Question: Where do the ultra-rich surf?

The great Jamie Brisick explores!

Today Donald J. Trump is being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America and I only mention because he is very rich. If he surfed where would he go? How would he go? Would he buy property at The Ranch? Jump off a yacht? Go the the Four Seasons Maldives?

So many options! Thankfully the great Jamie Brisick explores some of them in today’s Wall Street Journal. I don’t mention Mr. Brisick here nearly as much as I should. He is one of the few surf voices that matter. An artist. And I will mention him more moving forward.

In any case, let’s read the beginning of his Journal piece. It is helpful and good.

AS I CLIMBED out of the bathtub-warm Indian Ocean and onto the deck of a motorboat, one man grabbed my surfboard, another handed me a bottle of chilled water and a third doused me in fresh water then handed me a fluffy white towel. Before I finished drying off, a fourth man offered me a plate of sliced cold coconut. I felt like a cross between a prizefighter in his corner and a starlet between takes on a film.

The Four Seasons Maldives.

It wasn’t always like this. As a lifelong surf traveler and a professional surfer from 1986 to 1991, I’ve spent untold hours sleeping on couches, dining at 7-Elevens and getting stuck on potholed dirt roads in poor countries. That was par for the course—surf trips meant roughing it. But evidence is mounting that surfing’s demographics have shifted. Shiny new Audis and Range Rovers have replaced the rusty pickups and vans that once filled the parking lots at popular breaks in San Diego and Montauk, N.Y. An investment banker friend recently referred to the “Wall Street surf season” without irony (meaning spring days when, thanks to daylight savings, stockbrokers can race to the surf before nightfall). There is a Middle Eastern prince who can tell you which Oahu North Shore spot to hit at high tide when a 6-foot swell rolls in from the west.

“About 10 years ago the market started shifting,” said Ross Phillips, founder of Tropicsurf, a surf outfitter that runs bespoke tours in the Maldives, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji and other countries. “A good portion of our clients were baby boomers who’d been in the office for 20 years and come back to surfing through the popularity of longboarding,” he said, referring to the larger, more stable surfboards. “At the end of our surf trips I’d ask ‘How can we improve our service?’ They’d say ‘air conditioning’ or ‘fillet steak instead of rice and curry every night.’ There was this call to make the quality of the trip better.”

Finish here!

Come hither or go thither?
Come hither or go thither?

The Inertia: “Female surfers dangerous!”

Alt-right mountain blog singles out half of the population!

Venice-adjacent’s alt-right The Inertia has been accused of overt racism many times but today they went after women too. The sometime surf website reported just hours ago:

Turns out the vibes were not all aloha at Lunada Bay during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day protest meant to end localism at the righthand point. A female surfer believed to be a Palos Verdes local was apparently dropping in and attempting to run visiting surfers into rocks, according to video footage obtained by The Inertia.

Two women repeatedly perpetrated these aggressive shenanigans, according to Victor Otten, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the federal class action lawsuit against the Bay Boys. Otten was not at the event, but speaks on behalf of his clients.

“A female surfer attempted to spear my client Ken Claypool in the face with her surfboard,” Otten said in an email. “There was also another local girl in the water intentionally dropping in on visiting surfers attempting to drive them into the rocks. As the link to the video shows, these two women spent the day harassing visiting surfers and intentionally putting them in danger.”

A female surfer? Attempting to run visiting surfers into the rocks? Aggressive shenanigans? Face spearing?

For shame The Inertia! For shame singling out women surfers as perpetrators of lineup violence! Watch the video for yourself and gauge if there was purposeful rock pushing and face spearing by the fairer sex in video footage obtained by The Inertia (below).

For shame!

Kelly Slater certainly doesn't need a surf journal. His mind is a steel trap.
Kelly Slater certainly doesn't need a surf journal. His mind is a steel trap.

Question: Are you a scientific surfer?

Lewis Samuels' wonderful surf journal is put on display!

And I am finally just home from Japan. Tokyo. Shabu shabu. Kawaii. Pow. Etc. My brain is wrapped in a blanket stitched of lag. It feels as if I’m swimming through the world very slowly. Stuck in deep molasses. Maybe a ponzu reduction.

In any case, this general malaise found me scrolling through Instagram very early in the morning and do you know what I saw? Do you know what impressed me greatly?

The great Lewis Samuels’ surf log!

Just look at it! Look at it in all of its glory.

He writes:

My surf journal from January 1992 – twenty five years ago. Includes earnest statements such as “2-3′ EPIC tubes” and “caught as many lefts today as @natemccarthy”

If you zoom in you can make out some phrases like:

January 8th: Go wide in tube as strong watches, then speed then second section…


January 9th: A pristine day of surfing…

And it impressed me greatly because of the seriousness with which surfing is taken. It is no frivolous pursuit. It is a science, here. A series of noted experiments. And it made me think of how much better at surfing Lewis is than me and also make me wonder if what separates us is this level of exactitude.

My memory being bad and such, every time I go surfing it is like the first time. My body retains enough memory for me not to look overtly foolish (I hope anyhow) but my mind is a blank and shallow landscape. An empty pool. Thus progression stalls. I have fun but the same sort of fun every time I surf (I think anyhow).

How do you approach your surfing? With the eye of a surgeon or the eye of an drunk?

Should we all keep surf journals and see if we can improve our skill?

Will Mick Fanning Retire?

Taylor Paul seeks a finite answer from the 3x champ!

Ever since Fanning’s fateful 2015, the surfing public has been left to wonder about the path of Mick’s professional career. Will he fuck off and travel the world, trading beers and tubes across the five oceans and seven seas, or will Lightning strike a fourth time?

