More Lexus in 2025.
More Lexus in 2025.

World Surf League quietly transitions from Rip Curl to Lexus amid longboarding’s transgender furor

“It’s fantastic to see professional surfing attract strong, global brands to this amazing sport.”

Regional professional longboarding is, once again, ground zero of the culture wars though who would have seen this coming a decade, or such, ago? That cross-stepping would be so… fraught? Likely not the World Surf League. Dirk Ziff, who purchased for free all of professional surfing nine-ish years ago, including high performance shortboarding, high performance longboarding, traditional longboarding and Guinness Book of World Records big wave attempts, merely thought that he was taking hold of a nascent sport with some upside.

Little did he know.

Well, amidst the current furor, the “global home of surfing” has quietly undergone a major transition itself. Rip Curl, a surf brand that has, itself, stumbled through the minefields of identity, used to be the title sponsor for the much-ballyhooed WSL Finals Day as well as the riot-prone US Open of Surfing. Shop-Eat-Surf is reporting, “The World Surf League said this week Lexus signed on to be title sponsor of what will now be the Lexus U.S. Open of Surfing and the Lexus WSL Finals in a move that will ensure the automaker’s presence in competitive surfing into the 2025 season.”

The industry website focuses, however, not on Lexus’s bold entry into the waters but, rather, Rip Curl’s fleeing. Company CEO Brooke Farris, trying to put a nice face on it all, said “We are very proud to have partnered with the WSL on the first three years of the WSL Finals. Together, we achieved record-breaking viewership, reach, and history-making moments for our sport.” Later adding, “It’s fantastic to see professional surfing attract strong, global brands to this amazing sport.”

Hmmmmm.

I suppose the World Surf League with is “record-breaking viewership, reach and history-making” is irresistible but questions remain. Will the transition cause rage?

Well?

Will it?


Transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson and American Longboarding's Todd Messick.
Sasha Jane Lowerson, left, pictured in Cordoba, Argentina after Facial Feminisation Surgery, and, right, American Longboarding's Todd Messick.

Following contest ban transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson asks, “Why do people hate me for existing?”

“Sasha Jane Lowerson just wanted to surf.”

A “battle” is raging in Huntington Beach, California, reports the LA Times after the transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson was, first, banned from surfing in the women’s div of a longboard contest, before the decision was overturned by the California Coastal Commission.

Last month, the founder of American Longboarder Todd Messick got wind that the celebrated transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson, who was one of Australia’s leading male longboarders, even winning the men’s longboard div as Ryan Egan before transitioning four years ago and joining the women’s side of the draw, had entered the HB Longboarding Pro.

Messick didn’t fuck around.

“Right now, we’re going to support biological males and biological females in their divisions respectively,” he said in a video posted online, which quickly earned four thousand likes.

“If you were born a female, you enter in the women’s. If you’re born a male, you enter in the men’s.”

He added, nothing personal to T-Girls but,

“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.”

Anyway, Messick’s dream of bio-gals only in the women’s div was overturned by the California Coastal Commission, with the LA Times’ Hanna Fry writing:

“Sasha Jane Lowerson just wanted to surf.”

And, now, Sasha Jane Lowerson, fresh from facial feminisation surgery in Cordoba, Argentina, has posted a lengthy screed on Instagram calling Messick’s decision “shameful and shady”.

As I walk my journey through the turmoil and the implications of people that want to spread misinformation, I’ve found myself wondering why? Just why to people hate me for existing!

I decided to enter a surfing event here in California that is due to run in a few weeks and unfortunately they have decided to cherry pick the ISA rule book. The organisers made a public announcement saying I wasn’t allowed to participate in the women’s division after I had already payed my entry fee a month earlier and even though Surfing America and ISA rule book states my inclusion in the women’s division is valid!

On March 9 2023 the international surfing Association released a formal and legal statement concerning the ruling of inclusion of people of diverse gender and mainly around transgender women to legally update the rule book. They had formally and legally declared the inclusion of people of diverse gender within surfing at an elite level prior in October 2022.

In this legal article in section 3.1 and .2 its states the requirements for a transgender woman to compete in the women’s division and I have met all those provisions for the last 3 & 1/2 years.

it really saddens me and actually sickens me when an organisation or a so-called league starts up and promotes events under the premise of for the better of the sport stating they will use the ISA rulebook and then they decide to just cherry pick what rules they want and don’t want to use.

It leaves me to believe that they would not stop at anything to let any rules slip or slide or adding anything they want to add in at any point of time if that’s the behaviour that they’re going to demonstrate from the beginning.

It’s pretty shameful and shady really!


VALs in Venice.
VALs in Venice.

Surf beginners experiencing toxic shock after massive sewage spill shuts down Venice Beach

"I was having so much fun going straight but then I saw it..."

One of the worst places to surf in all of Southern California is, without doubt, Venice Beach. The iconic strip, just south of Santa Monica and north of LAX, has much to do including rollerblading, breakdancing, purchasing marijuana accessories, observing men painted like robots acting like robots, eating hot dogs wrapped in bacon etc. but riding waves is not one of them. Venice is a magnet for waist-high straight-handers but that has not stopped the hordes of VAL whom have begun their soft-top journey in these the Covid and post-Covid days of our lives.

