Neco Padaratz banned for using steroids.
One of the pioneers of the Brazilian wave, Neco Padaratz, banned in 2005 by the ASP for using roids. But, drug testing? Does it matter? Neco ain't winning world titles despite drinking the juice. | Photo: ASP/Kirstin Scholtz

TODAY’S SHMEAR: PED’s In Surfing. Mavs on Meth!

You like performance enchancing drugs? So what! A breezy Sunday read!

So a pitcher pitches perfectly on acid. The “Hand of God” graces Brazilian sinuses packed with coke. Men mount Mavericks manically on meth.

So the fuck what?

Facts are schmacks when it comes to surfing so let me tell you cretins what recreational drugs really enhance

My backyard holds hectares of pot plants in the big north-western woods and I’d get off with a fine of a few grand and a “cease and de-grow your plants” or a “spare a spliff” speech if ever a peace officer stepped foot ‘ponst me land. So I know a thing or three about these performance enhancing drugs. Call me an expert… if you must. Or a fuckwit… if you will.

However, one night I couldn’t sleep for Ambien’s sake and had to smoke a face-mask full of the purps. King Kelly ain’t kidding with his new drink name, my brothers. But I digress. So I’m walking all deep into the woods that night and see some crazy shit flying about in the haze. Since I watch the stars with x-ray lenses in my bong mask, I begin to pass out, but still feel my feet moving. The world spun before me in a joyful delirium.

I woke to a gentle prodding; the kind of probing you only get from a Cannon Beach lass, particularly the upscale summer students paying their way through school in Eugene.

The prodding produce an astounding epiphany.

“Fuck Rott, you have to stop smoking such strong herb.”

To my amusement I did awake on the balcony of the Stephanie Inn. Two girls licking my bottom, two swallowing my balls and two sucking both wieners (I’ll return to the plural in a moment). Alas, I’m having a great time and the ladies are dirty. Lesbians to my left, piss hungry Liberal Arts students to the right, with a gravity-fed hose from a Vieux Pontarlier station filling our drunken bloodlust like a Crusader dissecting a Muslim child.

A few dozen Vicodin?

Sure, why not. I’d like to use a Chick-fil-A one day but they don’t put them this far north ‘cuz of the gays. So while THESE chicks were perfect whilst sookling my Schweinsteiger and licking my butthole, I woke up like Neo from a very wet dream. And fuck me standing, they weren’t even chicks all up in my junk! They were aliens! And don’t let no redneck logger with swastika tattoos driving from Newport to Corvallis tell ya it doesn’t happen. I knew I didn’t have two wee wees and it was near impossible for two ladies to get their tongues ‘twixt my taught toot mufflers. Consequently, I told these aliens not to stop.

Lo and behold, before I could finish, Joey Turpel busted down the door and took the aliens to gawd knows where. Probably Trestles. So here I am waking up from TWO dreams about aliens and naked Duck students with a forceps in my urethra.

Yup, I said a forceps.

I pull the forceps out (praise Läird for the Vike’s), and walked barefoot back to the plantation. Mrs. Rottmouth asked me where I’d been so I told her I saw an image of Occy eating a live grizzly bear on television before leaving unconsciously from a mysterious room down at Cannon.

“Again!?” She hollers.

Anyway, the point I am merely making is re-creational drugs do not enhance your surfing, my surfing and certainly not someone who actually knows how to surf’s surfing.

Anyone remember Neco Padaratz, the one Brazilian swatted by the ASP for the use of drugs in 2005? He ain’t winning world titles.

Perhaps by the time pro surfing becomes as ubiquitous as the NFL and female college softball, or when Matt Warshaw retires from his transmedia successes and Rihanna has officially replaced Oprah… mayhaps then we can discuss the effects and affects of drugs that re-create the water world we abide.

Nevertheless, by that time, NYC and the Maldives will be six feet under water, Derek Rielly will be shilling interior decorations for FEMA eco-refugee camps and Chas Smith, living off points from his smash blockbuster Welcome To Paradise, Now Go To Hell,” will marry a blonde who is presently starting fifth grade in Barstow.

So fuck PED’s. Fuck their involvement with pro surfing. And fuck everything you love.

