Griffin Colapinto in sauna.
“I felt like I tapped into the source on that one," Griffin Colapinto said of his barrel from the final. It sounded corny, but somehow I believed him. I could do with something to believe in right now. I’m sure lots of us could. Some of Griffin’s energy, for focus, for luck, for transcendence."

Griffin Colapinto and his evolution from home-schooled simpleton to harnesser of mystical energies

Asked if he could win, Griffin had answered conclusively: Yes. No doubt in his mind, no uncertain scribbles in his journals, no shimmers in his visualisations.

It could just be my state of mind, but I can’t remember a less anticipated finals day.

A lacklustre forecast, stretched out til the very last day of the waiting period. The prospect of watching thoroughbreds masticate absentmindedly in an overgrown field.

Regardless, Paul Evans carried the commentary with the tone of man compering the local fete. Admirably upbeat, at least. Kaipo, graciously, appeared to have gone home. (And where exactly is Jesse Miley-Dyer?)

But I could find little joy in watching favourites canter to a finish.

I had no bets withstanding on finals day, and even less hope.

It’s a headstate poisoned by years of betting on sport. The two things are intrinsically and forever linked.

Yes, as I said in an earlier report, you could win your life’s fortune with a few lucky choices.

Or you could watch it ebb away day by day. The weight of loss holding you down, like a giant hand pressing your face into the cold, stony earth. Stay down, a voice says. An alien utterance of your own being. Stay down where you belong and watch life trample by around you.

But you only lose when you stop playing.

If we can take lessons from the finalists in Portugal today, it’s that you play your own game. And you keep playing, despite outside influences.

Ethan Ewing continues to play his own game, steadfastly refusing to compromise the purity of his lines and rails. It must take some degree of fortitude, to stick to what you do best against surfers with more in their repertoire.

Ewing is as technically gifted a surfer as they come. You’d think he has the capacity to introduce more aerial surfing to his game. But then, why would he? Especially when his surfing is endlessly validated by judges and pundits alike.

But it wasn’t enough against Griffin Colapinto in the final. Lefts were better than rights, and waves on the whole were not conducive to Ewing’s major skillset.

And in truth, Griffin Colapinto didn’t look like losing either his semi-final against Medina or the final against Ewing.

It was the kind of run we’ve seen Griffin Colapinto on before. The kind where he is entirely in his own zone, seemingly impermeable to pressure.

Against Medina, who had been one of the form surfers of the event, Colapinto controlled the heat early and throughout. Both surfers opened with high sevens that they would keep in their final tally, but Colapinto backed up quicker, then bettered it again.

Medina likes to control heats. When he loses, it’s inevitably when his opponent scores early.

But Griffin Colapinto’s rhythm was relentless, and in this the best opportunities came to him.

Griffin’s best waves came late in the final, an 8.27 immediately backed up by a 9.67 for one of the few deep barrels of the whole event. But he’d already won, and the scores he threw away would’ve been enough to take the victory.

The barrel Griffin Colapinto got seemed to materialise from thin air. There were few if any waves all day that would’ve offered such an opportunity.

And it was a situation unique to the sport of surfing, where a wave meets a man who is not only ready for it, but has been expecting it.

Asked earlier in the event if he could win, Griffin had answered conclusively: Yes.

There was no doubt in his mind, no uncertain scribbles in his journals, no shimmers in his visualisations.

Play your own game. Block out the noise. Wear an eye mask if you must.

And when the fire is burning, throw another log on and watch it burn stronger, so Colapinto said in his post victory interview.

All easier said than done, of course.

And it’s curious that this approach seems to work in surfing. It works for Colapinto, it works for Jack Robinson, and it’s worked for others who’ve perhaps been less vocal about their methods.

Curious because so much comes down to chance in surfing. So much comes down to the sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time, on the best waves.

But Griffin Colapinto’s evolution from home-schooled simpleton to spiritual guru and harnesser of mystical energies should be studied.

“I felt like I tapped into the source on that one,” he said of his barrel from the final. It sounded corny, but somehow I believed him.

I could do with something to believe in right now. I’m sure lots of us could. Some of Griffin’s energy, for focus, for luck, for transcendence.

