Jalian Johnston
Jalian Johnston! Remember him? Born Alan, he changed his name to Jalian because of... spiritual stuff, I assume. Very soulful, he's all about the earth. And garbage, dude loves himself some garbage. Gluing it to stuff, sewing it to other stuff.

Eco Stud Named in “Surf Gang” Lawsuit!

Garbage connoisseur Jalian Johnston named in Lunada Bay suit…

You’re no doubt aware of the current lawsuit regarding Lunada Bay. Good times, will be even better if they pull off the gang injunction and get the dorks banned from their beach. Don’t know if it’ll work, Palos Verdes swings an awful lot of money and influence. But it’s not important, the bad press is reward enough.

What’s especially fun is that the guys were named in the suit. Most of them are nobodies. PV-bred losers, spoiled rich kids. There’s a mediocre shaper in there too. 

And, oh my, Jalian Johnston! Remember him?

Born Alan, he changed his name to Jalian because of… spiritual stuff, I assume.

Very soulful, he’s all about the earth. And garbage, dude loves himself some garbage. Gluing it to stuff, sewing it to other stuff.

I’ve long wished I could cover myself in the detritus of the modern age, Jalian really scratched that itch. Without his help I’d’ve been stuck taping tampon applicators to my hats for forever. I’d much rather pay him hundreds of dollars to do it for me.

I remember, when I saw a piece on Fuel TV many years ago, thinking to myself, “How’s this dude traveling around the world supporting himself?” I mean, I know he calls himself a pro surfer, but the brands aren’t exactly cutting checks for fly-away airs these days.

Maybe that’s not a fair representation of his ability. After all, he’s surfing somewhere other than PV. And Justin Cote is a fan!

“I like Jalian’s part because it was so different than all the other entries. In case you’ve never heard of him, the dude wears handmade leaves, sticks, twigs and shit, super out there but a ripper nonetheless. His part also had some random spots that I didn’t recognize—no shitty little Lowers for Jalian! Yeah mon!”

Anyway, then I remembered, I’d seen him around the South Bay. He didn’t have a fringe of blonde pubes encircling his face, and he went by his original name. But he was from PV, I knew that. Explained where the money came from.

So now Jalian is in trouble. Accused of being a gang member, of sexually harassing female strangers, not good. But I’m sure Mommy and Daddy can afford a good lawyer, so I’m sure he’ll fine.

Then he can go back to his true love, digging through trash cans for inspiration.

Official: Soccer the world’s worst sport!

Soccer is so bad it'll make you stand up and cheer WSL CEO Paul Speaker's strange creation!

Aren’t you glad surfing isn’t a sport? Oh the World Surf League can dress it up in strange jerseys, rip the fun out of each and every seam, reward mediocrity with arbitrary points, put headsets on monotone voices, drug test (j/k) and still it remains a strange ballet.

But let’s talk about real sports for a minute, while we’re here. Which do you think is the worst? Soccer? You’re right! Of course you know about Sepp Blatter and the massive corruption that guts international play, the cheating, the rolling around and crying, the And today something even worse. The United States women’s soccer team filed a federal complaint because they are paid a fraction of what the men get.

Now, in some sports it could be argued that the men bring in more money, eyeballs etc. In the United States, though, the women’s side is a rare bright light. Let’s read from the New York Times:

U.S. Soccer, the governing body for the sport in America, pays the members of the men’s and women’s national team who represent the United States in international competitions. The men’s team has historically been mediocre. The women’s team has been a quadrennial phenomenon, winning world and Olympic championships and bringing much of the country to a standstill in the process.

Citing this disparity, as well as rising revenue numbers, five players on the women’s team filed a federal complaint Wednesday, accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination because, they said, they earned as little as 40 percent of what players on the United States men’s national team earned even as they marched to the team’s third world championship last year. The five players, some of the most prominent women’s athletes in sports, said they were shortchanged on everything from bonuses to appearance fees to per diems.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, U.S. Soccer recounted the leading role the federation has played in the growth of women’s soccer, including its introduction to the Olympic Games and in providing full-time salaries for top players. And it said it was willing to discuss compensation as part of continuing talks with the women’s team over a new collective bargaining agreement.

