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.


“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.

Irish surfing

Candid: The Irish are the greatest people on earth!

It's true! And the waves, oh the waves… 

I’ve been lucky enough to travel pretty extensively. After my wife got her undergrad degree we sold everything we owned and spent a year traveling around the world. Good times, lots of adventures, some of which I should really start putting down in words.

Like the time I got drunk and agreed to fight a professional Kurdish kickboxer (I did not win that fight), or the night we did filthy, filthy, things to two beautiful 19-year-old backpackers from Vermont (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a girl stick a digit in her best friend’s ass).

Since Americans rarely travel we spent a lot of time with other types. It’s how I learned that I really don’t care for Italians or Belgians or Israelis (just the men though. My god, are Israeli women beautiful!), that Argentine men are gorgeous enough to tempt the most hetero soul, that Australians are a blast but don’t know when to turn it off…

Like the night we did filthy, filthy, things to two beautiful 19-year-old backpackers. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a girl stick a digit in her best friend’s ass.

…and that the Irish are my favorite people in the entire world.

The accent, the no-holds barred ball-busting, the good-natured drunken rants about football, you’ve just gotta love the Irish.

Unless, I suppose, you’re English. Then you just steal their land and force them into underclass status.

Winter Glow from C-Skins Wetsuits Europe on Vimeo.

Winter Glow is a short story from Irish big wave surfer Ollie O Flaherty. Filmed and edited by Kev Smith. Presented by C-Skins Wetsuits.

Todd Kline, Mick Fanning, Joe Turpel and Mark Occhilupo
Todd Kline, three-timer Mick Fanning, Screaming Joe and once-only Occ.

Warshaw: “Pottz is a bully! Joe Turpel is so blank!”

The great surf historian barbecues the WSL commentary team… 

The Encyclopedia of Surfing (click!) is the ongoing, life-work of the former pro surfer turned surfing magazine editor turned historian, Matt Warshaw. This morning, Matt wrote a hurtful piece barbecuing the brave men and women who front the WSL broadcasts.

Here’s a taste.

“Martin Potter’s jaw-grinding voice sounds as if its been filtered through six espresso shots and a migraine headache. Ross Williams’ has me considering preemptive adenoidal surgery for my son. Todd Kline? Car saleman. Rosy Hodge? Who can hear her above the angel choir and softly strumming lutes?

“And then Joe Turpel. During a trifling Round Two heat between a couple of backbenchers, Peter Mel, from the channel, reported that he wasn’t sure if Glen Simpson was or was not riding a quad, and Turpel replied “Thanks for the insight, Pete!” at which point a rhesus monkey began flinging itself against the opposing sides of my skull because Mel’s comment was exactly, definitively, almost scientifically the opposite of insightful. Turpel hurts me on a both a professional and personal level.”

(Read it in full here)

Immediately, I challenged Warshaw to back up his cruelty in the following email exchange.

BeachGrit: Why do the commentators trouble you so? I love every single second! Joe, whom you say hurts you, is the voice of surf! No does it better than Martin Potter… 

Warshaw: Growing up in Los Angeles as a sports fan, you listened to Vin Scully all summer and fall, and Chick Hearn all winter and spring. Scully was the Dodgers announcer; Hearn did the Lakers. Both guys were so incredibly good. Vin was the ultimate in laid-back cool, very even-toned, unflappable, but so deep-down smart about the game, and had a million little stories vignettes that he’d casually drop into the conversation at the perfect time. Hearn was the opposite, all hyper and excitable. But again, monstrously smart about the game, and filled up with great stories. The point being, you’d turn the radio on just to be in their presence. They were every bit as good at what they did, every bit as practiced and professional, as the guys they were covering. So right there, that’s the unscientific measure I put to the WSL announcers. How good are they at their job compared to the guys they’re talking about? One-tenth as good? No way, not even that high. I mean, with Scully and Hearn it was the exact opposite of the WSL, where lots of people hit mute during the webcast. Even if the Dodgers or Lakers were having a shit game, you’d keep the radio on for the announcing. Vic Scully, by the way, is still at it. Eighty-seven years old! Sixty-six years in the biz!

