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.

Kelly Slater (left), Conan Hayes (center) and Shane Dorian (right).
Kelly Slater (left), Conan Hayes (center) and Shane Dorian (right).

Shane Dorian reveals participation in ultra-exclusive text thread with surf GOATs Kelly Slater and Conan Hayes!


This future is, I must admit, different than advertised. Growing up, it felt as if Back to the Future II had set the bar for what it would all feel like in 2015 and beyond. Flying cars, hovering skateboards, Pizza Hut expanders, etc. None of those things, of course, exist though we do have miniature computers in our pockets that allow us to participate in multiple different text threads with our friends and colleagues.

Looking at my phone now, I have at least 20 active chats with at least two or more participants. None, unfortunately, include Kelly Slater and Conan Hayes.

Well, Shane Dorian for the win, I suppose, as he just revealed that he has the two surf GOATs in an ultra-exclusive chain. Slater’s bonafides need no introduction. 11x world champion, multi-time Pipe Master, Father of the Year nominee. Hayes’ might not be as well known, but vaulted to the pinnacle of “surfing’s most interesting man” after co-founding RVCA, selling it, getting involved in the toy trade and later providing assistance to former United States President Donald Trump.

The tamer of giant Cloudbreak was most recently in the news as one of thirty unindicted co-conspirators in making very sure the 2020 election was free and fair by “dressing as a nerd” and doing some computer work.

Per Vice News:

In recent years (Hayes) has become somewhat of a minor celebrity in election fraud conspiracy theory circles, under his anonymous Twitter handle We Have Risen. He has worked on an election audit in Antrim County and has suggested on social media he was in Phoenix where the Arizona audit is currently taking place. He also has links to Doug Logan, the Cyber Ninja CEO who is currently running the sham audit in Maricopa County.


But what do you imagine Dorian, Slater and Hayes discuss on their concatenation? The upcoming thriller Biden vs. Trump II? Advancements in backside tube riding techniques?


Like I said, exciting.