Merry Christmas dear BeachGrit family from Chas Smith!

Lift your bourbon glass!

I am sitting in the mountains, snow falling heavily, so heavily in fact that the internet has been wiped out entirely and while my gorgeous family is drinking hot chocolate and listening to Justin Bieber croon carols to shawty I’m thinking about you.

I couldn’t find a surf story worth posting today, before the snowfall and loss of internet so I shined it.

Has honestly nothing at all happened by near any of the seven seas today?

I could tell you about the time that Sal Masekela told me that he gave Nike’s very first toe dip into surf, Nike 6.0 (the 6.0 representing the six extreme sports), its credibility and without him Nike would have been laughed out of the surf market entirely but I was thinking about saving that for your Boxing Day present.

 

I learned that there’s a surfer in Cornwall who hates sewage but can’t care.

The World Surf League’s note-perfect propaganda film has already been praised.

I could tell you about the time that Sal Masekela told me that he gave Nike’s very first toe dip into surf, Nike 6.0 (the 6.0 representing the six extreme sports), its credibility and without him Nike would have been laughed out of the surf market entirely but I was thinking about saving that for your Boxing Day present.

I texted Derek, “I got to WiFi and no ideas!”

He responded, “Your highlights of the year? Cheesy but…”

And I thought, “Boom.”

You wanna know my highlight of the year?

You. 

All of you.

I chuckle everyday at the banter. I truly thrill at our conversation. This year alone between Backward Fin Beth and Ashton Goggan calling the police and Ben Marcus going on a grammar tear and the world’s lamest surf assault and leash-gate and the President-elect of Content, Media and WSL Studios Erik “ELo” Logan and things I can’t even remember…. this year has been fun.

All thanks to you.

So I lift my bourbon glass and say Merry Christmas family.

And thank you.


Progressive: The World Surf League releases stirring propaganda video!

"Dear General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt resounds the marching drums of the powerful, prosperous League."

Three days ago the World Surf League released its first propaganda video via Instagram and I don’t know why it has taken me three days to get to it.

Maybe I was too wrapped up in Michelle Rodrigues unfollowing BeachGrit’s Instagram to see straight? Tears flooding my eyes every time I checked in?

Maybe but I have seen it now and it is amazing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brp8lQ6gGfY/

Our dear General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt appears on camera wearing a comforting yellow and recounts the unvarnished successes of the year from Mick Fanning’s retirement to the Surf Ranch Pro to equal pay amongst all surfers.

A true workers’ paradise.

Inspirational music plays in the background and when the WSL’s Ministry of Culture finished editing I’m sure they bowed slightly to the framed picture of ex-General Secretary Paul Speaker hanging upon the wall then threw very tight shakas in each other’s direction, shouting, “Job well done comrade!”

Was President-elect of Content, Media and WSL Studios Comrade Erik Logan overseeing the work even though he is yet to officially take the position?

Maybe.

And if this is a representation of his art we are in very good hands.

Though some degenerates didn’t love.

ed_geb64 wrote: “WSL get a real CEO not a Facebook sister…..bring back the aloha spirit. There are other ways to make money rather than force us into FB. WSL should be from surfers to surfers!”

ndsearing wrote: “If you can’t admit the Facebook failure and correct it for next year you need to resign. Surfing will never be a mainstream sport. It’s not built that way. When you alienate your core base of fans (surfers) to pander for $ and viewership your sport will suffer long term.”

The World Surf League quickly mustered ranking members like Joel Parkinson (ok sign, praying hands) and Conner Coffin (raise the roof raise the roof raise the roof) to suppress the small insurrection with beckgard adding, “Ignore the Haters Sophie…this middle-aged, land-locked, non-surfer LOVES following the WSL…men & women.”

Re-education camps will be set up forthwith Surf Ranch adjacent.

Now let us sing our anthem:

By exploding the mental strength of the united heart of our billion fans.

Dear General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt resounds the marching drums of the powerful, prosperous League.

Let’s go, great World Surf League from bright and pure Santa Monica.

Let’s drive unbelievers and degenerates into the sea.

Or maybe drown them underneath the never ending perfect waves of Surf Ranch.

Hail General Secretary Sophie Goldschmidt.

Hail the World Surf League.

May it rule for 10000 years!


Parko. My first real surf crush. The first guy I looked at and said “I want to surf like That Guy.” Smooth and beautiful. As precise as Mick but with his own stamp. So often made it look too easy. Bloody grateful he got the title he did. If he’d thrown his hands in the air a bit more and added a few hip jives he might have had five. But again, I’m bloody grateful he didn’t.  | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

From the we-still-do-lists dept: The Five Best Things About Surfing in 2018!

