The best heat of the 2015 season was… Bede v Ace?

Yike: I just watched every WSL heat in 2015

And discovered the best heat of the year! Can you guess?

Had enough of retrospective 2015 write-ups? I haven’t!

Over the New Year period, I decided to flag the festivities, my family and friends and spent five solid days devouring every WSL heat from last year to find the very best heat of the season.

I came to a few conclusions about 2015 worth sharing first…

Round two will not be remembered favourably in the annals of surf history. There is little worse than watching the swell window being sucked up by a loser from the first round battling another loser. For a more than likely chance that the better of the two losers will lose again in the next round.

Airs are overscored. No matter how good a turn the old-school can do a single air can oust them from the contest. Mostly, this works. The recklessness of youth raising the middle finger to the tour’s harvest year surfers. Other times it doesn’t sit well. A desperate gesture to the judging panel forcing their hands to scribble down an excellent score. Progression is an important part of the criteria but so is combining major manoeuvres.  A revamped criteria? Jordy hitting form? Something or someone is missing and the bar is to low.

For all the WSL commentary teams faults, they’re doing their best to hold onto their jobs. They all remember how quickly Brodie Carr was shown the back door when he had his calculator’s decimal point settings wrong. These guys will understandably ride the gravy train for as long as possible.  So until the powers that be let them speak their minds or a regular, live, entertaining pirate broadcast pops up, I’m going to give them bit of leeway and just enjoy the subtle digs they dish out on occasion.

The J-Bay final should’ve happened. Not making Mick and Julian paddle straight back out took from us, and them, the most exciting final in surfing’s history.

Adrenalin and fear mixed with RedBull would have sent the boys’ endorphins levels to unprecedented levels.  The line in the sand moment of credibility that the WSL so desperately needs. A melting pot of progression, emotion and raw animal proformance surfing.  Six 10-point rides would have been surfed. Who would’ve dared fall off?

Julian would have won on a countback and continued his run to his maiden world title. Parko, Slater and Taj would have joined CJ and Freddy on the golf course. The Brazilian New World Order would have to wait. Safety be damned. I demand entertainment and John Lydon’s famous quote “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” was ringing true.

There’s no hidden agenda. Unfortunately for a few of our more edgy commentators, there is no conspiracy to push certain surfers though heats. When only six guys are responsible for the outcome of two surfers and the expectations of hundreds of thousands rest of these results, some questionable decisions will arise.

The tour needs more world-class reef breaks on the schedule. It’s painfully obvious in such a subjective sport that to decide a winner we need perfect reeling waves that offer surfers an even platform.  Shifty, random peak locations that specialise in semi close-outs or slow waves (Margarets, Bells) are not doing the sport any favours.

Adriano deserved his title. He won the Pipe Masters, too.

Right! And the best heat of 2015?

Without any further delay, 2015’s best heat was full of buckets of spray, six of the same turns on the same wave and incomplete aerial attempts. It was devoid of progression but it had me on the edge of my seat, fists clenched screaming at the monitor.

The commentary team mentioned “wrap-around cutbacks” more than once and Pottz spoke of of one wave as “maybe a little bit repetitive” Claims were thrown about like a quarter-final in the Brazilian national championships.

It was one of those heats where watching it later on the heat analyzer would have been a massive injustice to the waves surfed in between the four scoring waves.

But there was no doubt those shifty French tides turned to “ON” for the Quicksilver Pro round three clash of our tour veterans Ace Buchan and Bede Durbidge!

The previous heat was a slow, low-scoring affair bar Italo manhanding a wave for a 8.33 so expectations were low for our blue-collar battlers. Both had stellar first round wins. Bede was on my Fantasy surf team so I was rooting for him.

Ace’s first wave was a blistering 9.23 and with his second a fine, fine seven-point ride. Ace was on a tear, going well beyond vert, spray to the heavens, gaining speed from every turn. It was the best I had ever seen him surf.

Bede looked cumbersome and slow on his first wave. The day was looking like Ace’s.

Durbidge then muscled a scorching right to for a 9.20! Then another for 9.17!  Ace was left chasing a 9.14. A set approached. He caught it! A 8.17 for Ace and he was out!

If my “play by play” was grating, watch here!


Kita Alexander
Kita Alexander, captured in frame grab from her video, Like You Want To. Such infallible flair!

Meet: Owen Wright’s Rock Star Girlfriend!

It’s a glory hole of love!

Every Sunday afternoon, I like to descend to the bottom of the inexhaustible mine of Instagram. It’s a dignified pursuit, a high-water mark of my week, even if it does make my contempt for humanity grow fiercer.

Such stupidity, such contempt for literature and art and everything I hold dear.

But, then, all those glistening flanks, the quivering bosoms, the heaving bellies and tossing thighs! It give me some of the keenest torments I’ve ever had to endure!

And, look hard enough, and you’ll find…love.

Just then I strolled into Owen Wright’s business with the teenage rock star Kita Alexander, whose songs have the good temper of a warm summer’s day.

