Question: Will the Coronavirus Apocalypse lead to a glorious VAL boom where surf instructors and soft-top manufacturers grow ludicrously rich?

A terror worse than death?

It is difficult to remember now, but there was once a time when surf brands made money and had money. Millions. Billions. Capitalizing on an 80s – 90s lust for day-glo’d, tan, Michael J. Fox-adjacent vision of rad.

Quiksilver, Billabong, Hot Tuna, Rip Curl, et. al. sold the dream in, retrospectively, win-win fashion. “Poseurs” in the “val” wore the clothes, talked the talk, and supported the likes of Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds and surfboards to you and me with razor thin margins.

The wheels fell off, of course, when that valley poseur transitioned to parkour then non-binary sexuality all while wearing Forever 21 but the brands continued to limp along until this Coronavirus Apocalypse and now real, real trouble looms.

Furloughed workers. Slashed budgets. “Normal” forever yesterday’d.

Well, as your enlightened friend says, “this too shall pass” and it shall but what does “surfing” look like on the other side?

Will Volcom hire back its workers tout suite? Will shoppers flock back to Rip Curl stores?

Hmmmm.

Maybe?

But certainly many, millions, billions, will flock back to the beach, grab an instructor who grabs a soft-top because surfing is relatively free, everyone is laid-off and “honey, let’s scrap this year’s cruise and go learn surfing in Santa Cruz.”

Out-of-work Rip Curl store employees fall back on teaching surfing.

Out-of-work Quiksilver store employees fall back on teaching surfing.

Lifeguards, supplementing income and witnessing the invading hordes, fall back on teaching surfing.

Ashton Goggans, now fighting fit because he can’t afford food, Sam McIntosh and other furloughed Stab employees fall back on teaching surfing.

No?

No longer poseurs in the val but VALs not poseuing. VALs in the lineup.*

Don’t worry, we’ll always have sharks, but tell me I’m wrong.

Tell me the end of this current, novel apocalypse doesn’t lead to one far more insidious.

But also, what will these now ludicrously rich surf instructors and soft-top manufacturers do with their money?

More as the story develops.

*Pleasure Point etc. but how long before they accidentally drift out to The Lane?


Blood Feud: Doctors clash violently over new theory that surfers are “Coronavirus Super Spreaders!”

McDreamy vs. McSteamy.

In an earth-shaking revelation, it was reported yesterday, here, that surfers, generally misanthropic and lonely, may in fact be Coronavirus super spreaders. Kim Prather, a “virus scientist” from UC San Diego said, “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.”

Very much worry about all the spray that surfers, especially noted power surfers, send skyward when we BASH the lip.

Noted power surfer (pictured) making an excess of spray.
Noted power surfer (pictured) making an excess of spray.

In any case, this morning Hawaii’s health director, a doctor, and a University of Hawaii professor violently disagreed with San Diego’s theory and let’s not delay in learning all we can.

A news story from San Diego quotes a scientist who says coronavirus droplets could be spreading in the sea breeze. That scientist hasn’t returned our inquiries.

But Hawaii’s health director, a surfer himself, isn’t buying it.

“I disagree with that,” said Dr. Bruce Anderson.

“I think surfing by its very nature reinforces social distancing.” Professor Miller also says the sea breeze theory is unproven. He also says sunlight is very effective in killing microorganisms, such as the coronavirus.

Hawaii News Now found no hard science tying the spread of COVID-19 to ocean exercise. The risks appear to be the same as anywhere else.

Because of that, University of Hawaii Epidemiologist DeWolfe Miller says the advice is the same: Stay 6 feet away from each other.

UC San Diego = Team Skindog.

University of Hawaii = Team Tudor.

Have you picked your leader yet?

More as the story develops.


Watch: World-famous fisherman catches massive 2400 lbs Great White shark, “horrifying yet titillating” animal rights activists!

“One minute everyone’s bored to death talking about Tiger King, the next minute we have the baddest fish in the ocean right under the boat!”

And by now, you have certainly watched at least a few minutes of Netflix’s new The Tiger King, no? The craziest but craziest triangle ever caught on film featuring methamphetamine, missing teeth, gay, mullets, guns, missing husbands, cults, open relationships, missing limbs and tigers.

Very entertaining but also very sad to animal rights activists. Horrifying yet titillating. All those beautiful beasts locked behind bars, being bred for petting then discarded, pacing and depressed.

Many to save. Many to love.

Well, though not as au courant, animal rights activists should feel the same or similar about a 2400 lbs female Great White shark just caught off the coast of South Carolina. Would you like to be maybe horrified but certainly titillated too?

Famous South Carolina fisherman Chip Michalove told FitsNews:

“One minute everyone’s bored to death talking about Tiger King, the next minute we have the baddest fish in the ocean right under the boat,” Michalove said.

Michalove spotted a mammoth shadow lurking behind the boat and knew it was go-time.

The boat-sized white shark circled around Michalove’s 26-foot catamaran and chomped the bait.

“Then she took off like a train,” Michalove said. “She took 300 yards of line in a matter of 45 seconds.”

Michalove — who has caught and released 33 great white sharks in his career — wasn’t worried as the monstrous fish jerked and tugged the line. He’s done this dance with the apex predator of the Atlantic many of times.

“We applied pressure when she was about 15 yards away, then locked the drag and set the hook,” Michalove said.

Mmmmmm.

Excited?

Exitado?

More as the story develops.


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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Zt77WDSn8/

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.

Oooooeee!

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.