Last Wednesday morning at Navarre Beach, just east of Pensacola there, and using a 150-pound swordfish head and a head of an 80-pound yellowfin tuna head, Blaine Kenny and his biz partner Dylan Weir went hunting “the biggest sharks possible.”
Kenny on the rod, Weir the spotter.
“There’s only a few things it can be, a Mako, a giant Tiger, a White shark or the biggest Dusky we’ve ever seen in our lives,” Weir says when Kenny hooks a shark. “We’re just going to play it out, not jump to assumptions, and really does it matter what’s on the other end of that line right now? We have one task at hand and the task is Blaine has to stay locked in. I have to stay locked in.”
Using a drone, Weir identifies the shark as a Great White.
“That’s a monster, dude, that’s not just any White shark.”
Kenny gets the Great White to shore and, here, we see the most dramatic moment of the event when the hook is deftly removed from the Great White’s mouth and the creature is set free.
“I’ve said it so many times before,” he says. “But truly, truly words cannot describe the feeling of this fish right here.”
World holds breath as Meta investors warned Mark Zuckerberg’s love of surfing, cage fighting, could kill him
Days ago, the two-time** world surfing champ Filipe Toledo shocked even his biggest detractors by failing, yet again, to give an effort in scary waves breaking over shallow reef. The “Pipeline Poltroon” demonstrated a sort of fear, of cowardice, not seen since Mr. Pink in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. The sort, likely, Meta’s board wished its leader, one Mark Zuckerberg, would harness.
The social media juggernaut previously known as Facebook is, currently, riding high after a rough few years. Profits well up, minds, both young and old, poisoned with even greater effectiveness. The only potential problem on the horizon, though, is the aforementioned Zuckerberg’s “participation in high-risk activities” which very much includes his brave and bold big wave surfing.
And you certainly recall when the world’s fifth richest man sat down across from Lex Friedman and declared, “I, uh, train hard. So if I’m gonna go out in a 15-foot wave then I’ll make sure we have the right safety gear, make sure I’m used to that spot and all that stuff.”
Well, in its latest Security and Exchange Commission filing, Meta declared Zuckerberg’s big ol’ balls to be troublesome.
“We currently depend on the continued services and performance of our key personnel, including Mark Zuckerberg,” it read. “Mr. Zuckerberg and certain other members of management participate in various high-risk activities, such as combat sports, extreme sports, and recreational aviation, which carry the risk of serious injury and death.”
Now, Zuckerberg is widely known to pal up with various “extreme” bros. You know of his affair with Kai Lenny who described the 5’6″ 39 year-old as “super cool, super into water sport, really active. Super fit. Like … strong, strong strong. Physically strong.” Lenny was soon dumped for mixed-martial artist Khai “The Shadow” Wu and others but do you think Meta’s board will attempt to insert Filipe Toledo into Zuckerberg’s friend group?
"Get non-surfers out of the game, they ruin it every time."
It ain’t a secret to anyone, let alone the Hawaiian-born big-wave world champ Makua Rothman, that the surf industry is on its knees force fed the transparent viscous goo of hedge fund money, faces buried in corporate America’s moist thicket.
The season began with Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore, thirteen world titles between ‘em and more star power than the men’s and women’s tour combined, quitting the tour within days of each other.
A men’s world champ that refuses to surf, in any meaningful way, the two most iconic waves in the world.
Commentators, CEOs, all disappeared without a trace as if it was Stalin’s Great Terror.
And, so, Makua Rothman, the thirty-nine-year-old son of North shore strongman Fast Eddie Rothman and winner of the Billabong XXL award for riding a sixty-six footer at Jaws when he was eighteen, has asked his myriad fans a real simple question.
What do we do?
“I want to reach out and see if I can challenge you folks,” says Makua Rothman. “See what you think, what solutions you might have.”
Makua Rothman adds:
“Surfing is at its weakest point it’s ever been, huge fun money, loss of control over the companies and the real culture, the people that started the brands. It’s a real turning point in surfing and I think there’s some really great minds out there and we can definitely change the way the surf world is forever and for the better.”
Dustin Barca: “No mid season cut off . End with the triple crown . Without it ending in Hawaii , it’s dead.”
Master surfboard sprayer Drew Brophy, “Go back to the basics, support real surf companies, shapers craftsman, designers, artists, shop owners, surf community, etc. Take care of the waves and places where they are, get non-surfers out of the game, they ruin it every time. Surfers should have to compete in all conditions biggest to smallest, everyone gets to shine doing what they do best. Always remember the waves are the star every time.”
Makua Rothman finishes his piece to camera with a throat-slashing motion. Very theatrical!
Do you think surfing is at its weakest point or do you see a juggernaut of competitive sport and fashion storming the runways and television sets?
Surfer Magazine robot makes bizarre counter-factual defense of shameful Filipe Toledo Pipe performance!
