Have you seen the most recent Aladdin? No? No one has. Who reads surf mags anymore? And who clicks magazines? You should.
Joe D. Foster is an old friend. He modeled with Cameron Diaz. He was Madonna’s boy-toy in the “Express Yourself” vid. He was the guitarist in Ignite. He was the 5th ranked bodyboarder in the world. He’s a surf photographer and a graphic designer. He has an online magazine, a surf publication, Aladdin Mag. It’s been around for 7 years.
The photography is brilliant, yet no one sees it. Timeless imagery, even if Ando has a Quiksilver sticker. Is this why has no one has clicked? Alas.
I worry about Foster. What does an artist do in this environment? He has gold to share.“Self-publish! Get the content out there. Build an audience. Monetization will come!” Yet, 7 years on and still nada.
I worry about myself. Scrolling Insta, while convenient, might be the worst platform to consume surf imagery. Overloaded with content, yet so little satisfaction. And here Aladdin sits, unmolested.
Let it sit no more. Let me introduce you to Aladdin. Nearly void of text, just ridiculous imagery. Click. Issue 18 just dropped here.
As a footnote, if you want to get to know Foster, here’s a 3 part documentary series I made about him in 2011.
When was the last time you read something by Chas Smith without a hint of sarcasm? Something truly earnest that poured from his heart to the paper? I cannot recall one thing ever.
That’s part of the reason we love Chas. He’s lighthearted, funny, and doesn’t allow the weight of the world to affect anything beyond his hairline. But sometimes you have to wonder what Chas is all about.
Because nobody is truly indifferent. We all have things that are important to us — like Derek and his sharks, JP and his Scotland, etc. — things that affect our everyday moods and emotions. But it’s often hard to pinpoint what really matters to Chas Smith.
Scrolling through The Book, I caught glimpse of Chas’s signature yellow profile picture with what appeared to be a novel beneath it. Considering his posts usually consist of BeachGrit articles, it caught my attention. I scrolled back to discover the most uplifting post of the week, and the first instance of sincerity from our old pal Charlie. It read:
Last night I sat in a movie theater and wept for the first time since 1982. Then I was six-years-old and E.T. was playing and I thought he was dead. Now I am forty and watching Wonder Woman with my four-year-old daughter on my lap.
And in the day and age of “grab-them-by-the-pussy” and Cliff Huxtable’s quaaludes watching a woman shred multiple battlefields of men while my little girl crosses her forearms in a defiant pose completely did me in.
At this very moment she is running around the house with a postcard as a shield, a necklace as a lasso, a colored pencil as a sword and a hand-me-down Super Girl outfit substituting for Wonder Woman’s. I’m taking her again tonight because she is begging. And because there is currently nothing better on this earth than empowering her.
To hell with Trump. To hell with Cosby. The future is hers.
This beautiful sonnet was reinforced in my mind when listening to NPR this morning. The station was talking about Kurdish women fighters who were part of the war against ISIS. Some of them were there because they loathed the Islamic State, but many were there as a means of avoiding and/or deconstructing a patriarchal society. One woman joined in order to flee from a marriage that her brother had arranged for her.
Very sad, but there was one instance of brilliance.
It turns out that under Muslim doctrine, being killed by a woman soldier blocks your entry to eternal bliss, virgins, etc. The Kurdish fighters, knowing this, use a loudspeaker to taunt the ISIS members, reminding them that if they die at the hands of a woman they will be eternally doomed. If that’s not empowerment I don’t know what is!
Anyways, back to Chas.
When researching the Panama story from last week, I stumbled upon an old essay he had written for Stab. It started:
Panama is an unshaved Hispanic pussy. Gently rolling folds covered with lush vegetation spill into endless pleasure of ocean. Or sea. Giant metal phalluses, captained by white men, enter her from the front and from the rear. It is almost always wet season.
Which led to:
I ended the evening with three underage girls, if memory serves, in a hot tub at the Courtyard Real Hotel. I was wearing a Tahitian Themed Jean Paul Gaultier swimsuit with a print of Tahitian boys. I was drinking a frosty sangria and the girls were nude.
One can’t help but think that having a daughter has had a profound effect on Chas’s outlook on life, if not his fashion sense.
So thank you Chas for showing us your heart — but mostly thanks to Hemingway for making it ten times bigger!
Laird Hamilton is back in the news! Controversial? Let's see!
The last time Laird Hamilton was in the news it was for saying that menstruating women are the cause of shark attacks. Oh the fun I had! Five days of nothing but Laird and periods. Five glorious, informative, fun-filled days. Did you have fun too? Don’t you wish we could have done ten days instead of five?
