I surf in the future

It is a bright place filled with hope and massive carving 360s.

I was at Disneyland a few days back because I am involved in a particular genre of dad porn and also because I have a 2 year-old daughter. We rode Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, ate corndogs, took pictures with Princess Jasmine and watched an extended preview of Disney’s upcoming feature Tomorrowland. It was a wonderful breath of fresh air because what I saw on the screen was a hopeful vision of the future. It was not all black and zombie and dystopian like most movies set in the coming age.

Afterwards we rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, bought a personalized parasol with my daughter’s name and pictures of Princess Elsa and saw Danny Fuller. He was with his wife and 2 year-old daughter as well. We shared some laughs and I wondered if he is secretly involved in the same genre of dad porn as me.

Yesterday, I picked up a brand new, hand-shaped surfboard called the Bullshark. It is a 5’4 ¼ 19 5/8 2 3/8 vision of the future. Shaped by the quiet genius Dane Hantz, who carves under the name Vulcan Surfboards, it makes me so excited it is hard to think about anything other than surfing.

I first saw a Vulcan Bullshark on @boardporn’s instagram feed. If you do not follow it is well advised. Picture after picture after picture of gorgeous, non-standard sleds. I normally window shop except when I saw the Vulcan Bullshark I dropped my day’s plans and figured out how to get my hands on one.

Dane met me for coffee the very next day and we chatted about my progressive surf style. Progressive in that my shoulder pops out of socket all the time so I can’t really paddle and I am tall so I can’t do anything other than gentle turns off the top. He took notes and gave me a loaner to try.

It was unlike anything I had ever ridden. A “planing hull” I believe he called it, sort of like what Tomo and others are doing. I have never ridden a Tomo but wow. The Vulcan was a dream. I was catching waves and almost shredding them. So fast, so light, so shreddy.

And, yesterday, I picked up my own. It is sparkling white and pretty. It is hard to take my eyes off of even when my 2 year-old daughter is playing dangerously close to the street and I should be looking at her instead of my new surfboard. And it surfs so well I’d think about getting in the World Surf League if it wasn’t quickly going out of business. Dane says, “Good shape is important but also good construction. We are expanding the reach of what materials can do. With more people being receptive to ecological solutions we are able to keep trying different constructions. Like, wood is not as renewable so we took out the stringer and added the Convex (read about here!). It is stronger, more efficient, adds strength and loses weight…”

I paddled straight out after our conversation on my new board and ruled the lineup. I now surf in the future. It is a bright future, just like Tomorrowland, and everything is possible. Even massive carving 360s.

Order your own piece of the tomorrow here.

Surf clip of the year!

It is not entered in XXL but it should be!

Sierra Quitiquit has the best last name in action sports. She is also a quarter Filipino. Can you believe it? I can’t either. But, in any case, go Manny Pacquiao!

She is a famous model/skier/skier/model who rips very much at skiing. As a former world freefride competitor, she’s hit Fat Bastard in Jackson Hole and also models. Very beautiful. But guess what? She also surfs. Here she is being tough and surfing in Alaska. Freezing cold weird Alaska.

Watch the video. See the mountains? Hear the click? Yes. That is her shoulder going out of socket while surfing in Alaska. It is my new favorite surf clip and it will also now be yours. Sorry Chippa Wilson. And Damien Hobgood. And CJ Hobgood. Go Sierra Quitiquit!

Meet: A Cuter, Younger Version of Filipe Toledo!

His name is Victor Bernado and he's precious… 

I’d like to say I discovered this kid, this just-turned-18-year-old pal and understudy of Filipe Toledo and Miguel Pupo. But it was a fortuitous meeting on Facebook with Vice magazine’s former Brazil connection Raphael Tognini that brought me into contact, literally,with Victor Bernado.

The clip here (click on the play button on the photo) is a summer tonic to anyone swallowed by the incoming winter (Australia) and a spring determined not to fire up (Europe). Watch how Victor swats the lip hither and yon like the slaughtered goat in a game of Afghan polo.

Victor comes from the same town as Adriano de Souza, is photogenic beyond belief (click here for photos from a Surfing magazine shoot) and, according to the director of this clip Raphael Tognini (whose dad makes Victor his boards, as it happens), “he’s hypnotic. He throws airs in a crazy way but with so much class!”

But don’t think he’s a contest-hatin’ Noa or Creed or Ando.

“No, I like to compete,” says Victor. “When you win, it’s the best feeling. Even when you didn’t get to win but you know you did your best? That feels real good too. Surfing is all about being on a good board and in the moment.”

Cynthia Rowley denim wetsuit
According to Rowley (or her press agent), the Denim Wetsuit is (sic) “Totally ideal for the girl who wants to go from the beach, to work or vice versa! (no one will ever know her stylish secret!)....it has all the features of a true wetsuit (2mm fiber-lite neoprene, hidden zip with velcro back closure, unlined) and also includes two pockets in the back. You may have heard that Quicksilver Japan introduced a similar concept for guys with "True Wetsuit"- this is definitely the girl ideal version of this amazing concept!"

