As “Papa Surf” Barton Lynch continues to sprout most luxurious facial hair on planet, surf fans are left to wonder if longtime sponsor Hurley is responsible for greatest marketing stunt ever!

Marketing 101.

Four exceedingly long years ago, the surf world was absolutely rocked when, overnight, fitness giant Nike sold its surf label Hurley to Bluestar Alliance. Founded in 1999 by surfboard shaper Bob Hurley, the eponymous brand soared to success on the wings of its fantastic design, cutting-edge materials and best-in-class team featuring everyone from John John Florence to Kolohe Andino to Julian Wilson etc.

Heady times.

But, alas, all great things come to an end (save BeachGrit), somewhere along the way Hurley was sold to Nike who, in turn, sold it to Bluestar Alliance who, in turn, canned most of the surf team and began producing fingernail clippers, inflatable pool toys and beard oil.

Not canned, strangely, was elder statesman Barton Lynch who continued to sport the iconic )( on his t-shirts and hats and, mysteriously, began sprouting the finest facial hair since Karl Marx.

The dots were not connected until just today when an eagle-eyed podcast listener emailed David Lee Scales and wondered if the whole plan, all along, was to conquer the hirsute space while using the 1988 surf champion as its champion.

If yes, it completely worked.

And I defy you to tell me that if Hurley’s beard oil left your face looking like Lynch’s you would not use.

Handsome and luxe.


Scales and I, anyhow, discussed beards and other surf adjacent matters while sipping champagne. This was our 200th episode, each one more enjoyable than the last leaving this the most enjoyable of all.


California VALS undergo rigorous pre-big wave training using methods learned online.

Emergency edict issued to vulnerable adult learner surfers following myriad catastrophes during California’s once-in-fifty-years swell!

"Those who did make it out among the real men and women became traffic, at best; land mines at worst."

The big fifty-year thing is closing its blinds in California.

Whether you ate straight from the buffet or watched each day’s waves on your phone snuggled in your bed, you saw some of the best rides from the coast in years. Heaps of audacious drops, barrels, and escapes from the best in the west.

You likely also noticed the mass of bodies that had no business going out…

Piles of blissfully ignorant VALs failing to get out past the whitewater. No timing, no duck diving, no experience evidently: A timid walk into the shore break, a few frightened bird arm swoops, then flipped up and back to whence they came, rung bell in head and such.

Those who did make it out among the real men and women became traffic, at best; land mines at worst.

Just look at all the reports from the past few weeks of dangerous conditions created by the unlicensed. It’s endless.

And it made me wonder why these fools, wet and without hope, would ever believe they could ride waves of such temper.

Where are they getting such whimsical ideas? Pacific Beers ads? There’s got to be more.

I think reading is to blame.

It’s overrated. (You’re here, after all.)

A Google search of “How to surf and survive big waves” returned a full run of written advice. Sites untrustworthy as a fat junkie.

For example, the article “How to Survive a Wipeout Like a Pro” found on suggests that when faced with complete obliteration, one should be measured and consider the following:

Jump away from your surfboard.

Jump as you would in shallow water.

Jump butt first.

Cover your head.

Remain calm.

A simple and profound checklist to run through as your lungs are ripping apart and your leash bow-tied around your shoulders.

Or how about the piece “Big Wave Surfing—101” on

Here a curious newbie can learn everything required to conquer the big stuff.

If the sections titled, “Where to Find big Waves” and “Surfboards for Big Wave Riding” aren’t enough, the how-to portion brings it all together.

Make sure you do some “underwater rock running” and plenty of “yoga.” While they’re at it I’m surprised the site doesn’t recommend diving the reef with Chandler when it’s flat.

I’m all in for people trying to lift their ability level to that of their guts. Everyone has the right to play the lottery. And I’m all for ignorant risk-takers and those insecure about their talent because they have none.

But there are just certain activities which seem more fitting to be described on a page than attempted. I want to read about a candy-assed reporter and his friend kidnapped in Lebanon; I do not want to get dusty.

And as for surfing massive swells, no set of instructions found on is going to help.

