We surfers are all environmentalists. I’ve beat this drum before but it’s true! Even if we have subtle disagreements about what is better, more efficient, cleaner etc., we know that our passion depends entirely on the keeping this damned earth tidy-ish!
But this is at odds with our gross pollution. Our travel and waste and poisonous craft. Oh surfboards are just toxic stews!
But some of us try (Kelly Slater) and some of us try more than others (US Blanks). The surfboard gut maker has gone 100% solar and not like Kelly’s Surf Ranch either (which pays a fee to make it look thus). They have actually installed 680 solar panels onto the roof of their Los Angeles factory and suck more from the sun than they actually need! Let’s read the press release!
Beginning on November 16th 2016, US Blanks’ entire manufacturing facility is solar powered. This transition makes US Blanks the first and only blank manufacturer in the world to be 100% solar powered.
US Blanks is the surf industry’s leading blank manufacturer. Established in 2006 by former Clark Foam employees, US Blanks has led the industry in responsible, sustainable business practices. From manufacturing on US-soil, to adhering to California’s strict environment regulations, US Blanks has helped to define responsible surfboard manufacturing. This solar powered initiative is the latest action to support the company’s reputation of best-practices.
Even if your heart is cold and selfish this must warm it a touch. No? Surfboard guts made 100% in California from 100% Californian sun? It does mine.
The second ep in the Lone Wolfs' awesomely quirky series Everything's Not Working!
Derek’s trying to make me go to Oahu for two weeks to cover Pipe. I’m not super opposed to the idea, though I’m also not exactly chomping at the bit about it. I’ve spent enough time on Oahu.
I only mention it because he cc’ed me at the end of an email exchange with Dave Prodan that featured this lovely little nugget from Derek to Dave about me.
…it’s important to get him into the real world rather than be hyper-critical/paranoid from the safety of his house.
1) I’m not paranoid. It’s my enemies who plot against me.
2) I love tons of stuff. I may be critical, but that’s only because most shit straight sucks. That’s the thing about being good, it’s special. Rare. Difficult to achieve. What’s the point of being Mr Super Positive Rah-Rah Cheerleader? There’s enough of that shit floating around. Especially within the surf industry.
Like, I adore Gary Rogers and his weekly installments of Skateline.
I also can’t get enough Eric Andre. Dude’s managed to meld all the faux-talk show tropes into pure genius.
Not so sure how much I love Everythings Not Working. It’s kind of funny, almost gets there. I’ll call it silly-but-safe. Which doesn’t mean bad. Only two episodes in, plenty of room to grow. And they’re trying something kind of different, which I love and support.
The high point is Paddy Wilkins, the guy who plays “Aggro Surfer Bro.” He’s very funny. I did some internet stalking and found out he’s an actual actor. Knows how to deliver a line, sell a set of power tools.
Everythings Not Working is financed by Lone Wolf Objet’s d’ Surf. It’s a high-end boutique surf joint in Venice. Not exactly my scene. But I don’t want to be hyper-critical or anything. The fact that I don’t understand it doesn’t automatically make it bad.
I assume that, if you can open up a spendy surf shop in Venice, you’ve got some money backing you. Which is good news, possibly, for me. Their title is sort of similar to my podcast’s, Everything is Always Terrible. Grounds for a lawsuit? I sure hope so!
I called my lawyer to see if I shake ’em down for some cash I don’t deserve. She gave me the standard, gonna-bill-you-for-it, legal response.
“I’d need to research the issue.”
Not much help. Maybe I can strangle-fuck a proper answer out of her later on today.
Pssssssssst. Hey…. You looking for a good time? You wanna party?
Well don’t call the World Surf League! Oh our pastime’s governing body is many things but rarely/never does it surprise. Am I right?
Am I right?
And the just released schedule for the upcoming tour only shocks with boredom!
Let us recall that this upcoming season will be Kelly Slater’s farewell tour. Slater is waving goodbye after so many years of professional surfing. He is truly an icon, head and shoulder, above any other personality, and do you think the WSL could have mixed up his final year? Maybe showcasing different waves? Maybe injecting a spike of anticipation?
The answer is no! In the just released schedule we are dished lukewarm same.
Start on the Gold Coast
Travel to West Australia
Then back to Bells
Before going to “Rio”
And then Fiji
Ahead of J-Bay
Ahead of Teahupo’o
And COME ON Mr. CEO Paul Speaker! This was your chance to toss a wildcard. A fabulous twist. A parting gift for your beautiful boy.
Where should the World Surf League have gone? What treat should they have rolled out to Kelly Slater for his years of service?
A visual instructional on how to command a channel bottom surfboard!
A couple of days back, I had a little jam with Matt Biolos on the aesthetically beautiful, if hydrodynamically complex, channel bottom surfboard.
Read that here if water flow mixed with surfboard design history gives you a thrill.
