John John Florence (pictured) winning*
John John Florence (pictured) winning*

Clouds darken World Surf League sky as John John Florence nears third possibly tainted championship*

Tainted?

The departed but never forgotten disgraced former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan ushered in two important changes to the Championship Tour season during his time and, like him, both are funny to look at. In the middle of the year, we have the mid-season cull wherein hard-working dreamers are sent to unemployment lines. While I imagine the lack of fairness haunts those in the salt mines, a few lousy wave-starved CT heats ending years upon years of surfing lousy wave-starved QS contests, the surf fan rejoices at the spilling of blood.

At the end of the year, we have Finals Day wherein those who survived “The Chop” and have clawed into the top five get a chance to win it all at a playful cobblestoned chest-higher in Southern California.

Yes, Logan’s brainchildren have made for entertainment, certainly, but have also undermined the long-established faith in professional surfing as an honest and true sport. The new Finals Day format, for example, has robbed Carissa Moore of a title and hung an asterisks on the bigger wave averse Brazilian champ Filipe Toledo.

Karma, as they say, is my boyfriend.

And this year, we have John John Florence rounding into as fine a form as we have ever seen, competitively, as he heads into retirement. He is currently in the Great Wall Motors Yellow Jersey and looking to stack points upon points with a first round victory in El Salvador over LOB and Rosie Perez, vaulting him past the elimination round.

Florence will, very likely, head to Trestles number one, which means any challenger will have to beat him twice. A tall order. A tall order, that is, for anyone other than small wave wizard Filipe Toledo. If the Brazilian champion had not vacated the year, opting for a well-deserved mental health break, and entered the top five, he would be odds on favorite no matter where he ended.

Which begs the question. Will Florence’s almost inevitable third championship be festooned with a many pointed star?

*

What’s good for the goose is good for the goner, as they also say, and if Toledo’s championship is questioned due his terror of big, shouldn’t Florence’s also be questioned due his not beating the best small wave surfer at a small wave?

David Lee Scales and I discussed during our weekly chat and you should listen, mostly for the segment where it is revealed that the Grateful Dead was an evil CIA psy-op, but also weigh in below.

Does double J deserve an asterisks?


Former TV network boss and lifelong surfer Dave Gyngell sells never-lived-in apartment at Snapper Rocks for $5.1 million.
Dave Gyngell, lifelong surfer, former network boss, makes close to a mill after selling never-before-lived-in joint he bought off the plan in 2021.

Ex-TV network boss and surfer Dave Gyngell flips never-lived-in Snapper Rocks apartment for $5.1 million

Scoops up nearly a million bucks profit in “wipeout auction”…

The former TV boss and lifelong surfer Dave Gyngell, who famously went toe to toe with the owner of his station in a wild scrap on the streets of Bondi, has flipped his Snapper Rocks joint for five mill, almost a million bucks more than when he bought it off the plan for $4.2 mill in 2021. 

The big-wave shredder turned real estate agent Ryan Hipwood secured the deal for his pal in the first sale of the newly completed Awaken building with 360 degree views overlooking D-Bah, Snapper, Rainbow Bay and the semi-sorta mountains out west.

The buyer was “a mystery surfer” according to press reports although, as reported a few months back, it was cashed-up surfing super-daddy and beer baron Josh Kerr who blew the auction out of the water with his $5.1 million bid.

Josh Kerr, who is forty and daddy to the incredible one-day-she’ll-be-world-champ Sierra Kerr, parlayed a fortune made on the back of beer start-ups St Archer and Balter into the whole-floor apartment or “sky home” as realtors call ‘em. 

The joint spans almost three thousand square feet, has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and the sorta German engineered appliances (Gaggenau, if you’re wondering) that bring a perverse joy every time you pull open their heavy stainless steel doors.

As pretty as that sounds, and it is, real estate prices on the Gold Coast, which is pretty to look at but has a dark underbelly, are inflated to hell and, one day, the reckoning will come, as it always does.

Josh Kerr, of course, came to prominence seventeen years ago when he unveiled what would come to be called The Club Sandwich (courtesy moi) in a heat with Mick Fanning at Snapper Rocks. 


