Attend: Tonight’s Cocaine + Surfing reading!

An excuse to spend an evening in West Hollywood!

Tonight, at 7 pm, I will be at Book Soup in West Hollywood, California reading a passage from Cocaine + Surfing and answering “questions” usually from older people who grew up near the beach and enjoy talking about their experiences. I would never, normally, invite anyone to this sort of thing BUT I’m inviting you now because… because… well, because in this digital age the analog feels like a wonderful breath of fresh air.

When was the last time you were actually in a book store? Smelling that particular must? Dreaming those particular dreams? Were you ever a reader?

I spent my 20s and half of my 30s dreaming only literary dreams. My heroes were writers. Albert Camus, George Plimpton, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, John Horne Burns, Derek Rielly. My own writing aping all of them ruthlessly without any self-awareness. I breathed their words and spat them directly back into my computer, imagining I was somehow a true original.

Any man or woman who paints pictures, takes photographs, creates music or writes books moves though imitation, I think, before growing into their own voice. I sure hope I have though my heroes are all there. Always there.

I don’t read like I should anymore. Any spare second gets poured here or into starting book number three but being back inside a book store makes me fall in love all over again and that’s why I’m inviting you. Not to listen to me or the older people but simply as an excuse to enter a book store once again, to browse spines, to pull one down and to dream big big big.

Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
7 PM

And if you can’t make it tonight go and see RuPaul there in October!

Surfline staff enjoy each other's company.
Surfline staff enjoy each other's company.

Media: Surfline finds voice, becomes Fox News!

A bold pro-milquetoast agenda!

Surfline, the world’s largest surf website, has had a very long run at the top. What started as a telephone call in service turned online in 1995 and has been a go to for any serious surfer since. I’ve always been fascinated by it. Thousands upon thousands of eyeballs coming every day for surf reports. Captive eyeballs since no one else has the camera network etc. I always imagined how powerful the editorial voice could, in theory, be.

Brands killed, brands made. The world shaped.

And maybe, the specter of this power kept Surfline from ever trying to discover an editorial voice, preferring to stay safely in the bland where no hurt feelings dwell.

Until last week.

It appears that new-look Surfline (the site has changed and cameras are no longer offered freely) has decided it is going to be the Fox News of surf media. A bullish mouthpiece of the current administration. A bold pro-milquetoast agenda.

The transition was signaled by a softball interview with World Surf League CEO Sophie Goldschmidt and continues today with unvarnished excitement about Olympic surfing’s schedule which, apparently has locked down dates. Let’s read a touch together?

So we did what anyone curious about surfing and the Olympics would do — called the ISA’s Fernando Aguerre, who, by his own admission, “knows more about surfing in the Olympics than anyone on earth.” And who are we to argue? It was Aguerre’s vision, drive and commitment that led to surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Games.

Turns out, those dates are placeholders. “This is one of difficulties in having a competition in the ocean,” Aguerre said. “They need initial competition dates to put some pins on the wall to start selling tickets. And if we have a good swell, we’ll run then — but if not, we have all the way through August 9th to run. They do the same thing in sailing — if there’s no wind, they can’t run, but they need to have dates on the board.”

This is good news, obviously. Surfing in the Games needs four days to run, and a two-week waiting period is essentially the same as a current men’s WCT event. Decent chance of surf.

Then later…

More good news: there is flexibility. It’ll be the ISA — not the IOC or Tokyo — making the call to run each day. They can run a few hours during the morning offshores, then hold till the next day, etc. Just like a ‘CT event.


I think it is wonderful that Surfline has found its voice though I do wonder if the Huff-Po inspired The Inertia will get testy. What do you think? Do you think the Huff-Po inspired The Inertia will get testy?

Piracy or Philanthropy? BeachGrit to digitise history’s entire catalogue of surf film!

Examine Hot Cinema, a thrilling new feature that welcomes all video!

A common criticism about BeachGrit is we don’t aggregate every video that’s loosed. We’ve always pushed the line that if it ain’t worth a story it ain’t worthy of flooding your eyeballs.

And, therefore, readers are forced to populate darkener neighbourhoods where they can see such things. Sorta like having to visit the cheap corner store to buy milk ’cause your fav eatery refuses to pollute ’emselves with basics.

