Owen Wright house
Owen Wright threw one-four mill shekels down for this almost-beachfront house at Skennars Head in 2010. His first house!

Gimme: Owen Wright’s $1.6M Beach House

Got a little under two mill? Buy Owen Wright's almost beachfront, almost Lennox Heads crib!

Who doesn’t dream of chucking in the big-city life for an existence punctuated by the morning call of native birds, a honey-skinned and undemanding gal lolling around on the futon massaging her clitoral branches, and empty warm-water beachbreaks? Shelter, Morning of the Earth, they knew the allure. Come, come, it’s a real-life garden of Eden.

I don’t buy it. I like the city. The noise, the people, the constant incentive to improve or perish.

But maybe you’re different. Maybe you’ve got a little cash and you want beachfront (or almost beachfront), you want warm and you want empty. If this sounds like you, click here to find out about Owen Wright’s surplus house at 3 Bradman Court, Skennars Head just near Lennox Head and a short drive from Byron Bay.

Wright, the almost 25 year old, is currently rated 12th in the world after sitting out most of 2013 with an injury, bought the joint four years ago (for $1.4 mill) and has been letting it out as a holiday rental at ‘tween three and five gees a week. The former world number three (2011) also has a Federation-style house in Byron Bay that he bought for $975,000 around the same time. The year after those two purchases he bought a beachfront townhouse at Thirroul on the NSW South-ish Coast for $600k.

You like this crib? It has a pool that meanders through the main house, too. Luxury!

Negotiating tip: go in at one-two. BeachGrit is guessing O is okay with taking a little hit. Y’buy property in the provinces, you don’t expect to make a killing. Am I right?

Owen Wright house
Ignore that strange EZ chair in the lefthand corner of frame and focus on the indulgence of a pool that meanders through the living room.

Surfing in Berlin
Santa Cruz ex-pat Ira Mowen is chasing cash via Kickstarter to make a movie about a once-a-week wave that lights up just outside the German capital of Berlin. But the badly-designed ship that creates this monster wake is about to be replaced by a sleeker design. But sleeker design equals no wave! Compelling! | Photo: Ira Mowen

Epic: A German Surf Movie

Santa Cruz-expat Ira Mowen's odd project about a once-a-day wave that is, suddenly, in grave peril!

surfing in berlin
Tavarua? Sumatra? Nein!

Can you imagine what it’s like to be a surfer living in Berlin? Yeah, sure, you’ve got all those cultural hits playing (marvel at the Brandenburg gate, the Reichstag, hunks of the old Berlin Wall, stroll down the Kurfustendamm, hit the bars and clubs) but old habits die the hardest.

Ira Mowen drifted into Berlin from the States and had soon accrued all the attachments necessary for modern hipsterdom (moto, cute cams, twin fin, mat, journals, Polaroids, long hair parted delicately in the middle and accessorised with beard etc) but was missing the most important ingredient, waves to shred.

And then after six years, there it was. The massive wake created by a poorly designed ship coming back to port, once a day. Head-high, fast and fat.

“Like a head-high swell hitting 38th, in Capitola in Santa Cruz,”, says Mowen.

Except it’s real hard to catch. So hard Mowen had a seven-foot, twin-keel Simmons-style sled built for the joint.

Anyway, the ship that creates the wave is being replaced by a ship that’s sleeker, faster, with a hull that ain’t got the same gas-guzzling drag. But sleeker equals no wave. And so Mowen is making a film (and selling tees, books, framed photos too) about the experience.

Throw some cash at his Kickstarter (click here) and at least let’s get some pretty pictures of it before it vanishes…

Surf Berlin: 60 seconds from Ira Mowen on Vimeo.

Chas Smith with his book Welcome to Hawaii Now Go to Hell
"The following extract comes roughly one-third of the way through the book, if I recall," says Chas Smith, "and was a dream come true. It was perfect. It was so perfect, in fact."

