The surfer James Hollmer Cross presents as a quail blown apart by shotgun pellets at Pedra Branca, 26 clicks off the Tasmanian south coast. Vision of this wave was later used in a pivotal scene in the remake of Point Break. | Photo: Stu Gibson

Worst Wipeout Ever: “I Thought I Was Gone!”

Behind the scenes of Point Break’s pivotal wipeout sequence… 

Does the animal vitality of the new Point Break film excite you?

For one year, I’ve followed the travails of the remake, ever since the Australian Laurie Towner hit the Teahupoo reef, sprung his jaw in two and was saved by Laird Hamilton.

As BeachGrit reported back then, “Such an event doesn’t come without casualties, even with Laurie excepted. Poto’s ski sunk ’cause of a too-heavy camera attached to it and another ski was flipped and the 200-gee camera strapped onto the sled was drowned. There was even a fight! At least according to one photographer. ‘It’s been a hilarious couple of days with Hollywood trying to shut it off to the locals which failed miserably, Hawaiian water patrol flipping skis, a fight out the back amongst a couple of very well-known riders and basically all the superstar riders being dominated by a 16-year-old local Manoa Drollet’s little bro, Matahi.’

Anyway, the film’s pivotal wipeout scene, at the front half of the movie when Utah drops in on Bodhi, was filmed at Pedra Branca, the name of a lil island 26 clicks off Tasmania’s South East Cape. The surfer is James Hollmer Cross whose oxygen was restricted for longer than was comfortable, as he explains in the short below.

Pedro Branca, Portuguese for White Rock, is a helluva joint to go surfing. Heavier than Shipstern Bluff maybe you ask?

Don’t look at me. I dislike these kinda places on every level.

How about we ask the filmmaker Tim Bonython whose vision of Jame’s wipeout was sold to the filmmakers of Point Break?

“By a long shot,” says Bonython. “Thicker and more grunt. Raw! I showed it at my surf movie festival and as I was working on Point Break in Tahiti, the director asked me if I had any big-wave wipeouts, but not from Hawaii. They wanted it looking dark and scary, as it’s set in Europe not Tahiti.”

Do you like seeing a man dragged to a complete, utter, hopeless, bogged-down end? Watch!

Oh, and for Chas Smith’s review of the movie, read here…


Scrooge: Julian Wilson’s title stolen!

That damned shark. The swimming embodiment of bah humbug!

The end of the year is such a wonderful time for reflection and what a mountain of things we have to think back upon! Like Dane Reynolds leaving Quiksilver and starting a brand with Craig Anderson! Like Glenn Micro Hall and Gabs Medina’s mom maybe falling in love! Like ADS!

But a story undiscussed, except here, is the theft of Julian Wilson’s 2015 World Title by a toothy white in South Africa. No, not Mick Fanning but Mick’s friend the shark!

Let us examine once again. Julian had just started the year with a bang, falling just shy of Filipe Toledo at Snapper, the season opener. A shocker at Bells (who cares? It’s fat!) but roared into the quarters at Marg River and then a shocker in Rio (who cares? It’s Rio!) but then back into the final at Fiji and Jeffreys Bay. That first wave, a 6.67 was underscored. He was riding an incredible rhythm and Mick was surely backed into a wall. Or a great white’s mouth.

And like that the event was over with Mick and Julian receiving equal seconds and emotional scars.

But what if Julian had won the event? Not a big what if, mind you… he was sitting right there in first place and what sort of boost would that have been? He would have soared into Tahiti, I reckon, and then Trestles, France, Portugal, Pipeline. He would have been a runaway force that not even the League of Extraordinary Poo Men could have derailed.

Julian Wilson would have been 2015 world champ.

Oh that damned shark. That swimming embodiment of bah humbug.

 


Santa: You got some lip on you midget. Rory: Yeah? Well these lips were on your wife's pussy last night. Why don't you dust that thing off once in a while? Asshole!

Happy Chronica! Xmas for Grown-ups!

Cheap thoughtless gifts, living room UFC, hopeless self-pity and more!

Two days left until Christmas, one for those of you stuck on the other side of the dateline. Get all your shopping done? Looking forward to an awkward day spent with family? All excited to celebrate the birth of the son of god?

