Does living get better than this? Front row at The Ranch. Contact Hollister Ranch Realty, if this interests. | Photo: Hollister Ranch Realty

Elitism works: Keep the gates to Hollister Ranch closed; equity is a false god!

Two things can be true at once: someone can be an elitist rich man and also do better for the environment than the snakes in Sacramento could ever hope to be.

(Editor’s note: As you might read last week, the California governor Gavin Newsom, whose beauty brought Chas Smith’s jealousy to its zenith, here, and convinced him to pursue a life as a male model, a dream that would founder despite Chas’ height and a sprawling hair, signed open the exclusive beaches at Hollister Ranch, in Santa Babs County. It was a biggish story and we had two writers on the case, although neither took up the mantle. Here, a new kid on the block, Tyler Tsuji, whom I know very little of except he has a functioning email account and trim hair, takes up the case for keeping the gates closed.)

Hollister Ranch is a sacred place that is seldom brought up in writing and ought to stay that way. But, in order to defend something, you have to be able to talk about it.

As a way of introducing this, I think it would be good to give some of my background info. I am a seventh generation Californian from Somis, California in the lower 805 studying Ag. Engineering at Cal Poly SLO. The heritage of this state is something I hold extremely dear to my heart. My family helped found Los Angeles (before the Owens Valley water was stolen).

I’ve grown up surfing the underground and also media blown-up spots from Point Mugu to Point Conception and have a strong connection to the area since I was born.

I don’t own property at Hollister.

I’ve surfed it before and have friends and acquaintances with access and ownership of parcels, but I’m not “one of those elitists” as the government bureaucrats love to say.

The idea of opening up such sacred land is totally asinine. Hollister Ranch is the only remaining example of what California used to be. This heritage of Old California is what I live and breath. It is what drives my studies as an Ag. Engineering student, my aspirations in agriculture, and my recreation as a surfer.

I’ve grown up with stories of the old days, the citrus orchards that once were the San Fernando Valley, and tales of Joe Quigg flying through the Rincon Rivermouth on a self-made pintail on what is now known as a “call-box” wave.

This is why I am so passionate about this issue. It is because Hollister Ranch is a completely unique synthesis of the Old California cattle trade, old-school style surfing, and Chumash tradition. There is no other place on this planet, let alone state, that carries this heritage, spirit, and ethos in one place.

Hollister Ranch is what California used to be. Dale Velzy used to ride to the South Bay as a kid on horseback to camp and go surfing. Yet ever since Mulholland brought water to Los Angeles we’ve been cast out of Eden. As a child, I was raised in the tension that the specter of development brought to an agricultural community. The threat of development from Conejo Valley suburbia was always present as I grew up and still is there.

I know what the sold-out bureaucrats are really saying when they pitch “access” and “equal opportunity”. Don’t be hypnotized by their promises of social justice and the salvation they promise to grant if you pay your penance on the altar of equity.

I find it absolutely abhorrent these career paper-pushers would dare say (to paraphrase) “Give us your land, look at how we’ve done elsewhere, you’re just a bunch of elitists”.


Let’s look at how the state government has handled state parks. Let’s take a closer look at how they handled Hetch-Hetchy for the benefit of the Bay Area elites. These central planners turned Yosemite into a smog riddled mess that makes Disneyland look like a Zen temple.

Beware those who clamor for power. If anyone can give me a single example of how government oversight, control, or meddling has improved the quality of living and/or environmental status of an area, I dare them to. Even if the government has kept an area the same, I’ll give them credit.

As snobby and xenophobic as some Hollister owners can sometimes be, it is a simple fact that they (and the Nature Conservancy at Cojo-Jalama Ranch) are the strongest example of how private ownership and enterprise do eternally better than these posers in Sacramento and San Francisco.

Two things can be true at once: someone can be an elitist rich man and also do better for the environment than the snakes in Sac. could ever hope to be.

Which brings us to the real meat of the argument.

I’ve explained how the state government doesn’t want Hollister access for environmental reasons, they want it for equity. Equity is a false god. The Coastal Commission knows damn well that the Gaviota Land Conservancy has bought and opened to the public miles of coastline to the east of Hollister. All of it exists at near the same quality as the Ranch, but with the 101 running within a mile of most of the coast (a good thing for public access though!).

