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.”

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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.

Jason Momoa (pictured) standing in water.
Jason Momoa (pictured) standing in water.

World Surf League partners with Hawaiian hunk Jason Momoa ahead of 2024 championship tour

Get thirsty.

The second most famous scene in 1967’s legendary film The Graduate is, certainly, is when Dustin Hoffman’s Ben is making his way around a well-heeled house party, guests asking him “what are you going to do with your life?” etc., when Mr. Maguire approaches and says, “Ben, come with me for a minute. I want to talk to you.”

The two make their way outside where Mr. Maguire delivers the iconic line. “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics.”

Well, as it turns out, Mr. Maguire was very wrong. Plastics are, now, everywhere destroying the world and our collective health.

Thankfully, we have the World Surf League. The “global home of surfing” is many things, including crowner of Lower Trestles champions, but, mostly, the earth’s best greenwasher. Where would we be without the two bushes planted in Western Australia? Or the reef polyps planted in Tahiti but then destroyed by Olympic committee organizers?

Real trouble is where.

Enter Jason Momoa and his new canned water offering Mananalu. The Hawaiian hunk has signed on to the 2024 Championship Tour as the League’s “official canned water” sponsor.

Per the press release:

As an Official Canned Water Partner, Mananalu will be the exclusive canned water onsite at the World Surf League’s North American events including the US Open of Surfing, WSL Finals, the Lexus Pipe Pro, and more. Mananalu will also be an Official Partner of WSL PURE, the league’s 501C3, which runs an annual grant program to support global credible non-profit organizations focused on improving the health of global ocean ecosystems.

“We are thrilled about our partnership with the World Surf League this year,” expressed Lindsey Fischer, Mananalu’s Vice President of Marketing. “Our shared commitment to ocean conservation is at the heart of this collaboration. Together, we aim to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastics, safeguarding our oceans for future generations.”

Cherie Cohen, the World Surf League’s Chief Revenue Officer, added, “Jason’s is a hero who lives his mission and this brand is a reflection of that. We are proud to partner with Mananalu to raise awareness and action around ocean protection. This water tastes great and our athletes, VIPs, and fans will benefit from their support of the sport.”

Does it get cooler?

Shut your face.

Chas Smith reacts to Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore quitting tour!

"Were these two greatest of all times pushed out to pasture? No they chose to go out to pasture and leave pro surfing behind."

So many tears and I told you so’s after pro surfing’s most endearing icons, Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore, quit the tour within three days of each other. 

Five-time champ Carissa Moore, thirty-one, told the New York Times she wanted to peer over the edge and see what life looked like “out of the jersey.”

She wants to extract herself from the loose structure and warm cocoon of her sport’s global tour, to redefine success on her own terms and in her own mind. She wants to be challenged in a different way, even though the easiest thing might be to stick around.

“All those wins, the competitive part that’s so much of my identity, I’m taking that away, and I’m facing myself this year,” she said. “And that’s scary. Like, who am I? Am I going to be OK? Will I be able to love myself and think that I’m worthy without this?”

Eight-time world champ Stephanie Gilmore quickly followed Moore into the sunset. 

(The zenith for Stephanie Gilmore’s career came in 2022 when she dominated Finals Day, starting in fifth place, mowing through all-comers before beating Moore in the winner-take-all surf-off.)

Carissa Moore surfs her last WSL event Pipe but will defend her Olympic title at Teahupoo in July. 

And while all that was going on, Lisa Andersen was quietly exited from Roxy with the reclusive world champ Martin Potter breaking his five-year silence to slam the company. 

With the forthrightness that made him a beloved member of the WSL broadcast roster, Potter, who won the world title in 1989, wrote:

“I saw this coming years ago, why do you think I disappeared from something we helped build. Surfing or should I say pro surfing is dead. So sad.”

Between 1996 and 2006, Lisa Andersen’s golden years, Roxy grew from 20 mill to 650 mill in sales.

All of which makes Chas hate surfing even more.

Ian Cairns and Shaun Tomson
Ian Cairns and Shaun Tomson, both as sexy as can be but with such diff opinions!

World surf champs Ian Cairns and Shaun Tomson in wild courtroom battle after leashless board injures surfer

"His use of a sharpened and deadly fin was reckless and displayed a wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

For the first time I can think of, or remember, US courts have been asked to adjudicate on whether or not dropping in on a man and belting him with a leashless log is grounds for damages.

