Fate: How John John Florence Met Blake Kueny!

Featuring Jordy Smith's honeymoon.

The most anticipated surf film of the year is, of course, View from a Blue Moon starring John John Florence and directed/filmed by none other than Blake Vincent Kueny (watch the trailer again here). It may seem obvious that the finest young surfer in the world would find the finest young filmmaker and the two would form a magical bond that crackles from the screen.

John John’s surfing? Blake’s images, razor sharp edit and singular direction? but it was not.

The fates intervened like they do in all storied collaborations. Like they did with Scorsese/De Niro, Winding Refn/Gosling, Nolan/Caine.

Mr. Kueny was once Jordy Smith’s principle filmmaker. He traveled the globe, shooting and editing most of Bending Colors (though credit for the film went to Kai Neville). It was a good life and Jordy was a star.

There was a kid his own age, though, that the people were buzzing about. A two-named wonder named double John.

Before he was on Hurley, John John rode for O’Neill and Jordy, of course, rides for O’Neill so the two would end up on trips together and Mr. Kueny was there filming the action. On one trip, Jordy brought his beautiful girlfriend and turned it into a honeymoon, leaving John John and Mr. Kueny by their lonesomes to talk shop, dream, create.

That ended up to be the true honeymoon and the two joined forces shortly afterward.

“Did it go well, you leaving Jordy?” I asked.

“It could have gone better. I could have handled it better…” Mr. Kueny responds “…but it is ok now.”

It is more than ok. And because Jordy turned a surf trip into a honeymoon we all benefit. Some things were simply meant to be.

(Watch Jordy shine under Mr. Kueny’s spotlight here)


perfect wave
Peel off a couple of hundred k and this is your front yard.

Gimme: A slice of beachfront Sumatra for $200k!

Got a little trust-fund cash? Want your own retreat fronting a spitting A-framer?

Surf-wise, y’can’t really swing past Indonesia. It squats right over the equator there so you don’t get hit by wind like you do in the Pacific or Indian (or Atlantic) and those south swells are as reliable as the morning call to prayer in this corner of the caliphate.

Want a piece?

There’s 2873 square metres of beachfront freehold land for sale to private buyers (i.e. not anyone wanting to start a surf camp) on Palau Simeulue in North Sumatra (Aceh).

It sounds like a dream! “The property is located on Simeulue Island in North Sumatra (Aceh) Indonesia. Approximately 200 meters from a world class Peak, which Aura Surf Resort is situated on. The property faces west on a 2km long white sandy beach and enjoys picturesque views of the ocean and outer islands, as well as amazing sunsets. The beach 50 meters to the north also has excellent consistent waves. Simeulue has consistent surf all year around. There are approximately 10 waves across the 150km long island.”

There’s a development plan for two bungalows, which the nearby Aura resort will build.

And once you’ve tossed over your 200k (which you can make over five easy payments during the construction of the bungalows) all you’ve gotta cough up is $534 a month for maintenance and whatever airfare it is to visit your kingdom every six or so months.

Buy here! 


Koda Beschen Munich
It might've been a huck and jib fest in the pool, but lil Koda Beschen, youngest of Shane Beschen's boys, burned rails! | Photo: Surf and Style European Championships

Kinda rad: World Chop-Hop Championships!

At Munich airport, can y'believe… 

It’s been almost 25 years since Tom Lochtefeld invented his FlowRider stationary wave, an idea that came to him while he was in his custom bathtub in 1987.

“Now this tub was not just an ordinary Kohler – it was my custom design, with a picture-window view from La Jolla Cove to Blacks,” says Lochtefeld. “Flying swan spigot, two outback shower heads, and eight custom Jacuzzi jets turbo’d by a five horsepower pump. Not one to just relax in the lap of luxury, I hooked up a series of hoses to those jets and started squirting water up molded plastic sheets. Voila, the FlowRider® Stage One.”

The FlowRiders, which y’can find everywhere from cruise ships to bars and, soon, China, resemble a moving skate half-pipe and, crucially, all those stationary waves created, sometimes by chance, sometimes by design, at rivermouths and at certain parts of a river.

