See lil Ivan in the front, mama Alex in the back, John John behind the right triceps and Nathan nestled into Alex's wrist.

John John’s Dad Just Wrote a Tell-All Book

A 69-page Kindle-only tell-all. Bitter? Concussed with ego? Yeah, it is…

Ain’t nothing worse than a middle-aged man who throws away the last vestiges of his dignity. Some men’ll fly the coop from their families to chase long-evaporated dreams; others’ll fool ’emselves into thinking that 20-year-old high-ass-and-pussy combo ain’t just chasing ’em for their money.

And John Florence, the 45-year-old estranged father of John John, Nathan and Ivan, has sunk to a remarkable nadir with a 69-page self-published Kindle-only book currently for sale on Amazon.

“I am natural flirt. I enjoy making people smile, chuckle, laugh. I am very sexual by nature. I was raised that way. I have always enjoyed the whole sexual innuendo sort of suggestion in general conversation. Something that would make a person raise an eyebrow while giving a sly knowing smile back. Very sexual in every way to a fault or not, I am not sure but this is simply how I interact with everyone from passengers at my tables to coworkers, friends and girlfriends.

The book is the work of a man who’ll happily tell you he got too many blows to the head as a kid and who was so rad he was always doing something to “give me that warm fuzzy feeling of fear and/or ‘Now you fucked up.'”

It’s a book that attempts to be part adventure (swinging through Europe on expired credit cards), part street-lit (dealing coke and weed) and part redemption (I just gotta stay away from the booze!).

F.E.A.R (Yeah, that’s the name) fails because the write can’t shuck off the ego that inflates the story.

Let’s read:

“I am natural flirt. I enjoy making people smile, chuckle, laugh. I am very sexual by nature. I was raised that way. I have always enjoyed the whole sexual innuendo sort of suggestion in general conversation. Something that would make a person raise an eyebrow while giving a sly knowing smile back. Very sexual in every way to a fault or not, I am not sure but this is simply how I interact with everyone from passengers at my tables to coworkers, friends and girlfriends.

“Alex was attracted to me because I was the charming, funny waiter, union delegate, friend of the captain, a sort of King of the Dining Room on the ships. She was also intimidated by those qualities.

“By attacking everything that made me, she could safely keep her hold on me. But this makes me ask the question, “Am I still me without all those qualities?” Am I still a fun, comical, sexy and intriguing John? I know I didn’t feel that way with Alex. I felt stripped of me, like a John in a black and white. I felt caged and shut down. Like a bird not allowed to fly, a flower not allowed to bloom… I need to be able to be me, to attract the responses I desire – the laughs, the smiles, the sexy knowing smiles of women… ”

“I am currently awaiting arraignment for two felony DUIs. I received a DUI on October 10th of 2013 and hired a lawyer; he felt we had it beat due to no witnesses. Then, as if I’m living with doom on my shoulder, I received another DUI in January of 2014. The prosecutor offered me a plea on two misdemeanour charges but my attorney quickly refused the plea, and accepted that they would upgraded these to two felony DUIs. I do not know what the terms of the plea were, but as in the first case, there was (sic) no witnesses to put me behind the wheel at the time the vehicle was stranger on the curb… I am looking at some time behind bars. What the fuck was I thinking? … Like so many before me, alcohol is doom’s carrier pigeon… I feel now that I was doomed from the start… doomed to make poor decisions, doomed to be misled by my love of ‘good times’ to a life of pain and misery, leaving destruction and broken lives in my wake.

“Yet, I must admit, if not for the alcohol, I would not have married the two beautiful women who loved me, would not have the four beautiful sons I love with all my heart, and wouldn’t have this story to tell… ”

Buy it here if you want (it’s three-and-a-bit American shekels)

or read Alex’s much-sweeter version here. 

…this is Hilton Beach, one of only beaches in the Tel Aviv metro area that ain't banning surfers. Soon every single surfer, and every single SUP, in the city is going to be jammed into two lil beaches. The joint's chaos already. But, then, no one handles adversity like the brave Jews! Who else made a crummy, forgotten desert bloom green!

Shmear of the Day! Surfing Banned in Tel Aviv!

It ain't a gas when one of the funnest cities in the world gets heavy on surfers. But blame the SUPs!

Right about now is a fine time to taste the exquisite fruits of the most progressive, and secular (natch), city in the whole of the Middle East. Tel Aviv, oh it’ll steal your heart. The hospitality! The food! The sparkling can-do spirit!

In Tel Aviv, and unlike Jerusalem a couple of hours drive away, there are no heavy vibes, religion is kept at arm’s length, mostly, and along a promenade that runs along the ocean-front, you’ll find 12 clicks of sometimes very good beachbreaks, jetties and reef.

Yeah, so it’s flat for the most, but it’s about this time of year when the winter swells are lighting up this most eastern point in the Mediterranean. Click here for a trip I made with Josh Kerr, Craig Ando, Creed Mc and Dion Agius last winter.

