In Defense: of the expensive t-shirt

Kelly Slater launches Outerknown and Instagram melts down.

Kelly Slater and team officially launched OuterKnown today and bravo to them and let us celebrate! Outerknown, according to the website:

… explores the relationship between function, style and sustainability. 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. As storytellers, it enables perpetual evolution of our brand vision. As athletes and performers, it pushes us to formerly impossible levels. As global citizens, 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.

Kelly announced via Instagram and the people went crazy with celebration!

“How can you sell something called the ‘Vagabond Cargo’ for $195? You know what vagabond means, right?”

“No one is going to buy a $120 shirt.”

“Way above my pay grade. Holy shit.”

“Nope. Keeping my dollars.”

“RIP OFF!!!!!!!! Good luck selling this overpriced crap.”

“I can use $100 to better someone’s life rather than blow it on a tshirt.”

“Outerknown? More like Outofmypricerange.”

And, come now, people. Why so sour? I will admit that to buy expensive just to look expensive is very very un-chic. The boys with designer scoop necked Ts at the bar are silly, they just don’t know it yet. “Updated Pauly Ds” as my wonderful friend calls them. Clothes, in fact, that say “look at me” are not good. But quality costs money. Fit costs money. Proper drape costs money. Sustainability costs money. Part of the reason this globe is sinking into a warmed abyss is because cheap consumer goods.

I really and truly hate defending the expensive t-shirt because it has become such a “thing” but you all made me do it.

So fuck you.


Come here to see Kelly’s shoot with Ben Watts, dressed in Ok, for GQ. 

Go here to shop.


Great white rescued after it got beached chasing seagulls at Chatham, Massachusetts.
Here's the seven-foot juvie white that had to be rescued after it got beached chasing seagulls at Chatham, Massachusetts.

Feel-Good: Humans Save Beached Great White

Overzealous juvie white chases seagulls, gets sand under his girth, faces slow death…

In a reverse of the usual situation where a human being enters the great white’s lair and is thus eaten alive or de-legged, and the world is thereupon lectured about the foolishness of anyone being in the ocean, a great white has ventured too far into the human’s domain and…what…

…we revive the animal and send him back into the drink!

Witnesses say the seven-foot juvenile white got stuck near South Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts, as the tide went out. The shark was tagged by a state shark scientist.

Watch the video…jab…jab…jab!

It’s the third white shark tagged off Chatham this year.

Is any further evidence of the ultra-evolved nature of man now necessary?

Baby white is sure lucky he didn’t bump into Tennessee gal Veronica-Pooh Nash Poleate whose homespun common sense electrified the world a few days ago (12 million views).

In response to a mess of shark attacks in North Carolina, straight talking Ronnie said, “The shark has the right to eat you up when you get in his house. Use some common sense if you are going to the beach. Go to the… beach. You watch the ocean from a distance.”

But what happens when the shark comes into the man’s house? We don’t “ate him up.”

We save our friend!

Be a famous surfer today!

A new TV show seeks to find the next international surfing star!

Do you look at Kelly Slater and say, “Pssssssht. I can do that.” Do you watch Brett Simpson paddle out for his heats and think, “What makes him so special?” Do you sit at home wondering why you are not sponsored by RVCA or at the very least Hurley?

Well, your questions are answered and your problems are solved!

“The award-winning producers of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ are casting the best surfers from around the world to compete for a grand prize on a brand new TV show on a major cable network.On this exciting new series, competitors will face thrilling challenges both on the water and off, tackling monster waves and surprise tests of skill, balance, strategy, innovation, commitment, speed and power – all for a chance to win a grand prize!It doesn’t matter if you’re a competitive or recreational surfer. As long as you’ve got what it takes to compete against the best and prove your skills on national television, then we want to hear from you.”

Yes. It is real. Send an email to [email protected] if you are totally deluded and/or like to be a laughingstock and/or have mild retardation and/or really have somehow fallen through the cracks like Chippa Wilson. Don’t delay, do it today!

P.S. It might not seem real because they have a gmail address but, ummm, yeah. It is.

Dane Reynolds J-bay
Heat six, round three, and infernal nuisance Adriano de Souza beat Dane Reynolds for the first time in six meets. Caught by the incubus!

Slater Knifes God-Son! Day Three, J-Bay Open 2015

And Medina strips the saloon, Alejo lashes the wheel, Reynolds goes home to Sammy Boo…

Hey presto! Despite everything, despite a weak little swell hugging the Jeffreys Bay reef, despite the ocean appearing, at times, as bare as an egg, the third round of the J-Bay Open was a notch above the usual.

Kelly Slater, who is roughly the same age as Kolohe Andino’s father Dino, was mechanical in his defeat of the boy, offering no mercy in waves that should’ve, by rights, suited the frontside fin throws of the 21 year old. Certainly not a man whose next milestone birthday is 50.

