San Diego Lifeguard Todd Rice in hospital. Photo: Fox 5 News
San Diego Lifeguard Todd Rice in hospital. Photo: Fox 5 News

San Diego lifeguard hit by boat while surfing in “freak accident”

“Right now I’m fighting for my leg, to keep it. It’s not just me, it’s the whole tribe, it’s a whole group."

A San Diego lifeguard is back home after nearly losing his life while surfing Nicaragua. Todd Rice, 23, was in the Central American country enjoying a fine pulse of swell when a panga ran him over deeply cutting his leg. The hit nearly caused Rice to lose consciousness but he mustered the internal fortitude to fashion a tourniquet from his leash and control the bleeding until help arrived.

“I came to terms that for one, at that point, I might die. So I said my goodbyes to the gentleman that was holding my head and told him to say certain things to my family. And then secondary, if I live, I’ve already come to terms that I might lose my leg,” Rice told Fox 5 news.

When his fellow lifeguards heard about the accident, they immediately sprang into action, coordinating with U.S. Embassy in Managua. “Seeing it bring together the service, and we’re there to facilitate and remind everyone within the service and the community that we are a family,” Hailey Westwood, president of the San Diego Lifeguard Association, declared.

Of course, being home presents its own challenges, what with the United States’ prohibitively expensive health care costs. The lifeguards are helping their comrade there too, though, setting up a GoFundMe which opens thusly:

Todd Rice is a staple in the community. Through his dedication to lifeguarding, he has made an impact from Ocean Beach to the shores of Blacks. He also has a great presence in the fishing and surfing communities, just a few of his many passions. The San Diego Lifesaving Association is happy to support one of our own lifeguards through this difficult time.

$43,279 of a $100,000 goal has already been raised.

“Right now I’m fighting for my leg, to keep it. It’s not just me, it’s the whole tribe, it’s a whole group. I feel like it’s the whole city that’s helping me out in this process,” Rice stated.

Friendship is a wonderful thing.

Donate here if moved.

German Sebastian Steudnter (insert) rubbing his claim in Brazil's face.
German Sebastian Steudnter (insert) rubbing his claim in Brazil's face.

Brazil in mourning after German Sebastian Steudtner drops biggest claim in surfing history!

Pride and the fall.

The rise of Brazilian surfing, over the past two decades, has brought much joy and excitement to this sometimes staid Pastime of Kings. Flash, pizzazz, paroxysms of raw emotion. In a word, passion. One of the greatest displays of this bossa nova heartbeat is, undoubtedly, the claim.

What was once an awkward physical spasm after satisfactory completion of a wave professionally surfed transformed to art in the manicured fingers of our handsome Portuguese adjacent brothers. Classic fist pumps, finger snaps, full-bodied yells punctuating 4.6s and 5.4s.

The claim became so essentially Brazilian that non-Brazilians who attempt appear to be haltingly speaking a foreign language.


Awkward, that is, until the German mega-wave rider Sebastian Steudnter just dropped the biggest claim in history thereby shattering  Brazil’s hold on the craft.

Surfing an unsurfable wave.

But you certainly read about the 93.7 foot Nazare bomb Steudnter bagged two months ago. The historic slide is considered to be the biggest wave ever, though the World Surf League with all its engineering and science experts must ratify the exact height. In any case, biggest ever but the unsurfable bit was a surprising hammer.

Per the Daily Mail:

‘Mission Wave Alpha’ has seen (Sebastian Steudnter) train for the perfect wave for years, and the extreme athlete decided that the time was right to surf the biggest waves of his life when Nazaré saw ‘historic’ conditions back in February.

“It was the biggest storm and the biggest waves in the past three or four years. We were, for the first time, surfing the biggest waves in stormy conditions which were considered unsurfable,” he said.

And there we have it.

But have you ever surfed an unsurfable wave?

How did it feel beneath your pioneering feet?

Most importantly, though, how did you claim?

Alex Smith, Koa Smith, Koa Rothman and Travis Smith.
Sunrise Shack founders Alex Smith, Koa Smith, Koa Rothman and Travis Smith. A lonely teenage girl's dream!

“World’s sexiest surfers” raise almost one million dollars as bowls-and-coffee-joint Sunrise Shack goes public!

Cute lil joint across the road from Sunset Beach and with tentacles across Oahu valued at an astonishing $22.5 mill.

Eight years back Koa Smith, his bros Alex and Travis, and Koa Rothman, opened up a cute lil coffee and bowls joint called Sunrise Shack amid a plumeria farm and just across the road from world famous Sunset Beach.

The initial offering was pretty basic, coffees, tea, papaya bowls, but the place soon blossomed into the most popular eatery on the North Shore with its zeitgeist-y feel-good menu of wellness shots, smoothie bowls, banana bread and avocado toast.

Now, there’s Sunrise Shacks all over Oahu, Waikiki, Ala Moana Center, Kailua, Shark’s Cove as well as Sunset with predicated revenues set to hit five mill this year.

The four wildly handsome Hawaiian-born surfers and models are ambitious as hell.

And y’ain’t gonna become a billionaire by shucking coconuts across the road from Sunset the rest of your life. And, so, after valuing ‘emselves at $22..5 mill, the gang used the crowdfund portal start engine to offer shares in their biz.

