Hayden Cox
The noted Australian shaper Hayden Cox, performs live on FB! | Photo: @haydenshapes

Watch: Hayden Cox Shape Live!

Watch a board designed, shaped and glassed in response to Facebook fan comments…

Earlier today, the noted shaper Hayden Cox designed a board entirely from viewer feedback via his and the WSL’s Facebook pages.

Crowdsourced, yes, one of those vulgar crowdfunded things that either don’t happen or they don’t work? No.

I got a little confused on the dates, couldn’t find it on the WSL site (Facebook live event only) and so I missed part one whereupon thousands of WSL fans (averaging 4000 viewers during the event) threw their opinion at Hayden.

I called him just after he’d wrapped (“I was real nervous a couple of hours ago) and he says it wasn’t high-performance shorties the gang was chasing nor fishes. The consensus was for something in between.

Given the outright contractions of surfboard design and the insane number of variables, the board ended up being a five-foot-eight-inch twin-fin with a winged swallow tail, thirty litres in volume, neither high nor low fidelity, not overly wide or thick in the nose, but, then, straighter in the rocker for a fast, stable platform.

Through the nose is a displacement hull or what Hayden calls an “aggressive double concave. It penetrates the water surface and feeds the water through the board. It softens that slapping feeling you get on a flat bottom. Makes it forgiving and smooth. Allows a little more volume up forward, too.”

Hayden is thrilled the world is watching him graft ideas onto foam. “I’m passionate about shaping, I love design, and I love technology. And the really cool thing about surfing is that there are no formal boundaries. In most other sports there are boundaries on equipment: baseball bats, golf clubs, Formula One cars. In surfing, you can ride what you want and it’s up to you to interpret that and surf a wave with excitement.”

Let’s examine!

Tomorrow the board is spat out of the shaping machine and Hayden steps in to clean up the rough spots. The day after we get the laminating process. Is the little twin going to get his patented Futureflex-epoxy combo or something a little more traditional?

Depends on you. Light up the comments.

Tune in here at eight am in Australia, three pm on the West Coast US, real late in England.

And, in case y’asking, a Craig Anderson refined twin-fin is going to become part of the Hayden Shapes lineup later in the year.

monk seal attack

Hero: Man Attacks Pregnant Monk Seal!

What's not to love?

Does the well publicized beaching of a whale corpse at Trestles this past week foreshadow a coming apocalypse?

Are aquatic mammals re-evolving?

Will they learn to once again live on the land, usher in a new era of terror?

Can we expect a dark future rife with oppression at the hands of our cetacean overlords, their every whim enforced by an army of jack booted pinnipeds?

At least one Kauai man believes so. Nineteen-year-old Shiloh Akuna was arrested Thursday after footage of his heroic effort to return a monk seal interloper to her watery realm surfaced on social media.

The seal in question, a seventeen-year-old pregnant female, is infamous in local waters. Given to lounging about all day on the beach and slutting it up with all comers, her very presence is indicative of Hawaii’s welfare queen mentality.

An all encompassing sense of entitlement that pervades our entire endemic seal population, sure to lead to all out interspecies warfare once the humpbacks return next year.

Currently facing up to five years in prison for his efforts on our behalf, Akuna’s imprisonment is a miscarriage of justice on the order of Eugene V Debs.

A true hero, a man willing to suffer for the greater good despite whatever harsh treatment he may face.

Parker: “I love being a man!”

Tall, strong. Got a great dick. Best dick ever, really.

I try to live by the rule: it’s okay to look, not leer.

I’m a virile male, skew pretty straight on the Kinsey scale. I mean, I am a total degenerate, so if something flops into my lap I’ll react on a case by case basis. Sure, there’s dicks out there I’d suck. But I’m not trolling local restrooms looking for ’em.

But women… Lovely, soft skin, heavenly smelling women. Love ’em all. Fat ones, skinny ones, short ones, tall ones. Especially the tall ones. And the fat ones. And the other two. All of them, really.

But I suspect I also hate them.

A little bit.

