Revealed: The World Surf League unveils its vision of the perfect wave!

Paradise found!

Have you ever stopped to think that the World Surf League could, if they wished, host a surf contest at virtually any break around the entire world? Even crazy localized ones? Even just discovered ones? Even Surf Lakes in Australia or BSR Cable Park in Waco? It’s true. The League has enough financial backing (Thanks Dirk!) and enough clout to be able to grease even the most reluctant palm.

If the powers that be, WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL President of Content, Media and WSL Studios-elect Erik Logan etc. got a wild hair and decided that a one-off fantasy event was important where do you think they would host? Imagine all the waves in the entire world…

Would they choose Kauai’s North Shore?

Maybe that Mick Fanning African mirage?

What about something safe but predictable like Macaronis?

Cloud 9?

You’d be wrong on all counts for today the World Surf League unveiled its vision of perfection in an Instagram post titled “Paradise found.”

It appears that the fantasy surf contest would take place in a very shallow closeout with SUPs observing from a great distance. Who would go best here? All my money, of course, on Mason Ho. I think he might be able to make something of this found paradise. I think he could do something interesting.

Where is this mystical wave?

From the please-make-it-stop department: Surf satire experiences a new golden age!


Did you love Wilbur Kookmeyer when you were younger? Did you guffaw at all his, “real-talk” moments? I…. am going to be all the way honest here and didn’t. Even as a completely kooky Oregonian youth, I felt that satire doesn’t really work in surf because it is all too ridiculous to begin with. Satirizing it is like satirizing Juggalos. The joke is already inherent in the thing itself.

But then The Inertia and sister online publication Stab came along.

There must be something in Venice-adjacent’s water that creates an insatiable desire to create surf satire and brand it as such. To let the readers know, “Hey, we’re making a funny here on localism or sexism or racism or something but obviously don’t really mean it because we’re woke and that’s what satire’s for. Woke surfers!”

The Inertia and Stab are each pressing the pedal to the metal over the last few years, publishing at least one satirical surf funny a week. Here is the latest and you can guess from which:

Have you ever listened to woman talk?

I haven’t, but I assume it goes something like, “Blah blah blah, Amy Schumer. Blah blah, menstruation, blah blah blah.”

Who needs it? Men know the truth: silence is golden.

The only communication taking place between waves should come in the form of grunts, whistles, dirty looks, or punching.

Surfing is serious business. We’re not out there looking to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. We’re there to shred, bro!

Ugh and etc.

If The Inertia and Stab both promised to cease and desist with surf satire forevermore I’d promise to never ever write another surf word as long as I live and am totally serious.

Zach? I know you have very hurt feelings but how much easier would your life/business model be if I was gone? Be honest here. Ashton? You failed to get the police interested in taking me down but I’m gone if you commit to cutting surf satire forever.

That’s how much I care.

That’s how much I care about cutting this damned cancer from our ranks once and for all.

Help: Let’s make the Triple Crown of Surfing great again!

It's time for a surfing cull!

There is no good surf news happening right now, certainly nothing of note. Surf Lakes rolled out their brand new, exciting technology to little fanfare. Oh, I know some blame the lack of excitement on the fact that the Yeppoon’s first and only wave tank never got up to full tilt but that just isn’t true. It was by far the most dynamic/sexiest and the only reason we didn’t look more is because we are all spoiled rotten and/or just waiting for Webber.

Outside of Yeppoon, though, there is nothing. I spent the morning trolling around before realizing that the HIC Pro at Oahu’s iconic Sunset Beach kicked off yesterday in 15ft surf.

I had no idea and the fact that I had no idea gave me profound sadness.

The Triple Crown (Sunset, Haleiwa and Pipeline) should be the greatest month in competitive surfing’s year but it’s not at all. It is an embarrassing sideshow all thanks to the 185 kids in the draw. Why are these QS events? Who has the time or energy to watch 185 kids winnow down to Bam Bacalso?

The World Surf League should rescue this shiny gem, make the whole thing an invitational and crown the world’s most well rounded surfer at the end.

Is it really that difficult?

Is it really that impossible to cull the damned field?

I don’t understand. A surfing cull would be the best news ever, across both the CT and QS, and Halloween would be the best time ever for this bloodletting. Imagine waking up on Wednesday morning with no more QS mainstays ever again.


The best gift of all.

Jeff Clark on Mavericks: “I brought this dragon to the world!”

What have you ever done with your life?

I spoke with one of my literary heroes on the phone last week. Daniel Duane, author of Caught Inside, How to Cook Like a Man, Lighting Out etc. is working on a piece for the New York Times, I believe, about women and big wave surfing. It was a great pleasure to chat and to once again kick big wave surfing’s tires and do it with someone as knowledgeable he.

