Sweet sugar: The Inertia describes New York!

The much-loved, if racist, surf website makes poetry!

The Inertia, surf website for the emotionally intuitive,  enjoys flowery prose as much as any twelve-year-old girl. Adjectives dance with adjectives dance with even more adjectives in every post. Surfing’s “definitive online community” has feelings! It has…feelings!

But they outdid even themselves with a recent piece titled New York Surfers Live for These Moments. Maybe if you watch TV, you think New York is a tough place where people bark at each other in brassy accents. Maybe you think New Yorkers get straight to the point. But apparently New Yorkers have feelings too and don’t get straight to the point at all.

I present you the first paragraph:

All summer New York surfers daydream of hurricane season, lust over barreling waves, ocean size, the possibilities of a perfect storm. Surfline is our addiction, hope and despair. This time around we got it all. New Yorkers played hard. No jokes, no foamies. Spikes, walls, free falls, tubes, sweeping currents, dark and stormy horizons. The line up cleared, with only the brave and experienced…

And the last:

On the beach everything is raw, uncontrolled, and spontaneous. The light changes constantly and every wave is different. The surfer is my art form, and the ride is their expression. Photographs are creative conversations. When all the variables line up, we share a perfect fleeting moment. The beauty in the madness. Being out there in the elements, capturing the raw beauty of nature and the surfer’s moment on water is my creative fuel and salty intoxication. Giving back these moments to the surfer and documenting a piece of New York surf history is precious.

Are there tears streaking your cheeks? If not read the middle stuff here!


shark attack north shore
"Was driving by as it happened," writes @jdbaluch. "Complete amputation above the left knee. We got the TQ on and he's still awake. Be careful boys."

Graphic: North Shore Shark Attack!

Surfer hit by a shark at Leftovers. Above the knee amputation. Critical condition, obvs…

The quarter-mile stretch between Leftovers and Marijuanas ain’t what you go to the North Shore for.

Fun, sure, but, mostly, you’re there because you don’t wanna deal with the mind-fuck of the Rocky Point to Off the Wall crowd.

I’ve always found the area a little creepy, sharky as hell, big Tigers chasing big turtles. Four attacks in the last 10 years doesn’t really aid my peace of mind.

…Leftovers is a crummy wave just down from Waimea Bay.
…Leftovers is a crummy wave just down from Waimea Bay.

A few hours ago, 25-year-old surfer Colin Cook was hit by a shark, I’d guess a Tiger cause what else is there, at Leftovers, and was rushed by paramedics to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

According to Hawaii News Now,

“First responders said the attack happened about 10:30 a.m. in waters off Leftovers Beach Park, at 61-385 Kamehameha Highway.

“One witness told Hawaii News Now that the man was a surfer, and he was apparently sitting on his surfboard with his legs dangling in the water when he was attacked. The witness said bystanders used a surfboard leash as a tourniquet to control the bleeding. The victim appeared to have lost his leg to above the knee, the witnesses said.

“The man also apparently suffered injuries to his hand after attempting to swat the shark away.

“Officials are patrolling North Shore beaches near the scene of the attack, and advising people to stay out of the water.

“From January to September, there were four shark attacks in Hawaii: two on Maui and two on the Big Island.

“”In the most recent incident, a 27-year-old Kohala man suffered severe leg injuries when a 13-foot tiger shark bit him.

“The other incidents were:

On April 29, a 65-year-old woman was killed while snorkeling off Maui’s Ahihi Bay. The woman was in 20- to 35-foot-deep waters, and was about 200 yards offshore.

On March 18, a 60-year-old man suffered cuts to his forearm, left arm and thigh while standing in 4-foot-deep water off Hapuna Beach on the Big Island. Authorities said the man was bit by a 8- to 10-foot-long tiger shark.

On Jan. 27, a 20-year-old Maui man was bit by a shark he had caught while fishing in Lahaina.

Meanwhile, three LA beaches have been closed after a shark charged a surfer.

(Click here) 

Kelly Slater France
Unless Kelly has a crazy secret gambling addiction, I can only assume it's been a very long time since he's had to worry about money. Even so, 38K ain't nothing to sneeze at. You could use that money to buy a mid range sedan, a couple city blocks of derelict apartment buildings in Detroit, or an entire shipping container of refugee orphans. | Photo: WSL

Kelly Slater’s (maybe) $38,000 fine!

If Kelly misses Portugal the WSL must slug him with a $38k fine. But what if mysterious injury strikes?

It could be my imagination, but it seems like Mr Slater, our GOAT, king of the savvy media presence, doesn’t really give much of a shit anymore. He spent a fair portion of his post round two heat interview complaining about the WSL’s decision to run the event a few hundred yards down the beach from where it was actually firing, kind of an atypical move from a guy who usually keeps his comments nice and politic.

The talking heads quickly dissembled, “you’ve gotta be on it before it gets good,” or something along those lines. But I think it’s pretty obvious why the WSL would stick with a bad decision. Moving all that gear a few hundred yards up the beach at the last minute would be quite the logistical undertaking. Better to sacrifice quality in favor of convenience, right?

Peter Mel, looming over the Syrian with blue-green eyes, turned the topic to Slater’s previous comments regarding blowing off the Euro leg of this year’s tour.

“I think it would be wrong of me not to show up if I have a mathematical chance at the title. That was really what it boiled down to.”

