Surf fans introduced to whimsical new game “Is it Mike Pence or is it Mick Fanning?”

Play amazing games, win amazing prizes!

We are now, officially, in the year 2024 and the beginning of the World Surf League’s new Championship Tour Season is… still a whole month away. While billing itself the “global home of surfing,” the League has done… poorly in providing wall-to-wall entertainment for starving surf fans. No Barefoot Wine pre-game mixers. Zero “scenes from behind the Bailey’s Ladder.”


Thankfully, we have Rip Curl.

Even though the Torquay-based wetsuit snd soft-goods maker sold to Kathmandu five-ish years ago, it very much maintains its core roots and, seeing depressed surf fans staring mournfully at the air, released the funnest, most whimsical new game “Is it Mike Pence or is it Mick Fanning?”

Mike or Mick?
Mike or Mick?

Large blowup dolls are being strategically placed in surf fan-rich locations wearing a wetsuit, holding a board. A table is set up outside with two stacks of notecards. One reads, “This is former Vice President of the United States Mike Pence.”

Mike Pence
Mike Pence

The other reads, “This is three-time surf champion Mick Fanning.”

Surf fans are allowed to study the effigy from all angles, though not allowed to touch, pick one of the cards then drop it into a Dominion Voting System.

The winner, selected by the State of Michigan’s election team, will receive a pair of Klly Turtle Moons.

Good luck.

Sean Connery (left) and Mick Fanning in Doped Youth (right). Dinosaurs.
Sean Connery (left) and Mick Fanning in Doped Youth (right). Dinosaurs.

Surf filmmakers lament “we’re next” after James Bond movies slapped with trigger warning!

"Please note these films contain language, images, bikinis, Bruce Irons or other content that reflect views prevalent in its time."

The year 2024 is still just a baby, only four days in, but my goodness if it ain’t already a contentious one, or at least in our surf world. La Jolla surf troll Jacob “Zeke” Szekely shooting direct threats toward beloved surf photographer Jimmy Wilson before quickly running for cover whilst denying once a little heat came down. Former Harvard president forced to resign after utilizing the brave literary technique known as “cut and paste” pioneered right here at BeachGrit.

And now, surf filmmakers fear they might be next in line to receive negative headline space. For, hours ago, the British Film Institute declared James Bond movies would now be slapped with a trigger warning reading, “Please note that many of these films contain language, images or other content that reflect views prevalent in its time, but will cause offence today (as they did then). The titles are included here for historical, cultural or aesthetic reasons and these views are in no way endorsed by the BFI or its partners.”

Comforting, yes, with the surf film genre certainly up to receive the scarlet hammer.

But have you not watched Endless Summer wherein the white man brings culture and light to the dark continent?

Who is J.O.B. in which J.O.B. is called a “retard?”

Doped Youth?

The list can go on ad infinitum with only the exact wording of the warning left to ponder.

“Please note that basically all of these films contain language, images, bikinis, Bruce Irons or other content that reflect views prevalent in its time, but will cause offence today (as they did then obvs). The titles are included here even though there is no historical, cultural or aesthetic reason.”

Something probably like that.

Claudine Gay, BeachGrit founders Chas Smith and Derek Rielly and KKK.
Claudine Gay, unfairly attacked by "racist mobs" for following in the pioneering footsteps of BeachGrit founders Chas Smith and Derek Rielly.

Harvard president Claudine Gay forced to resign over controversial writing technique pioneered by surfing blog!

WhIle some might call it plagiarism others, like BeachGrit, regard the "cut-and-paste" technique as the sharpest tool a writer has in his belt.

Yesterday, the fearless, tireless, and wildly inspirational Harvard president Claudine Gay was forced to resign after a witch hunt headed by “racist mobs.”

It seems the racists, the dang Jews and the white supremacists wanting to slaughter the sacred DEI calf went after Claudine Gay, the first black president of Harvard, when she was wishy-washy on whether or not calling for the mass-killing of Jews by students would violate the school’s conduct policy.

Claudine Gay had told a Congressional hearing that talk of Jew-killin’, well, it wasn’t automatically bad. It depended, she said, on the context.

