“Peru, mañana, will smash Brazil!”

A new surf power lurks in South America.

Consensus amongst professional surf aficionados is that Brazil is beginning a long and glorious run atop the World Surf League. Gab Medina, having won his nation’s first title a month ago, is young, hungry and shows no sign of slowing down. But if he falters? How about Adriano de Souza, Filipe Toledo, Miguel Pupo, Jadson Andre? And please do not forget a still young Neco Padaratz. Order and progress!


While Brazil is looking very good and maybe thinking about ways to sabotage John John Florence just a little bit, a menace lurks to their north west. Firm and happy Peru!

Peru’s most famous daughter, Sofia Mulanovich, has recently launched, alongside Swatch, Proyecto Sofia Mulanovich. It is, “…the shared dream of world champion surfer Sofia Mulanovich and Swatch, to create a surfing academy to give young Peruvian talent direct access to the ocean’s opportunities. At the launch of this unique youth surfing project, 10 high-potential kids and their families gathered in the Proyecto Sofia Mulanovich “beach house” in Punta Hermosa, determined to chase and live their dreams. The Proyecto Sofia Mulanovich is a three-year program that combines top-level, competitive surf training with life lessons anchored in the key areas of environmental protection, healthy living and fair play. The 10 residents were selected from 67 hopeful applicants by Sofia Mulanovich and her team of experts.”

It is a superstar factory! Maybe the greatest idea in surf since Pipeline! In a few years, expect to see these kids on the WQS. And a few years after that on the WCT. And then winning. Winning and stealing all glory from their Portuguese-speaking continent mates. Oh, if I could have attended a program like this as a young man, I’d be at least as Ricardo Christie and probably as good as Bede Durbidge. Alas, it was not to be. The future belongs to Peru. When I told the local Peruvian restaurant owner this his eyes flashed and he slammed a nearby table with his alpaca boot while screaming, “Peru will, mañana, smash Brazil!” And then he broke into the national song.

Glory erected in millennia of history

molded the national sentiment

and it was the yell of Túpac Amaru

which alerts, which demands

and which impels, towards liberty.

And the creole and the Indian embrace

yearning for a single ideal

and the sacrifice of their soul and blood

that gave the white and reds

of the emblem that announced to the world

that Peru rises sovereign.

For the glory of God.

(Audio) Jamie Brisick on his book Becoming Westerly

The noted author Jamie Brisick discusses his bio of Westerly Windina neé surf superstar Peter Drouyn…

Several decades ago, the surfer Peter Drouyn was the best surfer in Australia, better even, than the icon Nat Young. But how do you want to say it? Drouyn was, by nearly all accounts, an asshole swollen by ego and torn apart inside an infinite sense of injustice.

But then, and I’m dragging this off the kickstarter website that has funded the Westerly Windina documentary now in post-production, “In 2002, Peter suffered a traumatic surfing accident that nearly drowned him. Not long after, Peter’s feminine side fully emerged. ‘It was a supernova,’  said Westerly. ‘It just kicked in one night, and suddenly Peter went, Westerly was there.’

And, in 2008, “Peter Drouyn announced on Australian national television that he was living as a woman. His new name, she said, was Westerly Windina. Since then, Westerly has been living in public housing on Australia’s Gold Coast. Her life is not easy. She is alone, poor, and often taunted by her neighbours.”

Now that’s a story, right? Surf hunk to showgirl!

In this interview recorded in Bondi, January 27, the day before the Australian release of Becoming Westerly (it releases in the USA, July 1, 2015) the book’s author Jamie Brisick talks about the six-year journey of bringing the story to life in print and on the screen (the documentary, working title Westerly, will have a northern hemisphere summer release).

Is the book good? Yeah, it is. Part thriller, part melodrama, all page-turner. To be and not to be is the result.

To buy Becoming Westerly, released today, click here. 

