Fifty-two-year-old Kelly Slater stuns fans with brutal victory over defending Tahiti Pro champion Jack Robinson!

“I can still go straight, you know.”

The quinquagenarian surf champ Kelly Slater has stunned fans at Tahiti’s infamous Teahupoo by slicing through the defending champion, Australian Jack Robinson, and Morocco’s Ramzi Boukhiam, with a brutal ease in perfect four-to-six-foot waves.

You’ll remember shortly after his twenty-seventh retirement announcement following an early loss at Margaret River a couple of months back, Kelly Slater admitted he would be accepting wildcards at the tour majors in Fiji and Tahiti, which his company co-sponsors, as well as a cameo slot at the Championship Series Gold Coast Pro. 

And on a day that was as picture perfect as they come, not exactly Code Red, Code Pink, maybe, Kelly Slater picked at the waves, playing with the long, dazzling tubes like a pretty girl twirling her corn-silk hair around her fingers.,

In his post-heat interview, BeachGrit’s own Toxic Positivist Chris Cote lures Kelly Slater into a joke when he says, 

“Well, Kelly Slater, wildcard. Not used to hearing that. But Kelly Slater, heat win. We are used to hearing that. So congrats on the first win of the year here in Tahiti.”

Slater, of course, has only won one other heat all year and he doesn’t miss Cote’s irony.

“Yeah, well, we’re not used to hearing Kelly Slater heat win, are we? It’s been a while. I saw Jeremy (Flores) in the water and I said, ‘Well, I can still go straight, you know.’ But there’s a lot of technical aspect to the waves right now. There’s some south in it.

“You can actually take off a little bit deeper than I think a lot of people have been today. It kind of gives you one pump earlier than if you take off and stall. So there’s a little bit of technical stuff, but also whoever has the good waves, he’s going to win. No one’s getting third and fourth scores.”

Asked if it’s total muscle memory when it comes to a joint like Teahupoo Slater, who rode his first wave of the trip in his heat, likened it to catching a baseball.

“You see a wave and I guess it’s like a guy in an outfield trying to catch a ball. You’re kind of registering where do I need to be and how deep, how far out, wide or deep or whatever. And then you’re trying to look down the line to see how much cupping it has on the reef. Does it have a lot of west in it? Today’s like a touch of west, but it’s really more south and open. So what you don’t want to do is get one that doesn’t have any end on it because those get almondy. And, the ones that are super west that are way down the end, you tend to not be able to get as deep or very long in the barrel. You can only do with what comes to you. And, you know, I only had three good waves that came to me in that heat.”

Kelly Slater that he intended to “send it” if the expected swell arrives next week.

Surfer magazine bans political opinion
“IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP THE CONVERSATIONS SURF-RELATED, THE POLITICAL FORUM HERE HAS BEEN REMOVED. Let's talk surf trips, surfboards, and the latest happenings from around this beautiful, blue planet. Thanks!”

Surfer magazine bans readers from expressing political opinions “effective immediately”

“Any political posts that are posted in the Surfer forums will be deleted and accounts will be removed.”

With only 164 days left until Don and Joe fight for the right to jerk the American steering wheel either left or right, Surfer magazine has reacted by banning all readers from expressing any personal political opinion on their forums. 

Surfer magazine, which most recently featured on BeachGrit when they advertised for a human to monitor its AI-driven content, had over one thousand pages on its politics forum covering everything from the Ukraine-Russian war, a political assassination in Slovakia, Peru’s decision to classify trannies as mentally ill, Biden’s “inflation explosion” and Trump’s “Hush Money”.

Written in what you might imagine as a creepy sing-song voice, Surfer magazine told its readers.

“IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP THE CONVERSATIONS SURF-RELATED, THE POLITICAL FORUM HERE HAS BEEN REMOVED. Let’s talk surf trips, surfboards, and the latest happenings from around this beautiful, blue planet. Thanks!”

And, as a sticky in the main forum, 

“Effective immediately, the politics forum here on has been shut down. Any political posts that are posted in the Surfer forums will be deleted and accounts will be removed. We want to continue to offer this forum as a surf-related area, and we know that bleeds into everyday life. With that being said, we will not have this forum devolve into a political area that is disrespectful of others and intentionally marginalizes or disrespects other groups/individuals.”

The fall and rise of Surfer magazine, heritage title driven into the ground before being rebirthed as a dystopian zombie site complete with AI-generated writers, was best documented, I think, in this story by Santa Barbara’s Jen See.

As humans, story-telling is one of our most ancient traditions. We drew on cave walls, wrote on papyrus rolls, and scribbled illegibly on parchments and yellow legal pads. Now we tap out our Instagram captions and text messages. The medium doesn’t matter that much.

It feels like the deepest cut to replace this profoundly human process with a machine trained on the work of so many human writers. Who are we, if not our stories? And who do we become in their absence? What’s lost in this dystopian world of trained robots and hyper-efficient editors? Certainly what’s left starts to feel a lot like Roth’s “claustrophobic and airless culture.”

Surfing is nothing without its stories.

At times, it can feel like the stories are as important as the thing itself. Sitting around campfires and hanging out in parking lots, we talk of that one perfect day, that probably wasn’t all that perfect at all. But we were there, we experienced it, and we’ve come here to tell of it.

There is then, something beautifully, magically, and fundamentally human about telling stories. Dumb stories, true stories, completely fake and made-up stories — what matters is that they belong to us. In the telling, we spin another thread and add to the ties that connect us to one another.

