Kelly Slater and magic packaging for surfboards.
Kelly Slater educates his myriad fans on the miracle of corrugated cardboard.

Kelly Slater reveals plastic-free surfboard packing set to revolutionise industry

The problem: how to get boards made in Thailand to major surf markets without drowning customers in foam, plastic and tape.

Whatever you want to sling at Kelly Slater, you can’t say the old man don’t…try. 

The sustainability activist has built wave pools, created deck grip and fin brands, a couple of clothing lines, sandals inspired by moon and turtles, buys and sells real estate like you and I trade five-year-old five-tens and, right now, is having a good shot at packing his Firewire surfboards in anything but plastic. 

Kelly Slater, as you know, is a majority-owner of Firewire, having bought a seventy-percent share in the company almost one decade ago.

In a post earlier today, Kelly Slater cemented his eco bona fides, as if any further cement needed to be applied, when he demonstrated an all-cardboard method of packing surfboards being sent to Firewire’s customers, and retailers.

Now, this is real important for Firewire ’cause all the boards are made in a 98,000 square foot factory in Thailand, as are sister brands Slater Designs and Tomo, and you gotta get ’em to the major markets in the US, Europe and Australia. Which means securing ’em in enough armour to survive ship, plane and truck.

In the demo, Slater pulls out his boards from an all-cardboard case. It’s free of plastics, foam and adhesive tapes, all due, he says, to the magic of cohesive cardboard where the paper is covered with a natural latex that only sticks to itself and not the surfboard.

Real clever and something Slater says he’s been working on for one year.

“Cohesive cardboard sticks to itself and it’s easy to rip along its corrugated lines, he says. “When you stick it down you don’t need any tape on the inside.”

Better than a boxful of foam, various plastics and yards of tape, no?


Griffin Colapinto (pictured) feeling it.
Griffin Colapinto (pictured) feeling it.

Olympic surfers tremble in booties as US star Griffin Colapinto nears “flow state” ahead of Teahupo’o spectacular

"So, I’m almost feeling like everything that’s happened to me is leading up to this moment in the Olympics."

The Olympics is now but 16 days away and, as you know, I am here in Paris to cover them. The surfing portion, of course, will take place in French Polynesia, some 10,000 miles away, but I only like poisson cru every so often and, thus, opted for the City of Light instead. I will be able to watch them on television just as well as I could in Papeete and, also, will stay just as blocked on Filipe Toledo’s social media channels.

Yes, the bravest coward must be trembling with greater and greater frequency each hour that passes but he is likely becoming joined by others. Oh, he alone is quaking about the the thought of paddling those velvet waters. The others, shaking with the revelation that United States etoile Griffin Colapinto may be close to reaching “flow state.”

In a just-published Fox interview, the San Clementine declared, “I’m feeling really good. I feel that this year, the past few years, every year there’s been a lot of challenges that’s come at me, and I feel I’ve done my absolute best to get through them. In the moment, they were really hard. Sometimes, I get out there, and it’s like, boom, flow state right away. Or I’ll be challenged with a lot of different thoughts coming at me. It’s basically just being able to be aware of that, and use it to become more present.”

As surfers on the World Surf League’s championship tour know, a flow stated Colapinto is virtually unbeatable. The fact that he was just at Head Place and did poorly, extra scary. The 25-year-old explained, “Last time I was in Tahiti, I ended up losing to the wild card in round 2, which is as early as you can lose in the event. I lost to the wild card, and I was so bummed because I put in so much preparation, so much hard work for that wave, and I have been for a long time. It just didn’t come to fruition. In the past, those things haven’t really gone my way, but I feel like I’ve learned so much every time things haven’t gone my way. So, I’m almost feeling like everything that’s happened to me is leading up to this moment in the Olympics.”

Does a Colapinto win seem fated?

I shall go have a cold glass of Sancerre and ponder.

Join me?


Jake Paul and Suga Sean O'Malley shark attack
Jake Paul and Suga Sean O'Malley survive Miami almost shark attack.

YouTuber Jake Paul and UFC champ Sean O’Malley narrowly survive terrifying shark ordeal!

"Alright, guys, I think there's a shark…there's a f**ken shark!"

The high times in Miami of YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul and the UFC champ Suga Sean O’Malley got a little existential earlier today when a promo bit for Paul’s body care brand W almost became a live-streamed shark attack. 

The pair were on inflatable doughnuts when the shark veered a little close to Jake Paul and Suga Sean, whose bony hide and hereditary paleness belie great skills with his fists.

Off camera we hear, “Looking good…what the fuck is that?

Pause.

“Alright guys, I think there’s a shark…”

(Here the fin becomes prominent.)

There’s a fucken shark!

Many voices.

“Get the boat!”

A scream!

A bikinied woman flees on her jetski.

More screams.

“Get the boat!”

“Chill!”

“It’s coming! It’s coming! It’s on the left!”

