Face of modern surfing, heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne, Jonah Hill excoriates Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw for not immediately calling 911 after husband suffered fatal heart attack whilst riding a stationary bicycle!

Surfers are the best!

Somebody had to say it, amirite? But of course it was Jonah Hill, our champion, the face of modern surfing. We, each of us grumpy locals here, were shocked when Carrie Bradshaw’s husband, Mr. Big, died of a heart attack, post Peloton workout, on the premier episode of new Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That…

And we mourned, sure, tears streaking cheeks, but also watched the workout bicycle’s stock plummet then wished that John James Preston was straddling a longboard, at time of demise, instead of a stationary crotch rocket.

Or standing upon a SUP.

In any case, Hill, heir to Miki Dora’s Malibu throne, took to Instagram, furious, demanding to know why Mrs. Preston didn’t call 911, the U.S. emergency number, instead of doing whatever she did (I haven’t watched so don’t know).

A star-studded high five followed but leave it to one of us, cutting to the quick, getting to the heart of the matte (no pun intended), prioritizing.

Surfers are the best.

But have you ever called 911, 000, 112 or whatever emergency number exists in your country?


That’s why you are NOT the face of modern surfing.


What would Jonah do?

A question that should be perpetually in your consciousness.

Wright (pictured) taking a knee.
Wright (pictured) taking a knee.

Professional surfers praised as “boldest athlete activists” on earth by newspaper of record: “They jump headfirst into denouncing ghastly human rights records and use public profiles to focus global attention on such issues!”

Who knew?

Well I did not see that coming this morning. Sitting down at my computer, coffee steaming from my “I want my Beach Grit” mug, ready to start the day, I flipped open my computer’s screen and scrolled through some emails before scanning the news.

Many stories about the devastating tornadoes that smashed Kentucky over the weekend. Some on Kelly Slater’s friend Lewis Hamilton not winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. One, in Jeff Bezos’ organ The Washington Post on the women’s tennis tour pulling events out of China in protest over the treatment of Peng Shui thereby riding “a wave of surfer activism.”


I dug in immediately.

On Dec. 1, concerned about the effective disappearance from public life of tennis player Peng Shuai, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that it was suspending all tournaments in China. Peng had accused a former Chinese vice premier of sexual assault — a claim immediately censored by Chinese authorities — and had not been seen without the presence of government officials since.

“If powerful people can suppress the voices of women and sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug, then the basis on which the WTA was founded — equality for women — would suffer an immense setback,” said Steve Simon, its chief executive. “I will not and cannot let that happen to the WTA and its players.”

Then, on Dec. 6, in explicit disapproval of China’s human rights abuses, the Biden administration announced that the United States will not send government representatives to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Australia, Canada and Britain quickly followed suit.

These were bold and, particularly with respect to the WTA, courageous moves. Withdrawing from China is likely to cost the WTA hundreds of millions of dollars. Indeed, the China market is so lucrative that many athletes and athletic organizations, such as the NBA, have made it clear that they will not jeopardize profits to trumpet humanitarian concerns.

Yet not all in the athletic community have been so craven. Some have long jumped headfirst into denouncing ghastly human rights records, withdrawing from competitions or using their public profiles to focus global attention on such issues. Among the boldest athlete activists? Surfers. While surfers were long celebrated as an apolitical bunch who wanted to do nothing but ride waves, that changed in the 1980s as it dawned on them that the pastime they saw as an escape from the world’s troubles was, in fact, embedded in its social realities.

The think piece then proceeded to spool out Tom Carroll, Martin Potter and Tom Curren boycotting South African surf contests as a protest over apartheid, “surfer activism” highlighting the importance of clean water and coastal access, Cori Schumacher boycotting the ASP World Tour after it scheduled an event in China, the World Surf League being the “first and only U.S.-based global sports league” to provide equal prize money for men and women, Tyler Wright competing with a pride flag jersey and taking a knee for 439 seconds before ending thusly.

Surfers have hardly been alone in using the platform they’ve been afforded to speak out on issues of concern. But they have been remarkably active and vocal compared with athletes in other sports. Schumacher demonstrated this commitment in 2011, when she took a lonely stand in boycotting China a full decade before women’s tennis announced it was doing the same. It remains to be seen whether the WSL — or the Association of Tennis Professionals, which sponsors the men’s tour — will find the courage to follow Schumacher’s and the WTA’s lead.

Do you feel better about yourself?

You should.

Viva surfers.

"All-white" bikini guide.

Australian news outlet lauds Rip Curl’s appointment of female CEO, “Surfing is moving away from its gender-bullying past” but lambasts online bikini fit guide for being “all-white”!

From the can’t-win-for-losing department… 

Last week, major Australian news outlet The Sydney Morning Herald ran a long piece on Brooke Farris’ elevation to CEO of Rip Curl, smashing fifty-two years of “hypermasculine” history for the company.

Farris was the logical choice for the role, the sharpest tool in that particular shed in Torquay, although the wonderful Neil Ridgway aka Head, the company’s marketing man, was a close-ish second I’d imagine.

Many important passages in the story.

The day Farris was made CEO in August, Wright lost a critical heat at the Corona Open Mexico, meaning she didn’t make the world top five. She had just come back from the beach, crushed and sunburnt, when Farris called. “I was quite upset and emotional,” recalls Wright, who has battled chronic fatigue syndrome since a 2018 bout of influenza. “In a business sense, I didn’t perform. I didn’t make the [Rip Curl WSL Finals], which is their event, their Super Bowl. Most of the time, when you don’t produce for your sponsor, you don’t hear from them, but Brooke was like, ‘You’ve done brilliantly this year – you’re number six in the world. Think of all the challenges you’ve faced.’ She’s someone who actually listens and cares.”

