Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

7 Reasons why being a parent is the best From the world’s greatest father

what youth sott chenowth

Some men and women hate children or find them a tremendous bother. On the surface, it stands to reason. Children require constant attention, get sick, cost money, take away most daylight hours, take away most nighttime hours as well, suck energy, put jam on everything, stomp dry-docked surfboards, get slivers, cry because they don’t want their sliver taken out, cry because their sliver is still embedded, need to get driven from school to soccer to slumber parties until 16-ish, etc. How can be there time to surf or sex with such demands? In reality, though, only the unimaginative father and/or abuse mother will ever let the cost of child rearing detract from the benefit.—Chas Smith

1. Biological narcissism
Young Narcissus, in Greek mythology, became so enamored with his own reflection as it bounced off of a river that he stuck his whole head in and drowned. A parent, staring at his or her own offspring will experience similar awe. The genes, as they re-order themselves in another sentient being, are wondrous to behold. It does not matter if parent is physically lacking or ugly…the offspring, as reflection, inspires. And there is no danger of drowning in a river while staring at this reflection. Only the danger of getting jam smeared somewhere permanent and annoying.

2. Pride
It is a good thing to do something well and, likewise, get praised for doing it well. Compliments, though, are a minefield for the grown up. When people tell me they like my writing, for example, I never take this statement as fact. I think to myself, “Yeah? Well of course you are going to say that to my face…” or “Hmmmmm. Really?” But when people tell me my child is beautiful I know that it is so and think, “Damn straight.” A child allows for pure, undiluted acceptance of adulation. Especially if she is as beautiful as mine.

3. Strength
“Dad strength” gets spoken of and I knew what it was, because my dad could probably still smoke me even though he is old, but never knew how to get it. In retrospect it is obvious. Become a dad. I am stronger than I have ever been in my life and it is a thick, brutal strength. A rough dumb strength. I think it comes from carrying a little baby every single day. The little baby starts somewhere near ten pounds and then grows, slowly, to twenty then thirty then forty then fifty etc. It is so slow and the dad carries always and so his muscles slowly grow too. It is like the parable of a frog getting killed in a pot when the temperature slowly raises to boiling. Such incremental build is not noticeable in the moment but after time the frog is dead and boiled. And the dad is a strange muscleman.

4. Rage
Rage is a fine thing to have and especially when combined with strength. Of course it can get out of control. It can be a fire that burns helpless innocents to the ground or looks very silly when poured out upon a late night barista who happens to use soy instead of whole milk. But it can also be glorious. Since becoming a father, I have roared more people off waves than I can even count. The wave is always twice as satisfying afterward. I know a father who roared once in the surf because someone was in the way and it was accidentally a Bra Boy. At the moment he felt so strong and brave. Later he feared for his life and maybe still fears for it today. Rage makes a man or woman feel alive. And children are the root cause of rage because they make a parent excessively tired thus short-circuiting the parental brain and also create an evolutionary craving to protect them. When cars drive too fast down my street I lose my very mind and slam their hoods, curse their drivers etc. Recently, I tried to strangle a driver but was pulled off by another dad who lived nearby. He said he was only protecting me because, once, he threw a chainsaw at a car that sped by and almost went to jail.

5. Passion
When children come along it is sometimes more difficult to surf or skate or snow or do any sort of pastime. It would maybe be a downer except when a free thirty minutes comes along and I can paddle out it is a glorious thirty minutes. First, it feels very nice. Second, with the strength and the rage, I catch many waves and try to surf each like Sunny Garcia. I try and throw buckets of spray and bury my rails deep and arrrrrgh. I am passionate, now, like Sunny Garcia when I surf and that is very much better than surfing like Michael Dunphy.

6. Riches
I am trying very hard to get rich but there are setbacks from time to time and frustrations. But a child brings riches near. Of course they cost money themselves and in that way, they make a man or woman work and work hard. My head has never been further down, my stronger-every-day shoulder pressing the wheel. I won’t fail. But if I do, my daughter is very beautiful and she can be a model or an actress or a singer and I can be Billy Ray Cyrus. Proud. And rich.

