Australian Olympic team
Happy Australian Olympic surf team!

Opinion: “Olympics like second-tier WQS contest!”

No world title contender will touch the Games, says professional gadfly, Maurice Cole…

Obviously, you were as thrilled as I with the announcement of Australia’s Olympic team yesterday. The squad, which will be whittled down to one man and one woman in 2020, includes: Julian Wilson, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Connor O’Leary, Adrian Buchan, Wade Carmichael, Mikey Wright, Ethan Ewing, Stuart Kennedy, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Nikki van Dijk, Keely Andrew, Bronte Macaulay and Macy Callaghan.

The Australian government who, correctly, equates Olympic success with electoral popularity will spend over one hundred million dollars on “high-performance sports” in the next fiscal year alone. Surfing is…flush… right now, which perhaps explains the line-dancing at Surfing Australia headquarters.

Of course, not everyone is standing under the money shower, thrilled by the thrill of the Olympian ideal. The noted Victorian designer and surfer Maurice Cole, whose piece “Bureaucracy killing Australian Surfing pointed out that despite this government largesse Australian competitors were failing miserably at every level (twelfth at the ISA world titles, just clear of Germany) says the games are gonna be lamer than a second-tier QS event.

Think about it, says Moz.

“When I saw that photo of the Olympic team…you know what was missing? No juniors! Where’s our next 16, 17, 18-year-old who’ll be 20 and peaking in 2020? Not one there! Chiba is shitty beachbreaks. Everyone agrees. It ain’t a secret. Chiba isn’t even as good as the Brazilian beachbreaks. It’s really C-grade, maybe D-Grade. What sort of athlete is going to win in those conditions? A lightweight, someone in the 65-to-70 kilo range (140-to-150 pounds), who can do every air, who is competing on the QS, competing on the ISA, knows the system, the four-man heats, the 222 repechages, the six semi-finals. Australia’s best bet is have our best junior WQS athlete who should be qualifying in a year or two for the WCT.”

Which means.

“The coaches have made it clear to me that the WCT guys won’t really want to do the Olympics. At the moment we have the Dream Tour. No disrespect to the women, but it’s men in men waves doing men turns. And, in response, the athletes are bulking up. Julian Wilson, apparently, has put on four kilos. Everyone’s beefing up for Teahupoo, Pipe, J-Bay, to be strong enough to surf five heats at Snapper in one day. They won’t do well if they have to lose weight, go into four-man heats and develop different boards for the shitty conditions. If you’re a pro athlete, do you really want to sacrifice a year or two in your career to get a medal? Or do you train and look at the long game, a world title? Mikey Wright should be on tour at the end of the year. He could be going for a world title in two. Does he want to be in the ISA and disrupt his whole training program to surf four-man heats in shitty surf?”


“We should be pumping money into juniors and developing a junior series that produces a pathway to the QS and then the CT. It makes a lot more sense than hoping our WCT surfers are still young enough to beat the kids from other countries. However you look at it, the Olympics is more of an amateur style event.”

Who’s gonna come to the rescue of Australian surfing, to save the reputation of a once-great surf power? Mick Fanning, says Moz!

“This is a plea to Mick Fanning. Mick, I see your passion, I love your passion, I love how proud you’ll be to be part of an Olympic medal, in whatever form. You need to head up a taskforce to investigate what’s gone wrong, to talk to all the different people, all the creative people that’ve been put offside and get the conversation going. At the moment, the system is producing journeymen. We have to be able to attract all of our athletes. We saw what happened with Jack Robinson. What happens when our next 13-year-old prodigy doesn’t agree with the system and we lose them too? So, instead of having a system they don’t agree with, we need to create a framework where the kids are learning about surfboards, surfing big waves, getting nine-six guns and being terrified as fuck but can’t wait to use it. I was watching a boardriders contest the other day, and you know what struck me? That the Aussie mongrel is alive and well. That’s the energy level I know about Australian surfing, Mikey Wright, running over the line with a second to go. It’s in us. We love to compete, we love it when our backs are against the wall. What the fuck happened? Why no results in at any level? It’s a direct result of a broken coaching system at Surfing Australia. As one former head coach told me,

“‘We destroyed a generation of surfers.'”