What it means is, cats who grew up surfing at, say, the Munich Eisbach river wave, absolutely own FlowRiders. And, last week, at Munich airport (FlowRiders are so portable!), the Surf and Style European Championship was held (okay, not the world champs when it comes to stationary wave jams, it’s close) and, surprise, the Germans dominated.

What a thrill to see names like Fritz and Moritz in the limelight!

Yeah, y’can write it off as a chop-hop fest, but there’s something liberating about seeing gals bust out their fins and an absence of floaters or dead air as two surfers wait twenty minutes for a set.

Best of all, my old pal Quirin Rohleder stomped everyone and won the masters. (Hello to you!)

Anyway, here’s the clip. Do with it what you will.


Best Surf Movie Ever

Humour: This log movie is so bad it’s awesome!

Nothing serious, just a funny lil movie of surfing crumbs, having fun…

I talk a lot of shit about longboarding, but if I’m being totally honest, I actually ride a log pretty often. I don’t go in for the single-fin plank though. Give me a rockered out potato chip of a 9’0″.

Yeah, they break like crazy, and they feel a hundred times cooler than they look, but what do I really care? I’m a married man in his mid-thirties. If I can’t dork it up to my heart’s content, then who can?

I think my real problem with longboarding is how seriously it’s taken. Because, I mean, it’s supposed to be all about fun, right? And if you’re having fun you really shouldn’t be worried about being taken seriously. It’s like rocking up to a bar right before last call and looking for the horniest slag in the room to creep home with. Super fun, nothing wrong with it, but if someone wants to bust your balls for taking the easiest road possible you should just shut your mouth and take it.

If I had my druthers and could pick my poison, I’d rather watch Bonga charge bombs at Second Reef than a bunch of long hairs style it up at Byron Bay. That scene’s just too thought out for my taste. Too many lifestyle shots, too much time wasted on skinny boys staring soulfully into the distance.

Knobs is the first longboard vid I’ve seen in a long time that didn’t leave a sour taste in my mouth. Nothing serious going on, just playfully tongue-in-cheek wave sliding in Redondo Beach slop.

And my buddy Tom’s brewery, the King Harbor Brewing Company, got a shout out in the credits, which is pretty neat.

Three days of local Ed Factor and friends action!


How to: Shoot Down an Asshole Drone!

Those lil 'copters driving you crazy? Blast 'em to bits with special new ammo!

I love drones. Not the sort that annihilate Islamists, their brown faces lit up by US ordinance in the murky interior of their Yemeni huts, but the little helicopters that gift us surf footage that was once only available to anyone with the cash to hire a helicopter.

Lately, howevs, there’s been a swing in opinion against drones.

Late last year, BeachGrit ran a story by New Yorker Robert Fazio where he wrote, in part, “Not only has the angle become tired, when I go to the beach I don’t want to see some asshole with a soul patch piloting a drone because he can’t surf the wave that he is filming.  Drones are obnoxious and ugly and they create unoriginal footage that reminds me more of CNN’s coverage of a crash site than it does of scantily clad men riding pieces of foam in paradise.”

(Read the rest here)

Now, thanks to Snake River Shooting Products, there’s a 12-gauge  shotgun shell built specifically to take down drones.

Let’s read the press release!

“Drones or light-quad-copters are one of the best-selling new gadgets on the market, and were among the top new Christmas gifts given in 2014. Stories about drones are hitting the news daily in both positive and negative light. While a great product idea, unfortunately, drones have a tremendous potential for misuse and these misuses have been happening more and more frequently.

“With the ability to carry on board cameras, drones have been and are being used for spying on unsuspecting neighbors and others without their permission. With little regulation surrounding drone use, there is much confusion about what a person may do to defend against drone threats.

dronemunition

“Drone Munition was created to provide defense against the danger caused when drones are misused. Drone Munition is lead free, safe for the environment and provides a very high quality load that will effectively disable a drone encroaching your property’s airspace. As a side note, the round also makes for a very high end hunting load for ducks, geese or turkeys.”

You like? Buy here! 

Note: I ain’t a lawyer and I’m definitely not across international laws, but it might be illegal in some states to start shooting drones out of the sky. In the meantime, here’s a wonderful drone clip from the Tasmanian photographer Stu Gibson.