One afternoon, recently, our Los Angeles-based developer (you can see the back of the Hollywood sign from his gorgeous house) gifted us the ability to include a video, no matter how ordinary, pointless or, conversely, dazzling, without having it appear on the main page.

If you look down the bottom right column, you’ll see an aggregator panel like the ones you might’ve stumbled on at various adult-interest websites.

Click on Newest and, yeah, you get everything we’ve loaded.

24 Hours will get you the most popular over the past day, All Time gets ya the best in the biz.

Wave your mouse over Hot Cinema in the top menu bar and you’ll get what’s called a Mega Menu.

And you know what makes this thing a miracle? We’ll run…everything.

Just as Google plans to digitise history’s entire catalogue of words (ten million books digitised so far), we wanna do the same with surf film.

You got something and it’s on Vimeo or YouTube?

Want to feed it to the wolves?

Send to: [email protected]

Watch: The WSL’s fabulous new meme show!

Stoke-inducing! Action-packed!

And you doubted the World Surf League’s new relationship with Facebook. Be honest. You thought when the WSL went exclusive with Facebook for the just wrapped J-Bay event and it was all glitchy and weird and broken that it was a bad deal.

Well, looks like the joke’s on you, pal, because hello Get Sent!, the latest creation from the team that brought you other hits like The Ambassador of Stoke and Leisure and No Pipeline.

What is Get Sent!? It appears to be a Facebook/Instagram meme show described on the World Surf League’s feed as:

What up people… This is @getsent! The show where @chadgoesdeep and @jtparr14 break into World Surf League’s vault of footage to bring you the most stoke-inducing, action-packed, inspiring and funny moments from the surf world and beyond! Stay tuned for the first episode tomorrow at 8am PT on the Get Sent Facebook page!

Much like Forrest Gump, that is all I have to say about that.

Rumor: Kelly Slater to join Senior PGA tour!

The competitive fire can still burn!

Kelly Slater’s announced retirement plans, just weeks ago, sent shockwaves though the entire world. Oh sure avid “Kelly Watchers” realized that, likely, the 11x world champ heard Parko’s announcement then his tongue just started moving all by itself. Before he knew it the spotlight was back his though the price for fixated attention was the specter of retirement after the 2019 season.

Now, avid “Kelly Watchers” know that retirement is something the champ likes to mention from time to time but doesn’t take very seriously. He has been surfing, professionally, for three whole generations and at least seems to need the competition.

But might he get his competitive fix from somewhere else? Florida Today hinted possibly yes in a long piece titled Can Pro Surfing, Brevard Stand to Lose Kelly Slater?

“Brevard” refers to the county Cocoa Beach calls home and Cocoa Beach is only famous for Kelly Slater so it is a very good question. I would imagine that Brevard county will disappear entirely, swallowed up by the swamp, the last remaining residents eaten by crocodiles. Pro surfing will also disappear entirely but for reasons that have to do more with Facebook than Kelly’s disappearance.

Anyhow, Kelly’s new competitive fix. Florida Today reports:

What would his retirement mean for the world tour, and what’s in store for Slater’s future?

After all, he’s modeled on catwalks, been linked to Hollywood celebrities, appeared on a TV series (“Baywatch”), recorded a CD (with “The Surfers”), and even appears in a current popular beer commercial.

His “retirement” portfolio is certainly diversified.

He has produced an eco-friendly fashion label (“Outerknown”), launched a new drink brand (“Purps”), and the Kelly Slater Wave Company has created an artificial wave pool in Lemoore, Calif., (and another one coming next year at the Palm Beach Park of Commerce along the Beeline Highway in northwestern Palm Beach County) that could be the sport’s future.

And there’s always golf, where his 2-handicap and countless rounds from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews could help him qualify for the Senior PGA Tour when he turns 50.

Did you catch that? In four short years Kelly Slater can be playing senior golf professionally. Traveling the world like he once did. Spotlight still flickering. Still fluttering.

And do you like golf? Are you good? I’ve only ever played for laughs but do enjoy that there is much discussion of handicap in the game.