Recovered: What The Inertia tried to hide!

An affront to their involuntarily celibate ways!

This future we live in is a wonderful place, don’t you think? Sure there are wars and rumors of wars but there is also Internet accountability in the form of websites that exist solely to hold misogynists’ feet to the fire. The wayback machine, Apple News, Google Cache etc. If you happened to be following along this morning you’ll remember how I wept openly about missing out on a The Inertia piece on empowering women that was ruthlessly erased. I wondered why?

Are the editors at Venice-adjacent’s other favorite water lifestyle website incels? Could they be?

The answer, assuredly, is yes. For thanks to six of you I have been sent the disappeared story and it sings. Please read in its entirety here and find my favorite lines below.

In a sea of fifty or so middle-aged men from Japan, Israel, Europe, and Australia, there was enough male pattern baldness to rival the Trump administration.

When one guy paddled right past me and back up to the peak after taking a set wave? Yes. You’re damn right I dropped in.

It’s not as much an issue of respect, I find, as it is an assertion of belonging. It’s an expression of being a woman in the sea; that despite the barriers that stand in our way, we will remain powerful, as women of the waves.

You think I’m wrong for dropping in? You think I should wait my turn? You think I should follow the status quo of surfing etiquette?

Trust me. I’ve waited. Any woman in the ocean on a day with decent size, like today, has unquestionably waited her turn. We’ve waited in lineups that make us cry, on days when only the boldest among us would dare drop in.

We’ve waited while our brothers of the sea ogle our bodies and objectify the skin we surf in.

We’ve waited while aggro kooks drop in far too deep, knowing they’ll never make the section, all while we’re in the perfect position just a little farther down the line. All this because they would rather take a heavy lip to the face than back off and let a woman enjoy her ride.

Fuck you. We’ve waited. So you think I should wait my turn?

I think you should wait one goddamn second and tell me what it feels like to be the only woman at the peak in a lineup of fifty middle-aged men in swollen seas and heavy winds, 10,711 miles from home. Let me know how that tastes on your tongue.

Then you tell me to wait my turn.

I’m done waiting.

And I only wish the involuntarily celibate men who run The Inertia would have had as many guts as this author here to leave it up.

Surf website reveals misogynistic core!

The Inertia erases important female story!

I have been locked into an awful technological whirlpool these past few days. My phone reached critical planned obsolescence forcing me to get a new one which either doesn’t have any memory and/or is broken. Maybe broken as last night it began vibrating and glowing green. Whatever the case, I have been missing very important developments in the surf world. I wish I could blame yesterday’s being scooped on bad tech but I can blame missing an important The Inertia piece that was violently evaporated.

By way of explanation, Jen See texted me a link to some The Inertia piece a few days ago that I was not able to open. The title was something like “I can drop in on whoever I want because I am a woman…” or something like that but more The Inertia-y. I begged her to write something on it anyhow and she laughed and agreed. Then, a handful of hours later, texted a horrified scream.

The Inertia had disappeared the piece!

I feel very angry at technology and The Inertia right now. Did anyone else read the story? As far as I can tell it rested on the premise that women deal with misogyny, paternalism, sexism etc. every single day and probably especially in the surf and, therefore, are entitled to any and every wave they want ignoring both traditional lineup rules and mores. Like restitution, I suppose, and a powerful sentiment. One that resonates in these dark days.

Why then did The Inertia vanish the work like it never existed in the first place?

I can only assume that behind the progressive stances on ecology and SUPing that The Inertia is a place like too many others where female voices are canceled out when they speak up. Where women are better seen and not heard. Where misogyny reigns supreme.

It is sad, beyond sad, that a surf website seems to hate women but I guess not surprising. Have you not heard of incels? The involuntarily celibate? Urban Dictionary defines as:

Incel aka “involuntarily celibate”, a person (usually male) who has a horrible personality and treats women like sexual objects and thinks his lack of a sex life comes from being “ugly” when its really just his blatant sexism and terrible attitude. incels have little to no self awareness; even when they see other “ugly” men with girlfriends, they consider these men to be tricksters who have somehow beat the system and can get women despite being cursed with unattractiveness (in other words, theyre respectful to women and women are attracted to their personalities, but incels cant comprehend such a phenomenon).

