Who is this handsome man with a phone camera?
Who is this handsome man with a phone camera?

Day 3: Kook-gate expands in scope and reach!

What did he know and when did he know it?

If there is one thing I am proud of with my work here at BeachGrit it is that I let no dead horse go unkicked. If I see a dead horse, anywhere at anytime, that even only tangentially relates to surfing I will gird my loins, steel my spine and begin kicking. Kicking. Kicking. Kicking. Without care for my own safety or well-being. I will kick that dead horse when filled with energy. I will kick that dead horse when overcome with exhaustion. I will kick that dead horse then I will kick that dead horse again.

So let’s chat a little more about the incident currently rocking our surf world! If you have missed any of the action catch up here and here but, basically, we were introduced to the World Surf League’s Chief Commercial Officer over the weekend. Beth Greves was captured on video enjoying a wonderful surf on a longer surfboard. It was a sunny day, perfect for The Sport of Kings, and Beth was dressed appropriately for it in a forrest green rash guard with floral sleeves and matching floral bottoms.

One other small detail, the fins of her longer surfboard were put in backwards.


Now, a funny moment for all of us and we chuckled along but the more I watched the video the more I was struck by its composition. You can watch above once again but let’s go over some of the play by play.

The piece begins with Beth standing there facing away from the camera and toward a handsome, taller, dark-haired man taking a picture with of her backward fin setup with his phone. They both laugh at someone off screen and then he motions with his hand and face, very exaggeratedly, that her fins should be pointing the other direction. Beth plays along, motioning with her own hands and trying to explain something.

Cut to black.

And something about it feels so… staged. A good many of you wondered this same thing in the comments and I have, for you, poured over every frame. Second by second. Trying to see if it is a set-up for another WSL spoof ad. You remember those right? I can’t find them currently but remember wigs and jokes etc. Anyhow, if it is a spoof then boy oh boy they got us all good. The best mass prank in surf history wouldn’t you agree?

I am 98% convinced, though, that it is not a prank because there appears to be genuine bafflement on Beth’s face right before the cut to black but I need to know more about the handsome, taller, dark-haired man taking the picture and exaggeratedly explaining. What did he know and when did he know it?

I’d also like to see his photo. I think that is important for us and our investigation. Or at least for me and my dead horse kicking. Does anyone know him? Do you?

How to: Handle a kook crisis!

Step 3: Give an interview to Chas Smith!

Into every surfer life a little kook must fall. It is a stone-cold fact. An irrefutable component of this odd dance we do. There are, first, the myriad rules, sub-rules, sub-sub-rules and shifting rules. There is, second, the impossibility of the act itself. There are, third, surfers involved in most things related to surfing and surfers are known assholes. So, yesterday’s introduction of the World Surf League’s relatively new fourth in command, Chief Commercial Officer Beth Greves, was wonderfully fun though I imagine the League thought otherwise.

Ms. Greves is highly qualified and very skilled, with Adweek naming her a “purveyor of cool” in the teen space and there she appeared on the universally adored @kook_of_the_day with her fins of her longer surfboard in backwards. I reached directly out to the WSL and begged for an interview, knowing that I could make this a star moment, that she would become a hero, though was rebuffed. Turned away. Left out in the cold.

Still, I am here to help and so will give my services for how to handle this crisis free of charge!

Step 1: Be horrified with yourself!

It is important, when caught being a kook, that the offender let the moment sink in fully. An attitude of “everyone makes mistakes” or “who cares?” will go nowhere. Nowhere at all. The offender must stare at the ugly image, the fins backward, the scarecrow jive down a perfect Surf Ranch wave (me!), the egg shaped surfboard he accidentally bought, the back foot traction accidentally affixed mid board, etc. She must be mortified. He must be near suicide and then he must laugh because everyone makes mistakes and who cares?

Step 2: Know that you are part of a brave tradition!

This knowledge does not change the horror but it does put it in context. @kook_of_the_day says it best. “We’re all kooks in our own way!” And we are. We scarecrow jive down perfect Surf Ranch waves. We forget to mix oil in the 2-stroke motor gasoline can. We get lipped, clipped, drop in, go straight, barrel dodge, drip saltwater out of our noses and also saltwater + cocaine. Every surfer on the face of this earth has done something kooky except Gerry Lopez. Oh wait, Gerry Lopez moved to Bend, Oregon and fucking river surfs. Every surfer on the face of this earth has done something kooky

Step 3: Give an interview to Chas Smith!

But only if you did something virally kooky. For normal moments the interview with Chas Smith can be exchanged with an honest admission to friends. But if you did something virally kooky then it is important to admit to BeachGrit that you both know what you did is horrifying but also that a sense of humor prevails. That you can learn and care about the myriad rules, sub-rules, sub-sub-rules and shifting rules because these make up the surfing life but that you also love surfing enough to break them.

Step 4: Repeat!


Miracle: Nobody doesn’t like Italo Ferriera!

The universal man unites us all!

We live in fractured times. Very contentious. Very fraught with contention. Trade wars dot the globe. Justin Trudeau is getting mad at Donald J. Trump who is getting mad at Theresa May who is getting mad at Vlad Putin who is getting mad at the western mainstream media which is getting mad at gay bakers not selling cakes to poor, beleaguered Christians.

Kanye West.

Nobody can agree on nothing except that Italo Ferriera is a lovable professional surfer with a mean rail game, extraordinary air prowess, bravery, humility, nice post-heat interviews and an enviable head of hair. I was lounging on the beach yesterday afternoon and one of the most knowledgable professional surf observers that I know said, “Right now Italo Ferriera is the best surfer on the planet.” And he said this without trying to be hyperbolic or amusing.

