Jamie O with bum out of the wall!
Jamie O with bum out of the wall! | Photo: Laserwolf

“Regulars stick their bum in the wall!”

Why can't screwfoots win Pipe? Come and read last week's best story!

Do you ever look at Surfing magazine’s online portal surfingmagazine.com? The numbers suggest probably no but you totally should! Behind a balky exterior lies the most high performance action on the planet. Pete Taras curates his dream photographer staff’s work like Allan Carr in his prime. Brendan Buckley directs stories that shine with both humor and candor.

Take this wonderful piece that you didn’t read. It is by Michael Ciaramella and examines why screwfoots cannot win at Pipe. I’ll admit, I had not really considered it but it is true. It should be a goofy’s dream to round the final bend of the season with the magnificent left-hander standing between him and a World Surf League championship trophy. Did you know, though, that no goofy has won in the past fifteen years? A decade plus!

Mr. Ciaramella talks to three Pipe Masters, Kelly (regular), Rob (goofy) and Jamie O (bi) spinning the most thoughtful, clear and concise examination of the subject matter. He doesn’t dress it in nonsensical hyperbole. He lets it breathe and the reader comes away with true knowledge.

How does Jamie O’Brien account for the regular foot dominance? “While goofies have to pump and weave through the right (which is extremely difficult backside) the regulars can just stick their bum in the wall.” but you should do yourself a favor and read in its entirety HERE.


Florida: Man takes selfie with shark!

Is Florida the greatest human experiment?

Florida is a very strange place. Some of the souls I love most on this earth hail from its curvy shores. But also Marco Rubio. I had never been until four years ago and hated it from afar but then thought it was time to test my regional bigotry so went and drove almost every inch of its coastline in a white Fiat 500.

I wrote a story called THE STATE I HATE for Surfing Magazine and you can read it or just the last paragraph here:

Florida is home to the best of the best. Home to people who, when the lunatics grow exhausting, are there to take you into their homes and families and hearts. The worst and the best. No lukewarm in Florida. No Ohio blandness. And, in really experiencing this lack of blandness, the stone of my prejudice became dust and blew away. Florida is no longer “The State I Hate.” It is now and forever, affectionately, “Fucked Up.”

Guess what happened in Palm Beach, near Miami, yesterday? A man sporting a thick top bun and what appear to be Rip Curl trunks pulled a shark from the Atlantic so that people could take his picture with the animal. He kneeled behind it, one hand on tail fin the other hand on head, in a very sexually provocative pose. Like he maybe just had his way with it. Onlookers squealed with delight.

Witnesses later said the shark washed back up onto the sand and died making animal rights activists very angry/sad. One wrote that this man should be waterboarded for his crime. Would you like to take a portrait with a shark? Do you think if Mick Fanning could turn back the clock he would take a portrait with that South African shark? Would you like to maybe have some sexy time with one too? Are you more angry that this man killed a shark or that he sports a thick top bun? Do you love Florida like I now do?

Tom Curren: “I like going fast!”

Is the best surfer in the water really the one having the most fun?

Does Tom Curren thrill you or does his sojourn into alternative surf craft leave you clammy? Me? I find it both pure joy and also a repudiation of the oft stated, “The best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun.” Let’s examine!

As a boy, my favorite favorite favorite surf poster was the one of Tom wrap around carving that gorgeous Maurice Cole. You know the one. Tom’s knees are bent, torso languid, mouth slightly open, board white with yellow rails, trunks black. It represents everything I love in surfing and I would stare at it so much that it soon infected my dreams. I don’t think I can use the photo due to copyright issues. So many threatened lawsuits! So scary! So let’s use this one instead which also represents everything I love in surfing.

Hello, handsome!

Now let’s watch Tom ride the alternative craft. Very talented filmmaker Matt Payne out of Southern California made this clip and much fun does it look like Mr. Curren is having? The most, right? Those slides, that speed. I can imagine what joy fills his heart as he races down those smooth walls and he is very clearly enjoying himself, maybe more than anyone else in France, but does it make you lust? Would you tack an image of finless Tom to your wall? I would not.

Which proves, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the best surfer in the water is the one with the best wrap around carve. Don’t you think? Unassailable?

“Slater spreads fear, mistrust, guilt!”

Compelling podcast examines Kelly Slater's grand conspiracy theories!

Do you remember, three weeks ago, when Kelly Slater was interviewed by the conspiracy theorist Luke Rudowski of wearechange.org?

