Ain’t That Swell Returns, Again


Photos by Corey Wilson

Ain’t That Swell, surfing’s most impunctual and hilarious podcast is back again.

The reason that it’s always “returning”, or “back” is that getting Jed and/or Vaughan on the phone is hard enough, but in the same room? Well, it explains the podcast’s irregularity. When they’re in the booth together however, they make up for what’s lacking across the surfing media, exposing the dirty little secret of the so-called “industry”. Want the scoop? Surfers are, almost without exception, complete juveniles. In the best possible way. So much is done to try and turn surfing into a “sport” on the one side of the freesurfing divide, and an “artform” on the other, but in reality, surfing’s just a great excuse for all involved to skive off, escape from the monotony of everyday life, and never grow up. ATS epitomises these traits to a tee, and delivers them with the sharpest of wits.

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The reason for the show’s most recent hiatus is that ATS anchor Jed has been in Nepal attempting to re-align his chakras with a high altitude cocktail of hash, tea, and staring into the distance (Will it curb his near-legendary rants? Let’s hope not, but time will tell). And at the same time, in complete contrast, Vaughan had been doing the run around at the WSL sanctioned buffet in Hawaii, sucking every last drop of marrow out of his corpo-sponsored meal ticket. This instalment wastes no time in raining well-deserved praise on newly retired GC party boy turned responsible national treasure, Mick Fanning. In fact, Vaughan’s pub rock Fanning anthem (“He won three world titles with a hammy on a screw, he’ll beat Kelly at Bells, drink beer out of his shoe”) may be one of the shows’ wacky peaks. Clocking in at a whopping two and a half hours, you may be thinking, Christ, who’s got time for that? Well, consider how long you spent in front of the webcast in the last few years, and how much joy the voices of Pottz (former world two-foot slop champion) and the gang have brought you? Yeah didn’t think so. Hit play, you’re more likely to crack up than fall asleep.

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