Breaking: Filipe Toledo beats local wildcard Benji Brand in dying seconds, stays alive!

"I'm happy to surf real Pipe!"

Pipeline is on and fabulous right now. It is Sunday, San Francisco is about to disappear from the face of the earth and Oahu’s North Shore is putting on a fabulous show. Are you still not watching? Oh, tune in right now and directly but leave BeachGrit open so we can chat online with babes all day. I mean with each other and maybe Jen See.

Filipe Toledo, current world no. 2 just beat Hawaiian wildcard Benji Brand in Round 2 Heat 2 in the dying seconds.

An almost shocker, an almost absolute shocker which would have gifted countryman Gabriel Medina the 2018 World Title.

I suppose Julian Wilson can still make a move?

Can Julian Wilson still make a move?

Back to Filipe, such a nail biter of a heat. Such stress. The swell building, coming in from the north northwest according to Momentum Generation standout Ross Williams. The time, ticking down. Filipe following Benji Brand in the lineup a little bit lost. A little confused. Carrying a 3.76 for minutes. Looking, peeking. “He can go right, he can go left, he just needs to get up under the hood…” Strider said from the water.

Then Filipe snagged a small one but stayed in the barrel forever then kicked a little air at the end.

Under the hood.

“Sketchy times for Filipe…” said Ross.

Then he dodged a bullet and won.


Filipe Toledo told Rosie in the post-heat interview, “It’s definitely a new feeling for me. This year it’s more special. For the situation to be so close and competing against Gabes and Jules… pressure pressure. I’m happy to surf real Pipe.”

No Gabriel Medina 2018 World Champ yet.

Tune in for more!

National Weather Service to SF residents: “STAY BACK FROM THE OCEAN OR RISK CERTAIN DEATH!”

All caps!

A very large swell is headed toward San Francisco promising waves so big, so bawdy, that the National Weather Service, not known for poetic over-pronouncements, informed folk who live Sonoma and Monterey counties if they go to the beach between 9 am on Sunday and 9 am on Monday then they risk “certain death.”

You recall, of course, that the World Surf League sniffed the possibility of large to extra-large waves many days out and preemptively postponed the Mavericks event, which they then also postponed Tuesday and are now keeping fingers crossed for Thursday when the waves will hopefully be between shoulder and head high.

But back to Sonoma and Monterey counties and the “certain death” zone. Let’s read more about that!

The storms forecast to pummel the Bay Area this weekend—one Friday night and a second, much larger one anticipated Sunday—will bring a particularly dangerous element to San Francisco’s coastline, as the National Weather Service [NWS] warns of huge and potentially deadly waves.

NWS is predicting a “very large west-northwest swell late [in the] weekend.” According to science info site Sciencing, “swells are collections of waves produced by storm winds raging hundreds of miles out to sea, rather than the product of local winds along beaches.”

The NWS forecast warns that this weekend will be the “largest wave event this season” on SF shores, with “large breaking waves” ranging from 25 to 50 feet in height, or even exceeding that in “favored locations.”

According to the wave warning:

A potent storm system […] will create a dynamic fetch zone where the strongest winds of the storm system will continuously increase the energy within a swell train on the storms southern flank, resulting in a very large, long period wave train aimed at the California coast. […] The largest waves are then forecast to arrive Sunday night through Monday morning, with peak swells of 17 to 21 ft at 19 to 21 seconds expected.

All fine and good and topped off with the tweet…

I wish I lived in San Francisco. I mean, no I don’t not at all but if I did live there I would use this coming storm to practice my Lt. Dan fantasy. I’d borrow one of Erik Logan’s SUPs, lash myself to the paddle and make history.

But do you live in the Bay Area? Would you be brave enough to go to the beach and give live updates? Not for us… legally I can’t ask… but for your social media pals?

Monsters of Surf Photography: Jack English and “the biggest wave ever snapped out at Pipeline!”

" no means was it like those pretty days we all see at Pipe."

