Tyler Wright (pictured) overcoming obstacles.
Tyler Wright (pictured) overcoming obstacles.

Surf champion Tyler Wright reveals horror medical diagnosis ahead of Olympics

“It’s a wave of consequence, so I’m not going to say that I’m not scared, I am.”

The surf world held its collective breath, two weeks ago, when Australia’s Tyler Wright withdrew from the Brazil leg of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour citing an “unspecified injury.” The two-time world champion, currently tenth in the world, has overcome almost too many obstacles to count on her professional surf journey including perpetual suffocation, African flu which led to post-viral syndrome, a father who forced her to surf and carrying the burden of being the only openly gay surfer at the highest levels of competition to name but a very few.

Her missing the Vivo Rio Pro serious in and of itself made much more extreme in light of the upcoming Olympic Games which will be contested, for surfers, in Tahiti.

Surfing Australia put a brave face on the situation, releasing a statement reading, “Tyler has been advised by her doctors and specialists that she needs some treatment and would prefer her sitting out Brazil. Tyler will be 100% ready for the Olympics.”

Though in a sign of possible doubt, Tyler Wright maybe being 98% ready for the Olympics, the team readied Sally Fitzgibbons as replacement.

Well, hours ago, Wright revealed the horror diagnosis that kept her out of Brazil.

Balance issues.

No further details were given, whether it is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s disease or Ramsay Hunt syndrome, for example, but brave Wright seems to be sallying forth telling the Guardian that it was a “hard call” to make heading to Teahupo’o but that she’s excited and ready.

“It’s a wave of consequence, so I’m not going to say that I’m not scared, I am,” she declared. “I’ve done a lot in the last couple of years to sit with that, but at the same time I don’t think it’s that complicated either; you either go or you don’t, and you make that decision in the moment.”

Wright is not a favorite, by the numbers, but her hero’s journey will, no doubt, inspire and isn’t that what the Olympics is really about?

Very exciting.

I will, of course, be covering all the action from ground zero nearly 10,000 miles away in Paris and will be certain to keep abreast of any and all developments as opening day draws near.

Médicalement miraculeux.

Californian Guang Shi arrested for importing 250kg of meth, left, and, right, Gard Rielly, barrelled at the pool.
Choose pretty blue-water tubes not dirty ol pockfaced meth. Californian Guang Shi, on the left, looking at life in prison and, right, my gorgeous lil son Gard Rielly, inked off his head in the tank.

Federal Police swoop on Sydney wavepool in $250 million drug bust!

“The Australian market is definitely lucrative, one of the most lucrative in the world.”

Well, first, the barefoot Californian arrested by the Feds on Wednesday wasn’t at Sydney’s wavepool on Wednesday for its excellent menu of a la carte tubes.

American Guang Shi, police say, thought he was at the tank to pick up a quarter of a tonne of methylamphetamine, which he allegedly bought from a criminal syndicate in Los Angeles for seven-mill.

Methamphetamine, if your narcotics education is incomplete, is chemically similar to amphetamine, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The key diff is the addition of a methyl group to the amphetamine molecule. This increases the drug’s potency and makes it wildly addictive.

Police say Guang Shi got the meth into Australia via shipping container and had flown over to collect and deliver it. It wasn’t his first time in Australia. He’d already flown out to suss out potential dealers.

“He was meeting a number of people here which we will allege was part of the attempt to possess … the drugs in Australia,” Australian Federal Police acting Commander Peter Fogarty told reporters on Thursday.

So Shi flies into Sydney, stays at the sexy Hyatt Hotel in the city, then arranges, allegedly etc, to get his drugs from the carpark of URBNSURF at Olympic Park there. 

Thing is, US’ Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the AFP had eyes on him since March. After his arrest, Shi was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, a crime that offers life in prison.

“[It] is a significant amount of drugs that would have caused a significant amount of harm to the Australian community,” head cop Fogarty said of the bust’s significance. “The Australian market is definitely lucrative, one of the most lucrative in the world.”

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?


“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!”


“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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