"When I was surfing on the wave and wanted to make a turn I instinctively used my sticks which is basically silly but I instantly had the feeling that it was much easier," says the Maui-based surfer-skier-kite-guy Chuck Patterson. "That was pretty much an aha-experience."

Gimmicks: The never-ending saga!

Man surfs on skis; man snowboards on surfboard. It's extraordinarily fascinating!

If you wanted a word to define the current trend in surf, maybe absurd would fit. If this seems odd or exaggerated, let’s examine the evidence.

So far this year, we’ve seen the Hawaiian Jamie O’Brien set on fire at Teahupoo, Robbie Maddison ride the same place on a motorcycle and, as you’ll soon see, Chuck Patterson surf on a pair of skis and Quirin Rohleder surf powder snow on his regular surfboard.

The German label Bogner, who make civilised, if slightly pricey, sportswear, are behind this surf vs snow jam. Chuck Patterson is a SUP, ski, kite, snowboard guy and he is filmed surfing on snow skis. To compound our awe, Chuck appears unnaturally at ease in the waves.

The greatest challenge he said, “was the fact that my feet were steadily tied to the skis and the binding wouldn’t open up after a fall in the water…”

But!

“When I was surfing on the wave and wanted to make a turn I instinctively used my sticks which is basically silly but I instantly had the feeling that it was much easier. That was pretty much an aha-experience.”

Watch!

Quirin Rohleder is a Bavarian who learned to surf in Munich’s river wave. An old pal of mine, I can, and will, personally attest to Quirin’s skill in the ocean. My earliest etchings of memory are his frontside spins defecating symbolically on my Gold Coast-honed cutbacks when we both lived in Hossegor, France.

Here, Quirin greases good powder on his regular shortboard.

“It was almost like snowboarding,” he reports, “but with a less firm stand and a totally different drive.”

Do you like gimmicks? Is it restorative? Does it add something necessarily… unserious… to surfing?


Surf better today! Guaranteed!

And in only two lessons!

I think that sometimes that you think that BeachGrit tugs the hyperbole chain, a move commonly referred to as “Click Bait” in the biz. Well that hurts my feelings. Everything we do is the best! But what you are about to see is guaranteed.

There is a man in San Diego, Mr. Dara Ghasghai, who gives surf lessons and he has a website. When I first saw it I laughed. But when I read again the the only thought coherent floating through my brain was, “Son of a bitch, this man is spitting truth!” I will not bore you further. Read his bio/introduction here:

I spent the last 12 years struggling with surfing and working hard to try and understand why I did not surf the top surfers. Through trial and error I have finally figured out the secrets to surfing and have been working on them for the past two years. I wanted surfing to become my main concentration in life and I do NOT want anyone trying to learn how to surf to go through the same struggles I did. The reason it took me so long to figure out the secrets to surfing is because I never had anyone to teach me. Now that I know the secrets I Can teach all of them to you! You never will have to go through the 12 years of struggle I did. I will have you standing up in one to two lessons max! 

The claims are not empty. For example, “Sick of going to a surf lesson and it not being geared directly to your struggles?” Well… “I pay spical attention to each individuals strugals and know how to correct every problem.”

And, “Tired of surfing and not making much improvement?” So… “I can point out your streangths and what you need to work on, I can teach you how to spot your own problems and correct them.”

But most importantly, “Do you want to increase the speed you learn surfing on your own?” Who doesn’t? “I know secret teaching methods that will help you learn very fast and be on you own. I teach only one person at a time so all my lessons are personalized for you.”

Yes, easy to laugh but how much would you like to have a man correcting your every problem. Like a personal Snips Parsons! Sign up here. But, and really, Mr. Ghasghani seems to be having the best time ever.

What? Still not convinced.

Only the crustiest, most heartless of surfers would fail to see the beauty of this video. A catchy tune filled with valuable truths! And one more, in action at crusty, heartless Windansea!

Now that’s what I’m talking about.


Restrained urban sensibility vs quirky fashions from regional Australia! | Photo: Brodie Carr

War: Rip Curl vs Saturdays Surf NYC!

"We will fight them on the beaches!" promises Rip Curl's chairman of marketing Neil Ridgway!

Rip Curl’s marketing chairman Neil Ridgway rattled his saber over the weekend,  telling The Australian’s esteemed Fred Pawle that “We will fight them on the beaches!” while maybe chewing an unlit cigar and maybe calling in some air support.

The them, of course, is the boutique surf label/retailer Saturdays. Specializing in minimalist surf chic, the brand started in New York City (2009) to great acclaim and now has stores in Japan and, soon, Bondi. This news, apparently, sent Mr. Ridgway into a jingoistic tailspin.

