Candid: Four Things I Love About Surf Culture!


After a year-and-a-half battling injuries and being relegated to the kook’s corner of my local spot due to an inability to out paddle anyone, my body has finally caught up to my muscle memory and I actually had a fun session.

I can still surf! Who knew?

It’s about time. I was getting dangerously close to giving up and spending the rest of my life telling lies about how I “used to rip before my injury.” Gasping for air, struggling to punch through the lineup on a head high day, is a miserably humiliating experience, enough so that I don’t understand how I learned to surf in the first place.

But the passion is rekindled. I love to surf. I love surf culture. The following most of all:

Recyclable surfboards: The best of lies are always built on truth. Is EPS recyclable? Absolutely. Does anyone actually collect broken boards and recycle them? Of course not. But that hasn’t stopped multiple companies, like snowboard giant Lib Tech, from hopping on the pseudo-science bandwagon and touting their contribution towards pumping out poisonous products as a forward thinking, enviro-friendly, board of the future.

Wave pools: I’m coming up on four decades of hearing about these things and I know that the Snowdonia place is actually being built, but if they follow through on their promise of “2 meter” waves I will, literally, eat my hat.

It’s not that I don’t believe it’s possible, it’s that I don’t believe it’s economically feasible. Generating waves eats a metric fuckton of power and there is no way that enough land locked boners are going to drop the thousands of dollars required to build enough skill to ride waves that size. (US$4912 per year, ignoring cost of equipment and assuming two, two-hour, sessions per week, with a “membership” and time purchased in bulk.)

Instead we’ll see tiny little mush packed to the rafters with beginners, with the pool cranked up to full potential once or twice a year. Maybe. But probably not.

Only a surfer knows the feeling: It’s true! When you’re out alone on a kind-of-fun day at the local beach break, miles of equally good waves breaking on either side of you, and you see a handful of kooks suit up and paddle right to you: only a surfer knows that feeling! Or when a guy makes eye contact then takes of in front of you and blows the drop. It’s unreal!

Sustainable tourism: I’ve met these pricks more times than I’d like in the course of various jaunts around the globe. They’re always wide-eyed entrepreneur types, spending months at a time in a beautiful third world locale, hell bent on teaching all the heathen brownies just how they should be managing their resources.

The beauty of sustainable tourism is that it is truly attainable. All you need to do is borrow a couple hundred K from dear ol’ mom and dad, open up an “eco-hostel” on undervalued land and you can keep the local population scrubbing toilets and washing cum soaked sheets for the rest of their lives!  Sustainable!  

CJ Hobgood Cloudbreak
…is this not the sort of vista that soothes you to sleep at night? Those dreams of sunset tubs in the most vivid colour? | Photo: CJ Hobgood

Just in: CJ Hobgood wins Fiji Pro GoPro Challenge!

…with a sunset tube that leaves the viewer sufficiently breathless… 

Sunset sessions at Cloudbreak sure are something. That melting sun. A wind, usually so relentless, running out of breath. And nothing else I’ve seen has been as effective as capturing the feeling of a late-afternoon Fiji cabana like this clip of CJ Hobgood, the winner of the 2015 FijiPro GoPro Challenge.

So many elements! The arm in the face of the wave, the switching perspective, the folding bread in the sandwich, the screaming Fijians in the channel. A gilt-edge photo album in real time!

The GoPro Challenge asks WSL surfers to “submit their own GoPro videos from the competition venue and surrounding areas.”

There are five judges, three from the WSL, two from GOPro and the winning clip is “based on cinematography, degree of difficulty of shooting, perspective and overall beauty and lighting.”

CJ wins $US10,000.


…and check these fine clips of Wiggoly Dantas at Restaurants. Watch Kelly’s face in the first!

Matt Warshaw: “A familiar dab of bile in my throat!”

Surfing in the Olympics causes stern rebuke from our grand historian.

Surfer Magazine, hot on the investigative heels of your very own BeachGrit, published their take on surfing in the Olympics today (read ours from last week!) and it seems like the surf community is v v conflicted!

Tay Knox tells Surfer‘s Ashtyn (what a name!), “Yes. Surfing should be an Olympic sport!” But his nickname is also Captain America and, I would imagine, he loves rubbing the world’s nose in our national superiority.

Sean Doherty tells her, “No, no and no.” But maybe Sean did bad in P.E. and is shy.

Gabs Medina, riding high on the Brazilian Storm says, “Yes. It would be a great honor to represent my country.” Of course. Order and Progress.

Matt Warshaw says, “Surfing in the Olympics makes me barf. Like, vomit all over everything. Fuck you for asking me this question and fuck the police…” (quote author’s own but sort of approximates the truth…)

I agree with Matt Warshaw.

In other Olympic news, study the above picture for a mo. Look at how many people are watching surfing at the Olympics. I don’t think it is a stretch to say 250,000. With that much momentum, and rabid passion, it will probably be hard to keep it out.

I am sorry Matt Warshaw.


Kelly Slater Fiji
Oh Kelly! Look behind! Look behind! A little baby doll creeps up on you!

Tour Notes: A Fijian Finish!

Kelly Slater’s thousand-dollar wave, dreamy Restaurants and salvation through beer!

Look what momma got you! Oh Momma! Plunge it into me!

Here, one day after Owen Wright skinned Julian Wilson at  the Fiji Pro, we enter the blurry halo of the tour just before and just after its conclusion as created by Tour Notes’ Peter King.

“Just your basic millionaire vay-cay in surf paradise,” says King.

Adjust your boxers and jerk this thing… on!

Australia's Best Beach House
Architecture? Who needs it? You're thinking about gallons of Patron and boys and gals sprawled all over the couches and chairs, the clean hot shafts of sun ripping into all that bare flesh! What fun y'could have here!

Gimme: the $30-mill house of former Billabong Director!

Who knew surf could so pay!

Mermaid Beach is one of those joints that doesn’t get a lot of press when you’re talking Gold Coast. I might even suggest that unless you’ve lived there, you’ve never heard of it.
And y’should. It’s an uncrowded balm to the craziness of Snapper and Burleigh and Kirra and D-bah and everywhere else. In winter, when the wind blows north-west and there’s enough swell kicking around Point Danger, you’ll find a surprising haul of empty-ish waves.
Scott Perrin, the former Bilalbong director, but not the director who is, uh, in a little trouble with various bookmakers and banks etc, that’s his brother Matt, is selling his crib Tidemark at Mermaid Beach.
Australia's Best Beach House
The house of former Billabong director Scott Perrin, brother of the other former Billabong director Matthew Perrin, who’s about to go on trial for multi-million dollar fraud.
Now this ain’t no ordinary house. World-class? Yeah it is. On a combined land parcel of almost 3000 square metres. A sublime Frank Lloyd Wright-esque design, which is rare on this garish strip. Six beds. Six crappers. A retracing glass and copper roof. Steam rooms, naturally, sauna, two kitchens and a separate teppanyaki pavilion. The underground garage will hold 11 cars, it has a separate caretaker or mistress cabin and accommodation for up to six staff.
Australia's Best Beach House
The house is known as Tidemark and has 30 rooms with a separate caretaker’s residence, an 11-car garage and a glass roof that is totally retractable.
Out front? Beachbreaks for miles. Good beachbreaks. Outer banks that’ll hold six foot toobs.
Australia's Best Beach House
This thing squats on nearly 3000 square metres (three parcels joined together) of prime beachfront land. Because all the cribs cost millions and their owners are either at work, in jail (fraud!) or overseas, the waves are… uncrowded.
Anyway, if you want and you’ve got tween 20 and 30 mill? Buy here!