Can I quit you?

Listen: An increasingly handsome Devon Howard takes Chas Smith gently by the hand and begins leading him out of closet!

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you’ve ever heard me jabber then you know how much I hate mid-length surfboards. Funboards, eggs, fatsters, kook rafts, floaties, yellow beanies… whatever they’re called, I hate. Hate very much and hate with a visceral blinding sort of hate.

True hate.

To me the mid-length represents a giving up, a throwing in the towel, a capitulation to nature, age, crowds, weakness. Quitters ride mid-lengths. Rebels ride shortboards, high performance, fishy-hybrids, twins while shaking a balled up fist at destiny and yelling, “I will NOT be undone!”

Except

At night, when no one is looking, I hide under the covers and scroll Instagram until I find Devon Howard’s profile then drool, playing this clip over and over and over and over until I’m in the throes of absolute ecstasy.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7FOXSCHP8V/

That is how I want to surf. The flow, the angles, the effortlessness.

The… beauty.

The sun comes up in the morning, though, and I begin to rage again and hate. To hell with mid-length surfboards. It sets and I drool. This duel life almost too much to bear.

Well, as fate would hate it, Devon Howard swung by the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente, California this morning looking better than ever. Hair slicked back but not greasy. Beard coming in gray. Skin hammered by the sun but in an enviable way. Eyes smiling.

Under his arm he carried the above board. A Channel Islands Mid.

David Lee, Devon and I chatted about this and that, about how Gerry Lopez likely destroyed surfing and Kelly Slater too, before getting down to the topic of mid-length surfboards.

My heart was pounding.

I told him to shove his beginner board, but didn’t mean it.

Told him to break it in half and die.

He took my barbs and then my hand.

A Channel Islands mid-length is coming to my home soon. Will I love or will I be like Ellen DeGeneres, give it a try and decide it’s not for me?

Wait, I can never remember… is Ellen gay or straight?

Listen here and more as the story develops.


The Prophet.
The Prophet.

Prophet of Rage Baking: Surf Journalist inspires movement that helps women deal with their seething hatred of Donald J. Trump!

"Very humbled."

So there I was driving north yesterday, through south Orange County up into central Orange County, passively listening to National Public Radio, actively wondering what Joe Turpel does in the offseason when a story came on that snapped me into the present.

A story about rage baking.

I turned the volume up, gripped the wheel and listened intently.

Apparently women are so infuriated, so maddened, so rage-filled at things in life they can’t change (read: Donald J. Trump) that they are taking out all their frustrations out by “rage baking.”

The book, just out, is titled Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury, and Women’s Voices and co-written by two friends, Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford, who became massively furious with Donald J. Trump and his cronies while watching the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings on television.

One started baking then…

Together, Gunst and Alford co-authored Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury, and Women’s Voices in direct response to this flash point moment, which spotlighted institutional misogyny. The book is born of political frustrations and camaraderie, intended to provide baking as a transformative outlet for the deep anger that has simmered to the surface of American life since 2016’s elections and beyond, turning our frustrations into something tangible and delicious. The book features responses to the mass movement of rage baking through essays, poems and interviews alongside recipes for rum raisin brownies, root beer cake, and ricotta rice pudding pie.

And to know that I inspired such a powerful, cathartic movement. Such a beautiful transformative, emotionally healthy, creative outpouring.

Of course you remember, three long months ago, when I was overcome with my own impotent frustrations at our World Surf League and its then President of Content, Media, Studios now Chief Executive Officer Erik “ELo” Logan and his treatment of professional surfers. Oh I seethed and there was only one thing to do.

Bake him a cake.

And to think that one cake has turned into ricotta rice pudding pie and is now bringing down the Chief Executive Officer of the United States of America?

Well, I’m truly, very humbled.


Surf town’s benevolent Jews offer shelter to homeless gentiles!

Encinitas, California, a model of co-existence and brotherhood.

You don’t gotta get me started on the righteousness of the Jewish people or their gorgeous little sovereign nation, forged in the fires of the Holocaust, endless war and the indifference and hostility of the rest of the world.

If there’s a problem, tech, health, yo, the Jews got it.

Therefore, it came as little surprise when the WSL commentator Chris Coté shared a lovely story of Jewish generosity and ingenuity that was taking place in the surf town of Encinitas, just north of San Diego.

