Not masked, not scared.
Not masked, not scared.

Summer of Blood: Hundreds of Great White sharks amassing off Cape Cod ahead of 4th of July prompting dire warnings from officials!

“Even with COVID, they are still out there. ... We know they are coming close to shore...”

The 4th of July is usually a fine celebration of American values, freedoms, food and firearms, or at least fireworks. It is especially wonderful of the country’s east coast where the brave colonists fought off British impudence, or at least imperialism, over 200 years ago.

Massachusetts, one of those original colonies, celebrates with many parades and much red, white and blue bunting.

This year, though, officials fear there will only be red as in blood red as in massive, never-before-seen, shark attack.

It has been reported that Great Whites are amassing by the hundreds off Cape Cod sending shivers down the spines of those whose jobs it is to keep people safe.

Cape Cod National Seashore Chief Ranger Leslie Reynolds, in a press conference, “Even with COVID, they are still out there. … We know they are coming close to shore.”

Seals have been washing up on that shore with massive bite marks taken out.

Atlantic White Shark Conservancy research show that Great Whites are everywhere, from the tip of Monomoy around Provincetown to the mouth of the canal in Cape Cod Bay. Buoys have identified signals from tags on over 200 great white sharks in 2019 showed that the bulk of the population, and the biggest sharks, still appear to reside along the Outer Cape’s Atlantic beaches. One buoy at Nauset Beach showed nearly 3,800 detections from 64 individual sharks last year. A buoy off North Truro showed over 14,000 signals received from 53 sharks.

And this year there seem to be more.

Trauma kits are being delivered to lifeguard stations and signs posted but officials worry it will not be enough.

Orleans Natural Resources Manager Nathan Sears said, “The key to this is changing the behavior of people. They have to recognize that there’s a peak season when these animals are here.”

Red, red and red.


This is where we're getting played the hardest. This is where we've un-magicked the whole thing. Surfing is that beautiful, yes, but it is also difficult—which is a big reason why it is beautiful. Moments like that should be stalked, worked for, lucked into, bestowed, treasured. But do the math here. Surf Ranch runs that monstrous blue powertrain down the track once every three minutes. | Photo: WSL

Matt Warshaw lists Surf Ranch promo speakers in reverse order of disappointment: “I cringe when Kelly Slater explains that Surf Ranch has created a ‘true surfing experience'”

Stephanie Gilmore, Mark Richards, Gerry Lopez and co break surf historian's already tender heart.

As some of you know, my first take on wavepools was very End Times.

“We’ve traded magic for perfection,” etc.

It bothered me on a weekly basis to know that the last tuberide of my life will likely be this one, in which my inside-looking-out view was machinery, concrete, and wire mesh.

My thoughts have evolved, though.

The frenzied beat of the BSR-Waco pool is not unappealing. Mark Augias, EOS coding sharpshooter, lives near Bristol, UK, swears the pool there is a blast, and was all set to dress me in a rented wetsuit and fling me into the deep end during my upcoming summer visit—until COVID canceled the trip.

It is a wavepool age, old man.

Make your peace.

Then I read Steve “Longtom” Shearer’s takedown of the new Sunshine Coast Surf Ranch project, with its “six-star eco-lodge,” micro-brewery, training facilities, etc, and I again donned my neoprene Chicken Little costume. “It’s a real doozy,” Shearer writes. “A place where to save bushland and floodplain we need to bulldoze it, truck in millions of tons of fill, carve it up into a canal estate and stick in a water- and power-hungry wavepool that only a few will ever be able to access.”

Shearer included a link to the project (click here and hit “Play Full Film”), and that made things even worse, as it featured gushing Surf Ranch testimonials from Kelly Slater, Steph Gilmore, Mick Fanning, Shaun Tomson, Gerry Lopez, Tom Carroll, and Mark Richards—roughly two-thirds of my favorite living surfers—all of whom apparently hit the wavepool bong way harder and longer than I ever did.

