Mason Ho Uluwatu
A little Sammy Davis Jnr routine right in front of the cliffs at Temples, Uluwatu…

Mason Ho Plays Chicken at Ulus!

Artist and madman Mason Ho risks his slender limbs in front of 300 foot-high cliffs…

Life is short. It is also pointless, absurd, sad and, for quite a lot of it, plain wonderful. Twenty five short steps from being spat out of mammy to the dirt being shovelled onto your casket.

Therefore, when the noted shaper Matt Biolos suggested BeachGrit might want to join him at the Uluwatu Surf Villas during a shaping stint there recently, refusal, I believe, would’ve been the mark of someone who didn’t comprehend the brevity of existence. Words without experience are meaningless, as they say.

One highlight of the vay-cay was the showing of episode one of License to Chill. It’s a weekly series, filmed over the last two years, of Mason Ho and pals (mostly Cheeseburger, but also including Tom Curren and the rest of the Ho family) surfing around the world. Every Monday, for eight weeks, Licence to Chill appears on Surfline, with other outlets 48 hours behind.

I knew the series was coming ’cause BeachGrit was in talks to get exclusive first-run rights but we lost to Surfline, as was obvious, and as we must.

The first episode is notable for a few things: Keoni “Cheeseburger” Nozaki’s natural comedy routines (watch for his pre-surf warm-up!), Tom Curren surfing Uluwatu on a bodyboard and Tom and his son Pat’s outro jam.

But, the highlight, of this 17-minute edit, is Mason, this artist, this madman, surfing the ledge around the corner from Temples at Uluwatu, GoPro in his mouth, and playing chicken with the 300-foot high cliffs. Oh, you little deadly demon!

Gabriel Medina

Day Three: Oi Rio Pro!

This is why I don't gamble on surfing. Only chickens.

Day three of the men’s is windy and bumpy. The type of day you’ve gotta talk yourself into paddling out.  Maybe you’ll snag a few, have some fun.  Maybe you’ll be out of position all session and leave the water hating life.

The women were put to sleep during the lay days. Congratulations Tyler Wright. I love you!

John John’s heat total was a head scratcher. Barrel-to-tap deserved better. Great gouge but a fall on the “finishing maneuver” on his second scoring wave. He got the win he deserved, still underscored.

Dusty Payne likes vegan food! Which is good, I guess. Very healthful.  Perfect excuse to link the following.

Pottz likes chicken soup! That’s crazy. I’d’ve pegged him as a chowder man.

Caio Ibelli got a nice little tube ride. Not really sure how the judges are scoring barrels these days. Nose behind the curtain seems to be a requisite for a score.

But this ain’t Pipe, you can’t sit ten yards behind the lip. I guess they’d rather see someone float the section. Or bottom turn around it, set up for a sticky “hack jam.” He definitely got robbed on the first one.  Totally a make. Recovered from the layback.

What’s the deal with that?  Sometimes you can flounder in the whitewash for days and it’s good.  Sometimes it counts as falling.  Doesn’t make sense.  Shades of Airgate.

ADS with a cutback to floater for an 8. Gnarly little section at the end, for sure. But the cutty wasn’t much.


Igarashi wins the Most Brazilian Claim by a non-Brazilian Award for his happy clappy foam bonk 5.63.

Good on Medina for trying to surf progressively.  Don’t two tap it for the score.  Big frontside ankle exploder to the flats.  Barrel to layback fin ditch.  Knee killer frontside three to eat shit.  Punchy windy slop, plenty of opportunities to go big.  No one else really taking advantage.  Makes sense, medium risk for high reward is the judging criteria for the day.  Every day, really.

Jeez, I am really looking forward to Fiji.  Fingers crossed they don’t get skunked!

Round four was a drag,  Mainly because I had to watch it live.  Rio really works best with a heavy heat analyzer edit.  Much better when everything is wrapped up before I wake up.

J Flo/Toledo/Payne was pretty good.  Nice to see Dusty making heats.

Only… can someone explain how his 7.93 was better than his 7.67?  Am I crazy?

