Fantasy surf league
Fantasy surf league but ruthless and rich!

World’s richest but most ruthless fantasy surf league opens for 2024 WSL season

Seven thousand American dollars and a fleet of Panda surfboards in winner-take-all bunfight!

You all know the stories of fans winning the Surfer or WSL fantasy surf leagues, beating thousands of other keen surfers, and then getting stiffed of their rightful loot. 

Four years ago, the staggering lack of any prizes in fantasy surf leagues was brought into the spotlight when Berlin-based Australian surfer Shane Starling aka Zmonde, picked ten of the eleven event winners, although his victory came and went unacknowledged by the owners of the game. 

Surfer wasn’t any better, said Starling, describing it as a “dead platform.”

(BeachGrit remedied that situation when we despatched to the former home of the Reich a package of t-shirts and air fresheners,.)

Last year, the Australian husband of Lakey Peterson, Thomas Allen, won the WSL’s Fantasy League, beating an astonishing 115,000 competitors. His prize? Allen said, “I might have to buy myself a trophy”.

And, so, this is why the surfer Taylor Lobdell created Surfival League a few years back. You probs know the game by now, but, if you don’t, it’s real easy.

Instead of picking a team you pick one surfer to advance past the round of 32. 

If they advance, you advance. If they don’t, you’re out. 


And you can’t pick the same surfer twice. 

Last man, or gal, gets seven thousand American dollars courtesy of BeachGrit and Taylor and three Panda surfboards. 

Past winner of Surfival Fantasy Surf League include a construction worker from Colorado a butcher from Bondi and an Australia skipper. 

This year, is it you? 

Wanna put money where mouth is etc? 

Twenty bucks. 

We’ll be updating who’s in, who’s out, after each event.

Sign up here. 

Zombie surf industry apocalypse.
Zombie surf industry apocalypse.

Surfer Magazine robots quake in sockets as parent company lays off entire Sports Illustrated staff

It's a full zombie apocalypse.

The year 2024 has gotten off weird, let’s be quite frank. YouTubers calling out filmers for “blowing out spots,” icons retiring in prime, stickers being ripped off boards hither and yon. The World Surf League refusing to search for a new CEO instead depending on its PR chief and legal chief in order to govern the “global home of surfing.”

Most off, though, is the war between Surfer Magazine’s artificially intelligent robot staff and quaking in various wall sockets as Quiksilver, Billabong, RVCA, Roxy, DC’s owner shakes an angry pitchfork in the air, baying for digital blood.

But here we are and it’s true.

Days ago, Authentic Brands Group, which owns 90% of the aforementioned surf industry, told The Arena Group, which owns “the Bible of the Sport,” that it could not longer use the name or logo of the storied title Sports Illustrated.

You’ll certainly recall the dust up, two months back, when it was revealed that The Arena Group had used “fake AI writers” for Sports Illustrated pieces about playing frisbee, or some such. Surf fans were not surprised, in the least, as months before that, one Emily Morgan was introduced to us. A “woman” who lived in the shadows of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains and “enjoyed” long walks with her “dog.”

The revelation tanked The Arena Group’s stock and led to the firing of its kinky CEO, who might and should be smashing LinkedIn messages to the World Surf League even as I type.

That was only the start of the troubles.

On Friday, every Sports Illustrated staffer was fired after The Arena Group missed a $2.8 million payment to Authentic Brands Group for the usage of the name Sports Illustrated.

“As a result of this license revocation, we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand,” Arena Sports told the magazine’s employees in an email.

Surfer Magazine’s algorithm-chasing digital tools very clearly on notice that they, too, could easily become put in the desktop trash bin.

And isn’t it odd.

Zombie Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, DC vs. zombie Surfer.

Would you have predicted?

Damien Hobgood on Black Death waves and the wipeout that nearly killed him

"Damien Hobgood acted like an animal. It was the most insane performance of talent and courage I’ve ever seen."

There are very few souls in the pro surfing game like Damien Hobgood.

I first met Damien Hobgood on one of my five Teahupoo campaigns at a homestay called Mama and Papa Teva. Along with his twin brother Cliff, Damien patiently and with good humour listened to my narrow-minded college-grad critiques of his religion.

Almost one decade ago, while filming for Strange Rumblings, Dion Agius and other Globe surfers including Creed McTaggart, sought out the circles of Greenbush in Sumatra, Indonesia. Greenbush is one of those waves where tuberiding to the death is preferable to opening the cat-flap or proning straight.

