Existential: Thinkings best surfer!

Which famous philosopher would rule the waves? Let's ponder!

There is a new book out this month called Surfing with Sarte by author Aaron James, an “avid surfer and professor of philosophy.” It combines pop philosophy with surfing. Obviously. National Public Radio writes:

James tackles many of philosophy’s age-old conundrums — How do we know we exist? Are the things we sense real? — but he’s more concerned with a pragmatic issue: How do we balance labor and creativity, work and leisure, while living in a capitalist system that pulls and prods us toward an ideal of efficiency? His answer is simple, yet nuanced, and he delivers it in a refreshing way that eludes moralizing. “In the surfer’s easy self-transcendence, she remains herself, desires and all, but becomes attuned to things beyond herself.” Taking his own advice, he infuses Surfing with Sartre with just the right mix of personal insight and universal scope.

Etc. Etc. You get it, right? Cute. But the title made me wonder. Who is really thinkings best surfer? Surfings best thinker is… who would you say? Who is the smartest surfer out there? I’d say Matt Warshaw. He went to Berkley n shit.

Thinkings best surfer is a little more difficult though. Sarte looked like this…

…oh those googly eyes! He would be dropping in on everyone because how could he even begin to see? Or maybe he would never drop in because he would see both the far left and far right at the same time. In either case he wouldn’t be thinkings best surfer.

What about Immanuel Kant? His categorical imperative would be fun to abuse in the lineup and if he ever got in the way you could scream, “Facking Kant!” in a neat British accent.

Nietzsche would übermensch every wave to himself and look at his moustache…

…he would for sure ride a very heavy self-shaped thing that would hurt when he plowed into you.

Ludwig Wittgenstein would live in a nifty farm and probably end up stealing your girl..

Bertrand Russell would bum you out, Martin Heidegger would bore the shit out of you but it would be fun to call him a “boozy beggar”, Simone de Beauvoir might be a good time but I’m going to say Foucault. He would rule any scene, even Da Pipeline, through a perfect combination of knowledge and power but more importantly look at that breezy smile!

But who do you think? Do you disagree?

The Cove is coming to Texas, maybe!

Rumour: The Cove wavepool for Texas!

Doug Coors' superseded wavepool in Austin, Texas, about to get the hottest injection!

Have you ever bought a car or a telephone only to see it dramatically superseded overnight?

Two years ago, Slater loosed his wave pool and, immediately, Spain’s Wavegarden, up to then the most advanced tank the world had seen, was suddenly as desirable as a film camera or a cassette Walkman.

“Wavegarden just went Betamax,” as Matt Warshaw famously said.

But Wavegarden’s creators and engineers didn’t, as Warshaw also said, “stand on office building ledges, crying, looking down at the sidewalk!”

They got to work.

And over one year, built a vastly improved version called The Cove. Instead of Wavegarden’s burger wake, The Cove is a pool that can be easily tweaked into four or five different waves, including an almost impossible takeoff-to-tube righthander.

Watch little Brazilian Mateus Herdy dirty it up here.

Now, tell me: if you were Doug Coors in Texas, and you’d just shelled out $25 mill for the comparatively shitty original only to see it dramatically bettered, would it be your turn to stand on the ledge of a high-rise, eyes wet?

Here’s his Texas tank. It ain’t bad but better for kids, beginners.

Now, and this is a rumour so shoot me if I’m wrong, Wavegarden have agreed to provide NLand surf park with the improved version at cost price.

There’s even talk of slotting in the German City Wave to make it the most multi-cultural wave park in the world!

That enough to get you on a bird to Texas?

Looks fun! Do you think John John is pleased that his coach can do a single fin floater while he (John John) loses world title?
Looks fun! Do you think John John is pleased that his coach can do a single fin floater while he (John John) loses world title? | Photo: Tom Bennett/WSL

WSL: Ross fiddles while John burns!

John John Florence falls out of the WSL lead. Who is to blame?

Didn’t just last year John John Florence seem absolutely unbeatable? He had just won his first world title, earlier than many had predicted, by dominating all comers in any condition. He was master of the ledgy left, master of the piddly beach break, master of the full-bodied right, master of the air, master of the barrel, master of the open face, master of high intensity brawls and master of low intensity sleepers.

John John won his first world title and certainly a second would follow. Who could possibly stand in his way? Gabriel Medina?


Jordy Smith?

Double ha!

Matt Wilkinson?

More ha ha ha has than exists in every single Silicon Valley episode to date! (Do you watch? You simply must!)

And then John John went and hired Ross Williams away from the World Surf League’s booth to be his coach. A smart move. Ross was always one of the best, delivering heat analysis on the fly that made 3/4 sense. He would definitely guide John John through the perils of a sophomore slump. He would provide just enough oomph and, like, ummm strategic advice.

And the year started fabulously. A 3rd at Snapper and a 1st at Mags and a 3rd at Bells. Oh the year was going to be a laugher and John John was going to have the title wrapped before we even got to re-fall in love with Rosie.

