Slater, Reynolds’ heroic bangs! Day One, J-Bay

Filipe piteous, CJ resurrected, Taj uninterested, Gabriel trampled… 

When destiny knocks the nail in the coffin of a failed world title campaign it is seldom long before she knocks in the last. Who could ever have pictured Gabriel Medina administering such a poor defence of his historic world title?

You would never have thought that this handsome boy could wear a look of such astonishment, dismay, piteous injury!

And that ain’t all. Dane Reynolds swallowed his chin and charged Filipe Toledo like a bull. He knocked his wind out completely. I like to watch the way a surfer runs to the water’s edge and paddles out to see if he’s jacked up and ready to fight. Dane kinda waddled down to that lil gap in the rocks where you paddle out and I was worried he might be maltreated by Filipe, especially considering the game Filipe demonstrated in the freesurf sessions. But there’s a change in Dane, and you could see it in the way he recovered out of one turn – an almost top-turn to face-plant – and the way he grimly crouched over his connecting turns as if he was Kolohe Andino in his NSAA prime. Once his opening passages were complete, Dane’s natural nervousness vanished and he cavorted as if it was 2010 and he was again equal fourth in the world.

Kelly Slater hemmed in Matt Wilkinson, even if his sails did hang like dead snakes. Have you ever seen a frontside air landed by…sheer will?

Joel  Parkinson lost again and Taj Burrow seemed entirely over the whole business, as if it took an effort of unbelievable will to paddle out into the crummy, onshore waves.

Maybe more tonight!

Fly fishing
Fly Fishing, writes Beau Andrews, is "rewarding, a challenge and it's a game not dissimilar to surfing."

Surfing vs Fly-Fishing! Who’s got the sexy?

The game is closer than you think… 

Surfing is fucked! Doomed to become vanilla at one end (read WSL and Samsung’s little adds), and doomed to become far too abstract at the other (Globe/Los Angered). It’s an increasingly fragmented scene that sees the collective at one another’s throats across the internet’s many message boards.

In a most unfounded fashion, I blame both the internet and the increasingly popular nature of the past time. Do I want it to go back to a mongrelised, intolerant sub-culture on the fringes? Yeah, nah. Plus, I’m more than wary of the dubious talk of a surf culture. After all, like your nationality, it’s but an imagined community that we’ve all valorised to be real.

But imagined communities aside, surfing has at least one thing going for it – it presents itself better than fly-fishing.

I like fly-fishing, both salt water and fresh. It’s rewarding, it’s a challenge, it’s a game that is not too dissimilar to surfing. But fuck me, it doesn’t present itself well.

If you’ve ever tried to watch a fly-fishing video you’re likely to get bombarded by pretentious prattle about it being a ‘spiritual art’, or some bloke yahooing. You watch it with a permanent grimace, embarrassed that you let yourself be seen with a fly rod in hand. As a result, I hide my collection behind my surfboards.

Nor does fly-fishing lend itself to music. Most guys publishing footage put it to lo-fi country sounding guitars or obnoxious dance music. Tt doesn’t work. In fact, no music works. You’re better off to watch it muted.

Actually, you’re better off not watching it so that you don’t have to expose yourself to the fashion – it’s all fluoro Quiksilver/Jet board shorts, Patagonia wading boots, button-up shirts, patterned face buffs, hats, polaroid glasses and waders – terrible in the least.

Surfing has an edge in this respect. Surfing suits music much better, even if you hate that music. However, nothing suits lo-fi country sounding guitar. Similarly, if you’re watching surfing without music in it’s raw form, unless you’re watching some kook’s GoPro footage, one particular former WSL commentator, or some Mid-Western bible basher’s footage from their trip to Hawaii, you’re not going to get the same cheese.

Surf fashion? Pretty simple, not always functional, and fuck zinc! Wetsuits? Only in black please. Still, I’d rather be seen in the latest Globe Dion signature series clothes/shoes than a pair of waders, face buff and polaroids.

And all the prattle about the ‘spiritual art’? We left that in the 70’s and over at The Inertia. In more than one sense, surfing today is all about performance baby!

