Breaking: Trestles officially put under lock and key leaving Huntington Beach as southern California’s last bastion of surf freedom!

Surf City, USA!

Surfing in or around Trestles, including but not limited to, Lowers, Middles and Uppers was officially made illegal today, mirroring draconian “state of emergency” laws in San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

Though uncorroborated, it can be assumed that many tears are rolling down many pale cheeks in the Andino, Davis and Colapinto living rooms.

And while surfing, now recognized as a leading transmitter of the deadly Coronavirus, has been put on par with rape and murder there is still one, last place where us wave dancers, us angry hueys, can slide free.

Surf City, USA.

Huntington Beach, California.

But what a powerful statement, what a beacon of hope shining in this current darkness. Huntington Beach, previously most famous for hosting an underaged bacchanal known as The U.S. Open of Surfing, is the home of many C- waves including Bolsa Chica, Seventeenth Street, the north side of the pier and the south side of the pier.

When reached for comment World Surf League CEO Erik Logan said:

“Surfing is a very close, tight-knit community. The relationships that over the years we’ve developed with all of our athletes have been phenomenal. My view is that our athletes are a big part of our business. I view them as shareholders, as the beneficiaries, and the better we become as an organization, the better we become as a business. If the platform grows, that affords more opportunities for our professional athletes.”

It was also revealed today that the WSL’s  podcast, The Lineup has averaged 15,000 downloads per week and is the #1 surfing podcast since launching in late 2019. Popular episodes range from four-time WSL champion Carissa Moore breaking the news that she was taking the 2020 season off to Sage Erickson speaking about the role of female athletes and dealing with body shaming issues from past sponsors.

But back to Huntington Beach. Will you quietly pack your boards and sneak toward its open shores or wait for your own city council to become embarrassed?

More as the story develops.

Even in the COVID-era life ain't all homework and parents getting up in y'grill for the most trivial misdemeanors. A little nor-east swell, away from the pack. | Photo: @totesrad

Spare happy children the COVID-19 surfing ban: “the feeling of living on borrowed time is difficult to shake, every go out now a treasured event…”

The biggest concerted effort to keep surfers from the ocean since, when? The coastal lockdowns of World War II?

Well, fuck me if the world hasn’t gone to hell in a hand basket.

The possibility of a complete ban on surfing hangs heavy in the air, poised to be enacted with every passing day.

Bondi, Bronte, Tamarama, Maroubra, Coogee and Clovelly beaches already closed in Sydney.

The Gold Coast joining the list, the Mid-North Coast too.

Overseas, police arrests and military forces patrolling the coastline.

The biggest concerted effort to keep surfers from the ocean since, when?

The coastal lockdowns of World War II?

Missionaries trying to dissuade Indigenous Hawaiians form undertaking their sexually charged heathen practice of “he’e nalu” in the nineteenth century?

Whatever the answer, the feeling of living on borrowed time is difficult to shake, every go out now a treasured event.

With two kids kept home from school for the last week, cabin fever was beginning to build by Thursday.

I’m fortunate to live near a stretch of coastline that still affords the possibility of a solo session more often than not.

Mid-week and late afternoon, no other souls at the beach where I fell in love with the ocean.

It’s two foot, little low-0tide runners along the sand bank. Looks fun.
Water’s warm, with a light offshore puff, a grommets delight.

Kids having a blast.

Every Christmas, the majority of the residents in my community still migrate ten kilometres east to this small coastal hamlet, a hangover tradition from when life was hardscrabble and enjoying holidays locally was your only option.

From where I sit out the back, I can see the spot my family used to camp over the summer break, my father transporting half a house full of belongings for a month long stint, the only break he took from labouring all year.

Absolute beach front, you could piss onto the sand in the middle of the night if your bladder was full enough.

Set-up was a full family affair with uncles pitching in a half a day’s effort to get the job done.

They experience the same a generation before, my grandparents taking them to the same spot since the mid-1950’s.

Family lore says that I was scared shitless of the ocean for the first decade or so of my life, infatuated with it since the day my Uncle dragged me kicking and screaming out past the breakers on a small day, breaking the fear bubble and introducing me to a wonderous new world.

This beach was the scene of the wondrous experiences of being a teenage frother, surfing four or five times a day with lifelong friends. The crew of mates that, even with the coming of adulthood and distance, still remain your crew, even if you only speak a few times a year.

Dalliances on the land with my future wife.

The strip of sand shaping so much of my life.

All this flashes through my mind as I watch my son, roughly the age I was when the tentacles of surf stoke first dug into my brain, catch a little bowly right.

Off the bottom, tuck into a little barrel. Out the other end.

First one he’s made.

Face like a split watermelon, smiling with stoke.

