Chas Smith David Lee Scales

Stab ed assault: “Lame! A non-altercation!”

Listen, and now watch, The Grit with David Lee Scales and Charlie Smith.

Last Thursday, BeachGrit’s Charlie Smith joined the broadcaster David Lee Scales for their semi-regular show The Grit, once a podcast, now a video hybrid.

Charlie, who is forty-one years old and lives at Cardiff-by-the-Sea near San Diego, was dressed in proportion to his physique while David Lee threw all proportion into the wind with a haircut that reveals, I think, a man who is conservative by nature, checkered shirts rolled up to the elbows and so on, but who likes to join his “buddies” for motorcycle rides on the weekends.

In this episode, the pair talk about the police report filed by Stab editor Ashton Goggans over his “assault” by Charlie.

“This was super lame, this was a joke, a non-altercation” David Lee says he told the investigating detective.

“It’s the final chapter in a tawdry book. It was embarrassing,” says Charlie. “But I had to write about it because I feel that BeachGrit is an open book. There’s no back room where things are getting thrashed out and no matter how tawdry or embarrassing it is to us, we embrace it.”

Also on the episode are sex-bots…

Kelly Slater the grammar teacher,

And, the Hawaiian-WSL imbroglio, rollerskating Tom Curren and more.

Watch here.



Gerry Lopez tickling the crest while the green room opens behind him.
Gerry Lopez tickling the crest while the green room opens behind him.

Revealed: Surfers love “the green room!”

The fabled space inside a barrelling wave!

So I’ve had the best ever literary ideas since Friday. Works of Pulitzer-prize winning art dance upon the strangely creased blue pills but I can’t move fast enough to scribble them all down and they mostly disappear. There was something about the First Lady of the United States that I was going to write in the style of Beowulf. An epic olde world poem that is mostly unintelligible but in that good “unintelligible because it’s real smart” kinda way.

There was something else about John John Florence and Gabriel Medina’s competitive relationship done up as a musical. Like Hamilton. And the dancing favela scene will be a showstopper but the quiet moment when John John is on a sailboat singing to the moon and Gabriel is in the shower shaving his pits but singing to the same moon is going to make the audience weep.

Two different worlds
We live in two different worlds
For we’ve been told
That a love like ours could never be
So far apart

They say we’re so far apart
And that we haven’t the right
To change our destiny
When will they learn

That a heart doesn’t draw the line
Nothing matters if I am yours
And you are mine.

Then there was something else about a surfer who gets a hip replacement before ever getting barreled but makes it his mission, post-op, to experience. This coming of age tale would be masterful but then realized that I hadn’t actually thought it up but read it in the UK’s Spectator underneath the greatest Percocet title ever.

It’s not a wave’s crest, but its translucent interior that surfers dream of.

Surfing has come of age. Like rock and roll, it was once strictly for young people, edgy and alternative and physically way too demanding for anyone over the age of 27. But those young people grew up and they’re still at it. For millennials it’s hard to maintain a sense of cool when your parents are heaving their boards into the same breaks and when, according to the marketing people, there are upwards of 35 million surfers worldwide, in a sector that’s worth at least $10 billion per year.

Iain Gately has also reached a certain age; he has had a hip replacement. The Secret Surfer is the account of his hobbling progress back into action, back towards the head-high face of a breaking wave. He had always been a competent surfer, but had never gained access to the green room, the fabled space inside a barrelling wave where — if you time it just right, if you position yourself correctly between the crest and the base — you find yourself enveloped in a translucent tunnel of water, zooming towards the shrinking light. It is one of those places on earth where lives are changed, like the summit of certain mountains, after which nothing else comes close.

Whoa. Buy here!

Hawaiian man false cracking the Brit Cap'n James Cook.
Hawaiian man false cracking the Brit Cap'n James Cook.

False crack: Hawaiian man goes wild!

The greatest folk on earth!

The grave specter of no World Surf League Pipeline Masters for the 2019 season is starting to sink in and what a bummer. What a rotten bit of no good. Surf historian Matt Warshaw calls it “the crucible” and I agree with him exactly but do you know what else I love about Pipeline? The fact that it is in Hawaii and all the blonde Californians and bronzed Aussies and even more bronzed Brazilians have to go every year and navigate the most gorgeously intense milieu this side of northern Syria.

