Hollinger. Photo: Encyclopedia of Surfing
Hollinger. Photo: Encyclopedia of Surfing

Revered Hawaiian surfer, writer Kimo Hollinger dead at 84

"Born on Oahu, Uncle Kimo kicked off as an ink drinker, not the tall, graceful heavyweight of legend."

Kimo Hollinger, revered Hawaiian surfer and writer, died yesterday. He was eighty-four.

Born on Oahu, Uncle Kimo kicked off as an ink drinker, not the tall, graceful heavyweight of legend.

“You see, I became a bookworm, even reading encyclopedias. But my father made me go out. He sent me to the YMCA, he sent me to judo classes, and when he was sure I could take care of myself, he sent me to Waikiki.” He started surfing at sixteen but jumped the rungs quickly to become a standout at Sunset and Waimea.

Hollinger, who loved listening to jazz on his back porch almost as much as he loved Spam, rode waves without much of the glory draped on his contemporaries. He shunned the spotlight but relished being a part of the adventure, talking story and writing it, too. Kimo gifted us tales of big wave disasters and low-brow mischief so crisp you’d swear you were there dripping wet laughing beside him. His self-effacing prose made ya’ feel like a brother.

Kimo would say that he’s not a pro surfer, not a legend. “I’m just an observer,” he called himself. An observer? That’s like thinking of a stringer as decoration. Kimo was a link in the chain of surf history. A few years back a Greg Noll 10’ 10’ gun was auctioned, grabbing $9,500. That’s a steep gavel drop even for a Noll. The plank was advertised as a board Kimo stood on in his prime.

It’s well-deserved. I chipped this from Warshaw’s EOS:

“On Thanksgiving Day, 1975, just prior to the final heats of the Smirnoff Pro, with the Waimea surf booming in a gorgeous 25 to 30 feet, Hollinger and a handful of other non-contestants were asked by Smirnoff officials to leave the water. Hollinger complied, but resentfully—in part because Waimea breaks just a few times each season, and rarely with the kind of form seen on this particular day, and in part because of the commercial intrusion on what Hollinger regarded as a sacred surfing area.

“Powerboats and helicopters appeared,” he wrote in Surfer magazine a few weeks later, “and contest officials started warming up on the loudspeaker. I couldn’t believe it. Telling us who could ride and who couldn’t. A surfer has trained himself to ride these waves. It is all he asks of life. Who the hell is Smirnoff to tell him he can’t? God created those waves.”

But Kimo was never shy to find the humor even in the most miserable circumstances. Speaking at the launch party of his book Talking Story, Hollinger recalled a near-fatal experience in the mid-seventies. Some big-name mainlanders, including Mike Diffenderfer, went out at big Waimea and Kimo, proud and itching to get in the mix, paddled out, wanting to represent the islands.

“When I went out it was only about 15 feet, then it was eighteen feet then it was twenty feet, then it was closing out the bay, Eddie was trying to scream at me to come in, but I couldn’t hear them. This huge set was coming from way outside and I thought to myself, ‘Well, I’ll take the first one cause I didn’t wanna, you know, get pummeled. But it was a big mistake. So, I took the first one and when I wiped out I was right in the impact zone and all the following waves just smashed me.

“My wetsuit was around my head and my shorts around my ankles and I had to clear a hole in the foam so I could take a breath. I was crying for my mother, I knew my wife would take care of the kids, I was wondering ‘who is gonna take care of the dog?”

Fifteen foot shore break with rocks on the sand, he was getting pounded and couldn’t make it the last twenty yards in.
“Butch van Arstdalen was on the sand, shouting me in. I always called him Dutchman and he always called me Hawaiian. ‘Hawaiian, Hawaiian, swim around the rocks!”

But he couldn’t make it the last twenty yards.

“So all the guys formed a human chain and they grabbed me.”

Tributes coming in rapidly.

A quote from Kimo:

“Life is a compromise. You’re not going to make everyone happy, but that’s the only way to do it. There’s no sense yelling and screaming at each other and being angry.”

Justin Trudeau (left) tone deaf. Photo: Instagram

Canada’s Justin Trudeau excoriated for son’s “tone deaf” costume

"He should have dressed up as a surfer who got attacked by a shark..."

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is the world’s highest ranking surfer. The stylish 51-year-old is not shy about his love for our “sport of kings.” He often takes to social media and showcases his svelte frame, wrapped in black neoprene, arms akimbo. Legs like tasty toothpicks. Trudeau appreciates the surfing life so much that he skipped his country’s very first Truth and Reconciliation Day to shred Tofino.

