They need our help.
They need our help.

Question: Is billionaire Dirk Ziff’s interest in professional surfing purely benevolent?

The Dirk Ziff Center for Kids Who Have Zero Skill Other Than Sick Snaps.

Now, as you are well aware, BeachGrit has been on the bleeding edge of World Surf League coverage since the Association of Surfing Professionals was purchased for free by trust funded billionaire Dirk Ziff back in 2015 circa 1976. The “global home of surfing” has been an absolute dead money pit since. Dreams of a sporting juggernaut well faded. Vanished CEOs making a mockery of leadership. A bloated product shrinking hard in viewership numbers without even the slightest bit of flim flam anymore.

Surf fans around the world have been wondering “Why?” the plurality of the time. Why keep the draw at thirty-two? Why not start with the mid-season cull number of twenty, or whatever it is, then cut further?

Entirely counterintuitive and increasingly so in light of competitions like Bells where nonsense heats are run in pumping swell while quarters, semis and finals are run in thigh high slop.

Ziff could both please surf fans and save money by sending a pink slip to Matt McGillicuddy, having Turpel et. al. call the action from a remote studio in Tallahassee, Florida and wrapping events in two days.

It’s really a no-brainer and so why does the sixty-year old not implement any changes?

It has long been thought that he is either ignorant or playing a heady financial game wherein bills of goods are sold to Saudis but what if there is another answer?

What if Dirk Ziff is a benevolent philanthropist with professional surfers as his cause?

I wondered this, particularly, during the aforementioned Bells after I heard, or read in the open thread live comments, that a surfer winning zero heats was awarded $13,000 per contest. MacKenzie Scott has donated billions to affordable housing initiatives, Bill and Melinda Gates to microchipping third world children, Derek Zoolander to kids who can’t read good and wanna learn to do other stuff good too.

Could Ziff be the Jerry Lewis of professional surfers?

David Lee Scales and I discussed during our weekly chat and, increasingly, it seems the only angle that makes sense. History will remember him fondly. We should too.

Listen here.

Griffin Colapinto (insert) blocks out crazy as housewives go wild over low priced surf clothing.
Griffin Colapinto (insert) blocks out crazy as housewives go wild over low priced surf clothing.

“Black Friday” feared as Costco begins selling Hurley men’s tech pant for $19.99

Mob violence in the forecast.

We are exactly 264 days from Christmas and yet behavioralists fear a deep, dark, violent Black Friday might occur today as big box retailer Costco has advertised that it will begin selling Hurley men’s tech pants for under $20 US. The mid rise chinos, which come in tan, green and light blue, feature woven tech fabric for added flexibility and comfort, moisture wicking everyday performance fabric and a hidden zip pocket hidden at side seams.

Hurley aficionados will certainly be aware of the brand’s cutting edge use of science cloth in its award-winning boardshorts and look to replicate the experience of high performance backside alley-oops on in the office or out for Sunday brunch mimosas.

The sub $20 price, though, too provocative? Behavioralists, who have studied past shopper riots including, but not limited to, the Furby Fungo of ’94 are extremely worried that housewives wanting to see their mens “move like Kai Lenny” will rip each other to bits over the trousers.

Making matters very much worse, Quiksilver hoodies in grey, darker grey and tan are being listed at $16.99.

Housewives seeking the “full Griffin Colapinto” for their mens tearing each other’s throats out.

Potentially very dark days.

Nathan Florence and John John Florence, team riders.
Florence teamriders, John John and Nathan Florence.

Nathan Florence quits Vans to ride for John John Florence’s eponymous label FLORENCE!

"We have the power to reshape the surf industry and pave a new way for upcoming surfers, to build something great together as a family."

In the hottest sponsorship shakeup since John John Florence quit Hurley to launch his $12 million startup Florence, formerly Florence Marine X, middle brother Nathan has quit Vans to ride for big bro!

Nathan Florence, who turns thirty this year, wrote on Instagram:

What a life! The day has come to join forces! So fired up to announce that i will be Surfing under my own Name and will be moving forward under the FLORENCE flag🚩, beyond excited to bet on myself, my brother you may have heard of him (@john_john_florence ) who pioneered this epic endeavor and the incredible team at @florence_marine_x, the future is very exciting, we have the power to reshape the surf industry for future generations and pave a new way for upcoming surfers, to build something great together as a family, imagine the projects and trips that are about to happen! All hail the Slab Tour! The continued innovation in great gear made to push the limits of our relationship with our oceans and coastlines, protect us from all elements hot or cold, and allow us surfers and outdoor people to spend more time doing what we love, Surfing, Adventuring and exploring our natural world!! So stoked to take this on lets do this!


