Sophie Goldschmidt
Dear Secretary General Sophie G during her now customary December address at the Pipeline Masters, this from 2017 when John John Florence still showed a vague interest in the game. | Photo: WSL

From the desk of Dear General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt: WSL gets three years of permits for Hawaii!

Pipe Masters until 2021!

Does it warm your heart every December when the non-surfing marketing executive turned Dear General Secretary of the WSL, Sophie Goldschmidt, makes her annual appearance on the podium at the Pipeline Masters and talks about surfing’s “hallowed waves”?

Its’ all very…inclusive… devoid, as it is, of gender or even participational bias. We’re all surfers now etc.

Earlier today, the WSL announced it had secured permits for events in Hawaii for the next three years. This is a switcharoo from last year when the Pipe Masters was all but shelved (figuratively, not literally, as in ass) after a testy permit-roundabout between the City of Hawaii and the WSL.

Not any more.

From the presser:

“…the World Surf League is pleased to announce that the City & County of Honolulu has approved three years of permit applications, ensuring that the following WSL events will have the opportunity to run during their traditional holding periods and at their usual locations in 2019, 2020 and 2021:

  • Sunset Open, Sunset Beach, January 18 – 28
  • Volcom Pipe Pro, Banzai Pipeline, January 29 – February 10
  • HIC Sunset Pro, Sunset Beach, October 28 – November 10
  • The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series:
  • Hawaiian Pro, Haleiwa Ali’i Beach, November 13-24
  • Vans World Cup, Sunset Beach, November 25-December 7
  • Billabong Pipe Masters, Banzai Pipeline, December 8-20

“Hawaii is an integral part of surfing and a hugely important community for the WSL,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO said. “The permit approval is a great step to not only ensuring the world’s best surfers continue to be tested in Hawaii’s hallowed waves in the coming years, but that these events provide infrastructure and developmental support for up-and-coming surfers from the region.”

Two more WSL events will be held before the 2018/19 Hawaiian winter surf season draws to a close: the Sunset Open QS1,000 (January 18-28) and the Volcom Pipe Pro (January 29-February 10), which will see the return to competition of former two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW).”


And do you think John John Florence will ever return to port?

Listen: Legendary shaper Maurice Cole and the surf industry apocalypse!

Love, loss, failure and victory!

Maurice Cole has been one of my favorite surf personalities ever since I was ten years, lounging on my Coos Bay bed, gazing at his lines. Oh they were perfect. Sensual even and they fired a youthful lust that infects me to this day.

You know the poster.

And ooooooee, it still gives me shivers.

Maurice has rare charisma in this surf world. He’s not afraid to butt heads, to tell it like it is, to change the game and then change it again. He has been through multiple iterations and yet is still a visionary. It is why I was so desirous to hear his chat with David Lee Scales.

David Lee you know, of course, from the Surf Splendor Network and our biweekly chats. He has always been a wonderful host but has also developed into a crackling interviewer. He takes his craft seriously and is able to dig gold from his subjects.

Here, the two discuss tragedy and compromised integrity. Failure and stress and cancer and why publicly traded surf brands are destined for failure as soon as that IPO floats. It is a fantastic episode, well worth a listen between today’s madness.

It is the best show yet.

Ahisma is so isolated you can do whatever you please, damn the law, public morality etc.

Buy: Owen Wright’s Mountain-Beach Hideaway for $A1.2 million!

A life so isolated the law and public morality can't touch you!

I doubt if we’ll see a family like the Wrights within surfing ever again, at least in my lifetime.

Three surfers on the tour, including a duel world champ, and all of ’em with their own  aesthetic. Three unleashed virtuosos romping through a program of standards. What’s not to love?

For added spice, mysterious illnesses derailed two thirds of the pack. These included Owen’s so-rare-it-didn’t-have-a-name delayed brain trauma that resulted in a push for compulsory helmets and Tyler’s potentially career-ending Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Lesser known is Owen’s taste for real estate. His portfolio contains a beach house near Lennox (with an indoor swimming pool that meanders through the living room) for which he paid $A1.4 million as a twenty-year-old in 2010, a Federation-style joint in Byron Bay ($A975,000), a townhouse in the surf town of Thirroul on the NSW South Coast ($605,000) and, this, the sprawling mountain hideaway Ahisma, on the NSW South Coast, bought for $A765,000 two years ago and now listed for sale at $A1,190,000.

From the brochure:

The ultimate nature escape, ‘Ahimsa’ offers complete privacy, stunning views and private creek frontage. The perfect place to breathe, unwind and appreciate nature.

The home has been designed to embrace the natural beauty of its environment. A full wall of bifold doors open your living space out to the large ironbark deck, the kitchen offers a servery window out to the covered deck area and even the shower can be open to the outdoors.

