Are you like me? Do you think it’s flashy American and Australian know-how that gets our suits just so?
You are so wrong and maybe racist too!
Taiwan’s Sheico Group has got their paws all over the wetsuits market. Biggest maker of sports wetsuits in the world. Closing in on half-a-billion US dollars a year in trade.
Billabong’s Xcel, O’Neill , Quiksilver and Rip Curl all use Sheico.
According to Forbes Asia,
“Five years ago Sheico was the first to deliver the material for Rip Curl’s Flash-Bomb series, validating its claim to be the world’s fastest-drying wet suit. Within two minutes 90% of water is drained through the inner layer of the suit or heated up by body temperature to give the wearer a greater sense of comfort. Years of exclusive rights to the component were granted to Rip Curl for its competitive edge. ‘At this point Sheico is making the best wet suits in the world…. They are definitely the guy,’ says Greg Wade, president of Xcel in California. What’s amazing, he continues, is that Sheico contract-manufactures for various top brands but manages to customize components so that each can have its own look and feel.”
Jimmicane, Surfing Magazine’s wonderful personality/photo-editor/photographer, loves all things Florida. He loves the Jacksonville Jaguars like they are a real football team. He loves Florida State University like it is a real institution of higher learning. He loves the state’s population like every single man, woman, child is not clinically insane. And now he can love that the Florida Institute of Technology offers Surf Engineering Analysis for college credit!
That’s right. If you are like Jimmy and don’t mind living with face eating zombies, you can move to Melbourne, just east of Orlando, and major in Ocean Engineering and take classes in Surf Engineering Analysis. What is it? The course description says that it “focuses on the physics of waves in the surf zone. Students design a field experiment on their own to collect data about force balances, buoyancy and hydrodynamic drag.”
The associate professor who designed the course, Robert Weaver, says, “Ocean engineering has one of the highest graduate incomes of any of the engineering disciplines. I’m hoping that this class and this program can help play a role in dismantling the old surfer stigma that associates surfers with being aimless beach bums.”
Students get a Rip Curl GPS surf watch (at cost), two customized surfboards with special cutout boxes for measurement instruments and maybe a GoPro. Then they go to the beach and surf and let all their stuff work. Class jargon calls it “movement-based data.”
I don’t know what else they do but I hope they drive fancy cars, once graduating, and go to work for Surfline…those dirty, rich sex freaks.
Have you ever seen such a foregone conclusion? An event, sewn up, on day one?
A few hours ago, and as predicted (here), Filipe Toledo, won the final of the Oi Rio Pro in clean enough three-footers. He beat Bede Durbidge 19.87 to 14.70 and the only surprise, if there was one, was that Bede threw up some decent numbers.
Filipe didn’t drop a heat the entire event, throwing blitzkrieg-like heat scores of 16.27 (round one, beating Kolohe and Melling), 15.60 (round three, Wiggoly Dantas), 17.83 (round four, Banting and John John), 15.00 (quarter-final, Ricky Christie), 15.94 (semi against Italo Ferreira) and a near-perfect 19.87 in the final.
Filipe is now 550 points behind Adriano De Souza in second place.
Third on the board, but five thousand points behind Filipe, is Mick Fanning.
The other title contenders? John John is ten thousand away in seventh, Kelly is in 13th with exactly half Filipe’s points and the current world champ, Gabriel Medina is 16,000 points off the pace in 19th.
A three-way title race between Adriano, Filipe and Mick Fanning is the obvious play here. And, Filipe, who only turned 20 a few weeks ago, would become the youngest world champion, ever, beating Kelly’s record by two months, if he wins in December.
But so much swatting to go between hither and yon! So much can happen in the warp and woof of competition!
So let’s concentrate our attention on Filipe’s perfect 10, the cleanest stomp in competition, the not-an-air-reverse, but clean…clean… rotation. Yeah, they’ve been bigger hits (John John and Julian, even Andy Irons in Mex, way back).
But moves like this are the springs of competition, of progression. Look, below, at the way he saws and nails and measures, lifting and weighting that front foot for speed, an easy rhythm, and almost without an awareness of what’s to come next. Power and form and the cleanest and most dignified landing you’ll ever see. Tens from every single judge.
As the former pro Brad Gerlach, a surfer who was also rated number one aged 20, told BeachGrit yesterday, “He’s not thinking. He’s surfing so spontaneously you don’t know what he’s going to do. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do. And that’s fucking awesome. What surprises me about a lot of the guys I watch is they’re confident but they look conservative on the wave. Filipe’s excited to be surfing!”
Matt Meola is the 20-year-old surfer from Maui with whom you’ve become acquatinted with over the past couple of years, mostly from his flips and tweaked spins, but also from his surprisingly strong showings at Jaws.
It’s a style of surfing he calls el modernismo. Lavishly contradictory airs that protest the sensibility of competition-style surfing, Filipe and John John excepted.
Landed two weeks ago, but released today, is Matt’s first-ever Spindle Flip 540. A Spindle Flip, in case y’aint aware, is like the ol bodyboarder el rollo, complete with double grab, except spun the opposite way. The bodyboarder rolls with the lip and towards the beach. Matt’s is the counterintuitive version. (El Modernismo, lavishly contradictory… )
And, this with its extra rotation, adds another layer of sugar. Matt says he was going to backflip but switched the rote to match the section and ended up SF540.
If your own game is rail and jam, this might leave you cold, your eyes glassing over.
I mean, those kids!
But get into the minutiae of the hit: see how heavy the section is, the size of the wave, the utter directness and intensity, the way Matt recomposes his body, and you might start to become dazzled by its radiance.
A pod of Great White sharks is winning hearts at Huntington Beach!
At least six Great White sharks, ranging from five to eight feet in length, were recently photographed just outside the surf line in Surfside, California, an Orange County gated community.
Response to the pictures has been mixed: local residents expressing emotions ranging from appreciation of the animals’ beauty to baseless fears created by inflammatory media coverage and lack of knowledge regarding shark behavior.
News of the increased shark presence comes only weeks after a fatal attack on a 65-year-old woman off the coast of Maui. Leading sharkologists are currently investigating whether the attacks may be related, current theories point towards an evolutionary adaptation that causes greater shark fertility in the presence of human blood.
With the recent closure of the beaches in Reunion Island to surfing and a four-year period that has seen more than 35 attacks in Hawaii alone over the last four years, shark aggression is rapidly becoming a global concern.
Online sentiment, combined with a rapidly approaching summer season sure to draw millions of beach-goers to the Golden State’s sandy shores, indicates a potential for a bloodbath unseen since the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.
Local authorities have probably advised residents to remain calm and stay indoors until the danger has passed.