Opinion: A modest proposal regarding how to deal with our modern surfing life!

What Euthanasia!

Here is what I’ve been thinking. The once-sacred act of wave-riding has been co-opted by the forces of evil, and, not to put too fine a point on it, we’re all fucked.

I don’t want to upset anybody unnecessarily so let me assure you at this early stage that I have a solution, and an ingenious one at that. But first it will be necessary to elaborate the nature of the problem.

It was Mr Ziff who drove the whole thing home to me, with his talk a few months ago at the Waterman’s Ball of “growing in popularity” and surfing’s “rightful place” and the “few grumpy locals who have to deal with some new faces in the line-up”. Grumpy doesn’t cover it. Homicidal, perhaps even suicidal, would be more like it. Nor is it true to say there are only a few of us, indeed that is the very issue at hand.

There are too many people in the world, and too many of them are surfers. That is the essence of it, and things are getting worse. There aren’t nearly enough waves to go around, and wavepools, far from easing the strain on our natural resources, are likely only to exacerbate it. Of course it is only a matter of time until the inlanders climb out of their freshwater pools and infest the ocean like so many test-tube mutants. Obviously such a trend is not sustainable. Violence will break out on a huge scale. It will be like a never-ending US Open.

Well, I have an answer. Now, euthanasia has acquired all sorts of negative associations, as I have learned in the course of my market research. None of these unpleasant associations are warranted, but such is the way with these things. The very word makes people wince and shudder; they are physically and morally repulsed.

Clearly the word is in need of a rebrand. Well, it is our firm intention to put the “yeeeew!” back into euthanasia. In so doing, we hope not only to reduce numbers in line-ups across the world, but to restore dignity and meaning to the lives and deaths of our customers. Our motives are above all utilitarian; total worldwide stoke levels will experience a sharp spike.

By “we”, I refer to the small team of staff that makes up What Euthanasia™, an innovative new company that specialises in creative solutions to demographic challenges. We also produce our own content, which we distribute both through our social channels and in a quarterly print-magazine-cum-coffee-table book.

Those who missed most of secondary school to focus on their prospects in the pro juniors may be wondering what Euthanasia actually is. It is not, in fact, a remote tropical archipelago in the Pacific – although in a sense it might as well be. Some people define it as assisted suicide, which I will grant does not sound like much fun. Jet-ski-assisted suicide, on the other hand? A great big Code Red stand-up barrel of laughs!

We are currently in talks to secure semi-exclusive rights to a prime surfing location in the Pacific Ocean, where potentially fatal conditions of 8ft and over are a regular occurrence. (The spot in question is situated in international waters, meaning there are no legal barriers.) Swells emerge out of deep water onto an extremely shallow reef, the inside section of which is known colloquially as “The Mortician’s Table”. No doubt you have heard coral reef described as “razor sharp” before; our reef has been embedded with actual razor blades in order to inflict maximum damage.

As for the wave, it is perfection itself – a huge barrel, almost as wide as it is tall, grinding down the reef for a hundred yards. The view inside is to die for.

One of the many things that set What Euthanasia™ apart from its competitors is that we cater for all abilities of surfer. Our experienced jet-ski drivers will save you the hassle of making the beyond-vertical drop, ensuring you are safely on your feet before whipping you several yards too deep into what we guarantee will be the wave of your life, and indeed death.

Friends and family are encouraged to join in the chorus of “yeeeew!”s from the channel, before donning floral leis and convening in a circle beyond the breaking waves for the customary commemorative service. Various package deals are available, about which more details to follow soon.

From the we’ve-hit-the-big-time department: Momentum Generation lands on HBO!

The "world's biggest surf stars" coming to your living room!

It was announced this morning that the documentary Momentum Generation was picked up by HBO Sports and will air across all HBO’s platforms on Dec. 11 of this year. The film follows the career arcs of the surfers made famous in the original Taylor Steele surf film from 2001. Do you ever wonder what happened to the film’s cast of characters? Like, what do you think Ross Williams is doing today or Kelly Slater?

I saw Rob Machado at the grocery store yesterday and he looked happy.

It is, anyhow, a very exciting time to be a surfer, a surf fan or anyone who has ever seen anyone surf. Don’t you think?

I do.

I think the tide is rising, floating all surfboards, even surfboards with the fins screwed in backwards. I think BFB (Backward Fin Beth) jumped surfboard too early.

But now let’s read the Hollywood Reporter:

HBO has acquired television rights for the U.S. and Canada to surf documentary Momentum Generation.

