Just in: The Device Revolutionising Surfing!

Want to surf but can't swim? No problem!

Are you the type of foolhardy moron who likes to play in the ocean despite a total lack of ability? Do you wish you could kill your child while retaining plausible deniability? Are you frustrated by the presence of an overly healthy rotator cuff?

If so, you’re in luck! With the new Kingii water safety device, the latest in poorly thought-out crowdfunded inventions, all your dreams can come true!

Where is the Kingii useful? Just watch their video and you’ll find it’s perfect for:

“…a situation where an adult may not be present.” Because who has time to monitor their children in the backyard pool?

But what if your kid is too scared to swim unsupervised? No problem! Extensive testing has found that “giving kids Kingii makes them confident in the water.”  Which is great, everyone knows that, in an aquatic environment, confidence trumps actual ability nine times out of ten.

And it’s not only for helping keep your progeny’s hand dry while their blue corpse floats just below the surface. Kingii also has awesome surfing applications!

I reached out to Alec Booker, the guy handling press inquiries for Kingii to find out more. While he couldn’t tell me what size surf it was tested in, he was very assertive in claiming that it was tested by “established surfers who were  “receptive to the weight and safety features.” Receptive!

Another of the Kingii awesome features is that it requires a proprietary CO2 cartridge, priced at only five times the cost of pre-existing cartridges, guaranteeing it will work in a sticky situation, without burdening consumers with ability to quickly and easily purchase replacements at their local sporting goods store.

But wait, there’s more!

The Kingii comes with compass attached, perfect for those times you find yourself floating miles out to sea with no idea where land lies. By taking a simple bearing you’ll be able to easily determine in which direction you should undertake a miles long swim with an inflated bag attached to one wrist. And it has a whistle too!

It’s only a matter of time until the Kingii water safety device becomes all pervasive, and we laugh at the backwards past when people relied on idiotic notions like life vests and swim lessons to keep themselves safe in the water.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s what others have to say:

“Kingii is the perfect alternative to life jackets for beginner and advanced swimmers of any age. Now, for those who would previously forgo wearing a life vest, they can have the same security without the restrictions or discomfort.”

-Tom Agapiades, Kingii founder

“It’s a simple safety precaution that seems obvious in retrospect.”

– Devin Coldewey, NBC News

“The Kingii is one of those why the hell didn’t I think of that? inventions.”

-Juan Hernandez, The Inertia

“This is a crowdfunded project, and as such may not deliver what its creators initially promise. Most crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have policies about what happens to your money if the project fails to deliver on its goals, but choosing to back a project is inevitably a risk.”


“I’ve had six babies and five of them were born in the ocean. I got bit by a brown recluse spider on my face.”

– Some crazy lady I picked up hitchhiking

“…the team admits there’s no way of knowing how many people its proposed approach could save…”

-Liat Clark, Wired Magazine

Yessir, the Kingii water safety device is a godsend for neglectful parents and water enthusiasts alike. Just pop one on your young’uns wrists, have a few margaritas, take a nice long nap, and you’ll be able to watch your disposable income levels soar!

Update: Bodyboarding is chic!

Once relegated to the mists of time, our noble brothers are back!

I just posted a fine story about Marcus Mariota, Oregon Heisman winning quarterback, NFL star in waiting, not signing his rookie contract because he wants to surf (read here). But I was wrong. New information has come to light from Portland news beacon The Oregonian.

“…Mariota is a native of Hawaii, where surfing is a national sport. Mariota knows how to surf, but he has said he’s more of a body boarder. The report also explains why surfing would be good for Mariota in terms of muscle relaxation and rehabilitation. In addition, surfing can help Mariota unwind by allowing him to get away from the pressures of being the face of the Titans franchise.”

And there you have it. Body boarder. I have been made aware, very recently, of a sea-change happening in the boogie community mostly from following the Instagram account DickDraggers. (you should follow too) At first I thought the posts were just funny riffing…and maybe they are…but more often than not a total hipster shows up shooting the sandy curl. It is amazing. And with the Marcus Mariota news, I think true. Bodyboarding is officially back. If you start today, you can scoff at all the bandwagon jumpers that follow. I think it is a can’t miss opportunity. Now get that body on a boogie!


Update: Byron Shark Attack(s)!

Bodyboarder critical after hit at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina. Attack at Lennox. Gromfest suspended… 

Yeah, so, another surfer has been hit around Byron Bay, that zeitgeist-y place you to go to escape the madness of city life. All those rainbows, all that leashless longboarding, miles and miles away from Sydney’s rotten urbanity, but now rivalling Margaret River as the sharkiest joint in Australia.

Here’s the latest attack:

A 32-year-old bodyboarder, Matt Lee, was surfing with his pals at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina, around 10 when he was hit on the legs by a four-metre (close enough to 15-foot) Great White.

Pals helped him to the beach, paramedics stiffed the blood (it took ’em an hour to stabilise him), and he’s been airlifted to Gold Coast Hospital. He survived emergency surgery but remains in a serious condition.

(Who remembers a fatal attack at Lighthouse? Yeah, 2008, 16-year-old bodyboarder Peter Edmonds hit… twice.)

Back in February, Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara died when he was hit by a suspected Great White at the next beach. Out of nowhere, Tad was paddling back out when the (maybe) White hit him from below. Took off both legs. That attack happened a day after another surfer was attacked a couple of clicks up the coast at Seven Mile Beach, Lennox.

Last September, a swimmer died in waist-deep water when he was hit by a suspected Great White just near the Pass in Byron.

Today, one day after the attack at Lighthouse, a surfer was knocked off his board by a shark at Lennox Head. Uninjured, but fuck.

