How to: Get 30 million social views!

Iconic surf photographer Jason Murray teaches you how!

Life is the most wonderful serenade. This morning, I inadvertently posted a very fun picture of a boat being mauled by waves on my Instagram account without thinking much of it besides, “Whoa.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BamAEfVlA5X/?taken-by=reportsfromhell

Mere hours later it was revealed the captain, and hero, of that boat was none other than legendary surf photographer Jason Murray and that the particular event happened during a professional surf contest. Come and revel in his iconic images here!

In any case, I thought, “Fantastic…” and then did further research.

Did you know this one clip has garnered more views than anything, save Mick Fanning’s shark attack, related to professional surfing? Oh this news was worth a call to Mr. Murray who I found patrolling Oregon’s coast. Let’s have a chat with him!

The finals were about to start in the 2002 CT at Lowers. Kelly was in the semi-final I remember but lost to Mick (I wrote poorly as I was listening and got last name wrong but the one with red hair… Mick… Lowe?) and Luke (I think maybe Egan) were in the final.

Before they ran it though they had an expression session, an airshow and a 9/11 tribute. I had been out on the boat all day long. This was pre-ski and looking back it is a really weird craft to use at Lowers but at the time it was no big deal.

It was a really good finals day with the sets pumping. Like, 4 to 6 feet. The boat had a 2-stroke engine and those fuck up after a while so during the day I kept going past the break and revving the engine to clean the carbs.

Anyhow, right after the 9/11 ceremony finished I made my way into the lineup and that’s when the engine just died. There were 3000 people on the beach, it was high tide and they were all there on the cobblestones. Five people deep, shoulder to shoulder.

The engine was dead and of course a solid fat one popped up. I was thinking, “Fuck. This boat is not starting. It’s totally dead.”

Dave Stanfield was on the mic for that one and delivering the call. “Sets coming. The boat better get out of there…”

I handed my cameras to Jake “Jaker” Walsh and told him to put them in the Pelican. Then we took two waves and started to get pretty cleaned. It was almost give up the ship time. The boat had spun around and was facing the beach and I finally got it started, spun back around and punched it. Jaker went full superman but crisis averted, for the most part. If not I’d probably be doing this call from jail, being inside for involuntary manslaughter for 10 people. The beach really was packed.

I wouldn’t be laughing if I killed people. That boat had a lot of good adventures after that but that was its moment in the limelight. You know, though. It doesn’t matter what you are shooting on… a ski, a surfboard, a boat… eventually your luck is going to run out.

Oh but real quick, the best part, when we were safe I asked Jaker, “How are my cameras?” Well, he had put them in the bait box instead of the Pelican. They were all floating in water. I had at least six surfers paddle up to me after that bringing me canisters of film but you know what? We sat outside and watched the finals and some of the best surf contest I ever shot was from that day.

So there you go. You want 20 million social media views? Drive a boat into a professional surf lineup, get smashed by waves and save the day while losing your livelihood.

Easy!


Portugal: “Destiny is John’s bastard!”

The North Shore's favorite son just three heat wins away from title number two!

In professional surfing there is John John Florence and there is everyone else. It is fun to watch everyone else. They make nice moves on the waves. Cutbacks and aerials. Little jams off the top. Squirts. They even get into the barrel.

And then there is John John.

Round 4 heat 2 exemplified the great distance between the two perfectly. It featured Kolohe Andino, Connor O’Leary and John John Florence. Connor surfed good enough. Kolohe seemed completely revitalized, mixing air, hack, speed and claim. He really appears that he has found his way and if he keeps this energy up he will be challenging Gabriel Medina for second place for years to come.

And then there was John John.

He pitched a lackadaisical air and got a big score. He fell into the best barrel of the event at the buzzer and got the win.

It is not just luck, even though John John will credit luck from time to time. No. It is that he is simply the most complete surfer on tour, possibly the most complete surfer ever, and the only time luck comes into play is when John John loses a heat.

The World Surf League has used the tagline “It takes a tour to make a title” this year but it is silly and if they choose to use it again next year it should simply be “It takes a John John to make a title.”

He is in the quarterfinals now that will play tomorrow and if he wins his next three heats he will be 2 x world champion.

The boy from the North Shore has taken destiny and made it his bastard.

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.67, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.10, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITL) 7.77
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.00, Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.57, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 13.50
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 16.83, Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.44, Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.60
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.47, Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.47, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 5.27

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.10 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.07
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.53 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.83
Heat 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.67
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.87 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.00

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
QF 3: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)


Progressive: Today in Stab-vertorial!

Venice-adjacent's other online surf magazine is brushing history!

Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok . I know that Mar Vista (which happens to also be Venice-adjacent just exactly like  The Inertia) is a bastion for cheap tech money and old men wearing short shorts but did you also know it is ground zero for the most bald-faced advertorial play on the planet?

True!

