Erik? Did you get my messages?
Erik? Did you get my messages?

Erik Logan Watch Day 2: Will he or won’t he swing by for a chat?

I'm on my knees here... begging!

I have zero skills. It finally dawned on me just this past weekend after forty-odd years on earth. I have zero skills, not one, and am impossibly slow. Muddled. Addled. Swimming through the world in a fog of half-firing synapses which I think genius in the moment only to realize much later exactly what they are. Half-fired, half-baked, super-balls of dumb bouncing around inside my skull.

Pinging off my cortexes.

I’ve shared the story here about my job as a seventeen-year-old bussing tables at Coos Bay’s Red Lion, no?

There I was, doing my best bringing water, iced tea, clearing dishes, etc. I didn’t enjoy the work but gave it my all. One night, after my shift had ended, the manager pulled me aside and said, “Look, you need to find a way to speed up here a little. Everyone else is in 5th gear and you’re in 3rd.”

It so incensed me that I went home, stuffed my uniform in a paper bag, scribbled “I quit asshole!” on it, drove back and tossed it at the Red Lion’s door.

3rd gear. How dare he. I was born for greatness. I was bound for glory.

Forty-odd years on earth and I realize he was exactly right. I’m stuck in 3rd because that’s all I have. And even my 3rd gear is showing clear signs of crapping out.

Well, we make do and carry on, don’t we? We do the best we can with what we were given, right?

And right now the super-ball of dumb is bouncing up and down, up on down, up and down on the brain cells spitting out the phrase “Interview the World Surf League’s new President of Content, Media and WSL Studios. Interview Erik Logan.”

I made a public request here, yesterday. Another public request via podcast. Another private request through the proper WSL channels. Another private request via Instagram direct message.

And haven’t heard a thing back yet so am going on Erik Logan watch. I’m going to perch here counting down the hours, minutes, days until I get a response because he is the President of Content and Media for pity’s sake and that is all I have been doing for the past 15 years of my 3rd gear life. Making surf content for surf media. I’ve written two books and thousands of articles made two surf films and recorded near 100 podcasts.

Oh of course I’m not bragging. Who could possibly brag about making surf content for surf media? I’m just saying, like Erik Logan, it is what I do.

If he doesn’t respond what do you think is the reason? Because the WSL refuses to be bullied into an interview? Because the powers don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior? Because I’ve sullied the relationship beyond repair? Because BeachGrit is a small fish in their big potential sea?

Well, whatever the reason I’ll be here again when the sun rises wanting to pick his brain, wanting to see how he imagines the world of professional surfing should look, wanting to know what stories he thinks are important for our little surfing world.

I have one skill, I suppose, at the end. A profound lack of shame.

See you tomorrow Erik!

Filipe Toledo
The world number one, Filipe Toledo, with father Ricardo, pre-heat against Ryan Callinan. I have a lot of respect for Ryan (Callinan), he surfed really well,” Toledo said. “I’ve been on tour for six years but I still make rookie mistakes. That priority mistake cost me the heat and probably the yellow Jeep Jersey.” | Photo: WSL

Quik Pro Day 2: Tour Leader Filipe Toledo eliminated; Judges suffer psychic meltdown!

And Hermes quivers with rage!

Apparently Erik’s people were none too stoked on the tone of the coverage last night but there was no actual intent to abuse, humiliate or insult – more a sincere effort to bring in a little emotional heft into the trash talk ala UFC and see what happens.

Maybe it veered a little too close to homage but the WSL with it’s hire of Joe Carr who fattened and then steered through the sale of UFC to WME-IMG for 4 billion, surely could not be squeamish. You can’t imagine him, for example, getting all giddy like Pete Mel and pulling the mic on Gabe Medina when he said in a 2015 presser that if Glen “Micro” Hall told him to fuck off he’d teach him a lesson in Portuguese.

Remember that? Same comp Freddy P lined up the inside rock for a board slide. All scrubbed out by the hygienists at the WSL.

Round two heats lined up today and plenty of them, sifting through a tide ravaged French lineup that threw up random gems . I picked Wiggoly (d. Carmichael), Andino (d. Asing), Igarashi (lost to Duru), Wilko (d. Bourez), Pupo (lost to Cardoso), J-Flo (lost to Gouveia), Coffin (d. Mendes), M-Rod (d. February), Zeke (d. Hermes) and Fred Morais (lost to Yago Dora).

