Freediving will kill you!

But what a way to go!

Freediving is an inherently dangerous activity, even more so when you add a competitive aspect. Diving deep on a single breath, dealing with your body’s reactions to pressure, oxygen deprivation, and carbon dioxide saturation is always a potential recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, the vast majority of risk can be eliminated by employing proper safety protocol and, in a competitive scenario, by ensuring the presence of trained medical personnel.

Unfortunately, humans are prone to error, and even the most accomplished divers, perhaps most especially the most accomplished divers, can easily grow complacent and lose their lives at routine, relatively shallow, depths.

No Limits, a documentary produced by ESPN about Audrey Mestre as part of its Nine for IX series is an amazing piece of film that illustrates the dedication and determination necessary to push the limits of human physicality, as well as show how quickly everything can go wrong.

At fifty minutes long it’s an easy watch, though, fair warning, there’s no happy ending.

“No Limits” – The Audrey Mestre Documentary from on Vimeo.

Sir Richard Branson never has problems with his boards. He flies Virgin!
Sir Richard Branson never has problems with his boards. He flies Virgin!

Fuss: British Airways vs. British surfers

The island nation set afire by allegations of mismanagement!

The Euro Surf competition just ran to completion outside Casablanca, Morocco and the English surf team did very poorly, finishing ninth out of thirteen teams including Denmark, Sweden, Glenn Hall’s Ireland, Norway and Holland.

But wait! Was their ugly result against many countries without any sort of surf whatsoever the dastardly work of British Airways? The six member “elite squad” traveled to Casablanca on BA due to a “surfer-friendly” policy the airline has. No extra charge for boards! Except their boards never arrived. It took two full days for the airline to sort the mistake out and that gutted practice time. The team manager told the Mirror, “I believe BA has cost us dearly. The entire team missed out on two days of training the wave they had to compete on. This potentially had disastrous consequences.”

But wait! Were those disastrous consequences the product of boggy cutbacks, mistimed snaps and generally English surfing?

BeachGrit will get to the bottom of this developing story (after I go out and do a few boggy cutbacks and mistimed snaps. I’m still in Cabo!)

surf dog
Do you take surfing for granted?

Perspective: Surf Dog Thrills Dying Sisters!

Maybe think about this next time you're weeping about crummy waves or a snapped board…

Do you take your surfing for granted? Do you grumble most days in the water?

Oh be very honest.

It is rarely steep enough, hollow enough, fast enough, good enough, uncrowded enough, etc. to keep our feeble hearts sated. And so we surf but always find fault.

Two teenage girls dying of Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare and terminal degenerative muscular disorder, flew to San Diego and surfed Del Mar with a SURFice dog named Ricochet on Wednesday.

It is rarely steep enough, hollow enough, fast enough, good enough, uncrowded enough, etc. to keep our feeble hearts sated. And so we surf but always find fault.

SURFice dogs, for those who don’t know, surf with people who cannot move properly. They counterbalance the board and allow the disabled to surf.

Those who witnessed the event said the girls’ joy was uncontainable. They surfed many waves each and one remarked afterward, “I’ve always wanted to surf and then I found out about Ricochet and it made it more special. It just felt so good, like I was free.”

The surf though out San Diego County was crap on Wednesday but I will never complain again.

John John Florence
He falls? | Photo: Chris Bryan

Movie: A Compendium of John John Fails!

Who doesn't want to watch a two-minute reel of the BSITW wiping out?

It really does depend on the crowd you swing with but, mostly, you could say that John John Florence is the best surfer in the world or BSITW.

Do you remember one year ago, almost to the day, when he danced all over six-to-eight-foot Hossegor as if it were a two-foot Rio beachbreak? And his sangfroid at 10-foot Teahupoo, at 15-foot Pipe, at 20-foot Jaws?

But to get to the highest rung, y’gotta fall down a few. To get a 10-foot tube you gotta eat it in the worst ways imaginable.

