Griffin Colapinto
Griffin Colapinto, Gandhi of surf.

World surfing title fav Griffin Colapinto an “avatar of Gen-Z sad boy culture”

Slither into the comically cruel world of Karl Von's post-Bells Power Rankings… 

So much has happened this year! Fil quit, milk somehow became a topic of conversation, Gabriel is back in the arms of Daddy and has already had a meltdown!

What does this mean for my totally unbiased, scientifically rigorous, and enlighteningly shallow rankings?

Come, come, read the runes.

35. Caio Ibelli
A crappy beginning of the year for everyone’s favorite renegade leitão, shitting the bed in Hawaii where he performs best. He needs at least a QF to stand a chance of making the cut, which he’s more than capable of doing, with just the right amount of ripper- sub-electric- anesthetized surfing we all know and… whatever?

34. Deivid Silva
Needs a semi to stay alive. Nope.

33. Frederico Morais
Tiago Pires retired eight years ago, a fact that I had not known before trying to think of something to write for Frederico (hereby known as Fredder Cheddar) and only being able to say he’s Portuguese… wait, how about… part of the group that needs at least a QF finish to have a sniff of a chance of making the cut. How likely is that to happen, considering he hasn’t placed that high since 2021… wait, really? Damn.

32. Jacob Willcox
Despite surfing pretty well at Bells, like a facsimile of a crumpled scan of Wilko’s backhand attack, Jacob lost out to Kanoa in the Round of 32.

31. Eli Hanneman
Eli needs at least a semi at Margs to stay alive. Weirder things have happened, I guess, like sporting Rick Kanes do in your current WSL photo. That said, he rips, even if he’s only marginally heavier than a paper weight.

30. Filipe Toledo
Not getting into the Pipe performance or any of the underlying being scared of big waves garbage, it is a bit sad not to see Fil on Tour this year, as he’s probably the only one with the ability to make the shit conditions at Bells this year exciting surfing wise, much like he did in 2022 when he smoked everyone in similar surf. Shame he couldn’t just admit he was scared and pulled out of Pipe and surf the rest of the events… wait, damn it.

29. Joao Chianca
Injured surfing Pipe in December, Joao, one of last year’s finalists at Lowers, has yet to surf this season… shit… just read that he had brain bleeding, and without reading this garbage? Gnarly. Hopefully he recovers before the Olympics.

28. Samuel Pupo
Who does delusional faux rational nationalism best in professional surfing? I’d argue Australians, who are somehow adamant that Ronald is a good commentator despite being as objectively garbage as the rest of them. Dude compared Sammy in his Round of 32 heat at Bells to Fil based on no other connection than he was riding a Dark Arts board, which Fil is somewhat known for. Genius. As for Sammy, with a QF finish at Margs, he’s probably good.

27. Callum Robson
Two last-place finishes in the first four events sees poor young Callum below the cut line, a predicament beneath his stature as the upholder of dignity and decency on Tour. Should he fall off Tour, I am afraid he be relegated to having to interview Andy and Randy Pig every so often.

26. Kade Matson
A surprise quarterfinalist at Bells, Kade, while currently below the cut line, is in a good position to requalify, along with his fellow 2 percent San Clemente dorks… err, mates Griff, Bing, and Spot, for the 2025 season, needing just a ninth to for a probable chance and another QF to clinch. Will be cool for him to tell people in the future who get his number from the bus stop Coldwell Banker advert with his face plastered on it that he used to be pro.

25. Miguel Pupo
Stinks for Miggy that both Tahiti and Fiji events take place after the cut. If Margs sucks (likely), Miggy will probably find himself again surfing the minor leagues to requalify. Bonus points for the springsuits in Hawaii.

24. Gabriel Medina
One of the two best surfers in world, Gabe has had an uncharacteristically bad start to the year, rated 20th going into Margs. Despite his crappy position, Medina has proven himself to be a top-tier entertainer, peaking so far with his post-heat interview following his controversial loss to Rookie Cole Houshmand in the Round of 32 at Bells, whereby he declared that the judging was the worst he’s ever seen in a comp. Nice to see he’s still leading the charge into the latest phase of the Brazilian Storm: crying about judging. Sooooooooo wet… and siiiiiiiiiick.

23. Ramzi Boukhiam
Missing last year due injury, the dreamy Moroccan goofy finds himself on the right side of the cut heading into Margs. A real feel meh story.

22. Italo Ferreira
I am going to need him to start surfing well again, at least in the lead up to the new season of Ferreira Files.

21. Seth Moniz
Just on the wrong side of the cut after Bells, Seth needs to surf better. Period.

20. Ian Gentil
A semi at Pipe has him still in the running to requalify. Lanky frame, Brown Gumby should be able to exploit the slopey burger rights at Margarets to a decent result.

19. Kelly Slater
Watching Kelly this year has been like witnessing your super old, demented, terminal grandparent march toward their inevitable slowly rapid death, transforming into the wraithlike physical manifestation of a husk of human life… Sehnsucht… At least we all got to witness his episode of terminal lucidity in his Opening Round heat win at Bells. Something to hold onto, for sure.

18. Leonardo Fioravanti
He feels like he’s been around forever, probably because of Young Guns and because anything beyond two years ago on Tour I have no fucking clue about, so it is a little shocking to find out clicking on his profile on the rankings list that he is only 26. What is the likelihood that he passes Jezza as the best European surfer ever? Zero.

17. Imaikalani Devault
In a great position to requalify, I am excited to watch him surf junky El Salvador and “challenging” Rio later this year. Maybe he can get a win if enough dudes don’t show up.

16. Ryan Callinan
Except a couple of competitors I have arranged between seventh and twenty-third in these rankings, like Cole and Kelly, everyone feels like I should rate them sixteenth, none more than Ryan, who just oozes sixteenth.

15. Liam O’Brien
With solid results this year, paired with the unexpected demise of compatriot Callum, Liam finds himself upholding the legacy of Australian surf fodder, in addition to human Chia Pets everywhere, who seemed a lot more common even just ten years ago.

14. Jake Marshall
With two ninths and two fifth place finishes this year, somehow Snake is in the Top 5 (4th!). While certainly exciting, I’m sure, at least among those who also love watching paint dry, this development can only be seen as proof that the ratings system is broken.

13. Crosby Colapinto
In the Top 10 after reasonably solid results, highlighted by a semi finish in Portugal, Crosby appears to have had no problem adjusting to ‘CT competition. Perhaps the support he has from San Clemente’s 2% crew has brought him the right mix of competition and home comfort he needs to thrive on the scene. Speaking of, better names for the group surely exist for them to be called, right? Why not the Garbage Pail Kids San Clemente (I mean Griff looks just like one) or the Homeschool Mafia? That last one would be absolutely badass. Oh well, I guess they can continue to refer to themselves by their favorite pastime of consuming their calcium via shelving 2% milk cartons.

12. Connor O’Leary
… must resi… resist the… urge… to compare him to Ace… if only because such comparison could only be seen as a slap to fAce.

11. Cole Houshmand
Reading about Medina’s post-heat interview and getting caught up in the buzz surrounding the reaction to his losing to Cole at Bells, I decided to watch the heat convinced that what I was going to see was Gabe getting absolutely ripped off. That didn’t happen. Cole surfed marginally better and won the heat. Then going on to win the event, I was wondering to myself whether I should have found it impressive, concluding that, no, Asings happen. After devoting too much time to that, I ended up thinking how Cole definitely knows every word to “Semi-Charmed Life” despite being born three years after its release.

10. Yago Dora
The highest-ranked Brazilian so far, Yago has the game to get himself into the Top 5 for Low… wait, he’s sixteenth? Woof, I guess I should pay more attention.

