Bitches and surfing, not necessarily in that order for Surfline Man.

Surfline Man humiliated at Swamis; researches keel fins online: “It’s super important to explain how his new surfboard and fins work to all his friends in the lineup. They are counting on his expert knowledge!”

"He got a wave at Malibu. Surfline Man is so good at surfing now."

Surfline Man is lying on his couch, which he’s pretty sure is his favorite place in the whole world. So relaxing, so comfortable.

And better yet, there’s no girlfriend to make him do some kind of dumb chore. Girlfriends, they always want him to do chores or work-out or something annoying.

Here he is, just chillin’ and enjoying life.

He’s thinking about everything and nothing and about the ocean which he loves almost as much as he loves his couch. A few days ago, it was World Oceans Day and it was just so inspiring to see all that sweet ocean love pop up on his Instagram feed. Surfline Man spent the whole day just scrolling along and feelin’ it.

Oceans, man, they’re so good.

Laptop open, he’s flipping through the swell forecasts in a desultory sort of way. It’s not like he hasn’t checked all the models for 10 days out like, 20 times already, but you never know when something might change. Like, an amazing swell could totally come straight out of nowhere. And the charts and graphs with all their colors are kinda soothing. He could just lie here all day and look at them, really.

Then Surfline Man’s phone buzzes. He figures he might as well see who it is. Setting aside his charts and graphs and important surf forecast stuff, Surfline Man picks up his phone.

— hey trent, it’s mike
the fish you ordered is almost ready
should be back from the glassers next week
will text you as soon as it gets here

Holy shit, his new surfboard, that’s going to be a fish that Mike the shaper is making for him! His new surfboard is going to be ready so soon! Surfline Man is so excited he almost drops his phone. Omg. New Surfboard!

— omg so stoked!
can’t wait
thanks so much dude!

— no probs see u soon

A new surfboard at last! That means Surfline Man is going to need some fins, and he’s going to need them super fast. Shit’s getting so real now. He should get keels, right? Everyone puts keels on fish, at least, Surfline Man thinks that’s how it works. But now he’s totally not sure.

— hey mike
what fins should i get

— keels will work good

— k thanks

Surfline Man feels so reassured now. He thought he should get keels for his new surfboard that’s going to be a fish, and he’s right! Mike told him to get keels, so that’s what he’s going to do. Mike would never lead him astray, he’s pretty certain of that, if nothing else. His new surfboard is going to be so sweet.

But Surfline Man is curious now, if he’s honest, which he always is. Or at least mostly, or well, maybe he’s not honest that often or whatever. The world can be so confusing and difficult sometimes.

But he is curious, Surfline Man is sure of that part, because he’s just realized that despite being an accomplished surfer — like, he totally got a wave at Malibu! Not just anyone can do that! — he really doesn’t know much at all about fins. Like, he just puts them on and forgets about them, mostly.

Now he has to know.

What if Mike asks him a question?

All his cred will be totally lost, like in an instant.

Reopening his laptop, Surfline Man pulls up Google: How do keel fins work? He thought about asking if keel fins were good, but he figured he’d get a bunch of yahoos on a forum somewhere with useless opinions. He needs facts right now, not just some bro’s dumbass opinion.

He hits the first likely link he finds, only to discover that it’s all about boats. Right, he forgot that boats have keels, not just surfboards. Man, things are getting so technical in such a hurry. Scrolling further down, he finally finds a link that’s about surfboards. Apparently, the boat people own Google or something.

Surfline Man starts to read. Keel fins… fish shapes… Yes, yes, he knows this part. He is getting a fish and he is putting keels on it. These internet people are like, totally way behind him. Okay, now it’s getting good. Down the line speed and stability. Control. Okay, those all sound like good things to him.

Surfline Man carefully repeats the words back to himself just to make sure he’s has it all down. He wants to be totally ready to impress Mike when he picks up his new fish. Next week! He is getting a new surfboard next week! Also, it’s super important to explain how his new surfboard and fins work to all his friends in the lineup. They are counting on his expert knowledge!

After all that reading about surfboards, Surfline Man really, really wants to go surfing.

Like, right now.

With a surge of energy, Surfline Man bounces off his couch and heads to the kitchen. He mixes up a pre-surf shake with some protein powder, banana, kale, frozen blueberries, and almond milk.

Then he bops out to the garage and straps his beautiful turquoise midlength to his ebike. Surfline Man just got a new surfboard rack for his bike and it’s so awesome. He zips over to Swamis, because he figures there’s probably something to ride. He forgot to check the tide before he left, and it’s already pretty high. Whatevs, he’s here to surf, and he’s not about to let a little extra tide stop him.

He wiggles into his Patagonia wetsuit jacket. Turquoise midlength under his arm, jacket unzipped a few inches, he feels so stylish now. Like, straight out of Instagram. He expects a photographer to jump out of the bushes any second to record his perfect surf vibes. He is very disappointed when this doesn’t happen, but shoulders back, head high, he strolls down the Swamis steps. He’s pretty sure cool doesn’t even begin to describe it.

