Breaking: Beleaguered Owen Wright bucks trend of Olympic qualified surfers fleeing El Salvador; finds form and smashes Morocco, Sweden in repechage round at World Surfing Games!

Power moves.

The World Surfing Games in stunning El Salvador has developed into a white-knuckle narrative not seen in our favorite sport since… since… well maybe since ever.

There is, of course, the stress of surfers competing for the few remaining Olympic spots. There is International Surfing Association chief Fernando Aguerre staring down the World Surf League in a bold power grab. There are already-Olympic-qualified surfers fleeing the event without completing it.

There is Owen Wright.

Already on Australia’s team, the lanky blonde from Cuburra has had a rough few events and opened the World Surfing Games losing his Round 2 heat to Spain, Argentina and Brazil with a very poor score of 3.67.

Thankfully there is repechage.

Unlike his fellow Irukandjis, whose motto remains “Deadly in the Water,” Wright decided to stay and fight and fight he did regaining smashing form and mashing Argentina, Morocco and Sweden with a series of devastating slashes in chocolate surf.


Could it be that Wright is finding his form, his momentum, at exactly the right time headed in to Tokyo?

Tell me this is not inspired surfing.

The only worry, I suppose, is the upcoming Surf Ranch Pro presented by Barefoot Wine.

Kelly Slater’s tub has undone the hopes, dreams, inspiration of countless lanky blondes.

White knuckle, I tell you.

The greatest time ever to be a professional surf fan.

Hero (pictured) right. Photo: Shannon Kane Smith
Hero (pictured) right. Photo: Shannon Kane Smith

Surfer saves man scattering his daughter’s ashes out at sea from drowning: “Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they have surfboards!”

Feel good.

I had a wonderful dream last night that I had written something trite and not very funny on BeachGrit and Surfline’s Nick Carroll wrote me a letter to be better so I published the letter and the original trite not very funny piece became relevant and hilarious thanks to him.

Alas, when I woke there was no letter saving my work.

In other news, a seventy-one year old man, Dennis Kane, was in North Carolina, over the weekend, to spread the ashes of his daughter out at sea with family. Apparently, the urn did not sink properly and Kane went after it to make sure things were done the right way but became stuck in a rip current and began to drown.

As miracles would have it, Adam Zboyovski happened to be on the beach picking up chairs for his beach chair rental business, saw the scene unfolding, grabbed his surfboard and paddled into action.

“I just happen to always have a board close by. This one was tough because the ocean conditions were really bad and I couldn’t read the ocean like on an average day. Also, the board had no wax at all on it so I was slipping off just paddling out,” he told news agency InsideNoVa.

Once reaching Kane, he noticed he was exhausted and struggling but was able to paddle him back to shore where first aid was administered before a trip to the hospital.

Later that night, Zboyovski stopped by the home where Kane’s family was staying so they could thank him.

“I think the most touching part about it when I met his granddaughter and she was thanking me because…being a young child, watching their grandfather drown would just be the most horrible thing,” he said.

His daughter, Shannon Kane Smith later took to Facebook where she wrote, “Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they have surfboards.”

Take that, Nick Carroll.

Nick and Charlie at Surf Ranch, a favourite destination of both men.

Breaking: BeachGrit commenter to lead Surfline’s editorial team in Australia! “(His) passion for spending time in the water is matched only by his reputation for telling great stories!”

"I look forward to taking this on like a set wave at Newport Peak.”

The one-time BeachGrit habitué and heritage surf journalist, Nick Carroll, has been named as Surfline’s Australian editor, a position that opened up after the surf forecasting giant bought Coastalwatch for one million dollars in 2019. 

Carroll, who is sixty-two, was, until recently, a regular in BeachGrit’s comment section, his authoritative, older bother-style tone, often uncharacteristically candid, producing some of his best work in recent years. 

“Nick’s passion for spending time in the water is matched only by his reputation for telling great stories,” Surfline’s CEO, Kyle Laughlin, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited for Nick to bring his exceptional talents together to lead Surfline’s editorial team in Australia.”

“I feel fortunate to be given this task, which basically commits me to paying even more attention to the surf than I already do,” says Nick. “Surfline feels like a natural fit; I’ve worked with many of the crew over time and I look forward to taking this on like a set wave at Newport Peak.”

Carroll’s long-form stories for BeachGrit were an enjoyable change of pace for readers tired of the surf news network’s shallow click-baitery and obsessions with Erik Logan and Great White sharks.

Carroll’s purist approach to a sport he’s been immersed in for fifty years were clear in,

Nick Carroll: “Tom is generous with me, yet I’m rarely generous in return.”

Long read: Nick Carroll on the “crazy fucking ultra-marathon” Molokai-to-Oahu paddle race!

