Shoulder hopper alert! | Photo: Peter King

Watch: The Wonderful Waves of West Oz!

Alliteration bad, waves great!

Do you know why Tour pros complain about holding the contest at Margaret River Main Break? It is because the Margaret River area is one of the most wave-rich regions in the world, and Main Break is one of their absolute worst spots.

It’s so bad, in fact, that locals Taj Burrow, Jack Robbo, Jacob Wilcox, Jay Davies etc. claim that they don’t even have an advantage out there, because they never surf the joint.

So where do they surf? Allow this video to guide you!

Some waves I think I saw: North Point, Rabbits, Box, …and the last one lost me. But do they not look significantly more fun than the burger-zone comp site?

Another observation: Despite using an iPhone or handycam the majority of the time, Peter King is the ace video man on Tour. The lesson here is that relationships and tenacity will always trump a fifty-thousand dollar camera. Remember that kids!

Anyways The Box is starting soon so bye! (Edit: they decided not to run at The Box despite all the people we just watched getting tubed out there. Is this not a terrible move on the WSL’s part? Even if it wasn’t going to be perfect, running at The Box would at least make people want to watch.)

Wave tank: America’s gone surf crazy!

Welcome to the future!

Every morning, or so it seems, there is an announcement of some new surf-themed resort and/or wave tank being developed in the United States of America. Today’s is two being planned near Palm Springs, California. One in Indio the other in Coachella and how thrilled will Luke Davis be? The world’s second most handsome surfer has made the Coachella Music Festival his second home! But let’s read, very quickly, and then discuss.

Honokea Surf Villages and Resorts, a Hawaii-based company that helped design a recently opened surf park in Austin, Texas, says it has land under contract in Indio for an outdoor recreation facility that would include a “surf lagoon,” skate park, BMX track and acquatic track for stand-up paddleboarding.

That proposal joins one from Matteson Capital, working with Quiksilver Hotels and Resorts, which pitched a surf park and recreation facility for Palm Desert two and a half years ago. Agreements between the company and the city have been renewed once, and Matteson is due to present new plans to the City Council in April, city staff said.

“The development of standalone surf parks and man-made surf destinations, with the focal point being a high-quality surf pool or surfing lake, is not necessarily new, but it is picking up a lot of momentum in the last five years,” said John Luff, founder and president of Surf Park Central, a six-year-old trade publication for the surf park industry.

Luff said two surf parks have opened in the U.S. in the last five years, and he estimated 30 to 50 more are in various stages of development.

He was familiar with both Coachella Valley proposals, and believes several other developers may be eyeing the desert for their own surf parks.

The surf park industry has its own trade pub? 30 to 50 parks in various stages of development? An “acquatic” track for SUP? And really 30 to 50? Thirty to fifty? I mean, think about those numbers for one minute. That is a lot of wave pools. More wave pools than there are waves on the East Coast and Gulf Coast combined.

I suppose I’m just confused by it all. Has America gone totally surf mad? Are there studies being done where citizens of inland towns are begging for waves? Grandmas begging for SUP tracks? If this is all true then we are on the precipice of a massive surf industry boom. 1980s style! And BeachGrit will be there to capitalize bringing you the hottest inland gossip and a brand new chlorine resistant speedo.

The horror! The beauty!

Watch: The Greatest Burn of All Time!

Only in Australia, they say

You’ve heard of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. She hit northern Queensland, then southern Queensland, rained a lot, wreaked general havoc.

But what you maybe haven’t heard, or rather seen, is the best surf clip to come from ol’ Deb. It’s not a grinding barrel or a massive air but rather a drop-in. A burn. Please watch it right meow.

And did you see? The Debbie-fueled standing wave? The adept jet-ski handling? The perfect whip and release of the tow rope? The stylish approach to the ledge and subsequent hop down the face? The brutal stiff-arm to his only stand-up competition?

This is, by any measurable standard, the greatest burn of all time. Kelly on Parko at Kirra was nice, but no. This is it.

