Listen: “Imagine if 10 years ago you were approached by a time traveler and he was like, ‘Look…!'”

"...the year 2020 is going to be an absolute circus."

Wild days. Wild times. Sheltering in place. Everyone in the world, save truck drivers and hand sanitizer manufacturers, jobless. Truck drivers, had sanitizer manufacturers and podcasters though podcasters do the work for free.

Out of care.

Out of love.

Because what does these wild times, wild days need more than endless banal entertainment?

Nothing so interesting as to cause anyone to want to leave their shelter inspired.

Also nothing so boring as it furthers depression.

Surf podcasts fit the bill and to a tee so David Lee Scales and I go to work for free for you.

Also, Tiger King is on Netflix and Ozark is back.

I’m currently watching Downton Abbey having missed it when it actually mattered.

Endless banal entertainment.

Listen here!

Watch: Fun-loving seal and flirtatious Great White Shark engage in “see it to believe it” bout of “tickle torture!”

Laugh and play.

Any man or woman who grew up with siblings is well acquainted with the playful agony of tickle torture. Laughing until tears then loss of breath then, more often than not, shouts to parents to make the whole thing stop. But always fun. Always wonderful fun.

And to think that Great White sharks, apex predators, man-eaters can put a pause on causing death/destruction and find a moment to play with fun-loving seals.

In moments like these, the beauty of nature uplifts and inspires.

Shows us all a way forward.

Many furious emails, messages, DMs regarding my flippant bastard position

Chas Smith on the ongoing disaster bigger than COVID-19: “Does death only matter when it potentially touches someone we know?”

Many have likely flown over bodies being thrown into pits on their way to a fine and fun surf vacation.

I am a flippant bastard, true, and horrible. Fallen, callous, an asshole to the nth degree and deserve all the scorn I’ve been dished plus so, so much more.



A surf journalist.

But this Coronavirus Apocalypse, this End of Times, will either be the hill we traipse over or the hill I die upon.

Many furious emails, messages, DMs regarding my flippant bastard position even though I myself am isolated.

Not surfing. Shut away in protection of others.

But I’m banking on the former.

That this will be a hill we traipse over then some of us will, should be embarrassed.

Now, let’s look.

Let’s think.

Worldwide death toll from China’s Great Gift is currently at 20k though climbing. Each a tragedy.

Each a travesty but would you like to know how many people died in Yemen during the last few years?

The vast majority equally innocent and from deaths much more traumatic?

Children by the wheelbarrow full?

Very near 200,000 in “directly target attacks” many more including starvation, lack of medicine, lack of care and lack of care.

A tragedy/travesty beyond scope yet so very few agitated people who screams about “self-isolation” and toeing that line knows or cares.

Many have likely flown over bodies being thrown into pits on their way to a fine and fun surf vacation.

So what?

Does death only matter when it potentially touches someone we know?

Does it matter only when our western hospitals are theoretically being overrun?

Tell me, please.

I’d love to know.

Dispatch from Bali: “The beach closures here feel like a worse sentence than the predicted zombie apocalypse!”

Is there any sight sadder than a surfer walking home from the beach with a freshly waxed, dry surfboard?

This is the first time anyone I know can remember when the Holy Day of Nyepi here in Bali was extended an additional 24 hours.

With an addendum that all beaches will be closed until further notice.

I woke up to the news this morning, March 26, expecting at least to be able to dash out to the local bottlo to replace my slab of beer.

No dice.

On an island that has the only international airport on earth that completely shuts down for a religious holiday, Nyepi is taken as seriously as you take yours. The Pecalang are out in force, the saronged neighborhood enforcers, making sure everybody continues to observe this New Year’s celebration and the brand new beach ban.

Among other things, Nyepi is also meant to bore the evil spirits of the island.

Bore them so badly that they will leave and find better human mischief elsewhere (Buckle up Sydney).

By the way, it’s only 1942 here in Bali. The Balinese calendar making us all much younger than we thought. The ultimate de-aging treatment.

It feels pretty good having a negative number as my age. A chance to begin again. And wrong all the rights I have committed in this world gone mad.

And speaking of mad, a friend of mine just told me a story.

Over the phone, of course.

To him, with the beach closures here feeling like a worse sentence than the predicted zombie apocalypse, he went for surf.

Or tried to.

The surf was one-to-two-foot today, sunny and straight offshore at Kuta Beach. A rarity during the monsoon.

My mate figures that if this is what global warming is gonna look like then “Greta can stand down”.

He also boasted about his all board quiver.

“I have everything from a hand board to a Hypto to a gun to a longboard. That way when it comes to waves, size never matters!”Echoing the thoughts of my Brother Sam who once said “There is never any bad surf, only bad boards”.

The Pecalang nabbed my mate anyway.

He tried to reason with them in the name of all surfers. In broken Indonesian no less.

It went something like this: His point was that it’s ok to close the beaches to “beach enthusiasts” and “surf bathers”.

He is nothing of the kind. He is only interested in the waves beyond the shorebreak.

And with an empty line-up being the safest place to be these days, he was only looking after his health.

You see? Yes, the Pecalang reasoned, in broken English no less, that made sense.

But didn’t he have to cross the closed beach to get to the waves?

This stumped my mate until he offered to paddle down a river into the surf, would that work?

Sure, they said, but have you ever tried paddling up a river to get home?

That was the end of it.

A small fine and a surfer walking home from the beach with a freshly waxed, dry surfboard.

Is their any sight sadder?

My mate says he is still thinking about how to get to the surf without crossing the beach.

He’s made it up to joining the military to become paratrooper or building a giant yo-yo or becoming a commercial fisherman.

But his river concept stuck with me. As a metaphor for the desire to go surfing. The surfona virus.

When it’s on, all we can think of is a one way ticket to ride.

But until we fill our quota, how often do we think about how to get home?

Now turn that around.

Our real home is the beach.

Now just how the hell are we gonna get back there?


Big Brother: New Zealand police commandeer surf cams to identify, arrest surfers out violating country’s draconian Coronavirus quarantine laws!

Welcome to 1984.

Imagine having bonked your head six weeks ago and falling into a coma from which you just woke. Asking for a newspaper you realize that martial law has gripped hold of the entire world, life is now an odd reflection of Blade Runner and police officers are using surf cams in New Zealand to identify and arrest surfers who dared paddle out into the water.

It’d be enough to knock you right out again.

To be quite honest, I’ve never trusted surf cams and to learn of their early adoption by law enforcement surprises very little but let’s go to New Zealand’s Stuff for more. The piece begins as all “surfing in the time of Coronavirus” do these days…

Surfers took to the waves in Raglan in spite of the coronavirus lockdown and calls from locals that no-one should be surfing.

Police spoke to surfers at Manu Bay on Thursday about how they got there, as driving to surf was not considered essential travel, acting Waikato District Commander Inspector Andrew Mortimore told Stuff.

Surfing – even solo – is a no-no while New Zealand is at alert level four and Raglan Point Boardriders chairperson Luke Hughes said they were asking people not to surf at Raglan.

Before veering wildly into dystopian totalitarianism…

Surf2Surf, which provides live cameras of New Zealand surf reports and swell forecasts, said police and NZ Coastguard are now using their cameras.

They were tweaking and adding some camera views for them and would be stopping their camera imagery to the public, as well as reports and forecasting.

And does this turn surprise you? That surf cams would be used for evil so quickly? Again, it doesn’t me. I’ve never trusted them or liked them and I think that Surfline should do the world a favor and shutter its website before American jackboots can be heard outside its Huntington Beach door.

I think the whole idea of “surf cams” should be revisited once this damned Chinese Surprise has run its course.