Vulnerable adult learner issues grave warning to those considering the surfing life!

A wild tale of murder and woe.

The swell of Covid, and post Covid (if we can dare imagine we are through the worst pandemic the world has ever seen including, but not limited to, The Black Death) surf adopters continues to stagger lineups around the world. Outdoors, naturally socially distanced, healthy and also exuding a vibe to others.

The perfect activity.

Though, as Poison fans knows, every rose has its thorn and might the surfing life actually be an ouchiest of all options?

A 42-year-old vulnerable adult learner is very much sounding the alarm bells in a new essay The Old Man and the Sea which declares, “Solidly middle-aged, author Santi Elijah Holley decided to learn how to surf. What could go wrong?”

Our guide begins thusly:

When I finally come up for air—after spinning, flipping, somersaulting, and twisting under the waves for what seems like an eternity—I spit out a mouthful of ocean water and wonder what compelled me, at age 42, to take up surfing. I’m not an especially athletic person; these days, even a leisurely walk around my neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles causes my knees to ache. I used to be more active. As a teenager, I skied and skateboarded and clambered over large rocks and rode a bicycle for pleasure. But in adulthood, I spend most of my time sitting at my desk, staring at a screen, and feeling my body atrophy bit by bit. Deciding to start surfing was an impulsive decision, a desperate resolve to feel alive, a raging against the dying of the light. I wanted to know I was still capable of trying new activities, enjoying new hobbies, and learning new skills that served no practical or professional purpose, that were purely for personal amusement. A surfboard, at any rate, isn’t the worst purchase one can make during a midlife crisis. It could’ve been a Harley-Davidson. Or hair plugs.

He then realizes he needs a surfing lesson and takes one in Santa Monica with three Korean girls as classmates. The piece goes behind the paywall, at this point, but I have to imagine the “What could go wrong?” bit was directly answered. He was ripped off by the surf instructor, made fun of by an onlooker who had begun surfing last year and thus considered himself a local, sent home in such a cloud of self-doubt and timidity that his partner immediately recognized and publicly shamed him later that night when the couple dined with friends at Bub & Grandmas.

When they got home, she twisted the knife, further, telling him he wasn’t a man while he was down trying to fix the dryer by himself instead of calling for help. He became so unsettled that he hit her in the head with a hammer, killing her. The local police got involved while trying to solve another crime leaving our adult learner in a high state of agitation while trying to cover his tracks.

Eventually, guilt and justice, plus his bumbling inactivity, catch up and all is admitted with surfing fingered as cause.

The moral?

If you don’t surf, don’t start.

And, now, without further ado…

Erik Logan writes Substack confessional.
"When I made the pivot, I remember people saying, “You’ve done it! You’ve married your passion with your profession!” The accolades were correct - I had done it. It was a euphoric feeling, frankly not planned nor expected, but all felt divine and karmic simultaneously." – Erik Logan.

Sacked WSL chief Erik Logan reveals (almost) all in Substack confessional!

Stroke, heart surgery, divorce, losing his WSL job and surprise pivot from surfing and into tennis!

To know the former WSL boss Erik Logan, as they say, was to love him. Sparkling eyes that milked your essence, a body that made any man or woman’s cheeks flame and all wrapped in the calming assurance of a man who knew how to set limits. 

Thoroughly intoxicating.

It came as a terrific surprise, nine months ago, therefore, when Erik Logan was disappeared by the WSL mid-event at the Vivo Rio Pro, no reason given, only a curtly worded press release that neither thanked nor exalted their high-profile CEO.

“Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately.”

Silence ensued as per the WSL’s policy regarding transparency, ie none, despite Logan’s almost five-year reign as head of pro surfing, which took in the pivot to a one-day world champ playoff, a mid-year tour cut, as well as failed ventures including The Ultimate Surfer and WSL Studios.

As Chas Smith reported following the disappearance,

The lack of any information, whatsoever, from the World Surf League in the aftermath, alongside the “flabbergasting” lack of knowledge by those close to the levers of power, suggested an absolutely ruthless NDA.

A championship tour surfer had told me, directly, that Logan had made certain surfers “feel uncomfortable” with his behavior and by asking them to one-on-one dinners or drinks. He also, it was said, became “erratic” when he drank. The assertion of both troublesome requests and over-indulgent drinking was corroborated by at least two others, both with direct experience.

