Zuckerberg (pictured) laughing in the face of food poisoning.
Zuckerberg (pictured) laughing in the face of food poisoning.

World holds breath as Meta investors warned Mark Zuckerberg’s love of surfing, cage fighting, could kill him

Danger dog.

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?

A little overabundance of caution inoculation?

It would be wise.

Read the entire filing here.

Makua Rothman says surfing at its weakest point in history.
Makua Rothman says surfing in terrible place. Asks fans, what to do?

Big-wave champ Makua Rothman delivers bombshell message to fans, “Surfing is at the weakest point it has ever been!”

"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.”


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A post shared by Makua Rothman (@makuarothman)

Given Makua Rothman’s status, let’s say, the comments came thick and fast and from the best in the game.

From John John’s mama Alex, “A league that supports the actual athletes and an updated judging system..👍🤷‍♀️ not a tv show! And well ya know no men in the girls etc…”

Shane Dorian: “We need to protect women’s sports.”

Pipe legend Liam McNamara: “How can we have a world champion decided in head-high little cobblestone, California beach break.”

Jeremy Flores: “100% the weakest it’s ever been. It’s sad. Being part of it all since many years. It definitely feels like it’s our responsibility to care about the future & next generations!”

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?

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.”


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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?