Says the stud on the left: This may sound cheesy but just knowing how much joy a surfboard can bring to people individually and how that can actually spread to all the people around them. I know I'm a better husband, a better dad, and just a better person in general if I go for a surf every day. Surfers are tapped into something magical, something that can be a really positive force, so I'm just stoked to be a part of that in other peoples' lives.

Meet: the Stud who makes John John fly!

Let's get a little closer to Jon Pyzel, the shaper to world champion John John Florence!

Some of the most exciting surfboard design is coming out of a little factory in Waialua on Oahu. Here, you’ll find the shaper Jon Pyzel, who is forty-eight, building boards for the new champion of the world John John Florence. Pyzel is also, nominally, the “best shaper in the world” after winning a blind-fold contest starring Dane Reynolds, that appeared in Stab magazine. 

Pyzel has been making boards for John John Florence, who has just-turned twenty-four, since the kid was five; since his mama Alex brought the boys to see him at his old bay at Sunset Beach and gave him two-hundred dollars for materials to build John a board. The yellow four-six with  halo of orange rails is “hideous to look at” but now exists as a memorial of sorts to a boy destined for greatness.

This interview was recorded between Waialua, Oahu, and Bondi, Australia.

BeachGrit: Is that the fabulous Mr Jon Pyzel? Tell me everything! Tell me about your current emotional position. Your boy wins the world title; you scoop up the Stab prize as #1 shaper.

Pyzel: I don’t know about fabulous but it’s Jon Pyzel! I’m pretty fucking happy. Happiness mixed with a little relief. I don’t know. It seems like it’s been a long road.

BeachGrit: You must’ve seen John’s world title coming a long time ago…

Pyzel: I felt like it was coming for a long time. It’s one of those things, you never know until it happens. I believed in it, but cautiously believed. I knew he had the  talent, put it that way. And I think the one thing that stands out the most to me in this whole thing, especially being in Portugal and seeing his whole situation, was that I literally feel like he…chose… to win the world title. And it happened. He just went, ‘I’m really going to do this.’ Without sounding arrogant, because that’s not what I mean. I feel like the guy can do what he wants in surfing. So he went, ‘Ok, now, this is what I want to do.’ Choosing to be in that frame of mind, cleaning his way to do that. Pretty fantastic.

BeachGrit: In the final, he really loosed himself. 

Pyzel: That was the after-party right there.

BeachGrit: Tell me about his little crew in Portugal?

Pyzel: He was staying with his girl Lauryn (Cribb), his filmer Erik (Knutson), and a good friend Brandon Wasserman, who’s like his road manager. He does everything. Makes everything easy. That whole group, they get along really good. It’s not some team that’s…working. They’re a group of people who are happy to be around each other. No one’s discussing heat strategies. All the pieces were already there.

BeachGrit: I was surprised Mom John wasn’t there when the champagne rained.

Pyzel: I know, Alex was super bummed. I mean, she was super stoked but sad she wasn’t there. Those guys didn’t know the numbers, that he could win the whole thing there. No one was breaking down numbers at the dinner table.  Once he was in the quarters, or maybe even the fourth round, there was a point when we realised… you can win this. It got down to, win three heats and you’re the world champion. Six good waves. It was pretty radical.

BeachGrit: There was very little negative electricity clouding the air when he scooped up the title cup. 

Pyzel: Such a good thing, such a good feeling. Even the guys who could’ve won it were stoked. I talked to Jordy and he was stoked for John. No one was, like, ‘Fuck that guy!’ The best surfer is the world champ. That’s a cool thing to see happen ’cause it doesn’t always work out like that. As surfers it’s killer. It validates pro surfing. This is the guy we think is the best surfer and he won.

BeachGrit: Did you dance the night away?

Pyzel: Everyone was drinking beers at a nine-thirty in the morning. There was a big fridge of Coronas and Sea Bass was leading the charge. Even Kelly was drinking a beer and that’s rare. After lunch we split. I went back to my hotel and had a nap. Woke up at six, went to John’s house and him and his friend Kieron were just getting in from surfing. He’d gone and surfed for two hours.

BeachGrit: Is there any amount of money, you think, that could convince him to ride for another company?

