The face of privilege.
The face of privilege.

Long Read: “The sport that helped popularize the graphic T-shirt, birthed skateboarding and gave the world a name for loafing online is, like other American subcultures, confronting a scourge of racism that has thrived within its own ranks!”


A longer new piece on today’s NBC News explores surfing’s very racist past. I am sometimes surprised to read the opinions of professors of surf journalism, founders and directors of university centers for surf research and authors of political histories of surfing of whom I’ve never once heard.

Surfing is, to me, a small bubble where all the players are known or known adjacent but I suppose in this day of hard interior looks, that is simply my bubble perspective.

I don’t know, however, how a piece can be written without a chat to author of The History of Surfing and the Encyclopedia of Surfing Mr. Matt Warshaw.

In any case, journalist Dennis Romero writes, “The sport that helped popularize the graphic T-shirt, birthed skateboarding and gave the world a name for loafing online is, like other American subcultures, confronting a scourge of racism that has thrived within its own ranks.”

The Outrigger Club in Waikiki in 1911 culturally appropriating surfing and making it white, localism as a form of racial discrimination, The Endless Summer leaving out the word “apartheid”, Windansea kids traveling up to the 1965 Watts Riots for “entertainment”, Jeff Spicoli representing privilege and the racist sentiment associated with those who oppose the “Brazilian Storm” are all probed.

An accurate portrayal?

I don’t think so, especially not where it relates to localism as a form of racial discrimination. I’m certain there are racist locals but surf localism is much broader along with rage-filled surf tribalism and very rude surf shaming, as my transition to mid-lengther is teaching me.


I am also a white male so my opinion counts for zero but what is your opinion? What do you think?

Just kidding. Your opinion counts for zero too.

Read here!

Beschen, main photo, orange Dez, top, and Cabo Chas, below.

Listen: “Least huggable pro of all” Shane Beschen reveals his and Derek Hynd’s failed world tour putsch, “gnarly racism to haoles” and the dirty secret/lonely rendezvous he shares with super shaper Jon Pyzel!

"Like Medina, he never put on an act for anyone."

Today’s guest on Dirty Water is the former world title contender turned super coach Shane Beschen.

He was one of the first surfers on tour to regularly bring airs into heats, he scored the highest total ever in a heat, thirty points via three tens on three waves, and he’s an in-demand coach with two shredder kids.

He abhors mediocrity in anything and his face has a fragile look as if it might have been broken and stuck together again, or like a gun no one knows is loaded.

Two years ago, Beschen was described by the Encyclopedia of Surfing’s Matt Warshaw as “the least huggable pro of all” and said he “never put on act for our benefit. Kind of like Medina, but even less fucks given.”

On today’s podcast, Charlie in Cabo, Beschen in his beach shack at Rocky Point, me in Sydney, we talk about San Clemente when it was a wild little town run by Matt Archbold, Christian Fletcher and Martin Potter; seeing multi-generational change on the tour; the rebel tour he tried to launch with Derek Hynd and the fear it struck into little Taj Burrow’s heart; the “gnarly racism to haoles” in Hawaii, his secret east-side getaways with notorious North Shore heartthrob Jon Pyzel and the three stupid mistakes every damn intermediate surfer makes and how you can cure this hole in your heart.

Of course, no conversation with Shane Beschen would be complete without an examination of his famous US Open final with Kelly Slater in 1996.

Leave a review on Apple podcasts, good, bad, five stars or zero, just gotta be entertaining, send us the link and we’ll send you a tail-pad, anywhere in the world. Yeah, they’re that tough to move.

(Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, TuneIn + Alexa, iHeartRadio, Overcast, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, Deezer and Listen Notes.)


Direct link


Controversial: Berlin politicians plan to turn stadium “where Nazis once fetishised their belief in the supremacy of the Aryan body” into Olympic surf training facility!

“History is what happened in the past, and something we later-borns have to live with..."

Wild times etc. Weird times et. al. with World Surf League CEO Erik Logan actively stifling communication by capping employee phone calls to 45 minutes, maximum, sharks feasting on dolphins without their heretofore displayed reserve and Germans planning on winning surfing gold in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games by building a surf training facility inside Berlin’s Olympiapark, a 1930s-era stadium “where Nazis one fetishised their belief in the supremacy of the Aryan body.”


As you are certainly aware, statues and monuments to past bad behaviors have become increasingly polarized. Confederate statues have been removed or fought over in the United States of America while English slave trader Robert Milligan’s statue was just ripped down and tossed in the Thames.

Germany has a larger issue as its past bad behaviors, like the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, lead to larger monuments, like the Olympiapark.

Hitler, himself, was involved in the design and construction of a great sport’s complex to be a centerpiece of propaganda during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

While many symbols of Nazi rule have been removed or destroyed, including the bunker where Hitler killed himself, the Olympiapark has been a “protected structure” since 1966 but not without controversy.

