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Beach Grit

Wavegarden: “A mushy $18-million fail!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

A loud conversation in a quiet restaurant re. wave pool technologies!

I went to lunch today and was minding my own business but two men across from me were not and forced me to listen as soon as it became apparent they were speaking about wave pool technologies. One of them, I believe, was designing one. The other, I believe, was an engineer.

And this is what the one I believed to be an engineer said as I furiously typed his words:

The owner of Wavegarden spent 18 million dollars and was told he would get 6 foot high barreling wave and he got (air quotes) a “failure” 5 foot and mushy.” It barrels less than 5% of the time. He finally came to terms with it. Didn’t really hurt his business model.

So.

They didn’t do the right simulation. The owner should have gone to a third party to validate. Once we have a design…thank you Wavegarden, thank you Wave Loch, now we want to have this validated by a third party. Higher level. This will work. Wave generation mechanism in that format? Depending on the wave size and peel angle 15 to 17 seconds. And the way to go longer is just this switch. So…

…There’s a conversion of wave energy. Convergence of two waves that ends up being the biggest section. Deeper to shallower. Wave fizzles out then reforms. Doing that on purpose. The goal being chest to head high wave…

Make it better go wider, wider pool make it better more room. Beginners are always going to be riding whitewater….

And then I got my bill and left. But is any of that interesting? Elucidating in some way? I don’t know. I failed geometry.

BeachGrit TV: “How to Game the Tour!”

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

With the noted surf coach and former world #1 Brad Gerlach!

Three weeks ago, the noted surf coach Brad Gerlach publicly processed his thoughts on Conner Coffin (“technically and intellectually ready to be the best surfer in the world”), Kelly Slater (“He’s fucking shredding!”) and the tendency in pro surfing circles to “work” on your surfing.

The work-play conundrum formed the hub of the piece, even if it was superficially contradictory given Bradley’s work with Conner. Still, it raised a good point. “There’s work and there’s play. What you tend to hear from a lot of these surfers is, ‘I’ve been working really hard.’ Working, working, working, working, working. Have they ever considered that watching someone…work…isn’t that much fun?

Watch that episode here. 

Today, Gerr examines what it takes to game the tour, how it feels to be “surfing better than everybody else at certain spots and knowing it,” the advantage of having an Olympian father from a sport that’s “beautiful, judged, acrobatic, smooth, powerful” as a coach, why the new generation excites the hell out him, how “safe” everything feels and why young surfers, who should be getting better as they grow, actually start to plateau.

“Is it fear?” says Gerr, who posits that competitors are so terrified of not making the quarters, of being relegated to the WQS, of losing a bonus, that it bites into their surfing.

“All that thinking is the worst thing you could be doing,” he says. “The worst!”

So, how…do… you succeed? Watch!

Genius: Man creates yucky surf wax!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

A wax so yucky that it might just deter sharks!

You, of course, are aware of Modem’s $250 magnetic anti-shark leash? The one that real science has not proven? The one that steals from wide-eyed children’s pockets much like PowerBalance? The one that will maybe cause Modem to get sued out of existence much like PowerBalance?

Well a wonderful man in South Australia just made something better, cheaper and that might actually work! Let’s read about it in Australia’s ABC News!

Could an organic surfboard wax really repel a great white shark?

The wax, developed by keen surfer Neil Campbell, will be tested off the coast of Port Lincoln next month.

It contains a mixture of herbs and spices which give off a pungent scent which he believes could deter sharks from approaching.

He hopes to further develop the wax blend to “take surfers off the menu”.

“I moved to South Australia in June last year and that presented me with the perennial problem for a surfer — sharks,” Mr Campbell said.

Not convinced by electronic and magnetic aids currently on the market, Mr Campbell fell back on a custom he had as a grommet, lathering his board with tea tree oil and muscle creams.

He then began to research natural animal repellents.

And that was when Chillax was born.

“It’s simply local bees wax, cold-pressed coconut oil, a bunch of essential oils and spices,” Mr Campbell said.

“The essential herbs and spices came about from me researching a range of repellent combinations across a range of species.”

Clove oil, which has been used to euthanase Port Jackson sharks, is one ingredient.

So too are hot peppers — as Mr Campbell said he believed sharks were olfactory predators, meaning they hunt by scent.

And how great is that? I love it!

I also love it because he is actually going to scientifically test it on Neptune Island before marketing it. “We are going to scientifically measure the validity of what has been until now only a good argument…” He says.

Can you even take it? Scientifically measuring something’s validity until proven?

Sign me up today!

And thank you Wincy for the heads up!

An ode to Dane Face!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Dane Reynolds has an iconic face. Will he cash in?

How good is Dane Face though? Do you think he could trademark this look? Do you think he could take out a patent on it?

If other people make this face do you think he could sue them? Do you think he would sue them?

Do you think McDonalds will make a breakfast sandwich with Dane Face emblazoned upon the bun? Will Jack in the Box do it instead and try to beat McDonalds to the punch? Will the Dane Face breakfast sandwich outsell the Egg McMuffin?

Will Dane ever compete on the World Tour again and make Dane Face in post heat interviews or has that ship totally sailed? What if we got to see John John vs. Dane for the next few years? Would JJF smash him or would Dane smash instead?

Either way he would make Dane Face in the post heat interview.

But how good is Dane Face though?

Dazzling: Kelly Slater Wins Tahiti Pro!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Combos John John Florence in final!

A few minutes ago, Kelly Slater grabbed the lingering, perhaps final win, of his three-decade career, combo-ing John John Florence in the final of the Tahiti Pro.

Kelly included a 9.77 and a 9.90 in his heat total of 19.67. John John, who suffered a possible knee injury on one wipeout, scored an eight and 7.23 for a combined total of 15.23.

The win propelled forty-four-year-old Kelly eleven places on the tour ratings, from nineteenth to eighth place.

His last three results now include a third, a fifth and a first.

Did you watch the contest? Did you, too, have the sense that Kelly, who has won the Tahiti Pro five times, and who ran a perfect heat in round five against Bruno Santos, was impossible to beat? That this might be his last wonderful gesture?

“I had my hand on this trophy two years (growling)… and I let it go!” said Kelly, afterwards. To the naysayers, he admitted that as a WCT level surfer, y’gotta “be heavily scrutinised.”

As for the fairly ludicrous attempts to drag him into the world title game, “I only have another 18,000 points to catch those guys,” he said wryly.

Let’s examine the highlights!

First the final!

Now see Julian and John John’s quarterfinal here.

Kelly wins the Andy Irons award!

See John John’s road to the final…

And Kelly’s…

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI FINAL RESULTS:
1: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.67
2: John John Florence (HAW) 15.23

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.40 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.10
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 19.66 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.23

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.00
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.27 def. Bruno Santos (BRA) 17.43
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.90 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.40
QF 4: John John Florence (HAW) 17.34 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.60

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.77 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.60
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 20.00 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.70
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.43 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.33
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 18.30 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.90

2016 WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after Billabong Pro Tahiti):
1. John John Florence (HAW) 39,900 pts
2. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 36,000 pts
3. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 35,700 pts
4. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 26,200 pts
5. Julian Wilson (AUS) 25,200 pts