Art of the Deal: Gap steals Billabong’s CEO after he returns surf brand to “position of multiyear share growth!”

Only a surfer knows the feeling!

In stunning announcement it was revealed yesterday that Gap, a clothing brand founded in San Francisco and most famous for its ample thigh’d khaki pants, swooped in and snared Billabong’s current CEO Neil Fiske for its own Chief Executive Officer position.

Though the reasons for appointing anyone who has been involved in the surf industry, especially Billabong, during the last decade to positions of fresh power are myriad, let us read why Gap, second most famous for using a small black girl as an armrest in an advertisement, chose Mr. Fiske.

“Neil brings significant retail and apparel experience to Gap Inc. and a track record of transforming and repositioning brands,” Gap President and CEO Art Peck said in a statement.

Gap brand has struggled in recent years, while the company’s Old Navy brand has been growing. In fiscal first quarter, same-store sales at Gap stores globally fell 4 percent, flat from a year ago.

Fiske will join Gap from Australian clothing brand Billabong, where he has served as CEO of Billabong International. There he helped the Billabong brand return to a position of multiyear share growth. He has also served in executive roles at Eddie Bauer and Bath and Body Works.

“[Fiske] is an experienced leader who deeply understands the mechanics of this business, the value of an omnichannel strategy, and the need to build a progressive and relevant brand. I believe Neil is the right leader to strengthen Gap brand,” Peck said in a statement.

I too like how Billabong was transformed and repositioned into a subsidiary of Quiksilver and how if you ask anyone on the street, “What are the first two words that come to mind when I say ‘Billabong?'” the answer is invariably “Progressive and relevant.”

But real quick, I think I want to be a CEO of something too now. Something that has a big corner office and an even bigger salary. I feel that BeachGrit’s omnichannel strategy (prodding the World Surf League, checking in with Kelly Slater’s Instagram account, longtom) has positioned us for multiyear share growth and that we actually performed better than Billabong this year, not to brag.

Anyone out there hiring?

Souplantation… do you need a Chief Executive?

Sears… how does a bold selection from the sizzling hot surf industry sound?

(A head’s up on this important story came from @seaofseven. Shop today!)

Fury Road: North Shore residents form vigilante mob to counter uptick in crime!

This North Shore season set to be the greatest since '13!

I love Oahu’s North Shore as much as I love any place on earth. I love it its grocery store, its Spam musubi, its playful waves that explode in height and girth without a warning but mostly love its residents. There is no place with finer folk and for ten months out of the year they get to live in peace but for two months out of the year hell cometh to their North Shore, wearing a Neff hat and shouting, “Hey bro…” or “Hey mate…” instead of the traditionally accepted “Ho brah…”

Traffic, long lines at Starbucks, longer lines trying to get haupia pie, the longest lines trying to order up the delicious escargot at Lei Lei’s. It’s an ugly scourge, an annoying bummer but now, apparently, there is also an uptick in violence to go along with the simple crowding. Oahu’s police do not like to go to the North Shore and held a community meeting recently, suggesting that residents should take up their pitchforks and police their own damned street. Let’s read about it!

Honolulu Police want new neighborhood security watches along the North Shore of O’ahu and police presented their plan to residents Wednesday night.

Many residents expressed their concerns about response times by police at the meeting which took place at the Sunset Beach Recreation Center.

Residents told KITV4 Island News that crimes like thefts, break-ins, and some more serious offenses like gun violence are becoming such large problems for the North Shore, that it prompted one of the most well-attended community meetings ever.

Honolulu Police officers from the Wahiawa substation gave a presentation about starting up a neighborhood community watch, saying that residents need to work with HPD to report and catch criminals.

Many of those in attendance to the Wednesday night meeting like the idea of community policing, some have even put up these signs created by former professional surfer Liam McNamara to warn offenders that people are watching them.

However, one area resident wants to see improvement is in the response time from police before a suspect flees the scene.

“But the reality is different from we’ll come and take care of it. What happens is that doesn’t happen,” North Shore resident Susanne Dahl said.

One police officer responded that HPD cannot condone violence, and that they are advocating the North Shore Neighborhood Security Watch be non-confrontational.

The officers stressed they don’t want vigilantes seeking out offenders and taking justice into their own hands.

Officers also brought up how they only have about a dozen guys in this district on duty at any given time, which can make getting to some calls a challenge.

I’m seriously moving because have always dreamed of being part of a vigilante mob but never quite found one that worked for me. I wrote about the 2013 (or maybe 2011/12) North Shore season and thought that was best on record (buy here!) but 2018/19 is shaping up very nicely.

Groundbreaking: Ireland set to open world’s first “National Centre of Excellence for Surfing!”

Australia beware!

And maybe this whole “surfing-getting-into-the-Olympics” thing isn’t a joke. Maybe it is the single thing that will save the surf industry, provide hundreds of thousands of jobs in cities around the globe, carry the World Surf League to its long sought status as bigger than the National Football Association and allow the 1989 World Champion Martin Potter to retire swathed in fine linens.

Because who would have ever guessed, who could have ever guessed, that Ireland, a country previously most famous for Stephen in Braveheart is building a “National Centre of Excellence for Surfing?”

Not I, that’s for certain, and what is a “National Centre of Excellence for Surfing?” Let’s learn!

A NEW NATIONAL surf centre is set to be developed in Sligo, the Government has announced.

