Just in: 95% of Byron surfers say yes to shark cull!

Businesses closing, deserted beaches, no one surfing… 

Whatever you think of the ethics of fishing for dangerous sharks, you can’t argue that shark attacks are good for business. Oowee, Ballina, just down the coast there from Byron Bay, is suddenly a ghost town.

In February, surfer Tadashi Nakahara was killed by a white. A month ago a bodyboarder was hit by a white and is still in hospital. Last week, a little further down the coast, a surfer fought off a white. This afternoon, a shark knocked a surfer off his board.

The Ballina council has been dropping 16k every weekend for a chopper to patrol the beaches. What doth it see? Seven great whites, some ten feet long, some closer to twenty, plying the near coastal waters.

Close Ballina’s fabulous beaches ’cause there’s sharks and what else have you got? You want tourists to come play in their cavernous mall? Stroll the aisles of a regional K-Mart?

“I’ve been in Ballina or Byron Bay all my life and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ballina shire mayor David Wright said at a community meeting held on Monday night. “People who have surfed every morning for 40 years are not going in. People are pulling out of holidays from caravan parks and other accommodation. If you’ve seen the Mick Fanning footage, that’s happened 10 or 11 times in this area this year.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald,

“Surfers on the NSW north coast have overwhelmingly voted for a partial cull of sharks following an unprecedented number of attacks and sightings along the world-famous coastline. The extraordinary development came during a heated community meeting on Monday night, in which residents were told some businesses were about to fold because visitors were too scared to come to the area for beach holidays. Le-Ba Boardriders Club president Don Munro, who organised the meeting for boardriders from Byron, Ballina and Evans Head shires, said about 95 per cent of the 200 people present voted in support of  ‘controlled management or culling.

“It would involve killing sharks that have caused repeated problems, such as the seven regular great whites spotted in aerial patrols.

“Surfers are more environmentally aware than most, we live in the water, we have an appreciation that we’re in their domain but … now it’s just gone crazy and no one really knows why,” he said. “The thing is, what price do we put on a life?”

Read the full story here. 

Yesterday: Snapper Rocks was insanely fun!

And the world’s tiniest helicopter was there… 

Whatever you think of the drone jam, y’gotta say, right now, it’s hard to fault the vision they steal with their prying little eyes.

The clip below from the weekend just gone in the southern hemisphere, and presented by Gold Coast clothing label The Mad Hueys, makes you think, am I doing the right thing living where I’m living, surfing the waves I surf?

Wouldn’t my life, by virtue of the endless tubing seen here, be infinitely better if I were to shift my game to that atavistic, no-future strip of hookers and gangsters, wife-beaters and ice eaters?

Surfing all day, maybe tossing cards around at Jupiters at night, living the supposed dream?

This I wonder…


Let's swing back in time to the world of Morgan Runyon's and Ray Klein's Runman 2… 

There are two surf videos that had a huge impact on my young life, yet are nearly impossible to find copies of nowadays. My favorite was Voluptuous, that hour’s long collection of insane rippage, with some sick weirdness springled throughout.

Danny Way had a surf part in it (and dude killed it by late 90’s standards.) There was Chris Taloa shredding on his stand-up boog, a pre face tattoo Joe Crimo doing pop shuvits, some hot young thing deep throating a banana, and the soundtrack was comprised of the very best punk rock music my pubescent mind could imagine.  My only copy eventually ended up dead, murdered by countless VCR rewinds.

Then there was the Runman. Such awesome punk rock degeneracy, I loved ’em all. Runman 69 was my fave, closely followed by Runman 2I haven’t been able to watch any of them in years, so I was delighted to find a quick google search this morning turned up some copies online.  Still no 69, but the first and second installments are up on youtube for all to enjoy.

I’d feel bad about linking to it, if it were available for sale. But it isn’t, (click here).

Enjoy while you can, I’m sure it’s gonna get hit with a DMCA request shortly.

Here’s an interview BeachGrit made with Ray Klein a lil while back about the brilliant short he made as an extra for The Bruce Movie in 2005, but that ended up being the highlight of that otherwise disappointing film. 



Scary: The Lunada Bay Boys strike again!

Wanton violence erupts on Southern California's beaches.

We at BeachGrit take the issue of surf localism very seriously and, as such, have reported on each and every turn of the Bay Boys saga. “Boy” may confuse the reader due the “middle-aged” nature of the “gang” that “terrorizes” Southern California’s Lunada Bay but the fear they strike into the heart is very real.

Recently, a British journalist was teased when he tried to surf (read his terrifying account here). And even more recently, one 56-year-old surfer told another 66-year-old surfer to “Get out of the water.”

According to the Daily Breeze:

Just before 7 a.m. on July 31 a 56-year-old surfer called police to the 700 block of Paseo del Mar in Bluff Cove to report alleged harassment from a 66-year-old surfer who told him to get out of the water, said Sgt. Tony Gonzalez. The man said he feared retaliation on his car parked above the beach.

When officers arrived, the alleged heckler told police the caller actually was the aggressor and pointed to a group of fellow surfers to back his claims.

Officers took down the man’s information and returned to the blufftop to inspect the caller’s car, finding no damage, Gonzalez said.

But about an hour later, the victim called again to report that his flip-flops were stolen from the beach while he was surfing and his vehicle had been kicked with muddy footprints.

You read it right. His flip-flops were stolen and his vehicle kicked with muddy footprints. It’s hard to think of such wanton violence in relation to our meditative art but such is our fallen world. Read the rest of the story here if you have the stomach.

Pragmatic: “Shoot rogue sharks!” says surf legend!

Wayne Deane, yeah Noa’s pops, ain’t one to mess around… 

If you came of age, like I did, on Queensland’s Gold Coast, when the surname Deane comes up, you don’t automatically think of boy wonder Noa.

You think of Wayne. The shaper. The minimalist surfer owning the sets on any swell of note that swings around Point Danger. One of the tough, old-school men.

Respect? Yeah, he got.

When Ballina, an hour south, started turning into some kinda bad remake of Jaws, with Great White attacks and sightings of 20-footers common, Wayne said what was on a lot of surfers’ minds.

A shark hits someone? Shoot ‘em. 

After surfer Craig Ison was hit by a White at Evans Head last week, Wayne told the Gold Coast Bulletin (who thought I’d ever quote the Bulletin!), “They should’ve killed that shark. That’s what happens when a dog bites a kid, they euthanise the dog… I wouldn’t go surfing down there (Northern NSW) unless there was a drone hovering over my head keeping watch.”

According to the GCB, “Mr Deane said sharks were coming close the beaches in such large numbers and it was only a matter of time before another attack. ‘I just think something needs to be done,” he said. ‘It doesn’t matter whether they are being protected, human life is being lost and life is being maimed.’”

The Gold Coast, as the story points out has had drum-lines in place in 1962, and you want to know how many fatal attacks that’ve happened in 53 years? This little stretch of coast with the most dense surf population in the world and one that’ll surf, quite literally, at night? Take a guess. Twenty? A dozen?


Read the full story here.