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…
A one-of-a-kind ride with comic filmmakers Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet.
Best surf movie of the year? Too early to let the floodgates of ecstatic joy burst free?
Free Scrubber, and the unusual title will be revealed in the final few seconds, is a film built around Tom Curren’s three-month Mexican vacay in 2020, the three-time world champ trapped across the border as COVID hit and the US shut its doors to the world.
Curren, who turns fifty-seven this year, was with Australian filmmaker Andy Potts and surfboard collector Mark “Buggs” Arico, the unlikely trio equipped with a portable electric piano that could be played on the beach, fishing equipment and a flotilla of surfboards.
The beach town in Oaxaca they were staying in was cleared by police of foreign gringos with only Curren, Arico and Potts avoiding the round-up.
The footage, sent to Australia on two unmarked hard drives, was then masterfully assembled by filmmakers Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet.
I called Vaughan to lavish his royal cherry with praise; how it’s the first time on film the world is gifted funny Curren and not the dark mysto cat we usually get.
“When I watched the raw footage it was the greatest thing I’d ever seen,” says Vaughan. “I couldn’t believe it. How the fuck do you get Curren where he’s not being mysterious?”
I tell Vaughan that I love the section where Tom plays piano while ignoring his interlocutor, Buggs Arico.
“Tom isn’t paying attention. He gets so much adoration, everything handed to him, everyone falls at his feet,” says Vaughan. “At what point does he stop connecting with people and live in his own world?”
The surfing, of course, is a joy to watch.
“On a wave he’s ageless. The fact that he’s not looking for big sections to hit is easy on the eye. It’s not all about the hammers. You’re not waiting for him to do something. He’s just riding waves.”
Jamie O, pro pool.
Pipe Master Jamie O’Brien’s shock confession: “I could just retire and surf a wavepool for the rest of my life!”
I still see wavepools like a boy examining a naked woman for the first time, looking over the subject each inch by inch, legs apart, stomach pushed forward, a frankness in my stare as I dreamily lick a Turkish delight.
Don’t care if it’s Wavegarden, Slater, American Wave Machines or Surf Loch. I do love them all.
Jamie O’Brien is similarly enriched by the experience.
The almost-forty year old who won the Pipe Masters in 2003 (“It’s a long time ago. Fuck it pisses me off,” Jamie says) appears in a wave pool documentary made by Red Bull that also features three-time world champion Mick Fanning, who presents the counter argument.
Mick, who has diplomatic immunity now that he’s retired from pro surfing, says the tour event at Slater’s pool event was “boring” and that after a day in the tank he’s “done.”