Chicago Executive Finds “Lazy man’s” Surf Dream in Wisconsin!

Our most tenuous cut-and-paste story yet!

What a wretched thing it would be to find oneself far from the beach, chained to work, our only respite coming from that queer thing we call imagination.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran a comprehensive story about a Chicago real estate executive Marc Lifshin who wanted the surf buzz so he bought himself a wake boat and who now spends three days a week on “lazy man’s ocean surfing.”

Mr. Lifshin is a Chicago-based managing partner of Core Spaces, a real-estate company focused on housing for college students. He spent childhood summers on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin, where he now owns a second home. He bought a wakesurf-specific boat that has an inboard motor with the propeller tucked away from the surfer. Onboard mechanisms pump water into ballast tanks that weigh down the boat and augment the wake. This creates a small wave, like a surfer would ride in the ocean.

Mr. Lifshin likens wakesurfing to a “lazy man’s ocean surfing,” since you don’t have to paddle or pop up on the board. A surfer starts in the water with his heels on the board and uses a tow rope to get up and onto the board. The surfer releases the rope once into the wave. “Not being attached to a rope and board takes away a lot injury potential,” he says. “The whip effect of the rope can leave you with a concussion, even with a helmet on.”

Mr. Lifshin surfs in Vuori board shorts ($68). He wears a Hurley wetsuit in cooler months ($210). His Ronix life jacket cost $150. He owns a Hyperlite Hi-Fi wakesurf board ($700) and a Ronix Koal Thruster Technora wakesurf board ($700). Wakesurf-specific boats sell for $50,000 to $180,000. A six-pack of two-on-one training sessions at Strive Village costs $65 a session. CorePower Yoga charges $26 per drop-in class. Mr. Lifshin and a friend pay Mr. Flegel $1,000 for private lessons, plus his airfare.

Mr. Lifshin loves surfing to music. “We’re on the water as early as 5:30 a.m., so we at least wait until 7 a.m. to start the tunes,” he says. Favorite artists include Kygo, Beastie Boys and the Gaslight Anthem.

It’s a story ripe for parody, of course.

Man with too much money; adult learner kook who buys lessons for a thousand buck from a stud he flies in; middle-aged man flailing behind a boat to (You Gotta) Fight for your Right (to Party), and so on.

But if you ever found yourself in the mid-west, raking leaves but no surf, wouldn’t you do the same thing?

Read here. 

Watch: Seth Moniz’ Insane Backside Jump at the US Open. “That was some superhero stuff right there!”

Hawaiian redefines possibilities at two-foot Huntington Beach…

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. And Seth Moniz, whose name has been in lights since his back-flip at Waco in May, just got everyone harder than honeymoon dick with a backside jump in his round five heat at HB.

Hawaiian-born Seth, the twenty-year-old son of the photogenic former pro Tony Moniz, took his heat with Evan Geiselman into the cosmos with a backside jump that looked like a kiteboarder getting hung in the wind.

“He’s on! He’s on! He’s on!” said the commentator Peter Mel.

“That was… that was some superhero stuff right there,” said Strider Wasilewski.

“It was…that…inverted. I don’t know…” said the pro-in-booth Dion Atkinson, trailing off.

“That’s a ten in my book and if they don’t give him one they can throw ’em out of the judging booth because this was ridiculous,” said Strider. “He was superman!”

The wave scored a 9.87. Two judges threw tens. Two scored it a 9:80 and one unimpressed son of a bitch gave it a nine-and-a-half.

Watch here (it comes in around the 1:24:24)



"It's phenomenal," says seven-time champ (still a record) Layne Beachley. | Photo: Surfing Australia

Easy-to-love: Australia’s $10-million “Gold Medal Factory!”

Injection of government millions guarantees Australia surf gold in Tokyo!

Whatever you think of bureaucracies like Surfing Australia (and I’m looking square at you Maurice Cole), you gotta hand it to ’em: they sure do know how to squeeze shekels out of every tier of government.

Last week, Surfing Australia unveiled the seven-million dollar renovation of its pre-existing facility at Casuarina, half-an-hour or so from Byron Bay. The state government gifted three mill, the federal government two-and-a-half mill and Surfing Australia covered the final five hundred gees.

