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.”


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?


WSL to Brazil: “Your beaches are shit!”

“You could have a situation where most of the beach is awash in this putrid water."

The World Surf League moves to Rio de Janeiro for its next fun-filled stop and all American/Australian/Irish professionals are ecstatic. Or, not ecstatic but totally bummed. Brazilian surfers have mostly owned the first three events of the year and chances are they will also own their home country (except Kolohe will win).

Furthermore, the World Surf League is removing beaches as possible backup sites due to raw sewage in the water. Sao Conrado had been an alternate site. It is very close to Barra da Tijuca, a mere 15 km east, but gross and so the WSL issued a press release and bid it adieu. “Pollution issues,” they said.

A malodorous fountain of shit!
A malodorous fountain of untreated waste aka shit. 

AOL, which is apparently still around, wrote, “Wedged between the high-rent Barra da Tijuca and Leblon neighborhoods and two ‘favela’ hillside slums, Sao Conrado is among Rio’s most polluted beaches. Much of the sewage from the slums flow untreated directly into the water. A ruptured sewage main has added to the problem in recent days, unleashing a malodorous fountain of untreated waste that is cascaded down a rocky outcropping and into the water, creating a huge brown stain.”

Yuck!

But also no worries because in the same press release the WSL also said, “Barra da Tijuca beach will deliver excellent conditions as the primary site for next month’s surfing event.” Partner Surfline feels very strongly about the excellent conditions. Wave analysts are working around the clock, when not getting weird in the office “sex kitchen,” making sure they are as good as Snapper this past Feb 28 March 13.

Except a Brazilian biologist said that, depending on winds and tides, all the poo at Sao Conrado can end up in Barra da Tijuca. “You could have a situation where most of the beach is awash in this putrid water,” he said.

What do you think is worse, equal 25th in ankle high waves or cholera?


Video: John John Florence in Samsung-Avengers short!

Alongside sports superstars Leo Messi, Eddie Lacey and Fabian Cancellara and a kid called Bobby Martinez (true!).

If Kelly Slater was the 90s and 2000s, it’s fair to say that, recently, John John Florence has become the new face of surfing.

For the mainstream, for the fringe, for the sweet little kids, for the mamas and the papas, for all of us. Who isn’t falling over ’emselves for John John?

Where Kelly brought looks and smarts, John John brings a swinging cool A sunburst of gold!

And, now, “Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb has assembled 4th grader Bobby Martinez as Captain America, Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacey as Hulk, mechanical engineer Sasha Blanc as Black Widow, pro cyclist Fabian Cancellara as Hawkeye, pro surfer John John Florence, and soccer player Leo Messi. In the two-part promo video titled Assemble, the six are given special briefcases that unlock to reveal special edition Avengers-themed Galaxy S6 Edge phones before the floor lowers into a secret base, promising more adventure to come.”

Each sports star is told by a voice within the briefcase which Avenger they match up with. Thor is the Avenger that matches John John Florence (thanks to his “Godly courage and Godly hair”)…

Thor!

Meanwhile, in the March quarter, Samsung sold 83 million smart phones compared to Apples 61 mill. Those Android bricks rule! Who knew!