Just in: Kelly Slater is a political artist?

Well, yes!

Going to be in used-to-be-hip Venice this Thursday? You might want to examine the role of Kelly Slater as political artist at the Folding Tables Gallery, 201 San Juan Ave, corner of Main Street etc.

Kelly, of course, is a 44-year-old American whom you might know as an enthusiastic singer or as the front man and manufacturer of a subtle menswear range. Or maybe you know him as the owner of two surfboard companies, Firewire and Slater Designs. Kelly is also the reigning world number five after a comprehensive win at the Tahiti Pro. 

Is there anything else I missed?

Oh yes!

Kelly Slater is a firm believer that big business and government are poisoned by the machinations of unseen evil.

His Venice show is called “Apolitical Process: a vision by Kelly Slater” and is, he says, “an artistic journey through the chaotic and sometimes inflammatory 2016 election cycle. It is our aim to explore and expose the underlying truth, hypocrisy, danger, motivations, misinformation and effects of this process. It is our hope that the artwork produces thoughtful discussion, transparency and an openness to question the powers that be..…”

The artists include Bruce Reynolds (a poppy, DADA style), the satirical Kevin Ancell and the fine art surf photographer Todd Glaser. 

Here’s your invite!



Blood Feud: Slater vs Rincon Logger!

Is surfing behind the best in the world something you should complain about?

You want a fast-track to good surf technique? Surf behind someone better than you.

It always amazed me, still does, how very good surfers seem to control the wave. They are rarely more than a metre away from the pocket and turn on parts of the wave that would have most hunch-backing for the tube. I hanker, therefore, for pro drop-ins. The cheapest coach money can’t buy. I watch their feet. I watch the motion of their torsos. I watch the swinging of the arms.

Which is why it perplexes me when average surfers hair-out in the lineup and, a, either hassle maybe the best surfer alive off a wave or, b, weep when they gotta share.

As Dane Reynolds once told the chocolate-nippled Morgan Maassen in an interview I commissioned , “Every single day I get dropped in on. It’s super backward compared to other sports. Tom Curren should be able to paddle out at Rincon and get any wave he wants. But he doesn’t get a break from anyone. He grovels around on the inside like a grom while guys that look like they’ve been surfing for four months catch bombs. It’s unbelievable.”

What do you think of the behaviour of the longboarding man in the clip below, who is angry when he splits a wave with Kelly Slater?

“Maybe I owe a wave to at Surf Ranch,” says Kelly. “I was on the wave about 5-10 seconds before he took off and I went past him. That’s where this edit begins. He didn’t have a leash and his board washed up next to my gf but he didn’t know she was my gf. He had a few choice words about me to the guy sitting next to her on the beach. So yeah, maybe we should just ride it out all the way together next time!”

Comments on the post, 881 at last count, are roughly two-to-one in favour of Kelly.

(Note: If you’re on a laptop, you might just get the top-thirds of the clip. Click on “kelly slater” and navigate to the clip.)


While you’re here, how about we relive the time the wonderful Chucky Rigano fell like pennies from heaven onto Dane Reynolds at the very same wave. Read, “Barneys Act Like I Spat on Dane’s Baby!” here. 

Parker: “Everyone’s stealing your shit!”

Do you shoot photos or video, or write, for the …exposure?

I’m often pleased with the fact that, of all the terrible creative pursuits that could’ve caught my fancy, I got stuck with writing.

Sure, the written word is in a decline. Supposedly. Maybe not totally. Your dear BG is almost nothing but text. We’re getting bigger every day. Eventually we’ll rule the world. Or get a sweetheart offer and sell the fuck out.

Most likely the latter. Hopefully the latter.

I’m stoked I’m not a visual artist. Mostly because those types are beyond strange. They express themselves with images! What the fuck is going on there? Only slightly better than musicians.

“Do you want to know how I feel? Then listen to this.”

Bong bing ding bong bingdong bong! Ting zing boom blorp zip.

There’s also the financial aspect. Shooting pictures and video is damn neat, but so beyond expensive. You wanna be at the top level you need tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear. Gotta insure it, deal with breakdowns and theft and ever lurking poverty.

You need a damn good computer too. Gotta edit that shit up. Color correct, crop… other stuff I only vaguely understand.

Expensive way to create art that pays poorly. Bet your ass you’re gonna supplement income shooting weddings or kids parties or Instagram model shots for weird middle aged women desperately clinging to a youth that’s long left them behind.

Everyone is trying to steal your shit. I’m not even talking about outright theft. Ripping and reposting videos, pictures. Plagiarizing articles. Stealing screenshots from competitors then forgetting to edit out the caption. I’m talking about bullshit Terms and Conditions that use quasi-legal means to rob poor suckers blind

Writing, on the other hand, is cheap as fuck. All you really need is a pen and paper. Theoretically, at least. I loathe writing longhand. Love my laptop. Much quicker to type. Makes editing, what little I do, a breeze. You can grab a bottom tier ‘puter for damn cheap these days.

But one commonality, across the entire spectrum of creative endeavors, is that everyone is trying to steal your shit. I’m not even talking about outright theft. Ripping and reposting videos, pictures. Plagiarizing articles. Stealing screenshots from competitors then forgetting to edit out the caption.

I’m talking about bullshit Terms and Conditions that use quasi-legal means to rob poor suckers blind.

So easy to run a contest, offer up a pittance for first place, then reap the delicious runoff from everyone who fails to win.

I’m not gonna name names. No need. It’s common across almost every outlet. A symptom of the new bullshit crowdsource economy.

Except for The Surfer’s Journal. They don’t try to own anything. They just license use. Don’t try to claim ownership in perpetuity. They play fair, pay fair, and turn out a quality product.

