"This is your future, David Lee."
"This is your future, David Lee."

Dream Job: Become a professional indoor surfer today!

"As a professional sport, indoor surfing isn't particularly lucrative..."

I am in the great state of Florida just a handful of miles away from the Orange County Convention Center, very excited to collect my lanyard and get Surf Expo-ing. Many wonderful things to see and do, probably too many which worries me. I don’t do well at buffets. I always stack my plate to the sky with everything I love all at once. Biscuits and gravy, blueberry pancakes, coq a vin, gratin dauphinois, flæskesteg, chicken parm, a few meat pies and a giant piece of rhubarb pie. It never works out and I fear I’ll stack my metaphorical Surf Expo plate in the same manner, giving myself a terrible stomachache of the soul.

Thankfully, Matt Warshaw, surfing’s preeminent surf historian, and David Lee Scales, podcast impresario, are with me and I will lean on their advice. Where should I go? What should I do? Should I try that stand-up paddle rowing machine? What about that new and improved Flowrider?

I try to give David Lee lots of advice when we’re together and it throws Matt into fits of despair because he thinks it’s bad advice. Last night David Lee said, “I don’t have an addictive personality.” I told him that he has to smoke 10 cigarettes a day for 10 days to really find out. Matt Warshaw sighed deeply. I also told David Lee he has to get married quickly without thinking about it to a woman with good genes, either like a super scientists or pro athlete or something because he’s not getting any younger and should have some children. Matt shot me a dirty look and said, “Do not listen to him David Lee.”

Speaking of Flowrider, I read just this morning, on the Vermont Public Radio website that a person can become a professional indoor surfer and let’s peruse together quickly:

Vermont is not known for its great surfing. But the second-ranked pro indoor surfer in the world lives in landbound—and snowbound—Jay, and she’s not even out of high school yet. She’s 16-year-old Monica Caffery.

You can catch her riding the waves on the Flow Rider in the dead of winter every weekend at the Pump House indoor water park at Jay Peak Resort.

Monica says she got interested in the sport when the Pump House first opened and lifeguards were being trained on the Flow Rider.

“We had all the pros from all around the world and country come to teach the lifeguards and they talked to my cousin and said, ‘Why don’t you come down to Florida and Alabama to ride with us and compete?’ And my uncle invited my dad and I to go with them,” she said.

As a professional sport, indoor surfing isn’t particularly lucrative. At the nationals, Monica says she won $250 and got $500 for finishing second at the Worlds at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. To fund her travel costs for competitions, Caffery designs, silk screens and sells her own Flow Dog hats and tee shirts.

Today I’m going to convince David Lee to become a professional indoor surfer but I’ll have to tie Matt up and toss him in a closet first.


Drive in and jive straight down to the beach. It's beachfront!

Julian Wilson’s beachfront hacienda sells for “north of four million dollars”!

Makes small, though not insignificant, profit.

Three months ago, it was reported that Julian Wilson had put his award-winning beachfront house on the market, a gorgeous hacienda he’d bought three years earlier for $A3.52 million.

It is the sort of wood-and-concrete build that fills me with that old architecture of happiness. I imagine, one day, when I’m riddled with cancer and want to see out my diminishing hours by a swimming pool, a place to die to the sound of kookaburras laughing and cicadas snapping their wings, this is the sorta joint I’ll rent out.

Of course, any words I might’ve constructed for 31 Pelican Street, Peregian Beach, in the initial story could be no match for the real estate copywriter whose descriptions included,

“A master class in coastal luxe.”

“Banks of louver windows and stacking doors allow you to feel as though you live on top of the world.”

“The star of the home is the open-plan living space where a wall of glass completely retracts to perfectly frame the breathtaking views. You will want to step outside onto the sunny poolside terrace and take in that exceptional panoramic vista.”

And so on.

Did it sell?

Oh yes it did.

One week after hitting the market one dick-winger came in with a figure “north of four million dollars,” according to the real estate agent, although the actual figure is confidential.

Julian now lives in his wife Ashley’s hometown of Newcastle, which brings her closer to family and perennial world-title chaser Julian nearer to pals Ryan Callinan and Craig Anderson.


California shark attack: “I saw that it had one of my legs in its mouth!”

We're gonna need a bigger foil.

We cannot deploy our brave crusaders on electric foils soon enough. A chilling Great White attack on California’s Central Coast was recounted this morning by the brave college student who was gifted 50 stitches as a reminder and let’s read his tale in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

For Nick Wapner, Tuesday morning at Montaña de Oro State Park was a typical day of surfing with friends — an activity that’s been his lifelong passion — as he paddled in for one of the last waves of the day off Sandspit Beach.

Wapner, a sophomore communications major, had met up with some fellow surfers and Cal Poly students to ride the waves on Tuesday.

Then, it happened.

At about 10 a.m. after about an hour in the ocean, Wapner said, a great white shark came up from beneath him as he paddled into position for an incoming set.

He didn’t even see a splash.

“It all happened quickly, but I turned and saw that it had one of my legs in its mouth,” Wapner said.

The shark thrashed and bit down on the lower part of his legs around his ankles in a skirmish that he estimates lasted a “full second,” before Wapner kicked hard and wrangled himself free.

