Do you have severe social vanity?

I do. Just look at my smug face!

The first time I went to Saturdays, New York City’s finest surf shop and maybe finest label, back in 2009 or 2010 I thought it was dumb. I thought, “This ain’t real because it ain’t Orange County.” As far as I was concerned, if a brand/shop/idea didn’t spring from Costa Mesa/Newport/Huntington’s fertile soil then it wasn’t an accurate reflection of core American surf. I was, in fact, the dumb one and have since come to realize that Orange County, for all its past Volcom shine, is now an ugly, stale backwater. The boys at Saturdays are busily creating a vision of surf that transcends the dull, conservative same ol’ same ol’. I don’t even think they know where Orange County is and God bless them for it.

They produce, alongside an epic white marino sweater with ribbed cuffs and hem, a seasonal magazine with zero advertisements and the most interesting people in the world like Francis Ford Coppola, Duane Michaels, Olaf Bruening, Balaram Stack, Lucien Smith, Grant Ellis, Jeff Johnson and Lucy Walker. The magazine effortlessly weaves surfing into a broader cultural narrative, looking neither try-hard nor tacky. It is brilliant. Especially the person on page 98. His name is Chas Smith.

You can buy it here for $25. And if you happen to have your copy when you see me across a crowded room I will sign it for free.

P.S. The gorgeous photo was taken by none other than Curious Gabe. Do you remember him? He used to and maybe still does feature in every Surfer Magazine asking questions and driving a green VW bus. Did you know he is a very accomplished photographer? That he is tall and handsome and kind and smart? That he married a model and she is beautiful and his children are also beautiful? That he is very close to perfect? I didn’t either.

Great White Shark
Of course it's easier said that done. But, the game is this: "Just make a rope lasso. Let the fish swim through the noose and when the rope passes those iconic, collectable, priceless jaws and just before it reaches the dorsal fin, pull tight."

How to kill a Great White!

Only hypothetically, of course… 

Killing a Great White shark isn’t that hard. These peerless, top-of-the-chain tanks are just as vulnerable as the surfers, the swimmers and the scuba divers they’re suddenly killing with unprecedented regularity.

Just make a rope lasso. Let the fish swim through the noose and when the rope passes those iconic, collectable, priceless jaws and just before it reaches the dorsal fin, pull tight.

Four, maybe five minutes, and the White is dead. Hanged.

“Get ’em on the hook and they go neanderthal,” says a shark fisherman who wisely prefers anonymity and asks that I don’t reveal his home port. “Use a powerhead and if you hit the wrong spot the spot the shark’s going to take off with half its face blown off. Of course, the lasso method ain’t perfect, either. Use the wrong people and they can get dragged over the side.”

I’d called this particular shark fisherman for a few ideas on why he thought Great White attacks had surged in Western Australia in the last dozen years.  Turned out he doesn’t just have a theory on the dramatic increase in Great Whites in Western Australia, he’s positive its due to the AFMA (the Australian Fisheries Management Authority) shutting down vast areas of fishing areas to gill nets because of the by-catch of Australian fur seals and Great Whites.

What fisheries didn’t know was that skippers were under-calling the number of Whites coming up in the nets; the skippers afraid they’d be shut down if fisheries knew just how many Whites were destroyed as by-catch. In the end, they were closed, anyway. The irony is, if fisheries knew just how many Whites were coming up, perhaps the White wouldn’t have been regarded as a threatened and endangered species.

“Think about this,” he says. “Ten years ago, there were nine or 10 boats operating and killing 200-to-300 Pointers a year. We were allowed to have an incidental catch of Pointers. They’d get tangled in the nets and come up dead. Now, say, if we work with a conservative kill figure of 200, and 50 of these Whites are mature, and of those 50, 25 are female, they are going to have one baby every two years. So, instead of the population growing like it was, or sustaining at a certain level, it’s blowing out. It’s growing faster and faster. The number of Pointers is increasing dramatically.”

