Dion Agius and Kelly Slater, 2014 Surfer Poll
When the Strange Rumblings in Shangri La crew took the stage to accept the award for Movie of the Year, did their antics seem a little contrived and unnecessary? Perhaps. But if they set out to make a mark on the evening, then mission accomplished. Perhaps the most ironic consequence of the night was the assistance that the boys gave to the recent rebranding strategy of the ASP. Noah Deane caught a ton of shit for his profanity laden quip, but after all, he did say “Fuck the WSL”. Clooney and Nicholson pounding gin at the Golden Globes is charming, but apparently referencing prescription meds in front of a surf crowd is strictly verboten, Dion. Live it. Learn it... Later backstage, Australia's favorite track-suited aerialist got a friendly but firm talking to from surfing’s Cool Dad. | Photo: Justin Jay/IG @justinjayphoto/justinjay.com

Essential: Justin Jay on the North Shore

You want to see what happens when one of the best shooters in the world goes to the North Shore? Photos so fresh!

New York City’s Justin Jay is a photographer who takes his work extremely seriously.  Every year when he flies to the North Shore to independently cover the contest season, he carries a box of prints in his backpack to give to surfers he’s previously shot.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” says the 41 year old from the Lower East Side, who has previously shot Jay Z, Outkast and P Diddy. “A picture does take a little bit of your soul in a sense, it’s why famous people wear sunglasses all the time. So if you take someone’s photo, you need to give something back, you have to make sure they get a print. Everyone has a fucking iPhone and no one has any physical prints any more. When you give someone a print from a year ago, they feel amazing.”

Justin’s game is simple enough.

“Whether I’m shooting Diddy or Jay-Z or Kelly or Joel I put myself in the eyes of a 13-year-old fan,” he says. “What would they like to see? There’s plenty of photos of Dane and Kelly ripping, but that’s not my game. I want to see the surfers before and after they surf, getting in fist fights, partying, eating breakfast.”

Justin says his game works ’cause he’s an outsider, because hasn’t been in the industry for so long that his eyes cloud over the minutiae of this awesome multi-generational gathering of the world’s best surfers.

The photos that are follow are from Justin’s sixth trip to the North Shore, most are only a few days old, where he is shooting for a photo book called Beach Access, although he ain’t in no hurry to get the thing on the press.

As he says, “my style of stuff lends itself to ageing. These are historical shots, rather than standard portraits. Plus, going back each year is like going to summer camp or winter camp, in this case, all the same faces, this great fraternity.”

See more of Justin Jay’s work here (Click!) and follow him on IG at @justinjayphoto

John John and Alex Florence 2014 Surfer Poll
In most award shows, the main focus is the announcement of the final award. At Surfer Poll however, there were two surfers who so unequivocally occupied the top two places that the unveiling of the number two spot became a de-facto crowning of the winner as well. All eyes were on John John. Number two was finally revealed and it was Kelly. A new King was crowned. Not a single person in the room could muster a justification to argue against this year’s winner. Well deserved. A class act. Period.
mick fanning and occy surfer poll 2014

Mark Occhilupo presented several awards at Surfer Poll in front of a crowd of his fans and peers. Mick Fanning was certainly more at ease receiving an award than a visibly nervous Occy was at being on stage and handing them out.
Lyndie and Axel Irons
Lyndie Irons embodies all of the glamour, allure and tragedy of the Andy Irons legacy. She is essentially the Jackie Kennedy of surfing. Stunningly beautiful. Graceful and radiant. She’s also the widow of a larger than life figure and mother to the Irons successor. Watching Axel playfully run around backstage, I couldn’t help but think about all of the opportunity, the baggage, the love and the extraordinary genes that he must posses.
Michael Ho anxiously watches Mason Ho’s Pipe Masters trial heat from the porch of a nearby Pipe patio.
Proud father and Pipeline elder statesman Michael Ho anxiously watches Mason Ho’s Pipe Masters trial heat from the porch of a nearby Pipe patio. Mason made it to the semi’s, just missing out on a spot in the main event.
Mick Fanning and Taylor Knox
The current world champ jokes around with close mate and master of the rail Taylor Knox at the Rip Curl House.
Jack Robinson, Reef House, Oahu
Jack Robinson, just two weeks off turning 17, dropped by the Reef house unexpectedly. This permanently stoked grom was on his way to surf Jaws for the first time the following morning. With casual excitement, he asked Billy Kemper if he could borrow a board. His demeanor was similar to one neighbour asking another neighbor if they could borrow a cup of sugar for a cake that they were baking. Except in this case, the proverbial cake is one of the meanest waves on the planet and it could easily end his life.

