Kelly Slater says French absurdist comedy Brice de Nice “best surf movie of all time!”

"The film is twisted but it's my best surf film," says Slater.

In a moment of the rawest candour, Kelly Slater has listed Brice de Nice as the greatest surf movie of all time, elevating the absurdist French comedy above Big Wednesday, Endless Summer, Morning of the Earth, Free Ride, Gidget, Blue Crush and so on.

Slater, who is a few months short of his fifty-second birthday, made the claim about Brice de Nice on the Steve-O podcast, telling his host,

“It’s an incredible film. This guy lives in the Mediterranean and he wants to be a surfer. In the opening scene, you see him sitting on his board waiting for a wave and there’s like an old woman with a swimming cap coming ashore. We see that there isn’t even a ripple of a wave in the sea. The guy is just there, sitting on his board, dreaming of a wave that never arrives.”

Brice de Nice holds significant cultural importance in French popular culture, particularly in the comedy genre. Released in 2005, the film, directed by James Huth, features the character Brice Agostini, portrayed by Jean Dujardin whom you might’ve adored, like me, as the sparkling George Valentin in The Artist.

Brice is a surfer with an exaggerated sense of self-confidence and catchphrases like “Casse-toi, then!” (“Get lost, then!”). After the film’s release, Brice quickly became an iconic and often imitated figure in French youth culture.

If you ever go to a party full of French surfers, yeah, you’ll hear it.

The film’s success can be attributed to its blend of slapstick humor, absurdity, and a memorable protagonist. Brice embodies a carefree and nonchalant attitude, resonating with a generation that embraced the pursuit of laid-back lifestyles. The character’s distinctive phrases and antics have permeated everyday language, becoming part of colloquial speech.

Brice de Nice symbolises a departure from traditional French cinema, incorporating elements of American-style humor and showcasing a character that deviates from the typical French hero. This departure contributed to the film’s appeal and cultural impact, marking a shift in the comedic landscape of French cinema.

Very much a cult film.

As Slater tells the story,

“One day he discovers that at the other end of France there are waves and he goes there… He’s rich but witty. He’s really very weird. (Brice de Nice) is twisted but it’s my best surf film.”

 

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Kai Lenny's onetime best friend Mark Zuckerberg (insert) dismayed about situation. Photo: Instagram
Kai Lenny's onetime best friend Mark Zuckerberg (insert) dismayed about situation. Photo: Instagram

Surf super stud Kai Lenny shares near death big wave wipeout from “definitely under-forecast” Black Friday swell

Almost gone too soon.

Kai Lenny, man. Is there anything the Maui built super stud can do wrong? The handsome 31-year-old is handsome, fearless, respected, talented and handsome. “Brave and daring and honey coloured,” according to master of modern erotic surf poetry Derek Rielly. He is, or was, best friends with Mark Zuckerberg but even that closeness with a technology master could not save him from getting caught by Surfline’s “definitely under-forecast” swell.

Those who do not live on the Hawaiian islands were, maybe, unaware as, days ago, monster waves made a sneak attack on north facing shores. While surfers hurried to wax the probably the wrong boards, caught unawares, homeowners and commuters took to the streets in order to hold protests. Fiery chants of “Blame Surfline” filling the balmy air.

Kai Lenny Over the Falls

Kai Lenny, though, confident and audacious, was out amongst it, a the ominously named Jaws, and shared a terrifying video of him paddling up the face of a watery giant before getting sucked over in slow motion, likely driven deep. Davey Jones tickling his ankles with cold, clammy fingers.

“Learning new tricks in big waves don’t come with out consequences. Every fall or caught inside there’s a chance the board will go straight on the rocks. In an attempt to save my board I was dragged over the falls,” he penned to Instagram.

The question must be asked, though. Might the potentially deadly trip been averted had Surfline done its job?

Allowing Kai Lenny to, as advertised, “Know before he went?”

More to the point, should a congressional inquiry be taken up in order to get to the bottom of the misfire?

I think it would be a very good use of resources. Something that would bring the country together.

