Pretty South Straddie ain't a secret anymore. And less so after a two-day, broadcast-only WSL event there. | Photo: WSL/Andrew Shield

WSL launches Australian Grand Slam: two-day, broadcast-only “strike missions” with month-long waiting periods!

Signs of life rattling within the swinging carcass, faint though they may be.

Shhhh. D’you hear that?

Signs of life rattling within the swinging carcass, faint though they may be.

WSL has today announced an Australian Grand Slam, a novelty series consisting of two speciality events for CT-rated AU surfers this southern-hemi Spring.

One on the Goldy at South Straddie, the other for Margies in West Oz.

Both two-day, broadcast-only ‘strike missions’ with a month-long window. Chuck in a couple of local wildcards and a heritage heroes heat for each. Prize winner’s money goes to a charity of their choice.

It certainly ain’t revolutionary.

But it’s something.

What do you think?

Coupla things from me.

September and October’s not the best time of year for waves here in Australia, particularly on the Gold Coast.

Spring = shit.

Long flat spells and cold onshore winds. The swells slow right down and the tropical quadrants are yet to rise from their slumber.

But, signs are pointing to a La Nina pattern this year on the east coast at least, so who knows.


The announcement reeks of government stakeholders. The WSL presser has extensive comments from the relevant state tourism ministers, complete with lines spruiking economic benefits like “Only the Paluzuk government has a plan for jobs.” (You may also remember the head of WA Tourism, one Brodie Carr. I’m sure I’ve heard that name somewhere before…)

Ideally, this thing would have been announced a few months ago to make the most of the winter swell window, but ya can be sure working with two separate state governments to organise and announce twin events like this, especially in a Covid world, is no small feat.

There’s obviously been some extensive networking going on behind the scenes.

Longtom’s mate Andrew Stark is, it would appear, getting shit done.

E-Lo might wanna take note.


Covid is not done with Australia yet. Not by a long shot.

Today we announced the largest number of new cases since the pandemic began. Victoria’s copping the worst of it.

Queensland and WA are safe for now.

But, active cases are popping up here in my very own postcode, which is also home to almost half of the Australian men’s CT contingent.

Domestic travel restrictions, especially for those in known hot spots, are already being enforced.

This Grand Slam format is still a victim of the same old thinking when it comes to running a comp. A few tweaks around the edges, sure, but overall it’s just as susceptible to the Covid bogeyman as the regular tour.

The WSL will never have a better opportunity to throw the handbook out the window and try for something new during this period.

They sell themselves as innovative. Novel. Cutting edge

Is this really the best they got?

Handsomely curious surf fan seeking answers.

Listen: Britt Merrick on “crushing it” as a high-school LSD dealer and chasing sin on a motorcycle!

And from unspeakable tragedy, a new love for making surfboards… 

I doubt I have the words to express how much I enjoyed interviewing Britt Merrick, the forty-seven-year-old heir to the Channel Islands shaping throne, although not to its riches for that belongs to snowboard company Burton.

Britt lives in pretty Carpinteria, near his shaping muse Dane Reynolds (a lesson on how to correctly pronounce the town’s name is contained within the hour-or-so interview) and we back and forth on the topics of protestantism which lights Chas up for he, like Britt, believes in the popular narrative of the Jew Jesus appearing as a prophet and such, and the exchange includes a wonderful anecdote about Aimee Semple McPherson, a wild hard-loving preacheress who would chase sin around on stage with her motorcycle; drugs, Britt was busted for dealing LSD in high school, five dollars a tab, he thinks was the sale price, and talks about his Daddy and Mama’s conversion to Christianity in prison after they got busted hustling weed across the Mex border; how an unspeakable tragedy turned him back onto shaping, first, with Reynolds, then as CI’s gun shaper; and the wisdom borne from killing animals for food.

“Every time you eat, something has to die, ” says Britt.

Warning: interview contains clumsy ad-libbed ad, which Charlie describes as “legendarily awful”, something I agree with. Hits around the hour mark. Cover ears.

Listen here. 



Must Read: Stab magazine editor-in-chief Ashton Goggans pens moving tribute to his overwhelming popularity in the surf industry!

The extraordinary power of being extraordinarily popular!

I just read the most delightfully moving piece of literature and can’t help but share here. It happens to be from a “competitor” in the surf-based website space but underneath a very thin veneer of “opposition” there exists only shared appreciation for the surf journalism arts and Stab magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Ashton Goggans’ latest approaches masterpiece level.

You must savor in its entirety as it paints a glorious portrait of connectedness, popularity, proximity to heroes and, in the end, becoming a hero oneself.

A short snippet:

How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this tribute to myself will remain always young and show me in a true light, beloved by all but especially beloved by professional surfers. It will never be older than this particular day of July…. If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the tribute that was to grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!

Critics declare, “Magnificent and compulsively readable . . . Goggans begins where Elizabeth Gilbert and the Hollywood versions of extremely wonderful people leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of being super super super cool. Hypnotic and chillingly sensual, this is a post of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force. A story of rolling spliffs with Nathan Fletcher, of talking about weed with Bruce Irons, of drinking beers with Noa Deane, and of the extraordinary power of being extraordinarily popular. It is a work only Ashton Goggans could write.”



Watch and Thrill: World Surf League releases nominees for “Wipeout of the Year” including Keala Kennelly’s World Title winning tumble!

"Boom goes the dynamite!"

The mainstream media appreciates two, and only two, things about surfing. 1) Laird Hamilton Superfood plant-based coffee creamer and 2) wipeouts. Thankfully for the Santa Monica-based World Surf League, an organization under siege, it is that time of year when “Wipeout of the Year” nominees are loosed on an entertainment-starved public.

You can watch the top five, below, which include: Felipe Cesarano at Nazaré, Jerome Sahyoun in Ireland, Torrey Meister, Francisco Porcella and Keala Kennelly all at Jaws.

Yahoo! News declared “Cowabunga!” while Time magazine settled on the more prosaic “Boom goes the dynamite!”

Do you have a favorite? You can vote but, to be honest, there’s only one real option. Keala Kennelly’s magnificent Jaws tumble. It is one of the heavier and also part of what made her Big Wave World Champion. The heart, the will to put her head down and go.

A wonderful, defining moment in our shared history.

Breaking: Stab magazine recognizes error of ways, deletes post describing world’s greatest surfer Stephanie Gilmore as “coke-head with OCD!”

Stab magazine Editor-in-Chief Ashton Goggans may be Amber Heard.

How quickly do the wheels of justice turn these days? Three, literally three, minutes ago I posted a story regarding Zoom adjacent to Venice Beach Stab magazine decision to describe the world’s greatest surfer Stephanie Gilmore as “a coke-head with OCD” on Instagram.

The offering received mixed results.

Many thought it was funny and “edgy.”

Many more thought inappropriate and odd, especially for a property that consistently makes a point to fall on the side of “woke” clearly “the right side of history” in our current culture war.

As is its wont, Stab disappeared the offending post within a literal three minutes of a fine BeachGrit offering which… ouch!

Not even 24 hours of fun?

12 hours?

But also, is a media property truly “woke” by what they choose to leave live, swinging on “funny” and “cool” when the spirit strikes, or does a media property actually have to be “woke” and only post “woke” offerings?

I don’t actually know.

I’m perpetually confused by deleting anything.

History judges us and look at how it judged Johnny Depp.

A fun derelict.

Stab magazine Editor-in-Chief Ashton Goggans may be Amber Heard. Or…. whoever that other girl is.

More as the story develops.