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.)
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…
*This message was brought to you on the wings of Grey Goose.
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”.
David Lee Scales and I are almost at the 50 podcast mark. 48 to be precise and 48 podcasts is a lot. Oh not for me, I just sit there with David Lee and jabber into a microphone but a lot for you. That is 48 podcasts, roughly 80 hours, of me jabbering into a glennmicrohall, David Lee jabbering too and sometimes Derek Rielly. We generally swerve from this topic to that but surfing is what drives our passions.
It’s what informs our lives.
I’ve written almost every time that it is our best episode but number 48 might well truly be for today I learned that Drew Kampion, legendary surf journalist, founder of a radical tone, respected, venerated loved by all is not dead. Furthermore he specifically hates me and what I do.
How epic is that?
How truly epic?
For me it is, marking a heretofore never even dreamed achievement and not only never dreamed because I thought he was dead.
I won’t spoil my reaction here, you must listen, but we also discuss narcissism and the very real possibility that Meryl Streep is a serial killer.
Again, this may possibly honestly be The Grit!‘s high-water mark. Don’t believe? Tell me why. Unlike Kelly Slater I crave negative feedback.
Despite the magnitude of the performance Kelly graciously conceded that when it came to Olympic qualification John John Florence, despite not having surfed for “months and months” was still ahead of him on the ratings and by implication more deserving of the Olympic spot. I think we can declare Kelly provisionally qualified after that heat. WSL
Rip Curl Pro, Portugal, Day Two: “Kelly Slater, vintage, dramatic; day a minor classic of beachbreak surfing!”
Best day of the waiting period, on paper at least, so European head honcho Jessie Miley-Dyer had no choice but to wring the sponge dry on what turned out to be a minor classic of professional beachbreak surfing.
My favourite battler, Soli Bailey, whom I predicted to shine in France finally made it out of round three in my highlight heat of the day. There were very many.
The most impressive numbers, seeing as BG is the website of record, were granted to Peterson Crisanto, currently languishing at 28 on the Jeep leaderboard. Seventy-eight percent of the global fanbase expected Jeremy Flores to back up his French win and send the beleaguered Brazilian back for an early vino.
Overcoming the weight of a heavy combination the 5’6” rookie caught a five-foot wave between the 20th and 21st minute and launched a high, corked, tail-high full-rotation reverse onto the bolts. The total distance from maximum height of air to landing was estimated by Peter Mel to be ten foot. Two judges, an Australian and a Brazilian, awarded the single manoeuvre wave a ten.
The score, after averaging, came in at a 9.67. A back up 6.67 was enough to take the heat.
All the proper big dogs had bite to the bark. Gabe looked very relaxed, after a quiet start before getting his heat started with an air as stylish as a prawn cocktail. A classic straight air with a subtle, tail-high tweak thrown in. Maybe slightly undercooked by judges for a seven. You could forgive judges a recency bias given Kelly Slater was still in the water after going ballistic in the previous heat against, shit, I’ve forgotten, Kelly was that dominant, ah yeah Seabass.
What’s the spiciest chilli?
I’ve got some really nice Honduran chillis which are mellow and some Thai Birds Eyes which make your eyes water just looking at them. Kelly was spicier than the whole bush. Just the intent to go vertical at maximum speed on the opening left was astounding. The dramatic recovery on the following right was vintage Kelly and drew a subtle rebuke from Ryan Callinan in the booth when they declared Kelly made the “easy things look really hard.”
As if responding to, not just Ryan but all his critics, Kelly took aim at a bulbous, threatening close-out section that came at him like a mushroom cloud. He rode out so clean for a 7.83, and that, in the opening ten minutes of a forty-minute heat and without any priority, was the heat.
Despite the magnitude of the performance Kelly graciously conceded that when it came to Olympic qualification John John Florence, despite not having surfed for “months and months” was still ahead of him on the ratings and by implication more deserving of the Olympic spot.
I think we can declare Kelly provisionally qualified after that heat.
