Day 5: Laird blows virgin minds!

Popular Science picks up Laird Hamilton vs menstrual-blood-in-the -water debate!

And it is day 5. I’m alone. No sight of laird Hamilton. No sound of menstruation but I know they’re both here. Chumming the waters.

I’ve been adrift now on this story for 120 hours. One hundred and nineteen hours more than any man has ever spent on either Laird Hamilton or menstruation in history.

Thirst claws at my throat.

But what is this? Salvation? My way out? Popular Science just picked up the thread and wrote THE definitive account on the subject!

“We could turn PopSci into PeriodSci for a week and still not have time to debunk every myth related to monthlies. But today we’ve got an exceptionally absurd one to tackle: Does period blood attract sharks, making menstruating individuals (and their unfortunate swimming companions) more vulnerable to vicious shark attacks?”

Etc. Etc.

And this is perfect!

This is the official end of my journey! But what? You’ve never heard of Popular Science? In my junior high school (what is junior high school called in Australia?) Popular Science magazine seemed to a religious text for the boys who had not yet discovered girls. Who still played with Legos.

They would sit in the library and ooh and aah at various alchemy experiments and other stuff. I would stand across the room smirking at them, “reading” Steve Largent’s biography not because I was cool, obvs, but because I was too dumb to understand what alchemy even meant and other stuff.

In any case, these Popular Scientists would go on to be titans of industry, inventing better and better opioids etc. And it makes my heart sing to know the future titans of industry will have also go on to invent even better opioids but, for one brief moment in time, would have sat around a table in the library, vigorously scratching their heads at the wonders of women.

All thanks to Laird Hamilton.

Just in: Worst Surf Photo Ever?

The surf photo can be the cruellest of masters.

Five days ago this website wondered aloud if a BeachGrit reader could win, perhaps very easily, the Indian Open of Surfing. The two-day event, which began on Friday, featured the best surfers on the sub-continent, as well as Maldivian Ismail Miguel.

As Chas Smith wrote:

“Be honest right now. Be way super honest. If you happened to be in Mangalore with a few hours to kill and, inexplicably, your favorite surfboard do you think you could take the Indian Open of Surfing?

Are you racist for feeling that way?


But also, I think I could. Chas Smith surf champ!”

Of course, the posit was racist to the bone. Just as eating a delicious fish curry is an act of imperialist cultural appropriation.

Or at least it was until this photo was splashed across India’s Deccan Herald, an English-language paper read by half-a-million people every day.

“Austin from USA displays his skill on waves,” reads the caption.

Oh, I know, we’ve all fallen victim to inflated expectations of a surf photograph. Many years ago, one of my dearest friends came back to our North Shore rental breathless that he’d just been photographed taking off on a ten-foot Sunset peak.

This was pre-digital and a week passed before the photograph was revealed. The sheet of transparency film was ripped out of the paper bag, thrown on a lightbox and…

… the friend, a good enough surfer, was captured in a deep squat, a sprawling, droopy, dopey-eyed style, on what appeared to be a still ocean.

Cue whimpering.

I’ve worked in the magazine game long enough to’ve seen bad photos of Jordy Smith and co. (Oddly, never of Dane Reynolds.)

And what I’ve learned is, you have to turn harder than you’ve ever turned, in the most critical part of a wave you’ve ever visited, swish your arms and hips around and then, only then, might you get something that isn’t embarrassing.

As for this,

I wonder,

Did Austin from the USA, read Chas Smith’s story and think, goddammit, I’ll drive those Indians into the dirt and be a one-in-a-billion surfer, the best on the sub-continent?

Maybe he did!

Follow the Indian Open of Surfing here.

Lena Dunham: “I forgive Laird!”

Alt-feminist Lena Dunham stands by her man!

I am now in clearly uncharted waters. Day Four of Laird Hamilton and Menstruation. No one has dared sail this far without turning back and I am alone.

Alone with alt-feminist Lena Dunham!

Common sense would have had her raging against Laird’s proclamation that sharks eat girls who are undergoing uterine rejuvenation. That she would have stomped her feet at a caveman spreading unkind rumors about lady parts but Lena has more balls than The Inertia and don’t care!