Outside the water, the world turns and writhes and takes on shapes and dimensions we could never have imaged possible.

But in the water, the ocean, the beach is the constant.

The waves come in, my kids ride them, where I rode them, where my father and uncles rode them, where my grandfather swam every morning on his one hard earned holiday of the year.

But for how much longer?

Gold Coast Mayor rare voice of sanity amid COVID-19 anti-surfing rage: “I’m not going to police a surfer out in the back break. I’m not going to send the police out there!”

"I'm with Tudor not Skindizzle!"

As we’ve discussed and picked at here, here and here, here, here and here too, surfers fall into two camps: those who believe the sky will fall and the population will be annihilated if riding waves is allowed and those who think, mmmm, if jogging or doing sit-ups ain’t lethal, why’s surfing?

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate, a wonderful man of Laos and Thai descent with an endearing Hawaiian sorta accent, TH becomes D etc, shuttered the joint’s beaches around Coolangatta and Surfers Paradise two days ago.

The chief cop Kat Carroll got on the mic and said there was going to be “heavy patrolling”, the jackboot finally coming down on the neck of GC surfers who had the audacity to surf while ol’ people were dying of the first Chinese-made export ever to work.

Yesterday, the mayor held a press conference and, in a switcharoo from two days earlier, told reporters, and if you’ll let me paraphrase, everyone should fucking calm down, go surfing, I’m not going to send in the stormtroopers and there’s a shit-ton of good waves around so find your own little hit of juice.

Watch here.

Chas Smith (left) and Erik Logan in happier times when touching was allowed. Very annoying.
Chas Smith (left) and Erik Logan in happier times when touching was allowed. Very annoying.

Revealed: Ben Gravy, Kelly Slater, Erik Logan and Chas Smith four of the twenty most annoying people in current surf history!

Chris Cotê too!

This quarantine life, this unparalleled journey we are all on and where are you scrawling marks on the wall? Where are you counting the days of your confinement? Surfing is banned around much of the world, thanks to a San Diego atmospheric something-rather-else who was misquoted in saying that the dreaded Coronavirus gets churned up when surfers hit the lip and sprays into the noses of immuno-compromised folk thereby killing them.

Surfing no more.

But you may recall, days before all this madness, BeachGrit announced its very exciting partnership with The Surfival League. Fantasy surfing made great again and/or for the first time.

The whole shootin’ match was obviously derailed by the Chinese Cold but the geniuses behind have not been laid low and, just today, released their Quarantine House Surfing Edition.

Imagine this thing lasts for one more month. Where would you shelter in place?

I read once and laughed. Read twice and chuckled.

Read another four times and realized these twenty people (plus another few Coffey Sisters) are the most annoying people in current surf history.

Honored to be included?

An understatement.

But, in all seriousness and, as crazy as everything’s gotten probable, where would you bunk?

Gabriel Medina (pictured) grooming.
Gabriel Medina (pictured) grooming.

Revealed: How world champion surfer Gabriel Medina keeps his skin and hair “ridiculously luscious and impossibly desirable!”

Hint: It has middle notes of cypress, clary sage and geranium.

There can be much debate around the polarizing Brazilian world champion Gabriel Medina, how he completes, how he Instagrams, who he calls friends etc. but I will not allow one word, here or anywhere, denigrating his Adonis-like good looks.

A handsome man if there ever was one.

Classic lines. A come-hither look only outdone by the greatest surfer in the world Kelly Slater’s.

Thankfully for us, Gabriel Medina just shared what makes his skin and hair ridiculously luscious and impossibly desirable.

Do you think it might work for us too? Let’s turn to Gear Patrol and The No-Nonsense Grooming Routine of a World-Champion Surfer.

So, what’s your post-surf grooming routine like?
A good warm shower, use of hair products (good old hair conditioner) and some skin products. We surfers have to deal with sunburns frequently. Surfers are exposed to the sun every day, so it is something we have to be very careful with. Sunscreen at all times!

Does your routine have a specific order?
I usually like to shave after I surf, followed by a warm shower. Lastly, but most importantly, you have to have a nice smell, so a good spray of Polo Deep Blue is my final touch — overall, I lean toward energizing and refreshing scents. I love that it’s inspired by the ocean.

How do you relax after surfing?
A good stretch, a lot of food (I come out of surfing starving) and some power naps.

When you’re traveling, what do you pack in your Dopp kit?
I bring with me the essentials: toothbrush and paste, hair comb and always Polo Deep Blue Parfum when I travel because it gives me a boost of energy and confidence.

Polo Deep Blue Parfum, eh? With top notes of green mango, grapefruit and bergamot; middle notes of cypress, clary sage and geranium; base notes of sea, patchouli, musk, ambroxan and fir resin?

Very nice.