It’s truly a case of #NewYearNewMe for the Ain’t That Swell tribe, even if they did start a little late.
If you’re in anyway familiar with the comings and goings of Jed, Vaughan, and the handful of miscreants that make up the Ain’t that Swell entourage, then you’ll know that they’re anything but regular. Until now. The boys are pumping out episodes at an alarming rate, this latest installment being the third of the year, and it’s only midway through April.
Whether it’s the increased time staring at each other in the booth, or a symptom of the boys entering a new period of enlightenment, Jed post-Nepal and Vaughan post-mmm something, I’m not sure, but the episodes are only getting better. This week, surfing’s odd-couple are joined by one Robert Bain, former world tour surfer and Northern Beaches royalty. This one genuinely had me in stitches. Moments of notable hilarity include Vaughan’s latest in a long line of awkward Kelly Slater encounters (he got confronted by the G.O.A.T at Bells when he had a fish taco in one hand, presumably free of charge, and a lime in the other and somehow managed to squeeze the lime in his eye mid-hello) and KS’ bizzarre Harry Styles suicide tequila retort, Jed getting in a biff with the WSL security down at Bells and being threatened with a lifetime ban, and Bainy finally coming clean about the rampant bong-indulgence in the good/bad old days of the tour.
It’s always a bit of an issue trying to come up with some kind of visual accompaniment to Ain’t That Swell, and this one’s the third episode in a row that they’ve yammered endlessly about Mick Fanning. I’ve exhausted my MF photo archives, so instead chose the shot above, taken during the year that the Fiji Pro got so monstrous that the world’s best all called in sick and stayed in their burrees (it’s briefly mentioned during the show). What’s notable about the above photo is the little glistening dome in the bottom left-hand corner of the shot, scrambling for the horizon as Mark Healy’s gun prepares to meet its doom. It’s Vaughan! The Forest Gump of surfing wasn’t about to miss the swell of the century!