefully calculated, and we are committed to investing the corresponding funds in carbon capture projects that protect biodiversity, restore natural ecosystems and thus combat climate change.”

Although surfing’s demographic shift to the vulnerable adult learner, median age fifty, means the poncho has taken the place of the makeshift towel skirt long employed by surfers (“If you want to wear a hoody towel and dress like a baby you may as well wear a diaper to wear with it”), it still remains a prized tradition among some. 

Elagabalus (left) finally living her truth.
Elagabalus (left) finally living her truth.

World Surf League on right side of history as British museum re-categorizes Roman emperor as trans woman!

Living truth.

The trans in sport issue has burst back, front and center and right in time for the holiday season. A dinner table conversation sure to please. Days ago, a transgendered swimmer broke a school record in New Jersey. Megan Cortez-Fields beat all-comers to win the women’s 100-yard butterfly after racing on the men’s team last year.

Inspiring, certainly, though not to tennis great Martina Navratilova who took to the application formerly known as Twitter to declare, “Women’s sports is not the place for mediocre male athletes who compete as women. Period.”


Thankfully, our World Surf League finds itself on the correct side of history. Professional surfing at its highest level has one of the more inclusive policies. As Derek Rielly reported almost a year ago, “The WSL has opened the door to trans-women competing so long as they’ve been a gal for at least twelve months and their hormone levels are real low ie less than 5 nanomoles per liter continuously for the previous 12 months (biological men hover between 10 and 35, bio-gals under three), although the WSL won’t be doing the testing.”

But correct side of history?

Of course.

A British museum, you see, is relabeling its exhibitions of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, better known as Elagabalus, with she/her pronouns instead of previous he/him. Elagabalus ruled the Roman empire for just four years from 218AD to his assassination, aged 18, in 222AD. She was married five times, four to women and once to a man. Cassius Dio, a senator and contemporary, wrote the young emperor was “bestowed in marriage and was termed wife, mistress and queen.”

A museum spokesperson said it was “only polite and respectful to be sensitive to identifying pronouns for people in the past.”

Dr Shushma Malik, a Cambridge university classics professor, disagreed with the move and told the BBC:

“The historians we use to try and understand the life of Elagabalus are extremely hostile towards him, and therefore cannot be taken at face value. We don’t have any direct evidence from Elagabalus himself of his own words. There are many examples in Roman literature of times where effeminate language and words were used as a way of criticising or weakening a political figure. References to Elagabalus wearing makeup, wigs and removing body hair may have been written in order to undermine the unpopular emperor.”

Dr. Shushma Malik sounds un-awakened, however, and I don’t know how much attention we should pay, education be damned.

Which brings us back to the World Surf League and the correct side of history.


David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, briefly discussed Elagabalus though, in all honesty, David Lee didn’t seem too interested. He did have great advice on how to win the Thanksgiving table over. I guarantee it will score you maximum points but you must listen.

And enjoy.

Heroes and the saved.
Heroes and the saved.

Heroic boogie preteens foil mass drowning in Australia!

The once lightly-esteemed boogie board now king of all craft?

Heroes are made, they say, not born but the adage is under scrutiny, today, as new evidence suggests six preteens and preteen-adjacents just foiled a mass drowning in Australia. Max Laird, Braith Davidson, George Griffin, Harrison Smee, Alex Norris, and Zach Marsden were getting their boogie on at Kiama Beach, a beautiful cove south of Sydney, when they heard screaming.

“My first thought was this can’t be happening,” 12-year-old George Griffin told ABC News. “It was 20 minutes after the lifeguards had packed up and we were just boogie boarding, so all six of us went over.”

They realized that two teenaged girls plus a mother and her three children and become caught in a vicious rip current that was pulling them out to sea.

Without thought for personal safety, the gang jumped into action, kicking out to the distressed. “I got to an 8, 9-year-old kid called Matt, and by the time I got to him he was completely under water, just his hand above the surface of the water, so I was pretty worried,” George continued. “It was shocking, but we just had to do what we could.”

The boys had actually been taking lifesaving classes at the local club and quickly reverted to training, saving all souls, boogie-ing them to the warm safety of land.

And if this isn’t yet another example of how the once lightly esteemed boogie has quietly become a force. I was in a local pizza spot, the other day, and a boogie video was playing on the overhead televisions. Absolute mad men belly flopping into the angriest slab monsters I have ever seen.

Completely transfixing.

Enjoy some here.

I wonder if the moment the boogie began its rebirth was when Kenny Powers kicked into a Florida lineup on one and terrorized the local surfers?