Back To Top
Beach Grit

banner

Ace: “I was Former’s first customer!”

Adam Jara

by Adam Jara

Guess who got the hottest shirt from the hottest brand?

Former.xxx went live this morning with a cryptic image that you have seen on their equally cryptic @luxury29.99 Instagram profile. Except it wasn’t really live. The website designer apparently did not know how to put the thing damned thing behind a wall and so it was there for everyone to see except accidentally. Very much not like the couple humping in the Standard New York’s window on purpose. Very much like a geriatric man that forgot he had curtains and stood in front of his bay window nude.

Once posted on BeachGrit, a technically brilliant commenter, aptly named Extreme Nonchalance, discovered a link to the store hidden in the nethers. For a short amount of time anyone could go ahead and purchase a new shirt, sweater, or beanie to support their new favorite brand!

As the morning unfolded, I decided to follow the link to the store and see what Dane, Austin, Craig, and the rest of Former had been working on for the last few months. Right away the theme of the brand became clear. As my friend Maggie aptly put it, “the vagueness is so interesting.”

Agreed!

My wardrobe consists of mostly black and white so their digs will fit right in between the Sketchy Tank and plain black tees from Footlocker. Win, win. Hurrah for minimalism.

I’m a slave to posting my happenings to Instagram, which I promptly did, of course tagging @luxury29.99 that my purchase had gone through. Hooray! One of their first customers! Welcome Former!

About forty minutes later, I received a message from @luxury29.99. It stated the following.

“Haha. Hey this was a mistake. We’re not meant to live yet. We can’t ship this just yet but we will. If you don’t mind please don’t post anything else if that’s cool. How the hell did you find it? We’ll send you some extra goodies for the love. Thanks dude.”

I promptly responded, in a flurry of excitement, enlightening the Former lads that Extreme Nonchalance had found the link and posted it in the comment section. Naturally since I’m a fan of all involved and wanted to support small brands, I took down my post, even when they said I didn’t have to.

Am I Former’s first lucky hook up? It would appear so! After Derek broke the next development about the store being taken down, I began to reflect on how endearing the entire experience was. I don’t know who was on the other end of the Instagram messages, but I imagine Dane sitting in Carpentaria with Sammy on his lap, sipping a coffee and writing me back. Maybe it was Craig? Maybe Austin just finished heel flipping a six stair and saw the notification?

Who knows! I asked but haven’t gotten a response.

Most brands today have very little rapport with their fans, and the Former guys could have easily overreacted to my purchase. Alas, they didn’t. Instead responding with endearment, respect and class. How would Quiksilver or Vissla handle a similar ordeal? There aren’t corporate lawyers or social media teams overseeing the entire operation. It’s just a few friends that wanted to make their own honest brand that hopefully will resonate with fans and be a refreshing change in an industry dominated by brands outdoing each other with wacky prints and graphics on their products.

And don’t that make you smile?

Long live Former! The future is yours!

The Porcella Bros Should Be Dead!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

These Ferraris are built Ford tough!

Nicollo and Francisco Porcella, two Italian-born, Hawaiian raised brothers and big wave surfers should be dead. Over the past few years, they’ve relegated themselves to more beatings in monster surf than any man should be able to sustain.

The following video will give you a sense of what I’m talking about. Please excuse the nauseating soundtrack.

Surely you remember Niccolo’s historic Teahupo’o tumble, the one that garnered him the 2016 XXL Wipeout of the Year Award, but how bout that kite-surfing jump into the lip at Jaws? It was gruesome and horrific and wonderful all at the same time.

Then there’s the screw-foot brother, Francisco, who’s had equally terrific if slightly less dramatic whomps at Peahi, Nazaré, and Albee’s slab from a couple weeks ago. I actually spent some time with Franny last year in Fiji, as we happen to have the same local connection. Ended up learning a few things about he and his brother.

First of all, they come from a windsurfing background. You know those guys in the nineties who had giant fluorescent sails mounted to their boards, many of them incredibly adept at wave riding and aerial maneuvers? The Porcellas used to be really into that, were sponsored and the whole shebang, but more or less left it behind to test their paddling abilities in massive surf.

Franny greatly impressed me when he arrived in Fiji the morning of the 2016 Cloudbreak mega-swell, found a local boatman to take him out after missing the morning shuttle, jumped straight into a hairy, windy lineup after no sleep and a granola bar, then surfed six hours straight, catching more waves than anyone over the course of the day.

Fran and Nico aren’t the most talented big wave surfers, but they try harder than most — hence the clip above.

 

 

Revealed: Former’s Debut Collection!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Think tight poom-poom shorts and radically aggressive off-the-shoulder tees!

Were you stymied by Former’s static website too? I clicked around, found a little white-on-white text down the bottom that even after I highlighted ’em and punched on About Us, Shipping and Returns, etc, went nowhere.

So I gave up. It’s coming, I figured.