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”


Nathan Hedge and Andy Irons Fiji Pro 2006
This photograph of Nathan Hedge (left) and AI was taken during post-contest celebrations at the 2006 Globe Pro in Fiji. At some point, in between becoming terribly ill in the swimming pool of the Namotu resort and wrestling writer Chris Cote in an exhibition match, I made Andy promise he'd beat (and continually) beat Kelly Slater in return for all the bad things Kelly had thought and said about me. | Photo: Derek Rielly

Andy Irons Died Five Years Ago Today

Get a man down to his rawest form and he'll do anything to survive, said AI.

“I was handed the keys to the kingdom, multi-million dollar deals, endorsements. Everyone wanted a piece of my shit. Just a man with a mind for victory and an arm like a fucking cannon. But sometimes when you bring the thunder, you get lost in the storm.” Kenny Powers, Eastbound and Down.

Andy Irons brought the thunder. In 2003, he was a total outside shot for the world title coming into Hawaii, his second in a row. In the front seat was 31-year-old Kelly Slater at his peak, the best, and most successful, surfer in history. The dominos fell his way and Andy made Kelly Slater, who’d never tried and lost, cry in the process.

Andy won again the next year.

In 2005, he fell just 48 points short of his fourth consecutive world title, despite winning the Pipe Masters. In 2006, he was again runner-up to Kelly Slater.

Three titles in a row, followed by two runner-ups. Now, you tell me if Andy Irons isn’t the most awesome surfer to come out of Hawaii.

In November 2009, one year before his death in Texas, I made a four-day sortie to the North Shore with my friend Sam. We shacked up with Andy and his wife Lyndie at the Billabong-owned Off The Wall house. Stacks of the most perfectly foiled Merricks and Arakawas filled the kitchen.

Andy and Lyndie ran in the midday heat, pounded sit-ups in the front yard, ate from a well-stacked fridge, and watched episodes of Eastbound and Down at night.

This interview took place in the downstairs room of the OTW crib, our  brief home. Andy wore a black long-sleeved Billabong t-shirt, low-rise black Kustom shoes teamed with white socks, and black shorts with the 33-inch waistband folded over so they didn’t slip off his suddenly narrow hips.

His skin had lost its albino pink and was a soft gold. His hair was long enough to sweep off his forehead and was smooth and an even yellow, like Barbie hair that’s been brushed to flaxen perfection.

Andy Iron might’ve got lost in a storm in 2008, but he was so back.

BEACHGRIT: Talk to me about you and Kelly coming in to Hawaii for the title in 2003.

ANDY: I went to Brazil, I was leading the ratings and Kelly needed to make semis or betters. I lost in the quarters to Taylor, literally lost my heat because I wanted to go home, because I was so homesick, and it was the worst mistake of my life. Kelly ended up winning, Taj got second, and Kelly took the lead by, like, 300 points. Back then, we had two events in Hawaii, Sunset and Pipe. I told Kelly I was coming for him. Jake and I  went all the way to the final together at Sunset. I remember when Kelly lost I told him, I’m fucking coming for ya! You left the door open! Jake looked over and went, You’re crazy! And, I was, like. I’m not, but I’m coming for ya, Kelly! I was smoking! I was pumping!

BEACHGRIT: How was your mind in 2003 when it looked like KS was going to stomp you?

ANDY: I was over it. I was ready to quit. And the funniest thing is, Mick is the one who told me to stick with it. I was staying with Mick at the Red Bull house and I told Mick, second’s a good result, runner-up to Kelly. I’ve won one world title, I never thought I’d win one, I’m done, I don’t care. I just want to party, have fun and live my life. And Mick’s like, What are you talking about? There’s still Sunset and Pipe. And, it was a long shot. It literally worked out like a storybook. Word for word, how I’d dream for it work out, in my favour. Obviously, Kelly’s book might’ve ended a little different.

BEACHGRIT: Talk about the mental fritz of a sudden-death showdown.

ANDY: Kai (Garcia, Andy’s trainer and minder) wouldn’t let me surf Pipeline until the Pipe Masters in 2002, the first title I won. He didn’t want me to hurt myself. It got to the point where he literally kept me in the house so I wouldn’t hurt myself, falling down the stairs, or going to the movies and tripping down something. I got kept in a bubble.

