Exclusive! The desk speaks!

That long suffering ASP escritoire comes clean about life underneath professional surfing's mouthpieces. And Pat Parnell.

“I used to be happy…” the Association of Surfing Professional’s wooden desk tells me on a perfectly crisp San Clemente evening. I set my daiquiri on his head as he continues. “…I used to be where I belonged, at the very, very, very, very back of Office Depot’s Garden Grove location. Doesn’t sound like much but it was home. A fake Eames chair and I had even started this little thing… Anyhow, one day a man from the ASP came in. Said his name was Hardy, Terry Hardy, and went on and on about how he was Kelly Slater’s big shot manager and how he now also owned all of professional surfing. The sales manager didn’t care. He only spoke Vietnamese.”

I nod and know this story is not going to have a happy ending.

“Hardy got me for a steal. Said that while professional surfing was a totally rad can’t miss money maker, the Association was a bit cash poor at the moment and so Mr. Nguyen gave him a discount. Before I knew it, I was boxed up and shipped to Australia. I didn’t understand what was happening. When I came to, there were weird LED lights on the floor around me, even though I was outside, and a TV monitor hanging from my chest. The ASP logo was stuck to both my arms and, when I studied it, assumed that “professional surfing” was something kindergarteners did. Have you seen it? The sun and wave look like they were designed by a five year old with no natural talent.”

I nod and push my daiquiri’s umbrella out of the way.

“Then the four men sitting at me started to talk. Whoa. Never had I heard such stilted dribble in my entire life and, remember, I was living in Garden Grove. They talked incessantly about absolutely nothing. They used the same exact phrases over and over again. They seemed to think that surfing was a real sport. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that LED lights, a TV monitor and the drawing of a gift-less child do not the NFL make.”

I nod and give an empathetic frowny face.

“After the Gold Coast, I was sent to Margret River, then Bells Beach then it became an absolute blur. They’d try to dress me up. Sometimes in wooden pallets, sometimes in a grass skirt. And look at me now. What the hell is this shit?”

I nod and don’t quite know. Maybe pier pilings with retro airplane propellers affixed?

It’s all just so strange. I mean, why am I on the beach? Why can’t the men who sit at me turn their necks even a little bit? Why are some of them so old? Why do they dress in the costumes they do? Did you see us in Tahiti? Their Hawaiian shirt mélange was so bad I tried to slide off the dock and into the water. Where is the money Terry Hardy promised?

I nod and soak in his existential dilemma.

“At this point? Someone please burn me. Just take me outside, dump gasoline in my drawers and set me on fire. I, honestly, can’t take one more second of Pat Parnell. Where did he come from? What does it mean to ‘jam it into the foam climb?’”

I nod, light a cigarette and definitely can’t answer.

Great White Shark
"If you're going to surf big waves," says Lewis Samuels, "be willing to fucking be held under. If you're going to surf in northern California you might get hit by a shark. It's part of surfing around here."


The writer Lewis Samuels and the day he watched his pal in the mouth of a giant shark…

Lewis Samuels is what you’d call a soul surfer if that term hadn’t been so corrupted. Lew surfs lonely big waves in the sharkiest of northern Californian waters and he ain’t afraid of either.

Lew has five pals who’ve been attacked by great white sharks. One, Royce Fraley, has been attacked… twice. Lew was there for one of ’em.

“We were really far out to sea, literally, about a kilometre out to sea. It took 45 minutes to paddle out,” says Lew. “Out of the corner of my eye there was this explosion. And as I turned around, I saw the shark breeching out of the water with him in its mouth. Then they fell down in an explosion of whitewater, like when a whale breaches. Fifteen feet is as big as a car and they’re a lot fatter in person than you’d think they would be. And he was in the fish’s mouth and there was this fucking impact in the water and then there was nothing there, gone, like a fucking whirlpool of displaced whitewater where he’d been. There was no one else near him, just another friend way up the line, and so when the attack happened, what are you fucking going to do? You’re not going to leave your friend out there.”

