Silvana Lima air, Roxy Pro, Snapper Rocks
The push and the pull, the dropping of the shoulders. Who knew one lil air reverse could overwhelm… everything! This isn't the 10 Ms Silvana Lima scored in her round four heat, by the way, it's an expression session statement. | Photo: WSL

Revolution: Silvana Lima Just Smashed Women’s Surfing!

And all it took was one little air reverse…

As far as air-revs go, this ain’t ever falling into a Kai Neville edit. In the real world of frantic little blond boys with their mama-papa-filmer entourages scratching alley-oops and air-revs by their tenth birthday, it ain’t even that exciting, at least in the grandest of schemes.

But if there’s something about women’s surfing that does it for you, as it does me, (a puzzle I’m yet to solve. Is it the accessibility of the surfing?), Silvana Lima, round four, Roxy Pro, Snapper Rocks, just messed with the narrative line that girls can’t do airs.

If you haven’t seen Silvana’s 10-point ride, click here. 

Out of context, yeah, biggish deal. Maybe you’ve landed something better.

But out there, in front of everyone, this little sub-five foot 20-year-old from Brazil (not even 50 kilos and riding tiny 17-inch wide boards) came into the clouds. It wasn’t uncomfortable. It wasn’t a fall-to-make. It was a deliberate set-up, kick, twist of the shoulders, and contrived landing on a cooperative lip.

“All the hype is on Silvana Lima and deservedly so,” the commentator Ross Williams told BeachGrit. “She has all the big rotator clips online and she backed it up by smashing Steph (in round one). There’s old school in her, too. She’s got her swagger. She’s come to compete and she’s letting everyone know.”

Silvana won last year’s qualifying series. She’s been on the A-league a few times, finishing 15th, 16th, fifth, never fulfilling her promise.

Now she’s got a ladder to the stars, the Brazil flag and an amplifier.

Watch her jump. Watch her win. Watch Silvana brazenly kidnap a world title.

A 200k dance!
A 200k dance! | Photo: laserwolf

Rip Curl’s second best decision ever!

Welcome to the team, Mason Ho!

As first reported in Stab, Rip Curl has made the second best decision in company history by signing Mason Ho to a multiple year deal. The best decision? Basing out of Torquay, Australia. Just kidding! Torquay is a total pit. The best decision is inventing Quiksilver.

In any case, Mason will be paid $200,000 dollars per year and no longer ride for …Lost clothing. How furious is …Lost co-founder Matt Mayhem Biolos? “If someone’s going to pay him, if someone’s going throw fuck-you money at Mason, well, fuck, I love you guys!”

We love Matt. Matt loves Rip Curl. Mason loves fuck-you paychecks. White Lightening Mick Fanning loves scratching his head and wondering if Dillon Perillo or Mason Ho will make a better training partner. So much love!

Exposed: Taking 40ft waves on the head is easy!

Is big wave surfing as dangerous as taking a warm shower?

This clip is years old (and also Nazare and also Garrett McNamara) but it has confounded me ever since I first saw it. Big wipeouts in giant surf, you see, are nightmarish. I picture being ragdolled underwater, unable to find my way to the surface, bile rising from stomach to throat. I picture pain and confusion and death’s cold hands wrapping around my feet pulling me down down down down. Even when I surf slightly overhead swell at my home beachbreak and a sneaker set feathers on the horizon I feel panic. I paddle for Japan with all my might. It might be a product of growing up on the Oregon coast and surfing so many unforgiving slabs and being sucked out in so many unforgiving riptides that I have PTSD. Who knows.

But this clip makes big wipeouts in giant surf seem no more threatening than putting my head underneath a bathtub’s faucet. Watch it carefully. How small does that wave look? How not bad does the ragdolling look? Is it a great secret that from head on big wipeouts in giant surf look terrifying but in reality they are no more threatening than putting my head underneath a garden hose?

I’ve had various people tell me that GoPros make things look smaller but that makes no sense so could someone explain? Peter Mel, are you there? Evan Slater can you pretty please either help me understand or paddle me out at giant Todos Santos so we can giggle in the gentle hot tub together?

John John Florence and Kolohe Andino
Are surfing companies missing a great marketing opportunity by ignoring the gay market? "Don't get me wrong," writes Rory Parker. "I love seeing huge airs and watching the girls' caramel haunches flex through a bottom turn as much as the next guy, but you've gotta admit that focusing solely on the hetero-types leaves a huge potential market untapped."

How surf co’s could make billions by selling “gay”!

Laughing, gasping, grunting boys! Tell me it won't sell!

I was watching the WSL Dawn Patrol show today, thoroughly enjoying the sloppy onshore backdrop and attempts to convince viewers that the second round of the women’s event was held in anything other than weak garbage, when the new Quik ad appeared on screen.

