Miracle: VonZipper rises from dead!

The iconic sunglass company is back/never left! What other bits of 2000s nostalgia do you long for?

Last week was a stunner, no? First the Eddie was on and then the Eddie was off but it was OK because Jaws. Then the Titans of Mavericks was on and Nic Lamb won and the Committee of Five nodded solemnly. And then Red Bull found it in the goodness of their hearts to point cameras at Pipeline and let us gorge off the teat all day long.

What else happened? Justice Scalia died in his sleep sending Rory Parker into a fit of ecstatic paroxysms, Nazarè put on a wonderful show, Kelly Slater turned 44 and iconic sunglass brand VonZipper was announced dead also in its sleep. The reporting entity stated the reasoning was that VZ made sunglasses that, “swallowed the entire face.”

And so sad. Parko, Taj, the late, great Andy Irons each made VonZipper mainstays of the 2000s. Bold, colorful, sassy and fun. Sure maybe a little large but everything was oversized at that heady turn of the century from pant legs to paychecks. The times, they were as big as our dreams.

Yes, the passing saddened me and partially because it feels, stylistically, that 2000-2005 is ripe for a nostalgic comeback. We could all use a dash of bold, colorful, sassy and fun in our ready-to-wear. It would show ISIS that we are unbowed. It would let Putin know to leave the West alone or else. Without VZ shielding our eyes from the horrors of a refugee crisis, stalled Chinese economy, racial tensions in Europe and the US, a raging Zika epidemic, stagnating global wages, though, things would not feel quite right.

But how our emotions can turn on a dime! This morning I woke up to find a retraction of the VonZipper obituary buried at the tail end of a different story! It read:

Oh, and please consider this is an official retraction from the Stab Department of WordPress CMS Login Details. Stab reported in Gossip Girl a few days ago that we’d heard a rumour that VonZipper was closing its doors. Well, we got it wrong. Very wrong. VonZipper is alive and well, and any surf industry whispers are false. We for one, are glad that one of the most beloved eyewear brands in the game will be continuing. We sincerely apologise to all that were affected by our inaccuracy.

And this has made my day! I know how fickle rumors can be. How, in trying to artfully recreate a style of reportage, in trying to rush first to market, important details can slip away. I mean, I don’t know but I’ve heard. In any case, welcome back to the land of the living VonZipper! May your future be as bright as your past!

And while we are discussing 2000-2005 nostalgia…which bit would you most like to reconstitute? Kelly already has a lock on the potato chip surfboard but what else? What would you like to see? What do you miss?

Watch: Sirens of Kauai!

Watch girls in bikinis be shore pounded! Story includes dubious link to Greek classics.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve read any Greek mythology. At least since I was forced to in a scholarly setting, which was, again, a long time ago.

I remember the sirens, though.

Super hot ladies, singing beautiful songs and luring dumb-dumb sailors to their deaths. I think they were inspired by seals. Addled horn-dog sailors saw a bunch of ocean dogs flopping around yelling, “Arf! Arf! Arf!” and all they could think was, “Man, I can’t wait to dip my dick in that.”

I may be confusing sirens with mermaids.

Instead of pinnipeds we’ve got lithe tanned young ladies in teensy weensy bikinis flopping around in huge surging shorepound, some obnoxious safety minded filmer fills in for Orpheus’s lute, and the sailors are replaced by pasty skin tourists who lack the sense to stay far far far away from the shoreline.


Hows about an updated version?

Instead of pinnipeds we’ve got lithe tanned young ladies in teensy weensy bikinis flopping around in huge surging shorepound, some obnoxious safety minded filmer fills in for Orpheus’s lute, and the sailors are replaced by pasty skin tourists who lack the sense to stay far far far away from the shoreline.

Maybe not quite as dumb as wanting to fuck a seal, but close enough for government work.


Black Nazare
"It was a nasty and ugly session, unridable," says the filmmaker Pedro Miranda. "We call it 'Black Naza' when it's like that. The conditions were extreme, not because of the size, it was huge, although we’ve seen bigger, but because things were a bit more out of control than usual: strong onshore winds, biggest waves closing out and the inside was impossible for the security team. " | Photo: Pedro Miranda

Watch: Dirty, ugly Black Nazaré!

And the Australian Mick Corbett gets tossed like a salad!

Whatever your feelings about the “biggest wave in the world”, Portugal’s Nazaré, y’gotta admit it’s a photogenic sonofabitch.

Like most of us, I figured it was a giant burger operated, mostly, by semi-kooks dazzled by the idea of big-wave surfing, but then Shane Dorian, who was surprised by the ferocity of Nazaré, set me straight.

