Just in: “Lazy Pigs” vs Lunada Bay Locals!

The proper way of dealing with aggression is with more aggression…

It must be a slow news day, because the LA Times just ran a new piece on Lunada Bay. Nothing new in it, really. Rehashing of old stories, empty promises from PV pigs, same ol’ same old.

Fun stuff from the new PV police chief, Jeff Kepley.

“I’m not so naive to believe that we can solve this instantly or overnight,” Kepley said. “It took 50 years to get here. Hopefully, it won’t take that long to resolve, but I think it’s very important to get the word out as aggressively and enthusiastically as we can that the status quo is going to be mixed up around here.”

Pretty standard lazy pig bullshit.

A half-wit would point out that stationing a cop on the bluff during swell would instantly solve any problems, but it’s unfair to expect that type of high level mental gymnastics from a person who willingly sought a career in law enforcement. Especially one in Palos Verdes, an affluenza-addled shithole that plays elite-level NIMBY.

It’s a little over two years from the day I destroyed my shoulder bodysurfing small Pipe, found myself bored as hell and out of my mind on painkillers. I don’t do well with downtime, post surgery healing, then physical therapy, meant I was in for a lot of it.

Chris Taloa’s brother (I think it was his brother) had run into some trouble trying to surf Lunada and and Chris was very upset about it. Won Ton is a classic character, and has long been one of my personal heroes, thanks to his unreal stand-up bodyboard ability.

Bit of a tangent, but I think it’s very funny that, thanks to Catch Surf, we’re in the midst of a stand-up boogie renaissance, while calling it surfing. It is not. Doesn’t make it any less cool or fun, but we should call a spade a spade.

I hit up Chris via social media and offered to help him with his campaign. Living thousands of miles away I didn’t really have a dog in the fight, but I grew up in the shadow of PV, dealt with some of those fuckers growing up, and, perhaps most importantly, didn’t have anything better to do.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that the proper way of dealing with aggression is with more aggression. The wave would be a long ruined clusterfuck on every swell if people did the right thing and bashed the fuck out of anyone who tried to tell them where they can, or cannot, surf. Turning the other cheek just gets you hit twice, and while the meek may inherit the earth it’ll only be because it fills their mouths and chokes their screams.

Chris wanted to mob the spot, so I tossed a post up on reddit to see if I could drum up some interest. It struck a nerve, people were very upset, and I realized the story had legs. Was it likely that a bunch of surfers would actually have the balls to stand up for themselves, face down a group of sad sack spoiled middle aged babies? Of course not.

Transworld Surf had recently been murdered via corporate transfer and the only paid writing work I could find was pumping out shorts for The Inertia. It was easy money, pandering ain’t difficult, and I thought they’d be a great spot for rousing the rabble. Ctrl+V’ed the post into a word doc and sent it over to Alex Haro as a freebie.

The response rattled Weisberg.

“Within a few minutes, my inbox filled up with hate mail, and I was honestly worried about what might happen there. The piece was pretty incendiary, and a LOT of people read it. I just wanted everyone to be safe. There was a lot of anger coursing through our inboxes, comments, Facebook pages, etc…”

He did a hard edit, after it had been posted, and moved to distance himself from the hoopla.

“The manner in which this message was originally delivered was exceptionally incendiary and intent on creating animosity in the local surf community, and, after more careful review, the tone has since been edited to reflect a more respectful attitude. Posts intended to inspire aggression, ill will, or worse, violence, will not be condoned. “

Absolutely fucking lovely.

At the time I was pretty pissed, it was a real soft-cock move, and I vaguely remember calling Zach and giving him a hard time. Of course, I was sucking down oxycontin like they were Pez, so it may have just been a mumble slur rant. And, really, he had just furthered my aim of drumming up as much drama as possible.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that the proper way of dealing with aggression is with more aggression. The wave would be a long ruined clusterfuck on every swell if people did the right thing and bashed the fuck out of anyone who tried to tell them where they can, or cannot, surf. Turning the other cheek just gets you hit twice, and while the meek may inherit the earth it’ll only be because it fills their mouths and chokes their screams.

