Breaking: Sensible surf media slams BeachGrit as “irresponsible”; reveals “major brush with Covid!”

"I don't like the odds of there being many 'responsible surfers' out there."

And who could have ever guessed, at the very beginning of 2020 when it was revealed that a Chinese man either ate, or fiddled with, a bat and unleashed a heretofore unknown disease into the world that surfers and surfing would end up center stage?

Truth is stranger than fiction, I suppose, but here we are with surfers and surfing dominating the debate over responsible behavior in the time of Coronavirus. New York Times features of Huntington Beach protests. Nightly news broadcasts of “crowded” lineups from Bondi to The Wedge.

Op-eds flying back and forth.

Yesterday, for example, you read here the wonderful story of Transhumanist Zoltan who dared surf in a nearby town. A small act of defiance that should be understood and applauded by surfers everywhere?

I would have thought, but this pandemic has laid bare who we really are. Dirty, rat fink snitches and Zoltan caught hell on social media with many surfers viciously criticizing his decision, some even imagining that Bolinas, California, a stone’s throw from San Francisco, is “secret.”

Well, as things work, the sensible surf media came swinging in to condemn Transhumanist souls yearning to surf free and shall we read a snippet from Stab magazine?

Examples like the above are obviously hypothetical, but I know several individuals who have driven either south or north of Sydney since the beach closures, one of which later had a Covid scare. In theory, local beach openings are fine, and a good way for people to exercise while keeping their distance, but the reality is much trickier; a point which the author of the Times article strangely seems to agree with. “[Q]uarantine rules must apply to everyone or the plan to flatten the curve doesn’t work.” A strange point considering he goes on to argue “responsible surfers” should be granted the rights to paddle out, get tubbed (read: nosedive for most of us), and head home. But with surfers spruiking 5G conspiracy theories online and surf media outlets referring to lockdown proponents as “the Gestapo”, I don’t like the odds of there being many “responsible surfers” out there.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_vF6QyH2m7/

Wait, surf media outlets referring to lockdown proponents as “the Gestapo?” Well that’s li’l ol’ BeachGrit. Maybe our suspicion of draconian laws and newly empowered enforcers, our wondering if sitting out in the ocean ain’t the worst thing ever, our questioning of wholesale trash-canned liberty, our not hopping right up into the seat of judgment in order to define “responsibility” is only born from the fact that we haven’t had “Covid scares.”

Don’t you either have the disease or not?

Is there some middle way I’m missing?

Whichever the case, what percentage of surfers, worldwide, do you think are on Team Tudor vs. Team Skindog?

Months ago, when Ken “Skindog” Collins posted on Instagram that surfers should observe “stay-at-home” rules and Joel Tudor made fun, the battle lines were drawn.

Initially, I thought surfers would break 70 – 30 for Tudor. I understand, now, that it is a solid 85 – 15 for Skinny.

Wild.

Absolutely wild what self-righteous, spineless little tattle-tales we are.


Transhumanist Zoltan, NYT and fam. | Photo: @HollyOgden5

Nor Cal surfers in fury over Transhumanist VP candidate and New York Times columnist who says surfing ain’t a crime: “Stay home kook!…Shelter in place, barney!”

"There are pictures of you on every telephone pole, soon to be on T-shirts, the local surfers all know your face now…"

As we’ve written before, surfers, if that’s what you want to call us, have ridden the COVID train to hitherto never before seen heights of self-policing, usurping the usual snitches, informers, rats and so on.

Public exceptions, of course, are Joel Tudor, and Derek Dunfee, the big-waver and photographer who, according to Coronado mayor Richard Bailey, “singlehandedly” brought together all the mayors in San Diego to talk about and eventually overturn the no-surf ban.

Two days ago, the libertine transhumanist Zoltan Istva wrote in The New York Times of being a lockdown runner and…

Wait…

Tranhumanism?

Oh, using tech to beat death, disease etc, not in the usual ways like antibiotics and dentures, but with artificial wombs (the concept is that women have the right not to carry a fetus, but not to kill it, therefore if artificial wombs can be employed both sides of the abortion debate win), and implants to augment our senses, a melding of man and robot etc.

Terrific stuff and I’ll be the first to rid myself of this poorly functioning brain and body.

Anyway.

Zoltan wrote,

“I just couldn’t see how walking out of my house, getting into my car, parking near the beach, and paddling into waves could be dangerous for anyone. Even on the beach — which hasn’t been crowded since the pandemic hit — most people were wearing masks and practicing social distancing. In the water, we were always considerably more than six feet apart from one another.

