Australia, Brazil, USA put on notice as Great Britain signals ambition to become “great power in international surfing!”

Age of Empire.

The 2024 Olympic Games, which will be hosted in Paris, are less than a year away, now, and excitement should be bubbling for you and yours. Of course the standard track and field, swimming, equestrian dressage events always thrill, our surfing will be making a return, being held all the way across the world in French Polynesia and, more specifically, Teahupo’o.

The Place of Broken Skulls.

Most of the teams are already set, two men and two women from each qualifying country, via the World Surf League though who might win gold, silver and bronze is still entirely up in the air.

The only certainty is that the sitting WSL champion, Brazil’s Filipe Toledo, will bow out early if there is any size. Other than that, Brazil’s other male surfer Joao Chianca, the USA’s Griffin Colapinto or John John Florence, Australia’s Ethan Ewing or Jack Robinson are all odds on favorites.

Except not so fast.

In a bold move, GB Surfing, the “non-governmental organisation dedicated to developing exceptional British surfing talent,” has redesigned its logo to “create a new brand identity aligned with its ambition to become a great power in international surfing.”

Age of empire.

GB Surfing turned to FORM Brands Studio in order to find the perfect look/feel. “We surf ourselves,” co-founder and creative director Alex Andlaw told Creative Boom. “So we loved the idea of getting the perfect wave carved into the logo. We looked at the shapes of breaks, cutbacks and tunnels of waves to find inspiration: every line, curl and curve was carefully considered to create the final design.”

The results are striking. Simple yet identifiable. British red and blue featured. Eye catching and “atmospheric.”

Not leaving the impression of having been done by a bored and angry four-year-old like the World Surf League’s logo.


Will the GB Surfing redesign be enough to bring a medal home to Scotland?

The smart money says “Filipe Toledo will be scared.”

Surfer Sean Mitchell, a brother to all on BeachGrit, and missed dearly.

A terminally-ill surfer reflects on his last-ever surf

"I might be dying, but I’m not quitting."

(Editor’s note: It’s been two-and-a-half years since Dr Sean Mitchell aka the below-the-line shark and contributor Offrocker died of colon cancer aged thirty-six. Although I never met him in person, shook his hand, examined his face or made a judgement of his fashion choices, I think about Sean frequently. I think about the brevity and chaos of life, of the importance of loving while you can, of family, kindness, health and maintaining a brave optimism in the face of it all. I don’t think it’s possible to read his words enough. The story below was written, from memory, around eighteen months before he died. And, yeah, death comes to us all, but this brother was taken from us far too early.)

It’s three am and I can’t sleep.

I have had a pretty heavy fortnight, diagnosed out of the blue with metastatic colon cancer at the age of thirty-five. It’s all through my pelvis, and I have secondaries in the liver.

I’m currently lying in a hospital bed awaiting my second operation in ten days, this one to fix complications of the first. What I would give to eat solid food, and sleep in my own bed.

I have been probed, scanned, pumped with radioactive dye, and spoken to three specialists in five days. My odds would not tempt even our most inveterate gamblers. The word “inoperable” is bouncing around my head.

So why, at this time, do I even care enough to write an article for the Grit degenerates?

Because I learned something invaluable on my last surf that I want to share with the quitters. An ethic you won’t find espoused in the sanitised corpo-surf culture, an attitude you won’t find in the hearts of those that wade around in the shorebreak between the flags.

And that’s the reality that no-one gives a fuck in the lineup. I got backpaddled by smiling hipsters on twins. I got dropped in on by murfers on logs. I got shoulder hopped by aggressive entitled adolescents unaware that their post-grom transition is complete and they are now legitimately bottom of the foodchain, no longer protected by minority.

That day was just like every other day, except it was my last surf for the foreseeable future and maybe forever.

It has given me reassurance that the world will go on, with or without me. Everywhere else I go, I’m surrounded by crying relatives, well-meaning do gooders who “have just heard the news, I’m so so sorry.”

Life in the ocean is fast and brutal. Bobbing around the lineup with my ten kilograms of weight loss and the dead fatigue of metastatic cancer eating me from the inside, I was a weak and easy mark. Easy pickings for the hungry mob. They had no idea, but knew just what to do nonetheless.

It was the only time since I was diagnosed I felt normal, and at home in the order of the world.

And in the midst of this, I had my own perfect moments of peak existence. Crystaline waves, sliding across poorly formed sandbanks. Mini-closeout shoreys giving me that one last moment of vis, aka orders of magnitude less, but the only order magnitude I could currently handle.

This aspect of surfing gives me strength as I face a long road of multiple operations, chemo and radiotherapy: knowing that peak moments of transcendence intersperse the shite even on the worst of days in the worst conditions.

Also that I am four-fifths salt water and I may be going back to Mother Earth after my three dozen goes around the sun.

I’ve done my time watching the tides.

Sandbars form and melt away.


Rock ledges.

Learning winds, and how they swirl down valleys, equating it to long-period swell wrapping around seafloor features.

All little tidbits of info with no relevance to my now landlocked life, but it gives me joy to know the natural world by force of confronting it and understanding my place in it.

Surfing has taught me to not be greedy with my expectations, to take opportunities as they present themselves, to fight and hunt, and the capacity to dine out on those very few peak moments for weeks and months – and that’s just what I need now to get me through this medieval ordeal.

