Jon Pyzel John John Florence
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.

Now: Very Good Advice from Jon Pyzel!

Concerning the important matter of your next surfboard… 

Today is the birthday of Jon Pyzel, whom you now know as the stud who gives world champ John John Florence wings. 

Just as Matt Biolos has handled Kolohe Andino’s surfboard requirements for twenty years, Pyzel has been making John John’s boards since the kid was five.

With that sorta team rider, and his own skills in the green, you know Pyzel is probably worth listening to in the matter of surfboard design. I wanted to hear what sorta advice he has for an average-to-pretty good surfer who might be a little lost in the wilderness for boards.

This interview took place between Bondi Beach, Sydney, and Pyzel’s factory in Waialua on Oahu.

BeachGrit: What’s the absolute best advice you could give someone who might be little lost, a little stuck between boards?
Jon Pyzel: I’d say take a look at what you’ve been riding and make a departure from that towards something a little different, branch out. Wherever I am I notice what boards people are riding and I’ll see a guy just struggling to catch waves on some old high-performance shortboard and I always feel like I want to tell them that surfing could be so much more fun if they would just try something different, a little stubbier, more volume, flatter. I feel bad for those guys ’cause they are missing out and they don’t even know it.

What questions should a surfer ask his shaper?
The first and most important thing you should ask anyone willing to make you a good surfboard is “What kind of beer do you like”? Beyond that I’d say you shouldn’t have to ask much, but rather supply your shaper with information that can help him help you:
Your actual weight (not what you want to weigh, or what you are planning to weigh in a few months).
Your actual ability (no one wants to say they kind of suck, but if you make me think you rip I’m gonna make you a more refined board).
What type of waves you will be surfing this particular board in. Fat, slow waves require a completely different design than fast, hollow waves.
What characteristics you want the board to have (drive, speed, easy turning, hold, glide, snappiness). Shaping a surfboard is a balance of give and take that can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs.
And you wanna ask, “Do you take credit cards?” You know you want two boards and you probably don’t have the cash, so you’ll want to throw down the plastic.

How about this: I always think a stable platform and a flat entry rocker are essentials for the average guy. What are your thoughts?
I agree completely, but like I said before, I am shocked at how many average surfers try to ride boards designed for high-performance. The boards you are talking about do not necessarily limit performance if you can surf pretty good, and they will help get you surfing better by allowing you to catch more waves, and ride them with ease. If you surf well you can ride those type of boards pretty short and rip on them, but if you are less experienced you can go a bit longer, wider, thicker and it will be beneficial.

Speaking of that, as much as literage is important, the ease of riding a low-rockered board must play into the equation, I think. Do you?
”Literage” is something that people tend to give too much importance too when considering what they need in a surfboard. “I like 27.5 liters” doesn’t mean much unless I know what sort of design you are talking about. I will use that info to help decide how thick and wide your boards should be, but it’s not a magic number that you can use across the board when thinking about different designs. Low rockers are faster and often more stable, which plays well with a lower surfing ability or just shitty surf. I’d say you could go so far as to match rocker to ability (not accounting for wave type). Lower ability equals lower rocker, high ability equals high rocker.

Unless you’re a real odd body, are customs necessary any more?
I feel like you can get a really good board right off the rack and that a lot of people love being able to pick up a board and decide if it’s gonna be the one for them. You can go straight to the beach and get that instant gratification we all love. On the other side, I know that there is something really special about figuring out what you want, maybe talking it through with someone who knows about boards and putting in that custom order. You have to wait, usually just a little longer then we tell you, and you have that excitement of knowing someone is making exactly what you dreamed up! I know that I can grab boards straight off the the racks at our factory and love them but I would definitely be ordering customs if I didn’t make them for myself. I just love that wait, that time when you know someone is making you a new board. It’s better than Christmas for me.

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 stoked to be a part of that in other peoples’ lives.

How does age difference play into board design. A guy in his thirties has a different approach to a kid who’s fifteen. Given an equal ability and size, how would you make each guy’s board?
Probably has more to do with how often the guy is surfing than how old he is. A 15 year old is usually gonna get in the water more than a 30 year old, so he’s gonna need a little less board. It’s more about fitness and froth than it would be about age.

What has been the most profound thing you’ve learned about surfboards as a shaper?
This may sound cheesy, but I think 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.

(Now let’s watch Jon and John shaped together!)

Black Friday: Support our wonderful core!

Give consumerism a good name! Shop quality!

Consumerism gets a bad name because most people are bad consumers. Buying shit. Throwing it away. But buying things that sing? That matter? Well that’s a different story and if you follow my lead not only will you feel happy, you will look amazing. And WSL CEO Paul Speaker will be quaking in his tasseled loafers. The rarest win-win-win.

