Turtle Bay Hotel to be rebadged as Ritz-Carlton.
The tired, but majestic as hell, Turtle Bay Hotel, a little way north of the seven-mile miracle.

North Shore resort where surf icon was murdered changes hands for $680 million, rebrands as Ritz Carlton

Tired ol gal built in 1972 as Del Webb's Kuilima Resort Hotel & Country Club and host to pivotal moments in surf history to get new name!

There is no other hotel on the surf circuit as storied as the Turtle Bay Hotel, a tired ol gal built in 1972 and launched as the grandiosely named Del Webb’s Kuilima Resort Hotel & Country Club a little way out of the seven-mile miracle on the Kam Highway. 

So many gorgeous memories. Hazy dreams of the Mai Tai, similar to Namotu Island’s infamous Skulldragger, that renders its owner drunk before the bottom of the tumbler is sighted; a dear pal paying five hundred bucks for a room so he could attempt to seduce a Mormon gal, a fifteen-hour marathon that began at Waimea Bay, through the Turtle Bay hot tub (and Mai Tais) and ended with the reward of a brief moment of digital pressure atop modest cotton underwear; driving back to the Pipe House after Mai Tais, windows down, music roaring, waking up the next day to find car driven into tree outside the joint, windows still down, music cranked to the stars. Dancing all night with athletic T-Girls after ASP banquet etc.

More significant moments include the Bustin Down the Door saga where the Aikau family visited the baseball bat-wielding Rabbit Bartholomew, Ian Cairns and co at the Kuilima apartments that surround the resort to defuse their war between the trash-talking Aussies and South Africans and the locals. 

And, if we’re to believe the research of writer Andy Martin, the place where the 11th Earl of Coventry and high-profile British pro surfer, Ted Deerhurst, was found dead in the tub of his condo, murdered at the behest of a shadowy North Shore gangster.

In Surf, Sweat and Tears, the epic life and mysterious death of Edward George William Omar Deerhurst, buy here etc, we find Deerhurst, besotted by a Honolulu stripper to the point where he loses his mind over her, and even when he’s warned away by a nicknamed “Pit Bull”, he keeps coming back.

Deerhurst wants to marry his stripper, and he winds up breathing his last breath, in an empty bath tub.

In SST, Martin talks to a man who found the royal’s body.

“Dan got back to 100 East Kuilima around 7:30 pm. The house was quiet…Ted was in the bath. He was naked. And he was dead. But he hadn’t been having a peaceful bath and sailed away into the great beyond. Something violent had happened to him. There was no water in the bath for one thing… Ted is face down in the bath with his legs sticking out at the side. He is not breathing. His lips have turned blue and rigorous mortis has set in. There is blood in the bath. There is a “contusion” (as it says in the report) at the back of his head. And there are injuries to his face too: cuts on his nose, a black eye. He looks, prima facie, as if he has been beaten up. But, say the price, Ted beat himself up.”

The Turtle Bay is also the sight of Kalani Robb’s scene-stealing cameo in Forgetting Sarah Marshall 

Anyway, the joint has been sold for three-quarts of a billion dollars to Host Hotels and it’ll be rebranded as a Ritz-Carlton. 

James F. Risoleo, President and Chief Executive Officer, said,

“We are thrilled to enter into an agreement to acquire Turtle Bay Resort, which will further expand and diversify our already strong presence in Hawaii. Oahu is a high demand leisure destination with consistently high occupancy, an internationally diverse demand base, and high barriers to entry, resulting in slightly negative supply growth historically and essentially no anticipated near-term supply. In addition, because of the Resort’s recent transformational renovation, we do not expect meaningful capital expenditures in the near term. We look forward to working with employees and local partners to build upon the Resort’s preeminent position on the North Shore of Oahu.

For a little overview,  

The Resort is situated in a unique location on 1,180-acres on the North Shore of Oahu with five miles of beach and coastline views. It features 450 rooms, all with ocean views, including 42 bungalows with direct beach access, a separate check-in, and a private pool. Other amenities include 18,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, a club lounge, six food and beverage outlets, seven retail spaces, a spa, fitness center, two golf courses, seven beaches, four resort pools, tennis and pickle ball courts, an equestrian center, a working farm, and access to 12 miles of oceanfront trails. The 49-acre oceanfront Land Parcel is entitled for development, and similar to the Company’s strategy at other properties, Host intends to enhance its value over the long term.

