Heartless: Fox cans wheelchair hero!

The inspirational Bede Durbidge mercilessly cut!

Oh the damned surf industry apocalypse! Is there no force great enough to stand up to its mercilessness? No star bright enough to zap it with light and force its evil henchmen to retreat? To train their green eyes upon another pursuit like mountain biking?

Of course you’ve followed along as Volcom gutted their team. The talented and funny Parker Coffin whom Kai “Borg” Garcia once told me was the ideal, the model, allegedly cut down in his prime. Quincy Davis disappeared. Alex Grey lopped it two.

Volcom! You Establishment bastards!

The ripples flowed into each and every brand. Who’s next? Who the hell is next?

And the question was answered days ago.


The motorcycle brand was always a strange fit in surfing but, let’s be honest, so welcomed! They built one of the greatest teams ever stocked with hard-working yet still stylish surfers. Salts of the earth. Surfers that the kids could actually look up to.

Surfers like Bede Durbidge.

Oh the White Fijian absolutely sparkled with gritty blue collar charm. Who could ever forget how he was bounced off Pipeline’s reef last winter. How his pelvis was shattered. How he was forced into months of grueling rehabilitation.

But he was a man and men don’t give up and Bede didn’t give up. He did his job from the confines of a wheelchair! But Fox, bent by the surf industry apocalypse, lopped off his head anyhow.

Heartless! Absolutely heartless! Is anyone safe?

(Hint: NO! Not even surfing’s Rudy!)

Hayden Cox New Wave Vision
"Be bold," writes Hayden Cox. "Don't expect opportunity to knock on your door. Some problems can turn into the greatest opportunities…"

Read: The Hayden Cox Memoir!

Examine the rise, fall and rise of Hypto Krypto inventor Hayden Cox… 

Books can change lives? Yeah, you know they can.

All of us have a book that hit us at the right time, when our heads were in the right space, and it irrevocably changed our position in the world. I was a miserable sonofbitch as a kid and worse as a teenger: morose, friendless, one misstep away from blowing high-court judges in Kings Cross alleyways.

Before it got that defiantly sexual, I found the 1936 classic How to Win Friends and Influence People in a library and, overnight, my life got a whole lot better. The chapter Six Ways To Make People Like You might state the obvious (be interested in people, smile, be a good listener etc) but it… works. Same thing with Neil Strauss’ The Game. Pick-up artistry is the ghastliest, but the ability to meet the woman of your dreams isn’t.

A few nights ago in Bondi, the noted Australian shaper Hayden Cox launched his book New Wave Vision, a memoir-self-help tome. Cox, who is thirty-four years old, divides his time between homes in Venice Beach, California, and Palm Beach in Sydney. Although figures are a little blurry on such things, it’s likely his surfboard model, the Hypto-Krypto, is the biggest-selling surfboard model in the world.

New Wave Vision, therefore, is a wonderful story of a driven kid who shucks the expectations of his family (accountancy!) to learn to shape, build a surfboard company, create a unique method of surfboard construction and, eventually, be feted by icons as diverse as Audi and Alexander Wang. A tough biz-man, sure, and…oowee… a little sensitive to the inconsequential yapping of critics, but his advice, his thoughts, are compelling enough to fill a few hundred pages.

On schools: In the most crucial years of learning, the test system doesn’t exactly encourage outside-the-box thing, which is what leads to innovation. Some of the world’s best-known stories are school dropouts, who went on to create products and businesses that have changed the world. (Sure, there are also the dropouts who really should have stayed in school…) When you see the big success stories, however, it’s hard to deduce that traditional education systems are flawed.

Tough times: When I started my factory I had no boards, no money, nowhere to go, and I’d fallen out with my friend and only employee. I asked my mum for a loan, but she said, ‘No way and I lending you money for a business that you’re already starting in debt.’

Rounding out the book are short chapters from Tony Hawk, the co-founder of Google Maps Noel Gordon, designer Karen Walker, Oakley founder and RED creator Jim Jannard, Vissla’s Paul Naude and the founder of Aesop Dennis Paphitis. These are a little light, but you’ll like Jannard’s manic story which ends with the carrot, “Oh and one more thing. The biggest project of my life is coming in 2017. And it is for everyone…” A phone, maybe?

