Greg Noll wonders things too, no doubt
Greg Noll wonders things too, no doubt.

Hmm: “What’s the deal with Greg Noll?”

And other important questions.

A great man once said, “If you speak with authority you’ll be treated as an authority.” That great man was me, and the quote sums up how I approach most of my interpersonal interactions. I figured out a long time ago that no one really has any idea what’s going on, and most people will treat any strongly worded statement as fact. Hardly a secret, I know, but it’s a fun thing to keep in mind when you spend a ton of time playing with words.

The hardest part is remembering it’s all an act. That I too am utterly clueless, and the fact that someone believes my bullshit doesn’t mean I speak from any real knowledge.

Some shit, though, I just don’t get. And, no matter how hard I try, I can’t string together a series of lies that resembles sense. The following are some of those things:

Who buys pro models? Remember the Surftech Channel Islands Kelly Slater model? Who the hell bought those things? I used to see them everywhere. Speaking of Slater…

Has a product with KS’s name on it ever actually sold? I bought a K Grip pad when I was a young impressionable lad, and it was terrible. White, so it got filthy, no traction, so I had to wax it. It did look cool, though, right off the rack. Off the top of my head I can remember Slater brand skateboards, a quick search shows that he even had a model on Arbor a few years back.

What’s the deal with Greg Noll? He quit surfing in 1969, right? That’s 46 years ago! But, for whatever reason, surfing’s obsession with its past has kept him semi-relevant ever since.

Why Rio? Brazil digs surfing, and absolutely deserves to have a tour event. But is Rio really the best combination of accessibility and consistency? Or is it some sort of pseudo-conspiracy predicated upon the fact that their surfers have traditionally excelled in that type of slop?

Is Fu Wax still a thing? I was gifted a few bars of a super sticky knock off a couple years back, and it was murder. Way too much traction, basically waxed my chest every time I paddled out. Plus, I don’t surf nearly well enough to glue my foot into whatever position it’s in when it initially hits my board. Which is the same reason I’ve always hated wearing booties.

Why is RVCA pronounced “ruca”? It’s confusing. And I wonder what’s going on with Conan Hayes’s fraud charges? Legal wheels turn slowly, but he’s looking at a decent stint in jail if they can make the charges stick. Which I sincerely hope they do not, since defrauding a mortgage company shouldn’t even be a crime.

Will SurfStitch try to buy out BeachGrit? Oh god, I hope so. I’ll sell out the moment I get a chance, would even agree to stay on board and shill away any legitimacy I have.

Danny Fuller: “I was a human turtle!”

Is there a more interesting personality, currently, in all of surf?

What Youth, the wonderful magazine/website/production house from Costa Mesa, California has been around now for five-ish years and how fantastic for the surf world. Their blend of introspection, high performance, quality and skill make for such a pleasant experience. Bravo, I say.

One of their latest pieces on Danny Fuller is consistent with the brand in that it is very well done. And is there a more interesting surfer, right now than he? From Kauai to New York the man moves effortlessly between worlds. Or seemingly so. I saw him at Disneyland not too long ago and his life appears very full. Take a break, this Black Friday, and snuggle down with some good story-telling on a fascinating personality. Oh and don’t thank me for this present, thank What Youth.

Fairlynormal_Dannyfuller_final_master web from What Youth on Vimeo.

Sigh: The most romantic proposal!

So sweet it'll melt your ears!

Because I’m the healthiest sick person on earth I had the pleasure of spending my entire morning on the phone, using my sweetest fake nice phone voice to try and weasel my way into the last minute physical and hearing test I need before I go under for my latest god damn ear surgery.

For those keeping count, this will be the fourth time I’ve had an ear cut mostly off, then sewn back on. Third time for the left, ol’ Rightie’s had an easy go of it.

Thanks to our blessed Obama’s elimination of pre-existing conditions I have killer insurance. A lifelong series of head hole difficulties, coupled with my apparent prediliction for post-slam ER trips, would have made me un-insurable in the not so recent past. But, fuck, if I was expected to pay for all this shit out of pocket?

Going over hospital bills blows my mind. The sheer amount of debt you’d run up if you got seriously hurt and weren’t covered? It’s just so far beyond reason, I don’t know why people even bother paying a cent. Sure, it’d ruin your credit, but when you’re saddled with $500k+ ruination you’ll never be able to afford anything anyway.

Even when you’re safely covered, you’ve gotta stay on top of everyone when it comes time to pay up. Constant overcharges, bullshit “errors”- never in your favor. The people who supplied me with my IV stuff “accidentally” racked up over $1000, didn’t refund me until I noticed and called a few months later.

“Oh, we noticed that, I was just about to process your refund.”
How convenient.

Health insurance is really the only reason I’m married. After my wife finished law school she was uninsured for a few months. And, wouldn’t you know it? Here’s this weird lump in her tit!

Scary stuff, though in the end it was nothing. But the affair led to the most romantic proposal in the history of mankind.

“So, you know, if we were married you could just get on my plan.”

“Yeah, oof, I know.”

“And we’ll probably get a better tax rate when you find a law job.”


“So, like, you think we should just do it? It’s been twelve years, it’s not like either of us is going anywhere.”