BEACHGRIT: Do you need to hate your enemy? When you beat Kelly, you could’ve killed him.

ANDY: HA HA HA! I didn’t hate him! I mean, shit, I wanted to punch him in the face a couple of times, but yeah, whatever! It was a pride thing! I fucking wanted to win a world title myself just like everyone wants a world title, and I thought that he was being greedy. (Thinks about it for a while) Y’know, I think there is an essence of hate. Deep down, man is fucking weird, man has holy wars, man blows people up. Deep down, human emotion, raw emotion, is weird. Get a human down to his rawest form and he’ll do whatever it takes to survive. And, competition’s the essence of being a human. I mean, shit, you mightn’t want to kill that guy to make your life go on, but if you have to, you’ll do it.

BEACHGRIT: (Warning, dreadful sycophancy to follow) You clearly had to draw on the rawest emotions to beat Kelly at his peak. No one else has done it. You beat someone who was unbeatable for the previous 12 years. Only one person has done it!

ANDY: Who else did it?

BEACHGRIT: No one, you’re it!

ANDY: Just me, huh.

(Claps all round, maybe even a few tears from the interviewer.)

BEACHGRIT: You made Kelly cry, that’s how vicious and competitive you were.

ANDY: I make my brother cry so that’s a compliment. I only hurt the ones I love.

BEACHGRIT: You know what I wish? I wish I could just hang you all the time and just, like, do whatever you do and just, like, learn from your and aid you…

ANDY: Aid me?

BEACHGRIT: Yeah! You know, like a good friend that will be there for you… always.

ANDY: Like an assistant?

BEACHGRIT: Yeah…no…yeah or, like, like a (softly) best friend.

ANDY: Fuck, dude! An assistant! I mean, this could be just the fucking key. I’m trying to get back into the big leagues, man. It’s a huge task! I could use somebody like you. To do all my bullshit, my fucken running around.

BEACHGRIT: How about next year? Is Kenny Powers back?

ANDY: Fuck yeah! I’m going back to the tour! Money’s tight these days, I got mortgages to pay, I got a wife and some kids on the way…

BEACHGRIT: You got kids in the frier?

ANDY: Not yet, but we’ll see. Practising a lot.

BEACHGRIT: I heard your new crib is pretty sweeet.

ANDY: Mine? I got a mean house, but I can’t live it. I gotta pay it off.

BEACHGRIT: Vacation rentals are v good for beachfront houses. Eight gees a week sometimes.

ANDY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but fuck that old saying, buy property! They tell you, buy it, it’s not going anywhere! Fuck that. Nothing beats cold hard cash in the bank. the best thing you can do. I just got back from town today, deposition, with a lawyer…

BEACHGRIT: Is it to do with the thief who ripped you and Bruce off and who then died in a ravine in Florida or somewhere?

ANDY: Oh, he died alright. Good for him. He got what he deserved. I didn’t have nothing to do with it, either. By the way, on the record, I did… not… send… anyone…

(Interviewer shrieks like a girl seeing her first lover undressing)

BEACHGRIT: Tell me how you felt in 2003 when you won the title…

ANDY: I wanted to savour it. I didn’t black out! HA HA HA! You can be amazed. I… did… not… black… out. I got a hotel room at the Turtle Bay with Lyndie. I went to my suite and savoured every single second. I savoured it to the next morning and to the next week.

BEACHGRIT: If two thousand and three was a glorious win, tell me about a bad loss.

ANDY: I lost a world title in Brazil. The three years I won were the awesomest. But, the next two years, my demise, were the hardest. Fuck yeah! When I lost in Brazil to Hedgey. If I’d made that heat against Hedgey I would’ve won the world title, I would’ve won four in a row. Yep. 05. I lost by 48 points. Billabong still gave me a bonus. Not a world title bonus, but they gave me 30 per cent of the world title bonus.

BEACHGRIT: The difference was 48 points, the second closest world title in history (the closest was 38 points, when Kelly beat Mick Campbell in 1998).

