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Ancient Blood Feud: Kelly vs Adriano!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Is Kelly and Adriano's ancient blood feud, thought to be long dead, alive and well?

Three weeks ago, the Brazilian Adriano De Souza mounted a wonderful and brave charge to win the Pipeline Masters and the world title. When you saw his trembling lips, didn’t it make you want to put a biscuit in his mouth and peck away the crumbs?

As Rory Parker, BeachGrit’s man in front of the webcast, wrote, “A decade of trying, constant shit talking from every direction. Head down, made it happen, never let the naysayers get him down. And that’s something. I catch a tiny amount of shit online compared to the guy, and you develop a thick skin, but sometimes shit makes it through. Easy to let the public ruin your brain, the fact that he didn’t is impressive in itself.”

Does sport get any better? The unfancied and unpretty Adriano De Souza, throbbing to his own pulse, galloping to victory?

But Adriano was gifted approximately 15 hours at the summit of the surfing world before the spotlight was turned off and aimed at Kelly Slater and his new wave pool.

“Worse still, though, is poor Adriano de Souza. Hours ago, literally hours, he was on top of it all. He was champion of the world, the first ever Brazilian Pipe Master too! He had etched his name into the record books and could sit back and be lauded for a hard-fought year. Except he couldn’t because when he woke up this morning the lauders were glued to computer screens not watching his year’s highlights but ogling Kelly Slater’s magnificent wave.

Chas Smith opined, “Kelly Slater is an absolute master of stealing the spotlight any time it drifts, slightly, from his handsome face. He was mad at me for having a cup of coffee and not talking about him and so he released a perfect video that is burning the Internet down.

“Worse still, though, is poor Adriano de Souza. Hours ago, literally hours, he was on top of it all. He was champion of the world, the first ever Brazilian Pipe Master too! He had etched his name into the record books and could sit back and be lauded for a hard-fought year. Except he couldn’t because when he woke up this morning the lauders were glued to computer screens not watching his year’s highlights but ogling Kelly Slater’s magnificent wave.

“I want to be frustrated but he is so good at it, so utterly masterful, that all I can do is stand, mouth agape, like everyone else. Oh, my mouth is not agape at the wave. It scares me in a way that I cannot explain. Like, really points to the end of the world somehow.”

Of course, it doesn’t matter what people call you unless they call you pigeon pie and eat you up. But do you think Adriano taking the world title determined the timing of the wave pool clip, and that it snatches a glimpse of the shadow in Kelly’s feelings towards Adriano?

Let’s examine the evidence. Do you remember, four years ago, at the Hurley Pro when Adriano was in the worst temper? Watch!

I’m certainly not a world expert at body language, an expert at nothing except online shopping if truth be told, but it does seem that Kelly fudges when the interviewer Mitchell Ross asks for the causes of the event. Do you like it when Kelly likens Adriano’s intemperance to a chemical imbalance due to his “passion”? I do!

Do you watch this old clip and think, is there something there, in light of recent events?

I do now, but only because shortly after Kelly dropped his wave pool clip a BeachGrit reader screenshot this exchange between a Kelly Slater and another surfer. The reader couldn’t verify the authenticity of the parties involved, but it makes for interesting reading.

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Do you wonder, is Kelly and Adriano’s ancient blood feud, thought to be long dead, alive and well?

Did the kernel of civility between the two just break?

Racial Identity and Carissa Moore Day!

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

What exactly is…Hawaiian?

I received an email from the WSL’s PR wing this morning, or late last night, that began,

“Three-time world surfing champion and Honolulu native Carissa Moore was honored at Ala Moana Beach Park today by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who officially proclaimed January 4 as Carissa Moore Day in Hawaii.”

Absolutely lovely. Carissa Moore’s just great, amazing surfer, future legend. Good for her.

Of course, it’s not exactly true. Caldwell’s not the king of Hawaii, just Mayor of Honolulu County. The state of Hawaii is comprised of four (technically five) counties. Honolulu (duh), Kauai (which includes the island of Ni’ihau), Maui (which includes most of Molokai, Lanai, and Kaho’olawe), and Hawaii (Big Island). The technical fifth is Kalawao County, which consists of a small portion of the Molokai coast, the reasons for which are kind of interesting, but totally inconsequential in the context of governance.

So January 4th is only Carissa Moore Day on Oahu, at least until one or more mayors from other islands jump on the bandwagon. Which isn’t very likely.

It’s a simple mistake on the WSL’s part, people forget that there’s a lot more to the Hawaiian Islands than Oahu. Which suits most of us just fine.

And, anyway, it’s just simpler to call Honolulu “Hawaii.”

Does it bother a few touchy souls on other islands? A bit. People from Kauai certainly care about the fact that it was never conquered by the Kamehameha dynasty, even though it kind of was.

Anyway, these minor distinctions don’t mean shit outside our borders, and I really don’t expect the majority of the world to care. But it does give me an excellent opportunity to segue into another kind of important if you live here, but confusing to visitors, topic.

Hawaiian means you’ve got Hawaiian blood. The amount doesn’t really matter, unless you’re fighting over potential federal dollars. We’ve got “toenail” Hawaiians, with blonde hair and blue eyes, a few pure-blooded Hawaiians, people who discovered their ancestry moved out in their late twenties and affected an accent. But the term pertains to bloodlines, not residence.

Which is racial identity in Hawaii.

You hear it all the time during the WSL webcasts, even from Ross Williams, who certainly knows better. “Hawaiian” surfer John John Florence, “Hawaiian” surfer Sebastian Zietz. And, yeah, they grew here, didn’t flew here, but Hawaiian they are not.

