"One time I wrestled a VAL to the ground with my bare hands." | Photo: @stepbrothers

Millennial responds to recent evisceration of the modern surfer as fat, COVID-fearing craft beer drinker: “Modern Surfer is only one side of the canvas. We must also inspect the other. Surf Don!’

"The Surf Don reckons wave riding was perfected by Taylor Knox at Trestles in ‘98. Anything that came after that is just gristle on the bone."

Yesterday, Charlie Smith sketched for us his outline of the Modern Surfer.

He is, wrote Smith, repressed, flaccid.

Youthful, yes. But domiciled by the invisible shackles of an information-saturated world.

Content to never break free.

It was a beautiful picture.

And one that, maybe, cut this writer deep.

But, that’s beside the point.

Because Modern Surfer is only one side of the canvas. We must also inspect the other.

The Yin to the Modern Surfer’s Yang.

The Surf Don.

Named after the classic literary figure Don Quixote. The Surf Don is an idealistic crusader always looking for a fight, and an opportunity to prove just how right he is.

The Surf Don has risen through life, absorbed everything thrown at him, and came out tops.

No handouts. No favours.

The world is his, and there ain’t any tilted beanie or windmill that’s gonna tell him otherwise.

Want to know more?

The Surf Don works a trade, and has been doing so for the last thirty years. His appointments are timed around surfing, he only ever responds to phone calls (generally 3-5 business days later) and he charges like he’s suing for reparations.

The Surf Don looks at any feeble bodied, feminine cocksucker that doesn’t earn a living with his hands lower than he would Ando, or AOC.

The Surf Don is divorced, and if he’s not he should be.

The Surf Don has a long relationship with a local shaper and can’t believe what cocksuckers will pay for those goddamned Oriental pop-outs.

The Surf Don has been recycling through the same three board quiver for the last decade. Every few years he gives a silent, knowing nod to his shaper and an extra 1/4 inch is added to the thickness and width on his next order. But this is never openly discussed.

The Surf Don reckons wave riding was perfected by Taylor Knox at Trestles in ‘98. Anything that came after that is just gristle on the bone.

The Surf Don says his stiff style is all about economy of movement, but you probably wouldn’t understand. Cocksucker.

Anyway, you’ll never see the Surf Don in the water as he only frequents solitary banks and ledges. He don’t move with no crowds.

The Surf Don still dismisses thirty-four year olds as ‘groms.’

The Surf Don doesn’t say you should have been here yesterday. The Surf Don says you shouldn’t be here at all.

The Surf Don hates the WSL and everything it stands for, and wishes those lousy cocksuckers would fuck off and let somebody smart run the show. Like the Surf Don.

The Surf Don spends any spare time not surfing or working doing blokey things, like building retaining walls for friends and unknowingly reading alt-right media.

The Surf Don enjoys parking in liberal elitist cocksucker’s 2007 Prius hatchbacks with his late model F250 truck.

The Surf Don would live off grid if he could, and compensates for the fact by buying portioned cadavers direct from a butcher to store in his three commercial freezers ( eg “One deer leg thanks, Buck”).

The Surf Don is financially conservative, a self-labelled libertarian that would discover he’s an anarcho-capitalist if he ever looked it up.

The Surf Don buys an upgraded version of the same flannelette hoodie every two or three years.

The Surf Don reckons music peaked with the Foo Fighters’ 1999 album There is Nothing Left to Lose.

The Surf Don only drinks domestic and/or Mexican beers, which he enjoys with the odd hot one down by the beach with a few of his Don buddies.

Or, alternatively, he’s been off the booze ever since (insert drunken event that probably would have involved the cops if he didn’t have some “good people around him” here).

The Surf Don actively decries social media and all those who use it, yet spends most waking hours rotating between his Disqus and LinkedIn profiles.

(He had to get rid of Facebook after the ex caught him sexting a Russian bot)

What did I miss?

See this ten-foot White? Caught on a drumline at Ballina, "Shark Number 28" has been tracked swimming from Queensland to WA and back. Forty thousand clicks since it was tagged in 2016. | Photo: @nsw_sharksmart Message

Healthy: 333 Great Whites caught on ten-mile stretch between Ballina, Lennox and Evans Head!

"The big pectoral fins look like a plane, the white belly almost gleams in the sun against the dark rocks. We eyeball each other."

Don’t let it be said that there ain’t a flourishing White population in Australian waters, the result of a decision by the conservative government in 1999 to erect a legal forcefield around ‘em.

Whatever you think of Great Whites, majestic, horrifying, divine or the embodiment of evil, they sure do like it in the warm, clean waters between Lennox Head and Ballina.

Over the past four years, the NSW government has employed contractors to tag and release sharks caught on drumlines between Lennox Head and Ballina and around Evans Head.

The drumlines are of the “smart” sort, which means whenever a shark, or whatever, bites, the contractors are hit with an email, text or call telling ‘em to come and free the fish.

