Single fin magic!

Film: “Sid Abruzzi and the forever stoke!”

Rory Parker reviews the surf doco '77 Overlin. And single fin shortboards. One he likes, one he hates!

Cold water masochists are weird. But that’s okay, I like weird people. Like Sid Abruzzi. Some colorful character from the great white north who’s managed to keep the stoke alive for way too long. Seen his name pop up constantly in both the skate and surf world my entire life. Takes some doing, earning that crossover respect.

While Abruzzi ain’t never been part of my scene, I’ll watch something with him in it. I don’t go in for nostalgia type stuff, but he’s an original type cat and I dig those.

Some interesting tidbits in there. A connection between Heinlein and Rhode Island surfing. Do you grok it?

 ’77 Overlin is a slightly over 15 minute long video best for those who are into the Rhode Island olden days. Or like retro boards. Or are just interested in what’s going on with Abruzzi.

But the clip has some problems. Decently shot, good edits, but the sound quality is terrible. I understand how difficult it is to properly capture noise, but the filmmaker needs to step up his boom mic game moving forward. When a clip is based around speech more than images you’ve really gotta get that shit down tight.

And I struggled to appreciate the core concept, which is remaking an old single fin shortboard Abruzzi had stashed away. Because old single fin shortboards absolutely suck. There’s a reason everyone dropped them the moment multiple fin setups hit the scene.

I also got hung up on the part where Neil Toracinta, of Tora Surfboards, works on his copy of Abruzzi’s board. Invest in a better respirator, Neil. Wear some fucking eye protection, Neil. Have you ever met an old glasser? Seen what decades of poo-pooing proper gear gets you? It ain’t pretty.

’77 Overlin didn’t amp me up, didn’t make me want to surf. But I don’t think that was the point. And the very notion of putting on a hood and gloves and paddling out into ice water makes my dick crawl inside my body. I’m sure that colors my opinion.

If you’re into the history of surfing you’ll probably love ’77 Overlin. If you’re like me when it comes to that stuff you’ll still kinda enjoy it. You’ll learn a thing or two about the origins of Rhode Island surf culture. Learning new stuff is always good.

Certain sections should’ve been cut a bit shorter.  The two minutes watching Tora shape dragged.  The boys checking out the board clifftop wasn’t necessary. The surfing could’ve been better.  I’ll chalk up the audio problems to budget limitations. Yeah, it sounds like shit, but you do the best with what you’ve got.


Did Lewis really get this black eye from walking into a door or...?

Shark attack victim: “Lewis left me to die!”

Famed surf writer Lewis Samuels' account of saving a man from the jaws of great white death has been one of our favs! But is it true? Maybe no!

The internet is such a wonderful thing, ain’t it though? Stories can be shared so freely, so openly, so instantly! Like the story from San Francisco’s Lewis Samuels about how he saved his friend from the jaws of great white death. We loved it so much that we posted it not once but twice here on BeachGrit. Let’s read some again for the third time!

“We were really far out to sea, literally, about a kilometre out to sea. It took 45 minutes to paddle out,” says Lew. “Out of the corner of my eye there was this explosion. And as I turned around, I saw the shark breeching out of the water with him in its mouth. Then they fell down in an explosion of whitewater, like when a whale breaches. Fifteen feet is as big as a car and they’re a lot fatter in person than you’d think they would be. And he was in the fish’s mouth and there was this fucking impact in the water and then there was nothing there, gone, like a fucking whirlpool of displaced whitewater where he’d been. There was no one else near him, just another friend way up the line, and so when the attack happened, what are you fucking going to do? You’re not going to leave your friend out there.”

But, says, Lew, “Let me be fucking honest. My first fucking response was to paddle away. But I thought about it, he was my friend, and whether or not he comes up he needs my help. And so I paddled back over, got there and he popped up out of the water and he pretty much paddled up onto my back, literally, trying to get out of the water. I said, ‘It’s alright, man! Hold on! I’ll paddle you in, man!”

