Surfers go to aid of injured surfer at D-Bah
Surfers come to the aid of a fellow shredder, hurt after being speared into the shallow bank at Lovers. | Photo: @mrmysto

Dramatic scenes on Gold Coast as surfer suffers suspected spinal injuries after being “speared” into sandbank

“Good lesson no matter how comfortable you are surfing a wave, always have to be extremely mindful."

A surfer has been airlifted to hozzy after a dramatic rescue at D-Bah, that remarkable little beach around the corner from the southern GC points and which is actually in NSW, this morning after he was, by all accounts, “speared into the sandbank” on a two-foot wave at around 8:45.

The photographer Mr Mysto was there for the subsequent group rescue at the northern end of the beach on the bank in front of Lovers’ Rock there and describes it thus:

“A group of surfers immediately stabilised the surfer in distress and signalled to me there was a problem. I alerted emergency services calling the ambulance at 8:57 to assist with immediate care. It took over fifteen minutes for Rain Beach Surf Life Saving to stabilise the individual before safety transporting him to shore where ambulance personnel then conveyed him to the hospital.”

Spinal injuries in small surf are rare as hell although regular readers will recall recent back breaking wipeouts for slab hunters Dylan Longbotton, Harry Hollmer-Cross and Nathan Florence.

And, last year, the former top New Zealand pro Max Quinn was forced to crawl for twenty minutes in “intense pain” and get airlifted to  ICU after he belted his spine on one of the South Island’s heaviest waves.

“Good lesson no matter how comfortable you are surfing a wave, always have to be extremely mindful,” he said.

Kelly Slater goes surfing with baby at Surf Ranch
Kelly Slater and apparent new-born give hell to Surf Ranch.

Watch as Kelly Slater goes surfing, even riding the barrel, with baby strapped to his chest!

“This could be Kelly Slater's Michael Jackson-baby-dangle-off-the-balcony moment.”

Hot on the news that Kelly Slater has been gifted a lifeline to a twelfth world title, is footage of the champ apparently giving an infant the gift of barrel-riding. 

Kelly Slater, who is fifty-two, is filmed wearing a harness called a BabyBjörn, a type of baby carrier designed to carry infants and young children. 

(As readers of this site who are parents will attest, the BabyBjörn harness is indispensable as it allows parents to carry their babies in various positions, including facing inward, facing outward, and on their back, as they grow. I have so many fond memories of babies asleep on my chest as I strolled the beaches examining the state of sandbanks and the tides.) 

And, in the case of Kelly Slater, whose second child is due, well, the exact date hasn’t been publicly disclosed, however, the announcement was made in March 2024, so, considering the average human gestation period, it’s likely that the baby is due sometime in the summer of 2024, the device is used to carry a baby while he surfs.

In the short reel hosted on Red Bull producer Johnny Decesare’s Instagram account, Kelly Slater coolly takes the child on a first-hand tour of his famous made-made wave, Surf Ranch, riding the barrel and, at the wave’s end, even introducing him, or her, or they, it, to the never-gets-old pleasures of a throwaway air. 

“Could be Kelly’s Michael Jackson’s-baby-dangle-off-the-balcony-moment coming up,” writes one commenter although, I think, as one commenter correctly puts it, “some might say it’s a doll.” 

Do you think child alive or plastic?

If plastic, why?

If real, why not!


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A post shared by John Decesare (@johnny_decesare)

Kelly Slater wins 2013 Volcom Fiji Pro.
Kelly Slater, eleven years back, winning the Volcom Fiji Pro. | Photo: WSL

Surf tour change puts 52-year-old Kelly Slater on track for improbable 12th world title!

"Holding it at Lower Trestles year after year turned Finals Day into a low-stakes hostage situation."

It’s possible to agree, I think, on the following two matters as superficially contradictory as they may seem at a first pass.

One, the sudden-death Finals Day format is a terrific way to build the fevers of spectators and push surfers into hitherto unseen levels of performance. 

(Think Stephanie Gilmore, unbeatable, as she mowed through the top five to win an eighth world title and scramble Carissa Moore so hard the five-timer quit the tour shortly after.)

Two, holding Finals Day in weak southern Californian waves, even at spectator friendly and wildly high-performance Lowers, was always going to guarantee the cup to a small-wave specialist who would forever have to defend the legitimacy of his world crown. 

Surfing’s most important voice Matt Warshaw let his opinion known last year,

Finals Day belongs in Indonesia or the South Pacific or maybe Hawaii if you really need to baby out and stay close to home. It does not belong anywhere near Lower Trestles, and keeping it there year after year turns this thing into a low-stakes hostage situation. 