Nate Yeomans (left) and Zachary Quinto (right). Or wait...
Nate Yeomans (left) and Zachary Quinto (right). Or wait...

Surf legend Nate Yeomans under fire after doppelgänger Zachary Quinto banned from Toronto restaurant for acting like “entitled child”

"Mr. Quinto, take your bad vibes somewhere else, we have many lovely celebrities join us at Manita but you are NOT one of them."

Now there is looking like someone and then there is Zachary Quinto looking like Nate Yeomans. The actor famous for bringing Spock back to life in the second to most recent Star Trek reboot, aged 47, is the spitting image of the San Clemente screwfoot and must regularly have to disappoint autograph seekers that he is not, in fact, Big Deluxe.

As evidence play the very popular party game “Is it Nate Yeomans or is it Zachary Quinto?”

Well, there may well be trouble in the Yeomans house now that his doppelgänger has been banned from a fancy Toronto restaurant for acting like an “entitled child.” Apparently, the thespian attempted to go to Manita, which bills itself as a “Mediterranean-ish bistro” but lost the plot when he could not get seated. According to Manita’s Instagram page, which openly declared, “Zachary Quinto – an amazing Spock, but a terrible customer…”

And went on to explain:

Yelled at our staff like an entitled child after he didn’t reply to two texts to inform him his table was ready and refused to believe the empty tables in the dining room weren’t available for him despite being politely informed they were spoken for. Made our host cry and the rest of our brunch diners uncomfortable.

Mr. Quinto, take your bad vibes somewhere else, we have many lovely celebrities join us at Manita but you are NOT one of them.

The offending party has not yet explained his side of the story but the damage might already be done for the Yeomans. Imagine that they are in Toronto right now, Nate carrying some Lost surfboards, and they get the itch for some Mediterranean-ish food. Imagine they check in with the server and BAM. Rejected.

It’s the sort of thing that can damage for years.

Making a host cry is heavy, though.

Do you have any experiences doing such? Or been on the receiving end, hot tears streaming down cheeks whilst Matt Biolos glowers?

While you are thinking, please enjoy Yeomans’ part from Nobody’s Heroes here.

Smoking and gun play not included in rankings but would have pushed Florida to 100 of top 100 most dangerous beaches in US. Photo: Spring Breakers.
Smoking and gun play not included in rankings but would have pushed Florida to 100 of top 100 most dangerous beaches in US. Photo: Spring Breakers.

Shock in Sunshine State after Florida accounts for the entire top 25 most dangerous beaches in the USA

Shark attacks, hurricanes, dangerous rip currents oh my!

There are records and then there are RECORDS. Like, Sebastian Steudtner riding the biggest wave in the world is a record. Florida accounting for 100% of the top 25 most dangerous beaches in the United States of American is a RECORD and one that should be properly honored here.

The list was compiled by California criminal defense and personal injury law firm Simmrin Law Group maybe rising some questions of fairness but not rising them enough to dwell upon. According to their “experts,” hurricane strikes, shark attacks and “surf zone fatalities” were taken into consideration.

“While shark attacks often grab headlines, Florida’s beaches rank so high due to the ever-present hurricane risk,” Michael Simmrin, of Simmrin Law, told Fox News. “Hurricanes create dangerous rip currents and storm surge, raising the overall risk for beachgoers. With summer approaching and vacations on the minds of many Americans, this study shows the importance of putting safety first when considering a trip to the beach.”

Thus, without further ado:

1 New Smyrna Beach, Florida – 76.04

2 Panama City Beach, Florida – 67.75

3 Daytona Beach, Florida – 60.01

4 Miami Beach, Florida – 47.78

5 Cocoa Beach, Florida – 46.35

6 Ormond Beach, Florida – 41.57

7 Ponce Inlet, Florida – 41.54

8 Indialantic Beach, Florida – 41.02

9 Melbourne Beach, Florida – 40.92

10 Miramar Beach, Florida – 40.63

Numbers 11 – 25 more of the same.

