Surf fan prays for KS-Giz reunion.

Surf-adjacent Website Responsible for Record Increase in Candle Sales!

From the post-truth department!

While doing some work-related research on market trends, I came across this interview with Ted Post, president of the National Candle Group, the leading industry coalition that generates candle standards; and that tracks retail trends for the candle industry. 

It’s buried behind the paywall of The Wall Street Journal, so I can’t provide the link. 

However, key content is pasted here for the edification of BG readers:

According to Post, there has been both an unprecedented and unpredicted increase of candle sales in the United States over the last 5 weeks. 

When contacted by The Wall Street Journal, Post explained,

“This has caught our industry totally by surprise. Both suppliers, distributors, and retailers are perplexed, as we have tracked an increase of 280% of sales compared to the same time horizon of the 2021 retail year. This is exciting, but of course alarming, in a good way, as more sales of quality produced candles is our goal. Candles make every social gathering more memorable. However, in this compressed retail environment with ‘just-in-time’ sales trends dominating the retail ecosystem, many retailers are stressed to keep up with this unfound rise in demand.  

When asked why there has been this unpredictable increase, and what it says about consumers, Post responded,

“Well, there are certain retail times of year where we know candles will sell: the holidays, especially Hanukkah and Christmas; Passover; Halloween/Day of the Dead; and Valentine’s Day. Those are dependable retail clusters where we expect 1,000% increases, and our suppliers and retailers work hard at those times to provide quality to our customers. So this sales trend caught us totally unawares, which of course on many levels is a good thing to have happened.

We did our due diligence and sent out a survey to retailers in the US. This was also mirrored with our networks in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It turns out sales are being driven entirely by a single demographic: white men in their 50s and 60s, often about 30 to 50 lbs overweight, who wear “thongs” and cargo shorts, and a tight surf-brand tee shirt that shows too tight on their beer bellies. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine such a demographic–how does one predict and thus prepare marketing campaigns for this demographic? It turns out this demographic trend holds in all US coastal states, and the same in our international markets. Then, weirdly, there was an increase of candle sales by a factor of 300% in Oklahoma, of all places. That one is even harder for us to figure out.”

Post was asked why he thinks these precise demographic of customers are flocking to get candles in these specific locations:

“That’s weird, too. The #1 response for why the purchase, at a rate that statistically dwarfs any other response, was ‘I’m hoping for Kelly to get Gisele.’ That’s basically been the overwhelming reason given. Really, the only reason given. Then, oddly, after saying this, the male will put on sunglasses and make some esoteric hand signal where they extend their thumb and pinky while closing the three middle fingers, and walk away, content with their new purchase.”

Post concludes by saying, “This has me stumped. I’ve been in the candle industry for 25+ years. I live, eat, and breathe candles. Candles have put my kids through college. Never would I have predicted that a bunch of over-50 year old men in coastal towns, would care about lesbian relationships.”

BG has learned two things over the last couple of days: Chas relishes beating dead horses to oblivion; resuscitating said dead horse; and then beating it to death again. 

The second is that Chas can singlehandedly skew whole retail markets. 

More as consumer trends emerge…


So much of surfing is all the time in between. Driving around California with boards in the back of the car totally counts as surfing.

The surfer’s essential guide to a Californian road trip, “If you don’t have to slam on the brakes and send your boards flying through the front window, did you even drive the 405?”

"I have a deep fear of the 405, so I could not stop to surf, even though Zuma looked surprisingly inviting. I kept driving, but not without a wistful view in the rearview."

Last week, I hopped in a rented white Jeep, slid onto the 101, and headed south. I drove past Rincon, where the tide was too high.

I followed the maze of freeway construction toward Ventura. They’re remaking the 101. When it ends, no one seems to know. Keep left. Merge right. No outlet. Do not enter.

Looking over my shoulder, I could see the ant farm swarming small peaks at Emma Wood.

We really should rename the place to Dane’s. What’s Emma Wood ever done for us, anyway?

I always wonder who names surf spots and which name after what must be so many tries finally sticks. I always imagine Hobson as the drunk in the parking lot, the guy who sat there every day, beer in hand, telling stories about that one day over and over. Hobson was probably the rich guy who owned all the land for miles around, but I like my version better.

I was on my way to do a launch party for a guide book to Southern California surfing that I helped write with the crew at Wildsam. Yes, I helped write a guidebook. I definitely gave away all the secret spots, because if it has a parking lot and a bathroom, it’s definitely a secret spot.

