Pipe dream of Australian wave pool utopia snuffed out by harsh new report

Blame Kelly?

It seems like only yesterday Australians were told they were about to wake up to a new utopia. Vegemite in every cupboard and a surf ranch in every back yard. Yes, the unveiling of Kelly Slater’s manmade wave miracle, there in the cow stink of Lemoore, heralded a bold new age for the nation of surf mad huis. Exciting proposals popped up directly. A rusty plunger built in Yeppoon.

And yet, nearly one decade on, only one public wave generating facility has been built down in Melbourne. The aforementioned Surf Lakes facility, in Yeppoon, still just an invite-only prototype.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, wondering why, visited with Surf Lakes founder Aaron Trevis who declared there is simply no money for the things. He was hoping to have $50 million raised by now. Alas, he has not. “I was hoping to be there already,” he sadly stated, “but that’s the challenge. At this stage it is really about the money, to be honest.”

Urbnsrf, the one operating in Melbourne, is planning another in Sydney, scheduled to open next year, and another in Perth. The Kelly Slater Surf Ranch set to be built on pristine wetlands, shuttered forever.

And that’s it, that’s all.

ABC concluded:

Not only are surf parks complicated and costly to develop, operators say they are expensive to run.

Making waves is energy intensive, and a steady stream of cashed-up surfers are required to keep the lights on and the pumps running day and night.

The emerging business model is for the pool to serve as the centrepiece of a larger, integrated development with multiple revenue streams.

But developers said institutional investors viewed surf parks as a new — and therefore risky — phenomenon and were reluctant to fund them.

The Wavegarden technology is the most efficient with annual operating expenses at, roughly $11.5 million. Cost for the surfer also economical with “12 guaranteed waves costing between $80 and $160.”

Slater’s the most expense with a private day rate of $70,000. “It turns a profit but its clientele are almost exclusively Silicon Valley executives and their mates, or sponsored professionals.”

The piece went on to discuss more troubles with the surf tank model but pivoted sort of anti-depressive at the end, attempting to maybe imagine a future sotted with tubs.

Where do you currently stand on the matter?

Bullish or bearish?

Teahupoo reef destroyed Instagram post
Olympic barge mows through famous Teahupoo reef.

Breaking: Teahupoo reef “destroyed” by Olympic barge for Paris 2024

"I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupoo Teahupoo."

Just in from the wildly lovely tropical island called Tahiti is news the Olympic barge for Paris 2024 has accidentally “destroyed” a section of the famous Teahupoo reef.

The Instagram account @saveteahupoo reports,

To maintain transparency, the authorities had planned to take the associations on the barge tomorrow to show us how it works, but instead they went there today without us.

The barge got stuck on the reef several times just as planned by the locals.

This is on high tide and no load on the barge.

This barge is supposed to carry an aluminum tower that will be planted on the reef for a 3 day surf competition for the Olympic games of 2024. Despite local and international mobilisation, @paris2024 is still planning on building on the reef of Teahupo’o

As long as your humour holds and the apparent “ecocide” of a hunk of colourful coral doesn’t trigger you, the accompanying video on the post is pretty funny. It’s like your ol pal DR, who ain’t no helmsman, got behind the wheel of the barge and hacked through the precious reef.


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It’s been a wild few months in Teahupoo.

Ever since Olympic organisers announced a magnificent aluminium judging tower would be built on the reef at a cost of five-mill US and demolished the old wooden structure used by the WSL citing safety issues.

Local surfer Tahurai Henry, who organised a mass protest against what he regards as rich man’s folly, said at the time.

“This judge’s tower project will completely destroy a large part of the lagoon in the face of the most beautiful wave in the world! A construction worth over 500 million francs for 3-4 days of competition that won’t be reused for our local surfers!”

Meanwhile, surfers in the event will be housed in a Chinese-owned cargo ship, the Aranui 5, described as “the Pacific’s strangest cruise ship” and “the weird offspring of a love affair between a cargo freighter and a passenger liner.”

If you’ve ever been to this town of fifteen-hundred souls at the literal end of the road in Tahiti-iti, seventy clicks or so from the capital Papeete, you’ll know what a low-fi place it is outside of the annual WSL event there when the only noise you’ll hear is the great swoosh of water as Filipe reverse paddles into a set.

“I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupoo Teahupoo,” Henry Tahurai told The Guardian. He says he’s “scared “of  what might happen to his “little piece of paradise… We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for the next generation.”

Illegal immigrants land on Malibu beach
Twenty-five illegal immigrants land on pretty Malibu beach just north of Paradise Cove.

Socially progressive Malibu welcomes first beach landing of illegal migrants

The 25 new Americans scattered once they hit the sands near Paradise Cove, Malibu, and just under the $100-million clifftop home of Barbara Streisand…

The socially progressive surf-and-celebrity enclave Malibu is in a state of, mostly, euphoria today after it was revealed a boat filled with illegal immigrants had disembarked on its shores a couple of nights back. 

Although details are scarce, the twenty-five new Americans scattered once they the golden sands of what used to be Chumash lands, and just under the $100-million clifftop compound of chanteuse Barbara Streisand, LA County officials have confirmed the panga boat they arrived on was scuttled offshore. 

The location of the Malibu landing is significant.

In 2019, Streisand, who is a long-time donor to the now-disgraced Democratic Party, criticised the admittedly ghastly Donald Trump for his plans to build a border wall.

“Trump only cares about this ‘wall’ in order to build a monument to himself. Just like the bankrupt ‘Trump’ buildings, the nation cannot afford to pay for his ego – not financially, not morally,” Streisand wrote on X.

And to Vogue magazine,

“Unless you’re an American Indian, you know, you’re a child or grandchild or great-grandchild of immigrants, even the president,,” she said.

Streisand’s house at 6838 Zumirez Drive in Malibu ain’t that far from Paradise Cove, the upscale trailer park famous for its celebrity residents including iconic surf writer Sam George.

(Built in the nineteen-fifties on eighty-five acres of classic Californian beachfront land, the park became the go-to for ocean-lovers who wanted affordable seclusion amid the craziness of Los Angeles.)

Boat landings are unknown in Malibu, given its geographical location more than one hundred miles north of the Mex border, although the city’s status as a sanctuary city certainly made the long haul up the coast worth it. 

See, in 2017, its city council voted for Malibu to become a sanctuary city which means a couple of things: they don’t coopeerate with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and city funds and resources can’t be used to enforce federal civil immigration law. 

Last May, a boatload of new Americans landed at even prettier, and almost as monied, Laguna Beach. Twelve happy arrivals, all dispersed without incident.

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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