When there ain't no sunshine left.

Quit-lit: “Why do I still surf? I never have any fun. For something that gave me so much joy, and great memories, this sucks!”

Surfing, calcified as personal ritual…

He looks out the windshield of his poorly maintained 2014 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner, eyes aimed, blankly, at the horizon.

He sees the waves breaking down the cliff, solid and glassy four-foot runners. He should probably go out, he thinks.

He’s already driven all this way, might as well, except that he doesn’t feel like it, not wanting to drag the albatross that is his self-consciously bulked body and unceasingly diminishing mind down the cliff trail.

It would be easier to go home and watch TV or sleep.

He sits in his truck, unable to decide whether to go out. On the one hand, sinking even further into his mental quicksand, he just doesn’t want to, on the other, there hasn’t been decent surf in two months since he last surfed and it’s good now.

Thinking that there was potential, however small, that a session could produce maybe one ounce of joy, he decides he’s going to just do it. More likely, it will be a story he can talk to his mom about next time she calls in order to make her think he’s fine.

He parks his car and pulls his performance five-fin convertible shortboard, which he’s going to ride thruster because he doesn’t think the setup actually makes a difference, from his board bag.

He holds it out in front of himself, looking at it with disgust.

“This board fucking sucks,” he mumbles, oblivious to the other beachgoers who stare at him as they walk past.

Truth is, the board doesn’t suck, he just wants something to complain about. He actually surfs it better than any other board he has in the last eight years.

He makes his way down the cliff, opting for trunks and a top because he didn’t want to hassle with his short-sleeve full-suit he hates because it has a back zip.

All the way down he can’t stop thinking about all the lippers he’s planning to do, but probably won’t be able to, because he sucks, trying to temper the thoughts of the fat-assed black girl he saw in the grocery store the other day.

He makes it down to the beach and counts fifty surfers out all down the beach. There were only three or four guys out when he first started checking.

He should have known.

Every white-collar young professional douchebag being able to work from home these days, the beach is infested, every Bryce, Aiden, and Connor trying to break off a piece of the surf lifestyle.

He gets mad and angrily puts on his leash. It’s his own fault, that fucking asshole.

Again, he should have known.

He walks into the water.

“Fuck that’s cold!”

He stops for a few moments, considering whether or not he would be that guy who doesn’t even paddle out and just leaves, but decides against it, because it would be embarrassing to walk back up dry. He shuffles in the water up to his waist and then jumps over a wave and starts paddling.

It’s usually a breeze for him to get out into the lineup, but today he is struggling. His arms feel stuck in molasses, weighed down by the past two months of inactivity. After a dozen minutes, which feels unquantifiably longer, he makes it out to the inside lineup.

He is out of breath.

“Why do I still do this? I never have any fun. For something that was so great and provided so much joy to me, as well as many great memories, this fucking sucks. I should just quit,” he thinks, in between those thousand other non-sequitur thoughts that race through one’s head at all times, in his case now, mostly “Big butts!… baby back ribs!”

Such is the hackneyed facile life of a nobody who lacks imagination and cannot even tempt himself to try at anything new, his hobbies retained, calcified as personal ritual, in spite of their staleness.

“Maybe I just need something different… god I’m pretentious!”

Suddenly, he sees a set coming on the outside.

He’s not going to make it, it’s going to break before he can lazy, faux duck dive with his knees under it, so he paddles for the preceding pre-full set inside left and somehow catches it.

He takes off, bottom turns and hits the lip hard backside, his tail, astonishingly, getting above it.

He plays with the wave’s lip, flicking its edges and producing jets of spray with his jittery stick, until he rides it to completion with one final cutback into a foamy, whitewater explosion on the deep inside.

He thinks, “Whoa! Where the fuck did that come from? That was fun!”

Feeling jazzed, he looks back out to the water and decides against paddling back out, figuring that was the best he was going to do. He notices a man on the beach taking photos of people in the water who happens to keep glancing at him. Standing near the trail, he’s going to have to pass the guy back up to the car.

