Smith (center) with fan. Photo: David Lee Scales
Smith (center) with fan. Photo: David Lee Scales

Surf great Kelly Slater, Jonah Hill, Tom Brady, Erik Logan, Ashton Goggans, Jessi Miley-Dyer, Shakira, a man-eating great white shark and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen walk into a bar!

Whoop there it is.

Church bells began peeling at exactly 10:06 am Pacific Standard Time as surf journalist Chas Smith pressed “publish” on his 5000th story for the culturally valuable surf blog BeachGrit. While there was some debate as to if various “Open Thread: Comment Live” pieces should count, most put aside fussy bean counting to simply take the moment in.

Smith reached the milestone after nearly nine years of tireless, oftentimes groundbreaking, reporting on topics of essential interest to surfers worldwide including, and almost limited to, Kelly Slater.

Zach Weisberg, founder of cosplay website The Inertia often featured on BeachGrit, was unavailable for comment.

While readers, worldwide, celebrated the moment by lighting candles and going not surfing, attention began turning toward what Smith’s 5001 piece might be. Early buzz suggested something possibly on a new busty brunette in former, and perpetual, world number two Taj Burrow’s life even though he seemed to be happily married.

Anticipation growing to almost dangerous levels.

More as it develops.

This story number 5000 has been brought to you by Ricmatic who would like to remind you that BeachGrit is best consumed by scrolling to the bottom of the page and simply reading the comments.

World Surf League commentator-turned vigilante Chris Cote offers cash to hostage-takers of pedophile Lost Prophets frontman Ian Watkins

Watkins is doing 29 years for crimes against kids so damn awful the sentencing judge said the case “plunged into new depths of depravity.” 

If you knew Chris Cote like I know Chris Cote, you’d find the sweetest Peewee Herman-esque lover of life, gags, tumbling, surf all day, party all night, and positivity wherever he can find it.

Also a shill for the World Surf League, but we all gotta make a living, am I right? 

Now, the man once described below the line by TodaysEmpiresTomorrowsAshes as “a pre-pubescent boy trapped in the body of a middle-aged man wrapped in the wardrobe of a 00s So-Cal high schooler” has offered cash to the murderer hostage-takers of convicted pedophile Ian Watkins, the former frontman of lightly famous soft rock band Lost Prophets. 

Watkins, who is forty-six, is doing twenty-nine years at HMP Wakefield, one of the worst of Britain’s prisons, for crimes against kids so damn awful the sentencing judge said the case “broke new ground” and “plunged into new depths of depravity.” 

Thirteen child sex offences, the rape and sexual assault of a kid under thirteen, conspiring to rape a fan’s baby, three counts of sexual assault with kids, seven counts of making and possessing indecent photos of kids and one of possessing an “extreme pornographic image” involving a sex act on an animal. Yeah, oowee.

Anyway, Watkins is hovering on that fragile tight-rope between life and death after being held hostage for six hours by other inmates and subsequently beaten and stabbed on Saturday morn. 

When the story was tweeted, Cote, a father of two, responded, “Can you list the names of the guys that did this? I’d like to donate some money to their commissary as a thank you.” 

Vigilantism has a certain appeal, don’t it, a Clint Eastwood sorta feel where dumb laws can be bypassed if deemed ineffective, and where right-thinking citizens can dole out eye-for-eye punishments.

Of course, as the quote goes, “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster”.


Fletcher mad.
Fletcher mad.

Blood Feud: Surfing bad boy Christian Fletcher explodes on elder statesman Shaun Tomson in expletive-laden tirade!

Multiple middle finger emojis.

I woke this morning ready to will Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi into the Pantheon of Style Gods. Professional surfers, including the just mentioned Igarashi, Eric Hanneman, Crusty Colapinto and Nate Rapoza will be, each, attempting history at winning the U.S. Open of Surfing on the “smallest waves ever witnessed.”

After drinking my and making the perfect Americano, I sat down at my computer and was belted right across the mouth with the bloodiest of blood feuds.

Tomson, who is very handsome, hails from South Africa, part of the “free ride” generation and was the 1977 world champ had commented on an unidentified post with the remark, “Love a bit of old school agro.”

Fletcher, who is also very handsome, hails from San Clemente, invented aerial surfing and was the 1989 Surf Bout champ responded, “No you just like to drop in but when someone returns the favor you are the biggest whining bitch in the world then after you are done whining you go call the police!!! Is that what you (t)each as a life coach, who to be a whining bitch go back to Africa Kook!!!!! (plus three middle finger emojis)”

The heavy right hand signaled open season on Tomson and especially after Fletcher asked his followers to share similar stories about “our former world champion whiner.” One told of returning a lot wallet to Tomson and being met with disdain, another of getting stabbed on a pier though that was not related to Tomson, or at least not specifically.

Anyhow, while you are here, do you have any former world champion whiner stories?

Would love to hear them.

This story 4999 has been brought to you by Bailey Ladders which would like to remind you that not everything the company sponsors is embarrassing. Oh wait…

Open Thread: Comment Live on final’s day of U.S. Open where surfers are set to make history by attempting to ride “world’s smallest waves!”

It's like a bathtub but pointless!

The view from Gilmore's joint on Hill Street, Coolangatta.

Stephanie Gilmore turns realtor and self-lists beachside condo at Snapper Rocks’ famous Superbank for under one million dollars!

Greatest gal surfer ever attempts to roll 400k into 950k.

In one of the great sporting comeback stories last September, the ageing Australian champion Stephanie Gilmore sucked the juice out of the universe to win an eighth world title, bewildering her younger opponent in an all-day marathon at Lowers. 

It was the final piece in the mosaic that makes up Gilmore’s storied sixteen-year career, putting her ahead of Layne Beachley for most world titles ever and within shooting distance of Slater’s eleven. Unlikely, yeah, but weirder things have happened. 

Rightly, Gilmore has been showered in riches from sponsors and various endorsements and has, like most surfers who know the seven-figure cheques don’t last forever, has poured a chunk of her earnings into real estate plays. 

And, just listed by the champ herself, to hell with realtors taking their clip, is two-bed condo a few streets back from the Superbank; a breezy cream-brick north-facing joint that was built in the sixties for around nine hundred k Australian dollars or six hundred thou’ US. 

Ain’t no significant views but a five-minute walk’ll have you on the sand. 

On the second level of a biggish sixteen condo building and with a twin-car garage, Gilmore has hopes of turning her $392,500 purchase price (2006) into the nine hundred-plus.

Rates and body corp fees gonna cost almost ten k a year.

Gilmore, who’s thirty-five, is keeping her other condo in the place, which she bought for 442k in 2005. Mick Fanning bought into the building in 1999, paying $170,000 for a two-bedder. 

If she gets the nine hundred it’s a bullish price given the last time a condo in there sold was a three-bedder for $650 in 2021.