Category Archives: Surf Travel

READER CHALLENGE: Surfline Drinking Game!

tav1

As previously mentioned, it's been slow out there lately in terms of compelling surf content.

I decided to spice things up by playing a drinking game while readings Surfline's Tavarua Spot Check.

At first, I was hoping to write something witty about the inherent advertorial irony of a 39-slide feature exclusively dedicated to an exclusive resort, narrated exclusively by the resort's co-owner/manager Jon Roseman... and sponsored by Oakley no less, who must be wondering why in custard-fuck they funded an infomercial that doesn't even feature any of their teamriders.

But after the first couple slides, I became completely obsessed with Roseman's insightful narration, in which the word "PERFECT" is consistently used to describe his resort.

In slide two, Roseman starts off with "Looks like a perfect 4-5 foot day... just hitting the inside ledge perfectly."

Naturally, I decided to make a drinking game out of it.  Each time Roseman says perfect, you do a shot.  BOOYAH!

Sadly, I passed out drooling on my keyboard somewhere midway through the feature, around the time Roseman describes the wind conditions in the shot below as, you guessed it - perfect.

tav2

So the Reader Challenge is this: a Surfline Premium Membership, giftbag of ready-to-throw rocks, AND a pair of Von Zipper shades go to the first reader who can do a shot each time Roseman says "perfect," keep track of the number of shots, and get their stomach pumped before they're killed by alcohol poisoning.  I'm guessing completing the reader challenge will take upwards of 30 shots.

Get to it!

Terms and Conditions: If you kill yourself while attempting to win this Reader Challenge, the gift-pack will NOT go to your next of kin.

PHOTO DISPATCH: MYLES McGUINNESS

9mphoto_6924

We make all of this more complicated than it is.

The water holds no answers.  I don't hold any either.

Sometimes it's enough to bear witness.

Myles McGuinness, corroborating what we already know.

See 9mPhoto for more of Myles' work.

Firestorm 2007 Blacks Beach Big Wednesday Blacks Beach 12.05.2007

9mphoto_tres 9mphoto_nica Oceanside-Fall "Twin Peaks"

Morning Juice Oceanside Blacks Beach 9mphoto_rivermouth

Secrete Spot 9mphoto_lafamilia Lennox Head, Australia

PHOTO DISPATCH: REPO in INDO

pm2q2151

More waves.  Less words.

Just a stop-gap measure while I transition from hungover to drunk, and knock out the next batch of Power Rankings.

Jason Reposar.  Indonesia.  I'm trying to forget about where I'm not at.

pm2q0694 pm2q6113 pm2q6743

pm2q4614 pm2q0943 pm2q8193

pm2q7463 pm2q7871 pm2q4258

Rules and Regulations

Imposing order amidst chaos is a key part of Australian culture.  Therefore, the concept of competitive surfing makes far more sense in the grand scheme of Australian culture than it does elsewhere.

To an outsider, the regulatory nature of modern Australia is striking.

Country roads have speed cameras.  Go 50 km in a 40 zone, and you'll be photoed and fined.  Holiday weekend?  Well, then double demerits apply. A harsh environment demands colonial order.

A little over 100 years ago, there were no speed cameras in New South Wales, but it was illegal to bathe in the surf during daylight hours.  Why?  Surf bathing was seen as both dangerous and immoral.  Eventually, an act of public defiance by William Gocher, in 1902 at Manly Beach, led to a relaxing of the laws.  Gocher went swimming in a neck-to-knee number at high noon.  Consider him the Rosa Parks of Australian surfing.

However, before Duke introduced stand-up surfing in 1915, the chaos of surf bathing demanded new order: Surf Lifesaving clubs. Drownings led to the organization of volunteer groups who patrolled the beaches, imposing rules and saving lives.

Competition was part of the ethos.  Again, to the ignorant outsider, competition seems to be an intrinsic part of Australian culture, just as regulation is.  The original Surf Lifesaving clubs quickly began competing against each other in carnivals.  When surfing came along, local boardrider club contests were a logical extension.  Now, driving through rural shires, you notice other little cultural anomalies: for instance, a random cul-de-sac will bear a sign declaring it the "2006 Street of the Year."  In California, small-town streets, and small-town surfers, are less demonstratively competitive.

It's little wonder that in the 1970s, when global surf culture began to fade into soulful, non-competitive yet xenophobic localism, Australians imposed order on the chaos, thwarting entropy with the rise of the world tour.

Booger Waves

The patch of reef in question. Photo: LS

I shared a session the other day with a very friendly group of bodyboarders.  They were surfing a typical Oz slab, and the barrels they were getting convinced me to give it a go, despite the fact that it was basically a pop-peak poorly suited to stand-up surfing (of a certain level, at least).

