Quit-lit: “If you want to surf forever, how do you do it? How do you keep it new and fresh? Is it a worthy or even possible pursuit?”

"I like the idea that longboarding is out there, waiting for me."

A week or so ago, I got in the car and drove to Ventura.

Along the way, I got stuck in a traffic jam.

There I sat in traffic on the way to an event at Patagonia and felt terribly guilty about my life choices. I am bad at the planet, I thought, as I sat there crawling along, blowing exhaust into the air with all the other people blowing exhaust, too.

At least the ice cream was organic. On the way to the traffic jam, I surfed bad Rincon and ate good food at The Good Plow. Ice cream understands. Ice cream makes everything okay, even the parking ticket I got in Ventura. But that is getting ahead of the story.

The bad surf and the good ice cream and the traffic were all on the way to see Lauren Hill’s new film, The Physics of Noseriding. If you don’t know Lauren, she wrote the large-format book, She Surf where she wove together a diverse set of stories about women’s surfing from around the world. The film offers an endearing and nerdy look at how longboards work, and specifically what makes noseriding possible.

I’m pretty sure the curve of a woman’s hip off the end of a longboard, that dance, that swing, is one of the most beautiful things in surfing.

But, how does it actually work?

That’s the question Lauren sets out to answer. It all sounds extremely earnest, and not at all the kind of thing I would normally wade through traffic to watch. Lauren’s skill as a storyteller turns the film into a joyful exploration.

I should tell you that I can’t longboard. Not properly, at least.

Oh, I can stand there like the Statue of Liberty and hope the giant slab of fiber glass goes mostly in the right direction. This does not work all that often. Graceless splashing and flailing is the usual result. I don’t understand how to make a longboard sing and dance and do magical things. Noseriding might as well be a walk on the moon.

Growing up in Florida, Lauren learned to make the most of small surf. Longboarding and the noseriding’s weightless sensation captivated her imagination. These days, she lives in Australia where the long walls of Byron Bay’s points give her more space to play. Her experiences inspired the film, and she wanted to showcase the skills of surfers she admires.

The wide-eyed curiosity of Namaala Slaab provides a frame for the film.

Namaala, whose sister Jalaan is a shaper teeters on a fallen log in an illustration of balance, and her explorations bring the more abstract ideas of the film to life. In a tribute to a scene from Gidget, Namaala rides a longboard on her bed in a demonstration of the Coanda effect.

Yes, there’s actual physics in the film.

Lauren takes us into the deep end, and ably brings us back. I came away from the whole thing much smarter. And while Lauren could not fit a discussion of board design into the film — maybe she can make a future film or write an article on this side of the story — I felt like a “got” longboards in a way I didn’t in the past.

There’s also some lovely surfing, and a hilarious, too real depiction of shortboarders. If you don’t recognize yourself, my shortboard friends, you are not being honest. That’s us, flailing away in search of an elusive and impossible grace.

Great, you’re saying. She’s going to take up longboarding and make us read all about it. She made us read about her red bikini and and her ice cream and her parking ticket. Longboarding?

This is a bridge too far. Someone make her stop.

Since I have banned myself from buying new boards for the time being, you are safe.

For now.

Recently, I wrote a profile story of Matt Warshaw, which you can read in the next issue of Emocean Magazine. As you all know by now, Matt lives in Seattle and has mostly quit surfing. As I tried to make sense of Matt’s relationship with surfing, I had a number of lengthy conversations with long-timers about life and change.

If you want to surf forever, how do you do it? How do you keep it new and fresh? Is it a worthy or even possible pursuit? I think one answer is to try different things. Ride different boards. Seek out different waves.

And so, I like the idea that longboarding is out there, waiting for me. There’s a whole way of surfing that I don’t understand and have never really experienced. Maybe I’ll never try it. Maybe I’ll quit and move to Seattle first. But I like the idea that it’s out there, one of an infinite range of possibilities, a road to take or not as inspiration sparks.

I loved Lauren’s film for its light-hearted invitation to learn more about one of surfing’s mysteries. And maybe one answer to the question of how to surf forever is to remain open to its possibilities, even if they don’t all fit into the present.

But then again, I’m just an idiot with a parking ticket.

Lauren’s currently on tour with her film, and you can follow her @theseakin for showings in Australia. The film appears online next year.

My neighbor Jerry Jones (pictured) old.
My neighbor Jerry Jones (pictured) old.

Buoyed by unprecedented success, World Surf League CEO takes opportunity to mock elderly owner of Dallas Cowboys for using outdated technology!

Jerry Jones uses a FLIP PHONE?

But to be the CEO of professional surfing at this very moment, sitting on a growth spike not seen since… well ever. Numbers through the roof. Numbers to the moon. Millions upon millions upon millions of new fans tuning in and clearly falling in love with our Sport of Kings.

Viewership eclipsing European soccer, crushing America’s National Football League.

The confidence boost must be intoxicating. Enough chutzpah to openly mock the owner of global sport’s richest franchise, one Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, for using outdated technology even.

The WSL’s Erik Logan did just that on his preferred platform, hours ago, head back laughing at Jones’ use of a flip cellular phone instead of, I’d imagine, an industry standard iPhone.

Logan penned, “I love having conversations with leaders and tremendously successful people about what drives them to generate success and learn from their experiences. As I have the conversations, every so often you pick up some classic pieces of information! This is a clip from an interview I did with my friend @kellimasters , Former Ms. Oklahoma and one of the very first and most successful FEMALE NFL agents. I was so surprised by this nugget.”


