Trending: “Help, police! He pushed me!”

The unfortunate Stabification of surf.

Yesterday’s lamest surf assault has got me feeling very guilty and partially responsible for trending behavior that is very unbecoming. It appears that going to the police after being shoved is perceived as the proper thing to do and I must apologize for this aberration. For it was one bright morning, over a month and a half ago, that I leapt a reclaimed wood and brushed nickel coffee table toward Stab magazine’s Ashton Goggans in order to silence him.

The leap ended with the desired result though very embarrassingly. A jostly non-fight that would have made a very overweight four-year-old redhead cringe while looking away.

Two weeks later Mr. Goggans contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. in order to file assault charges.

Now, I just assumed that going to the police for anything at all was a matter of last resort and was deeply confused by Mr. Goggans’ action though also shrugged and thought, “I suppose that’s how they do things over at Stab magazine.”

But this new lamest surf assault forces me to stop and take a personal accounting. My behavior must have been so embarrassing that, to some, Mr. Goggans’ police response was appropriate.

And for this I am truly sorry.

Truly truly sorry.

I hope I didn’t break surfing forever. I hope the kids can right this ship and that, generations from now, some crusty local is screaming at an interloper in a parking lot with no fear of legal reprisal.

For I have a dream that one day down in Florida — with its vicious racists, with its Governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification — one day right there in Florida, little surf boys and surf girls will be able to call each other “barney” and “kook” and tell each other to “beat it.”

I have a dream that one day every seedy left and unloved right will be allowed shoves and slaps and knocks on the head.

I HAVE A DREAM that one day ANYBODY can be that crusty local no matter the color of his skin or religious creed, amen?


surf fight
"You can just tackle someone in the United States."

Surf fight update: “Why I went to the police!

"I did what I had to do to protect myself," says longboarder after lame surf fight.

Yesterday, BeachGrit reported on the world’s lamest surf fight, an incident that led to one surfer being cuffed and arrested and facing possible jail time on assault charges. Various Instagram and Facebook accounts posted video of the incident, a light collision on a two-foot peak at First Jetty in Virginia Beach.

Refresh your memory here. 

This morning, I spoke to Jordan Montgomery, the twenty-year-old longboarder in the video about what happened and why he filed charges.

First, said Jordan, the other guy didn’t teach him to surf.

“My father did. I don’t know where he got the perception he taught me to surf,” he said.

Second, he’s had “ongoing problems” with Alex after an incident when he was ten years old. No charges were pressed then. Jordan doesn’t want to talk about that incident in cases it prejudices the case against Alex.

“This happened so fast. I felt his hands on me! He was tackling me out of aggression. Surfing shouldn’t be a scapegoat for violence.”

And the collision?

“It was five-thirty, low light, dusk. He stood up and jumped at me. He put his hands on my shoulders and I grabbed him and rotated him. I was confused, like, dude why are you tackling me on a one-foot wave? He didn’t punch me in the face. You can see in the video he doesn’t push me off the board, but his  hands hit me in the bottom of the neck and chin area. I felt it! He laid a hand on me and in the United States you can do that. Surfing is a recreational sport and I’ve been surfing for fourteen years. I’m not a kook. I rode for Hurley for ten years… I’ve done all the Rip Curl GromSearches, NSSAs. I know what the hell I’m doing! This happened so fast. I felt his hands on me! He was tackling me out of aggression. Surfing shouldn’t be a scapegoat for violence.”

Afterwards, he said Alex announced to the lineup, “All you bitch-ass longboarders, if you go right I’ll kick your ass!”

“When it comes down to people threatening me, I’m not going to fight in the parking lot,” said Jordan. “It’s not how I roll. He could definitely kick my ass. I’m not going to fight the guy.”

Initially, Jordan said he didn’t go to the police and only did so when social media lit up over the video and he “didn’t feel safe.”

“There were 190 comments (on Instagram and Facebook) and the majority were threatening towards me, saying things like, ‘Let’s find this kid and break his face’ and ‘Let’s swell his eye shut’ and ‘I hope his tires get slashed’. All these unstable, random people. I was worried about all the people he’s told to hurt me.”

Jordan says he was forced to make the assault charge (simple assault and not battery, he said) so he could get a restraining order.

“There were 190 comments (on Instagram and Facebook) and the majority were threatening towards me, saying things like, ‘Let’s find this kid and break his face’ and ‘Let’s swell his eye shut’ and ‘I hope his tires get slashed’. All these unstable, random people. I was worried about all the people he’s told to hurt me.”

“I was just protecting myself. To get the restraining order, you have to get someone into the process. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s what society tells you to do. I didn’t feel safe and I went to law enforcement.”

Jordan told me he planned to tell the court he doesn’t want Alex jailed and that he just wanted to keep a little legally mandated space between the two of ’em.

“I’m not trying to get him in trouble. I probably went a little over bounds. I did what I had to do to protect myself.”

