Multiple-time world champ Tyler Wright’s recent and shocking accusation of abuse at hands of father resurfaces age-old question: “Are professional surfers born or made?”

Social scientists confounded!

Days ago, Tyler Wright slipped into the soft cocoon hand-crafted by the World Surf League own Chief of Strategy Officers and lit a match. The Lineup, which generally features surfers and surf personalities spackling the patented Wall of Positive Noise, is not a place for hot takes but Wright, two-time World Champion, doesn’t play by those dull rules and used her almost two hour session to speak on many things including, the “different emotional and psychological abuse” from her father Rob.

“I experienced that and I worked with a psychologist for years to understand my relationship with surfing and understand how that was born, how it was really unhealthy for me,” Wright said. “I’m rebuilding a relationship with surfing because of the drastic and extreme circumstances that I was raised in…Look, this is not uncommon. Which is baffling for someone like me. If this is not uncommon, why don’t we have better solutions, better parenting programs, better informed industry? I’m not the first child this has happened to. I’m not the first child star this has happened to.”

Opinion on the champ “laying the boot into the old boy,” who suffers from dementia, was mixed, though did resurface the age-old question. Are professional surfers born or made?

Are “child stars,” as a whole, born or made, for that matter?

In Wright’s take, she was clearly exceptional from the womb and succeeded even though she was raised in “extreme circumstances,” i.e. a hard-driving patriarch with professional surfing dreams draped all over his three charges Owen, Tyler and Mikey. But what if Mr. Wright didn’t care what the children did? What if he let them frolic here and there, lick ice cream and play video games? Would they have all reached great success in professional surfing, Tyler the greatest?

Again, she seems to think the answer is “yes.” I suppose it follows that she would imagine Venus and Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, etc. reaching the heavens without their meddling papas, who should have been all slapped up the side of the head with parenting programs.

If she had chosen a different path, say avant-garde theater or racing horse trainer, her argument might more sense, to me, but I don’t understand how she can so deftly splice how she was raised from her surfing-specific success.

Can you?

What great truths am I missing?


The Inertia (right) waiting for Surfer's kiss.
The Inertia (right) waiting for Surfer's kiss.

Zombie website Surfer comes straight for The Inertia’s tender throat, posts “viral TikTok” showing one dog, three surfers “riding the ultimate party wave!”

"The bible of the sport" vs. "the definitive voice of surf and the outdoors."

The reanimated corpse of Surfer magazine has been one of the more fascinating stories of 2023. Murdered and buried in a shallow grave three-ish years ago, the “bible of the sport” seemed to be a victim of changing media dynamics, a contracted surf industry and David’s Pecker, who purchased the title, along with many others, and lathered them in debt.

Surfers mourned then carried on, as we are wont to do.

Well, magically, the rotting bones were exhumed, early 2023, by a me-too’d publisher much to the wonderment of all.


To what end?

It soon became apparent that the historically significant title would be shocked into zombie-dom and shuffle around the great internet, presenting stories from “proud owners of a Pyrnesse-mixes” living in East Tennessee.

After Emily Morgan was praised for her ingenuity, her ability to see surf all the way from those Smoky Mountains, her job was ripped away and the daemon Surfer was given a new purpose.

To suck the life out of rival The Inertia, stealing its life force by nursing on the place where a spine should, theoretically, be.


Yesterday, the house that Severson built published a cute video featuring açaí enthusiast Michael Rodrigues “getting dropped in on” in Western Australia by “locals” i.e. dolphins.

Classic The Inertia.

Today, we are served a “viral TikTok” celebrating the “ultimate party wave” i.e. three people, a dog and a soft top.

Classic-er The Inertia.

But do you think the “definitive voice of the surf and outdoors” founder Zach Weisberg is scared? Laying in bed at night, covers pulled up around chin, waiting for Surfer’s gums to come and suckle his milquetoast?

He should be.

We should all be.

The enduring thrill of surfing and the even greater thrill of power!

Byron Bay council to debate “legrope police on the beach and $1100 fines” after rash of gruesome injuries caused by loose surfboards

“How do you look your wife in the eye if you’ve knocked a kid out just because you didn’t want to wear a legrope?”

The ongoing battle between VALS living the retro-nostalgia dream of riding leashless logs in crowded lineups and regular joes wanting to swish around on a few waves without being decapitated will reach a head this week when a Byron Bay councillor introduces a motion to enforce the use of leashes. 

Cate Coorey, a progressive councillor who says “we must heal and restore this land and plan for a climate disrupted future” wants fines of up to $1100 and rangers and cops wandering the beach enforcing the law. 

