Only 1000 subsidies available to surfers! Hurry hurry or die!

WA Gov to subsidise “Proven shark deterrent”!

Only 1000 available! Hurry and get subsidy or die in mouth of Great White.

A few moments ago, I watched a sturdy silver-haired man from Ocean Guardian (formerly Shark Shield) spruiking his “proven” shark deterrent in front of TV cameras at Bondi Beach.

Twenty minutes earlier, my mailbox had been sprayed with press releases from Ocean Guardian and from the Western Australian state government.

The company is in full PR mode for two reasons.

One, because the WA government announced it would add the Ocean  Guardian surf+ to its list of go-away-shark devices and spend 200k on $200 subsidies for 1000 surfers.

“University research shows the device, even in extreme circumstances, significantly reduces the risk of shark interactions.”

The research was undertaken by “highly regarded Associate Professor Charlie Huveneers” a man who once wrote,

Whether or not shark nets actually reduce the risk of an attack is also a tricky question, although there has only been one fatal attack at a netted beach since the NSW meshing program began in 1937.

One fatal in almost a century? It ain’t that tricky of a question.

And, two, because Ocean Guardian’s trying to raise six-mill in cash via an IPO (twenty-five million shares at twenty cents apiece) despite losing almost a million bucks in the six months to December 2017 and with a device whose effectiveness depends on the “motivational state of sharks” and using technology they haven’t had a patent on since 2016.

Maybe my rose-tinted glasses have faded a little but it reeks of high farce.

An analogy.

Imagine Western Australia has been overrun by killer bees. Important players in the world’s ecosystem but there’s a colony of ’em around Margaret River that makes going outside a potentially lethal adventure.

They’re easily killed.

A few housebound people get on Twitter and pray for the killer bees’ salvation and that a cull would be barbaric.

The government responds by subsidising special space suits that make it safe to go outside.

Same same. IMO.

 


The novel wave-creating device, a big-ass pump!

First photos: Occy and BL’s Wave Pool!

And you can invest! A minimum $98,000 to get in the game…

Earlier today, the press man from Surf Lakes, Wayne Dart, emailed photos of the Occy and Barton Lynch endorsed wavepool, currently under construction in North Queensland.

As was reported one year ago, and according to the then Memorandum, Surf Lakes costs half the price of Wavegarden’s new tank The Cove to build (Fifteen mill instead of thirty), creates more than double the weekly revenue of The Cove and two hundred times more than Slater’s pool (Six hundred gees versus two fifty k and three gees), creates 2400 waves per hour vs 1000 (The Cove), dwarfing estimates of fifteen for Slater’s pool.

Oowee. Etc.

Unlike American Wave Machines (Waco, Typhoon Lagoon, Canary Islands) which uses air pressure, Surf Ranch and Wavegarden, which use a sled and foil, Surf Lakes use a giant plunger.

The device goes up and down to create a circular ring of waves, like the concentric rings created when you throw a stone into a pool. You’ll get a throwing peak takeoff, with a wave that loses size rapidly after the initial takeoff.

Surf Lakes say their “main goal is to be able to commission the demo site by mid-July. However, there are some things that are out of our control such as the weather.”

Other news?

“We have now received over 90 inbound licensing enquiries. We expect to sign the first licensee, which will either be from Australia or the USA, in the coming weeks. This represents first revenue for our company.” 

Here’s how it’s looking thus far (captions by Surf Lakes).

surf lakes
The liner of the entire lagoon is close to completion and the deep channels are being prepared for concreting. Recent rain and the cyclone last month have caused delays however its now the dry season in central QLD and all on-site work is progressing rapidly. Below shows a pontoon pump that was purchased which can extract unwanted rainwater automatically as fast as it enters the lake.
surf Lakes
Behind the pump is the foundation which has been fully completed and the base of the tower will be poured in the next few weeks. The steel tower structure has been completed and will be moved to site next week. The main tower is expected to be up by the end of this month.
These tanks will be connected to the pipework, which in turn drives the wave machine in the lake. The water connection for filling the lake is being supplied by the local council and is expected to be installed by the end of May as well. Below is another large component that is used in the generation of waves.

Excited?

