Jared mell
There's logging, fetid and ancient and pointless, and then there's… logging as exhibited by California's dazzling Jared Mell. Wait! The astute reader just put two and two together! Jared Mell rides for Banks who own the two ads that book-end this very website! Does this mean BeachGrit is under the heel of its sugar daddies or are we real-life fans of the kid? Maybe both!

Dear Rory: “Self-Loathing Log Lover!”

The best surfer is not the one having the most fun, it's the one surfing the best…

Dear Rory,

I’ve been surfing half my life. I started off on shortboards, but after an epic trip the Nicaragua a few years back I don’t even want to look at a board below nine feet. Our gutless waves here make for ugly speed pumps and flailing arms. I catch so many more waves than I otherwise would, the rides are longer, and I go out on the smallest ripple with my tanks. While I love loggin’, I fear the learning curve for my next trip with real waves will get pretty steep. Should I dust off the fish and grovelers and force myself to work with what we’ve got, or continue on with the log?

Self Loathing Log Lover

Dear Rory says: I adore longboards in barreling surf. Get in early, set a line from behind the section, jam that trailing arm in to pump the brakes and use the extra volume to float over turbulence. Easy as pie.

But expensive as hell. Pulling in on a big board is a costly habit. Fuckers snap like twigs, every blown section the recipe for a split down the middle. Flapping sheets of fiberglass, an expensive repair bill (I both hate, and absolutely suck at, doing my own repairs).

I struggle with my love of logs. Left long flat spell shores far behind nearly a decade ago, never really need one. Usually a short drive to quality surf when you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific. Actually look forward to those sheet glass doldrums days. Makes for great visibility, an easy swim, fish on the spear for din-din.

Little tangent here, gotta point out how weird it is that most surfers spend their lives floating around the lineup without thinking about what’s going on beneath the surface. Heck of a lot of cool shit going on down there. 

Longboards are fun because they’re easy. Especially if you’re oafish enough (as I am) to duckdive the damn things. Really takes away the challenge factor. Fly out through the lineup, push under an oncoming, use that foam to rocket your way to the surface. Sit deep, outside, take your pick of sets. Remember to take a break once in a while. We’ve all be on the receiving end of a rapacious dick using extra planing surface to cheat his way into every wave. Super frustrating, totally rude.

I’ve been surfing my entire life. As long as I can remember. And I’m a pretty good surfer. Should be, after roughly three decades of trying hard. But, as I get older, I realize I really should be better. I can ride a hi-perf sled well enough, if I’m on. Slightly hungover? Rhythm a bit off? Then it’s hell. Flail and struggle. Mistime turns, bog rails, generally fucking suck.

There’s no point in making things more difficult. The waves allow what they allow, you surf how you want to surf. You could go shorter, ride a little mini Simmons or retro twinny. But I wonder if there’s really a difference, between them and a log. No matter how you slice it, it’s just about making things easier. And regardless of your cheater varietal, you’re always gonna feel like you’re surfing better than you actually are.

Which isn’t any fun at all. The best surfer is not the one having the most fun, it’s the one surfing the best. But I’m beginning to wonder if I really care whether I’m the best surfer anymore.

It’s hard to separate fact from delusion, especially if you spend as much time as I do inside your own head. I’m huge these days. Cultivated mass all the way up to 260, harvested my way down to a current 230. Which is fucking monstrous.

At 6’2″ I carry it decently enough, and I’ve converted a large amount of that blubber to muscle. But if I’m being totally honest with myself I know I could easily ditch another 20 pounds by eating healthier and doing some, ugh, cardio. And if I kicked my ass into tip-top shape I could probably hop back on my low volume rides and start blasting fins out again.

Am I gonna? I don’t know. It doesn’t sound very fun.

Recent visitors were on some crazy health kick. No sugar, no carbs. They look great, but their diet looks like hell. Constantly eating, always hungry. Don’t know if there’s a middle ground, but if there is I’d sure love some directions to it.

Anyway… I guess I’m starting to believe that there’s no honor in making things difficult. If you’re not looking to do airs, or win contests, riding an unforgiving board in lackluster conditions is dumb. Sure, when some guy who’s a foot shorter and a hundred pounds lighter than me surfs circles through the lineup on a small day I feel like a total kook. But it’s all give and take. Yeah, he can blow up a waist-high section, but I can reach shit on the top shelf.

There’s no point in making things more difficult. The waves allow what they allow, you surf how you want to surf. You could go shorter, ride a little mini Simmons or retro twinny. But I wonder if there’s really a difference, between them and a log.

No matter how you slice it, it’s just about making things easier. And regardless of your cheater varietal, you’re always gonna feel like you’re surfing better than you actually are.