The subsequent calls for her resignation were, said the Rev. Al Sharpton, “an attack on every Black woman in this country who’s put a crack in the glass ceiling”. It was an “assault on the health, strength, and future of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

“Racist mobs won’t stop until they topple all Black people from positions of power and influence who are not reinforcing the structure of racism,” award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi, who used to be plain ol Henry Rogers, wrote in his typically flamboyant style.

And, so, when it was revealed Claudine Gay was an active user of cut and paste in her work, oowee, the pile-on began.

The screws got real tight until finally Gay quit and she was given a less prestigious role within the university, although she did get to keep her 900k salary.

But while some might call Claudine Gay a plagiarist others, like BeachGrit, regard the technique as the sharpest tool a writer has in his belt. It is a labour-saving device where the writer (or keyboard operator) is able to process material and get it published long before any cube-worker gets around to crafting his own version.

BeachGrit, of course, is the pioneer of this labour-lite version of journalism, cleverly transferring acres of text from other sources into our own stories.

It ain’t as easy as it sounds.

First, the operator must use his mouse pad to bold the text he wishes to steal.

Then, he must hold down the command button, which is identified by the looped square symbol, and depress the c button. This copies the selected text.

Finally, this text, which is stored somewhere in the computer’s memory, is transported to a new page and, here, the operator holds down the looped square button and the v button.

Only now do we have our presto moment as the text magically reappears.

Sharp-eyed readers and those with a few neurons still firing will often get that deja vu jolt as they scroll through a BeachGrit story, entire passages, sometimes entire stories, recreated using the magic of the cut and paste combination of buttons.

Of course, it ain’t easy being in the cut-and-paste surf aggregating biz as writers for Surfer magazine have found to their peril, shocking readers with multiple missteps and grievous errors.

Following the purchase of Surfer by The Arena Group, a “tech-powered media company…that creates robust digital destinations that delight consumers with powerful journalism” a series of unforgivable errors have turned the once best and oldest surf mag in the world into a “bastion of kook.”

Vale Claudine Gay.

Jacob Szekely “Zeke”
"You took it way too far, man, and everyone in my hometown is pissed off at you about it. I just gotta come on here to say something about it, because nobody else is going to speak out. I don’t give a fuck about what people think. I’m sick and tired of these lame ass filmers stealing our credit."

La Jolla surf troll Jacob “Zeke” Szekely backs away from wild blood feud with veteran surf photographer

"We put our lives on the line, risk it all…then when I go home to edit my video, there’s already 10 raw session videos out there."

You’ll certainly remember December 29 if you lived on the US west coast for a swell of almost-unheard of intensity turned the engine lights on at reefs and beaches from San Diego in the south to Crescent City way up north.

And, at a bejewelled reef in San Diego, the veteran surf photographer Jimmy Wilson, a man with a body as white as cream, like an old school actress whose skin has been softened by massage, captured waves putting on a show as if it was Hawaii’s Pipeline.

“I’m pretty dang happy right now,” Jimmy Wilson aka Jimmicane wrote. “Today was by far the best session I’ve ever witnessed in San Diego. As you will see, it’s not the most organized or easy wave to read, but the potential for a session of this level has been in the making for a long time.”

The twenty-minutes of raw footage went viral-ish, almost half-a-million views and over three thousand likes.

Not everyone was thrilled, however.

The La Jolla surfer and noted troll Jacob “Zeke” Szekely broadcast his powerful feelings on Instagram, a move designed to humiliate and to belittle his antagonist.

I’m sick and tired of all these random filmers that come out of nowhere on the day of the year, film spot, go home, and upload it to YouTube that night. [They’re] blowing out the spot, blowing out the swell with landmarks of the spot.

Even if pros are out there saving clips for a movie. I always ask them. I have tons of friends who are doing the same thing. Then, I don’t wanna name any names, but we all know who it is, a guy that should know better took it way too far by uploading a raw session video the same day with landmarks. All of the pros best clips that they might be saving for a fucking movie…just straight to YouTube that night, and then have Stab [Magazine] promote it.

(Editor’s note: Stab deleted the video after Zeke was made sad.)

