Breaking: Bold surf journalist Chas Smith gets pummeled by Coronavirus Gestapo for daring eat cashew pork with medium spice near the beach!

Heroes have risen.

The sun is out in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, again, apparently unaware there is a novel Coronavirus terrorizing the entire globe. Striking much fear into hearts and minds from Hot Water Beach, New Zealand to Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, USA.

Terrorizing and striking much fear but thankfully we have bold global leaders who have plotted humanity on a course where few people have caught the un-common cold, fewer people have jobs and no people have even make-believe freedoms.

Pretend rights.

After puttering around the house for a moment, make-believe teaching my young daughter homeschool math and happening to catch part of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s press conference, I decided to go for yet another bike ride even though the last one ended disastrously and/or historically.

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s press conference was playing at very low volume as he and I have beef but I saw his lips moving and saw words like “we won” and “curve flattened” and “restrictions eased.”

I didn’t know where I was going, as there is officially nowhere to go, but outside is better than inside and with restrictions eased felt I might stumble into a block party.

Maybe a street magician performing entertaining sleight of hand.

My first stop was a point overlooking my local break. I knew it wasn’t firing as the wind whipped hard and onshore first thing this morning but old habits die hard.

There were whitecaps as far as the eye could see and a 300 yard ribbon of chocolate brown from the latest rain squalls.

Cashew nut pork brown.

Suddenly I became very hungry, fitness being a foreign concept more or less, and needed sustenance.

Birdseye Kitchen in Leucadia has the best cashew nut pork anywhere outside Laos and so I called in a quick order with a side of white rice. Spice medium. 5 on a scale of 1 – 10 which is always a sneaky treat. Sometimes it is more mild than I prefer but usually singes perfectly.

It took me fifteen minutes to pick it up and while I was riding back to eat it in my yard became very scared that it would be too cold.

Panicked, I saw a little patch of grass with no one around.

Should I dare?

Could I dare?

Nobody was around and Gavin Newsom bullish and….

…cold cashew pork with medium spice is a crime in itself so I parked my bike, sat on a towel that my bike carries, unsheathed my chopsticks and partook.


After a few minutes a very elderly man shuffled to a bench, well over 25 yards away, and unfurled a newspaper. After a few more minutes a mom with her toddler posted up on a picnic table an equal 25 yards away and unfurled a lunch.

Sun out.

Birds singing.

Then, without warning, all hell broke loose. Three sheriff SUVs came sliding to a stop patch of grass adjacent. Recalling my previous brush with the Coronavirus Gestapo, I wanted nothing to do with any of it and got up to vacate but too late.

Bull rushed by a masked Gestapo, one hand on gun, the other on ticket book. I told him I was moving along, heading back to quarantine jail, but no matter.

“These are our Governor’s demands.”

There was no use arguing and I hoped to draw ire away from very elderly man and mom with toddler but no such luck.

The Gestapo had them too.

I told my officer to stop talking to me and just write the damned ticket, which he did, then made my way over to the mom and toddler and told all three on her case that they should all be ashamed of themselves, breathily whispering “Shame on you…” into one of their masked ears for emphasis.

“Governor Newsom…” one of them uttered again.

Governor Newsom and I have now have fresh beef.

Ticket two.

First for Thai-esque salad.

Second for cashew pork featuring medium spice.

Both within view of the ocean.

Heroes have risen.

Watch: Surf cinematographer nearly captures friend getting legs torn off, marrow sucked from hips, by “savagely territorial” Great White shark!

“I really don’t want to film this because I might film my mate getting eaten…”

And they build them different on that western half of Australia, don’t they just though? Women who laugh in the face of robust, muscular kangaroos. Men who surf on top of rocks with man-eating Great White sharks circling, just waiting to feast. Waiting to tear legs right off surfers, bodyboarders, water cameramen too and suck the marrow from those hips.

Famous surf cinematographer Brendan Foster was out recently and almost caught his fine friend and water cameraman Anj Semark plus two bodyboarders become Jarret de Veau.



Apparently not to the brave Western Australians involved.

Foster went on the fine podcast Grin Reapers and told the story, which goes a little something like this…

It was just the other day, I just went down to film some empties by myself. I was there for two hours and there was no one there and I just packed up to leave when I looked at my phone and saw I had a missed call from Anj Semak. He was up top checking and while I was one the phone to him he was like, “Oh shit, did you see that?”

I was like, “No, what?” And he said, “I thought I saw something launch out of the water…” but you know what Anj is like and about two seconds later he said, “I’m gonna go out and shoot.”

