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

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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.


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.


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 


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…

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….

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