If a person earnestly reads these sites as a means to big-wave heroics, it should be a bright red flag to that person that he or she is not equipped.

An admission: I once sought out bowel-shaking waves in South America and found them. When I stood there cotton-mouthed scared on the cold sand face to face with blue-black walls, I turned and walked home, pallid, ostensibly having left my testicles in my other suit. After spending a week lying face down in shame, I regrouped.

I did not, however, turn to E-WikiHow.

But I’m nobody.

So, for some corroboration, I asked a pageant line of big-wave greats if they learned to surf by reading.

Here are the reports:

Darryl “Flea” Virostko (3x Mavericks champ, Fleahab founder)
“I never read about how to surf especially big waves. These sites really don’t bother me because I’m not looking for this crap.

“We learned from experience and the older guys helping us out in the water. Getting donuts and figuring it out. We worked our way up with the size surf we rode. Learning how to ride bigger boards. And just bring it great surf shape.

“There’s so many surfers now and a lot of them are beginning so I could see why these sites exist.

“I think people should put in the work but I’m not letting these sites bother me. They definitely make it more crowded with people that have no etiquette or understanding how lineups work. They’re missing the stuff that’s learned in the water. I just think it’s unsafe for everyone, but what, you’re gonna police the web?”

Nic Lamb (2016 titans of Mavericks champ, creator of the fabulous Icebeanie)

“I learned by observing taking consistent action and putting myself in a surfing environment. I started with small waves and progressed gradually to larger and larger surf.

“I’m all for learning and absorbing knowledge however application and environment is superior to information. I’d check the author and their background. Big wave surfing is risky enough. Be cautious who you take advice from make sure they have a track record otherwise you are taking on additional unnecessary risk.

“Look, there is so much nonsense out there with the blind leading the blind.
Some things can’t be googled. You must immerse yourself entirely. On the one hand sure some of this stuff is a how-to be a liability handbook. On the other hand, I say leave it be and let the chips fall where they may.”

Felipe Pomar (1965 World Surfing Champ, rode a tsunami in 1974)

“I think there are pearls of wisdom in that material, and you have to be experienced enough to recognize them.

“In my day there was nothing in written form about riding big waves. I learnt from surfers that were older than me and gave me advise, shared surf stories, and personal experience.

“My best advice is that you learn to ride bigger waves incrementally by surfing bigger waves (being exposed to bigger and bigger waves) until you find your personal limit. Another would be to always surf with a mate, or two and do not attempt to surf big waves unless you are a confident swimmer. Last advise be careful of being overconfident, that can be deadly. Always remember that the ocean, while beautiful, and sometimes peaceful, is not your friend.”

So, Godspeed to all those ambitious readers out there. You are as brave as you are stupid. At least the worst of Roman insults does not apply to them.

“Woe to him who can neither read nor swim.”

John John (right) the last winner. Photo: The Eddie
John John (right) the last winner. Photo: The Eddie

The Eddie, world’s most prestigious surf contest, called back on for January 22 sending surf fans into spasms of glee!

Hope springs!

Surf fans have certainly straddled the yo-yo this first month of 2023. Sometime near its wild beginning, surf fans became elated when the world’s most prestigious surf contest, The Eddie Aikau Invitational, was greenlit for the first time in eight years for a Jan 11 running. Oh the big wave event, which only occurs when waves darken the horizon at Waimea Bay, is something to behold. The best surfers on earth participate in that natural aquatic amphitheater to the delight of all.

It is a rarity and surf fans could just taste when it was called off do a funky forecast.

Surfline, masterfully, broadcast the day but, at the end, contest organizers were proved correct, as it was wonky and a li’l funky, and also hinted that January 22 was looking promising.

Being so far off, and being jilted already, surf fans sobbed into BJ’s Pizza hankies.


But here we are, two days away from the aforementioned 22 and back on we are, this time in honor of famed Waikiki beachboy Roy “China” Uemura who passed away days ago.

It must be assumed that the invitees, who packed their bags and raced to Oahu ten-ish days ago, are still there, champing at the bit, ready to drop into history.

