Canadian locals depressed about Erin Brooks? (If you have never watched the show Letterkenny, do yourself a favor and tune in.)
Canadian locals depressed about Erin Brooks? (If you have never watched the show Letterkenny, do yourself a favor and tune in.)

Surf journalist pilgrimages to Canada to gauge Great White North’s depression over phenom Erin Brooks’ Olympic snub

(If there was) any other way.

Wherefore art thou, Erin Brooks? But imagine how history might have unfolded if the repêchage had been drafted differently but one week ago. For it was then and it was there, in Puerto Rico, that the World Surfing Games closed the window on Olympic qualification for the 2024 Paris Games. Only the most ignorant of surf fans will not know that Gabriel Medina stunned all, punching a much-needed third ticket for Brazil that he will take. Much-needed because one of the other two belongs to Filipe Toledo. Only the most core lord will not know that Siqi Yang will paddle the “Cave of Skulls” for the People’s Republic of China.

Only the most hardened and rude, sociopathic even, will not know that one of surfing’s brightest up-and-coming talents, the 16-years-young Erin Brooks, failed to qualify after securing Canadian citizenship in a last minute coup and appearing poised to deliver the Great White North a gold medal in the Grand Turquoise South.

Yes, the ultra-talented goofy foot might have put Canada on the surfing map had she repêchaged all the way through Puerto Rico’s 1300 odd heats, arriving at Teahupo’o and flashing her ability, claiming the peak of the podium,

Can you envisage that parallel universe? “Ô Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!” ringing through the tropical air?

Like Narnia, winter might have evaporated. Snow being replaced with clover and daisies. Beer with banana daiquiris. But how to the locals feel about that? As one of the world’s leading, if not the world’s leading, surf journalist(s), I had to discover.

The flight to Canada from California is relatively easy. Two plus hours to Vancouver but the City of Rain is already in the pocket of Siqi Yang so further east, I went, to the burgh of Revelstoke some two plus hours outside of Kelowna. The folk here are simple, kind. Hearts that beat maple syrup. I arrived too late to properly gauge relative depression about missing out on a changed sporting landscape so drank a bubbly maple sap water then went to bed.

In the morning, refreshed, I set out to find truths. Folk seemed happy, oot and aboot. Not sad and also not very aware of Erin Brooks and what might have been. Odd, particularly because a general understanding of surf floats on the colder breeze.

Koa Smith.

I heard whispers, in mangled French, that he was inbound.

Kai Lenny too.

What?

Maybe I misunderstood. Big if true.

But what can it actually mean? Are Canadians, as a whole, pivoting away from professional competitive surfing as the sport of kings’ benchmark?

Embracing a new form of populist surfing where they, The People™, determine which surfer is ultimate?

More, certainly, as the story develops.


Comment live, MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, “Joe Turpel’s voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus!”

"The foam is just a combination of water and air!"


Joel Parkinson and Adele heartbreaking relationship
Joel Parkinson, inset (photo Sherm), and Tottenham chanteuse Adele.

Surfer Joel Parkinson’s heartbreaking connection to Tottenham songstress Adele revealed!

Citizen cop Joel Parkinson falls under spell of stunning strawberry blonde chanteuse!

It has been a long two years since the wildly stylish former world champion Joel Parkinson has been on these pages and, hard to believe, never for the Brit chanteuse Adele.

Joel Parkinson’s last appearance was after a no-holds-barred pell-mell on the hills of his home town Coolangatta after he pulled out his citizen cop badge and tried to stop a couple of TikTokers filming ‘emselves sliding down a muddy hill citing environmental damage and, possibly, even some excess noise.

From BeachGrit’s 2020 report,

Days ago, the retired Association of Surfing Professionals star and citizen cop, Joel Parkinson, approached a gaggle of pre-teen twenty-four-year-old TikTokers sliding down a muddy hill in his Gold Coast hometown and told them to stop. They did not immediately which led to a scuffle which has, in turn, divided a nation.

Many thought Parkinson was in the right as he had used a sheet of plastic for his sliding session thereby kind of preserving the integrity of the hill.

Others thought it was not the 2008 Pipeline Master’s place to stop semi-innocent fun n games as he has not been elected to the city council and had, in fact, inspired the joy.

The pell-mell, mostly caught on camera and posted to various social medias, was titled “This guy tried to bash us for going down a mudslide in the Gold Coast” and included the caption:

This is @joelparko ex professional surfer . Picking on young people trying to have some fun in hard times. Actually getting violent towards them. @wsl. Who do you think you are? we have all seen videos of you and your idiot mates running amok when you were younger. Why don’t you grow up, you want respect? You have to give it to earn it ..@ripcurl_aus

Now, and as told on the podcast of noted rugby league player Matty Johns, it can be revealed that Joel Parkinson was guided to his 2012 world title by the inspirational lyrics of the world-renowned singer and songwriter Adele who has made a significant impact on the music industry with her soulful voice and emotional ballads.

Parkinson, who is forty-two and better known as Parko, would “psyche up” before heats to the Tottenham-born chanteuse  and, again revealed by the aforementioned podcast, Joel made a pilgrimage to Las Vegas to see Adele, the tickets purchased one year in advance, only for the show to be cancelled.

Heartbreaking!

