The real Jen See (pictured) thrilling at buoy news!
The real Jen See (pictured) thrilling at buoy news!

Confession: “I believe the bouys like they’re mystical omens sent from the heavens!”

How do you feel about surf forecasts?

I am a terrible optimist. I look at the weather forecast models and I believe what they’re selling. I believe it every single time. There’s a giant hurricane about to slam into Los Angeles? Sure, why the hell not. A beautiful low winking at me as she spirals down from the Aleutians? That is so totally going to happen. Come on, let’s go surfing.

I believe the bouys like they’re mystical omens sent from the heavens. A talisman, a harvest moon, a rare constellation — signs of the sort that I hesitate to question. They claim a freak afternoon windswell and there I go, running out the door. I show up at the beach and it’s flat as fuck and I’m standing looking at the ocean with a shortboard wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do with the thing. The bouys are assholes.

The day after I ate ice cream in Kettleman City, which was right after I left the Surf Ranch, I went surfing in the ocean. I never wanted to see the inside of a car again, but there was south swell, which from my present location generally requires driving either north or south. So I drove to Ventura, which was windfucked and mediocre, but I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad and paddled out anyway. Optimism, it’ll get you in trouble, is what I’m saying.

After three days in Lemoore, I would have paddled out in just about anything. This reacquaintance with the ocean was not a revelation by any means. I fell on half my waves and forgot what to do on the other half. My feet felt completely separate from my body. Even I didn’t have enough optimism to convince myself that I was actually surfing well. Maybe I need to read some of those pop-up guides that litter the internet. They say it’s the most important element of surfing. Maybe i just need more practice.

I may not have surfed with any distinction, but I did see a would-be ripper who was a dead-ringer for Spicoli. I couldn’t tell whether the resemblance was intentional. Hair, voice, the whole thing — he was Spicoli, come to life. That made the whole thing worth it, the driving, the wind, the weirdly far away feet, the falling. Sometimes, it’s not the actual surfing that matters; it’s all the weird stuff and the roadside attractions you see along the way.

Now the seasons have shifted noticeably to fall. I wore a beanie to the coffee shop this morning for the first time in months. The marine layer’s returned and the onshore winds whisper tales of the coming winter. Santa Barbara faces the wrong way for good surf, right up until it faces exactly the right way. I’m not telling any secrets here, when I say it’s either amazing or it’s dead flat for weeks on end. Is it any wonder that I’m addicted to forecast models, when there’s nothing to do but hit refresh day after day after day.

The GFS says it’s going to massive in two weeks. Or maybe it’s three. I’m sure I need a new step-up. Maybe I should have paid more attention yesterday when the man at the coffee shop tried to explain to me how to buy surfboards.

— Hey do you surf?

— Uh, yeah, I guess.

— There’s this website, they have super cheap boards, it’s really great.

— Uh I don’t buy my boards online.

— But you should! Look at these deals! You can get like a Lost for next to nothing!

— Uh I get my boards made to order.

— Well, I know my dimensions.

I rolled my eyes and went back to my macchiato and the New Yorker feature about Boulder, Utah that I was trying to read. I’d been there once, Boulder, I mean, on the way from the start of a bike race to the end. It’s not far from Escalante and the Grand Staircase and some of the most exuberant geology I’ve ever seen. I’ll read Kathryn Schulz on just about any topic, but this one resonated. I was glad to know website guy knew his dimensions, though, because I was worried about that. It might have kept me up at night.

There is a certain optimism in ordering a board, rather than grabbing a finished one off the rack and going surfing right away. It means you believe that there’ll be surf again someday and that the world will still be here eight or twelve weeks from now when the resin dries and the sanding is finished.

You believe that the numbers and squiggles scrawled on that scrap of paper will translate into magic under your feet, just as the readings pumped out every hour by the bouys will translate into good surf at the beach.

Sure, the bouys are assholes, but maybe just this once, it won’t be a lie. That’s what I tell myself. Maybe I’ll show up at the beach with my favorite board under my arm and there’ll be a gluttony of waves. There’s a fine line between optimism and delusion and I’m pretty sure I’ve slamdanced right past that thing. Look at that perfect low, just spinning out there, the stuff of dreams.