No? Neither am I, but that’s okay, because I don’t celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Chronica, a holiday which appeared to me in a dream slightly over a decade ago, and which the wife and I have been observing ever since. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, Chronica is not a portmanteau of Christmas and Hanukkah. The phonetic similarities are pure coincidence.

Did you know, I’ve never had a Jewish friend? How weird is that? I’ve never had a black friend, either, but I grew up a surf crazed little grom in a series of Southern California coastal suburbs, then moved to Hawaii, so that makes a little sense. There aren’t a ton of black people in Hawaii, and the SoCal police do an effective, if terribly racist, job of keeping brothers East of PCH.

I once was pulled over for playing Tupac while crossing that line into Manhattan Beach, on my way home from a Christmas party at one of my father in law’s car dealerships. Cop flashed his lights, then strolled up to the car, saw my lily white complexion, and told me to have a nice night. I’m definitely playing life on easy mode, the pig didn’t even run my name or plates. If he had he’d have seen that I had a warrant out for my arrest thanks to some confusion surrounding a seat belt ticket I’d received a couple months prior.

But we’re here to talk about Chronica, the best holiday around. Why worship a hippy Jew who wouldn’t stop running his mouth when you can spend a day focused on yourself? Chronica is not about love, or family, or togetherness. It’s a celebration of the “I,” a day to let your id run free, unrestrained by the daily necessity of cooperation with your fellow man.

I once was pulled over for playing Tupac. Cop flashed his lights, then strolled up to the car, saw my lily white complexion, and told me to have a nice night. I’m definitely playing life on easy mode, the pig didn’t even run my name or plates. If he had he’d have seen that I had a warrant out for my arrest thanks to some confusion surrounding a seat belt ticket I’d received a couple months prior.

It’s also a living holiday, constantly changing to better reflect your wants. The only true Chronica tradition is its insistence that tradition is stupid and leads always to stagnation.

Chronica morning is greeted with the smoking of the trees. No screaming children happily tearing through gifts, no tree, no lights (fire hazards, both), no childlike sense of wonder. Chronica, at its root, is a day like any other, and is thus best viewed through a haze of intoxication.

Once you’re well and truly lit, it’s time to sing the Chronica song. The song must be improvised, a capella, and lays out what you’ll do to anyone who crosses you in the coming year. Think of it as a sort of verbal haka. Your goal is to intimidate those around you, ensuring they’ll succumb to your will until the next Chronica rolls around.

The head of the household challenges all comers to a winner take all, no holds barred, fight for supremacy in the middle of the living room. Because I’m, literally, twice my wife’s size, and watch a lot of UFC, I’m pretty much an elite level fighter and have never been defeated!

Right about now is a good time your first cocktail of the day. Usually mimosas, though the postman dropped off a bottle of Cognac yesterday (thanks Derek!) so this year is gonna feature something a little harder.

Next is the Chronica erotic dance, wherein you demonstrate your virility through sexy moves. Pelvic thrusting and grunting is encouraged, though not required.

Then the Chronica feast! Oh, the splendor! All your favorite foods, eaten with abandon, until you can’t jam another morsel down your gullet. The feast will vary for each person, but it must include Chronica sandwiches (bacon on white bread with extra mayo, smashed flat) and a gallon of store bought chocolate milk.

Now that you’re high, stuffed with food, and more than a little drunk, it’s time for the feats of strength. I’ve, obviously, stolen the idea from an episode of Seinfeld, but it’s good fun. The head of the household challenges all comers to a winner take all, no holds barred, fight for supremacy in the middle of the living room. Because I’m, literally, twice my wife’s size, and watch a lot of UFC, I’m pretty much an elite level fighter and have never been defeated!

A proper recitation should leave your “loved ones” mired in a pool of hopeless self pity. In true Chronica majesty the point is to make yourself feel better by knocking the emotional legs out from under those around you.

No rematches are allowed, so the current head of household must resort to outright viciousness in order to defend his, or her, position in the pecking order. A loss cannot be avenged until next Chronica.

On to the recitation of demands. Each person has the opportunity to tell those gathered the ways in which they failed over the course of the prior year, and lay out a series of outlandish expectations for the next. A proper recitation should leave your “loved ones” mired in a pool of hopeless self pity. In true Chronica majesty the point is to make yourself feel better by knocking the emotional legs out from under those around you.