I have a deep and abiding fear of the 405, so I could not stop to surf, even though the north end of Zuma looked surprisingly inviting. I kept driving, but not without a wistful view in the rearview.

In fact, the 405 was mostly behaving, if rolling 80 mph with all your closest friends is behaving. If you don’t have to slam on the brakes and send your boards flying through the front window, did you even drive the 405?

I bounced off the freeway at Bolsa Chica and headed to the beach in search of a bathroom. I did not know there was a $15 day use fee at Bolsa Chica State Beach. You live and learn in this life, and sometimes you pay $15 to use the bathroom.

The tide is too high, the wind is too much — surfing likes to make it hard. I got to Huntington with time to surf, but the wind got there, too. I sat on a bench with a Spindrift and watched someone launch over the falls on a walled up set. A couple of guys scrapped around a tiny inside peak.

Maybe I should surf, I said to no one in particular.

Then I thought about pulling on my suit, and walking across the long stretch of sand. I thought about going over the falls on the closeouts, and the meager insiders on offer.

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never.

Later that night I sat around with some newfound friends and talked about surfing. Thanks to the Covid years, I forgot how to talk about things in front of people, so that was exciting. I probably sounded just as dumb as I do here. It’s good to stay on brand.

The subject turned to surf films. Five Summer Stories. Sprout. Punk and airs, I said. I just want to watch some airs.

The next day, sitting on the 405 again, I thought about my favorite surf films. Do I even have any?

I was struggle-bussing to Venice for coffee, and I was not making all that much progress. The slow crawl through Carson left me with plenty of time to think, though not many brain cells to do it.

I tried to make a list: Trilogy, Lost Atlas, Psychic Migrations, and Leave a Message. But surely, I missed something. The lack brain cells, you know.

I drank an amazing espresso at Alana’s on Venice Boulevard, a crowded joint with a patio out back. Like a tourist, I cruised Abbot Kinney. Then suddenly, I was back out at the beach in Santa Monica.

After stopping for a sandwich in Malibu, I tried to get back in the white Jeep. There was a woman sitting in the front seat, talking on the phone. I had opened the car to the wrong white Jeep. What if this was my car, I wondered. What if I was this woman talking on the phone? I wonder if we could be friends.

Eventually, I found my own white Jeep, the one with the surfboards and the melting wax in the back.

Maybe I can make it to Rincon before sunset.

Maybe this time the tide will be right and the wind won’t be on it.

I drove past Rincon without even stopping, and made it home without ever taking my boards out of the back.

So much of surfing is all the time in between. Driving around California with boards in the back of the car totally counts as surfing.

Go on, change my mind.

Gerard Butler (pictured) paddling poorly.
Gerard Butler (pictured) paddling poorly.

Vulnerable Adult Learners from Lady Gaga to Gerard Butler rejoice as new electric surfboard promises to make pesky arms redundant; opens door for complete lineup domination!

A farewell to arms.

A real problem for the VAL, or vulnerable adult learner, is paddling a surfboard. Oh he, or she, might be able to pop to feet with little problem, may be able to point eight feet and six inches of foam in one direction or another. Hop off at the end of the ride, tug the leash and bring their board back to them, but paddling.

Paddling is a tricky one.

First there is the balance, laying not too far back, nose sticking straight into the air, not too far forward, nose dipping in the water. Then is, then the “feeling,” knowing when a swell will take over and the arms are no longer needed. Mostly there are those arms, noodle-esque and not very strong.

Silly little water slappers.

Most difficult but a new company, Jetson Surf Technology, has maybe cracked the paddling code, giving he VAL the keys to every lineup in the world.

Per Robb Report:

The Florida startup’s board features a built-in jet drive motor like the rest of its peers, but it only runs for short bursts, according to New Atlas. This helps creates an experience closer to that of traditional surfing, and also allows the rider to go longer periods of time between charges.

Most electric surfboards let you control their motor via a squeeze throttle or handheld remote. On Jetson’s board, it’s controlled by a waterproof touchpad integrated into the top deck. From the pad, you can select one of four surf modes: Take Off/Boost (which temporarily gives you access to 100 percent power), Impact Zone (75 percent), Paddle Out (50 percent) and Eco Mode (25 percent). Select a mode, stand up and you’re ready to go.

Specs are:

Shortboard 6’8″x 21.5″ x 3.3″, Volume 45 L, 19 lbs.
Fun Shape 8’0″ x 23″ x 3.5″, Volume 61 L , 21 lbs.
Longboard 9’0″ x 23″ x 3.5″, volume 76.5 L, 23 lbs

Short bursts of power, no fussy throttle. Too good to be true? Get yours here.