Very cool.

Though the Liberal Party leader is currently in very hot water. Halloween was, of course, just two days ago. The day allows children and adults alike to dress as favorite characters or goblins. I went with the one-time 11th best surfer in the world Luke Stedman. Trudeau’s son chose to go as a beheaded man.

“Hadrien seems to have misplaced something… but that’s not going to stop him from trick-or-treating,” the newly single PM penned to Instagram. “Happy Halloween, everyone – have fun out there!”

“Out” pronounced “oot”

While the costume appears to be lovingly crafted, critics immediately pounced on its “tone deafness.”

Beauty guru Saba Khan wrote, “Heart says this is the most tone deaf thing he can do at a time when children are getting their heads blown off in Palestine.”

Others pounced with “disgusting, insensitive and disrespectful.”

Surfers knew that poor Hadrien made the wrong choice and should have dressed as a surfer getting mauled by a shark.

A classic that never goes out of style.

He could have also picked former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan.

Or, better, former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan dressing in Filipe Toledo’s skin.

A costume within a costume like Inception.

Justin Trudeau, of course, has his own history with “problematic” costumes, donning blackface for his Aladdin get up back in 2001.

Movie star handsome Ben Gravy.
Movie star handsome Ben Gravy.

Ben Gravy stuns world by attempting “major surfing milestone!”

A boy from New Jersey and his dream.

Movie star handsome Ben Gravy is nothing if not historic. The 35-year-old, whose real surname is Graeff, cleaned himself up after a bout with addiction and became an VAL icon. His open demeanor, rugged smile and “you-can-do-it-too” approach to life inspires almost excessively. Gravy, who often makes his art upon a soft-topped board, has done basically everything. Surfed all fifty of the United States, palled around with Jamie O’Brien and became married on the beach.

Ben Gravy

Though it seems as if he has climbed all of surfing’s mountain, save Jaws, Maverick’s, Nazaré etc., there is a “major surfing milestone” yet unticked.

7 seas in 7 days

You read that correctly. Gravy is in the middle of a historic attempt of surfing all seven of the seas in the span of seven days. But, without looking, can you name them all?

Well done.

The New Jersey native started in Japan, where he surfed a pool then, according to breathless reporting:

He then will surf the Indian Ocean in Bali and Indonesia; the Southern Ocean (also known as the Antarctic Ocean) in Melbourne, Australia; the South Pacific in Sydney, Australia; the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas; the Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City on November 4; and, finally, the Arctic Ocean in Norway on November 6.

“On October 31, we are gonna be setting out on the one of the biggest missions, journeys, projects, I’ve ever done: 7 Seas in 7 Days, where we’re gonna be surfing seven different oceans around the world in seven days,” Ben Gravy tautologically declared.

But if Jules Verne was still walking amongst us, do you think he would be following along? Penning a masterpiece on the adventure?

For the dream.

It must be assumed that the Sami up there in Norway are preparing a ticker tape parade for Nov. 6th.

Ollu lihkku! Don vuitet!

Matthew Perry and Justin Trudeau
Trudeau, with Filipino fans, and, inset, Matthew "Chandler Bing" Perry. | Photo: Main photo @justintrudeau

Canada’s surfer PM Justin Trudeau venerates Matthew Perry despite pair’s troubled past

"Who hasn't wanted to punch Chandler?" says telegenic fist-puppet of the global elite Justin Trudeau.

The surf exploits of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, described as the bastard love child of Fidel Castro and Trudeau’s schlong-gobbling whore of a mother” and “the telegenic fist-puppet of the global elite” have been well documented. 

Even  a cursory strolls through the pages of Google finds Trudeau referred to as “the global leader with the best surfing skills, regularly showing his skills and even rubbing those skills in everyone’s face.”

Two years ago, Justin Trudeau was savaged by the global press for skipping Canada’s first Truth and Reconciliation Day and taking a surf vacay to Tofino. 

Now, and following the sudden death of Friends star Matthew Perry, Justin Trudeau has taken to X to venerate the star and childhood friend. 

(Trudeau’s daddy, Pierre Trudeau, also a Canadian PM, hired Perry’s mama Suzanne as his press secretary.)

“Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening,” wrote Trudeau. “I’ll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play, and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them. Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew.” 

These games included Matthew Perry and a pal beating hell out of the future PM.

