Abomination: The mighty surfboard used as sign, menu, mailbox is a sin against all that is holy!

"Wow, what a crafty lil' devil I am."

I can barely begin writing this because I’m so full of pungent rage at what can only be called an absolute eye assault: The surfboard as a sign. We are forced to deal with them everywhere now. Who did the first one? What motivated them? To align their business with “surf”? And, are surfboard signs a thing all over the world by now? Is every little “surf” city plastered with these lame attempts at being “cool” or “hip” to surf culture, while trying to sell me cheesy garlic fries?

A common one I see is the vertical-on-a-stand “open” sign, though it is sometimes horizontal and hanging from an eave. The word “open” never fits right in a surfboard shape, the kerning will generally be beyond ugly, and the lettering is usually some awful white vinyl Helvetica stick-on garbage, which only reveals the true tacky cheap-skate nature of the DIY maker. And this “maker”, who drilled the holes through the glass and into the foam for the hooks and screws to attach it? How did he or she feel when they did that?

Did they wince at the anthropomorphic pain of stabbing into the flesh of this old discarded pensioner surfboard?

Probably not, because this person was not a surfer and didn’t even know what the fuck they were doing. In fact, they had a stupid self satisfied grin on their face, as they happily thought to themselves “Wow, what a crafty lil’ devil I am.”

There are so many dozens of horrid examples just in my little neck of the woods. There’s one place with an old pop-out Dextra longboard that’s been turned into a menu with dozens of items listed, but the most disgusting part is that they have attempted to change prices and menu items so many times, that there is layer upon layer of home made corrections, like so much dirty dripping caked on surf wax. Only it’s not surf wax, and the board knows it and so do we, and it’s just plain wrong.

Sadly, many surf shops practice this faux sign surfboard mistake, and really, in their case, it should be recognized as truly deplorable. Cannibalism actually. One of the worst offenders I’ve had the displeasure to see, and one that I think is borderline illegal for copyright infringement, is at this half-assed fake-ish surf shop (the kind with maybe two boards, but millions of sandals, and also sand shovels and plastic beach toys), wherein the owner has constructed a sign using a surfboard from a different shop across town! And he has plastered his own shop’s name across the deck, not even attempting to hide the original logo.

There’s another one I pass occasionally, a sign up over a gate for this establishment; I’ve passed it a hundred times, thinking “that’s kind of a sweet shape”. A couple weeks ago, I stopped, and walked over to have a closer look. The deck of the board is plastered with many, many coats of ugly house paint, probably from the sale pile of mis-matched colors at the local hardware store, but, yes, the outline was indeed pretty nice.

I couldn’t see any lams though, so I climbed around the back to have a look at the bottom, and I my heart jumped and then sunk with silent despair. It was a clear, triple stringer Yater speed shape. By Rennie himself (it had a “Y” along the stringer), 7′ 8″, soft rails, and a little baby squash tail. A “low-tide runner”, as they say. How many Rincon walls did it slide in it’s life? Dozens? Hundreds? And now it’s a damned sign.

With lag bolts all the way through it, hung up by some rusty bailing wire.

Made me so sad, people. Can you imagine?, one of the true icons of our sport, running his own hands down the length of those rails with some fine dragon-paper, maybe using a little Stanley micro-plane to bring those stringers down to the foam. An honest to goodness Master Craftsmen, put his love into that thing to make it beautiful, but maybe more importantly, to make it fricken rip for it’s prospective owner. I’ll tell you what, if you were stranded on a desert island, and the only board you could have for the rest of your life was that 7′ 8″ Yater, you’d be as happy as a clam my friend.

Just think about it, even if you’ve never picked up a Yater in person before, you know what it would feel like under your arm. It’s so light, it’s a sleek spear, it’s perfect, and it’s ready to propel you into down-the-line pleasure. But instead, it’s like a tortured old ghost right now, forced to occupy the same un-appreciated and un-loved spot permanently tethered to the earth.

It’s out of place.

It wants to go home.

Now, don’t even get me started on the surfboard as garden decoration or letterbox holder, I’ll start crying for sure.

sick little Hank Byzak kneeboard with no-nonsense upright keels... so fucking disrespectful
sick little Hank Byzak kneeboard with no-nonsense upright keels… so fucking disrespectful

Someday in the distant post-apocalyptic future, will a budding entrepreneur drag the Duke’s ‘Olo out of the wreckage of the Bishop museum and scrawl “Wanda’s Organic Falafel Shak” on it? No people, not if we can help it and I guess a public service announcement may be a start: To all you “citizens” out here: stop using the sacred craft of our sport as your tawdry attempt at signage… leave it be, and let our old sticks have the dignity they’ve earned.

And if you don’t heed our fair warning, look out, ’cause we’re coming’ for our boards.


Pip Toledo, riding with a half-busted back, still got a shot at the title. Here, four years ago, when he deballed his peers in a brute show of strength., | Photo: WSL

Comment live, quarter-finals, Rip Curl Pro, Portugal!

It's a filthy kind of cussing that's almost charming…

Is there a better balm for loneliness, and that includes for the poor schlubs in long-term marriages where everything that was once sweet between them and their lover is now soured and dead, than a livestream sports broadcast, a keyboard with a clean action and a headful of liquor?

Today in Peniche, Portugal, the penultimate contest of the year, we’ll watch the quarter-finals, there may be more although this is unlikely, despite a building west swell.

From the surf report network, Surfline.

We expect to see this new swell build through the day on Saturday, peak on Sunday and hold to very gradually ease on Monday.

