This bro only wishes that he was a surf journalist instead.
This bro only wishes that he was a surf journalist instead.

From the Infinite-Jest Dept: Surf culture has gorgeous unfathomable depth!

An art more important than inline rollerskating!

Yesterday found me at my young daughter’s best friend’s house. It was a lousy, freezing cold day at the beach like it has been all summer long. Bleak and depressing, creating fouled moods amongst Independence day weekend revelers. Glum frowns etc. Much piqued yelling at the children to keep their fucking sandy feet out of the Sprinter. Etc.

Thankfully my young daughter’s best friend’s house is slightly inland, featuring manicured property and a gorgeous swimming pool. Most importantly it is beyond the now Satanic marine layer and the sun shown brightly.

So there I was, picking her up after a playdate that, by all measures, was an extraordinary success and really studying the LeRoy Grannis photo hanging on the wall. You of course know LeRoy Grannis, one of the most iconic surf photographers of all time. Matt Warshaw introduces him thusly in his award-winning Encyclopedia of Surfing (subscribe here):

Gruff-voiced photographer from Hermosa Beach, California; best known for the lucid, unadorned, well-composed surfing images he took during the 1960s; also a cofounder in 1964 of International Surfing magazine—later shortened to Surfing. Grannis was born (1917) and raised in Hermosa, began surfing in 1931, and was one of the state’s top wave-riders in the ’30s and ’40s; more than a half-dozen photographs of Grannis are featured in Doc Ball’s 1946 book California Surfriders. Grannis and Ball were both charter members in 1935 of the Palos Verdes Surf Club.

Anyhow, this particular photo featured three surfers in different poses riding a Waimea bomb.

It’s beautiful and as I was studying my daughter’s best friend’s father commented that he had received the print from LeRoy himself but didn’t know who the surfers were. I guffawed and said, “No? Well I’m a surf journalist. I’ve got this.” And immediately proceeded to text the aforementioned Matt Warshaw, asking, “Which surfers are in this Grannis photo?”

He responded straight away, “I can’t ID on sight but can maybe look it up.”

I was slightly confounded. The image is semi well-known and I imagine surfing’s premier, foremost and only historian having this knowledge in the very front of his mind. How many semi well-known surfing images are there in the world? Twelve? Thirty? Definitely under forty and I thought surfing’s best, most thorough and only historian had them all in the very front of his mind.

Hours later as I was tucking into bed Matt Warshaw responded, “Top to bottom: Ron Newman, Ponce Rosa (eating it), Unidentified. None of them surfers I’ve heard of! Waimea 1966.”

And can you believe it? Can you even believe it? There are still bits of surfing flotsam and jetsam that Matt Warshaw, surfing’s best, brightest and only historian doesn’t know.

It made me extraordinarily happy.

I sometimes feel that surfing is a shallow backwater and we’re all retards drowning in 2 inches of water but then something like yesterday happens and I realize surfing has gorgeous unfathomable depth. Secrets, truths, bits and bobs that will keep our minds spinning forever and ever. A rich tapestry as profound as any. An art more important than inline rollerskating.



Jen See: “I bought a new, red bikini and I feel fine!”

"'You can’t actually surf that thing,' said SUP #1."

I bought a new, red bikini and I feel fine.

In fact, for anyone stranded under the marine layer with flat surf as far as the eye can see, I recommend a red bikini. It’ll perk a girl straight up.

The other day I paddled out for a surf. It was very small. Hardly worthy, in fact, of calling it surf at all. But I saw a wave-like movement in the ocean and the sun stole out from behind the fog. My morale lifted! I could go surfing, maybe. So, I pulled my goofy twinfin out of the stack and headed to the beach.

There I found the usual assortment of summer people: moms with umbrellas, kids on wavestorms, skimboarders, kids on boogie boards, kids wearing goggles, kids wearing nothing at all. A few forlorn types like me, looking to try to stand on surfboards. And of course, the ever-present SUP-wielders.

Just then, I saw a small bump in the water that might have been a peak or might have been a whale fart. Either way, I was going to try to surf it. This is exciting! I might surf this whale fart, I thought, paddling madly. And then I stood up and and there appeared — well, I wouldn’t call it a wall, necessarily, more like, a speed bump or a furrow. Can water have furrows? The ocean, it furrowed its brow at my presumption. Who is this, who dares to attempt surfing?

I threw my middle finger at its furrow and slid along until, disaster! A small child on a Wavestorm, directly in my path, going straight. It would be bad to run over the small child, I thought, even as that furrow beckoned me to keep surfing. I did not keep surfing. I turned to go straight, just like the small child on the Wavestorm. This decision meant the end of my attempt at surfing. Disappointed, I paddled back out to wait for another wave-like formation to appear.

As I was sitting there, staring at the horizon, thinking about nothing and everything, the way you do when you stare at the horizon on a day with not much surf at all, I quite suddenly heard voices above me. It’s must be God, I thought! God is talking to me, right here in the ocean. This seemed weird. I have not ever been what you call church-going, so you can imagine my confusion. How strange to be singled out in this way!

