Opinion: The fans want Screaming Joe Turpel!

Subtlety is so overrated in this new era of absolute Brazilian dominance. Give us weeping, passionate commentators!

Brazil. Choose one single adjective to describe that joint and the people of it. Go on…you’re relatively safe here, we don’t judge (all the time). It’s passionate, isn’t it? For better or worse, Brasilians are the most openly passionate people on earth.

But why?

How can a country riddled by crime and overpopulation spring forth a populace completely unafraid to hug, kiss, dance, sing and as evidenced by the reaction to Gabriel Medina’s world title win, absolutely rejoice in the victories of its sportsmen and women?

“They just need it, the whole country runs on a spirit that is fuelled by passion,” says former resident, the twice married to a Brasilian, Ross Clarke-Jones. “You spend time there and you can just feel it, in the way they talk and interact with each other. And there’s…so…many of them I think they all feed of each other and it’s such a special thing.”

Ross points to the country’s humiliating 7-1 defeat at the hands of Germany at the 2014 World Cup as an absolute low point in the country’s psyche, second only to 1994 the death of F1 driver Ayrton Senna. “I was there for Senna’s funeral and the whole country was crying, and so was I and I’m not even from that country,” he says. “I just got caught up in the emotion. You couldn’t help but not.”

So, that said, are surfing’s commentators up to the task of fuelling the beachside passion displayed by Charles Medina and the hordes of Brazlians now attracted to the sport following Gabby’s win?

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear Joe Turpel just fucking… lose it? Pat Parnell move away from phrases such as “And he’ll kick out,” or “That’s a massive hack,”? And who didn’t enjoy Martin Potter’s little homoerotic groan at the completion of Tom Carroll’s Heritage Heat Pipeline pit?

Click on the play button, close your eyes and imagine it now. Surf commentary, fuelled by passion.

Dave Rastovich portrait
"I love how twisted and creative my mind gets after being awake for a couple of days," says David. "I don’t necessarily have alcohol or anything in my system but I enjoy that delirium you get into and how quirky and creative you get." | Photo: Electric

Kinky: “Sleep Deprivation. It’s my fetish!” says Rasta

David Rastovich on a life very well examined… 

David “Rasta” Rastovich is the just-turned 35-year-old surfer famous for his environmental activism (Dolphins!) and endowed with a level of surfing that is as immaculate as his coca butter skin and glowing smile. What may not be so well-known is David doesn’t give a damn about what he says and is, therefore, a rare and intelligent interview.

Let’s learn more…

Nickname: Doc (his initials are DR), DR, Rasta, Ronavitch.

Music: I was in a collaboration project with (Cronulla surfer) Terapai Richmond, Ash Grunwald, the lead singer from King Tide and others. I played whatever I could, mainly percussion, to fit in. I’m into every kind of music except pop which I think is more about making money and fostering image. A favorite track is Golden Brown by the Stranglers. I like Ernest Ranglin and Loose Jam.

Romance: It’s about diversity on all levels. Being open-minded, creative, going interesting places and not doing clichéd, stereotypical things. It can be as simple as the way you talk and communicate with each other to sexual things.

Diet: Vegan. I eat organic and go to the local farmers markets every Tuesday. For 35 dollars I can eat for a week. I don’t drink or eat chocolate and I don’t support massive food chains that use pesticides and who unnecessarily ship foods to places that don’t need them.

Grooming: As long as my hairy ass is warm I’m good. I don’t want logos all over my threads. Obviously, no leather or animal fibres. Billabong have organic cotton products which I get around in. I dress practically as opposed to image based.

Haircare: I haven’t washed my hair in 10 years. Once, I got lice sleeping on a dank mattress in Mexico. I had to shave my head and use anti-lice shampoo. There was another time when I was in India with Taylor Steele and Dustin Humphrey. We were on a river ferry and my hair was long and seedy and we were bored so we washed it.

Weapon shape: Gary McNeill 5’10”, stringerless board with carbon rails, a pulled-in tail and a deep concave. It’s made out of a sugar cane substitute instead of polyurethane. It’s strong, fast and light.

Car: Toyota Troopie, which is insane for camping and tripping. And a beaten up Holden Rodeo for around home.

Movies: The Cove (a documentary about the wrangling and killing of dolphins in Japan) is amazing. I worked closely with that. I like films from Asia and the Middle East. Fantastic Planet is amazing and left field. You don’t know who the actors are, what’s gonna happen, it’s so new and fresh.

Fun: Mountain biking in the hills behind my house.

Liquor: Coopers Green pale ale. No preservatives, thick, lagery and smooth.  There is a brand of Vejo-flavoured vodka made by 42 degree below. It’s a New Zealand fruit that I’m in love with.

Payment: Credit card so I can keep a record for tax purposes.

Confrontation: Not into it. I’ve been in the middle of it a few times. When someone is drunk or high on something I get rattled. But, being involved in conflicts in an environmental protest I love. I was in a Sea Shepherd confrontation in Ecuador and the one with fisherman in Japan. In those scenarios I can’t have any form of aggression. If you sit there peacefully it highlights their insanity.

