Photo Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker | Photo: Sherm

Pipe: Such a stupendous show!

First half of the day recap...because it's just too good!

Pipe was looking ugly in the AM. Lumpy bumpy North swell, none of that lovely West to bounce it off the bowl and turn square. Long lined up lefts, pinching, chandeliers tearing heads off. It did not look fun. Definitely a day at work for everyone who survived round two.

Bede got the day started on a good note. Air drop body compression. Shit hurts on a normal wave, no surprise he got sent to the ER.

Hospital on Oahu is a dice roll. From North Shore you’ve only got two options, if it’s truly urgent. Kahuku General is a tiny place. Across the street from the tourist ghetto that slings corn and shrimp at rental cars. They can stabilize you, but aren’t set up to repair much. I’ve always wondered where the legions of Mormons who infest that side swing when they need medical attention. Do they just pray for healing? That’s the type of shit they do, right? Do they have a secret medical center, one that’s well stocked and highly trained and kept secret from those of us who are going to hell because we don’t subscribe to their insane ideology? Maybe. That’s definitely the type of shit that they would do.

In the other direction, not much further away, you’ve got Wahiawa General. Bigger, better set to provide service. But the ER is a slow moving line of chronics complaining of non-specific stomach pains in a quest to secure doctor sanctioned opiate scrips.

Most people will tell you to make the drive to Queen’s, if the condition ain’t truly emergent. It’s where Owen went. But I spent a night in its confines, on a filthy folding chair, waiting for a pro to check the disgusting growth that had sprouted from behind my ear. Guy took a look, diagnosed me with a “swollen head” and sent me home. Then I came a cunt’s hair from death.

But it’s still your best option, where they recently chopped on my ear. I used a doc imported from the mainland though, still not too confident in the abilities of Oahu residents.

Kauai is a whole ‘nother story. Great medical care, I don’t know why. Maybe ‘cuz this is where the money is. The Princeville billionaires lure in the best and brightest, those at the tail end of a successful career but not yet ready to retire.

Stoked to see CJ beat Italo. Last event of his career, former world champ, albeit with a pretty heavy asterisk. I wrote off Italian Ferrari pretty hard early in the season, sure got that one wrong. Rookie of the year, yeah? Kid’s an ADS with a touch more steez, could be a contender in the years to come.

Slater at Backdoor, the man knows the spot. I wonder why his house didn’t get burgled this year? It’s turned into something of a tradition, local addicts looting his gear, flipping it god knows where. Kind of difficult to unload purloined boards belonging to the world’s most famous surfer on a teeny tiny little hunk of rock.

John John murdered Taj, no big surprise at scary strange Pipe. JOB’s gift to Fanning, however, well… I guess that wasn’t either. Homeboy just doesn’t have that competitive edge, and with a world title on the line you knew Mick’d make it work. Someone told me that Fanning paid him off, a cool ten large to take a dive. But that someone was my french bulldog, Mr Debs, and he’s hardly clued in to the coconut wireless.

Is it fucked that I always secretly hope (not so secret, anymore) that Mason Ho will flail and fail? Dude’s my favorite surfer in the world, with his boyish grin and impish twinkle. But the tour will eat him alive. That kind of creativity doesn’t consistently win heats, my world’s a better place if he’s focused on getting clips and playing spoiler when he’s gifted a wildcard.

The Flying Llama used his priority to shit on Kai Otton, a lovely side effect of overlapping two man heats, and got enough to squeak the lead. Underscored, a bit. Ross Williams agrees. Title shot on the line, will it be enough? ‘Twas not. Good night, sweet prince. See you next year.

Poor guy post heat wanted to cry so bad. Husky voice, hold it back, be a man. I’d’ve been sobbing, those high hopes come crashing down. But I tear up at the drop of a hat, so maybe I’m projecting. Pop on a Pixar flick, manipulate my emotions, watch me sob.

I’d been looking forward to the Parko/Otton heat. Beach chair side bets are good fun, really hoped it’d lead to a back and forth battle. No such luck. Kai came damn close on his last, clipped at the last moment, now Parko gets to ride him like a mule.

Can we get a moratorium on “knifing the takeoff” and “packing the barrel?” Variations are cool. “Holding his rail in the face like a knife to a whore’s throat,” would be great. “Packing the Backdoor,” would earn a giggle. But, like “jam” and “wrap,” they’re done.

Poor Seabass, earns a ten then off the tour, in the same damn heat. Come back to the Garden Isle, lick your wounds, then give it another go. Sure seems like J-Flo’s shrugged that chip off his shoulder, got his act together. Earned his win, didn’t try to dazzle. Can’t call it luck, frenchie’s a killer at Pipe.

