Analysis: What a Gay Skater Means to Surf!

Gorgeous is never a crime! (Part one in a two-part analysis.)

AMAAAAZING! Brian Anderson just came out to the skate world.

While the Grit wasn’t birthed in a pair of Busenitz vulcs (although maybe in some Gucci-didas shell-toes), it has become apparent that the Grit do skate . And it’s also apparent that the Grit do gay. 

And the Grit does gay only in the celebratory, never in the pejorative. And never ever ever in the homophobic (hello STAB commenters!). Oh no, the Grit has broken story after story, from the first ever Gay Power Rankings to the provocative Fred Pawle long read Best Gay Surfer Ever!and the industry forecast that surf companies could make bank selling “gay” , if only anyone over in Costa Mesa would heed our informed industry prognostications…

But even if the Grit didn’t do skate and didn’t do gay, there is something very, very relevant about this clip of longtime pro Brian Anderson coming out to the world and announcing a new pro model with Anti Hero. For those of you who don’t do skate (but maybe do gay?), Brian Anderson is a very tall Queens-based (as in New York, not as in the foil to the bear in gay typology) shredder who once had a shaved head that made him look like a very violent, very angry white supremacist. Turns out he was not violent, nor angry, nor a white supremacist, but rather a rags-to-riches line cook who was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year within a few years of going pro, backing it up with a 1999 Münster World Cup of Skateboarding victory. Video parts abounded, and he rode for LA’s Girl Skateboards for fifteen years before departing to focus on his own projects in 2013. As a Nike SB team rider, he’s also basically John John’s teammate.

A surfing equivalent, in terms of style, is hard to come by…apples and oranges, just not an easy comparison due to mechanical differences…but BA became renowned for floating skyward gracefully and smashing landings at full speed, not an ounce of tall-guy style (this, we use in the pejorative: bend your fucking knees, tall guys!) to be found. For this, I refer you to the video. And it turns out that after two decades of pro parts and creative ventures, BA figured it was finally time to come out to the whole wide world with the loving help of Thrasher and Vice Sports.

Some of the highlights: BA talking about how his love for Baloo the bear and facial hair tipped him off as a child, checking out cops when getting kicked out of spots, holding in his sexuality to save a career, and derelict park-rat Brandon Biebel being glad that BA’s sexual preferences meant more pussy for him. There’s also lots and lots of speculation about what would have happened if he’d have come out at the peak of his career fifteen years ago.

Makes ya think about who’s who and who’s where in the surf game and where surfing lies in comparison to skate, which is infinitely more friendly to diversity than surf, although not quite ideal environs for being an openly gay sponsored athlete.

All I know is that I had to keep this secret for most of 2016. While I stumble across the odd surf rumor, skate brand art departments worldwide literally dump rumor and anecdote into my lap at brunch, at the bar, on the train, at the bar, etc.

But alas, there is no SkateGrit. Which leads me to another question: how much room is there to break founded and unfounded skate rumors here on the Grit? Or too much, too soon?

Film: “Here comes this Dane Reynolds kid!”

Let's celebrate Dane Reynolds' infancy!

I am the crustiest. A rude cuss. A bastard of the highest order. Usually. But sometime my eyes moisten and my heart softens and I become as sensitive as a small baby child. My heart beating just like yours should!

Last evening was one of those times!

I was sent a small video about the great filmer Jason “Mini” Blanchard. You know he! Dane’s guy! Maybe not anymore but used to be!

And learning about Mini was great but watching a fresh Dane Reynolds made me so… so… so… emotional!

You remember when he rushed the scene, yeah? All singing, all dancing potential! The surf game hadn’t seen his type in so long. And, to be honest, hasn’t seen his type since. Who is taking his place? John John has the thing but not the zing. Gabe has the wow but not the now. Noa Deane has the beer but not the queer.

The boy ain’t dead, of course, but unrealized potential has a shelf life and Dane’s is past its “pull by” date.

Do you also emote when you see these teeth too big for body? The peaks never reached? Or are you so totally on to the next thing? This is old… I know… but let’s wander down memory lane anyhow.

WSL: Peter Mel lands condom sponsor!

Exactly what the surf world needs! Condor condoms!

Oh if you were a good enough surfer to have sponsor stickers littering your board what would those sponsors be? An energy drink company? Technologically superior boardshorts? Sandals with beer bottle opening capabilities? Maybe an automobile dealership?


Oh yes!


The World Surf League’s own Peter “Condom” Mel officially rides as part of The Bravo Unit™ for the Bravo Condom Company!

Oh yessssssssss! Look here!

I cannot find any overly detailed information about Bravo Condoms but they seem to be action sports centered etc. etc. and work? But back to Pete Mel. He answers the question “Dream Date?” like this:

My lady and I keep our personal dates/fantasies to ourselves just use your imagination.

Thanks Pete! I will!

Late in the afternoon, thunder growling, that same old jetski rolled into the channel and he saw Pete get off, tight wet WSL polo shirt clenching his skin. A hot jolt scalded Ronnie and he was out on the judges scaffolding pulling the door closed behind him. Pete took the stairs two and two.

They seized each other by the shoulders, hugged mightily, squeezing the breath out of each other, saying, son of a bitch, son of a bitch, then, and easily as the right key turns the lock tumblers, their mouths so close, breathing Ronnie’s Billabong hat falling to the floor, stubble rasping, wet saliva welling, and the door opening and Joe Turpel looking out for a few seconds at Pete’s straining shoulders and shutting the door again and still they clinched, pressing chest and groin and thigh and leg together, treading on each other’s toes until they pulled apart to breathe and Pete, not big on endearments, said what he said to all the surfers.

