Live from Surf Ranch: Formula One champ Lewis Hamilton shares wave with Kelly Slater!

"I'm coming for you Gabriel Medina!"

British race car driver Lewis Hamilton is one of the world’s most compelling stars. He is handsome, wealthy, popular and just won the second of back to back Formula One championships. So what do you get for the boy who has everything?

But a freezing cold, murkily grey day at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California of course!

The GP Fan website GPFans writes:

Hamilton regularly seeks out other ways to raise his adrenaline when F1 shuts down, having previously shared clips of himself racing motorbikes and other machinery.

However, it spears the Brit might have a new passion after trying out surfing seemingly for the first time recently.

With record-breaking 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater as his teacher, Hamilton had a head start on most beginners, and images and a clip shared on the F1 star’s social media would suggest that Hamilton got to grips with it quickly enough.

Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun added:

Donning a wet suit and taking to his board, Hamilton was taught a number of tricks by the American legend, before gliding at ease on his own.

The five-time F1 world champ uploaded a video of himself surfing on a glum and gloomy day in California, showing himself perfectly executing tube riding.

Kelly Slater is teaching the entire world to surf and teaching them to surf in the most unpleasant surroundings ever dreamed. Do you think their personal training will stick or do you think surfing will forever be associated with cow and industrial fog in their minds?

Either way, it’s a win.

Caio Ibelli
SUP pilot, with camera, sees the light coming down in the form of WSL wildcard reject Caio Ibelli. | Photo: @caioibelli

WSL wildcard reject Caio Ibelli lands air on Erik Logan lookalike!

"Ha! Ha! Finish him!"

Do you like symmetry and irony served with your Instagram posts?

Here, we see the Brazilian surfer Caio Ibelli, who was denied the WSL injury wildcard for 2019 because he follows BeachGrit on Instagram, landing atop a SUP pilot who looks very much like the WSL’s new media hire, Erik Logan. 

The theory was given credence when an examination of the film revealed the man, who moves with the urgency of a doughnut on a conveyer belt waiting for filling, to be operating a water camera.

Of course, we all know that Erik is a co-founder of Shred & Speed, LLC Infinity SUP, makers of “the most progressive and fastest boards on the water” and would never own a JP, the sort ridden by the man here.

When Caio saw BeachGrit’s repost that suggested he’d landed on Erik Logan, he wrote,

“Hahaha very good… finish him!”

The lady and the tramp… | Photo: Digital manipulation by Arn Anderson

Listen: Surfing’s most important scholar weighs in on “The Sock at Surf Expo!”

The entire arc from beginning to end in nauseatingly specific depth, featuring surfing's august historian Matt Warshaw!

Now that Stab magazine editor Ashton Goggans has brought honor back to a long line of Gogganses, rounding the circle as it were, from wilting cop-caller to bold haymaking thrower it is time to retire him forever, allowing him to slip back into the mists of obscurity from whence he came.

It has been a full year of fun having since I leapt across a reclaimed wood coffee table somewhere near his vicinity and haven’t we had fun? Oh sure the laugh lines became frayed and tired along the way but thankfully the narrative ends with a bang, or I guess more a… I don’t exactly know what the proper MMA terminology for Ashton’s punch was. A putsch?

Before we see it out, though, it is only right to have the most important scholar in surf, our award-winning Matt Warshaw discuss the entire arc, from beginning to end,  in nauseatingly specific depth.

Some may say it is beneath his position, that he dishonors the office of Surfing’s Official Historian and those people would be right but here it is anyway.

Listen and enjoy… And so long Ashton Goggans. It has been ridiculously fun.

This is, I think, the photo that represents Laird Hamilton best: the moto-riding alpha male with movie star (Brooke Shields, big in the eighties etc) clawing at his latissimus dorsi. | Photo: Bruce Weber

From the magic potion dept: Investors pour $32 million into Laird Superfood!

Who don't want a piece of real-life Aquaman?

Three years ago, a well-proportioned fifty-two-year-old man who once watched his hip get sawn off and replaced, a superhero some might call him, launched a pre-packaged food company called “Laird Superfoods.”

The first product line was a Superfood Creamer made from “MCT” fats and oils from coconuts along and with a magical ingredient called aquamin, which is made from ocean algae.

Today it was revealed that private investors have poured $US32 million into the biz with WeWork, the shared office biz, providing the bulk of funds.

A quickish detour through the presser.

In conjunction with the investment from WeWork, Arik Benzino, WeWork’s Chief We Officer for the U.S., Canada & Israel, will join the Laird Superfood board of directors. Laird Superfood and WeWork will also launch a partnership to make Laird’s offerings available to WeWork members and employees in select locations in the U.S.

