A surf brand inspired by WSL's Future Surf Classic.
If you knew Joey Frizzelle like I know Joey Frizzelle, why, you’d love him to pieces, too.
Joe was at Volcom for fourteen years, all through the good ones, through the great float, and before getting the joint got bought out by the French luxe group Kering, owners of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta and finally, Authentic Group, makers of Juicy Couture’s outstanding velvet tracksuits (a personal fav.)
“It changed a lot for over that time,” says Joe, who was Volcom’s surf trunk designer of note.
His little light bulb moment for a brand centred around pools came when he was watching the Future Classic at Surf Ranch in 2017, the world’s second-ever major wave pool event, a contest where spectators were excluded.
“No one could see what was going on, it was so exclusive, so elitist and all of a sudden everyone had a comment about it, the death of surfing and so on. Everyone had an opinion on it.”
Joe said to a pal, “You know what’s so funny, somebody is going to have a wavepool brand and it’s going to be called Country Club Surf Club or something.”
Joe went out and got the Instagram handle, bought the domain, he yelled from his Volcom cubicle, “Can somebody make a logo?”
By the time the afternoon had spilled into evening, he had a logo, a website, had posted photos on Instagram and had mocked up a full range of hats and tees.
“It was epic,” he says. “We tagged BeachGrit and Chas came back and said how much he loved it.”
He had to keep it under wraps, howevs, at least the part where he was in low-level cahoots with BeachGrit.
“The management were not too keen on BeachGrit and here I am sending stuff to Chas.”
The brand started as parody but Joe is anything but anti-tub. He hits the Waco pool when he can and even blew his money on the old Austin tank before it got bought out by KSWaveCo, demolished, and abandoned.
“The Austin pool was tough, that was horrible. It was like bad San Onofre,” says Joe.
Still, even at Austin “we had a really fun day. Wavepools are so dope, they’re sick, that’s what we dreamed about when we were kids. You have Travis Ferré saying they’re the worst thing ever, never do it, everyone splitting has on it, flip-flopping back and forth. But when you go, everyone’s rotating, no one’s hassling, everyone’s stoked. It’s better than sitting at 56th Street and battling all the groms all day for shitty waves. At BSR, it’s a pretty good three-footer. You’re with your friends hooting and hollering and you’re not out there thinking, aw, the wind just came up, the tide’s not right.”
Instead of a Pro Team, Joe has a Bro Team, which includes the aforementioned Chas Smith. There isn’t a huge barrier to entry.
“Everyone is on the Bro Team,” he says. “If you want to apply go for it. When you show up at a pool rocking a Country Club shirt, you’re in the know, part of the club.”
Country Club Surf Club ain’t even close to being self-sustaining, Joe’s got himself another gig to pay the bills, but the dream is to get enough of a buzz around it, to build relationships with the guys at the pools and get a discount on sessions so he can take his twin five-year-old shredders on his choline adventures without melting his card.
In the meantime, “It’s a fun spin on what’s happening in core surf,” says Joe. “It keeps me self-entertained.”