Podcast: “Chas is that little creature!”

"...who is just antagonizing the FUCK out of everyone!"

We live in the golden age of surf journalism, and I certainly don’t need to remind you, but we live in the golden age of surf radio too. It is totally true and where would we be without the glorious podcast? We’d be sad is where. Especially Occy. He’d be sad and sitting alone in his closet with an unplugged microphone and list of anecdotes that no one would ever hear.

But we do have many podcasts and we know Occy’s stories and the world is right.

One of my favorites is Ain’t That Swell with Jed Smith and Vaughn Dead. The two have been at it as long as anyone and have a wonderfully light rapport, easy-listening yet still bawdy voices and a command over the subject matter.

In their latest episode, featuring guest Danny Johnson from Surfing World, there was a segment called Under or Over wherein the three discussed if certain topics were under performing or over performing.

Surf journos turning on each other was brought up and Vaughn declared it “under performing” saying, “Who fucking cares, mate? Arrrrgh!”

Jed added, “This is the thing. This is what makes it worth ripping into other surf journalist because at the same time who fucking cares?”

Then Vaughn said, “Let’s rattle off a few examples of what we’re talking about.”

Jed picked up the thread and declared, “Alright so we had Charlie Smith vs. The Inertia, Charlie Smith vs. Stab magazine…”

Vaughn interjected, “He’s on a fucking roll!”

While Jed continued, “Charlie Smith vs. Mick Fanning, who admittedly isn’t a journalist. Who else has Chas taken on?”

And then either Vaughn or guest Danny Johnson (forgive me… the lack of visuals is the downside of a podcast) yelled, “Everyone! Well he did an episode of Surf Splendor during the week but uh he just seems like he is that little creature who is just antagonizing the FUCK out of everyone just desperate for a response and when he gets it it’s a little victory to Chas but I think everyone else just seems to be terrified of him. That’s how it feels. People just have their fingers crossed, please don’t talk about me, please don’t have a go at me, I don’t want to get involved in this shit and… I don’t know. I don’t know whether people are intentionally flagging him because they can’t be fucked or whether they’re too scared or what’s going on but, yeah he’s going after everyone, man and… I guess he said it best himself. He’s lobbing grenades and he’s not getting any thrown back at him because either a) they’re scared or b) they don’t give one flying fuck but I have a feeling it’s a bit of both.”

Such a wonderful exchange but if I may add my two cents. The general tone of the discussion (listen below around the 28 minute mark) is that surf journalism is absurd and that throwing stones, or grenades as it were, is pointless and dumb. I whole-heartedly agree with one caveat. Having dabbled in war journalism, political journalism and fashion journalism enough I can say that those are utterly absurd too. No more and no less absurd than surf journalism.

Which is why I do what I do. Surf journalism, as absurd and pointless as it is, is also much more fun. The stories are fun, the the excesses are fun, the rumors are fun and the “fights” are fun.

We really do have differences of opinions. I think The Inertia is a giant piece of shit. I think Stab is embarrassingly derivative. And I write about these two, any anyone else in my way, because it’s fun. Why are they too chicken to respond? Vaughn/Danny thinks they’re either scared or don’t give a flying fuck.

I know they’re scared and that is why I’ll continue to lob my grenades.

We’re all yellow journalists, after all. I’m just Hearst looking for my Pulitzer.

Kelly Slater Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc
Kelly Slater dives at the gorgeous, and very, very famous, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes on the Mediterranean. A former Napoleon III chateau turned hotel, known for its dazzling parties (Vanity Fair and so forth), glittering guests (Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald both adored the joint) and, until very recently, its no credit cards policy. Kelly's lover Kalani captions this photo simply: "Flying squirrel for the win."

The other half: Kelly Slater in Cannes!

The world's greatest surfer living the world's greatest life!

Donald J. Trump gave a speech yesterday to a mob of blue collar midwestern corn farmers where he said, “So, somebody said, ‘Why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy?’ … I said, ‘because that’s the kind of thinking we want.’ And I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense? Does that make sense?”

It does make sense and I feel the same way about the best surfer to have ever lived, Robert Kelly Slater.

Just think if Kelly, being the greatest surfer to have ever lived, was poor or struggling. Just think if he had, like, a pretty ok condo in Cocoa Beach and a plaque commemorating his achievements on the wall of his local Hooters.

That would be a compete disaster because if the 11 x world champ could only make it into a condo and Hooters what hope would there be for me? For you?

