Noa Deane, Dion Agius and Creed McTaggart
It seems that the coolest of the cool are very angry but angry at what? The WSL? Cops? The systemic devaluation of black urban youth? An unpegged Swiss Franc that will make visiting Zurich next year a virtual impossibility?

Movie Review: Cluster didn’t change my life

Cluster is full of sound, fury and signifies nothing. And it depresses me because this is the best surf class ever.

Kai Neville’s special gift, as a filmmaker, is that the coolest of the cool shine for him and, moreover, want to shine for him. They trust him to depict them properly and they feel comfortable and happy with his depiction, which is rare, because cool is like an exotic flower that wilts as soon as gazed upon. The coolest of the cool know this, intimately, and usually guard their blessing under armors of irony, social awkwardness, self-deprecation etc. But Kai is trusted and they allow him to show them as they are and, moreover, how they truly feel about themselves.

Cluster, then, is a pure, unfiltered snapshot of cool right now. It is stylish. It is beautiful boys throwing hammers while wearing unbuttoned button-ups. It is hands-free rotors. It is high production with a low production gloss. It is exotic locales. It is David Bowie and Hole and NWA. It is gorgeous but missing something.

And that something is exemplified by Noa Deane’s “Fuck Cops” scrawled in black marker across the bottom of his white board. And the “Fuck the WSL” chant that went up before the film turned on, led by Austyn Gillette (which I didn’t actually catch because I was feasting on the most divine bouillabaisse three blocks away).

And by the cavalcade of cigarettes and middle fingers. It seems that the coolest of the cool are very angry but angry at what? The WSL? Cops? The systemic devaluation of black urban youth? An unpegged Swiss Franc that will make visiting Zurich next year a virtual impossibility? Great. There is much to be angry about in this day and age but the coolest of the cool are not doing a goddamn thing with their rage because they are frozen between 1990’s bellicose ambivalence and 2015’s millennial over-achieving and in their frozenness they are not leaving a mark. Their lives are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. And it depresses me because this class is the best surf class ever. More beautiful, more aware, more intelligent.

“But they are simply surfers…” you shout at me while imploring that I dismount from my high horse. “EXACTLY!” I shout back, refusing to budge because my saddle is Hermes. They should be rebranding surfing in their image and, therefore, rebranding popular culture. They should be figuring out what 2020 looks like but instead they lilt through the world, half-drunk with a slightly bent middle finger held about as high as they can muster.

If the coolest of the cool don’t actually want to “fuck” anything, they should stop pretending and order another round of fancy cocktails. Ineffectual, toothless aggressive posturing never looks good. But if they do? More fun! Gang paddle out at Snapper for the Quiksilver Pro and dare Graham Stapelberg to arrest you! Start riots in Hossegor in honor of free speech. Surf naked and when the arresting police officers come slap them on behalf of your subjugated inner-city brethren.

Either way it is wonderful. Fancy cocktails are wonderful. Wild in the streets is wonderful. Just fucking decide.

Hypothetical: Rasta’s Nude Space Party

What happens in space, stays in space, says Rasta

The great misconception about the New Zealand-born surfer Dave “Rasta” Rastovich is that he’s some kinda pious deadwood. It’s a misread that makes me weep more than all the children in the world.

What fun might you wring from the neck of an event run by the thirty-five-year-old libertine?

Let’s investigate.

Where: On a space station. Everyone there would be held captive – if you’ve got people prisoner, you’re guaranteed time with people you want to be with, and you’re seeing something that only a handful of people have ever seen. Like way, way out, past our atmosphere and all the planets.

Interiors: It’d have to be a lot of windows, and a lot of Hubble space telescopes, looking thousands and thousands of light years away into other galaxies. The telescopes would move around so you could see all through the galaxy, and you could zoom in and go “Yeah, what about that distant star?” and just trip out on that. It would also have a sound system of sorts, beaming inside the station and also out, so you can imagine it’d be going through the outer galaxies and back down to Earth.

Theme: It would be Barbarella themed. It’d make a great theme, there’s so many costumes and creatures and all kind of things.

*Interviewers note: Barbarella is a 1968 film in which Jane Fonda plays a “highly sexual woman” who is tasked with rescuing Doctor Durand Durand from the planter Tau Ceti. Along the way she discovers penetrative intercourse for the first time, having only experienced sexual pleasure through pharmaceuticals, and overloads the “Ex-sex-sive” machine, a torturing device which kills through sexual stimulation.

Charity: I think it’d just have to be a decadent gathering. Actually… you could use it to raise awareness about planetary issues like climate change and deforestation, because you’d get a perspective (from space) that not everyone on Earth can get. For example, the Amazon – you can see all the run off now. Deforestation has caused all the top soil to run out into the river.

Music: Well, it’s my dream party… so I’d have to have Jimi Hendrix play. Probably not even playing songs – just jamming.

Special guests: As a short list – Barbarella herself, and some big thinkers – Einstein, Nikola Tesla, John Lennon, Ghandi. From the surfing world, Tom Blake, Duke (Kahanamoku). Jesus – I’m sure if you brought Jesus onto a space station, it’d be interesting.

Dress: I’d have to be naked. I’d pretty much have to ask everyone else to be naked too. At the door you’ve got the option of Barbarella, like some weirdness from the 60s or 70s, or just… nakedness.

Drank: The Kool-Aid from the Kool-Aid Acid Test (A group of American activists put LSD in Kool-Aid, as part of a bid to legalise the hallucinogenic). Back in the day, Timothy Leary was the main proponent for political LSD testing. He was kinda the frontman for psychedelia at that time. So he’d definitely be behind the bar, serving it. There’d also be some super-health elixirs. They probably wouldn’t need to be alcoholic or hallucinogenic, everyone’d already be tripping, looking down at Planet Earth from Space.

