“Chilling, profoundly disturbing” occultist roots of stand-up paddleboarding exposed in Southern California as witches and warlocks “trade brooms for paddles” on Samhain!

What evil lurks in the heart of man...

Oh but I do trust that you had an enjoyable evening last night celebrating Halloween with children, friends, loved ones. And did you dress up yourself? Play some whimsical character? Take the little ones door to door for candied treats whilst chatting with the neighbors for the first, and only, time of the year? Go out to a “grown-up” party featuring many naughty kittens and naughty nurses? Fireball whiskey cocktails?

Or are you a very scary necromancer who practices dark magick, lets the evil Ouija board guide your steps, and spent Samhain stand-up paddleboarding with likeminded Satanists?

Redondo Beach’s Daily Breeze is reporting that the chilling, profoundly disturbing occultist roots of SUPing were put on display, yesterday, in the town’s marina.

Dress in black, don a pointy witch’s hat, grab a stand-up board and a paddle — one that can be easily mistaken in the fog as a broom.

It’s the perfect tableau for a spooky Halloween scene.

Organizer Erin Hansen summoned water-loving witches and warlocks for the second annual South Bay Witches Paddle on Halloween day. The Redondo Beach resident had the idea to create the coven last year after seeing a post about a similar event in Morro Bay.

And the idea took off.

To add to the magic, Hansen held a witches costume contest via social media.

Hansen, a sixth-grade math teacher at Chadwick School on Palos Verdes Peninsula, said that since last Halloween came amid the heart of the coronavirus pandemic, seeing everyone on the water, safely having fun, made the inaugural Witches Paddle a gratifying experience.


As you may, or may not, know, Redondo Beach is next door to Manhattan Beach and Manhattan Beach is home to SUP aficionado, and CEO of the World Surf League, Erik Logan.

Does the idea of The Ultimate Surfer make more sense now?


Applying linguistics.
Applying linguistics.

Question: Why do surfers insist on perpetually tacking the suffix “-land” onto the abbreviated word “combo?”

Welcome to Comboland.

Of all the many gifts orbiting in my personal constellation, the fact that I am an applied linguist, by training, often gets lost but I am and it’s true. A master of applied linguistics, even, and, anyhow, I am always paying attention to the words and phrases floating through our shared space.

Words and phrases that inspire like “hand jam.”

Words and phrases that completely annoy like “comboland.”

Surfline just released a duet, Comboland, Part One: Orange County + San Diego and Comboland, Part Two: LA – North featuring images, I’d imagine of the just-passed combination swell (coming from both north and south) that lit up our shores.



Any time a professional surfer enters that precarious position, in a heat, wherein she needs a combination of two scores in order to advance, then she has also entered comboland.



It is as if the surfer tongue is completely unable to utter the word “combo” without affixing “land” but why?

A deep etymological search reveals the word “comboland” is only used outside our surf world to describe the musical acts arising out of North Carolina between 1981 and 1984. The Spongetones and Fabulous Knobs etc.

I can’t imagine Joe Turpel is thinking about the X-Teens when describing a scoring situation Nat Young often finds himself in nor can I imagine the Surfline’s editorial staff listening to Luky Owen and Revolver when running headlines up the mast.



So annoying but while you’re here, please enjoy some comboland rock.

Koa Smith, too beautiful for this world!

Dirty Water: Ultimate Surfer #2 Koa Smith sends blunt message to WSL CEO over wildcard brouhaha, “Elo, you know what to f$@ken do. You saw what I can do! Put me in, Teahupoo, Pipe, Portugal, G-Land, I’ll take some monsters down. Let’s f$@ken go!”

The hype and the heat is real!

Today’s guest on Dirty Water is the three-time NSSA champ and runner-up to Zeke Lau’s Ultimate Surfer, Koa Smith.

Smith, born in Kauai and a student of Bruce and Andy Irons, surfs with the contented and dreamy look of the female suckling her young as he dominates some of the best waves in the world including, but not limited to Teahupoo, Skeleton Bay and Pipeline.

