Surf fans the world over are feeling very glum after John John's season wrapped early.
Surf fans the world over are feeling very glum after John John's season wrapped early.

Preview: The Corona Open J-Bay starts tomorrow under a cloud of overwhelming depression!

Still, many questions remain.

And it is time to think about professional surfing again. The last time we were thinking about it, some two weeks ago, Filipe Toledo was thrilling near Rio while John John Florence broke our hearts. Oh the pop of that anterior cruciate ligament threw the entire 2019 World Surf League Men’s Championship Tour race right into the trash. Or not the trash, per se, but… don’t you think the eventual winner will forever have an asterisk after his name?

John John Florence wasn’t just leading. He was lapping the field. He was doing so well that there was word the World Surf League was going to drop him to the very bottom of the World Qualifying Series rankings to see if he could re-climb into the Jeep Leaderboard Yellow Jersey just for fun.

The odds were set at even.

Well no more. Gone in a puff of flyaway. Disappeared certainly now and likely forever. Two world championships and a dump truck load of what might have been.

But I’m sorry, this is BeachGrit where anti-depressiveness is a way of life and there are still fun storylines to parse.

Like, will Kolohe Andino finally shake off the burden of great expectations and stamp his mark on 2019? Dino Andino’s second favorite child is sitting in second place and J-Bay’s racetrack rights are custom made for a coming out party. Agree?

Will Filipe Toledo strangle his countrymen or will Gabriel Medina regain form or will Italo Ferriera stomp all-comers? I’ve liked the cut of Italo’s jib the most this year. Haven’t you?

Will Kanoa Igarashi accidentally win another few events, getting lucky by catching miniature J-Bay (forecast looks bad) Teahupo’o etc., then become an international sensation like the Korean boy band BTS (pictured above)?

Will Jordy Smith slide one spot or three spots after choking in his hometown event?

Will Kelly Slater continue to inspire? Now that John John is out of his way is he smelling non-shark attack related blood in the water?

And what questions do you have?

I must say, I thought there really was going to be an overwhelming cloud of depression when I began writing this little jingle but now my sails are filled with wind.

Tell me you aren’t almost too excited.

See you in fourteen-ish hours!

#murfers: Vanity Fair profiles hottest new subset of VALS!

Australia's Byron Bay is a utopia of unfettered surf dreams…

If you like a little satire in between your airport blockbuster novels, you’ll know the writer Tom Wolfe, a pioneer of what is called the New Journalism where the techniques of the novelist are used in real-life reporting.

Think: full dialogue instead of direct quotes, the reconstruction of scenes as if the reporter had seen it with own eyes and so on.

In the hands of a great writer it’s a thoroughly entertaining way to lampoon the overblown.

Wolfe, who was one of the best, could yank the mask off any phonies just by recording what he’d seen and heard. His best essay is Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s which satirised upper-class New Yorkers raising money for the Black Panthers, whose righteous mission was to annihilate white devils like those writing the cheques at the party.

If you surf, you’ll dig The Pump House Gang. Read a little here. 

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, a reporter, who uses many of the same techniques as Wolfe, goes to Australia’s surf-hippy utopia Byron Bay and follows a gang of Instagram influencer mom-surfers, murfers.

Courtney Adamo’s minimalist, Shaker-style kitchen is gorgeous, but you already know that if you follow her. The house—one of the first built in the historic town of Bangalow, New South Wales—might just be the most overexposed house in Australia. With its clapboard cupboards, wooden stools, bulk dry goods in mason jars, Blanc Marble countertops (“slightly more expensive than the Carrara,” she explains in a blog post about her kitchen renovation, “but we are so happy with the decision”), Dunlin Chelsea Pendant Lights ($669 each), SMEG refrigerator ($2,870), Lacanche oven and stove (“range cooker of my dreams” and, at about $10,000, a “splurge”), the kitchen is like a scene out of Little House on the Trust Fund Prairie. Adamo (@courtneyadamo, 250K Instagram followers) is a midtier family lifestyle micro-influencer, which, if you don’t know, is a thing.


Courtney, Michael, and their first four kids (Easton, 14; Quin, 12; Ivy, 10; Marlow, 6) sold the house, the car, and many belongings, and embarked on a “family gap year” around the world. Adamo kicked off the voyage with a farewell piece in the Telegraph and the launch of her travel blog, Somewhere Slower. Then, after a highly publicized, lightly sponsored 18-month global search for the slow life (they never really considered a return to the U.S., she tells me, because Michael dislikes the consumerism), they alighted in Byron Bay, Australia. Wilkie was born there, the older kids were enrolled in school, and, after spending a year and a half working on their visa applications, Michael began a job from home as a managing director for a Melbourne animation company. Two and a half years after arriving, the Adamos are fully settled. They might start the day with a “surf sesh” before school. In the afternoon, they might “work together as a family.”


All the “murfers” are here—the portmanteau of mum and surfer are Adamo’s clique of pretty, stylish, entrepreneurial, and creative young mothers of multiple children whose laid-back, unstructured lives generate a dizzying combination of FOMO and squad goals. They live in old-fashioned houses and give their carefully unstyled children names that sound dreamed up for a Goop collaboration with Lemony Snicket. They’re married to supportive, handsome, and scruffy men of purpose. They make their own hours and dinners and soap. They have their own brands. They are their own brands.


On first impression, Byron looks like beautiful but crowded beaches, high-end stores and cute cafés, quotidian spring breakers, tourist shops and Greyhound buses, linen at a startling array of price points, and nourishing grain bowls sprinkled with petals. The Byron of your digital and increasingly brand-sponsored imagination, however, is all that minus the bad stuff; a carefully curated bank of images designed to stoke your lifestyle longings. (If such are your dreams.) It’s a land of large, “nomadic” “broods” who “find their tribes” on life’s “journey.” Never mind that Australia’s policies on immigration and refugees are draconian bordering on vicious. In this young, mostly white, ahistorical, neoliberal utopia of the imagination, anyone can go anywhere. All you have to do is have a yard sale, hop in the gypsy caravan, point a finger at a map, and take up legal permanent residence anyplace that best showcases your lifestyle.

And so on.

Oh god it’s cruel, although it barely scratches the surface of that enclave, which is a haven of narcissism and clandestine infighting etc.

Read here. 

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.