Soloed this place for decades as Rincon attracted the flies. It’s become too crowded since late 2000’s, but I surfed the point alone with Dan Malloy during el Niño 2005. Surf schools and best friend parenting ’is a plague. No self regulation anymore, chaos is allowed though. This is the parking lot at the top of the point. The VAL crowd loves the easy coves and I wrote them off some 20 years ago… but this place held tight until demographics and reality set in. | Photo: Hippy

Report from Santa Barbara County: “We don’t have LA/OC/SD crowds beyond the dormant points, how can law enforcement close long stretches of lonely beach and why?”

"Desperation is objective and real. Surfing is now prohibited. Is that inglorious or fucking what?"

The drive from my home to quiet surfing is equally quiet. Rarely traffic. The beach breaks don’t seem to capture the imagination of those socially inclined to easy cove surf. Something about tighter transitions and a little more girth keep the VAL’s at bay.

Or so it seems so far.

With a historically poor winter on the points, I’ve dug in deeper to the sands of random beach breaks.

I laughed at the concept of social distancing because I’ve been practising for this my entire adult life and these misfits of sand and short-period windwell fit the profile I’ve become. Plus, you can work on quick twitch, tight transitions… at least that’s my favorite rationalization on the eve of any trip.

The drive today was very familiar, it feels like my car can execute the distance without my attention.

I pulled up to an empty lineup scattered with dog shit peaks trying to lure this angry, grumpy local out of my warm car.

“Roll down your window, please,” the dark shadow on my passenger side requested.

I never saw him pull up behind me.

“What is going on, officer?”

“I’m going to ask you to drive home. If you require an explanation, I will ask for your license, registration and insurance docs. The fine is exorbitant.”

He had his ticket book in hand and opened to a page he has reserved for me.

Two weeks ago, I opened three emails that wiped out my business. I’m very sensitive to new debts and I didn’t want to find out what he means by “exorbitant”.

Rumors are floating that the new fines for surfing are one thousand dollars. That’s more than the flight to Auckland I canceled just three weeks ago.

I drove away from a virtually empty, mile-long stretch of beach and was now acutely aware of my surroundings.

Past the point break I’ve spent four decades surfing, I see the police barricade.

How did I miss it on my way just minutes before?

Two more sheriffs standing sentry over the beach park that the RV’s occupy. Another motorcycle cop sitting by the mushy reef I never surf.

Why are there so many law enforcement occupying such an innocuous roadway, empty of fellow travelers?

The freeway is vacant.

I stop to shoot the flashing warning signs without pulling over… there is no need to. There is one car in sight and it’s well ahead of me.

The turnoff to Rincon is not usually lonely.

“We are not LA. As crowded as Rincon gets, I live three miles away and surf a sand point alone 90% of the time. We don’t have a social distancing problem.”

And there he sits, another sheriff and there it sits, another flashing sign in the lower parking lot.

The waves don’t warrant a citation, but the message is clear, Ventura County surfing is being shut down.

Another “Brick in the Wall” or is it another attack on our common sense/logic?

We don’t have LA/OC/SD crowds beyond the dormant points, how can law enforcement close long stretches of lonely beach and why?

I drive by a horrible stretch of sand within the Santa Barbara County and notice young kids at play together looking like a surf school. The beach is relatively busy, just four miles from the closure zone.

How long until SB beaches are shuttered?

I drive home and grab the puppy for a short walk to look at my sand point, the venue of last resorts.

It reminds me that I’m looking for diamonds in a pile of coal.

Puppy doesn’t seem to mind and I aspire to have her attitude, though it’s too late to change my tiger stripes.

Tiger stripes, has that fucking show infected my consciousness?

I never watched TV beyond sports before this paradigm began.

I am now a Tiger in a cage.

Will the legal goal posts ever be removed or has the game changed?

How often have goal posts moved and then moved back again?

I can’t remember.

"Sorry, baby. CNN said no no."
"Sorry, baby. CNN said no no."

Fun Police: CNN warns against quarantined surfers attempting to conceive anti-depressive babies during these Coronavirus Doldrums!


First they came for our waves and we said nothing because we were too busy watching Tiger King. Then they came for our reproductive rights but we said nothing because we were all deeply considering polyamorous homosexuality thanks to Tiger King.

Then sharks ate the few remaining surfers as our kind forever vanished from the face of the earth.

