Chas Smith and the best beach wagons of 2023

“The rugged fun of a wagon”

Are you in the market for your first, or new, beach wagon? 

In his latest vlog, Chas Smith (who hates surfing) discusses the essential beauty of the devices referencing an excellent review piece by thinking surfer’s website The Inertia. 

“When daytime hours get longer and the mercury level climbs,” writes The Inertia’s beach wagon reviewer Dylan Hayden, “it can only mean one thing: extended beach days with toes in the sand and butt in a chair soaking up the sun with friends and family. These are the days we live for, but the major downside of these magical moments coming together is the schlep. That is, getting everything you need (and want) for the day into the car and down to the beach. This goes double when the cargo includes small humans. For days like these, a functional beach wagon is an essential piece of the puzzle.”

Winners: 

The Best Beach Wagons of 2023

Best Blend of Performance and Value: Tupelo Goods Load-Up Wagon
Best All-Around Family Beach Wagon: Radio Flyer Beach and Boardwalk Wagon
Best Budget Beach Wagon:Amazon Basics Utility Wagon
Best Luxury Family Wagon: Veer Cruiser
Best All-Terrain Gear Wagon: earth+kin MULE

Re: the Tupelo Goods Load-Up wagon,

“For those looking for a capable classic fold-up wagon design that could easily pull double duty with kids and gear but is light on ancillary features like a shade or kid buckles, the Tupelo Goods Load Up Wagon is the answer. In testing, we found the Load-Up Wagon to be essentially an upgraded take on a classic with extra wide wheels for sand and uneven terrain, a tough powder-coated metal frame, quality tear-resistant fabric, and four colors to choose from.

“We liked the adjustable handle and ease of folding of the Load-Up. While the Load-Up’s design is very solidly in the utilitarian wagon lane, in testing we found ourselves wishing for some other handy features like an outer compartment for storage or to hold drinks.”

Essential.


Grant Coleman and Chris Davidson
Grant Coleman and Chris Davidson.

Chris Davidson’s killer admits to “obsession” with surf star

“(Davo’)s mother hates you for what you have done, she says she wants to kill you with her own bare hands.”

On September 24 last year, the Narrabeen surf prodigy Chris “Kingswood Black” Davidson died after a one-punch attack outside a bar in rural east coast Australia.

Chris Davidson, who was forty-five, was punched in the face by Grant “Grub” Coleman outside the South West Rocks Country Club. Earlier, Coleman had put Davo in a chokehold at the bar.

Paramedics treated Davo at the scene and he was taken to Kempsey Hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.

Coleman pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing death, and common assault.

At a service at North Narrabeen, the beach and its associated culture that shaped Chris Davidson, hundreds of mourners celebrated the sneering, Billy Idol-esque preternatural talent that electrified surf fans.

In sentencing proceedings yesterday, Davo’s sister said their 77-year-old mother was drinking vodka to “try and stop the pain”.

“We can never forgive and forget and this incident should just never have happened,” she said. “My mother hates you for what you have done, she says she wants to kill you with her own bare hands … she is all of 35 kilos. She can’t understand why you are alive and her son is dead. I have been numb, you took him away and I will never forgive you.”

A lawyer for Coleman told the Newcastle District Court his client had taken a blow to the head from playing rugby and had been in multiple car accidents.

Coleman told the court he was “obsessed” with Chris Davidson ’cause of the surf star’s conviction of a child sex offence years before.

“My obsession came because I wanted to protect young girls,” Coleman said. “I’d heard rumours from his history and I wanted to let him know it wasn’t acceptable in our community.”

The sentencing process continues.


Swellnet (pictured) looking.
Swellnet (pictured) looking.

Australian surf forecasting giant Swellnet back in the news for lewd and rude “uninvited peeping”

Extremely obscene.

You’d think men would have learned their lesson by now. Permission must, clearly and specifically, be granted for any amorous activity to commence. But no. All sorts of cretins continue uninvited ogling, pinching, cat calling. Chief amongst them, and completely out of line, is Australian forecasting giant Swellnet.

Two years ago, the surf conjuring website “decided to strong-arm the public by erecting cameras pointing toward cherished once-secret waves while also brutally censoring opposition on its various pages.” The move was criticized, at the time, though Swellnet’s C-Suite executives declared they would win over the opposition.

Two years on, the campaign has appeared to have failed.

Australia’s ABC news is reporting:

The furore over the camera — which is discreetly attached to a private home overlooking the Winki Pop surf break at Bells Beach on Victoria’s Surf Coast — centres on privacy fears and now involves a petition of 2,500 signatures bolstered by a local surf group and an academic report.

Those who oppose the camera say it breaches people’s right to privacy and is in conflict with the rules and values surrounding Bells Beach being a Surfing Recreation Reserve, which includes a ban on commercial activity without a permit.

The Winki Pop camera can also only be accessed by those with a subscription to online surf forecast company Swellnet for a price of $10 a month, which has led to accusations from some locals of “filming public activity for private gain”.

Like revenge porn.

A petition which began circulating three weeks ago, demanding Swellnet take the naughty peeper away, already has, as stated, 2500 signatures and very much dividing the community.

