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

Country Club Surf Culture Why I want nothing to do with the WSL and Kelly Slater Wave Co.

what youth kelly slater wave pool caddyshack

All day today there’s been a lot of hype, speculation and excitement around the WSL’s specialty event at Kelly Slater’s wave pool. I’ve spoken to people at the wave and people who rode the wave and people who attended the event — some invited and some not invited. We’ve texted with Kelly (who I must say has always been very accommodating to our ridiculous questions and concerns), some bystanders and gotten a glimpse inside with varying degrees of success. And while it’s definitely a bizarre spectacle they’ve created and has surely started a never-ending conversation that I’m going to have with every one of my relatives this Christmas, it’s becoming something I want nothing to do with.

Now don’t get me wrong, as a surfer, you’d be lying if you weren’t a little buzzed watching that thing peel down the line. It’s surreal. A fucking dream wave come true. But I get the same way when a car splashes in my gutter and makes a mini wave peel. Same reaction. We like to look at waves — I’m cursed by it. I watch skim boarders on Instagram cuz the waves look cool. But after getting my glimpses at what’s going on behind the very closed doors at the Wave Park: I just don’t have any interest in their elite surf country club or the sterile events they’ll be holding inside. Did I hear Coldplay is playing? Coldplay? Fuck that.

The way this whole wave-pool-WSL thing has been introduced to the world feels slimy. Elitist and weird. And while I can’t argue that riding it, watching it and the general excitement around the whole thing is noteworthy, I get the same quesy feeling I get around private golf courses and churches. Or when I hear the awkward clop of flip flops. I just don’t think I can buy into this cultish wave pool culture. I’m happy to stick to what I’ve got in the ocean. It’s never gotten old. Not once. Even the flat spells, obnoxious tides, difficult travel, shifting sandbars and reef bounces — that’s what keeps me around. The unknown. The fun. All I know about my chances at riding a wave in the KS Wave Park include waiting in line for a wave and a post-surf grape soda where I’ll undoubtedly be surrounded by corporate executives in WSL polos looking to buy a wave park of their own. And I’ll hack my golf ball down any old street before I pay to play that course. —Travis 

What?! 😮 @filipetoledo #TheTest | @kswaveco

A post shared by World Surf League (@wsl) on

This just happened 😮 @john_john_florence @kswaveco #TheTest

A post shared by World Surf League (@wsl) on

“I just walked into the future” – @stephaniegilmore | #TheTest @kswaveco (Swipe ➡️)

A post shared by World Surf League (@wsl) on

Outside the Comfort Zone San Francisco to Florida to the North Shore to “The Other Guys.”

It’s been one of those days. Weeks. Years. Hell, six years. I haven’t used my own soap in three weeks. My bag of clothes is soggy. I miss my bed and I’ve seen three time zones in a week, but I’ve surfed, talked, laughed, drank, filmed and even worn a headset and done commentary for…

Media Model Subsidy Line Noise Ordinances and surf video making with Mitch Coleborn, Harry Bryant, Nate Tyler, Colin Moran and more

This morning we received a note on our front door reminding us that this town operates under a noise ordinance and that we may have been in violation during our first night here. And I may know why. You see, we lucked into an AirBnb that’s equipped with a pool table in the sun room, and last…

what youth harry bryant surf trip

Well, you’re hired We reached out to you and you delivered. Now it’s time to go

Holy shit, it worked!  The idea hatched over a pitcher of margaritas the other night is a reality. And it’s all because of you. You have officially funded the What Youth California ramp hunt and now the boys are ready to send it. We’re starting tomorrow and making it official: The What Youth film project,…

what youth surf trip kickstarter

Wanna help Produce our next film? We’re making a WY surf vid and we need liftoff. And that’s where you come in.

Remember “We quit, we’re poor” and all that when we started What Youth? Well, not much has changed: still pretty passionate, still pretty strapped. But we we wanna keep creating. And we need your help to get this fire started. As you read this, there’s a bunch of us assembling for some reckless abandon on…

dear youth david bowie has a book club

David Bowie Has A Book Club Maybe 2018 won’t be terrible after all

When history looks back at our bizarre little era, it will agree on one thing: Everything went to shit real quick right after David Bowie died. It’s baffling how quickly reality unraveled after David Robert Jones left us in early 2016. Muhammad Ali, Prince, Tom Petty and a whole bunch of people you really like passed…

Quiksilver has acquired rival Billabong In the least shocking headline you’ll read today

I know this headline isn’t as good as: “Iguanas are freezing and falling from trees.” Or “It’s so cold that sharks are dying.” But we’ll give it a shot. Quiksilver and Billabong are now owned by the same company. This was posted last night by our fabulous friends and drinking buddies and hard-hitting journalists at…

Hunter Martinez, San Francisco

2018: Fitter, Happier…still on antibiotics Here we go again

To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and our world – and at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are…—Marshall Berman 2018 and I woke up strange. My FICO score changed (for the…

Blake Myers, Noa Deane

Save What Youth Dot Com And the rest of our little digital realm for that matter

I have loads of nasty habits. I drink six cups of coffee every morning, I let my wetsuit ferment in the back of my car because I’m too lazy to rinse it out, and I’ve caught myself watching the Oi Rio Pro un-ironically on several occasions. But there’s one stupid, habitual quirk I do every single…

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 a 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…

Sign up for letters from What Youth