Austin Gibbons injured at Pipeline
The New York surfer Austin Gibbons and, inset, messages from pals.

Life of New York surfer Austin Gibbons found unresponsive at Pipeline on day deemed too big for Lexus Pipe Pro saved by off-duty lifeguards

Lifeguards gave Austin Gibbons “several cycles of CPR before he finally regained a pulse.”

Three days days back, the popular New York surfer Austin Gibbons was rushed to intensive care after being found unconscious on a day deemed too big, and too unsafe for the world’s best surfers competing in the Lexus Pipe Pro.

In a statement, Honolulu Ocean Safety said a 25-year-old surfer had been found unresponsive early Monday evening and just after the lifeguards had split for the day.

“But lifeguards were still in the parking lot and were alerted by beachgoers that they were needed. Surfers helped get the man close to shore and brought him in the sand with lifeguards. Lifeguards began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and after several cycles of CPR, the surfer regained a pulse… Honolulu EMS provided advanced life-saving treatment and transported the man to an area emergency room in critical condition.”

Austin Gibbons’ mom, Christine, flew from New York to Oahu to be by her son’s side, a kid who moved to the North Shore in January to chase his dream of becoming a North Shore lifeguard.

“He had been on a surfboard since he was two years old,” said Christine Gibbons. “Since he could walk.”

Christine said the family had been “overwhelmed” with support from the surfing community.

“I truly believe he is mentally and physically strong enough to fight and that we can get through this,” she said.

It’s been a wild season for injuries at Pipeline, this the sixth serious injury since December.

Also sidelined were, world number four Joao Chianca, Tahitian kingpin Eimeo Czermak, Pipe regular Koa Rothman and Peruvian shredder Joaquin Del Castillo.


Autistic surfer makes jaw-dropping cameo at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch

“His level of focus in the wave is incredible," says Kelly Slater, "he makes instant natural connections with the water.”

The Maui-born goofy-footer Clay Marzo has made a stunning appearance at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore, thrilling onlookers which may or may not have included Human Viagra Raimana Van Bastolaer with “double-jointed” turns and layback tuberiding.

Marzo, who is thirty-four, has been described as “a guru born in the barrel” (CJ Hobgood), “one of the best tube riders and all around surfers in the world with an incredibly entertaining and radical approach” (Shane Beschen) and “He knows things I don’t know. He knows things that all the guys I’m surfing with don’t know.” (Kelly Slater, creator of the Surf Ranch.)

Laird Hamilton, also from Maui, calls Marzo “an artist who can’t be pigeon-holed. He’s something all together different that should be cherished.”

Interestingly, it was the surf writer and filmer Jamie Tierney, the director of Marzo’s 2007 signature film Just Add Water, who convinced his mama the then eighteen year old should see a doc.

“My parents are both psychologists,” Tierney said. “I could tell he was more than a typical teenager… Almost everyone has had to deal with something like this. Let’s talk about Asperger’s but not as disease or a disability. Clay Marzo is so good because he has Asperger’s, not in spite of it. His level of focus in the wave is incredible, he makes instant natural connections with the water, something very few people have.”

Eight years ago, Marzo and his mama were stiffed for $400,000 by their crooked bookkeeper, who would serve three years for the crime.

Here, at Surf Ranch, Clay Marzo shows a little of that old magic.


Top tier pro surfer reveals first ever successful backhand tube made during Pipe Pro!

Hope springs!

You and I might have once harbored dreams of becoming professional surfers. Oh we were much younger then, of course, maybe twelve or thirteen when anything seemed possible including, but not limited to, space travel, financial literacy, being chaired up the beach after posting three perfect tens.

Alas, real life crept in and we realized our boggy bottom turns and mistimed lip hits would never get us to the top.

But might hope spring?

Yesterday’s running of the Lexus Pipe Pro, wherein the women were trotted out to face “aggressively mediocre” waves, was mostly a shameful indictment of the World Surf League. Except, heat 6 of the opening round delivered a gem that will buoy even the grumpiest of locals. For, there, Sawyer Linblad defeated Johanne Defay and Lakey Peterson in part thanks to her first ever completed backside barrel.

(3:27:30 if not already teed up.)

Amazing!

The Championship Tour, you well know, is as high as a professional surfer can climb and imagine being able to reach the peak without the ability to weave a back footed tube. Might you, too, be able to make it without a wrap-around snap in the trick bag? Might I be able to without a fully developed cutback?

Our aspirations alive once again.

David Lee Scales and I did not, anyhow, discuss the power of dreams but we did rake Filipe Toledo over more room temperature coals.

Never enough.

Enjoy.


Chas Smith says, “How dare you criticise Filipe Toledo! He wasn’t scared!”

An examination of the psychology behind the surf fans and journalists who defend the indefensible.

Much brouhaha and many wound lickings over the past few days following two-time world champ Filipe Toledo’s withdrawal from Lexus the Pipe Pro.

