Moana Jones Wong (pictured) buried in Pipe Masters. Photo: Vans
Moana Jones Wong (pictured) buried in Pipe Masters. Photo: Vans

Post-Mortem: Just-wrapped Pipe Masters bitterly divides surf fans!

"The shiniest jewel of the former Triple Crown relegated to a specialty event."

The Pipe Masters is now, officially, in the books with John John Florence and Moana Jones Wong etching their names alongside Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Carissa Moore, Michael Ho, et. al. in history. As you are certainly aware, the World Surf League jettisoned the event two years ago, preferring to begin the season at The Banzai and ending at Lower Trestles.

Vans, holding the window and the Pipe Masters name, did not budge leaving the onetime Super Bowl as a specialty event.

Surf fans, it appears, are bitterly divided over its relative worth.

Some found the lack of WSL schlock absolutely delightful. True Pipeline chargers being given the stage, allowed to showcase their unique abilities without having to paddle around Filipe Toledo when the ocean roared to life. Others found the lack of stakes, and names like Gabriel Medina, troublesome. The shiniest jewel of the former Triple Crown relegated to a specialty event.


Oh, I made my opinion known before the epic-adjacent final day.

And stand behind it even after watching many of those last heats including Jones Wong, Harry Bryant, Ivan Florence’s facial hair raising the bar. The Pipe Masters deserves all of the lesser known chargers, and it is a crime against surfing that the “Home of Surfing” savagely gutted their ranks with its big foot.

But where do you stand?

David Lee Scales and I discussed during our weekly chat, bitterly divided. He loved, though he also loves driving in the carpool lane solo, further jamming already jammed Southern California traffic with a sneer. You can, and should, listen now, ponder, then add your feelings like gilded beads into these annals.


Matthew Perry (right) pointing out a longboarder.
Matthew Perry (right) pointing out a longboarder.

Matthew Perry cause of death sends surfers into paroxysms of self-reflection

The beloved Friend was found unresponsive in a Pacific Palisades hot tub almost two months ago. Today we learn why.

The emotional tie between surfers and Matthew Perry, which tightened after the beloved Friend apologized for denigrating Point Break saint Keanu Reeves, has surprised some in the mainstream. Perry, 54 at time of passing, had not shown any interest in the Sport of Kings, preferring and proselytizing pickle ball, which endeared him to wave sliders who generally dislike newcomers. The fact that he issued a mea culpa after wishing Reeves dead made him a water brother.

It is rare, in this day and age, for anyone to think they were wrong, much less say it.

And so it is understandable how his death rocked our small world. Perry was found unresponsive in his Pacific Palisades hot tub just before Halloween. Perry had, of course, a long history with addiction. He was in therapy fifteen times and allegedly spent over $7 million on sobriety.

It was hoped, therefore, was not the cause.

Today we learn they might have been?

Falling down the K-Hole*

The New York Post has reported, “Officials have announced Matthew Perry’s cause of death as “acute effects of ketamine,” along with drowning, coronary artery disease and buprenorphine (an opioid) effects.” The august broadsheet then went on to explain that “Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it makes patients feel detached from their pain and environment. It can lead users to feel calm and relaxed, become immobile, act as a pain reliever, cause amnesia and provide hallucinogenic effects in certain dosages. The hallucinogenic has long been abused recreationally as a “club drug” and to facilitate sexual assault, but it has also been recognized for its medical and healing properties much more recently.”

Surfers, though, didn’t need to be told. Ketamine is the most popular drug, in surfing, after marijuana, booze, Laird’s SuperFood and Purps. It is common in any lineup where rubber-limbed flexy bros prefer boards nine foot plus, “walking the nose” and putting their hands over their heads, backs arched.

Noosa etc.

These selfsame surfers are, tonight, examining their relationship with “special k.” Should they be worried or was Perry’s case rare?

More as the story develops.

*Note: The “K-Hole” has no relation to “Kolohe.”

Zuckerberg (pictured) zucking around on his island.
Zuckerberg (pictured) zucking around on his island.

Wild new details emerge from “super fit” Mark Zuckerberg’s $270 million compound on surf-rich Kauai!

Bunkers, blast doors, treehouses and hush hush.

Surfing is blessed to have many notable adult learners, in these the post-Covid years of our lives, but none more precious than Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder, and multi-billionaire, jumped right in with two pale feet, befriending big wave stud Kai Lenny, going out and conquering fifteen-foot waves.

