Curt Harper
The GoPro angle of Curt Harper, just-turned 50, diagnosed as autistic when he was two.

Feel-Good Documentary: Meet Surfer Curt!

He’s 50, autistic and tons of fun!






Autism ain’t a joke. It ain’t fun for the kid and it’s hell on the parents. Depending on what end of the spectrum the kid is on, he probably can’t interact that great with other kids, tends to be into compulsive and ritualistic behaviour (has to do stuff a certain way, has to do stuff…exactly… the same every time) and he might even do the head rocking sorta thing. If you don’t get it, if you haven’t seen it before, oowee, it’s wild. In a darker time back, y’would’ve called ’em spazzes or retards and threw things at ’em.

If it’s your kid, you love him, of course you do, but it’s hard. I watched a marriage break up in front of me over their autistic kids.

So it’s nice when y’read a story or watch something, as in the case of this 17-minute documentary of southern Californian surfer Curt Harper, that shows, what is it, the beauty, maybe, the humanity, of an autistic person’s life.

Curt Harper is 49 in the documentary and is the maddest surf dog y’ever seen. Gets up at four-forty in the morning so he can hit the Ventura Highway and beat the crowds at Silver Strand. Runs around like a fool at little kid’s surf contests, stays in shape, surfs his ass off.

This fine film was made by Jordan Tappis and Brendan Hearne. The Curt website is here. (Click!)

White Riot: Why the US Open is a cultural icon!

The US Open? All that jail-bait ass and white people destroying shit? What's not to love?

(Photo of 2014 US Open winner Filipe Toledo by Steve Sherman)

The WSL dropped some gold into my in box this morning. The US Open, formerly a “may run” due to a rights dispute is a go, and, furthermore:

“Huntington Beach is the perfect stage to bring the local community together with passionate surf, skate and BMX fans to enjoy all the beach lifestyle and surf heritage have to offer,” said James Leitz, senior vice president, IMG. “We’re proud to be working with Vans and the WSL for the third year to stage such an incredible event.”

The US Open is Huntington Beach. It’s boring, the waves suck, it’s packed full of flat-brim barneys rocking the lifestyle pose and it’s really only there to separate you from your wallet.

This year will have some decent surfers on offer. The contest’s traditionally fat purse, combined with the relatively new rule which forces top 44 surfers to compete in a QS10000 event in their area, will force top tier dudes to enter. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s nice to see how poorly the guys perform when they’re forced out into the type of waves the women face nearly every event.

But we all know the true fun of the US Open is on land. Whether you’re a fan of jail-bait ass, terrible pop punk, BMX demos, or white people destroying shit, it’s got something for you. (Warning: turn down your speakers before watching these videos.)

The original anarchy, the 1986 Op Pro.

This chick’s flying squirrel attack is pretty impressive.

What a bunch of quitters. If you’re gonna flip a car, flip it. Don’t rock it for a bit and give up. That’s what’s wrong with this generation, no follow through.

The interesting thing about this video is the couple black dudes you see cruising around. If I were black I’d bounce the fuck out when white people start smashing shit. Innocent bystander or not, when the cops show up you can guess who’s getting cuffed and bashed.

Huntington is such a shitty town that if there were a literal flow of feces running down the street I don’t think anyone would notice.

I’ve posted this before, but it fits in too well to not use again. DO SOMETHING!

And, because it’s 2015 and everyone films everything, here’s another angle!

There’s a lesson here: if you’re a black community protesting police violence, or economic inequality, or institutionalized racism, you can expect to be labeled thugs by the mainstream media and have your asses beat by the cops while real criminals run rampant miles away. But, if you’re a bunch of drunk white kids, you can destroy a neighborhood without consequence. Even if the pigs pick you up, it’s not like they’re gonna whomp you too hard. And you parents will be along to pick you up shortly.

Until next time, here’s a fat lady getting wrecked on a rope swing.

The biggest wipeout ever?

So subjective! So fun!

