Breaking: 11x World Champ Kelly Slater to surf the Vissla Sydney Pro!

It's miracle time!

Lady and gentlemen… we have a miracle! Kelly Slater and one extremely hurt, shattered beyond comprehension, foot will kick off his injury wildcard 2019 campaign in Manly, Australia. Home of the Vissla Sydney Pro and I think Nick Carroll.


Do you live in Manly?

Per the World Surf League Press release:

“I’ve always loved the northern beaches having lived part-time in Avalon for 15 years,” said Slater. “I miss it and I’m looking forward to getting back to some old familiar territory. I’m also getting a nice warm-up prior to jumping back on Tour full-time after close to a year and a half hiatus from competition”.

Oh maybe that’s where Nick lives. Avalon. Nick, do you live in Avalon?

Less importantly, how do you think the 11x world champion will fare?

Also, hasn’t Kelly basically lived everywhere on earth, part-time, for the past 15-years?

Blah blah blah.

Professional surfing!

Do you like how Kelly teases his “jumping back on Tour full-time…” bit? I did though also wonder if it may have been added after the fact by one very savvy President of Content, Media and Studios who knows a thing or two about hype.

You win a car! You win a car! You win a car! You win a car! You win a car!


Nick, where the hell do you live? I won’t be able to do anything else until I know.

From the Iron-clad-science Dept: Wave strength increasing by .5% a year for past 70 years!

Johnny get your gun!

If the last time you surfed was 1992 and you decided to dust off the ol’ potato chip this morning and paddle out at your local you might have noticed something. Namely that you were flying down the line 15% faster and your poundings were 15% more severe. Oh it would be easy to attribute these sensations to a Swiss cheese memory but there is actual scientific truth to bolster your impressions. Namely that wave strength has been increasing by half a percent for past 70 years!

Now let us turn to the august scientific journal Forbes for more.

“For the first time, we have identified a global signal of the effect of global warming in wave climate. In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948, and this increase is correlated with the increasing sea-surface temperatures, both globally and by ocean regions,” said Borja G. Reguero, a researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-author of a new report published just published in Nature Communications.

The new study looked at how warmer upper oceans are influencing wind patterns, which then make ocean waves stronger, particularly in some interesting spots. The data shows that the most overall wave power by far can be found in the Southern Ocean, which is also seeing the most rapid increase in wave strength.

“The Southern Ocean (defined by the 40ºS latitudinal limit) is the most energetic basin and dominates the other oceans in terms of (wave power),” the report reads.

The study goes on to investigate how increasing sea surface temperatures, along with natural patterns like El Nino, have contributed to a trend that has seen a significant increase in wave power along the coasts of central America, South America and west Africa. During the same period, from 1985 – 2008, wave power in much of the Northern Hemisphere actually saw a slight decrease, although not enough to balance out the increase in other parts of the oceans.

Well shit. Never mind about you dusting off your potato chip and feeling the power unless you happen to be dusting it off in west Africa and… let’s be honest. Not a lot of BeachGrit‘s readership lives in west Africa.

As you were, I suppose.

But real quick before you go, should we all be climate change deniers just for fun? It seems like we could have a lot of fun and get into Forbes ourselves.

“Popular surf tabloid denies climate change is real!”

I like the look of that headline.

Iconic ex-editor Sam George writes: “Surfer magazine is no longer relevant!”

One of Surfer mag's best editors, Mr Sam George, weighs in on the recent sale of the once-hallowed title and the evaporation of most of its staff.

If you were over the age of 45 on February 1, 2019, the day it was announced that media giant American Media acquired the Adventure Sports Network, publisher of the venerable SURFER Magazine, and then laid off half the staff in preparation of selling off the moribund mag, you might have said,

“Aw, that’s fucked up.”

If you were under the age of 45 you probably said,

“Who the fuck cares?”

Or more probably,

“What the fuck is SURFER Magazine?”

So what does that mean?

Simply that the disparity of those responses is the meaning of this epoch-ending footnote on surfing’s timeline.

It’s all about relevance. Always has been.

Under the relentless onslaught of vblogs, streaming webcasts, ‘clips’ and Instagram posts the archaic SURFER, with its glacial publishing schedule, frozen, static imagery and endless, gray pages of printed copy, can no longer carry out its commitments, obligations and objectives to a surfing world that once viewed its hallowed pages as more of a religious tract than magazine. Put simply, SURFER is no longer relevant. SAM GEORGE

Sure, you can make it all about money, and yeah, SURFER and all the other sports titles in the Adventure Sports Network have been bleeding cash for years.

But so what?

Blame the Internet?

Of course. Why not?

Because for over 50 years, since the first issue of SURFER rolled off the presses in 1960, the mag had been a going concern, defined as “a company or other entity able to continue operating for a period of time that is sufficient to carry out its commitments, obligations, objectives.”

Sadly for SURFER, those days are over.

Under the relentless onslaught of vblogs, streaming webcasts, ‘clips’ and Instagram posts the archaic SURFER, with its glacial publishing schedule, frozen, static imagery and endless, gray pages of printed copy, can no longer carry out its commitments, obligations and objectives to a surfing world that once viewed its hallowed pages as more of a religious tract than magazine.