Dane Reynolds and Kelly Slater portrait
Let's classify Dane Reynolds and Kelly Slater. Dane is a type three and four, conforming to Chas Smith's script that a man can only be a maximum of two types. But Kelly? He is types one, four, five, and seven. A quadroon! | Photo: Morgan Maassen

What kind of man are you?

Are Dane Reynolds and Kelly Slater quadroons or simple mulattos? Chas Smith attempts to classify!

There are seven types of men. Only seven. And each man is one of these types or a mix of two of these types. Never three.

Type 1 (clown)

He wears baggy clown-like pants and a baggy t-shirt and a backward baseball cap. He drinks beer and after three gets extremely loud. He gets so loud that people move away from him, perceptibly. He wears a thick gold chain and he loves to watch mixed martial arts and his friends are all clowns too. He surfs during summer vacation and exchanges his thick gold chain for a shell necklace.

Type 2 (afraid)

He is timid and too thin or too fat. His voice is quiet and he doesn’t have an opinion on many things or he changes his opinion at the drop of a hat. He doesn’t drive a car because of potential car accidents. He doesn’t fly. He works at the local fussy coffee spot. He once had a girlfriend but that was twenty years ago when he was ten. He is allergic to gluten. He believes in global warming and the powerful stage presence of Ryan Gosling.

Type 3 (weird, predom: Dane Reynolds)

He loves horror movies. He listens to Henry Rollins spoken word albums on vinyl. He obsesses about linux and other internet technologies. He has a girlfriend who wears vinyl pants. He has a pet rat. His mother loved him too much and his father not enough. Early in life he believed his superior intellect would take him places in this life. When it only took him to a clerk job at a camera store it made him hate all those in positions of power. It also made him snide. He has never fought a man. He has slapped a woman.

Type 4 (jock, predom: Kelly Slater)

He is a jock, handsome with good bone structure and muscles that will turn a bit doughy if he doesn’t stay on top of a severe workout regime. He surfs very jocky on his board. Like he expects hurricane-force gales to knock him over. Girls are drawn to his handsome and his muscles and his friendly personality. He laughs at sitcoms. He is the anchor of modern man.

Type 5 (ethnic)

He is from Africa, Asia, Sub-Asia, South America, Central America, Mexico, the Middle East. He likes some sort of string-based/horn-based music that makes no sense. He is just passing time and enjoying the little things like grilled meat.

Type 6 (asshole)

Does many things on purpose to push the buttons of those around him. He dresses like an asshole and talks like one too. If a beautiful girl sitting in his company tells him that he is rude he takes a drag of his cigarette and blows smoke in her face. He was not attractive as a child but became attractive later in life. He goes to bed each night feeling smug about himself.

Type 7 (self-hating handsome)

He was born handsome and grew handsome and is still handsome but he has no other skill. Nothing. He is a model or a waiter or personal assistant. He can’t do anything well but is handsome so hates himself because he knows he can’t do anything well. He was too handsome, as a young person, to be weird so he feels perpetually removed from humanity. He curses his fate and others look at him and wonder, “What the hell is he doing?” He wonders as well but comforts himself in the arms of beautiful women but then hates himself for doing so.

Common mixes. 

Successful artist (weird-asshole)

Construction worker (Dane Reynolds-ethnic)

Businessman (afraid-asshole)

Actor (self-hating handsome-asshole)

Clothing designer (afraid-asshole)

Cell phone salesman (weird-afraid)


Black Ultra Hard Surf Candy t-shirt by BeachGrit
The purest of Chinese cotton (picked by smiling chilluns with bales on their backs!) melded into a slim-fitting tee. Such summer! | Photo: Richard Freeman

Buy: Ultra Hard Surf Candy Summer Tee!

This summer tee will jazz you up in a perpetual orgy of esoteric bliss… 

Ultra Hard Surf Candy. Now don’t that have a ring to it! This sleeveless t-shirt (in basic black only) is decorated with art from the noted Paul McNeil, celebrated, lately, for his work in setting up The Art Park, a gallery-artist’s residency in Byron Bay, Australia.

This is a t-shirt for the motivated and the driven, for the highest type of male and female sexual identities. It is the t-shirt that worships the physical prowess of its wearer, amplifying, paradoxically, super-masculinity and ultra-femininity.