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A post shared by Erik Logan (@elo_eriklogan)

“Surprised” in the rudest way possible.

Forbes estimates that the Cowboys are worth some $5.7 billion, coincidentally what the WSL’s owner Dirk Ziff is now worth on the strength of surfing’s growth.

As it happens, I sat in a booth next to Jerry Jones two years ago at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Handle Bar. Or, actually, it was Ajax Tavern in Aspen. I did not notice a flip phone but he seemed salt-ish of the earth, chatting easily with staff, being generally chill. I thought about making some small talk but had nothing to say so kept my mouth shut.

I also sat next to LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy but that was a different restaurant, the Little Nell’s Element 47 and on a different trip.

He had crumbs on his 5 o’clock shadow but I didn’t openly mock.

Johnson (left) with Kelly Slater. Happier times.
Johnson (left) with Kelly Slater. Happier times.

Jack Johnson receives restraining order against scary female fan who insists on buying three-figure VIP “meet and greet” tickets at surf crooner’s shows!


Now, Jack Johnson may not be your cup of tea but the North Shore local’s surf bonafides are beyond dispute. Coming up along side The Momentum Generation, Johnson cut his teeth at Pipeline and such, pushing against Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian etc. then playing healthy tunes on oceanfront yards afterward.

Well, his career took off with massive hits such as Banana Pancakes and Bubble Toes and Upside Down and he sells out concert halls is able to charge thousands of dollars for VIP meet and greet packages.

Living the dream… except… a woman has been scooping up too many of those VIP meet and greet packages and harassing the poor surf crooner so much that Johnson was forced to turn to the courts in order to get a restraining order against her.

Per TMZ:

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Jack claims the woman traveled to Houston, Texas on Aug. 26 and got in his face at his hotel … and the interaction was so frightening, not only for Jack but also for the bandmate who saw it all go down, Jack and his band bounced until cops came and detained the woman.

Jack had a show that night in the Houston area … and he claims his alleged stalker often buys VIP packages to his shows in order to get close to him. JJ also says she emails him and his management, claiming she’s been the victim of a long-term financial scheme … conning her out of millions of dollars.

Jack says he’s worried for his safety because it’s easy for the woman to track his movements … pointing out his tour dates and personal appearances are readily available online.

True and one quick search showed me that he is next playing in Santa Barbara tomorrow and Chula Vista on Friday where the meet and greet is going for a cool $1134.

Are you in? If yet, mind your Ps and Qs.

No harassing.

Then again, if someone was paying $1134 to harass me, I’d feel it was a fine exchange.


Surfer brutally attacked by shark in California’s famed marijuana-growing country marking first such incident in memory!


For those who have never been, the state of California is an incredibly vast, exceedingly diverse slice of land. San Diego, down south, feels a different world from Los Angeles which, in turn, feels a different world from San Francisco. Surfing cultures in Orange County, host of the World Surf League’s famed Finals Day, Santa Cruz, Lemoore, etc. are as different from each other as they are from surfing cultures in, say, Brittany, France.

One of the lesser publicized would have to be those who brave the cold waters up north in Humboldt county. The region is very famous for its marijuana growing, more so than wave quality, but the sparse population makes it appealing for those who enjoy paddling alone. Though, the intrepid may think twice after a weekend shark hit critically injured a lonely surfer.

According to local news:

A shark bit a surfer and seriously injured the 31-year-old male about 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Centerville Beach, according to the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department and emergency personnel speaking over the scanner.
The FVFD post stated, “The patient was transported by City Ambulance to a hospital.”

Emergency personnel speaking over the scanner said that the surfer had “Code 3 trauma” with a hemorrhage in the upper thigh that was being controlled with a trauma tourniquet.

The VFD post pointed out, “To [the] recollection of our membership, we have not had an incident like this. This is a reminder that there are many hazards to be aware of when you are at the beach…Please be safe.”

Wishing complete recovery to the surfer but don’t you think the volunteer fire department’s “reminder” is a touch harsh?

Fairly unchill?

Surprisingly so for Humboldt.

I suppose you can never judge a volunteer fire department by its cover.

UFC superstar Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett in bruising hour-long encounter with legendary big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, “Pipeline is the most violent beach in the world!”

A steamy two-part rendezvous!

A holiday to Malibu, California, wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the compound of Laird Hamilton, a well-proportioned fifty-eight-year-old Hawaiian-born man, a superhuman some might say, who deals in the wellness game. 

In the case of Paddy Pimblett, the latest UFC sensation, three fights, all wins, able to fight at 155 and walk around a week later at 200, nostrils that flare with the scent of blood, eyes that dilate like targets on a rifle range, it’s a two-part rendezvous. 

In part one, Paddy, closer to 200 than 155, lifts dumbbells in the water and runs around the bottom of the swimming pool, weighted, does breathing exercises, plunges into an ice bath and behaves as if ice picks have been driven into his eye sockets and enjoys a sauna. 

Part two is an hour-long interview where Laird roams across a variety of topics including an explanation of the difference between fighting and violence, his dive into the superfood biz (“It’s a good product I developed for myself and then I shared it with friends”), inventing paddleboarding, inventing foil-boarding, inventing tow-surfing and so on.