Conner Coffin
The men's world tour can be roughy divided into two camps: the Twunks, hairless muscle boys (Think: Gabriel Medina) and Cubs like Conner Coffin, so young, but richly hirsute, large and in charge! (And that pretty hijab? It's from Conner's new towel company, Leus.)

Pro surf gangs: Twunks vs. Cubs!

Conner Coffin seeks to restore balance to the universe!

And where do you fall? Which team are you on? Are you a twunk or a cub? Have you never heard of these categories before? Is your brow furrowed in confusion?

Let me explain!

A twunk is a hairless yet strong young man. A beau who goes into the shower thrice a week, turns on the hot water, lets it run over his body, softening skin and follicle and then runs a razor over that hair, over that water, with one of Gillette’s foaming creams preferably and removes the hair altogether.


Muscles rippling, reflecting the sun’s light with nothing to obstruct not even the tiniest strand.

A cub is a young man with fuzz covering his chesty bits. A swain who chuckles at the very idea of shaving anything but the hair from his strong, set jaw. Oh he is not a bear, or not yet. His fur isn’t bushy and wild. He doesn’t maybe agree with the idea of a back forest, of an impenetrable stomach jungle.

No, he is a cub and masculine and proud.

The twunks have been ruling for surfing’s last decade. Last two decades even. Kelly Slater used to be their benevolent champion but Gabriel Medina has stolen his scepter and rules with a preening hairless strut. No challenger even close. No challenger able to…

…except lo. Who is that riding a Channel Islands on the horizon? Is it… could it be… a cub? Is it possibly… Conner Coffin?


That is Conner Coffin with testosterone pumping through his veins sprouting a jacket that he will not shear because he is MAN hear him ROAR!

Conner Coffin is looking to vanquish the twunks’ hairless grasp on power and God bless him for it. It is high time that masculinity returned to professional surfing. High time that God’s own will was allowed to germinate.

Or are you a twunk?

FCS releases Astrodeck tailpad!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Just months ago surf fin manufacturer FCS had it all. Victory after victory after victory on the World Surf League tour, money jangling in pockets from a 23 million dollar sale to StabStitch, the respect of the entire industry!

But oh how the Wheel of Fortuna turns! Oh how she spins from the happiest times to the darkest depressions!

John John Florence, riding a steed of Futures, lanced every FCS riding knight around, StabStitch unloaded FCS for pennies on the dollar as its stock crashed and the industry, the fickle industry, turned its nose up at the stink.

But how to stop the bleeding? How to climb back on top?

Maybe by releasing a tailpad that looks exactly exactly exactly like an Astrodeck tailpad?

Astrodeck is, after all, the most core company in all of surf. Founded and owned by the Fletchers, inventors of surf traction etc. So good that professional surfers purchase for full retail price and affix to their boards even if their sponsors make their own traction. Etc.

So how could it go wrong to release a tailpad that looks exactly exactly exactly like one of those? Like, exactly same color, shape, cut-outs, size… so exactly that no one, not the bastards on the World Surf League tour, not the bastards from StabStitch, none of the bastards in the industry will know that it is not an Astrodeck pad.

Sunny days are gonna be here again!

Gabriel Medina praying
Gabriel Medina vibrates with morality! | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Five Moral Lessons Surf Teaches You!

Surf isn't just another pleasant and pointless way to live your life. It might be your moral coach!

Are you a moral vacuum? Do you happily swipe past a photo of a drowned Syrian child for the latest Insta gal mocking you with her ass?

Of course you do. We all do. Just empty vessels awaiting salvation.

But let me go out on a limb here, out on a limb with a chainsaw in my hand, and announce something. In the irreligious west, where feelings of pointlessness and futile are endemic, and where school teachers peddle liberal cliches and a new wave of politicians sling right-wing ruthlessness, mindless activities like surf might actually be our moral coaches.

What does surf teach us?

1. There’s no substitute for hard work

Surfing at a low-level is fun, for a time. But, soon, your lack of technical ability to navigate tubes or wrangle a beachbreak takeoff or get close to staying over your board in the air, becomes tiring. How do you get better? You can read all the how-to’s you want, but it’s time in the water, waves caught, that reveals secrets. Work like a son of a bitch and the oyster opens.

2. Breath is the essence of life.

All those damn things like a lack of money, a job that inspires, a woman that doesn’t shriek at dick, don’t mean a thing if the one thing you need above everything isn’t present. And being pushed underwater until all the oxygen is squeezed out of your body is a regular-ish reminder of life’s hierarchy. (Air, water, sleep, food, sex.)

3. Sometimes your enemies are your friends

You know the play. Paddle out, get talking, set comes, pal paddles around you and takes off. Being open to trust is good, mindlessly giving it to whomever is naive and destructive.

4. Be present

As Niccolo Machivalli posited: “… if one is on the spot, disorders are seen as they spring up, and one can quickly remedy them; but if one is not at hand, they are heard of only when they are great, and then one can no longer remedy them.”

In other words, surf teaches you to keep your eyes open, ready to…act. You know, I know, languid surfs where you float around, drifting from one conversation the next, are the least satisfying. Take that into your life.

5. Avoid flatterers. 

Being told you rip is a lovely thing. All that dopamine sloshing around in your brain like a chemical bean bag. But it’s the pal, or observer, who’ll deliver a clear and, likely, hurtful message that will make you grow. In the water, and in the cubicle.

Beer barn: Surfer’s bold new strategy!

Tough times call for tough measures!

