That’s Bulls#!t!: Mute the Commentators

posted by / Blogs, That's Bullshit / August 5, 2010

Mute Grab vs. Slob Grab

Mute Grab vs. Slob Grab


This morning while watching the US Open webcast, I witnessed an extreme lack of understanding by the commentating panel as they attempted to name the air Owen Wright performed in his heat.

After initially stumbling trying to put a name to Owen’s maneuver, commentator Peter Mel settled with calling it a “Mute grab,” and he was wrong. It was in fact a “Slob grab” that Mr. Wright had so beautifully spun around.

While I respect Peter Mel for his big-wave heroics and overall personality, he knows little when it comes to aerial maneuvers. The other commentator, Rob Machado, also (self-admittedly) knows next to nothing when it comes to airs and different grabs.

Meanwhile, over on is a feature giving lessons on how to do airs and explaining different grabs. They too, with the help of Kolohe Andino, Evan Geiselman and John Florence, managed to butcher the identification of a Mute grab. The screwed-up part is that there isn’t one single Mute performed in their little video. All were Slob grabs, which is baffling when you consider they just recently they did a segment on the Slob grab in the same series of webisodes.

I’ve tried to explain this rocket science before and it obviously didn’t stick, so I’ll try again. Below are the proper skateboarding definitions via Wikipedia. Since skateboarders were doing them before surfers, they get to name them, not us…

Mute Grab. PHOTO: CareyMute- Performed by riding up the transition, ollieing and grabbing with the front hand on the toe side of the board between the feet, turning backside, and landing.

Slob Grab. PHOTO: Lawrence
Slob- Performed by riding up the transition grabbing with your leading hand on the toe side of the board between the feet, launching off the coping turning frontside, and landing.

I have to note that whether or not a person grabs slightly above or between their feet on either of these is irrelevant. On a skateboard you’re forced to grab in between your feet because otherwise you’d be doing a nose grab. A surfboard obviously has much more rail length.

This really is not hard to understand folks. You will never hear an analyst of any other sport screw this kind of shit up. You should never hear an analyst of surfing do it either.

I’m calling bullshit.



If you want to learn more about other correct names for grabs, the resources are available. Here’s two links:

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  • Obermeyer


  • rubadub19

    Ive been skating for a little while now, and was in the notion that a mute grab was just a grab with your front hand on the toe side of the board, just like an indy is with the back hand. wouldnt it still be a mute if you just did it to fakie. idk just thinking out loud. dont believe everything you read on the internet kids.

  • Jimmicane

    @ rubadub, it’s not an Indy if you do it rotating frontside. That makes it a frontside grab. The positioning of the hand might be the same frontside or backside but it’s still a different maneuver because of how you approach it. Think about it. What would you call a lien grab going backside? Surely you wouldn’t say you did a backside lien.

  • jimmicanes hero

    who cares…just let the surfing do the talking…

  • tybee

    chill out

  • says

    Jimmicane. You are lame. Shut up, and let YOUR surfing do the talking. Pete can get his big fat ass way high in the air on small days, and if you had half a brain, you would know that. I will take Pete misrepresenting an air or two verbally, but still be able to get through a heat he happens to be MC’ing, even though he’s 41. Better to be able to do the shit than name it, don’t you think? The only slob air you got goin’ is out your mouth…

  • O Boy

    if this is all surfing is going to be in the future, it is LAME

  • Stan the Man

    Surfing Magazine is becoming more and more childish and petty with every issue. Really? An article about the commentators making a mistake. Poor guys have to sit there jibber-jabbering all day and it’s not like they’re professional spokespersons.

    The Surfline call-out is probably justified though. Are those how to’s the keep running actually helping ANYONE. “Uh…you need to get some speed…and go up and…uh, do the air…the one we’re talking about…i think.”

    Now THAT’s childish.

    Come on guys. Isn’t there anything else going on in the sport?

  • googlemouth

    who gets their information from wikipedia and then turns it around like its the expert source of knowledge on skateboarding airs. that shit is user generated, i highly doubt any serious skater spend their time updating wikipedia to make sure that the descriptions of the grabs are correct.