In any case, I was out surfing yesterday morning too. I caught a rib-high right and was ready to really get into it when a vulnerable adult learner, male, aged 55+, dropped out of the sky, nearly landing right on me. While not as dynamic as the Kai Lenny footage, it was scary.

#IStandWithKai

#BraveBoy


Sean Penn, with Vans shoes, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and, inset, John John Florence wins the Pipeline Masters.
Sean Penn's famous Vans scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and, inset, John John Florence wins last-ever significant Pipeline Masters in 2021. | Photo: Fast Times at Ridgemont High/WSL

How Vans and WSL destroyed surfing’s most prestigious cultural relic The Pipeline Masters

“There's nothing like (the Pipeline Masters) for showcasing the sport at its absolute staggering best," says Nick Carroll.

Once upon a time, well, until two years ago, the most prestigious surfing contest in the world was the Pipeline Masters, a tuberiding event held at Pipe on Oahu’s North Shore. 

The Pipeline Masters was created in 1971 by the wonderful Fred Hemmings, one of the pivotal figures in surfing whose contribution to the game was largely ignored ‘cause of his conservative bent, and won that year by Jeff Hakman, followed by two years of dominance by Mr Pipe Gerry Lopez.

The Pipeline Masters was a contest whose crown was almost as gilded as a world title. Slater would win it seven times, as a twenty year old in 1992, and aged almost forty-two in 2013. Andy Irons won four times, 2002 through 2008, and it hosted multiple world title showdowns, the most precious Andy v Kelly in 2003 and Italo v Gabriel in 2019. 

In a wild and fitting last breath, it gifted victory to John John Florence in 2021. The Hawaiian took his iron hard-on and blew the achey pressure in his balls into his first, and only, Pipe Masters crown. Fitting that his little brother Ivan, who also grew up at Pipe and who looks like a roughed up Mason Ho, scored a ten in the event and finished third. 

Then, and as you may recall, a hammer was taken to this precious cultural relic when the WSL, and Vans who own the intellectual property rights to the Pipeline Masters, couldn’t swing a mutually satisfying agreement with Billabong for ‘em to continue as naming sponsor of the event. 

See, because the WSL’s wanted to start the 2022 season in Hawaii and end it at Trestles in September, they had to run the 2021 Pipe Masters in January. Therefore there couldn’t be two events in the same year so the usual December slot wasn’t used. 

This meant that for 2022, the WSL had to juggle the events and come up with new dates and names.  

The Volcom Pipe Pro got dropped in favour of Billabong taking over that slot, renaming it, awkwardly, Billabong Pro Pipeline. 

The Pipeline Masters still runs on its usual dates, December 8-20, 2022, but it’s an invite-only event with a focus on Vans-sponsored surfers. Cash is good, broadcast is fun, the gals get their share of the waves and loot, but it ain’t no Pipeline Masters. 

Last year, it got vacuumed of its stars when John John, Kelly, Toledo, Medina, Ferreira and Gilmore all pulled out citing injuries and “scheduling conflicts”. 

This year, Vans ain’t even pretending to invite the best in the biz. 

Problem here is the confusion the switcharoo brings to surfing history. A week before his fiftieth birthday in 2022, Kelly Slater, looking like an old-school bull dagger with his thick neck and shaved head, won the Billabong Pro Pipeline.

It should’ve been his eighth Pipeline Masters title, and plenty of newsrooms were labelling it as such.

Between sobs Slater said, “I committed my life to this.”

But it wasn’t a Pipeline Masters title.

And, despite Wikipedia being edited to include Billabong Pro Pipeline titles, it still ain’t and never will be.


North Shore residents (pictured) pissed. Photo: Milk
North Shore residents (pictured) pissed. Photo: Milk

Chants of “Blame Surfline!” ring as “definitely under-forecast” swell paralyzes Oahu’s North Shore!

Terrified land barons, aggravated drivers and a whole lotta finger pointing.

