Kelly Slater
Do you like Kelly Slater? What does that mean? You’re at least 40, you’ve only surfer once or twice a year for the last ten years but you still tell everyone in your office that you’re a surfer, big time. You’re the kind of person that just doesn’t know when to quit because you’ve convinced yourself that you will somehow go out on top no matter how long you wait. | Photo: @thesurfinghobo

What Your Fav Surfer Says About You!

If you cry at little things, it's Gabriel Medina! If you surf twice a year, Kelly Slater!

Who knew your favourite surfer could reveal so much! Just as riding a Firewire signals you are a stay-at-home dad with a bar fridge full of Pepsi Cola and a 1 TB hard-drive full of she-male porn, your choice of surfer determines your style of clothes, your style of living, even your moral framework.

But enough chatter! Prise the curtain open, maestro!

Kelly Slater: Let us get the obvious out of the way first. You’re at least 40, you’ve only surfer once or twice a year for the last ten years but you still tell everyone in your office that you’re a surfer, big time. You’re the kind of person that just doesn’t know when to quit because you’ve convinced yourself that you will somehow go out on top no matter how long you wait. You love OuterKnown because you still wear nothing but Quiksilver t-shirts and too baggy jeans, or boardshorts, every weekend.

Gabriel Medina: Who knew eyebrows and body hair could become such a fixation? You jerk a shaver violently over your body each morning, and each night, and trained beauticians arrange the curve in your brow bi-weekly. Sometimes little things make you cry.

Mick Fanning: You believe in honesty, in your surfing, in your relationships, in life. It’s a man, his dog, his jetski, and mateships sealed in beer, occasional cross-dressing and public nudity. You believe all men are equal but this hasn’t come easy nor at minimal cost.

Gabriel Medina: Who knew eyebrows and body hair could become such a fixation? You jerk a shaver violently over your body each morning, and each night, and trained beauticians arrange the curve in your brow bi-weekly. Sometimes little things make you cry.

Alex Knost: You believe the seventies were a utopia of droopy hair, droopy brown tits wrapped in knit bikinis and tanker single-fins. You enjoy Peter Pan and like to re-enact the battles of the lost boys, pirates and Indians.

John John Florence: You are either very young and love the fact that one of your peers as a world title or you’re a middle-aged woman who still remembers the little towhead from Highwater and all those magazine features. There’s also the outlier possibility that you’re a creepy old dude and think that liking JJF will somehow lead to relations with Alex. Regardless, you’re the kind of person who likes fresh, new, things and buys into the idea that John John becoming a prodigy was simply a happy accident and not the maneuvering of a not-quite-so-laidback mother taking advantage of proximity to all that surfing knowledge.

Dion Agius: You’re such an adorable  little hipster. All your music comes on vinyl and all your photos come from 1980’s Russian film cameras. You refuse to watch the WSL for being too corporate and you think your hero, Dion Agius, is a sellout for attending Surfer Poll, regardless of how awesome you think Xanax is. Even though he is your favorite you still consider yourself to be better dressed, better exposed to music, and in general more cultured. You claim to have been a fan of Dion before anyone else outside of France.

The Hobgoods: You’re a redneck, a bogan, a chigger. You come from a working-class background, from a working-class region of your country and you think of yourself as a good ol’ boy. You have simple tastes in beer, food, music, movies and life in general. You’re always happy, you can have fun anywhere, and you own a 4×4 vehicle that you actually take offroad. You’re polite, you always respect your elders and you have zero in common with Dion Agius’s fans.

Makuakai or Koa Rothman: At some point in the last year you really fucked up and said the wrong thing, within hearing of the wrong person, and you live on the North Shore. In order to hide what you said, or did, wrong, you coat yourself in the camouflage of being Makua, or Koa’s, biggest fan. You even have downloads of Makua’s music constantly blasting from whatever speakers are near you. Even if you’re just walking down Ke Nui you play the music through your shitty smartphone speakers. You used to be a Mick Fanning fan and probably own a Micktory shirt.