I read a story just this morning posted by Fox News, while laying in bed wishing I was never born (you were right again Nick Carroll) that made we so wistful for what is soon to disappear and would you mind terribly if I shared it with you?

LONDON – A tourist from Hawaii has pleaded guilty to punching two London police officers outside Buckingham Palace.

A prosecutor says 36-year-old Ryan Robinson of Kahekili Highway asked the armed officers, “Do you know any jokes?” before punching one in the face and trying to grab his Taser on Wednesday.

When the second officer pointed his gun at Robinson and ordered him to stand still, Robinson knocked him to the ground.

Prosecutor Henry Fitch said Friday that Robinson was heavily intoxicated and it took several other officers to restrain him.

Robinson, who appeared in court with a dirty shirt and bruised eye, admitted two counts of assaulting a police officer. A judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court gave him an eight-week suspended sentence and ordered him to pay each victim 200 pounds ($280).


And it also makes me want to move to London 500 some bucks to punch police officers seems like the best bargain around.

Mitch Parkinson
Mitch Parkinson, just twenty two, revels in the power of an eight-foot Pipe tunnel. | Photo: WSL

Mitch Parko Wins “Oakley Battle Clips!”

Joel's little cuz backs up Volcom Pro semi with best-video prize… 

Little Mitch Parkinson, cousin of Joel, ain’t so small anymore. Thirteen years since Stab anointed him as the “best 10-year-old surfer in the world” Mitch has…turned on.

Won a QS in Taiwan last year; made the semi’s of the Volcom Pipe Pro a week or so ago.

And, last night in Newcastle, Mitch won the Oakley Battle Clips II.

It was my first event as surf media. Didn’t have an invite, just pointed to a name of the list and waltzed in. It ain’t Studio 54, if you get my drift. 

The winner gets twenty gees cash and five gees of Nikon gear. Second, third and fourth leave empty-handed and heart broken. Brent ‘Midget Magic’ Dorrington took out last year’s event and used the money to finance his newborn. Prams, cots, clothes etc. It all adds up.

This year, the final four field was Nick Vasicek, Luke Hynd, Soli Bailey and Mitch Parkinson. Only two were in attendance, Soli and Mitch. Each surrounded by their entourages at opposite ends of the room, a rivalry that’s been brewing for years.

The winner was chosen thus: Bede Durbidge’s vote counted for a third, Oakley rider Connor O’Leary’s vote counted for a third and the public vote counted for the final third.

Bede and Connor’s was a split. Over 350,000 votes came in for the final (only one vote per IP address). Twenty thousand votes separated first and second.

Soli’s clip had butt-dragging barrels, a few hacks and a couple of air reverses. Mitch’s was a parade of full-rotors, barrels, a couple of backhand slaps and a crowd pleasing slow-mo, muscle popping wrap around cutback.

Mitch won.

BeachGrit: Mitch! This time last year you’d thrown your toys in the air and you were looking for a job. Now you’re winning or hitting the final in everything you touch. What’s changed?

I needed a break. I’d been pushed and prodded into this pro-surfing thing since I was six years old. Last year I needed to break away and do my own thing. I went out, got a bit loose, got my head together and figured out my way of doing things. My girl, Abbie, has really helped me get my shit together and drive me. And I’ve put together a great new team around me. From management to now working with my best mate to shape my boards, Jye Gudenswager from Gen4.

If you’re so good, why don’t you have a sponsor?

Ha! I feel like winning this amount of cash is like a one-year Oakley and Nikon contract! I’ve got Gen4 as my board sponsor of course, and being able to head that team up and work so hands on with the shaping has helped heaps. But we’re talking to a few companies out there right now… fuck I sure hope this helps get the ball over the line. But I just really want to sign up with a brand that I’m into, not just ’cause they’re slinging cheques.

Where’s this twenty-grand going? 

No bar tabs or any of that shit this time. When the money hits my account I’m booking my flights and accomm for Japan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, USA, and hopefully a bit of the Europe leg. Anything to help with my qualification travel this year.

You wanna qualify? Not just be a will-fly-for-cash freesurfer?

I actually really love competing. And the tour gives you a chance to ride the some of the best waves in the world with just a couple of others guys in the water. I had a bit of this in the Volcolm Pipe Pro. The best was after my semi-final. Kaiborg wouldn’t let anyone else out in the water before the final. So it was just me and Alvarro sitting out there for almost half an hour scoring perfect eight-to-ten-foot Pipe. And you can do strike trips in between comps to get the film edits out there. I want the best of both worlds.

