Live: Eddie is going!

Your workday just got better! Instantly!

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau is underway right now and your workday just became a lot more enjoyably. It’s good Waimea too! Proper! Big!

I was just riding my own version of the Eddie. 5-7 foot Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Just barely overhead. I was on a gorgeous Vulture 6’4 pintail and almost got barreled (just kidding).

Watch HERE now!

Politics: The Gold Coast loses its mind!

The Gold Coast Bulletin crows, "It's a war of the waves!"

It is political season in America and I could not be more pleased. Every day features some melodramatic twist, some underhanded remark, some smear, some very hurt feelings. It is high theater. Better than any television drama or comedy.

Who would have ever guessed, for example, that Donald J. Trump would be smashing the Republican field? Or that a self-described socialist would be stirring the loins of Democrat youth? The public’s appetite is almost impossible to predict.

Take this photo for example. I saw it this morning in Australia’s Gold Coast Bulletin. The accompanying story reads:

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 7.19.28 AM

WITH good surf comes a war of the waves.

Gold Coast Bulletin photographer Jerad Williams captured a cracker photo at Snapper Rocks yesterday where a surfer is seen riding over a boogie boarder.

With packs of beach-goers making the most of ripper waves board riders are fighting for the best ride.

Have a look at the image above and vote in our poll on this story who you think has the right of way.

I clicked on the poll expecting an almost unanimous decision. The boogie has clearly dropped in on the surfer. No? Like, the surfer is closest to the “crest” of the “breaking wave” and all that. Yes? But in a stunning reversal of logic the boogie is handily beating the surfer by nearly 10 percentage points. Are Gold Coasters as wildly weird as Midwestern Americans? Do they view the world through race baited lenses? Would they be voting for Donald J. Trump if they could? Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 7.14.35 AM

Watch: The Eddie Live on CBS!

But why bother? It's not that hard to hook a laptop up to your flat screen… 

The Eddie has a greenlight for Thursday! Or Friday, if you’re one of the unfortunate souls trapped on that treacherous hunk of upside-down rock known as Australia.

Of course, we all know that means nothing, other than tons of exposure for a floundering surf empire. The Bay calls the day, and all that. And the forecast shows there’s a very good chance it’ll be too big. Maybe Friday?

One thing’s for sure, I am super fucking glad I don’t live on the North Shore anymore. After Monday’s closure of a 12 mile stretch of Kam Highway, which allowed in residents but was still a total mess thanks to redirected tourist traffic, things must be getting pretty damn frustrating.

Yeah, life on NS is great, but most people gotta head towards Town to make enough to live, and even if your employer is cool enough to let you skip a shift rather than sit in your car for ten hours to and from, he probably ain’t gonna pay you for the day. And it’s hand to mouth for nearly everyone.

Following the rather disingenuous announcement that the event will run tomorrow, maybe, it’s guaranteed that same stretch of coast will turn into a parking lot beginning sometime tonight, continuing into the weekend.

If you live East of Waimea, best to treat it like a natural disaster, head to Mililani ASAP, stock up at Costco, and ride the ordeal with a well stocked larder. Beyond being a total rip off, Foodland is going to be packed. And their poke fucking sucks, I don’t care what anyone else says.

I guess you could go the long way ’round through Kahuku, if you feel like making the longest drive trip possible on the island without passing through Nanakuli.

Second, it’s not that great of an event in person. It’s cool to say you went, but unless you’ve got the hook-up for the house on the point, or a pair of crazy eagle eyes, you’re really just watching tiny specks draw white lines a mile out to sea. The webcast is where it’s at.

I made the 14-mile round-trip bike ride from my pad in Waialua to Waimea for 2009’s event. Learned two things. First, I do not have the right muscles to ride a rusty beach cruiser that far. Was walking bow-legged for a week, felt like I’d played bottom bitch on an episode of Oz.

Second, it’s not that great of an event in person. It’s cool to say you went, but unless you’ve got the hook-up for the house on the point, or a pair of crazy eagle eyes, you’re really just watching tiny specks draw white lines a mile out to sea. The webcast is where it’s at.

Or the CBS Sports Network, a premium pay channel dumping ground for the obscure or unimportant.

I don’t know why they even bother, it’s not that hard to hook a laptop up to your flat screen.

Just in*: Mick Fanning calls it quits!

For the year! But maybe longer?

Last year was an exceptional one for Mick Fanning by every measure. What were some of your favorite memories? Remember the shark at J-Bay? The fight Derek and I got into about what is appropriate to post? His coming within a hair’s breadth of winning a fourth world title?

