135 – Surf News, September 19, 2016


In today’s episode David and Scott discuss Surf Park Summit 2 (which Scott emcee’d), the Surf Aid Malibu Cup, the dubious judging and spectacular upsets at the Hurley Lowers Pro, the two tragic suicides in the surf community and much more. Enjoy!


Scott emcee’d Surf Park Summit 2, click here to learn more and listen to the pod to hear Scott’s takeaways.



The event raised $125,000 for mother and child health care programs in areas of remote Indonesia. Click to learn more.



Congrats to Jordy Smith and Tyler Wright

Dubious Judging and the Social Media Fallout

Gabriel Medina vs. Tanner Gudauskas

Wilko vs. Simpo

Kelly’s Continued Return to Form

Julian and Slater vent on Instagram


  Here’s what I think about the heat between @gabrielmedina and @tannergud… Tanner’s first wave (8.5) was the best surfed wave of the heat with the most variety and commitment in maneuvers. Gabriel got the better score in the first exchange (8.83) which I thought was incorrect both live and watching replays later. That set a strange tone for the heat. The wave Gab got an 8.3 on should have been easily enough to put him in the lead AT THAT TIME. Tanner had an 8.67 in the middle of the heat that I think was very over scored by more than a point. So when Tanner rode his final wave he should have been in second place needing a mid 8 point ride. And he surfed that wave very well. I feel the judging got lost from the first exchange. By the time Gabby got his good wave (8.3) and didn’t receive the score, everyone was confused, myself included. No matter what you think it was a close heat that could have gone either way. I also think most people take easy opportunities to make big deals about things that aren’t super important in the scope of their lives. The extent to which people have taken this heat is seriously silly. It was a close heat that could have gone either way. Actually, three of us who go to every event scored it later at home and had Tanner with a slight lead, all things considered. My solution? The judges shouldn’t be able to hear the current situation and score accordingly but even with that they are trying to decide who surfed the better heat. We’ve all had close ones go our way or against us. So there you go. Let the controversy (and blocking) continue! ???   A photo posted by Kelly Slater (@kellyslater) on

Gabriel Medina’s step father Charlie chimes in on Facebook with his claims that the WSL,

“I know complaining sucks, but of all events that Gabriel was harmed, this is the worst. Gabriel rode the best wave of the day, that it was also the best of the contest. But, sadly, judges gave him a low score that he couldn’t reverse. I feel sad because they are clearly locking Gabriel. Just imagine if athletics would lock Usain Bolt. Or if swimming would lock Michael Phelps. It’s not cool. The kid born for the sport. He goes there and win, but sadly, five people here define what is good and what is bad. Its like a dictatorship.” Translated by our friends at BeachGrit.com

Click here to watch the video in Portuguese.


David was there. Check the footage here, listen to the story on the pod.



Incredibly sadly, we lost two members of the surf community to suicide in the past week; Dave Wood and Rory Parker.

Dave “Woody” Wood was head of security for the WSL. Rory Parker was a pro surfer from Hawaii (not to be confused with the writer at BeachGrit.com)

Condolences to everyone affected by this tragic loss of life. Smile on! Life is rich and sadness is not durable!

You never know the state someone is in, the subconscious thoughts and harbored feelings no one else truly feels or understands. And I guess this is the end of the road. It’s terribly devastating to all of us who loved @woodysecurity to know this was him less than 24 hours ago, seemingly without a care in the world, smiling away in @peterkingphoto’s hat wig. Unfortunately, his emotions and personal difficulties pushed him beyond his breaking point and he chose to take his own life last night. It would be convenient to blame another person. I guess it’s natural to be angry at him. We’re all just in shock. I loved this man. Can’t believe we won’t be seeing you as expected at every event. I can hardly remember an event without you. Always in everyone’s corner on tour…it’s really difficult to believe you’re gone. Rest in peace, my friend and our thoughts go out to your children.

A photo posted by Kelly Slater (@kellyslater) on


Click here to watch for free from September 19th through the 29th on RedBull.tv

David’s Surf Splendor interview with Frank Solomon and Peter Hamblin will launch on Friday morning. I suggest watching the film first.

Here’s the trailer:


From strength to strength, is this the best #TourNotes yet?

3 thoughts on “135 – Surf News, September 19, 2016

  1. Big Craig

    Recently turned on to this and love the podcast. I’ve only listened to a 1/2 dozen episodes so far & pumped to check out the rest. It’s cool to hear you & Scott discuss your attitude and approach to crowds, hassling, etc..this episode. My surfing peaked in the early 2000s, in my 20s, living in Southern CA but reached its lowest last year. Combination of weight loss, variety of better boards for east coast waves, friends, mindset, and this podcast have me back on track now. I also have been surfing a less crowded spot and although there is usually a number of female surfers, they’re never aggressive/zero hassling(similar to Scott’s experience) & this makes all the difference. Thanks for all that you do!

  2. Brad

    Dave, love the podcast, and given your and Scott’s propensity for discussing the finer points of the English language, I have a question or rather perhaps a comment on the semantics of the green room, AKA the tube, AKA the barrel . The word “tube” as I first understood it as a grom in the early 80s, was a reference to an open ended cylinder of water from which a skilled surfer could emerge. The word “barrel” on the other hand, connoted a closed up place from which one did not emerge. “Tubes” were made, “barrels” were not. When you told your friend you got tubed, that meant you came out (and were probably lying). Barrels, on the other hand, were common close-outs. Thrilling indeed, but not the ultimate stoke we all seek. I figure I must have been barreled 100 times before I made that first real tube.

    Now it has become common to hear the two words used interchangeably; I’ve myself referred to “spitting barrels”, although anyone with half a brain should see that only a tube can spit (go ahead, try and spit with your mouth closed). Am I thinking into this too much?

  3. Mariano Ronquillo Japón

    Hi David,
    I have a question regarding contest rules for the WSL. As I can remember, until last year surfers could use jetski to get back to the lineup in many events. But this year, I always see surfers paddling back to the point. I’ve just come back from Cascais event (in progress yet) and in the alternative spot, where it is taking place the event (both, for women and QS men), Guincho, is really hard to paddle back since it is a open and exposured beachbreak. Don’t you think it’d be better for the show to be able to use jetski, since more waves could be surfed? Can you give us your inside about this matter and the current WSL rules?
    Keep doing this podcast, it’s really rad!!!!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *