Astounding health benefits of surfing revealed in New York Times feature aimed at inspiring the millions upon millions of recent converts!

Listen to Dr. Newcomer!

Let us be altogether honest with each other. When you picked up surfing, all those years ago, health and wellness were, likely, not your top priorities. Rock n’ roll, boozy nonsense and shredddding, maybe, topped the list but you, sir, are an ugly dinosaur. A relic of a monolithic past that has been shattered by an unprecedented spike in participation amongst those who once felt locked out of the insular life.

But did you know many of these freshies come to both feel and be better?

It’s true and the august New York Times has just revealed how good surfing can be for the mind, body and soul.

Shall we?

Surfing is an outstanding cardiovascular and strength-building sport. It delivers bursts of extreme anaerobic exercise followed by a recovery stage, similar to high-intensity interval training, said Sean C. Newcomer, department chair of kinesiology at California State University San Marcos.

“What most surfers realize, and the general population probably doesn’t realize, is the vast majority of the time in the water is spent either paddling or stationary — a small fraction of the time (between 2 to 5 percent) is spent wave riding,” Dr. Newcomer said.

Surfers spend 40 to 60 percent of their time either endurance paddling to get to the lineup, where waves start breaking and surfers wait to catch them, or sprint paddling to catch waves — both of which strengthen muscles in the back, shoulders, chest and neck, Dr. Newcomer said.

There is some evidence that surfing can lead to better coordination later in life. One small study found that people between the ages of 57 and 64 who had surfed for several years had better balance and stronger posture than non-surfers their age.

Dr. Newcomer.

Hee hee.

Little Kalani meets hero Kelly Slater. "He was one of the most talented surfer/skaters on earth," said Slater.

Mother and father of Hawaiian surf-skate prodigy Kalani David locked in courtroom battle over destination of son’s remains as sister describes harrowing attempt to save her little brother, “I was right there, I gave him CPR. Like, I really tried”

"I really love him. He had a big heart and he never liked to see people cry and I just want to bring him to his home in Hawaii."

Barely had news broke of the Hawaiian surf and skate prodigy Kalani David’s death of a massive seizure while surfing in Costa Rica on September 17 when the family’s troubled core was laid bare. 

Kalani’s daddy David and his wife Andrea set up a crowdfunding account to raise the cash to bring their kid’s remains to Florida, chasing thirty-four k. 

David told me he wanted to get him to Florida so he could be buried next to his beloved grandfather. When he was little, David says, Kalani had nightmares of his body being burned into ashes.

David promised him that’d never happen. 

“I don’t want my son in a jar or spread on the water, as I would see fit for myself. I want to give him a place you can go see him and know he is listening when you share your feelings with him.”

Controversy built when many close to Kalani questioned the GoFundMe account.

Zoë McDougall, North Shore surfer and friend, posted that the GoFundMe was a “scam” and that a private fundraiser would be held.

Anthony Sherman of Ant Boards declared, “It’s a scam by his dad. Do not donate.”


(There is no suggestion by BeachGrit that the GoFundMe sponsored by Kalani’s Dad is anything but legit.)

Now, Kalani’s Costa Rican mother Maureen Barrientos, who was sixteen when she gave birth, and David David are locked in a courtroom battle over the final destination of their son’s remains.

Barrientos says Hawaii; David wants Florida. 

“For me he was everything. My little boy. I reconnected with him when he was 17. I was really happy,” Barrientos told Kitv. “I really love him. He had a big heart and he never liked to see people cry and I just want to bring him to his home in Hawaii.”

Former girlfriend Natalie Keali’inohomoku said, “Everyone knows in this world that Kalani loved the ocean, that’s where I know his heart and soul should rest and be celebrated is back home in Hawaii.” 

Kalani’s sister Rachel Feeney Zamora was in the water when he suffered the fatal seizure. 

 “For everybody he was like a world champion and great surfer, for me he was just my little brother,” she said. “I was right there, I gave him CPR. Like I really tried. I just want to bring him to his home where he belongs. All this family problems we’re having right now we had it before when he was younger so he was always trying to find peace within us.”

Whatever the outcome of the court case, one thing remains, surfing lost one of its wildest talents.

From Kelly Slater,

“Kalani was one of the most talented surfer/skaters ever on earth.”

And from friend and WCT stand-out Seth Moniz,

“He was literally the best surfer and skater of our generation,” WCT stand-out Seth Moniz said. “Not just that but him as like a friend was even better. Like that’s what made him Kalani David. The guy would literally give his shirt off his back to anyone that needed it. Just an incredible human and friend.”

Flecky and Danny Kwock with Allan Sarlo and his Benz soaking up the background, 54th St, Newport, circa eighties. | Photo: Gomery

Californian surf pioneer and founder of wild sunglass start-up famous for “lurid marketing campaigns, including parties of Caligula-like decadence”, dead, aged sixty-nine

"A life lived well by any measure."

