From the last-kid-picked-to-be-on-the-team department: Surfer Poll Ghosts insanely popular New Jersey vlogger!

"This is something I've had to deal with my whole life. I've never been in the crew."

Just two hours ago, I wrote a post pointing to the influence New Jersey vlogger Ben Gravy has had on Jamie O, Koa Rothman, as well as Kalani Robb, Brett Barley etc.

Ben’s YouTube channel has 56,000 subscribers and so many little films you could watch them back to back on a rocket ship and not even be halfway through ’em as you touch down on Mars.

His themes are positivity and an everyman vibe. If I can do it, you can sorta thing.

“Three years ago, I was twenty six years old, washed-up, barely surfed, blown-out knee with a doctor telling me I might never surf again,” Ben said in a forty-three minute vlog he made while visiting Surf Ranch. “I changed my life, I changed my mindset and today I came to the Kelly Slater wavepool and I surfed with Kelly Slater. Anything is possible. If you chase your dreams, if you put positivity and goodness into the universe, it’ll come back to you. I’m living proof.”

Good enough to be nominated for Best Web series at the 2018 Surfer Poll, yes?

In a tearful post, which you can watch by hitting the play button and scrolling through to twelve-ish minutes, Ben says,

“Three years ago, it wasn’t something I felt like I deserved. (But) right now, the way that surfing stands, I deserve to be nominated.”

“I’ve worked tirelessly for three years to accomplish the goals I’ve put in front of me.”

“I put out an immense amount of positivity though my videos. I bring laughter and joy and stoke to the world of surfing.” 

“I’ve never been in the crew. I’ve never been accepted by Surfer magazine, Surfing magazine, never even by Eastern Surf magazine.” 

“I’ve never been given props.”

“That’s something I’ve had to deal with my whole life.”

“(Rejection) formed me into the person I am today. I am a self-made person. I started that way and I’ll probably end that way.” 

Oh I miss his vibrating little laugh.

Now, is this a heartbreaking story of rejection from the highest office in the land or is Gravy a cry-baby who needs a damn good seeing to with an NYPD flashlight?

Koa Rothman in “There’s a party in my pants and I want you all to come!”

Another day in the fabulous North Shore life of Fast Eddie's boy…

One of the surprises of the new digital age has been the emergence of the long-form daily, or daily-ish, vlog. Inspired by man-for-all-seasons Ben Gravy, Jamie O’Brien and Koa Rothman now produce these eleven-minute plus YouTube video blogs.

Koa, who has a stomach like wooden slats, is an excellent host, his vlog blooming out of the YouTube skunk cabbage.

In this episode, Koa surfs mid-sized, but very doable, Sunset, bemoans excessive packaging on things like wall-sized HD television sets, gives the viewer an easy-to-understand isometric workout that he or she can do in the comfort of his or her own hovel and concludes with a beach party that involves a shorebreak that turns everyone into liver mush.

Nazare Wipeout Reel: “Jesus Lord Above, what the…hell?”

Three weeks of Portuguese choke-holds… 

Once, and not so long ago, Nazaré was famous as home base for the monstrous European tow-kook. Do you remember those early clips?

Brave crabs and courageous stink bugs zipping down fifty-foot burgers that didn’t break?

Of course, once fifty-foot turned into seventy-five and then a few lizards started paddling the joint, the game changed.

Shane Dorian visited a few years ago and described it as a graveyard for jetskis and said he was happy to ride two waves and get the hell out of there.

The skimboarder Brad Domke, who’s taken his finless Exile sled to Jaws and to Puerto Escondido, told me, “Its an ancient beast. It’s like there’s a monster in the water making the water move really strangely and scary. I don’t know why. You look at photos with these barreling waves and you’re, like, when our turn came on the wave it wouldn’t make sense. It feels so mutant and big.”

This three-minute reel is a joy to watch for it appears that every damn surfer is going straight to hell, in some form.

And those paddle takeoffs? Outrageous.

“Have you ever jumped off a 4 story tall building and landed face first in to a swimming pool?” says the filmmaker. “Well just a little bit what its like to wipeout here in Nazare. These are just the wipeout clips that I’ve filmed here in Nazare in the past three weeks!”

Watch Stephanie Gilmore lance Jeffrey’s Bay in “I feel I’ve hooked a train!”

Savage and beautiful. Like a car with most of the money spent on chrome.

This five-minute short of Stephanie Gilmore surfing Jeffrey’s Bay will seize you by the lapels of your robe and then jerk down your Superman pyjamas.

If I’m going to strike an honest tone, there’s no other surfer I care to watch these days, save for Filipe Toledo.

This little movie was shot by Stephanie’s long-time collaborator friend Morgan Maassen (he with the unblinking, wounded innocence) and organises the action to a plucky track called Captain of None by the French composer Cécile Schot.

Watch: (More) Assassin Whales Stalk Happy Families!

Who is the bigger son of a bitch? The Great White or the dang whale?

Earlier today, a gal pal showed me a wonderful video that has gone viral, I believe the expression is.

In the three-minute short, we see a man’s wife and family so dang terrified on their “boating adventure” she calls 911 to report that”three grey whales are underneath our boat.”

The daddy, who is the boat’s skipper, is thrilled.

“Look at this! He’s rolling! This is amazing guys! You’ll never get to see this again!”

His weeping family beg, “Let’s get out of here…you better turn the motor on…drive away Dad! Faster please! Drive away faster!”

To his little boy, the daddy says, “The worst thing that can happen is we go for a swim, dude.”

And so on.

It’s easy to laugh at the mammy who finds solace in lighting up an emergency call centre on land, but a little search finds no end of cantankerous whales.

Like here.

And who can forget the brave little children here?

Do you ever contemplate being eaten alive while you surf? Either by shark, whale or whatever else lurks in the depths, maybe a stingray barb through the heart?

Does it worry you? Does it occupy the majority of your thoughts when the sun goes down just a little or is yet to creep over the horizon? When a school of baitfish turns the water black?

Or are you an evolved human being who believes dying doing what you love would be the… etc… etc?