Laird Hamilton (pictured) eating beans for a change.
Laird Hamilton (pictured) eating beans for a change.

Revealed: The extremely controversial breakfast surf stud Laird Hamilton doesn’t want you to know about

"A hooker of hollandaise."

We live in fraught times where every single movement made is interpreted immediately and directly. Does a neighbor wear a red baseball cap, for example? Well certainly she is branded as dangerously far right and an insurrectionist. Do the children enjoy drawing sidewalk chalk rainbows in the driveway? Well certainly they are proto-LGBTQ+ attempting to cross dress in libraries. No wave of the hand nor wink of the eye is simply just a wave of the hand or wink of the eye anymore. They are secret messages to likeminded cabals.

And then there is breakfast.

How we start the day is, of course, important and let us introduce surf stud Laird Hamilton. The Malibu by way of Maui maestro came up just hours ago on David Lee Scales and my weekly chat. There is a segment on The Grit! entitled Pros in the Wild in which listeners share personal experiences with surf greats. It has become so popular that there is now a Reddit feed and, below, we have a sample

During the days of Riding Giants I cooked at a small cafe on Maui. I regularly cooked Laird Hamilton breakfast. A double lox Benedict with avocado. It was probably close to 4lbs of food. After an awkward introduction by the cafe owner I randomly came across Laird in the Seattle SeaTac airport. I could almost see the sense of dread on his face when we locked eyes. I acted like I had no idea who he was and kept walking… I imagine that was a great relief to him. Everyone loves their peace.


The most hotly debated origin story meal of all time to say nothing about tossing double lox and avocado on top. But let us turn to The Original Pancake House, Denver Division, for more on this wildly polarized tale.

Eggs Benedict is a breakfast and brunch classic whose origins are hotly debated in some epicurean circles. There are several credible stories about how Eggs Benedict origins, and published references to this dish dating back over 100 years. Back in 1942, a retired New York stockbroker named Lemuel Benedict gave an interview to The New Yorker magazine in which he claimed he walked into the Waldorf Hotel 48 years earlier in 1894 looking for a cure for his morning hangover and reportedly ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise.” According to this version of the story, the maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirky was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus, but substituted ham and a toasted English muffin for the bacon and toast.

Another version of Eggs Benedict origin published in a column in The New York Times magazine in September 1967, a man named Craig Claiborne wrote about a letter he received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American living in France. In the letter Montgomery supposedly related that Eggs Benedict was created by Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920. Montgomery included a recipe for the breakfast dish, stating that he received it from his mother, who had received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.

I drink coffee, black, for breakfast and that’s all.

Legitimately nothing to see here, folks.

Or is there?

More as the story develops, per the usual, but while you’re here, don’t you want to listen to the story of how Kelly Slater lost his baby toe?

Bon appetit.

Chas Smith

Shane Stedman awarded Order of Australia.
Daddy Shane Stedman and boy Luke Stedman at ceremony to pick up Order of Australia medal.

Mastermind behind Ugg boot empire Shane Stedman honoured with order of Australia medal for services to surfing!

King of furry boots and liver-lipped snares celebrated by the King of Australia!

The octogenarian inventor of the sheepskin Ugg boot, Shane Stedman, a stallion whose spasming scrotum has hovered above innumerable liver-lipped snares, has been honoured with an Order of Australia medal for services to surfing. 

The Order of Australia “is an honour that recognises Australian citizens and other persons for outstanding achievement and service.”

His pro surfer son, the world #11 at one point, Luke Stedman, posted on Instagram:

You have contributed to making Australia better” these were the words from NSW Governor Margaret Beasley to all the recipients of the Order Of Australia medals yesterday which Dad was proud to accept.

Im so bloody proud of you Dad. You have been inspiring me all my life and you are continuing to raise the bar. I’m not sure I’ll get to your level but I will try. Thank you for showing me that with Love, dedication, commitment, passion, never give up attitude you can do anything. 

I’m your biggest fan.


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A post shared by Luke Stedman (@luke.stedman)

Three years ago, Luke, who is forty-seven moved from California to just behind Lennox Head to form a family cocoon, a commune, around daddy Shane, whose health ain’t so great.

Shane had just turned eighty and was a few months out of surgery to remove “balloons” in his chest. These growths squashed his lungs, reducing his ability to breathe by eighty-five percent. 

They sold the family house of almost forty years at 61  Hillcrest Avenue at Mona Vale there for five mill and bought a hunk of land at Tintenbar, five miles north-west of Ballina. 

“Buying some land, throwing a couple of shacks on it and moving dad up the coast so he can watch the grandkids and we can keep an eye on the old grommet,” Luke said at the time. 

An outpouring of love for Shane Stedman is ongoing on Luke’s post:

“This is amazing and well deserved!!!” Hayden Cox.

Dead Kooks, “A true icon.”

Bob Hurley, “Shaaaaaaane.”

Richie Lovett, “Legend!!”

Jake Paterson, “This is epic. Everyone loves Shane.”

Congratulations to one of the most authentically Australians alive.

Harrison Butker ruffling feathers while Kelly Slater (insert) forms opinion.
Harrison Butker ruffling feathers while Kelly Slater (insert) forms opinion.

World waits with bated breath for surf great Kelly Slater to weigh in on controversial Harrison Butker commencement speech

Direction required.

Nearly two weeks ago, the western world was brought to a standstill after Kansas City Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker delivered a commencement speech at a Catholic university wherein he posited that some of the graduating women would be happier having children than grinding it out in the workforce and referred to the most famous woman on earth, one Taylor Swift, as “my teammate’s girlfriend.”