We would all be kind to describe the 2018 iteration of the Air Reverse Masters in thoughtful and prayerful memory of Andy Irons as “wonky.” Those big, clean lines haven’t quite appeared though they might today. The gaping barrels have been missing. Do you think they will come back? Do you think we’ll get our Pipeline?

Let’s hope but while we’re hoping let’s also reminisce over the epic shot above. Jack English, a monster of surf photography, snapped it out at sea of Liam McNamara and describes it as “the biggest wave ever ridden/photographed at Pipeline.” Here’s Jack!

Chas: Describe the day…

Jack: When I first got down to the beach it just seemed like just a normal big day at Pipe. Then when I was on the shore waiting to jump in I just remember feeling all alone. There were no other photographers around and it was a sunny morning, but with the waves being so giant for whatever reason it just made the sky really dark. Looking back at it now it was just one of those naive moments in time.

How’d it feel?

Once I was outside and into the lineup thats when I realized I was way out of my league. It was giant, messy and unorganized – by no means was it like those pretty days we all see at Pipe.

Who else was out?

I was the only photographer out their and then some time later Larry Haynes arrived. I remember seeing Mike Stewart and Shane Dorian – Dorian did make some comment to me relating how crazy it was out there. This was one of those day’s that separates the men from the boys! (ed. note: Or women from the girls…)

So Liam got this monster wave. Then?

Well the crazy thing was I only took one photo of Liam’s wave. Remember these were the days where we shot film and I had only 36 frames so when you paddle out to a spot like Pipe you’re always going to be very conservative with how many frames you shoot. I am really proud of myself to focus so heavily on this exact moment to when to take this picture – I have no idea why I didn’t go trigger happy on this thing. When your shooting so close to the action everything seems to be in slow motion – it’s really scary as your trying to just survive the surf and at the same time get the shot.

How’d you get back to shore?

Getting back in was way worse then getting out. So here I am floating around knowing I am so out of my lead so I ask Larry what’s the best way to get in – and he just points straight towards the Gerry Lopez house and says paddle straight in that way. I was like fuck that – there’s no way in hell I am going to paddle straight in because I thought by doing so I would get sucked back out or sucked towards Backdoor. So instead of taking Larry’s advice I swam towards Pupukea and the whole time I could see a lifeguard on a ATV riding along the shoreline watching me. I kicked and kicked and felt so hopeless trying to get worked by a wave once I reached Ehukai and eventually hitting the shoreline near the showers. I just remember when I first felt the sand against my flippers I waved to the lifeguard as a sign that I’m all good – When I got to the shore I couldn’t feel my legs.

What makes Pipe special?

I think what makes Pipe so special is the way it breaks so close to shore and so perfect looking. I don’t know why it is, but Pipe seems to be the one wave on the North Shore where surfers need to prove themselves and where you gain respect from everyone in the surf community.

You’re onto a new project, Sea of Seven, tell me about it!

Sea Of Seven is a new company that I started with my daughter. Over the years I have less and less interest wearing anything surf related – I think with age you get tired of being a walking billboard for these big surf brands. I don’t want to dress like I did when I was 17 – my interest have changed over time and I wanted to create something I thought was cool. I just felt like if I’m going to wear a tee of some sort I would rather have something that I created being with my vision or using my images.

Gorgeous. Shop here!

Kelly Slater, left, knows his roots. Here, with Fred, both in wonderful formal slacks. | Photo: Steve Sherman

Long read: “Fred Hemmings Fornicates With Mother Sea!”

Did you know the WSL didn't invent pro surfing? Meet the gun-slinger who did!

The taxi van pulls into the semicircle driveway of the Outrigger Canoe Club at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. As befits an icon of Hawaiian surfing (established 1908) and of Hawaii Modern architecture (this version of the clubhouse built in 1963), the low-rise Vladimir Ossipoff structure is engulfed by native palms and plumeria. A rectangle of blue Pacific is visible through a restaurant lanai built on top of the sand. From an unseen beach volleyball court, grunts and slaps fill the scented air.

A dedication plaque at the entrance reads: “Let this be a place where man can commune with the sun and sand and sea, where good fellowship and aloha prevail and where the sports of old Hawai’i shall always have a home.”

