This slab on the Arabian peninsula is very tetanus and works on a solid south swell. Email for details!
This slab on the Arabian peninsula is very tetanus and works on a solid south swell. Email for details!

Coming soon: BeachGrit’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Secret Waves!

Life is but a wonderful adventure!

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and Derek Rielly’s letter perfect series yesterday sealed it for me. I need to write the profound book BeachGrit’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Secret Waves. Oh it is the rudest thing a surfer can do but… is it really? I mean, follow me for a minute here and then if you disagree I’ll happily be pilloried.

Hell, I’ll happily pillory myself.

So, waves are a limited commodity and there are lots more surfers than spots and blah blah blah blah. Right? You know the storylines for keeping waves quiet and also for rabid localism. Do you remember a few weeks ago when New Zealanders shot at other New Zealanders surfing their secret wave? The story got some traction in the lamestream media but it didn’t surprise me for one second and it didn’t surprise you for one second.

This is surfing and it is great BUT “secret waves” are also a very funny sacred cow in the day and age of Google Earth and Mick Fanning.

I’m not talking some brave boy or girl setting out with board, wax and pair of Birdwell’s here. I’m talking either the waves everyone “knows” or the waves that people film.

With me so far?

“World’s Greatest Secret Waves” is a relative term, of course. Of course it is. Everything about what we do is subjective. Our favorite pastime inspired the most relative phrase in the English language. “The best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun.”


But that’s where you come in. What are the World’s Greatest Secret Waves? What is the criteria here? I suppose I should know but I do my writing on the fly so need you, always.

Here’s what I have so far:

Hazards (on California’s central coast)

Lunada Bay

One of the Salina Cruz waves

Te Maika (New Zealand)

And where else? The plan will be to go and surf then write everything. Where to park, how to walk, what board to ride etc.


And the point? To kick sacred cows but also encourage proper surf adventure again. It may seem in the day and age of Google Earth and Mick Fanning that secrets are no longer possible but that is crazy. This world is big and wild and very wild for the bravest of the brave. It always has been. Once a “secret spot” starts getting whispered about, though, it is no longer a true adventure. I want for true adventures.

I always have.

Fantasy surf enthusiasts around the world react to the harsh news.
Fantasy surf enthusiasts around the world react to the harsh news.

Conspiracy: The WSL closes Fantasy Surfer for the Surf Ranch Pro!

It's an Orwellian Obscenity!

Now, you would think after my most recent Namotu fiasco that I would be on my best behavior double then triple checking rumors that float across my sky. That I would be on the horn with people who know or people who know people who know. That I would be fact checking late into the evening. That one more mangled piece of gossip could potentially sink us and I would be tireless, absolutely tireless, in making certain that only the absolute ungarnished truth gets shouted from BeachGrit’s rooftop.

You would think, but in reality I can’t even be bothered to log on to Facebook today to see if this newest rumor, that the World Surf League is not offering fantasy picks for the Surf Ranch, is true.

Is it true? A wonderful source informed me via Instagram:

Grab a vodka coconut water and let the BeachGrit readers know the WSL don’t seem to be running fantasy picks for Surf Ranch!!! What is this madness? Would it offer up too much enjoyment?Too much choice? Freedom? First they take our wave choice, then they take our team choice, what is this Orwellian Obscenity?

The fact that he used “Orwellian Obscenity” makes me believe it is entirely true but why?

Maybe, and this would be very smart of the World Surf League, fantasy is going away because reality is coming. Have you read news of the NBA’s embrace of real gambling? It is the first league in America to team up with a sportsbook (MGM) and the thinking goes now the door has opened all other leagues/associations are going to hop right through.

According to ESPN:

What did MGM get?

MGM gets the rights to NBA league and team logos, highlights, access to the official league data feed and the tag of being the “official gaming partner” of the NBA and WNBA.

What’s in it for the NBA?

The deal, according to sources, is believed to be $25 million over three years. That’s small change for the NBA. The value, though, may come through the creation of a market for their direct data feed. Now that MGM has signed up, other competitors have a decision to make: Is the access to data that the NBA is offering worth it?

Professional surfing should be right behind the NBA. I’ve written before that surfers are like magnificent horses and perfect to bet. High stakes players could visit the professional surfers on the sand before they paddle out and run our hands along their muscles. It would be wonderful and make for a wonderful time. Surfing was made for losing and winning but mostly losing money. Don’t you agree?

But if the WSL did not close their fantasy chamber because real gambling will be offered at Surf Ranch then why?

What could possibly be the reason?