As we speak, he texts me a clip of a five-metre White attacking his boat, taken the day before on his iPhone. “This thing was breaking its teeth off on the boat,” he says.

As to the WA government’s pledge to ice rogue sharks, he’s sceptical. “What’s going to happen? What sorta red tape do they have to go through before they can kill? By the time they sort that out, it’s in fucking Esperance.”

Stare out at the Indian Ocean, combed perfectly clean by an offshore easterly wind. The deepest most electric blue is affixed to the whitest sand in the world. A few swimmers complete their morning exercise so close the beach their hands graze the bottom.

Just like Amity Island in the movie Jaws, Western Australia is a state with a difficult choice.

“What they need to do,” says the shark fisherman, “is to anchor any Whites they catch near the beach. The other Great Whites won’t go near it. When we’re fishing, we don’t throw sharks heads over the side because it scares the fish on the bottom. Think about it. You’re having a party and someone throws a body into it. The party’s over.”

Or you can follow the sage advice from Surf Lifesaving WA: “To reduce the likelihood of contact with a shark: Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted.”

Says the fisherman: “It’s only a matter of time before attacks surge again. That’s if people stay in the water. If they don’t, problem solved.”

Do you have severe social incompetence?

And do you also want to look like you have severe social incompetence?

Are you uncool but do you also want to look uncool? Then have I got the web store for you! The Inertia, surf website for aging liberal men with neither love nor prospect for love, is having a sale. “So soft…” their motto goes “…so salty.”

A pullover in Eco-Black costs $39 (the “eco” comes from 6.25% recycled polyester and 6.25% organic cotton. “Eco” seems like it might be a stretch but when your market is aging liberal men you do what you must do).

The Henley, in heather grey, costs $34 dollars and does not include any percentages recycled or organic.

The women’s sweatshirt, also in Eco-Black, costs $39 too but it could cost anywhere from $0.50 to $1,000 and sell the same, which is to say zero because aging liberal men with neither love nor prospect of love have no need for a women’s sweatshirt.

The sale ends April 30th and so if you never want to get laid again hurry! Supplies are, certainly, limited. Shop here now!

What Youth makes film about world’s 21st best surfer!

And I am looking forward to it more than any other film this year.




Kolohe “Brother” Andino truly has grown up in the public eye. I recall my first time interviewing him, so many years ago. I picked him up at the family home. Dino was there, as was Mrs. Dino, a younger sister and a dog. It was all so cute, so almost sit-com cute. The perfect all-American family.

We drove, Kolohe and I, to the Ritz-Carlton in nearby Laguna Niguel and posted up at the bar in two very comfortable leather chairs. I ordered a mojito, if I recall, and asked Kolohe if he wanted one. “On Tony Perez,” I believe I said. He looked at me with a smirk on his face and responded, “I’m fifteen.” And maybe he was sixteen or seventeen, I can’t be sure, but he was definitely too young to drink. I was taken quite aback for I was not trying to be a pervert. I, you see, had been reading/hearing about him for so long that I assumed he was old enough to partake in a friendly cocktail. He seemed as old as Tom Curren to me, in media years.

My shock eventually wore off and we had a lovely conversation about competing, surfing and his favourite competitive surfer Mick Fanning. I had two more mojitos. He told me, as I drove him home, that he wouldn’t tell Dino I plied him with liquor. I also hoped he would not tell Dino that I drove drunk.

Kolohe has since grown. He is now on tour, currently ranked 21st but he is so much better than that dang number. And, maybe best, in so many ways he is still Brother. He still has that same smirk, the same devil may care attitude. The same very ironic sense of humor. I look forward to seeing this small What Youth film. I raise my mojito and toast. “To Kolohe Andino! May he stay forever young!”


Ace Buchan takes one for the screw-foots at the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River 2015… 

It hasn’t been the early season of dreams for the Australian Ace Buchan. The 32-year-old is already into his third event and it’s only today that he squeezed out a heat win.

