Photo: Steve Sherman @tsherms
Photo: Steve Sherman @tsherms

Breaking: Surf star Kelly Slater’s social media behavior makes international news with press calling it “bizarre” and “defensive!”

Self-discipline is for the birds!

Days ago it was revealed here, with much sadness, that surfing superstar Kelly Slater’s social media behavior may change as he posted the cover of a self-published e-book he appeared to be reading titled How to Build Self-Discipline: Resist Temptation and Reach your Long-Term Goals on Instagram.

His 3 million fans wondered if the 11x World Champion would cease getting in fights with those who believe the earth is flat etc. across his own, and others’, Instagram accounts.

Much worry creasing brows as Slater’s opinions, his authority on matters ranging from cryptocurrency to electric cars is legendary as is his willingness to freely debate.

Thankfully, it only took three days for the oft-Pipe Master to get back to form and this time the international press picked it up.

Let’s read together.

Surf legend Kelly Slater finds himself in a bizarre social media fight with fans on an Aussie satire site – as he vows not to have the Covid vaccine so he can ‘get antibodies naturally’

American surfing legend Kelly Slater has been slammed for sharing ‘anti-vax nonsense’ with fans in a bizarre social media fight on an Aussie satirical news site.

The Betoota Advocate on Sunday shared a satirical article about a father who was proud after stinking up a toilet, prompting Slater to comment ‘Dads have no shame’.

But although the story was unrelated to Covid-19, the 11-time world surfing champion was quickly targeted by a man who accused him of posting anti-vaccine content over his social media pages.

‘Aren’t you the fella who shares anti-vax nonsense on social media? Seems like you have no shame either,’ the man wrote.

Slater became defensive, explaining he was not against vaccinations but feared the jab had not been thoroughly tested.

‘Why does this account always end up with these triggered, b***y people who can’t take a joke? And second, I’m not anti vax. I’m anti mandating medical procedures. But I’ve never even pushed that,’ he wrote.


My favorite parts are:

-Bizarre social media fight.

-Satirical article

-Slater contribution “Dads have no shame.”

-“Slater became defensive.”

-“Triggered, bitchy people who can’t take a joke.”

What are your favorite parts?

Warshaw on the “decades-long political scramble over who gets to use the phrase ‘Surf City’ as a regional marketing tool”

And how it started with a high-torque V8 metalflake kustom pop song by California idealists Jan Berry and Dean Torrence… 

The song “Surf City” does not hold up to close textual reading — it is in fact ridiculous, what with strapping a board to your back and hitching a ride in your wetsuit etc.

But in terms of high-torque V8 metalflake kustom Gold Star Studio pop-craft, “Surf City” is as good as it gets.

The decades-long “Surf City” political scramble over who gets to use the phrase as a regional marketing tool, on the other hand, is just ridiculous and nothing but ridiculous.

Let’s begin with the song.

Jan and Dean (Jan Berry and Dean Torrence) recorded “Surf City” in LA in March of 1963. Brian Wilson first-drafted the words and melody, Dean tweaked the lyrics, Jan hired the Wrecking Crew for the track (that’s Glen Campbell on guitar) and in general arranged and produced the shit out of it.

In July, it went to #1. Jan Berry was very much on the spectrum of what the DSM-5 categorizes as “high-functioning asshole” (after dumping his pregnant girlfriend, Berry’s own parents adopted the baby which meant Berry’s son was also his stepbrother), but in ’63 he was an A-plus producer, further along than Brian Wilson and tuffer than Phil Spector, and “Surf City” was the first in a string of Berry-produced hits in which B-grade teen drama walks in one end of the studio and gets shot out the other as a sub-three-minute sonic masterpiece. 

Here’s how you know Jan Berry was a monster producer. His songs are impossible to cover. You can find a half-dozen “Surf City” attempts by other bands, and none are above average — even the Ramones can’t get it off the ground. Only Jan Berry could.

