All-girl skate-surf movie review: “But Jennnn, the women aren’t as good as the guys at the skatepark in my town. But Jennnn. Not today, motherfuckers. I am not here for your nonsense!”

An all-girl crew of skaters and surfers climb into a stretch beater limo and go on a road-trip from Texas to California. Hijinks occur.

The skater Nora Vasconscellos riding a horse in Adidas is a thing I never quite expected to see in this world.

But thanks to This Way, the slightly cracked western-themed road trip film from Patti, I have now seen Vasconscellos ride a horse.

Less surprisingly, she also rides a skateboard.

I suspect you knew that already, being the smart people you are.

This Way packs a crew of skaters and a few surfers into a stretch, beater limo and sends them on a roadtrip from Texas to California. Skating and some hijinx occur. A brief trip to a wave pool. A surf session of fun-looking lefts.

Steph Gilmore! More skating. More hijinx.

It’s an eleven-minute joy ride that is over too soon.

If you have ever driven around the American west, you know that it is… a lot.

Long stretches of not much going on. The southern route boasts much cactus and shades of dust. Freight trains, liquor stores, weird half-forgotten road stops. Also, bland as fuck interstate highways, generic corporate outlets, gas station coffee, all on a seemingly endless repeat.

I once drove with some friends from Tucson to a bike race in New Mexico.

We stopped by Tombstone.

We flipped off a lot of cactus.

I felt a shock of recognition about halfway through This Way. Like, fuck, I’ve actually been right there, which seems improbable, given the scale of the thing. Sometimes the world is smaller than we think it is.

I feel like there are two kinds of surf-skate films in this world. Maybe there are more, in fact, but for now, here’s two. The first is a straight up shred to music edit. Maybe there’s a few seconds of dialogue, or some eye-candy B-roll to round it out. Thanks to this internet thing, those bad boys are a dime a dozen.

The other kind has a story of sorts and there are definitely times when this kind of thing totally sucks. The skits are cheese. Everyone looks uncomfortable. They know they look stupid, but they lie back, think of that sweet sponsor check dropping into their mailbox, and let it happen.

On the other side of the camera, over here in the audience we cringe and hit the fast-forward.

This Way is this second species of edit and I liked its whole shtick. I liked the horse riding and the roadstops and the shitty limo. The thriftshop dress-ups, the western wear, and the weird oddities they saw along the way.

The crew — which along with Nora V, includes Laura Enever, Jaleesa Vincent, Shanae Collins, Frankie Harrar, and guests — makes the whole thing look fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously. Maybe we shouldn’t either.

But Jennnn, the women aren’t as good as the guys at the skatepark in my town. But Jennnn. Not today, motherfuckers. I am not here for your nonsense. You can stop right there with that whole thing.

Here is a crew of rad women doing a fun thing. Do you want a smile today?

Go watch this little video and be happy. It’s that simple.

Chastened surfer-father and young daughter suffer unspeakable horrors while locked in notorious Coronavirus Internment Camp!

It's not funny anymore, is it?

“The United States of America has a history of locking otherwise blameless people, Americans even, up simply because they’re originally from a country deemed dangerous or hostile. War-like. Aggressive.” I tell my daughter as we squat in what’s being called the “exercise yard” of a notorious North County, San Diego Internment Camp.

“It’s an open secret but ugly still. California locked up wonderful Japanese folk for being Japanese during World War II.” I continue. “I don’t think they locked up wonderful Germans for being German during World War I but the powers that be changed the name of ‘hamburgers’ to ‘liberty sandwiches’ which is just as bad.”

“What country are we locked up for being from?” My young daughter asks while digging for worms that I told her we would fry for dinner, until she catches a Chihuahua, assuming we’ll be allowed to use the kitchen.

“France.” I say. “And we’re not even French.”

Europe is now the epicenter of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, more casualties in Italy than the disease’s proud papa China. Germany headed toward full lockdown. France’s Cannes Film Festival postponed.

Hell everywhere.

Hell that hath cometh.

Two weeks ago, when the non-China world was still normal-ish and I was only an enterprising surfer-father seeing fantastic deals to Europe popping up on my computer screen while writing about Gabriel Medina while glancing over at my young daughter who looked like she needed an adventure and who cares about Gabriel Medina?

It was then I proposed, to her, that we rip, last second, to France then Germany so we could shred the Coronavirus Apocalypse. Empty museums etc. Free Hermès Birkins and whatnot. Hamburgers that couldn’t even imagine liberty but even better steak frites.

The good life made fun.

The great life made pink.

She was game, as she always is.

So we did it, flying to Paris, flying to Berlin, and living a dream, an absolute dream. We laughed through an empty Versailles, an empty Berlin Zoo, an empty-ish Champs Élysées, an empty-ish Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall, Louvre, Eiffel, Brandenburg… the Olde World made fresh though circumstances. Though it all went, theoretically, pear shaped whilst we were shredding.

Travel bans etc. Bar closures etc.

American frowns.

Terror and paranoia.

We made it home but were immediately tagged as Enemies of the State and suggested into self-internment what with the China Virus beginning to rage across greater America minus Florida.

