City Wave Munich
You could pop your libido on this thing!

How good is this German Wave Tank!

Tell me you couldn't get whipped out on this thing!

Earlier in the week, it was announced the German wavepool company City Wave had hired Shane Beschen to help sell a bunch of pools in Florida. 

A former world number two,  you might remember Shane Beschen as the occasional foil to Kelly Slater in the nineties and as the only surfer to score three perfect tens in a heat. Lately, he’s been orbiting the globe with his two dazzling boys, Noah and Koda.

For the past three years, the gang have been hitting the Surf Style event in Munich, Germany, to ride that country’s own kinda wavepool, one that was built on the same principals that drives the Eisbach river wave in the same town.

Right now, there are  lot of wave pool companies hawking their wares to investors and various governments. We got, Wavegarden. Kelly Slater Wave Co. Greg Webber Wave pools. American Wave Machines. 

If you’re in Orlando, Florida, in September, and wavepools turn you on, visit the second annual Surf Summit. Listen to the president of the International Surfing Association Fernando Aguerre, the WSL’s Graham Stapelberg, former world number two Brad Gerlach and a dozen or so pivotal names in the pool game “discuss the opportunities and challenges related to the development of man-made surf destinations.”

Did you ever think, when all these tubs come to life, what’s the experience going to be like?

Are we going to be standing in lines of longboarders and pool jocks waiting for our one shot every twenty minutes, the idea of perfecting a manoeuvre on these identical waves moot as we strive to maximise our spend?

Will the surfer lose his sense of identity as suburban kids with season passes surf the pools with the slickness of eels, dropping multiples of shuv-its and whatever else?

I’ve ridden a few pools, and I like the pool here, the City Wave, for a few reasons.

One, it’s small so it ain’t a reach for a park to actually buy one, not just talk about it.

Two, it’s a stationary wave deep enough to ride boards with fins, unlike the classic Wave Lochs that demanded little finless discs.

Three? The intensity of the experience. Everything is right… there.

Tell me this wouldn’t be fun.


Warshaw: “The internet saved me!”

My career was dead. Now I earn 34k a year, says custodian of surfing history!

Yesterday, when the diminutive popster Prince Nelson evaporated himself from this mortal coil, the world weeped.

Me? I figured, another unhappy rich guy done in by legal meds.

Am I right? Am I wrong? The coroner will tell us death-porn addicts next week.

Anyway, this started a little back and forthing with the surf historian Matt Warshaw, provoked by Prince’s quote from 2010 when he said the internet was “completely over.”

Was it, is it?

And what does that mean to guys like me and Warshaw, who both have businesses based around a tiny subset (surf) of a game one of the great icons of music had said was dead?

BeachGrit: Personally, I couldn’t give a fuck if a sixty-year-old billionaire did himself in with oxys, but I guess I’m alone. However,while reading the obits, I hit one where he said that the internet was “completely over.” Said it was like MTV. That it would become outdated etc. Two years ago, he clarified. “What I meant was that the internet was over for anyone who wants to get paid, and I was right about that.”

Oowee, that chills me to the bone. Are we making money? Are you making money as the custodian of surfing’s history? 

Warshaw: Thirty-four thou a year, Derek. Prince’s guitar string budget for the week, probably. I make less money at 55 than I did at 25. You?

Every piece of pie I get I throw back into BeachGrit, chasing eyeballs. Therefore, less than I did when I was 15 gutting chickens.

That tells me you married well.

You too!

Praise be.

Tell me: what’s the secret to making the internet pay?

I just said I’m making intern’s wages. How the fuck would I know?

You’re making something at least. 

Yeah, Lewis did PostSurf that whole year for nothing. Nobody’s making any money on the internet. Surfers especially. On the other hand, this job’s the best I’ve ever had, and that has everything to do with the medium. So I love the internet. Isn’t BeachGrit way more satisfying than anything you did in print?

I hate, hate, hate print. Glad it’s gone. You write something, takes weeks to be designed, a month to get printed and another month to hit the stands. Then nobody says a damn thing. Maybe a letter to the editor if you’re lucky. Contrast that with the online experience! It’s a sharper, better, faster game..

