Pam Reynolds in front of computer
"I have not read any good books lately," Pam says most candidly. "I don't read books and I don't know any dogs that read. I'm going to make a general statement… no dogs read." Who knew! | Photo: Courtney Jaedtke

Ask Pam Reynolds: Dogs Don’t Read! Gabriel Medina!

Dane and Courtney's French bulldog… advises! Soul food for your emaciated soul!

Advice for our stupid daily lives from the French Bulldog owned by Mr Dane Reynolds and Ms Courtney Jaedtke (with audio!)

When Pam talks her voice quivers, as if in song. It’s soul food for your emaciated soul!

If you like Pam’s mode d’été, her breezy summer fashion that neither defines its wearer nor talks too loudly, buy her shirt (for adults, toddlers and animals) by clicking…here! 

Write to Pam at [email protected] 



Dear Pam, 

Modern life can be so frustrating. How do you deal with things like the internet only sporadically working, no “Continue Shopping” buttons when you put something in your online cart, cars pulling out in front of you or people being rude at check-out? 

Modern Girl. Thailand. 


Dear Pam, 

Read any good books lately? Is that a dumb question? Do dogs read? I never knew they could talk until I heard your engaging voice.

Tash O, Malibu. 


Dear Pam

Do you follow the world surfing tour? I know that Dane Reynolds is your master and I was wondering if you pick up on things he says and if it helps you with choosing your favourites on the tour? If so, who are your favourites and what do you like the most about watching the surfing? 

Penny, Long Beach. 



Sterling Spencer in front of mirror
Gal number five? "She did this movie and now she's super famous. She kinda liked me when she wasn't famous, then she didn't like me when she was famous," says Sterling. | Photo: Morgan Maassen


Five bad ladies who tried to rip out Sterling's heart… 

In the game of love, ain’t nobody winnin’. Cards are forever being shuffled, rules bent this way and that. And there isn’t a man better qualified to talk about givin’ gals a heart and a diamond only to get clubbed with a spade than Sterling Spencer, the twenty-ish year-old surfer from the USA’s Gulf Coast. Love finds a way for most of us. But not for Sterling…

1. Lauren was my seventh grade girlfriend and I was in love with her. I thought we were gonna get married for sure but she cheated on me with a jock.

I dated Lauren for almost a year. I thought I was gonna marry her and I was, like, 12. She was my first kiss. It was at a school dance. I walked from one side of the room and she walked from the other side and we met in the middle. Straight out of a movie. Everybody saw it. I felt super-guilty for kissing a girl. I felt weird and scared. She stopped liking me and started dating a jock the next week. I was heartbroken. It was the first time I was truly crushed. She broke up with me at the skate rink and I went home and cried. I had another girlfriend by the next week. I moved on pretty quickly, but I was in love with her for, like, another year until I finally got over her. I think it was easier to get girlfriends when I was younger. It’s ’cause you’re all stuck in a classroom together and you see them every day. The guy she cheated on me with was a football player. He was short and he was full-on preppy. I always didn’t like him. I was a surfer guy; he was a jock. They made fun of me a bit, but I could play football really well so they didn’t give me too much shit.

2. Paige was my 11th grade girlfriend. I thought we were getting married for sure but she cheated on me with the guy she is married to now.

I dated Paige for two years and she was a full-on surfer chick. We’d go surf and I’d do a big air and she’d say that it turned her on. I went to Australia and she wasn’t talking to me much. I was calling her on a pay-phone every night and she wouldn’t talk to me. Then, she called me and said she was hanging with another guy and I was all freaked-out. On Valentine’s Day, I sent her a teddy bear from Australia. She was like, “This is stupid.” She didn’t break up with me, so I flew home and was, like, “I’m coming to you”. She said, “No, no, there’s someone else,” so I said “Alright, let’s just break up,” and she said ok. So we broke up and the guy she cheated on me with, she’s married to him now. I don’t think I woulda married her ‘cause she’s kinda crazy.

3. Sarah was a cougar and tore my heart into a poop.

The cougar. She led me on, like she really liked me, then she didn’t like me. She’s only four years older than me, but I call any girl that’s older than me a cougar. She moved to another town, though. It was more of a passing fling. She was a brunette, a bit shorter, with blue eyes. She was already in college and I was at school. She was way outta my league. I’d try to be adult and take her out on dates. We’d go to these nice restaurants and it was funny ’cause she could drink and I couldn’t. So I’d be the designated driver.

4. I dated Maggie for five years. And, then the oil spill broke us up.

Maggie is my most recent break-up. The oil spill broke us up. The oil spill happened and we broke up at the same time, so I just blame the oil spill. I’m still a little bit torn up about it just ’cause we dated for so long. But I think we both kinda knew that it wasn’t really going anywhere. She didn’t wanna travel with me. She’s got a serious job at a hospital so we just started to part ways. Being a pro surfer makes it hard. She never traveled. She was always doing school or work. She’d just graduated and was gonna go travel, but she got a job straight away. That was kinda the last straw. It’s hard, especially where I live, there’s no waves so it’s not like I can cruise at home and get work done. I always kinda have to be moving. For the first couple of years I thought she was the one. I started dating her when I was 19 and she was 16, so there was a few years there, but then the real world started creeping in. I’ve changed a lot since I started dating her and she’s changed too.