At least I’m not in Lemoore anymore.

The former tour surfer turned commentator turned coach Ross Williams (partially) opens door to sex nest. But you gotta get through that tough drill cotton first!

Revealed: “Medina sex photo, prostitution at surf shops and Ross Williams Surfboard volume!”

All the fun search words that get you to BeachGrit!

There are a few ways you can end up strolling through our secret garden here. You might’ve been referred by a pal, you might’ve come through Google News (BeachGrit is an accredited provider of news, took a while, lot of hoop jumping etc but we’re here now) or you might’ve been on the search for something vaguely unsavoury.

Here are a few recent examples.

The machine-gun approach.

You want an easy laugh.

You’re a Colapinto, Andino fan and, you know, wishful thinking.

You had a bad experience in Cape Town and you type as bitter tears fall upon your keyboard.

You love everything South American!



It’s a lonely ol night.

Or else, you kinky as hell.


McNamara: There are “tens of thousands” of waves like Pipeline around the world!

Also the top six deadliest waves rank in order!

The very famous big wave surfer Garrett McNamara was interviewed by men’s interest magazine D’Marge recently and gave his list of the world’s 6 deadliest waves. We will get to them soon and also a fascinating statement about the potential volume of these sorts of waves but first I must report that I just returned from an assembly at my daughter’s elementary school. Some children were receiving awards for good behavior and others were entered into a drawing for bigger prizes. The principal read them out while the children listened with rapt attention. A Nintendo Switch. The children oooh’d. An Apple Watch. The children aaah’d. A surfboard. The children went mental, clapping and screaming and hooting.

We still got it, baby.

Back to Garrett. The D’Marge piece begins thusly:

Ranking the most dangerous waves in the world is like measuring your dick with Apple’s latest app: controversial. To reduce the subjectivity of judging something that literally changes with the wind, we hit up Garrett McNamara, legendary big wave surfer and 8 year world record holder for surfing the world’s biggest wave, to understand which of the world’s famous big waves are the most dangerous, and why.

Oh and a side note: McNamara says, “There are definitely big waves all over the world that are unchartered and that people aren’t talking about—and a lot of them get overlooked because we’re focussed on where we’re going… I guarantee you there’s tens of thousands of waves like these around the world, and we don’t go on the days when they could be good because we’re at our spots—everybody goes to the wave they like and they know.” For now, this is what we’ve got…

Before we discuss the deadliest six, are there really tens of thousands of unchartered waves like Jaws, Pipeline, Teahupoo etc. around the world? Tens of thousands is a lot but Garrett has seen a lot more than me. What do you think? Tens of thousands?

And now the six from least deadly to most.

6. Jaws: “Jaws has a barrel without too much risk.” It’s also, he tells us, “Pretty deep and there’s a defined channel.” Of course the risk of being underwater for a hell of a long time is there, but if you’re towing you’re pretty safe.”

5. Mavericks: Throughout this time there have been a number of high profile drownings at Mavericks, due to “The Cauldron”, a “hidden threat” just beneath the massive peak which Grant Washburn, longtime Mavericks devotee explained to National Geographic as, “A deep hole in the bottom of the ocean (that) inhales seawater, surging violently with each passing swell… responsible for regular two wave hold-downs, and the deaths of Mark Foo and Sion Milosky.”

4. Shipstern’s Bluff: “Shipstern’s is super high risk,” with a less objectively perfect reward (i.e. it’s not a perfect cylinder like Pipeline or Teahupoo). “The reward is there,” he says, “But the potential for injury is higher because it’s not perfect.”

3. Pipeline: Coming in at number one on most “Most Dangerous Waves” lists, more people have died surfing Pipeline, on Hawaii’s North Shore, than any other place (since 1989 it has taken the lives of seven surfers, and threatened the lives of countless others). However, contrary to popular belief, a wave’s death toll does not reveal its lethality so much as it indicates the number of people that surf it regularly.

2. Teahupoo: Garrett concluded that Teahupoo provides the greatest risk and greatest reward of all the waves he’s surfed. Since discovering Nazare (the world’s biggest wave, which doesn’t really barrel) back in the late 2000’s, Garrett’s focus has now changed: “I’d much rather get the best barrel—I searched for the biggest wave in the world and found it. I still go back there but now my focus is perfect barrels.”

