"I want to eat your brains."
"I want to eat your brains."

Revenge: Stingrays go bananas!

The shark's cousin goes on a wild spree in Surf City, USA!

Yesterday found me in Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s local Boot Barn surrounded by hundreds, possibly thousands, of cowboy boots and have you ever owned a pair? I lusted heavily as an Oregonian child but my parents never folded and I was stuck in off-brand KangaROOS. I sometimes wonder how my trajectory would have been altered had I been gifted the cowboy boots I so longed for. Would I be an almost famous rodeo journalist? A serial philanderer?

I suppose I will never know and it is too late to change either career or fashion but there was a pair of boots in Boot Barn that caught my eye. They were made by El Dorado and featured a silver toe cap and rich gray, strangely bumpy leather.

I looked and it said they were made from the hide of a stingray.

This morning, maybe coincidentally maybe not, I read that over the New Year’s holiday weekend there were a record number of stingray stings in Huntington Beach, California. A whopping 73 if you can even believe it. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Officials say a new stingray injury record at Huntington Beach was reached when 73 people reported injuries in a single day.

Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis tells the Orange County Register that in his 40 years of working as a lifeguard at the beach, he never saw so many stingray injuries reported to the level it reached on Friday.

Panis says the spike in stingray injuries is in part due to extreme low tides, small surf and warmish water in the low 60s along with holiday crowds in town and people off work and school.

On Thursday, 45 stingray injuries were reported to Huntington Beach lifeguards, a number also higher than usual.

Lifeguards plan to educate people on techniques to avoid being stung by rays.

We know, of course, to shuffle our feet when walking through the shallows but sometimes, especially when it is very good, I forget and run like an injured gazelle. Still, I have never been stung and would not like to be. Have you? Have you tasted the venomous dart?

I hear it really hurst.

Lovely Indonesian boy enjoys a relaxing cigarette after a day on the coalface of the Third World's bustling manufacturing industry. | Photo: Stories

Revealed! Made-in-Asia Surfboards cost $120!

A swinging little profit margin!

Do you remember the thunder five days ago when the Newport Beach shaper and artist Peter Schroff did yellow face on Instagram in protest at made-in-Asia surfboards?

“Ask our foundin fathers wud day think of chinese junk?” wrote Schroff.

I made a counter-riposte about a lovely Cambodian (or was it Vietnamese? I put a tailpad over the little label) board I’d received in lieu of cash from an advertiser.

Did it make any difference to me if the skilled hands were pink and freckled or smooth and polished brown? Of course not. Are we not all brothers, hewn from the same ancient tree, after all.

But I did wonder, what is the difference in raw cost between a surfboard made in Australia or the USA and one made in Thailand, Bali, Vietnam or China? I asked a friend, who is a world-renowned shaper, to break down the costs, and which you can examine here.

(All American dollars.)

Bali: PU/Polyester, $160.
China/Taiwan/Vietnam/Thailand: EPS/Epoxies, $150, probably less if you have the bulk buying power of someone like CobraA PU board costs $120.
USA: PU/Polyester, $275. EPS/Epoxy, $350-$375.
AustraliaPU/Polyester, $300. EPS/Epoxy, $450. 
The shaper did make several caveats: In Asia, you have to buy container minimums to get boards at a hundred or so apiece and you have too source ’em a year in advance.
Conversely, he says, the EPS foam used used in the USA/Australia is much better than the Asian version.

"So in love with Pat Tenore," says Lyndie Irons. "I'm the happiest and healthiest I've been in a long time."

Gorgeous: Lyndie Irons Finds Love!

With RVCA co-founder Pat Tenore!

Yesterday, Lyndie Irons, the widow of Andy Irons, announced she’d climbed back into the love game with RVCA founder Pat Tenore.

Lyndie, who is thirty five years old, rang in the new year on Instagram, writing:

“So lucky/so in love with you @pmtenore#dreamguy ❤️ 2017 has been such a good year. I’m the happiest and healthiest I have been in a really long time and I owe it to this guy ! thank you for loving me for me and making me feel like the luckiest girl ever.”

And ain’t it time!

It’s been seven years since the Great Love, the man who pushed her against a tree on his twenty-fifth birthday in Encinitas and kissed her breath away, a week later telling her he loved her, died in a Texas hotel room.

“From that first kiss I knew he was the one. In that first second. I knew we’d always be together,” Lyndie told me. “My life with him was like a movie. It was unbelievable. I don’t think, I know the guys on tour, they all travel and do their thing, Andy was just…  he had so many demons, I guess, that set him back a little bit in life, but I never felt that way. That’s who he was. He got dealt these cards and he was just trying to figure out life the best he could. He had a lot of ups and downs but it came along with who he was. He was up high and on top of the world and then he’d falter a little bit and then every day was like a movie. I think back now and wonder how I had the energy to keep up with him. I don’t even have the energy to keep up with baby Ax and Andy was on a whole other level. He lived every minute to its fullness. He was the only person so far that I’ve met who actually lived that quote. He really squeezed everything he could out of every day and it was game on the second he woke up. It was crazy, but I loved every minute of it and I wish I could…  still have it.”