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Kita Alexander, on stage. She sings with the exuberance of a southerner!

Owen, as you know, suffered a terrible concussion in Hawaii and had to withdraw from the Pipeline Masters and the world title race.

Did you ever wonder who the angel was who nursed him back to heath?

Examine these Instagram posts, first from Owen.

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And, from Ms Alexander.

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Can you remember the first time you first felt such a love? When the world around you seemed to vanish and all of that dull cynicism you’d carried for years was washed away by hours of kissing and tomfoolery? That twinge of desire in the pit of your stomach. Kisses so hard you can’t breathe. Drinking spit as if it was sixty-dollar champagne.

It’s a previous thing to behold, love. It’s as precious as a ruby but as fragile and as easily ruined as a silk shirt.

Now let’s watch Kita, this teen with her distinctive personality and that little extra something, that extra tang, that heady savour, sing!

Is it worth your eight minutes? Yes!

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

Speculation: WSL furious about fun?

Is the WSL responsible for Red Bull's "technical difficulties?"

Two days ago, Red Bull TV launched a charming enough new video series online called In House: Road to the Volcom Pipe Pro.

The accompanying press release read:

In it we take you inside the two most infamous fortresses on the North Shore, the Volcom houses, which serve as base camp for the company’s team of surfers as they navigate the most intense period of the year, the Hawaiian winter. Looming on the horizon is the Volcom Pipe Pro and an opportunity, for some, to qualify for next year’s Pipe Masters, while others look to kickstart their 2016 campaign with a emphatic, signature performance at the best wave in the world.

In the opening episode, we’re introduced to the two legendary Pipe houses by their caretakers Tai Vandyke and Kaimana Henry. Carlos Munoz takes us to the Dungeon, Dusty Payne looks to defend his title at the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, and a ceremonial paddleout for a fallen friend provides perspective for the winter ahead.

Fun! Cute! Innocuous! Derek Rielly wrote, “It will cost you roughly eighteen-and-a-half minutes, unlocking none of the secrets but revealing much of their mysterious charm.”

The next day it was quickly vanished. An ensuing email blamed “technical difficulties” and my imagination whirred to life.

Technical difficulties? What could “technical difficulties” possibly be a euphemism for? Who was slighted? Who threatened physical retribution? Is it possible that Red Bull TV producers and cameramen did not take their shoes off before trudging over the doorstep?

The video was promptly returned to the airwaves two days later but I hadn’t watched the first closely enough to see what had been changed.


And then a possible scenario danced on my prefrontal area. That dastardly WSL was to blame! Hear me out. The Pipeline Masters just wrapped up in very much less than stellar conditions with a champion who proves troublesome for the League. Such grit and wonderful determination sewn into Adriano de Souza’s strong brown body but also maybe a lack of global appeal? The fans were not the most happy, it seems, but equally not the most happy about having to watch professional surfing’s Super Bowl end in ugly dribble with the announcers lost for words when the little plumber hopped to victory.


The Backdoor Shootout, following quickly on the Pipeline Master’s heels, just wrapped to outstanding reviews. The banter from very funny commentators! The SUP, longboard and body surf divisions! The fun! Surfing was fun again and, in direct comparison, the WSL’s product looked positively tame.

And the Pipeline Pro, which the video series marches toward, also promises to be fun with, very probably, excellent El Nino surf. It is a ‘QS event, placing it under the purview of the WSL, but only a 3000 series one. Small potatoes compared to the big show. The WSL powers must certainly anticipate another unfavorable comparison, no? And that must be very difficult to stomach. It would be like a single A baseball game outshining game 7 of the world series.

Did the WSL, thus, throw salt into Red Bull’s game? Did big Santa Monica lawyers find petty nothings and grind the gears? Remember, Monster was once (and maybe still is? Who knows!) the official energy drink of professional surfing. And the WSL does everything they can to cut Red Bull hats from pictures they post. Are they furious that fun has shown its ugly face in the door, if even for a moment?


Do you have a  better idea? Tell us!

Revealed: Slater Wavepool secrets!

New and exclusive pictures! What do they mean?

Has Kelly Slater’s wavepool in quaint Lemoore, California kept you awake at night? Dreams of milk chocolate barrels running all day? God’s majestical handiwork transferred to the world’s most handsome bald man?

There are still so many more questions than answers. Kelly has kept quiet about the whole business after launching that incredible video before the champagne had dried on poor Adriano de Souza’s cheeks. The result of an ancient blood feud perhaps? Maybe.

But here! A hard-working detective, a man with both grit and brawn, has uncovered mysterious pictures. Like, those that beamed back from the Mars Rover! What lurks beneath all that farm run-off/water? Apparently this!


What does it mean? I have no idea. My engineering skills are suspect, at best. But you might know! Tell us what’s happening here!

Also, apparently Kelly has begun inviting people to come and surf his creation. Who is first on the list? Oh no. Not your friends from BeachGrit but rather, allegedly, the son of Kelly’s old boss’s (the wonderful Bob McKnight) son Robbie! Robbie McKnight! Getting his shred on!

