More: Dumb Questions to Ask Surfers!

Do you dye your hair? Are you as good as Kelly Slater? Is the water cold?

The game of surf is a source of endless fascination to the wider world. All but impossible to learn once you exit adolescence, it punches the buttons of danger, difficulty, fantasy and spirituality.

And, so, if you’ve surfed longer than a few years you’ll know the following questions. You’ll know them so well you’ll have a rehearsed answer for each.

1. Do you dye your hair?

All of us, even those with the darkest of hair, gets a little streak here and there of blond if we surf enough. What happens is the sun crushes all the melanin in our hair and ’cause hair is dead, we go blond. And yet, at every party, family get together, we’re asked, “Do you dye your hair?” And all the science in the world can’t convince ’em otherwise.

Your response: “Yeah, I do. It sets off my chocolate skin, non?”

2. Are you as good as Kelly Slater?

Parents and potential mates will ask you this question, most seriously. As in, surely, if you’re out there every day you must have achieved a level close to, say, Kelly Slater? What can you say? That it’s the most difficult sport in the world, that to even attempt one new move you have to manoeuvre yourself out the back, snatch a wave from a crowd, get to your feet and then find the appropriate section to even attempt a turn, let alone achieve any kind of brilliance, let alone match the greatest athlete ever in sport?

Your response: “I think my cutback is a little stronger although, when you balance everything, I’d say Kelly still comes out on top.”

3. Have you surfed Mavericks/Jaws/Waimea Bay?

Surely, with enough practice, the mountains of Mavs, Jaws and the Bay become more accessible? What can you say, when a genuine, Hawaiian-style four-foot wave terrifies most of us? And that big-wave surfing is pure existentialist terror?

Your response: “Those overrated shore breaks? I like to surf my mountains away from crowds.”

4. Do you surf in winter?

Any time the air temperature drops below 65 and the water below 60, you’ll be hit with this incredulous question. Of course, you must play it up. You are a warrior who bravely fights the elements, for whom hypothermia is but a bug that you will squash with your numb hands.

Your response: “I have to, even if it kills me. It’s when the waves get good.”

5. Will it take me long to learn to surf?

…as asked by an adult. Oh, you poor thing! Do you want the truth? No, because you will never learn or would you rather the feel-good lie, “It depends how often you practise.”

Your response: “Theoretically…”

6. Will you show me how to surf?

It depends. Will you yelp and cry and shriek and complain? Or will you handle being tossed over the falls of an impossible-to-surf shore break on an eight-foot soft board?

Your response: “We go at five am…”

7. Do you ever get scared of sharks?

Every single second of every single session and you long for the day when shark nets cover the globe. Often you fantasise of an ocean without man-eaters.

Your response: “We’re in their domain and if I die, I die. At least I’ll be killed doing what I love.”

8. Have you been to Hawaii?

The truth is you’re too damn terrified of the waves and the crowds to go near the joint.

Your response: “Hoping to spend a few months there this winter.”

9. Are you going surfing (while carrying board)?

Your response: “No I’m a delivery man for an ironing board company.”

Ty Swan and Pascale Honore.
Ty Swan and Pascale Honore.

Duct-Tape Surfing Heroine Dies

Paraplegic Pascale Honore made headlines surfing while strapped to Ty Swan… 

You would’ve been caught up in the viral fingers of the Duct Tape Surfing a couple of years back. How could you not? It plucked heart strings like nothing else! Cute surfer delivers the thrill of the ocean back to a middle-aged woman who’d busted her spine in a car accident.

The surfer was South Australian Ty Swan (boo of BeachGrit favourite Brinkley Davies) and the woman was his pal’s French-born mom, Pascale. Ty figured, “I wonder if you can surf on the same board? I could duct tape you to my back and surf, I don’t see why not.”

Pascale said, “It’s shown me you can still have a dream and things are possible… I remember looking up, the colour, the sound, being part of everything, being part of the water.”

Pascale, who was 52, died over the weekend of complications following surgery.

“Ty and I have been in a lot of places in the last few months and we have met so many people who know of Pascale and are amazed and speak of her as an inspirational and a beautiful soul,” said Brinkley this morning. “We had a free-dive for you today and then listened to live music on the beach here thinking of you and could imagine you sitting there with us, Coyote, Morgs, Tom and the whole west coast crew… I’ll forever take you with me in my mind wherever we end up on this planet.”

