Ahhhhhhh I'll miss Rory Parker. This photo is testament to his high water mark on our little site. Can you heal my heart? Can you make me smile again?

Contest: Be our next Rory Parker!

The noted Rory Parker has left the building. Do you have what it takes to replace him?

Do you dream of standing on a soapbox and shouting whatever you feel at the surf world?

Of being a lovable curmudgeon?

Of getting paid to fly to the North Shore and not hanging out with professional surfers or in the surf houses?

Well then you could be our new/next Rory Parker!

Our old Rory Parker has just broken up with us. I won’t go into detail as to why (hopefully the boy will come back for a last encore and explain himself) except to say that the surf journalism biz is a tough one. It takes a hide thicker than a Miura bull to stick around. Have you ever actually looked at Nick Carroll? At Matt Warshaw? At Derek Rielly? At me? That ain’t sun damage, baby. Those are callouses, scars and dried spittle!

But don’t let me discourage you! No profession is more esteemed, more noble. And to be buried underneath a tombstone reading SURF JOURNALIST 1976 – 2043 is the greatest pleasure a man can know.

And while the tears staining Derek’s and my cheeks re. old Rory have not yet dried our pain is your gain.

So.

We are looking for a new voice, a fresh point of view. Someone fun? Funny? Connected? Hungry? Oh it could be anything! The only prerequisite is to be 63% anti-depressive.

If you think you’ve got what it takes email a 300-ish word riff on mmmmmm the best thing in surf to [email protected] before New Year’s day. The top three will get posted and the people will decide.

What do you get?

The chance to be surf famous of course which is ! But also maybe a paycheck in a few months (we’re sooo close to profitability!) and a Matt Biolos surfboard.

Come write for BeachGrit! It’s freer than the WSL™!


Mr Speaker, you chose....poorly.

Just in: WSL copies wrong league!

Noa Deane was right all those years ago! Fuck the WSL!

Oh yesterday I was just so ticked. So peeved. So… angry with the World Surf League! Do you recall? You can click here if you care to relive the madness but, in a nutshell, I congratulated Jamie Mitchell on Instagram for winning the Nazare event and the bastards at the WSL ripped it down, busting me for “copyright infringement” in under an hour.

And I burned. Professional surfing needs all the help it can get. All the eyeballs it can pull. And you would think CEO Paul Speaker and co. would understand that.

But no. The bastards are spending their energies bullying li’l old me instead. Making sure that my congrats to Jamie Mitchell go unrequited.

So I wrote a story in response telling Paul Speaker to go and fuck himself. Or maybe fuck off. Or something with fuck.

Wally, in the comments, added this helpful nugget:

The videos are encrypted and copyright is managed by an outside company. Same set-up as the UFC and I guess most large sporting bodies.

And I don’t doubt that for a minute. But, still, same diff a far as I’m concerned. The UFC has billions of viewers already. They are allowed to control their media with an iron fist if they so desire.

Bruddah added:

Speaker’s bringing the shitty NFL-mentality on social media to this “league”. They really should model it after the NBA’s approach… “Adam Silver realized early on that people would tape things off the TV set and upload it to YouTube,” says David Levy, president of Turner, which airs NBA games and comanages NBA.com for the league. “He understood Instagram. He understood Snapchat. He gets the fact that fans are fans, and you need to fish where the fish are.”

Data backs up that instinct. “It’s almost like a free commercial,” Gilbert says. “To me, it’s all great for the league, enhances the league, promotes the league, and I think the NBA has got it right on.”

And provided a link to this story in Wired magazine titled: Techies are trying to turn the NBA into the world’s biggest sports league.

I found it so very fascinating! Thanks Bruddah!

In short, the NBA doesn’t act Speaker-esque when it comes to their content. Shall we read a small nugget?

More than that, these tech-enabled owners have helped turn the NBA into North America’s most forward-thinking sports league. Other leagues struggle with aging fans and restrictive views on intellectual property; the NBA has the youngest TV audience of any US league and lets its content flow through the wilds of the Internet. While the other US leagues struggle to build international interest in their games, the NBA has leveraged social media and new technology to build a huge global following. If the league has its way, the Golden State Warriors’ three-point-shooting machine Stephen Curry won’t be merely an ambassador for America’s most exportable sport. He’ll be the biggest star of the biggest league on the planet.

And it is true! Kids want to be like NBAers. They want NBA shoes, bags, gear and it is because the NBA fosters great personalities, doesn’t clamp down on fun and let’s the videos actually go viral, spreading into young hearts and minds like a wicked disease.

The NFL? I was hosting a failed TV shoot once and was told I couldn’t interview anyone with football team fan gear on because the NFL is so sue happy. They protect their copyright like a vicious drunken husband.

That is Paul Speaker’s home. That is where he came from. That vicious drunk his dad.

But did you know that the NFL is fading for the first time in years? Revenues down, participation down, viewership down, interest down. Down down down down and I would imagine, in part, because its commissioner is a Nazi.

Back to the NBA, I had the great pleasure of meeting its commissioner once, Adam Silver. He was smart, funny, easy going, not at all vicious and above all had vision. His ideas for where he wanted to take the league and what he enjoyed about it were very refreshing. He liked the personalities and he knew they would carry the game.

That’s what professional surfing needs. That’s what we don’t have and it ain’t that hard. The NBA is writing the book. All the WSL has to do is crib.

