America’s highest ranked surfer Griffin Colapinto stuns fans by jumping from long-time sponsor Billabong to bitter rival Quiksilver!

Wild times.

Surf fans, generally reeling, were dealt another blow this morning when news leaked out that the highest-ranked surfing in America, and its best hope for a championship in the next decade, had left his longtime sponsor for its most bitter rival. Griffin Colapinto, who hails from San Clemente and surfs extremely well, has long been a darling and also major piece of Billabong’s best-in-class field.

Continuing the legacy of Joel Parkinson, Andy Irons, etc.

In wildly unexpected news, though, Colapinto just put pen to paper, signing his name alongside Mikey Wright, Zeke Lau, Kanoa Igarashi as part of Team Quiksilver.

Per the press release:

Quiksilver, the original boardshort company, is proud to introduce Griffin Colapinto to its global surf team. The San Clemente, California–based professional surfer is currently ranked No. 7 in the world and is the leading American on the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour. Quiksilver has entered into a multi-year contract with Colapinto, with the ultimate goal of supporting him on his quest to become a world champion.

Colapinto has been commanding the lineup from an early age, competing in numerous surf competitions and championships, winning notable titles and consistently progressing his career. Following his successful Hail Mary aerial reverse in the 2016 Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, Colapinto finished the 2017 season as the WSL Men’s Qualifying Series champion and has since won numerous additional titles. Colapinto also became the first Californian to win the prestigious Triple Crown in 2017. Today, Colapinto has positioned himself as a potential candidate to compete for Team USA at the Paris 2024 Olympic games.

“Griffin Colapinto’s incredible determination, character and talent is inspiring,” states Quiksilver Global General Manager Brad Blankinship. “He’s an essential part of the team that will help lead Quiksilver into the future.” Drawn to his ambition in and out of the water, Quiksilver is honored to support Colapinto’s endeavors and is excited to partner with him on notable content projects and signature products. In addition to his incredible talent on the board, creativity comes naturally to Colapinto; he and his brother, Crosby Colapinto, have a production company, Cola Bros., where they document their sibling bond behind the scenes of competitive surfing.

“When you evolve your personality, you evolve your reality and Quiksilver is now a part of my personality,” says Griffin Colapinto.

Colapinto’s consistent forward momentum is a welcome addition to the Quiksilver team and aligns with the brand’s commitment to support determined and genuine athletes. “Since 1969, Quiksilver has been supporting the most talented surfers in the world. However, talent doesn’t measure itself solely in the water, but also through action off the board,” says Quiksilver VP of Global Marketing Bobby Gascon. “Griffin’s unique and honest personality provides a truly relatable approach that we trust will inspire fans for many years to come. We are truly honored to have him join our brand, and we look forward to our partnership.”

Oh, I suppose it must be noted that Billabong and Quiksilver are both owned by the same parent company now but do you imagine peace reigns in the Boardriders halls or do you imagine the rivalry is wickeder than ever? I once worked for Surfing magazine that was owned a parent company that also owned Surfer.

Much hatred in those halls.

But will Billabong attempt some sort of revenge?

A cubicle toilet-papering?


World Surf League CEO Erik Logan ferociously bullish on upcoming 2023 season: “This year will be a record-breaking revenue year for the history of professional surfing on a couple of different vectors!”

V is for Vector.

The start of the World Surf League’s 2023 Championship Tour is, still, months away though if I were in Santa Monica’s C-Suite, I might be worried that it would be impossible to top 2022. But who could forget the never-before-seen growth that one iconoclastic season would bring? Millions upon millions engaging, millions upon millions chanting “give us us surfing!” in unison.

The League’s CEO, Erik Logan, gave a series of speeches after the final’s day bell rung, touting the windfalls, leaving our JP Currie to write:

Plain and simple: the WSL’s numbers are ludicrous. It’s a campaign of such deliberate misinformation and manipulation of statistics that it amounts to sheer lies. The quest for data is a goldrush. It’s the mark of Erik Logan’s media savvy, if you could call it that. Whilst new for surfing, it’s hardly an original tactic. In fact, internet culture is predicated on it.

