Watch: In delirious innovation, Australian surf contest to fly blimp above lineup dangling Hyundai car keys to encourage giant aerials!

Land the key!

The upcoming 2021 Australian Boardriders Battle National Final at Newcastle Main Beach will not be just another Australian Boardriders Battle National Final at Newcastle Main Beach this year, no way, no how, for this year, for the first time in recorded history, it will also host The Hyundai Electric Air Show somewhere in the middle.

The Hyundai Electric Air Show?


The Hyundai Electric Air Show in which 24 competitors will paddle out and attempt to grab a set of Hyundai car keys being dangled from a blimp, thus winning an electric Hyundai car for a year.

Per the press release:

Huge airs will be thrown down over the two days as one athlete from each club competes for the keys to a Hyundai Kona Electric for a year. It’s a massive prize – and the bigger the prize, the bigger the airs.

A Hyundai blimp will hover above the line-up, dangling the keys to the new Kona Electric above the break. Anyone in the heat who gets high enough to get their hands on the key, WINS!

The Hyundai Air Show will run before the semi-finals on Sunday 16th May, with $1000 going to the winner’s club.

I suppose winning an electric Hyundai car for a year beats having to own one outright but let’s get serious here. The World Surf League should certainly adopt the electric hovering blimp but what do you think would motivate the world’s best surfers to leap and grab?

Joe Turpel’s golden microphone?

Ron Blakey’s baritone?


Missing South African surfer likely seized by “very large” Great White shark after examination of teeth marks on board: “His untimely demise would have been as swift, painless and without struggle as anyone could hope for”

"The entire Wild Coast is subject to intense shark activity… the sea is not for swimming."

A bodyboarder from East London on South Africa’s eastern cape, missing for over a week and whose board was found washed up on a beach, was likely killed by a Great White shark, an examination of teeth marks has revealed.

Robert Frauenstein, who was thirty-eight and a week away from getting married, was surfing a joint called at Cintsa on the Wild Coast, that hit of coast from East London in the south to the border of KwaZulu-Natal in the north.

Frauenstein disappeared from the lineup; his distinctive pink and yellow bodyboard was found later in the day marked by bite marks.

Robert Frauenstein, DK shredder, old school style.

A rep for the family wrote on Facebook,

“The teeth marks in his bodyboard are confirmed as that of a very large great white shark, possibly the same shark spotted from the air earlier in the week. We take comfort in the fact that Robert was doing what he loved and that his untimely demise would have been as swift, painless and without struggle as anyone could hope for.”

Of the 248 unprovoked shark attacks since records began in South Africa in 1905, 103 have come from the Wild Coast.

A tourist website warns visitors, “that the entire Wild Coast is subject to intense shark activity…There’s two damn good reasons why indigenous inhabitants of the coast historically avoided the water, unlike the heavy coastal utilization up the African east coast: (1) rip currents prevailing in an area where the coastal shelf plunges abruptly, and very close to land; and (2) sharks. Port St Johns has acquired the miserable reputation of a totally-out-of-proportion share of global shark attacks: it is THE hotspot. But don’t be fooled: the entire Wild Coast shares the same features. Cape Town styled shark-spotting won’t work (water’s too murky; different types of shark); and KZN-style shark nets won’t work (rip currents; besides sound conservation reasons). Most attacks have been on surfers or lifeguards: apparently the boards and lifeguard rafts resemble prey (seals – there are seals around here?), and the only way to know is to take a bite – a big bite. But that little comfort zone got blown-out in the last attack, which was in a gentle little estuary stream, with lots of swimmers around: the victim (mauled and churned into blood) was in knee-deep water. That’s right: knee-deep, out of the surf. What’s to do? Stay ankle deep, hit the pools, or just admire the view and the environment. The sea is really not for swimming.”

Breaking: Surf cinema royalty tied up with “most audacious Ponzi scheme in Hollywood history!”

A film within a film.

There are two families that come directly to mind as surf cinema royalty. The Browns (Bruce, Dana) and the Oblowitzes (Michael, Orson).

Oh, you are most certainly aware of Michael Oblowitz’s body of work, one of the finer of the last decade plus. His Sea of Darkness, whispered about in hushed tones from Sydney to Paris. His Heavy Water an award winner. His yet-to-be-released Sunny Garcia documentary certain to cement his place in history.

His soft core vampire porn for Showtime already having done.

His son Orson is a cinematographer, producer, writer, director of much note who also worked on each of his father’s surf films but hitting worldwide headlines, these past few days, for directing one Zach Avery in the 2018 horror film Trespassers.

Avery, whose real name is Zachary Horowitz, was recently arrested for running an over $600 m Ponzi scheme in which he raised money from investors in order to buy the rights to films that were to be purchased by Netflix and HBO.

A can’t miss deal except…. the contracts were allegedly forged, investors hung out to dry, Horowitz awaiting trail.

690 million United States dollars.


The Los Angeles Times has called the classic Ponzi scheme “the most audacious in Hollywood history” and I reached out, directly, to Orson, who is from New York but lives in L.A. for the surf, for more.

