Big-wave Joust: Natxo Gonzalez vs Mick Fanning

Who surfs Ireland's big waves with more gusto, Spanish kid or adored world champ?

Recent footage has emerged of Natxo Gonzalez, a young charger famous for beating the world’s best big-wave pros at heavy Punta de los Lobos when he was just 17, surfing the same Irish slabs that inspired Mick to return to professional surfing.

Who does it better?

Oh let’s examine!

For starters, they both make the same mistake at the same spot — 1.59 (Natxo) and 2.35 (Mick).

Aileens, as the wave is called, looks as if it’s going to let them out, they relax, then right on cue the end section turns into a guillotine.

In terms of makes Natxo comes off best, getting significantly deeper than Mick who, after his initial fall, surfs as though he were at The Cave (the infamous Portuguese barrel that even Kelly can’t get deep at).

However, Natxo continues to flirt, eventually getting spat out of a few just as deep as his wipeout. Mick then surfs a glassy, mini version of Mullaghmore, which I find infinitely more appealing (but far less impressive) than Natxo’s XL antics at Ireland’s premiere big wave.

My favorite part is when Mick talks about how how stressful it is to book accommodation. Closely followed by the realisation that Natxo and his pals would’ve scored almost the exact same waves if they’d just stayed at home (see Rona Puta and Mundaka).

But enough about me, who did you prefer?

Is it easier to get deep backside or frontside? A

And when are we going to see Filipe or John land a full rotor at Aileens?

Breaking: “Creepy Hipster” caught!

You did it! You captured a dirty man!

Oooooooh and is he ever a dirty hipster. I mean creepy hipster. Just look at him! Look at that smug satisfaction. He totally just drank a craft beer and was listening to…. Kings of Leon. I know Kings of Leon isn’t a hipster band and I know this guy is more of a hessian and I know that “hipster” has become so overused as to not mean anything but, like…

…come on!

Kings of Fucking Leon?

But let’s turn to a non-boozy news source.

(Shhhhhhhh. It’s friday and I’m deeeeeeeeep)

A man suspected in the attempted kidnapping of a teenager in Encinitas has been arrested, confirmed investigators Friday.
The 15-year-old girl fought off a man during an attempted kidnapping in Encinitas Wednesday.

On Friday morning, deputies surrounded a suspicious truck in Cardiff. Neighbors in the area spotted the truck and saw two men who matched the suspect descriptions.

Now, the truck is impounded and the driver is under arrest pending charges in connection with this case.

“I can’t stress it enough, that the community is involved in this, and that ‘s what really made this happen so quick,” said SDSO spokesman Ryan Keim.

The man arrested was identified by the composite sketch released Thursday night. Investigators are still asking for the public’s help in finding the second suspect, who has not yet been identified.

Kings of Motherfucking Leon. But did you read? It was you, the “community” that was involved in this. Buy yourself another craft beer!

The Julian Edelman is still at large and do you think he has run to Mexico yet or do you think he is drinking one more craft beer before coming to your house and trying to kidnap you?

911: “Creepy hipster” attempts abduction!

A young girl waxing her board near popular surf spot almost snatched!

North County San Diego is normally a bucolic, sleepy place. Nice weather, nice enough surf, mostly nice people. Yoga studios. Mexican restaurants. Bike paths. Etc. Last evening though chaos broke through as two men tried to forcibly abduct a fifteen-year-old girl waxing her surfboard in her own driveway.

The Times of San Diego reports:

Investigators working to identify two men involved in the attempted abduction of a 15-year-old girl in a neighborhood near Grandview Surf Beach released an artist’s rendering of one of the would-be kidnappers Thursday.

The teen was waxing her surfboard in the driveway of her family’s home in the 1600 block of Neptune Avenue in Encinitas about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when a skinny man in board shorts grabbed her from behind and pinned her to the ground, according to sheriff’s officials.

As the assailant tried to drag her toward a nearby older-model blue pickup truck occupied by a second man, the victim was able to break free and run into her home. She was unharmed.

The men then fled.

The victim described the two men as roughly 5-feet-10-inch white men in their 20s or early 30s. The one who waited in the truck — the subject of the perpetrator sketch — had a long beard and light-brown hair.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Has anything like this ever happened at your local spot? Was justice delivered by a surf mob or by real law enforcement?

And look at that sketch. Are the hipsters getting out of control?

Help: What do I wear on a SUP?

A BeachGrit favorite turns her lonely eyes to you!

(Editor’s note: Jen is a staple on the comment board. Witty, insightful, fun and not afraid to mix it up. She is also a notable writer, with bylines in the Men’s Journal, Adventure Journal, Breitbart and Playgirl. Having her on BeachGrit is long overdue especially since our new tagline is “BeachGrit… the nexus where Breitbart and Playgirl meet!)

Shimmies through open door.

Looks around.

There sure is a lot of white space around here. I should do something about that, maybe.

Hi. I’m going to come visit you each week starting right about now. Up here. Instead of down there. It’s weird up here. The air is so thin. As my long-time friends will tell you, I’m bad at days of the week. Also, counting. So don’t expect this to be a predictable only on Tuesdays kind of deal. Sorry editors! Anyway I will make things for you. Maybe you’ll even like it. I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to make any rash assumptions.