All hail the Surfer’s Journal

$15.95 has never been better spent. Unless it was spent on Apple stock in 1980.

In this age of advancement, this dayglo online wonderland, this 2015 when Michael J. Fox went into the future future and saw flying cars and his artificially boobied mama, the most prog thing is….is….is….

A printed, thick and glossy six times yearly reader-supported magazine that that costs $15.95 and is too big to carry, comfortably, in hand-held Louis Vuitton airplane luggage.

Is the Surfer’s Journal.

The most recent issue, 24.1, features an almost perfect picture of Dion Agius firmly glued to a Southeast Asian wave on its cover and is filled with stories that fire the brain. Like, Jamie Brisick’s exceptional piece on Peter Schroff. Or Thomas Campbell nailing Morocco. Or Chad Smith’s stroll with Raimana Van Bastolaer.

It is exceptional because it feels on the very cutting edge of popular culture without being self-aware. It tells stories that are important and rich without being preachy. It is neither corporate nor anti-corporate. It is just good. Just really really good. And I honestly don’t know how. It should be boring but it is more prog than anything in surf media and maybe anything in media media. Sit with the most recent issue for a few minutes and I dare you to disagree. It is curated perfectly and if I wore a hat, I would tip it toward editor-in–chief Scott Hulet.

Maybe I’m officially ancient. Or maybe quality is not an act. It is a habit. Aristotle said that and he is 2399 today. The truth never rusts, baby.

Hypothetical: Wade Goodall’s Ultimate Party!

With invites designed by Basquiat, a documentary by Spike Jonze and Jake Donlen and a homosexual gang bang in the toilet!

Wade Goodall is a 28-year-old surfer from a sandy stretch of coastline just north of the Australian city of Brisbane. For many years he was a staple of Billabong’s marketing (Air guy! He crazy!) but now he shucks cheques from the sneaker brand Vans.

BeachGrit asked Wade to imagine a party without the limits of money or legalities…

BANDS: The Kooks, Phoenix and The Clash play in the day. Then Joy Division, Mastodon and Children of Boredom at night.

BEHIND THE DECKS: Bareback DJs (Leigh Sedley and Paul Fisher) but it’s more than likely there will be no DJ.


SECURITY: No security. Do what you want except fight. If you fight you will be shot by the person you hate most at the party.

DESIGNER WHO KITTED YOU OUT: I’m not big on designers. If I like it I rock it whether it’s St Vincent De Paul or Louis Vuitton. But, Louis Vuitton sucks.


BEER ON TAP: xxxx bitter, Coopers Pale, Tooheys New, VB, Carlton Draught, Super Dry, James Boags.
PRE-MIXED COCKTAI: Baileys. Mmmmm, creamy.

def tapes: wade goodall and friends from RUNAMUK VISUALS on Vimeo.

FIRST THREE PEOPLE LINED UP TO GET INSIDE: are the three people I didn’t invite – Satan, Kevin Federline and Bono.

CELEBS: Carl Barron, Jemaine and Bret from Flight of the Conchords, Richard Hell, Juno, Stephen Bradbury, The Mighty Boosh, Ruby Rose, Zoey Deschanel, LPJ (Loony Bin Jim), Natasha Khan from Bat for Lashes.

LESBIANS KISSING (NAME EM): Miranda Kerr and Megan Fox but then they decide they don’t like it and look for the guy throwing the party

HOMOS KISSING (NAME EM):  Kele Okereke (Bloc Party frontman) and Dame Edna.

GETTING PUMPED IN THE TOILET: Chad Kroeger from Nickelback by 14 black football players. He deserves it.

CATERING: Mango Deli and Jamie Oliver.

DIRECTOR (TO MAKE A DOCO ON THE NIGHT): Spike Jonze and Jake Donlen collaboration.

ARRIVE IN: the dog car from Dumb and Dumber, an ’84 sheep dog.

DRAPED ON YOUR ARM: Riding solo, options open.

