Proposed Kelly Slater pool for Coolum, Queensland, officially dead.
Plans for the Slater pool and real estate play in Coolumn, Queensland, now officially dead.

Billion-dollar Kelly Slater wavepool and resort officially dead as developer sells land for $6 million

"I feel sad that surfers will be the ones behind the bulldozers, erasing this wildlife, this bush from history."

Two years ago, the pro-environment and wildlife advocate Kelly Slater “urged” the Queensland government to approve a one-billion dollar wavepool, eco-resort and real real estate development.

“This wave would become somewhat of a mecca and put the Sunshine Coast back on the (surfing) map,” Kelly Slater said. “It will bring a lot of interest to the area and it will be a place that I know a lot of people are going to want to surf and have an ongoing impact on the local area.”

The proposal included a Surf Ranch wrapped in a 20,000-person stadium, a six-star eco-resort, restaurants, bars, a retail village and “an environmental education centre based on the site’s wetlands and nearby waterways.”

Unfortunately, the proposed site was on some of the most flood-affected land on the Sunshine Coast and “was a natural storage area providing downstream protection during major flood events” according to a local councillor. 

When there was pushback from locals, the developer said unless government red tape was slashed and the project bathed in green light they’d move the development to the Gold Coast, a couple hundred clicks south.

Consolidated Properties’ Don O’Rorke, who “donated the land and a half-a-million dollars for the Hurley HPC in Casuarina and was subsequently made a life member of Surfing Australia said concerns the joint was on a flood-plain were unfounded and pointed out that heavy rains didn’t affect the site. 

Anyway, much back and forthing and the high point of the whole thing, I think, was the late Steve Shearer’s terrific reporting.

Read: Longtom investigates WSL’s billion-dollar wavepool development, parts one and two, here and here.

An excerpt, 

I put boots on the ground at the site. I know this country very well. It’s in my blood. My people come from the Queensland cane swamps. They are Danes, Swedes, Sicilians.

Practical people.

They would understand the necessity of bulldozing the bush to make way for jobs. But I do not. The developer’s eye eludes me. I see trees and bush. Birds, insects, frogs. I feel sad that surfers will be the ones behind the bulldozers, erasing this wildlife, this bush from history.

From what I can see though, although there is ambivalence, distrust and even hostility to the Coolum wave pool development, that is unlikely to stop the bulldozers.

The greenwashing on the project will be immense. Next level.

But I wonder, when Kelly thinks about what is being done in his name and looks in the mirror, does he still see an environmentalist looking back at him?

Anyway, the Kelly Slater wavepool has come to naught, as they say, Consolidated Properties’ Don O’Rorke selling the 300 acres of cursed dirt for six million dollars to the Queensland government.

It’s part of the gov’s plan to protect natural flood plains with the land now used for rural or agriculture, for the generation of renewable energy and for public open space.

O’Rorke said he was “obviously disappointed” with shelving of the Kelly Slater pool and real estate play but “we do understand Sunshine Coast Council’s strong desire to protect flood plain capacity and maintain these lands in public hands in perpetuity.”

Billy Kemper in Tenōre. Photo: Instagram
Billy Kemper in Tenōre. Photo: Instagram

Surf fans widen eyes as mysterious “Tenōre” clothing appears on ex-RVCA team riders!

Christmas lists currently being edited.

It’s Christmas season with surf fans busily making lists of what they wish and hope and aspire to see under the tree. A bar of BeachGrit co-branded Sticky Bumps surf wax? A pair of Klly Sltr turtle moon sandals wrapped in micro-plastic paper? One of the recently excused Vans employees?

But how about t-shirts and trunks, hoodies and beanies?

Alas, a surf industry implosion has rendered once joyous staples like Billabong and Quiksilver, Volcom and Hurely entirely embarrassing. No one but no one wants Mountain and Wave beard oil in a stocking.

Or Stone paper clips.

Though what’s this? What’s this? Is there possibly magic in the air?

Days ago, you certainly know, the Eddie held its annual opening ceremony drawing a who’s who of big wave men and women. There they stand, like demigods and goddesses, giant boards behind them. Icons of cool. Surf fans, however, widened eyes at one particular invitee. Maui’s Billy Kemper sporting a pair of trunks reading “Tenōre.”

As you recall, Kemper and a handful of professional surfer friends, recently turned down contracts from disgraced RVCA. The brand, absorbed by Authentic Brands alongside the aforementioned Billabong and Quiksilver, icky like them too.