And how could it be beat? It would certainly make me a nervous wreck but in a new and scintillating interview with shop-eat-surf, Logan has doubled down and promised even MORE MORE MORE growth.

“This year will be a record-breaking revenue year for the history of professional surfing on a couple of different vectors. Not only in terms of revenue, but equally as important, in terms of a record number of partners that are on and how we’re seeing the renewals going down the road in terms of the partners re-signing. This is truly exciting.”

Vectors for the win.

But are you excited?

What is a vector?

"You could say Stab is the best thing that ever happened to me."

World’s biggest surf website faced with existential revolt from readers, “What’s been built here is important. It needs to continue. This is still surfing’s home of dissent. Something to protect!”

"When the model’s working, there’s nothing better. But recently there’s been an imbalance. You know what I’m talking about."

There’s a mate I grew up surfing with who is a real pain in the arse. One of those guys who every time you see him can cut you down with a simple, devastating quip.

It might be about my hair. My weight. The board I’m riding. The turn I just bogged.

“Still fucking up those roundhouses I see,” my mate will hiss as I’m paddling back out.

He’s catty. Clever. Incisive. Sometimes I can’t stand the cunt.

But god damn he can hit the mark. I am getting balder, fatter. I do ride ridiculous boards. I am still a massive kook.

I’ll always still love him. He holds me to account in a way few else will.

My mate, you see, is a bit like BeachGrit.

Catty. Clever. Incisive (or is it cheap, funny, character revealing?)

Not afraid to say what everyone else is thinking. To push the boundaries in a way that’s as instructive as it is destructive. It’s a fine quality to have.

Something I want to see continue here.

I want to take a second, if you will indulge me, and consider this virtual establishment we find ourselves so regularly posted up in.

Like you, I’ve been kicking around on BeachGrit for a good few years now.

I’ve always been drawn to its honesty. Brashness. Irreverence. A culture of taking the piss I first came across as a kid, under the Rielly-Baker era of ASL and Kidman-Sutherland era of Waves in the early to mid-90s (though it has roots deeper than that).

Surf media shaped me in my formative years. I hadn’t even started high school by the time I was being conditioned by the subversiveness of DC Green, the crassness of Gonad Man.

For better or worse, I’ve always been wary of anyone taking themselves too seriously. In life and in surfing.

I started reading and commenting here back around 2017. Had my first article published a year or so later.

Post Post-Surf, it was good to see that tradition of muck-racking enduring.

Messrs Rielly and Smith have cottoned on to a strategy for BeachGrit that’s as simple as it is effective. Playing the algorithm game without any pretences.

Mastering the art of self referential click bait.

By relying on Google Adsense and click revenue from non-endemic advertising, the Grit has gained true independence from the surf media’s cottage industry. While raking in the biggest online audience around.

A model the rest of the surf world is quickly waking up to.

Most importantly, this joint isn’t afraid to kill our idols when they need it. To tell the truth.

In a world of toxic positivity, Tall Poppy Syndrome ain’t the worst thing in the world.

It does mean certain sacrifices. Things can get a bit nasty at times. The definition of surf and surf-adjacent can become blurred.

The Grit has been known to cross the line here and there.

But at its best this place is performance art. High-brow-low-brow.

Skewering surfing so sweetly, yet in doing so in a way that pays the ultimate homage to it.

When the model’s working, there’s nothing better. BeachGrit and its teflon Dons hold the surfing world to account in a way few others can.

It’s why I keep coming back multiple times daily. Why I can’t help loving the place. I’m sure it’s the same for you too.

But recently there’s been an imbalance. You know what I’m talking about.

The wild reporting on Giselle & Kelly. Tom Brady. Shakira. Seth Green. Bill Murray. Emrata.

Blatant gaming of trending names and keywords. Increasingly loose links to anything surf related. Surf adjacent has become surf spurious.