But then a 13th in Rio and a 13th in Fiji and a 5th at J-Bay waves custom made for John John’s turns and airs. Suddenly the yellow jersey was gone. But no problem right? Tahiti was next.


A wave built for his bulbous rear!

A wave invented for his thicker ankles!

Still. Pressure. He needed strategy in case the forecast was not 100% stellar. He needed his coach to be studied up, in a boat, throwing hand signs for where to sit, when to paddle, how to impress the judges.

But Ross Williams was not in a Teahupoo boat. He was staying instead at a luxury resort in the Maldives and surfing a Rob Machado shaped single fin, himself, against Shane Dorian, CJ Hobgood, Maya Gabeira, Rob Machado and Ismail Miglal in the most decadent competition on the planet.

The Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy.

Ross said:

This is the first time I have ever had Rob shape me boards, he shaped me two twin fins and a single fin. I surf a bit on twin fins but I haven’t surfed a lot of single fins. I learned on a Ken Bradshaw single when I was 8 and haven’t really had one since, I’ve only mucked around on them when hanging at Jack’s (Jack Johnson) house on the North Shore. I’ve surfed the single fin a few times now and it feels really good, it turns well and feels really smooth. I think it’s a great little board.

While John John got another 5th in Tahiti and lost the yellow jersey to Jordy “double ha” Smith.

Ross didn’t win either.

And do you think Ross William’s stock is higher or lower right now than Steve Bannon’s?

Hacked: The Inertia gets compromised!

An act of evil or a blessing to all?

There was much big news yesterday including Prince getting his own Pantone shade (officially called Love Symbol #2), reports that the Iranian government increased military spending and neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer’s claim that it was hacked by Anonymous before being pulled down by GoDaddy and then Google.

Anonymous denied that it had been involved and released a Twitter statement suggesting it was a publicity stunt, engineered by The Daily Stormer’s founder, since no web service would agree to host his site anymore.

Also, Venice-adjacent SUP yoga blog The Inertia’s comment section became absent.

I was made aware of the issue around 2:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. A concerned BeachGrit reader emailed:

Just an FYI, but The Inertia’s comments section is down. It’s a never ending scroll through ads and old articles. Kinda odd, but they seem very sensitive.

Immediately putting a stop to my birthday celebration, I raced over to The Inertia and saw that it was, indeed, a never ending scroll through ads (mostly how men can get rid of the bags under their eyes) and old articles (mostly about doctors discovering how to make foot calluses “vanish.”)

No comment section at all.

Then I spent the next four hours pondering the various possible reason for its disappearance. Was it:

a) Hacked by Anonymous in order to stop “The khakification of everything in the entire world.”

b) Pulled down by founder Zach Weisberg as a protest against a surge in local Bikram yoga pricing.

c) Disappeared by concerned The Inertia readers who felt the safe space wasn’t safe enough.

d) Accidentally turned off during The Inertia staff’s mandatory Monday colon hydrotherapy n dance party.

e) Taken by scientists examining what happens to human beings who have had their senses of humor completely removed.

f) Other.

What do you think?

The Facts: WSL vs Breitbart!

WSL pulls ads from right-wing website, not the other way around…

Mea culpa etc. Yesterday, it was revealed, here, that the WSL had banned Breitbart ads from appearing on the site during the broadcast of the Billabong Pro Tahiti final.

A victory for echo chambers, safety spaces and so forth.

Breitbart, as we might as well explain again, is a right-leaning website created by two Jews in response to what they saw as the relentless leftism of popular media and its demonisation of Israel.

It ain’t my bowl of hummus, if I’m to be honest, but neither are the flabby opinions on Salon, Mother Jones or the Huff Post. But  I do like to read both sides and find a position somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, thanks to sharp-eyed reader and podcaster David Scales, we got it the wrong way around. It wasn’t Breitbart ads appearing on the WSL broadcast and subsequently getting removed by the WSL (at the behest of noted San Diego surfer Richard Kenvin) but the other way around.

The WSL was shovelling paid ads onto Breitbart! 

Kenvin had sent a screenshot of the Breitbart home page to the WSL who, in an understandable panic they’d be labelled as an offshoot of the KKK only a day after race riots in Virginia, quickly pulled the ads.

The WSL has since assured BeachGrit the “appropriate filters are in place” so this sorta thing “doesn’t happen in the future.”

Oh, and here’s my little exchange with Kenvin.

DR: I just saw that you’d singlehandedly managed to get the Breitbart ads off the WSL site. 

RK: Little old me? Oh, I’m such a homebody! I like cats and serious non-fiction books.

DR: At least, I think so, I missed the previous post.

RK: Yeah, I deleted it.

DR: I want to run a story on BeachGrit. So I ask…

RK: BeachGrit? Whats that? Oh I get it. BeachBart. BreitBeach.