Duct Tape Surfing from Mark Tipple on Vimeo.

The Inertia

Just in: Kauai Locals Besiege The Inertia!

Much-loved, if racist, surf website, banned from Hawaiian paradise…

The decision to post a video of a well known and typically pretty shitty Kauai beachbreak landed The Inertia in hot water this week. Shot by local crackpot Terry Lilley, the video is about five minutes of freight-train rights and bottoming-out, near-dry reef left barrels.

It’s no secret that Kauai has very good surf, nor is it a secret that the locals have traditionally done a very good job of keeping it under wraps. Topography plays a factor, there’s no Seven Mile Miracle equivalent on Kauai.

Coastal access is limited, meaning it can fire all day without anyone being the wiser. But, mainly, people are pretty smart about not posting photos or footage. No one wants to become the next Oahu.

Online reaction to the post has been, by and large, negative:

Way to go inertia kooks 


Kauai boyz living in California will be paying you guys a visit real soon!!! U fucked with the wrong island!!! Rule number one you don’t fucking film on Kauai! Rule number two you don’t fucking post it!! You broke both of their rules nd I just got word they are searching for you in California pal! Enjoy yourself punk!!

you shouldn’t even put “reef guardians” in the video. In fact you shouldn’t even have made the video. These locals defending their area are the real reef guardians not you clown. And you will learn sooner or later. Kauai is one big family ready to fight for what they think is right weather people like it or not. And if you guys don’t like it #nocomekauai

Thanks for exposing our zones u dumb kooks. 

You guys are fucked and engoy runing beatiful spots . Guys like u is why locals gotta move away from their homes. Bumbai you learn the hard way.. fucking kooks is right u should take this shit down. I heard guys are looking 4 you now 

Just another stoopid haole for u. No respect. U is the definition of one HAOLE! Cannot just come here and film our surf zones. U just put a big target on ur back brah Remove the video!! 

Kauai boyz living in California will be paying you guys a visit real soon!!! U fucked with the wrong island!!! Rule number one you don’t fucking film on Kauai! Rule number two you don’t fucking post it!! You broke both of their rules nd I just got word they are searching for you in California pal! Enjoy yourself punk!! 

These guys don’t learn, they got punked out last year and hid in their rooms at turtle bay.. Fucken scrubs! 

Chava Greenlee, Kai Garcia, Kala Alexander, find the admin… 

Tell the whole fucken world dipshits!! Fuck the inertia..this is why when kooks come here they get slapped.. 

Inertia is fucking lame and always has been! Now you’re narking off more spots that will lead to increased crowds and more tension in the water. Stay in L.A. and keep your mouths shut! 

Explore, exploit and claim. Mentality is still the same as the first white man that discovered Hawaii. 

He is clipped. He can no longer show his face on Kauai beaches 

I emailed Alex Haro, The Inertia Senior Editor and all-around nice guy, to see what he’s been dealing with:

“Oh god, that shit’s crazy. I can see their point, though… but it’s not a secret spot at all, is it? I only lived in Kauai for three months, and that was the first place I went, I think. Although it didn’t look anything like that at the time.

“Been fielding hate mail all day… but it’s still not as bad as the stuff we used to get from the entire country of Brazil. One of them wrote my girlfriend and told her that she’s ‘in a relationship with a xenophobic, dick-sucking homo,’ which I thought was nice. I had to Google xenophobic, because dick-sucking homos are illiterate, I guess.”

Personally, I’m stoked that I didn’t come in from surfing all high on adrenaline and post it social media myself. And, even if I, theoretically, had, I’m sure I would have seen the shit storm brewing in enough time to wipe my electronic trail clean and dodge any accountability during the ensuing clusterfuck.

Because, empty threats of violence aside, I’ve gotta live here.

How to Enjoy The Minutiae of Surfing

It isn't just about the grand gesture or the majestic "swell event." Find magic in the little things…

There is no other sport with such a potential for grandeur as surfing. Football? Tennis? No matter how good you get, you’ll still be in a court of the exact same dimensions. All that changes is the size and intensity of the crowd.

But, surf?

One week ago we saw the recently head-injured Jeremy Flores (but “not brain damaged”) win in an arena that could just as easily have peeled a new flap in his skull.

And all of us know of those great days at our own beaches, when spectators line the beach and choppers hover overhead, and we find, or at least experience, a momentary grandeur.