We will also have a NNW swell running, which filled in earlier today for some of the back up locations. This swell should peak overnight into early Saturday before easing through the afternoon on Saturday. A slightly smaller NNW swell is expected late Sunday and Monday but will also bypass Supertubos and show at the back up locations.

There is no world title tension, at least in the men, but with contenders Jordy Smith, Kolohe Andino, Filipe Toledo and Italo Ferreira still in the event, a win from any of ’em will make Pipe a game of leap frog.

Whomever finishes highest on Oahu wins.

On the lower rungs, Jack Freestone, Peterson Crisanto and, title spoiler, Caio Ibelli, all must gather enough points to avoid relegation from the WCT.

In the women, the scenario for Carissa Moore to win her third title is thus:

1. Carissa Moore will clinch the Title if she advances to the SF (3rd) AND
     a. Lakey Peterson loses in or before the R/16 (9th)
     b. Sally Fitzgibbons loses in or before the FINAL (2nd) AND
     c. Caroline Marks loses in or before the SF (3rd)

2. Carissa Moore will clinch the Title if she advances to the FINAL (2nd) AND
     a. Lakey Peterson loses in or before the QF (5th)
     b. Caroline Marks loses in or before the FINAL (2nd)

3. Carissa Moore will clinch the Title if she WINS (1st) the event AND
     Lakey Peterson loses in or before the SF

Men’s quarters first, then the women.

Watch the event here, comment below.

Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
QF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
QF 3: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
QF 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)

Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
QF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
QF 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)


Revealed: WeWork co-founder and ex-CEO Adam Neumann surfed the Maldives while company burned!

Better than Nero!

Maybe the best person to purchase professional surfing, after we bring the World Surf League low, is WeWork’s co-founder and ex-CEO Adam Neumann and I know what you’re thinking. I know you you scratching your head and mumbling, “Adam Neumann? Nothing but bad press surrounding that man. A horrible choice for anything at all…”

…Except maybe professional surfing and we must head straight to Business Insider for the reason why. Shall we?

While executives were preparing paperwork for a public offering that would enrich the WeWork cofounder and CEO Adam Neumann, he was on a surfing trip in the Maldives.

And much of the preparation and drafting of WeWork’s IPO paperwork, or S-1, took place at Neumann’s Hamptons home, The Wall Street Journal’s Maureen Farrell, Liz Hoffman, Eliot Brown, and David Benoit reported on Thursday.

It was there that Neumann invited the heads of the two stock exchanges competing for the WeWork listing — the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq — and asked them to pledge their support to environmental causes, such as eliminating meat and banning single-use plastics in their offices, The Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

But at one point in the drawn-out S-1 preparation process, Neumann was thousands of miles from the Hamptons, surfing in the small Indian Ocean island republic of the Maldives. To avoid cutting the trip short and missing out on the swell, Neumann had a WeWork employee fly out to brief him, according to the report.

The surf trip came as WeWork seemed to be barreling toward a giant public offering that would value the company at as much as $100 billion and make its thousands of employees rich. But the S-1 prospectus that was eventually released revealed a company that was losing billions of dollars and let Neumann run things in questionable ways.

Tell me you aren’t won over.

Tell me you don’t love the man’s Hardened Purist spirit.


Just opened: The Wave, Bristol, releases first official footage of pool being ridden!

It's a miniature paradise of green lawns and flower beds and safari tents and user-friendly tubes!

A short time ago, official footage of opening day at the world’s first full-scale Wavegarden Cove was released by its spin doctors.

You would’ve seen, if you were quick yesterday, a couple of waves shot from the side of the pool, which is in south-west England, and that had been published on LinkedIn without approval etc. It was unremarkable enough to contaminate the opinion of many readers. A lovely little thing, as pleasing as a slice of watermelon on a hot day and a piece of chocolate but certainly nothing that would transport you to great extremes of ecstasy.

Today, it’s better, although the footage released by the company is more an advertisement for the pool’s therapeutic effects (a man in a wheelchair does a 360 on the beach, a little boy without hands rides what one imagines in his first wave) than its performance capabilities.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4DWR1phg9u/

To examine the wave in detail you’ll watch the cut Wavelength magazine released a few hours ago.

It really will make the hinges of your door squeak.

The surfers include Reubyn Ash, Jayce Robinson, Gearoid McDaid, Vincent Duvignac, Ben and Lucas Skinner, and Kai and Hans Odriozola

In Melbourne, Australia, meanwhile, the southern hemisphere’s first public wave pool readies itself for a late January release.

Early reports extremely positive. 


Watch: The revolution will not be televised… It’ll be on YouTube!

It is time to scale the Wall of Positive Noise.

And the World Surf League’s President of Content, Media, Studios and Poppin’ Fresh dinner rolls Erik “ELo” Logan really upended my week. Really just threw my next year completely off too. There I was, a few days ago, putting the finishing touches on BeachGrit‘s job announcement for a gender fluid pan-Asian senior editor when I stumbled across his interview in the industry journal SportsPro.

As I read ELo’s words, passions, his grand plan for our Pastime of Kings I realized that the time has officially come to go to war against the Santa Monica.

There is simply no other way.

If we refuse to act, surfing will cease to exist in any recognizable form. It’ll become a PG-rated romantic comedy or worse. It’ll become Transformed.

And while BeachGrit has been waging a low-level insurgency for a while now there’s just no other choice except to move into a fully declared rebellion.

But we’re going to need more people if we hope to scale the Wall of Positive Noise. We’re going to have to recruit and every recruitment drive must begin with a barely coherent, way too long, rambling call to arms. I like to think mine is Jim Jones meets ISIS.

Oh don’t worry, you’re in here too. Skip to the 10:30 mark, sit back and smile.

Then do some stretches.

The revolution will require flexibility.