“The place is a logistical nightmare,” said Shane. “We lost a couple of skis. And, it’s really hard to do rescues there, really really hard. Each surfer needs his own water rescue guy on a ski. At all times. It’s really super dangerous. There’s a cliff there. All that shit. Once, I caught a wave and we lost one of the skis in the shore break. I finally got back out there an hour later. I got a couple more waves and then we had to ditch another ski on the sand. It is just chaotic. I had one of those feelings that I should be happy with the two waves I caught. It’s a full on beach break. It’s like these big wedges down the beach so every time you catch a wave there’s no way to paddle back out. You need a jet ski to come and get you right away and there’s a rip sucking you straight into a big cliff. It’s a lot like the north shore when the waves are big. The water’s really angry.”

The video, below, is from the Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Miranda.

“It was a nasty and ugly session, unridable,” says Pedro. “We call it ‘Black Naza’ when it’s like that… the conditions were extreme, not because of the size, but because things were more out of control than usual: strong onshore winds, biggest waves closing out and the inside was impossible for the security team.”

In the water there was the Australian Mick Corbett, another Australian,  Jarryd Foster, Portugal’s Nuno Santos and the Italian stud Alessandro Marciano.

“But only Mick got waves,” says Pedro. “That was that kind of day where you’re not expecting them to go in, but these guys are from Australia… man… it was a sick show to watch. Big respect to the Aussies! Overall, Mick charged into three waves which are all in the video. One was a WSL Big Wave entry few days ago, two of them he couldn’t make. The bigger ones were killers so the waves he got were like the mid-size from the session…”


Volcom House
Say, you ever dreamed of sitting…here…at the Volcom House watching in real-time a pumping winter swell at Pipe? Today you can! Open a can of tuna, maybe a blister pack of smoked ham, mix a cocktail and…w atch!

Live: Epic Pipe from the Volcom House!

Pipeline is pumping… now. Watch here!

This is novel idea. The Austrian energy drink company Red Bull is broadcasting today’s epic Pipe swell from the Volcom House at Pipe.

No panelists, no commentators, no judges. Just pure vision of a building four-to-six-foot swell operated by the best surfers on the North Shore.

From Red Bull’s PR division:

“THIS IS LIVE is a simple concept: Livestream a day of freesurfing at Pipeline and Backdoor using the famed Volcom Houses and their unobstructed beachfront view of the waves as our vantage point.  Intentionally a low fi project, this livestream won’t have commentators and heat analyzers. No panelists and pundits. And no VOD. When the cameras turn off, that’s it. This is live sums up what the experience is all about in three little words. Tune in, and it should feel like your’re sitting on the back porch of the Volcom House, watching Pipeline go off right there in front of you.”

The broadcast is coming from the three-storey, four-bedroom Gerry Lopez house Volcom bought in 2007 for $US4.2 million (see the setup below) and not the little house where a BeachGrit correspondent once took a gal and never saw her again.



Watch here!

Rumor: Mikey Wright your wildcard!

The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast is less than one month away and Mikey Wright might don the singlet!

BeachGrit runs off your fumes. Without you we are but clanging gongs, empty vessels, and this may seem mealy-mouthed but it is entirely true. There was a time in my life when I refused to respond to online comments, Twitter things, etc. or even read them. It felt less cool to go and mix in the lowly places. How wrong I was. The lowly places are the only ones that truly exist. There is no highbrow art being created in our surf world. No cloistered few elevating the conversation. There is only this and this is very fun.

Yesterday, for example, the wonderful longtom had a legitimate question below an illegitimate post. He asked:

Sorry to change the subject, but will Quik hand out another wildcard to Dane for Snapper? Or have they now all OD’d on disappointment?Anyone got any inside info? Nick Carroll: you’re in bed with Quiksilver, do you know?

And I thought, yeah! I wonder too! Nick Carroll is so esteemed but I thought take this little morsel off his plate so reached out to a well-placed surf industry source as handsome as he is spirited. And guess who else reads your comments! He said:

My people there are telling me that, after reading all the comments on BeachGrit, there is some serious thought about giving it to Mikey Wright. Nothing official yet…

Mikey Wright would be so welcomed, no? Dane is, of course, so very exciting, but longtom is also so very right. Almost always disappointing. And older. And motivated? The internal fire in that boy seemed choked even in the best of years. Do you think he is looking back at his decision to step away from Quiksilver, right now, and thinking, “Hmmmmmmmm.” Do you think Ando is looking back at his own decision and saying, “SHIT! Shit shit shit shit shit SHIT!”

Quiksilver does look so very reinvigorated, fresh, young, happy, free. I am excited for the Snapper event. I am excited to see Mikey unofficially soar. The future is bright!

Top of the totem pole? You'd be smiling too!
Top of the totem pole? You’d be smiling too!