Painstakingly constructed manifesto strapped to tree.

Angry Locals reveal “Mungrel” Law!

Are you a local? What makes you furious?

A small beach community on Australia’s east coast has taken a stand against outsiders with a heroically confrontational warning sign nailed, anonymously, onto a tree.

Sawtell, which is just south of Coffs Harbour and five hundred clicks north of Sydney, is a real pretty joint. Warm water. Agreeable weather. Gets good waves sometimes. It ain’t going to make your toes curl, but fun enough to belt along to.

And, like the rest of the north coast, the secret’s out. Escape Sydney. Buy a house cheap. Source a reputable supply of weed. Sit back. Inhale. An easy life.

Recently, a sign appeared offering advice to anyone who might consider themselves, maybe, and after twenty years, a local, and to those who get their kicks from stand-up paddle machines.

Let’s read Sawtell’s “Mungrel Law.”

  1. If you have moved to this , what was once a quiet coastal village after 1996, you are not a LOCAL. Show RESPECT and practise surfing ETIQUETTE. So we all get along.
  2. If you are teaching your kids to surf, great, but do it away from the IMPACT ZONE, to prevent any ACCIDENTS.
  3. If you SU, ride your craft away from crowds. Your craft is DANGEROUS and can cause SERIOUS INJURY.

I never know what to make of these sorts of pronouncements.

Oh the sentiment is fine enough, SUPS were designed by an evil genius and they’re dangerous and so forth, and anyone who has their roots in a town does deserve, I think, first bite on any waves.

Getting fussy about kids learning to surf? A little hysterical.

And I ain’t real big on the dramatic use of capital letters. It makes me think of a man in a frightening trance, all spooky-eyed, suddenly screaming.

Do you like these sorta things? These lines drawn in the sand?

Like this.

Teahupoo sign

Or this?


Or do they remind you of the notes that litter the walls in communal kitchens?

Slater: “AI curious about almond milk!”

Venice-adjacent website reveals!

It has been seven years since the Hawaiian legend Andy Irons left this mortal coil and it’s wild how fast time flies. It seems like just yesterday he was on the comeback trail and just two days ago that he was challenging the dominance of one Kelly Slater. Standing straight as an arrow in massive Teahupo’o pits. Hoisting world championship cuts over his handsome visage.

His story is equal measure beauty and tragedy and it is why most of the surf media remembers him every year on the day he died. BeachGrit did not yesterday because Derek and I were together and surfing. Stab did, asking both Kelly Slater and Mason Ho for some thoughts and let’s read Kelly’s.

We were at dinner [Gold Coast, 2008] and he was asking me and my girl about food and what we make. I told him we made almond milk, and he was baffled that I knew how to make it. It nearly didn’t compute with him. I was supposed to make him some but he never came by on that trip.

In Stab’s supple hands everything becomes high art and this is beat poetry. Here, let me play some jazz and then let’s read again.

We were at dinner [Gold Coast, 2008] and he was asking me and my girl about food and what we make.

I told him we made almond milk.

He was baffled that I knew how to make it.

It nearly didn’t compute with him.

I was supposed to make him some.

But he never came by on that trip.


Surf film: “Lost cultural cache!”

"No difference between pro surfer and pro tennis player!"

When was the last surf film you’ve watched and been very very excited about? For me, I can tell you, it was just two days ago when I watched Vaughn Blakey’s near epic Scary Good. But what about a bigger surf film? One that transcended our little bubble and had boys and girls from Topeka dreaming? Like Big Wednesday, The Endless Summer, etc. Maybe not since the 1970s. Ooo-ee, that’s a dry spell.

But why? What happened to us? Are we patently uncool now? Thankfully The Guardian asked the legendary Jamie Brisick. And let’s read:

In the past decade, however, audiences appear to have lost interest, leaving surf films to flounder: the 2015 Point Break remake from Fast and the Furious cinematographer Ericson Core was critically pummelled, while Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s 2008 movie Surfer, Dude belly-flopped at the box office. Part of the reason is that these days surfing no longer has a subcultural lure that lends itself to good storytelling. It is now a broad, mass-participation sport. “If you watch surf films made before 1996 you see a lot of people out of work,” says the writer, former US pro surfer and ex-editor of Surfing magazine, Jamie Brisick. “Back then, you didn’t know when you were going to get the good waves. Everyone was waiting around, because they don’t want to miss the surf.”