Looking around, I noticed a pair of SUP-wielders drifting in my direction. They are going to interrupt my conversation with God, I thought. The nerve! I began to move away, because really, this is the natural reaction of any normal person at such a sight. Not one SUP, but two! And coming my way. What else is a girl going to do but move as quickly as possible in the opposite direction.

As I began to paddle, I realized that the voice I heard was not actually God! It was one of the SUP-wielding men. This was very disappointing and I went to move away still more quickly.

Just before I moved out of earshot, I realized I was in the presence of a SUP on SUP blood feud. Intrigued, I stopped to listen. What could a pair of SUP-wielding bros have to blood feud over, I wondered. Surely, everything is peace, love, and unicorns among the SUP brethren. Surely, there could be no reason for the kind of infighting that is normal among our beloved, but oh so grumpy, surfing tribe.

“You can’t actually surf that thing,” said SUP #1. I wasn’t sure what he meant by this, as I’m not sure anyone can actually surf a SUP. What could he mean?

I looked more closely at the second SUP-wielder. SUP #2 was riding an inflatable board. It was large. Very large. I tried to imagine the dimensions, but my mind proved too feeble. Surely, it was longer than any board needed to be. And it must have been four inches thick. Or more! I tried to imagine surfing on it, like the Goodyear Blimp, if the Goodyear Blimp went in the ocean. This seemed… not possible.

“Oh no, I have surfed it, no problem!” said SUP #2, his enthusiasm unimpaired by the incipient blood feud about to envelope him. If he sounded a little defensive, well, it can’t be easy to maintain the sangfroid while standing on a blow-up doll.

Determined on a blood feud right there in the lineup, with small children watching, SUP #1 wasn’t about to let it go.

“Those things are for floating around in the harbor. Or doing yoga,” said SUP #1. The way he said yoga made it sound like the very sickest burn, though I bet his wife buys him lululemon for men all the time.

I’m learning so much here, I thought. Riding a SUP is totally fine! But riding a blow-up SUP is very bad! You might be tempted to do yoga on your blow-up SUP, which is also very bad!

I did not know it was possible to have a blood feud in the SUP world. I felt suddenly so enlightened. The SUP people aren’t that different from us! They have petty fights over things like what their boards are made out of and what they look like. Surely, you can’t surf that, they say.

I felt a sense of vertigo, the way you do, when you suddenly see something from a totally different direction than how you’ve seen it before. Like when you hang upside down on the monkey bars at school. The ground is like, right there and your feet are way up in the sky and all the boys can see your underwear. The whole world is so different when you hang upside down.
I was worried that this whole SUP-wielder blood feud was going to get straight out of hand, never mind that there were children present. So I paddled farther out toward the horizon, even though not even the slightest bump seemed likely to appear there. The voices faded into the distance. I do not know how SUP-wielders resolve their feuds. Do they throw rocks? Poke one another with their paddles? I’m not sure I want to know the answers to these questions.

Soon another tiny bump appeared that bore enough resemblance to a wave that I began to paddle. And this time, there was no small child on a Wavestorm, and I slid down the furrow, as long as I could, until finally, I reached the beach. There was no way I was going to find another wave in the mostly flat sea, I figured. So I took off my leash and walked up the beach, past all the beachgoers with their coolers and their umbrellas. And I wrapped up in my towel and slid off my suit.

And then I put on my red bikini, and smiled up at the sun, all thoughts of blood feuds forgotten. Nothing possibly could go wrong for a girl when she’s wearing a red bikini.

Apocalypse Now: “Terrifying” surf rage incident shatters utopian wave tank dream!

"Keith, according to the affidavit, grabbed a rock and struck him in the mouth, causing "massive trauma" including missing teeth..."

When Kelly Slater introduced his Surf Ranch four, almost five, years ago in Lemoore, California the world gasped. It was… perfect. Waves on demand and not just any waves but barreling waves. That vision, compounded with Wavegarden’s existing beginner friendly models then reinvigorated soon after by BSR Cable Park, there in Waco, Texas and its unlimited launch ramps fed a narrative that had been dormant since the mid-1950s.

Could surfing actually create the world’s first, sustainable utopia? Where resources are endless and everyone shares? Where fun reigns and a smile is plastered on every face, from the first-timer VAL to Kelly Slater, eleven-time World Champion, current world number seven?

Might the wave tank usher in the Age of Aquarius?

Oh there were small hiccups. The most exciting pool design-wise, there in Yeppoon, Australia, could only craft ankle high waves but the dreamer saw midgets and children invited into the utopia too. And a young man was cut down in his prime due to brain eating amoeba likely contracted at the Waco facility but how many had to perish under Stalin’s reign in order to realize the socialist workers paradise? Twenty-million? Thirty?

Wave tanks were going to democratize surfing. A barrel on every table. A Freak Peak in every stomach. And endless property the world over in which to build. Any abandoned dirt patch from the suburbs of Lancaster to Bogan Shire in New South Wales.

But in all the heady imaginations people forgot that Lancaster and Bogan Shire, Lemoore and Waco have… problems (read: methamphetamine) and issues (read: opioids) and now let us turn to central Texas’s CBS affiliate for more.

