Surf virgin and heavy surf locals
I’ve also been practicing my shaka in the mirror, though I never take my shirt off. My ex-girlfriend recently poked fun at my paleness and said I need to start figuring out a way to get a real base. Otherwise, if I’m the guy in a sun shirt at the beach, I risk mockery from the locals

A Surf Virgin prepares for California!

I’ve watched numerous videos on proper “stand-up” technique. Quite honestly, it doesn’t seem so difficult.

Soon, this surf virgin will arrive on the West Coast and begin my surf(ing?) journey. While I have no pie-in-the-sky aspirations or hopes for saltwater greatness, I’m not foolish enough to think I can step into a foreign sport without getting my mind and body right first.

Though the aspens have turned yellow and there’s snow falling here in the high country, I’ve been putting serious effort into properly preparing myself for the Pacific.

Like any serious athlete, my first focus was mental.

I needed to begin to think and feel like a real surfer. Though I’m in the mountains, I had to find a way to sink my subconscious into the ocean. A difficult task one might assume, but not with the assistance of modern technology.

I blast Dick Dale albums on my bluetooth headphones and kick my shopping cart up to speed in the produce section of the grocery store. Then I place both feet on the rail between the back wheels, and effortlessly glide through a rolling sea of tomatoes, onions and autumnal squash.

Late at night, when I wrap myself snug as a bug in bed, I float to sleep on the soothing tones of Iz’s rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, and see nothing but tasty waves in my dreams.

The new soundtrack of my surf virgin life has been helpful, but I’ve always been more of a visual learner. So, I dove into YouTube too. A few Kelly Slater interviews, a quick scroll-through of the Quiksilver channel, and various Pipe Master competition recaps from years past.

After a few hours of highlights though, I grew rather fatigued, and had to change it up to stay engaged. I rented Blue Crush on a friend’s Amazon account, forgot to pay her back, watched it all the way through, and didn’t stop to masturbate once. Total focus.

Next, was physical preparation.

I purchased a bulk order of Laird Hamilton’s coffee creamer. I start each morning with two scoops blended into a mug of Folger’s and have seriously adjusted my food intake.

You are what you eat.

I now consume a steady diet of fish & chips from the local distillery, WalMart California rolls and $5 shrimp cocktail platters that come in those cute little plastic trays that look like Jell-O molds.

While a nutritionist friend in New York has expressed concern over the possibility of mercury poisoning, and my mother regularly reminds me that Colorado is a landlocked state, I have faith that the sphincter-splitting diarrhea will pass. My body just needs a period of adjustment.

In due time, I’ll stop urinating out of my rear-end and likely sprout gills.

Next was familiarizing myself with proper form, and conditioning my body to execute the necessary maneuvers.

Though the whole paddling part seems rather strenuous and my cardio isn’t great, I’ve decided to trust my gut and skip any serious preparation in that aspect.

While I’m no physical specimen at the moment,  this surf virgin is the son of a Cuban immigrant– a child of the ocean. Thousands of my people have literally swam from one country to another. The combination of my genetic luck and strict nutrition plan pretty much makes me a fish.

However, you rarely see fish on two feet. So, I’ve watched numerous videos on proper “stand-up” technique. Quite honestly, it doesn’t seem so difficult. With help from a few YouTube tutorials, I’ve broken down the whole process into three very manageable steps.

First is propping yourself up on your hands and pressing your pelvis down. Easy. My dog assumes the same position on my favorite pillow anytime a lady pooch in the neighborhood goes into heat. And I’ve done plenty of humpin’ in my day. All the necessary muscles and tendons are already loose and limber. Check!

Second? Stand up. That’s it. Just stand up. I do that every morning when I wake up, pal. Skip.

And finally, step three– balance.

This presented a bit of a challenge, but I quickly devised an adequate training solution.

At the local park, I rose to my feet in the middle of a teeter-totter, until I could keep it level, with both ends off the ground, for more than ten seconds. However, I found myself a bit bored after mastering that, so to keep things interesting and my fast-twitch muscles firing, I stole an absent-minded kid’s scooter before heading home. I try to ride it down the steep driveway with no hands four or five times a day.

Boom. Done. A thousand miles from the ocean, but ready to stand up and ride.

Lastly, and most importantly, a surf virgin must look the part. Presentation is everything. Look good, play good.