Instant Success: BeachGrit reader claims prize in race to locate Mick Fanning’s wave!

One thousand dollar reward smokes out location! And it's a…surprise!

The game moves fast in this gorgeous connected world. Within minutes of posting a one-thousand dollar reward for any information that led to the whereabouts of Mick Fanning’s secret wave, an email and a telephone call had sorted out the necessary details.

There were the usual guesses: India, Christmas Island etc.

But as it transpires.

It’s in Africa. (Although a different part of the continent to what I’d supposed.)

And it needs a south swell, a real big south, to break.

Some other notable information. There’s a simple beachfront resort with air-conditi0ned rooms nearby with a tariff to please the budget traveller

English is the official language.

The local people sure do like to party.

The children are lovely and are very good dancers.

The region was featured in an extremely famous surfing movie.

The food ain’t bad. Hell of a lot of fish. No fun for happy vegans.

At night, the equatorial sky is of such a deep blue cosmic presentation one can lose complete orientation.

Celebratory cocktail?


Announced: Mikey Wright gifted wildcard for Surf Ranch Pro!

Which brand of metal is this?

The rise of Mikey Wright, younger brother of Owen and Tyler is either dull or sort of interesting though I can’t tell which. On one hand, the boy had seemed to position himself on other side of professional surfing’s spectrum where cigarettes n rock n roll rule. Where competition is for geeks. Where Owen and Tyler can keep it cuz rock n roll.


On the other hand, he is currently number 11 in the world, is an almost sure thing to be on tour next year and was just gifted the men’s wildcard for this weekend’s Surf Ranch Pro in Lemoore, California alongside Hirohito Ohara.


Wright told Australia’s 9 News:

“It’s definitely taking me some time to figure this wave out (Surf Ranch) but I’m getting there and it’s really fun. I’m pretty stoked to get the wildcard.

“I’ve been lucky enough to get a few this year and I’m really looking forward to the event.

“I’m not on tour yet so this year has been a real learning experience for me and I’m just trying to take it all in and hopefully next year I’ll make it.”

Those are all very appropriate things to say. Very WSL approved and maybe I’m the one who is dull for thinking there is still a dichotomy between “free surfers” and “champions.” I don’t know. Is Mikey’s rock n roll act just that? An act? Or did the World Surf League pitch a big enough tent for all to belong that I somehow missed because I was too busy being irrelevant and grumpy?

Is Mikey Wright more Poison?

Or Babymetal?

Or Slayer?

Waco wavepool
Nine-year-old Cruz Dinofa, from Jersey, gets behind the wheel of a people's classic.

Listen: “Surf Ranch is a Porsche! Waco is a Honda Accord with upgraded sound system!”

Come hear a pool by pool comparison! Surf Ranch v Waco v NLand… 

I chatted with David Lee Scales today for the first time in seemingly forever and what a chat it was. The man had just returned from northern Texas, surfing both the NLand pool outside of Austin and the Barefoot Ski Ranch featuring American Wave Machines technology near Waco. A few months ago, directly after Derek Rielly and I, he also surfed Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California giving him an official hat trick.

Oh I had a thousand questions. Which one is best, which one worst, which most fun and which least? How do they all compare? Which technology will be our future? You will learn many things while listening to the podcast and if you are not thrilled to go to Waco, when it is finished, then I don’t know if we can be great friends.

Just kidding, I am friend to all but back to which technology will be our future… I really needed to know and asked… is Surf Ranch a Bugatti while Waco is a Hyundai?

“Absolutely not.” David Lee said. “Surf Ranch is a Porsche and Waco is a Honda Accord with all the bells and whistles. Leather interior, upgraded sound system etc.”

I was perturbed by the comparison and pressed him further. “Both get you where you want to go…” he said “…the Porsche just comes with status.”

And I let the conversation drop at that point but shouldn’t have. Driving a Porsche is not about status, or not just about status. The way it handles, the way it accelerates and decelerates, the way the doors close and seats feel is… a revelation. From the outside, maybe, it seems like any other car but it is not. The Porsche is a joy. The Honda Accord is… not a chore but just meaningless.

Now, it goes without saying that my own personal Porsche experience is ill-gotten, though I have lusted over them since I was five-years-old but that doesn’t negate the truth of the sentiment. Which brings us back to our comparison. What sort of car is Surf Ranch and what sort of car is Waco? We can agree that NLand is a Kia Forte but what about the other two?

Help would be much appreciated but I think you should listen to David Lee Scales describe each first. It is, thanks to his experience, our best show yet.

Listen here!