There are hits, though, and there are Tommy Chong hits, and with that in mind I have ranked the Surf Ranch surf legend promo speakers in reverse order of disappointment.

KELLY SLATER. I cringe when he explains that Surf Ranch has created a “true surfing experience,” but it’s his wave, his business, his hustle. If your name is on the company letterhead, you get a pass.

MICK FANNING. I forget what he said, but it was anodyne and friendly and I really miss Mick on tour.

JOEL PARKINSON. Same.

SHAUN TOMSON. “People say, ‘artificial wave.’ I don’t think it’s artificial, I think it is man-made, like art.” I don’t remember the exact type of the logical fallacy deployed here, so I will just say to you, Shaun, that this is art. Upvote for the cowboy hat, though.

TOM CARROLL. A vague comment on how a Surf Ranch session provides great feedback on your equipment, which, freshwater isn’t saltwater so apples and oranges, but okay.

GERRY LOPEZ. “Kelly has created the quintessential perfect wave, and to be able to get that over and over and over again is really going to push the envelope of surfing.” I can’t be the only one who thinks that maybe Rory Russell was the real soul-monger of the two, right?

Surf Ranch runs that monstrous blue powertrain down the track once every three minutes. Half those waves are rights, like the one Steph is on. So 10 rights per hour, meaning that in a two-hour session (let’s allow for a few rail-digs) Steph is putting herself inside that same perfectly-controlled and scheduled hollow section about 15 times a day, and people have we not turned our unicorn into a donkey?

STEPH GILMORE. “The conditions are controlled, you can schedule everything the way you like it.” Steph’s famous Surf Ranch money shot is where she looks up halfway through a tube, all smiling and radiant, and gently runs her fingers across the lip as it flutters by overhead. This is where we’re getting played the hardest. This is where we’ve un-magicked the whole thing. Surfing is that beautiful, yes, but it is also difficult—which is a big reason why it is beautiful. Moments like that should be stalked, worked for, lucked into, bestowed, treasured. But do the math here. Surf Ranch runs that monstrous blue powertrain down the track once every three minutes. Half those waves are rights, like the one Steph is on. So 10 rights per hour, meaning that in a two-hour session (let’s allow for a few rail-digs) Steph is putting herself inside that same perfectly-controlled and scheduled hollow section about 15 times a day, and people have we not turned our unicorn into a donkey?

MARK RICHARDS. “The wave itself is better than any natural wave in the world.” I am heartbroken. “I never got to see the Beatles, and I never got to see Led Zeppelin, but I got to see the first event at the [Surf Ranch] wavepool, and that was just as good.” My broken heart is chained at the feet and thrown off a bridge.

(Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Matt Warshaw, keeper of the Encylopedia of Surfing, sends subscribers a longish form email describing his historical adventures of the week, with nods to contemporary events. It’s a fine thing to receive amid the tidal wash of emails offering clothing sales and discounted trinkets and, if you surf, it’s as essential as wax and, for three bucks or whatever it is a month, cheaper.)


"When you see Ben coming, don't think, just get out of the way," says Gerry Lopez. | Photo: EOS

Win: Vintage Ben Aipa single fin, masterfully restored by Randy Rarick, raffled by New York collector!

Buy a ticket for twenty-five bucks, all cash goes to Big Ben’s medical costs…

If you’ve ever seen human bulldozer Ben Aipa bury a rail from the water, you’ll be surprised your eyebrows were left unsinged.

A turn as a fit of rage.

Sexier than hot breath on your stomach.

As a shaper, Ben was the creator of the stinger design that gave ol Marky Richards, later a four-time world champ, a rocket underfoot in the winter of ’75.

If you’ve been following BeachGrit, you’ll know that Ben, who turns seventy-eight in August, is having a hell of a time with his health, blood infections, heart issue, diabetes, myriad strokes.

And, because this is the USA, his second wife, Leonore, is selling all his boards via an auction house to cover the catastrophe medical bills.

Read about that, here.