Per The Guardian:

Peter Strieder, a former senator for urban development in the city, called for the removal of the monumental sculptures of athletes from the grounds, the renaming of buildings and streets that commemorate nationalist ideologues, and the lifting of the protected status of the Maifeld.

“The entire complex, all buildings, all their names, all sculptures, were borne out of the ideology of the Nazis,” wrote Strieder, a Social Democrat, in the weekly broadsheet Die Zeit.

Art historians have criticised the intervention. “History is what happened in the past, and something we later-borns have to live with,” responded the architect Hans Kollhoff in an article in the same newspaper. “You don’t get rid of it by removing monuments.”

Now, though, a new plan has been floated and titled Vision 2030. It imagines the grounds be opened as a “hotspot for Olympic and Paralympic Games” by building state of the art training facilities for runners, horse riders, swimmers, but especially the newest disciples like surfing and skateboarding.

Not included in Vision 2030 is what sort of artificial wave technology will be employed.

Do you have an opinion?

Kelly and Sunny. Better times. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Sunny Garcia comatose in a Texas hospital; wealthy girlfriend Lori Park reportedly funding treatment

And a ray of light, Sunny's third grandchild born…

It’s been a little over a year since Sunny Garcia, the world champion in 2000 and a six-time winner of the Triple Crown, was found near death after a suicide attempt by hanging at his Oregon home.

The forty nine year old had posted this shortly before he was found.

Sunny was subsequently hospitalised, put into an induced coma, was on kidney and liver dialysis, sent to a hospital in California for lung surgery and, now, according to close friends, he’s in a coma in a Texas hospital and undergoing treatment paid for by his wealthy Harvard-educated girlfriend Lori Park, one of the first software engineers at Google.

Our source says Park has the “resolve and the resources” to, if not cure, at least improve Sunny’s condition.

A good person to have your in corner, one might say.

Among Park’s skills and expertise on (a “social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators”) are neurorehabilitation, motor learning, cognitive rehabilitation, acquired brain injury and physical rehabilitation.

Rumours persist of a split between family and friends on how to treat Sunny, however, something brought into relief this morning with a post from family friend Nicci Lee on the occasion of the birth of Sunny’s third grandchild.

As you know over a year ago Sunny tired to take his life. He has struggled with depression for the last several years of his life. His bloodline and the mother of his children’s bloodline also struggle with a history of depression and suicide.

I had the unique perspective of supporting Sunny’s children since Sunny’s suicide attempt. It was an intimate position where I got to see what they actually had to go through in the aftermath of Sunny’s incident.

I had never seen a battle of dark verses light so up close until this experience. Greed and control verses love.

Seeing his children suffer under this dark power was heart breaking to say the least. They fought to be with there Dad for months with hundreds of thousands of dollars, lawyers, and an unbearable amount of stress but were beaten.

As hard as the kids tried to fight it, having so much faith that light and love would prevail they were beaten down by the dark Sunny had let into his life.

Seeing his children suffer under this dark power was heart breaking to say the least. They fought to be with their Dad for months with hundreds of thousands of dollars, lawyers, and an unbearable amount of stress but were beaten.

They ended up with their Dad being stolen away from them, zero access to him and have not seen him is over 9 months. The dark had seem to have won.

It was beyond frustrating and heartbreaking to see them go through this. But once again- the Lord works in mysterious ways and yesterday brought in the only thing that could possibly ease Sunny’s children pain- a ball of love, the highest of blessings, a little baby of Sunny’s descent.

His family line continues.

What the “dark power” is remains unclear.

Our source wouldn’t be brought into the matter, saying, “It’s a fucked-up situation.”

Watch: Multiple Great White Sharks display “first time ever seen” behavior, feast on dolphin near horrified surfers in Southern California!


Weird times etc. Weird times et. al. with humans really going mad. You certainly learned, yesterday, and were aghast that World Surf League CEO and former Hooter’s bouncer Erik Logan has dropped the hammer on his employees, restricting them to phone calls of 45 minutes or less.

Also there is a pandemic and many other social upheavals pulling mankind’s attention this way and that.

Great White Sharks, ever manipulators, have seized the day and are doing things they’ve allegedly never done before, like feasting on gentle dolphin carcasses near horrified surfers and/or swimmers in Southern California.

The beasts did not reach the top of the food chin by resting upon laurels.

And while Southern Californians may have been too busy fiddling with their mandatory face masks to really take note we should.

Carlos Gauna, who captured the footage with his drone, declared, “I’ve been filming sharks off the California coast for a couple years, and have never seen them eating such [a big carcass] so close to humans.”


As a species are we over?

Is this the end?

Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden?

I read today that watching their debates is going to be like watching a rap battle between a jammed printer and a dial-up internet tone and laughed very hard.