The ease with which Jamie O’Brien rides the Pipeline catwalk is a source, to me at least, of ongoing amazement.
It’s not unexpected, of course, he’s lived there his entire life, but for a man of almost forty years who looks like a hamburger on a griddle, an overgrown Annie doll, it does continue to delight.
In this episode of his weekly vlog, Jamie humps Pipe on one of his Catch Surf softboards, the crowd seeming to part in the refracted light of his fame.
Two men don’t, however.
There is John John Florence, whom Jamie swiftly confronts on camera. The moment is light but in the superficial jocularity there is a back-story one might call strange, and then there is Mason Ho, whom one could never be even slightly mad at.
The pair’s double tube ride is like a first kiss, tender, shock waves of pleasure, the thrill of the mind turning off, blind to any ambition other than the tactile etc.
A very good edit.
Vaughan Blakey and Gary "The Kong" Elkerton, a "blunt, brawny, hot-headed Australian power surfer from Queensland's Sunshine Coast and world title runner-up in 1987, 1990, and 1993,” according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing.
Life at the bottom: Ain’t That Swell’s Vaughan Blakey and Jed Smith redefine Burleigh Heads Single Fin Classic!
If you didn’t know, Harry Bryant is a twenty-four-year-old Australian with a bushy hairdo and albino moustache that twinkle like glitter on a burlesque dancer’s corset.
This film, Bio Haz, shows little Harry flying like a hummingbird, deftly and delicately. It was shot over the course of one year as Harry travelled with girl Kayla and dog Baz along the surfable Australian coastline.
Shit got rigorous, as they say, in the north-west.
There is recklessness, too, and drama and attitude.
Like being rimmed by a trannie who might be your uncle.
An anti-semite is drinking in a bar. He notices a Jew sitting at a table nearby and doesn’t like it.
“Bartender! A round of the good stuff for everyone except him!”
Everyone except the Jewish man receives a glass of premium scotch.
The anti-semite looks over at the Jew with a smug grin.
The Jew smiles back.
The anti-semite loses his satisfied expression.
“Bartender! Give everyone a drink of your finest, and a burger!”
He looks directly at the Jew and adds, “Everyone except the Jew.”
The Jewish man looks at the anti-semite, and smiles again.
Furious, the anti-semite says to the bartender, “Is that Jew just stupid or pretending to be?”
“Oh no, sir, he’s the owner.”
Thrill to Israeli Olympian Eithan Osborne in the very short film “The Luck to be Ugly”!
The little edit appeals to me because, honestly, when was the last time I surfed waves this good or with such sudden, almost masculine, movements?
"Some day I’ll have to hang it up. Stop forcing my fossilized body to pump and thrash and relax into a more soulful manner of riding waves. Maybe buy an old van and burn some sage. Get resin tints and grow a pony tail and wrap it in a bun. Switch to craft beer. Hang up the thruster and glide in from out the back on a 7’6 single fin. I’ll put my arms in the air when I reach the crest of every gently peeling wave." Not Today.
Dane Reynolds fires broadside against mid-length aficionados: “If you ever see me on a set at Rincon throwing my arms in the air on a 7’6 single fin feel free to burn me!”
"Some day I’ll have to hang it up. Stop forcing my fossilized body to pump and thrash and relax into a more soulful manner of riding waves." Not today.
If the World Surf League represents the VAL apocalypse, the mid-lengthers, the murfers, and so on, then it follows, I think, that Dane Reynolds is the last bulwark of a sport in the grip of its darkest enemy.
In a manifesto published at its launch, Reynolds wrote,
I got excited to start Chapter 11 TV in January when I was surfing a lot and feeling pretty good about it and getting inspired by the new generation of local surfers. I miss making surf videos despite the preposterousness of the pursuit.
Things have changed for everyone since January and for me has slowed the development of the site but i’m still excited and ambitious. I’m going to try and keep the bar low and get videos out rather than dwell on what’s worthy.
There’s no real concept or criteria for Chapter 11 TV, Surfing means different things to different people, I’m just trying to convey our version of it.
From my experience the less you expect the less you get disappointed.
Today, we are gifted episode seven, Not Today and, as always, Reynolds colours in the clip with a passage of writing filled with his deceptively simple observations. The Lou Reed song, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, and performed by Nico, anchors the short, proving that even in the darkest crannies, in this case the destruction of a once-great sub-culture, there can be light.
Sometimes I feel ridiculous driving around checking waves. Checking swell forecast. Checking wind. Checking tide. Rubbing elbows with groms trying to catch a wave to do a trick with someone standing on the beach with a camera to record it.
Some day I’ll have to hang it up. Stop forcing my fossilized body to pump and thrash and relax into a more soulful manner of riding waves. Maybe buy an old van and burn some sage. Get resin tints and grow a pony tail and wrap it in a bun. Switch to craft beer. Hang up the thruster and glide in from out the back on a 7’6 single fin. I’ll put my arms in the air when I reach the crest of every gently peeling wave.
But not today. The waves are shit and onshore. After I write this I’m going to clean the wax off my 5’9 square tail epoxy and call Matt to see what he’s doing. He probably won’t pick up. He’ll probably call me back in about 5 minutes and I’ll ask him if he’s seen the ocean and he’ll say no he had a few things he had to take care of but he was thinking about going look at the wood. I’ll say I was thinking the same. I’ve got a sore knee so I’ll roll on a foam thing for like 2 minutes before I get distracted. I’ll hop in my car and head south with a Howard Stern re-run playing from my radio at maximum volume. If it’s a stupid episode I’ll listen to Royal Dog Shit for the 1000th time.
When I pull up Matt will be on his phone. When he gets off his phone he’ll say he’s seen a few. I’ll say yeah looks fun enough for a surf and after all, If it’s shitty we’ll come in. Then we’ll suit up, I’ll ask him how his bitcoin trading is going. He’ll say ‘awwww man not so hot’ and I’ll laugh at his misfortune. The waves will be average but I’ll be able to hit the lip a few times and maybe do an air reverse. Matt will pearl going straight at least once and i will yell “I can’t believe you are still riding that board!” I’ll be happy I surfed. The waves could be good soon and I’ve got a new 6’0 with glass ons that I’m excited to ride.
And for the record. If you ever see me on a set at Rincon throwing my arms in the air on a 7’6 single fin feel free to burn me…