As I played cat-and-mouse with huckers that allowed almost no plausible entry point, I wondered how bodyboarders must feel about the current slab-hunting frenzy that's being built up in mainstream surf mags.  Photo-incentives have driven professional surfers to attack slabs, and general sheep psychology has led more average surfers to follow.  Slabs that used to be considered "bodyboarding waves" are now fair game for surfers.

Poor positioning.  Photo: AS

After the session, I decided to research this topic a bit, and knew just the place to look: the forum at 805bbr.

I was turned on to this forum after I posted about my new mag start-up, The Booger's Journal.

Apparently some bodyboarding enthusiasts did not appreciate my sense of humor, as evidenced by comments like this one in a thread concerning PostSurf:

"Send hate mail to that piece of shit.  he's jewish...   someone with more time than me...find his myspace and other information and post it. like where he lives and stuff."

That was from an articulate gent named "Islaphawaiians"

Anyhoo, Mr Goebbels...

In another thread on the 805bbr forum, some different users commented on my original question as follows:

"In oz, almost all thee mutant "slabs" were pioneered by boogs. In the early years of surfing, standups were looking for long, sectiony, perfect points. In our sport, our equipment isnt suited for long crumbly waves. We need fast breaking waves. Mutant dry slabs were perfect for our sport. Now it seems this is the new crave. I dont know about you guys, but if i was a standup, i'd rather go to bali and get 10 second barrels, than try scooping like a sponger on mutants and try battling the shockey for a quick 3 second square barrel. Their just trying to mimmick us. obrien doing rodeos, marzo with bank revos, and braboyz dry slab surfing. sounds a little familiar."

You heard it here first, stand-ups: O'Brien, Marzo, and the Bra Boys learned everything they know from bodyboarders.

Magical Realism with Ben Button

Drew was doing tow-ats in 2' rights.

Australia is a big, lucky country.  25,670 kms of coastline, chock full of bays, points, pubs, and pro surfers that I've disparaged.  There are some places in the surfworld that it may prove unwise for me to visit - Brazil, Basque Country, the North Shore... places where I've stirred the pot enough to expect to deal with consequences.

In all honesty, I did not think Australia was one of those places.  Usually, Aussies are more likely to "get" my sense of humor.  They've been raised with piss-taking, and most Aussies aren't egotistical, sensitive divas who suffer from insecurity issues.

So when I scheduled an Australian stopover last week, I figured, "no worries, mate."  As mentioned, it's a big fucking country, and I didn't plan on visiting the Gold Coast or Maroubra or other areas where Aussies-who-hate-me happen to live.  Then Jed Smith published his little Stab piece, in which ASP Top 45er Drew Courtney was interviewed concerning my writings.

"I’d love to meet him face to face. It wouldn’t go real good." Drew told Stab.

Flash-forward to the present.  I'm standing in a parking lot in rural New South Wales, off the beaten track, looking for a little solitude, hours away from any city.  I've barely seen any other surfers.  So it struck me as a bit strange when Drew "Benjamin Button" Courtney pulled up and parked next to me.

PWC enhanced Ben Button blast...

What are the fuckin' odds?  Of course, I was compelled to introduce myself to Mr. Courtney.  If nothing else, the result would be post-worthy.  Naturally, the conversation was a wee-bit awkward, as I'm sure both of us felt the coincidence to be a bit too unlikely to chalk up to chance.  There was part of me that wondered if Ben Button was stalking me, so I can only assume that Ben Button, faced with the unfathomable improbability of encountering "that seppo" in the middle of nowhere, must have assumed I was stalking him.

the above blast set up this kneeler.

No punches were thrown.  I gave Drew my usual spiel about why I write what I write, and he mostly just stood there and nodded pleasantly.  "Well, nice to meet you, anyway," Mr. Courtney finished with.  He was true to his word, I'll give him that: I met him face to face, and It didn't go real good.  Ben Button didn't say or do one goddamn thing that was interesting enough to post about.

Damn you, Drew Courtney!  Well played sir.  Well played.

Scene of my high-noon showdown with Ben Button. Take that, Dane Reynolds! local talent

Oh, Lindsay - Love Hurts.

If we in the surf media want to be taken seriously, we have to step up our game and take our cues from the real media: more investigative journalism, more hard-hitting exposes of corruption, and more speculation about Lindsay Lohan's sex life.

Budding surf media magnate CJ Hobgood is already hip to this - on his blog, CJ wrote of Lindsay, "Is it the freckles,the light skin or the redish hair (at times) prob all the above but i’m absolutley fatal on linsey.i know, if i ever met her the dream would die real quick,until then she’s still top 5."

