Italo Ferreira
Italo was in typical Italian Ferrari form, catching fifteen waves and dominating a heat whose final tallies made it look closer than it was. | Photo: WSL/Rowland

Day 2, US Open: “Italo is the best and most anti-depressive surfer!”

Comes in mid-heat and blows kisses to adoring followers or shit-talking haters…

Another day, another dollar, another chance to huck away a workday with the side screen open. The U.S. Open marched onward on my desk in real time on Tuesday, providing exactly four hours of Round Two heats in the same dismal surf that every other West Coast denizen found at their doorstep.

But if opening day at HB is always an existential crisis of sorts, day two embraced the dueling Kierkegaardian concepts of the absurd and authenticity (nevermind Chas’s present traipsing about with the Danes) to put on the best parking lot Formula One derby in surf (great visual, @Walter Pepekay)

    1. No leash, no problem. The Brazzas were all about riding dirty on Tuesday, led by the likes of Italo, Jadson and an on-fire Peterson Crisanto, each of whom advanced with ease (more on them shortly). The timeless adage goes that surfing without a leash is like sex without a condom. Ya hear it from celibate old misanthropes, ya hear it from horny groms who haven’t ever verifiably laid pipe, and ya absolutely never hear it from female surfers. But the old proverb means one thing: it feels good to eliminate drag but there’s the risk of letting your rocket ship freefall into the danger zone. Of the guys competing sans leash, most of ‘em lost their boards at some point and had to chase them down, just like us commoners. In one instance, this showed the whole wide world that…
    2. Italo is the most and best Anti-Depressive. Dude rocked a Neymaresque bleach-blonde look and manicured his facial hair into a throwback pattern rife with ‘80s cocaine flair. After taking a commanding lead, he lost his board into the shorebreak, only to sprint after it and spend the next two minutes blowing kisses to adoring followers or shit-talking haters — it wasn’t clear which —up on the pier. He was in typical Italian Ferrari form, catching fifteen waves and dominating a heat whose final tallies made it look closer than it was. The ensuing post-heat interview found the commentators waxing nostalgic and philosophical when…
    3. Peter Mel repeatedly referenced Italo’s locks as “frosted tips” and then tsk-tsked the poor guy for not knowing what “frosted tips” are. Now, since 1993 skate fashion is long gone, I’m pretty sure that frosted tips imply using your ding-a-ling to do something dirty with ice cream or a birthday cake, not what you term a $500 haircut inspired by La Liga’s top South American talent. Mel’s likely correct assumption that Italo didn’t understand the reference to his bleached locks sent old Petey down a rabbit hole, lamenting his monolingualism and confessing that he never tried to learn another language during his career. Honeysuckle Turpel placated ol’ Pete by telling him it’s never too late to start learning as the awkward exchange dragged on and on without a wave in sight.
    4. Of Mice and Men. HB is typical midget madness. Hiroto Ohara. Keanu Asing. Kei Kobayashi. Adriano de Souza. Little dudes don’t bat an eyelash at little waves and you just expect ‘em to keep the crazy legs going with ease. That’s why it was refreshing to see Zeke Lau — the only current AFL or NFL prospect in pro surf — hammer a 7-something for a left-then-right that was apparently scored on the 1989 Hang Loose pro criteria for distance traveled. Fellow big boys Joan Duru and Mihimana Braye handily advanced in their heats, Duru hitting the high mark for the day with a 15.83. And while I’m all about the fellow tall-guy steez and struggle, Lau’s 7.33 for four safe turns and Duru’s 8.00 for two mortal backside reos were solidly overcooked. Both guys won and won big, but dem wasn’t the scores.
    5. Speaking of scores, in his heat with Lau, Noe Mar McGonagle did the unthinkable and logged a perfect score. A zero. Yup. 0.00. Not a tenth of a point. Didn’t take off on a wave. Let’s get Warshaw in here to enlighten us, but methinks this is both uncommon and also pretty fuckin’ hard to do, unless you’re imitating 2015 Filipe in Polynesia.
    6. Speaking of Filipe… Everybody was on about how Filipe’s not here and how’s gifting 10000 QS points to the competition like a generous overlord showering grain on the peasants. While overstated, it was reminiscent of the way people talked about Kelly for missing a comp or skipping a heat a decade or two back. Filipe’s certainly an otherworldy talent in the small stuff and this line of commentary shows that 1. Toledo’s progressive routine is so sharp that he’s worthy of getting big gun hype like the all-time greats and 2. Even the people employed to speak publicly by the WSL aren’t using the world title as the measuring stick for raw shit-hot ability and entertainment value. Wildcard implication is that shit is rigged and Filipe’s already been assured the trophy at year’s end. I kinda hope so if he games up in Tahiti.
    7. If anybody looked as sharp as Filipe, it was Peterson Crisanto in Heat 15. Check out the huge layback for a 7.00 (21:22 heat clock) and the nutso tail-high slob air reverse that didn’t even make it into his scoreline [3:00ish on heat clock]. Kid even chucked a big shove-it grab [15:20 on heat clock] with every intention of riding away for a score. If anybody brought some sass and unpredictability to the grovel, it was Crisanto, who I’d imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more of later this week.

