Watch: World’s greatest athlete Kelly Slater reveals what led to his “full-on breakdown” and how a little yoga with Tom Carroll saved him!

Hint: It involves a spectacular falter.

Two weeks ago, in a tease even greater than any planned World Surf League announcement, the world’s greatest athlete admitted to a moment in his unmatched professional career that was a “full-on breakdown.”

What was the moment?

What could it have been?

We all waited with bated breath for the Apple TV’s Greatness Code to be released. The series focuses on pivotal moments in legendary sporting lives. LeBron James, Tom Brady, Usain Bolt and of course Kelly Slater.

But back to the moment… what? What would have sent tears rolling down Kelly Slater’s tanned, sculpted cheeks?

Did you have a guess?

Derek Rielly wondered if losing the title to Andy Irons at Pipeline in 2003 might have done it but, as Greatness Code was released in its entirety yesterday, wondering is no longer necessary.

But should I spoil for you or will you savor the suspense all day, go home, butter some popcorn, pour a refreshing Snapple ice tea and press play?

Oh heck, nobody has/cares about Apple TV anyhow so the moment was when Danny Wills, great Australian regular foot, “faltered in spectacular fashion” at the 1998 Pipeline Masters, opening the door for Kelly Slater to shoot up and snag his 5th World Title.

Very exciting.

Apparently, winning five World Titles was his childhood dream and with it suddenly right there in front of him, the champ emotionally broke down.

Thankfully Nick Carroll’s brother Tom was there and did a little yoga with Kelly in order to calm him down. Very progressive of Tom, I think, as 1998 would have been early days for our modern yoga movement.

In any case, Slater went on, won the crown and cemented himself as the greatest athlete in the world by winning six more on top of those five.

Take that Tom Brady.

But does Kelly Slater’s breakdown moment surprise you?

Do you have a favorite breakdown moment of your own?

Watch here!


Watch/Listen: Podcast takes incredible technological leap by adding moving pictures into already riveting “Golden Age of Radio” dialogue!

Surfers win.

We did it again. And by “we” I don’t mean straight, white, hetero-normative, male-presenting men even though that is, grossly, accidentally, possibly shockingly whom David Lee Scales and Charles David Smith are.

No.

I mean “we” as in surfers.

Pioneers grafted into a beautiful Polynesian and/or Peruvian stalk.

Cultural appropriators (save Polynesians and/or Peruvians).

But we surfers make everything better.

No?

Hear me out.

Twenty some years ago video killed the radio star.

Radio stars kicked to the curb, destitute, sad, hungry, feeling their slip out of relevancy too late.

Today, thanks to surfers, video is enhancing the radio star.

Watch here in modern CinemaScope.

Or do you like radio?

Listen here and applaud Kelly Slater saving humanity through his vicious Instagram takedowns. Applaud Jon Pyzel for recognizing a train wreck before it hit him.

Either way, surfers win.

And by “surfers” I mean Polynesians and/or Peruvians.


Jordan Rodin's got the no-screw play down. Photo: Billy Cervi

Finless surfing kills: “I almost died like a sucker on a two-foot day being a stupid groupie dork and thinking I was invincible!”

BeachGrit almost loses (another) much-loved writer day before yesterday.

It happened. I’ve done it.

Fallen into that whole finless trap, by way of an 8’4″ special I happened across.

You know my type. The thing’s ugly, thick, heavy.

A regular dreadnought with a fat ol’ ass and rails so sharp you could shave with them.

It was intended for paddle fitness and small wave fun, plus maybe a crack at some juice if I could avoid having to duckdive. But the homemade fin system was crying to be fucked with. So I took ‘em all out and went in for the spin, dedicated follower of fashion that I am.

And now I’m hooked on the thing.

It’s like learning to surf all over.

Difficult. Humbling. Levelling. Stupid, mainly.

But it’s re-teaching me a lot of fundamentals that are helping with my day to day, and when you do connect an edge and get that friction free glide, oowee. Plus I come in from a forty-five minute surf feeling like I’ve been worked over by a personal trainer.

Couple of months of this and I’ll be saying goodbye to the dad bod for good.

Maybe.

Probably not.

That’s not my story though.

This is:

Today the waves are small, playful. Our dearth of local banks continues, but the odd two-footer is still presenting on the stretch out front.

A perfect day for friction free.

I’m still terrible/dangerous at it –a lineup liability, a twirling mess – so I’ve been deliberately avoiding crowded situations. Both for the safety of others, and the avoidance of shame for myself.

I find a right down the beach with no one around.