Early reports have it that the Southern California surfer and businessman, Dan Flecky, has passed. A stroke was listed as the cause of death.

Dan Flecky hadn’t surfed much of late, like many of us, and had actually moved to the landlocked state of Missouri a few years ago. His social accounts were mostly full of the country life on the Lake of the Ozarks.

He actually appeared to be very happy.

Let’s talk about some earlier days.

Straight up, when Dan paddled out, during his prime, he fucking ripped.

But, he also kept up a very appropriate underground vibe during those creepy early days of the mid 70’s. He eventually became one of So Cal’s established ‘pros’ and was featured in considerable advertising as well as editorial coverage in the surf rags of the time. His unique 50/50 board color scheme becoming his trademark.

Solid in Hawaii, good sponsors, seamless jump back and forth from HB to Newps (Which he did often and what was not an easy task), he was an early inspiration to many of us groms. In retrospect, Dan almost single-handedly filled the weird gap in Southern California surfing that almost went silent once the Mike Purpus show faded, and then reemerged almost a decade later with the Echo Beach scene and other pockets of progression up and down the coast.

Dan not only made the jump, but was right amongst it with the slightly younger Newport crew that had begun re-imagining surfing during that period.

As one of Peter Schroff’s early muses, Dan helped push Pete’s experimental equipment and should be noted as a key player who bridged surfing from the soul of the early 70’s to something more futuristic well into the 80’s.

As the pro surfer thing began to fade, Dan opened a low-key but important silkscreen business located right at ground zero of the nascent surf industry in Costa Mesa. He was, literally and figuratively, very well positioned as many of his customers were some of the same small start-ups that eventually turned into surfing’s biggest brands. Quik, Billabong, Maui and Sons, and many, many more, all used Dan as an important supply chain partner during this time.

Shortly after, he and his partner Jack Martinez launched the notorious but very successful Black Flys eyewear line. If there was a company having more fun during the early 90’s, I must have missed something.

From Warshaw’s Encyclopaedia of Surfing, 

“(It) soon earned a reputation for its lurid marketing campaigns, including parties of Caligula-like decadence, a promo video called Rat F@#ed, and an ad blitz featuring large-breasted strippers wearing nothing but strategically placed Black Flys stickers. In 1996, the company did $10 million in sales.”

However, as priorities changed, Dan check out to Missouri but was still the same dry, sarcastic, smart-ass we knew him for on his socials. He loved him some Facebook.

We’ll miss you brother, but congrats on a life well lived, by any measure.

Safe travels Dan.

Slater (pictured) born ready.
Slater (pictured) born ready.

“Sexless marriage” cited as reason for Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen split driving surf fans into obscene frenzy over possible reunion between Brazilian supermodel and one-time flame Kelly Slater!

Surf stud.

A bombshell exploded, this morning, in the scintillating though sad story of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen and the greatest football player of all-time Tom Brady each hiring divorce lawyers. Radar magazine is reporting the reason for the split is that the “marriage has gone cold as ice,” according to an NFL insider close to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback. “Gisele is a Brazilian supermodel with a super sex drive and she’s told her friends she needs more from her all-American husband.”

Brady, you see, appears to be one of those sorts of sportsmen who believes that love making, before partaking in an athletic feat, diminishes… virility when pushing against other men, I suppose.

The actor Dax Shepard asked Brady directly about sex before sport on a podcast, once, Brady demurring before offering, “That wouldn’t be my pregame warm-up.”

The news sent surf fans, already sitting by lit candles, into an obscene frenzy.

Bündchen and the greatest surfer of all-time, one Kelly Slater, you see, were involved with each other, romantically, in 2005 and 2006. Two years when Slater, maybe not coincidentally, won world titles. As everyone but World Surf League CEO Erik Logan knows, surfing is not, in fact, a sport so unaffected by a little night music.

Now, Slater is currently in a committed relationship but Ben Affleck was in one with Ana de Armas and Jennifer Lopez was in one with Alex Rodriguez before they reunited in a flurry of marriages.

Mt. Power Couple.

Action movie superstar Gerard Butler shocks in trailer for latest Netflix thriller “Last Seen Alive” with chilling detail in fight scene only visible to surfers!

Can you spot it?

Has it really been four years since the WSL’s Chief Commercial Officer, Beth Greve, once listed on Adweek’s Top 50 for 2014, for her success as “purveyor of cool” in the teen space, was lionised on BeachGrit’s Surf Ranch billboard?

