Amazing: Bethany Hamilton surfs Jaws!




Anything you can do Bethany Hamilton can do better! Kauai’s most famous resident towed into Jaws yesterday and it was very fine for many reasons. Watch here, now, and then come back later for a fabulous interview!

Jetski Fail Jaws
…how a four-year-old clip of a jetski fail, ripped off YouTube and chopped into fifteen seconds on iMovie by your pals at BeachGrit, became content for Shane Dorian, The Inertia and Stab. | Photo: GKO Productions (

Homage: The Joy of Social Theft!

Or how a BeachGrit steal-and-edit found it onto Shane Dorian, Stab and The Inertia…

Instagram is a real odd thing for biz. It’s time consuming and the spike of a like is so addictive much of the day is spent tapping and scrolling. I used to watch birds soar across the sky. I used to study sand formations at my beach. Now I peck at my phone like a seagull searching for crumbs.

Doesn’t do a damn thing for a website like BeachGrit traffic-wise, either. But it’s part of the branding, part of the…awareness…part of the fun.

Because we don’t have a photography archive, I mostly cut little clips from stuff I find on YouTube (board collisions, wipeouts) or from a high-level surfer’s edit: Jordy’s monster oop, Reynolds doing almost anything, John John sometimes.

Just recently. I was recording an interview with the big-wave surfer Mark Mathews  about the shoulder he busted at Jaws when he showed me a clip he had of a jetski fail at Jaws. We both laughed and I said I was going to go home, find it, and post.

He said that was a fine idea. Fails score big, he said.

But I couldn’t find it. I look and I look. I did find this, however.

It wasn’t the clip Mathews had, but maybe better. It was filmed by GKO Productions and I hoped they didn’t have a legal team who’d chase my, admittedly profit-less, theft.

So I cut it into a 15-second piece on iMovie, with a  cute lil zoom on the guy abandoning the dead ski, and added my favourite song from the movie La PiscineRun Rabbit Run by Michel Legrand. I tagged GKO Productions on the bottom. Maybe I could drive a little IG traffic their way to say thanks.

Post went good, at least on our little account of 21k, with 1622 likes.


Jetski step-offs! Such living theatre! #gkoproductions #islandsurfboardrentals

A video posted by Beach Grit (@beach_grit) on

Who knew it would become worthy of homage by some of the biggest surf accounts on IG? Shortly afterward, the BeachGrit edit was reposted on Shane Dorian’s account (including song), no tag for BeachGrit nor its original  creator. Shane’s 289,000 followers rewarded the post with 12,486 likes. 

Then Stab reposted Shane’s uncredited repost (minus the song) and credited Shane. Stab’s 482,000 followers rewarded the clip with 14,016.

Yesterday the excellent, if racist, website The Inertia , reposted the repost on their Twitter account. 

Follow the trail here! 

  jet-skis die at the worst times👋🏾 #GhostRideTheWhip   A video posted by Shane Dorian (@shanedorian) on


  2015 was a tough year for ski operators. #repost @shandorian   A video posted by Surf Magazine (@stab) on


Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.48.43 pm

Gossip: Surfer dates Christie Brinkley?

a New York State of Mind for sure!

Balaram Stack is a New York surfer with a wonderful name. I once broke into his mom’s house with then Surfing editor-in-chief Taylor Paul to maybe get wax or something? I can’t remember. We wanted to surf and it was pumping out the front. Later, Balaram’s mom drove us somewhere. All of this is fuzzy. Taylor? Can you help me here?

Billy Joel is a New York singer famous for his soulful vocals and piano playing. His famous song New York State of Mind soars as does the playful Uptown Girl. The latter was written about his then wife supermodel Christie Brinkley.

And has there ever been a grander star than she? Her face filled my childhood dreams. The very picture of American beauty. She graced the cover of many Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions, was in National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation as Chevy Chase’s fantasy in the red Ferrari and tickled insomniacs with her late night informercials for Total Body Fitness etc.

She and Billy Joel were married in 1985 and divorced in 1994. But there is a new man on her Instagram feed and it is none other than New York surfer Balaram Stack! Could they be more than friends? The captions are cute, nice, fun and may belie a romantic connection? Balaram’s eyes sure glow but wouldn’t yours? I texted the boy and asked, “Are you dating Christie Brinkley?” At time of printing he has yet to respond.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.06.16 PM

If Balaram and Christie Brinkley are, indeed, an item I will nominate this for the best surfer + model/actress/singer connection of all time. Kelly Slater with Pam Anderson had, previously, held the number one slot. Kelly Slater with Giselle had held the number two. Kelly Slater with Cameron Diaz had held number three. But Balaram trumps them all if, indeed, true.