One share was set at $7.50 with a minimum buy-in of $240.

A raft of bonuses were set to lure investors with anyone dropping one hundred gees on their Ohana package getting “one of the founders’ signed surfboards, a flight to Hawaii from the US to surf and have a surf lesson with one of the founders, a custom Ohana shirt, an invitation to an investor’s party on Oahu, and 12% bonus shares.”

At the close of the offering on April 16, $786,620 had been raised.

The surfers plan to use the money to expand onto the US mainland.

Koa Smith, meanwhile, a man who is widely regarded “the world’s sexiest surfer” and who ain’t afraid to bareback the biggest waves in the world, is offering seven-day online courses for anyone who might feel a little off kilter.

Smith became qualified to deliver the course after earning a certificate of completion from the charismatic faith healer Joe Dispenza.

The sell is almost as compelling as the Sunrise Shack’s share offer

“Koa Smith is a professional surfer, thirty-second famed barrel rider, entrepreneur and true showman. While his life looks idyllic from the outside; sunshine, nature, travel & nonstop adventure, he struggles to balance it all just like the rest of us.
“Through a severe head injury that left him with crippling depression, the pressure of competition and the bombardment of business demands, he realized that something needed to change. He wanted to take charge of his mental game. In turn, through extensive research and support, he developed a mental exercise routine, something that he commits to every morning.

“A routine that puts him in the driver seat before the chaos of the world even has a chance to make an impression. His mental game changed everything and now he wants to share his morning routine with you. Are you ready to transform your mental game? $37.”

BeachGrit writer Steve Rees paid his thirty-seven dollars and completed the course a few months back. 

“Koa Smith is a genuinely likeable character who is passionate about helping people get right in the head,” reported Rees. “Maybe a grain of salt is needed to digest Koa’s program, all in good fun, etc.”

Slater (pictured) "ripping." Photo: Instagram
Slater (pictured) "ripping." Photo: Instagram

Surf greats Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian lovingly satirize mid-length surfboard in must-see spoof!

Kings of Comedy.

One of the finer trends of the last few years has been the rise of the mid-length surfboard. Once relegated to the unseemly community of eggs and fun boards, the mid climbed out on its own thanks to the likes of Devon Howard and Torren Martyn who have demonstrated the gorgeous flow and glide of the 6’10 to 7’8 set.

Leave it, then, to the greatest surfer of all-time, and under-appreciated satirist, Kelly Slater to skewer the trend in a must-see new clip.

The 11-time World Champion can be seen wiggling and waggling down the line of a wave he would never ride all, seemingly, in mockery.

Slater’s dismissive interview, “guessing” that the board is a mid-length is the cherry on top of a perfect spoof.

The Momentum Generation star and surfing trailblazer Shane Dorian then takes a turn on an absolutely hilarious left.

Kings of Comedy.

Even with the skewering, I must say I am still a massive mid fan, a gorgeous CI changing my life. A life, I suppose, deserving of mockery.

Was the above clip a long-awaited diss track?

Hope springs.

Tales of a lonely rapper.
Tales of a lonely rapper.

“Drake of surf journalism” still waiting for response to decades old diss articles

Where you at, Sam George?

It is impossible, today, to escape news of the quickly escalating hip hop war civil war pitting the biggest names against each other in all out mortal combat. For surf fans aware of the landscape, but confused, I offer a short primer. Drake, who hails from Toronto and why he named himself the 6 God (due area code), and Kendrick Lamar, who calls Compton home, have had long simmering, though genteel strife. All that changed when, in March, Lamar provided guest vocals on a track that was critical of Aubrey Graham (Drake’s given name).

The gloves came off and everybody from Rick Ross to Travis Scott to Suge Knight piled on Drake who, days ago, fired back using artificially intelligent 2 Pac and Snoop Dogg in the ditty Taylor Made Freestyle.

Now, I’ll be honest. Before today I was aware that rap battles existed though never followed one closely in real time. The genius of the actors involved in this current civil war, thus, cannot be overstated. Barbs flying from camp to camp. Millions upon millions of looky-loos becoming involved, listening, picking sides etc.

Mass engagement.

Peak entertainment.

Stupid surfing.

Since I first dawned surf journalism’s door, back in 2004, I have tried to make rap-style beef with any or everyone in order to spruce up our otherwise staid amphitheater. Mick Fanning, Michael Rodrigues, the entire protectorate of Puerto Rico, The Inertia’s Zach Weisberg and staff, the World Surf League’s Erik Logan plus others, Ashton Goggans, Surfer Magazine’s AI assistant “Jake Howard” just to name the ones I can remember at breakfast.

What slams have I received in return?

Fanning decided to step up to the mic and while his initial diss response was spicy, he chased with the entirely weak follow up rhyme, “I acknowledge that my decision to use words that were inappropriate — albeit in an attempt to be ironic, knowing they were of the type favoured by the magazine — was misjudged and wrong.”

Ashton Goggans called the cops.

And that is it.

Any and everyone else somehow thinking public fighting is undignified and immature. In poor taste. Etc.

Surfing remaining an odd backwater growing increasingly stagnant with chill vibes ruling.


Where you at, Sam George?