Fact: Surfing is better than skating!

In every way but also two very important ones.

Our own Rory Parker wrote, passionately and eloquently, not one week ago that skateboarding is better than surfing. “Other than the whole slamming-face-first-onto-concrete side of the sport, skating is pretty much better than surfing in every way…” he says.

He included progression, lack of interest in contests, superior art in his reasoning and when I read, and saw the attached Big Brother magazine photos and older videos I thought, “Oh Rory…you are wonderful but also wonderfully wrong!”

I’ve met hundreds, maybe thousands, of people who point to skate’s superiority over surf and most of them also point to Big Brother. “So raw!” they crow. “So unafraid!” But do you want to know something? Big Brother stopped publishing magazines in 2004, over a decade ago or an eternity in popular culture terms. It is no longer relevant in any way, shape or form.

Today’s skateboarding is different. Totally fine but not better than surfing and I won’t give three reasons, I’ll give two. Li’l Wayne and Justin Bieber.

The pop stars have embraced skateboarding like no famous person has maybe ever embraced surfing. Li’l Wayne has started a skate label (Trukfit) and Bieber’s newest music video is a pure skate feat. Ryan Sheckler (who sparkles) but also himself doing nollies or something. They both go to skate contests. They both feel comfortable showing off their skillz. And they shouldn’t! I’ve seen Weezy skate and he is terrible. A total embarrassment. Yet when he shows up at skate films the crowd erupts. I would like to think that if he showed up at surf films, after bogging rail, the crowd would boo. Also Bieber is as awkward on a skateboard as he is dancing. I don’t know why they feel so comfortable embracing skate publicly. I don’t know why skate lets themselves be embraced so publicly but it ain’t a great look.


Certainly many famous people surf, or try to surf, but none of them start labels and none of them make surf videos. And Cody Simpson doesn’t count as famous.

Surfing is better because it self-regulates, ruthlessly. It is the most fascist subculture on earth save Neo-Nazism (I once edited a whole Stab issue under this theme! You can maybe buy it here!) In any case, surfing is the narrow path and that makes it gorgeous but also, and really, getting into the saltwater and gliding on God’s energy beats everything but sex. And it always will.

How much: For pro surfing?

The WSL is not (currently) on the block but if it was......

The markets are emotionally unstable 13 year-old girls aren’t they just though? One day it is blue skies and soaring stocks. The next day plummeting depression and Chinese corrections.

And speaking Chinese, did you read today that Dalian Wanda Group, headed by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin ($37.5 b) bought the Ironman Triathlon today for $650,000,000.00? The Ironman Triathlon! Swim/bike/run! Six/hundred/and/fifty/million/United/States/Dollars!

The original Ironman is, of course, Hawaiian, being first run on the Big Island. There are lots now, maybe 200 or so but the season ends each year back where it all began. Kailua-Kona!

In any case, DWG wanted the event to diversify their portfolio (because Chinese stocks are all shit right now. Buy low! Sell high!) and are actively looking to purchase more sports’ properties. Sports are hot across the board right now because they are generally enjoyed in real time and have multiple revenue sources. Which brings me to the real nut. Will the Chinese try to buy the World Surf League?

Let’s pretend they do want it. How much do you think it is worth, really? Oh, don’t be a hater. Whether you love or very dislike, it must be admitted that professional surfing is a going concern with growth potential. And Ironman actually had massive debt. So how much? How much do you think it is actually worth and how much do you think CEO Speaker and co. would take for it?

Also, do you think if we all got together we could crowd fund that amount?

Florida surfing
Dirty Florida surfing is the… real shit!

Opinion: Gulf Coast Surfing is the Real Shit!

Terrorizing gutless Florida peaks. Ain't a thing funner!

Three months (or has it been four? Maybe five…) of gloom and doom, fog and wind have come to an end here in San Francisco.

Save a few short hours of rare light, breathless afternoons, small southerly pulses, it’s been a summer of lowered expectations or jaded proclamations.

I haven’t surfed in months, some say! But I have.

Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with even the slightest hint of swell we’d be out there, trading logs in trunks, boiling in the balmy brine. For twenty years I lived like that.

A too-many-year-long stint in New York City, a brief foray back home, and now three years of San Francisco. I’m still a goddamned child as far as groveling goes.

For three years I’ve surfed more and better than I have in my life, even these last three months. The right boards, the right drugs, the right amount of desire, and piddly windswell feels fresh and fun and easy fucking breezy.

At night, like all of you bastards, I get lost down rabbit holes of surf clips. I’ve watched Nathan Florence’s gorgeous Chopes grinder 100 times.

I’ve fallen asleep (not out of disinterest, though!) to Sampler and Brother and Cluster – ripe with boosts and barrels and boring fucking lifestyle filler  – regularly, waking alone on my couch or in my office, my dog snoring like freight train.

But more than anything I’ve watched clips of Cory and Shea, Eric and Evan, Gorkin and Hopper, absolutely terrorizing gutless Florida peaks and Dirty Jerz beachies.

Because that’s the real shit right there.

Brighter and bigger days lie ahead for us here in the land of ripping tidal currents, schizophrenic wind and weather. Surely this fall will be a dream.

But never forget summer, you bunch of babies.

Jill Hansen surfer model attempted murder
Jill Hansen is the Hawaiian surfer and "model" who was charged last year with second-degree attempted murder after a 73-year-old Hawaii woman was seriously injured after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in the garage of her own apartment building. In 2010, Ms Hansen spoke at TEDx on supernaturalism, divinity, omnipresence, telekinesis and spirituality. Like, yike!

Jill Hansen Not Guilty of Attempted Murder!

The “professional” surfer Jill Hansen has been found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity…

A quick recap: Hansen, a self-styled “professional” surfer in her early thirties, was charged with second-degree attempted murder for an attack in which she stole a 73-year-old woman’s car, ran her over with it, and attempted to flee.

Somewhat notorious in the surf world for her delusional self aggrandizement, Hansen is also known for performing what may be the best TEDX talk ever.

(Click here)

The trial, delayed due to her ongoing mental health issues, was a brief affair, involving only testimony from three mental health experts, “who all agreed that she suffered from multiple symptoms including voices, paranoia, and grandiose delusions and was not capable of understanding what she was doing was wrong.”

(Read it here)

Dr Tom Cunningham, a psychologist who’d examined Hansen both before, and after, the attack asserted on Wednesday, “She has had this very serious illness for a long time. I know that the prosecution pointed out just because you have this disorder doesn’t mean you are not responsible for what you do, but she has been seriously impaired for a long time.”

(Click here)

Lest the ruling confuse any of the more bloody minded among us, this does not mean Hansen gets off scot-free. Far from it.

Rather than a clearly defined sentence, Hansen now faces an indeterminate time in Hawaii’s only state run mental institution. (Click here to read about that.)

It is NOT a happy place.

Filipe Toledo
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Gimme: Brazil’s hysterical nationalism!

How I sometimes wish I was born in 1995 and on gorgeous Copacabana.

Yesterday’s discussion of Filipe Toledo’s brave cowardice opened my social accounts’ floodgates. Brazilians unfollowing in droves! Angry messages in the inbox!

And oh how the jealousy burns in my heart. As a middle-aged American, you see, it is very difficult to get excited about other American’s accomplishments. I grew, unfortunately, in the 1980s-1990s and it was uncool to show any sort of patriotic love for country. It was very cool to be ironic and slacky and shoe-gazey.

And oh how I’ve been robbed because I watch young Brazilians defend Filipe Toledo on the merits of him being a Brazilian and how fun does it look? Like a wonderful extra pastime. Like pure heaven.

Of course, it is thinly veiled racism to say Brazilians are “passionate” or “fiery” and that is not what I am saying. I am saying I’m jealous of the ones who have unfollowed, the ones who post screeds on message boards, who dance in their hearts when Adriano de Souza wins and cry in their caipirinhas when Gabs Medina loses because it looks a lot funner than gazing at my shoes.

Brasil, eu te amo.