Featuring a young boy getting a hack job tattoo on his hairy leg, and pimping boardshorts which are, apparently, not meant to be used in the ocean, it conveyed beautifully the idea that you don’t need to be a surfer in order to look like one.

Unfortunately, outside of that one exceptional piece of web marketing, the majority of adverts aimed at the audience fall far short of accomplishing the capitalist goal of an ever-increasing market share.

Maybe it’s a result of decades of complacency created by more or less owning a captive market, but the world of surf marketing seems caught in perpetual loop of rehashed themes and uninspired campaigns. In its current form it’s like getting a rimjob in a public toilet from some dude you just met. It’s not, you know, terrible, and it gets the job done, but it’s not exactly something to brag about. And you definitely won’t win any awards for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing huge airs and watching the girls’ caramel haunches flex through a bottom turn as much as the next guy, but you’ve gotta admit that focusing solely on the hetero-types leaves a huge potential market untapped.

Picture this:

A pristine white sand beach, deserted but for Kolohe and John John. Slim supple bodies glistening with cocoa butter, sweat beading on their chests and trickling down towards the waist of their low-slung board shorts. The surf is flat, but they don’t care. Their hearts are filled to bursting with unbridled joie de vivreThey exist in a pure moment, filled with a hedonistic disregard for the mundane, unbridled by life’s distractions.

Kolohe leans over and playfully pokes John John in the ribs. With a giggle born of innocence John John returns the gesture, his hand lingering just a little longer than necessary. They lock eyes and come together.

Laughing, gasping and grunting they begin to roll across the beach, arms and legs tangled. They wrestle with abandon, two young men in their prime delighting in their strength and flexibility.  Kolohe pins JJ for a moment. John John is on his back, Kolohe straddling his hips, shoulders down, back arched. John John reverses, grabbing Kolohe’s wrists and pinning them to the ground. He presses down with all his strength, we see his back muscles ripple, proud firm buttocks pointed skyward, only a thin layer of nylon denying the viewer a glimpse of his pink, blond-fringed, asshole.

They lock eyes again, chests heaving, moist lips slightly parted. There’s a meaning behind the gaze, but is it merely the joy of two competitors testing their strength against each other, or does it spring from something deeper, something more sexual?

Smash cut:

Hurley Boardshorts: Guaranteed to stay on, but so fun to take off.

Jamie O'Brien with turtle
Turtles are like ponies, says Jamie O

The Myth of the Hard-Core Tropical Surfer

You've got the best waves in the world, it's 80 fucking degrees and you want to complain about haole boys and closeouts?

There’s a fundamental difference in outlook from those of us who grew up surfing in the North Pacific, and those even in places like Maine who surf. In order to learn to surf anywhere north of San Francisco you’re going to deal with shitty weather, rough and closeout breaks, and even getting into the lineup often requires forcing your way through six to ten separate breaks.

Hawaiians like to talk about how dangerous their waves are, how brutal the reefs are, and so forth. The reality of the situation, however, is that anyone who’s learned to surf in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alaska, etc, has dealt with far more adversity in the pursuit of stoke than anything you will face in Hawaii. The one true difficulty that Hawaii has over somewhere like Oregon or Alaska is the rampant localism and the wicked crowded lineups. In exchange, however, you have the lifeguards, easy access to medical care and a distinct lack of Great Whites.

The most important aspect is that it’s easy to be a person who surfs somewhere like Southern California, Hawaii, Florida, etc, but in order to deal with all the bullshit it takes to surf the North Pacific you have to be a surfer.

No one else will put in the time, the effort, the physical toll, in order to catch a few shitty closeout waves by themselves, day after day. I’m obviously being biased here. I spent my youth in Alaska and my summers with my grandparents in San Diego so I had a rather unique exposure to the two different extremes of surf culture, if you will.

In Alaska just the logistics of getting to the part of the state where there are consistent breaks, mainly the southeastern part of the state, are challenging in and of themselves. In San Diego you’re within two hours of something like 250 individually named breaks. About the only place that’s difficult to get to are the breaks along the coastline that Camp Pendleton controls, and honestly it’s not that hard to get on the base, legally or otherwise.

The point of this article isn’t to pit people against each other, although the tone might lead you think otherwise, the point is to make people who are blessed to live somewhere like Hawaii, Orange County, or San Diego, realize how lucky they are and how much effort people elsewhere have to put in to catch waves that, for the most part, pale in comparison to what y’all find in your backyards.

Instead of focusing on all the stupid bullshit that we focus on, the assholes snaking waves, the kooks cracking boards or the standup paddleboards just fucking everything up, we need to focus on that thing that unites us all, the search for that endorphin rush that we all get from a decent wave, a good ride, and a woman to impress.

Give me stoke over the weak shit that is cocaine any day of the week.