Puerto Rico Retains Right to Surf!

And the government said, let there be barrels!

Do you remember when it was reported, here, that a proposed law in Puerto Rico would allow government officials to remove surfers from the water in times of “inclement atmospheric conditions”, AKA good waves? Well I am happy to inform that surfing has once again beaten the system, this time even legally!

A new report from Puerto Rican periodical El Nuevo Dia states that, “The measure aimed at empowering the authorities to evict surfers from the beaches when the weather became dangerous was stopped today to give way to a resolution to – among other things – investigate the areas where sports are practiced In Puerto Rico.”

The initiative against the ban was led by local surfers, none more vocal than Ernie Álvarez, the executive director of the Federation of Surfing of Puerto Rico (FSPR). Ernie announced the results of his meeting with government officals which were that, in lieu of the ban, they’ve created a new measure, Resolution #227, which seeks to further study the problems of Puerto Rican coastal safety in hopes of creating a better infrastructure to save lives in the future.

From the looks of things, the initial bill was a knee-jerk reaction that hoped to alleviate public pressure on Puerto Rico’s drowning issue. One report found that between 1999 and 2010, Puerto Rico lost 363 people due to drowning. If stats like this persisted into recent times, which is likely, it’s understandable why locals would put pressure on their local officials to address the issue. However, while the people seemed to want solutions such as more lifeguards or better ocean education, the government deemed it easier to cut off coastal access altogether in times of high seas.

But by banding together and effectively demonstrating the ignorance of their lawmakers’ proposal, the Puerto Rican surfing community made giant leaps for surfers’ rights and the future safety of the general public.

One negative parallel that can be drawn is to the shark epidemic in Reunion Island. Because the French colony has also taken the hands-off, “let’s just study this some more” approach to a dire issue, it has caused something of a violent upheaval in the local communities, seen most recently in the bombing of a marine reserve on the island.

As Kelly Slater famously said, these are “tricky, touchy subject(s).” To react haphazardly in pursuit of a quick solution is almost never the right answer, but to do nothing, AKA “study the issue further”, will only allow the problem to persist.

Let’s hope that Resolution #227 leads to quick answers for the Puerto Rican people.

Like, uh, lifeguards…

I was Robbed in Panama Part 3!

The epic conclusion!

Panama Part 2 here!

A few days later Timmy brings home another girl, but this one looks especially wounded. A C-tier hooker with drawn-on eyebrows who appears to live off Cheetos and cigarettes. They spent all day in our room; I stayed away as much as possible.

When I returned for the evening they were still in the apartment, the chick staggeringly stoned. I never saw any hard drugs when I was there, but it was clear this girl had moved beyond the confines of weed. She could barely talk and was constantly running into walls. Her eyes like black pearls.

I shuffled to the bedroom with hopes of falling asleep before they decided to knock out for the night, but was soon followed by the stumbling duo. While in bed I was forced to experience the stomach-curling sounds of orally engaged flesh, in what form or direction I care not to know. I woke up around 6:30 and decided to cleanse my mind with a surf.

“Hey Timmy,” I whispered. “Can I get the key to the room? I’m going surfing and wanna make sure I can get in later.”

“Bro you know what, I actually can’t find the key, but I’ll be here. No worries.”


Before leaving I grabbed a cab fare from my stash and deposited the remainder, something like $27, into my suitcase under the bed. The two appeared fast asleep.

My session consisted of a mediocre left point filled with disgruntled locals, and was capped off by a rainy, choppy boat ride back to town. At this point I was feeling rather disheartened with the trip as a whole. A combination of iffy surf and my increasingly uncomfortable living situation had taken its toll. I hoped that if nothing else, his chick would be gone by the time I got back.

But when I returned to the house she was still there, and still monumentally fucked up. The first thing I did was check that my cash was still there. Nope. Twenty-seven-odd dollars gone, and the little bag they previously resided in had been thrown haphazardly on the floor.