(Audio) When Eddie Slapped G

Chas Smith reads from Welcome to Hawaii Now Go to Hell. Here, Eddie Rothman slaps Billabong's Graham Stapelberg…

From the author: The extract you’ll hear comes roughly one-third of the way through the book, if I recall, and was a dream come true. I had sold the concept to my publisher based on past North Shore experience. The New York executives sat across the table and rubbed their eyes in disbelief as I described the ever beautiful but ever ominous North Shore. I sold the dream/nightmare and was hoping beyond hope that the 2011 season would live up to the hype. Eddie going to the Billabong house and having a slap while I was flying across the Pacific far exceeded even my wildest hopes. That event sent the tone for my winter of 2011. It was grandly amazing. Everyone was more tense, more scared, more weird, more North Shore. Surfers of all stripes were, quite literally, shaking as they walked down the bike path for their daily surf check. And then John John won the Triple Crown. It was perfect. It was so perfect, in fact, that I only needed 24 hrs to tell the whole story. Fortuna? She loved me that winter. She loved me lots.”

(You can buy the book here!)


How to survive a surf injury

Opiates, self-loathing and sit-ups. Wait, screw the sit-ups… 

It’s been a rough year. I destroyed my shoulder bodysurfing Pipe last December, got it rebuilt using a dead man’s ligaments and assorted screws. Fought through physical therapy long enough to break my collar bone spearfishing. Sat out two months of life waiting for it to heal and then copped a bone infection that put me put for two more. I’ve got this recovery thing down.


Opiates, weed, and booze are your friends. Pop a few Percocet, hit the bong and drown your sorrows. You won’t heal any faster, but life will pass in a blissful stupor. One day you’ll wake up hung over and dope sick because your asshole doctor cut you off from the gravy train and you don’t know any teenagers to score dope from, but that’s a worry for tomorrow. Today you’re riding high in the sky rambling on to your wife about the ASP judging criteria and how they’re obviously inflating scores to create more tension during heats.

Self loathing

This one dovetails nicely with the preceding. Spend hours in front of a mirror, watch your waistline expand and your upper body shrivel.  Gaze in awe as your cock shrinks in increments, as your shorts cut deeper and deeper into that sagging pile of shit your call a stomach. You disgusting pile of shit, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Contemplate suicide

Don’t do it.  Offing yourself is for fucking losers and pussies. But think about how you’d do it, should you ever turn into such a sad sack piece of shit that you can’t think of any better option than flipping the off switch and joining the void. Would you don black face and drive around running stop signs in LA? Swallow the balance of that bottle of benzos and chase it with half a bottle of gin? Go old school and kick out a chair while wearing an extension cord necktie? So many choices, but how to choose?

Alienate your loved ones

Fuck ’em anyway. What do they know about what you’re going through. You’re the only person who’s ever suffered this much in the history of humanity. Your wife’s a selfish bitch. Who cares what she cooks for dinner? Why can’t she just leave you the fuck alone. Throw a chair at her, call her fat, tell her she’s the biggest mistake you ever made. If you’ve gotta feel this bad, make everyone around you share the pain.

Do sit-ups

Nah, fuck that. Play video games. Go online and write racist messages on youtube. Wallow in your own despair until it fills your gut and spills out every orifice you have. Call an old lady a faggot. Fuck this world and everyone in it.

Is this the Greatest Surf Film of all time?

In which, among other things, Mark Occhilupo admits his largest regret.

Gerard Butler stood at the urinal pissing a vigorous stream. He had been holding it in all the way down the red carpet, those infernal camera flashes flashing. Through the interviews. Past empty conversations with drones. Fame was a heavy burden. Heaviest, maybe, on his bladder.

But, for the moment, he was free and his flow was strong. He looked to his left and it was empty. And he looked to his right. There, he saw a handsome young man with a chestnut brown face and lips as soft as pillows.

“You in the biz?” he asked.

“No, I’m just Sterling,” the young man responded. “Abby’s brother.”

