Gilmore (pictured) with new stablemates. Photo: WSL
Gilmore (pictured) with new stablemates. Photo: WSL

Surf idol Stephanie Gilmore signals stunning career pivot, signs with talent agency famous for representing Alex Jones, Simon Cowell and Blink-182!

Real fame and/or notoriety await!

Stephanie Gilmore is, truly, a surf icon. Winningest female competitor of all time, very picture of grace and flow, hero to boys and girls everywhere. Last season, you certainly recall her basement-to-penthouse run through the World Surf League’s Finals Day there on Lower Trestles’ cobbled stone. Eight million (and counting) fans watched her dispatch one challenger after another until hoisting the trophy at the end.

And she will start this 2023 season as the one to beat except might her focus be slightly shifted? Not so surf-centric? In a stunning move, it was revealed days ago that the eight-time champion has signed with the YMU Talent Agency. According to film industry source Variety:

At YMU she will be repped by the group’s LA-based executive manager Alex Frankel, who will work with Gilmore across film, entertainment, publishing, IP and brand development, live events, marketing, digital and social strategy and Web3. Frankel will also work with Gilmore’s manager and sister Whitney Gilmore and NC Management’s Nikki Craig to oversee Gilmore’s surfing and Olympic agenda.

“I met Steph when I played at Australia’s ‘Big Day Out’ music festival in 2009,” said Frankel. “Since then, it’s been a pleasure to watch her become an eight times world surfing champion and Olympic athlete – as well as to use her platform to advocate equal pay for female athletes. It goes without saying, but it’s a true privilege to represent Stephanie in this next chapter across literature, film, music, brand endorsements, and whatever else she dreams up. On behalf of the larger YMU team, I enthusiastically welcome Steph and can’t wait to add value to her already astonishing career.”

Literature, film, music and wow!

Making sure Gilmore is in good hands, I searched through YMU’s roster and was shocked to discover they represent Alex Jones.


Further searching, though, learned me that Alex Jones is also a female Welsh television host not only a controversial founder of InfoWars.

YMU also calls The Voice judge Simon Cowell, the pop punk band Blink-182 David Walliams and Matt Lucas its own.

Did you ever watch Little Britain starred in by Walliams and Lucas?

Very funny.

Bravo to Gilmore and I am excited to watch her silver screen turn.

And/or bombastic fire starter one.

Visually stunning big wave film “Ground Swell: The Other Side of Fear” starring Kai Lenny, Makua Rothman, Bianca Valenti and narrated by sultry Josh Brolin releases exclusive trailer!

Only for BeachGrit!

If there’s one thing we can all agree upon, it is that surf filmmaking is as important now as it ever was. As vlogs and TikkeyTokketies, Instagrams and OnlyFanses become more and more abundant, the craft of long form, thoughtful storytelling shines even brighter. The Florida Surf Film Festival is one such example of greatness, showcasing curated piece of art after curated piece of art.

Paul Taublieb is another such.

The multi-time Emmy winner, in his prime and best known in our world for producing Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, has spent the last three years of his life following some of the world’s greatest big wave surfers around the globe, including Kai Lenny, Makua Rothman, Nic Von Rupp, Bianca Valenti, Matt Bromley and Torrey Meister catching their never-before-heard stories, capturing never-before-seen visuals including history’s first ever 100-foot wave and all narrated by the one-and-only Josh Brolin, whose sultry baritone makes everything better.

The film will be released on January 20th in theaters but you can watch an exclusive trailer, gifted only to BeachGrit, here.

I reached out to Taublieb, curious as to what inspired the whole business.

“I was wondering why the hell do we care about watching crazy people riding giant waves,” he responded. “What makes it interesting and compelling? And not from me, but the surfers talked about how they face fear and if a kook like me can see them overcome fear in the water, I can think about overcoming fear in my life, from asking for a raise or trying my real best. That fear is a tool, fear is a device and if in watching a maniac riding giant Nazare or Pipe or Mavericks and overcome their fear, maybe I can a tad little bit better in my life.”

Dare not to be moved.

Azealia Banks (insert) hating Australian surfers. Photo: Doped Youth
Azealia Banks (insert) hating Australian surfers. Photo: Doped Youth

Acclaimed rapper Azealia Banks utterly ravages surf mad Australia, refuses to ever perform in Lucky Country again: “Y’all got a whole different culture around here… this place makes me utterly miserable!”


Any surf fan worth her salt is well aware of Australia’s importance to our space. Not only is surfing the Lucky Country’s national sport, not only would the World Surf League host 11 Championship Tour events a year there, if it could, not only is Mick Fanning a national hero, Joel Parkinson a well-respected park ranger but… well, I guess that’s enough.

Now, the most surf mad region of the surf mad nation is the state of Queensland, which boasts the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. Its turquoise water producing many iconic waves. Its capital Brisbane set to host the 2032 Olympics which will heavily feature surfing.

