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Watch: Bethany rides Kelly’s wave!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

A thing of beauty!

Is Bethany Hamilton the most inspirational surfer to ever live? You’d be hard pressed to find another more inspirational + skilled. She is a revelation and took her wonderful story of redemption, recently, to inland California to ride Kelly Slater’s Wave Ranch.

Let’s watch then discuss!

Are you impressed? Well of course you are. Either impressed or heartless.

But let’s discuss. Who has put on the best show at Kelly’s Wave Ranch so far?

A) Bethany

B) Mick

C) Gerry

D) Kelly

E) One of the technicians

One company to rule them all?

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!

Derek Rielly’s reporting yesterday on the possible, even probable, sale of Rip Curl was first-rate journalism and what you have come to expect from our Bondi bureau. What you have come to expect out of our America Cardiff-by-the-Sea bureau is cut-rate journalism and I had a cut-rate rumor just days ago that I failed to deliver.

And wonderful, but unconnected, friend told me, “Guess what… Quiksilver is going to buy its two biggest competitors.”

I thought, “No. No they are not….” and continued Google image searching Griffin Guess.

But then Derek’s story sparked my memory and maybe my wonderful, but unconnected, friend was on to something. Oaktree Capital owns Quiksilver. Oaktree Capital owns Billabong’s debt which Billabong is having trouble servicing which could mean a takeover.

If Oaktree Capital were to purchase Rip Curl, and it is rumored that they are in fact a suitor, then “Quiksilver” would indeed be buying its two biggest competitors.

The prescient Brothers Marshall once made QuikBongRip t-shirts.

Who would have ever seen this maybe day coming (except for The Brothers Marshall)?

And who stands to gain the most?

I would think they would all maintain their distinct consumer facing identities but probably share distribution/blah blah/whatever/business stuff. Will you be excited to buy? Excited about the innovation? About the dynastic future?

Oh you should be.

Apply: “Ambassador of Stoke and Leisure!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Do you like coconuts? John John? Barrel? Well here is the opportunity of a lifetime!

The World Surf League has created a new position and it has your name all over it. No not your name I guess. You are caustic and wry. You are sarcastic and… wry. So not the real you and definitely not your Disqus Account you but maybe the metaphorical “you.”

The job title is really and truly Ambassador of Stoke and Leisure and since I can’t out-write the WSL I won’t even try. Here, in all its glory, is posting.

The World Surf League is searching for someone who is both extremely stoked and leisurely to join us in Hawaii for six weeks.

If you can appreciate the unreal excitement of top-notch athleticism and the simple elegance of a Hawaiian palm at the same time, if you can laugh, adventure, experience, seek, try, celebrate, taste, and take pictures, then, well, keep reading.

What is stoke?

Stoke is the excitement you’ll feel when you:

See the best surfers in the world getting barrelled on surfing’s most legendary wave

Drive around finding the most un-freaking-believable scenery in all of Hawaii

High-five John John Florence

Surf Hawaii for the first time…or surf anywhere for the first time

Walk out of your current job/parents’ basement knowing you’ll soon be in Hawaii for six weeks

What is leisure?

If you stopped reading two lines ago in search of something chiller and more fun to do…well, come back, cause you’d be perfect.

What is the World Surf League and is this real?

Yeah, it’s real. We put on surfing’s Championship Tour, which takes us to Australia, Brazil, Fiji, South Africa, Tahiti, California, and Europe before it ends with a grand finale in Hawaii. Every “winter” we post up on the North Shore of Oahu, the birthplace of professional surfing, for some amazing events. (PS If the waves get big, like REAL BIG, the Pe’ahi Challenge will run at a wave called Jaws over on Maui when the surf is 20ft+. Google it. And if this goes down while you’re there all we can say is – you lucky dog you.)

Role/Duties:

“Hot damn! I am so interested in this job I’ve practically already kicked down my boss’ door to quit but like…what do I have to do?” So glad you’ve asked, friend:

You’ll be the the head of a newly created department within the WSL – the department of Stoke and Leisure – to be run out of our Hawaii office, the WSL event sites, and a prime-time Airbnb where you’ll be in charge of two ultra-important initiatives: being excited about whatever is happening and chillin’ the most.

Requirements:

Stoked. You are required to be stoked about life, surfing, palm trees, açai bowls, pro surfers, coral reefs, crystal clear water, not working for The Man, mind-blowing sunsets, the occasional coconut, and more. If none of those things elicit stoke in you, then you need not apply.

Ability to maximize use of all-access pass at highly-attended event. If you enjoy being a fly on a really, really, REALLY cool wall, you’re gonna love this thing.

Skilled at ‘gramming. We are going to load your Like cannon big time, but it is you who must light the fuse. Waterfalls. Parties. Cliff Jumps. Famous people. Hammocks. Lava. FRUITY DRINKS. Jet ski rides to places you didn’t even know you wanted to go. Brace yourself for plenty of comments along the lines of “I hate you,” sent from within the confines of cubicle walls.

