Surf-clad young toughs viciously attack elderly man in Newport Beach: “Someone shouted ‘beat him down’ and the kids descended like rabid dogs, like trendy vultures!”

Disturbing.

It must have been fifteen, or such, years ago when I was first introduced to a stylistic package that has since become the modern surf uniform. I had been tasked to interview Dane Reynolds, then the best surfer in the world, and drove to his Ventura home. He greeted me at the door wearing a baggier work pants cut high at the ankle, white socks and blue Vans Sk8-Hi.

This, you will recall, was dead center of the skinny jeans, no socks, Vans Classic era and I thought “Hmmmmmm.”

Well, as in most things, Dane was prescient et viòla.

The modern surf uniform.

A vicious pack of young toughs, wearing it, were videoed Saturday descending on an elderly man in Newport Beach, very near the dirty ol’ Wedge, punching and kicking him into a catatonic state before a bystander intervenes.

It is unclear what set off the action but they cannot be older than thirteen, maybe fourteen. One can be heard yelling “beat him down” before they turn rabid, throwing fists, swinging legs, then escaped into the night.

The elderly man was taken to a nearby hospital where he is in stable condition.

The video of the incident has since gone viral and police are looking for information. I don’t envy them their task as every thirteen, maybe fourteen, year old surfy Orange County boy looks exactly the same.

What do you think will replace the look?

Back to skinny?

Boot cut?

More as the story develops.


World #25 surfer turned adult entertainer Ellie-Jean Coffey tells 60 Minutes her XXX-site “empowers women”; tells fans, “I even suck on my own butt plugs in my videos”

"Of course it's heated, it's a provocative website."

In an interview with the Australian franchise of 60 Minutes, the former WSL surfer Ellie-Jean Coffey has made the astonishing claim she soaked fans for a million bucks during the first month of operating her soft-ish porn site, ellieunlocked.com.

Coffey don’t make a mill every month, it varies she says, but sometimes, yeah.

(Side note: a source on the Gold Coast said she showed him a screen-grab of her bank account revealing the million-plus balance.)

Is she a multi-millionaire?

“No comment,” she says.

Coffey says she spends a considerable part of each day in paid private chats with her VIP fans, an occupation that is “usually pretty heated. Of course it’s heated, it’s a provocative website,” adding,”I feel as if I’m in a relationship with all these people.”

Asked if she believes her work undermines female empowerment, Coffey says,

“I think it’s the opposite. It empowers women.”

Fans have been treated to a cornucopia of treats recently including the sucking of a used butt plug and sharing the screen with sister Bonnie and getting “TOUCHY and FEELY with some kissing action” among other events.

Over on Discord, where money is pooled to buy videos such as “Was fingering my pussy, thinking of you” for sixty-five dollars and “Taking panties off and nips piercing through shirt” for twenty-five, fans have become increasingly cruel.

“They didn’t photoshop the gut out in 60 Minutes.”

“Hope she paid income tax on the money or the ATO gonna be all up in that.”

Coffey, who is a former world twenty-five on the WSL’s qualifying series for women, caused much tabloid sorrow last year when she was the subject of a “lewd ambush” by the author of the best-selling biography of prime minister Bob Hawke. 

A terrible episode.

Enjoy the original interview that gave tabloid readers the vapours here.


ESPN publishes exhaustive profile of two-time World Champion Tyler Wright: “I am a white person and I have benefited from white supremacist structures”

Much insight.

Australia’s Tyler Wright has re-exploded onto the scene after a lengthy absence where only rumor and mystery percolated. She is now the face of the World Surf League, eclipsing Kelly Slater as its most visible star. ESPN, the sporting news juggernaut, has just published a book-sized profile of Wright, her struggles and triumphs, providing much clarity and insight.

Some salient bits…

On goal in coming back to surfing after a lengthy illness: I realized if I’m coming back, I am going to show up with who I am as a human first. Surfing needs people who are going to get into boardrooms and have hard conversations. I’m asking for equality for women, equality for the LGBTQ+ community, equality for Black and brown and indigenous people. I honestly don’t care about winning more world titles. But I know what gets me in the room.

On being part of a legendary surfing family: When you’re that young, it’s not something you question. They competed, so I competed. One in, all in. It was all so insular. By the time I established my own thought processes, I was already on the world tour.

On getting on tour at sixteen: Everyone was like, “You’re living the dream at 16.” I was like, “Whose dream? I don’t f—ing dream of this s—. I want to read books. I want to go to school.”

On the early pressure to conform: We have to make the women’s tour about sexy models who surf to make it marketable. The model pro surfer was someone who was silent, white, hot, blond, skinny and hetero.