Agreed. On the other hand, my best paydays are still with print. Just did a revision on one of my old books. Two weeks’ work, tops. Ten thou. Anything I do for the mags, same thing, the money’s pretty good. Don’t you miss that?

Not as much as I love the internet. 

Yeah, I never take a print job if it’s going to get in the way of doing the site. But again, like I said, I have that luxery cause I’m basically in charge of waking my kid up and getting him to and from school, and as long I don’t mess that up my wife lets me do my hobby website. She’s making the money and keeping the family insured. I get to be the principled guy who turns down the ad money. Easy to have high standards when it ain’t costing you anything.

So if she threw your goldbricking ass out?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I was pretty frugal as a bachelor, so I’d like to think I’d take my box full of clothes, find a one-room apartment, flip open the laptop and keep doing it like I’m doing it. But I’m used to the new car, triple-diget thread count sheets, all that. I’ve gone pretty soft these last 12 years. Maybe I’d look into pop-up ads. Speaking of which . . .

Jesus, don’t you even start. 

Sorry, sorry. You’re right. We’re all hustling. Keep those ads popping.

So is Prince right? Is the internet dead? 

MW: Of course not. For me anyway, it’s like . . . my career was dead. The internet saved me. God bless the internet.

costa rica catamaran
Death porn of a cat sinking in Costa Rica last year. Want to survive? Don't drink. Don't play the hero. Swim away.

Parker: How to Survive a Sinking Ship!

Get over the side, swim away. Don't play the hero.

I don’t drink booze on boats.

It’s a personal policy built around the ever present possibility that things could go tits up. I’m no sailor, and I can’t fully trust someone else with my safety at sea. Always a chance you’ll need to swim for miles, or tread water for hours. No problem while sober, a challenge with a belly full of black out punch.

It’s probably a stupid precaution, but I’ve gone over the plan with my wife, should we find ourselves on a sinking ship. Get over the side, swim away. Don’t play the hero.

Drowning landlubbers are terrifying. Fuckers’ll grab a hold and drag you down with them. Was once fairly certain we’d need to put it in play. Third World ferry crossing, we cheaped out and took the local boat. Overloaded with junk, packed full of people. So low in the water I was sure we were done. I wasn’t the only one. Real white knuckle trip.

It’s definitely cold-hearted. Find safety, let others fend for themselves.

Watch this death porn of a cat sinking in Costa Rica.

People panic. Most can barely swim. And I’ve delivered a few sternum punches to struggling idiots I’ve had to rescue from their own bad decisions. One on one I can handle. An entire pack of wild-eyed future drowning victims I cannot.

David Carson
Don’t you just love a man who can swing his talent into the world, blow minds, and retreat into the perfect surf lifestyle?

Iconic surfer-artist’s Caribbean dream!

Does the graphic designer David Carson have the dreamiest setup on earth?

Do you remember, one year ago to the day, when the surfer David Carson was named 18th most influential designer in history?  It wasn’t just against other graphic designers either.

Carson left the architects Gaudi, Zaha Hadid and Arne Jacobson in his foamy wake and was only one rung below Charles and Ray Eames, whose chairs have become the most pirated in the world.

Anyway, Carson, he good, though he does tend to polarise. Do you remember when he designed 151 new logos for the WSL? At the time, he told me: “It has no soul. The logo just doesn’t represent the sport very well. It’s pedestrian, unoriginal, forgettable,  safe, gentrified and corporate. All things surfing is NOT, at least to me. The zillions of people worldwide, intrigued for decades, who might have felt surfing is unique, are now being shown, no, it’s not. The essence of surfing, the surfing experience, what people feel about it are all belied by this mindless little logo.”

He added,

“Do you see people clamouring for tee shirts with it? Stickering their cars, walls, friends, bikes or computers with it? …nooo. It has no particular intrigue nor design unique to surfing. Surfing’s been an integral part of my life for over 40 years, and it’s disappointing to see the lack of imagination, spark, inventiveness and cultural awareness. I would have liked to see a logo and branding truer to the sport, its history and future, as well as the unique individuals involved with it all.