Well, I had two batteries left so I told him I’d shoot him shooting the water and also just to keep an eye out.

So he was getting set up and two bodyboarders paddled out. I didn’t have the drone up in the air yet but I saw directly in front of me a shark launch out of the water only five meters from the shore. I saw fully all the way down its throat, teeth and whatnot, and thought, “That’s not a dolphin.” And the bodyboarders had just gotten out and the shark was… I don’t know, 80 meters away so I just decided to play it cool… thinking, “Ahhh it wasn’t that big. His teeth weren’t that sharp.”

I was gonna fly the drone up and just drop it on them so they knew and I waved at Anj “shark!” but he just waved back. And I thought, “Ohhhh this is not working.” So I scaled down the cliff back to the beach and saw the shark moving toward one of the bodyboarders and had a bit of an “Oh shit” moment just sprinting up the beach. One of the bodyboarders sorta came in so I told him and we were talking about it but they were like, “But it wasn’t that big right?” And I said, “Well, sort of but it did jump out of the water so…”

But they all stayed out so I just flew the drone again to keep a lookout. Fifteen minutes, didn’t see anything and then all of a sudden I saw a shark pop up on my screen, max 1.5 meters from Anj and it was heading directly towards him.

At that moment I yelled so, so loud and I can’t believe Anj heard me. It was kind of like when Simba tried to learn how to roar in the Lion King. I felt like I had found a new sound, like I had just become a man, and he heard it and as soon as that happened the shark looped back around and I had a thought that I don’t want to admit but… I thought, “I really don’t want to film this because I might film my mate getting eaten…” but then my brain went… “Yeah but if he doesn’t get eaten Anj will definitely want to screen grab this.”

So I hit record.

In the footage it wasn’t nearly as close to him as the first time it popped up on the screen. You know, it was mellow because nothing happened but when I thought back on it thought, “That was a little close for comfort.” I told them how close it was, I left and they all went back out. I know it’s like cool to be, “It’s not a big deal…” but… I did it twice, I warned em twice and they went back out so I left.

Different, I tell you, and if the whole world was populated with Western Australians this silly Coronavirus would be so scared it would likely just find another bat and go hide in cave forever and ever and never even think about frequenting wet markets again.

Listen to the whole Grin Reapers podcast here featuring special guest Jack Robinson!

And also, would you like to play Western Australian at home? BeachGrit has an exciting new product just for you!

Dramatic: Watch surfers on Reunion Island escape helicopter policing COVID-19 lockdown by fleeing into jungle!

The criminalisation of surfing on gorgeous French tropical island continues…

Surfers attempting to surf St Leu a day or so ago, in what looks like absolutely firing waves at St Leu, were buzzed by a helicopter.

The three surfers scramble in and gather themselves before disappearing into the trees that line the beach at St Leu, and alongside the old campsite that used to front the break.

The chopper lands and an authoritative figure jumps out and proceeds to give chase, ducking through the tree line in a bid to capture the crims, for that’s what surfers are nowadays if they go surfing – criminals.

Now, surfing ain’t a crime in most countries, but it is on Reunion.

Some background.

On 12 April 2015, a 13-year-old surfer, Elio Canestri, was killed surfing in Reunion by an eight-foot bull shark. He was one of the best up-and-coming surfers in Reunion, a place that has been torn apart, literally, by shark attacks, while the authorities dither and refuse to make changes to the fishing reserve on the west coast as well as shark-hunting policies.

Read about it here.

Elio would have turned 18 this Easter.

The authorities have made it illegal to surf mot spots in Reunion, putting the pressure on the surfers, as opposed to cleaning up the mess they have made with the ocean. No one it seems is prepared to make any bold moves to fix a problem that is wildly out of control.

In the last eight years, there have been twenty-four attacks, and eleven of those have proved to be fatal.

So, as a surfer, you have hordes of dumb bull sharks tearing around the line-ups, wanting to eat anything in front of them, be it birds, fish, car tires or surfers.

If you go for a surf, you are running the gauntlet every time, and any session you brave might be your last might be the last time you see your family.

It’s a helluva thing.

If you do survive a surf, there is always the risk of the Gendarmerie waiting for you on the beach, to slap you with a EU37 fine, with those fines escalating each time you get caught, until one day you’re in a cell and wondering what happened to your life.

So going surfing is hard, in a place that used to be the jewel of the Indian ocean surfing scene.

