New Yorkers line up to visit This Bowl in Manhattan.
New Yorkers line up for a hit of Bondi-born takeaway This Bowl aka FishBowl. | Photo: @rubylilyyyyy

Bondi surfers bring New York City to a standstill with wildly popular takeaway chain Fishbowl!

"The most viral spot in New York for lunch!"

Eight years back, three Bondi surfers, all of ‘em shredders and all under thirty, opened a little takeaway joint called Fishbowl serving “Japanese-leaning, Los Angeles style poke” in the arcade underneath the vast and then new Pacific apartment complex on beachfront Campbell Parade.

Real low-key, all of ‘em, Nic Pestalozzi, Casper Ettleson and Nathan Dalah, working behind the counter slinging bowls in the tiny 280 square foot restaurant, a couple of benches and stools for anyone who needed their grinds right now. 

They called it Fishbowl and it soon morphed away from straight poke and into selling Japanese-style fish/tofu/chicken salad bowls at a bigger joint across the way and by 2022 the restaurants were selling sixty-million bucks in bowls a year. 

If you wanna count the locations, there’s forty-five stores across Australia, twenty six in Sydney, nine in Melbourne, and ten in Queensland.

And, now, New Yorkers have lined up for hours to get a taste of the wildly popular takeaway chain, with one foodie calling it the “the most viral spot for lunch” although in the US it’s called This Bowl not Fishbowl ‘cause there’s chicken and beef on the menu.

@rubylilyyyyy Explain to me why every Australian in NYC right now feels overly protective of Fish Bowl… I just cant qeue for another thing @THISBOWL NYC #newyork #spring #fyp #fypシ #newyorkcity #aussie #fishbowl ♬ original sound – rubylily

“People are right in calling this one of the best lunch options and eve quick dinners because we are going to be craving their bowls and can’t wait to work through their whole menu, definitely worth the hype,” they said. 

There’s been a little back and forthing on social about whether or not they’re poke bowls and claims that poke had been “stolen and gentrified”.

“Firstly, we’re not poke and don’t claim to be, poke is from Hawaii, and is a very different style meal to the salads we serve,” co-founder Nic Pestalozzi told the Murdoch Press. “We serve salads, they’re full of vegetables, and an array of proteins. Poke is all about raw fish, it’s great, but it’s not what we do.”

But, whatever, building a wildly successful worldwide biz selling healthy, and relatively cheap, food at a a time when fatties are taking over the world gotta be regarded as inspirational, no?


Disgraced former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan making a mockery of himself on a fun 2ft wave.
Disgraced former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan making a mockery of himself on a fun 2ft wave.

Crap surf forces English National Surfing Championships to erect Wall of Positive Noise

"With the surf forecast showing a fun 2ft of surf on Saturday, the stage is set for a competitive showdown..."

Fans of professional surfing are, generally, aware that Mother Nature can be a big ol’ jerk. Events, scheduled years in advance, oftentimes receive no material support from the buxom blonde and are forced to run in waist high garbage. Sometimes that trash is so odious, so unbelievably nasty, that organizers are forced to cull the window from three days down to one.

And let us travel to Watergate Bay, there on England’s southwestern most tip where the highly-anticipated English National Surfing Championships was set to take place May 4th through the 6th. The weather was reliably terrible and so Surfing England pushed until now and with rubbish surf on tap, it has been forced to slash and burn two whole days of competitive little political wet energy mound riding.

Putting a World Surf League-esque face on matters, the official governing body declared, “With the surf forecast showing a fun 2ft of surf on Saturday, the stage is set for a competitive showdown. A total of 84 surfers have entered across six divisions, ensuring over 15 hours of gripping competition heats, split across two wave peaks. The event kicks off bright and early on Saturday, with thrilling action carrying through to late afternoon when the event’s top surfers will be crowned with national titles.”

Joe Turpel couldn’t have Wall of Positive Noise’d better.

Bravo, I guess.

Will the “global home of surfing” sue for unauthorized usage though?

