Red alert.
Red alert.

All Orange County beaches closed after South Pacific volcano eruption releases potentially deadly Tsunami!

Red alert.

All Orange County, California beaches are closed this morning in the midst of a historically fantastic run of surf as a potentially deadly tsunami is making its way east from the South Pacific.

The tsunami, or “harbor wave” in Japanese, was unleashed near Tonga when a large underwater volcano exploded, setting off earthquakes and showering the island with ash.

Japan instantly released a harbor wave warning for its islands, “Japan’s Meteorological Agency has issued a tsunami warning for the southern Amami island and Tokara island chain in Kagoshima Prefecture and a tsunami advisory for all coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean. A three-meter tsunami is expected to reach Japan following an undersea volcanic eruption off the Pacific nation of Tonga.”

Laguna Beach, and the rest of Orange County, were quick to follow suit, declaring, “A tsunami advisory has been issued by the National Tsunami Warning Center for the Orange County coast. All beaches and boardwalks are closed until further notice – please stay out of the water and away from the shore.”

Scary but…

…where’s Ben Gravy?

More as the story develops.

"I don't want 2 doses nor do I want a booster."
"I don't want 2 doses nor do I want a booster."

Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa trouble takes another wild turn as authorities re-deny entry and detain him thereby pounding nail into Kelly Slater’s 12th World Title hopes!

Formal inquiry on the way?

When history looks back upon the 2019 – Covid years, tennis star Novak Djokovic’s attempt to play in Melbourne will be a defining chapter.

The Serbian flew to Australia, well over a week ago, after the country’s tennis association promised him a waver as he is unvaccinated. Prime Minister Scott Morrison saw this as an affront to his constituents being locked into their homes early and often so denied the visa. Djokovic’s team fought back, telling a judge that he did not have to be vaccinated since he had recently had the disease. The judge agreed and his visa was given back until today when Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, ripped it up again and detained Djokovic in a cell ahead of a hearing that will likely see him forcibly evicted.

According to The Guardian, “The Djokovic visa snub was released in time for the main TV news bulletins on Friday and, they had hoped, late enough to limit the tennis champ’s lawyers chances of getting a judge to re-hear his case. While that hope proved unfounded, the government believes a court could only examine the probity of immigration minister Alex Hawke’s use of his power to withdraw a visa, not whether Djokovic deserved to be punted. However, the damage to Australian tourism and Australian sport caused by a single, stubborn tennis player and a hesitant federal government could require a formal inquiry to sort out.”

Even more damage has been done, though, to Kelly Slater’s 12th World Title campaign.

The world’s greatest surfer, too, has been vocal about his vaccine skepticism. With Djokovic re-receiving capital punishment, and possibly unable to re-enter Australia for three years, it is highly unlikely that Slater will be able to compete in the Australian leg of the Championship Tour this April.

No Bells.

No Margaret.

And while, theoretically, he could use those as his throw aways, it will not make his pathway to glory any easier.

12 fading before our very eyes.


Two young dreamers achieve international fame after being excoriated by North Shore lifeguard for trying to surf apocalyptic Pipeline: “Are you kidding me, where you at? You even know where you’re going?”

Metaphorically rich.

Oahu’s North Shore, as you know, has come very much to life during the past two weeks. Swell event after swell event pulsing and pounding the most seven miles in surfing’s pantheon. There have been spectacular rides, like Balaram Stack’s 11 at Da Hui Backdoor Shootout, like Anthony Walsh’s massive POV pit, but two young dreamers, tourists, have out-famed them all with their clip going mainstream viral.

The scene is set when a North Shore lifeguard, sitting classically on the iconic red quad, calls after two tourist boys, maybe upper teens, maybe lower twenties, saying, “Get over here. Why not? Are you fu*king kidding me? The white guy told you no he told me why not. Are you kidding me? Where are you at? You even know where you’re going?”

One of the boys answers “Pipeline.”

“Yeah where? You guys are ready for Pipeline? Nah, you’re not ready for Pipeline. Get out of here. You guys aren’t going out here. You guys can go. Not here.”

The boys attempt to plead their case, relatively meekly, setting the lifeguard right off.

It is a beautiful moment, staged beautifully, and the mainstream press is rightly appreciating with the San Francisco Chronicle calling it “inspired” and USA Today declaring it “metaphorically rich.”

But have you ever been told off by a lifeguard?

Did you listen?

For shame.

David Lee Scales and I discussed this clip during our weekly chat and about many other surf adjacent things.

Enjoy here.

A dreamy joint to waste a winter or ten.

Surf-and-snow media baron lists one of the world’s great ski houses adjacent to “best powder on planet” on Japanese island of Hokkaido for well under one-million US dollars, “The snow version of a beach shack at First Point Malibu!”

"Like a lot of surfers that bought houses near beaches and breaks they loved and then watched the rest of the world discover them the same has happened here."

The surf and snow media baron, Shane Peel, whose latest incarnation is as CEO of the new Martin Daly brand Indies Trader, has signalled his return to the beach by listing his epic house at Niseko for eighty-five mill yen, 750k US or thereabouts. 

