Kai Lenny (right) squinting. Woody Allen (left) gently encouraging a solution. Photo: Someone in Walmart.
Kai Lenny (right) squinting. Woody Allen (left) gently encouraging a solution. Photo: Someone in Walmart.

Mega surf brand Hurley continues exciting pivot toward elder care, releases line of handsome readers at Walmart!

The future is so dim I need specs!

The rise of Hurley from highly-regarded surf brand to must-have everything everywhere all at once is one of the more exciting bits of our new surf epoch. Those who dabble in history will certainly know the Hurley name. Bob, its onetime owner, made it very famous through his surfing then shaping expertise and also financial wizardry. Not yet thirty, the handsome man scooped the U.S. Billabong license for $40,000 and turned it into a $100 m business. After that he went out on his own with Hurley, which sold to Nike for hundreds of millions more, and then, four years ago, sold to Bluestar Alliance.

Derek Rielly wrote at the time, “The way Bluestar works is it identifies brands it wants to buy and once they get the keys, “our team of experts embark on a complete and thorough understanding of the brand’s potential channels of distribution and price point strategies. We create tools such as brand development profiles, trend guides, style guides and marketing strategies. These marketing materials portray graphic illustrations and a strategic marketing road map to enhance consumer brand recognition.”

Surf fans thrilled when fingernail clippers, pool toys, beard oil and Kai Lenny soon appeared on the market.

All absolutely perfect for an aging demographic but new-and-improved Hurley is not finished. After sponsoring the 47+ set’s favorite wave, Sunset Beach, the house has just released a line of very stylish readers at Walmart for the almost too good to be true starting price of $138.


But what is your position vis a vis readers? Do you rage, rage against the dying light and sit in your bed squinting hard at BeachGrit‘s famously cantankerous comment thread or have you given in to the joy of spectacles?

Will you swap them out for a pair of Hurleys?

More as the story develops.

McConaughey Jr. (left) partaking in tradition. Photo: Instagram
McConaughey Jr. (left) partaking in tradition. Photo: Instagram

Matthew McConaughey’s dashing young son collects “surf souvenirs” after kissing ultra-hard Hawaiian reef!

A tale as old as time.

It is a tale as old as time. Boy travels to Hawaii in search of legendary surf. Boy paddles out into the yawning blue. Boy catches wave, wipes out and bounces off underwater ouchies, staggers to beach and is lovingly cared for by Sam George’s ex-wife only to rise again and learn the true meaning of aloha. An absolute classic that never tires no matter how often it is reprised.

And our latest, in a long line, is none other than Matthew McConaughey’s young son Levi.

The Academy Award winning actor is, of course, adored by all and was most recently spotted in the Red Bull Athlete Lounge during the just-wrapped Hurley Pro Sunset Beach. Our Joe Turpel commented, from the booth, that McConaughey was a “big fan” of the World Surf League, which may have been an overstatement, but the handsome Texan’s love of surf is unquestionable with memorable turns as Steve Addington in Surfer, Dude and Moondog in Beach Bum.

In any case, it appears the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and that the gift of wave sliding has been passed down to the next generation. McConaughey seemed pleased with Levi’s reef kiss, describing it as a “surf souvenir” on Instagram.

Many weighed in on their own experiences with the “bed of the sea” which is a “cheese grater” and so on.

Fine reading.

Alright, alright, alright.

But would you like to share your favorite reef injury? Do you recall when World Surf League Chief of Executives Erik Logan suffered a life-threatening one in Tahiti just last year?


Queer surf group announces “Trans Day of Visibility” as pro surfing threatens to implode over trans-rights on tour, “We will not tolerate transphobia in the lineup or on the beaches!”

"Trans existence will not be endangered but those who are ignorant, but enlightened by those who are insightful."

Transgender surfers will draw a figurative if not literal line in the sand at Will Rogers Beach in Santa Monica this Saturday with a “Trans Day of Visibility!” 

TS surf and skate label Dream Team Society, which makes “merchandise for conscious consumption” and using only “historically marginalized groups & businesses” announced the “Trans Surf, boogie and beach day” via Instagram. 

Everyone is welcome, including CIS freaks and those a little curious – and who isn’t – although there is a caveat. 

“This is a space for TGNC (Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People) folks and if you support that community, you are welcomed. This is a place of celebration and safety, so don’t duck with us we are just trying to have a nice time!”

Trans Beach Day comes as pro surfing threatens to implode following the WSL’s decision to allow biological males to compete in the gals. 

The World Surf League opened the door to trans-women competing so long as they’ve been a gal for at least twelve months and their hormone levels are real low, although the WSL said it wouldn’t be doing the testing, each athlete suppling their own supporting documents.

The world’s most inspirational surfer Bethany Hamilton sparked wild debate, both for and against the rule change, when she recorded a piece to camera damning the decision.

