Proof that virility isn't just measured at the root of the belly…
Earlier today, the number seven rated surfer in the world, Kolohe Andino, and his adorable GF Madison Brooke-Aldrich were married at The Casino, a pre-war Spanish mission-style joint just on West Avendia Pico there in San Clemente.
Kolohe, who is two months short of his twenty-third birthday, chose Jeremy Carter as his best man, an important role incorporating all sorts of logistics, and Luke Davis, Nat Young, Tanner Rozunko, Ian Crane and Griffin Colapinto as groomsmen, a significant title and recognition of friendship, yes, but whose role is merely to act as ushers to the wedding’s guests.
Maddie’s account of Kolohe’s Christmas Day proposal, is divine and is proof, I think, that virility isn’t just measured at the root of the belly where the phallus rises with a perfectly beveled rim of unusual weight and the friendliest red.
We met 7 years ago, I was working at Guichos Eatery where I first met Kolohe. We were only 18 and 16, wow have we grown!! Kolohe proposed early Christmas morning, it was our first Christmas together in our new home. I told Kolohe that my favorite part about Christmas is the stockings, and that my mom always wrapped ALL of my stocking stuffers, he though this was ridiculous. However he was up into that late hours of the night wrapping all my stocking stuffers. Kolohe woke up at 5 am ready to start his day! He drug me out of bed and we made our way downstairs. He began setting up his phone so it could self film us, when I asked him what he was doing he told me he wanted to document our first Christmas in our new home together, little did I know he wanted to film the proposal. We began to alternate turns opening up our stockings, it was my turn and I was down to my last stuffer. I opened the gift and it was a ring! As I looked up Kolohe was on one knee asking me to marry him, I couldn’t believe it and kept asking him if he was kidding! After the realization that this was really happening, I said yes. It was a Christmas we will always remember and cherish! We have two puppies, who we call our children, their names are Levi & Dually. We also have a slight addiction to the Dodgers and are their number one fans.
We have been through so much together and are beyond excited to make marriage the next step in our story! We can’t wait to celebrate with all of you, get ready for the BEST DAY EVER!
"We've got some guys on the inside looking into anything interesting."
It has been three long days since Quiksilver and Billabong merged into one company and Westchester’s Stab magazine is still silent. Not one jot. Not one tittle. The boys even posted a story this morning titled The Surf Biz Is Nothing If Not Interesting* without a mention of the Quik x Bong marriage. Oh it is surely insidious. The website’s editor, Ashton Goggans, stepped briefly from behind the partition to comment here by posting an ancient speculative thing in defense.
It was as if Sean Spicer himself had risen from the dead.
And I let him know that everyone had reported the months ago rumors of a possible merger but that ain’t the same thing as reporting that it had just happened (be still my beating heart).
To which Ashton replied:
Honestly, read the interview. Put it at the back of the line. We’ve got some guys on the inside looking into anything interesting, you know, instead of just regurgitating the same press release. We’ll get to it. I’d love to know what insidious corporate plot you might imagine we’re tied up in. Go full Pynchon on me. You can lay it out for me and Scales next week.
Sam and I went and surfed up north yesterday. Morgs is on his way to Hawaii. What did you do with your lovely Friday, Charlie**?
The interview? What interview? It was a business story and littered everywhere. CNN Business, MSNBC Business, The Wall Street Journal, etc. And he put it on the “back burner” because some “guys on the inside” are “looking into anything interesting” instead of “regurgitating a press release?” And egregiously non sequitur mentions of surfing and Hawaii?
This whole thing stinks.
And I’m glad he mentioned that we are set to meet, both in person and on air, next week. I had the odds at 1 in 200 that he’d agree because, in truth, it will be the end of Stab. An absolute bloodbath.
See you in the octagon*** Ashton Goggans! You had better start looking for another job now.
*This is totally the pot calling the kettle black but I really can’t stand that Stab capitalizes be-verbs, articles and prepositions in titles. Such a pain.
**I used to know that people were passively-aggressively displeased with me when they called me “Chuck.” It has changed recently and now when they are passively-aggressively displeased with me they call me “Charlie.”
***By “octagon” I mean Surfrider’s offices in front of a microphone.
Australia's historic institutions become common rail station beggars!
If you have ever been to Australia then you are at least semi-familiar with the country’s surf lifesaving clubs. I am ill-suited to provide much detail, having never been a member, but I believe they are non-profit, non-governmental associations that provide water safety services, fun classes for kids and flamboyant red + yellow hats. Am I surmising correctly? Is this what they do?
Over the year I spent in Australia I looked on with envy at these surf lifesaving clubs mostly because they each seemed to have the most wonderful clubhouses sitting right on the beach. I imagined inside there was a chummy vibe, cold beer in the summer, room temperature scotch in the winter and fun songs sang in unison. Today, though, the Sydney Morning Herald popped my balloon.
In the featured story it was revealed that surf lifesaving clubs struggle for money, have difficulty maintaining facilities and send members to train stations in order to panhandle like Indians. But there is a man who has a plan to pull the clubs into profitability and let’s read together.
