How to: Qualify for the 2020 Olympics!

The steps necessary to get you in the Games!

So you’ve got Olympic dreams. Don’t worry, it’s ok to admit. You’re amongst friends here. A judgement-free zone where you can confess all your closely held secrets. Like your Olympic dreams. Maybe carrying your nation’s flag, marching into an arena packed with throngs of jingoistic sport fans. The pop of flashbulbs. The scent of gunpowder lingering from a fantastic fireworks display.

Your parents used to deride your surfing. Mother called it a “nasty habit.” Father made not so subtle gay jokes any time you passed in front of him on your way to the beach. Well, they’re at home now watching these opening ceremonies live on television. Sitting there proud as punch of their Olympian.

The day the qualification process for Tokyo 2020 was released was the best of your life. You’ll forever remember passing you local surf shop and seeing it taped to its window, right below Billabong x Joel Parkinson’s new six-year contract. It spoke to you:

The key elements of the qualification system are as follows: 20 men, 20 women.Maximum of 2 surfers per gender per National Olympic Committee (NOC).Qualification spots will be earned on an individual basis, by name.

In accordance with IOC guidelines, the qualification events have been determined in hierarchical order of qualification, as further explained below.

If two surfers of a gender have qualified through the first hierarchical order, that NOC will not be able to qualify more surfers of that gender through qualifying events lower in hierarchical order.

All surfers selected by their respective National Federations for their national teams must participate in 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games in order to be eligible for Olympic qualification.

The final details of the eligibility requirements are still under review by the ISA and the IOC.

The hierarchical order of qualification will be as follows:

2019 World Surf League Championship Tour: First 10 eligible men and first 8 eligible women.

2020 ISA World Surfing Games: First 4 eligible men and first 6 eligible women.

2019 ISA World Surfing Games: 4 men and 4 women selected based on their continent. Top finishing eligible surfer of each gender from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

2019 Pan American Games: First eligible man and first eligible woman in the surfing competitions.

Host nation slot: One man and one woman slot will be guaranteed for the host nation of Japan, unless already filled through the above hierarchies. Should athletes from Japan qualify regularly, their slots will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible surfers from the 2020 World Surfing Games.

And you ran home, screaming “I’m going to surf in the Olympics!” the entire way. Now look at you. Look at you marching in your nation’s sequined polyester pantsuit and glittering cowboy hat. Nasty habit? Gay? No need to apologize mother and father. No need at all.

Laura Never
"What the actual efff?" Kelia Moniz reacts to Laura Enever's twelve-foot Shipsterns bomb. | Photo: @stugibson

Fresh: Laura Enever Tows twelve-foot Shipsterns!

Taj Burrow says, "You did not!!! You little weapon, yes!!"

Yesterday, Narrabeen’s Laura Enever towed ten-to-twelve-foot Shipsterns in Tasmania as part of an upcoming documentary that follows her transition from tour surfer to freesurfer.

Ms Enever, who is twenty six years old, wasn’t exactly planning on grabbing the rope on what was, by all accounts, a serious day, but what are you doing to do when you’ve got a filmer, a photographer, a fuelled-up ski and driver and the skills to negotiate the infamous ledges there?

Steve Wall, the Manly-based photographer famous for his sublime images of Craig Anderson on the NSW South Coast and who is making the documentary, says it will focus on Laura “pushing into the bigger and crazier stuff.”

Wall, who was at Hobart airport when BeachGrit called, describes the film, which is called Undone, as something out of the box, and one that will capture an athlete at a pivotal point in her life – as she moves from competition to squeezing a living out of making surprising, spur-of-the-moment decisions in bigger than usual waves.

“We’ve been chipping away for a couple of months,” says Wall. “That was the first day we shot. Obviously, we came down here not expecting fifteen-foot sets.  But Laura ended up getting on the rope and was thrown into the deep end really fast. As you can imagine, it was quite a sight.”

The reaction to a still from the session, that was shot by Stu Gibson, and posted on Laura’s Instagram was instant, surfing’s best lining up to pump her hand.

From the noted Shipsterns surfer Marty Paradisis who towed Laura into this wave: “She wanted it bad… was epic!”

Carissa Moore: “You are crazy! Incredible babe!”