Is it any surprise that the man needs a year to himself? He announced today that he will only compete in select events and that’s all. Let’s read the WSL press release:

“Last year was definitely intense – what happened at J-Bay, being in a title race and the unfortunate passing of my brother,” Fanning said. “There was so much build up with everything happening. I got to a point at the end of the year where I felt empty. I didn’t feel like I had much to give back.”

“This year, I’m going to take some time off and have a bit of a personal year,” Fanning continued. “Just to regroup and re-stoke the fire. At this stage, I’m going to compete at Snapper and I’m going to compete at Bells and then I’m going to take some time off from there. They (Snapper and Bells) are two events that I love and I’d go crazy if I were sitting at home and couldn’t go surf Snapper. Bells is like a second home as well. From then on, I feel like I have to take some time away from the tour to get out of that sort of zone to see where my head is at.”

 He will certainly be missed and will also turn 35 in June.

Do you think he will come back or do you think this is it?

Will he very respectfully bow out near his prime and spend those salad years surfing perfect waves whenever and wherever he wants?

*I know “just in” four hours after everyone else. Sorry!

Billionaire to Open Beach to Public!

For thirty million dollars… 

Do you remember last year when it was revealed that the venture capitalist billionaire Vinod Khosla had closed access to Martin’s Beach, near San Francisco?

Five years before, Kholsla had thrown $37-and-a-half million at a 53-acre hunk of land that included what had been the only public access to the beach, a lil private road.

For a few years, nothing changed and then, last year, anyone who wanted to use the private road to get to the beach was gifted the spectacle of private guards blocking their way.

Justin Housman wrote about it eloquently in Surfer magazine last year:

“You may be thinking to yourself, well, what’s the big deal? Khosla owns the property; it’s his right to keep the kids off his lawn. Well, the big deal is that for decades the previous owners of Martin’s Beach had allowed the public to cross the now-closed gate and use a private road to get down to the sand. And the California Constitution declares that all beaches up to the mean high tide line—any beach not owned by the military, anyway—are public property. Normally the law allows property owners to keep the landless hordes from sliming their way across privately held land on their way to a beach. But since the public had used Martin’s Beach Road for decades before Khosla bought the land and shut down the party, a bit of California law called a prescriptive easement kicked in. That means that if the public has traditionally used a bit of private property (in this case, the road), the state has the authority to claim that private land as public. This is why Khosla will lose his fight. People have always had access to Martin’s Beach; Khosla would have, or should have, known that when he bought the land; therefore, he can’t just act all biliionaire-y and cut off long-used access. Case (eventually, after thousands of dollars in legal fees) closed.”

Yesterday, it was revealed in the New York Times that the billionaire will reopen the road… if anyone wants to cough up thirty mill. How’s that for a deal? That’s almost seven mill less than what he paid for the joint eight years ago. A bargain, maybe. Wait.

Y’don’t get the 53-acres, no, no, no.

Thirty million will restore public access to the beach.

What a zany proposition!

Shall we examine the NY Times’ report?

“Now, for the first time, lawyers for Mr. Khosla have proposed in negotiations with the state to restore public access for almost the amount that Mr. Khosla paid for the land.

“But the commission’s executive officer, Jennifer Lucchesi, said in a telephone interview, “We do not agree with that value, and we believe the value is significantly less than that.” Ms. Lucchesi added, “We have not seen any backup documentation to support the $30 million value.”

“The commission planned to offer its own assessment, she said.

“The two sides are actually trying to agree on the value of a right of public use of Martins Beach Road, which leads from the highway to the beach, and access along the shoreline itself, Ms. Lucchesi said.

“The talks were initiated under legislation that took effect in January 2015, she said. If the two sides cannot agree, the commission could resort to eminent domain, which allows the state to expropriate private property for public use.

“Mr. Khosla’s lawyer, Dori L. Yob, could not be reached for comment by telephone or email. But in her letter to the commission, dated Feb. 3, she said that Mr. Khosla’s limited liability companies, the legal entity that owns the property, closed the beach because demand was low, asserting that more than 10 cars showed up to use it only about 15 days a year.

“Ms. Yob said that while the current real estate market value of the land was $30 million, the Martins Beach owners previously offered less expensive solutions to meet the “limited demand” for access as a way to avoid lengthy litigation and further expenses.

“The cost to acquire the property is significant and should be weighed against the benefits,” she wrote. “There is no vital link to navigable waters at issue. There is not a significant demand for access to the property.”

What do you think of this scenario?

Is Mr Khosla a very smart biz-man whose expert nose can sniff out a lucrative opportunity, however it presents itself, or is he the personification of everything wrong within the capitalist system?

That everything, and not just the paper castles of stocks but even the right for ordinary citizens to access a beach, has a price?