Jeff and Michael Zimbalist are behind the feature, filmed over multiple years, that follows the world’s biggest surfers — Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Rob Machado, Pat O’Connell, Kalani Robb, Kelly Slater, Taylor Steele, Benji Weatherley and Ross Williams — as they reflect on the complexity of their brotherhood and competition that has shaped their journeys.

Justine Chiara, Lizzie Friedman, Tina Elmo, and Colby Gottert produced Momentum Generation, which made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. The Zimbalists produced via their company All Rise Films. Sundance Productions’ Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn served as executive producers, alongside Karen Lauder and Greg Little of Priority Pictures, which financed the project.

Momentum Generation premieres Dec. 11 at 10 p.m. and will be available on all HBO and partners’ streaming platforms. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group is planning an international digital release on Nov. 5.

Endeavor Content negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

Momentum Generation will air on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 10:00 p.m. on HBO.

Mark your calendars if you too would like to know whatever happened to Kalani Robb.

Holiday repeat: How surfer hair ruined my life!

When you're a kid, losing those golden stripes will tip you into an existential gloom… 

I grew up, like every other kid, building a castle of unfulfilled moments, lost opportunities and slammed doors. An accumulation of regrets so painful – all those gals never kissed, all those set waves never ridden, all those heats lost cause of, what, nerves? – that if I ever let myself wade back into ’em I’d drive myself into the arms of crazy.

But, there was this one time.

I don’t remember her name, but I can’t forget her deep brown skin. She was just short of sixteen years, but lived alone, or so she said. The small house was one street back from the beach, an hour from my parent’s house, where I lived.

The situation was unusual, sure. But, when you’re 15-and-a-half and staring at a gal whose breasts speak of buttery milk and carnal abundance and she tells you there ain’t another soul in that house, in that house with the bedroom that faces east and so the morning sun pours onto the bed, onto her sweating body, you don’t argue the point.

I had met her outside a bar on a Friday night and she’d invited me to her house the following weekend. She was tall and had long limbs, a face too pretty, a gal built for modelling.

I was just coming out a summer of eight-hour beach days. My dark hair was balayaged with blond stripes, my body was tight enough and brown, too. I was riding high. A surfer. And, surfers ruled my town.

In my pre-surf life, this gal wouldn’t have exercised her neck to check me out. Now, suddenly, I was going to her house, to the the empty house. I imagined her deep and fathomless submission to me. She would experience a seething electric female ecstasy while I controlled her like a master puppeteer.

I  imagined this many times in the week leading to our appointment.

I spent so much time in my room, my mom thought I’d become clinically depressed.

Two days before we were to meet I decided to get a haircut. At the big-city hairdresser, I showed ’em a photo of a CK model and paid fifty bucks for a cut and blow-dry. I watched handfuls of blond waft onto the floor, little golden parachutes whose contrasting beauty had secured me this erotic rendezvous. I watched as they were swept into the trapdoor at the corner of the salon. I might’ve whispered goodbye as the flap slammed shut.

That afternoon, I cried in the bathroom as I stared at the stupid boy with monotone brown hair stiffened by gel on the sides and awash with paste on the top panel.

Then, I ran to the drug store and bought a bottle of “Honey Blonde”.

While my parents slept, I painted the peroxide in long stripes. It turned my dark hair red.

It looks okay, I said to myself.

On the day I was going to meet her I scooped up a handfuls of pomade, gel and mousse. I worked it in, I smooth it over. I shaped and sculpted.

“It looks okay,” I said to myself.

But, it didn’t.

And her face said it all when my bike came up her driveway and her vision was filled with an ordinary boy and not a surfing superhero.

“What happened to your hair,” she said, although the question rang rhetorically not quizzically.

If I was a painter, I could’ve made a masterpiece of that moment, a study of disappointment.

Then she said, “Let’s go to the beach.”

On the beach I showed her my right bicep that I had inflated by lifting my school bag 200 times a day in front of the mirror.

I invited her to run her hands over the bulge in my arm.

“It feels pretty good,” she said.

But she kept looking at my hair.

It’s red,” she said at one point.

I left at exactly three-thirty pm that afternoon.

I know because the radio news was on and there was something about the Australian surfer Martin Potter winning the world title, and I now hated Martin Potter because his hair was a bed of sun-burnt curls and I knew that if Martin Potter was here on this driveway, near this girl in the scoop leg shorts and the loose singlet that was cut low on the sides, he could take her, he could take her now, right in front of me, and they would bang and they would bang.