A small rockshelf hidden under a cliff, offering a ledgey take off before rolling into the shorey. There’s no clear shoulder line though, and many of the rocks sit separate to the main shelf and are barely submerged.

Tricky. It’s barely two foot, though. I can manage.

After my last couple of surfs on a gentle beachie, the surging takeoff is messing with me. I’m having trouble connecting the rail and am spinning and falling on most of my waves, frustrated by my apparent regression. But it flashes just enough panty line at me to keep me going.

I dodge rocks, and the board.

Fuck, the stacks are comical. Learning how to fall all over again. I briefly consider ditching the leash to avoid an awkward collision but I’m a lazy creature and my fall rate would require a lot of swimming.

I continue for a good forty-five mins. More spills, a few spins, one or two fleeting moments of pure bliss.

As I’m thinking of heading in, another set shows on the outside bank. I go deep on the ledge, maybe a little too deep, but this one is sitting up real nice.

If I can connect on it, even for a bit, I’ll happily call it a day.

I position myself for it, turn to the beach to start paddling, and then…

and then…

I don’t know.

All I remember is coming to under water, a splitting pain in my head and horrible ringing in my ears. Whether I hit my board or a rock, I couldn’t tell you.

But, I’m a few feet down and everything is dark blue, black.

Immediately, I realise I need to get up, up.

I don’t know how long I’ve been under and whether or not another wave is coming. I’m struggling to move, like one of those messed up dreams where you’re trying to run as fast as you can but your body is stuck in some horrible, invisible sludge.

I will myself to paddle, paddle.

Finally some receptors fire up and I’m able to break through. I find I’m mercifully close to shore. I get to the beach, though to be honest right now I still can’t remember how.

My feet and hands are tingling and everything seems slanted as I rip off my leash.

What the fuck just happened?

I look up the beach, down the beach. There’s no one within a couple of hundred metres of me, on the sand or in the water. Immediately the ringing in my ear intensifies and everything, the midday sky, the sand dunes, the cliff face with its running, tangled coal seams is all washed out in a strange blue haze.

I collapse on the beach, running my fingers over my head to check for any gashes.

I find blood, but not much. Just a long scratch across my jaw.

Is this where I copped it?

Or did I graze myself on a rock after already being knocked out?

I don’t know. I don’t know.

I look back up again to the closest peak and the dozen or so people on the shore nearby it. If I was under an extra twenty, ten, five seconds, nobody would have realised until it was too late.

If at all.

It’s a week before my thirty-sixth birthday, a week before my daughter’s second birthday, and I almost just went out like a sucker on a two-foot day being a stupid groupie dork and thinking I was invincible.

Fucken surfing, eh.

So uh, yeah.

Moral of the story?

If you want to try finless, maybe get a softboard first. Or maybe just don’t do it at all, if you’re a kook like me.

I don’t know.

Fucking surfing, eh?


Wang Yibo (pictured) slaying.

Watch: Chinese heartthrob Wang Yibo appears on hit show “Summer Surf Shop” absolutely stunning fans with his “dripping wet bod” while “slaying in it the water!”

We now officially know, unofficially, that our World Surf League has put Dirk Ziff’s remaining eggs (huevos in Spanish) in one basket.

The Ultimate Surfer’.

With the tour indefinitely scuttled, insurance premiums likely through the roof and a slate of CEO Erik Logan YouTube series, including Lawn Patrol and Unhinged, that have failed to ignite, the ABC reality series is organized professional surfing’s last great hope.

Failure not at option.

Ultimate Surfer has yet to announce an air date but I wonder if Dirk Ziff is shaking in his tassled loafers, especially now that the Chinese have released their own reality series called Summer Surf Shop with a special guest appearance by heartthrob Wang Yibo.

According to a source in in the know, “Wang Yibo’s entrance to the show echoes his typical cool-guy persona. Behind-the scenes footage of the dude on a surfboard, dripping wet and slaying in it the water began surfacing. Wang Yibo on a surfboard is quite a sight indeed.”

Now that Yibo has committed to Summer Surf Shop, almost certainly making him unavailable for Ultimate Surfer, chances for the World Surf League to expand its robust TikTok fanbase appear to be in danger unless Zeke Lau, reported to be cast and already in Lemoore, is good at crafting, pranks and choreographed dance moves aimed at nine-year-old girls.

You recall that TikTok is the League’s only success story of the last three years and the app is in danger of being deleted entirely due fears that the Chinese government is using to mine data, robustly spy on users, etc.

I wonder if Dirk Ziff is quaking in his Hermès Izmir sandals… or wait.

What sort of footwear do you imagine Dirk Ziff wears when strolling the grounds of his exclusive southern plantation?