A long wait between excellent rides. In fact, one single eight-point was awarded to Yago Dora after 10 heats of pro surfing in good to great, albeit tricky, three-to-five-fot hollow (at times ) French beachbreak. And that eight was an over-cook, probably delivered in a moment of either frustration by Pritamo Ahrendt or some kind of psychic meltdown he felt from the death-rays I was sending his way through the computer screen .

No, the back half of the field did not cover themselves in glory.

Zeke and Hermes fought a great heat. Zeke put up his power turns and was slightly under-scored, like he was yesterday and a faint whiff of robbery was in the air.

Something strange happened in the booth… I can only surmise, maybe a bag of cookies bought back from Amsterdam was mistakenly handed out for afternoon smoko? These things can happen in even the most professional organisation. Something weirded out the panel because they started highballing the hell out of Hermes waves. That left Zeke chasing a high seven  that he never really should have needed and when he threaded a good but not mind-blowing tube on the buzzer they were forced into giving him the (over) score. At least they had the balls to over-score the fuck out of it so it looked emphatic. There’s nothing worse than a weak over-score.

Hermes was quivering with rage when Rosie, towering a whole foot taller than the Brazilian, tip-toed into the presser with a very soothing tone. Tomas gave Rosie a gobful ” I don’t understand”, he said. “I don’t even read the note they give us anymore.” It’s a cosmic leveling I wanted to tell him. Instead of admitting to mistakes, they level them up the next chance they get.

Hermes was quivering with rage when Rosie, towering a whole foot taller than the Brazilian, tip-toed into the presser with a very soothing tone. Tomas gave Rosie a gobful ” I don’t understand”, he said. “I don’t even read the note they give us anymore.” It’s a cosmic leveling I wanted to tell him. Instead of admitting to mistakes, they level them up the next chance they get.

Dora’s eight-point ride came in on the heels of the drama. The note from the judges had gone out and Innovation and Progression were at the top of the list. Curious on a day of such limited repertoire but Dora threw a carve, a straight up lip schwing in the lip and then a high-speed lip glide ala Occy ’83 for the eight. That made no sense either but here we were. Go check the analyser and see what you think.

Freddy did not dig it, he was waving his arms around and banging his chest. Last year they gave his brand of committed meat-and-potato rail surfing tens. This year it may as well be a bucket of prawns left in the hot sun. You could understand a man feeling….rejected.

Italo and Wilko opened round three with potential for the heat of the day as a south wind started to ruffle the lineup. A strong opening exchange was scored almost equally. Italo started freesurfing, throwing huge backside rotors into the wind. He must have read the memo. Nothing stuck. But the strategy seemed to bait Wilko into playing his game and going too big. Wilko fell. It was tight with a minute and change to go. They split a peak. Wilko threw two tight backhand hooks at a gurgly bowl. Italo threaded a clean tube and finished with clean power turns. Coin toss.

Scores took an age to drop. Long enough to check the ratings and see Wilko languishing in 36th place. I thought Italo had it, judges gave it Wilko. Will that be enough to restore the missing mojo, that is the question. Surely Wilko is too old and too ugly to go back to the q-ey.

Gloom rolled in. It looked like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. Connor squeaked past Yago, Jordy did the same to Gouveia. My feed was feeble and having to refresh and be force fed the Jeep ad time and time again literally turned my brain to mush.

Lets catch up on the rest of round three below.

(Editor’s note: this included the elimination of world tour leader, the Brazilian Filipe Toledo by wildcard Ryan Callinan in round three. From the day’s presser, from the very good Chloe Kojima: Callinan never looked defeated and fought back to take an incredible come-from-behind victory with his last two efforts of a 7.93 and an 8.87. The Australian, who received a replacement wildcard for being the best non-CT surfer on the Qualifying Series, played spoiler in the World Title race today by eliminating Toledo, giving Gabriel Medina (BRA) a golden opportunity to overtake his compatriot in the rankings.

“I was pretty lost in the moment, to be honest,” Callinan said. “I just built through the heat and the two waves that came to me just happened to be beautiful waves with no lumps. It’s amazing out there. I feel like I belong there now. When I was on tour, I had a lot of big heats like that were close but never seemed to go my way. It seems to be switching around in this event so it’s great!”)

