Tech: Print your next surfboard!

With much power comes much responsibility.

A company out of Bondi, Australia wants to change how you get your next surfboard Disrupt. was founded:

…on the simple idea of creating a board with a specific surfer in mind. Not the average Joe, but you. We help you custom make your own surfboard. From the dimensions , to the construct and even the artistic design, we are able to give you expert advice and guidance on the path to creating your dream board. And once you’ve come up with your custom board… That’s when the magic happens. We use 3D printing design technology to make a digital set up of your board and then shape, glass and spray it by precision computer. Once the dream vessel is made, we ship it to your doorstep and you’re out ripping on your new 100% personalised board.

Wow! A surfboard that comes out of a computer printer! It is like we live in Back to the Future II!

Aside from being crazy tech, I don’t know if it is a good surfboard or not. On the company website there is a live chat feature and “Chris” kept asking if he could help me but never responded to my questions so I could not ask if it is a good surfboard. Their tagline is: RIDE THE BOARD YOU DESERVE

Except I don’t want the board I deserve. I want the board that quiet genius Dane Hantz from Vulcan surfboards thinks I don’t deserve but shapes for me anyhow. I have a step-up pintail that is so delicate yet so brave. It was meant for a professional for sure but I ride it and it makes me surf slightly overhead waves with reckless abandon.  You should order one too.

“Dear Julian, Mick and the WSL…I’m sorry!”

Real men cry. And punch sharks. And get 90000000000000 views.

As fucked up as a near miss shark attack is, the truth is that everyone is walking away from this one a smelling like roses.

Pro surfing is world news, the WSL should be able to grab a nice viewer bump for Teahupo’o Giant barrels, razor sharp reef, people could be eaten by sharks! It’s going to sell really well. Some people will surely stick around in the long term.

Mick’s tears during the dry land interview? Pretty cool, very humanizing. And in no way, shape, or form indicative of cowardice. An adrenaline dump like that will leave anyone shaking. His nonchalant reaction in the water was so manly I’m going to go buy something with his name on it.

And Julian came out shining. Sprinting to help rather than running for safety. Brave stuff, real courage.

Funny thing about courage, you don’t really know if you’ve got it until the moment you need it. Sure, if I saw someone being attacked by a shark I like to think I’d hurry to help. That’s easy to say. But, really, running toward danger is an unnatural thing to do. We’re all alive because our ancient ancestors were good at peace-ing the fuck out.

We end up with much of who we are determined by our unthinking reactions rather than our planned responses. In a crisis moment you’ve rarely time to think, to consider consequences. Your lizard brain takes over and you’re stuck nitpicking through the 20/20 lens of hindsight.

But Mick and Julian acted with aplomb. No one squealed in fear (though it does look like Fanning emitted a manly bellow), it was square jawed chisel chested John Wayne shit all the way. And in front of a camera so everyone can see how damn awesome they are.

To the WSL, I’m sorry for saying the J-Bay event is boring. It ended up being anything but. To Mick Fanning, I’m sorry for saying your style is uninspiring. And to Julian Wilson, I am sorry I recently said you look like a transgender Miss Piggy.

White Lightening vs. Great White!

"The most exciting time in the history of the sport right now."

The story of how Mick Fanning fought off a giant great white shark in the J-Bay Pro finals is leading all major news organizations, from NBC to ESPN to the BBC to ABC to NPR! And it truly is a wonderful one with wonderful footage to go along with. The punch! The thrashing! The open relief on the boat afterwards! Joe Turpel’s, “Holy shit…excuse me.” Pete Mel getting the interview like he is a Vietnam journalist, bombs whizzing overhead but eye on the prize. Amazing!

And Mick’s apocryphal glow will grow and grow and grow. He fought of a great white shark! He is a winner (even though BeachGrit’s pick Julian Wilson is in his second final in a row and don’t look now!).

And the WSL is an equal winner. The J-Bay Pro, if you notice, is nude. It is the J-Bay Pro. Unsponsored. Unembraced by the corporate hug. How livid are all those corporations now? The news story that will play all Sunday long only has the WSL’s smiling (embarrassing and silly like wrestling) logo shining on all.

WSL CEO Paul Speaker recently said, “This is the most exciting time in the history of the sport right now.” I mocked him, openly, suggesting that he took ecstasy. But maybe he didn’t! Maybe he saw the uptick in shark incidents and saw J-Bay on looming on the calendar and saw Mick’s blazing right hand and saw victory.