Yeah, it is a nasty nasty dark place but makes much sense that everyone who works for The Inertia is involuntarily celibate.

Very sad.

Day 4: Scooped on Kook-gate by Surf Europe!

I'll never pull another punch again.

Now I know how… whatever The New York Times writers covering Nixon’s names were… feel. There they were, wringing their hands, hemming and hawing while Woodward and Bernstein went out and made history.

Son of a bitch.

Your new Woodward and Bernstein is a man named Billy Wilson and he is also your hero for he had the fortitude, the temerity, to carry through when I pulled my punch.

Last night, you see, I was sent the image from the brave man with the camera phone. There stood the World Surf League’s number four in command, Chief Commercial Officer Beth Greves, on a Balinese beach with a wonderful forrest green/floral bathing suit ensemble, a longer board and fins that pointed mysteriously toward her.

I gazed upon it for a good ten minutes and then went to sleep giggling about “Day 4: Explosive new kook-gate angle!” all night long. But in the morning I woke up and thought, “Am I being mean? Is this mean?” and decided to chew on a wad of morality.

Meanwhile, Surf Europe’s Billy Wilson (your new Woodward and Bernstein) had no such lily in his liver and posted the epic “Kook-gate exclusive: Handsome man with phone found.” Let’s read just a smidge:

Pepe Jose Ceballos — his surname just one letter away from “caballos”, Spanish for “horses” — is from the Basque town of Irun, to which he recently returned following a fortnight in Bali. I first met Pepe two summers ago, and have met him several times since; besides being handsome, tall, and dark-haired, he is very likeable and always struck me as the sort of person who can be relied upon, when he sees something funny at the beach, to take a photo of it and put it on the group. I don’t know him very well, I’m not on any of his groups, but I know him well enough to recognise him in a viral video, and well enough to trust him when he says he isn’t part of a of an international conspiracy or some bizarre, counterintuitive marketing ploy.

He had been at Keramas watching the comp, when his friend spotted two girls walking down the beach carrying surfboards, one of them with its fins back to front. Pepe showed admirable presence of mind. “I grabbed my mobile from my bag and went rushing down to her,” he told Surf Europe on the phone this morning, amid much laughter. “I tried to be inconspicuous so she wouldn’t notice, but when I turned around to take the photo she looked at me like, ‘what are you doing?’ So I asked if I could take a photo and she just stared at me in confusion, like, ‘but what for?’ I was just trying to stop laughing.”

Epic. Just damned epic. You must read the entire thing here and I just realized that Woodward and Bernstein are two names! Mr. Wilson? Would you permit me to be your second?


I’ll never pull a punch again.

Famous newspaper roasts The Endless Summer!

The Washington Post declares "Who wants to sit and watch 90 straight minutes of surfing?"

I think there is one, and only one, thing that surfers universally agree upon (aside from Italo Ferreira) and that is The Endless Summer is a very good film. It is fun, interesting, well shot and well cast. Bruce Brown, Mike Hynson, Robert August and the whole world sparkled beyond. I remember watching it for the first time, as a young boy, and wanting to be Mike Hyson more than anybody on earth. Cool, stylish, Californian.

Matt Warshaw, in his work of art The Encyclopedia of Surfing (subscribe here!) writes:

Long-celebrated surf moved made by California filmmaker Bruce Brown; originally screened on the beach city surf circuit in 1964, two years before it was put into general release, where it became a surprise critical and commercial hit. “A brilliant documentary,” a New Yorker review said of Brown’s deceptively simple $50,000 film, “perfectly expressing the surfing spirit. Great background music. Great movie. Out of sight.” Just a handful of surf movies are thought of as first rate; Endless Summer alone is regarded as a surfing masterpiece.