Including why Italo Ferreira equals dangerous sex, Gabriel, rape fantasies and why Conner is tantric lovemaking, beautiful yet simultaneously frustrating…

Let’s start with the positive, shall we? Get the hard stuff over with. A bit of festive cheer before I revert to type.

These are the Five Best Things about Surfing in 2018.

1.  The WSL Portrait Photographer

I’d love to name this individual, really I would, because they must have a cunt of a sense of humour. What sort of a photographer could take 37 (mostly objectively handsome men) and transform them into a Crufts line up? A bloody genius, that’s who. 

Have a browse, but allow me to pick some highlights.

We have…

Jordy Smith as…The Basset Hound!

Julian Wilson as…The Weimaraner! 

Kanoa Igarashi as…The Shiba Inu!

Wade Carmichael as…The Shih Tzu!

Patty G as…The Saluki!

And Wilko as a stray. 

I could go on. Truly a work of creative genius. 

2. Ain’t That Swell

The best of anything can’t be imitated. Razor-sharp commentary, genius mixing, classic cameos, and just simply funny as fuck. Nearly knocked me laughing off a high ladder this summer.

I suspect some people don’t really get it, and that makes it all the more appealing. Cali-centric surf media is a blight.

Best surf podcast going and it’s not really close. 

Fair play to Scalesy for his efforts. I still listen, mostly, but it’s hit-and-miss these days now that there are too many cooks. Some things don’t scale, no pun intended. 

And a nod to ONE HALF of Lipped. Can’t stomach the we’re-really-smart-and hardworking-and-no-cunt-appreciates-us tone anymore but Cahill Bell Warren, at least, is a man deserving of a voice and a great job somewhere – coaching or commentating most likely. Seems like a thoroughly bloody good bloke with a lot of insight and a lack of ego. His breakdowns and analysis of competition surfing are perhaps the best I’ve heard. Take note, WSL. 

But Ain’t That Swell. How fucking good is it?

3. Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson

Mick Fanning. I love him, I do. Couldn’t fault him. And I can find fault in pretty much anyone. I love his surfing to bits. What’s not to love about precision and power? Did he ever make a mistake? I’ve never met him but I know I’d love him as a man. Definition of a legend. Knocks Slater out of the park, in my opinion. 

HE’S MICK FANNING…HE’S THAT FUCKIN GOOD. 

And Parko. My first real surf crush. The first guy I looked at and said “I want to surf like That Guy.” Smooth and beautiful. As precise as Mick but with his own stamp. So often made it look too easy. Bloody grateful he got the title he did. If he’d thrown his hands in the air a bit more and added a few hip jives he might have had five. But again, I’m bloody grateful he didn’t. 

Dear Santa, for Christmas please can I have many, many future Parko and Fanning collabs. Cunts have a shit lot of great surfing still to do. And good on them for having the whereabouts to go out on top. 

Stone cold legends, the pair of them. I know they’ve had all the plaudits going, but I truly believe we might never see their likes again. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. 

Cynical bastards will point to the lack of evolution in their surfing over the years, the not really developing an “air game”. But those wankers probably add water to whisky. 

4. My Favourite WSL (Male) Surfers

gabriel-mick
Gabriel Medina = rape fantasies. You’re getting fucked, one way or another. You don’t want to like but you probably will. Photo by Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Most of you won’t know this, but my day job is actually as a teacher. It’s the reason I write under “JP” when everyone IRL calls me Jamie. People who call themselves by initials are utter wanks, but it’s my penance. It’s a thinly veiled disguise, but at least I haven’t been hauled in front of the headmaster again for shit I wrote on the internet. 

The reason I divulge this now is because last week, in one of my classes, (a bottom set first year) I made a throwaway comment to a thick-set boy in the class which stitched me right up.

Let’s call him Bob.

“Bob,” I said.”If you were a vegetable you’d be a mung bean.”

Well. The next thing I know the entire class has turned into Lord of The Flies and rounded on poor Bob (Piggy), roaring with laughter, pointing at him and chanting demonically…

“MONG BEAN! MONG BEAN! MONG BEAN!

“No, No!” I cried, helplessly. “I said MUNG bean!”

But it was no use.

I calmed them down eventually, but only after I explained what a mung bean was (not as straightforward as you might think to low-ability twelve year olds) and promised to give the rest of them vegetable nicknames for next lesson. 