And in our time has one single surfer ever had universal support? After I was finished lounging on the beach yesterday I conducted an informal poll on the general likability of Italo Ferriera and found he scored 100% amongst professional surf fans with equal votes coming from men, women, whites who were having a little trouble staying unsunburnt and whites able to tan easily. Kelly Slater only every topped 75% once and now floats somewhere around the 64% level by way of comparison. John John Florence hovers at a very respectable 93% but 7% of self-described “haters” get frustrated by his lackadaisical face.

Which makes me very thankful for our surf community. While the rest of the world is getting mad we are embracing a glowing star. A shining star. One Italo to unite us all.

Aren’t we? I had to come here for final confirmation. Does anybody not want Italo to win it all?



Meet: The WSL’s fourth in command!

The Chief Commercial Officer Beth Greves is a "purveyor of cool!"

If there is one thing that co-owing a business has taught me it is that human capital means something. Before the founding of BeachGrit I thought, “If I can do something then anyone can. No such thing as skill only hard work and a can-do attitude.” Boy was I wrong. Human capital is… everything. Skill is real. Hard work and the right attitude are essential. A thick skin is valuable. Commitment. Intelligence. Sense of humor. Quick reaction time. And enjoyment of the work…

…I could go on all day and get on me knees each and every night and thank God for our Longtom, Jen See, Matt Warshaw and Pete Campbell so I completely understand how thrilled the World Surf League is to snag an executive the likes of Beth Greves. And have you not heard of the League’s Chief Commercial Officer before? Well let’s turn to her LinkedIn account for a little pre-WSL background.

Beth Greve joined AwesomenessTV, one of the most subscribed to and fastest growing video destinations for teens on YouTube, as Chief Revenue and Partnerships Officer in September 2013. In this new role, Greve creates partnerships with brands to build marketing programs that resonate with the audience through a variety of methods including original programming, brand integrations, custom content and creative media deliverables. Her team develops and produces innovative strategies including long form and short form video, social marketing, influencer marketing, and experiential marketing, to drive business on and off the YouTube platform for Awesomeness Media and it’s many properties.

Beth was recently listed on Adweek’s Top 50 for 2014, for her success as “purveyor of cool” in the teen space.

And you can certainly see why the WSL jumped at the opportunity. Surfing needs to get younger and needs to get younger ASAP. You may have mixed feelings about this “YouTube” and “influencer marketing” but it is the future that you really aren’t part of.

Speaking of “influencer marketing” Beth appeared on the number one influencer market network Instagram just today. The very fine @boardbuilderscommunity sent this little gem of what appears to be Beth practising what she preaches.



Because, at the end, surfing is what we all love.

John John Florence Keramas
Says Chris Cote: "Instagram is going to play a huge part in progression because the clips are becoming instant. There’s no more 'saving shit for a video part'." | Photo: @ryzphoto

“We’re on threshold of a new era of super moves!”

Throw flowers at John John Florence's Crossbones Lien Air!

It hasn’t been John John Florence’s year at all. His ice cubes have been nervously rattling in his glass all season. Correct me if I’m wrong, but five heat wins in five events, a heat average of twelve.

And you would’ve presumed that the Hawaiian with the skin that looks like an ad for Johnson’s baby powder would’ve owned Keramas.

He didn’t.

Contest are like that. Some days you clap to the rhythm of the Bazouki, the crowd standing on the beach hollering and clamouring for more; other days you’re denounced by every critic in town.

A few days ago at Keramas, however, John John almost landed a Crossbones Lien Air that the snowboard announcer, former Olympian and skater/surfer Todd Richards describes as “more impressive than any spin done to date. I feel like we are on the threshold of a new era of super moves.”


One week ago, Richards appeared on The Grit with Chas Smith and “explained why surfers are culturally appropriating assholes. How surfers take the blood, sweat and tears of the skateboarders and snowboarders before them and laugh and mock and then call things that happen above the lip of the wave Gorkin Flip and Bologna Sandwiche” instead of their proper nomenclatures born in the Fires of Mordor.”

Chris Coté, the sometime WSL commentator, a Joe Turpel type but with the gravitas of the skilled skater-surfer, says, “It’s the year of the air!  I think this is the most we’ve been talking about airs since Christian Fletcher won the Body Glove Surf Bout and the ‘established’ pros revolted and tried to ground his air superiority, and I love it!

“Instagram is going to play a huge part in progression because the clips are becoming instant. There’s no more ‘saving shit for a video part’. I hate to keep bringing up skating but in skateboarding some kid can film a crazy trick in Iowa, send it to @metroskateboarding or @theberrics and a million kids will see it and instantly start trying to learn that trick. Surfing is harder cause you need lenses and stuff to see what the person is doing, but, filmers and pros and companies are getting faster at dropping clips so this hyper-fast learning curve is going to start happening more in surfing.

“In the case of John John’s latest air, if anybody names it, it has to be followed by *attempt until he makes it. I don’t think John posted it cause he never posts things he doesn’t land as far as I know. Cool looking air, for sure. Photo is probably mental, but you can’t (shouldn’t) print it if he didn’t land it. All that said, I watched that air 27 times and will watch it 25 more times cause I loved it, please land that thing JJF.”

What’s next?

“I want to see that landed,” says Richards. “I want to see a backside air pulled across snowboard method style. I feel like we are right there. All it takes is for John squared to land one and some eight-year-old sees it says, ‘Oh that’s possible!’ and does a full-scrotation with a boned out front leg. It’s coming for sure.”