Darren Noyes-Brown from the Surf Coast branch of the Surfrider Foundation said the camera was a “violation of the core values.”

Deakin University senior criminology lecturer Monique Mann said, “There’s a clear need here for further research to guide regulatory governance but ultimately, given that this camera has been installed in the absence of any community consultation or social license, there’s an argument for it to be removed.”

Sarah Reid works in a surf shop in Torquay and said, “A lot of people want to surf Bells Beach because it’s iconic, but it’s not a learner’s wave. If I can look at the camera at Winki Pop, I know I can send them somewhere safer or know that if they are absolutely set on Bells, I can check if it’s safe and let them know what to expect.” And added, “If it’s a privacy issue or a surveillance issue it’s absolute rubbish because they’re little black ants in the distance at Winki Pop. It’s [the camera] doing a service to the community. If someone wants to put a camera on their house that’s their agenda, I have no dramas with it. Bring on the cameras. I think it’s really funny that people signing the petition don’t surf, can’t surf or can’t get waves.”

Swellnet’s Stu Nettle, meanwhile, is back at headquarters, face pressed to computer screen beaming the illicit Winki images, drooling.

Extremely obscene.


Kolohe Andino slams “Pipe Masters” as John John Florence wins controversial exhibition event

"It's so clearly a slap in the face to the WSL and the title 'Pipe Master'"

There’s no need, I suppose, for any more musing over how the WSL and Vans destroyed surfing’s most precious cultural relic the Pipeline Masters, although Kolohe Andino’s calculated swing tonight calls for it.

A brief recap for those who’ve swung into the party late.

A hammer was taken to the contest 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.

A couple of hours back, John John Florence, won what was theoretically his second Pipe Masters (Johnny won in 2021 before the keys were handed back), although historians, or historian, there’s only one, will debate the merits of win number two.

In any course, Kolohe Andino, a long-time friend of Johnny’s, came out swinging after the WSL posted a clip of today’s win.

“Funny you guys promote this event when it’s so clearly a slap in the face to the WSL and the title “pipe master”, wrote the almost thirty-year-old Kolohe Andino. “It’s a sad, thirsty for content surf world we are enduring.”

Kolohe Andino comment on Pipe Masters
Kolohe Andino pays his respects to the WSL and the Pipe Masters.

Surf fans, for the most are in his corner, 381 likes so far and replies including:

u should run for president of WSL brother Kolohe Andino.,

Agree 1000% but feels like this comp was so much better than CT events even the Pipe event in January. It’s obviously not the same as it used to be with the tour ending at Pipeline but with the WSL trying to be cost efficient i don’t think it will ever come back to the better format. Also this is what happens when the judges do not rob John John

Legend John John but wsl please get with the program and have the actual pipe masters for the final event no more final 5 at trestles please

Did I miss something Kolohe Andino? What happened to the Pipe Masters? This seemed like an invitational event or something.

World Surf Losers are feeling the #boycottwsl due to their idiotic, short-sighted, woke, corporate, nonsurfer choices by eliminating events from September – December, eliminating Pipe as the final event, creating a Final-5 at Trestles in August where the top 5 surf that event with zero points-winner take all, and canceling @bethanyhamilton for having the massive labias to tell the truth. Eat 💩 @wsl . Vans created a better contest than you’ve had since you decided to run the Final-5 kook idea. Cry me a river rollerbladers.

Also, Chas Smith, who Hates Surfing, covers the Pipe Masters in detail below.

The nightmare of an incoherent world.


Surf great Kelly Slater lashes out at “young people” and common core math while getting wrong answer on Instagram question!

"The incessant need to be correct is not a virtue."

There is no field that surfing’s renaissance man Kelly Slater doesn’t expert. He’s smarter than most doctors, wiser than historically inaccurate trolls what with his Chinese girlfriend bonafides, a master of math, or maths if the reader finds him(her)self Australian. Yes, the Pipe Masters is currently rounding into its final heat but who cares?

Not me.

I care about the equation 60 ÷ 5 (7 – 4) =

It just so happened to appear on The Tinder Blog, a meme account, with the caption “What’s the answer?? We beefing hard about this in group chat.”

As it also just so happens, I am a pre-K through 5th grade math(s) teacher having accepted the role of “Senior Math(s) Faculty” for a private school consisting of my child and my friends’ children. I failed abysmally at the subject through my own education and figured I could right wrongs.

In any case, Slater jumped straight into the comments with a searing comment, penning, “Amazing confidence in wrong answers here, even from math teachers. It’s 4. But I suppose younger people learning common core math might be confused. Gotta handle the parenthesis first and that includes multiplication before division.”

Shockingly, the GOAT was wrong.

I worked the equation and came up with 144 though that may be wrong too.

In any other case, many came in and pointed out the 24 ÷ 2 World Surf League Champion’s fault and did he take it?

No.

He spent multiple hours arguing his case before, at the end, rolling over with a banger, declaring, “The incessant need to be correct is not a virtue. Get some rest, take the W, and have a little fun with the mistakes in life.”

Slater, wrongly, adding a comma before the “and have a little fun with the mistakes in life.”

Does he strike you as someone who heeds that poignant advice?

I hate surfing.

But what is the answer?

Gotta teach tomorrow.