Rumour: Hurley family tried to buy biz back from Nike; Bob Hurley on “forced absence of leave” while Bluestar deal goes through…

Leak to Wall Street Journal kills deal 'tween Bob and Nike…

Three weeks ago, Nike cut a deal with brand management company Bluestar Alliance to buy Hurley for an undisclosed amount.

The sale followed Volcom, which was sold in April to a maker of velour tracksuits and Rip Curl in October to camping retailer Kathmandu.

Bob Hurley, of course, cashed in his chips to Nike for a hundred and twenty mill in 2002, three years after Hurley International was launched, although he continued to run the show until 2015.

Bob, a legend in the game, first as a shaper then as a biz-man, spent sixteen years turning a little-known brand called Billabong into a hundred-mill-a-year biz. When the US license came up for renewal in 1998, he knocked it back and Hurley Int was born.

Now, according to a source, the Hurley family were in the process of buying the ol biz back from Nike, their movements were leaked to The Wall Street Journal, and they were subsequently outbid by Bluestar Alliance, owners of clothing brands for the “confident, sexy modern woman!”

As a consequence, and according to the yet-to-be confirmed rumour, Bob’s sons Ryan, who was supposed to become the new Bob, the new face of Hurley, and Jeff, the chief of marketing, and two other family members, have been let go by Bluestar.

Hit up Bob on DM, I’ll let y’know when he hits the keys back.


"We're making two dollars!"

Bombshell Rumor: Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, crown jewel of World Surf League, a “break even at best” proposition!

Pennies from heaven!

And you trust me don’t you? You trust my various little birds trapped behind the World Surf League’s Santa Monica Wall of Positive Noise who peep out rumors so hot that they take months to substantiate? Oh you should because they are always right, even though they take months to substantiate, and when they are not right it is due some massive billionaire posturing behind the scenes, derailing certain true scenarios and writing their will upon bad ideas.

See Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in the otherwise drought-stricken California central valley. I reported, two months ago, that Santa Monica’s powers that be were set to shutter the KSWaveCo. Solana Beach offices and lay off basically everyone. It just came true. I also reported that the Freshwater Pro would be abandoned as the competition was hated by professional surfers, did horrible viewership numbers and was otherwise generally unloved. It didn’t come true but only because the Santa Monica powers that be are running a just announced reality television show there and also it is the only part of the entire World Surf League that makes money.

How much does it make?

As just revealed by a little bird… zero.

And let me quote…

Bottom line is that KSWaveCo has total operating costs per month between $800k – $1m and are renting the place on average of 15 – 20 days per month with an asking price of $50k per day so are grossing $750k -$1m per month. In other words, much sound and fury and make-believe surf but capitalism-wise much ado about a basically break even proposition. On top of that, research and development plus getting the place up and running was an easy $10m+ so they’re servicing $10m in debt and running at roughly break even. Not how the Rockefellers, or even the Ziffs made their fortunes.

So.

Are you happy that the Freshwater Pro is back for another year as the lone success story of co-Waterperson of the Year Dirk Ziff’s reign, equalling a break even proposition, at best?

Yeah?

If Dirk Ziff was a character on HBO’s Succession who would he be?

Tom?

Tom?

More as the story develops.


Mainstream media lambasts “myopic, lazy, self-obsessed” surfers as giant grey whale swims through Doheny lineup unnoticed!

Much image rehabilitation instantly undone.

And you have, by now, certainly seen the stunning drone footage shot by eighteen-year-old Doheny local Payton Landass. There he was, lounging at his parents beachside home when he spotted the incredible; a giant grey whale, or blue whale according to Russia Today, casually swimming through the lineup. Landass, alertly, grabbed his drone and flew it overhead capturing what he correctly dubbed “an insane and surreal” tableau.

The particularly high tide allowed the stately beast to move so close to shore and casually flick her or his tail.

The clip is wonderfully moving and should have been a moment for our fractured world to come together in a celebration of nature’s majesty but has proven otherwise. The story and video went viral with mainstream media coverage mostly focusing on how the surfers in the lineup were “unaware” of the whale’s presence with a very thick insinuation that “unaware” should be read myopic, lazy and self-obsessed.

Surfers have, for years, tried to shake these stereotypes by participating in beach clean-ups and a rehabilitation of the “surfer image” has been the near-sole focus of our World Surf League. We are, in President Storyteller Erik Logan’s soft hands, “athletes, world-citizens, ecologically-minded wave tank builders.”

And yet one grey, or blue, whale swimming through a lineup unnoticed kicks us straight back to being a pack of naval-gazing Jeff Spicolis.

Too dumb to notice a behemoth.

Too addled to care.

Is the stereotype true? Should President Storyteller Erik Logan throw in the towel and greenlight “Box of Rocks” alongside his heart-stirring hit “Transformed” (three-thousand views and counting) wherein a gaggle surfers sit in a parking lot and argue about surfboard volume for three uninterrupted hours?