More as the story develops.


Yo Kyle, I just ordered the raddest RinseKit. Dave at Surfline said it was the best rinse kit ever. Excellent pressure. A long, thick hose. Large capacity. Everyone knows that product reviews never lie. | Photo: @surflineman

Surfline Man cancels Waco trip: “I didn’t really want to go to Texas anyway. Look at those Corona numbers. It’s toxic, brah!”

Buys RinseKit, a mid-length and maybe falls in love…

For the past month, Surfline Man obsessively planned a road trip to Waco, Texas to surf the BSR Wave Resort with six of his closest friends.

Or maybe it was five.

Who could keep track?

Surfline Man plotted the route down to the minutest detail.

Where is the cheapest gas? Where are the radar traps? What time is the shoot-out at Tombstone?

Surfline Man knows.

In the process, he inundated his friends, some of them super ready to be former friends, with emails, and begged industry contacts, both real and imagined, for product.

Did Dave work for Vissla or Volcom? Did Dave ever even exist?

Will anyone ever answer the [email protected] email at a brand?

Surfline Man will never admit that he doesn’t know.

Perhaps inevitably, the wheels came off.

First, Kyle’s wife told him he had to stay home. The Prius needed an oil change or some such bullshit. The raddest Chad didn’t know anyone at Saint Archer after all, and Ryan’s Sprinter is in the shop again.

Really, if you just take care of your car, it won’t be in the shop all the time. Does he have to explain everything?

Yes. Yes, it seems that he does.

Surfline Man is totally over it.

He didn’t really want to go to Texas anyway. And look at those Corona numbers.

It’s toxic, brah.

He stands in the parking lot at San O, and watches his aerial dreams waft away forever. Air reverses are for groms, he tells his girlfriend.

Surfline Man is really into his cutback now. He just bought a shiny new midlength and he’s ready to style so hard. He’s going to surf like Devon Howard in no time!

For inspo, Surfline Man watched The Present over the weekend. Somehow, he missed it when it came out, but now it’s like totally his new favorite surf movie ever.

You guys, you have to watch this thing, it’s so seminal, he tells his last remaining friends.

Who needs airs, when you’ve got style. Style is what makes a good surfer, Surfline Man proclaims to anyone he can find in the parking lot.

Hey, where’s everyone going?

Yes, Surfline Man is back on his bullshit.

He awakens each morning just as the sun rises and checks every cam from San Diego to Ventura. Sometimes, just for kicks, he checks Santa Cruz, too.

He could totally get there in time for low tide in the Sprinter. Maybe tomorrow.

Some guy on the internet was all ranting about how Surfline raised their prices. Surfline Man didn’t even notice, until he heard about it on the internet. Premium is so worth it. He doesn’t care how much it costs. Just don’t tell his girlfriend!

Surfline Man would be lost without his cams and his charts and his rewind. Checking the buoys is so boring. Like, there’s just this long list of numbers. So many numbers.

Who can even make sense of all those numbers? It’s way too much work.

Where are the colors and the cool graphs and stuff? You can’t have a surf forecast without colors and graphs. Surfline Man firmly believes that there are rules in life and this is one of them.

No colors, no forecast. That’s it, that’s the whole thing.

To make up for his failed roadtrip, Surfline Man bought himself an awesome present. A brand-new rinse kit!

Dave at Surfline gave it five stars in his review and said it was the best rinse kit ever. Excellent pressure. A long, thick hose. Large capacity. Everyone knows that product reviews never lie.

Hot water for dayyyysss, brah. Bought a roll of AstroTurf, too, got it on sale at Home Depot. Just cut off a new strip and bam! A fresh spot to change. You should totally try it. So fucking sweet, brah.

Today, he’s gona go down to Swamis with the midlength.

Surfline Man watched yesterday’s session on rewind and it was so disappointing. His arms were just like, everywhere. He looked exactly like that dumb statue in Cardiff.

So embarrassing. What was he thinking?

Surfline Man is not about to give up. Not by a long shot. Sure, his girlfriend left him yesterday, which was a total bummer. But today is going to be his best session ever. That perfect cutback, just like Devon Howard, it’s totally going to happen for him today.

Maybe that cute girl he saw in the parking lot last time will be there, too. She had the coolest Ryan Lovelace midlength under her arm. Such a killer resin tint. She looked so cute in her Patagonia Long Jane.

Surfline Man can’t wait to ask her about her board. He’s dying to know her dims. And see her fin set-up. He thinks it was a 2+1, but he can’t wait to find out for sure.

Just like his cutback, they were meant to be.

He can feel it!