Chris White
Chris White and his gal-kid combo whose lives were preserved by Kelly Slater.

Kelly Slater Saves Doomed Family!

Surf Photog nearly loses wife and kid, gains famous pal… 

If your kid and gal were washed across the Kam Highway by a rogue wave, who’d you want to be there to scoop ‘em up? How about Kelly Slater? A ludicrous dream, no?

Yesterday, the photographer (and maker of the classic Tension bodyboarding films) Chris White’s little family, wife Sarah and son Van, were swept off the bike path that runs along the beach by one of those great North Shore pulses.

And Kelly saved ‘em.

Chris wrote on his IG account: “So thankful the surf gods denied @kellyslater today cos for whatever reason he was right there to save my wife and kid who were swept across a road by a freak wave today. Forever grateful to the great man and so thankful my family is alive and safe 👊🏼 ❤️💙 Thanks to all the lifeguards too who saved many lives today… So so lucky there was no was no cars at the time as the Kam Hwy is always busy. Van was strapped into the pram and was swallowing water and sand – his ears and mouth ended up full of sand. So lucky Slater got to the pram and tipped it back up. Sarah is pretty bruised and scraped. Safe to say her phone didn’t make it. Could have ended so badly.”

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Kelly, who’s as adept on social media and punching the keyboard on his telephone as he is saving lives, wrote: “@chris.whitey thank you! I didn’t look at it that way but for some random reason I stopped there when I normally don’t and happened to be there. Lifeguards were on it either way and had it handled. So glad all is well and we can (someday) laugh about it. Van’s first wave was a huge one! Definitely a WA baby!”

Do you think Kelly was secretly sad that the family rescue didn’t happen four days ago, in time to usurp Adriano De Souza’s wedding?

Do you also think that Kelly should be more expensive than eight-mill on Fantasy Surfer?

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Miguel Tudela
Miguel Tudela, so sad after losing at Sunset.

Watch: Road to the Volcom Pipe Pro

Final episode! It’s an emotional rollercoaster!

Have you been watching Red Bull TV’s four-part series Road to the Volcom Pipe Pro? Cameras orbit the Volcom Houses at Pipeline where you see all the benefits of cloistered confinement: the army-style discipline, the lack of comfort, the dirt, the monotonous idleness, the heats won and lost, the immense weariness of it all.

In this episode, number four, the series comes to an emotional conclusion. Anchored by a banter between the team’s coaches Matt Bemrose and Dave Riddle, we see Volcom teamriders Miguel Tudela, Dusty Payne, Mitch Coleborn, Carlos Munoz, all under perform at the Sunset Beach WQS and miss out on qualification.

As the Peruvian Miguel Tudela slumps over his car, a solemn voiceover announces: “In surfing, wins and losses are each determined in a span of split-seconds even as each inevitably has the kind of impact that will last far longer… For Miguel Tudela one decision on one wave has ended his run at the Vans World Cup at Sunset. But now, the challenge will become turning this setback into something useful.

“An experience (pause)… a lesson (pause)… and a moment he grows from.

“(Long pause.) Next season and all the seasons to come… “

How can you not be moved, maybe even to little tears?

When Dusty loses he says, “I want to go home. Home to Maui.”

The voiceover swings in: “Disappointment is undeniably one of the things they sign up for.”

But then a Pipe swell arrives, just before the contest!

Cue voiceover: “A surfer once put it simply and perfectly. The best thing about waves is they never stop coming.”

Road to the Volcom Pipe Pro is as earnest as a basilica but is wrapped in a tenderness that makes it impossible to ridicule.

Do watch.


The offending image.
The offending image.

Blood Feud: Nick Rozsa vs Sage Erickson!

Ventura catches fire in this glorious edition of Blood Feud!

You know Sage Erickson as a very fine surfer and also cute girl. Apparently she has a right hook and also a left! Photographer Chris Papaleo’s Instagram feed turned violent today and boy howdy! I can’t say that I understand any of it, frankly, but who cares! I am in Miami at a hedge fun conference and don’t understand any of that either!

