Watch your favourite commentator gang-banged at Lowers!
Lowers is a wave that’s hard to fault. Easy take-offs, enough curve in the wave to sink rails and cushy landings if high jumps are more your game.
But if Lowers is anything, it’s the Ganges of surfing, pilgrims crawling over each other for a piece. In this short from the Santa Babs filmmaker Norwell9, watch your favourite WSL commentator Peter Mel left in a bukkake mess by the very people he entertains.
If you like that, come see Norwell9’s cut of Gabriel playing Slap Chop at Lowers!
And, this. A tribute to Dane Reynolds on the occasion of his thirty-first birthday.
The Volcom surfer and not the BeachGrit writer dies.
Something very strange, and very sad, happened yesterday. The surfer Rory Parker was found dead. Likely suicide.
I never knew Rory. Despite the fact that we shared a name, were the same age, ran in similar circles, had some mutual friends, we never met. Caught a glimpse of him across the room at Banzai Sushi, in Haleiwa, a few years ago. Thought about introducing myself. Decided against it.
Rory has been an odd, reoccurring, presence in my life since I was a teen. Back when I still thought I could become a pro surfer. Before I realized it wasn’t gonna happen.
I first learned of his existence was when Volcom released Stoney Baloney. It was 1995. We were both 15. They ran an ad in Surfer with my name on it. His name, really. People saw it, some mistakenly believed it was me.
I don’t remember outright lying to anyone, but I’m sure I allowed some people to retain their misconceptions. I once heard someone exclaim, upon reading a heat sheet at a local contest, “Oh man, I’ve got Rory Parker in my heat.”
He had nothing to fear from me. Rory was a far better surfer than I could ever hope to be.
I was once hired by a magazine to write an article about the Rothman family. I was very surprised when Eddie took my call. Started calling me late at night for rambling chats. He very open, unbelievable friendly. Acted as though he knew me. Sometime around our fourth or fifth conversation he realized his mistake.
Two days ago, Kyle Barnett, the poor soul who was drugged and robbed in Bali, reminisced with me about some adventure we’d shared in Bali. But that was a different person.
Pete Taras has recounted some rumors he heard about my wild North Shore upbringing.
Richie Vaculik thought I’d trained with him, when Richie was on Oahu.
I’m fairly sure Derek thought I was him during our first six months of correspondence. (Editor’s note: I had no idea who either Rory Parker was.)
Each time it ended with the same story. “Yes, we share a name. Yes, we are the same age. I grew up in LA, moved to Oahu. He grew up on Oahu, moved to LA. It’s confusing, I know. He’s a wiry Hawaiian goofy foot. I’m an oafish haole who surfs regular. He has more tattoos and does MMA and surfs much better than me.”
Over the years it became a bit of a running joke. I was THE Rory Parker. He was the other one. Never really true. People liked that Rory Parker. Far more than they like me.
I considered reaching out to him over the years, always decided against it. I’ve caught some shit that was meant for him. I know he caught a bunch of shit that was meant for me. Once with potential legal consequences. I worried he’d be upset about it. He’d’ve had every right.
I always secretly wondered if he was as aware of me as I was of him. Was I this confusing presence always lurking in his peripheral? Or was it a one way street? Why would people mistake him for me? I’ve never done anything but write stupid stories.
I always wanted to ask.
Too late now.
Suicide is a tough subject to grapple. Such a terrible thing. A waste of a life. The wrong answer to any question. And it’s just so damn confusing. Why? Why? Why?
I understand hating myself, but I’ve never known real depression. I’ve suffered intrusive thoughts. Never true ideation.
I have no training, no understanding. Only the barest grasp of empathy. My emotions run wild but they’re just phantoms I do my best to ignore.
I’m flip and I’m quick with a quip and I truly believe that nothing matters. But right now I don’t know what the fuck to say.
Just don’t. Don’t fucking kill yourself. Life sucks all the time, but there are beautiful moments you just can’t waste. Someone always cares. Someone will always try to help.
Empty words. Pointless. I know it’s not that simple. To pretend so is naive and unfair. Outright cruel to those who struggle.
This makes me so fucking sad and I’m so fucking confused. He was a total stranger. I’ve lost nothing. I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself. I don’t understand why.
What is so scary about the existence of other surf media? Let's ask Stab!