Alas, it appears their springtime zoom zoom is being strangled by gross. Per the LA Daily News:

According to the county Department of Public Health, roughly 14,400 gallons of untreated sewage spilled into the creek between Wednesday and midday Thursday, discharging into the ocean. The source of the spill was not immediately released.

Health officials issued a closure order directing people to avoid the ocean water and any wet sand on the beach one mile north and south of Ballona Creek. That encompasses an area stretching from the southern end of Venice Beach, through the Marina del Rey area and south through Dockweiler State Beach.

“The Department of Public Health will conduct water sampling beginning (Friday), and the closures will remain in effect until Public Health receives two sampling results indicating that bacteria levels meet health standards,” according to the agency.

Come for the hemp bracelets, stay for the cholera.

Baby yuck yucks.


Transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson.
The inspirational transgender surfer, and influencer, Sasha Jane Lowerson.

Love reigns supreme as Californian surf contest ordered to include transgender surfer Sasha Jane Lowerson in women’s division

"You can't cherry-pick the rulebook. If you're going to use the rulebook, you use all of it."

Two weeks ago, the founder of American Longboarding Todd Messick got himself a little heat, and plenty of support truth be told, when he said no to inspirational T-Girl Sasha Jane Lowerson competing at the Huntington Beach Longboard Pro.

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.”

“It’s really this simple,” said the skateboarder Taylor Silverman, who ain’t into T-Girls in women’s sports. “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.”

Now, Messick’s dream of only allowing biological gals to compete against each other has evaporated after The California Coastal Commission ruled surf competitions could “not discriminate based on gender”.

“I was really disappointed and surprised [by the decision not to allow T-Girls into the contest”,” Sasha Jane Lowerson, a robust forty-seven-year-old strawberry blonde with terrific arms who blossomed into chemical-induced womanhood in 2020, told the BBC. “You can’t cherry-pick the rulebook. If you’re going to use the rulebook, you use all of it.”

One year ago, the World Surf League opened the door for transgender women to compete at the highest level despite Kelly Slater arguing for a “trans-only division.”

A few caveats.

You had to’ve been a gal for at least twelve months and your male hormone levels gotta be real low ie less than 5 nanomoles per liter continuously for the previous 12 months (biological men hover between 10 and 35, bio-gals under three), although the WSL said it wasn’t testing, instead relying on each athlete to supply their own supporting documents.

Messick says he was “surprised by the anger” following his post but also, “What I found too is that there was a lot of people very appreciative of me speaking up. For me, I was trying to do the right thing. It wasn’t something I ever expected to have to deal with really, not in our little longboard community.”


Brendan Tighe (pictured) mid flight.
Brendan Tighe (pictured) mid flight.

Surfer famous for swan dive off murderous beast saves drowning man

Heroes aren't born...

Now, the name Brendan Tighe may not be quite household, yet, but it is well on the way to being so, at least in our ever-shrinking surf world. The New Jersey native made headlines last year when he swan dove from the lip of a very cold and murderous beast into the void.

You must watch here.

“I guess you could say I’m an under-the-radar guy, I try to stay in my lane,” the Springsteen-esque looker told Surfline at the time. “If you catch me on a three-foot day, I’ll look like anyone else. I don’t wiggle well, I’d be a first round clown in any contest, and I can’t really do airs. But if the waves are big, I can go out there and do my thing: tubes and cutbacks.”

Well, Tighe is back in the headlines, this time for saving a drowning man. He was out surfing Belmar, just south of the Stone Pony, when he heard a loud yelling. Turning over, he beheld a man trying, but failing, to swim.

Taking to Instagram, he explained:

Today, 3 minutes into my session at a wave I never surf, I heard someone screaming for help significantly far from me. paddled 200 yards out and over from the jetty I was surfing to a nearly unconscious/hypothermic man floating on his back.

He was drifting out to sea without a wetsuit and not swimming. Knowing he was frantic/near unconsciousness, I put space between him and myself. This was to create distance and avoid being pulled under by an adrenaline fueled drowning victim. I detached my leash and swam my board into his arms, remaining 5 feet away and keeping my board between us.

I helped him hold my board perpendicular to his body to keep space and allow him to rest, but because of the water temperature his body was not regulating. After swimming/pulling the board and him in keeping the space, we were caught in the same (minimal) high tide rip that pulled him out in the first place.

To adjust: I loudly/assertively told him not to touch my body and put him in the classic prone position on the board, swam out and around and pushed him in swimming behind him and pushing the tail, away from his body, while making sure he stayed on the back half the board (nose up) to reduce drag.

We made it safely to the beach where Belmar EMS, Police & the USCG took over and I removed myself from the situation.
He is cleared and will be OK.

Surfers: it may not be our responsibility to be lifeguards, but having the skill and being in the right place at the right time can save someone’s life.

The heroics were captured on the aforementioned Surfline rewind cam where all good and bad deeds live forever.

Bravo, Brendan Tighe.

Bravo.