“A few days ago, a county sheriff’s officer stood outside his vehicle in the parking area of the beach in Bolinas, waving off visitors and telling surfers to go home. Like many other surfers, I avoided him by parking on a side street. I suited up and after making sure he was looking the other way, sprinted to the water. I caught my first wave of the day a minute later.

I understand that quarantine rules must apply to everyone or the plan to flatten the curve doesn’t work. But I doubt that surfing alone jeopardizes the health of society in any statistically meaningful way, especially because all the surfers I’ve seen have been careful to practice social distancing in and out of the water. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits to surfing outweigh the tiny chance a surfer might become infected or infect someone else.”

He does get a little silly when he writes about weeping in the surf and how “Being in the ocean and riding waves can be ecstatic and spiritual.”

I get it, I agree, but it looks rough on paper.

Importantly, he’s a Tudor, not a Skindizzle.

The response, very fierce.

#gohomezoltan is trending on IG

“Maybe ur day tripper friends are all jacking eachother off while looking at ur ny times article but the entire population of every single small beach town is utterly repulsed,” writes Heather Lowry.

“You’re the kind of guy that goes to town and buys a chai latte putting his infectious waste grubby mitts all over the counter putting our local population at risk. There are pictures of you on every telephone pole, soon to be on T-shirts, the local surfers all know your face now, you named not only our town but the local surf break, which no true surfer ever does, but you told others how to break the rules, your welcome in Bo is not going to be a warm one. Kook,” writes Andrew Owston.

To one cutie-pie in a titty-popping bikini who trolled him he responded with,

Holly, You & plenty others have threatened me in social media, & there are screen shots for it all. I’m a federal candidate and convicted violence against could mean federal prison. And because I’m a public figure, it may also mean more media at Bolinas soon.

Two questions in all this, I suppose.

Who’s winning the war of hearts and minds, the Tudors or the Skinnies?

And transhumanism,

Did you ever think such a fabulous thing might happen in our lifetimes?


Steve Nash (pictured) backside roof dragging on his first barrel attempt.
Steve Nash (pictured) backside roof dragging on his first barrel attempt.

Revealed: Revered ex-NBA superstar Steve Nash also “best VAL in the entire world!”

"He surfs the thing all the way into the shore I’m like, ‘it took me like three weeks to do that.’"

And how many things are you properly good at? Like, not only proud of your ability/talent but other people also acknowledge and are sometimes amazed by your skill? I’ve got one but it’s a good one.

Parallel parking.

I can whip any sized vehicle into any sized space with a casual/cool right arm on passenger seat back, twisting my head over the right shoulder, sunglasses down bridge of nose, slightly, not because they interfere but because that studied look goes well in the parallel parking game.

Vehicle backs in, I crank the wheel straight, pull forward and there we have it.

No fussing about with extra movements.

No do-overs, ever.

Oh, I wish I was as good at surfing but not everyone can be Kelly Slater or ex-Phoenix Sun all-star point guard and certain first ballot Hall of Famer Steve Nash.

The Golden State Warriors’ Hall of Fame coach Steve Kerr, who happened to be the general magic for three years during Nash’s sparkling run, went on a podcast, recently, and discussed how the Canadian also happens to be the best VAL in the entire world and here, I shall transcribe for you because who has time for anymore podcast listening?

Steve Nash came out to visit me in San Diego, probably seven or eight years ago, and I used to surf at that time, and he had never surfed before. So he, he decided to paddle out, he said ‘well what do I do?’ and I’m not a very good surfer, but I tried to give him my advice. We paddle out there, and I said, ‘hey, just you know, paddle into this, you want to do is you turn the board and you paddle. And then you kind of stand, you know, you try to stand up, you pop up real quick and now it’s probably going to take a few times,’ and he’s like, ‘okay.’ The first wave comes he paddles twice he pops up he’s surfing. He surfs the thing all the way into the shore I’m like, ‘it took me like three weeks to do that.’

Wow.

But also, we have reached a moment, I think, when we must consider that the World Surf League might never come back. That financial pressures, an “evolving” pandemic etc. could make professional surfing for an audience of 20k “unviable.”

Now, we could replace with the World VAL League though might I suggest the World Parallel Parking League?

Picture with me exotic, crowded Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Sydney, Paris, Copenhagen, Moscow. The world’s best parallel parkers in the world’s busiest cities. Every turn makes a title. There would be judging, of course, as well as good, old fashioned “beat the clock” action.

Speed, power, flow.

Tell me you aren’t excited.


The many wonderful faces of Kelly Slater! | Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Listen: “Kelly Slater has done more damage to the earth than any single non-politician of the last decade!”

