John john florence kelly slater
John John: What I'm saying, Kelly, is you have a one-in-a-million chance of winning another world title. Maybe you oughta think about that. Kelly: So you're saying I have a… chance! YEAH! | Photo: WSL/Steve Sherman

Vegas Opens Market for 2018 World Title!

Bring life into your favourite sport with gambling!

Maybe you bet on surfing, maybe you don’t. Maybe it’s a geographical thing (sorry USA!), maybe it’s a philosophical thing.

It does add a certain excitement to an event or a year, howevs, more than Fantasy Surfer and its promise of a trip to Hawaii ever could.

Actual skin in the game.

Cue accelerated heart-rate. Cue weeping/cheering children as daddy brings home, loses, the family bacon.

Recently, the Vegas markets, yeah Vegas, all markets are created by machines spinning algorithms not people, dropped odds on the 2018 world title.

Ain’t no surprise, but how about we go shopping.

Favourite, John John Florence, 3.5-1: How confident are you John’s going to win three titles in a row? Stats say it’s almost a sure thing. Throw a hundred on it, wait a year and you might get $350.

4.40-1, Gabriel Medina: Three years since his world title, he’s almost on par with John. The ice man with eyebrows that’ve been plucked and drawn back on at a more rakish angle. Who weeps.

7-1, Filipe Toledo: Don’t tell me this doesn’t give you a shiver of the possibility of a big return. There’s nothing dim or hazy about Filipe, who could, without a surprise to anyone, win half the events on this year’s tour: Snapper, Rio, Keramas, J-Bay, Surf Ranch, France, Portugal. Wait, two-thirds of the tour’s events. Peel off a thousand bucks for an almost 10k return.

10-1, Jordy Smith: Big, beautiful Jordy turns thirty, wraps milestone year in a title. Can it happen? The markets say it’s not a long-shot but a mid-level fantasy, like a three-way with a couple of sixes.

41-1, Kolohe Andino: What’s that do for a boy’s confidence, when machines tell you you’re a virtual impossibility to win a title? But what point wallowing in the past? Is this the year of Kolohe Andino’s great, sweeping triumph? It could be yours, at an attractive 41-1-, if you’re a believer.

Other odds:

13-1: Julian Wilson.

17-1: Owen Wright.

19-1: Mick Fanning.

19 -1: Kelly Slater.

21-1: Italo Ferreira.

31-1: Adriano de Souza.

31-1: Joel Parkinson.

Click here to view the market! And to potentially throw away your money. Or maybe win a little more. 


torren martyn
The Byron Bay surfer Torren Martyn demonstrate the capability of blunt-nosed, wide-tail twin-fins in decent sorta waves.

Twin fins: Evil clowns that kill children!

Come watch Torren Martyn sneak off for furtive encounters.

Riding blunt-nosed, wide-tailed, twin-keeled surfboards is hardly a novelty, at least anymore.

What began as a kneeboard by San Diego shaper Steve Lis in 1967 was rebirthed in the nineties via Matt Biolos’ five-five round-nose-fish and Tommy Peterson’s Fireball Fish and refashioned over the last ten years into the pretty straight-railed, gloss-coated twins you see anywhere there’s a point or weak runners.

Now, the thing with these sorta boards is they give the beginner a palpable sense of ability where there is none. For the intermediate surfer they create a stance problem where the rider gradually moves forward to overcome the looseness of the wide tail and fin. Both levels are ruined on their backhand.

The good surfer, however, a performer like Torren Martyn from Byron Bay on Australia’s north coast, is able to manipulate the surfboard to perform even when it should, in theory, spin out.

In this four-minute short we see the six-foot-two Martyn riding a Simon Jones-shaped surfboard that is almost a full-foot shorter – and easily negotiating backside tubes.

“If you’ve got a big ol’ fin and a nice rail line on the side of the face, it’s going to work, right? You can push them pretty hard,” Torren told Surfer


The romantic notion of John John Florence winning back-to-back Pipe Master eight weeks apart, December 2018 and February 2019, crushed by Honolulu Council officialdom! | Photo: WSL/Tony Heff

Official: 2019 Pipe Tour Opener Cancelled!

Honolulu City closes door on any chance of a Pipe opener in 2019… 

Have you been following the permit-roundabout between the City and Council of Honolulu and the WCT?

The nut of the argument was this: the WSL wanted to open the 2019 tour with an event at Pipe.

Honolulu said the WSL turned in their form late and therefore, “The Department of Parks and Recreation must remain fair to those who followed the rules.”

Honolulu’s Mayor, Kirk Caldwell, followed that piece of pedantry with a testy, “However, WSL believes the city should grant their request without hesitation, outside of the established rules, because of their economic impact to the community.”

Anyway, confirmation just came that the WSL’s grand plan for a tour opener at Pipe in 2019 has been officially binned.

The WSL’s CEO, Ms Sophie Goldschmidt, whom I’ve met once and adored, responded in the sort of opaque speak that can only come from someone who has been immersed in the patois of the corporate world her entire life.

“We are disappointed we will not be able to run the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters. However, we are pleased that the Mayor recognizes that fundamental changes are required to the permit process that will benefit Hawaiian surfing, the surfers, the community and other stakeholders. We will assist however we can during this process and once we understand the changes, we will be able to determine which events we can invest in bringing to Hawaii in winter 2019 and beyond.”

Permits were granted to these events.

HIC PRO – Sunset Beach – Oct. 27 – Nov. 9, 2018
HAWAIIAN PRO – Haleiwa – Nov. 12-24, 2018
VANS WORLD CUP OF SURFING – Sunset – Nov. 25 – Dec. 6, 2018
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS – Ehukai – Dec. 8-20, 2018
SUNSET OPEN – Sunset Beach – Jan. 18-28, 2019
VOLCOM PIPE PRO – Ehukai – Jan 29 – Feb. 10, 2019

Which raises the question, does it not, why can’t the Volcom Pipe Pro be lifted from a WQS event to a WCT event?

Easy enough, yes? A few scratches on a keyboard, a new press release, a change in event bunting etc.

Ah, but according to Honolulu, the law doesn’t allow switcharoos and therefore the Volcom Pro must remain the Volcom Pro.

Do you love bureaucracy as much as me (ie. not a lot)?

Where do you think the tour opener next year will be?

The WSL says it’s in negotiations for a new location and, therefore, can’t comment.

How about we take a wild guess?

Where’s good late February?

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.