Surf life saving clubs could be turned into small hotels under a proposal to raise more money for lifesaving operations. Barry Tilley would also equip surf clubs with liquor licences to operate bars beyond the limited circumstances in which they currently serve alcohol. A property developer and businessman, Mr Tilley’s preferred model is a pensione, or small hotel, offering “a couple of meals of the day like they do in Italy”.
Mr Tilley said accommodation and dining facilities would help pay for the maintenance of facilities and provision of water safety and training instead of relying on donations.
“There’s nothing more demeaning than seeing surf club members begging around railway stations,” he said. “It would create a new industry in so far as people learning lifesaving around the world,” he added. “Australia is the leader when it comes to lifesaving.”
Fantastic, right? I would love to stay in one, sharing the chummy vibes without really “belonging” but apparently things are not so simple. Turning the clubs into hotels and bars is prohibited by Australian law.
A spokeswoman for the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Racing, Paul Toole, said: “Crown land utilised by surf life saving clubs is generally reserved for public recreation purposes and the establishment of bars and accommodation on such Crown land would not be in keeping with the reserve purpose.”
Well son of a bitch. And wouldn’t you think now is a good time to rebel against the crown? I would come fight for you, dear Australia. I would come fight for your nippers and your cold beer and your room temperature scotch. Let’s do this thing.
The website's deafening silence on the most important surf story of the week!
Did you know that the two largest surf companies in the world, Quiksilver and Billabong, are merging into one? It’s true and… oh just kidding. Of course you know. It’s all we’ve been talking about for almost two whole days. Some of you are unimpressed. Manuka wrote under Derek Rielly’s previous posting, “I get the “these brands have shaped our sport” message, but for sure very little purchasing power from “Us, the BG” goes to Quik or Bong. The question is, why do you cover it to such a detail? Why the excitement? Am I missing something?”
To which I respond, “Yes!” These two brands have dictated what has happened in the surf industry for a quarter century and their merger speaks to its future. For my money this is the most interesting story of 2018, mostly because it is big/unprecedented (imagine in Ford and Chevy combined… or Boeing and Airbus) but also because 2018 is only 5 days old and the rest of the “news” has been typical post-holiday bland.
But you would never know that our world has shifted on its axis if your only surf industry portal was Hawthorne, California’s own Stab magazine. That’s right. The website, never shy about jumping into a day old story with both feet while pretending it is the first to report, has been entirely silent on the matter. Since the news broke last evening Stab has released:
Keanu Asing Will Not Be Silenced
“Comments of the Week” edition 115
John John Wants To Get “Better” At Surfing
Snowy, Windy, Pumping And Oh So Cold! Maine, Yesterday
Watch: Oliver Kurtz’s Triple OBX Tunnel This Morning
Jake Patterson: “I Wish John Had A Bit Of Andy In Him”
And nothing but nothing on the merger. A clipped silence.
I don’t quite know.
Stab is, of course, partially responsible for Billabong’s prodigious fall and an utter corporate shill. The website has proudly produced, supported and pushed unfortunate Billabong collaborations for years under the name “content.” Like the latest ten-part series, Can You Believe The World’s Biggest, Most Popular, Rock Star (Iggy Pop Of Course) Wears Billabong Trunks? I would imagine there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Stab’s Hawthorne office that not one of its purchased Facebook “likers” actually went out and bought any product.
Also, the website is also currently selling a co-branded trunk with Quiksilver that I must admit looks very sharp though I’m curious why Stab is using a flare gun in its advertising.
But do you really think that both Billabong and Quiksilver’s parent company Oaktree Capital tells Stab’s ownership, “Hey. Keep quiet on this story or else we’ll merger you right in the face.” Like, really? Or is there something else at play?
Maybe there is a silver lining. Maybe when Quiksilver x Billabong do pop-up shops at Costcos Stab can drive “traffic” like it once did for the mighty SurfStitch.
Oh let’s hope!
Warshaw: “Best world-title interview of all time!”
Earlier today, the financially robust surf historian Matt Warshaw sent an archived interview with the message, “Best post-world title interview ever? I say nothing’s even close.”
I applied myself to the fruit of his searchings and found that, yes, the interview, snatched of the 18-year-old world champ Nat Young in 1966, was splendid. Frank, cruel and cheerful. It really does ricochet.
BeachGrit: First, I want to list my favourite quote: “Girls shouldn’t surf, they make fools out of themselves.” Provocative! A different time, yes?
Warshaw: There’s nothing to say in Nat’s defense except he’s 18, invincible, and Australian. In that interview you do get flashes of the man he would later become. Nat can be really generous and funny and gracious. But by and large, in this piece, he’s just a bastard. In many ways I love how raw he is. But in other moments, like the “girls” comment—which was cruel even by 1966 standards—you just want to punch him. Or get someone bigger than yourself to punch him. Did you see the comment about the poor Irish surfer?