Jake Paul, if you didn’t know, got famous through his Vine videos and later as a Disney Channel actor. Ol Jake has successfully transitioned into the realm of professional boxing. His began with a TKO victory over fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib in 2020, and since then, he has amassed a 6-0 record in the ring with a much anticipated, if delayed, fight with Mike Tyson comin’ up later in the year. 

 

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Surfline Man new editor of Surfer
Surfline Man could so totally be the editor of Surfer Magazine. For one thing, he knows all about surfing. This seems like a super important qualification right there.

Surfline Man gets job as Editor of Surfer magazine!

Surfline Man feels a jolt like a lightning strike or something sudden and electric. The course of his life just like totally changed.

It’s flat today. All the pretty graphs and pictures show the same sad story. No waves.

After flirting with the no-Surfline life, Surfline Man is back at it. He just couldn’t stay away, so he knows for sure it’s flat, like everywhere.Surfline Man likes to feel certain about things. It’s nice.

And how could Surfline Man stay away from all his favorite cams and charts? He tried checking the surf in person, the way his bestie Dylan told him to do it. But it just got so tiring. How many times did he walk down the trail to Trestles only to be like, so totally disappointed? Too many times, that’s how many! And it was so far!

Then Dylan moved back to Santa Cruz, so there was really no reason to go to all the trouble of parking the Sprinter and walking around and looking at things. If Dylan wasn’t there to see, why should Surfline Man do all that work?

Surfline Man learned that checking the surf is actually really hard and time-consuming. He’d much rather sit on his couch, all comfy and chill with his laptop and look at the internet. Surfline Man missed watching his favorite graphs change colors and he likes to know exactly what the tide is doing.

How else will he know these important surfing things? This is the very best way. Anyone who says otherwise is totally lying.

Besides, friends don’t make friends work hard. That should be a rule, if it isn’t one already. Surfline Man knows exactly how core he is. He doesn’t need to prove it to anyone! Dylan was such a dumb poser, trying to be so cool all the time.

Anyway, it’s flat and Surfline Man is definitely not surfing. So he’s cleaning his garage and whistling tunelessly, the way a guy whistles when he’s out in his garage doing important surfing guy stuff.

So far, he’s re-arranged his boards in the rack. It was hard to decide if he should organize them by color or by size. He went with size, but he’s still not sure if it’s the right choice. Maybe color would look better?

It feels super important that his boards look totally perfect in his garage. Maybe someone will come over! He would not want to have his boards looking like super shabby. That would be like, so embarrassing.

Surfline Man looks sadly at the empty space where the red fish that Mike the shaper made for him used to sit. Too bad it got stolen on that awful day he tried to surf Ocean Beach. Never again! Fortunately, it didn’t take long at all to get the Sprinter’s window fixed. But his beautiful red fish was lost forever. It’s definitely time to find a new perfect fish. Blue, this time, for sure.

Red is like, so over.

While he’s thinking about his old board and maybe his new board and what it should be, Surfline Man pulls down his box of fins. He’s not at all sure how he ended up with so very many fins, but you never know what you might need, and Surfline Man is keeping them all. Even the quad set, never mind that he doesn’t have a quad.

You never know! Things can change so fast. Surfline Man starts to bring order to the chaotic jumble. Obviously, he needs to buy more boards. It would be a shame for all these awesome fins to go to waste!

Surfline Man leans against his workbench where he does all his important surfboard stuff and opens his phone. Instagram pops open and he begins to scroll. Surfboards, so many beautiful surfboards. The images pass by his eyes in a blur of color. What if he could ride them all? It would take a whole lifetime or more! So many lifetimes for so many surfboards!

Surfline Man stands there struck by the immenseness of the infinity. Dylan tried to get him into smoking weed, but Surfline Man is pretty sure he doesn’t even need it. He’s just like, so amazed by the whole world and all its possibilities! And he really loves surfboards so much.

Weed just made him super dumb and he stared at the same spot on the wall for like an hour. It wasn’t that fun at all.

Then he sees it: A job ad. Editor of Surfer Magazine. Surfline Man feels a jolt like a lightning strike or something sudden and electric. There, he was, contemplating the endless lineup of boards he’d like to ride, when whammo! The course of his life just like totally changed.

And just in time!

Surfline Man could really use a job. Ever since evil Trey got all stoked on AI, he hasn’t hired Surfline Man to do any cool little projects. That’s been such a huge bummer! Surfline Man likes to feel useful and it never hurts to make some extra money.

An adventurous surfer like him never knows when he might need to buy a new surfboard or replace a window on the Sprinter.

Then there was that whole thing where he and Dylan were going to start a surf brand. Surfline Man was super excited and even designed some totally perfect board shorts. It cost him a pile of cash to get out of the lease on that retail store, too. Stupid lawyers. But they couldn’t come up with a good name, and everyone knows you can’t have a surf brand without the most perfect name.

