Jordy Smith J Bay
Divide the points, says Rory Parker. But too late for Jordy Smith. He got strewn in the J-Bay Pro's one-heat day.

Parker: “Call off J-Bay Pro! Split Points!”

Surfline says the J-Bay Pro will run in ankle-to-waist high waves. That ain't good.

Two days left in the J-Bay waiting period and things look grim.

Surfline is calling for ankle to waist for the last two days of the waiting period. That ain’t good. I’m sure J-Bay can be fun at that size, but it ain’t exactly contestable.

The tedium of sitting through hours of wait, grovel, repeat is torture.

Assigning tour points because of a results which will largely depend on luck is unfair. Leads to mismatches, weird winners. Micro Hall taking Snapper. No displays of skill, just coin flip heat totals and endless jibber jabber as the commentators strive to fill dead air.

Which has gotta be hard. Especially when your content is so obviously restricted. Can’t second guess scores, can’t acknowledge anything resembling negativity.

I’m curious to see what the WSL does. My money’s on it running in garbage. A lackluster end to an event which showed some potential then failed to deliver.

I’m gonna make a plea, hope someone reads this and takes my advice. Call it off. Split the points, split the money. Accept that a sport that relies on nature is gonna get skunked on the regular.

Grovel days make surfing look bad. Makes the surfers look bad. It turns heat scores into a matter of luck. It gifts a huge advantage to the teensy weensy guys on tour. It’s boring.

Yeah, there’s other stuff to consider. Sponsors and local businesses and the ever present need to keep yourself in the public eye. But there are workarounds. Just ‘cuz you can’t run the contest doesn’t mean there’s nothing to broadcast.

Do a couple hours of interviews. Put that SaMo production house to use and keep some filler material in the can for moments like these. Run a no rules exhibition session.

Force the guys remaining to paddle out on logs or fishes or retro whatevers. No priority/interference rules. Award some money to whoever “wins.” Or don’t, just add a clause to the rule book that makes it mandatory should an event fail to finish.

I’d watch that. I’d enjoy it.

(Editor’s note: Magic Seaweed is calling three-to-five feet and underneath Surfline‘s ankle-to-waist call, they note: “Large mid-period swell from the west-southwest holding during the day.”)

Just in: Regular foots better than goofies!

A shocking revelation! Or wait...

Goofy foots are Occy and regular foots are Luke Stedman. Goofy foots are short and squatty and they muscle through turns and throw lots of spray. Regular foots are long and lean and surf like beautiful women. 

Goofy foots have rotund buttocks. Regular foots do not.

Goofy foots eat steak with every meal. Regular foots are vegetarian or maybe pescatarian.

Goofy foots sing drunken ballads late at night. Regular foots do not.

Goofy foots squander their incomes, when they make the World Tour, on drink. Regular foots begin savings accounts and hire tax consultants.

Goofy foots buy brand new tract homes in brand new suburban neighborhoods. They buy large, new pick-up trucks to go with their homes and add wives but usually cheat on their wives. Regular foots rent hipster apartments in the newest hip area of town. They decorate with Eames chairs and Jean-Michel Basquiat prints. They buy bikes instead of cars and don’t get married but cheat on their girlfriends.

Goofy foots like slashes off the top and sending tons of spray into the air. Regular foots like straight frontside airs.

Goofy foots love to do floaters. Regular foots do not.

Goofy foots vote for conservative political candidates. Regular foots vote for progressive ones.

Goofy foots listen to nu-metal. Regular foots listen to nu-new wave.

Goofy foots wish they were regular foots. Regular foots wish they were relevant, culturally.

It’s a real toss up who is better but, today, I’d say regular foots.

Port-a-potty? We don't need no stinkin' port-a-potty!
Port-a-potty? We don't need no stinkin' port-a-potty!

U.S. Open: “Raging rivers of urine!”

The U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach is around the corner! What could possibly go wrong?

The world has really taken a turn for the worse. Black men getting gunned down on U.S. streets by police. Police getting gunned down in Dallas by a black man. Tunisians driving over French revelers in Nice. Baghdad truck bombs. Brussels, Paris, San Berdoo etc.

It’s almost enough to make a man or woman try to avoid unruly crowds but, really, where is the fun in that? If we fail to get together, fail to listen to throbbing electronica, fail to write perverse things on our bodies then the terrorists win!

And that’s right, it’s almost time for the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California!

