Desire: When Julian Wilson Met Ash-O

A modern fairtytale (in Emporio Armani)…

Julian Wilson and his fiancé Ashley Osborne are sensational. A four-year love affair, a proposal in Paris, just across from the leering gargoyles of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame. A man who refuses to let a friend die in the jaws of a great white; a woman whose procreative beauty steals your attention from the pages of fashion magazines. 

Her expert hands thwart his clumsiness. His athleticism offsets her fragility.

Earlier today, the website buro24.7 published a photoshoot of the lovers with an analysis of the pair’s relationship, which we’ll examine here.

How did you two meet? Who approached whom?

Ashley: We met a few times, once on the Gold Coast at a party. Jules approached me with a huge smile and a drink, I was pretty smitten but wasn’t too sure about it all as I was moving overseas.
Julian: I approached Ash to buy her a drink at the bar. Ash then proceeded to ask for one more for her friend and then once I got the drinks, Ashley and her friend disappeared into the night.
Ashley: We then ran into each other in LA randomly, but it wasn’t until the end of 2011 for New Year’s in Byron Bay that we actually started to hang out. We’ve been together ever since!


You guys come from different worlds – do you ever find it hard to understand each other’s industries?
Ashley: Yeah for sure. I used to find the fans pretty intense at times, but Jules and I are a lot closer now and those things don’t bother me anymore. Jules’s career requires a bit more involvement – there’s a lot of support that goes into it, whereas my job is pretty independent. The hardest thing has been sacrificing my work for the sake of being there to support Jules. It was hard at first – I was a bit of a workaholic, but finding a balance has helped a lot.

Does it help or hinder your relationship having different day jobs?
 It helps. They actually go pretty hand in hand, to be honest. We both need to keep fit and healthy, and my job is pretty flexible thanks to my amazing agency who has always understood our situation. It’s a pretty perfect combo!
Julian: It can be difficult at times, but I’m proud of Ash and love seeing her happy. Sometimes it means more time apart, but it works.



Read more, and see more here. 

Fanning: “Why I’ll never surf Ballina!”

You’ll never guess why. Oh, wait…

Mick Fanning could never be accused of being dim. Three world titles, maybe a fourth in a few weeks, millions of dollars reaped from a sandal that opens beer bottles as well as a cornucopia of sponsors and an ability that shows no sign of decline.

In July, as you know, he even fought off a great white shark.

Therefore, perhaps it is prudent to listen to Fanning when he says he has no plans to surf anywhere near Ballina on Australia’s north-east coast.

“I used to go down to Ballina all the time, I haven’t been down this year because of those reasons, because there’s so much activity down there,” Fanning told the radio station Nova 96.9 after yesterday’s attack on a pro surfer there. 

At the regional GQ awards in Sydney where he won the Australian man of the year, he said the rise in shark attacks was “hard to take in” and that “we need to figure out what it is and a way to deter them.”

Not that sharks don’t muster near Mick’s homebreak of Snapper Rocks.

Look at this goddamn bastard. 

The difference, of course, is the Gold Coast City Council’s netting and drum line program. No fatals since 1962. Read all about it here. 


Did you know you can talk to great whites? Click here! 

Did you also know they succumb to bullet wounds? Click here! 

Brad Domke
"It's like cutting through butter with a hot knife," says Mr Domke, of surfing big waves on a skim.

Brad Domke to skim giant Nazaré

Fifty-foot waves on a skimboard?

Who can be indifferent to the charms of Brad Domke, the 25-year-old skimboarder from Wabasso in Florida? The last couple of years have offered all the excitement of Brad riding his skimboard at Teahupoo, Puerto Escondido, the Right in Western Australia and, in the next few days, the most photogenic big wave in the world, Portugal’s Nazaré.

This is Brad at Teahupoo, Tahiti, in September this year.

And Puerto Escondido, Mexico, last year.

And a little tumble from The Right in Western Australia.

On Friday, Domke will strut the enormous stage of Nazaré with his tow-pal David Langer and alongside those movie stars Garrett McNamara, German Sebastian Steudtner and Brit Andrew Cotton.

Do you have awareness of the great Nazare trench in Portugal? Oh, it’s something. Five thou’ metres deep, 230 clicks long. It shovels swells into a stretch of beach whereupon mongo peaks are created.

Friday’ll be thirty or forty or fifty foot. Who knows! Who can judge such things?

Why does he do it?

“It’ s a beautiful thing,” says Domke.

Footage as it happens.

Want to know more about tow-surfing? Click here! 


Surfers more smart than academics!

A new article points to a troubling trend in higher education. Don't worry boys! It don't effect us!