And isn’t that elusive connection what we’re all here to find?

Open Thread: Comment Live on Day One of the Tahiti Pro

The Cave of Skulls is calling.

Kelly Slater, Jackson Dorian and Shane Dorian (pictured) oohing and ahhing at Surf Ranch.
Kelly Slater, Jackson Dorian and Shane Dorian (pictured) oohing and ahhing at Surf Ranch.

Surfing Queensland spokesman credits Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch for Jackson Dorian’s “outlandish” skills

"If we build Surf Lakes, they will come."

Now, at the outset, here, I don’t know how Surfing Queensland spokesman Keanu Chapman does not win Australian of the Year each and every one of them. I have never, in my life, seen such an Australian face in all my days. Perfect from middle part on longer auburn hair down to tip of molded chin. A wide, inquisitive visage that’s just waiting to ask if you’d like to have a “beeeeah” later on in the “arvo.”  To say nothing about the name “Keanu Chapman.”

Just look at him.

Well, Chapman is currently advocating for a Rusty Plunger to be built in his home state in order to produce surfing talent that may, someday, rival Shane Dorian’s son Jackson whom he described as “outlandish.” You, of course, know that Australia boasts two commercial wave tanks. Both employ Wavegarden tech with one in Melbourne and the other in Sydney. The perpetual Australian of the Year wants a Surf Lakes, though, telling ABC, “If we can get that sort of innovation here in Queensland, then that breeds innovation all across Australia to produce similar wave pools. This is huge for the sport of surfing as well as the production of wave pools.”

Chapman is hoping that a Surf Lakes can be dropped into Brisbane ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games, allowing for Australian Jackson Dorians to flourish. “Being able to develop a wave pool where people can hone their abilities and explore in a controlled environment where they feel safe, they can be coached on proper technique and etiquette, that makes the margin to get into surfing a lot easier than being thrown into the ocean,” he gamely declared.

Chief executive of Capricorn Enterprises Mary Carroll nodded along, pointing to the popularity of Surf Lakes amongst the celebrity set including Chris Hemsworth. “While Surf Lakes has been a demo site, it’s hosted a number of celebrities and there is so much interest from our southern markets and international markets,” she said, adding, “There’s an incredibly large global audience that would descend on this region just for this product. The technology is one of a kind on the globe and it will mean when it’s constructed. It will be able to host 200 surfers at five skill levels. I’ve seen it in action many times and it’s quite mind blowing to watch.”

No doubt.

But do you think construction/energy costs will be overcome, allowing for the Mad Max Machine to flourish or… not?

More as the story develops.

Laird Hamilton (pictured) eating beans for a change.
Laird Hamilton (pictured) eating beans for a change.

Revealed: The extremely controversial breakfast surf stud Laird Hamilton doesn’t want you to know about

"A hooker of hollandaise."

We live in fraught times where every single movement made is interpreted immediately and directly. Does a neighbor wear a red baseball cap, for example? Well certainly she is branded as dangerously far right and an insurrectionist. Do the children enjoy drawing sidewalk chalk rainbows in the driveway? Well certainly they are proto-LGBTQ+ attempting to cross dress in libraries. No wave of the hand nor wink of the eye is simply just a wave of the hand or wink of the eye anymore. They are secret messages to likeminded cabals.

And then there is breakfast.

How we start the day is, of course, important and let us introduce surf stud Laird Hamilton. The Malibu by way of Maui maestro came up just hours ago on David Lee Scales and my weekly chat. There is a segment on The Grit! entitled Pros in the Wild in which listeners share personal experiences with surf greats. It has become so popular that there is now a Reddit feed and, below, we have a sample

During the days of Riding Giants I cooked at a small cafe on Maui. I regularly cooked Laird Hamilton breakfast. A double lox Benedict with avocado. It was probably close to 4lbs of food. After an awkward introduction by the cafe owner I randomly came across Laird in the Seattle SeaTac airport. I could almost see the sense of dread on his face when we locked eyes. I acted like I had no idea who he was and kept walking… I imagine that was a great relief to him. Everyone loves their peace.


The most hotly debated origin story meal of all time to say nothing about tossing double lox and avocado on top. But let us turn to The Original Pancake House, Denver Division, for more on this wildly polarized tale.

Eggs Benedict is a breakfast and brunch classic whose origins are hotly debated in some epicurean circles. There are several credible stories about how Eggs Benedict origins, and published references to this dish dating back over 100 years. Back in 1942, a retired New York stockbroker named Lemuel Benedict gave an interview to The New Yorker magazine in which he claimed he walked into the Waldorf Hotel 48 years earlier in 1894 looking for a cure for his morning hangover and reportedly ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise.” According to this version of the story, the maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirky was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus, but substituted ham and a toasted English muffin for the bacon and toast.

Another version of Eggs Benedict origin published in a column in The New York Times magazine in September 1967, a man named Craig Claiborne wrote about a letter he received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American living in France. In the letter Montgomery supposedly related that Eggs Benedict was created by Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920. Montgomery included a recipe for the breakfast dish, stating that he received it from his mother, who had received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.

I drink coffee, black, for breakfast and that’s all.

Legitimately nothing to see here, folks.

Or is there?

More as the story develops, per the usual, but while you’re here, don’t you want to listen to the story of how Kelly Slater lost his baby toe?

Bon appetit.

Chas Smith