Surfer Filipe Toledo pulls curtain back on family in intensely personal documentary

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

In the second instalment of Filipe Toledo’s docuseries Peace and Power, the two-time and reigning world champ has gifted surf fans a wildly personal glimpse into his life in San Clemente with his extended family.

Here we find Filipe Toledo, artist wife Ananda Marçal, children Mahina and Koa along with Daddy Ricardo and mammy Mari in their sprawling Orange County compound, living as only a happy family can, connected by blood and love.

The scenes of Filipe Toledo and his little boy Koa reveal a father and his progeny in the beginning stages of that crucial relationship between father and son. Father is provider, role-model, teacher, authority figure but also the little boy’s guide to the true nature of love and the provider of maps to success and happiness.

(Although, to quote Sherwood Anderson, “You can’t always be too fussy about what you say to a young boy. Really, sometimes, you should take him into your confidence, into your life, make him a part of your life.”)

Watch as father and son embrace when Filipe exits the water. As grandaddy Ricardo cradles the boy as the family sits around the outdoor fire pit.

If you’ve got boys, what kind of father are you?

Are you leaving ’em with smudges, cracks or totally broken?

You ever get haunted by quotes?

Michael Chabon got me real good in his book Manhood for Amateurs.

“Sooner or later, you will discover which kind of father you are, and at that moment you will, with perfect horror, recognize the type. You are the kind of father who fakes it, who yells, who measures his children with greatest accuracy only against one another, who evades the uncomfortable and glosses over the painful and pads the historic records of his sorrows and accomplishments alike. You are the kind who teases and deceives and toys with his children and subjects them to displays of rich and manifold sarcasm when–as is always the case–sarcasm is the last thing they need. You are the kind of father who pretends knowledge he doesn’t possess, and imposes information with implacable gratuitousness, and teaches lessons at the moment when none can be absorbed, and is right, and has always been right, and always will be right until the end of time, and never more than immediately after he has been wrong. And when your daughter’s body begins to betray her, and her sky flickers in the distance with the heat lightning of sex, you clear your throat and stroke your chin whiskers and tell her to go ask her mother. You can’t help it–you’re a walking cliché.”

Surfer of the year Nathan Florence reveals secret to duckdiving world’s heaviest waves

Deep water, shallow water, ledge or beachbreak, Nathan gonna get you under!

The American Nathan Florence, surfer of the year, a man sometimes referred to as Nathan Fletcher, has a well-deserved reputation for extraordinary vigour.

It is evident in every post on his excellent YouTube channel, and as you’ve already seen here, here and here.

One year ago, Nathan Florence knocked the surfing world for six after shucking what some big-wave surfers called the “best barrel ever.”  Florence rode the wave at a remote Irish reef on November 6, the swell generated by the remnants of Hurricane Martin.

WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski described Nathan Florence as the “best heavy wave surfer in the world.”

Six months later, Florence went a little better, riding a wave the same gang called “the best wave ever ridden.”

Mark Healey, John John, Peter Mel all behaved like young boys forced into service by a stronger man.

Dorian described it as “loony”, Kai Lenny said, “Too bad the Big Wave Awards no longer exist, you would’ve won the big cheese” and Australian big-waver Loz Towner wrote, “Incredible! Who’s had the best barrels at all the good big wave spots around the world ? @nathan_florence by a football field.”

Who better, therefore, to ask than Nathan Florence for advice when its comes to surviving and thriving in the world’s heaviest waves?

In that dark and mysterious world of big-wave surfing, Florence does his best work, even better than Olympian brother John John and sexy little bro Ivan.

He visits far-flung territories, Ireland, Indonesia, Scotland, and returns to shore with his point of view camera filled with captivating raw vision and with more intel on the techniques man must employ if he wishes to survive these sort of activities.

Nathan Florence is the the most engaging of the three brothers, and gets his quirky, literary side from his Daddy John, I think, who wrote in his tell-all memoir eight years ago.

“I am natural flirt. I enjoy making people smile, chuckle, laugh. I am very sexual by nature. I was raised that way. I have always enjoyed the whole sexual innuendo sort of suggestion in general conversation. Something that would make a person raise an eyebrow while giving a sly knowing smile back. Very sexual in every way to a fault or not, I am not sure but this is simply how I interact with everyone from passengers at my tables to coworkers, friends and girlfriends.”


Dylan Graves at Kelly Slater wavepool in Abu Dhabi.
Novelty wave aficionado Dylan Graves reveals the text message that got him into Slater's Abu Dhabi tank.

River surfer Dylan Graves reveals the text message to Kelly Slater that got him invited to champ’s Abu Dhabi miracle!