Big wave surfing is like exotic pornography to me. Like very extreme BDSM or furry fandom or psychrophilia. I understand the most basic component, the sex act itself, but other than that am completely lost.

I have vacillated wildly over the years, thinking that big wave surfing is the only broadly consumable sector of our game. That the average Joe or Josie can instantly understand both the daring and skill of big wave surfing without the need for Joe Turpel to explain what “scores in the excellent range” mean. Thinking that big wave surfing is completely unmarketable in the same ways that dog maulings and avalanches are unmarketable. Average Joe and Average Josie look, mouths agape even, but would never pay money to look.

Part of the problem, I thought while chatting with Dan, is the new inflatable lifevests. Oh I don’t doubt that they are a technological marvel and savers of many many many lives but, to me, it feels as if the very extreme BDSM has spilled out of the dungeon and into the public square. I don’t like the way they make me feel.

Maybe that is why I appreciate Waimea, big Pipeline and Mavericks all the more. Waves that brave men and women ride nude, like normal, or in simple wetsuits.

Mavericks had its opening ceremony the other day. It has finally been freed from lawsuit and argument, I think, and is set to put on a show. Let us turn to the San Francisco Chronicle for more.

Beforehand, as surfers and photographers gathered on the beach, Mavericks legend Jeff Clark offered some words in prayer. Clark, who pioneered the break in the mid-1970s, had decided to step aside from the contest after years of financial woes and political infighting, but recently changed his mind.

“I brought this dragon to the world,” said Clark, 61, who surfed Mavericks by himself for 15 years before he could get anyone to join him. “For all the stuff that goes on, it comes down to the time in the ocean with this band of big-wave brothers and sisters. That’s what it’s really all about. What’s remembered are the waves, and the friendships.”

Doesn’t that make you jealous? I suppose we are this band of small-wave brothers and sisters though and for that I am grateful.

Update: DA drops charges in “world’s lamest surf assault!”

"You just can't tackle someone in the United States!" Oh yes you can!

Earlier this year, surfers were gifted the fascinating saga of Alex Burdett vs Jordan Montgomery in what quickly became known as the “World’s Lamest Surf Assault”.

Do you remember?

Here’s a quick refresher.

A small crowd was surfing a two-foot windswell at First Jetty, Virginia Beach. It ain’t Pipe but what is.

As recorded by the Surfline cam, and posted on Instagram after the fact, we saw a shortboarder, take off deep on the peak and go left. A longboarder wobbled down the face of the wave from the opposite side of the peak. As they collided, the shortboarder jumpsed over the other board and the longboarder stayed on his craft before flopping off the back of the wave.

Shortly afterwards, the shortboarder, Alex Burdette, who is a twenty-eight-year-old tattoo artist at Ghost Ship Tattoo in town there, was cuffed in the middle of a job and jailed on a charge of assault and battery.

“I asked if I could finish the tattoo and he told me to find a way for them to come back another day,” Alex told BeachGrit, and said he had to spend a thousand bucks on a lawyer and stay in Virginia Beach for the next month, missing any swells that hit nearby, but interstate, Cape Hatteras as well as a vacay in Nicaragua. “I have a completely clean record. It was the only time I’ve been in cuffs outside of the bedroom.”

The accuser, who felt the non-incident was worthy of state intervention, was a kid Alex said he taught to surf ten years earlier, the filmer Jordan Montgomery.

When BeachGrit called Jordan, who was twenty one at the time, he said he’d had “ongoing problems with Alex since he was a kid. 

And the collision?

“It was five-thirty, low light, dusk. He stood up and jumped at me. He put his hands on my shoulders and I grabbed him and rotated him. I was confused, like, dude why are you tackling me on a one-foot wave? He didn’t punch me in the face. You can see in the video he doesn’t push me off the board, but his  hands hit me in the bottom of the neck and chin area. I felt it! He laid a hand on me and in the United States you can do that. Surfing is a recreational sport and I’ve been surfing for fourteen years. I’m not a kook. I rode for Hurley for ten years… I’ve done all the Rip Curl GromSearches, NSSAs. I know what the hell I’m doing! This happened so fast. I felt his hands on me! He was tackling me out of aggression. Surfing shouldn’t be a scapegoat for violence.”

Afterwards, he said Alex announced to the lineup, “All you bitch-ass longboarders, if you go right I’ll kick your ass!”

“I’m not trying to get him in trouble. I probably went a little over bounds. I did what I had to do to protect myself,” admitted Jordan.

Anyway, according to a Virginia Beach resident and BeachGrit reader, the charges have now been dropped after Burdett’s lawyer got the Surfline footage and showed it to the DA.

Watch the World’s Lamest Surf Assault again here!

It’s precious!