Maybe that’s the secret? Just embracing the lies we tell ourselves?

Ride what you want at home, change equipment as conditions dictate. And when you find yourself with butterflies in the belly on your way into a offshore, top to bottom, foreign barrel, do what I do. Heave yourself over the ledge a few times, use the beatings to chase away the nerves.

surfing baby
"Babies are the embodiment of youth," says bottle water company Evian. Who knew!

Delight: These Babies Surf!

Don't you love the juvenile egotism of these strutting baby surfers?

Babies are sensational little fucks. Cost nothing to make, light up your Facebook page with likes, you can dress ’em in little Stones t-shirts, they’re always eyeballing tits and when you get old and demented they’re obliged, ethically, to to clean your shit and find you a decent sorta old-age joint. Why wouldn’t you love ’em?

In this new spot by the Swiss bottled water company Evian, we see the wonders of computer graphics turning babies into surfers. Wait, the whole beach is full of babies, pounding bongos, strumming guitars, manning the bar, maybe even a couple playing with carrots in the dunes. Who knows!

What’s the metaphor for it all?

The embodiment of youth! The childlike nature of the surfer!

“We really like the surf universe,” the creative agency told AdWeek. “Not just for the spectacular physical thrills, but also for the healthy lifestyle, the philosophy and the cool spirit. Very ‘Live Young!’ ”

Watch here.

(Editor’s note: Yeah, it’s a slow news day, as they tend to be post contest. But don’t you love the juvenile egotism of the strutting baby surfers? The sheer fantasy of the conceit?)

Beyonce Blake Kueny
Is this the first shot in a coming race war? Will the tables turn, black artists now stealing from white?

Blood Feud: Beyonce vs Blake Kueny!

Was Beyoncé, uh, inspired by Blake Kueny's View From a Blue Moon?

Hard to believe it’s been eight months since the trailer for View from a Blue Moon dropped. Superb piece of film, gorgeous surf porn. Maybe the best ever.

Crazy how time flies, seems like just yesterday I was tapping away at a review that both praised and dismissed a piece of work the quality of which I’ll never match.

Even if VFABM wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, you can’t argue that it wasn’t gorgeous. Perfectly shot, superbly edited. A work of art. The type of thing people copy.

People like… Beyonce Knowles. Or, more likely, whoever it is that HBO hired to cut together a promo for her new project, Lemonade.

“What is Lemonade? the world wonders.

Is it a music video? A rock opera? A movie?

I don’t know, but it sure as hell looks familiar.

Check out this audio swap with Blake Kueny’s View From a Blue Moon, pay attention to how perfectly they sync up.

Click here! 

Kind of crazy, right?

This is hardly the first time the Knowles machine has been accused of intellectual theft. A quick google turns up some pretty damning evidence.

And who could forget that monument to cultural appropriation, Drunk in Love?

Is this the first shot in a coming race war? Will the tables turn, black artists now stealing from white?

Is it coincidence, homage, or outright theft?

Does a surf filmer have the financial wherewithal to sue a music industry powerhouse?

Is this the beginning of a cultural shift that will see millions of black Americans flood coastal ‘burgs in pursuit of a righteous slide?

Only time will tell.

Filipe Toledo wins Oi Rio Pro
Is the Weisner penis clamp and PicoBong vibrating ass plug Filipe's secret weapon? Might that account for his terrific success there? | Photo: WSL/Cestari

Parker: Your Oi Rio Pro Survival Kit!

Includes Weisner penis clamp and a PicoBong vibrating butt plug!

We’re slightly less than a month out from Rio! Can you smell the excitement? Is that what excitement smells like? Sewage and poverty and rampant corruption? If only you could bottle it…

I love Brazilians. They get a bad rap. They might be loud, obnoxious, have terrible etiquette in the lineup, but no more so than your typical Californian. Maybe less. I’ve never heard one moaning about “racism” in Hawaii, bumps them up a few notches in my book.

The Oi Rio Pro will probably suck, which is too bad. Brazil deserves a world-class event. They love their sports, love to surf, are churning out contest talent at a breakneck pace.

An emerging market, kinda. Not sure how much money can be sucked out of a country that seems to suffer an economic collapse every ten minutes. But I guess it depends how you look at things. Trickle down nonsense helping everyone? Probably not. Economic disparity enriching a few at the cost of the majority? Okay, yeah, I can see that.

We know the water’s poison, we also know the WSL plays ball. ‘QS events failing to pay off competitors in a timely manner is shocking. Rule book requires the WSL receive the bread in advance. Nothing wrong with sweetheart deals in support of a struggling venue. Wave the sanctioning costs, subsidize entrance fees, that’d be great. Not cool to place the burden on athletes’ backs. Especially when the amount involved is a pittance.

