Shane Stedman and daughter Bonnie Stedman celebrate his OAM
The enduring legend of Shane Stedman, ugg boot inventor, cocksmith of world renown and best-selling surfboard shaper, celebrates his OAM with daughter Bonnie.

Mastermind behind ugg boot empire Shane Stedman awarded Order of Australia medal for services to surfing!

"My dad’s got enough fibre glass in his lungs to make a couple of boards but every day he blows me away with his positive energy and will to live."

The eighty-three-year-old inventor of the sheepskin Ugg boot and surfboard entrepreneur, Shane Stedman, has been awarded the Order of Australia medal for his services to the sport he’s devoted his life to.

In the Australian honours system, appointments to the Order of Australia confer the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service.

His son and former world #11 turned jiujitsu expert Luke Stedman posted:

“I’m so proud of my Dad. Today he has been awarded the OAM or the The Medal of the Order of Australia award for his contribution to the surf industry. The old man was the biggest manufacture of surfboards in the southern hemisphere in the late 1960’s and into the early 70’s. I can’t even explain what im feeling right now. My dad’s got enough fibre glass in his lungs to make a couple of boards ( his words ) but every day he blows me away with his positive energy and will to live. I’m your biggest supporter and fan Dad.”

 

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Two years ago, Shane Stedman, who had just turned eighty but was still squirting testosterone like a fifteen year old, had surgery to remove “balloons” in his chest. These growths squashed his lungs, reducing his ability to breathe by eighty-five percent. 

Couple the fibrous growths with emphysema from sixty years of shaping and the Shane Stedman could barely walk to the end of the street without stopping to suck in gutfuls of air, as if he’d just run a marathon. 

The “extroverted surf-world entrepreneur” and creator of Shane Surfboards is best known, writes Matt Warshaw, for “the short, stubby, Shane Surfboard ‘popout’, a mass-produced board designed for beginners and offered at discount rates in sporting goods and department stores. The brightly-colored boards earned Stedman a lot of money in the early ’70s (an Aussie magazine nicknamed him “the summer millionaire), but pushed him out of favor with Australia’s surfing tastemakers.”

“I’m in the fun industry, the surf industry is fun,” said Shane Stedman. “We certainly do live in the lucky country, no doubt about that.”

 

 


Bethany Hamilton and Sasha Jane Lowerson
Bethany Hamilton, former marquee Rip Curl surfer, now dumped, and new face of Rip Curl, Sasha Jane Lowerson.

Call to boycott Rip Curl becomes roar as skateboarder Taylor Silverman joins Riley Gaines in slamming iconic surfing company

"Rip Curl could not have made their contempt for women clearer."

Yesterday’s story about Rip Curl and its celebration of the wildly inspirational and aspirational Sasha Jane Lowerson quickly exploded into Bud Light-esque flames after anti-trans-women-in-sport activist Riley Gaines slammed Rip Curl as “crazzzyyyy”.

“You mean to tell me that Rip Curl dropped Bethany Hamilton for opposing men surfing in the women’s league then picked up male surfer who surfs in the women’s league as a women’s ambassador?”

 

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Rip Curl joined two other Australian swimsuit brands in a pivot to the queer market describing their ambassador as, “West Australian waterwoman who loves the freedom found in surfing, disconnecting from the mainstream, and the feeling of dancing on constantly changing waves… It’s a state of mind, always being ready to try something new, curious to seek out knowledge and learn the rules – and break them.⁠”

Comments were quickly disabled on the post (although it was liked almost two thousand times) following calls from surf fans to boycott Rip Curl, which was bought by camping giant Kathmandu for 350 mill four years ago. 

A small sample of the 2200 replies to Riley Gaines’ post on X.

6 months from now: Rip Curl announces that it is laying off half of its staff..

How are the advertising team not getting fired for this , how many companies have been damaged and they still use the larping blokes in their campaigns. I thought they had to know trends , not watching hard enough

They could not have made their contempt for women clearer.

Now, the pro skateboarder Taylor Silverman has joined the chorus calling for a boycott of Rip Curl.

Silverman hit the headlines when she lost a skateboarding contest to a transgender woman. She argued that allowing transgender women to compete against biological females in sports is unfair due to potential physical advantages. Silverman’s stance has been met with both support and opposition, with some people applauding her for standing up for women’s rights and others criticizing her for being transphobic.

Taylor Silverman was unsparing in her criticism writing,

“According to Rip Curl this man is a ‘waterwoman’…reality is he’s just a mentally ill man making a complete mockery of actual women and “The “community” is so supportive that Rip Curl had to disable the comments!”

