Proven: Surfing, like BeachGrit, is officially anti-depressive!

Bliss achieved!

I have made it my business to mock people who ascribe some sort of spiritual quality to surfing. To mock them ruthlessly. I’ve always believed that surfing makes you slightly-to-lots worse as a person. Worse at work, worse in relationships, a worse parent and a worse friend. Not that it is necessarily bad to be bad but let’s all just be honest about it, right? Like, let’s all look in the mirror and admit that the “exercise” and “peacefulness” of surfing is all fake. It’s better exercise to power walk to the store for beer and it’s more peaceful to drink that beer.


Apparently not for the true experts have officially spoken to the UK’s Telegraph. Let’s read!

The US Navy this year embarked on a $1 million (£762,000) research project investigating the potential of surfing to help military personnel with PTSD, depression or sleep problems.

Initial results have already shown surfing can lead to a decrease in symptoms of depression. To active surfers (500,000 in the UK and 35 million globally), this “news” is anything but new.

“Surfing is the best therapist you can go to,” says former British champion surfer Laura Crane. “There is something about just being free and floating in the ocean.” The rhythm of the ocean is similar to that experienced in the womb, says Tom Kay, founder of surf clothing brand Finisterre. “There’s a strong link between health and well-being, and being in the sea.” Salt water contains magnesium, which is calming, and exposure to the sea strengthens the immune system, as well as helping to normalise blood pressure.

Surfing is mindfulness in action. You just need a board, a wetsuit and the sea. Watching waves, waiting for the right one, paddling and catching it demand your full attention. “It’s a focused state – a trance state,” says Gulf War veteran and psychotherapist Rich Emerson. “It gives you a break from everything else.”

It’s immersive, addictive and it both grounds and uplifts. Outdoor therapist Ruth Allen, of White Peak Wellbeing, says: “Overcoming fears, taking calculated risks and riding a wave allows people a genuine sense of achievement, while literally washing away negative feelings.”

And it’s not just negative life events that can be tricky to process. “I got married, started a family and set up a film-production company in one year,” says Harry Anscombe, CEO of Beagle. “Surfing helped me cope with the new responsibilities, because it got me out of myself for a couple of hours.”

It also reminds us that there are always forces beyond our control. “We all try to plan and control our lives,” Anscombe says. “But if you try to dominate the waves, you get beasted.”

Surfing has one trump card that few other physical pastimes, immersive as they are, can beat. You can’t take your mobile phone with you.

“Surfing puts you out of touch with technology and the thought processes around that part of your life,” agrees Joe Taylor, founder of the Wave Project, the UK’s first surf therapy charity. In his experience a great deal of anxiety and other mental health issues, particularly among young people, are amplified by social media and technology. The relentless pressure to be always-on, or to be something you’re not, can take its toll and surfing provides the antidote. “Surfing is completely honest. You can’t fake it,” says Stoy.


But seriously, is there 35 million fucking surfers in the water? 35 fucking million? No wonder everywhere is so fucking crowded.

So over it. Fucking kooks everywhere.

Fucking kooks.

Must-read: Five life lessons you can learn from the world masters champs!

Learn from your wizened elders!

As reported earlier, the Australian triumvirate of Rob Bain, Layne Beachley and Dave Macaulay shot hell out of a crackerjack field of icons, legends, gods of surf etc at the world masters champs in the Azores.

It was a contest that resonated, perhaps, due to nostalgia for a sweeter time.

What struck me, most of all, were the lessons a younger man or woman might learn from these giants of the game. Lessons that, if not a matter of immediate life and death, can determine future happiness.

  1. It’s easy to get fat: When you’re a kid your metabolism is a furnace and you can shovel, without fear of disaster, anything down your throat. As you age, that fire dims. Where you once dined like a king, now you must eat like a pauper. With a few exceptions, the men carted a tube of fat around their hips, some the rubber from a tractor. It ain’t called middle-aged spread for nothing. And who surfs their best with twenty pounds strapped in the middle?
  2. Sun is crueller to women than men: Already proven by science, but on full reveal in the Azores, the damn sun dries out the fragile, soft skin of a woman and turns it into a vicious prune. What’s Tom Curren? Fifty something and rough as hell? He has the skin of a bikini model of forty. Girls, if you’re not doing it already, cower from that giant grapefruit in the sky.
  3. Surfing don’t care how good you were thirty years ago. You could tell who was surfing most days and who had to brush the cobwebs off their surfboards: the hesitation on takeoffs, the botched turns, the very odd wave choice. You gotta work, sure, but find an hour here, an hour there to keep your instrument tuned. Can you imagine the mind-fuck of transitioning from world-class surfer to adult learner?
  4. Age don’t necessarily diminish your skill: Luke Egan, who is forty nine, and Rob Bain, a wizened fifty-six, were among those whose surfing was as fresh as it was back when Bill Clinton was screwing his way across America. It ain’t middle age that kills your surfing; it’s lifestyle.
  5. Even world champs can’t pull off a surf hat. The former world number two Dave Macaulay became the first world champion surfer to win the title with a surf hat strapped to his head. In my judgement, it wasn’t the most beautiful thing the world has seen.

Conversation: Kelly Slater and the redefinition of classic surfing!

Like a cherry '95 Porsche 928 GTS!

Oh we have all had very much to think about during the last few days what with the heretofore unknown World Surf League’s Masters and Grand Wizard division outpacing the Surf Ranch Pro’s concurrent viewer numbers. A fascinating albeit accidental experiment rolling the old dawgs out for a new swing. Nostalgia aside, did you love their surfing? Did it inspire you, their fresh lines and by fresh I mean shelved for the past 20 years then put back on display?

