Sasha Jane Lowerson out and amongst it. Photo: Instagram
Sasha Jane Lowerson out and amongst it. Photo: Instagram

Transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson delivers bombshell after bombshell in stunning new Rolling Stone profile

"There’s one girl out there that opens your magazine and says, ‘She’s doing it. I can do it.’”

Sasha Jane Lowerson is a household name throughout this, our small and ofttimes backward surfing community. The celebrated transgender surfer, who was one of Australia’s leading male longboarders, even winning the men’s longboard division as Ryan Egan before transitioning four years ago and joining the women’s side of the draw, has crushed all-comers since. Lowerson has won many fans through her dominance, but also a small handful of detractors who question the fairness of it all.

Well, in a stunning new Rolling Stone profile, the strawberry blonde delivers bombshell after bombshell, detailing her wild journey. Amongst the most surprising bits, Sasha Jane Lowerson…

-Finds California much more supportive than Australia, declaring, “Even the middle-aged cis white guy [here] accepts me in the water. Whereas, generally, in Western Australia, it’s the polar opposite. Hopefully it changes.”

-Is a design genius, shaping a board called the “Shrimp Taco” which can “support a 250-pound rider and fits in the average car trunk.”

-Calls Rip Curl pulling its controversial ad featuring her “The biggest load of bullshit ever.”

-Is penning a memoir about the wild 1990s surf industry boom.

-Hopes to encourage others along the way, saying, “There’s one girl out there that opens your magazine and says, ‘She’s doing it. I can do it.’”

The thought of anyone, much less a young girl, finding a physical copy of Rolling Stone and being even remotely interested enough to open it is the kind of pie in sky dreaming that allows humanity to reach its perpetually new heights.

Utopia near.

Read in its entirety, online, here.

Dior releases first photos of Olympic ambassador surfer Carissa Moore ahead of Paris 2024 Games

"An invitation to continually push the boundaries of creativity in the name of passion and freedom."

Surfing champ Carissa Moore, the smiling Hawaiian girl with the hip swivels, hand stands, all the herky-jerky including an Olympic gold medal from Tokyo, and the the best thing since Kelly Slater was baptised, was signed a few months back by Dior to be one of its fifteen Olympic ambassadors.

Carissa Moore, of course, joined the exodus of retiring world champs earlier this year, with five titles on the shelf and the crushed dreams of two more sitting in bitter pieces at the bottom of her heart, although she would allow one more swing at Olympic gold.

Carissa’s manager told BeachGrit in January, “As the only surfer in the world to have attained multiple World Titles plus an Olympic Gold Medal, there isn’t a surfer alive who can lay claim to this unparalleled level of achievement.”

Now, Dior has released first photos of Carissa Moore, along with fourteen other Olympic athletes which also includes Jamaica’s five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah, U.S. soccer player Alex Morgan and Australia’s most decorated Olympian Emma McKeon, who has a stack of eleven medals in her treasure chest.

As you might already guess, Carissa Moore, with those eyes like ripe olives and the smile of someone who has gingerbread baking in the oven, is the belle of this particular ball.

We see the thirty one year old, limber as Haitian dancer, riding a billowing wave of hyacinth dyed silk, her surfboard a giant pair of scissors and dressed in Dior’s D-Unit boots, $2850, and a $6500 hooded anorak, cut in a technical taffeta jacquard, which forms part of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s soon-to-be-iconic collection.

Carissa Moore for Dior.
“As the only surfer in the world to have attained multiple World Titles plus an Olympic Gold Medal, there isn’t a surfer alive who can lay claim to this unparalleled level of achievement.”

The portraits of will go on show at Le Café Dior in La Galerie Dior at their in Paris from July 24 to Sept. 9.

“The exhibition is a celebration of surpassing performance and an invitation to continually push the boundaries of creativity in the name of passion and freedom,” Dior said.

Here, from earlier this year, Chas Smith reacts to Carissa, and Stephanie Gilmore’s, sudden retirement.

Emily Ratajkowski (pictured) not watching surfing.
Emily Ratajkowski (pictured) not watching surfing.

World Surf League in PR crisis after Joe Jonas, Anya Taylor-Joy and Emily Ratajkowski attend Monaco Grand Prix instead of Tahiti Pro

"Where have all our celebrities gone?"

This is, let us not forget, almost surfing’s grandest ever moment. The Paris Olympics are mere weeks away, now, and our Pastime of Kings™ will certainly be front and center. Oh sure, the City of Light boasts more beauty than almost anywhere on earth what with the Tour Eiffel, Cathedral Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre and Oscar Niemeyer’s Communist Party HQ but do any of them actually beat the Cave of Skulls?