All pretty interesting from a biz point of view.

Rip Curl knows, or it should, that it’s going to piss off a significant percentage of your market but you do it anyway because, and I’m guessing the logic here, the wrong of not including trans gals, is greater than any fiscal loss down the track.

The question is, I suppose, how much is Kathmandu willing to lose to push the trans agenda?

And do you think that same agenda would be getting pushed if the company was still owned by Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer and Neil Ridgeway was at the tiller?


Mick Fanning (insert) upset about the low score. Photo: TikTok

Legendary Australian surf patriarch brutally slams Mick Fanning beer as “a five out of ten… it’s not Heineken”

"Bitter."

It is Australia Day, in Australia. That magical time of year when our brothers, sisters, both chemical and natural, toast each other’s oi oi oi-ness and watch The Man from Snowy River marathons. As the geographically aware know, the Lucky Country floats south of the equator meaning it is, currently, summer there and so Australians also celebrate Australia Day by sitting outside in the warm sunshine, drinking the national drink.

Bee-ah.

Enter Jessie Sunset. The TikTok sensation who looks like this…

… smartly decided to take different bee-ahs to the legendary surfing Roberts family and have them taste test.

Around the table they went, professional surfing sisters and brother, sipping and ranking on a scale of one to ten, one obviously being undrinkable, ten a revelation, until coming to patriarch Pete Roberts who, I think, wrote Church of the Open Sky.

Now, Pete selected a Balter to sample and you certainly recall the bee-ah launched by Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge in 2016 at the height of the extreme-sport-stars-pivoting-to-booze craze. St. Archer, founded in 2013 with investments from surfers, skaters, snowboarders, had just sold to Molson for tens of millions and alcohol seemed like a can’t lose bet.

Back to the taste test, though. Pete took one sip through very pursed lips and described the taste as “bitter” and not nearly as good as a Heineken, giving Balter a terrible “five out of ten.”

Ouch.

I wish former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan would form up a spirits company. I feel cachaça could gain real marketshare in the United States, Australia too, with a proper narrative. Like, an Oklahoman with a wetsuit of armor who travels south to the magical federative republic of Brazil, sips the magic sugar juice and loses it all.

Sharp.

David Lee Scales and I did not discuss cachaça nor did we reference the Family Roberts during our weekly chat, but we did spend time on David Lee Scales’ namesake David Lee Roth ripping Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang in a recent social media rant.

Do you have opinions?

Listen here.


Riley Gaines tweets disapproval of Rip Curl's celebration of transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson.
Riley Gaines ain't into Rip Curl's celebration of transgender, multi-div winning longboarder Sasha Jane Lowerson.

Riley Gaines slams Rip Curl after Instagram post celebrating transgender longboarder Sasha Jane Lowerson

“Peace out Rip Curl. What a tragic end to an iconic brand”

The iconic wetsuit brand Rip Curl, once a brave little two-man company that kicked off the whole surf industry biz in 1969, flew its queer flag high yesterday with a post celebrating the transgender longboarder Sasha Jane Lowerson neé Ryan Egan.

Rip Curl joined two other Australian swimsuit brands in a pivot to the queer market describing their ambassador as, “West Australian waterwoman who loves the freedom found in surfing, disconnecting from the mainstream, and the feeling of dancing on constantly changing waves… It’s a state of mind, always being ready to try something new, curious to seek out knowledge and learn the rules – and break them.⁠”

 

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Nine months ago, Sasha Jane Lowerson made history when she became the first transgender surfer to compete at a WSL event, the Manly Classic, a one-day longboard contest.

And, two years ago, she made history when she became the first surfer in history to win both the Western Australian men’s and women’s longboard divisions.

You’ll remember Sasha Jane Lowerson, of course.

She is a robust forty-six-year-old strawberry blonde with terrific arms who blossomed into chemical-induced womanhood in 2020.

Following news that Rip Curl had dumped the Christian amputee Bethany Hamilton, herself an arch critic of transgender gals in women’s sports, for Sasha Jane Lowerson raised the hackles of the American swimmer Riley Gaines.

Riley Gaines is a 23-year-old former competitive swimmer from Tennessee who has made a name for herself as an advocate for women’s sports.

She has been vocal her concerns regarding transgender athletes in women’s sports.

In 2022, while swimming for the University of Kentucky in the 200-yard NCAA freestyle championship, Gaines tied for fifth place with the University of Pennsylvania swimmer, six-foot-one trans gal Lia Thomas.