And don’t it give you the chills? Brave Lewis staring his own mortality in the eye. Helping a fellow surfer. Being brave. Mortality. Brave.

The internet is such a wonderful thing, ain’t it though? Stories can be fact checked by others so freely, so openly, so instantly! And apparently Lewis Samuels’ account is not exactly what we in the biz would call “accurate.” Let’s read from someone who seems to know and from the victim himself!

Your Lewis Samuels shark story is a disappointing piece of fiction… especially disappointing because we don’t write, talk, show pictures or tell stories about that spot. It’s off limits. My request is you leave that coast and it’s spots out of your  webpage… no matter who’s writing the story or what it’s about. Treat it like outer island Hawaii and just don’t do it.

 

And you may be thinking “oh who’s this idiot and what does he know about what happened.” Well I know because I was there and I’ve been there surfing it every time it’s good for almost 30 years, and I’ve known Royce since he moved up here 20+ years ago. This is a very special area and has amazingly stayed out of the surf media spotlight and we’d like to keep it that way. It doesn’t matter if your story is about sharks. By naming Royce anybody can figure out where this spot is and that’s publicity this area doesn’t need. Not for any reason. And especially not so some Bolinas clown like Samuels can make a buck. If he would have left Royce’s name out of the story that might have helped because as you know there is a national shark attack data base and anyone can look it up and using his name find the location of this spot. That’s just not OK. 

 

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe you have no idea about this area or how special it is so consider yourself informed now. And if you truly are a surfer and you care about surfing and the few remaining secrets left in the surfing world you’ll understand, respect this request, tell Lewis he’s on all our shit list for fabricating such a self serving story, and try in the future to treat Northern Cal. like the special place it is… a place that doesn’t want or need to be in anyone’s spotlight for any reason. Just keep writing about So-Cal and pro surfing and we’ll all be much better off.

 

Oh ya and just so you can believe I know what I’m talking about I’ll share Royce’s reaction to this story with you –

unnamed
So if you’re into printing fictional stories passed off as fact by self serving sell-outs then you’re doing a great job. If you’re not, you can tell Lewis how full of shit he is and how you don’t appreciate being put in the position of printing bullshit and getting bad reactions from the people being written about. And while you’re at it you can also let him know we’ll all be looking forward to seeing him in the water up here real soon.
-A local
Oops!
Lewis? Are you there? Did you fudge a little? Maybe? A lot?
And, I’ll admit, I love printing stories by self serving sell-outs (hello!) but not fictional ones passed off as fact.
Yuck.
Also, I will keep writing about So-Cal and pro surfing…but I’ve been itching for a little road trip. No-Cal and all your secret spots here I come!

Blood Feud: Slater vs. Flat Earthers!

Does Kelly Slater have an alt troll ego?

I guess Slater’s been baiting flat earth weirdos on instagram recently? Very funny. Kind of a glass houses scenario. I don’t know that all his pet projects have been one hundred percent above reproach.

But it’s Kelly Slater fucking with people. I get a real kick out of that.

I wonder if he’s got a couple anonymous accounts so he can comment without being noticed? I assume he would. I love the idea that he’s just some secret vicious troll. Taking out all his frustrations with the public by spewing pure vitriol at them. Signs in to an alt and starts cackling madly while laying out total false flag crazy.

I guess flat earth nuts don’t actually believe the earth is flat. Just that it’s not round. Or something like that. Whatever the case they’re dumb as shit.

So picking a fight with them is pretty low hanging fruit. Actually arguing with them is totally pointless. You’ll never change their mind. If they had half a brain they wouldn’t believe this position to begin with.

Which I think is true of a lot of peoples’ beliefs. They’re just so patently half-witted that they’re not really worth acknowledging. Better to mock than debate. Best to straight ignore.

Of course, sometimes they manage to mobilize their fellow like-minded fatheads and get elected to public office. Then there’s a problem.