But do you think Kelly Slater is sad that his Cocoa Beach is so deadly or do you imagine that is part of what gave him the strength to paddle over the ledge at dangerous waves like Head Place? While Brazil’s beaches were not included in this important study, I wonder where Ubatuba ranks?


In any case, raise a Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout to our Floridian friends.


Australia's Mick Fanning free to enjoy the Maldives. Photo: Instagram
Australia's Mick Fanning free to enjoy the Maldives. Photo: Instagram

Wave-rich Maldives bans Israeli surfers from crystalline barrels

The fog of war.

Israeli surfers with dreams of becoming deeply enveloped by crystalline barrels whilst, afterward, enjoying top-of-the-line lobster eggs benedicts were dealt a harsh blow this morning as wave-rich Maldives declared them not welcome. President Mohamed Muizzu, through his spokesman, shared that he has, “resolved to impose a ban on Israeli passports.”

Israel’s foreign ministry, feeling tit-for-tattish, said that Israeli surfers didn’t really want to go to the Maldives in the first place and if any are accidentally currently there, “it is recommended to consider leaving, because if they find themselves in distress for any reason, it will be difficult for us to assist.”

The move is the latest in a series designed to squeeze Israeli surfers over frustrations with the ongoing war in Gaza. Last month, Turkey banned the import and export of goods to and from Israel. Media reports suggest it has resulted in significant shortages of Turkish surf changing towels and robes, considered the best for softness and durability.

On Friday, the French noted that Israeli companies would not be allowed to have a booth in the Eurosatory Arms Fair in Europe. It is unclear in the ban will extend across the Atlantic to Surf Expo.

Official data from the first four months of this year has shown the number of Israeli surfers visiting the Maldives is already down 88%. While restrictions are generally unchill, the lack of Israeli surfers in lineups is quietly being celebrated with some hoping bans on Russian surfers, Brazilian surfers and surfers from Australia’s Gold Coast not named Paul Fisher will follow.

Paul Fisher is a universal good time.

The Cadet and the Surfer, Rick Rasmussen
The opening spread of the NY Mag Rick Rasmussen story, The Cadet and the Surfer: "A pistol fired once, and a young man with blond hair and blue eyes crumpled to the sidewalk. As he slipped into unconsciousness, his girlfriend jumped out of the Mercedes and started to scream. Lights began to flick on in the tenements that line this block in Harlem. The girl kept screaming over the still form of Rick Rasmussen, of Westhampton Beach, Long Island, the former surfing champion of the United States."

Why do surfers continue building the highest pedestals to the biggest screw-ups? 

Rick Rasmussen, Bunker Spreckels, Miki Dora etc.

Had the late Rick Rasmussen been 5′ 5″ and weak-chinned with a Stanley Tucci hairline, he’d be little more than a tragic surf-world footnote.

But that very much was not the case. 

Rick charged out of Westhampton, NY, like a forgotten Marvel Universe character, like Long Island Thor, chiseled and grinning, charisma levels set to 11, blond hair waving off his teenaged shoulders as he won the 1974 US Championships at Cape Hatteras, and still waving a few months later while emerging from the crypt-end of what was probably the deepest and heaviest wave of the year at Pipeline. 

“The lip was thicker than I was tall,” Rasmussen told Surfing magazine, parting ways with modesty as easily as he’d parted ways with high school during sophomore year. “I didn’t know what was gonna happen, then the spray shot me out of the end, and there was Gerry Lopez, paddling out, and his eyes were bugged!”

Those were the twin peaks of Rick Rasmussen’s surfing career. Six years later, in the summer of 1982, he was gunned down at close range during a botched 3:00 AM cocaine deal in northwest Harlem, one week before he was to be sentenced for selling heroin to an undercover policeman, and 10 months after he began working as a DEA informant. 

Rasmussen had never quite made the jump to pro surfing—in 1977, the only year he put in a real effort, he finished the WCT season at #47. He meanwhile didn’t have the patience or business talent to scale up his popular but more or less backyard Clean and Natural Surfboards label.

So he imported and sold drugs instead, and used as well, and while it’s not clear exactly when he started down that road—1978 is a good guess—by 1980 he was all in, dressing the part, Rolex and Mercedes, flashy and speedy one day, sloppy and nodding off the next, not much in control either way and very much a danger to himself and those around him. 

