In a blast of irony, it was on the eve of the COVID-19 disaster when BeachGrit fiddled with the WSL for pivoting towards TikiTok, the two-year-old Chinese vid share network adored by teenage girls.
Were they onto something?
Was surfing now beholden to phone zombie VALS?
At the time, we didn’t think so.
“As [TikTok] creates enhanced tools and more opportunities for us to reach newer audiences, we want to make sure that we’re focused on what’s going to drive our business and that consumer journey that connects back to the WSL,” the WSL’s Chief Community Officer Tim Greenberg told Front Office Sports. “Video surfing is aspirational, and music is aspirational in a lot of ways – therefore, we have this very natural space to begin programming content because it is so endemic to who we are as a sport.”
A lunatic lunge for the lowest common denominator, as the expression goes.
But, fast forward almost two months and after weeks in our little shelters, with runs in our stockings and pinafores stained with cherry cola, TikTok has become an old friend.
We came to mock, but was thrilled by the dancing.
And now this.
Who can’t help but stare at this sublime twelve seconds from world champ Italo Ferreira and the divine manifestation of his girlfriend Maria Azevedo as they mock the damn virus that has knocked the world off its axis.
A blessed spray of healing mist.
Difficult times etc.
Opinion: “The damn mid-length is a legitimate cheat code! It’s the ugly duckling future!”
"It's got fucking FAA approved engines (Volume + Thickness+ Length) making it ghost ride into just about anything you want…"
The men behind the mid-length. Good god, can we just end this thing right there?
If your name is not Torren Martyn and your age is not 60, hang the damn thing up.
Or stomp it into obscurity.
Both options are highly encouraged.
Nonetheless, let’s begin where I first became aware of the mid-lengthers, wave catchers, drawn-out turners, and swoopers of individuals.
Trestles, the glorious meeting ground for any and all Southern California rippers looking to hold the rail beyond the usual Huntington hop eye sore. It is a place that So’Caler’s hold with much regard for its “national park” feel, its beauty and tranquility and, most significantly, its long tapered walls.
Along with the many elements of nature it exhibits, it also plays host to something on the other end of the spectrum.
Something horrible and grave, insistent and annoying, something formidable.
The fucking Mid-Lengthers.
Again, we should just end there.
But, we won’t.
The damn Mid-Length is a legitimate cheat code in this game of surf we love and hate to play. It’s got fucking FAA approved engines (volume + thickness+ length) making it ghost ride into just about anything you want. It also has a long, drawn-out rail line allowing it to never piddle out on mush.
And the worst thing of all?
It is owned and operated by the modern surfer.
The guy, call me sexist, who screams “Eureka” (I found it) when he realizes this is the board he’s yearned for. All those years suffering on a wave-starved, chiseled-out potato chip are put to bed.
Now he can shut his eyes at night dreaming of the thousands of waves he’s gonna catch, the hundreds of people he’s gonna out position and the handful of fist bumps he’ll receive on the beach.
Very strict burns.
Drop-ins up and down the beach until every Mid-Lengther across the globe comes to recognize that if you ride a Mid-Length you’re gonna get burned.
It’d be stupid to sit here with my arm in chair (no pun) and declare that “progressive, radical surfing” on shortboards is the way forward and informally “the solution.”
Because, to be frank, it is not.
The way of the future is the Mid-Length due to the increased amount of surfers and the decreased amount of secluded surf spots.
This does not mean to engage with the Mid-Length right now.
It simply means to push pause on this fad and hold off until it is absolutely necessary.
Once Erik Logan converts every living thing in this world into a surfer, you’ll know the time has come to call your local shaper and effectively sell your soul.
Until then, forget about trimming.
Volleyball (in t-shirt) taking surfing (shirtless) on a date.
Victory: USA Surfing announces former USA Volleyball CEO, and man who has never surfed, as Chairman of the Board!
"No, that was a Beach Boys song. We’re talking about USA Surfing."
The Tokyo Olympic Games may be postponed for a year but that doesn’t mean the USA Surfing, the officially recognized governing body, is standing pat.
Following the World Surf League’s lead, which has a standup paddleboarder leading the charge, USA Surfing just announced that Doug Beal, longtime CEO of USA Volleyball and man who has also never surfed, as its new Chairman of the Board.
No, that was a Beach Boys song. We’re talking about USA Surfing.
And USA Surfing’s new chairman of the board of directors is Doug Beal, a volleyball guy who, well, is not exactly a surfer.
It puts a whole different spin on Surf’s Up.
“It’s likely to be a very popular, visible sport on the Olympic calendar in Tokyo,” Beal said.
He may live in Colorado Springs, kind of far from the ocean, but that’s not the point. Beal, the former USA great volleyball player, 1984 Olympic gold-medal coach and longtime USA Volleyball CEO knows how to Get Around the international sports waters.