None of this land ever gets over-crowded. It’s not like we’re running out of beach umbrella space in the area. This leads to the next plausible reason for the CCC to get involved: surfers.

The only reason Hollister Ranch access is being brought to the fore is because the surf at Hollister is good.

Real good.

So this leads to a rational understanding that the state government is now ostensibly pushing for coastal access for surfers.

Wait. When did a government body, especially a California one, ever advocate for surfers?

That never has happened.

Ulterior motives are the next reasonable assumption for the state’s interference in this matter. Very simply, the state of California would like nothing more than to have their greasy fingers meddling (oh, sorry, “managing”) in more private property. Two reasons for government meddling today tend to be a potential for increase in tax revenue, an example for them to peddle as evidence for support of the social cause du jour, or a combination of the two.

At this point, the government can ultimately do whatever it wants. But I would like to speak directly to California surfers. They are the only people with enough vested interest to make any change to the course the CCC is currently on.

The idea that one has a right to anyone else’s property isn’t just immoral, it’s downright evil. A quick note to the surfers who are clamoring to open the floodgates: if you’re too much of a pussy to boat or paddle in, walk to the “first spot past the gate” on a negative tide, or work your ass off and sacrifice to buy into a parcel then that ought to be your own problem.

I generally understand and like the “high tide” rule in California, but I don’t see how anyone can go from a reasonable rule like that to then say that you are entitled to pave over ranchers’ land and walk over it to get to a beach that is just as uncrowded and pristine and good as one just to the east (and a quick five-minute hike off the 101) that’s already open to the public.

What’s so funny is that this goes back to the original Eden dilemma our forefathers met in the fifties with the Hollister family. The Santa Barbara Surf and Sportsman’s Club was founded to prevent the cow-tipping, graffiti, and trash that “down-souther” surfers brought up with them when they surfed the Ranch.

The solution to keep the peace and whole soul of the place that makes the place attractive was to regulate the place. First, that took the form of the club. Now it takes the form of property ownership.

It’s a simple principle that people who own things take care of them. No one washes a car they rent. What is hilarious is that these administrators think that by opening up a sacred and pristine place to the general public that those people will have the same respect for the place as the people who had to work threejobs, live in a van, and be in debt for decades just to make having a stake in a parcel possible.

History repeats itself and I hope our governing bodies have the wisdom to learn from the history of this place to avoid losing the last remaining cradle of California’s soul and traditions.

Hollister Ranch is a place I aspire to.

It’s what I think of when I have to bite the bullet and pull an all-nighter for work or school in the pursuit of the income required to own a parcel. The fact that people want to just cheat through life and act entitled to the things other people worked for is a sign of the times.

My message to surfers is, if you want to surf there, have a backbone and put in the time to earn a place there.

You’re not entitled to easy access there and as anyone who has surfed the rest of the 805 before ought to know, you aren’t entitled to a spot in the lineup either.

But with both, if you put your head down and put in the work and respect with humility, there is plenty of room.

(Do you have a little extra cash? Buy, here, now!)

Dream Hard: 40-ish-year-old “British” surfer set to make Olympic Team!

Would you like a BeachGrit sponsorship?

And you thought Kelly Slater’s Olympic aspirations were inspirational. You thought the greatest competitive surfer the world has ever seen, armed with affirming life coach, supportive longtime girlfriend, millions of dollars, professional surfing’s owner Co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff, millions of sycophants including, but not limited to, the involuntarily celibate Ben Marcus, etc. was inspirational?

Well let me introduce you to 36-year-old Jay Quinn. He’s got none of that, surfs for the World’s Greatest Surf Paradise Great Britain and is headed to the Olympics, I think, but we must head to the BBC for all the truth and not only because the BBC is the historical record of the World’s Greatest Surf Paradise but because, much to Drew Kampion’s chagrin, I’m boozed again.

Britain’s number one surfer Jay Quinn feels he has a good chance of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games and is already dreaming of a podium finish in Japan next year.

