Finally: A waterman we can love!

Kai Lenny will change your calcified mind about SUPs and things.

When I hear the word “waterman” I tended to think “ick” and “SUP” and “windsurf” and “kitesurf” and “fish” and “tie knots.” Those things don’t appeal to me and I can’t, for the life of me, tie a knot.

Everything is different now though because Kai Lenny. He does all those things and does them very well and, somehow, has zero ick. If I saw him supping at my home break I would not snake him but, instead, feel very honored. If I saw him kitesurfing I would not secretly hope a giant gust would come out of nowhere and carry him away.

What is it about Kai that makes him, and everything he does, so palatable? Sports Illustrated went to find out! They say:

It’s like an angry monster, Kai Lenny says of Peahi, arguably the most iconic big wave surf spot in the world. Located off the North coast of Maui, the surf at Peahi resembles avalanches of water. On a good swell, wave heights can reach to above 50 feet. No wonder the spot is also known as Jaws.

But when Lenny describes the break, his tone leans more toward respect than fear.

“It looks so makeable from the cliffs,” he says. “But when you get out there it’s a different story. It so fast and has so much power…. The first thing I did there was windsurfing, then tow-in surfing, then Stand Up Paddling, then traditional surfing.”

Lenny pauses. He reconsiders his answer: “Wait. Actually the first time I ever surfed Jaws was on a hydrofoil board.”

He was 16.

The lapse in recollection makes sense. Lenny’s pursuits in the world’s oceans, rivers—or in any body of water for that matter—are so diverse that it must be difficult even for him to keep all of them in order.

Read the rest here!

Watch Kai here!

Wow: This gal talks to Great White Sharks!

A trick with flair…

Are your nerves jangled by shark fever? Mine too!

It’s almost enough to make you want to yank off your wetsuit, hitch up your pants and never surf again.

But, wait.

Did you know you can protect yourself from attack by great whites with happy thoughts on the beach and with visualisation in the water? It’s outrageous but maybe there is a grain of truth in it all.

The doll in this video is Anna Breytenbach, a “world-class communicator with animals”. Cheetahs, mountain lions, great whites, she do it all.

In the video, below, she advises surfers to spend a few minutes pre-surf just standing on the beach, addressing the sharks silently, “sending a nice greeting.” Don’t speak shark? It doesn’t even matter.

“They’ll get it on the quantum level,” she says.

Once in the water visualise a bubble around you, above, below, a protective radius. Fill it full of peaceful energy.

If it works, it’s a trick with flair!

The Skeptics Society ain’t convinced (click here), but it’s the easiest thing in the world to sit around and bruise beautiful apples because you won’t open your mind.

Anna Breytenbach is at the front-line of human-animal electromagnetic communication.

Here’s a dolphin who didn’t watch the video. (Click!)

Watch and believe, if you dare.

Kelly Slater Shane Dorian

Win: 6 days in Tavarua with Slater and Dorian!

And all you gotta do is peel off a little cash… 

This philanthropic venture just strolled across my desk and I just had to yield to it. The value of being generous has just been restored!

The details are below, but briefly, donate some money and you be flown to Fiji to share Instagram posts with Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian (maybe you can help Kelly with his prolific Twitter ripostes) as well as golfing, barreling together at Cloudbreak, fishing and probs helicopter rides from the mainland (though not mentioned). Both surfers will give you a board, too, which may make your circuits override with electricity. I know mine would.

Here’s the video explanation!

The contest press release is thus:

“Anyone can book a trip to a tropical beach for the holidays, but only Omaze, the online cause marketplace, can send one lucky winner and a guest on the trip of a lifetime to Tavarua Island. The trip will be hosted by surfing legends Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian all while supporting four incredible causes.

“One winner and a guest will stay on the private Tavarua Island, surf with the two professionals and enjoy golf and fishing excursions making this a life-changing vacation to the island renowned for its waves and heart shape.

“To enter, fans of surfing and tropical getaways should visit to donate as little as $10 for their chance to win the exclusive six-day trip complete with flights and hotel accommodation. Whether the winner is a surfing pro or a complete beginner, hosts Kelly and Shane will be on-hand to make this the experience of a lifetime.

“Shane and I have been to Tavarua countless times, our favorite place on earth. We’re super excited to share this amazing experience with the winner and show them what our lives are all about,” says Kelly Slater. “Basically it doesn’t get any better than this for someone who just wants a cool vacation or a great surf trip. Every time I go I think it could be the best trip of my life.”

“We have spent a lot of time on Tavarua over the years and know all the best spots. The fact that every entry benefits such amazing causes really takes this thing to the next level,” Shane Dorian adds.

“All proceeds will benefit four global causes that are closest to Slater and Dorian’s hearts. Those causes include SurfAid, MORE Than Sport Foundation, Skate to School Scholarship Fund and Smile Train. Unlike an auction where the highest bidder wins, all participants have the chance to win this incredible experience. To enter, donate as little as $10 at

“The campaign launches today and runs until November 11th. The winner and one lucky guest will take off on this incredible experience on November 28th and will stay in Fiji until December 4th.”

Donate! Maybe win!

Gabriel Medina wins Quiksilver Pro France

Feel-good: 5 Great Things About the WSL!

Positivity is the newest black!

One of the best thing about writing online is the audience interaction. Once upon a time, if someone wanted to tell you to go suck a big pile of dicks they had to take the effort to write it down, find an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it along.

So much work, it really limited discourse.

But now that anyone can chime in with little to no effort, man, what a time to be alive!

