Revealed: World Masters Championship too hot for WSL!

The old boys are going mad!

It was announced right here and two days ago that the World Surf League is running a Masters Division feat. all of your favs including Michael Ho, Gary “Kong” Elkerton, Tom Curren, Damien Hardman, Dave Macaulay, Sunny Garcia, Cheyne Horan etc.

Every one of your favs minus Derek Ho and if you read the World Surf League wraps you’d think it was all cupcakes and roses between the boys. Here’s a snippet:

Most of the time competitors escape to the airport as soon as they’re eliminated from an event but the vibes in Azores have been the opposite. Regardless of results, athletes have been hanging around and watching each other’s heats. Tom Curren, asked for Matt Hoy’s autograph after losing out to him in Heat 17.

“The passion is still there,” said Luke Egan. “We’re just a lot older.”

Do you believe the cupcakes? Roses? Well we have a billboard in Lemoore and we have a man on the beach in the semi-autonomous Azores. He says:

Despite the serene nature of the WSL press releases the old boys have been going mad.

Sunny Garcia came out of the water flipping the bird, saying, “The judges are…still…fucked. The judges are still fucking kooks.”

The WSL changed the format which meant Michael Ho was eliminated. He said, “This is fucking bullshit.” That some of his competitors “should be in the women’s division” and that they’re “all fucking crybabies.”

Everyone is a caricature of what they were thirty years ago.

Kong, who surfed three heats and only caught waves in one of them, is fatter.

Dave Macaulay and Dooma Hardman are somehow more boring.

Tom Curren, blaming his fins while riding a wild alternative board, is reaching new realms of crazy.

Most of all, it’s the greatest contest ever. Beautiful island. Black sand. Warm water.

Oh, and Jodie Cooper is surfing in the women’s division.

Jodie Cooper, most recently seen getting allegedly attempted drowned by Tomo Sr. in New South Wales!

I wish I was in the Azores. This all sounds incredible. I wish I was our man on the beach.

Alert: Kanoa Igarashi falls to heretofore unknown dreamboat in World Games!

Introducing Santiago Muniz!

Remember where you are at this exact moment reading the name Santiago Muniz for the first time. Take in your surroundings and stock of your emotional state because someday your grandchildren will ask you and will expected to provide a proper accounting. Like, “Yes little ones. I was shuffling home from… a woman who is not your grandmother’s apartment very early in the morning, a touch of autumnal fog dusting the field feeling… hungover and ashamed until I checked BeachGrit on my phone and saw a picture of Santiago Muniz.”

“Santiago Muniz…” they will coo in response. “…gold metal winning Santiago Muniz with those eyes and that hair and that tango in his step.”

Yes, Santiago Muniz, from Argentina, beat Kanoa Igarashi yesterday in tiny Japanese waves to win the World Surfing Games not 100 km from where the Olympics will be staged in two years’ time. Reuters has a better accounting than I could ever muster so let’s head there first.

Argentina’s Santiago Muniz won the men’s gold medal at the World Surfing Games on Wednesday, while Kanoa Igarashi and Shun Murakami claimed Japan’s first ever medals in the competition.

Gold for Muniz, who also won the event in 2011, gives him a place at the 2019 Pan Am Games, which is a qualification event for the Tokyo Olympics.

“I am so happy. This feels like a dream,” Muniz told the International Surfing Association website.

“It’s amazing to represent my country. I can feel the energy coming from my team. It’s a beautiful feeling.

“This has given me even more motivation to get to Tokyo 2020. I am excited for the opportunity to qualify, but I have got to take it step by step.”


Now, there is much debate across BeachGrit’s various bureaus as to the future of face of professional surfing. James Prier, the brains behind our business operation, insists that Kanoa Igarashi is the future. With his Bulletproof Boy Scouts good looks, small wave skill and competitive drive it is a safe call but I feel he’s missing… something. Fire? Spice? I don’t exactly know but am all in on Santiago Muniz.

He’ll win gold, do the morning talk show circuit, tango with Kelly Ripa, get cast on Bachelor in Paradise then get cast as the Bachelor. What happens after that is up to him but let’s just say that a recurring role on a future Baywatch retool is not out of the question.

And we all know which other famous surfer had a recurring role on Baywatch, don’t we.

From the feel-good-department: Laird Hamilton says “The idea is to become an old wizard!”

Greatest big-wave surfer of all time releases book of various personal philosophies.

Recently, Laird Hamilton, who is the world’s greatest big-wave surfer, released a book called Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, And, of Course, Surfing. 

The 247-page volume tells fifty-four-year-old Laird’s story, which is compelling enough – born in an experimental bathysphere, abandoned by daddy, collected new daddy from the beach (and his name, Zerfas to Hamilton) and so on – but focusses on his various philosophies.

It begins with this lovely quote from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

“The idea is to become an old wizard; to live a long, fruitful life and have family and be healthy and enjoy the ride. And speaking of the ride, why not let it rip, at least a little bit?” LAIRD HAMILTON

Laird hits the vein from a similar dropper.

“You can spend your life fence-sitting because you’re frightened of something bad that might happen or you can launch yourself into it with all of your conviction and all of your intelligence. Here’s my advice: Meet up with your fears. If you’re afraid of sharks, go learn all about sharks. Get into the water with one. If you respect fear, face it straight on and act anyway. What you’ll find isn’t terror –it’s exhilaration and the moments that you never forget.”

“Forget your emotions around fear for a second and look at the simple reality: It’s an energy source designed to increase performance. Adrenaline and the natural hormones your body creates when you’re scared are more powerful than any drug. The ability to harness it constructively, that’s the tricky part.”

“When we’re not operating in life-or-death situations, a lot of times we tune out. If you’re sitting behind a desk all day, you don’t have to be hyperaware. But it’s important to exercise your instincts like you would a muscle. If you don’t try to tune in to every-thing–smell, hearing, sight, vibration–you can get dull, and that might come back to haunt you when it matters most.”

Or my favourites.

“Our days are meant to be fun. Once you lose that thread, I think you’ve just lost the essence of the whole deal. If you build up a wealth of experiences, letting yourself be amazed by everything and everyone around you, then fun and its close relative, joy, will be the inevitable by-products. The last thing you want to do is to look back at the end and think coulda, woulda, shoulda.”

“The idea is to become an old wizard; to live a long, fruitful life and have family and be healthy and enjoy the ride. And speaking of the ride, why not let it rip, at least a little bit?”

Last year I interviewed Laird for the release of his biopic Take Every Wave: the life of Laird Hamilton. He got me with a few zingers then too.

“The doctor was covered in my blood, all over his mask. I could feel him yanking on me. I could feel pulsing as he was doing shit to my leg.”

“I grew up a white guy in Hawaii and there was a certain level of …of…of…aggression… on the land. Or should I say, instead of aggression, a certain level of separation. I was a white guy in a dark guy’s world. I was an outsider, like I am in surfing, so it was a natural place for me. Some of my best friends are Hawaiians and some of the greatest and most beautiful people are Hawaiians. But when you’re a minority in a racially tense environment you get used to being an outcast. I think that shaped my life.”

Read that interview here. 

The book costs around thirty dollars in hardcover, half that in paperback.

Buy it here. 


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.