Jamie O’Brien: Who is JOB? Only the coolest freaking dude in the world, says you. You love to party and you love anything that gives you a rush of adrenaline and dopamine. You grew up with some hook that made people want to be around and so you’ve been used to crowds of people your entire life. You make friends easily and sometimes you take advantage of that by abusing those friends and making them do really stupid things to entertain yourself. You love Jamie for constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible at Pipeline and can’t wait for him to switch from a boogie to a SUP to a hydrofoil to body surfing and back again all while pounding a Red Bull and operating a GoPro.

Dane Reynolds: You’re Californian, or at least you pretend and act like you are, and that means you’re laidback, you’re chill, and you’re super easy to get along with. If you’re married with kids then your wife is beautiful and your kids are great. If you’re not, you could be but you’re waiting for the right woman to come along. You’re extremely good at what you do but because you’re not flashy and in-your-face about it people sometimes forget just how good you really are. Whatever your field, you constantly push the boundaries of what is possible regardless of any personal changes that may have happened.

Sunny Garcia/Kala Alexander/Dustin Barca: You’re honestly a bigger fan of UFC than surfing these days, which is why you love guys who can charge on a wave or in an alley. You never actually enjoy yourself surfing because you’re too busy watching for any perceived slight that gives you a chance to try and point someone to shore so you get to hit someone. You spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos of surfer fights and even if you live somewhere like Oregon, Maine, British Columbia, Alaska, or anywhere that has completely un-crowded lineups, you still try and police visitors like you’re 1970’s era Da Hui.  You’re actually very unhappy and wish that people would stop thinking of you as nothing but a thug.

A note on Michael Kocher:

Michael is a former marine and writer for BeachGrit who was killed in a police shootout four days ago. This is a repeat of a story that appeared two years ago.

Jordy: “I just got a bit more nervous!”

Facebook x WSL - Samsung = Mick Fanning making a dumb face!

It was announced yesterday across the surf space that our World Surf League is partnering with Facebook in order to stream competition live. And what a wonderful day! For all of us!

Etc. etc.

It was unclear if Facebook is paying for the privilege or if the World Surf League is paying or if it is considered a mutually beneficial wash or who cares. It did seem that under the iron fist of Herr Speaker, the WSL severely overvalued itself and chased away potential partnerships. Is this a market correction? Or who cares?

What was not unclear, though, was Jordy Smith’s slammin’ quote in the press release. Shall we read? This wouldn’t be BeachGrit if we refused!

One of my favorite things about surfing is that it’s always evolving — the equipment, the approach, the progression. It’s great to know that this evolution isn’t limited to the water. Facebook is such a special place for different cultures to connect and now the evolution of surf will be shared beyond coastlines. Looking forward to a great year, although I just got a bit more nervous thinking about a few more million people watching my heats.

Brilliant! Word perfect! Informative, nuanced with a touch of cheeky wit. Like a splash of Spicer mixed with a dash of Kellyanne then seasoned with Hope Hicks.

Dave Prodan for Pulitzer! I mean Jordy Smith!

I was redeemed in Panama part 1!

The surprising end to a fabulous journey!

You can’t make this shit up!

After the whole housing debacle, I was afforded a safe place to sleep by the same three Aussies who had previously given me a ride home from the surf, erstwhile divulging the best job for the aspiring travel surfer.

We spent our last night bar-hopping around Bocas, the two of us with girlfriends dutifully wing-manning our single compadres into a bevy of belligerent broads. After we had drank and danced and successfully paired off our pals with a couple of bar-light sixes, Matt and myself decided to call it a night. This was around three AM.

It was pouring outside, so all the bar patrons who’d decided to pack it up for the night were waiting for cabs under the same small overhang. With about 20 people in queue and no cabs in sight, we realized the odds were not favorable to catch a ride in the next hour. We scurried down the sidewalk in search of a new spot from which to hail a taxi.

That’s when I heard, “Hey Mike!” in heavily accented English.

I turned around and much to my disbelief, I’d just walked past that god damn C-tier hooker! Belly shirt, paint-a-brows, cigarette and all!

“Uhhhh hey…” I replied, still irked at her general existence.

“Timmy go kaled,” she told me, while crossing her wrists in an X formation.