Paul Speaker should go and fuck himself. Or fuck off. Or something with fuck.


Chris Ward and the best wrap in surf!

A move so good you'll want to emulate!

I never hide my love for the wrap-around cutback in our dear surf. The move is both smooth and fierce, functional and stylish, simple yet takes many lifetimes to master.

Who has had the in surf history do you think? Andy Irons? Tom Curren? The Duke?

Maybe Chris Ward?

Examine his repertoire in this clip by Strictly Surf. He uses his wrap to slow down, to speed up, to cut ‘tween people, to wow!

I think his could be considered one of the best in surf history. But what about you? What do you think?


Is Dibi's posit that FCS copied Astrodeck's pads simply the ravings of a woman gone mad with paranoia? Or can you see a little something of the original in Julian's FCS pads?

Astrodeck: “FCS Copied Our Pads!”

It's a traction pad blood feud!

Do you follow Julian Wilson on Instagram? It’s a very good account with six-hundred-and-sixty-thousand followers and features giveaways, surfing clips and personal moments with his fianceé, the model Ashley Osborne. Controversy is something the impeccable Mr Wilson never seeks.

Recently, however, a post that featured three surfboards equipped with FCS fins and traction drew the wrath of the Astrodeck matriarch, the wonderful Dibi Fletcher. 

Glad @fcs_surf knocked off my pads good enough that you’re satisfied, noticed your results seemed a bit better on Astrodeck, but what do I know???

@badboyryry_ stepped into pit lane today. My wheels of choice thanks to @fcs_surf

A photo posted by Julian Wilson (@julian_wilson) on

It reminded me of the conversation I had with Dibi one month ago when I called to talk about Kolohe Andino and John John Florence paying ten-dollars apiece for their signature pads. Dibi, who is almost seventy years old, wouldn’t comment about the arrangement except to say she’d known ’em “since they were kids.”

Making money, of course, isn’t exactly what the pioneering deck grip company is famous for. Good grips, sure. Profitability?

“If I was making money do you think I’d be sitting at this fucking desk?” said Dibi. “You think at my age I’d be out the back shipping pads? The reality is, it’s a very small, niche market. But I still feel that I make the best pads. I have the best surfers in the most critical positions. That’s what I’m interested in doing. Making the best pads. Everyone in my family surfs. Unlike most of the other pad companies, do you understand, they’ve got people in cubicles making different coloured pads. They knock me off. I don’t care about. I don’t give a shit!”

Dibi added, “That’s my story, honey, here I am! I make the best pads in the world, we’re the original pad maker (since 1976), we’ll always have market share as long as I stay authentic. Companies went too big, they have to make their quarterly earnings. If you want big, you have to go and push your brand all over the place. Pretty soon you have no story left because you whitewashed it to death to get your corporate earnings.”

The Astrodeck office, which is the best place to find Dibi, was shut when I saw the Julian Wilson post. Instead, I got on Instagram (@dibifletcher) and asked her to comment.

“Hahaha, pretty old news. Julian rode my pads and obviously loved them,” wrote Dibi. “His Brother Bart called to see if he could get some pads for the ‘last time’? And said while picking them up ‘got to get these because FCS hasn’t knocked you off completely yet.’ Really??? Gotta love intended honesty.”

I also asked for her comment now that John John had been officially signed to Dakine to develop “a signature series of surf leashes, traction pads and a travel board bag.” Would the Astrodeck John John pad be pulped? Dramatically reduced in price? And Kolohe, will he still be buying your pads?

“I don’t know anything about JJ and Dakine, what do you know? Kolohe loves his pad and I adore seeing Dino when he comes to pick them up. Astrodeck will always be the best traction and we’ll survive/thrive, whatever surfers decide, for their best interest, to go to other companies. I wish them all the well.”

May I ask, does it thrill you when your pads are copied or does it make you sad?

“What do you think?”

Thrilled?

 


How boozed y'think Michel Bourez got post Pipe Masters?

Watch: #TourNotes does Pipe Masters!

Come watch the season finale! It's feel-good!

I’ll be the first to admit I love the cheap immediacy of #TourNotes, forgiving whatever technical flaws it might have. Gimme candour, a moment, a window into a life over the tedium of slow-motion RED footage any day.

Yeah, I know, it ain’t quite the same since it became a WSL-branded item. Maybe Peter King lost a little interest in the game. If he has, who can blame him? It ain’t easy to make a living sticking your iPhone into pro surfers’ faces, in which case the decline is forgivable.

Or has there been a deliberate change in the narrative arc from doing laughs to doing inspiration?

From the WSL:

Join us as we jump through a few Pipeline yard parties to celebrate the feel-good moments from the final event of the 2016 Championship Tour.

In this episode, which mostly follows Zeke Lau on the finals day at Pipe, we see Zeke’s happiness at qualifying for the WCT (“I’m going to buy Kanoa a kimono,” he says, cleverly evoking the little man’s Japanese heritage), there’s a small window where Michel Bourez has won the Pipe Masters, he’s walked back to his beachfront rental, beer is poured over his head and we get…what do we get? Michel looks into the camera and says his wife will kill him if he doesn’t get back to Tahiti soon.

No party? No boozy Michel? No midnight jiujitsu?

Oh Peter what have you done to #TourNotes?

Watch it here.