Once-in-a-lifetime: Graphic Design Icon David Carson flouts 24-hour lockdown law on Tortola to solo-surf note-perfect Cane Garden Bay; loses board to cops!

“It was an epic two-hour session. Had no choice but to go.”

Tortola is a pretty little island in the British Virgin Islands, population 23-thou’, makes its money hosting global hedge fund companies like the trillion-dollar Citco.

It got fucked by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Boz Johnson saying the joint looked like Hiroshima, and there’s a little gang and drug thing playing out, but for the most, a fine place to live out your days.

On Tortola’s north shore is an achingly beautiful bay that lights up a righthander in big north swells.

Maybe a dozen good days a year.

David Carson, the surfer and graphic designer, who was voted the eighteenth best designer in history, was smart enough to buy a spread overlooking this Caribbean dream years ago.

He invites shapers like Dan Tomson, famous for his collaboration with Kelly Slater and Firewire surfboards, to come and ride and play and design.

A surfer to the bone.

Two days ago, as the island bunkered down to fight the spread of Coz-vid number nineteen, Carson flouted its six-day long twenty-four hour lockdown law to ride empty three-to-four-foot CGB, posting the event on his Instagram page.

Unlike other residents, (four people were arrested on day one of lockdown), Carson escaped arrest but had his five-ten Album confiscated by police.

When I contacted Carson, he was a little shy, says I made fun of him last time we spoke, I didn’t but our commenters let him have it, and he eventually promised, “a few fotos vids…it’s a good little story, if u don’t burn me again…no one knows what actually went down.”

These didn’t come, ah promises, what are they worth in these troubled time, but Carson did say, “It was an epic two-hour session. Had no choice but to go.”

I feel it, too.

This ain’t Lowers. You ain’t touching nobody.

Not everyone feels the same, as you know.

See evidence below.

Here, cops seize Carsons’ five-ten Album.


Now, you live here, your terrace fans out across the bay, and the waves are four-foot and firing.

No one around.

What do you do?

Also, and more importantly, who snitched to the cops?


UC San Diego virus scientist declares: “Surfers more likely than general population to contract, spread the novel Coronavirus!”

“If you don’t care about your own life, that’s one thing..."

Today is April Fool’s Day, in America, and I have been delivered some light jokes so far. Small tricks but no twist can compare with our current Coronavirus reality.


A cosmic gag!

In any case, you have certainly followed along with the debate raging in and amongst surfers. Should we or should we not surf? Camps have been formed, battle lines drawn and leaders drafted, General Joel Tudor leading up the shoulds, General Ken Skindog rallying the shouldn’ts.

At the same time, you have no doubt followed along with the very fun Instagram-based “spray challenge” wherein surfers post photos of themselves making big spray on a wave. Above, for instance is BeachGrit’s own Derek Rielly as photographed by the singular Dustin Humphrey.

Well, as it turns out all of this spray surfers make also makes us more susceptible to the Coronavirus, or at least theoretically. Shall we learn more?

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that a virus scientist at the University of California, San Diego is warning that surfers are at elevated risk for contracting the novel coronavirus.

According to Blake Montgomery: “Kim Prather, who researches how the ocean sprays bacteria and viruses into the air, told the paper that ocean breezes may carry the drops of saliva and other fluids far: ‘Surfers are saying that they’re safe if they stay six feet away from other people, but that’s only true if the air isn’t moving … Most of the time, there’s wind or a breeze at the coast. Tiny drops of virus can float in the air and get blown around.’”

Prather is also warning beachgoers in general they are at risk of exposure: “If you don’t care about your own life, that’s one thing. But this can be a matter of life or death to other people.”

And there we have it. A victory for Team Ken Skindog?

The final death blow to power surfing?

More as the story develops.

Watch: Senior citizen gets head-butted by unsympathetic Great White shark, lives to tell the tale!

An incredible lack of social distance.

We, all of us, are extra aware of our precious senior citizens in these perilous days. When a fine grandpa or grandma walks, slowly, down the street or supermarket aisle we cut wide right or wide left, depending on our politics.

When a silver fox or a silver vixen sits we get up and move as far away as possible.

