Visit: The rebel island of Taiwan!

A fabulous history with fabulous waves!

You are, of course, a student of history and are very aware of Formosa, or what we call Taiwan/the Republic of China. The island, floating just east of mainland China and north of the Philippines, was made famous in modern times when the Chinese communists, led by Mao Zedong, fought the Chinese nationalists, led by Chang Kai-shek, in a bloody civil war. The communists won a series of decisive victories pushing the nationalists to Taiwan where Chang Kai-shek declared Taipei to be his de-facto wartime capital. And there has been a cold stare ever since with Beijing laying claim to the island and the island insisting on its autonomy.

What you may not know is that there is surf.

And let me introduce you to Hawaiian pro surfer Macy Mullen. A fine name by any account.

Born and raised in Hawaii, professional surfer Macy Mullen experienced Taiwanese culture through his mother who is of full Taiwanese ethnicity. Macy heard stories, history and perspective from his mother, but always wanted to see his (and his mother’s) homeland with his own eyes. With a Summer window of opportunity and the Western Pacific Typhoon season swinging into full effect, Macy and fellow Hawaii pro Alex Pendleton booked a last minute strike mission to Tainan, the capital of Taiwan, with hopes of scoring surf along the eastern countryside. Their trip provided more than just quality surf, they also dove deep into Taiwan culture and made lifelong friendships within the new, budding Taiwan surf culture.

Shall we watch? We would be foolish not to.

I was sad because big wave surfers seem to enjoy each other's company more than regular surfers. They seem to even like each other and the entire field paddled over to Ian and gave him true love when the final bell rang. They were so happy for him and happy for each other and happy in general and I was sad because look at us. | Photo: WSL

Triumph: Ian Walsh wins Jaws!

A fantastic victory leaves me heartbroken.

I tuned in to the last 30 seconds of the Big Wave World Tour Peahi Challenge today and was overcome by immense sadness as Ian Walsh was declared victorious. A full-bodied sadness that began just behind my eyes before moving to my stomach and further extremities.

I was not sad that Ian Walsh won. He is a very kind and good man and is in on this grand joke we’re all playing. I was not sad that I missed all but 30 seconds of the event. Big wave surfing, I have realized over the years is an absolute bore. Swell interval is a real thing and the swells that create big waves are spaced lots far out which means commentators droning on and on and on and on ad nauseam. I think the WSL should hire stand-up comics in between sets. I was not sad that Rory Parker was theoretically “reporting” from a boat in the channel for Stab. He once “reported” from Pipeline for us and it was the end of our relationship. I was not sad that Billy Kemper failed to three-peat. I already let it be known that Ian Walsh is good and fine.


I was sad because big wave surfers seem to enjoy each other’s company more than regular surfers. They seem to even like each other and the entire field paddled over to Ian and gave him true love when the final bell rang. They were so happy for him and happy for each other and happy in general and I was sad because look at us.

We small wave surfers hate each other. We grimace at each other in the lineup. We curse at each other on the sand. We wish a giant epidemic would come and wipe all other surfers from the face of the earth yet somehow spare us and then we would go surf Trestles all by ourselves and do almost average cutbacks and think, “Yeah… smooooooth.”

We are a spiteful bunch. And would you like to do something about it? Would you like to pretend, emotionally, that we are big wave surfers? I’ll make you a deal. Next time I do an almost average cutback can you paddle over to me and hug me and if I’m wearing an inflatable vest can you pull the cord and inflate it in a good natured manner?

I’ll do the same for you and let’s pretend, even if it is only for one day, that we like each other.


Donald Trump Jr. pictured with surfer.
Donald Trump Jr. pictured with surfer.

Witch hunt: The WSL, Trump and Russia!

Professional surfing gets caught in the snare!

If you are even only semi-literate you are aware that the president of the United States, Donald John Trump, is being investigated for possible collusion with Russia during the 2017 election. Those on the left think that the Trump campaign, alongside Russian operatives, infiltrated less intelligent Americans’ Facebook accounts and made them believe bad things about Donald Trump’s opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton. Those on the right believe it is all a #witchhunt and #fakenews in order to explain away what should have been a sure victory for #crookedhillary.


