Entertaining at your new surf house will be glorious.
Entertaining at your new surf house will be glorious.

Buy: Your English dream surf home for less than two orders of avocado toast*!

Opportunity knocks!

When you think of “island” and then think of “surf” what are the first images that pop into your mind? Stiff, cold winds? A messy and angry ocean? Pale skin? Bangers? Mash? Me too! Jolly Old England. Enchanted Albion. Isle of Wave Dancing and have you ever thought about packing it all and just moving there? Just leaving it all behind?

Well, now is your chance and let us turn to the realtor’s gotta-see-to-believe description of a once-in-a-lifetime housing opportunity.

A luxury seaside home that sits above one of Britain’s finest surfing beaches has gone on the market for £1.15m.

The four-bed property, called Compass North, is separated from Fistral Beach in Cornwall by the protected green landscape of Newquay Golf Course.

The 1930s detached house that is on the market with estate agents Rohrs & Rowe, has uninterrupted views of the sandy beach and clear blue waters.

It has 3,675 sq ft of accommodation with sitting room, sun room, kitchen/dining room, drawing room, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a gym or fifth bedroom.

There is also a downstairs shower room for de-sanding post beach activities.

Outside it has a double garage, landscaped gardens and a sun terrace.

Martin Rohrs, from Rohrs & Rowe, said: “The house is right next to Fistral Beach.”

Of course you know Fistral Beach, birthplace of high-performance English surfing. And can you even believe that you can own a slice for a paltry 1.1 million pounds? Right today that is only 1.5 million U.S. dollars and if you’re smart and play the Brexit I bet you can scoop for less than a million, or avocado toast for two in Bondi, Australia*.

It’d be like owning the Pipeline House for less than a million.

Think about that.

surfer magazine
Maybe a little hard to believe now, but there was a time, let's call it 1968 through to the early seventies, when Surfer was the best mag in the world. Better than Rolling Stone. Better than Lampoon. Here, art director Hy Moore, ad guy Don Kremers, photog Brad Barrett and, owning the front, new owner Steve Pezman (who bought it off John Severson in 1971) and Craig Anderson lookalike Jeff Divine. | Photo: courtesy EOS

Warshaw on Slow Death of SURFER: “Surf media is always 95% crap and 5% great!”

"For two or three years Surfer was the best mag in history," says surf historian.

Yesterday, you mighta heard, American Media, owner of The National Enquirer, bought out the company that owns that grand ol lady of the game, Surfer magazine.

And, even though American Media told Forbes that no one was going to get iced in the takeover, there was, very quickly, the scent of burning flesh. Soon, a few skeletal dogs will work the pedals and levers, hoping for a few off-cuts from the butchers.

The surf historian Matt Warshaw, whom you should reward every month with three dollars for his archival work, and for which those three shekels will entitle you to unlimited access, worked at Surfer in the eighties.

He knows its foibles, he knows its importance.

Let’s rap.

BeachGrit: A little history, just ’cause you do it so well. When did Surfer peak and when it decline?

Warshaw: Surfer went from good to great the day Drew Kampion pulled up in his VW microbus, walked through the front door and started tossing baggies of weed into every office. Late 1968, I think. Before the day was over, John Severson grew a huge Sgt. Pepper mustache, boy-toy Art Brewer took over from Ron Stoner, and for two or three years Surfer was the best mag in history—Rolling Stone meets Communication Arts meets Harvard Lampoon. That’s an exaggeration, but still. It declined, rose again, declined again, rose again, maybe three times altogether. It was very good in the 1990s, when Steve Hawk was there.

I’m gonna say, I’m surprised Surfer hung on for as long as it did. Who buys print ads anymore except French fashion houses and their vanity spends? And it was the advertiser model that Surfer was built on, yeah? Make ten mill in ads, virtually give the mag away etc?