Penultimate is the giving of the bribe. Rather than give gifts to those you love, the bribe is given to ensure a person doesn’t come after you in the coming year. Mind games are encouraged. You can give cheap, thoughtless, gifts to establish dominance, even make the ultimate statement, “I don’t need any of you people,” by buying lavish gifts for yourself, alone.

Children get nothing, due to their weak stature and inability to seek redress for slights. It is recommended that you shower gifts on any teenagers present, as their pubescent strength, combined with a total inability to grasp consequences, makes them especially terrifying in the context of Chronica.

Finally, it’s time to begin drinking in earnest and make a series of slurred, increasingly unintelligible, obligatory holiday phone calls to friends and family.

Chronica is complete when you’ve passed out drunk on the couch, typically around 3 PM.


“The League of Extra-Ord Poo Men!”

Christian Fletcher, Ozzie Wright, Dion Aigus… new world champ Adriano De Souza!

Has a major stylistic shift happened in surfing with the Adriano de Souza victory? A massive sea change? The sort of surfing generally praised over the last few decades is like ballet, in my studied opinion. Fluid, graceful, essentially feminine. But is there something new that works? Legs wider apart? Bottom pointed outward?

“Fucken hell the Poo Man Conspiracy…” wrote the brilliant Nick Carroll in our message board recently “…The League of Extraordinary Poo Men. Founding members Christian Fletcher and Ozzie Wright. They pretty much get away with murder those poo men.”

The “poo stance” as it has come to be called is a very functional position. Hard to fall off with such a stable base! And the wonderful Adriano de Souza employed that stance to the highest victory. Christian Fletcher employed it too when he was hucking in the pages of the magazines, early on, and world tour competitors threw up such a stink! They refused to recognize his art.

But it is now recognized?

A conspiracy? Maybe.

Do you think kids will get wider and wider and wider on their boards? Will surfing look like sumo wrestling in the near future?

UPDATE:

Matt Warshaw, surf historian, artist and renaissance man informed me today that the League of Extraordinary Poo Men has a founder!

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Greg “Da Bull” Noll.


Buy: Chunk of Popular US Surf Mag!

Want to go to stiff parties and receive free tail pads in the mail?

I love that social media does 90% of my work for me. I don’t know how it worked backed in the day. I assume life was an exhausting series of phone calls and bro-sessions dedicated to chasing down stories.

Or maybe your day was spent sitting around waiting for sponsors to call and spoon feed you propaganda. I don’t know, the only real experience I have in publishing prior to the digital revolution was in the skate media, and that’s a whole different world.

But, if you’ve got a spare chunk of cash and would like to experience the hell that is trying to wring a profit from a dying medium, now is the time to buy in. According to my facebook feed, Skip Snead is looking to unload his 35% stake in Ghetto Juice.

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What is Ghetto Juice?

I’ll admit, it’s been a few years since I’ve seen a copy. But, assuming things haven’t changed, it’s a fun little ‘zine dedicated to the hellishly white coastal conservative stronghold that is Orange County, California. A new issue drops every month and a half, and their website claims a circulation 15,000 strong.

While I wouldn’t go running to mortgage your house for the capital, a sufficiently deep pocketed individual could have some fun with it. If you’ve got a few tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of dollars floating around, and are keyed in to a good tax guy, I’m sure you could write off the loss each year and essentially turn it into a hobby that kind of pays for itself.

Whether that’s the actual print run, or the result of the mental gymnastics typical to circulation numbers (“We print 5,000 issues, but figure each one is seen by, I don’t know, three people?”) is anybody’s guess.

But there’s some upside potential to the investment.

Is it likely that a niche print ‘zine will ever catapult you to the heights of the surf industry? Probably not. But you can rest assured you’ll be drowning in free gear and spend your nights awash in a sea of industry party invites. Which is pretty cool, up until you actually get to meet a few of your heroes and realize they’re just normal, flawed, human beings.

Of course, consult that tax guy first, I’m no expert. I do know that my total inability to turn writing into a paying career keeps the missus and me from jumping into the next tax bracket, which is nice. And actually saves us more in taxes than I’m likely to earn in the few areas, outside of writing, for which I have any qualifications.

Which are waiting tables and selling surfboards. A kind of depressing realization, at thirty five years old. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.

This BeachGrit thing better pay off or I’m gonna be fifty, desperately trying to beat a drug test for an entry level job at the local grocery store, before I know it.