Surf journalist (pictured0 trying to hold it together. Photo: Owen Tozer
Surf journalist (pictured0 trying to hold it together. Photo: Owen Tozer

Surf journalist has heart soar, then crash, after being teased with Kelly Slater approval


Now, I’ve always looked askance at those folk who glow after receiving some positive word from Kelly Slater. A comment, say, on a social media feed or a stray bit of conversation while the greatest surfer ever goes hither or thither. These folk suddenly transform, shaking, glee bubbling up in hearts that is generally followed by a gushing bit of praise for the 11x champion.

“Pshaw,” I mutter to myself. “Who cares. He’s only flesh, blood and professional surfing singlet. No different than Brett Simpson or CJ Hobgood, really.”

Last night, though, everything changed as my own heart bubbled with glee. For you certainly read the piece Wall Street Explodes as “Age-Defying Biohacker” Kelly Slater Introduces New Skincare Line which introduced Freaks of Nature to the BeachGrit community. While it was very well crafted, thoughtful etc. I did not except much from it and so when a “thank you” from the firm managing Freaks of Nature roll-out popped into my inbox, I was lightly surprised.

Surprise turned to a giddy flush when I read the first line.

“Thank you SO much for the wonderful feature on Freaks of Nature’s launch. The team, including Kelly, is THRILLED!”


Kelly Slater is THRILLED?

I immediately responded, trying to breathe evenly and control myself, penning, “Are you sure Kelly is thrilled?”

I did not hear anything back but crazy gonna crazy and I could not help but imagine a future just over the horizon where he and I were friends. My dreams, that night, were positively technicolor. It was me, sitting in the Surf Ranch hot tub instead of Selema Masekela, eating rich protein bars and phone ringing. Having Derek Rielly rummage through my plus-sized clothing, answer and having it be Slater on the other end.

Alas, this morning all was dashed when clarification from the wonderful PR maven reading, “Yes – the team is happy with the piece.”

No “including Kelly.”

A heavy crash landing in reality.


Tyler Wright (pictured) showing timid Filipe Toledo how it's done.
Tyler Wright (pictured) showing timid Filipe Toledo how it's done.

Timid surf champ Filipe Toledo under major pressure after Tyler Wright, Molly Picklum open up about “beautiful, raw” but terrifying Teahupo’o

Time running out to move through stages of acceptance.

Two-time World Surf League champion, and LBTQ+ icon, Tyler Wright is currently sitting 8th on the leaderboard, as the tour swings across the blue ocean and to Tahiti for stop number six. The Mouth of Skulls will host the greatest surfers on earth from May 22 through 31 for the Shiseido Tahiti Pro with surf fans around the globe primed and ready to open thread: comment live. The spectacle will, of course, be a preview of the coming summer Olympics when international sport fans will join in and be awed by the ocean folding in half, flashing its power.

Teahupo’o is, without doubt, one of the most striking waves in the world and Wright, who will be competing for Team Australia in July, opened up about her terrors in a wide-ranging new interview.

“Teahupo’o is a massive wave of consequence. It’s beautiful, it’s raw and it’s a wave where you don’t want to find out the consequences. You want to go in with a really humble and respectful approach to mother nature and what she produces,” she told The Guardian’s Martin Pegan.

She continued, “More than likely I’m going to be scared, but it’s being honest with that and sticking to what’s important for me in that opportunity, that’s all I can ask for myself.”

Admitting fear, of course, a fine and necessary final step in overcoming strife and while Wright will not be a favorite, what with teammate Molly Picklum and American’s Carissa Moore plus Caity Simmers in the draw, speaking truth will certainly be of great service.

Picklum, a fierce barrel rider who has tossed herself over the ledge and into history this year also declared, “Tahiti is a pretty scary wave. Our surfing team is really strong and this team is ideal for this location – the boys and Tyler are such good barrel riders, and this wave is all about barrel riding.”

The ball, now, squarely in timid surf champ Filipe Toledo’s court.

The 29-year-old, who took the year off ahead of the Olympics, will be representing Brazil at “the end of the road.” Unlike Wright and Picklum, though, Toledo has steadfastly refused to paddle into any wave of consequence. Also unlike them, he has taken a defiant stance as it relates to his historic 0.0 heat totals and being out-surfed by two geriatrics.

With less than three months until the torch is lit, will the brave coward have enough time to move through the five stages of acceptance and the possibility of not embarrassing his country on live television? Toledo currently finds himself somewhere between denial and anger. He sill must conquer bargaining and depression before arriving at the truth and putting himself in a position to overcome his fear.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Or is this still all part of his master plan?

Big if true.

Jake and Callum Robinson, killed in Mexico
Jake and Callum Robinson, killed alongside their buddy Jack Carter Rhoad in Baja California.

Police carjacking theory for killing of three surfers in Mexico “makes no sense and is deeply disturbing” say sources

“My guess is (the three surfers) were mistakenly identified as a rival criminal organization and murdered."

Last week, the bodies of Western Australian surfer brothers Jake and Callum Robinson, and their San Diego buddy, Jack Carter Rhoad, were found dumped in a fifty-foot well in Baja, California, four miles from where they were shot dead and their tents burned.

