Science: Navy to study benefits of surfing!

Does surfing offer great promise as therapy?

We have spent some time here discussing surfing’s metaphysical benefits and believe our conclusions are mostly agnostic. Right? Like, surfing can make you happy but it can also make you angry. That whatever mystical communion happens on the water is mostly a reflection of the micro-dosed LSD and not coming from surfing itself. Right?

Well, the United States Navy thinks otherwise. Or possibly thinks otherwise. For The Washington Post reported over the weekend:

In song and prose, surfing has long been celebrated as a way to soothe the mind and invigorate the body. But scientific evidence has been limited. Now the Navy has embarked on a $1 million research project to determine whether surfing has therapeutic value, especially for military personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or sleep problems. Researchers say surfing offers great promise as therapy. It is a challenging exercise in an outdoor environment; people surf individually or in groups; military surfers who are reluctant to attend traditional group therapy open up about their common experiences when talking to other surfers on the beach.

Hmmmmm. All fine and good, of course, but what if a Navy man paddles out with his post-traumatic stress disorder at, say, crowded Lowers and gets dropped in on, yelled at, burned, yelled at some more? I would imagine surfing would not be helpful here but I suppose that is what the million dollars will pinpoint.

Which lineup on earth do you think is most PTSD inducing?

a) Pipeline

b) Snapper

c) Lowers

d) Mundaka

e) Silver Strand

f) other

Lakey Peterson
Lake Peterson blew my mind with speed, aggression, repertoire and turn speed. The webcast tends to flatten but live and in the flesh her turns blew my eyelids back. I hope you reprobates watched. | Photo: WSL

Day 2, Quik Pro: “Lakey Blew My Eyelids Back!”

…BeachGrit correspondent wanders into women's event. Loses the ability close eyes.

A garbage truck woke me in the dark so I got up, did 50 push-ups, drank an instant coffee black, no sugar and went surfing at Snapper Rocks. Only for research mind, as part of my demystifying campaign ’18.

Ordinarily, I don’t surf while covering a CT, Teahupoo excepted. I know Nick Carroll surfs a lot but I think it’s disrespectful to surf on the publisher’s dime. One day I’ll have to square off with Chas’ wife and explain why Chas needed to do split shifts at the Saloon to pay for me to go surfing.

I only had a blue Mick Fanning soft top on account of a hectic day yesterday. My industrial kava shipment from Vanuatu (totally legal) hadn’t come through so I was trying to tap my ADHD mate for some Ritalin but he was in Nimbin starting a new peoples bank to smash the Zionist Banking conspiracy and fuck driving to Nimbin on a rainy Sunday. It would have to be straight edge on a foamy. No leash.

The water was to die for, like a warm silk sheet. Insane, surreal, ludicrous crowd. Roughly 50:50 gender split.

I paddled straight behind the rock and started hustling around Fanning, just to see what that felt like. It felt good. Oh, of course there was the negative mental self-talk to deal with, “What the fuck are you doing out here next to Mick Fanning, beat it back to Bribie you kook, get back on the bus” etc.

A large, shambolic red-headed gentleman dropped in on Adriano De Souza and started screaming at him. Then shouting at Joel Parkinson. Apparently, they knew each other. The Ranga ended the dialogue by saying “just because you rip doesn’t mean you’re cool”. A Japanese sunrise threw golden rays across the lineup as a juvenile Australasian Gannet dove into the water a metre from me and emerged with a wriggling garfish in it’s beak.

A set wave reared up, mine! I put the head down and as it lurched saw Mick Fanning come in behind me and go. I almost Gabbied him comrades but grabbed the foamy, hit the brakes and got pitched over the falls, getting a beautiful bird’s-eye view of Mick bottom-turning up into the tube.

You think you are going to get a set wave behind the rock during a CT on a blue foamy? I’m here to tell you you won’t.

Nick Carroll in his unwritten best seller, How to be a Surf Journalist, Chapter 3 instructs that the point of goofing off and surfing on the publisher’s dime is not for the self-indulgence of a personal ride amongst the pros but to objectively analyse who is ripping. On this sage advice everyone pretty much looked like they do on the webcast and only one person really stood out for me. That was Italo Ferreira. Italo was taking the JJF at Margarets line, which is to draw the bottom-turn a little shorter off the base of the wave, getting the board up to the top with more speed and then unleashing devastating top turns. The rotational speed of Italo’s backhand top turns shocked me to the core.

Do you live in Wabash County Minnesota, like throwing gliders for Stud pike in Lake Pepin, root for the Wild and Vikings during season and personally know three people who mix their beer with opioids? Congratulations, you are the new WSL target market and now you have had surfing Snapper during a CT event demystified!