The Surf City branding bunfight started 20-or-so years after the song hit.

It caught me by surprise.

I thought everybody knew, like I did, that Hungtington Beach was Surf City. Except Huntington is not of course actually mentioned in the song, and in this Jan and Dean made-for-TV video (what TV show? anybody?) Surf City is Malibu, not HB.

Where does that leave us?

“Who cares” is a good answer, or something along the lines of “Surf City is a state of mind.”

But no, Huntington’s gonna be Huntington and in 2004 it applied for a “Surf City USA” trademark, just to kneecap Santa Cruz businesses and municipal officials from using the phrase for their town. Lawyers were called. Suits and countersuits were filed.

You knew all along who was going to win. Still, credit the Santa Cruz major who at one point not only issued a city-vs-city “surf-off” challenge to HB, but went on local TV to sing his version of “Surf City,” which in part went:

You think your pier compares to Steamers?
(Surf City is Santa Cruz)

Just give it up and go drive your Beemers.
(Surf City is Santa Cruz)

No BMWs are seen during any of the last several Huntington Pier riots, but never mind, score that point for Santa Cruz.

Huntington, as expected, won the legal fight and kicked all the poor people out of town. 

Meanwhile, if you’ve been following the 2021 World Surf Games in El Salvador this week, you know that the entire coastal region surrounding the contest site is being referred to as “Surf City,” and people that is down to the Salvadorian President himself hopping on the surf-marketing bandwagon. 

In other words, the whole thing has elevated from mayors to heads of state.


Two takeaways:

1) Asshole or not, Jan Berry was a pop-music wizard and Jan and Dean deserve a sandy corner in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

2) Hats off to a little township on Topsail Island, North Carolina, that is actually officially named — not branded — Surf City, and has been since 1949. The waves are not great in Surf City, but give me a choice and I’ll take an hour at their Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center over an hour at Northside HB, thank you very much.

(You like this? Matt Warshaw delivers a surf history essay every Sunday, PST. All of ’em a pleasure to read. Maybe time to subscribe to Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing, yeah? Three bucks a month.)

Shock: France and Japan emerge as new surfing superpowers at Olympic qualifier in El Salvador: once mighty Americans crushed by minnows Italy, Great Britain and Canada to finish sixteenth!

A changing of the guard in Central America.

French and Japanese surfers have dominated the final day of competition at the ISA World Surfing Games, the last stop on the potholed road to Tokyo 2021.

In the individual men’s event, France’s Joan Duru and Jeremy Flores finished first and third, with Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and Hiroto Ohhara, second and fourth.

Germany’s Leon Glatzer, who was born in Maui and grew up in Costa Rica, finished fifth.

Owen Wright was Australia’s best performing surfer, finishing eleventh, behind a raft of Peruvians, a Chilean, a Balinese shredder and a kid from Portugal.

The women were a little different, Australian Sally Fitzgibbons dominating throughout the event, although, per the fashion of the event, Portuguese and Peruvians filled out spots second, third and fourth.

Although I saw very little of the contest, too many heats, too many sudden withdrawals by drawcards, Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira, Julian Wilson and so on to provoke any sort of interest, the contest was a harbinger of a rapidly shifting surfing world, the decline of the USA a reflection of a decaying empire, ruined by decades of war, internal strife and barbarians at the gate; a country running on fumes, so to speak.

Anyway, no biggie, below are the Olympians who will be performing in Tokyo, if it runs.

If you’re wondering why Duru ain’t on the list, it’s ’cause France already has its two men (Flores and Bourez) who’d qualified through the WCT.

Each team gets two men, two women.

Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Owen Wright (AUS)
Julian Wilson (AUS)
Kolohe Andino (USA)
John John Florence (USA)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Michel Bourez (FRA)
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Hiroto Ohhara (JPN)
Lucca Mesinas (PER)
Miguel Tudela (PER)
Jordy Smith (RSA)
Manuel Selman (CHI)
Leon Glatzer (GER)
Rio Waida (INA)
Leandro Usuna (ARG)
Frederico Morais (POR)
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Billy Stairmand (NZL)

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Carissa Moore (USA)
Caroline Marks (USA)
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Silvana Lima (BRA)
Mahina Maeda (JPN)
Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN)
Teresa Bonvalot (POR)
Yolanda Sequeira (POR)
Johanne Defay (FRA)
Pauline Ado (FRA)
Daniella Rosas (PER)
Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Brisa Hennessy (CRC)
Leilani McGonagle (CRC)
Dominic Barona (ECU)
Anat Lelior (ISR)
Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Ella Williams (NZL)

Kick off your shoes.

Is this Australia’s hippest beach house? Surfer-artist-minstrel Ozzie Wright lists epic off-the-grid coastal spread on AirBnb, “An intentional space to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect to your creativity!”

“A colourful beach shack perched on top of a hill, looking out to uninterrupted ocean views… A mystical meeting of beach and bush."

The Australian surfer Ozzie Wright, and musician wife Mylee, have listed for rent the holiday spread they bought for $1.5 million in 2019, a dreamy beach shack on a quarter-acre of pristine national park dirt in Broadwater, seven hours north of Sydney, one hour south of Byron.

The sale came with a DA to bulldozer the old joint (“Build your dream beach house”) but Oz and Mylee have dressed it up in Classic Ozzie style, art on the walls, painted curtain dividers ‘tween bedrooms, couches covered in wild upholstery, a guitar in a corner. 

You wouldn’t have heard of Broadwater; it’s one of those towns you burn through along the Pacific Highway on the way from Sydney to Byron. Ain’t much there, you got the Richmond river, there’s a 150-year-old sugar mil that’s closed to the public, a pretty cafe operating out of an old Catholic church, ’bout it.

The national park is the town’s jewel, ten-thousand acres of coastal heath and wetlands and eight clicks of mostly empty beach. 

And, here you’ll find Oz and Mylee’s Happy Sun House, which is, as per the listing,  “a colourful beach shack perched on top of a hill, looking out to uninterrupted ocean views… A mystical meeting of beach and bush. A cosy and rustic shack not without things we love like, luxury linen sheets and a fully equipped kitchen… A truly blissful beach shack experience. A place where the sun hits the walls in a most beautiful way. An intentional space to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect to your creativity, gently allowing nature to ground down a busy mind.”

Five hundred bucks a night, if you want in, with a fifteen percent discount if you book for a week. A cleaning cost and service fee on top of that. Think four gees or thereabouts for a week in a little slice of Australian heaven.

Book, examine here. 

"I don't care if you were paddling first! The surfer nearest the peak has the right of way!"
"I don't care if you were paddling first! The surfer nearest the peak has the right of way!"

Listen: Is surf localism simply a more historically rooted form of modern Karenism?

A real bummer, if true.

Trouble rocked me last night to the very core. A thought, a specter, that materialized whilst talking to David Lee Scales over the internet.

We were recording our weekly chat, for your pleasure. Usually we do it in person, of course, but David Lee had become stuck  in Houston the day before and I had a important things to do aboard a vintage Chris Craft and so we settled for an evening Zoom.

He imagined, not incorrectly, that it would be cocktail hour and had mixed himself a Boulevardier. I instinctively knew that I needed to be sharp, some epiphany to be had, so poured myself a Topo Chico with a twist of grapefruit.

Little did I know how painful it would be.

Like a sharply cut bob.

Because there we were conversing moving from topic to topic, VAL this, core that, until rounding the bend to Malibu Karen and her less than ideal week.

“Wait,” I says.

“Is surf localism simply a more historically rooted form of modern Karenism?”

Uh oh.

It is, isn’t it.

The craving of order and the compunction to confront offenders of order and bring them to heel by any means necessary.

How does that make you feel?

Would you like to speak to BeachGrit‘s manager Derek Rielly?

Listen here.