From the egg-on-face department: Top Gun remake filming in Lemoore!

First Kurt Russell now this!

I have made it my business to shit on California’s central valley feat. Lemoore and Visalia for the past two years. Every single chance I saw. Every opportunity I smelled and even opportunities that were merely drunken illusions.


I described in detail the smell of cow shit that hovers. I detailed the inverted fog and sad migrant workers with children locked up in Trump branded bouncy castles.

Nothing could ever rehabilitate California’s central valley. Not all the methamphetamine in the entire world.

And then this morning I learned that Kurt Russell’s Jack Burton’s truck company was based out of Visalia. Kurt Russell. The greatest actor of his generation. A songbird. And I was back, wondering if the real estate market is booming in the central valley too and wondering if I might be able to slip into a double-wide Ranch adjacent.

I am now putting money down on that double-wide Ranch adjacent because the famous David Lee Scales just emailed this gem through.

The Navy is confirming to Action News that filming for the sequel to the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun is being partly filmed at Naval Air Station Lemoore.

Tom Cruise is reprising his role as Maverick for the sequel and the name of the new movie is “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The Navy can’t tell us if Cruise is in Lemoore. But, the Navy can say that NAS Lemoore’s F18 Super Hornets and F35’s will play a big role in the movie.

Twitter user David Cenciotti, a verified aviation blogger, tweeted these pictures of what he says is Tom Cruise’s P-51 Mustang and the special colored FA18 Super Hornet used in the film spotted in Lemoore on September 14th.

In a Facetime interview from San Diego, the Navy says the new movie will feature the Central Valley in a big way.

“A great deal of the flying in this film will be done by Lemoore based aviators,” said Cmdr. Ron Flanders, Public Affairs Officer Naval Air Forces

The Navy says they’re acting as technical advisors for the cast of the movie.
Production is ongoing and the film isn’t due to be released into theaters until June 26, 2020.

So ok. About putting money down on that double-wide Ranch adjacent… I haven’t officially yet because BeachGrit is still struggling under the financial weight of The People’s Billboard but should we maybe crowdfund a double-wide Ranch adjacent? Like, I joke about crowdfunding stuff all the time but what if we did? What if we had a very sick double-wide Ranch adjacent? With HBO and ESPN?

If you give money it’ll be yours as much as anyone’s. We’ll work bookings off a tried and true time share system.

Do time shares still exist in the age of Airbnb?

We can time share our double-wide to the WSL for their Airbnb surfer experience thing.

But I’m out if they’re not filming a re-make of this scene at Surf Ranch and you should be out too.

Rehabilitated: Surf Ranch and environs most famous first son!

Lemoore becomes cool overnight!

We have no secrets here between us. None at all. And you know that much of the reason I loathe Surf Ranch is because it is in Lemoore, California which is near Visalia, California which is from whence my ex-wife hails.

I hate Visalia.

I hate its inverted fog, its flat straightness, its damned old timey burger drive-in place, its everything. My heart would sink anytime I’d be forced to travel north and east. North and east in the same exact direction as Surf Ranch and the two, Visalia and Surf Ranch became conflated in my booze-soaked mind.

Or as I wrote in the prologue of the current #10 bestseller in Sports Health and Safety (buy here!)

It is cold outside, and gray. Heavy-sweater weather. Maybe even thin down-filled jacket paired with stocking cap weather and it smells like cow. Like manure, wet feed and sour milk which only makes sense since we are in Lemoore, California the official “Home of Cows, More Cows, and Chas Smith’s Damned Ex-Wife.”

Just kidding. My damned ex-wife is from neighboring Visalia, but all of inland central California is basically the same thing and a place I swore I’d never return. Then Kelly Slater went and created the perfect wave here.


Or hated.

Because not ten minutes ago, I discovered that Kurt Russell’s Jack Burton had his trucking company based in Visalia.

Do you not recall Big Trouble in Little China? It was one of the best movies of the 1980s, one of the very best, with Kurt Russell, as previously noted, Kim Cattrall and directed by John Carpenter.

I feel that 1980s Kurt Russell can rehabilitate anything at all and if you don’t believe me watch:

Escape from New York

The Thing

Swing Shift

The Mean Season


Tequila Sunrise

Tango & Cash


That is Kurt Russell’s resume from the 1980s alone and not even a complete list. He made New York, monsters, shipwrecks, Tequila Sunrise cocktails, Sly Stallone and fires all better.

Visalia too. And by extension Surf Ranch.

Kelly should give Kurt Russell a permanent golden ticket and locker that no one can use not even Mick Fanning.

He should be able surf any time he pleases.

Time in the cube stokes your fever! But must be correctly channelled!

Quiz: Can Deprivation Make You a Better Surfer?

Time in the cube can help you shred? Maybe!

