Typical Swamis scene.
Typical Swamis scene.

Just in: Surfer body found at Swamis

North County surf spot wakes to an unpleasant surprise.

A surfer’s body was found next to a broken surfboard this early morning at North County San Diego’s Swamis. Nothing much is known yet. Police responded to a 911 call that said a man was laying, in wetsuit, face down next to his broken board. When paramedics arrived he was pronounced dead at the scene and not taken to the hospital.

We have been having a run of very fun surf and it has been a touch bigger than normal but not, like, crazy big. Odd to think, for some reason, that surfing can lead to death. Of course there are sharks and those who conquer massive waves have a different set of dangers but for the every day man, or at least to me, it feels odd. One minute motoring down the line, the next getting smashed and drowning.

The news report is here…

JOB on America's board!
JOB on America's board!

Rad: Best-selling surfboard in America!

Biolos? Merrick? Mr. Hayden Shape? Pyzel? Maurice Cole?

America is in a surf renaissance for certain. Minus a viable star on the World Championship Tour and Quiksilver going bankrupt/moving to France and sharks waiting to eat/eating lots of people in Hawaii, California, Florida and nuclear waste being stored, indefinitely, right next to Lowers things are looking bright!

And, today, it has been revealed that the best-selling surfboard in the United States comes from none other than the esteemed shaper AGIT Global, manufacturer of your very favor Wavestorm! The ubiquitous blue and white 8-foot foamie can be seen ripping at most beaches and can be purchased at core retailer Costco.

Fortune reports that 500,000 have been sold so far with another 100,000 set to sell this year at between $100 and $180 a pop. Like most shapers, AGIT Global admits that profit is slim. Like Matt Biolos, it appears to be more about love than money. (READ HERE!)

Yes, a surf and skate renaissance too. Costco + surf and Tony Hawk’s new shop sponsor Walmart. Rad!

couple on the beach by josep de toggeries

Culture: Surf Art History!

A high-culture romp through nineteenth-and twentieth-century art history… for surfers.

As realists and romantics appreciative of aesthetics, no surf media audience is as astute and learned as that which congregates here at BeachGrit. Case in point? Mariano Landa’s transatlantic high-culture romp through nineteenth-and twentieth-century art history… for surfers.

5. Josep de Togores (Cataluña), Couple on the Beach (1922)

couple on the beach by josep de toggeries

Every surfer who’s filled a passport or two knows that only one surf trip happening is as memorable as scoring bombing waves halfway across the world: that raunchy tryst with a total stranger after the swell dies down. Son of the President of the Barcelona Association of Football Clubs (later FC Barcelona), Togores uses a neutral palette to capture the essence of such an encounter, embodied by our lady — is she a French ripper? — whose round curves complement the bronzed brawn of her surfed-out lover. The flatness of the waves reminds the viewer, “Everything has a time and a place. Don’t be that guy who misses the swell trying to find a fuck.”

4. Joaquín Sorolla i Bastida (Valencia), The Arrival of the Catch (1889)

The Arrival of the catch

Orphaned at two years old, the post-impressionist Spaniard Sorolla knew a rippable little left when he saw one. The stiff sails in the background indicate that there’s a nice little side-onshore air wind running, the fishermen’s bare feet tell us that the water’s trunkable, and the left off the banks looks apt for two pumps and a jump. The young girl’s dismissal of the surf, perhaps turned off by the breeze, causes her father to comment, “Honey, it’s better than it looks out the back. Be glad you don’t live in Florida.”

3. Darío de Regoyos (Spain)– The Basque Coast, Morning (1895)

cote basque

A century before the WSL even thought of a European leg for the tour, Regoyos was dropping clues as to the temperamental nature of the waves in the Bay of Biscay. The heaving shorebreak barrel is deceiving. As the headland provides scale, it’s bigger than it looks, and the left seems the natural option: it’s overhead for sure. But seeing the left clamp as it runs into the corner, the viewer thinks, “If only there was more west in the swell, the point might be firing!”

2. Daniel Vázquez Díaz (Spain) – The Sea (1908-1914)

El Mar

Vázquez reminds us that everything is derivative. Acclaimed as a rip-off of his Golden Age predecessor Zurburán, DVD was more Kai Otton than Kelly Slater. But he brings us into the fore of our present debates of surf and sex. What you don’t see is that the two naked dudes — literally riding bareback — have stashed their fresh 28L Sharp Eye’s in the bushes before crossing the rivermouth for a surf check. As the seated figure leans back to get a better angle on the swell filling into the right, his rippled back reminds us that he’s not posing for you or for me, he’s posing for himself. “We’re out there,” cries his companion.

“More horses,” cries a Roxy ad exec.

1. Ignacio Merino (Peru/France): Pizarro Taking Possession of the Pacific in the Name of the Spanish Monarchs (1850)

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 3.25.47 pm

Merino was a true G. Born to parents so wealthy that they make Dane’s contract look like pocket change, he grew up within a stone’s throw of those famous Peruvian pointbreaks between Piura and Trujillo before being educated in France, rubbing elbows with big guns like Franky Goya, Eugéne Delacroix, and Paul Delaroche. After a back-and-forth between Lima and Paris, he pumped out this image of a disputed conquistador— Pizarro or Balboa —who throws a claim worthy of imitation by any competitive surfer or layman barrel-dodger. Chucking caution to the wind in a shorebreak that looks worthy of a WSL contest, his costumage reminds us just how far back retro-revivals can still go.

Just in: Surf season is here on the North Shore!

Hawaii has some of the best local news ever. Come feast!

“Surf season is here and the North Shore is up to the challenge. Way up!” And thus Hawaii’s KITV 4 tackles, in amazingly nonsensical fashion another winter on the North Shore! This one is going to be the best ever, maybe. “It’s considered the most wonderful time of the year…” reporter Brenton Awa tells the viewer. And if you don’t live in Hawaii you should find some way to watch their local news. It is always a joy. Like, some of the best television going anywhere outside HBO. In this episode we have guest appearances by Danny Fuller and Susan + Bob Friend.

“Business is gonna get mo betta!” Awa tells the viewer as high surf starts cruising in and, yes it will. If you live in Hawaii which is your favorite local newscast besides all of them? Rory Parker, which one is yours?

Ace Cool
Ace was the first big-wave surfer to use an artificial oxygen supply (a little tank affixed to his wrist) and choppers for accessing outer reefs. This was…way… before skis.

Bummer: Big-Wave Legend Goes Missing!

Alec Cooke aka the larger-than-life Ace Cool disappears while surfing Waimea Bay…

Ace Cool, aka Alec Cooke, big-wave legend, North Shore character, one of the few humans to have surfed Kaena Point, went missing Wednesday off Waimea Bay.

Ace Cool Waimea Bay
…that time back in 1985 when a chopper got Ace out of the juice at Waimea Bay. Photo: Jones

Reported missing by his girlfriend when he did not return from his session, Cooke’s truck was found near the Waimea church with his keys and dog still inside, but no surfboard present.

US Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department, and Ocean Safety crews have deployed, searching the surrounding water and shoreline.

Ace Cool
If you’ve ever been to the North Shore y’probs bought one of Ace’s postcards.

Read about the time Ace surfed Kaena Point here. 

And watch this video for a taste of his charisma, which was undeniable.