Matahi Drollet at Teahupoo
Matahi Drollet, the 17-year-old Tahitian kid who stole the show during filming for Point Break II at Teahupoo. | Photo: Chris Bryan

Screw You GoPro! Jetskis are coming to eat you alive!

Sometimes the best photo angle isn't POV or shooting from a boat. Put a jet ski at the front of a 15-footer and you have unique. Sketchy? Well, yes!

See this wave pictured? Pretty ain’t she. Oowee. But it was nearly filmer Chris Bryan’s last.

Chris is the High-Def gun for hire, a 37-year-old from Cronulla, Australia, for whom the phone tolls every time a studio wants the finest in surf-cinematic vision. And when Warner Brothers were hot for a remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 cheeseball surf-drama Point Break and needed vision of big waves, they called on Chris (as well as every other big-name surf shooter in the game. Hello Don King!).

But this wave, on this day, it was neither the stunt doubles for the film’s protagonists Bohdi (Dylan Longbottom) or Johnny Utah (Bruce Irons, called in after Laurie Towner busted his jaw on the reef), who scooped the waves of the day. It was the kid-brother of Manoa Drollet, 17-year-old Matahi.

And Chris, whose brief was to film Bohdi and Utah on the same wave, found himself soaring down a 15-footer behind Matahi.

“I was yelling at the driver to go and he was saying, ‘No! No! Not this one!’ And I was yelling at him to go. Because we hesitated we went late and because we were deeper than the other skis, to get the tracking shot, we had to bounce over their wake. And so we’re coming down this vertical face, trying to get down, I’m looking through the eye-piece, there’s no footstraps (which Chris had asked to be custom-fitted) or life jacket or helmet and because I’m holding the big heavy movie camera I can’t hold onto the seat. As we got to the bottom of the wave the transition was a right angle. And as we hit it, the ski start to nose dive and I was thinking, ‘Oh my god! We’re going to flip!’ But I kept my eye on the eye-piece and as we pulled out of the dive I saw this little kid completely disappear and then there was this huge blow out. I was thinking,’Oh god, the kid might’ve died.’ But then he came flying out. All the boats were scratching over the west bowl and we couldn’t even get near to the channel. It was the most dramatic thing I’ve ever seen. It was so big and we went straight into the lagoon where it was knee deep, watching for big coral heads.”

Chris is fond of this angle because of the perspective it gives. GoPros’ll make the tube smaller, the boat angle you’ve seen, but the ski, he says, gives a true indication of the wave’s size.

“It’s the difference between looking at skyscraper from a plane or standing on the ground looking up,” he says. “This angle puts the wave in its proper perspective.”

It’s the truth!

And this morning, Chris is buckling in for another ride to French Polynesia. Along with Dylan Longbottom, Bruce Irons and various other Point Break contractors he’s flying back to Teahupoo to greet another swell.

Can Hollywood fuck it up? Maybe. But there’ll be enough big-wave juice in it (they’ve already shot big Jaws on Maui), to scrape us into cinemas.

Point Break‘s hitting multiplexes and suburban joints late July, 2015.

(In the meantime, here’s Chris’ showreel.)

WWW.CHRISBRYANFILMS.COM 2014 Phantom Reel from Chris Bryan on Vimeo.

Energy drink wars monster versus red bull
How much caffeine and sugar y'wanna get in the spike? Drink a 24 fl oz can of Monster and you'll absorb 240mg of caffeine and quarter-of-a-cup of sugar. It ain't the answer to your health dreams.

Exclusive: Monster Buys Pro Surfing for $2.5 Million!

And now the ASP wants to erase Red Bull from the game!

Jordy narrowly escaped his $50,000 fine for wearing a Red Bull cap up to the Hurley Pro podium, thanks to some very fine print, but an even bigger story brews behind the saltwater curtain!

The ASP does indeed have a deal with Monster at a rumoured $2,500,000 per year. Yes, The Claw is the “official energy drink” of professional surfing and so surfers who have Red Bull or Rockstar or Nos or Full Throttle branding must remove headgear before stepping up to the victor’s stage.

Pre-2013 it was anyone’s game. The brands owned the media rights and could do as they saw fit. Now ZoSea owns, and sells, all rights and the Monster-backed ASP is actively goading Red Bull. My source, an Austrian insider, says the Red Bull staff photographer, for example, has been banished from the competitors’ area. He is not allowed into the VIP or media zones either and is lucky if he can snap his pictures from the publicly owned sand. Once he has his far, far-away portraits, he must remove any ASP logo or branding or get sued. This is a tall order when Sally F., Carissa M., Mick F., Julian W., Jordy S., Kolohe A., Michel B. etc. etc. etc. each have wiiiiiiings.

Monster, through hired guns at the ASP, are trying to erase Red Bull, the same Red Bull that jumped a man out of space (in the goofiest stunt ever), from the ocean! For a mere $2,500,000!

Oh but don’t despair! There’s a new player! An inside player! As I write these very words a box of Kelly Slater’s new drink Purps waits downstairs! He launched it recently alongside RVCA founder PM Tenore and Dr. Schaumburg and it is supposed to contain so health! Such promise! I am going to take it to a scientist tomorrow for analysis and hope beyond hope that it isn’t filled with kerosene and hell. I hope, beyond hope, that our hero, Kelly Slater slays the Energy beast, once and for all, and saves our children from diabetes forever.

(P.S. if any energy drink would like to advertise on BeachGrit please contact our man on the ground Graham Stapleberg at [email protected])

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].