"Grace and charm and art and beauty—those were Kemp’s virtues."

“Herky-jerky” Californian surf icon Kemp Aaberg, who surfed as if “god was pulling the strings,” dead at 82

"The guy was flight and fancy incarnate. He was very aware of the art of surfing."

It cheers me up every time I find out a well-known surfer was born hundreds of miles away from the ocean, or that they came to the sport relatively late in life.

I guess it allows me to imagine that the sport is open to all, or at least not fully closed off to anyone but us lottery winners who were born on the coast and dragging a board into the shorebreak as preschoolers. While Kemp Aaberg, who has died from complications related to Parkinson’s, was an attractive surfer any way you looked at him—and yes, let us absolutely include that aquiline XXL nose—I love the fact that he was born in Peoria, Illinois, and didn’t pick up a board until he was 16.

Kemp was a textbook obsessive, but at every turn, with every new interest (surfing, guitar, triathlons) he never allowed the new thing to divide him from his best qualities.

Kemp was always bright and generous, funny and warm.

In a 1964 Surf Guide article on Malibu, Kemp complains a bit about the crowds, but also has a broader—Midwestern, you might say—view of things.

“What happened,” he says of the surf craze that in a small part he’d help launch, as a favorite surfer in the early Bruce Brown films, “was that a new game had been discovered—a new entertainment, a new recreational device, a new economic device. Once surfing was discovered you certainly couldn’t expect [it] to be saved from the [crowd] explosion, just because it’s so much fun to do. And it makes you feel so good. Nothing makes you feel better. I always wonder how people inland really exist. What can they do? Do they really feel refreshed after a game of football?”

Aaberg was a surf stylist for the ages.

Herky-jerky at times, upright like a flag pole, then deeply crouched, back up, elbows and hands flying away at unexpected moments, the general effect very marionette, except it was like God himself pulling the strings.

The videos I’ve posted on EOS do not do Kemp justice. This one and this one were both filmed when he was 18, a few weeks out of high school, and had been surfing less than three years. This gets a little closer to his weird proud-chested free-jazz approach, but I have better footage on the hard drive and will try to make another clip soon.

Like Art Brewer, who died earlier in the week, Kemp gave us the best version of surfing.

Gabriel Medina rocks money markets as champ’s newly formed investment fund Kauai Ventures unveils first “can’t lose” project!

Look out, Elon.

Gabriel Medina is many things. A multiple time world surfing champion. A Monster Energy team rider. An ex-husband, step-son, friend of Neymar Jr. And so it should come as no surprise that he is dipping a toe into business. While the current climate may scare off the timid, Medina has a secret strategy only whispered to the bold.

Buy the dip.

And now Medina and team are unveiling their first project.

Per the press release:

Just five months after creating Kauai Ventures, world renowned surfer Gabriel Medina and his partners announce their first project backed by the investment group. To develop a handful of performance surf clubs throughout Medina’s home country of Brazil, the investment firm has partnered with surf pool technology provider Endless Surf of WhiteWater, a company holding 40+ years of experience in developing and innovating world-renowned aquatic entertainment venues.

Responding to a growing demand for surf, this project follows a global trend that opens new opportunities for the sport of surfing while proving to be a high-visibility business. Showing a true dedication to surfing’s success, Gabriel Medina is encouraging this next generation of surfing as a sport, both in relation to practice and progression, as well as the overall visibility of surfing and its promotion of professional sport.

“More than a sport, surfing is a lifestyle. Therefore, this project has total synergy with the legacy that I want to leave. It unites all factors that I believe in: the practice of sport, which involves healthy habits and physical activity, technology as an ally to a cutting-edge human experience, and the adrenaline that the sport provides”, says Medina.

Surfing has been growing worldwide and this is especially apparent in countries like Brazil. The country has seen a massive uptick in surfers and followers of the sport, partly in thanks to Brazilian names standing out in global competitions, like three-time world champion Gabriel Medina himself. Through the partnership with Endless Surf, Kauai Ventures has set out to build a true surf experience, originating from the knowledge and practical experience of Medina as a top tier athlete, the extensive business expertise of the partners, and the game-changing surf technology of a leading player in the global market. Ultimately driven by a core passion for surfing, Kauai Ventures and Endless Surf are combining their expertise and innovative thinking to deliver state-of-the-art artificial waves to further the sport of surfing for those in Brazil and beyond.

“The clubs we are creating represent the epitome of progression and will create a stronger and more connected community surrounding the surf lifestyle. In these developments, we are ensuring the widest variety of wave types for our surf clubs, so that the experience is more authentic to the ocean. With the project backed by one of the greatest athletes in the surfing world, we are committed to offering top-tier surf through utilizing Endless Surf’s next-generation technology that provides a unique and tailored experience.” explains Ricardo Laureano Siqueira, partner and manager of Kauai Ventures.

