Image courtesy of CCY Architects.
Image courtesy of CCY Architects.

Breaking: John John Florence determinedly surfs Kelly Slater’s new Palm Springs “wave basin” while ecstatic fans cheer!

The future is now.

Architectural renderings are such wonderfully utopian works of art, no? There’s something about the aspirational quality, the gauzy haze, the real-yet-computer-generated people standing here and there. Everyone always having a good time. Much space between parties, especially in the day of social distancing.

I’m a fan of the genre and am thrilled to showcase a just released piece featuring Kelly Slater’s recently announced Palm Springs Surf Ranch from CCY Architects, a team of “architects, interior designers, sketchers, writers, snowsliders, and motivated people united by a passionate spirit” based in Basalt, Colorado.

Per Instagram we read, “On The Boards: Located in California’s Coachella Valley, Coral Mountain resort is a next-generation recreational experience, anchored by the Kelly Slater Wave Company’s 14-acre Wave Basin.”

And if you click here you will behold the most detailed description yet of the project but back to the rendering, doesn’t it make you want to book your trip immediately?

John John Florence determinedly heading out in full wetsuit even though it is Palm Springs and everyone is in shorts and a girl appears to have just gotten out of the pool in a bikini. Seabass, maybe, watching from deck with triumphant fist raised. Millennial on skateboard really cruising for a bruising. Plenty of open space. Friendly conversations here and there. Enough ethnic diversity to feel “woke” or at least “woke-ish.”

Which brings us to the real question.

How much would you pay for a condo onsite?

What about a condo three blocks away?

Screenshot Reno 911
Screenshot Reno 911

Crime and Punishment: Man daring to lay on beach gets run over by Florida police officer driving Ford Explorer!

World's Most Dangerous Place.

When I was a younger man, one of my favorite things to read was The World’s Most Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton. The travel guide detailed various countries/autonomous regions like Afghanistan, North Korea, Chechnya, giving each one a danger ranking while providing tips on how to move around, where to eat, who to look out for etc.

Very fun though if written today, the beaches of these United States would rank the most dangerous of all, or at least would have one month ago.

Surfing outlawed, standing still while gazing at the ocean outlawed, eating Asian fusion cuisine within a chopstick throw of the beach outlawed. Much police officer harassment. Many bullhorns used at maximum volume.

Restrictions have, thankfully, started to relax but are our beaches any safer?

The answer, sadly, is no and let us fly, metaphorically, to the Sunshine State where a man soaking in some vitamin D was run over by a large police SUV.

A man lying on a Florida beach was injured Friday after an officer drove a police cruiser over him, authorities said.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, William Koziarz, 66, of Michigan, was taken to an area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Deputies said Indian Shores Police Department Officer Natasha Hindman, 27, was driving a fully marked 2018 Ford Explorer police cruiser Friday at 6 p.m., WTSP reported.

Hindman had just begun her beach patrol and was driving slowly along the sand when the left tires of her vehicle drove over Koziarz’s hips, the Times reported.

According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office, Hindman stopped and immediately gave aid until paramedics arrived.

But have you ever seen anyone become run over by law enforcement on a beach? What about a surfboard?

I have only seen a lifeguard cruelly bulldoze a made-with-love drip sandcastle that took me over an hour.

Very sad.

Ben Kelly. Photo courtesy of Ben Kelly Surfboards.
Ben Kelly. Photo courtesy of Ben Kelly Surfboards.

Santa Cruz surfer killed in shark attack identified as local board shaper

"Safe travels and hopefully you are mowing more foam, and ripping again somewhere better."

It was reported here yesterday that a 26-year-old surfer was killed by a fatal shark attack a mile south of Manresa State Beach, very near Santa Cruz. He was surfing 100 yards from the shore, at about 1:30 in the afternoon, when the attack occurred and was pronounced dead at the scene from a leg injury.

Today, it was revealed that the surfer, Ben Kelly, was a local shaper.

Per his Ben Kelly Surfboards website:

I am a self-taught shaper bringing the core fundamentals of board building into a fresh new mindset and clean modern feel that works for you! I love the process of creating: taking something raw and formless and making it into something both functional and aesthetic. This involves working directly with surfers where they are at in their surfing journey and equipping them to take the next step.

Disbelief and sadness are being expressed on his Instagram account with fellow shaper at Route One Surfboards writing:

you were doing it brotha!!!! Your quick rise and hard work was inspirational and it is really hard to think that the central coast is all of a sudden going to have to move on without you. So much love to you and your family. Safe travels and hopefully you are mowing more foam, and ripping again somewhere better.

Capitola and surrounding beaches remain closed.

Clifton Jnr, top, DR, bottom left and tit-swinging Chas, right.

Listen, CJ Hobgood talks “wild meth sex shacks” and more on Dirty Water: “The only way that I can understand being free is to totally expose everything about me!”

Our most exciting three-way yet…

A caveat on today’s podcast; it starts…slow.

It might confuse the listener when the appearance of the members of this audio-only three-way are discussed: Chas’ naked tits, 2001 world champ asterix Clifton Hobgood’s tonsils and so on.

But it gets better.

Clifton Jnr was the subject, along with his baby twin Damien, of the recent documentary And Two If By Sea. It was this film that resuscitated my interest in a man I first met a dozen-and-a-bit years ago at a homestay in Teahupoo called Papa Teva

I was struck, then, by the depth of his character and good humour despite my relentless barrage of theologically immature attacks.

“This journey into character and emotional transparency does mark a shift in surf film-making,” wrote Longtom in a review of And Two If By Sea, here, adding, “I like this new wave of revealing, authentic type of film, much, much more.”

Clifton is in classic form in this conversation, I think, talking about the meth dealer who lives three doors down from him in Orlando, the infidelity that stomped his first marriage and why he refuses to hide behind a public mask.

“The only way I can understand being free is to totally expose everything about me,” he says. “I want to be free in this world. That’s what fights off the depression, feeling super lonely, feeling what every human feels. I gotta face the unknown.”

(Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, TuneIn + Alexa, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, Deezer and Listen Notes)

Surfer killed in shark attack near Santa Cruz, less than one hundred yards from beach, likely Great White: “There has been an exponential increase in shark births over the last ten years”

The man, who was twenty-six, was surfing a mile south of the Manresa State Beach carpark at Sand Dollar Beach, and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Pretty Manresa State Beach, in Monterey Bay, was the sight of a fatal shark attack on a surfer a little after one thirty today, real close to the shore, less than a hundred yards or so.

The man, who was twenty-six, was surfing, a mile south of the Manresa State Beach carpark at Sand Dollar Beach, and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The joint has been crawling with Great Whites recently according to locals who’ve lit up the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.

I took a helicopter ride a couple of months ago and I saw so many sharks off of the beaches between Marina and Moss Landing. just swimming in the waves near the Shoreline. I would never for the life of me go swimming or surfing in that little stretch of beach

There were pics a couple of days ago with at least 5 great whites in the area, warm waters and not many people to disrupt them.

Folks the cement ship is a spawning ground for great whites. There has been an exponential increase in shark births over the last ten years. They have always been around just lots more of them now. A girl lost her leg standing in 3’ of water about thirty years ago. They are cranky and aggressive at mating time in the spring. There is also an exponential increase in water sports like kayaks, SUP etc with many more people in the water now. Best to stay out of the water. Life is a numbers game and gambling with sharks is a losing bet.

Four weeks ago, a SUP pilot, not Erik Logan, was hit by a White in nearby Capitola.

All beaches were closed from Capitola to Sunny Cove through April 1.

More as it comes.