Bodyboarders accuse Santa Cruz legend of “bitch slap”; Sheriff called!

And as recorded by Surfline cam!

Earlier today, the noted big-wave surfer from Santa Cruz, Ken Collins, also known, variously, as Skindog and Skin Dizzle, announced that he’d received a citation for the “bitch slap” of two bodyboarders.

From the Instagram account @skin_dizzle: I was surfing small Pleasure Point with my kid. 2 boogie boarders called the sherif on me. They said I bitched slapped them both. I got a citation to go to court. @surfline rewind shows them dropping in on me and I just put my hand down and pushed them back from hitting my knees as I went by. Interesting times we live in. Thanks @surfline for the rewind camera.

Cue commentary re: the insanity of a world where two boogers can’t be brushed aside without the cops being called.

From the noted surf journalist, Sean Doherty: “You invaded their safe space.”

Kook of the Day: “Sad, sad entitled privileged world we live in. I remember getting dunked and if I want and told my mommy or daddy they’d be, like, ‘What the hell did you do out there? You must’ve fucked up!'”

Life_surfer77: “Crazy to think what would’ve happen to them ten or twenty years ago.”

And the shaper Chris Christenson, “The world has gone soft. Just say you’re transgender and they’ll let you go.”

In 2015, Collins was ticketed on suspicion of misdemeanour battery after pushing another man in an argument over a one-foot wave.

From the Mercury News, 

Collins, 47, was surfing at the popular spot near 41st Avenue and East Cliff Drive the evening of Jan. 8 when he “dropped in” on the Los Gatos man and got in his way, said Lt. Kelly Kent. Collins and the other man argued in the surf, and Collins grabbed the man by his shoulders and pushed him in the water, deputies said.

The surf was about 1 to 2 feet, according to Collins and the other man started arguing again near East Cliff Drive, where Collins allegedly grabbed the man’s shirt or sweatshirt and stretched it out. Deputies arrived about 6:10 p.m., saw the stretched clothing and ticketed Collins.

No one was injured.

I asked Collins for a comment, ’cause you know he’s gonna light up, but he’s gotta talk to the DA first etc.

Revealed: The United States of America makes up less than 8% of surfers worldwide!

Surfing is exploding in popularity but where do the majority call home?

I am not a mathematician, by nature, not have I ever passed a mathematics class but numbers still fascinate because they never lie. There they stand, cold, stark, naked and true. Honest. Sincere. There are no adjectives in the number language and no adverbs either and so when I stumble upon them in our surfing world I pour over them, attempting to discern real meaning is this sea of fibs.

As you well know, surfers are great liars. We lie about anything and everything but numbers cannot be lied about because they are all verifiable and legitimate and today I saw two numbers in a Forbes magazine article that are extremely interesting and would you like to look at them with me?


Surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympics is a testament to the sport’s global growth. According to the International Surfing Association (ISA), the world governing body for surfing, more than 35 million people surf. The ISA has also grown from 32 member nations in 1995 to more than 100, including non-traditional surfing markets like Russia, Sierra Leone and Iran.

There are 2.874 million surfing participants in the United States, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. From 2017-18, the amount of surfing participants in the country increased by 7.3%.

And there we have it. Do you see? There are 35 million surfers, worldwide, and only 2.874 million of them live in the United States of America. Now, I sat for half an hour struggling to work out the percentages but think that 2.874 million of 35 million is less than 10%. Even less than 8%. Is that correct? Am I right?


So where do these other 32,126,000 live? Australia for sure but the population of that Lucky Country is only 24 million. Even if all of them surfed that still leaves us with 8 million but we know that it is impossible for all Australians to surf. We know, for instance, that Iggy Azalea does not surf.

Brazil is surf mad, just crazy for the Pastime of Kings but has 130 million less people than the United States of America and also a tiny fraction of coastline compared to its northern friend.

Japan now has Kanoa Igarashi but has been declining in population since 2014.