An idea without execution isn’t worth much, but it is worth something. Ditto with your likeness.

If you’re a filmer or photographer or musician or painter or sculptor or writer or interpretive fucking dancer, and think you’ve got a shot of winning something, or buy the exposure lie, read your fucking contract. There’s a good chance you’re doing little more than giving up your rights, in perpetuity, for what amounts to little more than a lottery ticket.

And never forget, there’s all sorts of non-legal shit in contracts. Unenforceable provisions, outright lies meant to keep people from asserting their rights. Fucked up terms that seek to pass off liability while retaining profitability. Craven copy/paste skullduggery that won’t hold up in court, but is only meant to discouraged wronged individuals from taking legal action.

Hire a lawyer, sue the shit out of someone. Freelance heads set their own rates. If you allow people to steal from you you’re admitting your work ain’t worth nothin’.

Suspect seen walking.
Suspect seen walking.

Surf travel in the age of terror!

Will you think twice before boarding your next flight?

I am in New York with wife and child, staying in a beautiful re-purposed seminary two short blocks from where a bomb tore apart a dumpster and injured twenty-odd people two nights ago.
It was a surreal, warm Saturday evening when it popped. Sirens wailed. Helicopters whirred overhead. People stumbled around, some in fear but most just happily weekend drunk.
My little family was cabbing home from the lower east side at the moment of detonation so did not hear. Cross-town traffic became impossible so we walked.
And surreal. I used to chase these sorts of thrills in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Ukraine etc. Nothing electrifies like chaos.
Yes, I used to chase but now the thrills have come home to roost and as I cradled my young cherub of a daughter, while walking, I realized this is her world. Terror is no longer a foreign concept. It has become normalized.
And how will it change the way she dances? Will she think twice before visiting Paris, Rome, Belgium or Minneapolis? Will she want to move to some isolated bomb shelter off the grid?
Or will she not care and be electrified herself?
How has it changed the way you dance? Surfers are one of the most mobile segments of the population, chasing swell to distant lands with neither worry nor care. Do you still book trips, board planes, leave home with a completely light heart?
Or do you look over your shoulder and slide away from the bearded man on the bench?
This morning, an unprecedented alert appeared on my phone. New York sent it out to people in the city, I assume, and it asks for  help finding Ahmed Khan Rahami.
I’ve spent far too much time in the Middle East, and am bros with far too many Mohammeds, Abdullahs, Rahmans to feel that we now exist in a war between Christendom and Islam but damn it all if the narrative isn’t becoming difficult to shake.

Brad Pitt
You're in Hawaii, why would you leave the house? Lay down on the couch all day long. Pester your guest for weed he doesn't have. Eat and eat and eat and eat. Don't clean up after yourself. Be sure and do a half assed job when you are. Maybe scrape the bong for resin then leave that shit smeared across the kitchen counter.

How to couch surf around the world!

The five habits of highly successful houseguests!

Lists are fun, right?

Wrong! Lists are lazy! Easiest possible way to pump out “content” for your website. A preponderance of lists is a sure sign of low pay, low motivation, and lack of talent.

But they’re useful, sometimes. They an make for fun little bite-sized pieces. Good filler when you’re feeling lazy. Or when you’re packed to overflowing with a simmering rage that you can’t unleash without sending someone to the hospital.

Like a bowl of mac and cheese. Gets the job done, nothing to take pride in.

5 Ways to be an amazing houseguest

1. Smoke a half ounce of weed in three daysYeah, your host said his hookup is off island for a while, and it’s not as easy to get decent pot in Hawaii as everyone seems to think. But that’s no reason to pace yourself! Just get as retardedly high as you can, then complain when you run out.

“Hey, can we get some more weed?”

“No, this is it.”

“Don’t you know anyone?”

“No, I told you that. We’re out. You smoked it all.”

“I told you I wanted to buy my own.”

“We bought everything they had left. That was it. There is no more.”

“You have to know someone!”

“I don’t. I’m thirty-six. I don’t know many drug dealers anymore.”

2. Don’t lift a finger to help unless you’re asked: Then be sure to huff and puff and bitch and moan about it. You’re on vacation, why should you do any cleaning? Leave that shit for the maid. Oh, there’s no maid?

“I told you, I’ll do it later.”

3. Eat everything: When you’re invited to a barbecue, it’s important to bring something tasty. Like a pie, or a nice dish of mac salad, or a big ol’ bowl of pulled pork.

Delicious shredded pork simmered in shoyu and garlic and pineapple juice! So succulent it’ll make your mouth water.

Here’s the important part. While the grill is running, and everyone is distracted with beers and friendship and conversation, sit your ass down and eat the entire bowl! Like, seriously, four fucking pounds of pork. Make sure to leave a tiny scoop’s worth so you can say, “But I didn’t eat it all.”

4. Don’t leave the house: You’re in Hawaii, why would you leave the house? Lay down on the couch all day long. Pester your guest for weed he doesn’t have. Eat and eat and eat and eat. Don’t clean up after yourself. Be sure and do a half assed job when you are. Maybe scrape the bong for resin then leave that shit smeared across the kitchen counter. It’s not like people prepare food on it.

5. Don’t pay for anything: Don’t even offer.

For extra points, use your host’s credit card to buy your ticket home. Hopefully they’ll trust you to understand purchasing plane tickets online and not supervise the transaction. Use a sketchy website no one has ever heard of, then get their card flagged because of the fraudulent transactions. Everyone loves calling their credit card company and explaining that their card has not been stolen, they merely allowed a guest to give the number to a website which no one in their right mind would ever trust.

Don’t pay them back for the ticket until they’ve asked you a hundred times. If you ignore them long enough you may never have to pay them back at all!