See, it’s not all doom and gloom, we still have an edge over fly-fishing. Then again, I’ve noted a lot of exceptions/contradictions. No, we’re not much better than fly-fishing at all.

Just in: More Samsung “We Are Greater Than I” ads!

And you thought it was just… surf?

Yesterday, Samsung and the WSL released “Without You, I’m Nothing – We Are Greater Than I”, a minute-and-a-half ad that “emphasises the courage of surfers who risk their lives to follow their passion, despite doubt and obstacles.”

If you were able to shelve your cynicism (it was an ad for a South-Korean multinational conglomerate, after all) you might’ve watered up a little. Who doesn’t love it when serious money, and good creative, is thrown at our little game?

(Read BeachGrit’s multi-pronged take here).

Maybe it’ll surprise you, maybe it won’t, but the We are Greater Than I concept isn’t just for surf. It’s bike-riding and soccer, too.

Does commodify it more for you? Does it take the sheen off the paintwork a little, knowing it isn’t surf exclusive?

Watch the bike and soccer versions below.



Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater
Who is the most overrated surfer in the world? It's so not Gabriel or Kelly!

How to be a Pro Surfer!

It's all about the angles… 

Isn’t it what we’ve all dreamed about? Having our bank accounts inflated every month because we surf good and our image moves trunks or headphones or whatever trinket is delivering profit that season?

Most of us, at least those who have the talent to take a serious shot at turning pro, stumble on two hurdles: contest results and being lost amid the tens of thousands of other surfers with the same desire and roughly the same ability.

Very few surfers understand that being a professional means making yourself marketable. And marketable means you being a figure of influence. The surfer others want to emulate. But, how?

1. Become a ruthless networker
As anyone in the sales game knows, relationships are everything. Make yourself known to print and online editors. Introduce yourself at industry parties. Be witty. Charm. I know a pro surfer who can make you feel like you’re the only editor on earth. BFFs! Even when you see the same schtick aimed at someone else, this surfer’ll throw you a little glance or a text. Like a cheating girl who’ll keep reeling you back in. But whenever a trip or a story comes around, he’s always there at the front of my brain.

2. Attach yourself to a filmer and a photographer
If you’re Jordy or Mick, this is easy. You hire ’em. But for a kid on the make you’re going to need to get tight with someone who has already made a name for themselves. You might start off just as pals, maybe you live close, but work tightly together, you as the performer, he as the auteur. Once you start getting him spreads in mags or vision on websites, the relationship is set. He works for you, you work for him. Like Julian (Wilson) and Jimmy (Lees) below…

3. Be available for everything

Push your sponsor on Instagram, on Facebook. There’s a trip going but it’s your buddy’s birthday? Too bad, you have to go. Go to in-store promos. Never miss a company party (but don’t turn into boozy the clown unless that’s your schtick). I knew a surfer, dull as London in winter, who squeezed out a five-year career purely because he was the dream team rider. If a company is paying you money, it’s your job to pay ’em back in kind.

4. Develop a style with personality
Pretty much anyone with two legs and an online connection has worked out how to throw fins. Air reverses? You can buy ’em at discount stores. It’s how you link those turns, with what panache, that determines your value. Craig Anderson. Jordy Smith. Dane Reynolds. Their styles… sing.

5. Get an opinion
Surf mag editors have heard it all. You’d be surprised how many journalists do their banking or work on other stories while doing phone interviewers with the latest teen sensation. But a surfer with something to say? That’s rare.

New: CNN unveils word to describe surfing

You won't believe your eyes!

Surf, glide, shred, rip, tear, pump, surf…there are many different verbs used to describe the physical act of riding a wave and I was under the impression that I knew them all.

Oh how I was wrong!

CNN, leader in global news, unveiled a word on their website today that I have never heard.



He pipes them.

Let’s go piping.

Anyone up for a pipe?

We should pipe before the wind gets on it.

I am piped out.

The story is very nice and I am glad Andrew Cotton is being lauded for his pursuit. Nazare has become a favorite storyline of CNN and that is nice too. You can and should read here. You can and should watch Andrew Cotton below. Me? I’m gonna go get my pipe on.