Do obesity and creativity flow through the same channel? Maybe yes!
Picasso had a blue period, Alexander McQueen had a celtic period, Steve Jobs had a NeXT period.
Mark “Occy” Occhilupo had/has a fat period.
In a wide (j/k) ranging interview on Surfline yesterday the surf legend discussed turning 50, his podcast and turning 50. He mentions having been hurt, getting depressed and being fat but then dusting himself off and achieving fitness once again. The title of the piece was even:
…and was supposed to include a slideshow of “Occy through the years.” Except the only pictures were of lean Occy. Lean Occy carving, lean Occy slashing, lean Occy shredding.
It was as if Surfline was embarrassed by chubby Occy except to call him such in the title. But why? For what reason?
Oh I must admit to being jealous of men who can dance into the obese. There is something compelling about an artist blowing out his seams quite literally. Let us take Elvis Aaron Presley, for example. Sure skinny Elvis was one of the dreamiest men to ever walk the earth but fat Elvis was a vision. He’s got me caught in a trap and I can’t walk out!
Let us take Val Kilmer. Sure Iceman made the heart flutter but doesn’t portly Val waiting for his pizza just make you want to take him home and pinch his cheeks?
Let us take fat Bill Clinton. Wink, wink! Hubba hubba!
And let us take fat Occy. It is ok Surfline to show pictures of Occy doin’ it right. Don’t be ashamed! Don’t be embarrassed! Let your freak flag fly!
A story that actually means something. That matters.
Ricardo dos Santos challenged our status quo from the moment he first busted onto the scene. His death, shot down by an off-duty police officer in his home country of Brazil, shook us it to our very core. Gun violence was not something typical in surf. Is not something typical.
I remember first hearing about the shooting. It all felt very surreal and even more so that a young up-and-comer could die. Actually die. And when he did die it felt awful. Unnecessary.
I so applaud director Beren Hall and Stab for telling this story, for trying to pull it back into the light. It actually feels like it matters. Like it means something.
Nails surf zeitgeist against the wall. Funny when it mattered, serious when it mattered…
You’ve grown up with Dane. You saw him become everyone’s favourite surfer, the lord of the coveted web clip. And after all these years, you kind of know Dane better then most.
Or at least you thought you did. Chapter 11 fucked all that up.
Pre-Chap 11 even the most seasoned “hip” surf fan had begun to cynically roll their eyes at a VHS handicam B-roll filled air-fest or a two-minute edit every week or directing a film about a fellow Quiksilver team rider.
Then the wave of opinions, comments, tags, articles, covers, ads, “exclusive” interviews, all of it. Endless content. Dane was, is, the man to know. Do try to keep up on his edits, see what he’s got to say on something, oh sick a new board. If you are out of the loop, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Quiksilver actually employed me for a brief time. Shop #82 in La Jolla. I sat at the bottom of the corporate trough of a publicly traded powerhouse surf brand with decades worth of experience, integrity, grit and money. I joined the team on the forefront of selling the Quiksilver “vibe” to whomever came in.
Guess who drops off the big team right when I join? Kelly. Bye dude!
Time to take off all the ads of Kelly in the store, make sure a new video advert for the flat screen TV’s has no bald glory flying out of a tube. So who’s left? OH YEAH! Dane and that kink-legged saint Craig! Oh the marketing team has it all! Two phenomenal surfers that fly the “fuck contests” flag with pride and… oh no money?
Shit, this is awkward.
I often felt that yes, while Quiksilver represented Dane fairly, funded the trips, etc, it didn’t feel right. The banner ads were apathetic. The vibe was too cool for school but cool enough for every Macy’s, Tillys and surf shops from San Diego to Maine. Such is life in the corporate surf world.
Dane’s best anything seemed so far from a marketing department. He’d drop off the radar. I’d see the same clips over and over again. Then Sampler dropped and my faith was restored.
