Foreign surf instructor (pictured) making venereal disease in Costa Rica.
Foreign surf instructor (pictured) making venereal disease in Costa Rica.

Local Costa Rican surf instructors band together to fight greasy foreign horde!

A blood feud of sorts!

The noble profession of surf instruction is coming under attack in Costa Rica. Central America’s famously stable country, filled to the brim with yoga retreats, henna stalls, murderous expats hiding from the law is, by all accounts, a paradise. The perfect place for white girls to culturally appropriate cornrows or chubsters to learn how to surf.

Herein lies a major malfunction.

Greasy foreigners from the United States, Australia and New Zealand are backing packs, moving down and teaching wave sliding thereby stealing ceviche from baby Tico mouths.

So rude.

But the locals have decided enough is enough. Per an exciting new report, homegrown surf instructors are banding together to fight the invading devils. Per The Tico Times:

The movement, known as Surfistas Locales CR, is a non-political and non-religious civil society initiative dedicated to fighting for the employment rights of hundreds of Costa Rican surf instructors. Comprising Costa Ricans, residents, and naturalized citizens who adhere to all legal requirements for employment, the movement aims to promote decent work that contributes to the country’s development through compliance with social security and tax regulations.

Representatives from popular coastal communities such as Tamarindo, Negra, Hermosa, Avellanas, Guiones, Nosara, Santa Teresa, Jacó, Dominical, Dominicalito, and Pavones have come together under this initiative. The group of 87 instructors has launched a vigorous campaign to expose and address the issue of foreigners engaging in unauthorized surf instruction.

I hope the Surfistas Locales win both the battle and the war.

Burn all foreign surf instructors.

Everywhere in the world.

Surfer Dad and son
One of the best surf daddies around, Yadin Nicol and son King Nicol.

The profound importance of Surfer Dads

"You pushed me in to it at just the right time. I felt the momentum of the wave and was shocked by its immediate power."

(Editor’s note: BeachGrit reader Nathan Reza sent the letter, below, following the death of his surfer dad on February 23. The kid wrote it as a high school project and, while going through his dad’s possessions, discovered he’d kept it. Reza asked if we might run the letter as a tribute to his old boy, sorely missed etc. What can I say, I get a little misty when it comes to kids, the passage of time, death.)


“Do you still want to go?”

I’m not sure you realize how many times that question has played in my head over the years, and how much I think of what my life would have been if my answer was “no.”

The truth is, I really didn’t want to go. Watching Mad TV and playing Super Nintendo all night had me exhausted, but I didn’t want to disappoint you. The smell of chorizo burritos informed me that you’d been up for a while getting ready, so there was no turning back now. Saying “No,” I knew I would have regretted it the rest of the day. I’ll never forget the artificial street lights in the room, no sunlight yet. I was confused whether it was day or night.

You had me go in to the garage and fetch the boards to put in the back of your black Toyota pickup truck with the matching shell, the one with the heart drawn on the top and our names in the middle. It seemed like an easy job until I stepped outside barefoot into subzero weather.

I’ll never forget the smell of dawn that early in the morning; the fresh, dewy smell of the backyard as I made my way deeper in to the garage. I remember the feel of dusty wax on the boards, caked and black from sitting for years untouched. The boards we’d use that day were broken, trashed, yellow, missing fins, and useless by any standard. They were perfect. Then, I pulled out your miraculous blue Bark Surfboards’ “Rhino Chaser” in perfect condition with green fins. I threw them all in the back of the truck without a care of knocking them into each other or the further damage I was doing to them.

I remember church. The condition of letting us surf with you was that we had to wake up for church first, the 6:30am service. Maybe you thought that would deter us from pestering you about going. However, the night before, when we finally made the deal to go surfing, church seemed like a minor sidestep in what would be an exciting day. After standing and sitting and kneeling and shaking hands and faking going to the bathroom so I could step outside for the readings, we left the church and greeted fellow parishioners with small talk. The sun was fully out and the day once again had promise for some kind of adventure.

Straight to the donut shop we went for your morning coffee and our morning hot chocolate and donuts. This is when the adventure really started. I never knew how fun it could be to lay in the back of that Toyota with the boards. Laying on the carpet under the boards, I was in my own little world, replaying the opening scene of Big Wednesday in my head.