Thankfully Kelly is spending his weeks between Fiji and South Africa rubbing shoulders with 200 other notables at a private French chateau. Let’s peek in on his Instagram!

Amongst 200 people at a private estate on a hillside above the French Riviera listening to #EddieVedder and #GlenHansard just after sunset on the #SummerSolstice2017 is a pretty good way to spend an evening, I’d say. Sounds more like a hypothetical (and a run-on sentence) than my past few hours. We were supposed to go see #ChakaKhan just before that but I think that would’ve officially been overload. Thanks, gentlemen. #ShakaCannes!

And piggy backs with Kalani!



Keep living the dream, Kelly! I’m right behind you! As soon as I get my wings from Hooters!

MR knows a thing or six about the merits of honeybees!

The Secret Life of Bees (and Me)!

The best thing I've done all year!

It was mentioned earlier that I had picked up a secondary job but that is simply not true.

In reality I picked up a primary job, in the sense that it will be my main form of income. Turns out BeachGrit can’t compete with bees.

That’s right folks, I’ve taken up the practice of live bee rescue, or ethical excavation if you’re into illiteration. It’s a wonderful job and Derek wants me to tell you about it.

I have a friend, Jeff (who’s been mentioned here), that singlehandedly runs and operates a bee excavation service. It is called Bee Removal and functions primarily in the San Diego region. It’s one of the only services in the region that doesn’t kill the bees, which, if you haven’t heard, is a problem for the future of the world and also hungry bears.

And the bees? They’re credible creatures. Allow me to share some knowledge from my first days of work:

  • Swarms of bees are (mostly) not dangerous. If you see a mass of bees moving in a certain direction, it’s because they’re migrating to a new home. Because they have nothing to protect at this time, they have no reason to attack you. However, if you witness a swarm approach your home and focus around a roof, tree, etc., call an excavator immediately. This is the best way to avoid an infestation.
  • Bees have particular jobs. There are scout bees, whose job it is to locate potential homes. There are forager bees, whose job is to collect pollen. There are worker bees, whose job it is to build and maintain the hive. There are drones, whose job it is to impregnate the Queen. The Queen’s job, of course, is to lay the eggs (up to 1,000 per day).
  • Male bees are essentially sperm donors. The males, also known as drones, have but one job and that is to fuck. I don’t know how bees fuck, but I imagine it’s something of a gangbang with the honey-lubed Queen acting as a receptacle. Once they’ve delivered their seed, the males are kicked out of the hive and left to die.
  • Bees are mostly non-confrontational and easily manipulated. My boss often goes into hives wearing nothing more than a vail (hat with a protective face covering). No gloves, no suit, nada. This speaks both to his and the bees’ general tranquility. Further, it’s incredibly easy to transport bees to a cardboard box (for eventual drop-off to a beekeeper). All you gotta do is find the Queen (easier said than done), toss her in the box, and watch them flock to her. If you can’t find her, no worries, just toss the bees into the box with your hand, or guide them with a smoker. You are the General and they are your little soldiers!
  • Killing bees doesn’t do shit. If you’ve got a bee problem, never call an exterminator. They’ll kill the the fuckers with a lethal spray and plug the entryway, but that only works for so long. Because the exterminators fail to remove the honeycomb, another bee colony will smell the honey and find another way to reach it. In order to truly rid yourself of the infestation, someone needs to remove the the hive and clean the area thoroughly by hand.

And that’s after just two days! Imagine what I’ll learn in a week…

This job is built for me with its flexible hours, dynamic office space, and solid earning potential. That said, I haven’t been stung yet, so who knows how I’ll feel after an encounter with an aggressive hive.

I’m just happy to be learning every day and utilizing of those would-be-lounging hours.

BeachGrit is fun but can lead a man to idle. Bees give me reason to wake up at dawn and return home sweaty and exhausted.

Is this what being a man feels like?

NY Times: Don’t Surf the Maldives!

Little island chain ripe for terrorist atrocity says New York Times… 

If you believe the news and, frankly, why would you given it’s all in the paws of Jews and Big Pharma, religious terrorism has become quite a thing.

From New York to Kuta to Sydney, Orlando to San Bernardino to Machester, London, Paris, Nice, Berlin, Munich and so on, civilians are machine gunned, stabbed, beheaded, run over and blown apart. It’s a period, I imagine, that will pass but not before a few thousand more people die in the most dreadful manner.

