Former pro surfer-turned-DJ’s smash hit voted second most popular song of 2018!

Dirty ol Paul Fisher more popular than Travis Scott, Childish Gambino etc.

A few moments ago, the former-pro-surfer-and-comic-turned-DJ Paul Fisher’s song Losing It was voted the second-best song of 2018 in an Australia-wide poll.

Every January, the youth radio network, Triple J, runs an online poll to find the 100 most popular songs of the previous year.

And Paul Fisher, who trades under the stage name FISHER and who was formerly part of a duo called Cut Snake with another former pro Leigh Sedley, finished second ahead of Travis Scott’s Sicko, Childish Gambino’s This is America and behind the seventies yacht-rock ballad Confidence by Ocean Alley.

My favourite memory of Paul Fisher was when he called me was five or six years ago. It was eight pm and I was about to sit down to a delicious dinner with my (then) wife and (still) two sons. It was a Skype call from America, three in the morning or thereabouts in LA, which gave it some importance.

I removed my bib, drained my pitcher of department store red wine. (Family man.)

Was Fisher in trouble? Did my little pal require serious counsel?

As the pixels settled down to a clear picture, Fisher appeared and ordered a girl to “Show Derek ya tits! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

And now look at him!

Listen to Losing It again (and again) here!

The door to surfing is now open to everyone, regardless of creed etc. | Photo: @elo_erik_logan

From the BeachGrit house of altruism: 10 Helpful Tips for the Adult Learner!

Put down the gun and learn to love.

It’s one of those calm overcast afternoons where hues of orange and purple bruise the sky. The threat of an oncoming storm. Weak two-footers dribble towards shore, echoes of a recent windswell.

I mind my own on a wider peak away from the pack, doing my damned thing, when I see an adult learner on a SUP almost kill a man.

He’s wearing below-the-knee boardies, oversized diving vest and a surf helmet.

I keep watch.

Distant thunder rumbles as a set wave surges from dark water, catching him off guard. A lame attempt to swing for it sees him go over the falls sideways: a ten-foot long sword of flesh and polyurethane. He nearly decapitates the funboard funboy unlucky enough to be paddling in front of him.

Funboy doesn’t make things easy on himself either. Instead of bailing and diving under the hot SUP mess, he tries to somehow raise his board and body up over the top, catching it in the neck for his efforts.

I kept a watching eye on them for that pregnant second when they both disappear under the foam. Schrodinger’s kooks.

But they pop up one after the other. Alive. Smiling and laughing at the fun of it all. SUP throws funboy a shaka and off they go.

Rain begins to fall. The Adult Learner Apocalypse is here. It’s the Wavestorm to end all Wavestorms.

Trying to share a lineup with that? How do you compete with such… enthusiasm? It’s a zero sum game.

This is a world sport now.


We need to adjust.

They’re not going anywhere, and as the modern world’s addiction to mental and physical narcissism increases, more and more people are going to clue into what surfing offers. So, as the great Warren Ellis said: “When you find yourself in a hole, you may as well decorate.”

Plus, to quote Point Break:

“So you want to become a surfer? Hey man, that’s cool. A lot of people your age are learning to surf. I hope you stick with it. Surfing’s the source. It can change your life. Swear to God.”

In that spirit of harmony, I’ve begun to pull together a few home truths for adult learners, welcoming them to the idiosyncratic and hypocrisies of the surfing world. A little cheat sheet that’ll have them looking and sounding like regulation grumpy locals quicker than they can say, “Dropping in is a form of assault.”

Getting ready
Choosing what board you will ride is important. If you go with “retro” craft – longboards, funboards, hybrids, SUPs twinnies, single fins etc –you’re compensating for the fact you can’t ride a shortboard. You can try and cover your deficiencies in life but there’s no point. Everybody knows, everybody’s judging you. Never expect respect, unless you hang on to that 6’1″ for life.

No coloured wetsuits unless you’re at an elite level. Anything other than regulation black and you’re drawing attention that ain’t earned. See also, springsuits.

Your tailpad should be as near the leash plug as possible. None of this half-way up the deck bullshit. You want that fucker pushed closer to the edge than an environmentalist at a plastics factory.

Speaking of which, please do remember a lot of surf hardware comes wrapped in single-use plastics. But that’s ok, because you’re in a direct communion with Mother Earth now. She will still grace you with her Infinite Love, once she finishes her shift at Outerknown.

In the water
When surfing, keep a lid on your emotions. The only claims you should ever make in life are for travel insurance and custody.

To wit, never give away that you’re having a good surf and enjoying the conditions unless it’s absolutely pumping. Talk it down: “Yeah it’s alright but would be better with a little more water/ little less water/little more swell /a bit more north/south/east/west in the wind.”

