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Interview: Peter King on the Making of Tour Notes

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Find out why Kelly wants to "destroy John John!" So candid, Mr King!

Some people got it, some people don’t. It’s how life works. And Peter King, the former pro surfer from La Jolla in California, the music video maker, the skateboarder, the musician, the photographer, and the creator of #Tour Notes for Hurley, is one of ’em.

Likeable? Yeah, he is. Will he make you laugh? Yeah, he will.

Tour Notes is the perfect antidote to the high-production values of the WSL. I love the sing-song voice of Joe and the cavorting of the gazelle-like Rosie, the desk and the tropical shirts and the on-screen graphics and I even like the Samsung ads, but it’s Tour Notes, that really gets me.

Who can miss an episode? It’s a disposable pop art that’s perfect for Generation Selfie. It’s a yowling discharge of all those down days, all that… nothing but everything… that surrounds those two-week waiting periods at contests. It’s peculiar, it’s memorable, it’s a surface with slips but no adjustments.

I wanted to talk to PK about the machinations of making Tour Notes and found he, en route to dinner, very late, in Rio, with his boy-pal John John Florence, whose commentary will be seen later in the interview.

BeachGrit: Tell me about making documentaries.
PK: It works because it’s me. I’ve been around the tour, I know it. I was on tour for three-and-a-half years, back when girls wanted to hang with Shaun Tomson and Rabbit Bartholomew and were 35 years old and wore high-waisted bikinis, do cocaine and all those things I didn’t know about. And what do I remember about my time on the tour? It isn’t the heats. I wanna show the fun. I want to show the silly little conversations.

BeachGrit: How did you make Tour Notes happen? Even low-budget takes money.
PK: I’m persistent. And overweight. It’s a deadly combination. Oh, but seriously, Evan Slater (from Hurley, the sponsor of Tour Notes) is a real journalist. He appreciated my ability to deliver something. I just have my iPhone running. Most of Tour Notes is shot on an iPhone. I have a RED camera but I just look at it.

BeachGrit: Aren’t they just the prettiest things! But there’s a vulgarity about them too…
PK: It looks like jewellery. I just look at it and say, wow, I have a RED. I always wanted to be in that club of rich kids that have a RED. It seems like they’re having so much fun when they’re setting up their tripods on the beach. I like to move quick. I have ADD times five.

BeachGrit: It shows in your edits. Y’ain’t killing us with slow-mo.
PK: If I can keep myself interested in an edit, I know I’ve done a good job. I’m always thinking, am I forcing this? I want people to scroll through, see the content, I want them to laugh, to be excited, and move onto the next thing. It’s not for sitting around watching. It’s not high-art, it’s not a movie. Watch it and move on.

I don’t think anyone edits faster than me. The turnaround can be instantaneous, if that’s the desired thing. But after the event, I like to wait. The broadcast can have its 22 cameras, its feeds, everything. I give it a day-and-a-half breather usually. You know, I was staying with (Hurley’s) Pat O’Connell a couple of weeks ago and he didn’t even know I was making it. He didn’t want to be in Tour Notes, he’s the one paying me to make it. So that was me doing a send-up of my boss. I’m taking as much a risk as you did leaving Stab before it got sold for millions. You blew that. Now you’ve got Chas Smith around your neck, burying you with the advertisers. Everyone reads BeachGrit but no one admits it. No one is allowed to admit it around the tour.

(John John walks past…)

Hey! Matt or Kelly? (John John yells)

He says Matt’s (Spindle Air 540) is better than Kelly’s (540 in Portugal).

(to John) Matt didn’t quite land it and he claimed it! No, I don’t think it’s better. Kelly’s was an accident? He was doing it to bum you out. And it worked!

(back to the interview)

Kelly’s amazing. He’s better than all these guys. Hee hee hee. Kelly has that power because Kelly is the best. He looks completely uninterested unless he’s in a heat with John or knows John is watching. He wants to destroy John. And that’s another nuance in that Rio episode of Tour Notes. Nothing needs to be said. It’s Kelly and John starting at a monitor with Filipe doing a full-rotation air in front of them. Who cares what they said? They’re watching and they’re stunned! Hello! Budda-bing, budda-boom!

BeachGrit: What’s your professional opinion about Kelly this year? I weep when he gets sent out in crummy waves, reducing the game to a lottery…
PK: He’s completely uninterested and that’s my professional analysis. If he rides that Tomo (Dan Thomson board) he’ll be interested. The world tour needs to motivate him. He will be motivated in Fiji. He’ll win Fiji, guaranteed, him or John. Fiji, Teahupoo, Pipeline, that’s John John and Kelly territory.

BeachGrit: Tell me why you succeed where others don’t.
PK: I’m 47 and that has a lot to do with it. I don’t drink, never drank, I love sugar, but I’m not threatening anyone’s space. I’m not some 26 year old shucking and jiving my way up the marketing chain. I’m not trying to be anyone’s agent, I’m not trying to be a host of the webcast, I’m not trying to make 15 dollars on a Surfline photo. There’s no jealousy. It’s just me.