“Ah, member’s only, member’s only!” says the panicked Vietnamese driver, and I ain’t kidding here, Mr Johnny Diep. 

It’s true, the club is exclusive.

Join when you’re forty and you’ll pay $13,000. Today I carry a golden ticket, an invitation from the former senator Fred Hemmings, father of the Pipe Masters, the Triple Crown and the first world pro circuit, and a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club since this clubhouse was built. 

Fred is waiting in the lobby, exactly at the appointed time of one-thirty. He’s reading How to Party with an Infant, the new book by his step-daughter Kaui Hart Hemmings, whose career was made when George Clooney turned her first book, The Descendants, into an Academy Award-winning movie. (It won five, including Best Picture.) 

Fred’s famous barrel chest and Popeye forearms inflate a a powder blue 1982 Honolulu Marathon Finisher polo shirt, his seventy-two-year-old ass is checked by flowered shorts, the beach boy tableau completed by slippers on his bare feet. 

On his left wrist is a vintage Rolex Date-Time, in gold, “the most famous watch in Hawaii”, says Fred, and which we’ll reference later.

Soon, Fred’s pawing at a Reuben sandwich, extra mustard, while I eat the house Ahi and extinguish the summer heat with a Gin Ricky. 

We begin with political small-talk, Fred would’ve preferred Marco Rubio over Trump and says at least Hillary isn’t an avowed socialist like Sanders, until he shakes his head and says, “We shouldn’t talk politics. America’s in the biggest mess it’s ever been.”

I couldn’t agree more. Let’s surf.

DR: This is interesting. You’re one of the pivotal figures in surfing. And, yet, there’s hardly a line written about you, at least in surfing magazines. 

Fred Hemmings: Have you ever thought… why? 

DR: That’s what I was going to ask you. I would suggest, because your political lean tends to the right… 

Fred Hemmings: Part of it. A lot of it goes back to certain individuals, especially journalists. Surfing became a Janus sport, that is a sport with two faces. There was a cultural revolution in the sixties and surfing, mostly through the magazines, took up an image of being anti-establishment. And it was very hip to indulge in the recreational drugs and have your finger in the air against he establishment and I was, pretty much, a conservative. My hair was short, I didn’t take drugs. I wrote an article criticising the drug culture and what it was doing to some surfers I knew which, among others, killed them. So I didn’t fit the profile of the surfing in-crowd, as made by a lot of non-surfers who were journalists. As a result I was never a darling of the surfing world. 

(But) I stand by my record… I’ll stack my competitive record and my performances in surfing against anyone. Anyone. You take all the big names. I competed against all the big names. And I beat ‘em. I beat ‘em in Puerto Rico. And I beat ‘em in Makaha. And I beat ‘em in Peru and I beat ‘em in most events I competed in. I rode waves in three-to-four feet in Makaha and won and up to twenty-five feet at Waimea. But because I was not part of the… culture… that was being promoted by people in the industry and I wasn’t part of the anti-establishment culture I was never a darling of surfing. And your magazine (The Surfer’s Journal, which this story was originally written for) is a good example. How long’s the Journal been around for? 

DR: Almost twenty-five years, since 1992… 

Fred Hemmings: And this is the first time I’ve done an interview with it…

DR: I figured the Journal would’ve had an extensive archive of interviews with you. But when I looked… 

Fred Hemmings: Never. 

DR: It surprises me. 

Fred Hemmings: It doesn’t to me. 

DR: When I told the magazine’s editor I was going to be in Honolulu and how about you sling me some work, he told me to find you. 

Fred Hemmings: Well, God bless Scott (Hulet), ‘cause he’s a breath of fresh air for me. In a recent issue they did an article by Nat Young on the world championship and for the first time ever, in a surfing magazine, I was treated fairly. It showed a picture of me riding an eight-to-ten foot wave and Nat was on a three-foot wave…

DR: That’s 1968, Puerto Rico, World Championships. 

