His name is James. He’s wearing surf goggles and a cap pulled down over his eyes. | Photo: The Beach Bum

Name-and-shame: Mysterious “pro surfer with surf goggles from Huntington Beach” stars in Lyft driver’s horrifying tell-all!

“Are you a professional surfer?” I prod. “Pro … surfer. Huntington … Beach. First … place.” We’re in the parking lot of the West Union Sports Pub in landlocked Beaverton, Oregon.

It ain’t always easy driving drunkards home, but it’s as living.

You want to work for Uber or Lyft, you deal with the good, a little cash, flexible work hours and you deal with the bad, a spray of vomit here, a circular conversation there.

Peter Jakubowicz is a “science writer” and Lyft driver from Portland, Oregon.

In a mournful, ie cry-baby, story for Slate called The Drunk Men I Drive Around Every Night, Pete writes about meeting a “surf goggle” wearing pro surfer from Huntington Beach called James.

Come, sit on my lap, massage my legs and let’s read a little:

Pro … surfer.” I think that’s what he said after struggling to get out the second word. Sometimes I can’t make out what they’re saying, and I just nod and say “Yeah.”

His name is James. He’s wearing surf goggles and a cap pulled down over his eyes.

“Are you a professional surfer?” I prod. “Pro … surfer. Huntington … Beach. First … place.” We’re in the parking lot of the West Union Sports Pub in landlocked Beaverton, Oregon. It’s about 3 a.m. I’m his Lyft driver, or, as I have come to think of it, his designated driver on demand.

He has set a pho-and-burger joint as his destination. I suggest that most pho-and-burger joints are now closed. He says, “Go … go. Go … go.”

So, we drive there. The placed closed at 9 p.m., and we now sit in another empty parking lot. I ask him whether there’s somewhere else he wants me to take him.

He says “strip club.” I ask for a name and whether it’s open. He says “Costco.” I know Costco is neither a strip club nor open, but he persists. We head toward the nearest Costco. After a few minutes of dead time, he begins to gesticulate, seeming to indicate that this is the place.

“Right here?” I say. “In the street?” We’re surrounded by three-story condos. I stop. “You live in one of these, right?” I do want these guys to get home. He gets out, walks frantically toward the building, and then disappears through the door.

I quit for the night.

I begin my next run the following night at about 11 p.m. My first request is for a “James” at the West Union Sports Pub. The passenger gets in my car, and before I even look, he says, “Pro … surfer.” Same goggles and cap, less slurred. I refer to the night before. He has no clue who I am.

The story descends, as it must in these instances and in this epoch, into the misogyny of men.

 I usually don’t censor my riders, but if they cross a boundary like that, I’ll say, “Change the subject, bro, OK?” If they don’t, I ask them to get out.

For our readers, however, the mystery comes in the identity of James, pro surfer, HB, surf goggles, living it up in Beaverton, Oregon.

Only surfer I know living in those parts is Gerry Lopez.

And he don’t drink.

Solve mystery in comment pane below.

Read story here.

British VALs turn on Bristol’s The Wave after owners turn up size to three-foot and double hourly rate! “You can surf the Canary Islands or France for less!”

A tragedy on multiple levels.

One month ago, Britain’s VAL community was told they had to prove their expert bona-fides via a licensing system if they wanted to ride Bristol’s Wavegarden on the so-called advanced setting.

As The Wave’s Founder Nick Hounsfield told Jamie Tierney, who visited the place for BeachGrit, it isn’t technology holding the place back, it’s the surfing level of its customers.

“Quite a few people are struggling to be honest what their ability might be,” he said.

Today, a little switcharoo from the owners, announcing three days of “powerful waves” for “highly experienced” surfers.

The kicker is you won’t need a licence to ride these waves as long as you self-identity as a “highly experienced and proficient surfer, able to negotiate more powerful waves with confidence.”


And the tariff for the experience? Ninety-five pounds an hour.

Writer pulls calculator out of briefcase.