9. Rio Waida
Rio’s semi against Griff at Bells showed viewers that he was capable of surfing greatish. His only real problem to doing well is that he’s smol, unable to produce the type of spray bigger dudes are able to produce that seems more impressive. Perhaps he should start a Scores at Every Size (SAES) campaign to the judges to get them to make the excellent score range available for thin guys who eat cigarettes for breakfast.

8. Kanoa Igarashi
After four straight seasons in the Top 10, Kanoa fell to number 14 last year, a disappointing position for Quiksilver’s Kintarō, who many expected to fight for Titles on his way to establishing a New World Order. This year, he seems to, by results at least, be surfing better, having nabbed a second place at Sunset to propel himself into the Top 7. You’re welcome for that summary.

7. Matthew McGillivray
Rated this highly because I think he should do well at Margs, surfing shitty rights to an exceedingly adequate degree.

6. Jordan Michael Smith
Hawaii season was very good to our favorite goober. Too bad he followed up his quarter and semi results there with back-to-back seventeenths in Portugal and Bells. I hope that he goes on a tear and ends up winning the Title, if only so that he can fulfill the dying wish of former President Jimmy Carter of wishing him the peanutiest birthday in October for his hundredth.

5. Barron Mamiya
Winning Pipe, it seemed like maybe Barron had finally started putting things together enough to become a legitimate Title contender. Unfortunately, he, like he did subsequent to winning Sunset during his rookie year, has followed up with crummy results. With the ability to win anywhere now that Lemoore is off, I believe that he will be able to do it.

4. Jack Robinson
On display during his masterful win at Sunset, Jack’s talent can become intoxicating to observers, especially those of an Aussie persuasion, who view him as… I don’t know exactly what, but something or someone of overly lofty esteem who should win stuff. I do wonder, now that he’s a dad, how much further down the rabbit hole of pop-Orientalism he is willing to travel to get to wherever it is he’s going. Perhaps he’s already there. Good for him if so… should be able to bank on the Local Scoring Boost in West Oz to help him out in the next comp.

3. Ethan Ewing
Second in the world right now, Ethan has a real chance of winning it all this year, especially with the King of Two-Foot Trestles gone. It will be interesting to see how Kermit does in Tahiti and Fiji, though they are likely to have no bearing on what happens at Lowers.

2. Griffin Colapinto
Almost able to go back-to-back at Portugal and Bells, Griff appears to be in the driver’s seat for the Final Five, where he conceivably be considered a favorite. I would like to know if he would allow me to pretentiously interview him for a long-form piece here about sadness, motivation, and becoming an avatar of Gen-Z sad boy culture.

1. John John Florence
It would surprise absolutely no one if John John won Margs. He is the person to beat there. It would be nice to see him make a Finals push. That out of the way, on Chad and DLS’s latest podcast they were talking about Nathan as if he was equal to John in terms of coming first to mind when talking surfing, which is interesting to contemplate on in consideration of the fact that Nathan only has a career because of JJF’s surfing ability.

Whatever, I listened to it and deserve the resulting brain rot.

Bondi stabbing perpetrator (pictured).
Bondi stabbing perpetrator (pictured).

Itinerant surfer identified as perp in horror Bondi stabbing spree

"We know that the offender in the matter suffers from mental [ill] health."

News of the horror stabbing spree trickling out of Bondi this morning left an already on edge world further rattled. Six dead, including a young mother. Many more in the hospital. Numbers, unfortunately, familiar to the United States but almost entirely foreign to Australia.

This the largest mass killing in over a decade in a country where gun ownership is extremely restricted.

According to reports, a man wielding a knife entered the Bondi Junction Westfield mall Saturday afternoon and began attacking people seemingly casually and at random. Four women and one man died at the scene. Another woman died at the hospital.

The lone perp, later identified as a 40-year-old itinerant surfer from Queensland named Joel Cauchi, entered the mall around 3:00 PM on Saturday, left, then returned ten minutes to commit his atrocity, moving slowly, riding the escalator.

