Author Archives: Grom

About Grom

Grom surfs North Carolina, and while he's a grom, he's the coolest grom you'll ever meet. We only wish we could surf half as good as this shredder can. He'll be on the net looking for cool and funny surfing stuff, but also talking about what's shaking in North Carolina.

Kelly Slater is the COOLEST, According to GQ

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GQ Kelly SLater FEB

Kelly Slater Rocks the Cover of GQ

So I was walking by my local newstand and, uh, is that Kelly Slater rocking the cover of GQ.  WTF is going on here?

So I find out out he was named one of the “Coolest Athlete” of all time.  Yet another award for the greater surfer of all time.   I wonder what he likes more, the cover of GQ….or starring in the “Surf’s Up” episode of the Girl’s Next Door at the Playboy mansion…

Here is what GQ had to say about the cover:  GQ names the 25 “Coolest Athletes of All Time” in the February issue — the icons remembered and revered for their grace and style, and for playing the game like it was an expression of themselves. We thought you might be interested to know that Kelly Slater is featured on one of nine separate covers of athletes past and present. GQ asked both friends and family of the magazine to weigh in on why they’ll never tire of watching these individuals race, win, and score and William Finnegan puts Slater’s inimitable swagger into words: “In a sport where hot kids constantly push the aerial envelope into outlandish new realms, Slater has never stopped innovating. He almost seems to get younger, looser, more original with the years.”

Toes on the nose with Google Garth, Nintendo Wii balance board

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Ridiculous surfing consumerism part 7,532….

Ok, so first of all, the Nintendo Wii balance board surfing is about as close to surfing as a computer can get.  But why are these 2 german dudes from the center for artifical intelligence riding over mountains….I dont get it.  Check out this vid.

Get out of our house, Yahoo! Jordy Smith Rodeo Flip the BEST MOVE EVER!!

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YahooWhy is it that people who don’t surf are narrow-minded? Check out this link to a Yahoo video talking about how a Rodeo flip is the “best surfing move ever.” No doubt it’s extremely hard, but I don’t think it’s the best surfing move ever, it’s too… blah… it doesn’t flow with the wave… I don’t know, I’m probably just jealous. Just read the comments below the video on the Yahoo page and laugh your ass off when you read stuff like “knarly” and other kookish things.

A Kook’s Guide to: Not looking like a kook while walking up to your break

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(Sorry Mr. Kook, I know that kookiness is your domain, but I had to do this subject – Feel free to put up any posts using the title “A Kook’s Guide to” if you want…)

Disclaimer: This is a parody meant to be read by real surfers. But read this as if you were a clueless kook. That is the the only way that this post will be funny. You have been warned.

1. If you are in wetsuit weather, walk up with your wetsuit hanging around your waist. It’s a sign that you are too cool to put on your wetsuit fully until you know that the waves are good, and therefore not wasting energy, but you are still somewhat ready so that you can be out before anyone realizes you’re a kook (in the water, though, that’s a different story).

2. Stand on the beach and watch the waves for half-an-hour (time may vary depending on wave size). All the pros do it, so why shouldn’t you waste your time looking at the waves, seemingly thinking about rip-tides, paddle-out points, swell direction, drift – only losers do that! Besides, you’ll look like you’ll know what you’re doing (that is, until you get in the water).

3. Hoot and holler whenever a perfect wave peels down the line or someone already out does something incredible. Only hardcore surfers and crazy people hoot and holler for no apparent reason, and with a surfboard under your arm, people will think you’re a hardcore surfer.

4. Stick those stickers on them boards – not only will it cover the dings that you’re too kooky to know how to fix, but you’ll look like a sponsored hot-shot who can rip (again, until you get in the water). *

*I take no responsibility for black eyes in the line-up.

How to video: short board pop-ups

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Above is a video, starring yours truly, showing you how short board pop-ups are done.  Yes I was very bored.

I’ve seen the Youtube videos, and how misleading they are… I’m that sure most of you have seen the video where the guy brings one foot up, then the other. That’s a big no-no.

I’ve been where you are confused about figuring out how to get into a standing position without using my feet to prop myself up.  It should be done in one smooth motion. You know how when you first start off on a longboard, you use your toes to prop yourself up and hop to a standing position? Well short board pop-ups are exactly the same. Except for one thing: Your knees take the place of your toes.