Recently re-purchased from Surfstitch, Stab magazine, has decided that the Internet’s future lies in doing the sort of barely concealed advertising editorial that was popular a short ten years ago. The powers may be on to something. Everything old, of course, becomes new again but Stab is pushing its advertorial so hard that the United States patent office gave it the mark for “badvertorial” and today is rebranding the whole enterprise as “Stabvertorial.”

A victory!

And I very much wouldn’t want you to not click on today’s offering, because Stabvertorial has become an artform, so here it is… pushing a Billabong trunk. But I will let the masters take it from here.

The Art of Indigenous Patters and Wearable Shorts

All people, not boardshorts were created equal. Boardshorts, must be pleasing to the eye, comfortable and functional. A bad pair of boardies is like a guitar missing its E, D and B strings – not quite strumming it.

On October 6th at China Heights Gallery Sydney, Otis Hope Carey showcased his newest and “most important work to date” featuring the art of the Gumbaynggirr people. It was called ‘GAAGAL’ meaning “ocean.” It then moved from canvas to cloth forming Billabong’s new line. We dig it.
Though there are only a few waves in this clip, if you like surfing, art, trunks and people, go ahead and give it a watch.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

The art of indigenous patterns and wearable shorts.

Seriously, I think this is the high water mark. I don’t even know where an artist can go from here other than maybe writing about all the bros he has who are totally for reals gay but how awesome that is.

Stabvertorial has reached rarified air and we must savor each new offering.


Kolohe-Andino
Kolohe Andino, feeling perky despite apparent ratings slump of contest broadcast. | Photo: WSL

Fox Dumps WSL For Women’s Golf!

Fox Sports replaces live broadcast of Portugal with women's golf and repeats of moto races!

If you live in Australia, which approximately twenty five percent of you do, you may’ve screwed your little eyes up with sad when Fox Sports didn’t run, as it usually does, the live broadcast of Portugal.

I came home to a kid shrieking, “The WSL isn’t on!”

Which ain’t a problem to the technology savvy.

Stream it on the machine. The portable telephone. A tablet, if you’re eighty years old. The WSL broadcast team is gold-plated. Better than champagne and raw oysters and so forth.

The advantage of a cable stream, of course, is it don’t glitch out. This is a problem in Australia where the former socialist government decided it wanted to get into the internet biz and threw fifty billion shekels at a network that was outdated the day the first shovel cracked the pavement.

Anyway,

From a loved BeachGrit source, I received this email:

“Turns out the reason they haven’t been running Portugal live is that Fox ain’t too happy with the ratings and get a better return from women’s golf and re-runs of motorbike races.”

So I ring Fox.

The desk puts me through to a transport company twice before throwing me at a mysterious answering machine. Pals with Fox contacts toss me a number that doesn’t pick up.

I learn from contacts within the biz that Fox Sports only regards surfing as “cool wallpaper” that “If Mick ain’t winning nobody cares” and if you’re making a promo for the company, “Make sure you show Mick!”

This all augers well for the final couple of days of competition.

Mick, of course, will appear in round four, heat four against Miguel Pupo and Gabriel Medina.

Tell me.

Does the thought of surfing being trumped by golf and repeats of motorcycle races make you so made it kills the red corpuscles in your body?

Or no?


Conspiracy: WSL trying to fix heats?

I demand of the powers, "What did you know and when did you know it?"

We neither believe nor push conspiracy here, you know that. We believe in facts. Like those surrounding Hillary Clinton’s pedophile pizza establishment. Like those surrounding ex-president Barrack Osama’s Nigerian birthplace. And most recently like those surrounding one Jordy Smith’s epic cockup in Portugal versus Josh Kerr.

Jordy Smith was world number two and nipping at John John’s heels. The tour was heading toward Pipeline and ready to deliver an epic showdown. Jordy Smith totally blew it and accidentally lost to Josh Kerr.

So what happened? Let us turn to the facts.

Fact: Josh Kerr, retiring at year’s end and not wanting to surf competitively professionally any more, refused to even pretend to fight Jordy during the heat. He paddled as far as he could away from him. He coughed up priority on dumpy little things as soon as he got it. He actively cheered for Jordy to make barrels.

Fact: In the post heat interview Josh said that he was actively cheering for Jordy to make barrels and was sad when he didn’t. He also revealed that Jordy was his roommate whilst in country and that “things might have been different” if Jordy had offered him some “money.”

Fact: The World Surf League had pre-programmed Jordy’s post heat interview into the system.

The powers knew Jordy would be there because giving John John a probable opponent heading into the final at Pipeline would create drama, storyline and views. Easy.

Therefore: The League scripted Jordy’s win.

So what happened?

Probably: Jordy pocketed Josh Kerr’s bribe money. The judges, after reading days and days of BeachGrit, realized the error in rewarding safety surfing at just the wrong time. The powers totally assumed that the judges would also reward the safest surfing forevermore and forgot about BeachGrit. John John will win the next nine titles. Kelly Slater will reveal his Surf Ranch on the moon to distract from John John’s 11th title. Jordy Smith will open a failed bar on the moon featuring three different rooms with three different moods.

One will be “Cockup.”