For surfers such as Craig Anderson and, in our case, Damien Hobgood, it is where their courage and their skills are most visible. I’d heard about Damien Hobgood’s solo session at 12-foot at Greenbush from Dion Agius and Creed McTaggart.

As I swooped on their drinks cabinet they mimicked what they believed had transpired. Giant drops beyond the vertical axis! Circles that were so big that even if a camera had been there it wouldn’t have been able to translate its enormity to pixels.

Damien, see, was in Bali and had heard the wave was going to be good and, short of partners, flew, drove and hopped a boat until he was sitting in the channel of an Indonesia version of Teahupoo, ready to surf solo. And solo he did. The following day, when the swell had dropped but was still a respectable, even horrifying, eight foot, Dion and Creed and the rest of the Globe gang arrived. And Damien, hardened from the previous day, owned it.

“Damo acted like an animal out there, like a man possessed. It was the most insane performance of talent and courage I’ve ever seen,” said Dion Agius. “He did not give one fuck and was getting bounced off the reef and bleeding everywhere and just kept charging.”

In this wide-ranging interview, Damien Hobgood talks hunting Black Death waves, the Teahupoo wave that nearly killed him and the true meaning of Christmas.

Stephanie Gilmore gone? Dry dem eyes.
Stephanie Gilmore gone? Dry dem eyes.

Rumor: Surf legend Stephanie Gilmore to follow greatest ever Carissa Moore into beautiful retirement

Alleged end of an era.

When history peers back at 2000s – 2024s will it see 12 x 2 years of the most important, best, professional surfing ever? Andy Irons three championships leading off. Stephanie Gilmore adding seven more. Kelly Slater posting six of his eleven in the aughts. Carissa Moore hoisting five though, really, six.

Legends, each and every one.

Time, as it does, marches on, though. Andy Irons’ legacy is cemented as he left this mortal coil in 2010. Kelly Slater, his onetime nemesis, is carrying on with pocket fake wildcards from here to eternity. Carissa Moore, days ago, retired classier than any surfer has, which leaves us Stephanie Gilmore.

The very classy Australian has surfed, professionally, since receiving a Roxy Pro Gold Coast wildcard in 2005 and went on to win and charm, win and charm, for nearly two decades.

Very fine rumor has it, though, that she, like Moore, is going to do the right thing and hang it up within weeks, if not days.

Does this make you feel things?

It should.


Lisa Andersen dumped by Roxy
Lisa Andersen, dumped by Roxy. Pottz no haps.

Women’s surf brand Roxy slammed by reclusive world champ Martin Potter for dumping company’s north star Lisa Andersen

“Pro surfing is dead. So sad,” says Pottz

Two significant movements in the surf world this morn with Lisa Andersen being exited from Roxy after thirty years and reclusive former WSL commentator and ’89 world champ Martin Potter breaking his five-year silence to rip into the company. 

Lisa Andersen, the almost fifty-five year old who became the face of Roxy in 1993 one year before her four-pack of world titles, posted a video where we see her peeling a Roxy sticker off her board. The caption reads, “All is good.” 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lisa Andersen (@andersenlisa)

Well, all ain’t good. 

“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,” Chas wrote two weeks ago after Kelia Moniz split from Roxy, her contract shredded.

In a long piece to camera Kelia gave hell to Roxy.

“After years of fighting for fair pay and equality 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.”

Chas Smith subsequently said Quiksilver, Billabong, RVCA and Hurley should be studiously avoided, if not burned to the ground, as surfers pivot to surfer-owned brands like Florence Marine X, TCSS etc.

And, anyone wearing Quiksilver, Billabong etc, says Chas, should be “publicly shamed.”

Anyway, much the same sentiment from Martin Potter, the world champ turned grouchy WSL commentator, whom you’ll recall simply disappeared from our screens a few years ago without acknowledgment from his masters.

Among a roll call of surfing greats on Lisa Andersen’s post, Pottz stood out with the forthrightness that made him a beloved member of the WSL broadcast roster.

“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.

Some takeaways, as they’re called, here.

Is the exiting of Lisa Andersen from Roxy indeed proof the surf industry, as we all know it, is dead or a rational and logical shift away from paying absurdist salaries to surfers?

Should Lisa, you think, and like Mark Occhilupo, been given a lifelong stipend given it was Lisa Andersen who popularised the Boardshorts that Roxy built its brand upon?

And, long term, with their back stories erased, will Quiksilver, Billabong, RVCA, Hurley turn wild profits for a few years before disappearing into the sunset like Op, Golden Breed and Hang Ten?