John John Florence riding a Jon Pyzel-shaped Ghost at Margaret River
John John Florence proving the worth of the Pyzel Ghost at Margaret River. | Photo: WSL

Margaret River Pro “in limbo” after locals demand its axing from world surfing tour

Are you for, against or indifferent to the Margaret River Pro on tour?

That pretty little winery town and Great White hotspot called Margaret River one hundred and seventy two miles south of the Western Australia capital ain’t so little any more. 

It ain’t a surprise.

There’s a million reasons why you’d wanna bivouac to Australia’s south-west corner. Live down there amid the giant Karri and Jarrah trees, on a coastline dressed in white sand beaches and world-class reefs, with a sublime Mediterranean climate and where no natural barriers mean there’s empty land to build on for miles and for a tenth of the price of dirt in Sydney or Byron Bay. 

Each year, the world’s surfers get a little taste of Margaret River when the tour comes to town, the Margaret River Pro where John John Florence proved his Ghost model Pyzel to the world in a fashion similar to Simon Anderson’s thruster domination at Pipe in 1981. 

The event, which has run for thirty years, is in doubt, howevs, after local residents lodged sixty-nine objections to the Shire of Augusta Margaret River rubber-stamping the Margaret Pro for the next five years. 

“While the Margaret River Pro attracts widespread community support each year; submissions received during the consultation process raised several important issues,” a Shire spokesperson said. 

“Broadly, the objections raised concerns about the length of the contest, public access to the foreshore and recreational areas, impact from the use of North Point, the use of Surfers Point over Easter and the licensed area.”

Even though the Margaret River Pro is funded by the Western Australian government, the WSL still has to get shire approval to access public land and the surrounding infrastructure. 

But while sixty-nine objections ain’t a trifling number, the shire did receive forty-eight supporting the event and twenty-four “indifferent” responses. 

I guess I’d fall into the indifferent response group.

Do I like watching the Margaret River Pro? Yeah, it’s…ok…time zone is more helpful for my viewing needs than Brazil or South Africa but I am oftentimes puzzled watching a collection of the greatest surfers on this earth struggling with a wave that has, roughly, two sections before an awkward closeout on the limestone shelf.


Koa Smith, Joe Dispenza and discarded cane.
Koa Smith, Joe Dispenza and discarded cane.

Ultimate Surfer Koa Smith eye-witness to faith healer Joe Dispenza curing the lame and crippled!

“I saw people getting up out of wheel chairs. I saw canes in the trash”

Just over one week ago, you witnessed the world number three Griffin Colapinto, also known as the “Gandhi of surfing”, fall under the spell of charismatic faith healer Joe Dispenza, sometimes written as Spinoza in these pages. 

After a week-long retreat with Joe Dispenza, Colapinto wrote of the power of Coherence Healing (“All I’ll say is if I had an illness, the first thing I would do is go for a coherence healing”) and said he was “leaving this retreat with so much love in my heart and an understanding of how POWERFUL us humans Beings actually are. This Practice is changing the world for the better.”

Also on the retreat was the Koa Smith, a three-time NSSA champ and runner-up to Zeke Lau’s Ultimate Surfer. 

Smith, born in Kauai and a student of Bruce and Andy Irons, is also a prized fashion model and a business man. 

Smith, who is twenty-seven, says he witnessed, first hand, own eyes etc, the miracle of the lame and crippled being gifted back the use of their legs, the sorta thing last seen in a pretty little town called Lourdes in the Pyrenees and, previously, when the noted Jewish preacher Jesus Christ put the paralysed back on their feet in the ancient Jewish provinces of Galilee and Judea.

According to the Gospel of John, Jesus tells a cripple at The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem to hell with your self-pity, get up etc.

Reflections of this at the Joe Dispenza retreat.

“I saw people getting up out of wheel chairs. I saw canes in the trash and people cracking their hearts wide open and feeling true love for themselves!” writes Smith. 

“Dr. Joe Dispenza is helping us understand how to tap back into Human potential. Taking complex techniques and science and making it digestible for anyone. He’s reminding us that we have the power to create the life we desire. We have the power to tap in and heal our selves from anything and ultimately how to heal other people.”

Ain’t that something? 

Many positive notes in the commentary section.


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Miracle reprieve for Big Island surf schools as court steps in to delay bloody massacre!

“I’m not saying it was fixed but it wasn’t up and up.”

Surf as living, man, is a rough gamble. Sometimes it’s all golden, clicking, flowing. Other times it’s the Golden Bachelor, rough, merciless, lame. Tide all the way out. And so I very much sympathized with the various surf schools on Hawaii’s Big Island that, two weeks ago, had entire business models upended via a nasty new lottery.

For then, seventeen hopeful surf school owners had gathered in the Old Kona Airport Pavilion, on Friday, waiting to see if they would receive one of only four permits being offered for the very popular Kalahu’u Bay. The Department of Land and Resources had decided to drop balls in a hopper, bingo style, in order to select the programs allowed to instruct the vulnerable.

