Ultra-positive New Jersey blogger Ben Gravy takes dark turn, signals intent to maim and disfigure his most ardent fans!

End further nigh.

Movie star handsome Ben Gravy is, without doubt, one of the most famous surfers on earth. Without need or use of the “global home of surfing,” also knows as the World Surf League, the 35-year-old New Jersey native has built a massive following based upon his positivity and an everyman vibe that translates from Burlington to Beaverton to Bakersfield.

Ardent fans have made his vlog the most popular surf channel of all, eclipsing the hard-charging likes of Nathan Florence and Koa Smith. His “pineapple wearing shades” logo is regularly seen out in the wild, adorning button-down shirts, soda coozies and beach towels, but to name a few products.

Safe at every speed.

Though it appears the lantern-jaw’d looker is taking a dark turn. For today, I attended the Boardroom Show in Del Mar. It is the only fun convention I’ve ever been to that didn’t feature Ashton Goggans, a feast of sights, sounds, conversations. Jamie Brisick ate a falafel hamburger. Devon Howard had me feel the rails of a 9-foot + longboard.

And Ben Gravy has begun selling hard boards.

Hard as in concussion-giving glass n foam, artery-slashing fins, poked-out eyeballs.

Sliding death.

Gravy had much success, maybe most success, in the soft-top market previously. Boards so fun and playful that they could only bring a smile to face while never busting out teeth.

Glass n foam though?

In his most ardent fans’ hands?

Body bags already being ordered and shipped to Upper Trestles.

David Lee Scales and I talked about the Boardroom Show, anyhow, during our weekly chat, and it really does live up to its billing. It runs again tomorrow and if you are anywhere near Del Mar, where the surf meets the turf, or maybe vice versa, swing by.

Get inspired and listen here.

Vulnerable adult learner fingers forecasting giant Surfline as main force behind “surfers selling out to the man!”

"Should you be optimizing your job around your surfing or should you do the opposite way around?"

Any surfer who has wandered the radio dial, whilst stuck in traffic, and stumbled upon the National Public Radio program Marketplace has, certainly, been entranced. Its host, Kai Ryssdal, spent eight years in the Navy then more in the U.S. Foreign Service, became a reporter and finally host of the business-centric, beloved show.

Ryssdal’s broad knowledge, professionalism and keen understanding soothes nerves otherwise frayed by bad drivers, though, one of his recent guests left the aforementioned wave sliders distraught.

Caroline Mimbs Nyce, who covers technology for The Atlantic, has just begun to surf, a classic vulnerable adult learner, and fallen in disturbing love with the forecasting giant Surfline.

Ryssdal, who proudly states he does not surf nor cares to learn (smart), begins the conversation with “Anyway, so you’re a beginning surfer, and …”

Before Mimbs Nyce takes over and declares, “A beginner surfer and I had just been fascinated about how quickly my life started to revolve around this website called Surfline. And my weekends, and all of my schedule basically, is me planning to go out and surf based on when this website tells me that it’s ideal to.”

Ryssdal wants to know what this “Surfline” is, how it works.

Mimbs Nyce shares, “So Surfline is, at its core, a wave-forecasting website. They have a thousand cameras, millions of people use it to plan where and when to go out. So just before we started talking, I looked up Malibu. Looks like it’s a cruddy couple of days in Malibu. In addition to doing these forecasts, they partner with the World Surf League in order to decide when professional contests are held. They blog about upcoming swells and recent good waves that people have caught. So it’s sort of a full-scale media company and I found that surfers have a love-hate relationship with it.”

Ryssdal wants to get into the “love-hate thing” and Mimbs Nyce obliges, saying, “Pretty much since Surfline has existed, it’s been polarizing. I think that this really gets at a question of the spirit of the sport. Is surfing about everyone being able to get out in the water? Is this a cheat code to only go when it’s really ideal? A lot of surfing used to be related to counterculture, as well. Should you be optimizing your job around your surfing or should you do the opposite way around?”

Ryssdal, getting to the very heart of the matter, wonders, “Has surfing sold out to the man?”

Mimbs Nyce stalls but Ryssdal presses because she is a surfer. She decides she likes all the new people, like her, in the water and the commercialization and the colored bits of Surfline, yellow for ok, green for good etc. In the end, optimizing surfing around job.

There we have it.

The gorgeous Haydenshapes surfboard factory in Sydney, destroyed by fire.

Thirty firefighters fail to save “world’s most beautiful” surfboard shaper’s iconic Sydney factory

Haydenshapes' spectacular Mona Vale factory destroyed by fire…

A couple of weeks back your ol pal DR spent a delightful hour or so shooting the breeze with the shaper Hayden Cox and his biz partner, marketing whiz wife Dani at their factory in Mona Vale, Sydney.

It ain’t hard to admire this pair. There’s Hayden, the sunny faced forty-one-year-old with a boyish face and his rock star chic gal Dani who still own a biz that could’ve fallen into investors’ paws years back, pouring their hearts into a conga-line of new ventures. For these kids, it’s all sweat equity.