If you’re too lazy to take a bath and too stingy to buy a haircut this summer tee will jazz you up in a perpetual orgy of esoteric bliss.

One hundred per cent cotton (natch) and of the slimmest cut.

It ain’t short in length, either, so cut it (raw edge!) if that’s your thing.  Don’t be a prisoner of your frigidity!

Click here to buy! 


Front of Beach Grit surf trunks
Short in the leg, a button fly (all buttons have custom BeachGrit-Rama McCabe detail) and a lining so maybe you don't rash so much… 

SOLD OUT! Superlative Black Virgin Mary Surf Trunks!

Everyone's talking about these new surf trunks by Rama McCabe for BeachGrit! Classy! (New stock coming soon!)

BeachGrit places a great deal of emphasis on surf trunks. We believe that a pair of trunks must be flattering, a little sophisticated, has some edge and follows these design principles:

1. It is made from the softest cotton. Nylon is so… retro-future don’t you think? Oh, it doesn’t dry as fast? Do you really care enough to wear the same material factories use to manufacture tents?

2. The leg is short. Do you really desire a muumuu?

3. Button flies. With custom buttons. Velcro catches, zips corrode and threaten your vitals. Buttons? A little extra work, at times, but as reliable as the continual victory of capitalistic democracy over facism.

4. It must be designed by the best in the biz, in this case, a Mr Rama McCabe, a Byron Bay-born surfer of impeccable style. How else can we be assured of the perfect silhouette and detail?

Want ’em? Click here!

Size-wise, they come in 28″, 30″, 31″, 32″ and 34″ waists. Fits true to size, maybe a little big even. (Forget the size button, email: [email protected] your size.)

Kolohe Andino with Surfing magazine cover
What was Kolohe's reaction to CJ calling his barrel-to-oop in Portugal the "best wave ever ridden"? "Ha ha. Thanks so much man. Nothing compares to that 15-foot-plus Chopes wave you got…" | Photo: Ryan Miller

Opinion: “This is the best wave ever ridden,” says CJ Hobgood

A barrel-to-alley-oop combo might just be the most complete ride. Ever.

A couple of months back we lost our minds over Kelly’s rote-and-a-half in Portugal. 

Mental? Yes it was.

But while all eyes and commentary were on Kelly’s move, something easy to get your head around (High! Spin!), a few hours earlier, Kolohe had completed what the 2001 world champ CJ Hobgood is calling the “best wave ever ridden.”

On IG this morn, he wrote:

Yes @kellyslater ‘s 720 a few miles down the road and hours later was better and Yes there’s been heavier, deeper barrels ridden.HOWEVER if getting a barrel in surfing is the ultimate experience and next in line would be an air. I have never seen a better barrel and bigger air combo on the same wave. My answer is yes and what wave is next in line for best combo if this is número uno? 

An opinion! Who has opinions these days! BeachGrit called CJ in Orlando, Florida, where he was recovering from nerve surgery in his arm, to get a little elaboration.

And CJ, still only 35 (a year younger than Taj, seven under Kelly), and who’ll probs get the injury wildcard for 2015 if he wants it, ain’t afraid to jam.

“I’ve been racking my brain and I can’t think of another combo as good,” he says of a barrel-to-alley-oop combo that features on the cover of the latest issue of Surfing magazine. 

“People have said there’s been a couple of Dane combos but that’s it.”

CJ says that there had been plenty of chatter about raising the performance bar prior to Kolohe’s combo. Like, what would happen if John John or Julian had wrapped up their soaring alley-oops with something else, a combo like nothing else ever seen?

After the photographer Ryan Miller caught the wave on stills and …Lost  filmer Noah Alani (angle one) and Blake Kueny (angle two) had it safe on a RED cam, there were round-table discussions between photographers, surfers and journalists.

Like, how good is that wave? 

“I think it’s the gnarliest wave ever ridden,” says CJ. “I didn’t see people comprehending the magnitude of what went down. On Instagram, I wanted to shine some light on the sheer magnitude of what I thought went down.”

If a barrel-to-oop is the best wave in history, what next? Three hammers?

“It’d be hard to get your brain into another manoeuvre after two,” says CJ. “You could tell that when Brother was done his brain was… warped. It was wow… and wow. You have to contain a high level of focus for that level of time and not be stoked with what you’ve already pulled. You’d have to prepare your brain for sure.”

CJ adds, “It was a watershed moment for surfing.”

Kolohe’ll be releasing a 25-minute film next July and it’ll have the two angles of the wave. Can you wait?