Erik Logan (pictured) still missing.
Erik Logan (pictured) still missing.

Surf world in mourning as former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan remains off social media even after disgraced Selema Masekela returns

Time for a digital wellness check.

The surf world has fallen into a deep funk and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight. On June 26, 2023 then-World Surf League CEO was in Brazil, “reflecting on an incredibly rewarding journey with the WSL Academy,” taking his many social media fans for quirky behind the scenes tours. Shortly thereafter, fired. The World Surf League announced the move in the most terse press release ever, simply stating, “Erik Logan is no longer with the company.”

He flew back from Brazil, at some point, and launched a third, or fourth, act as a motivational speaker after cursing at a John John Florence meet and greet.

Topics he is willing to discuss for a fee are:

-Riding the Waves of Passion and Profession: An unforeseen journey through Discovery, Loss, and Rediscovery

-Beyond the Degree: Life’s Unexpected Teaching on Success and Leadership

-The Art of the Turnaround: Lessons in Resurrecting Businesses and Cultures

An absolutely thrilling return to public life and yet his one-time portal to the wider world, the Instagram account @elo_eriklogan has remained dark.

The aforementioned surf world had hope, ten days ago, when extreme sport personality Selema (formerly Sal) Masekela made a stunning return to the platform. The 52-year-old was recently thrust into the spotlight when his beloved movie star girlfriend Lupita Nyong’o declared he had done her dirty, deleting every picture of the two of them dressing alike. Masekela quickly switched his Instagram comments off and went into hiding.

Thankfully, self love is abundant in his heart, and, days ago, the man who only uses superlatives to describe surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking came roaring back.

Single and Ready to Mingle


Ready to crush the back nine without any baggage save massive ego and humiliation.

The surf world immediately went to check on Erik Logan’s account, assuming his would be live too as Masekela had been publicly embarrassed by actual media instead of just surf media.

Still nothing.


How is he supposed to promote his speaking career? How is he supposed to get those endorphin spikes that Masekela is currently bathing in?

Is it time for a digital wellness check?



Lee (pictured) shredding.
Lee (pictured) shredding.

San Francisco surfer mysteriously dies while in lineup at Ocean Beach

“They ruled out heart attack, they ruled out stroke, there were no injuries..."

A mysterious tragedy struck San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, days ago. Longtime local, and father of two, Kirby Lee was in the lineup, enjoying an unseasonably calm day. Light winds, “tiny” waves according to another local. The meteorologist called it 3 – 5 foot. Next thing anyone knew, Lee was unconscious in the water. A fellow surfer paddled him to shore where CPR was administered until the firemen arrived.

Fire Department Capt. Justin Schorr said Lee was “pulseless and not breathing.” They rushed him to UCSF Medical Center, where he was put on life support. Yesterday, he was taken off.

Cause of death?

Lee’s sister told SF Gate, “They ruled out heart attack, they ruled out stroke, there were no injuries, nothing on the outside of this body that indicated he had been hit by his board and knocked unconscious, nothing. We asked the doctors so many times. It sounded like they were very thorough. It’s a mystery.”

Lee grew up in San Bernardino, teaching himself to surf in Orange County as a teenager. He did his undergraduate studies at San Diego State and UC Santa Barbara and got a degree in biopsychology. Next came a master’s in pharmacology at Boston University before a received a doctor of pharmacology at UCSF where he remained an associate professor.

He lived at Ocean Beach, with his family, and loved when it got big. Friend and fellow surfer Sam Awad said, “I would sit with him and many times I would go inside to get more of the smaller waves. He had great patience and would always wait for the larger sets to come through and pick off some of the biggest, longest and best-shaped waves. Kirby had no fear and seemed always calm in heavy surf.”

Lee surfed all around the world but was very much a part of the tight knit OB community.

The mystery of his death, no visible trauma, no understandable cause, a baffling puzzle.

Christ the Redeemer in Taylor Swift thanks to Brazilian surf fans. Photo: @taylorswiftfansbrazil
Christ the Redeemer in Taylor Swift thanks to Brazilian surf fans. Photo: @taylorswiftfansbrazil

Passionate Brazilian surf fans petition Rio de Janeiro mayor to dress iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Taylor Swift shirt!

Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira, Taylor Swift.

If there is anything we know about Brazilian surf fans, it is that they are passionate. The descriptor is used as every third word when the World Surf League rolls into town for its yearly stop. Passionate, passionate, passionate, passionate. Joe Turpel says “passionate.” Strider Wasilewski says “passionate.” Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer says “passionate.”

Passion is used too.

But it is true. Brazilian surf fans passionately threaten visiting Australian professionals with death. They passionately declare the fix is in even though the country has claimed three titles in a row and four of the last six.

Brazilian surf fans simply do it passionately better.

And so you could imagine the thrill rippling though the Brazilian surf fan ranks with the imminent arrival of Taylor Swift. The tour de force will drop into Rio de Janeiro November 17 for her wildly acclaimed Era’s Tour. Tickets are going for “ridiculously cheap,” maybe because of the rumored romance between Swift and Brazilian foil John John Florence.

