Opinion

11.2.16

Opinion

A Case For Off-The-Rack Surfcraft

Sometimes the only thing better than a custom board is walking out of the shop with a sure winner

Of all the quirks that make up the inexplicable delights of our strange little surf world, the romance of the custom-built surfboard might be the most cherished quirk of all. I don’t really know if the market backs up that claim with actual financial statistics or anything, but anecdotally speaking at least, the cult of the

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7.21.16

Opinion

Ocean Floor Mining: The Next Terrible Thing

"The New Gold Rush" doesn't sound so great for the oceans

Because we won’t be satisfied until the entire surface of the earth has been rendered in a never-ending pursuit to greedily dig up things that can be burned for fuel or hammered into profitable metals regardless of the consequences, humankind’s most adventurous profiteers have now set their sights on mining the depths of the sea floor

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7.8.16

Opinion

Hydrofoils: The Mopeds of Surfing

Fun to ride, but don't let your friends catch you on one

“Oh no, not Kai Lenny, too!” was my immediate reaction upon seeing on my newsfeed that Maui’s all-terrain hellman was now an advocate for hydrofoil surfing. I couldn’t help but laugh at Lenny’s choice to pursue the strangest, and kookiest, avenue in surf craft. In no way am I dishonoring the accolades of Mr. Lenny,

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7.7.16

Opinion

Should Beach Access Always Be Free?

Santa Cruz's "Privates" and the politics of public access

God help me. I’m about to argue that sometimes beach access fees might not be a bad thing. Since the 1940s, there has been a locked gate fronting Opal Cliffs Beach, often called “Privates,” a small Santa Cruz beach just east of The Hook, with a soft, longboard-friendly point/reef wave out front, and a delightful

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5.23.16

Opinion

Make Them Charge

Should the 'CT schedule include a big-wave event?

Aside from Medina’s freak double-grab backflip during Round Two (and his 10-earning combo in Round 4), the Oi Rio Pro was a total snooze fest. So like any good (see: insufferable) armchair pro-surfing critic, during the most boring round of the event, I started thinking about the great many changes I’d make to the current ‘CT

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3.1.16

Opinion

Your Surfy Guide to the Candidates

What kind of surfer would each candidate be?

With Super Tuesday primaries being held today, let’s dip a toe into the fetid, disgusting waters of politics to ponder what kind of surfer each of the four major candidates might be, if they were regulars at your local lineup. An ocean-goers voter’s guide follows.   Donald Trump Trump arrives at the beach in a muscled-up

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4.14.15

Opinion

World Title Contenders, Ranked

I'd bet the farm on one of these five locks for the 2015 crown

With the anything-but-quick Quik Pro and the Bells slopfest in the books, predicting contenders for the 2015 WSL crown is a breeze. This is especially true because, unlike, say, baseball, which will occasionally produce champions that nobody on earth would predict (see: San Franciso Giants, years 2010, 2012, 2014) top tier pro surfing hasn’t had

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10.24.14

Opinion

Does Localism “Work”?

A cost benefit analysis

From 30 years of observing guarded lineups across the globe, the first thing I should have told him is that localism is an inexact science. Regardless of how close you live to a spot, or how many years you’ve put in, or how well you follow the unspoken rules, or how good of a surfer you are, you are still subject to the whims and moods of the presiding alpha males—often hair-trigger snap-cases that hand out arbitrary verbal or physical punishment at a moment’s notice. There are never any ironclad guarantees of pecking order, etiquette, or safety. It’s frontier justice, in the loosest way.

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9.22.14

Opinion

What’s in an Acronym?

Don't think too hard about the ASP/WSL rebrand

Predictably, the masses have spoken, and they’re not exactly tripping over themselves in a rush to embrace the ASP’s name change to the WSL. This was expected by the ASP brass. It’s why they made their big announcement at 4 p.m. on a Friday—the time slot typically reserved for the news dump. If you’re going to

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7.24.14

Opinion

The WCT Globetrotters

This version of pro surfing brings Sweet Georgia Brown to the surf

“If you were given a blank piece of paper and told to go off and design pro surfing, what would you do?” —Sean Doherty, SURFER Magazine, July 14, 2014 I’ve got two words for you Sean: Harlem Globetrotters. Do Australians watch the Globetrotters? Can you, Sean, even whistle the tune to “Sweet Georgia Brown”? Nevermind.

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