No surfing at Morro Bay.

Surfers return to California’s Morro Bay after deadly Christmas Eve attack by Great White on Sacramento bodyboarder; Salmon Creek surfers “pursued” by “aggressive” Great White!

Whites going wild in California… 

Six days ago, Sacramento man Tomas Butterfield died a lonely death while surfing a joint called The Pit, a beachbreak a mile or so north of Morro Rock.

No one saw the attack, no one heard any screams; surfers found the forty-two-year-old’s body and board. Sheriffs had to go through the parking lot to figure out who was killed “based on cars still parked” while paramedics put his body on ice.

The joint was closed for 24 hours as per protocol.

But, now, surfers have started to return to Morro Bay, although numbers are down and virtually no one is venturing down to The Pit.

“Yesterday, nobody was in the water,” Perry Shoemake told the San Luis Obispo Tribune on December 28. “I’ve been surfing for 55 years. I know (a shark attack) is always a risk. But it’s something I don’t think about much. If it happens, it happens.”

Xavier Gonzales told the Trib’s reporter as he readied to paddle out, “Sometimes when I’m out there with just one or two other people or even by myself, you get a certain feeling that something’s a little off, and those are the days you never want to come across… The chances of getting attacked are pretty low, but that’s what you sign up for when you surf. I feel sorry for that family and that they lost somebody they love. I pray for that family.”

Kevin Grochau of North Morro Bay wasn’t going near the joint, howevs. He watched from the beach.

“I see as many as 25 or 30 people out in the water here sometimes,” he said. “There are some good waves today. But most of the morning, there have been anywhere from three to five people surfing.”

Gonzales, meanwhile, did admit to getting het up by nerves.

“I’m pretty nervous, for sure. But after I paddle out and catch my first wave, I’m sure I’ll be stoked. It’s always nice to go out with somebody versus alone.”

A few hundred miles north at Salmon Creek Beach, where Eric Steinley was hit by a Great White in October, surfers reported an aggressive twelve-foot Great White on December 22.

“Holy crap, we were terrified because it was not backing off,” said Timothy Reck, who was chased, along with another surfer, into shallow water by the White. 

Thirty minutes later, another surfer, Nate Buck, said he saw a Great White, also around twelve feet, six feet from him,

“It felt like I could’ve leaned over and almost touched it,” Buck said, adding two sightings in one day was pretty “significant.”

Cue expert referencing death by killer bee more likely etc.

Much-loved world number two surfer becomes public face of anti-vax movement headlining “Freedom Rally” near Margaret River, “I’ve had a gutful and I have to speak up… something sinister is happening!”

“We've gotta steamroll this thing and wake people up. We don’t need people to get jabbed."

Seven months after warning his 326,00 Instagram followers of the “poisonous needle” former world #2 Taj Burrow has headlined a “Freedom Rally” at Bunbury, a small city an hour’s drive north of Tez’s award-winning “nautilus shell” house in Wardanup Crescent, Yallingup.

Tez, who is forty-three and a daddy of two, has been pretty vocal, along with a few other high-profile surfers of his opposition to mandated vaccines, mask-wearing and so on. 

In a speech to a crowd of a hundred-ish, (around the one hour fifteen mark), Tez, first, said he was a little wary of putting his opinion under the spotlight. 

“It was pretty tough. I hated the scrutiny. The scrutiny you cop is horrible. I questioned whether I should be doing it or not but it got to the point where I’d had a gutful and had to speak up. I don’t have a boss to answer to, my job’s not threatened.”

“You know,” said Tez, “in the early days when I started to question things, I was hoping his bloody jab was a money-making scheme. I was fearful it was something more sinister. I do feel like it’s something quite sinister that’s happening. I gotta stand up and talk about it.” 

Tez said it “blows my mind that we have to have this conversation about kids taking this experimental needle they have no need for whatsoever. Too much risk and no reward, in my opinion.” 

Rallying the crowd, Tez said he was “here to stand up and talk about it and spread the word. We need to wake people up but we’ve got to do it in the most loving, peaceful thing you can. You gotta come at this whole thing with love. As pissed off as I get with people walking down the street like zombies with masks, scanning everywhere, it pisses me off and I feel like a stranger in my own town, I tell myself, relax, try and plant the seed, show some love, maybe ask ‘em to question things. That’s what we should be doing. Our so-called leaders I do not trust.” 

Tez added he’d joined world surfing champ Barton Lynch and ironman Trevor Hendy’s Voices4Choices, an anti-mandated vax group. 

“The cracks are appearing,” said Tez, “We’ve gotta steamroll this thing and wake people up. This is not about being healthy. We know how to look after ourselves. We don’t need people to get jabbed and this shit.”

Instagram: Kaydn Persidok (liitlesurfergirl)
Instagram: Kaydn Persidok (liitlesurfergirl)

Massive great white shark flies out of water at Southern California wave famous for talented homeschooled children and their professional surf dream harboring parents!

Big scare.

I was planning on attending, along with family, a performance of La Bayadère at the famous Teatro de Scala but the ballet was cancelled yesterday afternoon due a covid outbreak amongst the corps.

Heartbreaking as the Scala is the birthplace of ballet and incredibly beautiful, plus La Bayadère was choreographed by the great Rudolf Nuryev and I was very much looking forward to sharing the experience with my talented daughter.

Well, what to do?

Back home in my North County, San Diego home a massive great white shark flew out of the water at Seaside, a surf spot famous for talented homeschooled children and their stage parents many who drive Sprinter vans.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kaydn Persidok (@liitlesurfergirl)

Did it wreck their time too?


