Witch Hunt: San Diego congressman busted for trying to save the surf industry!

These are dark days.

BeachGrit is fastidiously apolitical. Who needs more knee-jerk leftism or dark incel-flavored misogyny? I mean, besides the staffs of Venice-adjacent’s own The Inertia and Stab? Not you, that’s for sure, and it is both why I love you so and how I trust you to understand the following story in its true context.

Very quickly, it was revealed today that Duncan Hunter, a Republican congressman representing San Diego, was indicted for using campaign funds for family personal expenses. And let us turn to the Failing New York Magazine for more.

One of the first two congressmen to endorse Donald Trump for president was Chris Collins of New York, who recently ended his reelection campaign after being indicted on insider-trading charges. The other was California’s Duncan Hunter, who was today indicted along with his wife for using hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds for personal use. This really hasn’t been a good day for the president.

The indictment wasn’t a total surprise: Hunter has been under investigation by the Justice Department for misuse of campaign funds for more than two years. But the actual indictment shows malfeasance at an epic level, as CNN reports:

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in unusual charges on Hunter’s campaign credit card had come under scrutiny, including among other things, an Italian vacation, dental work, purchases at a surf shop, and huge tabs at bars in restaurants in the San Diego and Washington, DC, areas. Among the most mocked charges was airfare for a pet rabbit to fly with the family, which an aide said was mistakenly charged to the wrong credit card.

So, the only thing I’m seeing here, and believe the only thing you’re seeing as well is, “…purchases at a surf shop…”

The man could have gone anywhere for his surf needs, let’s be honest. He could have gone to Amazon or Amazon or even Amazon Prime. But he did not. He went to a surf shop thereby infusing our industry with much needed cash.

I seriously can’t believe the hypocrisy. W bails out the banks to the tune of 7 trillion dollars and Obummer adds billions more through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act but one brave man tries to save the surf industry and he is put on a rail?

These are dark days. Dark dark days.




I tell you what, the second I run for office I am going to spend every last campaign dollar at Hansen’s in Encinitas.

Shop here!

Crazy: Fisherman stabs man’s surfboard!

Man charged with assault with a dealing weapon (blade!), damage to personal property (board!)…

Wavepools ain’t real. Life, boys and girls…is raw. 

Or at least it is when you surf around Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.

Last week, a confrontation between a pier fisherman and a surfer nearly turned deadly.

Take a read from Lumina News:

“A surfboard was all that got in between the knife of an angry fisherman and the surfer he believed had cut his line, as Wrightsville Beach police charged Jeffrey Brian Caithness, 35, with assault with a deadly weapon, damage to personal property and other offenses after a Friday, August 3 confrontation near the Crystal Pier.

The accused fisherman in happier days.
The accused fisherman in happier days.

Shortly after 3 p.m., Caithness began arguing with a surfer who was paddling north around Crystal Pier, who he said was too close to the fishing lines being cast from the end of the pier on the Wrightsville Beach south end. At one point, a fisherman threw a line that wrapped around the leash of the 30-year-old surfer, as the surfer and Caithness continued to exchange words, Wrightsville Beach police said.

Once the surfer paddled to shore, Caithness came down from the pier and continued arguing with the surfer before producing a knife and then twice stabbing the board the surfer was holding between his arm and his body. Wrightsville Beach Police Captain. J. Bishop said that while it appeared that Caithness intentionally stabbed the surfer’s board, it wasn’t clear if the fisherman was trying to stab the surfer.

Caithness was arrested and taken to the New Hanover County jail, where he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, damage to personal property, intoxicated and disruptive behavior, communicating threats and resisting an officer.

Police said that Caithness had non-extraditable warrants in Florida and Pennsylvania.”

The surfer remains anonymous, no doubt a bit shaken, so we turned to Wrightsville local and Surf City Surf Shop owner Mike Barden.

BeachGrit: Mike, is surfing next to the pier a go-to spot? Do you have to paddle out next to the pier?

Yes because of the sand trapping affect the pier has on our local break. Both of our piers create mini sand points to their North and South.

What do you think about what happened? Screwed up?

I have surfed next to the piers my whole live (my home break is the North side of Mercers pier, the pier on the opposite end of the beach from where this altercation happened), and have seen this issue arise more than one time. The regulations are in place to protect the pier goers as they are the ones who spend the dollars to cast the line and it is on our towns laws and ordinance that surfing is not allowed inside a posted amount of space adjacent to the piers, for which tickets are written daily at both locations. From secondhand information, there were words between the surfer because he was inside the fishing zone close enough to tangle with the fisherman, hence the altercation.

Is this typical of Wrightsville beach? Do fishermen lose their minds regularly?

