The Elstons.
The Elstons.

Son of surfboard shaper shocks world with sledgehammer performance at snowboard spectacular Natural Selection!

U Can't Touch This.

Stage Two of Natural Selection ran today from the Revelstoke backcountry and curb stomped our besieged World Surf League. Again. It was a better day of action, smoother, more fun, exciting, deserving of superlative made all the more amazing considering the camera feed went to hell three-quarters of the way through. Even still, no line was missed, the announcing team of Todd Richards, Pat Bridges, Ed Leigh, Leanne Pelosi, Mary Walsh and Eddie Wall honestly described the action expertly, keeping quiet when quiet was in order, opined openly on the judging and crushed beers in the booth at the end.

Turbo snowmobiles and Rivian trucks were given away instead of the outside possibility of one mid-size cooler and the burning flame of a cherished, albeit absurdist, pursuit fed with gasoline.

There was an avalanche right before the show began, chewing through a fifth of the ridable terrain. It was pointed out by true snowboard journalist Mikey Nixon, after my young daughter and I had boot packed the 3/4 miles out of bounds to the venue, and described in ways that terrify the surfing soul.

Snow ain’t whitewash.

I was in awe of the force though more in awe staring up at what was left. What the brave few would soon come down. Watching the finest backcountry snowboarding on film, Jeremy Jones’ Higher, The Art of Flight, etc. can lull the dabbler into a passive sense that we, too, can slide mountains covered in fluff. Film, of course, flattens and, no, we cannot, too, do anything other than shriek and dab the corners of our tear welled eyes.

Norway’s wizard Torstein Horgmo dropped first followed by multi-time Canadian Olympic and X-Game gold medalist Mark McMorris. The entire draw was filled with legends, both of lore and mainishstream success. Making it to Natural Selection a badge of honor that trumps other accomplishments. The riders might get the aforementioned Rivian or sled but what they really go for is the respect of their fellow travelers. The hoots from the tiniest handful of people on earth who actually know what a graceful line down the face of insanity means.

The ride of the day to my eye, a sledgehammer dropped by one of our own adjacent. Jared Elston, from Bend, Oregon, is the son of Simon Elston, and Australian shaper who crafts boards for the likes of Gerry Lopez. Elston, the boy, is one of the younger in the draw, making his run that much more incredible. Riding Travis Rice-approved mountains, knowing when to bob, when to weave, when to fly, takes years upon years of experience. Elston, only 25 years in the pocket, not only lived but danced.

Jared Elston, yikes. Photo: Tom Monterosso/Natural Selection
Jared Elston, yikes. Photo: Tom Monterosso/Natural Selection

The pen below, and its legends, exploding in a roar, when he slid in at the end.

Elston will be moving on to Stage Three, or the finals, which will air April 4th, and, as a surfer, you should tune in and cheer him to victory.

You should also watch yesterday’s banger in full and curse the World Surf League.

Lisa Andersen sells surfboard collection
Lisa Andersen lists surfboard collection for sale. Prefer a whale to buy 'em all but will accept offers from minnows.

Two months after shock split with Roxy, Lisa Andersen lists historic surfboard collection for sale

"A wounded bird that didn’t know where to beat its wings, an immutable sadness masked by vivacity…"

Oowee, it’s been seven years since Chas Smith made a documentary on the four-time world champ Lisa Andersen, the gal whose surfing made most male shredders look they were using orthopaedic aids.

It wasn’t an easy ride for the Cardiff-based writer and director, trawling through hours of Lisa Andersen’s ex-boyfriend videos of the pair, mowing through editors, navigating the conflicting approaches of his v Roxy’s, deadlines that existed in only an ephemeral form, Smith getting his nourishment almost entirely from soft drinks, and a budget that quickly evaporated as Smith spent American dollars as if it were Italian lire.

The result, “Lisa Andersen: Trouble”, surprised the hell out of me, the story of a wounded bird that didn’t know where to beat its wings, an immutable sadness masked by vivacity.

Now, that same surfer, that same icon, the almost fifty-five year old Lisa Andersen, has listed a “big part” of her surfboard collection. Andersen would prefer a whale with a brick of cash buying ’em all but, if necessity demands it, will negotiate with minnows seeking one or two boards.

In January, Lisa Andersen, who became the face of clothing giant Roxy in 1993 one year before her four-pack of world titles and who is credited with popularising boardshorts for women, was exited from the famous brand.

Among a roll call of surfing greats commenting on the sudden termination, Pottz stood out with the forthrightness that made him a beloved member of the WSL broadcast roster.

“I saw this coming years ago, why do you think I disappeared from something we helped build. Surfing or should I say pro surfing is dead. So sad.”

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lisa Andersen (@andersenlisa)

O'Leary (pictured) favoring left arm over right.
O'Leary (pictured) favoring left arm over right.

In stunning overnight gambetto, Japan announces Australia’s Connor O’Leary will surf for Rising Sun in Olympics!

Let the games begin.

Japan has officially thrown its kasa into the five rings. Overnight, in a stunning move that will certainly have surf fans of geopolitical theater cackling, the Land of the Rising Sun announced that Australia’s Connor O’Leary will surf for its Olympic squad in Tahiti. The current world number 10 joins Huntington Beach’s Kanoa Igarashi and Chiba’s Reo Inaba on the stacked team that will certainly be a medal favorite at the “Cave of Skulls.”