In that deep dark place where I hide my true self. It gets weird in there. I try to be unrepentantly myself but there are a few monsters that’ve gotta be kept under lock and key. I suspect we’re all like that. Maybe I’m projecting. More than a few things I thought were normal turned out, “No one else thinks that, Rory!”

I only just recently realized it. Came about because transphobia’s so hot right now. “Of course it’s okay. You don’t get to choose who you are. And, anyway, who the fuck would want to be a woman?”

The moment it came out of my mouth, uh oh.

That’s, like, maybe not a great thing to feel. But I love being a man. Tall, strong. Got a great dick. Best dick ever, really. Pretty damn good looking, though my ears are slightly off kilter since my last surgery and no one else notices but I have just enough vanity that it’s fucking killing me. Makes my sunglasses sit slightly askew as well.

Given actual thought to cosmetic surgery. Wouldn’t be the first time. A commenter made a crack about me and Christie Brinkley, something about how she’d had cosmetic surgery and I hadn’t. Jokes on him, I caught a fin to the face back in high school and used a plastic surgeon to keep me pretty.

The point being, I think I might hate women a little bit. Which I need to work on. But knowing’s half the battle.

However! I have nothing but admiration for athletes. I understand the struggle, the effort, the total commitment it takes to build your skill to the top level. There’s sacrifice and hardship and doubt and it’s a never ending nightmare. To look at the best in the world and say, “I can do better.” Fucking amazing.

So it bothers me to see top-tier female athletes marketed almost solely on their sexuality. Yeah, they’re gorgeous. But show me that gorgeous woman doing something she’s worked her entire life to achieve. Don’t just sell me a close up of her amazing ass. I might like it, but I don’t appreciate it.

Of course, it’s her body. She can do what she wants with it. Nothing wrong or shameful with taking pride in your form. But if she’s not into it and is just going along because that’s how you play the game? Then I’d like to see the rules change.

It’s something I’d really like to write about, that relationship between our top females’ sexuality and their marketability. Are they into it? Are they pressured? Is it all part of a plan?

But it’d be hard. Probably not good. Because I’m a guy and I like being a guy and I think I might hate women a little bit and in the end there’s just no way I can really relate.

So I’ve just gotta keep hoping some lady tackles the matter.

But you know what I can write about? An amazingly shot and edited video featuring some of the sexiest damn women I’ve ever seen. Are they being objectified? Absolutely! But they’re models, it’s what they do. Literally what they signed up for. Male, female, whatever. Nothing wrong here.

Very racy. Absolutely titillating. Made my day. Showed it to my wife, asked, “Why don’t you look like this anymore?”

“Fuck you, Rory. You never looked that good.”

Rabbit Kekai
Rabbit Kekai was the best 60-year-old surfer in the world, then the best 70-year-old, then the best 80-year old. Not sure when he actually had to quit, but I’m sure it wasn’t by choice. | Photo: @KellySlater

Culture: Get to Know Rabbit Kekai!

Rabbit Kekai is surfing's link to the Duke! He's precious!

