Dear BeachGrit: If this is goodbye…

...then can I tell you how fun it has been?

Tomorrow, at approximately 7 am Pacific Standard Time, I get wheeled into surgery in order to repair the damage that Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and karma wrought upon my left shoulder. It will be the third time that I’ve been under general anesthesia. The first was for a severely broken arm, the second for a severely broken nose, and both times I came to vomiting blood and wishing for death.

I don’t like general anesthesia and in the unlikely event Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and karma get the best of me can I say how much fun I had with you all?

It’s true!

When Derek and I sat at my kitchen counter and pressed “publish” that very first time those three plus years ago neither of us had any idea what this would grow into. All we knew is that we wanted something honest, something at least semi self-aware, something fun, something… anti-depressive and you have made it exactly that. I wake up every morning (except tomorrow) with a spring in my step excited to see if there is anything new from Matt Warshaw, Longtom, JP, Jazzy, Jen See and of course my favorite of all Derek Rielly.

But underneath each story is where the real magic happens. I laugh and laugh and learn about Durkheim and then laugh some more at one-liners like “I goggons a longboard once, it was shit, so I goggoff.” Negatron and company have truly outdone themselves.

So at the very end, I just really and truly wanted to thank you for anti-depressing me and if Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and karma do get the best can you come to my funeral and make sure my tombstone reads:

Here lies Chas Smith.
He was a surf journalist.

Thanks again.

Confession: “I was stabbed in the back!”

Or love and loss in the time of Disqus.

It started out innocently enough. Gorgeous model who also surfs, and a series of questions the likes of which have not been seen since Woolcott was asking Ke11y if he is eating cereal and if he likes it:

“Have you been travelling a lot lately?”

“Is it creepy if we ask what you had for breakfast this morning?”

“Sounds delicious…For the guys sitting in our comments section, can you describe your perfect man?” [I’m generally curious—is there anyone but guys in these comments sections?]

“What about the best vs worst date you’ve ever been on?”

Par for the course. But as readers here know, no one really shows up for the articles (except that LongTom review of Pyzel—straight up junxt). It was time to dig in and scratch the upvote endorphin high, or fail in vain by trying. Yet this time things quickly got weird—Negs came over and bantered with Newman about the fall from glory-days-grace and then MC started going after comments and out of the blue Rory starts throwing his weight around all the way from Maui and the Scarlet Letter of “M” for misogyny is branded and bannings occur (RIP VONR) and I haven’t seen such hypocrisy since, well, I see it every day with white evangelical Republicans in the States, but not on Stab’s comments.

Who takes this shit seriously? I’ve been a haiku writing dildo as a past avatar—is that reality? My personality type is OCD, sarcastic as hell, and the annoying younger brother. I missed Negs’s rein at Stab by a few months but I entered into his slipstream 3 years ago. He got out when the impact on his psyche was on the wall. 3 years and 6,000 comments later, I’m seeing it to (*too). Negs saw his cynicism, sarcasm, bomb drops, and one-upmanship as a downward spiral; well, I’m Negs 2.0, without the humor, more pimples, and a hairier ass crack. If there’s no fun in the game, time to get out.

The final kicker of the massacre was Rory tracking down my real identity via the email I provided to disqus when I logged in and mentioning this in a comment to me. A touch freaky, but out of respect for his vision of Stab I offered to him I’d gladly call to discuss Stab’s new approach to comments since he knew my real identity. He didn’t take me up on it, but maybe one day in the water we’ll have that talk and can smile to each other in the flesh as real people and not avatars…
So dontneednochokebrain is now choked to death. Why? I figured I’ve spent a combined 6 months of my life in the Stab dungeon (not all that different from the BeachGrit dungeon, just with different furniture arrangement).

This massacre was a good chance to break free from the panopticon and restrategize priorities. For example, now I will have more time to organize my archive of Lucy Pinder pictures; search the dark web for the mythical Gabby and Charlie sex tape; join neo-Nazi websites to help Make America Great Again; play Sudoku; and learn to SUP.
At some point I’ll create a new avatar and rejoin the fun and be more generous with upvotes and less generous with snark, and am willing to do so by old and new community rules at both sites. And as much as I rip the punters publishing typo-ridden pish at Stab, I know they love surfing like the rest of us and are good people, with good humor; and as much as Ashton is ridiculed both here and over there I think he wants to see Stab be a vehicle for positive good in the surf community, and I can dig that, too.

I like all of them, and I hope they know that. And while I’ll still find Chas annoying and narcissistic (Don’t jump the table, bro! And I am looking forward to the new book.), the reality is that he and I are pretty close in personality type and I applaud his desire to see BeachGrit be a vehicle for pointing out the overall hypocrisy of a capital-driven surf community that makes gods and goddesses out of high school drop outs who happen to be skilled at riding 28 ounces of stickered foam down and above a wave face.

Lastly, I’ll still remember some good times at Stab with guys I came to love: VONR, Baldy, Scorn, Newman, Phatty, Dart, Wiggs, and some other anonymous deplorables and how for a bit of time we could be cunts and revel in it because it was all an escape from the bullshit of Babylon to begin with.
P.S. Fuck off, joiny.

