I fooking told you and I swear on the painful death of our children: I did not buy that 600 pound GSI Hypto in the garage! Or the snowboard I'm too afraid to open.

Femdom: “I hide surfboards from my wife!”

Secret surfboards help my relationships flourish!

 It’s true. I do hide surfboards from my fiancé. New boards live in the van or the shed, places she has no business in.

Recently, late at night and under cover of darkness, I found myself on my knees on the living room rug, surreptitiously stroking a new board. I caressed the foil and froze like a frightened young hind whenever I heard movement from other rooms.

A new snowboard cowers in the corner of my shed, still shrink-wrapped after more than a month. I persevere with an old board for show: “Look, darling, look how knackered this old board is! Aren’t I good for not getting a new one this season?”

Does this make me a bad person, less of a man? Should I be ashamed of this behaviour? I think not. An economy of truth is necessary in a healthy relationship.

Have you seen the movie Interstellar? Let me introduce an insightful dialogue between the main character (Cooper) and his artificially intelligent robot companion (TARS):

Cooper: Hey TARS, what’s your honesty parameter?
TARS: 90 percent.
Cooper: 90 percent?
TARS: Absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.

Are not women the very definition of “emotional beings”?

There is no reasoning, there is only the path of least resistance.

But not everyone gets this. On that podcast Afternoons with Chas and Dave or whatever it’s called, David Scales (a divorced man in his late thirties, interested in wine) lambasted me for a comment I made on this very site, a comment about hiding board purchases from my significant other.

And while I can’t remember the exact jist (or perhaps jiss) of his comment, it was something along the lines of this being a bad omen for my relationship, lack of communication etc.

Spoken like a divorced man in his late thirties, interested in wine.

My relationship is great. Without going full Rory Parker on you, my fiancé is wonderful. Attractive, funny, compassionate, incredible mother, all of that.

But I’m sure all of that would become untenable if she knew just how much fucking time I waste thinking about my universally, globally useless obsessions. Much less spending the modest amounts of money we have on them in lieu of a new kitchen, a family holiday or plain old “savings”.

Does my significant other hate surfing? No. Does she hate that I love surfing? Not at all.

Is she dead right that new boards will not make me surf better/more often? Yes.

Is she rightly concerned that a man in his thirties with a child and a mortgage and a dog and soon to be another child should prioritise any one of these things over his own selfish agendas? Absolutely yes.

But as much as I love my family, some things need to remain just mine and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re not one of these happy-clappy wanky couples who enjoy wonderful shared passions. We have shared interests, but I’m bloody glad they’re not the things I really love. I can’t imagine anything fucking worse than having to take her surfing.

I know couples who work together, play together, socialise together, all of that. They call each other “best friend”, despite seeming constantly on the verge of spousal rage killing. I love my future wife dearly, but she sure isn’t my bloody best mate.

Call me old fashioned, but I’ve got best mates for that. And I don’t shag them or cry in front of them either.

In relationships and in life, some things are best compartmentalised or kept to yourself entirely.

For me, surfing is one of those things.

Day 5: Stab keeps lips sealed!

Still nothing about the greatest story of the year!

And the great Stab magazine, which rumor tells me is no longer a “magazine”, from Lawndale, California continues its silence on the greatest matter of our year. The merger of Quiksilver and Billabong. We are rounding the bend toward a week, one whole week, since the news broke and yet Stab maintains its silence. Why? Is it because two of its writers are employed by Quiksilver? Is it because Billabong’s Iggy Pop appears on its homepage every single day?

I don’t know but like any good and true surf journalist I have come under fire for continuing to beat this drum. A great friend told me what I am doing is akin to masturbation. Here is a transcript of our conversation.

Friend: It looks to me like you are masturbating. Nobody is involved in this thing but you.

Chas: No. I’m involving Stab everyday and I think masturbation is bad.

Friend: In relation to heterosexual fulfillment?

Chas: In relation to everything — orgasm, heterosexuality, to style, to be able to fight the good fight. I think masturbation cripples people. It doesn’t cripple them altogether, but it turns them askew, it sets up a bad and often enduring tension.

Friend: Is it possible that you have a totalitarian attitude against it?

Chas: I wouldn’t say all people who masturbate are evil, probably I would say even some of the best people in the world masturbate. But I’m saying it’s a miserable activity.

Friend: Well now we’re getting into this notion of absolutes.

Chas: To what end? Who benefits? Masturbation is bombing. It’s bombing oneself.

Friend: I think you are assuming masturbation involves violence to oneself. Why is it not pleasure to oneself?

Chas: Well, if one masturbates, all that happens is, everything that’s beautiful and good in one, goes up the hand, goes into the air, is lost. Now what the hell is there to absorb? One hasn’t tested oneself. You see, in a way, the heterosexual act lays questions to rest and makes one able to build on a few answers. Whereas if one masturbates, the ability to contemplate one’s experience is disturbed.

Friend: So you are not masturbating on Stab?

Chas: No. It’s called bukkake and it is different altogether.

Gimme: The perfect surf car!

Forget that weird #vanlife!

My very first car was a three-on-the-tree 1960 Ford Falcon in Grabber blue. It was a fine car, though I had to learn the intricacies of clutch play while rolling backward down hills very quickly. My favorite car was either a 1972 MG Midget that would run out of gas lots because its gauges didn’t work but it was so little that I could easily push it OR a 1993 white Ford Bronco that may well have been O.J. Simpson’s. It caught fire in the Surfing magazine parking lot one blustery day and almost burned southern California to the ground.

