Straddie: “Paddle Or Die!”

Would you risk life and limb to ride a quality A-frame?

“Fuck the taxi” reads Stradbroke Island’s most cherished drainpipe.

This is the local surfers’ response to overcrowding at the Gold Coast’s premier beachie, South Strad, a wave that breaks on the wrong side of a three-hundred meter channel. In order to surf the spot, riders are forced to cross the supposedly shark-infested (Derek don’t believe it) inlet by way of paddling or, in the case of bein’ a lil’ bitch-ass, paying some guy five bucks for a taxi across the pond.

This taxi debate has been simmering since the mid-nineties, but a recent influx of swell and crowds sent Straddie “locals” into a boiling rage, leading to a series of offensive slurs graffitied upon the Straddie sand-spitter. They read:

Taxi = dog act
Fuck off taxi cunt!
Respect is earned not given
Paddle or die
Fuck off Brazilian snakes!

…Aussies are always good for a little profanity and subtle racism.

During my four month stint on the Gold Coast, I managed to survive the paddle on a handful of occasions. I never took the boat, partly because Aussie money is fucked (what kind of lunatics walk around with coins in their pockets?) but mostly because my local friends were ascribed to this hardcore mentality. To paddle across the channel proves your devotion and courage, while taxigoers might as well stitch a big, pink ‘P’ right over their Billabong wetsuit logo.

Unless of course you’re a Mad Huey or one of the other twenty locals who docks a boat/ski just offshore. That shit is encouraged. It’s those damn immigrants with their economical, more environmental friendly ride-shares who are stealing all the stoke.

But while I disagree with the locals’ logic, I do understand their contempt. The Goldy is perhaps the most crowded surf zone in the world, and Straddie was one of their last hidden gems. Since its creation in 1986, the Southport Seaway has acted as a final line of defense — a moat, really — for this once-uncrowded break.

The taxi negates the Seaway’s effects by providing a shark-free, current-defying (the rip gets damn fierce) access point to an extremely desirable locale, perhaps inflating its daily visitor-count by a significant amount. The Gold Coast Bulletin states that up to four-hundred surfers hit Straddie on a weekend with good waves. The number of those who utilize the taxi is unreported, but from personal experience I’d wager it’s close to 25%, maybe worse in the summer.

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s an aged clip of Strad doing its thing.

Surf Ethics: Outing Mick’s wave!

Don't shoot the messenger!

And whenever a new wave is discovered it spins our imagination like nothing else. Mick Fanning’s reverse Skeleton Bay is such a wonderful example. We all watch once, twice, then race to find where the wave is and then someone finds and shares with the world and some celebrate and some book tickets and some wag their tongues.

But what are the ethics?

Pre-Internet it was simple. Nobody says nothin. But what about today? What about our time?

Stab seems to think the old rule still applies:

Mick surfs in an undisclosed location (the lack of landmarks in photo and film is no accident). But, we all know there’s no secrets anymore, not in 2017, not with Google Maps, not with The Inertia (and no, we won’t link the article which has hopefully been deleted by now).

Such a high horse to be perched upon! A high, nostalgic silly horse wearing a Modom anti-shark leash around his hooves!

To pretend that GoogleMaps and the rest of our tools don’t exist is to be willfully ignorant. To be backward looking and, well, dumb. And look at Stab being dumber than The Inertia! Also holier than thou! It’s Wacky Wednesday!

There are only two culpable parties to blame for the revelation of where this new magical wave exists.

Mick Fanning and his Rip Curl.

If they wanted to keep it secret then they should have kept it secret. No photos. No film. Just the joy of being there.

Stab referencing the “lack of landmarks in photo and film” is, again, willfully ignorant of modern technology. Once an image or clip is shared, no matter how tight the frame, it is easy for sleuths to discover.

Oh, I don’t think Mick Fanning and his Rip Curl are bad for sharing, I just think ethically, they may as well have released the clip titled Ain’t No Wave Pool… It’s maybe Mauritania! (even though I’m a little doubtful about it being Mauritania because I don’t think Mick would have the guts to go there…)

Now don’t that name just pop!

Jordy: “I wanna let my hair down!”

World number 2 Jordy Smith buys a bar! Or maybe three!

Jordy Smith had a very wonderful finish to his 2016 World Surf League campaign. Oh sure, John John won it all but second place ain’t half bad. And how would you celebrate such a monumental achievement? Would you buy a car? What about a bar?

That’s what Jordy did! He bought a bar! Three of them (I think)!

The new place is called #SurfHarD (I think) and appears to be very high concept. One building with three different zones for three different types of person. There is District, which is a nightclub, Harringtons, which is a cocktail bar, and Surfer Rosa, which is a punk bar. (Maybe)

Here…I am clearly a little confused. Let’s have Jordy walk us through!

And does that clear it up for you? Good! So which would you most like to spend your time? Are you a bottle service kind of man or a martini with bird on glass sort? Or do you, to, wanna let your hair down and bang away to some Motörhead?

You’re all three?

Well then #SurfHarD brother!

Kepa Acero

Kepa Acero finds Reverse Skeleton Bay!

Two years ago!

Were you driven just a little mad by Mick Fanning’s sandbottom point reveal?  Did you drive all over the internet trying to get a little bite on where it might be?

Is it Mex? Is somewhere around the horn? The Caribbean?

Is it Jordy’s famous right from Mozambique?

Or might it be somewhere deep in the heart of the Maghreb?

In this video made by the Basque surfer Kept Acero two years ago, he travels to The Islamic Republic of Mauritania to hunt a sandbottom right. It’s a place that still enslaves its people (twenty per cent of ’em) and where the rest are earning a buck-and-a-half a day.

Oh it’s a hell of a joint.

Does the wave, here, look familiar?

It’s too small for shredding, yes, but you do see the potential?

Does it make you want to plop out your little breasts and shriek and scream?

Is Wade Goodall Still Alive?

Aged clips of once-great surfer raise existential questions

Surfing, if performed with respectable levels commitment and vigor over a long period of time, will eventually lead to injury. I am a firm believer in the old saying, “If you’re not getting hurt, you’re not trying hard enough.” But some guys take that to new levels.

Enter Wade Goodall.

The thirty-year-old Queenslander has spent his career trying a little too hard, evidenced by the breaking of both his legs in back-to-back years. This meant a lot of time out of the water and even a (formerly unbeknownst to me) Beach Grit interview in 2014. But to be honest, I can hardly remember hearing Wade’s name or seeing his acrobatic if slightly stiff approach in years. Then, just three days ago, he released this clip called WAED.

And wouldn’t ya know it, it’s just a bunch of old-ass clips! From decrepit Billabong movies and long-forgotten (but not by me!) web clips of 1992!

This begs the question: where is Wade Goodall? Is he even alive? His Instagram will tell you he’s coming Stateside for the Cupid’s corporate cash-out, but really anyone could be running his account. Perhaps this is a major conspira…

Or, no. Wade just hit me back on Instagram and as it turns out, he is alive and well. When asked about the newly released edit he had this to say:

Haha not much to talk about on that clip. Bunch of old stuff Jake just put together to see what it looked like. Pretty lackluster old footage.

This leads to an inquiry about Wade’s current injury status and when we can expect to see some new, revolutionary clips from the Aussie vet.

That message was left on read at 2:57 PM, so… we won’t hold our breath. But enjoy WAED!