And you make think the above a wildly fantastical scenario but ponder your life right now, locked indoors, unable to go to restaurants, unable to go to bars, forced to wear bandanas over our faces in public, performing “air elbow bumps” to friends via Zoom, discouraged from using this down time to procreate in order to usher anti-depressive joy into this depleted world in six months time.

Wildly, impossibly fantastic but as real and true as the bandana over your face.

Shall we turn to the buzzkill doctors at CNN for more? Let’s be honest, we have nothing better to do.

“I don’t foresee a baby boom in nine months,” Dr. Renee Wellenstein, an OB/GYN and functional medicine specialist in upstate New York, told CNN.

In a less severe context, like a snowstorm, sure — it’s quite common to see an uptick in births nine months later.

She noted that couples spend more time cozying up indoors during the late fall and winter. Consequently, “in the northeast we see more babies in the late summer and fall months,” she said.

Although being snowed in can be a little fun and lead to romance, the pandemic is stressful for couples: “[The] libido is down and menstrual cycles may be off,” Wellenstein said. “It may not be possible to conceive due to this.”

But for couples who still have the urge, Wellenstein said she would “absolutely not” advise anyone to get pregnant now, due to the uncertainty swirling around Covid-19. “You can push off conceiving and getting pregnant,” she said.

There are a number of risk factors, starting with the fact that there’s simply less care available in many areas as hospitals prioritize more resources toward helping the surge of Covid-19 patients being admitted.

And for women who are already pregnant, each trip to the hospital during the pandemic carries additional risk.

“It’s never ideal to have any infectious disease during the pregnancy due to the unknown impact on the child,” Wellenstein said. “To enter a hospital puts her at risk.”

Regardless of where the science ultimately lands on transmission of the novel coronavirus in the placenta, it’s a risk not worth taking, Wellenstein says. Once the baby is born, we know with certainty that she is at risk from any virus carriers she may come in contact with.

So lame.

But, seriously… how far down the polyamorous homosexuality path are you, conceptually?

Surfers (sitting) pictured being shamed with orange juice to make them sticky and preschool-like.
Surfers (sitting) pictured being shamed with orange juice to make them sticky and preschool-like.

Shocking: “Openly activity-ist” San Diego elected officials ban surfing, encourage hiking countywide!

Should we rise up or keep cruising Netflix?

San Diego surfers are waking up this morning as properly designated second-class citizens. Discriminated against at the highest levels of county politics. Bigoted toward for the first time since 1971 as the Coronavirus Apocalypse turns a new, draconian corner.

No surfing.


Recreational boating, swimming and surfing will be prohibited countywide beginning Saturday under new county orders directed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, which claimed the life of another resident and reached 1,000 local cases as of Friday.

The mandatory order takes effect Saturday, while county officials on Thursday had strongly urged all people to wear facial coverings when leaving their homes.

Practicing what they preach, county supervisors Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher, along with other officials, wore bandannas or scarfs at the daily afternoon press briefing Friday.

At the Friday county news briefing, Fletcher expanded on an order from Thursday that prohibited active recreation in the county such as basketball, football and volleyball.

“Included in active recreation are swimming, surfing and recreational boating,” he said. “All of those activities are prohibited countywide.”

Passive activities such as walking, jogging and hiking still are allowed, he said.

Activity-ism may well be the social curse we carry out of this troubled time. Judging others by how they play as opposed to the content of their hearts.


Deep profound shame.

But should we take this opportunity to reach for our oppressed basketball, football, volleyball brothers and sisters?

A glorious underground union?

A National Association for the Advancement of Active People?

Has surfing been officially banned where you live or are you still blindly operating under the lie of equality?

More as the story develops.

Raising hell in dirty ol Palmy!

Hide-and-seek: Kelly Slater emerges from self-quarantine on Gold Coast’s own “skid row” to surf beachbreaks…

"Last time I was down there, there was a chap on his balcony with guns to two people's heads screaming and yelling."

Four-and-a-half years ago, the world champion surfer Kelly Slater spent $2.1 million Australian dollars on a beachfront apartment in the Queensland suburb of Palm Beach.

A ten-minute drive from Snapper; a Florida vibe.

If you’ve ever lived on the Gold Coast, you’ll know Palmy.

Its distinctive rows of run-down houses made in the nineteen-fifties from weatherboard cladding, curtains drawn even in the middle of a bright winter day, fronts for the hydroponic and meth units deftly hidden inside.

