New Year’s Resolutions for ASP Surfers

30 12 2009

Dance? No, I said you look fat in those pants. Jordy Smith and newly-crowned champ Mick Fanning celebrate the end of another ASP season.

Being the muckraking “journalist” I am I try keep my nose clean and my ear to the ground. OK, who am I kidding? My nose is dirtier than a gas station’s toilet seat. Regardless, I had the distinct pleasure of intercepting the New Year’s resolutions of the best surfers in the world.  

-Kelly Slater
Read the memoirs of famous rebels Robert E. Lee, George Washington and Poncho Villa. Win 10th title on an Alaia.  

-Mick Fanning
Legally change name to Damien Hardman II.  

-Jamie O’Brien
Win all contests he enters on just one wave instead of two. Get sponsored by Zippo lighters for daily burnings of the ASP rule book.  

-Dane Reynolds
Win a fucking contest.  

-Tim Boal
Win a fucking heat.  

 -Joel Parkinson
Have doctors genetically alter his ankles with Hillary Clinton’s canckles. That way he’ll never injure them again.   

-Chris Ward
Make it on time to all his heats court appearances.   

 -CJ Hobgood
Knock out the next punk that calls him Damien.  

-Bede Durbidge
Try to conceal the shit-eating grin from his face every time he cashes that motocross company’s check.  

-Dusty Payne
Change name to Dirk Diggler so it sounds less like a porn star.  

-Adriano de Souza
Finally quit day job as a midget rodeo clown. Then seal the clown car doors so no more Brazilians make it on the ASP tour.  

-Taylor Knox
Retire. Then unretire. Then retire. Then sign a contract with the Minnesota Vikings.  

-Rob Machado
Hire a narrator that doesn’t put you to sleep if the Drifter II ever gets made.  

-Jordy Smith
Become the first surfer sponsored by Trojan condoms. Burn through the “lifetime supply” in one month.





What Really Went Wrong

28 12 2009

“My parents didn’t like me watching that shit.”
—Dane Reynolds referring to the …Lost videos

…Lost is a surf company that, quite frankly, gets “it.” They get the fact surfers are not always squeaky clean role models. They get that surfers like to have fun, party and cause chaos on occasion. They get the seedy element of surfing. The do not hide from it. Rather than attempt to conceal it, …Lost celebrates the dark side of the sport. This is the final trailer for their most recent video—What Really Went Wong. Enjoy.





’Twas the Night Before Christmas (Nugable Remix)

24 12 2009

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the hizzle
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Meatwhistle.
The booties were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Dane soon would be there.

The grommets were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of six-foot peaks danced in their heads.
And mamma in her Uggs, and I in my slaps,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a focker,
Tore open the shutters and threw up a shaka.

The moon on the breast of the oncoming swell
Gave the lustre of mid-day to offshores from hell.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny queers.

With a little old fish, so lively and sane,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Dane.
More rapid than Fannings his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Mailman! now, Mike! now, Mark and Shamus!
On, Bagel! On, Lazer®! on, on Trauzersnake and Blasphemous!
To the top of the lip! to the top of the wall!
Now punt away! Punt away! Punt away all!”





It Was Not A Like Bitchin Day

24 12 2009

I first stumbled upon Likebitchin.com several months ago. I can’t remember exactly when. I knew nothing about it but was immediately drawn to the haphazard yet perfectly congruent style.

It was written by two unique individuals—Chas Smith and Derek Rielly. One American. One Australian. Derek founded Stab Magazine. Chas writes for Stab, along with several other publications.

On Wednesday, December 23 it died. It was a good run. No clear reason was given. Derek Rielly chose not to comment. He said we’ll “let it hang, mysterioso.” Chas Smith did not return my email. Even more mysterioso.

You could call it a surf blog, but you’d be wrong. It was more than that. According to the about us page it was “a place to talk and debate politics, architecture, surfing, destroy and uplift your favorite/most hated airlines and hotels and, should philanthropy be your kick, donate money to get a retard to a music festival or strip show. Likebitchin.com welcomes contributions. Y’don’t get paid but y’get the thrill of being published.”