“I think many others would love to have been excited about the new WSL logo, which is just the weak ASP logo with new letters. World Sleeping League. World Snoring League, World Sunning League, whatever. it’s just a huge missed opportunity to send a message about the sport globally. That it…is… unique and…does… have different ways of doing things other sports don’t.

“With the shark media-fest worldwide after Mick’s encounter, millions of people for the first time saw anything related to the WSL. Snd what did they see? A generic little round corporate logo.. similar to  countless other logos. ‘Oh thats surfing? I thought they were more, ah, different? Free-spirited? rebellious, or something.'”

Later, Carson would ask me to remove the story after a torrid response.

But it was so bold, so… true! History would be poorer for its evaporation!

Anyway, our pals at New York’s Dress Code just made this movie on David Carson, shot on location at his dreamy Caribbean hideaway. You can watch it here!



Which is Surfer and which The Inertia?

Parker: Things I Would Love to Do!

Shoving people out of my way, throwing food at waiters, etc…

Every day is an exercise in self control. So many wants left unfulfilled. I wish I could just do whatever I desire all the time. I come close, but life’s a series of compromises. Even for me.

Maybe one day I’ll get lucky.

Get rich, do whatever the fuck I want all the time. In the meantime I can only dream. Write about my frustrations. Get a kick out of people reading them. Maybe relating?

Here’s a few things I refrain from doing only because I can’t get away with them.

Shove people out of my way: It’s a tourist thing, that bewildered ambling unaware of your surroundings. I’m sure I do it too whenever I’m in a new place.

Doesn’t make it any easier to bear when I’m trying to get my shopping done and a family of pasty Midwesterners is stopped dead in the center of the aisle staring at the bread rack like they’ve never a fucking bagel before.

It’d be tits if I could just barrel through them. Push ’em aside. Make way! Here comes Rory!

Or last night, at Safeway, the elderly couple arguing about prices. Yeah, shit’s expensive out here. Get over it. Get the fuck out of my way. The urge to ram ’em with my cart was near unbearable.

Honk my horn more often: Drivers rarely honk their horns in Hawaii, and almost never in anger. It just isn’t done. I like it, can’t stand the hellish cacophony whenever I’m forced to travel back to LA.

But lately, I’ve had an urge to lay on the thing whenever I’m stopped at a light or crosswalk and someone is walking in front of my car.

I used to do it all the time to the mobs of Japanese tourists who cross Kam Hwy like gaggles of halfwit geese. Wave ’em through, then lay on the horn and cackle madly when they’d jump. But Kauai is tiny, can’t pull that type of shit anymore. It’s super awkward when you run into the same hapless stranger you hassled earlier in the day for no reason at all.

Ban certain people from the beach: We’ve all got the right to play in the ocean. I won’t argue about that.

But some people…

Watched a Mormon family invade the lineup recently. How could I tell they were Mo-mos? Mom, Dad, plus seven kids. All blonde haired, straight white teeth, milky skin. Looked like they’d never touched an illicit substance in their lives. Real pack of degenerates.

Every one with a rental log, all rocking matching life vests. Wide open beach to play on, picked the one area full of swimmers and struggled a few feet out. Took turns barreling through the inside. Total carnage.

Amusing, for sure. But crazy dangerous. A pack of fools that demonstrated why so many damn visitors die out here.

Throw my meal at a waiterWe ate lunch at an overpriced restaurant in Kapa’a a few days ago. It’s a place my wife has been hassling me to visit for months. Cute décor, overly complicated menu. Her type of joint.

I ordered a $17 burger, expensive by even our ridiculous standards. She got the ono sandwich. Both were terrible. Overcooked, under seasoned. Wilted lettuce, their “artisanal buns” were the same ones I buy at Costco. The fries were good.

The waitress came to check on us. Asked, “How’s everything?”

I wanted nothing more than to heave my plate in her stupid face. Scream, “It’s fucking terrible,” and bounce without paying.

Instead I choked my meal down. Tipped poorly. Then complained the entire way home.