The demystifying campaign ended predictably. I finally hooked into a nugget with a wall stretched into Little Marley, got the soft top up into a high, fine trim-line and some non-pro thought, “I’ll have that one”. Dropping the shoulder I hit him at full speed, there was heavy contact. We both came up in the whitewater. He looked at me and I said “Wut!”.

He shrugged and paddled off, I swam to the beach.

Do you live in Wabash County Minnesota, like throwing gliders for Stud pike in Lake Pepin, root for the Wild and Vikings during season and personally know three people who mix their beer with opioids? Congratulations, you are the new WSL target market and now you have had surfing Snapper during a CT event demystified!

Womens surfing all day. Did you watch? Entertained? Me, muchly, richly and deeply. A few things stood out.
Writer Jen See observed a bad body issue vibe amongst Women’s Professional surfing; “hella anorexia vibe” in her words. That vibe was missing today, and for good I think. In its place, unabashed athleticism. The focus was not the derriere but the surfing, and the surfing carried the focus.


From the microcosm to the macrocosm Women’s Sport is in the ascendancy.

Lakey Peterson blew my tiny mind, once, against Carissa in round three, heat one, and then again in her quarter-final against Tyler Wright. She blew it with speed, aggression, repertoire and turn speed. The webcast tends to flatten but live and in the flesh her turns blew my eyelids back. I hope you reprobates watched.

I had a static picture of womens surfing being Steph, Tyler and Carissa and a big gap to the rest. That’s flat-earth thinking, no disrespect to Ol’ Willie Slater.

Malia Manuel, I thought she was a babe. A pretty gal who sold truckloads of Nike activewear and surfed well enough to be a tour backmarker. Completely wrong. In close to flawless performance waves against Tyler Wright she laid down the finest exchanges, maybe ever. Then repeated the dose against Carissa.

Both Carissa and Steph looked a little lost, under-cooked and guilty of poor wave selection.

A butch lesbian in front of me with “not all who wander are lost” tattooed on her calf was visibly upset when Steph got knocked.

Sixteen year old Floridian Caroline Marks threw salty shots skywards all day. Does it surprise a sixteen-year-old girl is on tour? Not me, because of my objective analysis this morning I was able to discern the warmup crowd at Snapper was at least half composed of sixteen-year-old girls.

Lakey Peterson did better power turns today, in front of a crowd composed of Brazilian girls with bubble butts and middle-aged Australian men with skin like papier mache, than in any men’s heat I saw yesterday.

Anyone who disputes has an insecure masculinity.


Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.06 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.10
Heat 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.33 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 11.16
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.17 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.40
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.17 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.80
Heat 5: Keely Andrew (AUS) 15.33 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.50
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.76 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 11.27

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.26, Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.76, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 8.64
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.96, Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.04, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.86
Heat 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.17, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.40, Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.76
Heat 4: Keely Andrew (AUS) 14.97, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.16, Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.53

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.23 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.67
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.83 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.60
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.57 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 13.77
Heat 4: Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.87 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.83

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 6: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs, Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 11: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 12: Jesse Mendes (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)


Kelly Slater John C Reilly
Happy face swaps with John C Reilly!

Calm down: Kelly Slater gonna surf ’til 50!

He is out of Snapper but here for ten more years!

Much consternation is ripping around the globe right now as the great Kelly Slater just let it be known, via Instagram, that he will not surf at 2018’s Snapper opener. That his foot is ouchy and panicking is not the right call and… oh what am I doing paraphrasing the man. He has fingers. He can speak for himself.

I have officially withdrawn from the #QuikProGoldCoast. For many months, my gut feeling has been to use this injury as a platform to overhaul and reset my mind and body. The looming excitement about a new year starting, my foot sort of magically allowing me to surf the past couple of days, and a number of other factors had me talking myself back into jumping in as soon as possible against my better judgment. I feel I’ve had a couple of half hearted attempts these past couple of years fighting injury and desire. The foot injury symbolizes a lot at this point in my career both as an ending and as a beginning. Hearing @mfanno talk about his reasons for retiring at the upcoming Bells event yesterday rang true for me also around going in the direction of doing things that make you uncomfortable. Competing is a natural environment for us both and it’s the easy route for me. I think it best that I properly rehabilitate the injury and choose to surf wholeheartedly, not from the excitement or stress of a last minute arrival. It’s not very professional or responsible and it won’t allow me to be at my best potential. I really love the energy around the events, especially a new year, and I find myself at odds especially with a potential Kirra swell approaching. I wish the best for everyone this event and a special good luck to @mikeyfebruary who will surf in my absence. Let him know if he wins I’m requesting a 10% caddy fee!😀🤷🏽‍♂️ Thanks to the WSL and crew for helping accommodate my predicament and I’ll be back when the time is right for me.✌🏽

Long, I know, and those inclined to dismal outlooks/ in bad relationships will read the parts about Mick and taking 10% of a poor South African’s winnings as tacit admission of defeat. That the end snuck up on them while they were… checking Instagram.