Investors are still being sought, if you’re that way inclined although the minimum investment is $98,000 and you must be a “sophisticated investor.” That means y’gotta have two-and-a-half mill in assets and earn a minimum of 250,000 a year.


Love taps! | Photo: Peter King

Zeke: “Excessive hassling? I call ’em Love Taps!”

"They gotta make new rules to contain me!"

The big, bruisy Hawaiian Zeke Lau has a refined sense of humour? Who knew?

In this episode of #TourNotes, the former pro surfer Peter King’s enchanted reading of a WSL event, we are there in Brazil, final’s day, swimming in the competitors’ area.

And it’s here we find the tour rookie, who famously stole John John Florence’s soul at Bells, animated on the subject of his hassling.

“I’ve seen the Zeke roll. I’m just out here making history. They gotta make new rules to contain me. Excessive hassling. I call it just a little love tap. That’s all it is. I love you. Just let ’em know I’m here.”

Contest winner Filipe Toledo is tracked throughout the day, giving children food, delighting in the crowd etc. Griffin Colapinto is dry as anything when he calls, according to Keanu Asing, Filipe’s ten-point air “miniature.”

Sebastian Z says, “My expression was Awwwwww! Griffin’s expression was (making sound of deflating balloon) Pfffft!” 

Bliss out for four minutes or so. In English and Portuguese.


Chris Cote: “Albee’s air is a 360!”

...with a revert out.

You have, by now, of course seen Albee Layer’s latest very epic air. There he drops on a wedgy right, one pump, two pumps and then up the wave’s face and into the ether spinning clockwise. His nose comes around once and then his tail comes around and… how many spins? Oh I lose count so quickly but it seems the consensus amongst the masses is 540 degrees of spin.

Right?

“Wrong!” says one of surfing’s great voices Mr. Chris Cote. “Albee’s air is a 360 with a revert out.”

The masses howl. “Are you retarded or something? Are you like… retarded? Or something?”

“No.” Chris calmly retorts. “And I’m basing this entirely on what skate or snow would call this. If Albee would have landed with the nose of his board pointing to the beach then it would have been a 540 but what he did is a nice 360 and a revert out. Look, there are so many different types of airs out there and types of rotations. It is super confusing, to some I guess, but I don’t understand why people keep wanting to add spins when they’re just not there. I’m part of a vocal minority and the debate gets heated but it’s fun to have heated debates about something that isn’t Trump or politics. But really what I would love to see in surfing is beautiful straight airs, or somebody to do a really boned out method over a section, land it and ride away. I have seen pictures of guys doing methods but I’ve never seen a proper clip. What I want to do is encourage beautiful airs.”

So?

What do you think?

I agree with Chris but not because I understand spins. I failed Nature of Math in college. No, I agree with Chris because it really bugs me when 5’10 men claim they are 6’0. I don’t know how tall I am but tell everyone 6’0, when they ask, just to throw shade on the 5’10s.

Here’s Albee’s amazing 360.

…with a revert out.


The movie Unstoppable, which is out this summer, takes us on a wonderful voyage as Bethany Hamilton learns to fly.

Revisit: “What the one-armed fuck?”

How Maui shark bite girl Bethany Hamilton learned to fly… 

Roughly fourteen years ago, a little teenage girl called Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a tiger shark.

Read a dramatic account about that here. 

A decade later, as BeachGrit was being spat out of mammy’s womb, I got a ten-second clip sent to me via text from Bethany’s then-manager asking, “Is this any good?”

The clip showed Bethany landing a frontside air in Fiji.

Creed McTaggart, who was also privy to the clip, had fallen off a chair, yes literally, saying, “What the one-armed fuck!”

I was in the international airport at Los Angeles at the time and said that the exclusive on this clip would make our traffic soar, announce us to the world etc.

It didn’t.

As we quickly learned, it is far easier to repeat news than to create it. Seven hundred and sixty five views and zero comments.

Recently, the air resurfaced as the hero moment of Aaron Lieber’s film Unstoppable, “Bethany’s complete and untold story that follows her journey from childhood into motherhood – the ups, downs and her powerful resilience against all odds to become one of the leading professional surfers of all time. From chasing her toddler, to chasing the biggest waves, Bethany is continuously rewriting the rules on being a fearless athlete.”

It ain’t bad. Movie comes out sometime in the US summer.