I’m not for a second saying Filipe Toledo’s back injury is a fake. But if it were, even if some miniscule proportion of it was being somehow sub-consciously manufactured as a way of alleviating this dreadful pressure we know causes Toledo so much suffering , it would up there as one of the greatest rope-a-dope’s in the history of sport.
Pip opened with a feet forwards, very stylish tube-ride to lip glide floater, threw in a backside roter, rode eleven waves and looked loosey-goosey against Ribeiro.
Hosed down expectations in the presser before declaring, “I’m staying focussed because God has something special in store for me.”
Wade Carmichael avenged his controversial loss in France with a complicated, gnarly heat against Yago Dora. He swung the axe on a frothy, ugly left punching a fins-free floater that was like throwing a bag of cement off a building, according to a commenter in the live thread*. That turned the heat with a few minutes to go. Dora snapped a board. Carmichael went further in front after lacing a small right with arsenic flavoured turns. Dora threw soft, graceful airs and judges, in my eyes, rightfully paid the power fundamentals of the hairy man.
No-one can deny the fruitfulness of the Australian loin but only one of the Fathers, Jack Freestone, was able to penetrate the draw past the round of 32. Three Australians left in the Round of 16, not a single contender amongst them.
Has the Antipodean zeitgeist shifted back to mid-length twin-fins, acoustic guitars and escaping the system?
Or is this just some temporary blip that history will one day record as an aberration?
Wayne Murphy? Ian Cairns? There are wise heads out there with a broader scope than mine.
What is going on?
No-one will accuse Kolohe Andino of a lack of nationalist feels. He professed to love surfing and love his country after getting the provisional (there feels something vaguely mafioso about it) nod for Olympic quals. He trundles on, under the radar. Title hopes still alive. Michael Rodrigues, beak brilliantly bare, also under the radar and with a lot to play for his next opponent.
Tell me if I am reading this wrong, but despite the closeouts this comp has become riveting viewing. If they could go on hold through the nadir of the tidal cycle we could see a very, very entertaining ending.
I think Gabe will falter close to the end and it will go to Pipe. That’s my prediction and Ziff’s dream.
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Round 4 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
HEAT 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
HEAT 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
HEAT 6: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
HEAT 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
HEAT 8: Jack Freestone (AUS) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)
“It is incredible to see sets of 5, 10 and even 15 waves breaking and maintaining their quality,” said Wavegarden’s Founder and CEO Josema Odriozola, from the new Bristol surfing lake.
“We have been able to create an immense variety of waves. For instance, there is kind of a point break with long and easy Malibu style waves. And we have a range of high performance waves, some with easy tubes and others that are very challenging. This is a new phase of man-made waves whereby we have finally created a true surfing paradise that will bring enjoyment to newcomers, as well as lifelong surfers”.
The Wavegarden Cove technology provides up to 1,000 waves of varying sizes and shapes an hour – around a wave every 10 seconds. Heights start at 50cm and peak at 1.8m.
The 200m surfing lake is at its heart, but The Wave is not just about surfing. It’s about sharing incredible experiences with anyone who wants to enjoy them, in a naturally healthy space. It’s about improving health and wellbeing, helping people feel like the best version of themselves and having a shedload of fun in the process! As well as the surfing lake, there will be wonderful food and drink, a surf shop, beautiful gardens, meadowland and woodland, peaceful hideaways and family-friendly camping.
Surfing is a rapidly growing sport and will be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The accessibility of surfing has been held back by geographical limitations: weather, swell conditions and tides. The Wave will be able to overcome all these issues to bring perfect surfing conditions for beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers. Its expert coaching team will be able to help everyone learn and improve. Furthermore, they will all be specially trained in teaching ‘adaptive surfing’ for those with a wide rangeof physical disabilities.
The Wave is located in a beautiful rural site on the edge of Bristol, close to the M5. It will be open year-round and a one-hour surf will cost £40-45 for an adult and £30-35 for a child, depending on the time of year and day of the week. A 1.5 hour surf session with coaching costs £55-60 for an adult and £45-50 for a child. All prices include everything you need, including a wetsuit, wetsuit boots and surfboards. There are dedicated areas of the lake for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.