Part of the investigation centers around a meeting that the president’s son, Donald John Trump Jr., had with a group of Russians in the Trump Tower including a woman named Natalia V. Veselnitskaya who was reported to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

Well it was revealed yesterday’s New York Times that Ms. Veselnitskaya instead brought alleged dirt on American investors the Ziff Brothers, one of whom owns the WSL.

That’s right! The World Surf League right in the middle-ish of wild international intrigue!

I’ve read the NYT story three times now and get more confused each. I can’t tell what the Ziff brothers were alleged to have done nor why it would matter to the Trump campaign but I am only semi-literate. You should take a crack at it here.

I wasn’t there, anyhow, in the Trump Tower and don’t understand the story but I have some thoughts about how the conversation went down. Here is a transcript.

Veselnitskaya: Spasiba for coming. I have some very interesting for you.

Trump Jr.: Shoot, babe.

Veselnitskaya: There is Democrat donor, da? Who has… problem. Problem can be exploited.

Trump Jr.: Hit me.

Veselnitskaya: There is Brothers Ziff and one brothers Ziff, Dirk, owns The World Surf League…

Trump Jr.: Derek?

Veselnitskaya: (Consultes notes) Nyet. Dirk. Diiirk.

Trump Jr.: Got it.

Veselnitskaya: And this World Surf League…

Trump Jr.: (interrupts) There is a World Surf League? It sounds globalist. Is America getting a good deal being part of this league?

Veselnitskaya: (consultes notes) Nyet. The top ranked surfer is Hawaiian. The top ranked surfer American is Kolohe Andino and he is number 8 in the world.

Trump Jr.: Kolohe? That doesn’t sound American.

Veselnitskaya: Da but he looks.

Trump Jr.: Is his dad… black?

Veselnitskaya: (consultes notes) Nyet. His name is Dino.

Trump Jr.: Dino Andino? Is he Mexican?

Veselnitskaya: (consultes notes) Nyet. From Lithuania.

Trump Jr.: Well he doesn’t seem American at all. Who is below Kolohe?

Veselnitskaya: (consultes notes) Number 20 is Kanoa Igarashi…

Trump Jr.: (interrupts) is this a joke? A fucking joke? Kanoa Igarashi? I’m telling my dad to get America out of this bad deal right away. Kolohe Andino and Kanoa Igarashi. This is worse than NAFTA… etc. etc. etc.

And then they probably talked about Kelly’s Surf Ranch and a bunch of other stuff.


Podcast: “John John like 108-year-old Chinese man!”

The Weekly Grit with David Lee Scales and Chas Smith… 

What can I tell you? I love Mexican food, Southern gothic writers, horror movies, fireplaces, people who tell the  truth, corn on the cob, Dr Pepper (which I cannot find in Bondi), old movies, Céline, ketchup on my steak and…

The Weekly Grit with David Lee Scales and BeachGrit principal Chas Smith.

It isn’t exactly weekly, and if there’s anything more excruciating than something that proclaims a regular slot but doesn’t meet scheduling I’m yet to find it, but when it does appear I’m a fan of sorts.

In this almost one-hour-and-a-half episode, Chas and David talk surf media wars and the latest roughhousing between Stab and the Inertia (“Zach comes across as, well… pathetic… is a nice word,” says Chas) as well as Chas’ “scorched earth policy” media strategy.

“I dragged everyone into the gutter,” says Chas.

Also, whether you’re a “goober” if you punch your surfboard, neck tattoos, a discussion on whether or not the Hypto Krypto is for clumsy hoodlums and some rumination on the question, has a pro surfer has ever grown a satisfactory beard.

“John John l0oks like a 108-year-old Chinese man,” says David.

Listen here.


Live: Jaws is running now!

A big wave event!

Stop what you are doing and come log on to the World Surf League’s exclusive live broadcast of Peah’i. It is a magnificent show of nature and already one ski has been pitched onto the rocks. Have you ever drowned a ski? Or scuttled a boat?

Did you collect a fine insurance settlement?

Watch Jaws now!

Click here but keep comments open so we can talk about it n stuff.


P.S. The first heat features 2 x winner Jimel Kimmel, Billy Kemper, Ian Gouveia, Grant Twiggy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Francisco Giant, Koa Rothman and Mark Healey.

Who yo got?

But wait… I’m not done with you yet. Do you call it Peah’i? Or do you call it Jaws?

I call it Jaws. But I am a white man. Are you?