Certainly more as the story develops.


Baby Chopes on tap.
Baby Chopes on tap.

World Surf League brazenly curses forecast ahead of Tahiti Pro

"The perfection of Tahiti awaits the world’s best surfers during the competition window."

Surfers are nothing if not superstitious and especially when it comes to our little political wet energy mounds. No surfer worth her salt will hype a potential swell event nor even think “I’m taking the next one in” near the end of a session lest the universe is bending its ear and hearing the haughtiness. That universe is mean and will instantly dry up the aforementioned little political wet energy mounds leaving the brash bastardette unfulfilled.

Enter the World Surf League.

The Shiseido Tahiti Pro is but days away with surf fans eagerly anticipating the first event post cut. We have not seen professional surfing at its highest level since Margaret River closed its doors on April 21. Final’s day, there, was a banger, if I recall, with fine waves and fine performances. A rarity this season which has been downright cursed by lousy conditions. The WSL, it appears, hopes to keep the ugly streak going.

In an entirely ill-advised press release, the “global home of surfing,” brazenly declared, “The perfection of Tahiti awaits the world’s best surfers during the competition window of May 22 through 31, 2024. They will no doubt be looking to prove themselves next week at Teahupo’o, as that break will also be the surfing venue for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 from July 27 through August 5, 2024.”

The perfection of Tahiti awaits?

Perfection?

Oh, I can just see that universe now, guffawing at El Segundo’s contemptuous call, dialing up howling cross-winds and a ten day little political wet energy mound event not exceeding three-feet.

Thanks, WSL.

Thanks a lot.


Pretty blue water at Urbnsurf Sydney, surfer: Gard Rielly.
Mini-DR, Gard Rielly, giving daddy's Biolos a wash at the Sydney tank.

$75 million Sydney wavepool swings door open to surfers, quickly books out

While the revelatory thrill might be gone, there’s still something that hits you in the guts when the water starts sucking backwards in that tight little apex of the tank and a tube appears out of nowhere…

On a rain-soaked Friday afternoon two weeks ago, I had the enormous pleasure of examining the new $75 million Sydney wavepool alongside the noted sexagenarian surfing brothers, Nicholas and Thomas Carroll, men for whom age does not weary nor years condemn etc.

Nick Carroll, Urbnsurf Sydney.
The great Nick Carroll, sixty-five and still a geyser of testosterone, treats the tube with contempt. Photo: Matt Dunbar

Also in attendance, an entourage of Instagram influencers, the photographer Billy Morris, eighties tour shredder Rob Bain and the Bondi-based editor of Tracks magazine, Luke Kennedy.

There’s a helluva lot less excitement when it comes to pools opening than there was four years ago when the Melbourne tank became Australian’s first wavepool, when you’d peer through the wire construction fences to see the first test waves rolling through, bringing shrieks of delight even when they were punched to pieces by that raw Victorian wind.

Back then, I enjoyed Urbnsurf’s hospitality from one through til six as part of a media reveal. It was very hot that day, one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. With fourteen surfers in the water and eight-wave sets every two minute one wave was caught every four minutes.

Staff still call it the day of days.

Derek Rielly at Urbnsurf Melbourne.
Tanning poolside at the pre-opening of the Melbourne tank.

That same week, on the Friday, I joined the party of an old friend who had hired the joint from nine am until eight pm.

I spent seven hours or thereabouts in the water and caught, at a conservative estimate, one hundred waves.

Two very exciting days, and both still warm in my memory.

It’s a different experience this time. Daddy’s leg don’t work, operation forthcoming in three weeks, so he gifts his kids the two sessions, the first turns, the second, barrels.

And, while the revelatory thrill might be gone, there’s still something that hits you in the guts when the water starts sucking backwards in the apex of the tank and a three-foot tube appears out of nowhere and no one is there to hassle you for it; no one’s gonna push the lip down on your head, push you too deep or too wide.