I started making phone calls, sending emails, trying to plant the story everywhere I could. There were hundreds behind me, I was merely the face of the movement. Total, utter, complete bullshit. Like a hoary cripple with a malicious eye I lied in every word. It was very fun.

And people bought it.

It’s an amazing thing, how a lie often repeated with a straight face can so quickly become “truth.” I’m hardly a reliable narrator, I obviously had an agenda, but I was still taken at my word.

“Almost immediately after he had posted the notice, threats of violence and even death appeared in his inbox. But Parker was unfazed, buoyed by a belief that localism runs counter to the essence of surfing, which he believes is to have fun, keep fit, and partake of an incredible natural resource.

“This just feels like the right thing to do,” Parker said. “It’s a corny, stupid reason for putting myself out there like this, but it’s the right thing to do… We all share resources. They [Bay Boys] leave The Hill to go shopping. We’re going to climb The Hill to go surfing.”

Click here to read

In the end it all worked as I hoped, and expected. The PV cops showed up in force, news choppers circled the bay, and almost no one showed up. My Dad was there, Taloa paddled out alone, and it seemed like it fizzled.

But the point was never to change anything, it was to create a story that would engage, grow larger every time told. Which it has, rehashed every few months by lazy reporters worldwide.

It created a constant nagging headache for a wealthy enclave and their corrupt running dogs. Puts a smile on my face every time a story appears. I can’t stand rich people, and I really, really, really, fucking hate cops.


Devour: Shipsterns Wipeout Reel!

Those steps! Do you think you could survive Shipsterns hot little mouth?

I like to think that I’m a pretty brave guy, when it comes to the ocean. I’ve spent my entire life playing in it, I can hold my breath for a long time, and I’ve dealt with enough surf-related injuries to know that while I may get hurt, and badly, I’m probably not going to die.

Then shit like this video comes along and reminds me that, in the grand scheme of things, I’m a total pussy.

Yeah, I’ve surfed some big waves, by normal kook standards. But guys nowadays… it’s like they’re having a contest to see how much punishment the human body can withstand.

Like, did you see Will Skudin’s paddle in at Nazare? What the fuck? Did he really think he’d be able to punch through the back?

Kind of related, what the hell is “Red Chargers”?

How have I never heard of this contest?

Why did they choose a name conjures the image of menstruating San Diego sports team?


Buy low: Surf in Morocco today!

Want gorgeous empty waves? Capitalize on world Islamophobia and score!

The Eiffel Tour stood powerfully in view from my Airbnb. It was lit in the Tricolour of blue, white, and red because terrorists had just fired assault rifles into and blew up 130 people for living free. Drinking if they wanted to, rocking and rolling if they wanted to. The Parisian motto Fluctuat nec mergitur that was illuminated beneath translates fittingly to, “She is tossed by the waves, but not sunk.” The attack happened three days earlier yet sirens still pierced the night. Residents not living by #JeSuisEnTerrasse contemplated never going out into public again. The city was in shock. All my friends in Paris knew victims. My current flat mate – infamous trouble magnet Chris Binns – had been trying to get us tickets for that fateful Bataclan concert. For no reason in particular I instead flew to Berlin hours before to do a strike Berghain dawn patrol. It was one of those decisions you don’t give much weight to that by chance saved us from the guns of jihadist militants.

Before it got morbid, we began this journey in Paris alongside Surf Europe’s gem-of-a-bloke Paul Evans to attend the View From A Blue Moon premiere. After scattering Binnsie and I were now reunited in the City of Lights trying to make sense of the close call. When faced to stand before the mirror of life what can you do except keep living? No point in questioning it. Although rattled by the randomness of fate the reality was that nothing had actually happened to us. That didn’t stop The Sydney Herald from writing about what almost was. Riveting Aussie non-news.

We had to get out of Paris. Belgium was under siege and there was still talk of closing the French borders. Confusion was in the air and there was swell on the way. Decisions had to be made. Being in Europe everywhere is a stones throw away. That’s true anywhere, but especially advantageous in central Europe. Binnsie had his own demons to deal with having just survived a serious head-on collision in the South of France days prior to almost attending the slaughter. His second home of Bali was now on the agenda and a session with a Shaman would be his first appointment. I’d narrowed my choices down to the familiar – Hossegor – or the more exotic – Morocco. The decision was simple; as I’d now be travelling alone… take the unknown every time! A flight into Casablanca was booked that departed in 8-hours. Enough time to pack my Rimowa, sleep a few hours, and sip an espresso avec croissant sur la terrasse.

