Summer’s most beguiling fantasy is that when it’s this hot out, the sartorial rules we follow in cooler climes can go right out the window. In particularly oppressive heat, even the most stylish men can be tempted to throw caution to the wind (if they can find any wind, that is) and break every regulation that keeps guys looking reasonably good during the rest of the year.
This is the fate that has befallen iconic surfer Laird Hamilton.
The wave-chasing fashion designer was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday wearing a black shirt and dark jeans, items that would suggest he couldn’t have been feeling that warm. But his footwear, a pair of brown leather flip-flops, told a different story: that the man literally needed to cool his heels.
Never mind that he’s sending the fashion equivalent of a mixed metaphor; no matter what time of year it is, flip-flops are best used sparingly, like paprika. There’s even a handy list of places on GQ.com where you can wear them (you’re welcome), and spoiler alert: Airports aren’t on it.
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Boy, girl. It don't matter! It's 2016, anything goes!
Packed and ready to go. Back in three weeks. Nicaragua for fun, then to BI for a freedive comp. Will be sending in dispatches from the road. Frequency yet to be determined. Maybe I’ll find inspirado. Maybe I’ll spend the entire time out of my mind. Keeping my options open.
Got a goal this trip.
Gonna find a girl to go on a date with the wife and me. Like, court her as a team. Probably a her. But who can say? It’s 2016, anything goes. I’m an open-minded man.
It’ll be weird. Super awkward. The wife isn’t really into it. Still game nonetheless.
It’s not a sexual thing. Not totally. Won’t turn it down should circumstances sway that way. But that ain’t the goal.
Looking to rekindle that sickly nervousness I haven’t felt in forever. Does she like me? Am I making a good impression? Should I hold her hand?
Dragging the ball and chain along helps. Could feel her anxiety when I pitched the idea. It bleeds over. I feel it too. That’s what I’m looking for. This might be a fetish.
Maybe I’ll strike it rich. Find myself a sexy young thing. Ship her to Kauai. Install her in the guest room. Teach her learn about bad decisions. Wait for the inevitable disaster. A very bad idea I want to pursue.
More likely I’ll come off like some old drunken chicken hawk. I’m okay with that.
Two days, two nights (and bonfires) at Slater's Lemoore Surf Ranch!
Don’t this just get more and more Willy Wonka-ish every day. As announced by the WSL half-an-hour or so ago, Kelly Slater is going to throw open the door, for two surf fans, to ride his pool.
“One winner and their guest will experience two days and two nights of perfect waves, BBQ’s and bonfires with Kelly and his closest friends at Kelly Slater Wave Company’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California.”
How do you get a piece?
“Fans can enter for the chance to win their golden ticket to surf Kelly’s exclusive wave for as little as $10 through Omaze. Funds raised benefit WSL PURE, the philanthropic initiative of the World Surf League, dedicated to supporting ocean health through the key areas of research, education and advocacy. Every donation gives you a chance to hang with the greatest surfer of all time, while supporting critical efforts to help heal the world’s oceans.”
“‘I’ve had more requests than any one person can field or imagine about the Surf Ranch,” said 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater. ‘I am excited to be giving away the chance of a lifetime to whoever wins these tickets. I’m inviting a few pros to join us. So the winner will get to come hang at Surf Ranch for a few days and share waves and get tips from some of the best surfers in the world.'”
WSL Pure, meanwhile, is the “the philanthropic arm of the World Surf League, WSL PURE is a nonprofit that’s dedicated to improving the health of the planet’s oceans — a cause relevant to all of us.”
Still not convinced?
“And when the sun goes down, the party keeps going with bonfires, jam sessions and more with Kelly and his friends. Flights and lodging included.”
The shaka is, certainly, our gang sign. Our identifying hand jive, and as a surfer you toss them whether ironically or seriously more often than is maybe advisable. But do you know its origin story? Let’s read from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin!
We discovered different and fascinating accounts of how the “shaka” sign — denoting everything from “right on” and “thank you” to “howzit” and “hang loose” — originated, mainly variations of someone losing the three fingers of one hand in an accident, including trying to catch fish by throwing a stick of dynamite into the ocean. A few also swear it originated with California surfers.
What’s not in dispute is that former used car pitchman and TV personality David “Lippy” Espinda popularized the words and gesture, signing off his commercials with “shaka, brah!” Espinda, who died in 1975, reportedly once explained that his signature sign-off dated back to his marble-playing boyhood.
Meanwhile, Frank Fasi further ingrained the gesture into local culture, using it to symbolize his political campaigns beginning in 1976.
But as to its origins, the prevailing local lore is that it originated with Hamana Kalili of Laie, who lost the middle three fingers on his right hand during an accident at the old Kahuku Sugar Mill.
Kalili’s grandnephew Vonn Logan, who works for Brigham Young University-Hawaii’s Department of Continuing Education, explained that Kalili’s job was to feed sugar cane into the rollers, which would squeeze out the juice. He lost his fingers when his hand got caught in the rollers, Logan said. Because he could no longer work in the mill, he became a security guard on the sugar train that used to travel between Sunset Beach and Kaaawa.
“One of his jobs was to keep all the kids off the train,” Logan said. “All the kids would try to jump the train to ride from town to town. So they started signaling each other. Since (Kalili) lost his fingers, the perfect signal was what we have now as the ‘shaka sign.’ That’s how you signaled the way was clear.”
So much wonderful conjecture shrouded in vog. The shaka’s truth will never be certain but all is well. We know what it means and how to throw different ones.
But guess who just threw the world’s most awkward one?
That’s right! You got it! WSL CEO Paul Speaker!
What is happening? Why is his wrist bent at that angle? A football injury maybe? Why is his pinkie pointing toward Gab Medina’s shaka? Why is it tucked so tightly to his stomach when there is plenty of room for him to stretch out? Do you think this is the first shaka he has ever thrown? It has to be right?
Is he maybe pioneering a new, shriveled shaka style?
It was very cruel timing. Twelve is a beautifully shot and masterfully edited seven-part series from Bill Ballard that shows a surfer in rapier form. The Jordy Smith-Neff advertorial PLAY, while serviceable,hardly demonstrated the full range of the almost thirty year old South African’s skills.
This short, called Collecting Dust, is a collection of keepers from the past two years, and is edited by What Youth’s Blake Myers. It is better than PLAY, and serves as a reminder of Jordy’s gorilla skills, a study of a giant who plays combos better, even, than John John Florence.
There’s a little medium-wave play in here, and it’s here where we see the difference between the two. But, then, who could ever feel the same comfort as a boy who learned to surf at Pipe?
Collecting Dust concludes with the cabana-to-oop at North Point, and filmed by Nick Green, that you’ve seen a million times. It’s of such damn quality that even upon the million and first viewing, it still gives pleasure. This time the colour’s been removed and the clip extended to show Jordy’s ecstatic claim.