Lyndie’s new boy, Pat Tenore, co-founded RVCA in 2001 with the pro surfer Conan Hayes, sold it to Billabong in 2010 for an undisclosed amount and is its current president (Conan’s trajectory has been very different).

Pat, who is forty-four, is very good at jiujitsu, has a gold tooth, owns some very expensive and rare luxury cars, has three kids and, is as fine a man as there is to refloat Lyndie’s broken heart.

It’s a gorgeous day! Happy new year!


"Don't be jealous that I've been chatting with advertisers online all day..."
"Don't be jealous that I've been chatting with advertisers online all day..."

Revealed: Stab advertises for laughs!

"Ads suck when they suck..."

Well it is officially the new year and how do you feel? Hungover? Filled with hope? Dread? Our friends at Stab appear filled with a desire to be patronizingly transparent with their business decisions and what fun! Let’s together read from their most recent post!

We get it. Ads suck, when they suck. But done brilliantly, transparently, they work. When the true DNA of why a brand exists comes through in an ad, it can be incredible.

As you know, Stab’s biz model relies on advertising and advertisers. Without paywalls and e-commerce, the cost of entry’s the occasional ad. But, notice we control who you see? You don’t get the same programmatic google ads that follow you around the internet. We do our best to play gatekeeper to who we allow to haunt our site and magazine.

Because we see you with your ad blockers, we see you chirp chrip chirping about sponsored posts. But hey, that’s how we manage to rent floating bridges in the ocean, or pay for the hair + make-up on Sage Erickson, or for a boat in the Ments with Jordy Smith and 12 cleanskin surfboards.

This post is about saying thanks to those supporters who believe in Stab and work with us. In a strange kinda way, you should as well. Without advertising, we’d have a paywall and you’d have much less to look at, and no one to tease.

Enlightening. While the first part, about protecting you from programmatic Google ads that follow you around ain’t true (Google knows how many people actually visit a website and Stab tries to charge advertisers four times their actual traffic) the last part about running ads to get teased seems right.

And it makes me love Stab again! I can’t wait to see what collaborations, advertorial and branded content gets unveiled for our laughs this coming year. What would you like to see most? I’d say an aged rocker sporting trunks but that is so 2017. What about… an aged rocker sporting sunglasses? Maybe Scott Stapp from Creed? That would be funny. Or… an aged rocker sporting sandals? Maybe Kevin Martin from Candlebox? That would really crack me up.

What else? What Stabvertisements would you like to giggle at this year?

"There is an international pro tour, on which some of the world’s best surfers perform occasional miracles in 30-minute heats. The judging is wonky, obtuse, subjective. Surfing is, after all, more like dance than it is like baseball. If the waves are crummy, the contest will be unwatchable.'

Holiday repeat: “Pro surfing is wildly boring!” says NY Times

Surf for love and not for gold, says Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Bill Finnegan… 

Who has given us more precious insight into the game of surf than the New York-based, Pulitzer Prize winning writer Bill Finnegan? His memoir Barbarian Days treats surf as love affair, as fundamental do-or-die. I believe there is no better book on surf and destiny and man’s natural urges.

Read about Bill here. 

Today, in the New York Times, very prestigious in some eyes, or, in the words of Gavin McInnes: “New York Times readers wear J.Crew blazers and long for a world where black people would be their friend” Bill cast his eye on the relationship between being paid to surf and just surfing for the laughs.

Here’s a taste.

“Organized competition is entirely peripheral to surfing qua surfing. People surf for love. The pastime lends itself to obsession. Surfers travel to the ends of the earth to find great, remote waves. I spent much of my 20s chasing waves through the Southern Hemisphere. Most surfers have home breaks that they come to know at a subgranular level of detail. Committed surfing is a deep immersion, literal and philosophical, in the ocean. The goal, if there is a goal, is a certain drenching experience of beauty. It’s quite possible to surf for decades without laying eyes on a surf contest.

More visibly, there is an international pro tour, on which some of the world’s best surfers perform occasional miracles in 30-minute heats. The judging is wonky, obtuse, subjective. Surfing is, after all, more like dance than it is like baseball. Then there’s the ocean. If the waves are good, the contest will be good… If the waves are crummy, the contest will be unwatchable.

“But, with increased popularity, a slapdash competitive structure, different in each surf region, has developed. More visibly, there is an international pro tour, on which some of the world’s best surfers perform occasional miracles in 30-minute heats. The judging is wonky, obtuse, subjective. Surfing is, after all, more like dance than it is like baseball. Then there’s the ocean. If the waves are good, the contest will be good — and in that case I will probably be in the global audience, glued to the live-stream, waiting for something transcendent to happen. If the waves are crummy, the contest will be unwatchable.

“Surfing photographs well. It makes mesmerizing video. It is not, however, a spectator sport. With the exception of a few spots, on random days — contest organizers struggle to find just these spots and days — it is wildly boring to watch. The action is hard to see from shore, and there’s usually not much of it. Lulls between waves are long, rides mostly short and unexciting. Surfers themselves can watch waves for hours, but they’re accustomed to lulls. Everybody else is much happier with the highlight reel.”

Later, he begs for surfing to become uncool. It’s an incisive piece.

Read the full story here.