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Watch: Brad Flora Justifies Slayer!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

A man in his element!

BeachGrit has been critical of recent surf/music pairings, specifically those of Africa’s number one and two surfers. The song choices felt forced, as if Jordy and Brendon were portraying an image inconsistent with their character, their surfing.

This is not the case for Maryland’s Bradley Flora.

Slayer’s Black Magic functions only to reinforce the waves Brad surfs and how he surfs them. The technical approach ain’t quite there with Jords or Beeg, but there’s something to be said for synchronicity of vision, feeling, and sound. For me, this video induced more guttural emotion than both of the aforementioned clips combined. It made me want to go surf or drink or jump off something.

The story behind Peixe Podre (Rotten Fish) makes it even more enchanting. Having been dropped by sponsor Rip Curl and forced to move back home to O.C., MD, Brad spent the last of his savings on a two-week trip to Portugal. While there he became enamored with the unhinged style of surf, but more importantly, he fell in love with a local gal.

Brad returned home only to sell his car and pick up the rest of his surfboards, then was on the next flight back to Lisbon. He spent the past three months living with his Latin muse and surfing every day. When his high-flying, slab-stabbing approach resulted in a dismantled quiver, Brad grabbed a dilapidated twinny and made the best of it for the remainder of his stay.

When man sacrifices all for wave and woman, art is the inevitable byproduct.

A story of passion!

Mascot: WSL unveils Shredosaurus!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Your professional surf experience just got 10x better!

Is there something missing from our World Surf League? Something… missing? There’s lots of professional surfers and a wonderful announcing team. There isn’t Rosy Hodge but her spirit infuses dear Kaipo. There’s tons and tons and tons of heats. There isn’t ex-WSL CEO Paul Speaker who’s gone to the big Brooks Sample Sale in the sky but his spirit infuses the new wooden coffee table.

But there is… something… missing.

Wait! I know! A mascot! The World Surf League needs a lovable, cuddly mascot that makes us giggle and feel warm. A snuggly mascot who makes our hearts smile.

I don’t even have to ask and the World Surf League already giveth.

And introducing… Shredosaurus! A lovable, cuddly, snuggly inflatable dinosaur that dances and surfs!

That’s right!

Shredosaurus was unveiled yesterday on Facebook Live as the World Surf League tried to drum up enough votes to win a Webby in the “sports app” category. The Webbies are the Academy Awards of the Internet and the WSL is up against the NFL, the Miami Heat basketball team and ESPN. And apparently they were near last place but Shredosaurus promised to SURF if they won the votes.

The fans went CRAZY totally laughing n stuff. It was GREAT!

I can only assume Shredosaurus is on an airplane right now to Bells Beach and that’s why the contest hasn’t started yet.

Who needs John John when you have love?

Vote here and help make Shredosaurus and its World Surf League famous!

Stab: “We don’t want you to get laid!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

The radical magazine from Australia tries to keep you chaste!

Stab magazine is the greatest thing on earth, no? The rare mixture of a consumer facing “We’re young! We’re cool!” plus no taste plus easily hurt feelings plus paranoia plus SurfStitch is pure gold.

No?

But would you like to know one better thing?

Jeans that scream, “I’m lonely and forty and live in a small town!”

And Stab in partnership with their owners at SurfStitch and no taste and easily hurt feelings and paranoia just posted its greatest piece yet. It’s Cold Out! Here’s Some Very Good Pants:

Oh don’t get me wrong. I love advertorial, truly, but let’s just read the intro:

I once spent a pleasant solo weekend in San Francisco. One night, while enjoying a pint at a poorly-lit joint in The Castro, they were playing old rock and there was an old guy sitting in the corner. He was smoking cigarettes and reading a book. I assumed he was from Berkeley.

But something about him was particularly engaging. Was it the tobacco? No. Only Kate Moss looks good while smoking. It was the pants. Straight leg, fitted, uncontrived. I knew that if I ever hoped to be as intriguing as that man reading a book, smoking cigarettes in a bar at The Castro, I would need a pair of similar trousers. Or at least something close.

