Unrelated to the piece but how amazing does Jordy look here?
Unrelated to the piece but how amazing does Jordy look here?

Hearsay: WSL to cut tour events!

Two whole events to maybe hit floor along with some surfers!

Nick Carroll is a great pleasure to read. Oh of course his comments here sparkle but I forgot what the man can do longer form. His connected insider knowledge mingling with a wry “but-none-of-this-really-matters…” wink is exactly right. I daresay it is the near perfect for surf journalism.

Speaking of surf journalists who is your favorite? Who writes the best straight reportage in the space?

I used to think that anyone could do it and do it well, if this emptiness is really what they wanted for their lives, but have been around long enough to see embarrassing failures. Men who so obviously wanted to be loved, respected and included in the club but failed to garner even a passing glance much less an invitation. Like… the ex-ASL editor Wayne Garvey or… that one guy who wrote for Water.

But back to Nick. My goodness gracious. He has quite basically crafted the game in his image and today’s piece in CoastalWatch is brimming with information but the bit that thrilled me most was this…

One source spelled it out pretty clearly. “I think you can expect some real reductions on the CT next year (in 2018). It’s funny, because surfing itself is growing right now, but (pro) surfing might actually be gonna shrink.”

The source foreshadowed a move to a reduced CT event list of perhaps eight events, with a reduced surfer roster and a two-day format, tuned to social media rather than onsite crowds. “No more big crowd events. Maybe Bells will make it as a legacy event, but others, Rio, maybe the Hurley Pro, will go.”

You might expect the surfers to kick back at a reduction in CT numbers. But what are their options? They don’t own this show any more. Only one surfer sits on the WSL board, and only one surf industry rep, Pat O’Connell. The need to cut back won’t be coming as a surprise to them.

And if this is true then we all might have two victories in one year! First, Paul Speaker gets rode out on a rail and now this! Events that actually finish in one swell window! Can your mind even fathom?

In truth, I have no idea why this didn’t happen during the ASP to WSL rebrand but if it is indeed happening now it is a good thing. A great thing even.

Also, which events would you cut off tour if you had the keys?

Kenny Powers Surfing

Technique Critique: Average Joe Edition!

Want your surfing to be a joy not an exercise in frustration? Finesse your technique!

I spent ten hours at the beach today. A Minnesotan’s dream, my worst nightmare. But after watching a full day of amateur collegiate surfing, I feel primed and ready to deliver another installment of technique critiques. The average joe edition!

Disclaimer: this is more of a how-to-easily-improve-your-surfing than a technique critique. It’s based on those faux pas I witnessed today and throughout my lifetime of surfing spectatorship. 


The most basic, brainless aspect of surfing. At least that’s what most amateurs seem to think. In reality, paddling makes all the difference in the world. A strong paddler will improve his surfing twice as fast as a lame duck because of wave count and positioning. 

The first concept is simple. If you paddle faster and more efficiently, you’ll catch more waves. If you catch more waves, you’ll get more opportunity to practice and thus improve more quickly than those around you.  

Paddling to position yourself is one of the most crucial skills in the game. It involves a combination of wave reading, timing, and paddle strength, but if done correctly you will maximize the potential of every wave caught. The key is to position yourself to gain as much speed as possible on the takeoff, while setting yourself up to utilize that speed on the first section. 

Most amateurs don’t know how to get up and boogie. The main reason comes down to foot placement. We all want to rip one off the top and let the fins breathe, and that happens from standing on the kick. But guess what you need in order to perform the vicious lip kick? Speed. And from where do you most efficiently gain this momentum? The center of the board. 

Some basics techniques to improve your paddling include: keeping your head still (this will stop you from “yawing”, when the board shimmies side to side underneath you thus slowing forward momentum), positioning yourself in a way to paddle minimally (sit under an approaching swell and wait for it to reach you, don’t paddle out to it) and making the last three strokes your strongest (acceleration during takeoff facilitates the pop-up and makes skirting past the first section a breeze).


Most amateurs don’t know how to get up and boogie. The main reason comes down to foot placement. We all want to rip one off the top and let the fins breathe, and that happens from standing on the kick. But guess what you need in order to perform the vicious lip kick? Speed. And from where do you most efficiently gain this momentum? The center of the board. 

Surfboards are designed with flipped noses and tails so that you can perform maneuvers without sliding out or nosediving. If you remain planted on the tail when trying to pump, you’ll naturally plow (push water) and lose potential speed. However, if you shift both feet forward (back foot just in front of the pad, front foot just past the midpoint of the board), your sled will plane through flat spots and allow you to maximize speed heading into a section. The downside is that the footwork (getting your feet back to the sweet-spot just before you perform a turn) can be tricky to dial, but with enough practice it becomes second nature. 

Backside lipper

Pick a spot and commit. Once you’ve decided to hit the section, drive hard off the bottom and point eyes and arms toward the trough of the wave. You won’t be able to see any thing, but you don’t need to.  When you feel like your nose is about to pierce the lip, kick back on the tailpad and jam the front foot down simultaneously. This will allow for the Wilko-whipping sensation, providing spray and slide aplenty. But the main thing is trusting your initial instinct and blindly attacking the lip. 


