Kelly or Wavegarden Mach 1? Here, Wavegarden for your critical examination.

Superseded Texas Wavegarden Re-Opens!

Is Texas pool the equivalent of film in a brave digital world?

Y’gotta give it to the German inventors of Wavegarden. They don’t fuck around.

When Kelly Slater squashed the presumption that the burgeoning artificial wave market would be theirs, they spent two years building a pool that at least puts it in the same realm as Surf Ranch.

You might’ve heard about their new version of a wave-tank called Cove. All we got is PR propaganda and a handful of WCT surfers who rode it, but who signed non-disclosure agreements and therefore can’t offer an independently verified opinion, so who knows how good it is?

But how do we know if the KS pool’s got legs? More NDAs etc.

Anyway, while all the confected hoo-ha about Cove was going on, poor little NLand Surf Park has finally re-opened. If you’ll remember, the tank was open for only one month before shutting its doors last November.

A bummer since nearly every session y’tried to squeeze into had been booked out, making a mockery of the naysayers who said they wouldn’t be able to find chumps willing to spend ninety bucks on a ten-wave session. Even Ozzie Wright was dying to gun his fist into it.  

For some visitors, the experience was… divine! 

Now that it’s open, and you can watch Wavegarden Mach 1 in action below if you want to form an opinion, do you think the owners are sad they poured millions into a pool that has been so roughly superseded by Cove?

Do you think the owner, in this case Mr Doug Coors from the fabulously wealthy beer family, wants to unscrew the fountain, unplug the plough and start again?

Do you think the vibration of a slamming door was heard all over Austin when Cove was loosed?

Or do you think nothing will matter when Kelly finally unveils to the world?

And then, of course, we have the mysterious Greg Webber who claims to hold the key to the greatest secret of them all.

Wavegarden, says Webber, will “end up being redundant. They’d be horrified at what Kelly did and and even more fucking horrified when I build my one. (But) only one is going to make money. My one. There’s only one design and it revolves around using the Kelvin wake. It allows us to do 500 waves an hour as a base rate. We can have a ride rate of 5000 rides per hour. That’s fucked up. That’s proper money. “

Will JJF retain the gold jerz in Fiji? Math says yes!

WSL: Upsets Abound on Day Three!

Is it day three? I honestly have no clue!

Yesterday’s smugness lit a fire under the boss’s ass, leading to the subtle suggestion that I write about round three of the Oi Rio Pro today. There is something to be said for digging your own grave, though. Makes you feel like you’ve earned the punishment.

I won’t pretend that I watched any heats live, nor that I spent more than ten minutes on the Heat Analyzer. But here are the big fish that fried today in Saquarema:

Johnny Florence

While I adore our reigning world champ, I also like the idea of a title race — not a goddamn cakewalk. In my mind, Yago defeating John achieves two favorable objectives: the world title becomes achievable to the Owens, Jordies, and Gabriels of the world, and we get to see more from the inevitable talent that is Mr. Dora.

Has anyone looked more in control of their surfboard in these trampolining conditions? I say nay and look forward to a Yago victory in a few days’ time.

Filipe Toledo

Ok, what’s going on here? Filipe lost early in the two events he should have won and made it far in the two events he should have lost. Surf comps are often fluky, but four outliers in one year is pretty hard to reconcile.

On the interference… it was an unnecessary and unfortunate event, but the judges made the right call. The wave had a right, true, but Kanoa commanded the peak and therefore had the right to push Filipe off. You may not like it, but the judges called this one by the book.

Fantasy Teams

Is everyone’s dead or is that just me? I expected more from you, Freestone, Fioravanti, Filipe and Florence.

Vai Adriano!

E morte para Saquarema!

Stab: “Add some pop to your world!”

Also Venice-adjacent Stab magazine teaches you how to wear socks!

I’ve been out of town for a week and mostly offline. Upon reengaging with the world yesterday I was pleased to note that surf media is largely ignoring the Shame of Saquarema. We should all punish the World Surf League for pushing this contest forward by never mentioning it again. I was very sad, though, to see that The Inertia‘s also Venice-adjacent neighbor Stab released a New Yorker-style cartoon feature instructing men how to wear socks.

It received 18025 likes on Facebook. A story titled “FCS has traction for airs you dream of” received 0 likes on Facebook.

The ways to wear socks include:

The Baller: “Basketball is a very popular pastime among a lot of surfers, in particular those from the east and west coasts of America.”

