Charlie Smith, author of four books and witness to world's most sordid surf fight, left, DR, top right, Longtom, bottom.

Listen: “The natural instinct in California is to be a sissy; how do you have any kind of respect for yourself if you get into a splash fight?”

Sissy fights, jealousy, wavepools affixed to government teat…the world's first anti-depressive podcast!

In today’s episode of Dirty Water, which was recorded yesterday afternoon, Steve “Longtom” Shearer joins me and Charlie Smith to discuss myriad important topics.

These include his blood feud with surf writer icon Nick Carroll, whom he used to “mail bitchy letters to all the time because he’s such a pro surfer whore” and a seventeen-hour surf fight he saw on the North Shore that started in the surf, moved to the beach, then the streets and, later presumably, a house.

Steve also tells the terrifying story of a friend who was convinced he was going to die during last week’s twelve-foot swell when he was thrown against unclimbable cliffs, saw God briefly, had to be rescued by a helicopter etc.

Charlie talks about his new…new…book, about his armed robber cousin who is closing in on the record for most bank robberies in the USA, this book not to be confused with his new book, Reports from Hell, which is at the printer but can be ordered here prior to its July 1 release, and a sissy surf fight he watched unfurl at home in Cardiff by the Sea.

“A splash in the face is way more emasculating than a punch,” says Charlie. “How do you have any respect for yourself after you’ve been in a splash fight?”

And, a bonus: anyone who leaves a review on iTunes, good, bad, don’t care as long as it’s entertaining, will get a BeachGrit tailpad. All you gotta do is write the review, email us the link ([email protected]) and you’ll get a tailpad in some random colour.

(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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Pleasure Point via Surfline cam.
Pleasure Point via Surfline cam.

After Great White seen breaching off Pleasure Point, shark expert warns against attempted cuddling: “It’s a large, several-hundred pounds sea creature that eats animals about your size!”

"It's just so basic..."

Fame-adjacent Santa Cruz surfer Ken “Skindog” Collins is certainly having a renaissance during this the Coronavirus Apocalypse. He was thrust back near the spotlight many months ago by publicly declaring that surfers should take quarantine seriously and not participate in the Pastime of Kings until “flattening the curve.”

His position was mocked by fame-adjacent North County, San Diego surfer Joel Tudor and the battle lines were drawn.

Team Skindog on one side. Team Tudor on the other.

Hindsight reveals that the vast majority of surfers fell in behind Ken and created a heretofore unparalleled special unit of snitches, social media tattlers and surf magazine collaborationists. The curve was flattened, many were shamed for daring to paddle and victory gushed forth like the hoppiest double IPA.

Well, Skindog is back in the news again, this time posting an Instagram photo of a Great White Shark breaching off of Pleasure Point, captioning it, “FYI- Nor Cal Great White Shark population is growing. We are seeing them all over the place, even on @surfline.”

The breaching shark being a Great White was confirmed by Pelagic Shark Research Foundation Executive Director Sean Van Sommeran, who says the increasingly polarizing arguments that he hears about sharks bother him.

Per the local Good Times news:

On the one hand, Van Sommeran has heard claims that white shark populations are growing at dangerous rates—a theory floated in the caption of the jumping shark Instagram video—sometimes even prompting theories that sharks don’t deserve any protection, all of which Van Sommeran says isn’t true. (Three dead sharks have washed ashore locally in recent years—one from a gunshot, one that was hit by a boat and another that was likely killed by poisonous runoff, Van Sommeran says.)

At the same time, Van Sommeran often hears claims that all sharks are nothing more than harmless, cute sea creatures, ones that adventure seekers should chase after and try to see up close.

Not advisable, Van Sommeran says. “It’s just so basic: Don’t swim out to the sharks. It’s a large, several-hundred pounds sea creature that eats animals about your size. It’s not some cute baby shark that’s waiting for you to come say ‘Hi.’ Nor is it a prehistoric creature from Amityville that’s looking to kill everyone.”

And so, once again, we must pick sides.

Are you Team Cute Baby or Team Prehistoric Creature from Amityville That’s Looking to Kill Everyone?

Choose wisely.

Listen: “World Surf League CEO Erik Logan just threw out everything he had seen, heard, and pioneered a never-before-witnessed tube stance!”


Progression often flourishes in troubled times. When life is good, things move under the weight of their existing momentum. No change. No shift. Just same, same, same. Pain and hardship nourish innovation though. Fertilize it. Is it any coincidence that fertilizer is, in fact, shit?


And in these shitty times, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan just threw out everything he had seen, heard, and pioneered a never-before-witnessed tube stance at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch.

Should we watch?

What do you think? Functional, practical, efficient or an abomination to everything surfing means?

David Lee Scales and I discussed this morning alongside welcome guest Travis Ferré.

Travis, as you must recall, stuck to his principles and has refused to surf Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch.

He also felt Logan made a complete mockery of everything we love.


