Back To Top
Beach Grit

banner

Streak Alert: New Jersey Does it Again!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

This fruit is ripe!

You’ll remember, just one day ago, when Chas Smith berated “overly-aggressive and belligerent teenagers” who hindered a New Jersey-based, Autism-relief surf event on account of beach permits (which they had). And then when I continued to berate the lowly New Jersey beach tagger, here.

Well, the Garden State ain’t done yet.

Perhaps, like me, you were unaware of New Jersey’s current government shut down. Something about Governor Chris Christie (Republican) and speaker of the State Assembly Vincent Prieto (Democrat) having a state budget dispute, the results of which have been disastrous. On top of other things, there’s the closing of Island Beach State Park — a major tourist destination — over July 4th weekend.

You can imagine the loss in beach tag revenue.

But the story doesn’t end there. Just today, through what appears to be drone-related photography, the people of New Jersey received evidence of a blatant abuse of power.

In a series of revealing photos, Gov. Christie was caught spending his morning on the publicly closed sands of Island Beach State Park. Internet outrage commenced.

And a personal fave…

If you don’t recall, Chris Christie was the alleged perpetrator of Bridgegate, a scandalous political maneuver in which Christie blocked certain lanes of the George Washington Bridge (a connection point between New Jersey and New York) as an act of retaliation against Fort Lee mayor, Democrat Mark Sokolich, who refused to endorse Christie for re-election.

This past January, Christie’s alleged co-conspirators, Bill Baroni and Bridget Ann-Kelly, were sentenced to a combined three-and-a-half years in prison for their actions. Despite their testimonies against Governor Christie, the Republican leader got off without so much as a slap on the wrist. This is one of many reasons that Christie holds a 15% approval rating, according to one poll.

It would appear as though he’s trying to reach the single digits.

Excited to see what’s next!

Rumor: Big plans for Slater Wave Ranch!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Bigger than even allegedly hosting a WQS contest!

I was under the very distinct impression, when Kelly Slater revealed his Surf Ranch in Tulare County, California, that it was a prototype. My ex-wife, you see, is from Tulare County, California and I had to visit that region many times. Many many times. The place stinks of cow shit and depression. The whole place.

It has been forsaken by God and I hate it. And I hate her (read Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell)! But Kelly. There is no way he, the greatest surfer of all-time, and my ex-wife have similar taste. She loves musical theater and crowdfunding. Kelly Slater loves Gisele Bundchen* and tropical barrels. His Wave Ranch was a prototype and he was going to transport his trough-less wonder to Los Angeles. Or Las Vegas. Or somewhere that doesn’t stink of cow shit and depression.

And maybe. But also the Surf Ranch is here to stay. A very very inside source tells me that Kelly Slater, aside from the rumored upcoming WQS event, is planning on “…hosting music concerts and festivals with the surf contests. Sounds similar to the Wave House in San Diego.”

Well awesome.

Fucking ex-wife.

But maybe it is awesome? Maybe people from Visalia and Fresno and Bakersfield and Tulare and Dinuba and Hanford and Corcoran and Earlimart and Lemoore will never ever ever ever go to the beach again because they have Pearl Jam concerts and barrel in their very own backyard?

Thank you, Kelly Slater! I always knew you were a genius!

*I ate dinner right next to Gisele Bunchen’s post-Kelly flame Tom Brady two nights ago. He looks so handsome in person. And so dumb. Kelly and Gisele would have cut a finer figure. How did this never formalize properly?

Rant: Beach Taggers Must Die!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Bullies and thieves, the lot of them!

I know I’m a bit behind on this story but you’ll have to forgive on account of Central American internet connection (we are generally 1.5 days behind the real world) and my subsequent alcohol consumption (which is 2.5x it’s standard rate).

Anyways, Chas can fuck right off because if anyone is gonna talk shit about New Jersey (read here), and specifically its overzealous teenage beach taggers, it’s me.

If you don’t know, New Jersey law mandates the purchase of a beach tag for people over the age of twelve visiting the beach between the months of June and September.

After reading Chas’s piece chastising the “aggressive and belligerent teenagers”, I feel obligated to add my thirty-two cents on New Jersey’s omnipresent beach taggers.

First of all, fuck New Jersey and its beach tag laws. If you need to charge the shoobies to access the beach, fine, but don’t charge the people who live there full time, who pay taxes, who feed local economies on a daily basis to walk on the fucking sand. The beach is the only reason we live there, so to charge us extra money to attend our own public commodity is ludicrous.