“He was excelling in a sport that we weren’t, so it was pure jealousy,” Perry told Jimmy Kimmell in 2017. “He was the only kid in school that we could beat up. … I’m not bragging about this. This is terrible. I was a stupid kid. I didn’t want to beat him up…I think I was rather instrumental in him going to such great heights in becoming the Prime Minister. I think he said, ‘I’m going to rise above this and become Prime Minister.”

After the cruel game came to light Trudeau displayed a rare grace writing,
“I’ve been giving it some thought, and you know what, who hasn’t wanted to punch Chandler? How about a rematch?”
Matthew Perry returned the salvo quipping, “I think I will pass at your request for a rematch kind sir (given that you currently have an army at your disposal).”
Have you been following BeachGrit’s coverage of the surf-adjacent star’s death?


Neymar Jr and rumoured lover Pedro Scooby inset
Italo fires broadside at Surf Ranch judges; inset, Neymar Jr and Pedro Scooby, pals.

Neymar Jr’s rumoured surfer-lover Pedro “Scooby” Vianna curb-stomps WSL in fiery TV rant

“They put the knife into Medina and Italo."

The big-wave star Pedro “Scooby” Vianna, who is also a model and, if the allegations of an Instagram influencer are to be believed, lover of soccer ace Neymar Jr, has struck out at the World Surf League on Brazilian TV.

The impossibly handsome thirty five year old from Rio De Janerio lit up on Cazé TV in a fiery rant during the live coverage of the Pan American Games in Chile and where Peru’s Lucca Mesinas and Brazil’s Tatiana Weston Webb took shortboard gold.

Scooby was asked about adding wave pools to the world tour, to which he responded, vociferously, in the negative.

“Not much has changed,” said Scooby. “The guys stole from the foreigners in the pool. They put the knife into Medina and Italo. Nothing has changed. Theoretically it was supposed to change but they decided it wasn’t.”

Scooby then added, “Sorry for the sincerity.”

You’ll remember, of course, at the Surf Ranch event in May when pro surfing was thrown into chaos and fans turned on the WSL and its CEO Erik Logan after Ethan Ewing controversially beat Gabriel Medina and Griffin Colapinto, Italo Ferreira.

Medina threw fuel on an already spectacular bonfire and despite winner Ethan Ewing being threatened with death by Brazilian surf fans, when he posted an open letter to the WSL complaining of poor judging, the defeat marking the first time in five events he’d failed to make the final.

“The surfing community, especially in Brazil, is mesmerized with the poor clarity and inconsistence of judging for many years now, but lately it has been even more shocking,” wrote Medina.

“It is quite clear that judging is now rewarding very simple surfing, seamless transitions and have taken critical turns in critical sections off the criteria. This is very frustrating and is stagnating the sport.”

Italo Ferreira, the 2019 world champion, and reigning world number one Filipe Toledo joined the chorus, perhaps missing the irony that Brazilians have won six of the last nine world titles.

(In September, Toledo would make it seven out of ten.)

“After a long day, of many thoughts, analyses, news and arguments, I realized that I am tired, psychologically exhausted. It’s not easy to spend 10 years swallowing hard,” wrote Toledo.

“I’m a surfer, original and rooted, who grew up among real surfers, and fairness has always been one of the main points in my experience. That’s why I feel tired. For the love of sport, I’m still firm and strong. And now, I feel happy seeing the posts by Gabriel Medina, Ítalo Ferreira, and many others, who can still adhere to the idea that what we seek will always be the evolution of the sport, with justice and transparency. We want nothing but fair. Nothing beyond what is our right. We need our voice to be heard and respected, because, after all, we are the protagonists of it all!”

Italo then went passive-aggressive, as if a teen girl has hacked his telephone.

“My intuition is not to attack, hurt, take into credit and judgment, but silence consumes me. The surf that gave me and gives me everything I live by this if I need to prove it yet. My looks and my energy and what they carry says it all. On my part, surf, I give you my all. My devotion My day to day that only me, my team and my family know. And so we shall continue. In the moment of sadness, indignation, reverse and look forward, transform, inspire people.”

Scooby, meanwhile, allegedly became Neymar Jr’s lover at a sex party, the story extensively covered by BeachGrit’s JP Currie.

“The allegations came via a Brazilian woman who identifies as an ‘influencer’, a term I find so distasteful I won’t mention her name. She alleges that she and another woman joined Neymar Jr and Scooby for a foursome, but that the two men were far more interested in each other.”

However, it’s not the first time the tabloid press have made allegations about Neymar Jr’s sexuality, in particular the nature of his friendship with Gabriel Medina.