WSL CEO and L.A. County resident Erik Logan (pictured) straddling undersized canoe, sad. Photo: Instagram via @shotswithcraig

Cancel Culture: Los Angeles County to re-close beaches ahead of 4th of July weekend due to Covid 2nd wave with “sizzler” heat wave on tap!

RIP summer.

Oh man, oh boy… I mean oh woman, oh girl… damn it, I mean oh gender neutral person of a more advanced age, oh gender neutral person of a less advanced age, we sure are in a pickle here in the United States of America.

Our birthday is coming up and this Covid-19 business was supposed to be in our rearview mirror. We were supposed to be going to bars and restaurants, movie theaters and beaches, celebrating the defeat of taxation without representation but here we are right in the middle of a pickle.

It appears the second wave of the Coronavirus is much more insidious than the first wave and now we are in some twilight zone of anger, worry, pointed fingers, recriminations, etc.

A bright spot, I suppose, is that I’ve gotten used to wearing my mask, spreading fear like Bane in Batman.

Pretty cool.

An ugly blot is that beaches are being re-closed, namely in Los Angeles County and right before a heat wave is going to hit the region.

Per Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, “Closing the beaches and prohibiting fireworks displays during this important summer holiday weekend was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it’s the responsible decision to protect public health and protect our residents from a deadly virus. The Fourth of July holiday weekend typically means large crowds and gatherings to celebrate, a recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19.”

As you well know, the World Surf League CEO Erik Logan lives squarely in the middle of Los Angeles County, on the beach and likes to paddle around on an undersized canoe. He will be very sad.

Do you think he will pack up his paddle and undersized canoe and drive south to Orange County? It would be rude of him so to do. But, honestly, isn’t Huntington Beach going to take the brunt of roving ELos and Inland Empirates?

I’d imagine so and I’ll imagine that pictures of packed Huntington Beaches will garner such tongue wagging that San Diego County beaches will quickly re-close too.

Huntington will, of course, stay open.

But what are you going to do this weekend?

Go to Sizzler?

When was the last time you went to Sizzler? When I was a younger boy it represented the very height of luxury and reserved for only the finest, fanciest occasions.

RIP salad bars.


Greatness Code: Kelly Slater to reveal “full-on breakdown” in new Apple TV series, also starring Tom Brady and Lebron James: “I started crying and then I had to go out and compete…”

What one event tore apart the eleven-time world champ?

Y’think Apple has a chance at swinging viewers away from Netflix?

Yeah, me neither. 

It’s to Apple what Spotify was to iTunes. 

Still when you’ve got cash spilling out of the cupboards, you can afford to take a few chances.

And Apple are spearing a hunk of their 117 billion in cash reserves to create a TV and movie streaming platform, and if you buy a new Apple phone or computer y’gonna get a year of it for free. 

I got it and it ain’t pretty. 

Doomed, I would suggest. 

But.

A new seven-part docuseries called Greatness Code that covers “defining moments” in the careers of various sporting titans, Lebron James, Tom Brady, Usain Bolt, as well as eleven-time surfing champ Kelly, looks like it might have a few laughs.

Kelly promises to reveal the event that led to a  “full-on breakdown”.

“You think about this whole lifetime building to this one moment,” says Kelly.

What do you think the one moment is?

(Losing the title to Andy at Pipe in 2003?)

And why do you think he hasn’t spoken about it sooner?

NFL god Tom Brady, a co-producer of the series via his company Religion of Sports, says he’s “not sure” how he ended up alongside “the gnarliest gnar shredder @kellyslater…but I’ll take it.”

Episode one airs July 10.

Where Kelly falls in the seven-episode series is yet to be revealed.


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/