Creative director of greatest advertisement ever made reveals secret to success: “Knowing the rules on what we weren’t allowed to suggest in a beer ad – no sport, bravado, success, or prowess – it had felt like a fun game to try to bend every one of those!”

Pure surf.

I’ll tell you, anytime, and I mean anytime, our wonderful surfing appears in a television commercial it captivates me completely. I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and study to see if shaper is visible on board, if fins are in correctly, if the essence has been captured or poorly appropriated.

Over time, I’ve become somewhat of an authority, maybe the authority, and can say, without fear of contradiction, that the worst is Jeep’s “Surf the World” effort.

The best?

Guinness beer’s 1999 “Surfer.”

It may, in fact, be one of the greatest commercials ever made full stop.

Very iconic and its genius, creative director and writer Walter Campbell, recently explained how it came to be.

The brief spoke cleverly about the audience and making ads that moved Guinness into a broader, more accessible arena. However, it also said: “The Guinness extended pour time shouldn’t be mentioned, as the dwell may well be a potential barrier to a younger demographic.”

I felt clearly that the “pour” was a treasured part of the Guinness experience. I’d seen mates who are devoted Guinness drinkers look at the settling glass with a distinct sense of longing. Wanting the result of the wait and yet wanting the wait at the same time.

Knowing the rules on what we weren’t allowed to suggest in a beer ad – no sport, bravado, success, or prowess – it had felt like a fun game to try to bend every one of those rules but in a way that would still let the story get on air.

And there we have it. “…no sport, bravado, success or prowess…”

Pure surf.

Campbell goes on to discuss the casting, making etc. and worth a read but savor slowly, again, here.

Surfer seriously injured after hit by Great White shark at clothing optional beach near famed big-wave surf spot Mavericks!

Maybe the attack ain’t such a surprise given a dead whale washed up on nearby Pacifica Beach a few weeks ago, the twelfth since February,

A thirty-five-year-old surfer, maybe swimmer it ain’t clear, has been hit by a Great White shark at Gray Whale Cove, a gorgeous little clothing optional beach just north of Mavericks and twenty miles south of San Francisco. 

The man, who was bitten on the upper leg, was treated with “advanced life support measures” at the scene and taken to Stanford Med Center’s trauma facility where he’s in a serious condition. 

The beach has been closed. 

Maybe the attack ain’t such a surprise given a dead whale washed up on nearby Pacifica Beach a few weeks ago, the twelfth since February, nine grey whales, one pygmy sperm whale and a fin whale.

Twelfth dead, beached whale since Feb.

Most of ‘em killed by ship strikes. 

More on the attack as details are revealed etc.

Watch: Hero with no apparent care for life or limb dramatically frees baby Great White Shark caught on fishing line in North County, San Diego!

Notes for the apocalypse.

I wander through this life quietly making mental notes about who I want to be around during the apocalypse. Who cuts and runs versus who stands and faces situations dire and scary. It’s often surprising, you know. Men standing tall and proud will abandon a scene at a sniff that it might go sideways. Women seemingly meek and mild will roar like lionesses and fear no action.

That’s why mental notes and I would very much like to have the hero who, days, ago freed a baby great white shark caught in a fishing line on Carlsbad’s Tamarack.

The scene was captured by a beachgoer named Kelly Bailey who told Fox 5 News, “I was walking over towards the Jetty where my son and his cousins were exploring and I noticed a fishing line pulling from far out in the water. I then saw a man reeling in a large marine reel and another man running towards the water with a spear. After the man was fighting to reel in what we all thought was a sport fish, was told by the other man holding the spear that it was in fact a shark.”

Yes, a baby great white shark teeth gleaming in the June gloom, head whipping to and fro trying to find a snack.

The hero, though, is completely unperturbed and deftly goes to work freeing the beast then dragging out to sea.

Very cool under pressure.

And while I surf the general region, and imagine this li’l man-eater is swimming around with much rage, the hero’s poise and desire to throw himself in harm’s way to help a creature makes me proud.

His family and friends lucky come apocalypse time.

Volcom’s best surf trunk designer quits, starts soon-to-be-iconic wavepool clothing brand parodying Surf Ranch’s ultra-exclusivity: “Wildly visionary playfulness!”

A surf brand inspired by WSL's Future Surf Classic.

If you knew Joey Frizzelle like I know Joey Frizzelle, why, you’d love him to pieces, too. 

Joe was at Volcom for fourteen years, all through the good ones, through the great float, and before getting the joint got bought out by the French luxe group Kering, owners of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta and finally, Authentic Group, makers of Juicy Couture’s outstanding velvet tracksuits (a personal fav.)