(The movie, which I made with Toby Cregan, is interesting ’cause when I split Stab the movie was re-edited to remove all the references to Jewish history, a result, I believe, of the magazine being spooked by anti-Semitic sentiment. Even after this dumbed-down version, the anti-Jew comments were everywhere. A commentator called Bodhi wrote: “Isn’t this the video that belongs to that puff pro Israel piece published a few months back. the one they had to pull, because quite obviously stab had their lips placed so firmly around an Israeli cooks cock!”)

Lately, howevs, SUPS, which are a plague here like most soft-wave haunts, have caused so many accidents the local government has banned surfing from eight of the city’s 13 beaches.

The beaches where surfing is now banned include Topsea, where Doc Paskowitz and friends got the brave Jew into the sport in the first place and a jetty called Tel Baruch which is as rippable a wave as you’ll find anywhere. At the end of the clip that y’might’ve clicked on above, you’ll see Creed floater-saluting the setting sun – that’s Tel Baruch.

“Surfing is growing everywhere and the same here, surf schools every where, and so many SUPs,” says the surfer Artur Rashkovan, who owns a surf shop at Hilton Beach and who is one of the main players in the getting-Gazans-into-surfing group, Surfing for Peace. “When the SUPs got in the game, the mess started and I don’t need to tell you, many got injured, surfers and swimmers, so the lifeguards pushed to have an order which will ban surfers in eight spots and it started during the winter, when only surfers are in the water (dumb).”

Just recently, Artur’s pal Tamar was fined 750 New Israeli Shekels (what a handle for a little currency!) or around $US200 for surfing.

“Now, just imagine,” says Artur. “They want to push the thousands of surfers in the city into those already crowded spots, Hilton beach and the West Beach. Seems rational, right?”

If surfing in Israel matters you, how about you swing here to Artur’s Facebook page and join in the fight. 

Get a hot holiday date tonight!

...and still find time to surf!

There is only so much time in the day and what with Christmas dinners, opening presents, saying hello to people you do not know/care about, lighting candles, putting candles out, eating candy, watching Chevy Chase movies, thinking about shopping, egg nog, throwing away wrapping paper, being generally depressed, football, peppermint, family pictures, dancing like an asshole, regurgitating other surf website’s content (if you happen to be The Inertia), Bing Crosby, being too hot, being too cold, snow, standing in lines, agreeing with people just for the sake of not talking anymore, going broke (if you happen to be the World Surf League), crying, opening mail, there is even less.

How is a man or woman supposed to fit both surfing and online dating into the schedule?


Like this.


Merry Christmas from BeachGrit.

The French-made cinema release Imagine is going to give you chills. Y'ever see a fresher vision of Tahiti's most famous reef?

Must see: An Extreme Sports Movie That’s Actually Good

French made cinema-release Addicted to Life is going to give you chills…

For one, I’m not normally one for cinema-release melanges of “action sports.” Surfing is real fun to do when you’re not chasing the wheel at work, a chance to connect with pals, a way to keep off those rings of fat away without hitting a treadmill, and maybe a life-or-death thrill or two here and there.

When I want to watch surf it’ll be the ultra-hard surf candy of Kai Neville’s cuts or the autobios created by Dane, John John or Jordy Smith.

Booming anthems cut to HD footage of snowboarders, skiers, biker riders and big-wave surfers, thrown onto a 60-minute reel is the nadir of what I think of  when I think of surfing. I don’t do pompous and I don’t trade in faux danger.

But this… this… I like.

Maybe it’s just how unselfconscious it is; maybe it’s ’cause the flying men in their wing suits are the most wonderfully crazy things I’ve ever seen.

The director Thierry Donard has been making his La Nuit de la Glisse (The Night of the Slide) documentaries since 1984 and the films have this very French, very romantic quality. How can we not love?

(Click here for more details…) 

Do you really want to surf with the cutest and best surfer alive? It ain't all y'think it is… 

Candid: Fleeing Kelly Slater!

Why surfing with the cutest (and best) surfer of all time ain't no great thing… 

Wouldn’t it be great to surf with Kelly Slater? He’s the world’s best surfer and an inspiration to generations of professional and casual surfers alike. Of course you want to surf with the King.

Are you sure?  Some true stories might make you think otherwise.  Read on!

A few years back I landed in Barbados on one of my many trips there. When I arrived late in the evening in Bathsheba, home to the consistent and often powerful Soup Bowl, I was greeted at the local rum shop by a few local friends. The first thing out of their mouths?

“Kelly’s on the island.”

Now, this isn’t an unusual event. The King cut his teeth over the years on powerful north swells at Soup Bowl, pound for pound as heavy as Hawaiian North Shore juice. Check out his section in Campaign 2 or the myriad illegal downloads of that section on YouTube for proof.

Slater is well-liked on Barbados and frequently returns to the island in between contests and sponsored events. No big deal, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a session with him at Soup Bowl? Of course!

