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Meet the Writers

We at BeachGrit take surfing like we take life. As anti-depressive! We believe that surfers are in sore need of new standards which will release him from his confusion and place him once again in fruitful communion with the depths of surfing. BeachGrit is loose but we lead with a libertine moral code. We challenge you not to be tempted by our fast-flowing suction! Whatever you think of us, of our writers, and of our swinging attitudes, we promise you’ll never be bored.

Meet the editorial staff here!

Derek Rielly is an editor, writer, magazine and book publisher, entrepreneur and PR agent. He has launched two magazines, including Stab (in 2003) and the four-language title Surf Europe, acted as a trouble-shooting editor on Australia’s biggest men’s title, created websites, advertising campaigns and consulted on others. His writing has appeared in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Wish magazine and many others. Derek write a weekly column for Fairfax newspapers on topics as diverse as love, sex, abortion and politics. His photography (yes, he shoots too) has appeared in The Good Weekend and in advertising campaigns. Derek’s work is sharp, his manner kind and his ideas energetic and original. The Australian newspaper describes Derek as “good-looking, astute and charming.”

From the writer and film producer Jamie Brisick: “Derek Rielly is whip smart and currently topping my “Men I’ll Sleep With When i Come Out Of The Closet” list. When i interviewed him he wore a white headband, white vee-neck tee, louis Vuitton high-cut shorts, and snowy white tube socks pulled up to his knees. he resembled a late-‘70s Bjorn Borg with an Oscar Wilde wit.”

Charlie Smith is a hyper-ironic surf journalist and bon vivant from Coos Bay, Oregon; frequent contributor to Stab magazine and a contributing editor at Surfing magazine since the mid-2000s. Comfortable in dangerous Third World nations, Smith spent time in Lebanon and Somalia in the early 2000s researching and writing pieces for Vice, an arts and culture magazine. He also covered the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah conflict for the internet-based CurrentTV, an assignment that ended with Smith as a brief captive of Hezbollah.

Smith’s work for Vice caught the eye of Derek Rielly, editor-in-chief at Australia’s Stab magazine, who soon hired him as a contributing writer. Smith’s prose is clipped, packaged in rapid-fire bursts, usually in first-person perspective, always with a tongue-in-cheek earnestness. At Stab, Smith quickly earned a following for his flippant wicked-smart observations of the more urbane pro tour party scene. He loved provocation, and drew attention and a bit of ire as the editor of Stab’s December, 2008 “Fascism Issue.”He gained further notoriety in 2009 for an ugly public dust-up with two-time world champion Mick Fanning, during which Fanning reportedly called Smith a “fucking Jew” for “writing shit” about him, and threatend to punch Smith in the face.

Smith’s first book, Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, a surf-based cultural peek at the North Shore of Oahu, came out in 2013. In an upbeat review, Kirkus called Smith the “clown prince of trash prose, and described the book as a “boozy and often funny investigation into a little-understood corner of America.”

In 2014, Smith began writing for Esquire.com, and later that year blog-posted on SurfingMagazine.com that he was, happily and without regret, saying goodbye to surf writing in order to become a war correspondent although he soon left the battlefield to found BeachGrit with Derek Rielly.

(From Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing)