The crew over at Surfstitch posted an image of Munoz modeling a cute as fuck fall outfit from Roxy. Fleece sweater, black tights, ooh là là. The photo depicted Munoz with a slightly bemused expression and with a very perky ass. She looks very hot, in my opinion!There’s just one problem. That cute, perky curvaceous bottom isn’t actually hers.

Kelia Moniz: “Hey, that’s not my ass!”

Ten years ago, or even five, can you imagine a woman calling out an image of herself as photoshopped?

As you all know, I was once told in a beach parking lot that I have no ass. It’s true, I really don’t!

(Read “Bitch, you got no ass!” here.)

Neither it seems does Kelia Moniz. At the very least, she is less hourglassish than a recent photo suggested.

This is all a confusing tale, but it begins on Instagram as most things do, these days. Is there life beyond Instagram?

Sometimes, I am not so sure.

The crew over at Surfstitch posted an image of Moniz modeling a cute-as-fuck fall outfit from Roxy. Fleece sweater, black tights, ooh là là. The photo depicted Moniz with a slightly bemused expression and with a very perky ass.

She looks very hot, in my opinion!

There’s just one problem.

That cute, perky curvaceous bottom isn’t actually hers.

“Who photoshopped my butt?” she asks in the comments. “Cause it’s not mine.”

Surfstitch says the photo came from Roxy. If there was a photographic enhancement, it came from the brand.

It is a strange, new world we live in, these days.

Ten years ago, or even five, can you imagine a woman calling out an image of herself as photoshopped?

I can’t, necessarily.

We’d have all merrily gone along with the idealized version. In truth, female models have often appeared more plastic than your average Barbie and in doing so, have created a beauty standard well beyond the reach of normal humans.

If I may be earnest for a moment — I mean, I know, we’re talking about asses here, which is not an especially earnest subject — but it is a refreshing change to open a website and see normal human women modeling bikinis and jeans and hoodies. It’s as though these things are actually now designed for the people who consume them — women — rather than as a pervy sideshow for men.

It’s weird and awesome and I love it.

Volcom, I am looking at you especially, by the way, as doing awesome with the real human women. Good show over there, people!

“I wish it was, but it’s not,” Moniz says on Instagram of the new butt that photoshop created for her.

I hear you, girl, I definitely hear you.


Beside Shearer, in a small Japanese car with the backdoors removed sits a professional diver. They are on the back of a tilt-tray tow truck about to be dropped into the quarry. The car will submerge, hit the bottom and Shearer will wait for a tap from the diver, then they will exit the vehicle with oxygen hoses and swim to the surface. Shearer hears it as blah, blah, blah, all he cares about is whether the sikaflex will hold from the water pressure at ten metres on the housing.

Longtom: “I was a TV stunt cameraman thrown off a cliff, in car!”

One man's alternate history of the great east coast Australian winter of 2007…

I thank Nick Carroll for establishing winter 2007 as a yard stick winter for East Coast Australia. As an alternative history of the event it was also the winter I established myself as prime bullshit artiste in the TV production world as a second unit cameraman, underwater.

It fits the genre of surfer scams to stay wet, an unexplored but much discussed theme lately on the Grit.

Lot of surfers have worked in motion picture production, some, like our own Chas Smith, above the line in doco-features like Who is JOB and Trouble and many below the line.

My favourite big-wave stud Brock Little was a below-the-line stunt cock. Second unit, underwater, has been a haven for those who want to spend more time in the water and get paid for it.

To avoid the heinous charge of self-aggrandisement, let’s just say this story happened to someone else*, some thirty-something man with a young family, living in a caravan park behind a primo north coast point, which breaks that winter like it never has, before or since.

Old mate, I’ll call him Shearer, wrangled a broadcast ready camera via hire purchase and got the gig for a TV series shot in the Byron Bay area.

A planned test shot was in jeopardy due to a small snag. No underwater housing.

Shearer contacted George Greenough, his old neighbour and pal, to ask for help. Greenough laughed and sent Shearer to the hardware store for some hose clamp and to the tyre place, for an old inner tube. The inner tube is cut, a piece of plexiglass cut to fit then hose clamped around the edge. The back of the tube is cinched shut with the camera inside. An instant water housing with an agricultural aesthetic.

The planned first shoot is a stunt involving a sunken car in a quarry simulating the point-of-view of a person committing suicide, we’ll get to that in a minute. Obvs, Shearer will be in the car as it sinks, with the camera.

The assistant director is nervous when Shearer shows up to the test shoot with a camera in a tyre tube but the test shot passes muster.

The planned first shoot is a stunt involving a sunken car in a quarry simulating the point-of-view of a person committing suicide, we’ll get to that in a minute. Obvs, Shearer will be in the car as it sinks, with the camera.

A proper housing has to be constructed. With no budget to purchase the housing Shearer must construct it, with assistance from Greenough. A foam block is carved as a mould, the mould is glassed, the foam block carved out. The back of the housing sanded down flat, a fibreglass lip for the lens port created. Optical glass cut by a pal, control arms and o-rings drilled and glued into place. It’s easy if you know how.

And if you don’t, like Shearer, it’s panic inducing as the day of the stunt looms.

It’s June, Carroll’s thirty-five days of wild surf is in full swing.

Shearer attends a pre-production meeting with the director and stunt co-ordinator. We are going to drop you off a tow truck into a quarry, with you in the car, they say. You’ll sink to the bottom etc etc. Shearer nods, yup, yup. And, of course, to satisfy insurance requirements, the stunt co-ordinator says, we need your open water diving certificate. Yup, yup.

Wait, Shearer has no diving tickets. No paper-work. Nothing.

On the way home he stops in Byron Bay, at a dive shop and says he’s an open-water diver, got his tickets in Thailand and needs some paper-work to do this stunt.

Can they give him some paper-work?

Of course, Shearer can do a fifteen-metre open-water dive tomorrow and get a piece of paper says the dive shop proprietor.

How hard, Shearer thinks, could a fifteen-metre open-water dive be?

The next day, the day before the scheduled stunt, the housing is incomplete, the dive is on and the surf is pumping.

It’s raining, Carroll’s muscular ENE swell is in full swing. Shearer snaps a board, grabs another, snaps the legrope and destroys another board on the rocks.

Drives to Byron Bay, in the rain, for the dive.

Have you scuba dived? You did a course and learnt the basics and how things worked.

Shearer went straight over the side, in heavy swell, at Julian Rocks, a volcanic outcrop a couple of miles off Cape Byron for his first attempt. It’s easy when you know how, but when water pressure starts to increase breathing becomes more difficult.

When breathing becomes difficult, the mind starts to feels stressed. That makes the heart-rate increase, and the demand for breathing increase.

Shearer starts to panic.

The instructor taps him on the shoulder and points into the gloom. A dark shape appears – shark. The grey nurse glides by as docile as an aged Labrador and that enables the scam artist to regain control of his heart-rate and breathing.

The dive is completed, the paper work signed.

The rain patters on the iron roof overnight. The front lens port has to be sikaflexed onto the housing. Shearer is up in the dark with a hair dryer trying to get the adhesive to set and hold.

Three hours later, the camera goes into the housing for the first time, on set, at an abandoned quarry north of Byron Bay.

The rain has cleared, a low has moved out to sea, a wintry offshore breeze whips across the quarry. The water is black and cold.

Staggeringly quickly it fills with water and sinks. Shearer feels the nose of the car hit the bottom of the quarry. It is cold and darker than the darkest night. He waits. The pressure feels comforting now. He feels no fear but only the brightest, lightest happiness. He waits for the tap. There is no tap. Something is happening.

Beside Shearer, in a small Japanese car with the backdoors removed sits a professional diver. They are on the back of a tilt-tray tow truck about to be dropped into the quarry. The car will submerge, hit the bottom and Shearer will wait for a tap from the diver, then they will exit the vehicle with oxygen hoses and swim to the surface. Shearer hears it as blah, blah, blah, all he cares about is whether the sikaflex will hold from the water pressure at ten metres on the housing.

