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

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

what youth dear youth

“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 find ourselves in and make sure there’s a surf or two mixed in. I liked this. Probably because he went into a bar and left with something more than just a good buzz. Anyway, meet James. —Travis

 I’m writing this from a dark spot. Literally. The light above me is flickering. I’m at my local dive bar. A place walking distance from my house. It has all the classic characteristics. Cracked red booths, clientele that could be easily be Beyond Thunderdome stand-ins, a general air of destitute. You’d be forgiven if you mistook it for a truck stop with a liquor license. But the beer’s cold and cheap so I’m happy.

I promised myself I’d have a completed article by now. Five-hundred or something words on something. Anything. A short story perhaps. Maybe a science-fiction drama. Something about a man who invents a time machine just so he can fuck around with the course of history. Give Krotons a bunch of steroids to freak out the Spartans during the first Olympics. Hand Bruce Brown a RED camera then surprise Mike Hynson and Robert August at Cape St. Francis by paddling out on a thruster. Kidnap Joseph Stalin and make him watch Vines Clockwork Orange style. But then I hated that idea as soon as I opened up a word document. There’s no glory sounding like a discount Philip K. Dick.

So I looked elsewhere. Towards surfing. I watched Turtle Bay Resort’s premier awards show. (Hey, Chapter 11 won movie of the year — that’s a bit epic.). But I couldn’t find anything to get fired up about between all the backslapping. Then I remembered Pipe is coming up. But then I realized I barely know who’s in the world title race as I haven’t watched a contest since Lowers (RIP) and apparently a lot has happened since then. Ideas, dead ends, what’s allowed to live and die on the page all meshed into one. Anxiety started creeping in. I was stuck. Frozen. Was it finally time to drive out to the middle of the desert with a suitcase stocked full of various stimulants, hallucinogens, and libations? Do I go for a hard reset?

No. Dramatics never solve a thing.

And that’s how I ended up in the local haunt. This mildew ridden place. Where amenities like color TV, surround sound, and air conditioning are proudly advertised on a sign out front. One man’s daily conveniences are another’s technological triumphs. It’s funny, I’ve lived down the road from here my whole adult life yet have never made a conscious effort to drop in until now. The only reason I decided to saunter in three beers ago was because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Escape the stress. And now I don’t have any desire to leave. There’s no wifi — thus no distractions. The music’s good (new wave hits on heavy rotation) and I have a booth to myself. No one’s shot me a weird look while I pound away on my laptop. I have neither any complaints nor any intentions of leaving anytime soon. Hell, slamming an empty glass onto my keyboard and expecting results might be my soundest plan at this point. Going nuclear on the piss worked for Faulkner, Joyce, Bukowski and a slew of other greats. It’s worth a shot. And once I snap back to reality and realize I’ve failed spectacularly to get a thing done, home is just a short walk away. But I did leave with this in my laptop. It’s just as useful as it is useless. See ya soon. —James Royce    



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…

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…

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