New Palm Springs Surf Club wavepool to charge an astonishing $US200 per one-hour session!

"Riding the wave starts at $100 for beginners (group of 12), $150 for intermediates (group of 12), and $200 for the advanced (group of 9)."

Three years ago, the world’s best surfers lined up to jiggle their thumb tips against the Palm Springs Surf Club’s pygmy dingus, a proto-wavepool built on the site of the old Wet N Wild in that storied little desert town. 

Wet N Wild was the pool used in the opening sequences of North Shore, a film from 1987 that tells the fictional tale of Rick Kane, a boy who learns to surf in a wavepool and then attempts to transpose his skills to Pipeline with mostly pleasing results.

“The surfing footage is fairly routine until the film’s climax, a contest featuring some spectacular shots of surfers seen beneath the overhang of breaking waves,” wrote the New York Times’ reviewer. “Otherwise, the surfing, writing, direction and performances are of a caliber to interest only undiscriminating adolescents.”

The surfing world quickly fell under the spell of the Hawaiian surfer Cheyne Magnusson who had singlehandedly altered the course of aerial surfing at BSR cable park in Waco.

Magunusson joined hands with the “godfather of artificial waves” Tom Lochtefeld and his Surf Loch tech to soup up the ancient Wet N Wild site.

“I come in and play the piano,” Cheyne told me of his role complementing the wave tech. “Give me a bunch of knobs to move water and I can make it sing.”

The pint-sized proto was built and surfers, including Mason Ho, Jackson Dorian etc, came from all over the world, flared and made clips. The pool was then demolished to make way for the full-sized tank.

 Now, the pool has been revealed and…a couple of things.

Oowee, don’ look much diff to the proto. Waves look small, Typhoon Lagoon-ish little, and it ain’t cheap.

Tiny burgers cost hundred bucks an hour, one-fifty if you wanna approximate a turn, and two hundred for the best it can pump out. If you’re an Australian swinging into town, that makes it roughly 350 shekels.

Again, oowee.

Here’s the spiel from the PR gal.

Situated just a short drive from Los Angeles and minutes away from downtown Palm Springs, PSSC spans 21 acres and combines the finest features of resort and leisure attractions, creating a vibrant community-based destination centered around surfing and the beach lifestyle. While the motto emphasizes that surfing can be for everyone, non-surfers are also catered to with a range of additional attractions and offerings. Enhancing the visitor experience, large LED displays are strategically placed throughout the club, capturing and projecting the dynamic surf action, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the excitement.

PSSC is redefining the surf pool landscape with its advanced pneumatic wave technology, pioneered by industry veteran Tom Lochtefeld, the founder of Surfloch Wave Systems. This innovative technology offers on-demand, customizable waves designed by expert surfers to cater to varying skill levels, ensuring a memorable surfing experience for all. Accommodating up to 25 surfers simultaneously, the park’s waves are not only pre-programmed for individual preferences but are also a testament to sustainable practices. PSSC stands out for using just 1% of the water volume required by a typical golf course while generating over 70% of its energy resources in-house.

Though crowds will come out to surf and watch the waves, guests visiting the facility (ADA-accessible) will also have access to a lazy river, waterslide attractions (opening later in 2024), cabana rentals, and more. Amala restaurant will provide sustainable eating options that will fuel a day of surfing and play. The open indoor/outdoor design is the perfect place to relax and take in the club’s desert surroundings. Three full bars with custom cocktails and beers on draft will round out the beverage offerings on-site. Guests are welcome to visit Amala for the restaurant experience and forgo the park entrance fee. Those hitting the waves or lounging poolside can also grab a quick bite at Drifter’s, the club’s second restaurant on-site. The retail store will have a curated selection of wetsuits, clothing, and accessories.

A wide selection of rental boards will be available for surf session reservations with a variety of boards available for purchase as well. Riding the wave starts at $100 for beginners (group of 12), $150 for intermediates (group of 12), and $200 for the advanced (group of 9). Winter club entry starts at just $20 and reservations can be booked at beginning on 12/13/23.

All pricing is subject to change.

The Palm Springs Surf Club, 1500 S Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92264

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.”


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.”


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.