Maybe.

Probably even.

But would you watch?


Seeking: A hero who will kiss away our pain, stand by us forever, take our breath away!

Who is our "Ultimate Surfer?"

So yesterday I was driving through town of my way to pick up some Vietnamese-Laotian fusion when I heard, on the radio, the story of hockey goon John Scott and how fans, furious with the National Hockey League, made him an all-star.

It was an epic of the sport journalism genre and you must read in full, but I will give the very short version and how it relates to us, Professional surf fans and professional hockey fans are the basically the same. We both love a game where men and women dance upon the water. We both mistrust our governing body. I had no idea, but true hockey fans consider the National Hockey League an inept interloper exactly like we consider our World Surf League.

And so one day, the host of a famous hockey podcast became furious with the NHL and its perpetual tinkering with the all-star game format. He mustered his fans to vote for an older, large, not extremely skilled player named John Scott. A classic hockey goon but also the near last of a dying breed.

Fans rallied, John not only won the vote but smashed all-comers, the NHL got all inept and mad and tried to convince John it would be embarrassing for his children if he attended the all-star game, he decided to anyhow and so they had his team trade him and the team that acquire him kick him down to the minor leagues. But there was no rule that a minor league player couldn’t be an all-star and so John went and… I won’t spoil it for you. Must must read but how does it relate to us?

Well, the World Surf League just announced its new reality show Ultimate Surfer and while we can’t just vote anyone in, like our lucky hockey fan brethren, I feel if we muster our forces we can figure out our standard bearer and get her or him onto the show.

A grumpy local.

A Peoples’ Champion.

It is casting right now with the only requirements being:

You must be at least 21 years of age and a legal resident of the United States.
You must be in good physical condition to be able to compete in a series of skills-based challenges that may be considered physically demanding (e.g., running, climbing, lifting, swimming, balancing).
You must not be a candidate for public office and must agree not to become one from the date of your application until one (1) year after the initial broadcast of the final episode of the Program in which you appear.
You may not ever have been convicted of a felony.

And besides the “legal resident of the United States” bit which seems both entirely anti-surf and xenophobic who could we push forward?

Who should we?

Bobby Martinez?

Shawn Briley?

Jamie O’Brien?

Keala Kennelly?

Who?

We must decide together and then petition that person to fly our flag.


Cabot, pictured, likely tricking his handler.

Revealed: Advanced shark tracking technology proven “extremely fallible” as tricky Great Whites learn to outsmart complicated systems!

They're evolving...

Two days ago, surfers, bodysurfers and mostly boogie boarders who call North Carolina’s Outer Banks home freaked out very much as the shark tracking organization OCEARCH informed them that a 500 lbs Great White named Cabot swam into their once-pristine Albemarle Sound, just inside of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. The only places anyone has ever heard of on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and also the most popular.

Pandemonium struck and struck hard. OBX locals went fear crazy, locking themselves into storm shelters, refusing to take baths, not even washing dishes for fear that Cabot might squeeze through the plumbing and chew limbs.

Yesterday, OCEARCH revealed the rotund shark was never in Albemarle Sound but very likely stalking surfers, bodysurfers and mostly boogie boarders elsewhere. A very scary twist and let’s go to The Outer Banks Voice for the very latest.

It turns out that Cabot, a 500-lb. great white shark tracked by Ocearch, did not pay a visit to the Albemarle Sound on Wednesday night, according to the ocean research organization’s founder, Chris Fischer.

Fischer told the Voice that a low-quality ping from the satellite-linked tracker on Cabot’s dorsal fin made it appear that the shark had found its way into the estuarine waters not far from Point Harbor, resulting in reports of his apparent and curious location. A higher quality ping on Thursday morning, however, showed that the shark – named after explorer John Cabot – was in the Atlantic Ocean not far off Kitty Hawk.

Fischer noted that the Wednesday night ping showed up on Ocearch’s online shark tracker and was reported by several news agencies.

“We are watching sharks all the time, and get different ping qualities,” he said. “We got a ping [in the Albemarle Sound] that was lower quality…When we saw the high-quality ping out [in the Atlantic], we knew we were right.”

He added that, “While Cabot wasn’t in the sound, I don’t think that is something new…They do go into the sounds and have since the beginning of time…we just know it now.”

The longer the shark’s fin is out of the water, the better the quality of the ping, Fischer explained. He added that shark enthusiasts can check Ocearch’s social media sites to confirm a shark’s location. “You’ll know it’s a real ping if you find it on” Ocearch’s media posts, he noted.

Bullshit.

Sharks now know to keep their fins in the water while stalking prey, while stalking you and you should likely not surf this week or probably until OCEARCH fixes its bugs. All the lessons we learned from watching and re-watching Jaws have essentially been erased. The bastards now have every advantage.

Every advantage.

More as the story develops.