All fingers, legs and other things crossed.

We will keep abreast of the forecast but do no lose hope.

Light a candle and put on windowsill for this Sunday we shall all be entertained.*

*Entertained, at the very least, by Cincinnati vs. Buffalo then Dallas vs. San Francisco. Who you got?

Slater (pictured) withholding the goods. Photo: Instagram
Slater (pictured) withholding the goods. Photo: Instagram

Surf great and noted social media censor Kelly Slater put on notice after public figure ordered to pay $45,000 for blocking man on Facebook!

"Viewpoint discrimination."

The world’s best, and most decorated, surfer is known for many, many things. Eleven world titles, scintillating performances at important waves, a central figure in the Momentum Generation, beau of starlets and models, fierce social media blocker.

Oh, many have tasted vanishing at Kelly Slater’s tanned hand. Sometimes the guillotine falls with a warning. Something like, “And you’re blocked.” Or simply, “blocked.” Sometimes an offender is cut off quietly and in darkness, attempting to check in with the greatest of all time only to be met with a “user not found” screen and an unhelpful list of alternatives.

Well, I have found myself locked outside with the many, banned on Instagram, Facebook, even Twitter and imagined that I would be forced to suffer my indignity in silence forever.

In silence forever, that is, until I learned about the tale of Thomas Miko, a man from Georgia who enjoyed the teachings of Donald Trump and wrote as much on his state representative Vernon Jones’ Facebook page. Now, at that time Jones was a Democrat (he is now a Republican) and did not like the notes so erased them and then took the Slater Way and blocked Miko.

Miko got angry, filed a lawsuit alleging that his evaporation was both hurtful illegal, and proceeded, days ago, to win a $45,000 settlement after the court agreed.

U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg stated in his opinion that when public figures block constituents from their social media profiles to stop them from expressing conflicting opinions, that constitutes “viewpoint discrimination.” The judge also found that Miko’s claims were enough to prove liability and issued a judgement against Jones.

And there we go.

Shall we class action?

Exciting times.

“As we live and as we are, Simplicity - with a capital "S" - is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.” | Photo: Tom Offermann real estate

Tiny two-bedroom beach shack bought for $13k and only 206 steps to “world famous surfing reserve” set to be bulldozed after selling for staggering $5.75 million in wild auction following death of owner!

“The time is ripe to demolish!”

A pretty little timber beach shack facing the “maddeningly inconsistent” but wildly perfect points of Noosa Heads a couple of hours drive north of Brisbane has sold at auction for almost six million dollars. 

Built in 1972, and with a thousand square feet or so of living space on six thousand square feet of dirt backing straight onto the Noosa National Park Reserve, the joint at 74 Upper Hastings Street drew seven serious bidders and one hundred and fifty spectators. 

“Finally, after fifty years of multi-generational family celebrations,” the promo-lit went, “the modest little green and cream cottage with frangipanis out the front, and a rear garden melding with the Noosa National Park reserve, the time is ripe to demolish, develop and make the move to first class… From the street, imagine perched trophy-like amongst the trees, embracing the full width of the 686m2 land, a masterpiece of contemporary design, perhaps residence, apartments or duplex, all subject to Noosa Shire Council approval, and within high density zoning of a twelve-metre height allowance. Expect views of the Noosa River and beyond to the Coloured Sands and Mt Cooroy from the upper levels. “

Ain’t nobody gonna be happy with a modest two-bedder surrounded by grass to gambol on and shaded by Frangipani, of course, when a lavish cubist box of concrete can be built that eats up the entire hunk of land and engulfs its master in concrete and chlorinated water.

The sorta digs that’s gonna be built when the lil shack gets flattened.

Whenever I see a beach shack on its death bed, vultures circling, it always reminds me of the famous Frank Lloyd Wright quote:

“As we live and as we are, Simplicity – with a capital “S” – is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.”

The family of ol Dr Haz Spiro, who died last June, says they’re real sad, end of an era etc, although six-mill to divvy between the kids is a balm for the soul, one imagines.