A counterproductive surfer!

Are you one?

Yesterday was the first day the doctors said I was allowed back in the water, and I was just chomping at the bit. Sitting on my fat ass for the last month and half was no fun at all, turns out that when you can’t play in the water Kauai doesn’t have a whole lot going on. You can only do so many drugs before it starts feeling repetitive.

I just didn’t have it in me to drive North and deal with 30 foot surf. Not in good enough shape, desperately need a warm-up session or two before venturing into anything substantially bigger than overhead. But the winds were great, so I found a fun little Eastside spot and paddled out.

It was only waist to chest when I hit the water, but it looked fun and I figured the swell wrap would fill in over the course of the next few hours. Which it did. Not terribly consistent, but an awesome little runner would roll in every once in a while, and I had the peak all to myself.

After about an hour I was joined in the lineup by a guy on a mid-sized epoxy Firewire. I don’t like big shortboard-like shapes. All the downsides of a longboard, none of the benefits of a shortboard. Makes the mental kook bell ring, that strange urge to ride a “shortboard” when you don’t actually have the ability.

I caught a fun one and, while paddling back out, watched the guy paddle over to exactly where I’d been sitting, lining up with a telephone pole on shore. Kind of annoying, but no big deal. I just changed course and paddled to the next peak over.

There was a long-ish lull, I caught another wave, and watched him paddle over to where I’d just taken off. So weird, but whatever. I went back to my original spot, caught a wave, and watched him do it again.

We went back and forth for the next hour or so. I’d catch a good one, he’d hurry over to where I’d been sitting, rinse and repeat. It never occurred to him to sit still and wait, so he never caught a wave the entire time, just followed me around the lineup.

People slowly trickled out from the parking lot, it was a very nice day with fun, forgiving waves, until it was, while not truly crowded, crowded enough that everyone just fell into the normal routine of trading off.

On the drive home I got to thinking about all the weird, counterproductive, shit that surfers do in the water.

The Shadow- Like the aforementioned homeboy, the shadow doesn’t understand how to lineup and position himself, and so uses better surfers to dictate where he belongs. Not obnoxious about it, he won’t usually engage in back paddling or hassling, but still manages to be a minor annoyance, like an errant grain of sand during a post session tug.

Mr Herd Mentality- There could a million miles of empty surf, but he’ll seek out the only guy in the lineup and sit shoulder to shoulder. Not really a problem if it’s consistent, trading off waves can occasionally make a good session seem great. You get to laugh and hoot and bond with a stranger over your shared joy. But once there’s two guys going back and forth you can rest assured the next ten people to pull up are going make a beeline straight for you both. Which sucks, sharing can be fun, but waiting your turn is not.

King Delusion- Brand new hiperf board, cunningly placed stickers, total inability to make sections, but loves to sit deep. Started surfing in his early to mid twenties, has enough years under his belt to understand what’s going on, but grossly over-estimates his ability. The type of guy who gets clipped in the head by the lip, claims it, and paddles out to tell you about the barrel he just got. Gets pissy when, after you see him blow the drop for the millionth time, you paddle around him and stop being considerate. He’d surf ten times better if he picked up something fat, flat, and thick, but that’s nowhere near as cool as his China white brand name sled. So he struggles on inappropriate equipment, but swears they’re awesome boards because an online volume calculator told him so.

Fat Guy on a rockered out log- A decent amount of ability, though not as good as he should be, considering how long he’s been surfing. But he let himself get fat, and now feels like a sack of shit whenever he tries to ride the shortboards he bought when he was twenty pounds lighter. Filled with a small amount of self loathing because of his equipment choice, well aware that his turns don’t look nearly as good as they feel. But I’m having fun, and I’ve been hurt really badly the last few years, so I try not to beat myself up too badly over it.


Fake: Kickflip fools The Inertia!

Dru Adler smears egg on much-loved, if racist, surf website's face!

Kickflips and surfing have been the strangest of bedfellows. Do you remember when Volcom offered a $20k prize for the first surfer to pull one and then Zoltan “The Magician” Torkos did and it looked so dumb that Volcom pretended they didn’t offer a prize? Relive the drama here!

But if you are a girl who lives in the present, more kickflip fun was had just hours ago! Dru Adler, a video analysis surf coach and brand ambassador from Australia’s Gold Coast posted one too his Instagram. “Finally pulled backside 180 kickflip!” he wrote and there was the video to prove!