Two hundred Australian dollars; maybe one-fifty Americanos; four-hundred-and-twenty-five shekels for my Jewish brothers.

And the VALs lost their minds.

Via The Wave’s IG.

Wow that’s crazy money for an hour only on the expert wave.

I was really looking forward to surfing the top setting but now it’s £95 my dads says it’s too expensive. Gutted!

For £95 I can park at my local spot for 31 days at an hour a time! Think I’ll catch way more waves over that period! Go to the beach it’s way cheaper!

Advance settings are in the ocean this weekend folks. Just turn up, go with a mate and stay safe. You’ll get a day out and a meal at a restaurant for £95 you’d spend here, and be riding as many waves as you can physically cope with. Unless you’re a capitalist surfer, you should be happy…

£95 is a crazy price to pay considering you can get a flight to France and back for that much (and more)

I had tried to stick up for them and had fun on the current settings but this is a marketing and PR disaster… finally released better waves but at 95 quid an hour….

£95 an hour🤣 surf the Canary Islands for less.

That’s £95 for the day right? Not for an hour

By the way what happened to the “risk assessment” excuse for not making waves bigger before? The result of the risk assessment is it’s fine if people pay £95??

From feeling stoked and supportive to disappointed and exploited in one swift move! You guys have done so much right but this is a major error. The supposed commercials, stories around beginner sessions and safety justifications just don’t add up. Someone saw ££ signs and blew it. Big mistake and clearly alienating a lot of loyal advocates.

The tragedy here, of course, is calling a three-foot tube that chandeliers and requires supple hip flexors to squeeze into…advanced.

Don’t you think?

Listen: “You are a better surfer* than VAL hero Laird Hamilton and, truly miraculously, so am I!”

Get laid tonight!

I don’t have many occasions to feel good about my surfing ability. I know who I am, what I am, not that it robs any pleasure, any joy,  I feel at bogging a roundhouse cutback. At doing a “floater” going “backside.”

Zero disillusionment. Full transparency. Still, pure joy.

And today that joy was enhanced by the realization that I likely surf* better than the great Laird Hamilton.

You do too, since you surf* better than me.

And let me explain.

Laird Hamilton is the name that pops into every fringe-surfer, non-surfer’s mind when they hear the word “surf”, no?

The Maui now Malibu legend cemented his position in the VAL and/or VAL-adjacent hierarchy decades ago.

He is who your grandma thinks about when she thinks about a “surfer.”

He is who hangs on the World Surf League’s new CEO and Lord Commander’s office wall.

He is a saint.

And you surf* better.

I surf* better.

Don’t believe?

When was the last time you saw Laird Hamilton paddle himself into a wave on any respectable surf craft?

30 years ago?


That’s right. Laird is perpetual Waterperson of the Year (apologies to Dirk Ziff), inventor of modern day SUPping, hydrofoil, strapped tow-in master but…

…if the ice bath frozen cro-magnon paddled out to your lineup, with his own arms, on a surfboard*, you’d smash him.


He hasn’t put his toes in that sorta wax in forever. Since losing to Rick Kane.

For sure. He only does weird surfing shit plus longboarding. He’d have no idea how to even pump down a straight line.


Listen and then tell me how we wouldn’t smash that cro-magnon in a surf-off.

*surf, surfboard, surfing all refer to the real stuff. Some sort of shortboard paddled with arms.

Also, if you listen to podcast I say Justin Timberlake and Jessica Beal were at Sugarfish. In real life it was Brian Austin Green and Meghan Fox but you can certainly understand my confusion.

Resurrection: “Optimistic” Carissa Moore extends partnership with Hurley, declares her “excitement for 2020 and beyond!”

"An amazing human being!"

Remember when, last week or maybe two weeks ago, once proud Hurley’s corpse was being paraded through the streets mourned so woefully? Non-surfing east coast interlopers swinging in, cutting the brand into pieces and licensing those pieces out. A beard oil line launched. Employees fired in droves. Team riders disappeared each and every one. John John Florence walking away from, allegedly, millions of dollars in disgust. Stab magazine’s Ashton “Bilbo” Goggans, spilling every ounce of ink, declaring it the “story of the decade.”

