Photo: Tronald Dump.

Violent factionalism erupts in Oceanside as locals strike against Australia-based JS surfboard warehouse: “fuk ozz. Get out!!!”

The temperature has risen.

And we’re back. Oh my goodness, how we’re back. Surf-adjacent brands selling for billions and billions of dollars. A professional surf tour starring Trestles and Steamer Lane. Violent factional rage exploding between Californians and Australians.

All the way back to our high water mark of 1992/93.

But regarding the violent factional rage, which is particularly exciting, a JS warehouse in Oceanside, California was tagged overnight with the phrase: “you fuk up! fuck ozz. O’side. Get out!!!”

JS, as you certainly know, is the eponymous surfboard brand belonging to Jason Stevenson who did not grow up in Oceanside or even Carlsbad but all the way across the Pacific on North Stradbroke Island, very near Brisbane, Australia.

He became a professional surfer, moved to Coolangatta, learned the art of professional surfboard shaping and became a standard for the explosion of Gold Coast/Queensland surfers including Joel Parkinson, Julian Wilson, Ryan Callinan, Mikey Wright.

Very exciting though decidedly not Californian and Oceanside’s board building community did not take kindly to a fancy, styley black warehouse branded with JS’s iconic traktor logo right in its midst.

So out came the spray can, up went “you fuk up! fuck ozz. O’side. Get out!!!” and off goes our war.

Will JS retaliate?

Against whom?

How?

Are you revitalized by this turning up of the temperature?

Will you drive down your street shouting “Fuk Ace Buchan!!!” later this evening, if you are Team California?

I will.

Extremely exciting.


Jordan Smith: Getting better at Pipe. Three big fat, challenging right-handers ahead. Sunset, Steamer Lane, Bells. That offers potential for an easy Top 5 finish for Jordy. Nerves of steel in small surf and an unbeatable mix of power/repertoire at Trestles. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Longtom on WSL’s Trestles Tour Climax: “What it offers in high performance it lacks in gravitas, aesthetics, drama, the lack of demand on any reserves of courage or high stakes decision making!”

Scenario: the number one contender has won four events and has a shocker at Trestles and loses to the number five who haired out at Tahiti and Pipe. What sorta world title is that gonna be?

Asterisks at the ready, with the new Tour about to throw fat in the fire, I think we can all agree today is a very good day for we, the people.

I was literally up to my elbows in goats nuts as the word came down the wire and my phone lit up. Unfortunately, the op got a little muddled, the scalpel and sutures not as precise as they could be and a haemorrhaging kid has kept me away from the keys until now.

I’m resisting the urge to make a allegory about the bleeding goat and the WSL.

Hawaii is on, unless it’s not, according to VP Patty O but promised via podcast that “We will crown a World Champ next year”.

The statement from the Woz is full of weird little qualifiers, I guess mandatory in the age of Covid, that suggest any iteration of the current schedule could run, with the highest confidence in what is a stunning return to power of the USA.

Four CT events will be adorned with the stars and stripes, with a finals day at Trestles to decide the World Champ.

I think the last gal standing knock-out format of the finals day is a grand addition to the Tour, although it has dangers.

Notably, it fixes a problem that already had a wonderful solution, that being a finals day at Pipe and it does erode the edges of one of the Tour’s chiefs strengths, that being: It takes a Tour to Make a Title.

Now it takes being in the Top 5 and having a red hot finals day to make a title. It’s not quite the same thing.

If the number one contender has won, say four or five events, and has a shocker at Trestles and loses to the number five who haired out at Tahiti and Pipe, for eg. You know what I’m saying and who I’m referring to, right?

Trestles?

The very big sense I’m getting is that we don’t love it. It’s got the Romans’ Thumb down from me. I do love Trestles as a tour stop. I love the dramas that come from splitting the peak and the fine grained disputations over the minutiae of high-performance surfing.

What it offers in high performance it lacks in gravitas, aesthetics, drama, the lack of demand on any reserves of courage or high stakes decision making etc etc. In short, it will compare poorly to the historical record of Pipe finals days, for existing fans.

