Lake Superior.
Lake Superior.

Great Lakes surfers inadvertently heal deep and profound divisions in America by being undeniably adorable: “So I don’t even know how tired I am right now because the waves are pumping, dude!”

A glorious balm.

Yesterday, January 6, found me somewhere over the Atlantic watching Guy Ritchie’s surprisingly enjoyable latest Wrath of Man, en route from Milan to San Diego via Munich, Chicago and Los Angeles. I was thinking a few thoughts, how good Snatch was, how neck pillows are a complete joke and anyone who has one a sucker etc. but not thinking about the events of January 6 exactly one year ago.

For on that date, a swarm of people in Washington D.C., and here’s where it gets fuzzy, either “stormed” the United States of America’s capital in order to spark an “insurrection” or merely “got a little too excited” after listening to a speech.


This country is bitterly divided with family members coming to blows over varying points of view.

It is sad but hope is rising over the frigid north where surfers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan etc. have grabbed the spotlight by being so undeniably charming that it is impossible to ignore.

This past week, a storm percolated over Lake Superior causing 15-foot waves to fire gloriously and national news was there to cover.

A sample:

So early Wednesday morning, after working a 12-hour overnight shift at a Twin Cities refinery, Tyler Ray hopped in his car at 6 a.m., drove three hours north to the shore of Lake Superior, pulled his surfboard out of his car, slipped on a thick wetsuit and hit the waves — on no sleep.

“So I don’t even know how tired I am right now,” he said during a break from the frigid water, warming up in his idling car. “Because the waves are pumping, dude!”

Ray was among dozens of surfers who congregated at a well-known surfing spot called Stoney Point, about 15 miles up the Lake Superior shore from Duluth.

They bobbed in the water clad in black wetsuits, waiting to catch waves that crested as high as 15 feet, curling gracefully before crashing to shore.

Serious surfers in Minnesota like Ray are also self-described amateur meteorologists. They have to be to know when to catch the best waves, which occur after big storms, when the wind blows hard out of the northeast, across 350 miles of open water over Lake Superior — what surfers call “fetch.”

“And when it lines up like this, this is what you look for,” Ray said. “We haven’t had a low pressure come across like this in quite a while. So you can see everyone’s here because we’re just fiending for waves!”

Even the most-hardened insurrectionist/burner would be moved by the pluck.

The piece goes on to describe how movie star handsome Ben Gravy also showed up and he, too, is impossibly charming and divisions healed.

But does the footage (watch here) tempt you to travel north for your own taste?

It should.

Warm-water wedges and Tiger and Bull sharks! Dreamy.

Once-in-a-lifetime “extreme marine heatwave” gifts Sydney surfers likely highest water temperatures on record for January!

Hotter than hell water and arrival of Tiger and Bull sharks.

An  extended period of north swell spinning off the back of a tropical cyclone has combined with an “extreme marine heatwave” to bring Sydney surfers a sweet little summer of dreamy lil wedges and warm as hell water. 

If y’live in Sydney, you’ll shuffle between steamer, vest, trunks over the course of a normal summer, upwellings caused by the prevailing north-easter sending water temperatures plummeting, sometimes as low as fourteen (57 F) while an extended run of southerlies will gitcha, briefly, in trunks. 

Right now, water is hovering around twenty-three degrees Celsius or 73 F in the ol’ language.

According to Prof Moniya Roughan, an oceanographer at the University of New South Wales and an expert in marine heatwaves, there’s a 200 square km pool of ultra-warm water hitting Sydney and it’s warmer than anything since temperatures first started being record seventy years ago. 

“It appears now to be reaching those record levels and will likely be the hottest January on record. It’s an extreme marine heatwave,” Moniya told The Guardian, explaining the three factors pumping up the temps: global heating, a LA Nina weather system and atmospheric conditions. 

Of course, for every action there is a reaction. 

“Marine heatwaves are having severe consequences on ecosystems and they can kill habitats,” she said.


Also, the warm water is bringing in Tiger and Bull sharks. 

Sleep better, surf better.

Surf Journalist reminded, again, of rejuvenative nature of hebetude, daily napping and the divine joy of being a “sloppy beast”!

Many miracles.

For as long as I can remmeber, I’ve been in thrall to the US Marine ideal, wake up pre-dawn, make bed, drop and give me twenty, ten chins, cold shower, all those traditional paving blocks of a successful existence. 

A stab in the eye to a world of junkies, hippies, freaks, VALS and every other sloppy beast out there. 

Over the past year and a half, as mentioned in eighteen previous posts,  I have become enormously fond of my WHOOP fitness tracker.