Logan (right) Crosby (insert) and "the message" (left).
Logan (right) Crosby (insert) and "the message" (left).

Former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan greets replacement’s first day on job by dragging seemingly lifeless dog across ground

"The barely veiled message all too clear."

The premium subscription surf blog Stab has posted an open letter to the newest World Surf League CEO Ryan Crosby behind its famed paywall thereby forcing him to sign up for the seven day free trial. There is no telling what the onetime edgy publication is suggesting Crosby should do or not do but it is likely all warmed over versions of things surf fans have long been begging for. Only the best venues, fewer surfers, Kaipo Guerrero elevated to lead voice etc.

The former video game public relations manager was bullish after his announcement as CEO became public nearly two months ago, declaring, “”I am deeply honored to join the World Surf League family. What I love about surfing is that it’s an incredible competitive sport, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a way of life, a passion, and a deeply committed global community. I am excited to leverage my experience to elevate the WSL brand, deepen our connection with fans, and continue building something that surfers can be proud of.”

A word salad not nearly as delicious as those regularly tossed by the man he replaced.

Surfing will never forget Erik Logan. The Oklahoman with a magic wetsuit of armor came in hot, as chief of the newly formed WSL Studios, which he failed into early submission before failing up to the top post. It was there that he changed the spelling of “great” to “gr8” in honor of surf champion Stephanie Gilmore and wore Filipe Toledo’s breast skin. Logan was unceremoniously fired when he traveled to last year’s Rio surf contest. The World Surf League issued one sentence announcing his departure and offered no reason or thanks. Rumblings that he made women on tour feel “uncomfortable” became whispered but the Cone of Silence remains, the aforementioned Stab’s chief Sam McIntosh refusing to plumb in a recent sit down though, in fairness, he was likely very busy writing a Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech.

In any case, Ryan Crosby officially began his job yesterday. Erik Logan ominously celebrated by dragging a seemingly lifeless dog across the ground.

#dogwalking #cozyisaboggieboarder #dog #training

The barely veiled message all too clear.

Ryan Crosby on notice.


Open Thread: Comment Live on Day One of the El Salvador Pro

Punta Roca Roll.


When Nick Carroll (insert) speaks, we listen. Photo: Instagram
When Nick Carroll (insert) speaks, we listen. Photo: Instagram

King of surf journalists openly declares that Filipe Toledo should give his Olympic spot to Italo Ferreira

"Italo... won the first surfing Olympics, battled with form and disillusionment, and just won the best contest since that title at Pipe."

When Nick Carroll speaks it is best to listen. The king of surf journalists, adroit surfer himself, brave, intelligent and brother of Tom, knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Carroll has been writing about this pastime of kings for the better part of five decades yet is as sharp as ever.

And moments ago, he added much gravitas to the growing sentiment that sitting World Surf League champion Filipe Toledo should vacate his slot on Brazil’s Olympic team so that Italo Ferreira can give it a crack. Taking to Surfline and discussing how Teahupo’o has changed, or hasn’t in the past ten years, Carroll penned, “Italo, well in that long decade, he’s come from poverty to a world title, won the first surfing Olympics, battled with form and disillusionment, and just won the best contest since that title at Pipe. Vahine’s now full-on favorite for the approaching Games at what’s pretty much her homebreak. Maybe Filipe should give Italo his spot.”

Mic dropped.

Only the most mentally slovenly surf fan is unaware that Toledo famously fails to paddle at Head Place and, if the waves are good, may well reprise his historic 0.00 heat total there or even that time he got out-surfed by not one but two geriatrics. It is, no doubt, a scary wave with a story of near amputation making the rounds today but Toledo is a champion with cat-like reflexes and lightly more is expected.

The timid lion was in Tahiti, ahead of the just-wrapped Pro won my Ferreira, “training,” as it were, for the Olympics but only shared a video of him not completing a baby barrel.

Again, I am holding out that Toledo is merely roping us all as dopes and will deliver one of, if not the, greatest sporting stories of all time by overcoming fear and mental anguish etc. to win gold.

Nick Carroll thinks otherwise.

To whom will the brave coward listen?

More as the story develops.