“Getting the Higashiyama log house was more luck than anything,” says Peel. “We bought the place because at the time it was the closest house to the run that was for sale that we could afford … mainly because it was nearly a knockdown. Like a lot of surfers that bought houses near beaches and breaks they loved and then watched the rest of the world discover them the same has happened here. Our little Japanese hideout in the forest is now a dream location, kinda like the snow version a shack at First Point or Wategos”

Pretty in summer.
Fireplace, TV, sex swing.
A dreamy joint to waste a winter or ten.
After strangling powder all day come into the warmth of home.

The house is located so a simple left turn from Niseko Village Resorts Namara run has you riding into the back yard and shaking off the powder and is connected to the entire Niseko United Resort mountain. 

If so good, why he out?

“My days being in the mountains full time is due for change, I have ridden something like 2300 days since I came to Niseko in 99 mostly in the last ten years at the log house, dipped into the Japanese culture pretty deep and loved it, but it’s time to get back to the beach and if I want to live somewhere back home other than a tent in the Yandina caravan park the cabin has to go. I’ll always be in Niseko for January but the other times of the year I’ll be putting on sunscreen in Oz. Whoever does pick it up should leave a surfboard here ’cause there are some things down on the Pacific coast that are pretty impressive”.

He ain’t lying, it’s not the tropics but the surf pumps.

Examine, maybe buy house, here. 

(If it doesn’t sell, it’s gonna be rented. Ask ’em how much here, [email protected])

A side bonus of wearing a fitness tracker has been the incentive to punch up the numbers during long afternoons awash in libidinal heat, imagining a sword between the hips, undulating like an eel etc.

Personal fitness tracker over-delivers on promise of better life, gifting surfer wild performance gains, empathy for a former enemy and profound, transcendental sex!

One year of WHOOP…

I’ve begun to divide my life into two parts, those which occurred before affixing a WHOOP to my wrist in early 2021 and the halcyon days ever since. 

Luckily for the reader, and for posterity, I recorded the journey on this website. 

As this is the last story of its sort for BeachGrit, it may be well for for the reader, now, to walk straight to the living room, sit down on that old leather sofa with the depressions on the seat made by various buttocks over the years, put on his, her, their spectacles, light a cigarette and enjoy the many milestones. 

First, ‘The blissful joys of hypoxia and the realisation that twinks raised on surf can roll with bears, “If I could survive the sea, there was no human that I could not deal with because no man can bring the same level of panic and discomfort as the ocean.” I learn that surfing is a better workout than jiutjisu.

Confession: “I was grotesquely complicity in the demonisation of the vulnerable adult learner surfer but through daily suffocation and strangulation learned to find common ground, even empathy for VALS.” WHOOP records my panic during combat sports; I connect with panicked beginner surfers. 

“A plastic wrist-band convinced me to temper combat sport training with surfing, respect sleep and achieve sexual transcendence!” Re: sexing, a side bonus of wearing a fitness tracker has been the incentive to punch up the numbers during long afternoons awash in libidinal heat, imagining a sword between the hips, undulating like an eel etc.

“Ex-world #11 surfer Luke Stedman and the fitness band that allows him to track the health of his post-op daddy, the legend behind Shane Surfboards and inventor of the Ugg Boot!” WHOOP has health monitoring device for ailing old people! 

“Medical emergency averted after surf journalist uses fitness trap to monitor vital signs of suspected overdose!” Now, here, let’s point out that WHOOP makes no claim to being a medical device but in the heat of a suspected OD after a partying kid hits the synthetics more than he should, drinks more than he can, hallucinates, panics, heart is bouncing out of his chest, I use the WHOOP to monitor his vital signs until his parents arrive. 

“Fitness tracker intervenes in surfer’s existential crisis thus averting a new instalment of Quit-Lit!” How WHOOP made me want to surf, however grim the conditions, however dense the crowd. A wordless drill sergeant, a heartless bastard who didn’t care for my apathy.

“How I used a surf and combat sport combo to almost hit maximum human strain and melt off a stunning five thousand calories!” Pushed to theoretical breaking point of human endurance and loving it! Yes.

How monitoring recovery data leads to hitherto unforeseen leaps in surfing performance, “Conventional wisdom is that I should allow myself recovery time. I say fuck that, gotta get as good as I can before I leave this life like I began it, diapered and screaming!” WHOOP teaches the miracle of rest and recovery. 

How “Rough Boy” John John Florence used data-driven recovery to prevail over catastrophic, potentially career-ending injuries. Good enough for the two-pronged champ, good enough for you, I etc.

“Plastic fitness tracker frees surf journalist from idealogical prison of hard work and into a guilt-free and dreamy languor resulting in injury-free surfing” Follow WHOOP’s advice, less injuries! VAL sourness from tongue gone, too!

Surf journalist reminded, again, of rejuvenative nature of hebetude, daily napping and the divine joy of being a “sloppy beast”. WHOOP says okay to have down days. 

Convinced yet? 

Buy your WHOOP here, fifteen percent discount if you use the code BEACHGRIT at checkout.