John John Florence is the saviour of the surf industry!

Quiksilver, BIllabong, RVCA, Hurley, all garbage! Garbage owned by billionaires!

In today’s episode of Chas Smith Hates Surfing, the vaunted author pockets his imperious rudeness and delivers three minutes of unsparing and unhesitating praise for John John Florence and his brand Florence aka Florence Marine X.

Surf fans are aware of the collapse of the surf industry, Billabong, Quiksilver, RVCA, Hurley, all swallowed by hedge funds.

Pointing to a classic camo Aloha hat by Hurley Chas Smith says, “This used to represent the surf industry. A beautiful place filled with happy creative people making important products for you, the surfer.

“What is it now? Garbage! It is…garbage! Garbage, purchased by billionaires in New York City and other god forsaken places. What do they do? They license it out! Hurley, once proud and iconic, is now selling at Costco for $19.99. Quiksilver, Billabong, all the same garbage.”

But, might there be a saviour?

“It is John John, Pat O’Connell and Bob Hurley, whose name is now tarnished and smeared…Florence Marine X is a core surf brand, making quality surf products for you, the surfer. Florence Marine X has what it takes to recreate the surf industry.

“John John Florence is the saviour of the surf industry. And maybe one less reasons to hate surfing.”

(Launched in 2020, Florence Marine X, but now called Florence, was born out of John John’s departure from Hurley and his vision to create quality surf gear, ready-to-wear-suits, children’s toys, little pink dresses, inspired by his connection with the ocean. With a noted focus on sustainability and innovation, Florence Marine X leaves even environmentalists feeling intoxicated with happiness. )

All-inclusive resort making mockery of global home of surfing.
All-inclusive resort making mockery of global home of surfing.

Surf fans bemoan “rip off” as Caribbean resort executive fired for smashing boyfriend’s head into gutter

"We used to be cool, man."

Professional surfing is rounding the bend to one full year without leadership. Twelve months ago, the World Surf League’s championship tour was headed to Australia’s Margaret River, mid-season cull looming, with loud and proud chief executive Erik Logan at the helm. He had made himself and the WSL one through a robust social media program putting the former Oprah Winfrey studio boss front and center of everything professional surfing.

From Margaret Rivs, the extravaganza made its way to Tahiti, Erik Logan sucking the very breath professional surfing’s lungs…

…and then, like that, it was over. The tour traveled to Brazil, Logan joined, giving behind-the-scenes social media tours to his growing fanbase one day, fired in the most terse press release ever the next.

Gone, baby, gone.

He was replaced, at the top, by the World Surf League’s PR maven and its head of legal. “Major cleanup up on aisle five vibes,” according to important surf voice Jen See.

Rumors circulated that Logan had been making people “uncomfortable” in Brazil but the World Surf League never shed any light on his vicious disappearance, pretending all normal. Making a mockery of its fanbase.

Back on the ski. Reset.

Now, surf fans are feeling violently ripped off in the wake of another surf adjacent firing. But let us travel to the Caribbean where the Sandals Resorts chief development officer, Eugene Staal was fired for attacking his boyfriend, Sandals art curator Rafael de Vasconcelos, on a highway.

According to the New York Post:

On March 2, Sandals art curator Rafael de Vasconcelos attacked his partner, the hotel chain’s chief development officer Eugene Staal, on a highway in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, shoving him into a ditch and then climbing on top and pummeling him, according to published footage and co-workers.

The couple, who left a function around 11 p.m., were staying on the island ahead of a new Sandals resort opening there last week, a senior executive said.

During the altercation in the village of Lowman’s Hill, de Vasconcelos shoved Staal into a concrete ditch along the highway while a black car idled in the middle of the road, footage showed.

What the heck.

Surfing used to be rock n roll, man.


Now our tech pants are on sale at Costco and our CEO’s firing is being shamed by an all-inclusive resort.

Surf fans understandably miffed.

Kaipo Guerrero, WSL sweetheart
Kaipo Guerrero, WSL sweetheart

Surf-fiction (part two): The dark side of WSL “sweetheart” Kaipo Guerrero!

“Where are these commenters? These faceless kooks? In some office cubicle in Pasadena? Married with four kids and a mortgage out in western Sydney?"

“So, you’re Cote’s new guy, huh?” says Kaipo Guerrero. 

(For the back-story, read part one here.)

Kaipo Guerrero and I are in the sand dunes behind the WSL HQ in Santa Monica. The tumescent, domed building shimmers in the morning light like an ancient sentinel. It must be twenty, thirty stories tall. Its shadow falls across the dunes and beach beyond, unnaturally lowering the surrounding temperature.

