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Hero: New Yorker wins Surfer of the Year!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

A gentle New Yorker braves nor'easter and wins hearts!

You, of course, know the local news “there is a storm/hurricane/snow/wind/big waves so lets go to the beach and snag a surfer” trope. Rarely are the segments any good. The interviewer is always trite and the surfer being interviewed usually deer-in-the-headlights. Oh there have been exceptions like this one from a decade ago…

…but generally poor.

Except look at this fine young man in New York City! The way he casually tries to avoid the camera, his surprise that he is being called over even though he is the only person within miles, his yellowed Xanadu, his puckishness in asking for a ride and the fact that this was his first time surfing ever because he heard it’s good to surf when the wind is offshore.

I think he may be the perfect surfer. He is the one that belongs on our hundred dollar bill.

Speaking of which… should we start our own currency? Now seems like a good time.

#TourNotes: “Sleep in Holy Ground!”

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Behind-the-scenes, finals day, Quiksilver Pro, Snapper.

Let’s list the adjectives that immediately spring to mind when we talk finals day at Snapper: rich, gorgeous, warm, illuminating. It was human aspirations at their loftiest! Shadowy angels brushing against earthly ones etc.

Today, the vox pop filmmaker Peter King, who is almost fifty years old, loosed his traditional end-of-contest, two-and-a-half minute short called TourNotes. It is a pedestal for all sorts of moments that are overlooked by the rigid structures of contest reporting: we discover Ricardo Toledo’s secret whistle for telling Filipe to take the second wave.

Mick Fanning and Kelly Sater have an awkward moment when Mick tells Kelly he should’ve “put the pie in the oven” i.e. stall for his barrel.

“What happened to your oven mitt?” asks Mick.”You should’ve put the pie in the oven.”

Kelly is confused (“Say what?”) and Mick seems to darken before our eyes. If it was a bar it is the sort of conversation that leads to a fight where both combatants wake up in the morning with bruised cheeks and painful hands and wonder how the hell that happened.

When Kelly understands Mick’s posit, he says, “All I needed was an eight to make the heat. I didn’t need to get a ten.”

Mick stalks off.

“I’m still in. He’s not,” says Kelly.

A moment: Glen Hall pulls up behind Matt Wilkinson, who’d just been joshing around saying if he won six more Quiksilver Pros he’d buy the penthouse in the Rainbow Bay high-rise he’d been staying, in and whispers, “One more.”

Wilko’s face drops. The edifice switches from comic to serious.

“One more,” says Wilko, looking to the heavens.

Watch here! 

Watch: Parker Coffin Has No Sponsor!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Broke and alone!

Confession time. I prefer Parker Coffin’s surfing to that of his sponsored, CT-residing bro.

Of course both Coffin boys modeled their surfing after Santa Babs (area) legends. Conner is a mix of Dane and apparently Curren, though I have trouble seeing the latter. Meanwhile Parker’s flow is reminiscent of surfing’s fav Mexican American, Bobby Martinez. All three icons have made a lasting impression on the surf world, from Curren’s style to Dane’s everything to that fucking tennis tour.

Parker has many things in common with Bobby. There’s the tight stance — super stylish, great for carving maneuvers. There’s the upright posture — super stylish, great for carving maneuvers. There’s the backside lipper — quite explosive, great for big scores. And lastly, there’s the main sponsor — WhiteNose Industries.

It’s true! Ever since tennis tour comments and Volcom’s vicious purge, Santa Bab’s best goofies have been without top-tier contracts. Sure Bobby’s got Monster, but that’s not a real sponsor. Like… they give him money and all, but it’s no Quik/Bill/Rip/Banks Journal. Monster is a halfway-up-the-rail sponsor, not something you’d strive to stain your nose with.

While Conner’s departure from Hurley was a surprise, he was quickly scooped by Rip Curl so no harm no foul. He’s now got two lines of income: CT earnings and a RC salary. Meanwhile, Parker is probably spending more money than he’s winning on the QS and has no major backing to break his fall. It’s a tough life for the QS pro, and to do it all out of pocket is terrifying.

But maybe this edit will change things. Maybe the Quiks/Bills/Rips/Banks Journals of the world will see this three-minute masterpiece and realize, “Hey, we’ve got 50k lying around, let’s give it to the Coffin kid who isn’t on tour!”

But of course that’s unlikely because nobody’s got money and our industry is shit and life is unfair. Parker’s probably got a few more years to make the dream happen before he turns into just another local legend. Let’s hope he sees some CT daylight first.

Warning: “The Chinese are coming!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Do you think your local break is crowded now?