I think so. I don’t know. I left at the end of 1990. I was a pretty shit editor in a lot of ways. I was good at working with other writers, mostly Derek Hynd and Matt George. We absolutely believed we were the Bloomsbury of surf, and at the time we were. But I paid zero attention to the business side, marketing, advertising, none of it. And I was allowed that luxury because Steve Pezman and Paul Holmes, who was editor before me, did all that necessary and important work so that I could sweat out a third draft of Derek’s latest Top 44 article. Pezman was a dream boss, the best.

Surfer, best-case scenario, is in for a very rough year or two, then American Media puts it up for sale and it gets bought as a vanity project, the way Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. Surfer will at that point be reborn in whatever form the rich benefactor dictates.

Not that she’s officially dead. But the future ain’t bright. Do you agree?

I have zero intel, and my business acumen is no better now than it was 30 years ago. But I’m guessing that Surfer, best-case scenario, is in for a very rough year or two, then American Media puts it up for sale and it gets bought as a vanity project, the way Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. Surfer will at that point be reborn in whatever form the rich benefactor dictates. Who knows. Maybe a quarterly Surfer’s Journal kind of thing. Except there’s already a Surfer’s Journal, so what’s the point.

Tell me a little about your tenure there?

I was at Surfer from ’85 to ’90. Not a good time in terms of how the magazine looked, but the writing was often very good. I set up my powder blue Selectric II on my first day, and six years walked out with a Mac Classic that I’d bought just a few months earlier. We fucking hated Surfing mag, and they hated us, which was fun. Chas would have loved it.

You gotta know the answer to this, how many significant print mags are there left? Surfing, gone, What Youth, gone, Stab, gone, Waves, gone. Tracks, SW, I guess Surfer’s still here officially. Will The Surfer’s Journal be the last man standing?

Surfer’s Journal will be the last man standing, yes. Steve and Debbee Pezman came up with that incredible revenue model: high-quality mag, minimum ads, steep per-issue cost. And they never wanted to go huge. I don’t know if the Journal is immune to what’s happening everywhere else in print. Probably not. But yes, they will outlast everybody in surf.

I cherish the days I worked at Surfer. Almost nothing of what we did actually holds up, but at the time it was progressive and fun and it meant the world to me. I feel the same way in 2019 about digital, or at least the stuff that I’m involved with. The format changes. The topics change. What’s counts is working with the right people, on something you really care about…

Do you weep at the death of print or do you feel, like me, that it’s a transition phase, a new way of digesting media that’s actually better – the news is current and the feedback from readers is immediate?

My wife and I still have hundreds of books in our house, on big shelves in living and dining rooms. Neither one of us has looked at a book in years. I read on my phone, Jodi has a Kindle. My attention span is shot. We still get the Sunday print edition of the New York Times, but I end up reading articles on my phone anyway, just out of habit. No, I don’t weep at the death of print. I was glad to toss all my LPs and CDs, and I’ll be happy when I convince Jodi to pack up all books for Goodwill. I cherish the days I worked at Surfer. Almost nothing of what we did actually holds up, but at the time it was progressive and fun and it meant the world to me. I feel the same way in 2019 about digital, or at least the stuff that I’m involved with. The format changes. The topics change. What’s counts is working with the right people, on something you really care about. Surf media is always 95% crap and 5% great. How lucky I am to have been on the right side of the equation all these years.

Revealed: BeachGrit is singularly responsible for these rough days in surf media!


Yesterday it was revealed here that Surfer magazine and its parent company TEN had been purchased by the National Enquirer. Maybe a good fit? Whoever knows these things but reporting today from inside the room suggests there has been a brutal bloodletting. A ruthless chopping of salary with no even “let’s pretend” wink and nod toward future growth. No. The game is to cut, cut, cut then resell, too hell with all that blood. What Youth also announced recently that it is ceasing its print magazine and who’s fault is it?

BeachGrit‘s of course!

I’ve been sent more DMs, texts, emails today specifying how surf media was once proud, noble, widely consumed, widely appreciated, loved, honored, respected, important, critical… until BeachGrit came along, debasing the medium.

And now look.

The stories that find purchase are quick blurbs on a brave woman who surfed with fins inserted progressively, putsches in Orlando and aggressive leash tugs etc. etc. etc. The only point to feed “a nasty crew of commenters.”

