Gold Coast car thief

Surf town in fury after car thief who nearly killed baby in pram escapes Gold Coast mob!

"There’s heaps of petty crime here but it’s psychotic what he did."

Last Sunday, a furore erupted after a car thief, fleeing an enraged mob, nearly drove a surfer’s car into a daddy pushing a pram at D- bah, just over the hill from Snapper there.

Read, Wild Scenes on Gold Coast as Surfer’s 4WD stolen in front of him before nearly hitting a pram.

Car thefts, and stabbings and homicides, hits, ain’t anything new on the Gold Coast, the joint is crawling with junkies and gangsters and whomever else is locked into the system, as they say.

But what made this car theft different was how many people he nearly flattened on his way out of the carpark, and how widely disseminated the footage was.


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As it turned out, the surfer whose 2104 Toyota Prado, forty k or so if you wanted to buy, these things hold their value, is an old pal of DR’s, a surf industry vet called Liam Geale.

Geale is forty-three, six-two, a lean TRT-buffed two-twenty pounds, a jiujitsu purple belt and fight fan. Not the sorta cat you want confronting you while you’re sitting in the front seat trying to take the family whip away.

Geale was enjoying a post-surf debrief with his pal and shaper Alex Crews when he heard the familiar gurgle and roar of his customised exhaust system.

“I went, ‘That’s my fucking car,’” says Geale. “I turned around and saw it pulling out slowly. I was trying to register what was happening.”

Geale says he walked over, “hurriedly paced” is how he describes it, opens the door and tells the unofficial driver,

“Get of my fucking car, mate.”

The car thief is little compared to monster Geale and has already moved the seat close to the steering wheel and, safety conscious, is strapped in with his seat belt.

He roars off, door swinging open, and heads to the cul-de-sac at the northern end of the beach where you turn around and head back towards either up the hill to Rainbow Bay or around the headland to Tweed Heads and Coolangatta.

A carpenter moves his car into the middle of the road, blocking access.

Someone calls the cops.

The car thief drives around the edge of the embankment, Geale thinks he’;s going to flip the Prado and roll onto the beach.


Thief is lucky. Someone moves their car as he’s flying past, opening the road. The man with the pram with a two-year-old inside flies down the rock embankment to escape being crushed.

(Geale will later get a message from a pal telling him his car flew around a blind corner on the way out doing eighty clicks, nearly taking him out.)

Cops come.

Geale’s phone is still in the car so they use Find iPhone to track it down at a nearby mall. The thief is later filmed on CCTV running through the Tweed Heads hospital and being collected by accomplices in another car.

car thief

The event solidified two things in Geale’s mind, one, never to use those surf lock box things. The u-bolt was in tact, the bandit has simply prised it open. Two, it reinforced how tight the surf community is on the Gold Coast and Tweed.

Geale says it’s an interesting town ‘cause you’re valued on your etiquette and ability in the water, not on how much you earn or how much you spent on your Palm Springs lookalike joint with the palm trees and cactus arranged just so in the paved front yard.

Liam Geale and Izaak Michell.
Liam Geale and fight lord Izaak Michell, post wrestle.

Geale runs The Board Lab, about as core a surf shop as you’ll get in this VAL-dominated epoch, attached to the front of the Sharp Eye factory in South Tweed Heads. No clothes, boards, fins, wax and leashes. Like surf shops of yore it even sponsors surfers.

“It smells like surfboards and there’s actual surfers. Jack Robinson will come through picking up boards, Rio Wada will be here.”

About the theft, Geale says he’s been getting DMs from all over the world saying things like, “I hope you get him, I hope he gets what he deserves.”

The cops are taking it real seriously, given the kid in the pram bit.

“There’s heaps of petty crime here but it’s fucking psychotic what he did,” says Geale. It was almost like a car jacking.”

Open Thread: Comment Live on Day one of Margaret River Pro!

Fat and messy. Like popcorn smeared with carcinogens.

Craig Anderson waiting his turn. Photo: Chas Smith
Craig Anderson waiting his turn. Photo: Chas Smith

Margaret River is a fat, messy, gigantic wave surrounded by sharks and halfway out to sea

A morning out west.

Almost fifteen years ago, I happened to find myself in Margaret River with Craig Anderson. The wave was not on the Championship Tour then. It was the “Drug Aware Pro” and some qualifying nonsense. Anderson, anyhow, was not slated to appear though received a last minute call up. Here is the story.

The sun isn’t up yet because it is 5:30 am near Margaret River and cold. An offshore winds whistles cold. The air is cold. Craig Anderson is waxing up his closeout barrel board. 6’2″. Nate Lawrence, photographer, is checking his water housing. The swell is supposed to be very nice. Substantial. Rat-a-tat remixes play. Jay-Z and Biggie. So good so good.

The call comes in from Anthony Walsh at 6. Booj. We leave. It is dark and so cold.

