Age shall not weary the Champ. | Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Prediction: What surfing will look like in five years!

Will it be like a bland unresisting wax or something strong and hard?

Surfers, I think, might come from different stock but we have the same disposition to felony, gallant adventures, greed for solitude and a natural resistance to authoritarian masters. 

There have been so many unexpected turns within our little game within the past five years, pro surfing bought by a billionaire convinced he can turn it into a new NFL, wavepools that create waves beyond any dream, the death of the freesurfer, the rise of finless craft and so on, that I felt it time to peer into the future for another five. 

What will happen in the year 2023?

Oh, the things I see!

1. Greg Webber will announce a wavepool better than anything anyone has ever seen before! Everything from a a ten-foot Teahupoo ledge to a point better than J-Bay to an infinite variety of beachbreak wedges. And all on an endless loop. Open by the end of this year, says the grand master, now seventy five. “I’m patient and fucking determined,” says Greg, again.

2. John John Florence will win Olympic Gold at the 2020 Games…as a sailor. After exiting the tour in 2018, John John sails his 48-foot cat Falcor around the world, discovering a great love of the art of piloting a boat under sail. Dismissive of a tour that has four pool events, John John hits the Olympic sail trials and qualifies in seven different divisions. 

3. Los Angeles will become the tuberiding capital of the world after an earthquake levels the joint (one million people die) and lifts inshore reefs along the coast from El Segundo to Malibu.

4. The first of the wavepools will shut down. After only four years of operation, and despite much fanfare and bullish predictions of fabulous returns on the dollar for investors, Australia’s first wavepool is closed due to “disappointing” revenues.

5. A few days before his twentieth birthday, Maui’s Eli Hanneman rides out of the first 900, a move that’s been kicking around since the early 2000’s when Dane Reynolds almost hucked a double-spin at Canggu. Meanwhile, on the women’s tour, vet Silvana Lima completes the first alley-oop in a heat.

6. Kelly Slater announces he’ll be retiring, “this time for real” at the completion of the 2023 tour. But, adds, “I’ve said that before.”

7. Indonesia retakes Bali from Australian and American neo-colonialists, confiscating land and gorgeous beachfront bungalows with plunge pools and outdoor bathrooms. The heads of several prominent American pro surfers are set on pikes at Denapasar airport as a warning to others.

8. Foil-board fatalities for the year rise to an all-time high of seventy-five.

9. It’ll be the fifth year anniversary of the  death of a prominent surfer from a coke-related addiction. Sponsors, WSL, fans etc, act surprised. (Buy Chas Smith’s prophetic Cocaine and Surfing here.)

10. After the failure of, first, live streaming from YouTube and, then, Facebook Live, and a lower-than-expected response to pay-per-view, the WSL will be sold back to its old masters, the surfers, for one dollar and the assumption of existing debt, approximately 150 million dollars. Brodie Carr and Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew will combine to “restore surfing’s credibility.”

ISA to Olympics: “We don’t want a one-night stand!”

The International Surfing Association falls in love with the Olympic movement!

In exactly two more years we will all be sitting in front of our televisions or streaming devices watching our greats surfing for gold in Tokyo. Can you believe? Can you even believe? Surfing for gold with the national anthems and the patriotic outfits and the athlete village with the STDs and performance enhancing drugs (NOT Kelly Slater approved). Surfing for gold with flags, painted in miniature, on proud faces and the jingoism and Bob Costas’s pink eye. Surfing for gold with the interstitial programing taking us inside Brett Simpson’s Huntington Beach home.

Inside Brett Simpson’s Huntington Beach home.

Can you really believe?

I can’t. I think it is fucking stupid but that did not stop a surf industry who’s who from descending upon some Orange County event space recently to hear a presentation from the man responsible for Olympic surfing, Mr. Fernando Aguerre, himself.

The industry blog Shop Eat Surf attended and let us read from Mr. Aguerre’s prepared comments.

“The ISA does not want a one night stand,” Fernando said. “…The $1.2 million you guys have donated to us in the last nine years is not enough.”

“We still need to convince the IOC that we need to stay,” he said. “Because, let’s face it. A one-night stand might be fun, but that’s not really want you want. You want a long, happy relationship with the Olympic movement.”

