Art show: “Unfocused! Not exciting!”

But with gorgeous and diverse people milling about!

Favorite BeachGrit contributor and podcast host David Lee Scales went to the Kelly Slater art show Apolitical Process last night in Venice, California because I could not be bothered. God bless him. If you do not listen to his Surf Splendor then you are an asshole. And without further ado…

Interesting night. I still have no idea what Kelly’s involvement was. He didn’t produce any of the art. The people were stunningly beautiful and the party was very well attended. I’m glad I went, but I got my fill in 10 minutes.

The vast majority of the exhibit was Bruce Reynolds’ work; which was very uninteresting to me. It’s an attempt at a political statement, a commentary on the absurdity of the 2016 presidential campaign in the US. The works are essentially sculptures, made of found items with a lot cultural touchstones and corporate brand references. I don’t get it. I wasn’t provoked. It just simply didn’t compel me.

Bruce’s most interesting pieces were the gun sculptures; utilizing essentially the same process as mentioned above, but with all the found items affixed to a wood canvas for display on a wall.

Kevin Ancell’s Orca Boards were the highlight for me. Each board is dedicated to a friend of Kelly’s who has died. Kevin Ancell used a paint pen to write that person’s name in repetition on the board in black and white ink to mimic the color pattern of an orca whale. Kelly’s ridden each of the boards (some famously). Several are broken. Each board is fascinating to stare at, but displayed as a single installation makes the statement even more powerful. The fact that the boards have been ridden, by Kelly no less, adds even more gravity. Love that display.

Todd Glaser had a few images that were printed on some sort of metallic canvas. I love Todd and his work. These images were beautiful, but I’m not sure how they fit into the exhibit. Nevertheless, I was glad he was there.

Kelly arrived midway through the evening and was swarmed with fans trying to get iPhone photos. His silly shoes were the highlight of the evening for me, although I don’t think anyone else noticed (more on this coming right up!). He spent most of time being interviewed by Vice and other outlets.


The people in attendance were so beautiful and such a diverse bunch. Everyone was very kind and happy. All in all, a great turn out and a great event. The exhibit on the other hand, unfocused and unless you happen to be in Venice, not too exciting.


Want to know why Brooklyn surf store Pilgrim Surf + Supply linked hands with …Lost? “Matt is one of the greatest performance board shapers of all time. I really wanted to celebrate his designs and craftsmanship by toning down the aesthetic in the logos and treatments so that the shapes themselves were the focal point," says Pilgrim's Chris Gentile. "There are so many people that can put a …Lost under their arm and say to themselves, 'Holy shit this is an amazing board' but then get hung up on the fact that the lams (decals) don't speak to their aesthetic sensibilities. As lame as that sounds its a real thing so why not make make something that will still perform incredible well with minimal branding that will break down that barrier to entry? Don't get me wrong, I love the ...Lost brand aesthetic because it’s authentic, brash and not trying to be up to date with the affected graphic treatments we see allover the place." | Photo: Pilgrim Surf + Supply

Collab: Lost meets Pilgrim Surf + Supply!

Or how your fav bear Jew got a New York City vibe… 

It’s hardly a secret that, long ago, I beatified the San Clemente shaper Matt Biolos aka the Bear Jew. Anyone who can build a craft that fits into my skewed vision of surfing – I like ‘em wide, but thin, ultra-low rockered though the front three-quarters but kicked in the tail – deserves adoration. If you’ve ridden one of Biolos’ …Lost boards you’ll know. A sophistication that comes from a clarity of vision.

To cement his every-man appeal, Biolos, and his pal Mike, own the company. Biolos designs the designs. It’s as grass roots as it comes at this level, something rare as hell in a biz where Quik/Billabong are owned by the same investment fund.

Chris Gentile, you’ll know if you live and surf in New York. He owns the Pilgrim Surf + Supply store. A real pretty, real city Brooklyn emporium of surf. Gentile a little, a lot, like the adult film legend Aiden Shaw.