Leon soars despite wearing 10 pounds of rubber and a terribly unfashionable wrist clock!

Ugly Watch Co. Makes Beautiful Film!

The Crocs of time-telling!

I know what I said. That BeachGrit’s recent video posts have been blasé garbage yada yada yada, but I must declare that this one is utterly brilliant! G-Shock’s Grasshopper in the Snow combines all of my favorite tropes: beautiful cinematography, a worthy subject, perplexing narration and unsubtle branding.

Leon Glatzer, a lanky Costa Rican with a penchant for giganto-spins, was sent somewhere (north, I believe) to film an advertorial for ugly watch brand G-Shock.  Of course they won’t mind that I’ve called their product aesthetically atrocious, as G-Shock’s whole shtick is durability. It’s the laboring/surfing/sky-diving man’s watch. Utility over fashion.

Which makes me wonder… why spend all the money on this fllm? I’m gonna gander that with travel costs, production dollars, etc., the price tag on Grasshopper in the Snow trumped… 40k? I don’t know, thats just eyeballing it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they ponied up some legitimate cash for their ugly watch movie. It makes me partially forgive G-Shock for all the terrible Joel Centeio ads I had to suffer through over the years. And no dis to Joel, he’s a proper shred, but G-Shock’s 2008 marketing schemes were nearly as horrendous as their product. And Grasshopper is the Rolex of surfing advertorials!

You’d still have to pay me well north of fifty bucks to be seen in one of those wrist cages, though.

Now enjoy the film! (Bought to you by G-Shock — the contraceptive watch co.)

Looks at all the pretty colors!

The Perils of Chasing a Swell!

Apologies to the reader/boss/girlfriend etc.

If you’ve felt neglected and abused, loyal BeachGrittians, I understand. You’ve been handed rubbish lately. Of course Chas flips trash better than your average hobo, and Longtom’s musings have helped soothe the dumpster-fire burn, but the fact is we (emphasis on me (and Chas and Derek)) haven’t written much of value in the past…. mmmmmm…. four-ish days.

But we have excuses!

As you know Chas is busy with cocaine. As you may not know, and as I’m writing this I’m not sure if you’re supposed to know (?), Derek is also busy with something bound and verbose. He’s so busy in fact, that he asked me to curate two (2) articles a day for a nine-day span, while he finishes a project that will someday make a great coaster.

I agreed to his request but did so with a slight reluctance. Y’see, some days surf writing is easy. Kelly calls for a cull, Robbie Maddison acts like a wealthy bellend, etc. But others days it’s hard to find something noteworthy enough to pass off as news… so we fake it. We flip and spin and jump through hoops in an attempt to amuse our wonderful readership. To do that twice in a day is not only painful for us, it’s unfair to you.

This is not where I offer some wonderful solution to an apparent problem. This is where I make further excuses on my own behalf.

Three days into my nine-day sentence, a swell popped up. Actually it was two swells — forming back-to-back in the vivacious Southern Ocean. My initial plan was to meet them in Fiji, where a wonderful local (albeit American) family has offered me their couch in exchange for… friendship? They are incredibly gracious.

I then contacted an Aussie mate, who I’d met in Panama, to see if he’d like to join. He declined, citing work and a three-week trip to South Oz in his near future, but mentioned that the Fiji swells would first make landfall at his local, and they looked good.

A few chart-checks, phone calls, and one seriously disgruntled girlfriend later, I had a return ticket from LAX to Melbin with a seven-day layover in Fiji on the way back. Two trips for the price of one, four swells in the space of two!

I took off Monday night and have been pretty non-stop ever since. As a result, I’m not only slightly behind on my quota (thank you Chas for picking up the slack!), but 90% of my posts have been blasé video garbage, which is less fun for me to write than it is for you to read.

But I finally have a lay-day, so hopefully something interesting happens in the surf world!

Oh and, you’ll hear more travel tales shortly. I promise not to follow Chas’s advice this time.