The non-traditional surfing markets Russia, Sierra Leone and Iran excite me very much and likely contribute significantly to overall surfer numbers but I feel I must be missing some grand surfing nation. A place where millions and millions of surfers live in perfect harmony.

Is it Great Britain?

Maybe Peru?


Where are you, millions upon millions of surfers, and what language do you speak? We’ll change BeachGrit to reflect your hopes, dreams and native tongue.

Help me help you!

New York surf enforcer: “To be tortured, to be hammered…These are good things!”

The warm fist of localism still got a place in our little world?

New York surfer Tyler Breuer runs a neat little podcast called Swellseason Surf. I’m a big fan, and not just ‘cause he interviewed ya boy a couple years back.

I listen because it plugs into a local level of the community in a way most surf media don’t. It studies a surfing fabric that will withstand market plunges, tour takeovers, and foil invasions. The core, as we call it.

This week Tyler sat down with a local enforcer from the Hamptons, Steven Bedford Browd (unfortunately no relation to the delicious Stuart, the “good-looking, hot-tempered” former WCT surfer) to discuss growing up in a time when the surfer’s code was as real as a punch in the face on a cold winter’s morning.

For those that haven’t been there, the thought of an enforcer from the playground of New York’s rich and famous might seem ridiculous. But beneath the Gatsby mansions is a working class neighbourhood with a strong surf community. Picture Sydney’s northern beaches pre-eighties property explosion, maybe.

I think you’ll find, SBB’s experience of localism would ring just as true in Steamer Lane or the Bells bowl as it does on that 100 mile stretch.

You can listen here.

Many will dismiss their chat as two dinosaurs waxing lyrical about the bad old days that surfing, as a mature mainstream sport, has put behind it.

For example:

On receiving grom abuse:

“To be tortured, to be hammered like that. These are good things.”

On the breaking down of ego, confidence and self worth by tribal elders:

“They take it away from you but give it back to you in pieces.”

On treatment of outsiders:

“There’d be eight or ten of us circling around a grown adult splashing him, yelling ‘beat it kook!’ And the guy deserved it.”

A modern day reading would call this behaviour sociopathic.

Exploitation. Grooming. The type of actions that’d send people into breakdown. Get bosses fired from workplaces. Or worse.

“Ya gotta have rules and ya gotta have discipline,” muttered Kevin Bacon’s paedophile prison guard as he prepared to molest his victims in the cult classic Sleepers.

I know good surfers, great surfers, whom I respect immensely, that have no time for localism.

A masochistic anachronism.

Tribalism at its worse.

But, I still in the Bedford Brown camp. Localism has a place. Maybe not on a two-foot straighthander beachbreak. Or in the hands of a power-hungry psychopath.

But at a reef ledge. Or a crowded local lineup. Environments where actions have consequences. Heaving sweeps and splitting lips.

There’s no room for democracy when people can get hurt.

Ya gotta have rules. Ya gotta have discipline. People need to know their place.

And ya gotta have community, which is something SBB and Tyler touch on too.

I see it now at my home beach. It’s very quickly becoming gentrified. Cafes, apartment blocks, shared workspaces. Instagram geotagging going off its tits.

With that comes the new breed of VAL. Over entitled, over confident, and over here.

Our local boardriders has made a concerted effort to change with the times. Comps most months. Club functions every other. No beers until after the final. Welcoming to all levels of surfer, especially the groms and families. An inclusive environment ‘creating a community through surfing’ as the tagline goes.

But it still formalises a chain of command. Cultivates respect. Keeps local songlines in tact, or whatever you want to call it.

Is it working? Maybe.

Maybe not.

A couple of comps ago on a small, windblown day. We were the only surfers on the usually crowded beach. Some aggressively intermediate type on a Spinetek that nobody knows decides to paddle out and sit on the four guys in the water. He’s politely told by the surfers out there that they’re in the final, and that there’s any number of shitty windblown peaks he could sit on up and down the beach.

He takes exception, bellies a wave in, storms the tower, and attempts to take on what he assumes to be a bunch of boneheaded Spicolis.

