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

I’ll never surf the wave pool Even if Kelly Slater invites me, no strings attached, I will very politely decline. Here’s why:

I have the worst taste in music because of surfing. And yeah, I suppose music is entirely subjective, but I spent my formative years listening to a melodic and generic emo version of punk rock that is now married to my obsession with surfing. And I don’t blame Taylor Steele. I thank him. It has been my life’s pleasure turning all the enthusiasm it created into my own wonderful surfin’ life.

Good friend and (definitely not a surf journalist) Chas Smith just penned a bit of the magic I’m talking about on his website Beach Grit today. And I wanted to reiterate his point a bit, and celebrate the part where he references the “surfing life” William Finnegan created in Barbarian Days and stand shoulder to shoulder with him on it, and explain what I feel everyone seems to be missing from this wave pool stuff (aside from the country club vibes, which are very real too). It’s the fact that we’re assuming the act of surfing is all we’re after. Standing on a wave, alone, riding it. When really, the real chase, the way we create our unique surf life is all in the foreplay. As a surfer, we spend our lives rolling the ball up the hill with Sisyphus stoked as hell that it will fall back down and we get to do it all again because between the bottom and the top is where all the surf magic is created. Otherwise, you’re just standing at the top. Riding a wave. And that’s fine and what we’re after, but that will lead to a misunderstanding of the art of the surf life. That’s what makes us the weirdos we are. Weirdos who knew what MCD, SMP and ASP stood for (RIP). Who earnestly debate whether to use grip or not on the front of a new board. Or understand the technicality and beauty of Justin Poston’s backhand turn. Insane, ridiculous psychotic details that make an otherwise mundane surf check magical. Otherwise, we’re just there, on a wave, riding, the same one everyone is on.

I’ve seen all of you saying that this wave pool is just the same as a skate park and that street skating still exists so I should chill and stop complaining. And I have my beanie off and waving in salute to the technology that goes into this wave and into my phone and into the airplanes I sit on, but I have to tell you I can still find a beautiful existence without them. My life will not improve riding a man-made wave.

A wave pool is probably really “fun.” And what they’ve created is oh so impressive, but you’re still just bottling up what shouldn’t and cannot be bottled. We have a good thing. Surfin’. A thing that uses the planet, for fun, and for making a surfing life. And we’re just trying to fuck it to death. We’re skipping dinner. Flirting. Nervous texting. Hugs. Drinks. Everything that makes living life an art.

So, I sit here today, shoulder to shoulder with Chas, planning a surf trip with him to Who Cares Where to celebrate all the ridiculous things that bring us joy along the way. Including going to the airport. Lugging a board bag. Paying a high sum of money to transport it. And to probably get skunked as all hell. But there will be surfing! And there will also be a lot of good living. Surf living! And I’ll promise you right now that I have no desire to surf the wave and will politely decline should that offer ever come down the pipe. I love Kelly Slater and I think he’s done more for surfing than could ever be asked of him. But I love what you did to “Superman” by Unwritten Law in Good Times more than anything you can or will create with a wave pool.

And right now, since it’s small where I am, and I already surfed, I’ll blast this ridiculous song that I know all the words to and I will think of Shane Dorian surfing small waves in France and wherever else from his part in Good Times. And you can call me nostalgic, but also call me happy. As a clam. —Travis 

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…

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