The NY Times: “When a surfer lands a skateboard trick, who gets to name it?

Naming debate gets extensively reported by famous bourgeoise media house!

Don’t you love a little of what a small-town boy might call legitimacy?

Earlier today, The NY Times, that elitist and bourgeoise, but generally above-board, digital-and-print newspaper, ran a comprehensive story on the debate surrounding the naming of Albee Layer’s backside alley-oop 540.

Called, “When a surfer lands a skateboard trick, who gets to name it?” reporter Matt Ruby gets into it with Todd Richards (whose evangelising on the subject sold me good, read that here), Albee, Tony Hawke, Kelly Slater and so on.


Slater’s frustration with the situation is palpable. “We’ve got snowboarders trying to tell us how to name surf maneuvers,” he said. “I don’t know a single surfer trying to do the opposite and name snowboard maneuvers. We should all know enough to know we should stay in our lane.”

“It’s more about progressing and sticking things cleanly in sections that make sense for those maneuvers. If you force something and it looks bad it doesn’t really matter how much you rotated unless it’s a full 180+ more than anything that has been landed.” — Kelly Slater, on the importance of calculating degrees of rotation.

“The cultures are different and surfers might not know what skaters have called something or maybe each sport wants ownership on some level of their respective maneuvers. Also, in surfing something we all agree is done on the forehand can be regarded as a backhand maneuver in skate or snow because they have a stagnant surface.” — Kelly Slater on the importance of parity between sports.

In the End, Who Gets to Decide?

It’s up to them, and for sure because they’re speaking to their tribe that’s gonna translate better and then you know as skateboarders we just kind of sit back and snicker … it’s kind of like how snowboarding they coined the term frontside indy which doesn’t exist in skateboarding and it’s sort of a taboo to say but I understand how that came to be.” — Tony Hawk on the who gets to decide in the end.

“Surfers are going to look ridiculous calling something that has been done in a different sport by a different name,” Richards said. “It is about paying respect to the people who came first and pioneered the tricks. They killed themselves to put their names on tricks.”

Read it all here.

History: Were the vikings our surfing founding fathers/mothers?

Ancient proto-Polynesians own the narrative but what if...

Oh my, oh boy, oh my. I am half lounging in a very fine bed right now because it is ten o’clock at night though the sun has not yet set and won’t for a few short hours. Then it will rise a few short hours after that because I am in Copenhagen.


I have never been here before but have been wildly fascinated since youthful days spent reading Søren Kierkegaard and imaging.

Søren Kierkegaard!

All of his philosophy is the absolute best, or at least all his philosophy that my addled brain can understand. Like either/or.

Either/Or! (buy here!)

And I have given two book book readings lately in promotion of Cocaine + Surfing (buy here in Australia! Here on Audible! Here in America!) where a few questions have been asked on the origins of surfing and my claim that it was Peru.

“But what if…” they say “…but what if the Portuguese explorers were riding waves too?”

And I tell them that those ancient Peruvians pre-date European expansionism. “But but but… what about the vikings?”

It would be an easy search, considering today’s technology, to know if the ancient Peruvians predate these proud vikings but I have never done it so don’t.

I would imagine the ancient Peruvians predate everyone but Mesopotamians but, again, what do I know? And I am jet-lagged.


I went swimming tonight in that salty Danish brine at eight o’clock at night and there were no waves but the water was perfect and so was the warm wind.

Do surfers actually need waves?

Does history even matter?

Just kidding, Matt Warsahw! I’m super jet-lagged!

Brett Simpson
Unbelievably magical!

Indecent proposal: Buy two hours with Brett Simpson for $US348!

Fairytales do come true!

Have you ever dreamed of inhaling the toxins of a two-time champion of the US Open? Brett Simpson, who is thirty-three years old and has skin pigmentation consistent with rust, is offering personal coaching, and the use of surfboard as well as his home beach (Huntington), for $US348.

Brett isn’t your standard pro surfer, of course. His cameos dazzle, his opinions shine. Brett was a star of Peter King’s once-great #tournotes (Watch “Brett Simpson is the Unicorn of  Lowers” here), helped Filipe tutor Lake Peterson in the art of the 540 and when Filipe lost in an interference at the US Open last year he told the WSL to “change that fucking 1970 rulebook.”

(Read here)

Anyway, Airbnb experiences/WSL etc are offering Brett to you, for two hours.

Here’s the spiel.

Hi, I’m Brett Simpson! I am a consecutive 2X Champion of the US Open of Surfing, California’s most prestigious surfing event, held at the Huntington Beach Pier. I spent 6 years competing at the world elite level, traveling across the globe for competitions. Though I am still competing, I am spending more time closer to home, giving back to the sport I love by coaching and bringing up the next generation.

What we’ll do
Meet at Hurley’s marquee store in Pacific City mall. Check out the vast selection of Away Co boards on site to book.. Find the right length board for your size and skill level. We will assess the conditions and get a overview of all the local breaks in HB. Learn insider tips about the best Huntington Beach has to offer. We’ll surf for 1 hour with in-water coaching. I’ll talk to you about techniques to help progress your surfing such as wave choice, positioning, and tips on maneuvers. After surfing, we’ll have a post-session coaching at Hurley Pac City. This includes footage analysis.. You’ll leave ready to take your surfing to the next level!

What I’ll provide


Who can come

Guests ages 10 and up can attend.

Where we’ll be
HB Surf City – lots of great waves, my favorite place in the world Hurley Pacific City – my sponsor’s marquee store, lots of fun stuff HB Pier – where we will catch some fun waves

Make your booking here. 

Hoo-eee! Empty boat Steals Show at Nias!

"Some wild seas I tell you," says big-wave photographer Daniel Russo. 

Ain’t it just the sweetest thing when a swell that’s been telegraphed for two weeks arrives and some very good carnage ensues?

Earlier today, a south swell hitting the island of Nias, home to the famous right etc, pulled the anchor and snapped the rope of a local boat sending it deep into the famous lineup.

“The owner had it anchored for two weeks in the keyhole area leading up to the swells,” says the Hawaiian photographer, Daniel Russo, famous for his wide-angle shots in dramatic waves. “There was no one on it and it drifted straight into the impact zone. (The photographer) Chris Bryan was screaming his little lungs out, ‘Best clip of my life!’

“Some wild seas I tell you,” says Russo.

Here, various angles.


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!