Literature: Notable podcaster/journalist and artist friend travel to California on extreme sport pilgrimage, release gorgeous book documenting the journey!

Wisdom and beauty.

I first met Matt Barr and Owen Tozer in my backyard on a sun dappled Cardiff-by-the-Sea morning. The two stately British men were in my home to interview my exquisite wife Circe Wallace for Barr’s celebrated podcast Looking Sideways and I was, at once, impressed with their poise, their professionalism, knowledge, handsomeness and tact.

Very much unlike my own slap dash, un-manicured chaos.

They were on a pilgrimage, of sorts, to the state which has, for all intents and purposes*, birthed the very idea of “extreme sport” as a lifestyle.

Barr had served as editor of Whitelines Snowboard magazine before launching Sliding Sideways, which has quietly become a cult classic. Tozer’s work, instantly recognizable and extremely personal.

They chatted with my wife, interviewed her, photographed her, then moved up and down the coast chatting with, Jamie Brisick, Herbie Fletcher, Taylor Knox, Greg Long and a host of other notables. People worth hearing from.

Their conversations, insights, are out now surrounded by Tozer’s rich photography.

Per the press release:

Beautifully brought to life throughout by Tozer’s unique photography and embellished by the wisdom of the interviewees and friends they encountered along the way, Looking Sideways Vol. 1 is a record of this journey, a homage to an influential culture in flux, and a lovingly- compiled tribute to the state that continues to define the global board-riding conversation.

Truly worth a purchase.

Buy here.

*Did you ever think it was intensive purposes? Be honest.


Listen: Former world #11 and martial artist Luke Stedman on the stunning simpatico between surfing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, “You have some dude sit on your face and rip your arm off, it’s so much fun! Getting beat up is a privilege right now! ”

A joyful excursion.

In this episode of Dirty Water, episode number forty-one, Charlie and I wander into Zoom’s virtual chat room with the former world number eleven, although he’ll claim that it was number ten, Luke Stedman.

Luke, whom I’ve known for two decade and who has so far avoided any sort of obvious age-related decay, is one of those rare surfers who, although never highly monied, flourished post tour.

He is the son of the man who created the billion-dollar ugg boot empire; is a part-time model; the proprietor of a clothing label (See the “Mohammad” shirt here); a surf coach to LA VALS as well as shredder kids; is a teacher of the western world’s next yoga-esque craze, ginastica natural; carries a purple belt in Brazilian jiujitsu (two rungs off black) and is a swordsman par excellence.

So good, in fact, even your ol pal DR was forced to bow to his superiority during a three-day long battle for a French television show host in Tahiti in the very early two thousands.

Much of the conversation contained in the interview centres around jiu-jitsu and why it has stolen the hearts of so many surfers.

As always, apologies for the production values, of which there is none.


Massive new surf resort utilizing never-before-seen wave technology officially breaks ground in Arizona: “Let’s just say Kelly Slater is gonna be a little jealous!”

Exciting days.

The long-held dream of zero people leaving Arizona to head to California beaches came one shovelful closer to reality, today, as ground was officially broken on Cannon Beach east of Phoenix.

Set to open in May of 2022, the 37-acre water park and mixed-use project has been in the works for over two years. It will feature a hotel, restaurants (including a tiki-themed bar), office space and, most excitingly, a 3.3-acre surf tank powered by a yet-to-be-experienced new wave technology dubbed SwellMFG.

According to wavepoolmag.com:

Up to this point, we’ve only seen video clips of perfect little peelers from SwellMFG with no idea of what the outline of the pool or system will look like at scale. The new renderings show a handbag-shaped facility with a wall of either air chambers or levers (SwellMFG won’t say how their tech is powered) in the deep end to pump out the surf. Within the short, a rectangle-ish outline is a peak splitting left and right. It looks like bathymetry will play a big role in how waves break in the facility, and right now a split peak will be something unique in the realm of open-to-the-public wave pools. Wavegarden’s Cove design has separate a left and a right. Kelly’s plow system only works in one direction at a time. BSR Surf Resort alternates between running lefts and rights during a single session. Only American Wave Machine’s indoor New Jersey facility, Whitewater’s new Endless Surf system and Surf Lakes, offer a split peak.

But are you intrigued by this fresh take on artificial waves? Would you like to try or have you burned out on the idea of freshwater surfing altogether?

I’ll admit, I’m itching to give it a go as I’ve recently grown very fond of the Grand Canyon State (daughter is star freshman on U of A’s soccer team).

Also, I love a good tiki bar. Do you think world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater is reconsidering his choice to build Surf Ranch in Lemoore?

Do you think he is jealous of Cannon Beach and its tiki bar and its direct tie to the historical root of inland surfing (see: North Shore)?

How could he not be.


Prestige Magazine declares posh cool kids on exciting new surf-adjacent journey: “In terms of extreme sports, there’s probably nothing hotter than surf skating at the moment!”

Impress nana.

It seems like many decades ago when Carver, Sector 9 and other companies made a hard push to bring that surfing feeling to land because it was. Innovative truck design, boards that dipped and carved as if they were on water, not nana’s driveway, professional surfers advertising.

Whoosh, slash, yeah.

Very wonderful but I don’t know if the market ever reached its full potential as I rarely saw anyone hitting nana’s driveway’s lip, though that all may be about to change for Prestige Magazine out of Hong Kong has luxury surf skates are the must have accessory for the posh cool kids.

“In terms of extreme sports, there’s probably nothing hotter than surf skating at the moment,” the piece begins. “Just like how skateboards had their share of the spotlight back in the ’90s, surf skating is the new cool kids’ sport of 2021. While they may look similar to skateboards, surf skates come with a pointed front—similar to how surfboards would usually look. Simply put, they’re like smaller-sized, in-land surfboards designed to simulate the movements of surfing. Unlike skateboards, surf skates are designed for techniques like turning and ‘snapping’ that allow surfers to hone their skills during their time off from the beaches when it’s low season for surfing.”

Is Z-Flex set to see a sales boom?

Unfortunately not. The market is so hot that all the luxury houses are now in the game. To be counted amongst the posh cool kids you must either shred Hermès…

…Fendi…

…Chanel…

…Or Versace.

Nana will be impressed.


Strand locals duke it out. | Photo: @silverstrandfightclub

Notorious Californian surf locals start underground fight club: “You got a problem, we solve it like men. Cops are not needed”

Maybe self-improvement isn't the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.” 

Ain’t a beach in the continental US that thrills me as much as Silver Strand, a mile-long hit of sand with waves powered by an open water trench, two hours north of the city of Angels.

One road in, one road out.

Sand on the curbless streets.

A real Hossegor vibe.

Peopled by the sort of locals that don’t take real kindly to strangers, howevs.

Solo, maybe y’cool, but not in packs, and not the sorta packs there to shoot videos.

Punchy waves and punchy locals.

Fighting might be fun as hell, but it has its drawbacks.

Cops, litigation, prison etc.

And, so, locals have taken to organised fights to solve their surf beefs.

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

https://www.instagram.com/p/CMY3GItj4Aw/

Way the Silver Strand Fight Club work is it’s invite only, with a view to public events down the line.

You DM @silverstrandfightclub to schedule a fight.

Turn up, throw a few haymakers, maybe score a knockout, maybe see the birdies yourself.

Whatever happens you leave it in the ring.

“You got a problem, we solve it like men,” SSFC told BeachGrit. “Cops are not needed. If you agree to a fight, sign a waiver and shake hands at the end of it all.”

As Chuck Palahniuk wrote in Fight Club, “You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.”

And,

“Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.”