Were 1980s professional surfers really better?

It is high time we stage events in order to find out.

Remember yesterday when Julian Wilson said “…the boys go mad on it” regarding the Fijian pre-event kava ceremony? BeachGrit fav commenter and overall friendly man Negatron sure does. He responded, “…I would love to see the current generation of pro-surfers versus the 80’s pro-surfers in a game of “the boys go mad on it…”

And Negs brings up a wonderful point. If there was a real game called “The Boys Go Mad On It” who would, in fact, win?

Let us posit that the 1980s “The Boys Go Mad On It” team would be:

-Gary “Kong” Elkerton

-Martin “Pottz” Potter

-Derek Ho

-Mike Lambresi

-Michael Tomson

And let us say the 2010s “The Boys Go Mad On It” team would be:

-John John Florence

-Jordy Smith

-Felipe Toledo

-Mason Ho

-Glenn “Micro” Hall

Next we would have to decide what both “Go Mad” and “On It” reference. But let us actually not. Let’s leave them both completely subjective. “Go Mad” could mean anything from getting very angry to staying up all night to consuming a lot of…broccoli. “On It” could mean anything from kava to non-alcoholic beer to…broccoli. So, if there were no actual confines, if “The Boys Go Mad On It” could mean anything, anywhere, anyhow…sort of like The Amazing Race minus the race…which team would you pick? Where would you plant your flag?

Josh Kerr talks about…everything!

He has been a BeachGrit fav since...forever! And now he's number 4 in the world!

Since midway through 2011 til, like, right now, Josh Kerr has become BeachGrit’s must-watch man on WT webcasts. Why? ‘Cause he throws caution (and tail!) to the wind with panache and is one of the few competitors who has Kelly Slater shaking in his booties. Josh is the perfect balance of Australian modesty and grit (he’s from the Gold Coast) with Cali jib steeze (where he lives now). Though, those aren’t the only elements of a dazzling surfer. Read on for the other ingredients that make Josh’s surfing so great.

Wavepark: Pitstops, Lakey Peak, Macaroni’s or Keramas. Just ’cause you’ve got time to set up for your manoeuvre and you know where the section’s coming so it gives you time to prepare and gives you time to think through what you’re gonna try. It’s better for tech stuff to surf something more mechanical like a reef, rather than a beachie.

Barrel spot: Shipsterns and Pipe or Tahiti. At Pipe I’ve had my best ones during freesurfs. I never get through a heat there so I don’t get to surf it much during a contest (laughs). At Shipsterns, once you get over the ledge, it’s such an enjoyable barrel. That’s what I always tell everyone. No one really knows how enjoyable that wave is. I think it looks more intimidating in photos because of what’s going on behind you. You just gotta get over the ledge, pull up, put your hands above your head and have a hell time.

Grab: It varies but, if I’m doing a straight air it’s still just a big frontside grab. You have more control and you can really huck it higher. For an air-reverse, I’ve been frothing on stalefishes. I still do frontside grab air-revs during freesurfs, but definitely a lot less than I would have before. When you’re freesurfing, you wanna push yourself to do grabs that you wouldn’t usually do. You wanna get consistent at those grabs so you can bring them into the contest. The judges do recognise the difference in difficulty of certain grabs, but it’s more the section you’re doing the air off, the height of it and difficulty of landing. They don’t really care that much what grab it is. You don’t have to grab to get a 10 so long as it’s real lofty.

Rotation: I’d have to say on my frontside, a full-rotation alley oop with a heelside grab is my favourite rotation.

Flip: I’m gonna start trying whatever those flips that Matt Meola’s been doing are. I froth on those – the grab helps your rotation. I’m excited to start trying them.

Rail turn: The Tyler Wright turn. Two hands back, Tyler Wright hook-down carve. That’s my favourite at the moment. You dig your two arms behind then wrap the back arm around. You’ve probably seen me doing them in contests, I’m either doing airs or doing those turns (laughs).

Combo: I’d need three sections for the perfect combo. I’d have to do a full-roter, heelside grab alleyoop, straight into a little Tyler Wright hack into a stalefish air-reverse.

All-round Sled: A 5’8″ pushed-in shortboard. It used to be a 5’10” or 5’11” but now it’s shorter. Round tail. Sorta similar to what Kelly rides but a bit less volume ’cause he’s got way thicker legs than me and can push with more power.

Travel quiver: It’d be a 5’5″ Magic Thumb, a 5’8″ Kerr model and a 5’9″ Slacker. All the Rusty models. The Slacker’s kind of a round, square version of the Joker, but has a bit more drive. It’s sick. You can grovel on it or get drive out of it.

Fins: I rock Future Fins. The Captain Fin ones, at the moment. The Reynolds model, they’re good.

Wax: Not really. Everyone on tour has their rituals, like they take their wax off and re-wax before every heat, but I’m just scrounging around for whatever wax I can find. Maybe some that the beach marshall has. I’m so unprepared.

Trunks: I’m just on and above the knee. Not mega-short but I’m not over the knee. I used to be. I used to be such a punk kid, always wearing baggy, over-the-knee shorts. But now I’ve jumped on the short era and I’m the kinda guy I used to bag out five or 10 years ago. Trending with the times.

Traction: Pro-Lite. Always with an arch, always a three-piece.

Summer ensemble: Trunks, generally with no shirt. Just bronze the rig up and I’m happy.