Beginning to destroy a once unstoppable people (read: economy).

The notorious camp we’ve been “locked” into has limited cell phone reception in the living room because I insist on continuing an abusive relationship with T-Mobile, a broken washing machine that should be fixed this coming Tuesday, tiles making up a patio in the front yard that I was supposed to get sealed but haven’t scheduled the tile seal man yet, which was a total gaff, dying nectarine tree that I’m supposed to cut down, garage that is, seriously, out-of-control messy with tools everywhere but un-find-able, grout that needs re-touching in the kitchen, a few burnt out lightbulbs all my fault and a corroding zinc countertop, which I also insisted on.


According to public opinion, yes and let us read but one of many barbs sent over my Internment Camp’s needed-to-be-painted fence.

What are your plans for your daughter now that you have wantonly exposed her to Covid-19 by bringing her to the heart of the pandemic? Will you allow playdates knowing she is most likely infected? Or not give a shit because she isn’t showing symptoms and you never really cared about her health or anyone else’s? Dad of the fucking year. You should be arrested.

“Playdates!” I suddenly remember.

Are they allowed in this ruthless Internment Camp?

Can they leave once they come?

Would I be able to sort one of them into sealing the front patio tile?

My young daughter’s best friend in the whole wide world is, no lie, Japanese.

More as the story develops.

Bigger than Coronavirus: FCS releases “dazzling, stupendous, better-than-sex” new fin that Nick Carroll declares “gets you high!”


Forget about pandemics. Forget about cancellations, deaths, Great White Shark attacks and SeaWorld trainers crushing the spines of baby Killer Whales, a wobbly stock market, Kelly Slater, abundances of caution, toilet paper, Donald J. Trump sending you $2000 (if you happen to be an American), millennials and their war against boomers, Kanoa Igarashi.

FCS has released a new fin and acceptable, respected surf media has lost its collective mind.

In one day, headlines across august publications were synched and screamed, using a font size not seen since Laird Hamilton towed Teahupoo.

Magic Seaweed: “Testing the world’s smartest fin.”

Stab: “FCS Just Released The Most Premium Progressive Fins Of The Last Decade”

CoastalWatch: “Tested: FCS’s New H4 Fin Set Is Scary Good.”

Surfline: Nick Carroll Tests FCS’s New H4 Fin Set And he finds the space fighter smart fin…scary good

But can it be true? Is it possible that a fin could be so incredible, so wonderful that every important surf media bumped every other bit of planned editorial in order to celebrate?

We must turn to Nick Carroll himself, who found the time to write three of the above four stories at over 8,000 words each.

The H4 is another thing. At first look you’d think you’d got hold of the wings off some sorta hi-tech mini Space Fighter. The fins are a deep grey verging on black, with a super-fine grooved finish that shimmers slightly in a certain light, like a vinyl record surface. Moulding is super precise, with fine edges and no spare flesh anywhere.

As with other H-series products, the fin design is distinctive. The side fin has a conventional leading edge template and a less conventional trailing edge, which cuts short and up at the tip, hatchet-style. The foil follows the trailing edge, creating a slight ridge on the outer surface of the fin where it tapers into the hatchet. The inside face is dead flat, and all the edges are sharp and tight. Like I said, very precise.

The rear fin begins conventionally enough at the base, with a curve in both leading and trailing edges, but just a couple of cms up, the whole fin tilts back and the template lines straighten, tapering into a football-ey tip.

I know you can see all this in the graphics, but you won’t quite be able to pick that ridge running back to the hatchet, nor maybe absorb the hard precision of it all. The fin materials are also highly precise and “built”, with a shell of unidirectional carbon tape containing an injected composite core, which produces an extremely quick-flex, tight fin that’s also very light.

I was high on them pretty much immediately.

Now I understand. A fin that makes a person high.

H4 + Surfing: A love story (buy here).

But do you remember the day that SurfStitch purchased Magic Seaweed, Stab and FCS but then uh oh?

Simpler times.

The WSL + Elo’s Golden Opportunity: “Massive disruption to the 2020 season offers a historical opportunity for a re-set; but has Elo got the balls to hit Dirk up for the resources to make it happen?”

How grand it would be to praise a decisive action when the world's surfing population was most in need of what the WSL could offer.

,File under: never let a crisis go to waste.

The Tour is cooked for the year, that’s a serious bummer for everyone involved, but it ain’t the life and death scenario many are facing, especially our brothers and sisters in Europe.

Surfing is banned on the shores of France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Puerto Rico, may be banned elsewhere.

God Help us all.

Please don’t come at me, but I won’t curtailing my coastal activities.

I found Elo’s video message on the impact of CoronaVirus on the Tour strangely soothing, definitely the most human, least corpo-robot transmission he has imparted to us through the WSL “enablement platform”.

He asked what we wanted to see, what possibly could be done by a League that is likely to remain shuttered for the year.

To preface my proposal, I know Elo has shifted the WSL focus to spoon-feed feel good pap to a non-surfing audience.

I know he is unlikely to listen, but he should.

I’ve watched every heat of the CT for the last two years, and a fair smattering of the QS.