I’ll tell you, it reminded me of a wonderful conversation I had with the preeminent surf journalist, Nick Carroll, at the Surf Ranch Pro.

There we both watched and independently came to a similar conclusion. That Kelly Slater’s surfing has transitioned from “outdated” to “classic.”

I don’t know that Nick would necessarily use those descriptors but watching Kelly surf at the Surf Ranch Pro, the first time we have seen extended Kelly Slater surfing in the past 2 years, I couldn’t help but appreciate the simplicity, the beauty, the approach.

Until recently I just thought the 11x world champ had gotten old and simply couldn’t keep up with Felipe and the new lot. That his old body couldn’t jump and jive the way these Brazilian kids can/do.

Watching at Surf Ranch, though, I realized that Kelly surfs… differently. He surfs from a different era and I found myself appreciating his twist like I appreciate a cherry ’95 Porsche 928 GTS. Sure it’s not as fast as newer models nor is it quite yet a classic but I’ll be damned if it ain’t crazy beautiful.

I wonder, if Kelly decided to finally retire and instead of becoming the face of 10 more brands went out and made crazy beautiful video clips would we not all stop what we’re doing and stare?

We would. We totally would and not a Kelly Slater trying to match what John John is doing but a Kelly Slater unconstrained. A Kelly Slater surfing exactly like he wanted to surf.

I think we would be treated to the greatest epoch yet and imagine Nick Carroll agrees but what do you think?

From the back-to-the-future department: Australia wins every division of world masters surfing champs!

Once great surfing nation relives glory days!

If you tuned in to the finals of the World Masters Champs, held in the Azores archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, last night you might’ve felt a little bedevilled.

Was this… 1987?

For in the three finals, it wasn’t Brazilians holding the gold cups aloft but surfers from the once-great surfing nation Australia. It may be hard to believe for anyone under thirty or so, but there was a time in modern history when little Australia, with its population of 25 mill, owned pro surfing as much as the Brazilians do now.

Last year in France, Australia finished twelfth at the ISA World Championships, a handful of points ahead of England and Germany and well behind Japan, Peru and Costa Rica, a spectacular fall from grace.

Now let’s examine this event, via excerpts from the WSL announcement.

Australians Rob Bain, Layne Beachley and Dave Macaulay have won the Azores Airlines World Masters Championship in historic fashion today, claiming victory in the Final bouts against Cheyne Horan (AUS), Rochelle Ballard (HAW) and Shane Beschen (HAW) respectively in the Grand Masters, Women’s Masters and Men’s Masters divisions held in good three foot surf at praia de Santa Barbara.  

Rob Bain (AUS) and Cheyne Horan (AUS) took it to the water first in the men’s Grand Masters Final and while the first half of their matchup was a relatively low-scoring affair, Bain started throwing fireworks on the 15 minute mark. 

A late entrant into this event, Bain has been arguably the best surfer all week in his division and dominated every heat he entered until claiming the coveted World Title this morning. The Australian celebrated his 56th birthday today with an incredible performance.

The women’s Masters Final was up next between 7-time World Champion Layne Beachley(AUS) and a former QS Champion and runner-up in the world Rochelle Ballard (HAW).

Beachley’s experience came into play as she perfectly controlled the rest of the Final and walked away with an eighth World Title, but maybe more importantly wrote another page in surfing’s history books winning the first-ever Women’s Masters title.

Dave Macaulay (AUS) and Shane Beschen (HAW) finally paddled out for the day’s last Final in the men’s Masters division. The Australian had a great start and looked fired up, scouring the lineup to find the gems and continuously improving on his scores to impose a big requirement on his opponent. With a couple of 7s on the board, Macaulay remained out of reach for the Hawaiian and the two-time former World No. 3 claimed his first World Title as the oldest competitor in the masters division.

Other highlights of 1987: The Simpsons debuts, Fiji becomes a republic, the stock market falls through the floor and Damien Hardman, also a standout in the Azores, becomes world champion (’87/88).


Buy: Terry Bradshaw’s Big Island love nest for a song!

Ex-Steelers star is selling his surf front apartment at cost!

It is Sunday in America, the day we think about professional football. The day we ponder professional football in our hearts. And since you are American (I’ll post something the Australians will understand before they wake) you are pondering professional football while also pondering if you should go surfing or not. If you live in Southern California the answer is likely “not” this morning though you may be one of those sorts who must paddle out even if it is very bad.

A dilemma, to be sure, but what if I told you that you could have your cake and eat it too? That you could purchase ex-Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw’s Big Island love nest for a song?

You can!

The apartment was purchased three years ago for $1.295 million and is being sold for $1.3 million. And see. I told you. A song! Ignoring inflation and skyrocketing real estate prices. Need more?

The 2,111-square-foot apartment, part of the Manua Kea complex, has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen with mahogany cabinetry and granite countertops.

What distinguishes the home is its easy access to a luxurious resort lifestyle, said listing agent Michele Paape of MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Properties like these that offer amazing ocean and mountain views, and have step-out-the-door access to a world-renowned golf course, but with ultimate privacy, is what makes them so desirable in paradise,” Ms. Paape said.

Building amenities include an infinity pool with spa, outdoor grill area, exercise room, gathering room with kitchen and a game room, according to the listing.

Buy here and never be conflicted on Sunday morning again!