He is also a prized fashion model, although that, as Smith explains, has its dark side.

While it would be better, I think, for our guest to just marry a nice, clean girl from a good family and settle down on a ranch in the hills of Kauai, he is hellbent on dragging himself around the loathsome WSL tour.

Charlie and I asked, why?


Facebook founder, Kauai local, Mark Zuckerberg continues to culturally appropriate surf by naming latest product offering “Nazare” after famous Portuguese big wave!


The world’s fifth richest man, friend of Kai Lenny, Mark Zuckerberg made news, days ago, by announcing that his company Facebook would be changing its name to “Meta” with a video release featuring himself achieving second place to the aforementioned Lenny in a “very cool” foil game.

Today, he reveals a new product offering, a Google Glass-esque something rather named Nazare after the famous Portuguese town, wave pioneered by fellow Hawaiian Garrett McNamara.

Per the industry publication Upload:

Alongside the reveal of the new Project Cambria VR headset, Meta (formerly Facebook) just gave a codename to its first pair of consumer AR glasses. Meet Project Nazare.

A demo video of Nazare showed some familiar AR experiences, like communicating with friends in virtual windows and even playing multiplayer with avatars appearing in the user’s living room. There was no actual picture of the hardware itself, but expect more information in the future.

Are you stung by your culture being appropriated by “big tech” or happy and honored?


Say it loud and there’s music playing etc.

Surf Journalist (pictured) in training. Photo: The singular Pat Stacy @patstacyfilm

Surf Journalist decides to test fitness gains gifted from ballet, prison, and paddle into dream southern California combo swell an almost-unimaginable twice in one day!

A man, reborn.

I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it! Oh who could have ever guessed that a sleek, black strap wrapping my left wrist, directly above my Nixon Supremacy watch, would change my entire life? Make me a better husband, father, writer, friend, surfer?


The most beautiful sound I have ever heard.


All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word.

My personal transformation, crawling out of a morass of mental and physical inertia, began exactly one month ago for it was then that I admitted there was a problem, that I was a sedentary blob forever destined to be lightly below average, to have a lightly below average cutback, down carve, lip tap unless I did something about it. Unless I took action and was forced to measure my progress every waking, and sleeping, hour.


Say it loud and there’s music playing.


Say it soft and it’s almost like praying.

I first needed to reach a baseline of general fitness so began running and watched my strain levels rise, my stamina grow.

I next needed to build muscle so reached out to my famous bank robbing cousin, currently serving time in Oregon, for “prison bod” tips and watched my strain levels rise, my shoulders bulge.

A detour to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch proved I was on the righteous path but needed more flexibility, dexterity. The fates responded by casting me as Mother Ginger in the famed Nutcracker ballet and I watched my strain levels rise, feet become nimble, as I attempted not to step on young Bon Bons hiding under the folds of my skirt.

Twelve days, out of October’s twenty-nine (so far), that my strain surged north of ten.

A fitness bonanza.

An aggressive slaying of personal mediocrity.

And then, like that, a gorgeous combination swell laced into Southern California. Water warm, air warmer, waves plentiful and peaky. Head high. Running across the various reefs and sandbars.

Was I ready?

I purposed to surf an almost-unimaginable twice in one day discover.

Paddling out in the morning, I felt strong, not winded, and sets stacking up out the back did not cause bile to rise for I knew that I could punch through them with my new convict arms. Oh, punch through I did and I caught waves very easily too, opening shoulders on turns, feeling reborn.

Paddling out in the afternoon, I felt sore but good sore, and did not falter on my pop-ups but was quick and clean and brave with enough energy to smirk at longboarders I zipped past on my Channel Islands Mid. Lightly spraying them.

A new man.

Afterward, heart beating healthy and proud, I checked my WHOOP application to see if I had kissed John John Florence levels of excellence.

The surfing, itself, still did not register as an “activity.”

More work to do, gains to see.

But would you like to join me on this journey? Buy your own WHOOP here and receive a fifteen percent discount if you use the code BEACHGRIT at checkout.