5. I dated a girl name Odetta, I was in love with her but she became famous and never talked to me again.

I saw her in California and I was hitting her up on Facebook. She did this movie and now she’s super famous. She kinda liked me when she wasn’t famous, then she didn’t like me when she was famous. Now she’s super famous and rich. And, she doesn’t speak to me.


Exclusive! ASP rips 50k from Jordy’s trembling hand!

Or, "If you obey the rules, you miss all the fun." to quote Katharine Hepburn.

Jordan Smith’s thrilling win at Trestles quickly turned sour as Beach Grit’s own weeping mascot got fined a massive 50k for wearing his Red Bull cap on the podium.

Details are still murky, because Graham Stapleberg has not returned my calls (for three years), but what we know is that Jordy was ordered to remove his headgear before taking the stage or accept a stiff penalty. Our multiple sources say, the ASP (soon WSL) possibly has a deal with Monster Energy that prohibits the wearing of Red Bull caps on the podium. This could not be independently verified because the ASP rulebook for 2014 “was not found” on its website.

Red Bull, on the other hand, has a deal with its athletes requiring them to wear Red Bull branded headgear at all times and especially on podiums. What a conundrum our hero had to face before the saltwater even dried from his skin!

He chose Red Bull, which was, in my opinion, the right choice. It is a company with money. The ASP subsequently fined him $50,000.00 because they don’t have any. And part of me likes the regulation of sponsor headgear. I get so tired of seeing some brand lackey stumbling down to the water’s edge, making sure his surf star is festooned. I like purity. I like naked, dripping wet hair. I like governing bodies standing up for clean lines. The other part thinks that the ASP might have ulterior motives. What do you think? Email Graham Stapleberg at [email protected].

(Movie) Steph wins Trestles! But how good are the gals?

How do they compare to a teenage Kelly Slater in 1990, for instance? Are they even close?

A few hours ago, Stephanie Gilmore, the 26-year-old five-time world champion, won the Swatch Pro at Trestles.

Gilmore won because she took it to the rim and didn’t pull back. How can we ever forget how pretty and pure she looked on those four-foot Lowers rights? She even took a 10 on one wave! A gleaming blur!

But for all the ecstasy surrounding Gilmore’s very good surfing (and Lakey Peterson’s passable fin throw earlier in the event), how does it compare to the men? Not the men of 2014, that’d be cruel, but the men, say, in 1990? That’s a quarter of a century ago.

The women are better than the men of 1990, surely.


Let’s compare the women’s final of 2014 with 18-year-old Kelly Slater’s final at Trestles in 1990. Click on the photo for the gal’s final. Dive in below for KS many, many years ago.

Who wins? Tell me, who wins?

How I Fucking Smashed Pottz!

Brad Gerlach on his winning technique against Martin Potter in yesterday's "Heritage Heat" at Lower Trestles… 

Oh, those crazy nerves! Can you imagine what it’d feel like to strap the lycra jersey back on and surf a heat after a Kelly Slater v Taj Burrow buzzer beater?

Yesterday afternoon, Martin Potter, the 1989 world champ, and Brad Gerlach, number two in 1991, faced off for the first time in quarter of a century at Lower Trestles. Both had quit the tour too young: Pottz at 24, Gerr at 25. Pottz had an eight-to-two heat-winning advantage. They hated each other on tour. The hottest rivalry in surfing. Boards were used like swords; leashes pulled. “I was so close to punching him (after a 1991 mid-heat confrontation),” Gerr says here (click!). “I knew a few people on tour would’ve been glad if I did.”

And then there they were. In front of us. Both in their late-forties. One, still dedicated to training and coaching; the other a tour commentator. And the nerves were obvious. Jittery take offs, trembling turns.

Gerr shook it off. His surfing flowed. Beautiful bottom turns with a hand grazing the water, top-turn combos, even a passable sorta air in the shore break. Pottz wasn’t so pretty. A too narrow stance, legs upright, an avoidance of the lip, a strategy of sitting too deep, too far out. On his best wave, a six, we saw a glimmer of that old magic, an open-face carve that was in the realm of Slater’s arc on the same section in the previous heat.

But that was it for Pottz. Gerr schooled him.

So what fun it was to call Gerr up afterward and ask him to relive the day and suggest a few ways Pottz might improve his technique. This interview was consumed by laughter so many times.

BeachGrit: Hello! Gerr!

Gerr: You bastard! You said Pottz was going to light it up!

BeachGrit: Well, fuck, you were riven by nerves too. I saw!

Gerr: Yeah, I surfed like fucking 65 fucking percent. It was so hard to control how fired up I was. I wanted more waves. I knew the more waves I rode the more I’d settle down. I’m happy about the first wave. I did a pretty good top turn. If I get one good turn, if the wave stands up, I get more, more with it. I start feeling it. And I was coming off the bottom but I was so fucking hyper my timing was off. It’s like music. I was ahead of the beat because I was so fucking excited. And then it just lulled out. And coming into the heat I had the worst fucking warmup surf ever. I paddled into a 20-wave set and then… nothing. And, I mean, that’s not necessary a bad thing. Sometimes it’s sketchy if you have a good warmup surf and then, if you don’t feel as good in the heat, you keep comparing it  to the warmup. Say, are you going to write “fuck” in every sentence?