“I’m a lawyer,” he blusters. “Jurisprudence of public spaces means you can’t take over this bank, blah blah blah.“

Sorry mate, we say as we flash him our council papers and approval. But we can.

Back in the day he’d have been pelted with beer cans, cold sausages. Forbidden from returning. But instead he’s beaten at his own game.

He backs down, saunters off, and hasn’t been spotted since.

Maybe it’s a win. Maybe it’s not.

But localism in the 21st century be that way.

Just in: John John Florence is back and training for the Olympics!

Sorry Kanoa.

So I’m still jet lagged and maybe not in the best state of mind but I swear I just saw an Instagram video of professional surfer John John Florence back in the ocean, training for the Olympics.

Crazy, no? Maybe I’m crazy but here. You tell me.


He’s totally in the water training for the Olympics even though he just blew out his knee, ending his 2019 World Surf League campaign that he was absolutely crushing and it might be for Olympic paddleboarding but we’ll have to wait until Nick Carroll wakes up in Australia to be sure.

In either case, why’s he doing that?

Does he really want a gold medal to compliment his brass World Surf League cups?

Does he truly want to etch his names in the competitive anals by being the first surfer in history to win a gold medal?

I mean annals.

I suppose so and if John John is starting right now with his training for those 2020 Olympics then the Olympic committee should just etch his name in that gold medal right now because no one else has a chance and this whole charade becomes a race for silver.

So who wins silver?

I’ve got Yago Dora all day every day.

Sorry Kanoa.

Would you like to gamble with me?

Please come back J.P. Currie.

Revealed: Surfing is not physically addictive; much worse it’s mentally addictive!

We're real geniuseses!

And I am fresh back from Copenhagen then Paris, jet-lagged and droopy with and undercurrent of pure rage bubbling just below the surface. Rage because we had a quick layover in Dallas/Fort Worth and I got pulled into extreme secondary, as always happens, while my family trotted off on happy adventures.

Oh I kid, there are no happy adventures in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, only America writ awful. Zeke Elliott jerseys etc. Tito’s Vodka etc. And, truth be told, I had the better time because while in extreme secondary I feasted upon Longtom, Matt Warshaw and Surf Ads going back and forth, back and forth on the addictive nature of surfing.

It was all perfection and I don’t mean to spoil it now with a jet-lagged, droopy thought but I just have to add that surfing… surfing… the Pastime of Kings which gifted us Spicoli, Mick Fanning and Kanoa Igarashi is not physically addictive but rather mentally addictive and I don’t mean in a “I-think-about-surfing-all-the-time-cuz-I-wanna-get-toobed” sort of way but in a proper academic, scholastic, philosophical, intelligent sort.

Imagine that.

Mick Fanning.

Mick Fanning.

But it’s true. Longtom is well-read, brilliant, salty surf dog and can’t stop thinking about it. Matt Warshaw went to Berkley, is the son of math geniuses, has a brilliant wife and can’t stop thinking about it. Surf Ads, though I’ve never met him, is for sure is the smartest man in every room and can’t stop thinking about it. Jen See, Dr. Jen See, has a PhD in history and can’t stop thinking about it. Ricmatic, The Animal Chin, Audit in Progress etc. I can’t and won’t reveal identities but, again, brilliant and/or have brilliant wives, successful and can’t stop thinking about it.

You can’t stop thinking about it.

It’s not that surfing grabs our bodies. It’s that it grabs our minds. And that is just plain wacky.

Surfing is, quite literally, the domain of Spicoli, Mick Fanning and Kanoa Igarashi.

Mick Fanning.

And I don’t need to go into intelligence quotients here.

So it doesn’t really matter if we surf twice a day or twice a year because we are the same sort of junkie and that’s the problem. Not that we’re spending our time trying to not bog rail but that we’re spending it thinking about thinking about not bogging rails.

Or Kanoa Igarashi’s speed floaters.

Either way, it’s time for me to go to bed.


See you at 3 am!