Gerard squinted his eyes, recognizing certain features shared by his most recent co-star Abby, or Abigail, Spencer. “I see it,” he confirmed, before continuing, “Do you know who Rob Lowe is? Damn it. You look just like Rob Lowe…”

The young man said nothing. Gerard kept looking at him, sighed his approval, then zipped up and waltzed into the night feeling like a new man.

Sterling Spencer also left, feeling very good but not because he had a satisfying micturition. He had, in fact, been unable to perform while Gerard Butler stared directly into his face. He felt very good because he was not Rob Lowe. He was, rather, what Rob Lowe dreamed of being. A professional surfer and he knew he was on the brink of his own total fame.

Surf has, for the past sixty years, held a unique place in America’s cultural mythology. It represents vitality, youth, sun, perfection in a way nothing else quite does. Tom Wolfe wrote it better, though, in his essay about La Jolla called The Pump House Gang. “Surf is yip yip yow and the bronzed surfer is a-oooooga a-oooooga honk honk zow!”

And even though surf is being represented everywhere these days, from Chanel to Mazda to Visa to the Point Break remake and even though everyone, including Rob Lowe, wants to be a surfer, surf’s true stars are unknown outside of the cloister. Kelly Slater would maybe get a second glance on the street but that is mostly because he dated Pamela Anderson. And Gisele Bundchen. And Cameron Diaz.

Sterling was born knowing that even though everyone wants to be a surfer, to become truly famous, as a surfer, is a very difficult nut. He knew because his father, Yancy III, is a legend in surf circles. Sometimes called “The Duke of Gulf” and other times the “Godfather of East Coast Surfing,” Yancy III brought the sport of kings to Floridian rednecks. A statue has been erected in his honor in the town of Pensacola. But outside, Yancy’s legend means nothing. Initially, Sterling didn’t care. He looked up to his dad and wanted to be a surfer just like him.

He had the skill and the inimitable style born of great genetics. He danced on waves. His turns were almost perfect and his airs were second to none. The people on the beach went crazy anytime Sterling paddled out. They just couldn’t get enough.

He started competing on the east coast National Scholastic Surf Association tour when he was very young. The E.C. NSSAs are, in many regards, more difficult than surfing’s World Championship Tour where Kelly Slater has won twelve titles, smashing a field of drunks and heroin addicts. The competition is stiffer in the NSSAs and the stakes higher. Sterling shrugged off the pressure and surfed better than anyone, eventually winning four titles in a row. He was sponsored by surfwear manufacturer Billabong and laughing all the way to the bank. He was getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to float in the ocean. Then he laughed at Billabong and traded them in for Rusty.

One night, though, fate intervened in the form of a centaur. Sterling says it was not dreaming. He says he was wide awake when he walked outside the family home to the woods. There, a half man, half horse approached him and said, “You will never be famous.” Sterling responded, “What? I’m four time NSSA champion. I’m sponsored by Billabong and someday Rusty.” but the centaur was unimpressed. He shook his head and said, “No. You will never be famous.” Sterling decided, then and there, to prove him wrong.

His older sister, Abby, had already taken a more direct route to fame via Hollywood. She has been lauded for roles in Mad Men, This Means War, Rectify, Oz the Great and Powerful and alongside Gerard Butler in Chasing Mavericks. Sterling, though, decided to get famous as a surfer. He quit competing knowing that anyone outside of the surf world could not care less about titles and started a blog showcasing his unique ability, soon winning Surfer Magazine’s Battle of the Blogs. He became a big swell daredevil, snagging one of the largest waves ever ridden in the world off the coast of Alabama. He was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. And he just finished filming his biopic titled “Gold.” James Franco recently caught a private screening and told Sterling, “I’m speechless. I’ve never seen anything this good in my entire life.” They subsequently became best friends.

Fame, real fame, is now within his grasp. Sterling is fairly nonchalant about it though, saying, “Surfing and being number one are really easy for me.” The ease can be seen in this film where a young Sterling finds his Occy. The greatest surf film of all time? Probably.

Flashback Boomerang from SterlingSpencer on Vimeo.