Rolling Death Maui

It is rare to find artists with such talent yet such feral wit and yet in surfing. And by rare I mean impossible. Do yourself a great favor and just peruse this Maui label’s pin stock. You will laugh. You will cry. You will believe in our future! I bought the ice shaka pin just minutes ago and will wear it to my future meeting with WSL CEO Paul Speaker (fingers crossed) to let him know that I’ve got friends in low places.


Dark Seas

Oh you’ve seen them dancing on our page for months now and should have stopped by. In case you haven’t, go today! I bought this jacket just minutes ago and will wear it to my future meeting with WSL CEO Paul Speaker (fingers crossed) to let him know that I’m a powder keg ready to blow!


Is there any brand more core than Herb and Dib’s baby? To that I say, “Ha!” And, “No, there isn’t.” I would have bought this tail patch just minutes ago but Herb and Dib are so core that they don’t sell online so later today I will go to my local surf shop (see bottom of page) and buy for my Mayhem surfboard. Maybe I’ll instagram a picture of it and @wslceopaulspeaker so he knows how core I am and feels bad about driving an eggshell white convertible Lexus.



Remember when Stance socks came around and everyone thought, “Oh hell! Why didn’t I think about making cool socks and also making millions of dollars?” Well, now you can think the same thing about towels! After board/trunk/wetsuit/wax nothing is as essential to the surf experience as the towel. And why not look gorgeous while deck changing? Why not shine? I bought this towel with artwork by Scott Chenoweth just minutes ago and will give it to my daughter but will borrow it for my future meeting with WSL CEO Paul Speaker (fingers crossed) and use it to gently wipe the nervous sweat from his brow.



What a brand! Started by surfers, for surfers, about surfers, with surfers, making surf things. I am going to buy this leash as soon as I make some more money and use it to keep my board attached to my leg after wipeout but also bring it to my future meeting with WSL CEO Paul Speaker (fingers crossed) and playfully whip his khaki pant’d bottom.



Futures Fins

Do you want to surf like John John? I do but also know that is a completely unattainable dream. But did you know something? Futures are made in America and they are better than FCS. They are better because they are owned by surfing men not some weird conglomerate. They are just better. And I am going to bring a set of Futures to my future meeting with WSL CEO Paul Speaker (fingers crossed) and shake them under his nose and say, “Let’s pretend you surf. Would you rather ride these or an alaia or some plastic junk from a weird conglomerate (FCS)?”



What Youth

It is the greatest magazine around. I am going to gift a subscription to… Oh never mind, WSL CEO Paul Speaker just wouldn’t understand but you would and should 100% get a subscription for yourself. It is absolutely gorgeous in every way, shape and form. The cover of the latest issue might be the most beautiful cover of all time.


Albee Layer 720
720 or 540? Which way do you swing? Or much ado about nothing?

Albee’s Backside 720 maths-plained!

Don't ever call it a 540, y'hear?

In the wake of Albee’s 720, the dead horses that are surfers have been beaten sufficiently when it comes to calling air rotations. However, somehow it is still flooding my newsfeed as a 540.  I’ve been saying it since the Slater 540 fiasco. To a skater or snowboarder it is simply baffling that Slater’s air wasn’t a clear 720.

(BeachGrit/Kelly called it an 810. Read that here.)

Stab went so far as censoring my definitive Slater 720 explanation because they vehemently disagreed. It’s like trying to explain color to a blind man. It’s like talking evolution with a bible-thumper. It’s impossible. And annoying. And fruitless. However, I am yet to hear any logical arguments from the other side.

Below is an excerpt from my aforementioned, unpublished Stab breakdown of Slater’s air. While tedious, this should help lift the surf blinders just long enough to let the photo breakdown of Albee’s air penetrate the rational corners of your brain:

In the age of cyber-virality, Slater’s air is already old news, having even made the embarrassing mainstream rounds (queue the kooks at TMZ). However, surf media outlets at first seemed unsure whether or not to call the maneuver a 540 or 720. Now that the dust has settled, it would seem that the consensus reached by the surfing masses is: 540. And that, my friends, is bullshit. 

 Lets begin with the straight air and work incrementally towards Slater’s pioneering rotation. A straight air, technically speaking, is a 180. While none of the three major board sports would call it a 180 (skateboard/snowboard on a halfpipe/quarterpipe), when you go up a transition forward facing and then come back down the same transition forward facing, some increment of 180 degree turns has to of taken place. For a straight air, the minimum rotation takes place. Therefore, it is a 180. 

Now lets move on to the air reverse. For the air reverse, you go up forward, land backwards and continue the rotation on the face/whitewater of the wave. The rotation in the air is therefore 180 degrees more than the previously mentioned straight air. 180 +180 = 360. While this is absolute common knowledge in skateboarding and snowboarding, for some reason this is the point at which surfing begins to get a bit muddled.  

