So Cal baby wave community panics as lease for San Onofre nears expiration!

U.S. Marine Corp poised to reabsorb Old Mans.

There are many places in Southern California where baby wave enthusiasts can gather with their longer craft, malinger in parking lots, talk small talk, vibe then paddle out into tiny ocean lumps for to make glide but none more iconic than San Onofre. Just south of Upper Trestles and pressed up against the Marine base Camp Pendleton, San O has long been a favorite amongst steezy toms and mollys. Though the parking lot, and road in, might have washed away, the spirit remains but might it soon be snuffed out?

While the vast majority of the golden state’s beaches are owned by Sacramento, San Onofre is actually part of the aforementioned Camp Pendleton and owned by the Marines who have benevolently leased the strip back to California for $1 per year for the past 53.

It expires on August 31, 2024.

While the state is currently negotiating with the Marine Corps, word on the strand is that rent is going to go up. Substantially. Whispers are that the asking price is roughly $5 million per year leaving cross-steppers in a cold panic. Might Old Man’s be reabsorbed thereby forcing log heads to enlist in order to toe the nose?

The Marines, for their part, are attempting to soothe nerves. First Lt. Taylor M. Dorsey, a communications representative for Camp Pendleton, told Voice of San Diego that the beach will remain public no matter what. “If a succeeding agreement cannot be established before Aug. 31, the maintenance and operation of the San Onofre Beach State Park will fall under the authority of Camp Pendleton. Camp Pendleton is dedicated to minimizing any impact to the public and will ensure that patrons retain uninterrupted access to the park regardless of lease renewal agreements.”

But we all know what China said when it reclaimed Hong Kong and we also know what has happened since.

The question, I suppose, will San Onofre creatures add to, or subtract from, America’s military might?

Also, why doesn’t Filipe Toledo longboard?

Currently more questions than answers.

Kelly Slater, 52, slated to compete against John John Florence at Bells Beach as surf fans openly ask, “Will he ever win another heat?”

"There'll be no more heat wins for Kelly Slater, no more smashing a man half his age into the water. He doesn't got it anymore, it's over."

In a day and a half, the waiting period swings open for the Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro with tour truant Kelly Slater slated to surf against John John Florence and Seth Moniz in heat three.

Kelly Slater, who is fifty-two and about to become a daddy for the second time, withdrew from the bedevilled event in Portugal citing lingering hip issues from experimental surgery to repair his damaged labrum with pieces from a cadaver but was subsequently filmed surfing perfect Snapper Rocks, his famous pelvis swinging wildly in turns.

Portugal’s Supertubos and its tricky tide-affected waves has long been the graveyard of Kelly Slater’s dreams, a loss to wildcard Fred Morais in 2013 scuttled that year’s title run; same thing the following year when Slater destroyed a board after losing to Aritz Aranburu.

(Slater’s board enters the locker room first via kick. Slater, face flushed a bright crimson, looks at the board with a frigid stare, takes one skittering step forward, leaps into the air, lands on board, tumbles onto ground. The board is then propped against a wooden bench where Slater completes the annihilation.)

Now, surf fans are openly wondering if the eleven-time world champ and four-time Bells Beach winner will ever win another heat.

After going winless at Pipe and Sunset where he was beaten by Ethan Ewing, an Australian with the “plumpest and most spankable bottom in surfing”, Kelly Slater even threatened to call it quits citing lack of motivation, sore hip etc.

It would take a brave gambler, a JP Currie perhaps, to throw his chips on the Greatest Ever winning a heat at Bells, such is the widening fissure between the timeless lines of Kelly Slater and the jagged trajectories needed to score above five points.

A few weeks back, Chas Smith even predicted what would’ve been unthinkable even one year ago, “There’ll be no more heat wins, no more bolts of nearly smashing a man half his age into the water. He doesn’t got it anymore, it’s over.”

Margaret River, Tahiti, El Salvador, Rio and Cloudbreak follow before the small-wave world title showdown in grey-water three footers at Lower Trestles in September.

I can see wins in Tahiti and Cloudbreak, unless weird conditions, which can happen.

From your window, what do you see?

A man with more to give or a ship slowly listing before its inevitable disappearance?

Hello, fellow surfers. Have you heard of Banzi Pipeliner?
Hello, fellow surfers. Have you heard of Banzi Pipeliner?

AI-generated Surfer Magazine infuriates locals by partnering with popular-adjacent YouTuber to out secret spots!

A heavy reckoning.

If there is one particularly ugly blight in the apocalypse we are currently living, it is the reanimation of once-proud Surfer Magazine. Purchased by The Arena Group a Toledo-sized handful of years ago, the dormant “bible of the sport” was given over to just pre-sentient robots named “Emily Morgan,” “Jake Howard” etc. and ordered to gobble up anything surf related. The bits and bytes were, then, repackaged with the purpose of duping the naive and/or unsuspecting into reading.

Weird robot talk seeped in, though, along with weird robot takes which have, increasingly, infuriated real boys and girls.