Except not everyone, apparently, is a fan. Acclaimed rapper, 31, Azealia Banks recently vowed to never perform in Australia again because she finds Brisbane abominable. After cancelling a show she declared in a to-video piece:

I’m so sorry you guys – actually I’m not sorry – but listen: last time I was in Brisbane and y’all threw shit on the stage and damn near almost fucking hit me in the face with a fucking bottle of soda or whatever that shit was. That was the most racist, most demoralising experience of my fucking life and right now I’m on a really good track.

Sydney and Melbourne are the only cities I really want to play. Y’all got a whole different culture around here. I am too far away from home … I am a beautiful black woman and I am not going to get in front of some audience of white people for them to be throwing shit at me. I am so not sorry. I am not sorry at all. Brisbane, y’all are just going to have to take the L and smoke it.

After this run this will be my very last time touring Australia. This place makes me utterly miserable and I’m too black and beautiful to have a bunch of white people in my face playing with me over their WEAK ASS CURRENCY!


In the award-nominated Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, I described Queensland’s Gold’s Coast as “humid and cancerous” because the “ozone is rotted above Australia because Australian girls love hairspray.”

Pretty rude but no “WEAK ASS CURRENCY” rude.


Too sexy. Photo: Fox News.
Too sexy. Photo: Fox News.

Conservative firebrand Fox and Friends hosts learn how to surf in New York during segment that devolves into wildly lewd orgy of lust!

Naughty talk.

The ubiquitous “learning how to surf” whilst nowhere near the ocean has been a staple of local television newscasts since broadcasting became a thing. Hosts standing awkwardly, making awkward talk and awkward eyes about “hanging ten” etc. The entire business is usually wholesome, family friendly, but, days ago, the conservative hosts of firebrand Fox and Friends pushed the envelope into the lewd and rude.

The bit begins with three hosts, two handsome males with conservative hair and one female wearing a long coat with feathered blonde hair. They are standing outside in New York City and one of the men declares, “Got the note to wear sweatpants today, sweatpants, because we’re going surfing.” Behind them all is a large blow-up wave, the sort Hurley sells, and on the ground are three soft tops.

The Locals’ Surf School co-owner is then introduced, informing the three that they should be in wetsuits, not their business suits, but they’re all going to give it a try. He then walks through the three basic skills. Paddle, pop up and wipeout, declaring, “Yes, you will be wiping out, I’m sure of it, but it can be fun and safe if we do it.”

He next lays on one of the soft tops and demonstrates proper paddling form while the hosts look on, popping to feet while one says “It looks like a burpee, it looks like you’re doing a burpee.”

Now this is where things turned bawdy. One of the male hosts got down to “paddle” and “pop up” himself, while the other two wonder if he is going to rip his pants. The female host refuses to get down on the board, worried that she might rip her jumpsuit with all declaring “that would be even better.”


So much pant/jumpsuit ripping. So much hope for it to all hang right out.

Pure lust.

More innuendo and tension, naughty talk, seen since Ron Burgundy went off the air.

The female host then jumps onto the inflatable Hurley toy and the piece devolves from there into an orgy of odd, shocking viewers at home.

If you have the stomach, you can watch here.

More importantly, though, have your pants ever split in public?

Describe, please.

Florence, seated, looking away, pensive, and the transcendentally sexy master shaper Jon Pyzel, inset.

World’s best surfer John John Florence and “diabolically sexy master shaper” Jon Pyzel launch luxury accessories brand and its name has explosive links to Proto-Polynesian!

For Florence it’s a further pivot away from the wreckage of heritage surf brands, now bundled together like junk bonds and sold to whatever vulture capitalist has a kink for surf.

The two-time world champion surfer and trans (Pacific) sailor man, John John Florence, has partnered with master shaper Jon Pyzel and the CEO of Pyzel Surfboards Dan McNamara to create a high-end luxury surf accessories brand called Veia Supplies.

Some of Jon Pyzel’s story you might already know: how this diabolically sexy shredder (sponsored by Rip Curl and Hamish Graham surfboards) fled Santa Babs for the North Shore in 1992 and was taken under the wing of master shaper Jeff Bushman before, in 1998, shaping a little blond boy’s first ever custom.

The boy, of course, was John John Florence.

For the thirty-year-old Florence it’s a further pivot away from the wreckage of heritage surf brands, now bundled together like junk bonds and sold to whatever vulture capitalist has a kink for surf. Last year, Florence, along with Bob Hurley and big-bag swinging Patty O’Connell, launched the twelve-million dollar start-up Florence Marine X.

The name of the latest venture, Veia, either comes from Proto-Polynesian and means “to dislike” or it’s Spanish for creek, or maybe neither. 

The first range of John John gear features a seven-foot board bag that retails for $US350, a couple of tail pads for fifty dollars and leashes ranging from forty-three to forty-seven dollars. 

“Multi-board bags are rockered so boards properly fit, and some of our larger bags also include purpose-built places for tie downs, extra padding, and carabiners,” CEO Dan McNamara told Shop-Eat-Surf. “No one travels with boards more often than John John and since we at Pyzel have supplied his boards for the past 25 years, we are in a unique position to build to that need. Another key difference is that we are infusing more color into the board bag category. We all love black bags, but we want to offer a little more design and differentiation both on the wall and at the baggage claim.”