Holy Shit! (Oh excuse me)

Mick Fanning fights Great White in J-Bay finals!

In the opening minutes of the J Bay Open, the camera fixed squarely on his broad shoulders as he considered the changing lineup, Mick Fanning was attacked by one, possibly two sharks.

The WSL, using the pussified parlance of our times, described is as “the shark incident.”

And fuck if Mick didn’t go straight for his knives! Watch the clip. It takes the champ less than a half a second to flip his board around, and attempt to fend off the prehistoric beast with the trailing edges of his fins!

He full on fights back! Squares up to the fucker. He puts his fins up, only to be get blasted by some waving shark extremity, and knocked off his board.

He’s OK, but the contest has been cancelled. Both surfers have been given a second place and the total prizemoney has been divided ($70,000 each).

It’s very early here in San Francisco and the sun’s just coming over the hill and our house is quiet, the neighbors still asleep, and I’m here losing my fucking mind because I just watched Mick Fanning fight off a fucking shark in real time in the final of the J Bay Open.

My alarm went off, I made coffee, got the stream going, and literally, wham. 

“I was just sitting there and I felt something grab or get stuck in my leg rope and I instantly just jumped away,” Fanning said. “It just kept coming at my board and I was kicking and screaming. I just saw fins, I didn’t see any teeth. I was waiting for the teeth to come at me as I was swimming. I punched it in the back. I’m totally fine, I’ve got nothing wrong with me. There’s a small depression in my board and my leg rope got bitten and I’m totally tripping out.”“I was just cruising and waiting for my turn, my opportunity and I knew Julian (Wilson) was down the point,” continued Fanning. “I was just about to get moving and start paddling again and all of a sudden I had this instinct that something was behind me. I started getting pulled underwater and then the thing came up and I was on my board and it was right there. I saw the whole thing thrashing around but I was getting dragged under by my leg rope. I felt like it kicked me off but it was still there going and I was still attached to my board. I felt like I punched it a couple of times and then it was dragging me and then my leg rope broke.””I started swimming and screaming and yelling at Jules (Julian Wilson) to move as well, but he was coming at me,” said Fanning. “What a legend, coming after me. I was swimming in and I turned around and I had this thought, what happens if it comes to have another go at me, so I turned around so I could at least see it coming. Before I knew it the boat was there, the jet skis were there and we were in safely. I just can’t believe it. To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked. I want to let all my family and friends know that I’m okay.”“Mick (Fanning) was kind of out in no man’s land so I was really watching him and had my eyes on him,” said Wilson. “Mick (Fanning) was looking down the point and I saw the whole thing pop up behind him. It can up and he was wrestling it. I saw him get knocked off his board and then a wave popped up and I thought, ‘he’s gone’. I felt like I couldn’t get there quick enough. The results don’t mean anything to me, I’m just happy he’s alive. I literally thought when I was paddling for him that I wasn’t going to get there in time, especially when I saw him off his board and swimming away. I thought it was going to grab him and take him under. I’m so happy we’re both on the beach right now, I was so worried about Mick’s life.”

The live stream is dead now. It reads: thanks for watching.

“Life’s more important than a surfing contest,” said Kelly.

(This is what Kieren Perrow said)

(And a highlights wrap)

Bleak: Day four, J-Bay Open, 2015

Who woke up in the black of night to watch the Slater-Fanning-Medina "Super Heat"?

I was up into the middle of the night waiting for the WSL “Super heat” to go. Fanning, Medina, Slater; you’re not gonna find those guys surfing together in round three very often.

So, yeah, “super” heat.

Super boring heat.

Watching the three best competitive surfers in the world struggle to eke out points in wind-blown slop was depressing.

“Not the peachiest day out there,” said Ross Williams as rain fell, as the wind blew.

“A tricky, peaky situation,” said Pottz.

While thrills were scant, the mathematician Adriano De Souza, often a latte bore, calculated a score needed to beat Nat Young and Wiggolly Dantas, hucked his tail high enough, and eventually rode out.

Alejo had electric moments. He seems to have built a killing machine out of an old wheelbarrow.

Ace Buchan shoved his clean turns down Kai Otton and Julian Wilson’s throats.

Want round four in fifty-nine seconds? Watch here!

J-Bay Open Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.70, Kai Otton (AUS) 13.50, Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.77
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.57, Nat Young (USA) 8.77
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.90, Kelly Slater (USA) 12.27, Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.94
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.34, Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.04, Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.27

J-Bay Open Round 5 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)