Gnarly surf locals!

VAL-Lit: “Is competence still a prerequisite for localism? Or have we substituted financial wellbeing and an abundance of free time for skill?”

The corruption of a great meritocracy… 

The parking lot is mellow. Sleepy even.

It’s the day after Christmas. The kinda day where the street is littered with kids ripping the tags off of wetsuits and brandishing new boards.

Retirees holding onto golden retrievers mill about. The occasional tennis ball is lazily thrown into the grass.

Surfers line the bluff, squinting through hungover eyes as they sip their coffee.

A small group of bodies buoy around the main peak. To the north an unridden waist-high right reels into the cove. The surf matches the atmosphere on the bluff. Subdued. Quiet.

My dad and I scramble down the cliff and gingerly wade out over the cobble stones.

We paddle slowly to the empty peak as the sun peeks over the bluff.

The surf is lully. A small set hits the reef every ten minutes or so. We laugh about how drunk my uncle was last night in between waves. The occasional surfer crawls down the cliff but somehow our little peak is left alone.

An hour in, a lone surfer paddles north from the southern peak. He’s middle aged, riding what appears to be an oversized short board. Something probably labeled as a high-performance mid-length. Maybe called a hybrid.

He paddles with purpose, projecting the kind of confidence that makes me think he surfs here pretty often. I nod to him as he passes, but he ignores my attempt at eye contact and paddles to our inside. We watch as he paddles frantically for a few small sets only for them to go unridden.

He looks frustrated.

A larger set appears on the horizon. I position myself while watching him out of the corner of my eye. He’s too deep. Still, he swings his board around under the boil.

I do a few half paddles, knowing that the wave is going to break on his head but not wanting to disrespect him. At the last second, he looks up at me and says “Go.”

It’s too late. The set passes and reels off, unridden. He glares at me and paddles back to my inside, mumbling to himself.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKC8gRJjZXc/

I look up at the cliff. A train of five 40 somethings gracelessly make their way down. They fan out underneath us and the silence is broken by questions like “so how long will you be in town.”

One of them paddles up to me.

“Brrr. Water’s cold huh?”

I politely give a few half answers before he moves on. My dad signals to me on the inside that he’s headed in.

I start to make my way in as one of the five paddles up to the “local,” grinning.

“Great day huh?”

He responds dryly. “It was. Did you guys all drive together in a fucking station wagon or what?”

The group stares wide eyed back. Nervous laughter fills the silence.

Up on the cliff, my dad looks at me. “That guy was a dick.” I try to explain to him that you don’t paddle out as a group, but he shakes his head.

“If you can’t catch a wave, you shouldn’t be barking at anyone else.”

I’m conflicted on the drive home.

Is competence still a prerequisite for localism? Or have we substituted financial wellbeing and an abundance of free time for skill?

Are we really fine with middle aged men pissed off at their inability to paddle into waves yelling at competent yet kooky weekend warriors?

It seems to me that our meritocracy has been corrupted.

Localism has become the practice of retired white-collar professionals who can afford beach-front housing rather than lifelong surfers sacrificing an hour of sleep to sneak in a few waves before work.

It doesn’t feel earned any more. It feels bought.

Or am I wrong?


Recently cancelled surf-adjacent musical artist Ariel Pink goes on Tucker Carlson to explain his side of story: “This pretty much leaves me destitute and on the street.”

"Standing up for what is right."

A short few days, or some such, ago we were re-acquainted with the surf-adjacent musical artist Ariel Pink, first introduced to us by the greatest surf photo editor the world has ever known, Pete Taras.

Pink, as you certainly recall, was dropped by his surf-esque label Mexican Summer for appearing at a Trump rally on the White House lawn. The very same rally that preceded troubles at the United States Capitol. The singer/songwriter insisted, via tweet, that he had gone back to his hotel to nap after the rally, did not partake in shenanigans and was against “violent confrontation or rioting.”

Nevertheless, dropped and silenced… until he surprised his most ardent fans with an appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson program.

Shall we watch together?

But how does it make you feel?

Sad?

Upset?

Warmed by Tucker Carlson’s gentle, fatherly tone?

Share with your friends below.


Li'l wimps.
Li'l wimps.

Surfers unexpectedly benefit from effects of climate change once again as new study reveals warmer ocean waters making baby sharks “smaller, undernourished and exhausted!”

Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo...

BeachGrit, as you well know, is an anti-depressive place where lemons are magically turned into lemonade daily. Soul quenching. Take, for example, the specter of zero surf contests from now until next year at this time. We already know how to craft entire narratives around the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater that need neither heats nor heat strategy.

Or the horrible nightmare of climate change displacing vast populations, destroying sensitive environments, really being lame. Except here, for us surfers, climate change is making our surf bigger and better and now, as just revealed, making our number one enemy weaker.

