Do you ever feel like the man has got his boot on your neck? That you are slaving away at a job you loathe in order to pay bills that you just can’t get ahead of? That it is more and more difficult to keep mouths fed? That there is just no hope? No way to move forward?
Of course not! You, ol’ chum, are a surfer!
And a new study by two Oxford economists, published in Forbes, details the value of waves and how much we pay for them. Shall we read a section ol’ chum?
Waves, it turns out, are no drop in the ocean. High-quality waves, the authors estimate, generate economic activity worth $50 billion per year globally. That’s around $20m every year for each place with good surf. And when surfers discover a great new spot, economic growth in the area can rise by up to three percentage points for the next five years. Good waves also help turn the tide of rural poverty by encouraging the poor to stream into towns to join the surfing economy.
Ol’ chum? Are you still reading or have you retired to the bridge room? Cribbage? Are you drinking the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti or the Domaine Leflaive Montrachet? The Chateau Lafite?
Can someone help me bring the fun back? The fire? Please?
I’ve got nothing, bro. Nothing, dude. Nothing. At. All. I’ve wandered this desert, this jujube we call “surf” for the better part of my life looking for a proper enemy. A soul with whom I can regularly cross swords like Mercutio and Tybalt, like Hirohito and General MacArthur and and nothing. NOTHING!
I’ve tried to draw WSL CEO Paul Speaker out but he refuses to be engaged. He is a computer wearing an asshat. An inhuman turd. A square-jawed, corn fed, non-surfing kook who doesn’t know the first thing about Mercutio. I mean barrels. CEO Paul Speaker? Are you reading? My offer still stands, I’ve decided. One interview and the abuse stops. But now it has to be on camera and an episode of our wonderful Like Bitchin! series (subscribe today!)
Mick Fanning was funny for a second and almost became perfect when he went and cried to the real press about being offended because he called me names. Let’s remember!
Prior to the exchange with the reporter, I had refused to speak with him because I understood he worked for Stab magazine and that it had previously published articles which I believed were racist and anti-Semitic. I strongly object to views, statements and comments of that nature. I acknowledge that my decision to use words that were inappropriate – albeit in an attempt to be ironic, knowing they were of the type favoured by the magazine – was misjudged and wrong.
And ha! The worst press release in history (pre-Trump)! And the start of a real, beautiful rivalry. And then he went off and got brushed by a shark and became a global hero and adored icon even winning my undying admiration.
The Inertia continues to double down on milquetoast. Is there anything more mouth-spewingly bland than Zach Weisberg’s blend of chia seed, yoga, ill-begotten humor and listicle? Bland and not up for any sort of fight, obvs.
Stab is a shell, Vissla succeeded and wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought, Brazil excites in its over-excitement and Matt Warshaw is a dear friend.
Where? Tell me, where can I find somebody to love? I mean hate?
Sparkle Eyes really vibes like he'd be a killer snuggle monster.
The Padang Cup event was very good, but it did drag a little. Building swell, tide complications. The brilliant moments were just that, but with some rounds featuring a half-hour wait between waves it got a tad boring.
Perfect for a highlight video. Boil the day down to its concentrated best, add a dash of Mason Ho, and you’ve got yourself a tasty dish. Yum yum yum. Eat it right up.
Mason’s appeal is how well he conveys pure stoke. Chips through my jaded heart. Reminds me of younger years when this was all I wanted. Be a pro surfer, hang out with rippers. Spend my days shredding with the best. Not really how things work, but it’s the dream. The one they sell, the one people buy. The one I don’t really want anymore but still kinda do, somewhere deep down inside of cynical piece of shit I’ve become.
If BeachGrit ever starts making real money I’d love to see about getting Mason on a trip with us. Go to Alaska, or somewhere else really cold. Do a full soul-bro cold weather camping trip. Look at us, we’re the Malloys!
I’d make sure he was bundled up against the cold. Bring him hot cocoa to warm his tummy.
I’d “forget” to bring enough sleeping bags. We’d be forced to share body heat to survive the night. Cuddle up so good. Not in a sexual way or anything. But Sparkle Eyes really vibes like he’d be a killer snuggle monster.
As far as the footage… a chopped and distilled run of footage from the official stream would have been good enough for government work. I’d’ve watched it. Enjoyed it. Praised it a bit but not really because it didn’t bring anything new.
This is another story. Adds so much spice. We’ve got the channel cam angle, sadly missing from the stream. Gives you a glimpse of that bucking bronco foam ball insanity. So so so so so so good! Cliff-top view almost makes it looks easy. Staring down the throat of heaving barrels makes it very clear how much skill it takes to do this shit.
Drone angle makes an appearance. I hate those fucking things. Trying to surf while one hovers over the lineup is like trying to read a book with a leaf blower firing upside your head.
But it looks so cool. I enjoy watching stuff filmed from drones. Just don’t like it when they intrude on my scene. Some kind of NIMBY shit, for sure.
Music choice is appropriate. Fun guitar jamming away. Doesn’t hurt your ears. Doesn’t distract from the images. Good good good.
In the end this video is the same as every other one featuring Mason Ho. It’s totally fucking awesome and I absolutely love it and it makes me gush like the fan boy I am.
"Because if there’s one thing millennials have proven they love, it’s a throwback to a trend of their childhood!"
I am finally out of Big Sur and back to wifi and back to life! The Olympics have started, I see, and Dane and his love Courtney tied the knot!