Gentile and Biolos aren’t the sort of figures you’d immediately put together to collab. Biolos is San Clemente, punk, raw; Gentile is urbane, gloss coats, jazz.

And, yet, though the miracle of social, the pair just connected. “We made some comments on his Instagram handle and started a dialogue that way,” says Gentile, who might rival even your old pal DR as a Biolos fan. “Matt is truly fantastic,” says Gentile. “He was one of the first guys if not THE to make high-performance boards that worked well for the average surfer like myself! He’s a master! I replay the Andy Irons and Cory Lopez section of 5’5″ x 19” 1/4” (on the Round Nose Fishes at Waimea Shorebreak) in my mind when I’m trying to fall asleep at night! Matt is super open-minded, creative and forward thinking. He cares deeply about the culture, its history and pays respect to all that has come before him. “

So, when Biolos was on an East Coast tour last year, the pair met, and they cooked up a …Lost-Pilgrim collab.

“I love making cool shit with cool people,” says Biolos. “I really appreciate well-curated retail stores and well merchandised products and stories. I think Chris brings a unique passion and ethos to his presentation. He seeks out creative people and challenges them to leave their comfort zone.”

As for Gentile, oowee, wind him up and get him started with real talk. He wanted the collab so the sniffy, aesthetic-minded Brooklyn surfer, who lives or dies by the design of his decals, would get turned onto Biolos’ brilliance.

“Matt is one of the greatest performance board shapers of all time. I really wanted to celebrate his designs and craftsmanship by toning down the aesthetic in the logos and treatments so that the shapes themselves were the focal point. There are so many people that can put a …Lost under their arm and say to themselves, ‘Holy shit this is an amazing board’ but then get hung up on the fact that the lams (decals) don’t speak to their aesthetic sensibilities. As lame as that sounds its a real thing so why not make make something that will still perform incredible well with minimal branding that will break down that barrier to entry? Don’t get me wrong, I love the …Lost brand aesthetic because it’s authentic, brash and not trying to be up to date with the affected graphic treatments we see allover the place. Its Honest. Its Matt.”

I ask Biolos, whose father was raised in Brooklyn, to describe the various NYC surf scenes.

“Ok, Brooklyn is not a surf spot, but lots of surfers now live there. Like Tokyo City, or the Vally in LA, they have thriving scenes. The surf is on the Island. Rockaway to me was always a rough and beat-down zone. I spent time there 25 years ago. Met Tommy Senna, who has held down that zone forever. He’s a quirky guy, and most the surfers there (then especially) were low-skill level, low income, dare I say kooky types. What has happened since the young urbanites migrated from Manhattan to Brooklyn, it is became cool and these city surfers started bringing their educated, refined tastes and affluence to surfing and the Rockaways. You got the Rockaway revolution of, for lack of a better word, “Hip Surfers”. People who are passionate about surfing, have money, education, fashion awareness and the high taste level associated with Manhattan. Although I tend to think the majority  are still lower skill level and the surf still is sub par on that part of the island.”

Montauk and out east?

“Here you’ve got a place that for ten weeks of the year looks like a scene from the Great Gatsby parties. The rest of the year it’s like the Blair Witch Project. Winters are very rough and much of the population is seasonal.  Great set ups for surf, though: point-breaks and deeper water reef type set ups. Really nice. Great place with cultured people and extremely high taste levels and affluence, but with the part time residents. Think. Natalie Portman and friends. It really needs swell to happen. This makes for a lot of small, crumbly point waves that lend them selves to big beautiful logs and wide flat fish. So you see a lot of that out East.

“For me, the real center of NY surfing is mid island. Long Beach to be precise, but there’s other stretches of jetty lined beach breaks as well. The best surfers and most consistent surf is in this area.  This is the zone where you see high-performance shortboards and little rippers ripping them. Balaram Stack is a Long Beach kid. It’s where the WCT event was held and The Unsound Pro happens each year. It’s where the best surfing is being done.”

