New exhaustive study reveals surfing does not help parents in “any way, shape or form” when it comes to placing children in Ivy League schools!

Or wait...

Last night I climbed into bed after a long day of surf journalism and began browsing the news. Stories about Covid-19 spikes, economists warning of imminent market collapse and then a headline from The Atlantic that read, “The Mad, Mad World of Niche Sports Among Ivy League-Obsessed Parents.

“Time for more surf journalism,” I thought to myself, somewhat exhausted but, as a true professional, got down to reading.

The piece begins with a profile of Sloane, a “buoyant, chatty, stay-at-home mom from Fairfield County, Connecticut” who is shepherding her three daughters through school with dreams, like all stay-at-home mom’s named Sloane, of having them placed in Ivy League colleges/universities.

Harvard, Yale, etc.

Fairfield County is called the “Gold Coast” as it sends more children to the Ivy League than any other place.

The daughters need grades, advanced placement classes, social service activities and, of course as the title suggests, niche sports.

I wondered which east coast surf club the girls belonged to as I skimmed slightly ahead. Wondered if they were hitting one-star QSes or focusing solely on the pro junior events.

Then I was stopped dead in my tracks. One daughter fenced. The other played squash. I read again. Fencing and squash then raced ahead realizing the whole piece was about fencing, squash, lacrosse, rowing, water polo etc. with surfing nowhere to be seen. Nowhere to be even sniffed.

I continued reading, anyhow, and realized that too many rich parents put too many kids with too many coaches etc. into these niche sports and now it’s all a big disaster.

Per The Atlantic:

The stampede of the affluent into grim-faced, highly competitive sports has been a tragicomedy of perverse incentives and social evolution in unequal times: a Darwinian parable of the mayhem that can ensue following the discovery of even a minor advantage. Like a peacock rendered nearly flightless by gaudy tail feathers, the overserved athlete is the product of a process that has become maladaptive, and is now harming the very blue-chip demographic it was supposed to help.

But wait.

Is there an opportunity to bilk rich parents with dreams of Ivy League placement due the entirely recherché activity called surfing?

An ancient Peruvian pastime with roots stretching to Polynesia?

Turning Connecticut’s Gold Coast into Queensland’s and getting wealthy in the process?

Much to ponder.

Listen: Big-wave surfer Wayne Cleveland on how to buy, smuggle, cut and wholesale large quantities of Mexican cocaine: “At one stage, I sat down and I had $2.5 million in front of me. It took forever to count.”

"Wayne Cleveland's house is awash with cash."

True drug-smuggling stories are a fascinating business; men and woman who gamble their precious freedoms for truly insane amounts of money.

Secret worlds, lavish public lifestyles.

It’s a life of spiders and flies.

When the smugglers are winning, they’re spiders, living like Gods of Olympus with a total immunity to justice on earth.

When the cops get a lead, the smuggler become the fly in his own web.

Wayne Cleveland is a forty-nine-year-old surfer from Maroubra who talks with the bellicose growl of a cougar.

He made his name at Puerto, Sunset and, later, Cape Solander, waves he hunted with visceral passion, paying for his lifestyle by utilising the lucrative trans-Pacific cocaine trade.

In this episode of Dirty Water, Wayne explains the minutiae of getting the coke into Australia from LA, how it was cut and how it was distributed.

And, how it all unravelled.

(Watch the Australian Federal Police’s documentary on the sting and then bust, here, “Wayne Cleveland’s house is awash with cash…”)

And, listen, below.

Watch: Massive Great White Shark rips seal in half inches from shore, in inches of water, while shocked beachgoers flee for their lives!

Cape Cod is not for lovers.

But oh how the Wheel of Fortuna spins. One moment, there you are with your loving family dipping toes into the autumnal water off New England’s Cape Cod. The weather, turning, is still delightful. Sun shining and ocean as blue as a sapphire.

The very next moment, the water changes crimson red as a Great White Shark has snuck right into the tranquil, mere inches from the sand, and sawn the seal right in half with its razor sharp teeth.

You try and calm your wife, comfort your children who are wailing in agony.

“Shhhh. Shhhh. It’s ok. The circle of life. And it could have been your toes instead of that poor, hapless seal. Shhhhhh.”

But watch firsthand video and tell me that the brazenness of this particular Great White Shark doesn’t fill you with a deep sense of dread, even with the inspirational music layered behind.

Or maybe hope, if you happen to be exceedingly misanthropic. Inches from the sand, in inches of water. A human baby may have been toddling right there. An elderly wader.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy released the following statement regarding the incident.

“This is another good reminder that white sharks hunt in shallow waters off the Cape and, based on tagging data, we know that October is a peak season month for white shark activity off the Cape.”

There have been at least five shark sightings in the past two days.

And are you a New English surfer?

Very scary and/or exciting.

You? Me? Both of us?
You? Me? Both of us?

Listen: BeachGrit reels under recent accusation. “Your audience is made up largely of middle-aged white male nihilists!”

Ja, we believe in nothing.

And here we finally are. The nadir. The lowest point of a low time. The only anti-depressive surf website in the entire world being accused of being a den of middle-aged white male nihilists from a respected voice in our surf industry who shall remain anon.

Oh my.

But is it true?

Are we middle-aged white male nihilists?

All of us middle-aged and white?

Male and believing nothing?

Not a good look ever but especially not in 2020.

Not, as they say, “marketable.”

David Lee Scales and I met at Album Surfboards in San Clemente today and I told him that Derek and I were, likely, ringleaders of a middle-aged white male nihilist cabal. He thought about it for a moment and… to be honest I can’t remember if he agreed or not but then we talked about Dane Reynolds’ cutback and birdwatching.

Then I went and purchased a mattress from, honestly, the best furniture store west of the Mississippi featuring gorgeous mid-century modern chair/coffee table sets. When was the last time you bought a mattress?

Middle-aged white male nihilists need comfort too, even if they/we don’t believe in it.

Listen here.

Visit: Denmark’s “Cold Hawaii” sees massive surfing boom while the world is locked down with heavy Covid-19 travel restrictions!


Every cloud, no matter how broad, has a silver lining and this Covid-19 cloud’s can be witnessed in Klitmøller, Denmark, a town of 1000 hearty souls in the far northern tip of the country.

Klitmøller, long called “Cold Hawaii” because of its reputation as a windsurfing destination, has seen a boom in real surfing participation these past six months as Danes, unable to travel to California or Australia, content themselves with its slop.

Vahine Itchner, who started the Cold Hawaii Surf Camp with her husband and moved to Denmark from Tahiti, tells The Local DK that business is through the roof and also, “You can’t really know what kind of waves you’re going to get. It’s always different waves. If you go to a perfect surf place like Bali or Tahiti, you know exactly how the wave is going to break. Here, it changes all the time.”

Changing windy cold waves sounds awful and not inviting and not like a silver lining but Itchner knows that Klitmøller will become more famous than Cardiff Reef or Bells Beach because Denmark is the only country on earth that is hygge.

What is hygge?

There’s no direct translation in English but, roughly, it means “cosy” and those who have traveled to Denmark will know, first hand, that nothing beats it. You can be hygge in the summer, spring, autumn but the best hygge is winter, all curled up post-surf in front of a flickering fire, hot toddy or chocolate in hand, Billie Holiday playing softly on the turntable, slippers on feet, watching Saoirse Ronan in On Chesil Beach while rain pitter-patters on the cottage roof.

Absolutely fabulous and far better than stripping a urine-soaked wetsuit off in a dull parking lot, or car park, deflecting glares from Joel Tudor or Maurice Cole.

I would be a Danish surfer if I could be.

Would you?