Cox is an easy target. Handsome kid and gorgeous wife annex a hunk of the surfboard market with a a high-fashion approach to marketing and a model that appeals to everyone, even beginners. What’s not to hate?

New Wave Vision isn’t How to Win Friends nor is it The Game. And I doubt if Cox would claim it so. As a window into a young shaper’s rise, fall and rise, of the challenges of the surfboard game, of defiance in the face of unsupportive parents, of making your way in the world on your own terms, it works.

Buy it here if you want the stiffened cover version (free postage) or if you want your book on a screen, swipe it from iTunes here. 

Eddie Aikau
Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau, the lifeguard and surfer, who was famously lost at sea in 1978.

It’s official: Eddie Won’t Go!

Say hello to the RedBull in Memory of Eddie Aikau (one presumes.)

Five days ago BeachGrit called it. (Read here.) And now it’s official.

Due to a dispute between former surf company and last year’s event sponsor Quiksilver and the Aikau family regarding naming rights the contest will not be taking place in 2017.

The Aikau family, Quiksilver and the World Surf League have been in talks for several months after what many called the most epic in the contest’s history was finally staged in February 2016 after a seven-year absence.

Last week, however, talks broke down between the family and Quiksilver, and on Saturday at an awards luncheon for the Eddie Aikau Foundation essay contest for public and private school students, the announcement was made.

No more details at the moment. But if I were inclined to speculate, and I most definitely am, the line “money was not a major issue,” seems to indicate that it most definitely was.

Seth Reiss, family friend and attorney, read a statement from the Aikaus at the luncheon, saying “the contest reminds us of Eddie, of (Waimea) bay, of surfing, and of Hawaiian culture.

“The family is proud of the event and appreciated the role Quiksilver played. That relationship ended earlier this year. There were substantial discussions between the family and Quiksilver about how the relationship could be continued, but in the end, no agreement was reached.”

Reiss and the family say money was not a major issue — the Aikaus intend to continue the big wave contest in Eddie’s memory at Waimea Bay and is considering many options.

But a major issue this season is getting a permit, for which the process and deadlines have already passed.

The city did give a permit for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, but that name can no longer be used unless both sides come to an agreement.

City deputy managing director Georgette Deemer says the city has been working hard to find a way, but it looks like its hands are tied.

“We certainly understand how important ‘the Eddie’ is to the people of Honolulu, and the state and the world, because it is such an iconic event. … We have met with Clyde (Eddie’s brother), we have looked at it from every angle, and for the 2016-2017 season, the permit process has closed. It was closed in 2015.

Holy shit! Say goodbye to Quik’s decades long near monopoly of perfect huge days at the Bay. Say hello to the RedBull in Memory of Eddie Aikau (one presumes.)

No more details at the moment. But if I were inclined to speculate, and I most definitely am, the line “money was not a major issue,seems to indicate that it most definitely was.

Of interest is who actually owns the permit to the Eddie, and whether they will be allowed to re-up next year should the contest fail to run due to financial reasons. The Eddie occupies a legal gray area within North Shore contest regulations, permitting rules that apply to other beach parks, notably Sunset and Ehukai, aren’t exactly enforced when it comes to Waimea.

If a permit holder is unable to execute the event due to logistical failures, rather than lackluster surf, the permit should then open up the following year to all applicants. Which is sure to make for a legendary round of politicking, infighting, and backstabbing.

The End: Volcom is the Establishment!

It's all over! Allegedly!

Every movement has an end, I suppose. It is just a true bummer that our Volcom, our Youth Against Establishment, has turned fully and completely into Middle-aged for the Establishment. Not fun uncle middle-aged either. Depressed, penny-pinching, balding-due-stress middle-aged.

Shit and grouchy and smug middle-aged.

It has been whispered/rumored through the channels that the brand cut or released the bulk of its surf team a few weeks ago. And then rumored that they may be chasing Noa Deane.

But Noa Deane ain’t coming from what I hear. And now, allegedly, Alex Grey, the very cute Quincy Davis, the even cuter Parker Coffin and others are gone, gone, gone.


A brutal and heartless gutting.