I took Timmy aside.

“Hey man… so I put some money in my bag before I left and now it’s gone. You think your chick coulda done it? She looks pretty out of it and I know how desperate addicts can be.”

“Shit man, you know, she could have. Let me ask her.”

Timmy left for a minute and returned with an amused expression on his face.

“Bro you won’t believe this. She said when she was in the kitchen this morning, Carlos (Luis’ roommate) went into our room looking for the AC remote, and came out looking all suspicious.”

He went on to tell me how Carlos is a crackhead that once stole money from Luis and is always getting in trouble. He said we’ll talk to Luis when he gets home and sort it out from there.

Then he drops this bomb on me:

“So bro, I’ma be straight with you… basically the property manager came in today to collect the rent and we don’t have it, meaning we might have to move out next week. So what do you think about renting this place for the month, and we’ll pay you?”

I almost burst out in laughter.

“Sorry man, I’m leaving pretty soon. Can’t do that.”

“Oh ok, well you think you can pay me for the next three days at least, so I have something to give them?”

I thought about it for a second and decided, out of pure laziness, that it was easier to stay there than to pack all my things and move elsewhere. That, plus the fact Timmy’s girl was leaving, led me to justify staying in Timmy’s apartment for the remainder of my trip. I handed him $60 cash.

“Thanks bro!” Timmy replied, as he and his lady left for lunch. Little did I know, I’d never see Timmy again.

As I sat in the living room watching TV, still oblivious to what had just happened, Carlos “the crackhead” started unloading a bunch of packed bags from his room. I asked where he was going.

“You mean where are we going,” he chortled. “You didn’t hear? We’re getting kicked out of this place. Can’t make rent.”

Confused, I asked, “…Today?”

“Yeah. Talk to Luis. He’ll be home in a few minutes,” Carlos stated as he walked out the door, belongings in tow.


Immediately I went to my room and started searching for essential items. Passport, wallet, computer, surfboards: check. Aside from the money I had just handed to my friendly assailant, plus that which was taken from my bag, the only things missing were a set of John John Futures fins and new Dakine leash. It roughly comes out to a $200 loss, which sucks, but is also a fairly reasonable idiot tax. I deserved this.

After a quick bout of anger, I started packing up my gear for what appeared to be an inevitable eviction. Just before I was about to depart, Luis walked in.

I’ll spare you the dialogue, but the short of it is this: the apartment was Luis’s all along, and he was letting Timmy stay there under the pretense that T would bring in clients (me) and pay Luis a certain percentage of the profits. Because Timmy (and I) lied to Luis about how much I was paying, Luis saw no money from my visit, thus rendering him incapable of paying rent. Meanwhile Timmy made off like a very literal bandit.

Apparently Luis had received ample warning about Timmy from people around town, but like me, decided to give him a chance because he seemed like a decent guy. That stings.

But do you wanna know what’s the worst part of this whole ordeal? What’s the thing that really gets my goat? It’s that my towel smells like that thieving son of a bitch!

Timmy always lathered himself in this distinctly odorous baby oil, and now my towel absolutely reeks of it. He must have dried himself off with the thing after his last shower, just before walking out of the house with my cash, leash, and fins. Now I have to be reminded off his swindling, baby-oil-smelling ass every time I use it.

So Chas, on account of your awful advice and my ensuing loss, I think it’s only fair that you cover the damages. That’s $87, a set of John John fins (medium), a 6’ x 5/16” Dakine leash, and a new fucking towel.

Or… maybe this story just proves your point? Dammit.

One of the stars of the 2017 Rocky Point Classic, Mr Keoni "Cheeseburger" Nozaki. Watch how he flings himself vigorously into martial arts gyrations at the famous little peak.

The one surf visual to watch today!

It's a bracing parable of racial politics and white imperialism!

A surf contest, but only just.

One week ago, North Shore locals ran their annual Rocky Point Classic, a shoot-out style event where each surfer drops twenty-dollars into a pool for a total of one thousand dollars prizemoney.

