Meet the world’s best sixty-year-old surfer!

An old man in an obscure surfing backwater got wings, and it ain’t Kelly Slater…

Many, many years ago, in the summer of 2017 I wrote about the Dominican Republic-based American surfer Tony Roberts who was helping the aged, but still beautiful Brad Gerlach, with his airs.

In return, Gerr, then fifty and a former rock star of surfing turned Bruce Lee of surf technique, would do what he could to finesse Tony’s turns.

So, Gerr flew to meet Tony and the pair, remember neither man accepts the usual caveats of ageing, worked hard on improving their late-game surfing.

Tony told Gerr, “Don’t boost too early.”

Gerr told Tony. Get that ass real low. “Your butt needs to go down toward the Achilles tendon,” said Gerr. “Jordy surfs so good ‘cause his ass is on the ground!”

Tony grew up as a skater/surfer and was mentored between 12 and 16 by the early air pioneer Kevin Reed.

Tony says he nailed his first real air in 1978.

“Surfers said I surfed like a skater. Skaters say I skated like a surfer,” says Tony, who moved to Central America 20 years ago. He divides his time between Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

Tony had a little epiphany when he hit thirty. He didn’t want a part of the American Dream. Didn’t want to throw the physical world away in  pursuit of the material He wanted to surf and he wanted to hit new heights of performance even as he aged.

So he went vegetarian. Got into yoga.

And surfing in warm water?

“It was like taking off the ankle weights,” he says.

In the edit, below, we find the still raven-haired surfer giving hell to relatively soft warm-water rights in the Dominican Republic.

“I make these videos to inspire myself and others about extending progressive surfing longevity,” says TR.

Great White shark

Southern California surfers prepare for “Summer of Blood” as Long Beach State’s renowned shark lab loses funding

Very scary.

Southern California’s millions of surfers were put on notice, overnight, that this coming summer may be their last. Long Beach State University’s renowned Shark Lab announced that it was running out of funds and would be forced to shutter programs that monitor, and report upon, shark activity off the coast. It has been keeping eyes on the hundreds of juvenile Great Whites plotting limb feasts, alerting lifeguards when they malinger into the lineup.

Without cash money, though, the spying will cease.

Shark Lab director Chris Lowe told the local ABC affiliate, “It’s getting pretty serious. We have enough money to carry us through June but after that, if we don’t get more funding, we’re going to have to pull out all of the equipment out of the water. We won’t be able to monitor sharks along California anymore.”

The program has been running since 2018 and is considered one of the most advanced in the world. It utilizes a “high-tech system of receivers, buoys and underwater monitors that allow them to track and tag sharks in real time.”

An instant notification of  juvenile Great Whites swimming around with bibs and hungry eyes can be sent directly to lifeguards to help keep surfers uneaten.

But, after June, no longer.

July and August soaked in blood.

September probably too.

The World Surf League’s Final’s Day a whole new shade of awful.


Japanese surf Olympian forced to hide Asian heritage from rioting Australian racists!

"It sticks with you, I was only 12, but it was a crazy time. Everyone was very cautious and it was dangerous."

A little over nineteen summers ago, the pretty beachside suburb of Cronulla, home to more good surfers than anywhere in Australia except maybe Snapper Rocks, went to hell after middle eastern out-of-towners clashed with local lifeguards.

Text messages punched out on Nokia phones swirled calling for retaliation against any Lebanese who dared visit this hard-core surf town right there on Sydney’s southern rim

The subsequent riot was the culmination of several years of tension between the predominantly white, Anglo-Australian population of Cronulla and the Lebanese community out west.

December 11, 2005, was a wild ol day, anyone with a less than northern European hue was targeted, and the repercussions were felt for weeks.

Even Bondi Beach, a forty-five-minute-drive north had boom gates set up to stop mischief makers and a little bit south of Bondi in Maroubra, one Bra Boy attempted to take on half of Beirut in a melee that is still talked about in reverent tones.

Cronulla’s Connor O’Leary, who is surfing for Japan in this year’s Olympic Games at Teahupoo by virtue of his Japanese mum, says he was forced to hide his heritage on that fateful day lest racist wolves tear him apart.

“I went for a look at the riots that day, which wasn’t the smartest thing, and Mum was really worried about me,” O’Leary told The Sydney Morning Herald. “It sticks with you, I was only 12, but it was a crazy time down there. Everyone was very cautious and it was dangerous, no doubt.