“We know that shortly after coming to Sydney, he took possession of a storage facility that has been identified and we have worked through that very small storage facility,” Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke told The Daily Mail.

“We know that the offender in the matter suffers from mental [ill] health,” Mr Cooke added. “We are continuing to work through the profiling of the offender but very clearly to us at this stage it would appear that this is related to the mental health of the individual involved.”

Cauchi had asked, earlier, on Facebook if anyone would like to join him for a Bondi surf.

A heroic Australian police officer tracked Cauchi upstairs, he turned and threatened her with his knife, she shot him dead.

The New South Wales police commissioner shared, “She showed enormous courage and bravery … we just talked [and] she’s OK, her family is OK. She’s got everything she needs for the time being.”

Tragic, all of it.

Ethan Ewing barreled while Toledo trembles.
Ethan Ewing barreled while Toledo trembles.

Timid small wave surf champ Filipe Toledo profoundly shamed in bombshell new Ethan “Ice Man” Ewing interview

The tree of spite watered with li'l lion tears.

The rise of Australia’s Ethan Ewing feels positively fated at this point. The boy who grew up with his mother’s Bells Beach trophy next to his bed going on to dominate professional surfing at its highest level. Strong jaw, sculpted buttocks, a backhand attack so pure that judges get spinny eyes and punch 8.4s into little computers.

Ewing is currently number two in the world, nipping at Griffin “Gautama” Colapinto, and will be heading to Teahupo’o this summer to represent the southern cross in the Olympics.

All thrilling and very much deserving of a 7,000 word profile, one graciously crafted by our friends at The Guardian.

We learn the staples, Ewing’s destiny, the way he sits on priority and, thus, earned the nickname “ice man,” how Joel Parkinson gave him an Andy Irons surfboard and shared that the legend would have loved him.

How he broke his back at the aforementioned Mouth of Skulls.

“I wiped out pretty hard,” Ewing told journalist Kieren “Perrow” Pender. “I hit the reef directly on my back. Straight away I knew something was not right. I thought that was it for my year – being so close to the finals, and something so serious to do with your spine, I thought there was no way.”

The traipse down memory lane revealed how Ewing competed against, and eventually lost to, eventual champion Filipe Toledo at Lower Trestles but then did the champion-esque thing.

Per the piece:

After last year’s WSL finals, Ewing went straight back to Tahiti to “get over any mental hurdles”. The surfer says he would be feeling slightly apprehensive, injury or no injury. “It’s definitely a really intimidating wave,” he says. “But I feel like I’ve had some good performances there and am definitely feeling more comfortable.”

Unmentioned, though heavily vibed, Filipe Toledo’s not going straight back to Tahiti to “get over any mental hurdles.”

The timid Brazilian is famously scared of Teahupo’o. So mythically scared, in fact, that he opted to take the entire year off instead of facing light criticism over his terrors. He, too, will be at Teahupo’o for the Olympics and might stun the world with actual effort.

Or he may reprise his brave act of cowardice for a third time.

Which do you prefer to watch?

The tree of spite watered with li’l lion tears.

Todd Kline, three-timer Mick Fanning, Screaming Joe and once-only Occ.
Todd Kline, three-timer Mick Fanning, Screaming Joe and once-only Occ.

Surf fiction (part three): The cruel tyranny of Joe Turpel!

"He’s brilliant. A warrior poet in the commentary booth. But Joe Turpel is crazy as hell.”


A voice comes booming from somewhere behind us. It’s a cold afternoon in the Santa Monica sand dunes. Kaipo Guerrero and I have just finished our tete a tete in the ecologically significant little tern nesting area .

Kaipo probing my loyalties to the WSL. Me trying to figure out what the hell I’m even doing here at the Global Home of Surfing.

“Guerrero!“ the voice comes again. Louder and closer this time. From the direction of the WSL HQ.

A figure appears at the top of the dune, though it’s no more than a silhouette. I can’t make out any detail from the glare of the low spring sun.

