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


Would you have the gumption to turn and burn?

Watch: Welcome to Barrel Heaven!

Aritz and friends find the Indian Ocean sphincter!

You know the type of waves I like — looney toobs with minimal chance of death or dismemberment. That’s why this video, a short film about Aritz Aranburu and friends at Lagundri Bay, stood out to me. Nias is barrel heaven, as it radiates the ideal amount of fear-inducing power and wave-of-your-life potential.

The clip starts by chronicling the small days in anticipation of a major swell. Aritz and Leo are ripping, snagging a few clean tubs, but it’s clearly just a crescendo for the impending storm. The video starts to peak around the halfway point when the waves hit six-to-eight feet, and it doesn’t look back from there.

But this made me think, wouldn’t it be nice if swells came up as slowly as they died off? It seems that in most corners of the world, swells fill in quickly, with the first day of waves being the strongest, and then slowly back off over the following 72 hours.

And how stressful is that? The waves go from 0-100 overnight, and it takes a certain type of person to be prepared for it.

Usually by the end of the big day you start to build a little confidence, but by that time the sun has nearly set and the biggest, best waves of the swell have come to pass. Then you spend the next few days surfing the dying end of the swell, just wishing you could have the big day back as your confidence has finally peaked.

In a perfect world, swells would come up slowly and steadily over a three day period. Then, when your balls are hanging at a sufficient depth, the waves would max-out and you’d capitalize on the peak of the swell instead of shitting yourself in the channel.

Anyways, enjoy the clip! It’s the best barrel-riding you’ll see this week.

Rebellion: “Rip Curl is boring and dull!”

Shop Rolling Death Maui and end the tyranny of surf industry conservatism!

I had the pleasure of chatting with one of the greatest surf journalists of all time the other day. Brad Melekian pulled apart the Andy Irons story in those early days, crafting the only two pieces on the subject that matter. I was the biggest dickhead in the world, in those early days, and repeatedly told him to go to hell and called him a kook from Santa Fe, New Mexico even though I knew he was not from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In any case, he was kind enough, forgiving enough, to see me and we chatted about the surf industry, surf journalism, surf culture etc. and while I sipped a grape flavored coconut water vodka cocktail he said:

“Surfing is one of the most arch-conservative subcultures in the world. You talk about being risk averse, these guys are really conservative and they don’t know what’s going to happen to their careers if they say the wrong thing, so….”

Oh of course I agree at it kills me every day. How did the surf industry become what it became? So staid, so scared, so… conservative? It makes me angry and this morning I was shuffling around my house angry when a package came. I opened it and pulled the heavy ceramic boob shaka from a bed of styrofoam and was not angry.

I sometime forget that companies like Rolling Death Maui exist and flourish under the dull orthodoxy of Rip Curl. Look at that boob shaka! And if you could only feel it. I think it weighs five pounds. Rolling Death Maui also make Offensive Hawaiian Stereotype pins, Everything Cool Sucks patches, Gary Busey bottle openers etc. etc.

Not conservative. Funny, witty, good.

And then the sun comes out again and I am not angry anymore because there is hope.

Shop here!