Meet: The second cutest girl on earth!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

She surfs better than me. She is five-years-old.

QUINCY from Sean Slobodan on Vimeo.

The first cutest is, of course, my daughter and it is no exaggeration. Hair as white as snow. A smile that melts the crustiest of hearts. The second cutest girl on earth, though, is named Quincy and she is crazy cute but also shreds.

Just watch this gorgeous little video shot and directed by Sean Slobodan-Milosevic and James Winegar. They weave a narrative through stone-cold action. It is fun to wonder what this little ripper will turn into. Maybe John John? Maybe John John and the CEO of McDonalds?

It is, in any case, nice to see that the lines ‘tween “man’s” surfing and “woman’s” surfing blurring all the more. Have you seen Nikki Van Dijk rip the rip? Quincy surfs better than me. Does she surf better than you? Be honest.

Horrifying! Pro surfers as Serial Killer Face Swaps!

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

Such bad taste! But so compelling!

I recently had an old girlfriend hit me up on Facebook and it kind of sent me into a weird Sliding Doors-esque existential crisis. It’s crazy, when you really sit and think about it. How you can make a life-altering decision without giving it much thought, only later realizing, in that moment, you stood at a major crossroads in your life.

Which got me thinking about professional surfers. What would their lives look like had they focused the insane drive they, without exception, possess, on something other than surfing?

My theory is that they’d have become serial killers, and that would look something like this:

Laura Enever Alana Blanchard

Alana Blanchard (as Ted Bundy)

Shortly before her execution, after more than a decade of denials, she confessed to 30 homicides committed in seven states. The true victim count remains unknown, and could be much higher.

Blanchard was regarded as handsome and charismatic by her young male victims, traits she exploited to win their trust. She typically approached them in public places, feigning injury or disability, or impersonating an authority figure, before overpowering and assaulting them at more secluded locations.

Laura Enever (as Albert Fish)

A self-confessed cannibal, Enever boasted that she “had children in every state”, and at one time stated the number was about 100. However, it is not known if the statement was truthful.

Stephanie Gilmore Gabriel MedinaGabriel Medina (as Charles Manson)

Medina is a Brazilian criminal and musician who led what became known as the Medina Family, a quasi-commune that arose in the Rio de Janeiro favelas in late 2009. In 2011 he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people: actress Lindsey Lohan and four other people at Lohan’s home; and the next day, a married couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca; all carried out by members of the group at his instruction.

At the time the Family began to form, Medina was an unemployed former convict, who had spent half of his life in correctional institutions for a variety of offenses. Before the murders, he was a singer-songwriter on the fringe of the Los Angeles music industry, chiefly through a chance association with Fred Durst, lead vocalist of Limp Bizkit. After Medina was charged with the crimes of which he was later convicted, recordings of songs written and performed by him were released commercially.

Stephanie Gilmore (as Aileen Wuornos)

As a serial killer, Gilmore murdered seven men in New South Wales between 2007 and 2013. Gilmore claims that her homicides were committed in self-defense.

Kelly SlaterKelly Slater (as Ottis Toole) 

Kelly Slater was born and raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Slater claimed his mom would dress him in girls’ clothing and call him Susan. He claimed that his maternal grandmother was a Satanist, who exposed him to various Satanic practices and rituals in his youth, including self-mutilation and grave robbing and dubbed him “Devil’s Child”.

Slater was convicted of six counts of murder. Like his companion Rob Machado, Slater made confessions he later recanted, but which resulted in murder convictions. The discrediting of the case against Machado for crimes in which Slater had offered collaborating statements created doubts as to whether either was a genuine serial killer or, as some have suggested, both were merely compliant interviewees who police used to clear unsolved murders from the books. Slater received two death sentences, but on appeal they were commuted to life imprisonment.

Carissa Moore (as Dennis Rader)

All of Moore’s known crimes occurred within the state of Hawaii. She killed ten people in total and collected items from each murder scene. She also intended to kill others, notably Anna Williams, 63, who in 2012 escaped death by returning home much later than she expected. Moore explained during her confession that she had become obsessed with Williams and was “absolutely livid” when she evaded her. Moore spent hours waiting in her home but became impatient and left when she did not return home from visiting friends.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 2.35.08 PMFilipe Toledo (as Richard Ramirez)

Toledo’s highly publicized home invasion crime spree terrorized the residents of the greater Sao Paulo area, and later the residents of the Rio de Janeiro area, from June 2012 until August 2013. Prior to his capture, Toledo was dubbed the “Night Stalker” by the news media.

Toledo, who was an avowed Satanist, never expressed any remorse for his crimes. The judge who upheld his thirteen death sentences remarked that Toledo’s deeds exhibited “cruelty, callousness, and viciousness beyond any human understanding”.