The Leichtag Foundation has taken a novel approach to dealing with California’s catastrophic homelessness problem which is partly due to the hard right’s contempt of the weak and the hard left’s infantilisation of the same people.

What our Jewish brothers have done is open up parking lots for people sleeping in their cars to exist safely until they can get back in the game, under a roof that doesn’t have four wheels.

A simple, elegant, and cheapish solution.

Have a little taste of the story by Babs Henry of the San Diego Trib.

Early on a chilly Monday night, the first of what would become eight clients of a newly opened overnight parking area for homeless people brought his vehicle to a stop at the back entrance to the Leichtag Foundation property.

The middle-aged man, who drove a sport utility vehicle and holds a job in the retail industry, checked in with the security guard at the gate. The guard looked his name up on a list, then opened the big metal barrier that had blocked off access to the Leichtag Foundation’s 67-acre farmland property and directed the man to drive up a paved, private roadway toward the 25-spot parking area. Just over the crest of a hill near some night-lit greenhouses glowing softly in the darkening evening sky, two caseworkers waited to greet the man.

He spoke to them briefly after he parked his vehicle near the portable restroom building, then climbed back in the vehicle, eased his seat back and closed his eyes, looking like a weary dad waiting for his kids to finish an evening soccer or softball game.

“He’s tired, I can see,” Lea Bush, the senior director of family and community services for Jewish Family Service, said as she watched from the shadows.

Read the rest here.

And, here, my last holiday to Israel, with Ozzie Wright (listen to Oz sing Jesus was the King of the Jews, here) and Otis Carey.


Tears of joy!
Tears of joy!

True Love: Nothing says “Be my Valentine” like a pelting shower of Ultra Hard Surf Candy!

To love is to BeachGrit!

Your significant other loves BeachGrit and don’t lie. Don’t pretend you’ve shielded our unique craven madness from that gorgeous purity. From your partner be your partner Chasten or raw.

Jen See.

I don’t know if you know but Jen See is a celebrated athlete, influential writer, voice of a generation, twin finner, doctor.

A literal doctor.

But more importantly and influential writer and her love (sorry to burst bubbles here…she is spoken for) wants nothing more than a BeachGrit.

Nick Carroll?

His love (Tom Carroll) also only wants a BeachGrit.

The song has been sung over and over and over again. Those who love, BeachGrit.

Those who care pelt their lovers with Ultra Hard Surf Candy.

Do you actually love?

Actually care?

We give you a tiny window to prove here. Every single item in our store is on sale.

Your own Chasten will weep tears of unbridled Jordy.

A Valentine’s Day miracle.

Buy here.


Overtweezered man, the "jackhole" and relaxing woman.

Airplane seat etiquette: Are you a damn-the-world recliner or a head-rest drummer “jackhole”?

Check your privilege!

Here’s a little ditty that went everywhere, a woman throwing her seat back on a plane and a bespectacled man with over-tweezered eyebrows responding with an insistent drum-beat on her head rest.

The little clip got sold to an agency, hit millions of views, tens of thousands of retweets and got turned, naturally, into a men-brutalising-woman thing.

Sadly, neither party had an abundance of melanin thereby removing the important racist angle; a mistake, I think, as the reclining woman represents unthinking colonialism occupying foreign territory and the over-tweezered man the brave native with only his hands to fight such advanced and overwhelming weaponry.

https://twitter.com/steelersfanOG/status/1226346795741143040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1226346795741143040&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Ftravel%2Ftravel_news%2Farticle-7999799%2FEtiquette-expert-William-Hanson-declares-verdict-American-Airlines-seat-punching-incident.html

The common conclusion, among reasonable citizens, I think, would be: two pests both as annoying as hearing the scurry of critter feet on the ceiling boards at night.

I’m not a recliner.

Take it back an inch, maybe, long-haul, but the good citizen wedges a pillow against the wall or on the head-rest and deals with it. A smart traveller will bang a foursome of sleepers and wake up in Denpasar, Singapore or half-way across the Pacific.

If you want to sleep, buy a biz ticket.

Once, on a fifty-minute puddle jump, a clown threw his seat into full recline with a contemptuous thunk as the plane started to climb, jamming me into my seat.

Couldn’t eat, couldn’t move.

I didn’t respond with a gentle tattoo on the head-rest.

Now, you, friends, some countrymen.

In what camp do you fall?