You in?

Buy the dip.

Chris Davidson, in his role as Kingswood Black in the iconic surf film Doped Youth.

Slain surfing great Chris Davidson was on “child protection register” after indecently assaulting fifteen-year-old girl, newspaper reveals

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I should not have done that. I’m sorry don’t tell your dad.”

It’s been a little over a month since the Narrabeen surf prodigy Chris Davidson was killed after an alleged one-punch attack outside a bar in rural east coast Australia.

Davidson, forty-five, was allegedly punched in the face by Grant “Grub” Coleman outside the South West Rocks Country Club at around eleven pm on Saturday, September 24.

Davo fell, hit his head on the pavement, lights out. Paramedics treated Davo at the scene and he was taken to Kempsey Hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.

If Coleman pleads guilty or found guilty of “assault causing death” he faces a max of twenty years in prison, twenty-five, if he was intoxicated, with a minimum sixteen year total sentence, eight of ‘em in full-time custody. 

As shocking as his death was, it wasn’t a complete surprise. Davo liked to drink, he liked to fight.

Maybe a dozen years ago now,  I was woken up in my Californian rental by a pal covered in blood after he went a few rounds with Davo, attacked over some imagined slight.

Now, an Australian tabloid, yeah, the same one that had a swing at your ol pal DR in “Lewd ambush leaves surfer gritting teeth”, has revealed Davo was listed on NSW’s Child Protection Register after being found guilty of indecently assaulting a fifteen-year-old girl in 2017.

He was convicted of stealing a kiss, as they used to say in the darker days of the patriarchy, from the teenager daughter of a pal. When the pal went out, Davo stayed back to watch a movie with the kid.

Court docs revealed he asked her, “Do you have a boyfriend, if so he is a very lucky man”.

Girl felt uncomfortable, went to text her old boy, Davo told her to put the phone away.

She went to her room, he followed, touched her hands and kissed her, making her feel “scared and uncomfortable.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I should not have done that,” said Davo. “I’m sorry don’t tell your dad.”

Girl crept out of the house, told someone else who also lived there what had happened.

Man went inside, grabbed Davo off a bed he was laying on and pushed him to the door.

Davo was charged with one count of assault with act of indecency. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a good behaviour bond for three years and put on the Child Protection Register.

One year later, while teaching students of all ages at a surf school in South West Rocks, a job he didn’t declare to the police, he was arrested for breaching the terms of the Register.

Davo told ‘em the incident with the teenage girl didn’t happen and that he shouldn’t be on the Child Protection Register.

Cops charged him with failing to comply with reporting obligations and his bond was revoked.

He was resentenced to a three-year community corrections order and given 100 hours community service.

At the time of his death he was looking at another charge of failing to comply with reporting conditions.

Surfline Man can see it now! Rocking up to Pipeline with a boardbag full of freshies — for sure, he would be getting free boards, due to his new, important role! Surfline Man could get so barrelled in the real ocean! Of course he would have to learn how to get barrelled backside, but he’s confident he could definitely do it.

Surfline Man buys a World Surf League, “He’ll learn so much hanging out with all his new pro surfer friends. They’ll be BFF’s in no time at all!”

Surfline Man feels so certain all the pro surfers would love him and help him learn to surf better. It would all be so educational.

Since we last saw him getting totally barreled at Surf Ranch, things have been going so well for Surfline Man.

Just last week, he scored such an awesome session right here in Cardiff. He didn’t even have to drive around in the Sprinter looking at like, ten different spots. It was just right there in front of him. Truly the best day ever!

Better yet, Surfline Man found an even better coffee shop than the Pannikin. The coffee is so good here! The wifi is so screaming fast, and he has the perfect view of the surf.

Surfline Man is so totally living the dream. All his chakras are perfectly aligned.

Right now, he’s sitting in his favorite new coffee shop, laptop open, working. Trey asked him to do some contract tech stuff, and although Surfline Man is totally over capitalism, he figured it was a good idea to stay in the game.

Maybe an awesome opportunity will come his way!

If he’s honest, Surfline Man is really just hoping Trey will invite him to Surf Ranch again someday. It was so fun getting super barrelled! Surfline Man wants to get barrelled again so bad. Next time, he’s totally going left.

Writing a little code here and there is worth it. Just sitting here, tapping out some code, drinking a matcha latte, it’s so relaxing! Surfline Man feels so zen right now. Chakras, baby!

Surfline Man hears his phone buzz. New text. He huffs a little at the interruption, but it could be important. It could be a surf trip or something awesome! Surfline Man sets aside his super perfect code, and picks up his phone.

Oh. It’s Trey. Surfline Man opens his phone and begins to read. As usual, it is a lot. Trey loves to text so much.