Computer: Weathered old MacBook Pro. The CD doesn’t work and the keys are tweaked.

Indulgence: A few beers and sleep deprivation. It’s my fetish. I love how twisted and creative my mind gets after being awake for a couple of days. I don’t necessarily have alcohol or anything in my system but I enjoy that delirium you get into and how quirky and creative you get.

Surfing: I’m not in that world. I don’t see anyone surf anymore. Uncontrived, someone who lets it come out whether they’re on a bodyboard, goat-boat, shortboard, grandpa, little girl. Someone who lets it come out of them without controlling it or concocting their style and plan. Same with music.

Contraception: Meditation.

Training: One hour of yoga a day. And an hour-and-a-half paddleboard session. And bike riding in the hills.

Spending: I don’t have any luxuries. I don’t buy CD’s cause I play music and I don’t buy shampoo cause I don’t wash my hair. Just chip away at a home loan.

TV: Don’t have one.

Airline: No preference. I don’t always pay for the carbon-offset program. It’s a bit funky, that, large offset programs where companies are selling old-growth forests to set up new ones. And this is supposed to give companies a good name for offsetting their carbon?

Pets: Brush turkeys and ibis birds and pelicans that roam around my house, but no pets.

Surf Psyche: Waves. I saw a video that got me more psyched to surf than any other – Searching For Michael Peterson. I’m from Burleigh where all those guys are from, and they use to be out there when I was a grommet.

Backside tube: No hands.

Education: I finished high school, but the things I value the most I have learned through travel. The essentials of learning to write, talk and communicate are the base. But, in terms of treating people, experience in life and appreciation of things, travel is the best education.

Wave: Anything empty really. I’m not a human’s human. I would rather surf waves that are less perfect with no one out there.

Best Post-Shark Attack Interview Ever!

"It came straight out of the depths and got him!" says witness…

Just last weekend, a surfer in Northern California was dive-bombed by a Great White. It ain’t no big deal in those parts. It’s as much a part of surfing as sunburn and fin-chops from thrown away SUPs are on Australia’s Gold Coast.

And, as the writer Lewis Samuels told BeachGrit, surfers there take comfort in the fact that great whites in northern California are different to the more energetic South African and Australian breed. In that, they have a different hunting pattern. They might bite but they’ll let go after the initial bleed and wait for you to bleed out instead of taking you down straight away.

And it’s exactly what happened last Sunday! The surfer, 50-year-old Kevin Swanson, was surfing Sand Spit at Montana de Oro State Park near Morro Bay when a Great White had a swing, a bite, and split.

The surfer, reportedly some kind of commando, applied his own tourniquet while paddling for shore and, on the beach, his surf pal, New Zealander Andrew Walsh, calmly recounted the attack.

Such calm after the ambush of a magnificent prehistoric animal! Click!

Beach Grit t-shirts
Thirty five American shekels for these non-slutty tees delivered anywhere in the world!

Sale! For the highest type of sexual identities!

Two BeachGrit tees sent anywhere in the world for $35!

All those post-Christmas sales? It would be highly criminal if BeachGrit didn’t play the game. And, therefore, for maybe a week or something, $US35 will get you two BeachGrit tees (the new Ultra Hard Surf Candy and the old Better than Coke etc, prints by Paul McNeil) that’ve been shorn of sleeves therefore amplifying your super-masculinity or ultra-femininity.

The cut reveals enough skin for gals to be “sexy” but not so much as to appear “slutty” or “whorish”. For men, it shows the curve of the upper pectoral and any protrusion of the latissimus dorsi.

The tees are made with 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.

Shipping? Forget about it! It’s on BeachGrit! Anywhere in the world! Even to to the brand new Islamic State!

Click here! (Buy one and the other will automatically follow! And email [email protected] to confirm your address.)

Drugs and Surfing! Sex and Surfing! Violence too…

What you creeps and dipsomaniacs searched for in 2014… 

It is impossible to praise Matt Warshaw too highly. If you care about at all about surfers who have blood in their veins, it is imperative that you attend his website Encyclopedia of Surfing. (Click to jump into his tub!) It’s the history of surfing but contained on an electronic page.

Just now, Matt posted the most-searched items from the site. And wouldn’t y’know it! You’re a pack of creeps and dipsomaniacs!

“Trying to figure out why these two pages came out on top this year, and all I can come up with is that with alcohol and surfing, as well as drugs and surfing, you get both comedy and tragedy,” write Matt. “The Stone Steps contest, for example, as seen in the black and white photo above. That was a sloppy, stupid, incredibly fun event. Buckets of beer drained before each heat. Silly trophies. Nude dancing on the beach afterwards. And star power: that’s Butch van Artsdalen up there on the far right, in the early ’70s, getting his neck around 48 fluid ounces of Miller Lite before paddling out to win the event. On the other hand, Butch drank himself to death in 1979. Same with drugs. Cuddling up your giant fluffy-friendly-green pot plants — funny. OD-ing alone in a Dallas hotel room — not funny.”

If you are nostalgic for surf history and want a website of structure and commitment then you can’t afford to do without it. An extraordinary achievement! Happy New Year to you!