Prima Nocta: Scotland’s first wave tank inches closer to reality with planning permission approved by authorities!

Coming soon!

Just two days ago, we learned here of the heartbreaking scuttling of an exciting indoor wave pool set to be built in Niagara there in upstate New York. Very sad as it would have complimented the thrill of brave men and women pitching themselves over the region’s iconic waterfalls nicely.

Our own Ricky Spanish wondered aloud in the comments,”What’s the current scrapped wave pool project count? It’s gotta be getting up there.”

And one would imagine it is what with Covid-19 wreaking theoretical havoc on global economies and Surf Ranch hosting an an extremely snoozy Rumble.

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

It is Edinburgh, Scotland and its proposed Wavegarden just receiving planning permission, keeping it on track to open in 2022!

Per the announcement from Wavegarden Scotland, “Tartan Leisure Ltd, developers of Scotland’s first artificial surf park, Wavegarden Scotland, received planning permission today. Permission includes the HUB complex which will provide food, retail, changing and leisure facilities, together with overnight accommodation.”

Very cool except I don’t know if I love love the American Southwest meets Puerto Rico vibe especially not when this sort of pointy stick/blood motif would have fit so well.

It’s rude for me to even bring up, though, and congratulations to Chazz Michael Michaels and all his Scotsmen who will soon be able to surf artificially on their own lands instead of Wales or wherever the other Wavegarden is.

Remember, you can take their lives, but you can never take their freedom.

Leaked images: Former high-end surf brand Hurley pivots to inflatable pool floats and “performance” bodyboards!

Not recommended for use in the ocean etc.

A little shy of one year ago, Nike sold Hurley to “brand management company” Bluestar Alliance.

The sale followed Volcom’s to the Authentic Brands Group, makers of iconic velour tracksuits, in April and Rip Curl to camping equipment retailer Kathmandu.

(Bob Hurley, of course, had sold his eponymous brand to Nike for a hundred and twenty mill in 2002, three years after Hurley International was launched.)

As previously reported, the way Bluestar works is it identifies brands it wants to buy and once they get the keys, “our team of experts embark on a complete and thorough understanding of the brand’s potential channels of distribution and price point strategies. We create tools such as brand development profiles, trend guides, style guides and marketing strategies. These marketing materials portray graphic illustrations and a strategic marketing road map to enhance consumer brand recognition.”

The focus at Hurley shifted from R and D, maintaining a dazzling surf team, high-end accounts and so on to a model focussed on the bottom line.

Which means that anything that can fit a H on its tube, shoe, can or box will be licensed.

As leaked concept drawings show, new Hurley products include inflatable pool tools, a Wave Runner, a Wave Barrel and a Lounger and “performance” bodyboards.

No prices available, yet.

Bob, meanwhile, has partnered with former Hurley rider John John Florence with their Florence Marine X brand.

“I am excited to announce Florence Marine X, an apparel brand I am proud to launch alongside Bob Hurley, who has been an inspiration to me over the years, along with longtime friends and industry leaders. We are excited to explore what’s possible and build products that celebrate the ocean, sustainability, exploration and overall just doing the right thing. I’m looking forward to the road ahead and invite you to follow along in this new adventure,” says John.

“We are incredibly energized to embark on this journey with John, his curiosity, vision, and obsession for exploration are unsurpassed. We’ve been on the same team before and we really had a whole lotta fun,” says Bob.

“Bad Grandpa” Joe Biden picks “Top Cop” Kamala Harris as his running mate creating 1988 Republican dream ticket!

"Dems never forget to really bore their base."

You have, by now, read the news that Democratic presidential candidate has picked California’s own “Top Cop” Kamala Harris as his running mate and in the process creating a 1988 Republican dream ticket.

Moderate old-timey values, extremely tough on crime, bold international leadership…

One tear each rolled down Bob Dole and George Herbert Walker Bush’s cheeks as they gave each other a quick side hug in heaven when the announcement became official.

“It certainly does have a musty old, boring public library in the afternoon feeling.” My political insider said when reached for comment. “Dems never forget to really bore their base.”


Dukakis/Lloyd Bentsen.



Hillary Clinton/Kaine.



Like a pair of old, brown lace-up loafers. Like late night Public Television specials on traveling in Holland.

The Orange County Register, which happens to be the surf industry’s paper of record, took an adversarial position re. the ticket, remarking: “During her tenure as California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney, Harris turned a blind eye to potentially dirty Orange County cops and refused to order DNA testing that might exonerate a condemned man. In a scandal that rocked the foundation of justice in Orange County, Harris slow-walked an investigation into corruption among sheriff’s deputies, basically doing nothing.”


Like chunky bifocals. Like a Buick Park Avenue featuring a plush, red velour interior.

The future!

