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 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…

what youth growlers 6 costumes

Costumes from Growlers 6 Scott Chenoweth put these ghouls on film. Enjoy the costumes of this past weekend’s festivities

The annual Growler’s 6 festival is one of the best places to spend Halloween weekend. Music, freaks, geeks, costumes, surrealism and us, all brought together by every genre of music you’d ever need. We wandered around and captured some costumes and inhaled a significant amount of halloween spirit.

The Growlers Six Our wild weekend at the LA Waterfront with The Growlers, Modest Mouse, Juvenile, The Paranoyds, Bad Brains, Tinariwen and many more

What a weekend for some surrealism brought to you by The Growlers. We spent the last two days running through the freak show that was Growlers Six (formerly Beach Goth),  a two-day festival of music and circus-like fun. The pre-Halloween festival has become an annual tradition in Southern California and with a lineup as colorful, diverse…

Cam Richards, South Carolina

Southern comfort We’re in deep South Carolina with Cam Richards getting some culture shock

We are deep.  Motorcycles. Fishing. Bowling. Shooting. Beer drinking. And Boating. Facing and immersing in a unique brand of culture that — thanks to Cam Richards and his family — has found a way to brush up against the surf culture we’re all familiar with. Cam Richards has opened up his home and shown us…

what youth dylan rieder mark oblow

Today (and always) we think of Dylan One year on

It’s been one year since we lost Dylan Rieder. But there hasn’t been a single minute in a single day his influence hasn’t been all over us. In everything. From the way we walk. To the way we skate and surf. To how we treat each other. Every single thing. He’s made us better, I…

what youth surfing indonesia nate lawrence photography

How’d this happen? Issue 0019 is somehow a thing coming soon and we really need to surf again

Every single issue of What Youth comes with it’s own insane personality disorder. It walks and talks and fucks with us like the hot babe at the coffee shop who just can’t be bothered. We’re obsessed, but completely frustrated every minute of the day. The smallest details, the biggest details, the weather outside and the…

what youth scott chenoweth ny illustration

Let’s be together When all goes numb, the numb need to get together

I spent the end of last week careening through the perfectly lit and temperate streets of early autumn New York. I ran around with beautiful Hawaiian princess Kelia Moniz and we drank rice wine margaritas, shopped for jewelry and watched golden hour illuminate over the bustling streets as we ate oysters and sipped Stellas. There…

what youth cluster surfing movie

We have Cluster Nostalgia Mitch Coleborn came over and fired us up for more of this

It’s no big secret that there’s still a scythe-toting grim reaper hovering over the formerly fun and care-free surfing industry. And it’s pretty easy to get caught up in that, as it does impact us all in some form or another (how we get our gear, watch our vids etc). But it isn’t as dire as…

Sign up for letters from What Youth

By enabling this page, you are acknowledging and accepting our privacy terms and conditions.