Chas Smith: Beach Grit!


chas-smith-635In today’s episode of Surf Splendor, we chat with writer Chas Smith. Author of “Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell”, co-founder of, friend of Eddie Rothman, enemy of Mick Fanning, Middle East war correspondent, his resume is tapestry of controversy! Gratefully, Chas really engaged in our conversation and offered insight into his past work, motivations, and future projects. Enjoy!

Be sure to check for breaking surf news and acerbic surf wit!



Welcome to Paradise Now Go To Hell


Here’s some background info and spin-off stories regarding Chas Smith’s controversary with Mick Fanning. Uncharted Waters: Bigotry in Surfing by Zach Weisberg on

Mick Fanning and Chas Smith

Link to Chas Smith’s Article on Eddie Rothman in Playboy

Fast Eddies Last Stand


11 thoughts on “Chas Smith: Beach Grit!

  1. sandy olney

    Long time listener (2 yrs – ha!)…love the show. That may have been the best interview yet with Gary Linden. It would be fun to get more “big wave” perspective from Gary…as in, what the hell drives someone to paddle out solo to a shark-infested reef for 3x OH surf. Fascinating. Your show really helps with these somewhat depressing winters.

    Please let us know when you’re in Boston next. Happy to get you in the water! -Sandy, Duxbury, MA

    1. DS Post author

      Thanks, Sandy. Not to mention, Gary’s doing those solo missions in frigid waters at the age of 62!!! Incredible. Thanks for the feedback. Hope to be back in Boston soon. I’d love to experience the surf scene.

  2. Pat

    Excited to hear what you have to say about the scoring in the final as that was a topic of discussion for you guys the other week. I think the final exchange of the contest showed us that it’s more about getting a picture perfect pipe/backdoor wave than what you actually do inside of one. I think that type of scoring is awesome if you are a pipe connoisseur but frustrating for a lot of average viewers. I’m also interested in hearing your thoughts on Filipe Toledo admittedly hawking the rights when his heat had priority to keep Dusty off of them (not that it mattered).


  3. Mike w

    Hey guys,

    I usually think that Scott’s comparisons between the PGA and WCT are fairly insightful, however; the notion that former champs of the pipe masters should be allowed in the event is absurd. I think it’s absurd for two main reasons. 1) Unlike the masters in golf, the pipe masters not only has An event champion but often determines the world title which is an accumulation of all the years events. The masters in golf is a stand alone event only its not part of a bigger championship like the pipe masters. If you want to see the old champs battle it out make a separate event with all of them together that would be epic. Or include them in the trials or something like that. 2) you can’t just keep putting more And more people in the event but not extend the waiting period. More heats need more time to run and nobody want to watch a contest in subpar conditions. I was surprised to see the asp run the trials this year during the pipe masters waiting period without extending it. Keep up the good work I love listening.

  4. Evan Testa

    Hola David,

    Long time “Down the Line” listener and a big “Surf Splendor” fan since day one. I live in Boston so it’s nice to listen to you guys rap out about surfing especially during these brutal winters. None of my friends here really surf so it’s nice to be able to listen to the podcast and stay connected to the world of surfing. I was thinking how great it would be if you could get Eddie Rothman to call into the show. He is so passionate about HI and his latest clip on the Intertia is just another example of how this guy does not hold back his feelings. The North Shore is the last “wild west” scenario playing out in the USA and it is truly fascinating. Let me know if you are ever back in MA and I can dial you into some secret spots.

    Keep up the good work

  5. Dave


    Regarding the Dora comment; Dora seems like a sociopath who is always self serving and doesn’t deem others worthy of judging him. His statement has a kernel of truth which he then exaggerates which is once you submit yourself to the structure of pro surfing you now have to play by the “money man’s” rule. But what he neglects to state is that surfers freely submit themselves to this structure, if you would pay me to surf but told me I had to follow your rules I would say “where do I sign up.” As for all the followers, most people I know got into surfing because it looked fun and is cool not because of the ASP, the ASP is an after thought for a lot of people. Second, lots of people try to surf like the pros because pros rip, the skill level at which pros surf is very enviable to your average surfer. Lastly, a lot of problems the surfing community faces today would clear up if surfing was not cool.


  6. Collin

    I would stop watching surf competitions if they added full production back-stories that cut away like they do for the Olympics. This is the reason why I can’t watch reality show competitions like survivor. Sappy stories like, “My mom died two years ago and I’m doing this for her,” always seem a bit disingenuous to me. Also if you can’t keep it live then you likely will miss the action that you are there to see. A lull can pick up at any minute. Otherwise I might as well just watch a highlights reel.

    I think there is a middle ground where the announcers should be able to fill in some interesting facts about a surfer or a short biography when there is a break in the action but lets not try and turn these surfers into actors.

    -Listening From Hong Kong

  7. Craig Guy

    I really liked the interview with Chas. The reason I bought and loved his book so much it was because it was real and un-scrubbed (by the brands) stories. I hope Beach Grit will begin to move into giving real content about surfing, surfers and the surf industry. DON’T SELL OUT!
    Also I hope you (Chas) start a podcast, you have the voice and delivery to pull that off.
    Bottom line is Surfing, Surfer etc. are just a life style brochures that are barely worth the $7.00 I pay a year to get.

  8. William

    Hi, i’m a big fan of your show from Nova Scotia, Canada. I’m currently on a surf trip to Morocco where i’m stuck in bed due to food poisoning. Thankfully I got your podcasts to listen to. i really enjoyed that last one, I read the book a couple months ago and I highly recommend it.

  9. Daryn Goodwin

    Love the show! Listen to it every week but especially this episode with Chas. I read the book in route to the North Shore to shoot the Billabong Pipe Pro in December. First time there for that but I had been to the North Shore before. Basically like one of the tourists that Chas described in the book.

    It was epic to walk into Foodland within an hour of arriving and be in line behind Gudauskas at Foodland buying a 12 pack of bud light. Or grabbing my morning coffee at Coffee Bean and listening to everyone discuss the buoys at 5am and whether it was going to be ON that day. I guess my point is that by reading the book I felt more like I was IN THE KNOW and it was if I were jumping into the pages. Chas is an incredible writer.

    I will say this, by my interpretation of reading the book I pictured him to be more of a metrosexual and I guess I expected him to sound a little fem for some reason. By the podcast he seemed more like a dude I’d love to grab some beers with. I hope he does get into podcasting too, I’d be hooked for sure.

    PS – I tagged you in a few things on my insta feed lately. Wonder if you had any insight on that funky pickle fork board I took a shot of. Also did some fun video stuff at Blacks I thought you might enjoy.

    Keep up the solid work and I hope your show keeps gaining the exposure it deserves.


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