Now, anybody who has actually had real food poisoning knows the torture, the abject pain of foreign bugs in tummy. There, of course, can be many causes with varying degrees of yuck. I once caught amoebic dysentery in Cairo, Egypt, for instance, and spent seven whole days hooked up to an IV in a Jordanian hospital. I’ve also had the classic vomit fits lasting all night.
And yet, no form of food poisoning has the bearer drinking a beer minutes after claiming.
Filipe Toledo is a special guy, though.
Days ago, the globe watched as the aforementioned surf champion cowered at Pipeline during the very first day of the World Surf League’s very first day of 2024. He managed a 1.77 that was generous, sitting on priority without paddling then pretending to get himself out of position. A shameful performance no doubt followed by and even more shameful one.
Pulling out and citing food poisoning.
While condemnation for his spinelessness came quick, and from all corners, Surfer Magazine’s artificial intelligence software had a different take. Shall we read Filipe Toledo is Going to Make his Critics Look Like Fools together?
On the opening day of the Pipe Pro, after an anemic showing in his first heat, Toledo withdrew from the contest citing food poisoning. The darkest recesses of the Internet cried foul, claiming he was scared of the conditions at Pipe or some such nonsense. It’s a farcical assumption for a number of reasons.
For starters, Pipe wasn’t that gnarly by the time the Elimination Round rolled around. Toledo got fifth in the event last year. And while he’s never won at Pipe, over the course of his career, his results there have been respectable with a number of quarterfinal appearances. In our conversation he expressed that he was excited to get the season started at Pipe, as well as noted his comfort level at Teahupo’o going into the Olympic year.
This brings up a second point. For anyone that’s spent any significant amount of time on the North Shore, the dirty, little secret is that it’s almost impossible not to get sick there at one point or another. Surfers from around the world show up, stay in houses together, share germs and eat suspect food. When it comes to one’s health, danger lurks around every corner. Day old Spam musubi can be lethal.
The silliness of the various strands of this argument shows that AI still needs much tuning in order to actually make human appeals, but the most egregious bit is at the end. Day old Spam musubi can be lethal? As any North Shore traveler knows, Spam musubi is one of the greatest culinary treats. A thick slice of extremely processed ham affixed to a bed of rice by a seaweed belt all smeared in teriyaki.
Yum with the keywords being EXTREMELY PROCESSED. A year-old Spam musubi would only taste lightly funky. The robot, in any case, makes multiple appeals to the “conversations” it had with Toledo ending with “My take on it, give Toledo a break. He’s human, he’s on the North Shore, shit happens. Literally. You don’t see any of his rivals discounting him, just a bunch of Internet armchair quarterbacks that have never even had a conversation with him.”
Is that’s what’s happening here?
Internet armchair quarterbacks getting it all wrong?
David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed the “Pipeline Poltroon” at great length during today’s weekly chat. How good a word is “poltroon?”
Maui surf fans on lookout for champion Filipe Toledo as Baby Beach officially grabs title for “calmest ocean water in the world!”
It is a common misconception, amongst the general non-surfing public, that surfers like to travel places with “big waves.” It is true that some do, but many prefer medium-sized waves and a good number, mainly longboarders, willingly look for small waves. Rollers that allow fancy dancing etc.
Some might even prefer no waves at all, not even a ripple. Maybe they are nursing an injury, for example, and can’t surf so would rather not be tormented. Maybe they recently had a very bad experience in the lineup, something they would like to forever forget and need a few days, or weeks, of lake placid.
Enter two-time**, and reigning, world champion Filipe Toledo. Days ago, the entire surf universe witnessed the Brazilian put on a performance at the famed Banzai Pipeline so witheringly gutless that it can only be described as “cheap, funny, character-revealing.”
Even though the waves were very fine, on the bigger and unruly side, Toledo bobbed, pretended to paddle, and ran to the safety of the sand as soon as he could. Afterward, he cited “food poisoning” and pulled out of the rest of the event so as not to be forced to float again and be shamed.
Now, the next even on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour is the Sunset Beach Pro, which opens its window in ten-ish days. There is no way Toledo will want to stay on Oahu’s North Shore, feeling the pound of big, deflecting withering stares at Foodland, and so he will likely depart the island. But where? Ten-ish days is not a long time.
The Valley Isle, just a short hopper flight from Honolulu, boasts many wonders including winding roads, whale watching and white people. As of days ago, it can also brag the beach that “has the calmest waters in the world.
To find out which beaches offer the calmest waters, the team analyzed millions of publicly available reviews on Tripadvisor, assessing 500 beaches in America and the top 100 beaches in every country around the globe. After identifying the beaches, the team calculated which spots had the highest proportion of reviews that included the phrase “calm water/s.” (The team notes it only assessed English-language reviews and sense-checked all reviews to ensure the phrase “calm water/s” was used correctly.)
After crunching the numbers, the researchers found that Baby Beach in Maui, Hawaii, holds the title for having the calmest water of any beach in the world, with more than 27 percent of reviews mentioning the phrase.