But here is the thing. Kelly Slater is not Mick Fanning. He is not a fast bogan who hunchbacked his way to three accidental world titles and a fortuitous shark punch.


Kelly Slater is the greatest athlete of all time. He is even greater than Tom Brady and Tom Brady has vowed to play professional football until he is 50.

Professional football, for those unaware, is a difficult game. A hard game where men leave and commit suicide because their brains are so rattled and bodies so broken.

Professional surfing is not professional football and moreover with the new changes. Do you not think Kelly will surf at his own Surf Ranch? Do you not think he will surf in the four global Surf Ranch events that will define the tour in four years? The future is Kelly’s and he knows it. He will surf professionally until he is 50 or maybe even 60 in pools that he invented because what the hell else is he going to do? Launch a beer company?


Clay Marzo
Son of a bitch makes this. Just over three-forty into the clip.

Watch: Clay Marzo burn like an STD!

Freesurfing lives.

Clay Marzo is one of the most fun surfers to watch and has been for years. Years and years even. Unique, individual, uncommon, solitary, unexampled… adjectives lose their weight when describing his approach which stands in sharp relief to the sort of surfing being perfected by Championship Tour professionals.

The “freesurf era” if it is proper to call last decade this is long over. It died with the birth of Dane Reynolds’ beautiful children and, as long as John John Florence dances on tour, will stay dead for the foreseeable future but we always have Clay. Mixing. Matching. Coloring outside the lines.

His latest film project is called Today’s Harvest and seems to be the product of very many surfs around Maui.

“I can’t even keep up with him,” says his pal and fellow Maui ripper Kai Barger. “He’s paddling out in the dark just psyching.”

In the clip, in case you were wondering, he is riding a Super Brand 6’2” x 19 ½” x 2 9/16” Mad Cat model. It is a big board for big boy surfing.

Clay Marzo In Today’s Harvest from Superbrand on Vimeo.

Judge: Ben Dunn (age unknown) Maybe listening to: Candlebox
Judge: Ben Dunn (age unknown) Maybe listening to: Candlebox | Photo: WSL

Introducing: The 2018 WSL judges!

How well do you know the men that hang professional surfing in the balance?

I will tell you what, the 2018 World Surf League’s Championship Tour kickoff yesterday was fantastic. It showcased drama, skill, new blood and old hands but most of all Steve “Longtom” Shearer’s jump back into the saddle. If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a thousand times… a day of professional surfing doesn’t end until Longtom says it does. I have no doubt these years will be looked back upon with wide-eyed wonderment by the future’s children. They will read The Collected Works of Professional Surf Contest Coverage 2016-2019, skipping every collected work except his and they will marvel.

Longtom, anyhow, ended yesterday’s offering by pointing to the fact Ben Dunn is now a surf judge and has been for five years.

Ben Dunn. What in the world? And I decided then and there to go on a mission to uncover each and every WSL CT judge. It would be hard work, seeing as the League likes to keep them sequestered but I was hungry and driven. Nothing but nothing would stand in the way of true, hard-nose surf journalism and…

…oh. The WSL published a whole story about the judges, complete with first day of school pictures weeks ago and Tinder profile question/answers. It is all quite brilliant and go here to see but one thing was left off. Which sort of music each judge listens to. Should we speculate together? I’ll start.

Head Judge: Pritamo Ahrendt (40)

Maybe listens to: LCD Soundsystem

Priority judge: Iain Buchanan (56)

Maybe listens to: Bon Scott era AC/DC

Senior judge: Ettiene Buys (41)

Maybe listens to: Vintage Kenny G

Judge: Luis Dantas (44)

Maybe listens to: Antonio Carlos Jobim

Judge: Mikel Zalakain (41)

Maybe listens to: Fleetwood Mac

Judge: Ben Lowe (38)

Maybe listens to: Powderfinger

Judge: Luiz Fernando (44)

Maybe listens to: Shakira

Judge: Luke Redding (31)

Maybe listens to: Young Thug

Now it’s your turn!

But first… this one goes out to Ben Dunn. Welcome to the show!