(Listen to Maurice debate Victorian high-performance coach Cahill Bell-Warren here.)



London to become surf powerhouse!

Move over Australia and Hawaii!

I’ve been to London a good handful of times in my life and have always thoroughly enjoyed. The weather is mostly dour and the food tastes like boiled underpants but there is something about The Big Smoke that speaks to me. Maybe it is because I’m over 50% English, or so my grandmothers told me. The grandmother on my father’s side even told me I am 9th cousins to Queen Elizabeth. I spent some of my childhood wondering how many people would have to die for me to be King of England.

The other under 50% is German. A 60/40 split or possibly even 70/30. I don’t know because I haven’t done the genetic testing thing that tells everyone they’re 1% North African yet.

Have you? Genetic tested? Any surprises?

Well, there is a surprise coming from London. For today it was announced that the city is seeking to rival Hawaii and Australia as surfing powerhouses. Let’s read from Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun:

Swanley – 15 miles from central London and within the M25 – is being considered for a £20million artificial surf lagoon with cutting-edge wave machine.

Surf loving local Joby Ingram-Dodd, 37, who has been surfing for over 20 years, is fundraising £1.5m to get plans off the ground.

He made the decision after growing sick of making the 550 mile round trip to Newquay, Cornwall to take part in his favourite sport.

After years of struggling to find time to get to the coast, the father of two decided the most logical option would be to bring the ocean to the town’s 21,000 residents.

A crowd-funding project that aims to raise £20million to fund Surf London would pay for the cutting edge wave pool technology that creates the perfect artificial waves for surfing.

The proposed London Surf park will contain scuba and freediving pools, a climbing area, and a flowrider – a plastic wave that water is pumped over to surf on.

Joby said the park would provide school children and Londoners with the chance to try out extreme sports, such as surfing, that they otherwise may not have access too.

“I think it would be amazing to have an Olympic surf champion come from Swanley or London or wherever having learnt on a wave pool rather than coming from Cornwall or California.”

So? Are you excited for the champ from Swanley? And seriously, this little bit really made me think that once wave tanks are ubiquitous and basically the entirety of professional surfing then rich little nation-states can buy their way right in. If Dubai, say, built a Surf Ranch for every ten people then we’d have a Saudi champ within two decades, assuming the Saudis decided against getting as fat as they possibly can by eating powdered sugar donuts by the boxful.

Fucking Saudis. They are by far the worst.

Thank goodness there's finally a place for us!
Thank goodness there's finally a place for us!

Announcing: BeachGrit Women!

We look forward to making women's day, every day™

For Immediate Release

CARDIFF-ADJACENT, Calif. (March, 8, 2018) — We are excited to launch our new project Beachgrit Women. We believe the time is right to expand our coverage of women in surfing and create an inspiring and empowering space for women surfers. Beachgrit Women will do all of these things and more.

Here at Beachgrit, we are happy to celebrate International Women’s Day, but we believe women should be celebrated every single day. Beachgrit Women is designed specifically with our fast-growing women’s audience in mind.

We look forward to bringing you stories designed specifically for woman and scooping up that lovely bikini advertisement cash. We feel confident that this expansion will strengthen our brand and continue to build our audience among women to more than ten.

We know you love our first-person interviews about women who’ve found new confidence learning to surf. We plan to bring you so many more of these empowering stories. We want you to feel inspired, whether you’re brand-new to surfing or a seasoned expert. We know the ocean means everything to you, just as it does to us.

In addition to the stories you already love, we’ll be rolling out some new, exciting features. Look for extended interviews with female surfers on everything from their favorite boards to the perfect bikini wax. Plus, we’ll help you improve your bottom turn and finally achieve that Downward Dog. And we’ll have nutrition guides packed with recipes for the perfect salads.

