The way Kolohe says “Yessss!” at the end, defeated but kind of jacked at the same time – Chris Pratt couldn’t have spit that out any better. | Photo: WSL

Question: “Who is surfing’s best actor?”

Is it Dorian? Slater? Lopez? Vinnie Klyn? Wait… Kolohe Andino?

Those WSL comedy shorts. They were good, yeah?

Loose, sharp, mercifully self-deprecating, prophetic in their treatment of the cruelly set-upon judges. Any lingering criticism I might’ve had for the organisation was finally washed away.

And the fine work of Nat Young and Kolohe Andino reminded me of surfers’ various stabs at acting: Dorian for In God’s Hands, Slater in Baywatch, Vince Klyn in Cyborg

How do your two favourite Californians stack-up in the pantheon of surfer/actors? Let’s ask Matt Warshaw, cataloguer of everything surf-historical.

BeachGrit: Did you love the WSL comedy shorts?

Warshaw: Very much!

BeachGrit: What thrilled you, mostly? 

Warshaw: Their screen time was pretty short, but I thought Nat and Kolohe were great in the “I Spy” clip. The way Kolohe says “Yessss!” at the end, defeated but kind of jacked at the same time – Chris Pratt couldn’t have spit that out any better.

BeachGrit: This surfer-actor thing has been going on for almost a hundred years, am I right? Like, the Duke broke the husk on the game for surfers.

Warshaw: Poor Duke Kahanamoku was so broke in 1920s that he was forced to go to Hollywood to scrape out a living in movies. Started I think in 1925. He was 34 or 35, ancient for beefcake, but still filled out a tank-top bathing suit like nobody else. He was in a dozen silent movies, give or take. Small parts.

BeachGrit: Acting skills?

Warshaw: They called him “The Bronze Statue,” so I’m guessing no. But the whole point I think was to have him strip to the waist and look incredible. He could do that!

BeachGrit: What other roles have famous surfers taken?

Warshaw: I never saw it, but Gerry Lopez was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sidekick in Conan the Barbarian.  Then was some kind of dart-blowing island savage in Farewell to the King. Laird and Lopez were both in North Shore. Robbie Page and Occy were in that one, too, and we all thought Pagey was going to kill it, cause he was the funniest pro surfer at the time, but eh. Occy was hilarious but not on purpose. Not like Kolohe. It’s weird, Occy’s voice used to be so much higher! Everybody made fun of his high little voice, and now it’s kind of rumbly and cool. I guess the most famous might be Vince Klyn as Fender Tremelo in Cyborg. Vince was actually pretty wicked in that. Hammy but evil.

BeachGrit: Tell me about the most underrated surfer-actor…

Warshaw: Nobody much talked about it at the time because we were all so busy laughing at Shane Dorian, but Shaun Tomson did nice work in In God’s Hands. Schooled all the other surfer-actors in that movie. I seem to recall that Keala Kennelly was pretty good in John From Cincinnati, but again, that might have been because the show itself was so crap.

BeachGrit: Who’s the worst? 

Warshaw: Shane Dorian probably. But give him credit, he tried, failed, and got the hell out of there. Shane makes fun of himself now for doing In God’s Hands. He goofs on it in a way that Kelly Slater never does with his Baywatch thing, which now that I think about it was actually a low point, maybe THE low point, for surfer-actors.

BeachGrit: Who is the greatest surf-actor in the history of the world?

Let’s cross our fingers and go with Kolohe. I see red carpets in his future.

Luanda Bay fort
Amazing how a couple years of slow news day "honky surf gang" coverage can light a fire under a community's collective ass. Toss the Coastal Commission into the mix, add a bunch of poorly considered attempts at damage control, and you've got a recipe for losing your decades-long exclusive access. | Photo: LA Times

Cops to Smash Iconic Surf Clubhouse!

Honky surf gang the Lunada Bay Boys seek new play home!

The Lunada Bay fort is not long for this world, reports the LA Times. 

The Palos Verdes Estates Planning Commission on Tuesday night approved a permit to raze the structure used by the notorious Bay Boys, a self-appointed gang of enforcers who people from outside the upscale community have, for decades, accused of using violence and intimidation to keep them away from the famous surf spot. 

The commission approved the motion unanimously and without comment. No one from the public spoke on the matter. 

In July, after initially seeking delays, the City Council unanimously approved a plan to dismantle the shelter despite strong opposition by residents of the relatively isolated enclave, who urged  their elected officials not to honor a request by the California Coastal Commission to remove the shelter or take harassment charges seriously.

Very funny.  Amazing how a couple years of slow news day “honky surf gang” coverage can light a fire under a community’s collective ass. Toss the Coastal Commission into the mix, add a bunch of poorly considered attempts at damage control, and you’ve got a recipe for losing your decades-long exclusive access.

What’s next? Will the Coastal Commission accept the fort’s destruction and move on to other matters?

Or will they continue to push for improved signage and shoreline access?

Pave the way to the beach, write a couple online articles about “majestic Lunada Bay, an untouched beach just a short drive from most of LA County,” and watch the place flood with out-of-towners.  Maybe even, gasp, some of the blacks!

surfing holland
Surprising to see that Holland gets some fun days. And it doesn't look too cold. Looks like everyone is in a 3/2. One ripper rocking the long arm springsuit.

Who Knew: Holland has shredders!