Hamilton, who was thirteen when a tiger shark took off her arm, said she was speaking for tour surfers who felt muzzled, agreed with Kelly Slater who called for a trans-only div and said she’d boycott events if it went ahead.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bethany Hamilton (@bethanyhamilton)

“Speak your truth!” wrote Shane Dorian in response. “Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for what you believe. Don’t listen to people who hurl the word transphobic at anyone who’s beliefs don’t align perfectly with theirs. These are complicated problems with no clear solution. Regardless, there are many people who love and support the trans community who agree with you on these issues…Less than 1% of people think this policy reflects fairness. Quite the opposite”

As for Dream Team Society, their small batch of merch reflects a fine sense of humour.

Fav, of course, the “Body Hair, Don’t Care” hoodie and tee. Sold out, unfortunately.

“We put a butch in a bathing suit and got the glory shot of the year…This collab highlights the beauty of body hair, awareness of ACAB.”

ACAB, of course, is the acronym for All Cops Are Bastards.

Rings true to me.

Surf guru Sam George hoists another scalp. Photo: Narcissism
Surf guru Sam George hoists another scalp. Photo: Narcissism

Preeminent surf guru Sam George lambasts “longtime Australian surf journalist” Derek Rielly for coining sexist, racist, snobbishly derisive slur!

A heavy smack from the Big Kahuna.

Any time Sam George puts fingers to keys you can count me salivating, half-crazed, lapping up each word like a child and his Tootsie Roll Pop. The surf guru, resplendent at 65-years-young with silver fox hair and one lone earring, is a treasure, an absolute cache of all that glitters what with his time spent on his surfboard out at sea, a wizened perspective, Nia Peeples somewhere in the rearview, heartbroken, recounting her mistakes that led her to file for divorce one by one.

Sam George is… everything and you can imagine my thrill when stumbling upon his latest work entitled WE vs VALS: The Paradox of Making Surfing 1975 Again on safe space The Inertia.

The tale begins in conversation with an Australian surfer who magically appears drunk after finishing one and three-quarters bottles of Bintang (4.7% alcohol by volume).

He, the aforementioned Australian, is, of course, furious about the amount of surfers in the water calling it “facked.”

George proceeded to reminisce about his own Mentawi boat trip, days earlier, that happened to feature a plethora of unskilled participants.

“In the moderate-yet-still-challenging Indonesian waves,” he tapped, “it quickly became obvious that many of these men and women hadn’t been surfing long, which placed them firmly in that newly adopted category of VAL: Vulnerable Adult Learner. Coined by a longtime Australian surf journalist no doubt thrilled by its growing usage, this snobbishly derisive term harkens back to the slur used by early 1960s Malibu surfers to describe those who lived in the San Fernando Valley, some 10 miles inland.”


That “Australian surf journalist,” mercifully unnamed, is the one and only Derek Rielly but VAL snobbishly derisive?

A slur?

Not the half of it.

George goes on to describe that those who use the term VAL are 1920s-style nativists, not far off from Nazis. Furthermore, he rejects the notion that the adult learner surf participation boom was caused by the COVID pandemic but rather women who took up the sport of queens in greater number just prior to.

VAL, then, a racist, sexist bit of ugliness on top of snobbish and derisive.

George ends on a high note, though, telling his beer-boozed Australian pal that he, himself, took up surfing at 11-years-old after wanting to be a “high Sierra hunting guide” or cowboy then being met with a “your-the-best-of-us” wink.

He, or whichever pronouns they prefer, certainly is.


Italo (pictured) showing off.
Italo (pictured) showing off.

Brazil continues utter domination of surf rivals; punches America, Australia in the pearly whites by snagging coveted “best beach in the world” title!

Order and progress.

Oh to be Brazilian. The South American country was, but a decade or such ago, an afterthought in the surf world. Certainly American, Australian, French wave aficionados were aware that Rio de Janeiro existed and that James Bond might have once been filmed there (the shockingly under-appreciated Moonraker) but that was mostly it.

Well, fast forward and what do we have but utter Brazilian dominance. Filipe Toledo, the current World Surf League champion, is Brazilian. Gabriel Medina, Brazilian, champion before that and Italo Ferreira, Brazilian, champion before that. With exciting “Final’s Day” at Lower Trestles, it all but guarantees that there will be a Brazilian champion this year, next year, ad infinitum.

Adding insult to injury, the land of Order and Progress just snagged the very coveted Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award for “world’s best beach,” punching America’s Huntington and Australia’s Whitsunday straight in the teeth.

Per CNN:

Stretching out on the world’s best beach won’t come easy. Baía do Sancho is accessible only by boat or via ladders descending down steep cliffs to the golden sand below.

The beach is in Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago some 220 miles (354 kilometers) off the coast of mainland Brazil, part of the country’s Pernambuco state. Visitors to the islands arrive by plane or boat.

Getting there takes some doing, but what awaits tenacious travelers is worth the effort, according to its new Tripadvisor ranking. Baía do Sancho is the world’s best stretch of shoreline for 2023, according to the travel site’s annual list of the world’s best beaches, which was released on Tuesday.

The aforementioned Americans could only gape from way down in the 11th spot, Siesta Beach on Florida’s Keys. Australians attempting to feel ok with the bronze, Cable Beach in Broome.

But neither are fine nor are the fortunes set to change any time soon.

This is Brazil’s World Surf League. We’re just living in it.