Though our hero has shifted his gaze from the Sport of Kings to mixed-martial arts, his $270 million top-secret compound is plowing right ahead on Kauai. As with other tech scions who made their riches by selling everyone’s personal information, Zuckerberg keeps everything crazy hush hush. Those who work on the property must sign ironclad NDAs. Those who dare take photos or talk about it are disappeared.

Nevertheless, Wired Magazine has done the work to uncover some of what is going on “behind the wall” on the way to Andy Irons’ Hanalei.

According to plans viewed by WIRED and a source familiar with the development, the partially completed compound consists of more than a dozen buildings with at least 30 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms in total. It is centered around two mansions with a total floor area comparable to a professional football field (57,000 square feet), which contain multiple elevators, offices, conference rooms, and an industrial-sized kitchen.

In a nearby wooded area, a web of 11 disk-shaped treehouses are planned, which will be connected by intricate rope bridges, allowing visitors to cross from one building to the next while staying among the treetops. A building on the other side of the main mansions will include a full-size gym, pools, sauna, hot tub, cold plunge, and tennis court. The property is dotted with other guest houses and operations buildings. The scale of the project suggests that it will be more than a personal vacation home — Zuckerberg has already hosted two corporate events at the compound.

There will also be a huge underground bunker with blast doors etc.

Extreme James Bond bad guy.

Do you think when the apocalypse well and truly arrives that the combination of those concrete-filled metal doors and Zuckerberg’s BJJ game will protect him?

Very cool.

More as the story develops.

Tom Lochtefeld’s Palm Springs Surf Club wavepool a miracle of genius and inspiration!

At Palm Springs Surf Club, every door is a back door!

Yesterday, after a cursory glance at a couple of YouTube clips doin’ the rounds following the debut of the new Palm Springs Surf Club’s full-sized tank, I mighta likened it to a slightly slicker version of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

Readers, very wrong, oh so wrong.

And, here, I want to bunch my fingers and twirled them about old man Lochtefeld’s knob and correct the record.

First, about Tom Lochtefeld.

There’s no bigger name in the wavepool game than San Diego’s Thomas J Lochtefeld, the former tax lawyer turned water park proprietor turned creator of surf dreams.

Lochtefeld got his surf chops threading caves at Big Rock in La Jolla, San Diego, and has spent the last forty years trying to recreate similar thrills at the punch of a button.

In 1987, he sold his share in a bunch of theme parks for two million dollars and used that cash, as well the sale of his beachfront joint at La Jolla for 950k to create a standing wave, called Flowrider, that ended up being installed in over 200 joints in thirty-five countries.

In 1999, the Swiss watch company Swatch toured a souped up version of the Flowrider called Bruticus Maximus and that caused more permanent injuries in one year than Teahupoo in the last thirty, around the world: from Florence to Munich, Vienna, Hanover, Long Beach, San Diego, Manila and Sydney, with Tony Hawke, Kelly Slater, Chris Miller and Terje Haakonsen wowing crowds with a surf, snow, skate combo of airs and tubes.
Lochtefeld’s real goal, however, was a wave that didn’t involve standing waves and finless mini-boards.

As computer tech got better, he deepened his research on the different ways of making waves: hydraulics, ploughs, boats.

Four years ago he told me and Chas about the Palm Springs Surf Club pool.

“It’s going to be an A-frame so you can backdoor it.”

God, he was right.

This twenty-five minutes cut of the full-sized Palm Beach Surf Club, below, starts slow.

But watch as Caity Simmers, Sierra Kerr, Jackie Doz, Blair Conklin, the ugly Coffin brother and Italo backdoor the wildest, bluest wedge you could ever imagine, and all amid the joyous roars from a crowd intoxicated with a well-earned victory.


Kelly Slater and the Betoota Advocate
Kelly Slater, left, and sexy comment that set trolls afire. | Photo: Slater Photoshop by @sensitiveseashellcollector

Circumcision debate turns ugly after “cut” Kelly Slater gets trolled over anti-vaccine stance

“The three friends I had die right after taking the COVID vaccine? Or the other ones that got Guillaume Barre, Bell’s Palsy, ALS, Myocarditis etc…”

It’s been days, possibly weeks, since Kelly Slater launched a major strike online, his time spent, perhaps, ensuring a smooth launch of the Abu Dhabi tank in his name. 

