That’s Bullshit – Chapter 4

Dane Reynolds
It’s been a long time coming. It’s been talked about and discussed, but for some reason never thoroughly addressed. Why? Because apparently no one in the surf industry feels like voicing their opinion. Too much at stake. Too much hassle. Too much walking on eggshells. Too scared that someone’s feelings might get hurt. Well, I just simply don’t give a shit, so I’m going to speak out on this disgrace to the sport of surfing.

I come to you today to help bring an end to something that should have ended years ago: the double-grab air.

Let’s face it: this is the worst air in surfing. It would be the same in any other sport, too, but no one really does it besides surfers. If a skateboarder even attempted one they’d be immediately laughed out of the park, or wherever the f–k they were when someone saw it happen.

I have many problems with the double grab air, and I know I do not stand alone in this way of thinking. When asking aerial surfing phenomenon Dion Agius his opinion of the double grab, he replied with a simple “They suck.” Let’s discuss…

1. They’re ugly. Period. You can’t tell me they aren’t. I won’t believe you, and you won’t believe yourself if you’re being honest. Do me a favor. Drop what you are doing and take a stance on the ground somewhere in the vicinity of a mirror. Now reach down and grab at the ground with both hands in the form of how you’d grab your surfboard to go for a double grab. Now look at yourself in the mirror. You look like hell. You hate yourself no matter how you move around or where the mirror lies. It’s just basic logic. Grabbing ahold of a surfboard with two hands while standing on it looks awkward, horrible, death sentence, the worst, etc.

2. They’re easy. Now this is where I can accept someone doing a double-grab air: when learning how to do airs, and for learning purposes only. It helps you learn to keep your body above your board, and even when launching into oblivion, you can kind of keep control of what you’re doing. Now that you learned how to do airs and you’ve already landed maybe 5 or 10, it’s time for you to end your hideousness and try something else. It would be pointless to try and get better at doing double grabs because no body on earth will ever think you did a good one. You’ll just be ignored as if you don’t even exist in the lineup. People should probably start burning you on every wave.

Clay Marzo
The combination of something that’s ugly plus easy, is what really drags this maneuver down the drain of eventual extinction. The problem is, for some unexplainable reason, I still see capable surfers performing this disgrace to the world. People who absolutely rip and are masters of aerials still occasionally lower themselves to scum level. I’m talking Aaron Cormican, Andy and Bruce Irons, Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater, and even an occasional one from the savior himself, Dane Reynolds. Any one of these people will probably admit that double grabs are lame, easy, and I’m gonna throw in ugly as well even though I’m not positive they all think that (they should). Seeing this list of people, you might almost fake yourself into thinking “If these guys sometimes do it, maybe it’s not so bad?” Don’t think like that. To help you understand, I put together a collection of images that prove even the best surfers look horrible launching double grabs. If they look like shit, imagine what you and I look like doing one. I know, it hurts to imagine.

Then there’s those who I know for a fact would never be caught dead doing a double grab. {{{CJ}}} Hobgood, Christian and Nathan Fletcher, Cheyne Magnusson, Aron Gieger, and the list goes on… they know and respect that the maneuver itself should die just like the chop hop and the floater 360.

Last year I saw Kelly Slater take down Bede Durbidge in the waning minutes of the Bells event by launching a heinous one-foot, wheelie, double grab over a mushy foam section. The judges rewarded him with a wealthy score. Now whether he deserved to win that heat or not, I’m not debating. I love Kelly as a surfer and never doubt his greatness, but it did lead me to believe that even the judges are oblivious to how easy landing a double grab air is. Surely if they knew the technicality of the maneuver, they would not have scored Kelly so high on that wave and Bede would have emerged victorious. Kelly went for the double because he knew there was basically a zero percent risk of falling. That is the definition of what should get scored low in surf contests: Minimal risk, safety surfing. Many people questioned the score afterwards that time. Controversy wouldn’t have existed if he did a mean lien or slob on that very same section, I guarantee it.

And Dane Reynolds. You blessed being you. Why oh why did you have to launch that double grab on a heaving section in France and hurt your ankle, thus taking yourself away from us for months. What are we supposed to do while we can’t watch you surf? Re-watch your old segments we’ve already seen a hundred times? We want new stuff! You did a double grab (I know it was big, but still stupid), and you (along with the rest of us) paid the price for it. We thought you learned you lesson when Christian Fletcher insulted you years back talking about taking your “training wheels” off. I’ve heard you say you don’t like double grabs, yet sometimes I still see a clip of you doing one. This hurts my feelings when you do stupid shit and waste your talent on double grabs.

This column wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t address the most played out maneuver in surfing today, the “kerrupt grab”. Every time I looked over while in Hawaii I would see some hell-on-earth, stickered up board flying through the air, out the back, with a surfer heinously clinging on in the form of a kerrupt double grab. When are you people going to realize how rank these are? The success rate is worse than my average pulling a chick home from the bar. That’s pathetic. Even if you do pull one, it looks so forced and unnatural that it makes me want to violently vomit. I realize Josh Kerr and Taj Burrow were trying something new (and I like trying new stuff) but they varied from the original launches and turned it into something that got lame quicker than eating that Pop Rocks candy.

We could even go into the Gorkin Flip. This maneuver was one of the best, most progressive inventions of the new century. Now even Mike Losness can do them. That means it’s time to move on and progress. How about the one hander Gorkin Flips CJ has been doing for 5 years? He took something that people were doing, and made it better. If you master the Gorkin Flip with a double grab, time to move on to greener pastures.

Asher Nolan
And lastly I’ll mention what you may know as the “Passion Pop”. I’m sorry Wade Goddall. Maybe you didn’t know it’s actually called a varial and skateboarders have been doing it since before you were born. Maybe you also didn’t know, but Phillip Waters actually invented that maneuver on a surfboard in like 1998, and he was doing it without using a double grab. It’s not your fault for naming something that you didn’t know existed so I won’t blame you for that. What I will blame you for is still doing it with a double grab instead of taking it to the next level and using one hand to spin the board around. I’ll also question your creativity on the fact that you land the thing, spin around, then do the gayest little jump 180 I have ever seen, every time. Here’s some food for thought… when you land, you’re still at your natural stance. Why not just do a quick shuv-it and continue riding along the wave? It’ll save you some hassle and you won’t look so goofy. Maybe you already are doing that? I haven’t seen it yet, but I think you’re a good surfer so I would bet you find out a way to do things more functionally.

Ok, so there it is. I said it. The double grab air must die and we need all of your help. I encourage you all to do the right thing. When a double grab comes through your mind, take a second and rewind.

They’re bullshit.


CHAPTER 1: Wavepools
CHAPTER 2: Beach Alcohol Bans
CHAPTER 3: East Coast vs. SoCal