The Cosby! Better than a box of Ludes! | Photo: @nickybuttonshaw

Wade Goodall on the “Cosby!”

It's the move…everyone… is talking about!

A few hours ago, this website turned the naming of a two-turn combo, which had just premiered, over to its readers. The move, which is a floater-in, chop-hop out, drew out the following names.

Chop Gooey. (OttoBeenThere)

Cosby! (Nicky Buttonshaw)

The Stormy Daniels. (Noncompetitor)

Taiwanese Botched Tit Job (Wiggolly’s Paddling Style)

We threw in Teflon Floater and the Bored Housewife.

The winner, as it had to be, was “Cosby!

As explained by Nicky Buttonshaw, “Wave thinks you’re just going to do an innocent floater but you end up doing something ugly at the end.”

When I call Wade Goodall at his house in Bangalow, near Byron Bay, about the move, which took place at White’s Beach and was filmed by his friend Harry Triglone, he says, “It doesn’t need a name. No commentators are going to be talking about it. It’s a fun way to do a floater It’s disco, it’s a party.”

Wade say the Cosby in its current form, on a two-foot wave, is unimpressive and therefore his goal is to nail it on something of relative consequence. Maybe a six-footer.

“Real excited to try it out on a bigger one now that I’ve worked out the movement,” he says.

The inspiration, say Wade, came from watching skaters pop out of tricks, “the crazy footwork” and so on.

The trick to making one, or at least throwing your hat in the ring of attempting a Cosby!, is doing the chop-hop before you lose all your speed in the floater.

“The pop is hard,” says Wade. “I’ve lost heaps of mine having metal legs (Wade has broken his legs three time). I’ve had so much…rod work… knee-to-ankle on both side, knee-to-hip on my right. I’ve got no pop! I can’t suck it up like I used to. Although, it’s just got to a stage where it’s not hurting so I can try hit again.”

Wade, who is thirty-one years old and the father of two small children, is currently “getting the band together” for a movie with Vans, which will premiere during the Hawaiian season in December.

A working title?

“Not as Yet”


How to pretty up two dirty ol turn with Wade Goodall.

Watch: Goodall’s floater-to-chop-hop!

How to pretty up two dirty ol turns… 

Ain’t it just the most wonderful thing about surf, that you can twist a couple of dirty old turns together and make magic.

In this very short clip by Harry Triglone, we see the Sunshine Coast surfer and grandpappy of jibs, Wade Goodall, who is barely thirty if you can believe it, riffing on a floater-to-chop-hop combo.

“I don’t give a shit about staying relevant. I surf because I love it. If your main concern is staying relevant then you’re on the cow’s tit and milking it hard. I don’t want to do that.

Do you love? Make you wanna surf?

“Wade is surfing’ greatest indie rock and roll band. This is insane,” says What Youth’s Travis Ferré, the only man in the world to turn down a personal invite, with excellent catering included, to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch. 

As for Wade, does he do such things to stay relevant?

“I don’t give a shit about staying relevant. I surf because I love it,” Wade once told me. “If your main concern is staying relevant then you’re on the cow’s tit and milking it hard. I don’t want to do that. Even though more milk would be good for my bone strength. (Wade has suffered multiple broken legs.)”

As for ageing, “I’m more comfortable in myself and am learning to back myself in new things. Having a go instead of not trying because I’m shit at it due to my non experience. I don’t feel like I am in some mature club now though. I’m definitely not getting one of those OK over 25 stickers for my car like those youth-hating lemons. I will try to stay young at heart forever.”

Now, wanna give this mini-jib a name?

The bored housewife?

Teflon floater?


Lost: Outtakes from Paradise!

Hidden gems from an American classic!

(Many years ago I wrote a book titled Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell. Today, I stumbled upon clippings that fell by the wayside. Here is one.) 

At sundown I was on the deck, wondering how to capture in words the exact way the Pacific below looks in winter light; the way the gradations of milky blue and green abruptly father darkest sapphire (no, no mention of jewels- that is cheating); give birth to a deep black-blue like… like the deep black-blue of the Pacific at the end of a sunny winter day.

I have never been able to describe what I see every evening from the Turtle Bay Resort and Spa (does it have a spa?) Must make do with plain statements like the vog that signifies a prehistoric burp that eliminates the line between sea snd sky so that they look to be the same element and one has the sense of being at the center of a cold fire.

I attempt this description for the hundredth time in order to give my pen something to do as I try to sort out what has happened to me since Kimo, the bell braddah, appeared at my door with the alarmed look he always has when a haole comes to call and a barbarous name must be announced.

“Ho ba. Some uhhhh guy name Hudson is downstairs an wants talk story.”

Since it is my job to be at home to haoles – particularly in the surf industry – I told Kimo to bring Hudson to my room and straightened my short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt that I was trying out, ironically of course.

After a few moments, and through the beige door, a large slow figure stumbled into view. “Yo, Chas, how sick is this place? So sick. You go downstairs and see all the boys yet? So sick…”

I looked toward the Pacific with tired eyes and thankfully did not hear another word Hudson said as the Filipino grounds crew had begun its traditional midday pruning.