Big wave season snuck into Oahu’s North Shore over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, terrifying land barons, aggravating drivers and thrilling the few surfers who saw it coming. The swell, which was not predicted by forecasting giant Surfline, left everyone confused, baffled, altogether kerflummoxed.

“We didn’t know when to go,” one frustrated surf hopeful left flatfooted in California was overheard mumbling to a neighbor.

“Start with a bang, you know, swell definitely under forecast,” Ocean Safety Lt. Kyle Foyle told Hawaii News Now. “Surf was a very large and surges this morning especially with that high tide earlier this morning.”

While thrilling surfers who track their own swells, the sneaky pulse alarmed home owners who woke up at midnight to the sound of pounding waves. Randy Meyers, who lives on Ke Nui Road, declared, “In the middle of the night I heard the surf, I came down and it was way bigger than anyone anticipated but still the direction of the swell was favorable to this beach – even though it’s taken out a lot of sand it’s not causing any damage.”

He was pleased to see a lack of plastic debris and tarps etc. on the beach. Fights have broken out between neighbors, there, over illegal structures that are erected in order to halt erosion but often magnify the troubles. You will certainly recall surf great Kelly Slater getting snared in “burrito-gate.”

While Mr. Meyers was momentarily pleased, this time around, tourists and commuters were very much dismayed. The extra high tide pushed sand up onto the Kam Highway, snarling traffic and sending drivers into fits of rage against the aforementioned Surfline.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t have gone!” cried one depressed snorkel enthusiast hoping to peek underneath placid seas.

So far no word from the World Surf League.


Two Port Macquarie surfers attacked by sharks, left, Toby Begg and, right, the late Zac Young, killed aged nineteen.
Two Port Macquarie surfers, Toby Begg, left, and the late Zac Young, dead at nineteen.

Surfer Toby Begg who lost leg in wild multi-pronged Great White attack returns to ocean

Begg to join memorial paddle out for fellow Port Mac surfer Zac Young, killed by shark aged nineteen.

Back in August, surfer Toby Begg was belted by a twelve-foot Great White in Port Macquarie, a holiday hamlet midway between Sydney and Byron Bay, losing half of his right leg and much of the utility in his left.

Toby Begg, who is forty-four, is one of the few human beings on earth who can say they survived multiple bites from a Great White shark.

He was dragged so far underwater it went dark and he thought he was going to drown. He was only able to swim for the surface after his foot ripped off at the ankle.

Back on the surface, the Great White hit him again, Toby Begg scrunching into a ball, which would save his life, but causing his leg to take most of the impact.

“Then he was on the surface punching it in the head for ages,” a BeachGrit source close to Beggs said. “Both his hands were balloons from hitting it. After 30 seconds it let go and he started paddling in. It’d severed the femoral artery in his leg and the only thing that saved him was there was a doctor and emergency room nurse walking on the beach (separately who didn’t know each other). His foot is gone and they’re saying his other leg might come off at the hip but they’re trying to save it. He’s a mad keen surfer and wants to get back in the water.”

After Mick Fanning called him in hospital and gave him a pep talk about how he’d bounce back Toby Begg reportedly said, ‘That was nice of him, but the shark snapped his fucking leg rope… I’ve lost my foot and maybe my leg, so I dunno what he was going on about.’”

Epic sense of humour, yes?

The off-duty doctor who was on the beach, Kurt Durbridge, recalled,  “As I reach the knee-high water, I can see a man who is as white as a ghost with horrific injuries and a massive bloody laceration to his left thigh and a traumatic amputation of his right foot.”

Anyway, Toby Begg is getting back in the water today as part of what is hoped to be a world record paddle-out for a local kid who was killed by a shark ten years ago.

Zac Young was nineteen and, armed with a fresh drivers license in his wallet, was on his first surf road trip with pals when they stopped at Coffs Harbour for a shred. Zac was hit on the legs by an eight-foot Tiger and subsequently went into cardiac rest, his last words “I love you guys.”

Zac’s daddy Kev is making a documentary of his kid’s life called, Forever Young, and want 682 surfers to join the paddle out and join hands for sixty seconds.