They even gladly published two of my rants. One was piece called Fantastic Man, profiling the fictional Roger Sterling of Mad Men. The other was a review of Surfer Magazine. You can read that one here.

Producing a web site, although it appears easy, is often a thankless and grueling endeavor. Especially when there are no profits or revenue generated. Running a blog is a cruel mistress. Addicting, yet cruel. At times you feel like you are chained to the laptop.

No chains around my feet
But I’m not free, oh-ooh!
I know I am bound here in captivity

As of today, all content has been removed from Likebitchin. There is one lone post that remains. It is titled “Dead.” It appears the great unfinished surf novel will never see the light of day. Or will it? Those who frequented the site may feel a part of them died when the site went down. And I don’t blame them.

No sun will shine in my day today; (no sun will shine)
The high yellow moon won’t come out to play:
(that high yellow moon won’t come out to play)
I said (darkness) darkness has covered my light,
(and the stage) And has changed my day into night, yeah.
Where is the love to be found? (oo-ooh-ooh)
Won’t someone tell me?
‘Cause my (sweet life) life must be somewhere to be found
(must be somewhere for me)

Rest in Peace. You will be missed.





The 2010 ASP World Tour Schedule

22 12 2009

A short press release arrived in my email inbox yesterday evening announcing the “historic” changes to the 2010 ASP World Tour schedule. I can’t recall the last time the ASP sent out a press release that didn’t include the word “historic” in it. Everything the ASP does is historic these days. It’s like Roosevelt’s speech when the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor.

“Today—ay-ay will be a date which will live in infamy as we announce sweeping changes to the already Dreamy Dream Tour schedule.”

But who can blame them? This stuff is exciting and the 2010 season doesn’t kick off for two months.

Frankly, there are not a lot of changes. A few tweaks here. A few tweaks there. Teahupoo has been moved up by a few months. They dropped fickle Munduka for Portugal. And they pushed back the start date of the Teahupoo event to capitalize on swell opportunity. Billabong has dropped an event and Rip Curl has added one more event. But I was thoroughly disappointed they did not formally announce the venue for the Rip Curl Pro Search. My money is on Huntington.

If it isn’t broke why fix it. Right? To be fair, Mother Nature was not kind to the WCT in 2009. Perhaps that’s what so great about surfing—the uncertainty. If the waves are as bad in 2010 as they were in ’09 then THAT would be “historic.”

The 2010 ASP World Tour schedule is as follows:

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, February 27 – March 10, 2010
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, March 30 – April 10, 2010
Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, April 21 – April 30, 2010
Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, July 15 – 25, 2010
Billabong Pro Teahupoo, August 23 – September 3, 2010
Hurley Pro Trestles, September 12 – 21, 2010
Quiksilver Pro France, September 25 – October 5, 2010
Rip Curl Pro Portugal, October 7 – 18, 2010
Rip Curl Pro Search, October 30 – November 10, 2010
Billabong Pipe Masters, December 8 – 20, 2010

Now let’s take a trip down memory lane and compare the tour today to 1990.

O’Neill Pepsi Cold Water Classic – Santa Cruz, USA
Bundaberg Rum Surf Masters – Burleigh Heads, Australia
Rip Curl Coca-Cola Surfing Classic – Bells Beach, Australia
Coca Cola Bottlers Surf Classic – Narrabeen Beach, Australia
Gunston 500 – Durban, South Africa
Life’s a Beach Surf Klassik – Oceanside Pier, USA
OP Pro – Huntington Beach, USA
Quiksilver Lacanau Pro – Lacanau, France
Rip Curl Pro Landes – Hossegor, France
Arena Surfmasters – Biarritz, France
Pukas Pro – Zarautz, Spain
Seland Pro – Sopelana, Spain
Buondi Pro – Ericeira, Portugal
Marui Pro – Chiba, Japan
Alternativa Surf International – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Hang Loose Pro – Guaruja, Brazil
The Drug Offensive Masters – Margaret River, Australia
BHP Steel International – Newcastle Beach, Australia
Hard Rock Cafe World Cup of Surfing – Haleiwa, Hawaii
Marui Pipeline Masters – Pipeline, Hawaii
Billabong Pro – North Shore, Hawaii

Now that wasn’t exactly a dream schedule…six events in Europe and crappy beachbreaks galore. Another thing you will notice is the amount of corporate event sponsors like the Hard Rock Cafe, BHP Steel, Coca Cola and Pepsi. It was a far cry from today’s tour which is essentially controlled by three major surf brands.

