Does loyalty have any value?

What can we learn from these tumultuous times?

All this chatter, the last few days, of brands dropping athletes (Reef x Luke Davis) and athletes dropping brands (Dane Reynolds x Quiksilver) has got me thinking. My phone is still screaming, my MacBook Air molten lava (a smashing rumor coming to you soon!), but instead of indulging immediately, I am sitting back with an early morning vodka x ginger beer and pondering the value of loyalty.

In traditional stick and ball sports, fans generally speak highly of the days before giant paychecks and free agency. When players and teams would be bound for life. The fans, who don’t think twice about tattooing team logos on their bodies, wish the athletes would exhibit a similar commitment and die-hard love. When an athlete leaves the fans crow about greed. Likewise, when a team cuts an underperforming but well-loved athlete, the fans crow about greed.

Does loyalty, then, have any value aside from sentimental?

It is the same, more or less, in surfing. Our brands act as teams and build rosters of surfers who get paid very well…until they don’t and are cut. It seems both brand and surfer live in an unhealthy symbiosis. The brand pays the surfer but can cut out at a moment’s notice (from what I hear Luke was cut without excuse), especially as the surfer ages. The surfer gets paid to ride for the brand but often feels put upon if ordered to appear here or go there or surf in professional contests. It seems, over time, both grow increasingly suspicious of each other.

I suppose the crux of the issue is best summed up with Kelly Slater x Quiksilver. The brand paid him millions upon millions upon millions of dollars over the years. The surfer helped make the brand iconic. Should the two ever have broken up? It seems to me no. It feels like Joe Montana playing for the Kansas City Chiefs.

At the end, in our capitalistic environs, it is naive to think brands will be benevolent and surfers grateful but, we can dream like schoolgirls, like Boston Red Sox fans, can’t we?

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Headed to Oahu this Winter? Want to save a little money? Don’t mind screwing someone over, as long as they deserve it? Then you are in luck!

Did you know that there are only 828 legal vacation rentals on Oahu? And only 177 are outside of Waikiki!

Now, you’re probably thinking, “How can that be, Rory? I looked online, there are, literally, thousands of places available. You can’t be saying that they’re ALL illegal?”

That is exactly what I’m saying.

Which is a problem, you know, for the people that live here. Every apartment, or condo, or stand-alone house used for short-term vacation rentals is one less available to residents.

Now, I know that there are those among you who think that you should be able to do whatever you want with your property, in spite of any negative consequences for your fellow citizens. And I guess that’s okay. I think you’re a greedy asshole and I hope your dick rots off, but you’re entitled to your own opinions.

And, thanks supply and demand, the spots left become increasingly unaffordable.

Now, I know that there are those among you who think that you should be able to do whatever you want with your property, in spite of any negative consequences for your fellow citizens. And I guess that’s okay. I think you’re a greedy asshole and I hope your dick rots off, but you’re entitled to your own opinions.

The thing is… well, I guess I believe that part of being a society is living by its rules. Unless you don’t want to, but there’s a downside to that.

We agree not to fuck each other over, to play by the rules, to perform at a minimum level of decency. And the bar isn’t really very high.

But when you decide to pick and choose the rules you’ll follow, well, you just have to accept that other people can do the same. If an employer feels it’s in his best interests to shave wages, then his employees have every right to rob him blind.

Or, if you feel that you can turn a tidy profit by illegally renting out a home you own, then people can just decide not to pay you. Morality is fluid like that.

And that’s what I’m advocating. Just don’t pay.

I’m well aware that most places require a deposit, and some even insist you pay in full in advance. But a deposit is still far less than the total cost of stay, and you can usually talk your way around paying in advance. After all, you haven’t actually seen the place, and how do you know it’s even legit? Tons of vacation rental fraud out there. You wouldn’t want someone to take advantage of you.

You can even be real ballsy, put in on your credit card, then do a charge back. Or stop payment on the check. Use some pretense, that it wasn’t as described. It doesn’t really matter.

Because your erstwhile landlord has no recourse!

If they try and sue you they’ll end up in small claims court, assuming the total you owe is under $5000. But the thing is, serving a small claims summons to someone out of state is nearly impossible. And it won’t come to that anyway.

There’s a ton of money in renting a place out for $300 a day when its fair market month-to-month price sits around $2100, and the idea of losing that income stream is terrifying.

While enforcement of short term rental laws are nearly non-existent, possible fines are actually quite large. Do you think a property owner will be willing to gamble a long-term meal ticket over a comparatively paltry sum of money?

Better to just eat this loss and make it up by gouging a few suckers with a bogus $500 “cleaning fee.”

Simply check the address against the linked list (click here). If its not in there, you’re in the clear.

