Investigation: The BBC ponders, “Is surfing a new form of therapy?”

Is wave riding, especially in the North Atlantic, a key to emotional wellbeing?

There are two, maybe three, supremely important news organs in the world and the British Broadcasting Corporation is one of them. The BBC has won thousands of awards and reported on some of the most important stories in modern history and so it only makes sense that it would ask the pressing question, “Is surfing a new form of therapy?

And let us read together:

The frigid water of the Atlantic on a windy November morning is not enough to deter some budding surfers on the north coast.

Barbara Marshall, a respite foster parent, brings her three girls to Benone beach almost every Sunday.

“The excitement in the morning… they are up, ready and organised,” Ms Marshall says.

“I’ve been bringing them a few Sundays but they absolutely adore being here.”

The girls are participants in the Wave Project, which is being piloted in Benone and Portrush.

The Wave Project is a surf therapy charity that works with vulnerable young people struggling with their emotional wellbeing.

This can include young people who are struggling with low self esteem, low self confidence, high levels of anxiety, who have been through trauma or who feel alone and isolated.

“I’m really hoping that it keeps going next year because it’s just such an adventure for them, in fact I know that the eldest wants to become a volunteer,” Ms Marshall says.

Ok ok ok… ummmm let’s pump the brakes here. I may be in the minority but vulnerable young people struggling with their emotional wellbeing, including low self esteem, low self confidence, high levels of anxiety and feeling alone and isolated should probably not surf. I can’t imagine it helping any of those things and I can also imagine it making all of those things intolerably worse.

So kids, if you are feeling emotionally unwell, might I suggest lesbianism instead?

It seems like the way to go.

From the wet-games dept: WSL Longboard world champ reveals secret to winning: “I drink other men’s urine!”

Jeffrey's Bay shredder turned longboarding nymphet wins world title in Taiwan, reveals sexy secret…

Yesterday, the Jeffrey’s Bay shredder and occasional WCT wildcard Steve Sawyer won the 2018 WSL World Longboard Championship at the Taiwan Open of Surfing.

His ability to metamorphosise from six-o performance to logging brings a needed respectability to the longboarding tour, I think.

Sawyer, who is twenty four and anything but a brute, is also a lovely and clever and funny and popular man who, one would imagine, is currently thrusting himself up to the hilt into an engaged fan.

(Actually, no, Christian etc.)

From the presser:

His combination of traditional longboarding manoeuvres with speed, power and flow was impeccable, and he needed it all to overcome Sallas in the Final to best his runner-up finish at the 2016 World Championship. Sawyer had a massive crowd supporting him on the beach who erupted every time he caught a wave, making the atmosphere electric. 

His fans, one might imagine, were won earlier in the event when Sawyer gave a revealing post-heat interview.

“I need to call (the American) Kevin Skvarna out,” said Sawyer. “This morning he gave me a power juice while I was driving in the car. It was still dark and I had two coffees. I said I needed water and he cracked this bottle. I took a sip and…mmmm… flavoured water. I said, what is this, and it was Kevin’s pee bottle.

“So I had two gulps of it.”

Cue half-crazy, enchanted laughter.

Watch here! (Comes in towards the end.)


From the Wanaka-Beerworks Department: Two New Zealander surfers make the World Tour!

Celebrate Negatron all season long!

It is a historical day down other under. For the first time in recorded history there are two New Zealander surfers on tour at the same time. Two. Ricardo Christie officially stamped his dance ticket yesterday by advancing through his round 3 heat at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii. Paige Hareb, on the women’s side, made it on before the penultimate event.

Both are wonderful surfers and very much deserve to be on tour but the feat is made even more impressive when New Zealand’s size is taken into account. The nation’s population is 4,749,598 making it the 126th most populous in the world.

The United States has a population of 366,726,948 and has 1.5 surfers on tour.

China has a population of 1,415,045,928 and has 0 surfers on tour.

Scotland has a population of 5,373,679 and has 1 surf journalist (J.P. Currie) but 0 surfers on tour.

Mexico has a a population of 350 migrants in a caravan and has 1 mother with 9 children but 0 surfers on tour.

Norway has a population of 242,256 reindeer but 0 surfers on tour.

Japan has a population of 1 Kanoa Igarashi and is in a dispute with the United States so may have one surfer on tour but also may have 0 surfers on tour.

Russia has a population of 43 communists in the State Duma and has 0 surfers on tour.


And as you can see New Zealand’s two surfers on tour is an unprecedented feat.

Please congratulate Negatron in the comments and also send him a gift. Something culturally appropriate.

Help: I am the victim of a vicious and sustained online bullying campaign!

The horror. The horror.

I have been aware of online bullying as a cultural phenomenon for five or six years, maybe a little more, and must tell you the truth; I was unimpressed by, even callous to, the plight of the victims. I understood that it must not be very fun but unlike real bullying, a boy or girl can disappear from online without a trace, no? Snapchats can be deleted, email addresses changed, Facebooks made very private and, like that, the tormentors pushed into outer darkness.



For yesterday I tasted the sharp, pointy stick of an online bully and it will likely take some therapy for me to open my inbox without wincing in fear for years to come. Allow me to tell you the story.

