Dylan Graves at Kelly Slater wavepool in Abu Dhabi.
Novelty wave aficionado Dylan Graves reveals the text message that got him into Slater's Abu Dhabi tank.

River surfer Dylan Graves reveals the text message to Kelly Slater that got him invited to champ’s Abu Dhabi miracle!

Puerto Rican novelty wave specialist Dylan Graves slides into opening day at Surf Ranch Abu Dhabi!

BeachGrit readers have long thrilled to the weird wave follies of Puerto Rico’s Dylan Graves, a long-time friend of Kelly Slater.

You remember Dylan and his relationship to Kelly Slater, yeah?

He’s almost forty now but he used to be on the Quiksilver roster, the clean-looking Young Gun playing cute foil to the hoary champ Kelly Slater. Tween Young Gun and now (Old Bum?), Dylan took on the WQS (ain’t much success) before settling into that ever-warm freesurfing zone in Puerto Rico.

At the star of the year, Dylan Graves smashed the Guinness World Record for most turns on a wave when he rode a wave in Sumatra for five minutes, completing completed an astonishing forty turns, even throwing in a couple of quasi-airs for good measure.

Mostly Dylan Graves is known for his excellent Weird Waves series for Vans where he explores river waves, tidal waves, insane wedges, proving that the essential nature of surfing is fun.

Recently, Dylan Graves was transiting through Dubai when he sent a text message to Kelly Slater asking if it the Abu Dhabi version of Surf Ranch was open and, if it was, might he pay a visit.

As fate’s hand would lay the cards, Dylan Graves arrived just in time for opening day and after a little back and forth with Slater, was invited to join in the party.

The video is instructive, I think, for it gives an unvarnished and non-curated look at the event.

Slater is as charismatic as ever and Graves rocks back on his heels to enjoy his own view of the famous tube.

Surfer of the year Nathan Florence films near-death “annihilation” in Ireland

A day to blow or get blown!

Of all the wild near-death moments filmed by Surfer of the Year Nathan Florence over the course of the year, none come close to the violent exertions of his latest expedition to Mullaghmore in Ireland. 

Filmed on November 9, so less than one week ago, we see Nathan Florence wipeout on three consecutive waves at a joint that invites genuine comparisons to Teahupoo.

On the first wave, which Nathan Florence films using his little point of view camera, he is jerked off his eight-foot-five board and driven into the spout of the wave, the globes of his bottom raised to the sky.

“Absolute annihilation. First wave, all confident, huge step in the drop, over the falls, impacted and got so violently impacted. It felt like I was just getting ripped apart… I just accepted annihilation,” says Nathan Florence in his post-session debrief.


“Literally twenty-five foot kegs out there…huge boils, so square, twenty-five foot slabs. It’s just insane, got out there, paddled into my first wave and got so smoked. Down the face, big step, poked over the falls, (thought) oh shit here we go, impacted so hard it spun my head around.

“The hoodie went over my head and blocked my pullers (the levers to inflate his lifesaving  vest.) Couldn’t pull. Accepted reality that I couldn’t find ’em and just did fifteen strokes to the surface. And that was my first wave.

“Two more and both times got smooshed by this big whitewater coming out of the bowl. Second one, my leashed pulled over me, pulled me into the gnarliest scorpion, (I thought), my back’s going to snap. I couldn’t tuck and roll.

“After that I sat for two hours in shock. Three waves and three wipeouts.”

Bone chilling.

Surfing Olympian Julian Wilson reveals existential struggle in brave new documentary!

A surfing movie so real, so authentic, you can almost taste the transparent viscous goo!

Less than one year ago and after a brave decade-long fight, Julian Wilson threw in the towel, sliced off his hair and joined the ranks of bald surfers which include the greatest of all time, Kelly Slater.

Reactions were mixed though Julian Wilson’s pivot to hard-edged multi-functional fashion with his brand Rivvia Projects marked a step forward for the former world number two.

Wilson followed Dane Reynolds/Craig Anderson and Luke Egan into the rag-trade, Reynolds and Ando with Former and Egan with Depactus, a brand that flew a little too close to the sun before the glue holding its wings melted and it was bought for a song by SurfStitch.

Only one year earlier, Julian Wilson had quit the tour he’d orbited since 2011. He was a rookie of the year, made Gabriel Medina cry when he beat him in Portugal in 2012, he beat Medina in the final of the Pipe Masters in 2014 and three years later beat Medina to win the 2017 Tahiti Pro.

In 2015, Julian Wilson bravely paddled towards Mick Fanning in his own existential battle with the second-greatest predator of all time, the Great White shark.

What a career, yes?

Now, and thanks to the French film and retail house Wasted Talent, we find Julian Wilson, long removed from the tour, but still with the same vitality that won our hearts all those years ago.

It’s so real, so authentic you can almost taste the transparent viscous goo!


Reclusive John John Florence releases behind-the-scenes short featuring sexed-up bulldogs and latest “devastating throat punch to the World Surf League”

Climbing against all odds from poverty to a position of honour and privilege, the millionaire world champ has turned an original story into a Hemingway masterpiece.

This fourteen minute short from reclusive world champion surfer John John Florence is exciting, genuine and funny.

See French bulldogs sexing while their millionaire master John John gets his hair cut; watch as Jon Pyzel reveals the dark secret of a budget Australian airline and marvel as John delivers another devastating throat punch to the World Surf League when he curates his own, unsanctioned event in Brazil.

Climbing against all odds from poverty to a position of honour and privilege, the now thirty-one-year-old John John has been anointed with two world titles, turning a truly original life story into a Hemingway classic.

A comic tour de force.

Highly recommended.

New Filipe Toledo docuseries reveals controversial champ’s heartbreaking struggles prior to world title glory!

“There’s nothing left to prove to anyone,” he says.

The world’s best small-wave surfer, Filipe Toledo, who won his second consecutive world title under a sailboat sky in three-foot waves at Lower Trestles, is the star of a new docuseries with the wildly sexy title Peace & Power.

When Filipe surfs, the world stops He is only twenty-nine but his name is spoken around the world as often as Muhammad Ali. He is a polarising and controversial figure, all but unbeatable in three-foot waves, fragile in heavy waves over six.

“Filipe Toledo’s new series, takes you inside his quest for his second World Title and the Olympic dream,” we are told. “Picking up at the final events of the year at Rio de Janeiro and J-Bay, Filipe gives us insights into his new approach this season. The documentary style series meant to cover the ups and downs of his career, what’s working, what’s not and how he intends to reach the top and leave an even bigger legacy behind. It’s a deeper reveal of the emotions that coincide with Filipe’s competitive greatness that is refreshing to see and hear.”

An alternately tense, funny and heartrending toast to surfing’s world champion.

“There’s nothing left to prove to anyone,” he says.