“We would have to have the signage at the entrances to the beaches and then we would have compliance officers that would be on the alert for it,” Coorey told ABC. “We have officers that go along the beach, we have rangers and we have people in the parks.”

It ain’t the first time Coorey’s had a swing at leashless VALS. Four years ago, she campaigned for a safety awareness program to address the problem of “hipsters” surfing leashless in and around the Byron area.

“It’s mostly people riding long boards who seem to be having a love affair with times past, but we also used to drive without seat belts and there were many fatalities,” Coorey said. “A couple of times I’ve actually grabbed kids to keep them out of the way of the board.”

The latest motion comes two months after pro surfer Matt Cassidy “nearly bled out on the beach and nearly lost my arm when someone dropped in one me out two-foot Wategos without a legrope. After an hour on the beach being held together by some absolutely legendary humans I was rushed via ambulance then helicopter to GC where I’m currently awaiting specialist advice.”

You don’t have to trawl too far into the BeachGrit archives to examine the ongoing debate about leashless longboarders in Byron Bay. 

Six months back, an aged care worker and mother of a disabled kid was crippled after she got belted by an out-of-control surf pilot who then criticised her for damaging his board with her bone and tissue. 

“The Pass is full of kids, and I think there have been four incidents outside of mine in the last month or so,” Matt Cassidy told ABC from hospital. “How do you look your wife in the eye if you’ve knocked a kid out just because you didn’t want to wear a legrope?”

A man who doesn't wear BeachGrit has no future!

Surfers calling controversial website “the Supreme of Surfing” following release of ultra-limited edition board shorts critics say are “ambitious, beautifully made and stunning!”

"The leg is sixteen inches long, short enough to exhibit the musculature of your surf-honed quadriceps, but not so short as to invite indiscretion."

In one of our better collaborations, BeachGrit has joined paws with Bondi surf company The Critical Slide Society to produce a pair of surf trunks critics say are “ambitious, beautifully made and stunning.” 

This pair of trunks, which you can examine here and below, feature a custom-made badge from iconic Australian artist Paul McNeil showcasing the founders’ ethos, “I Don’t Need Life I’m High” and with Eric Stoltz’s “Stoner Bud” from Fast Time at Ridgemont High representing BeachGrit’s spirit animal. 

The Critical Slide Society, of course, are intelligent and intuitive designers who make clothes surfers really, really want to wear.

Made from high-quality nylon, and produced only in black, these trunks will absorb most unpleasant odours and staining and therefore can be, must be, worn at all times. 

The leg is sixteen inches long, short enough to exhibit the musculature of your surf-honed quadriceps, but not so short as to invite indiscretion. A lean silhouette, naturally. 

Extremely limited quantities as per the Supreme model so, by the time you read this, most of the decent sorta sizes will be gobbled up, but do have a swing. 

Roughly sixty American dollars, plus some sort of freight charge.

Vulnerable adult learners stand and cheer as notorious Lunada Bay locals dealt heavy legal blow: “We’re gonna turn that place into Waikiki!”

Palos Verdes, here we come!

Localism, and its associated evils, has been back in the news, of late, thanks to the brutal punching of female pro Sara Taylor in Bali. Yes, the whole business, the debates back and forth on the value of gatekeepers versus freedom for all, etc. has been a much discussed for years, in our surfing, and nowhere more than Lunada Bay.

The stretch of coastline hugging Southern California’s most populous region is home to Palos Verdes, its estates and Bay Boys.

Long notorious with their rock clubhouse and snarling attitudes, the Boys made outsiders feel unwelcome for years, throwing rocks at interlopers and cutting them off in the water.

“We’ve protected this beach for years,” a local told the Los Angeles Times some years ago, “so we can have driftwood on the beach rather than Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes. If this place was ever opened up … the rocks would be marked with graffiti, and the beach wouldn’t be safe at night.”

Scary grafitti.

In any case, two lawyers, who like surfing, sued the Palos Verdes Estates claiming that not reining in the Bay Boys was anti-Costal Act, enshrined in California’s constitution. Basically, all have equal rights to the beach and those cannot be stomped upon.

It wound through the system for years before being dismissed by a judge in 2020 but, months ago, it was revived by the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

“What I find to be so important about this case is that it addresses behavior, not just physical development,” Coastal Commission Executive Director Kate Huckelbridge told the Times on Thursday. “In other words, throwing rocks or cutting a surfer off in the water, just like a gate across a trail, could be considered an illegal impediment to public beach and ocean access.”

Hawaiian-born surfer Chris Taloa, who staged a paddle out at Lunada Bay on Martin Luther King Jr. day in 2014 and was met with racism and rudeness, celebrated by saying as soon as the lawsuit is won “we are going to turn that place into Waikiki.”