Surfing has history. And it’s a good one. Long before the WSL and the ASP and half a century before Kelly Slater, the surfing dream was…created… by Hawaiian surfers of an imperial majesty.
Men like Duke Kahanamoku and men like Rabbit Kekai, the beachboys of Waikiki. Surfers and swordsman of the highest order. Took surfing to new levels and built the whole damn myth kids from San Clemente to Sao Paulo still cling to.
Anyway, Rabbit is ninety-seven years old now and lookin’ like hell in a hospital bed. Ageing ain’t pretty, but…if I can get this close to a hundred and still be breathing sweet air, I’ll take it.
I remember seeing Rab, in his late seventies at the time, on my first few trips to Hawaii. Good looking, bit of a stomach, but with the vibe of a man thirty years younger.
To me he always presented a beautiful example of a life lived well. And he’s our connection to the Duke and to the genesis of modern surfing.
Let’s learn a little about him before he skips town.
I called the surf historian Matt Warshaw to fill in the gaps…
BeachGrit: Rabbit matters. Right?
Warshaw: Surfers rode straight for 2,000 years, then after World War II, the story goes, a few hot young guys at Malibu began turning, and that’s the start of performance surfing as we know it. But if you actually talk to the Malibu guys—Matt Kivlin and Joe Quigg are still alive—they say that the inspiration for the whole deal came from sailing off to Waikiki one year, I think it was 1947, and getting an eyeful of Rabbit Kekai at Queens.
What was Rabbit doing that was so different?
I don’t know how much actual turning was going on. Rabbit at that point was still riding a hot curl, which means no fin. But he was super quick on his feet, moved up and down the board a lot, and yeah, he could change directions a bit. I remember Rabbit saying that when he was a kid, he his pals would surf their way around rocks on the inside, which was fun, and when they they moved out to Queens they just kept turning their boards.
But no fin, huh?
No, but Rabbit’s boards were way smaller and thinner and narrower than what Kivlin and his buddies were riding. Kivlin borrowed Rabbit’s board—or Quigg borrowed it, I forget—and could sink it to the bottom just by standing on the deck. So Rabbit could change direction kind of the way a good surfer on an alaia can change direction. The Malibu guys sailed back to Malibu and made their boards smaller, and started copying Rabbit’s moves.
Rabbit Kekai, surfing Queens by Clarence Maki.
What else should we know about Rabbit?
The man’s a big-time talker, one of the best, the stories were endless, but you never quite know if what he says is 100% true, or maybe flavored a bit. But let’s see. He was a fast little fucker, and ran a 10-second 100-yard-dash in high school. He did underwater demo work during the war, and maybe blew up an enemy ship or two. Was a part-time board thief as a teenager. Lose your board from way out the back, and Rabbit would have that thing up on sawhorses, reshaping it, sawdust flying, by the time you hit the beach. He’s shrug and point. “Mighta drifted down that way!”
And he just kept surfing. 
He was the best 60-year-old surfer in the world, then the best 70-year-old, then the best 80-year old. Not sure when he actually had to quit, but I’m sure it wasn’t by choice.
Kind of a dick-swinger too…
Last of the great Waikiki beachboys. Gave surf lessons to movie stars Gary Cooper, David Niven, Gregory Peck, and nobody went on record, but for the local boys running with the Hollywood crew I’m pretty sure it was hot and cold running pussy.
I’m interested in the line, hot and cold running pussy. Do these old men ever reminisce about this aspect of the golden age? 
Among themselves, no doubt. Not to some grinning haole reporter like me or you looking for a story. But yeah, whatever else they did, surf lessons or tour guide or whatnot, gigolo service was on the menu for sure.
…what a life it must’ve been for the beach boys. I’m still thinking pussy…
Lotta alcoholism and a lot of busted marriages, but yeah . . .
Seems like we’re losing all the great ones. 
They guys who made a decision to surf when surfing wasn’t a career, or anything close to respectable—that’s a big deal. That’s a hard decision. Surfing is so easy when your parents and teachers do it, and it’s all over People magazine, and John John’s making 3 mil a year or whatever. I love guys like Rabbit who had to do it by hook or crook, when nobody gave a shit, and nobody was watching, or if they were watching, they were thinking, Get a job, you bum. We were only ever interesting, surfers that is, when this was hard. Rabbit lived a great life, a spectacular life, rode a million waves, loved a thousand women. But he had to make a lot of up as I went, I’m guessing. It wasn’t a free ride.

Dane Reynolds
“I’ve always been about aesthetic, something that generally looks or feels good, or has a good vibe to it, but I’m pretty sick of shit that looks cool but has no substance.” | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

Revealed: Reynolds’ Quik Contract!

Dane Reynolds will hate me for this. But I'm a fan and I love this shit…

I’ve read so much speculation regarding top tier contracts over the years. How much are they making? Hard to say. Always kept secret. In the case of Dane, his contract made that mandatory:

The athlete will keep secret and confidential all details of this agreement and all knowledge of information relating to Quiksilver, its Affiliates and Licensees, other than information which at the time of receipt or subsequently has passed into the public domain other than by fault of the athlete.

