Happy Gabriel. A surfer, says former WCT surfer and Fantasy Surfer winner Blake Thornton, who rises, like Jay-Z, to the big occasion. | Photo: WSL

From the get-rich-or-get-poor-trying dept: Your BeachGrit approved betting slip for the Pipe Masters!

Gabriel, Julian to win; SeaBass and Ian Gouveia to surprise, says former WCT surfer and Fantasy Surfer winner Blake Thornton…

The Pipe trials are live in a junky north swell.

That’ll wrap in a day, just in time for a six-to-eight-foot north swell for the main event.

WSL commish says they’ll milk its tits and finish Monday.

You’ll remember our pledge three months ago to turn five c-notes into many thousands of dollars via surf gambling in the back half of the WCT season. With a $500 deposit and the advice of former WCT surfer and 2015 Fantasy Surfer champion Blake Thornton, BeachGrit planned to beat hell out of Australia’s betting agencies.

The gambling angle appeals because: All the odds for WCT events are set by non-surfers using statistics and nothing else. There is no insider trading, no quarter given to the surf forecast, no nod to a surfer’s affinity with a particular wave.

So who we going to throw our shekels at?

“First, a juicy multi,” says Blake. “The forecast means, typically, better Backdoor and at the size it’s forecast, it’s going to be pretty perfect and running. So I’m basing my bets around that.”

Round one multi #1: Pat Gudauskas into SeaBass into Jeremy Flores into Owen Wright. Bet: $50. Payoff: $787

Reason: “Pat needs a result and he’s the strongest out of the three in his heat. Pat’s a better barrel rider than Willy Cardoso and Michael Rodrigues. Sea Bass is a machine out there. He’s got Kanoa Igarashi, who’s great, but in a barrel riding contest out there, he should get the nod. Jeremy Flores, for obvious reasons: a former Pipe Master, amazing barrel rider. As for Owen (against Keanu Asing and Yago Dora), all of the stuff I’ve been seeing from Pipe is of Owen. And we all know how good his backhand is. Maybe there’s a mental barrier there after everything he went though but he is looking comfortable.”

Round one multi #2:  Jordy into Kelly into Joan Duru into Joel Parkinson. Bet: $50. Payoff:

Reason: “Jordy is the strongest at Backdoor against Morais and Pupo. No reason needed for Kelly and Joan is unassumingly strong in barrels. Joel? There’s going to be a fairytale finish to his career, yeah?

Outright winners:

$50 on Julian Wilson at $7.50: Former Pipe champ. Wants a title so bad it hurts.

$50 on Gabriel Medina at $4.75: “Amazing on his forehand and backhand and he rises on big occasions. It’s all in front of him to capture.”

$50 on Jeremy Flores at $21: “A former champ who’s patient and knows the joint. The only thing I can see hurting him is if it’s inconsistent.”

$20 on Sea Bass at $21: “Everyone knows how good he surfs. It’s a matter of him surfing smart heats and not making dumb decisions. Definitely a potential winner.”

$50 on Joan Duru at $67: “This is a juicy one. He’s a phenomenal barrel rider and a standout whenever Le Grab is pumping. No one had him in the mix at Sunset at Sunset and he finished third.”

$50 on Kelly Slater at $13: “Obviously a threat.”

$20 on Ian Gouveia at $67: “Bloody Ian Gouveia! If we’re going to throw money around, and we might as well ’cause it’s the last event of the season, he’s an amazing barrel rider and I don’t see the forecast delivering anything but six-to-eight-foot barrels.”

Pipe Invitational Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Makai McNamara (HAW), Jamie O’Brien (HAW), Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 2: Kiron Jabour (HAW), Imaikalani Devault (HAW), Nathan Florence (HAW), Sheldon Paishon (HAW)
Heat 3: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Torrey Meister (HAW), Ian Gentil (HAW), Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 4: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Mason Ho (HAW), Michael O’Shaughnessy (HAW), Takayuki Wakita (HAW)
Heat 5: Soli Bailey (AUS), Wyatt McHale (HAW), Noa Mizuno (HAW), Hank Gaskell (HAW)
Heat 6: Joshua Moniz (HAW), Finn McGill (HAW), Evan Valiere (HAW), Lahiki Minamishin (HAW)
Heat 7: Jack Robinson (AUS), Benji Brand (HAW), Koa Smith (HAW), Justin Becret (FRA)
Heat 8: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Billy Kemper (HAW), Dusty Payne (HAW), Koa Rothman (HAW)

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Frederico Morais (PRT), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 3: Italo Ferriera (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS), Tomas Hermes (BRA), TBD
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

Listen: “The Adult Learner x World Surf League axis is bringing surf culture to its knees!”

At least we still have each other. And Wagner Lima.

Yesterday was a violent day in our surf world and it made me so wistful, so teary-eye’d and thankful for they are very rare now. Almost extinct. And I was thinking about this as I drove north to the Surfrider Foundation offices in piquant San Clemente on the very same morning to talk with Surf Splendor’s David Lee Scales.

Derek Rielly had forwarded me yet another The Inertia-style website over the weekend and with the combination of that, all those other ones, the actual The Inertia and the World Surf League’s forward facing image being that of an elf-costume wearing SUP riding adult learner made me wonder if finally, after all these years, surf culture is crumbling to nothing. Finally shedding any last trace of rebellion, angst, exclusivity and… cool.

