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Beach Grit

Dave Stanfield: “Stoke-o-rama!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Don't you miss his adrenalized nonsense? Be honest!

It has been a full year, almost, since the World Surf League became the World Surf League and trimmed its announcing team down to a reputable few. You know the boys now, and their -isms, by heart but what happened to the old doggies? To Pat Parnell? To Dave Stanfield?

I don’t know about Pat but Dave Stanfield is back in the booth calling Zeke Lau Jamie O’Brien and all the rest of the “whoopty-doos” going down in the “thrill-show” and you had better “close your eyes tight or your eyelids are gonna blow open!”

Does hearing his adrenalized nonsense make you nostalgic for a simpler time in the competitive game? A time when a very vague notion of surfing combined with the book How to Speak Like a Cool Dude Teenager for Dummies made for aural gold? An accidental double entendre was always but a blow away when Dave Stanfield was in the booth.

Let’s bring him back home, shall we? Raise your digital hand, dear reader, and Demand your Dave™.

Stud: Chris Hemsworth for VF!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Bruce Weber tells star to, "Put the pussy on your head!"

Is Chris Hemsworth not the dreamiest man alive? Tell me he’s not. Watch this Bruce Weber for Vanity Fair clip and tell me he’s not almost too good looking. In any case, if you listen very carefully you can hear Bruce telling Chris to “pet the pussy…” and to “put the pussy on your head…” And then you can listen normally and hear Chris talking about Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning like a regular every day man, not the dreamiest man alive. Isn’t it funny that gods still have heroes?

But mostly, where does Morning of the Earth rank on your list of greatest surf films ever?

Surf fiction: Don’t call me dad!

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

Rory Parker says goodbye to single moms!

Dad.

God damn it.

I knew it was coming. Told her this wouldn’t work, couldn’t work. Kids build these attachments, regardless. I’m present. I’m kind, enough. I’m big enough to pick her up, buy her a gift without too much thought. But mainly present. In the end that’s all that really matters. Kid sees you every day, nearly, you become a part of its life. There’s no stopping it. Thing doesn’t have the perspective, can’t understand that a large portion of its life is just a small fraction of yours.

It’s why everything is such a big deal. Why petty slights hurt so bad. Don’t have the experience to put things in perspective. Each hurt’s the worst you’ve ever felt, can’t imagine a crueler world.

You figure things out, though. Shit happens, keeps happening. Does the pain stop? Do you just become numb to it? You’ve gotta, right? Or eat a bullet, because there’s always more. Just how things go.

Don’t call me dad, call me a lesson.

“You don’t need to worry, she knows you’re not her father.”

“She doesn’t know shit. She’s a child. This isn’t going to work. I’m sorry.”

I’m not. This is her own fault. I saw it coming. She should have.

“I can keep you separate. I’ll get a sitter, it’ll just be the two of us. You don’t ever need to see her again.”

Great mom. Good job. Got those priorities right in a row.

I can be a band aid, off and gone. Stings like a bitch, the memory fades. But become a ghost? Linger in the eaves? She’ll know I’m there, just don’t want her. I can’t do that. Don’t have it in me.

She’s got a real one out there somewhere. We never talked about him, her mom and I. Not a subject I wanted to broach. Not my business.

He’d sure make it easier. Swoop in on weekends, fill her with candy and half-assed love. Weekend dad, two days of affection. Mom at home raging, the kid a pawn in her bitter game. But not bad for me, an outside observer. Palms raised, stepping backwards, ain’t my job to interfere. Be a good time, a fond memory. Some kindly fellow who fucked her mother then flew the coop. Simple, fun, what I was promised.

I knew she was lying. She had to be.

She’s a piss poor cook. Boiled hot dogs, microwave bullshit. Too self involved to spare twenty minutes to make something decent. It’s her own fucking daughter, always too much effort.

“You don’t know what it’s like! Raising a child on my own, the pressure! Every single day, it’s what she wants! What she needs! What about me? Don’t I get to have a life? You can’t leave me alone! You can’t! What will I do? I need someone, someone who cares about me! It can’t all be about her!”

But it is. And I’m not that someone. Can’t be. Won’t. Don’t care to, not with your true colors bleeding a selfish black from every fucking pore. You made this thing, signed up for it. It’s not the fifties, you wouldn’t’ve bled out in some back alley abattoir. Sterile and trained and safe and easy. Unpleasant, yes. A hard thing to admit, to place that primacy on your own happiness. Self interest at the expense of another life. But worse to ride it out because of unearned guilt and spend the rest of your life awash in resentment. Like a selfish owner, too weak to put your pet down. Letting it suffer away its final days in an agony you ignore. Cursing the clean-up, hating that it just won’t end. But still too weak, too selfish, to do the right thing. Doom another to pain in order to avoid your own weak twinge.

If I don’t say goodbye she’ll cry. She’ll wonder where I went, what she did wrong. Why don’t I love her? Then she’ll move on. Too much in this world to learn. Everyday a different adventure, filling her little head and pushing me out of it.

Mom’s her own problem. We’re adults. We each and always suffer alone.