The randy event has been marked by riots etc. in its glorious past. This year, though, it stands to reason that Huntington Beach locals and police officers are on extra edge. Police Chief Robert Handy addressed the issues in a town hall meeting. Let’s read about it in the Los Angeles Times!

“Drinking, parking, traffic and urination are our biggest problems [during the US Open],” Handy said to the crowd. “We are going to be very visible and very active in enforcing, starting on Day One.”

There will also be additional dumpsters around downtown and more street cleaners deployed in the mornings, he said.

Handy also said residents and visitors should expect a “posture change” among police officers who may be more on guard, given the recent fatal shooting of five Dallas police officers.

“It’s probably been the most difficult time in my career for officers to be police officers,” he said. “Our officers will probably be a little more on edge than they have been in the past. Anything we can do as management to mitigate some of that, we’ll do. .. Thankfully, we haven’t had an incident like that in California, but you never know.”

Handy also addressed terror threats at highly populated locations and events, but said police always plan tactics around big events in Huntington Beach, particularly on the Fourth of July and during the US Open.

If I was Police Chief Robert Handy I would wake up each day with absolute dread in my heart. Like, so much dread that it might turn into a “Well…fuck it” attitude. Doesn’t it sound like he has a “Well…fuck it” attitude?

Stop looking at me! Look at the waves!
Stop looking at me! Look at the waves! | Photo: WSL

5 Things You Need to Stop Doing (Now)!

A little personal checklist… 

1. Stop wearing Sandals 

This is mostly directed towards mainland surfers and those bourgeois folks with shaved heads and ASP trucker hats who only surf on perfect swells during the weekends while struggling to stand up their brand new HyptoKrypto. Stop wearing sandals everywhere! There is nothing cool about sandals. Whenever I see someone wearing sandals I automatically assume that they listen to Sublime or Mumford and Sons. Notice how the drunkest people at the bar, sweating and spitting on everyone they talk to are always wearing sandals? You do not want to be that guy. I do not want you to be that guy.

Diet. Training. Yoga. Herbal Teas. Juice cleanses. Stretching. These are all things that nobody gives a damn about. There’s a reason why the phrase isn’t “Yoga, Tea, and Rock n’ Roll.”

2. Stop Preaching

Diet. Training. Yoga. Herbal Teas. Juice cleanses. Stretching. These are all things that nobody gives a damn about. There’s a reason why the phrase isn’t “Yoga, Tea, and Rock n’ Roll.” Imagine a …Lost video without the booze and drugs? Fuck, what a boring world that would be. Doing yoga on a cliff while drinking some mushroom tea that you foraged from your dog’s pile of shit does nothing for me and it does nothing for humanity so stop acting like you’re saving the world one.

3. Don’t Wear Surf Attire

Nothing says “I’m a jackass” more than dressing in boxy tees created by some corporation underpaying a poor child in a South-East Asian factory. Don’t be a shill for the corporation. If the boardshorts you’re wearing have more than two different colours violently clashing with crazy patterns then you MUST burn them the next time you cook a beer can chicken.

4. Stop talking about waves  

Don’t discuss your surf break back home. If you’re abroad, or you’re out at the bar, stop talking about the waves you grew up surfing.They’re all the same. When swell is present, any wave can be great. Maybe you can go read a book and learn about something new to discuss. Or get really drunk and do something stupid that you can talk about to people in a self-deprecating manner. Everyone loves self-deprecation. Anytime you feel like discussing the wave you surf, replace that thought with masturbation, and ask yourself if that person really cares about how you masturbate. Why? Because talking about the wave you surf is just like masturbating, the only person being pleased is yourself.

5. That CI you just tore to pieces

How about those conversations when an average Joe points out the myriad flaws in a Merrick or a …Lost or a JS. Doesn’t turn properly. Spins out. Looses speed through sections in fat waves. And then you see the pilot of this craft has the stance of a threatened bug and a tail-pad that’s never been dirtied by his back foot. Don’t…be…this…guy.

Armless surfer raises the bar! Somehow!

The most inspiring story of the year! Even more than Bethany and Jimbo!

I will be the first to shout that Bethany Hamilton wows me each and every time she paddles out. Her dance is beyond impressive by any measure and maybe more so for me. My left arm, you see, comes out of its shoulder socket if I paddle four times for a wave. Three times it’s ok. Four it’s out. And so I’ve taken to half paddling and also surfing very bad.

