Rip Curl shed for sale
Rip Curl, then, and now!

Historic Bells Beach shack that birthed Rip Curl lists for under one million dollars!

35 Great Ocean Road, Jan Juc, seeks surf and history lover!

Long before being bought by a camping retailer, dumping its CIS white male CEO and pivoting in and then out of the queer market,  Rip Curl was a backyard surfboard company called Rip Curl Hot Dog.

In an aluminium shed out the  back of 35 Great Ocean Road, Doug Warbrick and his pal Brian Singer started making surfboards to fund lives built around surfing nearby Bells Beach. 

Soon, they’d move into a new joint up the road, the old Torquay bakery, shorten the name to Rip Curl and, along with Alan Green, who’d later split to start Quiksilver, start making wetsuits.

A few decades later, all of ‘em rich as hell.

And four years ago, after taking a dozen years to find a buyer they could live with and that and with the necessary bankroll, Brian and Doug sold Rip Curl to camping retailer Kathmandu for $A350.

Brian and Doug’s 35.5 percent each of Rip Curl got ’em $58 million apiece.

Anyway, the beach shack at 35 Great Ocean Road, Jan Juc, sixty-five miles out of Melbourne, has just been listed with hopes of around a mill, mill-on, Australian dollars, 650 to 710k US. 

(US readers take note, no property taxes in Australia. You buy, it’s yours.)

And, in the back yard, still, is the historic shed where Rip Curl began. A holy shrine, you’d think. What’s very cool is over the course of almost six decades, no one has touched the shed. 

The shack, meanwhile, has been gussied up real fine while keeping its ancient roots alive.

“They have kept it like a nice authentic beach house feel but the vendor has certainly, because she lived in it for a long time, she has done some great work in renovating it over the years,” selling agent Kellie Papworth told the property press.

Examine, and if you can handle the long winters, buy here. 

Open Thread: Comment Live on Day One of the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach!

Poster Posse, let's ride.

Kanoa Igarashi (pictured) basking in the warm glow of transcendent knowledge.
Kanoa Igarashi (pictured) basking in the warm glow of transcendent knowledge.

Olympian Kanoa Igarashi delivers must-read message on unity in these increasingly surf rage-filled days

This one goes out to the internet technicians...

One of the greater transitions, in an era increasingly fuller of them, is that of Kanoa Igarashi. Born in Huntington Beach to Japanese parents, Igarashi burst on the scene as a sort of child surf prodigy alongside Quiksilver stablemates Jack Robinson and Leo Fioravanti. As he grew, the young man’s spontaneous “tourettes-like” celebrations and gold chains seemed to grate easily offended surf fans and he was written off as “cloying.”

Over the years, though, Igarashi has quietly endeared himself to those selfsame internet technicians by developing an enviable style, demonstrating a willingness to charge and, by all accounts, rising above the fray. Letting his “surfing do the talking” as the old chestnut goes.

Well, in a revealing new interview with the Olympics’ official website, Igarashi also lets his talking do the talking, sharing about how it felt to grow up Japanese in Huntington Beach (“When I was outside of my house, I had a very American culture because of my American friends. And then I would go back home and it would just be a complete Japanese culture. The balance for me was very unique.”) and how it allowed him to soar to a silver medal in surfing’s Olympic introduction at the Tokyo Games (“I guess that kind of controlled chaos, it’s made me into who I am today.”).

Most importantly, though, the model-handsome 26-year-old drops a pearl of wisdom that might just might heal this vitriolic and polarizing age. Speaking of his different worlds, Igarashi explained that none of it mattered when he went surfing with his father. “The ocean was what kind of blended me into society,” he said “and I’ll be forever thankful for that. What the ocean taught me was that it really is a place where everyone is a human being. Everyone’s training one passion. Everyone’s in the water, everyone’s surfing. No matter what race you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter what you do, when you’re in the water, you’re just one.”

And look at that.

Peace for our time.

Taylor Swift and Andrew Kidman
Taylor Smith with Andrew Kidman laminate from Swift surfboards as visage. Digital manipulation by Pauly_Matt_War_Shore

Aussie surf film icon reveals eerie connection to billionaire chanteuse Taylor Swift

Litmus creator Andrew Kidman and his supernatural brush with global phenomenon Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift would have been nine when I first began drawing this surfboard decal in 1998.

Swift was the name of a sailing boat that my father’s best friend Stewart Morris won an Olympic Gold Medal sailing in the Swallow Class in 1948. There was a black and white photo of Stewart sailing it hanging on the wall of my home growing up. It looked fast.