Put simply, SURFER is no longer relevant.

But what a run it was.

Someone said it best in The Perfect Day: 40 Years of Surfer Magazine, published by Chronicle Books back in 2005:

“…some surfers drop off the charts completely, sacrificing everything that binds them to common society so that they might never miss another good wave. Others reconcile themselves to the estrangement, fall out of rhythm, surrendering their zeal to a creeping nostalgia, dreaming of warm, sunny days, trusty boards and swells long past. But for the rest of us there has been SURFER Magazine. Each issue looked forward to with as much inspired anticipation as were the swells featured in its pages. First six times a year, then 12, but for all those years, all those eras, the only waves a surfer could truly count on; the only waves you could hold in your hand.”

Two guesses who wrote that.

But don’t just take it from me. Consider 1977 World Champ and surf legend Shaun Tomson writing in his forward to Surfer Magazine: 50 Years, also published by Chronicle, a decade later:

“Every issue represents not only a collection of pictures and articles but also a freeze frame of its reader’s youth. SURFER is not just a magazine but is the framework for a surfing existence, a collection of reference points for an obsession, [representing] youth, freedom and a time when absolutely nothing was more important than that next wave coming down the line.”

For guys like me and Shaun—and a lot of other surfers our age—this is what made SURFER Magazine so vital, so important to our surfing lives.

And it’s difficult to imagine any much younger surfer today saying the same sort of things about “Who is J.O.B.”, or Stab, for that matter.

With the exception of occasionally revealing exciting new wave discoveries and then snobbily refusing to provide even a hint at their location, today’s surfing media is about entertainment, not inspiration.

And that’s as it should be, being entirely era-appropriate for surfers whose “reference points for an obsession” are provided in a medium based primarily on transitory content.

But man, I’m going to miss holding those waves in my hand.

(Disclaimer: I authored the two Chronicle SURFER books excerpted above, and to anyone who thinks that makes me an egotistical, self-referential asshole I say “Go to hell. Let’s see your books.”)

Question: Does our President of Content, Media and Studios hate “normal” surfboards?

Celebrate diversity!

One of the greatest comedies of all-time is the Jerk, starring Steve Martin as Navin R. Johnston, and I dare you to disagree. From the opening sentence “I was born a poor black child…” to the closing moment, where we see Navin and his family all dressed in white, dancing on the porch of an extra-large shack, the film is note perfect.

In one scene, Navin goes to work at a gas station. A deragned man, who picked his name out of a phone book, tries to shoot him but ends up shooting many oil cans instead. Navin, confused, shouts, “He hates these cans!”

The same can be said for our World Surf League President of Content, Media and WSL Studios except instead of “He hates these cans!” I think we can all point at Erik “ELo” Logan and shout, “He hates modern, traditional shortboards!”

It’s true!

Every single manner of wave riding vehicle is showcased on his robust Instagram feed. Every sort of SUP, asymetrical SUP, foil SUP, longboard, longerboard and over the weekend Mr. President appears to have added kite surfing to the list. Oh of course kite foiling comes next and then we can assume finless planks, the kitchen table etc. but there is nary a 5’11 thruster to be found. Nary a 6’1 pintail. Nary a fish, squash, swallow. Nary anything… normal.

Now, what does this all mean? Is our President a brave modern man, the sort who shuns gender pronouns, the sort who will usher the World Surf League into a place of diverse harmony wherein any board can show up in any contest at any time? Where fans will begin to hiss any surfer carrying a DHD or Mayhem or Pyzel under zir arm?

Are traditional shortboards the new white male?

Vans employee tells kid with MAGA hat to ‘F*ck Off; Gets Fired

Trump supporter denied chance to buy iconic checkerboard slip-on shoes!

An employee at a Vans store in Kansas has been fired after, allegedly I suppose although he doesn’t seem to deny it, telling a kid with a Make America Great Again hat to fuck off.

“I’m sure he’s heard it before,” the employee told the kid’s mammy, who then reported the guy to his manager.

“My son walked into this store. That gentleman cursed and told him, ‘Take off your hat’. He said nothing to him, 14-year-old child, then he said, ‘F you’ to my son. My son said nothing to him, did nothing.'”

Shortly after, Vans, which is Dane Reynolds’ primary sponsor, released a statement saying, “The actions and comments from one employee in our Oak Park location are in contrast with our company’s values and belief in personal expression.”

And yesterday, it was revealed that Empire star Jussie Smollet, who’d claimed he’d barely escaped being lynched by two men chanting, “This is MAGA country!”, a hate crime that blew Twitter into the heavens and had GQ writing “They could lynch you if they really wanted to, and maybe get away with it too” , probs made the damn thing up.

From the safety of Australia, I ask: Are men, and boys, in MAGA hats tearing the heart out of America in “the blind rage of late-stage whiteness,” as posited by GQ, and therefore must have their smug faces punched as suggested by TV host Reza Aslan?

More importantly, should Vans invest a little cash in heating its stores?

Both employees are filmed wearing woollen caps and inflating jackets that belong, I would suggest, in Alaska’s famous tundra.