The North African country of Morocco is 99% Muslim. Who, for fear mongering racists, are on the shit list right now. Any man pairing a beard with Islamic clothing or woman in hijab risks being mistaken for a radical in certain parts of the world. It’s dangerous thinking to lump a small percentage of wacko terrorists to an entire religion. Trump is making headlines for making Hitler-esque claims and continuing his transition to demagogue. The entire situation only seems to be escalating. Shockingly the further he infuriates the rest of the world the stronger his polling gets and the more guns American’s stockpile. It is indeed a strange land.

Thankfully I don’t think like that as I was the only tourist boarding a full flight to Mohammed V Airport from Charles de Gaulle. Much of the tourism to Muslim countries has dropped off since the attacks. Security was increased, but barring Moroccan’s differing outlook on personal space it was a smooth flight. They even clap when the plane lands like in the old days. So cute!

When bouncing around Europe without an itinerary it’s a blessing to travel “carry-on only” light and leave the board coffin at home, but bring everything else. Having a wetsuit, fins, and a leash assures easy access to anyone’s leftovers. In 14 days of mostly hedonistic behavior around Europe I visited 9 major cities in 4 countries. Only one of which was surfed in. Board fees and coffin stress would have been astronomical.

Casablanca sounds like the sexiest place. This is a lie. It’s hard to find a drink and there are too many men everywhere. A mean tajine can be found in the right restaurant though and the Hannan II Mosque is a structure of beauty. The final destination was the wave rich coastal city of Agadir, so I hopped on the first train to Marrakech which lay somewhere in the middle. The intention was a quick breeze through the market there before continuing on, but I was forced to get a hotel near (not in) the prestigious La Mamounia as terror threats meant no short-term luggage storage anywhere. The night was spent in the madness that is the medina and Jemaa-el Fnaa. There were monkeys and snake charmers and mint tea and dates and magicians and thieves and no tourists because they were all scared of Muslims. I was Indiana Jones!

Upon leaving my petit taxi was hit by another, which happens often here. For a population of mostly sober people they drive like absolute maniacs and commonly kill one another. Once in Agadir I rented a car and was now in control of navigating around these psychos. A murdered out Benz passed me doing no less than 170 km/hr on my way north to the dry surf town of Taghazout. I would later have to grease a cop for doing 65 in a 60. Typical gringo tax.

My home was now Sunshine Surf Morocco headed up by the legendary Reda. He’s a killer local surfer that knows all the spots and when the slabs get psycho he pulls out the sponge. Sometimes he flies around the world competing in world championships. Be nice to the boogies because they might save your life one day. There’s more to this region than the Sipping Jetstreams spots and Dane’s cover. Reda made sure we were on them. The first morning we surfed an epic little beachy when a massive caravan of camels strolled through. “That’s a million dollars worth of camel,” informed Reda. Who knew those humped creatures fetched such a sum?

Over the course of the swell we surfed constantly on every type of wave, spear fished our dinner, drank local beers, and OD’d on couscous. The locals are a passionate bunch: overly conservative while changing into wetsuits (so cute!), but aggressive enough to get a massive desalination plant development shutdown that threatened the future of their most iconic wave.

While exploring the Muslim culture there was never a moment of intimidation or fear. I propose that anyone unwilling to open their borders or hearts to those of a different background should book a flight into Morocco – solo and preferably unarmed – to absorb the culture, and gaze upon their perfect waves… but not be allowed to surf them.

 


Welcome Elsewhere is Craig Anderson's first edit since Cluster and culminates in his famous session at Kanduis on his little five-four Hypto Krypto. Edited by Kai Neville, too… 

Craig Anderson talks: New Movie, New Label!

"I want to be motivated by doing things the way I want 'em to be done," says Craig.

