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Yikes: Is this your greatest ever fear?

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Derek Dunfee and a gorgeous cold water slam!

What is your greatest fear in surfing? Is it sharks? That you are sitting out there in the lineup and things go quiet…a swirl maybe, a brush. No, it is your imagination. There is nothing beneath you. Sharks don’t kill people, people do…and then you see his eyes and his gaping mouth! ARGH!

Or what about this… You are locked deep into a grand barrel, your last wave of the day in a far away 3rd world land. The tide has been dropping steadily and you should have taken one in 30 minutes ago but the ocean went completely flat. But now there is this gem and you are steezy and style and ARGH! A patch of dry reef ahead! Stitches for sure! In a far away 3rd world land!

Or what about this… You are out at Mavericks and you put your head down and paddle so hard, popping to your feet and ready to set your rail… But you can’t set your rail. The wind. That damned wind! And now you are falling, falling, falling, bouncing off the icy cement northern Californians call “water” and the wave is landing on top of you and ouch and tombstone tombstone not breathing.

Yeah?

Let’s watch the very handsome Derek Dunfee live your nightmare!

Tombstoning: A demonstration by Derek Dunfee from Derek Dunfee on Vimeo.

But what is my greatest fear in surfing? Oh. Easy. Walking out on some rocks during a mid-sized day, preparing to jump and accidentally slipping. Getting rolled around for a few minutes while those on the shore film. Having it posted to Instagram.

Worse than losing an arm to shark, a back to reef or a life to drown.

Just in: Barack Obama loves surf reads!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

President Barack Obama can't get enough high shred!

Bill Finnegan’s book Barbarian Days has torn up the charts winning every imaginable award, including the Pulitzer Prize. It is a beautifully written memoir detailing a life spent wearing the surf yoke. Shall we read just one small section?

We rented a room in town from a crazy old man named Harry Kobatake. One hundred dollars a month for a roach-infested sweatbox with a toilet down the hall. We cooked our meals on a hot plate on the floor. The rent was high, but Lahaina had a housing shortage. Also, Kobatake’s rooming house was directly across Front Street from the harbour, where two of the best local waves broke. Bryan had been right — the good summer waves were all in or near town. One spot, called Breakwall, needed real swell to be rideable. Over four feet, it could produce sweet lefts and rights on a jagged reef straight off a rocky breakwater that ran parallel to shore. The other spot, known as Harbor Mouth, was a crisp, ultraconsistent peak on the west side of the harbour entrance channel. It was good even at one foot, crowded, and picked up every hint of south swell. The crowd was largely haole, not local. That became my bread-and-butter spot.

Delicious.

And you know who else thinks so? President of the United States of America Barack Obama! He just released his summer reading list and you know which book was number 1.

Barbarian Days!

Surf Spendor’s David Lee Scales sent this information along. Did you know he was named after David Lee Roth? His parents must have also been living barbarian days.

Listen here as David Lee and William chat! Your sixth favorite surf tabloid even gets a shout out! Barack may love Bill but Bill loves us!

Culture: The Duke in the NY Times!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

And it's hot with racism and interracial sex!

Surfing got history? Yes it do.

And, it’s fitting, since I’m writing this in a hotel room overlooking Kaisers on Oahu’s South Shore, and with a meeting lined up with the man who invented pro surfing, Mr Fred Hemmings in one hour, that the New York Times just posted a story on the goddamned Duke.

It’s a easy read for anyone who recoils at history and, as is the want of The New York Times, is rich with hollers of racism, the essential wickedness of the white devil and shades of gossip.

Did you know Duke was screwing the hell out of white rich lady Doris Duke (interracial sex!) and they probs had a gorgeous little bebe together, who died after one day?

And that, years later, The Duke died while trying to unlock his Rolls Royce?

Let’s read!

White Devils!

With no outward hint of resentment toward those who had seized and subjugated his country, Duke sought and won a place on the American swimming team at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, the only Hawaiian present. The Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Edgar Forrest Wolfe (who used the pen name Jim Nasium) pronounced Kahanamoku in 1913 “a human fish” and “the greatest swimmer the world of sport has ever seen.”

White devils!

Reflecting the condescension with which Americans of the period viewed Hawaiian culture, Wolfe wrote that Duke had started his career as “one of the brown naked kids” of Honolulu who “swim through the shark infested waters of the harbor in search of silver coins thrown from the docks of the incoming steamer.”
Racism!
As a Hawaiian, he was not immune from racial prejudice. Arriving once with fellow swimmers at a restaurant in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., he was told, “We don’t serve Negroes.”
Movie star!

Moving to Southern California, Kahanamoku leveraged his fame to play in more than two dozen Hollywood films, as a pirate, bodyguard, soldier, Sioux Indian, Turk, Hindu, Persian, South Sea Islander and other minor characters. (His final on-screen performance was as a native chief in “Mr. Roberts” (1955), starring Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon.)

Called the “King of all Swimmers,” Duke used his réclame to help weave the ancient art of surfing — little known outside the islands, and fading even there at the time — into mainland United States popular culture. “You are rewarded with a feeling of complete freedom and independence while rocketing across the face of a wave,” Duke explained in his autobiography.

Screwing Doris! 

In the late 1930s, the sheriff fell under the spell of the tobacco heiress Doris Duke, who was building an estate called Shangri La (now a museum) near Diamond Head. In July 1940, she gave birth to a daughter named Arden, who died one day later. Several biographers have argued that the baby was almost certainly Kahanamoku’s.