Hawaiian means you’ve got Hawaiian blood. The amount doesn’t really matter, unless you’re fighting over potential federal dollars. We’ve got “toenail” Hawaiians, with blonde hair and blue eyes, a few pure-blooded Hawaiians, people who discovered their ancestry moved out in their late twenties and affected an accent. But the term pertains to bloodlines, not residence.

Born and raised in Hawaii, but spring from different stock? No worries, you’re local. Not to be confused with how the word is used in surfing.

White guy who moved out with your girlfriend at 28 and decided to stay? That’s me, that’s haole, and that’s fine. Sure, plenty of assholes bitch and moan about the term, compare it to nigger, get all up in arms.

But it’s just a word, and, like all words, the meaning heavily depends on context.

“The nice haole couple who live next door,” isn’t the same as “that fucking haole who cut me off on Nimitz this morning.”

In any case, it’s kinder than kotonk, an onomatopoeia that refers to Japanese born on the mainland and is derived from the sound of an empty coconut hitting the ground.

Amazing: Bethany Hamilton surfs Jaws!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Jaws.

 

 

Anything you can do Bethany Hamilton can do better! Kauai’s most famous resident towed into Jaws yesterday and it was very fine for many reasons. Watch here, now, and then come back later for a fabulous interview!

Homage: The Joy of Social Theft!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Or how a BeachGrit steal-and-edit found it onto Shane Dorian, Stab and The Inertia…

Instagram is a real odd thing for biz. It’s time consuming and the spike of a like is so addictive much of the day is spent tapping and scrolling. I used to watch birds soar across the sky. I used to study sand formations at my beach. Now I peck at my phone like a seagull searching for crumbs.

Doesn’t do a damn thing for a website like BeachGrit traffic-wise, either. But it’s part of the branding, part of the…awareness…part of the fun.

Because we don’t have a photography archive, I mostly cut little clips from stuff I find on YouTube (board collisions, wipeouts) or from a high-level surfer’s edit: Jordy’s monster oop, Reynolds doing almost anything, John John sometimes.

Just recently. I was recording an interview with the big-wave surfer Mark Mathews  about the shoulder he busted at Jaws when he showed me a clip he had of a jetski fail at Jaws. We both laughed and I said I was going to go home, find it, and post.

He said that was a fine idea. Fails score big, he said.

But I couldn’t find it. I look and I look. I did find this, however.

It wasn’t the clip Mathews had, but maybe better. It was filmed by GKO Productions and I hoped they didn’t have a legal team who’d chase my, admittedly profit-less, theft.

So I cut it into a 15-second piece on iMovie, with a  cute lil zoom on the guy abandoning the dead ski, and added my favourite song from the movie La PiscineRun Rabbit Run by Michel Legrand. I tagged GKO Productions on the bottom. Maybe I could drive a little IG traffic their way to say thanks.

Post went good, at least on our little account of 21k, with 1622 likes.

 

Jetski step-offs! Such living theatre! #gkoproductions #islandsurfboardrentals

A video posted by Beach Grit (@beach_grit) on

Who knew it would become worthy of homage by some of the biggest surf accounts on IG? Shortly afterward, the BeachGrit edit was reposted on Shane Dorian’s account (including song), no tag for BeachGrit nor its original  creator. Shane’s 289,000 followers rewarded the post with 12,486 likes. 

Then Stab reposted Shane’s uncredited repost (minus the song) and credited Shane. Stab’s 482,000 followers rewarded the clip with 14,016.

Yesterday the excellent, if racist, website The Inertia , reposted the repost on their Twitter account. 

Follow the trail here! 

  jet-skis die at the worst times👋🏾 #GhostRideTheWhip   A video posted by Shane Dorian (@shanedorian) on

 

  2015 was a tough year for ski operators. #repost @shandorian   A video posted by Surf Magazine (@stab) on

 

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Gossip: Surfer dates Christie Brinkley?

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

a New York State of Mind for sure!

Balaram Stack is a New York surfer with a wonderful name. I once broke into his mom’s house with then Surfing editor-in-chief Taylor Paul to maybe get wax or something? I can’t remember. We wanted to surf and it was pumping out the front. Later, Balaram’s mom drove us somewhere. All of this is fuzzy. Taylor? Can you help me here?

Billy Joel is a New York singer famous for his soulful vocals and piano playing. His famous song New York State of Mind soars as does the playful Uptown Girl. The latter was written about his then wife supermodel Christie Brinkley.

And has there ever been a grander star than she? Her face filled my childhood dreams. The very picture of American beauty. She graced the cover of many Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions, was in National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation as Chevy Chase’s fantasy in the red Ferrari and tickled insomniacs with her late night informercials for Total Body Fitness etc.

She and Billy Joel were married in 1985 and divorced in 1994. But there is a new man on her Instagram feed and it is none other than New York surfer Balaram Stack! Could they be more than friends? The captions are cute, nice, fun and may belie a romantic connection? Balaram’s eyes sure glow but wouldn’t yours? I texted the boy and asked, “Are you dating Christie Brinkley?” At time of printing he has yet to respond.

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If Balaram and Christie Brinkley are, indeed, an item I will nominate this for the best surfer + model/actress/singer connection of all time. Kelly Slater with Pam Anderson had, previously, held the number one slot. Kelly Slater with Giselle had held the number two. Kelly Slater with Cameron Diaz had held number three. But Balaram trumps them all if, indeed, true.

(Thanks to Jerry Muncuso for his sharp IG skills.)