Just in: Pharrell gets into surf tank game!

“Oh my gosh people all over the world would come,” said surfer Johnathon Podolsky.

You certainly know hit-maker Pharrell Williams. He has been in the bright spotlight for a decade plus with top ten after top ten and many fabulous collaborations with Jay-Z, Gwen Stefani, Snoop, Nelly, NSYNC, etc. etc. etc. and now guess what he is doing?

Building a surf tank complex in his hometown of Virginia Beach!

The local news reports:

Pharrell Williams could be making a big splash in his hometown of Virginia Beach. He is working together with a developer to create a state of the art surf park right on the Oceanfront at the old Dome site.

“It is a robust industry here and certainly a lot of people do it,” said Councilman John Uhrin.

Uhrin says the city has been trying to develop the 10 acre parking lot on Pacific Avenue, between 18th and 20th streets, ever since the Dome was torn down in 1994.

“We’ve always looked for something that was really going to be a unique entertainment offering for the city of Virginia Beach” said Uhrin.

Enter Pharrell Williams, who is partnering with Venture Realty Group to deliver what the city has been searching for.

“I think it’s great that we have people that grow up in this city and have a great experience and go out and do wonderful things and then want to come back and still be part of the city,” said Uhrin.

The plan consists of restaurants, retail, residential, and a 4,000-seat music venue all centered around a giant pool with man made waves.

“Oh my gosh people all over the world would come,” said surfer Johnathon Podolsky.

Podolsky says there are too many days when there aren’t enough waves and he thinks this project is a brilliant idea.

“I think it would be great for ECSC, consistent waves, same shape and everything, and the surfers will be able to really show their performance,” said Podolsky.

Some nearby businesses, like Albie’s Pizza, have concerns the area may become too touristy.

“A lot of our local customers say that’s one of the only places where they can park for two dollars with a Virginian Beach license.” Said manager Austin Butler.

Butler also acknowledges Pharrell is a local and she trusts he will do what’s best for the city.

“Hopefully his endorsement will increase business if they do develop that,” said Podolsky.

I trust that Podolsky and Albie’s Pizza can work out their differences but there is one thing I would like to discuss with you here. The wavepool will utilize Wavegarden technology which means the ownership group chose that over KS Surf Ranch. Now, I am going to assume they knew of KS Surf Ranch’s existence yet still chose Wavegarden.


Is the Wavegarden stuff way cheaper? Is it more broadly functional? Does it work better for more people?

Which leads to the most important question of all.

Is Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch Beta and Wavegarden VHS?

Remember that tech war? If I recall, Beta was considered better in every way but VHS smashed it into non-existence because VHS players had a lower retail price.

Will Wavegarden, like VHS, stand alone at the very end?

A little rub and Kolohe loses juju to John John!

“Mick a bully! John a chronic liar!”

And John John steals Kolohe's JuJu! Find out how! It's faintly interesting!

You might’ve noticed that we stopped posting #tournotes over the past few months.

What can I say?

The magic and romance had gone and that gorgeous something that defined Peter King’s behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries had descended into a series of predictable tropes.

This post-Portugal episode, built around locker room trash talk, looks at the viewer challengingly. The dialogue is spirited and faintly interesting.

Between Kolohe Andino and Mick Fanning,

Kolohe: Mick takes all my waves. Bullies me. 

Mick: He deserves it. He’s a pest. 

Between Kolohe and John John .

John: (How do you spell Kolohe?) C-H-L-O-E! You should ride that board a little more. Get used to it a little more. 

Kolohe: I’m pretty sure you fell three times out there. 

Between John’s coach Ross Williams and John John.

John: Ross is so flamboyant I don’t need to put colour in my boards. 

Ross: (When John claims to’ve beaten Ross in a game) Chronic liar. Right here.

John John rubs Kolohe’s board.

John: I took the good juju out of his board right there. Now I have it. 

And so forth.

It ain’t Floyd Mayweather (“When I retire, I’ll get Ricky Hatton to wash my clothes and cut my lawn and buckle my shoes. Ricky Hatton ain’t nothing but a fat man. I’m going to punch him in his beer belly. He ain’t good enough to be my sparring partner”) but it ain’t bad.

Murder a couple of minutes of your life.

Watch here. 

Stab: This week in bad-vertorial!

Part 2 in an apparently ongoing series!

Help! Last week Venice-adjacent’s other online “surf” magazine Stab did an advertorial post on Julian Wilson and Oakley that was so horrible it invented the term “badvertorial.” I totally thought it was a one off and fake.

Firstly, I couldn’t believe that even the most cash starved Sam McIntosh, recently divorced from daddy SurfStitch, would lower himself directly to bald-faced aggressive hideous advertorial. Like, isn’t that partially why the SurfStitch x Stab marriage failed in the first place? Besides nefarious financial moves by the principles? Because the people smell a rat when they smell one? Or was Stab already cheating with The Inertia?

Secondly, I couldn’t believe that Oakley would listen to the pitch and agree to a series featuring bald-faced aggressive hideous advertorial. What was it like in the room? “We’re going to ‘feature’ your riders though your ‘lens.’ Get it? Brilliant!”

