It don't always go like this, but when it does... | Photo: SurfING Magazine

The Joys of Chasing a Swell!

A feel-good story...

Picture your local highway on any given day. If you live somewhere with a relatively dense population, this means lots of people in lots of cars — all of them headed somewhere that, while important to the occupants of each vehicle, is completely irrelevant to everybody else. We only care about those inside our own automobile.

Humans live on the same plane, but mostly remain within their own personal bubbles. It’s safe, comfy, and easy to do so.

Yet, when traveling solo, this is not the case. We’re forced to seek out new relationships in order to live and prosper in a foreign land. I did this in Panama with the Aussies, and as a result I was invited to their home for a swell. Here’s why that’s so valuable to me…

I arrived in Melbin, Austrahlya with high spirits and low expectations. Despite the promising forecast, I wasn’t putting much pressure on the waves to produce. This part of my trip was a bonus. The contemptible cookie before my steak and potatoes.

Out of respect for the locals, I’d rather not divulge much, or anything, about the wave I surfed. All I’ll say is that despite conditions not being quite ideal, it was clearly a world class setup. I had a number of exciting rides and saw many dreamy numbers go unridden. It was challenging and scary and wonderful.

So yes, the surfing was good. But that’s not what this segment is about. The real subject of this story are the people.

From the moment I was picked up at Tullamarine, I was meant to feel welcome. Not in the way that rich people tell you to please, feel at home!, while you sit on their imported sofa and attempt to dissuade your lemonade from inching off the coaster. A droplet on the mahogany would be in bad taste.

No. It was a throw your boards here, flop a mattress there, and take this beer you wild cahnt!

The Aussies did make me remove shoes off at the door, though. The carpet had recently been steam-cleaned.

My Panama pal lived in a woodsy cabana with three of his mates. One was a brother-by-blood, the other two were lifelong friends who happened to be phenomenal surfers. All of them affable as aardvarks.

When not chasing waves, we spent our time sinking beers, watching Margies and partaking in randomly amsuing activities like fishing and golf. I find Aussies to be delightfully wanton in every aspect of their lives.

Despite being halfway around the world in a place I knew nothing about, I felt like I could’ve lived there my whole life. The housemates made me food, showed me their town, and even rousted this little Seppo like I was one of their own.

This type of experience isn’t exclusive to surf, but it sure seems to happen a lot within our saline society. The reason is simple: there are waves we strive to ride all around the globe, but without loads of cash, seeing most of them would be unattainable. In order to offset the financial burden, we create a network of people across the world with whom we can trade waves, knowledge, and sparkling ales.

Then that carbonation leads to gaseous pressure and… boom! Bubble expanded!

Michel Bourez | Photo: WSL/Robertson

Margs: A contest for the every man!

Let cutbacks reign!

Another thrilling day of surf, another stacked quarterfinal with something for everyone except nothing from the middle 2000s. And is it totally official? Are the Coolie Kids never going to reach past Round 3 again? Has the sun set over Snapper? Should we erect a monument?


But back to Marg River’s Main Break in the current day. What thrills! What a fun quarterfinal draw!

Let’s run through them all real quick:

Owen Wright vs. Jack Freestone: Never bet against the Mother of Dragons.

JJF vs. Michel “My Belle” Bourez: Duh. (John John)

Adriano vs. Flyin’ Filipe: Filipe!

Kolohe vs. Michael Jordan Smith: I’m feeling Kolohe here. Being engaged has awoken the Dino inside!

Am I right or am I right?

Overall I’m going to take Mother of Dragons for what is seeming to be, quite possibly, the last title ever at this particular World Surf League event. And this makes me very sad. Oh I know cutbacks are not the sexiest move ever but it is the move that all surfers can kind of do. I can kind of do one and so can you. We could have a cutback-off and that’s what the professionals are doing too! Like us only with bigger spray! Every men!

I’m going to miss Margaret River… Kelly Slater and his sour grapes be damned.

This guy gets it!

Report: Surfers are Stupid!

Eye roll: engage

If someone were to ask you in complete sincerity, Are surfers stupid?, how would you answer? Would you go through the mental gymnastics of explaining how, through our oceanic jaunts, surfers come to understand the universe on a grander scale, and thus retain a unique worldly knowledge? Or would you simply give up and admit that, on average, we’re a little bit dopey?

Luckily you’ll never need to answer that question, as Surfer Magazine has provided us with unequivocal data.