Four days ago, I explained how it freed me from the idealogical prison of hard work and guided me into a guilt-free and dreamy languor resulting in injury-free surfing. 

Today, a short note detailing how WHOOP showed me how little I was sleeping and the effect it was having on my recovery and therefore performance. 

The WHOOP measures, 


Sometimes it takes time to fall asleep and we don’t get as much sleep as we think. WHOOP automatically detects how much time you spent in bed in addition to how much sleep you got so you can see how well you slept.


Whether we toss and turn, share a bed, have a newborn, or have a bad night of sleep, our rest doesn’t always go undisturbed. Track how many disturbances you had while sleeping and see if your sleep was interrupted too often.


Are you asleep when you’re in bed? Sometimes we periodically wake-up and have restless nights of sleep. With WHOOP you can track how efficient your sleep was.


Track your breathing while you sleep based on the numbers of breaths you take per minute. Shifts in this metric can signal changes in health.


Monitor how long it takes for you to fall asleep based on when you are attempting to go to bed. Latency is tracked when you manually set sleep as an activity.

All addictive metrics and it has become an article of faith that what WHOOP asks, I must deliver. 

See average sleep over four consecutive days.

Surf performance below par.

General mood, listless, a slow walk across sand punctuated by slow paddling, no real desire to engage pack in games of strategy.

I’d figured boredom with the game, usual frustrations with crowds, quality of waves.

By following my personal sleep coach and by enjoying midday and three pm naps, beginning at twenty minutes apiece, increasing to one hour as my body became accustomed to the shutdown, I negated the effect of late nights.

The spark came back in the sick eyes, and the faint trace of a smile faintly luminous, into the face.

And, surfing without reserves or defences.

Rejuvenated, restored, I cast off everything, and returned to a love of surfing as powerful as the pansexual uge, in my case at least.

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

Kelly Slater breaks silence on Novak Djokovic’s visa imbroglio in wild to-and-fro with New York Times readers; says Melbourne’s citizens are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, “So much brainwashed hatred in people’s hearts”!

"Five people I know died within two weeks of being vaccinated," says Kelly Slater.

The eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater has broken his silence on the Novak Djokovic visa cancellation in a series of candid comments and challenges to readers on a New York Times Instagram post.

A real quick explanation for those who came in late.

World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, who ain’t into COVID vaccines, secured a vax exemption to compete at the Australian Open in Melbourne, which, amid a rising furore from Australians, was quickly cancelled by the country’s PM.



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A post shared by The New York Times (@nytimes)

When the New York Times posted the story on Instagram, Slater teed off with his claim Melbourne’s citizens had been brainwashed by its state masters, developing a bond with their captors during six lockdowns totalling 262 days after COVID kicked off worldwide in March 2020.

“Maybe Stockholm Syndrome can now change its name to Melbourne/Australia Syndrome,” wrote Slater. “It’s sad to see the celebrated division by the “virtuous” vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated why are you concerned/worried about anyone else’s status… unless, of course, it doesn’t protect you? Or you’re scared you’ll catch it or upset you had to take the risk of vaccination yourself? So much brainwashed hatred in people’s hearts regardless of vax status.”

Replies and responses followed, Slater  clearly enjoying the chance to educate his many fans.

Here’s a taste.



Kelly Slater’s plans to surf Australian leg of 2022 tour thrown into disarray after world #1 tennis player Novak Djokovic has vax exemption cancelled with the star held under police guard at Melbourne airport!

“This is not a fight for the libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world!”

Yesterday came the news, in a roundabout sorta way, that vaccine sceptic Kelly Slater was still a chance to surf the Australian leg of the tour after world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic secured a vax exemption to compete at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The decision sparked fury among residents of the most shuttered city in the world who lived through six lockdowns totalling 262 days after COVID kicked off worldwide in March 2020.

Exemptions can be given for reasons such as anaphylactic response to the COVID vaccine, a poor response to vaccination or having had Covid in the last six months.

It wasn’t revealed what reason the Serbian star, who is “personally opposed to vaccination”, gave for his exemption.

Anyway, Australia’s PM stepped in, obvs motivated by the chance to score some easy political points amid a rising fury of his handling of the crisis, tweeted, “Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from Covid, we are continuing to be vigilant.”

Djokovic’s daddy was real sad, telling a radio station, “This is not a fight for the libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world!”

The Djokovic decision had opened the door to the greatest of all time to give Australians one more chance to examine his whipped-out flayed heel-ground turns, those little Slater Designs rails sunk to the hilt.

Now, probs no.

Slater, of course, hasn’t been shy in expressing his opinion of the pandemic.

“This is clearly a disease of obese, unhealthy, and elderly if you study the official statistics,” he’s said.