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A post shared by Nathan Florence (@nathan_florence)

Exciting, yeah?

Five months back, Nathan Florence officially spiked the Jan Brady curse and become the alpha male of the Florence squad, which also includes the sexiest brother of them all Ivan, when he was voted surfer of the year. 

Through the course of 2023 Nathan Florence rarely missed a slab or ledge session whether it was in Hawaii, Australia, Scotland or Ireland.

His diligence was rewarded when he was awarded Ride of the Year and Surfer of the Year at the Big Wave Challenge awards in Nazaré, Portugal.

On day one of the Lexus Pipe Pro waiting period, Nathan Florence released footage of a “mutated, backless right reef slab somewhere in the Solomon Islands.” 

Our correspondent asked.

“Could the timing of this release be a Machiavellian play by the wildly talented duo? A thinly veiled show of hand to the WSL  – and the world – of John John’s true intentions for his career?”

Ironically, it was Nathan Florence with the career switcharoo and not his hotly competitive brother John John, who is rated three, coming into his favoured event, the  Margaret River Pro.

Mother Nature going overboard. Again.
Mother Nature going overboard. Again.

Oahu scholastic sport chief cites “dangerous Mother Nature” as reason to bar surfing from list of officially sanctioned activities!

She's a real shifty one.

As most students of surf history know, our Sport of Kings was birthed there on the Hawaiian island chain, flourishing under that tropical-adjacent sun. Sliding waves an indelible part of the aloha lifestyle. It may come as a surprise, then, that surfing is not a recognized school sport on the most important island, Oahu, having been stiff armed by the executive director of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, Bryce Kaneshiro.

Waianae surf team founder and coach Beth Matsuda is trying to change this by introducing House Bill 500 which would recognize surfing as appropriate. “It’s a high school sport in the east and west coast, Australia, but it’s not a high school sport here,” she told Hawaii News Now, adding, “A lot of kids in the school surf, but they have no access to represent the school. So this is a way of representing their school.”

What might be considered a no-brainer, though is not getting support from the aforementioned OIA with Kaneshiro very suspicious of dastardly surfing, citing that curmudgeonly old Mother Nature as a major part of the problem.

“The safety for the kids in both practice as well as the event itself because something about surfing that is always dangerous is that it’s mother nature, you never know what might happen,” he sneered.

Matsuda, undaunted, is putting her hopes on House Bill 500, which is requesting $50,000 for surf competitions and $25,000 for jet skis.

Kaneshiro, equally dug in, is countering, “Just because you get the funding for it doesn’t mean that you’re pushing that sport in, we have to say we have other factors that we have to consider.”

Do you have a dog in this fight?

Pro surfing as team sport or anti?

JMD (pictured) in better times?
JMD (pictured) in better times?

Major shockwaves at World Surf League as Jessi Miley-Dyer quietly drops “Chief of Sport” title!

Big confusion, many pointed fingers.

The rumor mill was sent into overdrive, early this morning, as sleuthing surf fans discovered World Surf League “Chief of Sport” Jessi Miley-Dyer had quietly dropped the august title from her Instagram page and now presents only as she/her, previous championship tour surfer and first WSL World Junior Champ.

Miley-Dyer has been a staple of professional surfing at its highest level, climbing the ranks through multiple regimes including those fronted by disgraced and embarrassed Erik Logan, England’s Sophie Goldschmidt, over-enthusiastic Paul Speaker and the last true and right leader Brodie Carr.

Confusing matters greatly, Miley-Dyer still has “Chief of Sport” on her LinkedIn portal.

While the Sydneysider has not been seen in Australia, handing important duties including, and limited to, calling contests on in the morning, to Renato Hickel, two distinct camps have emerged: Those who believe she is ascending to the long-vacant perch of CEO and those who believe the “global home of surfing” is undergoing further contractions ahead of eventual sale to Abu Dhabi.

In which do you find yourself?

Well, the tour moves to Margaret River in but one week carrying a heavy front load of San Clementines. Will the 2% continue to dominate all the way to a hometown finals day or will Brazil rise again?

Also, if a rudderless sport governing body disintegrates in a Western Australia vineyard and nobody is there as witness, does it make a sound?

More as the story develops.