I suppose…. I’m sorry? But I don’t suppose that because I’m totally not.

Fuck the surf media for being shit for so crazy long.

Fuck it for forgetting that this isn’t serious, it’s only fun and fun is only ever temporal. That the people who have the most fun are the grumpy locals and you (grumpy local) are the only, literally and honestly ONLY thing that matters.

Fuck it for thinking friendship with professional surfers is the end all and be all of life.

Fuck Stab the honest-to-goodness flabby cop calling negative comment deleting worst of all. Fuck “media groups.” Fuck Surfline. Fuck antiquated old man bullshit that this was ever “important.”

It was never important. It was fun. Fun in spite of all of us damned surf medias not because of us.

Oops! I started drinking early!

Technology: World’s largest deep water standing wave to open in Pacific Northwest!

But where are all the Surf Ranches?

Chelan, Washington is a town of just over 4000 in the almost center of the Evergreen State. Its post office was built in 1890, its school in 1893 and its deep water standing wave, the largest in the whole world, is set to open in 2019.

The Lake Chelan Mirror writes:

Joining the world-wide manufactured wave craze, Slidewaters Waterpark will open the world’s largest and the first deep water stationary wave in the United States. The 52 ½ foot wide Citywave© can produce waves as high as 6 feet and can be surfed with standard ocean boards and fins. Slated to open to the public summer of 2019, Lakeside Surf is a stand-alone surf park that will operate both independently and in connection to the existing waterpark.

So basically a very big Flowrider. A contained and controllable Waimea river thing.

All fine and good, especially for our Pacific NorthPest but the reason we should discuss is the first phrase of the Mirror piece. “Joining the world-wide manufactured wave craze…” and there sure is a lot of smoke there but where the hell is the fire?

I mean, Surf Ranch premiered what, two years ago now? And what have we got to show for it. We’ve got Surf Ranch. We’ve got shuttered Waco. We’ve got shuttered Austin. We’ve got a Mad Max thing in Australia that makes epic 1 footers. We’ve got a Chinese knock-off and… am I missing any? I think that’s it. Oh, besides the world’s largest deep water stationary wave in Chelan, Washington.

And if “manufactured waves” were really moneymakers wouldn’t we be seeing franchises starting to pop up everywhere by now?

I mean… what’s the deal?

Rumor: World’s favorite gossip rag, the National Enquirer, acquires Surfer magazine!

Donald J. Trump approved!

This ain’t even a rumor. Maybe. It’s totally true. Probably. And totally epic. Whispers of Surfer magazine’s parent company TEN Media being on the block have been floating forever and ever. Of course we all know that media has run up on hard times with venture-backed companies like BuzzFeed and Vice failing to turn profits. Of course we all know the common sense un-sustainability of Stab, which once sold for a cool 10 million dollars, juicing their Facebook/Instagram “likes” and Youtube video views in an attempt to convince naive brand managers that it’s wildly popular.

But National Enquirer is a whole ‘nother level. The damned big leagues and let’s read a legit news source before we dig in. Boardistan writes:

American Media, the parent corporation of Men’s Journal, Radar, US Weekly and more famously the National Enquirer (you know, the company run by Donald Trump’s friend David Pecker) is reportedly purchasing TransWorld Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Snowboarder, and Surfer Magazine’s parent company The Enthusiast Network. Employees were apprently informed today (January 31, 2019) during an all-hands meeting at TEN’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California.

Things may not be looking all that bright for current TEN employees. As one media executive who is not involved with either company told us, “I would assume this is going to be brutal. American Media has tons of debt, so I doubt they’re going to invest in anything. They probably see synergies and cost-cutting as a quick way to shape up the bottom line.”

So there we have it and… Would it be rude at this point to be jealous? If there ever was a surf tabloid it was your little ol’ BeachGrit.

New rumors just floating through the phone suggest TransWorld Snow just died and Snowboarder is hot on its heels.

Good thing the world has LodgeGrit!

More as this story develops.