Oh I know that it is trendy to think surfing isn’t “cool” and maybe never was, that surf culture is just a silly, unnecessary appendage to the act of surfing itself, but I’ve always disagreed. As a backward Oregon youth I loved to surf so very much but also needed the culture. Tom Curren and Gotcha ads defined my parameters and without them, without the VHS tapes and magazines, surf shops and surf brands I would have drowned in a sea of redneck.

Surf culture floated my dreams and still does. I put the question forward to David Lee, anyhow, the very minute I pushed through Surfrider’s doors. “Is this the actual end? Does the adult learner x World Surf League axis bring surf culture to its knees? Is this the real apocalypse?”

He thought I was hysterical, as he often does. Overly-emotional because he is a reasonable man but it didn’t assuage my fears. The day unfolded with Justin Housman attacking William Finnegan and Tanner Hendrickson attacking Michael Rodrigues and I thought, for one glorious minute, “We’re back!” Until the World Surf League suspended Tanner for simply doing what surfers on the North Shore do.

Well, son of a bitch but I am not about to be discouraged because we still have each other and we still have Wagner Lima even though, try as I might, he won’t return my calls.

Wagner? Are you there?

Listen to the rest of the show here!

Trending hashtag #letthemswing: Tanner Hendrickson vs Michael Rodrigues

"The surf world is turning into a bunch of pussies."

Earlier today, the Maui surfer, Tanner Hendrickson, and the WCT rookie Michael Rodrigues, who is from Brazil, got in a little wrestle near the Volcom house at Pipeline.

A standard sorta roll between two surfers who’ve got the shits with each other. Rodrigues’ pals stood back to let the pair duke it out while the guy filming for IG Live fled the scene.

A minor event and something that gives the North Shore its frission of cool, its danger etc.

Better, than, say, the pallid grey of Surf Ranch with its scattered old ladies, men in singlets and poker-faced serving girls.


The WSL, whom we must picture as adult learners in surf hats and elf suits, threw the book at Tanner, pulling his entry from the Pipe trials where he was slotted into heat four against Mason Ho.

From the WSL’s website:

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Tuesday, December 11, 2018) – The WSL has provisionally suspended Tanner Hendrickson from all competition until a full investigation can be completed following an incident involving Championship Tour athlete Michael Rodrigues. Hendrickson has been removed from the Pipe Trials draw.

Koa Rothman, son of Fast Eddie, brother of Makua, and master of the fabulous This is Livin’ blog, responded:

Can’t believe the @wsl kicked @tannerhendrickson_ out for this. Looks like a fair fight to me. The surf world is turning into a bunch of pussies. #letthemswing

Let ’em swing?

Let ’em swing. 

Blood Feud: Surfer magazine’s Justin Housman vs. The New Yorker’s Bill Finnegan!

"...lazy, derivative, and two years too late!"

Yesterday, or maybe the day before, William Finnegan’s masterful 12,000 word feature on the meaning, value and future of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch was released to almost as much fanfare as his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.

Praise poured in from all surf corners.

Stab magazine, even swallowing bitterness at not being mentioned, wrote: “How fortunate are surfers to have someone as sharp as Bill Finnegan speaking to The Elites on our behalf?” The Inertia added, “…particularly poetic.”

Surfer magazine’s Justin Housman took a different path, though, writing on Twitter: “Meh. The New Yorker article was fine I guess, but also a bit lazy, derivative, and two years too late. Didn’t raise any interesting questions or cover any new ground.”


A certifiable literary blood feud not seen ’round these parts since Joel Tudor went after Noa Deane for penning a three-eye’d smiley face.

And whose side are you on?

Do you think that William Finnegan gets heaped with flowery praise by sycophants too enamored to be honest or that Justin Housman is blinded by possible jealousies?

Are you Team Surfer or Team New Yorker?

Promoted: Last chance to win silky three-board quiver (shipped anywhere in the world)!

A generous arrangement…

It’s Christmas. And who don’t need a three-board quiver delivered to the door of their hovel, whether you’re in Germany, Iran or gorgeous potholed Yemen (Plot spoiler: setting of Chas Smith’s new book)?

As noted a couple of weeks back, The Critical Slide Society, a swinging art-based surf brand whose Bondi store is festooned with a giant mural of Patrick Swayze as Bodhi, is offering a three-board quiver if you sign up to their newsletter.

A small entry fee, I think.

From the company:

Dreamed of walking into the garage and having your pick of 3 fresh slices of foam? A longboard from the king himself Thomas Bexon (Doc), a perfectly hand shaped fish from Josh Keogh and a soft top from Catch Surf for those smaller fun days.

Free boards aren’t something we take for granted, in all honesty, we’ve never got any freebies, and why should we. There’s definitely been the barter economy, a nice piece of art for an addition to the quiver. So the labour cost should roughly balance each other out! In this case..you don’t have to be on the world tour… just be the lucky name that gets drawn out of the hat.

Winners receive ~

– 9’9 Thomas Step Deck

– 5’6 Keogh Fish

– 8′ Catch Surf Plank

Sign up, maybe win, here. Entries close December 14, 2018.

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