"We're number four!" Photo: WSL
"We're number four!" Photo: WSL

In eye-popping turn, World Surf League Finals Day named fourth best surf competition on earth by august energy drink company!

Come swoon at which is number one!

We are all, together, almost there. The end of an entire year. The beginning of a fresh one. And with this  comes many reviews and listicles. The best of what was, the brightest of what is coming. BeachGrit, as an anti-depressive place, generally steers away from “Best of…” and the like but when the most consumed energy drink on our planet speaks it is important to listen.

Red Bull has just compiled the “7 best surf competitions in the world” and there are many surprises, not limited to the inclusion of 10 surf competitions.

First, and a surprise, is the Tudor Nazaré Tow Challenge. While tow surfing comes in and out of fashion, amongst surf fans, it is apparently back in and on top. Many bravos to Garrett McNamara.

Second is the Quiksilver (mysteriously spelled Quicksilver) Jaws Big Wave Challenge. When it runs, the action can, coincidentally, be caught on Red Bull TV.

Third is the entire Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, even though it has been turned digital and is not a surf competition, but fourth is where the real shock comes.

The World Surf League’s own Finals Day there on Lower Trestles cobbled stone.


The US Open of Surfing, in Huntington Beach, claims fifth, Mavericks sixth even though it hasn’t run in forever, the second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown a stand alone seventh, Red Bull Magnitude, whatever that is, eighth, Red Bull Foam Wreckers ninth and Stab High closing the door in the ten slot.

So what do you feel about the list? How many of those events do you mark on your calendar and receive like presents on Christmas morning?

Not to be rude, but for my money it is one of the very worst complications of professional surfing events ever created. Here’s mine.

  1. Pipeline Pro (due the dumbing down of the Pipe Masters)
  2. J-Bay Open
  3. The Eddie (when it runs)
  4. Teahupoo Pro
  5. Mundaka (RIP)
  6. Backdoor Shootout

What are yours?

David Lee Scales and I, in any case, did not discuss any of this on our weekly chat which will leave it as a wonderful surprise for you. Something to curl up to on New Year’s Eve and while away the hours leading to midnight.

Happy day.

Photo: Baywatch
Photo: Baywatch

New Zealand parents excoriated for laissez-faire attitude as children get swept away by wild surf en masse!

"Our tamariki are particularly susceptible to strong currents, and with all the water we have seen moving about they can quickly be swept away.”

Oh the ever-present joys of being a parent. Those, here, who count themselves amongst the lucky know well how situational awareness is spiked and especially during those early baby/toddler years though not abating into the pre-teens nor beyond. Of course, levels of protection can, and certainly should, be debated. Is a helmet necessary for every wheel’d activity, for example?

Or at what age is paddling out alone ok?

Well, New Zealand parents have found themselves on the sharp end of a frustrated surf lifesaving chief executive, this holiday week, as their young children are being swept out into the wild surf en masse.

Extremely laissez-faire.

Matt Williams released an “urgent” plea to the folk, declaring that “watching your kids from shore is not enough.” “Please don’t overestimate your ability or your children’s ability to cope in the conditions,” he continued. “They should be within an arm’s reach. Our tamariki are particularly susceptible to strong currents, and with all the water we have seen moving about they can quickly be swept away.”

Emphasizing his point, a story was shared about a seven-year-old boy who went for a little beach jog only to get caught up in some messy surf and carried three kilometers down the beach.


But a fun adventure for the little man?

Exciting and life affirming?

Also, will New Zealand’s next great surfer come from a longer leash from parents?

Something to ponder.

And in other beach activity related news, here is a three hour loop of the football scene in Top Gun: Maverick.


Los Angeles surfers put on amazing display of wildly below average skill as swell hits Southern California!

Come swoon.

I am near certain that you are well aware of the George Santos scandal currently roiling American politics. If not, the short of it goes something like this. Santos, a Republican congressman who just won his seat in New York, was revealed to have lied about basically everything on his resume save being gay (I think).

Not Jewish, not a graduate from Baruch College, never working for Goldman Sachs or Citibank.

Kelly Slater’s wonderful friend, and noted surfer, Tulsi Gabbard, sitting in for Tucker Carlson on Fox News obliterated the poor boy on live television, exposing the untruths and ouch.

Well, not wanting to be a George Santos, I will admit to you openly and honestly that I discovered the below clip on The Inertia. It was headlined, on my Google News feed, “Closeout Barrels in Los Angeles Can Still Be Fun to Watch.”


