Foam Eating worms
Can worms save surfing from its unsustainable and destructive manufacturing processes? Let's ask Chemical and Engineering news! "Polystyrene—most familiarly produced as foams, including Styrofoam—has given the world cheap, lightweight insulation and containers for taking food to go. But the material biodegrades so slowly that it can sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. A new finding points to a potential solution: Mealworms will dine on polystyrene foam when they can’t get a better meal, converting up to 48% of what they eat into carbon dioxide." Which is a long and roundabout way of saying… yes!

Can Killer Worms Save Surfing?

Foam-eating microbes the missing link in surf environmentalism… 

File it under kind-of-interesting-and-tangentially-related-to-surfing, researchers at Beihang University in Beijing have found that meal worms will eat polystyrene, microbes within their guts converting the foam in carbon dioxide.

(Click here)

Good news for those of us who enjoy sliding waves on hunks of poison. Sure, the people who sold you that EPS import will insist it’s recyclable, but I don’t see anyone rounding up old boards and ripping the glass off of them. That’s shit’s really just a marketing ploy, whatever you’re riding now is destined to languish in a landfill.

So it’d be pretty neat if we could just toss our broken or unloved boards in a pile and let bugs eat them.

But don’t get too excited, like every other cool science story you’ve ever read online, this one is only telling you part of the truth. Yeah, the bugs will eat a bit, but not enough to really make a difference.

“Ramani Narayan, an expert in plastic biodegradation at Michigan State University, says the researchers have made an interesting discovery, but that it is not yet ready for practical application. He notes that about half of the polystyrene the mealworms eat is excreted back into the environment in fragments that may not be biodegradable and could carry toxins up the food chain.”

Mason Ho Bells

How to: buy the perfect summer surfboard!

Because it ain't just as simple as short, wide, fat… 

Who doesn’t love summer? Y’gotta be a schmuck not to fall apart at the long days spent under sailboat skies, in vivid blue water, nailing deadly air after deadly air.

(Yeah, I know it’s a memory in the northern hem, but it’s lighting up south of the zero-degree border…)

But if there’s anything that might ruin these salad days, it’s a surfboard that just doesn’t… work. Maybe it’s too long, too narrow or, maybe it’s built a little thicker to handle you in a thick wetsuit.

How do you choose a summer board? And what’s the difference to the board you’ve been jamming all winter, autumn and spring? Let’s examine the five fundamental differences.

1. Thickness isn’t necessarily your pal in small waves

This is a misconception driven by the whole literage concept. Now that we order boards according to volume rather than specific dimensions, you lose control over the variables of length, width and thickness. For instance, a thicker board is harder to get moving in the lil wind-waves we surf in summer. And you’re either in trunks or a light wetsuit so you don’t need the float. If you’re a 28-litre kinda guy, dump the thickness and go width. Because…

2. Width is almost everything 

Wide boards plane over weak dead sections. Who doesn’t love a narrow board when it’s a jamming reef somewhere in Indonesia and all y’gotta do is grab a rail and watch the lip curl over your head? We all do! But, in summer, in those onshore two-footers, you want a board that has an inbuilt engine. Wide boards have got it. But you’ll also need…

3. A flat rocker

This is the other half of the summer board power-train. Curved boards fit into curvy waves. Into tubes. Maybe you get ’em in summer, maybe you don’t. I’m guessing you’re taking off, racing down the line trying to find some kinda section to hit and throw yourself into the sky. Curves? Forget ’em. Straighten that rocker.

4. Slim down

A heavy board generates momentum. And this is a good thing, a very good thing, in waves with push. In summer, you want a board that is so light you gotta tie the damn thing down so it doesn’t float away. One layer, four ounce, all over. It won’t last a lifetime, but what does?

5. Colour

Winter is a palette of greys and whites, at least in the game of surf. But summer! A white board isn’t going to cut it. I drew my inspiration from a Christian Hosoi eighties skateboard re-issue on my lil Lost Puddle Jumper. It’s psychological, sure, but colours give a summer board a personality. And summer boards are all about personality.

