I, Filipe "Poltroon" Toledo
I, Filipe "Poltroon" Toledo

Surfer Magazine robot makes bizarre counter-factual defense of shameful Filipe Toledo Pipe performance!

"Internet armchair quarterbacks" thoroughly chastised.

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?”

Poltroon Toledo.

Enjoy here.

Baby Beach, here I come!
Baby Beach, here I come!

Maui surf fans on lookout for champion Filipe Toledo as Baby Beach officially grabs title for “calmest ocean water in the world!”

Perfect for the boy without a spine.

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.

Enter Maui.

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.

According to Travel + Leisure:

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.

Baby Beach.

Perfect for the boy without a spine.

Keep a look out, Maui residents.

Boycott Rip Curl gathers more steam after apology riles up LGBTQ+ gang.
Boycott Rip Curl gathers new momentum after apology riles up LGBTQIA+ gang.

Rip Curl apology for deleted post of trans-surfer labelled “divisive, anti-trans and discriminatory.”

"This is an example of what not to do as a brand. If you are a true alley, you must have our back when bigots come or us."

Rule number one when you’re getting adverse publicity like the heat scorching Rip Curl over the last week, don’t do a damn thing.

Every reaction, every quote, every explanation or apology feeds the media cycle like oxygen to a fire. 

Rip Curl had made a post celebrating the trans-surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson (neé Western Australian longboard champ Ryan Egan) not long after splitting with Bethany Hamilton over her anti-trans women in sports views. 

Sasha Jane Lowerson deleted ater Boycott Rip Curl trended
The Instagram post/story by Rip Curl celebrating trans surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson.

The beauty of the Rip Curl post was its complete acceptance of Lowerson into the sisterhood. ie. no transition talk.

Meet Sasha – a West Australian waterwoman who loves the freedom found in surfing, disconnecting from the mainstream, and the feeling of dancing on constantly changing waves. When we were adventuring through Western Australia recently, we were keen to know what The Search means to the surfers who crossed our paths. These surfers live on a wild stretch of coast where there’s always a new wave or campsite just a little further down the road or off the beaten track. It’s a state of mind, always being ready to try something new, curious to seek out knowledge and learn the rules – and break them.⁠

“Sometimes it isn’t even the actual surf, it’s the journey itself, the chats that we have in the car on the long straight roads here in WA and the campfire afterwards,” Lowerson says. “Friendships grow on the search and I love that.”

The high-profile anti-trans-women-in-sport activist, and swimmer, Riley Gaines slammed the Rip Curl post as “crazzzyyyy”.

“You mean to tell me that Rip Curl dropped Bethany Hamilton for opposing men surfing in the women’s league then picked up male surfer who surfs in the women’s league as a women’s ambassador?”

When Rip Curl refused to react even as the firestorm spread worldwide and their customers were burning boardshorts and throwing their booties in the trash and the hashtag @boycottripcurl trended on X, I admired their restraint. 

A few more days and like the North Korean slave scandal of 2016, it’d disappear.

But, no, and dumb.

Today’s apology.

“Our recent post has landed us in the divisive space around transgender participation in competitive sport. 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.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rip Curl | Women (@ripcurl_women)


Now everyone hates ’em.

Surf Equity describes the “so-called” apology as “divisive, anti-trans, and discriminatory. The LGBTQIA+ community is appalled. Aligning with bigots harms your brand identity and fails to support your LGBTQIA+ employees.”

(If you’re wondering what the I and the A stand for its intersex and asexual.)

Allison DeYenno on Kauai there writes,

“This is an example of what not to do as a brand. If you want to show up as an ally or the LGBT+ community, then you have to go all the way. If you are a true ally, you must have our back when bigots come or us. Not act like cowards and delete posts and say you’re sorry or pretending to be an ally in the first place.”

Are you a true ally?

Or do you see a raft of female impersonators driving a fatal stake into the hearts of progressives who are, truly, flummoxed by what to do about former men in gal’s sports?

Filipe Toledo cements reputation as “world’s bravest coward” after ripping critics following embarrassing Pipe performance!

"I’m not here to prove anything to you!"