Up until that point, Ernie and I fought to the all the time for that front seat, but thank God you made the verdict that he was older and could have it. Laying under my surfboard fort, the smell of old wax and resin went perfectly with my hot chocolate and sprinkled donut. I remember the Skid Row tape we listen to on the way to the beach. At the highest volume possible we blasted 18 and Life and Youth Gone Wild on repeat until we were there. There’s not a time I listen to either of those songs without thinking of this morning.

We got to the Liquor store on the corner of PCH and Seal Beach Blvd. As we stepped out of the truck, the smell of fish from the bait and tackle shop next door hit us. It’s a smell that takes me back to this day. The fog was just beginning to rise. The navy ship in between Seal and Sunset was just coming in to view. The liquor store always had a huge box full of Sex Wax. I remember grabbing one as fast as I could, the smell of it, putting in on the boards & making the smell even more potent in the back of the truck. I fuckin love that smell!

We got to the beach in no time. And before I knew it we were standing in the jetty parking lot. The restaurant that stands today was an old fish market, the bathrooms weren’t renovated, and there was a peacefull quiet in the air. The fog came back down, making it impossible to see more than twenty feet down the beach. This didn’t seem to matter, and we headed along the rocks toward the ocean. No wetsuit, no booties, just swim trunks and our boards.

I didn’t mention that I couldn’t feel my feet on the freezing cold sand. The board was too wide for my arms, so I put it over my head and threw my towel over my shoulders as you lead us down the beach with your board under your arm and towel draped over your board. I’d never felt so cool. The nervousness grew as we got closer to the water, and I could only imagine how cold it was going to be. You turned back and noticed my shivering. “The water is warmer than the air, it’ll be fine.”

Surfer dad and kids
Surfer Daddy with Nathan, front right I think, could be wrong, and another bro and a sis.

The tide was low, the wet sand was wide and the waves were small. Nothing intimidating and nothing to be afraid of, but the realization set in that I was actually going to do this. Terrified and cold, I walked out to the one-foot waves and did everything I could to get a wave, but couldn’t balance on the board to paddle more than a couple feet. I lost interest fast and I got out and played on the beach.

There were about six people on the beach getting ready to paddle out, only they were going in to the “real jetty.” We were surfing inside Crabs. I remember thinking to myself that they were crazy for waking up this early, coming to this freezing beach, and paddling in to the dense fog without knowing what was out there.

After watching on the beach for about fifteen minutes, I saw Ernie catch two white-water waves with you hooting from deeper water; this didn’t sit well with me. I grabbed my board and ran back in to the water. This time I got closer to you so you’d help me out. A bigger set came in and knocked me over. This happened another four times. I was audibly pissed at this point and ready to give up again. I made my way to you. You grabbed my board and said I needed to practice my duck dives, only you said it with the Australian accent from the movie North Shore, trying to make me laugh, but I wasn’t amused.

As another wave came, you pushed me in to it at just the right time. I felt the momentum of the wave and was shocked by its immediate power. I made my way to one knee, then the other, then to my feet and caught it all the way to the beach. I’ll never be able to accurately put that feeling in to words but it was the most exciting feeling I’d ever had at this point in my life. I only got that single wave that day, but it was enough to send me running and jumping on the beach.

We got out and rinsed off in the longboarders’ area where there was a hose and a wooden stand for the boards. The walk back didn’t feel nearly as cold as the walk up. The dawn patrol guys were rinsing off and talking about their waves.

“Did you get any today?” one asked. “Ya! I got to my feet and rode all the way in!”

I’ll never forget you grin of happiness and pride when I looked back at you.

I can’t tell you what we did when we got home, what we had for dinner, or even what month or season it was. I remember every second of getting dressed in the parking lot, packing our boards back up and the ride home. That entire day was eclipsed by those moments: Skid Row, the smell of wax and the feeling of being a surfer for the first time.

That day has stayed with me my entire life, and is one of the best memories I have.

I love you and I miss you.

Thank you Dad.

