You too can turn like this after a few quick tips!
You too can turn like this after a few quick tips! | Photo: Morgan Maasssen

Dane Reynolds’ new fav shaper speaks!

He tells you how to surf like Dane Reynolds!

Dane Reynolds has a new favorite shaper and his name is Jon Pyzel. And oh what a wonderful man he is! And do you want to surf like Dane? Of course you do! I spoke with Mr. Pyzel so many years ago about various problems and how to solve via the board. My questions were dumb. Mr. Pyzel was warm and friendly. I can see why Dane cheated on his long time love Channel Islands.

Board hums: Back end of fins has resin buildup. Take some sandpaper and carefully polish.

Bogs rail during cutback: Surf more. It is not the board’s fault.

Dies during flat spots: More volume, less rocker. Also, go on a surf trip to a place without flat spots in the waves.

Too loose: Change the fins. Try a bigger set and you might also have too much rocker.

Too stiff: More rocker and smaller fins.

Backside vs. frontside problems: You know, I don’t think there is a difference as far as the board goes. People usually push harder backside and so the board, sometimes can feel a little stiff, or a little buggy off the lip but it’s just he way it is.


Type of waves: Important

Front foot vs. Backfoot: No such thing. All surfers, during different sections on the wave, are heavy on the front foot and heavy on the back foot. When you are driving down the line, trying to build speed, you are on your front foot. When you are going to hit the lip you are on the back foot…

Height and weight: It is really important to be honest about your weight. Surfers will tell me, “I weigh 200 lbs now but I usually weigh 180 or I want to weigh 165 or whatever…” I shape them a board for how much they weigh at the moment.

Cold water vs. warm water: If I know the guy is going to always be surfing in cold water while wearing a wetsuit then I add a few pounds to his weight and shape the board that way. Warm water/trunks is way better (laughs). Everyone surfs their best in a pair of trunks.

Yes, Mr. Pyzel is warm and friendly and I think handsome too but don’t worry Matt Biolos! I won’t cheat on you! I wear your name with pride every day and will never ever ever stray.



How to: re-write surfing history!

Use Wikipedia to change the actual course of surfing history!

It’s a damn shame that our collective surf history has been written by, like, three people. Ok, or maybe like thirteen, but they’re basically all the same person (white bread, white bread, and more white bread, of the Wonder, not the Pan Bimbo, variety).

Except for Matt Warshaw. The mold was broken with the Godfather of surf historiography. And, for the record, I found MW infallible long before surfing’s widely acclaimed gossip rag/literary mag/fashion blog/imminent corporate lawsuit took it upon itself to drop Dr. Warshaw (honorary degree forthcoming, from somewhere good, I’m certain!) into their S.E.O. with deserved regularity.

But you know what? You too can write surf history!

“But,” you ask, “how can I do that without a direct line to Scott Hulet or the acquisition editor at Chronicle Books? What indiscretions might Nick Carroll ask of me in return for 300 words? Is Phil Jarratt even around for a favor after the Quiksilver exposés?”

But: fuck nepotism, I say. Yes, backroom bro bias and alumni networks might grease every wheel and every industry that you or I or our beloved fellow commenters can name. But not surf history! Not anymore.

Cuz, Wikipedia!

Oh the fun that can be had by contributing to Wikipedia. Remember when Chas wrote the official brand identity of the World Surf League ? And it ended up on the WSL’s Wikipedia page for, like, seven hours before Travis Logie reverted it back from the QS event in Portugal after being tagged in a BG instagram comment? That was fun, right?

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-8-45-09-am Well, so is the Quik Pro France Wikipedia, right now…, which lists the official casting of the forthcoming film Death in the Afternoon: The Keanu Asing Storalongside the comp results! And because it’s on Wikipedia, it must be true! Get ready for the Oscars, Hervé Villechaize!


See, you, me, ANYONE can officially write surf history for the massive 300-gazillion rabid surf media consumers worldwide. It all starts with a click of the “edit” tab and ends with your own personalized, official amendment to surfing’s official record. Pick any topic, any personality, any surfer, any shaper, and fill in the blanks surrounding their illustrious existence. Just remember to cite your source (any old website will do! Or make one up!) and it’s a totally valid edit, contribution, or revision to the page in question!

Yes, technically Wikipedia deems erroneous or malicious edits vandalism.

And, fuck that, vandals are like thieves with no payout, morally destitute with no compensation, which means they are also like popular bloggers, err, writers. But the introduction of well-presented fact—like the fact that Paul Speaker doesn’t surf on the WSL page—doesn’t constitute vandalism.