The study started on August 22, 2016, when Ashtyn Douglass (a lass!) penned the piece Australians Bail on Bali for Surfer Mag. It’s an hysterical take on what would happen if Bali banned alcohol — being that every Australian surfer would scrap their tickets and stay home, as fear of sobriety overtakes the desire for spinning cylinders. The only catch is that, because the piece was satirical, it was written in a present tense this-is-actually-happening tone, rather than a what-if.

But Surfer knew their demographic well — so well that, in case the satire wasn’t obvious enough, they added this disclaimer at the end of the article: ‘Corndogging’ is a satirical column in which we take serious surf issues, dunk ’em in the ocean, and roll them around in the sand for awhile.

But, sadly, that wasn’t enough. Almost every single comment  suggests that the readers are oblivious to the story’s purposefully falsified ethos. Some of my favorites are:

– Really? cancel your surf trip to bali just because alcohol might be ban? why choose booze over the waves?prioritize booze over surfing…hmm. It wont be pass, trust me. It will kill Bali’s tourism, subsquently, Indonesia’s tourism. Several months ago there was a similar case. The govt tried to pass a law that would raise the price of ciggs. Didnt make it. Although, I must say, less aussie in bali would be super nice haha

– Seriously? Foreign journalists commenting on Bali might want to do just a little research before putting out such baseless and spurious information. This is just click bait – theres not a ban, not going to be a ban and actually believing such BS effects a Balinese economy which, like many tourist areas in the world are struggling now. Buy a clue man – “Hooters” just opened a branch for the first time in Jakarta, (Muslim majority btw), does that sound like a ban to you?  [sic to all of the above]


– This article is both dumb and not funny.

So maybe the last person got it, but they definitely didn’t get it.

Alas, the saga of stupidity doesn’t end there. Just yesterday, on April 1, 2017, Surfer reposted the article on their Facebook in support of BeachGrit’s least favorite holiday. The results remained consistent with previous studies.

It must be noted that these are the “Top Comments” on the post. Also, how’s the audacity of  Lord Commander Snow to recite such unintelligent drivel as if it were gospel? This is why you die.

Sorry, back to the point.

This whole debacle has made me realize how greatly I appreciate the BeachGrit community. We are many things, but blatantly stupid is not one of them. Except for maybe SharkAttack.

Just in: BeachGrit Has Been Sold!

Say buh-bye to hard surf candy!

Sigh. You guys were right.

Once great surf/fashion site BeachGrit was nothing more than a pyramid scheme. A capitalistic smoke and mirrors. A joke amongst two crusty surf scribes.

How do I know this? Well, today Dez informed me that while he’s appreciative of my time spent on the Grit, as of tomorrow our beloved haven will be under new management, and they want none of this Italian sausage.

In fact, BeachGrit‘s whole scheme is supposedly changing. The new owner, whose name I’m forbidden to share but definitely doesn’t not rhyme with ‘burly’, will be using the domain for a secretive property launch.

While I am upset about losing a job, forfeiting the credibility of the world’s okayest surf site and becoming more generally disillusioned about the world we live in, I guess I understand. Derek needs to make up for dollars lost on a premature STAB sale and Chas has to prove to his wife that despite it being 2017, men can too bring home the bacon! Or at least a small tube of soyrizo.

I don’t think I was supposed to be the one to tell you all this, but what are they gonna do, fire me? I’d recommend screen-shotting the post in case they see and delete. The soulless bastards!

If you’re wondering where to find future hard surf candy, try here.

Cut: “Pipe is the ultimate coke wave!”

It’s a big steep drop, super fast, you get totally charged...

If you are a semi-regular here you know I am working on a book and oh how it’s killing me! I either forgot how difficult it is to pull the threads of a story together or… something. My head is a wreck all the time and my fingers sore. I’ve probably smashed out near 100,000 words so far and a good 60% of them have ended up on the floor amidst tears and spilled booze. Here’s 141 of them right here from an interview with the great Michael Oblowitz, director of Sea of Darkness and the upcoming Sunny Garcia doc.

If you’re young you do a line of coke paddle out at Pipe, get barreled, paddle back in and do another line. Paddle in and out. Paddle in and out. I think that is why Pipeline became such a hot wave. Because it is so close to the shore. You’ve got the houses, everything right there. Pipeline is the ultimate cocaine wave, ok? It’s a big steep drop, super fast, you get totally charged, you go flying out the back and you’ve got to bust a move up to one of the Pipe houses, run back and get another one. That’s a coke wave. Mavericks is a speed wave. All those guys were all doing methedrine because it’s so far out there and you’re gonna be out there forever. You need a drug that’s more enduring. Cocaine is definitely not enduring.

A good quote and it makes me think… if Pipe is coke and Maverick is speed then what is Bells? What about Main Break?