“I thank WeWork for their investment in Laird Superfood’s expansion and pursuit of our mission to become the leading superfood company in the natural foods space. At Laird Superfood, we think of our clean-ingredient products as fuel. With the right fuel, you can accomplish anything, and it’s in this way that our offerings perfectly complement the ambitious and entrepreneurial spirit of the WeWork community,” said Laird Hamilton, co-founder of Laird Superfood.

Earlier this year, Jen See examined and tried the various magical potions.

When I ate the Superfood I did not immediately acquire the ability to fly or anything useful like that. Presumably it added calcium to my bones, but I felt nothing. Not even a tingle. This was slightly disappointing.

I mixed the Hydrate with bottled water in a 12-ounce container as the instructions demanded. Once mixed, it has a milky, white color. The flavor is nothing to write home about. Not terrible! Just not super exciting.

It needed something. I rummaged around the kitchen and found vodka of questionable vintage. I added the vodka to the Hydrate. Mmm, vodka. I added more. Even better. Then I was out of coconut water Superfood. More Vodka. What were we talking about again, I don’t know. Vodka, good. Next time, I skip straight to vodka. More vodka.

I approached the Instafuel with trepidation. Instant coffee. I once carried a French Press in my camera bag on a bike-packing trip in Oregon. This was a stupid decision, because packing out wet coffee grounds is stupid. But it does give you an idea of my feelings about instant coffee.

I again entered the kitchen to boil the required boiled water, which just about exhausts my kitchen repertoire. I added boiling water to the instant coffee and Superfood mixture. It dissolved! Magic! A thin layer tan bubbles, resembling crema, appeared on the surface. I know this game. I see you, Instafuel! I see you trying to fool me into thinking you are actually good coffee! You can’t fool me.

In graduate school, I did research at the French Foreign Ministry archives, which at the time were housed in the Foreign Ministry building. They took our passports and escorted us through the hallways. We were allowed at intervals to leave the reading room and down in a basement, there was a coffee machine. It dispensed espresso in tiny paper cups. I never figured out how to turn off the sugar, so I downed many tiny, heavily sugared espressos. It kept me awake long enough to read piles of diplomatic documents, but it was not a good coffee experience.

I recount this story, because the Laird Superfood Instafuel reminded me of the coffee dispensed from the machine in the Quai d’Orsay basement. There is a hint of coffee flavor and a creamy mouth feel. An intense coconut flavor, reminiscent of sunscreen, lingers on the palette. As I sipped, I tried to imagine Hawaii and wafting palm fronds and giant, photogenic waves. I failed.

If you like your coffee very sweet and you enjoy coconut-flavored things, Laird Superfood Instafuel is your dream morning libation. It is easy to make! And almost instant! But so is Starbucks Via, which more closely resembles coffee.

Find your nearest Laird Superfoods stockist here. 


Important scholarship: The “titillatingly transgressive sense of possibility” in surf movies!

Wildness and primitivism!

It has long been held by important scholars that those surf movies of the 1960s, the ones with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon like Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Beach Blanket Bingo, Beach Party etc. are silly worthless pulp.

“Macadamia” Matt Warshaw, surfing’s only important scholar, describes them thusly in his award-winning Encyclopedia of Surfing (subscribe here and never be hungry again!):

“Silly-but-fun beach films were a hit with young audiences but  uniformly dismissed by the critics.”

Well, an important new academic study suggests that maybe they weren’t so silly and worthless. Maybe they even lead directly to the counter-culture that tilted the entire west off its axis and let’s adjust our bifocals and read together:

The surf movies and television shows of the late 1950s and early 1960s were filled with innocent, sun-soaked fun. But were their safe storylines and conventional morals the key to their appeal? Film and media scholar R.L. Rutsky thinks not. He finds undercurrents of nonconformity in seemingly squeaky-clean films like Gidget and Beach Blanket Bingo.

Rutsky sees the movies as a bridge to the countercultural explosion embodied in later films like Cool Hand Luke and The Graduate. Though their exteriors are laden with mainstream sexuality (Will Gidget and Moondoggie kiss? Can Frankie win back Dee Dee’s affection by winning a drag race?), the movies tempt audiences with the undercurrents of nonconformity embodied by surf culture.

The films embraced a sense of wildness and freedom. Rutsky documents the films’ obsession with cultural “others,” from the scandalous bikini to the appropriation of a vaguely “Polynesian” aesthetic. He writes:

However much these films appropriate and exoticize the pleasures of the “other,” however much they play on the stereotypes of wildness and primitivism, they still present us with the desire of white, middle-class American youth for something different from the status quo.

Those beach blankets hid a titillatingly transgressive sense of possibility for teens who were soon to burst into open rebellion as the counterculture subsumed the 1960s.

Want some more titillatingly transgressive possibility, exotic pleasures of the “other,” and stereotypes of wildness and primitivism just about ready to burst into open rebellion?

I’ve got you right here!