And now let’s look at the trousers again but this time in action…

 

“I’m lonely and forty and live in a small town!” (Or a Mormon ex-presidential candidate)

I love Stab but Stab doesn’t want you to get laid.

Maddo: Shoulder-Hopping Champ!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

It's official! Gary Linden wins the Blood Feud!

There I was, sifting through the internet’s jumbled ball of content in search of whatever cool/funny/important snippet I could deliver to the Grit. After an hour of disappointing videos and blasé news pieces, I was close to giving up. Then it found me.

Somehow this little jewel has escaped the wider surfing community for an entire week. Today, I can say with complete certainty, I’ve found the absolute best thing on the web. Please enjoy Robbie Maddison’s Pipe Dream 2.

Where oh where do I begin? How about some Robbie quotes:

“I knew that if I was gonna do Pipe Dream 2 I’d have to push the limits even further.”

Soooo you went from Teahupo’o, a world-class wave barreling over shallow and sharp reef, to a six-foot day at Todos Santos, a relatively soft and exceptional deep “big wave” location? Makes sense!

“The drive behind setting a world record in the distance ride was because a young kid from Montana saw Pipe Dream 1 and built himself a bike that went on the water and set a record at seventeen miles. A few days after breaking the record he drowned riding his bike, so I wanted to do something to honor him. To shine a light on what he achieved.”

I’m not gonna be the guy who claims Maddison is at all responsible for Blake Becker’s death. That would be cruel and unusual. But I simply cannot pass on the concept that Maddison thinks he is honoring Becker by breaking his world record. You’re “shining a light on what he achieved” by stealing the young man’s place in history? Is this some sort of trickle-down lighting principle?  

(Post wave ride) “That was so gnarly dude I was like braaap braaaap braaap”

Hahaahaahaahahaahahaahahaahahahaaha

Oh. My. God. Was his “ride” not the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? Five seconds of shoulder-hopping, and half of it slow-moed, which means in reality it was a three-second performance. Come to think of it, shoulder-hopping is too generous. The man was in the channel while a non-breaking swell lurched at a 30-degree angle behind him.

And, no Gary Linden? What happened to Maddo’s promise of, “We filmed the entire encounter so we will show it raw for all to make their own call”? That incident is maybe the only thing that could have saved this hundred-fifty-thousand dollar dud.

Or a total success, if you consider it a comedy piece.

Braaaap!

Matt Wilkinson and the pain of youth!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

What decisions have you made, when young, that continue to haunt?

Matthew Wilkinson is, by all accounts, a wonderful young man. Kind etc. I have thoroughly enjoyed the brief time I’ve spent with him. He was considerate, easygoing, etc. I think we ate Chinese once in San Francisco and while I don’t remember him paying the bill, I don’t remember paying it either.

And when he started last year’s season as if flung by a trebuchet the world chuckled and applauded. “Oh look! The fun boy won!” “The blue collar kid!” The yobbo!”

“Surfing yobbo. He’s not pretty but this is Australia’s latest king of the waves.” The Australian proudly declared of the native son.

Matt Wilkinson took offense at being called a “yobbo” though (Australian for redneck I think) and called for the writer, a wonderful journalist by the name of Fred Pawle, to be publicly whipped.

But it appears as if he has been branded whether he likes it or not. This morning, Australia’s Daily Telegraph began its write-up of the Bells’ event thusly:

He was the jester of world surfing – a likeable, fun-loving larrikin and one of the most popular surfers on the world tour.

And do you think Matt Wilkinson likes how he is forever branded? A larrikin (Australian for drunk boy I think)? The jester of world surfing?

I think not since he called for a flogging just last year but that is the pain of youth. Decisions made when young that refuse to let go even after age and seriousness take over. Do you think he regrets wearing his funny wetsuits? Not getting Invisalign? Wearing cowboy hats?

Oh but he shouldn’t! Regret is a poisoned chalice. He should embrace his branding like it has embraced him. He should roll out more funny wetsuits and he should never get Invisalign and the cowboy hat suits him. He is our man from Snowy River!

Go get ’em, yob!