Can you imagine?

The tour started late-February, it’s almost May, and all Ace has for his dissection of a dozen or so waves, all that travel, all that stress, all those new boards and training and whatever else, is a  pair of lasts.

The game shifted a little today.

In waves that that were ready to destroy the brave parties of three that ventured over the from the deep-water channel every half-an-hour, Ace caused plenty of commotion with an almost perfect 9.57.

So, a few hours later, when Ace gets out of the water from North Point, that performance righthander north of Margs that everyone was hoping would be the contest venue, where, today, it was six-to-eight foot and causing some hysteria, you want to know, how was your day?

“Really, really good.”

He ain’t just talking about the waves he got at North Point.

Let’s talk nine-five-seven. The Box.

“It was full on. Obviously, it was called off after our heat, so it was pretty full on. Me and Kerrsy and Keanu were sitting there chatting to Mick Fanning at the end of his heat and there were rocks popping up and it was starting to max out. Sets were coming from the south and capping on the back of the reef. You weren’t ever completely safe. It was a little bit of cat and mouse. It was tense. I’ve surfed the Box over the years but never that big and never with that much water moving. It’s a huge challenge to put yourself in the position to get one of those barrels. It takes a lot of commitment and a lot of trust in your ability.”

And so…

“Kerrsy had priority for the wave but he was further out and a little deeper. I was in a Better spot. It’s a tight take-off zone out there but I managed to be in that spot where, even if you’re only two feet away from the other guy, you’re in a much better position to take-off. I was riding a brand-new JS quad (six-one Forget Me Not with Ace’s signature fins, in case y’asking) and that wave… there was a lot going on on that wave. There was the first bit that was really thick but it was so big it didn’t pinch, it threw out. It didn’t hit that claw that comes out and gets you, that little claw that pokes its head out on every second wave.

“I got through that, nearly lost it, I hit one of the steps and went sideways, my foot came off. I tried to let go of the rail and then my foot came off so I grabbed my rail again. It looks wild on the replay. I’m out on the face and I’m still trying to make sure I complete the ride. Fuck, all those sessions at the Zone (a slab on the Central Coast) that I surf this time of the year prepared me. It’s pretty similar. You get behind it and you get under the wave if you want to make the drop.”

“I knew it was a good wave but it was one of them heats where there was so much adrenalin that two minutes before that, I had to bail on a ten-foot set on the back of the reef. Everyone else has been more stoked on it than me. When we get put in waves like that, in conditions like that, you want to test yourself and you want to know you’ve given everything.

“I was thinking, it’s heavy we’re runing the event. It’s intimdating. You have to pick your line and focus on what’s in front of you, not on all the boils and undulations in the face of the wave. It was a minefield. The wave period was so big that it was drawing so much water off the reef. No surprises they called it off.

“The most exhilerating part of that wave was the intial commitment. When there’s no turning back. When you look, paddle, go. That’s what it’s about. It’s about commiting and the feeling that it gives you.”


Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 13.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 4.46, Dusty Payne (HAW) 2.60

Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.73, Jadson Andre (BRA) 3.40, Brett Simpson (USA) 0.50

Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 8.20, Kai Otton (AUS) 3.33, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 3.27

Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.23, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.40

Heat 5: Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 4.30, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 3.96, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 3.27

Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00, Jay Davies (AUS) 10.27, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 3.34

Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.74, Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.73, Keanu Asing (HAW) 3.33

Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.43, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.50, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.36

Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.00, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.33

Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.73, Adam Melling (AUS) 8.24, Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.00

Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.76, Nat Young (USA) 14.70, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 9.93

Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.60, Matt Banting (AUS) 8.30, Owen Wright (AUS) 6.80
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 2 Match-ups:

Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Jay Davies (AUS)

Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)

Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)

Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)

Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)

Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)

Heat 7: Nat Young (USA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)

Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)

Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)

Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)

Heat 11: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)

Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)