I don’t know why I drew the girl’s face as the graphic. I worked on it for a couple of years, different versions, trying get a late 60s – early 70s feel into the graphic. I was attempting to reflect the era of surfboard that I liked to ride in the artwork. I was going after that feeling of the rock poster art Bill Graham and Chet Helms commissioned to promote their music shows around San Francisco in the 70s.

I felt I’d got it close, so I showed it to my girlfriend, Mish, who looked at it and said, “The eyes and mouth need fixing.”

Trusting Mish, I let her fix the eyes and mouth. It was like watching her put on eyeliner and fix her lippy.

So, I had the laminates printed in Brookvale, and over the years I’ve used them on some of the surfboards I have shaped. The past couple of years, since the Taylor Swift phenom, and the global surfboard glut, custom surfboard orders have been pretty lean.

Taylor Swift surfboard stickers
Andrew Kidman’s eerie Taylor Swift-esque decals for his Swift board label.

Currently there’s no order cards to fill. The shaping bay is just a storage room of stale foam off cuts, yellowed foam dust and tools scattered around the floor. Occasionally I open the door and look in there and think about shaping, there’s a blank in the corner with an outline on it of something I was thinking about, but I don’t have the coin to glass it.

So that’s all it is, an outline and I think, “Maybe that would work?” and I close the door.

The other day I was moving shit around, looking for something in the shed when I saw the Swift laminate on the deck of one of my boards. Taylor Swift is omnipresent in all our lives now. I’d never thought about it before, the girl in the decal was looking back at me, I started laughing.

Mish walked in, and I said to her,

“Look at this, it kind of looks like Taylor Swift.”

Mish started laughing, “It kind of does.”

“That’s weird right?” I said.

“Yeah that is weird,” Mish replied, “You probably wouldn’t draw that today.”

“I dunno, I kind of like her, Taylor Swift might be able to save the world.”

Mish laughed. I went on, “She might even be able to save the Swift Parrot’s habitat in Tasmania.”

“Fat chance,” Mish said as she walked out the door, unconvinced.

Hey Taylor, could you bring the plight of the Swift Parrot to the attention of the nation? All you need to do is talk about it, your audience is attentive.

I’ll even build you a board. 

(Editor’s note: Andrew Kidman is the creator of game-changing surf film Litmus (1996), its 2019 sequel Beyond Litmus and the surfboard design documentary On the Edge of a Dream where an impossible to ride board was filmed ruining the live of myriad surfers. His newspaper magazine Acetone, made with PHD student Sam Rhodes, acted, briefly, as a cultural bulwark to the great WSL/VAL replacement.)

Joe Carr, not new head of WSL
Joe Carr, is…not… the long-awaited replacement for Flim-Flam man Erik Logan.

Bombshell twist in appointment of ex-UFC exec Joe Carr as CEO of WSL

“One for ya, if you don’t already know – no one has stories yet anyway. Joe Carr – new CEO of Wozzle.”

This story might be called a mea culpa, an acknowledgement of a wrong or, better, a gilded post-modernist bomb, an expression of the post-truth era, a world where if you believe it to be true, it can be.

Just want it, say it, jerk it into being etc.

Last night, and twenty minutes before a dinner run by the city’s most elite hostess and marked by crimson faces and heaving sun-beaten bosoms, a usually impeccable source texted me:

“One for ya, if you don’t already know – no one has stories yet anyway. Joe Carr – new CEO of Wozzle.”

Instead of the usual rigours applied to such a big story, I found a press release with Joe Carr’s name, garlanded it with Lillies and a couple of lurid details and sent the story live, confident of a little kick in traffic through the night.

As the sun rose on America’s west coast, Chas Smith then sent an open invite to Joe Carr to appear on his hit YouTube show Chas Smith Hates Surfing.

Why should Joe Carr choose BeachGrit, asked Chas?

The facts show The Inertia is as irrelevant as it is embarrassing, Stab is openly collaborationist, hoping to be included in the Saudi buy, Surfer is robots and Surflineis already “an official partner” plus gripped by toxic monopolistic greed.

Today, and after a polite email from WSL co-founder Terry Hardy, it was revealed I got two small details of the story wrong.

One, Joe Carr hadn’t been appointed CEO of the WSL.

Two, the press release came from 2017 when Joe Carr became CSO of the WSL.

Obvs, a shame.

Joe Carr is a man ripe for the job, handsome with his earth face and marvellous eyes. Very alert by all accounts.

A subsequent call and text to source yielded this message,

“OS mate in the US. I hit him and he said that Joe (Carr) is working for Dirk directly. Overseeing all his surf biz stuff. So in one way it’s correct but it sounds like there will also be a direct CEO too. Too funny u ran a seven-year-old press release tho hahahahaha.”

As the expression goes, this is a developing story.