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

Advice from a Failed English Major Put your money where the words are

what youth dear youth books reading

I know absolutely nothing about anything financial. 401K. Four hundred and one thousand dollars of savings that goes into your bank account every year? Maybe. That’s my guess. I know that money helps. I know enough to spew off a few generic statements about how money helps your life but doesn’t provide ultimate happiness yadda yadda blah blah blah. I know for a fact that you always have a choice about what to spend your money on.

Books. I’ve never made a bad investment on a book. It sounds weird for me to say something like that. I’m a guy who failed English two different times in high school yet still tried to major in English in college (I ended up majoring in Film). I’ve always loved irony, and it makes sense now that I think about what I just wrote. But I digress. Books are the best investment.

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I prefer the bookstores that are slightly disorganized. The ones where they play music that you know you’ve always liked but you didn’t know who made it and then you ask the very unassuming guy at the cash register who it is and he says it’s Thelonious Monk or something like that. There will always be a girl who doesn’t like you for being in the fiction section. If you showered that day you’ll probably think it’s because the potent scent of Dove For Men is wafting out of your pores more liberally than you originally thought; or, if you didn’t shower you’ll think it’s because you smell like sweat and dirt. The girl will most likely have a stripe of turquoise hair. You’ve been to these bookstores. They are the best.

The last few books I purchased were at a local bookstore in Echo Park in Los Angeles. The first of these purchases happened when I had to be out of my apartment for a few hours to kill time. Daylight savings had just started. It was weird energy, and I went in and bought a $17 copy of Inherent Vice. I never finished it, but I still consider it a great purchase. Sometimes I pick it up just to read a few sentences of prose, which I can’t necessarily identify to the storyline. It’s like hot lemon water down your sore throat. A simple remedy to ease the pain of depression and the mind-fuck of society.

The second most recent book was more of a pamphlet. The only words I could read on it were “James Joyce.” Joyce is one of those guys who they tell you in English class is instrumental in modern prose and fiction, and they’re usually correct — he never disappoints. The cashier told me that she had to put it on hold because it had an heir about it that made it seem like it was a hidden gem. She called me a week later saying it was mine for the taking. The pamphlet — which was actually a french magazine featuring James Joyce — was falling apart, cost $6, and now half of it decorates the walls of our apartment.

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Most recently added to the quiver of books stacked against the wall in our apartment was Dreams From Bunker Hill by John Fante. I had a day off from work, and I went into the bookstore. I scrolled through the fiction section, and the girl with the turquoise stripe had changed the stripe to magenta. She didn’t glance up at all. I snagged one of the three copies, paid $15 dollars, went to the park down the street and read the first 20 pages. I finished that book in a week and think about it often. I also think about the times when I wonder what to do with the extra $10 in my bank account. Sometimes I spend too much on food. Sometimes I go to a fancy bar and pay $8 dollars for a beer when I know I’d rather just have six PBR’s for that price. But sometimes I invest in a book and it’s worth it. Eventually I hope to invest in four-hundred and one books. The grand total of the $39 I spent in those three trips to the bookstore is a fraction of what I actually earned from the visits — not to mention the knowledge that I am now aware of how strong my body wash is. What I’m saying is, go to bookstores and invest in stories and poems and musings. I promise it’s worth it. —Jeff Alper 

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Right, so the WSL starts again next week And hello, yes, we have some questions and concerns. Five exactly.

It is 6:30 am, picture the scene. It is 6:30 am and the crack of dawn in San Diego and I’m paying for a latte at the coffee shop I frequently go to. “And what,” the barista says as he takes my cash. “What do you think about the upcoming WSL season? What with the…

A quick ode to Uncle Gav Please buy this legend a cold beer. He is a surfing treasure.

Yesterday you heard we went to Samoa and got hit by a cyclone before finding blue tubes and cold beers in it’s wake at Salani Surf Resort. You also saw that Gavin Beschen was there. Well, Gavin flew in from Hawaii by himself, and in true Gavin fashion showed up to the camp solo, 8…

letters from what youth where ya been

“Where ya been?” A little update on our recent movements

Don’t you just love when people ask you that? Well, we do. And people been asking us – especially our mailman, cuz we haven’t been home in a while… so let’s see, where did we go… a little bit of everywhere really. We road tripped up the CA coast in a van thanks to you and…

Youth against the machine I’m so proud of you

Editor’s Note: Last Friday night I got emotional. I was watching recaps of what happened in the world that week and a lot had happened. Part of me was on the verge of tears watching young people, you, the youth, standing toe-to-toe with politicians and paid speakers and paid pros for the NRA, and I saw…

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…

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