Happy New Year’s everyone!

From your pals at BeachGrit!

What a year we’ve had! Some couldn’t wait for 2016 to end, citing political depression, a popular celebrity culling, war, famine, refugee crises, etc.

But at BeachGrit it was so wonderfully anti-depressive! What were some of your favorite moments?

When a boy got attacked while wearing a Sharkbanz bracelet?

Dane Reynolds telling The Inertia that it sux?

Cori Schumacher and Rory Parker’s thrilling chat?

Matt Warshaw’s inclusion into The New Yorker?

Kelly Slater singing like an angel?

WSL CEO Paul Speaker admitting that his activity of choice is skiing backwards?

The great Brad Gerlach diagraming the most secret turn in the world?

Advice on how to love a red haired surfer?

How Adriano de Souza almost single-handedly killed claims?

When WSL CEO Paul Speaker allegedly looked down at his phone and said, “That fucking BeachGrit…” ?

I could go on all morning and promise 2017 will bring even more joy.

Thanks for stopping by.


Mick Fanning
Mick Fanning is the zenith of professional surfing as expression of the surf-industrial complex. | Photo: @worldsurflols

The Top 20 Surfers in the World (Part two!)

What thread ties Dorian, Bede, Mick, Keala and Wilko together?

(Editor’s note: Do you remember, yesterday, when the writer Longtom announced the first five surfers in his Global Power Rankings, a list that includes the contest and non-contest surfer, guy and gal? Click to read.Here, part two, surfers ranked 14 to 10.)

14. Keala Kennelly

So, 2016, Year of Women’s Surfing. It wasn’t designated and far as I can see, absent a few remarks about Tyler Wright achieving prize money parity and a comment or two from Nick Carroll, it’s gone mostly unremarked. Seeds planted by Natasha Ziff in her backing of womens surfing have borne strange fruit, none more exotic or hard-core in the true sense than Keala Kennelly. The trend is both top down, with the prizemoney and new contests, and bottom up, with grass roots revolution in lineups world wide, particularly Australia and Hawaii. Girls are taking over. They’re not looking to a dead media fixated on old man tropes for inspiration. It’s big wave pioneers like Keala setting new limits. She didn’t win Jaws but opened the gambit and thus created history. Just like she has at Teahupoo.

13. Bede Durbidge

Thousands of words I’ve written on pro surfing and not one ever directed the way of Bede Durbidge. I found the White Fijian label trite and something about his stately three-quarter-speed power-surfing didn’t compel. Nothing trite about a comeback within a year from a smashed pelvis incurred by a vicious pile driving by a backless wedge into a lava spike. No shortcut available to circumvent the gruelling physical and psychological rehab. I have no idea whether Bede will be able to regain the looseness in the hinge to compete at the CT level again, which would make the injury a double tragedy because judges had  decided his brand of power surfing was state of the art just before the injury. The triumph is in the return, not the results.

12. Matt Wilkinson

It was devastating to see Fred Pawle malign Wilko after his Snapper win by referring to him as a yobbo, and an ugly one at that. Even worse, when our own beloved Chas Smith compounded the error by repeating it. Wilko is no yobbo. He’s a much higher and rarer species: the working class fruit. He’s a good animal, in the words of DH Lawrence, who knew a thing or two about working class fruits, who runs true to his instincts. At his best. At his worst, he becomes awfully repetitious, a victim not an engineer of a machine that demands it. Wilko’s peak this year was not the back-to-back victories to open the season and leave clean air between himself and the peloton, nor even the vicious backlash he oversaw against the injustice of the Pawle libel. It was his back to back demolitions in perfect six-to-eight-foot Cloudbreak of John Florence. He resurrected the now discarded Tom Carroll line: a straight-line-drop-to-fade, square-bottom-turn-and-tube- snap under the axe. Going in slow, coming out fast.

11. Shane Dorian

When ever I see moving images of  this stud side-slipping out of the lip of a forty-footer malignant with morning sickness and the light just over the mauka, or a fresh kill dripping blood over his camouflaged shoulders, or even with the unflattering hunch-back of a freshly inflated buoyancy wetsuit bobbing around insouciantly in a milky maelstrom I think of an interview Laird did with, what was it, Surfer’s Journal? Surfer? where he proclaimed the ascendancy of tow surfing and the absolute futility of trying to paddle in under your own steam into giant surf. It was sometime around the millenium wave if you’ll recall.

