Letters from the Editor 02/10/18

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

“Too weak, too predictable, and too long between waves”, these are just some of the many criticisms levelled at wavepools since Kelly proved they could work. Each time an event has been held the critics have gotten more forthright, more involved. Yet last week one of the downsides to tub surfing was devastatingly revealed, and it’s something that’s barely rated a mention.

Fabrizio Stabile of New Jersey died after testing positive for Naegleria fowleri, a “brain eating amoeba” that occurs in warm freshwater lakes. He’d recently surfed in the Waco wavepool. It’s not yet confirmed Stabile caught the bacteria at Waco, however the pool has been closed while officers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention test the turbid green waters.

The results will be released next week and no doubt all wavepool owners and investors are keenly awaiting the findings. Also anxiously awaiting the results will be the competitors in the Stab High contest held at Waco on September 22nd, the day after Stabile’s death, and won by Noa Deane. Fingers crossed everybody is well.

Did anyone here watch Stab High? At $16 to view and a dud time difference they were never gonna pick up many Oz viewers, yet those who tuned in saw a great webcast package and exciting format - save the acid drop shambles. A solid foundation for future events.

A few days afterwards, Chas Smith from BeachGrit posted an unconfirmed report that Stab High drew a viewership of 20,000. An impressive count though highly unlikely, and as the numbers are unconfirmed - not to mention the sponsor packages - it’s a moot point anyway, though as usual it didn’t stop a lengthy and at times informative comment trail.

While reading the comments my mind flashed to Swellnet’s surf mag collection - 10,000 strong and counting! - which contains an ancient copy of ASB mag wherein Messrs McIntosh and Rielly - then partners at Stab - declaim the folly of numbers. Asked about inconsistencies in magazine circulation, Rielly was brazen, “We make the numbers up.”

If Stab do PPV again we’ll know the gamble worked, if not then not.

From the prolix department comes news the 2018 Manzhou Jialeshuei Pingtung County International Surfing Contest will run this month in South Taiwan. The Manzhou Jialeshuei Pingtung County International Surfing Contest is backed by the Taiwan Ocean Recreational Sports Association and it makes an editor pine for the Coke Classic.

Riddle me this: who’s the eleven-time world surf champion, that makes their own surfing equipment, and is often referred to by just their initials?

If you answered Kelly Slater then get your head out of the sand and congratulate Rees ‘RD’ Duncan who won his eleventh world surf ski championship in Pantin, Spain, last week. The 46-year old eggbeater, who has a full head of hair, is the GOAT of his sport and should be included in any conversation about the greatest athlete of all time.

And yes, goat boat GOAT was there for the taking but just seemed too obvious.

After sitting down all comp, Rees Duncan declines being chaired up the beach (Jose Valencia)

Two weeks ago recreational fishermen in NSW lobbied the government to reverse a decision that locked them out of marine parks. Swellnet has no position on the issue, except to admire the fishoes for banding together and shirtfronting the government. Surfers outnumber fishoes yet as a group we can't get the simplest things achieved. Maybe one day we’ll vote as a bloc, but till then we’re just “babes in the woods” as Dr Neil Lazarow recently described us.

However! Word is, there'll shortly be a petition started by the North West Surfing Alliance to block the Wozzle comp at Jakes, Bluff, or Gnaraloo. When it comes, be like the fishoes.

I’ll assume you watched John John Florence’s Space. Probably watched it a few times too. With 470K views it’s currently the most viewed of all JJF’s heavily curated videos. However, it still has a way to go before toppling the most popular surf video of all time, Gabriel Medina’s backflip, which has 1.7M views.

Wanna top up the tally a bit…?

The latest news from the Wozzle is a new deal with Vero, an online photo-sharing platform that’s getting the kids excited as it's touted as a next-gen Instagram. The Vero/Wozzle relationship will kick off at the upcoming Quiksilver Pro France where, among other things, Vero will create a “social lounge for spectators to meet other fans”.

I’ve no idea why that lounge is different to a normal lounge, and I’m even less clear how the Wozzle, who this year hooked up a $30 million deal with Facebook, can now court one of FB's competitors - Instagram are, after all, owned by Facebook.

Lastly, Terry Richardson’s book is out and it’s as epic and understated as you’d expect. We’ll have a review from Phil Jarratt posted shortly. If you’d like to buy a copy then get along to Richo’s Road Trip. Check all the dates here.

// STU NETTLE

Comments

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 2 Oct 2018 at 4:03pm

Excellent rap.

“46 year old egg - beater with a full head of hair “ is gold.