As fans, we’ve been frog-marched to Lowers. The pros, I’m guessing—apart from Toledo who lives in nearby San Clemente, is scared of big tropical reef waves, and knows Lowers better than you know the opening lines of your favorite Taylor Swift song—hate Lowers Finals Day even more than we do.

A little earlier today, the WSL announced its decision , starting in 2025, to shift the title showdown from Lowers to Cloudbreak.

The long overdue change to Finals Day will have a profound and lasting effect on the tour.

Toledo, for one, ain’t ever gonna win a world title ever again. 

And it opens the door not just for Jack Robinson and John John Florence but, incredibly, to an old man in his fifty-third year and three decades after he claimed the first of his eleven world titles. 

The road to Kelly Slater 12 needs a little grease, of course, wild cards, bigger than usual swells, and it’s improbable as all hell.

But, when has improbable stopped Kelly Slater? 

Cue, eight-to-ten-foot Cloudbreak, and the last meaningful swell of the 2025 season.

Who would bet against a man who’s been surfing Cloudbreak for almost forty years, whose artistry quivers even the limpest organ?

Dare you to dream?

Owen Wright, Cloudbreak
Owen Wright, a master at the Fijian outer reef. | Photo: WSL

Breaking: Cloudbreak to replace Lower Trestles as World Surf League Finals Day stop

Shouts of joy in most corners, bitter tears in the Toledo household.

The shock continues for surf fans, this morning, as the World Surf League has announced that Cloudbreak will replace Lower Trestles as “the crowner of champions.” The soft-ish San Clemente point-esque break had been “the decider” for the past three years, gifting small wave wizard Filipe Toledo back-to-back cups.

His run now guaranteed to end.

Per the press release:

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announces Cloudbreak, Fiji, as the location for the 2025 WSL Finals. The WSL Finals is the one-day, winner-take-all competition to determine the men’s and women’s World Champions at the end of the Championship Tour (CT) season.

The dates for the 2025 WSL Finals, as well as the full CT schedule, will be announced later this season after the Lexus WSL Finals in San Clemente, Calif.


“We are stoked that the World Surf League has chosen Cloudbreak, Fiji, as the venue for the 2025 WSL Finals,” said Brent Hill, CEO of Tourism Fiji. “Our waves and warm hospitality await surf enthusiasts from around the world. We look forward to showcasing Fiji as a world-class surfing destination. This event boosts our global visibility as well as uplifts communities and inspires our local surfers. Vinaka vakalevu, WSL, for recognizing Fiji as the ultimate destination for this event.”

Exciting days (starting in 2025).

Gabriel Medina (pictured) wondering why he will be in Tahiti not Europe.
Gabriel Medina (pictured) wondering why he will be in Tahiti not Europe.

Surf forecasting website reveals shock reason Olympic surfing to be conducted in Tahiti not Europe

"What is this madness?"

Where would we be without Surfline? The wave forecasting company, which began as a humble phone in line nearly 40 years ago, has truly changed what it means to be a surfer. In the past times, the aforementioned would have to drive around in order to see waves with their own eyes. The smarter set might figure out how to read meteorological data but most were lost in a caveman-esque cave of unknowing before going.

Now, surfers can merely log on to computers, pay a fee and be treated to live cameras of their favorite spots, spots that they might be thinking about visiting, even spots voyeuristically interesting but too intimidating to paddle. Like Teahupo’o for small wave Brazilian wizard Filipe Toledo, for example,

Well, as it happens, and as the surf fan certainly knows, the surfing component of the Olympics will be held at Head Place in mere weeks. It is the only event to be held outside of Europe and Surfline just revealed the shock reason why.

Per Passing The Torch: Why Teahupoo, Not Hossegor?

Kurt Korte is Surfline’s VP of Forecasting explains in straightforward terms, “France gets good surf, even epic surf like we saw last October at the Quiksilver Festival. The timing of the Olympics, however, isn’t ideal. The months of July and August are typically slower for surf because the dominant storm track over the North Atlantic retreats northward and weakens some during the summer months. This significantly lowers the chances of quality surf in France. So to maximize the chances of scoring good surf during the event window, Olympic organizers realized the best option was Tahiti.”

Stunned surf fans trying to decipher the meaning. Utterly confused as to why information on where and when swell arrive was factored in to a decision about competitive surfing.

Strange days.

Strange days indeed.