The latest?

Surfer bots have partnered with YouTuber Dan Harmon (not the famous one) in order to out beloved secret spots like Torquay’s Winkipop and Santa Cruz’s Steamer Lane.

“A love of surfing often leads to a love of travel, “Jake Ekardt” “writes,” making it even weirder by adding, “Surfers love to seek out remote waves and unknown places. Or nowadays, post up at luxury resorts alongside epic surf.”


In any case, Harmon also spoils Margaret River, presumably Main Break, Haleiwa, Hawaii which somehow includes Pipe and Sunset, and the Mexican Pipe way down Puerto Escondido way.

Local toughs seething that their once-veiled waves are now listicled. Making things worse, this is part two. Part one saw San Clemente, Coolangatta and Chungoo, Bali all thrown right under the bus.

A heavy reckoning.

Will Surfer be banned in all the towns it spotlit like Surfing once was from Salina Cruz?

Time will tell.

Mormon (pictured) doing straight air.
Mormon (pictured) doing straight air.

Question: Why aren’t there more Mormon professional tour surfers?

Help, please.

Last night, after a long day toiling down in the surf journalism mines, the family and I went out for dinner at a humble local establishment. I was hungry from an honest day’s work covering blood feuds and linguistic wars and looked forward to a break. But no rest for the weary, and as we were seated, I noticed a large table filled with handsome young men, beautiful young women and a handful of glowing parents. The boys had razor sharp wetsuit neck tans, the girls sun and saltwater kissed hair. Dads and moms both looking very surfy. Each was drinking a bubbly water and I immediately thought, “Mormons.”

Which directly led to another.

“Why aren’t there more Mormon professional surfers on tour?”

The Latter-Day lifestyle, all healthy and centered, family-based and motivated, entrepreneurial and multi-level, would seem to be the perfect environment for brewing World Surf League standouts. Mormons excel at sport, here in America, with their plucky Brigham Young University regularly besting conference powerhouses in football, baseball, basketball. The NFL, NBA, MLB all feature fine and successful Mormon athletes.

Why, then, no professional competitive surfers?

Making the conundrum even more baffling, the LDS church has colonized much of Polynesia, BYU has a campus on Oahu’s North Shore and Joe Turpel.

So, again, what’s really going wrong?

Professional competitive surfing has, long ago, left its party era where stars like Andy Irons and Eugene Fanning standard bore. Today’s best-of-best are all both straight and narrow, from the Colapinto bros to Jacob Wilcox. Even Italo Ferreira exudes Mormon-adjacent vibes. The Church of Latter-day Saints has an estimated portfolio of $100 billion dollars and, I’m sure, could create a surf academy that would dominate the Sport of Queens for years.

Why doesn’t it?

Help, please.

Grant Coleman sentenced over death of surf star Chris Davidson
One punch, two ruined lives. Grant Coleman, left, sentenced to three-to-five for the killing of Narrabeen surf prodigy Chris Davidson.

Surf star Chris Davidson and his “executioner” Grant Coleman “both living on past glories” says judge

“I must say I do not doubt many in the local community would have agreed with (Coleman). Mr Davidson was more than a pest."

A little earlier today, news that Chris Davidson’s killer had been sentenced to three-to-five years in prison for the unlawful death in 2022 of the surf star outside the grandly named South West Rocks Country Club.

Chris Davidson, who was forty-five, was knocked unconscious by Grant “Grub” Coleman, a forty-three-year-old former rugby star, around eleven pm, treated at the scene and taken to Kempsey Hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.

In Newcastle District Court on Friday, Judge Peter McGrath was unsparing in his criticism of the men describing them as “both living on past glories.” 

Coleman, he said, believed he was the “unofficial sheriff” of the small coastal town and had a fixation with Chris Davidson following the surf star’s conviction in 2017 of indecently assaulting a fifteen-year-old girl. 

Coleman saw Chris Davidson approach a nineteen-year-old girl at the bar, kiss her on both cheeks, tell her she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and then offer to take her to France, at which point Coleman started yelling,  “You’re a pedeophile!”

It all went to hell and finished outside, Chris Davidson dead on the footpath.

“Mr Coleman felt justified in his attitude towards Mr Davidson,” said McGrath. 

“He felt justified in taking the law into his own hands. He felt justified in punching Mr Davidson to the head. In Mr Coleman’s world view, he was something like the unofficial sheriff of South West Rocks and he determined who was and who was not acceptable for the town. 

“I must say I do not doubt many in the local community would have agreed with him. Mr Davidson was more than a pest.

“He was, to Mr Coleman’s knowledge and belief, a serious and repeat abuser of young females. He had physically and emotionally abused a friend of Mr Coleman’s and damaged her property and traumatised her two young children but Mr Coleman took the law into his own hands.

“He was judge and jury of Mr Davidson. Tragically, Mr Coleman also became Mr Davidson’s executioner.” 

Grant Coleman has been in custody since the fracas and will be eligible for parole in a year-and-a-half.

Small towns, eh?