I therefore watch Bethany in absolute awe, still not understanding how she does it. How does she do it? How does she surf waves so damned well let alone catch them? And I am certain I’ll watch world famous Jimbo Pellegrine in awe/horror when he surfs next. Mostly awe (horror) though since I wondered how he caught waves even before his brush with oncoming traffic.

But Jonas Letieri from Brazil does them both one better because he has no arms. Nunce! Let’s read about him in the Orange County Register!

At the 2014 Battle of the Paddle in Florianopolis, Brazil, world stand-up paddleboard champion Candice Appleby of San Clemente could hardly believe her eyes.

She watched a Brazilian stand-up paddler with no arms. He was riding waves on a racing board – something difficult even for top pros to do. And he was surfing like a pro.

“I was like, ‘What?’” Appleby said.

She excitedly contacted her coach, Anthony Vela, in California. One thing led to another, and this weekend, at the San Clemente Ocean Festival, Jonas Letieri is entering his first stand-up paddleboard surfing competition in the United States.

“I think everyone will have a pleasure of watching him surf and be amazed at his surfing,” Vela said, “but then be inspired by the way that he lives.”

Letieri, 31, has surfed since age 13. He embraced the surf lifestyle while pursuing a career in graphic design.

As a volunteer for his church, he designed, helped build and offered to install a church sign. During installation on Oct. 11, 2011, he didn’t notice an electrical wire. The sign came into contact with it.

Both of his arms had to be amputated at the elbow.

Letieri set out to learn new ways to cook, dress himself, clean his house and do everything – graphic design, too. His father helped him find a way to resume surfing. The two crafted a paddle attached to a steel ring that fit around Letieri’s stubbed arm. Over time, he learned to surf with it.

“That’s my life,” he said, “being in the ocean and surfing with my friends.”

As word spread about the talented survivor, Letieri was invited to compete at the Payette River Games in Cascade, Idaho. He drew a standing ovation when four rivals in an advanced heat all fell in the rapids and he prevailed.

Jim Terrell, owner of Orange County company Quickblade Paddles, met Letieri in Brazil and again in Idaho. He was inspired to help.

“I saw the paddle, two steel rings lashed to the paddle,” Terrell said.

“He said, ‘Let me look at your paddle’ and he went home,” Vela said. “He’s like, ‘I think I can make it a little better.’”

Terrell, of Newport Beach, shipped a new lightweight custom paddle to Letieri in Brazil, and when Letieri returned to California in January for a six-mile race in San Diego, Terrell made him an even better one.

“It changed my whole life, this paddle,” Letieri said. “My first paddle was made by steel rings. It was so heavy … much too heavy, with a lot of tape and stuff. Now I can stay for hours paddling and paddling and I don’t feel so much the weight and I don’t feel pain. We are still working. Every time we are talking, he comes with a new idea to do something better.”

Letieri is spending the summer in Orange County, working out with Performance Paddling Training Club of Dana Point to prepare for the Molokai to Oahu World Paddleboard Championships.

“He is living the life of a professional athlete,” Appleby said.

Letieri entered the water Monday at the pier to train, after having not surfed for weeks. A stiff south wind whipped up a washing machine water texture, so difficult that Appleby fell repeatedly and resorted to paddling through the surf lying on her board, using her arms.

Letieri had no such luxury. Falling again and again, he persisted until he made his way out. Riding just a 7-foot-by-8-inch SUP board built for high performance, he had to keep moving to avoid falling.

“The board won!” he grinned as he kept getting back up. Finding his groove, he was able to ride a handful of choppy, windblown waves, displaying his down-the-line prowess on several and his powerful cutback on one.

“I try to smile and surf the Earth,” Letieri said. “I love my life. I love to be alive. Being here is like a dream come true. I thought that I (had) some problems but I can see I have no problems. I think this is the best part of my life.”

He has shared that message with church groups in Brazil and in California.

In 2015, Letieri spoke to students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano and showed how he makes the most of his mobility.

“The whole chapel just erupted with awe,” teacher Jennifer Cuda said. “His message was just be thankful for everything you have.”

An online video that tells Letieri’s story has inspired other amputees.

“Now I can see other guys – when they watch that video – (say) ‘Now I can paddle too, I can do something like that!’” Letieri said. “It is so amazing. We can help these guys.”

“Everywhere he goes, he inspires a lot of people,” Terrell said. “He exudes stoke. It makes you realize you don’t have anything to complain about.”

If you are not inspired then your are a heartless troll. A bastard of the highest order.