Mick has relentlessly shirked this question for the past year and for good reason — he’s not sure himself. Well, at least he wasn’t at the time. But according to this wonderful article by ex-Surfing-editor Taylor Paul, Mick should have made up his mind by now! Here’s a snippet:

Right now, I’m interviewing Mick in our hotel, and he’s giving me the answers you’ve read above. He’s thoughtful and well-spoken in his responses, the consummate professional until — ping! — his phone announces a text message after I ask him whether he’s accomplished everything he wants to in surfing. He pulls out his phone to silence it, but looks at the screen first.

“It’s John,” he says. As in, recently-crowned world champ John John Florence. “I texted him yesterday and he just wrote me back.”

“What’d he say?” I ask.

“Umm…” Mick swipes his finger across the screen and reads quickly, almost bashful, “He said, ‘Thanks for the text. I’m so stoked. Couldn’t be happier. Thanks for inspiring me. I’ve learned a lot from watching you and can’t wait to learn more. Hope you’re scoring waves and enjoying the year.’”

“That’s awesome,” I say.

“Um…yeah…” Mick’s looking down, his wheels are turning. I don’t know what he’s thinking, but I know what I’m thinking — I wonder if John would have won if Mick had been there. After a few moments, he looks up at me, “What were we talking about again?”

Tonight we’ll see The Lumineers in concert. Tomorrow we’ll leave. Mick will go to London for a few days to rendezvous with Parko, Alain Riou and Ben Howard. Then he’ll go to Amsterdam for a week. By himself. He’ll work on a book project, he’ll wander the city, he’ll be invisible. Then he will go to Norway to surf beneath the northern lights. Two weeks later, I’ll bump into him in the Dubai airport on his way home, the place where he’s going to “sit with it” and make the right decision. He’s pale and unshaven. He buys me a coffee and we talk for while. He doesn’t mention the tour and I don’t ask. He just wants to know how I’m doing.

You can read it all here.

Soooo that was like three months ago. Which means Mick should probably have an answer by now, right?

Whilst we await his final decision, why don’t you take a few minutes to watch Mick’s triumphant return to his Irish homeland. It’s got good surfing, cinematography, insight, etc.

Noa Deane does a frontside air in Mex
Guns? Aren't they part of the Great American Dream too? Of course, says Noa Deane. "I like the away they look, though not the fact they can kill," says Noa. "It's a powerful fucking thing in your hands. It's a weird feeling. You've got a gun with a bullet that can kill someone. Is it sexy? Yeah." | Photo: Morgan Maassen

Noa Deane: “Is Derek Rielly a pussy?”

The beautiful honesty of Coolangatta grip mogul and gibber Noa Deane.

It is in my experience that a man with no vices has few virtues” – A Dead President

Lest I should have to remind you, this is BeachGrit. A place to loiter and talk shit about surfing. Call it “Ultra Hard Surf Candy”, say it’s “Anti Depressive”, but know that you are not alone for your obsession with waves and the words written about them. You’re not crazy even if explaining your love for this website strikes others as queer. Remind them that we are BeachGrit and we are proudly libertine.

We all keep coming back showering Chas and Derek with our clicks because all other surf journalists (except you Sabre Norris!) don’t quite scratch the itch. BeachGrit is the only place where our convoluted world revolving around surfing makes sense. It has become in a weird way, a home for me.

I’ve written some pieces that I’m proud of here.

And here. 



Here too! 

Despite the negativity that I’ve spawned in the comment section, I’ve taken the hits and kept coming back. Because this is BeachGrit, we air our grievances publicly. Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes we lose Rory, but it wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t.

Today, I’m gonna attack Michael Ciaremella’s story on Noa Deane, a kid whose family helped me through the darkest time in my life.

If you didn’t catch it, the paragraph that threw me was this:

“It will be interesting to what comes of Noa, who is dripping with talent but has an apparent proclivity for substance abuse. We’ve seen what happened to Andy, to Bruce, and to tens of other world class surfers who were all but destroyed by their taste for the hooch or the crack or the smack”.

When I confronted Michael about this, he said by “substance abuse”, he meant alcohol and the “or” between vices was to infer that it could be any of those three things. I thought his words were built on whispers and not true.

Last I checked, Michael has never spent any time with Noa and to say that he has a substance abuse problem is to judge him for that one time he said “Fuck The WSL” at Surfer Poll awards or because he didn’t want to do that lame story idea for Stab.

Noa has slowed his roll when it comes to partying. At the Cluster premier, a red-carpet event held in the Ace theater, Noa who went with his proud father, Wayne, and spent the night sober so that he could soak it all in. His life had been a blur of surf trips and he wanted to remember it all.

Just because the guy enjoys a VB, a quarter-pounder with cheese and a cigarettepreferably in the same sitting, doesn’t mean he deserves to be vilified as a train wreck. A five hundred k contract with Volcom suggests something is working.

Yeah, he would surf better if he ate healthy, and he didn’t smoke or drink, but you could level the same charge at Dane Reynolds. And, last I checked, he was still free surfing’s king. If you think Noa’s personality is a contrived marketing technique, you’re wrong.

I called Noa to apologise for the story.

He said: “Stopped giving a fuck what was written about me a long time ago.”

I told him Derek was going to change the story from substance abuse to booze in order for people not to misinterpret that he wasn’t a crack-head or a junkie.

He said: “Isn’t Derek edgy? Why is he changing it… hahah… that’s pussy.

Aren’t characters like Noa exactly what surfing needs?

Don’t we want more people who aren’t afraid to be ’emselves and don’t treat riding waves like a sport to be taken one heat at a time but as an artful self expression to be done only at full speed?

Don’t we?

Or am I wrong?