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Super Rumor: Adam Sandler buys Surfer?

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Could it be? Might it be? A little bird says maybe yes!

I’m telling you right here, right now, hand over heart that I’ve never once posted a completely unfounded rumor on BeachGrit. Never. I enjoy satire, The Onion, etc. but once you travel down pure satire road then it is difficult/impossible to ever come back and you need us to be true-ish. Right? You want fact-ish. Yeah?

I think Derek and I both believe this and believe this very much and strive, each and every day, to deliver nothing but the flimsiest truth.

Each and every rumor that travels into my telephone, email box, ear is from either a legitimate source or legitimately backed up.

And this one is from a legitimate source though not at all legitimately backed up.

I’ve rumored a few times now that the crown jewel of surf media, Surfer magazine, was on the block but today and unsolicited I heard who the buyer allegedly was.

Ready?

Purportedly Adam Sandler!

Hollywood’s five year’s ago favorite leading funny man!

Known surfer!

Co-star of Surfer magazine’s current Editor-in-Chief Todd Marinovich’s literary inspiration 50 First Dates!

Can you believe it?

Me?

Sort of.

If you loved to surf, were rich and weren’t known for “taste” and suddenly the crown jewel of surf media came on the market for a low low introductory price why wouldn’t you scoop it up? I would. I would scoop it up if only to print large sized photographs from Surfer’s vault for my Malibu walls. And gift large sized photographs from Surfer’s vault for my friend’s Malibu walls. That alone would justify the ummmm cost.

But again… the more important question is, if this is all true, what would Adam Sandler do with his number one fan Editor-in-Chief Todd Marinovich?

Obviously not fire but what?

Elevate to publisher? To Hugh Hefner status? Make him reprise Rob Schneider’s roll in 50 First Dates for the rest of his tenure? Make him go play quarterback for the new Los Vegas Raiders?

So many questions!

Again, this rumor is so flimsy but there is one whiff of smoke.

And that’s all I’ve ever asked for.

Required: A license to surf!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

A sort of bureaucracy even the most libertarian can love!

I read a very strange story this morning that opened up a pandora’s box of questions in my feeble brain. It came from the famed gossip magazine Hello! and was titled Jools Oliver Reveals That She and the Kids Have Been Surfing for Six Years.

And it made me stop because doesn’t that read like Jools Oliver, the wife of famous British chef Jamie Oliver, and her kids are doing something… illegal? Or at least very frowned upon? Like… that they all low-grade prescription pill addictions or something?

Strange.

But it was the subhead that gave rise to my questions. Jamie Oliver and his family have been learning to surf for six years.

Learning? For six years? That’s a long time! And enough for me to click through. Let’s read together!

Jools Oliver can now add certified surfer to her list of talents! The mum-of-five has revealed that she and her family have been learning how to surf for the past six years, and Jools has finally been awarded her surfing certificate. Sharing a photo from the Olivers’ family holiday in Cornwall, Jools wrote: “Me receiving my surfing certificate. Our 6th year in Cornwall and our 6th year learning to surf with the truly fantastic George and his incredible team. I have only missed one year when I was pregnant with little Bud but as a family, we spend one whole week getting up at 6.30am and hitting the beautiful beach and we learn to surf.”

Can this be true? Does England require surfers to get certified? Should every country in the world do this?

Oh I hate bureaucracy more than the next man, especially if the next man is Australian, but just think how fantastic it would be for people to meet a minimum level of competency before paddling out!

1) Must be able to hold board through entire duckdive.

2) Must be able to identify the peak of the wave.

3) Etc.

4) Etc.

You know the rules. And now after six short years Jools Oliver does too!

But do you think this is a good idea? And who should be in charge of issuing surf licenses? Should we give the honor to Cornwall since it appears they are already engaged in the practice?

Faux/Real: Front-zipper wetsuits!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Fashion, like lust, hath no logic.

Do you remember when the retro tide washed front-zip wetsuit tops into fashion? How long ago was it, five, six years ago?

I could hardly believe my eyes. Hadn’t society come to the conclusion that the back zip was fatally flawed, and that zip-free suits or at most a small zip across the chest were the solution?

I appreciated, as a child, and very much, the reveal of a woman’s bosom in these sorts of suits and often introduced this imagery into my night and early morning thoughts.

This, for example.

And this,

But fashion, like lust, hath no logic.

And before long, I too, was paddling around with the uncomfortable hunk of plastic pushed against the deck of my surfboard. A couple of gals commented favourably upon the garment and I persisted with it until logic won, as it always does, and it was either trunks or short-sleeved steamer in summer and spring.

Still, I seem ’em around and some surfers even seem to thrive in the front-zipper, rarely surfing without it.

Are you in thrall the concept or do you find it the high-water mark of fashion over function?

Rumor: Surfer magazine being sold!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Is the crown jewel of surf media (ha!) trading hands?

And there you have it. Surfer magazine, the one-time crown jewel of surf media, is allegedly being sold from its parent company TEN to an undisclosed buyer.

Ooooo-ee! (purportedly)

Details are more… ummm… drunk than usual because I am currently in Mexico.

But highly placed sources are telling me that a deal has been struck (possibly) and don’t worry. No amount of tequila will keep me from chasing this story to its hilt. I will turn over cactuses. I will go to the agave fields. I will tell bartenders, “Don’t make it too sweet. I hate saying ‘skinny margarita’ but I don’t want any mixer. Just lime juice. Lime juice and tequila.” I will drink my lime juice and tequila and then order another until we have names and we have numbers.