“It changed a lot for over that time,” says Joe, who was Volcom’s surf trunk designer of note. 

His little light bulb moment for a brand centred around pools came when he was watching the Future Classic at Surf Ranch in 2017, the world’s second-ever major wave pool event, a contest where spectators were excluded. 

“No one could see what was going on, it was so exclusive, so elitist and all of a sudden everyone had a comment about it, the death of surfing and so on. Everyone had an opinion on it.” 

Joe said to a pal, “You know what’s so funny, somebody is going to have a wavepool brand and it’s going to be called Country Club Surf Club or something.” 


Joe went out and got the Instagram handle, bought the domain, he yelled from his Volcom cubicle, “Can somebody make a logo?” 

By the time the afternoon had spilled into evening, he had a logo, a website, had posted photos on Instagram and had mocked up a full range of hats and tees. 

“It was epic,” he says. “We tagged BeachGrit and Chas came back and said how much he loved it.” 

Joe Frizz at pool in CC tee.

He had to keep it under wraps, howevs, at least the part where he was in low-level cahoots with BeachGrit. 

“The management were not too keen on BeachGrit and here I am sending stuff to Chas.” 

The brand started as parody but Joe is anything but anti-tub. He hits the Waco pool when he can and even blew his money on the old Austin tank before it got bought out by KSWaveCo, demolished, and abandoned. 

“The Austin pool was tough, that was horrible. It was like bad San Onofre,” says Joe. 

Still, even at Austin “we had a really fun day. Wavepools are so dope, they’re sick, that’s what we dreamed about when we were kids. You have Travis Ferré saying they’re the worst thing ever, never do it, everyone splitting has on it, flip-flopping back and forth. But when you go, everyone’s rotating, no one’s hassling, everyone’s stoked. It’s better than sitting at 56th Street and battling all the groms all day for shitty waves. At BSR, it’s a pretty good three-footer. You’re with your friends hooting and hollering and you’re not out there thinking, aw, the wind just came up, the tide’s not right.”

Instead of a Pro Team, Joe has a Bro Team, which includes the aforementioned Chas Smith. There isn’t a huge barrier to entry.

Bro Team uniform.

“Everyone is on the Bro Team,” he says. “If you want to apply go for it. When you show up at a pool rocking a Country Club shirt, you’re in the know, part of the club.” 

Country Club Surf Club ain’t even close to being self-sustaining, Joe’s got himself another gig to pay the bills, but the dream is to get enough of a buzz around it, to build relationships with the guys at the pools and get a discount on sessions so he can take his twin five-year-old shredders on his choline adventures without melting his card.

In the meantime, “It’s a fun spin on what’s happening in core surf,” says Joe. “It keeps me self-entertained.” 

Dariel, not a man to reflect on life's what-ifs… | Photo: @dariel_melendezd/@quekasurfer_ma

Surfers raise $26,000 to buy freakishly talented Caribbean amputee a custom titanium prosthetic leg!

"Team work truly is the dream work!"

Ten years ago, eleven-year-old Costa Rican Dariel Meléndez Davila was hit by a train while trying to escape a thief, his leg so mangled it had to be amputated in hospital, the kid conscious the whole time. 

The train shortly after running over Dariel.

Seven years later, Dariel got hit by a different train, this time the desire to surf.

He’d seen all the surfers around his home town of Puerto Viejo, but it wasn’t until he spoke to a pal who’d been to an Adaptive Surfing Camp that he realised there was a network out there of surfers dealing with disabilities and who could help him get into the game. 

Little by little, Dariel worked out how to balance on his one stilt, where to weight, where to unweight, until he got to a point where he surfs rings around plenty of us with two legs, hitting even Costa Rica’s heavier waves. 

Now, thanks to the intervention of noted filmmaker Logan Dulien (Snapt series) who created a gofundme to raise cash for a prosthetic limb and travel to the US to get the appendage fitted, Dariel is gonna get a custom titanium prothesis from Russ Molina, owner of Advanced Kinematics and one of the best in the biz. 

Four hundred and twenty five donors hit the 25k goal in less than three days, the pot currently spilling over at $26,042. 

“He will come out start of September compete in the adaptive surf competition in Oceanside first week of September then after the comp he will spend 10 days in Palm Springs with Russel Molina getting a custom mold fit for the titanium leg,” Dulien told BeachGrit. “Then after that attend the Snapt4 world premiere in HB September 25th and then fly back to Costa Rica a few days later.” 

It ain’t gonna all be plain sailing, howevs. Dariel has never used a prosthesis. 

“He will first have to learn to walk and eventually surf. Will be work in progress,” says Dulien.