In the meantime I totally need your expert advice. You see, this weekend, I have to go to a brand event and there is going to be SUPing. I’m never quite sure about correct usage here. I am going to do a SUP. I did a SUP. I am SUPing. Words are really fucking confusing sometimes.

It seemed like a good idea. This is the time of year when the surf where I live is super meager. I always know we’re deep in the summer flats when I start thinking of weird boards I’d like to ride that probably wouldn’t actually work in real life, but are fun to imagine.

Like, my current obsession is a super short Mini Simmons. As in, under 5’0”. I was riding a soft-top 4’6”, you know, one of those Beater thingies that Catch Surf makes, and thought, hey, maybe I should make one of these in foam and fiber glass. Yes, I know, this is a bad idea. But that’s what happens when there’s not really much in the way of actual surf. You get some really bad ideas.

Anyway you can see why I thought a trip down to Huntington Beach for some hot SoCal beach break action sounded good. Why the hell not, she said. It’ll be fun, she said. Also, there was going to be a surf lesson. I figured this is my chance! I could finally get better at surfing. That seemed pretty great, actually. I’d like to get better at surfing.

Then along came a hurricane and it ruined everything. You can’t do a surf lesson in a hurricane swell, because all the soft tops would get washed out to sea or something. I’m not actually sure what would happen, but no doubt it would be dire.

So I’m going to do a SUP. And I really need your help with this. I have so many questions.

Like first of all, what do I wear for this? There’s a guy who likes to do the SUP at one of my local spots. He wears quite bright red board shorts over a wetsuit. Also, booties. This approach seems aesthetically suspect. But maybe he’s right! Maybe this is totally correct style for doing the SUP. Do you know? Can you help me?

Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to fall off it, because I’m good at falling off things. This seems like an important consideration in making style decisions. I would not want anything vital to fall off in the water.

Honestly, I am so worried about doing this whole thing wrong. What if I carry it backwards? Do the fins go first or last or somewhere in between? Also, the SUP looks big. I’m not sure my frail frame can support the SUP. Dropping the SUP would be bad, I think! But I’m afraid I might drop the SUP. Do I wax the whole SUP? Or wax it at all? I feel like it would take a lot of wax to do a SUP.

Do I carry the paddle jauntily down the beach with blade flying high, as though riding into battle? Or do I just drag it along behind me in the sand like a sad afterthought? I’m not even sure what to do with paddles, on the whole. My arms are already attached to my body, which is a way more convenient arrangement in my opinion.

I need you to help me do the SUP right, you guys! I’m totally counting on your wisdom to see me through this deeply uncertain time.

Also, if anyone knows where I can find a super short Mini-Simmons, let me know. I remain obsessed! Totally obsessed. And winter is still so very far away.

Sharks: “The new norm” at contests!

The U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington will have two shark boats in the water. Unbelievable!

I told you just days ago that ex-WSL CEO Herr Paul von Speaker is sitting on his parlor’s settee and grinning smugly. Two roses rest in a floral Ashley Madison vase just below a Thomas Kinkaid limited-edition lithograph titled, The End of a Perfect day.

He was right.

When all was said and done, surfing is the most watched sport on the planet. And when our old flame went on Fox Business News and pronounced that it would be the most watched sport on the planet we all laughed. Laughed him right out of a job. But he was right and do you think he was thinking “sharks” all along?

Do you think he was considering warming oceans plus over-fishing times over-population equals an increase in shark on surfer action? Do you think he was calculating that it would only take one exceptional kick-off to get the numbers rolling that increased incidents would continue to pad?

He must have been, right?

And now, sharks at contests are the new norm.

Who would have ever even though, one decade ago, that the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California would have two dedicated shark spotting boats controlling the lineup? The Orange County Register reports:

This week in Huntington Beach, where shark sightings have become the norm the past three years, organizers of the U.S. Open of Surfing aren’t taking chances with the 200 surfers from around the world who’ve come to their contest.

Guards contracted with the U.S. Open of Surfing will monitor the contestants from two personal water crafts, specifically watching for sharks, according to Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis, who met with event organizers this week to talk about shark safety measures.

“The organization is in constant communication with its athletes and event organizers regarding venues, safety protocols and response abilities,” the World Surf League said in a statement. “There will be multiple safety and response skis in the water during the US Open and we’ll be working with lifeguards to ensure everyone stays safe and has a great event.”

The possibility of a shark encounter is a statistically legitimate reality. Panis said there were 56 shark sightings at Huntington City Beach in 2015 and 36 sightings last year. So far this year there have been 17 sightings in the city beach area where the contest will be held. And while that number is down in Huntington, other spots along the neighboring coastline — in Dana Point and Long Beach — have seen a dramatic upturn this year, with sharks being sighted in some spots almost daily.

Lifeguards and the two private water craft operators will be in constant communication, Panis said.

Some 750,000 people are set to attend this year’s extravaganza and just imagine if they are treated to a great white snatching Brett Simpson’s board as he Huntington Hops down the line? Just imagine if young Kanoa Igarashi gets swallowed whole then gets spat on dry land like Jonah of old (unharmed except for a slight bleaching)?

Surfing will grow into the stratosphere and probably double all sports combined.

Yes, ex-WSL CEO Paul Speaker is grinning smugly next to his End of a Perfect Day.

A limited reproduction of Thomas Kinkaid’s End of a Perfect Day is part of the Paul Speaker permanent collection on loan to BeachGrit.