The contest is a bracing parable of racial politics and betrayal, of white imperialism!

Can you imagine the thrill of hustling good four-foot Rockies, a gift from your imperialist forefathers, and this demographically diverse pack swings down the trail? As it turns out, the Rocky Point Classic is a good-natured contest where even surfers with modest abilities are celebrated.

It ain’t the Pipe Masters. But what is?

Ready to throw your hat into our ring?
Ready to throw your hat into our ring?

Play: BeachGrit’s Dead Pool!

3,2,1, who's it?

Yesterday, after it was revealed here that sometime BeachGrit writer, vet, scammer, junkie prose master Michael Kocher had been cut down under a hail of police bullets I got a wonderful text from a caring friend. It read:

Sorry to hear about Kocher. My money was on Tellkamp in the dead pool. An ill-fated Pokémon accident.

And I thought, “How has your third favorite surf-based gossip website been alive for over two years and not had a dead pool yet?”

As anti-depressive as it comes!

In case you are unclear as to what a “dead pool” is, let me explain. Everyone puts money on who they think will die and when. Celebrity dead pools usually involve an exact date, I think, but that seems like too much work for us. So just put your money on which one of us is going down next and how.

Chas Smith, Derek, Michael C. (who is busily getting scammed out of $100 in Panama right now), Giancarlo, Steve Shearer (longtom), Matt Warshaw, Tellkamp (I guess), Dave Prodan (honorary) .

And for even more laughs lets add the best part of BeachGrit too! You! Julian’s Postie, Super Jr., mullet, Nick Carroll, Negs, throwing disqus, stewie, Jimmy the Saint, TomHouse, plug-butt, wincy, Superworm, Don Jon Florence, Dogsnuts, etc.

Wait. Is this anti-depressive?

Michael Kocher dead
"An Englewood police officer shot and killed a suspect to end a standoff that involved hostages Friday afternoon. No hostages or officers were hurt. The situation began shortly before 2 p.m. inside a house in the 2800 block of South Bannock Street. Officers said they attempted to negotiate with the suspect to release the hostages and during those negotiations, an officer shot the suspect." | Photo: Fox31 Denver

BeachGrit writer shot dead by police!

The former US marine, writer and cancer scammer Michael Kocher killed in shootout.

Yesterday, the sometime BeachGrit writer Michael Kocher, who was thirty two, was killed by police after taking two hostages and barricading himself inside a house.

(Read here)

Kocher. Remember him? Here’s the story.

A couple of years ago, a surfer turned US marine announces himself to me via email. His name was Michael Kocher and he wrote eloquently about being a solider in the American invasion of Iraq, quitting surfing to sell heroin and, later, said he was dying of spinal cancer and wrote about his terminal illness.

He also set up a GoFundMe account which raised $8600. As it transpired, the cancer story was a scam. 

All of which made great theatre. And even though I lost a few shekels on the cancer thing, I felt it a small price to pay for the laughs.

Two months ago, Michael told me he was living in Denver and whooping it up on the electronic dance music scene. I asked him to send me a story. He said he was surprised I didn’t hate him after the cancer scam. What can I say? I liked his writing.

Ultimately, it was bullets and not cancer that ended his life.

In a fitting self-penned eulogy, he concluded his last story with,

I was born at 11:56pm on April 27th, 1984. The same day as Ulysses Grant and more or less no one else. I was the result of too much to drink in a small rail town, and the herculean effort of seventeen hours of labor. My father never wanted children, my mother was supposedly barren, and yet there I was, being born. There I was, coming into the light. There I was, starting on a path that would eventually lead me halfway around the world to Iraq and then back to the States for a life of jail cells, parties, and the most devastating and wonderful year and a half of my life. That was still far down the road, though. For now it was enough to be born, dragged screaming and yelling into existence. I didn’t ask to be born, who the fuck was going to pay my bills?”