That damned Booj, or Boodge, or whatever is totally a short drive but totally a long cold walk. Craig complains of freezing feet. The sun is peaking from the east, illuminating various beach grasses and clumps of sand, but there is no warmth. But the sky is baby blue. And square kegs are detonating straight on shore. Thunderous! Craig has been rapping, “We gots to get paaaid.”

Then says, “Oh fuck, they’re breaking right on shore.” Nate Lawrence says, “There are guys pulling into closeout barrels without photographers. That is what West Oz does to you.” Two of them are Kai Otton and Dayyan Neve.

We post up on the sand and watch. Kai Otton takes off on a bomb, goes straight and breaks the nose off his board. Craig says, “He went straight and his board broke. Imagine if he would have pulled in? Neck break.” When he comes in Craig asks, “What were you thinking Otts?” Kai answers, “Ahhh it looked like it had a corner.”

Craig watches for a few more minutes. “It ledges up real quick. I’m probably going to go over the falls a few times.” “Look at this one. Neck snapper.” “That bit ahead…I’d reckon you’d come up with no neck.” “Why do people do this to themselves?”

An oldish man trots down to water’s edge and starts stretching. More than stretching. Yoga. Craig says, “This guy is stretching! What a fucking idiot! He knows he’s going to get bent in half, that’s why.” Kai breaks his second board in three places. No one had ever seen that before. Craig says, “Three pieces, wow. That is the first time I’ve ever seen that.” Kai says, “It’s fucked out there.”

Craig suits up and gets ready to paddle…but then there is a zipper malfunction on Nate Lawrence’s wetsuit. He quickly runs back to apartment to repair. Craig and I sit on the sand and watch. Dede from Indonesia comes and sits nearby. Craig says, “Kai broke his board in three places.” Dede says, “Oh shit.”

The waves are getting bigger. More square. Filled with sand and death. Anthony Walsh takes off on an absolute bomb that explodes up to the heavens around his corpse. Anthony Walsh is a man’s man.

Craig’s phone rings. It is someone asking if he wants to be in the competition today. The six star prime Margaret River Drug Aware Pro. What heat would I be in?” he asks. “Ten? I should do it, eh?” He accepts the offer.

Craig laughs. “That is the funniest stuff ever! They said I could have been in the trials with 45 guys and I said no chance.”

Dayyan walks by and Craig tells him he is in the comp. Dayyan says, “How’d you manage that?” Craig answers, “Craike’s foot is still buckled.” Dayyan says, “Good on ya then. Go right. There are these big macky rights.” Craig says, “You haven’t seen me surf, have you.”

Nate Lawrence comes back ready to shoot. Craig tells him he’s in the comp, laughs again and says, “At least I’ll get a little paper today.” Nate asks him what he’s going to ride and Craig answers, “My biggest is this 6’2 closeout barrel board.” He laughs again again and the two head out to grab a few closeouts. Craig sort of wants it to break so he can ride his shorter shortboard in solid 6-8 foot Margs.

The board doesn’t break. In the car on the way to the comp site I ask who he is going to surf against in heat ten. Craig answers, “It’ll be the best surfers in the comp. The wildcard always gets shafted because he doesn’t deserve to be out there anyway. Thanks Craike, ya legend.”

We stop and get some pies. Craig nibbles on Tim Tams. “That’s two wildcards in a month. I must be doing something right.”

We arrive and look and the thick thick far out to sea thick surf. The day earlier I had asked Craig to describe this same wave. He answered, “I’d reckon it’s shit. One word shit. But if I had to give an in depth description I would say a fat left and right. Depends what you’re after. If you’re after doing cutbacks on a fat wave then it is your wave. I have surfed there a bunch of times and not once have I had any fun. I’d reckon it’s absolutely fucken shit.” Dion Agius had said, “It usually cops all the swell so it is gigantic. Cops all the wind so it is gigantic and messy. Breaks halfway out to sea, breaks fat, and is surrounded by sharks. So it is a fat, messy gigantic wave surrounded by sharks and halfway out to sea.”

The wind is just starting to come up. It is big and far away. Craig says, “I don’t want to surf that! It’s almost not worth $500!” Nate Lawrence says, “You have to pay?” Craig answers, “No, I get paid. If I get a 6 footer on the head I’ll turn around and come right back in and say 500 dollars please.”

We all look back out to sea. Craig says, “Look at how big that wave is. I don’t surf big waves. I’ve got a 6’2 that goes like shit.”

We start walking toward the competitor check-in area. Craig says, “All I want to do is a big carve with my arms behind my back. Like Occy or Matty Hoy. Except not a hack, a carve.”

He checks in and we move over to a tent before he paddles. Craig says, “The first time I surfed in the QS they made us surf that wave…South Side.” He points a tanned finger to the left. “It was 1000 knot onshore and 1000 foot. It was the worst time I’d ever had.” We watch a stand-up paddle boarder get chewed alive by a giant white wall at South Side.

Craig leaves for the marathon paddle out. Ben Dunn, Heitor Alves and Nat Young are in his heat.

The horn sounds at 11:30. Beeeeep. The announcers say, “It is a real shame that Craiky isn’t in. He is a Western Australia air specialist. Craig Anderson, who is taking his spot, better boost.” The waves are still 6-8 foot and thick.

