Former What Youth editor Travis Ferré says, "We are surfing! Fuck!"
For the first time in fourteen years, I do not work in the “surf industry.” I am without collaborators or staff. Without your comments or calls or texts or emails and all those pestering wave pool invites.
For the moment: I am a mere surf civilian. I mean, I’m out here all alone man. Like, I need new shoes and I don’t know who to hit up. This is scary!
So anyway, hello everyone, industry friends, fellow civilian surfers and readers of BeachGrit. I know who you are. Lots of you are industry friends.
But most of you are the people I’ve attempted to entertain and stoke out by making surf mags and stuff over the last fourteen years. For better or worse. And I’ve done that for the same reason you hang out on this website and already (like me) ordered Chas’ new book and care that someone made a fake “Wanted” poster in North County, SD with Hayden Cox and Mark Price’s face on it.
We love surfing and its bizarre nuances and culture and the entertainment and drama and stories and surf turkey talk and the psycho personalities that come with it. That’s us!
It’s because we love this shit.
We love surfing and its bizarre nuances and culture and the entertainment and drama and stories and surf turkey talk and the psycho personalities that come with it. That’s us! And I must say, I did miss all that.
But…did you miss me? I mean, it’s been a few weeks or something since I left my former editor post in the surf/skate/lifestyle/music media world. Did you even notice? No…well, that’s OK. I’ll get back to you on whether I missed you and the waterfall of email I’d become accustomed to. But for now, let’s see where I’ve been.
I just returned from Mexico and San Francisco. Two places that top lists of where people go to disappear. And I think I know why this is. You see, it’s because both offer “all the attractions of the next world” as Oscar Wilde once put it regarding SF (he’s right) and between the two, Mex and San Francisco you’ll find the perfect hangover cure for those seeking a certain kind of shelter and distraction from the social binging we put on ourselves through here on earth in 2018.
They’re places you can become the audience instead of the performer. You just melt into the atmosphere and enjoy the show. Be it natural or cultural or personal.
In Mexico, your thoughts are purified by an antiseptic of fresh lime and hot sand and blue waves and water. Some beer, lots of warmth, wax in the ice chest and the beat of daily life. In San Francisco, your usual anxieties take a backseat to the rhythmic pulse and pop and shake and grime of the streets and the parks and bars and the hula-hooping pixies and far-gone souls who inhabit them. The wind is always blasting up and down the hilly streets and straight into your phone calls so it’s better to just hang up. The rich wear a wireless Bluetooth ear bud and the poor ask you for one. You will not and cannot “stand out.” And even if you did, they would only see you and not hear you because of the Bluetooth ear bud, so you are second fiddle. It is sweet anonymity being second fiddle in a city.
Oh, and the aroma of SF! The air smells of incense and marijuana and seafood and urine blowing off the bay and over the gutters. Somehow pleasant, mysterious, refreshing and venomous.
Oh, and the aroma of SF! The air smells of incense and marijuana and seafood and urine blowing off the bay and over the gutters. Somehow pleasant, mysterious, refreshing and venomous. Each gust a new flavor. But the important thing about both places: You are in the Anonymous Zone. And I liked being there. But I also realized I need new high tops and there’s a crack in the tail of my favorite board and I don’t have much money, so I must return. I must return and entertain the surf dudes and get new shoes!
I’m not done yet. I’m not done yet. I’m not done yet…
But while I have you, and before I get too deep on what’s next for me: I do have some notes on what happened in surf while I was in the Anonymous Zone:
- I agree with Chris Coté: It’s time we pay homage to skateboarding (and snowboarding) and call the tricks what they’re called. I’m not as passionate about this as some, but we’ve come full circle and surfers are doing tricks inspired by skaters and snowboarders, so let them be named what they’ve been named already. Otherwise, let’s go our own way and change the name of every grab and trick we have and act like skaters and snowboarders haven’t been doing them for years and we’ll have to start a whole new aerial and grab dictionary and call things the sealtooth grab, or the Toledo spin and things like that (let’s not do that). Skating and snowboarding came from surfing, but it doesn’t mean we can’t take cues from them. Like we have with grabs. Let’s not be naïve. Call it what it is and has been — but let’s try to do it right. It’s a 360 revert. And a fantastic one.
- I still don’t give a shit about wave pools. Yes, the technology is impressive, and I’m happy some people without ocean access or resources can now ride them and the waves they make, but it has only reintroduced me to the details and nuances I love about the sea and the act of getting myself in it.
- The Founders Cup was a snooze. It was golf. It made baseball feel thrilling. Which I feel like we should be embarrassed about. We are surfing. Fuck.
- The Founders Cup needed “Situational Music” — which is something I spoke with Dane about years ago while watching Bells. We need music. We need enthusiasm. We need energy. Otherwise we don’t need this contest at all. Just let the country club rich dudes have the pool and let’s go surfing. Like actual surfing.
- If I had been at Founders Cup I would have wanted to be on Team Brazil. They were fun and played into the format well. The other “teams” looked AWK AF.
- I didn’t miss you or my email or my Instagram, but I do now.
OK, talk soon.
Going shoe shopping! What should I get?
Are there surf shoes? Non-slipper kind?
Like Pure Juice? Help!