Rotten to the Core is a film that captures your imagination!
Today Matt Wybenga releases the right movie for the right fucking time. It is Rotten to the Core! Come marvel at surfers using crass language, sticking out, getting pounded, dancing the glorious dance! Bruce Brown, Archie, Jordy Smith!
Come re-witness Bobby Martinez’s rant at the fucking tennis tour. Come listen to grindy guitar and come watch some very gorgeous surfing.
I have been a fly in surf’s soup for the better part of fifteen years. I laugh and kick and poke and cajole and bop and twirl and laugh again. Oh it’s all part of my dance, baby, and I have the most anti-depressive fun ever but it’s a dance that enrages, every once in a while, and particularly enrages the brands.
Their feets just sometimes get in my way. Their Volcom Creedlers. And I stomp and laugh and grind and bounce and laugh again but the owners of the Volcom Creedlers are not amused. They are not having fun.
What do you think they do though? Do you think they shout at me? Do you think they scream, “Nobody is enjoying themselves except YOU, asshole!” Do you think they holler, “Get off the floor, prick!”
And here’s the craziest thing. I have never once in all my better part of fifteen years been called by a brand for laughing and poking and kicking. Not once. I sometimes hear through friends of friends of friends that such and such a brand is apoplectic or upset or hurt but nobody from the brand ever calls me.
And the flailing brands, the Volcoms, wonder why their sales are down through the floor and the dream is slipping from their grasp. We used to be outsiders all of us. We used to really and truly be against the establishment. We used to know, deep in our hearts, that what we did was not serious and that is exactly why we did it. We used to laugh and not be afraid to laugh even when other’s poked fun because we were all in on the same joke.
We used to step lightly.
Though no longer. Now dark and serious clouds fill the horizon. A Heavy and depressed march. Not reaching sales goals. Not matching market expectations. Stock prices slip, slip, slipping.
I will say, though, the brands lost their senses of humor long before they lost their sales.
So here we stand. Impotent rage boiling but never given release. A private gnashing of teeth. A public miscalculated failing.
But Mr. Brand Manager who refuses to call, would you would permit me one small bit of analysis? The posted fun-making stories about you soar. Their traffic goes through the roof and do you want to know why? Because when you forgot who you were and chased a market that doesn’t exist your core consumer was left heartbroken and alone. So now he cheers for your demise. Now she mocks your failure. Now he shares stories stomping your Creedlers.
Oh It’s not too late! The heartbroken are only ever waiting for love to come calling again. For love to present a hand and loosen its hips.
And while I have you, Mr. Brand Manager who refuses to call would you permit me to share one story?
When I was so fresh in the professional surf game I followed the tour through Europe, reporting on the World Surf League when it was called the Association of Surfing Professionals. The then CEO, for whatever reason, got caught in my crosshairs and I would laugh and kick and poke at him for Stab (when it was alive) about his baby blue shirts etc. etc. etc.
I made so much fun!
Would you like to know what the then CEO did? He challenged me to an arm-wrestle! He bounded through the door of the bar where I was drinking a stolen beer and arm-wrestled me into sweet submission!
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.
Jon Pyzel and Matt Biolos by @theneedforshutterspeed/Step Bros