"It's hard not to be romantic about BeacghGrit, kiddo… This kind of thing, it's fun for the fans. It sells banner ads and maybe a t-shirt here and there. Doesn't mean anything."

Surfline, World Surf League, grammar aficionados left red-faced as “outrageous and contagious” start-up becomes most popular website in surfing by wildly large margin!

A win for the little guy!

I wasn’t going to say anything but…. it feels wild chest pounding is what The People™ are really into these days.

Robust numbers reports. Wins across the board etc. Heretofore unforeseen growth.

The problem, though, is that be it politically left, politically right or Erik Logan, bald-faced lies are served as truth thus depressing those same The People™ when elections are lost, World Surf Leagues are not purchased by Netflix.

Big bummers all around.

Well, this little ol’ BeachGrit is, of course, for you, by you, and so we are pleased to announced that you are now, officially, the biggest surf website in the whole wide world.

Per the SimilarWeb:

A little under 5 million unique visitors last month.

Surfline and Magic Seaweed, combined, got 2.3 million.

The World Surf League much, much, much, much, much, much less.

The Inertia and Stab much lesser.

Hands are certainly being wrung in Santa Monica, Venice-adjacent, whatever “it city” from three years ago where Stab is currently setting up shop, trying to figure out how to replicate exceptionally poor grammar.

Consultants being hired in Surfline’s Huntington Beach offices to fire even more people so they can get down to the magic number of two.

The Inertia’s Zach Weisberg doubting, for the first time, the power of listicles.

Are you proud?

You should be.

Leave that candle burning on the windowsill unattended, for a moment, and crack into the vintage champagne.

You deserve.

Self-portrait, aged eighteen, 1969.

Art Brewer was a “free-swinging bullshit destroyer…He knew everybody, from Griffin to Stoner to Lopez, Rabbit, Curren, Slater, right on up to John John. And they loved him!”

"They loved him because he made them look so good."

The reach of Art Brewer, who has died aged seventy-one, was astounding. He knew everybody, from Griffin to Stoner to Lopez, Rabbit, Curren, Slater, right on up to John John. And they loved him.

They may have fought with him a time or two, but they loved him—partly because he made them all look so damn good, and partly because he was another one of those free-swinging bullshit destroyers. 

True, he lacked the growling poetic eloquence of Flippy Hoffman.

But Art called ’em like he saw ’em, no two ways about it.

(This interview was recorded in 2014.)

Isn’t there a story about you and Rick Griffin driving up the coast to San Francisco?

He grabbed me and said, “Come on, I need a ride back home, let’s go.” This was 1969. He was living up there.  So I picked him up in my mom’s yellow Mustang. Rick was on LSD, but I didn’t know it at the time, and of course he wanted to drive, so next thing I know I’m in the passenger seat, driving through Big Sur. Rick’s girlfriend was in the car too. We get to San Francisco, he drops me off to stay with his girlfriend, then drives over to his house on Mission Street, to his wife and kid.

How old were you?

I was 18!

Wow, culture shock!

I met all the Zap Comix guys, Robert Williams and Crumb and S. Clay Wilson. That was a trip. And yeah, it’s the middle of the whole “free love” deal. So I end up getting some of that, and the crabs. I lasted three days up there, then got paranoid and split back home.

You and George Greenough were both kneeboarders. You ever surf with him?

I had one of those super-thin kneeboards, like an inch-and-a-half thick, all scooped out on the deck. I drove up to Rincon one afternoon and rode it, and George was in the water. He had it a lot more wired than I did, though. I watched and learned.

Did you ever talk photography with him?

Oh yeah, a few years later on. Quite a bit. A bunch of times when he was working on movies; Big Wednesday and things like that. Also, George built a waterhousing for John Severson, probably in early 1969, and that was the housing I used when I shot the Tom Stone cover.

What comes to mind when you look at shots of yours from the 1970s?

Just that the sport hadn’t been sold out yet. It hadn’t gone out the window.

When did it go out the window?

I don’t know. Photography-wise, digital maybe kind of ruined it. Sometime after 2000.

Surf photography has maybe gotten too good for its own good. 

It’s just so homogenized. Everything is smoothed over. All the colors are perfect.

That’s what I mean. It’s too perfect. It was more interesting when it wasn’t perfect. 

The Indian blanket.


When they were weaving, Indians would always put a flaw in the blanket. You don’t want the blanket to be perfect. The world’s not perfect.

Brewer, at right, with the divinely decadent Bunker Spreckels, left, and rear. | Photo: Art Brewer

“Surfing’s most naturally gifted photographer” Art Brewer, whose iconic imagery defined the sport over five decades, dead at 71

"A grand, explosive, creative talent."

Big, beautiful Art Brewer, the Californian photographer whose work defined surfing over five decades, and who created the legend of Bunker Spreckels via his ionic imagery, has died.

“Without all those incredible Brewer photos, we wouldn’t even be talking about Bunker Spreckels,” the surf historian Matt Warshaw told me a few years back. “Bunker in many ways was Art’s muse. He made Art a better photographer, helped bring out the genius.”

Art, who was seventy-one, had been in UCLA’s intensive care unit since July following a liver transplant. You’ll remember a couple of weeks back the GoFundMe that was set up to help cover his exorbitant medical bills; the first invoice he received was for quarter-of-a-million dollars despite being fully insured.

Referred to “as the sport’s most naturally gifted surf photographer”, Art owned the seventies, eighties and nineties in the American surf mags before splitting to do more lucrative commercial work, although his surf spirit still soared.


