Cold: Snowy Tubes Are Best!

What would it take for you to surf in sub-zero conditions?

What’s the coldest weather you’ve ever surfed in? Was it thirty, forty, fifty degrees Fahrenheit?

This particular session took place in sub-zero wind chill conditions. ‘Twas the morning after a fresh snow in New Jersey, and the system responsible for the pow left a few ripples in its wake. Post-storm offshores are a consistent meteorological pattern this time of year, making tube time a foregone conclusion. This is what New Jersey surfers live for.

East coast surfing is unique in its reliance on local storm systems. Waves come not from massive low-pressure systems in a far-away corner of the sea, but from the sideways gales of a coastal squall. Because the wave-inducing storms are so close to the receiving shoreline, swells are quite fickle, often coming and going in a few short hours. If you miss the window, you might be out of the water for another two weeks.

This means preparation and an undying commitment to forgo school, work, and familial duties. It’s not a great way to maintain relationships or a functioning bank account, but what are you gonna do? Not surf?

For guys like Sam Hammer and Rob Kelly that’s not an option.  They’ve constructed their lives in a way that caters to a swell’s unpredictability, and as a result they get more barreled than most. I won’t try to tell you that the waves in this clip are tremendous, nor that the surfing is a spectacle. But it’s an interesting piece that gives a little insight and a lot of credence towards their chosen lifestyle.

You don’t gotta love it, but you damn well better respect it.

Rip city: Japanese man makes adventure!

Have you ever been caught in a vicious rip current? Did you survive?

I’m still in Japan etc. Snowboarding. Pow. Turns. Miso. Edamame. Etc. but did you read the story about the Japanese man who is in Australia and drifted 6 kilometers out to sea whilst surfing Bulli Beach south of Sydney?

6 kilometers!

Let’s read about him!

He got into trouble in a current, tried to paddle back into shore, but the waves were too big, he told police.

“He was attempting to paddle back in for six hours before he ran out of energy and drifted at sea,” Inspector Darren Wood from the Marine Area Command of NSW Police said.

He spent the night clinging to his surfboard and it is estimated he spent about 16 hours in the water.

Luckily, the eagle-eyed crew of the 300-metre long container ship MSC Damla spotted the man on top of his yellow surfboard.

As he drifted alongside the ship, the crew threw him a life buoy, and were able to pull him aboard.

He was given food and drink and warm clothing, and the crew contacted authorities. A boat was sent out to the container ship to retrieve him.

He was taken to Wollongong Hospital where a doctor said he was in surprisingly good health with high spirits, and he was discharged Friday afternoon.

Police said there was no active search conducted for the man, as he was not reported missing.

The surfer told the police he had travelled to Australia a couple of times before.

“He appears to be travelling by himself, and that was why no-one was alerted to the fact that he was stuck in this rip and that he was out there,” Inspector Wood said.

And what a feel-good story!

Have you ever been caught in a really bad rip current? I was once in Oregon and had to cling to a rock whilst my Nev potato chip got ripped off my leg and probably went all the way to Japan.

Kalani Chapman wipeout
LIfeguards successfully perform CPR on Pipeline big-waver Kalani Chapman after a wipeout at Da Hui Backdoor Shootout.

Kalani Chapman Almost Dies at Pipe!

Big-waver found unconscious, no pulse, after wipeout… 

It’s a sobering sight to see lifeguards surround a lifeless soul on the beach as they take turns pumping his chest, desperate to kick-start a dead heart.

Yesterday afternoon, in the final heat of the day’s Da Hui Backdoor Shootout, Kalani Chapman rode a Second Reef Pipe wave to the Ehukai sandbar where he wiped out in the tube. He didn’t come up.

Competitors Seth Moniz and Nathan Florence saw Kalani’s tombstoning board and pulled him to the surface with his leash. Unconscious, Kalani was dragged onto the surf patrol’s sled and taken to the beach where CPR was successfully performed.

Kalani, who is thirty four years old and the half-brother of another Pipeline charger Shawn Briley and nephew of North Shore icon Owl Chapman, was one of  handful of angels who rescued Evan Geiselman when he was knocked unconscious at Pipe last year.

You can see Kalani’s rescue, below, at the fifty-second mark. Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

Eureka: Introducing our new star!

The contest to Be Our Next Rory Parker ends with a bang!

Three-ish weeks ago Rory Parker left the building and maybe broke some hearts on his way out the door. He didn’t break my heart. I didn’t care and was also glad to be done with his limp whinging, his overcooked noodle of a bad attitude. In my eyes the Rory Parker Method was summed up, quite neatly, by his ham-fisted hatred of children.

Easy targets with no way to punch back.

Anyhow, it excited me to get on with it. Was there another voice out there waiting to be heard? An undiscovered star who simply needed a stage?

And of course there was! As fate would have it an eleven-year-old girl smashed any piece of writing that has ever been on our beloved BeachGrit!

Sabre Norris!

Oh did you read her work today? It is splendid in almost every way from rhythm to timing to content to delivery to voice to style to honesty to lack of pretension. It was glorious to read, funny, informative and… well… fun!

The perfect blend!

I read it just minutes ago (in Japan, snowboarding etc.) over the great Travis Rice’s shoulder. He had to turn around four times, four, and say, “She wrote this?” I smiled and nodded yes.

Sabre… you’ve got a very bright future no matter what you choose to do. A Matt Biolos surfboard (trust me… you’ll love even if you have a board sponsor already). And a spot on BeachGrit whenever you’ve got something to say.

I would write “You win!”

… except we are actually the winners.

FORMER Releases Cryptic Insta Account

What's going on here....

Three years ago Dane Reynolds made an Instagram account because of Cam Richards. Three hours ago Former made an Instagram account, Luxurious29.99, because business needed to be handled once more.

And the content? Strange, cryptic, very What-Youthy.

Here are a couple examples of their caption-less “art”.

T-shirt graphics or Michael Jackson’s over-zoomed eyebrows? Who knows!

Do I like it, aesthetically? Not really. Does it tell us anything? Nup. Am I missing something? Probably.

Then again art has never been my thing, the modern variety in particular. But even outside of personal preference, I just don’t understand the point of this release. In theory multiple functioning minds approved this plan, meaning that there should be some sort of big idea behind it. But when I see the Instagram all I can think is that they’re attempting to be enigmatic and cool, a pursuit which ultimately lends itself to the contrary.

The only bit of info I can haphazardly infer is that they’ll be selling “luxurious” somethings (probably shirts) for $29.99 a pop. To which I ask: USD or AUD? The answer to this query could make or break their entire scheme.

Hey that reminds me… Derek did you mean 150 Australian or American peanuts for the month?