Brad Gerlach with girls and car in CA
…publicity photo for Brad Gerlach and Martin Potter's heat at the Hurley Pro, Trestles. You like this Grace Jones/David Bowie/Steve McQueen vibe? Yeah, so do we. The ASP? Not quite so thrilled. "They thought it was too racey, too much bikini in it. Dude, it's laughable. Don't we do our fucking sport at the beach? And don't they wear bikinis at the beach? It brings a bit of showmanship to the fucking thing. If I was still on tour, I'd be fucking bringing the show. These guys need some serious consultation!" | Photo: Kane Skennar

5 Mistakes You Make Every Time You Surf!

As determined by the former number one rated surfer in the world, Mr Bradley Gerlach!

Brad Gerlach is a 40-something former world number one currently living in the city of Angels. He puts honey in his hive with a little modeling, consulting and surf coaching.

In September, 2014, you’ll remember, he performed in a heritage heat at the Hurley Pro, Trestles, squashing the 1989 world champ turned commentator Martin Potter a little too easily.

“And I surfed at 65 percent,” says Gerr.

What interests me, and what should interest you, about Gerr is his ability to get inside the technique of the best, and the worst, surfers. As in guys like Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds and as in guys and girls like you and me.

Every time we paddle out, says Gerr, we make five fundamental errors.

1. Our expectations are too high
You set yourself up for failure by having high expectations. You’ll look at the waves and already you’ll be thinking how you’ll be catching this wave, ripping on that wave. But when you get out, you’re already on a backward rhythm because of your inflated expectations. If it doesn’t happen immediately you start to panic. Maybe you paddle out in a lull and you don’t even see a set for 20 minutes. You start to get frustrated and it impacts on your surfing. So the number one thing is to lower your expectations. Take it all the way back. Imagine how good it’ll feel just to paddle out and do that first duck-dive. I never have bad surfs anymore and I used to have ’em all the time just because I set myself such high expectations. Surfing shouldn’t be painful.

2. You think too much
Surfing’s not about thinking it’s about … feeling. People forget the reason they got into surfing was because it’s fun. I know there’s all kinds of clichés around the surfing-is-fun thing, but you take the fun out of it if you think too much. If you find yourself getting frustrated it’s because you’re thinking and not feeling.

The number one thing is to lower your expectations. Take it all the way back. Imagine how good it’ll feel just to paddle out and do that first duck-dive. I never have bad surfs anymore and I used to have ’em all the time just because I set myself such high expectations. Surfing shouldn’t be painful.

3. Your posture is wrong
Nobody in any sport can progress without a good posture and, in surfing, your back is the control center. The thing is, our consciousness is usually in our head because our eyes are there, and so people will bend their body in a way to get their head closer to the water. It’s a huge mistake. Your butt needs to go down toward the Achilles tendon, but if you put your head down toward the water your butt sticks up in the air. That’s the biggest mistake I see. That’s why Jordy surfs so well. His ass is on the ground! John John stands tall, but when he turns he drops his butt. Dane does it better than anybody.

4. You wave your arms
Your arms cannot be moving. They’re an enhancement of whatever the middle of the body is doing. Doing things with your arms doesn’t do a thing. Every coach out there that I read talks about arms –put your arms here, put your arms there – but you can’t put your arms anywhere if your body doesn’t turn. It’s your torso and your pelvis and your hips that need to move.

5. Sometimes it just ain’t your day
You can’t force surfing. Sometimes it’s not your day and that’s no biggie. Maybe the next day you’ll be on. No amount of being mad or aggro is going to change it. The only way to move forward is to be calm. Get out of the water, get a drink of water, even go home and swing back the next day.

(Watch as Gerr learns how to kinda air!)

5 (More) Unpleasant Truths About Surfing!

Hawaii don't need tourism money, sustainable is a scam, you're a terrible person and more!

One thing I miss about writing for The Inertia, people used to get so angry at me! So easy to push buttons, get all the kooks up in arms.

I get a lot more positive feedback on BeachGrit, which, to be honest, always makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Like, if most people enjoy what you’re doing, maybe it’s not that good. Right?

Or maybe Negatron just removes all the mean comments. I don’t know.

I think the piece that pissed the most people off was some low-effort junk titled, 5 Unpleasant Truths About Surfing that Everyone Needs to Hear.

Oh, did the internet ever get up in arms! And over such mundane, obvious, pointless stuff too.

Today Derek suggested I do a follow-up.

Okay, no problem, easy stuff, always got plenty to rant about.

Hawaii doesn’t need your tourism money: I see it come up every time someone mentions the problems caused by a constant stream of visiting pasty skinned lookee-loos. “Hawaii wouldn’t be able to survive without tourism.”

Nonsense. Hawaii would do just fine without below living wage hospitality jobs. The local populace would be more than happy if every illegal vacation rental flooded the long-term market and caused rental prices to plummet. No one would shed a tear if the legions of befuddled turtle gazing morons stopped bringing Kam Highway traffic to a screeching halt.

Yeah, a handful of people make a mint siphoning money out of visitors’ pockets, but the state as a whole bears the burden.

I will admit the chronics probably enjoy having a steady influx of rental cars to pillage.

“Sustainable” is a scam: Our boards are poison, accessories made in Third World hell-holes, and sustainable just means something can go on forever.

But that hasn’t stopped several groups of money minded “social entrepreneurs” from cashing in on branding efforts.

By the way, I’d like to use this opportunity to offer my own “Rape Offset™” program. For a small fee I will promise not to abduct and molest any unsuspecting individuals, thereby freeing you to buy a rusted-out van and start snatching.

Let’s examine two of ’em.  Sustainable Surf which peddles its “Deep Blue Surfing Event” brand, and The Center for Surf Research, the same people behind STOKE certifications.