You took it way too far, man, and everyone in my hometown is pissed off at you about it. I just gotta come on here to say something about it, because nobody else is going to speak out. I don’t give a fuck about what people think. I’m sick and tired of these lame ass filmers stealing our credit.

We go out there and put our lives on the line, risk it all, pay filmers to film us…then when I go home to edit my video, there’s already 10 raw session videos out there with the same clips.

Respect the surfers. Respect the lineups. Respect the locals.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jacob Szekely “Zeke” (@zeke_)

All very funny, silly, especially the “put our lives on the line, risk it all” thing, and clearly aimed at Jimmy’s popular cut.

Jimmy responded,

You know me pretty well Zeke. If there was a problem, I would’ve been easy to contact directly. The main goal in my career has always been to uplift other surfers, photographers, and videographers. There’s a long track record. If anything, this is deflecting from the real story, which should be how hard @holy.skip ruled it, and has always deserved more support and recognition in the surf world. Bummed to see it get handled this way for all the people who don’t know my true character, but I don’t take it personally

Howevs, when push came to shove, as they say, and a roll call of surfing luminaries jumped into Zeke’s comments to support Wilson, Zeke backed away writing,

“Yeah Jimmicane is Chill bro, there’s multiple other accounts who ain’t chill tho…”

What do you make of the dramatic reversal?

Lame or the work of a man of uncommon wisdom?

Sasha Jane. Iconic.
Sasha Jane. Iconic.

Surfing put on notice as boxing now requires transgender athletes to undergo surgery before competing

"Vaginoplasty or phalloplasty."

The trans athlete issue certainly was one of the more polarizing stories of the just-wrapped 2023. While some corners celebrated the beautiful dominance of women’s divisions by the likes of Lia Thomas others decried the lack of fairness, having those born male competing against those born female.

Momentum Generation funnyman and Kelly Slater bandmate Peter King found himself firmly amongst the latter, declaring, “Stay out of women’s sports where you miraculously win after being an average performing man. Women’s sports is not a backup plan where you can’t win a trophy (And $) in the men’s division. Leagues like WSL and sponsors like Red Bull will you now stand up to this now instead of harming women’s sports?”

Kelly Slater, himself, offered, “Make a trans division and we don’t have this confusion.”

Surfing did neither and embraced one of the most liberal policies of any sport governing body. In the March 7, 2023 ruling, The International Surfing Association declared trans athletes are welcome if:

1. The athlete provides a written and signed declaration that she identifies as a woman.

2. The athlete demonstrates to the satisfaction of the ISA Medical Commission that she has maintained a concentration of testosterone in her serum of less than 5 nmol/L continuously for the previous 12 months. The Medical Commission will provide guidance to any athlete seeking an assessment of her eligibility on how she can demonstrate that she has met this requirement.

The World Surf League, which bills itself as the “global home of surfing” was too spineless to make its own ruling and adopted the ISA’s.

The lowest of hurdles and glorious except… might the powers be rubbernecking professional boxing which has just decreed that trans athletes wishing to compete in women’s division cannot merely sign a declaration and self-report testosterone levels but undergo surgery.

Per Them:

Transgender boxers must have surgery to compete in leagues that match their gender identity, according to new regulations from USA Boxing that took effect this week.

USA Boxing, the national entity that governs boxing’s official rules and regulations, released the new policies on December 29 as part of the organization’s biannual rulebook update. Under the new rules, which took effect January 1, both trans women and trans men are required to meet several new criteria in order to compete as their lived gender. USA Boxing will now require trans athletes to declare they have “completed gender reassignment surgery” and provide at least four years of quarterly hormone evaluations before stepping in the ring with an opponent.

The new policies do not define “gender reassignment surgery,” but the term usually refers to vaginoplasty or phalloplasty for trans women and men respectively. It is unclear whether other types of bottom surgery like orchiectomies would meet USA Boxing’s new rules. (Them has reached out to USA Boxing for comment and will update this piece if we hear back.) Boxers under the age of 18 must compete as their sex assigned at birth, with no exceptions.

A draconian rolling back of progress?


If you have thoughts, please share.