It’s almost summer in the southern hemisphere. And in Australia, that means shark season. Hello you fragile, dreamlike creatures.
The count so far. Three attacks in the same harbour in the Whitsundays, one fatal, and, yesterday, a bodyboarder was hit with “traumatic leg injuries” while surfing at Mandurah, one-and-a-half hours south of Perth.
‘Super sharky vibes’ before attack, says WA surfer Noah Symmans. The West Australian surfer who was attacked by a shark yesterday morning said he “stomped” the animal until it let go of his leg.
Noah, 20, was surfing with a friend at Pyramids Beach, south of Perth, when he felt a shark biting his calf at around 8.40am.
“I was surfing with another mate at a known break in Mandurah and it was fairly eerie vibes, a couple salmon were about and it was overcast,” he said.
“We were mid conversation waiting in the line-up when I felt something grab my left leg and try and pull me under, so with my other leg I stomped the shark until it released me and we gunned it for the rocks.”
Mr Symmans was flown via helicopter to hospital after being treated at the scene by lifeguards and paramedics.
"This is so disrespectful. You’ve lost my follow."
I spend a good 50% of each day laughing at The Inertia and Stab. Maybe not 50% but at least 5%. I laugh at the safe space, big tent, quick-to-apologize-with-tears-in-eyes-but-slow-to-ever-do-anything-even-remotely-meaningful of The Inertia. I laugh at the trying-super-hard-to-be-edgy-but-constantly-missing-the-mark-because-it-takes-a-little-spine-to-actually-be-edgy of Stab.
I laugh mostly looking at their social medias. Both The Inertia and Stab grew in the digital age where robust followings could be bought/built and those numbers sold to advertisers. It’s a nice model, if you launched forever ago/have money, but there is so much strange hurt feelings and misunderstandings in robust social media followings and these regularly spill into the comments on Facebook or Instagram.
I look and laugh and think, “It’s a good thing we never had money to build a robust social media following. Who needs that sort of headache?” I assumed that those who followed BeachGrit came organically and were in on the joke or at least understood the joke.
That assumption was shattered this morning. Apparently our Instagram account is a sleeper cell of easily triggered social justice warriors even more full-throated than any that populate The Inertia or Stab.
I posted a little ditty about Surf Snowdonia building a Nazi-esque hotel that was causing some consternation when I woke up and advertised the story on our Instagram with a little screen grab from the cult classic Surf Nazis Must Die then went about my business.
When I checked in a few hours later, though, all hell had broken loose. Message after message declaring:
cassellpeter You have 109K followers and you post someone with a Nazi symbol? Irresponsible. You’ve lost a follower. Thought you were better.
d1242w Go fuck yourself you fucking white boy racist.
kbskaleidoscope This is so disrespectful. You’ve lost my follow.
lalhavali This symbol should not be used . That’s not funny!
sllewhsa On remembrance day, really?
danielvaie Hate this picture😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡SHAME SHAME STUPID STUPID
hindiana530 Whoops…this was an awkward post
ralphteriitaohia Bulshit 😢😠
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Now I know how those boys at The Inertia and Stab feel. They feel good! Triggering the easily triggered is like riding a good rollercoaster. All the thrill, none of the danger. I now wish BeachGrit had a robust social media following but it appears everyone unfollowed.
Maybe next year!
Controversy: Surf Snowdonia at odds with National Park over “Nazi hotel for dumb surfers!”
Imagine you are Surf Snowdonia, the very first of the next generation wave pools. You swung wide your gates and let the world in almost four-years-ago. An eternity before Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, a lifetime before Waco’s Cable Park and Australia’s Surf Lakes.
You were the crowning achievement. The kick-off. You made people see the possibilities but does the surf universe care? Does the surf universe even know you are still around?
No. You are a relic. You are the Apple II so what do you do?
Build a hotel, activity center (centre) and zipline, of course.
Yes, the owners of the pool there in bucolic Wales have planned for an expansion but it is being objected to by nearby Snowdonia National and let us turn to the BBC in order to understand why.
Surf Snowdonia faces opposition to plans for a 106-bed hotel and activity centre offering 100 new jobs.
Community councillors in Dolgarrog back the £10m plans at the artificial lake, sited on a former aluminium works.
But opponents, including Snowdonia National Park, fear traffic congestion and the scheme’s visual impact.
Planning officers said concerns about flood risk and contaminated land should also be addressed before Conwy councillors approved any scheme.
