Parker: What I love about surfing!

The smell of girls. Warm-water wax. Hooting interlopers into destruction…

I’ve got a ton of cleaning work ahead of me today. Visitors coming, gotta scrub the house top to bottom. Can’t let anyone see the squalor. Don’t like doing it, no sir, not one bit.

Makes me angry at my wife. How dare she leave my spearfishing stuff strewn about? Why can’t she convince me to stop tracking in ten pounds of sand each time I return from the beach? Laundry would be a hell of a lot easier if she’d stop leaving bits of wax in all my pockets.

I’m cranky, but I don’t want to be. And after this morning I don’t really feel like writing. But I gotta.

So let’s keep it light and breezy.

Women surfers always smell good: Is it conditioner? Lotion? Why does every surfer girl smell heavenly in the water?

I was at Costco a while back, smelled something heavenly. Sweet and delicious, wafting through the warehouse. Followed my nose to the back, found a giant pile of ripe pineapples. Had to buy two. Go home, chop ’em up. Ate until my mouth was shredded.

I love watching people learn to surf: It’s so amusing. Boards flying, spectacular carnage. I’ll often spend an easy hour sipping ice water from my magically insulated mug, enjoying the pain and hardship. I’m not laughing at them. Only with them, I swear. We’ve all been there, the entrance fee is stiff. Years of trying before you’re proficient. A lifetime of struggle to actually be good.

I will often hoot annoying interlopers into destruction, and that doesn’t come from a good place. But the best comedy has its roots in pain, right?

Wax down, fins forward: There’s only one right way to tie a board to your roof. Why does it seem like only a few people know that?

I don’t like tropical wax: Warm works better. Nice and sticky. Good grip, not too much. But the only shop in town only stocks Sticky Bumps Tropical. So frustrating. They’re got their own brand of wax, don’t know where it’s made. Stuff work great, best I’ve ever used. One dollar a bar! When’s the last time you got wax for a buck? I once let a friend borrow a board, he smeared that Fu Wax shit all over it. Terrible, terrible. Had to scrape it down and reapply. Which I hate doing, unless it’s a brand new ride. Then it’s a loving application, bordering on obsessive.

My car looks like shit: Wax covering the upholstery, stinking of mold because I never remember to roll up the windows. Finally put a spare tire in the thing. Waited ’til a flat left me stranded. But it’s a calculated move.

Who’s gonna bother pulling the smash and grab on a ride that looks like it belong to a homeless chronic? Worked well so far. Plenty of broken glass beachfront, my tattered ride’ still untouched.

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!)