Video of Orca killing Great White
"The Orca will come in, and they’ll typically grab it from the pectoral fin, then they’ll give it a good shake — viciously, violently, very, very hard — and when you’re underwater you can actually hear the shark ripping, and it sounds like Velcro being ripped apart."

“Distressing” video shows Orca killing Great White in surprise attack!

"When you’re underwater you can actually hear the Great White ripping, and it sounds like Velcro being ripped apart."

Tears yesterday after a heart-wrenching video did the rounds of a beached Great White near where Queenslander Rob Pedretti was killed by a Great White in 2020.

Again, tears are flowing after footage emerged of an Orca destroying, I think is an appropriate description, a Great White.


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In an assault with more might and surprise than a US Navy SEAL team stoppin’ by Bin Laden’s Islamabad compound at two am during iftar, a grandma Orca has created the ultimate surfer snuff film by cleaving a Great White shark in half.

This Orca resembles a famished Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors sprung from her clay pot and given a clear path to the buffet line.  

The shark is trolling the water almost listlessly (eerily similar to how  a surfer would sit on his board waiting for a set wave) when the Orca strikes.

Next scene is a piece of the Great White’s head in the Orca’s mouth after her family has been served helpings. 

Does it give a little thrill to watch the specter that haunts us get mauled by its own method, the surprise attack?

A high school bully finally getting his ass kicked by that silent giant who sits quietly in the back of the class and  just snaps one day. 

Does it feel good knowing we got something out there that might bail us out of a visit to the multiple incisor line as long we ain’t got family that worked at Sea World?

The Orca, or Killer Whale, has long held the liver of the Great White as a prized delicacy.

How they get to it is fascinating. The orca makes a small tear near the liver or heart and then “sucks the son of a bitch out.”

“When they come in after they’ve debilitated a shark, whether that’s a ‘karate chop’ or ramming, then they tend to try and flip it upside-down, and that induces tonic immobility, and then the shark basically becomes catatonic, and it’ll just lie there,” explains Doctor Ingrid Visser, who founded the Orca Research Trust in 1998.

“And at that stage the Orca will come in, and they’ll typically grab it from the pectoral fin, then they’ll give it a good shake — viciously, violently, very, very hard — and when you’re underwater you can actually hear the shark ripping, and it sounds like Velcro being ripped apart.

“And then they’re going for the liver, and that’s the real thing they’re targeting — it’s the liver that they’re after.”

Kelly Slater as Jimmy Slade. Smoldering.
Kelly Slater as Jimmy Slade. Smoldering.

All eyes on surf great Kelly Slater as Fox announces Baywatch reboot!

Jimmy Slade, is that you?

The world’s greatest surfer, Kelly Slater, is far past his competitive prime. Oh, what he has achieved over the course of a 45-year professional career, winning 11 championships, an Eddie, 8 Pipe Masters etc. will likely never be eclipsed though, like many athletes, he has hung on too long and as a still very handsome 56-year-old will never win another heat.

What, then, should he do?

Rumors floated that he was angling to be coach of the U.S. Olympic surf team over certain objections. But imagine him bobbing in that channel boat, watching, Billy Stairmand et. al. thread Teahupo’o, a wave he himself has conquered 5 times. Torture. It would be a pure torture more excruciating than the Dune pain box or getting stung on the testicles by a scorpion.

What, then, else?

Slater watchers know that he needs the spotlight and so a quiet fade into obscurity is not in the cards. Likewise, entering the World Surf League booth would be a hefty step down, singing and dancing for 15,000 fans. Moving full time to his new Abu Dhabi facility might seem fun for a minute, and he would certainly be feted, but as someone who has spent enough time in the United Arab Emirates, the thrill quickly wears off.

Enter Fox.

The right-leaning television network has just announced that it is bringing a reboot of the 90s hit Baywatch back to the small screen.

Per Variety:

Fox and Fremantle have tapped Lara Olsen (“Spinning Out”) to serve as showrunner for the new “Baywatch,” which was originally created by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz and Gregory J. Bonann. Starring David Hasselhoff, “Baywatch” originally ran from 1989 to 1999 and then was retooled as “Baywatch: Hawaii” from 1999 to 2001.

