“Taking food from Mexican babies!”

The scandal at Todos Santos turns into Todos-gate!

A very wise boy once told me, “There are two sides to every story. Neither of them are true.” And let us turn our attention, once again, to the scandal at Todos-gate. We heard how San Diego surfer/shaper Gary Linden stopped motorcycle stuntman Robbie “Maddo” Maddison from riding his bike on a wave at Todos Santos, which breaks on an island just off the Baja peninsula, in order to protect the sanctity of the place.

We read Maddo’s response. That Gary Linden was “butt hurt” about not being consulted on the project and was not acting as a noble protector of the sea but rather a petulant child.

Yesterday, I spoke with an insider who happened to be there for the entire dance. He said that the real victim is the people of Baja California. The moto scene is already very big down there with the Baja 1000 drawing tens of thousands of viewers and pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. In his opinion, Todos Santos is a wave that has fallen off the scene.

He told me, “6 people were there when we were out and everyone was stoked on what we were doing except Gary and a half-Peruvian boy he had paid to be with him. He said we didn’t ask the locals’ permission? We had all 20 locals who actually live there on the payroll for the project! What makes Gary a local? Because he drives down from San Diego to surf it? All he did by shutting down the project was take food from the Mexicans’ mouths and take away a great opportunity to showcase Todos Santos again.”

“But what about the bike?” I asked. “I think most surfers are concerned that it could get dumped and end up spilling oil on the ocean floor or something else unseemly…”

“No way…” he responded. “Robbie loves those bikes so they are each completely sealed and fitted with an airbag so if it goes down it floats to the surface. We also had 2 ex-Navy SEAL divers on site to assist with any other possible accident. The bike pollutes less than a ski or the boats that sit out there.”

But what do you think? Is this a case of a crusty old man standing in the way of innovation or the case of a brave man doing what’s right in the face of vicious odds?

Slater Loves Oceans, Hates Sharks!

A call to cull by The King himself!

By now you may have already seen the video, released last week and playing below, wherein Kelly Slater speaks of the horrible, terrible, awful crime that is ocean pollution. In fact Slater hates ocean pollution so much that he decided to sell a shirt with the words “It’s Not OK” (a clever play on his “eco-friendly” brand OuterKnown) emblazoned across the chest, with one-hundred percent of profits going to “support protecting and cleaning up the ocean”. A wonderful thing for the Champ to do.

Here’s that vid.

You may have also heard that another surfer (sponger) died on Reunion Island yesterday by way of  shark. It is very sad for friends and family of the victim, Alexandre “Krapo” Naussance, but also for the Reunion community as a whole because their waters seem truly infested or maybe even cursed. These people are living in paradisiacal purgatory.

Jeremy Flores, a Reunion Island native, took to Instagram for the umpteenth time to commiserate his fallen compatriot. He left a wonderful portrait and heartfelt message for Krapo, seen below.

But here’s where it gets interesting.

On that very photo, Slater left an intriguing comment. He said:

Honestly, I won’t be popular for saying this but there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen every day. There is a clear imbalance happening in the ocean there. If the whole world had these rates of attack nobody would use the ocean and literally millions of people would be dying like this. The French govt needs to figure this out asap. 20 attacks since 2011!?

Oh you just know that Derek Rielly and Fred Pawle are foaming at the mouths, reading, re-reading, and massaging their fully-engorged loins in a state of euphoria. The King, free-leader of the aquatic world, has used the words “serious cull”, “imbalance” and “literally millions of people dying” in reference to sharks!  All of this after his very serious video about how we must protect ocean wildlife!

Now someone will make the case that by culling sharks you’re helping protect the over-eaten fish etc., but this is still a little funny, no? At least slightly hypocritical?

And, even if you do agree with the Reunion cull, what kind of precedent does that set? Will the next one be in Ballina, or maybe New Smyrna Beach, FL?

Please feel free to lay out your mutually beneficial (to humans and the ocean) plans below. I’m very truly ambivalent about this topic.

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 destroyer.com. 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 destroyer.com, 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 former.xxx 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!