Question: Will Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch redeem itself in the Covid era or is the place magically dull and dumb?

Like, so dull and dumb as to be a true honest-to-goodness miracle.

This, you know, is BeachGrit. A place where the glass is forever half full. The cob of corn always half uneaten. It’s anti-depressive to its very core and so I come before you with an honest question. Within our current vacuum of professional surfing (possibly extending through the next decade) are you thrilled to pieces about the upcoming Rumble at the Ranch or will you accidentally miss it due a gynecological examination?

I ask because if Kelly Slater’s crowning jewel doesn’t captivate in the Covid era, it is magically dull and dumb.

Like, so dull and dumb as to be a true honest-to-goodness miracle.

The John Carter of sporting inventions.

Rumble at the Ranch has an intriguing format, a solid cast including Pip Toledo, Caroline Marks, Kolo Andino, Kelly Slater himself and is taking place in front of starved-to-near-death professional surf fans.

But the wave.

That mechanical ripple mowing in that straight line as a high-pitched whir fills the cow stink. Four minutes between mechanical ripples. One surfer waiting her turn.

Raimana.

It is very difficult to imagine it being more captivating than a gynecological examination.

Am I being overly rude?

Convince me I’m wrong for I want to believe!


August 9: WSL to run “mixed-doubles” contest starring Kelly Slater, Caroline Marks, Toledo etc at Desert Ghetto; promises “one afternoon of perfectly-groomed rippage!”

No spectators, remote judging…

On August nine, sixteen WSL surfers, men, women, are gonna bring pro surfing kicking and jerking back to Lemoore in Central California. 

I don’t have a lot of affection for Surf Ranch events, who does I suppose, although that forty-second tube section does allow my Japanese houseboy to serve cocktails and I always have enjoyed watching Caroline Marks’ cut-throat savagery there.

Format is thus,

Eight teams of two, one man, one woman.

Each team is “determined by a blind draw as performed by the WSL Tours and Competition office.”

The Rumble, as it’s called, starts with a quarterfinal. Each team gets four waves, one right and one left each.

Judges score the heats remotely.

Top score from each surfer gives the total score.

Then there’s a thing called a “rebate.”

Let’s say Team A’s male surfer blew it on his Right, scoring at 3.33, but Team A’s female surfer smoked it on her Left, scoring a 9.17. In this scenario, Team A’s female surfer would be able to give her remaining Right to her male partner for a rebate surf to try and improve on his initial score.

The maximum number of waves a single surfer can surf in a heat is three — their two original waves and a rebate wave from their teammate. Rebate waves are not bonus waves — there are still only four waves available per team, per heat.

Think of this this way: Teams will either surf two waves each, or one teammate will surf three waves to their teammate’s single ride.

WSL’s gonna webcast this live, three pm local time on August 9, 2020.

Eight am on Australia’s east coast, midnight in Europe, seven pm in Brazil.

You dig?


Listen: Bobby Martinez loves Waco pool and its “nasty-ass water”, says he won’t be surfing the Palm Springs tank (“I need to kiss your ass to surf some sh*tty chest-high wave?”) and tells Chas Smith “I would’ve f*cking lit your ass up!”

Beautiful Bobby…

Bobby Martinez is a thirty-eight-year-old former professional surfer from Santa Barbara’s westside in California.

In his rookie year, Bobby drew an axe from the waistband of his knee-length elasticated shorts and won Tahiti and Mundaka.

Fifth in the world. Rookie of the year, obvs.

Bobby was six when he got into surfing, and he got real good, real fast. He was riding Al Merrick handshapes by the time he was twelve (Bobby’s Abuelo met drug-smuggler Al in prison in 1969 and they became golf buddies) and he won a still yet-to-be-bettered seven NSAA titles.

In 2011, as we all know, Bobby committed career suicide live and quit the tour for good, aged twenty-eight.

Matt Warshaw, the great surf historian, described him as either “a giant crybaby, or the New Millennium Dora.”

If you’ve ever spun in Bobby’s orbit, you’ll know how much he likes to talk shit.

And pro surfing never meant that much to him, anyway.

Channel Islands’ Devon Howard tells me that every time they post a little Martinez footage, it gets twice the engagement of Dane Reynolds and co.

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

In this interview, Bobby talks about his old pal Paul Fisher, now a world-famous DJ (“When I heard it, oh my god, this is Fisher’s fucking music? What the fuck is this shit?), how much he loves surfing Waco, river surfing in Wyoming, his transition from boxing to jiujitsu to wrestling, how he would’ve made Chas flop around like a butchered dog after saying bad things about his house in a story and why, even after all these years, surfing still makes his soul sing.

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


Watch: “Surfers begin to unify behind consensus candidate Kanye West ahead of the 2020 United States presidential election!”

The future is now!

You, like me, are a political animal, no? Craving the various storylines coming from Canberra, London, Brasilia and of course Washington D.C. The intrigue, the power shifts, the alliances and scandals. Outside of the World Surf League’s Lawn Patrol, politics is the greatest show in town. In any town. But we are also tired of the tired “right” vs. “left” divide. Of the “culture war.”

Now, there is, you no doubt know, an important election in these United States of America this November pitting Republican incumbent Donald Trump against likely Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

An ugly choice between the lesser of two senilities and impossible for the surfer to be truly excited about either.

Thankfully, a possible champion has risen.

Kanye Omari West.

Tell me, true, that you haven’t been moved by the artist’s surprise candidacy. That it hasn’t spoken directly to you on a profound level.

President Ye would serve our interests and it frustrates me that he is being undermined by the mainstream media and Kris Jong Un, to say nothing about his wife Kim who dismissed him, recently, by saying he is currently in the midst of a bipolar snap.

Very rude.

David Lee Scales and I discussed presidential hopeful Kanye West, partners/lovers being unsupportive of brilliant ideas, famous authors stabbing possibly unsupportive partners/lovers with penknives, rebel surfers and microaggressions on the latest podcast. You may have already listened but now you can watch too because we live in the future.

#Kanye4Pres

 


Revealed: New report suggests that surfers are sexist homophobes given our “hyper-masculine energy and obsession with dominating the waves!”

An unflattering portrait.

But when you imagine California surfers, such as me and Devon Howard, is the very first phrase that springs to mind “hyper-masculine?” What about just “masculine?” I tend to think of us as “gently-feminine” but must be in the small minority and/or deluded as it was just revealed in a new, shocking report that California surfing has a racism problem – not to mention issues with sexism and homophobia.

In the piece “Don’t look now, but California surfing apparently has a racism problem – not to mention issues with sexism and homophobia” published by one-time conservative darling Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, the writer explores how people of color, women and those of varying non-cisgender sexual orientations are routinely kept out of the water, exposed to infamous “territorial aggression” and battered with a “hyper-masculine energy” as straight, white men blindly succumb to our “obsession with dominating the waves.”

Not a pretty picture at all.

But in this age of “listening” and “seeing” etc. what can we California surfers do better?

The piece does not provide any clues.

Do you have any ideas?

Should we throw an inclusive party?

Stop surfing?

Maybe you could stop surfing and I’ll just work on being extra nice in the water, closeting my obsession with dominating the waves.

More as the story develops.