That story was meant to be bookended with a cut of Mason Ho riding his channel bottoms, a visual representation of the design. Mason, of course, won the recent Sunset contest on a six-seven channel bottom Trouble Shooterand has been riding ’em all over the North Shore.
Thing was, Mason’s filmer Rory Pringle wanted… fresh. And when I came knocking for the short for the story, Rory was, “Sheeeeit, Mase hasn’t paddled out yet!”
Next day: “Sorry to keep ya hangin’. We’ve been filming all morning trying to max out this Pipe swell. Fuckin cooked. Made is gonna wrap tonight.”
The resulting film shows Mason on his six-seven at Sunset (watch those jams in the pocket! It’s a channel-bottom speciality), V-Land roll-ins and figure-eight cutbacks on a six-four (gotta love a channel bottom) and a few at Temples, Uluwatu on a six-nine.
And, let’s be real, any taste of Mason Ho is a good thing, right?
Clay Marzo and half-bro Cheyne Magnusson hit dazzling Mex left…
Another Clay Marzo clip, another series of unreal tube rides. Hyper-talent freakshow, this time in freezing cold offshore groomed Baja, California. Pretty bonkers going bareback that far south. The water always gets colder when you cross the border. I don’t know why. Maybe there’s a science reason, maybe it’s just my imagination.
I know I had more than a few numb foot sessions when I still lived in LA and could make the milk run south. Leave behind low-seventies, rock up on mid-fifties. Fuck that noise, I’m staying in Hawaii where it’s warm and fun and I don’t need to put on neoprene boots to surf.
I do miss the food. Tasty little tacos. So cheap, so good, I can eat so many. Seemed like there was always at least one idiot spinning the “they use cat meat” lie. Do you know how cheap you can get low-end beef, poultry or pork? Do you know how hard it is to catch and kill and skin a cat? I don’t, really, but I assume it’s difficult. And there’s hardly any meat on a cat anyway.
Let the wife get wasted on high end hop-laden garbage, then strangle fuck her in a hotel room. Which is her thing, not mine. But, again, I’ll play along. Am I a little worried I’ll leave hard to explain finger bruises around her throat one day? Absolutely. Am I dead certain she’ll tell people I abuse her when it happens? Totally. She thinks that shit is hilarious. Which it is, in theory. Not so much when people are looking at you like some an abusive monster.
This new clip comes with a great little story attached. It’s on the vimeo page. I could copy/paste it here, but I feel like we’ve been doing that too often lately. But you should read it, it’s entertaining. I had no idea that Cheyne Magnusson is Clay’s brother. Maybe you did.
Instead I’ll write about the cold weather trip I’m in the process of planning. Been looking at Portland, Oregon. Seems like the perfect spot for some good old fashioned gluttony/vice tourism. Amazing restaurants, legal weed, micro-breweries and vineyards galore.
I’m not really into the last two, but I can play along. Let the wife get wasted on high end hop-laden garbage, then strangle fuck her in a hotel room. Which is her thing, not mine. But, again, I’ll play along. Am I a little worried I’ll leave hard to explain finger bruises around her throat one day? Absolutely. Am I dead certain she’ll tell people I abuse her when it happens? Totally. She thinks that shit is hilarious. Which it is, in theory. Not so much when people are looking at you like some an abusive monster.
One time she fell down the stairs while wasted and ended up with a huge bruise on her side. It was perfectly fist shaped and she got endless joy telling people I did it. So uncomfortable.
“I didn’t hit her, she fell down the stairs.”
Who’s gonna buy that line? May as well say she walked into a door. Warning bells, red flag, whatever. I will admit, I often wish she were my size, so we could have a good clean bare knuckle fist fight. Really clear the air.
But she isn’t, so we can’t. Instead we fall into our old pattern of fighting like cats and dogs about accommodation. She wants to stay in an overpriced rock ‘n’ roll themed boutique hotel. Don’t even get our own bathroom, gotta share one in the hall with every other sucker more interested in decor than comfort. I just want a cheap roof over my head. Somewhere to pass out when I’m stuffed full of food and legal weed.
But I know this trick. I’ll pick somewhere cheap, she applies any savings to her end. Hello penthouse suite. Goodbye financial solvency.
This time I’ve sworn to choose the worst hotel in Portland. Gonna cut off my own nose to spite my face. She wants cutesy-pootsy decor and heart stopping nightly rates, I’m finding a shooting gallery shithole where we have to barricade the door and sleep on a pile of rats. She knows I’m not kidding, has begun looking for clever end-runs around my resolve.
Like, just now, she called up with a “great idea.” You should write about it, let your readers choose where we stay.”
1. I don’t trust anonymous internet commenters one fucking bit.
2. She’ll only follow through if she gets the answer she wants. I know this trick.
3. I’ll probably lose in the end anyway. No reason to make it easy on her.
Jon Pyzel and Matt Biolos by @theneedforshutterspeed/Step Bros