Pyzel: I don’t know. You’d have to ask him. We’ve been through a lot. He’s had people obviously come to him, and he’s ridden different boards. And there’s been different times when I felt some pressure coming from big companies. And I’ve told him, too, ’cause we’re pretty close friends, don’t feel like you have to ride my boards, because we’re friends or because you owe me anything. What has happened, for me, having a kid of that calibre, is it’s challenged me and kept me working hard. I don’t want him on other boards. I want him on my boards. I don’t think money is a worry for him. He’s doing alright. If he was losing, or doing shitty, he’d be looking for different boards. He’d change it. We’ve had times when the boards weren’t working great so we worked on it.

BeachGrit: In detail, can you describe his go-to board for average three-foot waves. For waves most of us schlep around in?

Pyzel: The Bastard is his favourite. He’s been riding it for three or four years now. (Either a 6’0″ by 18.63 by 2 1/4 or 2 3/16ths.) More than a lot of surfers who ride a totally different board in different conditions, he prefers to have a consistent feel – straight up, standard short boards, made a little bit for better waves than worse waves. He’ll make it work when it’s less than perfect. My boards tend to be a lot flatter than a lot of shapers. But this design is pretty curvy, with a single concave through the bottom and a tiny, tiny double concave in the fins. It tends to have a little more volume though the nose and under the chest. Being bulkier up front helps in landing is when the front foot is on the nose. It stabilises stuff there, keeps the board out of the water.

He also tends to ride boards small relative to his size. He has a narrow stance, watch him pumping down the line. Wide boards and narrow don’t fit. The board will also hold. The things aren’t sliding out. It’s not going to let go. He likes sensitive boards that you can push hard.

BeachGrit: What’s your design philosophy?

I don’t have some sentence written down, but if you look at my boards, they’re simple, they’re clean and I try to make ’em look pretty.

BeachGrit: What did you shape today?

Pyzel: I shaped a ten-five, four inches thick, a monster for a six-eight water polo playing guy. I just shaped a couple of six-o’s for Jack Freestone. I shaped a ten-o, an eight-six, two six os, I shape everything. And I just cut a new ten-five for John, another big Bay board.

No one should ever have to apologize for having a good time. The Globe crew having the best time!

Read: The 5 Greatest Surfer Apologies!

Apologies can be difficult to deliver but they soar like poetry when done right!

Oh we humans sure are error prone! Always just putting our foot right in it! I make enough mistakes for two people every day. Sometimes three! But it’s how we react when caught out in some mistake that defines us, no? A great apology makes up for a thousand sins. Let’s read some of the best mostly context free surfer apologies of all time!

Mick Fanning: Prior to the exchange with the reporter, I had refused to speak with him because I understood he worked for Stab magazine and that it had previously published articles which I believed were racist and anti-Semitic. I strongly object to views, statements and comments of that nature.

I acknowledge that my decision to use words that were inappropriate – albeit in an attempt to be ironic, knowing they were of the type favoured by the magazine – was misjudged and wrong. I don’t have or condone any form of racist or, more particularly, anti-Semitic view.

Wait. Is this an apology? No matter, I suppose. Bravo!

Noa Deane: I would like to apologise for my actions 2 nights ago at the surfer poll awards, it was incredibly stupid, what I said was not targeted at any of the surfers on tour and they are on there because they are the best surfers in the world I truly respect them and above all I’d like to apologise to the people of Hawaii and any kids watching. I’m meant to be a role model in surfing and my actions on the night were not appropriate and that was not the time or place to voice that opinion.

My only goal was to raise the point of surfing not becoming a corporate sport like football but I can see and acknowledge how I came across and I am sorry…. I’m truly humbled to receive the AI award someone who I looked up to as a kid and loved his surfing, and can’t believe that I over shadowed the honour of with my actions later in the evening.

Yes! full-throated and complete! Everyone included in the apology party! But also totally unnecessary. Fuck the WSL!

Jamie O’Brien: I shook hands, everything was cool, but he asked me to put my head down when I shook the hand, and I was disappointed with the, like, “Jamie O’Brien bowing down to me” thing. I went back and apologised and did the right thing, but hey, he did wrong too, I wasn’t the only one. I’m not an asshole and that’s not what I was pushing for. But it took off on social media.