He got a wave at Malibu. Surfline Man is so good at surfing now. There he is, just sitting in the lineup, feeling so stoked. A nice wave comes his way and it’s meant to be. He paddles into it so easy. His bottom turn feels so smooth, so perfect. Then he’s off, skimming along on the high line. Time for that perfect cutback, he can feel it coming. Why not now?

Surfline Man swings his board around, water droplets shining in the sun, the turquoise deck gleaming. It’s all going according to plan. Turn back to the foam and then back around — he’s so got this. But suddenly, before he can do anything at all, it all goes wrong. Surfline Man has no idea what he did or how, but he does know that he’s no longer standing on his surfboard.

Surfline Man can only watch as his precious midlength tumbles through the white water toward the shore. He remembers now, at the worst possible moment, that he’s never been all that great at swimming. Long before he can make much progress at all, his board reaches the shore.

Head down, Surfline Man swims for all he’s worth, which isn’t that much really at all. Surfacing, the water clears from his eyes just in time to see his precious midlength swept up and smashed into the rocks that line the base of the bluff. His board bounces off the rocks, only to be slammed right back again. As if once were not enough. Surfline Man can only watch, helpless to save his board from certain destruction.

At last, he reaches the shallows and sets off at an awkward run. His board is heading toward the staircase now, and he’s pretty sure he’ll never reach it in time. He wonders what he ever did to deserve this total humiliation. He’s pretty sure the ding repair guy is going to laugh so hard at him.

Completely winded, Surfline Man finally catches up his board. He looks around casually hoping that no one is watching him. This is all so embarrassing. He carefully inspects his precious turquoise midlength that he surfed for a whole wave at Malibu. There’s a solid gash in the nose and well, his board definitely looks like it hit the rocks. Picking up his board, Surfline Man begins the long slog up the stairs.

When he reaches the top, he avoids making eye contact with the crew hanging out along the bluffs. Surely they witnessed his ignominious defeat, and he really doesn’t want to talk about it. He quickly straps his board to his bike and hits the throttle. He’s so out of here.

At home, Surfline Man searches his phone for the sketchy ding repair guy, who saved him last time. If he’s lucky, no one will ever be able to tell that Surfline Man lost his board and it totally hit the rocks. Hopefully, the ding repair guy won’t take forever. Surfline Man needs to surf! It’s like, so important to him.

Suddenly, he remembers that he’s getting a new surfboard next week. The timing is so perfect! He’s going to buy some keel fins like, tomorrow. And then next week, he’s going to pick up his new fish from Mike the shaper.

Everything is going to work out so good now!

Steph Gilmore and Caz Marks, happy days and nights at Quik Pro. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Rumour: Iconic Gold Coast world tour surfing contest permanently cancelled; Bells, meanwhile, confirmed for next three years in traditional Easter slot!

Shock as beloved Snapper Rocks event possibly removed from tour… 

Relatively hot off the wire from Queensland is the rumour that while Bells will return to its traditional Easter slot in 2022, and for at least two years after that, Snapper Rocks is finished as a tour event. 

The event, which ran from 2002 (won by Joel Parkinson) until 2019 (won by Italo Ferreira), and which was won by tour great Kelly Slater four times, was postponed in 2020, COVID, and swiped off the calendar in 2021 after the Queensland state government refused to cover the cost of quarantining surfers and the WSL’s considerable entourage.

Sensing blood, NSW and Western Australia created “war chests” of up to five million dollars to snatch the event away from Queensland, which offered half-a-mill toward the running of the event, believed to cost around four mill.

At the time, state’s tourism minister Stirls Hinchcliffe said he was “disappointed at the World Surf League’s decision to chase short-term dollars at the expense of surfing tradition…  The WSL made it clear holding the event at Snapper Rocks this year was conditional on the Queensland Government picking up the quarantine tab for the WSL’s international competitors.”

The teats of state governments in Australia have long been a source of nourishing funds for pro surfing, although as Longtom pointed out after the Lennox Head fiasco, “It looks like cheap rent-seeking for a product that few want in their backyards and a story that has never really made sense except for a few rare birds who live at an altitude the rest of us will never attain.”

And, “Without a functioning business model to wean itself off State Tourism bodies the WSL is locked in a prison of its own making.” ­

I think, deleting the Quiksilver Pro is no great loss for surfing. 

It gives Snapper Rocks room to breathe, maybe even eases the gross overcrowding a little. 

Timely, too, given the retirement of Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson and their ascent, or descent, however you regard ageing, into middle age.

Or maybe it’s a bummer not to see Filipe doin’ his high-speed dance across Snapper’s pretty blue walls or Kolohe Andino chase his third runner-up finish there.

Breaking: In a devastating blow to Kelly Slater Wave Co., American Wave Machines announces its Japanese facility will open ahead of Olympics!

Slater-esque limelight steal.

