Gonna go get some of the swell? That'd be great.

Polite but firm request: Please don’t ever try to talk to me about surfing while at work!

Or really anywhere, for that matter.

When one has a creative idea, like for a painting or a sculpture, or a novel, or it even could be just a simple little sketch of what you want your kitchen to look like, that idea is a like tiny baby. More accurately, it’s like a fetus in the womb, a whisper of life, and it needs care and safety to come into being.

I think most artists learn this at some point in their life, and they become reluctant and avoidant when it comes to discussing the next “thing” they intend to create. Putting an idea for a work of art into words makes it “something”, but only the act of doing can make it real.

Talking about it sometimes just kills it.

And, I think you all know these types. We all have them, most often and unfortunately at work. They come up behind us at the water-cooler uttering, “Yeah, I hear there’s a big newzealandsouthswell coming, dude!, going out?” Oh hell, my cover is getting blown, I think. But also, “going out?” what kind of dumb question is that? And, for the love of god, why do they make New Zealand south swell into one long word? I turn and head straight back to my work station.

Or then there’s the one that, during a break in a meeting, will rattle off the long winded brag-y story of the family surf trip to Samoa, and how beautiful it was, and the warm water, and the exotic smells, etc, but wait for it, because the punchline comes at the end: “actually we didn’t really surf much, it wasn’t very conducive for it.” Which translates to: “the surf was so fucking big with such ugly square tubes scraping off the dry reef, there was no way my weekend-warrior ass was even paddling out!” I walk away silently and hope the cringe-face I have doesn’t show.

Here’s another one, “Oh wow, such beautiful weather we’re having, too bad there’s no waves!” I just smile, and try my best to make my face look very quizzical, so it says: “what are waves?, and why would you want them?” Then I do a half swallowed fake laugh and change to subject to gardening.

Dude? Bro? No. Do not try to talk to me about surf at work. Surf belongs to me. It is my sacred special place, and I won’t have it sullied by some weak-sauce small talk. Surfing is not like that. It isn’t, to coin a phrase, like tennis.

Not talking about surfing is one of our many wonderful and complex rules. When you’ve hung out in the car park (I think that’s what our Aussie friends say), or on the rail, shooting the shit, heckling, getting heckled, telling jokes, complaining, whining, hooting, occasionally offering a much needed hug, then you’re allowed, but you won’t want to.

You won’t have to, you can just let it be what it is.


Luis Lacalle Pou, Uruguay's new prez, and the first surfer elected to the highest office, anywhere, ever. A slick extortionist? A shadowy flunky? Or happy water dancer? This, we'll see.

Bitchin: Uruguay elects “rebellious” surfer as president!

Are surfers really the best people? Uruguay experiments with shredder as prez.

For the first time, anywhere, a surfer, not a VAL, not a SUPer or a bodysurfer, has been elected to a country’s highest office, in this case president of Uruguay.

Luis Lacalle Pou, who is forty-six, learned to surf on a trip to Florianopolis, Brazil, when he was twelve, and grew up vacationing in La Barra de Maldonado, a resort town with a pretty little inlet that delivers some of the better waves in Uruguay.

Does he shred?

When Luis finished his law degree in ’98 he stole off to Hawaii, California and Costa Rica, and has hit Indo, Brazil, El Salvador, Nicaragua, California, Mexico and Panama.

Slick Luis!

When he was asked where else he wanted to surf he said, “Everywhere. I want to live three more lives.”

If you’re wondering which side of the divide he swings, Luis is centre-right, tighten spending, more cops, but says he’ll deliver austerity measures to bring down the cost of living.

His opponent, Daniel Martinez, a sixty-two-year-old cycling enthusiast, represented the  and centre-left wing of the Broad Front, which is a coalition of social democrats, communists, Christian democrats and former guerrilla members.

Are surfers the best sort of people, as is often suggested in that hoary old chestnut that if the world surfed there’d be no war etc?

Does the water dance, gasping for breath after a two-wave holdown and duck-dive an angel make?

More, as they say, as the story develops.


Revealed: Female Great White, Tiger and Bull sharks are getting “woke” at an increasingly alarming rate!

Male surfers beware.

And the things you can learn from a TED X talk. But of course you know TED, the Technology/Education/Design speaking series where “famous” people are encouraged onstage to hear themselves jabber in front of others, paying top dollar, and also the TED X edition where un-famous people do the same exact thing except in front of less others and for, I assume, top-ish dollar.

A modern marvel that has taught me art can change the world, school kills creativity, in order to embrace “the other” I must be able to embrace myself and that the female portion of the shark community is getting “woke” at an increasingly alarming rate.

Execpt what do I mean by “woke?”

I mean aware that damned men, cursed men, are the very root of their problems exactly like they are of the world’s problems and especially great, white men.

Don’t believe?

Nasty apex predator but also watch here.

And while I agree and understand each and every one of Melissa Marquez’s points, praise her for that narcissistic bravery, I’m very worried that she is merely throwing gasoline on an already raging fire.

For if anything, we’ve learned here that sharks, Great White, Tiger and Bull, mostly only eat men, with obviously good reason, but this new wokeness will only lead to an increase in attacks. A substantial, deserved, limb/head/torso chomping.

No?

Certainly yes.

Obviously well-deserved but if you happen to be a male surfer it is well advised to stay out of the water for at least one year.

Maybe two.

More as the story develops.


Breaking: Teahupoo, 16000 km away from French capital, emerging as “likely location” to host surfing for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games!

Let's get ready to rumble!