In epidemiological terms, I’m a super-spreader of information on the Tour.

Massive disruption to the 2020 season offers a unique world-historical opportunity for a re-set, even if just for a moment in time.

No wheel needs re-inventing, the brain-storming has already been done by ex-CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. Her still-born idea of a “match play” season ender in the Mentawais could be activated, either as one-off or as prelude to the Hawaiian season, assuming we’re passed the worst of the pandemic by then.

It’ll have to be stripped down, what every surf fan has been baying for for years.

If the Ments are still off-line then alternative options exist.

Assuming the League has access to unlimited line of credit from it’s billionaire owners than private jet transport* could be employed to travel a skeleton crew, say the top 16 from last years tour to Martin Daly’s private island in the Marshalls.

Two-day comp.

The first, a leaderboard-style elimination.

The second, man-on-man to produce a winner.

The South Pacific, isolated by millions of square acres of open ocean, has a very low case load and is unlikely to experience pandemic.

An exhibition event could be held anywhere there, Fiji being the most likely alternative. Re-instating Cloudbreak, perhaps in the Olympic window if that is cancelled gives Elo the biggest opportunity of his presidency: the chance to reconnect with a core surfing audience who have become increasingly disillusioned by the direction of the Tour.

The embrace of the Tub, the wall of positive noise, the “nothing to see here” commentary.

All erased, all forgiven and forgotten if we get live action of the GOAT and a small crew back at ten-foot Cloudbreak.

Put a longer window on it, do whatever it takes.

There won’t be much that can salvaged from the year, but credibility could be one thing, if ELO throws us a bone, something to bite down on in these tremulous times.

It would be a sign, not just of good faith in the fans, but the survival of the League itself if it was prepared to invest in spectacle.

And, if there were to be some kind of global contraction in the Sport then a way forwards may have been already road tested.

I know, based on past performance we’ll probably get ten more ep’s of Transformed (Brilliant Corners is obvs dusted for the near future) but wouldn’t it be grand to see Kelly’s precious remaining time at the top not completely subsumed by a focus on psycho-babble.

We all lose in that scenario.

What say you Elo, have you got the balls to pick up the phone to Dirk and hit him up for the resources to make it happen?

History looks kindly on those who act boldly in a crisis.

At the current rate of WSL CEO churn we’ll be writing your Epitaph while the memory of 2020 remains fresh.

How grand it would be to praise a decisive action when the world’s surfing population was most in need of what the WSL could offer.

* Carbon intensive, yes. But nowhere near the carbon budget of the QS.

Disturbing: Unsealed lawsuit photographs depict well-muscled SeaWorld trainer with large buttocks “surfing” beached baby Killer Whale!

Round, full but not fat. Heavy.

Oh we are living in the last days, the end times, stuck in our own houses peering mournfully out the window terrified of our fellow man and the diseases in his lungs. But doesn’t it make you slightly wistful for simpler times when we could become very angry about genetically modified foods or Killer Whales who had been enslaved for our entertainment?

Blackfish, the 2013 documentary, struck many nerves with its depiction of apex-apex predators with sad, droopy fins. Even the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater became affected, writing on Instagram, “Have you seen the film #Blackfish yet? I assumed a lot about #Orcas’ intelligence but had no real knowledge on the subject. Adults spend their entire lives in pods alongside their parents and swim up to 100 miles/day. They’re one of the most intelligent and self-aware species in the world (making them highly inquisitive and unsuited for captivity).”

Well, the film led to a lawsuit and, as a result, new photographs just became released today.

Shall we peek?

Disturbing photos released during the ongoing SeaWorld vs Anderson Court Case-⁠

Seen in the photo, two trainers stand on the backs of two orcas (Taima and Malia) beached in the medical pool, posing and smiling for a photo. You may notice how large the male trainer may seem – he’s standing on an 18-month-old calf, pushing her head almost entirely under the water. At such a young age, the cervical vertebrae in Malia’s neck and the thoracic vertebrae in her back wouldn’t have been fully fused or formed and would’ve been susceptible to irreversible damage.⁠
While it was a common sight to see trainers standing on the whale’s rostrums and backs during performances, these stunts were only performed when the whale’s weight was supported by the water. Beached in the medical pool, Taima and Malia lack this support and are vulnerable to the pressure of their own weight, as well as the additional weight of their trainers. While it wasn’t an immediate threat for Taima and Malia, a cetacean’s own weight will begin to crush its internal organs if left beached for a prolonged period of time. Short term, it must’ve been very uncomfortable for the pair – something these trainers should’ve considered before prolonging their suffering further by taking photos.⁠
Potential harm to the animals aside, perhaps the most alarming aspect of this photo is how comfortable the trainers seem to be with disrespecting their animals – comfortable enough to pose for a photo nonetheless.⁠

Does this make you sad or do you think everyone is having much fun here including the baby Killer Whale?

What would Kelly Slater say?

My only real wonderment is why the well-muscled trainer with large buttocks is on the baby Killer Whale while the petite woman is on the full grown Killer Whale.

Do you know?

Any guesses?

More as the story develops.