From the No-Fear Dept: New robots designed to save people from the surf!

Jaws, here I come-ish!

First, the wonderful scientists of the world designed an inflatable life vest for big wave surfing. Oh, you’ve seen the women and the men out there at giant Jaws, Jaws so giant that it causes knees to tremble all the way across the Pacific in the bucolic hamlet of Cardiff by the Sea.

But what are our brave knightesses and knights wearing? What are those bulky bulges?

Inflatable vests that work with the pull of a rip and rocket the wearer to the surface of the ocean.

“Maybe I should try surfing giant Jaws too?” Santa Monicians wondered.

Today, the  wonderful scientists designed robots that can find a man or woman in the surf and save them, or actually come close to saving their very lives and let’s learn about them at Phys.

Dr Chapman works specifically in the field of multi-vehicle, or swarm, robotics.

Using a combination of mechanical, electrical and software engineering to build the robots, Dr Chapman then programs the vehicles using algorithms to react and think autonomously.

“There are benefits to using many smaller Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in place of one large one, particularly for job like cleaning up an oil spill, environmental monitoring or searching for survivors of a mine collapse,” says Dr Chapman.

Not only is there the element of redundancy with smaller vehicles – losing one small UAV out of a group is less of a problem than losing a single large UAV – but there are also the implementation benefits. For one thing, there’s the improved coverage capability and reduced cost.

“A swarm of cheap small robots, each with little capability, can replace one costly highly-capable robot,” she says.

In Australia, UAVs are now used for agricultural monitoring as well as for surf and rescue in the ocean, which means getting the job done faster which is particularly important for time-sensitive applications.

Did you read that? Surf and rescue in the open ocean. Between inflatable vests and many robots hovering overhead to find me when I fall, I’m almost ready to surf Jaws. Now I only require a robot that takes me out to the lineup, preferably flying as I don’t trust those jet-ski robots, and also a robot board that will paddle me in.

Jaws, here I come-ish!

Revealed: “The surf industry wants you to die from skin cancer” and other bummers!

It's anti-anti-depressive!

We all here love surfing with all our hearts. Everyday we love it and love it more and more and more. We love advances in surfboard technology, we love new expressions of wave riding like the stately SUP and magnificent foil, we love the World Surf League, there in Santa Monica, and its partner Jeep, allowing us to surf the world. There is truly nothing not to love. Surfing is like Sarah Lee.

BeachGrit, as you well know, is anti-depressive but have we gotten lost in all the positivity? Are our rose-colored lenses actually clouding our vision?

For yesterday the online surf publication Surfer Today listed things about surfing that are bummers. On and on and on it went and by the end my eyes were filled with tears. My frown was not turned upside-down and would you like to be sad with me for a moment?

1. Surfing is a clothing business.

2. Boardshorts over over-priced.

3. Making surfboards pollutes everything.

4. Also surfboard making uses child labor.

5. Surf wax is poison.

6. The surf industry is racist.

7. The surf industry is ageist.

8. Tanning is bad for you but the surf industry wants you to die from skin cancer.

9. If you are a selfish bastard and choose not to die from skin cancer you kill coral and turtles.

10. Cancer-riddled, anorexic, blonde Caucasian girls are the only sort of girls that get paid.

11. There is no such thing as free surfers. They’re all tools of the Man.

12. Pro surfers get rich while you suffer.

13. The only people who are allowed surf products are Americans, Europeans and Australians.

14. Surf competitions usually run in bigger cities with horrible surf.

15. Big waves hate each other.

16. NGOs run by surfers are corrupt and lousy.

17. Basically all the wetsuits in the world are made in one factory.

18. Corn syrup, booze and diesel-spewing cars are pro surfing’s biggest backers.

19. Weed is fast on their heels, corrupting everything further.

20. Nobody gives two shits about sustainability.

21. Wave pools are basically going to end the world.

You can find me in my car, I suppose, wearing my new Hurley Carhart tee and trunks (shockingly fabulous by the way) with my surfboard riding shotgun. A garden hose attached to the tailpipe will be inserted into the window. Or maybe my surfboard and I will just drive around Las Vegas drinking cheap vodka.

Either way it’ll all be over soon. So long world, you’ll be better off without us.

From the exactly-what-you-want Dept: World Surf League delivers patented “chart” technology!

Dreams really do come true.

There are a lot of things in this world that we want and never see. Michael J. Fox’s hoverboard in Back to the Future II. Doc’s DeLorean in Back to the Future I. Absolutely nothing from Back to the Future III.

Oh how we dream, lust, crave but then our dreaming, lusting, craving goes away and we are left with the empty pit that flying cars are never going to happen and everything is just going to be a slightly worse version of what we’ve already experienced.

Until the World Surf League came along.

I don’t know when the powers in Santa Monica’s high castle added this feature but it is arty and it is epic.

Click here and you can see with your very own eyes a graphed graph of the performance of your favorite professional surfers over the course of a World Surf League tour season.


Because graphs work. Graphs lend credence to what you already know.

Graphs actually are the real future.

Bon appetite.

An embarrassment of riches, yes? Even many years ago, a juggernaut etc.

From the embarrassment-of-riches dept: Brazil’s Monumental Olympic Problem!

Two Brazilian male surfers are going to Tokyo in 2020. Who's gonna get cut?

So the Olympics, eh? I suppose I’ll pay attention.

I predict it will be mostly shit to really shit, and that Kanoa Igarashi will be an Olympic Gold Medalist but never a world champion.

I do like the Olympics.

It reminds me of a simpler time, when TV was the evening hub of warm family life. When we would gather round the telly after Sunday lunch and listen to Dad’s casual racism (“By God these darkies can run”) and watch Linford Christie’s full-cock-and-balls whipping wildly under lycra as he ran.