Cynthia Rowley just dropped a gorgeously awful wetsuit

It's denim but it's not! Flirty, vibrantly coloured… wispy!

In keeping with the current trend of re-appropriating wetsuits as fashion statements, New York City-based women’s designer Cynthia Rowley — whose designs the New York Times so deliciously described as “flirty, vibrantly colored… wispy”—unveiled her new Denim Wetsuit.

According to Rowley (or her press agent), the Denim Wetsuit is, “Totally ideal for the girl who wants to go from the beach, to work or vice versa! (no one will ever know her stylish secret!)….it has all the features of a true wetsuit (2mm fiber-lite neoprene, hidden zip with velcro back closure, unlined) and also includes two pockets in the back. You may have heard that Quicksilver Japan introduced a similar concept for guys with ‘True Wetsuit’ – this is definitely the girl ideal version of this amazing concept!”

Rowley is an award-winning designer and is no stranger to wetsuit concepts. She designed a line of suits for Roxy several years ago that debuted at Barney’s and Colette.

One of them was pretty killer.

Another looked like a bastardised — albeit chic, almost mod-looking — tennis suit. The hyperbolic wags over at Urban Outfitters proclaimed there couldn’t be “anything better than a neoprene dress” and that they were “Instantly in love. It has so much style and you can easily wear this both on the beach and out to your favorite night spot. Too cool. X – Jen”

Refinery29’s Shani Silver gushed that, as far as “summer vacay” goes,  they “never wanted to see waves in Lake Michigan so badly now that Chicagoan Cynthia Rowley has created this surf-worthy collection of wetsuit styles for Roxy.” 

But the Roxy suits look tame compared to this vaguely-indigo-patchwork-looking, neoprene abortion.

Anyhow, you can pre-order yours here. 

The Punta De Lobos big-wave contest is on!

…and the world's best big-wave surfers are putting their necks on the line in Chile's biggest tubes…

Or so the WSL would have us believe. No webcast means no footage means no proof. To call this a fuck-up on the part of surfing’s competitive overlords would be an understatement.

Or maybe not.

Maybe people are willing to wait for the stills to hit print mags in three months. Maybe the modern surfer doesn’t want instant web gratification. Maybe, after last year’s two event tour, the WSL is withholding footage in order to whip us into a fervor. Because there’s nothing, literally nothing, more exciting than watching people surf gigantic long period swells.

Waiting and paddling and waiting some more.

Maybe Chile doesn’t actually exist and this is a hoax on par with the moon landing. I mean, it could be, I’ve never been to Chile. I’ve, supposedly, seen it from across the border in Argentina, but I can’t prove that Chile exists. Some Argentine guy told me it does, in the context of “Fuck Chile, Argentina rules!” but I don’t know how much credence I give to anything relayed to me by a country full of Nazi collaborators with super model looks.

Word has it that a Chilean XTREME!!! sports show, Via de Escape was doing their own broadcast, but has been shut down by WSL running dogs.

From their Facebook page: “Estimados amigos lamentamos comunicarles que por decisión de la WSL, nos prohibieron seguir con nuestra transmision desde el ceremonial , hicimos un esfuerzo tremendo para poder llevarles a uds. este tremendo evento sin embargo por decisión de la organización debemos para de transmitir.

“Haremos lo posible por revertir esta situación pero lo vemos muy difícil … Esperando su comprensión los invitamos a que sigan atentos a nuestras noticias.”

(Using Google translate because, despite six years of Spanish classes, I’ve lived in Hawaii for long enough to forget most of the language):

“Dear friends, we regret to inform you that the decision of the WSL, we continue our transmission banned from the ceremony, we made a tremendous effort to bring me to you. However this tremendous event by decision of the organization must transmit to. We will attempt to reverse this situation but we see it very difficult … Expecting your understand we invite you to stay tuned to our news”

Whether the WSL used actual legal means to shut down outside broadcasts, or whether they just leaned on local content producers hard enough to intimidate them has yet to be seen.

I reached out to Via de Escape for comment but didn’t receive an immediate reply.  However, Ed Temperley at Magic Seaweed is reporting that “10 minutes before noon, right before the event was to either start or potentially get cancelled [sic], WSL representatives called in the local police and bullied viadeescape.com into turning off their cameras.”

When all is said and done it’s a confusing situation.

What does the WSL expect us to make of the fact that they care enough to hype the hell out of the BWWT but don’t care enough to build an infrastructure that allows for live streaming?

Do they recognize that big wave surfing makes for great photos and killer clips, but is a tedious affair when you’re watching people dodge bombs and jockey around a huge shifting lineup?

Can they possibly believe that they’ll get a decent ROI by canning clips and releasing them after the fact?

Does no one recognize the lunacy of attempting to privatize images stemming from the ocean, a shared resource if there ever was one?