Parker: “It’s okay to experiment!”

Skate icon Brian Anderson just came out as gay. Why not try it yourself?

Big news dropped in the skateboard world recently. Brian Anderson, former Thrasher SOTY, longtime Girl team rider, all around legend, loves kissing dudes.

No big deal. Skate is slightly more open minded than surf. And Anderson’s been entrenched in the industry long enough that pulling the curtain from a long time open secret ain’t gonna have much effect on his earning potential. It’s not the 90’s anymore, can’t drop a dude for digging dicks.

I’m slightly annoyed that everyone is calling him the first openly gay pro skater. He is not. Jarret Berry was loud and proud back when you could still call ’em faggots and without anyone blinking an eye. I adore Jarret, have long felt he got hosed for refusing to hide who he is.

Not that the two are really connected. It’s great that Anderson can come out of the closet. Doesn’t really have anything to do with Jarret’s trials within the industry. Jarret was rocking his mo’ status decades ago. Anderson’s actions speak to an entirely different generation. A generation that is confusing and terrifying to me, but is also much more open minded than I was at a young age.

It does beg the question, who’s gay in surf? More than a few open women. Keala Kennelly, for one. Matt Branson doesn’t really count. He kept his proclivities under wraps until his career was over. Craig Butler’s sexuality is no secret, but he’s a longboarder and they’re a fringe element to begin with.

Thirty four guys on the WCT. I don’t know how many on the WQS. Some of them must love men. Just based on odds.

Not to mention the fact that, when you stick a bunch of young men in close proximity for long periods of time, some of them are gonna give it a shot. Though I suppose that’s not actually gay. Just experimenting.

But some of them are gonna go, “Ah, yes! That’s what I’ve been missing!”

I don’t think it’s fair to say that anyone has an obligation to serve as a figurehead for those who share their sexuality. But surf could use some gay. Our “sport” tends to All-Lives-Matter levels of uniformity. Which is bland, all too often hateful.

Variety is the spice of life. We’re a big ol’ pile of skinless boiled chicken breasts.

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?