Yes, the surfing portion of the Games will be conducted halfway across the world at Teahupoo and the second most picturesque wave in the world (after Mundaka) just so happens to be running the Tahiti Pro right now with swell theoretically on the way.

The World Surf League Public Relations Chiefs must certainly have been frothing at the mouth, bringing celebrities not named Kaipo Guerrero to the End of the Road in order to tease the lusciousness just ahead of Paris ’24 in order to sell organized professional surfing to the Saudis.


News, today, is that every celebrity, save the aforementioned Guerrero, is in Monaco for the Grand Prix.

Per the BeachGrit of popular culture TMZ:

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix got some of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest revving their engines … with actors, models and more rushing to Europe to watch the action.

Joe Jonas and Anya Taylor-Joy both put on their Sunday best for race day … while Academy Award winner Jared Leto looked downright tranquil with a peace sign up and his sheer shirt on.

Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski left little to the imagination in a barely there bra underneath a leather racing jacket … ready to model for the Formula 1 circuit any day now it seems.

Even littler could have been left to the imagination had Ratajkowski been bobbing in the Teahupoo channel.

Dirk Ziff, WSL owner and a billionaire, certainly angry.

Will he be able to position his holding for Saudi sale in time?

Can Joe Jonas bob?

More as the story develops.

Art or vandalism? Let Tom Carroll and Barton Lynch decide!
Art or vandalism? Let Tom Carroll and Barton Lynch decide!

Art commemorating Australian surf legend Bernard “Midget” Farrelly decried as vandalism by hippies and snowflakes

"It’s destructive, it’s likely to suffer wear and tear and depending on how subtle it is it may not be noticed at all!"

We live in charged times, as you know, but statues, or other public art, celebrating important surf figures have mainly been spared from wild polarization. Those both left and right appreciate the Duke Kahanamoku monument there fronting Waikiki and also the Kelly Slater one in Cocoa Beach. Yes, notable surf figure statues have a way of bringing us all together, or rather did until somebody carved an image of Bernard “Midget” Farrelly into a Sydney rock thereby breaking all hell loose.

But let us sally forth to Palm Beach where sides are dug in and dug in deep.

The piece setting everyone off was commissioned by Northern Beaches Council and produced by local stonemason Newton Bishop after “lobbying from the Midget Farrelly Recognition Committee (MFRC).”

Beautiful though some are calling it vandalism. A rage-filled mob descended upon the a shire forum, spewing things like, “Whilst my wife and I both support the idea of a sculpture commemorating Midget Farrelly, we are totally against defacing the rock. We believe this would be an act of vandalism to a natural rock which itself is a Palm Beach icon.”

And also, “I agree that Midget Farrelly should be recognised at Palm Beach, but carving a statue into the natural environment doesn’t seem the right way to do it. It’s destructive, it’s likely to suffer wear and tear and depending on how subtle it is it may not be noticed at all! Surely a sculpture/statue etc next to Black Rock would be a more appropriate memorial?”

The council tried to ameliorate the populace by declaring, “(The tribute proposal) is supported by world champions Kelly Slater, Layne Beachley, Tom Carroll and Barton Lynch.”

A who’s who, for certain, but tensions remain extremely high as none of the above are artists or environmentalists (save Lynch of course).

Where do you fall on the matter? Yay or nay?

Ready… fight!

Ryan Callinan (pictured) also filling up Kaipo Guerrero's love cup.
Ryan Callinan (pictured) also filling up Kaipo Guerrero's love cup.

Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina fill up Kaipo Guerrero’s love cup on day one of Tahiti Pro

A fine afternoon at the end of the road.

Well, friends, adjacent surfers, WSL fuck boyz, how was your break?

I’ve been very busy, winding down at work, obsessing over foiling, being on the cusp of a book deal, getting fit again, prepping to cycle to Germany to watch Scotland get humped at the Euros.

And all the while doing my level best to self-sabotage and ego trip my way to an inevitable implosion followed by the smoking embers of regret.

But all that’s a story for another day. Perhaps.

I’m feeling especially unhinged right now. I’m considering therapy. Who’d have thought.

I even went to a writer’s group. Don’t judge me. It was my first time, and I’m broadly cynical about these things. I only went because my friend is organising it, and he’s asked me to deliver one in a couple of weeks.

(Tickets available! Come learn how to be a shoe-gazing narcissist who can cry over light and trees but treats people like nuisance distractions in a swelling sea of self-important mussitation.)