“Fuck, dude…” he laughed a disbelieving laugh into the phone. “All I knew was the guy could not act. A terrible fucking actor. He came attached to Trespassers and I just assumed he was a rich kid who had put up some money to be in it but he was awful. A nice kid, though, and we spent a lot of time together on set then doing press. Went to London and all that.”

I asked Orson if he had any idea that he was working with a criminal mastermind.

“Not at all. I mean, once the story came out I just thought, ‘If you were bilking people for $600 million dollars how can you not act?’ My dad always thinks he’s the Prince of Darkness, cinematically, but I think he’s met his match.”

I would say so, seeing as Michael Oblowitz has never unwittingly directed a lousy-acting criminal mastermind unless we can consider Nathan Fletcher such.

Orson has another film coming out this summer, The Five Rules of Success, and I am looking forward to it but first shall watch Trespassers. It is on Hulu here in The United States.

What luck.

Can we turn BeachGrit into a Ponzi scheme?


Think about it, will you?

Margs on Feb 21. | Photo: @peterjovicphotography

Waimea-like “La Bomba” swell to hit Margaret River on opening day of WCT event; locals report active salmon season and multiple Great White sightings, including fifteen-foot “leviathan”, as spectre of attack haunts organisers!

A "nightmare scenario"… 

You want to know what it’s like to wear a fifteen-foot set on the head out at Margaret River’s main break, five thousand nautical miles from any sorta land mass that might temper the big south-west swells? 

The pro surfer turned real estate agent Mitch Thorson, ranked #16 in the mid-eighties and noted for his jams in big waves, knows.

Last Thursday, he and a few pals were surfing late-arvo Margs, eight-to-twelve feet. Ain’t no soft-tops or fishes out here. Raw deep-water swell.

Mitch had scratched over a twelve-footer and when the spray cleared he saw it, a top-to-bottom fifteen, maybe eighteen-footer. 

His first thought? I’m fifty-six years old, I’ve surfed twenty-five footers at Waimea and the outer reefs, sure, but back then I was twenty eight and healthy. 

“It’s a bit different when you’re a chubby real estate agent wallowing around at Margarets,” he says. 

But he’d been doing a bit of underwater rock running in the lagoon at the Box, he knew it was a fifteen-second period swell and figured he had ten seconds “to get my shit together.”

He took his three deep breaths and got “absolutely smashed, absolutely rag-dolled by this thing that looked like Waimea but the other way around”. His old twelve-foot Creatures leash held, as it would for the following four fifteen-to-eighteen footers. 

“Pretty stoked it happened, it was an awesome experience,” says Mitch. “I haven’t been clobbered like that for fifteen years.” 

Mitch says the surf report was for six-to-eight feet. 

Therefore, he says, he won’t be real surprised if the predicted eight-to-ten-foot swell for the opening day of the Margaret River Pro on Sunday, May 3, turns into something that will infuse even the boldest tour professional’s stomach with piles of sick. 

He says it ain’t unusual for swells to piggyback each other, turning a supposed three feet into ten as it did a couple of weeks back.

“That’s what’s happening around here,” he says. “There’s the forecast and then there’s what you’re looking at.”

Couple the report, which you can read here, with one of the most active salmon runs in years, reports of a tagged fifteen-foot White hitting one receiver at Meelup on the other side of Cape Naturaliste fifty times, as well as untagged animals “poking there heads up here and there” and, well, who ain’t licking their stank fingers in anticipation. 

Watch: Brave Australian longboard champ calls out competition organizers, sponsors, from stage for giving women half the prize money of men!

Give 'em hell, Lucy Small!

Longboarding competitions are usually not the times nor places to witness explosive fireworks but that commonality was radically challenged, this past weekend, when the very talented Lucy Small called out both event organizers and sponsors from the stage for paying the women half as much as the men.

Small, who won the Curly Mal Jam Pro, dubbed Australia’s premier one-day long boarding surfing event, was handed the microphone, along with an oversized cheque and beautiful glass trophy and wasted no time getting right to it (slide three).

“Hello… I finally won something,” she began, sun shimmering overhead. “Thank you so much for having us, super stoked to be here. I just wanted to point out, thank you so much to the sponsors for all the money for the event, but I would say it’s a bittersweet victory knowing that our surfing is worth less than half as much as the men’s prize money.”

Groans rose up from the audience but, undeterred, she continued.

“It costs the same amount to fly here, accommodation costs the same, and our surfing is worth half as much so maybe we can think about that for next time.”

The groans turned to half-hearted applause but, in my opinion, should have turned into wound up arms pelting those event organizers and sponsors with rotten fruit.

It is unbelievable, in this day and age, that the prize money would be different for the men and women. I understand how, if there are less women, the purse might be smaller, but not the amount paid winners.

And how does a statement asking equal money for equal work cause groans?

Has being a father of daughters blurred my vision?

Caused me to miss some key element where damned male longboarders deserve more a priori?

Nonsense, all of it, and I would go so far to argue that the women should get twice as much as the men in the world of professional longboarding.

Three times as much, even, as it is far more graceful, compelling, a spectacle.

Prove me wrong.

And bravo, Lucy Small.

Give ’em hell.

Give ’em all hell.