7. Satisfaction
At the end of the day, though, nothing but nothing is as satisfying as an offspring’s smile. It makes up for all the missed surfs, skates, snows, sexes whatever. Because that smile is very beautiful. Only a parent knows that unless the father is unimaginative, the mother abusive. A finely executed, perfectly-timed cutback on a head high wave comes close. But the child’s smile is better eight times out of 10.

what youth bruce brown rip

RIP Bruce Brown The man responsible for surfing’s greatest celluloid achievement is gone, but there’s no chance we’ll ever forget him

I was 12 years old and I remember leaving baseball practice of all things to go see the world premiere of Endless Summer II at the old Peirside Cinema in Huntington Beach. That night was the beginning of the end of my cleat-wearing years. Just me and my dad went and the electricity inside that…

what youth dear youth

Forced Creativity In Musty Place Or, the art of throwing empty pint glasses at a laptop and expecting results

“Writing is the flip side of sex — it’s only good when it’s over.” —Hunter S. Thompson  Editor’s note: Here’s something(one) new. James Royce is a young surfer/writer dude from California who’s been submitting and writing a few things here and there for us. Just another one of us trying to navigate all this shit we…

Do surfing a favor today Let’s all subscribe to the Encyclopedia of Surfing. What’s that? Well, let me tell you

Matt Warshaw writes really long, really well-researched books and articles about surfing and its history. He’s quite maniacal about it all and it tickles me that surfing has someone psycho enough to document its rich history so damn well. Matt has been the editor of Surfer Magazine and written for The New York Times, The…

Would you rather: Lowers or a Pool? The WSL released its 2018 schedule of events and it’s missing Fiji and Lowers but has a pool

There are 840 miles of coastline in California. And while there will be one stop on the 2018 WSL World Tour in California, it will not be happening along any of those 840 miles of coastline. It will be happening in Lemoore, CA. The WSL just released a press release this morning announcing the 2018 World…

what youth issue 19 kader sylla

We’re giving Issue 19 Away Our next Issue is out next Tuesday and here’s how we’re gonna make sure you get it…for free

We lost another classic print publication last week (the regionally great ESM has halted its print edition). We also heard through the grapevine that another magazine in the surf space is on “temporary print hold.” Meaning: magazines are officially gasping for air as our anxiety levels rise with our digital media intake. And that’s fine….

what youth globe new surf movie

Globe’s Cult of Freedom is ready Joe G and his all-star cast of Noa, Creed, Dion, Taj, Nate, BG and EG are back with a new vid

We call our intern “neck tan Nick.” He’s the office shred turkey. And yesterday between watering the plants and taking out garbage and telling us about which local sandbar might yield a fun surf he said, ” I need to watch something sick to get amped. It’s been so small. What’s coming out?” I happily…

what youth growlers 6 costumes

Costumes from Growlers 6 Scott Chenoweth put these ghouls on film. Enjoy the costumes of this past weekend’s festivities

The annual Growler’s 6 festival is one of the best places to spend Halloween weekend. Music, freaks, geeks, costumes, surrealism and us, all brought together by every genre of music you’d ever need. We wandered around and captured some costumes and inhaled a significant amount of halloween spirit.

The Growlers Six Our wild weekend at the LA Waterfront with The Growlers, Modest Mouse, Juvenile, The Paranoyds, Bad Brains, Tinariwen and many more

What a weekend for some surrealism brought to you by The Growlers. We spent the last two days running through the freak show that was Growlers Six (formerly Beach Goth),  a two-day festival of music and circus-like fun. The pre-Halloween festival has become an annual tradition in Southern California and with a lineup as colorful, diverse…

Cam Richards, South Carolina

Southern comfort We’re in deep South Carolina with Cam Richards getting some culture shock

We are deep.  Motorcycles. Fishing. Bowling. Shooting. Beer drinking. And Boating. Facing and immersing in a unique brand of culture that — thanks to Cam Richards and his family — has found a way to brush up against the surf culture we’re all familiar with. Cam Richards has opened up his home and shown us…

what youth dylan rieder mark oblow

Today (and always) we think of Dylan One year on

It’s been one year since we lost Dylan Rieder. But there hasn’t been a single minute in a single day his influence hasn’t been all over us. In everything. From the way we walk. To the way we skate and surf. To how we treat each other. Every single thing. He’s made us better, I…

what youth surfing indonesia nate lawrence photography

How’d this happen? Issue 0019 is somehow a thing coming soon and we really need to surf again

Every single issue of What Youth comes with it’s own insane personality disorder. It walks and talks and fucks with us like the hot babe at the coffee shop who just can’t be bothered. We’re obsessed, but completely frustrated every minute of the day. The smallest details, the biggest details, the weather outside and the…

what youth scott chenoweth ny illustration

Let’s be together When all goes numb, the numb need to get together

I spent the end of last week careening through the perfectly lit and temperate streets of early autumn New York. I ran around with beautiful Hawaiian princess Kelia Moniz and we drank rice wine margaritas, shopped for jewelry and watched golden hour illuminate over the bustling streets as we ate oysters and sipped Stellas. There…

Sign up for letters from What Youth