BeachGrit: Of the WSL crew, who does it best, y’think?

Warshaw: Ross Williams and Ron Blakey. Ross has a friendly presence, and knows what it’s like to be out there hunting scores. But his voice has me reaching for the Mucinex bottle. Blakey I like too, and he’s probably the one who could take it furthest, but there’s something weird he does with word emphasis that kind of drives me up the wall. Just sort of boldfacing words to generate excitement, even when things aren’t at all exciting. It’s like a guy revving his bike in neutral.

BeachGrit: Potter?

Warshaw: He just seems irritated at all times. He’s kind of a bully. He likes to intimidate. He’s always been that way, even at 15. It made him great as a surfer, but it doesn’t work in the booth.

BeachGrit: Strider, he of the fantastic steroidal tits? 

Warshaw: The greatest mystery of all. Fantastic surfer, amazing life story, from all accounts a super nice person. But Strider’s ongoing WSL presence is maybe the best indicator that the organization has no real interest in improving the product.

BeachGrit: And Joe!

Warshaw: Has to be the WSL’s sweetest, most decent person. And has the best TV face, after Rosy Hodge. But just so . . . blank! So opinion-free. Joe brings nothing to the table but mellow, mindless enthusiasm, and yeah it drives me nuts. Tell me again what you like about him?

BeachGrit: What do I like? The sing-song tone and, yeah, the pretty face. I do like Ron and Joe’s matching Hugh Grant foppish cuts. 

Warshaw: What happened to the newbie, the girl from LA? What was her name? She wasn’t doing the heavy lifting, just quick little post-heat interviews mostly, but she was good. Chelsea Cannell! The best of the whole WSL gang actually, in terms of doing her job right. What happened to her?

BeachGrit: What did happen to Chelsea! This I’ll investigate! You liked her too?

Warshaw: Very much! If she was let go, wow, see if she’ll tell you what it’s like behind the scenes. Except she probably won’t. Too nice. Too professional. What I said about Potter earlier, you know, he’ll be the guy, once the WSL craters, who gives us the real story. I’m so looking forward to hearing about what this has all been like the past couple of years. The paranoia and secrecy and lies are going to explode someday and it will be amazing, and Pottz will be the first to tell us how it all went down.

BeachGrit: Would you ever do it?

Warshaw: Step into the booth?

BeachGrit: Yes!

Warshaw: Oh fuck no! What those guys are trying to do is incredibly difficult and fraught and just terrifying. I wouldn’t set foot in there for a million bucks. People have this idea that you just stroll in, put the headphone on and start slinging bon mots—no way! It’s just like surfing at the highest level. You need natural talent, and you need to work at it constantly. It ain’t like sitting around watching the webcast with friends. It’s a high-wire act, and I have huge respect for anybody who does it well.

BeachGrit: Last one, where are the people of colour? Is surfing that racist they couldn’t find one commentator of African descent? Or anyone LGBT? Or a native Indian? Or a Muslim, maybe? 

Warshaw: Sal Masekela was pretty good on the mic. Too bro-down, too much of a back-slapper, but smart, and has such a great voice. Strider’s in there, but not Sal? How is that possible? There must be so much at work here that we just don’t know anything about. Maybe Strider works for free, and Sal wanted to get paid. Who knows?

Laird Hamilton nude
"Give him food and sex regularly. These are the two biggest ways to show alpha males you care," says Laird's athletic wife Gabrielle.

Advice: “Give him sex and food regularly”

How does Gabrielle Reece keep her alpha Laird Hamilton happy? Guess!

How’s the saying go? Behind every great man…

Doubt for a second Laird Hamilton is a great man? Nope, me neither. Turns out Laird’s wife Gabby thinks so too, so much so she has four basic rules to keeping her “Alpha Male” happy.

Mrs Hamilton shared her “Controversial Secret to a Happy Marriage” with Lewis Howles on his “The School of Greatness” podcast.

“Even though some may find the following advice controversial, she had some smart things to say about how important it is to enable alpha males to stand in their power,” says Howles. “Gabby shared that by honouring her partner in this way, it allows him to support her as a strong powerful woman, which is a key to their successful marriage. She also pointed out that it hasn’t been smooth sailing all through the years.”

