Surfing Mag
Surfing mag staffers prepare attack on Surfer with ass-tainted cake.

Fierce: More Great Surf Mag Stunts!

Surf mags turn on surf mags! It's elegant, graceful and entertaining!

A few days ago, Bez Buckley revived the ancient art of gags between surf mags with a brightly executed sledgehammer attack on The Inertia, and of which we’ve had terrific fun with.

Here, and here too.

Cuckolding, which Bez called his brilliant hack, is an activity I’m familiar with. One older surf writer, who was otherwise very kind to me, cuckolded me twice.

The first cuck I caught with my own eyes. The girl, whom I was courting, was found mounted atop the bathroom sink of the women’s toilet at a Jan Juc bar, breasts loosed from blouse with one being enthusiastically fed into his mouth. The second cuck was revealed via a dramatic post-fact description from the girl and included the words ‘unutterable ecstasy’. The writer failed on his third cuck and I was so thrilled I married the woman.

The ancient, and surprisingly arousing art of cuckoldry aside, Bez’s gag reminded me of other great inter surf mag gags.


Actually it didn’t.

It reminded the BeachGrit reader Preston of other great surf mag gags and the owner of the comment suggested placing a call to the surf historian Matt Warshaw.

Which I did.

Warshaw reminded me of two fabulous moments, reprinted below from the Encyclopedia of Surfing, which you can subscribe to for a few shekels a month or if you complain loudly enough, for whatever pennies you can muster.

#1. First-place prank, surf industry division. Surfing mag was tanking in 1969. Missed pub dates, advertisers jumping ship, newly bought by a company headquartered in Sparta, Illinois. The mag was published out of New York—30 years before that was cool. SURFER meanwhile had just hired intellectual stoner-poet-jokerman Drew Kampion as editor. Drew, today, is an energetic ruralist up here in Washington state, a lover of Whitman and God and environmental causes. But he used to have a mean streak, and was competitive as hell, and Surfing was a gently lofted softball for Drew to clobber into the next time zone.

He got out an oversized padded envelope. Inside the envelope, neat and tidy, he put a plastic-protected sheath of reject Ron Stoner transparencies, shot at Hammond’s two years earlier. On top of the photos he added a single-page prose-poem titled “The Inner Tubes of Hammond’s Reef.” One passage read:

Sleepy village / Silent sea / Silver tubes and solitude / Waiting for the soul in me / Will my board and I travel thee?

A little further along:

My good Karma was really working today / Karma waves / Karma days / Karma brain in purple haze / I’ll always cherish these days.

One more:

A wave approaches beckoning to all my skill / I, a surfer, an artist of the sea, am drawn to its hollow bosom / Breast of the sea / That comes to me / Whose fingers are like snow / Takes me into her womb / Revealing secrets I must know!

On top of the slides and the text, Kampion placed a cover letter, introducing himself as writer and photographer Dru Anderson, along with an author photo.

Surfing bit. Hook, link, sinker. The article ran in the July issue, five pages, without so much as a comma change. On the contributor’s section at the front of the mag, Dru Anderson was introduced as a writer who “gets away from traditional form.” The author photo shows a young man, smiling broadly, with tousled brown hair. Handsome devil. It’s SURFER founder John Severson. They didn’t know what it was, but the surf overlords of Sparta felt a hot breath of laughter on their necks.

#2 A week after I left the SURFER house during my last visit to the North Shore, this would have been in the mid-‘90s, the guys woke up to find a nice pink box of donuts on the front porch. A young photog kissing up? Something like that. Nobody asked questions, and a half-hour later the box was empty. On the front porch the next morning there was a photo of Surfing mag’s North Shore crew, lined up in a row, bent over, donuts wedged in their butt cracks, with the pink box laying open in the foreground. “Hope you enjoyed the donuts!” or something like that, written on the photo. Steve Hawk told me the story, and I was delighted. Hawk was too, even though he ate a donut. Solid prank, and Steve’s a guy who gives credit where its due. But for him it also it was like, Yeah, I ate a glazed donut that was in Skip Snead’s ass—and it was totally delicious. But you, Skip, had to go in and wash sticky glazed sugar out of your crack. Winning by losing.

