The joys of being hurt

We all have a little John John in us...

I’m currently sitting in the waiting room of the Imaging Department of Wilcox Hospital, waiting for my name to be called so I can get what will be my third MRI in the last twelve months. It’s getting tiresome, this year and a half long string of injury and illness. But, if you’re gonna bright side it, I’ve got great health insurance and if you’re gonna be laid up somewhere for a bit there aren’t many places better than Kauai. Things could be worse. Much worse.

The funny thing is, I kind of like MRIs. I’m not typically a fan of confined spaces, but, for whatever reason, I find being stuffed into a garbage can that’s being beat on with hammers very relaxing. Also, I’ve read a lot of stuff online that says magnets have special powers so maybe all this exposure will make me a more attractive person! Ha! Get it?

There are a few people in here… Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with a sports injury that required surgery and rehab (not the drug kind), but you notice that the majority of people who blow out joints don’t do it getting radical. It’s more often a “rolled my ankle getting out of bed and the 350 lbs I carry everywhere made it explode” situation. I have no idea how they’re going to squeeze into the MRI machine. Those things are cramped. I have to contort my upper body into this weird shoulders-together shape to fit in one. I’ve read online that some places take fatties to the zoo, but we don’t have one here. Maybe the tech just uses a stick to jam ’em in? Like, the stick they use to load a cannon. Which is called a “rammer.”

When I got my shoulder surgery last year they used some dead guy’s ligament and I thought it would be funny to say, “It’s not from a black guy, right?” No one laughed but me. It made things a little awkward, but I just did what I always do when I open my mouth wide enough to jam a foot in ankle deep and pretended it didn’t happen until everyone either forgot or let it go.

Whenever I’m going under general anesthesia I make sure to ask the surgical team to refrain from raping me. I understand there’s no reason to think that would stop anyone, but I kind of hope that, once I’m out cold and one of the nurses is all, “Alright! Let’s rape this dude!” someone will point out, “Hey, he asked us to not.” “Yeah, keep it in your pants, we’ll just get the next guy.”
Once a surgeon came back, “Hey, I’m not a dentist!” which I thought was very funny. I don’t know why the fact that a doctor has a sense of humor would make me feel better, but it does. I suppose it shouldn’t What if I woke up and he’d sewn my dick to my leg as a prank? That’s not very funny.

There are two big flat screens in the waiting room. One’s playing daytime TV, the other is just a scrolling hospital/advertisement/news thing. I asked if they could put the surf contest on the second TV, but the lady says she’s not allowed. She won’t give me the wireless password either and the 3G connection sucks, so I guess I don’t get to watch the ladies in Fiji. No big deal, I’m sure I can imagine how it goes. A lot of really hesitant surfing, punctuated by the small handful of girls who can blow up powerful surf.

Something that sucks about living on an isolated tropical island, the medical community is very small. Meaning that there are only a few MRI machines on the island, and they’re always booked solid. Since my current deal is a little too serious to wait two months for an appointment they’re being cool and squeezing me in. But that means I have to sit here with my thumb up my ass until they’ve got time for me. Which could be half an hour, could be all day. Thank god it’s 2015 and we’ve got all these neat tech devices. Otherwise there’d be nothing to occupy my mind but years old copies of Entertainment Weekly and the occasional car mag.

My spirits are bolstered a little by the news of JJs ankle sprain. I watch the kid surf and can feel my joints popping, it’s not fair that he should this invincible young man who has the world by the short hairs. It’s nice to know he’s human. It gives me a little more patience during what may end up being another months long recovery.

Read it here first: Blonde Bombshell injured?

Sad. Potentially.

John John Florence injured; Out of Fiji Pro from STAB on Vimeo.

There is nothing I love more than rumor. They so titillate. They so cause emotional furnaces to burn in chests. And my love has made me a connoisseur. I know the ones that smell right and the ones that smell wrong and unfortunately our distant lands bureau has just learned that John John Florence may, in fact, have sustained an ankle injury and it does not smell wrong.

What will this do to our shining Hawaiian knight? Will it be severe, forcing him to miss the rest of the season, blown over by a great Brazilian storm? Will it be nagging, forcing him to overcompensate and causing greater injury? Will it make him strong and resourceful like Michael Jordan with the flu?

Nobody knows. It is a rumor. But you can be sure that BeachGrit will fill in details as soon as we know. Just like we always do. Goodnight and good luck.


Ask Pam: What dog is right for Israel’s climate?

Get practical advice from a practically fabulous creature!

Ask Pam: Episode 2 from BeachGrit on Vimeo.

That gorgeous French Bulldog is back and wilder than ever! She is busy, don’t be mistaken. Today I saw her on Instagram zooming a pink Mercedes load of Stance socks off to higher-end department stores. But she is not to busy for you. She knows  you live in Tel Aviv and need to know what kind of dog is best for bomb scares. She knows Orcas have a hard time in activity. She knows Iggy Iz.

You should, if you have not, dip right in because she is the smartest French Bulldog in the world and daughter of Courtney J. and Dane R.

Nuff said.

Dane says: “Fuck it!”

And those two little words ring like peeling bells from surfing's vaunted hill.

SAMPLER from Marine Layer on Vimeo.

Today the great Marine Layer Productions, supposedly shuttered since last winter, rose from the dead with a super fun, wonky, wild 11-minute mini-film titled “Sampler.”