Next, we have the full rotation. Before Slater’s Baleal blast, this was the pinnacle of non-alley-oop rotations (we will discuss the physics of Albee’s double alley-oop another time). If we follow the incremental pattern, the full rotation is 180 degrees more than the air reverse and is therefore a 540. The full rotation occurs in the air, opposed to the air reverse where the final 180 is spun on the face/whitewater. When you go up forward and then land forward on the same transition, it is always going to be a 180 + any increment of 360’s. The initial 180 is the rotation which has you positioned to come back down forward. The only way to continue spinning and still come down forward is to do one or more full 360’s. Therefore, here are the degree spins in which you go up a transition forward and land again on the same transition forward: 180, 540 (180+360), 900 (180+360+360 (remember Tony Hawk?)), 1260 (180+360+360+360) etc. 

We are now left with Slater’s self-proclaimed “aerial.” He goes up forward and lands backwards. As previously discussed, a 540 would always result in the rider landing forward again. What is it then? 540 + 180 = 720. It is that easy. 

Now, the only real possible doubt about the rotation is whether or not he launched EXACTLY forward and landed EXACTLY backwards. This, however, is trivial. In skating and snowboarding this is also the case, but does not change what the maneuver is called. If surfing/surfers have such a big problem with this, the pattern of giving rotations alternative names must then continue. 180 = straight air, 360 = air reverse, 540 = full rotation and 720 = ??? Until it is given a name, people need to immediately stop referring to Slater’s 720 as a 540. It is embarrassing to both surfing and board sports as a whole. 

Attached is a photo breakdown of Albee’s air, 180 degrees at a time. So easy, a dead-horse surfer can understand. Can someone please try and rebuke this? I am fascinated to see how you came to a 540. Cheers!


And watch again here!


Parker: “20 Reasons to be Thankful!”

Rory Parker gives thanks to "my big ol dick," "my whore of a wife", Dane Reynolds and more!

A million years ago a bunch of buckle wearing zealots fled Europe because their toxic take on Chiristianity was no longer welcome on the continent. They arrived in America, mooched a meal off the indigenous inhabitants, burned a few women at the stake. Other stuff happened.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m gonna eat a shit load of food to celebrate with a good friend who was kind enough to invite us into his home for the holiday.

Thanksgiving is, strangely, a day I actively try to be thankful for the wonderful life I live. I spend most of my time in a doom and gloom, everything-sucks, mindset. Nice to take a break for a minute.

Yesterday I was combing the island for disposable creme brulee tins. Three hours of searching, came up empty. Was getting pretty upset about it, mere moments away from cursing the heavens, when I got a nice little moment of clarity.  The lack of those little metallic cups was, literally, the worst problem in my life. Talk about totally lacking perspective.

Keeping that in mind, here are twenty things I’m thankful for:

Evening glass-offs

evening glass offs

Sticky Bumps tropical flavor


My ancestors were on the winning side of every massacre/genocide they were involved in.

Shaved vaginas

New surfboards

Free surfboard

My french bulldog, Mr Debs

Mason Ho

Futures fins (thanks for the box of gear, guys!)


Black truffle goat cheese

My whore of a wife



My big ol’ dick


Planned Parenthood

BeachGrit readers, even though I often hate you fuckers.

My ghetto bidet rig

The ocean. Just in general. Such a wonderfully near-magic pile of water.

Kona winds

Fluid 21st century gender roles

Strong coffee

Health insurance

Air rifle gun law loopholes

Dane Reynolds (I finally got around to watching Chapter 11)

Chapter 11 from Marine Layer on Vimeo.

John John Florence

Rare: John John Reality TV Show!

"John John is a mess and he's so gross!"

Ain’t it weird how the world works? A game of inches. Missing success or disaster with a single step.

How many times have you had a brush with death? How many missed opportunities keep you awake at night? If you’d made different choices, would your life be much different?

Would it be much better?

I had no idea that Alex Florence once tried to wrangle her kids onto a reality show. Called it My Three Sons. Kind of a weird move. That type of exposure ain’t great for a growing boy. Child stars traditionally face a pretty grim reality upon maturity. I imagine child reality stars would face similar. Probably worse.

I wonder how John John’s career would have proceeded, had Hollywood come knocking?

Fifteen years old, height of awkward, living in a small community where privacy is already scarce. Everyone knows everything, true secrets in short supply.

Florence was already a name at that point, but no more so than any highly hyped phenom.

“The next Slater” was being thrown around, but we’d heard that before.

He was the first to break the curse. Became a freak, already sure to be a legend.

Would everything have gone the same way had he suffered to see his every adolescent misstep documented?

Would he have been mocked by peers?

Teased and judged?

Would he have burnt out, picked up and addiction, dwindled away into another tale of wasted potential?

Would he still be the greatest surfer in the world, or just another sad reality show sidenote?

Thank the good lord jeebus we’ll never know.