John John Florence portrait in Hawaii by Morgan Maassen
"There is a plan, apparently, to take John John, who was signed by Hurley post-implosion, and Carissa Moore, hit the eject button on the rest of Bob’s crew and steal market share based on the most dynamic male surfer this side of Neco Padaratz. Part of John John’s deal was that he had to jettison Vans, which opens those feets up nicely. " | Photo: Morgan Maassen

EXCLUSIVE! Nike returns to Surfing! With Baby John!

Third time a charm for the titan of sportswear? I will answer now. No.

Two winters ago Nike sat their stable down in a North Shore home and said to each and every surf tanned face, “Go to Hurley.” Kolohe Andino looked through the window, morose. Julian Wilson stormed out of the room. And the surf world was semi-officially rid of Beaverton, Oregon.

The footwear giant first came in with a whimper called 6.0, maybe the most misbegotten idea of all time, then with a bang called Nike Surf. I embraced wholeheartedly and welcomed this second rendition. I felt their dollars would spur growth in a stagnant industry. I felt their being outside the traditional structure would help shake the evil conservatism that has rotted surf’s core. I felt that they would make a tech product that might be sexy.

Boy, was I wrong. They made one trunk and it was multi-colored yuck. And then they vanished before they could do anything of note. One measly year they lasted before disappearing in an ugly, nonsensical North Shore implosion. They added nothing. They did stupid things. They were gone before Billabong’s Graham Stapleberg (now of the ASP) could exclaim, “Hot damn! Nike’s 27 billion dollars in product sales is coming into surf? How will we compete?” while busily dreaming up horrible slogans.

Although it was disappointing to see Nike go so quietly and weirdly and pointlessly, I was happy because the company showed its true stripes (in multi-colored yuck) and who wants that? Who wants shit surf product heaped upon shit surf product (here’s looking at you Rip Curl)? The very last thing surf needs is more of that same.

But guess what? The coconut wireless is burning with rumor. Nike is returning for a third try, the whispers say. There is a plan, apparently, to take John John, who was signed by Hurley post-implosion, and Carissa Moore, hit the eject button on the rest of Bob’s crew and steal market share based on the most dynamic male surfer this side of Neco Padaratz. Part of John John’s deal was that he had to jettison Vans, which opens those feets up nicely. Nike would then be positioned holding only the Michael Jordans of surf and none of the excess baggage (also known as Michel Bourez and Alejo Muniz).

Again, it is only a rumor but my sources are good. And it was once only a rumor that Kelly Slater had thinning hair. A small, wounded part of me is happy to see Nike back because it will be very fun to see them fail miserably once again. It takes a lot more than 27 billion dollars to wow the cool kids. It takes a faux French name (just kidding D’Blanc). Really, it takes even the smallest measure of heart. Nike has none. And remember, when John John dons the Swoosh next year, you heard it here first. And Billabong’s Graham Stapleberg (now of the ASP) would like you to remember that, “Life’s better in boardshorts.”

Anastasia Ashley
Anastasia loves this quote from Dylan Thomas: "Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own." | Photo: from the personal file of Ms Anastasia Ashle | Photo: from the personal file of Ms Anastasia Ashley | Photo: from the personal file of Ms Anastasia Ashley

poetry slam: Anastasia Ashley Reads WH Auden

Sports Illustrated gal reads Funeral Blues! It's a tear jerker!

Anastasia Ashley is a 20-something bikini gal and pro surfer from San Clemente, CA. She has half-a-mill followers on IG and in February she appeared in Sport’s Illustrated most prestigious Swimsuit Issue alongside Ms Kate Upton and the models Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen.

And, what was it, only a year ago when she twerked before her Supergirl Pro heat in Oceanside, ran it on youtube, and stole those multi-million hits?

What’s not to love?

But what you might forget as you disappear into the clouds is that the gal actually rips and is as sweet (and cute) as the buttons on her little shorts. And so smart!

BeachGrit is determined to bring poetry back into the mainstream and so we asked Anastasia to record the 1936 poem (although this is the 1938 version) Funeral Blues by WH Auden.

This recording took place in AA’s bedroom (for acoustic purposes) at her Mexican-style apartment in Orange County.

Join in! Lyrics below.



by WH Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

French bulldog called Pam Reynolds who is an advice columnist for
Pam channels "Militant norm" for the first day of school. Crop top by American Apparel. | Photo: Courtney Jaedtke

Ask Pam: “Tell daddy what you need, baby doll!”

Where's Dane? How can I flutter my wings when I ain't got zing? And what if I don't got no dreams?

Pam Reynolds is a four-year-old French bulldog who will hold your gaze so long the dark stain in your armpits will spread. So much charisma! And advice! Never pouty and hungry. Her face is a perfect circle from the nose down and she has the most inviting wiry hair!


Dear Pam, 

I’m a 28-year-old girl living in New York. I have great friends, a wonderful boyfriend and a Brooklyn apartment that has featured in “the magazines.” What I don’t have is “fashion sense”. I see your photos on #pamlovesferrariboys and it makes me so jealous. What advice can you give me. 

Penny, NY.



Dear Pam, How do I know if I’m following my dream? Because the thing is, I don’t think I have a dream. I’m reasonably happy, so no complaints with life. But that great goal, that five-year-quest? It doesn’t exist. Does it matter? 

Haley, Sydney, Australia. 



