The Inertia Founder

The Inertia

When surfing with friends and the occasion is just right, it gives me inexplicable pleasure to muster my best Joe Turpel impression and attempt a bit of WSL-style commentary to up the stakes. Announce that “[Insert name here] knifed it tremendously on that last one. Baaaack to the power source. Just gettin’ his feet in the wax on his first wave of the day.” Summoning a deep Southern California drawl that I’ve partially assimilated in the last decade and applying it to surf commentary idioms du jour is just good, plain fun. And thinking about what knifing it means is also fun. How often do you knife it? Not enough.

Say you’re surfing with three friends in relative isolation (mock-heat commentary within a crowd is daring and borderline obnoxious, but, hey, you do you), and you’d like to raise the stakes. Wager lunch. Twenty bucks. Or recently, at a team surf at County Line, loser was sentenced to never surf again. High stakes. (JRD, if you’re reading, rules are rules. You can turn in your surfboard. Sorry, bru.)

And in a moment like that, who better to consult than Mr. Joe Turpel himself? He’s molasses on the mic, the Southern California buttermilk, and he’s generously offered some advice on how to properly call your heat. Listen up. Turpel’s mock-heat commentary class is in session:


Set the stage. What’s on the line? What the winner’s going to get? Even if it’s just buying lunch, put that out there. That’s important.

If someone really knifes it, you wanna be consistent with a similar kind of term when you use that word knife.

Be fair when you score your friends in the water. Be honest. Be brutally honest. The integrity of the result is on the line.

You gotta feel it. The main thing is that you’ve gotta feel it.

Oh, we also had the raddest caricature artist to appear on Comedy Central draw Joe’s portrait during said interview. We did the same with Alana Blanchard, Dane Gudauskas, and quite a few others. It was fun. Now, go shame your friends with brutally honest heat commentary!

Video shot by Alex Smolowe and edited by Jordyn Romero.

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