John John surfs with an impressive, leisurely dignity while dismembering everything around him. | Photo: WSL

Parker: “Rip Curl Pro Grabbed My Pussy!”

The noted Rory Parker's fantasy surfer picks for the Rip Curl Pro, Portugal.

Holy shit, Portugal’s almost here. You could say it snuck up on me and grabbed my pussy. Shocking. But thrilling. Maybe I’m into this shit. Got a new kink.

Twelve hours before the comp starts and I’m scratching to get my terrible fantasy surfer team together. No clue what I’m doing. Business as usual. I should be on it, went on Lipped, the fantasy surfing podcast, last Friday. They do them before events, should’ve clued me in. But it didn’t. Fits in with my generally oblivious nature. You should listen. I killed it.

My mad dash means my picks may be even worse than usual this event. If that’s possible. My coffee maker broke this morning because I’m a tightwad and bought the cheapest one Walmart had on the shelf. I need my morning java to get my brain going. Tried boiling some up on the stovetop. It’s terrible. But I’m choking it down nonetheless because I’m addicted to caffeine.

Tier A:

John John Florence: Double John’s on his way to the title. He’s dialed in the time and place for various approaches- Surf’s safe and makes heats, goes hard and pushes limits when he needs to.

Gabriel Medina: Gabi wants another title soooooo bad. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. I, honestly, won’t be surprised if Charlie goes full Tonya Harding on John John.

Regardless, he always finds scores, makes heats. Solid, smart pick that you just can’t ignore. You can gamble on a shocker, choose someone other than him and JJ, but that’s a recipe for lost points.

Tier B:

Italian Ferrari: Italo’s always a solid workhorse pick. He’s had a few shit results this year, but I believe in him. He’ll make round five, at least, add some points to my total.

Ace Buchan: If the surf sucks he’ll be out in round three. If Peniche delivers some solid tubes, and it could, he’s a top notch choice. Ace is a tube hound non-pariel.

Adriano de Souza: Post-title slump aside, ADS is always an intelligent addition. If the surf doesn’t cooperate he’ll be a nightmare draw. If it turns on he’ll still surf safe and smart and make heats.

Joel Parkinson: I really really really wanted to pick Keanu. I did! But I just don’t think he’ll be able to repeat France. It’s a dick thing to say, and I desperately hope I’m wrong, but he wouldn’t be the first guy to find one huge result and never back it up again. Parko gets the nod for no real reason at all, other than the fact that he’s demonstrated an ability to find consistent results over the course of his fifteen, or so, year long career.

Tier C:

Kai Otton: A solid quarter-final result at France gives me hope for Kai. He’s hanging around below the cutoff, this will probably be his last year on tour, and I’m hoping that’s a recipe for a big ol’ successful cup of I-don’t-give-a-fuck confidence.

Jeremy Flores: I’m an idiot who can’t learn a lesson. Flores either does very well, or very poorly. I’m hoping for the former. Expecting the latter. Maybe I’ll get lucky and make up some points from my abysmal early season string of failures.


Keala Kennelly and the fruit of her fifty-one stitch Teahupoo face plant. | Photo: Tim Bonython

How to: survive a surf injury!

You'll need: opiates, self-loathing, suicidal thoughts and the alienation of your family…

It’s been a rough year. I destroyed my shoulder bodysurfing Pipe last December, got it rebuilt using a dead man’s ligaments and assorted screws. Fought through physical therapy long enough to break my collar bone spearfishing. Sat out two months of life waiting for it to heal and then copped a bone infection that put me put for two more. I’ve got this recovery thing down.

Here’s what you need to survive a surf injury.

Drugs

Opiates, weed, and booze are your friends. Pop a few Percocet, hit the bong and drown your sorrows. You won’t heal any faster, but life will pass in a blissful stupor. One day you’ll wake up hung over and dope sick because your asshole doctor cut you off from the gravy train and you don’t know any teenagers to score dope from, but that’s a worry for tomorrow. Today you’re riding high in the sky rambling on to your wife about the ASP judging criteria and how they’re obviously inflating scores to create more tension during heats.

Spend hours in front of a mirror, watch your waistline expand and your upper body shrivel.  Gaze in awe as your cock shrinks in increments, as your shorts cut deeper and deeper into that sagging pile of shit your call a stomach. You disgusting pile of shit, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Self loathing

This one dovetails nicely with the preceding. Spend hours in front of a mirror, watch your waistline expand and your upper body shrivel.  Gaze in awe as your cock shrinks in increments, as your shorts cut deeper and deeper into that sagging pile of shit your call a stomach. You disgusting pile of shit, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Contemplate suicide

Don’t do it.  Offing yourself is for fucking losers and pussies. But think about how you’d do it, should you ever turn into such a sad sack piece of shit that you can’t think of any better option than flipping the off switch and joining the void. Would you don black face and drive around running stop signs in LA? Swallow the balance of that bottle of benzos and chase it with half a bottle of gin? Go old school and kick out a chair while wearing an extension cord necktie? So many choices, but how to choose?

