Anthony Walsh, no money worries if landing goes bad. | Photo: @anthony_walsh_

BeachGrit endorses: Start-up uses loophole to help USA surfers avoid ruinous medical costs!

I live in Australia where you can roll into a hospital, limbless after a Great White attack, and walk out with sparkling new prosthetics, all for free. Rehab and boiled chicken dinners included. Ain’t quite the same in the US.

There’s very little to be gained by diving into the political quagmire that is the American healthcare system.

Where Australia, Canada, the UK, Scandinavia and various European countries exist, reasonably happily, with a quasi-socialised system, the United States splits, electorally, on the concept that good healthcare should be available whatever your means.

Whichever way you swing, the bottom line is this:

Don’t get a board in the head in the US.

Because you gonna be slugged thousands before your health insurance, if you’ve got it, kicks in.

I live in Australia where you can roll into a hospital, limbless after a Great White attack, and walk out with sparkling new prosthetics, all for free.

Rehab and boiled chicken dinners included.

Ain’t quite the same in the US.

But, a start-up called Spot, which sponsors surfer Anthony Walsh and snowboarder Travis Rice, has exposed a loophole in the system and cut a deal with the world’s largest insurance companies to back a twenty-five-dollars-a-month, accident-only insurance policy that will cover the first twenty gees of your visit to a doc.

Each time you get injured. No limits.

Bust a leg. Twenty. Break a nose. Twenty. Guts ripped out by VAL. Twenty.

Y’see, if you strip cancer treatment and other catastrophic long-term illness out of the health insurance policy costs drop dramatically.

Matt Randall, a thirty-six-year-old entrepreneur, was turned onto the idea of by his wife’s pal Maria Miller who worked in the insurance biz.

Randall’s wife said he might wanna jump on Maria’s idea of an affordable injury-only insurance.

“It was massive. I said, ‘Why hasn’t this been done?’” he says.

It’s a no-brainer for Americans, I suggest to Randall. Three hundred bucks a year or thereabouts and you’ll never have to cop for the first twenty gees for injury-related surgery.

“Well, it’s an amazing concept if you live in America; if you live in a place where there’s universal healthcare it’s a terrible concept,” he says.

So far, forty-three of the fifty American states allow Spot to offer coverage, although you’ll be covered 24/7 whatever state, or country, you get busted in.

Randall says the Texas-based company’s biggest challenge is proving to people they’re legit.

“We could’ve charged more but we’re going for the volume play,” he says.

Gotta be a catch, no?


“If immediate failure is death, we don’t cover it,” says Matt. “If you fail at base jumping there’s no option but death. On Everest, if you fail, you can survive. We cover that. Skydiving, you fall, you die. Most people aren’t getting injured skydiving.”

The company doesn’t just cover boards in the head or fins in the guts, either.

“One of our ambassadors, a top skier in the world, a guy called Julian Carr who does two-hundred foot jumps off clips, had never filed a claim. Two weeks ago, he was walking his dog, the leash wrapped around his little finger and broke it. Two thousand bucks. We cover that.”

Travel overseas and you’re covered.

Roll your car off a cliff, come out alive but torn to shreds.


I can’t find holes in this thing, hence the ringing endorsement.

Am I wrong?

(Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post although some readers may find it useful.)

Child superstar Macaulay Culkin needs your help: “I’m thinking of picking up surfing. Do you have any suggestions?”

Well, do you punk?

It’s not often that an über famous celebrity comes asking for your help, even an über famous celebrity whose über fame has withered down to a dull nub, which makes today a red letter one.

And there we are, minding our own business, duct taping underground hoses, or ducts or whatever, filing legal briefs, composing music for the next big cat food commercial when….


Wanted by a star.

Sal Masekela thinks he knows how it feels when he calls up his best friend in the whole wide world Kelly Slater in order to leave a voicemail reminder of the friendship. Ashton Goggans too when he names his French bulldog Bruce after Bruce Irons and then Bruce Irons comes to snuggle it and/or confuses Yago Dora for Gerry Lopez but you?



No, no, no.

We don’t get this kind of access. This sort of proximity.

Until today.

For Home Alone/Michael Jackson’s Macaulay Culkin wants/needs you and even though he was last famous two decades ago he is still amazing and has to know (via Twitter):

“Since I’m 40 I think it’s about time to start my midlife crisis. I’m thinking about picking up surfing. Do you all have any suggestions?”


Do you?

Watch: Brave Coast Guard enforcement specialist opens fire on “widow maker” 8-foot shark as it attempts to eat crew members splashing helplessly in the water!

Very intense.

Unspeakable tragedy almost befell the crew of the Coast Guard national security cutter Kimball, yesterday afternoon, as most the able bodied men took a refreshing swim break in the cool Pacific, replete with an inflatable unicorn.

There they splashed, talked about the gals left behind, about the dirty tricksters likely taking them out on dates when an 8-foot mako or pelagic thresher decided to make a few widows.

