Surf forecaster offers fifty-mill for a company worth half-a-billion less than a year ago…
Did you know there’s money in surf? Even in its supposed decrepitude, it’s still one of the great spinners of cash for nothing.
But it ain’t the early two-thousands when all it took to shave a piece off a marketing budget was a few cocktails and a half-convincing spin. Now, if you want to soak in the real money, you’ve got to know finance. You’ve gotta know how to create a company that, while losing money, and even while making acquisitions so outrageously bullish you know the house of cards has to fall, you can peel off a nice mill-a-year salary. With stock. Which you sell prior to the collapse.
Now, as reported by the Australian Financial Review, the owners of the surf forecast site Coastalwatch, which is suing Surfstitch over a content-sharing deal that put twenty-mill on the Surfstitch balance sheet, has offered to buy the whole thing for fifty-ish mill.
A little less than the half-a-billion dollars Surfstitch was worth last November.
From the AFR:
Not content with suing Surfstitch over a failed content deal, a media company from Sydney’s Northern Beaches has now lobbed a $55.4 million takeover offer for the embattled surf retail and media business.
Surfstitch revealed on Wednesday that it had received a non-binding proposal from Coastalwatch, a website that delivers surf reports and forecasts, to buy 100 per cent of the company.
Street Talk first revealed in August that Three Crowns Media Group, which is the ultimate holding company of both Crown Financial and Coastalwatch, as well as other media outlets including magazine Surfing World and snowsports website Mountainwatch, was the mysterious third party embroiled in legal action with Surfstitch over a content-sharing arrangement gone wrong.
And to make matters more confusing, Surfstitch had once considered buying Three Crowns before its own troubles deepened. Now the tables have turned.
Coastalwatch has proposed buying Surfstitch for 20¢ a share, just higher than the 30-day volume weighted average price of 19¢. However, Surfstitch’s board has decided the bid is not in the best interest of shareholders because it does not deliver an appropriate premium for securing control, is highly conditional and Coastalwatch continues to pursue its litigation.
And from The Courier Mail one month ago re: Coastalwatch’s daddy suing, while buying up shares.
THE soap opera drama continues for SurfStitch as a legal rival snaps up more shares in the company, fuelling speculation the online surfwear retailer is in play for a takeover.
Crown Financial, the company linked to Three Crowns Media group which is locking horns with SurfStitch in court, increased its shareholding to 10.41 per cent from 9.33 per cent on Wednesday, making it the largest shareholder in the company.
It follows two other surprise buy ups by Crown earlier this month. Baillieu Holst analyst Mathan Somasundaram said all signs pointed to an imminent takeover.
“It’s an attractive takeover bid for someone who wants to come in and chop it up, strip out the retail business from the media assets and run it tough until margins improve and growth comes back,” Mr Somasundaram said.
“The share price is telling us it has plateaued around 20¢.
“And if you were going to do a takeover you’d need the backing of a few big players who would need to buy up decent holdings.
Kenoi faced a couple felonies, a couple misdemeanors, thanks to poorly considered decisions to use government money to pay for a stand up paddle board, bicycle, a shitload of booze, and multiple trips to Oahu buy-me-drinkee bars.
If that last term sounds a tad racist, that’s because it probably is. The polite term is “hostess bar.”
Irvil Kapua was allowed to resign rather than face charges, while his wife remained of the force, steadily working her way into a position of power.
Karen Kapua was ordered to repay the money stolen, plus an additional $25k, and sentenced to sixty days in jail. She will be allowed to serve her time on the weekends.
Sadly, the poor fuckers she framed in the course of her employment weren’t given the same leniency. She had to cover up her theft somehow, what better way than claiming it was used via confidential informants to conduct drug purchases which, obviously, never actually happened?
Let's get a little closer to Jon Pyzel, the shaper to world champion John John Florence!
Some of the most exciting surfboard design is coming out of a little factory in Waialua on Oahu. Here, you’ll find the shaper Jon Pyzel, who is forty-eight, building boards for the new champion of the world John John Florence. Pyzel is also, nominally, the “best shaper in the world” after winning a blind-fold contest starring Dane Reynolds, that appeared in Stab magazine.
Pyzel has been making boards for John John Florence, who has just-turned twenty-four, since the kid was five; since his mama Alex brought the boys to see him at his old bay at Sunset Beach and gave him two-hundred dollars for materials to build John a board. The yellow four-six with halo of orange rails is “hideous to look at” but now exists as a memorial of sorts to a boy destined for greatness.
This interview was recorded between Waialua, Oahu, and Bondi, Australia.
BeachGrit: Is that the fabulous Mr Jon Pyzel? Tell me everything! Tell me about your current emotional position. Your boy wins the world title; you scoop up the Stab prize as #1 shaper.
Pyzel: I don’t know about fabulous but it’s Jon Pyzel! I’m pretty fucking happy. Happiness mixed with a little relief. I don’t know. It seems like it’s been a long road.