Spend the money you save on something fun, like a kitschy ukulele, or a coconut painted with a sunset, or numerous blowjobs from a series slag of strippers outside one of the numerous tiny sketchy strip clubs sprinkled through the alleys surrounding Femme Nu.

You’ll be glad you did!

Just in: Ex-NBA player bites surfers!

Yao Ming has cut shark fin soup consumption by 50% in China. Is that shark eating surfer soup?

If you are a surfer you cannot help but notice the uptick in shark attacks. Everyday, or so it seems, another poor soul is struck by ravenous monsters from the deep. Scientists and couch people with WiFi blame many things including global warming, over-fishing, protection laws and more surfers in the water than ever before.

The true culprit, though, is a 7 foot something ex-NBA Chinese man named Yao Ming. Yao, you see, is truly amazing and wonderfully enlightened. He made a video, below, that tells his people not to eat shark fin soup, a fine delicacy in China. Shark fin soup is extremely cruel. The sharks are caught, their fins are cut off and they are let back into the sea to suffocate and die. Torture and awful.

His plea has knocked off consumption by 50% and wow. 50% of a billion is a million? I failed math but, at any rate, success! But also wow. Surfer nips up lots%.

Should surfers start eating shark fin soup?

Yao Ming – Shark Fin Soup from WildAid on Vimeo.

Rumor: Quik and Billabong to merge!

Bloomberg Biz reports there might be... "One surf company to rule them all..."

BeachGrit‘s desks in both Bondi and Cardiff-by-the-Sea are vibrating wildly these days. The phones howling nonstop with too-crazy-to-believe-yet-maybe-true tales! The MacBook Airs so hot that Derek Rielly had to douse his with vodka! The latest? Quiksilver and Billabong, both helped along by Oaktree Capital Management, may be merged to form one big thing.

Bloomberg News, leader in finance reporting, says:

Oaktree Capital Management LP may consider combining bankrupt surfwear retailer Quiksilver Inc. with Billabong International Ltd., a brand the investment firm already owns a stake in, a judge in Delaware was told Wednesday.

Durc Savini, an investment banker at Peter J. Solomon Co. who is working with Quiksilver, testified that “at some point” Oaktree may put the clothing companies together if it’s able to bring Huntington Beach, California-based Quiksilver out of bankruptcy under its control.

And who could have ever seen this coming? Maybe the Brothers Marshall who have been making a QuikBongRip t-shirt for years (buy yours here!) but who else? Not me. It seems even hard to fathom. Both brands are iconic but in very different ways. Their teams and ethos feel, well, different. For Taj to don the Mountain and Wave tastes heretical. For Kelly, I mean Dane, I mean Jeremy Flores to affix the woodcut two black and white wave thing smells off.

I hope, unlike every other rumor that BeachGrit sends your way, that this particular one is untrue. Or to quote surfing’s version of Bloomberg (Boardistan), “Guess the media just get to make stuff up and then we can link to it like it’s news.”

Gabriel Medina wins Quiksilver Pro France

Sweet science: Gabriel Medina wins Quik Pro!

And the world title race tightens up!

The Quiksilver Pro ended moments ago with your champion, Gabriel Medina, being walked up the beach atop a throne built of countrymen. They shouted, “Long live the champ! Long live the champ!” it can be assumed, in Portuguese.

The final pitted Medina contra Bede Durbidge and it seemed a touch unfair. Bede found himself an alien-resident in the bleak country known to WSL announcers as “Comboland” from the start. At the end he tried to punt and flopped, helplessly, into the lip.

Gabriel caught the next wave of the set and boosted, effortlessly, into a hands free full rotation and landed like he never even took off, twisting the knife as it were. Was Bede, bobbing in the whitewash, totally gutted or relieved do you think? Did he feel, “Whew. I never even had a chance. I am a yeoman and fought the good fight and now, mercifully, it is over…”? Or did he feel, “Shit…”?

Whatever the case, the changing of the guard is well under way except maybe it is not. Michael Eugene Fanning still holds the number one spot with just two events remaining. Adriano de Souza is hot on his heels, only 450 points behind and both come from a different era. They come from Bede’s era.

Let the generational struggle continue!

(Watch the final here!)

(And final’s day highlights here!)

WSL Men’s Top 10 (after Quiksilver Pro France):
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 49,900 pts
2. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 49,450 pts
3. Owen Wright (AUS) 43,600 pts
4. Julian Wilson (AUS) 41,450 pts
5. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 40,650 pts
6. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 40,200 pts
7. Kelly Slater (USA) 34,150 pts
8. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 34,100 pts
9. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 33,000 pts
10. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 31,200 pts