And Volcom today represents the very worst of what has happened to surf over the past decade. The dream was sold. Great for those who cashed out on IPOs etc but not for the labels left behind to groan under the weight of unachievable growth.

One by one the brands that have gone public or been bought by holding companies have faltered and Volcom has fallen all the way down, pissing its chinos on the floor. If you recall it went public in 2005 and raised $89 million. Six years later the French luxury group Kering tendered a friendly takeover bid essentially purchasing the Stone for $600 million.

It has since turned into a wheezing old bastard. A goofy invalid forced to do strange dances for its French overlords who neither know or care about anything but profit. “Why pay kids to slide on snow?” they ask and nobody has a good answer because there is no good answer. It was a miracle that anyone ever got paid in the first place but that’s what made it fun right? Snow, surf and skate are nonsensical! They are weird little kicks practiced by kids who aren’t team oriented enough to play real sports!

They are the fucking derelict dream!

And the riders, surfers, skaters always represented this better than anyone else. Cutting their heads off to save some money here might make fiscal sense on paper but it counters the essence of the dream. And giving up on the dream equals middle-aged cubicle bullshit.

It equals the Establishment.

Volcom is now officially what it was once against. It is true to nothing but greed. Fuck it. Not the 1991 version but today’s ugly French shell.

Fuck it good and all the way to hell.

Jadson Andre
After losing his round three heat to Julian Wilson in Portugal, Jadson says he "cried for four hours straight." Don't you love this kinda passion? | Photo: WSL

Jadson Andre: “I cried for four hours!”

After losing heat to Julian Wilson in Portugal!

Do you believe the world is divided between the brutally oppressed and the privileged, the division mostly based upon colour lines? Oh, I don’t. But I’m white (actually the nuttiest brown) and perhaps blind to the mechanisations of prejudice.

Jadson Andre, a Brazilian who is five-feet-seven and ten stone (a little man), is the world number twenty five and represents, if you’re into that sorta thing, the struggle of the poor, of the coloured. This ain’t a kid who grew up in the privileged surf ghettos of southern California or south-west France or Australia.

But he has form!

Do you remember in 2010 when he famously beat that year’s world champion Kelly Slater in Brazil to win the Billabong Pro? Relive that here.

Earlier today, the WSL published an interview with Andre, who faces relegation from the WCT tour, unless he can swoop into a semi-final at Pipe.

Andre is no natural phenomenon but his story is startling and honest.

Below,  I’ve culled the most moving excerpts. (Read the full story here.)

On losing to Julian Wilson, round three, Portugal: When I heard he got the score he needed I started crying. I didn’t know what to do. I went to the judge’s tower. I wanted to ask them. But as soon as I went to them I couldn’t even talk. I was just crying. I just wanted to ask them why…but I just left. After that I took a shower and called my girlfriend. When I woke up the next morning and I was okay. I don’t take things too personal. For some reason, I had to lose that heat.

How many hours did you cry for: I was so upset, I cried for like four hours straight. But I think it was good because after that everything went away. I’m sad, but I’m okay with myself.

On poverty: My parents had me when they were really young, so they didn’t have any money. I really wanted a football but they didn’t have enough to get me one. When my Dad got a job he saved enough to buy me a football. It ended up getting a hole in it and it deflated. My mom said that my dad came home crying because he didn’t have enough to buy another one. She said that was one of the saddest days for them, when they were younger. But now I surf and I have given them a better life and I can buy lots of footballs, so I should not be sad for anything.

I really take that as – whatever happens, I’m going to be fine. The ball was $2 and they weren’t able to buy it. This is all a blessing. I’m not going to complain about anything. This is the journey. I love what I do and I love this tour. I’m really grateful for what surfing has done for my family and me.

On not-getting the injury wildcard (presuming they go to Bede Durbidge and Owen Wright): Everyone on Tour knows about my injuries. But there’s no more room for injury replacements next year. If I don’t qualify, I’ll try somehow to be a replacement or something like that, but I’m not going to take someone else’s spot if they are ready. That’s their spot. It wouldn’t be fair if I took their spot, I wouldn’t be happy with myself. I wouldn’t surf happy. I would be shy, almost, if I wasn’t supposed to be there.