Martin Potter: “Wilson to win Pipe Masters, Medina to take the title!”

"But my heart wants Filipe..."

I woke up long before the sun this morning to watch live professional surfing. Oh I can get so grumpy about it all, like a father who has grand expectations for a talented but spastic daughter. I see what is possible and want to pull, tug, push, prod toward the ideal. My efforts often read as pure criticism but it is a criticism born of love and there I sat, bathed in the warm glow from my computer screen, watching live professional surfing, listening to Pete Mel and Kaipo then to Joe Turpel and the ’89 World Champion Martin Potter.

I’m not about to even try to give a day one recap here. As revealed, I am a talentless man and it is difficult for me to riff on what I see remotely. I need to be there, loafers in the sand, with The People, in order to feel it. In order to breathe it. Plus, we have Longtom and no surf journalist is performing at a higher level than he right now. To rob even one jot, one tittle, from his potential arsenal would be an absolute crime but there were two points impressed upon me this early morning.

For all the pulling, tugging, pushing, prodding, for all the constructive criticism (too long, too boring, too etc.), The WSL is doing much right. The highlight packages between heats, for example, absolutely sparkle. It is a good show which teeters on possibly being great.

And Martin Potter, who happened to win a World Title in ’89, weighed in on the 2018 World Title Race making the call that Julian Wilson is going to win the Pipe Masters but Gabriel Medina is going to win the whole thing.

You know, of course, that there are three potentials left. Filipe Toledo, Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina.

Filipe lost his round 1 heat to I-can’t-remember and Longtom-will-fill-us-in and was relegated to the dreaded Round 2. A loss there would have spelled the official end to his campaign and Martin Potter, who coincidentally won his own World Title in ’89, threw down his prediction. Julian for Pipe, Gabe for the whole shooting match, Filipe for Mr. Congeniality though he did add, “My heart wants Filipe…but once Gabriel has the taste of blood in his mouth he’s just too good.”

Do you agree? Is ’18 over? Filipe, for the record, went out and destroyed Sammy Pupo in the dangerous Round 2. Barrels and airs.

Barrels and airs.

I’ve got Filipe for both Pipe and the title.

Surf Gambling: Your BeachGrit-approved betting slip for the Portugal Pro!

Fantasy surfer winner Blake Thornton's hot tips for MEO Rip Curl Pro!

Six years have passed since Gabriel Medina wept and told the crowd at the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal that this was the “third time” the judges had got it wrong.

Six years since his step-daddy Charlie threw chairs all over the surfer’s area after the last-minute win by Julian Wilson in that year’s event.

Six years since Gabriel took his runner-up award and disappeared off the stage, leaving Julian to shower himself in champagne.

No more weepies! Gabriel’s coming for the crown!

And, well, wouldn’t you know.

Here we are again. A world title on the line, and starring Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo.

Gabriel will take the title if he wins the event and Julian gets worse than a third, Filipe worse than a ninth.

But what concerns you, and me, is how we can milk the betting agencies for our own glorious triumphs.

Since 2015 Fantasy Surfer winner Blake Thornton stepped behind the wheel here, he’s picked the winner of the Surf Ranch Pro (Gabriel Medina, fifty bucks at five-to-one, $250) and the Quiksilver Pro (Julian Wilson, thirty buck bet, won $270).

This event?

Blake says the outrageously unpredictable surf “makes the field more open. It’s a nightmare to predict the waves, however, the way I read it means there’ll be a little wind coming into the face of the lefts which should offer better barrels and lofty air sections although the wind after Tuesday is blowing a bloody gale so that may hinder the guys.”

Filipe? Fuming after Hossegor and therefore a strong bet?

“I am sure he is fuming and you wouldn’t expect back-to-back bad results but if he comes up against Callinan again in the forecasted conditions early on he could be in serious trouble.”

(Editor’s note: I ain’t throwing Filipe in the garbage. In 2015, he had the highest heat score ever in a Portugal final, 17.83, including a ten-pointer. Fifty on Filipe to win, five to one.)

Dark horses?

“Lower seeded guys who could shake things up  are Ace, Seabass and Jeremy Flores but I am kinda expecting the same guys to be at the business end. Peniche is a place where it’s twos or tens and even the best can get caught looking for waves with the flash rips and big tides. With that in mind I am tipping the following…”

  • $50 on Medina at $4
  • $40 on Julian at $5
  • $30 on Owen at $13
  • $30 on Italo at $8
  • $20 on Seabass at $26
  • $10 on Ace at $31
“My round 1 multi to return some coin looks like this, Ace into Medina into Joan into Ian Gouveia and our $20 should get return $61 bucks or $1228.”

Thoughtful speculation or madness?

"Don't be sad, Kelly. Like us, this board was not built to last."
"Don't be sad, Kelly. Like us, this board was not built to last."

Question: What was your first custom order hand-shaped surfboard?

Surfing divination!