Condemnation rained instantly from many corners, though surprising allies popped up almost just as quickly. Whoopi Goldberg expressed support on The View, stating, “Listen, I like when people say what they need to say. He’s at a Catholic college, he’s a staunch Catholic, these are his beliefs, and he’s welcome to them.” The staunch leftist and atheist Bill Maher shocked his audience on HBO’s Real Time saying, “I can’t express how much this guy is not like me. He’s religious. He loves marriage. He loves kids… And he’s now history’s greatest monster. Again, I don’t agree with much with this guy, but I don’t get the thing. He said… ‘Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world.’ Ok, that seems fairly, like, modern. ‘But I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.’ I don’t see what the big crime is. I really don’t.”

Hours ago, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend Travis Kelce expressed, “When it comes down to his views and what he said at Saint Benedict’s commencement speech, those are his. I can’t say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids. And I don’t think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life, that’s just not who I am.”

And now all eyes turn to Kelly Slater.

The world’s greatest surfer has never been shy about sharing his learned opinion on the widest array of subjects, from crypto currencies to simple joys of not voting and, now, his double-barreled thoughts on both traditional gender roles and free speech are required. But where do you think the 11x world champion will fall on the issues? Also, what do you imagine Joel Tudor feels?

Currently more questions than answers but, hopefully, Slater appears on a podcast soon and Tudor stops lashing deadbeat college graduates to focus on these broader issues.

Story. Develops.

Noa Deane competes in Shark Island Challenge,.
Noa Deane to headline Shark Island Challenge.

Marquee Volcom surfer Noa Deane to compete as bodyboarder in prestigious Shark Island Challenge

"With phenomenal skills on both the boog and the stand up, Noa Deane's ability is something to be admired and celebrated."

You’ll certainly remember the wild harangue Shaun Tomson laid on the marquee Volcom surfer Noa Deane a few years back.

Shaun was made sad by Noa’s famous “fuck the WSL” line at an awards show and thundered, “I’d love to big mouths like Noa Deane get a wildcard at ten-foot Pipe. I want to see Noa Deane with his big mouth come up against Italo Ferreira and let’s see what happens. 

“Let me tell you, the dude will be savaged! He will be cryyyyying… with his body… he will be flayed. The guy’s got a big mouth and never stops whining about the WSL. Let’s see that dude step up! People just let these dudes chirp. Step up and put up or shut up!”

Sadly for Shaun, Noa stomped world champ John John Florence in a heat at ten-foot Pipe. 

Noa Deane, who is twenty nine and described as “beautiful and fat”, is also the star of the James Kates film Munch, which you can watch here. 

But he ain’t just a biped dancer on fibreglass. Noa Deane can also split atoms supine on a four-foot long piece of foam, as evidenced by his invitation to compete at the Shark Island Challenge.


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A post shared by SIC2024 (@sharkislandchallenge)

Arguably possessing one of the most impressive multifaceted wave riding resumes on the planet currently, we are stoked to announce that @ilovetables has accepted his invitation to compete in 2024 @bodyboardkingdom Shark Island Challenge.

With phenomenal skills on both the boog and the stand up, Noa’s ability to read the unpredictable nature of the world’s varying oceanic conditions is something to be admired and celebrated.

Rarely does a piece of watery ocean meat 🥩, a phrase constantly used by the man himself when it comes to waves of consequence, go by in a session that Noa hasn’t successful torn into and stylishly devoured.

We now wait in anticipation to see what this controversial, yet warranted and deserved wildcard can muster up out the infamous rock shelf known as Shark Island.

Noa Deane, thrilled: “Never thought when I was booging froggies backwash as a Grom on my chapel O+E boog I would end up in the shark island challenge this is actually bonkers, thank you for this opportunity.”


Gordon Merchant and Billabong team in Hawaii.
Gordon Merchant, sandwiched between Parko and Occ, in front of the old Billabong house on the North Shore.

Octogenarian founder of Billabong Gordon “Greasy” Merchant ordered to pay $50 mill by Tax Office

A tricky game of wash selling and dividend stripping.

The eighty-one-year-old founder of Billabong, Gordon Merchant, has been slugged with a $50 million bill from the Australian Tax Office, which includes a six-ish mill fine, after advice he received from a company called EY to minimise his tax bill turned out to be, well, not so rock solid. 

From what I can glean from the finance press, Merchant, who let’s be historically fair is a significant player in not just the clothing game but surfboard design with his tucked-under edge rail, was advised to sell a wad of his Billabong shares to create a capital loss which he could offset against the terrific profits he made from from the $111 million sale of the bioplastics manufacturer Plantic Technologies back in 2015. 

Merchant was also advised to forgive fifty-five mill in loans to Plantic Tech to boost the sale price.

A tricky game of wash selling and dividend stripping.

So, here’s how it works!

In 2014, Merchant sells ten million of his Billabong shares for a little under six mill losing, on paper, almost sixty-mill.

Plantic gets sold for $111 mill the following year, the price inflated by the removal of the loans, Merchant’s tax bill gets reduced, and everyone’s real happy. 

Everyone except the tax office, who audits Merchant’s companies and increases his personal tax bill by $30.6 million. Two of his biz’s are assessed to owe a further $12.9 million and a $6.4 million penalty is thrown in for laughs. 

Merchant appealed the Tax Office’s decision in court and lost.

“I conclude that Mr Merchant’s participation in the [Billabong share sale] transaction was undertaken because it was recommended to him by EY as part of what EY considered desirable for the structure of the anticipated sale of shares in Plantic,” Justice Thawley wrote. “In particular because [it] would crystallise a capital loss which could be used against the capital gain which was anticipated to be higher by reason of the proposed forgiveness of the Plantic Loans.”

Merchant is now suing the company that gave him the bum advice.