Hatred has percolated since 1998. Will it explode this year?
Some blood feuds are fresh, fiery, totally now. Like Gold Coast surfers vs. Mick Fanning. Such vitriol! Others, though, stretch back into the mists of time. Like Bob Hurley vs. Billabong! A generation ago, Mr. Hurley was a simple surfboard shaper with an eye for business. He acquired the United States license for Billabong and things were so on the up and up. Money flowed, everyone was happy. Except apparently Bob. He shocked the surf world by splitting with Australia’s favorite label in 1998 and started America’s favorite eponymous one minutes later, directly competing against his old friends. Nothing says “blood feud” like business!
The years passed, Nike acquired Hurley in 2002, started its own surf team and then dumped it, transferring all pros, some against their wills (there were rumors of tears!), to Hurley. And like that Hurley had a super team! John John and Kolohe, Filipe and Julian, Ace and Michel, Nat and Simpo. But of course there would be multiple World Surf League championship trophies hoisted under the banner of )(. Right?
Except then Gabs Medina won under the banner of Rip Curl and then Adriano de Souza won under the banner of ? And this year, Billabong is back, having assembled a super team of their own, gnashing well-worn teeth directly at Bob and his empire. Let us examine.
Hurley’s 2016 CT roster:
John John Florence
Billabong’s 2016 CT roster:
And whose is better? If you were a betting man would you say the year belongs to Hurley or to Billabong? Let’s bet, man!
P.S. If the above gentlemen were in a band instead of surfers what sort of music would they play? Joel would, for sure, be on bass. Jack lead vocals. Ryan on drums. Italo on rhythm guitar and Taj on lead guitar. Am I wrong?