Surfer (pictured) unwashed and generally gross.
Surfer (pictured) unwashed and generally gross.

San Francisco billionaire locked in epic battle to keep “unwashed and generally gross” surfers off beach

Let them surf cake.

California, home to nearly 40 million souls, has long embraced open beach access to all. It is generally illegal to block access to those wishing to come build sandcastles or lovingly splash in the sometimes temperate waters. The state’s Coastal Commission has laws and whatnot on the books declaring such but that has not stopped the ultra-wealthy from trying.

Now, usually this business occurs in Malibu where multi-million dollar homes front the iconic sands and certain of their owners try to build fences, and such, to keep interlopers out. Up San Francisco way, though, as case has rolled all the way up to the United Supreme Court and back down again with no resolution thus far.

It features the very handsome Indian-American venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, his 32 million dollar estate and Martins Beach, just south of Half Moon Bay. The co-founder of Sun Microsystems purchased the property in 2008 and immediately built a fence blocking beach access to surfers, likely imagining them unwashed and generally gross. The Surfrider Foundation immediately sued and the two parties fought through the legal system to Washington D.C. where the SCOTUS refused to hear such a squabble and let the lower ruling stand, which favored Surfrider.

Khosla, unsatisfied, has asked the judge to vacate that decision but the judge has refused thereby, I think, reopening the whole business and keeping surfers out until all appeals etc. are finished.

Or maybe I’m reading it wrong.

In any case, if you had a oceanfront castle would you try to block your fellow surfer from paddling?

The BeachGrit way.

More as the story develops.


Erin Brooks takes the world by storm at Narrabeens surf contest.
The world goes nuts, again, for lil Erin Brooks, sixteen and ready to hit the big leagues.

Canadian surf sensation Erin Brooks signals intent to spearhead generational change on pro tour!

"The female version of Medina is born."

Canadian surf prodigy Erin Brooks has closed off a dominant Aussie leg of the Challenger Series in Sydney with a second-place finish, a big rankings lead and a declaration she’ll be spearheading generational on the women’s Championship Tour.

After winning the first CS event of the season and stunning the world with best barrel ever by a woman, Brooks slaughtered the field in the GWM Sydney Surf Pro with her signature combination of quick snaps, solid airs and big Bible camp energy.

Every post-heat interview began with her high-pitched thanks to the Almighty for letting her wreak mayhem in her heat.

Ronnie Blakey went straight for the jugular in her podium interview, asking Erin Brooks whether she would compete on the CT next year if she wins a spot.

She grinned with all 28 perfect teeth and said she would “definitely take up the opportunity”.

As one viewer put it in the comments framing vision of her near-540, “The female version of Medina is born.”

 

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Dear reader,

Erin Brooks needs only one more decent result out of four remaining events to lock her place on the 2025 CT.

Barring injury, it’s a given.

When it does happen, we can look forward to the great rivalry between Brooks and Oceanside’s Caitlin Simmers, one that will come with a stark contrast between Caity’s awkward yet iconic stonerish murmurings and Erin’s even more awkward enthusiastic Christian youth group-themed gushings.

The interviewers had their angles on Erin Brooks locked in from the word go, knowing exactly what line of questioning would get her to drop squeaky gems of innocence.

Stace Galbraith put on a masterclass at Snapper, asking Brooks about her love of the Aussie arcade chain Timezone and, when she won, prompting her to spill the beans on her dad’s plan to “take me and my friends out for pizza!!!”

As for her surfing, the highlight in Sydney was Brooks’ near 540 in the semifinals, surely one of the better airs landed by a lady in competition.

She couldn’t recapture the magic during the final, but she succeeded in freaking out her opponent by boosting on section after section at the close of the heat, knowing a single completion could steal the win in the dying seconds.

And who was that opponent, the one who took out the event? Brooks’ bff/’big sister’/roommate Isabella Nicholls (who, Brooks says, absolutely rules the Timezone Pop-A-Shot nets).

Nicholls managed to win the final with good wave selection and solid backhand hacks, making up for her meh performance against Sally Fitz in the semis. Nicholls victory puts her in second place on the CS rankings and on course to requalify for the 2025 CT season.

Meanwhile, local surfer Jordy Lawler and Brazilian vet Alejo Muniz revived their broken CT dreams with their best ever results on the CS. Jordy Lawler said he was on the point of giving up the chase for qualification after missing out on a fulltime place on the CS this year.