“I wonder if that guy got that one?… Probably looked shit. I mean, it will be embarrassing if he did, right?… yeah, of course…. Oh well… Maybe?”

He walks past the camera guy.


The guy ignores him, instead aiming his camera towards some college-aged, young professional (he can’t tell how old anyone is) kooks, snapping photos of them surfing their foamies on the inside.


He makes his way back up to the car, the thoughts about maybe getting a new board and surfing more occupying his thoughts halfway up the trail disintegrating in the morning air.

“Fuck me,” he says to himself, thinking about the effects of childbirth on Nicki Minaj’s implants.

The inertia of his cliché life decays any further thoughts of him quitting… until the next swell at least.

Requiem for a Dream: “It is incumbent upon us all, everyone here, to stop and pour one out for Surfer magazine then galvanize to screw the VAL!”

It's go time.

BeachGrit is a fantastic place. You are here and you are what makes it fantastic. Oh, that reads so cloying but is true. Derek Rielly, legend in the game, created something, I jumped aboard and we’ve been doing our damndest to simply provide laughs without filter for years now.

Something to talk about.

Something for us.

Sharks instead of advertorial even though you hate sharks and would prefer advertorial.

We’ve all know, for years, that print is dead. Magazines don’t work. Technology, humanity, has moved on and tastes have changed and etc. etc. etc. but the death of Surfer really and truly hurts.

I remember the first Surfer I ever owned. I was down in Carlsbad, from Oregon, visiting my favorite cousins and favorite uncle, Uncle Dave, who was better than Indiana Jones.

It was my birthday and they took me to Carlsbad Pipelines surf shop. I could pick any normal priced item I wanted (no surfboards, wetsuits etc.). I picked a Surfer magazine.

Uncle Dave tried to pivot me to some surf book, seeing that a magazine is a lousy birthday present, but I held firm.

That’s what I wanted and I treated it like a rare illuminated manuscript, dusting its cover, making sure none of its pages showed wear.

Surfer magazine was something. An idea and feeling more than semi-permanent nothing.

I went on to write for Derek Rielly at Stab, Chris Cœtê at Transworld, became Editor-of-Living-Large at Surfing for Travis Ferrē where we spat down the hall at Surfer but, damn it, Surfer was the “Bible of the Sport.”

It was what mattered.

And now it doesn’t.


But oh.

Is it time for BeachGrit to start printing magazines simply to keep thumb in eye?

Fuck the VAL.

More as the story develops.

Surfer Magazine shuttered overnight, staff furloughed, after proud 60-year history defining the Sport of Kings.


Surfer magazine, the “Bible of the Sport” and cultural touchpoint, has been officially mothballed after an iconic 60-year run. Word began leaking yesterday afternoon that the staff had been notified of impending furloughs and that the title, along with many other extreme sport titles in parent company A360Media (née American Media Incorporated) portfolio.

Founded in San Juan Capistrano, California, 1960, by high school teacher and surf film maker John Severson, the title was home to some of the greatest surf writers, surf photographers and graphic designers to ever toil under the glorious brine-filtered sun.

AMI had purchased Surfer, along with the entire Enthusiast Network, a little under two years ago. Staff was slashed but production continued until yesterday when the final decision was made.

Peter Taras, one of the greatest photo editors to ever do it, announced via Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

It’s with great sadness that I write that today was my last day at SURFER. Between Transworld SURF, SURFER, and SURFING, that was half my life. 21 years between the three. It’s really hard for me to put into words right now the feelings. I’m a weepy mess. I taught. I was taught. I cared so much for all the creatives I worked with over the years. We were family. Thank you @fijichili for providing that 16-year old film when I needed it. @chriscote , Marc Hostetter, @the_check_republic and Joel Patterson, you took a chance hiring me as a 23 year old Photo Editor. @eslate you gave me confidence to go full bore with my visual vision. @chatoaganza , you were always the creative guiding light. @jimmicane you always brought the heat! @todprod you taught me patience and professionalism. Lastly, I want to thank my wife @grettygt123 for having to deal with it all through thick and thin. With much love – Peter

A post shared by Peter Taras (@petertaras) on

It’s with great sadness that I write that today was my last day at SURFER. Between Transworld SURF, SURFER, and SURFING, that was half my life. 21 years between the three. It’s really hard for me to put into words right now the feelings. I’m a weepy mess. I taught. I was taught. I cared so much for all the creatives I worked with over the years. We were family.