So there you are.

Adriano De Souza world title
A beautiful moment tween Mason Ho (third!) and Pipe Master/world champ Adriano De Souza. Even in waves so terrible it must now force the WSL's hand to shorten events, the game's stars sure did shine… | Photo: WSL

10 insane predictions for this year’s tour!

Parko's gonna retire, Adriano's gonna win, Dusty Payne'll lose a heat against himself… 

Predictions? Who don’t like ’em? We got eight weeks until we greet again the  of the first WCT event of the season. Let’s imagine what skirmishes will greet us.

The author of this piece is a Mr Kyle Wilson, who explains his work thus: “If it’s too harsh or you think lawyers would get involved I’m okay with toning it down (Yes, Kyle, even us libertines at BeachGrit recoil at descriptives that contain “blossoming between her uplifted thighs, its swordlike blades gaping open to expose the bloody depths.”) Honestly, I think it’s funny and would love to read it. These guys are on tour, tomorrow I get to surf for an hour in slop shit Florida waves before I go to construction work. If you can’t laugh at yourself..”

1. Most Likely To Win The World Title: Adriano de Souza

Yup. And he’ll do it with even less fanfare than last year. With every tour win or great result Kelly Slater will announce new and innovative results at the wave park to steal his thunder, culminating in a Kanye style mic grab during ADS’s World Title speech in which Slater reveals, in true Willy Wonka fashion, that a golden ticket for lifetime access to the park is hidden in the lining of one of his $400 OuterKnown jackets. Madness ensues. ADS plays solitaire on his flight home to Brazil.

Kelly will skip Rio with a knee/foot/back/shoulder injury. And who can blame him? Who wants to surf through a sea full of human shit? Maybe this will be the year the boys on tour put their collective foot down and refuse to surf until they deal with the pollution problem. The WSL will panic and try to recruit replacement surfers, Dusty Payne will be the only one to cross the picket line and be promptly eliminated in a round two heat against himself.

2. Most Likely To Skip Rio: Kelly Slater

Shocker. I know. Kelly will skip Rio with a knee/foot/back/shoulder injury. And who can blame him? Who wants to surf through a sea full of human shit? Maybe this will be the year the boys on tour put their collective foot down and refuse to surf until they deal with the pollution problem. The WSL will panic and try to recruit replacement surfers, Dusty Payne will be the only one to cross the picket line and be promptly eliminated in a round two heat against himself.

3. Most Likely To Pull A Freddy P: Joel Parkinson 

Parko’s round one heat in pumping Snapper Rocks will see him drop two perfect 10’s and come in with 13 minutes remaining. Kai Otten is then forced to give Parko a piggyback ride through the already drunk Gold Coast crowd. Surprisingly, Parko still shows up to all remaining WSL events just to stick his finger in Kai’s mouth to ruin every yawn.

4.  Most Likely To Have Their Yawns Ruined By Parko: Kai Otten

5. Most Likely To Not Be Recognized By His Shaper: Alex Ribeiro

Nothing against the kid. I’ve just never heard of him and I guess I assume nobody else has either. Don’t feel bad Alex. This one time I was maced by my shaper’s wife because he neglected to tell her that I’d be waiting for them when they got home from an evening out. When I drunkenly pranced across the yard to give a woman I’ve never met a hug she predictably reacted badly. Didn’t help that I was going through a ski mask phase at the time.

6. Most Likely To Change Their Name: Wiggolly Dantas

For obvious reason. Come on bub, it’s been 26 years, you gotta pull the trigger. May I suggest “Ortho”?

Runner Up: John John Florence 

Seriously, how is everybody okay with this shit?

7. Most Likely To Be Involved In A Sex Tape Scandal: Jack Freestone

Alana Blanchard is sitting at 1.5 million followers and needs to turn up the heat. She will convince Jack to be the “Ray J” to her “Kim Kardashian”. “The Fappining” will be but a drop in the pond once this goes public. Jack will wake up with 500k new followers. Way to take one for the team Jacky boy.

8. Most Likely To Get A Patriotic Tattoo: Kolohe Andino

I’m picturing a bald eagle. Draped in an American flag. Guzzling a Bud Heavy. Firing an M 16. Location: tramp stamp.

9. Most Likely To Bang A Hollywood Starlet: John John Florence

I heard a rumor that Double J got all up in those Taylor Swift guts, but this year he’s going to capitalize even more on those magnificent golden locks of his. He’s going to set his sights even higher. Jennifer Lawrence? Salma Hayek? Bette Midler? Hell, maybe all three. Good on ya JJ.

10. Most Likely To Be Voted “Best Ears”: Jadson Andre

My god, have you seen those things? They are fucking glorious. There is this short story by Charles Bukowski called “The Great Zen Wedding”. Bukowski drunkenly tries to fight a Buddhist Monk and says: “I either want your motherfucking outfit or your motherfucking ears”. I don’t wear Oakley board shorts, Jadson. I’m coming for those motherfucking ears.