Laird is the kook of the decade!

And that makes him the coolest man on earth.

I just saw this on @kook_of_the_day’s fantastic Instagram account. They write, “God damn it, knock it off Laird. #greatfootworklaird #rippingthegreens #lairddontripgreens #golfbort #hitthesandtrappussy #golfissomuchfunnowbro”

Stab Magazine writes, “Sweet dreams are made of Laird Hamilton’s Golfboard” and continues on in a very clearly ironic vein.

Surfer Magazine doesn’t write anything because the entire staff is checking online as to where they can purchase the product.

Surfline also doesn’t write anything because the entire staff is busy on kinky sex websites and/or selling each other into prostitution.

The Inertia also doesn’t write anything because the entire staff is busy doing kettle bell exercises and wishing they majored in something other than Music Therapy in college.

I write, “Son of a bitch, Laird. What are you thinking? There is no way this shit bag start-up is paying you enough to do this. Nor will it survive and keep paying you. Do you simply love being the biggest dick on earth? Wait. You do, don’t you. You would rather be a giant dick than contribute. Well sons of two bitches. Now I think I love you.”

@kook_of_the_day is both more cutting and more funny and Stab is more ironic. Surfer, Surfline and The Inertia are ???? Odd? but I am very serious. Laird don’t care. Tell me that’s not the essence of cool. Tell me that’s not what Dylan Rieder is gagging for.

BeachGrit salutes you Laird Hamilton! Keep ripping!

Just in: Felony Arrest Warrant For Conan Hayes

The founder of RVCA, world tour surfer and star of Taylor Steele's Momentum series faces felony charges for fraud… 

If you’re younger than thirty there’s a fair chance that you’ve never heard of Conan Hayes. The nose-ringed, tattooed-before-it-was-hip, altitudinally challenged member of the Momentum generation was a big deal in the early-to-mid 90-s, featured alongside Slater, Dorian, Machado, Knox, and all the other Taylor Steele-hyped rippers who rode rockered-out elf-shoe boards and reshaped the very notion of what constituted high-performance surfing.

For a while Conan was everywhere. His company, Seventeen, made the coolest t-shirts of my high school sophomore year, before being killed by the pre-tween girls’ magazine of the same name.

He married Malia Jones, lost a soul crushing heat to Koby Abberton at Teahupoo (too high, too soon, scores from the judges put Malik in an uncatchable early lead despite a rising swell and dominant performance from Hayes), then moved to California and, at some point, grew a long scraggly beard.

While some of his peers went on to become dominant forces for the next two decades, and others faded away into obscurity (what ever happened to Jay Larson anyway? Last I heard the dude was selling real estate in SoCal), Conan moved behind the scenes, co-founding RVCA and using the popularity of its art/mma/soul approach to branding to line his pockets and move up in the world.

(Click here and click here for RVCA and post-RVCA stories)

But the latest news out of the hellish honky pit known as Orange County spells trouble for Mr Hayes.  He is currently facing a felony warrant for his arrest stemming from alleged misinformation provided to Bank of America (Click here).

“Hayes is charged with short-sale fraud on a house in Costa Mesa. In a short sale, a bank agrees to the sale of a home for less than the amount owed on the loan. The warrant says Hayes gave Bank of America false information regarding his net worth, ‘which was in the millions of dollars.'”

Hayes wound up in a program for people suffering financial hardships, even though prosecutors contend that in the previous nine months he sold his interest in a business for about $8 million and bought a $1.39 million house in Los Angeles County for cash. The felony complaint says the bank lost $586,245 on the short sale.”

Astute readers may appreciate the irony of B of A being the source of a felony charge for fraud. The bank was the beneficiary of a $45 billion bail out, in addition to the US government assuming an additional $118 billion worth of loss on its behalf, only to be handed a fine, in 2014, of nearly $17 billion for, among other things, a policy of conducting grossly illegal home foreclosures.

A sweetheart deal to be sure, considering the fact they did an estimated $700 billion worth of damage to the US economy.

Kolohe CJ and Brett Simpson

The American Storm!

Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light? CJ Hobgood crushing it and Kolohe Andino so inspired?

There’s an old-sounding saying in a new-ish film, called The Imitation Game, that goes like this. “Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” As cute as it is bulky! The particular person in the film no one imagined anything of was gay super mathematician Alan Turing. He wore his hair parted severely to the side and his eyes looked autistic. The thing that no one could imagine was busting Nazi Germany’s unbreakable Enigma Machine. The gay autistic with severely parted hair quite basically won the war for the Allies while saving millions of lives.

So too, as we head into stop number four on our beloved World Surf Tour all the American surfers dwell at the very bottom of the rankings. Kolohe Andino is there, ranked number 26 after a dismal Bells finish and sad Instagram poem. Brett Simpson is there also, ranked 29. CJ Hobgood is below him at 36 and Jack Freestone even further down at 37. There they are, huddled together, scared maybe? Hope fleeing from their very souls? “Wait just one damned minute…” you cut me off “…Nat Young is sitting 5th and Kelly Slater 9th, first off, and second Jack Freestone is not American.”

