With Surfline down, account managers entirely confused as to "when to go."
With Surfline down, account managers entirely confused as to "when to go."

World’s largest surf website collapses as conspiracy theories swirl!

Surfline goes down.

Surfline has long been the gold standard of surf websites. The tool, which started as a lowly pay-per-call phone line, transformed itself into a dominant force at the dawn of the internet age and is now the ubiquitous face of “knowing when to go” what with account managers from Malibu to Manasquan logging on to check camera angles of where they might be surfing if they weren’t managing accounts.

The Huntington Beach-based behemoth received a $30 million investment from the Chernin Group in 2020, became the “official forecasting partner” of the World Surf League soon thereafter and brilliant bright skies all around.

All around, that is, until hours ago when the juggernaut mysteriously disappeared from computer and phone screens worldwide.

Account managers met with an ominous message declaring “Internal Server Error” and mansplaining “Looks like we’re having a few issues here, thanks for noticing. Rest assured we’ve been notified of this problem.”

Except rest was all but assured and as happens in this day and age, theories immediately floated as to the cause of those “few issues.”

A powerful, though cloaked, surf voice openly wondered if the problem was excellent surf in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California thereby forcing too many advertisements onto the server and crashing the system. Others pondered that Surfline’s long association with the aforementioned Huntington Beach had led to cyber attacks. Surf City, USA, as you might know, has recently pivoted to a culture war zone where breast cancer survivors are routinely harassed.

Whatever the reason, many hundreds, if not thousands, were made very sad.

Were you among them?

What is your assumption as to what went wrong?

Please share.

Channel Islands astounds surf watchers by releasing funniest skit since Doped Youth!

Introducing the Small Wave Support Group.

Channel Islands is as blue chip a surf brand as there ever was. Fine boards from the mind, though the hands, of the legendary Al Merrick that made Kelly Slater a household name and the tri hexagon logo a symbol of desire, of excellence. That heritage passed down to son Britt who, along with Channel Islands’ rider-owners, has continued to push innovation and style.

(Listen to Britt Merrick speak about “crushing it as a high-school LSD dealer and chasing sin on a motorcycle here. Britt, see, was busted for dealing LSD in high school, five dollars a tab, he thinks was the sale price, and talks about his Daddy and Mama’s conversion to Christianity in prison after they got busted hustling weed across the Mex border; how an unspeakable tragedy turned him back onto shaping, first, with Reynolds, then as CI’s gun shaper; and the wisdom borne from killing animals for food. “Every time you eat, something has to die, ” says Britt.)

Three years ago, Britt Merrick and senior members of the Channel Islands management team, employees and teamriders bought back the Channel Islands brand from Burton snowboards.

“We look forward to the day when CI returns home to the Merrick family, and we know the brand will be in good hands with Britt Merrick, Scott Anderson and the dedicated employees and teamriders at Channel Islands,” said Burton owner Donna Carpenter.

Peak cool.

But who imagined the team at Channel Islands had the capability of delivering the funniest surf skit since Adam Blakey’s Doped Youth?

No, not me but here we are and watch this gorgeous shot over Filipe Toledo’s bow.

Teahupo’o, here we come.

And, in case you missed it twenty years back, a little flashback to Doped Youth.

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.