Pipeline closing out on World Surf League?
Pipeline closing out on World Surf League?

World Surf League in danger of losing Pipeline contest window as Honolulu officially changes permit rules!

“We are hoping for better diversity in the types of events organized..."

The World Surf League’s 2024 Championship Tour kicks off in just days, now, though you wouldn’t know it what with the absolute and complete silence hanging in the air. The first rule of professional surfing at its highest level is, apparently, that you don’t talk about professional surfing at its highest level. But its true, the Lexus Pro Pipeline opens its window on January 29 though it might be the last of its kind.

For a few short weeks ago, Honolulu’s local government got together and officially revised its “Shore Water Event Rules” including who will be allowed permits to host contests on Oahu’s fabled North Shore starting in 2025 and running through 2027. You can read all here, but, basically, events will be ranked based upon how they will improved diversity, mitigate community impact, solve traffic problems and provide much gender diversity alongside environmental do gooding.

“The highest ranked application will be allotted their first choice of location and time. Remaining slots will be offered to applicants in order of their ranking,” the new application process states.

“We are hoping for better diversity in the types of events organized, and equity for the various participants — particularly as it relates to gender,” Department of Parks and Recreation spokesperson Nate Serota old the Star-Advertiser, “while keeping park facilities available and mitigating the impacts of these events on the surrounding community.”

The World Surf League has famously devalued the North Shore since its inception in 2015 circa 1976. In those early days, it attempted to strong-arm Honolulu before big-footing a schedule change that flipped Pipeline to the beginning of the season and elevated Lower Trestles, in Southern California, to the crowning jewel.

Maybe none of it matters, in the end, as the World Surf League really does feel it’s on its way out the door altogether. I am certain that Oahu’s North Shore will somehow survive but what of Lowers?

Will it entirely disappear?

More as the story develops.


Eimeo Czemak
Teahupoo heartthrob Eimeo Czermak, ruined by a combo of wild health costs in the US and not having travel insurance. | Photo: @hanahlife

Tahitian heartthrob Eimeo Czermak financially ruined after wipeout at Vans Pipe Masters

“The combination of the ambulance ride, hospital stay, MRI and other tests, ended up costing me $55,000”

We got GoFundMe’s coming out the wazoo after a wild start to the Hawaiian season courtesy of that classic combo of surfers throwing ‘emselves over the ledge at Pipe with no travel insurance and the US’s out-of-control health costs.

Peruvian surfer Joaquin Del Castillo, a surfer known for kinky airs as well as the ability to impound himself in the Pipeline palace, shattered his hip in ten places.

He is asking surfers to continue sending cash into his GoFundMe account ‘cause he limped away from hozzy with a one-hundred gee bill in his pocket.

Eimeo Czermak, twenty years old and a Teahupoo kingpin, suffered spine and head injuries while following a wipeout during his heat with the three Florence bros at the Vans Pipe Masters.

“This was probably one of the hardest and scariest moment of my life,” the carrot-topped heartthrob told his fans on Instagram.
“In the second slide there’s a little video of what happened and the crazy part is I don’t even remember anything of this…💔 I don’t know if I can even talk about what happened after I left the contest so I’m gonna keep it to myself but I’m so happy and grateful to be alive and looking forward to heal.

In the video, Eimeo Czermak is pitched head first, driven to shore by the water patrol where we find him retching on the beach.

 

Eimeo’s injuries were even worse than first thought, too.

In a little back and forth exchange with Eimeo’s dad a couple of weeks back, turned out his kid is just hoping to get the use of his legs again.

Now, fans and critics have gone head to head on the kid’s Instagram account after Eimeo revealed he was 55k in the hole ‘cause he didn’t have travel insurance, wrongly thinking he’d be covered by the Vans-sponsored contest.

In his GoFundMe message Eimeo writes,

I’m Eimeo Czermak, a 20 year old pro surfer from Tahiti who suffered a serious injury to my spine and head competing at the Vans Pipemasters on the North Shore of Oahu. I fell on a wave and damaged my spinal cord and head, which caused a serious concussion, when hitting the reef.

I am grateful for the Hawaiian Water Patrol and team of lifeguards that brought me to shore but once arriving on shore, I realized I didn’t know where I was and couldn’t remember what was happening.