Fred Hemmings: Yeah, and therein lies the difference. The rules were, catch the biggest wave, ride it the greatest distance in the most critical part of the wave. I caught he biggest waves and rode ‘em the greatest distance in the most critical part of the wave. And three eight-foot waves are going to beat ten four-foot waves every time. 

DR: What was the response like when you stomped those studs: Nat, Midget, Reno etc? 

Fred Hemmings: It was like some kind of sacrilege. Here’s this throwback dinosaur Fred Hemmings beating all of our hot shots. It’s a great irony. Surfing was a rebellious sport but I was like the ultimate rebel. The surfing establishment was giving the finger, like FU, to the establishment, the world, we’re different, we’re a culture of our own, we’re anti-establishment, and I was the ultimate rebel giving the finger to the surf culture. 

DR: And there’s the irony of supposed freethinkers rarely deviating from their opinion. And if you do differ from the script, you’re ostracised… 

Fred Hemmings: I was! And that’s the hypocrisy of modern-day liberalism. You go to a college campus in America today and it’s supposed to be a bastion of free thinking but if you differ from politically correct thinking you’re ostracised. And they’re even trying to take away your freedom of speech. One of my heroines in recent American politics is a woman named Condoleezza Rice. Secretary of State. Brilliant, went to Stanford, Rhodes scholar, one of the smartest people you’d ever want to meet. And they kicked her off a college campus ‘cause she wasn’t politically correct. So here’s a bastion of academic freedom and they won’t let conservatives talk. And I was in the same boat in surfing. I didn’t fit the mold. But that’s just my perspective. The proof is in the performance. I’m still standing. 

 DR: Where does your conservative bent come from? Your parents? 

Fred Hemmings: It’s a wonderful question. I’ve ruminated on this so much through the years that I almost think part of it is genetic. I think there’s a proclivity in people’s very essence to be conservative or liberal. I don’t think it came from my environment which is my upbringing, as it came from who I am. We seed from our ancestors and our individual parents and through the magic of genetic coding, genes come together to make you who you are. I guess mine is inherently conservative. Like, I have a hard time as a conservative understanding people who make decisions with disregard to facts and based on feelings. Rather than facts! And I think that’s one of the finer differences in a lot of people. A lot of people do their life based on feelings and others do their lives based on facts and, of course, there’s extremes in everything. And that’s not to say that feelings aren’t essential to a good healthy life. But if you make a life-or-death decision it better have a lot of facts in it. 

DR: Surfing and politics…

Fred Hemmings: Surfing should have nothing to do with politics. That’s a whole different realm. Surfing should have to do with riding waves and enjoing the… sport. And there was big argument made when I advocated professional surfing. I wrote an article in Surfer magazine called Surfing Needs Professionalism. I listed why professionalism would bring surfing more stature, that it would motivate people to be on the cutting-edge of expanding horizons and it’ll help surfing establish a reputation as a legitimate sport and bring us respect in the hallways of decision makers and so they’ll think twice about throwing us out of surfing boat harbours and shit like that. And the magazine printed a response from one person who said, “Fred Hemmings is Fornicating with Mother Sea.” And I said, wait a minute. this is about freedom. If I want to compete in a contest, that’s my line of freedom. If you don’t like it, guess what asshole, don’t compete. If you don’t like it, don’t play. These self-righteous people, all they can do is criticise. Rather than saying, ok, these guys want to compete, tell Kelly Slater you don’t like competition. Tell Carissa Moore. Tell these other guys that are making four or five million dollars a year. 

And one of the magazine editors in particular was chastising…  me… because of the money element. Making money! So it wasn’t alright for me to advocate surfers making money off surfing but it was alright for the publisher and owner of a surfing magazine to make money off surfing by selling a magazine. It wasn’t ok for the surfers to make money. That’s prostitution! Give me a break. 

DR: Can you describe what happened in 1982 when the ASP took over the circuit from you? 

