Cult surf horror film that had test audiences retching released on YouTube

But is our hero the solution?

Two-time, and current, World Surf League champion Filipe Toledo’s shock announcement that he would take the year off after an embarrassing show at the 2024 season opener Lexus Pipe Pro is still reverberating through the surfing world. The 28-year-old had just come off a phenomenal season marred only by a refusal to paddle into larger surf. The San Clemente resident, by way of Brazil, demolished his competition during Final’s Day at his home break of Lower Trestles and would have done the same this year, all but assuring himself a third consecutive title.

Alas, after his Pipe performance, Toledo called in sick with food poisoning before throwing in the towel entirely citing mental health. A trend, unfortunately, all too common amongst his generation according to a new study published in Fortune.

Per the piece, Gen Zers, those born between 1997 and 2012, are much more likely to call in sick for work than those twice their age.

Research from the RF (in England) finds that more than a third of young people aged 18 to 24 suffer from what is described as a “common mental disorder,” (CMD) like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. The figure is well above the 24% of young people in 2000 who lived with a CMD.

That jump has been “turbocharged” by a mental health crisis among women. Two out of five women in the U.K. are likely to report a CMD, compared with a quarter of men.

While there are theories about the causes of this surge, from the loss of vital public services to the falling stigma around talking about mental health, what can’t be debated is the real-world impacts of increasing instances of poor mental well-being.

Opinion on how to fix the crisis is very mixed. Grumpy locals insist that drinking a cup of concrete, alongside the morning coffee, is the way to go. The emotionally intelligent counter with statistics that these are, in fact, unprecedented times with stress levels through the very roof.

Toledo, for his part, is back to work, participating in the World Surfing Games with an eye on crafting the greatest sport story ever, slaying his demons and winning Olympic gold at the fearsome “Cave of Skulls.”

Maybe his journey will create the blueprint for others to follow?

Toledo a bold trailblazer hacking a way back into the light for his entire generation?

The greatest sport story ever just, maybe, got greater.

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