Dane receiving his wildcard. Congrats!
Dane receiving his wildcard. Congrats! | Photo: Sherm

Just in: Dane Reynolds snags another wildcard!

He will be gouging J-Bay! Can you believe it? Can you?

Can you believe it? Can you even believe it? I can’t. I was driving north on the 101 to visit my wife’s father in quaint Cayucos. She is next to me and the children are in back watching The Incredibles and Vampire Diaries respectively.

We were through Oxnard, California almost to Ventura, California when my partner, Derek Rielly, texted me the news. “Oh Chas!” he began “I’m at a school concert and Dane just got the J-Bay wildcard. Do you have a mo to sling online?”

No because I was driving but then I thought about those gorgeous turns he strings together and thought about him almost conquering Fiji and thought about him using his earnings to feed a new baby at home and thought, “The people at home need to know!” I quickly swerved off the road, trying desperately to find a Starbucks to milk its wifi. And I found one….but realized that it was in a Vons grocery store and those damned ones don’t have wifi. Crushed. Until I saw a McDonald’s! Beacon of America! They have wifi, don’t they?

I scrambled inside, opened my laptop and……I’m online!

So guess what? Dane Reynolds is the wildcard surfer in South Africa! The WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow “cited the Californian’s incredible talent, ability to lift the event’s performance level and recent surfing in Fiji as reasons for his selection.”

Did you know Dane’s ninth in Fiji puts him at #34, ahead of full-time competitors CJ Hobgood (surprise!) and Brett Simpson (maybe not so surprise!). And if he scoops up another good result at J-Bay, and maybe slides into a few more events as a wildcard, he could qualify for the CT, finishing 22nd or better.

Dane’ll surf against Mick Fanning and Kai Otton in round one.

So! You get to watch his gorgeous turns! His baby gets to eat! Can you believe it? We all win! And if I can convince the family to get off the road in Venture Dane and I can celebrate together.

This is Dane at J-Bay in 2010 and, below, his last drop on Marine Layer Productions. I think, better now…







Michael Tomson arrested
That's MT on the right, the dazzling character who was one of South Africa's best surfers at the start of the pro game (mid-seventies) and who later rolled his talents into creating the first big surf brand, Gotcha - $125 mill a year in sales at its early nineties peak.

Just in: Surf Legend Held in Coke Bust

Michael Tomson has been arrested on suspicion of dealing a little blow. Little, by '80s standards, of course.

Do you remember the clothing label Gotcha? Sure you do, at least if you’re over 25. At its nineties peak it was doing $125 million in sales.

Fish with the flag, Pottz rode for them, Machado milked its formidable teats before jumping ship to Hurley. That Gotcha.

Well, police this morning charged its co-founder and Bustin’ Down the Door star, Michael Tomson, “with felony possession of narcotics for sale after conducting a 7 a.m. probation check at his home in the 21000 block of Mar Vista Avenue,” reports the Laguna Beach Indy.

“A scale, baggies used to package cocaine for sale and 52 grams of cocaine were seized, said Sgt. Tim Kleiser. While the new charges carry a $25,000 bail, Tomson’s probation officer placed a hold on him due to the new arrest, Kleiser said. In 2013, Tomson was charged with two felony DUI counts, and suspicion of cocaine possession, following an early-morning traffic accident in Laguna Beach.”

According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, “Tomson suffered a perforated stomach ulcer in 1996 and nearly died. Other health problems followed. He had semiregular run-ins with the law in the ’00s, including a morning car accident in 2013 in which the 58-year-old Tomson was charged with two felony DUI counts, and suspicion of cocaine possession.”

Owen Wright
In case you have been living under a rock, Matt Warshaw rocked the surfing world, recently, when he told a reporter from Surfer Magazine, “Fuck the Olympics.” Yesterday, Owen Wright followed by telling a Reuters reporter surfing is more art than sport. | Photo: Steve Sherman

Owen Wright: “I’m with Matt Warshaw!”

World number three comes out swinging against surfing's Olympic inclusion…

Owen Wright is seen, is some ill-informed camps, as a jock-ish athletic type surfer. The sort who prefers doing sit-ups and kettle bells/balls to being the life of the party. And it could have been thought that the possibility of surfing’s inclusion into the Olympic games would have thrilled him beyond. Not only because of he sit-ups but because he is an Australian and all Australians are rabidly nationalistic.

But guess what? Owen Wright agrees with Matt Warshaw! He thinks the Olympics should butt the hell out of surfing!

In case you have been living under a rock, Matt Warshaw rocked the surfing world, recently, when he told a reporter from Surfer Magazine, “Fuck the Olympics.” (Read story here). Yesterday, Owen Wright followed by telling a Reuters reporter:

“I think surfing in itself is more of an art form and an expression so I think the Olympic banner doesn’t really suit the sport of surfing. It suits a lot of other sports but I think surfing is more like judging an art work. It’s kind of hard to put it under that one banner. If you had one event and named the Olympic champion? I think in the world surf league we have a bunch of different canvasses, they’re all totally different waves, and by the end of it you get the winner. I think it has to be like that, to have a bunch of different inclusions to get the one champion.”

And ain’t that refreshing. As iconoclastic as he is fit. And handsome.