Fred Hemmings: Ian Cairns, basically, a power play. I made a lot of money, I wouldn’t say a lot of money, but I made money off owning and operating contests and I devised a business that paid me to put on events and I owned ‘em so I had television rights and limited merchandising rights. And seeing the sport needed a world circuit Randy Rarick and I organised a world circuit  about the same time that Ian Cairns and Peter Townend were talking about doing the same thing. But they never got it off the ground. We did. I never made a cent off IPS, it was a big money losing deal. In other words, the world circuit was a money loser but it was a loss leader. It laid the foundation for the growth of the sport and the growth of my events. The great irony, yeah another one, is the coup to throw me out of IPS and have ASP (Fred pronounces it like the snake, asp…) takeover was conducted by the guy I awarded the trophy to for the first world championship. 


Fred Hemmings: Peter Townend! So that was the great irony. I made the guy the world champion. The point system was pretty much Randy’s concept. Peter and Ian wanted a different system. If we’d used their system, Peter wouldn’t have won. 

DR: Who would’ve won? 

Fred Hemmings: I think, Ian. 

(Oh, we both laugh here! Forks clatter, some mustard flies through the air, I knock over my Gin Rickey, which is quickly replaced.) 

DR: Did that make things tough between you and Ian? 

Fred Hemmings: I have a lot of respect for Ian Cairns. Everybody cowered in the face of the Black Shorts but Ian. When a certain character on the North Shore got indicted for a gun violation, they had a bail hearing and I went and testified against him… and I got a lot of threats. And Ian Cairns testified against him too. So I got nothing but respect and praise for Ian Cairns. Ian’s a hero. A good man. 

DR: Describe the threats. 

Fred Hemmings: Innuendo. People who are real thugs are smart enough not to make direct threats to you. They’ll come up to you and say, “Aren’t you scared that if you come out to the North Shore, your car will get burned?” 

DR: Did those threats concern you? 

Fred Hemmings: They sure did. That’s why I always protected myself. 

DR: How, with a bodyguard? 

Fred Hemmings: No, I got a license to carry a gun…

DR: It’s interesting, today, Kieren Perrow will paddle out when it’s big, at the Box, say, to show the pro’s a wave can be surfed. You were the originator of that dazzling technique. Can you recount the story at the Smirnoff in 1974 when five of the 18 competitors didn’t want to surf and you used a little muscle to get ‘em in the water? 

Fred Hemmings: It was a psychological ploy on my part to challenge these guys’ bravado. Here’s a guy that’s retired, more or less, and no longer actively competing, and if he’s going to paddle out and catch a wave and we’re the young studs and young guns and we’re not going to do it, and it becomes kind of a psychological… gauntlet… I threw in front of ‘em. And they all did it. One of my most prized possessions is a signed autographed picture on my wall from Mark Richards. And Mark Richards is the prince of Newcastle. He was a wonderful young man. But he thanked me. For forcing him to go out there. He didn’t win but he went out and he found out that he could. And that’s a huge victory. A lot of guys found that out that day. And by the grace of god, no one died. I would’ve felt bad about that! (Fred roars with laughter.) 

DR: As someone who grew up on the ocean, seventy years on the beachfront, do you have an opinion on the issue of global warming and rising sea levels? Do you see it? Do you believe it? 

Fred Hemmings: The last guy to voice a real strong opinion on global warming was Al Gore who said by the turn of the century, I forget what date he said, the ocean would rise thirty feet. And it hasn’t raised thirty percent of a centimetre, not even an inch. I’m very much a conservationist but I’m not for using environmentalism to be anti-capitalism or anti-anything else. I think all of us have to take a very deep breath and make decisions based on conservation and preserving our environment, which I’m very much for, but based on fact not on feelings, which we talked about earlier. (Adopts sing-song voice) “Oh, global warming, I have this feeling, it’s terrible, the world is going end!” 

I don’t know (whether global warming is real or not). I do know it’s in all our best interests to get off carbon, our carbon addiction, and I do know it’s in our best interests to do a better job of moderating pollution. With a lot of extremists it’s all about feelings… The ocean hasn’t risen here that I’ve noticed. If it went up a foot in the last ten years that would be big news. But it hasn’t. What has happened, here in Hawaii, and it will happen some day, is there will be no Hawaiian islands. It’s called erosion. These islands start out underwater, and it takes hundreds of millions of years, they come above the water, they live a life, they get bigger then erosion starts taking ‘em down. It has nothing to do with global warming. It’s erosion and the birth and death of the Hawaiian islands. It’s been going on for several hundred million years. 

