Inspirational transgender surfer from Australia Sasha Jane Lowerson.
Inspirational transgender surfer from Australia Sasha Jane Lowerson, famous for breaking down barriers levelled at T-Girls in sports.

Tolerance on the ropes as transgender surfer refused entry into women’s division of longboard contest

“A man tried to enter the women’s division and the American Longboard Association said nope…”

The tide, as they say, appears to be turning against transgender surfers competing in the women’s div of surf contests after American Longboarding founder Todd Messick said no to T-Girls.

“It’s really this simple,” said skateboarder Taylor Silverman. “Contest organizers just say no. Within one day of being made aware of this nonsense it was announced it would not be tolerated. This is the way. This is the future. This is the return to normalcy and sanity.”

Silverman hit the headlines when she lost a skateboarding contest to a transgender woman. She argued that allowing transgender women to compete against biological females in sports is unfair due to potential physical advantages. Silverman’s stance has been met with both support and opposition, with some people applauding her for standing up for women’s rights and others criticizing her for being transphobic.

In a message posted to X, Messick said:

“It was brought to my attention yesterday that there’s a transgender athlete that’s entered into the women’s division and it threw me completely off guard. I didn’t realize I was going to have to address this just this soon, only into our second contest. But I do want to make clear that our policy is very much in line with the ISA. You’re welcome to go online, I’m going to post some things there, but right now we’re going to support biological males and biological females in their divisions respectively. If you were born a female, you enter in the women’s. If you’re born a male, you enter in the men’s.

“You guys can live however and whatever you want to do in life. That’s not for me to decide, but it is for me to decide what’s fair and not fair for the American Longboarding Association. So, that being said, we’re going to stick to our guns. I want to offer an equal playing field for all athletes and that’s the stand we’re taking so I hope that everybody respects that and allows us to just do our thing. This whole thing is about traditional longboard surfing and supporting that so that’s what we’re here to do.”

Just as Rip Curl pivoted heavily into the transgender surfer market a few months back only to panic after a customer backlash and delete a post celebrating inspirational T-girl Sasha Jane Lowerson, women’s sports is following a similar trajectory.

What looked good on paper, tolerance, love, acceptance and so on, delivered unfair outcomes and women quitting their chosen sports instead of competing against biologically superior T-girls.


Bizarre scenes at surf major as Kelly Slater gatecrashes Stephanie Gilmore interview

"It was like a weird dream, you know?"

Ten days after retiring from pro surfing and three days after coming out of retirement to surf on the Gold Coast, Fiji and Tahiti and, at a pinch, the Olympics, Kelly Slater has made a bizarre cameo during a Stephanie Gilmore interview on the Gold Coast. 

Gilmore, along with Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and the almost sixty-year-old Mark Occhilupo, thrilled the biggest crowd seen at a pro surfing event all year at Snapper Rocks, site of the Challenger Series contest, in a World Champs exhibition heat. 

Despite the each and twinge in joints and muscles, the inability to stoop without grunting, feet deformed by bunions, corns and callouses and faces permanently etched haggard by the decades of six hours a day surfing, the five-some, led by Stephanie Gilmore, drew lines that were refined and regal. 

Although the heat wasn’t scored in any official form, in the aftermath it was agreed that Stephanie Gilmore had won the heat.

And, so, on the beach the celebrated surf coach and interviewer Stace Gailbrath cornered the eight-time world champ for a few words, as they say. 

Stephanie Gilmore, who is thirty-six and whose smile glows phosphorescently from a tanned face, knows the play and shaped a crooked grin of embarrassment. 

“That was so much fun. Oh my goodness. Joel gave me that good one that that barrel and and then yeah, I just seemed to be in there… but wow, that was probably the highlight of my, one of my, probably of my whole career, life maybe, to surf empty Snapper with those guys. Yeah, that was really cool.

“I mean, yeah, you’re watching a perfect wall and then Mick rips into one, Joel, Kelly, and then Occy. It’s just like, yeah. It was like a weird dream, you know, you dream about it as a kid and to go out there and experience it in real life is really special.”

While all this was happening, Kelly Slater moved into frame, ostensibly signing autographs for his myriad fans, but as obvious as a child rolling a rusted tricycle squeakily across the floor. 

Gilmore is distracted, the interview abruptly concludes and Kelly steals into frame. 

The next two minutes are a mine of awkwardness despite Gailbrath’s exploring fingers.

He tells Kelly that Stephanie Gilmore is now one-zero head-to-head with him.

“Say what? Love one Stephanie. Correct, yes, yep she got 1-0 against all four of us, all the other four of us… she… she… she… was just totally… it’s funny because Mick, Mick just goes up he’s like she just everywhere she turns is just lining up for and she’s just on, in-sync. It was great but you gave her priority so you know it just was gonna happen.”

On his contest board,

“It’s a really fun board. Yeah, it’s fast. If I lean too much I kind of catch it sometimes but it’s fun. It’s a good fast board.”