“Good luck to them…” he continued “…We’ve got more right than Saturdays do it. (?) We can pull our own art from 40 years ago. (?) If you surf or love going to the beach then you are probably going to be our customer. (?) We don’t chase down people who aren’t our customers. (?)”

And such hot talk! So militaristic! Roar!

Mr. Ridgway once sat me down in Portugal and poured hot talk on my head too. He told me he didn’t like what I was writing and that I spent too much time describing people’s clothes and that he didn’t know what I was up to with my investment banker. He was wearing an exquisite red beret the entire harangue. It framed his face almost perfectly. And even though he was steaming mad, brow furrowed, flushed, it was a glorious thing to behold. It bumped him right up into my top five people in surf and every time I see him my heart glows. I trust when he meets the Saturdays boys they will love him too and possibly give him a blue and white striped long sleeve shirt (buy here!) It will, most definitely, set his red beret off just perfectly.


"There is an international pro tour, on which some of the world’s best surfers perform occasional miracles in 30-minute heats," writes Bill Finnegan. "The judging is wonky, obtuse, subjective. Surfing is, after all, more like dance than it is like baseball." | Photo: Barton Silverman/New York Times

Opinion: “Surf for love not gold”

Pro surfing is "wildly boring" writes Bill Finnegan in today's NY Times…

Who has given us more precious insight into the game of surf, lately, than the New York writer Bill Finnegan? His memoir Barbarian Days treats surf as love affair, as fundamental do-or-die. I believe there is no better book on surf and destiny and man’s natural urges.

Read about Bill here. 

In the New York Times, very prestigious in some eyes, or, in the words of Gavin McInnes: “New York Times readers wear J.Crew blazers and long for a world where black people would be their friend” Bill cast his eye on the relationship between being paid to surf and just surfing for the laughs.

Here’s a taste.

“Organized competition is entirely peripheral to surfing qua surfing. People surf for love. The pastime lends itself to obsession. Surfers travel to the ends of the earth to find great, remote waves. I spent much of my 20s chasing waves through the Southern Hemisphere. Most surfers have home breaks that they come to know at a subgranular level of detail. Committed surfing is a deep immersion, literal and philosophical, in the ocean. The goal, if there is a goal, is a certain drenching experience of beauty. It’s quite possible to surf for decades without laying eyes on a surf contest.

More visibly, there is an international pro tour, on which some of the world’s best surfers perform occasional miracles in 30-minute heats. The judging is wonky, obtuse, subjective. Surfing is, after all, more like dance than it is like baseball. Then there’s the ocean. If the waves are good, the contest will be good… If the waves are crummy, the contest will be unwatchable.

“But, with increased popularity, a slapdash competitive structure, different in each surf region, has developed. More visibly, there is an international pro tour, on which some of the world’s best surfers perform occasional miracles in 30-minute heats. The judging is wonky, obtuse, subjective. Surfing is, after all, more like dance than it is like baseball. Then there’s the ocean. If the waves are good, the contest will be good — and in that case I will probably be in the global audience, glued to the live-stream, waiting for something transcendent to happen. If the waves are crummy, the contest will be unwatchable.

“Surfing photographs well. It makes mesmerizing video. It is not, however, a spectator sport. With the exception of a few spots, on random days — contest organizers struggle to find just these spots and days — it is wildly boring to watch. The action is hard to see from shore, and there’s usually not much of it. Lulls between waves are long, rides mostly short and unexciting. Surfers themselves can watch waves for hours, but they’re accustomed to lulls. Everybody else is much happier with the highlight reel.”

Later, he begs for surfing to become uncool. It’s an incisive piece.

Read the full story here. 

 


Wow: Guess who voices new JJF film?

Hint.

How many times have you watched Blake Vincent Kueny’s delicate masterpiece View From a Blue Moon? Ten times? Twenty? Have you wept at the sheer beauty? What about that voice that rises above the glorious plucks of violin string and says, “The ocean floor rises five miles to the shores of what people call the Seven Mile Miracle. What would it be like to be born on this island? To grow up on these shores? To witness this water everyday? You’re about to meet someone who did.”

Who could that possibly be about?

Jamie O’Brien!

Just kidding. of course it is John John Florence but who actually says those magical words?

Wait for it……………………………….

John C. Rielly!

That’s right, the comedian best known for turns as Will Ferrell’s sidekick in Step Brothers and Talladega Nights said very serious things about John John and Oahu’s North Shore. And son of a bitch. I love the trailer, I do, but what I wouldn’t give for a little comedy! John C. might be the funniest of all actors. He cracks me up…They should have loosened the leash and made funny! But maybe the movie will surprise with laughs. If not, watch John C. Rielly and Will Ferrell here.