“Y’all I know Laird Hamilton shouldn’t have said sharks eat ladies with periods but he did once literally save me from drowning so I forgive!” Dunham posted on Twitter on Friday.


Dunham, 31, recounted the 2015 paddleboarding race ordeal in the Hamptons, when she “got off course and [Hamilton] somehow appeared as I was alone and panicking and dragged me to shore!”

A spy at the Hamptons Paddle & Party for Pink charity race told Page Six at the time, “It was a tough paddle … Windy and harder than expected.” Dunham ended up drifting into Mecox Bay.

Hamilton even left Dunham with some motivational words: “Then Laird Hamilton said to me ‘you may have finished last, but you never gave up so in my book you finish first.’”

Let’s read the rest of the Page 6 story here!

And how’s about that.

Before reading this piece I found Laird a goofy clown and Lena totally disgusting. After reading this I find them both heart-warming.

Or am I wrong? Has Day Four blunted my senses?

Ummmmm which side do we take?
Ummmmm which side do we take?

Breaking: The Inertia totally pussies out!

New levels of spinelessness achieved!

I wanted to do one full week of coverage on Laird Hamilton telling TMZ that sharks attack because women are menstruating but I only made it for two days. Long enough to be able to write menstruating without having to Google its spelling but not long enough to set any tangible record.

Still, pretty good. But really, more than anything, I have been waiting patiently for The Inertia‘s take on the incident. Venice-adjacent sometime-white water rafting blog has a totally un-ironic lefty streak and I was dying for them to jump in all indignant and shred dear Laird for being a misogynistic creep.

But then again, would they? Laird Hamilton and his hydrofoil/SUP/super food non-dairy creamer represents everything The Inertia holds dear. Would they, instead of castigating their hero blame TMZ for misrepresenting an honest, albeit naive, opinion?

I waited and waited and waited and then just this minute right now found their take on Laird-gate buried deep in their feed. It read:

The World According to Laird: Women Experiencing Menstrual Cycle Could Be Shark Bait

We’re not quite sure where this came from, and TMZ has a reputation for pulling out the worst quotes when its reporters stick mics in people’s faces, but this nugget from Laird Hamilton on how woman experiencing their menstrual cycle are at a greater risk of being bitten by a shark is a head scratcher. Hard to find any evidence to back that up. So we’ll just leave this here.

That’s it and I haven’t been this let down since thieves broke into my family home when I was eleven years old and stole most of the presents from under the Christmas tree.


I mean, I knew Zach Weisberg and crew were spineless and I guess I knew they were pussies but COME ON! For once, just once, grow a fucking pair of BALLS. Pick a FUCKING side!

One of you Inertia bastards better explain how you let this story fall so flat or I’m storming the office and NOT bringing any paleo granola bars with me.

You don’t deserve them.

None of you do.

The face of a man who's been inside things.

Watch: Harry Bryant Penetrates Fiji!

Join him in the crystal waters of Cloudbreak!

And do you recall, just two months ago, when I told you that I surfed perfect Cloudbreak very poorly but witnessed a young Harry Bryant break his hymen in heroic fashion?

No? Well it happened. And finally the proof has surfaced.

Let’s indulge!

If you’ve ever surfed Cloudbreak, you know how difficult of a wave it is. The good ones look like closeouts, the closeouts look like closeouts, and the bad ones look like the wave of your life. It’s confusing as hell, but somehow, on his maiden voyage to Fiji, Harry Bryant was baking cakes in industrial-sized ovens.

His last wave I saw from our boat. I even have a shitty iPhone clip of the damn thing. Seeing a wave like that in real life is pretty surreal. After a certain point, generally around the eight-second mark of the barrel, it seems simultaneously impossible and inevitable that he’s gonna come flying out the end of it.

The big day was pretty hit-or-miss, but Harry handled himself with courage and aplomb. Often picking off waves down the reef, the out-the-back crew would collectively shake its heads every time a cheer from the channel was matched with a blonde-dyed-pink head flying over the shoulder.

Amongst a healthy crew of pros and Cloudbreak specialists, Harry owned that swell. As Ryan Hipwood called it, “I don’t think the kid’s fallen off his board all day.”

Which leads me to this question, readers:

Have you ever been THE guy? The one who gets all the best waves in a premier session and is lauded by the crew for a week straight?