All beaches are now shut between Tallows and Ballina which ain’t great news for the two million or so kids at Skull Candy’s Gromfest at Lennox which has been suspended.

The Department of Primary Industries has authorised a permit for the great white, which is still hanging around (see video) to be destroyed.


Mason Ho Pipe
You wanna surf Pipe? "Don't shoulder-hop," says Mason. | Photo: Laserwolf

How to surf Pipe (and Backdoor) with Mason Ho

Three most essential tips!

Last year, the Hawaiian Mason Ho  won the Backdoor Shootout and placed second at the Volcom Pipe Pro, beating Kelly Slater in the process. The year before he owned Sunset and finished third at the Volcom Pipe Pro.

Dino Andino, father of Kolohe, has known Mason since “forever” and says that Mason has an “uncanny ability to rider the tube, to control the speed of the wave” and that, alongside John John and Jamie O, “he’s the guy out there. When it’s heavy he’s just getting started.”
Why should you even throw yourself out at the world’s best, but most dangerous, wave? What have you got to gain, anyway?
“Well, first,” says Mason, “every little surf town has that one spot where all the heavies go, where all the icons and all the tourists go, and on the North Shore it’s… Pipe.
Have I sold his qualities? Now let’s hear his three tips on how to cut yourself a slice of the greatest wave on earth, Pipeline.
1. Don’t shoulder hop at Backdoor
“Okay, this is counter-intuitive,” says Mason.”You spend the whole beginner years of your life believing the shoulder is safer. But Backdoor is dangerous on the shoulder. You’re going to take off with the lip on the shoulder. So! Kick back, wait for the best wave, and takeoff behind the peak. A bonus is you’ll actually get deep.”
2. How to make the barrel at Pipe
“It’s a series of connect-the-dots,” says Mason, who admittedly, does it better than anybody. “Everybody sees different lines but there’s always a certain line, an instinctual line. There’s bubbles, there’s a double-up, all this stuff coming down the wave. You need to draw a line across it all and just… shoot. You beat off the chop, you beat down the double-up, you ride-out the foam-ball.” Confidence?  Yeah, you need it.
3. Ride a bigger board than you think
Mason has got his act down to a point where he can ride a larger-than-average board, in his case a six-three, and catch anything. And not just the outer reef roll-ins, but even the radical inside ledges. “I like to move around when I paddle,” says Mason, who enjoys the momentum a larger board gives. “The bigger boards make it easier to roll in, sure, but it’s nice to have a big board to swing around under the ledge. I don’t die big boards all the time but they do help me get to where I want to go.”


Want to get to know Mason? Watch this! 

How to: put a little zing into your surf game!

Who doesn't want to get better, like, now… 

(Photo of DH at J-Bay by Steve Sherman)

You know it, oh god, yes you do. When you flick off a wave and you think… man… I just did the same turns and covered the same tracks as I did a year ago.

You can call it a rut or you can call it getting comfortable.

Whatever, it’s the fast track to boredom. It’s the first step in the decline of your surfing.

So how do we get back that feeling we used to have when every single wave presented a new and interesting canvas, when you’d go to bed at night dreaming of sections, dreaming of turns you’d never made but you knew you were close to nailing?

Here are five tips to turn your lazy ass around.

1. Get desperate

Remember Bells in 2014 when Jordy Smith needed a 9.97 to beat Julian Wilson in round five?  The scores are 17 to 12. It’s a massacre. He’s gotta surf the wave of his life to win the heat. No chance.

Forty seconds on the  clock and he strokes into a three-footer. No chance in hell is it a wave that offers a perfect score. But Jordy being Jordy, pumps down the line, finds a section and lays down a cutback that he sprinkles with the sugar of a rail held longer than usual.

Immediately he swings back up into the lip and throws the dial 180 degrees, foam climb, pump, four cutbacks into the shore break and a slightly-boned air reverse that he rides out of almost up into the Winkipop rocks. Three judges score it a 10, two don’t. Final result: 9.93.

He doesn’t win but it’s the perfect example of desperation’s enlivening effect. How do you artificially create desperation? Limit your surfs to one hour, max. 10 waves. Even if it’s pumping. Those 10 waves are all you’ve got. Make ’em count. Add a bonus extra wave if you try a move you’d never attempted before; two extras if you ride out of your new turn.


2. Surf around pro’s

After a while most of us are good enough to call ourselves one of the better surfers at our beach. We occupy the main pack, we get the sets, we feel confident. But what happens when a pro paddles out? He takes off later and deeper. He surfs faster and more critical than you thought was ever possible. And it pushes you to try harder. Whenever you can, maybe it’s around a contest, maybe there’s a pro who lives at another beach, surf around their times. You want to grow? Follow the best. Kolohe Andino still remembers Clay Marzo going ham at the 2005 NSAA’s. “I just remember thinking to myself, I really want to do that,” says Kolohe.

3. Find a new shaper

So you’ve ridden the same boards for the last five years. That’s great! Now find someone else. Unfamiliarity is a great stimulant. Ask anyone who’s fooled around a little on the side.

4. Focus on one move and nothing else

One day you’ll swing into your beach and you’ll find conditions perfect for, say, alley-oops. Problem is, you’ve never done  ’em. Steep little sections, a puffy breeze sticking your board to your feet. No cutbacks no reverses. Alley oops. Alley oops. Everything you do has to revolve around setting up the Turn You’ve Never Nailed.

5. Look stupid

During the filming of Bending Colours on Reunion Island, Jordy got one hellvua shock. All that ultra-HD footage showed just how contorted a surfer has to get to make turns. Dignity? Forget about it. “I looked like a monkey,” Jordy said after. It’s a lesson to savour. The best surfers in the world? They’ll do whatever it takes to get rad. Leave your self-consciousness in the car park.