Rip Curl champs, Medina and Fanning.

Breaking: Camping Retailer Kathmandu Buys Rip Curl For $350 Million!

Strong parallels, respective strengths, bringing together marketing and distribution channels etc.

It’s been coming for a while so it ain’t a great surprise. Earlier today, the covers came off the sale of privately owned Rip Curl to camping retailer Kathmandu for $A350 million, a little over two hundred mill US.

The deal ends fifty years of continuous private ownership for a company founded in Torquay in 1969 by Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer, two wild gunslingers whose surf DNA allowed Rip Curl to thrive while Billabong and Quiksilver went public, soared, then sunk.

Kathmandu, if you’re wondering, sells outdoor gear, tents, chunky boots etc, and has stores in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

In a statement, Doug and Brian said,

“We realise, Rip Curl, our baby has grown into an adult recognised all over the planet and we are proud that we have created one of the world’s great brands.”

According to Reuters, Rip Curl’s current CEO Michael Daly will stay in charge and report to Kathmandu CEO Xavier Simonet.

“There are strong parallels with both Rip Curl and Kathmandu. Bringing them together will build on our respective strengths across product, marketing and distribution channels,” said Daly. “It will be a new world for all of us after 50 years of private ownership, and our entire crew would like to thank the Rip Curl Founders for everything they have done for surfing over the years.”

In turn, Kathmandu’s CEO Xavier Simonet said “Rip Curl transforms Kathmandu into a highly complementary, seasonally balanced, global outdoor and action sports business. The combination will support the acceleration of our brands’ global expansion into new channels and markets. Sharing a focus on quality, innovation and sustainability, Kathmandu and Rip Curl make for a great cultural fit.”

The deal, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, works like this,

The transaction will be financed through a combination of a fully underwritten 1 for 4 pro-rata accelerated entitlement offer to raise NZ$145 million ($90.80 million) and a placement of about NZ$32 million of new Kathmandu shares to the founders and chief executive of Rip Curl, who will receive a part of the consideration in Kathmandu shares.

At eight am this morning, Torquay time, all Rip Curl employees were called into a meeting to discuss the implications etc. An hour later, they’re still in there.

More on that soon.


Heartbreak: Dewy-eye’d surf journalist discovers Hawaii not the center of pop music universe!

Shattered illusions.

For years and years now I have been so proud of our Hawaii, the center of the surfing universe, for also being the center of pop music’s. I didn’t know how it came to be, how the most isolated island chain in the world found itself name-checked in every impactful electronic-tinged pop song, many hip hop and rap songs too, for the past decade plus but there it was.


And every time I heard Hawaii’s area code being sung by The Chainsmokers, Charli XCX, Lil Nas X, Lil Jon my heart beat gratified. I sometimes wondered what brought them to Hawaii and where they stayed. Honolulu? Princeville? Lahina? Where they recorded. Hilo? Kailua? Kahului? I wondered how the pop scene came to flourish and how it could own the spotlight for so long. Seattle had a great run that lasted under a decade. Austin shone for only five years.

But Hawaii, our 808, showed no signs of slowing down. More and more electronic-tinged pop, hip hop and rap songs. A bushel of them winning Grammys, Teen Choice and American Music Awards.

I gave up listening for ukulele in those 808 songs a few years ago, assuming that it was represented metaphorically, and just enjoyed them for what they were.

Powerful odes to aloha.

Then, two days ago, I was scrolling through the TV channels and caught a documentary on one of the most important electronic instruments ever created.

The Roland TR-808.

My heart broke in two. The pride drained away and was replaced by a horrific depression. The sort that children feel when they learn Santa Claus is a fraud. That college graduates when they learn they are indentured servants.

Did you know all along that Bruno Mars is Hawaii’s only contribution to popular music?

And when was the last time a shattered illusion broke your heart?

Skyler hits shorebreak. Wait for the dismount.

Kook of the Day: “This Dog Surfing Shit Just Went Too Far!”

"Pure cruelty…risking best friend's life…etc"

It’s a slow news day so let’s scrape hell out of the barrel, shall we?

You’ll remember, six months ago, when Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark ran over a VAL with his SUP foil out at Cowell’s in Santa Cruz. You’ll also recall the third party in the collision, Skyler the Surfing Dog (and her owner, nineties pro Homer Henard).

Read, Surfing Dog vs Kook vs SUP Foiler/Mavericks Legend Jeff Clarke, here, SUP Foiler Jeff Clark Responds to Anti-Foil Buzz, here and Watch Full Video (With Zoom) of Surfing Dog  vs VAL vs SUP Foil/Mavs Legend Jeff Clark, here.

In the Cowell’s incident some argued Skyler and Homer dropped in on Jeff, and was the cause of his SUP Foil colliding with the encroaching VAL. Similar to American justifications for bombing Cambodia during the Vietnam war, if you’re looking for a historical comparison.

This narrative was subsequently quashed by all parties involved.

Now, the Australian red heeler has been embroiled in another scandal. Earlier today, popular instagram account @kookoftheday posted a video of Skyler being sent over the falls in a shorebreak, briefly disappearing in the maelstrom that also knocks over a nearby photographer.

Writes KOTD,

Alright, this dog surfing shit just went too far. It’s kool to see a dog surf a safe, slow mellow wave maybe once in eternity. But you gotta do what you gotta do for attention these days, like risking your best friend’s life!

The response was split, for and against.


@colewalliser I think this is animal abuse. It’s infuriating to see.


@jerbo741 these people need to fucking relax. I’m sure (Sklyer) is very loved and supported. Keep doing your thing and having fun out in the water!

@tenderplacements The dog can jump off at any point, if he really didnt wanna do this he wouldnt do it. You cant force a dog to do something like this.