“He was getting away with it for a while,” another with first hand experience told me. “Lots of reports the last few events that he’s been drunk and making inappropriate comments to the women.”

Putting pieces together, it suggests the sort of firing that would deliver no praise and require an ironclad NDA. One almost certainly concerning personal conduct and needing the head of human resources and the head of legal to take over at a moment’s notice.

One that forced him to “fly home immediately,” according to one source, directly following his ouster.

There was excitement today when Erik Logan posted a lengthy screed on his Substack detailing his cataclysmic descent from 42-year-old beginner surfer, loving everything surf, to architect of the entire sport with all its ensuring baggage. 

Erik Logan writes, 

We’ve all been told, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Or maybe, “Follow your passion; the money will follow you.” There are countless variations on this theme.  Throughout my career, I let this idea guide my professional choices, and tried to make  my job my passion.  The reality was that I was passionate about my work, but it was never my burning passion.    Four years ago, I took a passion that I had discovered and made it my job and I can now say I’m not 100% sure this cliche is the best advice, at least for me.

There was an eroding and flattening of my love for surfing. It wasn’t sudden; bits and pieces of joy chipped away here and there until the love was broken and the passion was gone.  I would think back to those early moments of feeling that this job would be so great for me; and that being on the ‘inside of surfing’ and getting deeper into this world I loved would unlock more ways to deepen my passion and engage my business brain.  I was wrong again. 

The reality is that when my passion became my job, those lines became blurred.  What once was a sanctuary, where anonymity was nearly assured with many of us wearing identical black wetsuits on our boards,  not caring at all what anyone did outside of the ocean, suddenly became a place I didn’t want to be. People constantly approached me, wanting to talk about surfing and the WSL and give their unsolicited opinions of the sport or the company (good and bad).   I would always take the time to talk with them and listen, thank them for the conversation, and try to be as present and thoughtful as possible.  To be honest, there were many times that it felt good; my ego loved it, and even when the conversations got heated, I still loved the debate.  So, on the one hand, I was feeling good on the ego level; on the other, my love for surfing and passion were eroding – catching fewer and fewer waves.  

The erosion continued. 

I used to have fun and get up at 4:30 and get to the water at first light, but no longer. What was clear to me was that I was not having fun surfing anymore.  The passion was gone.  I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was gone as fast as it overcame me.  And then, in late June of 2023, I was no longer working – passion and profession both gone.  

Does confession of events that created his downfall follow? (No!) But read here! 

Biolos (right) poking Merrick (left).
Biolos (right) poking Merrick (left).

Blood Feud: Lost goes for throat of arch-rival Channel Islands!

An old fashioned surfboard snipe!

There was a time, a few decades back, when surfers would identify with a surf brand. You wore Quiksilver or Billabong, used Sticky Bumps or Sex Wax, read Surfing or Surfer (in America) Surfing Life or Surfing World or Tracks (Australia) and rode Lost or Channel Islands. Or at least that’s the way it felt to me in my Coos Bay, Oregon bedroom.

In my provincial mind, which tribe a surfer belonged to mattered as much as anything and I would mentally sneer at those on the other “team.” Thankfully, and reprising my childhood fantasy, Lost’s Matt Biolos went directly for the throat of arch-rival Channel Islands, today, in a wicked Instagram post.

Featuring righteous shredder “Rasta” Robbie McCormick on a Ripper model, Biolos writes, “Rasta Robb don’t need no stink’n ‘small wave surfers therapy sessions.’ He just packs another load, grabs his Ripper, paddles out and drops airs on the whiners heads.”


Channel Islands’ recent Dane Reynolds n gang promotional video showcasing The Dumpster Diver 2 model was wildly well-received in the community. It featured shaper Britt Merrick and various other team riders in a faux support group before devolving into a wild melee.

While praised in certain circles as “the funniest skit since Doped Youth,” Team Lost certainly thought it was lame and tacky. The Robb diss track shoved right into the hexagon’s grill.

Provincially-minded surf watchers are, currently, holding breaths and waiting if Channel Islands will retaliate.

Which team are you?

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?