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A post shared by Jeff Divine (@jeffdivinephotographer)

“Brewer’s size (he once weighed nearly 300 pounds) and flaring temper, meanwhile, further suggested the idea of grand, even explosive creative talent,” wrote Matt Warshaw. “At times Brewer played on his aggression. Asked to supply a self-portrait for a 1997 portfolio, ‘this big elephant seal of a man,’ as described by surf journalist Evan Slater, provided a green-tinged face shot negative, jaggedly cut in two, then taped and stapled back together, with the handwritten caption: ‘Surf photography constipates me!’”

But also: “Brewer’s eye for color and framing is unmatched in the surf world, and much of his best work has been done as a portraitist, when he has unfettered control over light, texture, and mood.”

The Hawaii-based photographer Brian Bielmann, another long-serving great, wrote,

“Art Brewer was my hero. He will always be my favorite photographer. Art was the best of the best. Art taught me what it was to see the beauty God created and then give it back to everyone through my camera lens. I’m saying a prayer for his family and the next time I go to snap a picture of the waves. I’m gonna look up and say Artie, this shot’s for you. Goodbye to a beautiful soul , an artist and friend.”

Image: Para Surf Scotland
Image: Para Surf Scotland

Quadruple amputee set to become youngest ever to compete in top surf competition: “It’s an opportunity nobody has seen before!”


As you know, well,  your BeachGrit bills itself as “anti-depressive” and generally upholds that mantle though… sometimes, every now again, it slips into the ruthlessly unnecessary and/or straight evil banality. Posts with little to zero moral value. Pieces that are as shoddily constructed as they are considered.


This morning (or evening/mid-day depending on your reading location), however, we have a story that is certain to inspire even the most frivolously rude. The tale of ten-year-old Jade Edward, from Scotland, who is set to become one of the youngest ever to compete in a top-level professional surfing competition and as a quadruple amputee.

Edward lost both her arms and legs when she was two years of age after contracting Meningococcal Septicaemia and having to undergo the emergency procedure. “The only thing the doctors could do to save Jade was to amputate her arms and legs, her father, Fraser Edward, told Aberdeen Live. “It’s the only reason she’s still alive. In Jade’s eyes, she’s not disabled.”

The young girl was introduced to surfing on a family beach vacation last summer and fell in love with our favorite pastime, impressing those around with her natural ability, and was invited to the English Para Surf Competition in Bristol. After impressing, again, she made the Scottish Para Surf Team and will now head to California for the upcoming International Surfing Association World Para Surfing Championships.

“Being in the water gives her so much freedom,” her father continued. “She’s encountered horrendous weather conditions but never loses confidence. It’s a match made in heaven. She’s lived with her disability all her life, but surfing has really welcomed her.”

Edward added, “There’s not many 10-year-olds who get the chance to do this. My mum said it will be really good to be with other people with different abilities rather than always being the one who is different. I can’t wait.”

The World Para Surfing Championships will take place in Pismo Beach this Dec. 4 – 11 as ISA president Fernando Aguerre seeks to have surfing included in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

“The ISA is super committed to the long-term growth and promotion of Para surfing worldwide,” Aguerre declared. “The World Para Surfing Championship is a key element of that mission. The global community of Para surfers know how powerful surfing can be in healing the mind, body and spirit. Through continuing to elevate this event, our hope is to further spread the joy and love that Para surfing brings to our community and the world. That joy is visible on the face of every athlete that competes at our event.”


Basque surfer-architect astonishes by building beachfront modernist house in Nicaragua for $8000, “I read books in the hammock on the terrace, do sunrise yoga and score epic waves!”

And built in front of a wild A-frame called The Bomb!

You dream of splitting the big ol city with its two-million dollar shoebox apartments and acres of concrete and finding a piece of bucolic heaven, land cheap enough to get a spread where you can open a window and smell the ocean?

Three years ago, Daniel Serrano, a surfer and architect from San Sebastian in Spain, threw down $1500 on a Pastime Camper and hit the Pan-American Highway from Oregon, its beak pointed towards South America.

He found his little slice of surf-heaven in Aposentillo, Nicaragua, where a hard-breaking A-frame called The Boom breaks nine months of the year.

Serrano bought himself half-an-acre of dirt, parked his camper and built a traditional palm palapa shelter over it to stay dry during the raining season.

He figured he’d keep it as a “refuge” when he wasn’t back home in Spain, but with design work coming in, weeks turned into months and now he lives in Nicaragua for half the year.

And, so, that old Pastime Camper got turned into a 240-square foot modernist home.

“This cabin was built by two people using the most basic tools,” explains Serrano. “Through a system of sliding doors and windows that open with pulleys, the main space is able to open up to the landscape during the day and enclose to give privacy during the night. Interior and exterior distinctions are blurred allowing an engagement with the environment and at night it radiates like a lantern. The intention of the camper house is to explore the essentials for a magical holiday shelter within a small budget.”

Small budget?

Serrano says if you include the cost of the camper, buying and transporting materials, all his tools as well as cookware for the kitchen, so drive in jive away as they say, eight gees.

“I read books in the hammock on the terrace, do sunrise yoga, and eat well,” he tells Dwell, an architecture mag. “And score epic waves.”

Wild, yes?

Serrano's Pastime Camper before it got switched into a modernist house.
Serrano’s Pastime Camper before it got switched into a modernist house.
The camper with its roof, the precursor to his new house.
The camper with its roof, the precursor to his new house.