Photo: @badboyryry_
Photo: @badboyryry_

Rumor: Billabong turncoat Griffin Colapinto, now surfing for bitter rival Quiksilver, allegedly has more cold-blooded treachery up sleeve!

Naked ambition.

But you thought surf intrigue was dead? And ha! Here, thrillingly, we have the tale of America’s top surfer Griffin Colapinto’s flip from the iconic Billabong to bitter rival Quiksilver. Hours ago, San Clemente’s second finest put pen to paper on a contract with the Mountain and Wave after years spent riding for the Wave on Wave.

How did such a thing come to be?

Such infidelity?

Well, while you are busy thinking about that, rumors are percolating, exclusively, that Colapinto has even more treachery under his 2mm short-sleeved full wetsuit. Now, allegedly, Colapinto, who currently surfs the Monster Claw very much desires to carry enemy number one Red Bull’s banner and WHOA!

Straight cut-throat.

As any student of professional extreme sports knows, the mark of a Red Bull athlete is the flat-brimmed baseball cap that he or she wears 24/7 featuring two Red Bulls about to butt horns. Sometimes, I suppose, it can also be a stocking cap or even a beret. In any case, Billabong has, since time immemorial, had its surfer adorn their heads in Billabong-branded hatwear and, thus, an impasse, and, now, a desired flip to a cursed enemy.

The question keeping surf fans up at night, will all Griffin Colapinto’s dreams come true? Mountain and Wave covering heart, Red Bull over brain, Billabong and Monster but casualties laying on the slopes of Mt. Naked Ambition?

Also, does this level of savagery indicate the young San Clemente surfer may have what it takes to pocket America’s first World Title since John John Florence circa 2017?

Has any professional surfer ever been so absolutely brazen?

David Lee Scales and I didn’t discuss any of this, which leaves our most recent chat as a beautiful surprise for you. Like should people ride motorcycles, jump off cliffs into the waters?

I think yes, DLS no. Enjoy as is your wont.

Here's the nasty truth, getting off balance is the joy of this place, or at least for me. Becoming stuck into man-eating Great White sharks, WHOOP, Gisele, Kelly, etc. Doing what feels fun, funny, all else be damned.

In defense of Gisele Bündchen, her scintillating dreams of grand reunion with surf great Kelly Slater, Jonah Hill’s pivot to clean n green electric trucks and the indefensible!

Dead horse kicking.

Let’s get right down to it without any poor first-sentence grammar. Let’s just tuck right in, you and me.

I completely understand SurfAds recent beautiful critique and love him for it, agreeing that balance has been off here lately.

Too much adjacent, not enough surf.

But, and here’s the nasty truth, getting off balance is the joy of this place, or at least for me. Becoming stuck into man-eating Great White sharks, WHOOP, Gisele, Kelly, Diplo etc. Doing what feels fun, funny, all else be damned.

No corporate overlord or corporate anything frowning from a distance. Zero finger wagging aside from you. Sitting at computer and making myself laugh, trying to make Derek laugh and laughing more when frustration boils and laughing again when the joke becomes the joke.

It’s not a great ability but its the one I have.

Dead horse kicking.

Now, I know that rarely makes you laugh, especially these sad days, but you make each other laugh despite me and there I am laughing even more. Oh, surfing is a ridiculous thing. It is the one constant theme in my work. Surfing is ridiculous and so much more than ever as it gets coopted by the Dirk Ziffs and Erik Logans and Jessi Miley-Dyers and Jonah Hills and stinking Diplos of our modern ridiculous world.

It’s funny. It’s absurd. I love it.

So of course it might seem like I am simply attempting to “game” an algorithm by pumping famous names into surf-esque stories but anyone who has ever toyed with online anything knows it ain’t that easy. The robot is weird. Unfortunately, I suppose, what I write here, daily, makes me chuckle.

No more.

No less.

I spoke with Eddie Rothman the other day.

He accidentally called me, trying to call someone else, but then we got to talking and, again, laughing. He said a writer had recently come out with a mandate to capture his story but had to fly home because he developed PTSD hanging there on Oahu’s fabled North Shore.

“You never got PTSD,” he laughed his low rumbling laugh and it is true.

I don’t get PTSD even though I probably should.


Also, stick around? Eight years and nearly 5000 posts in, you are, warts and all, BeachGrit.