Energy. You’re about to do a bunch of stuff. Unbelievable stuff. You’ll want to amaze your friends, family, grandkids, people you’ve just met, and total strangers with one knockout highlight reel of The Whole Thing. Six weeks in three minutes. We’ll hook you up with lots of hi-res footage, music, and a world-class editor-guru, but the main ingredient will be your experiences. So nap on the plane, hit the ground running, and don’t stop ’til December 20.

Benefits:

Cash

Hawaii

Unlimited coconuts

And more!

Apply here.

Breaking: Maverick sale in trouble!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

A tawdry soap opera featuring supermodels and sunless tanning!

The champagne has not yet dried in Half Moon Bay but tears may soon replace its glistening shine. Tears or rain. You recall just two weeks ago when the World Surf League scored the deal of a lifetime by purchasing the Titans of Maverick contest for a song from Griffin Guess’s Cartel Management.

The world’s second most famous big wave surf contest is where it has always belonged. In Pete Mel’s ample back pocket. Kelly Slater could have surfed the event. Josh Kerr too. Any and every World Surf Leauger who dared to dream.

Well, today that dream may have died and all thanks to sunless tanning.

Griffin Guess’s Cartel Management, you see, was originally trying to sell the rights to Maverick for at least $1,000,000.00. When nobody bid the WSL swept in with a 1/2 price offer that was accepted. Apparently, though, $500,000.00 is not enough. Let’s turn to the august Monterey Herald.

Segler Holdings ranks as one of Cartel’s largest creditors. Last November, Segler won a $700,000 decision against supermodel Marissa Miller, a Santa Cruz native, for breach of contact for failing to promote a sunless tanning line. Cartel, which is owned and presided over by her husband Griffin Guess of Capitola, served as her agent in the transaction.

Four months after Segler Holdings won its suit, Cartel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In all, it and Titans of Mavericks owe their creditors about $3 million.

The permits are considered one of Cartel’s few valuable assets, as it acknowledged in its own filings to the court last month.

A decision by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Central District is expected by Sept. 13. After that, the sale would still be contingent on the harbor district approving the sale and the transfer of the permit at its Sept. 20 meeting.

Who would have ever thought sunless tanning could lead to such trouble?

Just in: Rip Curl Readies to Sell!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Three hundred mill? More?

Five years ago, almost to the day, Rip Curl’s three major shareholders figured they’d sell, but only if they could get close to half a billion dollars.

It was an ambitious, and not entirely unrealistic, amount arrived at by the founders Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer (who jointly own seventy two percent) and founder of Rip Curl in Europe, Francois Payot (eighteen percent).

It didn’t come off. A sale price of ten times earnings multiple ain’t an easy play to make. But worth a try. There’s a lot of dumb money out there.

Two years ago, Rip Curl was valued at $310 million after the board approved a share buyback from former senior ­executives no longer with the company.

News in today, suggests Doug, Brian and Francois are spit-polishing the biz for another swing at selling the house. Doug and Brian have appointed the Australian company Gresham and the US investment firm RW Baird and Co to manage the sale process.

According to the Australian Financial Review,

Private equity buyers are likely to be in the mix in the latest sale process for Rip Curl, particularly those who missed out on Billabong three years ago, including Altamont Capital Partners, which teamed up to bid with clothing giant VF Corporation, and Sycamore Partners, which backed former Billabong boss Paul Naude’s unsuccessful offer.

Ain’t it crazy? Who would’ve thought an American investment bank might one day own Billabong, Quiksilver and Rip  Curl and then merge the sons-a-bitches.
Twenty years ago, Billabong and Quiksilver were the kings of surf. Both of ’em went public, loaded up on debt, and crashed hard.
“It’s the end of an era. Look at Torquay. Two billion dollars worth of wealth and none of it put back. None of the owners’ kids work for the companies.” Maurice Cole 
Rip Curl survived because it stayed private, because it wasn’t beholden to the strictures of a public company, of reporting the bad news, of the constant grind to satisfy shareholders and keep the stock price moving upwards.
Of course, there’s the issue of Doug and Brian hitting their seventies. Almost sixty years of surfing apiece. Sometimes it ain’t a bad thing for an old man to step back and enjoy the fruit from his orchard.
In a beautiful world, it’d mean entrusting the company to a son or daughter groomed in the family biz. But that ain’t happening here.
As for the noted Victorian shaper Maurice Cole told me the other night.
“It’s the end of an era. Look at Torquay. Two billion dollars worth of wealth and none of it put back. None of the owners’ kids work for the companies.You look at Patagonia, (founder Yvon Chouinard’s son) Fletcher’s in there, Yvon’s wife is in there. It’s a family business. You can’t find anybody in surfing able to get their kids involved in the companies, and you got gotta ask why.”