Rumour: Depactus takes a dive!

Surf label aimed at Men of Extraordinary Pursuits may be no more!

Do you remember the “adventure-inspired” brand Depactus? It was launched almost two years ago by the former pro surfer Luke Egan, Electric founder Bruce Beach and Volcom’s Tony Ruiz, and was marked by a well-chosen team including the “greatest athlete you’ve never heard of” and Maui jibber Matt Meola.

Depactus branded their team MEPs or Men of Extraordinary Pursuits. Catchy, yeah it was.

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If you read the about section of the Depactus website, you’d discover it was “a technical outfitter for surfing’s modern youth.”

In an excellent interview with Stab magazine at launch, Luke Egan described Depactus as the “yin to Patagonia’s yang… After I left Billabong, throughout 2013 all I wanted was another challenge. I was going to stay at home in Australia and start making boardshorts and give them to the boys, just to see where it went. I spoke to Bruce, who’d left Electric, and he just wanted to go surfing with his son for six months. By the time it got to the end of year he’d done that and taken this brand to another level. Fuck, alright, let’s go then, I thought.”

Anyway, word on the street is Depactus is done. The MEPs are actively seeking alternative sponsorships and the reason for its failure?

We’re told the brand was marked by three major flaws.

  1. Big salaries right out of the gate.
  2. Branding that was tone deaf to the consumer. Depactus came in high-end and expensive where Salty Crew, who is killing it, came in low, came in blue-collar. Same waterman-fisherman-surfer vibe but more authentic and value oriented.
  3. Bold spending. Big ad agency employed, designers, staff and the most delicious trade show fit-outs seen in a while.

Did you get to see, feel, maybe buy Depactus? Did you like? Why do you think, if rumours are true, that it failed?

Below, you can watch a What Youth-produced video made at launch. A short that is marked by an optimism that was beautiful to watch the time, perhaps a little sad now.

The League of Exceptional Sexists!

What to men do after uttering reprehensibly sexist things?

Sexism in surf is an ongoing and multifaceted issue. Of course it weaves through so many aspects of our fair game, from objectification to second class status conferred upon women pros. The Sydney Morning Herald tackled the subject over the weekend as have many publications over the years. Surfing’s men typically bring the scorn upon themselves. Do you remember when Coco Ho was interviewed by Transworld (RIP) a few years ago and asked, “Is it hard to surf with boobs?” and “Are you scared to surf when it’s your time of the month?” Not very thoughtful questions. Dumb, in fact.

As bad as we are, though, at least we are not that fucking tennis tour. Did you read what CEO of the just wrapped PNB Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California said before Serena Williams played Victoria Azarenka in the final? I will quote!

I think the WTA [Women’s Tennis Association] … you know, in my next life, when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men. They don’t make any decisions, and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born because they have carried this sport. They really have.

Oops! I don’t know that I have ever read anything as explicitly sexist as that in sport and it makes me wonder, what does an extraordinary sexist do once he has been pilloried in the press? This particular one had to obviously quit his job straight away but then what does he do? Does he shrug his shoulders and become celibate? Does he change his name and pretend those words never crossed his lips? Or is there a League of Extraordinary Sexists which opens its arms and takes him in?

Imagine it, a clubhouse tucked in the hills where elderly gentlemen can wander in smoking robes and be served by twinks, since its a bit difficult to find women with pre-1930s ideals anymore. They say what is truly on their hearts without fear of reprisal. They smile crusty smiles and read pre-2015 Playboys. Nobody cooks, nobody cleans, nobody scolds. There are many back slaps and knowing winks.

Very seriously, how does a man operate after slagging off 50% of the world’s population?

In Memoriam: Venice Beach 1905 – 2016

It will be missed. I think.

For over a century, Venice was home to gangsters, weirdo’s, and Z-boys. Now all that’s left is trustifarians, Hollywood trash, and wealthy geeks. It will be missed.

Venice Beach, CA – Venice Beach – a once poor, open-minded town – died last week. It was 111.

Its final deathblow was made public with the revelation that the Rooster Fish – a gay bar – would be forced shut after 37-years. It not only gave gays a place to boogie, but became a home for natives to grab a decent glass of alcohol away from the hoards taking over the community.

The neighborhood was best known for gang activity and the saying, “Keep Venice Weird.” At some point – when artists could afford to live here – this actually meant something. Now it’s the office mantra at Snapchat. Surfers came to adore the overly “localized” shitty breaks because they could claim local status after only 3-months… while riding a Wavestorm.