Former, of course, is the surf clothing brand made those beautiful elves, Dane Reynolds (who tore up a four-hundred-grand-a-month contract to do it), Craig Anderson (who knocked back a million-bucks-a-year deal) and the moustachioed skater Austyn Gillette. Others in the game are the little pro surfer Warren Smith, the photographer Grady Archbold and Monster Children founder-designer Campbell Milligan.

It’s a commune of talent. I want to see what they got.

This morning, the BeachGrit commenter, Extreme Nonchalance, unveiled the URL where the forbidden portal could be entered. A very brief examination of the range, for the shop was soon pulled down and replaced with an Opening Soon landing page, revealed an eighteen-piece collection.

It includes short-sleeved t-shirts (in black, white and coral, priced between thirty and forty-five dollars), one long-sleeved tee (bone, sixty dollars), one shirt (black, one hundred dollars), three pullovers (black, different graphics, sixty-five dollars), two pairs of trunks (one black, one black-and-white patterns, seventy dollars), a Dylan Reider tribute jacket (black, one-hundred-and-fifty dollars), a beanie, a ten-dollar pair of socks and a pack of Former patches that costs eleven dollars.

Craig Anderson former

Craig Anderson and the Luxury 29.99 sweater. I nearly got it through the shop before the page was removed.

The clothes are neither revolutionary nor radically aggressive. It ain’t genius. But who wants to wear tight poom-poom shorts or off-the-shoulder tees?

It should be emphasised that the prices are reasonable, the muted prints don’t offend, and the differing body types of Dane, a classic endomorph, and Craig/Austyn, ectos, suggest a uni-style of fit, neither boxy nor slim.

Formalised sloppiness may be the term.

 

XXX: Dane and co. launch porn site!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Dane Reynolds and pals embark on wildest adventure yet!

As one of the proprietors of a thriving internet business I know a few tricks of this trade. .com means “company” .edu means “educational” .gov means “governmental” and .xxx means “porn.”

And I don’t even have to tell you of my excitement when I stumbled upon Dane Reynolds/Craig Anderson’s newest project.

Former.xxx!

Porn!

I can’t tell yet exactly what kind of porn. Each unique visitor is brought into a dark room with a stark white fingerprint maybe or sunrise. Exploration is expressly forbidden. There are no secret links or ways out or at least none that I’ve found. A sense of foreboding soon replaces general well-being which leads me to believe it’ll be a dominatrix thing. Submissives getting paraded around with rubber balls in mouths etc.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it is some newer sort of subgenre kaiju.

Do you have any ideas? What would you like to see?

Straddie: “Paddle Or Die!”

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Would you risk life and limb to ride a quality A-frame?

“Fuck the taxi” reads Stradbroke Island’s most cherished drainpipe.

This is the local surfers’ response to overcrowding at the Gold Coast’s premier beachie, South Strad, a wave that breaks on the wrong side of a three-hundred meter channel. In order to surf the spot, riders are forced to cross the supposedly shark-infested (Derek don’t believe it) inlet by way of paddling or, in the case of bein’ a lil’ bitch-ass, paying some guy five bucks for a taxi across the pond.

This taxi debate has been simmering since the mid-nineties, but a recent influx of swell and crowds sent Straddie “locals” into a boiling rage, leading to a series of offensive slurs graffitied upon the Straddie sand-spitter. They read:

Taxi = dog act
Fuck off taxi cunt!
Respect is earned not given
Paddle or die
Fuck off Brazilian snakes!

…Aussies are always good for a little profanity and subtle racism.

During my four month stint on the Gold Coast, I managed to survive the paddle on a handful of occasions. I never took the boat, partly because Aussie money is fucked (what kind of lunatics walk around with coins in their pockets?) but mostly because my local friends were ascribed to this hardcore mentality. To paddle across the channel proves your devotion and courage, while taxigoers might as well stitch a big, pink ‘P’ right over their Billabong wetsuit logo.

Unless of course you’re a Mad Huey or one of the other twenty locals who docks a boat/ski just offshore. That shit is encouraged. It’s those damn immigrants with their economical, more environmental friendly ride-shares who are stealing all the stoke.

But while I disagree with the locals’ logic, I do understand their contempt. The Goldy is perhaps the most crowded surf zone in the world, and Straddie was one of their last hidden gems. Since its creation in 1986, the Southport Seaway has acted as a final line of defense — a moat, really — for this once-uncrowded break.

The taxi negates the Seaway’s effects by providing a shark-free, current-defying (the rip gets damn fierce) access point to an extremely desirable locale, perhaps inflating its daily visitor-count by a significant amount. The Gold Coast Bulletin states that up to four-hundred surfers hit Straddie on a weekend with good waves. The number of those who utilize the taxi is unreported, but from personal experience I’d wager it’s close to 25%, maybe worse in the summer.

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s an aged clip of Strad doing its thing.