surfing drop in
This is a surfing drop in! With ass play! An interesting surf photo that requires no skill except grabby hands! | Photo: Pete Taras/

“Sorry: I didn’t think you’d make it!”

Motherfucker, is there a more infuriating phrase in the English language?

I was having a fun session today. Nothing special, but the water’s warm, the sun is shining, and the weird swirly short period wind swell was serving up the occasional runner that would hit the inside sandbar and bottom out. Just one of the awesome days where it doesn’t look very good but you paddle out anyway and are pleasantly surprised.

When the rental van with two boards on the roof pulled up and belched forth a tourist family with two kids in their late teens who made an immediate beeline for me, I wasn’t surprised. Herd mentality and all that. An empty half mile stretch of ocean, people gravitate toward whoever’s already out.

Seen it a million times. Old news.

When they paddled out and proceeded to bookend me and paddle for every bump that came through I was less than pleased. Pretty typical visitor behavior, most likely the source of all the meanie local stories people love to tell.

But I grew up surfing in LA, spent eight years on Oahu, I know how to work a crowd of two. Mean mug, paddle hard, no hello.

I don’t think I’ve been stuffed once since moving to Kauai. People here are pretty friendly, very respectful. And there’s plenty of surf, no reason to be greedy.

So when a fun little nugget popped up right in front of me, and one of the pale skinned little dorks on a brand new brand name turned and burned, I was upset. Not raving lunatic status, but peeved. Not happy. Annoyed. But it was no big deal, really. If only the little fucker hadn’t opened his mouth.

So when a fun little nugget popped up right in front of me, and one of the pale skinned little dorks on a brand new brand name turned and burned, I was upset. Not raving lunatic status, but peeved. Not happy. Annoyed. But it was no big deal, really.

If only the little fucker hadn’t opened his mouth.

“I didn’t think you’d make it.”

Fuck you. So fucking condescending. What a perfect way to push my buttons.

I turned to him and roared. Literally. Nothing but a loud deep chest scream right in his stupid surprised face. An interesting off the cuff response.

I wish I could say it was a planned move, intended to intimidate. “Watch out for the crazy dude with a scraggly beard and unkempt hair. Better give him some space.”

But it was just my natural response, for whatever reason. Whatever shit was running through my head at that moment turned me into a barking dog, declaring his turf, all sorts of threats implied.

And it worked, they paddled a hundred yards down to the nest little sandbar and I had the spot to myself until a half dozen other guys showed up, joined me, and proceeded to take turns. Like decent humans should.

(And, here, unrelated but awesome, skate vid!)

Big surf: Ian Walsh and Makua Rothman in Japan!

Wax up your gun!

With all the catty craziness happening on the big wave scene it’s nice to know there are wonderful souls like Ian Walsh, Makua Rothman, Ezekiel Lau and Danny Fuller. Handsome too. Chris Binns, the world’s most underrated surf journalist, writes, “With back-to-back category-five hurricanes producing 150kph winds and one huge typhoon in the North Pacific, it seems that the boys are assured of success, and spirits are suitably high as they touch down in the Land Of The Rising Son.”

I think he meant sun because I don’t think Chris is a Christian but he should be. In any case, I’d surf big waves in Japan. I am going to surf big waves in Cardiff-by-the-Sea this winter. I have a gun.

 And where in hell did Ian Walsh get that accent? It ain’t Hawaiian. It ain’t Oklahoman. But it somehow sounds Oklahoman. Ian, where did that thing come from?

Mark Richards and Tony Hawk.
Mark Richards and Tony Hawk.

Capitalism: Walmart signs Tony Hawk!

Which surfers would do best in a big box discount retailer?

Tony Hawk, the older skateboarder who became famous by stealing skate moves from Australians, just inked a historic deal with Arkansas superstore Walmart!

Walmarts are known, the world over, as places that offer ridiculously cheap prices on consumer goods. They are also known, the world over, as places that do not smell very good. They are also known, the world over, as places not to work. Human Rights Watch says:

“Walmart denies basic human rights to its employees.”

Tony Hawk says:

“In my many visits to Canada on skate tours, I am consistently humbled by the response that Canadians have given to me, the Tony Hawk brand and skateboarding in general. I will be fully committed to the success of this launch through my social media, marketing, and appearances. It’s going to be a great ride!”


But it makes me wonder, which surfer (outside Laird and Kelly) would have the strongest big box superstore middle America appeal? If, say, Taj Burrow launched a line of Taj by Taj boardshorts would they do well? If Gabriel Medina released a series of Gab by Gab rashguards would you see them dotting the Great Lakes next summer? If Mick Fanning licensed an “I fought the shark and I won” t-shirt would it sell?

Which surfer (outside Laird and Kelly) is crazy marketable?

Tony Hawk gets barreled.
Tony Hawk gets barreled.

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.