Alienate your loved ones

Fuck ’em anyway. What do they know about what you’re going through. You’re the only person who’s ever suffered this much in the history of humanity. Your wife’s a selfish bitch. Who cares what she cooks for dinner? Why can’t she just leave you the fuck alone. Throw a chair at her, call her fat, tell her she’s the biggest mistake you ever made. If you’ve gotta feel this bad, make everyone around you share the pain.

Do sit-ups

Nah, fuck that. Play video games. Go online and write racist messages on youtube. Wallow in your own despair until it fills your gut and spills out every orifice you have. Call an old lady a faggot. Fuck this world and everyone in it.


Should You Ride Pro Model Boards?

Has there ever been a signature model surfboard that truly succeeded?

A surfboard blind taste test is an interesting notion. Great for hype. Whichever marketing head came up with it deserves a raise.

I wasn’t able to actually sit through the entire 36-ish minutes of board reviews. But that doesn’t really matter. It’s got people talking. About brands and boards and sealing wax. Why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.

Slightly astounding that it works so well. We all know that dialing in your boards is a fairly personalized affair. Everyone is built differently, surfs differently, approaches a wave differently. Watching an amazingly talented surfer go full blind fold while picking through a quiver is entertaining, to some. Not to me, but the internet disagrees and I can accept that just because I didn’t really enjoy something doesn’t mean it’s bad. Not always. Sometimes I’m just not into it, or I’m distracted. And I am very distracted at the moment. Can’t tear my eyes away from the presidential candidate hell-bent on destroying trust in our political process.

Not that you should trust it. Not if you’re a voter. But the people who take part are supposed to play along. At the very least they aren’t supposed to rattle sabers and threaten to jail journalists. That’s pretty scary. Really strikes at the heart of my freedom-of-speech-makes-us-better-than-you American indoctrination.

Has there ever been a signature model surfboard that truly succeeded?

(Oh yes! – Editor.)

Slater signed Surftechs were gross. Ugly boards, maybe they worked. I don’t know. Never rode one. Not many people did. Yeah, it had Kelly’s name on it, but he’ll slap that shit on anything.

NHS toyed with the idea, started Santa Cruz Surfboards, slapped Ozzie Wright and Archie’s name on a line of pop-outs. Don’t know how well that did. Didn’t see many of them in the lineup. A quick jaunt to their website shows they’ve gone missing. Only Ratboy models left. Maybe state of the art more than a decade ago, boggles the mind they think that name still sells. Maybe it does in NorCal. I don’t know. Weird shit goes on in the top half of the Golden State. Weird surf pseudo-gang rivalries and meth psychosis.

I’m not the target audience, I know that. Already know, more or less, what works for me. Only ever bought a single board straight off the rack. It was a 5’8 Xanadu, xerox of the Fireball Fish, back when those were so damn hot. It went very well. I rode it into the dust. Delamned deck and cracked fin boxes. Lost it into the 54th street jetty on a small day, finally put it in its grave.

I know I’ll never surf like Dane. I know he surfs well enough to make even the worst board look good. I know that when a high level ripper is backing off his turns, that means the board’s a bar of soap I can barely hope to stand on.

But that was pre-growth spurt. Before I gained height and weight and realized that I’ve never be a hyper-flexible grommet ever again. Before I learned to distrust anything that smacks of marketing propaganda. Before I had my heart broken when the fins for my nifty new OAM system didn’t fit in the boxes. So much sanding. So much sanding!

I know I’ll never surf like Dane. I know he surfs well enough to make even the worst board look good. I know that when a high level ripper is backing off his turns, that means the board’s a bar of soap I can barely hope to stand on.

I’ve seen oodle of doodles paddle out on Hyptos and Tomos and Dumpster Diver derivatives. Hardly ever seen someone surf well on ’em. I’ve learned firsthand why you need foam on big days. Yeah, Craig Anderson can scratch over the ledge on a 5’4″, John John’s second reef slayer is a 6’4″. But that thinking will get us normal humans slaughtered. The ability gap between good surfer and pro surfer is just too damn great.

There’s something to be said for instant gratification. No need to call in and hear, “Oh, yeah, just putting on the finishing touches. It’ll be done next week.”

You said that two weeks ago.

But few people get into shaping because they feel like putting in ten-hour days. Most shapers inhabit a weird spectrum somewhere between crazy artist and mad inventor.

Yet all good things do come to those who wait. And there’s real value in having someone who will tell you, “There’s no way you can ride that,” rather than a minimum wage shop rat regurgitating media material.

“Oh, totally, dude. Best all around board on the market. Works from two feet to ten. Want to throw in a new travel bag and board sock? How about a couple sets of fins? I don’t make commission, but my boss’ll be on my ass if I don’t up-sell the shit out of you.”


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.

WHAT TO TELL YOUR SHAPER:

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.

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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!

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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!

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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