I was gifted shit genetics from the males on the less aquatic side of my family. Unfortunately, I have a hairline that’s receding at a frightening rate. I won’t have the requisite lettuce on my head when I slide my board into the water for the first time.

I’d like to pay for one of those hair transplant procedures and one day really feel what it’s like to shake out my salt-kissed locks under the sun. But unless BeachGrit raises their freelancing rate, I’ve got a better chance of riding one of those real scary-looking waves off the coast of Nazare.

The rest of my appearance I can control though.

I plan to donate my Carhartt shirts and flannel jackets to the local Goodwill upon arriving on the West Coast, and replace them with t-shirt’s from that Mr. Zogg fella. Sex Wax! How cool, beachy and fun!

Oooh, and maybe I’ll get a pair of those cute Reef sandals with the convenient bottle opener on the bottom. You know, for cervezas after a day out and paddling about in the salty stuff with my pals.

I’ve also been practicing my shaka in the mirror, though I never take my shirt off. My ex-girlfriend recently poked fun at my paleness and said I need to start figuring out a way to get a real base.

Otherwise, if I’m the guy in a sun shirt at the beach, I risk mockery from the locals– like the fat kid wearing a cotton t-shirt while flapping around the shallow end at the end-of-school-year pool party.

But SPF 30 is the lowest I can go without risking sun poisoning. Not a problem. I originally hail from New Jersey, the land of the spray tan. I don’t fear any artificial coloring of the skin.

Whatever it takes to blend in, this surf virgin will do.

I’m dutifully preparing, and I truly think I’m ready, but I’m also doing my best to keep expectations in check.

The last time I was this excited to pop a cherry, I left the captain of the cheerleading squad rather disappointed and had to sneak out of my mother’s house in the middle of the night to dispose of an entire set of sheets.

(Read Adrian’s debut story here, “I’ve never surfed before but I think I probably should!” here.) 

Matthew Perry (left) and his doppelgänger (insert). Photo: Friends
Matthew Perry (left) and his doppelgänger (insert). Photo: Friends

Secrets of Matthew Perry’s love life emerge from surf doppelgänger

A peak (get it?) behind closed doors.

The sadness around Matthew Perry’s sudden passing has not yet abated. Surf fans of the beloved Friend devastated. The only relief coming from the fact Perry redeemed himself after denigrating the greatest surf actor of all time Keanu Reeves. In his memoir, you’ll remember, Perry wondered why River Phoenix and Heath Ledger were dead but Reeves, who brought us Johnny Utah, wasn’t.

The surf world immediately took up arms and was ready to storm Pacific Palisades. Mercifully, Perry took back the slur. He said, furthermore, it would be removed from future runs of Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.


The actor who brought Chandler Bing to life, was found dead in his hot tub, anyhow, drowned days before Halloween.

Though the general public was less aware of Perry’s ties to surf, the connections grow stronger almost daily. Johnny Utah-gate. The beautiful apology the fact that his home was a stone’s throw Sunset Beach, his last date being a Monster Girl etc.

Matthew Perry and Little Night Music

Now, word is coming from notable podcaster David Lee Scales about Perry’s amorous proclivities. Scales, who says his dentist’s wife tells him that he looks exactly like Matthew Perry every time he visits the office, also dated or knew a girl who Tinder dated Matthew Perry for months.

According to Scales, she said that the actor refused to take his shirt off full stop. Shirt on during the day. Shirt on when lounging poolside. Shirt on when making a little night music.

Do you find that surprising?


Are you a shirt-to-bed wearer?

Yet another reason, I suppose, to cut the red tape and get Matthew Perry’s surfing sainthood fast tracked.

Chandler Bing Surfboards.

Scales and I spoke about his doppelgänger on today’s show and also the importance of grumpy locals in the world. I was derailed after the Perry revelation, though, because David Lee shared that he goes to the dentist once every six months.

Once every six months?

I can’t remember the last time that I had my pearly whites attended to.

Wild times.

Listen here.

Top secret Kelly Slater.
Top secret Kelly Slater.

Top secret images of new Abu Dhabi Kelly Slater surf pool emerge!

"It's huge!"