So in that spirit, and with neither the will nor the words to justify my favouritism, I thought I’d just assign my favourite male surfers types of sex.

Italo Ferreira = Choke sex. Or any kind of dangerous sex that exhilarates in a way that will push you right to the edge where you’ll either die or have the time of your life. 

Gabriel Medina = Rape fantasies. You’re getting fucked, one way or another. You don’t want to like but you probably will. 

Zeke Lau = Pounded with full eye contact. You’ll be too scared to move. 

Conner Coffin = Tantric. Beautiful yet simultaneously frustrating. But when it goes, it goes. 

Griffin Colapinto = First time sex, probably a few tears. There’ll be moments of pleasure, the potential is there. You’ll cry because there are so many more levels to hit and you just hope you reach them. 

I love you guys. You’re why I watch. 

5. Honourable Mentions

Indecision is one of my greatest foes, and I’ve already written too much, so here are some bulletpoints of other great things.

Steve Shearer, AKA Longtom’s contest wraps and writing in general. After what we’ve seen this season, I genuinely feel you’ve got the stamina to go a few rounds with Zeke Lau, maintaining eye contact throughout. I suspect you won’t take up the mantle again next season, and WCT contests will be duller for it. Your words sing, my friend. 

Jordy’s nipples going over the falls at Pipe. Did any moment in pro surfing history sum up so succinctly the gulf between one surfer and another in the competitive arena? 

Caroline Marks. Will be world champion, likely multiple times. Literally surfs and looks like Occy. 

Rob Machado. I love Machado. I want to grow old just like Rob, but with a better van and a fucking haircut. 

Matt Warshaw/EOS and The Surfer’s Journal. The only surf media that matters (present company excepted). The bastions of our culture. I savour and admire each of them like a twelve-year-old Balvenie.


point-break
“If you want the ultimate, thrill you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price" etc.

Advice: “If you’re going to be a surfer, you have to take it seriously!”

Straight outta Rockaway.

We joke and laugh and giggle and cajole surfing and professional surfing every day. It is undeniably ridiculous as it is fun and if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times… we put on black pantsuits and go sit in the ocean, waiting to wiggle our bottoms and spew out our arms and legs all akimbo.

BUT it is also deadly serious. Deadly deadly serious and this is why The Inertia-style Adult Learners are such shit with their, “the-best-surfer-is-the-one-having-the-most-fun” “calm-down-it’s-just-surfing” bullshit.

We have spent our lives here and tourists ain’t welcome.

That’s why it put a tear in my eye, this morning, to read about surfing in the Rockaways in The Failing New York Times and Mr. Brian James in particular.

Let’s together.

Three years after Hurricane Sandy lashed the Rockaways, the boardwalk marched down the beach in broken segments as the public housing built under Robert Moses was hemmed in by condos. Out in the surf, not much changed as the bathymetry returned to normal, but the predominantly white, male crowd of surfers had.

Part of that shift happened when Louis Harris, 46, founded the East Coast chapter of the Black Surfing Association in 2016.

Mr. Harris bought his first surf board after moving to the Rockaways in 2006. After getting his bearings in remote beaches, he joined the crowd at Beach 90th Street.

“That’s when I saw B.J.,” Mr. Harris said.

Brian James — “B.J.” — the only other black man in the water, paddled over to Mr. Harris and asked if he wanted to hang out afterward.

“‘If you’re going to be a surfer, you have to take it seriously,’” Mr. Harris recalled him saying. “‘You’re a black guy. Everybody’s eyes are on you.’”

The rest of the story is beautiful but I would like to tip my cap to B.J. for proactively spouting truths in the lineup.

“If you’re going to be a surfer, you have to take it seriously.”


Tragedy: Surfer described as “ex-pro” dies night surfing at Topanga.

A sad ending to a wonderful stretch of swell.

California has been belted with much wonderful surf over the past few days though tragedy struck last night near Malibu.

According to the CBS local news:

At about 11:40 p.m. Thursday, screaming was reported at Topanga State Beach, where sheriff’s deputies found a man who had been performing CPR on his brother. The two brothers had been out in the water for a night session of surfing.

As they surfed, the brothers lost track of each other, authorities said. One of them later found his brother face down in the water and dragged him to shore, where he performed CPR, but was not able to save him.

Sheriff’s deputies say the two brothers are skilled surfers in good physical shape. The brother who died had been a pro surfer at one point, according to a deputy.
The surfer’s father and brother were both on the scene immediately after his death.

He was just identified as Damon Michael Geller, 48, of Pacific Palisades.

More as the story develops.