Three weeks after the birth, his timing perhaps provoked by dread of a public scandal, Kahanamoku married Nadine Alexander, a Cleveland-born dance teacher at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Doris Duke reportedly lent or gave the newlyweds about $12,000 (now over $200,000), which they used to purchase a house not far from her own.
Dies next to his Rolls Royce!

Although never preoccupied by celebrity or fortune, Duke began lending his name for modest profit to surfing teams, competitions and equipment. One promoter gave him a Rolls-Royce with a surfboard rack on the roof. In January 1968, outside the Waikiki Yacht Club, he was looking for its keys when he was stricken by a fatal heart attack.

Read what’s left of the story here! 

Baby, shoot for the stars!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Is there anything wrong with beauty? With gorgeousness? I say, "No!" And, "Hell no!"

Have you been watching the Olympics? In Rio de Janeiro? Such charm! Such fun! Such inspiration! There is a story every single event, it seems, that reaches right down the throat, over to the heart and starts plucking those strings.

The magnificent Simone Manuel, for example, became the first black woman to ever win a swimming gold when she shocked the world in the 100 free. Kayla Harrison made history by winning her second judo gold in as many Olympics before shit talking UFC.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a world where you get fights based on how pretty you are and how much you talk, not necessarily what you’ve done in the ring.”

So powerful! Such emotion!

But, if I’m going to be honest, as the father of a very pretty daughter I get ruffled when people denigrate “pretty.”

“What is wrong with gorgeousness?” I ask myself. “What’s so bad about perfect facial symmetry and a caramely tan?”

And I look to men like Tony Ray for my own inspiration. Fathers of daughters with perfect facial symmetry and carmely tans.

Do you remember Tony Ray? The wonderful big wave surfer? Let’s refresh with Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing!

Unassuming big-wave rider from Torquay, Victoria, Australia, described by surf journalist Steve Hawk as the “Forrest Gump of giant waves”; world-ranked #11 in 1992, and runner-up in the 1999 and 2002 editions of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay.

Ray was born (1965) in Torquay, moved with his family to Coolangatta, Queensland, in 1970, and began surfing at age seven. In 1983—five years after moving back to Torquay—Ray placed third in the juniors division of the Australian National Titles; the following year he was runner-up in the men’s division to future world tour powerhouse Gary Elkerton.

The slender-framed Ray was a function-first surfer, with little concern for the nicities of style, and a great natural instinct for the tube. He won his only world tour event in 1992, beating future world champion Kelly Slater at the Lacanau Pro in France. After retiring from the tour after the 1995 season, Ray began to concentrate on big-waves, and quickly developed a fearless, almost laconic approach to both paddle-in and tow-in riding.

A slender frame is a wonderful thing to pass to a daughter. And let’s look at Tony’s famous one, Sahara Ray! She has been in the news lately because she is maybe Justin Bieber new girlfriend.

The Daily Mail says:

She’s the Australian bikini model romantically linked to Justin Bieber. And Sahara Ray fuelled rumours she’s more than just friends with the pop star after going TOPLESS during their holiday in Hawaii.

She displayed plenty of sideboob in a racy Instagram snap posted shortly after being spotted with Justin and a group of friends. In the photo shared on Wednesday, Sahara partially exposed her breasts while posing outdoors by a idyllic waterfall scene.The swimwear designer flaunted her busty assets and shapely derrière after stripping down to a pair of skimpy white bottoms

She also appeared to embrace the local culture by wearing a colourful floral wreath around her head while crouched on a rock. Meanwhile, Sahara’s platinum blonde hair fell loosely over her back as she cast a provocative gaze at the camera.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.34.38 AM

As good as gold in my book. Maybe even better. I am thinking about starting an exclusive club for fathers of beautiful daughters/fathers who hope their daughters have the chops to become models/socialites.

It will probably be called The Superlative Genetics Club feat. Fathers and their Unashamedly Beautiful Daughters (by invite only)™

GQ Skewers Laird Hamilton!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

"Don't make this ultimate summer airport style mistake!" warns magazine.

In a worldwide email blast several minutes ago, the arbiter of American style, GQ magazine, headlined Laird Hamilton thus: Don’t Make This Ultimate Airport Style Mistake. 

Do you find this particularly cruel, given Mr Hamilton has never claimed to be anything but a robust big-wave stud whose body is best viewed naked? 

The story begins…

Summer’s most beguiling fantasy is that when it’s this hot out, the sartorial rules we follow in cooler climes can go right out the window. In particularly oppressive heat, even the most stylish men can be tempted to throw caution to the wind (if they can find any wind, that is) and break every regulation that keeps guys looking reasonably good during the rest of the year.

This is the fate that has befallen iconic surfer Laird Hamilton.

The wave-chasing fashion designer was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday wearing a black shirt and dark jeans, items that would suggest he couldn’t have been feeling that warm. But his footwear, a pair of brown leather flip-flops, told a different story: that the man literally needed to cool his heels.

Never mind that he’s sending the fashion equivalent of a mixed metaphor; no matter what time of year it is, flip-flops are best used sparingly, like paprika. There’s even a handy list of places on GQ.com where you can wear them (you’re welcome), and spoiler alert: Airports aren’t on it.

Want to read the rest and afterward click to a link to the “sexiest secret beach in Jamaica?” Hit this button!