Australia's Gold Coast experiment could alter the very world!
If you have ever been to Snapper Rocks off Australia’s Gold Coast or even seen pictures you know that it is very very crowded. I sometimes see it as a vision of the post-apocalyptic world. A place where 90% of the world’s waves have been rendered worthless due either rising sea levels or nuclear poisoning. The remaining surfers scratch and kill over Snapper and ummmm Trestles, only banding together in order to fight roving bands of Chinese interlopers.
And it was with this scenario in mind that I saw a headline with bleary eyes this morning from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that read:
Surf Break Made of Fabricated Steel Aims to Reduce Crowding on Gold Coast Waves
But through bleary eyes and into an addled brain it read:
Fabricated Steel at Surf Break Aims to Reduce Crowding on Gold Coast Waves
And I immediately imagined an outside jail built right on the Snapper Rocks for unruly surfers or egregious snakes or anyone on a fun/egg shape or you know… the sorts of surfers we don’t like. They would be fished out of the water by a giant hook and put inside the jail for up to four hours, depending on the offense. In the post-apocalypse it will be used exclusively for Chinese interlopers.
Then I read the story.
Steve Barrett of Offshore Surf Reefs has been working on a new concept of artificial reef for more than 10 years.
After successful wave tank trials at the University of NSW he is ready to put it to the test.
Mr Barrett has approached Tweed Shire Council for support to apply for a grant to help him build a prototype of his reef design.
If successful, he wants to trial his concept on the Tweed, with Dreamtime Beach at Kingscliff flagged by council officers as the likely test spot.
The artificial reef would be made of fabricated steel off site and floated 150m off shore where it would be attached to the seafloor.
Ummm. Have you ever surfed an artificial reef? Do you think they are more or less viable than Kelly Slater’s Wave Ranch technology? But do you think my idea of an outside jail is even moreviable than either?
Kelly tells old stud, "You're a kook. You've wasted your life and talent!"
A few hours ago, Kelly Slater, the greatest athlete of all time with the possible exception of Jim Thorpe etc, wrote an innocuous Instagram post drumming up interest in the J-Bay contest.
“Serious question,” posted Kelly. “You ever stand up on a wave and feel yourself channeling someone else, almost like an entity takes over your body and you become your idea of who that person is or what they feel in your mind? Like a crime scene investigator where they have to become that person to solve the mystery or unlock the riddle before the answers unfold? At #JBay, you can’t help but be mesmerized…Tom Curren flow, Terry Fitz speed lines, Johnny Boy/Occy power stick in my mind. Here’s to hoping everyone falls under its spell in the coming days.”
Of Kelly’s two million followers, 27,409 punched like, and a couple of hundred wrote fawning responses. A typical example, “You should do some book writings, Kelly!!! Perfect discription of feelings,” wrote Christian Kattelmann. “This is how every surfer feels about you.”
“You’re a kook. You’ve wasted your life and talent.”
And off it went.
colonel_ricc_vonn@kellyslater “At least you reconize talent kid!!! Lmfao . Was telling Reola the other day, Id much rather be The Col. that the GOAT!!! I prefer sheep; Black Sheep!!! Watch out for them Wildcards!!:”You shoulda retired retired with 11!! Now youre just wanting, waning, and embarrassing yourself!!! You cant win Jeffry’s again!! Hell, I dont think youve got another tour win in ya!!!””
kellyslater@colonel_ricc_vonn you’ve literally done and continue to do nothing worthwhile in your life but be an envious loudmouth. It’s a feeble attempt for some attention so here ya go. You were actually a pretty cool kid and good surfer. But life did a number on you.
colonel_ricc_vonn@kellyslaterDamn, and you dont know shit about my life so you damn sure cant judge!!! Im stiil a cool guy, just not in the Slater’s world, but I damn sure dont lose no sleep over it, nor am I looking for 15 seconds of nothing kid!!! Dont flatter yourself!! I was just making a personal observation; no different than Derek Hynd used to get paid for!!! Im a KS11 fan; not hater!!! But Ive got a damn good eye and I call bullshit!!! Just Sayin!!! Im actually lmfao at how many people are attacking me!!! Ive got some giant, face covered in tats guy threatening my life from New Zealand!!! I aint hard to find!! Bring Em All!!! I aint never been scared!!!
kellyslater@colonel_ricc_vonnSean, your colors don’t change. I know enough. If you weren’t looking for something you wouldn’t have said a word. You come on here insulting me and attacking other people, throwing vitriol. Always looking for attention but the wrong kind. You’re the same guy you’ve always been, that’s the problem. Nobody said you were scared but nobody is scared of you either. Now move along.
colonel_ricc_vonn@kellyslaterlmfao and already moved!!! Good Luck!!! I didnt insult you, nor anyone!! I just presented an opinion!!! Kinda like assholes; We all have and can be one!!! I do know one thing; You dont know dick about me boy, so dont say you do!!!
And in came the sycophants.
mitchpymont@colonel_ricc_vonnahahahha where are you now, on tour? Kelly still easily has years at the top! Sit down boy and admire the best do his work
colonel_ricc_vonn@mitchpymontok, Ill shut up and watch him lose 3rd Rd to someone like Yago or Jacob Wilcox!! He’d probably win if he was riding a 6’2″ Simon!!! Those things hes riding and peddling are lame; Period!!! Its regressive so his surfing!!!
And, from the ominously handled roadwarriors360,
roadwarriors360@colonel_ricc_vonnYou better publicly apologize before it’s too late. Or you’ll have a crowd of angry surfers and hungry Great White Sharks after you. JR
colonel_ricc_vonn@roadwarriors360go fuck yourself bro!! I run Kelly’s home town and fear nothing!!! He wont step to me, and Ill fight you all!!! Im a dangerous man; Dont kid yourself!!!