Dane Reynolds turn

Dane Reynolds to Give Away Fortune!

Quiksilver Pro wildcard Dane Reynolds to give prizemoney to charity. But who? Nation of Islam? PETA?

@Sealtooth dropped some interesting info today. Dane snagged yet another wildcard spot, he’ll be heading to the Quiksilver Pro in France, maybe killing it, probably making it a few rounds then fizzling.

He’ll break my heart once again and leave me screaming at the webcast as I watch my Fantasy Surfer ranking plummet.

It’s interesting how the rebirth of his competitive drive has coincided with the arrival of his little one.  I get it, babies are the worst, I’d taking every chance to bounce as well.

Or maybe he’s carting the thing along with him. In that case, shame on you Mr Reynolds!

There’s a special place in hell reserved for those who bring infants on international flights. Hours and hours of screaming and pooping and screaming inflicted on the poor souls around you! It’s inhumane.

Dane also announced that he’ll be kicking down whatever scrilla he reaps from the ordeal, which is pretty cool. He’s even asking for suggestions as to which group he should bless with what amounts to his appearance fee.

Dane Reynolds
Quiksilver Pro France wildcard Dane Reynolds will give away all his prizemoney to charity. But which one? Nation of Islam? PETA?

Because I tend to interpret blanket requests as personal invitations, and because Derek clued me into the instagram post and asked me to write something about it, here are my suggestions.


PETA’s awesome.  Doing the dirty work, taking the blame, ignoring the legions of morons who explode with indignation whenever the organization gets a mention. It’s on the shortlist on groups that have actually wrested some money from my tight fist, along with NPR and the ACLU.

Because invariably gets mentioned, I’m gonna head y’all off at the pass and point out that it is run by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a lobbyist group that spreads disinformation on behalf of the fast food, meat, alcohol, and tobacco industries. If you buy their bullshit you’re nothing but an empty headed chump.

Ayn Rand Institute

A Randian non-profit, has irony ever been so delicious? Not that Ayn was anti-charity, kind-of-ambivalent seems a better descriptor.

“There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”

Such a beautifully ugly philosophy.

Nation of Islam

Derek pointed out that Dane’s profile picture features a picture of a strong black man being strangled by an oppressive white hand. How to interpret that? Is Dane a secret racist, using babies and surfboards and adorable bulldogs to slyly disseminate his racist propaganda?

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 1.32.47 PM

Does he stand strong with his black brothers by illuminating the racial hegemony pervasive in the American system?

Is he merely a fan of Doug E Doug’s contribution to what may be the best ensemble cast ever assembled for a movie about bobsledding?

Whatever the case, be it to publicly make amends or support the movement, the NOI is the place to be.

Rory’s Super Duper Surf Crusade Against Brainwashing and Other Forms of Insidious Indoctrination

RSDSCABOFOI for short.

There’s no shortage of Christian missionary outreach organizations soliciting money to finance surf trips to the deepest darkest, spreading their faith to people who’ve got along just fine without it, maybe picking up some trash along the way.

With Dane’s help I’ll be able to spread the glory of fornication, intoxication, and deviation to the poor boys and girls raised in a system that denies them the joys of humanity.

What RSDSCABOFOI does is reach out to those reaching out, providing a passionate counterpoint by which poor deluded souls may evaluate their own outdated, ineffective, and imaginary ideology.

With Dane’s help I’ll be able to spread the glory of fornication, intoxication, and deviation to the poor boys and girls raised in a system that denies them the joys of humanity.

My extensive program of alternative indoctrination, built around a heavy consumption of illicit substances and sexual experimentation, will assist in converting an entire generation of  devout young men and women to my personal brand of solipsistic nihilism.

Because existence is meaningless, no one is keeping score, and there is no reality but your own. The moment you become a corpse you may as well have never existed, so you better live for now, because the future doesn’t really exist.


Petition: End WSL judging “corruption”!

Do you want to screw the establishment? Just click!

