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 

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….

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…

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