I’d take anything.

I keep thinking about writing a redemption story.

That’s the unique insidiousness of this habit, you’re always on the cusp of being free.

I keep imagining a big win, quitting on the spot, then telling everyone properly about where I’ve been and what it’s been like. I can’t face it right now, can’t face the sordid details, because I’m still not ready to have lost.

After all, you only lose when you stop playing.

Sad Australian (insert) surrounded by winners.
Sad Australian (insert) surrounded by winners.

Australian media mourns national surf heroes Ethan Ewing and Tyler Wright getting “outclassed” at “anti-climactic” MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal!

Dark days down under.

The champagne is not yet dry on Johanne Defay’s singlet, Bud Light still cool on Griffin Colapinto’s nightstand after the Frenchwoman and American man punished their respective Australian challengers at the MEO Rip Curl Pro in Portugal. And what a day of professional surfing it was. Peniche, the lone European stop on tour, had a rough time producing contestable surf throughout the waiting period but the waves on that final’s day were as fine as any beach break, anywhere.

Gabriel Medina, the lone Brazilian, was vanquished in the semifinals, evaporating the last bit of Brazilian storm cloud and Australians licked their lips in hope of a return to surfing superpowerdom via Ethan Ewing’s luscious bottom and Tyler Wright’s medical miracle mouth.

Alas, both were whipped, and whipped badly, in the final’s by the aforementioned Defay and Colapinto leaving Australian media thoroughly depressed. The Guardian, which has its home base in London but also a paper of record in the Lucky Country, due commonwealth issues, put a grey face on the affair this morning. The extremely sad headline blaring “Tyler Wright and Ethan Ewing blown away in Rip Curl Pro Portugal finals.

“Blown away” maybe even an understatement.

Wright, The Guardian wrote, was “well beaten,” Ewing “outclassed” and the whole final’s both “anti-climactic” and “soddish.”

Ewing seemed to be stumbling under the burden of letting his nation down, declaring, “It was super-cool to surf the final with Griffin, we’re really good friends. We haven’t had that many man-on-man heats together but they’re always super-fun.”

Doctors, meanwhile, are on suicide watch after Tyler Wright’s medically expanded airways failed to deliver on their promise though Wright, herself, put a brave face on, likely feeling, “No one on the face of this earth has ever suffered more than me. I am an inspiration to all.”

Dark days down under.

Baptist preacher lays historic charge against Kelly Slater, “You put me in a chokehold!”

“You pinned me up against the wall outside of our high school classroom, with your hand around my neck…”

A Baptist preacher from Florida has laid a wild claim against Kelly Slater, greatest of all time etc, in a to-camera piece that has just surfaced on YouTube.

Michael Criswell is well known for his powerful sermons and unwavering commitment to spreading the Word of God via a YouTube channel which counts almost one hundred thousand subscribers.

Criswell also spent a year and a half at the same Cocoa Beach high school where, he says, Kelly Slater gave him hell for an imagined slight against a third party.

“Kelly Slater, you and I met in an extraordinary way, after you pinned me up against the wall outside of our high school classroom, with your hand around my neck, after you misunderstood something I said to Krista Guidash,” says Criswell. “I’m thankful to your brother Sean Slater for what he did that day. I tell more of that story in this video…”

It gets weirder.

“Even though I no longer knew you or followed your life, I started having recurring spiritual dreams about you and they have continued for over 25 years, as best as I can remember, leaving me with quite a burden for you. In one of the dreams I had about you on Dec 28, 2015, you can hear that I recorded that something bad was going to happen to you, which as you will hear in the video, was followed 18 months later by the worst injury of your career at JBay, where you broke your foot.”

And weirder,


The name “Criswell”, of course, is often associated with the renowned W. A. Criswell, a prominent figure in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Under Criswell’s leadership, the Southern Baptists returned to their conservative roots, and his influence resulted in thousands of pastors being trained in conservative theology. He also popularized verse-by-verse preaching of the Bible, a practice that had become nearly extinct.