It used to be tough to be an activist. You’d helicopter yourself into Newfoundland or wherever, string yourself up next to a Russian ice-breaker as it attempted to collect the pelts of clubbed baby seals or you’d pilot your zodiac between harpoon and sperm whale.

Watch activists in action here!

It’s different now that most of us are affixed to little computers or telephones with dazzling high-resolution screens. With a tap or a click we can announce to the world that we care about the wretched hordes climbing over Europe, that we, too, demonise the racist pigs with the black man in their sights or, in the case of this online petition, demand the WSL “end the corruption” of their judges.

Noa Aikau has lodged an online petition (click here) that seeks one thousand pointless clicks. Let’s examine, for a moment.

“Demand the World Surf League “WSL” to show transparency & consistency in their judging criteria! Recently the WSL judging system or ‘criteria’ has been put under serious scrutiny do to the lack of consistency in judging and lack of transparency, heat arrangements, long delays in the delivery of some crucial score results and favoritism or bias judging. These corruption problems have been part of the organization for decades when it was still called the “ASP”. Surf historians, retired judges, sports analysts and tour athletes have all come in defense of surfing and have pointed out the organizations lack of transparency in their judging criteria. Since the Association of Pro Surfers “ASP”, auto-transission themselves by changing their name to World Surf League “WSL” there has been an increase in sponsorship but also an outrageous amount of questionable and doubtful critical calls from the judges.”

All of it springs from, I’m guessing, the four-and-a-bit Kelly Slater was thrown for his unmade air at Trestles. What does Noa want? A tour of throwaway airs? Here are the demands.

1. Make the judges panel internationally even.
Ex. 1 Australian, 1 American, 1 Brazilian, 1 South African, 1 Pacific Islander, 1 European

2. Disclose the name of the Judges and where they are from before every transmission.

3. Have the Judges deliver the score within 15-20 seconds from the finish of the ride. Unless a replay is required.

4. Judges don’t get to know other judges scores, nor the score result needed for a surfer to get the lead on a heat or pass to next round.

5. End the corruption.

Anyway, I tossed ’em at the WSL’s Dave Prodan, the media guy, for responses.

1. Make the judges panel internationally even. Ex. 1 Australian, 1 American, 1 Brazilian, 1 South African, 1 Pacific Islander, 1 European
Fair point and an essential part of removing (even the perception of) bias on the judging panel. Fortunately, this has been a part of the formulation of the ASP-now-WSL judging panels for years – every men’s and women’s CT event has judges from North America, South America, South Africa, Europe, Australasia and Hawaii as do major QS events.

2. Disclose the name of the Judges and where they are from before every transmission.
All judges are logged into the scoring system with their respective IDs so athletes or the Commissioner’s Office can go back and discuss scores with individuals if needed. If I’m not mistaken, the judging panel is something that is often outlined during both the broadcast and beach commentary (I know Dave Stanfield is a big fan of that particular role call) so there’s certainly no effort made to hide who the judges are. They’re the best in the world, and they’re frequent subjects of discussion and the WSL is fortunate to have such a committed and talented group of individuals in this arena.

3. Have the Judges deliver the score within 15-20 seconds from the finish of the ride. Unless a replay is required.
That’s certainly the goal and it happens the majority of the time. However, the petition’s author is correct – occasionally, replays are required to ensure the score is accurate and within the scale of the current heat. Additionally, there are a number of extenuating circumstances that may delay a score from dropping – multiple surfers up at the same time is a frequent one. However, to track back to the initial point, the judges endeavor to deliver the most accurate score in the fastest way possible on every ride – it’s not only essential to the viewers at home but also to the athletes in the water.

4. Judges don’t get to know other judges scores, nor the score result needed for a surfer to get the lead on a heat or pass to next round.
Fair points points and discretion and objectivity have been foundational elements of the ASP/WSL. Judges are not permitted to review one another’s scores before logging them into the system. What a surfer needs, in terms of advancing through a heat, is not a factor when scoring a wave.