Thanks to a wildcard entry into the event at his local break of North Narrabeen, Lawler was able to dominate and win with his tweaked-out airs and smooth hacks. The North Narrabeen Boardriders roared their approval as their latest favourite son pulled out big scores at the buzzer time and time again. Lawler is now all but guaranteed wildcard places in the remaining CS events, giving him a solid chance at qualifying for the CT for the first time at the harvest years age of 29.

A casual fan might be tempted to gossip that the WSL had given the judges a memo to favour the local guys, what with Mikey McDonagh tearfully taking out the Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro Snapper earlier this month. Of course, if you actually watched either event you’d have seen that neither of them needed any help from crooked judges: they smashed it out of the park on their own merits, albeit buoyed by local support and knowledge of their home breaks.

Alejo Muniz similarly missed out on qualifying for the CS via the usual pathway of the regional QS, but received a wildcard from the WSL that got him back in with a chance. Muniz’s backhand power surfing took out CS standout Sammy Pupo in the quarters and elder brother Miggy Pupo in the Semis. Muniz kept close in the final and was well deserving of the second-place finish.

The Challenger Series is on a break now until the Ballito Pro in early July, but what a start it’s been. If you’ve been suffering your way through the start of the CT season, watching the boring Days 1 and 2 (where they take 24 heats to knock out just 6 surfers), enduring the crap conditions they’ve been making the surfers compete it (especially the poor women), maybe give the CS a look next time it’s on. The waves generally aren’t any worse, every heat matters, the talent pool is deep and there’s real excitement to be found in watching people grab hold of the dream of CT qualification.

Did you watch the Sydney Surf Pro?

Did you rue the lack of a BG comments board on which to lavish your observations/shitposts?

Did you not watch but have opinions anyway?


iconic noosa beach shack for sale
Kimbo's pretty blue beach shack, fifty steps from the sand and eighty clicks of empty surf.

Iconic Aussie beach shack owned by surf legend and fronting 80km of pristine beach lists for $US1 million

Gorgeous almost-beachfront shack owned by Australian champion and former hunter of Great Whites!

In one of the rarest opportunities you’ll find in the wildly inflated Australian property market, an almost-beachfront shack has hit the market for around one mill US. 

The former surfing champion Kim McKenzie, who is known as the Mooloolaba Shark Girl ‘cause she worked with her daddy maintaining the government’s shark meshing program in the seventies, has listed her colourful weatherboard joint at 13 Mackerel St on Noosa’s North Shore. 

The two-bedder on six thousand square feet of sand, fifty steps from the water, is painted various shades of blue and is decorated with life preservers, paddles, and lobster pot floats, all the detritus from a life at sea.

iconic aussie beach shack
iconic Noosa beach shack

Noosa’s North Shore is that eighty-click stretch of sand, which takes in the famous Double Island Point, surf that before you die, across the Noosa river from Noosa itself. 

If you want to solitude and empty waves, well, here’s your chance. Fifteen minutes boat ride and you’re in the relative madness of Noosa Heads. 

Kim McKenzie, it must be added, is as firmly embedded in Australian surfing folklore as anyone.

In an excellent 1974 Tracks interview, archived by the ever diligent Matt Warshaw,  John Grissom wrote: 

Recently, when word of her reputation as a sportswoman and “sharkie” reached the publicity-conscious government agencies responsible for promoting Australia abroad, Kim was written up in a series of press handouts released through Aussie consulates overseas. The article, together with her picture, appeared in a score of newspapers in a dozen languages throughout Europe, the Middle East and India. She is known today around the world as the Shark Lady of Australia and in fact has received many letters so addressed from readers everywhere (though she’s quick to add she’s not the only woman sharkie). Ironically she has gone largely unnoticed in her homeland—and she’s quite happy to leave it that way. She’s not interested in stardom, let alone sensationalism.

But it is hard NOT to be sensational about someone with those credentials. Still, I had no idea what to expect when a couple of weeks ago on a sultry afternoon I stepped off the plane to meet Kim. She was barefoot and wearing corduroy shorts and a colorful peasant blouse over her bikini — along with a white shell necklace and a floppy wide-brimmed straw hat. Minutes later I was sitting in the passenger seat of her in her blue high-performance Toyota Celica LT, (complete with mag wheels, four-on-the-floor and black-primed bullet nosed side view mirrors on Swiss cheese mounts), listening to Carly Simon and James Taylor wail through “Mockingbird” at high volume on the eight-track, and heading for Caloundra for a quick surf (her second of the day).

Kim had already done a four-hour shark run that morning. PLUS — as we loped along the backstretch at an easy 60mph, she laid out this very together rap about her background, her job, life in a small town and the people around her. No nervous laughter, no games, no flirtation, no jive — just upfront and straight ahead.