There’s a mindset that says if you want to climb to any  elevated surf performance you gotta give your life to the game. You see it in the little kids pulled out of school to give ’em more hours in the ocean so they can pursue a pro surfer dream that’s gonna leave ’em broke and busted at twenty five.

You see it in the locals who’ve built their lives around their local beach, poor forever, aged into pickles by the salt and the sun and forever out-surfed by blow-ins who turn up for thirty and shred the hell out of their five waves during lunch break.

So I gotta ask.

Can deprivation make you a better surfer?

Or, better, does deprivation make you a better surfer?

Imagine that. A salaried job where you’re paid to occupy space in an office actually sharpens your attack when you get to surf.

An old pal of mine, a much better surfer who’s on the nine-to-six wheel, surfs in thirty-minute blocks. He don’t fuck around. He don’t sit out the back, legs akimbo on his horse, talking about real estate or girls or whatever. He’ll scoop up an insider on the way out then paddle wide and be on the ramp for a set. In thirty, he’ll catch eight or ten waves. Other surfers will float around for two hours for the same wave count but with a much diminished performance.

That old ten thousand hours rule by pop psychologist Gladwell in his too-often-quote book The Outliers? Where if you put in enough time, in his case the magic figure was 10k hours, you’ll achieve mastery?

It falls at the first hurdle. Look at a fifty-year-0ld man in the lineup. Endless hammering at waves all his life. He smashed the 10k rule. So why does the twelve-year-old who’s stuck at school from eight thirts to three every day surf better?

It misses the need for deliberate, passionate focus.

And how do you get that?

By depriving yourself of what you love.

Miss a swell.

Be under fluorescent lightbulbs listening to the endless drone of middle management while the sun shines and three-foot wedges topple onto lovely sandbanks?

Know that unless you’re awake at five am and out of the drink by six you won’t feel the bite of salt on your skin.

Or maybe I’m very wrong.


Watch: The World Surf League’s Masters Championship!

Hans Hedemann etc!

I had no idea this existed. No idea at all and also have no idea how it slipped through the cracks. For right now, right this minute, your favorite childhood surfers are in Portugal surfing competitively against each other (unless you were born in the 1990s).

Like, right now, right this minute I am literally watching Cheyne Horan vs. Hans Hedemann. Not figuratively watching. Not imagining I am watching. Literally watching. I think Paul Evans and Chris Binns are on the mics too which makes it the greatest event on earth.


Who else is coming up?

Simon Anderson, Rob Bain, Michael Ho, Buzzy Kerbox and maybe others.

Why aren’t Paul Evans and Chris Binns given the keys to the World Championship Tour suite?

The best combo in the game.

Watch here!

This is the board made from whisky casks!
This is the board made from whisky casks!

Buy: A surfboard made from whisky casks!

Two great things in one!

Whew. It’s a good thing I didn’t die or… I’m still unsure so even if I am dead it’s a good thing because now surfboards are being made from whiskey barrels.

Personally, I’ve settled on vodka as my ride or die but know that whisky is way cooler and have danced with the amber goddess on and off for years.

Mostly I prefer bourbon but don’t turn my nose up at anything from Ireland or Scotland.

Which do you prefer? Maybe we should all prefer whiskey from Scotland and I mean whisky from Scotland because Glenmorangie barrels are used in the production of a Grain surfboard.

Shall we learn about it?

We’re thrilled to share this limited edition Glenmorangie Original surfboard with you. More than a year in the making, the builders here at Grain worked closely with the team at Glenmorangie to create a surfboard using re-purposed whisky casks. Part of Glenmorangie’s Beyond the Cask project, these surfboards are built using twelve barrel staves in each board.

The best scotch whisky is made from only the best American white oak and for Glenmorangie Original, their casks are used only twice for a smoother and more rounded taste.The crew here at Grain was able to create the entire interior framework that defines the shape of the board from these oak staves, replacing the otherwise mundane marine plywood that is commonly used. For those looking for beauty, the oaks visual properties shine through as we embrace the material with bookmatched center planks, tailblock and custom made fins.

We’re always up for a challenge and this project set the bar to a new level. We’re proud of the final product and honored that the team at Glenmorangie selected us for their Beyond The Cask Project. Get your limited edition Glenmorangie Original Surfboard today.

Limited Edition Custom Built Board- $5500. Start your order today by putting down a $2000 deposit. Pay the balance when the board is ready to ship.

Shipping not included. We will contact you when the board is nearing completion to get an address and discuss shipping costs and options.

Boards are available in European Union countries (excluding Estonia, France, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden), and USA only.

*Please Drink Responsibly

Finished Board Specs

6’11 3/4″ x 20 1/8″ x 2-3/16″ / Volume 39.96

Buy here I suppose but to be honest I’m glad I settled on vodka. 6’11 3/4″ x 20 1/8″ x 2-3/16″ / Volume 39.96?

Vodka means you stay skinny.