“Our efforts to be advocates for women’s soccer are unwavering,” it said. Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer, made no public comment.

And really it is almost unbelievable. What a giant piece of shit. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy about this.

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Long read: The Aloha State Debate!

Should Hawaii be a separate country and other such things!

Hawaii is our Shangri-la. The stuff our dreams are made of. Have you been? Have you walked that sacred soil? Been baptized in that holy water? It’s place in surf culture/history is undeniable. Let’s chat about it’s competitive landscape, shall we?

I sat down recently with Surfing Magazine’s Beau Flemister and we discussed many things as it relates to the WSL, Olympics etc. Fascinating? Certainly. Read here!

Scene opens at Starbucks…

Beau: Hi Chas, have a seat. You want a coffee?

Chas: Aloha aina, Beau! From here? Hell no!

B: [laughs] Mine’s delicious. Kona coffee, obviously. Best stuff in the world. Speaking of which, let’s get into it: I believe Hawaii should stay its own sovereign surfing nation. The HAW abbreviation should stay.

C: Of course you’re on the side of Hawaii. You’re Hawaiian, right? Flemister…that’s the ancient Hawaiian term for…lost Flemish tribe of Niihau. Just kidding, so on what basis?

B: The original reasoning behind the “HAW” distinction stems from the Makaha International Surfing Championships, the first surfing world championship, so to speak. And the first Makaha contest ran in 1954, before Hawaii was an official state of the Union, so Hawaiians classified themselves as such — a different entity than the Mainland — and then it just carried over to now.

C: So, is that really true, though? Is that really a fact?

B: Absolutely, it is. You disagree with the oracle and sage Matt Warshaw and his sacred electronic text, The Encyclopedia of Surfing…dot com?

C: Well, I think that the HAW is how Rabbit Bartholomew first delineated it. I think that he gave Hawaii its own slot in the contest and it was just accepted. That’s what I heard. But you or Matt Warshaw could be right.

B: So you don’t buy the “before it was a state” theory? You think that Rabbit just did it to kiss up to Hawaiians?

C: Yes, to appease them. I think that Rabbit had a little Stockholm syndrome. I honestly think that he came to love the oppressor [Hawaiians] after taking so much shit for so long. When I say shit, I mean almost getting killed by Da Hui like in Bustin’ Down the Door. But I also think Rabbit’s relationship with Hawaii is too tangled to ever really know what’s going on or how he feels or why the HAW delineation happened. I’m sure that he loves Hawaii but there’s probably a fine line between what’s appeasement and what’s respect. But I would say that it’s appeasement.

B: Well, despite the dubious origin story, I’d say that Hawaii has and always has had enough good surfers to sustain itself as a separated surfing superpower. Hawaiians created the damn sport and were practicing it for centuries before it was spread globally. One could maybe say that surfing existed in Hawaii before the United States was even a country. But I’d have to consult with Matt Warshaw on that.

C: Let’s look at it this way: If Hawaii wanted to secede and become a sovereign nation, they’d have good reason to, what with the overthrow of their monarchy and the division of land by missionary families, but as long as they’re a state, then Hawaii is a part of America as far as I’m concerned. I think the surf world’s artificial respect for their “nation” is silly. Especially when Hawaii’s current guys on tour were mostly Caucasian. John John, Dusty Payne, Seabass. It’s not like giving Hawaii its own delineation is helping actual Hawaiians or guys with Hawaiian blood to get on tour. If anyone is prospering it’s just the haoles from that artificial delineation. Like, I could see how if a Duke Kahanamoku-type surfer got on tour again, Hawaii would want to claim him as a figure. Or, some Hawaiian with a Hawaiian name and Hawaiian blood. But to see the Hawaiian flag next to John John Florence’s face…does that make actual Hawaiians proud?

Revealed: Surf agent has kink for Bieber!

Surf super agent Blair Marlin seen in the crowd of Justin Bieber concert.

Justin Bieber played San Diego last night and you could hear the screams from miles away. Teenaged girls danced to the world’s biggest heartthrob while their parents stood by maybe secretly enjoying, maybe counting the minutes until they could flee the madness. There hasn’t been this much energy around a young man since Elvis Presley.