I’m not going back. I’ll block her number, she’ll figure it out. There’s a jacket I really like hanging on a hook on the backside of her bathroom door. Small price to pay to cut things off cleanly. And the kid will be fine. They always are. Or they aren’t. Gotta keep that vicious cycle turning.

No more single moms. I said that last time, I mean it now. Too much mess. Divorced is fine, maybe good. No kids, no ex, at this age? Spells trouble in my book.

Still talk to my own, occasionally. My ex. Remarried, with the kids and dog and mortgage, whole shebang. Good for her, truly. She got what she wanted, says she’s happy with it. I hope so.

We met young, loved, planned a life together. But they don’t tell you how you’ll change, either or both. That blissful naivete, the notion things last forever. It was easy in the end. No acrimony, mainly mutual. She said she wanted to grow up. I said I was, liked things fine how they were. How much weight you can bear isn’t the measure of a man. Or shouldn’t be. Isn’t for me.

It didn’t break me, nor her. Young enough to start again, smart enough to end it before we burnt through our youth. Sometimes I wonder if I’d, we’d, hung on, made it work, if one of us would’ve come to the other side. A stupid question to ask. Things are what they are.

I let her have the car, the only thing we owned. It was a piece of shit, I looked magnanimous. Win/win.

I had a weak moment, sent her a text. Not my past ex. The one soon to be present.

This isn’t going to work. I’m sorry. You’ll find someone else.

From raving to pleading to ranting to begging. Little dick, piece of shit. I’m so sorry, I love you. We can make it work, I swear. Fuck you then, I hope you die. Don’t do this to me!

Let her get it out of her system. Catharsis is fine, she has every right. Howl at the moon, if that’s what it takes. Empty that pit, find someone else to fill it back up.

It’s easy to move on. Easy-ish. I miss the kid, a little. She was sweet. In some other world, some parallel universe that built me differently, I’m probably still there. For birthdays, Christmas. Teach her to ride a bike, build a little tomboy, the type that bloodies noses. If she were mine I’d have hung around. Even when I’d had enough of mom, moved out, found a place of my own. Through school, through college, give her money for a Summer abroad. Try not to think about how often she gets fucked. If I were her real dad. Which I am not.

The time we had together will have to be enough. If it isn’t, wasn’t, I can’t say I’m sorry. I can’t remember truly feeling sorry, no matter how often I may mouth the words. We do what we have to, all of us, all the time. It’s rarely as clean or pretty as we’d like.

Back in the dating pool is no fun. We’d never talked about monogamy, but I fall into it. Out of sheer laziness, unforced.

The internet makes it easier, if awkward, every meeting a first date. A random encounter in a crowded place is always best. Nothing replaces that magic. Fumbling at a stranger, waiting for morning to see if the click is still there. It usually isn’t, but it was damn fun while it lasted! Sometimes not. Sometimes the room stinks of shame and you can’t wait to get the fuck out. But that has its own charms.

The phone calls and texts and long, crazy, nonsense social media messages slowly taper off, until I’m free and clear. Really starting to feel like I dodged a bullet. Put my dick in crazy, snuck out just in time.

Got a hot date tonight. Off Tinder, of all places, some kid. Which is who it’s for, not some divorced asshole who recently kicked a lonely single mother to the curb. But you’ve gotta fail to succeed. Someone told me that once. Or I read it somewhere. I figured trolling for daddy issues might get a few bites. Looks like it did.

She’s fat, I can tell from her picture, no matter how she frames it. But she’s young enough that it works. Skin’s still taut at that age. And the fat ones are grateful, I remember that. Usually willing to push a few boundaries, because of that gratitude.

I wonder if I should shave. There’s a few grays in my stubble. Does it make me look old? Or edgy, cool, dangerous, experienced? Fuck, she’s still in college, what are we going to talk about? Her class schedule?

I don’t know why I worry. She’s just looking for a fuck. Or should be. At that age.

I’m not gonna shave. Just a quick shower, change of clothes, maybe put some shit in my hair. Not worth getting dolled up. Short sleeved button-up and clean jeans and sandals.

There are reds and blues flashing in my driveway, and my date isn’t happening, and I’m feeling sick to my stomach because I know why they’re there.

Should have seen it coming.

I got the text earlier, saw the name, didn’t read it. Just swiped at my phone so I wouldn’t keep chiming. But it must have registered, because it’s in my mind, I know what it says.

I think we all pray in these pointless moments, when we’re wrapped in terror. Minds shut off, existential fight or flight. Nowhere to run, no thing to confront. Please, no, it can’t be. Anything but this. Please!

Pointless, an empty grasp at nothing.

I know what I’ll see. I just have to look. I could be wrong, I know I’m not.

I did it. She’s gone. We can be together. I love you so much!

Soon: BeachGrit Invitational, Maui!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

The inaugural BeachGrit Honolua Bay Invitational is waiting for you!