In the mean time, how much?

Let’s think about it together for a minute. Surfer is a wonderful brand even if it is somewhat tarnished by a lily-livered Editor-in-Chief. It has bars scattered from Jacksonville to Turtle Bay, it has a recognizable font, it has a history and a back catalogue.

It’s like The Surfers’ Journal if The Surfers’ Journal sucked and had bars in Jacksonville and Turtle Bay!

But really.

How much?

How much would you spend for Surfer magazine? And before you toss up some very clever but super snide comment really think about it.

Could you Make Surfer Magazine Great Again?

What would you do?

Would Editor-in-Chief Todd Marinovich be involved?

And does this mean that surf media is trending upward or… not?

Yemen: The Art of Ignorance!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Chapter 1. Boys who know nothing about waves plan surf trip.

(I am writing a series about Yemen because what is currently happening there is terrible beyond. My inaction disgusts me and so I am going to introduce you to to the country because… the place, people, culture all deserve to be saved. Prologue here and I’m only including this next piece for background. Not for narcissistic thrill.)

Where else to start but at the beginning? The problem with beginnings is that true ones are not very impactful. Maybe a stray thought in the middle of the night. Or a half-baked conversation between friends. Or a flicker of an almost idea between bites of a grilled cheese sandwich. Beginnings only become “beginnings” after something has happened to make the “middle” and the “end” valuable. Beginnings are ephemeral at best, pure hagiography most of the time, completely forgotten at worst.

The beginning to this Yemen saga is somewhere between ephemeral and forgotten but I will strive to tell it as honestly as I can. It is one benefit that distance from events brings. The ability to be honest. To know, intimately, my shortcomings and to steer clear of them. To only strive for the truth as I remember it without being shrill or sensationalistic.

I had become fascinated by the middle east as a child and have always attributed it to my uncle who founded a Christian medical team that went to war stricken countries but, I’m convinced, was also/mostly in the CIA. His house was littered with pictures of him and Ollie North, Ronald Reagan, etc. and he once screened a slideshow for my family that featured many images of him posing proudly with bearded Mujahadin fighters and Stinger missiles tied to the backs of donkeys headed from Pakistan to Afghanistan to fight the commies. He had a scruffy beard like them.

But really, my fascination began more prosaically. My dad loved reading National Geographic and loved stories of Yemen most of all. He would point those out to me when I was even younger. The people, the history, the architecture, the flora and fauna and it must have stuck. The country had trees named Dragon’s Blood that actually bled when cut. My young mind couldn’t even conceive of such a thing. I also vaguely remember reading some missionary pamphlet thing at church that said Yemen was the only country in the world with no Christians. 0%. That fascinated me. A whole country without Christians. I wondered what they all did on Sunday?

Somewhere between uncle and father I ended up studying for a semester in Egypt. Returning the next year to travel from Cairo to Damascus to Cairo but getting waylaid by amoebic dysentery in Aqaba, Jordan for one whole week. Tied to an IV but oddly thrilled because I was in the town that Lawrence of Arabia took from the rear after crossing the sun’s anvil.

And then 9/11 happened. I had been espousing the beauty of the Arab for a few years already when those planes, piloted by Egyptians (proto-Arabs), slammed into America’s heart. My mother called me early in the morning hyperventilating and accusatory. “You said they were good.”

“You said they were good.”

And I felt disgusted but filled with a wicked desire. Disgusted because those bastards. Wickedly desirous because I knew everyone in the entire world was going to be staring at the middle east and I needed to take my one semester plus one hospital stay’s worth of Arabic and go back. Ugly narcissistic ambulance chasing but I promised honesty so there you have it. It also felt like a once-in-a-century opportunity to actually waltz where history was being written.

And Yemen. During those weeks after 9/11 I kept hearing it on the news and reading it in the newspapers. Osama Bin Laden and Yemen. He had apparently had masterminded the attack in Yemen’s hills and many Al-Qaeda were still there, the same who had blown a hole in the USS Cole a few years earlier.

Yemen.

Yemen.

 

Yemen.

No Christians. Bleeding trees. Osama bin Laden. I couldn’t get it out of my head and walked to my best friend’s house down the street. He had just begun his degree in Islamic Studies at UCLA. I opened his door and said, “Yemen?” He went right to a giant old British atlas, pulled it down, plopped it open on his dining room table and we spent the next hour gazing at its coastline.

We both only possessed the most basic knowledge of what made waves and this was long before Google Earth. The way the Horn of Africa jutted out seemed like it would island shadow Yemen’s whole coastline but…

“Isn’t that basically the Indian Ocean? Doesn’t the Indian Ocean have all kinds of sick waves?” I asked, ignoring both geography and science.

My friend looked at me and said, “Sure.”

“Yeah. Like Indo n stuff.” I nodded, continuing on, putting the full weight of my surf magazine education to work.

“What about that hook right there? Up near the border of Oman? It seems like its far enough away from Somalia and would pull swell from some direction…” he said tracing his finger along the shoreline.

“For sure.” I responded.

“For sure.”

“And that’s where Osama Bin Laden’s family is from…” he continued, dragging his finger slightly inland to a place called Hadramawt.

It sounded straight out of Indiana Jones.