Accomplishment: Excerpt from surf journalist Chas Smith’s new book “Reports from Hell” makes it onto virtual pages of highly exclusive Men’s Journal!

“When you’re a jet you’re a jet all the way!”

I have tried not to pound my latest book through our BeachGrit, excessively, as self-promotion is ugly to see and stomach-turning to do but sometimes but sometimes pride overwhelms and especially where the Men’s Journal is involved.

Men don’t get journals anymore and the august publication, floating virtually alone in a modern sexless world, feels like a glorious last bastion. The only place I dreamed of appearing outside of Out.

Here is an excerpt from the Men’s Journal excerpt because I can’t help but glowing.

We treat al-Mukullah over the next ten days the way sloppy Germans, Danes, and Poles treat Mallorca, ambling around in the heat of the day between shops that sell ice-cream and internet cafés, driving out to the wave for a surf, driving back for a massive chicken lunch, driving out to the wave for an evening surf, driving back for a dinner of fried fish balls and banana mush next to the mosque.

Major Ghamdan mostly stayed in his room as far as I could tell and seemed resigned to whatever would happen, throwing up his hands and letting God decide our fate, really and truly getting into the “inshahallah” spirit the way all good Muslims and Calvinists do.

Irate younger men would approach semi-regularly, especially after evening prayers, eyes burning, and tell us that George Bush is a dog. Yemen was severely punished by George Sr. for holding the position that Arab nations should not intervene in the business between Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War and even more severely punished by Kuwait and her neighbors as thousands of working Yemenis were expelled without warning.

George Jr. had just taken Baghdad in the second Gulf War not two months ago as the Global War on Terror found a new theater and was saber rattling through the rest of the region, demanding that nations were either for us or against us, and if they were against us—well, things would not go well.

Depending on our collective mood we would either argue back that the Bush family was a proud American legacy or agree and either way the conversations would end with warm proclamations of friendship and hand-holding beneath the starry skies of Mukullah, a striking town that grows better with experience.

The way the light bathes it in the day, the way heat radiates off every surface at night. The mix of Indian, British, Persian, Indonesian, and East African influences. Architecture, food, and dress harkening to the days when it was a center of the trading world. Osama bin Laden’s family chose their region well, and my desire to live in the Hadramawt grew unchecked.

Most nights belonged to music videos or accidentally CNN’s international version. The Horse did indeed have televisions and not one but two music video channels from Saudi Arabia and from Lebanon, which worked brilliantly when one switched to Live from Mecca programming unless they both switched to it at the same time. It blew my expectations out of the water, and even though Josh would semi-regularly reference how epic the hotel by the mosque was and how it was also closer to fried fish balls, we all feasted on Stone Temple Pilots, Ricky Martin, Alicia Keys, Incubus, Uncle Cracker, Nelly Furtado, and Enrique Iglesias with equal relish—especially the Enrique Iglesias video featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Mickey Rourke in an epic ballad that brought me near tears every time it played, particularly when Enrique Iglesias looked deep into Jennifer Love Hewitt’s eyes and said, “I can be your hero, baby. I can kiss away the pain.”

One evening, as we traipsed back to our hotel from fried fish balls, a group of young men followed us into a small, empty corridor and unsheathed their jambiyas, flashing the curved steel and yelling that we were Americans. Josh lowered his shoulder and ran at them like a corn-fed University of Michigan fullback. They tossed them into a nearby bush and took off sprinting, and the whole scene felt wonderful, harkening back to a simpler, less litigious time when back-alley street fights between rival hoods were commonplace.

“When you’re a jet you’re a jet all the way!” I shouted as they rounded the corner, Josh hot on their wedge-sandaled heels.

Another evening as we sauntered back we saw a massive crowd out front the shopfront where we bought our morning coffees. A sea of turbaned heads sitting cross-legged on a piece of Astroturf rolled out for the occasion. As we got nearer we saw they were all watching a tiny rabbit-earred television, and as we got nearer still saw the television was showing a pro surf contest from Hawaii the year earlier.

I couldn’t believe it. Here in al-Mukallah—a thousand miles from the nearest semblance of surf culture and ten thousand miles from Oahu’s North Shore—a few hundred men were silently basking in the Pastime of Kings. I elbowed one wearing a particularly neat turban-skirt combination, pointed at the television, and told him that’s what we did, what those men were doing on the television, riding tables on the ocean exactly like them. His eyes widened and I almost invited him to watch us live the next day but thankfully caught myself, realizing that while we indeed rode tables on the ocean exactly like the men on television, our surfing looked very different. So different, in fact, that it might have been confused as a separate water game altogether. One not so graceful or exciting. Still, the entire scene was so gorgeously surreal it made me positively giddy for days afterward.

And then, one hot morning, it is time to move on.

What did we find?

Here you go replete with photos!

What a time to be alive and self-promoting.

Take that, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West!

Strong woman catches 9-foot “exceedingly deadly” Tiger Shark with homemade rod and reel, “eau de male” bait as part of Texas Shark Rodeo!


