Javea is a pretty enough town on Spain’s Costa Blanca, two hundred clicks of mostly waveless Med coastline in the south-east of Spain.
Real famous, too, as a joint where old Brits and Germans come to die in the sun, bickering with their spouses, complaining about tourists in summer and copulating like toads in sex clubs where the red vinyl is rarely hosed down.
The sorta place you wouldn’t normally hear about or or want to visit.
That changed yesterday when Storm Gloria, a monster low, brought “twenty-two-foot waves” to the coastline, lighting up the town’s popular Arenal beach, and bringing out some of Europe’s best big-wave surfers.
In all truth, we surfers, we water dancers, have not been on the bleeding edge of any meaningful cultural shift for years and years and years. “Conservative” is how’d we best be described. “Resistant to change.” But when, a handful of years ago, “gender fluidity” started making the rounds as the “movement of the future” in intelligent circles I thought, “Bingo.”
We surfers, we backdoor shooters, have been gender fluid from the word go. Men wear very fitted pantsuits when the water temperature drops below a comfortable 67 degrees, often pairing them with dainty black slippers. Women wear the same very fitted pantsuits and dainty black slippers. In the lineup we are one and the same, indistinguishable.
Well, it was only a matter of time before the word’s luxury houses discovered our secret garden and let us discover Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2020 collection. Let us feel pride.
With their Fall/Winter 2020 collection, Salvatore Ferragamo introduces the new men of the new decade, highlighting the emerging fluidity of modern masculinity. Creative Director Paul Andrew uses fashion as a tool for experiment and expression, exploring the conceptual breadth of visual statements of manhood in the 2020s.
Reimagining sartorial elements of commonplace male archetypes including the businessman, biker, racing driver, sailor, soldier, and surfer, Andrew creates a versatile collection of refreshing takes on overdone displays. “The agenda is to retain the aesthetic of uniform while subverting the once-rigid assumptions it enforced,” Andrew explained. The modern man cannot be put into one box, rather he has a variety of intertwining qualities and has the ability to explore all facets of his identity.
And let’s feast our eyes upon a reimagined short-sleeved full suit very likely 2 mm in thickness.
We surfers, we priority interferers, are…
Watch: Kai Lenny’s frontside chop-hop-to-monster-air-drop at thirty-foot Nazaré!
Last Tuesday, the multi-discipline surfer Kai Lenny was in Nazaré Portugal, where he competed in a local tow-in event, the Gigantes de Nazare, which also included world champion Italo Ferreira and Brazilian Lucas ‘Chumbo’ Chianca.
While strapped surfing rarely excites anymore, Kai, who says he’s been watching footage of snowboarder Travis Rice doing triple rotations off eighty-foot cliffs and says performance big-wave surfing is barely in its infancy, dropped jaws worldwide with vision of a chop-hop-to-monster-drop on a thirty-footer.
A roll-call of the world’s best surfers stacked up in his IG comments .
“Holy@shit,” wrote Gabriel Medina.
Filipe Toledo, “Brahhhh stop!!”
Nathan Florence, “Aircamp is getting wild around here!”
The demise of once-proud Hurley will be the subject of a Pulitzer Prize winning book, one day, titled “The Merchant of Venice Beach-Adjacent: How Stab Magazine Came Under the Magical Spell of a Beautifully Plus-Size Floridian Boy with Rings on His Fingers and Bells on His Toes.”
Oh wait, sorry. That’s my other Pulitzer Prize winning book. The Hurley book, titled “Blueflame Alliance: How Surfing’s Greatest Brand Was Co-Opted by Plus-Sized…” something. I’m not finished yet but anyhow facts and rumors fly fast and furious. Hurley now makes beard oil, entire divisions have been laid off, the greatest team ever assembled is allegedly dispersing as zero contracts are being renewed.
Allegedly to Lululemon.
John John Florence?
Allegedly negotiating exit in brave protest.
The other quarter of the U.S. first ever Olympic Surf Team has been entirely silent in the utter gutting, the apocalyptic massacre.
There must be interest in America’s Hawaiian no?
Lots and lots of interest.
So, where do you think Kolohe will land?
Which brand or company would fit best?
Let’s help a Brother out!
Listen: Surf Journalist hallucinates he is the lost sixth Coffey Sister before proceeding to have complete mental breakdown live on air!
Ruby-Lee, Ellie-Jean, Bonnie-Lou, Holly-Sue, David-Lee n me.
But where were you when you first heard the announcement that one-time president of the Oprah Winfrey Network, confidant of Oprah herself, Erik “ELo” Logan was ascending to the most powerful chair in organized professional surfing? To that mesh-backed Herman Miller Aeron Chair and not the price point one either. No, the $1395.00 one with adjustable Posturefit SL, fully adjustable arms and 2.5 inch roll-away resistant casters featuring Quiet Roll™ technology?
I was upstairs, reclining on a vintage chaise lounge working on edits for the next book Reports From Hell, out this June, when my phone buzzed then buzzed then buzzed again.
In truth, the news of ELo’s power consolidation was neither shocking nor particularly interesting. Longtom penned a gorgeous accountingof ex-WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt’s reign but, in my mind, the second Erik Logan waltzed through Santa Monica’s mahogany door he became the face of the brand.
And so I shrugged and yawned.
Boring with nothing new to report. The World Surf League will continue to transition from a professional surfing tour to a media company exactly like it has been doing all year long.
But yesterday, surrounded by surf history, across a fine office table from David Lee Scales, I lost my ever-loving mind about the whole matter and went on a completely sober-yet-wildly-unhinged 40 minute rant claiming ELo will never understand because he has never struggled with surfing, never wrestled with surfing, never been possessed and made mad by surfing.
Struggle? Wrestling? Surfing as some ecstatic torment?
What the hell was all that about?
And tell me, give me your honest opinion… is surfing a simple, empty slide along the waves, nothing more or less, or is it some cosmic battle, a grand mystical spirit quest through Eriador and the Wilderland all the way to the gates of Mordor?
What is it to you? Why are you here?
After ranting, I learned that the podcast’s sponsor, Manscaped.com, also sponsors the very famous Coffey Sisters.
The Coffey Sisters, David Lee and I are on the same team and for one brief moment I felt the unspeakable joy of being part of that illustrious family.
At the end, maybe that’s what this whole surfing life is all about. Ruby-Lee, Ellie-Jean, Bonnie-Lou, Holly-Sue, David-Lee n me.