And what a squawking Kolohe made when he lost! His head sunk forward in wretchedness, he wrung his hands, he whimpered and then… pop! pop! pop!… his fist found the deck of his surfboard.

Gabriel Medina raped our attention with two backside air reverses on the one wave, the second a very grand sight.

That little wild pigeon, Filipe, tried to emulate Gabriel’s two pack when he nailed two alley-oops on the same wave. What might Alejo do to respond? But for all Filipe’s calculated abandon, it was a set wave, impressively cut apart by Alejo, that froze the heat, one judge even awarding it a 10.

Young turkey Filipe was amiable in the loss, hugging his fellow Brazilian, knowing, I suppose, that he has Trestles, Hossegor and Portugal to sprinkle his gold dust and win an unlikely world title.

That infernal nuisance Adriano de Souza beat Dane Reynolds for the first time in six heats. Blown clean away! Dane with his downy round face and general energeticalness and Adriano, that mite with the impish erect body, heavy dark eyebrows, big head-top and a receding chin. He has really beautiful lips, I’ll admit, so beautiful they look as if they were sculptured.

Michel Bourez and Bede Durbidge are two surfers who aren’t entirely dissimilar. They finished their heat with fifteen and a half-ish points apiece, Michel advancing by virtue of a higher scoring wave.

Don’t wanna go heat by heat? Jump into the minute-long highlights here! And don’t miss heat three of round four: Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater. What a sight that’s going to be!

J-Bay Open Round 3 Results:Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 15.40

Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.50 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.83

Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.94 def. Fredrick Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 8.40

Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 16.87 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 8.03

Heat 5: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.13 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.40

Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.17 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.90

Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.83

Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.07 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.07

Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.27

Heat 10: Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.83 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.33

Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.67

Heat 12: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 17.83 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.23

J-Bay Open Round 4 Match-Ups:

Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS)

Heat 2: Nat Young (USA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)

Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA)

Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Alejo Muniz (BRA)


Ode: To the glorious tube

It is the grandest place not on earth.

Riding the tube is the highest of all surfing arts. Unlike airs, gouges, ungainly luggage and fibreglass, it alone belongs to surfing. There is no tube on the sidewalk or in the mountains.

The tube is not the oldest of all surfing arts. Ancient Hawaiians did not duck underneath the lip, they only slid down the face. But it was a Hawaiian, in the 1970s, who made the barrel look so so beautiful. His name was Gerry Lopez and he stood, shielded from the sun and from spectators and from all but his own introspection.

He stood with loose limbs and flair borne of subtlety. He went very deep in thunderous barrels but always looked graceful and without worry or fear. Gerry Lopez made the barrel the highest of all surfing arts.

Other magnificent tube riders, following in Gerry’s wake, have been Tom Curren, Andy Irons and his brother Bruce, Jamie O’Brien, Rob Machado, Josh Kerr, Matt Archbold, Bruno Santos and Koa Smith. They have made the tube a sort of second home and the nuances with which they trim, the slight movements that take them deeper and deeper are beautiful to witness.

Being inside the tube feels like all time has stopped. The first experience, inside, the surfer feels a rush of adrenalized fear. He feels that he is defying God’s natural order and should not be allowed to be where he is. He is between sheets of water, breathing his own air, but otherwise part of the sea. He feels that the lip will, at any moment, hit him in the head or the walls will crush him altogether for defying God’s natural order. But he must persevere. He must trust that the barrel will stay open and do what it does, which is to roll like a freight train, unless he is surfing closeout beachbreaks and then he will be crushed for his defiance.

And the first experience, inside, the surfer has very bad form. His legs are spread too wide. His arms move in small circles, pointed in odd directions. He leans too much toward the wall of the wave. He thinks, maybe, that he looks like Gerry Lopez but in reality he looks like a spasm. With time, however, the surfer becomes comfortable and the tube becomes the only place he wants to be. He is hungry for it with a hunger that never wanes. He can never get enough.

And so he listens to music that inspires him to get more tubes. He listens to anything by Icelandic supergroup Sigur Ros. Their ethereal sound gives him peace, unblock his chakras and allow him to flow. He eats a macrobiotic diet filled with steamed vegetables that is dull, not spicy, but, again, his chakras remain unblocked. He lives in a Hawaiian-style white plantation home and plants pineapple in the front yard and grows zucchini, which he steams.

He decorates his walls with expressionist art of a certain flow-ey, colorful bent. It puts his mind in the mood to be both surreal and rubber. He refuses to watch film and only goes to the theater and only watches Russian ballet. Tears fill his eyes when Russian ballerinas perform Peter and the Wolf.

His mind warps so thoroughly that the barrel ceases to feel strange and it becomes the only place where he feels natural. Western society marginalizes this obsessed man but he does not care. He spends more and more time in eastern places, like Bali, and odd places, like Hawaii.

He hums Sigur Ros tunes in these places and the locals cannot differentiate between these melodies and the melodies of Justin Bieber. He is home. He is free.