The Future is Now: NASCAR takes races online and shows flatfooted World Surf League a “Coronavirus-induced death-free” way forward!

Professional surfing, sleeping at the wheel. Per the norm.

And who would have ever guessed? Who could have ever thunk that rednecks, proper southern fried American rednecks, would showcase a vision of socially distanced sport for me, you, the rest of the world that our World Surf League, “young, sexy and free” can’t even halfway actualize?

Well, me.

I don’t have much/any faith in our World Surf League seeing as the only “sport” that not only encourages, but requires, social distancing didn’t see opportunity as opposed to fear, paranoia, complete shutdown.

Professional surfing should have been our apocalyptic way forward.

Instead racist NASCAR is and let us turn to ESPN for the latest.

The stands were packed, Jimmie Johnson caused several wrecks, Denny Hamlin raced barefoot and damaged cars were repaired with the push of a button — a few virtual signs that NASCAR backed quite an unreal race.

NASCAR eased off the brake in the real sports world brought to a sudden halt by the coronavirus and introduced the country to iRacing with some of the sports biggest stars. Hamlin, the three-time Daytona 500 winner, beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the final corner Sunday at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the bizarre spectacle.

“For the community, the racing community, the NASCAR drivers to come together and put drivers on the racetrack with such short notice, everyone is buying up simulation rigs this week and last week getting ready for the event, and for it all to come together and have a great finish, I think it was definitely a success,” Hamlin said.

“iRacing got involved and emailed everyone, said, ‘Hey, this is what we’re thinking about.’ NASCAR got involved, television got involved and said they’d be interested. But no one really talked to the drivers about unifying and participating. It was all free will, and that’s what’s exciting is you had full-time Cup guys out there willing to spend their time doing this.”

It was Hamlin’s 31st victory in iRacing, which is where he was first discovered by Earnhardt long before he made it to NASCAR. Hamlin was heavily involved in putting together Sunday’s pretend race, which was broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 and called by its regular team of Mike Joy and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon.


And do you understand?

Do you get?

NASCAR drivers participated in online race to the thrill of The People™.

How much easier would it have been, would it be, to trot Julian Wilson, Italo F., Gabriel Medina down to Lower Trestles and make a surf contest featuring any local down there including you if you are there?

Or a robust game of Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer online?

Damn it, professional surfing.

Consistently disappointing.

Wake up, please.

Get woke up. But if recruiting NASCAR fans take “woke” with many grains of salt.

No surfing in time of CoronaVirus: “Shuttering waves may have no Strategic Value, but that’s the point! We have to show we’re willing!”

Just because a line can’t be perfectly drawn, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draw one…

The ‘jackboot’ has to come down somewhere.

To combat Coronavirus, Bondi was fenced off on Saturday. Manly followed suit on Sunday.

Many surfers aren’t happy.

Their reasoning? You’re more likely to get sick in the supermarket.

Also, “Fuck the police.”

And clubbies.

Nick Carroll suspects the Police and Emergency Services Minister, David Elliott, “possibly the biggest boofhead in NSW politics” is to blame for the initial over-reaction.

My take?

The government capitulated to clickbait (“World in crisis, Aussies hit the beach!”).

As a small southerly filled in, I found myself mildly annoyed.

Until, deep in a Youtube wormhole, I found a video of Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens discussing “Vietnam and Communism.”

“The Vietnam war didn’t have to happen in Vietnam, but it had to happen somewhere.”

Maher likened it to a battle in Korea: “Hill 53 had no strategic value… but that was the point. We had to show them we were willing.”

Despite sounding like a local yelling at a VAL on a one-foot day (or an Aussie complaining about Brazzos at an Indo reef pass), he makes an interesting point: just because a line can’t be perfectly drawn, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draw one.*

You don’t need to tackle that grommet, but over-reaching in the moment could save you five years of hassling.

Surfers intuitively know this, we just don’t like it when Clubbies are the enforcers.

Drawing the line allows for the masses to be kept away (or stop bussing it to Bondi), while the savvy few get their fix.

“I will return under the cover of sunset,” wrote Derek Rielly.

“Some tasty little wedges at Bronte this morning. Upon returning to shore, they were getting ready to shut the place down…..the message is to get out there early!” wrote Skinflute.

“I for one will not be curtailing my coastal activities,” – Longtom.

“Fuck off out of our national park,” – Channel Bottom and Surfads, (paraphrased), who are presumably setting up a Spanish civil war sex camp somewhere in the Blue Mountains.

What are your plans?

*Doesn’t mean they drew it right in Vietnam.

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.


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


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?

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.