Honor: Kai Lenny becomes youngest person to ever enter any Hall of Fame!

Oh to be 26 again!

And now that the U.S. Open of Surfing has drawn to a close we can reminisce together about all the good times that were. All the moments we shared under that Huntington Beach sun, delicate silicon filling lungs.

Oh, not my lungs. As you know, I was in Copenhagen all week and am now headed to Paris, the City of Light.

My flight is at an eye-bleedingly early hour but I did get to read Derek Rielly’s quintessential contest wrap. Perfect in every way.

He covered the most important bits, like who won (Yago Dora) and who really won, surpassing Joltin’ Joe Turpel, ‘89 World Champ Martin “Pottz” Potter and one Ronald Blakey as the “voice of surf,” Chris Cote.

Chris deserves the honor very much and the piece in the Los Angeles Times only briefly deals with his early socio-linguistic work in the “bro” field.

A winner that Derek Rielly left out of his wrap, though, was Kai Lenny who was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame alongside Steve Hawk and Janice Aragon.

The Orange County Register reports:

Lenny, at 26, received an early induction into the Hall of Fame. But, already, he has a list of accomplishments that have people calling him the best waterman that has ever lived.

Father Martin Lenny talked about how his son was restless as a young boy with a lot of energy to burn – so they took him to the beach every day to run around the sand and swim in the warm Maui waters.

“When he learned how to surf, he had been in the shorebreak, getting clobbered, and would just go back for more,’ he said.


Deserving and all true but, let’s be very honest together. Let’s really speak the truth. Doesn’t 26 seem like a crazy early induction? Like, shouldn’t Hall of Fame-style stuff be left for the twilight of a career when those invited can look back upon years and years of accomplishments and reminisce together just like we are doing right now about the U.S. Open of Surfing?


I think so.

I think this early induction business is a sham and a grave sin against Miki Dora and Barry Bonds but what do you think?

Are you furious?

Juvenile White enthrals whale watching tour boat in Santa Cruz.

Expert: Juvenile great white sharks “no threat to humans; docile like Great Danes!”

Herd of juvenile Great Whites sets up home in Monterey Bay, northern California. Local beachgoers enthralled, says newspaper.

The recent arrival of a herd of juvenile Great White sharks in northern California’s Monterey Bay has been “enthralling beachgoers, residents, local media outlets and scientists,” reports The Guardian.

In the story, Shark park: group of great whites find unexpected home off California coast, we learn that scientists suspect warming ocean temperatures have driven the Whites north from their usual home on the US-Mex border and that now they’re enjoying “a pocket of warmth near the famed surfing beaches of Santa Cruz, California.”

Do you suck and nibble waves in this region?

Should you be worried?

Megan Petersen, a naturalist who works on a whale watching charter boat in Santa Cruz, told The Guardian that because juveniles are half the size of an adult Great White and they feed exclusively on small fish and squid they are “generally not a threat to humans, and they’re pretty docile.”

A marine biologist at Stanford University, Taylor Chapple, described Great Whites as “sort of like those giant dog breeds – like Great Danes or something – they just saunter around the ocean.”

Do you remember when the writer Lewis Samuels, who lives in San Francisco, seventy or so miles away from Monterey Bay, described watching his pal Royce Fraley explode out of the water in the mouth of a Great White? 

“I saw the shark breeching out of the water with him in its mouth. Then they fell down in an explosion of whitewater, like when a whale breaches. Fifteen feet is as big as a car and they’re a lot fatter in person than you’d think they would be. And he was in the fish’s mouth and there was this fucking impact in the water and then there was nothing there, gone, like a fucking whirlpool of displaced whitewater where he’d been.”

Or Fraley’s riposte that Lewis left him to die? 

Rogue Whites, perhaps.

Everyone loves Yago! | Photo: @tsherms

Live from HB: Yago Dora wins US Open; LA Times anoints Chris Cote voice of surf!

Popular Brazilian new king of Huntington; commentator as etymological expert…

A dozen or so minutes ago, the Brazilian Yago Dora won the Vans US Open of Surfing in two-to-three-foot waves at Huntington Beach, a humming surf utopia also famous for its proximity to multi-cultural precincts such as nearby Little Saigon.

