Koa Rothman fourth major to be savaged by Banzai Pipeline this month

Another one bites the reef.

Anyone who has ever had the good fortune of pilgrimaging to Oahu’s North Shore in order to stand on Ehukai’s sands and gaze at the Banzai Pipeline has, certainly, been filled with a sense of awe and wonder. The most famous wave in the world lives up to its billing. All the power of the Ocean Pacific, the fury, crawling for miles in order to meet that reef, stand tall and explode, shaking the earth, sending plumes to pressurized mist into the tropical air.

Or, as poetically stated in the award-nominated Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell:

Pipeline is it. Pipeline is the only thing and it matters not which country, which state, or which island a surfer is from, he comes to Pipeline as soon as he is able. This is partly because of the way Pipeline breaks, perfectly and very close to shore making it scenically dynamic. Partly because it has claimed more lives than any other wave and has the mystique of a beautiful killer. Partly because it is the most holy admixture of science and magic. Everything surfing means is wrapped up in Pipeline.

Those brave enough to paddle into her maw might just maybe etch their names alongside Gerry Lopez, Michael Ho, Andy Irons, Jamie O’Brien and heroes who have come before. They might also catch a thorough hiding. Both, in fact, likely scenarios.

“You must pay to play,” as the adage goes, and, this December Pipeline has upped the price of admission.

Yesterday, extremely experienced local, and son of legendary strongman Eddie Rothman, posted a picture of his bloody face to Instagram after kissing the aforementioned lava rock making him the fourth major this month. You’ll recall João Chianca was dragged from the water, unconscious, around Pipe Masters time.

Tahitian charger Eimeo Czermak was injured during the event, hoping that he’ll be able to walk again.

Eli Olsen down hard too, Peruvian hotshot Joaquin Del Castillo suffering multiple hip fractures after a catastrophic wipeout latest and now Koa Rothman.

Why the spate of misfortune?

Overcrowding at the shiniest jewel of the Triple Crown?

El Niño?

Whatever the cause, I’m stunned that bodies aren’t broken out there every single day. Wishing speedy recoveries to all brought low.


Is Filipe Toledo pretending to be scared of Teahupoo?

What if Filipe Toledo's masterplan is to make the world think he's terrified of Teahupoo and then conjure an unlikely gold medal?

In a little under a year, Brazil is going to field two-time world champion Filipe Toledo as part of its two-man team to the Olympics, the surf event being held at Teahupoo.

It ain’t no secret that Filipe Toledo is scared of the place. He is the only surfer to score a zero-point heat there. A moment in 2015 that was subsequently dubbed “A brave act of cowardice.”

Last year, Filipe Toledo reprised his brave act of cowardice when he refused to paddle for a set wave in his heat against old-timers Kelly Slater and Nathan Hedge. 

As Chas Smith wrote,

Filipe Toledo, with reputation for not enjoying the Teahupo’o battle, would certainly spear naysayers in the throat by dropping in to infamy, no? 

Apparently no.

Kelly Slater and Nathan Hedge traded waves, big and perfect, one after the other after the other with Toledo holding priority well out the back, refusing to paddle, one after the other after the other.

Kelly Slater, barreled, unable to contain smile.

Nathan Hedge, barreled, unable to contain smile or beat, smartly, boss.

Filipe Toledo, un-barreled, holding priority for fifteen-odd minutes while Slater and Hedge swapped beneath him.

In the dying seconds, the King of Saquarema swung on a baby tube then punched board in channel.

It also ain’t no secret that the Brazil’s best Teahupoo surfers are Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira.

But they ain’t going.

And, yet, what if?

What if Filipe Toledo is playing a game of rope-a-dope with the world; what if Filipe’s masterplan is to make the world think he is too scared to paddle into a set at Teahupoo and then, with Olympic gold on the line, create one of the most unlikely wins in Games history?

Chas Smith, who hates surfing, explores this topic over the course of five minutes.


Holly Wawn and Barton Lynch
Surf prodigy Holly Wawn, who first alerted Barton Lynch to his Devon patch.

World surf champ Barton Lynch on being bald-shamed by teenage female prodigy

“Hey BL, how’s that Devon patch you’re sportin’ on the top of your head?”

A couple of years back, BeachGrit outed the world champion surfer Barton Lynch as a filthy communist bastard, which you can read here, and which was swiftly refuted, here. 

Barton Lynch, who is now sixty, clinched the 1988 world title at perfect eight-to-twelve-foot Pipeline, although in later years he became more famous for his oratorical gymkhanas on WSL broadcasts.

(Barton Lynch was the sport’s most popular broadcaster before being dumped by the WSL for, it was rumoured, his role in the activist group Voices4Choices, which questioned vaccine mandates and the role of government during the COVID pandemic.)

The surf community was, rightly, apoplectic with the father of competitive surfing Ian Cairns writing, “You’re the only commentator that illuminates concepts and situations in heats, that former champions recognize as well. These insights are critical explanations to the hoped for expanded WSL audience. Otherwise it’s ongoing blah blah blah. Their loss and your gain!”

