Strong like bull! No fear etc.

Dirty grandpa: Australia’s east coast stops as senior citizen surf writer tames once-in-a-decade swell: “I don’t feel afraid at all, I just kind of lie down there and enjoy it. It’s only water!”

Sixty one year old says, “I don’t know if it’s having a screw loose or what…”

A wild and relentless south swell, scratching fifteen-feet at usually dormant outer reefs, has lit up Australia’s east coast.

And, surf writer Nick Carroll, who is sixty-one, and “an expert in virtually every surfing-related subject, but returning often to board design, contest reportage, profiles, and wave-related meteorology” according to Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing, has been thrilling spectators at his favourite Sydney big-wave haunts.

(Read Nick’s thrilling account of paddling thirty-two miles between Molokai and Oahu in the “crazy, fucking ultra-marathon” here.)

As The Sydney Morning Herald reports,

Spending close to 20 violent seconds being contorted underwater by a monster wave can be enjoyable if you want it to be.

At least that’s what Sydney surfer Nick Carroll thinks.

Nick and his brother, former world champion surfer Tom, were among a select few who braved the five metre swell on Saturday as it lashed the NSW coastline.

The brothers spent Saturday morning paddling into some of the biggest, cleanest surf to land on Sydney’s coastline in years.

“I don’t know if it’s having a screw loose or what, but I kind of enjoy those moments,” Nick said shortly after returning to shore near Long Reef on Sydney’s northern beaches. “I don’t feel afraid at all, I just kind of lie down there and enjoy it. It’s only water.”

Tom, who since winning surfing world titles in the 1980s has made a name for himself as a big wave surfer, said he was excited to see his hometown light up.

“I love it, I love it when it gets like this. It’s just been such a big part of my life when these storms come in,” he said. “It all feels safe, then bingo, it all comes in.”

Did you see?

Were you there?

And, big waves, do you like to lie down and enjoy it, too?

Interview: Mason “Baby” Ho talks “getting away with murder” at reef ledges, “letting go of all the bullshit and letting people see my downfall!”

"I barely get away with it here and there but fuck it, it might kinda suck to get hurt, but it’s the funnest shit ever.”

After watching Mason “Baby” Ho’s latest YouTube cut I was spurred into sending the exuberant thirty one year old a text message requesting an interview.

(Watch it here.)

Baby personifies all that is good and worthy in surfing and when I watch him cast his magic like a fishing line, Satan is temporarily exorcised from my thoughts.

Baby was midway through a shopping excursion to Foodland, filling his little basket with canned Fuji apple juice and pop tarts, when the text landed. He quickly accepted the request, asked for thirty minutes to bivouac his precious foodstuffs at the Sunset Beach house he shares with Daddy Mike, and called back at the appointed time.

In the liner notes to his YouTube cut, filmer Rory Pringle had noted that Baby had flirted with death during the two sessions at this reef ledge that only breaks once, maybe twice, a year.

“I had one or two little times out there when I thought, well, not that I was going to…die…but that I was going to get hurt pretty bad.”

Which waves?

“The worst was the wave I tried to pencil dive. My heels went into the reef. It cut up my achilles rather than the bottom of my feet so I could still walk. I got real lucky.”

Baby says he and Sheldon “Bubba” Paishon “got away with murder” on the morning session at the wave.

“We both came in and looked at each other and said, ‘We did it!’ Sheldon said let’s get a beer. I told him to wait a little on the beers, I know once me and him and Rory drink we might not…”

Baby cuts off. He laughs.

“Loooooong story short. We came in, bought some poi and ice-cream, came back to eat the bowl, saw it was still good and dropped everything and went back out. It’s weird. After we came in that first time I was thinking, thank god we won’t surf that way for another year, it never breaks. But when we came back, I instantly forgot that feeling. It’s like finding a chip of gold. You want more gold! More gold! Eventually we got so sore, Sheldon hit his tailbone hard, we came in. We probably could’ve had an evening session.”

