Sasha Jane. Iconic.
Sasha Jane. Iconic.

Surfing put on notice as boxing now requires transgender athletes to undergo surgery before competing

"Vaginoplasty or phalloplasty."

The trans athlete issue certainly was one of the more polarizing stories of the just-wrapped 2023. While some corners celebrated the beautiful dominance of women’s divisions by the likes of Lia Thomas others decried the lack of fairness, having those born male competing against those born female.

Momentum Generation funnyman and Kelly Slater bandmate Peter King found himself firmly amongst the latter, declaring, “Stay out of women’s sports where you miraculously win after being an average performing man. Women’s sports is not a backup plan where you can’t win a trophy (And $) in the men’s division. Leagues like WSL and sponsors like Red Bull will you now stand up to this now instead of harming women’s sports?”

Kelly Slater, himself, offered, “Make a trans division and we don’t have this confusion.”

Surfing did neither and embraced one of the most liberal policies of any sport governing body. In the March 7, 2023 ruling, The International Surfing Association declared trans athletes are welcome if:

1. The athlete provides a written and signed declaration that she identifies as a woman.

2. The athlete demonstrates to the satisfaction of the ISA Medical Commission that she has maintained a concentration of testosterone in her serum of less than 5 nmol/L continuously for the previous 12 months. The Medical Commission will provide guidance to any athlete seeking an assessment of her eligibility on how she can demonstrate that she has met this requirement.

The World Surf League, which bills itself as the “global home of surfing” was too spineless to make its own ruling and adopted the ISA’s.

The lowest of hurdles and glorious except… might the powers be rubbernecking professional boxing which has just decreed that trans athletes wishing to compete in women’s division cannot merely sign a declaration and self-report testosterone levels but undergo surgery.

Per Them:

Transgender boxers must have surgery to compete in leagues that match their gender identity, according to new regulations from USA Boxing that took effect this week.

USA Boxing, the national entity that governs boxing’s official rules and regulations, released the new policies on December 29 as part of the organization’s biannual rulebook update. Under the new rules, which took effect January 1, both trans women and trans men are required to meet several new criteria in order to compete as their lived gender. USA Boxing will now require trans athletes to declare they have “completed gender reassignment surgery” and provide at least four years of quarterly hormone evaluations before stepping in the ring with an opponent.

The new policies do not define “gender reassignment surgery,” but the term usually refers to vaginoplasty or phalloplasty for trans women and men respectively. It is unclear whether other types of bottom surgery like orchiectomies would meet USA Boxing’s new rules. (Them has reached out to USA Boxing for comment and will update this piece if we hear back.) Boxers under the age of 18 must compete as their sex assigned at birth, with no exceptions.

A draconian rolling back of progress?


If you have thoughts, please share.

Surf Dilemma: When a leashless longboard is careening toward the rocks do you save or sit and watch the end of its life?

What would you do?

I am currently very much under the weather, moreso, maybe, than I have ever been. What began as a little rattle in the lungs five-ish days ago has transmuted into a vicious fever hell. My eyeballs ache, my skin burns, I sweat so much at night that the bed turns into a drowning hazard. I cough, I sneeze, I try not to turn my head.

Now, usually I’ll fight through diseases, it being a figment of imagination and such, but this one has me. Thus, I found myself sitting on a bluff, this morning, watching perfect surf roll in, sad. The water was a perfect admiral, sun shining brightly, not one puff of wind. The wife was out getting it while I slumped, taking in the scene.

It was peaky enough across a few hundred yards, spreading the crowd just enough. A steady stream of wide-eye’d hopefuls bouncing past by rut clutching all manner of craft.

I watched a middle-aged longboarder trot down the path. Watched him start on his knees then transition to belly after first whitewash impact. I quickly forgot about him but ten, or such, minutes later, I saw his board bobbing and riding the crumble all alone. Leashless rider clearly misjudging.

It shot out of the back, halfway between lineup and shore, and I figured the man would make it in time but he did not as an inside wave picked it up and raced it toward large sharp boulders. I wobbled to my feet, momentarily, wondering if I should go help. To do so would have meant A) moving B) getting shoes wet C) maybe getting pants wet. And so I slouched back down and watched the worst surfboard beating I have ever seen.

The board was slammed into the boulders initially then slammed again, again, again, again. The surge would push it up on the rocks, suck it back off, then slam it into their sides. Again, again, again, again. It took the rider a solid five minutes to get in, grab his casualty and paddle back out.

He, smartly, did not assess damage.

Now, the question. Should I have risked pneumonia to save the log or did I do the right thing in watching its death?


Gudauskas brothers and Nathan Florence
The Gudauskas bro's in happier days with Pauly Van Doren, inset Sean Penn in the pivotal scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High that sold a million checkerboard slip-ons, and Nathan Florence, yet to see a contract renewal despite being surfer of the year, super smart, funny etc.

Vans dumps Gudauskas brothers after 20 years of service in latest bloodletting with rumours Nathan Florence is next!

"You guys represent the most important part of surf culture, its family, passion for the ocean, and true STOKE!"

Not content with killing the Pipeline Masters, Vans gave the Christmas gift that keeps on giving (Misery! Poverty!) when it sacked five hundred workers as part of its plan to “speed up the turnaround of the company’s Vans division and (parent company VF’s) overall North America business.”

I love capitalism but, god, your cold heart!

And the blood-letting wasn’t confined to the cube-dweller, who always lives in fear of that inevitable tap on the shoulder, but extended to its most celebrated athletes including San Clemente’s beloved Gudauskas brothers.

