Bristol’s The Wave closed until May 1: “We will overcome this challenge together!”

The Wuhan Wheeze strikes at the heart of British surfing.

Four weeks after announcing it was going to introduce a $200-an-hour three-foot setting for “highly experienced and proficient surfers” and two months after introducing mandatory skill-testing to smoke out the kooks, Bristol’s The Wave has shut its doors until May 1 to keep the Wuhan Wheeze at bay.

(Lest we forget those other Chinese classics, H1N1, Bird Flu and SARS.)

The company’s CEO Craig Stoddart released a prepared statement,

In part,

“Based on the latest Government guidance regarding the Coronavirus outbreak we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close The Wave from end of play on Thursday 19th March to 1st May. The health and wellbeing of our staff and customers is of the utmost importance to us. 

“The closure affects all areas of the site and if people have a surf booked during this period then they’ll be contacted by email with information on next steps. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will be keeping everyone updated on developments via our website, newsletters and social media pages.

“These are uncertain and testing times for everyone, and we will overcome this challenge, together.

It’s been a difficult birth for the British pool, the first of the commercial Wavegarden Cove’s to open to the public, from underwhelming waves to a licensing system to a $200-an-hour setting that, paradoxically, was open to anyone with the cash thereby causing much anguish with the pool’s patrons.

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

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

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, Urbnsurf continues to take bookings and is mostly sold out, although there are a couple of seats for the nine pm session tomoz night.

Sign up here.

Fate worse than Coronavirus: 25-foot-plus Great White Shark found floating bitten in half in reported apex-predator “ritual sacrifice!”

Let's keep our eyes on the ball.

But while everyone in the entire world is “self-quarantining” and “self-isolating” and being very scared of microscopic novel Cornonaviruses did you ever wonder if there might be an extremely intelligent apex-apex-apex predator circling around just waiting for humanity’s distraction in order to mete out a fate worse than death?


“Man-eating” Great White sharks began an unprecedented and coordinated attack on surfers just eight months ago.

Next, apex-apex predator Killer Whales began toying with those same “man-eating” Great Whites.

Snacking on their livers etc.

Munching delicious pate.

Very scary but then the Chinese Virus hit and everyone lost track of the thread.

Of the true menace.



Oh I don’t know what it is either. I only know we were getting close to it, much like in HBO’s new The Outsider, but then Chinese Virus…

Though can we gather ourselves for one moment and wonder?

What did this?

The above just released, buried, but absolutely terrifying photograph.

Xi Jinping?

Michael Pence?

More as the story develops.

"WSL is bad... blah blah blah... Kelly Slater... blah blah blah... barrel or nah?"
"WSL is bad... blah blah blah... Kelly Slater... blah blah blah... barrel or nah?"

Listen: “And at the very end only two creatures shall be left crawling through the earth’s muck and they shall be cockroaches and surf podcasters!”

...and probably Kelly Slater who falls somewhere in between.

But the world’s economy has officially, fully, ground to a halt. No more commerce. No more dining out. No more dating via dating apps or meeting at bars. Sports are finished as are music festivals, any sort of publication, dancing to the downbeats masterfully stroked by Paul Fisher, visiting with friends, visiting with extended family, going to work, going shopping, going to theaters, parks, gyms, massage parlors both above and below board.

We’ve long wondered what the apocalypse would feel like and now we know.

It feels like right now. It feels like this very minute.

And it has long been told that, in the event of some worldwide nuclear holocaust or uncontrollable disease, cockroaches would be the only earthly creature to survive but today it was proven that surf podcasters will also survive for David Lee Scales and I met in San Clemente, flaunting California’s fresh “shelter in place” laws to jabber.

We jabbered about a re-imagined World Surf League tour, about the sad trajectory of Julian Wilson’s career, licking the glass of monkey zoo exhibits, David Lee’s desire for a robust Big Brother surveillance state and enjoying a urinal while also emailing.

Cockroaches and surf podcasters.

Gather the family around, the kids home from school, the husband home from work, the grandma and grandpa huddling in the closet and listen to the sweet hum of the end through air vents.

Is it good? Enjoyable?

Who cares.

Benevolent surf journalist (pictured).
Benevolent surf journalist (pictured).

Breaking: Anti-depressive surf tabloid saves hundreds of California surfers during state’s draconian “shelter in place” epoch!

"I will be the Oskar Schindler of California surfers..."

Last night California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, extended the Bay Area’s draconian “shelter in place” law to the entirety of the state. I was in bed watching the new season of Westworld when I read the news and do you like? I found season one entirely enjoyable but fell off during season two once the cowboy motif transitioned into industrial sci-fi which surprised me. I enjoy westerns from time to time, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid being one of my favorite movies ever, but don’t necessarily consider myself an aficionado and will generally prefer a dystopian tale to a cowboy one. Well, the show lost its oomph once the cowboys went away, I felt, but I was willing to give it another go and so there I was watching the new season when I read Gavin Newsom’s “shelter in place” edict.

“Shelter in place?” I wondered. “What does that actually mean?”

According to Time magazine:

People should stay in their homes unless they need to leave for “essential” activities and work. The mandate went into effect on March 17 and will continue until at least April 7. The order details that violating the mandate is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.

“Hmmmm.” I thought while feeling selfishly gleeful. From my reading it essentially outlaws surfing unless it can be categorized as “work.” Being a surf journalist, the act is, of course, fundamental to my profession and I pictured being out there alone, catching any wave I wanted, shouting a friendly hello to the surfboard shaper the next peak over as I imagine he can count surfing as fundamental to his profession too.

R & D etc.

But then something miraculous happened in my imagination.

I missed you.

I missed silently criticizing the way you wax your board all OCD-like. Missed being jealous of your turns. Missed glaring at you when I paddled back out after my own personal wave of the winter. Missed the annoyed sigh we share when a SUP strokes into our midst.

Then I had an idea. A wonderful idea that will bring you back to the lineup. You can be a surf journalist too. You can “write” for BeachGrit.

So here’s the deal*. If you’re out for a California surf and a police officer tries to fine you or imprison you for being outside your shelter, tell him or her that you are a surf journalist who writes for BeachGrit and in the middle of researching an important story. I will vouch for you in any court of law.

A great, warm sensation of benevolence washed over me once my inspiration crystalized. “I will be the Oskar Schindler of California surfers…” I thought.

“…A legend in the annals of altruism.”

More as the story develops.

*Deal does not extend to SUPs, longboards or midlengths. No foils or Wavestorms either.


Pointless but cheap.

There’s something insidious about social media, destroyer to one’s finer feelings. The timid man becomes bold, the man who has never had an opinion about anything becomes full of them the moment he pecks at his telephone.

It’s especially destructive in moments like these when panic mongering becomes the order of the day, likes and shares the most tradable commodity of all.

Supermarket shelves have been vacuumed clean, helpless infants are drawing from the teat of empty bottles and there seems to be no ray of sunlight bursting forthwith.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled an emergency supplies kit, which is being sold at well below its manufacturing cost, to help you through this period of quarantine, compulsory or self-imposed.

For $US99.95, you’ll receive two medium-sized t-shirts (1 x white Ultra Hard Surf Candy, 1 x yellow BG logo tee), four tail pads  (1 x each colour) and a ten-pack of air fresheners.

Normally, this would cost $US370.

But these are not normal times.

If we didn’t accept our lot with cheerful humility where would we be?

Pointless, yes.

But cheap.

Click here to buy.