Life Rolls On's Jesse Billauer and another competitor Davi Teixeira at the first-ever International Surfing Association World Adaptive Surfing Championship. | Photo: ISA/Reynolds

Believe: You’re a lucky sonofabitch!

Those legs work of yours work? You can surf? Celebrate!

We all get the blues. Who don’t? I’m still wrestling with a decade-long problem of a pinched stance, a legacy of switching to, and riding exclusively, four-fin stumps.

Every year or two I’ll switch to a regular sorta shape, start to hate surfing, persist, hate surfing some more, nail one turn closer to the pocket than anything I’ve done in the last year, futilely persist some more, become depressed, throw board on the used pile, return to stump, wait for swagger to return.

But ain’t it great that, for most of us, in a world full of curveballs our worst problem is a sticky rail, a pinched stance or, maybe, a long-term relationship with a girl who recoils at your twitching womb-scraper?

Anyway, while we weep, there are people out there who don’t got a thing in their limbs. No electricity. Not a twitch. Not a damn thing.

Remember Jesse Billauer, the pal of Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, who snapped his neck when he was 17 and who went on to pioneer surfing for other paraplegics and quadriplegics?

These days, Jesse rides Cloudbreak (on a power-assisted board by Wavejet), and even busted a leg surfing on the North Shore a while back.

A few years ago, Jesse became the CEO of the Life Rolls on Foundation, a not-for-profit that believes “that adaptive surfing and skating could inspire infinite possibilities beyond paralysis.”

Yesterday, the foundation hit New York’s dirty old Rockaway Beach. In summer’s onshore goop, we watch as paralysed men, women and kids are necklaced in surf thrills.

“A lot of these people look forward to that 20 or 30 minutes for 364 days,” says Billauer.

“The water was really nice too, better than any cup of coffee you ever had,” says New Yorker Nick Romanski.

Watch one kid from the Bronx, blind, can’t speak, paralysed. You think you got it bad?

“It’s undescribable the feeling I get to watch my son on something that I thought he would never be able to do. And here he is surfing. He loved it. He was laughing and giggling,” said his mother Margaret Deeney.

Watch it here and see how good your tear ducts are at functioning. Oowee. Misty! 


WSL: “The benelovent enslavers of fuck!”

What if the World Surf League released a blooper reel? It would for sure slay!

I don’t know what my problem is. I never played Dungeons and Dragons as a child. Not even once. How are you supposed to play? Is it a card game? Are there dice? Is it roll playing or role playing? I don’t know. I have never been a fan of fantasy. None of it. The Hobbit etc. can suck a short one. I don’t like the imaginary nor do I like winged creatures.

But Game of Thrones.

The HBO show snagged me from the word Mother of Dragons and I am still surprised because of the above. Sure the story is fun and the acting is exceptional and the costumes/nude scenes captivate. It is a good show and I am now addicted. Screw you Rory Parker and your cranky/hater ways!

And I just watched this blooper reel from season six and laughed out loud into my vodka ginger beer.

Professional surfing, on the other hand, hasn’t made me laugh in three years. Not even one chuckle. Not even a half chortle. Not even after I’ve had seven vodka ginger beers. Wouldn’t it be totally grand if the WSL made a blooper reel like the Game of Thrones one? Ronnie saying something antisemitic then spitting out a mouthful of Balter. “Mick Fanning gassing the competition like fucking Je….. I almost said it! I almost said it!”

Joe Turpel stumbling over the phrase jam off the top… “He jums off the tup… He jims off the tip… He joms off the tap… Hahahahahah someone gimme a hand here?”

Martin Potter actually turning into a real human for four seconds.

“I used to be fucking Pottz! POTTTZ! Like, FUCK ALL OF YOU SHITBAG NOBODIES! Shit. Did I just say that? Out loud? Hahaha!”

Strider punching Adriano in the face after a butt poo claim.

“Back to you in the studio! Am I punching this guy right now? Am I? Look at these attack dog tits! Wiggle wiggle wiggle SLAM! Hahahaha!”

It would be magic. Absolute magic.