BeachGrit: You must’ve seen John’s world title coming a long time ago…
Pyzel: I felt like it was coming for a long time. It’s one of those things, you never know until it happens. I believed in it, but cautiously believed. I knew he had the talent, put it that way. And I think the one thing that stands out the most to me in this whole thing, especially being in Portugal and seeing his whole situation, was that I literally feel like he…chose… to win the world title. And it happened. He just went, ‘I’m really going to do this.’ Without sounding arrogant, because that’s not what I mean. I feel like the guy can do what he wants in surfing. So he went, ‘Ok, now, this is what I want to do.’ Choosing to be in that frame of mind, cleaning his way to do that. Pretty fantastic.
BeachGrit: In the final, he really loosed himself.
Pyzel: That was the after-party right there.
BeachGrit: Tell me about his little crew in Portugal?
Pyzel: He was staying with his girl Lauryn (Cribb), his filmer Erik (Knutson), and a good friend Brandon Wasserman, who’s like his road manager. He does everything. Makes everything easy. That whole group, they get along really good. It’s not some team that’s…working. They’re a group of people who are happy to be around each other. No one’s discussing heat strategies. All the pieces were already there.
BeachGrit: I was surprised Mom John wasn’t there when the champagne rained.
Pyzel: I know, Alex was super bummed. I mean, she was super stoked but sad she wasn’t there. Those guys didn’t know the numbers, that he could win the whole thing there. No one was breaking down numbers at the dinner table. Once he was in the quarters, or maybe even the fourth round, there was a point when we realised… you can win this. It got down to, win three heats and you’re the world champion. Six good waves. It was pretty radical.
BeachGrit: There was very little negative electricity clouding the air when he scooped up the title cup.
Pyzel: Such a good thing, such a good feeling. Even the guys who could’ve won it were stoked. I talked to Jordy and he was stoked for John. No one was, like, ‘Fuck that guy!’ The best surfer is the world champ. That’s a cool thing to see happen ’cause it doesn’t always work out like that. As surfers it’s killer. It validates pro surfing. This is the guy we think is the best surfer and he won.
BeachGrit: Did you dance the night away?
Pyzel: Everyone was drinking beers at a nine-thirty in the morning. There was a big fridge of Coronas and Sea Bass was leading the charge. Even Kelly was drinking a beer and that’s rare. After lunch we split. I went back to my hotel and had a nap. Woke up at six, went to John’s house and him and his friend Kieron were just getting in from surfing. He’d gone and surfed for two hours.
BeachGrit: Is there any amount of money, you think, that could convince him to ride for another company?
Pyzel: I don’t know. You’d have to ask him. We’ve been through a lot. He’s had people obviously come to him, and he’s ridden different boards. And there’s been different times when I felt some pressure coming from big companies. And I’ve told him, too, ’cause we’re pretty close friends, don’t feel like you have to ride my boards, because we’re friends or because you owe me anything. What has happened, for me, having a kid of that calibre, is it’s challenged me and kept me working hard. I don’t want him on other boards. I want him on my boards. I don’t think money is a worry for him. He’s doing alright. If he was losing, or doing shitty, he’d be looking for different boards. He’d change it. We’ve had times when the boards weren’t working great so we worked on it.
BeachGrit: In detail, can you describe his go-to board for average three-foot waves. For waves most of us schlep around in?
Pyzel: The Bastard is his favourite. He’s been riding it for three or four years now. (Either a 6’0″ by 18.63 by 2 1/4 or 2 3/16ths.) More than a lot of surfers who ride a totally different board in different conditions, he prefers to have a consistent feel – straight up, standard short boards, made a little bit for better waves than worse waves. He’ll make it work when it’s less than perfect. My boards tend to be a lot flatter than a lot of shapers. But this design is pretty curvy, with a single concave through the bottom and a tiny, tiny double concave in the fins. It tends to have a little more volume though the nose and under the chest. Being bulkier up front helps in landing is when the front foot is on the nose. It stabilises stuff there, keeps the board out of the water.
He also tends to ride boards small relative to his size. He has a narrow stance, watch him pumping down the line. Wide boards and narrow don’t fit. The board will also hold. The things aren’t sliding out. It’s not going to let go. He likes sensitive boards that you can push hard.
BeachGrit: What’s your design philosophy?
I don’t have some sentence written down, but if you look at my boards, they’re simple, they’re clean and I try to make ’em look pretty.
BeachGrit: What did you shape today?
Pyzel: I shaped a ten-five, four inches thick, a monster for a six-eight water polo playing guy. I just shaped a couple of six-o’s for Jack Freestone. I shaped a ten-o, an eight-six, two six os, I shape everything. And I just cut a new ten-five for John, another big Bay board.
Apologies can be difficult to deliver but they soar like poetry when done right!
Oh we humans sure are error prone! Always just putting our foot right in it! I make enough mistakes for two people every day. Sometimes three! But it’s how we react when caught out in some mistake that defines us, no? A great apology makes up for a thousand sins. Let’s read some of the best mostly context free surfer apologies of all time!
