The nerve of this guy!

Just in: I’ve Found My Nemesis!

It's only a Bloodfeud(!) if he fights back!

Normally I’d not criticize another surf writer, at least not publicly.

I’m not a strong enough wordsmith to do such a thing, nor do I like hurting people’s feelings unnecessarily. Hell, I never even laid into Tellkamp for his petulant outburst. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Let me introduce you to my nemesis Morgan. No, it’s not Williamson. My antagonist hails from family Dunn and makes the Stab bloke look like Hemingway.

I hadn’t heard of Morgan before today when an Inertia piece, “I’m So Completely Sick of Airs”, came across my feed. It was accompanied by the following picture and subtext…

The thing I love most about surfing is the connection I feel with the wave. Not the air.

Morgan is not the hi-pro logger busting a double grab wheelie. If only he were so tolerable.

Let’s hear what Mr. Dunn has to say about aerials:

I’m only 33 years old, but one thing makes me feel like a grumpy old man: airs. Look, when John John Florence or Filipe Toledo does an out-of-this-world air, I can appreciate it and be impressed by it, but I still don’t really like it.

Ok, kinda weird but.. ok.

It’s starting to feel like some guys finish every other wave with an air reverse. How is it still impressive at that point?

How is it not more impressive than a floater or half-layback?

I see kids of all ages trying to pull off airs constantly, and I have yet to see a single one landed. They’d be better served working on their bottom turn, the unsung hero of surfing, but it’s simply not flashy enough. It’s not enough to surf like Ace Buchan anymore. Airs work better for Instagram.

You’ve.. never seen a kid land an air? Also bottom turns have been called an “unsung hero” for so long and by so many people that they’ve become just the hero. And yeah, Ace is 24th on the CT right now so.. good point.

I catch myself shaking my head when I see guys attempting airs when they have no business doing so. I have come to despise the hotdog mentality in a sense, and airs feel like the ultimate hotdog move these days. Throw some toes on the nose, though, and I’m out there hooting for you.

Progression is bad, and wiggling your toes over the edge of a plank is NOT hotdogging. Got it.

Now someone might read this and scream jealousy, but that is simply not the case. The one thing I love most about surfing is the connection I feel with the wave. Why would I ever want to leave it to take to the air? I don’t want to leave that wave until it’s absolutely necessary. I don’t think I’d ever leave it if that were an option.

This is precious, if strangely sexual. But one question, Morgan: have you ever, in your life, come anywhere close to completing an air? Let’s read his Inertia bio for more info on the matter:

Morgan grew up in New York and moved to Southern California in his mid-20s, swearing off the frigid winters of his childhood. Low on funds, he drove west for the promise of warmer pastures and has called the region home ever since. During that first summer Morgan discovered a love for surfing on a beat-up, borrowed longboard despite the Pacific’s seemingly endless attempts to drown him. He now surfs as much as he can, and writes about it.

So you started surfing in your mid-20s and are now 33? Yeah, you’ve definitely never done an air.

Which makes your article the equivalent of me telling tall guys not to dunk anymore. They do it every time, how is that even impressive! I prefer a high, arching hook-shot from the key because of its historical significance and also that’s all I can do.

If you want to read more from Morgan, catch him on Twitter at @soularching. No really, that’s his handle! To be fair my email starts with wishingforwaves and ends with AOL but I made that account when I was 12 and his Twitter was born in 2016.

Ok, I feel better now!

Damn it: Tell me where to hide!

My enemies are mounting a furious attack. Help!

Things are getting serious. I’ve got Rip Curl trying to dislodge me from my current hiding place (Cardiff-by-the-Sea) and Stab magazine’s Sam McIntosh coming after me too very angry at the continual fun-making. Livid, in fact, with a frowny face and a bag full of Morgan Williamson adjectives that he’s flinging like adjectives grow on trees. Adjectives like “clotheshorse” “WeedMaps” and “group hug.”

“Stop!” I yell as a whole sentence “The weekend was a kick-back filled with beautiful people, in an enchanting location overlooking a lake and mountainside.” whizzes past my ear.

But I know Sam McIntosh won’t. He is livid with a frowny face and Rip Curl right in front of him with beige boardshorts so I need to hide and I need you. Karl Von Fanningstadt smartly suggested that I hide in Martin Potter’s tooth gap but the bags of cocaine I’m carrying won’t fit there.