Would you like to know the best part about co-owning a li’l surf website with the great Derek Rielly? Lazily passing along unsubstantiated rumors! Would you like to know the second best part? Reading something amazing that is only very tangentially related to surfing yet posting about it anyhow!

There is, you see, an amazing article that just came out in The Atlantic called The Coddling of the American Mind (give yourself a gift and read here). It begins:

Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress. In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education describing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her. In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said. A number of popular comedians, including Chris Rock, have stopped performing on college campuses. Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have publicly condemned the oversensitivity of college students, saying too many of them can’t take a joke.

In short, it discusses the fact that college students in the United States have turned into giant sissies, vindictively lashing out at concepts they disagree with and, at the same time, wanting to be protected from them by their complete removal from the public sphere. The authors of the piece, Greg Kukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, give an exhaustive account of this phenomenon and attribute some of its birth to kids, now college-aged, who grew up as “natives” of social media where, “(It) makes it extraordinarily easy to join crusades, express solidarity and outrage, and shun traitors.”

This social back and forth has been a part of surf media since the very first message board popped up and has continued, unabated across multiple platforms like FaceBook, Twitter and below BeachGrit’s always fascinating posts. What was refreshing to me, though, as I read, was surfers still feel ok about being racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, jingoistic, small-minded, prejudiced, awful across these multiple platforms. We lob grenades back and forth all day long. Brazilians vs. Australians, old vs. young, fans of the WSL vs. detractors, Adriano de Souza haters vs. Other Adriano de Souza haters etc. And while the discussion is often base, it is very fun, no? And maybe closer to some kind of meta-truth than a clean scrubbed utterly inoffensive narrative. The Atlantic article points out that the way college students think today mirrors patterns that cause depression and anxiety. As shit as surfers can be, we ain’t that and I hope our dialogues stay loose, fast, generally uneducated, ill-informed, wildly opinionated and, above all, fun.

Hawaii’s Refugee Crisis!

You want to be a refugee in a tropical paradise? First, you gotta learn some rules.

How fucked is this photo? Mooching off aloha, living true to the stupid fucking haole stereotype.  Come to our islands (I’ve lived here for eights years! Super local status! You should hear my affected pidgin!), take take take, then bounce back to the mainland when you’re done taking advantage.

I get the desire to live the hippy trip. I really do.

I love being naked. Drugs are great. Anonymous sex is the tits.

And you can make it work. I’ve met more than a few spacy weirdos who get along just fine. Work some menial part-time job, spew a lot of spiritual mumbo-jumbo while sipping kombucha at the beach park.  It’s not for me, I like hot water and fast internet and enough money to pay my bills on time. But shine on you crazy diamonds! If you can follow a few rules we’ll get along just fine.

Wash yourself: Even raccoons wash their hands, and those fucking trash pandas are filthy by nature. When you’ve got a million streams, the ocean, and a multitude of public showers available to rinse the dirt off your greasy body there’s no excuse for hands so grungy it looks like you’re wearing a pair of gloves. This is basic fucking hygiene we’re talking about. The type of stuff that should come standard with a pair of opposable thumbs.

White people dreads are disgusting at the best of times, in humid tropical weather they’re little more than fetid petri dishes hanging from your scalp. You may as well collect a pile of cat shit and staple it to your dome. Equally fashionable, equally disgusting.

Wear deodorant: I don’t care if you think it’s unnatural. Get one of those crystals to run on your pits, I’ve heard they work. Smear berry juice on yourself, or mud, or whatever. I don’t really care.

If you think you can rock up smelling like a pile of onions and be treated decently you’ve got another thing coming. Yes, I know, if everyone smells then no one smells. But that doesn’t change the fact that you fucking stink.

Cut your hair: White people dreads are disgusting at the best of times, in humid tropical weather they’re little more than fetid petri dishes hanging from your scalp. You may as well collect a pile of cat shit and staple it to your dome. Equally fashionable, equally disgusting.

Cut that shit, shear it short. Stop pretending that smearing patchouli in your shit-locks is the same as a proper wash.

Don’t beg: Sharing means giving as much as you take, maybe more. If you have no job, no money, are always bumming rides and not contributing you’re a leech. If you beg and borrow but have a safety net in the form of mommy and daddy back home you’re an actual thief.

You see these fuckers on a semi-weekly basis slouching through the streets of Kapaa. They hitch a ride down from Princeville, where they live illegally in the bush. Act like they’re a part of nature rather than the environmental scourge they really are.

Shit on the ground, steal fruit from real humans.

Worse than the feral cat plague, fed by the same type of moron.