We, of course, know Kelly Slater as one of the most environmentally conscious people on the planet. He is a surf champion, yes, 11 times over and the greatest to ever do it. He is also earth first in nearly everything. His sustainable clothing brand OuterKnown produces warm shirts and comfortable pants made from used fishing line. His sustainable sandal, inspired by the great romance between the moon and turtles, are made from algae.

In four words, green to the max.

Those who call The United Arab Emirates home know Kelly Slater differently. To them, he is an industrialist of old. Chewing up the earth in order to create monuments to man’s primacy over it. Bulldozers rumbling, diesel smoke filling the air. A giant pool filled with water emerging in a desert.

Kelly Slater Wuz Here

Whispers of his grand Abu Dhabi Surf Ranch have been percolating for some time now but they were only that. Whispers. How did it look? Like Lemoore or different?

Thanks to an Emirati Air Force pilot, we now know. It looks like this.

And this.


Though did I ever tell you about the time that I almost went to work for the Emirati Air Force? It’s true. I flew to Washington D.C. to interview and it went very well. They offered me a job almost immediately and I was supposed to move to Abu Dhabi where I would be put up in a new project, have a food budget and a fine salary. I decided not to take the position for some reason and look at me now.

A very cool surf journalist and also one half of a long-running podcast that discusses surf adjacent themes.

I suppose if I had taken that job, though, I would soon be surfing Kelly Slater’s monument to himself.


Iconic Australian beach shack at Burleigh Heads demolished to make way for three ultra-luxury apartments.
The old joint at 10 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads, inset, and, main photo, a glass box in the sky.

Ultra-luxury apartment to be built on site of iconic Australian beach shack fetches $24 million!

The bulls are running wild in once dirty-as-anything Burleigh Heads

A few years back, a pretty little wooden beach shack on the top of the hill at Burleigh Heads there, not quite overlooking the Cove but only a few steps from the vista, sold for seven million dollars, almost two-and-a-half mill more than it sold for in 2016.

The little beach shack at number 10 Goodwin Terrace was built in 1920 at and typical of the period, was elevated to snatch northerly breezes, a covered wrap-around balcony to shelter from the pretty damn relentless Gold Coast sun.

Iconic Australian beach shack at 10 Goodwin Terrace Burleigh Heads.
The pretty little beach shack at 10 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads, built in 1920, demolished a century later for ultra-luxury apartments.

The land was zoned medium density, a three-storey, fifty-feet feet height limit, which meant the developer wasn’t able to toss a tower on the land, even if developers have been known to work many behind-the-scenes miracles.

The developer, Spyre Group, described the location and the subsequent build thus, 

A parcel of land so rare insisted on an architectural response like no other, a location engulfed in the most impressive collection of natural inspirations granted the freedom to design the impossible.

Glasshouse is an architectural response that captures and amplifies the qualities of such an extraordinary place – something that was as distinctive and rare as the site itself. It’s an offering stridently new to not only Burleigh Heads, but the South East Coast entirely. 

Every aspect of Glasshouse is a triumph – from the breathtaking individuality of living environments to the authenticity of stone materials and the skill of the artisans’ craft. Sculptural island benches and bathroom vanities forged in the finest Italian stone serve both in function and statement. 

Two of three have been combined to create a ten-thousand square feet apartment that has just sold for twenty-four mill, four mill more than for the building’s single penthouse, which sold last year. 

“You are quite elevated and your view is like floating into the waves, the rock pools at the front, and the lit-up city in the background,” the selling agent told the property press.

Once one of the grittier parts of the Gold Coast, third in shittiness behind Coolangatta and perennial winner Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads has been transformed into a paradise for investors, including the Chinese man who bought the Old Burleigh Theatre Arcade, the former home of Surfing Life magazine, for eighteen-mill.

Your ol pal DR deeply regrets selling his mid-century masterpiece next door, which had a gun-barrel view of the Cove, for a little under six hundred a decade ago.

Widow of Andy Irons pays tribute to her husband on thirteenth anniversary of his death.
"He told me loved me after a week! It was on from the second we were together. He was the most handsome man I’d ever seen and now when I look back at pictures it takes my breath away. So handsome … and so… perfect… he was… perfect… it’s still really hard for me to even look at photos… I always tell my friends I can’t believe how handsome he was. I’m shocked now that he’s not here."