Except many people instantly called fraud. Derek Rielly, in Bangkok catching flight to the Holiest Land (Hava Nagila!), texted me furiously. “Go to Dru Adler Instagram! Everyone saying his kickflip is fake…” followed by “No one else has! Scoop! Just boarding plane. He has an identical standard air rev from week before. I hope you can confuse my confusing texts!”

I was, of course, sleeping soundly in the mountains. But upon waking, jumped to! Straight on Dru’s Insta to feast!

But the man had lifted the curtain just minutes before, writing:

It’s not read. Sorry I thought it would be funny. Turns out it looks a bit too real! Mucking around with my digital media effects. But I’ve always wanted to pull it. Hoping it’ll inspire!

It did! It inspired the much-loved, albeit racist, volk at The Intertia to post:


A surf coach and aerial specialist from the Gold Coast of Australia by the name of Dru Adler just set the bar of surf progression by being the first person ever to successfully land a backside flip on a surfboard. And he couldn’t have done it any cleaner. It’s what our skating brethrens would call “bolts” (a textbook landing).

Oops! It’s a good thing Thinking Surfers™ don’t actually surf or else I would have been busted for sleeping on the job!

Next time they should just ask Ozzie Wright. He was sitting next to Derek Rielly and said:

I thought his board had jittered through the air and wasn’t a kickflip. I filmed it in slow motion off Instagram and…it looked sorta real. It wasn’t one hundred percent convincing…it did hold my attention for two minutes. Which is an eternity nowadays…

Police corruption hits Paradise!

Can you believe it? But can you really?

Whenever police corruption comes up the apologists rush to defend, point out that it’s just a few bad apples, most cops are great. Yeah, they may look the other way, but who can blame them? Speaking out against the police doesn’t usually end well.

If we’re talking about good cops, who better to look to than Karen Kapua? She was named Kauai’s Officer of the Year in 2010, and, yeah, her husband, Irvil Kapua, resigned in the face of an FBI inquiry, but that shouldn’t reflect poorly on her. After all, hard working cop, just doing her job.

How would she be expected to know that her husband was moonlighting as protection for our local meth dealers? And you can’t hold her responsible for the campaign of harassment against the whistleblower, Darla Abbatiello, who turned him in. I mean, it cost the county $980,000, and she engaged in a years long online harassment campaign against people involved in the case (you’re not as anonymous on the internet as you think), but she’s a good apple, one of the best. Because these are our standards for police conduct.

Her efforts led to promotions, landing her a plum position as Vice Lieutenant, helping to clean up the streets of Kauai, protect us all from the awful purveyors of dope and depravity.

She was arrested earlier yesterday by the FBI, flown to Oahu, and indicted on charges of embezzling over $75,000 that had been seized from alleged drug dealers, with money laundering charges tacked on top to boot.

In her supervisory position she’s signed off on nearly every drug related arrest and seizure in the last five years, which means that if you’ve been arrested on Kauai in that time you need to go find a lawyer. Like, right now.


Charles "Chucky" Rigano, the now-infamous drop-in-to-el-rollo guy, can…surf! Went to South Africa with the Huntington Beach surf team when he was 18, has surfed in the US Open, and receives free equipment, accessories, from Lost, Black Flys, and 17th Street Boardshop. The ultimate Semi-Pro! | Photo: Stan Sievers

Meet: The Man Who “nearly killed” Dane!

It's Chucky Rigano, whose drop-in on Dane Reynolds made him a cult online star!

Was it only three short days ago that BeachGrit was gifted the headline: Barneys act like I spat on Dane’s baby”?

The quote came, of course, from Mr Charles “Chucky” Rigano, the thirty-seven-year-old goofyfooter who “did almost kill me” according to Dane Reynolds.

Surf fans turned into primitive savages after footage emerged of Chucky dropping in on Dane, fluttering his wings in a long tube, at Sandpit in Santa Babs, California.

“I should like to stick you full of barbed arrows like a pin cushion,” said one.

And Chucky, who is actually semi-pro (he once won $100 and two case of Jim Beam at a tag-team event and was in the HB surf team to South Africa) was a little hurt that the only thing he’d ever be remembered for, surf-wise, would be his drop-in to el-rollo on the one-time best surfer in the world.

“Imagine crapping your pants on a first date with a girl you really like, and times that by 10!” he laments.

Interview me, he asked. Set the record straight, he said.

Show the world I can surf.

How could I resist?

Dane Reynolds Sandspit
“There’s a ton of groupies that had their panties up their ass over it. The wave is small, not like I roasted him at 10-foot Pipe,” says goofyfooter Chucky, the surfer on the outside of Dane Reynolds.