Dora is twenty-three years old and is the son of super coach Leandro Dora, whose skills helped elevate Adriano de Souza and Lucas Silveira to world titles in 2015.

Also in the final was Australia’s (maybe) next big thing, Liam O’Brien, a three-time WQS event winner in 2018 and currently en route to a WCT qualification in 2020. Before the US Open Liam was rated at tenth on this year’s qualifying series.

Of course, the big news, beyond Yago’s ease at landing airs – indeed he appears so comfortable in the air you can imagine him doing so with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the right as he examines the women on the beach one by one over the rim of his glass – was the LA Times’ story the day where it anointed Chris Cote the voice of surf.

“Cote is an etymological expert in this field,” wrote Jack Harris in his piece Frothy to Learn about Surfing? “He has been calling U.S. Opens for roughly 20 years and was the former editor in chief of the now-defunct TransWorld Surf Magazine. He helped compile the publication’s ‘Significant Surf Slang,’ a comprehensive catalog of jargon and phrases that became a prominent feature in its pages. He has a love for surfing lingo.”

Regular visitors to BeachGrit will already be privy to the genius of Chris Cote. Here, here and here.

Here and here, too.

Also worth noting in the piece is the elevation of the term, Surf Turkey.

“I’m still a surf turkey, even though I’m 32 years old,” Hodge said. “But you can tell someone that is a new surf turkey.”

Have you heard before?

Is it something you suck and nibble when you’re ruffled?

Infuriating optical illusion: Can you guess the name of the surfer in the photo?

Who do you see?

Earlier today, much earlier for I spent most of it negotiating the horrors of Australia’s urban sprawl to find a once-isolated wave, which was subsequently onshore, I received an email from Matt Warshaw asking one question.

Who is the surfer, far right, in this photo?

Surfer on the far right, Bruce? Shane? Photo by Steve Sherman

Is it Bruce Irons or former world number two Shane Powell?

Easy, Bruce, I wrote.

Matt replied that his immediate response was Bruce as well.

“But,” he wrote, “having spent the last few days hammering together a Powell clip I’m now 65% convinced it is Shane.”

The photographer is the great Steve Sherman so the correct answer is only a telephone call away.

But who wants easy?

Shane or Bruce?

(Click on the play button for a primer on Shane Powell.)

Tragic: Woman drowns in freak standup paddleboard yoga accident

It is time to disappear the evil tool forever.

I don’t like to smirk at other people’s misfortune but today’s headline is just too rich and I was sent to me independently by two caring, intelligent, warm family men. Therefore, I feel it is my great duty… not to smirk but rather warn the grumpy local public of the great danger inherent in anything standup paddleboard related, including but not limited to standup paddleboard yoga.

Now, of course you’ve seen standup paddleboard yoga either in the wild or on Instagram but have you ever been tempted by its charms? Like, a stray thought fleeting through your mind, whispering… “I bet that’s really good for the core.”

Obviously not the “core” like we use it here, as in “I’m core because I only get surfboards from the shaper down the street and my favorite t-shirt reads ‘The Surf Industry Stole my Culture and All I Got was This Stupid T-Shirt.'”

But “core” as in pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

Well, let’s hope you never gave in because, as revealed today, standup paddleboard yoga is deadly and let us turn to CNN for more.

Lisa Margaritis, 48, an experienced paddleboarder, was trying to help another woman who was struggling in the strong current under a bridge in Hashamomuck Pond when Margaritis’ paddleboard got caught on a bridge piling and she fell in, Southold Police chief Martin Flatley said in a news release.

Because she was tethered to the board, Margaritis wasn’t able to free herself, Flatley said.

Very sad etc. but also the standup paddleboard is a little piece of hell on earth. An invention that rivals Agent Orange and the guillotine for sheer destructive capabilities. They are the worst in the surf but, as shown by today’s tragedy, unacceptably risky anywhere including but not limited to standup paddleboard yoga on a pond.

I think we should all email a standup paddleboarder we love and beg that he or she abandon the evil tool for the sake of his or her family.

I’ve got ELo.