Not in the least! It is, rather, a valued real-time contribution to the historical legacy and a correction to the record of our beloved pastime! Surf history for the masses, by the masses!


By the way, you know who doesn’t have a Wikipedia page?

Matt Warshaw? No! He does, and it’s impeccable!

Those future Pulitzer winners who founded Stab Magazine

Tough: Oregon surfer punches shark!

Then paddles to the beach and fixes himself up!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Oregonians are the best people on earth. Tough, cool under fire, emotionally intelligent. And let us look at the case of Portland surfer Joseph Tanner who was attacked while surfing Indian Beach, south of Seaside. Let’s read about how he punched the shark, paddled to shore and led the first aid team as they stopped his bleeding. Let’s read it all in the Oregonian, a proud paper of a proud people.

A Portland surfer bitten by a shark Monday off the Oregon coast was yelling “help” as he headed to shore on his surfboard, a 911 caller reported.

The caller was one of several to phone dispatch after the attack, which left Joseph Tanner, 29, with serious leg injuries. He said Tanner had been pulled from the water off Indian Beach about a minute before and that someone was wrapping a tourniquet.

Tanner told people how to help: He directed them how to put on the makeshift tourniquet — his surfboard leash — and how to apply pressure to his wounds, a volunteer responder said. He’s a trauma nurse, according to the Daily Astorian.

“To be in that much pain (and) just be in that situation, I couldn’t believe the amount of calmness he had,” said Shaunna White, a Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue volunteer.

White said Cannon Beach police had put on a second tourniquet by the time she arrived with the second wave of responders. Tanner wasn’t bleeding at that point, she said.

She said he had two large lacerations on his upper thigh and that his main injury was on the bottom of his thigh, which was open and lacerated. Tanner’s leg wasn’t severed, she said.

Tanner described the attack to responders, White said.

She said he told them he was just about to jump back on his surfboard when the shark pulled him down. He punched the shark a few times, it released him and he got back on his board and paddled to shore.

Read the rest here!

And, if you were in a nasty pinch like this would you be a level-headed machismo or a crying li’l weirdo?

Meet: Dane Reynolds’ new favorite shaper!

Come meet Dane Reynolds' new sweetheart!

Stab’s Stab in the Back is the most exquisitely staged surf drama putting Surfer Poll and Fantasy Surfer to shame. Did you watch live? I didn’t but we had our own J H there in the room live Tweeting. If only I had checked my damned Twitter we could have brought to you, even before Stab, the fact that Hawaiian shaper Jon Pyzel is his new favorite! 

I spoke with Jon on the phone many years ago and just this moment uncovered the story! Should we learn about Dane’s #1?


Jon Pyzel shapes surfboards for the world’s hottest surfer and he has been since the world’s hottest surfer was six years old and, really, that is all you should need to know to fill your quiver with Pyzels. But, in a fabulous twist, Jon Pyzel is as pure a craftsman as can be all by himself so maybe, just maybe, you should fill your quiver with Pyzels even if you never even heard the name John John Florence.

Born in Santa Barbara, young Jon could think of nothing finer than surfing. He lived it. He breathed it. And while he didn’t necessarily have the chops to become an out and out sponsored pro, he was good enough to be taken under the wing of Rincon Designs Surf Shop owner/shaper Matt Moore. It was there that he became interested in shaping himself. “I would go into the shop when Matt was shaping my boards and, I guess I got interested in shaping because Matt was such a cool guy. He had a rad life. He just wanted to surf so he’d go shape, glass, then go surf. Consciously, I didn’t think, ‘I’m gonna shape surfboards.’ I just thought, ‘I want that life.’”

Jon gave shaping a try a few years later. “I suck at art. I can’t even draw a circle but I thought I should give shaping my own board a try and so I bought a blank and went to work. I shaped a 6’4 or something, a little step up size, airbrushed it, glassed, sanded…and, you know, it worked pretty good. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough.”

He moved to the North Shore in 1992 to surf even more and started hanging out with guys that got their boards from master gun builder Jeff Bushman. Bushman, like Matt Moore, took Jon under his wing. Like a true artist, Bushman would not let Jon use the shaping machine. He had to do everything by hand and he did. He fixed dings, glassed, hot coated, laminated. He did anything he could to surf all the time. “I didn’t move to Hawaii to work” was his attitude.

