Victory: Slater Designs wins award!

Proving you WRONG is what he does!

Oh you love to get angry at Kelly Slater’s surfboards don’t you though? You say:

“Kelly’s equipment just looks wrong!”

“Its actually sad seeing the goat suck so badly!! Please john just lend slats a pyzel sled so he can bury a fucking rail!”

“PLEASE KELLY< get on a fucking different board!!! a SemiPro, or something.. his turns have hiccups in every front side delivery.. he is still a beast.. his barrels deep, his floaters and airs high.. PLEASE shape a semi pro and put an infinity sign on it or something.. god dam!!!”

And seeing as Kelly Slater has maybe not gotten the best results since he’s jumped from Channel Islands over to the new Slater Designs your complaints might seem to hold water.

But they don’t! Apparently you don’t know shit about surfboards because Slater Designs just won the Surf Industry Manufacturing Association’s Breakout Brand of the Year at last Thursday’s award’s ceremony at the Slater Design SCI-FI won Performance Shortboard of the Year!

Boooooya, haters!

Does this news make you rethink your ability to correctly judge a surfboard’s quality? Will you trade in your trusty “normal” surfboard by day’s end and upgrade to a Slater? Will you write Kelly an apology for the mean things you’ve written?

All three?

Good. That’s probably smart. And get ready to fall a lot and not really complete any moves. Sorry. I mean get ready to WIN!

Finale! Girl Goes Into Orbit!

Can Filipe Toledo teach Lakey Peterson how to nail a full-rotation air in four days? Watch!

If you’ve followed this four-part Girl Goes Into Orbit series you’ll know where we’ve been and what to expect in the final episode.

In case you’re new to the game, here’s the story: one month ago, BeachGrit, took the pro surfer Lakey Peterson to Mexico with one goal – to land a four-foot-above-the-lip full-rotation air.

Call it a 540 if you want. Call it an air 360 if that thrills too.

It’s been a pet project of mine to push women’s surfing beyond what is, mostly, a series of often stylish, often not, top turns and cutbacks. Why don’t girls do airs? Why should they? Only reason the men are doing ’em in competition is because of Gabriel, Filipe, Jordy, Julian, Josh Kerr and John John.

My theory is girls surf alongside boys until their early teens, and since it takes a fair bit of guts to get out there among the boys, the girls are usually among the best. Then, instead of improving alongside the boys as they get older, they plateau as they surf in girl-only competitions.

List the excuses you hear about girls and airs. They don’t have the physical strength. They don’t have the ability.

It’s all one big misconception.

Kids do ’em. Kooks can do ’em.

Why not girls?

My theory is girls surf alongside boys until their early teens, and since it takes a fair bit of guts to get out there among the boys, the girls are usually among the best. Then, instead of improving alongside the boys as they get older, they plateau as they surf in girl-only competitions.

And, since being a pro is such a thing, they train with coaches, but instead of growing into great surfers they turn into great competitors.

So let’s work on it.

To accelerate a process that John John says takes a couple of years, and compress it into four days Filipe Toledo and Brett Simpson joined Lakey as tutors. She’d surf. Come in. Swipe back and forth with the Hurley Surf Club app that gives a split-screen, side-by-side comparison with two surfers. In our case, Filipe’s airs and Lakey’s air attempts.

Cruel? Not as much as you’d think. Because Lakey can surf.

How’d it play out? Watch!

And, if you missed the other three episodes, watch those here.

This wasn't the wave but.. still, yowza!

Ouch: Dane Breaks Back at Pipe!

Rushing though...

As reported by Australia’s Surfing Life and witnessed in the video below, Dane Reynolds has apparently fractured a vertebrae after a fall at Backdoor. Please watch and wince with me!

Few things to discuss here.

1. What a beast! That wave was throatier than a sophomore cheerleader. The fact that Dane attempted, and nearly made, a wave of such grunt and gristle is commendable in and of itself.

2. Ow! Back injuries, as I’d imagine is true for most injuries, are no damn good. I fractured a vertebrae last year and despite only missing two months of surf, I still feel the effects today. My body is stiffer, slower, and more sore than it ever has been, like the whole ordeal set me forward ten years. Every fracture is different, so Dane’s could be better or much much worse. We shall wait and see.

3. Is anyone else sick of the Former editing style/song choice? Puts a real damper on their mediocre clothing line.

And just wondering, what’s the worst surf-related injury you’ve had? A dislocated shoulder in Durban? A filet-o-face at Deserts? Do tell!

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.