Filipe Toledo, two-time, and defending, World Surf League champion** is waking up this morning to an onslaught of unfavorable press. Yesterday, as you’ve surely ready by now, the future Olympian put on an extremely tepid performance at Pipeline, collecting a score of just 1.77 before being relegated to the elimination round where he eliminated himself.

“Food poisoning” cited as the cause.

Surf fans are well-acquainted with Toledo’s withering once waves reach that amorphous “size of consequence.” He famously scored a 0.00 heat total at very fine Teahupo’o, where the 2024 Olympics will be contested, and also sat out the back at the latest Teahupo’o running watching two AARPers lap him. His lack of spine has been thoroughly documented… here at BeachGrit… with Stab preferring to keep “the salacious headlines off social” so someday Pip “can be transparent and unguarded with us.”

The Inertia sharing Toledo’s same noodle spine.

Now, though, it appears the mainstream media is joining the scrum. Today’s Sydney Morning Herald ran the blaring headline “Reigning world champ Toledo in big-wave show,” twisting the dagger with:

Professional big-wave surfer Laura Enever and world No.5 Molly Picklum spoke about Toledo’s frustrations and tactics in commentary as his first heat of 2024 ticked down, while WSL’s veteran analyst Strider Wasilewski – renowned for his prowess at Teahupo’o during his younger years – identified Toledo pulling back on several waves from his vantage point in the water.

“He’s got to get those butterflies out of his stomach because at the moment you can see the hesitation,” Wasilewski said. “I want to see him step up and surf Pipeline the way that [he can]. He’s got the talent, he’s just got to get over that fear factor.”

Toledo took to Instagram excoriating Wasilewski and others, penning, “To the critics on duty, and the world champions who comment on social media, believe what you want, I’m not here to prove anything to you! My health is my priority! To those cheering me on, thank you very much! We are together haha we will be back better and stronger!”

Another extraordinary act of brave cowardice, boldly lighting into those who watch his trembling in real time. Audaciously waving his two Lower Trestles championships in the face of all.

It is what makes the boy a fascinating study. The combination of pounding a lion-tattooed heart, owing nobody nothing, having proven everything, while being a full blown and very public sissy to the point glowingly positive Strider Wasilewski can’t take no more.

And do you think this delicious admixture is swelling the ranks of “those cheering him on?”

It all plays very nicely into him showing up at Teahupo’o for The Games, world’s eyes upon, and crushing all.

Don’t you think?

Surf fans’ sciatica acts up as ageless star Laird Hamilton graces back cover of old people magazine!

Pickleball smart.

There has long been rumors, and scientific studies, that surfing is greying. Participation is down amongst the youth, soaring amidst those in their middle to late middle ages. Lineups are clogged with hunchbacked men and women paddling foam-friendly craft, wobbling to their achey knees then gouty feet and… surfing, I guess.

It’s one thing to know this, though, another thing to feel it. And surf fans, yesterday, felt it right in the balky old sciatica as ageless stud Laird Hamilton appeared on the back cover of the AARP paper magazine.

The American Association of Retired Persons.

Hamilton, looking typically Hamiltonian alongside wife, and one-time professional sand volleyball player, Gabby Reece promised to share secrets of staying “fit & healthy in your 50s.” The surf demi-god, the back cover said, was 59. Reece 54.

In the lower left corner, a teaser for “pickleball smart.” How to “warm up wisely, prevent injury, play to win and lift your game.”

It might very well be the tagline for our increasingly wizened World Surf League.

But how does this make you all feel? Are you an age denier? The “only as old as you feel” sort? Or does Laird Hamilton on the fast train to 70 give you long pause? Looking back, did you become the man or woman you set out to become or did life’s various snares and pitfalls get you?

Well, you can at least comfort yourself in knowing that you are not Filipe Toledo.

Some thorns have their rose.

I would let you know those secrets, anyhow, of staying fit & healthy into the 50s but I got caught up in the feature “What kind of cruiser are you?” “Cruiser” as in a “person who goes on cruises.” At the end of the quiz, the piece tells me, I should “consider splurging on a balcony cabin” and “a small ship.”

Who knew?