“That’s true. Fuck it. Do we have to have a wedding?”

“Our families will probably get pissed if we don’t. Let’s just only give them a few weeks notice and not offer to pay for anything. No one will come that way.”

“Will you sign a pre-nup?”

“Hell no. I get half.”

I’m not sure how it works in countries with socialized medicine. I know we have a few readers from NZ and Aus, you all got that deal going, right? American propaganda tells us that your medical care sucks and that you’re taxed out the asses for it. Which doesn’t seem ideal. I’m sure I could find out the truth with a few hours spent online, but I’m not gonna bother.

Our deal works out pretty well. The majority of the premium is covered by the wife’s employer. Our share, while not small, isn’t particularly onerous. So I guess I can see the appeal of this system. If we were expected to pay a percentage it’d be more than just paying our little employer subsidized portion. Other people are out of luck, they can go get fucked. USA!

Even so, we’ve paid out enough this year to buy a boat. And I really want a little zodiac to run about. And I don’t want to feel lucky to have access to quality medical care. And I really wish I didn’t have to leave Kauai to get this shit done. And I really, really, really hope that none of the nursing staff decides molest my sexily unconscious body.

We’re back!

Just like a 1971 MG Midget!

Ain’t the Internet just a damn thing? So future! So modern! But as fickle as a 1971 MG Midget. I had one once and it was glorious but it would break down maybe every other day. Thankfully, it was a midget and so I could push it to the nearest garage and they would call the nearest British motors specialty shop and then. $1000.00 later I would be on the road for a whole ‘nother day!

Well, I hope you missed us. I hope your day was a bit less bright, a bit less fulfilled. Hopefully Graham Stapelberg will never hack us again.

Bruce Irons, Pipeline
Do you like the aesthetics of Bruce Irons at Pipe? Oh, we do, we do! | Photo: Brian Bielmann

Opinion: Wildcards ain’t candy!

The louder the child, the greater the reward?

My wife’s law firm hosted a fancy pants wine and dine schmooze party the other night, and I got wrangled along in order to fulfill my role as dutiful spouse. The requirements of said role are mostly minorL don’t wear boardshorts, iron your aloha shirt, smile and nod and, for god’s sake, don’t offer up any of your crazy fucking opinions about class structure, the legal system, or small town political dynamics.

Not too much of a chore.

I’m nearly deaf in my left ear, with a decent amount of hearing loss in my right. Between the background chatter of the crowd and the guy playing guitar in the corner I couldn’t understand most of what was being said.

So smile and nod and try to read facial cues. Was that a joke? I think it was. Chuckle politely.

As the night wound down and people trickled home, until only employees and close friends of the firm remained. The volume dropped to a point where I could actually understand and interact with the people around me.

All of them are very nice, though if I felt differently there’s no way I’d say so here. Despite my urging the wife tells all and sundry about BeachGrit, and at least a few of her colleagues actually read it.

And thank you very much, guys. I swear that anything unflattering is not aimed at you.

The thing about lawyers, at least the successful ones, each was, without exception, the smartest kid in school. Highly intelligent, very competitive, skilled at testing and writing and putting their opinions into words.

They love to talk shop, and after a few bottles of wine every lawyer gathering devolves into a contest to see who can shout their opinions loudest. Which I find exhausting. It’s not that I don’t understand what they’re taking about, I’ve been front row center to the missuses legal trajectory, you can’t help but pick some stuff up. I just don’t care.

I’ll run my mouth for hours, given the chance. Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yapI love attention, I just hate competing for it. Look at the shit I write for BG. Ninety percent of it is just me talking about me.  Which has become my answer when people ask the awful question, “So what do you write?”

It gives off a strong silent type vibe, which is kind of cool, but couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’ll run my mouth for hours, given the chance. Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yapI love attention, I just hate competing for it. Look at the shit I write for BG. Ninety percent of it is just me talking about me.  Which has become my answer when people ask the awful question, “So what do you write?”

Self involved essays, mostly. Such a weird answer. Definitely don’t say that to someone you just met.

Which brings us around to the point, beyond just writing about myself. Something, again, I obviously love to do.

Sometimes you just don’t belong.

It’s got nothing to do with ability, the skill to play the game.It’s rooted in desire, or anxiety, or some deep-seated personal flaw that says, “This far, no further.”

Just because you could, doesn’t mean you should, and being driven by the expectations of others can only lead to failure.

Win or lose, you’re gonna lose.

Bruce Irons has no business being granted a wildcard to Pipe.

Yes, he’s a legend, brother to another whose tale has only grown larger in the telling. But he’s never been able to succeed in the contest world. Like Dane, it’s not ability holding him back, just desire.  Sure, he may be able to make a few heats, mix things up, crush a dream or two. But that’s all.

There’s an entire generation of young Pipe chargers just dying for a chance, and that spot is rightfully theirs. Bruce had his time, but blew it and chose to walk away. I’ve no idea what he’s done with his life in the following years, but he’s stayed out of jail, out of the news, so whatever’s going on it can’t be all that bad.

He should’ve turned down his shot, looked magnanimous, become an elder statesman.

But it’s too late now. Whatever it is about competition that tears him apart, he’s gotta face it again.

In the public sphere, after a huge to-do, all eyes on him.