Norwegian standing in front of early surfboard.
Norwegian standing in front of early surfboard.

Progressive: “The Bible of the Sport” Surfer magazine gets historically woke in new series highlighting the actual genesis of surfing!

I told you it was the Peruvians.

Fraught times. Angry times etc. but you already know that and I am looking forward to re-reading each of 2020’s BeachGrit posts, in ten years, to chuckle at the generally dim worldview encapsulated in the first lines because in ten years we will all be ruled by rogue AI and pandemic/economic collapse/Rumble at the Ranch will seem paradisiacal in comparison.

Andy Irons.

What a bastard.

In any case, Surfer magazine i.e. The Bible of the Sport has recently awakened and is doing a fabulous series on the pre-white history of America’s most famous surf spots. The latest highlights The Pump House Gang’s La Jolla (brought to you by Tom Wolfe). Shall we read its opening together?

In surfing, we obsess over people’s history and connection to our favorite surf spots. We even go so far as to build hierarchies in the lineup based on who’s been there longest. First time paddling out somewhere? Cool, no set waves for you. Moved into the area for college a few years back and been surfing it on the regular ever since? OK, go help yourself to some scraps on the inside. Are you a third-generation local surfer who knows every cobblestone like a family member? You probably more or less run the place.

The funny thing is, while surfers place immense importance on our history and connection to a given surf break, outside of Hawaii, most surfers don’t actually have that much history at any particular spot. Not in the grand scheme of things, at least.

On the US mainland, few families can claim more than three generations of surfers. And, sure, some surfers have family history along their local coastline going further back through things like fishing, but none of that compares to the history of those who have the deepest roots along the coast—the original locals indigenous to the region.

In the case of San Diego, the original locals belong to the Kumeyaay Nation, a Native American tribe whose ancestral land spans from North County down to Northern Baja, from Swami’s to Sunset Cliffs and beyond.

You can, plus should, read the rest here and learn something but also Peruvians and their Thor Heyerdahl, cocaine and inventing our Pastime of Kings. You can, though probably shouldn’t, read the rest here.

Rogue AI is gonna be super lame, theoretically, but I have a solid belief that I can confound it with a barrage of me.

Have you ever listened to Dirty Water?

Told you.

Watch: Poet and activist enters tequila brand Jose Cuervo’s “Spirit of Surfing” challenge; crushes all-comers with impassioned speech!

Fine art.

I, myself, am not typically a contest enterer. The odds certainly never feel in my favor and that sort of defeatist attitude doesn’t lead to wonderful manifestations of victory but this new “Spirit of Surfing” challenge seems very much up my alley.

The contest, in association with pandemic profiteering website Surfline, has very simple rules:

Here’s how to enter: in a small homemade video show us or describe to us your ideal day of surfing and share with us your go-to post session, share with friends-at-sunset-hour, cocktail recipe using one of the following bottles of Jose Cuervo ® Tradicional ® tequila: Plata, Reposado or Añejo.

And the prize sublime:

Each of the top six “home mixologist” winners will take a friend to the Surf Ranch this September for a once-in-a-lifetime day filled with special guests (including Mr. Pipeline Gerry Lopez) and spectacular waves. So, what are you waiting for?

If you have listened to any Dirty Waters, you’ll know that I, myself, enjoy sunset hour cocktails with my friends Derek and Longtom and also idealize surfing days but alas, right when I was preparing to submit my entry I watched poet and activist John Wayne Freeman’s and my spirit is crushed.

Crushed but also buoyed that a man, an artist, can capture the zeitgeist so well.

Your contest makes no sense. I see that you took all the money from the billion dollar tequila company Jose Cuervo and that you came up with an “idea” about “the spirit of surfing.” “The spirit of surfing.” You are holding a contest with Mr. Health, Gerry Lopez, who, I’m pretty sure doesn’t drink, he’s the reason I got into hot yoga, Mr. Holistic you get to surf with, right? In a fake wave lake? It’s not even in the ocean? In a lake? And we’re surfing with a guy whose entire life has been about health? And its put on by Jose Cuervo? Do you know what I’ve done because of Jose Cuervo?

Truly and undeniably the spirit of surfing.

As always, blame Surfline.

Listen: Shane Beschen on new orgasms-and-cocktails-tittys-and-honeybuns Arizona wavepool, “Shock waves of pleasure!”

Entire "human ecosystems" built around blue-water wedges…

In this episode of Dirty Water, number twenty-five, you’ll note the terrible absence of verbal histrionics and the laughing outright into people’s faces.