Have you ever gone to a psychic? A man or woman gifted in the arts of divination? I never have but imagine the comfort of receiving advice about this or that decision would be comforting. Still, it’s the psychic’s ability to tell the client about his or her own past, without foreknowledge, that  has always impressed. Anyone could say anything about the future, who could argue? But the past is set in stone.


On this note, I feel I could tell you everything* about your past if you told me the dimensions of your first custom order hand-shaped board.

Do you recall first time you waltzed into the surf shop or weird backyard shed, chatted with the sketchy, possibly wanted man running the place and filled out the paperwork?

What did you write?

For me it was 6’4 18 2.2 and built lovingly from epoxy.

1994, Huntington Beach, California.

Exactly what you would have guessed had I not told you. I’m sure the board stunted my development as a surfer by years, if not forever, but who needs skill when you’ve got a potato chip?

Now what about you? Tell me your dimensions and I’ll show you the world* .

*The rough decade in which you had it shaped.

Kolohe Andino: “You want to portray happiness but you’re locked into that dark side of a heat. It’s a weird limbo!”

#tournotes is back as a rare and intricate depiction of pro surfer life!

It’s been a while since Peter King’s #tournotes has found a satisfying gear. In years past, the surf fan would wait patiently for the former pro surfer and songstress King to drop his disposable behind-the-scenes pop art. It was the perfect foil to the high-production values of the WSL, and a fitting conclusion to an event.

I think you’ll agree that #tournotes went half-assed there for a while after the WSL bought the franchise off Hurley: two-minute edits instead of six, it was oddly curated and there was a lack of candid hits. It felt as if King, who says he succeeds because “I’m overweight…and persistent” had made a Faustian bargain in order to keep his little show on the road.

In this episode, which is called French Magic and follows the travails of the Quiksilver Pro, King has his perfect pitch back and the result is a rare and intricate depiction of pro surfer life.

Kolohe Andino watches his post-heat interview and says, “I get nervous before an interview and don’t want to  say anything stupid and I don’t want to offend anyone but I also want to be real. And be myself. And I also want to portray funness, happiness but sometimes you’re locked into that dark side of a heat and you don’t click out right away. It’s a weird limbo.”

Maurice Cole says he loves the French event, catching up on pals etc because, “For us homeless people it gives us a sense of belonging.”

Ryan Callinan demonstrates a divine ability to lose with grace and Julian Wilson gives an emotional injection to proceedings with a contest win in front of wife and baby daughter. 

“I want them to laugh, to be excited, and move onto the next thing. It’s not for sitting around watching. It’s not high-art, it’s not a movie. Watch it and move on,” says King.

Buy: Your own personal wave tank for under $75000!

Introducing Surf Boss!

Ooooee somebody sure should have participated in Sober October this year and I don’t mean Kelly Slater. Well, I had fun and enjoyed testing BeachGrit‘s fibers with some radical honesty and did you ever fall for that early-2000s self-help program? Radical Honesty? If I remember correctly you were supposed to walk around telling everyone they were fat to their faces then reach enlightenment.

I feel we came close yesterday and I only wish that we had been conducting the session aboard Montara Boats’ new Surf Pontoon. One of us hitting the lip on the perfect wave peeling off behind us. All of us mocking the poor form etc. practicing our Radical Honesty.

And you know how little I care for fresh water. You know that I am a salt man to my bones but this Surf Pontoon sounds better than a wave pool and much cheaper too. Here’s a little taste from

Minnesota-based Montara Boats is excited to announce an industry first, a pontoon boat you can surf behind. After extensive research and development, Montara has developed a patent-pending design that blends the comfort of a pontoon boat with the performance of an inboard surf boat.

“For the past 15 years I’ve watched neighbors and friends buy tow boats for water sports in addition to pontoons for entertaining. We’ve cracked the code on this and figured out how to blend these, creating the Surf Boss that does it all,” said Montara CEO Mark Overbye.

Ending the frustration of having to compromise performance for comfort, size and space, Montara’s new Surf Boss is available in three lengths, 21 feet, 23 feet, and 25 feet.

Equipped with PCM inboard engines, the Surf Boss features competitive surf wakes, a fully enclosed head, over 100 cubic feet of storage, dual swiveling captains chairs, jumbo-sized dual transom loungers that flip from forward to aft viewing.

Initial deliveries are expected to arrive dealer show rooms beginning in late December. Surf Boss street pricing is anticipated to range from about $65,000 to $75,000 for respective 21-foot to 25-foot Surf Boss models.

For some time now, I’ve wondered if the future of inland surfing was right under our noses all along (buy here!). The Surf Boss can run 42 mph with 6000 lbs ballasts, a weight that causes most wake boats to wallow. Imagine if you could get that up to 12000 lbs? It’d barrel right overhead like a moving miracle!

I’m telling you true, this is the future. I know because I’ve reached enlightenment.

Would you buy?

Are you in?