Stab magazine, based near Venice Beach, California, erroneously suggested that the decision to take Surfer offline was tied to the staff’s recent decision to endorse Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. An easy assumption seeing that A360Media is President Donald J. Trump associate David Pecker but entirely without merit and wrong.

The sort of very poor surf journalism regularly practiced by fully grown men under five feet tall who furiously back-peddle, weeping, when gently confronted over social media by Ace Buchan.

In truth, Pecker was generally unaware of Surfer and the move to furlough staff and shut down the title, along with others in the Enthusiast Network portfolio, had been continuously broached at the upper levels of management for months.

The issue just on stands will be the final one.

The end of an era and sad for anyone who ever laid on a small twin bed in an overcrowded childhood room, flipped through page after page exuding the greatest life possible and dreamed.

Listen: Movie director Michael Oblowitz on surf fights, being a celibate bisexual and his yet-to-be-released Sunny Garcia documentary: “I have a very clear view of the last days of Sunny’s life and what happened…”

“Sunny was one of the loveliest people I ever met. And when he wasn’t, I steered clear of him…”

Today’s guest on Dirty Water, episode thirty-one, is the South African-born movie director Michael Oblowitz.

He is the king of straight-to-DVD films including two thrillers with Steven Seagal, both shot in Eastern Europe, and the vampire schlock film The Traveler, made in Canada, with the once very famous Val Kilmer.

More to our purposes, Oblowitz, who now lives in Sherman Oaks, California, created the two greatest surf documentaries the world has never seen, Sea of Darkness, about the birth of the surf industry via drug trafficking, and the ten-years-in-the-making Sunny Garcia: Death and Taxes.

Over the course of seventy-one minutes, Oblowitz talks about surf fights, being a celibate bisexual and about life for Sunny after his failed suicide attempt.

Two-time world surfing champion Tyler Wright attacks big-wave icon and co-founder of pro surfing Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns’ “privilege”, claiming “(I’m) a direct recipient of sexism, homophobia and inequality.”

Legend shoots back, "Don’t preach to me until you have 50 years of service under your belt."

Yesterday, as the US burned from coast to coast, Surfer magazine, Bible of the Sport, endorsed the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket over Trump-Pence for the Prez/VP combo.

(Read here.)

Comments on IG lit up, including a fiery exchange between Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns, a still-squirting fountain of testosterone even at sixty-eight, and Tyler Wright, the two-time world champ who dropped a knee at the Tweed Heads Pro last month for four hundred and thirty-nine seconds in solitary with Black Lives Matter, the number representing “one second for every First Nations person in Australia who has lost their life in police custody since 1991.

Cairns’ crime?

A comment that read, “There’s a reason that Surfer has not been in politics and that’s because surfing is a place where we can retreat from name calling and shit-fuckery over politics, race, gender, religion etc you just shat where you eat. Surfing is about a great family where all that bullshit doesn’t matter. It’s one of the last places where we collectively agree about one thing: are the waves great.”

Pretty innocuous, you’d think.

The two-time champ, howevs, lit up.

“You may have the privilege to retreat however many don’t.”

(To which, one wit commented, “says the girl who retreats by galavanting around the globe on jets to surf in any paradise. Put your money where your mouth is then, quit surfing and “retreat” 100% to your cause.”)

Cairns wrote,

“Yes, mate, I’ve spent my whole life supporting surfing and will continue to do so until I drop. You’re a direct recipient of the work I’ve done. Don’t preach to me until you have 50 years of service under your belt.”


“Yeah, a direct recipient of sexism, homophobia and inequality. Appreciate it.”

The holy trifecta of intersectionality!

“It should never happen, you’re a great surfer,” wrote Cairns.