"As long as you can make it through a couple of rounds, you make a lot of money." says local surfer Rachel Presti (pictured).
"As long as you can make it through a couple of rounds, you make a lot of money." says local surfer Rachel Presti (pictured).

Florida Pro: Women to double men’s money!

It's a feel-good story!

Now if this ain’t a feel good story I don’t know what is. In the very second that businessmen, male politicians, actors, producers are getting felled by the Lincoln Continental-load for being improperly sexually aggressive/generally very rude, a brand-new surf contest in Florida is serving up more than double the prize money to the women over the men. 25k for the men. 55k for the women. The largest purse in U.S. history for a women’s event!

Oh I know that it’s a men’s 1500 and a women’s 6000 but still 55k ain’t nothing to sneeze at. And let’s read a little from Florida Today:

The Florida Pro Surf event will be unusual, in that the women’s prize money will be significantly higher than the men’s prize. The winner of the men’s competition will receive $4,000 to $5,000, with a total prize pool of $25,000.

Fifteen-year-old surfer Rachel Presti of Melbourne Beach says she’s excited about competing in the event.

“This is my home break,” Rachel said as she joined Hobgood and other surfers at Sebastian Inlet on Wednesday to film promotional videos for the event and to surf the waves. “It’s a good wave. I surf here almost every day. I think it’s great, because we’re having a huge competition here.”

Rachel, who has been surfing competitively since age 9, says she is looking forward to competing in the Florida Pro Surf event against some of the top competitors in women’s surfing.

“It pushes me to do better,” she said.

And, noting the unusually high prize purse for a women’s event, she added: “As long as you can make it through a couple of rounds, you make a lot of money.”

Do you want to know who is surfing in the men’s side? CJ Hobgood and Cory Lopez! Between that and women getting rich I think I want to go to the Florida Pro. I think it might be the best surf contest ever.

You ever see anything as pretty?

Watch: “Jack Robinson x Rabbits”

Luscious and high contrast!

Jack Robinson is the boy with the bouffant hairdo who, as one surf agent told me recently, was the last of the great speculative buys.

Do you remember three years ago when Billabong shovelled their last shekels at Jack to steal him away from Quiksilver, back when they were separate companies and not part of the same American hedge fund? Billabong’s Gordon Merchant described Jack as a “once-in-a-generation” talent and got the kid on a five-year deal.

The following Hawaiian winter Jack, then seventeen, beat Jamie O and Mason Ho to win the Pipeline trials. And it wasn’t small.

Anyway, even though Jack’s career trajectory hasn’t gone exactly to plan since  any sort of vision of his surfing features elegant, painterly lines.

In the (very) short below, we see Jack at Rabbits (is it okay to name Rabs now? Does Taj know) by the Western Australian-based filmer Azure Co.

Worth a little contemplation.

You liked? This ain’t bad either

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?