And the head-count?

Three hundred and thirty-three Whites have been caught, tagged released, sixty-seven Tigers and only seven Bulls, once the staple bities around these part.

Three hundred plus, oowee, that’s a lot of Great Whites swimming around.


It doesn’t necessarily mean terror, however.

(A couple of exceptions, here, here and here.)

Last year, BeachGrit’s Longtom wrote of a divine encounter with a juvie White at his beloved Point,

Flick. Some little imperceptible rapid movement in my peripheral vision sparks an unconscious reaction. I turn quickly to the movement. It takes a micro-second to see clearly what it is. A White shark. Coming in very hot straight at me. I don’t feel a thing even remotely allied with fear. It’s a “whoa!” I face it.

It turns quickly and comes almost to a dead stop. I can feel the pressure wave on my legs. White shark does a slow circle around me. I can see it the whole time in the crystal clear water. Comes in nice and slow right underneath me and rolls over. The big pectoral fins look like a plane, the white belly almost gleams in the sun against the dark rocks. We eyeball each other.

There is no fear, no frozen feelings, no panic. Just a profound moment of inter-species communication across the gulf of millions of years of evolution.

Are you, like me, thrilled by the rude good health of Australia’s great white stocks?

Are you, like me, not planning on surfing the Ballina to Byron stretch anytime soon?

Photo: The great Steve Sherman (@tsherms) pictured Kelly Slater (unleashing crude gesture) with the environmentally sound older brother of 1984 World Champ Tom Carroll.
Photo: The great Steve Sherman (@tsherms) pictured Kelly Slater (unleashing crude gesture) with the environmentally sound older brother of 1984 World Champ Tom Carroll.

BeachGrit reaches bridge too far in describing Kelly Slater as “most environmentally damaging person on earth”; Gets blocked on Facebook and Instagram!

With a bullet!

A BeachGrit podcast criticizing Kelly Slater’s environmentalism has prompted a string of social media blocks from the world’s greatest surfer in which he may have derided his critics as “loser types” either internally or out loud.

While social media blocks are common for the eleven-time world champ, this series has the flavor of personal grudge. The podcast, called Dirty Water ep. 7, was produced by a group of Kelly Slater’s biggest fans, Chas Smith and Derek Rielly whom prominently co-founded a magazine Slater once boycotted.

In the episode, co-starring Steve “Longtom” Shearer, Chas Smith riffed on former 1984 champion, Tom Carroll, and what a quiet, non-pollutive life he lives.

In contrast, Dirty Water ep. 7 had Longtom opening with, “Bill Finnegan is going to write a hundred words on Kelly Slater, what’s going to be in the first sentence?”

“Greatest surfer of all time,” said Chas.

“Loves Instagram,” Derek said.

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

“Empath?” said Chas

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

“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.” Chas leaned in.

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

BeachGrit is a surf website launched in 2013 by disaffected anti-depressives looking to “defeat boredom and sycophantism” in 2020, even at the expense of being blocked on social media by the world’s greatest surfer.

“Being blocked on social media for those who support the right to a slight chuckle over self-described ‘surf fans’ who do not is a worthy effort,” the group’s mission statement reads.

More as the story develops.

Photo courtesy of Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
Photo courtesy of Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Justice: Sexually abusive Great White Shark has chunk bitten from tail by “classy, bougie, ratchet” female discovering her “inner apex predator!”

I'm a savage.

Dark day. Bleak days. Pandemic disease rushing wildly around the globe, indiscriminately killing obese 80-year-old diabetics with underlying heart conditions. Economic collapse immanent. Surfing criminalized. Rock salt lamps and their warm ionized air, the only thing keeping humanity from complete implosion.

But always a silver lining and today we find ours in the animal kingdom where classy, bougie, ratchet female Great White sharks are in the midst of an inspiring #MeToo moment.

Shall we turn our frowns upside down?

Something tore into a 12-foot shark off the East Coast, taking part of a fin and leaving teeth marks around its hulking body, according to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.

Photos of the battered shark (named Chex) were shared Saturday on Facebook, showing the most striking of its “battle scars” was a missing top lobe from its thick tail (caudal) fin.

“We do not know how this happened, but our science team can hypothesize that the (tail) injury could have been caused by a boat strike or an interaction with another shark. If you look around Chex’s gill slits, you can see the scar of a bite from another shark,” the conservancy wrote.

“Unfortunately, we do not know why another shark would bite Chex. It is rare to record interactions between these animals.”

OCEARCH, another shark research agency, has speculated that male great white sharks may bite each other in the North Atlantic while competing for females in mating season, or the females themselves bite males to ward off unwanted sexual advances.

And there we have it. “The females themselves bite males to ward off unwanted sexual advances. “Chex (read: Harvey Weinstein) swimming around just assuming every female is his for the taking. Being both an apex predator and an apex sexual predator but sorry, bud, TIME’S UP and there goes the tail.