Nevertheless, Tom Curren dominated the 1990 season by winning the first three events and more than a third of the 21 events.

Photo Credit: © ASP/ CI/ Scholtz via Getty Images





Top F*cking 5 Surfing Storylines of 2009

18 12 2009
Greg Long plays with perfection in a imperfect year.

Greg Long plays with perfection in an imperfect year.

5. The Recession
Budgets were cut. Surfers were dropped. Employees were sent packing. Stock prices tanked. Brands went out of business. No one was safe from the 2009 Velcro Valley Chainsaw Massacre. In 2010 surf company executives won’t be counting barrels in Tavarua. They’ll be counting their fingers hoping whoever they borrowed from to keep afloat doesn’t come looking to collect. Some say the worst is over. If the fat lady is singing, she’s a little off key at the moment. 

4. The Modern Collective and the Emergence of the New Guard
I’m still no buying the whole “fuck perfect surf for onshore breakbreak blowouts,” credo but you have to hand it to Kai Neville and cast for producing the most talked about surf film in years. It lived up to the hype. Jordy Smith amazed and Dane breezed into the top 10 of the ratings. With the addition of Dusty Payne, half of the MC crew is on the WCT tour and ready to Rock the Casbah. Conversely, Owen Wright might just expose What is Really Going Wrong. 

3. The Rebel Tour
It’s on. It’s off. It’s on. It’s off. It’s ON? Rumors and speculation ran rampant. Nobody is talking about it yet everyone is talking about it. The ASP surfers, with agreements in place to not comment on the situation, are like Skull and Bonesmen at this point. Talk about the Slater/Rebel Tour and ASP brass will don gothic cloaks and give it to you “Thank you sir may I have another” style. If nothing else, Slater forced the ASP to take a hard look in the mirror. Adjustments to structure have already been made and we’ll be watching as the evolution of pro surfing takes a new-fangled shape in 2010. 

2. Mick Fanning Wins Number 2
Say the following sentence out loud. Mick Fanning is a two-time world champion. Repeat. Mick Fanning is a two-time world champion. Now wash your mouth out with soap. Are we Inglorious Basterds for wanting more from an ASP champ? Hardcore surf fans want drunken debauchery and surfing with reckless abandon, not protein shakes, core training and tactical two-to-the-beach jerk off sessions. You have to hand it to Mick regardless. It was a hard-fought duel with best mate Joel Parkinson and Mick came out on top of the bromance. Somewhere in Australia Damien Hardman is doing a Jersey Shore fist pump but secretly hoping Mick (like the rest of us) doesn’t win a third. 

1. Eddie Does Go
The most prestigious event in surfing was held for the first time in four years and only the seventh time in its 25-year history. It was worth the wait. When Clyde Aikau, 60, brother to legendary Hawaiian patriarch Eddie Aikau, dropped into a 20-foot Waimea beast last week all felt right in the world. San Clemente big-wave specialist Greg Long rode into surfing history by beating Kelly Slater. Arguably the best big-wave surfer in the world is from San Clemente. The best surfer of all time hails from wave-starved Florida. At this point I would not be surprised if an Asian driver named Long Duk Dong wins the Indy 500. As we say aloha to 2009, Eddie Aikau is looking down from the heavens and smiling.





The First Ever Nugable Surfing Awards

15 12 2009

Kelly and girlfriend Kalani at the 2008 ASP awards banquet

The 2009 ASP World Tour is effectively over. Today a Pipe Master will be crowned. Three days ago Mick Fanning won the world title in relatively anti-climatic fashion. After months of build up and anticipation it all ended much faster than expected. Rather than a classic finish ala Machado/Slater in 1995, we got surfing’s version of a premature ejaculation.

