Listen, shaper Jon Pyzel talks “depraved Screaming Eagles” and more on Dirty Water: “I would sacrifice myself before I sawed through a little girl!”

Enter the castle of John John Florence's lifelong shaper…

Here, today, on Dirty Water is an almost two-hour long conversation with John John Florence’s lifelong shaper, Jon Pyzel.

Some of Jon’s story you might already know: how this diabolically sexy shredder (sponsored by Rip Curl and Hamish Graham surfboards) fled Santa Babs for the North Shore in 1992 and was taken under the wing of master shaper Jeff Bushman before, in 1998, shaping a little blond boy’s first ever custom.

The boy, of course, John John Florence.

In Dirty Water, hear about what it’s like when every major surfboard company in the world is forever circling your marquee rider and how Al Merrick warned his own company to keep their hands off the kid; how Jon lived in a tool shed at Pupukea fed by a single light bulb with an extension cord running into the main house, the surfboard he made that nearly killed Mark Healey, why he ain’t into making flashy expensive surfboards for LA movie execs, the story of how The Ghost was created via a “fucked-up blank” and the depraved name of his foil model, The Screaming Eagle. 

(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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Fatal shark attack in Santa Cruz likely result of “stay-at-home” orders associated with Coronavirus prevention according to wildlife biologist

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, animals worldwide – from bears and bobcats at Yosemite to marine life in Hawaii – have been spotted reclaiming their natural habitats."

Last week, Ben Kelly, a 26-year-old surfer and shaper from Santa Cruz, was hit by a Great White and tragically died from his injuries on the beach. According to the coroner, the shark was likely a “sub-adult in the 10-foot range.”

Shark sightings are not uncommon along this stretch of northern California coast but attacks are rare, though in a recent interview host of Animal Planet’s “Extinct of Alive” and wildlife biologist Forrest Galante suggested there could be a spike as surfers return to the water as “stay-at-home” orders associated with Coronavirus prevention are relaxed.

Per Santa Cruz’s local KRON4 news, Galante said, “…the shark that attacked and killed Kelly probably had not seen a surfer in the area since stay-at-home orders were enacted. With a lack of humans in the water, the shark was most likely comfortable and attacked when its area was disturbed.”

Shark attacks are most often a case of mistaken identity as they hunt for seals, Galante said, adding that the increase in shark sightings is not uncommon since sharks are now hunting in areas previously frequented by humans.

People are urged to exercise extreme cation, especially since many California beaches are reopening or are expected to reopen this week.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, animals worldwide – from bears and bobcats at Yosemite to marine life in Hawaii – have been spotted reclaiming their natural habitats as humans continue to shelter-in-place amid the pandemic.

A memorial fund has been set up for expenses associated with Kelly’s funeral. Donate here.

Photo courtesy Carter Hess Facebook.
Photo courtesy Carter Hess Facebook.

From the Feel-Good Dept: Florida man loses leg while surfing; found two months later by young treasure hunter!

Come on get happy!

I don’t know about you, but I regularly consider treasure hunters on the beach whilst sitting in the lineup. What is the average day’s haul? The most valuable thing the average treasure hunter has ever discovered? Is it cathartic swinging that contraption around? Does it really work? Is there a lifestyle blog associated with treasure hunting? Does it also feature shark attack news? Plus many more questions.

Well, just days ago a thirteen-year-old treasure hunting Florida boy discovered a titanium leg while searching for treasure. He did not have the above set up but was rather scuba diving. And before we consider if the beach treasure hunter burns with jealousy over the scuba treasure hunter let us learn all we can about this heart-warming story from The New York Post.

A Florida man lost his leg while surfing — only to be reunited with his prosthetic weeks later after a boy found it on a treasure hunt.

Carter Hess was surfing the waters of St. Andrews last month when a wave came crashing down on him and knocked off his custom made, $3,000 titanium prosthetic leg.

He tried searching for it the next two days and came up empty, The Panama City News Herald reported.

“I knew immediately it was off of me,” said Hess. “I’ve surfed in much bigger waves and it never came off like that.”

Weeks went by until Sebastian Morris, a 13-year-old from Santa Rosa Beach, found the leg mostly buried in the jetties of a park, roughly 30 feet away, while on a treasure hunt with his father, Bobby, according to the outlet.