But, perhaps of greater interest, is a raffle being run by Brooklyn’s Pilgrim Surf + Supply, whom you’ll find just across the Williamsburg bridge from Lower Manhattan on the sun-lavished corner of North 3rd Street and Wythe Ave.

Pilgrim, which is silver fox Chris Gentile, pretty much, is gonna give you a shot at a vintage Aipa from their collection, a six-ten pocket rocket single fin shaped around 1969 under the Surfboards Hawaii label.

The board was masterfully restored by Randy Rarick, one of the founding fathers of pro surfing and, if I may be so bold as to suggest such a thing, one of the game’s most interesting players.

Five hundred tix for sale. Twenty-five bucks apiece or a fifty for three.

Hundred percent of all proceeds, they’re hoping for ten gees or so, go to Benny.

Venmo payment to @pilgrimsurf to buy.

Winner drawn this Friday.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CB8ckTsjA6f/


Surf n Turf!
Surf n Turf!

Crime Epidemic: Yet another man steals hundreds of dollars worth of “surf and turf” from local grocery store!

Ravenous!

As part of my surf journalism duties I search the word “surf” as it relates to “news” more than anybody save the great Nick Carroll. Sometimes there are treasures, like Saturday Night Live mainstay Colin Jost “surfing” and showing off his “buff bod” in the Hamptons.

Sometimes there is nothing save old BeachGrit stories.

More often than not there is a lurid criminal story featuring a naughty sneaker, usually male, stealing hundreds of dollars worth of surf and turf from a local grocery store.

Our latest takes us to Cleveland, Ohio where we find a man appearing on video surveillance tape, taking several plastic bags from the front of the store and a cart to the meat section. According to the police blotter, “He took about 12 packages of steaks and three packages of lobster tails and placed them in the cart. The man then went to a different aisle and placed all the items into plastic bags. He left the store without paying for the items, which included $96 worth of porterhouse steaks, $89 in ribeye steaks and $63 in lobster tails, totaling $248.”

A surf and turf feast, without doubt, but, again, I stumble on this crime almost weekly. Now, a few questions for you.

Where does surf and turf rank on the list of your favorite meals? I enjoy lobster and also enjoy steak but do not enjoy them together as I find both compete too heavily for supremacy. A perfectly prepared lobster tail beats a perfectly prepared steak but the perfectly prepared lobster tail is rare and steak has greater margin for error and so, usually, both are pretty good and make an overly filling, pretty good meal.

Also, do the thieves who steal surf and turf prepare themselves for family and friends or is there a robust black market for steak and lobster tails?

Lastly, if BeachGrit opened a restaurant would you come dine?

Biscuits and gravy would be featured on the menu. It is my favorite meal.

While we’re on the subject of eating and favorites, have you ever watched the movie Ravenous?

Oh man, it is good.


Breaking: Orange County Democratic Party “furious” over the name of local “white supremacist” John Wayne Airport; vows to cancel!

A white supremacist symbol.

There are many troubles and tribulations currently plaguing our society. Pandemic disease, much racial unrest, severe economic collapse, starvation, etc. but the worst of the worst, possibly, is that Orange County’s John Wayne Airport is actually named after John Wayne.

Triggered?

Obviously.

Thankfully, Orange County’s Democratic Party is on the case.

Per The Hollywood Reporter:

The Democratic Party of Orange County this week demanded in a resolution for John Wayne’s name, statue and other likenesses be removed from the local airport.

The document cites “a national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names is reshaping American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues and teams, as it is widely recognized that racist symbols produce lasting physical and psychological stress and trauma particularly to Black communities, people of color and other oppressed groups, and the removal of racist symbols provides a necessary process for communities to remember historic acts of violence and recognize victims of oppression.”

It clarified that there are “numerous calls” to remove John Wayne’s namesake from the airport due to his “white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-indigenous views.”

Boom.

And so the next time you want to fly in to Orange County to surf San Diego County’s Trestles you won’t have to be humiliated and enraged.

Happy?

Duh.

Also, did you know that John Wayne’s True Grit is basically BeachGrit.

Cancel BeachGrit already.

We’re past due!