This cycle continued until the Quiksilver corporate empire filed for bankruptcy. I wondered: what will become of my two favorite free surfers? Will Craig and Dane save them? Will they get even more creative control?
Nope. Peace. Bye. Oaktree Capital? No thanks.
Then I left too. And life went on.
Dane’s departure from the Mountain and the Wave became an afterthought. He had a kid so, of course, no clips are gonna drop. Being a father takes precedent to cranking out content for the masses. Vans sat back happily in the industry, took an effective, but admittedly easy route and put Dane and @pamlovesferrariboiz in Sk8 Hi’s and pasted it with a monster rail gouge at Rocky Point from last winter as a friendly reminder that Dane was indeed alive and well post-Quiksilver break-up. Win win for everyone. Silence resumes.
All of the craptastic fuckery of 2016 takes over the airwaves. Election this, email leak that. I want something to love! I beg for clarity in this insane world! Is it too much to ask?
Chapter 11 was the dose of clarity the whole surf industry needed. Dane set it straight. With 37 minutes of film Dane has calmed the cynical doubters, commenters, fans who thought they’d lost their black sheep. Don’t worry pant cuffing pouty surfers! Father Dane has spoken the good word.
After two weeks of amazing swell in California, capped off by rain today, a fresh edit of Dane being Dane in the best fashion is just what we needed! Those airs! Those turns! Whipping the slate, or in this case nose of a CI board, clean of corpo branding. Back to the roots of good surf films. Candid but not too much, a soundtrack that demands repeated plays and having fun on a boat trip with friends. Paired with effortless beautiful, raw, captivating film making, AND OH THAT PUNK ROCK SECTION! FUCK YEAH I WANT MORE MORE MORE MORE! Sorry that was excessive but in the moment it feels right.
All of Chapter 11 felt right. Funny when it mattered, serious when it mattered, sick as fuck through and through. Dane, you gave us hope. Oh and throwing in the punk laden ad for your new brand that I will buy because, well I want to, that was a good move. No need for a conference room meeting to okay that brilliant idea.
So thank you forever Dane. Welcome Former. All is well.
Are you looking for some new beach gear? Welcome, honey!
Are you a man? Who totally loves when summer hits so you can go to Starbucks and get all your favorite beachy treats? Like Teavana shaken berry sangria herbal tea? Or iced dulce du leche latte? Do you need dedicated “me time” every week? Maybe a mani-pedi followed by anything Sarah-Jessica Parker? Or a long walk in the park with a little dog? Or SoulCycle n chill?
Well now there is outerwear label for your surf missions!
You may know Lululemon from your wife/girlfriend’s yoga drawer but now the Vancouver-based brand is making trunks and yoga leggings light enough for the muggiest weather Malibu can throw. For you!
Just imagine! An open cabin tucked into the Littlest Dume. Teavana shaken berry sangria herbal tea n chill. Beach towel gossip. OMG. Toes up the nose. Thick rails. Etc.
Nobody reads Surf Europe but everyone should! It funny!
Surf Europe might be one of the greatest producers of content these days. France’s ideological breadbasket absolutely crackles with very funny stuff. I think, though, that their web traffic is down near maybe zero. And that’s where your beloved BeachGrit comes soaring in to save the day!
Like Robin Hoods we shine a bright spotlight on the noble but unregarded! We steal from the poor and give to you the middle class! Take, for example, this great story comparing how you drink your coffee to what kind of surfboard you ride.
Take, for example…
Not so long ago, you could buy plastic versions of these that sat atop your cup, at the supermarket for about 2 bucks.
Now they’re glass, with cool wooden and leathery bits, Japanese design influence, but basically the principal is the same as the plastic ones. You can pour it in slower or faster to like, totally control the brew.
If you went and bought one of those kettles with the spout to complete the aesthetic, well, I’m not going to say you’re a victim. I’ll just say this: Getting a single fin is one thing. A good thing. Then getting a retro wetsuit top to go with it is a whole ‘nother matter entirely.