Johanne Defay wins Fiji Pro 2016
The owner of the most adorable accent in surfing wins the Fiji Pro! | Photo: WSL

Just in: Johanne Defay wins Fiji Pro!

What a day! Hooray for Defay!

Finals day at the fair sex Fiji Pro. Why no title sponsor? Men or women, WSL can’t lock that shit down. Why not? One of the stops everyone looks forward to. Potential for magic.

Volcom had it, right? Split when ZoSea took over. Smart decision on their part, probably. But you’d think the WSL’d be able to find someone to kick down a bit of dough. Maybe there are reasons.

Hamilton started things off playing the one armed bandit, stealing title points from tour members. Hell of a lot of wildcard spoilers going down this year. No matter how Bethany finishes she’ll be the mainstream media darling over the next few days. Rest of the ladies can go to hell.

It’s really too bad she’s so religious. Obviously an amazing human, overcome adversity, positive mindset, blah blah blah. But I just can’t get behind anyone who uses the spotlight to push their faith. Which she does. Has her own bible thumper non-profit, uses surf to steal minds. Fuck that noise.

I’m sure that opinion won’t make me any friends. Whatever. She gets to push her agenda, I get to push mine.

Johanne Defay’s accent is absolutely fucking adorable.

Moore/Enever was pretty crazy. Gotta love C-Mo’s barrels, how she pushes through her turns. One of the shortfalls on the female end. Maybe it’s a lack of size, strength, but when it gets a little bigger a lot of the ladies back off towards the end of their turns. Enever was doing it pretty bad. Lip checks instead of top turns. On guys it’s a full fear move. Section starts to suck, run for the shoulder instead of bomb to the bottom. But the ladies are tiny, might just be difficult to bury a rail at full speed. They manage pretty well on the smaller ones.

Super mismatched heat. Not that Enever don’t surf real good, but Moore’s on another level. Surfs like a man. Which is an absurdly sexist way of praising a top level female athlete, I know. Sorry.

Hamilton and Defay got real lucky they didn’t draw her in the semis. Now they’ve each got a 50/50 chance for a finals finish. ‘Cuz Carissa’s on a tear and I’m calling a win for her while watching the quarters.

I’m increasingly impressed with Ms. Buitendag. Tons of power behind her turns, great style despite her lanky frame. She’s getting better too! Put Conlogue to sleep pretty effortlessly, but faces Moore in the next round. Gonna be pretty shocked if she makes it through that one.

Defay rips her first wave of the heat to shreds, things don’t look so good for Hamilton. 9.2, backs it up with a solid 7. Seven minutes in and Bethany’s combo’ed. Not that it matters. This ain’t her full time job, performance so far’s sure to earn her some more talk show appearances.

Man, type about the tiny weak little ladies backing off turns then Defay comes and puts the idea straight to bed. Absolutely hammers her third wave, snags an 8. Follows up with an even better one. Digs Hamilton a hole so deep she can’t see sunlight.

Sweet jeebus, Carissa is killing it this comp. Like, especially so. 9.77 on her first wave, just straight bashing the lip, snagging some cover. Repeating last round. Buitendag is surfing well but she just can’t touch Moore at her best.

Still though, Bianca is laying down some big swooping carves. Putting her size to good use. She’ll go down fighting. Her last post-heat interview was… odd.

Put some duct tape on her board, give it an “African fix.” Awful close to saying “nigger rig it.” I don’t think it’s unfair to suspect a South African of casual racism. Because of, you know, history.

Heat’s turned into a real back and forth battle. Might’ve written Buitendag off a bit too soon. Could be a shocker.

I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again. The WSL needs to stop running women’s heats when it ain’t good enough for the men. Give the ladies their own show, quality surf, they shine, sparkle.

Poor Bianca. Judges just handed the lead to Moore with a gross overscore. With the way these women are ripping a snap to hung up top turn shouldn’t be a 7.27. They can do better. Buitendag’s forehand carves are magic!

