Zeke Lau
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.


“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.”


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.

Bethany Hamilton
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.

Gabriel Medina
Brazil wasn't kind to Gabs Medina, the 2014 champion of the world, but the pool showed him as an artist, resourceful, emotional. | Photo: WSL

Watch: Founders’ Cup “Crazy, Passionate” Highlights!

"The game has officially been changed!" says Joe Turpel.

Did it feel, to you, that the joy of the Founders’ Cup was drowned out by the thundering waterfall of Barrinha?

Oh of course you did, we all did, even me who, for a moment, believed the Founders’ Cup to be the supercharged apex of a new world order.

A few days prior and over the course of the two-day event in Lemoore, California, BeachGrit ran seventeen stories.

These included, Gallery: Steve Sherman Goes to Surf Ranch, “Teen on Surf Ranch: “Really, Really Good!”, Opinion: “Kelly Slater Slain by own Creation!”, Long Read: Raimana is the King of Lemoore, Live from Surf Ranch: “We don’t have a language for this!”, Founders Cup: “Team World for Win! Yay!”, Rebel: Strider Flaunts “Offensive” WSL Law!, Live from Surf Ranch: “Perhaps imperfection is important”, Founders’ Cup: “Mind-numbing safety surfing!”, Breaking: Jon Pyzel eats a hot dog!, Live from Surf Ranch: “This ain’t a boat trip!”, Claim: “WSL Surf Ranch too my job and passion!” and a few more.

Earlier today, the WSL dropped highlights packages for each of the teams. Teams World, Brazil and USA excelled. Australia and Europe lacked clarity, inspiration and were, mostly, clumsy.

With the clarity of hindsight, how do these shorts stack up?

Has the game, as Joe Turpel says, “officially been changed”?

Do you feel like a deflowered virgin or a swaggering stud?

Team world!

Team Australia.

Team Brazil!

Team USA!

Team Europe

Hawaiian man hit with “lava bomb!”

"Even small pieces can kill."

The beloved Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi is most famous for its lyric “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” An apt rendering of our modern age, it is sometimes difficult to imagine what this world must have been like before we totally dominated it. Before we imposed our mighty will upon its feeble strictures. But Hawaii has provided a glimpse of unpaved paradise these last few months.

There have been devastating rainfall and floods on the garden isle of Kauai. There has been a vicious concession grab on Oahu’s Waikiki and now a volcano is threatening the entirety of the Big Island.

For many years tourists have swooned as Kilauea has danced for their pleasure. Little mini eruptions, lava flows to the sea, steam etc. It is, in point of fact, the world’s most active volcano and has been since man has waltzed the earth.

Things had, anyhow, been getting more serious with Kilauea all month with larger sulfurous belches and lava flows burning fields, houses and roads. Then on May 17 the volcano blew its stack sending poisonous ash 30,000 feet into the air and also “lava bombs” which caused the first reported injury. And let us read:

A Hawaii man standing on his third-floor balcony was hurt Saturday when he was hit by lava spatter, becoming the first person injured by the Kilauea eruption.

The man’s leg was shattered from shin to foot as a result of the impact, according to Reuters. He has been identified as a homeowner on Noni Farms Road, but no additional information was immediately available.

“I heard the injury was quite bad, serious to his leg,” Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Lava spatters “can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces of spatter can kill,” Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii, told Reuters.

I mean, son of a bitch. I would imagine, if you were lounging on your third floor Hawaiian balcony, that you would feel immune to nature’s wrath. What could get you all the way up there? What could possibly cause you harm besides a bad building superintendent or fussy doorman? Certainly not a lava bomb. But there we have it. A cruel twist of fate.

Before today I did not know that “lava bombs” existed but from henceforth I shall keep an ear out for their potentiality even though I can’t imagine any effort could thwart. Maybe paradise is fighting back. In the meantime, would you like to watch a short informational video narrated by a man with a soothing accent? These things help in times like ours.

Now that you are comforted would you like to watch a music video of 90s college band Counting Crows covering Big Yellow Taxi? Sorry. I am going to make you anyway.