“Pish posh!” I angrily respond. “Prove to me that Nat Young is, in fact, American and that Jack Freestone is, in fact, not. Examine their names. Their jaw-lines. Their significant others. See? I told you. And Kelly Slater doesn’t count. He is as much from outer space as the United States.”

And back to the point. As we turn our attentions to Rio, think this. Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine. Yes, an American Storm brews in the land of caipirinha and capoeira and New York Times fascination (read here!). A red, white and blue deluge ready to pour out upon the land. CJ Hobgood is going to do the thing no one can imagine and beat Wiggolly Dantas and Gabby Medina in heat one. Brett Simpson is going to do the thing no one can imagine and score over 10 points. Jack Freestone is going to do the thing no one can imagine and be given a wildcard spot. Kolohe Andino is going to do the thing no one can imagine and win the entire event.

An American Storm cometh! And so to hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It’s irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.

Freedom surfer
Freedom! Individuality! Expression! At heart, the qualities that all surf brands trade off. The idea of surfer as noble savage, flipping the bird to desk-jockey conformity and riding off on a pure wave of creativity and enlightenment. A pure wave of bullshit! | Photo: Morgan Maassen

Opinion: You are riding a pure wave of creativity!

And you are a noble savage flipping the bird to conformity! No, wait… 

You are a sheep.

You have no individual thoughts or instincts. And just because you’re here, at BeachGrit, a corner of the surfing world lit by a dim, flickering light of awareness, you’re not special.

Everything you think and do is unoriginal. You’re just an accumulation of clothes, music, attitudes and ideas that you’ve arranged around yourself, in an effort to have an identity, in an effort to get laid.

If your memory were erased and you found yourself naked, blank and innocent on the shore of the hip surf zone you currently inhabit, would you view those jeans you’re wearing as anything but an absurd encumberance?

Would a skirt not be more comfortable?

And what of that beer brand you favour? The one that denotes your taste, place in society, even the state you live in? Would a green tea not be more refreshing and useful?

Of course! But don’t worry! You’re not alone! Nearly everyone is the same as you. You are made of your history. Only one in a million will possess the necessary intellect and strength of character to break the shackles of their past.

And those that do are usually considered mentally ill. Or actually are.

For the love of absurdity, does this not make the surfing life even richer in paradox?

Freedom! Individuality! Expression! At heart, the qualities that all surf brands trade off. The idea of surfer as noble savage, flipping the bird to desk-jockey conformity and riding off on a pure wave of creativity and enlightenment.

A pure wave of bullshit!

It’s an idea perpetuated by a few isolated moments of weirdness in the 1960s and early 1970s which were in themselves just following the hippy fashion of the time. Surfing is as mainstream as breakfast TV and surfers in general are as incapable of free will as any other herd of humans.

So what should a surf brand do?

In between binges of cocaine and self-loathing, advertising brand strategists sometimes use a thing called “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” to give a veneer of academic rigour to an occupation that is otherwise as intellectually bereft as a night spent shelfing Xanax on the Gold Coast.

Prof Maslow said that once humans have their basic essentials covered, they head up a pyramid of needs leading to self-actualisation: “What a man can be, he must be.”

And with a sour, trembling hand, our advertising brand strategist will point to the need for a surf brand to find a role in the collective mind of the human herd in order to better sell boardshorts and other non-essentials.

And what role have they found? What do they stand for? The freedom that does not exist! The independence that is not possible! The creativity that is not original!

There isn’t even the fleeting satisfaction of irony. The Xanax has worked its way through the colo-rectal tissue, a warm dullness has spread.

So what should the modern, enlightened surf brand do to better help the human feel self-actualised through their fashion purchases? If you’re still following these terrifying spasms of logic, you’ll be with me when I suggest that it’s time for the dim, flickering light of awareness to blaze a little stronger.

If the herd wants to buy the idea of freedom, show them authentic freedom! Show them a freedom that is not shackled to history, but a freedom that confounds, a freedom that unsettles, a freedom that makes a man see himself for what he is!

It’s time for Rip Curl to sponsor Westerly Windina’s audacious gender swap! It’s time for Volcom to host feminist poetry slams on the North Shore! It’s time for Quiksilver to use only the blackest Africans in every photo shoot!

It’s time for surfing to jerk vivid rainbows of anti-cliché into the collective unconscious.

Those would be boardshorts I can believe in.

Candid: Enslave Me Sally Fitzgibbons!

Ms Fitz has an electric smile, tan lines and an air reverse almost on tap. What's not to love?

The world tour for gals something else. An eye-blink a go, it was fierce and furious and you wouldn’t  call it pretty. Nowawdays, with Ms Enever, Ms Gilmore, Ms Moore and Ms Fitz winging and swinging, it’s cuter than any single damn time in history.

BeachGrit has always held Ms Fitzgibbons in divine awe.