But surfing can’t always be magnificent.

In fact, it’s rarely even good. Most of the time we nose our boards around imperfect wind-swells while competing for the experience with dozens of other surfers. Grand it ain’t.

Lately, I’ve been trying a few things to squeeze even more joy out of my sessions. As in trying to find beautiful experiences in the smallest of moments. Perfect waves? They happen, and when they do you’ll embrace like an old friend, but their scarcity shouldn’t be something to fret about.

Here are five tips to punch up the thrill of your own sessions.

1. Learn a new move: Here’s a secret. Practise something enough and you’ll learn it. Surfing is tough because you might get that one wave and that once section that lets you try that frontside reverse or club sandwich only a few times every session. But the joy it gives you when, finally, that board spins around, the fins connect back in the face, and you realise you’ve completed your first air reverse, even at some ridiculous age, is profound. Your enthusiasm goes through the roof. And you don’t need – you especially don’t need – good waves to try new moves. Never become one of those homebodies who sees a pro throw the fins and says something along the lines of, “Oh, that’s amazing, I don’t know how they do that!” Yeah, you do. There’s enough HD slow-mo cam going around to dissect any move.

Never become one of those homebodies who sees a pro throw the fins and says something along the lines of, “Oh, that’s amazing, I don’t know how they do that!” Yeah, you do. There’s enough HD slow-mo cam going around to dissect any move.

2. Open your eyes underwater. There’s so much going on under there. Swim out without a board, before or afterward, and watch the waves from below. Discover how the three-finner generates tremendous cavitation and turbulence through turns while the quad is foam free. Actually witness the way energy spins through the tube.

3. Don’t check the surf. So many days are wasting driving from spot to spot. Drive to the carpark, suit up, paddle out and vow to surf, to the limit of your ability, the waves on offer. Futile surf checking is the ultimate killer of a surf buzz.

4. Study sections. Every wave has at least three or four different sections. Learn to identify what you should hit, where you should top turn, cutback, toss the fins, spin or jump into a straight air. Look closely! They’re like secret little doors. It’s our secret garden!

5. Watch the best surfers. It’s fortunate that we can so closely examine the ways of the sport’s best. Any other sport you’d be behind a fence or 100 yards away in the stands. There’s not a thing stopping you from paddling out at Emma Wood to sit side by side with Reynolds or doing the same at Snapper with Mick and Joel. Watch how they paddle, their level of focus, the way they drop into a ledging wave.

It might be the school of hard knocks but it’s there you learn well, and you learn fast.

Who is JOB

JOB? “Gross! Creepy! Old!” says Shaved Teen

But maybe case of mistaken identity!

Part of me feels like I should hate Jamie O’Brien. Not for any real reason, the few interactions I’ve had with him have been really positive and he comes across like a very nice guy.

It’s just that all his clips make him look like he’s having so much fun, and trying so hard to market that image. And, you know, trying isn’t cool. Cool people don’t try, they don’t care about anything. Because life is, like, pointless, man.

Damn, though, doesn’t his life look awesome? So much fun. Killer waves, a bunch of cronies, hot and cold running pussy.

Or so I assume.

A few years back I ate Thanksgiving at my wife’s employer’s house. It was lame as hell, everyone was glued to their cell phones like a bunch of spoiled teenagers. And there was only one teenager actually present. A smoking hot little eighteen-year-old nugget with small tits and a firm plump ass.

We’d been playing in the pool all afternoon and she was rocking this tiny little up-her-butt number. The kind that shows off how well her aesthetician handles waxing duty. God damn… if only…

I lost my temper and yelled at everyone for rubbing on their phones during dinner and made them put them away. Then my future unwed teen baby mama started talking about her previous night. Apparently one of her friends had ditched her at a North Shore house party so she could get humped on by some dude she just met, and girlfriend was pissed about it.

“It was so creepy, this one old guy kept trying to get me to come home with him. I had to leave and call a friend to pick me up.”

“What’s old?”

“Like, thirty. Gross. Do you know the guy? His name is Jake Brians or something, they said he’s a famous surfer.”

“Jamie O’ Brien?”

“Maybe. I don’t know. He kept saying I could stay at his house if I couldn’t find a ride.”

Poor JOB.

I, too, know the sting of appearing elderly to the ripest. Little girls can’t handle body fur, they want their boys smooth and lithe as a shaved otter.