Kelly Slater, who is fifty-one, ain’t one to back down from an online skirmish, instances too numbers to list or link but his most enduring when he hit back at an historically inaccurate troll.

After much back and forthing and righting of the troll’s historical inaccuracies, Slater delivered his coup de grâce.

“Writing me out of the blue talking shit is such a crock of shit. Accusing me of being a racist? My girlfriend is Chinese. You’re on glue. You’re a miserable coward. And now you’re blocked.”

A few days back, a satirical account called The Betoota Advocate ran the headline, “Circumcised mate presents completely unbacked theory that chicks prefer his type of doodle.”

Yeah, it ain’t funny, but the champ liked it enough to give it his imprimatur and the throwaway line, 

“Unbacked theory? It’s field science,” said Kelly, whose bedroom romps are legend. 

Kelly Slater has a cut penis
Kelly Slater, proudly cut.

Do you remember the time an Australian woman revealed on a podcast the disastrous text she accidentally sent Kelly Slater, twice, following an intimate shower date? 

A recap on that. 

An Australian women of roughly middle age described meeting Kelly Slater at a bar-restaurant in Jan Juc, near Bells, twenty years ago. He memorised her telephone number after hearing her tell it to someone else, leading to a long-term and, mostly platonic, friendship.

“We’d become super super good friends. We were pen pals, emailing daily. He was on and off with Pamela Anderson, I was helping him through that. And a few of my closest friends, guys and girls, said you gotta seal the deal… my best friend said you’re going to become old and regret you didn’t do it… I promised I’d text her as soon as it happened.”

Anyway, a little while later Slater was in Sydney, the mystery gal in Melbourne.

She flies up.

“Middle of the day. Saturday. We obviously did the do. We were both in the shower and all I could think of was, shit, I have to call my best friend. I literally got out of the shower, wasn’t even dressed, and messaged these exact words. ‘Did it. Had sex. Going to leave now.’”

Despite disaster, she knew she had to inform pal of event.

The text went to Slater again.

“He was in the shower. I was sitting on the front of the bed. He asked me what was wrong, I said, can you please give me your phone? Give it to me!”

The friendship fizzled after the texts were revealed although, “I think he felt he had to prove himself after that. All I can say is he’s very competitive.”

Anyway, at the Betoota there was some lighthearted for and against on the issue of slicing off the skin covering the tip of the penis. 

“The question wasn’t whether you are ok with it or not,” wrote Slater. “The question is which do chicks prefer. We can’t reverse what’s already done but we can advocate for our kind.” 

Lighthearted that is until one fan, @ibhumphries, wrote:

“I’m surprised no one has asked yet; can you please cite some of the science you’re referring to here? Also, why do you trust that science and not the same scientific process and risk/analyses to form clinical recommendations around the safety and efficacy of vaccines? 

And, here, pushed too far, Kelly swipes the issue of mutilating baby cocks aside and, oowee.

“Well which efficacy do you speak of, Humphries? The 3 friends I had die right after taking the COVID vaccine? Or the other ones that got Guillaume Barre, Bell’s Palsy, ALS, Myocarditis etc after getting it? There are literally thousands and thousands of stories like this you’re either in denial or wilfully ignorant to. And if you took half a minute to see who was dying of COVID they weren’t healthy people under 60. And if you’re vaccinated, I’ll say it again, why are you worried about anyone else I trust personal experience along with science, and science is constantly changing…I think it’s pretty obvious at this point which side was right.”

The reply from @ibhumphries,

“I’m genuinely sorry to hear about your friends. The efficacy as a % comparing the number of cases of disease in the vaccinated group vs placebo group. Can you please cite some of the science you’re referring to here? If the science is always changing, why can’t you change your mind on the basis of scientific evidence?” 

Shortly after, he event corrected Slater’s spelling of Guillain Barré. 

(Actually has a hyphen. Both wrong! Guillain-Barré syndrome.)

Than a fusillade of taunts. 

“Still waiting on your to cite some scientific evidence. Whenever you’re ready.”

“Still waiting on your to cite some scientific evidence. Whenever you’re ready.”

Here, Slater wisely exited the melee.

Now, question: you think baby cocks should be cut?