Mea Culpa: Wave Pools are the future and you should enjoy!

Fun on demand!

I’ve feeling bad all day after teeing off on dirty fresh wave pool water yesterday. I mean, not “bad” but bad if you can parse the difference because all those poor wave pool inventors and trying their best to bring surf to inland folk fun and good time and surfing and what am I doing? Drinking vodka and teeing off from a coastal enclave like a true unsolicited dick.

Like basically the bad guy of the whole #metoo movement.

And so I spent the day wondering if I was too harsh… or a prophet that should be heeded. “Hark I say unto thee, freshwater is shit and maketh eye infections and/or worse so run to the coast and be therefore cleansed in the salts.”

But of course I don’t “really” really think I’m a prophet which means I was too harsh.


And so I totally think you should go to surf a tank and enjoy every last second of gorgeous waves on demand but I don’t want to and am not because I realized I love saltwater.

Like really really love saltwater. “Really” really love saltwater and feel that it is more essential to our experience than we previously understood or at least I previously understood.

So yeah, go rip one just don’t take your kids if you have any and don’t take me because I hate them and think they are poison garbage that fucking suck so so so so so bad and worse than ever.

You won’t catch me dead near one and if you do catch me dead near one then I am dead from a brain eating bacteria.

Competition: Professional surfing should employ Ryder Cup format!

Teams and jingoism!

I neither watch nor play golf well. A problematic attention span plagues both pursuits. I love to drive off the tee but can’t be bothered with the self-discipline necessary for a successful short game. I love to tune in but only if Tiger Woods is screwing up so I can say, “Hey guys… remember this?”

Very uncool, I know, but the other day I caught a tiny bit of the Ryder Cup and lights flashed behind my dull eyes.

The Ryder Cup, for those who have better things to do, is a golf tournament that takes place between The United States and Europe every two years. There are captains who run their teams, made up of American golfers and European golfers, of course. Now, this is where my understanding gets fuzzy but I think the golfers pair up with one of their countrymen and take on a pair from the opposing bloc. The pair alternate shots and try to win and then the most pair victories helps the team win but there is also individual play. Or something.

The knowledgable can fill us in better but I was thinking the format, or an approximation of, could make for brilliant professional surfing. What if, every two years the surf world was broken into The United States, Europe, Australia and Brazil. Teams are formed, with captains, and then the professional surfers are put into pairs and then they surf against another pair for a heat.

Let’s say, for example, it’s Kolohe Andino and Brett Simpson for the USA and… Julian Wilson and Mikey “he-puts-the-wild-in-wildcard” Wright.

So they all paddle out together and each surfer has to bag a score and the highest combo wins but the teammate surfers can also play defense, block, annoy, tug leashes etc. How much fun would that be with nifty strategy and lots of laughs?

The jingoism would be fun, the internecine struggles, the botched captaining and the stunning upsets would be fun too.

It would all be fun, in fact. A new bankable format.

You’re welcome WSL.

board punching
When you rich and good on a board you don't have to pay a single rupee! And you can beat 'em to death if they don't dance.

Quiz: How much did you pay for your last surfboard?

Eight, nine, ten hundreds?

I was nineteen when I hacked up the most I would ever pay for a surfboard. It was $560 and I’d worked for three months in an island bistro slinging drinks and being sexually assaulted most nights by the bar’s riotous manager (I have protruding nipples and rare is the woman in power who can resist the impulse to feel their hardness or to brush a palm against their stubborn points).

I kept my twenty-dollars bill in a velcro wallet and took a boat to the mainland where the board was displayed in a window. The shop owner took the board off a stand and handed it to me. No tailpad, leash, wax, not a damn thing but a surfboard I hoped would mirror the dancing I’d imagined in my head.

Of course it didn’t.

And I’ve never paid $560, in adjusted dollars it’s important to add, since. Which is no surprise, I suppose, because I work in the surf game although the favours I have to give to get a board at cost would price ’em at around ten gees apiece.

It’s you I wonder about. The man and then woman out there, without connections, who must go into a store and negotiate and offer trades and all those things. I see surfboards that cost one thousand dollars and I wonder, who pays that much?

Does anybody?

Do you?