“He was the sort of guy you didn’t want to know,” pro surfer and writer Derek Hynd later said, “and didn’t want to meet.” 

Semi-notorious filmmaker and quote-machine Mike Oblowitz, a man addicted to these kinds of surfers the way Rasmussen was addicted to China White, was even blunter: “[Rick] was a fucking raging heroin addict drug dealer who got shot in the drug deal gone wrong.” (Oblowitz, it should be noted, never met Rick in person and insists that we @ him on Instagram as “shakespeare of surfing,” so let’s add a rock-sized grain of salt to that one.)

Tragic, like I said up top, any way you want to frame it.

Rasmussen came to my attention this week because I hear that there’s an outside chance that Emmy-winning producer Paul Taublieb (Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau) will make a documentary based on “The Cadet and the Surfer,” a 1981 New York Magazine article by Pulitzer Prize finalist Michael Daley. 

This news fanned the embers of an argument I’ve been having with myself for 20 or so years, and always starts with some iteration of: Why do we continue building the highest pedestals to the biggest fuck-ups? 

Rasmussen, Bunker Spreckels, Miki Dora, etc. These days, yes, we are more likely to point out the mess these surfers created, their terminal flaws, the bad choices made, the wreckage and harm. 

But there never seems to be a character deformity big enough, or a fallout blast-zone wide enough, that we can’t get past it so that we may again view the person in question as an outlaw hero. 

Surfer’s Journal ran an eight-spread profile on Rasmussen in 2017, for example, and I’m looking at a full-page close-up of him in what might be described as Tony Montana casual mode, with gold necklace and shades, feathered coif and disdainful middle-distance stare. 

Knowing what’s coming for Rasmussen a year or so down the road—even if we don’t know what is coming, actually—it strikes me as a portrait of self-betrayal. 

Surfer’s Journal doesn’t see it that way. The caption reads: “Credit Suisse medallion, tortoise-shell Carrera shades, Björn Borg signature model Fila shirt—this is what a baller looked like, circa 1980.” 

I’ve read that a few times, hoping to catch an ironic glint, a wink, but nope, nothing, and it breaks me a little to think that even the adults among us, the upscale surf magazine readers, are getting a rearview charisma hit from this doomed downbound New York surfer-turned-courier.

Then the argument flips.

Because I understand completely how a limited but well-aimed and presented version of a super-gifted person can hit us in a certain way, at a certain time—when we’re kids, basically—and change us forever. Sam Hawk high-lining a Second Reef bomb on Huge Monday. Miki Dora knocking Valley kooks down at Malibu like bowling pins, then getting paid by SURFER to pen-whip the surfing establishment. 

Rick Rasmussen winning not just the US Men’s title at Hatteras in 1974, but the Kneeboard division as well, for kicks, for added flex, because on that day, at that place, Raz was totally unstoppable. 

As a kid, what more did I want from these surfers? I was in a trance. Surfing was church; I was the solemn grade-school acolyte slow-marching toward the altar, swinging the incense ball. I ate the wafer of Hawk, and Dora, and Raz, and gave thanks.

That means a lot. 

My first take on those surfers can be amended, adjusted, self-contravened, but not erased. Fuck-ups they may be, but they are my fuck-ups—my surfing relatives. Part of me will always appreciate what those surfers, and many others like them, bestowed upon me. I was never going to missile-launch out of a Pipeline tube and make Lopez go bug-eyed, but my blond hair was just as long and Viking-perfect as Rick’s. 

Anyway, I go round and round like that, which bothers me cause I never quite settle. We want things to be simpler then they are. I want to be more like Rasmussen’s friend and surfing partner Joe Albers, mentioned briefly in the Surfer’s Journal article, who more or less shrugged when asked about Rick’s legacy: “He got a lot of people into surfing. He also got a lot of people into drugs.” 

(Editor’s note: Yeah, this is the fine work of ol Matty Warshaw, keeper of the surf culture flame over at the Encylopedia of Surfing. Warshaw delivers these sexy-as-anything, tough guy prose hit-outs every Sunday afternoon and if you want ’em, and if you want to access the keys to his entire archive, toss a few peanuts his way. Five bucks a month.)