Filipe Toledo’s daddy Rich added, “Let’s go!!! We missing u papa Smurf.”

Since the dumping, Barton Lynch has poured his considerable skill and insight into a podcast called The Stoked Bloke Show, which he operates with Peter King, the musician, pro surfer and former bandmate of Kelly Slater.

In the latest episode, Lynch describes the day in 2010 he learned he was suffering male pattern baldness. Lynch tells King he was coaching the then thirteen-year-old Australian surfer Holly Dawn when she looked at him and said,

“Hey BL, how’s that Devon patch you’re sportin’ on the top of your head?”

Barton Lynch, Holly Wawn and Devon Patch.
Little Holly Wawn proves kids got no filter. Thirteen years on, Barton Lynch still bears the scars from the youthful joke.

“What’s a Devon patch?” asks King.

“Devon is processed meat,” explains Lynch, “like bologna. We would call a Devon patch the round patch of baldness on a human’s head.”

“I had no idea,” says Lynch. “I didn’t have an inkling I was balding. When there was no one home, I sneaked into the bathroom and…ooooohhhhh… I’ve got a bald patch!”

Barton Lynch wears his Devon well, let it be said, bringing the viewer’s eyes away from his crown with a beard reminiscent of the German philosopher and political theorist Karl Marx.

But don’t be fooled.

“I am for free market capitalism and democracy 100%,” says Lynch. “Not fond of Communism or state control in any way.”

 

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Kevin Costner (pictured) becoming scared at Southern California's surf reports.
Kevin Costner (pictured) becoming scared at Southern California's surf reports.

Kevin Costner seen fleeing Santa Barbara with two hideous surfboards leading digital sleuths to wonder if post-Christmas hookup with Jewel in cards!

Big ugly.

As Southern California’s surfers know, a massive swell event is heading to our shores. Waves big in San Diego, bigger in Los Angeles, biggest in Ventura. Santa Barbara? Bigger than biggest and extremely scary. Hell chargers like Jen See will, of course, be waxing guns and ready for anything. Actors like Kevin Costner maybe not so ready and getting the hell out.

The Field of Dreams star was snapped by paparazzi fleeing the American Riviera with two hideously thicc rail’d surfboards attached to a very fine Ford F-150 roof. He was at the local airport, hopping on a private jet wearing and, according to The Daily Mail, “rocking shades, a black shirt, blue jeans and camel-colored cowboy boots…”

Very sexy.

For a reason?

Digital sleuths immediately wondered if he was secretly rendezvousing with Jewel, the singer-songwriter he has been romancing since divorcing his wife who refused to leave his house.

Messy.

Jewel was born in Alaska but moved to San Diego to play various coffeehouses and surf. She became famous for her hit 1995 album Pieces of Me, dated Sean Penn, married a professional rodeo cowboy, divorced him and now is with Costner whose wife is hopefully out of his house.

A bystander, anyhow, said, “He just looked like such a movie star getting out of this big black truck and stepping onto his private plane. Everybody was like, ‘Oh, look!’ The man looks really good for his age, like a real cowboy in that monster truck and boots.”

She was clearly not a surfer because his boards were, legitimately, big suck. If he is hoping to impress Jewel, he might be in big trouble.

Or maybe not.

Who knows what she’s into, surfboard-wise.

I hope not his gross sins against Devon Howard.

Yuck city.


Terror ripples through Southern California as “Christmassive Surf” set to detonate coastline!

"This is the end..."

A certain percentage of Southern Californian woke, this morning, with terror clawing at the edges of hearts. Invading the quiet spaces of minds. Pounding, pounding, pounding at psyches. Specifically, those who received new surfboards underneath the tree on Christmas morning.

For their mettle will be immediately tested as a “strong swell” is arriving at the shore, teeth bared, ready to eat fresh Wavestorms, Wave Bandits, Jamie O’Brien LOGs et. al. and spit out their pilots wrecked and ragged.

According to the local KTLA news:

Strong swells along the Southern California coast Wednesday will only build later in the week, prompting officials to issue a coastal flood advisory.

Above-average surf between 3 to 5 feet is expected through Wednesday along the Los Angeles County coasts, according to the National Weather Service. Those swells will reach 7 feet along the Ventura County Coasts.

The surf will surge on Thursday, reaching around 10 feet in L.A. County and up to 14 feet in Ventura County, according to the Weather Service.

But imagine, all the big talk after the wrapping was cleaned up, tossed into the recycling bin, the adult learner holding his new cool pineapple-logo’d soft top, talking all that big talk. How he is going to paddle out and barrel. How he is going to Waimea. How he is going to rhino chase without expecting a ten foot super-swell to actually provide the opportunity instantly.

Uh oh.

And now imagine his girlfriend watching KTLA, becoming excited for her man to show his skills in those strong swells. Planning their trip to the beach. Telling all her confidants about it and inviting them too.

There they all go to El Porto, sun shining brilliantly, 10 feet of pure Pacific fury bearing down.

The end.