The Mad Hueys are a clothing label/jackass-esque troupe from Australia's poverty wracked Gold Coast. They dragged themselves out of poverty on their own terms in much the same way as the rapper of Chicago, Detroit, Paris or Marseilles strikes out of the ghetto with his unique rhymes and cadence. A win for the noble working class! | Photo: Courtesy The Mad Hueys

The working class are brutal, petty and intolerant!

And they should not be celebrated. But there is something much worse… 

If there is one song among the many that I do not like and could wipe from the earth, it is the song Working Class Man by the Scottish-born Australian Jimmy Barnes. (Guests from anywhere but Australia and New Zealand, click here to listen).

People tell me it’s a classic, that it’s the best pub song you’ll ever hear and even my girlfriend once drunkenly yelled it to me across an earthquake damaged street at 3am. Still, I hate it and I have no time for it, if only for the simple fact it extols The Working Class Man.

I don’t like the working class. I’m allowed to. I grew up among them and worked among them. I laid concrete, drove forklifts, processed fish, caught tuna commercially and even cleaned for a living, so I’ll stand by that statement.

The working class are jealous, petty and fiercely parochial. They can be brutal and intolerant too. As my thesis supervisor once told me, “The average British citizen is stupider, more uncouth and prone to violence than the ‘savages’ they look down upon.”

He was from Nova Scotia, so I am not sure whether to trust him on that (though he is the world’s pre-eminent scholar on Herbert Spencer and social Darwinism in 19th century political thought). My own experiences of the working class led me to adopt a similar view.

“Is their predicament because of the oppression of the masses by the rich elite?” you ask.

I am not here to answer that. And don’t you know? Marxism’s dead baby, even if he does grace my 5’7” Lost Mini Driver. Thomas Piketty? I haven’t gotten around to reading him yet.

Yet, for all my dislike of the working class they serve a purpose. Brave New World taught me at 13 that we need them for a harmonious society. If only because they can handle the grunt work better than fragile alphas. They also make excellent political pawns. Need support for a pointless war? Then rally the patriotic working class around your cause. Want to topple your political rivals in the next election or revolution? Then tell the working class that the ruling party is shafting you.

Alternatively, if you are the ruling party and want to protect your power, tell the masses that the opposition don’t care about them. Call the opposition latte-sipping liberals, which seems to work a treat in riling the working folk up. And like all human groups, there are outliers… people I’d hang out with any day. But God, they should not be celebrated.

In saying this, I don’t dislike the working class as much as I dislike the middle class. Because of life choices, I’m currently operating in their ranks and what horrors I ‘m a witness to! The middle class is a risk averse bunch who wish for everything to be wrapped in cotton wool; they are a bland vanilla in taste and the most horrible shade of beige.

The mere mention of a tale about illicit drug use, sexual adventurism or slightly illegal activity involving firearms and they turn pale. Yet, home renovation shows send them giddy with a delirious delight, as if they are about to climax in the throes of a wonderful orgasm.

Their worst trait is their tendency (despite their aversion to risk) to gravitate towards anything even slightly edgy and to ruin it in a bid to find the ‘new’ golf. Motorbikes, road cycling, and mountain biking have all fallen victims to the middle class. On weekends, you see hordes of them in leather, sitting outside of small town cafes having brunch or gaggles of them clad in lycra struggling up hills.

Nor is surfing safe.

Surfing is being sold to the middle class en masse: that lovely floaty epoxy fun shape, car ads, and those Samsung ads on the WSL webcast, they’re all geared towards the middle class.

After all, they are the ones with money to spend. And don’t they just lap it up? It seems that surfing is now the pursuit of choice in trying to convey the image of being respectable, but slightly wild. Like at any moment Respectable Joe is just going to break out, drive away in his mid-range SUV and become a beach bum. The reality is he would hate the relative poverty, his wife would threaten to leave him and due to his sensible nature he would resolve to prioritise his life better.

The middle class are coming, and they’re likely to do a better job of ruining surfing than Christianity. They will swamp the line-ups on their high-volume craft. Saturdays will become ‘Social Surf Saturday’ where the middle-class network as waves pass by, cut deals and talk about their renovations before paddling in for a seaside brunch.

The line-up will become friendlier, it’ll be about fun and networking, the old ways will be pushed out as the bitter among us turn their backs on surfing. Performance will go out the window, the debauched tales will tail off until there is nothing left other than a bland and vanilla bunch bobbing out at sea up to fuck-all.

The worst part is, that once they’ve got the bug, they will pay to watch the WSL.

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.