“What are your dimensions?”

Buy your condoms here!

Rumor: Steph Gilmore’s day off?

Gilmore... Gilmore.... Gilmore....

Are there some mornings you wake up and just don’t want to go to work? Where the tasks of the day seem so pointless, so… just… pointless!

For me never. BeachGrit is my work! The second happiest place on earth™!

But for you I can imagine and for Stephanie Gilmore too. The world number five has withdrawn from the Cascais Pro, stop number eight on the Samsung Galaxy Tour brought to you by Paul Speaker.

The World Surf League issued a press release reading:

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), six-time WSL Women’s Champion, has withdrawn from the Cascais Women’s Pro due to illness. The Australian is suffering from an ear infection and has not been cleared to travel by her physicians.

“Really disappointed to have to withdraw from Portugal,” Gilmore said. “I felt like I was finally in a rhythm at Trestles and looking forward to carrying that momentum to Europe. Hoping to heal up in time for France. Good luck to all the girls in Cascais.”

But is she really really disappointed or just pretend disappointed? A picture has surfaced, just hours ago, that shows Steph having a seemingly good time in Indonesia. A comment underneath the picture reads “Portugal is way more fun!! Not!!”

Is there a way to get to get to the island nation without traveling?


But maybe also Stephanie Gilmore just did not feel like going to work.

I once worked at Disneyland (the first happiest place on earth™) driving submarines and didn’t feel like going to work so called in sick with tuberculosis. The next day when I showed up I was met by very higher up health officials who escorted me to a small office. I told them my tuberculosis was no big deal, walking tuberculosis, but they got very angry because I drove submarines which are really small, airtight petri dishes.

(I didn’t really have tuberculosis just tested positive because I had been exposed.)

In any case, let’s wish Steph a speedy recovery!

But while we are wishing… let’s also wonder who’s who in this Ferris Bueller remake!

Steph is Ferris, of course.

Who is Ferris’s sister Jeannie? Maybe Silvana Lima (rough entitled attitude).

Who is Mr. Rooney? Of course Paul Speaker!

Who is Mr. Rooney’s secretary Grace? Dave Prodan!

Who is Charlie Sheen? Chris Ward?

shark attack ballina
This is what a great white bite looks like. Leg belongs to Cooper Allen, a 17-year-old surfer from Ballina, on Australia's far north coast, who was hit by a 10-foot white last year. Locals call this a "Ballina hickey." | Photo: Amanda Abate/Channel 7/TwitterSource:Twitter

Local: “We call this a Ballina hickey!”

A teen surfer was hit by a great white yesterday. Here's a photo of his wound!

If you follow the news, you would’ve heard about a teenage surfer being hit by a great white at Ballina yesterday. Bit on the leg, didn’t die. Will exit hospital with a hell of a story, will never want for female company etc.

News? Didn’t feel like it.

The coastal town of Ballina, which is just south of Lennox Head and Byron Bay, has become ground zero for great white attacks in Australia, surpassing even the Margaret River area. A bite that isn’t fatal and with no limb disappeared, feels like just another pencil scratching in the diary of attacks there. Weird thing is, although Ballina, whose best waves form off the two jetties that straddle the Richmond river (North Wall, rights, South Wall, lefts) has always had a shark reputation, it was for the bull sharks that hang in the river not great whites.

For whatever reason, great whites prowl the joint now.

This is how your favourite shark bounty hunter Fred Pawle reported the attack: 

As he lay on the sand surveying deep gashes to his leg after being attacked by a “massive” shark, 17-year-old Cooper Allen this morning made one heartfelt request: Don’t tell mum.

“He said, ‘you can call my dad, but don’t tell mum yet’,” said local surfer Dan Webber, who was in the water 5m away when the attack happened at Ballina, NSW and raised the alarm.

Mr Webber said Cooper, who lives across the road from the beach at North Wall and is one of the most regular teenagers in the water, was extremely lucky, and is likely to make a full recovery. He added that Cooper is an HSC student at one of the local schools.

“I’m no doctor, but I think he’s going to be fine,” Mr Webber said, still shaking from the experience.

There were four “huge” gashes in his leg about 5cm apart. “So the shark was a massive f**king thing,” he said.

Mr Webber was on his way out to join Cooper and his two mates when the attack happened. He was wading in waist-deep water when he saw a dark object in the water. What unfolded then was similar to what famously happened to pro surfer Mick Fanning last year, he said.

“His two mates swam up to him, and I joined them,” he said. “He’s just swimming backwards away from it. I think it (the shark) was tangled up in his legrope. I saw the dorsal and the tail fin thrashing around.

“He’s looked at me and said, ‘get someone to call an ambulance’. He was so calm and in control.”

Mr Webber screamed at two surf lifesavers who were erecting flags on the beach. He was surprised that the response was not urgent.

“Everyone was just standing around. It was like a whole minute of me screaming. But I was screaming for an ambulance. I should have screamed shark.”

Anyway, the attack was biz as usual in Ballina.

But what excited me was the graphic photo of the wound (main photo). Those teeth marks. Can you imagine the scar?

And, here, is the presumed attack shark. Ooowee, he’s big.



Have you ever wondered how to kill a great white? Click here. (It ain’t that hard. But you must have the advantage of being on a boat.)

Have you ever wondered how to humanely rid an area of great white sharks? You can click here!