It was Sunday afternoon and the pleasant two-to-three foot beachbreak at King’s was crowded but Kim found no difficulty getting waves. No one dropped in on her.

And, from a 1975 edition of the New York Daily News,

Kim McKenzie is the Australian women’s surfing champion. That’s what she does for fun. How she makes a living is something else. During working hours, the husky 5-foot-9 blonde is the official shark catcher for the State of Queensland, hauling in an average of 350 saw-toothed monsters a year.

Kim is a 24-year-old who grew up in a beach village called Mooloolaba, which is fronted by the Great Barrier Reef. She is nonchalant about her unusual and dangerous profession.

“My father is a boat builder,” she explains in her heavy accent, “so I always went fishing with him and helped him build boats. I was terrible in school; I could never pass anything—I just wanted to be around the water, so I quit before I got kicked out. When the shark contract came up four years ago, we bid on it and got it. Our job is to protect the swimmers at certain beaches. Now my father’s stopped doing it, and I’m the skipper myself.”

Kim traps the majority of the sharks in 600-foot nets placed outside the bathing area. Sharks trapped in the nets are usually dead by the time Kim and her mate bring them in. She also sets 27 drum lines with bait each day. The hooked sharks usually remain alive. Kim kills them with powerheads that contain 12-gauge shotgun shells.

Although Kim appears totally unfazed by daily encounters with all sizes and shapes of sharks, she has a healthy respect for her prey.

“The first shark my father and I caught was a Great White,” she recalls. “We brought it on board thinking it was dead, but it wasn’t. It lashed around with its tail and knocked me against the wheelhouse. I was stunned and bleeding; my father was hurt worse. Finally we hung it off the side of the boat and shot it. Since then I have never brought a shark on a boat again until I was sure it was dead.”

“Sharks are definitely a threat to swimmers in Australia,” she continues. “I never swim alone or at night. Sharks prowl at night. I have a surfing friend who was attacked by a shark at dusk while he was on his board. His friends came to his aid, but he was badly mangled. I always surf at mid-day with plenty of people around.”

Kim picks up about seven or eight Great Whites (you remember the star of Jaws) a year.

“They are definitely the most dangerous,” she says. “I saw Jaws and I can see why people would be frightened by it, but most of the movie was inaccurate, as far as a shark’s behavior goes.”

Kim became Australia’s women’s surfing champion, a title she has held the past two years, on her days off from shark catching. Now she is preparing for the Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championship in Hawaii month, in which she and other women surfers will compete against men.

“I like competing against men,” she states. “I have a better time with them. I get too nervous with the girls. But no, I can’t beat the really good men. No girls can just yet. Maybe in another 10 years, but certainly not now.”

Kim, who is single, lives with some mates, as she calls her friends, and a Great Dane, and is in the process of building a beach house with her own hands in her hometown of Mooloolaba.

“I prefer American men to Australians,” she says definitely. “Australia is a man’s country and the men are male chauvinists, to say the least. American men are much more polite and thoughtful. Maybe someday I’ll get married, but so far most men end up boring me.”

“I’ll never get rich from surfing or shark catching,” shrugs Kim McKenzie, who combines a hair-raising vocation with a merely dangerous avocation, “but I don’t care. My only ambition is to be happy. Things always turn out good for me, so I’ll always be happy.”\

Buy her joint here. 


Smith (left) and Erik Logan. Better times.
Smith (left) and Erik Logan. Better times.

Disgraced former World Surf League CEO Erik Logan picks up job writing for Forbes

"I have had the privilege over my three-decade career to work alongside some of the biggest brands and monumental pioneers of our time,"

I just so happen to be in Oklahoma City, again, and am hopping mad. Last time I was here, driving my daughter’s Volkswagen from Cardiff by the Sea, California to Nashville, Tennessee, I was in the throes of thrill. I had limped into town, if you recall, searching for the mythical non-surfing professional surfing fan when none other than World Surf League CEO Erik Logan texted me, “Okc?!” He then proceeded to dangle a Barry Switzer meeting and I could not believe my fortune.

It turns out that Logan was boozed, or something, as he put me on a text chain with a random person and Barry Switzer’s wife who proclaimed to know nothing about surfing, or Logan, and stated she would reach out to the authorities if bothered again.

Months later, E-Lo, as he enjoyed being called, was ruthlessly fired in the most terse press release ever.

Though he had put himself front and center of everything surf, even going so far as to wear timid champion Filipe Toledo’s skin, Logan did not feel his vicious dismissal was worth sharing and kept hidden. Kept hidden, that is, until he considered it the right time to pop back up as a motivational speaker and, now, a Forbes writer.