The 36-year-old will be guaranteed an Olympic spot should he become the highest placed European competitor at the International Surfing Association World Games in Miyazaki, Japan from 7-11 September.

Born in Gisborne, New Zealand, Quinn qualifies for Great Britain through his Welsh-born mother and has become Welsh, British and European champion since moving to Cornwall in 2016.

New Zealand? Son of a bitch and Negatron? Can you claim some other nation too?

But ok here and let’s be real honest with each other. You have a shot. You know you do. What nationality can you claim? BeachGrit will sponsor if you can prove a legitimate shot for Kazakstan slash Kazakstan-esque nation.

I’m drunkenly serious.

Sydney Harbour Great White pictured with favorite snack.
Sydney Harbour Great White pictured with favorite snack.

Shark-pocalypse: “Severed heads and terrified kayakers…” Sydney Harbour completely overrun with Great Whites!

"I've been fishing guiding on Sydney Harbour for 28 years and this is the worst I've ever seen it."

And you thought I was being shrill. Admit it, up until this moment right now you thought I was carrying on like an Alzheimeric old bitty clanging the gong in our town square, screaming “The sharks are coming! The sharks are coming!” when it was only just shadows upon the water. Only Nick Carroll out for his morning 100 kilometer paddle race.

Well, first they came for my once bucolic North County, San Diego then they came for once popular tourist destination Cape Cod, Mass. and now they are at your doorstep, Doubting Thomas, bumping sailboats, terrifying kayakers and severing heads for the shark-pocalypse has arrived in Sydney’s famed harbour.

Oh the prehistoric beasts have no manners whatsoever, and also no impulse control, man-eating whenever they feel the slightest urge and we must not delay in reading the latest horrors straight from the pages of the principled Daily Mail. We must go straight away.

Craig McGill, a respected guide and owner of fishing company Fishabout, said there are more sharks in the harbour than he has even seen before.

And the recent influx is having a devastating result with gory pictures showing half-eaten fish and even a shark severed in two found in the harbour’s waters.

Experts say reports of increased sightings are due to warmer waters allowing the sharks to come close to shore as they follow fish to eat.

Talking about the recent increase, Sydney-based Mr McGill told Daily Mail Australia: ‘There’s been a huge influx of sharks seen this year.

‘Yesterday I saw a hammerhead and then spotted a shark attacking a fish in the harbour.

‘I also recently saw a terrified kayaker being harassed by shark in the harbour,’ he added.

He said finding severed fish in the harbour has become regular, especially after sharks feed at dawn and dusk.

‘I’ve been fishing guiding on Sydney Harbour for 28 years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,’ he said.

The selfish bastards have not only completely overrun the harbour, they’re menacing Sydney’s northern beaches as well. Just yesterday a pleasure sailor was out mere meters away from Manley Point when he spotted an ominous fin jutting out of the water. Upon closer inspection he realized it was a juvenile Great White and nearly 1.5 meters long.

He was reported as saying, “‘Holy shit, that is a baby great white…” and when asked responded, “It looked like an exact mini replica of a full grown white, with that crazy black eye and gaping mouth.”

To be honest, “that crazy black eye and gaping mouth” sounds a lot like Nick Carroll out for his evening 100 kilometer paddle race but, unlike you, I always believe in the shark crier.

More as the story develops.

Postscript: “Chas makes being fucked up a virtue and that’s his deal to be a fucked up virtue but that degrades my civilization!”

I actually listened!

God bless Drew Kampion and I mean that seriously, honestly, with every ounce of passion in my fucked up heart and, truly, I am three sheets to the wind right now on Grey Goose (thanks to the Florida Surf Film Festival founders Kevin Miller and John Brooks who brought a bottle over recently buy tickets here (if it ain’t already sold out)) and La Croix Berry (which I hate but was just at Target buying daughter and her best friend toys because I just just got paid from Lonely Planet for contributing to their epic Epic Surf Breaks of the World book which will indeed be epic because I think Finnegan, Warshaw, George, Etc. have entries and remembered I had no mixer and La Croix Berry was the only anything besides Coca-Cola Target had at its self-checkout checkout.)