He was rushed to the hospital, got his stitches and promises to keep surfing, thank goodness.

Montaña de Oro, where he was attacked, has some good “secrets” like the lefts at V-Land. There’s a wave there called Hazard’s and, to really enjoy it you should park right by that one Eucalyptus tree then walk down…

Oh just kidding. But I really am excited for BeachGrit’s Guide to the World’s Most Secret Lefts, Rights, A-Frames and Green Rooms with forward by Kelly Slater.

It will be very helpful.


New Year’s Miracle: Parties in Venice Beach’s “aggressive leash pull” make nice (possibly)!

A wonderful example for our fractured times!

You remember the act of wanton localism that rocked our surfing world to its very core. Oh no, not where a man jumped off his surfboard near another man who proceeded to press charges. Not the other one either where Stab magazine’s editor and best friend off all surfers Ashton Goggans felt threatened enough to call the Orange County detective.

No no no.

I’m talking about the aggressive leash pull in Venice Beach, California. Do you remember? It went a little something like this:

It was a day like any other in Venice Beach, California. The waves were horrible and dumb. A Brazilian man, Wagner Lima, who owns Brazilian Surf Club, was out amongst it as was a Senegalese Olympic hopeful, on whom NBC was shooting a profile, and her host Danielle Lyons. Also shooting photos from the pier was Rhonda Harper, the owner of Black Girls Surf.

Ms. Lyons paddled for a wave, Mr. Wagner dropped in, faded behind her and pulled her leash, Ms. Harper captured every motion in crystal clear frame by detail.

All hell broke loose in the wake of these explosive actions. Mr. Wagner Lima was threatened on Yelp. Ms. Lyons and Ms. Harper threatened on Instagram. Bad blood all around.

I had assumed, at the start of this new year, that the the case was being slow-walked through Venice Beach’s courts, possibly hampered by the partial government shutdown but I was wrong.

In truth it appears that Queen X been prowling the mean streets, looking for an apology and let’s not ramble anymore. Let’s let her pick up the thread.

#wagnerlima update: In my quest to be a better me in 2019, I reached out to Mr. Leash pull. The intention was to speak to him immediately but he was busy enjoying his herbs so I walked the boardwalk. I came back and my rental car had been vandalized😒so I went directly to him. He explained his side of the incident, which I stopped him dead in his tracks and reminded him that his actions caused this chain reaction. I told him about the threats I’d been receiving from his friends. He told me about all of his woes. I reached out again and reminded him that his actions caused this. We talked for awhile, I suggested we do an anti-bullying beach day. He declined. He said, “all I can remember everyday is when you said -you’re going to hear from me again. And my life has been devastated.”🤷🏽‍♀️He said if he had to do it again he wouldn’t done it. In the end he said the Harbor Commission pulled his license and he’ll go today to try and get it back. We filmed it even though he asked us not to. Said our first goodbyes and that was it…until he went and spoke with his friend. He apparently told him to get his butt back over there and continue to apologize profusely and get a picture together.🤣😂🤣 We exchanged numbers and he left. Then he came again to thank me for coming to speak with him. He texted later again thanking me for coming down. Someone had to address this situation, so I did because I’m grown. Look at his face. 💅🏾😏 #localism #blackgirlssurf #blacksurfergirl #surf #venice #beach #imgrown

Now, this is truly a New Year’s miracle and I only include “possibly” in the above title because there are parts of the passage I don’t understand.

Which herbs was Mr. Wagner enjoying? Rosemary? Chives? Are chives herbs?

Who vandalized her car?

When Mr. Wagner Lima left the first time and was ordered back to offer a proper apology and snag a picture was his friend a lawyer?

Is it ok to film people who don’t want to be filmed?

“Look at his face” at the end there… What does Queen X mean?

I’ve reached out for answers and you can be sure many more stories will follow.


kelly-slater-joel-tudor
As evidenced yesterday there ain't no party like one hosted by 11-time world champ and father of modern-day wave machine, Kelly Slater, and long boarder and grappling aficionado Joel Tudor.

Capitulation: Kelly Slater Changes Title of IG Post after Joel Tudor Shakedown!

Should Kelly Slater fear for his safety on the North Shore? Joel Tudor says yes!

As always, there is nothing like a keyboard party hosted by Kelly Slater and Joel Tudor to kick off a new year.

Yesterday, Kelly made a nice Instagram post titled, “Don’t tell anyone how good the left is at V-Land.” The gag being, the left off that very localised, almost entirely righthand wave a mile or so north of Sunset, puts the rider onto a difficult part of the reef.

Joel, who is a longboarder and jiujitsu aficionado and who’d previously gone after Kelly for wearing the wrong belt while grappling, responded by calling Kelly a “dork”, writing, “Way to tell a million people in one post.”

Today, in spite of the clip’s filmer Peter King claiming it wasn’t V-Land at all, Kelly removed the name of the wave from the title of his post.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsV35xknP5J/

Joel Tudor wrote to BeachGrit and, after a little fun roasting us as “girls” said, “(Kelly) changed the name for his own safety out here.”

Kelly, however, remained relatively defiant in his own comments pane despite the cosmetic capitulation.

Yago Dora writes, “I don’t even look right.”

Kelly replied, “Well, now you shouldn’t look left. Secret.”