And, then they would laugh at my red hair while they smoked cigarettes and the sun coming through the bedroom window baked their skin even darker.

Regrets, yeah, I’ve had a few.

(Editor’s note: You might’ve read this story before. That’s ’cause the author is currently in a shitty country town full of gas stations and trucker memorials and fast-foot joints writing, or at least attempting to write, a book with an actor you might call an iconic. Book out next year!)

Adrenaline Fix: Come try the new surf-esque sport sweeping England!

Nick Carroll approved!

Many eons ago, in the mists of time, some man or woman rode a wave on a board for the very first time. Maybe he was Peruvian, maybe she was Tahitian, maybe we’ll never know (it was totally a Peruvian. Buy here!) but this much is certain; That cardinal man or woman appeared foolish.

Every “first” is, on some level, foolish. Flailing arms, attempting to discover balance points, just doing something odd that no other has done before. The years pass, the activity gets codified, losing its ridiculous and some activities, like surfing, even become “cool.”

I feel Coasteering is going to become “cool” soon.

And you haven’t heard of Coasteering? Don’t feel bad. I hadn’t either until the last living surf journalist Nick Carroll sent me a promotional advertisement with the message:

I just….I don’t know what to say

why didn’t everybody think of Coasteering before???

He had a great point.

The promotional advertisement for Coasteering read:

Meet coasteering, your ultimate coastal rush.

Nothing beats it. The thrill of jumping off a craggy cliff and plunging into stunning turquoise water is the greatest buzz. Coasteering is utterly addictive and, with us your side, totally safe. Get your adrenaline fix here…

Further research led me to:

If you enjoy adventures then coasteering is for you! Our North Coast Challenge in Newquay is the ultimate thrill-seeking coasteer in Cornwall. You’ll get kitted out in a wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet in our on-site heated changing rooms, with storage for all your belongings before negotiating a route pioneered by shipwrecked sailors and tea plundering pirates. We are #1 on TripAdvisor and offer the best coasteering experiences in Newquay!

Which professional surfer would make the best Coasteer? Maybe you? Oh I know that you’re not a professional surfer and you know that you’re not a professional surfer but… I think you have what it takes to make a fantastic Coasteer.

Coasteering appears to be sponsored by Rip Curl so maybe Mick Fanning would be the best Coasteer. I know you think Mason Ho would do very well and I don’t disagree, I just think Mick has that extra… something special.

Sign up now!

Revolutionary: Kelly Slater thumbs nose at Michelob Ultra brewed with Organic Grains!

Last January during the Super Bowl we were all treated to a commercial for Michelob Ultra brewed with Organic Grains featuring Kelly Slater paddling on a surfboard whilst singing, “I like beer.” I cannot recall if this was before Michelob Ultra brewed with Organic Grains became the official beer sponsor of the World Surf League or after but whatever the case Kelly Slater became the face of Michelob Ultra brewed with Organic grains.

Alongside the now famous commercial Kelly Slater appears on many Michelob Ultra brewed with Organic Grains billboards around greater Los Angeles getting barreled in a large amber wave and of course Michelob Ultra brewed with Organic Grains became synonymous with his Surf Ranch during the just-wrapped Surf Ranch Pro (photo above).

Now, there has been chatter about Kelly Slater’s value as a pitchman. It was even wondered aloud if he is the world’s worst pitchman? At this point I think we can definitively say yes because as the face of Michelob Ultra brewed with Organic Grains Kelly Slater is asking for everyone not to drink it for one whole month.

He reposted a beautiful SOBER OCTOBER photo (borrowed from Joe Rogan) and wrote:

How easy (or difficult) is it for you to not drink right now for a month including Halloween? It’s Oktoberfest so maybe next month, right? Restraint is a great teacher. My girlfriend hasn’t had a drink in 4 months. I woke up hungover from New Year’s Eve for two days to start 2011 and decided to not have a drink for a year (although I drank a 🍺 the night of the Code Red swell in Tahiti cause I was stressed thinking somebody I knew was gonna die). But I’ve always said you should drink because you’re happy, not to feel better. Thoughts? I like to see @joerogan posting this. Who’s in? ✋🏽#OcSober

It really is a wonderful piece of honesty and now I feel bad for writing that Kelly Slater is the world’s worst pitchman and I am going to drink extra Michelob Ultras brewed with Organic Grains during October to support him.

What are you going to drink?