Nick Carroll: I’d surfed there a thousand times, yet today it felt like nowhere i”d her been. It felt like a place you could die!” 

Nick Carroll reviews 9’8” Christenson/Twiggy Model quad gun: “No board lasts forever, but neither do we!” 

Board review: Nick Carroll on the “Scramjet!” 

“Riding Kelly Slater’s Pool Cured Me of a Vague Existential Horror!” 

Carroll’s obituary for BeachGrit writer, Santa Cruz’s Mara Wolford, was a beautiful farewell to an old friend.

Breaking: World Surf League has last laugh as surfers pull out of glorious World Surfing Games leaving brave usurper Fernando Aguerre in the lurch!


The drama, glorious drama, around the International Surfing Association’s World Surfing Games, in stupendous El Salvador, have embraced every ounce of drama that the World Surf League, and its Positive Wall of Noise, have shirked.

To wit, Fernando Aguerre, one-time Reef bottle opening sandal owner and chief of the aforementioned International Surfing Association, became king maker when his ISA gathered all rights to which surfers would be allowed in surfing’s grand debut in the 2020/2021 Olympics.

His moment to shine.

World Surf League, previously the only show in town, shut out.


Like an Oklahoma summer.

Oh and how Aguerre did press his advantage, forcing all World Surf League surfers to superlative El Salvador in order to collect their tickets to the Olympic dance via his World Surfing Games.

Quarantining etc.

Were they happy?


Many rumors of sadness and frustration.


Did they have a choice?


World Surf League, Covid-19 spikes, etc. be damned. Aguerre had the power, had all surfing power…. until he didn’t.

Pre-qualified-for-the-Olympic World Surf League surfers began pulling out of the World Surfing Games, hours ago, one after the other after the other. Claiming injury, claiming they didn’t want to knock out other Olympic hopefuls. Flying home and leaving spectacular El Salvador behind. Leaving Aguerre holding the bag at the end.

Except is he?

The waves in Surf City look fun.

Ukraine looks fierce.

Julian Wilson knows but having last laugh alongside Erik Logan?

Who wins here?

More as the story develops.

World’s biggest surf network rocked by charges of VAL-phobia! “A commenter says leashes should be put around our necks. This implies a noose or something an enslaved person would wear”

"My clients & team don’t deserve to be targeted & made fun of."

A much-loved surf-based fitness studio in New York City has slammed the world’s biggest surf network as VAL-phobic after a recent post, or repost if you wanna be accurate, on Instagram. 

BeachGrit’s social media director, the noted author Chas Smith (buy Cocaine and Surfing, here, Welcome to Paradise Now Go to Hell, here, Reports from Hell, here) had, without permission, shared a short video from @surfsetnyc with the caption “World Surf League.” 

Although quickly reported by @surfsetnyc and the video subsequently removed by Instagram, BeachGrit commenters were unable to resist the urge to make fun of the WSL and therefore blind to the joy of New Yorkers riding their SURFSET® Board (Rip SurferX), a “6-foot long surfboard on top of three balance balls, designed to mimic the feeling of being on water.”

Early this morning, BeachGrit received the following missives.

“We are a small family business trying to survive. We got hit very hard by Covid & have been closed for 14 months with no income for our family and our kids. This video is from the first day we opened after 432 days. We support the surfing community, respecting more experienced surfers & educating beginners, so everyone is safer in the water. My clients & team don’t deserve to be targeted & made fun of. Please take it down.”


“A commenter has says that leashes should be put around our necks. This implies a noose or something an enslaved person would wear. Take. This. Video. Down. Now.”

All fair charges, I think, although the connection between a legrope and slavery a little tenuous, a very long bow to draw.

SurfSet NYC’s story is a good one, inspirational etc. 

Per the website, 

“Aaron Thouvenin and Diana Garrett are two of the world’s first SURFSET® Fitness Master Trainers & Ambassadors. They started their SURFSET® journey as students when the company launched in 2011. Not only did they study directly with the SURFSET® Fitness founders to best understand the company’s vision and fitness method, but they also had the unique opportunity to work with some of the top spinning, bootcamp, TRX®, kickboxing, barre, yoga, pilates, and dance trainers in New York City to learn creative new ways to workout on the board.”

SurfSet NYC’s studio is on 64 East 4th Street, 4th Floor between Bowery & 2nd Ave. 

A drop-in class costs twenty-five dollars or unlimited sessions for one hundred and ninety-nine dollars per month. 

An unlimited membership also offers ten percent off  “Epic Beach Day Surf & Epic Pool Day Surf Getaways.”

Book here.  

And watch, Vic Secret’s Model Martha Hunt, at SurfSet NYC here.