Watch: Frenchwoman Justine Dupont makes her case for “Wave of the Winter” with gaping Jaws barrel!

Unprecedented times.

Sometimes, when Surfline says my local is 4-6 feet, I play “Wave of the Winter” out the front. The Surfline/O’Neill collaboration that was “created to celebrate unsung local heroes who charge at beaches around the country, all winter long” is in its 11th season and already off to a wonderful start what with Pacific energy raging nonstop.

I know I had a decent entry yesterday. A slightly overhead bomb scooped away from a young man on a twin-fin who didn’t look up to the task. Early drop, straight to the bottom then up to the top with a slow-motion arc ender.

Very fine but not quite as fine as Frenchwoman Justine Dupont’s Jaws barrel from two days ago. Let us watch together.


And the guts to pull in at that wild, chattery speed is very impressive along with the clean make and let us compare the above with Peter Mel’s Mavericks ride seen around the world.

Are you #TeamLesBleus or #TeamQuinquagenarian?

Exciting days.

Watch: You’ve seen Pete “The Condor” Mel’s wave of the decade, you’ve read the interview, now experience the most handsome man in surfing in all his salt and pepper glory!

Madonna would blush.

Who could have ever guessed that our stillborn season of professional surfing would have gifted us one resurgent Peter Mel as booby prize?



Wiggolly’s Paddling Style?


None of us but here we are and here we are.

Peter “The Condor” Mel, sometime World Surf League commentator, full-time surf shop owner, quinquagenarian, is our best face and what a best face it is.

Gold chain, salt n pepper top to chin bottom, OMG.

His Mavericks wave, from a few weeks ago, is still reverberating across our shared psyche.


But, quickly, do you recall onetime professional surfer Wiggolly Dantas and his paddling style?

Worth a revisit.

Also worth hearing Peter Mel discuss his Wave of the Decade with the one, and only, Kaipo Guerrero looking better than prime.

Madonna would blush.

Question: How long is a surfer allowed to jaw in the lineup, post infraction, before the altercation must be taken to the beach?

Help wanted.

There I was, this morning, enjoying southern California’s ridiculous run of swell. Head high-plus with very long walls just begging for the sort of slow-motion arcing turns that have become my specialty. If there was a World Slow-Motion Arcing Turn League, I would be threat-adjacent on the QS.

In any case, there I was, slow-motion arcing one peak when out of the corner of my ear I heard an altercation at the next peak over.


The aggrieved surfer was speaking very loudly and continued.


His grammar had issues but grammar should never be judged in the heat of a moment. Or ever, for that matter.


And on it went from there, passing the five minute mark then the ten minute mark.

Ten honest-to-goodness minutes of loud jawing which made me wonder. How long can one surfer holler at another in the lineup before everyone else insists they take it to the sand?

I’ll open with three minutes but await your input.

Important for us to define the rules of engagement seeing that every other person in the water has only been surfing for three months.

The New Yorker mytho-poetically rhapsodizes over Montauk man who surfed for nine hours, fifteen minutes on the winter solstice: “He had been moved to tears … by the merging awareness of the beauty around him and the suffering of the world.”

Includes bonus appearance by twenty-foot Great White shark!

The Pulitzer-Prize snatching surf pioneer and New Yorker staff writer Billy Finnegan aside, the once venerable magazine has dissolved into a hissy finger-pointer following leftist obsessions, race, Trump, “whiteness” as a synonym for evil etc.

Where it works, still, is in those little side pieces that provide a window into New York life, although even here political bunting still hangs over its railings.

In the January 18, 2021, issue, we find Jeremy Grosvenor, a fifty-year-old surfer, who decides to surf at Montauk for the entire daylight window of the winter solstice, 7:07 in the morning to 4:26 in the afternoon, to raise money for a local food bank.


Grosvenor exudes boyish, buoyant good nature, but he can get quasi-mystical when he describes “having faith in the sea as a sanctuary.” Known for his ability to ride waves on pretty much anything, from standard surfboards to a nylon mat, he had chosen, for the solstice, a twelve-foot foam board, on the bottom of which he had written “food.” He had also brought along an old red canoe, which he loaded with jugs of water, trail mix, a thermos of miso soup, and tinned sardines, and anchored just beyond the breakers. “So I can eat like a seagull,” he said.

Soon, Grosvenor’s big-haired, twenty-five-year-old son, Mamoun, arrived, an audiobook of Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” blaring from his car’s speakers. He had brought some doughnuts for his father, one of which he took along as he paddled out to join him. Grosvenor’s wife, Saskia Friedrich, an artist, showed up in painted jeans, a puffer coat, and a purple beanie, with their Australian shepherds, Vishnu and Blinky. She recalled how, when Grosvenor took her ocean kayaking years ago, they noticed a large shadow pass under their boat, and it turned out to be a twenty-foot-long white shark. “Jeremy’s got this almost yogic thing, allowing him to enjoy activities that would require us to overcome our natural discomfort or terror,” she said.

Later, as the sun seemed to be giving up the ghost, Grosvenor told a floating correspondent that the day had been mostly easy and pleasant. Despite all the hours in the elements, things had never become hallucinatory, although he had been moved to tears once, he said, by the merging awareness of the beauty around him and the suffering of the world. He had managed to keep warm, except in three of his toes, through physical motion and deep breathing, he said, “like a stellar sea cow.”

As dusk fell, a handful of spectators greeted Grosvenor’s landfall with cheers. Mamoun, wearing a “Free Palestine” hoodie, threw his arms around his father and, handing him the last of the doughnuts, said, “All right! Free doughnut! Black lives matter!”

Read the piece, written by New Yorker contributing editor and Vogue theatre critic, Adam Green, here. 

1 down, 79 to go.
1 down, 79 to go.

Valiant Oahu lifeguards save over 80 people from Davey Jones’ Locker in one historic day: “The monstrous waves were indiscriminately grabbing the young and old alike!”

"And you, you can be mean. And I, I'll drink all the time."

But oooooee the northern Pacific has seen a run of swell only whispered about in tales of old. Day after day after day of waves so glorious, so magnificent, in California that famed surf photographer James “Cane” Wilson declared, “Every day I think it can’t get any better, and then it does. Craziest run of swell I’ve seen in 12 years living here.”

Day after day after day of waves so large, so ominous, in Hawaii that Oahu’s lifeguards saved over 80 souls in one historic day alone with a further 5000 “preventative actions” to boot.

Amongst the highlights, per the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, was the rescue of a 16-year-old boy and 64-year-old man fishing at Monuments who were dragged into the sea, a 37-year-old man riding his PWC at Himalayas, a surfer who became injured at the famed Makaha, a teenager surfing I-Don’t-Knows and 76 others.

And just imagine that World Surf League CEO had not contracted Covid-19, single-handedly destroying professional surfing as we know it. Imagine that the powers-that-be could have stretched the Sunset Pro waiting period forward by three days and sent our heroes into the raging vortex.

Would it have been the greatest single day in our shared history?


Also, who would you have tabbed for the win?

Jack Robinson? John John Florence?

I was planning to dark horse and throw my ownership stake of BeachGrit on Jadson Andre.