After a wildly lacklustre first heat of the season, Filipe Toledo quit the event blaming food poisoning.

Per JP’s report,

The night is darkest just before the dawn, wrote Thomas Fuller in 1650 (or words to that effect). But for Filipe Toledo, incumbent world champion, even the brightest new days are shrouded in a lingering dusk.

Our double asterisked world champion is out of the season opener, the Lexus Pipe Pro, almost before it has begun, and certainly before he’d surfed any wave of substance.

1.77 for two waves was all he could muster to begin his 2024 campaign. Made to look even more foolish by Sammy Pupo and Shion Crawford, both of whom notched solid waves, Filipe Toledo whimpered off to the elimination round then threw in the towel without attempting to remain in the competition.

Illness was cited, and illness is surely the reason, if we accept this as a euphemism for the deep roots of fear that claw at Filipe Toledo’s soul when waves become consequential.

In today’s episode of Chas Smith Hates Surfing, and using a half-charged microphone that renders most of it intelligible, the noted author examines the psychological makeup of journalists and surf fans who defend the indefensible.

“Is their thinking that they’re going to endear themselves to that person, become friends somehow, become pals later on, because you went on to Instagram and said, ‘He wasn’t afraid, he gave it his best. Good job Filipe.’ Why can’t we critical? Why can’t we be critical and honest? Has the west lost its ability to think critical about stuff? Why can’t we say there is something wrong? That there is some critical element to his game that needs to be addressed and fixed!”


Riley Gaines, Bethany Hamilton and protestor with shark
Riley Gaines and Bethany Hamilton with cute trans ally with stuffed IKEA shark, inset.

Trans-activist brings stuffed IKEA shark to Bethany Hamilton and Riley Gaines’ library story hour to “mock” one-armed surfer

"How messed up is this? Miserable, insufferable people. But oh so 'tolerant.'"

The anti-trans-women in sports activist Riley Gaines has slammed a pro-trans women in sport activist for appearing to mock surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a Tiger Shark in 2003 by appearing at an event the pair were hosting carrying a stuffed shark.

Riley Gaines and Bethany Hamilton were at a Springfield, Missouri, library hawking Gaines’ book Happy No Snakes Day, “a Christian children’s book that teaches the importance of standing up for the truth.”

The book “follows the journey of Rebel and the rest of the team BRAVE as they learn what it means to stand for truth. The team has to decide whether to save themselves or warn their friends about incoming danger.”

No anal, no pegging, no jock pussy, no instructional on how to tuck, nothing even vaguely progressive.

Transgender activists weren’t thrilled by the she-devils in their midst and there ain’t nothing feistier than a T-dick all fired up. The library was asked to cancel the event and trans-gals and allies were encouraged to turn up and make hell.

“I’m sorry your whole identity is attacking marginalized people. That’s not what we’re about and we will be there tomorrow to remind you queer people exist,” wrote one.

Protesters draped themselves in Monica Helms’ Transgender Pride Flag at the event, the light and blue stripes at the top and bottom representing masculinity, pink for gals and white in the middle for those transitioning or whose gender is so far undefined.

One accessorised her TPF with a stuffed shark from IKEA, the Blåhaj, which in this instance, served two purposes.

One, it’s a trans icon, mascot, whatever you wanna call it, the shark gaining popularity after IKEA advertised its support for same-sex marriage in Switzerland in 2021 and, two, it makes fun of Bethany’s mauling by that Tiger shark two decades ago.

“How messed up is this? This protester brought a shark stuffed animal to mock Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a shark. Miserable, insufferable people. But oh so ‘tolerant,'” Riley Gaines wrote on X.

In a later statement, Gaines wrote:

“This is the tactic they use time and time again. They want so desperately to mock, intimidate, and threaten those they don’t agree with into silence, but this was a step too far. I have no words to describe how messed up it is to directly mock Bethany Hamilton and her traumatic experience that cost her arm by bringing a shark to a children’s story hour. Dare I call this protester an ableist?”

Bethany Hamilton was most recently in the news after her former sponsor Rip Curl made a post pointedly celebrating trans-surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson (Rip Curl and Bethany parted ways ’cause of Bethany’s views on ex-men in women’s sports) before panicking and disappearing the post.

“Our recent post has landed us in the divisive space around transgender participation in competitive sport,” wrote Rip Curl. “We want to promote surfing for everyone in a respectful way, but recognize we upset a lot of people with our post and for that, we are sorry. To clarify, the surfer featured has not replaced anyone on the Rip Curl team and is not a sponsored athlete.”

After that both sides hated em, Surf Equity saying the “so-called apology was divisive, anti-trans, and discriminatory. The LGBTQIA+ community is appalled. Aligning with bigots harms your brand identity and fails to support your LGBTQIA+ employees.”

Can’t win for losing etc.