ANDY: I was one heat away! I was in the fucken quarter-finals. I had Hedgey! Fuck, Hedgey in Brazil, I got him, it’s on! I came out of the gates with an eight – they were scoring me high. I was, like, oh yeah, I’m on, I’ve got this. And then, he came back and got a nine-five. And, I got a seven and he got an eight. If I’d won that one heat and then won Pipe, which I did, I would’ve won four titles in a row. No one knows that I would’ve won the world title if I’d made that heat.

BEACHGRIT: How do you deal with it and not just melt into the carpet?

ANDY: You just deal with it, fuck! What if I didn’t win any world titles? What if? What if? What if the world ended yesterday, we would not be here! What if? I mean, fuck, I could drown all day in what-ifs. I’m not going to worry about tomorrow, because you don’t even know what’s going to happen right now.

Noa Deane slob in Mex


Come dance in your buster browns! With wet hands and slick hair! Let's tango!

…the freshest of edits from Mr Morgan Maassen together with retro-fab song from nineties favs Ween!

Noa and Steph in Mex/BeachGrit from BeachGrit on Vimeo.

A brand new edit (to sexy song!) of Noa Deane and Stephanie Gilmore pumping streams of water onto the beaches of Mexico! Filmed and cut by the most mysterious and sinewy and glistening Morgan Maassen!

Shane Dorian and his dog
"When you go and order a steak at your local restaurant," says Shane, "you never think about the animal that died for it. But, every single time you eat meat, there's a dead animal there. And, people are so far removed that they don't see that But, I think it's good for you to kill an animal if you eat meat. That way you can appreciate the life that was taken." | Photo: Morgan Maassen


That steak before it sizzles on a hotplate is attached to a living, breathing, cartoon-y animal. Who knew?

For those of us who live in sweet urban hamlets where animals are seasoned with herbs and wrapped in plastic containers, we have no idea how they got there. Did they lay down in “processing centres” and die with smiles on their big snouts, sacrificing their delicious meats to the superior human?

Who knew they were dragged screaming into slaughter yards and given a bolt to the head or, if they were killed according to the scriptures of Jew or Muslim, hung out to dry with a knife to the throat.

Shane Dorian, the great Hawaiian surfer famous for his love of pig hunting, lives with eyes wide open. He knows that steaks, before they sizzle on a hotplate, were attached to living, breathing cartoon-y animals with beating hearts and little families.

And he can teach us a thing or two about the ethics of eating meat…

BEACHGRIT: Tell me this, because I know you’re a hunting kinda guy. I saw a photo of Alex Gray with his first kill. And he killed a sheep. Now, killing sheep don’t seem to be a difficult thing to do. Killing boars, there’s an element of danger there cause they nasty, but a fur ball? 

SHANE: That’s a perception I can totally relate to and I’m sure Alex can too because until recently he was a non-hunter. When you don’t hunt you have these perceptions, these presumptions, of what it’s like, but for Alex, he’s new to the hunting thing, brand new, and it’s like, and this might be a weird analogy, when you start surfing you don’t throw your kid on a…when you go t take your girlfriend surfing you don’t throw her on a little thin narrow thruster that is five-nine, you throw her on a longboard, right?

Right… exactly right… so it makes sense to kill easy beasts first…

With hunting, Alex, um, sheep are actually…um…people absolutely froth to hunt sheep. The sheep that people hunt are not the sheep that you’re used to. They’re not like sheep in New Zealand that just stare at you. It’s definitely not as easy as you’d think. But, there are game animals that are more exciting.

Are the sheep vicious? Or do you start with tame animals so nothing bad can happen in the initial stages? 

Ha ha ha! Yep! They’re rabid. They like nothing more than eating humans.

Alex Gray and goat
I couldn’t the funny photo of Alex and a wild sheep but this is good too! Alex and goat! But as Shane Dorian explains, “When you don’t hunt you have these perceptions, these presumptions, of what it’s like, but for Alex, he’s new to the hunting thing, brand new, and it’s like, and this might be a weird analogy, when you start surfing you don’t throw your kid on a…when you go t take your girlfriend surfing you don’t throw her on a little thin narrow thruster that is five-nine, you throw her on a longboard, right? If you don’t disagree with eating animals there’s nothing wrong with eating a sheep and hunting one. And, his freezer probably wasn’t full before he went hunting and now it’s full of meat and he did it with his bow and he’s probably pretty stoked about it.”

