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

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.