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Totalitarian: Wedge lifeguards’ iron fist!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Newport Beach's most iconic wave gets Nazified!

You know the Wedge, that dirty old Wedge, Newport Beach’s most famous wave? Well of course you do! It is the source for endless amusement amongst surfers and non-surfers alike. When it gets rolling you can be certain that the sands will be packed with slack jaws watching the brave get pounded.

The brave used to be mostly bodysurfers and bodyboarders. Surfers, though, have taken to the place more and more and more. Jamie O does it. Dion Agius does it too. But if they try today they may get locked up in prison next to OC gangstas.

The Wedge, you see, has always been a blackballed jam during certain hours for certain seasons but, as voted by Newport Beach’s City Council last night, the lifeguards now have the power to raise the flag any time they deem fit.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night giving lifeguard officials the power to blackball, or prohibit, hardboard surfing off city beaches whenever they determine that conditions are unsafe for swimmers, bodyboarders and users of skimboards, which are small flotation devices used in shallow water.

Such power! Such un-American values! Will the surfers revolt? Will they spray paint The Bill of Rights onto the bottom of their hard boards? Will there be a “Surf Lives Matter” movement? Should we start it right now?

"Dirty Old Wedge" Teaser from Jack Murgatroyd on Vimeo.

Quiksilver Wipes $600 million debt!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

And announces plan for string of megastores with live music, barber shops… 

In a few weeks, the iconic surf brand Quiksilver will emerge from the cocoon of chapter 11 bankruptcy 600 mill lighter in debt.

According to SMH.com, “Under the reorganisation, US-based Oaktree Capital Management will swap its debt for equity, reducing Quiksilver’s debt from $US900 million to $US300 million and freeing up funds to enable the company to rebuild after six months in limbo.

“‘The Chapter 11 process has given this company the chance to have another life,” Quiksilver president Greg Healy, a former Melbourne Football Club captain, told Fairfax Media.’When we filed for Chapter 11 the global entity had $US900 million in debt. Chapter 11 allows us to reduce debt by $US600 million – we’ll be in a lot better shape,’ he said.

“Given a new lease of life by Oaktree, which will own more than 90 per cent of the company, Quiksilver is closing underperforming stores in North America, winding up or renegotiating contracts with athletes and licensees, restructuring its supply chain, rebuilding relationships with suppliers, and reducing the number of products by more than 20 per cent.

“As well, Quiksilver also plans to roll out a new retail format called Boardriders after successfully testing the concept with a handful of stores in Australia, Japan, Europe and Russia.

“Boardriders stores are around 750 square metres – three times the size of Quiksilver’s average store – and have barber shops, live music and hardgoods such as surfboards, skateboards and snowboards as well as Quiksilver’s full range of apparel and footwear brands.”

Do surf shops with hair salons and bands excite or do they repel?

If you had the keys to the brand, what would you do?

 

Read the full story here. 

Kelly Slater Saves Doomed Family!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Surf Photog nearly loses wife and kid, gains famous pal… 

If your kid and gal were washed across the Kam Highway by a rogue wave, who’d you want to be there to scoop ‘em up? How about Kelly Slater? A ludicrous dream, no?

Yesterday, the photographer (and maker of the classic Tension bodyboarding films) Chris White’s little family, wife Sarah and son Van, were swept off the bike path that runs along the beach by one of those great North Shore pulses.

And Kelly saved ‘em.

Chris wrote on his IG account: “So thankful the surf gods denied @kellyslater today cos for whatever reason he was right there to save my wife and kid who were swept across a road by a freak wave today. Forever grateful to the great man and so thankful my family is alive and safe 👊🏼 ❤️💙 Thanks to all the lifeguards too who saved many lives today… So so lucky there was no was no cars at the time as the Kam Hwy is always busy. Van was strapped into the pram and was swallowing water and sand – his ears and mouth ended up full of sand. So lucky Slater got to the pram and tipped it back up. Sarah is pretty bruised and scraped. Safe to say her phone didn’t make it. Could have ended so badly.”

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Kelly, who’s as adept on social media and punching the keyboard on his telephone as he is saving lives, wrote: [email protected] thank you! I didn’t look at it that way but for some random reason I stopped there when I normally don’t and happened to be there. Lifeguards were on it either way and had it handled. So glad all is well and we can (someday) laugh about it. Van’s first wave was a huge one! Definitely a WA baby!”

Do you think Kelly was secretly sad that the family rescue didn’t happen four days ago, in time to usurp Adriano De Souza’s wedding?

Do you also think that Kelly should be more expensive than eight-mill on Fantasy Surfer?

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Watch: Road to the Volcom Pipe Pro

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Final episode! It’s an emotional rollercoaster!

Have you been watching Red Bull TV’s four-part series Road to the Volcom Pipe Pro? Cameras orbit the Volcom Houses at Pipeline where you see all the benefits of cloistered confinement: the army-style discipline, the lack of comfort, the dirt, the monotonous idleness, the heats won and lost, the immense weariness of it all.

In this episode, number four, the series comes to an emotional conclusion. Anchored by a banter between the team’s coaches Matt Bemrose and Dave Riddle, we see Volcom teamriders Miguel Tudela, Dusty Payne, Mitch Coleborn, Carlos Munoz, all under perform at the Sunset Beach WQS and miss out on qualification.