5. End the corruption.
I’m willing to put dimes to dollars that, in terms of international sports, the WSL judges are some of the most honorable and respectable officials on the planet. Surfing’s a subjective sport and fans are very passionate. I’m a fan and I’m passionate and I don’t always agree with every score, but I do acknowledge that I’m not a judge. The panels that score the world’s best surfing are made up of committed, talented individuals who are not only damn good surfers themselves, but have unique and unparalleled abilities in terms of breaking down surfing performance as well as memory retention for scaling throughout any given day. They’ve cut their teeth offiating amateur events, then shadowing WSL pro junior event judges, then cycling in, working up through QS events and onto CT panels. They have no regard for where someone is from, the stickers they have on their board or what the pundits are going to say when their favorite surfer gets beaten fair and square by a lesser-heralded individual. All they care about is the best surfing on the planet and, as intimated previously, the WSL is exceedingly fortunate that we have them at the helm.

So far the petition has 86 clicks from countries including the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. The majority it seems, are from Brazil. Which seems odd to me, considering the current world champion is a Brazilian and three of the top seven surfers on the WSL are Brazilian.

Will you sign?

John John Blake Kueny
California Blake Keuny met John John on a trip to South Africa. They got on. They became pals. A year later, while on a snow trip to Mammoth he was summoned to breakfast with John John and his mum, Alex. "Do you want to come film with us?" he was asked.

The Best Surfer-Filmer Duos in (Recent) History

The four most desirable, and mostly platonic, two-ways in surf!

There’s a symphony between certain talents that creates more than the sum of their parts. Can you imagine Maroon Five without Adam Levine? Or pro surfing without Kelly? It just don’t have the same zing.  Whose clips, whose films, do you hunt and wait for?

Here, in the game of surf, are the four sharpest surfer-filmer combos.

Kai Neville and Craig Anderson

When you’re the thirty-something filmmaker Kai Neville you don’t have to look far for inspiration. Ever since he worked with Taylor Steele to make Taylor’s best movie Stranger Than Fiction, Kai’s been the guy you go to when you want to brand yourself as a surfer a little out of the box.

High-performance, sure, Kai is about your moves first, but also the surfer as a character, someone you might want to have a conversation with. But filmmakers have their favourites, and Kai’s is the South African-born surfer Craig Anderson. And if you were to watch Kai’s latest film, Cluster, you would probably go for Dane Reynolds or Jack Freestone.

Not Kai. It’s Craig. They’ve travelled and worked together for close to a decade. There’s a connection. Craig Anderson says his five-year contract with Quiksilver is what it is because of his surprise cameo in Modern Collective and his more significant contributions to Lost Atlas, Dear Suburbia and Cluster.

“I definitely does mean something to a company. Kai’s movies are the be-all and end-all. They’re as good as it gets.”

Jimmy Lees and Julian Wilson
Best friends first, personal filmer to Julian Wilson second. The dynamic between the pair works because, unlike a lot of other combos, there’s no weird alpha male thing going on. If Julian steps out of line, Jimmy’s going to say so. It also works because Jimmy brings a dirty skate vibe and the eye of a man who drags his influence from well out of the surf spectrum to Julian’s ultra-hard surf candy look.

Swamp Duck from Julian Wilson on Vimeo.

Mini and Dane Reynolds

Jason “Mini” Blanchard is the Ventura pal of the surfer Dane Reynolds. And while it ain’t a helluva lot different to shooting the proverbial salmon in a barrel when you line up Dane in your lens, it takes a certain personality, and hardened skills, to become the favourite of a surfer whose own sense of style is so strong.

Blake Kueny and John John Florence

From shooting little league to being on John John’s speed dial? And he’s only 24? California Blake Keuny met John John on a trip to South Africa. They got on. They became pals. A year later, while on a snow trip to Mammoth he was summoned to breakfast with John John and his mum, Alex. “Do you want to come film with us?” he was asked?

Eight months later, the movie Done was released. A one-man game changer.

& AGAIN from John John Florence on Vimeo.