Skateboard legends share their surf VAL experience: “A couple of times I punched my steering wheel hard with watery eyes like, ‘Why can’t I do this?'”

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Aren’t we all, here, #blessed to have learned to surf as small little children and/or gangly pre-teens? Yes, and we bathe in that warmth daily with stories of vulnerable adult learners who become inspired by the water dance later in life and, therefore, must learn an entire language non-natively.

I would imagine some adults are less vulnerable than others, though, and might even have so much natural skill as to not need that small childhood/gangly pre-teen experience.

Some adults like legendary professional skateboarders but, as it turns out, they are not immune to the pain, the torture.

In a recent Jenkem magazine piece, 90s skateboard legends shared their experience learning the Pastime of Kings. It is long and thorough, definitely worth a full read, but shall we sample one sentiment from each?

Chico Brenes: Sometimes I kick myself for not starting surfing sooner. But I never imagined that I would be that dude getting up at dawn because I knew the waves were gonna be good at that time. When we were young we got up at noon to skate EMB and stayed up late every night. Never in a million years did I think I’d become that guy.

Elissa Steamer: I went with my friend Lucas and got a wetsuit and paddled out that day and I got a sweet belly ride. And that’s when I got hooked. I was like, “I’m gonna do this.” I thought, “In no time I’ll be ripping.” But that’s not the case. It’s been 12 years and I still don’t rip.

Max Schaaf: I’ve stopped caring what people think and I’m on my own deal. There’s some clip that people keep sending me of a dude doing like a finger flip on a surfboard. It’s so wrong. There’s no soul in it. I think with surfing, this sounds so cheesy but there’s a soul to it. I think the rules come from a place of taste and time spent doing it.

Rob Welsh: I have a hard time sitting back and letting the wave do its thing. I feel like I need to go somewhere. I’m trying to pump it or something to get speed, tick-tack, or whatever. And you’re only riding for two seconds sometimes.

Beautiful, especially the bit about finger flipping surfboards.


"This Chas Smith is like a bulldog with eyes up his ass."

Shock: Major literary website publishes kind review for new Chas Smith book Reports from Hell; describes as “Howlingly funny… a journey into dangerous territory!”

"Gonzo meets Hezbollah in this unlikely—and delightful—work of journalism."

Today, August 11th, is the official release date of Reports from Hell by mid-length aficionado Charlie Smith, whom some of you already know.

You have read excerpts here and here and may be tired of Charlie shamelessly promoting the work but shameless promotion is part of the job, as they say.

“Books are wild things. Beautiful things. Maybe antiquated but never for me. I love Camus, love Waugh, love Murakami, Knausgaard, Wolfe, Thompson, Mailer, Didion… but I am no literary titan. I am but a surf journalist,” says Charlie. “Still, I can’t stop writing. Flipping the computer’s lid open, dropping headphones over my ears, dancing with words. I’m generally a little blue when the final draft comes back from the editor because then the journey is over.”

This review, which you can read below, comes from Kirkus, an American book review magazine founded in 1933, which isn’t always kind.

Gonzo meets Hezbollah in this unlikely—and delightful—work of journalism.

What to do when al-Qaida strikes and the twin towers fall? Grab a surfboard and make for the Middle East, of course, the strategy followed by Smith and companions Nate, “who happens to look exactly like Steve McQueen playing Frank Bullitt if Frank Bullitt wore a bleached fauxhawk,” and Josh, given to sage analyses of current events: “This is the way history works, bro. Convulsions and spasms. To imagine any different, to imagine that we are somehow removed from the long bend, is ludicrous.”

Smith opens with a howlingly funny interview he conducted with David Petraeus, who delivered “easily digestible, easy-to-understand drips of Middle Eastern insight that I imagine rack-rate conference-goers crave.”

During that encounter, Smith had been prattling on about a car that is as central a piece of equipment in this narrative as the suitcase full of pharmaceuticals in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, very much a kindred book.

So is just the right T-shirt, the right board, and the right amount of sangfroid when, in Lebanon, the loopy journalists were kidnapped by actual terrorists, just as they’d feared, occasioning another Jeff Spicoli–ish remark from Josh: “These Hezbollah bros are something we know. We can figure this out.” Underneath all the goofiness is utterly serious intent: In addition to seeking to better understand the radicals’ point of view, the author is committed to providing plenty of shades of gray in a world that “had never been more black and white or more polarized.”

(Readers will hope he covers the U.S. in the same spirit.)

Funny and sharp, Smith is also a master of the tossed-off phrase that is just right for the job: “Early-2000 Dubai felt like Blade Runner might if written and directed by trust-funded Saudi Arabian boys who loved robot porn.”
A lively and entertaining—and illuminating—journey into dangerous territory.

Buy here or, if y’round tomoz, jump on a virtual meet-and-greet with Charlie, twenty-seven bucks, book included.