Quiksilver Pro France Remaining Round 2 (H3-12) Results:
Heat 3:
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.00 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 6.83
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.07 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.13
Heat 5: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.44 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.56
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.50 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.00
Heat 7: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.44 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 3.60
Heat 8: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 12.36 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.50
Heat 9: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.00 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.43
Heat 10: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.10 def. Michael February (ZAF) 12.93
Heat 11: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.93 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.80
Heat 12: Yago Dora (BRA) 15.77 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 15.57

Quiksilver Pro France Round 3 (H1-7) Results:
Heat 1:
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.90 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.84
Heat 2: Conner Coffin (USA) 10.43 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.27
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.50 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 10.30
Heat 4: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 11.13 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 11.07
Heat 5: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 15.20 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.14
Heat 6: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 16.80 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.60
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.33 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 8.37

Quiksilver Pro France Remaining Round 3 (H8-12) Matchups:
Heat 8: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 9: Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

What is a surfer
The surfer in its many curious forms!

Quiz: What is a “surfer”?

Are you a surfer and why?

Earlier today, a BeachGrit reader made a strong point regarding the surfer bona fides of the WSL’s new head of content, media and so forth, the “waterman” Mr Erik Logan.

“I know Elo,” wrote TheInertia regular KWhilden, “and he paddles out most mornings before dawn to surf, and then drives into work. It doesn’t really matter what he rides. In my book, that qualifies as someone who ‘surfs’.”

And so I wondered, is that all it takes to be a surfer? To enter the ocean on some sort of flotation device and express a devotion to this activity?

If I like punching things, growling at other men and wearing stretchy pants, does that make me an MMA fighter?

I’m hobbled by my own prejudices on the issue.

I don’t believe I can legally claim surfer status, even though its been my only game since I was twelve, because of the so many things I get wrong.

As for being a “waterman”, I think that requires a tremendous affinity with the ocean, not just an enthusiasm for big surfboards and spear guns.

Brad Melekian wrote about it beautifully in The Surfer’s Journal in the piece, What the hell is a Waterman? 

Think of today’s unimpeachables—Brian Keaulana, say, or Mark Healey, or Dave Kalama, or the late Rell Sunn—and you’ll find that you’re thinking of men and women who not only know or knew how to do certain things in the ocean with incredible skill, but men and women who knew why they were doing these things, and dedicated their lives to existing in deep harmony and accordance with that profound sense of purpose.

When we call someone a waterman, maybe what we’re really saying is that that person is entirely and uncommonly devoted—to their core, in a subculture already rife with uncommon devotion—to a coastal life lived in its totality, to the raw, edge-of-nature wilderness experience that the ocean can offer, and to the possibility that such devotion can lead to a better existence not just as a person in the ocean, but as a person in search of a meaningful life.

Now, you tell me: What is a surfer and when did you start calling yourself a surfer, if ever?

Listen: “Chris Binns to replace the ’89 World Champ Martin Potter in the booth!”

An unexpected potential miracle!

It’s World Surf League Day at BeachGrit and, seriously, what would we do without them? I would imagine a similar conversation is taking place in their rose petal-scented Santa Monica headquarters right now. I would imagine poor new President of Content, Media and WSL Studios hire Erik Logan is scratching his head and asking Chief Executive Officer Sophie Goldschmidt, “What the hell is this all about? What on God’s green earth would they do without us?” And I would imagine CEO Sophie Goldschmidt is looking over her shoulder for answers. Looking first for ex-CEO Paul Speaker and then for ex-CCO Beth Greve before shrugging when she can’t find either of them and responding, “I have no idea. We give the bastards crazy high quality free content at enormous sacrifice and this is how they repay us. Maybe they’re retarded?”

Of course Ms. Goldschmidt would never call anyone “retarded” but we are or at least I am. Retarded and proud! I’ve got two WSL scalps under my belt now. Speaker’s and Backward’s and I bet it aggravates them both to no end. I bet they try and spin why and how they left the WSL but we all know it was me. We all know that the incessant drum of the retarded drives even the most linked Linkedin mad. Like Poe’s telltale heart.





But, seriously, what would we do without them?

I’ll tell you what we’d do. Have a week like last’s. With half-baked stories that no one wants to write and no one wants to read.

But Erik Logan… are you reading now? Have I got your attention? I’ve got you as my third scalp and the only way out is to come chat with me face to face. You name the time. You name the place. You name the outfit. You can even bring the coffee table.

David Lee Scales and I spent much time discussing the brand new President of Content, Media and WSL Studios and his fate. All I want is to chat. All I want is for one of those high tower folk to recognize that the grumpy local is part of their audience and have a very fun, maybe even boozy chat.

More importantly, David Lee dropped an absolute bomb right at the beginning. There is a semi-legit rumor that ex-Australia’s Surfing Life editor Chris Binns is set to replace the ’89 World Champ Martin Potter in the booth in 2019. Exactly 130 years since he won his world title.

