THE DROP: Rumors, Hearsay, And Speculation In The World Of Surf

In the spirit of The National Enquirer, The Star, and the defunct Weekly World News (Read: Wolfman Weds Batwoman), pro surfing now has The Drop. Given the wealth of information floating out there these days—not all of it accurate—we figured somebody had to monitor the airwaves. On the search for all the dirt that's not fit to print (but certainly fit to post), surf stars, consider this a warning, the paparazzi are watching. Truth be damned, we're just looking to entertain ourselves. So keep your panties on, avoid transvestite hookers, and try to behave yourselves. We're watching…even if it is through a fairly skewed lens.

"I had a big day today," says tour rookie Dan Ross on his blog. "I planted a whole heap of trees out in front of my place. Pretty exciting, they're going to look unreal in about five years."

Case Study Shows Australian Paramedics More Likely To Respond If You're Famous

These days reigning world champion Mick Fanning is a national hero in Australia. And while Fanning lives it up in the spotlight, those he grew up with aren't getting quite the same amount of attention. Several days ago childhood friend of Fanning's, 17th ranked Dean Morrison, had quite a scare. While out surfing in Western Australia Morrison failed to make it out of a crumbling tube section, and as a result ended up pinned on his back to the reef.

"He thought that he had a broken back," explained a photographer who was there and witnessed the accident. "There was a hole in his wetsuit under his neck with blood coming out, right on his spine, as well as an egg-shape swelling just next to it." Up in the car park Morrison requested paramedic assistance. They wouldn't show up for an hour and a half because "their cell phones didn't work." Morrison is now in stable condition, suffering from bruising to his back muscles, and doctors have him up and going again in the next two to three weeks. In the meantime, he's trying to figure out how to climb the ratings a little higher—if not for his pride then at least his own safety.

Dane Reynolds Plagued By Mystery South Pacific Illness

After withdrawing from the Globe Fiji Pro because of medical issues, at this point in time the cause of Dane Reynolds ailment remains a medical mystery. "The doctors never really told me what it was," stated Reynolds on his blog. "I went to the doctor and he looked at my throat and saw it was sort of torn up, he was like 'Oh you have a sore throat huh?' I said yes, so he focused on that although it was less than 1% of my problem. I was like, 'What about my chest pain and trouble breathing and fever and chills?' He said that sometimes came along with mono and strep. I don't think it was though. I haven't heard of anyone getting mono since the second grade. Oh well, I'm better now. I'd just like to know what it was so I can avoid it… I have a feeling it was something from Tahiti."

Slater Sightings Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Kelly Slater's 2008 world title campaign has been rife with speculation, and if recent sightings of the eight-time world champ are any indication of where his headspace has been lately, it would appear he continues to be torn between the lure of Tinsel Town and a record ninth world title. After sitting courtside with Jack Nicholson at an NBA finals game in LA, Kelly was then spotted in the greater Santa Barbara area tinkering on Al Merrick's latest creation, a very small, somewhat unorthodox craft. He was then seen down at Lowers warming up for NSSA Nationals, even going so far as to shoulder hop local talent Kolohe Andino. The Billabong Pro South Africa is still several weeks away, which means anything can happen—we are after all talking about a guy who attended Pamela Anderson's dog's wedding.

Employment Update: Professional Surfing Only Considered Part-Time Job

At the conclusion of the Globe Pro Fiji the ASP World Tour goes on a month-long hiatus before starting back up again in South Africa. And while a few tour athletes use the time to get involved with film projects, and others heal old wounds, most are simply sit back and watch the grass grow—metaphorically speaking, of course. "I had a big day today," says tour rookie Dan Ross on his blog. "I planted a whole heap of trees out in front of my place. Pretty exciting, they're going to look unreal in about five years." Other's have taken up only slightly more rigorous pastimes. "I've been watching the Roosters," admitted Sydney-based Tom Whitaker. "And playing golf," he later added.

Brazilian Contingent Shudders as Surly Hawaiian Looks To Finish What He Started

Things are going great for Sunny Garcia. He’s sitting pretty at fourth in the WQS ratings. He’s engaged. And he’s weighing in around 170 – true fighting form. It’s hard to believe that just a year he was just being released from incarceration and chasing Brazilians across the beach at the Pipe Masters.

But call it a change of heart, call it an old dog learning new tricks, or just call it being in a better place in life, but by all indications it appears Garcia is actually happy and enjoying himself, on of all places, the World Qualifying Series. "Everything is good for me at the moment," said Garcia from the Maldives. "I'm here with my soon-to-be wife Colleen and I'm really enjoying my surfing. Last year was depressing for me with court, prison, divorce and everything, but now my life is on track and I'm feeling good." Only one question remains: is he serious about requalifying? "I'm getting into good shape," alludes Garcia, "and after here I'll go home and train even harder to lose more weight for the European leg of the tour."

Stay tuned for more…