But Brazil is Brazil. Bunch of rich assholes chase money while fucking everyone else. Sounds familiar.

Will the rumored competitor boycott happen? I doubt it.

Will someone get sick? Probably.

Will they be able to prove it was related to water quality?

I’d ask my lawyer, but I already know the answer. Fifteen minutes of hemming and hawing wrapped up with an, “It’s up to the courts to decide.”

With the difficulty inherent in pursuing a legal judgment against a US corporation operating on foreign soil, it’s up to the competitors to protect themselves. They could band together, stage a revolt, refuse to surf. But that’s unlikely to happen. Getting a bunch of independent contractor competitors to cooperate with each other is difficult. Especially since surfing was effectively union busted a couple years back.

Instead, better to look to personal protection. Since you can’t surf in a bio-hazard suit something needs to be assembled piecemeal.

Which is why I am introducing the BeachGrit approved Oi Rio Pro competitor kit. We’re not being paid to endorse any of the following product. Really. You can trust BeachGrit. We’d never stoop so low as to shill for a product we didn’t believe in.

Like, say, a leash with magnets in the cuff produced by a company with whom we’ve partnered to produce cinch-top “waterman” backpacks.

If you’re gonna stay healthy, you better seal up those head holes!


Speedo Vanquisher Optical Swim Goggles ()

Doc’s Pro Plugs 

Trygon V2 Freedive Noseclip

But don’t forget, your only openings aren’t the ones up top! If you want to protect yourself from all the creepy crawlies looking to worm their way into your insides you’ve gotta seal yourself up tighter than the North Korean border.

Weisner Penis Clamp

PicoBong Vibrating ButtplugProbably want to leave the batteries out during your heat, but you can do what you want. I’m not the boss of you.

Though I will recommend that the ladies each pick up a pair.

William Finnegan Barbarian Days
Bill Finnegan at G-Land in the seventies. The waves "looked incredible – long, long, long, fast, empty lefts, six feet on the smaller days, eight-feet plus when the swell pulsed… " | Photo: William Finnegan/Barbarian Days: a Surfing Life.

Just in: Surf Writer Wins Pulitzer Prize!

William Finnegan wins most prestigious prize in journalism for his book Barbarian Days…

One year ago, the New Yorker staffer William Finnegan loosed his two-decades-in-the-making surf memoir Barbarian Days.

At the time, I expected a genteel read, a not particularly rigorous examination of a part-time surfer, a big-city fucker who dared to assume that he could reveal the mysteries of the game.

Instead, I was thrown under the bus of a two-day obsessive read. As I wrote at the time, I’d only penetrated three chapters into the book when we suddenly camping on Maui waiting for Honolua Bay to break and, shortly after, camping on the empty beach at Tavarua for a week and surfing a new discovery called Restaurants.

Soon, Grajagan in 1979, Africa and, later, among the big-wave surfers of Ocean Beach, San Francisco, and, then, spending long vacations on Madeira, waiting for Jardim Do Mar’s heavy deep-water right to break.

Photos scattered through the pages showed the author to have visible obliques, was long-haired and tanned. Finnegan was, is, a… stud?

I wasn’t the only one in thrall to Finnegan.

The Wall Street Journal called it “gorgeously written and intensely felt… dare I say that we all need Mr Finnegan… as a role model for a life, thrillingly, lived.”

The LA Times said, “It’s also about a writer’s life and, even more generally, a quester’s life, more carefully observed and precisely rendered than any I’ve read in a long time.”

And, announced only thirty minutes ago at Columbia University, Barbarian Days has won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. The prize committee praised it as, “A finely crafted memoir of a youthful obsession that has propelled the author through a distinguished writing career.”

The Pulitzer Prize, of course, is America’s most prestigious award in journalism. It also includes ten thousand dollars in prize money to each category winner.

Last year, when I asked Finnegan if he thought surfing was elevating or just another pointless pursuit he wrote, “It’s supremely useless, I think, and not at all ennobling. Which is not to say that a great many people, starting with you and me, don’t get a great deal out of it – even a reason to live. It just does nothing, obviously, for anybody else. It’s the ultimate selfish pursuit. You could argue that it teaches its devotees a few things about self-reliance and the grandeur of Nature – maybe even a little humility – and I guess I wouldn’t argue with that. But in the end surfing, in my opinion, does little or nothing to build or improve character. As we all know, a lot of assholes surf, and some of them surf well.”

On the plus side, “a lot of my best friends surf, and it can be a great deep thing to share with people you really like,” he wrote. “Non-surfers are certainly never going to understand it.”

Read about Barbarian Days, here.