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

On the Unthinkable Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson brought us to tears

dear youth mick fanning shark attack what youth surfing

For whatever reason, I’ve been more emotional than usual the last week or two. I feel like I’ve been on the verge of tears at times. For no reason. Just highly volatile. A good inspirational Nike commercial will get me to well up and I’ll have to walk away. No chance at watching movies. People have told me all the astrological reasons and I’m sure that’s part of it. And all weekend it continued. I was kicked out of the ocean by a lightning storm in CA in July. Literally forced to come in by both my own conscious and lifeguards. A man walked in front of a train near my house and I unknowingly witnessed the cleanup and the air went heavy again. But yesterday, after watching Mick Fanning’s encounter with a shark on a live webcast at a wave we’ve all surfed or dreamed to surf, during a final — I popped.

I re-watched the whole thing a million times, looking at every detail, every perfect body movement by Mick (and goddamn he was on point), the commentators reaction, Julian paddling his ass off toward Mick. The boats. The crowd. Every aspect of the ordeal analyzed with hungover, emotional eyes. And then once the emotional interviews went down, and Mick and Kelly started welling up, followed by Julian’s emotional recount, that was it. I cried too.

I was in South Africa all of May, surfing “sharkier” waves than J-Bay with my best friends. Then we went to J-Bay and surfed it too. It was firing. Best memories of our lives for sure. But I’m now forced to think back to all those post-surf beers and chats about how “sharky” it is and how safe you feel on land wearing shoes and socks and it’s all laughs and tough talk. But to hear Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson do it, after an actual incident feels extremely fucking real. I’m personally thinking about all the lonely wide paddle arounds I did at J-Bay and how haunted they feel. It is ALWAYS in your head there. And you’re really at the mercy of planet earth and the fauna, just hoping it doesn’t happen to you or anyone ever. But it does. And to see it happen the way it happened is and will always be one of the most surreal things we’ll  ever witness.

I also think I need to applaud the WSL for the way they covered and handled it all. Probably the first time they actually showed that they are people and not just aloha-shirted robots saying slogans. Pottz spoke for us all when he said, “Holy shit…” live on the air as he watched in horror at the impossible thing unfolding before him. And “Holy shit” is what 100 percent of us said and still are saying. And while now we can get into topics like whether it should be labeled an “attack” or an “encounter” or whatever the conservationists and scientist want to do with that is all fine now, because we all got to keep our family members in tact.

As for the post-game on the boys: Mick and Julian handled it both like professionals and people, a combination I wish we saw more of during competitive broadcasts. But at this stage, that all means nothing. I just don’t care. The only thing that means anything is that they’re all flying home safe (hopefully first class with oodles and oodles of Champagne for winning the heat of a lifetime) and hopefully we all had a good cry together. And it’s probably going to take a few minutes before we decide what’s next. —Travis 

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

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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…

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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…

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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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