Which is why it’s nice to know there are places like The Maldives where you can go and just goof off for a while.

Not only is the vacationer spared the terrorist threats that make big cities shake, but the waves rarely threaten. It ain’t the North Shore. The benign peel angle of the waves make it the ideal destination for the beginner all the way to the competent amateur. 

Howevs, even The Maldives is losing its appeal. As headlined in the New York Times a few days ago, Islamic extremism might suddenly flip the switch in that country from happy little democracy to festering pit of Western resentment.

And you know what happens next.  

Fat on a sun-bed reading the cocktail menu to bleeding out on the sand.

Let’s read.

This island paradise made news recently for a reason other than its pristine beaches and high-end resorts: the gruesome killing of a liberal blogger, stabbed to death by multiple assailants.

The killing in April of Yameen Rasheed, 29, a strong voice against growing Islamic radicalization, has amplified safety concerns — particularly for foreign tourists, a highly vulnerable group and one that the islands’ economy depends on. It is no idle threat, in a country that by some accounts supplies the world’s highest per-capita number of foreign fighters to extremist outfits in Syria and Iraq.

Here’s how the terrorist might approach an attack.

The Maldives’ unusual approach to tourism, in which a single island houses a single resort, has also meant that entire islands without robust security teams are vulnerable to being seized.

A collection of about 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives hosted 1.2 million visitors last year, including over 30,000 Americans.

It was governed as a moderate Islamic nation for three decades under the autocratic rule of the former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. But after the country made a transition to democracy in 2008, space opened up for greater religious expression, and conservative ideologies like Salafism cropped up.

Don’t forget Bali or Tunisia, says the NYT.

The tourism industry has mostly remained off limits as a target for terrorism, but security experts say many resorts are ill equipped to fend off an attack on par with those that have occurred in places like Tunisiaand Bali, Indonesia.

A security chief from a resort in a northern atoll of Maldives said the country’s resorts are not prepared, adding that regulations and policies from the government were needed to address the issue. The security chief spoke on the condition of anonymity because of a fear of being targeted by the government, which has a history of jailing individuals who discuss sensitive issues.

Read the rest of the story here. 

Oh! And the Four Seasons’ Surfing Champions Trophy kicks off August 7 to 13, at Sultans in the Maldives. The contest stars last year’s winner Taj Burrow, CJ Hobgood, Maya Gabeira and the winner is decided after heats on singles, twins and thrusters.

One scenario: a terrorist attack forces cancellation of the event after one round with CJ leading, who is subsequently announced the winner of the shortened contest.

It’ll be 2001 all over again! 

jetski collision
"These two fuckwits almost killed about five people today with their jetski out the alley," writes Brett Levingston. | Photo: @photos_13

Brace: You won’t believe what happens next etc.

Ah, maybe you will… 

Jetskis in the surf. Oh they’re incomparable, even when the surf is four foot and below. No paddling. No dealing with messy takeoffs. No wave too steep. No crowd too thick to penetrate. In and Out. A happy cocoon where reality rarely penetrates.

Sometimes it does go awry. But what are you going to do? Once that little jet slips out of the water your machine is at the mercy of hydrodynamics.

Two days ago, the photographer Luke Workman, who is only sixteen, snatched this sequence of a jetski team pushing the limits (and commented upon by local shredder Brett Levingston on Instagram below).


It’s a fine sequence. A flourish. A treasure.

As the photographer Luke Workman told the Gold Coast Bulletin this morning,

Everyone was just amazed and in shock after they fell, he got sucked backwards into the wave while his mate was in the barrel,” the Currumbin local said.

“They were on one of the smaller waves that came through as well.”

He said the pair managed to get back to their ski and continued surfing among boardriders using paddle power to battle the relentless northerly current, which speeds up in big swell on the Gold Coast.

Is there a happy ending?

Of course!

After a legion of comments on Brett Levingston’s IG saying things like “fucking kooks” and “what a fucking hazard” and “lucky no one died” and so forth, a man purporting to be the ski rider writes,

Hey mate I actually was going to find you and apologise for get angry at you. Was no need for this but. You don’t know me. Bit harsh in your comments but that’s your opinion.

To which, Levingston replies,

hey mate appreciate the apology , you were doing the wrong thing multiple times and had close calls with more than a few of my friends. I was only concerned for everyone’s safety and the potential for the fun to be ruined for everyone. Hope you get some waves, stay safe

Isn’t surfing one long happy journey!