No surfing at Morro Bay.

Solo Surfer killed by suspected Great White shark in Christmas Eve attack at “The Pit” in Morro Bay, California

A lonely death.

A bodyboarder has been killed by a shark, likely a Great White, on Christmas Eve morning at a San Luis Obispo County spot near Morro Bay called The Pit, an open beachbreak less than a mile north of Morro Rock.

Most of the information comes from Facebook posts.

According to Jennifer Little, no one witnessed the attack, and the boydboarder’s body and board were found by surfers:

“Fatal Shark attack at the rock in Morro Bay on Christmas eve. Very sad Surfers found the body. Sheriff’s were in the pit parking lot going car to car trying to figure out who the victim was based on cars still parked.”

At 1:17 PM, the Morro Bay Police Department issued a press release that wasn’t much more illuminating:

This stretch of beach is no stranger to shark sightings and attacks.

In September of 2015, a shark sighting cleared 70 people out of the water tout suite. This was one day after a 72-hour clearance order was issued four days after 54-year-old surfer Eleanor Dempsey was attacked by a shark around 10:15 AM at Morro Strand State Beach, according to a news article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune:

Dempsey said she had been in the water about 35 minutes when she saw the shark approach her about 2 feet underwater. “First I thought it was a dolphin and I thought, ‘What the hell is he doing?’ ” she said. “And he kind of landed on my board. Then I realized he had taken a chunk. And I was, like, that’s not what dolphins do.”

Dempsey estimated the shark was 7 or 8 feet long and as big around as a stout man.”

More as it comes.

Offrocker, missed by all.

Remembering beloved BeachGrit habitué Offrocker aka Sean Mitchell, dead in April, aged thirty-six: “I learned something invaluable on my last surf that I want to share with the quitters…and that’s the reality that no one gives a fuck in the lineup.”

"BeachGrit has been a big part of Sean’s surf journey, it gave him a place to relax, a sense of community and connectedness with the ocean."

(Editor’s note: In April, the BeachGrit writer and below-the-line commenter, Dr Sean Mitchell aka Offrocker, died of colon cancer. He was thirty-six. I couldn’t let the year pass without remembering his contribution to BeachGrit and to surfing. Hence a repeat of story below.)

In March, Sean’s wife Michelle wrote to tell me he was in a hospice, that his time was short.

“I just want to let you know that BeachGrit has been such a big part of Sean’s surf journey, it gave him a place to relax, a sense of community, and connectedness with the ocean, even if he can’t physically immerse himself in it. Thank you for creating such a great community.”

Sean’s contribution to BeachGrit was profound.

Read, Schmaltz: Surfer with Cancer Gets Brief Hit-Out in Ocean, “Some moments transcend all the suffering in the world!”

“Once again, in the lineup I felt like order had returned, a return to normality for a few short hours.

So I’m back in hospital this week. More complications.

The waves of samsara keep crashing.

This week it’s a fever, two days in hospital on hardcore antibiotics until they can rule out blood poisoning.

Three weeks ago, a threatened blood clot on the lungs.

Last week an allergic reaction to a new drug and a pustular rash.

These are all minor bumps in the road.

I’m looking forward to getting back out there already.

Maybe I’ll see you, you can’t miss me. I’m THAT kook, ecstatic to make it out the back on a small day, huffing and puffing like a steam train and grinning like a maniac.”

And his last story Quit-Lit in the Face of Cancer: Reflections on my Last Surf Ever (Maybe) sure did hit the buttons, everyone but Sean-y weepy.

“Why, at this time, do I even care enough to write an article for the Grit degenerates?

Because I learned something invaluable on my last surf that I want to share with the quitters. An ethic you won’t find espoused in the sanitised corpo-surf culture, an attitude you won’t find in the hearts of those that wade around in the shorebreak between the flags.

And that’s the reality that no-one gives a fuck in the lineup. I got backpaddled by smiling hipsters on twins. I got dropped in on by murfers on logs. I got shoulder hopped by aggressive entitled adolescents unaware that their post-grom transition is complete and they are now legitimately bottom of the foodchain, no longer protected by minority.

That day was just like every other day, except it was my last surf for the foreseeable future and maybe forever.

It has given me reassurance that the world will go on, with or without me. Everywhere else I go, I’m surrounded by crying relatives, well-meaning do gooders who “have just heard the news, I’m so so sorry.”

We miss you, brother.


A gathering of the tribe, as they say.

BeachGrit commentariat lauded as “only credible voice in modern surf culture!”