But let’s be honest. Is surfing really something the Olympic movement wants to take home and introduce to mama?


Surfing with the cocaine dusted nose? Buy here in America! Here in Australia! Here as an Audible!

Surfing with the never ending apocalypse?

I think the donated 1.2 million should maybe go into a fund for various laid off team managers instead. I think that would be more appropriate.

Fucking Olympics…

Paul Costa

Blood Feud: Kelly Slater accuses MMA fighter Paul Costa of juicing!

"If this guy ain’t juiced they shouldn’t bother testing at all.”

Did you know that Kelly Slater is into the fight game?

Kelly enjoys the pleasure of the charge, the unconditional surrender to the uncontrollable, the overwhelming energy, the banquet of blood and so forth.

And did you know that, as in surf, Kelly spends many hours in contemplation and discussion on Instagram, discussing this incredible sport?

“Didn’t Cung Lee get caught because he looked suspect in a photo after a fight?” Slater wrote. “Costa makes Yoel’s physique look almost attainable. If this guy ain’t juiced they shouldn’t bother testing at all.”

Recently, on the UFC’s Instagram account, and in front of almost ten million followers, Kelly accused the Brazilian middleweight Paul Costa, whose body is so fabulous it sends shivers down my spine, of using anabolic steroids or similar to achieve his perfection.

“Didn’t Cung Le get caught because he looked suspect in a photo after a fight?” Slater wrote. “Costa makes Yoel’s physique look almost attainable. If this guy ain’t juiced they shouldn’t bother testing at all.”

BACK & FORTH❗️ @BorrachinhaMMA wins an absolute classic. #UFC226

A post shared by ufc (@ufc) on

As reported by MMA Fighting, 

According to USADA’s official website, Costa was tested 19 times since joining the UFC in the beginning of 2017, and never failed a test for illegal substances.

“Kelly Slater talked too much, said stupid things,” Costa told MMA Fighting. “He doesn’t understand how the anti-doping system works in the UFC, he doesn’t know how USADA works, doesn’t understand the USADA policy of testing any fighter at any moment anywhere in the world, blood and urine. We do random tests all the time, so if someone says a UFC fighter is fighting on the juice, to me that someone is completely ignorant about MMA, UFC, antidoping and USADA.”

“It does bother me because people talk without knowing,” Costa said. “They judge me because I have a good physique, an excellent condition, and think I got this by cheating instead of hard work, diet, effort and sacrifice. I keep working really hard, so it bothers me because they diminish my work and effort. But I know where my results come from, so my conscience is clear.”

I think Kelly’s IG attack is an example of beautiful heroism.

Don’t you?

dane reynolds
Dane and a little of that sweet ol jazz.

Travis Ferré: “Fuck the pools! Dane’s got a new surf part!”

A simple five minutes of great California surfing set to very Shazamable tunes…

“People are having fun, jumping in the pool, and she’s out there looking at the moon.” Charles Bukowski, Women

Chas Smith hates Bukowski. Loathes him. I remember reading that somewhere. I happen to dig Buk. But I’m more of a Santa Anita man while Chas is on the infield at Del Mar’s opening day right this minute, very well-dressed, perfectly drunk and swimming through luxurious pools of irony looking like Oscar Wilde’s dream casting for the part of Lord Henry Wotton.

He is winning, I am losing.

And it is why I love him so and will likely hijack his buzz this evening and use it as conversation kindling. There is much to discuss, and we have a new favorite hang: the recently renovated Roxy somewhere south of the Camp Pendleton battlefield. We talk surf and words while the waitress with the tiny tattoos brings us drink. 

But Bukowski: I mention him today because Dane. That little quote above made me think about the surf landscape. It’s from a Buk book I was reading last night. Women. I am reading a second time because my girlfriend is in an all-female book club and they must have been double-dared to read it. I’m gonna go along for that ride.  

So last night, as I’m drunkenly trudging through Los Angeles barrios with Buk, fucking and fighting anything that moves, I found myself stuck on that line (anything about pools catches my eye these days). I underlined it. I thought about Dane. He wasn’t a wave pool dude. He’s a moon man. Then I woke up this morning and voila! A new Dane part!