Yesterday, our very own Rory Parker sent over a very funny story about how much it costs to permit Maui’s famed Honolua Bay for three days. HERE

At first read I mistakenly thought he wrote “Hanalei Bay” and thought, “Oh wonderful! Let’s permit it ourselves and run a contest. We’ll invite Kala and Kai Borg and Bruce Irons and Dustin Barca and you (if you pay your $25,000 entry fee).”

At second read (I have to read Rory’s stories twice because he insists on putting two spaces after each period) I realized it was Honolua Bay and thought, “Even better! Maui has no locals! Let’s really throw a wild and crazy contest! But how to raise the money?”

Insightful commenter Mariano Landa wrote, while I was thinking:

Social entrepreneurs are the scourge of the earth. At least investment bankers tell you they’re going to make a buck and fuck you, me, and everyone else instead of acting like profiting from poverty and public funding is a necessary vocation in the post-internet era.

“Eureka!” I shouted  and busily cooked up a GoFundMe for the very first BeachGrit Honolua Bay Invitational! Here’s the pitch:

You come to BeachGrit for surf gossip, blood feuds and Matt Warshaw…now stay for our very first surf surf contest!

That’s right! We are raising money for the inaugural BeachGrit Honolua Bay Invitational. A surf contest for the rest of us! We have found a way to secure three days of primo Honolua Bay swell, exclusively, and instead of hording we pass the savings on to you!

The Invitational will be two days pitting “Pros” against “Joes.” You could surf against stars like Ian Walsh  or Albee Layer or even Laird Hamilton. Just picture it! The winner will hoist the beautiful Koa wood trophy and be lauded by his or her peers, but, more importantly, will just have surfed gorgous barrelling rights, alone, for two days!

Also, if there is a “joe” who prefers not to paddle out with Laird Hamilton, one whole day will be reserved for his largesse. He can reserve it all and surf with his five best friends but also be given a Koa wood trophy.

The contest will take place around this time next year. How can you not open your wallet?

Come HERE HERE HERE to pledge your dollars. “Next year in Honolua!” as they say…

Buy: Honolua Bay for $26,000!

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

Own one of the best waves in the world for three choice days. Do it today!

When I first heard the WSL planned to run the ladies’ Honolua event on Sunday I got very excited. More WSL fuckery! Oh, I’m sooooo outraged and riled, can’t wait to cause some trouble.

Thing is, Maui County don’t have the same rules as Honolulu County, where you’re not allowed to run on Sun. Because it’s Jesus’s day and he’s not into competitive surfing. Or, really, because it guarantees one day people can go to the beach without dealing with contest bullshit ruining their good time.

Turns out all that bong resin in my brain has fucked my short-term memory pretty well. You actually can run events on Sunday on Oahu, just not on state holidays or more than two weekends in a row. Read here!

But, come on, I’m a smart guy, surely I can drum up some sort of fake indignation. Just gotta find the facts to fit the argument. I’ve never taken a journalism course. Maybe I should, maybe it’ll give me some good tips about manufacturing hysteria. Maybe it’ll give me an excuse to hang around the local community college and poach impressionable young kids. Lure ’em back to my place. “Oh yeah, I’m totally a successful writer. I’d be more than happy to read your stuff. Why don’t you swing by my pad later today, we’ll have a few bottles of wine and see where the day takes us?”

In the meanwhile I’ve no option but to track down all the rules and permits and see if anything doesn’t line up. Bad news (for me), it’s all on the up and up.

I did come across the permit for this year’s event, very nice of the State DLNR to post it online for my perusal HERE.

There’s some interesting stuff in there. The WSL is still legally called the ASP North America LLC. I didn’t know that. Okay, I admit it’s not that interesting.

I’m watching the contest as I type this. It’s the first heat and Tyler Wright just a pretty sick little tube. It’s great to see the women surf some quality.

It’s always cool to see how much money it takes to privatize natural resources. Ever wonder how much it costs to take possession of three acres of Honolua Beach front during the three week waiting period, plus sole access to the best two days of surf during that swell window? Only $26,136! Quite a bargain!

Of course, it could be more, if they decided to force an environmental impact report. But it seems to be the DLNR’s opinion that erecting tons of shit on pristine public land doesn’t require one. Very nice of them. They do require you use Deep Blue Surf Contest Protocol HERE and/or an equivalent. In this case I guess the WSL went with “and/or an equivalent,” as the event isn’t listed on sustainablesurf.org’s website. No big deal, those fuckers call themselves “social entrepreneurs” a self identification that never fails to enrage me. “Hey, I bet we can make a ton of money, and not pay any taxes, by pretending we give a shit.”

Remember when micro-finance was the new big thing? Lending tiny amounts at usurious rates to people in impoverished nations? That went well, right?

Mr. Chas Smith is of the opinion that “We should so GoFundMe a BeachGrit contest on Kauai. Let’s do it!”

No fucking way. I live here, I got mine. All you cocksuckers can stay the fuck away.

But I’d be on board with doing something similar on a neighbor island.

What do ya’ say? Any of you chumps feel like gifting BeachGrit some dough so we can ruin a spot for a bit? We’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell of getting WSL sanctioning, so it’d just be a bunch of b-level ability boners, like you and me.