New researcher out of Australia examining the effects of warming temperatures on the growth, development and physiology of the Great Barrier Reef’s epaulette sharks found that in warmer waters, shark embryos grew faster and used their yolk sac — their only source of food in this developmental stage — quicker. The man-eaters hatched earlier, were born smaller, and needed to feed straight away, but lacked energy to bite toes, legs, etc.

Jodie Rummer, co-author and associate professor at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, released the following statement regarding the study: “The epaulette shark is known for its resilience to change, even to ocean acidification,” So, if this species can’t cope with warming waters then how will other, less tolerant species fare?”

“The study presents a worrying future given that sharks are already threatened,” lead author Carolyn Wheeler said in another statement, continuing, “Sharks are important predators that keep ocean ecosystems healthy. Without predators, whole ecosystems can collapse, which is why we need to keep studying and protecting these creatures.”

Here’s to the world’s most environmentally damaging person for not only keeping us entertained in these difficult times, but keeping us safe.

Über anti-depressive.


Neymar Jnr writes, "Brother, without much bla bla bla ... the photos speak for themselves 🤣🤣🤣 I LOVE YOU". Gabriel responds, "I love you brother! We are very happy 🤷🏻‍♂️❤️🤣 we are together even under water!"

Brazilian news outlets speculate wildly on world surfing champion Gabriel Medina and soccer superstar Neymar Jr’s close friendship: “It’s not normal to see two men like this!”

“Football and surfing stars are seen together whenever a gap in their professional careers is possible…”

In one of the lovelier rumours to circle world sport, Brazilian news outlets are speculating that the relationship between two of Brazil’s favourite athletes, the two-time world champion Gabriel Medina and soccer great Neymar Jr, has blossomed into something more substantial.

Various outlets, including Midiario.com and the country’s version of Time, Istoé, say the pair are spending every available minute together and at least one is claiming that both are using models to cover their true feelings.

From Midiario:

The famous Brazilian soccer player Neymar returns with a new controversy and what he has put on his Instagram is a series of photos from which he has been very affectionate with another man.

With the name “abrazado y empiernado” appears with another futbolista Gabriel Medina.

In the show program, “Chisme No Like”, the journalists Javier Ceriani and Elisa Beristain, said that Medina has a romance with the model Jazmín Brunette, something that supposedly would be to cover her sexuality as well as Neymar with Natalia Barulic , Maluma’s ex (his romance was never confirmed).

Communicators say that they have maintained a friendship since childhood, but it is not “normal” to see that of men here.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJGPZsZAI3E/

Istoé headlined their story, Neymar celebrates Gabriel Medina’s birthday with photo carousel on the networks and declares: ‘I love you’”, Football and surfing stars are seen together whenever a gap in their professional careers is possible.

In October, time24 reported that thirty-two-year-old model Yasmin Brunet had “declared” herself to Medina and noted that the pair had been together since April and had spent quarantine together.

“Thank you for being you, so beautiful outside and inside. Only those who are lucky enough to live with you know how wonderful you are!” Thank you for taking such good care of me, what a gift. Only you to give me so many incredible and unique moments,” the model wrote on Instagram.

Four days ago, Gabriel, who is twenty-seven, posted a photograph of he and Yasmin locked in embrace, his haunted aristocratic face radiant with visceral passion as he located the palm of his right hand beneath the main extensor muscle of Brunet’s hip.

“You’re the one,” he declared.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ3xgeVAFsi/

In 2019, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, told the country’s leading biz magazine Exame, “If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life. But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.”

In the same year, there was a “furore” when Medina and Neymar Jnr, who is twenty-eight, appeared in a video supporting the president. 

“I hope God uses Bolsonaro to help our nation and that the will of God is carried out,” said Neymar.

Love rules, I think, and rarely fails to win.


Listen: “World Surf League attempts to broadcast beautiful rainbow of diversity, ends up with most whitewashed program in filmographic history!”

A vigorous shade of tan-adjacent.

Days ago, our World Surf League unveiled its brand new web series Getting Heated hosted by Mick Fanning and Ross Williams wherein those two “most opinionated personalities in the sport” engage in “the hottest debate.” I had been hearing about the concept for months now from various industry sources. It was supposed to be a version of ESPN’s First Take featuring Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim Rose, a beautiful rainbow of diversity, but somehow ended up Mick and Ross.

Now ponder hard. Has there every been a more whitewashed couple in filmographic history? Strap down that thinking cap. Director Leni Riefenstahl came close in the 1930s but fell short of Getting Heated’s monotone consistency. Possibly David Crane’s NBC hit Friends but, again, lacking the same exact vigorous shade of tan-adjacent.

A wonderful metaphor for the WSL, I think. Aiming for something, pulling the bowstring back, letting the arrow fly and missing the mark so robustly as to be considered performance art.

David Lee and I discussed Getting Heated today along with Popeye’s famous chicken sandwiches, pretzel buns, skiing, Ariel Pink and Bells Beach.

Feel free to listen to it now or later.