Still, exciting.

So exciting that one Brazilian surf fan thought it would be only right for the city’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue to wear a Taylor Swift t-shirt to greet her. Anthony Roberto Justus, who counts Gabriel Medina amongst his favorite stars, sent his idea to the mayor Eduardo Paes. Paes responded, “I’m going to ask dear Father Omar to see if we can get this honor. He’s the guy who runs the projections.” Father Omar responded, “We received your comments with great joy and await contact from the singer’s advisors.”

Hopefully the advisors ok the concept.

Also hopefully the World Surf League is watching.

Which jersey would Christ the Redeemer wear best?

Ethan Ewing’s?

Don’t be racist.

Shaun Tomson (right) discusses politics with Mick Jagger. Photo: History
Shaun Tomson (right) discusses politics with Mick Jagger. Photo: History

Surf great Shaun Tomson’s robust apartheid-era defense of “keeping politics out of surfing” resurfaces in wake of current Israel-Hamas conflict

"Where will it all end? I'll tell you. It will end with the destruction of pro surfing as we know it."

This climate, man. Hot. And I don’t simply refer to the global warming trend melting icebergs and flooding lowlands plus paradisiacal island nations (I kid. Or do I?). I refer to everything else, but mostly the Israel v Hamas conflict currently inviting any and all outside the region to pick a ridiculously hardened side.

Death to the other or worse. If it can be conjured.

College students at Harvard imagining they know, and stand with, the oppressed. Hollywood notables thinking that they are victims and those who disagree must be dispensed with immediately.

The lack of nuanced thinking, wishing complete cancellation on the other, frankly, mind-bending.

Now, let us reintroduce the Ricky “Bobby” Basnett vs. Shaun Tomson blood feud. The business spilt into the public square earlier today when the former, and beloved, Championship Tour coffee sipper, Basnett became fired by the 8th greatest surfer ever, Shaun Tomson, after posting a slide to Instagram reading “From the river to the sea.”

Or not fired, but quit according to Tomson.

“From the river to the sea,” in any case, and depending on bent, either a call for the complete eradication of the Jewish state of Israel or a mere plea for Palestinian autonomy.

I think it probably actually means the former, though social media gonna social media and illiteracy gonna illiterate.

In any further case, Tomson fired Basnett, who had begun working with Insight, in a fiery letter.

Or maybe Basnett quit.

But let us transport to another time in professional surfing history when South Africa, Tomson’s home country, was ruled by a government that supported the subjugation of its natural born inhabitants.

History is important (please subscribe here) and, in 1985, Tomson, the smoothest surfer ever, stood on a Torquay, Australia stage and declared, “The rumor I’ve heard is about a South African boycott. Suddenly the surfers have principles. Suddenly we have political aspirations. I’ve been involved in pro surfing since it began…”

A powerful opening salvo.

“I don’t like people being killed in South Africa,” he continued. “No South African does. But do you think not surfing in an event in South Africa will change anything? Are you not all trying to get some cheap publicity? What’s the next frontier in surfing’s newly found political conscience? Maybe we won’t go to the USA because we object to American involvement in Central America (etc. etc. ad infinitum). Maybe we don’t go to France in objection to the socialist government. Maybe we don’t go to Israel because we object to the treatment of Palestinian refugees…”

England because crackdown on Irish nationalists etc.

“Where will it all end?” he sally forthed. “I’ll tell you. It will end with the destruction of pro surfing as we know it.”

Tomson went on to state, “If you don’t support South Africa, then voice your opinions, but support pro surfing. Look after your livelihood and what you love. I don’t stand here in defense of South Africa. I stand here as a surfer in defense of pro surfing. Thank you.”

Mic drop.

Was Shaun Tomson on the right side of history?

Hindsight always a perfect 20/20. Apartheid South Africa an absolute historical disgrace. Tom Carroll, who rode for Tomson’s brand Instinct, was threatened with lawsuit if he didn’t travel to South Africa to surf. He refused then signed a million dollar contract with Quiksilver becoming an icon twice over.

Making good.

Derek Rielly, in his exceptional biography of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke (RIP) covered the scene, writing:

In 1985, the world champion surfer Tom Carroll refused to surf in South Africa’s three international surfing events “until black surfers are allowed on all beaches.” Carroll was sponsored by the South African company Instinct which threatened him with a lawsuit if he didn’t compete.

Hawke heard about the threat, called Carroll, and invited him to Canberra where he told the surfer that if his sponsor went legal he had the weight of the Australian government behind him.

“I was really welcomed by Bob. It was a nice feeling to have that support from him,” says Carroll, who didn’t lean either way politically and admits he was initially inclined to distrust any politician courting the youth vote. “I had some strange responses to my decision. All kinds of people went a bit crazy about it. But he was genuine, very interested and he asked all these really good questions about the tour and competing and where I’d been and even brought up some results. He read his brief very well.”