But the newspaper that took down Richard M. Nixon disagrees. In a recent Washington Post editorial mocking surfing the writer declares:

By the way, are you folks familiar with “The Endless Summer”?

I used to co-host “Reel Classics,” ESPN Classic’s weekly sports-movie presentation, with fabulously funny comedian Jeff Cesario. Just when Jeff and I thought we ran out of sports films, we discovered “The Endless Summer,” a 1966 documentary on surfing.

Who wants to sit and watch 90 straight minutes of surfing? I mean, I guess it beats watching 90 straight minutes of Rob Schneider in “Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo,” but, man oh man, freebasing Orville Redenbacher and Jack Daniel’s couldn’t save this baby for me.

Ouch. I suppose it would sting more if the writer didn’t try to be witty at the end but still. Unnecessary.

Read the rest here!

John John Florence Ross Williams
Ross: "John? John?" JJ: "I want it over and done. I do. I'm tired, boss. Tired of bein' on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. Tired of not ever having me a buddy to be with, or tell me where we's coming from or going to, or why. Mostly I'm tired of people being ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There's too much of it. It's like pieces of glass in my head all the time. Can you understand?"

Theatre: Is John John transitioning from tour?

I'm tired, boss. Mostly, I'm tired of people being ugly to each other… 

I ain’t Freud. But it don’t take much to see that the two-time, and reigning, world champion John John Florence is wrapped in an intolerable existential crisis.

Last at Snapper to Mikey Wright. Second-last to the fanatically intense Zeke Lau at Bells. A long dick in the guts at Lemoore. Second-last to Jesse Mendes, Bali. Twenty-first in the world.

This morning’s official withdrawal from the Margaret River Reboot had the undercurrent of a drowning man who’d do anything to find a little air, to breathe.

The explanation had all the verve of a wise-ass kid telling his teacher the dog ate up his homework.

“I was holding my breath the minute he paddled out. I knew he was feeling jumpy. At one point I looked at him from the beach and gestured to take it easy!”

“Unfortunately I hurt my knee during a freesurf here in Bali, and I have to pull out of the next event to get back and heal up as quickly as possible. I was trying bottom turns in the yard last night to see if there is any way for me to possibly surf this event, but nothing about it felt right. Haha! I think it’s best I heal 100% before I get back in the water. When I was a little kid I watched my favorite surfers winning events and trying big airs and big maneuvers and dreamed of doing those things. I will never lose that. I’m excited for everything to come. I hope to come out of this injury smarter and more excited than I have ever been.”

His coach, Ross Williams, behaved in the manner of the loyal sidekick, punching this supporting explanation into his cell phone.

“I was holding my breath the minute he paddled out. I knew he was feeling jumpy. At one point I looked at him from the beach and gestured to take it easy! Haha. In my position it’s sketchy watching him surf like that cause I want him to be ready for the next comp, but you can’t tell someone like John to just surf safe.”

Gesturing on the beach to “take it easy”? Oh if this was a movie it would be too fantastic to believe.

Three weeks ago, I asked the question, What if: John John Florence quits the tour? 

Is the kick from a contest win, a title, enough to keep Florence on the chain gang? To keep him in pressurised aluminium cylinders from Australia to Honolulu to Lemoore and now Rio, just so he can be pecked at and paddled ragged? 

Two world titles, a house at Log Cabins big enough for whomever wants floor space, the boat that’s rattling at its anchor chain, dying for a Pacific crossing, a sponsor that might be persuaded that a series of John John Florence films might be a better return on their multi-million dollar investment than a series of forgettable WCT results offers a velvet-lined escape hatch. 

Who needs who more? The WSL with John John or John John with the WSL?

In the meantime, let’s enjoy the wrenching moment where John John appears half-dead on a table (MRI?) while his coach taps plaintively on the glass, whispering, “John? John?”