But, says, Lew, “Let me be fucking honest. My first fucking response was to paddle away. But I thought about it, he was my friend, and whether or not he comes up he needs my help. And so I paddled back over, got there and he popped up out of the water and he pretty much paddled up onto my back, literally, trying to get out of the water. I said, ‘It’s alright, man! Hold on! I’ll paddle you in, man!”

What does a shark attack victim look like? “I didn’t want to look. We were 45 minutes out to sea and I figured he’d have a leg missing. I had this 200 pound guy on my back but… he fucking seemed okay. We started paddling next to each other. A friend, Britt, a lifeguard, saw what happened from a distance and started paddling with us, checking him, and he goes, ‘Where’s he fucking hurt?’ It didn’t make sense. Finally, we got in, I ran to a pay phone a mile away ’cause there’s no cell phone service and when I got back down there he was with an ambulance.”

The injuries, says Lew, were “like little scratches. The whole attack was a like a cartoon, like a toothpick in a dog. The board had gotten stuck in the mouth of the shark and it didn’t clamp on him. He was holding onto the board as the shark took him under and he got the scratches when he bounced off the shark.”

Lew says he finds comfort in the fact that great whites in northern California are different to the more energetic South African and Australian breed. In that, they have a different hunting pattern. They might bite but they’ll let go after the initial bleed and wait for you to bleed out instead of taking you down straight away.

“That gives you time to get medical help,” says Lew.

How did the attack affect Lew? Did he surf the spot again?

“What are you going to do? I was out there the next day. The waves were good.”


Tyler Wright frontside finner at Trestles in San Clemente
Tyler Wright turns her fury to Lowers, that longtime punching bag. | Photo: ASP/Rowland

Essentially Useless Stats For A Non-Essential Contest

You want stats from Trestles? Here's something audacious!

Just like the main games of NFL and NBA, stats are everything in surfing. Heat totals, heat-winning percentages, event wins, the tweaking upward (or downwards) of a surfer’s results depending on the location, surfer-against-surfer heat-win records. They all count. They all matter.

BeachGrit’s electronic-mail pal Blasphemy Rottmouth ain’t one to bend over and touch his toes for the white man (represented here by the governing body of professional surfing). His stats are on the razor edge of something you might wanna call humour. An intellectual buck dancer but with sophistication and style!

Chances a post-heat interview includes questions about: board size 59%, training regimen 46%, legal medical prescriptions 0%.

Commentators spend 6% of the time referencing a pro “enjoying himself” during a heat vs. 99% of the time a surfer is “checking off the criteria.”

Number of times ASP rulebook pages will be mentioned 80 times & the judging criteria 25 times while defining a subjective sport.

Zero piss cups will be filled after a heat with any surfers over 32 years of age, but there will be a combined 105 shots of Johnny Gannon’s lips and Maurice Cole’s beard.

Kelly Slater’s new brand “Outer Unknown” will be referenced -5 times in the same sentence with either Monsanto or Quiksilver.

At one point, a pro surfer’s heat winning percentage will mirror his chances at contracting an STD in San Clemente.

Kelly Slater’s heat winning chances in rounds 2, 3, 5, Quarters, Semi’s, and Final: 50%

ASP audience is comprised of 11% “trolls” and 92% surf industry employees… +/- 4%

Mick Fanning will apply the same number of lip smacks (47k) during a heat as Dooma Hardman did in 1987.

Commentators will mention the passion of brown people who claim 99% more than the 6% of white people they mention for their claiming and passion.



ASP ratings showing USA and Hawaii
The Association of Surfing Professionals, in its benevolence, has granted Hawaii what it wants, nay, what it deserves, most. Independence. When you watch the surf contest webcasts, you will notice that Hawaiian surfers are listed as “Hawaiian” and Californian, Floridian, Virginian, Mainer, Oregonian surfers are listed as “USA.”

Hawaii Secedes from the United States!

The ASP recognises Hawaii as its own, solemn, surfing nation. Pro surfing as nation builder!