It was the end of history, tow surfing was the future and the now. Paddle-in was deady bones down in Davey Jones’ locker. The story of that reversal and the destruction of the machine by the human hand is the greatest story in surfing never told. Maybe the answer lies in some crumpled up draft of In God’s Hands now slowly rotting in landfill east of Burbank. Dorian changed the course of big wave surfing history. He gave it back it’s dignity and it’s purpose. Dorian = God. Allahu Akbar.

10. Mick Fanning

I surfed with Michael the other day. In really good overhead wedgey tubes. Great surf. It was awe inspiring. I observed him closely. He never fell. Once. He never flubbed a turn. Every part of his repertoire was on display. The fully torqued out top turn, the full-wrap-cutback-to-rebound, the high-speed-layback-fin-drift across the coping, the slight-hunchback pumping in the tube to make it from deep. I couldn’t discern any material difference between this free surf and a heat surfed at the highest level against the best in the world. It was awe inspiring, but not like seeing Niagra falls or some amazing natural event. It was awe inspiring like seeing some highly efficient technical Teutonic process. Like a Mercedes Benz factory pumping out new Mercs, each one perfect, each one repeatable, perfectly utilitarian. Mick Fanning is the zenith of professional surfing as expression of the surf-industrial complex.

Stab: “The boy jumped on the shark!”

Online retailer reacts to yesterday's shark attack by blaming the victim!

Yesterday, struggling online retailer Stab magazine responded to a shark attack in Florida by victim shaming and Shark-gate has officially broken wide open. In case you missed, young Zack Davis was surfing near Vero Beach whilst wearing a Sharkbanz shark deterrent bracelet that his mom gifted him for Christmas. It was the first time he had ever worn the device and also the first time he had ever been attacked.

Stab, which actively promotes Sharkbanz technology was widely expected to issue an apology but instead doubled down by crafting a story which asserts that young Zack Davis was, in fact, the aggressor in the situation. Let’s read!

According to CBS 12, Sharkbanz contacted Zack, telling him that he was the first person to be attacked whilst wearing the device. “I’m really relieved he is ok and he was super positive about his recovery,” Sharkbanz co-founder, Nathan Garrison, told CBS 12. “What happened here is essentially the rarest of shark encounters where Zack jumped off his board and pretty much landed on the shark. If anything it probably helped clear the shark out of the area quicker.”

Though, Zack says that’s not how it went down: “I know I didn’t land on the shark, because I would have felt that, but maybe I landed close to it and scared it.”

CBS 12 spoke with scientist Dr. Eric Stroud, who had this to say: “If the surfer did land on top of the shark or very close to it, the shark would have likely acted defensively to this. While accidental and certainly unlucky, this is essentially a provoked attack from the shark’s perspective. If the animal was cornered relative to the shore, the surfer’s body and physical contact occurred near the shark’s head, the shark acted as expected. In a provoked attack situation, shark repellents are no longer effective.”

And oooo-ee! A wild claim by Sharkbanz co-founder that Zack “jumped off his board and landed on the shark” and a scientist speaking to theoretical “man jumping on shark” situation sandwich poor Zack’s denial that this is what actually occurred.

Classic victim shaming where the incident becomes partially, if not fully, the victim’s fault.

Stab goes continues on to end their report with a back-pedaling…

The fact remains that these devices are not a guarantee against shark attacks. Nor are they marketed to be. When it comes to sharks, nothing is certain.

…even though just months before the tone could not have been more effusive.

No batteries, no charging, and an unnoticeable amount of extra weight. Plus, of course, the peace of mind that comes with reduced risk. Don’t sleep on this: It ain’t hard to foresee the first release selling out.
Buy here.

So, Stab, which is it? We would like answers. Did you order the Code Red… I mean, did you know that Sharkbanz technology was suspect and actively engage in pushing it on the youth anyhow at $180 – $250 a pop? I think we’re entitled to answers here.


Rory Parker North Shore

Rory’s Repeats: “Surf fights and me!”

What's better than a wipeout reel? Surf fights!