Join Chas Smith and Steve “Longtom” Shearer on Dirty Water, episode seven…

In today’s episode of Dirty Water, which is episode seven, and hot on the heels of our capitulation to WSL CEO Erik Logan who left Chas and I crumpled on the floor like drained wine-skins, we bring in the razor-sharp analysis of BeachGrit‘s best writer Steve “Longtom” Shearer.

Longtom you know for his ability to turn even the gloomiest of round one at a WCT event into a work of literature and for his reporting on such matters as the Slater-WSL billion-dollar wave pool and canal estate development on Sunshine Coast wetlands and the mat-rider v former world number two assault case at Lennox Head.

Many topics are covered in a rambling sorta conversation including a recent incident at Lennox Head where Kelly Slater set the town “aflame” after, allegedly I suppose since I wasn’t there, fading a local grommet who is the kid of the joint’s great enforcer and ending with Kelly promising the kid a private surf session in Hawaii.

There is conspiracy talk.

“Kelly’s a libertarian conspiratorialist,” says Chas, before Longtom interjects with a little game.

Bill Finnegan is going to write a hundred words on Kelly Slater, what’s going to be in the first sentence,” asks Longtom.

“Greatest surfer of all time,” says Chas.

“Loves Instagram,” I say.

“What else?” asks Longtom. “Starts with E.”

“Empath?” says Chas

Longtom booms, “Environmentalist! That’s how the world knows him!”

Chas retorts, “Everything Kelly does has an eco-centric point in it. But, for reals, Kelly Slater has done more damage to the earth than any non-politician of the last decade. That man has travelled, spewing carbon into the atmosphere, the amount of surfboards he’s chewed through, he’s the most damaging human of the last ten years.”

And draining the Coolum wetlands to build a canal estate makes him number one with a bullet,” says Longtom.

It goes on, and then on some more.

Finishes with lovely story about roosters and a tortured John Fante poem.

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


@sharkfreechips
@sharkfreechips

Alarming: Great White Sharks disappear from South Africa’s False Bay; Scientists wonder if they’re hiding in Australian fish and chips!

Strange days.

Though did you ever see the film Strange Days starring a younger Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Vince D’Onofrio etc? It wasn’t the best movie ever made, of course, but a semi-fun dystopian look at the near future. Similar to Back to the Future II.

Escape from L.A.

Videodrome.

And, my goodness, our apocalyptic future looked so grim but exciting back then. Everything a grey + neon swirl with mini-CDs as currency. We are living in it now, of course, and it is neither grey nor neon just the same colors as always, with the mini-CD technology vanishing too quickly and… Oh, I don’t know. If I’m being honest very disappointing.

Sure, there the petrodollar’s collapse is imminent and that will lead to a global economic crash, a Chinese-crafted disease is ripping through immuno-compromised populations and the Great White shark has vacated once-fertile False Bay in South Africa but where did they go?

According to Australia’s ABC news:

Only a few years ago, scientists estimated there were between 300 and 500 great white sharks in South Africa’s False Bay. Now, they have completely disappeared.

While local surfers might have relaxed, the absence of the apex predators is alarming to scientists, and the lucrative industries that rely on their presence.

“I’ve spent my entire life in the field watching these animals on a daily basis,” local cage dive operator and wildlife photographer Chris Fallows says.

“When the waters go quiet, both above and below the surface, and these predators are not there, it sounds huge alarm bells.”

Etc.

Etc.

Theory.

Theory until we get to…

“Flake” has long been a staple in Australian diets, but overfishing of gummy and school shark populations led to protection of the two species in our waters in the early 1990s.

In order to meet demand, Australia began importing “flake”, mostly from New Zealand and, more recently, from South Africa.

Australia’s seafood labelling laws require that any fresh or frozen fish sold must be labelled with the country of origin, but once the seafood is cooked, these laws no longer apply.

In many cases, it is impossible to know where or how the fish you’re eating at your local cafe, restaurant or fish and chips shop was caught.

“Australians commonly refer to shark meat as ‘flake’, but it can be sold as ‘pearl fillet’, it can be sold as ‘boneless fillet’ and it can be sold as ‘monkfish’. There’s no legal obligation to actually call it what it is,” Dr Guida says.

With 70 per cent of the seafood we consume in Australia coming from overseas, this poses significant challenges to traceability and accountability, disempowers consumers and impacts Australia’s reputation as a leader in sustainability.

I suppose that’s a sort of dystopian vision I can really get behind. Disturbing, certainly. Very grim but also exciting?

Oh, I don’t know.

These are strange days.