I ask if head injuries are a vital concern?

“I definitely worry about hitting my head. My friends say, ‘What the fuck are you doing?’ I don’t wanna go on those wave that are stupid, those rides that look so dumb I’m clearly going to hurt myself. But there’s…something…about those waves where you pull it off and there are all those variables, all the special stuff. That’s what I think about. In that moment when I surf, I don’t think about the head stuff only…happy happy happy…barrels barrels barrels…I barely get away with it here and there but fuck it, it might kinda suck to get hurt, but it’s the funnest shit ever.”

Advice for wrangling a dirty ol ledge?

Paddle like crazy man, yes?

“Paddle fast, yeah, that’s the best tip you could possibly have. The little paddle fast. If you take your time you’re going to become one with the lip. Another little trick is not to think about the consequences ’cause there are some.”

Baby says there’s been times when he’s looked at a slab for years, eating his plate lunch at the joint, figuring it’s unsurfable but daydreaming about surfing it anyway and then, one day, hitting it.

“I don’t need a good ride, just to paddle out and look at it. Then you might get a little one, get barrelled, not hit the reef and you think, not bad, fuck yeah. Get into your little zone. Got out and try and do a backside turn. That’s all it takes and you’re psyching.”

Over the last two years, you might’ve noticed that Baby and Rory have shifted their clips from Vimeo to YouTube after counsel from champion vlogger Jamie O’Brien.

“We were drinking at Kalani Chapman’s party and Jamie was telling us we were blowing it.” Jamie told Baby, you’re making cool shit, why aren’t you putting it on YouTube?

“Two years ago, I thought YouTube, ugh, fuck YouTube. On Vimeo I can use my music, this and that, then Jamie just started showing me, saying, look, here’s three grand, two grand, in twenty-eight days.”

And then Baby’s clips on YouTube started going.

“Fucking seven hundred here, twelve-hundred there. I never wanted to overdo it; we wanted to put so much love into our edits and, all of a sudden, there’s another one that has to be out in seven days, fourteen days. I didn’t want to put out a bunch of shit. I wanted each new edit to be better than the last.”

The game has shifted. Baby knows it; Rory knows it.

The audience wants quantity and a reality TV sorta rawness instead of slick edits.

“You start letting go of all the bullshit,” says Baby. “How about we just keep it up to date. Every week. Just letting go and letting people see my downfall!”

Knob-twisting Big Red, above, with Dirty Water co-pilots DR, left, and Charlie.

Listen: Wavepool maestro Cheyne Magnusson talks “midget naked asian boys jumping out of cakes” and making magic at vintage Palm Springs tank, “Gimme a bunch of knobs to move water and I can make it sing!”

Everything you ever wanted to know about artificial wave creation in one easy to swallow pill.

In today’s episode of Dirty Water, fall under the spell of the Hawaiian surfer Cheyne Magnusson, who singlehandedly altered the course of aerial surfing at BSR cable park in Waco and who is creating a new wavepool at the old Wet ‘n’ Wild site in Palm Springs, California.

Cheyne, who left his Texas shack for a mid-century mod in La Quinta near Palm Springs a year-and-a-half ago, is in very good form here, unsurprising given his previous career as a reality TV star on the hit MTV show Maui Fever.

The talk, initially, follows the travails of Charlie’s raunchy three-way date in Palm Springs with a Mr Gay Universe (“Big broad shoulders and a perfect pectoral girdle”), but soon dips into the world of artificial wave creation, from selling the American Wave Machines tech to BSR cable park in Waco and manipulating the buttons until it became the most sough-after ramp in the world to joining hands with the “godfather of artificial waves” Tom Lochtefeld to soup up the ancient Wet ‘n’ Wild site.

“I come in and play the piano,” Cheyne explains of his role complementing the wave tech. “Give me a bunch of knobs to move water and I can make it sing.”