Currently over 1900 comments, and counting.

It’s a fascinating exchange of ideas that recalls French social theorist Michel Foucault (who loved sexual torture) and American linguist Noam Chomsky’s famed 1971 debate, “Human Nature: justice versus power.”

Where do you sit? A bit of canine fun, or animal exploitation?

From the stay-woke dept: Was Miki Dora a white-supremacist nazi bastard or very good button pusher?

"Just different shades of asshole," says surf historian.

Two days ago, The New York Times ran a piece by the surf writer Daniel Duane called The Long Strange Tale of California’s Surf Nazis.

It takes seven hundred or so words to get into it, but it centres around that nineteen-sixties-era taste for Nazi memorabilia among Californian surfers, writes emotionally about entrenched racism in surfing (“A hundred and fifty years of white people like myself have helped make white-supremacist racism as Californian as panning for gold and hanging ten”), and holds Miki Dora as the poster-boy for white supremacism in surfing.

Duane writes,

Dora often used racial slurs and advised acquaintances to put all their money in gold before Mexicans and blacks poured over the borders and ruined the economy. While serving prison time, Dora (who had been convicted of both check and credit-card fraud) wrote to a friend that he loved American Nazis. Dora eventually relocated to apartheid-era South Africa.

The famed surfboard designer Dale Velzy told Mr. Rensin that he recalled Dora boasting, in that period: “I have a black man who wakes me up in the morning, gives me my orange juice, gives me my robe, carries my board to the beach. Everybody ought to live in Africa. I have a coolie for everything I do. Everyone should own a coolie.” In a later letter, as the anti-apartheid movement grew, Dora wrote that black South Africans were “flesh-eaters,” adding, “Give these guys the rights and you’ll get white-man jerky for export.”

Nat Young, world surfing champion in 1966 and 1970, knew Dora. As Young told an interviewer: “Dora’s take is push the black man under. He’s a supreme racist, always has been. When I was younger, I believed it was all just in mirth, that he was just jivin’ it all; but no, he believes absolutely in white supremacy.”

Dora, who was born in Budapest, Hungary, and died of pancreatic cancer, aged sixty-seven in 2002, didn’t appear to like Jews much either.

In a 1975 interview with Phil Jarratt, Dora, who acted as a surf double on a couple of Hollywood beach films said, “The Jews come down to the beach, they shoot their movie, sell it to the Kikes and they all make a pile of money.”

Was he or wasn’t he? Nazi bastard or button pusher?

Who else to ask but Matt Warshaw, the sole historian of surf history.

“I’m not even sure it’s worth trying to parse out the difference between saying things like that to push buttons, versus saying them more out of deep-held belief,” he told me a few moments ago. “Bad either way. Just different shades of asshole.”

And den I nailed a couple of fucks with a frontside gouge in front of deh stinking faces. Two-turn combo…boom…boom…must check Surfline Replay.

Question: should you keep a post-surf diary?

Does greatnesses lay in regular post-surf analysis?

Northern winters do strange things to people. All that time for deep, dark contemplation begets some quirky shit. Norwegian doom metal. Peep Show. Eurovision.

And it’s surely only that twilight fog, swirling and meandering through the psyche like some tangled ghoul, that ever allowed this idea outta Scotland to progress beyond conception: a surfer’s notebook.

Surf Notes has fields for you to enter the conditions as they were forecast, swell size, direction, wind direction etc. Note them down to get a better understanding of what works best at your favourite break or when to come back to a special one on your travels!

A place for more details on the session is included so you can wax lyrical about how epic that right was, or how the whole beach stopped to watch that one lip slash. Looking back might just give you a reminder when the details start to fade, and you never know, it might even make you a better surfer.

What do I think? Surfers don’t need diaries.

Yes, Derek Hynd’s notebook was the stuff of legend. Careers were dissected, flayed, with a flick of that bony wrist.

But for the rest of us? Get ya hand off it. I know a few guys who do keep session logs but it’s only for conditions, locations. Future reference. Coupla lines per surf, max.

Self analysis? Except for the odd crywank in the rearview mirror, I keep my eyes forward and pedal to the floor.

And yet. There’s something quaint about the thought of it. Sorta like Surfline Replay for Luddites and Angry Locals. Sitting in front of a roaring fire, wrapped in a fine down blanket, goblet of port swishing about in one hand while quilled notes are hurriedly transcribed with the other. Ultra-analogue surf candy.

Plus, ya know, RUOK n that. Gotta get that shit off your chest.

So with all the cracks in the wall of positivity, quit-lit, actual heavy investigative journalism etc dropping ‘round here of late I thought I’d lighten the mood a little, and ask a couple BG scribes to put their own pens to paper, post surf.

See if you can guess who’s who!

Desolate, windblown peaks emptied onto the shelf under a lead lined sky. I took the first drop that presented, and deliberately rode it into the rocks. Just to see what would happen. Just to see if I could still feel. About surfing. About anything. The jagged protrusions, ancient basalt lava heads, sliced deep. Blood gushed from me like a draining loch/standing wank. Dumb cunt. But 50 quid says I cannae do it again.


Wow, the point was crowded today! Saw one murfer almost scalped by hipster with a Greenough fin. She just laughed. Reminded me of Dostoevsky’s disquisition on the irrational pleasure of suffering. Like the time me and Owl C. gutted a bore barehanded while high on mescaline. Must pitch to Derek.


Sigh. Another day of Bondi closeouts. Got slapped by a young French backpacker when we were paddling for a set and I asked her if she goes both ways. Pervetir? Moi?


And let’s hear yours.

Could be your Grit compatriots, da pros, ELO, Cote, a George bro, your own. Etc.

Best one wins a BeachGrit tail-pad or similar.