Let me break it down for you:

1. Place your hands on the deck and arch your back, like a normal pop-up.

2. Instead of propping up on your toes, use your knees! Focus on keeping your feet up and out of the way until you need them!

3. Push with all your upper-body strength and use the space between your chest and board to swing your legs up underneath you.

Again (whistle). Again (whistle). Again (whistle). Again (whistle). Again (whistle).

What not to do with surfboards on top of your car

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WIPEOUT!!!

A lot of people are idiots. Even surfers. This guy is a great example of a surfer who didn’t get his daily dose (let your imagination figure it out…). If I was that guy, the first thing that would go through my mind as the car started tipping is “Oh sh!t!!! The surfboards!!!” Forget the fact that his car is probably somewhat screwed, the boards would have been my first, and last thought. And even though the crash itself was gnarly, the worst part (yes, I know it was funny) was when the car rolled completely over and you could hear the boards cracking. Wooh! I just got the chills again! It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it! What, exactly was this guy trying to accomplish? His quiver is completely ruined now, so that surf session he had in mind won’t be happening.

I’m sure that the guy who was filming it agrees with me.

“iJoy” watching people make fools of themselves

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An all time low for board sport trainers, the iJoy balance board looks like the biggest waste of money. Ever. Really, you just stand on it, and you set it to an intensity (if that’s what you want to call it…) and then – BAM! – it shakes! That thing looks easier to balance on than solid ground! Maybe if it kinda teeter-tottered and wobbled, it would be of good use, but this… meh. An Indo Board (which I have, by the way, and give a full endorsement) would be a much better alternative, and it’s tons more fun! You can actually do surfing tricks on it. The iJoy is more like riding a skateboard down a gravel road. It’s just plain ridiculous. I guess for those people who are like: “Hey, if I can balance on this than I can surf!” Well whatever.

Work on that Elvis shake!

Sprout: Surfing Movie Review

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Recently, my parents (I’m still a lucky Grom who lives with my mom and pop) started subscribing to Netflix, and amazingly enough, they stock a pretty impressive collection of surf movies! One thing led to another, and eventually I opened my mailbox, totally stoked to see “Sprout” waiting patiently for it’s next client, who will no doubt: Pop it into their DVD player, rewind it a few times, pause it for an hour while they do something else, and use as a coaster. “Sprout” is directed and produced by Thomas Campbell, who is pretty well known when it comes to surf movies, and it’s easy to see why. This particular flick is not your average half-an-hour of surf porn, instead it is a lightly narrated, light-hearted feature that captures the essence of soul surfing. Most of the movie is based in Southern California with the likes of Alex Knost, Joel Tudor, Dan Malloy, Dave Rastovich, and Rob Machado – among others – where a lot of nose-riding, drop-knee turns, and waist-high point breaks are the norm. The movie also goes to Australia for a while, where the same kind of surfing takes place. There are also instances where the twinny’s and quad’s come into use, and the occasional shortboard. The wave action remains small, that is until the group of surfers head to the East Indies for some more serious surf – while the surfers themselves still remaining light and playful. There are many other locations that you’ll get a glimpse of as well.

If you are open to the retro styles of surfing and enjoy a chill, artsy fartsy movie, you’ll enjoy “Sprout.” And even if you are that mean shredder who will only ride their thruster, you may still like this. Plus, there are a ton of extras worth watching as well.

Nice Racks!

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I don’t know about you, but I seriously had a problem sleeping at night knowing that my precious boards were leaning precariously against a wall. It grinds my gears. But you know what? I decided to make a place wear my boards could sleep at night, feel protected, and not get dinged. So I grabbed a pen and made an elaborate blueprint that was scaled down to every inch. It would serve as my guide to creating epic racks.

All you need is:
– PVC piping (I used 1 1/2 inch)
– PVC T-fittings
– One PVC 90 degree elbow
– PVC end caps or elbows
– PVC primer and glue
– Foam insulation
– Toggle bolts and/or Lag bolts (like a big wood screw)
– Piece of wood running the length of rack right below it (I used molding – you could use something like 1X3)

All of these materials are (or should be) available at your local hardware store, for under 50 big ones.

