Watch Jeff Raglus in “The surfer immortalised as Pop Artist!”

Deceptively unassuming surfer one of the great contemporary sculptors and painters!

The surfer as artist is a familiar line. For some, it’s a fad to wash off the pharmaceutical fuzziness, others a life.

The art can be derivative and dreadful or as surprising (and as expensive) as a Wagyu beef burger served in a little wooden box and tied up with a ribbon. 

I’ve been collecting the work of surfer, and painter/sculptor/musician Jeff Raglus for a little past a decade. Collecting isn’t quite the right word. For a few years there I had a surplus of cash (two jobs, new biz) and wanted to buy art not for capital gain, which is what the savvy art collector chases, but work that pleased. Splashes of oil and inspiration I could stare and wonder at.

And one turned into three turned into five.

A few years back, Raglus hit me up and said he was selling one of his sculptures for two thousand dollars, a two hundred pound carving called Mr Pinky. Took two strong men (i.e. not me) to drag it into my house. I look at it now and it sinks me with happiness.

This short movie examines the life of a man who ranks among the most accomplished in the game, and who has avoided the frenzied fantasy life of money and the city.

Check out his kid too. Kasper. Artist. Musician. Real good surfer. Just like his old boy.

You’ll like this movie. Calming. Lovely.



Drone: “Big, Bad, Backless Nias from the Bird!”

Observe the outrageous tableaux from the sky!

One month ago, the Indonesian island of Nias played host to a bevy of big-wave chasers. These included Mark Healey, Nathan Florence, Koa Rothman and so on.

Following the trail of breadcrumbs was every noted filmer in the game, including the Australian Chris Bryan (read here about his $140k camera and his great snatch of Mark Healey) and the American Ryan “Chachi” Craig whose work is presented here.

This short is presented by Surfer magazine and is, mostly, drone angles, which amplify the backless nature of the wave, and the swell, as well as a couple of wide-angle water shots.

There are moments, I think, when reality appears to detach itself.


Question: “How do you want to die?”

At your favourite wave during the swell of the year?

Yesterday, a Little Avalon local, and by local I mean…local… drowned while surfing his favourite wave. LA Bob or Homeless Bob aka Bob Bevern was sixty-two and lived in a van on the clifftop overlooking the little Sydney reef after a divorce, a kid, lack of work and so on soaked up his cash reserves.

After a while, the low-cost breezy lifestyle grew upon him.

“I’ve been called crazy on a number of occasions,” he said in a featurette made last year. Bob described the joy of “laying back enveloped by the wave” and vowed to live next to the surf until he died.

Now, drowning ain’t pretty.

But neither is being eighty years old and living in a dementia ward, rattling around the corridors in a perpetual state of confusion or being eaten alive by cancer in front of your family, your final days, months, lived in a morphine haze.

Click, click, click. 

And the prologues to old age, as written by the author Mary Roach, “loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach.”

How do you want to split this mortal coil?

Like Bob, at your favourite wave, during the swell of the year, your van still parked on the headland, full of your books, your clothes? Your memory still warm in people’s hearts?

Maybe hit by a White?

Or would you prefer the common end: hospital bed, muttering doctors, plastic tubes, toxic chemicals, fluorescent lights, before straight-lining and being sent to the ice box at the morgue and then prepped and readied for cremation?


Watch: Chuck Norris surf Nazaré in Toyota Tacoma!

One-time foil of Bruce Lee takes truck to Nazaré in fabulous advertising campaign.

If you’re into karate and whisperingly poetic action movies, you’ll know, maybe even like, Chuck Norris.

He is the almost-eighty-year-old martial arts expert and actor who debuted in the Bruce Lee vehicle Way of the Dragon as the little master’s nemesis. Oh he loses, of course, but in the most gallant manner, refusing Tang Lung (Lee)’s offer of mercy.

Watch that here (and maybe ponder the ever-changing male body. Once, Bruce Lee was regarded as freakishly muscular. Now, he looks like any other stud on the beach.)

But you’re not here for Way of the Dragon.

If you hit the big play button, you’ll find an advertisement for the Japanese motor company Toyota’s four-wheel-drive Tacoma. The tagline is “Tough as Chuck’ and thirty-six seconds in we see Chuck’s truck at Nazaré.

From BeachGrit friend Pedro Miranda:

The latest Commercial by Toyota USA, was directed by the renowned Agency Saatchi & Saatchi featuring Chuck Norris, with drone footage of Giant Nazaré captured the Portuguese Surf Producers Máquina Voadora – Produções.

Saatchi and Saatchi thankfully skips the tropes of spinning kicks and “Chuck Norris facts,” instead creating an enjoyably bizarre scenario where Norris’ signature imbues a truck with the power to surf giant Nazaré (at 00:36-00:40 of the video), climb trees and defeat criminals in hand-to-door combat.

A member of Máquina Voadora’s team explained that the drone footage was captured in December 2017 during a Big Paddle Session, and dozens of other waves were previously analysed in order to find the exact match needed for this production. “We just knew that a wave was going to be used on the commercial, and that they needed to insert something on the wave with CGI, we’d never have imagined that it would be the Truck Norris… Epic! We’re really glad to be part of this, Chuck Norris is the ultimate badass, a perfect match for a Nazaré Bomb!”


Preposterously quirky! Dan Johnson stars in “Kinda smart but taking the piss!”

Kid moves to soporific town famous for slow point. Finds workable strategy.

Y’ever notice that the most original ideas come from outside the urban bubbles and various echo chambers? Out there in the country and the suburbs, a ferocious boredom and pin-balling influences coalesce into something either hideously mismatched or something that…sings. 

Dan Johnson is a Sydney kid who moved to soporific little Crescent Head four years ago, famous for its long, softish point and sometimes waggling and jiggling beach breaks, when his parents split.

Yeah, he got bored.

But through surfing, and later shaping as a way of reconnecting with his Dad, he found a spike he could mainline.

This short, the third and final episode in director Vaughan Blakey and O’Neill’s O’Riginals series, evokes an atmosphere of electric unrest.

“Dan Johnson represents kids who want different sensations, and who don’t understand why you’d restrict anything as fun as surfing,” says Vaughan.

See episode one, Billy Bain: “I’m an artist and that’s what I do!” 

See episode two, Lochie Rombouts in “The gun-slinging size queen!”