The only time you should really speak to someone you don’t know in the surf is if it’s only the two of you out. You can then ask anything surf-related: “Getting a couple?” “Been out long, mate?” or “Is it ok to cry in the shower every morning?”

General tips
Check the surf often, but very rarely go out. When the tide’s high it will need a bit less water. When the tide’s low, it will need a bit more. Early mornings need more wind on it, afternoons need less. Besides, look at that crowd.

Instead, sit with a crew of other grumpy locals in the carpark, cat-calling women half your age and bullshiting about that wave you didn’t get at HT’s in ‘98.

The better you surf, the less photos of yourself surfing you should put online. Unless you can afford your own personal photographer

If someone asks if you’re a surfer, be careful. Chances are they’re going to try and pin a water-related offence on you. Instead, answer with something like “Who or what I identify as is none of your business” and then threaten to livestream them.

Once you’re out of the water, feel free to ease up a little with other surfers. For instance, if someone you’d usually ignore is showering at the same time as you it’s ok to ask something like, “Get a couple, mate?”.And if you see someone you recognise from the lineup in a non-surf environment, you can even push it out to “Been getting a few waves lately?” or “I’ve just shelved an eight ball of speed, could you watch my kids for me?”

The mark of a truly good surfer is one that can chop hop, but doesn’t.

Banned: Australia’s most popular beach outlaws foil boards!

Get ready for a spike in popularity!

Do you remember when rap music became very naughty in the late 1980s with mothers and preachers and Al’s wife Tipper Gore freaking out and forcing those black and white parental advisory stickers onto tape and compact disc cases? I do and how much more attractive did they make that music? How much more desirable?

I’ll tell you. So much! I don’t know that Ice-T would have had a career if it wasn’t for the parental advisory sticker and I fear the same sort of thing may happen to foil surfboards.

You know the ones. Surfboards and now standup paddleboards too that have been retrofitted with a guillotine. I always assumed they would be virtually impossible to ride by the average adult learner, even below average adult re-learners like me, so didn’t really worry.

Didn’t really worry until Bondi beach, Australia’s most popular, went and banned them. And let’s read about it.

A renowned Sydney beach has banned a popular surf trend amid claims it is too dangerous.

Waverley City Council moved to outlaw foil surfing at Bondi Beach in Sydney’s east as it was ‘too dangerous’ in crowded waters, Daily Telegraph reported.

‘Due to their high speed and the metal-like keel that raises it out of the water… lifeguards have determined it was too dangerous to allow these boards,’ a council spokesperson said.

Foil surfing involves the use of a board fitted with an aerodynamic hyrdofoil.

The conspicuously longer fin suspends the board way above the surface of the water and lends greater speed.

Surfers can use the aerodynamically superior board to catch waves in flat seas or trail the back of a boat.

Professional surfer James Casey has hit back against claims the boards pose a danger.

He said the boards were safe in the hands of a seasoned surfer.

‘You can’t just grab one and try to go and catch waves.

‘It is hard.’


And now, like Ice-T, I fear these things might take off. The allure of bucking the law. The scent of danger. The scent of danger and decapitated heads floating in the lineup.

Damn it.

There’s gonna be lots more foilboards.

Standoff: Surfers and jetski pilots clash over big wave in Oregon!

Also rogue logs!

Do you have a vested interest in the ski vs. paddle debate? Are you a bold jetski pilot, thrilling your friends with trips out to the big stuff? Are you a traditionalist who would rather give up surfing altogether rather than fill the air with an exhaust-laden whine?

I am neither but a new clash in my home state of Oregon makes me want to choose sides.

Nelscott Reef, directly west from Salem, is Oregon’s premier big wave even featuring a big wave contest but lately its also a battlefield. And let us turn to the Newport Times for more.

Surfing will take the spotlight at a city council meeting Monday, Jan. 28, where big-wave promoter John Forse intends to lodge a complaint against rival surfers over another dangerous incident at Nelscott Reef.

Forse released a photograph this week of a chilling encounter between a jet ski and a surfer that shows them on a collision path. No injuries occurred as the 750-pound watercraft veered away at the last moment. Forse said the incident occurred about a week ago during non-contest conditions.

“The jet-ski was going 30 to 35 mph,” claimed Forse, saying state marine laws forbid motorized boats from straying within 100 feet of surfers. “It’s like driving a boat through a group of swimmers.”

Meanwhile, Oregon State Police say they are monitoring the situation, which falls into their jurisdiction.

State Trooper Scott Severson stated, “Jet skiiers will be cited if appropriate, and we will shut down (any contests) if operations are unsafe.”