BeachGrit: “What is the meaning of it all?”
Everyone at the 1966 world titles had to fill out a questionnaire, and one of the questions was “What do you get out of surfing?” And Nat, in the interview, wonders “how the Irish guy answered something like that. That would have been ridiculous.” Just lashing out at that poor guy, his name was Kevin Cavey. Nat can’t imagine an Irish surfer having any kind of meaningful relationship with the sport.
“Nat can be really generous and funny and gracious. But by and large, in this piece, he’s just a bastard. In many ways I love how raw he is. But in other moments, like the “girls” comment—which was cruel even by 1966 standards—you just want to punch him.”
BeachGrit: Everybody dumps on the Irish! But let’s do a little background on this interview. It’s 1966, San Diego, it’s the world title and Nat Young is an eighteen-year-old animal. Big. Smart. Powerful. Colour it in for me.
Go back a year, and Nat probably should have won the 1965 world titles in Peru. Kid was just 17, but already so good. Big, tall, powerful, the best paddler in creation, talent and ambition to burn. He out-surfed everybody in Lima, but Felipe Pomar played by the rules, got the biggest waves, rode the furthest, and won fair and square. Nat was runner-up. And I think at that point there was no way he wasn’t going to take it all in 1966. He won everything in Australia that year; the New South Wales titles, Nationals, Bells. Nat and Bob McTavish and George Greenough meanwhile were all hunkered down working on equipment. Thinner boards, long narrow flexible fins. Nat flew to San Diego with a 9’4” that was less than 2.5” thick. Ten-foot by 3.5” thick—that’s what the other guys were on. David Nuuhiwa was God to American surfers, just 17, but smooth as honey and could hang ten from here to the next county. Nat was good on the nose too, but beyond that was just far and away the most progressive surfer in the world, on the most progressive equipment. So he won the contest going away. In the finals he rode a wave to the beach, stepped off onto the sand, put his hands on his hips and just stared down the judges. The mother of all claims.
BeachGrit: Can you imagine John John, say, or even Kelly Slater being this lucid, this self-aware, this…candid… in a post world title interview? The references to ego in surfing, the talk about “commercial interests”, self-expression an so forth. I wonder, has the commercialisation of surfing, the snatching of children from the cradle to become pro surfers, the removal of all stimuli and challenges except those related to surf technique, turned our best athletes into empty vessels? Balls of stupid?
Barton Lynch was sort of like Nat in his interviews, but without the arrogance. Pam Burridge, the same. Smart, aware, didn’t pull punches. But sweet. Rabbit was a great interview, but there was always a sense of performance, that he was putting on a show. Kelly is very good, but also very calculating. With Kelly, you never get it raw. But all of them were all a lot older when they won their titles. Nat was just 18. So my answer is . . . nobody was like him, certainly not at that age. It wasn’t just that he was smart and lucid. All the bluster aside, Nat was eager to learn, open to new ideas, a good listener. He just absorbed knowledge, from Midget and McTavish, from Greenough, and certainly from Bob Evans, who was a father-figure. Nat wasn’t a man in full at 18, but he’s on his way, you can tell.
“The actual worst interview? She’s not a world champ, but I tighten up whenever Courtney Conlogue is interviewed. She’s a tremendous surfer, but all I really get from her—in the way she rides waves, and from her speech—is just all the sweat and toil and practice and repetition.”
BeachGrit: I’m awfully fond of Nat talking about surfboard design, about the thickness of boards, accelerators and brakes. This, “If you want a paddleboard, and you want to get out the back, you go out and buy one. But surfboards are made to ride waves and have nothing to do with paddling.”
When I hear that, I hear McTavish’s voice. The bit where Nat talks about two trains being on the same track — that’s a McTavish riff. I think the gas pedal comment is also from Bob. But so what? That’s what I was trying to say a minute ago. Nat just sucks in ideas and thoughts and concepts. That’s what the great ones do
BeachGrit: Was LSD and marijuana an influence on the ability to be so… expansive?
Not in 1966, no. But there’s a funny picture of Nat in Peru from the year before, at the after-contest party, just shitfaced on the dance floor.
BeachGrit: If this is the best post-world title interview. What’s the worst you’ve heard or read?
Damien Hardman had nothing to say to creeps like me, to any surf writer who raised a microphone to his face. But I always loved him for that. It’s like Nat says, Be who you are. Damien never wanted to be a public figure, and didn’t fake it, and good for him. So his interviews are terrible, but for a good cause, if that makes sense. The actual worst interview? She’s not a world champ, but I tighten up whenever Courtney Conlogue is interviewed. She’s a tremendous surfer, but all I really get from her—in the way she rides waves, and from her speech—is just all the sweat and toil and practice and repetition. Endless repetition. I always drink more on the nights after I see Courtney onscreen.
BeachGrit: So we start off with Nat insulting the girls, and end with you doing the same?
Well, Nat was in a position of power. I’m just some poor geezer blogging for free on your website. Courtney could beat me up and still make it to the gym on time.