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

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Watch: The future of wave pool technology features surfers getting smashed into glass walls while onlookers place bets on who will die first!

"Waves are beautiful and dynamic in themselves but we chose them as our subject because they evoke feelings of comfort."

Wave pool technology and advancement has seemed to stall, along with everything else in the time of Coronavirus. The only place where excitement reigns is in Palm Springs, California where Cheyne Magnusson is twisting the dials of a mid-century masterpiece while Kalani Robb croons Frank Sinatra and Seoul, South Korea where the finishing touches are being added to a glass box hovering over the Gangnam District featuring a giant wave that will soon provide blood sport for happy people dancing like this.

The “art simulation” developed by Samsung and called WAVE took four months to develop and breaks one minute per hour in a box measuring 262 by 66 feet. A rate only slightly better than Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch.

Surfers have not been added yet but when they are it can be assumed the less-adroit will be smashed up against the glass walls in an exceptionally gory display.

South Koreans, known for their love of kimchi and betting, will eat kimchi and wager on which surfer will bleed first.

Business development director Jul Lee at d’strict, the group that co that designed the WABE said, “We want to create overwhelming experiences. Waves are beautiful and dynamic in themselves but we chose them as our subject because they evoke feelings of comfort – which is much needed now.”

Smashed surfers will provide more feelings of comfort still.

Surfer-father and young daughter (pictured) getting robbed by Target.
Surfer-father and young daughter (pictured) getting robbed by Target.

Doomed: Big Brother employs new “gait tracking” technology, surfers and our distinctive “sloth-like” canter specifically targeted!

Did the Coronavirus mask give you small comfort in avoiding facial recognition software?

I, like you, have become resigned to the days of our lives in this the time of Coronavirus. Fun banished. The same day over and over and over again. Sitting in a restaurant or bar an almost forgotten memory. Knowing this, right here, will be the best of it all.

Blue chip companies are beginning to drop and will act as an anchor on the economy as a whole, dragging it down to the worst depression in modern history. Worse, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon etc. will run out of new content by November leaving us only with re-runs of Bethany Hamilton’s Soul Surfer on loop.


We’ll all turn to crime in order to put food on the table and, thankfully, have grown accustomed to wearing masks. I was in Target a few days ago with my young daughter (picture above) marveling at this one silver lining. Anonymous to security cameras, to facial recognition software, to Big Brother himself.


Well, it turns out that Big Brother is ahead of us all, thanks to cursed China, and that surfers will be specifically and quiet easily targeted.


By our distinctive sloth-like canter of course and let us become depressed once again.

Did you know that your stride is as unique as your fingerprint? Your walking style is an identifying characteristic just as much as your DNA. Sounds absurd, right?

I heard a story five years ago about how FBI operatives were trained to recognize a target based solely on the way they walked. Basically, the idea was that everyone had a gait (stride) that was unique to them. And if you learned someone’s gait, then you could easily identify them amongst a crowd, even if they were wearing a disguise.

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical. It didn’t really make sense. What if you purposely limped or slowed down? Wouldn’t this throw it off?

Well, as it turns out, gait recognition is a real thing. And the technology is well on its way.

We’ve all heard of facial recognition technology being used to identify people via surveillance cameras. Well, Watrix is a company in China that is taking a different approach through technology known as gait recognition software.

On the piece goes, detailing how gait recognition is virtually impossible to fool and how surfers will be rounded up, en masse, and sent to Lemoore, California where Kelly Slater will still rule us but only as a mid-level manager since he will, for sure collaborate, with the Chinese government.

The sun will be hot, the dust dry, Beijing’s politburo will surf “The Ranch” but there will be no more energy to pull “The Blue Train” so we will be strapped to it, heaving and ho-ing, while Slater stands on top cracking the whip.

Screaming, “Make barrel!” etc.

Best enjoy these your last moments of “freedom” I suppose.