Now, on a more optimistic note, I’d like to share a fun fact: after living in New Jersey for six whole years, I never bought a beach tag. This was my biggest act of rebellion as a young’n and boy did it feel good.

In order to avoid payment, I’ve actively participated in practices such as: fleeing the scene (off the beach), fleeing the scene (to the water), befriending beach taggers (many of them went to my high school), seducing beach taggers (some of them males), and going on all-out tirades of Chas Smithian proportions. I had the cops called at least thrice but was acquitted each time.

Mostly, my opposition to the system came from points of entitlement and pride. I acted like an asshole because it was, in my mind, every bit of justified on account of my local status. I surfed there all year long, so who the hell was this kid (who didn’t set foot on the beach once September had gone) to dictate my beach usage in high season?

In the case of helping autistic kids learn to surf, I can’t imagine the lengths I would have gone to ruin the lives of these overly-empowered, sometimes-attractive high schoolers.

It’s funny, when you give someone a taste of authority, they tend to feel justified in abandoning all previously learned concepts of morality.

That’s why we must fight back with an iron fist.

Surf Hero: “I’m best at drinking!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Which surf icon has drinking at the top of the "things-I'm-best-at" list?

How many times have you seen the John Milius surf classic Big Wednesday? Three? Seven? Ten? I have only seen it twice which is mostly inexcusable. The first time I thought it to be pure kitsch. The second, though, I was in Morocco in the villa of a wonderful French friend and maybe it was the red wine or maybe it was the sweet jasmine on the air but I found it the pinnacle of surf art.

Its star, Jan-Michael Vincent with his brooding anti-hero thing, danced upon the screen and I thought, “Has there ever been a greater surf hero?

Time, has not been kind to Jan-Michael. Too much drinking saw his leg sawed off and he is in debt etc. but still alive! And living in Mississippi.

Anyhow, he took to Twitter a few days ago to list the things at which he is best.

1) Drinking

2) Acting

3) Surfing

4) Kicking ass

5) Not paying

6) Flying

7) Stunt driving

8) Being your hero

Have you ever, in all of your life, read a finer list?

Me either.

But please share, what are the eight things that you’re best at? Does surfing make the list? Does drinking?

 

Get loaded: A J-Bay drinking game!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Nine days until J-Bay! Let's plan our drinking regime!

Monday. Cold. A whistling gale is the punctuation mark on a desultory day.

You might be distressed to learn that your correspondent awoke to a terrible sickness and was only just recently restored mid-afternoon by a tonic of apple and lemon juice flavoured with vodka.

This medicine reminded me, that with J-Bay only nine days away, it must be time to put our drinking games in order for event number five.

The South African event is perfect for drinking games with a time-zone that has the first heat paddling out at four in the afternoon Sydney time, ten thirty in LA, very very late in New York and at dawn in Europe.

Europe, of course, is in the grip of its summer and therefore no one works and everyone drinks.

This is a multi-pronged game for maximum enjoyment.

How to play:

Gather at a sports bar. Your barkeep, who has shifted the channel to the WSL app, pours the number of your party times ten of vodka, tequila, rum, whatever. The shot glasses rest on a large tray.

While the morning show is on, we’ll start with Most Likely. Ask a question such as, Who would be Most Likely to melt if they met Kelly Slater?, and whoever has the most fingers pointed at them must drink that number of fingers. ie. five fingers, five shots.

Draw a surfer! Each person takes turns at being an artist and draws a WCT whispered to them by the barkeep. Start the timer on your telephone where everyone can see. The artist shows the party his drawing who must call out the name of the surfer. For every twenty seconds that passes without a correct ID, the artist must take a shot. If no one guesses, he takes four.

The contest starts. You must take a shot everytime,

A commentator references the Fanning shark incident.

A commentator registers any sort of surprise at Filipe Toledo’s “rail game”.

Jordy Smith finishes a wave with a claim and a glare.

The panel throws to the competitors’ area to examine Kelly Slater’s board.

Any of Matt Wilkinson’s waves from 2014 are replayed.

Gabriel Medina looks close to tears.

The camera crosses to Glen Hall in the competitor’s area.

Any surfer scores an eight or better.

There’s a paddle battle.

There’s priority confusion.

Michel Bourez does a layback.

The subject of J-Bay wildcards is raised.

Richie Porta appears in the commentary box.

The curves of Strider’s attack dog tits are visible under his wetsuit.

The use of shark mitigation technology is mentioned.

A shark attacks a surfer. (Take three shots.)

The winner, of course, is the last man standing.

And it’s only day one!