For new fans the same criticism applies even moreso.

Cloudbreak was the obvious choice to run as a finals day venue, especially in the Covid era.

Hats off to the Wozzle for getting the Tour running again.

The attempts to create some kind of pre-Tour buzz with the Countdown series have been dismal. Nine events have been run, according to Patty O’Connell.

Nine! Have you watched?

I got most of the Tweed Coast Pro, three heats at Straddy, about ninety seconds of the fluoro Mardi Gras in Brazil and less than five minutes of the Euro comps. If ELO held a gun to my head and asked me to come up with five highlights I could only remember the incredible duration of Tyler’s raised fist drop knee protest for BLM.

I just don’t know whether the positive pairing of ELO and Patty are the guys to bring the Tour back from its coma. According to media chieftain Dave Prodan the great leap forward ELO has made since beginning his CEO-ship is to “bring the focus back to the CT” and realise it as the engine of the company.

Get Ziff on the phone and double his pay for that brilliant insight. That’s genius.

The rejigged Tour itself has a mixed bag of opportunities and threats. Starting at Pipe is a massive advantage for incumbency.

Rookie slaughter expected, with a few exceptions.

Taking the first third of the Tour big winners would be:

Jordan Smith: Getting better at Pipe. Three big fat, challenging right-handers ahead. Sunset, Steamer Lane, Bells. That offers potential for an easy Top 5 finish for Jordy. Nerves of steel in small surf and an unbeatable mix of power/repertoire at Trestles.

Jack Robinson: Pipe Ace, first among equals at Sunset would put him on a no-pressure run into the Aussie leg where anything to do with the Box or North Point sees him win again. G-Land, J- Bay and Tahiti play right into his wheel-house.

JJF: Pipe, Sunset, Bells and Margaret River he can do at 70% without even attempting an aerial. Could conceivably sit Surf Ranch out to freshen up for Trestles as a way to dig the knife into Slater.

Losers.

Kelly Slater: Almost has to win Pipe to compensate for weakness at Sunset and the other fat rights on Tour. We’ll never misunderestimate his level of uncomfortability at chubby rights but there is a slight compensation due to not having to scrap around in European close-outs against a local wildcard. Question marks about his anti-vax stance if a vaccination becomes available and mandatory.

Ethan Ewing: After winning Tweed Coast Pro momentum has been lost. Seen a lot of Ethan surfing lately. He’s Top 3 in sand-bottom point surf. At Pipe and Sunset and Steamer Lane? No chance.

The QS: What the fuck is going on the QS? Dave Prodan said stability was the best building block to developing new Tour structures but stability for the QS is not even on the horizon.

Who you got on truncated Tour, with some likelihood it may be missing as many limbs as the Black Knight (just a flesh wound!) come Trestles?

I say Jordan Smith and he will not like any asterisks beside his name.

I predict some very fiery pressers as the over-sensitive Saffa takes umbrage to even the softest of soft balls.

What say you?


Apology: Scholar reveals Kelly Slater’s use of “Uncomfortability” to be correct, “A neologism used only by top one percent of intellects in world!”

Uncomfortability: The act of making another extremely anxious or upset.

It might be news to some, but Kelly Slater, an eleven-time world surfing champion and still in the conversation, as they say, even as he nears fifty, has a formidable intellect.

“I think I finished with a 4.6 GPA, and I didn’t even give it my all,” Kelly said of high school, a grade point average that would impressive any Ivy League admissions officer.

Yesterday, in a stinging essay, it was reported that Kelly had disfigured the English language by describing his relationship with John John Florence as having “a level of uncomfortability.”

Wrote John Miskelly, “Maybe not content with inventing large aspects of the world of modern surfing both within the performance of the sport itself as well as being a one-man motor for the commercialisation of surfing, Kelly is now taking it on himself to reconfigure the conventionalisms of the English language itself.”

Well.

As revealed by a scholar in an email to BeachGrit earlier today, and using the Rice University Neologism database to prove his case, it was Kelly who must enjoy the last laugh.