BeachGrit: Let’s talk though that day at Sandspit a little. I’m guessing y’didn’t think it was Dane. 

Chucky: Nah, but I knew he was out there. I spent the last hour before this just sitting watching guys rip…there’s no way I would have paddled to the top of the point because there were about 40-plus guys behind the rocks and I don’t live up there or surf that spot ever so I wouldn’t paddle in to a pack like that. There were another 40 guys or so sitting wider trying to get scraps like myself. I actually just told someone that I was outta there and was going to try to get somewhere else before dark. I finally got a one-foot wave and was about to head in at the bottom of the point, and said fuck it, I’ll try to get a better one to go in on, just in case I don’t end up paddling out again. I was paddling past the furthest guy down, noticed a guy that was a little stuck behind the lip on a medium size set wave (watch the whole video, not the one where that is edited out). I thought the guy I just paddled past was going to go, I wouldn’t just paddle past someone then spin around. But I heard “Go, go!” I was kind of tripping that he was saying to go, but you gotta spin around fast out there so as I spun I glanced over in to the glare and went. As I dropped in, I heard the same guy say “Ooohhh”, but in a bad way. I kooked out hard and ended up doing an el rollo, I’ll be the first to admit I have a horrible pigdog, especially on a small wave, I should’ve been somewhere else that I could do turns instead. I came up and heard a guy snapping.

He was super pissed initially, and had every right to be. Anyone, including myself, would have snapped for sure. I honestly felt so bad and embarrassed as it gets. Imagine crapping your pants on a first date with a girl you really like, and times that by 10! I said I was beyond sorry multiple times and that I really didn’t see the guy.

I was thinking oh shit, I just hopped some Santa Barbara fisherman that’s gonna kill me. Then I looked closer, and it was Dane Reynolds, honestly one of my favourite surfers. The guy that yelled go was for sure yelling at Dane because he made it around the section and was getting pitted!

He was super pissed initially, and had every right to be. Anyone, including myself would have snapped for sure. I honestly felt so bad and embarrassed as it gets. Imagine crapping your pants on a first date with a girl you really like, and times that by 10! I said I was beyond sorry multiple times and that I really didn’t see the guy.

Within thirty seconds he said it was all good and no worries. I’m sure he was tripping still, but he played it well. I was stoked it wasn’t some big gnarly guy, but so bummed at the same time because I knew I was about to get my ass torn apart for a bit on social media and surfing websites everywhere. There were 15 cameras on the beach at least.

I asked him later if he thought I’d really purposely drop in on him out there. He said he knew that it was not intentional, and semi jokingly said, “you did almost kill me though”.

BeachGrit: But speaking of Dane, does he drop-in a little too?

Chucky: Honestly I don’t know. I had a couple people tell me he got them good somewhere along the line after this got blown way out of proportion. But I imagine, actually I know for a fact, that pros get stuffed just as much as they give it. Stickers on your board sometimes are just a magnet for haters if you don’t live somewhere.

BeachGrit: Did the fury from commenters make you laugh or did it cut into your heart just a little?

Chucky: Honestly nobody would have known it was me for a bit if I didn’t fall for the social media trap and start trying to explain myself on a couple forums where I was getting riddled. I’ll admit, the morning after I got consumed with the whole thing. I ended up snapping a bit and not acting like myself. I’d actually take the time to look at someone’s pics that was calling me a kook, and they’d have pics of themselves on funboards with a full Waimea stance doing a cutback on a two-foot wave. Or they would have male modelling pics of themselves all over the place.

I mean, someone talking trash could be some 14-year-old kid in his undies using grandmas tablet, or some dude in Arizona in sitting on his laptop all day, taking bonghits and drinking whiskey, going back and forth from porn websites to surf forums…getting all mad and posting mean stuff about surfers, then clicking over and rubbing one out to calm himself down. The bottom line is you can’t take anything personally. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

(And, look, Chucky’s big in Japan!)

Documentary: Give thanks with Volcom!

Cranberry saucy sweet doc continues about Volcom's antebellum (pre-WW III) Pipe manors...

And here we have part two of Red Bull’s series looking into Volcom House life and what a wonderful life it is! There is surfing, training, cleaning and eating. Derek Rielly, currently en route to Israel, wrote of the first offering:

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.

And no secrets are revealed in this second helping either but it is fun and a welcome relief to whatever your work day holds. So feast your eyes! And your ears on the luscious baritone of that narrator! So HBO! Also, maybe watch before the WSL sends his lawyers after it…