Shots fired that can't be ignored!
The boiling rage behind a pained smile is something I’ve been addicted to as long as I can remember. It is part of why I stuck myself into the middle of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, Russian mafia parties as a slightly younger man.
Part of why I went to Mick Fanning’s North Shore Micktory party as a slightly older man.
I love conflict and don’t think it is a bad thing but rather something that lubes the spirit, challenges the staid narrative and creates dramas that everyone can enjoy.
Which is part of why I crashed Stab magazine’s booth at the Agenda trade show in Long Beach, California a few short weeks ago. It was a sad place with only one lonely boy sitting cross-legged on the floor but it thrilled me much. Not because of its social failure but because I got to reconnect with Sam McIntosh and his little biz partner mate Tom Bird and their most pained smiles that I have ever seen in my entire life. Pained, angry, frustrated. Hurt. Rigid.
Oh you know some of the history between us all. You know that BeachGrit founder Derek Rielly co-founded Stab. You know that he brought me on more than a decade ago to write for Stab. You know that I regularly poke fun of Stab. And you know that Stab mostly stays publicly silent.
What you maybe don’t know is, behind the scenes Stab‘s other co-founder 41 year-old Sam McIntosh purportedly calls surf companies and tells them they’ll be left out of SurfStitch’s glorious offering. Tells them that advertising on BeachGrit will be bad for their business. In legal terms that’s called tortious interference and very naughty, suable etc. But all’s fair in love and war and I’ve never written about…
…until Sam went on new website The Business of Surf and went nuclear! The interviewer asks:
Are you and him (Derek Rielly) still mates? Theres often a few digs at STAB via Beachgrit but is it all fair in love and war?
And Sam McIntosh responds:
I approached Derek when these stories started appearing and told him I thought it was more damaging to him than me. But the stories continued. So I called him. I said: “We talked about this. You know it’s a shitty look in business talking about your ex, yeah?”
We always had a rule not to trash talk competitors on Stab and it served us so well.” And we made a deal. I said you will never read a negative word about you or your business ever on Stab – you have my word. It’s far classier for us both.”
And I’ve stood by that.
This is a gifted writer, brilliant even, 50 years old, getting giddy with his little biz partner mate, poking holes in the business he used to own on a public forum. This is part of the foundation for his last big swing in business! And validation doesn’t come in commercial success but when other veteran surf writers like Nick Carroll roll in to throw punches! Think about that objectively for a second: a 30-year career writing about surfing and you’re fixated not on the world tour, or commerce, or the environment or John John but the business you sold a decade ago!
Little biz partner mate? Little biz partner mate?
Little biz partner mate. Oooooooooh. I fear that Sam misunderstood the laughs that I was making toward Stab here, the “stories that started appearing” the “giddiness” as the full force of my capacity to rage.
I have many stories. Many many many funny stories. And now the cold war has turned hot. Unfortunately for Sam he mistook “online surf publishing” for “business” and mistook his “word for truth” as truth.
Now it is on on.
Or as the great fighter William Tecumseh Sherman said:
I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.
Welcome to paradise Stab magazine.
Welcome to paradise.