I truly hope that other fish and whales take note and also that male Great Whites start behaving with more decorum.

Dane Reynolds releases new video channel along with manifesto: “I miss making surf videos despite the preposterousness of the pursuit!”

And, "I’m going to try and keep the bar low and get videos out rather than dwell on what’s worthy."

A gift, this afternoon, in the form of a big plate of liver mush fry topped with red-eye gravy from the still best surfer in the world, Ventura’s Danny Reynolds.

Reynolds, who is thirty-four and surrounded by bacon fat, has returned to the blog, vlog, whatever it is game, with Chapter 11 TV, a reboot of Marine Layer Productions, which was shuttered two years ago. 

In a manifesto posted to the homepage of Chappy Eleven, Reynolds writes,

Sometimes the absurdity of trying to make surf videos becomes perfectly clear. This particular morning I showed up before dawn and the waves weren’t what I had hoped for.

Mini had texted me the evening before ‘JW going off’ as I was making the kids dinner, which is kinda cruel as I can’t just drop everything for a session anymore, things have to be at least somewhat planned and evenings are mostly reserved for bathing, feeding, managing conflicts and trying to get the kids to bed early enough to have a brief moment of solace. So we agreed to meet first thing in the morning.

But by morning the swell had dropped and it was foggy and cold. I still paddled out to validate the effort. Surfing at dawn is awesome when the waves are exciting enough to get your blood pumping but trying to do airs at this hour is like waking up and doing gymnastics in a cold shower. Water trickled through the seams of my suit as I waited for a shitty little refraction off the jetty to connect with a meager 2 foot swell from the South Pacific so I can catch it and stand my fossilized body up on my surfboard and hopefully do a trick that I can post on my website.

Shit wasn’t coming together so I paddled down the beach where about a dozen people had gathered and there seemed to be a little more action. The waves were a little more interesting with even a few novelty tubes.

I notice a kid paddling for straight closeouts and getting pitched then sitting in the impact zone waiting for waves.

The best wave I’d seen all morning formulates just within paddling distance so I dart off. I see him darting off in the same direction. My goal is to catch a 2 foot clean little barrel, his goal is to not get smoked by a 2 foot clean little barrel.

I get into position.

As I’m dropping in I see him in my peripheral vision still paddling his ass off hoping to not get demoed.

He just makes it out of the way of the waves devastating blow, but bails his board to ensure no physical harm. I make the barrel but have to change my line to avoid hitting his board.

“I should snap on that kid” was my first thought.

Of course I would never because I hate bumming people out more than anything but I’ve been conditioned to think this is a worthy scenario for verbal abuse.

i grumble to myself “If you can’t hold on to your board in 2 ft surf you should be at a beginner spo-”

“Bro that was a SICK barrel!” He shouts which instantly disarms my thought process.

“Ha, yeah, that was a fun little one”

“BRO are you Dane?”

“Ha, yep…”

“Why aren’t you on tour anymore???”

“Cause I’m old and out of shape”

“Bro, but Kelly’s like 50 and he’s still doing IT!”

“Yeah I know… he should probably give it up”

“No way bro, NEVER give up on your dreams!”

This conversation is comical, his level of enthusiasm lifts my spirits.

“But you’re still a PRO SURFER right?”

“I don’t think there’s such a thing as a pro surfer anymore”

Kid was a little confused…

“Do you ever surf Tar Pits??”

Over the course of 2 hours of surfing no clips that i would typically put in a video were recorded, I came home to chaos of fighting children. Bobbie has a knack for spite which triggers Maggie who’s usually cool but when she passes the threshold of frustration there’s no coming back. Sammy loves the chaos and contributes at will. It was more tolerable than normal after getting a few little head dips.

In 2019 I surfed the least I ever have. I was running a business out of my garage while raising 3 kids under 5. Plus the waves in California were mostly shit and the few trips I made time for we got skunked.

With all the kids going to school and Former graduating out of my garage my goal for this year was to make more time for surfing. It’s my salvation.

I got excited to start Chapter 11 TV in January when I was surfing a lot and feeling pretty good about it and getting inspired by the new generation of local surfers. I miss making surf videos despite the preposterousness of the pursuit.

Things have changed for everyone since January and for me has slowed the development of the site but i’m still excited and ambitious. I’m going to try and keep the bar low and get videos out rather than dwell on what’s worthy.

There’s no real concept or criteria for Chapter 11 TV, Surfing means different things to different people, I’m just trying to convey our version of it.

From my experience the less you expect the less you get disappointed.

Do you think Kelly should give it in?

I don’t, at least not until he’s so decrepit he has to be tossed into an incinerator to save his rep.

The other points are all very well made.

Hit here to watch his, and filmer Mini Blanchard’s, first five-minute cut.