Rumors instantly percolated that RVCA founder Pat M. Tenōre was up to something and is this it?

Tenōre beneath the bows?

Please mama?

More as the story develops.

Surf world in meltdown after TMZ forgets name of Lupita Nyong’o’s surfer-ex Sal Masekela and says he was “not a super public figure”

"So, Lupita Nyong’o was dating this guy…I forget his name…Sal…Mas…Mas…this dude…"

While war rages hither and yon and pro surfing stubbornly refuses to climb out of its WSL-dug grave and the Pipe Masters runs as a B-grade exhibition event, you should be pleased your reporters at at BeachGrit are here to cover the important and profound, in this case the love games of broadcaster Sal Masekela and Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o.

Selema, who is fifty-two, is the sort of person who would put anyone under his spell, as he did, for a time, with Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o.

As I may’ve mentioned four or five times in the past few months, and which I’ll cut and paste for your enjoyment below, I met the extreme sports identity at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in 2017.

This was before Lupita Nyong’o and therefore Sal Masekela was, ostensibly, single.

Occupying one of the bench seats in the Surf Ranch’s heated jacuzzi aprés our allotted waves was Sal, he was Sal back then, and just as I was about to enter the swirling maelstrom, heated to one hundred degrees and offering needed respite from the winter cold and a possible cure for a dreadful hangover, his telephone rang.

Sal asked me to rummage through his colourful outfit which was bundled on a barrel, enough clothes to suggest, or was I hoping, he was nude in the tank, and to pick it up.

It was Kelly Slater.

“Answer it,” he commanded, which I did.

Kelly Slater remained silent when he heard my voice, an early portent of the blood feud that would simmer for the following six years.

After a howl of laughter and some chortling Sal hung up. 

Despite an expanded adiposity, he gobbled protein bar after protein bar, informing me of the health-giving properties of the foil-wrapped chocolate chip treats. Privately, I questioned the wisdom of these calorie-dense treats and made a mental note to avoid once they arrived in Australia.

Stories flowed like a river of honey, however, and I left, like everyone who spun in his orbit that day, a fan for life.

I didn’t heard from Sal again and only knew in passing that he’d transitioned to Selema.

In January this year, Chas wrote that Selema and Lupita Nyong’o, who is forty, had not only made public their declaration of love but had spent four million dollars on a a sprawling Los Angeles home together.

Nine months later, the relationship was in ruins, with Lupita Nyong’o publishing an unflattering picture of their affair on Instagram.

“At this moment, it is necessary for me to share a personal truth and publicly dissociate myself from someone I can no longer trust,” writes Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for her performance in 12 Years a Slave. “I find myself in a season of heartbreak because of a love suddenly and devastatingly extinguished by deception… I am reminded that the magnitude of the pain I am feeling is equal to the measure of my capacity for love. And so, I am choosing to face the pain, cultivating the courage to meet my life exactly as it is, and trusting that this too shall pass.”

Lupita Nyong’o subsequently erased all mention of Sal Masekela from her Instagram, ghosted as they say, following her suddenly high profile affair with Dawson’s Creek star Joshua Jackson.

Worse, for Sal Masekela, however, after TMZ, the BeachGrit of important celebrity news, called surfing’s beloved broadcaster and star a nobody, while discussing Lupita Nyong’o annihilation of any mention of Sal on socials as she pivoted to the, let’s be frank, wildly inferior Josh Jackson.

“So, Lupita Nyong’o was dating this guy…I forget his name…Sal…Mas…Mas…this dude…he was not a super public figure … she went on her Instagram and deleted all, like, records of her history with her ex-boyfriend. He was just wiped.”

Thoughts, prayers, so on.


Lucy Small and Hamas terrorist.
The surf feminist and prizewinning filmmaker Lucy Small and Hamas soldier reloads mid-way through the October 7 massacre.

Surf feminist and prizewinning filmmaker Lucy Small reveals obsession with Gaza conflict

"1. Wake up and think about Gaza. 2. Watch the latest atrocities on phone. 3. Have breakfast think about Gaza."

Many brave and loud voices were heard in the surf community after twelve hundred Jews were either slaughtered, raped and, or, kidnapped by the Iranian-backed and trained religious extremist group Hamas on October 7. 

(From the preamble to the Hamas charter, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” and later “There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”)

The surf feminist and trans-in-sports-activist Lucy Small was among the loudest, although Andy St Onge and Surf Equity ran a close second and third, busily posting a series of stories after the attack. 