On the walls: There’d be screens all around showing what the Hubble telescopes were looking at. That, and the huge glass windows everywhere so you could see all around.

Filmmaker for the night: Alby Falzon (Australian-born filmmaker). We’d have to see the sun come around, so we could get some kind of tripped-out, Morning Of The Earth type thing.

Pals to hang with: I’d already be based on the Russian Space Station, so I’d just drift across from that to meet everyone.

Speech: Dave Chappelle.

Surprise guest: It’d have to be Miki Dora.

After Party: No, I think it’d be good to just keep going, and not come back down to Earth.

Sponsor: SETI – The Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Institute. Set up way back in the 60s, with radioscopes and scanners and everything.

Party photographer: Nope. What happens in Space, stays in Space.



Jamie Brisick surfing
Jamie Brisick, the author of the just-released book Becoming Westerly, reads Carnal Apple by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Oh what secret knowledge is clasped between your pillars! | Photo: Kane Skennar

(Poetry) Jamie Brisick Reads Carnal Apple, Woman Filled!

Sex and love and beauty, in audio, by the noted author Jamie Brisick… 

(A note from Jamie Brisick)

I grew up among sexism and misogyny. Not from my father — he’s a first-rate respecter of women — but from my surfer pals. In 8th grade, Ronnie Merkel skated up to me on the basketball court. He grinned sardonically.

“Where you been?” I asked.

He pulled his hand from his OP corduroy shorts pocket, brought his fingers to my nostrils.

“Finger fucking!” he said, and burst into cruel laughter.

When I was 15 and starting to feel things, Steve, a 24-year-old who I looked up to, told me to Never, ever, whatever you do don’t do it! Never tell a girl you love her, for that will be the end of you, Slick! (He called me Slick.) When I was 19 and trying to find my way as a pro surfer, one of my heroes declared in a Surfer magazine interview that “boards and broads don’t mix.”

In the late-‘80s I read the book Diary of a Genius by Salvador Dali. In it he regards his wife, Gala, with tremendous love and admiration and respect. I appreciated this. I recognized a similar yearning in myself, though I lacked the courage or the trust or the right girlfriend to express it.

A few years later I saw Il Postino, the movie about the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a life — writing love poems from high up on a hill. For most of my twenties and thirties I gushed to great effect. I was fearless with my heart. But I have since become more cynical, more terrified. Most nights I shiver myself to sleep.

But occasionally it comes and washes over me, unfettered, conditionless Garden of Eden love. It’s in these moments that I mentally rehearse Valentine’s Day. We’re sitting on the stoop, the late afternoon sky is clear. I present my girl with a lap-sized, heart-shaped box. Chocolate, she thinks. She unties the bow, peels off the lid, and out fly a dozen Purple Sapphire butterflies, imported from West Bengal, India.


Carnal Apple, Woman Filled, Burning Moon (Pablo Neruda)

Carnal apple, Woman filled, burning moon,

dark smell of seaweed, crush of mud and light,

what secret knowledge is clasped between your pillars?

What primal night does Man touch with his senses?

Ay, Love is a journey through waters and stars,

through suffocating air, sharp tempests of grain:

Love is a war of lightning,

and two bodies ruined by a single sweetness.

Kiss by kiss I cover your tiny infinity,

your margins, your rivers, your diminutive villages,

and a genital fire, transformed by delight,

slips through the narrow channels of blood

to precipitate a nocturnal carnation,

to be, and be nothing but light in the dark. 


BeachGrit surf trunks
BeachGrit places a great deal of emphasis on surf trunks. We believe that a pair of trunks must be flattering, a little sophisticated and must be designed by the best in the biz. In the case of surf trunks, by a Mr Rama McCabe.

Restock! World’s Best Surf Trunks

Want the world's best surf trunks? Here you find!

We just had a re-stock of our Superlative Black Virgin Mary surf trunks. Four extra pairs. Two in a 31-inch waist, two in the 32-inch waist.

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 soft 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 that announce the designer (Rama McCabe) and the puppeteer (BeachGrit). 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?

Size-wise, they fit a little big. (Forget the other sizes in the drop down menu, it’s either 31 or 32 only. Any questions email [email protected].)

But click here to buy!

Kelly Slater GoPro shot in the tube from Instagram
R. Kelly Slater is said to be sniffing around Firewire and not just to ride but to buy! | Photo: Kelly Slater/Instagram

Rumor: Kelly Slater to buy Firewire!

The 11x world champ may be expanding his empire.

Surf rumors are very good and I have one that might change your next board purchase. 11x world champ R. Kelly Slater is said to be sniffing around Firewire and not just to ride but to buy. Like, the whole company or at least part of it.

Our hero has always been very prog when it comes to his hardware. He was an early adopter of removable fin systems, rode his boards very undersized in very oversized surf and once carved a chunnel in the bottom of his Merrick to make it a hydroplane racing boat.

Firewire has been around for a while now and recently introduced a new, greener surfboard technology called TimberTek which includes…

“…The combination of a lightweight EPS core, sustainably-grown wood deck skins, Firewire’s proprietary parabolic rail construction, and anEntropy bio-resin hot coat yield an extremely lightweight, durable surfboard with ALL of the high performance flex characteristics of Firewire’s existing technologies. Even more impressive, the physical properties of the raw materials involved have allowed us to reduce exterior lamination significantly, furthering the reduction of the board’s carbon footprint.”


A greener surfboard would definitely match Kelly’s elan. I once rode Taj Burrow’s Firewire in Bondi but that was, like, lots of years ago and I only remember thinking I was pretty cool for riding Taj Burrow’s surfboard (thanks Sam McIntosh). But that was long ago and now Taj rides for Matt Biolos.

If Kelly buys Firewire will you buy one too?