Sure, a mathematical chance, albeit one that depends heavily on everything going wrong for everyone else, something Slater openly acknowledged.

But there’s another factor, unspoken but sure to have had an effect on the King’s decision making. An increase in fines for no-showing events, enacted in 2011 after Dane, Kelly, and Bobby Martinez blew off a lackluster J-Bay comp (click here) would have left Kelly staring down the barrel of $38,000 in fines if he skipped both venues.

Per the WSL rulebook:

Failure to attend the CT Events entered with warning but no doctor’s certificate (men and women seeds only):

First violation:
M – $12,500; W- $5,000
Second violation:
M – $25,000; W – $10,000
Third violation:
Automatic suspension for 3
Events or remainder of the
tour year if less and no entry
into QS 10000 Events during
this time

Unless Kelly has a crazy secret gambling addiction, I can only assume it’s been a very long time since he’s had to worry about money. Even so, 38K ain’t nothing to sneeze at. You could use that money to buy a mid range sedan, a couple city blocks of derelict apartment buildings in Detroit, or an entire shipping container of refugee orphans.

But Kelly’s a smart guy, and he started laying down a plausible story, in case the next round doesn’t go so well and he’s over hanging around for Portugal.

Intercostal muscle injuries do hurt, something I can vouch for as I once strained mine coughing out an enormous bong hit. Nagging pain for weeks, though nothing a motivated Slater couldn’t, and obviously has, tough his way through. Still, it lays ground for the delicious doctor’s certificate that would absolve him of any rule breaking.

“I got hurt in my first surf, I got knocked out. Lucky I didn’t drown. Sorry mom! And then my surf yesterday, after my heat I was really frustrated so I just stayed in the water and surfed for a while, and I got this one big bomb and I ate it and I think I tore my intercostals between my ribs, here. So I actually woke thinking I might not surf today because I didn’t think I could paddle. But I iced it all night and it seems like it doesn’t hurt as bad.”

Intercostal muscle injuries do hurt, something I can vouch for as I once strained mine coughing out an enormous bong hit. Nagging pain for weeks, though nothing a motivated Slater couldn’t, and obviously has, tough his way through.

Still, it lays ground for the delicious doctor’s certificate that would absolve him of any rule breaking.

An interesting note regarding the doctor’s certificate, the WSL Rulebook doesn’t require competitors to employ a WSL sanctioned doc, interesting info should anyone decide to skip events in the future. There’s no shortage of half-assed doctors willing to diagnose anyone with anything. “Oh yeah, here’s my note from Dr Barnabas McGee of the Lesser Antilles Upstairs Medical College. He couldn’t find any paper so he wrote it on the bottom of this old shoe. But he’s totally a real doctor, dude had a stethoscope and put his finger in my butt and everything!”

I reached out to Dave Prodan, VP of communications for the WSL, and asked if the WSL would fine Slater, should he miss Portugal.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I got a terse and unilluminating response!

“If conditions surrounding the withdrawal of any athlete warrant it, then actions outlined in the WSL Rulebook are executed,” wrote Prodan.

Vicious: Iron fist of the WSL!

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

Late last night your beloved BeachGrit received an email from the World Surf League, in both Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Bondi bureaus, demanding that cute little videos of Mick Fanning’s surgeon-like attack (a compendium of his 9s!) and the wonderful skills of jetski pilots (cowboys!) be taken down.

And such a shame! Because Mick Fanning’s nines are like a beautiful lullaby if you are having trouble falling asleep. One turn, two turns, three turns snore! But mostly because surfing should not be treated the same as American football. Have you ever been on a film shoot where someone in the field of vision has a New York Giants baseball hat or a Green Bay Packers hoodie? That shit is like crazy radioactive! Gaffers, gofers and line producers will run, as fast as they can, to the fan and ask, then beg, if they could take off the merchandise. If they won’t, and must be in the shot, then all NFL and team logos must be covered with tape or, somehow, shot around. The NFL, you see, is so sue happy and power hungry that they pounce on any infraction of copyright, however tiny or insignificant.

Surfing ain’t the National Football League! It just ain’t and to act like it is a stone-faced multibillion dollar tyranny guts the love. Give us free, World Surf League! Unshackle our hands and we can all soar on wings of John John’s fails! (I think we had to take that down too).

John John Florence, bucked!
John John Florence, bucked!

Showreel: Cowboy ski drivers of the WSL!

John John Florence and Jadson Andre mashed in the soup by a buckaroo pilot!

Wow! What a day of professional surf action. Has beachbreak ever looked so fun? How do you think you would have fared in those conditions and be honest. Would you have scored a tube that could have resembled a respectable score or would you have been scratching around, tilting at imaginary peaks on the horizon?

I certainly would have been the later. Either that or smashing vodka/ginger beers in the competitors’ area before hopping on a ski and giving professional surfers rides back into the lineup. Did you see John John tossed from the ski into a boil of whitewash? The driver scrambling, madly, back into the saddle after losing the grip and splashing in the soup? What possessed John John to slide back onto the sled after the mishap? Because he cray that’s why!

And remember Joel in Rio? That backflip? This might be the greatest time ever in ski driver mismanagement/alcoholism. Bravo WSL! Entertainment par excellence! Will you accept my application? I drink usually starting at 3:00pm but could start earlier if needs be.

Cowboy ski drivers of the WSL from BeachGrit on Vimeo.