I can picture what I want to be doing on a wave and know how to get there, but I just don’t have the skill or coordination to put it all together. Imagine trying to play a symphony through clock radio speakers. Right tune, wrong instrument etc.

Childhood trauma: “I was taunted as ‘Mr Wiggles’ in surf movie; my entire surfing life, everything I’d built, squashed into five seconds of comic relief!”

Twelve-year-old boy becomes figure of ridicule after inglorious appearance in surf film…

Confession time. I have a shitty surfing style.

When I get to my feet my stance is stiff and knock-kneed, my legs locked into a survival stoop. And then I’ve got these crazy, cocked arms that shoot off on right angles like a scarecrow.

On the wave I look less like a wounded gull than a drunken pigeon, wings akimbo.

I gyrate through turns like an ‘80s Brazillian Quey warrior.

Like Elaine Bennis dancing. Like, whatever.

A hot mess.

I can picture what I want to be doing on a wave and know how to get there, but I just don’t have the skill or coordination to put it all together. Imagine trying to play a symphony through clock radio speakers.

Right tune, wrong instrument etc.

It’s ok though. I’ve learned to live with it.

I’ll never be a pro, or even necessarily good at surfing, despite the fact I’ve dedicated the better part of my life to it.

We all compromise our dreams at some point.

But a recent screening of Inherent Bummer’s Surf Film did, to borrow a phrase from Derek Hynd, open up my past like a masochist.

Have you seen?

The movie itself is red hot. Vivid, energetic. A thousand new faces to process. A fantastic pastiche of contemporary surf culture.

For me, it recalled a certain brand of underground vids that would circulate through the scene back in the day. VHS tapes, usually pirated, shot by local filmers and featuring the current crew of regional rippers, underground lords, up and coming groms.

These were gritty, low-production value jobs. But they held a cultural currency that even the most cashed-up corporates could never hope to copy.

If you featured in one of these, you were like a god in your local crew.

This is what Ferré has recreated. I tips my hat to him.

But it’s also where my childhood trauma comes in.

Y’see, I was in one once. I was twelve years old. I still remember my grommy mate excitedly telling me I’d scored a wave on the latest cut. At a novelty reef that rarely breaks, no less.

Massive core points in itself.

I was expecting it to be that turn I’m pretty sure I’d let the tail slide on, or some heaving pit I’d somehow not realised I was in.

Check it out, grommy mate had said with a wry smile. You’ll be stoked.

Finally after a couple of weeks searching and wrangling I got my hands on a copy.

This is it, I thought as I slid it into the tape player.

Time to hit the big time. I fast forwarded straight to the spot I’d been told. Watched through the first few waves. Not me, not me, not me. Finally I found a figure that looked familiar paddling into a set.

Blonde mop. Spindly frame. Me.

But as I took off, a name popped up on the screen

“Wiggles.”

Wiggles? Who the fuck is that? I read it again.

Wiggles. Okay.

I watched on, horrified, as I dropped down the face. And wiggled. I wiggled like a drunken pigeon. My wings flapped as if I’d just copped a slug in the ribcage. I somehow forced a slight change of angle that could maybe be described as a bottom turn. I wiggled some more. Pushed out another turn, this one even more subdued, but one that in my mind had been a vulgar display of power, a violent shower of buckets to the heavens.

A turn that was, in fact, just a wiggle.

Then I caught a rail and fell off.

And that was it.

One wave. No barrels. No turns. Just wiggles.

I stood there, remote in hand, dumfounded. My entire surfing life, everything I’d built towards at that point, squashed into five seconds of comic relief for the local surfing community.

All that was missing was a fucking slide whistle.

Motherfucking Wiggles. The name I’ll never forget.

So yeah, fuck you, Ferré.

But anyway, it’s still a good film.

I had a chat about it, and Pentacoastal, and surfing representation in Hollywood, and my top five surf movies of all time, and a whole heap of other bullshit, with Tyler from Swellseason Surf over in New York.

Check it out here, or on all the usual podcast services.

And please, do share some of your childhood surf trauma too.

Tell me I wasn’t the only one.


Watch: Likely Trump supporter wrestles shark with bare hands, pries jaws open and shows teeth to stunned onlookers in Joe Biden’s back yard!

"Wow."

Oh the things a person can find in the state of Delaware, including blue crabs, saltwater taffy, one-time Senator and presidential hopeful Joe Biden and Cape Henlopen State Beach Park where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

Cape Henlopen does have occasional waves for surfing but also sharks including Sand Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks and Dusky Sharks.

Over the weekend a bronzed man waded into those waters wearing trunks reminiscent of Greg “Da Bull” Noll and caught a fairly large shark with his bare hands, wrestling it for a moment before prying its jaws apart and showing its razor sharp teeth to onlookers.

The way he grabbed the shark without first asking permission, instead of draping himself uncomfortably over the shark and whispering something in its ear without first asking permission, lends credence to the working theory that he is a Trump supporter.

Those who witnessed the spectacle were both shocked and impressed with one woman stating, “Wow. That’s a big ass shark.”

The shark was said to have been released back into the water though the video does not show the moment.


Rumor: WSL Studios’ “highly anticipated” reality show Ultimate Surfer set to begin filming next month at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch!

A gift for the weary.