The week has been awash in superlatives what with a very large swell making its way around the globe. “Biggest evers” have littered social media and your other less favorite surf websites. You certainly read about Jamie Mitchell and Justin Holland getting their business at Cow Bombie in Western Australia. Mr. Mitchell rode some very big waves and so did Mr. Holland, who even had his femur snapped by one. They said it was the biggest wave ever ridden in Australia. Mr. Holland’s femur said, “Ouch you no good son of a bitch.”

A continent away, and a few weeks earlier, The Guardian, a British news outlet, made another claim. That Cornish surfer Tom Lowe snagged the biggest wipeout in history at Mexico’s Puerto Escondido. He told the paper, “The plan wasn’t to fall. If I would have made that wave I would have gotten the ride of my life.”

“Commenting on the video online,” the paper continued, “other surfers have described Lowe’s wipeout as the greatest of all time.”

Using web comments as proof may not be the best idea ever but who cares! Surfing is so gloriously subjective. It is, in fact, part of what makes the Sport of Kings so grande Ist subjectivity leads to endless debate, fights, versions of history. The only thing we can all agree on is that Kelly Slater is the GOAT. And that ummmmmmmmm Brazil will win the next ten titles.

Watch the Cornishman go bananas here!

Interview: Dane Reynolds on Being a Wildcard!

“There’s a weird psychological thing I have to get over,” says Dane.

What’s your take on Dane Reynolds? Maybe he thrilled you for a few years and then when he seemed to lose interest in it all, you turned to Jordy and then to John John. But now that Dane opened his shoulders in Fiji and is now on his way to J-Bay, you’re tentatively back in his corner.

Maybe you never liked him. Maybe you found the whole I-don’t-care schtick a little forced. Maybe you found his heavy-footed showing at Snapper the most righteous and karmic kick in the face ever.

Or maybe, like me, you scrape whatever you can from the internet, from magazines, about this once-in-a-generation surfer. Who, just when it seemed like he was about to disappear into the annals (not anals, y’fruit!) of history, has come back with a sharply changed game and, now, with one very good result, could qualify for the 2016 tour.

Is it really possible? Oh yes! Remember, in 2010, he tied for fourth place with Taj Burrow.

This interview was recorded during the Fiji Pro and is one of those World Surf League videos that are mercifully free of any embellishment, any cheap production tricks.

“I turned my back on it (the tour) and they’re giving me spots at events so there’s a weird psychological thing I have to get over,” says Dane. As for points being awarded to wildcards, which could, theoretically lead to he or Jay Davies or even Alejo Muniz qualifying though the side door, he says: “It totally makes sense. If you’re doing well enough for the points to matter, you’re beating the top seeds at events and (so) you’re deserving of those points.”

As for actually making it a goal, Dane says the idea of it, “puts so much pressure on myself I melt down.”

A good interview with an interesting surfer.

Dylan Reddering
Dylan Reddering survived a hit by a great white on Friday. The following day, and a little down the coast, another surfer was hit and lost their right leg.

South Africa: Two Great White Attacks in Two Days!

Shitty weekend for surfers in North Carolina and in Cape Town… 

It sure is hard to keep up with the news sometimes. A couple of shark attacks over the weekend in North Carolina, a south-eastern US state, lit up the wires and… now… a couple more, this time in South Africa.

Two attacks by suspected Great Whites, both on surfers.

First, around dusk on Friday, at Lookout Beach, Dylan Reddering, 23, was bitten on the right side of his body. Dylan kicked the shark away only to became stuck in a current while trying to swim back to shore.

In a little twist, his dad was one of the first to respond to the attack. He heard an emergency siren indicating there had been an incident at sea and rushed out to respond.

“I didn’t know it was my son. When I got to the (NSRI) station I was told there’s a shark attack. The boats were already out. A friend called me (and said) it was Dylan. My friend said: ‘Dylan is okay, don’t worry.’ You have no idea what those words meant.”

The following day, 19-year-old Caleb Swanepoel was surfing at Buffels Bay thirty k’s away, when he was attacked. He lost his right leg.

Last month, Cape Town surfer Mathieu Dasnois surrvied a hit by a four-metre white.

Which all begs the question, would you still go surfing in South Africa? Or are shark attacks, now, like Margaret River or Reunion, just part of the game?