But what are your true feelings on colonialism? Oh, you can speak freely here. We’re all friends and mostly products of and/or genetic participants in the Great Game. Do you, like Indonesia’s brave Soekarno,”…hate imperialism. I detest colonialism. And I fear the consequences of their last bitter struggle for life.” Or are you more like Thomas Pynchon, believing, “Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit.”

Well, wherever you land on that spectrum, France’s crown jewel of Tahiti, some 16,000 kilometers away from capital Paris, has emerged as the leading candidate to host the surfing portion of the 2024 Olympic Games

And let us go, quickly, to the French news service for the very latest.

The French Polynesian island of almost 200,000 inhabitants is a full 15,760km (9,755 miles) and a 23-hour flight away from the French capital.

The village of Teahupo’o boasts some of the biggest waves on the surfing map with regular large waves guaranteed in August.

The 48 surfers who make it to the Olympic finals will know the location well due to its place on the Billabong Pro circuit.

The name Teahupo’o translates as “to sever the head” and there have been five surf-related deaths there in the past 20 years.

“If the International Olympic Committee rubber stamp the project Tahiti could be adopted as host location on December 12,” one source told AFP.

Do you think the World Surf League is frustrated that it got called “The Billabong Pro” circuit?

More importantly, is pumping Olympic Teahupoo what it will take to turn the masses on to surfing? The great, yet-to-be-tapped-but-potential fan base stretching from Des Moines to Fresno?

Big, meaty, sever the head, Teahupoo feat. late drops, big wipeouts and a 54-year-old Kelly Slater?

Maybe.

But can the Billabong Pro circuit i.e. World Surf League wait a full 4.5 years for those masses to get turned on? Will co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff keep kicking our can down the road?

More as the story develops.


A very poor quality frame grab of Mr Surfads on a surfboard he calls his Mandingo.

Opinion: “I’m a size queen, bigger and uglier the better; constant progression is the cancer of surfing!”

Man goes against fish and mid-length grain, rides giant performance surfboards…

I have a fetish. It’s embarrassing, but find me one that’s not?

It ain’t fondling toes. Or sexy Kurdish step mums looking to discipline naughty sons.

I like big boards. Like, stupid big.

I hesitate to call them mid-lengths, because it’s more than that. When it comes to everyday beachies, I worship Volume and Length in equal measure.

Current loves are: 6’8″ Campbell Brothers A/O. Seven-four Sam Egan Indo gun. Seven-foot dreadnought twin. A favourite 7’10”, a big boy’s big wave board I picked up for $250, the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen, has just been ridden into the scrap heap.

I carry a little weight, yes. But my dims are ridic. My standard shorties have been relegated to boardriders, boat trips and the odd local reef ledge. Buying off the rack or from a shaper becomes a battle of wills.

“Bro, are you sure you wanna go that big? With your size and weight you should be riding this one three inches shorter than usual. That’s what Mick rides.”

“Nah thanks mate, I’ll take the 6’9″.”

Flicky, skatey shorties just don’t do it for me. There’s no smoother feeling than an early roll in, or the extra hold from a long rail carve. Plus this whole sport grows increasingly absurd, a big nothing. The seas of gym jocks in Hurley wetties earnestly crabbing their 5’10″ Spineteks turn my stomach.

Constant progression is the cancer of our species.

But I ain’t a mid-length hipster, either. I’m just an auto-contrarian.

The surfing world’s going one way, so I go the other.

Big, and ugly.

Thankfully, Gumtree caters to my proclivities. There are many, many boards in my chosen idiom. Ones abandoned by disheartened VALs or gals getting better or guys getting fatter.

I sit in the wings and snatch up their refuse like a spider on its web.

(I especially love the tell-tale signs of an imminent good deal. eg.oard measurements in centimetres or tail pads placed suspiciously high above the leash plug. Come closer, my dear, and show me what you’ve got…)

The boards don’t always come through.

But when they do… *kissy fingers*

It was a fish that started it. Late nineties, chop hop, 5’5″ x 19 ¼” era. Everyone was on ‘em. I couldn’t afford a Mayhem so, being the industriously lazy teen I was, I hacked the nose off an old board with a handsaw instead.

Anything to get me closer to Wardo (I know, I know).

Then fate steered me sideways. I got my hands on a Peter McCabe, shaped for a stout friend who had left it at a mate’s house where I’d stash my boards. He stopped surfing and I claimed terra nullius.

This wasn’t your usual Grubby Indo blade. Wide and thick through the chest but with tapered, low rails and a killer swallow. Purple with black rails. It felt way too big under my arm.

But when I got it in the water? Float, glide, sting in the summer stop. It took me places I hadn’t been before.

My first plumper. I’ve experimented widely ever since.

And so I find myself, in 2019, combing the surf world’s detritus to satisfy my perversion.

Sometimes I wonder if I take it too far. I do worry what people think. Where I surf a 6’2″ is considered a step-up. I know friends laugh behind my back as I walk down the beach with my plus sized loves.

The other day I saw a YouTube clip of a lady that eats sofas. Piece by piece. She carries round bits of foam in her pockets to chew on as she goes about her day.

And there’s another guy who’s in love with his car. Who makes love to his car. Strokes its door handles. Whispers sweet nothings into the modified exhaust pipe.

Maybe they’re just doing it because that’s what sparks joy for them.

Because they know shit’s fucked up too.

It’s their own little protest against a world going mad.

So that’s what I tell myself as I glide into the water on my PWC, sniggers still ringing in my ears.

I’m a performance artist, I scream, taking wave after wave after wave.

I’m a goddamned activist.

And this is my statement.

This is my raised fist.