Charlie Smith, who just celebrated a birthday, disappeared for two days on a sailing adventure and, therefore, the forty-five minutes is constrained by my introversion and inability to carry a conversation without volumes of paper notes.

Today’s guest on Dirty Water, Shane Beschen, has been described as a “loner and a malcontent” and with a face that has the pitiful expression of a cruelly beaten child. 

Although a recent guest on Dirty Water, the forty-eight-year-old former world number two returns with important news concerning his tank in Mesa, Arizona, using engineering and tech made in Minnesota; the rapidly evolving world of wavepools; we later veer into the possibility that the sled-driven pool, as fabulous as it is, may already be obsolete.

Beschen also pokes a timely fork into the eye of Surfrider Europe.

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"The modern exasperated sigh of surfing" Martin Potter (right) points his love gun at Joe Turpel.
"The modern exasperated sigh of surfing" Martin Potter (right) points his love gun at Joe Turpel.

“Modern voice of surfing” Joe Turpel gives beautiful interview to local news station, not a dry eye left in the house!

"It’s still honestly surreal."

The Rumble at the Ranch, now one week in the rearview, reintroduced professional surfing to an entertainment starved public and… to be honest I have not read or heard one good thing about it. Mocking Kelly Slater’s Green Kingdom, its monotony, its “unnecessary irresponsibility,” has become too easy and so I’m always on the lookout for a voice to force me to see it in a different light.

Always on the lookout even to this very day, but while we are discussing voices, the “modern voice of surfing” Joe Turpel gave such a warm interview to his local Hawaiian television station khon2.

Do you forget that Turpel is Hawaiian? I certainly do and/or never realized in the first place but there he was discussing his personal history…

I was taking a summer school class at Punahou and the teacher was Pal Eldredge and he made us do a sports report of our favorite team. I was playing baseball at the time and I did a full Dodgers breakdown of their last game and Mr. Eldredge said ‘hey, you might wanna take this VHS tape back to your parents and show them what you did today,’ and I was like ‘what do you mean?’ He’s like ‘maybe you should do this in your life.’ That was the first time I was like ‘oh my gosh, maybe I want to be a broadcaster.’

His feelings at the dawn of Covid…

We had like a heat to go and we realized this might be maybe the last heat of the year (Carissa’s victory). At the time it seemed surreal. It just felt like ‘wait, is this going to be a couple of weeks or is Snapper (Rocks) gonna be back on?’ Then eventually it led to further down, the full cancelation of 2020.

But most importantly, his being called “The Modern Voice of Surfing…”

It’s still honestly surreal. I have a hard time saying that myself because it feels too big,” he said. “For me, I’m still this kid that loves to surf so to be able to even think that is incredible. I almost don’t spend too much time thinking about it because it feels too big. I’m just enjoying it all. It’s definitely an honor to hear something like that.

If your eyes aren’t moist then you are not human.

Bombshell: Kelly Slater’s green bonafides shattered as surfing’s largest environmental organization decries wave pools as “excessive consumption… unnecessary and irresponsible” in scathing missive!


Surfrider Europe delivered a massive blow to student of Chinese culture and 11x World Champion Kelly Slater by releasing its official position on wave pools and there is little to nothing about it which the part-owner and spokesman for KSWaveCo. can find reassuring.

The world’s largest surf-specific environmental organization pulled no punches in its recent missive titled Wave Pools: Concerns Outweigh their Value moving point by point through how projects like Slater’s Surf Ranch and proposed Surf Ranch Australia “artificialize” the land, destroy habitats, add to the decline of biodiversity, suck enormous amounts of water and power, weaken ecosystems and promises to fight any such project along the European coastline.


As you well know, Kelly Slater is also an environmentalist, and has a deep love of the ocean, having first become aware of how important it is to protect them whilst, maybe coincidentally, surfing in France.

“There were so many plastic bags in the water that I remember at one point thinking that if I fall and get a mouthful of water, I might choke on a plastic bag.” he told noted marine conservationist Dr. Stone in a wide ranging interview. “Once you have an awareness around something, (you) change immediately.”

Here, you can see the great passion he feels for our saline playground.

Aside from his artificial wave pools potentially solving the great “surfers-choking-on-plastic-bags-after-falling scenario (controlled environment, pool cleaners with long poles to gather bags from the water etc., it is difficult to argue with Surfrider Europe’s position vis-á-vis the environmental impact. Many, many buckets of greenwash would be necessary but what then will professional surfing’s greatest of all time do?

It is uncertain how, or if, Slater will respond to Surfrider Europe as they are now likely blocked across his social media channels.

More as the story develops.