But work he did. One day, Alex Florence waltzed into the shop trailed by three little ducklings and asked for a board for her eldest, six year old John John. Jon had no idea how to shape a board so small but he gave it a shot and the rest is history. “It has been crazy. We’ve literally grown up together. My shaping has grown with his surfing.” And if John John’s surfing is any indication, then Jon Pyzel is one of the best in the world alongside greats like Matt Biolos and Maurice Cole.

But P.S. real quick…do you think the global media cabal sabotajed the C.I. offering? Get your conspiracy on here!

If you can't ride on a great white's back, what useful purpose does it serve humanity?

How Whites Became the New Whale!

The sudden deification of a man-eater… 

Have you ever wondered how great whites became the New Whale? And how, in the  small Australian coastal town of Ballina, a swarm of great white attacks could be met, not with the proven solution of stringing a few hundred metres of nets across each beach, but with government hand-wringing and absurd solutions such as drone surveillance?

Vic Peddemors, the chief shark researcher at the NSW Department of Primary Industries, is an example of the mindset that constantly resists suggestions to make the ocean safer for people.

In a TEDx talk called Sharks or humans, who should be afraid? in Canberra in 2012, he jokingly described the two fatal attacks in Western Australia that year as a “bumper season”. Some members of the audience nervously laughed along with him. He added that the toll was an “anomaly” and “next year it will be back down to the normal levels that we would expect”.

Peddemors’ reassuring prediction was incorrect. At least four people have been killed by sharks in WA since then. Three unexplained disappearances might also have been caused by sharks, although we will never know.

Last year I emailed Peddemors, asking him if he regretted the insensitivity of the “bumper season” remark, but he never replied. Peddemors was making more predictions last week, telling the Australia-wide youth radio station Triple J that nets in Ballina would have an unacceptable toll on marine mammals.

“He predicts that rolling them out on the north coast would kill 20 dolphins within weeks,” the station reported.

Queensland statistics suggest Peddemors is exaggerating. Only eight dolphins were killed in that state’s 28 nets, spread out from Cairns to the Gold Coast, in all of 2015. Peddemors also said that great whites are “certainly not attracted” to humans. But a horrific incident in South Africa in 2013 disputes this. A fifteen-foot-plus great white took a snorkeler from the shallows at Jeffreys Bay (where Australian pro surfer Mick Fanning was attacked last year) into deeper water.

After the alarm was raised, a man on a kayak paddled out to try to retrieve what was left of the victim’s body. But the shark would not let the body go, despite the kayaker hitting it with his oar.

There are many other incidents where the victim is never recovered, which contradicts Peddemors’ claim that great whites are not interested in killing or eating humans.

Glen Folkard, who survived an attack in Newcastle in 2014, says he believes great whites retreat after making an initial strike and simply wait for the victim to bleed to death, which explains why some victims are given a brief opportunity to escape, as Folkard himself did, albeit with injuries that still cause him physical and psychological pain today.

Peddemors last week also participated in a video debate organised by Coastalwatch, a surfing website. In it he gave a rare insight into the objectives of the federal Great White Recovery Plan, devised in 2002 and revised in 2012.

“Geneticists believe there were probably 30,000 white sharks in the (Australian) population long before we arrived on this continent, and that it was stable at that level for thousands of generations,” he said. He estimated the current population is fewer than 6000, implying that we are only a fifth of the way back to the ideal population.

It’s curious that Peddemors is so confident of an estimate from an unspecified period in history yet decades of research by him and others has still not arrived at a definitive population figure today.
Peddemors’ main strategy has been an expensive and potentially dangerous program of tagging sharks. But the deleterious effects of this strategy are considerable. Tags can be heard by the sharks’ prey; and they have been known to cause injury and irritation to sharks.

Besides, a report by the West Australian Department of Fisheries earlier this year made the startling discovery that great white behaviour is “highly variable… white sharks were observed travelling along the WA coast in both directions at most times of the year”. It also found that “it is unlikely that a greater period of data collection will generate an overall predictive model”.

While he continues to promote increased tagging in an unlikely attempt to be able to predict shark behaviour, Peddemors’ advice to surfers, according to Hack, is to buy a shark repellant.

“Stop asking the government, stop asking council, stop asking everyone else, to look after your own safety, look after yourself.”

If it sounds like satire, it isn’t.

Meanwhile, after two great white attacks at Ballina in a week, the NSW government suddenly reversed it’s no-shark nets policy. Sanity, sometimes prevails.