But Quik’s bankrupt, seeking to divest themselves of Reynolds’s claim against them, and so submitted Dane’s contract as evidence. Which makes it a matter of public record and that means we all get to feast our eyes on the details.

The contract prior to 2006 is absent, but the rest is all there. 2006 to 2011, as well as the amendments made when he re-upped until 2017.

I can only assume Dane is going to hate me for this. Kinda sucks, put myself on his radar, make him not like me. ‘Cuz just like every surfer, I adore Mr Reynolds. Super uncomfortable since he’s the surfer we all want to be. Dora without the thievery.

But I’m first and foremost a fan and I love this shit.  So here we go…

Dane Reynolds contract

Additionally, Dane’s contract entitled him to a $100,000 signing bonus, as well as 10,000 Quiksilver stock options, vested over a three-year period.

Nice chunk of change going on here. Pretty lucrative incentives (with the exception of that stock, obviously.) Unfortunately for Dane’s wallet, things didn’t really pan out. He decided to quit the tour in 2011, posted a letter on Marine Layer explaining why. It’s no longer there, but our dear friends at The Inertia saved it from extinction. 

and so here i am. 26. officially off tour. wasted talent. blown potential. refusing responsibility. ‘all he wants to do is sit at home and play with crayons and ride fucked up boards.’ but wait! but wait! that’s not true! don’t listen to chris mauro. he’s a dinosaur. doesn’t get it. this may be the end as a wct contender, but its also a new beginning. i feel like a baseball. the skins been carefully pried off and there’s a thread and i’m gonna pull it and i’m gonna end up a pile of string on the floor. but then maybe i’ll be knit into something more useful, like a sweater. or perhaps something beautiful, like a hand embroidered masterpiece of a deer and two fawn drinking cold clear water out of a creek. but you never know. i hope to achieve some sort of balance. yeah, i do like riding fucked up boards, but i also like doing airs and taking some aggression out on a cutback. and competings rad if you can stay inspired, but rankings and trophy’s mean very little to me. i wanna learn, i wanna make things, things of purpose, be productive. travel. new experiences. new sensations. and most importantly explore the outer limits of performance surfing. i’ll still compete. but its not going to consume me. 

Of course, even off tour, perhaps especially so, Dane was still a huge draw. His 2011 renegotiation earned him a substantial pay increase. Amendments to the contract included:

– A monthy salary of $291,666.67.

– A 3% royalty on net sales of products that “bear the name or likeness of Athlete, or utilize the designs or artwork created and owned solely by Athlete (the ‘Signature Products’).”

– “The term ‘Team Managers’ shall be deleted from the agreement and be replaced in all instances with ‘Quiksilver Liasons.’” (I’m sure there’s a story behind that one.)

– “Athlete may also wear and use ‘Summer Teeth’ brand clothing and accessories as reasonably approved by sponsor, but only for so long as Sponsor or one of its Affiliates is the exclusive licensee and manufacturer of the ‘Summer Teeth” brand.”

– Marine Layer Productions became the sole producer of all of Reynolds’s video shoots, so long as “all fees and expenses are pre-approved in writing by Sponsor in its reasonable discretion and are comparable to the fees and expenses that would be charged by similarly situated production companies.”

-Reimbursement for expenses during travel to any promotional activity or competition. The 2006-2011 contract left Dane to pay.

– “For so long as the Sponsor has the ‘Young Guns House’ in Pupukea, HI, Athlete may stay in the house during the months of November and December of each year during the Term, provided Athlete gives Sponsor reasonable notice of his intent to stay at the house.”

– Reimbursement of up to $72,000 per year to pay for the lease and insurance costs of a “house, apartment, warehouse space or other property.”

-Custom fitted black wetsuits made from Japanese rubber

There’s more to it, including Dane’s responsibilities regarding promotional activity, behavior, etc. But it’s all kind of boring legalese.

For those of you who are interested, here is Quik’s response to the claim in full.

Quiksilver response to claim