“Timmy got killed?” I asked, bewildered.

“No, no. Timmy go kale… gail, gail!” she screamed, waving her crossed wrists in my face. The gesture was supposed to symbolize handcuffs.

“Timmy went to jail?”

“Sí! Four years! He get cot steal sumting.”


“En serio? He robbed me too!”

“Yes I am happy he go jail. Fuck dat guy.”

“Me too” I said, as I motioned toward the street. Our cab had finally arrived.

And this was maybe the perfect ending to my less-than-ideal, if highly enlightening trip to Panama. It took ’til three AM on my last drunken evening in Bocas Town, but I finally got the closure I was looking for. I would never see my pilfered cash or possessions again, but knowing that karma or justice or a statistical likelihood had ultimately prevailed was good enough for me.

Have fun in jail, puto! Y viva Panama!

Hayden x Wang
Hayden x Wang

Just in: We are fucking back!

Vogue magazine declares that surfing is at its apotheosis!

Oh oh OH how we’ve been wandering the desert for the last, like, fifteen years. “Surf is dead!” they say before shutting down our Pac Suns and our Tilly’s and our Depactuses and our ummm Surfing magazines. “The kids don’t want the surf.” they say while tears bubble in our eyes, waiting to pour down our cheeks. “The kids want lifestyle and Bubble Guppies.”

Well you know what? Fuck they! Because today TODAY the bible of fashion said that we WE are cool once again!

Yes, Vogue magazine, fronted by Anna Wintour and never ever to get folded like that lily-livered Surfer just published a story that recognizes our second coming. And let us read:

That surfing has reached its pop culture apotheosis is no secret. Alexander Wang based his entire spring collection off romanticizing the look and feel of sun-bleached surfers; February’s most Instagrammed museum show, “Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work” at the New Museum, featured small, willowy figures bracing themselves in downward diagonals across the face of canvas-sized waves, and this season’s premiere of Girls pivoted around Hannah’s flirtation with the sport, when her editor sends her on assignment to a surf camp in Montauk. Which is to say: Surfing is everywhere and everyone is doing it.

The sport’s sudden surge in popularity means that even far-flung, warm destinations like Sri Lanka, Bali, and the Maldives are becoming nearly shoulder-to-shoulder in daily lineups, pushing the most devoted athletes into inhospitable, chilly territory to avoid bumping their boards against clumsy newcomers. What’s more: Winter is storm season, stirring up activity in the ocean resulting in the most consistent and biggest waves. Serious surfers are after an endless winter, and thanks to leaps and bounds in wet-suit technology—which provides the kind of comfort and mobility in frigid temperatures that was unfathomable even five years ago—they can chase it into colder waters than ever.


Wait. What was I writing about? Did Surfer have anything to do with it?

Fuck they!

BeachGrit TV: Girl Goes Into Orbit!

Episode one: how to build a surfboard that flies!

One month ago, BeachGrit stole away to Mexico, near enough to Guadalajara in Jalisco on the mainland there, with a very specific idea. To determine if it was possible to teach a girl to ride out of a full-roter air (a 540 to the skate and snow jocks), if you had the best air surfer in the world, which is Filipe Toledo, doin’ the tutoring.

As I wrote in Mex, 

“Women’s surfing fascinates me. When it’s good it draws blood. Carissa Moore’s slices, Lakey Peterson’s grab-rail tail throws, the impeccable style of Stephanie Gilmore. It’s damn rich.

But does it strike you as odd, as it does me, that there ain’t a gal on tour who has an air-reverse on tap? Silvana Lima showed promise and disappeared (back this year on tour). Even half-way good twelve-year-old boys can throw ‘em as an afterthought on a weak end section.

“So why not the girls?”

Along with another coach, Huntington Beach’s Brett Simpson, and iPads with the Hurley Surf Coach app, and GoPros affixed hither and yon, and patrolling the sky, we had four days to coach, and coax, Santa Babs’ Lakey Peterson into the biggest huck ever by a girl.

Did it work? Did she orbit the Pacific?

How about we take you on what is referred to as a… journey.

We made a four-part series on the process. Part one, below, is the construction of a board that goes pop.