“Oh shit,” says Kaipo. “It’s Turpel.” There’s a quiver of fear in his voice.

As the figure makes its way down the lee side of the dune, the profile of Joe Turpel comes into focus. Joe’s wearing his trademark vans, chinos and Hawaiian tee. But there’s something serious about his look. The way he moves. Deliberate. With authority.

“Kaipo Guerrero, did I just see you ashing your cigarette into the designated little tern nesting area?” he barks in his distinctive nasal accent.

Kaipo’s a deer in headlights.

“Yes sir, I mean no, I mean…”

Kaipo looks to me for help. I have to think quick.

“Ah, it was my cigarette,” I offer. “Mr Guerrero here, well he was just holding it for me.”

“You. who the fuck are you”

“Haven’t you heard?” says Kaipo. “This is Cote’s new guy. He and I were just uh, working on this nesting area…”

“… and then I decided to have a smoke,” I continue. “I was just finishing it off when I caught my shirt on this chicken wire.”

I point to the roll of wire on the ground.

“So I threw the butt to Kaipo to make sure we didn’t lose it in the sand while I untangled myself. He was just about to ethically dispose of it in this Bonsoy Brew can.”

I hold the can up like a piece of evidence in a courtroom. Kaipo looks at it and nods.

Joe Turpel comes to within kissing distance of us both. Inspects us up and down.

“And you think it’s ok to smoke in an area where we are trying to re-ha-bil-i-tate?” he yells, pausing on each syllable. His words are short. Abrupt. Economical. None of his usual verbosity. Yet his voice is still unmistakeable. He’s like a stoned army drill sergeant.

“You think it’s some kind of joke? If there is one fucking thing in this world I will not stand for. It is the desecration of a protected species nesting area.”

He leans even closer into my face, so we are eyeball to eyeball. He smells like musk sticks.

“Both of you. Follow me”

“Thanks for covering for me back there, brah,” whispers Kaipo as we make our way through the dunes.

“Don’t mention it, mate. You’re all good.”

“No, I’m serious. You do not want to get on this guy’s bad side. He’s brilliant. A warrior poet in the commentary booth. But Joe Turpel is crazy as hell.”

We arrive at Joe’s office in the WSL building, walking through stained glass doors into a darkened space. Joe claps twice and light floods the room.

The office is a brutalist statement. All steel and concrete. Smooth, menacing greys. There’s no work station to speak of. It’s a void, except for the two 40 pound dumbells and serrated hunting knife sitting on a bed of newspaper in the middle of the room, and an old moosehead affixed above the glass doors. The knife glistens in the light. It must be 15 inches long.

Kaipo is bowing his head. I follow his lead. We’re in this together now.

There’s a knock at the door behind us. I sneak a look up and see the familiar face of Jessie Miley Dyer. She holds up a limited edition Yeti coffee keep cup in her hand and wiggles it with a hopeful look.

But Joe Turpel shoots her a stare that could cut through the stainless steel walls. The WSL Chief of Sport drops her head sullenly and disappears from view.

Joe shakes his head and turns back to us.

“More god damned inferiors wanting my goddamn time. Just because I look like a happy, approachable guy on screen. They think they can come up to me with their problems. Shoot the shit. Talk about feelings.”

He air quotes the word feelings and then spits on the floor.

“What do they want? A hug from Joe Turpel? Last time I hugged anyone was when I put Jack Johnson in a sleeper hold at Sunset elementary for stealing my juice box. I showed him, though. Him and that little band of his. You can both look at me now.”

I watch as he picks up the hunting knife and runs his finger along its edge.

“You know this morning, after I had done my workout and vocal exercises, I saw a snail crawling along my knife. Crawling, slithering along a serrated razor’s edge. I realised, at that moment, that we are at war. My dream. My nightmare. The war for surfing’s heart.”

He throws the knife at the moose head. Buries it to the handle, right between the moose’s dead black eyes. Joe Turpel turns to me

“You’re new here. So know this. Don’t. Ever. Cross. Me.”

