stoned surfer

Just in: Kauai Out of Pot!

FBI meth bust has dramatic consequences for island stoners…

Last month a fed led investigation resulted in the arrest of five men on meth distribution charges in the little town I live in on Kauai.

(Click here)

As far as I was concerned, that was just great. Fuck meth. It’s a dirty drug, the bane of communities worldwide.

While most dope makes you want to chill, or fuck, or ramble on for hours about things that seem brilliant but are dumb as fuck come the light of day, meth is the only one that makes you want to leave the house and go do shit.

So, yeah, fuck tweakers. Lock ’em up, throw away the key. Don’t bring me some bullshit about rehabilitation. Nothing ruins lives quite as often as that damn drug. Except for alcohol, I guess.


Like steal, or fight, or freak out at the only public bathroom in Kapa’a and make my wife too uncomfortable to use it when she really, really, really needs to pee.

So, yeah, fuck tweakers. Lock ’em up, throw away the key. Don’t bring me some bullshit about rehabilitation. Nothing ruins lives quite as often as that damn drug. Except for alcohol, I guess.

Unforeseen consequences, though. Don’t life just love to toss ’em at ya?

I’ve gotta get fit and a big part of that requires I get off the sauce for a bit. Nothing packs on the pounds like sucking down six-to-eight beers a day, and in their absence, with minimal dietary adjustment and normal fun amounts of exercise, the pounds are just melting off. Yay for me! My boardshorts fit again!

But sobriety…  that sucks.

I’m not trying to be some teetotaler judgment queen looking down my nose at all the chumps who need an altered state to be happy. Sure, I like to get high on life. But I love to get high on drugs.

So I smoke copious amounts of marijuana. I’ve never been much for uppers, and my dalliance with post-surgical opiates has taught me that I need to stay away from those fuckers. They’re just too good.

Which is why I met my hookup at a local happy hour last night. I’m out of pot.

Because I’m an adult, and because I can afford it, I’m over buying in small quantities several times a week. Much better to buy a big ol’ sack of weed every month or so, toss a handful in a mason jar, stick the balance in a dark place somewhere house guests won’t accidentally stumble onto it.

It’s a great system, people who sell drugs as adults are usually either kind of weird or outright sketchy, and I don’t like having them over to hang out. It’s a weird business deal where you have to pretend you’re friends and I’ve never really cared for it. And I’m not about to try and score from some fourteen year old at the local skatepark. Though, I’ll admit, when I first moved here and hadn’t made any connections yet I gave the idea some thought.

Which leads to the point I’ve been slowly rambling toward.

Last night, as I drank water and picked at shitty bar food and my connection sucked down half-price mixed drinks I got the bad news. The island is dry. Or, rather, not dry, but no one is selling.  Especially not in quantity.

Turns out that the guys who got popped were proper businessmen, were well diversified. Thumbs in every pie, from weed to pills to so stepped on it’s been trampled coke to the garbage that passes for molly out here.

And, since all five are looking at life sentences, they’re rolling over like well-trained retrievers.

The drug world is in turmoil. Stashes are being stashed, dudes are going underground, the crafty ones are getting the hell out of Dodge and bouncing off island. Smart on their part, inconvenient on mine.

“What really sucks,” my connection said, “is that they had the local cops paid off. But it’s the FBI so they’ve gotta hide now.”

Mick Fanning Hurley Pro

Opinion: The Mick Fanning Complex!

Judges don't reward risky surfing? What sort of dystopian future beckons?

The Hurley Pro was the most cringeworthy contest in recent history. While many will point to the fickleness of the surf as the culprit, the judges are getting a pass.

The trend of judges to stray away from risky, progressive surfing is of the greatest concern for the future of our sport.

From Filipe Toledo and Ian Crane’s egregiously scored round two heat (I missed Richie Porta’s WSL explanation of the non-existent make-up score rule) to Gabriel’s heroic swan-dive in his quarter final clash with Nat, the judges were dropping what-the-fuck bombs all over this comp.

The trend of judges to stray away from risky, progressive surfing is of the greatest concern for the future of our sport.

This just in, Progression-Rewind: Trestles no longer a bastion of progression, but rather the perfect canvas to maximise safe surfing tendencies. Nowhere was this more apparent than the semis.

Filipe vs. Adriano and Mick vs. Medina in small, gutless Lowers. On paper, this was a no-brainer. Filipe and Medina for the W. Conditions couldn’t be more rippable. These are the waves Filipe and Medina “drew in their notebooks at school” (queue cliché-induced puke).