I am still wearing black, in mourning over our dearly departed Surfing magazine. My black t-shirt that reads BeachGrit! More fun than coke, Acapulco and Fleetwood Mac! (buy here)

In all honesty, though, I continue to be confused by its sudden demise and ponder it often. There were over a million Facebook fans, near a million Instagram followers, a nice archive, etc. That has actual value in our modern Internet age. Why not keep it alive online only? And how is Surfer, a magazine that has absolutely zero point-of-view, a stack of glossy pages that dreams of one day growing into The Surfer’s Journal but never will because it is gutless and has red hair, how is Surfer still alive?

And then it hits me like a meaty false crack. There is no such thing in this world as Surfing the Bar but now there are two Surfer the Bars. One on Oahu’s North Shore at The Turtle Bay. The other, just opened, in Jacksonville, Florida.

The concept is described thusly:

Each Surfer The Bar is unique to its locale, much like the wide range of surf trips you plan all year. Our brick and mortar destinations allow you to experience first hand what you have loved for over 50 years from SURFER Magazine: award-winning photography, provocative interviews with living legends, film screenings, live music, oh yeah, and the perfect drink and bite to soak it all in. Drop in some time. We won’t disappoint.

I think the one in Jacksonville serves “a Polynesian infused food menu” from an indoor airstream trailer and maybe Alligator Sperm (a cocktail made from melon liquor, lime juice and heavy cream) and I’m sure doesn’t disappoint its clientele. As point-of-viewless as today’s Surfer is it still possesses an even richer archive and the name, in that chunky font, evokes wonderful pangs of nostalgia.

Quite frankly, I would image that Surfer the Bars could kill it all the way across the midwest or any place that hungers for surf kitsch. It really is a wonderful idea, and I’m not being ironic, because it is not aimed at surfers. It is aimed at people who want to dip in to surf culture for a minute while eating and drinking and then dip back out. Like ex-WSL CEO Paul Speaker!

Of course the two existing Surfer the Bars are not owned by The Enthusiast Network, Surfer’s parent company. The name is licensed but still. If there were ten, twenty, thirty Surfer the Bars peppered throughout Omaha, Des Moines, Kansas City, Lubbock, etc. etc. it would be an actual going concern.

Real money!

And the bar necessitates that the magazine and website stay alive. Without it existing still some of the charm would fall away.

Surfer is now a loss leader pushing booze and chicken satay.

Wiggoly Dantas
It's easy to roll our eyes at two-dollar surfboard sob stories and starving families in favelas when your quiver runs from a fish to a step-up and hits Craigslist after two pressure dings. We will never know, to quote one Brazilian Pro, "The sound of my father crying because he could not buy me a soccer ball." And, contrary to western belief, a favela does not constitute a third-floor walk-up with only two flat-screen TV's, a paltry 200 channel selection and wall unit ACs that you have to get up off the couch to turn on. | Photo: WSL

How Afro-Studs Cuckolded Surf!

Three reasons why Brazilians own the tour…

(Editor’s note: Travel with a Brazilian troupe and you’ll be privy to the secret of their success. Every wave, every sunset, every afro-beat is celebrated as if they were starving men chewing a crust of bread. For the past week, I’d travelled with Filipe Toledo and his filmers Bruno Baroni and Erick Proost through Mexico and was continually saturated in their awesomeness. In the water, Filipe broke into applause at the tomato sunsets. After dark, MC Delano got ’em all dancing. This morning when I landed back home, I woke to an email from the writer Giancarlo Guardascione who must’ve read my mind. Why does Brazil own surf? Three reasons.)

1. We (you) Will Never Know Paris (Brazil)…

Henry Miller wrote Tropic of Cancer (originally called Crazy Cock! ’cause he, was, like, having sex with everything in The City of Lights). He was living in Paris when his girlfriend came to visit him. She told him, “Show me the Paris you write about.” His answer? “It was impossible. It is a Paris that has to be lived. That has to be experienced each day in a thousand different forms of torture. A Paris that grows in side you like a cancer, and grows and grows until you are eaten away by it. ”

It’s easy to scoff and roll our eyes at two-dollar surfboard sob stories and starving families in favelas when your quiver runs from a fish to a step-up and hits craigslist after two pressure dings. We will never know, to quote one Brazilian Pro, “The sound of my father crying because he could not buy me a soccer ball.” And, contrary to western belief, a favela does not constitute a third-floor walk-up with only two flat-screen TV’s, a paltry 200-channel selection and wall unit ACs that you have to get up off the couch to turn on. Ever ask a war veteran to describe his time in battle, a mother what it’s like to birth/raise a child or a Kardashian to explain long division? Like explaining life in Brazil to someone who doesn’t live it. Incomprehensible.

2. Dance (airs)

Show your typical white guy a dance floor with a thumping techno track in the background  and watch him wilt like Trump at a Cinco de Mayo party, desperately praying that the fist-pump corner is alive and pumping. Just mentioning Samba, Carimbo or Capoeira is enough to make a stiff pale man from the north shiver in nervousness. Does this confidence and sexual self-awareness translate to surfing? Look at Filipe shoot the stars. Sexy as hell.

3. Celebration! (Claims)  

Ever been to Carnival? Colors that could blind a rainbow goblin, outfits that’d make Ron Jeremy blush and a horny beat that’ll coerce a Nordic grandma in a walker to swing her hips. We have parades with bagpipes that induce walking comas and ticker tape like candy from a broken piñata to distract us from the sad truth that we’ll never gyrate our midriffs. Consequently, every claim and fist pump is a whip-crack at the desperation and poverty wolves snapping their teeth at every Brazilian pro’s heels. One point of Brazilian culture is a powerful sense of camaraderie built around the fact of just being Brazilian. In America, we build fences around our property lines and make sure our neighbors are at least three football fields away from our front door.

Americans’ IQ about other cultures could be rounded to the nearest single digit number, as long as it doesn’t go above ten. And that’s fine with Brazilians as they have plenty of tens coming their way…