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.”

Ouch.

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.

Huzzah.

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?

Hmmmm.


Makani Alexander (right) with dad. Photo: Instagram
Makani Alexander (right) with dad. Photo: Instagram

Son of North Shore enforcer Kala Alexander shot dead on Oahu

Tragedy in paradise.

Tragic news from Hawaii, this evening, as it has been reported that Makani Alexander, son of famed North Shore enforcer and WolfPak founder Kala Alexander, has been shot dead. The 25-year-old was in Waialua, near Haleiwa, late Sunday night when the shooting occurred.

Hawaii’s Daily News has shared that, “CPR was attempted on the 25-year-old victim in an attempt to revive him, but sadly, this attempt was unsuccessful. The sad announcement that the young man had passed away from his wounds was made this morning at 12:35 a.m.” though other information is scant.

An earlier version of the story used reporting that declared a shooter was at large. New information is that the tragedy was a result of an accident.

Messages from shocked and heartbroken friends are beginning to pepper social media.

Kala Alexander was a North Shore fixture throughout the 2000s as part of the Kauai crew including three-time World Champion Andy Irons. His name whispered in hushed tones by the visiting hordes hoping for a taste of glory. The New York Times profiled Kala and friends in 2009, writing, “They are known as the Wolfpak or simply “the boys.” They use fear and their fists to command respect in the surf along the North Shore of Oahu, a seven-mile stretch of some of the world’s most renowned waves. At the celebrated Banzai Pipeline, they determine which waves go to whom, and punish those who breach their code of respect for local residents and the waves.”

And, specifically about Kala:

The most notorious member is the group’s enforcer, Kala Alexander, a professional surfer with muscular tattooed arms and “Wolfpak” inked across his knuckles. In 2007, Alexander starred in “The 808,” a reality television series about the Wolfpak and the North Shore, and appeared in the films “Blue Crush” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

More, certainly, as the story develops.


Paramedics use Naxolene to bring Jackass star Poopies back to life after fentanyl overdose

“I remember doing a couple of key bumps. Then I was dead”

Jackass’ breakout star Sean “Poopies” McInerney, whom you’ll remember made his show biz debut as JOB’s crazy sidekick, has revealed he died, and came back to life obvs, after an unscrupulous street dealer sold him what was supposed to be cocaine but was actually fentanyl.

Poopies, who is thirty-seven, old enough y’think to lay off the gear, tells the story on his Jackass co-star Steve-O’s podcast.

Poopies describes feeling an overwhelming desire to “party”, had gotten “hammered on wine” and was “trying to do a bit of sniffy snacks.”

Following a show by another co-star, the comedian Rachel Wolfson, Poopies went to a Cabo Grill. While waiting in line, Poopies asked a “random person on the street for some cocaine.” 

Poopies purchased roughly half a gram, which cost him forty dollars. I know, I know, we pay five times that in Australia for crushed Panadols hosed in hairspray, but the US got Mex. 

Anyway, Poopies takes two key bumps, a technique where the key’s shaft is used to dig a small amount of coke out of the little plastic bag and brought to the active nostril or nostrils. 

Next thing Poopies knew, he woke up in an ambulance with Narcan syringes in his chest.

(Poopies thinks a “couple of super cool black chicks” he was talking to called 911.)

“They (paramedics) were, like, “He’s alive, wow, he’s alive.” 

As far as any profound glimpses of the beyond, Poopies describes his flirtation with death as going to “the darkest (place). Like, you know when you cover your eyes and then, like, and you keep layering it and it gets darker and darker. That’s what I saw. Like, the darkest colour. I was, like, what the? What’s going on, you know? And I was dead.”

Confessionals aren’t new for Poopies.

Over the years, he’s has revealed a secret past as a North Shore prositute and as a drug mule (Poopies says he did it twice, netting a total of four thousand dollars which, he says, he spent buying fast food for he and his pals at the Carlsbad 7-11).

And while he has achieved a podium of fame with his role in Jackass, his infamous stunt for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has left Poopies with a gimpy hand that limits his mobility.


Kelly Slater and Great White shark.
Kelly Slater and, right, his muse: the Great White shark. | Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Kelly Slater Great White inspired twin-fin “highlights the vacuous model system underpinning the surfboard industry”

Do you see a selling point compared to the dozens of other identical shapes on the market?

News shared by Chas today that Kelly Slater has released a new board under his Slater Design label. This time collaborating with shaper Mark Woo. A performance twin.

Online purchases available just in time for Black Friday.

The hook?

This one mimics the outline of a Great White shark. Kelly Slater’s not the first to turn to nature for surfboard design. Greenough’s original revolutionary fin templates were of course copied from the dorsal of a tuna fish. While the Meyerhoffer was modeled off a merman’s dick.*

I find the performance twin-fish genre to be a lazy reach. Forgiving rails, wide point forward and carried through the middle. Refined, pulled in tail to allow responsiveness and tighter arcs in turns. Business at the front and party at the back, as they say. It’s about as ground-breaking as a Toyota saloon.

Every major shaping label offers its own iteration. You could argue Lost built its empire around it.

Lazy reach, maybe.

But, as with a Toyota, fuck it if they don’t work.

Like my latest vehicle of choice. It’s another $50 special from FB Marketplace. An older performance twin. 6’3″ x 19 1/2 x 2 1/2 or thereabouts. Full volume through the front, low rocker, beaked nose. Pulled right in through the tail. A subtle swallow. Fixed twin fins. Upright, toed in.

The thing hooks. I’ve surfed it in everything from weak one-foot point breaks to slabbing four-to-six-foot beachies. Speed, drive, hold, but with the right amount of release when you want it. Usual caveats on your backhand in the pocket. But all in all, worth every dollar I spent on it.

Fun fact: the fiberglass is breaking away around the tail, which cut my knees up everytime I surf it. Sort of like a self-flagellation for riding such a user-friendly shape. I don’t mind.

It’s shaped by Darren Symes, master of the holy SDV trinity. Single concave into double into vee through the tail. He’s responsible for one of the best boards I’ve ever owned, a mid noughties thruster that still holds pride of place in my mum’s back shed. One of those ones I can’t bring myself to throw away, even if I couldn’t ride the thing now.

Will this twinny end up in the same realm?

Probably not. But it’s fun as a fuck on an onshore day out the Point.

Back to Kelly Slater’s board, though.

Man’s certainly not scared to put his name to a product. Fins. Tail pads. Sports drinks. Wave pools. Sandals. Though to be fair, when it comes to boards, he’s usually focusing on high-performance at all costs. Seeing him enter the fish market might be the subtlest of concessions to his legacy. Of course there’s a Slater twist: this one has more nose rocker than your standard twin/fish.

Does it tickle your fancy at all?

Do you see a selling point compared to the dozens of other identical shapes on the market?

For me, it highlights the vacuous model system that underpins the entire board industry. Constantly tweaked iterations of the same three or four designs pumped out year after year. There’s a reason some of the top pros ride the same shape over and over, just with different sticker covering it up. They’re all the same in the end. Especially for us plebs.

My take?

The board looks like it would be fun as fuck too. And a fresh stick off the rack every now and then is alright to see what’s out there, while supporting your local retailer.

But find a design you like then go work with a trusted shaper to dial it in. Think globally, surf locally.

Or just be a povvo and buy them third hand like me.

*yeah ok not really