Olsen, Berk, Bonann and Schwartz will serve as exec producers on the one-hour drama, which comes from both Fremantle and Fox Entertainment. Here’s the new logline: “Daring ocean rescues, pristine beaches, and iconic red bathing suits are back, along with a whole new generation of Baywatch lifeguards, who navigate complicated, messy personal lives in this action-packed reboot that demonstrates there’s the family you’re born into and the family you find.”

Besides Hasselhoff, the show’s cast over the years included Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, Alexandra Paul, Erika Eleniak, Nicole Eggert, Parker Stevenson and many others. Hasselhoff also starred in a spinoff series, the private eye drama “Baywatch Nights,” which aired from 1995 to 1997. “Baywatch” was a syndication sensation, airing in more than 145 countries at one point, more than any other TV show. The series’ PR company even made up a stat, calling it the “No. 1 series in the world,” which was then reprinted as fact in publications.

Left off the list of stars the show broke, one Kelly Slater, who thrilled audiences with his turn as Jimmy Slade. Handsome, brooding, sensitive and sexy, Slater was perfect in the role and a reimagining of that character at 58 would be the perfect bookend to a phenomenal career.

So good it feels destined.

Should we start an online petition demanding Slater’s casting?

Those usually work really good.

Great White at Kingscliff Beach
Beached Great White at Kingscliff Beach.

“Distressing” video shows Great White shark dying after beaching itself near where surfer was attacked and killed

"One of the locals was chased in last night by a big shark, then this shows up this morning…"

Four years back, Queensland surfer Rob Pedretti died after being attacked by a ten-foot Great White shark at Salt Beach, in front of popular holiday resorts Peppers Salt Resort and Spa and Mantra on Salt, and forty miles north of shark-attack hotspot Byron Bay.

Lennox Head-based writer Longtom described the death in the sorta poetic manner only a man who lives and surfs with the spectre of Great White attack knows.

Poor bastard had his leg ripped off in the jaws off a fired up Great White. He did not survive the attack.

Soft, wintery day. You get a lot of them around here this time of year.

Warm sun, high cloud drifting in. Clean babyfood with little cats paws of wind ruffle on it. A fit wiry sixty year old would think of nothing but enjoying a little shred.

Day before the attack was a dreamy day. Head-high sets rifling down the bank. Moderate crowd. The water was stacked with bait. Slivers of cut glass in the morning sun. A yellowtail kingfish the size of a small pony swam straight past me. Crystal clear water.

There’s no safety in that. We’ve learnt the published guidelines on avoiding White shark attacks are straight up BS. They like clear water, sunshine, small surf. The mistaken identity theory was the first casualty. White sharks, we learnt, are curious to aggressive.

What makes a looker, into a circler, into a bumper then a biter we don’t know.

Neither will Rob Pedretti or his buddies that tried to drag him in after the attack. The attack happened around ten am.

Paramedics were there by 10.40. The police cat scrambled from Tweed Heads, went out the bar, turned south, went past Fingal headland, then Kingscliff creek and the rocky reefy corner of the coast before it got to the open stretch of beach in front of a series of resorts and a new suburb called Casuarina.

That took just under an hour. Rob was already gone by then.

Under a blue sheet on the beach, soul hopefully transporting to a more peaceful place.

Yesterday, on the same stretch of sand, a Great White shark, ten feet or so, beached itself.

“A crazy site this morning down the road. Word has it one of the locals was chased in last night by a big shark, then this shows up this morning. We reckon potentially was chasing bait fish in close through the gutter then beached itself. Never a nice site seeing any animal washed up, even if it is a gnarly white!”


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In one of the greater ironies, a rescue crew from the nearby Sea World, itself a watery prison for marine mammals, tried to shove the Great White back out to sea, eventually failing, must’ve been sick etc.

The irony wasn’t lost on anyone.

Sea world “rescue” crews. Meanwhile keeping countless animals in captivity..

And forcing dolphins to work for treats, pimping them out for their “animal adventures” where people pay hundreds to swim with them.

Obvious questions, I suppose: are you distressed by the vision of the Great White in the paws of the tractor or are you of the mind that a fish if a fish ergo what’s the prob?


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