Adele has long resonated with a male audience, evident in the way her songs often explore themes of love, heartbreak, and relationships. Many men can relate to the emotional depth of her lyrics and the vulnerability she displays in her music. Her songs have provided a source of comfort and catharsis for many men who have gone through similar experiences

Adele’s talent, honesty, and relatability have made her a significant figure in the music industry, and her impact on men is undeniable. Her music has provided a source of comfort, understanding, and emotional release for many men, and her influence will continue to be felt for years to come.

Joel Parkinson Adele bit comes in a little after thirty-five minutes.


Kelly Slater (left) Baby Kelly Slater.
Kelly Slater (left) Baby Kelly Slater.

Jack Robinson breaks silence on unbearable weight of being “the next Kelly Slater!”

"It came with its challenges, for sure..."

The Olympics, as you may or may not know, is almost around the corner with excitement building by the second. The slots for the surfing component, which will be held at the “Cave of Skulls,” are now all, officially, filled with jingoists ready to tear each other apart, limb from limb.

One of the better parts of this lead up, as a surf journalist, is getting to know characters whom I thought I already did. Japan-by-way-of-Huntington-Beach’s Kanoa Igarashi, for example, who used his heritage to overcome all of the troubles and tribulations of professional surfing competition in order to capture the silver medal at Tokyo 2020 by circa 2021.

Or the fact that Jack Robinson was once dubbed “the next Kelly Slater.”

In a wide ranging interview with the Olympics official online organ, the Australian standout discussed his unconventional upbringing, charging meaty waves at a tender age, feeling that pressure from sponsors etc. but most of all staggering under the unbreakable weight of the greatest competitive male surfer of all-time.

The current World Surf League number two was introduced to the broader public thusly:

Robinson’s talent and fearless nature growing up quickly caught the attention of surfing connoisseurs. Magazine covers introducing him as “the next Kelly Slater”, sponsorship deals and trips around the world followed. And all this before he was a teenager.

While his childhood was far from ordinary, Robinson has no regrets.

“I think it was a full childhood just because of where I grew up,” he said. “I still got to have fun and be a kid, but it was full. It came with its challenges, for sure, when I travelled, and sponsors, everything. But in the long run, you got to get through it. That’s part of the job.”

To be honest, I don’t recall Robinson being touted as “the next Kelly Slater” when I worked for the aforementioned magazines. It seems lazy, frankly, and weird, and I can certainly understand those challenges.

Robinson, anyhow, plans to use that burden in order to crush all-comers at Teahupo’o, declaring, “I feel like if you can make it through that time when you’re in the spotlight as a kid – because it’s so many expectations on your shoulders and you don’t really know how to handle it because you’re so young – if you can make it through that and have the right people around you, then it’s better for the long run because now having expectations and people all hyped, it would almost be too new. You’d be like, ‘Oh, how do I handle it?’ So, I feel like I handled it at a young age and got it out of the way.”

Australian nationalists, certainly, ready to rub the southern cross in Brazil, America, France’s proverbial face.

Oi, oi, oi.


Bethany Hamilton and Sasha Jane Lowerson
Bethany Hamilton, left, and trans-star Sasha Jane Lowerson, one of the best competitors on the women's longboard circuit.

WSL cancels celebration of “trailblazing women” following Bethany Hamilton trans brouhaha

“Imagine being so woke you cancel International Women’s Day because don’t want people to choose Bethany Hamilton.”

One of surfing’s most adored identities, pro surfer, musician and close friend of Kelly Slater, Peter King, has slammed the WSL for its decision not to celebrate International Women’s Day by emblazoning the name of a fav athlete on each surfer’s jersey at the Portugal event, blaming their beef with Bethany Hamilton.

“Imagine being so woke,” writes King, “that instead of celebrating international women’s day like you have the last couple of years at your event…by having everyone choose a jersey with an inspirational women’s name… you cancel that because don’t want people to choose Bethany Hamilton. WSL, always making the shameful choice.” 

WSL cancels international women's day because of Bethany Hamilton
Peter King, furious at WSL for perceived snub of amputee Bethany Hamilton.

For the last couple of years, and, amid a blitzkrieg of publicity the WSL made the Portugal event a place to “honour trailblazing women in sports…In this athlete-led initiative, each WSL CT surfer will compete wearing the jersey of a woman in sport who inspires them. 

“Every CT competitor has personally selected a woman to honor on the back of their jersey. The honorees come from a range of sports, countries, and backgrounds, showcasing the vast impact of female athletes around the world.”

All trailblazing women, that is, except for trailblazing amputee Bethany Hamilton whose belief that newly anointed women, the T-Girl, some only a  year or two into their new gender, shouldn’t be allowed to compete in gal’s sports flies in the face of the WSL’s rule to the contrary. 

From these pages last year, 

You certainly recall, two months ago, when the World Surf League quietly announced a change allowing for transgender athletes to compete at the highest level of the sport. Bethany  Hamilton joined a chorus of frustrated voices and in a to-camera piece, declared that she would be boycotting the WSL until the policy was undone.

Even though WSL Chief of Exective Erik Logan said he “respected her views,” her name was mysteriously missing from the long list on celebrated women even though it had been chosen three times the year before.

Strange.

And now the pettiness has been confirmed. One of the Championship Tour surfers, on the men’s side, requested to wear “Hamilton” but was told he was not allowed. The reason given?

“She doesn’t support the WSL and she doesn’t support equality.”

Hmmm. That doesn’t read overly “respectful,” no?

Do you also see the link between Bethany Hamilton and the WSL’s sudden no-name-on-back-of-jersey decision?

Or maybe no shekels left in the can for these sorta things in the new-slimmed down tour etc?