Which leaves me with the following options:

n) Where Graham Stapelberg hid before Eddie Rothman slapped him in the Billabong North Shore A-Team house

o) Ex-WSL CEO Paul Speaker’s career

p) Scientology’s Celebrity Centre off Yucca and Franklin in Los Angeles

q) Luke Davis’s natural hair color

r) FCS II’s screw hole

s) SurfStitch’s stock numbers

t) Wherever SurfStitch’s Justin Cameron has gone

u) Fox’s sexual harassment hotline

v) Ocean Pacific

w) The truth about Owen Wright

x) Page 335 of Matt Warshaw’s History of Surfing (buy here!)

y) Samsung Galaxy phones (the ones that explode)

z) Between two cases of Michelob Ultra


Watch: Nervous Laughter!

Albee Layer and pals show you Jaws!

When plus sized swells are forecasted at your local break does your heart leap or does it sink? Do you love paddling through mountains of whitewash or do you prefer to reach the lineup with hair still dry? Are you a big wave gal or a 3-4 footer?

Me? I prefer head high plus a smidge but not double. I’ll paddle if I have to, if there are men on the beach looking at me or if I’m with friends but I am not thrilled about the situation.

And there is something about my own lack of thrill once the water starts towering that makes me love Albee Layer and friends’ latest film Nervous Laughter. It chronicles the lives of those who surf Jaws, why they do it, how they do it, etc. It seems like madness to me. Like sheer madness. Like the out of control madness in Laird Hamilton’s eyes but that’s what makes it a wonderful film. It is a world I’ll only know through them and, frankly, a world I only want to know through them.

The whole film is very much worth buying (on iTunes). Watch it with your friends before heading out to Suck Outs and packing mini closeout barrels! Who will win the day? Whoever has the intestinal fortitude.

No guts, no glory as they say.


I see you!
I see you!

Oh how we adore Caio Ibelli!

TourNotes: The Feel-Good Edition!

Peter King has done it again!

The 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells was a thing of beauty. Solid surf, huge performances, and a Fantasy win made it my favorite event of the season. Little did I know Peter King was about to push me to new emotional levels via his behind-the-scenes escapades on TourNotes.

This edition is one of my favorites to date. It’s got everything from comedy to action to women’s rights to tears of joy to a Nik Karol cameo.

Some highlights include:

– John’s golf skills. Impressively bad for an athlete of his pedigree.

– Simpo displaying his most impressive talent — commentary! Seriously WSL, lock this guy up before he has to start sweeping floors at the Hurley.

– Coco rousting the men, and the WSL, in regards to the wave quality for their day one performances (the girls accidentally scored while the guys dealt with chest-high blah).

– A teary-eyed Caio calling his dad pre-final. My heart, it melts!

– Nick Carroll! Is that face chiseled from marble or granite?

Sit back and enjoy!

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange as Chas Smith is headed for jail. Help!
Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange as Chas Smith is headed for jail. Help!

Help: Tell me where to hide!

Rip Curl is coming after me! I need advice!

When I’m out on my veranda and the sun is setting, casting a luscious light that filters through palm and jacaranda, I feel like I’m Julian Assange. The founder of WikiLeaks with his luxurious head of blonde(?) hair and website that publishes the deepest darkest secrets of the political world is currently holed up in London’s Ecuadorian embassy and don’t you imagine they have palm and jacaranda there? Don’t you feel he is very pleased with himself?

I am very pleased with myself when I publish Focus Group Creates Surf Brand. Names it Vissla and Rebellion: Rip Curl is Boring and Dull and Surf Ethics: Outing Mick’s Wave! because I am publishing the deepest darkest secrets of the surf world and currently holed up in San Diego’s Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Same same.

But word just came down that the United States of America is set to oust Assange from his Cardiff-by-the-Sea and arrest him.

Oh shit!

Do you think Rip Curl will try and do that to me?

If they do where should I go next?

a) Hurley’s Costa Mesa office complex

b) Nigeria

c) Dave Prodan’s World Surf League Santa Monica office

d) A shark’s mouth in Reunion Island

e) Negatron’s New Zealand love retreat

f) Jamie O’Brien’s house (again)

g) Under the World Surf League coffee table

h) Mexico

i) Between Morgan Williamson’s adjectives

j) Where Martin Potter stores his enthusiasm

k) Torquay

l) The Billabong boardshort aisle at Jack’s surfshop in Huntington

m) Surfer magazine’s “subscriber” numbers