Tokyo 2020: U.S. Surfing facing “a bleaker situation” hires new head coach!

"The United States Olympic Committee is concerned. They want medals and preferably gold."

2020 will be here before we all know it, bringing with it the Olympic Games and surfing’s first ever appearance. Australia is turning its proud eyes toward Bede “The White Fijian” Durbidge to train up their Julian Wilsons and Noa Deanes for silver. Brazil has some fabulous head surf coach, for certain, but won’t need him or her as Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo and Italo Ferrari will be prohibitive favorites to split the gold. China has one of the greatest Australians to ever get elbowed in the face (Pete Townend) and South Africa has Michael February.

But what about the United States of America?

Well, U.S. Surfing did have Joey Buran up until basically yesterday but swapped him for a new coach in the face of “a bleaker situation” and let’s turn to the Santa Cruz Sentinel for more:

USA Surfing on Jan. 1 named Chris Gallagher Stone its head coach and the man in charge of ensuring U.S. surfers bring home some medals from Tsurigasaki Beach, the surf venue for the 2020 Games. In addition to his new duties, Gallagher Stone will continue to work as the organization’s elite technical coach.

Gallagher Stone, who grew up in Santa Cruz, will replace Joey Buran at the position. Buran, a former Pipeline Masters champion, had been with USA Surfing since it formed in June 2017 and was named head coach in May 2018. He resigned in December to commit more time to his family and his job as senior pastor of Orange County’s Worship Generation church, according to an email he sent to Team USA members last month.

Gallagher Stone has plenty of work ahead of him, however. The U.S. Olympic Committee has made it clear it expects medals in the fledgling sport. Yet, while the women are in good position to finish on the podium — Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara and Carissa Moore of Hawaii are currently ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively — the U.S. men are facing a bleaker situation. As of Monday, the top two Americans on the tour are No. 7 Conner Coffin of Santa Barbara and No. 11 Kolohe Andino of San Clemente.

“The USOC is concerned about that,” Cruse said. “They want medals, and preferably gold.”

Ummmmm yeah, maybe the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) should lower its sights to 5th – 7th place.

Or give Filipe Toledo a green card.

Scholar reveals: “Focussing on experience of vulnerable surfers, quality waves are not evenly distributed.”

Adult learners don't get sets! Who knew?

What a bunch of savages surfers are. Sold to the world as an eco-system of fully realised souls dancing atop mysterious bands of ocean energy, a PHD candidate at The University of Auckland in New Zealand has revealed surfers to be nothing more than dirty animals, each using their “cultural capital” to steal waves off the other.

Shinya Uekusa, who is big on the French anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital where your colour, your cash and your clothes elevate or demote you in the power structure, writes that if you’re white, male and a good surfer you have your jackboot on the head of all the “vulnerable surfers”.

You’re also guilty of the nauseating crime of cultural appropriation.

“Focusing on the experiences of vulnerable surfers, quality waves are not evenly distributed. However, this pilot study revealed that surfers’ social status in the cultural spaces do not necessarily reflect their ability to catch quality waves, and vulnerable surfers negotiate and resist the power structure. Furthermore, some forms of capital are contextual, and advantages became disadvantages as the context changes, demonstrating the fluid nature of the power dynamics in the water. In using Bourdieu’s theories, this article will suggest a fruitful theory for future surfing research.”

Some excerpts (highlighted passages courtesy of  Real Peer Review).

And so on.

Distilled into a sentence: Kooks don’t get sets.

Where’s my goddamned PHD?

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.