I might be dying, but I’m not quitting.


Surf world sharply divided as video of surfer shooting board at drop-in goes viral!

Big trouble in Surf City.

Our surf world has mostly steered clear of the toxic polarization of our modern times. Left hating right and vice versa. A real desire to lock up anyone with a different opinion. Disagreement turning to unrefined hatred. It is unfortunate but surfers, again, semi-immune. We all agree that Finals Day at Lower Trestles is an embarrassing way to crown a champion, those who ride longboards have given up on life, surf hats, even if they save a life, should not be worn.

A generally happy family… until today.

For today, a video clip from Huntington Beach has begun to make the rounds and surfers are finding themselves in pitched camps.

Captured from the pier, a man wearing an orange wetsuit is seen burning a man wearing a black wetsuit. After the orange wetsuit man hits the lip with bad form, the black wetsuit man shoots his board right at him, potentially causing much harm.

Many are arguing that the shooter was completely out of line, criminal even.

Many others are arguing that the shootee deserved it for blatantly dropping in.

The reanimated corpse of Surfer magazine is misspeciesing the drop-in as a “snake.”

Expected, I suppose, as artificial intelligence learns our vernacular.

Back to the situation, though. Is there a middle ground?


Whimsical bon vivant who brought joy to hundreds by surfing with his pet python tracked down and brutalized by Australian authorities!


I trust your weekend was a good one filled with enjoyable food, drink and service. Mine certainly was as I advised and assisted New Englanders in navigating Hurricane Lee with much success. Locals were extremely pleased as I taught them how to lightly horde and shame those who were not taking breezes seriously.

The weekend was, unfortunately, not so wonderful for Higor Fiuza, whom you certainly remember. The Brazilian (?) who splashed into the collective conscious two weeks ago by taking his pet python surfing on Australia’s Gold Coast. While some accused him of “bringing sand to the beach,” hundreds of others were moved by the whimsicality of the act alongside Mr. Fiuza’s ability to understand snakes.

“Usually when she doesn’t like something she starts hissing but she doesn’t hiss [in the water], she is always chill,” he told Channel 9 News.


The animal would cling to Mr. Fiuza’s neck while he ripped a longboard all chill and styley.

Very cool.

But leave it to Australia, land of draconian “no fun,” to squash the smiles

According to the BBC:

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science says it began investigating the surfing duo after Mr Fiuza appeared in local media, and this week issued him a fine of A$2,322 (£1,207; $1,495).

Taking native pets out in public can cause them “unnecessary stress” and could make them “behave in an unpredictable way”, wildlife officer Jonathan McDonald said in a statement.

“Snakes are obviously cold-blooded animals, and while they can swim, reptiles generally avoid water,” he said.

“The python would have found the water to be extremely cold, and the only snakes that should be in the ocean are sea snakes.”

I wish there was a GoFundMe where we could all share in Mr. Fiuza’s fine but alas, I could not find one.

In any case, what do you feel, in general, about surfing animals? Ducks, dogs, cats, chickens etc. have each made headlines during the past year surfing it up. Does it make you giggle or angry?

GOATs only?

The two-time world small-wave champion Filipe Toledo, winner of J-Bay in 2023. | Photo: WSL

Rumour: Reclusive billionaire owner of professional surfing set to cancel Jeffrey’s Bay Open after event revealed to be “financially unviable”

“Without a functioning business model to wean itself off State Tourism bodies the WSL is locked in a prison of its own making.” ­

It ain’t cheap to run a CT surfing contest. For the construction, the broadcast, for Smoking Joe Turpel to mouth inanities for a week straight, it’s gonna be three mill, and then some.

The testosterone-squirting big-wave icon Ian Cairns, who bulldozed the IPS tour in 1983 to create the ASP only for it to eventually fall into reclusive billionaire Dirk Ziff’s hands in 2012, says y’definitely ain’t getting change out of three bricks and probs gonna cost even more if you want to add in the cost of the Santa Monica HQ and so on. 

The publishing heir Ziff, who’s worth around six billion, threw twenty-five mill straight into the pro surfing hole and by 2016, according a 2017 lawsuit filed by a minority owner of the WSL, had spent fifty mill, although this did include Slater’s Lemoore pool, the WSL’s one glittering investment.

Rumours of the WSL being shopped around for sale with at ticket price of 150 million remain strong, however, including interest from oil-rich Arab states where the first Slater pool outside of Lemoore is being built. 

Still, a smart man ain’t gonna throw good money after bad and, now, one of the most popular events on the ten-event tour schedule, the Jeffreys Bay Open, is on the cutting block according to sources who say the blue-chip contest is “financially unviable.” 

Or, in shorthand, no government body in South Africa is prepared to throw millions into a two-week contest that delivers a short-lived boost to the local economy.

The dearly departed Longtom often wrote of the WSL’s reliance on government largesse 

“Without a functioning business model to wean itself off State Tourism bodies the WSL is locked in a prison of its own making.” ­

What’ll happen if the Western Australian and Victorian state govs pull their cash (Margaret River and Bells), El Salvador decides it doesn’t need no sportswashing of its various atrocities and Corona pivots away from surf?

Do we still have a tour?