Watch Mitch’s award-winning short here.


Warshaw: “Pipe is the Crucible!”

Pipe getting knocked out of closer spot was dumber than losing Trestles and adding Lemoore put together.

Earlier this morning, I was stalked by the historian Matt Warshaw, EOS/Above the Roar/HOS etc, who sought a rendezvous on the subject of the 2019 Pipe opener, and closer, being lost.

It’s the gloomy soothsayer, all heavy sighs, and the preposterously superficial BeachGrit principal, bubbly, at three paces!

We join the conversation.

BeachGrit: No Pipe opener nor closer for 2019. Does your heart weep?

Warshaw: I wasn’t even done being upset about Pipe getting knocked out of closer spot, which was a dumber move than losing Trestles and adding Lemoore put together.

Why so sad about losing the Pipe closer? It’s been years since it’s had a classic final day. A Super Bowl final in a six-foot bluewater swell in the Ments? Mightn’t that give you a little shiver?

Pipe I don’t think has ever been bad first heat to last. There’s always one or two great days, and hopefully you get a great final. That aside, it’s the anticipation of Pipe, the possibility of it. The whole season funnels down to that one break, that one event. You hold onto that when the wind goes shit at Peniche, or its Igarashi vs Flores at Bells. Pipe at the end of the tour is the great redeemer. And as far as the Mentawais . . . anybody high-intermediate or better can surf it. Nobody on tour is going to hair out at Rifles, or Macaronis. You want to see guys crack. You want to see Danny Wills and Mick Campbell crawl up inside themselves, as well as Slater and Sunny and John performing miracles. Jeremy Flores strikes me a bit of a douche, but fuck the guy steps up at Pipeline. The Ments will be a three-day promo video. I’ll watch it, the surfing will be amazing. But it isn’t the crucible. Pipe is the crucible.

I have no idea what logic, if any, is driving the WSL. Every now and then I’ll convince myself they’re five steps ahead of everybody, in terms of drop-kicking the sport into the mainstream. But mostly I think it’s a wish-and-prayer business model.

…Do you think the WSL thought it had the muscle to fuck with Honolulu and was surprised at their hard line?

The WSL is just slightly less mysterious than Skull and Bones. I have no idea what logic, if any, is driving them. Every now and then I’ll convince myself they’re five steps ahead of everybody, in terms of drop-kicking the sport into the mainstream. But mostly I think it’s a wish-and-pray business model.

I start thinking they’re somehow going to pull a 24-carrot gold rabbit out of a hat. Then I look at what they’ve done to the tour lately and think there’s nothing whatsoever in the hat except Dirk Ziff’s credit card.

What’s your take on the adorable Sophie Goldschmidt? Does it warm your heart to see a complete non-surfer as the face of surfing, rallying the crowd at Pipe, talking about Keramas while never actually having been there etc?

I met her for the first time last month, and she’s very bright, friendly, and professional. Whether she’s been to Bali or not doesn’t matter. The CT schedule matters. WSL’s ownership of Kelly’s pool matters. The audience matters. Or the perceived audience. The WSL isn’t playing to the existing fanbase, but to an imagined future fanbase. Which I don’t think exists, but there’s maybe a 10% chance I’m wrong. How to you let Pipe and Clouldbreak go, unless you’ve got an ace or two up your sleeve? Like, what are we NOT seeing here? Yeah, Sophie and the whole gang I met in Santa Monica last month struck me as being smart enough, and I’m for sure in secure enough, that I start thinking they’re somehow going to pull a 24-carrot gold rabbit out of a hat. Then I look at what they’ve done to the tour lately and think there’s nothing whatsoever in the hat except Dirk Ziff’s credit card.

Let’s imagine the rabbit in the WSL hat. Imagine. What could it be?

For me, the rabbit is a two-day event at roll-in First Reef Pipe for the title. For Sophie, it’s a prime-time medal round in a WSL-designed pool in Tokyo.

Do you think a world title, sans Pipe in a year featuring a pool would forever have an asterix next to it? Brodie Carr once told me he didn’t want to be known as the ASP CEO who lost Slater from the tour. Do you think Sophie would have similar concerns re: Pipe?

A world title without Pipe is a dinner gong for Red Bull to come in and save pro surfing from itself.