Brad Gerlach: “Wow!”

Kelia Moniz: “What the actual effff?”

Sabre Norris: No way! This is crazy, you are crazy!! ❤❤❤

And Taj Burrow, “You did not!!! You little weapon, yes!!!”

More on the film soon!



Just in: $115k for two-day Surf Ranch getaway!

A corporate closeness that you won't believe!

Do you work for a company that has corporate retreats? Like, team building activities? Where you maybe travel to a ropes’ course somewhere or go on a cruise? Does your company even offer Surf Ranch as an option? Well maybe get another job because the Jewel of Lemoore is on the market for a neat two day, ten person $115,000 (minus lodging and airfare) getaway.

A very private invitation forwarded anonymously promised a capped crowd of ten, breaking into two groups of 5, and costing $11,500 per surfer including video, coaching, food and transportation from the casino to the Ranch.

50% deposit up front, of course.

And ooooee! Does that sound… rich? Well it’s a once in a lifetime experience so maybe don’t be judgmental.

But using this corporate rate we can really break down what Surf Ranch is valued at per wave. When it was Surf Journalist Day at the Ranch, four men were in the water per hour with six waves being the average. Add another man and I would say four waves so that means eight waves a day x 2 which equals sixteen waves divided by 11,500 and…

…we come to $718.75 per wave.

And ooooee! Does that sound… decadent? Well it’s a once in a lifetime experience so maybe don’t be sanctimonious.

But what else can you buy for $718.75?

A classic horsebit leather loafer from Gucci.

A sac de jour long wallet from Yves St. Laurent.

A soft square optical frame with magnetic clip from Tom Ford.


Lakey Peterson
Ms Lakey Peterson, twenty three, world number one, who left her competitors gasping like beached fish at the Roxy Pro. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Full-length: When Lakey Peterson learned to Fly!

A 15-minute documentary where Filipe Toledo teaches the new world number one Lakey Peterson the glory of flight…

Last February, BeachGrit flew Lakey Peterson and Filipe Toledo to Mexico with the goal of he teaching she the glory of flight. The four-part video series, which was called Girl Goes Into Orbit, was created out of the belief that the only thing holding women back from nailing big airs was the perception they couldn’t do it.

Ten-year-old boys can soar. Why can’t girls?

And Lakey Peterson, who is twenty three, had been known to…jump.

She’d won the American national title years before with an awkward air, but an air nonetheless, and we figured, give us four days, Filipe Toledo (whom the world champion John John Florence studies) as coach and empty beachbreak wedges and Lakey will be rotating.

After Lakey’s win at the Roxy Pro two days ago, and the relative ease with which she achieved it, as well as Filipe’s fervency we figured it’d an appropriate time to release the four-part series but as a single feature.


Wilson: “Childbirth gave me strength!”

"Unbelievable strength!"

Boy is my face red. I reported, days ago, that surfwear giant Billabong was dropping longtime team rider Joel Parkinson. The rumor floated to me via my dry cleaner, a very believable Korean man, but just today Stab has published that Joel locked into a six-year extension and I am going to have to better vet my dry cleaner’s information moving forward.

How could he have been so wrong? So confused?

I’ll get to the bottom of this but in the meantime, Julian Wilson delivered a very fine post-win interview to a respectable newspaper with quality sources (The Guardian).

I’ve learned a lot about myself at this event and through this injury and the birth of my baby girl Olivia. Honestly, watching the birth of my first child gave me unbelievable strength to just suck it up, come down here and do what I needed to do.

I’ve got huge inspiration from my wife [Ashley] and the whole experience. I’ve got to thank my wife for that.

My number one competitor this last week was myself – testing myself, figuring out where I could go and where I couldn’t.

I was lucky enough to get some good waves come my way and I was able to surf pretty well. I can’t believe I’ve won it.

And are you riding the Julian train right now? Pulling for him to win it all come December? His narrative is very compelling. New father of a daughter, fresh off shoulder injury… in fact, I don’t think there has been a front-runner with a more compelling narrative in quite some time. Of course it is too early to think about December already but if Julian does well at Margaret River, very much in his purview, and does well at Bells then… Well, it is too early.

Ok. I’m off to the dry cleaner’s with a stern face right now. BRB.