Kaipo’s holding a rolled up length of chicken wire in one hand and a can of Bonsoy Brew in the other. I’m on my knees, digging away at the dirty brown sand with a cardboard trowel.

We’re doing our mandatory “offset” shift. All WSL employees must clock at least six hours a week doing conservation or preservation work. This is to make up for the precious fossil fuels we burn in our everyday jobs saving the OneOcean, putting the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves etc.

Kaipo and I have signed on for the little tern re-nesting program. This ecologically significant bird species nests in only three places on Earth. The Santa Monica sand dunes is one of them. We’re to excavate adequate nesting areas within the dunes for the birds to lay their precious eggs, as well as install security fencing around the nests to protect from human and predator alike.

But right now we are at a standstill.

Conservation has turned into interrogation. And the way Kaipo pronounced Cote’s name sounded strained, like it left a foul taste on his lips. Cote’s guy. You could be forgiven for thinking I’m a head of cattle, awaiting slaughter. Maybe I am.

He stares at me now with a deadpan face. Waiting for an answer. Leering over me. He’s dressed in an all blue velour tracksuit. White sneakers and white baseball cap. Even in these cooler temps, he must be hot.

I don’t know what to say. Where allegiances lay. I decide to play it straight.

“Yes, I’m here to help Mr Cote,” I muster. “He’s asked me to assist with fact gathering for some of his calls. I’m super pumped. Really happy to be involved with this exciting organisation.”

Kaipo nods silently.

We get back to work. Or at least, I do. I dig the small trench out to the exact dimensions written on the recycled cardboard instruction leaflet. Kaipo should now be starting to level out the perimeter for the fencing, but instead he still stands there, Bonsoy Brew can in hand, chicken wire long since discarded. Inscrutable in his silence.

Finally he speaks.

“He’s a funny guy isn’t he? Chris.”

“Yeah he is hilarious with some of the calls he comes out with. For instance-”

“I don’t mean ha-ha funny, brah. I mean like, he’s funny like a lump on your balls is funny.”

“Oh well, I guess I don’t know him well enough just yet.”

In the distance I can hear the dull thump of nineties gangsta rap blaring from Cote’s WSL office window. I keep digging. I’m having trouble getting through some of the deeper, denser sand with my cardboard trowel.

Kaipo throws away the Bonsoy Brew can and drops to his knees.


He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a vintage cut-throat flick razor. He lands a flurry of stabs in the dark sand with it in quick succession. It loosens enough to let me finish my excavation.

Uh, thanks,” I gulp.

“You know, these terns fly all around the world,” says Kaipo, pointing to the empty, half-dug nest with his blade. “They don’t know why they do it. Just something hardwired into them. Why do they choose here?”

He stands up, flips the blade and places it back in his pocket in one smooth motion. He looks out over the dunes and to the dull blue ocean beyond.

“Makes you think, don’t it?”

He spins to face Chris Cote’s office.

“Why’d you choose the WSL? Coming all the way over here from Australia?”

“I dunno, I suppose I just wanted a change,” I say, trying my best to keep up with his line of thought. “Plus you know, the work the WSL is doing over here is uh, groundbreaking. And, I guess, innovative.”

I think again about the secret plans Cote shared with me. About how we’re bringing the WSL down from the inside. The revolution may be nigh. But our true enemies are yet to reveal themselves, as Don Corleone would say.

I wonder whose team Kaipo is on. I wonder if he can see right through me.

His expression remains blank. It’s a hell of a poker face.

Kaipo Guerrero reaches back for his pocket. An image of my bloodied corpse lying half buried in the dunes flashes before my eyes. What if Kaipo knows what we’re up to? Is he going to “disappear” me like some off-brand Godfather scene? Who is going to save me out here? Cote? Can he even see us? Would he even care? Or would I just be another anonymous victim in this silent war he’s waging?

What the fuck am I even doing here? About to die in a ditch in some bullshit sand dune under the all-seeing eye of the great WSL monolith?

I need to run. Get out of this situation. Why should I be risking my life?

But before I can act, Kaipo Guerrero has already pulled the item from his pocket. Here we go.

I breathe a silent sigh of relief. It’s a half empty packet of Malboro reds, and small silver Zippo. He lights up with the same smooth single motion he used for his blade. Blows smoke up into the sky. My face flushes red with embarrassment at the thought of my imagined mob hit.

What was I thinking? It’s Kaipo Guerrero. This guy is a sweetheart.

Yet I can’t shake the thought. Standing there in his velour tracksuit, lunging down his cigarette, Kaipo wouldn’t look out of place in a modern day Corleone family.

