Help: Dane Reynolds stuck in jail!

What has this damned world come to?

And the turmoil! The never ending turmoil of our new world order. Refugees being turned away from borders. Mexicans getting rounded up and sent packing. Travel bans, immigration bans, Dane bans.

That’s right! Your favorite surfer from five-ish years ago has been caught in the net, apparently! Oh you may have already seen this on Stab or Surfer but it’s important that we present a unified front in the face of demagoguery. And I will let his longtime companion Jason “Mini” Blanchard take it from here:

Dane Reynolds is currently being held captive and treated like a criminal at the Lisbon, Portugal International Airport Jail. Yes, Jail ! All because he lost his passport ! He’s been there for two days now. They took his phone, backpack, even his shoelaces WTF ! And to top it off, the US Embassy is doing very little to help him. #freedane @usembassyportugal @usembassy

Yikes! That does not sound fun.

But on a happier note, how gorgeous is Dane’s luggage? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a finer piece on a professional surfer. If Former is offering then for sure I’m buying!

Sad: Duke’s spirit haunts Huntington!

The father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, stuck surfing garbage forever!

Surfing has the best icon of all time, I think, in Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku, don’t you think? He was graceful, handsome, wildly talented and well-loved. He wore being “the father of modern surfing” with grace and style. No other sport’s icon comes even close. Don’t you think?

And so it breaks my heart that, for some reason, his soul is trapped in Huntington Beach, California. Stuck bodysurfing the pier.

Let’s read about it in the Orange County Register!

Did you see that bodysurfer, his arms spread out wide as he rode toward shore – just like the mural of famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku hanging on the wall?

It was the first staff meeting held at Duke’s restaurant back in 1998, and all the heads in the room turned to watch the bodysurfer on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier. He was the only figure in the ocean, otherwise empty because of the strong current and big, sloppy waves.

The man turned his body and disappeared into the foamy whitewash – never to be seen again. Could it have been the ghost of Kahanamoku, who died 30 years prior, giving his blessing to the new establishment bearing his name?

“I witnessed it,” said manager Brett Barnes, sounding certain of what he saw. “We thought it was the coolest thing, Duke is saying hi to all of us.”

I bet it was not Duke giving his blessing to the new establishment bearing his name though. I bet it was Duke saying, “Why….  why… of all the amazing places I’ve been, of all the amazing waves I’ve surfed… this is where I end up? WHY? What did I do to deserve this horror?”

And if your soul had to haunt one wave for eternity which would you choose?

Dane and Craig Former
I think, just the right amount of insouciance and daring.

Help: We were bullied by surf mags!

Former's Dane Reynolds and Craig Anderson kicked around by the rotten surf media!

And are you as thrilled as I am for the impending launch of super brand Former? Dane Reynolds, Craig Anderson and Austyn Gillette’s surf/street collection described by Derek Rielly as “neither revolutionary nor radically aggressive but who wants to wear poom-poom shorts and off-the-shoulder tees?”

It almost a wonderful day in surf fashion!

Except there has been some chop in Former’s sea. Some unnecessary wobble. The brand, you see, has been bullied! And bullied by none other than the surf media!

It all started when Former was allegedly being called Destroyer except the boys, as it is rumored, had not actually secured either the trademark nor the URL The way I heard it told, and this is pure coco wireless so… you know… but the way I heard it told Stab thought they were going to get all BeachGritty by breaking a rumor. They broke the rumor and the man who owned, who was going to sell it for a hundred bucks or something, read the story and jacked his price to ten thousand bucks or something because he saw fame and fortune in his future.

Poor Dane!

Poor Craig!

Stab disappeared the story, as they do because they are chicken, but it was too late and back to the drawing board and then Former… which sings even more, don’t you think?

If that wasn’t bad enough, days ago I was poking around and saw was up. Oh, I didn’t see anything other than a Rorschach sunset (sunrise?) but was so excited that I posted a story anyhow. What could the .xxx mean? What is actually coming?

I left it alone, bubbling with anticipation, but BeachGrit commenter Extreme Nonchalance wasn’t as patient as me and found the website was actually live! Hiding in plain sight!

The joy! I spent a few minutes looking at the collection, Derek wrote a review and Adam Jara tried to buy a shirt. But then my phone starting ringing and texts started flying from the brand’s manager. “Take it down! We haven’t launched yet!”

“But the website…” I thought to myself “…It’s live. Hiding in plain sight.” I tried to return the calls to explain that if we took down our cute little post down it would look worse than leaving it up and let’s spin it in a wonderful way etc. but no answer and the clothes were insouciant and excitement palpable and let’s not rob the surf community of joy in these dark days.

Then a text. “Na it’s fine. You guys will probably record our conversation and post it anyways. Well just launch earlier. No biggie.”

The paranoia stung. I would never record a conversation and post it anyways… or wait. But that’s not the point. The point is:

Poor Craig!

Poor Dane!