On a recent forum where readers were invited to detail what suburbs to avoid on the Gold Coast, Palm Beach was regularly noted.

If you dont wanna get stabbed or robbed stay away from as above nerang and palm beach, i live in robina thats pretty nice plus the stadium is getting built atm

Full of deadbeat bogans people who dont work and live on the dole and think its cool. Not all of them of course but alot of people around those areas are

Palmy, druggies.

All I can say is avoid Palm Beach. Full of druggies and bogans and has a very high crime rate. Last time I was down there, there was a chap on his balcony with guns to two people’s heads screaming and yelling. The SERT team came out and ushered us all into random people’s garages and stormed the unit complex. From what I heard afterwards the ended up shooting the dude from the road. It was like something off TV! Time before that the local video shop was broken into. It’s getting worse.

Really beautiful beach though 🙂

In November 2015, Kelly Slater bought a whole-floor apartment in the Joy on Jefferson build, a gorgeous seven-apartment tower on the little service road that runs between the Gold Coast Highway and the beach.

It’s here that Kelly has been helping his fans keep their chins above water by broadcasting rhythm guitar tracks for aspiring guitar heroes to lead over; never-before-heard songs like “Trouble” and offering the chance to decide whether or not they like his quarantine beard.

In between his important social media duties, Kelly has been raising hell on the local beachies, an underrated series of wedges broken up by various rock groynes and identified by whatever numbered avenue you came down to get there.

Like, you surf twelfth ave, nineteenth ave, twenty-fifth and so on.

The reader who sent this clip says his building stares straight into Kelly’s apartment and offered hair-raising stories that even your old pal DR was reticent to publish online.

Still, from what we see here, is Kelly, in insane form, painting his surrealist lines into verses that might very well be described as poetry.

Below, the JOJ tower.

"I know, I know, but hush now, about Erik Logan and the WSL and Kelly Slater."

Listen: “I play hard local and send people in all the time. In Covid-19, even the most pussy surfer can do it, ‘Hey Bro, stay six feet away!’ I don’t know why people aren’t owning their local right now!”

Episode two of Dirty Water, a weekly conversation between Chas Smith and Derek Rielly…

Over the course of this forty-eight minute recording, enjoyed with a high-end organic sipping tequila called Solento that was designed to be savoured slowly, BeachGrit principals Chas Smith and Derek Rielly cover a raft of mostly pointless topics.

It is a conversation that, let’s be frank, shouldn’t be loosed on the various podcast platforms, although we all got time on our hands, at least theoretically, so here we are.

Today, we begin with “skinny, gross, easily poundable” Chas Smith describing his favoured method of sending people in, conceding the absurdity of it and that “even an overweight millennial once took me down with an open palm to the neck.”

The topic is open because of how localism is now available even to “sissy surfers” who can legally scream, “Hey bro,  you’re in my six feet” to anyone who encroaches on their real estate.

There is discussion about how easy it is to remove a set of FCS fins with a fist and the impossibility of doing so if your opponent’s surfboard has Futures boxes.

“I don’t know why people aren’t completely grabbing hold of and owning their local right now,” says Chas. “How many times in history has this happened? No time! Except in Hawaii during Bustin’ Down the Door when Rabbit got choked out for being within six feet of whoever.”

The mention of the great surfing documentary opens the table to discussion, again, about HBO’s 24/7 Kelly Slater and why BeachGrit’s Longtom adored it so much (read here).

“Hating on Kelly Slater is like shooting fish in a barrel; to love Kelly is the nuanced take.”

Chas talks about the “atomic bomb” he laid at the end of a film he made for Red Bull that made it impossible to release commercially and the footage he shot of a teenage Kolohe Andino, reimagined as a has-been living in his grandma’s garage after totalling his career with coke and hookers.

“It was a dirty shoot,” says Chas. “I can’t believe we even got the concept through. But the Andinos didn’t like it at the end.”

The recording finishes with a blunt, and predictable, hammer to the head of WSL CEO Erik Logan.

“Game over for the WSL!” says Chas, “Erik Logan is the guy who turned the WSL from a tour to a content provider and now, when everyone is starving for content, all he’s delivered is a half-baked Chris Coté show, I love Chris Coté, but are you kidding me? The WSL’s a wrap!”