Uncomfortability: The act of making another extremely anxious or upset. The word ‘uncomfortability’ was formed by blending the adjective ‘uncomfortable’ and the noun ‘ability’ in order to yield a word that meant ‘the skill to make another uneasy or upset’, very similar to the formation of ‘stretchability’ (from the clothing industry). It was coined to replace a phrase, like ‘efforts to annoy’ or something similar, with one word, making it much catchier and easier to remember. It is not particularly formal since it is a neologism, but it does not have an informal connotation and could really be used by anyone in a wide variety of circumstances.

BeachGrit extends an unreserved apology to Mr Slater, who is currently holidaying in Bali, Indonesia.


All Surfline Man needed to do was go to yoga. How hard could that be?

Surfline Man Goes Shopping for Yoga Pants and Finds Enlightenment: “The pursuit of happiness is the source of unhappiness!”

Sounds pretty zen, but Surfline Man wonders what that even means.

When we last saw him, Surfline Man was sauntering out of the Seaside Market, whistling a happy tune, carrying a fresh bar of surf wax.

For luck, you know!

While inside the iconic grocery outlet, Surfline Man had at last met the girl of his dreams, Casey — you know, the girl with the cute Ryan Lovelace midlength in the Swamis parking lot. After weeks of searching, he found her, right there at the deli case, buying her kale salad.

The path of true love had never looked so smooth.

All Surfline Man needed to do was go to yoga.

How hard could that be?

It’s just some sweaty, stretching in a small room with a bunch of other people, hopefully including the cute girl from the Swamis parking lot, Casey.

Before undertaking a new activity, it’s very important to get the right equipment. This is something that Surfline Man knows deep in his bones or wherever it is that super vital knowledge is stored.

He knew he needed a yoga mat, ideally made from recycled plastic water bottles or something. I’m really into sustainability now, brah.

Next stop, the lululemon store. He knows there’s one nearby, he’s driven by it on the way to REI, which is totally one of his favorite stores. He likes to keep some freeze-dried mac and cheese in the Sprinter, just in case. He got a pretty sweet solar-powered flashlight there, too.

Anyway, Surfline Man knows if he’s going to impress the girl, he needs to buy some sweet threads. Maybe that’ll make up for the part where he really has no idea how to actually do yoga. Clothes make the man! He’s pretty sure he heard that somewhere.

Surfline Man has never been inside a lululemon store before now.

And he has to confess, it’s all a bit overwhelming. Like, he didn’t really know that sports bras came in some many colors and shapes. And well, sizes. There are a lot of sizes. This is all very embarrassing and he’s beginning to think this whole yoga thing was a bad idea.

But soon a friendly dude with a ponytail directs him toward the men’s clothing. It’s all mellow, neutral colors. Surfline Man suddenly feels much better about the whole thing.

I can wear this, he thinks, looking at a charcoal-gray shirt made from some sort of technical material that promises to wick away his sweat. Surfline Man would prefer that the cute girl from the Swamis parking lot did not see him sweat.

Feeling more confident, Surfline Man adds a marine blue hoody to his new outfit. Marine blue sounds oceany, a reminder of his favorite place! He isn’t sure the fabric will do anything special for his sweating, but it’s soft and he likes it. Some things are simple.

Pants, though, fuck.

He is starting to sweat, jammed in the tiny fitting room, surrounded by mirrors, trying to find pants that don’t like, show everything. He remembers that his ex-girlfriend used to say that black is slimming, but he’s not sure whether that’s good or bad in this situation.

Maybe gray. Gray seems like a safe choice. Surely he can’t go wrong with gray pants. Maybe this pair isn’t like, too tight and stuff. I think my ass looks good in these, Surfline Man says, craning his neck to look in the mirror.

A girl in bright pink yoga pants takes his selections to the register. She seems nice, if a little hungry. He wants to buy her a sandwich, but he figures that she probably only eats kale or something. And that high-pH water. Which, that whole thing seems pointless.

Water is water, brah.

Surfline Man plunks down his credit card, and tries not to think about all the cool stuff he could buy at REI instead. Sometimes, a man has to make sacrifices in the pursuit of love.