A weird disease plagues surf media and it is a general inability to speak about, write about, address or acknowledge other surf media. I’ve always been very confused about this because all other sports, news, fashion or gossip sites regularly discuss or credit each other. Even sworn enemies like ESPN and Deadspin or Fox and CNN.
But in surf? Fearful blinders! Like, recognizing where a story/idea came from is, in some way, very embarrassing. Or scary. That the existence of other surf media is shameful. Or intimidating.
Stab is, by far and away, the largest transgressor and seems to be most afraid, regularly ripping, biting, stealing but never ever ever crediting. Very recently, for example, our own Rory Parker (who is thankfully alive and well) wrote a very funny story digging into the WSL rule book and identifying that Julian Wilson and Matt Wilkinson might be subject to fines or expulsion.
Of course Rory didn’t write the rule book nor did he interview anyone inside for exclusive quotes but he was the first to tie the WSL rules with surfer behavior.
Stab copied the exact same story ten-ish hours later, like it has done countless times in BeachGrit‘s short history, with no mention of Rory Parker’s name and this one finally pushed me over the edge because I love Rory Parker! I tried to comment under the story but it was apparently rejected at Stab HQ with trembling hands.
And so here we are.
It is fun that we all exist, is it not? Even The Inertia! The surf media, as far as I’m concerned, is part of the broader show and a chickenshit denial of the other’s existence is… is… well it’s weird!
What is so scary about the tiniest sliver of journalistic integrity? About mentioning inspiration or source? Is it because the Stab thinks that once readers discover other surf websites exist that they will not come back? Because SurfStitch has a directive that competitors are waiting in the bushes with sharpened knives and pretending they don’t exist, while hunkered behind high walls, is the best longterm option for the stock price?
I’m so very confused!
Come on Stab…put on your big boy pants and dance. I promise it’ll be fun!
Is world number 3-ish on the warpath against your very own BeachGrit?
Did you know BeachGrit is just over two years old? We are! And thank you for coming. Thank you so very much for paying us daily visits. Oh we know there is so much we both could and should do better but we is what we is. And as of today we is the most ever!
Ex-champion Gabriel Medina, current world number three-ish, just threatened, through a maybe third party, to maybe sue because our own, wonderful, Rory Parker posted a direct translation of his Instagram post!
Do you remember?
Of course you do! Medina took to Twitter, shortly after losing a close heat and wrote:
Hora de ir pra casa. Muito triste, eu dedico ou dediquei minha vida pra isso…to cansado, cansei!
What does that mean? I don’t speak Portuguese. Only English. And Spanish, sorta.
Yippee for Google’s translation magic!
Time to go home. Very sad, I dedicate or have dedicated my life to it … so tired, tired!
Is this the end for Gabby? Past tense reference to his competitive career!
Crazy, so crazy.
Sure, it’s probably nothing. Just letting off some steam. Upset he got handed the short end of the stick.
Simple and not very insightful but still good. And true. Just Gabriel Medina’s own words translated into English. But then, glory of all glories, miracles straight from the heavens, an email came shooting through subjected law against beach grit. The author, a probable Brazilian surf photographer with big time legal aspirations wrote:
Medina treat to law process who lie about his future!
The world champion of surfing Gabriel Medina and his team , hereby clarify that there is a false statement being issued on his behalf by social and Whatsapp networks.
At no time , Gabriel or someone from his staff commented on any decisions related to their future in the World Tour .
Legal measures will be taken to ensure the integrity of the athlete and find the person responsible for false communication.
We ask , please , that ignore this absurd statement , which affects the athlete , his family, his team, his sponsors and surfing the institution.
At the moment, Gabriel Medina will not comment on the matter and is reunited with his family .
Have you ever read more delicious words? Have you?
I haven’t and am planning on getting them tattooed where Gabriel Medina has his family crest tattooed, right below where he shaves his armpit.
And this, officially, represents the high-water mark of your BeachGrit. Thank you for putting up with us. Thank you for laughing Gabriel Medina straight back into the totally shorn cave from whence he first came.
Obrigado to all!
P.S. If any of Medina’s other third parties feel like threatening hollow legal action maybe take a look around. Rip Curl doesn’t advertise here! Threaten Stab instead! They’re super sissies and cower under desks!