As the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New Yorker Bill Finnegan wrote at the time, 

“Slater saw it. He is a tireless online poster, with a rare degree of patience. On his Instagram feed, a magnet for cranks of all kinds, he has spent years debating flat-Earthers, laying out innumerable scientific proofs that the planet is round. He’s a well-informed environmentalist; right-wing flamethrowers rain hellfire on him for that, and he often takes the trouble to reply to them individually. When the Backward Fins Beth billboard went viral, Slater showed a tiny bit of pique. On the BeachGrit Instagram feed, he wrote, “Funny. Cheap. Character Revealing.” The BeachGrit crew was ecstatic. They had successfully trolled the king.”

Charlie in Lemoore, California.

As we know, Backward Fins Beth left the WSL shortly thereafter, greener pastures etc, and apart from a brief reprise two years ago when we did a little clothing capsule with Vissla, the world’s fins have remained staunchly pointed in the correct direction.

Until the Netflix thriller, starring Chasing Mavericks star Gerard Butler, was loosed a few months back. 

Watch the trailer.

Do you see? 

Do you see? 

Butler, fifty-three, from Scotland, don’t surf, but he did learn enough to paddle out at Half Moon Bay for the Chasing Mavericks surf sequences and get caught inside on a biggish sorta day.

In his harrowing account told to Men’s Journal, 

All of a sudden, a huge set came in. And I knew it was always a risk doing this, there was always the chance I was going to get caught inside. So the four of us are out there, and Greg Long turns around and starts screaming, “Paddle, Gerry, paddle!” I saw this wave coming from, Jesus, half a mile away, and I was paddling, paddling, paddling. By the time it got to me, I was exhausted. I had already been out for six hours, in the freezing cold water of Mavericks—doing shot after shot, paddling over waves. And like I said, I’m not a surfer, and I’m definitely not a big-wave surfer. And then it got me, and it took me down. Immediately I thought, “This is weird,” because I wasn’t being pulled in any particular direction. I was just tumbling. And then, I felt for my leg and realized I lost my board. My leash had snapped.

I was just spinning. I wasn’t going anywhere, and I was taking in water. The water just kept going into my mouth and I was thinking, “Why is that happening? I don’t quite understand.” I already had no breath, and I knew I needed to get up. I needed to get up fast, but I wasn’t going anywhere. It was starting to get really uncomfortable, and then I heard this loud smash as another wave went over me and the tumbling started again.

And then I thought, “Oh my God.” I had just done a scene earlier where I was talking about a two-wave hold-down and about how fear and panic are the difference between life and death. When you panic out there you die. Our second unit director kept saying, “Buddy, this is Mavericks. You panic, you die!” The next minute I’m underwater and I’m thinking that if I panic in any way, I’m gone. All I could think was, “Shit, there’s a whole film crew up there going, ‘I think Gerry’s in some serious trouble.’” I could feel things going from the moment where they would think, “Okay, this is pretty intense,” to the moment where they’d start going, “Oh shit, this might be it. Gerry might not be coming up.”

And then finally, when I did come up, I was only up for a few seconds before being sent back down again. The next wave came, and Grant Washburn was trying to get to me on a Jet Ski, but he just couldn’t. I was about five feet away from him, but the next wave came and he had to turn and go. And I knew what was going on, the wave would have got him, but when he turned I could see the fear in his face. I had already been in a couple of hairy situations filming, and Grant had been so cool, he had been right there for me. This time, it’s not that he wasn’t cool, he was amazing, but to see him that freaked out…he wasn’t freaked out for himself, he was freaked out for me. So I’m going back down thinking, “If he’s looking like that, this is not a good situation.”

And then I finally came back up, and Peter Mel was over to the side, trying to tell me, “It’s okay, don’t worry! Be cool, it’s okay!” But then yet another wave came and that took me down and into the Boneyard, and just as it was about to go from very bad to even worse, Grant grabbed me and took me in.

And you know, I feel like I used every bit of wisdom and courage that I’ve picked up in life on this movie. If I hadn’t known the importance of staying absolutely calm, I would have been screwed. Because even as the water was going in and I wasn’t going anywhere, and as it became so painful, I told myself, “Remember what this movie is about. Fear is healthy, panic is deadly.” And because of that thinking I survived a two-wave hold-down, and it sounds cool just to say that.

Afterwards, Zach Wormhoudt sent me a note. He came in the ambulance with me, and he was amazing. All the surfers were amazing, they were all really cool. But Zach came in the ambulance with me, and he was just like, “Hey man, it’s all good, no worries.” And then he sent me an e-mail the next day saying, “You know what? Very few people can ever know what it feels like to be down for that long and to be so powerless. They can think they do, but they don’t, and now you do.” It was very poetic. He said it’s like asking a dancer in a dance what she felt. And she can’t necessarily put the feeling into words; she just dances, just feels it. And nobody can know until they’ve done that dance. When he said that, it really made sense to me, it was really beautiful. And that was what I was constantly surprised about—how eloquent and poetic a lot of these surfers are—the way they view life and the way they view the sea, surfing, and their craft. I was really taken aback by them. I could listen for days.