Surf Anthropology: As Surfline Man defines the soul of southern California does Mid-Length Man present the personification of Australia’s wretched VAL culture

A terrifying new cultural passenger… 

Mid-Length Man lifted his head off the pillow and watched lines of whitewash zip along the inside section of the point, smug with feelings of vindication at the decision to open the Transporter barn doors after his 4:30am piss on the nearby pandanus.

If not for the crochet beanie-wearing guy on the surfboard bench seat partially obscuring his view, his head need not be lifted.

Twenty-one hours earlier, Mid-Length Man was lost in thoughts of high-lining while grinding a carefully measured portion of Campos beans.

8:45… Urgh… Karen would be in soon for her single origin on soy. He needed a break. These cash-in-hand shifts were a great top up to JobKeeper but he needed to reset. The cafe’s patronage had surged when the restrictions were lifted but his stress levels were now peaking.

He needed to escape. A strike mission to Crescent Head.

Mid-Length Man flicked a text his snuggle buddy Sammi. She was keen, but had a shift at the local Mex joint that evening. They would hit the Pac Highway closer to tenand roll into Crescent by two-thirty. He opened the Seabreeze App. Port Macquarie was reading two metres of south east and light sou-west wind for the next three days. He could already taste the coastal estuary in the gentle offshore being funneled out to the point by Killick Creek.

In the muted greys of pre-dawn he could make out three figures sitting at the top of the point. Two wore hoods. The third scratching into one riding a kneeboard.

What would he ride?

A perfect morning for his 7’6″ MOTE twinny. Those channels would bite and drive. Not punchy enough for the Josh Keogh and the Mackie flex-tail, side-cut, long fish he’d packed could wait.

It didn’t feel right surfing it now. It was ordered for the Ments, the Barrenjoy, Lances.


Mid-Length Man quietly suited up in a three-two Need before accidentally kicking over an empty stubby of Coopers Sparkling he’d placed next to the tyre only hours before. Sammi stirred, pushed a mat of golden blonde hair from her face then reached out and closed one of the barn doors. A faint waft of the face balm she applied last night drifted from the van, mango, coconut and jojoba.

Pre-purchase, he had debated internally between the Need four mm boot and the Vans Surf Hi. Need are core but Vans are Vans. Superior grip and that stripe. Even more so the offset white toe jammed perfectly with the volan deck of the MOTE. Look good, feel good he told himself. They slipped on effortlessly and he folded his wettie back down, though careful to keep the checkered pull tab exposed.

Mid-Length Man delicately placed his board on the weathered sandstone at the back end of the keyhole. He tied up his hair in a bun and watched a hooded dad-bod streak down the line on pistachio-tinted Tracker. Probably drives a Kluger he mused. He flex checked his fins out of habit. Torren Martyn keels.

A lump surged across the suck rock and he swung.

Relax. Consider your movements. Stay low. Feel the energy.

A soupy brown wall stood up and he adjusted slightly, aiming down the line.

The kneeboarder hooted and threw a shaka.

Mid-Length Man rinsed off under the public shower behind the surf club and sauntered passed the swelling crowd ordering banana smoothies round front. Two Coastalwatch Dads in Carve tees were setting up their tripods rapping about the Surfline buyout. Their sandy haired offspring – Taj and Kai – waxed their sticker-covered Pyzels. This morning they were to focus on combos.

With any luck, Sammi would have a fresh brew of Kenya Gikanda Kangocho on the portable gas stove.

As he neared the Transporter, there she was, wearing that pastel yellow dress. The lace detail resting on her knees drew his eye to her slender set of warmed brown sugar legs. Barefoot. She wore his denim sherpa jacket. A perfect messy bun of golden blonde hair held together by a tortoiseshell colored clip. Steam rose from the Bialetti capturing the soft morning rays.

She was reading a story about Lee-Anne Curren in the new Acetone mag.

It was Sammi’s turn.

Mid-Length Man sipped from his Huskee cup as Sammi stroked effortlessly into an inside runner.

Her new 9’6″ Gato supplying an ample catwalk for Sammi to traverse.

He could not be further from Sydney’s cafe hustle.

Mid-Length Man tasted notes of plum jam and grapefruit.

Listen: World’s most popular surfer Gabriel Medina reveals once-controversial, now widely-accepted, lifestyle adjustment!

Kelly Slater hates this!

It is undeniable that the world’s greatest surfer is Florida’s Kelly Slater. Also undeniable, the current most popular is Gabriel Medina, as measured by social media, dwarfing Kelly’s 2.7 million Instagram followers with 8.4 million of his own. The two-time World Surf League Championship Tour winner has it all, looks, talent, money but will a recent once-controversial admission send his legions of fans running into other arms?

Medina, as you may already know, recently came out as a vegan and while the lifestyle is widely accepted, there are also some, maybe especially Brazilians, who doubt its moral value.