Fuck the pools, the moon finally had something worth looking at.  

The new part is brought to you by Former and comes with some cool new t-shirts designed by Dane. The vid (and line of shirts) is called “Copacetic” and it is another artistic surf poem from the king of the anxiety generation — that crew of surfers aged 29-to-35 left straddling the millennial fence, torn and lost between releasing their edits via the Palm Desert outlet mall of modern surf media and the archaic but glorious days of DVD and VHS. Dane has learned to master the straddle. And sold a few tees along the way. 

The edit made me wanna get off my ass and go surf — which is much more than I can say about what happens when I open Instagram and watch the repeat production of wave pool rides and wipeouts. I’ve laid on my bed for hours and hours this sweaty summer watching Instagram shorts of team managers riding waves in pools and all I get is a headache and lots of sadness.

Let’s quickly review the surfing in Copacetic: Dane is great at riding waves. His aggression on a wave is so attractive. So much pent-up energy unleashed. He’s also so good at making surf vids. It’s how his mind works: it thinks in surf vid. And in this day of spoiled self-promoting golf-cart-driving sponsor groms, shark attack hysteria, WSL Facebook debacles and team manager wave pool edits, this simple, 5-minutes or so of great California surfing set to very Shazam-able tunes is the best bit of surf cinema we’ll probably get for some time. 

The edit made me wanna get off my ass and go surf — which is much more than I can say about what happens when I open Instagram and watch the repeat production of wave pool rides and wipeouts. I’ve laid on my bed for hours and hours this sweaty summer watching Instagram shorts of team managers riding waves in pools and all I get is a headache and lots of sadness. There is no jazz in the pool. But this morning things were different.

The horses were running and there was surf jazz by Dane! You all can have the pool, I’m going to the moon. 

Watch here! 

Explained: Facebook’s approach to live sport!

"Dumb? The dumbest."

I am not a good businessman (hello BeachGrit!) and am genuinely confused by the machinations of the corporate world. Like, I remember driving through downtown Los Angeles as a younger man, looking up at all the tall buildings and wondering what all those workers were doing. Thousands upon thousands of workers punching on their computers and reporting to various vice-presidents but what were the workers punching and why so many of them and how did anything get done?

My mind couldn’t, and still can’t, fathom organizational hierarchy charts etc. but over the years I’ve picked up some tenants that appear to make businesses hum and one of the most important seems to be obfuscation. Just blurring the heck out of basic truths. Spin etc.

Well, our World Surf League has done a wonderful job of a muddled messaging from its very inception (hello Herr Paul Speaker!) and continues to throw pointless smoke. The failed Facebook rollout is prime example and, again I’m not a businessman, but what if instead of stretching the truth (hello “concurrent viewing numbers!) the League just came clean and explained how/why it didn’t work in plain language to its most ardent fans?

Would a little straight talk not cheer you up?

Thankfully, there are wonderful people in similar fields and here we have the great friend to explain, in plain language, our future. And without further ado:

The team I work for were very early adopters of this technology and did a deal with Facebook and a streaming video company (Facebook does not have the capability to live stream multi cam broadcast) to deliver weekly content in early 2016.

What we have found from doing the stream for 3 years is that despite Facebook claiming they do not “quash” or “algo” live video content, they do exactly that by preventing the video from appearing in your news feed.

This means that your streams only go out to a fraction of your audience.

In our case, we might get 200 live views reaching a total of 8,000 viewers, similar ratios to what the WSL gets for events so tells me they are on the same set up. It is worth pointing out there is NO regional coding. This is great except that we have 200,000 likes, so the engagement is less than 10% of the customer base and the only way to increase this is to pay money to Facebook. When we remind them that we did a deal with them their claim is that the “natural” setting of live video cannot be altered without a specific boost campaign.

This means that any live stream, unless boosted after the fact, (which isn’t strictly live event anymore) only ever goes out to a fraction of your engaged audience. So what the WSL have done is sign up to a service which actively prevents its customers from viewing the product.

Dumb? The dumbest. And they are only finding this out now because the numbers are way lower than what they would have predicted.

Choo-choo! Make way for the straight talk express!