Mick Fanning:Prior to the exchange with the reporter, I had refused to speak with him because I understood he worked for Stab magazine and that it had previously published articles which I believed were racist and anti-Semitic. I strongly object to views, statements and comments of that nature.
I acknowledge that my decision to use words that were inappropriate – albeit in an attempt to be ironic, knowing they were of the type favoured by the magazine – was misjudged and wrong. I don’t have or condone any form of racist or, more particularly, anti-Semitic view.
Wait. Is this an apology? No matter, I suppose. Bravo!
Noa Deane:I would like to apologise for my actions 2 nights ago at the surfer poll awards, it was incredibly stupid, what I said was not targeted at any of the surfers on tour and they are on there because they are the best surfers in the world I truly respect them and above all I’d like to apologise to the people of Hawaii and any kids watching. I’m meant to be a role model in surfing and my actions on the night were not appropriate and that was not the time or place to voice that opinion.
My only goal was to raise the point of surfing not becoming a corporate sport like football but I can see and acknowledge how I came across and I am sorry…. I’m truly humbled to receive the AI award someone who I looked up to as a kid and loved his surfing, and can’t believe that I over shadowed the honour of with my actions later in the evening.
Yes! full-throated and complete! Everyone included in the apology party! But also totally unnecessary. Fuck the WSL!
Jamie O’Brien:I shook hands, everything was cool, but he asked me to put my head down when I shook the hand, and I was disappointed with the, like, “Jamie O’Brien bowing down to me” thing. I went back and apologised and did the right thing, but hey, he did wrong too, I wasn’t the only one. I’m not an asshole and that’s not what I was pushing for. But it took off on social media.
Ricardo Dos Santos was a fighter and a stud. So is Jamie O and this apology sings!
Remember this apology from the great Kelly Slater for stealing Adriano de Souza’s thunder by releasing footage of his magnificent wave pool not 10 hours after ADS won the crown? Adriano doesn’t remember it either!
Australia’s Surfing Life:At Surfing Life we absolutely abhor racism of any kind and actively work to eradicate it from our culture. In the same issue, we extended five pages of free advertorial space to a charity active in remote Indigenous communities and while our respect for Otis is primarily driven by his incredible talent as a surfer, we also admire the fact he is a role model for many Indigenous Australians.
An apology plus advertorial! A gift that keeps on giving!
Mick Fanning:It’s always great being home, it was great to see everyone getting barrelled, everyone just sort of is laughing. Obviously the crowd can be a bit crazy, but apologise to anyone we burnt, but you know, when the waves are that good…
Wait. Is that an apology? No matter, I suppose. Poetry!
The Youth Against Establishment stay True to This!
Volcom, as you read right here just last month, has completely gutted its surf and snow programs. Decapitating all but a very few riders and most of the long time management team. Littering the earth with headless bodies. Cutting costs, theoretically. Improving the bottom line, maybe.
Oh sure the dearly departed (Alex Grey, Parker Coffin, Quincy Davis etc.) may not have sold the most boardshorts/swim gear ever but that’s not the fucking point!
The point, I think, is that the brands are built on the backs of those who actually do the thing. Those who live and die seasonal deaths. Kicking back down through the ranks was a way to honor that. And paying people to surf, snow, skate, especially no name kids, represented the essence of a derelict dream. Or it did to me.
Like a populist on his soapbox I railed against the Stone for this grave injustice. This cowardly hit. This destruction of, dare I utter the word, soul!
But, today, I have learned I was wrong!
It has been revealed that Volcom was simply saving pennies to sign a major superstar. A gal so stylish that the floor melts under her feet. A sweetheart who represents what we love to an absolute T. A shred of the highest order.
The daughter of The Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger and his ex-wife supermodel Jerry Hall is herself a supermodel and now the face of Volcom. Let’s read from Vogue!
Georgia May Jagger might be the quintessential British cool girl, but her style isn’t solely restricted to modish dresses and Chelsea boots. As a newly appointed ambassador for Volcom, the model has found herself incorporating ski, skate, and surf apparel into her everyday wardrobe.
And with the brand’s launch of Simply Solid Swim, a sustainable swim collection that’s made with ECONYL, a fabric spun from recycled fishing nets, she’s working bathing suits into her look, too. “I was wearing the ECONYL swimsuit like a crop top the other day,” she says with a laugh.
Becoming the face of a swimsuit collection isn’t just about posing for the camera, though. After shooting the campaign with a group of Volcom surfers in Hawaii, Jagger was keen to try out the sport herself. With the help of Volcom surfer Coco Ho, Jagger set out on the beaches of San Clemente, California. “I was quite nervous!” Jagger says. “I can sort of barely walk down the beach without falling.” Sea legs not withstanding, it seems the model is something of a natural on the board. “I was quite surprised because I got up the first time. I was like, Oh, my God I’m surfing right now,” she says, laughing. “After that, I was quite addicted. They had to, like, drag me out.”
And I do apologize Volcom for I was very far out of line. Georgia May Jagger, from an iconic and powerful family, represents our passion, our esprit de corps. She is a youth against establishment.