He runs his hands through his hair. Smooths his collar. Takes a deep breath. I swear I’ve seen this routine before. I think about Chris Cote, sucking the stale office air through his teeth. It all seems like a lifetime ago.

“Now, if you’re both so happy working together I have a mission for you,” Turpel says. “As you know we have been in a leadership vacuum here at the WSL since the departure of .”

“I’ve had word from above” – he nods to the moose’s head – “that there’s a new candidate for the position of WSL Chief Executive. There’s a real buzz around this guy. Could open some new doors for this great organisation of ours. Give us a chance to hop on the ski and re-set.”

I look to Kaipo. His head is still bowed.

“I want you to both travel to meet him and report back to me. Do a vibe check. Get a sense of his leanings.”

Am I taking orders from Joe now? What about my original job with Chris Cote?

“I should let Chris know-”

Joe cuts me off.

“Mr Cote doesn’t need to know about this. I am giving you the direction. That is all you need. Now, gentlemen, the WSL eco-jet is already on the tarmac. You have five minutes until wheels up. I suggest you hurry.”

Thoughts swirl through my head as we take off over the ocean. Below I can see the tiny specks of the Channel islands race below my window as the WSL eco-jet engages hypersonic speed.

My first meeting with Cote feels almost make believe. As do his supposed secret plots. And now Kaipo and I are best friends? Who am I to trust? Whose side of the war for surfing’s heart am I on? And who could this mysterious new head of the WSL be?

Kaipo passes me a can of Bonsoy Brew from across the aisle. I crack the lid, and strap myself in.

Erik Logan (pictured) gone but not forgotten.
Erik Logan (pictured) gone but not forgotten.

Former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan takes vicious shot at popular tabloid!

"Who knows. Who cares."

The World Surf League has officially entered its… honestly, I can’t even remember the new CEO’s name. Its Riley Gains era? Its Johnny Smallville era? I don’t know but I can assure everything will look the exact same as the “cleanup on aisle five” crew who took the helm after former chief executive Erik Logan did something so naughty in Brazil as to get Stalinized. Yes, the PR head and the Legal head teamed up to maybe lock in all those Logan NDAs then handed the reins over to… Jerry McGovern? Ron Felding?

Whatever. His sleepy resume and dull face tell us everything we need to know. Mostly that his name is not worth remembering. Oh, don’t you worry. I will put by scalping kit back together and find some way to Backward Fin Beth him but, to be honest, my heart will still be with ELo.

The Oklahoman with a magical wetsuit of honor was a gift, a pure undeserved gift what with his sheer cluelessness, instance on being front and center, goofball SUPing, et. al. He was the perfect manifestation of a billionaire’s vision for professional surfing.

As much as I care about Logan, though, it appears the love is unrequited. On a recent social media post, the motivational speaker declared, “On this Day, I got a Haircut!!!! Thank goodness for the Emmy award-winning NEEEKKOOOOO. Always tight with the cleanup. He is always winning in the water, he’s having the most fun – starting in the parking lot. High and tight, as we have things to do, places to go, and announcements to make. More to come! #”

While his legion fans patiently wait for the #, one asked, “Will beachgrit run a story about said haircut ? more questions than answers.”hahahahha who knows. Who cares.”


And unnecessary?

Neither knowing nor caring about the popular tabloid which owns his entire online profile?

Well, it’s a little bit funny this feeling inside. I’m not one of those who can easily hide. I don’t have much money but boy if I did, I’d buy a big house where Erik could rent a room. If I was a sculptor, but then again, no. Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show. I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do. My gift is my daily posting here on BeachGrit and, Erik, this one’s for you.

David Lee Scales and I briefly discussed the new CEO during our weekly chat. James Ackman? Fred Durst? Scales is in El Salvador on a surf trip. Don’t you wish you were there? Sample the next best thing by listening and enjoying.

Bon appetit.