I found the barrel hideously wonderful. Grotesque in the 18th century art sort of way, though, after watching it multiple times don’t know that it can be classified as “complete.” Logan torqued his body into a position that made it impossible to get to his feet after blasting out into the cow scented air.

Doesn’t one have to be able to stand in order for a barrel to count?

We also discussed Inherent Bummer’s wonderful new surf film Surf Film (watch here), getting strong via sewage and other flotsam plus jetsam.

Feel free to listen here but don’t feel obliged.

Misadventure: Two Australian surfers hired for “tie man up in his underwear and stroke him with a broom” sexual fantasy break into wrong house!

"Sorry, mate."

It’s a tough life being a surfer what with daylight “earning” hours often spent surfing, chasing surf, thinking about chasing surf or watching World Surf League re-runs. How then can a living be earned?

Night work, of course, and have you ever wrangled a graveyard shift? In college, I used to work the campus security switchboard from 10 pm to 6 am. Later, I valeted cars and though those shifts didn’t run all night they kept the days free.

In Australia, we have just learned of two men, surfers likely seeing as they hail from New South Wales, who made their money as hired guns for various sexual fantasies.

One man hired them, for instance, to break into his house, tie him up with his underwear and stroke him with a broom.

Well, the client moved without notifying the surfers who, in turn, broke into the wrong house and let’s pick the story up from there in the BBC.

When the (new) resident noticed a light on in his kitchen at 06:15, he assumed it was a friend who came by daily to make morning coffee.

When the men called out the name of their client, the resident turned on the light and removed a sleep apnoea mask he was wearing.

It was then that he saw them standing above his bed with the machetes, which they appeared to have brought as props for the role play.

When they realised their error, one of the pair said, “Sorry, mate”, and shook the resident’s hand, according to local reports.

The two men then drove to the correct address, where the client noticed one man had a “great big knife” in his trousers and asked them to leave the weapons in their car.

The client then cooked bacon, eggs and noodles, and a short time later, the police arrived at the property, found the machetes in the car and arrested the hired pair.

A sad ending?


Just yesterday a judge, also likely a surfer, acquitted them men declaring, “They carried the machetes either as a prop or something to use in that fantasy. The fantasy was unscripted and there was discretion as to how it would be carried out.”

A lawyer for the accused added, “It was a commercial agreement to tie up and stroke a semi-naked man in his underpants with a broom. Entry was not with intent to intimidate.”


And are you thinking about it as a potential side hustle?

Nick Carroll, are you?

What is the going rate?

Much to ponder.

Drowning dog inserts paws around electric foiler's neck and eyes horizon steadily. | Photo: @7news

Fantastic: Man on electric foil board rescues dog from overturned fishing kayak in crowded Gold Coast lineup!

South African e-foiler, hero.

My writing’s been in a bit of a rut of late. Inspiration lacking.

The surf industrial complex, with all its usual gossip, intrigue and scandal, hit the Coronavirus head on. Whack! I was geared up for a never ending procession of scoops, expozes, shock reveals.

But after aqua planing for a ‘lil bit, the whole whirring mess has now spun to a complete stop.

There’s no tour to complain about. The pools are shut. Few new clips are dropping. Every angle of the Chinese Cough has been covered, and covered again.

The machine sits silent.

All we’re left with is Chris Cote playing bass guitar over clips of Kai Lenny folding his laundry to an empty live feed, while podcasters interview other podcasters about their favourite podcasts in some form of infinite meta loop.

Crickets in the real world. No one knows what happens next.

(Oh, and I missed the best day in a decade at home due to family commitments. I’d make the same choice again, but jeez some of the shots sting.)

Derek writes me just this week, asking if I’ve got any stories up my sleeve. Nah mate. I’m tapped out. Flatlining. There’s absolutely fucking nothing going on.

Then this story pops up in my feed: Man on electric foil board rescues dog from overturned fishing kayak in crowded Currumbin line up.

Read that sentence. And then read it again. Pause at every step to marvel the incredulity.

A fishing kayak, avec pooch, attempting to paddle out through four foot Currumbin Alley. Regular limb-powered surfers rendered as helpless onlookers when the ‘yak flips.

A South African, on an e-foil, swoops in as hero to save the day.

An electric fucking foil.

A story so stupid, with so little meaning to be derived from it, yet simultaneously the most fantastic thing that has happened in 2020.


You can try and pin it down, try and attach a narrative to it. Try and understand what has happened. Analyse how we got here. Understand what it all means. The electric foil. The fishing dog. The global pandemic. The collapse of the entire fucking world.

But you can’t.

It’s impossible.

At this point, all you can do is sit back and watch everything unravel. And realise that surfing, in all its gorgeous anarchy, is the gift that will never stop giving.

God bless it.

And God damn it if you don’t just wanna boop that little pooch right in the snoot.

Can we get him a content sharing contract with WSL studios, ASAP?

Watch here.