What sorta boards we got in the mix for the collab?

“Chris wanted boards that would be considered high-performance but still manageable in the inconsistent New York surf by average skilled surfers. We went with the Puddle Jumper Round and the Quiver Killer, but added some unique tail shapes to them. We built them using tapered stringers, made from dark soft wood and reverse engineered the cut laps to counter balance the stringers. Chris chose the color palate and his team created the logos with my limited input approval. I didn’t want to trample his vision. Paul ” The Son of Cobra ” did all the glass work himself. Lam, hot coat, sand…everything. They are spartan in the way that there is very slight logo-int, and the finish is a simple hand sanded texture. Like a team board.”

But, says Biolos, The bottom has to be, no matter how god they look, the boards must perform. And they do.”

Buy here etc. 


The Inertia staff seen celebrating (right) while Gabriel Medina weeps (left)

The Inertia after Medina blood (again)!

Venice-adjacent mountain blog singles out sweet Brazilian boy for the second time!

Oh those alt-righters at your favorite mountain blog are at it again! Do you recall, some two years ago, when The Inertia went on a potentially racially-motivated discrimination spree against the world’s second best surfer, and Brazilian champion, Gabriel Medina?

Of course you do! The website set up a petition to “Suspend and Fine Gabriel Medina” for swearing. Here’s the story in brief according to our own Derek Rielly:

When Gabi Medina sulked at the Quiksilver Pro and said “fuck” and “Kieren hasn’t done a very good job” most of the surf media  found it a magnificent condition. A fearless post-heat interview from a world champion. The Inertia thought otherwise and cast a petition to have the kid suspended and fined. (Click here.) Was the petition racist? So many thought so!

Victory was claimed in the seemingly hate motivated movement after the World Surf League released a statement saying that the incident in question was “reviewed.”

Apparently though, one tilt against a hard working brown boy is not enough. Six hours ago the ugly drums that sound so much like racism began to pound once more. Let us read from The Inertia‘s recent posting:

During his Round 3 loss at the Hurley Pro at Trestles Gabriel Medina exhibited extremely poor sportsmanship on three separate prolonged occasions by showing a public disrespect towards the WSL judges and in the process reflected poorly upon himself, the WSL Tour, the event sponsors and his own sponsors. In order to right this wrong, both the WSL and the Brazilian surfer are obligated to respond in a way that firmly address Medina’s actions. It all can lead to moving toward an atmosphere where disputes with the judges are carried out in private and in a sportsmanlike manner.

The WSL is furthermore required, by their own bylaws, to at the very least fine Gabriel Medina a minimum of $1,000.00 for his blow ups. In addition, the WSL should strongly consider warning Gabriel that future displays of poor sportsmanship will lead to increased fines and/or suspensions. These items should be made public because Gabriel’s actions were done in public. Medina should also be “given” the opportunity to publicly apologize to the WSL judges and the WSL fans. This would be an ideal opportunity for him to express that he strongly disagrees with the judges’ scoring in this case and at the same time that take ownership for his behavior.

Continue here but let us remember that Julian Wilson (white), Matt Wilkinson (white) and many other professional (white) surfers had very strong, coarse even, words for the judges during and after the Hurley Pro even and yet where are the posts on The Inertia demanding blonde and almost blonde heads on a platter?

As pointed out from Mt. Olympus (thanks Zeus!) the piece ends on this note:

The excuse of cultural passion fueling Gabriel’s actions is 100% invalid. Unacceptable is unacceptable and the WSL rules pertaining to sportsmanlike conduct are designed to maintain the integrity and professionalism of the sport.

Oops! A major legitimate actually shocking gaff and certain to be frowned upon by too many social scientists including, but not limited to, Grafton Elliot Smith. Also by most non-racists.