Hurt, rage, sadness.

Well, today the very famous Carissa Moore “extended her partnership” with the new owners and let’s press release together.

The Hurley Brand (“Hurley”) is proud to announce it has extended its multi-year partnership with Olympian and 4X World Champion surfer, Carissa Moore.

A prodigious talent, Carissa Moore has been a massive presence in competitive surfing since the moment she put on a jersey, racking up eleven national titles in her amateur career before arriving on the World Championship Tour in 2010, winning World Titles in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2019. Following her storied 2019 season, Carissa qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she will go for the gold as part of Team USA.

“Carissa is an amazing human being, in and out of the water. We couldn’t be more excited to have her continue to partner with us and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in Tokyo and beyond,” said Brandon Guilmette, Chief Marketing Officer at Hurley.

With a larger focus being placed on the Hurley Women’s business, and exciting new partnerships with Hybrid Apparel for sportswear and InMocean for swim, Carissa will be the center of this evolving division for Hurley.

“I’m excited to be extending my partnership with Hurley. There has been a lot of change recently but I’m optimistic about the future and opportunity for growth. Hurley’s innovation has helped me perform my best in and out of the water. I am looking forward to contributing to the design process with the team for 2020 and beyond,” said the 4X World Champion, Carissa Moore.

This signing on the heels “quiet negotiations” to bring back some of the once-greatest surf team ever assembled amid “furious backlash” according to BeachGrit’s own Derek Rielly, stealing the “story of the decade” from poor Ashton Goggans while the boy had his lovely, soft eyes on the buffet bar, wondering how high prime rib can be stacked and wondering how many succulent ribs can fit alongside.

Now, in light of… all things, will these newly resigned surfers be hailed as financially prudent heroes unbent by the cries of a flimsy public or scabs crossing a picket line?

Moore as the story develops.

The gorgeous Coachella Valley, soon home to surf country club and 18-million gallon wavepool. | Photo: The Desert Sun

New Kelly Slater wavepool in Coachella Valley will be a “revolutionary new way to live and travel” and will “focus on sustainability’!

It's a greenwash!

As reported, yesterday, and with its teat still being squeezed today, Kelly Slater has joined hands with resort developers to build a twenty-acre tank in the Coachella Valley, near Frankie Sinatra and Elvis’ old hang-out Palm Springs and home to a sort of retirement music festival with acts twenty-years beyond their peak.

“The largest, rideable open-barrel, human-made wave in the world,” according to promotional literature.

And Slater’s pool is only one of three being built.

Three pools, different techs, different angles, different pro surfer touts etc.

Read, here, here, here and here.

(Kelly Slater was made sad by coverage and sent DM to BeachGrit that read, “You guys love nothing more than clickbait.”)

The area’s newspaper, The Desert Sun, has paid particular attention to the Slater country club which is going to be built, approvals pending, between 58th Avenue and Avenue 60 and across from Andalusia, in La Quinta.

A quote that I enjoyed very much from the story comes from Noah Hahn, a partner at the resort developer Meriwether Cos.

“Kelly Slater and the WSL are … the perfect partners to feature as we create a revolutionary new way to live and travel.”

According to The Desert Sun, the resort, called Coral Mountain, “the ethos of the community is designed to revolve around the raw natural setting with a focus on sustainability.”

The pool will require 18-million gallons of water, significantly less, says the developer, than the 18-hole golf course that was previously approved for the site.

Revolutionary? Sustainable?

Let’s do a fun little math exercise.

What’s the rainfall in the Coachella Valley?

Two-and-a-half inches or sixty-seven mm?

18,000,000 gallons fills the pool.

One gallon of water = 231 cubic inches.

Multiply that by eighteen-million and y’get…

A little over four billion inches.

Divide by the yearly rainfall and…

If the pool was filled by rain (sustainable!), it would take one-point-six billion years to fill it.

Even eco-paradises need a little help from man, yes?