Puerto Rican novelty wave specialist Dylan Graves slides into opening day at Surf Ranch Abu Dhabi!

BeachGrit readers have long thrilled to the weird wave follies of Puerto Rico’s Dylan Graves, a long-time friend of Kelly Slater.

You remember Dylan and his relationship to Kelly Slater, yeah?

He’s almost forty now but he used to be on the Quiksilver roster, the clean-looking Young Gun playing cute foil to the hoary champ Kelly Slater. Tween Young Gun and now (Old Bum?), Dylan took on the WQS (ain’t much success) before settling into that ever-warm freesurfing zone in Puerto Rico.

At the star of the year, Dylan Graves smashed the Guinness World Record for most turns on a wave when he rode a wave in Sumatra for five minutes, completing completed an astonishing forty turns, even throwing in a couple of quasi-airs for good measure.

Mostly Dylan Graves is known for his excellent Weird Waves series for Vans where he explores river waves, tidal waves, insane wedges, proving that the essential nature of surfing is fun.

Recently, Dylan Graves was transiting through Dubai when he sent a text message to Kelly Slater asking if it the Abu Dhabi version of Surf Ranch was open and, if it was, might he pay a visit.

As fate’s hand would lay the cards, Dylan Graves arrived just in time for opening day and after a little back and forth with Slater, was invited to join in the party.

The video is instructive, I think, for it gives an unvarnished and non-curated look at the event.

Slater is as charismatic as ever and Graves rocks back on his heels to enjoy his own view of the famous tube.

Surfer of the year Nathan Florence films near-death “annihilation” in Ireland

A day to blow or get blown!

Of all the wild near-death moments filmed by Surfer of the Year Nathan Florence over the course of the year, none come close to the violent exertions of his latest expedition to Mullaghmore in Ireland. 

Filmed on November 9, so less than one week ago, we see Nathan Florence wipeout on three consecutive waves at a joint that invites genuine comparisons to Teahupoo.

On the first wave, which Nathan Florence films using his little point of view camera, he is jerked off his eight-foot-five board and driven into the spout of the wave, the globes of his bottom raised to the sky.

“Absolute annihilation. First wave, all confident, huge step in the drop, over the falls, impacted and got so violently impacted. It felt like I was just getting ripped apart… I just accepted annihilation,” says Nathan Florence in his post-session debrief.


“Literally twenty-five foot kegs out there…huge boils, so square, twenty-five foot slabs. It’s just insane, got out there, paddled into my first wave and got so smoked. Down the face, big step, poked over the falls, (thought) oh shit here we go, impacted so hard it spun my head around.

“The hoodie went over my head and blocked my pullers (the levers to inflate his lifesaving  vest.) Couldn’t pull. Accepted reality that I couldn’t find ’em and just did fifteen strokes to the surface. And that was my first wave.

“Two more and both times got smooshed by this big whitewater coming out of the bowl. Second one, my leashed pulled over me, pulled me into the gnarliest scorpion, (I thought), my back’s going to snap. I couldn’t tuck and roll.

“After that I sat for two hours in shock. Three waves and three wipeouts.”

Bone chilling.

Surfing Olympian Julian Wilson reveals existential struggle in brave new documentary!

A surfing movie so real, so authentic, you can almost taste the transparent viscous goo!

Less than one year ago and after a brave decade-long fight, Julian Wilson threw in the towel, sliced off his hair and joined the ranks of bald surfers which include the greatest of all time, Kelly Slater.

Reactions were mixed though Julian Wilson’s pivot to hard-edged multi-functional fashion with his brand Rivvia Projects marked a step forward for the former world number two.

Wilson followed Dane Reynolds/Craig Anderson and Luke Egan into the rag-trade, Reynolds and Ando with Former and Egan with Depactus, a brand that flew a little too close to the sun before the glue holding its wings melted and it was bought for a song by SurfStitch.

Only one year earlier, Julian Wilson had quit the tour he’d orbited since 2011. He was a rookie of the year, made Gabriel Medina cry when he beat him in Portugal in 2012, he beat Medina in the final of the Pipe Masters in 2014 and three years later beat Medina to win the 2017 Tahiti Pro.

In 2015, Julian Wilson bravely paddled towards Mick Fanning in his own existential battle with the second-greatest predator of all time, the Great White shark.

What a career, yes?

Now, and thanks to the French film and retail house Wasted Talent, we find Julian Wilson, long removed from the tour, but still with the same vitality that won our hearts all those years ago.

It’s so real, so authentic you can almost taste the transparent viscous goo!