Jones Rielly, Urbnsurf Sydney.
Another mini-DR, Jones Rielly, folds the rear hinge to max time in the cabana. Photo: Matt Dunbar

And the water colour, oowee, it’s a shocking cobalt blue, as inviting as a warm fire cutting through logs.

So what’s difference between the Melbourne tank and Sydney?

Well, both are Wavegarden tech but there’s been four years to work out the kinks and while it may not be immediately obvious there are improvements.

The first is, Melbourne was built next to an airport and adjacent to an Aussie Rules football ground nicknamed Windy Hill. And even if you’re told the wind don’t affect the waves ‘cause there’s zero fetch for the wind to do its terrible biz, they do, even if it’s an aesthetic thing. Sydney crouches below a hill and dips away from any exposure to a raw wind.

So, yeah, waves are smooth.

Second thing is the water temp. It gets insanely cold in a Melbourne winter and the water temp will dip below ten degrees celsius, 50F.

So, Sydney, down to maybe fourteen, fifteen, 57, 59F, at the peak of the winter. Right now, a couple weeks out of winter, it’s eighteen or 65 F.

Sessions cost either $109 or $159. The cheaper sessions you’ll share with 17 other surfers, netting you ten or twelve waves, depending if the session is full and if you milk the things to the bitter end and lose your place in line.

The more expensive expert session has twelve surfers, meaning you’ll get eighteen waves and plenty of room and time to decipher how to thread the so-called Beast. Tip: punch down on your tail after the takeoff and you’ll ride the length of the drainpipe.

Helmets aren’t compulsory but, as in the snow game, they’re starting to become more popular and you can hire ‘em if you want a little extra confidence heading into a Beast sesh.

It ain’t such a bad idea. I’ve seen two head injuries, and at the presser this time a kid belted his head on the bottom.

If you’re into the idea of using pools as air-camps, you might’ve written off the Wavegardens preferring the American Wave Machine ramps of Waco and Brazil’s Boa Vista.

Until real recently, if they wanted to create an air section, Wavegarden would install a temporary reef. Now, they can do it using the existing modules. Only prob is they can only use one side of the pool and there’s only forty waves instead of 216 an hour.

Still, they plan on opening up some sorta air session to the public this Christmas-ish.

Book here if you can find an opening.


Adam Neumann buys Montauk surfing magazine Whalebone.
Let me tell you this. Eighteen feet. Very big. My finger, not my trigger finger, not my tequila boom boom finger, but a finger nevertheless, it snaps. Very big waves. Eighteen feet. Now I have surfing magazine. I tell you all about then we go disco, disco.

Big wave-riding billionaire Adam Neumann buys world’s hippest surfing magazine, shelves iconic name, rebrands as Flow Trip!

Hard pivot into surf media!

The halls of every surf media outlet, from San Clemente to Byron Bay, are abuzz today with the electrifying news that big-wave billionaire and founder of WeWork Adam Neumann had pivoted hard into surf media.

Adam Nuemann, forty-five, is an Israeli-American who was raised on the collective farming miracle called kibbutz and who served three years with a M4 machine gun protecting Israel from its vicious enemies.

He was described, here, as “the most important man in surf. He’s got wavepools, Laird Superfood and big-wave skills…”

Neumann even broke his finger surfing “18-foot” waves with pal Laird Hamilton.

Neumann made his billions, and lost plenty, with his company WeWork, which was based on similar collective principals as the kibbutzim he was raised on, various workers share office space, enjoying the cross-pollination of ideas as well as the reduced cost of renting an office.

Anyway, Adam Nuemann, who moved on from the wreckage of WeWork with his new company Flow, a real estate play where renters get equity in the joints they live in, has bought Montauk surf mag Whalebone, quickly renaming it Flow Trip.

Plans are for the mag to drive Flow’s content. Hip quasi-homeowners meet hipster media etc.

 

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In a message to readers from the editors,

“Flow is helping good people live a connected life in buildings and environments that make them feel good and valued, while feeling like a home. The Flow Trip is the media side of that with quality storytelling, content, and experiences that showcase what Flow is all about.”