Tell me, discreetly if you must: how much did you pay for your last surfboard?


Kai Lenny
The multi-discipline surfer Kai Lenny models the inflatable back carrot.

Watch: Kai Lenny debut “the inflatable back carrot!”

A must-have vegetable-themed accessory currently doing the crowdfunding circuit…

Two days ago, the multi-discipline surfer Kai Lenny introduced, with a flourish, a giant inflatable carrot that delivers a kick of speed for downwind foilers.

“I got this from Lou Wainman and you’re meant to go real fast downwind with it,” says Kai, who turns twenty six years old in a couple of weeks and who lives on the Hawaiian island of Maui. “Supposedly, way up in the atmosphere where it’ll be it’ll catch the wind and propel you forward. The idea of the carrot is it catches just enough wind to help assist me going downwind faster so now it’s a light wind and I can feel it pulling on me to catch onto the next swell. Still gotta get used to having a carrot on my back!”

Lou says, “I’ve made some prototype tubes about 20 to 30 feet tall tubes that create a lot of drag/power in the wind. I think they could be good for Stand Up Paddleboards to go downwind without needing to paddle. Maybe even hydrofoilers could make it work to go upwind and eventually surfers, when designs get modified and evolve. I’m looking to build more prototypes and test them here on Maui to eventually do a production run and some promotions to get it off the ground. It’s actually a lot of fun just to stand on the beach with one on. There is a lot of power there.”

Kai’s conclusion?

“Does the future have space for the carrot? I say YES!”

Lou’s chasing thirty gees for his carrot biz. So far he’s raised $645.

Wanna make a dream come true? Donate here.

Opinion: Wave Pools are totally and utterly disgusting and also abominations!

Saltwater matters!

I’m going to be completely honest here. Totally and completely honest. Wave tanks are totally and utterly disgusting and the tragic death from brain-eating amoebas should be the end of all of them, even if the brain-eating amoebas came from hotel hot tubs, and by all of them I mean all the freshwater inland ones, not that there is any other kind.

Kelly Slater and the WSL should head up to Lemoore with flamethrowers strapped to backs. Pete Coors, owner of NLand, should rent a B-52 bomber for the day. BSR Cable Park in Waco should ignite the thing with napalm. The United States Senate etc. should stop jibber jabbering about Supreme Court nominations for one second and craft laws that ban them unless they happen to be touching the ocean and sharing water with the ocean like all those gorgeous Australian swimming pools.

Otherwise it’s over.

It’s a wrap.

I truly don’t care if the brain-eating amoeba in the tragic case of New Jersey victim came from a hot tub or local hotel swimming pool or local hotel bathtub.

All the wave pools thus far are fucking disgusting wastes of water in places that shouldn’t be wasting water. And the water they are wasting is totally suspect to begin with, begging for issues if not today then tomorrow and if not tomorrow then the next day.

They are unnatural abominations and we laughed at God for a minute but the giggles are over and it is time to pull the plug.

It’s just my opinion, of course, but how will the problems be fixed in Lemoore and in Waco and most of all in Austin? Public swimming pools are gross. No one has ever questioned the grossness of public swimming pools yet they are tiny and easy to filter unlike giant repurposed waterski lakes.

And the worst is yet to come.

Austin is the grossest, in my mind. Lots of indy music over there. Lots of “artists.” Lots of population and a shitty wave to boot. Ugh.

But back to those gorgeous Australian swimming pools, the ones that share water with the ocean, that’s where wave pools should be built. In places that don’t have waves but have ocean. It would solve all the problems at once and especially the brain-eating bacteria ones.

So that’s my final position. I didn’t become a bass fisherman because I’m already suspect of freshwater. Saltwater matters and now we know it. Saltwater is an amazing. Saltwater is why we do what we do and who knew? Or I suppose we all did. We all knew or at least I did. The times I’ve been on houseboats or waterski boats or lake fishing boats and someone always developed some sort of gross eye infection.


I literally loathe freshwater unless it’s a fast running river or I’m drinking it from a fancy bottle.

We should have all known when these damned perfect barrels snatched our eyes, infections looming. We should have known.

Freshwater is gross.

Saltwater matters.

And that is that.