Huber (pictured) gazes out on paradise lost.
Huber (pictured) gazes out on paradise lost.

40-acre wave tank receives long-awaited final approval in small Washington town causing grief and panic to spread among elderly locals: “The surf park will take everything I loved about this area away from us!”

To dream an impossible dream.

For six long years, Joey Lawrence has had a dream. A dream to bring world-class waves to the middle of Washington state. A dream to have surfers drive east instead of Westport. A dream that shakas would replace apples as the local signifier and days ago that dream forced itself into reality.

The Blossom alum and partner Mike Roy received final approval to begin digging Barreled Surf Park on an 80-acre site in Moxee, near… nothing. It will cost an estimated $30 million and utilize Wavegarden’s wonderfully accessible technology. The official plans include, “a 5.5-acre wave pool, 21 RV spaces, 21 campsites and 23 lodging units, with food service to include a restaurant/food truck. Other amenities include a fitness studio, skate park, dog park, fire pit and beach volleyball area, with surfboard and wetsuit rentals available.”

Lawrence took to Facebook and declared, “Today, a milestone was achieved. We’ve just been given the Hearing Examiner’s decision approving our Conditional Land Use Permit and our proposal to bring surfing to the Yakima Valley. Proudly, we are now the second @wavegarden_official (wavegarden technology) project to achieve this approval in the United States.”

Not everyone is so thrilled, though. Local residents, especially elderly ones, fear their cherished  way of life is about to be shattered.

Laurie Huber has owned a home in the area for 27-years and told the local NBC affiliate, “I have dreams too, but I would make sure I wouldn’t take someone else’s dream away to accomplish that dream. [The surf park will] take everything I loved about this area away from us, our house is paid for, we’re remodeling, we planned on retiring in this house.”

She may also worries that fans of early 90s television programing will flock, along with surfers, to hear Lawrence’s iconic catch phrase “Whoa.”

Dark days.

Help: Middle-aged surf journalist attempts to understand modern, mostly male and cryptic, hand gestures a decade after they should have crested!

But what does the OK and devil horn admixture mean?

Legitimately, I have been struggling with folk, especially male folk, holding their handsies up and doing fingering things for the camera for years and years and years. Maybe even a decade. The ironic shaka I understand (see here) but pointers, peace signs, love fingers, sideways peace signs, kinked out OKs feat. devil horns?

Why do the youth do when a cellular phone camera is brought out? What in the world is being thought when doing?

Let us examine the above photograph, maybe not from cellular phone, featuring surfing champion-adjacent Kanoa Igarashi and Formula One star Yuki Tsunoda doing the stuff.

Igarashi is throwing some OK and devil horn admixture. Does it mean anything? Tsunoda is going more standard two fingers pointing at Igarashi but a little weird and crooked. What does that mean?

Why do the youth do?


I feel we help each other understand the wild times in which we live.

Help me help you.

Mason Barnes slaughters a rhino at Naz!

Dirty Water: Breakthrough big-wave surfer Mason Barnes on riding a 126.5-foot wave, “When it came in it looked terrifying. I almost didn’t go!”

How to wrangle and kill rhinos!

Today on Dirty Water we introduce a new interviewer, the wildly Australian ex-pat Ben Mondy who lives, paradoxically, amid the bucolic loveliness of England.

Despite the naked skull, piggish eyes and sanctimonious voice Mondy has an every-man appears that electrifies the interior of any room.

And, as a journalist, he towers over me and Chas.

His guest is the North Carolina surfer Mason Barnes who shattered the mythical 100-foot wave barrier at Portugal’s Nazaré one month ago.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mason Hyce Barnes (@masonhycebarnes)

The mathematics are simple.

Mason Barnes is 6’2” inches tall.

In his crouch on this wave he is 5’ 5” inches tall.

From crest to trough the face of this wave measures 23 units of Mason’s crouching height of 5’5” inches.

23 X 5’5” = 126.5 feet.

Wild etc.



Comment live, day three, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, “An unforgiving lineup that tests the endurance, power, and fundamental rail-to-rail surfing of today’s progressive athletes!”

World's best pitted against dirty mother nature. Leave your comments below the line.

Perth surfer (pictured) on the way to life saving surgery.
Perth surfer (pictured) on the way to life saving surgery.

Perth man suffers critical freak accident as surfboard rounds on him, fin slicing underarm and shoulder thereby severing artery and causing severe blood loss.

Terrifying that a board can turn on its master with such ferocity.

More often than not the surfing experience is relatively sublime. A wave at a friendly face in the car park, invigorating paddle to the peak, a few fun waves wiggled and jiggled upon, a belly ride on whitewash, an amble back to vehicle et voilà. But there are, truly, many variables that can, each, go horribly askew. Being dropped in on by an unwieldy kook and speared, lost log rolling into head, shark nibbling toes, rattlesnake planning a land assault.

Surfboard fin performing seppuku.

This final horror occurred hours ago to a middle-aged Perth surfer out enjoying autumnal Yallingup, home to Taj Burrow and many fine waves.

Australia’s 9 News is reporting that sunbathers who witnessed the freak accident rushed into action, dragging the man from the water and forming some sort of tourniquet to stop severe blood loss from a severed artery under the arm or in the shoulder. He was rushed to a local intensive care unit where he was stabilized then airlifted to Perth for emergency surgery where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Very best wishes for a speedy recovery but also terrifying that a board can turn on its master with such ferocity. I’ve had my nose broken by surfboard rail before and been speared in the guts causing a light bruise and knocking the wind out but that’s it. Easy stuff. Though what is the hardest knock you’ve received from your usually trusty steed?

Nasty business.