Kelly Slater John Moore
Kelly Slater and John Moore, the two principals behind Outerknown escort Stephanie Gilmore to the Met Gala in New York city.

What happened to Kelly Slater’s Outerknown label?

Let's ask Kelly!

Remember, what was it, a year ago, when we first heard about Kelly’s new clothing label Outerknown? It was to be produced by 24-billion-dollar-company Kering, that behemoth of the luxe clothing world, owners, among other labels,  of Saint Laurent (I’m wearing the 17cm jeans now!), Christopher Kane (tiny little surf trunks, I own a pair!), Gucci (kinda yuck) as well as surf co’s Electric (those watches!) and Volcom and it would “blend the relationship between style, sustainability, and travel. I believe we have an obligation to build better products and understand the way our consumption impacts the world around us.” So wrote Kelly Slater in a press release last September.

It sounded so fantastic. I like the world too! And there was more!

“The name Outerknown references the furthest reaches of our knowledge today,” wrote Kelly. “As designers, it challenges us to build better, more sustainable products. As producers, it asks us to lift the lid on our supply chain bringing the consumer along on our journey to transparency…  it offers the opportunity to observe this multi-cultural world we live in and bring together seemingly unconnected people and ideas for the purpose of discovering the next Outerknown.”

Kering actually used to be called P.P.R. (short for Pinault-Printemps-Redout). The name Kering was chosen in 2013 because it can be “pronounced and understood as ‘caring.'” The company chose an owl as their logo, said company CEO François-Henri Pinault, because,  “it is a discreet and protective animal.”

Anyway, a cursory Outerknown website appeared (click here). An Instagram account started uploading  photos, mostly, it seemed, of the designer John Moore’s musings, even his kids. (Click here for the IG.)

An industry insider told me I should I do a story about what had happened to Outerknown. He’d earlier predicted that when Kelly first setup shop with Kering, that Kering would sign Kelly with promises of a label and then, when Kelly lost interest and went surfing as  he apparently tended to do, the label would disappear and he’d end up wearing Volcom.

If proof was needed, why wasn’t Kelly, the insider asked, now, on the eve of its launch, wearing the gear now or even surfing with an Outerknown sticker on his board. According to the WSL, they just booked 29-million viewers in Brazil alone.

I looked at the website; I looked at Instagram.

“Launches July 2015,” the homepage said.

Wait, what date is it now? June 23? That’s one week away! Something had to be happening.

How about I ask Kelly?

So, I did, and Kelly who has to be the most contactable sporting icon in the world, didn’t blink at me waving a rumour mill in his face. Turns out they’re launching July 13 (three weeks away) and he’s actually been wearing Outerknown for months. Said that they’re “deep in ranges but women’s is on hold for now.”

Said that it isn’t an endemic brand (i.e. so not surf-surf) and it “ended up in a more fashionable world once our designs were created.”

Kelly said that he’s “just not that into talking into it’s reality” and that he’ll have logos on his board “soon enough. Just haven’t worried about it,” he said, adding:

“It’s nice to not have any for a change after thirty years of having ’em.”

Let’s sing!

The Forbidden Trim
The Forbidden Trim is a movie by San Clemente's George Trimm. A special forces commando is chosen to go on a perilous mission, deep behind enemy lines. Kilroy is sent on a clandestine operation to uncover the mysteries of the Caldera Network. This mission thrusts Kilroy into a mystic and savage journey into the heart of the unknown. Join Kilroy as he battles ferocious beasts, ethereal gurus, and forbidding landscapes, using a group of surfers as cover to infiltrate and exact his revenge on the criminal thugs. | Photo: George Trimm

Just in: Is this the coolest surf movie ever!

Forbidden Trim will forever change the way surf movies are viewed, maybe even made… 

I’m not a fan of crowdfunding. Internet begging is just so déclassé, and I’ll be damned before I give some “entrepreneur” shithead a penny of my wife’s hard-earned money.

Creative stuff is another matter entirely.

Nothing wrong with artistic types living off the patronage of their more fortunate peers. I’ve been operating on that model for years.

Forbidden Trim, a beautiful title evoking images of 70’s era lesbian prison dramas, is a 90-minute, low-budget film shot on Super 8 film over the course of four years by San Clemente’s George Trimm and starring Jared Mell and Alex Knost.

It just occurred to me that the title is a pun.

“A film about a commando’s mission to unveil a global crime syndicate. Using surfers as cover, he travels deep into the unknown.”

The trailer is deliciously absurd, which is how I like my surf movies. Nothing worse than trying to force some sort of spiritual significance on our selfish little ocean dance.

The filmmaker wants to raise thirty-gees to shoot the final scene and to pay some of the post-production expenses. With 24 days to go, they’ve got 49 backers for a total of $7197.

Chip in a twenty and you get a digital download when it’s released (September 2015). A hundred and fifty will get you a collab surf trunk with Birdwell Britches, the movie download, a DVD, a soundtrack download. Another hundred and a Matuse wetsuit jacket is yours.

Buy in here.

FORBIDDEN TRIM (Official Trailer) from George Trimm on Vimeo.

Please help us expedite the completion of this movie by contributing to our Kickstarter.