Craig Anderson is one of the the most alluring and memorable characters in surf of the last twenty-five years. His extravagant surfing, his brushes with movie star-style fame. (Last February, I watched as a Jew supplicated himself before Craig at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem; the day before at the Jaffa Gate, American girls had swooned as Craig roared past on a Segway, your reporter in the hottest pursuit!), his dazzling movie roles in Kai Neville’s films as well as his own Dane Reynolds-produced film, Slow Dance.
In November, it was reported, here, that Craig was trying to climb out of his freshly signed $500,000 contract with the bankrupt company Quiksilver (whom he’d been with since he was 10), joining his best friend and creative partner Dane Reynolds, who’d torn up a $4,000,000-a-year deal with the same company. Read about that, here and here. 
And, now, a new film, a new label?
Let’s examine the film, called Welcome Elsewhere, first. It is 12 minutes long and it’ll be loosed online on January 12.
I called Craig at his home in Newcastle, Australia, to discuss. His telephone would pop and fizz and disappear for seconds at a time, often in the most crucial part of the conversation, the gaps filled by the noise of me nervously clinking the ice in my Christmas brandy.
This is what Craig said:
“January 12 seemed an appropriate day to drop an edit. I’d been working on it for a few months, then I ended up parting ways with Quiksilver so January 12 seemed a good enough day for a fresh start. I always have trouble with letting things go and letting ‘em out into the internet space.”
This is the first time you’ll have seen Craig since Kai Neville’s Cluster (Craig’s section was Kai’s favourite) and the year before’s Slow Dance. It culminates in that now very-famous sequence at Kanduis, in the Mentawai islands.
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“I finished Cluster at the start of this year and I didn’t feel like filming for a couple of months. Then I went to G-Land for (Newcastle legend and Grajagan pioneer) Peter McCabe’s sixtieth birthday. I was gonna go home and then I saw that Indian Ocean blob and I got Kai Neville to come and film.”
Is there a narrative to Welcome Elsewhere or is it a compilation of random clips?
“Just a bunch of clips. Just a fucking 12-minute surf film.”
Welcome Elsewhere has already premiered in Brazil at the Mimpi surf skate film festival, in Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro. But I’m guessing you missed that.
It was amazing to ride for Quiksilver, they were lenient with me and let me do what I wanted to do, but the emotional connection has been lost a little, with Kelly leaving and so on. I look at Quik in the eighties and nineties, the team, the soul of the company, it was what I wanted to be a part of . All the product, everything, was super amazing. Nowadays, in my opinion, the soul isn’t there. So we want to start something that’s true to us, with products we believe in. To be motivated to do fun, cool shit.
And, so, in two weeks, you’ll find it on Craig Anderson’s personal Vimeo account, perhaps guided there by the embeded file in aggregative surf websites.
“I’ve never put anything out on my Vimeo account before, never on my own back. I’ve only ever worked on bigger projects with Dane and Slow Dance and Kai and all his films, now it was time. Even though this was edited by Kai and filmed by a bunch of different guys, I’m going to rev up my Vimeo and hopefully drop clips every six or 12 months.”
And the clothing label? Maybe with Dane Reynolds?
“…oh…that…”
Yeah…
“There’s not that much movement. It’s an annoying time to try and start something. Everyone’s off holidaying. I want to start fresh, get the wheels…”
Secrets are exciting, don’t you think?
“Yes they are, they build anticipation. But I was going to say, everything’s still early days. Stab did that piece that was… a sort of rumour mill, but there was a little bit of truth to it. (Dane) Reynolds is the driving force, the CEO-type behind the brand. We’re going to wait and do a nice release. Keep some shit on lock.”
Will you be US or Australia based?
“Oh shit, don’t write too much. Keep it to the edit. We’ll come to you first.”
Why start a label?
“I just feel like that at my point in my career, I want to be motivated by doing things the way I want ’em to be done, as we as friends want to do it. It was amazing to ride for Quiksilver, they were lenient with me and let me do what I wanted to do, but the emotional connection has been lost a little, with Kelly leaving and so on. I look at Quik in the eighties and nineties, the team, the soul of the company, it was what I wanted to be a part of . All the product, everything, was super amazing. Nowadays, in my opinion, the soul isn’t there. So we want to start something that’s true to us, with products we believe in. To be motivated to do fun, cool shit.”