Moore did better. Has it in the bag with five minutes left. Blasted the fins out the back for her second 9+.

Ha! I forgot Hamilton rides for Rip Curl. Remember when they used slaves to make jackets? Remember how they just swept it under the rug?

Defay/Moore in the final. Nice end to a day of ripping.

The little French girl is on fire today, but so is the bubbly Hawaiian. Wish they’d just head into the next heat. I’ve got shit to do. Rather not wait around for them to get to business. I understand the reason for the break, but it’s slightly inconvenient for me.

Final starts on a lull. Weak exchange of single turn waves. Set swings wide and catches them out of position. So typical. Whole day on fire, final is a total anticlimax. No way of controlling it, no fix. Just cruel reality.

At just under fifteen minutes in Defay gets a decent one. 8.4. At the rate the ocean is delivering the goods it might be enough to hand her the win.

If Rosy Hodge agreed to play “would you rather” with me I’d come up with something way better.

But really I’d just stammer, trail off, and go hide in a corner somewhere.

Damn, disappointment. Really thought we were gonna get something special here. But the ocean doesn’t want to cooperate.

Seven minutes left and we start to see some energy. Moore on firing, links a huge bash into a finner. Comes unstuck and Defay is right behind her. Dismantles it all the way to the inside.

6.67 for Moore. Pretty high for a single turn. But it was an amazing smash. Defay earns an 8.7 though, so Carissa is in a deep combo and no matter what Pottz says she doesn’t have much of a chance.

Two minutes left and Carissa Moore needs 17.11. Show’s over.

What a day! Hooray for Defay!

Sucks that things ended on a slow note, but we got an entire day of top notch action.

If you don’t watch the women, and I know a lot of people don’t, go hit the heat analyzer. You won’t regret it.

Watch: Matt McConaughey react! fabulous El Niño surfing!

If this current generation has brought anything to the world it is memes. Maybe the “Greatest Generation Ever” scoff at the pointlessness, the shallowness of repurposed comedy snippets but what the hell did those geezers ever do for anyone?

Maybe the “Baby Boomers” scratch their heads and wonder how millions upon millions of people can be moved by something so…basic but  what the hell did those old farts ever create, entertainment-wise?

Maybe “Generation X” (that’s me!) slide our clumsy thumbs over technological wonders we don’t fully understand….wait. I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me!

Memes are great by any measure. And the ones that get on the spike are almost always very funny. This one, by Norwell9, of the great Matthew McConaughey emoting to various El Niño makes and misses has not gotten on the spike yet but can we help get it there? Can we share it a million times between ourselves and get it mentioned on E! TV later tomorrow eve?

Watch and I can guarantee laughs! Also, did you know that I can spell McConaughey now without consulting the Internet? This my the first writing where his last named snapped fully into place. It has taken a decade and a half but I’ve arrived. Butane in my veins and I’m out to cut the junkie!

Matthew McConaughey – Reacts To El Nino Surfing Footage! (Instagram) from Norwell9 on Vimeo.


BeachGrit TV: Size is the Enemy of Cool!

The surf industry is dying, says Michael Tomson! But he knows how to revive it!

Welcome back, dear enthusiast, to our second installment of BeachGrit TV’s Like Bitchin! Its poor production value matched only by its lack of host talent.

But who needs a host when you’ve got Matt Biolos? Not us.

Did you like when he dipped those surfboards in his halved water heater? Did you laugh when we went to a Donald Trump for President rally together and slapped minorities? It was a good time.

And I will tell you with complete certainty that a host, even as skilled as Ellen DeGeneres would fall totally flat next to our next shining star. If you are unfamiliar with Michael Tomson’s legacy please take the time to read Matt Warshaw’s post in the Encyclopedia of Surfing. It begins…

Forceful, articulate, self-destructive pro surfer and surfwear entrepreneur, originally from Durban, South Africa; world-ranked #5 in 1976; the founder of Gotcha. Tomson was born (1954) and raised in Durban, and began surfing at age 10, along with his younger cousin and future world champion Shaun Tomson.