Roll camera! Crunk, crunk, crunk, thud, crash. The car is in the water.

Staggeringly quickly it fills with water and sinks. Shearer feels the nose of the car hit the bottom of the quarry. It is cold and darker than the darkest night. He waits. The pressure feels comforting now. He feels no fear but only the brightest, lightest happiness. The red light is still on, the housing has held!

He waits for the tap. There is no tap. Something is happening. The car is being winched back up. Twenty times the stunt is repeated.

“We got the shot,” he says to the Director, “we got the shot.”

What with the relief from getting the paper-work in order and pulling the stunt shot off Shearer surfs the local point that afternoon as a new swell raged in from the SE in a peculiar state of ecstasy. The next day, sandwiched between surf sessions at good-as-it-gets point surf he spends six hours at the bottom of a pool filming an actress on a li-lo dropping a glass of champagne in a moment of poignant melancholy.

The way that glass tumbled to the bottom, scattering the rays of sunlight, he will never forget. I’m quite certain of that.

But still, six hours! You want to spend six hours at the bottom of a pool? That’s a whole tide cycle.

I decided I didn’t like working below the line and quit the industry by the summer of 2008.

All for a few perfect waves eh, Sammywaters?

*A first person account will be made available as part of the memoir: Sanctimonious Derro.


Gimme: Jamie Brisick’s exceptional non-fiction collection Dazzling Blue!

It's the golden era of surf writing!

We live in a golden era of surf writing and I think it is impossible to argue otherwise. William Finnegan won a Pulitzer Prize for his surf book Barbarian Days. Matt Warshaw has refined his Encyclopedia of Surfing entries into art. Derek Rielly dances in a delicious, singular literary style so delicious as to taste like dessert. Nick Carroll, seasoned and prolific. James Bickerton, able to turn the most subtle phrase into high-brow laughs. Wiggolly’s Paddling Style, able to turn the most subtle phrase into fine Australian art…

…I could go on all day but my list of golden era surf writers will always end with one of the most important.

Jamie Brisick.

The one-time professional surfer loves the craft of writing more than anyone I know. I’ve had the privilege of sitting with him on a few occasions now, talking about writing, talking about writers, talking about style, voice, tone, mashing words together, thoughts… all of it. Jamie is a writer’s writer and his new non-fiction collection Dazzling Blue is some of his finest work to date.

I read it on a PDF on my computer, the worst way to read anything but testament to how good it actually is. Taste this paragraph with me.

Short, bow-legged, blond silky hair and a blond thick moustache, Mickey Rat rode a yellow single fin, awing pintail caked with thick beads of dirty wax. Like many surfers of the era, he drove a van with a mural on the side—a Monument Valley-looking scene with a howling coyote atop a rocky peak. Mickey Rat wore powder blue boardshorts. His shoulders were broad; his upper chest hairy and dotted with freckles. He had a terrific tan. He did not walk from the Malibu parking lot to the top of Third Point, he trotted. If the surf was really good he ran. At water’s edge he set his board down on the sand and went through a quick calisthenics routine—jumping jacks, toe touches, windmill arms, karate kicks. Then he slipped out of his boardshorts, tied ‘em around his neck , strapped on his leash, and paddled out.

Delicious, no?

Support the arts here!


Official: Kelly Slater begins his 2020 Olympic campaign by partaking in upcoming World Surfing Games!

The 11x World Champ ruffles his feathers and prepares to fly!

But did you ever doubt? Did you ever think quietly to yourself in a dark moment, “11 x World Champion Kelly Slater is too old for the Olympics and won’t be able to qualify anyhow so will have to watch from the grandstands as Kolohe Andino and John John Florence drape themselves in the Stars and Stripes and get put on Wheaties boxes like Dan and Dave…

Well, I can only assume that shame is washing over you heavily in this very moment. The very moment that 11 x World Champion Kelly Slater takes his first step in an attempted qualification.

