Filipe Toledo (going right) getting himself out of Fiji.
Filipe Toledo (going right) getting himself out of Fiji.

Surfline delivers wildly bullish forecast for Oi Rio Pro

Surf fans lick Bertie's Pepper Sauce from lips.

It feels like an eternity since we last witnessed professional surfing at its highest level though, in reality, it has only been a month. Still, a very long time for the surf fan to sit and ponder things that don’t relate, directly, to heat strategy, wave selection, priorities and priority interferences.

The Rio Pro, anyhow, has opened its waiting period except talk across the coconut wireless was there would be no waves for the Brazilian leg of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour.

Like, zero.

Well, Surfline, the WSL’s official forecast partner, has just dropped an absolutely bullish report that has the aforementioned fan potentially giddy.

“Head high to overhead swell moves in with favorable conditions” for tomorrow, “well overhead surf, onshore wind but not blown out” on Thursday and “overhead surf with favorable local wind” on Saturday.

Clear the schedule except, of course, save some steam for Thursday evening when President Joe Biden and former President Donald J. Trump will paddle into a man on man bout that will see one of them, likely, teetering and the other, possibly, stumbling.

Back to Rio, though, Jordy Smith, who surfs against Barron Mamiya and Imaikalani deVault in the opening frame has the most to lose, teetering in the 5th spot just ahead of a recently invigorated Brazilian trio of Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and Yago Dora. Any one of them could send the big South African cascading out of Finals Day.

Very exciting but not as exciting as the 2017 Oi Rio Pro wherein Filipe Toledo attempted to storm the judging tower and became suspended by the World Surf League for the next event which just so happened to take place in Fiji. Looking back, do you think the small wave wizard engineered the incident so as not to surf a big left?


In any case, see you tomorrow bright and early or dark and dusky, depending upon where you bed each night.

Julian Assange (pictured) ready to drop in.
Julian Assange (pictured) ready to drop in.

Australian surfers snarl as old mate Julian Assange returns to already choked lineups

"Mate, the last thing we need is one more surfer..."

Australian surfers are bracing themselves, today, as yet another surfer is set to enter lineups already choked past even remotely acceptable levels. Julian Assange, 52, chartered a $500,000 plane which is flying him from London to Snapper where he will likely paddle out behind the rock and begin snaking alongside Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison.

Along the way, he will stop in Saipan in order to plead guilty to one count of breaching United States espionage law.

Assange had spent the past the last five years in England’s Belmarsh Prison after a seven year stay in Ecuador’s London embassy. The WikiLeaks founder and editor had become in much trouble for releasing documents that cast a dark light on United States activity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His wife, who married him when he was jailed, declared that she was “elated” that her husband was finally a free man and “We will be seeking a pardon, obviously, but the fact that there is a guilty plea, under the Espionage Act, in relation to obtaining and disclosing national defence information is obviously a very serious concern for journalists.”

She will likely not be as happy when he stays out very late at night drinking Balters with the boys.

While free speech advocates are cheering, the Gold Coast surfing community is wondering if Assange will ride JS or DHD though are expecting him to choose a higher volume board in order to catch more waves. One surfer, asking to remain anonymous in order to avoid being arrested for spying, stated, “Old mate has been out of the water for twelve years. He’s going to drop in on any and everything. Argh. Fark. Cunt. Etc.”

His options, there, are either JS’s Sub Xero or DHD’s Interceptor.

Australian Prime Minster Anthony Albanese not wanting to kick that particular beehive simply said, “Regardless of the views that people have about Mr Assange [and] his activities, the case has dragged on for too long.”

But what do you think?

JS or DHD?

More as the story develops.

Johnny Konings and his girl Charlotte.
Johnny Konings and his girl Charlotte. One day at a time, little victories, etc.

Gold Coast surfer speared into D-Bah sandbank reveals horror prognosis

"The worst-case scenario is it's unlikely he’ll walk again”

Hang onto the small things in life, kids, ‘cause life sure can spin on a dime.

Six days ago, Johnny Konings, a thirty-one-year-old New Zealand-born surfer who’d shifted his life to the Gold Coast to follow the perfect-waves-in-warm-water dream and was living with his cute Pilates teacher girl, belted his spine in a wipeout at D-Bah and now…now?…he’s in the spinal ward of a Brisbane hospital.

Johnny Konings life-changing wipeout.
Johnny Konings and the run of the mill wipeout on a three-foot wave that changed his life.

“I just didn’t make the drop on the take-off and got tumbled around, covered up, because I knew I was about to take a beating,” says Johnny. “And then, yeah, just impact straight onto the sand and came to the surface and knew straight away.”


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Johnny was airlifted to Princess Alexandra hozzy in Brisbane, where he remains, in a bed and in a chair.

