Chas Goes Right

posted by / Blogs / August 29, 2012

Evan Geiselman. Daytona Beach. Photo: JimmicaneEvan Geiselman. Daytona Beach. Photo: Jimmicane

Follow SURFING’s Chas Smith through Florida to see if his deep-seeded disdain for the Sunshine State is warranted, or if he falls in love.

With notes from the surf and the Republican National Convention

Today, like thousands of corn-fed, gun owning Midwesterners, I head to Florida. I am not from the Midwest, nor do I own a gun, but I go nonetheless. I go because, as a left coast surfer, Florida is a place that I’ve always loathed. I remember getting Surfing Magazines in my mailbox when I was a young boy. I remember being inspired by California and awed by Hawaii and thrilled by Indonesia and totally bored by Florida. Like, bored beyond. When those damned yearly east coast features arrived I would go to my room and cry. The names of beaches, New Smyrna, Cocoa Beach, St. Augustine, Sebastian Inlet, were different but not exotic. The waves looked small but not fun. Tears streaked my cheeks and a hot, hot hatred burned in my heart.

I am older now, and wise, and I have realized, in my wisdom, that carrying the burden of Florida hatred in my heart scars everything else that I do. It damages my relationships and disrupts my very hip je me sais quoi.

And so, today, like thousands of heart medication eating, hairless, elderly New Yorkers, I head to Florida. I will drive from tip to tail. I will visit with surfers. I will attend the Republican National Convention, go to Scientology’s international headquarters, surf New Smyrna, Cocoa Beach, St. Augustine and Sebastian Inlet (even though I’ve heard it’s fallen from it’s former glory). I will experience the Sunshine State and maybe fall in love. Or maybe not. Or maybe go to strip clubs with Republican conventioneers. In any case, you can come with me. It will be reckoning. It will be cathartic. It might be Mitt Romney losing the Mormon plot and shoving sweaty American dollars into G-strings. Tampa is, after all, the strip club capital of the world.

Follow Chas’ Florida adventures on his Instagram, @chasdoesntsurf (#chasgoesright), and here on As with most of Chas’ work, expect to laugh, love or hate.

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  • tom tom

    i understand, thats like how i felt when the brazil issue came in the mail…

  • florida

    …. or you can just turn the f$ck around and go back to wherever you came from? must be nice to have a magazine set you up with everything to do and see, but in reality you won’t like it here, then will have to read about it, like anyone cares what you think anyways, you ride a fish! go f$ck your self!

  • Mik

    Flori’ is, as Floraduh’s.

  • Cali cool

    Born and raised in FL, still here. Our waves suck but after all my travels we do have the best small waves in the world. Anything under head high in most places is soft and weak(Cali) or breaking in 6 inches of water over a reef and you can barely ride them. I agree that we rarely get waves over head high but you can’t deny the fact that most of America’s modern surfing is heavily influenced by Florida surfers… the Goods and Lopez bros, Kech, some guy with a girl’s name and many, many others… so hopefully you ate some good food over here and got over yourself..

  • kbchiefs

    you and the rest of the kooks at the republican national convention should leave before the start of next week

  • Perth surf forecast

    Looks like you had a blast! There’s nothing, nothing more sad than a surfer who used to surf.3

    Perth surf forecast

  • liquid

    “Je me sais quoi”? So hip, so dumb.

    Had the pleasure of reading some of your blogs…most recently the one on Bobby Vaughn…entertaining yes…but clearly you stay employed by targeting the 10-13 year old demographic. I hope you don’t really claim you’re a journalist.