Melling/Wilson was a bit of a nail biter. A make or break heat for Adam, off the tour if he didn’t pull it off. Last wave of the heat just barely got him through. Looks like he’s riding a Tokoro, good decision, for sure. Wade’s the Glen Hall of the shaping world. Tiny little guy, high pitched voice. Sweet god damn, does he build a beautiful board! And he charges Pipe, not a lot of high level shapers with a place in the line up. Arakawa gets more press, but if it were my job to win I’d be throwing money Wade’s way.

I just learned that Mick’s brother died last night. No more jokes about the guy, today. How the hell do your keep your shit together with that news rattling around inside your head? Sure as fuck gonna suck some sweetness from his victory, should he come out on top at the end of it all.

Last heat of round three, pretty damn important for ADS. It’s been fun to see his public perception turn. Looks like people are coming around, starting to feel some love for the squat stance little man who’s got the judging criteria dialed.

I’ve got a doctor’s appointment today, have to head down to Wilcox so Dr Netzer can poke and prod at my swollen dome, make sure nothing is infected, hopefully pull this packing foam out of my ear canal. Stuff itches like mad, I can feel it shift every time I chew or swallow. Already running late, just waiting to see if De Souza makes it through.

Gonna miss the Round Four super heat. Slater/Fanning/Florence! That’s a kick in the nuts. But Lihue ain’t too far away. Should be back in time to watch the last few heats, catch up on what I missed during lulls. Run two laptops at once, stream one live, click through those I missed.

Adriano wins it! And I’ve gotta go. Shoot this off to Chas (Derek’s busy trying to earn us some dough), finish up when I get back.

Dane Reynolds Craig Anderson

Rumor: Craig Ando to be a Destroyer!

Maybe joining ex-stablemate Dane Reynolds in bold new venture!

Remember when BeachGrit served you the piping hot rumor that Craig Anderson, the Craig Anderson, might be thinking about slow dancing away from Quiksilver? That subhead:

Read here today! Or on Stab tomorrow!

And the glorious words:

BeachGrit‘s Cardiff-by-the-Sea desk traded T-Mobileservice for Coconut Wireless over the weekend and things are jamming off the top because guess what? (Allegedly) Craig Anderson, the Craig Anderson, is trying to climb out of his freshly signed Quiksilver contract and join ex-stablemate Dane Reynolds in the great wide open!

The wind was howling into my source’s coconut, somewhere across the sea, so details were muddled, at best, but it was suggested that young Ando was interested in (purportedly) starting his own line. As you may, or may not, know the boy rides for HUF as well, an upstart skateboarding label with an eye toward stylish minimalism. (look here!) He is the only surfer on the team unless Joey Pepper is also a surfer. Might HUF be broadening into the surf-wear market? Might Ando be the next John Galliano and design a fabulous line of very chic newspaper boardshorts?

Reading it tomorrow on Stab was the only thing wrong. It took our wonderful friends one month but now we are all together, happily thinking what Craig will now do! Except I maybe know! It is what I first said one month ago!

Rumors from possibly another country have floated across my desk that Craig Ando will, in fact, join Dane Reynolds in his new brand which is still just a rumor but called allegedly Destroyer. Remember when Dane made Craig’s movie? They are the two best friends that anyone could ever have!

Will you buy Destroyer? Are you excited about it and will you tell your friends to buy it too?

Gimme two!
Gimme two!

New Point Break Film Dazzles!

If you have cognitive disabilities or don't understand a word of English!

I went to the Hollywood black carpet premier of Point Break last night on the arm of snowboarding half pipe Olympic gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov. I wore Dior and Iouri wore Costume National. I saw old friends like Raimana van Bastolear and Mark Healey and met new ones like Albee Layer and Jaws champ Billy Kemper. We took pictures etc.

Eventually we were all herded off the black carpet and into the grand Chinese Theater, given 3-D glasses and sent to our seats. It was, obviously, a full house.

The lights dimmed, the movie flickered, and from the very first word spoken it was clear that it was going to be a grotesque bastardization of an already, let’s be honest, silly film. The Utah character sits on a motorcycle and talks to his friend about doing some impossible line and they gotta do it because that’s what the sponsors want, bro, and also YouTube hits, like, millions. Utah’s tattoos are even uglier than his campy action sports dialogue.

Tragedy strikes and we next see Utah in an FBI classroom and you know the story! Except you don’t because Utah uses words like “polyathlete.” He’s a polyathlete because he does many different action sports. Etc.

And it is gag me with a spoon bad. Ham-fisted, bizarre drivel. Hollywood’s wet dream of what action sports kids are, what they do and how they speak is so completely and shockingly off, still, after all these years that it has become a wonder. The director/producers/writers of this film either think they’re shreds so, therefore, don’t need any help writing dialogue/crafting story or…I don’t know. I just don’t know. The director was wearing a bandana around his head and had two loop earrings on the carpet so maybe that explains everything.

Right when I was ready to shove my 3-D glasses deep into my ears the action really hit and it was at Teahupo’o, even though it is supposed to be off the coast of France, and wow. Just wow. Aside from the necessary Laird Hamilton on a ski cameo and everyone cheering loudest for kick-outs it is wonderful. This is where the film shines. This is where the director accepted maybe more creative input from the people who actually do the things he is trying to make a movie about.

