I spent the last couple of days trying to get one of the stars involved, and a few minutes ago spoke to Aaron although work commitments meant he had to whisper and asked if I might call back at a convenient time.
As it transpired, the beach starts were because Aaron and his pals, including Eric StermanandJosh Amundson, wanted to get towed behind a drone but the little bird didn’t have enough heft to move ’em from a standing start.
I am writing to you, today, from deep in a New Smyrna jungle some many yards away from civilization but in the most civilized place ever. The Atlantic Center for the Arts. Tonight, you see, is the worldwide debut of a small film I directed called Trouble: The Lisa Andersen Story and it is being unveiled at a ridiculously gorgeous compound not very many yards away from where Aaron Cormican perfected his Gorkin Flip.
If you are around you must visit and see for yourself. It is too fantastic to describe here.
The air outside is a pleasant 90 degrees with 123% humidity. I love traveling to humid climates more than others mostly because I think it makes my hair look amazing but also because I think it makes my hair look amazing.
I am, anyhow, excited about the premier tonight. I believe in the film and I believe in Lisa Andersen. She is a true hero and her time is now but more on that later. At this moment I want to talk about Matt Warshaw. He is here too, alongside David Lee Scales. We were all supposed to meet up at nearby Orlando’s airport but my flight had to sit on the tarmac for an hour and a half after landing because lightening was striking nearby and apparently airport personnel aren’t allowed to go outside where there are lightening strikes. David Lee Scales was less fortunate and diverted to Tampa.
So there I sat on the tarmac looking at Instagram and wanting to drink before finally being let off the plane and wanting to drink. Matt Warshaw, who was waiting patiently inside, also wanted to drink and good thing because where we were headed was close.
Unfortunately, I was navigating and if you have read the still new Cocaine + Surfing (buy here)! you will know that navigation is not my strong suit. Shall we read a small portion?
Or maybe it is only a marvel only to me, and mostly because my directional sense is absolutely terrible. Even on land. Even in a place I have lived for years. Especially in places I have never been. I am a liability. A blight. I was once in Kiev, for example, directly after those fiery Iron Maidan protests of 2013. My “bridge burning” surf book had just come out and I thought I was back on my way to a meaningful destiny. I did not yet know I was running from it.
My phone was not working because and thus I was Google Maps-less-but wanting to get into the mix and so I pushed off into the charred drizzle with nothing but joie de vivre and a fantastic pair of Saint Laurent sunglasses. Before long I was hopelessly lost and stuck in some weird barracks of a protester practicing sword play, mumbling what he was going to do to the Russians when they returned, swishing his blade right under my nose. I didn’t know where I was and I tried to leave, but he wouldn’t let me unless I knew where I was going-because the Russians. And was I on their side? Was I on their team? Why was I wearing sunglasses? I asked for tea, eventually, and when he went to make it in a broken-down Volga he was using as a kitchen I ran out into the streets but got more lost and had to spend time with two Ukrainians dressed as Eastern European Mickey Mouses who proceeded to bore me with broken English and folk dances.
Scientists call it the “neurological effect of navigation-by-smartphone.” Scientists say that our directional sense lives where are memory does and when we end around by using technology instead of our brains we quite basically give ourselves Alzheimer’s. That we never really know where we are in the world and that puts humanity’s very future in danger. All I know is that I am an absolute directional catastrophe and that my memory really is so bad that I’ve been accused of Alzheimer’s more than once and I blame navigating by my phone. Or playing football in seventh and eighth grade as the skinniest boy ever born.
I made Matt drive one full hour in the wrong direction to a slum. We got to the slum and he said, “This doesn’t feel right.” I looked at my phone and responded, “Oops. We were supposed to go to Winter Park not Winter Haven.”
The torture lining poor Matt Warsahw’s face during the hour back made me feel very badly. Very very very badly.
Recently, Leo, who is twenty years old, appeared in a Gucci photoshoot at Malibu, California. In every photograph he looks like a king or an emperor and you can imagine Leo carrying a plastic sword with a gold handle and swishing it at the camera crew.
“First of all, it has put some style in my surfing style, or in my lifestyle. As a surfer, I can give it an extra touch, and what they’ve done in the last few years with Alessandro [Michele] has been incredible. They really brought Gucci back to the young people. I feel like four or five years ago it was kind of getting a bit older. In the last five years they’ve done an incredible job whether it’s from Alessandro or the stylist or a lot of people in the background working with younger people. It’s really shown.