So when USA Surfing needed someone to guide its Surfin’ Safari, Beal was the guy.
Beal said last fall he got a call from a USA Olympic and Paralympic Committee consultant on behalf of USA Surfing and asked if he would help out.
“I said sure, and they happen to be located in San Clemente, which is where most of my wife’s family is,” Beal said. “So under normal conditions we go out there half a dozen times a year to visit her mom, sisters, and cousins.”
Erik Logan and Doug Beal leading surfing out of the wilderness and into the promised land of Oprah Winfrey respect and multiple gold medals.
Five surfers killed, more missing, off popular Dutch beach resort as strong winds, excess foam wreak havoc
Tragedy struck, and continues to slowly unspool, off the popular Dutch beach resort of Scheveningen as five surfers have been killed, more are still missing and several others required rescuing during the last 24-hours.
Rescue teams in the Netherlands on Tuesday recovered the bodies of three surfers. Two other people rescued from the sea the day before died shortly after being pulled from the water.
Surfers familiar with the conditions at Scheveningen told the Dutch public broadcasting organization NOS that strong winds and adverse currents might have made things difficult for the surfers, some of whom were reportedly very experienced. They said the large amount of foam on the waves may also have played a role.
The search for the missing surfers was called off as darkness fell but resumed this morning with rescue helicopters flying close to the water in order to blast away the foam.
And in all my years of reading, writing about surfing I have never seen anything like this. It is difficult to fathom the scope of destruction and conditions that could have claimed so many lives.
Surf forecast site MagicSeaweed describes Schevenigen as, “Most well know spot in Holland, a stretch of small jettys flanked by a huge harbour wall that gives SW wind protection and a paddling out channel. Often lacks in power and closes out, therefore a lot of longboarders. Picks up all swell directions and breaks through the tide but best on a NW at high.”
One man screams, another enjoys ride. @grahamblade
Aftermath: Man who filmed surfers’ hair-raising escape from “member of Great White family” near Bells Beach talks of bitten man’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: “He kept messaging me that night, saying he couldn’t sleep, saying he was stressing out!”
And watch the full HD movie! Hear the blood-curdling screams!
It’s not every day a man gets nicked by a member of the Great White family, in this case the broadnose sevengill, a shark hunted by the Chinese for its excellent liver oil, very good for giving a man the hardest of honeymoon dick.
Now, the full story of the event and its aftermath can be revealed.
Graham Blade is a twenty-eight year old plumber from Torquay, the town you live if you wanna surf Bells, Winki and so on. He’s a little sick at the moment, chronic fatigue syndrome, and was filming his pal Matt Sedunary, thirty-five, shredding small Southside, a wave immediately south of Bells.
Blade was sitting on the cliff overlooking the waves with his digital camera, entry level but quality lens, good enough to film his buddy surf, when he heard a shrieking so loud it felt like someone was yelling directly into his ear.
“Literally…screaming,” says Blade. “I didn’t know what was happening. I thought he was having a panic attack or something.”
In the water, Blade’s buddy, Matt, was trying to calm down a surfer from Reunion Island, Dylan Nacass, who said he’d been bitten by a shark.
Blade started filming, the water unseasonably clear, the shark visible.
If you examine the photo, below, you can see Matt, yellow, thinking it’s all a fabulous time, while Narcass is in what he believes, perhaps incorrectly given is a life-or-death scenario.
It wasn’t until the pair had paddled twenty metres in that Blade realised the shark was at their feet.
“I yelled, ‘It’s still behind ya! Paddle in!’”
In the carpark, Nacass’ hands were shaking so badly he couldn’t type his phone number into Blade’s phone.
“He eventually came good and said he was going to get some beers, that he was happy for his life, that he was going to go and relax.”
Blade says it wasn’t until his buddy Matt saw the footage, and saw how close the shark was the whole time, that it was actually just behind his feet, that he got shaken up.
“He was watching the footage and said he didn’t realise it was there, that it was so close the whole time. That spooked him out the most. That there was no warning. And even when it bit the dude on the knee not one bit of water moved around him. That kept playing on his mind.”
Back at their Torquay palace, Blade and Sedunary were hunted by reporters with their news crews, who made the pair play Supercross on their Xbox for some B-roll footage.
Blade wasn’t sure if he should, or could, ask for money for his footage so out it went, for free.
Later that night, when the pals, who share a house, spoke about it, Blade said, “Mate, it’s pretty full-on to be in the water when someone actually got bitten. Whether the bite was massive or tiny, it’s wild.”
And all though the course of the afternoon and night, Blade was getting texts from Nacass.
“He was saying he couldn’t sleep and he was stressing out. I told him, yeah, well, you did just get bitten by a shark. It does make sense.”
Watch the HD footage and hear the blood-curdling screams below!