Mark Healey should have followed me straight back to the channel!

True: Surfline Is Following Me!

BeachGritto before you go!

Have you ever felt like you were being followed? Downtown after bar close and the shadows haunt your every step? Being a mother duck in general?

Surfline is doing that to me, like, right now.

If you’ve been following along with my recent escapades, you’ll know that after a trip to Panama one month ago, I left for Australia and am now posted in Fiji. It’s a hard life but somebody has to do it.

And it turns out I’m not the only one!

An explanation: a few days into my Panama trip, I saw an IG post by none other than Luke Davis, in which he was surfing Bocas Del Toro’s premier wave. The caption read: (palm tree emoji) @surfline #ShadowCompany

This made me think that he, and Surfline, were headed my way for the peak of the swell. My suspicions were quickly confirmed when I heard through Hookers and Cocaine Wireless that not only Luke, but also Koa, Billy, and Nathan were headed to the islands.

I never saw the boys over there, as they had their sights set on a particularly hairy beast, but their presence was felt nonetheless.

Then, just two days into my Fiji trip, Koa Rothman posts this picture. Suspicious, but not surprising. Pros love Cloudbreak too.

Then the swell showed up early. Wasn’t supposed to be solid until the evening, but Tuesday morning provided some of the cleanest, most impeccable four-to-six footers anyone could ask for (more on that soon). Harry Bryant got a looney double-drainer that you’ll probably see soon.

Because it started pulsing earlier than expected, the morning was relatively uncrowded. I got three fun ones and called it a session as the tide was beginning to swamp. As I climbed aboard our boat, Tavarua II rolled in ten people deep. Luke Davis, Koa Rothman, Billy Kemper, Nathan Florence, Koa Smith, Alex Gray plus a few filmers.

Once everyone hopped in the water, I asked the Tavi photog, “Those boys here with Surfline?”

“Just kind of on their own trip, I think,” he told me. “But yeah the story and photos will probably go to Surfline.”

Oh those bastards! Do you think they read our site and picked their destinations off of it? And the only reason they didn’t come to Oz was the vagueness of my prose?

That would make BeachGrit the new forecast leader in surf! Who knew!


Duh: Owen Wright Is a Brave Man!

Oh to be freed from the shackles of fear!

Some days ago in his round one Margie’s analysis, Longtom wrote this:

Owen Wright made the millions watching online all over the world wince when he wore a sledgehammer lip to the head. He paddled away. Is that a successful stress test of the brain? I say yes.

I did not see the incident and wasn’t about to scour the WSL site to find it, so I took Shearer’s word. But it turns out he was half-wrong. There were b- trillions of people watching online all over the world.

As for the Owen part it’s safe to say Sheaerer slammed it on the noggin. Here’s an Instgram-turned-Facebook post from the Avatar himself, agreeing wholeheartedly with ol’ Longtom.

And… ouch! Have you ever been pelted by a wave with such mass and acceleration? Otherwise known as force?

Me of course yes because I charge the biggest waves Swamis has to offer but you, dear readers, may not know the feeling. It is cold, dark, violent. Enough so that, in the case of Owen’s 2015 Pipe beating, the result was a mature case of shaken baby syndrome.

But what have we learned? After a year plus of rehab, Owen is ready to handle a proper skull-shaker — both physically and mentally. That’s a huge step for world number one.

I really liked what he said, by the way, about emotional scars being just as important as the physical ones. I was once run over by a scooter kid in the skatepark, leaving me with a bruised knee cap and a fist full of anger. My leg hinge was fine seven minutes later but to this day I still yell “Fag!” every time I see one of those handlebar douches. And I don’t even use ‘fag’ as an insult anymore! Old habits die never.

Oh and, would you look at that… O Dawg has made it all the way to the quarters. Could we have a title contender or just an elongated Wilko on our hands? Will he go at massive Teahupo’o?

Only time will tell, but I think yes because Owen is a brave man.


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!


https://www.leustowels.com | 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?

Maybe.

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]

And….

– 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.