Trent! Buddy! How are things?
Getting some waves, I hope!
Loved seeing you rip at Surf Ranch
That was such a good time!

Some investor buddies of mine and I
are putting together a deal and
we want to bring you in on it
It’s such a perfect fit for you!

Surfline Man has never really been brought in on a deal before now. This sounds exciting and important!

There’s just one problem. Surfline Man does have some money, but not like, invest in crazy deals money. Hey Trey, not everyone gets the sweet equity! Surfline Man rolls his eyes, and continues to read.

We’re taking a hard look
at buying the World Surf League
In fact, we’re pretty sure we can do it

We want you to join us!
We feel like you will bring some
much-needed authenticity to our group
What do you think?

Surfline Man feels so light-headed right now. He has to set down his phone.

Buy the World Surf League! Trey called him authentic! Surfline Man has so many feelings. It’s all so overwhelming.

Here he is, just sitting in his favorite coffee shop, looking out at the ocean, writing some code. Then, bam! This whole thing comes crashing into his life, like a car crashing into a building or some other big, loud thing.

One day, you wake up and everything changes. Surfline Man, an authentic surfer! He can’t even believe it.

hey trey
definitely interested
i don’t have a ton of assets available
don’t know how much i need?
appreciate the invite, for sure

So good to hear back from you, Trent
Yah, we should be alright on the money side
Got some high-rollers interested ha ha
If you can put up $50k it should be a-okay

I need to know if you’re in ASAP
Big investor call at noon tomorrow!
Hope you can join us!
Barrels at Surf Ranch every weekend!

Surfline Man sets down his phone, and takes a sip of water from his shiny new Yeti water bottle. So lightweight! Totally shatter-free!

Then he leans back in his chair, and stares at the horizon. He could be an owner of the World Surf League! Surfline Man tries to imagine his exciting, new life. He would definitely have to travel around the world to all the events. No question.

Surfline Man can see it now! Rocking up to Pipeline with a boardbag full of freshies — for sure, he would be getting free boards, due to his new, important role! Surfline Man could get so barrelled in the real ocean! Of course he would have to learn how to get barrelled backside, but he’s confident he could definitely do it.

Anyway, Surfline Man can’t be bothered with details just now. There are just so many possibilities! He could expand his horizons so far beyond Cardiff. Surfline Man only thought he was living the dream. Now he can do it for real!

For sure, Surfline Man would learn so much hanging out with all his new pro surfer friends. They would be BFF’s in no time at all.

Maybe he could finally master that awesome cutback he’s been working on for so long. Surfline Man feels so certain all the pro surfers would love him and help him learn to surf better. It would all be so educational.

All Surfline Man has to do is pay out $50k. His college education cost more than that, and really, he’s not sure it got him that far. He could be surf industry elite! Surfline Man can’t imagine a better use of his money. It will all be so, so worth it.

Surfline Man returns to the present. Here he is, sitting in Cardiff at his favorite coffee shop, writing some code. But he could be somewhere else entirely. It is all so seductive.

Surfline Man picks up his phone. He has no doubts now. He should totally do it. Sure, Trey is an asshole who laughed at Surfline Man when he sprained his ankle at the Elevate! company dodgeball game.

But if Surfline Man owned even a tiny portion of the World Surf League, he could travel the world and get so good at surfing. Surfline Man definitely can’t rest until he is the best surfer he can possibly be. It’s his only goal!

hey trey
sounds cool
i’m so in

Surfline Man debates whether he should sign off with a shaka, but that might be pushing it. It feels far better to play it cool. Surfline Man’s brand is totally authenticity, and he’s pretty sure a real surfer would never sign a text with a shaka. As he hits send, Surfline Man can’t resist saying it, though. Shakas, bro!

Awesome, dude!
I am so happy to have you on the team!
Looking forward to living the dream
It’s going to be so insane

I’ve come up with the perfect role for you
You’re such the real surfer!
We’re going to make you the
Ambassador of Stoke!

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan takes claiming to heretofore unforeseen level; tosses “double deuces” when not quite barreled at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch!

Sliding into your heart.

“Claims” have long been a divisive issue amongst fans of professional surfing. Should one of our heroes pump arms, wag tongues, throw heads back after an exceptional ride? Moreover, should they after an unexceptional one? Likely not, ever, but the debate continues to rage.


All can agree that World Surf League Erik Logan’s “double deuces” whilst not barreled at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch goes well over the line.

Or does it?

Fans appear divided.

Or maybe not.

Only “fire” emojis and “raised hands” emojis in the comments once he posted the clip of himself to his own Instagram account.

No negative.

David Lee Scales and I, anyhow, discussed the double d, the power of surf films, Dennis Jarvis’s genius and much, much more during our weekly chat. This super pod touches two hours in length and each minute is worth its weight in minutes.

Enjoy here.