Brazil, as you certainly already know, is home to churrasco.

And while it may be possible to cook mushrooms, carrots, etc. on a spit it is not traditional.

It is uncertain how Medina’s no-animal-matter diet will affect his performance nor is it certain if he meant “pescatarian” or “vegetarian-who-eats-cheese” instead of “vegan” but we all must keep a close eye on the reaction.

Especially from all the Brazilian ranchers.

David Lee Scales and I spoke about Medina’s lifestyle adjustment today along with Kelly Slater’s hatred of not only podcasts but David Lee Scales himself, the television program Silver Spoons and… Erik Logan?

Listen here.


Breaking: Man shatters glass door, steals $1232 worth of grade-a surf denim from Lompoc, California surf shop!

The return of a wonderful market!

Do you remember those halcyon days when surf denim was, like, a thing? Quiksilver, Billabong, Rip Curl, RVCA, Voclcom? Everyone was in the game, producing multiple yards of acid washed, bleach washed, stone washed cottons billowing and pillowing around thighs.

Very cool though, sadly, the drive to make jeans seemed to have dried up right when all the surf-consuming customers did.

Well, recent events in Lompoc, California signal that a rebound may be imminent as a man there broke into Surf Connection, the local surf shop, and made off with $1232 of grade-a surf denim.

According to the authorities, the theft occurred sometime around 2:00 am and the culprit, Michael Limon, was only arrested after authorities spotted him running into his nearby hotel room.

They identified his name etc. because he used it to book the very same room.

The denim was returned to the shop and now Limon must go to court etc. but off all the things to steal from a surf shop, boards, wetsuits, boards or wetsuits, the fact he stole jeans must indicate great things for that market.


Which was your favorite surf jean?

Hot Buttered?

Ocean Earth?

An almost impossible choice.

"I'd rather be elsewhere."
"I'd rather be elsewhere."

World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater appears on Australia’s #1 sport podcast, shares disdain for the medium: “I don’t love doing a lot of these things. I don’t have to by my contracts!”

Computer radio is for the birds.

Oh to be the world’s greatest surfer and handsome. Loved from sea to shining sea. Extremely popular. And these are but a few of the burdens Kelly Slater must bear, alongside his 11 Championship Tour trophies, and he has every right to complain which he recently did on The Howie Games, Australia’s number 1 sporting podcast.

Apparently, it has been host Mark Howard’s longtime dream to have Kelly Slater on the show, telling industry publication Mediaweek, “From day one of The Howie Games, over four years ago, one of the aims of the show was to have Kelly Slater on as a guest. He is an iconic athlete and an 11-time world champion who has been at the top of his sport for 20 years.”

Extremely fine and, four years on, there Slater was, thrilling Howard who said, “Finally, we were able to sort out a specific time when Kelly had some down time in Hawaii. I was pumped to say the least when he popped up on Zoom.”

Was Slater pumped too?


He said, “I don’t love doing a lot of these things. I don’t have to by my contracts.”

A damning sentiment likely to ding podcasting’s overall popularity.

And, quickly, what do you think Slater’s responsibilities are according to his “contracts?” Doesn’t he own all the brands he now surfs for?

A harsh taskmaster penciling himself in for all sorts of tough business save podcasting?

Much to ponder.

Listen to the entire show here.

Florida beach smashes entire California coast in prestigious ranking causing much hand-wringing in Golden State: “Florida? Seriously? But Kim Kardashian doesn’t even live there!”

Kelly Slater wins again.

TripAdvisor released its hotly anticipated “best beaches in the world” rankings, overnight, causing eruptions of joy in Australia, Florida and deep, profound soul-searching in California.

According to the top-secret algorithm that measures “best” as it relates to “beach,” Whitehaven Beach there in Queensland is number one with Cuba’s Cayo Santa Maria nipping at its sandy heels. Brazil, Turks/Caicos follow with the fifth best beach in the world falling to St. Pete there in Florida.

California has zero beaches in the top twenty-five, being beat out by Tanzania and England amongst others.

Not one.

California thinkers have fallen into a deep state of snark in order to deal with the shame.

Per San Diego’s local NBC affiliate:

Who among us, daydreaming of an idyllic day on the strand, hasn’t thought of their favorite sandy spot by the shore in … England? Is it possible the folks at TripAdvisor spent too much time quarantining this year? Or maybe they’ve been out in the sun too long? Somehow, the Massachusetts-based travel “experts” decided that Bournemouth Beach — in Dorset, England! — deserves a spot on the 2121 list of Top Beaches in the world. For God’s sake, there’s even one from Florida — Saint Pete Beach — in the World Top 25!

Zero beaches.

No Capitola, no La Jolla, no Surf City, USA.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan is certainly wringing his hands, thinking he made a poor decision in leaving Oklahoma for Manhattan Beach, also not ranked, instead of St. Pete.

Extremely troubled and sad.