On his first wave, Craig drops into a heaving bomb completes a mid-face cutback, then wipes out incredibly on the inside section. Totally upside-down. One announcer says, “Craig is hurtling himself in the wave like a rag doll.” The other announcer says, “He got done and dusted for sure.” When the replays are shown everyone in the tent moans. He gets a 2.00.

Later Craig gets a 4.33 and 3.67 for a total of 8. He had guessed his heat total would be 8.2 earlier. He got 4th in his heat. On the way out he picks up the collection form for his money. No broken neck. Paper. And not having to surf Margarets maybe ever again.

How fantastic.

“Today was not fun, but it was funny” says Craig Anderson.

Bodysurfer (pictured) being dangerous.
Bodysurfer (pictured) being dangerous.

Surfing’s most dangerous wrinkle back in spotlight after expert bodysurfer dies from horror neck injury in India

"The person was doing bodysurfing on the waves when a rough wave swept him and crashed him onto the dune."

Surfers, and let’s be honest, this includes you, very much secretly love when the conversation around the dinner table turns to how dangerous this Sport of Kings is. Eyes lightly widened, lips pursed a touch as undertows, man eating great white sharks, drownings, etc. are brought up in hushed tones. Surfers, you too, sitting back slightly and feeling as tough as Jake Gyllenhaal in the new Road House reboot.

But we, each of us, know that our surfing, practiced on foam and fiberglass tables ranging from 5’5 to 6’10 in waves from 3 to 6 feet, is safer than rollerblading.

Other forms, of course, much more worthy of the aforementioned lightly widened eyes, pursed lips, hushed tones, including rhino chasing Jaws, boogie boarding the Box and bodysurfing anywhere.

Skin sliding, back arched, neck extended, forehead ready to kiss sandbar is, tragically, back in the news after an expert died whilst practicing in India.

According to authorities, the British man was giving hell to Varkala Beach in Kerala when a “rough wave swept him and crashed him onto the dune.” An on-duty lifeguard told The Independent, “The person was doing body surfing on the waves when a rough wave swept him and crashed him onto the dune. He suffered injuries on the head and neck and we gave him first aid and took him to the hospital.”

Alas, nothing could be done and his injuries proved fatal.

The British government confirmed the calamity and is working with the man’s family to bring his body home.

Calls of increased attention to safety delivered to all visiting India’s mystical shore.

Leo Fioravanti (pictured) hair back on handsome Roman forehead. Photo: Flaunt Magazine
Leo Fioravanti (pictured) hair back on handsome Roman forehead. Photo: Flaunt Magazine

Hair blows off Leo Fioravanti handsome Roman forehead as World Surf League’s Apple Watch collab nominated for award!

“I just wanna say, our freaking watches weren’t working and that’s pretty heavy..."

Longtime World Surf League watchers know there is nothing the “Global Home of Surfing” cannot wreck. Be it definitions of progression, the very concept of environmentalism or trusty ol’ ladders, the World Surf League will somehow find a way to retard.

You can imagine the shock this morning, then, when the League’s much ballyhooed partnership with Apple Watches was officially nominated for a Webby Award in not one, but two categories. Apps & Software – connected products & wearables plus Apps & Software – experimental & innovation.

The collaboration was rolled out only last year, promising professional surfers real time heat scores and priority information, though not the time.

Former champion Italo Ferreira allowed the League his name and likeness, at launch, declaring, “The noise of the wind and the waves can sometimes make it impossible to hear the announcers while competing, and that means you miss crucial information. Challenging conditions can make it hard to see the beach and a priority penalty could cost you the heat, so not needing to rely on seeing the beach or hearing the announcers makes a huge difference and prevents guesswork. When it’s all on the line, scoring and priority are critical. You have so much on your mind at that point, so having an Apple Watch helps you stay on track in those situations and is a total game changer.”

The “game changing” aspect of the technology was immediately questioned after the first competition with Italy’s very handsome Leonardo Fioravanti shattering the Wall of Positive Noise, post-heat, sharing, “I just wanna say, our freaking watches weren’t working and that’s pretty heavy. My watch wasn’t working. And nothing to take away from Apple or WSL. I mean, what they’re doing is great, trying to bring in some technology into our world. But if my watch doesn’t work from start to finish and I gotta ask for time, like, I’ve been used to having the time on me at all times in heats. And we’re fighting for our careers so I hope they figure it out because my watch didn’t work from start to finish. So that’s pretty heavy.”

After that moment, the Apple Watches were never mentioned again.

But here we are on the cusp of history. And who do you think will except the Webby, if the World Surf League so happens to win? Will the various chiefs force Fioravanti to the stage, dressed to the nines in Gucci, as a form of public humiliation or will Erik Logan come back from the proverbial dead in order to taste that one last bit of surf spotlight?

The Webby Awards, for the curious, have been around since 1995 though have recently come under fire for “pay to win policies” and called a “money-making scam.”

The World Surf League would never.

Would it?