A zip wire, over the existing surf lagoon, stretching from the proposed five-storey activity building would also be included, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Snowdonia National Park said it objected because it felt the building design was out of character and that the size and capacity of the scheme was excessive, complaints mirrored by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.
And there we have it. “Snowdonia National Park said it objected because it felt the building design was out of character and that the size and capacity of the scheme was excessive.”
Let us study the building design.
Very stern, I think. Very Templehof Airport in Berlin which is a classic example of the Nazi style, best described as a stripped-down neoclassicism and/or a utilitarian style for major infrastructure projects and industrial or military complexes.
The size and capacity issue is understandable, I suppose. Would you want lots of dumb surfers coming to your back yard? Dumb surfers staying in a Nazi hotel?
Strider Wasilewski’s Malibu beach house destroyed in California Wildfires!
As a 14-year-old surfing prodigy, Strider Wasilewski used to hunt the crowded Southern California coast for quiet surf spots. One of his favorites was Little Dume Beach, near Point Dume in Malibu, a crescent of sand half-hidden in a cove at the bottom of steep bluffs.
“It was an untouchable area,” gated off and accessible only to local residents, Mr. Wasilewski said. But he heard about a family that kept their gate open. “They lived right by the trail,” he said. “I used to run through their yard. They would yell at me.”
Lily Harfouche, a real estate agent and occasional surfer who spent part of her childhood in Malibu, ran through the same yard with her teenage friends to get to the beach. “You go down there, and it’s you and a handful of people,” Ms. Harfouche said. “It’s so incredibly beautiful.”
These days, Mr. Wasilewski, 42, and Ms. Harfouche, 36, are married (they met at a reggae concert on the Santa Monica Pier) and live with their three young sons on Point Dume, in a simple open-plan house they call “the barn.”
The couple bought a place on a one-acre lot on Point Dume, took it down to the studs and created a dream home on the hillside — which turned out to be too big. “I remember texting Strider from the bedroom upstairs and asking if he wanted to watch a movie,” Ms. Harfouche said. “I thought, ‘This is nuts.’ ”
They often picnicked on a flat part of the property, and they began to envision a new house there. It would be small — around 1,300 square feet, plus a loft — and would reflect how they really lived as a family. The big house, which they still own, is now rented out.
The total budget was around $1.8 million, though that figure is a bit deceiving, because Malibu is a difficult, costly place to build. In reality, the house looks rustic and funky. The exterior was built using old barn boards, and the exposure to the ocean air has further weathered the wood and corroded the metal surfaces. “We just love that rusted, beat-down beach kind of energy,” said Mr. Wasilewski.
Little Dume Beach is a short walk from the house, through a quiet neighborhood of homes set back from the street and down a trail lush with vegetation. But Mr. Wasilewski and Ms. Harfouche no longer have to sneak through someone’s yard to get there, as they did when they were teenagers. Now they have a key to the beach gate.
Yesterday, California wildfires, driven by hot Santa Winds gusting up to a hundred and twenty clicks an hour, tore hell through the celebrity enclave of Malibu.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Lady Gaga. Caitlyn Jenner. Robin Thicke.
All of ’em hitting panic buttons.
And Strider’s house?
The chicest of ’em all. The only one that wasn’t a temple to the depravity and excess of celebrity?
Of course you know that Erik Logan, the World Surf League’s President-elect of Content, Media and WSL Studios, is in Fiji right now with surfing great Tom Carroll at, I believe, something called #kalamakamp. He was very excited for the trip, as anyone would be, and spent the last month preparing and training at Manhattan Beach, California while taking us along for the ride on his now famous Instagram account.
But you know how difficult surf trips can be. You book weeks out, maybe even months, during windows that typically have swell, cross your fingers and hope beyond hope that your guess is correct. Many times it is not and you must suffer the vainglories of surfing very small waves or very bad waves.
Well, this is Erik Logan’s year and just look at that wave up there. Just look at surfing great Tom Carroll putting it all on the line.
The image alone gives my heart palpitations and I cannot even imagine being in the water with such oceanic fury. Cannot even imagine sitting in the channel but, then again, I haven’t been preparing and training either.
Do you think that Erik was thrilled by the extreme size? Would you be?
Well, I am certain we will find out soon. Stay tuned!
Jon Pyzel and Matt Biolos by @theneedforshutterspeed/Step Bros