Now they have to scramble and get live well before they were ready. And ain’t the surf media just an unruly son of a bitch? A lunch stealing lug?

An ugly bastard?

Yes. The surf media is filled with ugly bastards. With unrepentant bullies and I am looking at you Nick Carroll and also at you Matt Warshaw and don’t think you are escaping my gaze Chris Binns. But really, I love that Former is surf/skate owned and run and the chop and the wobble prove this. it is no conglomerate run thing, no folder in Kering’s file, and they will soar on wings of pure gossamer. On winds of belief and passion!

Go get ’em boys and never let the bastards get you down!

Colapinto: America’s Great White Hope!

Video also featuring Seth Moniz...

I wasn’t allowed to say this at Surfing, but now I will scream it from the wobbly, little foot-stool that is Beach Grit: American professional surfing is hurting, bad. Four guys on Tour bad. One of them forty-five bad. No title threats bad.

Of course this is not considering the Aloha Archipelago. Those folks don’t identify as Americans and, for better or worse, we live in an era of self-identification validation, regardless of how anatomically incorrect or obscure these perceptions of self may be. But who am I to judge? As long as they’re not hurting anyone, I say let people be themselves, or even better, be happy.

Most public encouragement of these trans-bi-pseudo-something individuals comes from a place of empathy but in the Hawaiian case it is a direct result of fear. Fear of a five-foot-five Pennsylvania-Jewish man’s fists. And so John John and Seabass and Seth Moniz will wave King Kamehameha’s banner until who knows when, leaving the American surfing hive without a hint of honey.


Wha–wha–wha–whaaaaat? Is that… no it can’t be… it is! Griffin Colapinto, returning home with a pile of pollen big enough to feed the whole colony! Let’s gorge!

Correct me and you’re wrong, but G’s surfing has an undeniable stench of the late Andy Irons. His arms, his power, and his willingness to attack steep sections with commitment and vigor are something you rarely find in a young surfer. Remember his Haleiwa Hail-Mary?  This clip affirms that it wasn’t a fluke, and that he’s happy to throw techy moves on hefty sections. Plus he finaled at this year’s Volcom Pipe Pro, so he’s no slouch in the tube either (though he is a tad hunchy).

Deep in my heart I believe that Griffin has (mainland) America’s best chance at a title in the next decade. Despite his relatively low-key amateur career, I think Griff’s more naturally-talented than Kolohe, Connor, and Kanoa and seems to have a good mind for competition, despite being a total goofball. All of this combines to make him not only a title threat, but one of my favorite surfers to watch.

P.S. Aussie friends,  Griffin is “heaaaaaps” better than Ethan Ewing. That World Juniors final was a fluke.


Owen Wright
Feels good to have O home don't it. | Photo: WSl

Owen Wright’s first heat in 18 months!

Owen Wright just returned, successfully, and beautifully, to professional competition.

In passable enough onshore three-foot waves, the former world-title contender Owen Wright just surfed in a jersey for the first time since October 2015.

Owen, who is twenty seven, finished with a heat total of 15.33 at the WQS 6k event at Newcastle, beating Brazil’s Luel Felipe, Nate Yeomans (a fabulous moustachioed American) and Alan Donato, also from Brazil. Sitting alone further out the back and around the point than the other surfers, Owen clocked left after left. He didn’t break the speed of sound, but he didn’t look slow. If we’re going to be critical, he actually looked a school above his WQS competitors, the straight-legged wraps and controlled straight airs a pleasure to examine.

You’ll recall Owen’s mysterious head trauma, of course. It was blamed on a hold-down at Pipe that put him out of that year’s Pipe Masters event, which also served as a title showdown (which Adriano de S0uza won). Even without turning up, Owen finished 2015 rated fifth, his best tour finish since 2011, the year he famously won the New York event and came third.

“There was a lot for me building up to it. It’s been the hardest year of my life, a rollercoaster,” he said after his heat. “I feel better and stronger and more excited than ever to have this rash shirt on and compete.”

Rumours circulated, as they do, that it wasn’t a wipeout at all that caused bleeding on the brain or whatever it was. But, whatever. Great surfer. Even better guy.

Still, the prognosis was as grey as the mystery. Would he compete again? Would he ever surf again?

Stepping away from the media, Owen threw updates on Instagram. In an early post he wrote: Sharing my journey – I went for my first surf a couple days ago. It was the funnest thing in the world. Funny thing is… i couldn’t get to my feet. So I just layed there. It was about knee high and the drop was.. well there was none but it felt like I was dropping into 10ft teahupoo.

A year later, here he is.

“There was a lot for me building up to it. It’s been the hardest year of my life, a rollercoaster,” he said after his heat. “I feel better and stronger and more excited than ever to have this rash shirt on and compete.”

Owen’s enthusiasm was real.

“Soaking this moment in and enjoying being her with my partner and my little baby… having fun with all the guys… To realise how much love is out there… it pushed me through that time. I’m stoked to realise how much love there is.”