And wow. Brilliant, I guess, if your aim is to make internet advertising a farce.

I don’t want to be doing this. Really I don’t but come on… when Ethan Ewing stars in the second of an apparent series then… I have to. So let’s enjoy!

C’mon, you like the fact that glass appears with dots but you can see through the ocean? Polarised lenses can underwhelm and Oakley (a fine and long-term financial partner of Stab’s) have addressed this challenge head on. We’ll let them take the stage to talk through their new tech:

What do you look for in a good pair of shades? Surely more than frame and function. Oakley’s new PRIZM technology features ultra precise colour tuning, for any environment, which… we’ll let them explain: “by fine-tuning individual wavelengths of colour, PRIZM sharpens visual acuity to reveal nuances that would be missed by the naked eye.”

And, Ethan Ewing, is a Stab favourite. Despite his difficult time as a rookie on the world tour this year, we love his strong lines and Andy Irons-esque lip jive. And, to highlight this gent’s skill we have a before and after image treatment from him at Snapper photographed by Andrew Shields.

And, when adopting the PRIZM tech, Stab goes straight for the Latch for maximum effect. Don’t matter if you’ve got a skinny head, biggish beak, high bridge, fat head, whatevs, the Latch is rounded and forgiving but more importantly works on the sand at Gnaraloo Station or the rooftop bar at the Fairmont Hotel in Beverly Hills.

This is better than the last.

Music: Surf’s most perfect group!

Would you like your shaft cranked? Me too!

I apologize for this day’s silence. Derek and I both had meetings with our publishers. He in Sydney. Me in Los Angeles. We have books coming out, you know, important books and so we had important meetings filled with talk of Pulitzer and things.

You suffered in the short term. In the long term we will each sell you our books and your soul will be filled to overflowing but today you were left hungry.

I was hungry, driving home from Los Angeles, and stopped by a San Juan Capistrano restaurant for food and punched the following into my phone while I waited for it to come.

I am accidentally in restaurant for lunch and it is playing deep cut Eddie Vedder and I want to deep cut my wrists but ordered a third whiskey soda instead.

Some very obscure discordant thing that had neither “tune” nor “chorus” nor “music.”

Eddie Vedder.

Is he the most famous surfing musician? I think yes. Right? I mean, Jack Johnson but let’s all be real honest about the sort of music Jack Johnson plays. So Eddie Vedder.

And I’m sure he is a fine person and, though I was a Nirvana fan, think that his and Pearl Jam’s contribution to the great American songbook is substantial.

What is the great American songbook again?

Kelly Slater, anyhow, had Eddie Vedder play the headline at Surf Ranch Future Classic. And Eddie Vedder will play even more events now that Kelly is retiring and so he is the de facto surf troubadour but if we could pick what musician/group would define surf?

I ain’t talking musicians who surf here either. I don’t want anyone to surf except me and you. Especially not musicians.

I’m just talking musicians that actually capture “surf” the best.

So who?

I’ll go first.


Your turn.

Kelly Slater Wave Co Florida
Whenever it's a damn drizzly October in my soul, I imagine riding this artist's water colour of a Kelly Slater wave pool! As submitted to the Palm Beach County in application docs.

2019 Opening for Slater’s Florida Pool!

First dirt to be shucked next year!

Earlier today, while I was wrapped up in cuckold dreams and Chas was negotiating terms for his book Surfing and Cocaine: A Love Story with a Los Angeles publisher, Kelly Slater announced the imminent construction of a wave pool in Palm Beach County, Florida.

The WSL is gonna build the 600-metre long tank on 79 acres at an inland industrial park off the Beeline Highway in north-western Palm Beach County. It’ll have a 3000-square metre surf club, a 1500-square metre training centre and room for 160 cars.

According to the WSL’s zoning application, “The project, named Surf Ranch Florida, will be proposing to construct a world-class, man-made surfing lake which will provide consistent waves and a safe environment for public recreational and competition purposes.”


“It is anticipated that one to two events may be held on a yearly basis attracting up to 60,000 people. The events would be planned to be held in the summer, providing for an opportunity to aid in tourism and fill hotel rooms in a typically slower time of the year.”

The WSL says the project will create 307 jobs and $45 million in economic impact during construction and 236  jobs after the build.

Slater, obvs, is thrilled.

“Now I can move back home now and surf as much as I want!”


The tank’s gonna have a gorgeous neighbour too.

The WSL’s multi-billionaire owner, Mr Dirk Ziff, lives a short drive away on Sea Acres Way in North Palm Beach.

Last year, the nearby Ziff family compound (“The epitome of opulence”) and the sixth-most expensive house in all of America (thirty bedrooms, fifty shitters), was listed last year at $195 million. It was reduced by thirty mill this year for a quick sale.

An easy thirty mill hit.

And people are curious how long Ziff is gonna keep bankrolling surfing?

 Buy the house here. 

And take a little drone tour here.

9490 Bent Grass Court, Delray Beach, FL 33446 from Luxury Real Estate South Florida on Vimeo.