If you want to have an extensive rack that’ll hold more than three boards, you’ll need a lot of PVC pipes. I had 10 ft. of pipe and made a three-board rack.

What you want to do before you start is think about what types of boards you’ll be holding. You don’t want to make the arms of the rack 3 ft. high trying to hold a 10 ft. log. Do the math, it isn’t gonna work. I chose 5 ft as a good height as I’ll be able to put longer boards on it, but still will be able to put smaller boards on as well, although I would’ve made the arms probably 4 ft. high if I only had shortboards.

Measure the space that you want between the arms and cut accordingly, and do the same with the arms. Next, put together the pipes using the T-fittings and elbows (just like K’nex). Make sure you have all the joints lined up, and take it apart again so you can glue the pieces together, this way they won’t fall apart once you get it on the wall.

Now, tape that foam on, and measure and level out the spot where you want it on the wall. Remember that piece of wood that I listed in the supplies? Yeah, now you’re gonna nail that into that wall, this way the PVC won’t roll once it’s on the wall. Drill some holes in the PVC, and if you’re using toggle bolts it doesn’t really matter where it goes, just spread them out, and don’t thread them into a beam (that’s what the lag bolts are for!). Put on the rack right above the wood, resting on it.

That should be about it! Stick any end caps that you have on, put your boards on it and dance around! The rack arms may wiggle it bit, if they do and that bothers you, tie a string from it to the ceiling (as seen in picture)!

Foam for thought: The forgotten link

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While I was surfing one bright, summer morning, I decided, “It’s only going to be knee-high, so I’ll bring my longboard so I’ll be able to catch the waves.”  That morning the water resembled a mirror, and every so often a sizable stomach-chest high bomb set would roll through.  They were definitely shortboardable, but I had my longboard.  But when I would take a few hard strokes, stand up, and glide down the face, as though caressing the wave, and stay with the beauty of nature almost all the way to the shore, it was the most fun I had had in a while.  I’m not saying that I’m going to go cold-turkey on shortboarding just because of that experience, I still enjoy riding my shortboard and gouging lips, and having the freedom of moving around to anywhere I want on the wave, but sometimes, instead of racing up and down the wave, and accomplishing quick turns, it takes a smoother line, and a conservative approach to be able to see the wave unfolding right before your eyes.  It’ll re-fuel your soul, and keep you from burning out.  What did the ancient Polynesians do?  I bet the way they maneuvered around on a wave was similar to the way a Pelican would glide right above the wave’s face.

I guess my question to you is, why do you surf?  I’m sure that the first time you rode the line, you stared at it in disbelief.  You felt the energy of the wave flow underneath your feet, pushing you up making you feel light as a feather.  I’m not telling you to sell all your shred sticks and buy a log, but I’m just saying that maybe, with all the tricks and maneuvers that the surf industry is making the norm, maybe we should just all take a step back and enjoy the ride every once and a while.

A Kook’s Guide to: Driving with your surfboard, without looking like a kook

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Disclaimer: This is a parody meant to be read by real surfers. But read this as if you were a clueless kook. That is the the only way that this post will be funny. You have been warned.

Unless you’re the lucky bastard who lives a stone’s toss away from the beach, most of us have to drive to get to the beach, and – most of the time – we have to bring our surfboards with us (although there is that crevice beneath the pier…). Here are some tips for you kooks for driving with your surfboard (yes, it’s possible).

1. Make sure you have roof-racks. If you don’t know why, then you’re definitely a kook. Sorry.

2. Buy a surfboard-fastening kit from your local surf-shop! Not only will you look cool driving around with the name of a surf shop on top of your car, but you’ll also be $20 poorer!

3. Fins forward and up. It’s what all the pros do (if they drive), so you should too! Wait, will that make the car try to turn around? (Gulp…)

4. Throw shakas! Everyone will think you surf if you throw shakas! Even if you suck (at surfing, that is)!

5. Park illegally. Only pansies pay for parking, right? Who cares if you get towed? People’ll think that you’re hard core! Duuuuuuuude!*

*I take no responsibility for enormous parking tickets.