CJ penned those loving words only days before Christmas, 2008 (earmuffs, Baby Jesus, earmuffs!!!) when Lindsay was in a solid, loving, relationship with girlfriend Samantha Ronson. (Again: earmuffs, Baby Jesus, earmuffs!!!)

Now Lindsay is single - she got dumped by Sam a couple weeks ago.

Like many punters before her, Lindsay knows the best medicine for heartache is surfing.

So Lindsay spent the last week in Hawaii, riding a pop-out SUP with a leash on her front foot.  Perhaps she's a switch-hitter in the lineup, too?  And, yes, like the Swine Flu and Sarah Palin, Nostradamus long ago predicted Lindsay's surfing as a sign of the apocalypse.

Unfortunately, from the look of the photos, it seems Lindsay isn't over Sam yet.  Memories of their nights together haunt her surfing style.

lindsaymaui1

In the shot above, Lindsay, smartly dressed in a black one-piece with black hair-extensions across the bodice, wearing black 80s shades in the lineup, is remembering how Sam used to oh-so-gently wield her belted tool when Lindsay was the Bottom.

lindsay2

Once on her feet, thanks to the voluptuous girth of her pop-out, Lindsay's mind soon wanders, re-playing those memories of her time as the Top.  Her eyes flutter closed as her hands cup the ghostly memory of Sam's ample buttocks.  A smile radiates across her face as her hips pull back, only to thrust forwad again like the wave that conveys her lovelorn, Gollum-esque frame towards shore.

Love hurts, my friends, love hurts.

Swine Flu. PANIC!

It's been a tough day here at PostSurf headquarters.  Like every calm, rational, American, I'm panicked about Swine Flu.

Two cases were just diagnosed only miles from where I live.  Our prime minister, that guy from Predator, just declared a state of emergency, and he usually doesn't scare so easy.

This whole thing sucks.  It confirms red-blooded, god-fearing Americans worst fears about Mexicans AND swine.

What can we do?  Should we close the borders? Should we nuke Mexico?  Mark - you watch Fox News; I'm looking to you for guidance.

I just flew over Mexico the other day, and this guy was sitting next to me on the plane:

fuckedbro

Should I be worried?

If you're anything like me, you have a lot of questions.

So as a service to PostSurf readers, I've tried to do some research on how Swine Flu will effect surfers. See below for the FACTS along with some guidelines on how we should be panicking.

1) Is Swine Flu contagious?

I think the answer is "yes."  Swine Flu can be spread through genital-to-genital contact with Swines.

2) Is Swine Flu kosher?

No - because it comes from swine.

3) Can I catch Swine Flu from Mexicans?

Yes.

4) Can I get sick from getting too close to Gabe "Piggy" Kling?

Yes.  But that sickness you'll feel isn't Swine Flu.  It's heartache.  I learned the hard way!

gabeklingpig

5) Should I stay home and watch Fox News instead of going surfing?

Yes.  Particularly avoid crowded breaks.

6) Should I avoid surf trips to Barra, Scorpion Bay, and Isla Natividad?

No.  Those spots are SICK.  Go there, bro!

7) Can I contract Swine Flu from pig-dogging barrels?

It's too soon to tell, but it's safe to be alarmed.  Click on the image below for more information about things I don't understand.

nopigdogmister

8) Can I get Swine Flu from bacon, cops, or being an alarmist, ignorant motherfucker?

No, maybe, yes.

9) Can I contract Swine Flu from hanging out with alternative, pig-nosed, 6-pierced titty Suicide Girls?

Yes.  Among other things. Proceed with caution.

pigsuicidegirl

3 Shot Saturday: Lefts

I'd like to start featuring photos instead of words on Saturdays.  The concept is simple: you, the reader, submit 3 shots on one topic.

For now I'll get the ball rolling with Lefts.  Please send photos you'd like me to post in coming weeks.

dsc_0209

Photo: Lewis Samuels

Photo: Lewis Samuels

Photo: Lewis Samuels

Photo: Lewis Samuels

Photo: Lewis Samuels

The Art of Elimination

I've been pondering subtraction.  It's an appropriate subject for foreign shores - as Americans, we're raised to focus on what we can add to our life, instead of what we can take away.  We're a culture that's been adding objects and responsibilities and new lines of communication for years.  Now that the crises (as everyone calls it abroad) has reshaped our expectations, it seems like the right time to start considering what you really need in life to be happy, and what you could do without.

So I've been doing research - a little trial and error.  So has the ASP.

Will the ASP eliminate hot tubs next?  Photo: ASPworldtour.com

Will the ASP eliminate hot tubs next? Photo: ASPworldtour.com

Initial Findings:
Bells started up yesterday - the first event to utilize the new format.  Sudden death round 1 heats, instead of double-elimination.  This amounts to a quick and painful mercy killing of surfers like Nathaniel Curran, who was executed about 30 minutes into the 12-day waiting period.  Back at the last contest, Nathaniel suffered through over a week of slow decline before officially being handed his 33rd place death certificate.  So perhaps this new format is more humane.