Eventually, Gailbrath feels the seismic tremble of frustration in his finger ejected.



Open Thread: Comment Live, Day Two of the Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro!

Are we having fun yet?

Rincon locals hang heads in shame after iconic strand named “World’s Safest Beach” by rich interlopers

Do better.

Surf localism, as any enforcer knows, is an art that takes generations to fully develop. A tough must move near the beach, sire children whom he teaches to both surf and mark territory who, in turn, must sire more surfy fighty children. One or more of them sticking around and punching fins out of interloping surfboards.

Maybe just maybe an enforcer gets lucky, moves near the beach at a young-ish age and makes it his, or her, life’s only goal to dominate a wave. Difficult, time consuming work but all worth it for a snarling reputation and a spot where only the bravest, or stupidest, dare paddle.

You can then image the shame being felt by Rincon’s locals this morning after the Southern-ish California point break was named “world’s safest beach” by Mansion Global in the feature “California’s Rincon Point is a Surf Haven with a Wine Country Neighbor.”

It begins thusly:

Situated along Highway 101 and straddling Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, Rincon Point is one of the state’s prime locations to cruise the waves. It often ranks high on lists as enthusiasts travel to experience this Central Coast surfing destination.

“Rincon Point has three different surf breaks,” said Jason Streatfeild, a real estate agent at Douglas Elliman in Santa Barbara. “In the winter when the swells are large enough, all combine into one and you can surf for a quarter of a mile,” he said of the reason Rincon Point receives recognition from across the globe.

Those who own mansions in nearby Carpinteria are then interviewed and speak glowingly of a small town, main street dotted with surf shops and “rollers” on which to “hang ten.” Ernest and Sue Chamberlain, originally from the Midwest and East Coast, respectively, the piece shares, traded cooler Belvedere Island, by San Francisco, for sunny Carpinteria in 2018. “Carpinteria is one of the last remaining beach towns on the California coast that isn’t overdeveloped,” Ernest declared. “We wanted a place that wasn’t growing like crazy, a small town kind of charm that would stay that way for years.”

The Chamberlain children might become growling surf menaces at some point in the future, but for now the transplanted millionaires are simply cool living at “the world’s safest beach.”

Do better Rincon locals.

Bruce Irons delivers profoundly sad confessional from “psychedelic assisted” mental health centre in Mexico

"My name is Bruce Irons. I'm a 44 year old professional surfer. My brother was world champion. I'm doing this for him and all my other fallen brothers."

Kauai-born surfer Bruce Irons, the best surfer in the world in 2005 if you asked anybody who’d seen him tear hell out of Teahupoo, Pipe, Indo, has made a rare public appearance after fourteen years of living in the shadows since his brother Andy’s death.

Bruce Irons in 2024 is a little heavier and jowlier, his hair longer and darker than when he owned surf media in the early 2000’s, but that deep-seated cool, his mama Danielle once described Bruce as a stealth bomber, remains firmly in place.

Speaking from a psychedelic assisted rehab joint in Cancun, Mexico, called Beond, Bruce delivers a profoundly sad confessional.

My name is Bruce Irons. I’m a 44 year old professional surfer. My brother was world champion He’s the baddest motherfucker that ever lived and I’m doing this for him and all my other fallen brothers and fucking friends who died who’ve had a fair shares of ups and downs and losses and mental health problems, you know depression and drugs came to this place in Mexico called Beond and to just see what it was about and they have the ibogaine treatment and it it’s it doesn’t matter what your current state is how bad it is how worse it is it always can get worse and there’s always someone that’s looking a little shittier but when I came to this place it’s basically with open arms, no judgment, resentment, nothing.

The staff, everybody makes you feel so good and the communication of what’s going on with, why do I feel the way I’m feeling? They explained a lot of it and the medicine from the plant that they provide really helps you go into your mind, into your vision and it’s as much work as you put in here, you will receive it in your vision and it’s uncanning on what the possibilities that you can overcome, let go of and just find that inner child again that can come up and flourish because we’re all beautiful beans of light and thank God for Mexico because the States I don’t think are their western medicine isn’t good let’s be honest the rehabs there suck my brother went to a rehab there and every single person I met my brother in that rehab including my brother died so I never was gonna do that so when I found out about this place it’s just the success rate is instead of 98% relapse, it’s 98% success.

And it’s all up to you putting in the work and just being completely honest. And you’re not going to be judged. And Tom and his staff are the most beautiful people in the world. I’ve never, ever met a group of people who never did their job so fucking good. And with all love, not one bit of fake happiness to help. That’s at this place.

So I would love to spread this word. For anybody who needs help, I’ll help you. I’ll bring you down here. Just hit me up on Instagram. I’m getting healthy and strong again. I’m going to get back in the water.

And I still have some big waves and barrels I need to get at Pipeline. And why may I maybe get back into Eddie Aikau or Pipe Masters, I still feel like I got one win in me left. Or two. One more Pipe Masters, one more Eddie. Let’s do it. I’m fucking going for it. 


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