Not to be rude, of course, and quite the opposite. Out of genteel politeness. Out of providing a six foot plus buffer in this wicked time of Coronavirus.

But do you think Great White sharks, apex-predators, monsters of the sea practice this same level of self-aware social distancing?

Unfortunately they do not.

In a beautiful short film titled Near Miss we witness an extra-large man-eater getting near enough to an introspective senior to head-butt him.


Frame grab by nearmissfilm.com
Frame grab by nearmissfilm.com

And after…

Frame grab by nearmissfilm.com
Frame grab by nearmissfilm.com

Ron Elliot, our new hero, our updated North Star who loves diving alone along northern California’s dangerous shore described thusly.

I was swimming along the bottom and the visibility was pretty good. Then I looked behind me and as I turned my head this male white shark came right out of the gloom. It rammed me with its nose. In my head. Knocked the back of my head forward just enough and then the lower jaw knocked me pretty good. Knocked my head down towards the bottom. Once that happened I knew it was a white shark because I’ve been run into before from behind. So after that I swam around for a bit, just kind of filming it as it swam around me. And then it left. It looked like the shark had come out of an injection mold. It just looked perfect.

You must watch here.

And be filled with a never-more-necessary sense of que sera, sera.

Whatever will be, will be.

Jon Pyzel. Hero.
Jon Pyzel. Hero.

Plea to surfboard shapers: Donate extra N95 masks to local hospitals and save the world from complete Coronavirus eradication!

Heroes will rise.

As you know, intimately, the BeachGrit community is the most benevolent on earth or at least a very close second to Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity. Oh we seem all crusty and irredeemable, hideous on the outside but inside it is squishy, soft, lovable goo.

Thoughtful and kind.

And on that note, I received a thoughtful message, kind from a surfer, yes, but also an emergency room doctor part American part Kiwi. A fine mix if there ever was one. In any case he wrote:

I’m wondering if you could put the word out there for me and my hospital colleagues, that if folks have masks laying around (that they don’t need imminently-board shapers might have a healthy of N95), could they be so kind as to drop them at a local hospital. We are re using gear which was never intended to be used in that fashion. We need help until/if help arrives.

Fantastic, no?

Surfboard shapers?

You have always been our heroes but the opportunity to save the entire world and have statues built in your honor.

Have any extra masks?

Take them to your local hospital and feel the swell of gratitude!

Rage against the machine.
Rage against the machine.

Watch: Jonah Hill, Jaden Smith become faces of surfer rebellion in the time of Coronavirus!

Raised fist!

To surf or not to surf, that is the question roiling wave sliders from Bondi to Bagram and everywhere in between. Pitched battles on Instagram, insults hurled, accusations, threats, much head slapping emoji.

But while surfers argue the merits of this or that, two unlikely heroes have risen, becoming the faces of surfer rebellion in the time of Coronavirus.

The first was Jonah Hill as reported by the Daily Mail:

While many residents of Los Angeles heeded the statewide ‘stay at home’ mandate to curb the coronavirus, that didn’t stop Jonah Hill from catching a few waves.

The 36-year-old actor and filmmaker was spotted surfing the swells in Malibu on Sunday morning.

The Superbad star recently shared on Instagram that he’s been surfing for seven months, adding that, ‘anything is possible.

After his surfing session, he was seen with his wetsuit pulled down to his waist, exposing the multiple tattoos on his chest and arms.

Watch here.

Then, days later Will and Jada Smith’s fine boy Jaden raised a fist, shook it at the man and, also according to the Daily Mail:

Despite the closure of the beaches, Jaden Smith appeared to ignored the latest order and went surfing in Malibu – which is located in LA County – on Sunday, March 29.

The 21-year-old actor/singer, who is the son of superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, hit the waves on the deserted beach.

The star wore a full body wetsuit as he rode several waves before heading back to his car with his board in hand.

He was seen putting his board in the back of his neon pink Tesla Model X car.

Watch here.

Both appear to be firmly on Team Tudor and do you embrace their devil-may-care or will you boycott their next creative efforts? Movie and music video respectively?

More as the story develops.