  • White toast & bacon

    Fact: Skateboarding was directly spawned from surfing, and surfing’s aerial forefathers (Matt Kechele, Kevin Reed, John Holeman, etc.) were, in turn, inspired by skateboarding maneuvers. I think considering all skateboarding has done to elevate the consciousness of high-performance waveriding to what it is today, the least we can do to return the favor is get the names of their grabs right. No matter what you think of his delivery, Jimmy’s right… mutes are done backside, slobs frontside…

  • White toast & bacon
  • mezzz

    ahhh, even tho we had to keep a muzzle on you at times we miss that hard truth at the ol’ office back east, jimbo.
    sometimes the truth doth hurt like it should.
    and Taras did’nt look THAT much like a big fat ass to me last time i saw him.
    but i didn’t know he could launch airs either…

  • Steve Briggs

    So Jimmiwank are you a Skateboarder or a Surfer? Sure seems like you know waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much about Skating. How do you like your skinny jeans where you look just like Alex Knost?
    I have never seen such a “critic” with so little credibility to back up what he says. You are a product of the digital/internet era where you don’t have to do shit to back up what you say. Get the hell over yourself and shut up. You’re from Florida, right? Do you know how to spell the word “Humble”?

  • Insight

    Potato, Po-tah-toe… who cares. I guess these are the things people who can’t perform tricks care about. Like those who don’t write novels becoming grammar nazi’s over the internet.

  • Ruddy

    Fuck that! Surfing’s evolving faster then ever, it’s import that it’s judged, and commentated properly. Jimmy just laughs at these outrageous comments, because you people don’t know shit!

  • EB&D

    Seriously Jimmicane, if announcing is so easy then go give it a shot. That might actually be a match made in heaven — or otherwise you’d learn some humility right quick.

  • Freddy Hartley

    This is something that maybe 5% of surfers can even understand or ever relate to. If you’re after that 5%, fine, but the other 95% will not get onboard…

  • Jimmicane

    You guys are right. Let’s forget about learning the names of maneuvers. That is way to much to memorize. I’m going to erase my vocabulary of those 10 or so grab names I learned to make room for a foreign language instead.

    Let’s all just talk about surfing like brain-dead retards so we continue to match our stereotype as surfers. Especially the expert analysts. They should definitely not know names for what they’re discussing. I surrender. I’m on y’alls side now.

  • Alex K.

    No the other 95% will pretend like they get it and copy the 5% who do. That’s how surfing works. Pretend pretend pretend.

  • Who cares

    Who cares what it’s called, or even how somebody does it. Surfing used to be personal expression, now it’s about tricks. Surfing is now about tricks, how does that sound? Sounds stupid to me.

  • Mike

    Quack Quack Quack…pull in get covered…what else is really important…..

  • Vinícius Maciel

    Holy shit! Just me thought this post is cool?

  • no cando

    the fact that you care makes you a huge kook. sorry bra.

  • CS

    your right jimmi.. all these fools like the stone age. bunch of terrorist

  • ripship

    Jimmi- I think these experts out there need to get it right or else they’re just saying Sh*t.

  • Chase Garrett

    Jimmy you are the man! haha i love how these people click on the article named’ “That’s the bullshit” and then complain about it being childish or that its dumb you care. People read your stuff knowing what its going to be about and then they get all pissed off hahaha. You should just start writing super bogus stuff and see how long people get all pissed off! haha…

    and I would be amped to see you wear skinny jeans like a skateboarder, that would be pretty funny!

  • brian minkler

    So fucking what! Get over it Dude. All that matters is there was great surfing this morning. I’m Real glad that you know all of your air names. You need to get outside and off your computer Kook, Here’s an idea, why not spend the amount of time wasted on this blog, and blog about the positives of the event. Being a hater is to easy. How about a blog on how amazing the event has been. The whole week.

  • dsurf

    i completely agree with jimmicane

  • kris

    keep up the good work jimmi

  • Sean Davey

    Here, I present to you folks; Surfing that IS absolutely personal expression, yet, it is futuristic in “do you know anyone who can do this?….well, do you?….. With what he’s doing in this little vid that I found on facebook, I’m calling Derek Hynd one of the greatest surfers ever. Yep, I called it. I’m not sure what Jimmycane will make of it,but I’m sure you’ll all be pretty blown away by what you do actually see here;

  • name

    This article is legit. You gotta name it right if u comment on it. BUt what is more important than this is how surf mags call front grabs indy’s. An indy is only when ur bacsyde.