(Thanks to Jerry Muncuso for his sharp IG skills.)

Brad Domke and Tom Curren
The Florida skimboarder Brad Domke, surfing twenty-foot Jaws as you read, and three-time world champion Tom Curren in Mex last year. Not a fin between 'em.

Candid: I love stand-up bodyboarding!

So does Tom Curren! Brad Domke in a roundabout way too… 

I spent every Summer, from ten to sixteen, condemned to the daily hell that was junior lifeguards.

I hated it with a passion. Ride my bike to the beach in the early morning gloom, run and swim and run again. Desperately try to hide my ever present boners from the swiftly developing girls in my age bracket. A tiny patch of exposed tan line, the way a one piece suit would ride up their pubescent little asses, a light breeze brushing my trunks against my tiny pink member. They’d force us to wear those elastic waistband/mesh underpants combo nightmares, nearly impossible to hide an erection in those things. Spent a lot of time lying on my stomach feigning confusion while an instructor berated me to get up and start running.

When we were finally set free it was a mad dash to retrieve my surfboard and get in the water before noon, when the black ball flag flew and hard boards were banned by the same fascists who’d been torturing me all morning.

A tiny patch of exposed tan line, the way a one piece suit would ride up their pubescent little asses, a light breeze brushing my trunks against my tiny pink member. They’d force us to wear those elastic waistband/mesh underpants combo nightmares, nearly impossible to hide an erection in those things. Spent a lot of time lying on my stomach feigning confusion while an instructor berated me to get up and start running.

Because it was the early 90’s, and leaving children unattended was yet to be declared criminal, I had a lot of time to fill before whichever parent I was living with came home. Surfing was my first choice, but lacking that option I was happy with setting fires, shoplifting, prying open the newspaper pay boxes that contained those old porn/prostitution pulp rags that have long since disappeared.

A Summer friend, TJ Jenkins, a kid who went to a different school but was my best bud three months of the year, eventually turned me on to stand-up bodyboarding. TJ was head and shoulders beyond me, ability wise, eventually became an amazing aerial surfer, by 90’s standards, then dropped off the face of the earth around the time we turned eighteen. I often wonder what happened to TJ, social media searches don’t turn up squat. He had a drug problem for a bit toward the end, really hope he’s still breathing.

It was fun, not surfing, but close enough to scratch the itch. I began lugging my bodyboard with me each day, a tattered and waterlogged Mach 7-7 wider than my arms were long. Couldn’t do a turn, just get in trim, maybe manage the occasional end section bonk. But I was having fun, and that was all that really mattered.

I backed off around thirteen, when I realized how badly it was fucking up my style. Keeping the rail in the water requires an off kilter stance, actual bottom turns are nearly impossible without an amazing level of ability.

But I still own a boogie, an oversized fat boy model Custom X I bought fifteen years ago, that occasionally gets dusted off and put to use. I eat shit on the takeoff nine times out of ten, but I still have as much fun today as I did back then.



Objective: Your favorite surf brand!

Which one do you love more than all the rest?

Social media is an absolute hoot. Sometimes. When Twitter, Instagram etc. all first started cracking for the mags, a few years ago, I thought, “Amazing! Now the world will actually know how many people engage!” My computer skillz were such, and still are, that I didn’t know the numbers could be gamed. Derek’s were/are better. He can photoshop and edit li’l vids that the WSL threatens to sue us over. Neither of us are good enough to fudge follower numbers, though, (Hello barely 15k people on Facebook!) but whatever. We embrace reality! We stab artifice in its wandering eye!

In any case, objectively, which of our surf brands have the biggest following/are most popular? Do you have a  guess? The lovely boys over at did an amazingly exhaustive study looking specifically at Instagram numbers. Not just which is biggest (surprise!) but which has the greatest engagement, which posts the most, which posts get the most likes etc.

The piece is full of fun facts and a provide a small window into how the brands see themselves, what they project and how that projection is received by the people.

And your favorite brand based on likes?

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 10.46.20 AM

Billabong! Followed by Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Volcom and those upstart Mad Hueys!

Quiksilver actually has the most followers but people around the world clicked Billabong’s little heart more than all the rest…12 million times even!

Dig in to the rest HERE and for fun plug your own account into the mix. How did you do? Will 2016 be better? Let’s hope!


P.S. Todd Kline (@toddokrine) had 90,520 likes.