At least Jonah Hill has some tangible connection to our pastime. We could forgive the incessant gossip and speculation over his love life, his acting career, his achingly indy quiver.

But these latest efforts?

To paraphrase Colonel Kilgore, Giselle don’t surf.

Each day I log on hoping for things to be toned down. But the hole keeps getting dug deeper, and deeper,

I even tuned into a recent episode of the Grit podcast with Chas and David Lee Scales. The Grit is generally a good time.

Expressed in the same idiom as its online sister publication, but with a knowing wink to the audience thrown in. An opportunity to peak behind the curtain. Break the fourth wall.

Have a chuckle at how ridiculous things are. A chance for DLS to pull Chas into line.

But instead even Scales had now turned into a simpering lackey, pushing simple Dorothy Dixers to Chas about his latest rash of celebrity articles.

It was a bridge too far. If DLS wasn’t gonna keep the bastards honest, who will? Me?

Well ok, I can try.

Anybody with basic digital literacy can see this latest seam of content for what it is.

Search engine optimisation. SEO.The other thing the Grit does so well. Search “surf” in google and you’re bound to find recent Grit articles in the top results.

It means they don’t have to rely on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok for their traffic.

But it appears  the boys have discovered it doesn’t just need to be surf-adjacent keywords to send the traffic. Pick any trending topic and add a few references into your headline, first couple of pars and watch the clicks roll in.

The biggest little surf website on the internet has grown even bigger. It’s been a wild success in terms of ad revenue, I’m sure.

But at what cost?

With each new celebrity story, I find myself less interested in engaging. It’s like my mate in the surf stooping down to mum jokes or internet conspiracy rants.

I switch off.

C&D were concerned about whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

What’s been built here is important. It needs to continue. This is still surfing’s home of dissent. Something to protect.

But the natives are getting restless.

I recently read a good article on Stab. From a reader. A personal essay. About the gentrification of his local break. It was excellent writing, if not unfocussed in parts.

One of the best articles I’ve read this year, in print or on the web.

It’s the sort of read you’d traditionally expect on the Grit. Except it wasn’t.

Admittedly, it was behind the paywall. Even so it had pulled in 50 or so comments, and counting. More than a couple of familiar names from this side of the pond.

It could mark a shift. Stranger things have happened.

Not that I am abandoning this place. Not by a long shot. Derek gave me my first proper shot. Now blossomed into a nice little side hustle.

I’m forever grateful.

And as E-Lo, VALs and corporate greenwashers continue on their inexplicable ascent this place is more important than ever.
I would love to be contributing more, but life and other writing gigs are getting in the way.

Still, I’ll try.

I’ve got a coupla new old boards to review. A run in with a VAL a couple of weeks back that could make for a novella. Some surf-lit that’s been bubbling around my head for a few months now.

When I get the chance. When is that supposed to happen again?

But in the meantime, Chas and Derek have a job to do.

To focus that razor sharp wit and ebullient anger back on the targets that matter.

Like shoulder hopping pros and walls of positive noise. Rogue sharks and Matt George. Or was it Sam?

And for fuck’s sake, can you please fix up the comment threads so that they’re appearing under the right article?

Yours forever, surfads.

Not buckling to famous people pressure? The world's greatest surfer Kelly Slater.

Surf great Kelly Slater brazenly defies Shonda Rhimes, Téa Leoni, Bill S. Preston esq. and other celebrities fleeing Twitter after iconoclast Elon Musk’s official takeover!

"This is my pace where I make fun of things, point out absurdities and tackle serious subjects like the cutback."

In recent earth quaking news, the world’s richest man, South Africa’s Elon Musk, is now officially owner in chief of Twitter. The messaging application, which regularly courts controversy for how it handles the idea of “free speech,” has long been the preferred communication platform of politicians, athletes and many celebrities though many are publicly renouncing their accounts and jumping ship.