“I have had the privilege over my three-decade career to work alongside some of the biggest brands and monumental pioneers of our time,” he began his biography. “As president of The Oprah Winfrey Network & Harpo, I reported directly to Oprah Winfrey for a decade and oversaw the strategic shift that catapulted OWN to a top cable network. Prior to that, I served as president of Harpo Inc. & Harpo Studios, representing Oprah and Harpo on the Board of Directors for OWN. Most recently, I was CEO of World Surf League, the professional arm of surfing, and I held senior leadership positions at XM Satellite Radio and CBS Radio. Today, I am a founding partner of multiple companies, including the record company, Nashville Harbor, and I am a partner in the e-commerce company, OTD, and The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. As an award-winning executive producer, the intersection of leadership, content, and culture is my passion.”

His first offering is 3 ways to Improve your Productivity as a Leader and is teased with “Doing the next right thing could be something mundane, such as taking out the trash or returning a call; the most minor completed tasks count!”

Is leaving surf fans bereft, without a goodbye, the right thing, Erik Logan?

Are we lower than trash?

Well?

You have my number and also Barry Switzer’s wife’s number.


Robert Kennedy Jr, Kelly Slater and, inset, Kelly and Barack Obama in happier days.
Kelly Slater and Robert F Kennedy and, inset, Kelly and Barack Obama in happier days.

Kelly Slater throws shade at former BFF Barack Obama in wild Bobby Kennedy interview!

“I’ve never voted and to be honest there's never been a person that I felt like I would vote for."

In the course of the Hawaiian winter just gone and shortly before the Lexus Pipe Pro, Kelly Slater and prez hopeful Robert F Kennedy Jr went public with their friendship, sharing a couple of waves together for the cameras.

Bobby, of course, is the jacked-to-hell seventy-year-old former junkie son of attorney general Robert Kennedy, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorist Sirhan Sirhan (Yay! Palestine!), and the nephew of president John Fitz Kennedy, murdered by Commo sniper Lee Harvey Oswald.

(A little side note: Sirhan Sirhan is currently enjoying his 55th year behind bars at the Richard J Donovan prison near San Diego. Oswald got plugged by patriot Jack Ruby shortly after his arrest.)

Kennedy and Slater met at a Surf Industry Manufacturers Awards in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico twenty years ago. Kennedy described Slater as “one of my heroes.”

The pair’s relationship has deepened over the past four year after what both regarded as government overreach during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Slater, rightly as it turned out, refused the hastily rolled-out vaccine and spoke eloquently about the insanity of closing beaches for public health reasons.

“I had seen what was happening at J-Bay. They had arrested numerous surfers. They hadn’t had swell in months, and the first good swell that came, the beaches were padlocked and guys got arrested and charged 5,000 Rand,” said Slater in an excellent interview with Surfer magazine.

“I told my friend, what I’d do is paddle out about an hour and a half before dark, surf well into dark, and catch a wave all the way to Albatross. Then I’d run into a friend’s house, and they’d never catch me. I mean, I might get recognized, but they wouldn’t catch him. Really, you’re not hurting anyone. And during that time, you’d see all these people running on sidewalks and working out outside, and it would be crowded, but the ocean would be empty. Surfers were being arrested in Peru, Costa Rica. I told my friend in San Diego to just surf well into dark. The boats can’t come get you in the whitewater. So, he actually did it. And he texted me after and said he had to hide in the bushes for about 45 minutes. He didn’t commit a crime or hurt anyone. Pointing out the hypocrisy is what we were trying to do. Of course, no wanted anyone to infect anyone or hurt anyone, but some of the rules didn’t seem to make sense.”

Anyway, Kelly Slater delivered a bombshell on Robert F Kennedy’s Instagram yesterday throwing shade on his former BFF and celebrated two-term president Barack Obama.

“I’ve never voted and to be honest there’s never been a person who has a chance that I felt like I would vote for. Essentially I felt like my vote wouldn’t matter and people always say no your vote matters and everyone needs to vote. It feels to me like everyone is always out there saying you need to vote you need to vote. Well they want you to vote the way they want you to vote.”

Kelly Slater also warned listeners about listening to their state masters.

“Maybe we’re not always being told the truth and you need to look into things, talk to people who are there, listen to alternative theories about things, you know? I don’t know, I guess at the end of the day I want to be in control of my health and the direction of my life and I don’t want to impede on anyone else and that’s what’s important to me.”

Wise words.

Bobby Kennedy, I’m not so sure about, howevs, and admit a preference for Obama.

 

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