I’m not proud of it, but I was in more than my fair share of fights when I was younger. If you’d asked me then I’d have sworn they were all justified, but if I’m being honest it was really all because I had a chip on my shoulder and pubescent levels of testosterone coursing through my veins. And also because I was a greasy little punk and no women would have sex with me.

In the decade-and-a-half since I’ve only hit someone twice. The first time was an unfortunate mishap at a baby shower that I won’t delve into right now. The second involved me squaring off with the senior partner of my wife’s law firm in a Honolulu parking lot. I won that one, but the dude was in his sixties, so I feel like it deserves an asterisk.

On a related note, did you know you don’t have to hit an old man very hard to hurt him pretty badly?

While I’m not an advocate of using violence to solve problems, I do think that, sometimes, not often, you’re justified in delivery a stiff right to the center of someone’s big stupid mug. And I do enjoy watching other people fight, especially over surfing. It’s just such a stupid thing to come to blows over, watching two guys bash on each other over a totally inconsequential part of life puts a huge smile on my face.

El Porto is such a garbage spot. A shitty closeout 364 days a year, home to worst ten million freaks, boomers, egos, and assholes that LA has to offer. I just love how the guy throws his nice white …Lost on the ground before they go at it like two dudes who’ve watched a ton of UFC but never actually tried to translate their sweet mental karate into action.

Getting mad at a little kid is such wasted effort. The little shit can run his mouth at you, even take a swing at you, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Because, if you try, Richie Collins is gonna come flying out of nowhere and kick your ass!

I take back what I wrote earlier about surfing always being a stupid thing to fight over. It’s a little more nuanced than that. For instance, I feel like Nathan Fletcher’s reaction in this clip is totally reasonable.

Thank the good lord for giving everyone video cameras, otherwise I’d never have seen a guy come pretty close to drowning a dude while two foot mush crumbles softly in the background.

There’s a moment in here when he realizes, “Oh shit, I’m way too old for this to end well for me.”

Remember, keep your chin down and your hands up and, until next time, here’s an old man falling down an escalator.

Revealed: Stab has no shame!

The online magazine/retailer still claiming that Sharkbanz technology provides "peace of mind!"

As of this evening a poor mother in Florida is beside herself with grief. Weeping into an already soaked handkerchief. Hitting her armchair’s armrest while screaming. “Why me? Why? WHY?”

And what is leading to such grief? Such sadness on the day before New Year’s Eve?

She purchased for her beloved son a Christmas present, you see. A Sharkbanz bracelet promising to protect him from watery beasts. He had never worn one before but strapped in on, paddled out and ZAP! Attacked! Attacked just last evening!

What could have made her fall for such heartless pseudo-science?

Maybe Stab!

The online surf website/retailer/fin maker just months ago promised wonders from the Sharkbanz technology being employed by very expensive Modom leashes. The writer was uncontainable in his praise. Shall we read?

Risk reduction never looked so good.

If you’re a regular to Stab, you’ll be aware that for some time, we’ve been (highly) anticipating the release of Modom’s Shark Deterrent Leash, developed in partnership with Sharkbanz.
And now… it’s finally here.

Developed over 10 years by senior marine biologists and chemists, the leash creates an electromagnetic field around the surfer which is designed to irritate the shark’s electrical sense (without causing it or any nearby sealife any harm), reducing the risk of attack by sending curious sharks on their way.

No batteries, no charging, and an unnoticeable amount of extra weight. Plus, of course, the peace of mind that comes with reduced risk. Don’t sleep on this: It ain’t hard to foresee the first release selling out.
Buy here.

The “buy here” kicked to Papa Surfstitch who was selling the product at a whopping $180 – $250 a pop.

Oh I am not casting a stone. We all make mistakes due economic pressure. I once wrote a lengthy treatise suggesting that children smoking filterless cigarettes would cure juvenile asthma. The Corvette Stingray gifted to me by Big Tobacco had nothing to do with the piece but when my research was proven less than stellar I had it removed and apologized.

Yet Stab’s THE MODOM SHARK DETERRENT LEASH IS FINALLY HERE still lives. And still kicks to SurfStitch.

Shouldn’t it be replaced with a heartfelt apology? Shouldn’t SurfStitch be offering full refunds plus $250 dollar gift cards?

BeachGrit doesn’t believe in pushing pseudo-science but if we did this would be our policy.

The BeachGrit way!