“I don’t think I would have ever found it,” Hess said.

The teen started an online campaign to find its owner and Hess’s friends forwarded him a story on the effort.

Hess connected with Sebastian’s family online and they met up to return the leg and let Hess treat them to dinner.

Hess, who lost his leg serving in Afghanistan, is now considering taking up scuba treasure hunting for himself which brings us back around to beach vs. scuba. After spending more time considering, I feel that the beach treasure hunter does, in fact, burn with jealousy over the scuba treasure hunter who not only has better stories, finds better treasure and has a better time but also pulls more action in the tiki bar after the sun is set looking all like this…

Very suave.

Sophisticated and brave.

6'10 21 big
6'10 21 big

Listen: “Uh oh, oooh no, no, no, no, no am I a mid-length guy?”

A fate worse than death.

Let’s be honest. Each of us here are extremely fragile when it comes to our surfing and surfing-adjacent lifestyle choices. Oh we can, each of us here, front that we don’t care. That surfing is a fun-but-stupid thing we do, and talk about, and watch, and listen to, and think about but it doesn’t define us.

That “…in the water, I’m just out there for me and who cares what anyone thinks because I don’t care and especially don’t care what anyone on the dumb internet thinks because only weak-willed turkeys care about that sort of nonsense.”

But we all care.

Not only do we surf, talk about surfing, watch surfing, listen to surfing (when we can’t watch) or podcasts, think non-stop about but it also, and more importantly, defines us.

Our tombstones engraved with the scarlet S.

I hate mid length surfboards.

Hate the egg, the fun board, the long fish, the peckerwood.

Hate and have hated my entire life.

Then one day, a year ago, Devon Howard drifted into my life all smart and handsome and stylish on a damned mid length surfboard.

Devon fucking Howard.

I wanted to hate him but it was very difficult and his surfing…. ugh …. so gorgeous.

Anyhow, I somehow lost a surf trivia game with David Lee Scales, at the very beginning of this Coronavirus Apocalypse, and thereby won a Channel Islands MID.


Today, maybe not coincidentally The Grit!’s 69th episode, I received it from Devon fucking Howard’s very hand.

It felt good under my arm.


Listen here and I surf it tomorrow.

World Surf League boldly recasts Coronavirus pandemic as “environmental justice crisis disproportionately affecting communities of color!”

Feat. Sal Masekela

And it is truly amazing to watch our World Surf League bend, morph, find new feet in the time of Coronavirus. Professional surfing has, of course, been cancelled thereby wiping away the league’s previous raison d’etre. Thankfully the pivot to “media platform” had already begun and now we watch home tours, unboxing videos and Sal Masekela safely zooming with his Santa Monica neighbor from two streets away named Reese on WSL PURE ONE OCEAN about how the Chinese lung disease is actually an “environmental justice crisis disproportionately affecting communities of color.”

A bold recasting.

Did the fans embrace with tear-stained cheeks?

Instagram suggests a mixed response.

ktown80: Right….. I’m gonna have to say that’s a hard pass.

mykure1: “Learn why Covid-19 and is an environmental justice crisis?” Is this evidence based? Or perpetrating fear and false narritives.

samwaldroup: issa no from me

charles.davern: Isn’t there some plastic in some body of water that you guys could cry about? The race card is SO played! Humans are all the same do us all a favor and stop putting color to it!

gastonn808: How did the corona virus turn into a communist agenda?

coliegoalie: WSL x cnn collab?

gra_murdoch: Appreciate the sentiment, but coming from the same outfit that sent me this blast yesterday: “”Live from the Sunrise Shack, Koa Smith opens up, rides, and almost lands a backflip on a fresh Hubboards boogie board that basically breaks the Shaka Scale. He then catches and releases a pesky backyard rat with a new humane trap.” it’s kinda hard to engage sincerely sometimes. Much as I really want to believe.

matt_weier: Damn, I didn’t know Covid was racist. Now i really hate it

jezang: Just stick to surfing @wsl pushing neo-marxism and identity politics is just going to destroy your fan base.

__kate__b: This is soo needed such important quality discussion. This is the best on multiple levels. Love love love it.

Will you watch?