As the Peruvian Miguel Tudela slumps over his car, a solemn voiceover announces: “In surfing, wins and losses are each determined in a span of split-seconds even as each inevitably has the kind of impact that will last far longer… For Miguel Tudela one decision on one wave has ended his run at the Vans World Cup at Sunset. But now, the challenge will become turning this setback into something useful.

“An experience (pause)… a lesson (pause)… and a moment he grows from.

“(Long pause.) Next season and all the seasons to come… “

How can you not be moved, maybe even to little tears?

When Dusty loses he says, “I want to go home. Home to Maui.”

The voiceover swings in: “Disappointment is undeniably one of the things they sign up for.”

But then a Pipe swell arrives, just before the contest!

Cue voiceover: “A surfer once put it simply and perfectly. The best thing about waves is they never stop coming.”

Road to the Volcom Pipe Pro is as earnest as a basilica but is wrapped in a tenderness that makes it impossible to ridicule.

Do watch.

 

Blood Feud: Nick Rozsa vs Sage Erickson!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Ventura catches fire in this glorious edition of Blood Feud!

You know Sage Erickson as a very fine surfer and also cute girl. Apparently she has a right hook and also a left! Photographer Chris Papaleo’s Instagram feed turned violent today and boy howdy! I can’t say that I understand any of it, frankly, but who cares! I am in Miami at a hedge fun conference and don’t understand any of that either!

This Blood Feud starts with a picture of Nick Rozsa surfing a sizable wave taken by Chris Papaleo. The caption reads:

@nickrozsa waist high barrel at one of the secret spots right off pch. #elnino

Simple enough until Sage swings in:

What’s the point of your caption @chris_papaleo @nickrozsa ?? I’m really interested to hear.

Chris answers:

my feeds been flooded the past two weeks with photos from the same spots over & over again. @sageericksoncertain people just took the caption way too personal when it was unintentionally directed at anyone in particular

And Sage responds:

Well you should unfollow the people that are flooding your feed instead of having a jab at them. I think it’s super immature and unfortunate to see your use putting down “friends”. To your point it was an un called caption that got a lot of un called people involved. @chris_papaleo@nickrozsa

Enter Nick:

@sageerickson why are you tagging me in this shit?

Sage, maybe justifiably confused, counters:

Um your in the photo? That’s you isn’t it? @nickrozsa

And then an unforeseen haymaker from Mr. Rozsa:

Do you just sit and troll on Instagram all day? @sageerickson leave me out of your drama. I’ve got nothing to do with any of this. I know that’s the kind of shit you’re into and always have been since the day I’ve known you. Keep my name out of your mouth unless you got something nice to say. As for the photo not everything revolves around you or people you know. Stop taking everything so personally and maybe you’d understand what the fucking post was about. #growthefuckup

And she’s staggered! Or is she? Sage gets off the ropes to say:

I think your message says a lot more about you than me. Sounds a bit personal. @nickrozsa

But Nick ain’t finished:

@sageerickson oh really? So I’m the one who’s been going out of my way to call people out on posts that having nothing to do with me? Seriously sage? Who started all this bullshit in the first place? Oh that’s right you….. Who said something? You….. Who took it personally? You….. I’m not taking anything personal, I’m simply stating facts. The best part about all this is that it has nothing to do with you but you had to get involved. You had to say something huh? Couldn’t keep it to yourself? You know why because you think everything revolves around you. There’s life outside of Instagram…. Go find it.

Sage, bloodied but unbowed, jabs:

Once again your reactions show a lot more about you and the enthusiasm to personally attack somebody, it shows a lot of dignity. Really honorable. I was simply defending my brother whom the caption may or may not have been about but he is definitely apart of the small group that is describes. Shame on me. Ha. @nickrozsa

To which Nick uppercuts:

I’m just “simply defending myself”. Lol. I’ve got bigger things to worry about in my life than trying to start drama on Instagram. I know you’re a super star now, but honestly no one is trying to start anything and the very fact that you think so shows more about your personality . Once again grow up.

Following it with another haymaker:

@sageerickson why can’t Noah ask us what the caption meant if it bothered him that much? Why do you have to go and make assumptions of what it meant and then come on here and cause a scene and unnecessary drama?

And another jab:

@sageerickson what happened to calling people on the phone or talking face to face about problems? I guess those days are over. Instead we deal with our problems publicly so everyone can see and hear what’s going on. If you were as mature and honorable as you say you are you would have avoided this entire situation and maybe tried to make a phone call or personally speak with someone you had a problem with.

And another uppercut:

That goes for Noah as well. @sageerickson if Noah has a problem with the caption he’s more than capable of calling us and asking us what Chris meant by it. He doesn’t need his little sister to come rescue him or defend him. I’ve known you guys for a long time and I’ve been a friend of your brothers for a long time. The lack of maturity in this entire situation is actually hysterical. If this is how you guys deal with your problems that says a whole lot more about your personality. Do everyone a favor. Next time you have a problem be an adult, pick up the phone or wait until you see that person to discuss your problems. Don’t go out and publicly make it everyone else’s business.

What a combo! I’m tired are you? Let’s go get a vodka soda at the bar! It’s raining outside but still warm and totally glorious!