I stared at it far longer than I should have before finally clicking, immediately getting off The Inertia and arriving at the original YouTube source.

The clip, there, was headlined “Day 2: Surfing Huge Closeouts.”

What I was met with was the most amazing collection of below average skill I have ever witnessed. The waves weren’t huge, by any measure, nor were many closeouts. It is worth a watch, though, for you to measure yourself accurately against the best and brightest of World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s home break El Porto.

Be honest.

Better? Worse? Equal?

Dave Prodan (left insert) and Heidi Klum hovering over Mescal and Jody. Photo: Mescal Wasilewski Instagram
Dave Prodan (left insert) and Heidi Klum hovering over Mescal and Jody. Photo: Mescal Wasilewski Instagram

In wild game of surf love intrigue, Strider Wasilewski’s brother Mescal marries Full House star Jody Sweetin thereby stealing thunder from Sal Masekela and Lupita Nyong’o!

Love island!

2022 is careening to its official conclusion but not before piling another giddy shock on surf fans still reeling from the latest blast. Days ago, as you know, Lupita Nyong’o made her relationship with Selema Masekela “Instagram Official” by posting a series of cute outfit changes. The extremely talented Academy Award winning actress and the surf broadcaster had officially eclipsed the heat surrounding Gisele Bündchen and Kelly Slater thus making them surfing-adjacent’s most powerful couple.

Until, that is, days ago when it was revealed that Jody Sweetin had married Mescal Wasilewski.

Best known for playing lovable Stephanie Tanner on the hit television program Full House, Sweetin has long been considered an American darling. Wasilewski, of course, the brother of surf broadcaster Strider.

The two officially got married in the summer but surf fans are generally slow to this kind of news therefore the giddy shock.

Sweetin told People magazine, “We intertwine so well. He’s funny and smart, and he’s my biggest supporter. It’s really magical.”


With the marriage, Sweetin and Wasilewski’s status supersedes Nyong’o and Masekela’s simple dating and a new surfing-adjacent most powerful couple is crowned.

A dizzying game of intrigue.

With three, or such, days left in the year will there be any more surprises?

Griffin Colapinto’s uncle and Rebecca Romijn?

World Surf League chief strategy officer Dave Prodan and Heidi Klum?

I saw her at Disneyland, recently, and though she was with a boyfriend I feel Prodan could sweep her off feet.

More as the story develops.

Photo: The Apocalypse.
Photo: The Apocalypse.

Historically significant broadsheet trains fire on Bali’s day tripping surf tourists, describes vicious near-decapitation of local by “beginner kook scum!”


Bali, or the island of the gods, is a very magical place and if you have not visited before, I would very much suggest. There are many places to stay, sights to see, waves to surf though, it must be noted, raggedy hordes of hopped up tourists have become a serious problem.

These menaces, often dressed in Bali-branded merchandise, zig and zag on scooters, vomit into the gutters after drinking mushroom milkshakes and attempt to fulfill misguided childhood dreams of “learning to surf.”

The “learning to surf” bit has become such an issue that even the South China Morning Post has taken notice.

Founded in Hong Kong in 1903, the broadsheet was the official mouthpiece of British colonial rule, then the Rupert Murdoch empire until being sold to the Alibaba Group. While these days it suffers some criticism for promoting China’s soft power abroad, its journalist Dave Smith spared no disdain for Bali’s scourge of beginner kook scum.

Describing one incident, Smith wrote:

I get a very clear picture of what they are talking about when I paddle out to Medewi’s popular “point break” at high tide. The waves break slowly and consistently and are at times more than 100 metres in length – perfect for beginners. And therein lies the problem.

A few minutes after I get into the water, I see a beginner try to stand up on her surfboard before being wiped out.
Unfortunately, she didn’t properly attach her surfboard’s leg rope to her ankle and it comes undone – a crime in the surf world because it turns any surfboard into a dangerous waterborne projectile. And sure as death and taxes, it hits someone in the head – and that someone happens to be a local.

He doesn’t hold back from voicing his discontent.

While no punches were thrown, there is a heavy suggestion that there should be as various Austrian locals are interviewed, declaring, “When conditions are right, you can ride waves for up to one-and-a-half minutes here. (Before the pandemic) there would be maybe 20 surfers out on the waves – mostly locals and a couple of blow-ins from Kuta. But today there can be up to 100 surfers on any given day. And they’re all hungry for waves. They forget the rules.”

What should be done to help them remember those rules?

You tell me and the Austrian local.