Are posts like these red meat to less-than-savory elements of our modern culture? Dog whistles to certain Pepe the Frog loving groups?


Find Dane-o!

Just in: Dane Reynolds to surf Mavericks!

Your once-upon-a-time favorite surfer is changing directions!

Did you forget all about your favorite surfer in the world Dane Reynolds? Did you forget about his progressive surf approach, loose style, passive-aggressive wink? Did you forget about his gorgeously crooked smile? His cute French bulldogs? His multi-millions of dollars?

Well guess what? While you were busy fawning all over John John Florence your favorite surfer in the world Dane Reynolds was busting out his 9’3 gun. He was sitting in tubs filled with ice and baby sharks. He was running with giant boulders underwater. He was waterboarding himself. He was listening to Slayer’s Raining Blood * and getting ready to be a Titan of Mavericks!

Oh what a wonderful big wave surf competition! Should we read about it from the press release?

Titans of Mavericks is the most coveted event in big wave surfing. Mavericks has a rich history among the annals of surfing lore. Being touted as the one of the most hazardous events in the world, and having 24 of the best conditioned big wave surfing professionals compete against each other to win this prestigious competition makes Titans of Mavericks the greatest show on earth. The 24 who compete possess fearless character and endless passion that give them these unique set of skills to challenge Mavericks each and every year.

Very many superlatives!

And Dane Reynolds! One of the 56 best conditioned big wave surfing professionals alongside the likes of Nathan Fletcher, Albee Layer, Koa Rothman, Jamie Mitchell etc. Does this surprise you?

I suppose that’s what you get for forgetting all about your favorite surfer in the world Dane Reynolds.

But wait. I thought there were supposed to be 24? How in the hell does this thing work? Could I nominate myself to be a Titan? I surfed Pipes, near Swamis, last winter and it was mmmm 4 ft but since I’m not a braggart that is a very conservative estimate (it was 5ft!).

Go to the Titans website here! And get ready for Dane-amite (his big wave name). The window opens Nov 1 and closes March 31.

*He was not listening to Slayer’s Raining Blood but you can right here!

"Sometimes, some crazy times, good things happen too my sweet baby boy."

The sweetest face in all of surfing!

Steph Gilmore? Anastasia Ashley? Wrong! Come meet Palmer from Queensland!

Oh there is no doubt you’ve seen the video of Kelly Slater Golden Ticket winners by now. Maybe on Surfline. Your beloved BeachGrit does a great job of breaking painful and/or funny rumor but we are slow, usually, to the sensitive dance.

Here I am now though! Late but dabbing my eyes with a hanky!

And just look at Rob and Palmer. Two average men growing up in the heartland. One dreams of being a football star. The other is debutante backseat of Jacky’s car (what does that even mean?). And there they were going about their days. Suckin’ on chili dogs outside the Tastee Freeze. Maybe sittin’ on someone’s lap, hand between knees.

But then there is a knock at the door and a lady with a voice as dumb as finless surfing is pushing an iPhone right directly up their noses. Like, at the worst angle possible, asking questions before telling them that they are the lucky winners! They get to crouch in a never chocolate barrel!

Rob lives very near me. I may in fact know him, or have at least seen him in the water, but certainly won’t be bugging for a chance to join. My ex-wife lived very near Lemoore and if I never have to smell those stinky cows again I’ll be better for it.

But if Palmer asked me I would scream YES while giving him the biggest hug ever! Cow stink and ex-wife we damned!

Have you ever seen a more touching reaction to good fortune? The way those teddy bear eyes sparkle before he wipes the tears of happy away. The way his smile is so big and so filled with pure emotion. The way his whole face radiates and I just want to scoop him into my arms and whisper in his ear, “Rabbi Kushner was right, bad things do happen to good people. But sometimes, some crazy times, good things happen too my sweet baby boy.”

When was the last time you wept from joy, you crusty hard-hearted bastard?


Well, that is probably why you didn’t win the Golden Ticket.