It was a sold out house, of course, and if one would have studied the crowd, teenaged girls and their parents would have made up the majority. If one would have looked a bit closer, though, there would have been a handful of older women with girlfriends relieving the first time they saw Michael Jackson or Justin Timberlake. Closer still, one would have seen an adult man without a child. Zooming all the way it, it would have been revealed that that man was surf super agent Blair Marlin!

Mr. Marlin has the most envied roster in the game by far. Stars such as Dane Reynolds, Craig Anderson, Julian Wilson, etc. etc. grace his lineup. It is like a fantasy team of talent. But do you know what he doesn’t have? A teenaged daughter. Why then was at the concert? His Instagram merely says, “Pretty amazing to see this dudes powers in real life…”

Does Justin Bieber maybe surf really really good? Is Mr. Marlin thinking about signing him?

Or is there something darker at work? Slightly more kinky?

More as this story develops.


Surf Quiz: What Would You Do?

A shaper spits in your face. How do you respond?

You’re in the market for a new board, and even though you’ve got a guy who’s been working for years, you decide to try out a new kid you’ve been seeing all over your local Craigslist. Really low prices, $200 below your usual shaper, because he hasn’t been around long and is working cheap to build a client base.

You ask around, get decent reviews, and decide to pull the trigger on a custom job. Nothing fancy, just a funky little low rocker small wave sled. The type of board that’s damn hard to fuck up.

Roll by the factory one day after work, put down your deposit, drop off your dims, and get the standard, “See you in four to six weeks.”

Six weeks come and go, you call him up to see what’s going on.

“Yeah, sorry, our glasser went on a bender again, we’re a little backed up. It’ll be done in a week.”

Another week passes, still no word. So you swing by again on your way home from work. Figure you can get things moving a little quicker by putting in an appearance. No one’s home, so you try again a few days later.

“Just finished shaping it,” he says, pointing to a random board in the middle of a pile of finished blanks. “They’re all getting glassed tomorrow. Be ready in a couple days.”

Kind of annoying, but still pretty standard. Few people make a career of building boards because they’re hard workers. Skilled craftsmen, sure. Nose to the grindstone types, not exactly. You’re not even bummed he lied and blamed the glasser. That’s what they’re there for.

Another two weeks pass and you get a text. “Your board’s ready, come by whenever.”

Life happens and you can’t make it down for a few more days. But it doesn’t matter, because the surf is shit and the weather is terrible. And since your board was over a month late you aren’t feeling a huge obligation to pay the man.

On day two the texts begin.

“Hey, board’s ready.”

“What’s up? Come get your board.”

“Not a storage locker, you need to come by.”

“We need the space, please come tomorrow.”

Okay, whatever. Fucking shapers, am I right? You text him back, say you’ll swing by on your day off. 10am, cash in hand, you’re there. He’s not. Your calls go straight to voicemail, don’t hear back for another week.

“Sorry, something came up. I’ll def be in tomorrow.”

You swing by on your lunch hour, glory of glories, he’s there! Tells you to wait a moment, goes and grabs your board.

What the hell is this? Two inches longer than you ordered, half an inch narrower. A domed deck with super pinched rails, early 90’s elf shoe flip in the nose. FCS2 thruster setup, rather than the Futures five fin you wanted.

“Hey, I, uh, think you got the wrong board.”

“Nope, this one’s yours.” Points to your name on the stringer.

“This isn’t what I ordered, I…”

“Yeah, I know. This is better.”

Whatever, fuck it. This is what you get for being a cheap bastard. And, who knows, maybe it’ll work. The FCS2 thing sucks, since all you own are Futures, but you’ll make do with the plastics. Even if you hate it, you should be able to flip it online to someone without eating too much of a loss.

You whip out your wad of cash and hand it over. He quickly counts it out and says, “Oh, shit, didn’t I tell you? We had to raise our prices.”

He wants $150 over what you were quoted.

“Oh, and the fins will be $40 more,” he says, pointedly glancing at a hand written sign taped to the wall.

No refunds on deposits under any circumstances.

What would you do?