Tag Archives: billabong

Mainstreaming: Not Just For Vampires Anymore?

Photo: ASL/Jarrason Bitton

Photo: ASL/Jarrason Bitton

Arguably, one of the most magnificent and heartening things about surfing is its unchainable cool. Truly not giving a damn, yet harbouring, deep down, the utmost in passion. Having few resources and finding a way. Looking and behaving in manners not suitable for most dinner parties. Unless you’re amongst like-minded diners. Which, thankfully, most of us are. So, the question is, can Woolies ever be a like-minded diner?

Read about big corpos and surfing here on ASL.

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It’s that time of year again…

The 2011 Billabong XXL Award winners will be announced Friday, April 29th in Anaheim. As usual, the wipeouts inspire sympathy pains. Check out Thiago Candelot at Jaws and click that screen shot for more…

Click to see the rest of the nominees

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Birthday Month and Mad Science

November is what I like to call “Birthday Month.” Not only is my birthday (favorite day of the year, duh) this month, but so are the birthdays of several of my favorite people. Mom, I’m looking at you. The moniker is made even more appropriate (and relevant) by the fact that Water, Water will also be a year old on November 12th.

B.M. seems like the perfect time to get a little eccentric, so I’ve come up with this experiment. It’s based on a crackpot theory I have that surfers can recognize other surfers. I think it’s partly due to instinct, partly to keen observational skills (probably honed by constant lineup vigilance). RVCA hat, toned triceps, deeper base tan than most New Yorkers, less-than-perfect hair: pretty solid indicators. Nothing infallible, however. This is where instinct comes in. We have a vibe. Or maybe it’s a pheromone. Liable to be imperceptible to other species, it signals our presence to those in the know. Much like how bees are genetically capable of sniffing out fear, surfers are genetically built to ID other surfers. I am the best ever analogy creator. Anyway, that’s my theory. So here’s the fun part: I’m going to put it to the test.

For the next month, every time I see someone who my gut tells me is a surfer [within the confines of New York City] I am going to ask. I’m also going to ask if I can take his photo, so that I can post it here for you (all four of you) and maybe–just maybe–it can be like a game. You tell me if you agree with my assessment, and I’ll tell you whether your surfer radar is better than mine. I might rub it in your face if it’s not. But wait… shit. If your radar’s off, that kind of disproves my hypothesis. Whatever, let the creeping on innocent, Billabong-wearing strangers begin!

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Surf 24

I can’t tell you how awesome it was to see Shaun Tomson or Sam Trammel at Surf 24 on ISD.  But I can tell you how eerie Huntington Pier, weirdly, is not at 3 a.m.  I can tell you how there were guys in mummy bags sleeping (or trying to) on the sand, and how tired watchdogs were checking for wristbands, but unwilling to chase anyone down who couldn’t show one.  I can tell you that the waves were slightly sloppy, about waist-high.  That they crept out of the darkness and picked up many a resolute rider, powering through the witching hour.

I can tell you that Billabong ultimately won, but that the mood, at least in the middle of the night, was one of drowsy solidarity.

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2010 XXL Wipeout Nominees

As you may have noticed, I have a thing for wipeout footage.  It’s not that I actually enjoy watching it – it makes me cringe – but there’s something sickly fascinating about watching a particularly nasty wipeout.  And these are  absolutely brutal.  Shipsterns must be the gnarliest wave.  Ever.

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Billabong Odyssey & XXL Awards

The idea behind Philip Boston’s film Billabong Odyssey is really cool: assemble the world’s most notable big wave riders, dispatch them to exotic locations in search of enormous swells, and hopefully, that elusive 100-foot monster.  The documentary is a little bit choppy, but there are lots of compelling moments, like the end: Mike Parsons suffers an insane wipeout at Jaws.  A few minutes later, he catches the colossus that ends up as the film’s opening sequence.

The footage from Teahupo’o was actually one of my favorite parts; those wipeouts and over-the-falls clips are agonizing.

In related news, Billabong held its 10th Annual XXL Awards at the end of April.  The Biggest Wave Award went to Sebastian Steudtner for his ride at  Jaws on December 7th, 2009.  Check it out:

Even more related news: Read Zach Weisberg’s blog post on big wave surfing and the industry.

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STILL FILTHY, Occy at Sebastian, and My Unsolicited Soothsaying

This is almost as awesome as the movie itself!

My totally unprofessional, Still Filthy-based prediction is that REUBYN ASH is going to be huge.  His SF section is nonsensical.  I don’t know, like I said, I have absolutely no authority to make these kinds of wild conjectures, but I just have this hunch that he’s gonna blow up.

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