The joint has more foam pits, trampolines, climbing walls, skate ramps and so on than before, as well as underground parking, a boardroom, 100-seat auditorium etc.

As reported by tabloid The Sunday Telegraph,

And here it is: Australian surfing’s first-ever factory for Olympic gold medals. 

The 4000 square metre, state-of-the-art centre for high performance will be used to coach Australia’s current world champions including Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright.

Every day the new home of surfing excellence will be used to motivate the next wave of rookies towards the sport’s Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo games.

“We’re one step ahead of the rest of the surfing world, because I don’t know of any other surfing nation with a facility like this,’’ Mark Occhilupo, the 1999 world champion, said.

“If they are, they’re doing it in secret.’’

Australia’s past and present world champions including Joel Parkinson, Pam Burridge, Tom Carroll, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, Wendy Botha, Phyllis O’Donnell, Pauline Menczer, Beachley and Occhilupo gathered on Friday.

“This is incredible – the timing of this centre is perfect, with the coaches we have at Surfing Australia, I can’t see why we won’t win an Olympic gold medal,’’ Parkinson said. “To walk in this building and see an Australian Olympic gold medal would be an amazing feat.’’

And yet, despite the rivers of gold, there is sugar in the wound.

As the shaper Maurice Cole pointed out in one of his two opinion pieces on the subject (Read: “Bureaucracy killing Australian surfing!” and Why (the fuck) is Australia’s Olympic squad training at Surf Ranch?”)

It’s a system that’s broken.

It’s not producing anything except salaries for the people at the top. They’re more interested in having shitty contests every weekend in every part of Australia.

But when do kids learn to surf? To really surf?

Meanwhile, the French kids, the Hawaiian kids, they’re out there charging. Killian Guerin just surfed Waimea. He’s fourteen. These kids can all surf top-to-bottom barrels no matter where. By the time they get to the WQS they’re ready to graduate to the WCT.

Surfing Australia, I feel, is a mediocre bureaucracy that produces mediocrity. We have some of the best free surfers in the world, Ando, Creed, Noa and we have that in bucketloads, but for the competitive kid, all they get prepared for is years and years on the QS.

Right now is the lowest Australian competitive surfing has ever been and the Olympics are coming up. God knows how we’ll go. Normally, I’d say Australia is odds-on for a medal but I fucking doubt it. We don’t have the depth of surfers. But we have all the infrastructure, all the academies, the six-million-dollar high-performance centre, all the bureaucracies.

Why has Brazil produced all these amazing, hungry surfers? Not because they have more talent. They do a few local contests, do the ISA, world pro juniors then they’re straight onto the WQS. We dick around for another two years, hold onto ‘em until they’re twenty. Meanwhile, teenage Brazilians are spending their winters in Hawaii.


I don’t think you can buy enough curved-screen televisions and inflatable bags and climbing walls. I mean, look at the best surfers in the world: Dane Reynolds, John John Florence, Filipe Toledo. They’re all products of coaching, yes?


Celebrities like Orlando Bloom (pictured) live the SUP life.
Celebrities like Orlando Bloom (pictured) live the SUP life.

Revealed: SUP participation smashes surfing!

The craze sweeps the world!

And do you think when billionaire Dirk Ziff, who received much of his wealth from a publishing magnate father, decided to buy professional surfing that his investment advisors said, “Yes. Growth industry. Buy low, sell high.” Or do you think they said, “Hold on, Mr. Ziff. You enjoy stand-up paddleboarding like many other fabulously fit middle-aged men. Should we not invest there instead?”

Investment advisors are usually wise this way, cutting through passions and relying on hard data to make decisions. Mr. Ziff might have done well to heed their advice as I was forwarded a top secret document today from a helpful whistleblower. It details participation in various outdoor activities, from hunting to rafting to surfing to SUPing and shall we look together?

Well hmmmm. There appears to be around 2,000,000 surfers in the world, give or take, and the numbers remain relatively static. SUP, on the other hand, was introduced to the world in 2010 and boasted an initial 1,000,000 participants. That number more than doubled four short years later, shooting SUP enthusiasts ahead of traditional surfers.

The favorite other activity of The Inertia editorial board (besides being involuntarily celibate) continued unabated growth at a clip of 60% while surfing, again, has remained relatively static. Today, more than half a million people prefer the standup to the surf.