For instance, yesterday Kelly Bailey wrote to us:


She’s totally right (maybe it’s a he? I just assume all Kellys are female, even though that’s my youngest brother’s name)! Your beloved BeachGrit runs the risk of becoming the cool kids’ table; everything sucks, no one is awesome but us. Too hip, too blasé. And you just know one of us is going to mix a pile benzos and opiates and Ledger ourselves a few weeks after graduation.

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again, we’re too negative, so here’s some positive.

Your beloved BeachGrit runs the risk of becoming the cool kids’ table; everything sucks, no one is awesome but us. Too hip, too blasé. And you just know one of us is going to mix a pile benzos and opiates and Ledger ourselves a few weeks after graduation.

This one’s for you, Kelly!

Five Great Things about the WSL

The women know their place: It’s the 21st century, and we’re all the same. Men, women, inbetweens, it doesn’t matter. And, as a straight white male, I find that very threatening. It’s not that I expect to be treated better because of how I was born, it would just be nice to see others treated worse.  It’s a cheat code for life, one that all my ancestors got, and it really sucks that I’m denied.

The male/female WSL heirarchy puts a smile on my face.

The girls are satisfied with playing second banana for less money, and bless their hearts for that! At least some of them know where they belong, two paces behind the men with their mouths firmly shut.

They’re not over exposing big-wave spots

They aren’t exposing them at all!  No webcast, no TV, though you may soon be able to see them in some form on the Universal Sports Network!

(Click here)

There’s nothing more important than keeping the best big waves spots secret, and running a hidden big-wave tour fits that goal like a glove.

They’ve kept the broadcast team nice and white

Yeah, the Brazilian storm is still in effect, but who wants to see a brown face talk about surfing? Can you imagine the horror of staring at some bilingual darkie for hours at a time? No thanks, that’s not for this proud Aryan.

While our social structure crumbles around us in the name of diversity, it’s good to see that the WSL takes a hard and fast rule firmly to heart: If it ain’t white, it ain’t right!

As well as keeping everything “sportsmanlike,” it also served to the rid the tour of its only Mexican, marking the first time white people stole one of their jobs.

They keep it family friendly

Can you imagine how terrible it would be if surfers spoke from the heart? We’ve seen it happen once or twice, and a swear always makes it way in. Thank god the WSL knows that kind of passion is unwanted, and keeps everything nice and milquetoast.

As well as keeping everything “sportsmanlike,” it also served to the rid the tour of its only Mexican, marking the first time white people stole one of their jobs.

They busted the union

The ASP pre-WSL was a filthy commie pseudo union, where riders had a voice and an elected rep who lobbied for their best interests.  Which was downright unAmerican. Which is a great word, because it’s got a capital letter in the middle of it. How many of those do you think there are?

Freeing the tour from the tyranny of the surfers’ collective voice, going back to the good ol’ every-man-for-himself mindset, it can only spell good things for the future of competitive surfing.

Kelly Slater net worth

Fantasy WSL: Create your own surf tour!

What would you do if you had the keys?

Harping from the sidelines is a sport I prize. But, then, who doesn’t get their kicks from rolling their eyes at the stupidity and inertia of institutions, at the establishment?

When you’re not working the levers, whatever you say is theoretically…correct. Who can disprove it?

Some month ago, I presented my Five Ways to Improve the WSL Right Now! The ideas were hardly revolutionary, a snip hither, a cut yon, and I present them below.

1. Reduce the tour from 34 to 12

Truth is, unless you have some kinda personal contact or affinity with anyone outside the top dozen, watching ’em tag waves to the beach does nothing for you, for me, or for the supposed greater audience the World Surf League is chasing. Sure, having 34 surfers guarantees a career for men who, let’s face it, ain’t Stevie Hawkings and would therefore be laying concrete or slapping paint on walls, but it ain’t taking the game forward. It’s making up numbers. And making up numbers means…

2. You’ve gotta finish an event in two days, max

Four days for men, three days for women. Two-week waiting periods. Endless calls. Endless standbys. It’s the most lurid tempo! No wonder such a ferocious sex hunger develops around tour events. You want to see an exciting sport. Go to Speedway. Three hours. A few heats and a winner-takes-all final. Spectators with no interest in motor sports are captivated. Surfing needs a full-day super jam, two if conditions turn to grease. Which means…

3. Forget combining men’s and women’s events

Oh! You get to use the same infrastructure thereby reducing costs? How ideal! It’s an uneasy coexistence. How many joints do you know can deliver a week of good waves within a two or three-week period, across all tides? It don’t happen. And so you’re left with crucial heats running in the crummiest and most inconsistent closeouts.

Speaking of tides and inconsistent closeouts…

4. Portugal has to be iced

What should be a sideshow of tuberiding and shorebreak tumbling has become the event where world title hopes and dreams of victory are dashed upon Supertubos’ shallow sandbank. Kelly knows. And Jordy Smith, the best surfer there last year, sat in a miserable ocean and caught one wave in the final That ain’t sport at its best.

5. Live a little
Bottom line, y’ain’t ever going to get even a slice of the football or soccer or basketball crowds. Surfing is too subjective, too hard to understand. So, live a little. Let the guys on the mic, all of whom know a thing or two, loosen up.

And, you?

What would you do if you were the CEO of World Surf League? Would it be called World Surf League? Would it be a combined men’s and women’s tour? How many surfers would compete? How many events and where?

Present your tour masterplan in the comments pane below. The five best ideas will receive a pair of the new Need Essentials technical surf trunks.

(Click here to see!)