Other than the cleared land around the house, the rest of the property is natural rainforest, with your own private path meandering down through the rainforest to Brogers Creek. With very little maintenance required on the property, it is the perfect retreat to relax and enjoy the peace and beauty the property offers.

Even on a cold rainy day, you can snuggle up by the wood fire watching the ever changing landscape from the comfort of your lounge.

While the home embraces nature, modern conveniences have not been forgotten. Power and phone are connected, there is Telstra mobile reception and the kitchen features quality appliances including a dishwasher, gas cooktop and electric oven.

If you’re looking for your own piece of paradise to escape to, you can’t get much better than this. 

C’mon, let’s do a little walkthrough.

Like it?

Do you dream of chucking in the big-city life for an existence punctuated by the morning call of native birds, a honey-skinned and undemanding gal lolling around on the futon massaging her clitoral branches, and empty reef breaks?

Come, come, it’s a real-life garden of Eden.

Call Kate! 

7. Erik "ELo" Logan (holding SUP in hand): The World Surf League President-elect of Content, Media and WSL Studios came in speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Hailing from The Oprah Network,  this adult learner stand-up paddler is ready to re-make surfing in his own image and we will be cheering from the lineup.

Revealed: BeachGrit’s Most Influential Surf Persons of 2018 (ten through six)!

These five people changed our very landscape!

2018 is almost in the books and this means only one thing. A list. This list, unlike other lists, is better because it is ours and very likely incomprehensible to someone not here, on BeachGrit, every damn day. It is a list for you. For The People.

There are ten most influential surf persons in 2018 and we shall discuss numbers ten through five right now.

10. Ashton Goggans: 2018 was a banner year for surfers calling the police on other surfers and it all began with Stab magazine’s editor-in-chief Ashton Goggans. Without his phoning the Orange County Sheriff’s department after a minor scuffle during a podcast and trying to press assault charges we would never have had The World’s Lamest Surf Assault or Leash-gate. Here’s praying the trend continues in 2019.

9. The Wright Family: Australia’s Owen, Tyler and Mikey kept the surf world titillated and/or confused with confusing injuries, confusing wildcards and more confusing injuries. Never before has one surfer baffled the masses, much less three, much less three siblings. It’s almost impossible that this saga can get any more head scratching but there’s always hope!

8. John John Florence: The world’s favorite surfer didn’t really compete but he did keep us fascinated. From sailing adventures to well-timed video drops to “will he or won’t he” debates regarding The Pipeline Masters in Love Me Tender Memory of Andy Irons, John John made us chat endlessly with no real insight or information. The sort of chatting we love most.

7. Erik “ELo” Logan: The World Surf League President-elect of Content, Media and WSL Studios came in speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Hailing from The Oprah Network,  this adult learner stand-up paddler is ready to re-make surfing in his own image and we will be cheering from the lineup. Cheering until the leash on his infinity SUP Blurr V2 pops and breaks our hands and decapitates our heads.

6. Jack Freestone + Alana Blanchard: These two should have been higher but our Instagram is a den of adult learner social justice warriors, not Jack + Alana’s target demo, and didn’t stuff the ballot box like they did for the Surfer Poll Awards.

Stay tuned for numbers five through one!

From the talk-story Dept: Ex-pro skater goes to Hawaii as young boy, does cocaine with surfers!

You'll never guess who!

Tell me honestly what you think about skateboarding. Are you fascinated by its urban gritty culture and bloody-knee’d boys or do you snigger when you see a gaggle standing around, sweating and breathing heavily?


I’m relatively indifferent, though certainly appreciate it as both art form and very difficult pastime.

It seems, though, that many in surf wish that our culture reflected skate with is seemingly devil-may-care ‘tude and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

With this in mind let us watch a man named Dustin Dollin talk about his first trip to America as a 14 year-old boy. The podcast is called The Nine Club Club and is very popular amongst skaters.

We’ll drop in after a long segue about Dustin growing up in Australia in a safehouse for shotgun totting bank robbers with a step-dad who had claws for hands. Right before, he describes getting sponsored by Volcom and being flown out to Oahu then getting picked up in a van by heavily tattoo’d Hawaiians and getting offered cocaine.

“I land, get the immediate coke offer and realize, ‘I’m with the party team.’ But before that I’d done coke with Andy Irons and Ozzy Wright… maybe you don’t know who that is.”

The hosts know Andy Irons and Dustin tips his Stella Artois in honor.

And there we have it. Heavily tattoo’d Hawaiians, cocaine and a 14-year-old boy.

Who’s more rock ‘n’ roll now?

Feel free to watch the other two and a half hours for insights and inspiration. And if you want to read a little more? Try this!