Does this surprise you? Do you think there is a SUP bubble that will soon burst? Do you think Dirk Ziff is angrily pacing his office floor yelling invectives at employees about “this fucking World Shit League!”

Or are these numbers damned lies?

Day 4, US Open: “Adriano (Metaphorically) Punches Kolohe in the Mouth for Wearing White Wetsuit!

And Strider gets confused!

An ever-so-slight uptick in the surf was noticeable in propelling day four of the US Open through round three and into round four.

That extra trace of swell practically pushed into the overhead range for most of the field in heat one. De Souza, Kobayashi, and Asing couldn’t help but make the surf look bigger than it was while Yago Dora got looser than the lot of ‘em for 12 points in what remained waist high surf.

Post-heat, Yago prophetically quipped that “I hope the waves will get a little better, but I don’t think they will.”

Adriano advanced second as Kobayashi predictably got sent packing after a busy twelve-wave effort. Sans jerseys, it woulda been a tall order to differentiate between de Souza, Asing, and Kobayashi, the three micro regular-footers veritably indistinguishable in every way other than their sticker jobs. And speaking of sticker jobs…

Wonder-boy Peterson Crisanto flashed a naked nose at the world after blasting an 8.3 that bested half the day’s heat totals. Upon banking the day’s high wave and second-highest heat total (14.40), Crisanto clarified that he’s basically sponsored by the good homies Filipe — who’s spotting him a board and letting him crash at his pad — and Pupo, who handily won heat six. Biggest shocker was hearing Crisanto’s suave baritone-bordering-on-bass voice in the post-heat, though. Not a very big guy, but the pipes and air style would lead you to believe otherwise. Thanks to that classic tail-high nosepick reverse that broke the QS criteria ten years ago, Jadson Andre — and the best hairline in pro surfing — took second.

And you know who else took second…

Italo and MRod, surprisingly. Both dudes were flying high, but ten-year QS vet Tanner Hendrickson checked Italo in Heat seven with the day’s high total (14.50) while Cooper Chapman bested Rodrigues, Matt Banting, and Ethan Ewing in heat nine. In a heat that saw first and last divided by .87, Banting and Ewing were sent packing after several minutes of Strider confusedly using the two guys’ names interchangeably and seemed to forget if and when they were ever on the CT. Strider did however remind viewers that he won the 1984 under-12 U.S. championship.

Speaking of overscored backside waves and forgettable guys who used to be on tour, Dion Atkinson took heat four with a coupla backside snaps. He later commented that “I could surf my backhand all day, I don’t think I’ll fall off anytime soon.” Funny, because after some of the airshow heats yesterday I contemplated putting this in the day three writeup: “Given the current potential for almost any heat to turn into an airshow, it’s unthinkable that a perma-grounded rail surfer could advance beyond the early rounds of a QS10000, much less ever make it onto the world tour.”

And then today Atkinson advanced to round four firmly stuck to his board. He also might realistically requalify, showing that either I’m a fucking moron or there’s still something amiss about the judging system. Elsewhere in the world of questions of “why the fuck…”

Why the fuck can’t a Peruvian surfer qualify for the Men’s CT? They got the waves, they got the history, and they got guys in the QS10000 draws, but Peru just can’t get a dude on tour in spite of their national love affair with second-rate ISA team events. Limeño Lucca Mesinas, who won the QS1000 Acapulco and Barbados comps, got served by Kolohe and Griffin in round three, further postponing the Peruvian national fantasy of men’s CT qualification.

As for the San Clemente boys, both would take second in round four, Kolohe advancing behind Adriano, who set out to metaphorically punch Andino in the mouth for wearing a white wetsuit. We all know that the last dude to really get away with wearing a white wettie had 11 world titles… Kolohe? He has one world title less than Adriano. Colapinto also advanced to round five behind Reef Heazlewood. And honestly, that’s the real storyline of the day…

Nineteen-year-old Reef Heazlewood went from teenage wildcard to round 5, besting current CT competitors Colapinto and Dora in Round 4. New kid’s on fire and he gets a chance to knock off Andino at some point tomorrow.

Check back, cuz when there’s a dead horse and a man has a stick, there’s a moral obligation.