Shortly after, they put me in a stretcher and a neck brace. That was when the adrenaline wore off and I felt intense pain on my spine and couldn’t feel my legs.

I was taken by an ambulance to the ICU at a local hospital where they performed various procedures and, although I told them I did not have health insurance, they required me to stay overnight which cost me $37,000.

After that, I couldn’t feel or move my legs for a week and a half, and still to this day am dealing with the effects of the injury and concussion, which has resulted in depression. I’ve never been one to ask people for money or help, but this situation unfolded without my control and has put me and my surfing career in a very difficult position.

The combination of the ambulance ride, hospital stay, MRI and other tests, ended up costing me $55,000.

If I’m unable to pay back the hospital bills, I won’t be allowed to return to the United States or surf in Hawaii again since I am from Tahiti (French Polynesia).

This is heartbreaking for me because Hawaii is like a second home to me and has played a huge role in growing my career because of the major contests’ I’ve been able to compete in there. If I’m unable to return to Hawaii, it’ll have a huge negative impact on my surfing career.

So far, fans and pals have raised almost ten gees of the desired fifty-five for Eimeo Czermak.

Not everyone was thrilled by the latest call for cash from an uninsured surfer, although they were in the minority.

Hot take: people surfing life threatening waves shouldn’t do it without medical insurance

Imagine going to the US and not having health insurance. Then imagine surfing Pipe on top of that. Funny how the world stage in snowsports doesn’t seem to have the same issue. It’s a given that if you’re on the hill you have insurance – same should be said here.

Ah, excuse me? But sorry to say as it is, he just had to take his disposition especially as a high-level athlete. When you know you’re going abroad especially in the field of sports and worse as a HIGH LEVEL ATHLETE! SURF discipline, we know that the danger is real. Then even every departure abroad sorry but you take insurance WHY? Because you never know what could happen to us down there. And he knows that medical bills in America are very expensive. But here you go on social networks, because yes it’s nice to be hot my friend but you must have known all this.

Most of the fury was aimed at Vans, who recently made news by sacking most of their surf team, and who appear to’ve ignored the kid after he left in the event all trussed up in an ambo.

Wow The @vans Pipe Masters Invitational had no insurance for the athletes at a wave like Pipeline . Sounds like a massive liability problem

What???? The event had no insurance ? At Pipe? That’s crazy. Get well my friend

Make a contest without insurance is ridiculous

@vanssurf really?!? No support to an athlete that puts his life on the line to deliver a great show that makes your contest a hit?!?! I mean, with all due respect it is unacceptable that you guys would even consider treating the participant athletes with such disregard 🤦🏾‍♂️ Once again the surf community will pull it together for one of there own to cover up lame corporate greedy disrespectful attitude towards the people that make it happen!

@vans you guys should cover this.. it’s a drop in the ocean for you. You’de be nothing without good surfers promoting your brand

@vanssurf @vanssurfevents @vans Hook this boy up. Every competitor needs to be covered. When competing you go hard or go home for the show that gives you highlights. When shit goes down the competitor needs to be looked after.

These athletes put their lives on the line for these events. How do you not at the very least offer them health insurance for injuries sustained during events?

The contest didn’t have insurance?! What Da Fuck?! You guys could literally die surfing at that spot. There should definitely be insurance requirements for these comps and contestants.

And so on, although some followers of Eimeo Czermak, better versed perhaps in the machinations of contest insurance, said the event was covered because competitors signed the obligatory waiver. And, surely, no one travels without travel insurance.

A good lesson for Eimeo Czermak and Joaquin Del Castillo, don’t y’think?

I can’t imagine a world where I wouldn’t shell out the few hundred bucks for travel insurance.

Et toi?

You ever roam the globe without a little insurance back up?


Medina (left) and a tangled web.
Medina (left) and a tangled web.

Gabriel Medina’s world about to explode as alleged lover and ex-wife set to meet on Brazil’s Big Brother!

An "unavoidable mess!"

The World Surf League’s 2024 Championship Tour is but days away from kick off, though you wouldn’t know it. There have been zero nifty new slogans unveiled, no Instagram slides featuring John John Florence or Filipe Toledo or Carissa Moore encouraging surf fans to “tune in.”

