Watch: Shaun Manners in “I am unruly, poorly dressed and I am toothless! I am also good surfer!”

A must-watch for appreciators of extravagant surfing and dramatic waves…

Recently, the Western Australian surfer Shaun Manners stole the show in Billabong’s latest offering, Holy Tubes in the Naked Desert!” 

Today, Shaun, who is 20 and lives in Margaret River in his mum’s backyard, and his filmer Tom Jennings, have released Blastoid, a thirteen-minute short that is great fun.

A blastoid, and I’m not talking to the biologically aware here, are are an “extinct type of stemmed echinoderm, often referred to as sea buds” and not to be confused with Blastoise, the walking turtle from Pokemon.

Pretty sure this edit’ll get you trembling and jerking in the usual and familiar spasms.

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.