But we couldn’t do ten days because Laird Hamilton delivered a masterclass in what you are supposed to do when caught in a self-made controversy.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
I am certain Donald J. Trump’s staff was looking west during Period-Gate and thinking, “Gol’durn. Why isn’t Laird Hamilton the President of the United States? That boy can handle his business!”
Do you think Laird might run someday? Maybe in 100 or 200 years? He tells GQ in a recent interview, “I don’t even have an age. I don’t know how I could feel better.”
And then gives the magazine “life hacks” so that we can all forget our ages. His first is…
Coffee is the only energy drink you need. So long as you fatten it up.
“I use my coffee like other people use energy drinks,” Hamilton says. “But are you getting the most out of your coffee? Probably not.” The real secret to joe, he claims, is combining it with fats (like those in his Laird Superfood creamer) that time release the caffeine, so that your energy stays constant, instead of peaking and cratering. It also makes you sharper: “You know [how] you drink coffee, you’re all jacked up, but you’re still foggy-headed? The caffeine is jacking the body up. It’s not jacking the brain up. The fat’s feeding the brain. That’s where the focus comes in, and the mental clarity.” Important whether you’re outrunning a 50-foot swell or a 50-year-old boss in search of some overdue TPS reports.
They call this bulletproof coffee, no? So many people swear by it and I once tried but watching the butter melt in my coffee totally grossed me out. I’ll keep the jacked up foggy head thank you very much. Also, I will never be President of the United States.
Also, I hate the trendy new phrase “life hacks.” Like, way hate it.
Read the rest of Laird Hamilton’s life hacks here.
And really, how much world-class surfing can a person watch?
It’s quite tiresome to witness impeccable technique, seamless transitions and overall athleticism every damn day. Sometimes we need a dose of reality.
That’s where this video comes in. It features decent surfers at an exceptional wave in Scotland and makes me feel that, if I happened to be at Thurso East on a day of inside-out tubes, I could do some damage.
This video is the surfing equivalent of plus-size models. Please enjoy, fellow fatties!
Beyond the bowed knees, bogged rails and double-GoPro-action, the boys did a damn good job out there. Makes you realize that repetition and local knowledge can propel mediocrity to exceptionalism. This is why small-pronged men tend to be more faithful… or so a friend told me.
I sometimes wonder about the talent level of an average BeachGrit reader. In terms of intellect, humor, and writing ability, I’d give you guys a solid A-minus (on an industry scale, of course). When it comes to surfing ability, however, I’m skeptical.
Maybe if we could count everyone at the peak of their abilities it would be different, but considering most of you are forty-plus with families and full-time jobs, it’s hard to imagine you’d cross the C+ threshold, at least on average.
But do not fret! As they say C’s get degrees, and if it makes you feel any better, Inertia readers are on the short bus and the best surfers don’t read at all. You are the perfect middle ground!
This makes me think we should take a team trip to Thurso East. We’ll storm the coast like Braveheart and seize the lineup with our Mayhems and Sharp Eyes and Hypto Cryptos. We’ll send Wiggolly’s Paddling Style after any local rabble-rousers and take turns air dropping to a hard-earned demise. Maybe even make a tube or two.
Who is the greatest surfer to ever come out of Newport Beach? Come inside!
There is a fine profile in this morning’s Los Angeles Times of Newport Beach’s Parker Cohn. The seventeen-year-old surfer was once sponsored by Hurley but now dons the RVCA (“I absolutely love what RVCA is representing at the moment,” he tells the paper. “A lot of the older guys on the team are guys I look up to, Bruce Irons, Luke Davis and Colin Moran, and the list goes on and on.”)
He is the number 1 seed in the NSSA National Championships which begins tomorrow at Huntington Beach and will be surfing with Newport Beach on his heart and mind.
“I love to represent this city,” says Cohn in the article, “I’ve lived here my entire life and I love it here. Newport Beach is practically the best place you can grow up as a surfer.”
“Could he be the next great surfer to come out of Newport Beach?” the reporter asks before answering, quickly, “Yes, he just might be the next great surfer to come out of Newport Beach.”
Which made me wonder. Who was the last great surfer to come out of Newport Beach? I’m not talking Andrew Droid Doheny, though he is very good, or Josh Hoyer or Richie Collins. Maybe Danny Kwock? Maybe Preston Murray? Alex Knost?
Oh, I’m not denying Newport’s place in the surf pantheon. It will forever be the “hottest 100 yards!” I’m simply asking, has Newport Beach ever had a great surfer?
Will Parker Cohn put the town on the map just like Kelly Slater put Cocoa Beach on it? Will they one day erect a statue of him on the peninsula?