This clip, featuring Seabass, Brent Dorrington, Sheldon Simkus and friends, is the best Mentawai boat trip I’ve seen since September Sessions.
Do you remember the famous Jack Johnson film, featuring Momentum Gen’s hottest commodities stuck together on a rickety ship? Feel free to reminisce here; it’s a true classic.
Anyways, I feel the idyllic Indonesian boat trips, while widely propagated in my youth, have become significantly less enticing in recent years.
In the early 2000s, I remember watching endless six-foot perfection in every Ments-based clip. Nowadays it’s either chest-high with devil(air) wind or eight foot Greenbush (terrifying). Where’d all the thin-lipped, oil-glass perfection go?
Was ten-year-old me just more ignorant? Less jaded? Have I been caught in the web of Araneae Nostalgiania? Or has the quality of Mentawai boat trips truly diminished with time?
Well, I’m happy to announce that Seabass and co. have unlocked the perfection of yester-decade. Say hello to Happily Stoked Ep. 3, the rebirth of Mentawai!
There are very few surf extravaganzas left on the face of this earth. The Australian and U.S. Opens of Surfing, the Hurley Pro at Trestles in San Clemente, Oahu’s North Shore during the month of December and Agenda in both Long Beach and Las Vegas.
Agenda, for the less than completely tuned in, is the few times a yearly trade-show that features old favorites and fresh upstarts alike. Salty Crew, Billabong, Nixon, Quiksilver (?) Papercuts and Stab.
I was as surprised as you! I saw their booth, a totally blue thing with Stab in the Dark surfboards mounted to the wall, on my first lap. A lone boy sat crosslegged in the middle of the floor and lent a sense of… depression to the affair.
After a quick handshake lap I returned to photo this lonely boy and fun make Stab right here but he was no longer there. Instead the great Morgan Williamson stood tall and almost proud.
Wait, Morgan Williamson?
Yes, Morgan Williamson!
I stormed up, he stuck out a hand and I demanded a hug. A full-bodied, deep, passionate hug. I could feel him pulling away. I could feel him wanting to be angry, wanting to not reward my slings and arrows, but I couldn’t let go. He was soft in the best way possible.
Morgan Williamson and I spent the better part of ten minutes talking before he was called away on business (?) but then he came back and I demanded a drink. A full-bodied, rich, vodka drink. He demurred at first put was pressured into it. As we sauntered to the back patio he told me all they served was beer. Bummer. But good enough for me and Morgan!
And it was over this beer that I grilled Morgan Williamson, surfing’s poet laureate, Stab‘s U.S. online editor. I wanted to know what made the man tick.
So much! Unlike Zach Weisberg from The Inertia, Morgan was visibly wary of me as he should have been. There was no game. No trying to defuse tension by gleefully playing along. No passive-aggression. Morgan Williamson wore his heart on his sleeve and do you want to know why? Because he is an honest to goodness poet! For reals! I have started calling him the poet laureate of surfing, lately, but he really truly is, possessing a degree in poetry from a prestigious San Francisco university. This is a wonderful turn in the Morgan saga and can’t believe he doesn’t advertise it. His words really do dance, nonsensically. He is clearly not parroting others with his voice and that’s because he is an honest to goodness poet! I wish I was a poet instead of a linguist.
Morgan is also dynamically handsome. He doesn’t grow beard hair properly and so looks a little AIDsy but doesn’t care. His head hair is also between lengths, neither long nor short, but he should totally go long. He has the je ne sais quois to pull it off.
Morgan is a damned millennial. Passive about his future. Going along by getting along. Well-educated but still waiting for the right thing to come along. Hmmmmm yeah it’s cool but… etc. Society has conditioned the mid-20-year-old into believing he is still young. He is not. He is almost past his prime. Morgan is classically this. Sitting back on his heels, not really knowing if surf writing is his bag, not really wanting to leave. He should seize the day for pity’s sake! Those damned younger but not really young men and their infernal wishy-washiness.
And my take away? I still want to box Morgan (for charity of course) but he doesn’t want to box. So what? What feat of physical strength can me and Morgan engage in (for charity of course)? Should we run a marathon? Eat hot dogs? Shoot BBs? Have a tattoo-off? Have a handsome-off?
It will be the greatest BeachGrit x Stab collab ever.
Do you read the news and become depressed? Read about cholera spreading through Yemen and mass civilian casualties in Raqqa and Antartica falling apart? Global warming maybe leading to a mass extinction event in our lifetime? The breakdown of democratic institutions?
Oh I know that BeachGrit promises to be anti-depressive and we, each of us, try our best every day to put smiles on your faces but so many many times we fail. So many times I fail, falling into a hole of cheap name calling and mean-spirited gossip-mongering.
Well, when BeachGrit fails to put a smile on your face you’ll always have the World Surf League. Professional surfing’s premier band refuses to see life through anything but the rosiest of lenses!
I went to the WSL website again this morning just gagging for professional surfing. Any professional surfing. Even, like, qualifying heats. But nothing. But silence. And you’d think this would depress the League to no end. After four and a half years you’d think the League would want to get this party started. But hush.
Still, the website featured what fun the pros are having (Mick Fanning going to see wild animals, Julian Wilson playing golf etc.) under the byline:
An Instagram rundown of how the pros kill time while they wait for J-Bay to start pumping (well, pumping a little more).
After reading this I dug deep into my memory, trying to uncover a time when anyone associated with the WSL ever called the surf bad anywhere.
And I could not come up with one time. Can you? I bet you a lightly used Summer Teeth beach towel that you cannot.
It is truly a wonder. The power of positivity! The swell is either pumping or pumping a little more. Don’t you wish you lived, permanently, in the World Surf League?