I have seen plenty of heated arguments. The issues in my opinion arise when surfers toe the line during the high-volume fishing months pushing closer and closer to the better end of the sandbank forming just off of the pilings. The bottom line is, the law states you can’t surf next to the pier. Signs are posted and most surfers are respectful staying clear. Do I think this kid should have been attacked, of course not, but the law is not in the surfers’ favor.

Seen it before?

Too many to recant taking into consideration I have been surfing next to a pier for the last 34 years. With that said, I know my boundaries more than the average surfer and have never personally had a run in.

Still, would you say that navigating the fishing lines a hassle?

The best practice is to stay clear as I’m a fisherman as well and know the sting of the hook.

This would not have happened at Lemoore.


How to: Achieve the perfect “beach vibes” body!

The Surf Ranch Pro is almost here! Are you ready?

There’s less than a month to go before the big surf contest at Surf Ranch. Are you ready for the challenge? A trip to the Surf Ranch is not a journey for the weak. You will need to prepare carefully.

Here at Beachgrit we’re here to help. We want to make sure you don’t end up passed out from heat exhaustion and too much tequila — at least not until the surfing is over. After that, well, it’s up to you. We aren’t here to tell you how to live. But we can make sure your friends don’t leave you behind as you embark on your quest for endless beach vibes* fun at the Surf Ranch.

Here are four easy exercises to help you prepare for the big event.

1. Go the distance.
The pool at the Surf Ranch is 700 meters long. You can expect to walk that distance multiple times throughout each day as you try your best to see your favorite surfers get barreled.

The BG workout: Put on your favorite Rip Curl t-shirt, the one that has Mick Fanning’s face on it. Drive to Trestles. Park as far as you can from the trailhead. Now walk down the Trestles trail to the edge of the beach. Walk briskly to create a light sweat. Do not go on to the beach. Turn around, walk back up the Trestles trail. Do this ten times. Then, without ever going to the beach, walk back to your car and drive home. Do this exercise daily between now and your trip to Surf Ranch.

2. Feel the burn.
The current temperature in Lemoore is 104 (feels like 111). September is among the hottest times of the year in California and you’re going to experience it at its best right there in the Central Valley. Four whole days of 100-degree days — you aren’t on the coast anymore, bro. And it’s going to feel so good. Or at least, it will, if you start preparing now.

The BG workout: Put on your favorite tank top, the one you bought at the Hurley store during the Vans US Open this summer. Slide into your new flip flops. Forget to bring a hat. Drive to your local outdoor mall. If you don’t know where your local mall is, google it. (Do we have to solve everything for you?) A strip mall will work fine for this exercise.

Park as far away from the entrance as possible. Walk briskly, to create a light sweat. Find a spot of concrete without a hint of shade. Stand there. Feel the sun burn the bald spot on the back of your head that you like to pretend isn’t there, but totally is. Remain standing in that spot until sunset or you collapse with exhaustion. Return the next day and repeat. Ignore the suspicious looks from the security guards. You are doing important training!

3. Practice your intention.
You’re going to Surf Ranch to watch surfing, not to do it. This fact is important to keep in mind as you prepare for your big trip. It also requires practice and intention. What do you usually do when you see perfect waves? That’s right, wax up your midlength and get straight out there. Not this time.

The BG workout: Put on your second-favorite tank top, the one you won in the raffle at the Proximity premier. Drive to your local beach. Park as far from the beach as possible. Walk briskly through the parking lot and down the sand. You should work up a light sweat.

Now stand close to the water’s edge. Do not allow your feet — or any part of your body — to touch the water. Watch other people surf. Feel your bald spot start to burn. Convince a passing grom to give you his Vissla hat. Continue watching people surf until they all go home or you collapse with exhaustion.

4. Train your strength.
We’ve established that you aren’t going to Surf Ranch to surf. So what are you going to do? You’re going to stand in the sun and watch surfing. You’re going to remember a hat, so your bald spot doesn’t burn.

And you’re going to drink. How else are you going to ease the pain of watching other people surf perfect waves? Tequila is the only way and you’re going to need all the strength you can muster for four full days of cuddling with the agave’s nectar.

The BG workout: Put on your favorite flannel shirt, the one you stole from your best friend. He has more money than you do, so he didn’t need it anyway. Drive to your local grocery store. Park as far away from the entrance as possible. Walk briskly to create a light sweat.

Find the liquor aisle. If you can’t find it on your own, ask a friendly store employee for help. Peruse the selections on offer. Buy several bottles of mid-priced tequila. Avoid the barrel-aged stuff that might actually taste good.

Go home, sit down at your kitchen table, and begin doing shots. Realize that you don’t really even like the flannel shirt you stole from your best friend. Text him to tell him so. Keep doing shots. Text that cute girl you saw at the beach yesterday. Did you really think she was going to answer you? Of course not.

Pass out on your kitchen floor. Wake up wondering where you are and what happened. Repeat until you run out of tequila. If you feel like you can’t complete this workout on your own, invite your friends to help out. Other than stealing their dumb shirts, what else are friends for?