Amen to that. Oh honey…I’m home!

Gabrielle Reece’s Four Rules for Keeping Your Alpha Happy…

1) Respect his masculinity and give him space. Men know what they need to do when you give them the space to do it and allow them to step into their power.

2) Give him food and sex regularly. These are the two biggest ways to show alpha males you care.

3) Allow him space to be tender and honour you as a woman. Even very masculine men need to tap into balance by showing their softer side.

4) Don’t try to be his mother. An alpha male does not need that authority figure in his partner.

(Listen here)

(And in case you missed it, here’s the ESPN nude shoot)

Candid: I’m fat as hell, and it sucks!

Good god, I'm pathetic…

I could make excuses if I wanted. I just came off an absurd two-year run of injuries and illness.  Broken bones and ruined shoulders and life threatening infections requiring lengthy hospital stays don’t make it easy to stay fit.

But let’s be honest.

I could have eaten healthier, I didn’t need to chase those Percocets with a half-dozen beers. It’s all my own damn fault. Maybe partially my wife’s for loving me unconditionally.

But now I’m healthy again, or something resembling it, and I have a good forty pounds I’ve gotta shed before winter. I can fuck around in summer slop all day long, but if I want to blow the dust off that gorgeous pintail gun I picked up two years ago I need to be lean and mean.

Which means exercise everyday and lots of veggies and no more beer. The last is probably for the best, when a lady at the recycling center comments on how many empty Pacifico bottles you’ve got it may be time to take a break.

Lest you make the same mistakes I did, here’s the reality of being a fat surfer.

Your ribs hurt: I don’t mean the standard soreness you get after a really long session, every session feels like a mule kicked you in the rib cage.

Don’t give in and slather your pits in vaseline or whatever other gunk they sell fatties specifically for that reason. Embrace the agony. Let every burning stroke be a reminder, you look like shit, you surf like shit, and you deserve every ounce of pain.

Your arm-pits too! Arm-pit rash? That’s a thing? Good god, I’m pathetic.

Don’t give in and slather your pits in vaseline or whatever other gunk they sell fatties specifically for that reason. Embrace the agony. Let every burning stroke be a reminder, you look like shit, you surf like shit, and you deserve every ounce of pain.

Your boards don’t work anymore: All those stark white high-perf rip sticks piled in the corner are a recipe for struggle and pain and blown sections and self-loathing. No more blow-tails, no more airs, just bog and struggle and fucking suck. You’ll find yourself thinking, “Wow, longboarding is super fun, maybe I should add a few more to my quiver.”

Don’t do it! That way madness lies.

You look disgusting: You know that gorgeous piece of ass who’s always out at your local break?  The one who only surfs okay but rocks a thong and jams mind blowing duck dives? Wouldn’t it be nice to go chat her up, maybe lure her to your place for a few glasses of rotgut followed by an intense session of slap and tickle? Well, guess what? It ain’t happening.

Maybe you could’ve pulled it off, once upon a time, but the moment you catch a glimpse of your saggy hanging paunch in your driver’s side window reality’s gonna give you a kick in the nuts. You look like her dad, and no girl wants to bang her dad. Well, some do, but that’s a ball of crazy best avoided.

You’ll want to kill yourself when buying clothes: Want to end your day sitting in your car sobbing hysterically? Go ask the teenage wage slave at your local shop if they have any board shorts larger than a 38. The eye roll followed by “No” is a soul crusher.

All memory, no muscle: The best sessions are the ones when you aren’t thinking at all. Your mind goes blank, the body takes over, and you’re flowing effortlessly from bottom to top, fading perfectly into the pocket, nailing late drops like it ain’t no thing.

But when you’ve packed on a thick layer of blubber it don’t work like that no more. When you’re slightly inside and the wave of the day rolls straight at you and your mind says, “Just spin around and two stroke in, you got this,” you’re in for a ride.

Because it takes four strokes to get your fat ass over the ledge now, and you’re a split-second slower than you used to be. And now that guy, the one you used to sneer at when he blew a perfect barrel or bogged off the top and flailed over the falls, is YOU.