The upcoming Tokyo Olympics was, let’s be honest, supposed to be the grand culmination of Kelly Slater’s vision. Six years ago his pool was unveiled in California’s Central Valley, “a wave so perfect most thought it was a prank,” Derek Rielly recently writing.

Six years ago and exactly six years since surfing was shortlisted on the list of potential new Olympic sports to be rolled out in Tokyo.

The script was not difficult to read. Japan has small waves in the summer, Slater would build one of his magic tanks there, 2021, would be the lofty apex of his dream. “Surfing” and “Kelly Slater’s version of surfing” would be one in the same. Millions of people watching the wave that sprung directly out of his mind. Millions of people imagining a KS taco every time they imagined surf.

In 2018 Kelly Slater Wave Co., then recently purchased by the World Surf League, announced it was building a tank outside Tokyo.

In 2018 Japan announced that surfing would be done in the ocean, not a tank.

There has been no word on KS Wave Co.’s Japan progress but major competitor, American Wave Machines, has just announced that its pool will be open ahead of the Olympics for practice, limelight stealing and whatnot.

Per the press release:

– American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM) announces that the final commissioning of PerfectSwell® Shizunami (静波サーフスタジアムPerfectSwell®) will commence at the end of the month. Located in the surf town of Shizunami, Makinohara, Japan, PerfectSwell® Shizunami will offer world-class competition surfing in a safe, controlled environment. The surf pool will also be available as a training platform for Olympic surfing teams.

Evan Geiselman, pro surfer and winner of the 2016 Ichinomiya Chiba Open, will be part of the commissioning team putting PerfectSwell® through the paces. New in Japan are software platform innovations like ‘Temporal Distortion’, a wave design parameter that will bring additional levels of control. “Temporal Distortion will lead to an entirely new selection of waves for both high-performance and learning applications,” said William McFarland, AWM Surf Programmer. “It will add shifting elements to the surf creating a more dynamic wave overall.” Other new features include upgrades to the system’s power response. “Start-up test results confirm that the enhanced performance response has been achieved,” said Lead Engineer Miquel Lazaro.


Is this the final dagger for Slater’s ownership of the future?

Is it officially over?

Karmic revenge for using his pool to bury the Li’l Plumber Adriano de Souza’s happiness?

Career Change: Surf coaches transforming into illicit marijuana vendors at alarming clip on island paradise of Bali!

Worrying trend. Or is it?

Twenty-two packages totaling forty-four kilograms of marijuana were seized, yesterday, on the island paradise of Bali. The operation was led by Bali’s National Narcotics Agency and began after “the police arrested a couple with initials C (aged 32) and his wife initial P (aged 40) who were previously fugitives for a similar case. During the interrogation, the information led the police to an attempt to smuggle a huge amount of marijuana from Medan, North Sumatra to Bali.”

The officer in charge, Brigjen Gede Sugianyar Dwi Putra, said it was the largest haul of his career though expected even bigger busts in the near future as “many people, especially those who have been relying on the tourism sector such as musicians, artists, surf coaches and even tattoo artists” are entering the illicit marijuana trade at a record clip due Covid-19’s devastating effect on the economy.

Surf coaches returning to Sea of Darkness roots, going back to early 1970s glory before there was even such thing as a “surf coach.”

The Oblowitz masterpiece begins with the Bob Dylan quote “To live outside of the law you must be honest.”

Who do you think is more honest, illicit marijuana dealing or surf coaching?

When I directed my own masterpiece, Who is JOB, I began with a Hemingway quote. Something about man wrestling the forces of nature.

Hemingway never said or wrote it.

Deep fake.

While you’re here, though, does anyone know a married couple, older wife younger husband, with the initials C and P?

Christian and…. ?

Chris and…. ?

Graphic: headless seal appears on popular Californian beach two days after local fire captain reveals area to be breeding ground for Great White sharks!

Healthy stocks of beloved, and iconic, fish.

Two days after a Santa Barbara County Fire Captain posted footage of Great Whites frolicking among waves at Santa Claus Beach near Carpinteria, a headless seal has washed up at nearby Oxnard Shores. 

Put two and two together, Occam’s razor and so on. 

“The Santa Claus lane area near Carpinteria is particularly bad,” says the BeachGrit reader who photographed the decapitated mammal. “Sharks becoming an issue…”

Headless seal, Oxnard Shores.
Spine revealed after head removed.

A few weeks ago, local man Jon Shafter shared footage that his son, Erik, shot off Santa Claus. 

“Between there and Serena (Loon) Point we saw approximately five different animals, all in less than 15 feet of water,” said Shafer, adding the Whites were mostly juveniles although there were a couple of ten-foot adults. 

(Watch here.)

Shafer shared the footage NewsChannel 3-12 to remind swimmers and surfers that Whites are coming closer and that they’ve grown since last year. 

One year ago, almost exactly, a drone pilot shared footage of Great Whites eating a dolphin at Padaro Beach west of the City of Carpinteria, also excellent viewing.