A great fear hovers just beyond the horizon, past worries about pandemic re-spiking, boiling racial tension, impending economic collapse.

The Great Fear, even, and it is that we will all run out of entertainment soon.

Production on television shows and films went into a freeze months ago and have yet to restart. Nighttime talk show hosts are looking increasingly silly in their casual attire and clearly flawed skin.

The most dire predictions declare we will be all the way out of previously unaired material by September, if things stay as they are, but a hot, hot rumor suggests that the World Surf League, our World Surf League is set to roll cameras next month behind the wooden gates of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California.

The reality show, Ultimate Surfer, was announced last autumn. Per the press release:

ABC has greenlighted surfing competition reality series Ultimate Surfer, headlined by 11-time World Surf League champion Kelly Slater. The eight-episode series, from prolific unscripted producer Craig Piligian’s Lionsgate-owned Pilgrim Media Group and WSL Studios, will feature top up-and-coming surfers. They will train and live together as they battle it out at WSL’s state-of-the-art Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, which employs by Kelly Slater’s man-made wave technology. (You can watch a video about the facility below)

Slater will serve as on-air talent and special correspondent for the show, executive produced by Pilgrim CEO and President Piligian, WSL Studios President of Content and Media Erik Logan, and UFC President Dana White.

As you well know, Kelly Slater has mysteriously returned to the United States of America from his Australian quarantine.

Is this the reason?

Also, I hope it is the reason. I have been to Lemoore, myself, in July and will be returning this July in order to attempt surf journalism and catch unscripted moments from the unscripted show. Do you think they will allow participants to play the pokies at the Tachi Palace?

Do you think they will make the participants wear masks?

Will the “surfers falling in love with other surfers” storylines be shelved because of those masks?

Lemoore is not pleasant in July but I am very excited for this show and wonder if, alongside wildcards into future World Championship Tour events, the winner gets to visit World Surf League owner and co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff’s plantation?

Hmmmm.


Passionate newcomer to surfing reveals “landmark” apartment building at Snapper Rocks! “An incalculable luxury. It sends a message that says, I can mooch about in a sea of pickled sharks!”

Twenty-two apartments overlooking Superbank, from $1.1 million for a two-bedder to six-and-a-half mill for one of the sub-penthouses…

Last summer, the six apartment owners at 1 Petrie Street, Coolangatta, whose modest seventies-era building overlooked the Superbank, sold the whole joint for twelve million dollars to a developer planning a “landmark building.”

The old joint at 1 Petrie street…

The developer is a self-confessed VAL from Brisbane, Paul Gedoun, who“discovered” surfing five years ago at Snapper and who figured, oowee, maybe I’ll just buy the joint.

“I love everything about it and can’t believe I’ve been lucky enough to buy it,” he said.

It ain’t such a bad idea; I would if I could etc.

And the new building, called Flow, a seventy-mill build, will feature a penthouse which Gedoun will keep, and direct access to a footpath that leads to the the Snapper Rocks jump off.

It’s got all the usual markers of wealth, heated pool, daybeds, steam room, gymnasium, personal surfboard locker rooms, fire pit, even a “surfboard preparation room” where, perhaps, locals might be employed to fix their masters’ two-thousand dollar longboards and where lucky children with whisky breath will be free to roam and little dogs sourced from Mexico will be trained to walk on their hind legs. 

Here’s the price range.

2 bedroom 100sq.m – 113sq.m from $1,175,000
3 bedroom 160sq.m – 200sq.m from $2,300,000
Oceanic Residences 241sq.m – 289sq.m from $3,150,000
Sub- penthouses 524sq.m from $6,450,000

The sorts of places that send a message to the world that says, and I’m quoting Hannah Mary Rothschild here, “I have time to subcontract all the menial, dull chores out to others… I am time-rich. I can mooch about in a sea of pickled sharks.”


Great White and friends. | Photo: @crazy_nature2.0

Just in: Watch as a twelve-foot Great White interacts, peacefully, with a group of surfers!

Terror turns to joy etc…

Here’s the wildest bit of vision you’re probs gonna see today – a twelve-foot White swimming through a group of surfers during a clear-water middle of the day sesh fifty feet or so from the beach at Plettenberg Bay in Western Province, South Africa.

The joint, say local authorities, is crawling with Great Whites because of seals and fish coming close to shore but adds it’s a “normal aggregation” this time of year.

I’m still chasing the fourteen-year-old kid who snatched this drone footage to fill in the blanks, why he didn’t swoop down and maybe let his brothers know there was an animal famous for mangling human limbs examining their offerings a little too closely, so we must draw, for the moment, from our own observations.

One, ain’t it crazy how long it takes the group to see the White?

Two, its languid swim through a potential food source and, three, the VAL swinging his arms over like a pendulum who can’t catch a wave to escape.

According to Plettenberg Bay man Michael Herbst, ‘These guys said they had no idea the Great White was there until one of them yelled ‘shark’. They said they came out the water so fast and the beach was cleared by the lifeguards. For these surfers, it was their lucky day and they will never forget what happened out there as it is on film”.

Over the past ten years, twelve people have been killed by sharks in South Africa, five by Whites.

More to come if the kid checks his messages.

(In the meantime, maybe get one of these tourniquets if you’re kicking around White neighbourhoods. And I don’t mean Beverly Hills etc.)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CByT2_sn1MK/