The following two-minute clip of John John Fails was compiled by the excellent Hawaiian mag Freesurf. Pick one up next time you’re in Town!

…when he’s not falling, JJ is going…backwards, inverted…

How to: make your kid a surf star!

Who doesn't want their own little John John?

I turned thirty five this year, an interesting development in what’s been a pretty damn interesting life. Not to try and sound all cool, “I didn’t think I’d live this long.”

I’m fairly certain I’ll survive to be a lonely old asshole screaming at the neighbor kids for riding their hover boards in front of my house. At least until one of them gets all hopped up on space meth, dresses up like an interstellar kabuki whore, kicks down my front door, and indulges in a little bit of the ol’ ultraviolence.

Probably nothing that awesome, but I’ll definitely hang onto life long past the point when my antics cease to be amusing.

Everyone I know is popping out kids, playing daddy, settling down and doing all the shit I’ve tried my damnedest to avoid. Sure, sure, being a father is amazing. Your body releases all these chemicals to make sure you don’t kill it, you can bash it into fulfilling all those dreams you deferred to keep the thing fed. Such a blessing!

If you say so.

I’ve been very successful, to the best of my knowledge, at ensuring none of the cell divisions I’ve accidentally helped kick-start over the years survived past the first trimester. I like my independence, I love my free time, I adore my disposable income.

 Sure, sure, being a father is amazing. Your body releases all these chemicals to make sure you don’t kill it, you can bash it into fulfilling all those dreams you deferred to keep the thing fed.  Such a blessing!

But, you know, people are gonna breed, and I guess that’s an okay thing. Gotta keep the species alive.  And since we, the Millennials, the extreme generation, were raised on alternative sports, energy drinks, and a total lack of job security, there’s little as forward thinking as pushing your offspring into a career in which they will perpetually be treated as a disposable commodity by an industry built around catering to teenage fashion tends.

Addiction Dad 

What better way to teach your child the true meanings of maturity, responsibility, and self-reliance than by making sure they know they’ll always play second banana to whatever substance you love to smoke, snort, imbibe, or blast into your veins?

By far the easiest path, it only requires that you occasionally make a half-assed effort of doing right by your progeny. Show up unexpected on a birthday or Christmas, swear that your problems are in the past, then run for the hills the moment things get real. Do it right and the kid will always crave your approval, and when you’re a broken-down old piece of shit they’ll have enough pity to make sure you’re comfortable while you slip toward the abyss.

Beware, though, gone too long and there’s no going back. Then your only recourse is writing a pathetic tell all blaming everyone else for your woes.

(Click here!) or maybe (Click here!)

Addiction is a disease! Of course, spending your life on the wrong end of a truck stop glory hole ends in disease as well.

Domineering Dad

Blow that whistle, run that camera, suck out every bit of joy. This is sport, this is work, this is serious!

Build yourself a shallow home school retard, so focused on a single pursuit that there’s no going back.

Call yourself their “manager,” negotiate lucrative contracts, be sure to wet your beak. Why put the earnings aside, building interest and a secure future should things go pear shaped and they only achieve workhorse pro status? Your kids are your property, what’s theirs is yours.

Absent Dad

A subspecies of Addiction Dad, all you need do is make a quick run to the corner store for smokes one day. Maybe get sidetracked for thirty years or so.

Relatively simple, though least likely to pay off for yourself, there’s something to be said for the motivation created by the absence of fatherly love. Maybe you’ll come home if they can do a better cutback. Maybe you’ll see they won their NSSA division and show up on their doorstep with all those missed gifts, full of advice and approval, ready to be that role model they so desperately craved.

Of course, it ain’t gonna happen. But kids are dumb, they don’t know that.

Loving Dad

The kindest path, the one we all crave, but let’s be honest, no one’s ever achieved greatness by liking what they see staring back from the mirror each day.

Greatness is built by self loathing, by the sense that one’s best will never be good enough.

So, yeah, love and cherish and coddle and dote on your young ones. If you want them to turn out to be well balanced and happy losers.