Nothing but crickets and the mournful yelping of injured dogs from the World Surf League’s new shared veterinarian offices.

Bleak though fireworks may be on the way from the most unexpected of places.

Brazil’s Big Brother.

Now, you are certainly aware of the decades old reality program that throws a handful of strangers together in a house, recording their every move. I can’t recall if people get “voted off” or executed or some such but I believe there is a winner at the end.

In any case, Brazil’s next airing will feature surf star Gabriel Medina’s ex wife Yasmin Brunet and his alleged ex-lover, TikToker Alisson Ramalho who soothed the surf champion near or at the end of the union.

Per Brazilian outlet Terra:

Last Friday, the 5th, the announcement that TikToker Vanessa Lopes would be in the next edition of Big Brother Brasil stirred the internet, mainly due to a possible “clima” with Yasmin Brunet, who will also be on the program.

In an interview with the website Gshow, businessman Alisson Ramalho, Vanessa’s father, assured that the young woman had an affair with surfer Gabriel Medina, after he separated from the model.

“When she had this affair with Medina, I think it was right after the end of the marriage… I think it would be a natural thing, not only for Vanessa [the relationship with Yasmin], but for any human being. There’s a mess going on that there’s not much way to avoid. Let’s see how the two of them will deal with it inside.”

When the aforementioned fling was first announced, two-ish years ago, Medina took to Instagram and penned, “Evil gossip can make you hate innocent people and love hypocrites. Be wise, there are always two versions in every story told. Listen to them.”

I suppose we will have the opportunity, now, on Brazil Big Brother.

Do you think this “unavoidable mess” will strain Medina’s concentration as he sets out to eventually lose to Filipe Toledo at Lower Trestles once again or do you think he will steel his soul and use the tawdry doings as motivation until losing to Filipe Toledo at Lower Trestles once again?

Stay tuned, I suppose.


Fallen icon Billabong dumps Australian surf star three days after greatest triumph!

“Private equity killing core brands and philosophies…”

The swinging Gen Z tail-slinger and world #17 Liam O’Brien has been unceremoniously dumped by Billabong only three days after his greatest triumph. 

Liam O’Brien barely had time to celebrate his victory at the prestigious Burleigh Heads Boardriders Single Fin Classic, or feed the women on the headland driven mad by the scent of his healthy young flesh, when he received news Billabong wouldn’t be renewing his monthly stipend.  

Gracious in defeat, the twenty four year old whose heat strategy is to clench and unclench his talons into his enemy’s heart until it stops beating, wrote: 

“Thanks for everything @billabong it’s been an unbelievable ride. Special thanks to @bowie_ @rainoshayes @the_other_heff and everyone at the brand for 12 years of support and some awesome opportunities. I’m very grateful for the position I’m in and for what the future holds.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Liam O’Brien (@liamobr_)

The great surf journalist Sean Doherty wrote, “Blessing in disguise mate, onward and upward.”

Comments uniformly positive, 

Private equity killing core brands and philosophies show em mate that the true art is in the water anyways.

You put a film out like Wandering and still get dropped wtf does a man gotta do to stay sponsored these days !? Smash the crap out of 2024 LOB love watching you surf and your class out of the water with it , let’s go !

Liam you will be gold for whoever is lucky enough to pick you up – style in and out of the water- no better representative for any company.

What a privilege for Billabong to have had a talent like you for the past many years. You will always be an incredible ambassador for any brand that want to be associated with a Surfer of your caliber, who is also so smart, well spoken, kind, legit and just a great soul. Keep charging LOB.

The sacking brought no surprises, of course. 

Billabong fell on its sword years ago after flying too close to the sun, and is now the plaything of Authentic Brands Group, which also owns Quiksilver and RVCA . 

Italo Ferreira, a world champ, is gone. Griff Colapinto, out. The famed Pipeline A-team house was sold to an industry figure for six million bucks and Billabong, once a beacon of healthy living, recently partnered up with another brand to produced plus-sized womenswear. 

Liam O’Brien will now fill his wardrobe with Vissla, former Billabong head Paul Naude’s successful start-up and producer of BeachGrit’s Backward Fins range a few years back. 

