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.

Shane Dorian Costa Rican retreat, $48,000
Come join Shane Dorian on a four-day retreat that includes three days of personal instruction from the big-wave icon and former world number four.

Surfing icon Shane Dorian offers epic $48,000 four-day surf camp on Costa Rica’s magical Nicoya Peninsula!

“Personal instruction from world-champion surfer and head coach of the U.S. Olympic surf team, Shane Dorian.”

Hawaiian-born Shane Dorian, the second-best big-wave surfer in the world if we’re to accept, as we should, the notion that Kai Lenny is untouchable, is best remembered for his debut on BeachGrit in 2014 where he instructed readers on how to catch a twenty-foot wave and discussed what it’s like to have an infant deer die in your arms.

Now, the daddy to teen heartthrob Jackson Dorian and former world number four is offering surfers “four days of wellness” at the wildly luxurious Casa Chameleon resort in Costa Rica.

For $48,000, or $12,000 per day, although the package only includes three days of surf lessons, you’ll receive “personal instruction from world-champion surfer and head coach of the US Olympic surf team”, you’ll “learn the lessons of longevity in the Blue Zone”, some spa treatments are included and if surfing under Shane Dorian’s tutelage starts to get old other activities include jungle zip lines, hikes and horseback riding on the beach. 

The spiel is compelling, although what world title Doz won is unclear.

If you’re a surfer of any caliber, you know Shane Dorian. The Hawaii-based world champion and head coach of the 2024 U.S. Olympic surf team is one of the world’s best big-wave riders—that’s a swell reaching 20 feet high or greater. For four nights and three days, he’ll be your personal instructor, teaching you his techniques via hands-on lessons in the waters off the coast of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula.  

This region is one of the world’s Blue Zones, renowned for the longevity of its locals thanks to their active, healthy lifestyles; in Costa Rica, it’s as much about mind as body, keeping positive and relaxed in a permanent state of pura vida.  That’s all part of the experience at the Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas resort, a 21-villa property that will be your base for this adventure; the modern rooms, each at least 720 square feet in size, all have their own private infinity-edge plunge pool. You can unwind there in between surf sessions or opt to explore on land: The resort has a 2,250-foot zip line through the jungle, as well as a herd of horses to go riding on the beach. Even better, consider a hike through the rainforests of the nearby Tenorio volcano via its three hanging bridges.  

When you need a break from such exertions, there’s an on-site spa, or you can practice elasticity yoga and meditation alfresco amid the tropical breeze. 

Airfares and transport not included.

Book here! Mention BeachGrit for discount. 

Kanye West sells "disembowelled" Tadao Ando Malibu house.

Kanye West to take $18 million hit after failed renovation “disembowels” iconic Tadao Ando Malibu house!

“Kanye West bought an architectural treasure – then gave it a violent remix.”

The Chicago-born chanteur and fiddler of studio knobs, Kanye West, latterly known as Ye, is set to piss away roughly twenty mill after his troubled three-year renovation of an iconic Tadao Ando house in Malibu was stopped by city authorities and Ye figured maybe easier just to sell the joint.

Ye, who is forty-seven, was once married to the billionairess Kim Kardashian but now prefers the company of Melbourne architect Bianca Censori, famous for crotch-revving curves that surpass even his ex-wife.

The Tadao Ando Malibu House, which he bought for fifty-seven mill in 2021, became, for a time at least, an experiment where Ye indulged his fascination for architecture alongside his new gal’s university-honed skills.

In a just published story in the New Yorker, Ian Parker tells the compelling saga of Ye buying the joint from financier Richard Sachs, who originally wanted seventy-five mill for the house – and employing a cowboy tradesman called Tony Saxon to sleep in the place while simultaneously destroying it, eventually re-listing it for sale at $39 mill.


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According to Saxon, Ye told him, “I’ve heard a lot about you. You’re like a hurricane! I like you. I like your style.” As they walked through the stripped rooms, Ye kept asking, “You got this out? You did this?”

He began to describe his plans for the house. Saxon asked, “Are you telling me this hypothetically, or do you want me to do it?” Ye wanted him to do it. As Saxon saw it, “He was so sick of everyone around him.” Saxon demurred; he didn’t have a company or a license. He was just a dude with a minivan and some stamina. “But he goes, ‘You can do it! Don’t give me that. You can do this! Don’t say no!’ ” Recalling this, Saxon laughed. “Some inspiring shit!”

Saxon warmed to Ye, and not just because of the flattery. “I’m not in any way familiar with his music,” he told me. “But I kind of got him. We are very similar in a lot of ways.” Saxon had been given his own bipolar diagnosis and detected in Ye some similar behaviors. Later, after they got to know each other a little, Saxon brought this up. “I’m, like, ‘Are you on medication for it? I just started taking it a couple of months ago, and it fucking helped me.’ ”

Ye suggested that Saxon wear black and told him to be discreet: there were no permits for work on the house. Saxon’s storytelling, like Ye’s, can digress, and his experience on Malibu Road, which lasted about six weeks, is now the subject of his lawsuit, which centers on alleged underpayment and a back injury. But the outline of events is clear, and many of the details are confirmed by photographs and messages archived on Saxon’s phone. Within a few days of that first meeting, Saxon had become something much closer to a project leader than to a day laborer.

He helped assemble a small crew by enlisting people he knew and a few outside contractors who’d been working at the house when he showed up. Starting on the day he met Ye, Saxon didn’t go home for several weeks. He found a mattress at the house; a friend later brought him some clothing in a trash bag, and his guitar. Saxon began taking the house apart.
Saxon’s videos include one in which he’s helping topple one of the chimneys. Another shows someone swinging a hammer at a bathroom’s black-and-white marble walls. A third demonstrates how a handsome glass balustrade, the kind you’re almost bound to find in a modern museum, shatters into windshield fragments when you tap its corner with a sledgehammer. In a fourth, Saxon and another man are demolishing the hot tub with two jackhammers. 

Check out the house before. 

And after.

Kanye West sells Tadao Ando house Malibu.
What’s left of the iconic Tadao Ando house after Ye’s three-year reno.

24844 Malibu Road is currently listed with the Netflix-famous Oppenheim group in Malibu.

Click here to buy.