At season’s end the ASP holds an awards banquet to honor surfing’s elite. They dress up, they drink, they give out awards and the world champion is formally honored. It’s a fine little red carpet affair.

But the ASP should honor not just the world champion, runner up and rookie of the year. There are several surfers that deserve recognition for their effort this year and beyond. Without further ado I present the first ever Nugables.

The Middle School Award—Dane Reynolds

Dane Reynolds is a freak of nature. Could you imagine if he really cared about winning? He’ll most likely finish in the top 10 this year and it appears he’s barely trying. He is not new school. He is not old school. He is middle school. Like 7th grade. He is a like an ultra-smart B student. You know the type that never studies yet still breezes through college? Being a B student is the best. It shows you are smart and talented, but not obsessed. There is nothing more annoying than obsession.

The Michael Corleone Award—Kelly Slater

Remember when Michael Corleone took on the Vatican in Godfather III ? That took balls. That’s effectively what Kelly is doing with his effort to push for the never-say-die Rebel Tour. Surfing is evolving and ASP is struggling to keep up. Kelly is the only surfer on tour with the balls and power to make this happen. He is Michael Corleone.

The 2 Live Crew Award—Jamie O’Brien

Sometimes freedom of speech is a fallacy in America. In 1989 2 Live Crew’s album As Nasty as They Want to Be was deemed obscene by a Florida judge and subsequently banned. The group was even arrested in Florida for performing songs from the album. In 2009 Jamie O’Brien released the trailer of his upcoming film Who is Job. The trailer shows him burning the ASP rule book. Even though he is a former Pipe Master, the ASP tried to ban Jamie O’Brien from surfing in the Pipeline Masters this year. In both cases order was restored and justice prevailed.

The Scooby Doo Where Are You Award—Bede Durbidge

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Bede Durbidge is like a machine. Like a Terminator. He gets very little press yet he quietly makes the quarterfinals or semis in seemingly every event. He doesn’t even have a major clothing sponsor. You know how at the end of each Scooby Doo episode the gang reveals the villain’s true identity? One day I fully expect someone to reveal Durbidge’s true identity as Arnold Schwarzenegger. They’ll remove his mask and he’ll say in a thick Austrian accent “And I wud have gotten away wit it, if it wasn’t for you meaaaddling kids!”

The I-Don’t-Want-to-See-How-the-Bratwurst-is-Made Award
—Marlon Lipke

Germans are known for many things…fine automobiles, beer, classical music, bratwurst. They are not known for surfing. Marlon Lipke tried to dispel this notion unsuccessfully in 2009. He finished last in nearly every event. To be fair, he’s really Portuguese. But that makes little difference to surf fans. We STILL don’t want to see how Lipke’s bratwurst is made.

The Martin Scorsese Lifetime Achievement Award—Taylor Knox

Martin Scorsese’s films are masterpieces. His resume includes classics like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas. Despite these landmark films he didn’t win an Oscar until the 2006 Boston gangster epic The Departed. It was largely believed to be a make-up award for years of snubs by the Academy. Critics jokingly called it a lifetime achievement Oscar. Like Scorsese, Taylor Knox is a legend and perhaps the smoking gun against the ASP’s refusal to implement style in its judging criteria. Can you believe Taylor Knox has won only one WCT event in more than 15 years on tour? Just one. And that was in Brazil. Knox, like Scorsese, deserves a lifetime achievement award for years of being slighted.

The Harry and The Hendersons Sad Farewell Award—Greg Emslie

The 33-year-old South African’s nickname is Bigfoot. Perhaps he was given the name because he has really large feet. Or maybe it’s because a photo of Greg Emslie has never been published in a surf mag. Greg is a super nice guy and a talented surfer. Last week he announced his retirement. The only problem is I’m not so sure he was ever on tour. There are no confirmed photographs of him on tour. He might just be a figment of the human imagination—like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or an attractive lesbian.