On winning her first world title: I don’t want to glorify any of it. I wasn’t competing in a healthy manner. People wanted the story to feel good. I wanted the story to feel good to make it worth it. But mentally, all of this scrambled me.

On realizing she was gay: I wouldn’t have said that I was homophobic, but you realize really quickly the internalized homophobia you have. If you’re not gay or part of the LGBTQ+ community, then you don’t have to look at it. But you’re being raised with all these drip-fed views. Meeting Alex, that’s when the un-learning process began for me.

On being public with her new relationship: The general culture of the surfing community has been homophobic, racist and extremely sexist and that’s been the standard across the board. I told (her girlfriend), “Oh no. You cannot show me affection here. You have to be a platonic friend.” I didn’t feel safe at all.

On rare illness that drove her out of sight for nearly two years: Overnight, I lost everything, what made me Tyler Wright. I lost my personality, my physicality. I’m used to excruciating amounts of pain, but the physical pain got so bad that it would mentally break me. And it broke me every day. I didn’t get a minute where I was unbroken.

On then being diagnosed with PTSD: It’s overwhelming, always being on the verge of panic. My life is literally trying to walk through a minefield and not jump at my own shadow.

On awakening to social issues: I understand that in this conversation, I am a white person and I have benefited from white supremacist structures. We have to start dismantling those structures.

On newfound freedom, and responsibility: I think it would feel very human to win another world title with this mindset. And the more I’m on the podium, the more I’m on your screens, the more important conversations I get to have.

Read in its entirety here.


Gilhool (right) with Moore.
Gilhool (right) with Moore.

Authorities identify surfer who died after collision with other surfer at Southern California’s famed Rincon: “The crowds have been out of hand there lately with tons of people dropping in on everyone.”

Tragic.

On Saturday afternoon a surfer died after a collision with another surfer at Southern California’s famed Rincon. The VC Star reports that Gerald “Gerry” Gilhool Jr., 51, an Ojai resident, had been out enjoying the run of large swell when the accident occurred around mid-day. Witnesses said he was up and riding down the line when he hit someone attempting to “roll” under the wave.

The other surfer had his head and nose cut by Gilhool’s fin. Gilhool went down but his wipeout did not seem remarkable.

Other surfers, watching the situation and seeing Gilhool was in trouble paddled him to shore on his board and provided medical aid until Ventura County firefighters arrived.

They also performed CPR while requesting a helicopter, saying the patient was in cardiac arrest.

He was taken by ambulance to Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura where he was pronounced dead.

Gilhool worked as a tour manager for the band Dawes, whose lead singer is married to the famous actress/singer Mandy Moore. She eulogized her friend on Instagram, writing, “Gerry was a towering presence and personality and if you were lucky enough to be in his orbit and you were a friend, his loyalty and love knew no bounds.”

He is survived by his young son.

A notable local pro told me, when reached for comment, that “The crowds (at Rincon) have been out of hand and there are tons and tons of people dropping in on everyone.”

Another local surfboard shaper, Jacob Elis, took to Instagram asking for answers. “Yo! Trying to get in touch with Rincon surfer named Augie or Aggie. He was involved in a collision with my friend Gerry Saturday midday. Gerry is dead, now. We need the other side of the story.”

An extremely unfortunate side effect of surfing’s exploding popularity.


Ben Gravy in happier days.

Insanely popular surf vlogger has YouTube channel suspended indefinitely, “It’s been five days But they said 24 hours… I’m taking a hit!”

Has the cultural revolution claimed another high-profile scalp?

The New Jersey vlogger and high-end intermediate surfer Ben Gravy has, at the whim of American online video-sharing platform YouTube, been suspended from posting his popular videos indefinitely. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CMIoykgBb8W/

Ben’s YouTube channel has 134,000 subscribers and so many little films you could watch them back to back on a rocket ship and not even be halfway through ’em as you touch down on Mars.

Movie-star handsome Ben, thirty-three and who draws a striking resemblance to Woody Harrelson, told BeachGrit “YouTube thinks I’m hacked because I’ve been on WIFI in Puerto Rico so they put my account on ‘hidden’ so nothing new can come out until they go through their vetting process. It’s fucked, haha.”

I asked, how much you lose? Ten, fifty k? 

“Take a bit boys, taking a hit,” he said. 

Now, I ain’t paranoid, mostly.

But this suspension thing seems a little off colour given the spate of cancellations, the great cultural revolution currently shifting every know parameter of civic life. 

Has Ben upset the cultural vigilantes? 

Is everyman Ben too cisgender, too white, too protestant in his hard-working can-do-anything, refusal-to-play-the victim approach to life? 

A drunk who came good?

In the past few days, we’ve lost a noted Billabong artist, the owner operator of Energy Orgasm Retreats in Bali, and now… Ben?

When will the hand come down on your shoulder?