Erik Logan watch Day 3: “My wetsuit is a suit of armor!”

We have a theoretical victory!

And thus it ends, me sitting on couch wiping tears from my eyes, inspired. Was I wrong about the World Surf League’s newest hire, President of Content, Media and WSL Studios Erik Logan? Could I possibly have been wrong?

I don’t know but there appears to be a meeting on the books between us, slated for January when he officially slides into his role. If it happens, it’ll be the first high-level assemblage betwixt the World Surf League and “that fucking BeachGrit” in the Dirk Ziff era. A warming of hostilities? A listening to The People and what they crave from their professional surfing?

I don’t know but there is another tear in my eye because have you heard Erik Logan’s story of conquering his fear of water and learning to SUP? It is must watch but, in a nutshell, he was afraid of the water and so his wife gave him a wetsuit and it changed everything. The wetsuit became his suit of armor and he was able to go slay dragons with his boat and spear.

If every wetsuit company in the entire world is not trying to get Erik Logan on the team right now then they are utterly blowing it. Matuse are you reading? Vissla? XCel? The Wetsuit of Armor is a no-brainer.

An absolute no-brainer.

The rest of the chat is heart-warming too. Erik Logan speaks of joining the tribe, leaving egos on the beach etc. This ego-less surf tribe sounds very nice and you think I’m still joking, don’t you. You think I’m still poking and prodding, digging for cheap laughs. Well shame on you. There are issues to work through, certainly, namely the SUP and his holding onto the debunked myth that the “best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun” but aren’t we big enough to give Erik Logan a legitimate shot?

Wouldn’t you like to be part of the ego-less surf tribe too?

See you in January, Erik!

JP Currie: “There are bets to be had on surfing that make you feel almost guilty for taking the cash!”

Surfing, writes Scottish punter, is a gambler's dream… 

I’d like to preface this (and anything else I may write about gambling in the future) with the following statement:

Gambling is as foolish a pursuit as a man can have. It’s the worst of the vices.

Despite what I write here, I am deeply embarrassed by my gambling habits. They are hidden from the world. I surreptitiously stab at my phone in dim corners of day-to-day life. I share none of it, except, ironically, with a bunch of strangers on a men’s special interest blog (plus two women).

Despite what I write here, I am deeply embarrassed by my gambling habits. They are hidden from the world. I surreptitiously stab at my phone in dim corners of day-to-day life. I share none of it, except, ironically, with a bunch of strangers on a men’s special interest blog (plus two women).I suppose it’s cathartic for me. But, honestly, you’ve probably got more chance of getting rich peddling witch’s tears than you do trying to beat the bookies.

Unless, of course, you’re betting on surfing. Then none of that is true.

Because there are still bets to be had on surfing that make you feel almost guilty for taking the cash. You can finally pat yourself on the back for using knowledge gleaned from years of dedication to this dull excuse for sport, and for surviving the oral equivalent of waterboarding delivered by Potz and Turpel. #metoo

Surfing is a gambler’s bloody dream, mate. As is France. France can, as Jay Z might say, unwrap the gift and the curse in one session.

Traditionally, the thing that takes gamblers down is when they start betting on feel. When they get convinced they know what’s going to happen without logic or evidence. This is what real gamblers do. And by that I mean the ones who mostly lose money, most of whom will ultimately lose all their money. I’m ultimately, mostly and unfortunately one of those guys. I can walk away from a poker game apathetic about winning money; or I can walk away happy having lost it all if I’ve had just a single hand where I’ve been all in and won on the river. That heave is all I need.

Of course, this is not what professionals do. Pros never bet on feel. Instead, they bet on numbers, and probabilities, and rational things. Surfing ain’t none of them things. Surfing is about feel, and so is gambling on it. Forget the stats. Surf stats and all that bullshit. Look at them, sure. It’s a consideration, but ignore them generally. And don’t make ANY decisions based on numbers alone. You can and should break the rules when betting on surfing. In continuation of the rap parlance: bet on the guy who is feeling himself.

Take today. Ryan Callinan is feeling himself. He’s just won a massive QS, he’s qualified to surf with the big boys next year, and he’s coming out the other side of a period of personal tragedy as bad as it gets. No wonder he’s surging. At 5/1 to beat Filipe today in a heat with only two possible outcomes it was a gift. Add in the pressure on Filipe, and the fact that he’s choked in the past and it wasn’t difficult to lay down some cash on Callinan. And of course it makes you feel good to back him. You want him to win. He’s a feel-good story. And judges of a subjective and emotional sport are susceptible to feel good stories, just as you are. No conspiracy, just chemistry.

My bets for today (all accumulators, all round three):

A 7 fold on: Cardoso to beat O’Leary (won); De Souza over Buchan (won); Callinan over Toledo (won); Medina to beat Wiggolly (won); Zeke to beat MRod (to run); Griff over C-Bass (to run); Duru over Julian (to run). (276/1)

A 6 fold of the same bet minus Callinan. (45/1)

A 5 fold of Cardoso, De Souza, Callinan, Zeke and Griff. (81/1)

I might do some cashing out overnight before it kicks off again in the morning, but I probably won’t.

Laid back… with my mind on my money and my money on my mind

(Notes: Jamie gambles with Bet365, with “a modest twenty pounds sterling on each of those multis. I might cash some of it out tonight. Not convinced by Zeke over M-Rod. On France so far I haven’t won anything. I had a few minor pre0-event bets scuppered by Caroline Marks losing to the wild card. She was one of my bankers for nearly every line. And it’s been a slow one with the lay days etc anyway so I haven’t been that on top of it. I don’t tend to bet on outright winners, I only bet round one for fun, and I avoid round two because the odds are generally not worthwhile. Round three on is where it gets more tempting.”)

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?