“I know a lot of you Aussies like to, whaddaya call it? Take the piss? Think it’s cool to laugh at me for some of the stunts I pull when I’m commentating,” he says. “Like with the ladder and whatnot.”

“I wouldn’t know about that,” I say as I keep digging. My heart still in my throat.

“But I’m the one laughin’,” brah,” he continues. “Here I am. Travelling the world. Surfing the best waves. Rubbing shoulders with the elite. Helping out little fucken terns.”

Kaipo Guerrero takes another puff from his smoke.

“Where are these commenters? These faceless kooks? In some fucken office cubicle in Pasadena? Married with four kids and a mortgage out in fucken western Sydney or some shit? The fuck did they do with their lives?”

He lets the questions linger in the air, like the clouds of his cigarette smoke. I wonder if he’s still figuring it all out for himself.

“I fucken love the WSL, man. And I’d do anything to protect it. Anything.”

Kaipo Guerrero stubbs the cigarette out on the sole of his shoe.

“Yeah, totally,” I offer back weakly.

“Now dig another trench next to the tern nest. Those Bonsoys go right through me, brah. I gotta take a piss.”

They need our help.
They need our help.

Question: Is billionaire Dirk Ziff’s interest in professional surfing purely benevolent?

The Dirk Ziff Center for Kids Who Have Zero Skill Other Than Sick Snaps.

Now, as you are well aware, BeachGrit has been on the bleeding edge of World Surf League coverage since the Association of Surfing Professionals was purchased for free by trust funded billionaire Dirk Ziff back in 2015 circa 1976. The “global home of surfing” has been an absolute dead money pit since. Dreams of a sporting juggernaut well faded. Vanished CEOs making a mockery of leadership. A bloated product shrinking hard in viewership numbers without even the slightest bit of flim flam anymore.

Surf fans around the world have been wondering “Why?” the plurality of the time. Why keep the draw at thirty-two? Why not start with the mid-season cull number of twenty, or whatever it is, then cut further?

Entirely counterintuitive and increasingly so in light of competitions like Bells where nonsense heats are run in pumping swell while quarters, semis and finals are run in thigh high slop.

Ziff could both please surf fans and save money by sending a pink slip to Matt McGillicuddy, having Turpel et. al. call the action from a remote studio in Tallahassee, Florida and wrapping events in two days.

It’s really a no-brainer and so why does the sixty-year old not implement any changes?

It has long been thought that he is either ignorant or playing a heady financial game wherein bills of goods are sold to Saudis but what if there is another answer?

What if Dirk Ziff is a benevolent philanthropist with professional surfers as his cause?

I wondered this, particularly, during the aforementioned Bells after I heard, or read in the open thread live comments, that a surfer winning zero heats was awarded $13,000 per contest. MacKenzie Scott has donated billions to affordable housing initiatives, Bill and Melinda Gates to microchipping third world children, Derek Zoolander to kids who can’t read good and wanna learn to do other stuff good too.

Could Ziff be the Jerry Lewis of professional surfers?

David Lee Scales and I discussed during our weekly chat and, increasingly, it seems the only angle that makes sense. History will remember him fondly. We should too.

Listen here.

Griffin Colapinto (insert) blocks out crazy as housewives go wild over low priced surf clothing.
Griffin Colapinto (insert) blocks out crazy as housewives go wild over low priced surf clothing.

“Black Friday” feared as Costco begins selling Hurley men’s tech pant for $19.99

Mob violence in the forecast.

We are exactly 264 days from Christmas and yet behavioralists fear a deep, dark, violent Black Friday might occur today as big box retailer Costco has advertised that it will begin selling Hurley men’s tech pants for under $20 US. The mid rise chinos, which come in tan, green and light blue, feature woven tech fabric for added flexibility and comfort, moisture wicking everyday performance fabric and a hidden zip pocket hidden at side seams.

Hurley aficionados will certainly be aware of the brand’s cutting edge use of science cloth in its award-winning boardshorts and look to replicate the experience of high performance backside alley-oops on in the office or out for Sunday brunch mimosas.

The sub $20 price, though, too provocative? Behavioralists, who have studied past shopper riots including, but not limited to, the Furby Fungo of ’94 are extremely worried that housewives wanting to see their mens “move like Kai Lenny” will rip each other to bits over the trousers.

Making matters very much worse, Quiksilver hoodies in grey, darker grey and tan are being listed at $16.99.

Housewives seeking the “full Griffin Colapinto” for their mens tearing each other’s throats out.

Potentially very dark days.