This Blood Feud starts with a picture of Nick Rozsa surfing a sizable wave taken by Chris Papaleo. The caption reads:

@nickrozsa waist high barrel at one of the secret spots right off pch. #elnino

Simple enough until Sage swings in:

What’s the point of your caption @chris_papaleo @nickrozsa ?? I’m really interested to hear.

Chris answers:

my feeds been flooded the past two weeks with photos from the same spots over & over again. @sageericksoncertain people just took the caption way too personal when it was unintentionally directed at anyone in particular

And Sage responds:

Well you should unfollow the people that are flooding your feed instead of having a jab at them. I think it’s super immature and unfortunate to see your use putting down “friends”. To your point it was an un called caption that got a lot of un called people involved. @chris_papaleo@nickrozsa

Enter Nick:

@sageerickson why are you tagging me in this shit?

Sage, maybe justifiably confused, counters:

Um your in the photo? That’s you isn’t it? @nickrozsa

And then an unforeseen haymaker from Mr. Rozsa:

Do you just sit and troll on Instagram all day? @sageerickson leave me out of your drama. I’ve got nothing to do with any of this. I know that’s the kind of shit you’re into and always have been since the day I’ve known you. Keep my name out of your mouth unless you got something nice to say. As for the photo not everything revolves around you or people you know. Stop taking everything so personally and maybe you’d understand what the fucking post was about. #growthefuckup

And she’s staggered! Or is she? Sage gets off the ropes to say:

I think your message says a lot more about you than me. Sounds a bit personal. @nickrozsa

But Nick ain’t finished:

@sageerickson oh really? So I’m the one who’s been going out of my way to call people out on posts that having nothing to do with me? Seriously sage? Who started all this bullshit in the first place? Oh that’s right you….. Who said something? You….. Who took it personally? You….. I’m not taking anything personal, I’m simply stating facts. The best part about all this is that it has nothing to do with you but you had to get involved. You had to say something huh? Couldn’t keep it to yourself? You know why because you think everything revolves around you. There’s life outside of Instagram…. Go find it.

Sage, bloodied but unbowed, jabs:

Once again your reactions show a lot more about you and the enthusiasm to personally attack somebody, it shows a lot of dignity. Really honorable. I was simply defending my brother whom the caption may or may not have been about but he is definitely apart of the small group that is describes. Shame on me. Ha. @nickrozsa

To which Nick uppercuts:

I’m just “simply defending myself”. Lol. I’ve got bigger things to worry about in my life than trying to start drama on Instagram. I know you’re a super star now, but honestly no one is trying to start anything and the very fact that you think so shows more about your personality . Once again grow up.

Following it with another haymaker:

@sageerickson why can’t Noah ask us what the caption meant if it bothered him that much? Why do you have to go and make assumptions of what it meant and then come on here and cause a scene and unnecessary drama?

And another jab:

@sageerickson what happened to calling people on the phone or talking face to face about problems? I guess those days are over. Instead we deal with our problems publicly so everyone can see and hear what’s going on. If you were as mature and honorable as you say you are you would have avoided this entire situation and maybe tried to make a phone call or personally speak with someone you had a problem with.

And another uppercut:

That goes for Noah as well. @sageerickson if Noah has a problem with the caption he’s more than capable of calling us and asking us what Chris meant by it. He doesn’t need his little sister to come rescue him or defend him. I’ve known you guys for a long time and I’ve been a friend of your brothers for a long time. The lack of maturity in this entire situation is actually hysterical. If this is how you guys deal with your problems that says a whole lot more about your personality. Do everyone a favor. Next time you have a problem be an adult, pick up the phone or wait until you see that person to discuss your problems. Don’t go out and publicly make it everyone else’s business.

What a combo! I’m tired are you? Let’s go get a vodka soda at the bar! It’s raining outside but still warm and totally glorious!

Just in: Livestream Your GoPro!

Finally! Broadcast your surf, live, to Twitter followers via Periscope!

How adept at you at latching onto the newest trends? Do you tweet your thoughts to a captive audience? Is Snapchatting and Chat Roulette and WhatsApp everyday occurrences?