Don’t skip the beach when it’s “Flat,” Soul Ride!

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With a little luck, hard work, and hope, you can turn a flat day of surf into a very memorable session. Let me explain.

I showed up at the beach at 7:30 am, and met up with three other friends of mine. I, who looked at the forecast and expected small – if any – surf, brought my glorious eight-footer (all my friends brought shortboards or fishes). We looked across the white sand and into the early sunlight and saw NO waves… except a small line of whitewater a couple hundred yards down the beach, so we hit that spot and for a good one-to-two hours and enjoyed consistent little waves. The water was silky smooth, and gliding down those waves on a longboard is sooooo awesome (after all, it is the feeling that got you hooked on surfing in the first place!). Riding a longboard on a small day can make you realize how much fun knee-high surf can be! Don’t be so narrow-minded! Save the shortboard for waist-high and bigger.

Afterwards, we decided to get some chow. Unfortunately, when we came back to the beach, the high tide had swamped it, so all of us agreed on walking to the south end of the beach (a good mile), and paddle across the inlet to Masonboro island, because, it’s “magical.” But on the way there, we stopped at another spot by the pier and saw a fun-looking waist-high wave roll through. By now, we were hot and sweaty from walking all the way down that we decided to go in right there, and for a good half-hour we surfed again. But high-tide was creeping up on the sandbar, though, and the nugget-of-a-wave had almost disappeared, and that’s when we continued our voyage to Masonboro.

It took a sketchy, ten-minute paddle to get across the inlet, but we made it without getting run over by a boat and were greeted with more glassy knee-high waves, and a few dolphins thrown into the mix. After that one-to-two hour sesh, we paddled back (equally as sketchy as the first time) and I was horrified to find my pack (which I left on the other side of the inlet) ravaged with ants! (I mean, ants on the beach? How!). I was so ticked off! My food (PB and J!) was in my pack! I was hungry and thirsty, and last thing I want to see is my food covered with ants. But someone from above was watching and made sure that that morning, while getting my stuff together, I put my sandwich in a ziplock bag! That’s right ants, ZIPLOCK! I swear, that was a close call. However, the sea-breeze had kicked up by now, and the surf looked like crap (more so than before). Of course, we opted to walk back up to where we started off and share a pie of pizza at the local pizzeria.

Long story short, I got back at 4 pm wiped-out from knee-high surf(?).

Tandem Surfers: Loved by Themselves, Loathed by Others

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What could be better than holding up a female counterpart in a gymnast-like pose while surfing on a wave? Not much. Except maybe getting the barrel of your life, or launching a 360 air – well, that’s what the regular surfers say. They want to do what the tandem surfers do, but they don’t want to commit to riding a longboard and learning how to hold someone up instead of actually surfing. To be honest, there’s nothing really spectacular about tandem surfing. You could do it in any situation: Riding a skateboard, Oh, lets hold someone up while we do it! Rollerblading, yes , we could hold someone up while we do that too! Walking to the grocery store, lets change things up a bit and carry someone on our shoulders! It might be a good thing to do just for variety, but then, like I said above, it’ll take some time (and some skill from the holder-up-ee). And it’s kinda hard to look up while you hold your partner up anyways, so what’s the point?

If you’re a tandem surfer, good for you! You do something that most surfers don’t do!

But there is some elegance, I just don’t like the wave being wasted in such a way.

They’re still just your average pro.

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While watching the recent ASP World Tour event at Trestles on the interweb (Gosh, when are they ever gonna get on t.v.!), I started to notice one trait that pro-surfers possess that has seemingly drifted past the majority of us “mortals”: Pro surfers are actually human. Yes, it’s shocking, but true. The curtain of movies, highlights, magazines spreads, and youtube clips that has been drawn over our eyes actually hide the truth that surfing is hard – even for pros. It’s sorta like how Hollywood celebrities are perfect, and that every single person wants to be just like them, but in truth, they have lives too, and it’s pretty gosh-darn-hard trying to be perfect 24/7.