But I actually, really listened to the entire Drew Kampion x David Lee Scales podcast and God bless him (Drew Kampion… not David Lee. He shaves his balls).

Drew Kampion, for the surf culture tourist, was  the man who put the “journalist” in “surf journalist” and is epic. Almost as epic as the epic surf breaks of the world but I’m serious(ly fucked up) but also serious.

Drew Kampion hates me for such perfect reasons but also hates me for the wrong perfect reasons. The evil threatening force he perceives, he fears, is not fucked up-ness but rather the Wall of Positive Noise. That is surfing’s great enemy and if we don’t beat it back now we are done. Surfing is done. Surfing becomes a purely athletic pursuit.

A purely athletic pursuit layered with layers and layers of whitening toothpaste smiles.



Tell me why because I refuse to become old (mentally).

I’m going to my Pacific Northwest soon and forcing Drew into the water but until then…

…I forgot.

*This message was brought to you on the wings of Grey Goose.

"We were all in the carpark later, debriefing, giving Riley shit and letting him know he was lucky he doesn't ride a boogieboard otherwise he wouldn't be with us. It wasn't until about eight o'clock that night a bit of shock came across me. How close it was and how it could have been me, could have been worse for him, or worse for any one of us, you know” | Photo: 7 News

Shark attack on teen surfer shatters Queensland town’s twenty-seven-year calm!

Local grommets who witnessed the incident described it as a full Mick Fanning deal.

World War II history records Japanese attacks on the Australian mainland and a strategy of planned retreat from the Allies below the sub-tropics, the so-called Brisbane Line. The Brisbane Line was actually the Bribie Line. Part of its defences were fortifications built on the beach at 8th Avenue, Woorim, where we played as kids.

Fifteen-year-old Riley Orchard was surfing in front of Red Fort, 8th Ave, when knocked from his board by an unknown species of shark Thursday around four pm, surfing what eyewitness and long-time Bribie shredder and old pal Brad Highlands described as a “classic nor-east day”.

Highlands, who is currently en route with a chainsaw to help clear a bushfire affected property in Northern New South Wales, was about forty metres away when the attack occurred, right on the low tide.

“He was just sitting there,” said Highlands “and all of a sudden, bang!, he’s off his board. He felt nothing brush him, no swoosh, nothing. He jumped back on his board, yelled out to Cain (his brother) ‘I think I just got hit!’ Cain thought he was bullshitting, he started paddling into shore and it wasn’t until he got to the beach and saw the board that he realised it was a shark.”

Normally, to fight the sweep on a nor-east day, surfers are required to constantly paddle, which helps the Bribie surfer hold their own in line-ups around the World. Luckily for Riley, he was sitting up and drifting, otherwise he “would have been bitten on the arm or shoulder” according to Highlands.

“He was just sitting there,” said Highlands “and all of a sudden, bang!, he’s off his board. He felt nothing brush him, no swoosh, nothing. He jumped back on his board, yelled out to Cain (his brother) ‘I think I just got hit!’ Cain thought he was bullshitting, he started paddling into shore and it wasn’t until he got to the beach and saw the board that he realised it was a shark.

“He was just shaken” said Highlands, “white as a ghost, non-stop shaking like he had hypothermia”.

Highlands said it was “was pretty weird. We were all in the carpark later, debriefing, giving Riley shit and letting him know he was lucky he doesn’t ride a boogieboard otherwise he wouldn’t be with us. It wasn’t until about eight o’clock that night a bit of shock came across me. How close it was and how it could have been me, could have been worse for him, or worse for any one of us, you know”

In thirty-knot winds, local grommets who witnessed the incident described it as a full Mick Fanning deal.

Police paid Highlands a visit Friday night, taking a statement to ensure the attack was not a hoax.

At the time of writing no shark species had been implicated in the attack, the first at Woorim since March 8th, 1992, according to local surfer and historian Brian “Gicka” Box.

Currently available data from the Queensland Shark Control Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries lists 17 drumlines off the beach at Woorim. Two sharks were captured on the drumlines in 2018, none in 2019.

Presumably, Taronga Park zoo, which maintains the shark incident register in Australia will list the incident as “unprovoked attack”.