Watch: Brave Floridians laugh in the face of Coronavirus Pandemic, flock to the beach en masse for surf, sun and socialization!

Screw restrictions!

It was reported here, yesterday, that spring break had been cancelled in the state of Florida as hotels, restaurants, even the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shops, shut their doors and sent workers home. The Coronavirus Pandemic, having already eaten Chinese and Italian, is now hungry for American home cooking. Hamburgers, hot dogs and lungs used to breathing freedom. All reports suggest the novel disease is here in far greater numbers as reported due a shortage of testing and the best way to beat it is to stay home alone.

Well, nobody puts Floridians in the corner and the nation’s bravest population rushed to the beach, en masse, to enjoy warm albeit little waves, full sun and closeness with wonderful neighbors.

According to the local NBC news affiliate:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to issue an order to close the state’s beaches, despite fears regarding the spread of the coronavirus.

He instead signed an order that would limit parties on beaches to 10 people per group and force any businesses authorized to sell liquor to reduce occupancy by half, DeSantis told reporters Tuesday. The governor said that local governments can make their own decisions but that his order would follow the latest guidance issued by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

“What we’re going to be doing for the statewide floor for beaches, we’re going to be applying the CDC guidance of no group on a beach more than 10 and you have to have distance apart if you’re going to be out there,” DeSantis said. “So that applies statewide.”

Aside from sporting the nation’s bravest population, Florida also boasts the highest percentage of elderly folk, whose lungs appear to be Coronavirus’s favorite treat, making the rush to the beach all the braver.

And do you think the aging Boomers will defeat the disease exactly like they defeated communism?

Through sheer American grit?

More as the story develops.

Watch: Julian Wilson and Red Bull Reprise Chris Coté/James Catto’s twenty-year-old surf-skate box grind!

Experience the magic of déjà vu…

Earlier today, and shortly after rewarding my triceps with loving strokes for completing ten consecutive push-ups, I received, via text, an Instagram post announcing a world first: Julian Wilson, on skate rail, in wave pool.

The story, if you click through to sugar drink factory website, makes for compelling reading.

Growing up 100m from the beach in the Australian town of Coolum, Julian Wilson’s life revolved around two things: surfing and skateboarding. While other childhood pastimes came and went – golf, motocross and more – the two board sports had Wilson’s heart from day one.

Although the 2014 Pipe Master clearly found his true calling in the ocean and the occasional injury saw him put away his deck for a month or two here and there, he never turned his back on skating, and last year he started to imagine combining his two passions. That’s where the idea for The Rail Project, building and then riding a skate-style rail in the waves, first sprang from.

Here, I felt the sensation called, in French, déjà vu or, in English, already seen.

In 2010, Julian was in a Canary Islands wavepool when a skate rail with floats attached, laboriously transported from Australia for a Stab magazine photo shoot as well as to form part of Kai Neville’s Lost Atlas, was shoved into his, Kolohe Andino, Evan Geiselman and Adam Melling’s path

A pointless exercise, I thought at the time, although Adam Melling refused to let that bone go and lost his FCS fins in the process.

Later, so much cocaine was served at the hotel party (no pro surfers involved) doors were flung open at a local brothel and several stubbornly flaccid cocks were called to arms.

Of course, we weren’t the first to think of the rail grind.

Western Australian surfer Jame Catto, a contemporary of Taj Burrow, some say even better, set his up at a Perth beach in, when was it, 2002?

And noted commentator and troubadour Chris Coté mounted his own rail in the water a few years later for a Transworld Surf shoot.

“Ricky Whitlock did it first I’m pretty sure, me second, Kalani David third. Julian’s is different though ’cause it’s a moving rail, his line to get to the rail was insanely difficult.”

History is written by the victors, as they say.

Jon Pyzel. Hero.
Jon Pyzel. Hero.

Coronavirus Silver Lining: Surfboard shaping, once the most toxic job in the world, now healthy, safe, encouraged by mothers!

It's a whole new world!

Our surfboard builders, our blue-collar heroes, put their very health at risk every single day so that we can have much pleasure. Oh we’re not like the World Surf League or Kelly Slater. We don’t have to build a massive wave pool in a drought-stricken desert and call it “environmentally sustainable.” We don’t have to lie to ourselves for we know that surfing is toxic both metaphorically and truly.

Toxic attitudes, toxic chemicals, toxic foams, odors, cleaning products, painting products, glassing products etc.

No sane mother would ever encourage her child to shape surfboards. She would rather her son take up the gigolo life as a healthier alternative. She would prefer her daughter stripping at clubs in the industrial part of town.

But Coronavirus has tipped our crazy globe upside down and who wears a fancy gas mask every day at the office?

Surfboard builders.

Who self-isolates in small rooms, alone, wearing a fancy gas mask?