But what about you? What is your favorite car? What car do you drive now? Do you dream of upgrading? What about to a custom surf wagon?

The car website Jalopnik posted this masterpiece a few days ago, which happens to be for sale in Hawaii, and made very much fun. Let’s read?

Wood paneled surf wagons from the late-40s and early-50s are undoubtedly cool. Mercury Sable station wagons are not cool. “But what if you combined them” you ask to the frightened man sitting next to you on the bus. He quickly looks away.

Some mastermind in Hawaii has an answer to that question on the form of an ill-advised $17,500 Craigslist purchase. That’s right, you can now buy your very own “50 TIN WOODIE SURF WOODY CUSTOM WAGON.” That’s two different spellings of “woody” for the price of one!

This… surf wagon(?) started life as a “NEWER MERC WAGON” and has been transformed into what looks to be a Ford from 1950 if you got hit in the head with a slow-pitch softball. The seller does not specify what wagon it came from but be assured that it “DRIVES SMOOTH AND CORRECT,,.” The 3.8-liter V6 appears to be out of a Mercury Sable wagon which ended production in 1995.

The owner of this nightmare version of a 1950s surf wagon states that it’s a great investment and that it won “LOT OF TROPHIES ON THE MAINLAND.” The ad also states that it has all the modern options. I don’t know what that means in this vehicle but I doubt it has lane-assist or radar-guided cruise control.

It might be a service to society to drive this wagon back into the ocean from whence it came.

Well? You in?

Day 4: Stab a verbally abused husband!

It's getting embarrassing.

It has been four entire days since Quiksilver and Billabong merged into one company and not one peep from Gardena, California, the town Stab magazine calls home. Nothing at all but The Best Travel Bags For The Minimalist Three-Board Traveler, Surprise: Matt Banting Is Back!, Watch: Gabriel Medina Gets Steamy In Hot Music Vid!, The Art of Losing Your Mind, What Does It Cost To Qualify For The CT?, and The Burleigh Single Fin Festival: Beers, Boobs and Bummer Waves.

No Quiksilver. No Billabong. No merger.

At first I thought there was something insidious behind the silence around the biggest story of the year. That Stab was angling to become the vehicle in which “synergies” and revamped “brand identities” were rolled out to their unsuspecting public.

Now I realize Stab‘s staff is just a dime-a-dozen verbally abused husband, pushed into the corner by a relentlessly petty yet vicious wife and fully neutered.

At this point if they publish something it will be seen as a spineless capitulation due my harangues.

But if they don’t publish anything it will also be seen as a spineless capitulation due my harangues.

The narrative, you see, has been set for them and like the verbally abused husband its always easier to lower a shamed head, take the name-calling and pretend she doesn’t mean it.

Well I mean it you lily-livered bunch of worthless twats!

Stab’s embarrassing head-in-the-sand routine is emblematic of what is generally wrong with today’s surf industry. A refusal to deal with, much less enjoy, confrontation/reality. The damn thing becomes more and more like The Inertia every day and I mourn its loss.

While continuing to berate.

Mark Healey
Where you goin' city boy?

Blood Feud: Mark Healey v Luke Egan!

"Still trying to slither into John John's camp, eh?"

Three years ago, amid the bark of money guns, the former world number two Luke Egan, and his former partner at Electric, Bruce Beach, introduced a clothing label called Depactus.

Depending on your source of Latin definitions, the term variously meant: fastened down, to make an agreement or deeply driven. But what sounded good in the brainstorming session came out awful when it met the people.

De-packed-ass and so on.

Depactus had a very good tagline (Where the Land meets Sea) and team riders were called Men of Extraordinary Pursuits. Millions of dollars was spent on the launch and marketing. Trade show booths were lavish; Mark Healey, Matt Meola and Ry Craike were all signed prior to takeoff; and generous editorial was sought or bought depending how you frame these things.

“Depactus is the surf industry’s not so odd future.” 

“Luke Egan Introduces Depactus”

And so on.

Until it crashed a year and a half ago

Read why here.  

Of course, a business rarely dives without wounds.

And, on Christmas Day, a sweet comment on the commentator-turned-surf-coach Ross Williams’ Instagram by Luke Egan was jumped on by his former Extraordinary Pursuit Man Mark Healey.

Luke wrote: Merry Christmas and congratulations on a Stella year coaching John John.

Healey retorted: @lukeegan still trying to slither into the John John camp eh? The way you burned me @mattmeola and @rycraike_fishoutofwater didn’t go unnoticed. Can’t outrun your deeds in this small world….

What happened?

Healey says he and Meola and Craike didn’t receive “hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay” when Depactus folded.

“Got pennies on the dollar,” Healey told me. “Had to pursue legally… I had to get him served his papers at the Honolua women’s event last year.”


“Case is done. Had to notify them that it was time to step into court. Such a headache.”

Depactus settled before the case went to court and Healey says he’s unsure whether he can reveal the pay-out for legal reasons.

But the wounds still hurt, he says.

“This kinda shit happens in business but the way they handled it was… inexcusable. Can’t sweep that under the rug. Gotta be accountable.”

Regular readers will know the twist in the Depactus tale. Last month, online retailer SurfStitch, a company with a keen eye for a bargain, bought the defunct brand. 

Buy Depactus pants, anoraks and so forth here in all their moody colours here.  

(BeachGrit would like to point out that there is no implication that Luke Egan was involved in any wrongdoing in the wrapping up of the biz, ie. don’t sue the messenger, only that business can be a hell of a thing on friendships.)