“Drugs are great and you should take them!”

Except maybe coke (pointless), weed (too panicked to surf) and meth (bad skin)… 

“I used to do drugs.  I still do, but I used to, too.”

A great man once said that, and it’s as true today as ever. Drugs and surfing go together like peanut butter and bananas and while we like to pretend we’re a culture of hard-body vegan sun worshippers the truth is that more than a few of our heroes have hoovered enough illicit substances that a simple blood test would earn them a Balinese death sentence.

We acknowledge the hard partying eighties, but the notion that drug use on tour ended the day Kong became Elko is about as realistic as the belief that Volcom’s B-team house is the safest place for a single woman on Oahu’s North Shore.

Now let’s discuss.

Opiates: Oh, opiates, the silver lining to injury’s grey cloud. I should write a love sonnet expounding their merits. They’ll make you feel motivated, euphoric, and popping a 5/325 Norco first thing in the morning will alleviate those early morning aches and pains that are a result of a childhood spent eating shit on your skateboard. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last. Soon enough you’ll develop a healthy tolerance, start upping your dose, and end up a bloated waste of space with a clay filled colon.

A little known fact: the proper dose of hydrocodone will give you a semi-numb, rock-hard boner that’ll leave your girl limping.

 Mushrooms: Best served with a summer bodysurf, mushrooms are the greatest thing to ever sprout from a pile of shit. Of course, psychedelics aren’t for everyone. If you’re battling personal demons there’s a good chance they’ll bring ’em to the forefront of the ol’ psyche and you’ll spend the rest of the day curled up in a corner reliving that time you asked Kim Peterson to the fifth grade sock hop and she said, “Ew!’ and all her friends laughed at you. Fuck that chick.

But most of the time they’re a blast. Just be sure and avoid the dreaded double dose. Just because they haven’t kicked in yet is no reason to take more. Unless, I guess, you want to experience a hellish polygonal reality that seems profound but is really just empty nonsense.

Weed: Marijuana is great, but I’ve never understood the guys who get lit before surfing. Weed makes me lazy, slow, and fearful, a terrible combination in anything but gutless burgers. It’s great for, literally, everything else though.

Coke: I hear that blow was great back in the eighties, but I’ve never really understood the modern day appeal. It’s a great way to trick yourself into thinking you’re sober enough to drive, and you can use it to lure a certain type of slag back to your house when the bars are closing, but it’s otherwise useless. It’s a once-or-twice-a-year drug, when you’re drunk enough to think a bump is a good idea, only to quickly realize that all it does it cancel out all the good downers you’ve already taken.

Crack: One time when I was in college a guy I knew came over and asked if I wanted to smoke some opium with him.

“Of course,” I replied, soon followed by, “This is fucking awesome!”

I felt so alive!  I immediately grabbed my board, drove to the beach and had the best session of my life in overhead closeouts. The next day I asked him if he could hook me up with his opium guy.

“Dude, that wasn’t opium,” he said, “That was crack.”

In summary: Crack is fucking awesome.

Meth: Like coke, I just don’t get the appeal of meth. It burns like a motherfucker, turns you into a sexual degenerate and leads to hours long conversations with skin-picking shitbag losers about nothing at all. But an entire generation of Santa Cruz surfers put it to good use while heaving themselves over the Maverick’s ledge and into the history books, so there’s gotta be something to it.

Alcohol: Booze makes you more clever, more confident, and better looking. It greases the wheels in awkward social situations and lowers your standards enough to make sexual conquests far easier. It also made me fat so I don’t get to drink anymore for a while.

Benzodiazepines: Better known by their brand names, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan- benzos are a must have for any international surf trip. A couple of Xanax before boarding is like flipping your mind’s off-switch, making a six-hour coach-bound hell flight feel like a ten minute nap.  Beware. Mixing them with alcohol dangerously lowers inhibitions. So, unless you feel like showing the flight attendant your dick, it’s probably best to skip the pre-flight cocktails.

Heroin: A drug dealer I befriended while in Egypt offered me some heroin one night and, well, I didn’t want to be rude.

Heroin is the best thing ever. Better than sex, surfing, or a mother’s love. Dangerously so, in fact.  Stay the hell away from heroin. Unless you don’t plan on living much longer, then I say go right ahead. I know that, if I somehow make it into my seventies, I plan on riding that horse straight into the grave.

Hashish: On an somewhat related note, did you know that Egypt has killer hash? The stuff is everywhere and Egyptians are more than happy to share with their visiting American friends.  There’s not much better than sucking down a huge spliff and going for a freedive in the Red Sea. I’m not really sure what BeachGrit‘s stance is on the country, because of, you know, the whole Israel thing, but I fucking love the place. Morocco sucks though, nothing but a bunch of underemployed Berber thieves. I don’t get why Chas loves it so much.

LSD: I’ve never taken acid, the opportunity never presented itself. But I recently officiated a wedding and was paid in a couple hits of what is supposedly some super high grade stuff. It’s in a plastic bag, stuck to my fridge with a magnet, calling my name.

In conclusion, drugs are great, and you should take them. Just don’t get caught and for the love of god, don’t try to smuggle them into any third world countries.

New: “Grandma, tow me in!”

4-6+ feet has never seemed more accessible!

The French are good at many things but mostly good at being French, which is the same as being fabulously useless. From Gothic art (1100-1200) to the world’s first electric keyboard (1759) to photography (1822) to the roulette wheel (1843) to neon lighting (1910), the French have invented wonderfully impractical contrivances. They can now proudly add the world’s first all-electric carbon fiber jet ski (2011).