This is why I don’t gamble on surfing.  Only chickens.

ADS fucking murdered Caio and Cathels.  I think.  Kind of hard to tell through a vaseline smeared lens.  What’s going on with the cameras?  Is it condensation?  Can’t be salt spray. It isn’t big enough.

Dusty brought a pretty good victory interview.  “I wouldn’t have voted for myself coming into this.”

Medina made Bourez and Freestone look like shit when he knocked them into the losers’ round.  Combo’ed the field, dropped a solid ten.  Flowing from a full roter into a reo is sick.  Spoiled it a bit with the Urkel claim.  Same one he dropped after the “flip.”  Does he practice these in front of a mirror?

JJ barrel foam climb lip tap baby snap combo was underscored.  A turn to reverse-most-of-the-guys-can-do-in-their-sleep got him 2.34.  I don’t understand.  I never understand.  I’m so damn confused.

Ciao, Caio. You’re done for now.

JJ’s post-heat interview broke my heart.  “I’m doing what I gotta do to make it through the heat.  Not just kinda going free for all free surf.”

The Flying Llama got fucking robbed.  A worthless tap on the end section of his second scoring wave would have put him through.  Went for a huge air after his barrel, came unstuck, ate some shit.  Nearly re-broke his dick.

Scoring like that just incentivizes safety surfing.

Mother of Dragons smoked Italian Ferrari.  Maybe Freestone is figuring out this ‘CT gig. Anyway, the only reason I mention it is because I absolutely adore that nickname.  Gonna run with it.  Gave me an excuse to make this…

mother of dragons

Ferrari’s heat-ender shuv-it was pretty cool.

Today wasn’t so bad.  There were some gems mixed in with the garbage.  Quick moments when I’m reminded why I bother turning in.

Here we see phenomenal brother, friend and surfer Justin Cote scoring a perfect 10.
Here we see phenomenal brother, friend and surfer Justin Cote scoring a perfect 10.

Burn: Surfline sizzles WSL!

The tour's own Official Surf Forecaster throws shade!

Guess who’s in the water right now jumping and jiving on some windblown mess? Dat right girlfriend! Miggy Poops and Kanoa Igarashi! Dey gettin their game on! And…wait. What? You don’t care? You’re too busy looking at another batch of photos from perfect Fiji? Well sheeeeeeeeeeeit.

But I also can’t really blame you. My social feeds have been going bananas the last few days with banger after banger after delicious big ol banger from Cloudbreak. Surfline got into my action with a post reading:

While the WCT has been waiting and wallowing in Rio, guys like @bobbersandsinkers (Ryan Burch), @happyreef76 (Reef McIntosh) and @_balaram (pictured here) have been happily pulling into kegs like this at Cloudbread…

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 7.34.37 AM

And did Surfline have to use the verbs “waiting” and “wallowing” to describe what has been going on in Rio? No! That’s what makes it a BUUUUUUURN!

Surfline is, last time I checked, the Official Wave Forecaster of the World Surf League so it is rude for them to criticize the surf in Brazil. Why didn’t you tell ya boyz it was gonna be yuck? Why you leaving them all hung out to dry?

Now it is Adam Melling vs. Seabass Z and do you think both of these gentlemen would rather be in Fiji? I think yes and that makes me think even more.

We live in the future. Why do the stops need to be tied to locations during specific windows? I know, I know…Infrastructure and blah blah blah. But, and again, we live in the future. I bet the whole show could be shot on GoPro and broadcast using two MacBook Airs and one iPhone. Or I mean Samsung. And speaking of Samsung…does that ad do anything for you? What about the girl whose dog has more followers than her? She makes me feel very angry inside.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 6.52.25 AM

But back to our plan. What if the tour just decided which waves were on and then went there when they were good for three days of hot action because the powers already got smart and realized they could cut the field down to twenty, or whatever, and nobody would be missed? What if we actually saw the best surfers on the best waves?


And now back to your regularly scheduled Mother of Dragons.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 7.30.21 AM

AKA Daenerys of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men. Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdons, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains.

Parker: On Hawaii’s caste system!