Or the other way around. Or both.

(Subscribe to the EOS here!)

Exclusive: Dolphins like water orgies!

Life is a wonderful adventure!

It may seem like I’m beating a dead horse here but you have to believe me when I say that I’m totally not. I just think it is important that we consider some important facts that might become obscured in the Stab + The Inertia lovers tiff.

Mostly that dolphins and surfers have a lot in common.

Stab writer Brendan Buckley brought up some wonderful points though, mainly that dolphin and surfer brains are the same. Let us read a passage:

On a neurological level, the reason we become addicted to surfing is due to the chemicals your brain produces during and after. Boring, I know. There are scientific explanations like that for everything in life. Isn’t it better to think about love as love rather than breaking it down into a million molecules, for example?

Well, yes.

But the reason I bring this up is because new research proves that our surfing soul mammals, dolphins, may ride waves for the same reasons.

A new study conducted by the Marine Biology department at the University of California, Santa Cruz exhibited a spike in the part of a dolphin’s frontal lobe that processes emotion when they ride waves. While charts have shown similar spikes when they are chasing prey, this spike was shown when the dolphins’ behavior wasn’t suggestive of hunting, rather when they were simply riding waves.

I don’t think this “new study” was actually commissioned but we don’t need it because we surfers see dolphins riding waves all the time and know they are shredding for shredding’s sake.

Like us. Like surfers.

But would you like to know what else they do like us, like surfers? Have water orgies!

Famed surf photographer James “Jimmicane” Wilson was recently cruising his drone outside Lowers when he stumbled upon, you guessed it, dolphins having a water orgy! Lowers has been the site for many famous surfer water orgies. Who could forget… all of them?

Not me.

We live in enlightened times don’t we though?

And raise a glass to dolphins and to surfers. To The Inertia and to Stab.

Slàinte! And may you all stay forever young.

Best of: The Inertia love letter to Stab!

Love is a many splendored thing!

I’m sorry… I know this isn’t “content” but I just can’t get enough of The Inertia‘s love quarrel letter to Stab. I mean, am I the only one here who thinks this is even better than a Gabriel Medina victory? Even better than 10 Gabriel Medina victories?

A quick recap. Stab wanted to contribute to its partner (like BeachGrit contributes to Surfer) and the very funny Brendan Buckley wrote a piece suggesting dolphin and surfer brains are wired the same. The Inertia published. Stab giggled while back-peddling. The Inertia got hurt and founder Zach Weisberg wrote a letter.

Here are my favorite lines.

1) At 10:21 PM Friday night, just after I booked a flight home to the East Coast for a funeral for a family member I love very much, I was notified that our neighbors at Stab had played us for fools.

2) In my estimation, life’s too short for that nonsense.

3) We are not the guys snickering in the back corner of the bus pointing and laughing and high-fiving at other’s expense.

4) I was taught at a very early age that it’s not fulfilling to shit on other people for your own amusement.

5) And while celebrating a fake contribution that slipped through our system is a dickish thing to do, I want to thank Stab for doing it.

6) I’m sure the sweethearts at Stab are clinking beers and smiling at how they succeeded in making us look like assholes.

7) Starting today, we will enforce a series of stricter protocols for contributions, which will slow that process but will ensure a higher caliber of quality and accuracy in our content.

8) For too long, (surf) seemed to be dictated by a small group of white men in Orange County obsessed with the fleeting and vacuous nature of “cool,” which we believe undersold the rich, diverse culture of the sport.

9) I sincerely do not give a fuck.

10) If you and your embittered shadow choose to perpetuate a mindlessly exclusive mentality that spits on bright-eyed participants who stand outside imaginary lines drawn in the sand, that’s your prerogative.

11) I sincerely do not give a fuck.

12) We believe the coolest thing we can do is treat people with kindness and respect, approach work with optimism, and pursue things we care deeply about with curiosity and an open mind.

13) I sincerely do not give a fuck.