St Leu used to be a stop on the WCT and was the location for Jack McCoy’s epic Pump movie. In it, a marvellously braided Occy going crazy, along with Ronnie Burns RIP.

The joint was a delight.

Surf schools used to flourish, surf backpackers, surf shops, shapers, there was a full-on industry.

All gone now.

Back in the day, La Reunion was South African surfer’s secret surf destination.

Warm and perfect, coral reefs, mechanical waves like St Leu, barrels in St Pierre, big waves at Le Port and sometimes Etang Sale, grinding reef-pass barrels at L’Hermitage and nudity at Trois Bassons.

It had everything.

Now with this bug flying around, shit just got infinitely worse on the island for anyone brave enough to surf among the sharks, or foolish enough to take a chance with COVID-19.

Reunion currently has 389 cases.

The surfers all escaped the chopper, using back alleys and secret routes, and they all got home.

Who knows, maybe they even picked up a couple of delicious Bourbon Beers – the tasty local brew – to have a quick celebration over beating all the odds, because they sure were stacked against ’em.

Local surfers on the whole, however, continue to remain indoors and don’t want people to take these chances.

"We're best friends and nobody else!"
"We're best friends and nobody else!"

Just in: New Zealand Coronavirus Gestapo collaborator “disappointed” in abuse received from surfers!

"Defiant, smart, abusive."

When the whole entire world is put under lock and key, it is extremely difficult to police properly. There are simply not enough jackbooted law enforcement officers, state park rangers, lifeguards to make certain that seven billion people are shuddering inside their homes, hiding from the Coronavirus with curtains drawn etc. Not going outside, to the park or, even worse, the beach.

Thankfully, and if we have learned anything from Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, it is that many people are more than happy to papier-mâché little swastika badges at home and play collaborator.

But shall we hurry to New Zealand’s Hot Water Beach where one lone volunteer sturmabteilung is being abused by surfers for his brave work on behalf of the state?

A Hot Water Beach resident abused whilst trying to stop lockdown flouting surfers says he won’t give-up on his mission to keep the waters clear.

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous so he could remain unrecognisable to the law breaking surfers, says despite his best efforts, the Coromandel surf beach remained a popular spot.

On Saturday, April 4, police released updated guidelines around Alert Level 4 rules and provided clarity around what was acceptable bubble behaviour – that included a ban on swimming or water-based activities such as surfing or boating.

But just days later, the Hot Water Beach local counted around 20 surfers in the ocean. As Easter weekend rolled in, there continued to be a steady stream.

When he confronted them, he was abused.

“Since lockdown​ started I’ve been trying to educate the people of Hot Water Beach, but I’m not getting very far,” he says.

“They’re very defiant and have been very smart and abusive and they’re making a lot of noise to be noticed.”

He says he’s well-aware that being a “squeaky wheel” wouldn’t do him any favours with the surfing community, but his priority was keeping the community safe.

Should “Defiant, Smart, Abusive” be BeachGrit’s new tagline?

Also, could it be possible that this anonymous man is, in fact, Ken “Skindog” Collins?

More as the story develops.

Breaking: Malibu surfers “enraged, incensed” as Coronavirus Gestapo allows bicyclists to freely travel in “disease-ridden pelotons!”

The hypocrisy!

Hypocrisy is a many splendored thing, ain’t it just though? Hypocrisy and social-distancing laws determined to keep the cold leather of freshly-polished jackboot on the neck of surfers, baseball enthusiasts and playground basketball aficionados. To keep all of our games illegal and especially surfing.

Santa Cruz fell just before the weekend, city officials bending to the mighty will of local son Ken “Skindog” Collins, cancelling surfing for the foreseeable future.

Your town or city is certainly next and once the joy of being an outlaw wears off, the frustration will settle in, especially when you are gazing mournfully at empty waves then almost hit by an aggressive peloton of spandex-clad bicyclists riding shoulder to shoulder, passing their Coronaviruses back and forth with the greatest of ease.

The hypocrisy and why, do you think, that surfing was so easily and readily banned by coastal hamlets around the world but Tour de France-esque play is encouraged? But let us see for ourselves in Malibu, California.

Oh I don’t want to tattle on bicyclists but…. never mind.

I do.

There are very few things more annoying than an aggressive peloton of spandex-clad bicyclists riding shoulder to shoulder especially when they are taking up the entire right lane and I’m in my car trying to do something important.

Like surf.

But never mind, again. No tattling. Out of water surfers should take up a new pastime like Adam Sandler and his young friend.