But back to surfing – while I was watching the clips, I realized that pro-surfers wipeout a lot – They don’t nail every snap, they don’t land every air, they don’t get spit out of every barrel, jeesh I even saw Kelly bog a rail, eeek! “Well, they’re just having an off day,” some would say, but is it really? They could be on top of their game and still screw up (you know you do, liar). I guess with all those surf movies having only the most impossible clips, it’s hard to imagine them doing anything other. Now, I’m not, in no way, saying that us average Joes can rip as hard as them average pros – remember, they have the competitive skills to summon waves at a second’s notice – but maybe they’re just a little bit closer to mortality than we’re led to believe.

Unfortunately, I failed to find a photo of Kelly eating it.

New STPLxAirwalk™ shoes review.

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If you surf, chances are, you skate. And if you skate, chances are, you spend a lot of your hard-earned cash on shoes. Well, during this back-to-school season (Oh crap, that’s tomorrow) Jeff staple released a new line of shoes combining style and functionality into an inexpensive skate shoe. $30-$50. A lot less than you typical pair of Nike’s or Etnies. So now you’re probably thinking, “Okay, so it’s a piece of crap shoe that’ll fall apart in the space of a week,” but you are mistaken. These shoes are comfortable, and have a low arch that accommodate most people’s feet, the area in front of toes (think ollies) are covered in a rubber material, the laces are thick, and somehow, they are one of the lightest shoes that I have ever worn. I guess the sole is made out of different rubber than other brands. If only they had stitched the soles on, would I have been completely happy when I fist saw the shoe. Note of caution, the area around the ankles was a mesh material, which could cause a rash, so I suggest wearing socks that cover your ankle. What concerned me the most, however, is the grip on the bottom. It’s very shallow and wears out fast, I can see it getting slick, especially when wet. So darkslide with caution.

I tried out these shoes on my skateboard, and my longboard. It worked really well on my skateboard, I even felt my ollies go higher thanks to the lighter soles. and after a few weeks of trying to do tricks, the shoes have held up. On my longboard, they are nice and light and don’t get in the way of cross-stepping and such, but the grip could be better for sliding and carving.

All-in-all I think that this shoe is great if you are tight on cash, and is comparable with more expensive shoes. I think it’s really worth it because most shoes fall apart in a month anyways, so why get an $80 pair of shoes?

They are available exclusively at Payless.

Ugh, I think I just barfed in my mouth a little – courtesy of tourists

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WB 09 from Matias Ferrario on Vimeo.

Yeah yeah, I know, “at least they’re having fun.” Well at least they could’ve kept their little vacation a secret by not making a movie on Vimeo. I was just searching for some cool local surfing vids, and what do I find? The latest episode of Kooksville? Of course, I chuckle at this video in good nature, realizing how good I have it to live close enough to the beach that I don’t need to make a ridiculously edited video every time that I go. But what are ya’ gonna do? Everyone surfs nowadays. Everyone.

The music just gets on my nerves.

Stuff Surfers Like

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How was your day? Where there any waves? Where there any good waves? Or perhaps your day hasn’t even started yet, in which case you have no (or a slight) clue if there are waves or not. Well, whatever the case, since you must be on the the interweb, do yourself a favor and check out this groovy blog that I discovered sometime ago. Stuff Surfers Like would get you through a flat spell – if only they had more frequent posts, but alas, each post is a piece of art in itself, displaying weeks of carefully thought-over sentences (unlike my own crappy literature) that discusses stuff that surfers like! Easy! So go check it out. Like now. Before you forget. What was that website again?

Kelly is at it again

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No, he’s not dominating the tour (at least, so far…), he’s making boards with crazy recipes one would use to make special yogurts (yummy)! This time, he’s fusing the natural shape of a manta ray with his recent designs such as the Wizard Sleeve and the Tangent. How does this thing ride? I have no idea… and not even Surfer Mag knows!  But I sure do really want to try it out! One of these days, Kelly’s gonna come up with something that will change the way surfboards are made as much as the thruster did.  This is an exciting age to live in!

Well… umm, this is awkward.

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Hilarious but also, very, very true. If the beast awakens in board shorts, there’s no hiding it, your open for the world to see. But I don’t really see would super-stretch would help – you know… The best kind of material would be like baggy and wrinkly. Anyways enjoy this clip of the common adolescent being all too… adolescently. Yes, I am an adolescent. That’s why I’m a “grom.”