Filipe "Rocky" Toledo (pictured) at bite-sized Teahupoo.
Filipe "Rocky" Toledo (pictured) at bite-sized Teahupoo.

Hopes build for greatest ever sport story as timid champ Filipe Toledo declares he will “focus a lot on the Olympics” during mental health break!

Roping dopes.

I’m telling you, I called this thing and long before the two-time, and sitting, world champion Filipe Toledo stunned surf-watchers by bowing out of the 2024 Championship Tour due “mental health.” I said, and I quote, “What if the Brazilian flyboy, universally recognized as the globe’s best small wave surfer though also bigger-wave-over-reef coward, is making a play to be the greatest sport story of all-time thereby forcing internet technicians to eat a lifetime of crow?”

Well guess what.

It’s happening.

Toledo, of course, announced his break after an embarrassing Lexus Pipe Pro performance that saw him refusing to give effort on a large-esque day. The aforementioned internet technicians lit him up, he angrily declared that he didn’t need to prove anything to anyone before handing the microphone to his father, Ricardo Toledo, who lambasted all haters.

In the days after, the Lower Trestles maestro signaled that he would be taking his children to school for a few weeks then probably start going on surf trips.

Surf fans imaged enjoyable adventures to Australia’s Gold Coast, New Smyrna Beach and Portugal’s Algarve region but I… I thought, and I quote, “The kid is smarter than that. He is roping us all as dopes and is going to conquer his fear, go to that Place of Broken Skulls and bring home gold.”

Am I right?

Seemingly so, for Brazilian surf media is sharing that Toledo plans to focus “a lot on the Olympics” during his respite. Now, we all know that the Tahitian mutant, which will host the surfing portion of the 2024 Paris Games, has been notoriously unkind to the 28-year-old’s psyche. Toledo famously scored a 0.00 there and also, last year, sat and watched two fifty-year-olds eat his lunch.

Dopes, though, at the end. The lot of us. Except me.

Toledo has the wild skill, the ability to cherry-pick coaches (both mental and non) and money to post up “at the end of the road” for the next five months, or travel to any other slabbing left on earth. Practicing. Hunting. Growing strong. Stronger.

Do you believe?

Do you imagine that he might be crafting a tale better than Miracle on Ice, Cool Runnings, Eddie the Eagle?

If he does, if he Rocky Balboas for the next five months and ends up atop the Olympic podium will he eclipse Kelly Slater as the GOAT?

Something to think about.


Open Thread: Comment live on Final’s Day of Hurley Pro Sunset Beach!

Aloha also means goodbye.


Chas Smith says, “Kelly Slater will never win another pro surfing heat!”

"He don't got it anymore! It's over!"

Shortly after Kelly Slater was narrowly beaten by Ethan Ewing, the baby-faced Australian with the “plumpest and most spankable bottom in surfing” at the Sunset Pro, he threatened to call it quits for the twenty-sixth consecutive year.

Kelly said he was “questioning competing…I haven’t surfed in about something like five or six days. I just haven’t been practiced up. It doesn’t help the confidence. But I felt fine out there.”

The week previous, Kelly Slater referenced his recent hip surgery where doctors “took a cadaver’s labrum, inserted it and tied it to my bone” as reason for his inability to shine in the inconsistent three-foot waves at Pipe.

The first time Kelly retired was in 1998, the then six-time world champ having just-turned twenty-six.

This year, however, with Kelly nearing sixty, the final curtain is near.

And Chas Smith, who hates surfing, says:

“There’ll be no more heat wins, no more bolts of nearly smashing a man half his age into the water. He doesn’t got it anymore, it’s over. How does that make you feel? Be honest with yourself. Look at yourself hard in the mirror. Can I go on if Kelly Slater doesn’t?

“He has been such a part of our lives, a part of every professional surf memory I have. I can’t picture life without Kelly Slater. I don’t know where we go.”


Open Thread: Comment Live on Day Three of the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach!

Plenty of room for you in this big playing field.


Fake surf brand Quiksilver accused of ruthlessly stealing designs from li’l core boardshort co.

"Brazen and blatant."

The surf industry’s implosion happened so quickly, and so thoroughly, that has yet to fully register. Only a baby handful of years ago, brands like Quiksilver, Billabong, Hurley, RVCA, Volcom hung on surf shop racks, each almost different, all sort of their own thing. Then, in the blink of a pterygium eye, big New York private equity firms swooped in, buying the lot, throwing them all into one gross bucket filled with lye and boiling down for their once-iconic logos that could be slapped on anything from beard oil to women’s bathing suits for men to timid surf champions.

Yuck.

And no longer of interest to the surf fan… except. Apparently the zombie designers who now toil under the yoke of “investor value” have run out of inspiration and are poking into the world, looking to “borrow.”

Enter Ola Canvas. The small Costa Mesa atelier has been making core and true pants, jackets, tees and boardshorts for real surfers for the better part of five years. It’s best seller, the blackball. A simple trunk seen here being enjoyed by Jackie Freestone.

Well, apparently Quiksilver’s composition team saw, liked and almost identically borrowed for Griffin Colapinto.

Baldfaced.

Ola Canvas took to the public court to make light complaint, describing its mission etc. and how being ripped off by soulless goons ain’t cool before ending with, “Ironically Quiksilver’s tagline says a lot. ‘When life is in the balance, yours should be too.'”

Quiksilver’s tagline is “When life is in the balance, yours should be too?”

What the hell sort of absolute garbage is that?

Worth a boycott right there, if you ask me.

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