If this is true, I’m absolutely thrilled. If this is not then……. I’ll continue penning impotent rage.

Either way we all win or win-ish.

Listen here!

Jen See: “It’s like a highlight reel of my worst surfing nightmares!”

That’s what I thought when I saw the WSL's new President of Content's Instagram yesterday.

It’s like a highlight reel of my worst surfing nightmares. That’s what I thought when I saw Erik Logan’s instagram yesterday. Have you ever surfed a line-up crowded with stand-up paddle boarders? It’s like trying to cross the street in Los Angeles, if the drivers, in addition to piloting giant automobiles, were also carrying spears.

I have survived this ordeal and I have returned to tell tales of the horrors I have seen.

“Why aren’t you riding a longboard?” The disembodied voice comes from somewhere above me.

I look up and see a common sight: A middle-aged man, on a stand-up board, paddle in hand, who wants to tell me how I should be doing surfing. I’m not sure why he thinks I want his advice. I mean, I don’t, really! But men in the lineup are going to give their advice, whether or not I want it. If nothing else, this is a thing I’ve learned in this life.

I’m paddling to the outside at a local break whose main claim to fame is its proximity and convenience. Arcing ribs of Monterey Shale hold bars of sand haphazardly in place. The combination creates a peeling wave that doesn’t hold size — or really do much of anything at all. Occasionally on just the right swell angle, it approaches something resembling good. It’s the little point break that could. It’s almost endearingly mediocre.

The place also hosts every kind of surf-like activity you can imagine and maybe a few you can’t. Groms on boogie boards. Adult learners on 10-foot softops, being pushed into waves and falling in the shallows. Bikini-clad girls on longboards. Finless wavestorms. That one determined guy on the sinking shortboard, who knows better, but can’t help himself. Long-time locals on longboards, just looking to get a few before their sun sets forever. The skimboarder doing step-offs.

Then there’s the stand-up paddle boarders. They mostly live in the nearby neighborhoods. The money came late to this part of town, because for many years, it stood hard by the city dump. That’s long gone now and a two-bedroom bungalow will run you a million and change.

There are Sprinter vans in the driveways and stand-up paddle boards in the garages. The men, and it’s mostly men in the SUP ranks, walk down to the beach lugging their boat-sized crafts. They carry their paddles like spears into battle.

And a battle it very often turns out to be. There’s a heedless entitlement to these men. Who cares if their giant board comes flying through the lineup when they don’t make it over the set wave? We’re all just having fun here, right? Sure, I think, feel free to bash in my skull with your loose board. I didn’t really need that brain.

The men on SUP’s would never burn you, no way, they just want to share the stoke. It’s chill, right? Yeah, man, it’s totally chill. I totally love it when you burn me after I scrapped into a shit-small wave in a crowded line-up. “Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to!” I scream in my best Courtney Love voice.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to hit your board! No big deal, I’m sure! Right, bro, I don’t care about my boards at all. I’ll just go home and cry while I stuff an entire package of q-cell in this giant hole. I didn’t really like that resin tint job, anyway. It looks better now with a mismatched blob of fiberglass on it. I’m pretty sure I’m going to start a new trend.

The first time I saw a foil SUP, I’m pretty sure I screamed out loud at the sight. Suddenly, a giant board with a guillotine screwed to the bottom appeared right in front of me. Dismemberment seemed inevitable. I was born to be shark bait.

Look, in all seriousness, ride the board that makes you happy. Surfboards are toys. They’re fucking toys we take into the ocean to have fun. That’s it! It’s easy to turn them into fetish objects. Who among us hasn’t smelled a board fresh from the glasser and smiled? But ultimately, the goal is to go outside, get a few fun ones, and go home happy. Surfing is our all-too-brief escape from a world that often feels a little too real and a little too much.

At the same time, surfing in places like California is a social endeavor, which is to say, it’s crowded as fuck. In theory it’s a delicate dance between you, the ocean, and a bunch of other humans, who all want the same scarce resource you do. In practice, it’s a mosh pit in full flight, all sharp elbows, fast-moving bodies, and a few stray shoes.

But even the most intense pit follows its own set of rules. There’s a fine line between getting your fair share and being an oblivious asshole. It isn’t actually all about you and your bros having a good time at everyone else’s expense — or which guy has the biggest stick. We’re all just trying to get through it and hoping that someone will find the shoe we lost along the way.