And is very well-written but can’t match actually being in a room with South Africa’s Greatest Export (Besides Diamonds and …. Gold)™.

MT is kinetic. A complete experience and the stories he has saved in his razorblade brain could melt the paint off most walls. Interesting? The most!

After reading Warshaw’s work you’ll know he surfed professionally, founded Gotcha, sold it to Perry Ellis and called it a “whore,” founded MCD, sold it etc. but what fascinates me more is his finger on today’s pulse. He knows why our surf industry is dying. He knows how to revive it. He knows what’s next.

And so, I humbly invite you to sit down and enjoy a few minutes with the one, the only Michael Tomson.

surf trunks
Easy-to-hate White Devils on the left and easy-to-forgive Bill Cosbys, at right! | Photo: Richard Freeman/@freemanphoto

Buy: Bill Cosby + White Devil Surf Trunks!

Monochrome slim-line surf trunks for… 50 dollars! Delivered anywhere in the world! 

A few months ago, BeachGrit threw live a new range of colourful surf trunks. 

As explained previously, we figured it’d make sense to leverage our design contacts, in our case the award-winning Rama McCabe from Banks, to make our surf trunks. Chas and I had both fallen into the hole of buying Orlebar Browns and whatever else, just so we could wear something a little slimmer,  little shorter.

But who wants to spend two or three c-notes on a pair of trunks?

For this year’s ranges, we went slightly shorter, slightly slimmer and instead of cotton figured we’d swing with nylon. Still with the four-button fly and the back pocket and the inner lining.

Fifty bucks, delivered airmail anywhere in the world.

And only in 31s and 32s. (Ignore that little drop-down menu.)

And, now, the same trunks but available in easy-to-wear Bill Cosby black and easy-to-hate White Devil White!

Buy here! 


Kolohe: “Filipe is Charles Manson!”

"And," adds Kolohe, " If you're not in love with Filipe's full rotations, you're blind!"

Memorial day weekend here in the greatest country that’s ever existed. Banks are closed on Monday in honor of dead soldiers. People are gonna barbecue and get drunk.

Heard a radio ad in the car today. Some sort of sale in honor of the troops who “died for our freedom.” Really Christian concept. Pretty hard for me to swallow.

Atavist magazine has a very interesting article about a Chinese billionaire who tried to make a blockbuster film. Indulgent passion project, multiple director changes, an incomprehensible script. Hollywood types who thought their big break had come.

It’s crazy how Bethany Hamilton just torques her head and neck to make up the being short one arm. I can understand why she’s such an inspirational figure.

I recently watched a neat documentary about the use of “spin” during the ’92 presidential elections. Assembled using footage recorded from network satellite feeds, there are some fascinating candid moments when powerful types forget they’re on camera. Watching Larry King chat with George Bush the Firsts about the latters love of pharmaceuticals is lovely. Overall the message is kind of garbled, but it’s worth watching for the content rather than the whole.

I put a lot of effort into training my dog. Not to do stupid tricks and shit like that. Just so he’s obedient and friendly and isn’t super obnoxious. But I think it’s really funny when he sneaks up on sleeping people at the beach. They’re just zoning in the sun, not a care in the world, then some shocking cold wet snout gets jammed in their face. I pretend to be contrite and scold him but my body language is pure encouragement.

Same deal when he runs through people’s stuff. Total dick move but he’s a cute as hell french bulldog so no one gets upset. And it keeps him occupied so I can swim. Little idiot loves the ocean but has the swimming ability of a brick.

Derek sent me this WSL produced Flying Llama bio. Andino the younger compares Toledo’s ability to Charles Manson. Email header read “this is so you.”

I’m not really sure what he meant by that. I like the clip. The WSL should be pumping these out on the regular. Make for great downtime footage during slow moments. Give the chatterboxes a chance to catch their breath rather than ramble on and on and on.