When Mandela came to Australia, Hawke introduced Carroll to Mandela.

“I remember Bob telling him, in his frank way, ‘Nelson, this was the world champion surfer at the time and he made decision to boycott the events in South Africa. Gave him the whole story. Mandela turned around to me and said, ‘Thank you very much Tom. I needed all the help I could get.’ Bob facilitated that. It was a lovely moment between the three of us. It gives me goosebumps now.”

At Carroll’s retirement dinner in 1995, Hawke would say, “His beliefs, his principles, were so strong that he put those in front of everything else and as I recall there has been no example in the history of Australian sport where a champion has been prepared to put principles so manifestly in front of his or her own interests as Tom Carroll did in 1985.”

Tomson was never pro-apartheid, let it be stated. Let it also be stated he is not anti-Palestinian, writing most recently, “Yes, I agree Palestinians have suffered too and that war is dreadful.”

And so.

Surfing and politics?

Where are you currently landing?

Willing to actually challenge your own suppositions, which are, let’s be frank, elementary unless you are there, studied, open? Or ready to double down on all that you don’t know?

My goodness. I once thought I knew. Nineteen years old, in Egypt, traveling to Israel, overland though the now trendy Rafah crossing for the first time. My positions became absolutely ludicrous when meeting real people in that Holy Land. Stretched further in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Somalia.

Maybe Shaun Tomson was right. Maybe he wasn’t. Pro surfing already destroyed by Dirk Ziff, Erik Logan and co. But lend an ear to the other side and try to understand, try to feel instead of popping off.

Pro surfing is dead, sure, but surfing still lives.

Take your shirt off.

Shaun Tomson and Ricky Basnett
Shaun Tomson and Ricky Basnett, pals no more. "Once again the actions of an old white man have fucked it all up," writes Ricky in his resignation letter.

Surfing great Shaun Tomson says “I didn’t fire Ricky Basnett, he quit!”

"Once again the actions of an old white man have fucked it all up," writes Ricky in a fiery resignation letter.

Ricky Basnett made an anti-semitic statement on Instagram that calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jews.

I thought he might just be ignorant and asked his employer to get him to take it down. There is enough hate in the world.

Ricky Basnett Instagram post labelled anti-semetic
Ricky Badass’ IG post calling, if you use the Hamas interpretation, the destruction of the Jewish state.

I am a Jew and found it incredibly offensive and anti-semitic. Surfers I know have already been murdered in this conflict.

I could have just let it slide since it had only one comment but for me there is a question of morality, 1,200 murders, rapes and dismemberment. Two hundred and forty hostages.

Yes, I agree Palestinians have suffered too and that war is dreadful.

I do not want a team member who supports the extinction of Jews and the Jewish state but I never fired Ricky Basnett or asked him to be fired. He cut ties on his own.

Read his resignation letter.

After his employer asked him to take down the post at my request, this is what I and his employer received.

Morning S.. (employer with me cc’d)

Before I say anything else, I want you to know that I have the utmost respect for you and am super grateful for the opportunity you gave me with Instinct.

The events that transpired over the weekend however have left a disgusting taste in my mouth, and it’s honestly a gigantic red flag for me.

I will NEVER be censored for my beliefs, and unfortunately cannot be aligned with a company whose founder openly supports genocide and oppression.

As you already know, Shaun’s statements over the last month have been hurting the brand locally, and it baffles my mind that as a human who grew up in apartheid South Africa, he can’t see what he is doing. Our own South African government is Pro Palestine.

Instinct IS Shaun and his public opinions reflect on the brand. He may have left SA, but the legacy of apartheid hasn’t, and while I’m trying to help build HIS company into an inclusive, diverse South African brand, he clearly sees his personal views as more important than all of that work.

On top of that, I have zero respect for anyone who can’t voice their issues directly to me. Going behind my back to you is cowardly. The only thing I’ve been sent directly from him is some random propaganda clip full of proven inaccuracies, and I’ll be honest I am fucking livid with the situation. He’s also been deleting opposing comments on his posts, and this, along with the immediate attempted censoring of my views, has shown me his true colours.

I need to protect my own brand here, and with no paycheck coming in from Instinct, you can understand my need to step away.

At the end of the day I’m just really sad it’s gone this way. Once again the actions of an old white man have fucked it all up. I am also unfortunately going to have to make a public statement regarding my decision. In no way do I want to hurt the brand locally, but again, I need to protect myself and explain why this relationship has ended so suddenly.

I really do wish you all the best, and I am truly sorry for this mail.


After his letter, I sent along this letter….

Shaun Tomson
To:Ricky Badness,S..
Mon, Nov 13 at 5:16 PM (note time stamps)


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 my 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 they word means. 6 million Jews died in the 1940s. That was genocide.

Your anti-semitism is disgusting to me.

Shaun Tomson

So please get it straight.

(Watch Jason Hearn’s very  good film about Ricky Basnett here. Many tears etc.)