DEALER: Red, from Pineapple Express.

IN THE ROPED-OFF VIP AREA: Everyone’s equal in my party. I’ll put an extra two portaloos where the VIP would be.

DOOR PRIZE: A beige set of bi-fold doors.

YOU LEAVE WITH: An amazing girl, if not a spew stained set-up.

GATECRASHERS: Are very welcome. God knows me and my friends have gatecrashed our fair share.

SPEECH: Public speaking sucks.


AFTER PARTY: Select crew with an acoustic set by the Travelling Wilburys and Neil Young.

INVITE DESIGN: Jean-Michel Basquiat

SPONSOR: Donald Trump. I know he’s a suit but how the fuck else am I going to get the funds for this gig?

Dane Reynolds wheelie air in Australia
"The biggest single difference between Australians and Americans," said Robert Hughes, the great Australian art critic, "is that you were founded as a religious experiment and we were founded as a jail." | Photo: Morgan Maassen

Hello Superpower! This is Australia!

A letter to America on the incessant romancing of a superficial stereotype… 

Dear America,

Is there any good blood in our veins? Do you really want to know? We might beat our tambourines in glory, but glory there ain’t.

For all of your romanticising of this island continent, this sparsely populated desert land with the cartoonish indigenous creatures and white sand beaches strung together for thousand of kilometres…

Australia… hates you. 

As a nation imprisoned by television, we see the USA as a land of Honey Boos and Kardashians, of Fox News and school massacres, derelict cities and a government driven into ruinous debt by the famous military industrial complex. And they’re the good bits. We grasp conspiracy theories as if they were written on ancient parchment. We worship at the feet of Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky.

America, the warlord, America the champion of terrorism finally having a mirror held up to its pockmarked face.

Yes, we are an ally in war. From the atolls of the Pacific to the mountainous ridges of Korea and the tunnels of Vietnam, the dunes of Iraq and the valleys of Afghanistan, the Australian dies for the American cause. When a trigger-happy neocon president (Jeb?) eventually strikes at China over some pointless cause like Taiwan or the Senkaku Islands, our tiny army will again climb the parapet and charge toward oblivion.

Don’t be flattered.

We died for the British cause in world wars part one and its much better sequel. Australians are like that. We tough talk about our inherent anti-establishment nature, our supposed larrikinism and mateship, but there ain’t a thing we like more than to be a bitch to the powerful and mighty, warming our little paws under your skirt and in your privates. In public we bark contemptuous; behind closed doors we moan and gasp.

Yeah, the modern version of Australia began as a penal colony for the British a couple of hundred years back. Convicts, mostly, but free settlers too. Under Governors Macquarie and, later, Bligh (yep, the same one), the European fought famine, the cruelty of 19th century justice and tamed a rough land.

We may’ve stole this hostile ancient land but that doesn’t make us unique. The American screwed the Red Indian, the Spanish did it to the Brown Indian, the New Zealander stole the Maori land (but gave it back), the Canadians, the Russians, the British, the French, the Italian… it was all part in the Imperial playbook.

What makes us unique are the advantages given to us and response to it. Because for all our geographic isolation (astonishingly difficult to invade – as experienced by the Japanese 70 years ago) and with massive stores of natural resources and the perfection of British-led democracy, and all under the long, warbling persuasiveness of eternal warmth and blossom, we’re a nation of bored, sissy bastards.

How did we get here? How about you imagine the Australian as the child of celebrity parents, the Pitts/Jolies, maybe. The Australian is gifted everything he could ever want. Money. Attention. Good looks.

But does that develop and refine his character? How can it? Character only grows in the troughs of great suffering. You’ll find more within the skin of a kid diving for pennies at a Filipino port or an ice-cream seller on the beaches of Gaza or the father of six massaging the squishy bones of Australians on Kuta Beach.

Open the door and look inside. Australia represents selfishness wrapped in a banana leaf of good times.