We are excited to partner with several major brands to bring you reviews of newly released products. We know you want to look stylish in and out of the water and we’re here to help. We’ll help you choose the perfect pink board for spring and a wetsuit to match. And, we’ll make sure you nail that perfect surf selfie.

We all know relationships can be a drag. Our sex-positive advice columnist is here to help you avoid ever dating surfers. She’ll also help you with tips on how to achieve the perfect orgasm time after time. Watch for our review of six surfboard-inspired vibrators that we’re sure you’ll love.

We look forward to bringing you this exciting new project. You’ve already come to know us as Beachgrit. We can’t wait to have you join us in smashing the patriarchy at Beachgrit Women, where it’ll be women’s day, every day.

Meet: Australia’s Olympic surf team!

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong!

2020 seems like an eternity away but you and I both know that two years goes by very quickly and in two quick years plus a few stray months we’ll be watching surfing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. It’s sort of funny to think about right now, Olympic surfing, but let’s try to be serious because Australian coach Bede Durbidge is serious and he just announced his team.


2018 Australian national squad: Julian Wilson, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Connor O’Leary, Adrian Buchan, Wade Carmichael, Mikey Wright, Ethan Ewing, Stuart Kennedy, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Nikki van Dijk, Keely Andrew, Bronte Macaulay and Macy Callaghan.

Chew on those names for a minute or two. Do you like? Do you love? Are you drunk atop your couch right now, the southern cross tied around your head singing Waltzing Matilda?

In case you wonder how these particular surfers were selected allow me to explain.

The Surfing Australia national selection committee includes seven time world champion Layne Beachley, four time world champion Mark Richards, ex-WSL surfer and talent pathway coach Kate Wilcomes, three time world champion Mick Fanning and Surfing Australia elite program manager Bede Durbidge. There was some readiness camp in January and then the selection committee picked the team from a 2012 issue of Australia’s Surfing Life.

Would you have chosen the same? Any additions or subtractions? The Wright family could win gold, silver and bronze if Tyler chooses to surf in the men’s division. I think she would have a shot at gold. She looked good at Surf Ranch.

Glenn “Micro” Hall is in the team photo but didn’t read his name in the press release.

I wonder if he is spying for Ireland?

Classic Jimbo.

Question: Can today’s pro surfer be fat?

Is the new look tour inherently body shaming?

So I was talking with a good friend yesterday and the newest Surfer magazine was sitting there and of course I started flipping through it while talking and then I saw a picture of Wade Carmichael and said, “Wow. He’s fat.”

Now it was a rude thing to say but he looked fat in the picture and/or husky but my good friend apoplectically responded, “Pro surfers can’t be fat…” and I looked up at him and realized he was not joking at all but deadly serious which made me think.

Can today’s pro surfer be fat?

In the 80s, 90s, 2000s it was very easy because back then pro surfers weren’t athletes. Mark Occhilupo, Mick Lowe, Kekoa Bacalso, etc. but today and now with the training and the airs and Surf Ranch contortionist barrels… it is a whole different game. A fit game. And there doesn’t seem to be much room for plus-sized men. It even seems that 150 lbs would be an unofficial cut-off of sorts not counting the great John John Florence who is not fat but likely weighs… 170 lbs.

Or maybe my good friend is wrong. Maybe there is a quiet revolution happening at the Championship Tour level where Jordy Smith, Wade Carmichael and… Italo(?) are bringing the cushion for the pushin’ back to the fore. Big turns, lots of water displacement, etc.

The pendulum is always swinging but do you think the new look tour favors feather light small boys or beefy tees? It seems, with the loss of both Fiji and Pipeline that the feather lights haven’t been in a better position since the Bud Tour days of old. That the cushion for the pushin will be a decided disadvantage. That in a few years, with a few more pool events locked down, pro surfing will be like women’s gymnastics and titles will be won by 13 year olds who weigh 98 lbs.