If you are an American then you no doubt remember the story of Paul Revere. The brave man got on a horse and rode through towns during the Revolutionary War to warn his people that the British were coming. “The British are coming! The British are coming!” he shouted and then America won the war, shaming the British, and gifting the earth Donald John Trump 200 years later.

Well, a brave journalist writing for the Gold Coast Bulletin in Southport, Queensland, is sounding the alarms once again but this time driving a Holden SV through Coolangatta while shouting “The Chinese are coming! The Chinese are coming!”

He begins his provocative piece thusly:

IF YOU thought Gold Coast surf breaks are crowded now, wait until a billion Chinese people hear about them.

Surfing, one of the Coast’s greatest attractions, is making inroads into Asia by the World Surf League ahead of the sport being included into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The peak professional surfing body is even rumoured to open a Chinese headquarters as the sport expands into the most populated countries in the world with hundreds of millions of potential surfers.

And do you think it is true? Do you think the Chinese will take to surfing, en masse? Or even kind of en masse? Like, 300 million or so? And is the World Surf League really opening a Chinese office? The piece continues:

World Surf League Asian Regional manager Stephen Robertson said surfing was growing in India, China, the Maldives, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“We are making inroads into China,” he said.

“For the first time in about 50 years the government are really encouraging the people to go out and get healthy and enjoy a bit more of a lifestyle.”

Son of a bitch. This isn’t sounding good. Let’s keep going?

Gold Coast surf legend Peter Townend (aka PT) — who has been called in by the Chinese Government to coach their Olympic surf team — said there was massive potential for surfing to expand into the region leading up to the Olympics.

Shit. The Chinese are coming? The Chinese are coming? Do we dare continue?

“There are about 400 million people who live on the Chinese east coast — and there’s waves,” he said.

“I’ve seen photos, there is a whole lot of coastline which is waiting to be explored,” he said.

Mr Townend has been working with surfing in China for the past seven years inviting surfers from Hawaii, California and the Gold Coast to compete in an event riding massive tidal river waves in Hangzhou.

Mr Townend, the first surfing world champion, said the Olympics would give the sport its biggest exposure ever.

“The first guy or girl to win a gold medal will arguably be the most famous surfer in that’s ever lived,” he said.

“We’re not talking about surf fans we’re just talking about people.”

SON OF A BITCH! WE SHOULD HAVE STOPPED READING! THE CHINESE ARE COMING! THE CHINESE ARE COMING!

(P.S. Dear Chinese friends. BeachGrit will soon be offering both Mandarin and Cantonese versions.)

Adam Sandler “ass-grabbed” at Malibu!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Comic has ass fondled by "two soft hands" after dropping in on bearded stud… 

You remember Adam Sandler, doncha? Funniest guy in the world in the nineties, not so funny now. A ravishing success in Happy Gilmore (1996). Peaked in The Wedding Singer two years later.

I swear to god, I feel on my ass, two soft hands. I’m, like, what is that weird feeling I have right now? My back is to this guy. His hands are on my ass for a little while. He’s surfing right behind me. Then he just takes me and… throws me… fifteen feet in the air. And then I’m underwater, thinking, ‘Did that guy just grab my ass?’

Anyway, a few nights ago Sandler was on The Conan O’Brien show, talking about an upcoming tour to Hawaii with fellow comics David Spade and Rob Schneider. And the talk, invariably, turned to surfing. Did he surf etc etc.

Sandler, says, yeah, well, I used to surf all the time. Before the kids.

And then he tells a wonderful story of surfing Malibu, how great it is to catch a wave, to feel it lift you and propel you shoreward. A wave comes. He wants it. Starts paddling. Gets excited ’cause he knows he can catch it. He’d seen a guy already on the wave, a bearded truck-driver, a bad ass, who’d parked this eighteen-wheeler on the beach, and figured, yeah, we’ll share.

“At this stage, catching any wave is incredible. And I stand up, I’m surfing, thinking, hey, me and the truck driver are surfing together!”

Then, “I swear to god, I feel on my ass, two soft hands. I’m, like, what is that weird feeling I have right now? My back is to this guy. His hands are on my ass for a little while. He’s surfing right behind me. Then he just takes me and… throws me… fifteen feet in the air. And then I’m underwater, thinking, ‘Did that guy just grab my ass?’ I have to deal with the fact everyone just saw a truck driver grab my ass and throw me about fifteen feet. So, I come up, everyone’s staring at me, and I look in the distance and see the truck driver peeling on the same wave, staring me down like this

Watch the whole interview here!