Is surf still worth pursuing in an age where the new faces of the sport are Jonah Hill and Mark Zuckerberg?

The fact is this: in the dying days of 2021, surfing is about the most mainstream thing you can do. So what to do? Adapt or die.

And so my hand has been forced.

I will not scroll idly by and watch BG reduced to a barge for sexagenarian surf tripe no-one gives a shit about.

This is a place where writing has lived. Maybe the last place online.

It is more than just a five-minute Google search of “surfing” in the dead après ski hour between canapés and cocktails.

It is more than the raving husk of someone who once worked for a vanished magazine that compiled advertisements for surf brands.

It should be the clear-eyed arbiter of surf culture; not the rheumy-eyed madman no-one cares about.

But is it worth it?

That’s the question.

Is surf still worth pursuing in an age where the new faces of the sport are Jonah Hill and Mark Zuckerberg?

I confess to periods of disillusionment, which will be a surprise to no-one.

Please don’t mistake this for being angry, or jaded. If it were the 7 Stages of Grief I’m on the upward turn towards reconstruction. If not quite hopeful, at least not misty-eyed.

A friend sent me a clip of what I missed at one of our locals the other day.

“The adult beginner pandemic” he called it. Busier than the middle of summer. Ten people attempting to straight hand every wave. Big blue boards flying.

Normally when he sends me clips of missed surf I get pangs of guilt, envy.

But I felt…vindicated?

But I’m not here to gleefully dismember surfing, rather I’d like to consider a more evolved way of thinking about it.

The fact is this: in the dying days of 2021, surfing is about the most mainstream thing you can do.

A “surfer” now is both everyone and no-one you know.

We live in a culture of generalists. Specialised knowledge and deep learning is a thing of the past. We all know a little about everything. Our capacity to retain information is both degraded but bolstered by the GBs in our pockets.

Yet broad swathes of knowledge are perfectly acceptable, even desirable. Flexibility is the ideal.

The same dilution has happened with surfing. Our lives of leisure, choice and comfort allow us to dabble in things formerly reserved for specialists, or those prepared to work for it. Everyone’s an expert now. They might not be an expert in your eyes, but they’re still a surfer, because for them mediocrity and cursory knowledge and/or skill is the norm.

When I saw Jack Dorsey Tweet about surf films and truth last week I felt that was a bellwether of our time. Or perhaps a death knell.

You see, Jack Dorsey is not Mark Zuckerberg.

Where Zuck is the zinc-faced sniveller that no-one liked at school; Dorsey is the geek that didn’t give a fuck and probably transcended cool.

He’s the tech bros tech bro. People trust him. People listen to him.

When he merges surfing and truth in a pithy Tweet to six million-plus followers, you’d better believe the foxes are in the coop.

And I know that this argument has resounded through every generation, particularly the nineties when surf fashion became high street fashion.

But things are truly different now.

People are different.

Spheres of influence are vastly different.

The ability for one voice to reach millions of people makes a mockery of glossy ads in print magazines seen by a few thousand.

Face it: you (if “you” are “the core”) are outnumbered and overrun.

The surf press has no impact, because it doesn’t exist. Have you ever wondered who those thousands of strangers discussing surfing on YouTube and Reddit are? They’re the surfers now. They control the narrative.

You’re just a relic, sat on a sinking barge, listening to old magazine editors sing shanties no-one understands as you disappear beneath the waves.

So what to do? Adapt or die.

Be like Kai Lenny. Be like water. Evolve. Don’t treat surfing as some kind of idol. He has the sense to hold surfing at arm’s length. It’s just part of his portfolio. Worth a HODL, sure, but not worth blowing your whole wad on.

Alternatively, you can stand with Billy Kemper, beating your chest in surf-or-die machismo. Or drown with Ben Marcus and his brand of sexagenarian tangential surf tripe, or the other pensioners caw cawing below the line.

Personally I’m with Kai.

In 2022, surfing’s just another thing to do.

(P.S. SurfAds, if you ever feel like a rebel tour give me a shout. We’ll coerce Longtom back. Maybe persuade Derek to jump ship, too, just to fluff us up a bit. I hear Dorsey’s looking for a passion project to fund. And hey @Jack, get me on @JP_Currie. Happy to talk about ghost-writing that memoir, too).

Rielly (right) and Smith on Twitter.
Rielly (right) and Smith on Twitter.

Anti-depressive surf tabloid shouted out by Twitter founder, man of impeccable taste Jack Dorsey!

“The site’s brand voice sounds like Bill and Ted lol.”

I woke very early in the morning, sleep eluding, mist hanging heavy in the Milanese dark. Now, it is not wise to check a phone when even thinking about shutting the eyes once again but a compulsion overtook and before I knew it, I was scrolling here and there, checking these and those messages before stumbling upon one reading “You have a new Twitter friend.”

“Twitter friend?” I wondered before gliding over to BeachGrit’s analytics and being shocked by a massive spike in traffic.

Who was this new Twitter friend?

I immediately went to find out and was even more shocked to discover it was the man who invented Twitter, Jack Dorsey himself.


Dorsey, who had recently declared “the only truth left in the world is surf film,” had simply dropped a link to BeachGrit in his feed, not directing traffic any one place but rather all over.

The mood was generally one of confusion from his followers.

“The site’s brand voice sounds like Bill and Ted lol,” one wrote.

“With all going on, you pick the decline of surfers? Do not let us down, Jack.”

But we, here, know. We, here, understand.

Ultra Hard Surf Candy.

Delicious any time of day or night.