A Punic Celebration of the Hurley Pro!

Literature or cruel, child-like poems?

Emily Dickinson once commented, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”

In this interlude between Hurley Pro lay-days, new guy to the BeachGrit scene and aspiring poet laureate, Mr. Mariano Landa, has a go at rhetorical decapitation.

Those riding the swells of Lake Trasimene:

Julian Wilson:

Ever you fail us,

dashing golden-locked man child.

Caught more gash than waves.


Taj Burrow:

Flick, flick, smile, flick, flick!

(Johnny Gannon chokes on his

voluminous lips).


Bede Durbidge:

The commoner’s champ:

Father, fisherman, tall guy.

Hype? Longevity.


Miguel Pupo:

Pete Mel claims your flair

for smooth heel whips is his own.

Erudition weeps.


In anticipation of a lone Carthaginian:

Filipe Toledo:

CA surfing died

upon relocating there.

Dino cries feebly.


Joel Parkinson:

Written off, jokes made

about his title laurels?

Beseech overhead waves.


Adriano de Souza:

Australia hates you?

So do I if you triumph

over Wiggolly.


Wiggolly Dantas:

The formidable

right-footer displaces storm clouds,

adroitly brilliant.


Adrian Buchan:

Wait a hot minute!

It’s 2015? Aghast

that you’re still standing.


Mick Fanning:

The Tweed River has

more melanin content

than your heat pairing.


Gabriel Medina:

Thoroughbred glutes, ‘midst

a marvelous boxer’s chin,

alas, all business.


Nat Young:

Chopes or Lowers,

Actinic Keratosis

threatens your success.

Tomoz, or maybe the day after, Filipe, here, is going to swing his blade to a real impressive, if unsurprising, win at the Hurley Pro.

How to Win Trestles Without Trying!

Want to know why Trestles is a skate park one day, a burger drive-through the next?

I’m not even going to try and shit you. I wrote this a year ago.

But the knowledge contained herein is timeless and, I maintain, even now, useful. It features, as most things I do about Trestles or even vaguely mainland America, the quotes of Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, a shaper who stole my heart a sixteen years ago with a round-nose fish I scooped out of the racks at Pukas in Spain.

Matt, as you might know, has been living in San Clemente and surfing Lowers since the eighties. Half the tour grabs a Mayhem pre-Hurley event.

And, with the finals maybe tomoz, or the day after, I figured, how about a little stroll down memory lane? It’s not as if the physics of the wave have changed.

BeachGrit: Who owns the lineup outside the contest?  

Mayhem: As with any spot that is easy to surf, you have a crew of older, respected, average-ability guys that kinda rule the outside sets. Most the sets get ridden by average skilled surfers actually. Then there is the mid-pack and you have a revolving door of regular rippers there: Yeomans, the Gudangs, Ian Crane, Jer Carter, Jeff Lukasik. Theres an old guard of great surfers like Cordell Miller, Kenny Caldwell and Robo type guys. Kolohe is the best surfer every time he paddles out. He catches bombs, insiders and mid sets. He surfs it as good as anyone alive. Then on the inside you have the super groms. Griffin Colapinto is prob top dog right now. There’s too many of them to even list. It’s crazy how many good 11-to-15 year olds there are in town right now. After all that, you have Chris Ward. He is the one who really owns the line-up. He has special contact lenses that make everyone else in the line up disappear. I think he gave a set to his daughter as well.

BeachGrit: Describe the effect on the wave of the different swell and wind directions, this time of year? Sometimes it’s burger-y; sometimes it looks like the most appealing of skate parks. 

Mayhem: A pure solid, long-lined south swell is best. Super sharp hurricane-angled south-easters are sectiony and closed out. The more west it gets, the mushier the right gets and the left gets shorter. Broken-up swells are not good. Too peaky, makes the waves soft and broken up. The wind is pretty mellow. The only truly bad wind is a south wind. It’s like the Devil Wind at J-Bay. Unless you have full-on storm condition, of course, then west and northwest wind is bad too. We actually like a little onshore ripple, it holds you in the wave. Offshores look pretty but they limit the variety of moves the good surfers can do on the waves.

BeachGrit: Why does Kelly win nearly ever year?  

Mayhem: If he isn’t the best surfer at any given time, he makes up for it by being  the best competitor.

BeachGrit: Brother’s been surfing the joint for a doz years. Is he ever likely to win? 

Mayhem: Some day he will.

(And here are the quarter-finalists!)

Strong: Coco Ho Displaces Water!

Take a look at Coco blowing up Lowers during yesterday's lay day… 

Yesterday was about Mason, today let’s take a look at Coco blowing up Lowers during yesterday’s lay day. Waves look super fun, wonder why it didn’t run?

Oops, unintentional couplet.