But Surfline Man could so totally be the editor of Surfer Magazine. For one thing, he knows all about surfing. This seems like a super important qualification right there. Like, really, really important. Surfline Man knows all about where the waves come from — the cute charts and graphs at Surfline! — and which board to ride for every situation. He’s practically an expert!

Surfline Man scrolls through the job ad. What other qualifications could he possibly need? A degree in English, journalism, or related field. Surfline Man definitely does not have one of those. His field is not even related at all. This is very disappointing. He feels so depressed right now. He bright future is over before it can even begin.

But Surfline Man did take an English class in college. He did! Surely, that’s enough!

Surfline Man remembers that English class so well. He had to read this dumb book about some dude who went fishing. It took forever! Then he caught a fish, but like, a shark ate it on the way home. It was so stupid.

Why didn’t he put his fish in a nice Yeti cooler where the shark couldn’t eat it? Surfline Man didn’t understand why this was such a great story that was all important and stuff. Some dead dude wrote about a fish that he didn’t even get to eat!

Surfline Man would be so embarrassed if a shark ate his fish before he got it home. Like, duh, get a cooler, dude.

English class was so dumb and Surfline Man can’t imagine how it could possibly be relevant to being the editor of Surfer Magazine. What’s a bunch of dead dudes writing about stupid stuff have to do with surfing? Nothing. That’s what!

Surfline Man feels as confident about this truth as he was about making the paddle-out at Ocean Beach that one time. So, super confident. Nothing bad could possibly come of this at all. Who needs a stupid English degree. Not Surfline Man!

There’s an edit test, whatever that means. Surfline Man can write code! He can definitely pass a test about editing. It’s just words! How hard could it be to edit words? Surfline Man is pretty sure it’s not that hard at all. He sends emails and stuff all the time. That’s words. People have told him how much sense he makes. So obviously, he’s already super good at writing.

The ad says something about SEO, and if he’s honest, Surfline Man doesn’t really know what that is. But he can always Google it. Surfline Man is totally sure that Google can tell him what SEO is, and how to do it. The internet is so smart and can totally help him learn everything he needs to know. Why does he have to know things when the internet is like, right there?

Surfline Man is a total ideas man. He knows that about himself. Wasn’t he going to start the best surf brand ever? That was a great idea and he has so many more! He doesn’t need to know every last detail or pass a stupid test. Surfline Man could so totally be the editor of Surfer Magazine. He would be the best editor ever!

Imagine all the cool places he could travel to do important research and stuff. Even Surfline Man knows that editors have to do that kind of thing. And he could look at so many awesome photos. Just sitting there in his office with a giant screen, looking at the best surf photos ever. So sick.

And all the famous people he can call. He can learn so much more about surfing than he already knows. All the pro’s will be his best friend. They’ll all want to talk to him! And shapers, just like, sending him free boards every day to try out. Surfline Man can’t even wait to be an editor. It sounds so awesome.

Surfline Man stands there in his garage, staring off into the distance, lost in his daydreams. It’s all so real to him. He can see it now. All those beautiful magazines crossing his desk. All that surfing and knowing about surfing.

His buzzing phone returns Surfline Man to the present and the hazy dreams dissipate as he confronts the reality of his messy box of mismatched fins. Why in the world does he have so many fins? It’s like some kind of disease.

Surfline Man picks up his phone. There’s a new message. Oh, it’s evil Trey. Maybe he’s given up on AI, at last.

hey bro how’s it going

Surfline Man rolls his eyes. Trey always calls him bro. It’s like, so annoying. Surfline Man reads on.

so i created a private equity fund with some guys
we’ve been crushing it so hard
anyway we just bought surfer magazine
bought a few other magazines too i guess
anyway you’re like the surfiest guy i know
want to be the new editor?


Surf journalist Chas Smith reports from Paris 2024!

“Paris will be alive. I’ll be here covering surfing from the actual site of the Paris 2024 Olympics as opposed to Tahiti."

A common, and fair, criticism of this news site is that principal reporter Chas Smith rarely ventures beyond his southern Californian neighbourhood.

Instead, he sits in his living room sipping Dr Pepper in orange sunglasses, white slacks and a white sweater, his lustrous yellow hair catching glints of the San Diego sun.

In the interests of a fair and accurate account of Paris 2024’s surfing component, Chas Smith has rented an apartment in the Marais there and, today, in his first instalment reports on the hate, boredom and sadness felt by all surfers compelled to fly to Tahiti for Paris 2024 and not the host city itself.

“Paris will be alive. I’ll be here covering surfing from the actual site of the Olympics as opposed to Tahiti,” says Smith. “But, maybe there’s a silver lining. Maybe for a Filipe Toledo could wander the streets imagining the Belle Epoque? That he was there himself, sitting at a corner bistro. Maybe Filipe Toledo could write some poetry, like Moliere. Maybe he could learn to speak French really good. Maybe he could learn to speak French really good.”