Lia Thomas, who used to be known as William Thomas, was a competitive swimmer on the men’s team but began the chemical transition to the sisterhood in 2019, and a couple years later joined the gal’s team.

When Riley Gaines saw the Rip Curl pivot she lit up on X writing,

“You mean to tell me Rip Curl dropped Bethany Hamilton for opposing men surfing in the women’s league then picked up male surfer who surfs in the women’s league. Crazzzzyyy.”

The post lit a fire.

Almost half-a-million views, 18k likes, 4k reposts and 1400 comments almost all supporting her posit that trans-gals don’t belong in women’s sports.

Ian Cairns, big-wave, gun-toting superhero, wrote: This is a slippery slope for Rip Curl,
@wsl and @ISAsurfing Haven’t they heard the news that DEI is on the way out? Glad I don’t have a daughter surfing in West Oz longboard events. Not cool.

Others wrote:

Guess I’m not wearing my Rip Curl rash guard anymore

Rip curl and all their sister brands are absolutely dead to me.

I’ll never buy another product from them under any circumstances.

Fatal marketing mistake @ripcurl. Won’t be buying your wetsuits or clothing anymore

No one with an IQ above 30 believes that it’s fair for biological men to compete in Women’s Sports, Riley. So, the question is, WHY does the “progressive”  Left hate women so much. And the deeper question, WHY aren’t Liberal women defecting en masse?

This is gross. Company owners need to control their urge to sell out to a woke corps and hold the ship with integrity. The people working at these companies deserve better than garbage being shoved down their throats by non caring corps pushing ideology.

How are the advertising team not getting fired for this , how many companies have been damaged and they still use the larping blokes in their campaigns. I thought they had to know trends , not watching hard enough

If true, everyone should boycott @ripcurl until they go bankrupt. No redemption for this.

RIP…RipCurl. You deny, betray and ultimately erase women with this gesture.

I’ll never buy any of your products again.

Bethany will always be the ambassador of women’s surfing in my book. The WSL is the new Bud Light. Go woke Go broke.

When Bethany made her stance on the trans-issue public, wise old Kelly Slater waded into an overflowing pond with some sage-like advice: “Make a trans division and we don’t have this confusion.”

Takeaways: Is this gonna be Rip Curl’s Bud Light moment or do you think the Rip Curl customer is thrilled beyond measure with the company’s bow to the transgender lobby?

You know my stance on she-dick.


Rip Curl surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson and Moana Bikini's Jake Young.
Rip Curl surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson, main photo, and Moana Bikini's Jake Young, inset.

Rip Curl joins Australian swimwear companies in heavy pivot to growing trans market

"It’s a state of mind, always being ready to try something new, curious to seek out knowledge and learn the rules – and break them.⁠"

The Kathmandu-owned former surf icon Rip Curl has joined a conga line of Australian swimwear companies in pivoting to the growing trans-woman market.

In an Instagram reel on Thursday as part of Rip Curl Women’s Meet the Local Heroes of Western Australia campaign, Rip Curl Women featured the inspirational T-girl Sasha Jane Lowerson.

Lowerson, as you know, was one of Australia’s leading male longboarders, even winning the men’s longboard div as Ryan Egan, before transitioning three years ago and joining the women’s side of the draw.

The beauty of the Rip Curl post is its complete acceptance of Lowerson into the sisterhood. ie. no transition talk.

Meet Sasha – a West Australian waterwoman who loves the freedom found in surfing, disconnecting from the mainstream, and the feeling of dancing on constantly changing waves. When we were adventuring through Western Australia recently, we were keen to know what The Search means to the surfers who crossed our paths. These surfers live on a wild stretch of coast where there’s always a new wave or campsite just a little further down the road or off the beaten track. It’s a state of mind, always being ready to try something new, curious to seek out knowledge and learn the rules – and break them.⁠

“Sometimes it isn’t even the actual surf, it’s the journey itself, the chats that we have in the car on the long straight roads here in WA and the campfire afterwards,” Lowerson says. “Friendships grow on the search and I love that.”

Rip Curl have turned off all comments on the post.

*With a commitment to maintaining a positive space for all, we have disabled our comments. Thank you for your understanding.

 

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Other Australian swimwear companies pivoting to the gender-bending market include Sea Folly, who collaborated with non-binary influencer Deni Todorovic and Moana Bikini with Jake Young looking fab in a white string one-piece.