Anyway, hot damn, does she rip. None of that backing-off-at-the-apex-of-your-turn girly-girl style, Coco manages to displace a fuck-ton of water considering the fact she’s all of five-feet tall and probably weighs in around 100 pounds. I don’t know how many kilograms that is. Like, 30?

I’ve mentioned the time she made eye contact out at Lanis, that was pretty great. I felt like I was surfing really well, so in my mind her gaze held a nod of approval. There was another day, at Ehukai, when I saw her paddling out and tried to lay every ounce of my fat ass into a backside gouge so I could show her how good I surf and…

I don’t know what my plan was. Leave her in awe of my ripperness, ditch my wife, and make a bunch of adorable babies?

What was supposed to be some super sick power hack instead turned into a full speed, no traction, shins slamming into my rail, belly flop. I heard someone laughing at me. I really hope it wasn’t her.

Whenever I watch women surf, two questions spring to mind.

Why isn’t there a female with a killer air game? It’s gotta happen eventually, the current crop has the skills. Very strange.

Why don’t they get horrible wax chaffing on their butts? It seems like you would. I’ve worn speedos surfing a number times and I always end up with a gnarly thigh rash. Which I assume is from sitting on my board. Unless it’s indicative of some sort of surf triggered STI.

How obvious is it that the guy on the longboard is just staring at her butt the entire wave?

Okay, I guess that’s three questions.

Give me a break, I’m a writer, not a mathmagician.

Dane Reynolds turn

5 Ways to Put More Power in Your Surfing!

Treat waves like submissive concubine!

It’s the most visceral of surfing experiences. You feel it as much as you see it or hear it. You know what I’m talking about. Those rail-buried-to-the-nose cutback and hacks that hypnotise, and even scare just a little, as you paddle over a wave.

Airs are thrilling and easy to like, easy to understand. There’s a speed and there’s a push and a pull and maybe a huck.

But a cutback with fire; a hack that seeks to readjust the molecular formation of a moving piece of ocean?

Well, that’s something for the purists.

Here’s how you can get some…

1. Get the right board

Surfboard design is game of adding and subtracting. If you want extreme power, you’re going to have to lose some of that pop in the tail and the ability to squeeze into the most radical of curves. There’s only a few surfers in the world who’ve got a power-air game, John John, Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds, if you want to know, but I’m presuming you aren’t in that same league. Talk to a shaper. Tell him you want to explode out of your turns. You’ll need more rail length, more thickness, a straighter rocker.

2. You need to be close to the pocket

I once asked a famous surfer, known for his iconic cutbacks, what the secret to his photogenic success was. He leant over, smiled, and said, “You have to be deep, deep in the pocket”.

Well, sure.

“But can you do that?” he asked.

I went out that afternoon, turned up the face of the wave but instead of hitting the lip, I straightened the front leg and flew into the best cutback of my life.

Who knew there was room for a cutback in such tight a spot? I’d never felt a turn so perfect and so vicious. And then it flew back and pierced my cheek, just missing my eyes.

3. Straighten your front leg

Kolohe’s dad, Dino, once a top pro himself, told me the secret to those beautiful frontside wraps that pleases top-level judges so much is  to “straighten the front leg.” Try it. Sounds easy. It ain’t.

4. Aggression

It takes a certain mindset to jam an entire rail into the face of a wave, and in the most critical part of that wave. Airs are a skateboard-esque dance of weighting and unweighting. Power requires violence.

5. Put on weight

Skinny kids aren’t going to shower the lineup with spray. If you want drama in your turns, put on weight, fat, muscle, it doesn’t matter. It’s a physics thing. Kolohe is one surfer whose spray arcs have doubled in the last five years.


Miracle: Vic Secret model lives!

Yfke Sturm is headed home after horrible motorized surfboard accident.

The Victoria’s Secret model Yfke Sturm who was sent racing into a coma, due to electric surfboard incident, with a fractured skull and many broken vertebrae is back!

“E crociera intorno al logo!” Rome’s La Repubblica shouts.

I know because I am in Rome and what a city! Literally eternal.

But back to Ms. Sturm, it is very good news and Laird Hamilton should be pleased. He, of course, wrought this mess upon us what with his infernal fiddling. Hydrofoils one day, Golfborts the next. Murderous motorized surfboards somewhere in between.

When will it end? Thankfully not with Ms. Sturm.

“Che un succulent bella ragazza!” Rome’s La Repubblica gushes.

Being in Rome makes me think about the permanence of surf on this world and makes me realize how fleeting we are. Like Native Americans.

Our collective addition to mankind’s cultural wealth will disappear as quickly as we do. Is that a bummer?

Should we build a giant marble monument in front of Pipeline? Hmmmm. Whatever, I suppose, at least we (Laird) didn’t kill a gorgeous model.

“Succhia uno grasso!” Rome’s La Repubblica sneers.