It's also most likely cheaper for the sponsor.  Bells started up on the first day of the waiting period, in suspect conditions, even though there will be one less day of surfing in the new format.  It makes me wonder if the ASP and sponsors are grappling with what they can eliminate, while still presenting a good contest.

Will we turn back the clock?  Like the 80s, could we see cheap and efficient 3-day waiting periods?

dsc_0503right

The jury's still out on whether the ASP's subtraction exercise will work.  As for my own experiment, I've rediscovered that I can be happy with just the basics: A surfboard, a pointbreak, and some clean groundswell.  And a firm mattress, and some fresh organic food prepared by an experienced American-trained cook.  And of course my iPhone, MacBook, iPod, and wireless (could anyone anywhere on earth really be happy if they had dial-up?) and good wine, and a nice car, and of course I need a cleaning lady cause I'm surfing all day and don't have time for the little things.

After subtracted needless luxuries from my life, I've learned to be happy with just the basics.  I challenge you to do the same.

DO JEWS CONTROL SURFING?

It's a widely-acknowledged fact that Jews control the media. (Hey, don't worry, I can acknowledge this because I am half-Jewish. (Perhaps this is why I am only half-way to having control in the surf media. (And I hope I didn't just alienate my Meshugina Skinhead fan base by confirming my Jewish heritage.)))

I'm often asked what article I'd write about surfing if I could write absolutely anything. Currently I'm leaning towards a round-table discussion, SurfingMag style, focusing on Jews' control of surfing. Our panel would consist of prominent surfing Jews Makua Rothman, Eddie Rothman, Dorian Paskowitz, and Shaun Tomson. The discussion would be moderated by Larry David, uber-Jew of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld fame.

I can just picture it now:

Dream Team: Makua, Shaun, Dorian, Eddie, and LD.

Dream Team: Makua, Shaun, Dorian, Eddie, and LD.

Larry David: So, Fast Eddie... Can I call you Fast Eddie by the way? Please explain to me how a Jewish kid from the mainland can show up on the North Shore and all of a sudden be running Da Hui? Isn't that the story? Are you like a Mossad agent or something? Did you use sarcasm or violence? It seems like Israeli Jews excel at violence, while American Jews are more dangerous in terms of sarcasm.  What worked for you?  Tell me your secret, Jew to Jew... I can't even get my agent to respect me, let alone intimidate anyone.

Fast Eddie: Wot you say Brah? You like Beef?

Larry David: Only if it's cooked rare. I can't stand it when someone overcooks a steak. Have you ever yelled at someone for overcooking steak? I'm not proud to admit that I have. That's probably the most gangster type thing I've ever done. I yelled at a 5' tall waitress. She wasn't intimidated... Who's your personal trainer? You look really fit. What's with the centipede on your chest? Is it a pet, or is that an incidental centipede crawling across your chest? Are centipedes kosher? They have a shell, but they're not a fish... so that's a tough one.

And so on.

MAKING FRIENDS

I have a tendency to anger people.

Case in point:  The 40-Year-Old Barrel Virgin, a piece I wrote for Surfline last summer.

Illustration: Sandow Birk

Illustration: Sandow Birk

The ensuing shitstorm included the following email exchange with an owner of Mollusk in NYC.

----- Original Message -----
From: Mollusk NYC
To: Lewis Samuels
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 2:16 PM
Subject: blame it on??

Should they blame it on "Mullosk" or Mollusk?
If we're going to be accused of something the least you could do is spell the second largest animal phylum correctly.  Thanks for stirring the turd. Always gets the kids excited to have their slim slacks poked fun of...then again I've never seen a pair a jeans fit as tight as a wetsuit.

For what ever its worth,

C.

My Response:

--- Original Message -----
From: Lewis Samuels
To: Mollusk NYC
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 5:57 PM
Subject: Re: blame it on??

Thanks for the email.
In regards to the misspelling of Mollusk in The 40-Year-Old Barrel Virgin, I'd refer you to the concept of an unreliable narrator.  Think Nabokov's Pale Fire, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, or Twain's Huck Finn.  The term unreliable narrator can be defined as "a narrating character who provides inaccurate, misleading, conflicting, or otherwise questionable information to the reader."

By using the incorrectly spelled "Mullosk" I both alert the reader to the presence of an unreliable narrator and avoid any ill-will that might result from slandering the good name of an existing business (such as Mollusk Surf Shop.)  Killing two birds with one stone, if you will. Get the whole story »

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