These included a reel  from Al Jazeera showing Hamas terrorists in paragliders landing in Israel and about to murder and rape indiscriminately with the caption, “Palestinians in Gaza made history as they escaped the world’s largest prison”. 

Lucy Small and Hamas terrorists.
Lucy Small and reposted story from Qatari-sponsored news outfit Al Jazeera celebrating October 7 massacre of Jews.

(Small explained the apparent contradiction of a feminist and trans-activist supporting a religious fascist group notorious for killing gays and subjugating women with, “The end of occupation may allow for healing. It is common in communities affected by armed violence, rates of domestic violence and violence against women are higher – it’s a tragic part of war.”)

In other words, the Jews made us do it! 

In another salvo, Lucy Small cleverly described Israel as being “at the nexus of colonisation, white supremacy, capitalism and (the) military industrial complex…”

Among today’s fusillade of stories, Small has revealed her obsession with the conflict with an eighteen-point explanation of an average day in the house of Chez Yay Hamas. 

Small asks, 

Anyone else’s day to day look a lot like:

1. Wake up and think about Gaza.

2. Watch the latest atrocities on phone. 

3. Have breakfast think about Gaza.

4. Surf and get really furious about Gaza.

5. 2 hours on phone watching new developments in Gaza.

6. Text friends about latest fury about Gaza.

7. Get really angry at the government. 

8. Read some more background on historical atrocities committed against Palestinians you didn’t know about. 

9. Feel sad and hopeless about Gaza.

10. Start trying to imagine what peace would look like. 

11. Think about the poor woman whose baby died crying as she says she got 580 injections to have him. 

12. Watch some videos of settlers attacking civilians in the West Bank. 

13. Tears in eyes thinking about Palestine. 

14. Start making plan to become the prime minister. 

15. Text friends for help.

16. Reply to some comments hoping someone might decide not to be Zionist.

17. Watch more videos and think about everyone Gaza.

18. Sleep. 

Sure beats my day. 

1. Wake up. 

2. Brief regime of push ups and, or, chin ups. 

3. Examine deltoids in mirror and run appreciative fingernail along slightly raised vein in bicep.

4. Look at surf. Think, tide too high or too low. 

5. Sauna. 

6. Copy story from Surfer and/or Stab.

7. Nap.

8. Be depressed, briefly, over myriad emotional failures and financial missteps.

9. Go to jiujitsu, get slept. 

How does your timetable operate?

Are you weeping for the brave Mohammedan freedom fighters or it don’t touch the sides, as they say?

Mason Ho (left) and Burger. Shunned by the "Global Home of Surfing." Photo: Blak Bear Surf Club
Mason Ho (left) and Burger. Shunned by the "Global Home of Surfing." Photo: Blak Bear Surf Club

Hawaiian nobility Mason Ho discusses being told he “offended the audience” by World Surf League after Pipeline claim!

"To declare the World Surf League does not understand surfing is a profound understatement..."

To declare that the World Surf League does not understand surfing is a profound understatement. The “Global Home of Surfing” routinely steps the wrong way, its institutional ignorance too vast to even begin to catalog. “Backward Fins” Beth, Erik “ELo” Logan, Finals Day at Lower Trestles… I don’t have enough time for this, to be honest.

The latest? Mason Ho discussing how he received a strongly worded letter from the veterinarian offices about how he was “offending the audience” after a maybe botched Pipeline claim.

Ho, son of Michael, brother of Coco, nephew of Derek, sat next to the legendary Cheeseburger on the must-watch new series from Blak Bear Surf Club discussing a wave he caught during a Pipeline event and getting caught betwixt a finger snap and Andy Irons’ iconic shotgun claim which turned into something all its own.

Whilst surf fans celebrated, as they always do, Ho’s creativity, the World Surf League grew incensed and issued him a strongly worded letter telling him he was “offending fans,” or some such.

The conversation is priceless, Ho forgiving, kind, wonderful, does not cast stones (other than the ones he already cast).

Burger the best sidekick ever.

But my goodness.

World Surf League?

Do you even watch surfing?

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed the moment along with hot sake, mouth taping, faith healers and Carissa Moore’s perfection. It might be our best show yet and I think you should probably enjoy.

If not now then later.

RIP Party Pete.

Or did you come to the universal conclusion that listening now is better?

It’s the right call.