Winter ensemble: Well in Cali I’m in a 4/3 fullsuit with booties, gloves and hood. I’d like to be on the Goldy in just a 2/2 fullsuit.

Inspiration: I should watch snow and skate vids more. I do a bit and it definitely inspires me. But I just like watching other surfers and what they’re doing. Like, on little web clips, I love watching those.

Contest: Tahiti when we get waves, but if there’s no waves, then Trestles, because it’s pretty much always rippable.

Opponent: Oh, Kelly is f’sure my favourite guy to surf against. I get beaten most the time but it’s fun knowing that you have heaps of eyes on you, watching. It’s funny, everyone’s got your back, everyone wants you to beat that guy (laughs). It’s fun to go against the top guys and know that, no matter what, if you get beaten by them it’s not that big of a deal because you’re getting beaten by one of the best surfers in the world.

Heat strategy against Kelly Slater: No strategy, I just go for it. That’s the attitude I have to have when I surf against those guys.

Surfer: My all-time favourite would have to be Kelly. But I have so many guys that I enjoy watching right now. I enjoy it all. From Chippa (Chris Wilson) to Dane (Reynolds), all those guys are insane. I froth on the technical side but also the raw power of people, y’know?

Session time: I don’t mind, but I don’t like doing airs in the morning. I like getting barrelled in the morning, then doing airs in the afternoon.

Big waves: I really wanna surf The Right in WA. I’d love to whip-in there. It looks like there’s so many things going on at once, it looks fun. And, not every wave’s the same, which is always fun. You’re always negotiating new lines.

Popular Surf Charter Skipper Drowns in Mentawais

Diving accident kills Paul "Benny" Benbow…

Freediving is one helleva game. No tanks, no noise. Just a gutful of air and a kick downwards. It appeals to the strongest and the fittest. Men and gals who can hit a hundred feet on a lungful of air, chasing fish, chasing thrills.

But it’s a game of cat and mouse.

A technique used before a free-dive is to hyperventilate, washing as much carbon dioxide out of your system as you can. The body is such a finely calibrated machine that your urge to breathe is triggered by a build of CO2 in the bloodstream. Hyperventilate and this reflex is reduced. You won’t get that panicked build-up, the screaming of your body to… breathe… now… but you risk a sudden unconsciousness. No warning. No flash. One second you’re kicking, the next you’re  not.

When it happens at a depth of five metres of less it’s called a shallow-water blackout. So close to the surface you feel like you can reach out and touch the hull of your boat.

South Australian surfer and skipper of Mentawai charter boat Huey, Paul “Benny” Benbow 36, died in a diving accident while spearfishing near Lances Right two days ago.

Was it a shallow-water blackout? Who knows.

But diving without air at 60 or 100 feet ain’t a joke.

In 2001, the Santa Cruz big-wave surfer and free-diver Jay Moriarity died of a shallow-water blackout in the Maldives (Click here)

… and hundreds before and after.

By all accounts, Benny was a fine surfer and a popular skipper.

Learn about the dangers of shallow-water blackouts here.


Julian Wilson: “The boys go mad on it!”

#tournotes is Fiji, of course. Come whet your whistle!

It is time for another gorgeous #tournotes. It is the World Surf League’s most enjoyable 3.50 minutes!

Do you wish you could be in Tavarua right now? Do you wish you could surf perfect waves in very warm water? Do you wish you were Brazilian and on the cusp of total world domination? Do you wish you could pitch with both your left hand and your right hand? The Oakland A’s just called up right hander/left hander Pat Venditte. He is the first pitcher in 20 years to throw both ways.

Venditte entered in the seventh inning, with Red Sox organist Josh Kantor playing Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” He had thrown warmup pitches with his right hand, then switched to his left to face lefty Brock Holt.

After Holt grounded out to first, Venditte put his glove on his left hand and pitched to righty Hanley Ramirez, who singled on the second pitch. Then, still pitching with his right arm, he got righty Mike Napoli to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Venditte also pitched a perfect eighth, allowing only Ramirez’s hit and no runs with one strikeout in the A’s 4-2 loss.

(As reported by ESPN.com)

G-MAC: “Big Mama’s out there!”

Nazare and the gift that keeps on giving...

ABC News Videos | ABC Entertainment News
It is always thrilling when national news organizations dip their toes into our li’l pond and, last night,  we had ABC’s Nightline covering Garrett McNamara’s quest for “Big Mama.”

Big Mama? That is the name G-Mac has given to his perfect wave. Of course, Big Mama lives off Nazare, Portugal and she is going to be not only big but perfect. 100 feet! “You’ll know her when you see her…” Garrett Says.

ABC’s roving reporter, Alex Marquardt, loves adjectives and mixing his metaphors (he should get a job with the WSL) but we are still very much thrilled by the visit. Garrett is Capt’n Ahab. Big Mama is the White Whale. Death, of course, looms and a handsome young fisherman explains that people die. When the reporter gets driven through the waves on the back of Garrett’s jetski to get a sense of “how big they are” it truly amazes. From his GoPro angle they seem 3-4+ feet.

And then things hit the fucking fan. Garrett and Alex are knocked off the ski! But it is ok because Alex gets a good selfie-stick angle walking up the beach totally nonplussed.

Does Garrett get his Big Mama? I will not spoil the ending.
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