Taking to Instagram, O’Leary declared, ““So excited to officially announce that I will be representing Japan at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Thank you to the NSA & the JOC for the incredible opportunity. Tahiti here we come.”

The aforementioned surf fans of geopolitical theater were shocked due to the fact that Japan gets to field three surfers, on the men’s side, instead of two. Brazil, of course, won an extra man slot, which will go to Gabriel Medina, after the nation of Order and Progress placed highest at the just-wrapped International Surfing Association’s World Surfing Games. Japan, everyone forgot and/or never knew, apparently won a bonus place for placing highest at some 2022 Huntington Beach competition.

Will the draw possibly set, which country is the official favorite heading into the July/August extravaganza? Brazil does have Medina, as mentioned, and Joao Chianca though the charger has been injured since a dramatic wipeout at Pipeline. It also sports Filipe Toledo who is scared and defensive. Like a recently bathed gerbil. The U.S. has John John Florence and Griffin Colapinto but that’s all. Australia, also shorted, has Jack Robinson and Ethan Ewing.

Japan, with Igarashi, Inaba and O’Leary has to be favorite adjacent though a brewing battle as to who is the “face” of Japanese surfing might undo the team like it has the great boy bands of old.

*NSYNC etc.



Kelly Slater trolled at Kirra
Kelly Slater, tour truant, trolled at Kirra.

Tour truant Kelly Slater accosted by Instagram troll at Kirra

“You’re not that flat-earther are ya?”

One of the better online trolls is the Australian Willem “Powerfish” Ungermann whom we last celebrated three years ago for his brave attempt to smash surfing’s “entrenched homophobia and patriarchal power structures” via beach theatre and Jackass-style pranks.

Willem Powerfish, wearing a Mexican wrestler’s mask and full-body lycra, terrorised a D-Bah line-up on his bodyboard, at one point accepting a beach fight only to drop to his knees and tell his surprised fellow duellist, 

“I’ll suck you dry, mate.”

Between waves, he said to one surfer “I fucked a bloke like you once”, another, “You’re lucky my dad Rex isn’t here, he’d smash your pelvis”, another, “Heard of the Bra Boys? We’re the Flatty Boys. Instead of going around bashing cunts, we fuck ’em”, another, “You know why I like surfing? When guys wear wetties and I can see their dick”, another he asks if he’s seen Ross Clarke-Jones’ cock and says, “I’ve fucking sucked it dry.”

(Willam is also known for his philanthropy, recently delivering five thousand dollars to shoppers at a regional supermarket. Watch here.)

Last year he was slammed by surf fans after a faked drowning. 

Commenters on the post went one of two ways. 

“Typical Aussie attitude, sit on your ass and watch.”’

“There is plenty of things you can do to help a human in distress or a life threatening situation than filming it!! Put yourself into action in any way you can help build a community quickly not content!!”

Terrific fun and many important messages.

Now, and after accosting anti-flat earther and tour truant Kelly Slater in the lineup Willem bellows, “You’re not that flat earther are ya?

Kelly Slater responds, “You got the wrong guy.” 


Mick Fanning makes eco-surfboard.
"Yes, you heard that right," says Mick Fanning of groundbreaking foam surfboard.

Mick Fanning proves environmental bona fides with release of “groundbreaking” eco-softboard

"I'm Mick Fanning and I've got some great news for anyone passionate about saving the planet."

Just days after announcing the termination of his multi-decade contract with Red Bull, Mick Fanning has proved his environmental bona fides with an earth-friendly foam surfboard, putting him alongside another great eco-warrior Kelly Slater.

Kelly Slater’s latest crusade to save the world, his other green-projects include making wave pools in desert communities and a clothing brand, is the “sustainable and performance driven” footwear brand Klly, which makes eight-nine dollar sandals that can “stand up to the rigors of daily wear and outdoor adventures and at the same time, helps to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.”

“I think about big things in the world a lot and for me it’s difficult to see and be ok with it. When you become aware of something but then you don’t know how to fix it, that’s when it becomes frustrating,” Kelly Slater told Tracks.

“I try and raise awareness with social media. I wish there was more time for myself to be able to just focus only on that. All the rivers in my hometown right now have completely been destroyed by the sugar cane and fertilizer industries. All the fish in the river outside my house just died, every single fish. The whole river is completely filled with floating fish right now, for miles and miles and miles. It’s the saddest thing you will ever see. I have just seen pictures and it makes me wanna cry.”

Mick Fanning’s gift to the environment is the “first-ever softboard to be certified as a level 1 eco-board by @sustainsurf.”

“Yes you heard that right,” reads Mick Fanning in a piece to camera.

“Hi there, I’m Mick Fanning and today I’ve got some great news to share with anyone who’s passionate about surfing and saving our planet.

“As surfers we have a unique connection to the ocean etc.

“We’re the first to see the changes in the ocean and it’s our duty to protect the waters etc.”

Mick Fanning isn’t entirely new to the green game.

He has parlayed his millions into a wildly diverse series of environmentally gentle businesses including “ethical” dog food brand Scratch, biotech company Sea Forest, a burger chain Fritzenberger and a Byron Bay yoga studio.