14) That’s our promise.

……….I’m sorry. I am laughing so hard I can’t breathe and have to stop….

Gabriel Medina Wins Portugal

Portugal: “Gabriel Makes the Dead Rat Dance!”

And if you think Medina can't beat John Florence at Pipe you mad.

Can you cast your mind back to this exact moment last year? Pyzel in tears, global jubilation, the rightful heir claiming the throne. A feast at which “all hearts opened and all wines flowed” etc etc.

Then Pro surfing died. Died like a dead rat. A dead stinking rat that Rory Parker had to then cart around and try and make dance for our amusement at the Pipeline.

Which violates the Golden Rule of surf journalism as told to me by Nick Carroll in 1962: You can’t make a dead rat dance. 

Rory tried but in the effort he self-combusted and deserted his post in the biggest capitulation since the Fall of Mosul.* You are brand new to BeachGrit? Welcome comrade, as you will see sometimes the action behind the curtain rivals that in front.

But no dead rat now. Now we go to the Pipeline with a live title race. Pro surfing breathes a sigh of relief. I desperately wanted to be entertained as the muted violence of a bruised Portugese sky framed a high-energy lineup of rippy close-outs to start the Final Day.

Violent anti-climax followed.

First Julian Wilson flubbed his way to victory against SeaBass in a low-scoring encounter that set the tone.

The battle of the chinbeards followed. Either could have doubled for Scott Weiland pre-heroin. John Florence with a world title in the offing got nothing. Then nothing and more nothing.

Kolohe squeezed out of a frothy pit for a seven. A muted crowd expecting fireworks murmured, an online audience praying for something like Hagler/Hearns round one – please take three minutes and savour what competitive sport can be – got a dull non-event maimed by the most soul-destroying phenomenon in pro surfing: the European closeout.

Florence, the best surfer in the world and current world champion finished the quarter final with a heat score of 3.8. Fanning, a three-time world champion, finished with 3.17 in a losing score to Medina.

Finally, something caught fire. Kolohe and Wilson exchanged tube-rides and aerials, with the judges over-cooking the spread to put the result a bridge too far away for Kolohe.

That keeps Julian in the title race as a rank outsider. Medina brutalised Kanoa Igarashi like a hyena scavenging a carcass on the savannah. It wasn’t pretty. It was pretty dire actually.

But not according to Joey Turpel.

According to Joe, the drama and the action was almost unbearably exciting. It, and some of the judging – Medina got a high six yesterday for a wave I could have easily exceeded, an aged, semi-amateur receding hairline hetero-normative piece of shit bus driver from Lennox Head – seemed to put us deep down the rabbit hole into a wholly separate reality.

Now I know Hunter S Thompson is the most used and abused and badly copied writer in the surf journalist canon* but if we could just bring him on board as expert witness for a moment I would be  very grateful.

In his book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, written about the ’72 American election, he ascribes the weird and savagely surreal behaviour of candidate Ed Muskie to a powerful hallucinogen called Ibogaine. HST colorfully described the effect of the drug on Muskie, “Given the known effects of ibogaine… Muskie’s brain was almost paralyzed by hallucinations… he looked out at the crowd and saw gila monsters instead of people”.

Is Joey Turpel seeing rainbows and spirit animals when he looks at Portugese close-outs, Richie Porta seeing high-sixes for a performance an intermediate could dish up? Has the common frame of reference, the one that enables Pro Surfing to be understood, been lost? Is it now like Wittgenstein’s famous lion, that even if it speaks we cannot understand it?

Has Pro Surfing crossed the Ibogaine threshold? Is Joey Turpel seeing rainbows and spirit animals when he looks at Portugese close-outs, Richie Porta seeing high-sixes for a performance an intermediate could dish up? Has the common frame of reference, the one that enables Pro Surfing to be understood, been lost? Is it now like Wittgenstein’s famous lion, that even if it speaks we cannot understand it?

Thirteen minutes to go in the final and with Medina sitting on a pair of fives and Wilson a pair of ones I’m pining for a Pro Surfing Brexit.