A woman is accused of assaulting her sister and boyfriend at BSR Cable Park Saturday.

Ashley Marie Keith has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault causing bodily injury-family member.

According to the arrest affidavit, a deputy detained a woman Saturday night who badly injured her boyfriend and hurt her sister who tried to stop her.

A second deputy was dispatched before 6:40 p.m. to come to the scene.

The victim told the second deputy he was asleep in the bed of his truck when he woke up to Keith kicking him in the stomach, the affidavit states, and to prevent further kicking he grabbed her thigh and pushed her away.

Keith, according to the affidavit, grabbed a rock and struck him in the mouth, causing “massive trauma” including missing teeth and a laceration to his bottom lip, and there was a large amount of blood.

“…Ashley was arrested for using a rock as a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault which resulted in serious bodily injury to (Ashley’s boyfriend),” the deputy states in the document.


We can all assume that Ashley Marie Keith’s boyfriend was worn out and taking a little truck bed snooze after throwing hammers all day on the aforementioned Freak Peak. We also must assume that he snaked Ashley Marie Keith herself.

Oh the dream is dead. All hope is lost. Surf rage is everywhere and surfers, like the rest of humanity, are bound for hell.


Oy vey! Second wavepool announced for Palm Springs!

Israeli-owned wavepool company Wavegarden tightens grip on world market…

Back in January, you’ll remember, or not, Cheyne Magnusson announced he was going to bring his Waco sorcery to a new wavepool in Palm Beach.

The Hawaiian, who has hair like a spitfire and who singlehandedly altered the course of aerial surfing at BSR cable park, had been signed to design and set-up a pool at the old Wet ‘n’ Wild site in Palm Springs, California.

Today, the terrifying ménage à trois of Clifton and Damien Hobgood and Josh Kerr simultaneously announced they’d been signed up to sell a new wave tank which is being installed at the Desert Willow Golf Resort, also in Palm Springs. There’s gonna be a “Surf Center” featuring two hotels and between 40 and 88 villas, which you can buy, as well as a Wavegarden Cove, and all under the handle DSRT Surf.

Yeah, took me a while to realise those letters ain’t an acronym. Like Slater’s VSTR or Tumblr etc.

My old pal Marcus Sanders at Surfline jumped on a phone call to DSRT Surf’s partners, John Luff and Doug Sheres, so I didn’t have to.

Let’s crib a little.

In the planning stages for two years already, and planning to break ground at the end of 2019, DSRT Surf is expected to cost somewhere just south of $200 million dollars once all the amenities are built out.

According to Luff, a surf pool on its own would be tough to make work, economically, “unless it was in the perfect location.” But once you layer in the additional income from hotels, restaurants and retail, things start making more economic sense. Especially when you factor in the proximity of 25 million people living within a few hours drive.

It works both ways, too: “The surf pool will have legs and generate a lot of revenue,” Luff said. “And without the surf pool, the development itself wouldn’t be as attractive.”

The call to go with Wavegarden Cove technology was another business decision.

“Is it the best air wave?” Luff said. “No. But do they have the most well-rounded model? Yes. I think the Cove has proven, dollar-for-dollar, that it’s best on the return. And we will be open to the public, but the focus will be on a slightly more premium experience. And people staying at the resort would get priority, but anyone could come — we want to make it inclusive, so all levels of surfers can come and feel like they got enough surf in to be satisfied.”

Opens 2021 etc.

Australia's first wave pool, a Wavegarden-created Cove – the word's first full-sized version of the new tech. | Photo: jazzy p

Progress: Digging continues at Australia’s first Wavepool!

Much dirt has to be shifted for Wavegarden Cove debut…

Four years ago, the former banker Andrew Ross made the bullish promise that there’d be ten wave pools across Australia within a decade.

It would be, it seemed, the greatest act of colonisation by a single entity in Australia since the British waded ashore from their prison hulks in 1788.

In February this year, it was announced that the first of the ten pools, which is being built near Melbourne’s airport, was nearing completion. It would be, promised the Perth-based company URBNSURF, “safe, convenient, accessible and welcoming.”

From the presser:

Major earthworks, civil construction and services installation are now largely complete, and the heart of our 2-hectare surfing lagoon, our next-generation wave generator, has been installed.

We’re now on the final countdown to filling the world’s first full-scale Wavegarden Cove, and for first waves to be breaking around Easter 2019.

Last month, BeachGrit‘s Jazzy P was wandering by and shot a few photos.

What we’re hearing is building a full-sized version of the Cove, the first of its kind in the world and Wavegarden’s return salvo to KSWaveCo and American Wave Machines, ain’t as easy as it seemed on paper.

Tech difficulties etc.

The company says it’s now squaring up for a late-2019 reveal, with the tap getting turned on to fill the lagoon in a couple of weeks.

“Opening in late ‘19 after testing and commissioning our wave generator over Winter. So close and we’re psyyyyyyched,” the company told its 11,000 followers on Instagram.

Interestingly, the co says it’s still on for a Sydney pool, construction beginning early next year for a 2021 open.

Now, an examination of these photos suggests six months or so to go before you’ll get to shred ‘tween flight connections.

Still, it’s happening etc.