So, for Alex, it was kill or be killed?

I doubt it. But, but they have meat on them and if you…if you… if you don’t disagree with eating animals there’s nothing wrong with eating a sheep and hunting one. And, his freezer probably wasn’t full before he went hunting and now it’s full of meat and he did it with his bow and he’s probably pretty stoked about it.

Do you believe we’re too removed from what meat actually is and from the act of killing? That it ain’t just a miracle that appears in foam trays, covered in cling wrap, in supermarket refrigerators? That little shanks and delicious hams do come from a cuter-than-heavens lamb or mischievous piglet?

There’s not doubt about it. You know what’s really funny? How people can differentiate, like you automatically, like it’s society and our upbringing, but you automatically decided that a sheep was less sporting than a boar. That they’re a less desirable game animals just because of the way they look. If I put a photo on Instagram of me and my bow and a dead boar with big ol teeth hanging out and looking vicious everyone’s like “Good job! Get those nasty boars!” and if I put a picture up of me and a doe, a female deer, with my bow, people lose their shit. Everyone automatically thinks I’m Satan cause I kill a deer. It’s the same thing. My friends will go spear fish and you can put 50 million dead fish on Instagram and no-one will ever say a thing. But, if you put one Bambi on Instagram people lose it. I don’t see the difference between fish and deer. Do you?

Oh, I’m a vegan. So you preach to the converted. But, back to the sheep thing. They look so friendly! So tame! And, look, here they come up to this nice man in camouflage, expecting a pat, maybe some kind of inter-species communication and…pow! That I struggle with… 

Yeah! I know what you mean! But, just to clarify, not that it’s interesting for your readers, but there are some types of sheep that are not difficult to hunt, but there are sheep that have incredible senses, really insane eyesight, and who are extremely paranoid so they are difficult to get close to with a bow.

Can you describe the process of death up close? You must enjoy profound insights of life and death, all the killin’ y’do, sitting astride the doomed Bambi, tearing your serrated edge across its carotid artery. Do you see the life drain out of their eyes?

Hee! Hee! Are you kidding me, man? It’s fucking exactly how you think it is. For me, when I have to do that, not that I have to do that, but when I go hunting, a lot of times that’s the case. You have to finish the animal off. And, to me, I try and do it as quickly and as humanely as possible. It is what it is. I choose to go hunting. I choose to harvest animals for food. When you go and order a steak at your local restaurant you never think about the animal that died for it. But, every single time you eat meat, there’s a dead animal there. And, people are so far removed that they don’t see that But, I think it’s good for you to kill an animal if you eat meat. That way you can appreciate the life that was taken. Like y’said,  I think people think that beef is raised in little plastic containers and it comes as a steak. But, yeah, it’s part of the deal when you go hunting. You’re taking an animal’s life. For me, still to this day, every single animal I’ve harvested or killed or however you want to call it, I’ve always felt remorse for them. I feel sad. That feeling has never gone away from me and I hope it never does, actually.

It makes you appreciate the sanctity of eating meat? 

Yeah, I mean, it’s taking responsibility for you action.

Can we slide back to the original question? Have you had any awesome moments where you’ve watched the life slip away from an animal you’ve winged? The big brown eyes of the deer staring into yours, understanding that it’s over, but somehow appreciative they will be butchered by a hunter with conscience? 

Hee her hee… have I ever what?

You’ve winged deer. You go up to it. It’s gonna die. It looks at you. Those connections, I ask…

Yes. I have had that. And I have had that look where they know it’s over.

What a special moment!

Well, it’s, for some people it’s not a moment at all. They probably don’t even notice it. They just get the knife out and do the old one-two. And they never think about it again. But, for, you know, I’m actually…(laughs)… an animal lover. I love animals. And, I love deer. I love taking photos of them, I love getting close to them. I appreciate everything about them. But, I do love hunting them and eating them.


New Jersey postcard

Come surf New Jersey! It’s kinda ok!

It's just fresh to death! Men in white capri pants and so much nineties styling. It's a swarthy heaven! Even tubes!