All-embracing, female-friendly marketing is pretty much the antithesis of the alienating surf ads from the early days, such as Billabong’s “Only a surfer knows the feeling” campaign. Surf brand Gotcha also famously ran a series of ads with the slogan, “If you don’t surf, don’t start”. Says Nik Carroll: “It was full-on, like saying, ‘Surfing is for a very special f…ing breed of people, mostly men. Don’t try to walk into this door because it’ll get slammed in your face.’”

For Farris, the challenge will be to preserve the mystique of surfing while making it more accessible, welcoming newcomers and perhaps even creating a fresh surf culture along the way. It’s a tricky balancing act. “You still want to be cool enough to recruit that next generation, but I think by approaching it from a place of inclusivity, people will be attracted to that,” she says. “I’d rather see more people try surfing because … I’ve never met anyone who comes out of the water and says, ‘Oh, I wish I hadn’t gone for a surf.’ You always feel better for it.”

Late in the piece, Rip Curl gets a light kick in the guts for its lack of diversity in its online fit guide, a surprising charge given the company’s diverse use of labor, including the brave North Korean. 

There’s also plenty of surfwear made for women – not out of altruism, but because it makes commercial sense. Rip Curl legend has it that co-founder Brian Singer once vowed never to make female surf gear, but women’s products now account for more than 40 per cent of sales globally. Farris talks about “empathy-led design” and has introduced a new online fit guide featuring a bunch of Rip Curl employees – (at this stage, all white) women of different shapes and sizes – wearing an assortment of bikini tops and bottoms, to help customers figure out which swimsuit will fit them best.

Read story here.

Too much training and you're a cranky fouled-up bag of horrors. Get it right and oo-wee-oo.

How monitoring recovery data leads to hitherto unforeseen leaps in surfing performance, “Conventional wisdom is that I should allow myself recovery time. I say f$&k that. Gotta get as good as I can before I leave this life like I began it: diapered and screaming!”

The miracle of rest and recovery as it pertains to surfing performance.

The chef, writer, personality and cuck, Anthony Bourdain, got into jiutjisu late in life, a few years before he self-propelled to Valhalla.

His motto, as shared on a reddit forum under the handle NooYawkCity, was pretty simple,

Conventional wisdom is that I should allow myself recovery time. That training every day is not wise. I say fuck that. The clock is ticking. Im not getting any faster, more flexible or more durable. Gotta get in what training I can — learn as much as I can, get as good as I can before I leave this life like I began it: diapered and screaming.

Until this year, I felt the same.

Ain’t no time to waste. Harvest years are here.

And, if I’m not learning, training, surfing, I’m getting older, slower.

If you’ve hung around BeachGrit y’might’ve read the very occasional story detailing the myriad joys that come with affixing a digital fitness tracker called WHOOP to your wrist.

What came into relief as the data piled up was how little sleep I was getting, five hours-ish a night, and how I was hitting the mats or the water with low baseline recovery, always in the low thirty percent range.

Every day when you wake up, y’see, “WHOOP calculates a green, yellow, or red Recovery score on a scale of 0 to 100%. That score lets you know if your body is ready to perform, needs an active recovery day or requires rest. Recovery is based on 4 physiological metrics: Heart-rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate (RHR), sleep, and respiratory rate.”

What if I gave the body a little time to recover when I was running red or yellow instead of green?

What if those five hours of interrupted sleep turned into seven or eight?

And, if the delicious vodka and waters were replaced by only water?

Would I surf better?

Strangle harder?

For three weeks, I surfed and trained only on green days.

Instead of five surfs a week, sometimes two, mostly three, but hit harder and with the gusto of a veterinarian getting into the glisten of the chancre in a show mare’s dock.

And, yeah, it’s surprising, although it shouldn’t be, that a rested body mixed with a little high intensity yields unforeseen leaps in performance.


I felt like a human equipped to travel through space at a variety of speeds, communing with some inconceivable source of life.

The power of technology over nature.

Thanks WHOOP!

Hamilton (left) and Slater. Happier times. @lewishamilton Instagram.
Hamilton (left) and Slater. Happier times. @lewishamilton Instagram.

F1 great, Surf Ranch enthusiast Lewis Hamilton misses opportunity to move within three championships of friend Kelly Slater after controversial loss at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

"This is a motor race!"

What a thrilling end to an altogether thrilling season. Oh, I’m not writing about the Triple Crown of Surfing, which has transformed into TikTok competition, no, I’m writing about the just-wrapped F1 world championships which found culmination in Abu Dhabi.

For the less world sporty, England’s Lewis Hamilton, an avid e-foiler, Surf Ranch enthusiast and Kelly Slater’s wonderful friend was battling all season long against The Netherlands’ Max Verstappen who rides for Red Bull which also sponsors Jamie O’Brien and Kai Lenny.

Much exciting with various barbs pitched back and forth between teams but it all came down to Abu Dhabi with Hamilton leading, Verstappen appearing done for, when a crash on lap 52 of 58 brought out the safety car.

The Red Bull team was able to convince race director that lapped cars should be able to overtake the safety car, which slotted Verstappen right behind Hamilton.

Since the Flying Belgian-Dutchman was on new tires, he blew past Hamilton who was left stalled with only seven world championships under his fire suit, still four short of Slater’s all-time surfing mark.

Hamilton’s team threw a giant fit but to no avail and Verstappen stands on top, telling his crew, “It’s insane… can we do this for another 10 or 15 years together?”

Slater’s mark in the crosshairs?

More as the story develops.