Stab What Youth
How, do you wonder, did we find ourselves at this juncture? Let's ask Travis Ferré: "Surf magazines and media used to send each other ass donuts and people would punch each other over shit like this — over less even! Now it seems as though you sit in cubicles and your interns sit in smaller cubicles searching for any kind of footage they can pillage that might get a click then post and Google some more. And it makes us all look dumb."

Blood Feud: What Youth v Stab!

What Youth swings against Stab! Come see the blood!

 This is a letter to whoever’s at the controls for Stab.
Dear Stab,

Almost two years ago now we at What Youth put together a trip to Indonesia to film with Kolohe Andino and his friends Taj Burrow, Ian Crane, Luke Davis and Tanner Rozunko for our film called Brother. You must be very familiar with the photos and video by now as you seem to love posting them on your website and social media channels as your own. We paid for the boat and we brought three filmers and two photographers and a writer to document the trip. A real media blitz! We made a film (Brother), filled a magazine (What Youth issue 9) and our website and social channels for a few months with A+ photos and vids from the trip. But now I look at your website and social media and it’s as though you did the trip. WTF?

This week alone you’ve re-hashed – in one form or another – almost all the photos and footage in some kind of cut-and-paste purge that is making us all look really stupid. I just hate seeing our hard work on your website. If I wanted our work to go on your website I would have called and asked for your credit card details. And as much as the Internet is a fucking free for all shit show nowadays, you’re still a competitor when it comes to surfin so quit using our creations as your own.

Surf magazines and media used to send each other ass donuts and people would punch each other over shit like this – over less even! Now it seems as though you sit in cubicles and your interns sit in smaller cubicles searching for any kind of footage they can pillage that might get a click then post and Google some more. And it makes us all look dumb. Then I have to write an article for BeachGrit to vent because if I had any idea who actually wrote the words on your website these days I would probably hit them up personally. But I don’t. Because anyone I used to know and respect there is now either here (BeachGrit!), or in an Irvine business park writing copy for Swell catalogues.

This week alone you’ve sent out a well-timed press release to announce Taj’s retirement with 100 percent of the photography coming from the pages, hard drives and social media of What Youth. And then you sold a video to some eyewear brand called Otis using footage shot by filmer Noah Alani, who we commissioned to film that trip. I hope he saw a paycheck at least. And hell, I’m paddling over the wave you just posted of Luke Davis at Greenbush on your own Instagram today. I’m literally in the video.

And while I’m happy you’ve mastered the art of cut-and-paste media and how to take advantage of old footage and how to re-purpose stuff you didn’t produce as your own, maybe steal from somewhere else next time. Or if nothing else, open up chapter two and teach your interns to produce something of value so I can get my hands on it.

Parker: Apologies suck!

Apologies? They mean nothing.

I hate apologies, they mean nothing. Just so easy to do wrong, then turn around, “I’m sorry.”

Fine for minor shit.

Step on someone’s toes? “Oh shit, sorry buddy.”

Late to lunch? “Sorry, man. I got held up.”

Forgot to pick someone up at the airport? “Dude, I feel terrible. I’m very sorry. Can I pay you back for the cab fare?”

Perfect for tiny transgressions. A brief mea culpa assuages your guilt, does the same for their anger. Helps you move on, stay friends. Good, great, grand, in moderation.

But for real trespasses, true wrong, victimizing others for your personal gain? Fuck that noise. Fuck your apology. Fuck you.

I am not a compassionate man. It’s a personal failing, one with which I, sometimes, struggle. Empathy doesn’t come easy. I try to be kind, but only because you live in the world you create. Cruel people live in a cruel world. I want my world to be happy, kind. I’ll do things I know I should, even if I don’t truly understand why.

It’s a process. Slow and sure I try to build a self that relates to the pain of others, cares for their struggles. It isn’t easy for me. If someone chips away at progress I fall into my default mode. Fury. A ravenous, all encompassing, anger.

I don’t like to second guess Derek’s editorial decisions. He knows what he’s doing, far more than I.

But this thing? Providing a platform for some narcissist piece of shit to shed his crocodile tears? Fuck that. It makes me sick to think I’d help him spin his bullshit, expose people to his dissembling, his self righteous attempt to show he’s somehow more than the sum of his actions.

It’s censorship, to be sure. But I’m okay with it.

When your every word is a lie you no longer deserve a voice.

Best for us all to just forget he exists, let him fade away into whatever hellish existence awaits.

As a bonus, I think that will hurt him the most.

Candid: I hate junkie prose!

Tortured public self-reflection is just torture!

I was once married to a woman whose mom dated a crackhead. He would spend many hours talking, to whomever would listen, about his affliction, his very sad reasons for hurting the ones he loved etc. It bored me beyond anything that I had ever even imagined.

And I feel the same about Michael Kocher. Whether he is a good guy underneath a series of bad decisions or an ugly manipulative sort or a serial liar or a man on the path toward redemption it is all dull. Tortured, public self-reflection with heavy doses of narcissism is, in fact, just torture and especially when it comes fresh on the heels of being outed for some pain caused to others.

Remember when Derek and I had a disagreement about running a story on Mick Fanning’s brother (here)? I loved that more than anything we have done because we got to have a fluid, realtime discussion about ethics and journalism. This ain’t that. This is just me saying I don’t do tortured public self-reflection with heavy doses of narcissism and, therefore, BeachGrit doesn’t either.

But if you like I’ll bring the Kocher piece back. Just let me know. We are, at the end, a wonderful and glorious plutocracy!

Kocher: “Why I Faked Cancer!” (part one)

I have been the definition of manipulative and cruel…


(Edit by Chas Smith! Read why here!)

This is the magazine Travis created with his pals Scott Chenoweth and Kai Neville. It good.

“My Blood Feud with Rob Machado!”

Plus, Kelly's boards are horrible and ugly, says What Youth's Travis Ferré

I was once told that exclamation points should never be used (what a crock of shit!). I also once called BeachGrit’s very own Chas Smith the modern day Lord Henry Wotton (from The Picture of Dorian Gray). And since then I’ve had a fantastic relationship with exclamation points and with Chas and Derek and I think that is because Chas and Derek are living, breathing exclamation points and I tend to thrive on enthusiasm.
I once purchased a used and very rare hardback edition of The Gallery by the fantastically gay and fantastically dead (at his own hand) John Horne Burns at the recommendation of Chas (“that’s how you know it’s good!” he exclaimed! ).
I bought it from the The Strand (18 miles of books!) in New York and I bought it on the same trip in which Rob Machado and I began our decade-long and apparently somewhat ongoing feud (you know there will be more on that later Blood Feud! etc.).
That book was a fantastic recommendation and the copy I have smells not unlike the inside of a 1987 Saab with leather interior. I’d like to take this moment to urge you to purchase a copy yourself and see what went on inside Galleria Umberto, which according to the book jacket is “a bombed-out arcade where everybody in town comes together in pursuit of food, drink, sex, money, and oblivion.”
Sounds like the World Tour circa ’89!
So what the hell am I doing here? I suppose I should get to the point.
Well, Derek sent me some fantastic watermelon-rind green swimming trunks and I thought it would be a neat exercise to participate in the sweaty Caribbean dance floor of journalism they’ve created over at BeachGrit. So much gossip! So much fun! So loose! Who cares about tomorrow! Who cares about yesterday! We have today. And this rum and this sticky dance floor. Fuck art, let’s dance and all that jazz.  
As you may or may not know by now, I do What Youth. We do surf and we do some skate and some living and we do music and we do youth. But we also do not youth too. But who’s to define that word anyhow. I get carded every time I buy my Heinekens despite inhabiting earth for more than three decades. And I’ve recently noticed the great and entertaining work of Chas and Derek and Rory and all the characters here and I wanted to play.
But where to start! My cup runneth over. I ran through so many topics.
Kelly Slater is riding boards even more horrible than his last ones (I haven’t loved the aesthetics of Kelly’s surfboards since they were all-white 17-inch wide blades with black Quik stickers on the nose and one clean “Shaped by Al Merrick” logo laminated ¾ of the way down the deck).
But until recently, he was always able to manipulate those ugly boards into perfect surfing and I would be forced to eat my words and watch surfers at home try to ride them and fail. Now they are ugly and he is unable to manipulate them and they look as though they cannot defend themselves against any form of whitewater. I worry for him. And I worry for all the poor kids who will end up buying them. At least when his boards were 17-inch wide sexy blades we all looked cool. Now we look Costco.

I have also long disliked Rob Machado for embarrassing me with a back of the head tap at an XXL Awards show that was apparently prompted by my refusal to remove a story I wrote called “A Moment Among the Famous.”

I am so bored by WSL and “Margie’s” and Pottz’s commentary makes me sad because he loves conservative surfing so much. I love Taj Burrow and Benji Weatherly with all my heart and was once married to Benji by Taj underneath a full moon at a post-Lowers victory party and that stands as a career highlight.

Consider this a prologue. With many more exclamation points to come!