Exotic watch: “Beirut is a city to be loved and hated a thousand times a day!”

Ancient war-ravaged city spits tubes…

The last forty years haven’t been real kind to Beirut, once the blossoming intellectual flower of the Middle East.

Even with a cursory knowledge of world events, you’ll know Lebanon, of which Beirut is the capital, was ripped apart by a five-year-long civil war beginning in 1975 (Jesus’ proxies v soldiers of Allah) followed by an invasion by IDF muscle in 1982 after the PLO had set up shop across the border from Israel in Lebanon.

This short movie, Flight 566 to Beirut, was made by our dear friends from Wasted Talent magazine (who also have a dazzling shopfront on Avenue des Menuisiers in Hossegor, France, and which you must visit if you’re ever in town) and follows the Bierut-born, Reunion Island-raised surfer Mr Adrien Toyon as he chases a swell there.

A little context.

Adrien was born under shelling in a hospital basement north of Beirut during the civil war which once ravaged the peaceful and prosperous Lebanon.

We had been talking about doing a Mediterranean strike mission for a while over a few glasses of Rioja in Biarritz and we floated the idea of the Lebanon. Adrien spoke of a mythical slab near where he was born that has never been surfed called ‘Yours’, and spoke of his yearning to return home to surf it.

So there we were, three weeks later having watched a developing swell chart. We disembarked Flight 566 to Beirut, and stood at Lebanese passport control being asked by men with handsome moustaches and heavily braided shoulders as to our intentions.

We left 5 days later wearing wry smiles, humbled by the overwhelming welcome we were met with. Humbled by the quality of waves and the surf culture in it’s infancy. A modern, progressive society reflected in its gentle people, keen to disparage the ghouls of the past and to show the rich cultural and social heritage of their beautiful nation. A beacon of liberty, tolerance and prosperity in the Middle East.

My expectations were, having frolicked in the sea nearby, very low but the righthander at the four-minute mark will make you clear your throat and lift your beer in salute.

Watch: Surfers star in NZ gov anti-drunk driving ad!

"Imagine if Jono kooks it on his way home…who'll get us through Mad Mick's to Bone Yards?"

Driving pissed ain’t a joke. But we’ve all done it, I would think: lubed to the gills, inflated by hubris, waking in the morning to the faint smell of urine and a disbelief we made it home without killing ourselves or putting a bystander under the wheels of our zig-zagging car.

And, let’s be honest, most of us have watched a pal stagger into his car and pilot it home.

In this ad from the NZ Transport Agency, two surfers must decide whether or not to intervene when a drunk pal, who’s the only one who can get ’em past a notorious farm owner whose property they gotta cross to get to surf a joint called Bone Yards, is about to drive himself home from a party.

What if he crashes on the way home and they can’t get through the farm?

It’s  a dilemma.

Watch: “Dance expressive surfing” and “Breakthrough moves”!

New surf-dance movement sweeps Australia!

Three days ago, the ISA president Fernando Aguerre told reporters he wanted a hunk of that Olympic cash to spruce up the surfing part of the Games.

See, none of the five new sports in Tokyo (karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and baseball/softball) will get any of the hundred of millions of dollars in revenue from TV rights etc.

These fringe sports are told, essentially, to fend for themselves; the IOC as Brahmins, surfing and skating as the wretched Harijan.

“We’re hard-pressed, with our small resources, to execute and we’re doing the best we can,” Ferdie told SportsPro Media. “We’re hoping that the decision-makers find a way to help us in a way to bring even more value to the Olympic Games.”

Well, before the tide of bitterness rises too high, allow your pals at BeachGrit (thanks OttoBeenThere and Negatron) to point you at a new movement sweeping Australia: Dance Expressive Surfing.

Surfdancer Academy™ is a surf school based in Queensland’s Noosa Heads that promises a “cutting edge, multi disciplinary learning centre inspiring joy and wellbeing.”

The troupe is also available to perform at the opening ceremonies of surf festivals.

Olympics, yes?

Watch: Mason Ho and Mick Fanning in “I traveled 500 miles to give you my seed!”

Mason Ho delivers backside tubing sequence of the year. Drop everything, watch…

For the next two days you can watch Rip Curl’s Red Monkey Full Moon, a buddy film starring the Hawaiian Mason Ho and the retired-from-the-tour Australian world champion, Mick Fanning.

It was directed by Vaughan Blakey and Danny Johnson, the creators of 2017’s Scary Good, a movie that was so impossibly engaging it left me gasping like a fish.

What will make you lick the boundaries of your mouth in this film is the tuberiding of Mason Ho who, much like a crackwhore, disappears for days, reappearing periodically as if nothing had happened.

Mick Fanning, of course, cleans up the scraps like a cat licking the blood off her newborns. An ample and appreciated wingman.

A must watch.

Watch: Torren Martyn in “If you can’t behead them, join them!”

A plainspoken performance in mainland Mexico featuring two surfboards of ancient design, a seven-two and a six-ten…

Perry Gershkow’s keenly observed documentary is a behind-the-scenes view of Torren Martyn in mainland Mexico.

Mr Martyn, an Australian who touches the clouds at six-feet-two and who only rides twin-fin surfboards shaped by Simon Jones, demonstrates, here, as he always does, the sort of flash and glitz that has made him a cult favourite.

Here, Torren recounts his adventure.

The little mission down south to warm water came around as a bit of a surprise to me too, I’d originally planned to just spend a week or two with my girlfriend Aiyana in California and pictured surfing knee to waist high Malibu at best.
One idea led to another as most good times do and before we really knew it Aiyana and I were rolling south of where we were currently camped out driving in awe through these beautiful snow capped mountains in the Eastern Sierras on a pretty straight mission south to a serious contrast of scenes, we were pretty excited!

A good mate Perry Gershkow was able to juggle a few commitments around up in his neck of the woods of SF and before we really had too much time to think we kind of just woke up the next day deep in central America, it was a classic little scenario.

I was travelling with two boards, a 7’2 and a 6’10. It’s so rare that I break a board, maybe one or two a year? anyhow I managed to break them both in the first couple of days.I guess I was rattled and disheartened when the first broke and then when the second went, I was kind of just baffled like haha really? luckily the local guys there have probably stitched together more boards than anyone anywhere else in the world so it was a pretty efficient little turn around, I was so grateful for that. Thankfully my mate Luke lent me his little 5’7 and a 4’11 for a little wiggle in between.

The waves we had down there were absolutely incredible, sort of mind boggling at times. It’s humbling the energy in the ocean and the way the sand and currents dictated where and what waves we surfed. They were there one day and gone the next. I think that was the beauty of it too, we didn’t really have any expectations or too much of a plan, things just fell in to place and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Buy a surfboard like Torren’s here.