And the factory is spectacular, what you might call a paradoxical minimalist grandeur. The pair proudly showed me through the place, their baby, with its concrete floors, the soaring ceilings and its acres of glass.

I wasn’t surprised. The couple has collabed with Audi, Alexander Wang, IWC watches, Dion Lee, Mr Porter (for their eponymous surfwear brand) as well as making resin furniture for high-end Australian brand SP01.

So it’s a little heartbreaking to hear the joint went up in flames earlier today, thirty firefighters and hazmat crews “racing to control a fire belching enormous billows of smoke…but the well-known surfboard factory the fire sparked within was destroyed.”

The Haydenshapes factory at Tengah Crescent lit up in the late afternoon, although a cause has yet to be determined. One staff member was treated for burns.

Hayden started Haydenshapes in 1997 when he was twenty-two, and who wrote a best-selling book seven years ago called New Wave Vision about his climb to the top.

I described it back then as “a wonderful story of a driven kid who shucks the expectations of his family (accountancy!) to learn to shape, build a surfboard company, create a unique method of surfboard construction and, eventually, be feted by icons as diverse as Audi and Alexander Wang. A tough biz-man, sure, and…oowee… a little sensitive to the inconsequential yapping of critics, but his advice, his thoughts, are compelling… as a window into a young shaper’s rise, fall and rise, of the challenges of the surfboard game, of defiance in the face of unsupportive parents, of making your way in the world on your own terms, it works.”

Head judge quits and, inset, trans-shredder Eddie Rodrigues from Brazil.

Prestigious longboard event dealt new blow as head judge quits following “transphobic” comments by organiser, “Hatred develops from words!”

"Love is the only way and we are all love. Humans all have hearts that beat and lungs that breathe and blood that pumps through our veins."

You’ll know, by now, the imbroglio surrounding the Mexi Log Fest, a much-loved longboard event that has been getting heat from trans-activists after the contest organiser included the rule, “There are only two divisions: natural born women and natural men.”

Like I always say, don’t upset the trannies, they ain’t got the humour they used to.

(Contest organiser Izzy Preciado was slammed, first, by Fringe Surfers New England, which was quickly followed by Surf Equity, whom you’ve read about here, here, here, here and here. )

Following the heat, Sponsors Oatly and Hydrophile Surfcraft pulled out of the event and, now, the festival’s head judge, Erin Meza-Ashley (aka worm), pronouns she/they, has quit, explaining her decision on Instagram thus: 

Please bare with me It has always been a point of pride that one of the driving principals of @mexilogfest has been able to provide a platform for all the talent in the world that cannot be contained by 16 person invitational. @mexilogfest has also strived to create an event that enhances the community by creating an environment for people to make deep seeded friendships with others from across the world as well as being the first longboard contest to see the value of men and women as equal and proving it by providing equal prize purses for all. 

It has been my great privilege to be a part of the judging family and specifically Head Judge at last years event where i got to see some of the best surfing i have ever seen in real life from both the women’s and mens division. In light of statements made by The @mexilogfest on how they are going to discriminate against what is an already marginalized group; it is with regret that i have to resign my position as a judge for The Mexilogfest. 

Our actions and words in and out of the water have the ability to limit other peoples possibility to reach their full potential; furthermore hatred develops from words, prejudice through exclusion, and escalating violence towards those that word aim to dehumanize. 

The talent pool around the world has been growing exponentially over the past few years and i really hope it continues to do so. It is also my great hope that the community grows with open hearts and welcoming arms for all of our brothers and sisters who love the ocean as much as i know we all do. We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. I hope to see y’all in the ocean soon.

Commentary below the navel is interesting, with cameos by Lucy Small a Sydney-based longboarder and surf feminist who rocketed to fame when she gave organisers of a longboard contest hell from the stage for paying the women half as much as the men, and former Channel Islands frontman and log wizard Devon Howard, who is far too slick to be straight, let’s be frank.

Kassia Howard, big-name logger and face of Roxy, summed up the mood of the less militant.

“Love is the only way and we are all love. Humans all have hearts that beat and lungs that breathe and blood that pumps through our veins.”

Meanwhile, in Rio, BeachGrit’s fav crossover gal Eddie Rodrigues tries out her new equipment!

You go T-Girl!

Signed Kelly Slater surfboard “personally used” by 11x World Champion up for auction in support of Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation!

6-2 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/2

How many win-wins are there in life? I count very few. Korean corn dogs, surfing in Mexico, sleeping with windows and doors wide open, internal combustion engines, Thursday night football, Joe Turpel’s someday retirement, Hugh Jackman back on the market, swatting a mosquito after it has feasted on your blood but before it can enjoy, Spam musubi and bidding on Kelly Slater’s surfboard in support of Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.

Yes, the 11x world champion has gifted a Wade Tokoro-shaped Slater Designs, 6-2 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/2 5 fin option with a round pin tail, to a fine charity.

The Vitalogy Foundation supports environmentalism, homeless eradication and indigenous people.

Each vital.

The board, ridden by Slater during his World Surf League Championship Tour 2022/23 campaign, is also signed by him.

Bid here.

Save the world.


Current number $3550.