Are you worried about not get a regular cheque? Or are you carefree, weightless?

I feel like everyone was telling me not to take the leap of faith, but how could you not with the people involved and the idea behind it all? I mean, who gives a fuck? You only get one shot at this career.

“Totally! I feel like everyone was telling me not to take the leap of faith, but how could you not with the people involved and the idea behind it all? I mean, who gives a fuck? You only get one shot at this career. I wanna look back when I’m forty and be proud of what I’ve done in the industry. I want to take a chance…”

Tell me about your relationship with Dane Reynolds.

“He’s like my big brother. I’ve got a lot of people around me that I look up to. I’ve got a lot of people I’m close to who I think are amazingly creative and talented and Dane’s one of those guys. We’re both seventh of September Virgos. It’s an interesting dynamic. He helps me and he supports me with everything. I’m bad at making decisions, he speeds that up. We’ve never got into an argument and we’ve always been able to see eye to eye. There’s no agonising between us. Only a mutual respect.”

Blood Feud: Schroff vs. Hayden!

Oh but let's just please go out for drinks instead!

A good blood feud sizzles. The aggrieved parties stand across a ballroom from each other, Hawaiian shirts unbuttoned one extra button, ready to dance (Surfer vs. The Intertia) or across an ocean smashing their thumbs into social media accounts/freestyle rapping (Jay Alvarrez vs. Ethan Carlson).

This here ain’t one of those and I will use this bully pulpit to try and end it, bringing peace to our surf world once again. But first, let me catch you up. Peter Schroff is an iconic southern California surfboard shaper/artist from the 1980s. I have never met the man but remember another iconic Peter, Taras this time, showing me Schroff Surfboard advertisements in old issues of Surfing magazine. They soared! Black and white, edgy, funny, amazing. The logos were better than I had ever seen in surf.  I couldn’t believe, in fact, that I had never seen before and I also couldn’t believe that no one was re-creating that look today.

Schroff had disappeared, I was told, and doing other things outside of surf. But then in 2010 he came back and his boards still look like works of absolute art and his graphic design is very very on point.

Hayden Cox is a very handsome young man and sits atop a nouveau surf empire. Hypto-Krypto, baby. Craig Anderson rides his boards and they are not just boards but technological patented things. Hayden also has a fine eye for design.

Just look at his new shop here!

Now. Schroff claims Hayden uses one of his logos for his new wetsuit line and Schroff is very very very angry, filling his entire Instagram account with daggers/hashtags aimed at the young man.

He criticizes Hayden for the artistic theft, sometimes poking fun (like drawing the Apple logo and the Nike swoosh and saying that he came up with new ideas for the line) sometimes angry, sometimes honest, telling one of his followers, “We cud give a flying horse shit if someone used it in another field than the surf industry, sweetheart, in fact Photo Impact studios used it in the 80s and we had no issues. All HS have to do is stop using, apologize & carry on. We only slam folks that ask for it, we got better things to do.” Before jumping on a “made in China” screed.

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Hayden, for his part, has taken the dignified path, refusing to respond.

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And, gentlemen, if I may…

Crusty, low level, hashtag rage is unbecoming dear Peter! It belies a bitterness that we have all seen on our grandparents and thought, “Yuck! Never me!” But somehow most old people slip into it like comfort shoes. I’m not saying you are bitter I’m saying you look bitter and sometimes looking bitter is worse.

Quietly pretending there is no issue is unnecessary dear Hayden! Your wetsuit logo, which, let’s concede, is more a graphic than a logo for it is a limited-run of suits not necessarily created to make buckets of money, does appear similar to Schroff’s design even though you could be (and are!) forgiven for thinking horizontal lines are probably not patented.

Look at the sunglass label Sabre. They too like lines!

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But please, please don’t just change it and carry on. Use this opportunity to do a collab maybe with Peter. Dig further into his archive, make something together! I’m telling you, there is gold in them hills!

Let’s all three of us go out and get some drinks! The first three rounds are on me! Let’s laugh and toast a brave new future! Let’s all let it go, let it go! We can’t hold it back anymore!

Oh! And here’s stripes from 1915! A very early Schroff piece?

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P.S. You are both welcome to use our Bitchy Crab.
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