And, I’ll never forget Ben Johnson, in 1988’s 100m final, who couldn’t have made it look more like he was on drugs if he was gurning his face off and stripping off to roll around and rub grit into his tits.

It’s about looking at the swimmers and feeling superior because, despite their spectacular v-lines and liberal attitudes to lying about getting mugged in petrol stations, at the end of the day they spend most of their lives staring at the bottom of swimming pools. It’s about watching the javelin and thinking, fair enough, guy, if the civilised world crumbles tomorrow then you and your big shoulders and your spear might be validated. But, as of right now, you look like a bit of a knob.

However, the Olympics is about far more than just drugs and racism.

It’s about looking at the swimmers and feeling superior because, despite their spectacular v-lines and liberal attitudes to lying about getting mugged in petrol stations, at the end of the day they spend most of their lives staring at the bottom of swimming pools. It’s about watching the javelin and thinking, fair enough, guy, if the civilised world crumbles tomorrow then you and your big shoulders and your spear might be validated. But, as of right now, you look like a bit of a knob.

And it’s about watching the equestrian events and thinking how wonderfully inclusive it all is.

What a multicultural socioeconomic melting pot! What a victory for the common man!

When I sat down to write this I had intended to pen something semi-serious about the different manifestations of Olympic qualifying and how the countries with multiple athletes might game the system blah blah… I’ll maybe do that another time. I’m feeling a little too loose right now. Like Chas at ten am after a few Babycham & lemonades to wash down his Eggs Florentine.

But I do want to mention Brazil. I love the Brazilian Storm. I love their fire and their chanting and their flag waving and their cosmetic surgery addiction. Don’t they make the Tour more colourful in an entirely non accidentally-racist-like-my-dad sort of way?

However, there’s a problem. The Brazilian Storm is so named because there’s lots of them, right? But not at the Olympics. At the Olympics there can only be two. And that means the Brazilian Olympic people are going to face some tough selection choices.

Do they take the one whose dad’s the best whistler? (Filipe) Do they take the one who’s the cutest? (Italo) Do they take the one who’s dad’s the pushiest? (Gabriel) Or do they take one whose dad we don’t know anything about and maybe he just sits and home and doesn’t care about the WSL or maybe he’s dead? (Adriano).

Or do they, just to fuck with everyone and take Jadson?

Who’s to say! But it’s exciting.

What I suggest is a kind of Hunger Games type thing. The entire Brazilian Storm are dumped on an island. They’re allowed to take two items of their choice. Final two alive qualify for the Olympics.

Who’s qualifying in that scenario?

I think Italo’s out. I think he’d forget entirely about food and shelter and survival. He’d take two Timmy Paterson’s, a 5’9” and a 5’10”, and be picked off getting out of the water within a day.

Adriano’s gone, too. He took two sentimental items, the nose of a $7 surfboard and a soiled handkerchief, and just sat under a tree and cried and cried and cried.

My bet, I think, would be on Willian Cardoso. I think his chosen items would be some salt and some pepper. And I think it entirely possible that he would have eaten everyone in the space of a few hours. Gabriel, of course, would be second. Not because he’d be especially difficult to kill or catch, but just because he’d taste the best. Right? Smooth like silk. If he’s lucky the game will end and they’ll be rescued before Willian has digested Italo and gets hungry again.

If you had to, absolutely doublefuckingdareyou HAD to…which current CTer would you eat?

But surfing at the Olympics! What about surfing?

Will it fly like a spirited little bird? Will it soar across countries, across continents, and spread the joy of surfing to little boys and girls in all corners of the globe?

Or will people look at Julian Wilson, with dubious (but lustful) eyes, as he wiggles back and forth in two-foot beach break slop, and think: This.This is Surfing?

Money: Billionaire invests heavily in surf worrying other billionaires!

"...confusing for a company trying to reshape the office sector."

It has long been assumed, in our glorious capitalist societies, that billionaires are very smart when it comes to money and therefore should be emulated. Let’s take the billionaire Warren Buffett, for example. Every move he makes, every direction he looks, every dollar he invests is quickly copied by other billionaires.

Oh the Oracle of Omaha is not the only one. As a rule, billionaires can follow the lead of other billionaires when it comes to investing. It is a good system, proven to work as the rich get richer but there is now a wildcard in the billionaire ranks making suspect investments that nobody wants to copy and furthermore worries the market.

You’ve met Adam Neumann before here, after he invested millions upon millions of dollars in Laird Hamilton’s personal creamer. He also owns a large stake in WaveGarden. And what do other billionaires feel about this?

Let’s check in with billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal.

The company’s new directions make for an eclectic mix of businesses. Some tie more evidently into office space, while others, like Laird Superfood, appear built around Mr. Neumann’s hobbies and personal interests. At his direction, WeWork also has invested in a wave-pool maker and started an elementary school that began after Mr. Neumann and his wife, Rebekah, expressed concerns with finding schooling for their children.

WeWork’s forays reflect the leeway that investors sometimes give founders of highly valued startups to shape companies according to their vision. The expansions could help WeWork grow, but also can be a distraction; several former employees said that they had found the variety of investments confusing for a company trying to reshape the office sector.

That last sentence there, “…several former employees said that they had found the variety of investments confusing for a company trying to reshape the office sector.” is basically billionaires telling Mr. Neumann to knock off his surf shit. That no one has ever made a dime through surf investment, see Dirk Ziff, and if he keeps it up than WeWork will be Billabong or the World Surf League.

Does he want WeWork to be Billabong? Does he want to get kicked out of the club?

I suppose we’ll see.