Maybe it’s the cold. Yes, it has to be the increasingly unbearable winters that have cryogenically stagnated the entire coastline in New Jersey. From the rundown boardwalks to the men standing on the beds of their pick-up trucks doing the best  they can to appear as if they are the bassist for some low-brow band opening up for Pennywise, this state has a bit of trouble with figuring out what year it is.

If you’re staring down the boardwalk, the vendors will say it’s the 1970’s. But if you’re in the parking lot of your favourite surf spot, you would think that the Warped Tour was still in its infancy. Baggy clothing, black hats, and SRH stickers. Like all punk bands from the early 90’s, this style is long past its expiration date.

The first thing you need to know about New Jersey is that it’s only purpose is to serve as a residency for people that live in New York. Its second purpose is to serve as a place where all trends that died in New York can get a second life. Sequestered between New York and that refuse-collecting city we call Philadelphia, is a state that can be divided into two categories: the North and South.

The south is mostly backwoods and farmland with exception of Camden, a city so dangerous that Vice devoted a segment of their TV show to it, while the north is full of even more cities with high crime rates, a ton of malls and highways that lead to even more malls.  During the summer months, both cities empty and fill up the New Jersey coastline bring with them massive traffic jams, really muscular men wearing white capris with white tank tops, and really bad waves.

New Jersey is full of contradictions. The human being that surfs in New Jersey will tell you how hardcore their state is and how there is no place on earth like it all while sitting in a bar decorated with fake palm trees and a “Welcome to Key West” sign. They will complain, like Holden Caulfield, that too many “phonies” are seeing their favourite band perform but then argue that the same band doesn’t get enough praise. They will yell at you for exposing an unknown spot but then use that unknown spot to gain more Instagram followers. Fortunately for Jersey surfers, poor sartorial choices and bizarre logic don’t equate to poor wave-riding skills.

Just as the deep fried Oreos are being pulled off the boardwalk at the end of summer, the waves begin to fill in and big south-wind swells will frequent the area until the middle of spring. The water stays relatively warm until the middle of November with a 4/3 and booties being the standard for most surfers. However, in the spring, the water can still be very cold well into May and even as late as June. Most of New Jersey works best with south-east swell and a light west wind. Here are some of the best surf spots in New Jersey.

Sandy Hook: This beautiful National Park, home to the wild goats that were made famous during the 2013 Government shutdown, epitomises pointbreak surfing on the eastern seaboard of the Continental US. Sandy Hook is a barrier island situated to the south of New York City. This is the best surf spot in New Jersey when it’s on. The only issue is that the main break, called The Cove, on the seven-mile stretch of land is also a magnet for morons that can’t surf. However, it’s worth the nuisance because there is nothing like getting shot out of a righthand barrel as you stare out at the palatial New York skyline.

Cape May: When the wind is blowing north-east and the swell is just right, the tip of Cape May will mirror Sandy Hook with its endless lefts that are perfect for the goofyfooter or those looking to just pig-dog it in five mm of neoprene.

Every jetty and inlet between Cape May and the Hook: This isn’t an exaggeration. Every couple of blocks there are jetties in New Jersey that can create a wave that is rippable in some form so long as you’re not some curmudgeon that will only paddle out when the waves are the easiest to surf. They are so fun to surf, especially in the winter when it’s 35 degrees out and you can find your very own empty jetty to surf because all the sane people in the world are sitting by their space heater or up in the mountains drinking beer and snowboarding. Dredging can ruin a surf spot, but that only lasts for about a year and in the winter, all the sand is removed from the jetties creating wonderful sand-bars that can pick up the faintest of swell.

Being that it’s so damn cold for three to four months of the year, the social circles that usually develop at surf spots are almost non-existent. Sure, friends will meet and share the waves, but a spot check in the middle of the winter is usually done from the safety of a warm car or a very brief run across the beach. A very fucking brief run. Once the surf session is over, you’re back in the car blasting the heat and flying home to hop in a hot shower.

New Jersey is not, and never will be, synonymous with surfing. However, on any given swell, it’s not uncommon to see a surfer with no stickers on their board pull into a below sea-level barrel and make it out of the tunnel. The quality of surfing here is very good given how scarce waves can be and  as the surfing grows, skilled grommets are forcing out the old antediluvian surfers of the pre-Kai Neville world the same way the state government forced many residents along the coastline out of their homes via eminent domain.