1. Nazare: “It’s way harder than jaws—it has every bit of the challenge as Jaws as far as the wave and the chop, but it moves around and there are no channels so you’re never sure if you’re ok.”

Do you agree or are you out trying to find one of those tens of thousands gems?

Admit it, kook: you hate the ocean!

Tell the truth: What is it you “love” about surfing?

Do you like to treat waves like a submissive concubine? Are you in thrall to the movements of mother ocean?

It ain’t that hard of a question. What do you love about surfing?

You talk about it. You spend all your time doing it.

You wouldn’t dream of travelling somewhere that didn’t have at least a semblance of a wave and if you do it’s only because you’re on some bullshit couple’s trip (Oh love, why did you forsake me?).

I got thinking about this because of all the wavepool chatter. I’m in the water every day, except for weekends ’cause they too crazy, and I’m getting all dried up waiting for a tank to be built.

“Imagine,” I said to a pal this morning, both astride our boards, sun out, four feet of picture perfect waves but actually shitty as anything, “If we could drive for thirty minutes inland and get ten good waves in an hour.”

So what do I love about surfing?

I like paddling where there’s no current, sitting by myself and popping my tit muscles through my wetsuit, catching smooth waves, going fast and looking for air sections to blow.

Oh I quite like the ocean with its happy fish (although I don’t blame the Japanese for serving dolphins on rye with kewpie mayonnaise) and those tropical reefs and its moods and colours and blah blah.

But, if you want honesty, if there was a wavepool nearby that was keenly priced or offered some sort of season pass or incentive program which fit my budget, and the ocean suddenly dried up.

Well, I wouldn’t give one royal fuck.

So what is it about surfing that you love?

Perfection: Professional surfing set to dominate HBO*!

The biggest stage! Finally!

Please forgive me for being optimistic. BeachGrit’s tagline after “Ultra Hard Surf Candy” is after all “Anti-Depressive.” And what’s more anti-depressive than hope? Than optimism?

And so please forgive me for dreaming that professional surfing in either World Surf League iteration or wildly successful Stab High iteration unproven but gold BeachGrit’s Everyman Challenge iteration can win hearts and minds in this ultra-fractured era. An era where bloodsport feels redundant. An era where even sweet science feels obsolete.

ESPN, the leading live sport broadcaster in the United States and I therefore assume world, has decided to untangle from boxing after 45 years and are looking for fresh sporting stories.

45 years.

And it would be rude not to read ESPN.

After 45 years as the broadcaster for most of the biggest fights in boxing, as the platform that created modern pay-per-view and as the launching pad for most of the sport’s biggest stars for decades, HBO announced on Thursday that it was dropping its coverage by the end of the year.

“Our mission at HBO Sports is to elevate the brand. We look for television projects that are high-profile, high-access, and highly ambitious in the stories they seek to tell and the quality of production in telling them,” HBO Sports said in a statement. “Boxing has been part of our heritage for decades. During that time, the sport has undergone a transformation. It is now widely available on a host of networks and streaming services. There is more boxing than ever being televised and distributed. In some cases, this programming is very good. But from an entertainment point of view, it’s not unique.

Did you read the same words I did? “We look for television projects that are high-profile, high-access, and highly ambitious in the stories they seek to tell and the quality of production in telling them.”

Well did you?

The only word pumping through my mind is “professional surfing.” I mean the only two words. So which should HBO scoop up for 2019? The World Surf League? Stab High? BeachGrit’s Everyman Challenge?

I’m totally biased here but think the only way for HBO to go is World Surf League. Just think how fabulous Gabriel Medina would appear in their hands. Just think how fabulous.

Have you ever watched a 24/7?

I’m multiple vodka………..what? Lime-flavored Perrier’s in but I can’t wait to see Gabriel Medina and Felipe Toledo in an HBO 24/7 that follows the World Surf League Championship Tour for 9 months and…

Lemmmmmme pour another one real quick.

*Dunno how to make this happen but let’s try? Let’s… talk to people?