In the case of Olson v Saville (2024), Mark Olson (belted) and Patrick Saville (no leash) were surfing at Mirimar Beach in Montecito, a town described as “a dizzying combination of old wealth, new wealth and outrageous physical beauty that has begun to attract an ever-wider range of dreamers.”

Olson caught a wave, Saville “appeared out of nowhere” and dropped in forcing Olson “to make a fast turn correction to his left toward the beach.”

Olson then “grabbed both [of] his board rails (aka sides) and pushed himself and the nose of the board slightly down and into the foam pile of whitewater toward the deeper water and away from respondent.”

Saville was still riding towards the beach but soon wiped out and his leashless board “propelled backwards and struck Olson’s torso and back.”

Olson sued for negligence.

“(Saville) intentionally entered the wave and intentionally cut off (Olson’s) path of travel, thereby forcing (Olson) to exit the wave.”

Further, Saville’s “failure to use a leash to control [his] longboard” and his use of a “sharpened and deadly fin was reckless and displayed a wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

Saville used the assumption of risk doctrine as his defence. As far as excuses go, it’s a doozy.

“An individual is barred from recovering damages for an injury sustained when he or she voluntarily exposed him or herself to a known danger.”

Now here’s where it gets good. Saville called in Ian “Kangag” Cairns, the testosterone-squirting big-wave icon who said that surfing is an “extreme sport with many inherent risks…Because ‘wipeouts’ are so common, it is a known risk that a surfer may collide with another surfer, or another surfer’s board.”

Kanga, a baseball-bat swinging, send-the-king-of-the-Hui to jail hell-raiser, said surfing is underwritten by an etiquette although “violating this surfing etiquette is common among surfers.”

Kanga said that “many longboard surfers particularly enjoy the challenge and freedom of surfing without a leash” ‘cause legropes “interfere with their footwork and speed.”

He also added that fins “are very sharp and can inflict significant injury.”

How could a court not be swayed?

But here comes Shaun Tomson, Kanga’s old sparring partner from those fabulous mid-seventies Hawaiian winters, on the side of Mark Olson.

Tomson disagreed with Kanga and said that Saville’s conduct was indeed reckless.

“Over time, the sport of surfing has adopted the Surfing Code and Rules of Etiquette,” Tomson told the court. “Surfers have a self-managed obligation to observe the Surfers Code and Rules of Etiquette and not increase the risk of harm to others in the water.”

Tomson said that Saville’s disregard of surfing’s rules was a “conscious and wanton reckless disregard” for another surfer’s safety.

On and on it goes, read it all here.

Anyway, who do you think the court sided with, Kanga or Shaun?


Leashless boards ok!

Good news or have the gates to hell just swung open?

ESPN pivots to surfing
ESPN pivots to surfing

World Surf League inks sexy deal with “worldwide leader in sports” ESPN to air 2024 Championship Tour

"A fantastic opportunity to bring (surfing) to more viewers and new audiences across different platforms..."

A constant drumbeat of the World Surf League becoming rapidly unviable has grown louder and louder in recent days. Two of the greatest surfers ever, one Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore, have chosen to step away, announcing retirement plans directly before the season. The vacated office of CEO has yet to be filled after Erik Logan’s spectacular departure. The PR interns are very in over their teenaged heads and Filipe Toledo has already been inked to win the next three tours.

Though the stink of failure merely being used as camouflage to mask unprecedented growth and success?


For, hours ago, it was revealed that the entire 2024 Championship Tour will be aired on “the worldwide leader in sports.”

Cherie Cohen, WSL Chief Revenue Officer responsible for wins like Bailey Ladders, declared, “Working with ESPN this season is a fantastic opportunity to bring the sport to more viewers and new audiences across different platforms in the United States. They are the biggest name in sports content in the USA, and this agreement offers us the opportunity to share surfing with the millions of subscribers across their digital properties as well as on linear television.”

ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions, Tim Reed, winked, “We are thrilled to showcase the 2024 WSL Championship Tour across ESPN platforms. Distributing the WSL CT live events rights on ESPN+ provides our audiences full access to the premier surf tour, where the top men and women will compete for the championship crown at legendary surf spots all over the world. The WSL CT is a great addition to the platform and live competitive surfing will fit well alongside an already significant content offering. We look forward to kicking off the season in Hawaii next week.”

Now, do you image that viewership of professional surfing will explode? Surfing and ESPN have a nice relationship as it relates to the famed Body Issue.

Kelly Slater in ESPN's Body Issue.
Kelly Slater in ESPN’s Body Issue.

Pure sex.

Somehow, the news did not make ESPN’s main feed.

More as the story develops.