Why can’t we be in the Mentawais or even Bali? Can you tell me John Florence is going to get a three surfing Canggu rights or Macaronis?

Fuck relatable conditions, fuck close-outs,  I want my mind blown. Give me 20 JJF World Titles, give me tea for the Tillerman, steak for the sun, wine for the women who made the rain come.

Fuck relatable conditions, fuck close-outs,  I want my mind blown. Give me 20 JJF World Titles, give me tea for the Tillerman, steak for the sun, wine for the women who made the rain come.

With the rat on life support and Medina falling on nine waves, a sudden burst of action with five minutes to go. Julian threw a tail-high reverse for a high four then speared the only barrel of the final, a running left for a low six to take the lead. Medina responded with a flurry of lefts and the final was won. Medina takes a red hot streak and a hyper live rat ready to dance to the Pipeline.

If you think Medina can’t beat John Florence at Pipe you mad.

*Jokes Rory. You ain’t a real surf writer unless you get sacked by a site or quit in the kind of blazing glory Fante describes in The Road to Los Angeles: “I’m tickled to be leaving. I’m sick of your drooling, elephantine hypocrisy. I’ve been wanting to abandon this preposterous job for a week. So go straight to hell, you dago fraud!”

**Just need to put in the canon the greatest opening line of surf writing ever, published in The Inertia yesterday by writer Shawna Baruh. “This morning I was called a cunt”. Bring it to Pipe Shawna.

Bride (The Inertia) and groom (Stab) in happier times.
Bride (The Inertia) and groom (Stab) in happier times.

Sad: Stab and The Inertia tussle!

Nothing makes me sadder than a lovers' quarrel. But is there hope for these two?

I really hate lovers’ quarrels and it is probably because, at heart, I am a romantic. A believer that there is a one for each of us and when you find it is most important to never let go. Never ever ever. Romeo and Juliet exemplify this singular passion. So do Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Chris Martin and Gwen Paltrow, Stab and The Inertia.

Yes Stab and The Inertia are a perfect match example to us all, cohabitating in Venice-adjacent. Sharing 2 foot closeouts and crispy shallots, writing about surf and the surf world from uniquely clichéd perspectives, holding hands in the pale moonlight.

Three days ago they together shared a story and what should have been a coming out party somehow turned sour. The piece was a brilliant expose on how dolphins and humans are the same. Of course there was no scientific evidence to back up the claim but who cares? A. Science is for non-lovers and B. Dolphins totally are like surfers.

Stab even put a completely The Inertia-like disclaimer on the end of the story:

Here at Stab—a magazine that often allows Morgan Williamson to write as if English is his second language—we’ve typically taken a (somewhat) firm stance on putting down competitors. However, the effort Mr Buckley put into making the point that (almost) anyone can write articles and have them published in surf media in 2017 is admirable and deserves its time in bright lights, slowly sliding down the feed.

And The Inertia should have jumped up and down clapping its very tiny hands.

But for some reason it did not.

Founder-and-Chief Zach Weisberg took to the internet and wrote from the heart about how he did not like surfers and dolphins being compared and added:

I’d also like to thank you for reminding me of who we are, and what we strive for The Inertia to represent. Or better yet, what we don’t represent. We are not the guys snickering in the back corner of the bus pointing and laughing and high-fiving at other’s expense. That will never be us. You’re more than welcome to race the others to the bottom to own that space. I was taught at a very early age that it’s not fulfilling to shit on other people for your own amusement. We’ve watched others do that for years. We’ve watched people who were once very close to you do that to you. We’ve watched you call that behavior pathetic. You’re right. It is.

I think the “people who were once very close to you do that to you. We’ve watched you call that behavior pathetic. You’re right. It is.” means BeachGrit and this brings me the truest joy because I know at the end, Stab and The Inertia will apologize to each other for harsh words and go out somewhere on Lincoln blvd. for more dishes featuring crispy shallots.

And afterward? Well. Make up sex is the best of all or so they say.

So let me be the first to toast… The Inertia and Stab. In good times and bad, sickness and health. You are each other’s one!