Ricardo Dos Santos was a fighter and a stud. So is Jamie O and this apology sings!

Kelly Slater:




Remember this apology from the great Kelly Slater for stealing Adriano de Souza’s thunder by releasing footage of his magnificent wave pool not 10 hours after ADS won the crown? Adriano doesn’t remember it either!

Australia’s Surfing Life: At Surfing Life we absolutely abhor racism of any kind and actively work to eradicate it from our culture. In the same issue, we extended five pages of free advertorial space to a charity active in remote Indigenous communities and while our respect for Otis is primarily driven by his incredible talent as a surfer, we also admire the fact he is a role model for many Indigenous Australians. 

An apology plus advertorial! A gift that keeps on giving!

Mick Fanning: It’s always great being home, it was great to see everyone getting barrelled, everyone just sort of is laughing. Obviously the crowd can be a bit crazy, but apologise to anyone we burnt, but you know, when the waves are that good…

Wait. Is that an apology? No matter, I suppose. Poetry!

Just in: Volcom signs major superstar!

The Youth Against Establishment stay True to This!

Volcom, as you read right here just last month, has completely gutted its surf and snow programs. Decapitating all but a very few riders and most of the long time management team. Littering the earth with headless bodies. Cutting costs, theoretically. Improving the bottom line, maybe.

Oh sure the dearly departed (Alex Grey, Parker Coffin, Quincy Davis etc.) may not have sold the most boardshorts/swim gear ever but that’s not the fucking point!

The point, I think, is that the brands are built on the backs of those who actually do the thing. Those who live and die seasonal deaths. Kicking back down through the ranks was a way to honor that. And paying people to surf, snow, skate, especially no name kids, represented the essence of a derelict dream. Or it did to me.

Like a populist on his soapbox I railed against the Stone for this grave injustice. This cowardly hit. This destruction of, dare I utter the word, soul!

But, today, I have learned I was wrong!

It has been revealed that Volcom was simply saving pennies to sign a major superstar. A gal so stylish that the floor melts under her feet. A sweetheart who represents what we love to an absolute T. A shred of the highest order.

No it’s not Noa Deane!

Ladies and gentleman, may I present…

Georgia May Jagger!

The daughter of The Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger and his ex-wife supermodel Jerry Hall is herself a supermodel and now the face of Volcom. Let’s read from Vogue!

Georgia May Jagger might be the quintessential British cool girl, but her style isn’t solely restricted to modish dresses and Chelsea boots. As a newly appointed ambassador for Volcom, the model has found herself incorporating ski, skate, and surf apparel into her everyday wardrobe.

And with the brand’s launch of Simply Solid Swim, a sustainable swim collection that’s made with ECONYL, a fabric spun from recycled fishing nets, she’s working bathing suits into her look, too. “I was wearing the ECONYL swimsuit like a crop top the other day,” she says with a laugh.

Becoming the face of a swimsuit collection isn’t just about posing for the camera, though. After shooting the campaign with a group of Volcom surfers in Hawaii, Jagger was keen to try out the sport herself. With the help of Volcom surfer Coco Ho, Jagger set out on the beaches of San Clemente, California. “I was quite nervous!” Jagger says. “I can sort of barely walk down the beach without falling.” Sea legs not withstanding, it seems the model is something of a natural on the board. “I was quite surprised because I got up the first time. I was like, Oh, my God I’m surfing right now,” she says, laughing. “After that, I was quite addicted. They had to, like, drag me out.”

And I do apologize Volcom for I was very far out of line. Georgia May Jagger, from an iconic and powerful family, represents our passion, our esprit de corps. She is a youth against establishment.

She is true to this.

A lot of what was once considered good-natured fun is now considered criminal activity. Want to hide in the bushes and terrorize passing toddlers? Think again. You can still wring some joy from the holiday. The look of disappointment in a child's eyes as you hand it a single piece of the cheapest off-brand candy Walmart sells is a glorious sight to behold. But if you're looking to strike fear into the hearts of strangers you've gotta get creative. Spooky music and faux spider webs just won't cut it at 3PM. You can still wring some joy from the holiday. The look of disappointment in a child's eyes as you hand it a single piece of the cheapest off-brand candy Walmart sells is a glorious sight to behold. But if you're looking to strike fear into the hearts of strangers you've gotta get creative. Spooky music and faux spider webs just won't cut it at 3PM.

