You would be forgiven for thinking the gossipmonger lives a singularly glamorous existence. Hollywood generally depicts us wearing the latest in Franco-Japanese fashion, sipping chilled Cosmopolitans, answering bejeweled flip-phones with one hand while typing on vintage Macintosh PowerBooks with the other. And while I do own a pair of Comme de Garçons trousers, I must say our daily lives are much more mundane.
The gossipmonger, you see, doesn't actually have time to pamper himself. He must always be finely attuned, ears pricked, listening for even them most subtle whisper carried by warm trade winds. He must constantly walk the tightrope of being friendly but never actually having friends. He must have the patience of a saint, willing to trust his sources and his gut even in the face of overwhelming odds.
Last week, for example, I shared that Kelly Slater would return to competition in Portugal. Many scoffed and the 11 x world champ himself took to Instagram to deny but I still believe and so should you. Truth is a lonely warrior.
Which brings us to today. I have a rumor that will part your hair, or rather had a rumor that would part your hair. One of my sources hedged late last night and I refuse to serve unsubstantiated titillation for the sake of titillation alone. The gossipmonger must hold himself to the highest of standards. Standards I wish would be shared by the rest of our surf media.
And would you permit me to share a particular frustration I have with today's climate? The hunger for clicks, for virality, has blurred the line between "truly great" and "pretty good." Take for example the recent discovery by Naxto Gonzales and his friend Kepo Acero. Oh their story is pleasant and well-told, the wave they discover is interesting, unique, dreamy even. It also looked too fast, very difficult to get into and too fickle. All considered it is a wonderful adventure but to describe it as "one of the biggest virgin scores of the last decade" as Stab magazine did is as hyperbolic as it is silly. Stab's twin flame, The Inertia, felt the need to go one up by calling it "better than Mick's discovery The Snake."
Excuse me? What are they putting in Venice-adjacent's water?
Mick's discovery was an otherworldly phenomenon. I happened to be with Martin Daly when it was revealed to the world, a man who has discovered more wonderful waves than anyone alive, and he was blown away. We both had theories of where it was, of course, and his was likely right. We spent a good hour staring at his computer screen as he slowly dragged his cursor over satellite imagery, moving bay by bay by bay until re-discovering it. I began to mentally tally the cost of both getting there and exploring around it. Mick's wave was the sort that changes history or at least alters a life's natural trajectory.
But our need for a new best has shoved The Snake into the forgotten mists even though we all first saw it less than a year ago. Now we have Naxto's and tomorrow we'll have another breathless superlative. Is it too much to ask that we pump the breaks a little and savor the truly great while also appreciating the pretty good? If we don't calm down I fear we'll all become like the hyperactive trend hoppers near Abbott Kinney. Many bracelets, rings, necklaces, accessories. Hats. Etc.
Do you want to look like that? Me neither.
[Editor’s Note: The Weekly Grit is a trash fire of rumors, opinions and indulgence by BeachGrit founders Chas Smith and Derek Rielly. Their views do not reflect SURFER’s, although we do find them very entertaining.]