But, dear reader, I confess to having enjoyed it.

For the first exercise we were asked to select an object from a box. I had arrived late, as I do, since it’s the first rule of pretending to be a writer. Everyone there was already scribbling furiously, etching their finest verbiage into the void. (Oh, to be a writer!)

The box was filled with natural objects: pale bones of driftwood; hollowed shells; pine cones, barren and seedless; green sprigs of ash, oak and willow.

And a rock.

I chose the rock.

And I wrote thus:

Pressure pocked. Shrouded with lines of time. A compression of history. This unearthed, stranded time. Brown grey glinting from somewhere before. Hints of sparkle (doesn’t everything?). Enviously unchanged. Solid. Without remorse or guilt; never late, jealous or unfulfilled. Chunked earth, dragged out of darkness and gasping for interred silence.

But still. Just rock.

And I share it with you because I think it gives some context to my frame of mind right now. And I think you deserve that.

Fucking writers groups.

I’ve got Beachgrit.

Amidst all this tumult it was nice to arrive in Tahiti, figuratively, obviously. I’m not Chris Cote. In fact I might be his antithesis.

Just an aside on Cote before I go any further (and to you, Chris, since I’m sure you’ll be reading from your tropical throne on WSL dime), how about asking some decent questions?

Like, I get John Florence is John Florence. We all love and respect him. But to ask “What does it mean to you to be here…etc” is demeaning to you and him. The What Does It Mean To You question should be eviscerated from a pundit’s pallet. It’s just a shit question, where the only possible answers are shit.

How about, why have you never won here, John?

Do you think you have what it takes to beat Kelly, Jack or Gabby here, John? Because your results suggest otherwise.

Who becomes favourite when the waves get to paddleable limit?

I hear you’re retiring, John. Is two world titles a fair indication of you as a competitive surfer?

Why do you persist with that junkie beard, John?

Anyway, that aside, Teahupo’o does make things a lot simpler, as I was saying.

Get your head down, take off late, get as deep as possible, get out unscathed.

Not a bad metaphor for how to live your life, really. Except few people have the god-given ability, Herculean work ethic or sheer luck to actually make it out, and that’s why we watch.

We watch for Kelly Slater, fifty-two years old, fresh out of retirement, treading the boards again and still searching for the encore. Yet here, at this wave, he still looks like he could match anyone.

He proved it today, out-jousting tube and spirit wrangler extraordinaire, Jack Robinson, and smoldering Moroccan, Ramzi Boukhiam, despite the latter having the best score of the heat.

But if Slater’s heat performance was adept, his post heat interview was equally so, with added incision. He was asked what he thought about the (much lauded) approaching swell event?

“A surf forecaster trying to sell ads”, he daggered.

In response and off camera, Cote was reported to be frantically washing his hands over the side of the boat, muttering “Out damn spot! Out!”

In heat one Ethan Ewing was run close by Seth Moniz, then John Florence won the second at half-cock.

The pace of these early heats made for fine entertainment and judges had their work cut out to keep up, especially in the early stages of Slater’s heat.

Kaipo and Jesse Mendes presided in the booth, uppers vs downers. An approach that can be highly effective in some scenarios but not suitable for everyone’s disposition.

Kaipo said that Tahiti “filled up his love cup”. A truly disgusting image, I thought.

Italo Ferreira stayed typically busy in heat four, notching eight scores and sending yellow jersey wearer Griffin Colapinto (just three waves attempted) to elimination.

The consistency of the swell ebbed as the day progressed, a fact best evidenced by Gabriel Medina notching only three wave attempts, his first coming with just eight minutes on the clock.

Of course this meant nearly twenty-five minutes of saccharine punditry vaunting Medina’s skill and achievements at Teahupo’o, whilst he bobbed, actionless.

But he finally put a mid-range score on the board for a mid-range wave, then another immediately after. It was enough to win, but post-heat he suggested they might have missed some early opportunities for more. One thing is for sure: Medina knows what he’s looking for here.

Despite the fading swell, Ryan Callinan found the best wave of the day with a 9.33 and heat victory over Liam O’Brien and Barron Mamiya. A deep take-off saw him backdoor the section before being spat out cleanly with hands back and low and a cleaner grin on his face. High nine all the way.

What might we see in the coming days?

Was this the lemon next to the pie, or simply hype to sell ads for surf forecasters?

We’ll know soon enough.

I’m off to run up a hill and look down from the summit at my life splayed out before me, just waiting to be fucked.