The centre, which will be located on Strandhill promenade, will act as a modern fit-for-purpose facility for locals and tourists eager to catch some waves along the west coast.

It will comprise of a facility that will serve as a National Centre of Excellence for surfing in Ireland, and will be a key focal point in for activities on the Wild Atlantic Way.

An interpretative element telling the history of surfing in Strandhill and Sligo will also feature at the centre, where there will also be an information hub and visitor focal point for the area.

So it’s not a new wave tank is what I’m picking up here but more like a museum fronting a strip of North Atlantic beach where folk can paddle out and save the surf industry. Am I reading it right? Also, I am very intrigued by the interpretive element telling the history of surfing in Stranhill and Sligo. Are there dances and things in the interpretive element? Free form jazz?

All I know, in the end, is Australia better damn well build its own National Centre of Excellence for Surfing if the continent hopes to keep Mick Fanning part of the team. Isn’t he Irish?

shane beschen
Analysis is free, smiles cost a little extra!

Former world #2 Shane Beschen Offers Free Surf Coaching! (Via Instagram!)

Free video analysis by the man who drove Kelly Slater to the brink of madness!

Don’t tell me you don’t know that ol’ acrobatic illusionist Shane Beschen. He is a former world number two, was a long-time foil to Kelly Slater and is in the ledger as having the best heat ever in pro surfing history (three tens at Kirra).

Shane’s two kids, Noah and Koda, shred and his wife, Sofia, is the owner of the most splendid Venezuelan genetic sequence. 

The historian Matt Warshaw described Shane to me as, “like Medina but less fucks given.”

Recently, Shane, an excellent surf coach who was sought out by Carissa Moore for aerial tuition, took to Instagram to offer free surf analysis.

Since I started using my @instagram account to bring value to people, I have been really stoked on the response from the tutorials.

I’ve been thinking of ways to bring more value and one of the ideas is for you guys to send me your clips. Once a week I will do a review on one of the clips that was sent in.

If you are interested in having your clip posted on my @instagram account with constructive ideas to make your surfing better, please send them in.

PS: We are all learning and everyone who is posted on my account will be treated with respect and positive feedback ☝️🙌🙏 Also, please send in single maneuver clips so I can be more specific on the information. This will help make it easier to explain and understand. Please dm me your single maneuver clips I can download.

The first brave soul to have his “check snap” analysed by Shane, and potentially be mocked by Shane’s 28,000 followers, was Christopher Brown, owner of Campsurf at Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles.

(Watch here.)

Shane replied.

He asked about his arm going back on the first snap. I just did a tutorial on the check snap and this clip directly relates.

On his first snap, you can see he goes slightly into the lip when he does his turn, which makes his back arm fall back and almost puts him out the back of the wave.

You want to do this snap before you get to the top so you can use the power of the wave to push you down the line. You also want to start pushing the back arm and shoulder forward right before you start your turn. This will keep you centered and give you that controlled down the line speed.

What’s really cool about this clip is that @cbcampsurf is aware of what he’s doing and each turn gets better throughout the wave. 👌 This is the benefit of surfing point waves where you have the time to do multiple turns on one wave 🙌

Ready to face your demons? DM Beschen now!

From the get-rich-or-poor-quick dept: DHD opens crowdfunding share offer! Buy a slice for $250!

Company wants to raise two-and-a-half mill by January…

Five months ago, the Australian crowdfunding site, Equitise, announced it would soon open the door to everyday surfers being able to buy a slice of DHD, a company whose boards have underpinned ten world titles.

Well, today that door is wide open.

Crowdfunding, of course, is a roundabout sorta way to raise cash for your biz without the expense and legalities of an IPO (initial public offering, where companies jump into the stock market, pieces of the company or stocks/shares offered etc).

For as little as $250 you can buy ten $25 shares of a biz that’s been around for thirty-five years, ever since Darren Handley flew the coop from Murray Bourton’s Pipedream Surfboards. In a similar play, Darren’s ghost shaper Jason Stevenson split after four years at DHD to start JS Surfboards.

If you’re into gambling your shekels on a biz that I think we can all agree is a creator of fine work, you can read the prospective here.

(DHD Crowd-Sourced Offer Document)

Interesting points.

The company bought Jack Perry’s accessory company Modom, giving it a piece of the leash, soft board, tailpad market.

Handley owns 35 percent of the biz; Matt Bailey, director and chief marketing officer, owns 38.

The company turned over six million bucks in 2017-2018 (almost double its earnings four years earlier) for half a mill in profit.

Handley gets a $120,00 salary plus whatever dividends the company delivers.

The offer closes January 18.

And the usual caveat on these things:

• Crowd-sourced funding is risky. Issuers using this facility include new or rapidly growing ventures. Investment in these types of ventures is speculative and carries high risks.
• You may lose your entire investment, and you should be in a position to bear this risk without undue hardship.
• Even if the company is successful, the value of your investment and any return on the investment could be reduced if the company issues more shares.
• Your investment is unlikely to be liquid. This means you are unlikely to be able to sell your shares quickly or at all if you need the money or decide that this investment is not right for you.
• Even though you have remedies for misleading statements in the offer document or misconduct by the company, you may have difficulty recovering your money.
• There are rules for handling your money. However, if your money is handled inappropriately or the person operating this platform on which this offer is published becomes insolvent, you may have difficulty recovering your money.

Obviously, these things tend to go one of two ways.