Beautiful and anything but stupid, Liam first came onto my radar five years ago via an edit by Billy-Lee Pope.

He sent it to me a week before anyone else but while I pondered its suitability for patrons of this website, it started popping up everywhere else. Surfer, Stab, and so on.

I said to Billy, if he could get the keys to the file and change the song to something more appropriate to our audience, I would loose on BeachGrit.

After a short consultation, I chose a Rick James classic.

James was famous for having a very acid ejaculit after a long, and mostly satisfying, $7000-a-week crack cocaine addiction. When he died, the autopsy found alprazolam, diazepam, bupropion, citalopram, hydrocodone, digoxin, chlorpheniramine, methamphetamine, and cocaine, of course, in his blood.

The song, called Give It To Me Baby, encapsulates Liam’s approach to waves.

Give it hard and give it fast.

When I came home last night
You wouldn’t make love to me
You went fast to sleep
You wouldn’t even talk to me
You said I’m so crazy
Coming home intoxicated
I said I just wanna love you
I just wanna love you baby
That is why I’m so elated

C’mon girl, give it to me baby
Give it to me baby
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot till you’ve had enough
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby)
Just give it to me baby
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot till you’ve had enough

Give it to me
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
(Give it to me)
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
Give it to me, give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me
Give me that stuff
That sweet, funky stuff
Yoh ho, aw

(Give to me, baby)

When I was high as the sky
Out all night just dancing
You say let’s go home (c’mon Rick, I’m tired, let’s go home)
That’s the time I start romancin’
You say “how can I love you?” (how can I love you, baby?)
“When your body keeps on moving”
I say “wait til I squeeze you” (oh)
Maybe then you’ll start to groovin’ (c’mon girl)

Give it to me baby (give it to me baby)
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot like you had enough
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby)
Just give it to me baby
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot like you had enough

Give it to me
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
(Give it to me)
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
Give it to me, give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me
Give me that stuff
That sweet, funky stuff
Yoh ho, aw

(Hey Girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
(Give it to me) what you say
(Give it to me) what you say
(Hey girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me
Give it to me (hey girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me
Give it to me (hey, girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me right away
Give it to me
Give it to me (hey, girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me

Sing along!

 

 

 


Revelshine crew feat. Bros. Gudauskas.
Revelshine crew feat. Bros. Gudauskas.

Universally adored Brothers Gudauskas pivot to wine making after cruel Vans cut!

The boys are back in town (and this time bringing Shane Dorian).

Not two weeks ago, the world woke to the shock news that the Brothers Gudauskas, Dane, Tanner and Pat, had been cut from shoemaker Vans after twenty years of service. The trio was as instantly recognizable and Hansons or Jonases though twice as loved. Dane took to Instagram to announce the sad news being being typically lovely and kind.

“They supported us in our pursuit of every creative endeavor imaginable…” he wrote with zero scent of hurt feelings “…from developing travel shows to grom comps and board drives, not to mention creating a culture of open minded and innovative collaborators that continue to make up the Vans surf team, lead by original icons and mentors Joel Tudor and Nathan Fletcher.”

Surf fans, furious at the betrayal, wondered what might come next for the Tres San Clementines though didn’t have to wait long.

Wine.

Snowboard legend Jeremy Jones announced that the Gudauski had partnered with he, Lupita Nyong’o’s disgraced ex Selema Masekela, big wave stud Shane Dorian and others in a new wine offering named Revelshine.

“Excited to be getting into the wine industry with fellow heroes/cofounders,” Jones wrote in announcing Revelshine. “Lead by 5th generation wine maker (Jake Bilbro), we believe wine doesn’t need to come in a glass bottle to taste good, and we are leading the way for an industry-wide change — sourcing premium grapes from organic and sustainably farmed vineyards while keeping our carbon footprint the lightest on the market.”

Currently Revelshine is being sold in the California grocery chain Sprouts though, I’d imagine, if you asked your local food establishment they would be more than happy to carry it.

Do it for Dane, Tanner and Pat.

Or Jeremy Jones.

Or even Sal as he tries to rehabilitate his image.

Buy here.