Matt Wilkinson (as John Wayne Gacy)

Known as the “Killer Clown”, Wilkinson is a convicted Australian serial killer who sexually assaulted and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 2006 and 2014 in Copacabana, NSW, Australia.

All of Wilkinson’s known murders were committed inside his New South Wales home.

Tour Notes: Fandemonium or Rio Wraps!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

"The more Filipe wins the more beautiful he becomes!"

It’s accepted, now, that a contest isn’t truly finished until the former pro-turned filmmaker Peter King wraps it all up in a candid, comedic bow.

And, here, a couple of days after Filipe Toledo won the Oi Rio Pro as breezy as you please, PK delivers his exquisitely trivial bubble of fancy called Tour Notes Rio Wraps or as PK calls it, “a new episode full of fandemonium.”

And it’s true. Weeping girls, weeping little boys. And so many memorable quotes.

John John, watching Filipe in the competitors’ area: “He’s super gnarly at airs.”

Kelly then mimics Filipe’s airs in response. “He’s got so much mouth play!” Oh Kelly!

Kelly Slater mimics Filipe Toledo.

Kelly Slater mimics Filipe Toledo in the competitor’s area. “He’s got so much mouth play!” he says.

Miguel Pupo: “The more he wins the more beautiful he becomes!” and “I get 10 per cent of the girls he gets tonight.”

The filmmaker, Mr Peter King of La Jolla, CA, says: “John John and Filipe fever have been at fever pitch past couple weeks… Brazil Fandemonium got the boys sequestered in their rooms with $ecurity guards…but it’s all good…the difference between say the Oi Rio Pro and the U.S. Open is that at the U.S. Open girls are writing magic markers all over themselves drawing attention to themselves and the Rio fans are giving their full attention to the athletes…”

But don’t read, watch! Below or hit the play button.

 

The Surfer’s Guide to Shark Repellants

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

Because who doesn't a want a little reassurance in these bleak, bloody, attack-riddled days…

In the thirty-ish years I’ve spent playing the ocean I’ve never actually seen a shark while surfing. They’re there, of course.

Pop a mask on your head and go for a spear and you’ll typically see one or two per session. They’re neat animals and they prefer to keep their distance. The first few times you see one creeping up to check out your catch can be a bit nerve-wracking, but once you realize you can chase them off more or less effortlessly the fear factor diminishes quite a bit.

Rocking a pair of three-foot long fins, combined with a four-or-five-foot long speargun, the average person creates a huge silhouette in the water and, like all predators, sharks prefer easy prey.

But that hasn’t stopped a plethora of snake oil salesman from appealing to the cowardice of those who aren’t accustomed to spending any real amount of time in the water. Each product, without exception, is careful to state that they only mitigate attacks, clever use of language to be sure.

“Yeah, dude, they totally work all the time. Except for when they don’t.”

Sharksbanz:

This one goes first, because it’s my favorite. Harnessing the power of magnets, this bracelet totally repels sharks. Except for when it doesn’t. And it doesn’t work with Whites or big Tigers. But, still, magnets do repel things. Other magnets, for one. And maybe sharks are made of magnets?

(See the Sharksbanz here!) 

Shark Shield: The idea behind this one is kind of sound. Sharks do hunt by detecting electromagnetic fields, so overloading their ampullae of Lorenzini might work to drive them off.  Only problem is, if the current isn’t strong enough it’s just as likely to attract a shark as drive one off.  Seeing as how sharks bite the shit out of underwater cables all the time, you’re gonna need a ton of juice running through the thing.

Bonus fact: The Shark Shield will shock the shit out of you. Repeatedly. They even say so on their website. So, if you’re into getting randomly shocked and are looking for a shark repellent device of dubious efficacy, this is the product for you!

(See the Shark Shield here!)

Shark Spray:

It worked for Batman, so it must be gold! This stuff smells like rotten shark, and everyone knows that sharks don’t eat other sharks. No sirree, sharks have very delicate constitutions, and they find the very notion of cannibalism appalling.

(See Shark Spray here!)

Shark wetsuit:

Spearos love their cool camouflage wetsuits and there are a ton of companies that put out some really kick-ass prints that mimic either reef or fish coloration. They work pretty well too, if you’re hiding from other humans.

The only problem here is that sharks are not primarily sight-based predators, and even if they were, humans thrash about in the water like dying hippos. In order for camo to work it really needs to be paired with stealth, something beyond the ability of us bald apes.

(See the Shark wetsuit here!)

Speargun:

A speargun won’t keep a shark from approaching you, but if you’ve got a pair of brass balls and a strong resolve to keep your catch a good poke from a pointy spear will make a shark keep its distance.

Not that I’m advocating strapping a speargun to your back before paddling out. I just think this is a really cool video and saw an opportunity to share it.