If so, you’ll also know Periscope, the app that, like Meerkat, is a “live video streaming platform.” Which means, plug in, and instead of tapping out messages for Twitter, you stream a live video feed form your phone. It’s isn’t much different to web chat or Google Hang Out except in one real important way – it’s mobile.

And, so, as reported on Gizmodo, this gives the GoPro Hero the chance to broadcast live, his, or yeah, her, surf.

Let’s examine.

“You connect your camera to your phone via the GoPro app, as usual. Then you fire up the Periscope app, hit the start broadcast button, and it recognises the connection to your camera. You’ll then see icons for either the phone or the GoPro, you tap the one you want, and you’re off to internet fame and glory. In fact, you can toggle back and forth between the GoPro and your phone camera during your live broadcast for multiple angles, which is pretty slick. Video will come through the GoPro at 720p30, and yes, you’ll be able to save your video locally to the camera’s micro SD card as you broadcast. At launch it will only be working with the Hero4 Black or Silver cameras and only on the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6+ running iOS 8.2 or higher.”

How’s it work for surf?

“I’d stick my phone in a waterproof case, jam it down the back of my wetsuit, and go surfing with my GoPro mounted to the nose of my board.”

Can you think of anything better than watching, live, Kelly Slater, or if he could be bothered with such trivials, John John, rushing hither and yon, choking lips, filling tubes?

A dazzling luxury? Yes.

Conversely, could there be anything more atrocious than watching, live, your pals, heads furrowed with wrinkles, arms stretched out, in deep squats on their boards, surfing like tortoises?

I think, no.


Transworld Surf Xbox
Do you remember Transworld's excellent surf game? Do you think the WSL should repurpose with contemporary surfers?

Opinion: The WSL Needs A Video Game

How the WSL could make four billion dollars! Or thereabouts.

Earlier this week, Chas Smith reported that the WSL’s CEO, Paul Speaker, believes the organisation will make $10 million on the sales of contest jerseys. His infatuation with pantomiming the jewelled business model of the NFL could indeed be the spigot to great fortunes.
But are contest jerseys the most lucrative branding? What the WSL and its fans needs, and I believe will actually pay for, is a video game. 
Imagine World Surf League 2016, a more realistic sequel to the lethargic fun that Kelly Slater Pro Surfer and Transworld Surf brought to our living rooms.
Pick a world tour rookie, I call Conner Coffin, and surf through man-on-man heats around the world. Rack up points to unlock boards, waves, and surfers higher on the ratings. Surf companies will pay for product placement and banners on this digital tour. 
A video game will also bring unimagined rewards to the average surfer. Let me explain.
It’s no surprise that the WSL is aiding in the popularity of our sport. In Brazil alone, there are five million surfers and that numbers continues to balloon with each crowned champion.
Eventually, we are going to reach a tipping point where crowded lineups kill the fun of surf dead forever. A video game will counterbalance that. If well made, a game with realistic graphics and a dopamine loop that portrays some sense of progress, will inject money into the WSL and give the users a synthetic sensation of surfing. Gamers are going to get their high and pass on an afternoon glass off. Think about it. 
“Hey kid, you don’t really want to paddle out into the violent abyss of a crowded beachbreak. Lounge out on the couch. Stick a controller’s spike into your vein and get your fix”.
While the kid who could’ve been Filipe commands the digital version through roters-and-a-half in Peniche, I and the rest of truly devoted can surf in harmony. 
Numbers show that sporting video games do well.
In the United states, 13 percent of video games purchased fall under the genre. The NFL has made four billion dollars off the sale of its video game franchise and I’m surprised the WSL hasn’t followed suit.
While Medina and Mick  jerseys are going to be viewed as an absolute necessity by your very fashion forward audience, I think the pot smoking lazies would thank you with their mom’s money more so if you gave them the opportunity.
 Give the nerds what they need! 
(Note: This is Jake Tellkamp’s return to BeachGrit after a foray into the mainstream surf mag world. His previous story, also advising the WSL what to do, can be read here.)