The arrival of accurate wave forecasting also allowed for greater career opportunities. “Surfers could plan their week,” says Brisick. “It became less time-consuming than it once was, and much more of a big business. Now there’s not much difference between a pro surfer and pro tennis player.” If surfing was now big business, it no longer worked as cinematic shorthand for “romantic outsiderdom”, nor as the perfect setting for the dangerous, outcast protagonist.

Well hell. That’s pretty depressive. But wait. I don’t think Mr. Brisick has fully explored my turn as a pro surf writer. I feel there is all kinds of romantic outsiderdom for me to discover. I also feel I can be a very dangerous, outcast antagonist.


(It is a gloomy fall day in Cardiff by the Sea. The reef is pumping but filled with all sorts of longer boards and SUPs. A solitary figure stands in the parking lot with a 5’10 19.25 under one arm and a computer/wireless keyboard under the other since his computer’s keyboard doesn’t work anymore because it got drowned in booze. A teenaged boy rides by on an electric bicycle)

Teenaged boy: What are you trying to be mister?

Chas Smith: Get lost, kid.

How’s that for a start?

Dear Olympics: SUP IS NOT SURFING!

The debate is over!

You read right here, 5 months ago, that the Canoe Federation and the International Surfing Federation are in a protracted fight to keep SUP.


As in to have and to hold.

And I have no idea what ISF president Fernando Aguerre is thinking. This is our chance. This is our opportunity to cut out the cancer and be freed forever from a horrible curse. This is our moment yet somehow he is misguided. Let us read from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation:

The Canoe Federation thinks it’s the obvious choice, since SUP requires a paddle. “ICF statutes state clearly that a person using a paddle as a main form of propulsion whilst on a craft in water is canoeing, paddling,” International Canoe Federation secretary general Ian Toulson told Reuters in April.

The Surfing Association folks say it’s not as simple as that, it’s more nuanced.

“This is not a canoe. This is not a kayak,” International Surfing Association president Fernando Aguerre told NPR in June.

“Sure, it may look similar. But you know, you can play soccer with a basketball and you can play soccer with a volleyball, but they’re not the same sport.”

And dear Olympic committee, allow me to weigh in for surfers everywhere. I have no idea what Mr. Aguerre’s analogy is trying to get at but SUP is not surfing. It is canoeing and the moniker has already been changed to SUCing by the real surfers here on BeachGrit.

So debate over. Canoe wins. Yay for them.

Revealed: Why Florida surfers rule!

Kelly Slater allegedly reveals the secret!

Have you been to Florida? I have and driving from base to tip of that generally sweaty phallus altered my deep-seated prejudices. Altered them to the point where, preparing to leave for home I thought, “If someone held a gun to my head and said, ‘You are moving to Florida, cunt*.’ I wouldn’t even be upset.”

Before touching down in Orlando, I thought Florida was home to Castro-hating Cubans, Confederate flag-loving crackers, hurricanes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ernest Hemingway’s cats and very small surf. Oh, of course I was right but it is also home to so much more. The Scientology Sea-Org headquarters, strip clubs, Cracker Barrels, the University of Florida and Florida State University, Ron Jon Surf Shops, a statue of Kelly Slater and so much more.

But speaking of that statue of Kelly Slater, you know that he hails from Cocoa Beach some few minutes north of Melbourne, which is where the Hobgoods are from (I think) and some few minutes south of New Burna, where Aaron Cormican is from, which is almost near Ormond Beach, where Lisa Andersen is from, and I could pretty much go on all day.

And how so many good surfers in Florida? The surf is very small and also not good. How such star power?

Well, I was told a story today from someone who knows Kelly Slater well. This person said, “Kelly says the reason that surfers from Florida are so good is because the waves are super fast and dumpy and so you have to pop to your feet crazy quick to even have a chance to get down the line. Florida surfers have this ability better than any other surfers and it translates to Pipeline and everywhere else he says…”

Now, I have no way of knowing if Kelly really said this or something like this or if the person was confused. I plan on asking him but in the meantime, do you think it is true? Is it why Kelly is a Pipe Master? Why the Hobgoods are untouchable in the heaviest Indonesian reef passes?

Should we all move to Florida even without guns pressed to our heads or getting called “cunt*”?

*The Inertia has a fine story about getting called a cunt but the website spells it “c*nt.” I encourage you to read I Got Called a C*nt by a Grown Man.