While Coastie Bouillabaisse is not considered quite the delicacy of Sailor Stew amongst most species of sharks, it is still very delicious, to them, and worth enjoying.

The shark made a direct line for the group when Maritime Enforcement Specialist 1st Class Cintron saved the day by stealing his nerve and opening fire from his lookout post.

Momentarily confused, the shark pulled away but those tender Coastie thighs, lightly brined, were very much too tempting and so it made another attempt. ME1 Cintron let another burst fly. That’s when the shark turned its attention to crew members who were swimming for the ladder.

Another burst.

After an intense few more minutes, all the Coasties made it back aboard, the only injury occurring from a bonked knee, ironically maybe, in the middle of a shark jaw tattoo.

Very scary but is there something we surfers, we watermen, can learn from the incident? Both the Coast Guard and Navy employ “shark watches” and “polar bear watches” when their fellow men-at-arms are frolicking.

Should we?

Any volunteers for the BeachGrit Defense Force?

We will have very cool uniforms, that I guarantee (shop here).

Paramedics, busy.

Australian surfer saved from Great White by hero boyfriend recalls attack, “It readjusted its jaws three times… intense pressure and squeezing and crushing.”

"I thought, whale or shark…"

A woman who was hit by a Great White twelve days ago, the third attack on a surfer by a White on roughly the same stretch of coast in two months, has recalled the event in an interview with The Guardian.

Environmental scientist Chantelle Doyle, who is thirty-five, was surfing a weak two-foot swell at Shelley Beach in Port Macquarie with her boyfriend Mark Rapley when the White hit.

“As I was paddling, something hit me underneath the board with enough thrust to throw me up and off the board,” Doyle told The Guardian. “I just thought – ‘whale or shark’ – and I looked down and there was nothing grey. I felt something grab my leg – I think I yelled ‘Shark, shark, shark’. It grabbed me and I grabbed the board and it readjusted … There were three distinct readjustments of the jaws. I was holding on to the nose of my board. It was like being bitten by a dog – it’s painful but it’s more this intense pressure and squeezing and crushing.”

Rapley climbed onto the animal and started belting what he describes as feeling like “a professional boxing bag.”

“I was just flailing – Hail Mary punches – and I’m thinking ‘Just get the bloody hell off’. I was connecting, but after the first two it felt ineffectual… Chon’s leg was completely in its mouth,” said Rapley, who is haunted by the vision of the shark’s head and eyes.

The hit severed a nerve in Doyle’s leg. No moment and only limited feeling despite two major operations, the first a seven-hour marathon to repair damage to muscle, tendons, bone and nerves.

The second operation was a skin graft to cover a hole the size of an orange in Doyle’s calf.

It ain’t clear what’s going to happen to the stilt, but a prosthetic limb isn’t out of the picture.

Despite the injury, Doyle is using her new-found profile to raise money for a marine charity via crowdfunding.

The hashtag?


“We’re not suddenly shark evangelists,” says Doyle. “But they are a keystone species and we want our kids to have a nicer environment. I’m actually proud that Australia has marine systems that are healthy and sharks are an integral part of that. Having sharks means you have higher densities of fish, and so we should be proud of that.”

Read full story here. 

Peter Schroff, the most incredible artist and shaper the Venice ghetto has produced!

Listen: Sissy Boy shaper and artist Peter Schroff on doing “sh*tloads of blow”, “King-sh*t Kelly Slater sending his boards to Thailand” and his joy at opening a “sexually confused” themed hotel in San Pedro…

Man in tattered underwear cinched by Hermes belt holds court…

Today’s guest on Dirty Water is a surfboard shaper and artist who self describes as a” stick of dynamite” and a sissy boy, the latter epithet donated by your writer in an earlier post and enthusiastically adopted.

Peter Schroff was born and raised in Newport Beach California although he now lives in San Pedro, near Los Angeles International Airport and very close to Long Beach, one of America’s most ethnically diverse cities.

At his mid-nineteen-eighties peak he was making custom surfboards as well as an “anti-surf” clothing line, both boards and t-shirts emblazoned in luminous pinks and patterned like happy tropical fish.

Lately, Schroff has fashioned himself as the anti-imported surfboard and fiercely anti-Asian, provocateur.

“Ask our foundin fathers wud day think of chinese junk?” he wrote in one Instagram post.

“As we march forward let’s keep our dignity in this battle for an Asian import free nation” he wrote in another.

Schroff throws his online barbs at the Kelly Slater-owned Firewire Surfboards (although he often targets the company’s CEO Mark Price, whom he describes as the “most beautiful surfer I’ve ever seen”) and Slater Designs, companies that manufacture the bulk of their surfboards in south-east Asia.

Last week, Kelly Slater, in reference to our guest, noted that it “must be great to be in your mid-late 60’s, on drugs, sexually confused and dying for any kind of attention.”

Leave a review, kind of otherwise on Apple podcasts and we’ll send trinkets.