Celebrate: Snowdonia a wild success!

The joke's on you! I mean me! Let's pop the bubbs and celebrate surfing's rebirth!

Who saw that one coming? Do you think the people of Wales saw it? Do you think when their government mixed in with various developers and told them an unbelievable economic boost was coming straight to their region courtesy of an inland wave park that the neighbors thought, “Yeah! Totally! We can’t wait!”

Do you think Kelly Slater saw it? Do you think he imagined a little but extremely fun little roller would earn lots more money than his peaky blinder?

Do you think the people of Texas saw/see it? Doug Coors standing over his broken down plow with maybe no hope of ever opening again but still seeing fame and fortune just behind that giant mural of Tom Jones?

I’ll be honest. I didn’t see it coming. I saw a trail of broken tears. I saw surf destroying an economy that didn’t need any more help getting destroyed. I saw a few laughs.

But I was wrong! Can we read from the fabulous Whitelines Magazine? But of course we can!

Despite a seemingly shaky start, according to newly released figures, Surf Snowdonia has enjoyed a throughly successful first year.

The stats revealed it has welcomed a massive 150,000 visitors over the course of the season, which is more than double what they had originally forecast.

The number includes 18,000 oversees visitors, ratifying the parks initial claims that it would draw international tourism to the region. Managing director Andy Ainscough said these figures regarding international visitors made him “smile for all sorts of reasons” adding that “The majority of visitors live within a two-hour-drive radius, with London and the South West also making up a significant part of our UK market.”

Read the rest here and dance up and down! Surf is a wonderful commodity! The depressive clouds stand no chance against a bright and shining Welsh sun!

Flume wavepool
Here we see Harley Streton aka Flume at the Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore California. Don't you love the randomness of visitors to the mysterious pool?

Movie: Flumes Rides Slater Surf Ranch!

Electronic musician Harley Streton installs himself at Slater's world-famous tank!

Don’t you love the randomness of visitors to the Kelly Slater-WSL wave tank in Lemoore, California, the sight of which is enough to give an adult an attack of dizziness?

Recently, the Australian electronic musician, Harley Streton aka Flume, was invited to install himself at the fabled wave. And Streton, who is twenty five and grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches, isn’t the kook you’d imagine.

His main game is bodyboarding, sure, an el-rollo to the flats confirms his pleasures there, but Streton’s ride on a surfboard tells much to the observant eye.

First, it doesn’t appear difficult at all to detect where the milk is watered and the sugar is scattered. In other words, it’s a pool that ain’t that hard to ride. A little back foot pressure here and there, or a cut-down if you’re so equipped, will keep you in the pocket.

Also appearing in this four-minute short is the iridescent Stephanie Gilmore, whose appearance awakens a perverse alertness.

Is your interest in the musician piqued? Listen to Flume here.


Herr CEO: “That fucking BeachGrit!”

The three most beautiful words in the world!

Do you wonder what President D. J. Trump will do to the press that tried valiantly yet vainly tried to bring him low? By all reports he is a vengeful man. As President almighty do you think he will smash The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc.?

That pitched battle will be fun to watch!

On a related note, I heard wonderful news this week. A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend happened to be having a meeting with the World Surf League brass even including Mister CEO Paul Speaker himself. During the meeting one of BeachGrit’s now classic Speaker chronicles was apparently unleashed (maybe it was this one. Or this one. Or this one. Who knows! Who could even begin to guess!) into the world. Mister CEO Paul Speaker, this friend of a friend told a friend of a friend told me, allegedly looked down at his phone, shook his head and uttered a single phrase.

“That fucking BeachGrit.”

Never has my heart soared so high.

Brock Little by Buzzy Kerbox
Brock Little at The Eddie in 1990. Wouldn't it be fitting if the event became The Brock? | Photo: Buzzy Kerbox

The Quik: In Memory of Brock Little?

Quiksilver considers new name for world's most prestigious big-wave event!

Two weeks ago, it was revealed, here, that a dispute between the Aikau family and Quiksilver had evaporated the famous partnership and big-wave event The Quiksilver: In Memory of Eddie Aikau.

And, now, Quiksilver, which holds the permits for the event, is considering keeping it alive, as is, but the shifting names. Instead of The Quiksilver: In Memory of Eddie Aikau, it could be Brock Little, Todd Chesser, Mark Foo, maybe even Jose Angel, another underground big-wave stud. 

So how did such a fruitful relationship, which includes the lucrative sale of Eddie Aikau-Quiksilver merchandise, wind up in the gravel, pecking for worms?

Here’s the background: the previous ten-year deal was expiring in the spring of 2016 and Quiksilver and the Aikau family began negotiating a new deal. The Aikau family were advised that a potentially better deal might be out there if they shopped it around a little, howevs. Red Bull was in the mix, initially, (read about that here), but apparently, Red Bull and the WSL couldn’t couldn’t find a way to play nice so they pulled out at the last minute, leaving the Aikaus with no deal.

BeachGrit believes Quiksilver has submitted multiple offers to the Aikaus, all with increased revenue sharing opportunities but all have been rejected. There are still negotiations underway between Quik the the family as of this past week.

You’ll remember how The Eddie peaked in February this year when John John Florence won the contest, which has run only nine times in the past thirty-two years, in the best conditions ever.

Wouldn’t it be a fine way to say aloha to The Eddie and slip in The Brock?

Yeah, and no. Quiksilver, we believe, sees the point about this year’s event being a good way to sign off, but, this is biz, right? And they sell a ton of Eddie product even in the off years. Quiksilver’s master, Oaktree Capital Management, therefore, is pushing for a new deal with the Aikaus.

And the name?

My money, for what that’s worth given my recent performance with Billabong shares, is the name will fall on Brock Little.

How could it not?

Brock finished fourth in the Eddie when he was nineteen; second in 1990, and in thirty-foot surf, including the wipeout pictured that he took with unflinching calm. Brock faced death with a similar calm. A month or two before he died of liver cancer earlier this year, I called and we talked about bout his prognosis (not good), why he told the world via IG (“When you’re out there looking like shit, it’s pretty obvious you have fucking cancer”) and how he feels about it all (“I’m so stoked. I’ve had a great life and what I’ve lived through and what I’ve done in my life, crazy good times.”).

The Brock. Don’t it sound good…

Brock Little, 1967-2016 from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.

Best: Bastardization of Hawaii ever!

Tiny bubbles! In the wine! Make me happy! Make me feel fine!

Does the word “Aloha” give you lots and lots of pleasure? When you hear “aloha spirit” “aloha” or just plain “aloha” does your heart glow with a familiar pleasure? Do you dream in Hawaii? Do you love “Island Lifestyle” and “Reyn Spooner” and plumeria? Are you a Rainbow Warrior?

Then watch this!

How do you feel now? Still all those things?

Good for you!