As you already know, that’s not what happened.

Let’s take a closer look.

Filipe vs. Adriano. As expected, Filipe smashed shit with crazy change-ups and progressive flare. While this is expected of him, it should never hinder him. In this heat (and the following semi), it apparently did.

I gotta give Ross Williams credit. He whacked the nail on the head when analysing Adriano’s keeper 8.33: “Smooth carves, but then again, pretty low on the scale for difficulty, those are manoeuvres that these pro surfers can do in their sleep, so we’ll see where the judges go in terms of commitment, difficulty. This is solid surfing, it’s a lot of speed, but those air reverses, those spins, those slides from Filipe, MUCH more difficult, so I’m wondering when they’re gonna really throw down the extra point or two for Filipe.”

Unfortunately for the sake of the progression of surfing, Filipe did not get those extra points, not even on his buzzer beater. The key to this breakdown is the “can do it in their sleep” concept, or as I would like to formally dub it: the Mick Fanning Complex.

Fanning vs. Medina. After seeing the judging tendencies from the last heat, I knew Medina didn’t stand a chance. The gauntlet had been thrown down and safe smooth surfing prevailed.

Enter the Mick Fanning Complex. The judges (and commentators) apparently love nothing more than watching the EXACT same combination of turns on the outside to a half-layback safety snap on the inside close-out section. Predictability would be an understatement.

Mick Fanning is often hailed as the most consistent surfer on tour. No shit he is. The dude has been doing the exact same thing for the last 15 years. Look at any contest footage (or video parts for that matter) of his over the course of his career. Besides his boards and boardies getting a bit shorter, he looks, literally, exactly the same. Forget “do it in your sleep” Mick could do it in a fuckin’ coma.

And I ain’t mad at him. It’s not his fault. Why should he change his game up? If he is going to continue to get the scores, he shouldn’t.

Therefore, it is up to the judges. We’ve already seen the likes of Adriano, Jordy, Julian (among others) suckered into the Mick Fanning complex of surfing aggressively safe and smooth. Is that what we want?

I don’t think so. We want to see these dudes go crazy. Put everything on the line on every wave. The most obvious example of this is John John.

Even old man Kelly consistently pushes the progression boundaries, and I love him for it.

However, until the judges start scaling back the scoring on safe surfing, the sport will not progress. You gotta start offering carrots for risk.

Albee Layer judo
Albee Layer demonstrates a judo air. Let's examine the ingredients: front leg kicked out topside, board grabbed the nose. But does he land?

Movie: Albee Layer’s slob grab judo!

And more! Episode five, The Habitat…

I’ve never understood “air wind.” I get the concept, it’s pretty obvious how well a side shore gust can loft you up and out, but knowing and doing are two vastly different things.

As far as I can remember, the last time I tried to take advantage of it was a few years back, surfing the rights that swing wide between Rocky Rights and Turkeys. Overhead whitewater section mowing slowly towards me, nice steep wall got me flying, mid face turn, bend those knees, wind kicked the board from under my feet straight into my face, turning my awesome boost into a flailing fat lip cartwheel into the flats.

These days I’m a power surfer, meaning I’m too old and too fat and have given up trying to surf above the lip. No great loss. My goal was always to surf as well as the guys did in Momentum, an ability level I reached, kind of, sometime around 2010. But, hey, I had those floater to 360 things on lock for a minute.

Albee Layer gets the air wind though. 540 ‘oops, giant sailing airborne section skippers, this ridiculous slob grab judo that put the final nail in Christian Fletcher’s relevancy. Huck and spin and twist and, for the love of god, take care of those joints!

And he paddles Jaws! A charger without a wack small wave steez, I thought that was impossible. For decades it’s been the stink bug or nothin’.

Kai Barger’s killing it too, but I’m not really a fan. He paddled out once when I was in the middle of a magic session, everything coming together perfectly. Just dialed, in the zone, whatever you want to call it. I was feeling godlike, such a ripper, so fucking cool. I should quit my job and join the ‘QS, take the tour by storm, blow everyone’s minds. Who’s this dude in his thirties who came out of of nowhere to win the title his first year on tour? It’s me!

Then Kai caught a wave, tore it to shreds, and made me feel like the biggest kook on Earth. No fair, doesn’t he know how fragile my ego is? Couldn’t he have just let me ride that manic swing while it lasted? It’s only a matter of time until I come crashing back to the ground.