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS Round 2 Results:
Heat 9: Deivid Silva (BRA) 14.23, Victor Bernardo (BRA) 10.20, Joh Azuchi (JPN) 10.04, Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.60
Heat 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.50, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 9.27, Mitch Crews (AUS) 3.50, Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) 0.00
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.66, Cam Richards (USA) 8.66, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 7.77, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 4.90
Heat 12: Bino Lopes (BRA) 14.40, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 11.43, Finn McGill (HAW) 11.27, Luel Felipe (BRA) 9.16
Heat 13: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.94, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 13.10, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 12.40, Flavio Nakagima (JPN) 10.94
Heat 14: Joan Duru (FRA) 15.83, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.80, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 11.57, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.03
Heat 15: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 15.77, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 10.90, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.30, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 8.23
Heat 16: Mihimana Braye (PYF) 14.13, Charly Martin (FRA) 11.83, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.03, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 10.20

Upcoming Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 17: Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Seth Moniz (HAW), Soli Bailey (AUS), Cody Young (HAW)
Heat 18: Connor O’Leary (AUS), Jack Freestone (AUS), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 19: Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Ethan Ewing (AUS), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 20: Conner Coffin (USA), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Cooper Chapman (AUS), Parker Coffin (USA)
Heat 21: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Nat Young (USA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP), TImothee Bisso (FRA)
Heat 22: Tomas Hermes (BRA), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Ian Crane (USA), Marcos Correa (BRA)
Heat 23: Michael February (ZAF), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Benji Brand (HAW), Hizunome Bettero (BRA)
Heat 24: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Evan Geiselman (USA), Davey Cathels (AUS), Kyuss King (AUS)

Victory: World Surf League achieves gender equality!

No more problems ever again!

Oh what a sticky wicket the World Surf League found itself in just a month ago. Do you recall? When the male winner of a South African professional surfing contest earned exactly twice as much as his female counterpart and for the same work? It was an innocent mistake, like they always are (very complicated math equations to blame), but thrust the WSL into the gender equality spotlight.

Some brave souls were quick to reach for the pitchfork and attempt to organize a march on the WSL’s Santa Monica office in order to rectify. Though this never happened it does seem that the the powers that be understood that some change needed to be made. That it is rarely a fine look to trot out men holding large checks and large numbers next to women holding large checks and small numbers. But what?


Well, it appears that a decision has been reached. A very fine BeachGrit reader noticed at the just wrapped Paul Mitchell Pro in Oceanside, California (billed as the largest female surf event in the world) that the women were simply called men.

It is a very progressive solution, one that I think might be replicated across all sport and maybe, if we are lucky, across all society.

Everyone is now a man!

No more pesky large check problems. No more problems of any kind and if all goes to plan the World Surf League’s contributions to women’s rights will be celebrated in museums around the genderless world.



The World Surf League knows that money never sleeps!
The World Surf League knows that money never sleeps!

Disaster: The North Shore’s new permit process!

Not good for the events or the community!

Last year, the World Surf League’s newly appointed CEO Sophie Goldschmidt flew to Honolulu at the last minute in order to petition the city government. The grand hope was a shifted Championship Tour season which would begin at the iconic Pipeline instead of ending at the iconic Pipeline. The reason? Officially to launch with much excitement but really, maybe, to de-emphasize Pipeline’s importance and pave the way for an eventual Surf Ranch finale.

Anyhow, I would imagine Sophie sitting there in her business class Hawaiian Airlines seat, sipping a green tea with mint, thinking to herself, “What a grand adventure I’m on.”

Then she landed and things went to hell. The city government rejected the WSL’s proposal and fighting and crying and much posturing combined with gnashing of teeth.

Well, things are still moving and yesterday a new plan was announced. Was everyone very happy? Let’s see!