Truth be spoken.

Ok punters, another year of the Dadaist surfing escapade known as BeachGrit.

Consistent with all the other forms of nostalgia for 2021 trying  to justify meaning in time’s inevitable passing, here’s a list of awards for us resident lowlifes, compiled in no particular order.

*Note: the award for BeachGrit categories for 2021 are called “Grittys.” What’s a Gritty? A Gritty is that old ball of surf wax that’s been rolling around the floor of your car all season. It’s been melted by the sun and hardened back up a few times and in its peripatetic rolling has accumulated the detritus of the gleanings of men stuck in lives of despair borne of the confines of selling our labor to neoliberal capital, as sprinkled on vehicular floorboards the world over: bitten-off fingernails; ash from cigarettes and joints, both; salt from fast food packets that have busted open; hair from balding head; to-do lists from wives crumpled up and thrown in the backseat.

Now, to the show.

Gritty category 1: The commenter most likely to be taken home to parents (or your kids, depending):
1. Jen See. This is self-explanatory. The rest of you I’d not want anywhere near my parents, or anyone of age of consent up to age 24. Jen, whatever Chas and DR are paying you, it’s not enough. Or maybe it’s too much when it comes to Surfline Man.

Easiest category to fill and to award.

Gritty category 2: Most likely to give Chas and DR a rub with Hurley massage oil as teacher’s pets.
1. Negatron, will never jump off this cash cow. Ever.
2. DHMF, I have on good confidence he’s already applied massage oil whilst looking at DR’s smiling grill, so would probably do the same to DR directly.
3. Tomas’ silky smooth arms, nothing here about the commenter themselves, but with an avatar name like that, Chas and DR would be panting like puppies.

The winner is: tie between Negatron and DHMF. We’ll flip a coin to see who gets to lube whom.

Gritty category 3: Commenter most likely to live out their persona in real life:
1. Thevoiceofnoreason, when the gorilla speaks, you listen.

Gritty category 4: Commenter most likely to pull out 1 of 10 possible firearms and shoot a liberal (i.e. triggered trigger fingers):
1. OttoBeenThere, jotto is the glory child of Fox news, Alex Jones, and Steve Bannon rolled into one, and lets us know this every time he logs in. He probably even has the same orange skin toner stashed at his Montana hunting lodge that Trump uses.
2. Lemoore GOAT rodeo, although to be fair, mellowing since he’s moved to Town. Must be all that diversity.
3. ValiantScorn, hasn’t seen a non-white person he hasn’t fantasized about colonizing yet.
4. JohnsKnees, just to keep fucking with the other three nominees.
5. Honorable mention: Hot Stuff/Bexy; J H

The winner is: I’m not going to say, as any of them would put the effort into finding out who I am in real life and would track me down and kill me.

Gritty category 5: Commenter/writer Stab will try to pilfer next:
1. Karl VF, and not just for his photoshop/artistic creations.
2. Surf Ads, Stab could use more humor. Surf Ads provides in spades.
3. JP Currie, actually, JP is too jaded and malcontent for even Stab, so cancel this.
4. Ben Marcus, this would be a slap to Chas from Ashton’s other hand, and this time could be done legally.
5. Negatron, everyone needs a plumber.
6. Longtom, wait a second. Swellnet already did this.

The winner is: Surf Ads.

Gritty category 6: Commenter/writer we’d love to see Stab pilfer:
1. Ben Marcus.

The winner is: the rest of us.

Gritty category 7: Best us of photoshop/pictures/video to pile on a thread:
1. Waterproof Polo
2. Pauly Matt War-Shore
3. Barrelled
4. Karl VF
5. Honorable mention: anything with a penis, or penis fish.

The winner is: dealer’s choice.

Gritty category 8: Best surf stories/sharing of surf knowledge:
1. c4
2. MistaSparkle
3. James Bickerton
4. Thevoiceofnoreason
5. Lemoore GOAT Rodeo
6. Huli Opu
7. Honorable mention: anyone else willing to share the stoke.

The winner is: all of us, for learning more about surfing.

Gritty category 9: Best one-liners from threads:
1. Way Outthere
2. Billy Hunt
3. V3Rocket
4. Snowbored
5. Skippy
6. Ricky Spanish
7. Astro
8. JohnsKnees
9. LGR
10. Occ Topus
11. Dane’s sushi&sauza
12. Ricmatic
13. Stick man
14. Waterproof Polo
15. Pauly Matt War-Shore
16. Beef & Bear
17. OttoBeenThere
18. Hot Stuff/Bexy
19. Charlie Smith
20. The Bitchy Crab
21. Honorable mention: too many to mention.

