"You have inspired me to be the best athlete I can be."
In the gloomy mountains above Calabasas in LA’s San Fernando Valley this morning, NBA god Kobe Bryant, his kid and three others were killed when his $13-million helicopter crashed around ten am.
Kobe was one of the greatest NBA players of all time, eighteen-times All Star, five championships, although his career stalled, ever so briefly, in 2003, when he was accused of rape, a case settled out of court etc.
Surfers including Gabriel Medina, Zeke Lau, Jadson Andre as well as the WSL have posted tributes to Bryant.
We surfers, we real surfers, were all asleep that decade or two ago when Laird Hamilton swept his way into the suspect hearts of those dreaming of an “alternative” to wave riding. Before we knew it there was one then three then eight stand-up paddleboarders milling about the lineup, stroking into waves, sending their canoes rolling through our skulls.
Asleep or shellshocked but no excuses. We should have called an internet meeting and decided what punishment the SUP deserved and likely punished them out of the lineup or at least corralled them in Manhattan Beach.
In any case, let’s not make the same mistake again. Let’s call an internet meeting to order and decide how deal with future users of the just-developed electronic surf fin (handicapped folk excluded).
Certainly you’ve seen it by now, advertised in Surfer magazine, raising $250,000 on KickStarter, on Mashable.
“Catch all the waves… no more upper body strength needed etc.”
So what should we do when we see our first?
How shall we react, strongly, as one and shame every non-handicapped user away or at least to Manhattan Beach?
Peak North Shore: Troublingly overweight Ashton Goggans tells Yago Dora: “There were a few of those bottom turns where you were looking like Gerry Lopez!”
If there is one thing your BeachGrit does better than anyone ever, besides stirring shark hysteria, it is kicking a story to absolute death. Writing and writing and writing and writing and writing and writing and writing about every little angle, nuance, dull detail because…. why not?
Well, Red Bull’s latest Unfiltered, Unbiased, Behind-the-Scenes… something of the Pipeline Masters approaches genius.
Jon Pyzel quoting The Surfer’s Journal while saying, “I didn’t finish the article…”
But my favorite moment, so far, is when an honest-to-goodness 100 lbs above slapping weight and new brilliant face of professional surfing Ashton Goggans sits down next to Yago Dora and says through beard and weight, “There were a few of those bottom turns where you were looking like Gerry Lopez.”
The “people were saying…” bit excluded like it should be/is mentally in all “people are saying” occurrences.
Peak North Shore.
And I challenge you to find your favorite moment in the clip.
Watch from start to finish.
You will not be disappointed.
Also, I have been re-watching America’s Top Model from the inaugural season on and have re-remembered how dangerous weight issues are and how they must be called out publicly.
It’s pure love. And deep care.
Watch: Hawaii’s leading news source declares “Billy Kemper is not afraid of anything” after Big Wave World Tour champ’s latest Jaws performance!
If you were literally fearless, what is the first thing you'd do?
Climate change has been good to Hawaii, much to Greta Thunberg’s chagrin, or at least good to Hawaii’s big wave cowpeople. The men and women who bravely, boldly saddle up, as it were, and ride giant, massive, terrifying beasts whilst dodging the insidious cookie cutter shark.
An extraordinarily large swell hit Maui’s famed Peahi toward the end of last week. Another is on its way and Hawaii’s leading news source, Hawaii News Now, is there covering all the action. Shall we read, together, first hand?
Big-wave surfer Billy Kemper is not afraid of anything.
That was especially the case after the four-time Jaws champion took on enormous barrels at Peahi on Maui on Thursday.
In an Instagram video, he described the experience as riding the “wave of my life.”
Very scary but not to Billy Kemper who isn’t afraid of anything.
Not waves nor flat tires on the freeway nor Coronavirus nor period dramas nor Sense and Sensibility nor neighbors who eat PCP nor an overheated economy spinning into massive inflation nor the new aluminum tariff nor bed bugs biting nor six hour layovers nor one lost AirPod nor anything.
If you were literally fearless, what is the first thing you’d do?
Apocalypse Now: In “historic first” cookiecutter shark, featuring mouth “like toilet plunger with a blade in it,” attacks three swimmers in Hawaii!
Great White, Tiger and Bull sharks have haunted surfers, swimmers and other assorted Hawaiians since the dawn of time. Circling in those crystalline depths, stalking, biting, “man-eating.” Terrors all but known terrors. All accounted for.
Well, in this, our current and ongoing “shark apocalypse,” Hawaiians and Haole Blow-ins alike have a new worry featuring a hungry mouth “like a toilet plunger with a blade in it” and a body like a “lazy sausage.”
Yes, in a “historic first” the “man-plunging” cookie cutter shark has attacked humans, latching on and attempting to suck, suck, suck out the vitals.
Too fantastical to believe? Let the well respected science website phys.org guide you into awful truths.
In a historic first, the elusive, foot-long cookiecutter shark was responsible for three of 2019’s attacks. All three bites were on long-distance swimmers training in Hawaii’s Kaiwi Channel at night.
The ISAF’s more-than 6,400 records only contain two other accounts of unprovoked cookiecutter bites on live humans: one in 2009 in Hawaii’s Alenuihaha Channel and one in 2017 in North Queensland, Australia.
The snub-nosed, cigar-shaped shark, often considered a parasite, attaches to its prey with rubbery lips and uses its robust muscles and circular jaw to extract a plug of flesh—”acting like a toilet plunger with a blade in it,” Naylor said. It leaves distinct, craterlike wounds on a wide range of marine life, including tuna, seals, dolphins and even great white sharks, 10 times the cookiecutter’s size.
Not much is known about the cookiecutter shark, Naylor said.
“They’re quite mysterious animals,” he said. “While they’re found all over the world, we don’t know how many of them there are, or how exactly they create this seemingly perfect circle. They can look pretty pathetic, like a lazy sausage, but they can do a lot of damage.”
And here I mistakenly thought that in this new decade, this #metoo world, “pathetic, lazy sausages” that attacked, unprovoked, had been shamed away.