“The worst-case scenario is that he may, it’s unlikely that he will walk again,” says girlfriend Charlotte. “I think that obviously they have to give us the worst-case scenario.”

The timeline on the pair’s Instagram pages is harrowing as all hell. Perfect life, two kids setting sail on a dreamy life together and, one slightly mistimed takeoff, and he’s stuck in a damn chair.


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Wanna help ’em out? The fundraiser has been pretty underwhelming so far if you want to chip in a buck or two.Twenty-two gees out of a hundred k goal.

“When life gives you lemons,” says Charlotte, “you throw in some lime, salt, a shit ton of tequila and make a bloody strong margarita.”



Brady (left) with brothers Medina and Slater (right). Isabella Settanni in between.
Brady (left) with brothers Medina and Slater (right). Isabella Settanni in between.

Kelly Slater eskimo brother Tom Brady adds surf champ Gabriel Medina to fraternity as he begins dating Isabella Settanni

"Isabella Settanni appears to be an avid surfer and snowboarder..."

So, and let’s just make this quick. Kelly Slater, the world’s greatest ever surfer, once dated an up and coming Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen who, afterward, married super quarterback Tom Brady. Those two had a long and seemingly happy marriage until Tom, like Kelly, refused to hang it up and kept on keeping on (allegedly).

Surf fans, feverish with fairytale, dreamed of a possible Slater x Búndchen reunion though, alas, she fell into love with her Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor who just so happened to be Brazilian.

In a wild twist, however, Brady is making night music with other Brazilian supermodel Isabella Settanni and does that name sound familiar?

Let us turn to Whiskey Riff for clarity:

Settanni appears to be an avid surfer and snowboarder, and is reportedly the daughter of Junior and Carla Settanni, who own and operate a successful food distribution business. She’s also been linked to a few other athletes, most notably Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina and pro skateboarder Felipe Foguinho.

Et voila.

The Dark Knight’s ex.

But how wowza is the eskimo fraternity of Brady x Medina x Slater?

The term “eskimo brother,” of course, referring to different men who have bought the same woman flowers and chocolates as is the custom in Inuit Nunangat.

Brady Medina Slater a fine name for a baby boy, coincidentally.

Light candles, please.

Keala Kennelly (pictured) living her fullest life in Greece. Photo: Instagram
Keala Kennelly (pictured) living her fullest life in Greece. Photo: Instagram

Breaking: World Surf League solely to blame for “cruel and sloppy” smear of big wave icon Keala Kennelly

Surf media cleared of all wrongdoing.

I’ll be quite frank. When I discovered, this morning, that the legendary big wave maven Keala Kennelly had been done wrong by the surfing industry, and mostly media, I was both sad and taken aback. The multi-hyphenate 45-year-old has been routinely celebrated at BeachGrit here, here, here, here, etc. and I only assumed she was treasured as much elsewhere.

Her specific bone, entirely justified in my opinion, was that she had been the first ever to score a perfect 10 at Teahupo’o in 2001 though her milestone was brushed under the carpet, Tati Weston-Webb’s most recent, less than a month ago, being celebrated as unique.

“I’m getting very tired of the media diminishing the surfing legacies of my generation (and other past generations) I recently had a history making accomplishment of mine completely erased and bestowed on someone else then spread all over the internet,” Kennelly penned to Instagram

Alas, in breaking news, the surfing media has been cleared of all wrong doing in forget-gate, all blame falling onto the World Surf League itself.

Per the presser released just after the Tahiti Pro wrapped:

Despite losing to eventual event winner Fierro, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) made history today with the first Perfect 10 ever from a woman at the Tahiti Pro. Weston-Webb dug deep to paddle over the ledge and into a huge set wave, making it to the bottom and almost catching her rail in the critical part of the wave only to recover and put herself deep in the barrel, behind the heavy Teahupo’o curtain. Weston-Webb then navigated the foam ball and the spit to fly out of the barrel for the Perfect score. Weston-Webb’s amazing surfing continues to push surfing’s progression even more in today’s pumping conditions.

Cruel and sloppy, especially coming from the “Global Home of Surfing.”

But might it have been on purpose?

Surf fans certainly remember, seven months ago, when Kennelly took a sledgehammer to the World Surf League, accusing it of “fraud, deception and stinginess,” declaring, “The WSL calls themselves a ‘sports league.’ They are a medium company and what does a media company need? Attention.”

Ouch though true. The League, itself, responds to criticism with old-school Stalinism, simply erasing those who counter whichever narrative is the one being pushed.

Do you recall Bethany Hamilton?

Neither does anyone behind the Wall of Positive Noise as she was disappeared after challenging the WSL’s stance on trans athletes. Brave surfers wanting to honor the inspirational shark attack survivor by wearing her name told “That person doesn’t exist.”

Keala Kennelly, it appears, victim number two.

Who’s next?