Meet: Your new So-Cal neighbors!

They come close enough to nibble your waist!

If you live in Southern California you know that surfing here is as easy as pie. The water is relatively warm, the crowds easy to escape (with a touch of ingenuity) and the sharks nonexistent. They lurk in Northern California’s chilly water, no? And Australia and now North Carolina too, yes?

In the old world, maybe, but we live in a brave new one that is rapidly falling apart and sharks are everywhere! Lifeguards at Surfside Beach (near Huntington) have taken to flying drones and within minutes they can find 10 to 12 Great Whites poking around near shore even coming into waist-deep water.

“It works great…” Chief Joe Bailey told CBS news about spotting sharks without having to go into the water. “If we get bigger sharks or we get sharks that are aggressive, we’re actually going to close the water. But right now, we have sharks that are 5- to 6-feet long, non-aggressive, acting like normal sharks, feeding on bottom fish, doing exactly what we would expect them to do.”

But some surfers do not take comfort. “I was planning on going surfing tomorrow and definitely not now…” a woman told the station. Another said, “Sharks are kind of like my biggest fear so that’s like very daunting for me.”

See? The crowds are easy to escape (with a touch of ingenuity)!

Watch your friends frolic here!


Candid: Four Things I Love About Surf Culture!

Wait…sarcasm!

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!  


…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.

 


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!