You surf the swell? Well didya, weenie?

Real life: man disturbed by “surfer” co-worker, “Turning the memory of a good surf into virtual-office small-talk zaps it of its ineffable joy”

Are you an office weenie?

Tropical Storm Isaias rolled past my stretch of the Florida coast Sunday, promising to leave offshore winds and clean surf on Monday.

Going to sleep the night before, my brain’s neural pathways fired excitedly. Yes it would be a Monday, and yes I had to finish up and launch an ad campaign for work that was due Tuesday morning, but I was — and I assume other formerly office-trapped surfers will understand my joy — I was working from home.

Working from home, baby!

One positive from the virus is that it’s forced the big corporations to shift their butt-in-your-chair-from-nine-to-five mentalities, thanks to nature (or whoever you want to attribute this virus to).

As humans, we’re excellent mimics. And the C-Level suits at my plant are mimicking the C-Level suits at bigger plants and trusting their workers to get their shit done from wherever they want like responsible adults, without a middle manager peeking over their shoulders every other hour.

Excellent news for the office-job-holding surfer.

You get your work done on your time, and you surf around your work.

Feels like nature, via this virus, has shunted me into a dreamy version of leisure capitalism straight from Aaron James’s Surfing with Sartre.

I know I’m lucky.

Lucky to have a job when so many others don’t.

Lucky to be decent at said job.

Lucky that it’s the type of job that I can do remotely.

Monday morning and the high-tide was killing it; but by lunchtime it felt excellent, especially for the middle of summer on the U.S. east coast.

Florida at close to its finest.

I stayed out until the evening high-tide killed it again.

There’s no point in me trying to describe my ecstasy. I was full on like the end of The Art of Believing in Nothing, in which an anonymous 18th century French skeptic concludes: “Let reason vanish. Let language vanish. Let certainty vanish. Let nature return. Let’s stop talking. Let’s feel, live, and be ignorant about everything in tranquility.”

By the evening, I felt pretty ignorant about everything in liquid, groomed offshore tranquility.

And then came Tuesday, with lightning storms and the offshores knocking it all down.

My entire day was spent “getting pinged” on microsoft teams and being yakked at by pudgy heads inside little boxes on video calls about how to leveraging synergistic business strategies in order to provide disruptive solutions for the customer’s pain-points.

Speaking of pain-points — let me take you inside our “video alignment meeting” on Thursday.

There are two other surfers in the (now-virtual) office.

The first doesn’t concern us.

The second is an older, bald, possibly bi-polar guy we’ll call Jerry.

He’s a fine dude, but he doesn’t keep it on the down-low.

At all.

In fact, he’s very talkative about all things surfing, and has the tendency to monologue.

Half-way into the video call, he got onto the topic I’d been praying he’d avoid.

“Hey man, surf was great Monday! Did you get out?”

“Uh, not really. Pretty busy with the campaign launch.”

As he yammers along, the eleven other heads in the eleven other boxes begin to zone out, checking their phones, tip-tapping on their keyboards.

Except, of course, for my boss, who’s listening … with interest.

“It was so good all afternoon!” Jerry says. “So good!”

I try to deflect.

“Yeah, after work I went out for a little bit.”

He continues, detailing the intricacies of the swell and giving me a play-by-play of the cams he checked, the models he consulted, and the reports he read, until finally, he wraps up his monologue.

Done and dusted, right?

Awkward moment over, right?

So I say that I hope we get some more hurricanes, good and big ones, and it’d be great if they could plan themselves so that the cleanup day falls on a weekend, hoping — once again — that Jerry takes the hint.

But at the very mention of “hurricane,” all eleven boxes zone back in to the conversation and start yammering with a fury.

Fingers are wagged at me. Juju is mentioned. Accusations that it will be “all your fault if there’s another hurricane” are laid against me.

(Which, hate to break it to you, Tina from customer service, is going to happen.)

Finally, I’m asked why I can’t just get Kelly Slater to build a wavepool nearby?

And then — and then! — my boss shares his screen, goes to youtube, clicks on a wavepool video, and starts playing the clip for everyone in the virtual meeting.

Just me, my non-surfing co-workers, and my boss, watching a wavepool clip in our virtual meeting.

“Have you seen this before?” he asks me.

The clip plays for a full five minutes — the wave peeling off, perfect again and again, various pros ducking into that barrel — during which people talk about wanting to learn to surf, and people talk about sharks, and people talk about these cool things called hydrofoils that they’ve seen, and Jerry talks about wavepool technology.

Then, it’s over.

My boss un-shares his screen.

He goes: “Norris, you don’t look that happy!”

It’s sweet, because I think he expected that playing the clip would make me happy?

And I appreciate the sentiment.

But also, I’m disturbed.

How can I tell him how I’m actually feeling?

I say, “Oh, it’s just jealousy” — which isn’t a lie — and the meeting returns to people bloviating about ideation workshops for content strategies that will engage the first-time-buyer market and position the brand brand brand and its innovative technologies in this way or that way.

I feel supremely incapable of communicating with these people, with these eleven humans in their little boxes inside the glass screen of my little foldable laptop box.

I understand why I feel this way: the phenomenon of Wittgenstein’s Lion.

But I also feel like turning the memory of a really good surf into cheery, virtual-office small-talk zaps it of its ineffable joy.

I would have preferred everything left unsaid.

I would have preferred my Monday afternoon, the perfection that Isaias left, remain a secret.

Yes, I recognize the irony in writing about all this; but the difference is, I felt like y’all might understand.

An artist's impression of Beschen at his Arizona tank. | Photo: @miniwavesbydom

Shane Beschen announces Arizona wavepool made with tech from Minnesota; promises an experience, “like something you’ve never seen!”

Hot-as-hell Mesa, Arizona, to be home of new wave tank to rival Waco, Palm Springs etc.

Earlier today, the former world number two and “least huggable pro of all” Shane Beschen finally revealed his latest wave pool project, a tank in Mesa, Arizona, using engineering and tech made in Minnesota.

Swell Manufacturing, which includes Beschen in the management team as “creative/brand manager”, describes its waves as “fun, fresh, efficient.”

Beschen, who is forty-eight, is a longtime believer in the viability of wave pools in the USA, first in partnership with the German-made City Wave and, now, with attorney and developer Cole Cannon esq, who “is a negotiator at heart, not the soft type, but the ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’ type that Teddy Roosevelt preached about.”

Both announced the project, which has been approved by the Mesa Planning Commission, on their respective Instagram accounts.

The build will begin in 2021.

“Relaxation not earned is just more stress. To solve this paradox, I decided to build a surf park because maybe then I can relax in it,” wrote Cannon.

“Our wave technology and vision for this project will be like nothing you have seen in the market to date and so grateful to be a part of this incredible project and team,” wrote Beschen.

Mesa, if y’didn’t know, is a hot-as-hell city twenty miles west of Phoenix, hits a hundred in the shade most days in summer, and before Beschen’s pool announcement was noted as the place where cops gunned down a weeping, unarmed Texas man, Daniel Shaver, in a hotel hallway.


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!