Andy Irons venerated by wife Lyndie on 13th anniversary of surfing king’s sudden death

“We partied hard, and danced always”

Andy Irons was 25 when he pulled the brown-skinned Californian gal towards him and then pushed the both of them back into the trunk of the tall Ficus tree between First and Third streets, Encinitas.

Andy Irons, a world champ too, but only one-time and not thrice, although he was mid-way through his second, kissed twenty-year-old Ms Lyndie Dupuis who held her breath and felt like, well, how can she explain what it’s like?

To be held, owned, by a Hawaiian god who’d suddenly become, unexpectedly, the most exciting and dominant surfer of his generation?

“He was the most handsome man I’d ever seen and now when I look back at pictures it takes my breath away,” Lyndie says. “So handsome …  and so…  perfect…  he was… perfect…  it’s still really hard for me to even look at photos… I always tell my friends I can’t believe how handsome he was. I’m shocked now that he’s not here.”

Seven years later Andy Irons was dead.

I still remember, vividly, the Wednesday morning when Taj Burrow fired a text message from Puerto Rico to a mutual friend saying that Andy Irons had been found in a Texas hotel room.

A few calls and I was into the Tarrant County coroner’s office. AI’s body was inside. He’d been found by two hotel workers at the Grand Hyatt at Dallas-Forth Worth airport, dead, bed sheets pulled to his neck, an empty Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup on the floor beside him.

Andy Irons, who was thirty two, had died six thousand clicks from a wife pregnant with his son Axel and a home gilded by the rays of a Hanalei sun.

Even with the passing of time, it doesn’t get any easier for his widow Lyndie Irons, although now she has Ax, Andy’s lookalike son.

And, today, on the thirteenth anniversary of that terrible day Lyndie posted a tribute to Andy.

November 2nd.

I can still hear your laugh. I can still see you dancing (in Axel) and it still feels like yesterday that he you left. Andy taught me the most in my lifetime about how to live. He was the most authentically honest man that loved so hard and so deep. He made time for everyone and never treated anyone differently. He always made time for kids and he gave so much to the community of Kauai. He was so special. He worked so hard to achieve every single goal he set and he achieved them all in his 32 years ‍♂️! He was an incredible athlete and I will always be his biggest fan.

We partied hard, and danced always. Makes me smile thinking of our wild times together. We had the very best time always. Andy was my best friend and he gave my forever best friend Axel. Andy really lived every single day to the very fullest and I do that with our Axel the best that I can.
I will forever miss that raw pure love from Andy. Feeling blessed through the pain that I got to experience such love and out of that relationship I have my beautiful Axel. My rock !

Hug and love your people hard. We aren’t promised tomorrow !

The year after Andy Irons died, I interviewed Lyndie about her wild husband. 

DR: Did Andy dream a lot? Were they sweet dreams, nightmares?

Lyndie: Definitely nightmares. He’d wake up screaming a lot. And, he was talking to Koby Abberton about it. Seems like they had similar dreams. Andy would wake up sometimes screaming out or he’d sit up and start punching the bed. He had some very, very radical dreams, and a lot of them.

DR: Did he describe these dreams?

Lyndie: Sometimes. When he had radical ones. There’s a few I can remember, but I’d prefer to keep them to myself. He definitely had emotional, physical dreams even though he looked so sweet and peaceful when he slept. I look at Axel and get the same feeling. Axel goes a million miles a minute and when he goes to sleep I feel like I can take a breath.

DR: Talk to me about the whirlwind of those world titles, you the gal next to the guy. How about the year he made Kelly cry? That was intenso!

Lyndie: When I was first started dating Andy he’d already won one world title and was already in the middle of his second one and so him winning every contest seemed like the natural order of things. I was shocked if he didn’t make the quarters or the semi finals. He was so happy and so on top of the world. He never second-guessed himself. He was such a magical human, particularly in those world title days. It was like he was floating on air. He never even, it’s so hard to explain it in words. I wish he was here to explain it for me because he was so good with words…  But, that year that he beat Kelly in the final was magical in itself. It was so unexpected. I remember G (Graham Stapelberg, the then VP of marketing at Billabong) adding up the points and he was like, “Whoa, Andy, you can actually win this world title.” He wasn’t a long shot for me, and not for Andy either, but for everybody else it was shocking. It was magical and crazy.