  • Troy Kurtz

    we don’t call cutbacks floaters do we…

  • Confucius Says…

    @Jimmicane. I am confused. Believe me, it’s a rare occurence. What would you call a frontside alleyoop grabbing with the front hand on the toeside rail. I guess it would be a mute grab spinning that way (like backside) but also should be called a slob grab because it’s frontside. So, it’s be a combination of both slob and mute. Should we call it a SLUT(E) grab? Comments? Questions? Solutions?

  • ray

    Too bad 80% of the general audience doesn’t even understand the general process of how waves are scored. Maybe you could have just been constructive about this small oversight and contacted Peter, but you sat in your taxi driver sandbox filling with anger. I am thinking its time to move on from this magazine into a clinic where you can “talk about your issues” to some professionals. If you are unable to communicate with others, I fear you may become a danger to all of us. Just lay down in the lounge chair and talk about things affecting your life like “grabs.” Let it go.

  • Jimbo

    Much ado about nothing. Actually 9 times out of 10 the commentators offer really knowledgeable comments on the heats, for instance why certain competitors are performing better or worse. I could give a rip about whether they get the name of a particular maneuver right. Woopeedoo

  • Da New Guy

    I know you mentioned it already but, INDY GRABS CANNOT BE DONE FRONTSIDE!!!! ONLY BACKSIDE!!!!

  • says

    So, what we have here from all the people who watch or do these moves saying, well, we can’t agree whether Pete or Mac got it wrong. The real consensus, at least I can gather, is that those that support Jimmicane think that if we think he is a tool, we aren’t livin in the “future”. Well, folks, we all live together out in the water right now, called “the present”. Being from Pete’s side of the block, I have a tendency to get a little defensive of a guy who can do most of the manuevers he is watching, even at his age. So Jimmy, I leave you with this. This is only the second time I have read this stupid blog, and the last. As a sports writer or cynical editorialist, you suck, and I believe Surfing has made a bad move with you. Basically, you sound like one of the groms who can’t quite cut the mustard in the lineup talking about guys who have put their time in that have both talent and longevity. Hopefully we will see you in the water up here, you will meet alot of us dinasaurs, oh yeah, and guys that can do the shit you talk about. Best of luck with your “future surfing lingo”, Jimmicane. Looks like it will get done in your bedroom at mom’s house…

  • Gooey!

    should have just messaged Pete and Company the facts, not come here and BLAST him!

  • Nick Carroll

    Look I love an opinion as much as the next flailing, biased superbigot … but jeez jimmicane, it musta been a thin week for bullshit if a couple of surfers mixing up skate move terms is at the top of the list.

    Surely — given that we’ve just seen the well-known surf rich nation state of SINGAPORE elected to the membership of the International Surfing Association … that the past week at Huntington must have been fuller of foul behavior than a trade show in Las Vegas … and that for some reason, being a surf journalist these days qualifies you to receive emails from publicists telling you about such vital consumer purchase items as Puma’s latest Blue Suede Shoe line — there’s better targets for your magnificent bile than this!

    I say raise the Bullshit Bar.

  • Westside

    Jimmicane wants everybody to worry about grab names not THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF OUR SPORT. He like most of you journos(in every aspect of society) are just puppets for the powerful. Your sole existence is to represent the CORPO nation. Its easier to argue about grabs than address what POPOUTS have done to SURFBOARD industry in AMERICA and thats the REAL BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!

  • juanmiguel

    ON top of that commentators were boring and annoying to hear, only Coté put some fun into the mix.

  • revolver

    i guesse a mistake isnt that bad really.
    what does it matter ,aslong as you know what it is it shouldnt .. i watch surfing not listen to someone who is analyzing it.

  • matt mcd

    who gives a sh*t you f**cking loser

  • SLS Billy

    You trippin, they’re both just grab-rail reverses. This is surfing not skating or snowboarding.