DR: Ageing, getting old, how does that fit as a surfer? 

Fred Hemmings: I… I… I’m having a real hard time. I’m paying the price for my previous lives: Runner. Football player. Surfer. I helped take Rabbit (Kekai)’s ashes out. In 1968, I was there when Duke’s ashes went out. I’ve taken a number of great watermen and waterwomen’s ashes out to say goodbye to ‘em, including Rell (Sunn)’s. I can’t have mine. I have to get… melted… down. It’s a joke! Because of my abuse, I have two titanium knees, a titanium hip and because of an accident that almost killed me I have a titanium shoulder joint…

(The previous October Fred was cutting a tree down, it kicked back and crushed his ribs, punctured his lung, crushed the shoulder and almost killed him with internal bleeding. Fred was over-medicated and his heart stopped. “It was a kinda traumatic experience,” says Fred.) 

All in all, I’m not ageing gracefully. It’s a painful experience. I’ve got some ailments, but I don’t wanna complain about it, There’s nothing worse than an old guy complaining about it. I find that there’s two things surfers talk about: waves they may or may not have ridden fifty years before, or they talk about how much they ache. 

DR: Do you take comfort in the great ages reached by Rabbit Kekai (95) and Doc Paskowitz (93)? 

Fred Hemmings: Who? Me? I do know that quality of life has a lot to do with it. If I’m not capable of getting up and enjoying life, what’s the point? It’s an interesting question old people face. Remember when we talked about genetics? I believe there’s certain codes in all living things and the most basic and strongest code is the will to live. We fight to live even if it doesn’t make sense. And it’s necessary. It really is an innate genetically coded desire to live even if you’re living a miserable life. I better keep doing this, even if it kills me! 

DR: Tell me about that mid-sixties Rolex you’re flashing. Was it a celebratory buy?

Fred Hemmings: Do you know anything about this? 

DR: No.

Fred Hemmings: How come you ask? 

DR: I got a ’62 Air King. I like ‘em. 

Fred Hemmings: This is the most valuable watch in Hawaii. And probably one of the most valuable watches in the world. 

DR: Did the Duke wear it? 

Fred Hemmings: Read the back of it. 

(Fred takes the watch off and hands it to me. It reads: 


The Champ



Ain’t it amazing? We were on a trip to Houston Texas in 1966 to promote Duke attire surfwear in a department store and we were flying Pan American airways to the west coast and Kimo McVay, the great manager of Duke Enterprises in the last years of Duke’s life, handed Duke a box and said, ‘Hand it to him now’ and Duke handed me this watch. It’s my only heirloom. It’s he only thing I’ve kept. 

DR: Anything you want to put on the record considering you’ll probably be close to one hundred before anyone wants to interview you again?

Fred Hemmings: I want to tell the people that read Surfer’s Journal, first of all I’m honoured, to sit here and talk to you and hopefully be included in an article. But don’t take ownership of surfing, take responsibility for it. In other words, represent the sport with dignity and honour and try to be a surfer that makes surfing a better sport, yeah, but also for the community. That way, everybody wins.

Happy Hanukkah, Christmas and so on from the BeachGrit fam!

“Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute Christmas gift ideas, I have six!”

A Christmas promotion that’s still from the heart…

1.Gift the surfboard for the surfer with “decency and self-respect and pride in his skill set.” 

The Pyzel Ghost

$US725 (depending on your setup)

For approximately six months last year, BeachGrit’s prized jewel, the writer Longtom, mounted a relentless harassment campaign against me, in comments, via email, sometimes text. 

The mad bitch wanted a Pyzel Ghost. 

If you’re a student of surf history, as Longtom is, you saw John John Florence at Margaret River and you knew the board he was riding was a subtle, but significant, design breakthrough. 