The Exo Wat, dreamed up by, Philippe Fretel, is really more of a bodyboard as the user lies prone whilst driving. It is very sleek, in traditional Batman black, and leaves almost no carbon footprint. “I used to rent out professional jet skis in Florida…” Fretel tells sustainable-mobility.org “…when I arrived, it was a dollar per gallon and three years later it was two dollars per gallon! So first of all there was this economic factor linked to the rising price of petrol: my profit margin had become too low.

The second factor is, of course, ecological: we really wanted to be able to offer fun leisure activities with an environmentally friendly vehicle, using an ecological means of power. In addition, the vehicle is lighter (no trailer).”

Aside from being astonishingly fruitless and great for the environment, the Exo Wat does not require any sort of permit so either your grandma or four-year-old nephew can tow you in to slightly overhead set waves at your local beach for at least an hour. That is how long the battery lasts.

Bon appetit.

This is how it really looks.
Graham Stapelberg enjoying a day on the sea.

See it here first: Leo Fioravanti dazzles!

It's an Italian storm!

Crispy Grindz from James Graham on Vimeo.

Kelly Slater is an international surf star but I would say we have not had one since he and I would also say that John John Florence will not reach international surf star level (he surfs so well, so gloriously but……the intangibles, you know?). In any case, my money for the man who will take Kelly Slater’s spot, when Kelly finally begins to age, is none other than Leonardo Fioravanti.

Leo is, of course, Italian, for uno, and speaks fluent French, English, a little Japanese and more French. His English is also inflected with the cutest continental accent. Girls melt into puddles when they hear. He is tall, for due, not the short little things the surf world generally churns out. He is blonde, for tre, with Romish curls. He has wonderful teeth and a wonderful smile, for quattro. Girls melt into puddles when they see. He has very ideal bone structure, for cinque, and he is brave, for sei even breaking his back on a heaving Pipeline bomb.

I was with Leonardo, recently, at Teahupo’o and he paddled fearlessly into many waves that left me quaking in the boat and he did it with style. He has small wave game and big wave game. He would be given a role in Baywatch if it still existed. He has all……..the intangibles, you know? Just watch this video and try to argue.

Viva Leo!

Another Great Moment in Surf Photography

Steve Sherman looks a raging bull in the eye and does not flinch.

Say what you must about Steve Sherman but his tireless work ethic and unparalleled enthusiasm for the Sport of Kings is something to behold. There are those who don’t appreciate, of course, like Kaipo Gomes-Balzer but these few are generally anonymous, or recently outed, Internet trolls who prefer to lob insults from far away, or Manhattan Beach. They are not brave.

But Steve Sherman is. He is as brave as he is handsome and, as evidence, just examine this great moment in surf photography right here!

It is 2009 and the North Shore is alive with feeling! Sunny Garcia, Hawaiian darling and powerful surfer, in the lead for the coveted Vans Triple Crown. He had done very well at Haleiwa. He had done very well at Sunset. All he had to do was ok at Pipeline and the honors and the glory would be his.

But he was late to his heat, mere ten minutes because he was getting fins from the Rothman house. Contest director Randy Rarick said “Alo-nah” though and Sunny was not allowed to surf, Torry Meister taking his spot, and Sunny did not win the Vans Triple Crown.

I was not ten yards away when this scene played out. Sunny was enraged. Furious. A stung tiger. Randy was hardened. Unmovable. They tugged of war over the contest jersey. Sunny screamed swears. Randy folded his arms. It was very uncomfortable and I wished I was elsewhere.

And Steve Sherman was not five yards away but he, brave and handsome, did not wish he was elsewhere. He waded even closer, in fact, capturing Randy’s stoic but more importantly Sunny’s hurt.

Look at Sunny’s face. Look at the rage and the resignation and the frustration and the pain. It is a beautiful shot, a great moment, but also look at his surf trunks. Affliction. A mixed-martial arts brand. Sunny could have just as easily waltzed over and taken his hurt out on Steve Sherman’s face. This great moment is what separates the boys from the men. And Steve Sherman is the man.

Dane and Courtney
Eleven years ago and we see the just-turned 19-year-old Dane Reynolds and the gal of his dreams, Ms Courtney Jaedtke.

Dane and Courtney Just Had a Sammy Boo

Worlds' best surfer (2006-12) and Ask Pam mastermind got a brand new bebe… 

It’s raining bebes on the most unlikely plains. First, it was revealed two weeks ago that perennial batch Taj Burrow (perennial as opposed to “confirmed” bachelor) is to be a daddy (as opposed to sugar daddy)… click here… and now we see the result of a most wonderful union tween Dane Reynolds v Courtney Jaedtke.

The pair are decade-old lovers from Carpinteria in central California (see main photo). Dane, the undisputed best surfer in the world from 2006 until 2012 and Courtney, the Pam Wear clothier (click here), falconer (click here), Ask Pam mastermind (click here) and, perhaps, the most profound stylistic influence on her bae.

Yesterday, the pair announced that Sammy Boo Reynolds, a little eight-pounder had been hoisted into the world. What a great honour and privilege motherhood is! A mammy’s strength is more powerful than natural laws! The world opens up to mammies!

IMG_5534 copy

And Reynolds turns thirty this September so he’s ready. He’s built for fatherhood. Playful and serious. Daring and loving.

What greater challenge is there than raising a great son?