“They really brought Gucci back to the young people. I feel like four or five years ago it was kind of getting a bit older. In the last five years they’ve done an incredible job whether it’s from Alessandro or the stylist or a lot of people in the background working with younger people. It’s really shown.”
Other notable quotes:
On Italian surf style: I think it’s more that each surfer has their own style; we all have very different styles. Sometimes you just want to achieve the same—whether it’s progression, speed—so we are looking for the same things to improve on. As far as outside the water, I really believe Italians have a different style, because they care a little more about how they dress, or how they look, whereas most surfers all they want to wear are board shorts and T-shirts and flip-flops. I love to do that, too. A lot of times I like to play dress-up a bit and bring out some Italian blood.
Breaking his back: It was the first event of the year and I was ready for the season. The first one, the very first wave I landed out in Hawaii, and it turned into a really big injury. I went to the hospital, I flew back to Europe with a big brace and had surgery, so it was a good four to six month of recovery. It was tough, because I was 17 years old and not used to, you’re not used to being injured. I never had anything like that happen before. Not being able to surf for about five months, that’s crazy. Like, I was going crazy and at the same time it gave me an extra motivation and it really made me realize how important surfing is and not to take it for granted whether it’s good waves or bad waves. I always enjoy it as much as possible and it really gave me an extra fire. I trained as much as I could, and I did everything possible so that I would come back on my surfboard stronger than before, and I really believe that happened.
Gucci things: When I travel, whether it’s for surf competitions or surf trips, I’m mostly at the beach. I always like to bring a nice shirt or stylish white shirt. Then I really like to play with my jewelry. I have a lot of rings that I mix out. I have one silver lion and one gold lion ring from Gucci. I also wear Gucci watches. One that’s more elegant, one which has a sports style. Because at the end of the day, we are at the beach so I can’t show up in a suit. I do wear my board shorts with rings, which is a little more my style.
What a week. What a very special week. It all started, for me, with the official release of Cocaine + Surfing on Tuesday. I worried, briefly, that the news would be overshadowed by Kim Jong Un and Donald J. Trump’s meeting in Singapore but soon realized that nobody really cares about peace on the Korean peninsula. I did a reading that night at the iconic Warwick’s and am now sitting in the airport awaiting a flight to Florida for the premier of Trouble: The Lisa Andersen Story at the Florida Surf Film Festival. If you live anywhere near the Sunshine State I expect to see you there.
More will be written on that later but in the meantime, did you know that this is also National Women Learn to Surf Week? It’s true! And let us turn to the Corpus Christi Times for more:
Female surfers converged on Boogie-Bahn at Schlitterbahn Riverpark and Resort in Corpus Christi on June 12 to celebrate National Women Learn to Surf Week. World Pro Female BodyBoard Champions Cathy and Morgan Seabert, a mother-daughter team, were on board to instruct.
Cathy Seabert is a regular at Schlitterbahn, helping riders tackle the inland surf attraction during the season. Currently, she is ranked second in the world in her division of Pro Female BodyBoarding.
Some 20 female surfers from beginner to expert and ages 8 to 70 slid into the endless inland surf created by a blast of 50,000 gallons of water on Boogie-Bahn. The water is only 3 inches deep on the ride. Wipeouts land on a foam-covered surface, keeping everyone safe from harm.
This entire time I thought the Schlitterbahn was in Munich and was confused about which nation was celebrating Women Learn to Surf Week but just re-read and realized the Schlitterbahn is a chain of water parks in Texas. Anyhow, do you have time for a few quick questions before I board?
How difficult is it to get a National _______________ Week? Like, could we petition the U.S. Government for a National BeachGrit Cut n Paste Week? What about a National Venice Adjacent Gathering of Online Surf-ish Magazines That Have Located There in Order to Thrive and Seem Abbott Kinney Kool?
Do any of you know the process?
Opinion: Kolohe “screwed by judges. Chronically underscored.”
As the rich and good looking Julian Wilson gallops towards a world title in his thirtieth year, it might be interesting to examine pivotal heats en route to this title and the response thereof.
Five days ago, Julian won a semi-final heat at Uluwatu against the similarly rich but not-quite-so good looking Kolohe Andino. The result was not received well by all surf fans.