Fringe weirdos? Or North Sea shredders?

I was aware that Holland had a thriving little surf scene. Seems like everywhere with a patch of coast does these days. Doesn’t need to be good, or warm. There’s always a group of masochists willing to chase that feeling only surfers know, supposedly.

I’ve always written them off as fringe weirdos. Like the Great Lakes guys. When it’s always freezing fucking cold, and the best day would be considered garbage anywhere else, what’s the point? Take up another hobby. There’s nothing magic about surfing. You can find that good feeling in a million other places.

Surprising to see that Holland gets some fun days. And it doesn’t look too cold. Looks like everyone is in a 3/2. One ripper rocking the long-arm springsuit.

It could still be freezing hell, I suppose. Viking blood lunatics laughing at the chill. The rest of us bundled up in hoods and booties and crab claw glove monstrosities.

I’ve always thought Holland was its own separate country. Turns out I’ve been wrong all these years. It’s part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. People often refer to the Netherlands as Holland, but that’s incorrect. All the people are called Dutch. Not to be confused with residents of Denmark, who are the Danes.

Maybe you already knew that. It’s news to me. They don’t teach us much about the rest of the world here in the good ol’ Republic of Trump. I know almost nothing about systems of governance outside my own borders. I guess the powers-that-be don’t think we need to know. Maybe they’re right. Dutch politics don’t have much influence over my daily life.

On the other hand, we’re about to hand the keys to our nuclear arsenal to an insane reality TV star who’s pledged to surround our borders with an Iron Curtain style wall. That shit’s got global ramifications.

Everyone in the video surfs surprisingly well. Especially Mr Long Hair. Dude throws down some admirable hacks. He must travel a lot.


Revealed: The secret Kelly Slater message!

Kelly Slater's death mask riddle has been solved!

Ask and you shall receive! Just this morning, only a short few hours ago, I wondered what Kelly Slater was trying to tell us with his various death mask montages. First he posted his face over Gene Wilder’s then over Leonard Nimoy’s and finally over the painter Bob Ross’s.

And what? What mystery was the 12 x World Champ unspooling for us to solve? What did he want us to learn? What did these three men, Gene, Lenny and Bob have in common?

Oh I know some feel that Kelly was merely re-posting images he found amusing from the Instagram humor account @thesurfinghobo but I know the man better than that. He is a philosopher! A complex theorist! A drinker of Purps, eater of chia, lover of all things non-GMO. A believer in the Universe and he would never roll out meaningless clues.

Thankfully the answer has been given.

Kelly Slater is warning us all off drugs!

Look at him above superimposed over Nancy Reagan’s (dead) face and it all makes perfect sense.

Gene Wilder, as Willy Wonka, was a euphemistic drug maker/pusher. Dead.

Leonard Nimoy, as Spock, gave a very moving speech in which he said, “As a Vulcan I find the use of hard drugs illogical.” Also dead.

Bob Ross was most famous for painting what he called “happy little trees.” It doesn’t take a genius to imagine what “happy little trees” actually are (marijuana). Dead.

And, lastly, where did the Kelly Slater and Rob Machado short film High Five (spelled HI-5 to avoid any drug connotation) appear? That’s correct. On the notoriously square, vehemently anti-drug Inertia.

Just Say No! is what Kelly Slater wants us to do. If we don’t we are all going to die.

This message has been Sal Masakela approved.

Kelly Slater and the shifting death mask!

What puzzle is the world's greatest surfer begging for us to solve?

Oh what fascinating mysteries surround the world’s greatest surfer! Do you follow him on Instagram? You simply must because that is where our stickler begins.

A few weeks ago the wonderful Gene Wilder died. You remember him from Blazing Saddles, See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex*. Kelly Slater remembers him from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and happened to be offering his own Golden Ticket to surf the Wave Ranch near Tulare, California.

And so Kelly posted a touching tribute to Gene but also superimposed his own face over the actor’s just departed one, in Willy Wonka garb. Strange? The people said “Yes!”

His comment section lit up with folk suggesting it was an unseemly move. The regular media even got involved. Buzzfeed posted a piece titled: People Are Very Confused About Kelly Slater’s Gene Wilder Tribute. Fox Sports followed with: Kelly Slater’s bizarre tribute to Gene Wilder sparks backlash.

Your BeachGrit? Of course we were there, not throwing stones but cheering loudly for Kelly’s blood feud against decorum! Still, we were in the minority. Most found it tawdry. But do you think the 17 x World Champion crawled into a hole to sob about how nobody understands him?


He doubled down days later by suggesting, on Instagram, that we follow a new religion based on the teachings of Spock and Bruce Lee. Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock and died in 2015, was used to illustrate the post but Kelly removed Mr. Nimoy’s face and replaced it with his own in the profile picture.

A few commenters complained about the indecency but most applauded the religion and looked to sign up for auditing sessions.


But did the 9 x Pipeline Master finish there?


Today Kelly’s face is superimposed over famous cloud painter Bob Ross in his Instagram profile picture. You’ll remember Bob from public television. A warm face framed by a giant afro painting pastoral scenes. Is Bob still alive? No! He died in 1995!

And what is Kelly trying to tell us by placing his own face over the faces of the departed time and time again? What puzzle is he begging for us to solve? I need your help as I failed geometry.

Also, while we are at it, let us start a pool for which dead man is next. My money is on Brangelina.

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