*(ed. note) In case you missed, the World Surf League is regularly using the phrase “beach vibes” in marketing material for the upcoming Surf Ranch event.

Locals only: The shots heard ’round the world!

International media rightly horrified by bad bad surfers!

You have by now read many accounts of the shooting incident that occurred yesterday in New Zealand where angry locals allegedly fired at three surfers bobbing in the water and then yelled at them.

In case you have not here is a quick recap from Fake News CNN.

Three surfers say they were shot at while surfing at a jealously guarded surf spot in New Zealand’s North Island, police say.

Three shots were fired from a nearby ridge, one of which landed in the water just meters from one of the surfers, a 14-year-old boy, local media reported.

The surfers — two adults and the teenage boy — were riding waves at Te Maika off the Taharoa coast, near the entrance to Kawhia Harbour, last Thursday.

The shots were fired at them from two individuals onshore, the police report said. Their identity is currently unknown, Kawhia Police Senior Constable Jonathan Maoate said in a written statement.

New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ reported that the surfers who had been fired upon had hastily departed the surf spot after the incident.

“One of the bullets has hit just two meters away from the young fella … naturally they were terrified and have left the area,” police said, according to the report.

TVNZ added that the police had speculated that local may have fired the shots as a warning to outsiders to stay away, a practice known as “localism.”

Localism is not confined to New Zealand; surfers the world over have been known to sometimes violently protect surf spots from encroachment from non-locals.

And it is true. Localism is not confined to New Zealand. Surfers the world over have been known to sometimes violently protect surf spots from encroachment from non-locals. Another publication referred to these “non-locals” as “trolls.” Is that true? Is the term “trolls” currently trending?

Whatever the case, shooting at other people over surfing is bad and the international media is rightly horrified but…. I mean, there are no buts but… oh never mind.

Real quick though, if you were going to shoot warning shots at some non-local surfing trolls bobbing in the water would you use an ADS amphibious rifle preferred by the Russian special forces or a Colt M4 with optional mountings for a grenade launcher?

Would a BB gun have the same effect?

Oh never mind.

Shooting at other people with anything, even a wrist-rocket, over surfing is very bad.

Don't surf here!
Don’t surf here!

Jae "Mullet" Waters, Cooper Allen and Thomas Harper.

“Kid with mullet” and pal get bravery award for dragging mutal buddy from jaws of Great White!

"My reaction was to try and get our friend out."

Two Ballina teenagers have been feted by the Queen’s rep in Australia and awarded bravery medals for intervening in a Great White attack on a mutual pal two years ago.

Jae Waters and Thomas Harper were fourteen and sixteen when they saw a Great White hit Cooper Allen, seventeen, at Lighthouse Beach.

“I was pretty close to him, probably ten metres away. We were just cruising,” Jae, left in the main photo, who became known around Ballina as “the kid with the mullet”, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I thought he was messing around, like jumping off his board.  Then I saw a bit more commotion and splashing around behind him. I saw the shark’s head behind Cooper at the start, then it swam between us. I didn’t look back but Tom did and said he saw the shark following us.”

(Read here.)

This is how your favourite shark bounty hunter Fred Pawle reported the attack at the time: 

As he lay on the sand surveying deep gashes to his leg after being attacked by a “massive” shark, 17-year-old Cooper Allen this morning made one heartfelt request: Don’t tell mum.

Cooper’s “Ballina hickey.”  Photo: Amanda Abate/Channel 7/TwitterSource:Twitter

“He said, ‘you can call my dad, but don’t tell mum yet’,” said local surfer Dan Webber, who was in the water 5m away when the attack happened at Ballina, NSW and raised the alarm.

Mr Webber said Cooper, who lives across the road from the beach at North Wall and is one of the most regular teenagers in the water, was extremely lucky, and is likely to make a full recovery. He added that Cooper is an HSC student at one of the local schools.

“I’m no doctor, but I think he’s going to be fine,” Mr Webber said, still shaking from the experience.

There were four “huge” gashes in his leg about 5cm apart. “So the shark was a massive f**king thing,” he said.

Mr Webber was on his way out to join Cooper and his two mates when the attack happened. He was wading in waist-deep water when he saw a dark object in the water. What unfolded then was similar to what famously happened to pro surfer Mick Fanning last year, he said.

“His two mates swam up to him, and I joined them,” he said. “He’s just swimming backwards away from it. I think it (the shark) was tangled up in his legrope. I saw the dorsal and the tail fin thrashing around.

“He’s looked at me and said, ‘get someone to call an ambulance’. He was so calm and in control.”

Mr Webber screamed at two surf lifesavers who were erecting flags on the beach. He was surprised that the response was not urgent.

“Everyone was just standing around. It was like a whole minute of me screaming. But I was screaming for an ambulance. I should have screamed shark.”