It was a day like any other though more stormy than usual with gusty winds and threatening clouds. I woke with the first light, went downstairs to make some coffee and my kindergarten-age’d daughter breakfast and flipped open my computer screen. First I read news from the exciting world of wave pools then I scooted over to [email protected] to see what the morning might hold.

Things seemed normal initially. Emails from Derek Rielly, emails from our exciting new filmers, emails from the World Surf League announcing a longboarding event in Taiwan but then a shiver ran up my spine.

What’s this?

The Inertia Fam: Subscription Confirmed

Every sinew in my hands revolted but conditioning won the match and I clicked.

The Inertia Fam
Your subscription to our list has been confirmed.

For your records, here is a copy of the information you submitted to us…

If at any time you wish to stop receiving our emails, you can UNSUBSCRIBE HERE

I mashed the button until blood oozed from my littlest finger. My daughter asked, “What’s wrong, Daddy?” in between bites of pasture raised egg yolk and Eggo waffle and shrieked when I looked up to respond. My face, I realized, was a frozen mask of horror. A twisted and dark visage.

The Inertia Fam? I honestly hate trendy words, like “fam” and hate them worst when they are very clearly 3 years past their pull-by date, vaguely urban and used exclusively by white people. Fam. “Hey, fam!” “What up, fam?” “Yo, fam!”


The Inertia Fam. An online bully had made me part of The Inertia Fam even if only for a few seconds.

After I dropped my daughter off at school, I came home and took an extra long shower trying to wash The Inertia Fam off but no matter how vigorously I scrubbed, I could still feel it on me. Like an ugly pair of OluKai flip flops. Like a smarmy, meaningless smile.

It took much pacing and more vodka for me to return to my computer as the sun was dipping into the cloud wreathed sea. A wasted day, work-wise, but I couldn’t be chased from my domain. I had to master once again so back to [email protected] and my eyes, like magnets, fell upon the subject line This week in SUP: 11/30/18. The sender?

SUP Magazine.

I haven’t slept a wink and am planning on calling Ms. Melania Trump neé Knavs, who heads up an anti-cyberbullying task force, to beg for help once I find my voice.

From the I-Love-The-WSL dept: The reinvigoration of a jaded surf fan!

Man falls back in love with pro surfing after difficult year.

It’s been a rough year for us surf fans.

We’ve wandered through our crumbling empire like the armies of the late Romulus Augustus, the last Caesar of Rome, watching as Germanic tribes armed with backward-finned surfboards and content marketing strategies seek to tear down everything we hold sacred.

Our once dominant legion, founded on the basis of surfing’s unbottled magic and unfiltered irreverence, has been worn down to a reactionary, reclusive rump. The wolves of progress bay for blood at the door. The end has grown closer and our voices fainter. We ready our ships for the final exile.

(I’m calling Salina Cruz and would also consider the South Australian Desert. Hit me up.)

But then it comes.

I don’t care how you butter your bread. Seeing an eleven-foot board knifed up and under a thirty-foot Pe’ahi bowl in real time makes me want to go and grab random strangers on the street and yell “Oi, cunt, THIS is fucken surfing! This is IT! Why would you wanna watch anything else!?”

A raw north-west swell flying out of the Pacific’s crown like a God Damn rearguard cavalry charge. All of a sudden the horns of Rome are sounding again.

First of all, Jaws.

I don’t care how you butter your bread. Seeing an eleven-foot board knifed up and under a thirty-foot Pe’ahi bowl in real time makes me want to go and grab random strangers on the street and yell “Oi, cunt, THIS is fucken surfing! This is IT! Why would you wanna watch anything else!?”

Say what you will about the wait between sets. That highlight reel, even in the “windy, small, average Pe’ahi“, should get a run on every sports show across the globe.

“Well Chuck, those lunatics over in Hawaii are at it again. Both men and women competitors took to giant waves at *news anchor squints* Pee…Ha… in Maui…”

Surfing’s best broadcast to billions.

“Oi WSL cunts,” I want to scream.

Here’s a tip for free.

Use the big wave tour as your Joe Public hook. Do a YouTube vlog following somebody like Billy or Kai or Keala around for a year, documenting the training and prep they go to. Sell it to Discovery Channel. Market Big Wave Dave-style surfer dolls that grommets world-wide can throw into shore breaks, up storm drains, down bath tubs. Make millions.

(Just don’t mention the crystal meth.)

Then you can keep the ‘CT to the core. Premium waves. Competitive fairy tales. Expert analysis.

Warrior women drawing brutal yet beautiful lines down that dreamscape Maui wowee. I could watch well-surfed Honolua all day long. All year long. Forever. Keep it coming.

Beachweave? Didn’t even rate a mention. Queen Steph carries so much gravitas she could make the Costco Texas Tanker Wave Cup classy.

Well done, WSL cunts.

Sure, we might disagree on a few things. My eyes might still be in the rearview mirror while you have the accelerator planted firmly to the floor. But when it comes down to it you still have enough lineage pumping through your veins to know what makes a good show.

Running two comps at once (and even offering split screen!) through the website and a vastly improved Facebook stream was a solid effort. Real solid.

It’s a simple formula. Good waves. Good surfing. Easy access. Keep it that way.

Oh, and the men’s title race is still to come.

I can hardly keep my sword in its sheath. Long live Rome!