Shonda Rhimes, television program Grey’s Anatomy creator, curtly tweeted, “Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.” Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles followed with, “Welp. It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on the other platforms, peeps.” Toni Braxton, who crooned Un-Break My Heart, hopped out with, “Hate speech under the veil of ‘free speech’ is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC.” Téa Leoni, actress, declared, “Hi everyone. I’m coming off Twitter today—let’s see where we are when the dust settles. Today the dust has revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction.” And, maybe most devastating, Bill S. Preston esq., the blonde half of Bill and Ted, wrote in non-Twitter-based email, “Elon Musk taking over Twitter and making it a private company with less oversight has immediately made the platform more prone to hate speech, targeted attacks, and the spread of disinformation. If Twitter returns to being a public company run by rational actors, many of us will return.”

Not buckling to famous people pressure? The world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater.

The 11x World Champion, whose bio reads, “This is my pace where I make fun of things, point out absurdities and tackle serious subjects like the cutback,” is still entirely present with not one hint of waver.

Slater counts nearly 1,000,000 followers and has logged almost 9000 tweets since joining the service in 2009.

It must be noted that, at time of writing, Gisele Bündchen is also still Twitter active. The Brazilian supermodel, with 4.6 million followers, last tweeted good luck to her then-husband Tom Brady on Sept. 11.

Surf fans have spent the last month lighting candles in hope of a Slater-Bündchen reunion and might the two rekindle a magical 2005-2006 romance in the blue-checked DMs?

Hope springs etc.

Beloved, iconic surfboard shaper dies tragically in Thailand after horrific motorcycle accident.

"He was dodging the trailer at the intersection. The motorcycle was driving traveling fast."

News has broken, overnight, that Kym Thompson has died following a horrific motorcycle accident in Thailand. The iconic surfboard shaper, who founded the brand Watercooled in Torquay, Australia in 1975, had been living in Thailand for decades and working for Cobra surfboards.

Eyewitness Katawut Tangkaew told local press the motorbike Thompson was riding was traveling at high speed at the time of the crash. “He was dodging the trailer at the intersection. The motorcycle was driving traveling fast.”

Surveillance footage shows Thompson losing control as he attempted to dodge a truck pulling a trailer and slamming into an electrical pole then skidding along the ground.

First responders attempted CPR but Thompson’s injuries were too severe, including a broken neck and arms, and he died at the scene.

Cobra surfboards released a statement reading, “Kym was one of the Cobra Core Team members. He came to Cobra with his Water Cooled brand from Australia back in the 80s with the dream of shaping amazing boards and developing a mass-production solution for the surfboard industry. Kym achieved these goals and so many more along the way, a true industry legend that will be missed by many. Our condolences to the entire Thompson Clan.”

According to Legends of Surfing:

Kym Thompson started surfing in the long board era of the 60’s. He was a junior state champion and a well respected early member of the Seaview Road Board Riders Club where he earned the nickname “Roader”. He has been shaping since the age of 15 and his shapes are evolutions of decades of development transitioning some great designs in all forms.

In 1969 Kym started shaping for John Arnold’s in Adelaide, then moved to Don Burford’s in 1970. In 1971, Kym moved to the coastal town Torquay, seeing a bright future and the opportunity to surf the then uncrowded waves of the west coast of Victoria. In this period Kym shaped simultaneously for Ripcurl, Klemm-Bell and Pat Morgan and shortly after became the head shaper for Klemm-Bell Surfboards in Torquay.

For many years Kym has been based in Thailand where he was invited to join Cobra International company and he has been instrumental is setting up a world class surfboard production facility. This company has a vast and extensive background in composite construction methods which he recognised was to play a vital roll in the ongoing and future development of surfboard technologies and design. Today this platform continues to allow him to explore and bring new concepts and constructions methods which ultimately benefits manufacturers and consumers alike and he is able to continue to pursue his ideals to deliver quality products that set standards of excellence.

A funeral service is set to be held at the Samnak Bok temple in Chonburi, near Bangkok, from November 1 to 5.