Locals will miss the overpriced cocktails, Gjelina pizza, and the fake meat that’s pricier than real meat. They mourn La Fiesta Bravo’s cheap burritos as they nail the coffin shut with $20 juices from Erewhon. It’s done from afar though as the already exorbitant rental market disappeared in favor of more revenue generating Airbnb’s. Longtime resident Dennis Hopper once said, “Venice was the only place in LA I could remember enjoying because all my painter and poet friends lived here.” He bought his first parcel of property in 1985 for $21 000, but passed away in 2010 before seeing his compounds worth balloon to over $6-million.

Venice was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney as a beach resort town and destroyed by tech billionaire’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Evan Spiegel as ‘Silicon Beach.’ During it’s glory days this slum was the hangout of Beat generation poets, Jim Morrison, muscle heads like Arnie, Charles + Ray Eames, Jane’s Addiction, Hank Moody, and many other miscreants.

The death announcement was released in an eight episode series on NetFlix entitled Flaked. It made residents realize they were walking clichés and included the line, “I like this place. It’s like an on-line community, but in real life… ya know.”

The funeral service will include a memorial paddle-out lead by Rick Massie in tribute to the original art ghetto by the beach. It is survived by General Admission and

Our favorite Fantasy Surfer 2nd place finisher, Andrew Sayer, curates the completely delicious BoardRap. It is a wonderful collection of what is happening in the surfs and on the streets and should become a regular destination for the person who wishes to be in the know. Go! Go now!

"Funny thing is, I couldn't get to my feet," says Owen/ "So I just layed there. It was about knee high and the drop was, well, there was none but it felt like I was dropping into ten-foot Teahupoo."

Update: Owen Wright’s Brain Injury!

Has first surf since accident. "Funny thing is, I couldn't get to my feet," he says.

Do you remember when Owen Wright suffered a concussion in December? It was a hell of a business. Rated fifth in the world at the time and a world title contender, he gets cleaned up by a set, comes out of the water, walks up to the Rip Curl house, can’t speak, and is rushed to hospital.

“It was pretty scary,” said the current world number one, Matt Wilkinson. 

Owen hasn’t surfed, and has barely been seen, since. Rumours swirl, none confirmed. The door to his condition remains shut. Is the brain injury worse than first thought? Has his career evaporated? Is he floundering or flourishing under treatment?

 i couldn’t get to my feet. So I just layed there. It was about knee high and the drop was.. well there was none but it felt like I was dropping into 10ft teahupoo.

When Owen’s sister Tyler won the WSL event at Snapper Rocks, the door was prised open a little, a thin-looking Owen weeping and embracing his sister.

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A few minutes ago, Owen revealed on Instagram that he’d just taken his first surf since the accident, with the help of his dazzling girlfriend, Kita Alexander. 

“Sharing my journey – I went for my first surf a couple days ago. It was the funnest thing in the world. Funny thing is… i couldn’t get to my feet. So I just layed there. It was about knee high and the drop was.. well there was none but it felt like I was dropping into 10ft teahupoo. I finished the wave and I was so stoked I let out a hoot and claimed it and high fived kita.”

“5 mins later I was on the beach and started to think about what I actually did and started comparing it to what I used to be like or what everybody else was doing out there… and started to question why cant i….this I found started to ruin my experience and change how I really felt.

“It made me realise that ……self improvement is necessary but to focus on camparison of what used to be, what others can do or why you’re not good enough is detrimental to the now; negative emotion in your self will hinder improvement and happiness.Simple statement …. challenging to practice.”

Brain injuries. The over-fatigued senses, the lethargy, the memory spots, the tiredness, the disillusionment, the continual shrugs from medical virtuosos.

Who knows ’em better than snowboarders?

Remember this?

The Crash Reel – Official Trailer from WorldSnowboardTour on Vimeo.


Dear Rory: I Want to Move to Hawaii!

You'll be broke, working your ass off, and your kid will be stupid. Total bummer.

Dear Rory,

I’m married and have a young son. We recently sold our first home, and are sitting on a decent stack of money. Our original intention was to reinvest our funds in another larger home in the same city. Currently we are about 2 weeks away from closing on the new place, but we’re starting to have second thoughts. 

Although none one of us have ever been, we’re considering a move to Hawaii. Should we throw caution into the wind and move to paradise, or play it safe and stay put?

Aspiring Malihini

Dear Rory says:

Sorry, haole, we’re all full up out here.

Ha! But, seriously, it’s complicated.

The first thing you’ve gotta ask yourself, “Why do I want to move?”