And, therefore, it was in a mechanical daze that we interviewed the 24 year old…

BeachGrit: I’m going to ask some real heavy-hitting questions if that’s ok. Tell me: you like tan lines? We sure do.

MS FITZ: I’ve got tan lines! I’ve grown up as a wetsuit kid and so when I come to the tropics, I’m in bikinis and when the waves are good I’m always in boardshorts. This gets me into a little bit of drama with the tan-line police because when I take my bikini off and boardies, I still look like I’ve got a bikini on – a white one.

Tan lines are the most fashionable things ever!

Really? You’re lying!

It’s high-fashion, seventies supermodel chic. Anyone can buy an all-over spray tan. Look at Henrik Purienne or Akila Berjaoui’s photos!

Oh really? So, it’s a demonstration of authenticity!

Authentic and wild and divine!

Awww, then I’m in luck.

You’ve got the cutest damn accent. Tell me about it.

Ya know when people say you’ve got an accent but you can’t hear it? And you go to, say, America and you think you’re fitting in, but then you say something and they pick you up on it? There’s definitely an Australian English. Sometimes I tell a story and I know I’m losing people after a couple of sentences. I guess it’s unique. People always find me interesting to listen to.

May I say, your accent has changed so much. I remember you describing a wave once a few years ago and…so broad…so infused with elongated vowels!

Has it changed? A lot?

Of course it has. You’re worldly now. Now tell me about what a competitive devil you are.

I don’t like to be overly competitive but it’s been built into me! I grew up with three older brothers! You compete over everything. Like, in the backyard, you bet on everything. If you don’t make the shot you have to do this or that. I love a good challenge. I love something I can’t do and keep trying until I do it.

Is your stomach your crowning glory, even though it’s not a crown? What things do you do to it?

After I injured my back on my first year on tour I wanted to make sure my core was really strong and…ha…I guess it shaped itself.

Do you do like a zillion situps and hours of planks?

Ha! Planks…hmmph…Swiss balls… ya gotta keep it super strong so when you throw yourself into a crazy position, your back doesn’t go. Being injured and not being able to surf is the worst feeling.

I’ve spent a few decades accumulating fat. Out of personal interest, if I want to see them abs, do I gotta lay off the nasty food?

Awww! Ha! Ya gotta limit those super greasy foods. It builds up. It depends on where you store your fat, but I guess, if you want ’em, exercise and eating super healthy.

You like to drink?

No, I don’t drink.

How about a little champagne after another competitive triumph?

I love spraying champagne and I love going out but I haven’t got into drinking.

Champagne showers are the best!

A lot of the girls say that if I win a world title I’ve definitely gotta drink the champagne outta the cup.

So you will booze if you win the crown?

It’ll have to be on the cards. But, in the meantime, it’s a lifestyle choice… to enjoy going out and parting and not drinking.

Jamie O’Brien made a similar lifestyle choice. The redhaired hottie said he wouldn’t touch liquor until he won the Pipe Masters. Then he did and he hasn’t looked back. And his personality improved! From drab teetotaler to the life of every single party!

And it was all downhill from there!

Uphill! He’s so much better in conversation now!

I was joking!

Tell me about the world title thing. People tell me it was very close last year. What are you going to do to cave in Carissa’s skull this year?

The title defintely needs to be rolled back to Australia. No good having it over there in Hawaii.

Are you a lil crazy in the water? Do you hassle? Do you growl?

I’m mellow. I grew up in Gerroa so I like my own space. If there’s an uncrowded peak, I’m on that.. I like catching a lot of waves in the session so I’ll hunt around on the inside. In the water, I only hassle if I’m being hassled or if it’s do or die.

You’re a smiling assassin!

I am a smiling assassin, alright!

(I ask Sally about the cutest boys on tour and to rate the top five. The top four includes Kai Otton, Kelly Slater and Ace Buchan, but when Julian Wilson is mentioned, Ms Fitz lights up!)

You’ve gotta put Julian in there! He’s like the… ya know… the standout.

While his rug remains atop his crown, I would say he is the most beautiful boy in the world.

He’s very handsome, very sought after. All the girls come to the events, they don’t come to watch the surfing, they come to watch and meet Julian. They always ask the question, where’s Julian?

I wonder, do you have a motto?

Here Now and This Moment. We use it a lot in training. Don’t think too far ahead and dream.

What’s your biggest virtue?

What’s an example?

Honesty, loyalty, discipline.

Hmmmm… fun!

That’s a v good choice. I say this because I believe that anyone that can go out, dance, mingle and tremble, and not be boozed to do so is vastly superior to the rest of us drones. Now, tell me, what’s the best phone call you’ve ever received?

I got invited to go to Parliament when the Queen came to Australia.

What did you say to our beloved head of state?

I was in Barbados! But, it was one of those special calls.

I can’t believe you blew off the Queen’s invite!

I saved the invite.

What’s your favourite food?

Mango and chocolate cake. Awww, so yum, when it melts and it oozes…

Stop it! I’ll never get abs!