The winner is: all of us—it’s why we are here. Keep it up, fuckers.

Lamest trend of 2021:
1. Downvoting comments. Nothing screams kook (kuk) like giving a downvote. Only spongers, VALS, SUPers, and foil boarders downvote. Don’t fucking do it.
2. Commenting endlessly about Covid.

The winner is: neither, as we all lose when both happen.

Commenters we’d like to see more of in 2022:
1. Phat Wanker
2. Michael Newman
3. Longtom
4. Wiggolly’s Paddling Style
5. Toofattosurf
6. Hippy

Commenters we’d like to see less of in 2022:
1. See anyone listed above.

Stories we’d like to see less of in 2022:
1. Anything from Chas dealing with sharks, Whoop, Jonah Hill, and 90% of the other tripe Chas pecks out. Basically, Chas, find your “A” game for 2022. Or at least your C game.

Lastly, a fond goodbye to Offrocker. May your waves be hollow, wherever you now are.

Thanks for the laughs, comrade.

Twitter founder, philanthropist billionaire Jack Dorsey shouts out planet’s largest surf movie and video library in epic tweet: “Only truth left in the world is surf films.”


For all the mess tech folk have brought into our surfing, what with electric foiling, being Mark Zuckerberg etc. Twitter founder, multi-billionaire, philanthropist Jack Dorsey almost made it right with an epic tweet, yesterday, shouting out The Surf Network.

Legendary Ira Opper’s work of tireless genius, The Surf Network bills itself as “the planet’s largest surf movie and video library” and is very much worth a subscription.

Dorsey, anyhow, took to his platform hours ago to proclaim that the “Only truth left in the world is surf films.”

Is he your new favorite tech icon?

Better than Elon Musk?

He should be.


Surf Journalist (pictured) surrounded by Bon Bons.
Surf Journalist (pictured) surrounded by Bon Bons.

How performing ballet live produces such great physical and mental stress that stability can only be achieved by regularly checking vitals!


This weekend past, I performed two roles in The Nutcracker, arguably the most well-known ballet in the world, four performances over three days, alongside my young daughter, who performed four roles, and only stayed on my dancing feet by regularly monitoring my vital signs, heartbeat, respiratory rate, etc.

Now, I was not brought up a prancing boy, never a lesson or a class, nor a child of the theater, looking out into the lights whilst delivering emotional lines, and so I came to the stage of the California Center for the Arts an extremely vulnerable adult.

Fresh. Uncertain.

In the way.

My daughter and I participated in two long dress rehearsal days at the theater prior to Friday’s opening and the amount of toil that goes into ballet is staggering, especially for real dancers. Oh, my two roles were not particularly burdensome. I was a “party dad” having to mill about on stage presenting to chat with my “party wife” and other “party parents” before performing a dance, leaving stage, returning to dance the “beer dance” with the party dads then exiting stage left after carrying my sleeping “sleeping” daughter, who played a “party girl,” off stage left.

While she would scoot off to get dressed for her soldiers act, I ran straight to get my Mother Ginger make-up done. Smokey eyes, fake eyelashes, rouged cheeks, lipstick smeared over mustache. After soldiers, while daughter was getting into gumdrops costume, I would wrangle my giant dress backstage and begin the painstaking process of getting into hoops then having those hoops layered with purple and yellow finery. Fake bosoms on next then a corset, pink gloves, blonde curly wig, ruffled hat, handbag, mirror and I was ready though had to sit quietly through multiple more acts quietly.

WHOOP registered strain up 101% from the previous week and I can’t even imagine what it would be for the real dancers. They would rush past me, young daughter included, hyperventilating from the physical art performed on stage while I sat quietly, readying for the little bon bons to file under my dress, the right Tchaikovsky chord to sound, and then there I was, back on stage, being pulled this way and that, scolding, camping and vamping.

By Saturday’s matinee, my heart felt like it was pounding so hard that I regularly checked my WHOOP strap to see if it was exploding. That gentle truth it whispered back, that my heart rate was normal, respiratory rate normal too, allowed me to continue on, knowing that the exploding heart was only mental weakness. By Sunday’s matinee, though, I had to regularly check my vitals to make sure my heart wasn’t exploding from pure pride at being able to watch the all the work my daughter had put in, the endless hours at barre, center, stretching, drilling choreography etc.

Becoming art her very self.