Or, of course not…

Three days into the trip, I was out at average November Soup Bowl, a combo of windswell and smaller, rising north swell. It was a typical weekday, mid-day crowd of five, with myself, a Huntington Beach lifeguard named Adam, and three locals, including Kevin Nicholls, a homegrown Bathsheba standout. We were trading waves in the shifting peaks, with plenty to go around.

About an hour into the session, we noticed a little commotion in the parking lot, but thought nothing of it. Soon, a familiar bald head paddled out and sat with us in the lineup.

Kelly is very personable. Not too talkative, but polite. Not overly aggressive, but often in the right spot. I would surf a wave as hard as I possibly could, then paddle out to watch him show me how I truly was not surfing the wave to its fullest. I was surfing with Kelly Slater!  I was stoked!  For about 20 minutes…

Soon enough word got out and average Soup Bowl with just six guys out turned into a mad house. I guess everybody wants to surf with the King. And damn near everybody on the island seemed to have the same idea at the same time. Suddenly the main peak was swarming with locals, tourists, kooks and chicks on longboards sitting in the channel, you name it. It was out of hand. Unstoked…

Adam and I paddled up the reef to High Rock, another peak altogether and watched the mayhem until Slater paddled in about 45 minutes later. Lesson learned: don’t surf with the King if you don’t want to share.

Unhappy Corollary #1:

Two days later, the Bajans (that’s what Barbadians call themselves, sounds kinda like BAY-jen, not Bah-hen, because they’re from Barbados not Baja California) had their annual national surf tournament at Soup Bowl, so it was closed to free surf. It was windy that day, so after a few fun days, it was time to take a break, drink a few Banks beers and rum punches and watch the event. Reggae music over the loudspeaker, good local food, and a great tropical vibe are typical to any Bajan surf event.

After a few hours, we were walking back to our place along Parlour beach, which is just up the road from Soup Bowl. Parlour is a big, shifty, tricky field of waves that takes some time to get to know. Usually it’s empty or uncrowded, but up top we could see what seemed to be at least 20 people out. Twenty surfers at windy, shitty Parlour?  What’s up with that?  Then we figured it out.

Up the road, there were three long-lens photographers shooting the surfers. I walked up to one and said, “Let me guess.  Kelly’s out, right?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” he replied sarcastically.

Parlour was crap. Total crap. The King probably just wanted a solo session to get wet. I know I’ve done the same and though it’s not a quality wave when it’s windy, warm tropical waves all to yourself aren’t so bad in the end. Unless of course you’re out and Kelly paddles out, then it’s a mob scene. So I’ve learned. So I’ve learned…

Unhappy Corollary #2:

Fast forward two years. I’m out at Surfrider Beach in Malibu on a fun south swell. Malibu is always crowded when it’s on, but I have this special lineup between Second and Third points that I like to sit on. When the waves shift a certain way, I get a bunch of long waves in a session. It’s never crowded in that “tweener” spot and is a great way to enjoy a “secret spot” between the mobs at the main peak.

There were just five of us out trading waves. Sounds familiar? A familiar face paddled out and it turned out to be Adam the Huntington Beach lifeguard. After a high-five, exchanging “waddups” and so on, I brought up that time we were surfing Soup Bowl when Kelly paddled out and everything went crazy. We had a laugh and compared that crowd to double whatever we were seeing at the main peaks here at the ‘bu.

Not five minutes later, as if on cue from the director of a grade-B surf horror film, a familiar bald head paddled out. Dammit, it’s Kelly and he’s coming straight to our little “secret spot.”

As I said, the King is a nice guy. He gives us a nod, asks if it’s fun, and otherwise just fits into our little pack. Not for long…

Faster than white on rice, flies on shit, you name it, it seems as if the packs at Second and Third point flowed to our spot as if a drain opened and they were caught in a rushing rapid headed straight for the King. Adam and I looked at each other as if we are caught in the same déjà vu moment at the same time (because, well, we were) and immediately bailed to the beach.

From the sand we witnessed world class surfing not at Second or Third point, but at what had become “Slater Point” because everybody wanted to surf with the King. It was a crazy display of crowd mentality that I will never forget.

What’s it like to be the greatest surfer in the world? You’ll have to ask Kelly Slater. He’s an excellent ambassador for the sport, a role model in many ways, and sure he has well-earned privileges: boat trips, secret spots, keys to cities, you name it. But, apart from those waves on the Dream Tour or a secluded surf magazine trip, it has to be hard to find privacy at any regular spot.

Superstardom has its advantages, but clearly it has its disadvantages.

And that privacy thing?

I’m not just talking about him. I’m talking about me. I mean, look, he’s able to get any wave he wants. People either give him waves, or he just goes deeper, dodging kooks, wannabes, and groupies as he flies down the line. But I’m a regular guy and I get stuck having to move down the beach, go in, or just wait until he’s done so that people can go back to using common sense and return to what they were doing before the King paddled out.

Of course you want to surf with the King. Wait, are you sure?  Be careful what you wish for…