Is Hawaii really like apartheid-era South Africa?

Kauai creeps ever closer to election day, and things are heating up. Lots of little birdies singing in my ear. Allegations of corruption, incompetence. Whispers of multiple cases of marital infidelity. Does that matter to the local electorate? I could care less, though poor decisions in pursuit of pussy are always amusing. Sex and the City style blog posts making the rounds. Smart men doing dumb things.

Transient vacation rentals are a hot topic. State legislature is looking to hand AirBnB a serious windfall, passing a bill that allows the vacation home middle man to collect taxes on behalf of the state but removing language that would have required the company to ensure its members were in compliance with local laws.

Too onerous a requirement, according to AirBnB heads. How can they tell who’s legal and who isn’t?

Just look at Manhattan Beach, that affluent honky enclave that specializes in NIMBY politics. City outlawed short term rentals in 2015. Quick search still turns up a lot of illegal units.

California rental law is relatively tenant friendly. Wonder how long it’ll be until gutter punks start realizing they can book a day and refuse to leave? I’d imagine that pursuing a civil suit to recoup money lost in the commission of a crime might be difficult.

It’d be more or less impossible on Kauai, now that the planning commission and county council are playing election year politics and holding off-island TVR violators’ feet firmly to the fire. Money may buy favor in off-years, but election time means playing to the local crowd. Not a lot of sympathy present for off-island property investors. Large fines are being levied. Speculators are facing the hard fact that they can’t afford their properties without a steady stream of illegal tourist income.

Cry me a river.

So racist, so unfair! What about the economy?

Rumor has it that the current plan is to pursue fines sufficiently severe that they remove all profitability from ignoring zoning laws. Force people to sell, depress the local market. Open up housing for local families.

Maybe just chase out the millionaires, bring in the billionaires, as in the current situation at the Big Island’s Haulali Four Seasons Resort.

Definitely doesn’t benefit local families in the slightest, but it does deliver comedy.

It was poolside that he particularly felt the caste system at work. “You’d go to a pool and order what you want,” he says. “And then, when you make the mistake of sitting in the wrong seat, a Hualalai brownshirt basically comes over and says, ‘You can’t sit there.’ And there was literally no one else near the pool because it was kind of drizzling. It was just bizarre.”

Firestein writes dialogue for a living. Standing by the empty chaises longues, he didn’t hold back. “I said to them, ‘You know, this is weirdly like Jim Crow. You’re telling us we can eat here and not here, and there’s no one else around?’ ”

He didn’t stay the full week. Another family the Firesteins had rendezvoused with there—visitors, he notes pointedly, from South Africa—also left early. “I don’t want to exaggerate,” Firestein says, “but it really is an apartheid experience.”

Conspiracy: Is Kelly’s wave even real?

New evidence comes to light suggesting Kelly Slater and friends are up to tricks!

Yesterday I posted a meaningless story about Gab Medina being “featured” on ESPN. It was a waste of my time and a waste of yours but at least you got funny in the comments. I can’t remember who first brought it up, maybe Lemmy, maybe Karl Von Fanningstadt, maybe Wiggs, maybe Hipster Krypster* but the discussion turned to the greatest thing Kelly Slater ever put his name on. The early 2000s classic video game Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer!

Don’t you remember? You could be Donny Frankenreiter with a steezy bottom turn, Kalani Robb, Bruce Irons, Kelly of course…maybe Tony Hawk? I can’t recall, exactly, but I played it for many hours even thought the soundtrack was god awful. I could do lots of high scoring combo airs and stay in the barrel forever, balancing just right.

And that barrel. I hadn’t thought about it in forever but….and the realization hit me like a ton of bricks….I felt like I had just seen it. But where?

Oh yeah. The second greatest thing Kelly Slater ever put his name on. Look and compare! Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 9.35.44 AM

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 9.37.04 AM

Uncanny? Too Uncanny? Kelly, what aren’t you telling us? Either you had this wave pool all invented up and were shredding it back in the early 2000s or it ain’t real at all. Which is it? The people (Lemmy, Karl, Krypster and Wiggs) demand answers!