Hawaii has always been an outlier, both literally and figuratively. It is the most isolated island chain on earth (so far away on very not good airlines. Horrible meal service! Bad sugary cocktails!) and was the last state received into the Union (in a rude way if you ask Dustin Barca. Stolen!).

Even the hardest-core, wildest-eye, Manifest Destiny-believing, Kansas City-dwelling lunatics will agree that Hawaii is “America” like Los Angeles is “America,” which is to say, not very much.

Due its unique nature there has been an active secessionist movement in the Aloha State since Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the “Hawaii Admission Act” in 1959. A movement routinely ignored by the power-hungry monsters in Washington D.C. All they want is hotel tax dollars. And a place to vacation with their mistresses while boogie-boarding the same waves that “our President-in-Chief” boogied when he was a younger man.

But the Association of Surfing Professionals, in its benevolence, has granted Hawaii what it wants, nay, what it deserves, most. Independence. When you watch the surf contest webcasts, you will notice that Hawaiian surfers are listed as “Hawaiian” and Californian, Floridian, Virginian, Mainer, Oregonian surfers are listed as “USA.”

What influence! What wisdom! And I called Dave Prodan, the handsome press secretary of the ASP to ask how the association came to such a decision. “Funny…” he said, (and I can’t believe he still speaks to me. Graham Stapleberg, if you are reading, and I know you are because you are an uncool little narcissist, believe me when I say, Dave Prodan is your best employee. By far!) “…I asked Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew that same question when I first started working for the ASP nine years ago and he answered better than I ever could. He said, ‘The ASP recognises Hawaii as its own, solemn, surfing nation.’”

And there we go. Concepts of national identity fall like dominos before the idea of “solemn surfing nations.” The world could be much more easily, and frankly, clearly divided using this as a guideline. Would we be having religious strife in Iraq? Would we be having Ethnic trouble in the Central African Republic?

Yes! But who cares! They have no surf!

Yes, the ASP is setting the bar for nation building and I can only hope that governments around the globe are taking note. Surf dictates reality. It does for you. It does for me. It should for the rest of the world.

Pam Reynolds the French bulldog owned by Dane Reynolds and Courtney Jaedtke
"You have to learn to read a man and know when he's lookin' for fun and when what he really needs is for you to hold hims so he can cry his eyes out like a babe," says Pam. What else? "You have to learn how to listen." | Photo: Courtney Jaedtke


Advice straight from the French Bulldog owned by Mr Dane Reynolds and Ms Courtney Jaedtke (with audio!)

So here’s Pam, drinking strawberry Yoo-Hoos and sitting on a satin-covered beanbag chair, tellin’ how it is. “You have to learn to read a man and know when he’s lookin’ for fun and when what he really needs is for you to hold hims so he can cry his eyes out like a babe.” What else? “You have to learn how to listen.”

Write to Pam at [email protected] 


Dear Pam,

You said you crush Beyonce harder than JayZ. What’s up with those guys anyhows? I want to know if Solange was justified in that whipping of the boy, elevator. Pam, you got insider traffic? 

Monica, Denver



Dear Pam,

I have way to much anxiety. I am anxious when I put on my shoes, I am anxious when I talk to people, I am anxious when I order a burrito. All I want to do is be a badass. What do I do?

Love, Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate



Ayo Pam!

I have only one question and this is. How can I be cool like you? 

Sincerely, Ashree



Dear Pam,

My girlfriend say I smoke too much weed. What’s too much weed and should I break up with her?

Medicinal Only, CA



Dear Pam,

What kinda bullshit gets the girls, Pam, like, seriously? I’m 25 and I ain’t got game.

Freddie, Lakeside.


WHO IS PAM? Pam Reynolds is a four-year-old French bulldog born on a ranch in Oregon, but left at the age of 13 weeks for a more fast paced life in Southern California. She currently resides in Carpinteria where she enjoys modelling, hunting and fashion. Her motto? LIVE FAST DIE YOUNG BULLDOGS DO IT WELL. Send your questions to [email protected] If you want to see Pam answer ‘em live, send an audio file. Get to know Pam on IG @pamlovesferrariboys