The tender loving we need at this moment. Photo: Steve Sherman, the greatest to ever do it.
The tender loving we need at this moment. Photo: Steve Sherman, the greatest to ever do it. | Photo: @tsherms/Steve Sherman

Concern: World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater, last seen in New Zealand, gone missing during “The Great Coronavirus Kerfuffle” of ’20!

Foul play suggested.

The world has now come all the way off the rails. Over 1/3 of these United States of America officially shut down. Bondi Beach put under lock and key. Europe abandoned. Lonely days and dark, for many, filled with anxieties and dread. The present unrecognizable. The future unclear.

Making matters worse, for surfers everywhere, is the greatest to ever do it, our hero and north star Kelly Slater, has gone entirely missing during The Great Coronavirus Kerfuffle of ’20.

Vanished as if into thin air.

The 11 x World Champion was last seen three days ago in New Zealand, there in preparation of the Piha Pro and let’s go there, to Auckland’s 1 News for possible clues as to his whereabouts.

Imagine heading down to your break and getting a front row seat to the greatest ever surfer carving it up on your waves.

Well that’s just what happened for some Northland surfers with Kelly Slater.

Slater was supposed to be competing at the Piha Pro this week before it was cancelled.

In a settlement of fewer than a 1000 people, word was always going to spread quickly about Slater around Pataua, east of Whangārei.

“Some people told us, ‘Are you going to go and see Kelly?’ and I didn’t know what they were talking about,” one local said.

“I looked really close, and I kind of had a bit of a shock,” another told 1 NEWS.

“Got off the bus, came over and Slater was in the water,” a disbelieving local said.

Wonderful and happy. The sort of joy our Number 1 brings with him everywhere he goes but then… silence.

Nothing.

His usually robust Instagram account has been dark since Feb. 21, the last image very cryptic.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B83BkuxBfyK/

Ahoy?

What does that mean?

Back to New Zealand, though, were the small-town locals so thrilled, too thrilled, and in a Deliverance moment, or maybe Misery-like, did they lock the champion up, refusing to let him leave?

"We love you Kelly Slater. Never leave us, ok?"
“We love you Kelly Slater. Never leave us, ok?”

Is he there, right now, dancing for Patauans and Whangāreians?

Somewhere else?

Why isn’t he singing us songs to make us feel better like other celebrities who cherish The People™ and imagine life with no heaven or hell on our behalf?

https://www.instagram.com/p/B95M4kNhbzz/

Very worried.

Extremely worried.

Kelly? If you need help we are here.


Noa Deane, under contract to Volcom until 2022 at a swinging $450k a year.

Breaking: Volcom hits wall; “furloughs” 75% of US staff; almost entire European operation!

“Our goal is to bring the staff back but right now, it’s like a free fall."

It ain’t just the over-seventies being thrown into brick walls after a Chinese wet market loosed the mother of all killer bugs.

In the biggest worldwide economic contraction since the Great Depression, businesses, and yeah that includes surf, are being forced to take unprecedented decisions to at least attempt to stay alive a few more months.

Volcom, the brand formerly owned by Gucci but now owned by Britney Spears and Paris Hilton’s one-time favourite tracksuit brand Juicy Couture, has “furloughed” three-quarters of its US staff and nearly all of its European workers.

“On Friday, all the US workers went in to get stuff to work from home,” a BeachGrit source said. “When they got home and set up their computers they got the news.”

As reported by Shop-Eat-Surf, 

“We are being proactive across the board because we don’t believe that the market is going to turn around anytime soon and we owe it our employees to not manage the business with optimism,” Volcom told SES in a statement. “This virus and associated actions are moving so fast that one day feels like a decade, so we had to react swiftly.”

“Approximately 75% of U.S. staff is furloughed and nearly 100% of the European is staff furloughed. The U.S. company is paying all benefit costs and paying out paid time off accruals if requested. The staff will be eligible for unemployment. The EU staff is accessing their governments’ social benefits.”

“Our goal is to bring the staff back but right now, it’s like a free fall.  Our offices and retail stores in U.S. and EU are closed until it’s safe to reopen.”

To try to raise cash, Volcom is currently offering a 40% off sitewide sale. Many retailers and brands are doing the same thing. For example, Nordstrom is 25% off sitewide, something it rarely does. Tilly’s is also 20% of sitewide, and PacSun is up to 30% off. O’Neill Clothing is 30% off sitewide. Katin is 25% off sitewide.

There is likely much more of this to come as brands and retailers deal with huge drops in revenue and elevated inventories.

The Volcom team sent us this comment about why they are running the 40% off sale.

“We are taking the appropriate measures to make sure any part of our business that is open remains competitive in this volatile environment. We have always been transparent with our wholesale partners and that will not change moving forward.  We are all facing the impacts of this global pandemic that is moving at an unprecedented speed and therefore nearly impossible to get ahead of.  We would expect our partners to act accordingly.”

“We have a skeleton crew at our distribution center to keep what little orders we have going out to our wholesale partners and consumers.  The crew is taking careful measures to keep safe.”


Coronavirus Common Sense: Save a life; buy BeachGrit merchandise at apocalyptically low prices!

Benevolence personified.

If there is one thing all medical professionals, healthcare workers, doctors and scientists agree upon it is that the best way to curb the spread of the insidious Chinese Virus (i.e. Coronavirus, Covid-19) is to give other human beings wide berth.

No social gatherings.

No friendly chats in parking lots.

No hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, high fives, low fives.

And the best way to keep other people far, far away?

Via a BeachGrit t-shirt, sticker, air freshener, tail pad of course.

Our motto, you well know, is “anti-depressive.”

You also know well that people who enjoy BeachGrit, even people who know people who enjoy BeachGrit, are toxically feminine.

Whatever the opposite of “woke” is.

Hated, more or less.

Nobody even likes us and the natural inclination is to cut wide right whilst we march in a straight line and, thus, we are provided with a unique opportunity to save lives.

To keep people virus free.

Every item in the BeachGrit store is currently running at 50% off. Buy a t-shirt for your best friend and save his life. Buy an air-freshener for your boyfriend and save his life. Mostly buy the Covid-19 Survival Pack, gift it to your aging parents and help them see another year.

Benevolence personified.

Highly anti-depressive.


Binge!
Binge!

Public Service: Since you are stuck indoors, alone, depressed, scared you might watch some surf film!

A fine idea.

(Surf film is currently experiencing a golden age and since you are stuck indoors, alone, depressed, scared it will be a fine time to watch some. The following piece appears in the latest Surfer’s Journal. Subscribe here.)

At the last surf film screening I attended, I expected to be horrified and perhaps sickened by what I had been told would happen to the directors. Everything I’d read online about modern surf film insisted that it was a stupid, brutal, outdated business. Most surf journalists who wrote of surf film condemned the genre as utterly dead and worthless.

Even those who wrote well of it, as a historically significant exercise, deplored actually screening new films and were apologetic about the whole thing. The public shaming of the directors, in what were certain to be empty theaters—nobody there because nobody watches surf films anymore—was considered inevitable.I suppose that from a modern point of view, an Instagram point of view, the whole surf film charade is silly.

Who has time for anything more than a minute long? The best clips aren’t held for some archaic, long-form nonsense. They are instantly run up the flagpole, gathering likes and starry-eyed emojis by the megabyte, bringing a euphoric sense of self that psychologists at Cosmopolitan refer to as the “reward cycle.”Likes and starry-eyed emojis trigger the same dopamine receptors as winning money or eating chocolate, Cosmopolitan’s psychologists say. Likes and starry-eyed emojis, or sometimes heart-eyed emojis, that come straight from the user to the surfer himself or herself.

There is no need to wait months or years for clapping hands, loud whistles and “yew” shouts. No need for anything to be filtered through a director.I should not try to defend surf film or the surf film director, but I must tell honestly the things I have found to be true. I went to the Florida Surf Film Festival to see surf films and write about the various films for myself.

I thought they would be simple, boring, outdated, stupid, and that I would not like them very much. But I still had to go and learn and know what modern surf film truly felt like. I had to keep my eyes open, longer than a minute, and force my attention span to track along. I couldn’t allow myself to turn away when the directors went on stage to introduce their various surf films, gazing out at an audience of four who all also happen to be surf film directors.

Also, I went because I accidentally directed a surf film that would be playing at the festival, the second accidental surf film that I accidentally directed, and being on stage and gazing out at an audience of three who all happen to be sound engineers or possibly producers, letting the shame wash over me, would be a valuable exercise no matter how horrifying and sickening.

(Finish here!)

And subscribe to The Surf Network then binge ’til your eyes fall out!


Surfing’s Olympic debut in peril as jealous swimmers, track athletes push Games’ postponement over fear of losing spotlight to “young, sexy sport!”

Can't we all just get along?

And there it was, all teed up, ducks in a row, ready, aim, fire for surfing to finally, finally, finally emerge from the shadows and take its rightful place as World’s Best, Most Popular Sport. The Tokyo Olympic debut would, without doubt, vault it over tired, old sports like running in circles or swimming in straight lines. The “flair” and “panache” would be undeniable. Spectators would see, feel for themselves what the 8k – 10k surfing fans dotted around the world have known for years.

“You can’t script this.”

Also, “It takes a tour to make a title.”

Alas, no crowning of a new king, no naming of a new Pope, occurs without palace intrigue and in a stunning move it appears that swimmers and track + field athletes have colluded in order to keep professional competitive surfing marginalized and confusing.

Per ESPN:

USA Track & Field is joining USA Swimming in calling for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to push for a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.

In a letter tweeted by the USATF on Saturday, CEO Max Siegel wrote that it would be challenging for athletes to “properly train in a safe and adequate environment” amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

“We acknowledge that there are no perfect answers, and that this is a very complex and difficult decision,” Siegel wrote, “but this position at least provides our athletes with the comfort of knowing that they will have adequate time to properly prepare themselves physically, mentally and emotionally to be able to participate in a safe and successful Olympic Games.”

USA Track did not provide a timeline for a postponement, unlike USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey, who wrote to the USOPC on Friday asking it to pursue a one-year Games postponement.

That means the sports that accounted for 65 of America’s 121 medals and 175 of its 554 athletes at the last Summer Games are on record in urging, in Siegel’s words, “the USOPC, as a leader within the Olympic Movement, to use its voice and speak up for the athletes.”

The leader of the third sport that makes up the backbone of the Olympics — gymnastics — has sent a survey to athletes, asking for their thoughts on what the USA Gymnastics stance should be.

If those surveys are made public I know what they will read.

Biggest fear:

1) Losing sexy to surfing

2) Coronavirus pandemic

It’s a shame that running, swimming and soon gymnastics can’t be more magnanimous.