Is it because you have itchy feet, feel all wrapped up in ennui, desperate to be somewhere, anywhere, but where you are? If that’s the case, stay put. Too many people move to Hawaii looking for answers, or fulfillment, or some sort of inner peace. And those things ain’t here. You can’t run from existential problems. No matter where you go, there you’ll be.

Now get the paradise thing out of your head. Sure, I live in paradise, but I Forrest Gump’ed my way into this situation, and I don’t have any crotch fruit depending on me. Everyone knows how expensive Hawaii is, but you can’t really appreciate it unless you live here. Expect to pay $200 a month for electricity (much more if you want A/C), and don’t expect to own your home. Median prices are around $750K, so unless you feel like living in Puna (you don’t want to live in Puna), you’re gonna be paying out the ass for rent. A two bedroom rental on Oahu is gonna run you at least $2000 a month, and that’s if you’re living in a shitbox in a terrible neighborhood. The same place in Town will be over $3K. You can always find a cheaper spot in Waianae, but then you’re stuck. Only one way in and out, you’ll be sitting in traffic three to four hours a day commuting to work. Commute from North Shore is about the same, but rent is closer to Town prices.

All in all, Hawaii’s cost of living is about 30% above the national average, while wages are generally lower. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, a family of three with both parents working requires $63,356 combined income before taxes. From personal experience, that is low. Enough to live hand to mouth, one missed pay check away from total destitution. In reality, if you want some minor luxuries, like cable TV and the occasional meal out, with some money left at the end of the month, you need closer to $100K.

And, you know, there’s the whole school thing. I won’t say that Hawaii public schools are bad, I never attended one. If I had to guess, I’d say the teachers are probably pretty comparable to the mainland, when it comes to skills and motivation. But 2009 saw statewide “Furlough Fridays,” reducing the school week to four days because of budget shortfalls. Beyond the problems that causes with childcare, it says a lot about the state’s priorities in regards to education.

Plus the water isn’t fluoridated. Lots of little kids with fucked-up teeth. Good purity of essence, though.

If you decide you want your kid to go to private school, Punahou is supposedly the best. $23K per year, which isn’t exactly cheap. Is it worth it? I couldn’t say. The President’s a Punahou grad, but I’ve met a ton of stupid losers who are as well.

So you’ll be broke, working your ass off, and your kid will be stupid. Total bummer.

But it’s not all bad.

The sense of community out here is mind blowing to guy like me who was raised in the go-fuck-yourself world of Los Angeles. If you can make it through your first six months (people hesitate to make friends with new arrivals because so many leave almost immediately) things will get easier. You can save money on food by growing your own, trading with neighbors, or killing your meat. You’ll figure out how to save money by mixing up your shopping. I typically hit three different markets for various stuff, depending on who sells what for less. You save a lot on entertainment, because, you know, there’s nothing to do. Hike, swim, surf, hunt, repeat. All the best stuff is free, once you’ve purchased gear. As long as you’re okay with waiting, Amazon will save you a ton of money. Prime pays for itself super fast.

Occasionally it’ll be a pain in the ass to get your hands on something quickly. Like, this weekend I went on a day long, island-wide hunt for au gratin dishes because I wanted to make scallops baked in a mushroom curry Béchamel. I finally found them, though, and it was delicious!

That’s most of the terrible, and it’s really all about money. It’s hard to deal with, but hardly impossible. The wife and I moved here with no car, no place to live, no jobs, and $4k in the bank. If someone were to ask me now, “Is that possible?”, I’d say no. We got very lucky. We also begged money off family a shameful number of times.

But there was also a ton of hard work, and a total refusal to give up. We saw most of our friends throw in the towel and move back home, but by never treating that as an option we were forced to make it work. And it eventually did.

I could never counsel someone to take the safe path. Mainly because I don’t believe there is one. Yeah, you can be a dutiful employee and save money and act like we’re taught you’re supposed to, but that’s a recipe for a mundane, miserable, soul sucking life. And there’s no way of knowing what the future will bring. You can work away your entire life, and drop dead at 60. You can save every spare cent and be swindled. You could enroll your kid in the best schools, and still see him end up blowing dudes in a bus station bathroom for meth money.

Mortgaging your youth for security in your old age is a sucker’s bet. The system is built to keep us slaves, as long as you play by the rules you’ll always be one.

I say do it, if it’s what you really want.

Why not? You’ll be dead soon enough, make the most of what time you have.

Send your life questions to: [email protected]

Due to the volume of mail, Dear Rory can’t answer letters personally etc…