Baja’s chief state prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez told press the alleged killers “approached with the intention of stealing their vehicle and taking the tires and other parts to put them on the older-model pickup they were driving.

“When they (the foreigners) came up and caught them, surely, they resisted. And these people, the assailants, took out a gun and first they killed the one who was putting up resistance against the vehicle theft, and then others came along and joined the fight to defend their property and their companion who had been attacked, and they killed them too.”

Now, a new theory has emerged with sources telling the New York Post the Mexican cops’ version of events was “deeply disturbing.” 

“Basically, the reasoning of them being carjack victims gone wrong makes very little sense. These surfers were well traveled and would most likely know better than to try to fend off a truck jacking,

“My guess is they were mistakenly identified as a rival criminal organization and murdered. That being exposed would create an ongoing investigation that no cartel wants to deal with and would create a devastating impact on tourism in the area.”

Life is cheap in Mexico and death is delivered with insouciance. Last year 111,916 souls were disappeared, with an extraordinary 403,000 people killed or missing since 2006.  

Eight years ago, two Australian surfers, Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, were killed in mainland Mex, their burnt-out corpses found in their surf van.

The US State Department has been advising tourists to stay out of Baja Mex since last August.

“Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery, is widespread and common in Mexico. Use toll roads when you can and do not drive alone or at night. Be extra cautious when visiting local bars, nightclubs or casinos. Do not show any signs of wealth (i.e. jewellery, etc). Be vigilant around banks and ATMs.”

Three people, Jesús Gerardo Garcia Cota, his partner Ari Gisel García Cota, and brother Cristian Alejandro Garcia have been arrested over the disappearance of the surfers, although no one has yet been charged with murder. 

Shane Dorian and Anthony Walsh, double tube.
The best tube riders in the biz melted over the short clip.  “Wow absolutely insane,” wrote Cloudbreak’s patriarch Jon Roseman. 

Shane Dorian stuns with double tube POV footage alongside “gorilla chested” Anthony Walsh

“One of the most memorable waves I’ve ever shared,” says Shane Dorian.

The big-wave superstar Shane Dorian, whom you’ll remember from his epic debut on BeachGrit in 2014 where he instructed readers on how to catch a twenty-foot wave and discussed what it’s like to have an infant deer die in your arms, has stunned with his double tube POV footage alongside Australian Anthony Walsh. 

“One of the most memorable waves I’ve ever shared. In the wild Australian desert with my buddy @anthony_walsh_ for a @gopro trip. We tried this a few times but this was the one that worked best.” 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Shane Dorian (@shanedorian)

The best tube riders in the biz melted over the short clip. 

“Wow absolutely insane,” wrote Cloudbreak’s patriarch Jon Roseman. 

Two of my favorite surfers and humans on that wave. Epic!! wrote Canadian surf sensation Erin Brooks, whose five seconds of tube riding glory at Snapper Rocks earned the teenager a gilded chair in the palace of surf history.

Peter Mel, “That thing blew away our Eddie share. Geez!!”

The Australian-born, Hawaii-living surfer Anthony Walsh, a man with a gorilla chest and unwashed straw hair who will ride the tube behind Laird at Teahupoo for a clip, is the screw foot you see in frame. 

Anthony Walsh has long been a favourite of BeachGrit, his paddler’s perspective of big Cloudbreak in 2018 viewed twenty million or so times on YouTube.



Kelly Slater (pictured) being a freak of nature.
Kelly Slater (pictured) being a freak of nature.

Wall Street explodes as “age-defying biohacker” Kelly Slater introduces new skincare line

Freaks of Nature.

Kelly Slater is many things including, but not limited to, rolling stone, 11x world surfing champion, Pipe Master, Pro Pipeline, creative genius behind turtle moon sandals, Purps, surfboards that don’t work as well as others and now, thrilling Wall Street, the brains behind a new skincare line.

Per the press release:

Reaching out to you first to share news of a very exciting (read: top secret) lifestyle brand launching from age-defying biohacker + surfing legend Kelly Slater. Enter: Freaks of Nature.

Debuting to the world on May 7th, Freaks of Nature introduces the world’s cleanest, highest performing daily system to strengthen + protect the skin barrier from Mother Nature’s fury. Combining hi-tech form with function, Freaks of Nature is strengthening + balancing the skin microbiome with two stellar products at launch:

Deep Dive Moisturizer, $48

A high-tech natural moisturizing serum gel to build your barrier and balance the skin microbiome with a novel post-biotic bacillus ferment with a prebiotic effect, to enhance the skin microbiome and brown algae extract to boost collagen and hydrate the skin.

Daily Defender Sunscreen, $35

An essential SPF30 mineral sunscreen with plant-based water resistance and formulated with B-Silk™, biofabricated vegan spider silk, a microbiome-friendly biofilm to create an extra layer of protection against environmental stressors.

Slater sat down exclusively with People magazine and stated, “I was looking for a good SPF that would last a long time [but] I’m really particular about what I use.”

The editorial team at The Inertia is rumored to be taking the day off to bathe in vats full of Slater.

I don’t know where you can buy.

But leave it to PR teams, now I do. Right here.

Not sorry anymore.