A revamped North Shore surf calendar that now runs on a three-year cycle rather than a one-year cycle has been decried by some North Shore surf meet organizers. Some North Shore surf meet organizers and supporters are unhappy with new rules that went into effect Monday for the granting of permits for North Shore events. Key to the new rules is a revamped North Shore surf calendar that now runs on a three-year cycle rather than the old one-year cycle.

The current calendar schedule has been slotted through Aug. 31, 2019, and those who want to hold surf meets between Sept. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2021, will need to submit applications by Sept. 28 this year. Another major change is that applicants for permits will no longer have an appeal process. Mahina Chillingworth, who organizes Da Hui Backdoor Shootout for Hui o He‘e Nalu, said both the new three-year cycle and elimination of an appeal process aren’t good for her event or others in the community. “It doesn’t give an applicant who was denied a permit due process to question and go through an appeal process to fight for their permit and to prove the city wrong,” Chillingworth said.

The three year cycle and zero appeal does seem custom made for the very strong (read fascist) arm of the World Surf League.

And do you think Ms. Goldschmidt is very pleased? Do you think she’s sipping an English breakfast with milk nodding subtly?

Cap'n Timmy in wheelhouse of beached boat.

Meet: the Man Whose Boat Got Clobbered at Nias! “I cried but then I smiled too because no one got hurt!”

Skipper Timotius Wau makes public apology for losing his boat at Nias in biggest swell in twenty years…

How about last week’s swell at Nias that yielded, apart from Nathan Florence’s homicidal tube, vision of a local boat owner’s vessel being thrown to the lions. 

In a lesser man it might’ve provoked a suicidal gloom, a self-pity, a hatred for the gods and a bitterness for fate.

Its owner, Timotius Wau, who makes his living with a surf camp and surf charters, was anything but discouraged by the event. In a short piece-to-camera he made for Facebook a couple of days ago, he politely introduces himself and explains how his pretty little boat happened to end up in the line-up on the biggest day in twenty years.

Timmy was away on his biggest charter boat, the Ono Niha, when he got a call from his wife telling him his other vessel, “got smashed by the swell in front of our house!”

“I apologise to all the surfers in the lineup that time, I’m very happy, very glad no one get hurt. If someone got hurt with the boat it’s gonna be very, very sad. A lot of my guys, a lot of my friends who stay with me, they tried to save the boat and push it away from the waves, but it didn’t work out because the sets coming. They get smashed and it’s not gonna be fun.”

Compelling viewing.

Which of these two gorgeous surfing champions transitioned from man to woman and then back again? A gender waterfall.

Chas Smith: “How I’m Going to Raise My Gender Neutral Surf Kid!”

What surf lessons would you teach your beautiful gender neutral child?

Good morning from Tisvelde, Denmark and oh hell. Oh damn. I just spoiled my secret beach town and now everyone is going to come and it will be wrecked like Skeleton Bay.

Well, we have bigger mackerel to fry anyhow.

You know that there has been much discussion in both the real world and the surf world about gender. Sexism, misogyny, pay discrepancies etc. These are radically shifting times and very important but in our surf world a certain segment has been left entirely out of the discussion.

The gender neutral. 

And how should these young thems navigate?

How should them move through the surf and the surf shop and the surf trip?

These are the lessons I would impart to my own imaginary gender neutral child.

  1. Surf alone: There are generally more males in the water than females and they are generally rude though females are also generally rude so it is best to ply your craft away from others. More pleasure will come in the solitude.
  2. Unless attractive: the lineup is a great place to flirt and be flirted with. Lulls between sets etc. provide ample time to start little heart fires and the world will be your oyster. 
  3. Kook is beautifully neutral itself. Neither male nor female. He’s a kook, she’s a kook, they’s a kook. Celebrate. 
  4. The fins of the surfboard point toward the tail, not toward the nose (even though this seems overly binary). These can be confusing waters to wade but help is always close. 
  5. Rip Curl’s male clothing offering seems made for aggressive lesbians by egalitarian North Koreans so may be the best fit, though experiment with all surfwear brands. 
  6. Ride asymmetrical surfboards
  7. Stay away from Venice-adjacent late at night. Twin surf websites The Inertia and Stab both employ many incels and they will not be kind nor sympathetic. 
  8. Drink rosé
  9. Enjoy the delicate pairing of Martin Potter and Joe Turpel who, together, form a perfectly gender neutral soul. 
  10. If able, drive a Tesla with a Tesla/…Lost surfboard strapped to the roof. 

There are many more but what would you gift to your beautiful gender neutral child?

What lessons for surf?