Man films own shark attack
Man gets attacked by shark. Films his wound as he's being loaded into an ambulance. Posts on Instagram. Such social media savvy!

Graphic: Man Films Own Shark Attack Wounds!

…and then posts it on Instagram! Such social media savvy!

You want a demonstration of manhood? How about this cat, the 27-year-old diver John Braxton who took a hit from a tiger shark a few hours ago.

Instead of weeping and maybe praying to Jesus for salvation, he hit the play button on his phone, took a little footage of his mangled leg, and posted it on Instagram (currently at 2037 likes, 1969 comments).

“Hooo! I just got a attacked by a tiger shark! Hoooo!,” he says, breathlessly, as he’s loaded into the ambulance.

The camera pans down to a leg split apart by the shark.

“I love you my brother,” says a pal helping jam his stretcher into the truck.

“Love you too!”

Most of his other 585 other posts are either inspirational quotes, what he’s about to eat, or his kid. Usual likes count, around thirty five.

The backstory on the attack, as reported by is,

“At 3:52 p.m. Sunday (Sept 20) fire/rescue crews responded to a Upolu Point in Kohala for a man injured in a shark attack. The 27-year-old man was attacked by a Tiger Shark which bit him on the thigh and calf. The man was taken via pick-up truck to Akoni Pule Highway where they met medics who treated him and took him to Kamehameha Park in Kapaau where he was airlifted to North Hawaii Community Hospital in serious condition.”

Watch here!

Pray for me love you guys

A video posted by @_braxton_john_ on

Mason Ho Bells

Is a one-board Hawaiian quiver possible?

It ain't a fanciful notion. But what board?

Just recently, I started to plan my Hawaiian quiver. You gotta take boards for Pipe, Sunset, Haleiwa, big Lanis, Jockos, maybe the Bay if there’s a modicum of bravado in that heart of yours.

And then reality hit. What do I ride normally? Dirty little five-eights, a five-ten if it’s six foot. Anything over eight foot and I’m either not interested or I’m searching for a refracted hunk of swell half the size and mowing down the flank of some headland.

So why take a five-board quiver with the required six-twos, seven-os, and eight-footers? Why not take my regular short board and just… go.

Back in the eighties, Cheyne Horan rode 15-foot Waimea on a five-seven. It wasn’t the prettiest thing on earth but he showed what was possible. A decade later, Tom Curren re-awakened the short-board-in-giant-waves concept when he rode his Tom Peterson-shaped Fireball Fish in remote 12-foot reef waves in Indonesia.

And Craig Anderson, whose surfing isn’t hampered by size or volume, rides his little 5’4″ Hayden Cox-shaped Hypto-Krypto in everything from one-foot beachbreak mush to eight-foot top-to-bottom barrels in Namibia to maxi-sized Kanduis in Indonesia.

“There’s no other board I’d have under my feet. Those boards make serious drops if you commit to them,” says Craig.

The Australian shaper Hayden Cox says the HK’s work in all conditions because of the pulled-in tail (hold!) and wide forward point (speed!). For the average guy, a little under six feet and maybe 75 kilos, a five-eight’ll take you through a Hawaiian season, as long as you surf the Rocky Point down to Log Cabins stretch and take off to Honolulu for shopping when it’s a Sunset-only day. (Even the greatest shaper in the world can’t make a weeny board work in the world’s thickest, but mostly fat, wave.)

“The tail as always the dirty little secret,” says Biolos. “It’s the same width as a normal high-performance board was at the time. And it was this lack of a big, wide tail that allowed the boys to surf them in such radical waves.”

The Lost shaper Matt “Mayhem” Biolos proved the worth of his round nose fish concept in the Hawaiian winter of 1997 when Cory Lopez and Chris Ward rode their 5’5″s… everywhere. The movie made from those sessions, 5’5″ x 19 1/4″ (1998), has remained such a classic surfers like Mason Ho still keep the little fishes in their quivers.

“The tail as always the dirty little secret,” says Biolos. “It’s the same width as a normal high-performance board was at the time. And it was this lack of a big, wide tail that allowed the boys to surf them in such radical waves.”

A one-board Hawaiian quiver? Possible? Of course!

Will it cramp your style just a little? Only a little.

Tip: if Sunset gets big, crawl under a house and grab an eight-o. The Volcom house has a ton.