Per the ISA rules, each country gets two men surfers and two women surfers and those will be the top two in the World Surf League rankings on both the men’s and women’s sides.

Currently, Kelly Slater sits 8th, officially behind both Kolohe Andino and John John Florence but, recall, John John is currently injured, though continuing to train for the Olympics himself.

That means Kelly Slater is, as of now, the second best American surfer.

Also, per the ISA rules:

“The Surfer must make him or herself available for their respective national team for participation in the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games; and (t)he Surfer must accept the nomination of his or her NF to take part, and must actually take part, in any or all of the above ISA World Surfing Games.”

Please don’t ask me why the ISA left the (t) out of (the) in the rules as it’s not important. What is important is the fact that Kelly Slater will be surfing in these World Surfing Games, happening in Miyazaki, Japan this Sept. 7 – 15. His United States of America teammates include Kolohe Andino and Conner Coffin.

The great surfer from Cocoa Beach, Florida is setting himself right up for his Olympic run and you should be excited, as I am, but early this morning I had a better thought.

As you well know, Kelly Slater comes from Syrian stock. Imagine what a powerful statement it would be for the greatest professional of all time to swap nationalities, like Kanoa Igarashi, and go chase gold for the Syrian Arab Republic?

I think it would be the most wonderful story of all. He could bring peace to the Middle East and isn’t that what Kelly has always wanted? To bring peace to the Middle East?

Kelly, if you’re reading think about it. Think about that gold around your neck and that Nobel Peace Prize on your shelf.

A fine bookend to a fine career.


Collab: The World Surf League and Rolling Stone join forces to “celebrate the world’s best surfers!”

Smell the glove!

There is almost nothing I love more than a smart collaboration. Two brands, or groups, coming together to make, or showcase, one thing. Like Bone, Thugs-N-Harmony x Phil Collins. Or U2 x Apple. Brilliant, successful and highly lucrative and the latest collaboration between our World Surf League and Rolling Stone magazine is all this and more.

Now, I see you scratching your head, saying, “Rolling Stone magazine? Didn’t that go out of business, like, ten years ago?” But it didn’t and it is rude of you to think so. Also, I see you thinking, “Rolling Stone is a music magazine.” And, “Rolling Stone has not mattered for two decades.” And, “Rolling Stone?”

All rude, short-sighted and mean-spirited.

The press release? But of course!

LOS ANGELES, California (Monday, August 12, 2019): Rolling Stone, the number one global brand in music publishing and media, today announced a partnership with the World Surf League (WSL). As part of the new partnership, Rolling Stone will celebrate the elite athletes competing on the WSL Championship Tour, the series that crowns the men’s and women’s world surf champions each year.

Rolling Stone will devote significant editorial backing to the project, including features and photos essays in the magazine as well as video and digital content. Athletes featured in the partnership include Stephanie Gilmore (reigning 7X WSL Champion), John John Florence (2X WSL Champion), Coco Ho, Lakey Peterson, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Conner Coffin and more.

“The athleticism, drama, and adventure of pro surfing is a perfect fit for Rolling Stone readers, who count on us for the most cutting-edge cultural content in the world,” said Rolling Stone President Gus Wenner. “Rolling Stone is thrilled to partner with the World Surf League on a slate of joint initiatives that celebrate the world’s best surfers and the Championship Tour as music is such a critical part of surfing and life on the tour.”

“Rolling Stone is legendary in the music industry and it’s really awesome to work with such an iconic brand,” said 7X reigning WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore. “I’m passionate about music and there’s a strong natural connection with surfing, which makes this an extremely exciting partnership. Rock and roll.”

I sometimes wish that our World Surf League would come to me for press release quotes. Steph Gilmore is brilliant, don’t get me wrong, but I would love the opportunity to say, “Rolling Stone magazine? Didn’t that go out of business, like, ten years ago? Why is the World Surf League doing a collaboration with a music magazine that has not mattered for two decades. Are you sure this is a collaboration with Rolling Stone?”

I’m waiting by my phone, ELo!