The balls were dropped, spun and selected.

One person, Wesley Moore, getting three out of the four slots.

The others, who had been there for decades, left without a rose.

It seemed like an apocalypse.

Bloody Friday

But, hours ago, the state’s courts intervened in a miraculous reprieve.

According to Big Island News Now:

At a hearing on Thursday afternoon, 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim granted the temporary restraining order, saying this is a public interest case because confidence in the state systems must be based on transparency and fairness.

“It’s skyrocketed because of the concern that the entity [the Department of Land and Natural Resources] knew the system could be gained,” Kim said. “I’m not saying it was fixed but it wasn’t up and up.”

In the hearing, it was noted that Moore owned eight of the 17 companies in the lottery, but had only one school. Moore, a longtime Kona resident, has been operating Kona Town Surf Adventures for years. But all the other LLCs were created within the past couple of years.

Boom and Wesley Moore readying his legal forces?

Probably. That’s the day and age in which we live. Where slaps have been exchanged for briefs.


David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, did not discuss this subject but did dig into the pure adult joy of dipping French fries into mayonnaise instead of ketchup.

Where do you stand on that one?

Listen here.

Surf fans (insert) bummed. Photo: Jesse Palmer
Surf fans (insert) bummed. Photo: Jesse Palmer

Surf fans break out in bitter sobs as core surfer Leslie Fhima has heart broken by cruel “Golden Bachelor!”

“I hate myself and I hate everything right now."

What was supposed to be a night of glorious celebration, for surf fans, turned into an evening of slow motion horror as The Golden Bachelor unspooled in real time. But only last week we were introduced to Leslie Fhima, a 64-year-old personal trainer who once dated Prince but, most importantly, is a core surfer. She was the odds-on favorite to win the hand of Gerry Turner, a retired restauranteur from Indiana whose other wife died, I think.

Anyhow, The Golden Bachelor swept the nation with its tale of sunset love and surf fans felt certain Turner would go for the 64-year-old Fhima over the 70-year-old Theresa Nist who did not surf.

Leslie Fhima-core.
Leslie Fhima-core.

Turner and Fhima’s “Fantasy Suite” rendezvous went wonderful, maybe even sexy time, and the brunette ripper joined surf fans in their certainty of her status.

Until the final episode where things took a hard left turn, Turner choosing the senior senior instead.

According to People Magazine, Gerry told show host Jesse Palmer, “I took a really good person and f—ing broke their heart. I hate myself and I hate everything right now. I think the only time I’ve ever felt worse in my whole life is when my wife passed away and this is a Goddamn close second. She’s a good person and I f—ed her over.”


Well, Turner told her, “You were the person I believed was my person until I suddenly knew you weren’t. It didn’t really go wrong, Leslie, it just … it was better with someone else.”

Shifty geriatric asshole.

The ol’ timer, anyhow, proposed to Nist and the two are getting married and then heading into hospice where they will die because they are old.

Back to Jesse Palmer, though. The last time we saw him was as host of Kelly Slater’s The Ultimate Surfer. The show that had surf fans declaring, “I hate myself and I hate everything right now.”

Happier days.

Papa? John Daly (left) and John Florence (right).
Papa? John Daly (left) and John Florence (right).

John John Florence paternity thrown into doubt, again, with freshly leaked John Daly DJ Khaled party photos!

"The likeness is uncanny!"

Filipe Toledo, and his small wave mastery, unfortunately being damned. The two-time World Surf League champion should, by all rights, be riding high. Not one, but two, World Surf League championships secured at “The Proving Grounds” now known as Lower Trestles. Five more, or however much longer Finals Day will be at Lowers, all but a certainty.

He should be everything, everywhere all at once.

Except he is not.

Yes, reality is a troublesome mistress and the Brazilian flyboy, made famous via timidity, is certainly wonder why his star is not shining brighter. Why potential commercial parterres are not flocking to his door. Why his is not the “face of the brand.” Why social media is, again, consumed with John John Florence being sired by a famous father.

Let the record state that John John Florence’s real father is an author but social media gonna social media. Years ago, there was near folk certainty that Florence was progeny of one Kelly Slater. So much heat around, in fact, that one that even The Inertia covered in depth.


A fire is raging that John Daly is papa. The iconic golfer was recently snapped celebrating DJ Khaled’s birthday party and eagle eyed surf fans were stunned by Daly and Florence’s almost exact likeness. From eyes to nose to mouth to smile. Certainly undeniable. Daly’s approach to institutionalized golf, also, much the same as Florence’s to professional surfing. The aforementioned surf fans are busily examining the record, wondering if Daly was playing Turtle Bay’s course some 31-years-ago. Searching for receipts.

Filipe Toledo, meanwhile, wondering why surf fans aren’t wondering if his father is actually Mario Van Peebles.

More as the story develops.