Don’t. Kick. Your. Board. Away. Instead of trying to fling yourself off a section, imagine popping off the lip while taking a small step forward with your front foot. Literally shift your weight (shoulders and hips) forward while lifting your front foot and moving it toward the nose. This will help you stay over it and provide a softer landing position (wider landing stance = more stability and fluffier impact due to rocker and board flex). 

Or just comment about how this should be on The Inertia and continue surfing like a soggy crouton. Your choice!

Trailblazer: Dane does it again!

Has anyone changed our landscape more than Dane Reynolds? Wait until you see his latest brilliant twist!

The number of ways in which Dane Reynolds has changed surfing is close to uncountable. His air game, approach to competition, embrace of the internet, distancing from the internet, video style, personal style, carve game, wave choice, business decisions, surfboard shape, angsty play…



Has any one surfer left his mark more indelibly on our space in the last decade? Has any surfer shaped our landscape more?

But maybe you thought Dane was slowing down. Maybe you thought his innovation had peaked. Maybe you thought there would be nothing new coming from Ventura, California due Dane’s relative comfort and age. Maybe you thought that these were Dane’s middle Liberace years.

Well you are an asshole and Dane Reynolds gives you….

…THE R  A   I     L!

Surfers have been putting their major sponsor stickers on the nose since the beginning of recorded time. Dane, in one Instagram post, flipped convention on its ear.

Jamie Tworkowski, the great founder of TWLOHA, author and winner of the coveted Most Handsome Humanitarian™ in both 2013 and 2016 texted me the image along with “Rail stickers!!! Has it ever been done?!”

No it hasn’t and Dane Reynolds has done it again. Who will be the first professional to follow Dane to “The Rail?” Will it be Kolohe Andino? Will it be Joel Parkinson? Will it be the entire 2017 field?

It really is aesthetically pleasing.

And I thank you, Dane Reynolds, on behalf of surfers everywhere (not counting the surfers who write for/visit The Inertia).

Sabre Norris: Gaining Fame and Fortune!

Beyoncé who?

Oh to be twelve and holding the world in your palms. Sabre Norris is on the fast track to stardom and that is a wonderful thing. Too long has surfing been defined by Laird Hamilton in the mainstream media.

Did you know that Sabre’s initial bout with Ellen went huge, amassing upwards of thirty-million views? I’m not sure where her count resided before Ellen, but Sabre now boasts 102K Instagram followers, a number that could be easily monetized if managed correctly.

But while we love watching her fame and fortune grow, we shudder at the thought of Sabre becoming an organic-non-GMO gluten-free-green-tea peddler. Because she’s bigger than that. Better than that. In a perfect world we’d watch her stardom transcend the petty millennial blogosphere, and expand outwards to create true global resonance. I’ve never met Sabre, but she seems like a genuinely great human. Someone who could make the world a better place.

I guess Ellen felt the same, as she invited Sabre back for another episode and presented her with the opportunity to serve as a red carpet correspondent at Nickelodeon’s Teen Choice Awards. Juvenile as that may sound, it’s yet another opportunity for Sabre to showcase herself to the non-surfing masses. She could be on track to real celebrity — perhaps even becoming Australia’s sweetheart. Is that a thing?

How this exposure will affect her surfing (and skating), I do not know. At such an important stage in her developmental years, one might think Sabre should focus on the athletics and pursue extracurriculars later. Certainly you wouldn’t want to jeopardize her immense abilities, but at the same time it’d be hard to pass up all these media opportunities. The Norris parents have a lot to think about, especially with little brother Biggy headed in the same direction.

One thing I think we can all agree on: anytime Sabre feels impassioned to share her voice in a more literary sense, she’s highly encouraged to stand on our little soapbox and shout to the heavens. Let’s just hope she doesn’t forget about us little guys!

Sabre x Ellen pt. 2:

Inside: Surfing Magazine’s wake!

The last hurrah!

There was a wake last night for Surfing magazine (RIP) that was very well attended. A veritable who’s who of surf industry stalwarts, lower tier professional surfers, surf media personalities and hangers-on said goodbye to Surfer magazine’s better half by drinking booze, fighting, cursing, fighting, getting drunk, kicking, cursing, drinking booze, puking, throwing bottles, fighting, drinking, kissing, kicking, cursing.

I didn’t feel sad, personally. Surfing magazine was most useful at bringing people together, I think. Some of the greatest I know from Travis Ferre to Evan Slater to Taylor Paul to Jimmicane to Peter Taras to Chato Aganza walked those halls and none of them are dead so… whatever. Right? So long, Surfer. I mean Surfing.

As fate would have it, I got a chance to speak with Taylor Paul and Chris Binns yesterday during the Volcom Pipe Pro about the state of surf media. Taylor once edited Surfing and Chris once edited Australia’s Surfing Life (RIP) (RIP). I used my time to shit on The Inertia and will also crash its wake when nature finally murders it.

My memory of specific events from last evening is, anyhow, very fuzzy but I did manage to catch some video.