The interview (called Kelly Slater: Vote Nobody 2016, Investigate 9/11 and Screw Monsanto!!!) is so wonderfully kooky and so strange and so lightweight you fear the principals might float away on a cloud of incense and paranoia. In response, Rory Parker, of BeachGrit, created a wonderful cartoon, which you can see here

Briefly, Slater and Rudowski both agree that 9-11 was most likely an inside job (Zionists, CIA etc.), that Monsanto maybe has their base in Hawaii in case of a zombie apocalypse, that the Zika Virus is caused by genetically tuned mosquitoes, there’s a cancer cure and maybe Kelly has it, and the importance of following alternative media like wearechange.org.

These sorts of interviews enliven even my gloomiest day, as if it was a fairy tale about the glorification of pumpkins.

But what I enjoy even more is when someone bothers to meticulously debunk these sorta conspiracies.

Have you heard of a podcast called Surf Simply? I hadn’t until a few days ago when BeachGrit reader Craig Guy sent me episode 25, Calling Out Kelly.

Each week, the show’s three hosts, Asher King, Ru Hill and Harry Knight, provide a classy analysis of whatever’s happened in surf.

“At the moment, he’s spreading fear, mistrust, scientific illiteracy and guilt because if someone’s getting cancer or getting sick he’s alluded in the past to connections in the past between GMOs and autism. If your child’s getting leukaemia, autism, and then you’re thinking that I might’ve caused this by what I’m choosing to feed them, it’s just… awful. That is the reason why Kelly Slater is no longer my hero.”

In episode 25, it mows through Evo surfboards and the Volcom Pipe Pro before smashing Kelly’s fav conspiracies apart. Eventually, Ru Hill, at least I think it’s Ru Hill, it’s a podcast, not TV, concludes:

“The reason that Kelly Slater’s not my hero anymore is because he throws these comments out there without actually fact-checking them and I think he sorta justifies it because he does it he does it all in a hand-waving ‘Hey! I’m just asking questions! We just need to investigate! We just need to to find out!’

“But when you have a platform and a voice that’s as prominent as Kelly Slater and people listen to you, when you make implications like he does, people pretty much take them as fact. And you’ve got a responsibility to fact-check before you say things.

“In my opinion, at the moment, he’s spreading fear, mistrust, scientific illiteracy and guilt because if someone’s getting cancer or getting sick he’s alluded in the past to connections in the past between GMOs and autism. If your child’s getting leukaemia, autism, and then you’re thinking that I might’ve caused this by what I’m choosing to feed them, it’s just… awful. That is the reason why Kelly Slater is no longer my hero.”

Of course, Surf  Simply quickly pulled the episode down after a fan backlash, replacing it with an explanation of why they did so. Click here.

You can listen to the episode, which is funny, smart and compelling below, and that was saved from oblivion by the aforementioned BeachGrit reader Craig Guy. Do you think Surf Simply will ask us to remove? Is free speech only free when you agree?

Below the podcast is Slater’s original interview with wearechange.org. 

Kealii Mamala
There's stand-up paddle and there's…y'know… the kinda SUP pilots that cliff-dive Teahupoo. Kealii Mamala is a remarkable devotee of this maligned sport.

Disaster: SUP Tour on Brink!

Contests without prizemoney! Money owed! Do you weep?

In a departure from my normal light and breezy daily schedule I’ve actually got some shit to do today. And that means low effort post, just get something up. Because this is the internet and if we don’t have tons of posts every single day y’all will move on to the next thing and all this effort will have been for nothing.

Which I doubt, because if surf contests are boring, stand-up contests are like fifty years in solitary confinement with only an audiobook of Ethan Frome for company.

Lucky for me, Christopher Parker (no relation) over at supracer.com posted a very interesting article regarding the current status of the Waterman League, that cringeworthy named attempt at cashing in on the stand-up craze.

Turns out they don’t have any money, aren’t paying competitors, and are continuing to run contests while hoping against hope they can pull a funding rabbit out of their hat and remain solvent.

Which I doubt, because if surf contests are boring, stand-up contests are like fifty years in solitary confinement with only an audiobook of Ethan Frome for company.

Highlights from the article include:

  • Athletes are still owed a combined $70,000 from last year. 
  • There was no prize money for the Sunset Beach Pro in Hawaii last week. 
  • Looking further back: In September 2015, the Waterman League began trying to raise capital through a group of Canadian investors. This is why they initially promised all prize money would be repaid by the end of October 2015, and that all 2016 events would have a $50,000 purse. But they jumped the gun: The Canadian deal fell over before the end of the year.
  • Robert, and by extension Park Lane, appear to be the Waterman League’s only real chance of survival at this stage. The company is broke and on the brink, but if Park Lane can raise up to $5,000,000 as promised, it’ll be happy days for everyone. They’ll finally be able to go big and realise the grand vision they’ve been promising for the past five years.

I recommend giving the entire thing a read. It’s an interesting bit of backroom fuckery, competitors as chumps, all couched in a curiously optimistic tone.