Parker: “How to Wring Joy From Halloween!”

The look of disappointment in a child's eyes is a sight to behold!

Happy Halloween! I guess, if you celebrate it.

Derek doesn’t, ‘cuz he’s Australian. (I think.)

Chas doesn’t. ‘Cuz he loves Christ and refuses to participate in anything that involves ghouls or ghosts or witches. It’s all black magic! (I assume.)

I don’t because the combination of alcohol and masked anonymity effectively turns off my self-restraint. Which is why I got the shit beat out of me the last time I observed the holiday. Swore off costumes and booze when I woke absolutely battered, pieced together the previous night, learned I totally deserved the thorough beating.

It was once my favorite night of the year. Begging for candy, committing acts of petty vandalism. A sort of pre-pubescent Purge. Yeah, one or two kids might get snatched and used to christen some deviant’s newly remodeled sex dungeon, but we were okay with that. We knew the risks.

Besides, Halloween sucks now. Gone are the days when unattended children roamed the darkness in unsupervised cabals.

It was once my favorite night of the year. Begging for candy, committing acts of petty vandalism. A sort of pre-pubescent Purge. Yeah, one or two kids might get snatched and used to christen some deviant’s newly remodeled sex dungeon, but we were okay with that. We knew the risks.

Now it’s nothing but well chaperoned daylight toddler walks. Safety minded parental approval. Fucking pathetic.

Do you know how hard it is to steal a bag of candy from a child when their parents are present? All adults look more or less the same to children. But dear Mom and Dad are fully capable of picking your ass out of a lineup.

My generation has turned into a bunch of sissy-pants helicopter parents, and they ain’t letting their spoiled crotch fruit out of sight. You’ve gotta be a real weirdo to take joy in costumed children. Halloween should be about experiencing dimly lit fear and danger while the grown-ups stay home and get wasted.

A lot of what was once considered good-natured fun is now considered criminal activity. Want to hide in the bushes and terrorize passing toddlers? Think again.

You can still wring some joy from the holiday. The look of disappointment in a child’s eyes as you hand it a single piece of the cheapest off-brand candy Walmart sells is a glorious sight to behold. But if you’re looking to strike fear into the hearts of strangers you’ve gotta get creative. Spooky music and faux spider webs just won’t cut it at 3PM.

Since kids are off-limits, you’re left to target the chaperons. Which is fairly easy with a little creativity. You don’t even need to bother decorating or donning a disguise.

“Oh my goodness! What a lovely costume! Aren’t you all adorable! I love Halloween. The terms of my probation state I can’t approach within 200 yards of a minor. But tonight they come to me!”

Heartless II: Fox axes Keanu “Rudy” Asing!

Like a horror serial!

Oh the damned surf industry apocalypse! Is there no power fierce enough to stand up to its ugliness? No hero bulletproof enough to send its projectiles to back from whence they came? Forcing the evil horsemen to train their yellow eyes upon another pursuit like parkour?

Of course you’ve followed along as Volcom gutted their team.

Volcom! Balding and driving an older model Lincoln Towncar!

The ripples flowed into each and every brand. Who’s next? Who the hell is next?

And the question was answered days ago.


The motorcycle brand was always a slightly ill fit in surfing but, let’s be honest, so welcomed! They built one of the greatest teams ever stocked with hard-working yet still stylish surfers. Salts of the earth. Surfers that the kids could actually look up to.

Surfers like Keanu Asing.

Oh the smallest frangipani absolutely blinded with pluck! Who could ever forget how he became champion of all of France just weeks ago? How he pulled focus from John John Florence and Gabi Medina and let the world imagine that all things are truly possible!

And all things are truly possible. Keanu Asing will most definitely land on his little hoofs somewhere. He’s a champ! But today Fox, bent by the surf industry apocalypse, disemboweled him anyhow.

Heartless! Absolutely heartless! Is anyone safe?

(Hint: NO! Not even surfing’s other Hobgood!)