Gold Coast Goatboater's picture
Gold Coast Goatboater's picture
Gold Coast Goat... commented Tuesday, 2 Oct 2018 at 5:02pm

Thanks for the mention of Rees. He's a champion in and out of the water. Contrary to popular belief (or desire) waveski isn't dead. The local and international comps are very competitive. However, we could do with some more young 'uns starting up. You know who is becoming a powerhouse in waveski? The French!! Do we really want the French to dominate us in a surfing discipline? I think not. Any support SwellNet could give us by publishing articles on waveski would be much appreciated. Check out Waveski Surfing Australia on Facebook. We've just had 3x1sts, 1x2nd, 3x3rds, 1x4th, 1x5th in various divisions at the World Titles.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 2 Oct 2018 at 5:34pm

There’s a guy who goat boats at gunnamatta often and he really throws it around.

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 9:51am

The guy with the beard and black goat boat ? Yes he rips, and is a nice bloke for a chat.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 10:09am

Yep

Salmondog's picture
Salmondog's picture
Salmondog commented Tuesday, 2 Oct 2018 at 8:02pm

surfers outnumber fishos? Really?

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 6:23am

"after sitting down all comp.....declines being chaired up the beach" that's fuckin gold right there !

knB

jme1618's picture
jme1618's picture
jme1618 commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 6:30am

Grew up a few doors down from Rees Duncan.. absolute shred lord on the goat boat and all round good bloke!

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 7:09am

you sure that's not a head full of goat hair?

another tourist

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 8:39am

If there's one thing I know about fishos, they are all crackers about fishing. It unites them.

People who surf are completely disparate. Palpable barriers exist between those who surf for money and those who don't or won't. Shortboarders won't have a bar of mal-riding dickheads and vice versa and don't even get me started on thruster ponies or jet ski pests. We are not united. There is no we.

another tourist

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 9:13am

I was wondering what kind of water was used in the wave pools. You would have to wear a nose peg like the synchronized swimmers and give the head dips away. I like to catch a fish for dinner but a lot of Fishos rape the Ocean no more nets, give the fish a rest for awhile and let them replenish. I was attacked by a Wozzle once.

Victory!

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 11:01am

“A lot of fishos”, how many is this?
Are you talking recreational fishers as in context of the discussion?
Yes, a few bad eggs with old greedy bastards believing in self-entitlement to go above bag limits, but before they were old, they were also young greedy bastards too, thus just greedy pricks their whole lives.
99.99% of fishos do the right thing and a lot are very passionate about protecting the coastal and marine environments, probably do more volunteer rubbish collection, rehabilitation and reporting of incidents or environmental matters of concern than the steriotype sea shepherd fan boy/girl
The problem with nearshore and estuary coastal marine environments is not over fishing, it’s the pollution, industrial and agricultural runoff and stormwater plus rubbish entering the system, that’s what stuffs it. Did I mention effluent discharge? Find you local ocean effluent location and look for their annual reports, results constantly over target limits and thresholds but not responsible to anyone, public doesn’t make any noise, continue on polluting but we’ll ban all fishing anyway to look like we care, what a joke

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 9:47am

The CT is back in mother nature and I can't find a forecast.

the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 11:03am

...and a plug for the waveski brigade from a different view.

I've met a number through Disabled Surfers Assoc (DSA) in Australia and Access Surf in Hawaii. The ski allows people who are unable to have the 'choice' over what they ride to still be in the water as equals. This is hugely important to them and to the community. I've seen many of these lads take off without fear and go hammer and tong and what's before them. I just stand back and applaud.

The U Turn
...a little Aloha goes a long way.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Wednesday, 3 Oct 2018 at 5:36pm

My apologies Uncle Leroy I realise I was wrong. True fishos are the responsibe ones. But I have seen some people filling their freezers with no regard for the limits. And trophy fishing!! Our fish stocks have been decimated in some places. To many boats with echo sounders and techknologies.

Victory!

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 5 Oct 2018 at 12:36am

Editor surfer, how hard can it be, really?

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright commented Friday, 5 Oct 2018 at 3:46pm

I've seen Rees surf and I'll vouch for his skills. Except for wave positioning and wave choice, skiing is pretty much a different skill then surfing. Totally different muscles and movements.

Also reminds me, I was looking through an old surf mag recently and it had a whole article on Mike Petrie - when was the last time that happened? An eggbeater in a stand up mag? A funny photo sequence in the story showed Petrie doing a "paddle out takeoff", paddling over a big wave then spinning around and catching it. That may have been what he said he was doing but I dont think it was intentional.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 9 Oct 2018 at 1:13am

I want to meet Rick Steins son, then I will encourage You Am I to come along and feed. I am sure it will enrich his life.

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