The Reserve: “You probably spend a lot of time thinking about fonts, probably holiday in Copenhagen…”

The Icon: “…but need a little expressive detail to make the neutral tones of their suiting pop.”


Oh you should go read the entire feature now but, fair warning, you will be very sad too because Stab totally neglects the most fabulous way to wear socks. Please see above and I can only hope their New Yorker-style artist can return to draw.

The StabStitch: “You are in Miami with two days to kill and a suitcase full of methamphetamine…”

Griffin Guess.
Griffin Guess.

Winner: Give this man your money!

Griffin Guess's Titan of Maverick can be yours for a special introductory price!

Oh you know how much I love the tawdry bits of our surfing game but there is one tawdry saga so aesthetically unpleasing that I haven’t been able to give it my full attention.

The tawdry saga of Griffin Guess and his Titans of Maverick!

It really should have been grist in the BeachGrit mill for at least a year and maybe even two. For those unaware, Guess and his company Cartel Management partnered with Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark in 2014 in order to expand the reach of California’s signature big wave event, changed the name to Titans of Maverick and ran it once in 2016 while nobody watched. Like, nobody at all. Then Guess declared bankruptcy, Clark is furious, war rages.

Titans of Maverick LLC is now on the block, being auctioned June 1st with bids starting at $1,000,000.00.

Why hasn’t this tawdry saga been leading news here every other week? I puzzled over it this morning while reading about the latest developments in San Jose’s Mercury News before coming up with three reasons.

  1. I don’t really enjoy alliteration and particularly don’t enjoy alliteration in names. Griffin Guess Griffin Guess Griffin Guess Griffin Guess. It sounds like a brand leader in douche and douche products.
  2. Griffin Guess has a faux hawk. A massive, proud, pointy faux hawk. I don’t know if he still rocks it but he did for many years and should have known better.
  3. Griffin Guess named a surf contest Titans of Maverick and a company Cartel Management. Like he really did.

And that’s pretty much it. You probably won’t read anymore about Griffin Guess here unless BeachGrit wins the Titans of Maverick auction. I am submitting one half bar of warm water Sex Wax and a Rite-Aid coupon for buy one get one free Carefree maxi pads.

Even the wildcards are sad!

Opinion: Saquarema Must Die!

But we love you, Brazil!

I really thought this year would be different. That a change in venue would mean a change of heart, of spirit.

Shifting the CT from Rio to Saquarema was a necessary move by the WSL. Beyond wave quality, Rio presented genuine health concerns to our world tour competitors. Saquarema, in comparison, was a haven of health and potentially fun surf.

But, nope. Somehow it’s still the worst thing ever.

Are you wondering why we’ve yet to mention the Oi Rio Pro here on BeachGrit? It’s because they’re almost halfway through round three, and I’ve not been able to stomach more than one heat per day. The wave is so horrendous, so degrading to our sport and its foremost athletes, that it physically pains me to watch.

Also, Derek hasn’t asked me to write about the comp. Literally hasn’t even mentioned it. He probably knows it would lead to poor writing and remarkably low clicks, because the surf is so bad that nobody even cares.

I suppose the waves in Saquarema aren’t always so misshapen, but this year’s combo of backwashy and bankless is an offense to the CT fans and competitors alike. The tour is supposed to highlight the world’s best surfers in the world’s best at least decent waves, and despite their immense talent, the top 34 have looked more rodeo clown than cowboy in Brazil.

Some may argue that CT surfers should be experts in everything, from one-foot beachies to 12-foot slabs, which is something I’d agree with. But where does Saquarema fit in to that picture?

We already have France and Portugal for beach breaks plus Trestles for high-performance, so unless you think backwash negotiation is an essential aspect to high-level surfing, then this event is completely pointless. Also Brad Domke should be your world champ.

In fairness to the WSL, I doubt they’re head-over-heels about the Brazil event either. As I understand it, there are two reasons for holding an event in this region:

1. There are too many Brazilians on tour, and too many surfing fans in their nation, to deny Brazil of a CT event
2. To help fund the capital-hemorrhaging “Dream Tour” events (Cloudbreak, JBay, Teahupo’o)

In that sense, I appreciate what the WSL is doing.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t bitch and moan about this piss poor, worse-than-HB excuse for a CT venue.

Would someone just give the WSL lots of money so they can hold this thing at Noronha?