Surfboard builders.

Who has a cranky, generally misanthropic attitude while wearing a fancy gas mask?

Surfboard builders.

Yes, surfboard builders will be one of the few classes of worker who survive this Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse and I have no doubt mothers are instructing their children right now not to go back to school when those doors eventually swing wide. I have no doubt those same mothers will winking at any surfboard builder they see strutting down the street, gearing up for a future mate.

Canceled culture.
Canceled culture.

Breaking: Florida surfers weep openly as spring break officially canceled due Coronavirus fears!

"Continuing to allow these large group gatherings on the beach is a public health hazard."

It was announced, just hours ago, that Florida spring break hotspots Daytona Beach and Miami Beach have canceled festivities, shattering the dreams of millions of college students but, more importantly, crushing the state’s surf population.

Per the once respected news outlet CNN:

With four deaths, Florida was already on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, but with a significant spike in cases over the weekend, the state is ramping up its response to protect citizens.

Miami Beach police began deterring large groups from Lummus Park and clearing the most popular stretches of South Beach, which because of school closings and extended spring breaks had seen more visitors soaking up rays and splashing about in the Atlantic, the city said.

Miami Beach also ordered all nonessential business to close at 11 p.m. and issued an 11 p.m. curfew for its mixed-use entertainment district, it said in a rundown of emergency declarations. Miami-Dade County is limiting events to 250 people, but Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he would consider lowering the number to 50.

“Continuing to allow these large group gatherings on the beach is a public health hazard,” Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said in a statement. “These measures are vital.”


And even as stories of strident curtailing of human fun become more and more common in these United States of America the cancellation of spring break hits particularly hard.

I have never lived in a city that hosted wild spring break festivities. Never in Florida, Surfers Paradise or Lake Havasu, but I imagine the passive entertainment is almost impossible to beat. Spring breakers don’t wake up early nor participate in surf-based activities and so I can’t imagine the lineup seeing any negative impact from the crowds.

But sitting in those lineups, looking back at the beach, I picture a tableau of debauchery. Strange techno dance parties. Funny oversized beer pong. Wild sunburn art. An end-of-days, dystopian performance that gloriously fills all that dull waiting-for-waves time.

Is it not that way?

Do any Florida surfers care to weigh in between loud sobs?

And while on the Coronavirus topic, I know that it is a nasty killer etc. but, entertainment aside, just imagine how many lives will be saved, literally and figuratively, in Florida these next few weeks. How many college students won’t get DUIs, pregnant, STDs, jailed, in trouble by their fathers.

While boomers are falling like flies millennials are forced into make good decisions for healthier, longer lives.

Generation X, meanwhile, continues to slack.

World Surf League pivots to teen social app TikTok: “It’s so endemic to who we are as a sport.”

"On TikTok, two of the five most-followed North American sports leagues are non-Big Four: UFC (674.3K) and The World Surf League (611.4K)."

You into TikTok, the two-year-old Chinese vid share network adored by teenage girls?

Yeah, me neither.

But maybe we’re missing something.

The World Surf League, which is a surf-content creation company owned by a non-surfing billionaire and former waterman of the year, is all over it.

And, as revealed in a story in Front Office Sports, the WSL was one of TikTok’s earliest sports accounts.

Come, read, it’s good.

Over time, (WSL Chief Community Officer Tim) Greenberg saw the synchronicity between TikTok’s musical inclinations and WSL’s surfing background. “Video surfing is aspirational, and music is aspirational in a lot of ways – therefore, we have this very natural space to begin programming content because it is so endemic to who we are as a sport,” he said.

On November 20, WSL posted a close-up of waves merging under a sunset with the song, “Can We Kiss Forever?” by Kina playing in the background. In only 12 days, it has mustered more than 14.4 million views – the most of any WSL post – and 2.1 million likes. As of December 2, the WSL has surpassed 611,400 followers – the fifth-most of any sports league, according to Conviva.

With the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on the horizon, Greenberg wants to further the WSL’s diversity efforts. According to him, 70% of its followers are female and its three biggest countries are Australia, Brazil, and the U.S. But with TikTok, he sees the Olympics as a perfect chance of broadening both the WSL’s audience and geographic reach.

“As our sport is put on the world stage, it’s going to be important for us to keep [the Olympics] in mind and have a very focused, deliberate content strategy heading into 2020 that focuses on supporting our athletes,” Greenberg said. “As [TikTok] creates enhanced tools and more opportunities for us to reach newer audiences, we want to make sure that we’re focused on what’s going to drive our business and that consumer journey that connects back to the WSL.”

Stand there while I unpack the best quote.

“We want to make sure that we’re focused on what’s going to drive our business and that consumer journey that connects back to the WSL.”

Does this excite or does it signal, to you, the final capitulation of a once-great culture to phone zombie VALS?