The newly-documented encounter comes in the wake of another incident that occurred during a Nov. 29, 2017, big wave contest where several onlookers were struck and briefly pinned by a log that swept onto the beach.

Forse, who founded big-wave surfing at the reef and has held an annual contest there since 2004, claimed the city contributed to the unsafe situation by issuing a license to a rival group that was fined in municipal court as a result of the 2017 beach accident.

Well that got very exciting at the end. The log that pinned onlookers during the event? A rival group of fans? What sort of log was it? Maybe one of Erik Logan’s @infinity_sup #blurrV2?

I’ll get to the bottom of it.

From the shear-that-goddamn-shit-off-me dept: Firewire releases surfboard made from sheep hair!

You’re all filthy, gnawing rats killing the planet. Now buy this surfboard.

The story goes that New Zealand shaper Paul Barron was pouring resin over a board and spilt some on his wool sweater. It’s a story of ruined outerwear, to be sure, but there’s more.

The moment gave Barron a spark.

Three years on, Barron Surfboards is working with Mark Price of Firewire to use wool cloth instead of traditional fiberglass wrap.

The “Woolight” boards should be available this new year.

But why bring shepherds in? ‘Cause fiberglass ain’t too eco-anything and wool-based resin is much friendlier to the planet, much more “sustainable”, as they say.

According to Barron and Price, it’s also going to help a troubled wool industry in NZ.

Watch two drips introduce Price and Barron as they explain what they are up to here.

Price says, “The closer we can bring our surfing equipment to the natural world and reduce its toxicity it’s a win.”

Ahh, the surfboard as message, metaphor and theory!

The past few years have shown us boards made from a mishmash of materials: discarded cardboard, tossed aluminum cans, cigarette butts (mine), vinyl records, Styrofoam coffee cups and any other piece of roadside trash coloring the highway.

The now-drying Tom Wolfe shared that any successful piece of modern art needs a theory – a message – and these art boards certainly come ready: you’re all filthy, gnawing rats killing the planet.

Now, buy my art board.

These things are more installation than vehicle, though, yes?

The unusual greyish wool decks on the Barron/Firewire look equal parts tool and art, but maybe not the kinds we see hung over a fireplace.

woolite surfboard Firewire
The now-drying Tom Wolfe shared that any successful piece of modern art needs a theory – a message – and these art boards certainly come ready: You’re all filthy, gnawing rats killing the planet. Now, buy my art board.

These Woolight boards might say something about sustainability, sure, but also gliding on seriously fine equipment. Testers say that they’ve got the same feel as a normal glassed board. When he’s not prattling on with Chas in aisle six, Machado’s even had them underfoot, not a bad endorsement.

(Or should we wait for an official Longtom review before throwing out our cash for the shepherd’s delight?)

Either way, most of us would be numb to the subtleties.

And question marks pop up, too, about widespread use of eco-boards by the everyman. South African outfit Hurricane Surfboards plays with bio-materials like flax and hemp. Word is that Twiggy Baker will be riding them exclusively next season and that’s great, but they say the boards have much longer curing times than resin and eco-materials costs up to 300% more to use. That’s gotta pass down to you and me somehow.

So, let’s get some perspective in here by Surf Prescriptions deity Jeff Doc Lausch.

Doc’s been planer-in-hand for over thirty years and knows a bit about glass.

“I’m all for new materials that out-perform and are better for the environment. However, if they fail in being as strong, easy to work with, and cosmetically beautiful then it doesn’t make much sense to me,” he says.

But has Doc ever played with alt-materials?

“The first surfboard I ever made, in 1969, was a stripped-down log that I glassed in my friend’s carport with a bedsheet and polyester resin. Board lasted about 15 minutes!”

Always interested in alternate materials, though, he never abandoned the idea and a couple of years ago built some boards with cardboard core.

“One was wrapped in paper that was soaked in some poly-latex paint stuff. Board lasted about one hour. The other was wrapped in fiberglass soaked in polyester resin and the board was strong and durable. It’s still rideable today.”

Doc offers a reasonable balance.

He says that he believes all of us surfers care deeply about the environment, but we also care about surfing at the highest level of our abilities. If there is an alternative that proves to be equal or better in all areas of performance and durability it will be accepted.

“Fiberglass has proven to be all things needed to manufacture and state of the art performance surf craft.

Cleanly stated, “fibreglass rules,” says the good doctor.

Firewire keeps a hard eye on the future, and there’s talk about expanding the wool technology to boats and other craft.

A good investment here?

Is there a market for this?

Or do we simply care first about steamrolling waves on trusted fiberglass?