BeachGrit‘s Longtom had a swing (“Kolohe got absolutely cooked by this phenomenon, the overcooking of Julian’s scores. He was clearly the better surfer, on the better waves doing the better surfing against Julian in semi one.”) and the commentary accompanying the heat video on YouTube was similarly in favour of the moustachioed American.
“Kolohe’s barrel wave was at least an8 something. Bad scoring, bad characters at wsl.”
“Kolohe surfed better in this heat. Came down to Kohole’s barrel compared to Julian’s barrel. Kolohe was deeper, it was a bigger set wave, and he did more aggressive turns.”
“another rigged heat!!? wtf? how many rigged heats in a contest can you have? wsl, when you’re like the whl and nobody remembers yo or what you were,,, don’t complain because you’re becoming irrelevant,,,, fast.”
“Result manipulation. Kalohe was clearly harmed. Your 7.70 should be 8.70. WSL without credibility.”
“Kolohe clearly won & jordy even more so in heat before… wsl is disgusting.”
‘So sad to see how WSL is manipulating the score in favor of JW, it is not a honest way to manager the sport!”
“First they favor him through vs jordy and now vs kolohe man as an australian I feel sorry for julian the judges making everyones energy negative towards him and its not his faut he was overscored. Every decent surfer I know agrees julian was gifted in this heat.”
“I don’t know who got robbed worse, Kolohe or Jordy. That dumb girl Sophie must have a crush on Julian.”
Kolohe’s shaper Matt “Mayhem” Biolos was equally convinced his surfer had been cut off at the knees, jumping onto theFCS Instagram account and calling the result a “blatant rip off.”
It was a short piece and the writer didn’t contact Biolos who subsequently expressed his dissatisfaction in a DM.
“Stirring the pot. Damn, you guys used to call me to elaborate. Not any more, huh?”
Earlier today, I called Biolos, who was about to drive to LA for a flight to Fiji where he’ll be joining Strider Wasilewski on Tavarua, to elaborate.
I say, “Blatant rip off. A sentiment hard to misinterpret.”
“Maybe those words weren’t right,” says Biolos. “I was grouchy and jet-lagged. Blatant means the judges purposely did it and maybe they were just negligent. Just a negligent mistake. They made an honest mistake. And it wasn’t just me who thought it. I watched it individually in the middle of the night and I was blown away. Obviously there was a storm of social media and even legitimate media you like you and Stabbelieved Kolohe won. I mean, the criteria is speed power and flow. He was going faster, with bigger more powerful turns and better flow. Julian was kinda pivoting and hitting the lip but I don’t think he was projecting nearly as much or linking his turns like Kolohe. Nothing against Julian. He’s surfing very well and I worked closely with him for a long time and I hope he wins a world title. I think it’s his year. The judges obviously think so too.”
I express my belief that there’s something…tight… about Julian, where his phenomenal, beautiful, natural skill isn’t allowed a room to breathe.
“A little mechanical, yeah. Kolohe suffers the same fate. They get knotted up. It’s a similar hiccup in their game. But I thought Ulu’s was (Kolohe’s) to win. The draw was gong down and watching him in that heat with Julian, I thought he’s going to win this heat, he’s going to win the contest. Didn’t happen.”
I missed the semi live, and therefore missed the spike of emotion, and found Julian a clear winner and that, despite claims to the contrary, most heats are a points-per-manoeuvre deal.
“I was watching it live and Kolohe was doing harder turns, going faster, his flow was a lot better and, bottom line, Kolohe’s 6.83 was the best wave of the heat. It sure as hell wasn’t a 6.83.”
“That’s how I felt. I’mnot going too hide from it,” says Biolos. “I’m not going to comment on your website and I’ll never, ever, ever sign up to comment on anyone’s website. But fuck it. I’m going to defend my guy. I think he got screwed. I think he’s chronically underscored. Maybe he’s done a few things in his career to welcome that.”
“You know as well as I do, things like that, and being very successful financially, numerous things. But if you know him as a man, as a person, he’s awesome. Kolohe asks me, does it bother me when he punches a board? I’ve been watching baseball players break their bats for a hundred years. It’s not as if Louisville Slugger throws a temper tantrum every time Mark McGwire breaks a bat.
“I think that there’s a lot of scoring on the WSL where they score the surfers not the competitors. They score Gabriel Medina against what he can do, not in the actual heat he’s in. ”