BeachGrit: Only if you say it. When I spoke to you the other day (read the interview here) I trimmed a few out because it read like I was putting ’em in deliberately.

Gerr: I don’t mind saying it, I mean, we say fuck, ever second word. Anyway, so let me tell you how frothed out I was coming into the heat. I’m the cruisiest person ever. People will honk at me and I’ll say, “Have a nice day! It’s your issue!” But I did this u-turn and just as I was about to pull back into the lane I had the sense that this guy in a Mustang had sped up. If I’d gone back into the lane I would’ve hit the guy. And I looked at the guy, and I’m in my car, and I say, “Fuck! You! Dick!” That was earlier in the day. And I was, just, who am I right now? What’s going on with me? Shit! That was a tell-tale sign. But what was rad, I saw Pottz get his first wave I had all these memories flashing through me. He’s got this particular way his arms are, the way he stands, the fire on his board, and I’m looking at him and there’s no one else in the world it could be but him. And I was watching him ride this wave, and as he comes off the bottom, I scream, “Fucking hit it!” I was so psyched! So excited! I told him when we were doing that gay face-off thing, I hope you kill it out there, man. I hope you get a lot of waves.

BeachGrit: Can you describe the feeling of being, suddenly, transformed back into an ASP pro? That moment, with crowd, commentary, the whole thing?

Gerr: You just have to call on your memory of how to win. I just wish there were more waves and I wish I’d stuck that air. I was in the air and I was, like, yes, I’ve got it, I’m going to stomp this thing, and then at the last second, my head was a little bit off and I slid out. I held on in the whitewater, laying back Kelly Slater style, but fuck, I couldn’t hold it. But what else was really fun was all my friends were there and they picked me up. And that’s something that’s never happened to me before. And I looked up and the camera was right there and I yelled, “Who’s next!” I couldn’t help it and I yelled, “I want Curren!”

BeachGrit: So what did Pottz do wrong?

Gerr: Well, dude, Pottz, look, listen to his commentary. He’s not technical. I’m going to give him something, something based on truth. He has a good voice. He speaks well, he doesn’t um and ah and he has a decent vocabulary. But he should not be an analyst when it comes to technique. He doesn’t know technique. And that was apparent in the way he surfed. If he knew technique he would’ve scored higher. His focus isn’t there. He’s got a family, he’s commentating, he’s passionate about surfing, and he still surfs good, but I’m better because I’m more focussed on what it takes to be a great surfer. What he did wrong was he didn’t train hard enough. He didn’t ask people, “How do I beat Gerr?” Kelly lost some money because he bet against me. Kelly was telling Pottz, you have to do this and this, but you can’t just tell someone to do a vertical off the lip like the way you order a hamburger with lettuce and tomato on it. You can’t do that in surfing. You’ve gotta train for it. You’ve gotta know what you’re doing. That’s what I do. That’s why I’m a really good coach, I think. It was interesting because I’m actually not that good at coaching myself and (Mike) Parsons helped me today. And that was why I sat where I did. I didn’t want to get too deep and you can see the waves better when you sit wide. I knew I didn’t need the sets to beat him. I just needed to surf. I’m better than he is and that’s how it is. It’s not because I’m a better athlete, it’s because I focus it on it more than he does. He’s not training like I am.

BeachGrit: What about the specifics of his technique. That stance was tight, the legs were upright, and he seemed bound with nerves. The torso wasn’t twisting.

Gerr: Yeah, he has a narrow stance and he doesn’t move his upper body so when your stance is narrow it’s hard to bend the legs. When you’re short like he is you can get away with it to a certain extent, your centre of gravity is lower, but to be explosive and have control, you’ve gotta bend your legs and drop your ass. That’s why Jordy surfs so fucking good. His ass is on the ground! John John stands tall but when he turns he drops his butt. Dane does it better than anybody. With all that being said, I don’t know if it would be great to do a rematch. Maybe if someone coached Pottz for six months.

BeachGrit: Might you help your ol pal?

Gerr: Put it this way, if I trained Pottz, I could train Pottz to beat me. But it would take a while. It would take six months or almost a year. It’s hard to assimilate the things that you’ve learned into your surfing, for one, and then to assimilate into your surfing when you’re under pressure. Mostly, you go back instantly to old habits.

BeachGrit: Tom Curren, can you take him?

Gerr:  I think I’m better than Tommy in some places and Tommy’s better than me in some places. He’s beautiful to watch and he’s flexible and he’s relaxed under pressure. And he’s super duper competitive. I have a rivalry with Tom but Tom doesn’t have a rivalry with me because he beat me all the time. But, hey, the shit-talking is what got me into this heat with Pottz so I’m ready to talk some more shit! I can beat Tommy anytime in any wave. Anywhere!