Rumor: Surf Ranch available to rent!

How much would you pay for the experience of a lifetime?

A hot new rumor is circling the surf industry mill and it directly involves you. I have had three recent chats with people in the know and semi-know who have let it leak, strategically I assume, that Surf Ranch, Kelly Slater’s dreamy central California artificial wave, is going to be available to rent in the very near future.


And you’ve rented bouncy houses, Chuck E. Cheese party rooms, karaoke studios and the local Shriner’s Hall for your various birthdays and graduations but just imagine how popular you’ll be when you rent Surf Ranch?

Now, details are slim as to when Surf Ranch will actually become available but my sources tell me that it is most certainly in the cards though a price has not been settled upon yet. We can help here. How much would you pay, honestly, for you and a crew of your best pals for one whole day? $30,000? $90,000?

It really is a conundrum. Of course there are the hard costs of operating which, between salaries, energy, food/drink would run thousands of dollars a day but above and beyond what is a good price point? Of course capitalism declares that it is worth whatever anyone is willing to pay but that can’t go on the brochure, can it. There has to be a starting point. But what?

While you’re both thinking and examining your bank accounts let me give you some advice. If your idea is to get your fifty best friends together and have them cough up $1000 each then throw it in the trash unless forty-two of your best friends don’t surf and are paying for the ambiance. The absolute maximum amount of surfers that can have fun-ish over the course of a day is ten and that’s assuming one of them gets hurt.

Also, you should consider the relative skill of your friends, depending how proud you are and you should tell all of your friends not to safety surf because the best part about Surf Ranch is picking off other’s scraps.

But there you have it. A brave new potential wedding venue.

Just in: Energy drinks save surfing!

Without energy drinks professional surfing would be a memory!

I preach often, like a sweaty fire and brimstone theologian, on the surf industry apocalypse and what precipitated it. “Conservatism!” I shout, a tendril of wet blonde dancing in front of my nose. “Conservatism and fear!” I continue jabbing one crooked finger toward the sky. The brands, our brands, in their hunger to gobble up larger and larger profits watered themselves down, went public, brought in Disney executives and then distressed asset managers to run them all while tanking.

“A ten year fall from GRACE!” I wail as the newly laid off shout “Amen!”

Everyone knows that our major brands, our Volcoms and Quiksilvers and Billabongs, are in deep trouble. These beacons of the surf/skate/snow lifestyle used to throw lavish parties to celebrate films, line releases, competitive victories. They used to sponsor professional surfers for millions of dollars even the worst professional surfers for hundreds of thousands of dollars but no more.

The apocalypse has rendered future Bede Durbidges moot.

I do say, without Red Bull, Monster and even Rockstar it would be nigh impossible for any professional surfer, save John John Florence and Gabriel Medina, to make a living from surfing professionally.

Could this possibly be true? Oh it most certainly is. Red Bull pays good money to Kolohe Andino, Kanoa Igarashi, Jamie O’Brien, Ian Walsh and Carissa Moore but to name a few. Monster allows Conner Coffin, Maud Le Car, Griffin Colapinto, Owen + Tyler Wright to slide the waves. Rockstar fattens the wallets of Albee Layer, Zeke Lau, Nat Young, Clay Marzo, Mitch Crews, etc.

Now, do you think that Nat Young could survive in professional surfing without Rockstar’s stipend? There is no way. Absolutely no way. Without energy drinks professional surfers would be but a memory and professional surfing but a thing Luke Munro once did.

I do think we should show these benevolent giants a little love today. Go now and drink a Red Bull + vodka and smile, knowing that you are keeping dreams alive.

Science: Wavepool and nature the same!

Earth's great secrets are but one Kelly Slater and one Adam Fincham away from being cracked.

Can you recall that day before you were aware of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch? When, in your mind’s eye a “wave pool” meant surge-y pushy whitewash-y nonsense? Mostly meant for children and the Chinese?

I can’t.

Like genetically modified food, wavepools now feel eternal and we can debate debate debate their moral value but it is a pointless exercise because they are the future and since they are the future they are also the past.


But oh the debates are interesting enough. The quality of wavepool versus natural waves. The essence etc. I’ll tell you what, I’ve surfed Surf Ranch and had all my thoughts and listened to the thoughts of others and interesting but nothing has definitively swayed me on the “which is better” discussion until yesterday evening when I was shown definitive proof that there is really no difference between the two.

That’s right. In our human arrogance we think our ”feelings” or “experience” matter. Of course they do not. The only thing that matters is empirical proofs and yesterday I was shown empirical proof that wavepools and nature are exactly the same.

And there you have it. Science took us to the moon. Science is allowing us to mock the earth.

Hahaha stupid earth. Your great secrets are but one Kelly Slater and one Adam Fincham away from being cracked.

Next stop, the human breast.

Take that, Stab magazine!
Take that, Stab magazine!