While it isn’t the “best” surfing we’ve seen from the World’s Best Surfer Circa 2012, it is great fun! And shouldn’t it be?

According to Dane, he emailed it to a friend. That friend said it was “pretty cool.” Which bummed poor  Dane out. Can’t the poor new Papa get a break! I mean, did you fucking see Cluster? What do you want from him.

“man… expectations, what a stoke killer.” Dane posted on Marine Layer. “Every time you do something, the expectation is that whatever you do next has to be better. do you understand how unsustainable that is? the pressure caused by this principle has stressed me out, burned me out, i eventually cracked, hid out, dropped out, turned away… but then it get’s to a point where you’re just like ‘fuck it.’ that’s when i’ve done my best surfing. when there is a complete absence of consideration for what people expect.”

Do you hear his conviction? Do you feel it in your cold, cold blood, you fuckers? Behold the Second Coming! A Dane with shoulders light as air.

“so here’s SAMPLER, which is a collection of surfing i’ve done the past year that didn’t make it into ‘cluster.’ Dane continues. “So yeah, it is ‘b sidey’ but that is not a disclaimer, i’m proud of it… fuck it, forget what your sponsors expect, what viewers expect, expect nothing…”

The film opens with home footage of a prepubescent Dane pushing around on a skateboard, throwing himself off a launch ramp, not a care in the world. Might that be what you’ve been trying to find, Dane? That feeling you felt all those years ago, just a toothy kid pushing a chipped skateboard hard and fast, your head full of dreams and possibility

Dane’s post ends: “or as ethan fowler says it ‘do what you want, do it well, or, if you don’t want to do it well, don’t do it well, just do it how you do it, and that shit shines through a thousand times brighter’”

If this is the attitude we can expect to see at Fiji, what a spectacle it could be!

Ryan Scanlon Need Essentials
What's Need Essentials? It's a lil company fuelled by a desire to make premium suits but make 'em real cheap. And here we see its principal Ryan Scanlon, the former senior VP of Global Products for Quiksilver, modelling his 200 buck 4/3 chest-zip steamer.

Say! Wanna buy a premium 4/3 full-suit for $A200?

Australian surfer cuts out middle-man and gets you straight into premium rubber for peanuts…

Yamba-based surfer Ryan Scanlon, the former Senior Vice President of Global Products for Quiksilver, doesn’t wanna take over the world. He isn’t building his biz Need Essentials up with an eye to slamming it on the counter for a few mill down the line. He isn’t aggressively chasing market share or running hither and yon trying to find investors. Says he’ll even point his profits in a philanthropic direction if, when, the biz lights up.

Ryan’s play is simple. He makes premium wetsuits at around half the price or less of the major brands, with one important caveat, but more on that later. It’s a shuffle of the usual way we buy stuff.

“We are not a brand! So we don’t act like a normal brand,” he says. “We don’t advertise, we don’t brand our products, we don’t do swing-tags and packaging, we don’t wholesale and we don’t pay people to endorse our products. What we do focus on is premium product at a price point and we rely on customer satisfaction and word of mouth to promote our products. By doing this we believe we are helping the surfer that has a day job and a stack of bills to worry about and doesn’t need to fork out $500 for a premium suit to stay warm.”

Ryan started designing for  Quiksilver back in the mid-nineties after punching out his design degree. He’s 38 now, but “was always juggling work and travel. I would take 18 months off every few years and just go surfing all over the world until I had to go back to work. My passion, like most surfers, is finding waves and traveling and in my own life that tends to come before material possessions. I try to live a pretty simple life (he lives on a yacht) and Need is a reflection of that. I wanted to create something that I wish existed but didn’t. A supply chain where you didn’t have to pay for all the excess. You just pay for what you… yeah… Need.”

Hence the name.

“We make only what we believe you need to be warm, flexible and light. We don’t have all the extra components like, printing, textures, useless components, unproven technologies and fashion or fads. So what we are able to offer is a high-end suit below the cost of thelow-end branded wetsuits.”

This means you’ll buy a 4/3 chest-zip steamer for $A200. What’s that in US dollars? One fifty or thereabouts. Cheap. And your suit comes from the same factory in Taiwan (Sheico Group. Read their amazing story here) where Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Billabong and pretty everyone else gets ’em done. (You thought Japan? So wrong!)

There’s a slight sting in the story, and this is the caveat. No warranty.

“We don’t offer a warranty because we are so aggressively priced,” says Ryan. “A two-mm back-zip premium jacket is $60. That’s less than a branded hooded fleece top which doesn’t carry a warranty. So Need approaches premium wetsuits the same way you would approach clothing.”

And the game plan for Need Essentials, who’d sold their entire inventory of stock last time I looked? Wetsuits only or is there more on the griddle?

“At this point the primary focus is catching up to demand on the wetsuits and keeping people warm and happy. There is a lot more stock on the way and an extended summer line that also features one technical board short. Need will always keep away from fashion and fads and only plans to focus on surfers genuine needs… I’m not trying to make an empire with this project, I don’t need that in my life, my life is extremely simple. If Need can provide a few jobs for other surfers in Australia and also provide core surfers with their basic needs and help save them a buck then I think that’s our spot.”

Buy ’em here. (Click!)