He was vulture, the board was his precious lamb. 

From Longtom’s subsequent review,

“What you can’t see is the rocker curve. Which is the special sauce. You feel it as soon as you put it under your arm. The rocker curve cuts hard into the forward outline in a very distinctive way just in front of the chest. A recognisably Hawaiian curve, with a long sloping rocker curve out the aft end. If you can’t come to grips with that rocker curve, you can’t surf this board. That sounds harsh to modern ears tuned to inclusive language but it’s true.”


“If that means something to you, good waves are in your present or near future and you have a shred of decency, self-respect and pride in your skill set, then the Ghost is worth the effort to figure  out. You can do the best surfing in your life on it.

If driving formula one vehicles or doing the best surfing in your life ain’t your gas or you want something energetic and cooperative for the smaller dregs, step into a Stubby Bastard, John John’s groveller.

As Pyzel told me, “I’ll see a guy just struggling to catch waves on some old high-performance shortboard and I always feel like I want to tell them that surfing could be so much more fun if they would just try something different, a little stubbier, more volume, flatter. I feel bad for those guys ’cause they are missing out and they don’t even know it.”

Buy, examine, both boards here. 

2. Gift the signature traction pad of surfing’s prized jester! 

Pro-Lite Matt Wilkinson tail pad


For forty bucks or whatever you get ‘em for, the tail-pad is the sorta mid-range present that delights and don’t send you into bankruptcy court. This tailpad, finished in a flashy graphic, reflects, accurately I think, the personality of the one-time title contender turned resort owner

It’s a three-piece pad and it’s fashioned using that fabulous micro-dot technology. Grippier when wet etc.

Buy, examine, here. 

3. Gift sunglasses that provide immediate style enhancement

Mr Pitt by Oscar and Frank 


You wanna buy a pair of specs for your gal, your stud, but the sub-hundred buck styles don’t cut it and who, apart from Post Malone and his ilk, has got the lettuce for $500 Ditas or Saint Laurents?

Here we got a mid-range sunglass that’s got the Italian acetate frames (the stuff that looks and feels like plastic but it’s plant-based), the fancy lenses, Japanese stainless-steel hinges and so forth but you’re gonna peel off less than two cees.

The brow-line style, here, has notes of Malcolm X meets Pool Party. A formidable combination for the revolutionary who also likes to let his fro down.

Buy, examine, here.

4. A Christmas gift that shields your provocative nudity! 

Leus changing poncho 


We live, in case you didn’t realise, in the new puritan age where an accidentally brushed ass is collared as rape and where nudity is punishable by fine and prison.

I make no claim that I enjoy the pantomime of attempting to cover my swinging dick and chubby, yet shapely and often favourable commented upon, ass, but if you got kids, which I do, they’ll wanna be covered.

I bought my two boys one of these Leus ponchos each, as recommended by Conner Coffin. It is a fine interpretation of an odd, but culturally necessary, item.

Buy, examine, here. 

5. A Christmas gift for the kook in your life or lover of kook lyfe!

Kook of the Day merchandise!

$US25 (t-shirt)

Kook of the Day is the original surf slams Instagram site and when its secretive, and anonymous, master isn’t making funny on IG, he curates a kook-themed gift store.

I like this twenty-five dollar t-shirt.

And this four-dollar beer cooler:

Buy, examine, Kook merchandise here. 

6. Gift a wetsuit made of Japanese Kobe neoprene! 

Vissla Shonan Japanese 3.5mm Full Suit


Remember, before Sheico in Taiwan took all the biz, when the best suits were proudly made with Japanese neoprene? If you didn’t know, it’s still a thing but it ain’t cheap.

This suit, which ain’t far off a thousand bucks, is about the finest thing you could buy your man, your woman, or yourself.

This suit is a collaboration between Japanese boutique wetsuit brand RASH and the Americans, Vissla. Each bespoke suit is hand-made by nimble fingered Japanese craftsmen in a gorgeous little factory across the road from dazzling, typhoon-fuelled Inamura Point.


Buy, examine, here.