“That was obviously a big moment, but for me, there’d be little things, like I’d be in history class and the Hiroshima bombings would come up. It’s not like it was targeted towards me, but there was that stigma around Asian culture. Not Japanese, but in Cronulla, if you were Asian, there was a stigma.

“I never got bullied but whenever it came up, I’d try and hide it just to fit in. I wasn’t a confident kid so I tried to be as Australian as I could because I didn’t want confrontation. It’s also great to see Cronulla come through that period too though, see it move on from that and become much more open and more multicultural.”

Surfer-hero “Gordo the Great” awarded bravery medal for saving Ukrainian nurse in “wild battle of underwater jiujitsu”

“I was paddling like a frog on acid and felt an unbelievable pain in my legs and groin.”

The larger-than-life surf cinematographer John “Gordo the Great” Gordon has been awarded a bravery medal in recognition of his extraordinary conduct when he saved the life of a Ukrainian nurse who’d been swept away to her apparent doom in a rip last April.

Gordo, sixty-two now but presenting with excellent T levels always with head erect and shoulders thrown back, filmed the world surfing tour for twenty years before being dumped by the World Surf League, inexplicably and without warning two years ago.

Gordo’s filmic career is marked by awards, acclaim etc.

He worked for the Seven News network in Queensland for two decades, in between gigs with Jack McCoy and his series of iconic Billabong films, before shifting into surf full-time.

So when a Gold Coast-based Ukrainian nurse jumped into the water at Fingal up there on the NSW side of the border with the Gold Coast and Gordo saw her being washed around the headland, he wasn’t going to stand by and wait for Superman.

A day to blow or get blown!

“She was in the most dangerous spot imaginable. I looked around and the only person who’s going to save her is me,” said Gordo, who described trying to rescue the gal as like “underwater jiujitsu.”

The nurse, Liv Titor said, “I couldn’t believe it. I stepped into nothing and it got me straight away. Johnny jumped in with his surfboard, told me to hang on and said we’ll get through it together. And that’s what we did.”

For his effort, Gordo will be awarded a Commendation for Brave Conduct (CBC) from Australian Governor-General David Hurley, a civilian award that ranks alongside Albania’s Honour of the Nation Decoration, Belarus’ Order of the Fatherland and the French Legion of Honour.

Retelling the event with dramatic expression to the Australian press Gordo said,

“Right before we made it to safety we were in the absolute thick of it. I’m talking the Ivan Milat of currents. Just nasty and ugly as hell… I was paddling like a frog on acid and felt an unbelievable pain in my legs and groin. Underneath the water the current was so strong. Layers of doom.

“At the worst point we were about two feet from the cliffs and the power of the water was intense. If we got sucked in to the wall where there are openings we wouldn’t have made it out alive. I’ve been out in surf at Teahupoʻo , Tahiti and Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa on some of its gnarliest days – but that day at Fingal was terrifying.”


Re-live again here.

Is this Sandworms?

World Surf League chiefs perplexed after Steven Spielberg declares: “Surfing the sandworms is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Ever!”

Did he mean Winkipop?

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach got underway two short days ago and surf fans would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know, by now, that it was the world’s first surf contest. Celebrating its 50th year, the iconic splash fight began as something of a novelty expected to last three years, if one is to believe Vaughan Dead. Now in its fifth decade, the Goons of Doom lead bassist declares it will go on for eternity.

It is understandable, then, that any surf news coming out of this particular calendar window must be related, directly, to the dramas occurring down those iconic steps (feat. the names of past winners, if you can believe) and into the bowl where wind wrecked chubsters beckon.

World Surf League chiefs, therefore, rightly confused when the world’s most prolific blockbuster film director, Steven Spielberg, cryptically referenced the Sport of Queens in an interview. Self-crowned the “global home of surfing,” the flailing organization has attempted to mainstream competitive water sliding since purchased for free by trust funded billionaire Dirk Ziff back in 2015 circa 1976.

A big coup, then, when South Africa’s Matthew McGillivray was featured soaring on a Bells banger in The Guardian’s “Pictures of the Day” between a starving Palestinian boy and aid being dropped into the Gaza Strip.

But the aforementioned confusion when Spielberg openly declared, “Surfing the sandworms is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Ever!”

World Surf League Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer certainly hurrying to the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang in order to suss out which Championship Tour stop is referred to as “sandworms” by locals.

Any help would be appreciated.

Bells likely off today so the six hours watching mid face cutbacks can be spent researching.