Back at home, he sits down at his computer to look up the yoga studio schedule. No excuses left. He has his sustainable, recycled yoga mat. And he has his new wicking clothes, all safe and sound in their bag with the inspirational sayings on it, though really he’s not sure what any of that crap means.

Breathe deeply.

Is that like what you do before you get held under by a five-wave set at San-O? Surfline Man isn’t sure how that leads to enlightenment. He clearly has a lot to learn about this whole yoga thing.

The pursuit of happiness is the source of unhappiness.

Sounds pretty zen, but Surfline Man wonders what that even means. He likes his advice more straightforward. Like, don’t burn the locals. That kind of straightforward. Maybe chasing the cute girl from Swamis will end in unhappiness, but he’s not about to give in to depressing thoughts like that.

Put away your phone, your real life is not on hold.

How the fuck is he going to check the tide, if he puts away his phone?

Really, this whole yoga thing is getting kind of annoying. Like, he paid way too much money for some clothes that maybe make his ass look fat, and now he has to put away his phone? I mean, fuck, a man does have limits, you know.

Now totally stressed out, Surfline Man needed his happy place, and he needed it right now.

With a desperation he wasn’t willing to question, Surfline Man craved the true relaxation that only tide charts and wave heights could offer. All those colors. All those cute as fuck animations promising waves, waves, and more waves.

He even keeps the browser tab open at all times — just in case. Surfline. It’s the best kind of enlightenment, no deep breathing needed.

And look! Right there on the models, Surfline Man sees hope for the future. The best kind of hope. Surf is coming!

The first winter swell of the season! This gets Surfline Man so excited he forgets all about the deep breathing and the pursuit of unhappiness and all that shit.

The forecast models promise waves next weekend.

The models never lie. He feels very certain about this, if nothing else in his life.

Where is he going to go?

What board is going to ride?

So many super significant decisions to make. Surfline Man has so much to do right now. So much important stuff!

Fuck yoga, he’s going surfing!


Breaking: World Surf League reveals that Trestles will host the first finals of re-vamped tour, confirms season will start in mere weeks!

Plus the addition of Steamer Land and Sunset!

In another Machiavellian flourish, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan just revealed that the first finals of the re-vamped tour will be hosted at once-banished Trestles plus declared that both Steamer Lane and Sunset will be added as stops and that the whole business is getting started on schedule, merely weeks away.

Whoa!

Let us go straight to the press release, still sizzling, and then discuss.

The world-renowned surf break of Lower Trestles is back on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) calendar in 2021, this time as the stage of the first-ever WSL Finals. The men’s and women’s World Titles will be decided in a single-day competition, where the top five men and top five women ranked during the CT season will battle for their respective titles in a new surf-off format at one of the world’s best waves. The WSL Finals waiting period will run from September 8 – 17, 2021.

“Putting on an international tour amid a global pandemic is not an easy task, but the dedication and work of the entire organization, gives us confidence that we can safely execute these competitions on behalf of our athletes, staff and the local communities,” said Erik Logan, WSL CEO.

The WSL will add two new tour stops to the CT for the 2021 season. Firstly, the CT will return to the iconic Sunset Beach in Oahu, Hawaii from January 19 – 28, 2021 for the Sunset Open. This will mark the first time there has been a combined men’s and women’s CT competition at Sunset since 1991 and the first Women’s CT stop on the North Shore of Oahu since 2010. 33 years after the first CT competition at Steamer Lane, the world’s best surfers are planning to return to Santa Cruz for the Santa Cruz Pro, from February 2 – 12, 2021.

So?

Trestles final, addition of The Lane and Sunset?

How are you feeling?

Cautiously hopeful?

Abundantly cautiously hopeful?

I don’t know that Trestles will capture the intense magic of Pipeline as the crowning event but, as beggars, choosing is a bad look.

Also, if Filipe Toledo doesn’t win this year then he can be officially classified as a poor professional surfer.

More as the story develops (i.e. Longtom wakes up).