Tanner, Dane and, what’s the third one’s name, Roy? (Hello Google? Pat? Oh Pat!) were all dumped by the brand after twenty years of wildly successful service, something not lost on the brothers’ storied followers.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dane Gudauskas 🌌 (@danedamus)

Kelia Moniz, who lost her own battle with capitalism earlier today, wrote: “Man, You guys represent the most important part of surf culture, its family, passion for the ocean, and true STOKE! This will all remain true regardless of any sponsorship. So epic the path you have paved for the next gen.”

“To me you 3 were vans!” wrote Sage Erickson. “The classics! Enjoyed all you guys did for them!”

Laura Enever, “They were so lucky to have you guys!!!”

(Parker Coffin wrote exactly the same thing.)

“You 3 embodied the ethos of the brand!” wrote Ian Walsh.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tanner gudauskas (@tannergud)

Word on the ground is the world’s most stylish surfer Mikey February flew himself to Hawaii for the Pipe Masters and is now in California trying to get a contract, like anything,  out of Vans.

And Nathan Florence, surfer of the year and easily the most valuable man in surfing, has yet to receive any sorta offer from Vans even as his contract runs into its last few weeks.

Its former global action sports director Justin Regan, who left Vans to work for Skull Candy, recently wrote a stinging rebuke of his former master under a post from Damon Way.

“It’s gotten to a point now where brands are releasing collaborations on a two-week cadence,” the creator of DC and Incase said on a Monster Children podcast. “It’s gotten to the point where none of it has value anymore.”

Regan responded, “This is 100 percent true. We were doing on a week for a while at Vans to feed a media cycle. It was totally devaluing.”






Breaking: Pipeline claims fifth surfer as horror season continues

Waves, uncrowded, clean, four-ish foot. The sorta day even mortals can tread the boards without exiting this mortal coil. Or at least you'd like to think so.

A little earlier today, around 11:04 Hawaiian time, a surfer was pulled unconscious from the water at Pipeline.

Waves, wildly uncrowded Pipeline, clean, four-ish foot. The sorta day even mortals can tread the boards at Pipeline without exiting this mortal coil. Or at least you’d like to think so.

Details of the surfer’s condition has yet to be released but our source at Pipe says the man was a relative Pipeline novice enjoying a month-long stay on the North Shore and was equipped with a helmet and an impact vest.

Watch the wipeout thirty-five seconds in and the rescue on the Surfline cam here.

It’s the fifth major incident of the North Shore season at Pipeline with world number four Joao Chianca, Tahitian kingpin Eimeo Czermak, Pipe regular Koa Rothman and Peruvian shredder Joaquin Del Castillo the big names injured only one month into the Hawaiian winter and proof it ain’t just kooks getting hurt.

And, apart from Koa and his banged up yet still photogenic face, each of the above surfers, Joao, Eimeo and Joquain, will be dealing with the long0-term effects of their wipeouts for years to come.

In a little back and forth exchange with Eimeo’s dad, turns out his kid is just hoping to get the use of his legs again, Joaquin has got multiple hip fractures and he don’t got the insurance to pay for the repairs and, as for Joao, ask Owen Wright what it’s like to get your head banged up at Pipeline.

Kelia Moniz (pictured) dropping hammers.
Kelia Moniz (pictured) dropping hammers.

Hawaiian surf royalty Kelia Moniz burns Roxy parent company Authentic Brands Group to ground on way out door!

Burn, baby, burn.

Hawaii’s Kelia Moniz is the absolute visual representation of effortless grace. The stylish longboarder is a two-time champion, multiple-time cover girl and, most importantly, surf royalty, hailing from the revered Moniz family. She is, in a word, indelible and has been a face of Roxy for nearly two decades.

As surf fans know, Roxy, along with Quiksilver, Billabong, RVCA et. al. was scooped up by licensing giant Authentic Brands Group a handful of months ago. Salaried positions were shredded, team riders cut, the very landscape changed.

Moniz, barring no holds, went directly after ABG today after getting told to take a 90% pay cut.

In a moving to-camera piece, Moniz declares the ride has been long, fun, crazy but now over before pivoting to the sad.

“Today, I’m announcing my departure from Roxy,” she says. She then thanks those who believed in her, her wonderful Roxy sisters. “This shit is real. So real, that many brands often try to replicate what we had. They’ll have a very hard time doing so because you can’t replicate real shit. You can’t replicate authentic friendship. You can’t replicate authentic stories. And that was a testament to the one and only Lisa Andersen. I’d like to thank her for paving the way on the path we all walk on today. Not just as a Roxy girl, but as a surfer. I genuinely love you.”

While the viewer is left to wipe away tears, the screen breaks then a voice can be heard asking, “So what was the real reason you’re leaving Roxy?”

Kelia Moniz, wasting no time, drops the hammer.

She explains how, after Covid, she signed a great contract, the best she had ever had. After ABG completed purchase, the contract was terminated and she was told she could come back for the aforementioned 90% off. “After years of fighting for fair pay and equality,” she says, “there was no was I was signing that deal, especially knowing I wasn’t the only athlete that this was happening to. I’m not about to be strong-armed by some corporation that knows nothing about the sport and doesn’t give a shit about it. If you’re wondering why I’m leaving, it’s not because I don’t love what I do… I’m leaving because if I sign this deal I’d be setting the industry standards for the girls who look like me and surf like me and I simply want nothing to do with that. The surf industry has been consolidated by two large corporations who don’t care that there has been a dismantling of the monetary value of a whole generation and I refuse to be part of it because it looks pretty on a spreadsheet.”


Burn, baby, burn.