Acquiring a “Deep Blue Surfing Event” label is relatively simple, throw money around. Purchase some carbon offsets, gift a local charity a few bucks, then lie about how “green” you are. Like, did you know that the Van’s US Open is a sustainable event? Yep, great for the environment. There definitely isn’t a massive amount of garbage swag abandoned on the beach every year.

By the way, I’d like to use this opportunity to offer my own “Rape Offset™” program. For a small fee I will promise not to abduct and molest any unsuspecting individuals, thereby freeing you to buy a rusted-out van and start snatching.

Their own site states “The 2015 Vans US Open of Surfing (USO) has exceeded the minimum requirements in four categories, and has been designated as a Deep Blue Surfing Event™ by Sustainable Surf.”

Then follows up with “The Vans US Open of Surfing did not meet the requirements of the renewable energy category, which requires a minimum 25% renewable energy overall. Biodiesel usage was not reported, although the generators did have signage declaring biodiesel.”

There’s nothing special about riding a wave: Yeah, we all want to pretend we’re somehow keyed in to Mother Gaia, that our favorite hobby makes us somehow more pristine and pure than your typical landlubber. But it’s just a hobby.

You know that awesome feeling you get after an amazing session, how life seems brighter and better and makes it seems like every single shitty aspect of life isn’t so bad? You can get that anywhere.

Jump out of a plane, play a game of golf, build a model train set in your basement. It’s all the same, just a fun activity that makes the average day a little easier to get through.

You’re probably a terrible person: If you don’t believe the average surfer is a xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, bigot, please do me a favor and go click around social media for a few minutes. Start with The Inertia‘s Facebook comments, then hit up the Surfer Mag bulletin boards, swing on over to Stab when you’re done there. Go ahead, I’ll wait here…

Brutal stuff, huh? Amazing how much close minded hateful rhetoric spills from our collective fingertips when we can hide behind anonymity.

Supporting your child’s professional surfing aspirations makes you a terrible parent:

Got a batch of crotch fruit you’d like to turn into failures with the emotional depth of a kiddy pool? Then go ahead and home school ’em, spend each weekend shuttling between NSSA comps.

Maybe you’ll get lucky, they’ll be talented enough to slog through the ‘QS for a few years, then snag a job repping for a sponsor.

More likely they’ll end up hanging drywall at forty, drinking away every night at a local watering hole, reliving the time they got a two page spread and the resulting $500 photo incentive check.

They’ll find some small solace in the fact they’re the best surfer at their local spot, eventually knock up some trash bag, and pass along the tradition of failure to the next generation.

Blood Feud: Medina vs. Reynolds!

Maybe the most ancient blood feud of all!

Pam Reynolds, Dane and Courtney’s adorable French bulldog, has been alone at the top of surf celebrity pet game for as long as I can remember. Her Instagram account, @pamlovesferrariboys, boasts near 20k followers. She has a sock with Stance. She makes clothes and also gives advice right here on BeachGrit!

Such is her domination, in fact, that other surfers keep their pets well hidden. Like, I’ve seen Yadin Nicol’s Yorkie in person, but don’t think he/she makes any regular appearances on social media. Who wants to get shown up that way? Embarrassed? Who wants to go toe to toe with such a force?

Apparently last year’s champ Gabriel Medina! Oh that Brazilian can-do! His cat, Tyson h. just 5 days ago started his own Instagram account @tysonmedina_. His profile line says he is a “bengal cat” and you can email him at [email protected] suggesting he is fielding enquiries for commercial ventures. Maybe a signature underpant?

Gab let the world (his 3.8 m followers) know he was ready to take the crown with a post on his own feed. A picture of sleeping Tyson h. with a tag for the new @tysonmedina account. The cat already has more followers than you.

And now the blood feud is serious, drawing from America vs. Brazil passion but also from a more ancient dog vs. cat varietal.

Who do you think will win? Are dogs better than cats? Is Dane better than Gab?

Gentlemen…let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumble!

(please don’t sue me Michael Buffer)

Seal Beach, just across the Orange County line, Jan 7, 2016. | Photo: Mike Lucas Media

Just In: Seal Beach’s Cinderella Day!

Garbage closeout turned into a beauty queen today!

Seal Beach, in Orange County, California, is a garbage closeout shore pound 364 days of the year. One of those spots that’s not even worth checking.Out of the way, always terrible.

But if you live nearby, you get lucky once in a while. Today everyone got very lucky indeed.

The clip’s a half-hour long, no soundtrack, from Mike Lucas Media, and there isn’t a dull moment.

Have a watch.

Volcom House
The three-storey beachfront house Gerry Lopez built in the seventies, bought by Volcom in 2007 for $4.3 million dollars.

Documentary: Inside Volcom’s Pipe Houses!

Peppermint-candy sweet documentary about Volcom's gentlemanly Pipe manors…

Of all the surf industries acquisitions, nothing comes close to Volcom’s snatching of two beachfront houses at Pipe for…credibility. There is nothing superfluous or gimmicky about owning two houses for your surfers that front the heaviest wave on the North Shore.

Ten years ago, the company, which was formed by the former Quiksilver marketing staffer Richard Wolcott in 1991, bought a single-storey beachfront bungalow at Pipe. It soon became a headquarters for unruly bronzed men and women ruddy with desire.

Two years later, the company dropped $4.2 million on the three-storey house built by Gerry Lopez and his Lightning Bolt partners in the seventies.

This documentary, produced by Red Bull, takes you through these gentlemanly manor houses. It will cost you roughly eighteen-and-a-half minutes, unlocking none of the secrets but revealing much of their mysterious charm.

Did you like that documentary? I did. But I like this Volcom short, Dawn of the Stone Age, more.