As a tribute to his legacy, the W. A. Criswell Sermon Library was established to preserve and promote his spiritual heritage. The library features many of his sermons, including “Death in Detente,” which was a watershed moment in the battle over the Bible within the SBC, and “Whether We Live or Die,” a powerful message from the 1985 Pastor’s Conference at the Southern Baptist Convention.

Compelling and weird.

Griffin Colapinto wins MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2024
Winner Griffin Colapinto and lil bro Croz after sensational victory.

Griffin Colapinto bashes Ethan Ewing in MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal final signaling a glorious return of American surfing dominance!


Surfing’s celestial sky has radically changed, this year, with old stars fading away and new ones being birthed. The two brightest, possibly, America’s Griffin Colapinto and Australia’s Ethan Ewing. Brazilian storm clouds not longer obscuring the horizon.

Both reached the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal final, paddling out in glassy headish high surf while doctors, at home, wiped tears from their eyes, trying to focus on the present moment as Colapinto and Tim Ferriss would want. France’s Johanne Defay, you see, had just denigrated their work with a stunning win over the surfing medical miracle Tyler Wright.

A heavy burden.

Colapinto got off to a quick start after baking himself in an infrared sauna, posting two respectable scores before Ewing found rhythm.

I actually have one that looks almost identical in my garage at home though rarely use it. Watching Colapinto’s early dominance, certainly makes me rethink my program. Could I, too, dominate with a little extra heating?

Time will tell.

The San Clementine looked like he was running away with the show until midway through when Ewing employed his luscious bottom and smashed out the highest score yet.

Americans dreaming of a return to surfing dominance holding breaths.

Doctors, in America but also world wide, beginning to cry again about Wright, unable to dam the emotion. What went wrong? Should they have added 9 mm of extra airway instead of just 7 mm?

With less than ten minutes to go in the final, Colapinto made a rare mental error. Ewing did not initially capitalize, though, and fell on a wave that had all the scoring potential needed. Colapinto rubbed his very handsome buttocks right in it by snagging a sneaky barrel right before the Bonsoy Brew Break.

Surf fans forced to wait to see if he bettered his score line.

Doctors texting each other, wondering if they should make a support group wherein they could freely discuss both failures and next steps as it relates to Wright.

When live action returned, Colapinto had vaulted to a healthy lead thanks to a 8.27 score then chasing it with a fine backside tube that was missed because of the aforementioned BBB.

The score a 9.97 though not a 10.00 because the mid-sized Yeti cooler was already packed and ready to be sent to Bells Beach.

All hope lost for Ewing who purchased a plot in comboland.

Johnanne Defay and baby at MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro 2024
Winner Johanne Defay hoists aloft baby from the crowd during victory march.

France’s Johanne Defay slaps medical establishment across face with stunning win over Tyler Wright at MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal!

Viva la France!

Waves finally returned to Portugal and the World Surf League was able to finish the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal in fun head high surf. A healthy crowd packed the brown-ish sand in order to cheer for heroes and heroines as they sought glory, points and the chance to bring a mid-sized Yeti cooler home.

On the women’s side, France’s Johanne Defay came up against Australia’s Tyler Wright. Doctors around the world tuned in in order to see Wright, a paddling medical miracle, continue to defy all odds and surf, at a very high level, even though she grew up under the unwavering gaze of a father who made her go into the ocean, debilitating post viral syndrome and perpetual suffocation.

The last bit just revealed with Wright declaring, “I’ve had a fair few doctors and specialists tell me they don’t know how I do what I do. I found out that most of the time I’m under-oxygenated and semi-suffocating. My airways are too small basically, and over the off-season I had it expanded. Honestly it’s been life-changing, it’s the sanest I’ve ever felt. It’s really successful, it’s changing my life, but it’s also a process and that’s only step one and a half of a multi-step process.”

The aforementioned doctors had given her more air by shoving a “maxillary palatal expander [a device that widens the mouth] in. Essentially I’ve got seven screws in my head, between nine and 17 millimetres [in length] and in the off-season I expanded it. Essentially it popped the bone and I got seven millimetres [added airway space] through that.”

It apparently did not work with Defay knocking Wright around in the finals.

Doctors returning to the drawing board, depressed.

Though joy in France. Defay ruling the day.