First came Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, a clear appropriation of “cowboy life” replete with faux brands, unfinished wood sidings, an outdoor hot tub/watering trough and mulch. Now comes the “Texas Shark Rodeo.” A “team-oriented, shark-fishing tournament with an emphasis on tagging and collecting data for the conservation of sharks.”

Also appropriation but maybe more in line with a general cowboy ethos.

In any case, days ago Josie Silva caught herself a 9-foot Tiger Shark near Corpus Christi, Texas, using a homemade rod and reel.

The Tiger Shark, as enthusiasts know, is very deadly and enjoys eating human flesh.

According to local reports, Silva hooked the Tiger at 7:39 PM and took 40 minutes to drag it to shore where she discovered it was a female, measured her, tagged her and pushed her back into the water completely traumatized and looking for a surfer to gobble whole.

Silva said, “Our team is the Team 3rd Coast Beach Bums. The rod I used I made myself the week before. The rod I used is by Steadfast. My fiancé is a rod builder with MLJ rods and is showing me how to build as well. The reel is an Avet TRX80.”


I thought she, like, cut a branch off a sapling then whittled it into a rod and used broken Chevy parts to make a reel but I guess she assembled a rod. I do wonder what bait she used. Knowing that Tigers enjoy eating human flesh, I wonder if she used any “man-bait.”

Possibly, I suppose.

In any case, if you happen to be surfing in the Gulf of Mexico be on the lookout for a rage-filled Tiger Shark looking for revenge.

Also, who are you pulling for in the Texas Shark Rodeo? Team 3rd Coast Beach Bums, Team Sassy Moody Nasty, Team Yo-Yo Ma or other?

Australian Capital Territory celebrates Queensland reopening its borders, releases surfing image so “shockingly lewd” as to demand “members-only” subscription!


Those who have never been to Australia may be surprised to discover that behind the sunny smiles, puka shell necklaces and “g’days” lies an absolutely draconian form of government. Rules and laws, restrictions and regulations that would have made those Pensioner Guards of old wince. During these Covid times, for example, states cut themselves off entirely from one another and made it illegal to travel across borders (unless holding a Kelly Slater passport).


Well, as the pandemic eases, Australia is re-opening to itself. A few short days ago, for example, Queensland opened its doors to those arriving from other states by air. It was a such a welcome surprise to the country’s surfers, as Queensland features many world-class waves and also world-class surfing family’s like the Wrights, Wilsons and Coffeys.

The Australian Capital Territory’s Labor government was thrilled, and possibly observing those Coffeys, that it released a surfing image so shockingly lewd as to demand its own “members-only” subscription.


More as the story develops.

Legend Australian surfer-shaper pleads guilty to murder of ex-wife’s husband

The curtain closes on the sad life of an Australian champion… 

If you live around Margaret River, you’ll know the shaper Tony Hardy and his brood. Amazing surf family. Tony is pops to surfer-bodyboarders Gene, Ryan, Brett and Josh.

All of ’em except Josh have won a State surfing title. Even his granddaughter Willow scooped one up to go alongside her two Small Fries crowns.

But Tony stopped surfing a while back; blamed age, injuries.

He is what you’d call, in polite company, an eccentric.

You’d see him at Main Break, Margaret River, the wave he owned in the seventies, trimming the pig-face that has grown over the footpath. 

Or stopped at the side of the road in Margs with his shears trimming the bush.

On a Tuesday afternoon in January 2018, Tony allegedly got into a fight with his ex-wife’s husband, who was seventy-five, fatally injuring the man. 

Tony’s ex-wife was also hospitalised for injuries.

The cops caught Tony hiding in bushland later in the afternoon.

Tony, who is now seventy, was set to argue he was not criminally responsible on the basis he was of unsound mind.

Yesterday, Tony changed his plea, admitting to his ex-wife’s husband’s murder and causing grievous bodily harm to his ex-wife.

He was remanded in custody until a sentencing hearing on January 28.

It’s a girl: Yet another gender reveal party goes horribly sideways as father shoots himself in the crotch, potentially derailing hopes and dreams of birthing next Kelly Slater-esque surf prodigy!

"Well this is off to a great start."

Gender reveal parties have, potentially, done more to damage professional surfing’s future than global warming, Great White shark attacks and “orca-strated” Killer Whale terrorism combined.

You certainly read about the recent celebration that threatened to burn the surf industry’s historical home of California to the ground.

Now we have an east coast father who nearly and/or did castrate himself while attempting to reveal the sex of his soon to be born child.

Tom Cressotti of Massachusetts and his pregnant wife were very excited to share their good news but, as these things go, Tom pointed his rocket the wrong way and, according to footage, nearly and/or did destroy his chances of fathering the next Kelly Slater-esque surf superstar.

Though the surf industry is experiencing what many call a nadir, all it takes is one transcending hero to bring it all back to fortune. Kelly Slater is currently 48-years-old and not getting any younger, though also from an east coast city featuring very bad waves. The next Kelly Slater is likely to be born on the east coast too which makes Cressotti’s choice to castrate himself all the more frustrating.

At least he did not burn down Massachusetts, telling a local paper, “That would be very hard from Massachusetts.”

Does Massachusetts not burn?

Is it immune to these troubles?

More as the story develops.