And Teahupo’o is the low water mark. The snowboarding, wingsuit flying, rock climbing, motorcycling bits completely titillate. All the way until there are step-offs at 100+ Cortes Bank. They are shot spectacularly and the athletes soar.

But when the narrative is re-entered the film is a dead fish. The Utah character is fine and the Bodhi character is fine but they ain’t no Keanu Reeves + Pat Swayze. Keanu played dumb jock well and Swayze played Dirty Dancing well. The new Utah is an empty Australian vessel with unfortunate hair. The new Bodhi character is something of a revelation, I must admit. The best acting in the film aside from Iouri Podladtchikov’s line in the Austrian mansion. The Angelo Pappas character is completely gutted. Not even a shadow of Gary Busey. The Lori Petty character is cute but smeared in hideous tattoos. Anthony Kiedis is nowhere.

The biggest problem, though, in a constellation of problems, is that there is no reason to cheer for Utah or cheer against Bodhi. In the first film, Bodhi was selfish, at the end, and probably narcissistic. This Bodhi is a perfect eco-warrior. A selfless saint. And when Utah picks the FBI over him it is nonsensically jarring, frustrating even.

So there you go. This film will probably put “action sports” back about 20 years. It is that bad. But as I sat in my seat, I reveled in the fact that the great Hollywood surf film is yet to be made. That makes me very very happy because it is still out there, hiding in the bushes, maybe getting aloe rubbed into its reef cuts.

Movie: Dino Andino on Kolohe Andino

Daddy gets candid on his dazzling boy… 

Two days ago, I threw up a little interview I made with the shaper Matt Biolos in San Clemente. There’s something about stealing a man’s thoughts over the breakfast counter that brings immediacy and a candour you don’t get when you sit ‘em under a bank of tungsten lights.

On that very same day, I went to see Dino Andino, the one-time successful pro surfer and pops of Kolohe Andino, who lives a short drive away.

I had enough memory of the card of my little Canon G10 to record a few minutes of his thoughts. Would Dino, therefore, allow me to make an interview with him about his son?

There were things I wondered: what doesn’t Dino like about Brother’s surfing? How is their father-son relationship?

I imagined the house to be something extravagant, on the gaudy side of decorative and loaded with labour-saving devices that would virtually eliminate the housemaid, but with a garden that required half of Latin America to maintain.

What I discovered was a pretty, and welcoming, Californian-style bungalow. Dino, as ever, was a generous host, pointing out the various features of the house and the section where the noted Ho family, Mason, Coco and Michael, stay every summer.

This interview is a tight edit of a somewhat rambling, but illuminating, conversation.

Candid: In Defence of Chris Ward

Wait, is this a classic bait and switch?

The wife and I have an arrangement where, when we’re at that point all couples eventually reach, when you’re both totally sick of arguing but still super angry at each other and neither is willing to concede defeat, that we’re allowed to hit each other.

It adds up to a nice little smack, but can’t cause any real damage (a worry for me since I’m, literally, twice my wife’s size and love her very, very much). It always works for calming us both down. You get the catharsis of delivering a blow, and receive one of your own to remind you that it hurts.

It’s a rarely invoked situation, and comes with a few rules.

  1. You must stand feet together, facing each other.
  2. No twisting at the waist or reaching past your shoulder to wind up.
  3. Fingertips only. No striking with palms allowed.
  4. Aim for cheek only.

It adds up to a nice little smack, but can’t cause any real damage (a worry for me since I’m, literally, twice my wife’s size and love her very, very much). It always works for calming us both down. You get the catharsis of delivering a blow, and receive one of your own to remind you that it hurts.

I’m not recommending this for other couples. Far from it.

We’ve got a very unique take on how to build a successful relationship and while what we do has worked for a decade and a half I suspect it’d be a bit much for normal people.

Anyway, this is all a very strange and round-a-bout way of asking a simple question- have you seen the Dane clip Surfer’s Journal posted today? 

Shot by Kai Neville, edited by Dane, himself, it’s three-and-a-half minutes of pure splendor.

I suspect that Dane and Courtney have a weird relationship, something along the lines of the wife and me. I think you need to, if you’re going to meet young and stick together for the duration.

People change a lot over the years, to assume the person you fell in love with will remain in stasis for the rest of their life is naive. And when you’re both creative people, you’ve gotta make allowances for the neuroses that generate that type of personality.

Did you know that we both have French Bulldogs?

Ours is named Mr. Eugene Victor Debs. He’s pure fucking awesome, though no where near calm enough to pose for adorable pictures.

And he won’t take a shit if someone is watching him.

Which I understand. I’ve had to explain to my wife, on multiple occasions, that I feel the same way.

Like, at the very least don’t make eye contact, honey.