It is a very good thing to get married, in my opinion, as opposed to living as boyfriend and girlfriend for multiple years. It shows that a man and a woman are not chicken. That they are not afraid to attach ancient structures to their soaring love. Good for Dane! Good for Courtney! And may they be happy forever!
Speaking of happy forever, have you seen those smiling faces in Rio? Remember, just yesterday, when everyone in the world said the Games were going to be a horrible failure? That pollution and Zika and armed robbery and Brazilians? Well everyone in the world is eating crow off a giant churrasco spit right now!
And surfing will be dancing in the glow of Tokyo success in just four years. Certainly there will be fears of nuclear contamination, the rising spectre of Japanese nationalism, corruption, etc. etc. beforehand but that’s cuz people are haterz, dog.
In any case, the Hollywood Reporterwrote that surfing’s inclusion in the Olympics might create a revival among the youth for vintage surf fashions. Let’s read!
Nowadays — in the era of Brandy Melville obsession and athleisure empires — many surf brands have fallen off the style radar. Both PacSun and Quiksilver filed for bankruptcy in the past year, signaling a decline in interest among Gen Z shoppers.
But several world-ranked surfers are still sponsored by companies of yore, including VonZipper, Volcom, Oakley, Hurley, Lost and Etnies, leading us to wonder if their moment in the spotlight could translate into a nostalgic resurrection of that early aughts style. Because if there’s one thing millennials have proven they love, it’s a throwback to a trend of their childhood. (See: the Gilmore Girls revival, chokers, Pokemon Go.)
If the Instagram accounts of athletes like Matt Wilkinson (ranked No.1 by the World Surf League, men’s) and Tyler Wright (ranked No.1 by the World Surf League, women’s) are any indication, surf wear is surviving, thanks in no small part to free apparel from sponsors like Roxy and Rip Curl.
Do you think the brands love being referred to as “companies of yore?” Do you think they think of themselves as purveyors of an “early aughts style?”
I think maybe yes!
Or if no they should!
A massive financial windfall just around the corner for those who can hold on by the fingernails! For those that can recapture the magic of millennial childhoods!
Also, can you help real quick? What on earth does that last sentence mean? Surf wear is surviving thanks to free apparel from sponsors? Does it mean that without giving clothing away the brands would all be dead?
BeachGrit: Midget was Australia’s first world surfing champ. Which made him big in Australia. But is there anything that attaches him to surfing, now? Performance? Boards?
Warshaw: Midget’s timing, for those first big years, was perfect. He was the surfing gentleman, the boy next door, perfect manners, well-dressed, posh accent — at a time when surfers in general were just a step above pickpockets. He wore that mantle so well. When surfing went hippy, and Midget refused to go along, he got hammered for being a square. I think it’s greatly to his credit that he stayed true to who he was — an articulate, highly-focused, no-bullshit person. He actually did his best surfing during the years where he was uncool. Damien Hardman is the surfer who I think came closest to late-period Midget in terms of being hugely accomplished but not especially loved. I can’t seem to make a connection between Midget and any 2016 surfers. Sad to say, but I think he’d be as unpopular now as he was in the late ‘60s, in that he wouldn’t sing and dance and mug for our pleasure. He was better than that.
BeachGrit: The most interesting thing, it seemed, was his blood feud with the slightly younger Nat Young, who superseded Midge as Australia’s best surfer. Midget really hated Nat; and Nat was contemptuous of Midget. Any theories on its origin? Was it something to do with Midget’s anti-drug stance at a time when the world was turning on?
Warshaw: It’s complicated. Here’s what I wrote a couple years back:
The epigraph for Midget Farrelly’s 1965 autobiography This Surfing Life is brief. “When you’re comfortable, you’re dead.” The man was 21 years old, reigning world champ, and the toast of the Australian sporting set — yet he chose to introduce his book with that little nugget of gloom. Here’s what I’m getting at. The bitterness that would come to at least partly define Midget Farrelly in years to come — that was inborn. Some of it, anyway.
And some of it was forced down his throat. For almost 50 years now, Midget has been surfing’s most ill-treated figure. Surf media tastemakers lost interest in Farrelly not long after This Surfing Life was published because, A) he didn’t get stoned, and B) he was roughly 85% less charismatic than his protege-turned-rival Nat Young.
Fifty years ago, Bob McTavish, Nat, and John Witzig did an issue of Surfing World, cheering the arrival of the “New Era” (self-titled), which basically meant Nat and Bob and George Greenough. Midget was saluted, the article was in fact very much respectful of Midget, but clearly he wasn’t really included in their New Era club. So that was the beginning of the feud. It should have lasted a few months, maybe a few years, outside. But it never, ever died. Or rather, it died when Midget died. In the end, I think it was Midget holding onto the anger, more so than Nat. Then again, Midget was the one who had to eat the injustice.
BeachGrit: Wasn’t a big fan of the surf media, either. Because of its beatification of Nat? Of drugs?
Yeah, in a nutshell. Midget was hardcore anti-drug. Belittling, even. It wasn’t a nice side of him. He was so good at what he did, everything he did — his surfboards were as sleek and perfect as his surfing style — that I think he was blinded to the idea that other people could do things differently.
As far as I know, Midget never acknowledged that Nat and all the other red-eyed shortboard longhairs, dippy as they often were, had nonetheless moved the whole program along. Their was a stiffness to Midget, the person, even though as a surfer he laid down some of surfing’s most fluid, graceful tracks. He was uncompromising. It made him great and it cost him dearly.