Dear Pam, 

I did some searching and it says your owners are Dane Reynolds and Courtney. Is that Dane the pro surfer? If it is, can you tell him I loved him in the New Zealand section of Dear Suburbia but am wondering what he’s doing now coz I don’t see so much of him…

Graham, Encinitas, CA. 

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

Mark Mathews portrait by Richard Freeman
Mark Mathews is the contest director of the Cape Fear Challenge, an invite-only tube riding event that's going to be held tomorrow morning (Australian Eastern Standard Time) at Cape Solander near the southern headland of Botany Bay in Sydney. Mark is also the favourite to win. Want one very good piece of advice for surfing big waves? "When you’re stroking to the surface, use your arms but don’t kick your legs," says Mark. "The big muscles in your legs eat up a ton of oxygen." | Photo: Richard Freeman

Mark Mathews: 10 things you should know about big waves

Cape Fear Challenge contest director Mark Mathews (and event favourite) ain't short of good advice…

Tomorrow morning at seven-thirts (that’s Australian Eastern Standard Time), the Red Bull Cape Fear Challenge is going to run at Cape Solander. You know all about the wave, yeah? That dirty ledge that deposits its payload in front of a limestone cliff right there at the southern headland of Botany Bay, a click or so from Sydney’s international airport.

The contest director and event favourite is Mark Mathews, a big-wave surfer and corporate speaker (Overcome your fear! Let me show you how!) who’s thrown his life at the game of chasing ridiculous waves. Two weeks ago he way he took French photographer Laurent Pujol’s behind-the-surfer technique to another dimension at the Right in WA (see it at or

Who else you going to listen to about how you should behave, react and approach big waves?

1. Big waves equal a lot of moving water

What does that mean to you? Paddle hard and paddle early. Watch guys surf Ours or Shipsterns and you’ll see how early they start to paddle. You might think that they’re going to paddle ‘emselves too far inside. What they’re doing is staying in position as the water rushes out.

2. Beat your wings not your hams

When you’re stroking to the surface, use your arms but don’t kick your legs. The big muscles in your legs eat up a ton of oxygen. You need me to tell you that oxygen is your sweetest friend. Keep a fresh supply.

3. Make a decision and stick to it even if it’s wrong

Second guess and you’ll start punching the panic button way too early. I was at Pipe last year, saw a 10-foot double-up, paddled out, then turned around and got myself into the worst position.

4. Pick your waves

The easiest big waves to surf are ones breaking into channel. As your confidence grows you will move closer to the peak. The only problem ‘bout this is that most people are doing the same thing.

5. If you’re gonna go, go

In a crowded lineup don’t paddle hard and pull back. If the lineup is aggressive and the conditions are good you’ll only have one bite at the cherry. It’s way better to jump off and go over the falls than pull back. Of course, tyre kicking has its advantages (see the next point).

6. Kick tyres

If you’re surfing a reef, crazy-lookin’ things sometimes let you in. Paddle with ‘em slowly and take a look over the ledge. If it gives you an entry point, and sometimes they do, keep paddling. If it doesn’t let it go.

7. Get sandy

Want big, uncrowded waves? Surf a beachbreak. A lot of people are scared of copping waves on the head. Build your confidence by paddling and not going. When was the last time a decent surfer drowned surfing a big beachie?

8. Protect your leash

When you dump your board don’t jerk your leg against your leash as the wave hits. Go with it. Dampen the shock. Ain’t a damn thing worse than being way out the back at Waimea or Sunset without a sled.

9. Paddle as if your life depended on it 

It lets other surfers know that you’re going no matter what.

10. The end section ain’t so bad

You’ve ridden a wave at Chopes or Cloudbreak or wherevs to the end. You flick off, filled with self-congratulations, just in time to see a set approaching. Getting caught inside is our biggest fear and I’m no exception. I was at Teahupoo and this happened and I was… so… scared. But, the thing you have to remember, and that I had to remind myself, is that waves quickly lose their power in shallow water. Dive just under the whitewater and let yourself get washed in.


Shane Dorian turn
Consensus is that Shane Dorian is the best big-wave surfer in the world. His smallish game? Still so riven with style! | Photo: Morgan Maassen


Esquire-style advice list! From best big-wave jockey in world!

When I go drinking I need to have a max drink number in mind. Usually if I go over that number I regret it. This is especially useful when you are single.

Hawaii is where I want my kids to grow up. In Hawaii if you show respect you tend to get it back.

Marriage is THE most important decision you will ever make in your life. Don’t take it lightly. Ninety per cent of your future happiness will depend on who you choose, and 99% of your future misery, so choose wisely. Figure out if she is an evil bitch BEFORE you take the plunge! Hint: you don’t know anyone until you’ve lived with them for three-to-five years and you share expenses.

As far as ageing goes, my outside ain’t that pretty these days so I am working on the inside.

I am glad I am a man, as we are totally exempt from pressure to get plastic surgery “done”.

Hollywood is not for me.

Women? About or from? Oh gosh. I have learned to hold my tongue.

Fear can equal fun if you allow it to.

Eyebrows. I have not learned much about eyebrows, fortunately.

Hair is fleeting. And my wife likes my shaves head, lucky for me.

Friendship is just as important as family to me.

Money is useful but can cause more problems than it solves if you are not careful.

I love fashion on women. Lucky for me, Billabong makes something for all occasions.

I have learned about boats, rent don’t own, no matter how much dough you got.

Fish are tasty. Not as healthy as I thought.

I surf more when I have a great surfboard.