Rumour: Vans and Quiksilver in wild legal war over use of checkers on Quik’s “The Original” surf trunks!

Spicoli vs Wright!

Rumour to hand via the miracle of inside sources is that Vans has taken the legal sword to Quiksilver for that company’s re-release of their trunks, The Original, which feature a checkered stripe running down each femur. 

Vans, makers of checkered slip-on shoes ever since ol Pauly Van Doren, god rest his soul, saw skaters using Sharpies to draw ‘em on their kicks in their seventies, is fiercely protective of what they regard as their company’s trademark. 

And, last year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sorta agreed with Vans after the company filed an application to register the checkerboard mark, on shoes, on pants, sweats, trousers, leggings, capris or shorts. 

Sorta ‘cause even though they told ‘em checkers “do not function as a trademark to indicate the source of applicant’s clothing” the USPTO granted ‘em the registration to use it on “apparel, namely, bottoms.” 

Ten days after that, Nike, a company with a thousand times more legal heft that Vans, said hell no, arguing that since the eighties it “has sold and continues to sell” apparel products that include “checkerboard patterns of various sizes, shapes, and colors placed in various locations on shirts and pants, such as the front, side, back, and inside thereof.”

Anyway, our Quiksilver source, hunkered over their (note use of pronoun) machine in Huntington Beach there, ears popping, says Vans came after ‘em, hard, following The Originals campaign.

Tried to take ‘em to court but lost ‘cause Quiksilver has been running that same print for forty years. 

And, says our source, allegedly, Vans told ‘em they will not sponsor any Quiksilver surfer with shoes and that Quik can’t use any Vans products in shoots or marketing. 

Good to see a lil fire between companies now that Quik and Billabong, once the most vicious of enemies, sit cheek by jowl in the same Huntington Beach office, same masters etc.

In entirely unexpected twist at inaugural Surf Park Awards, quaint Lemoore, California comes within striking distance of besting Melbourne, Australia as “most appealing” place to experience artificial waves!

Much surprise.

Aftershocks are still reverberating through the surf community after last night’s earthquake (feat. Chris Cote) at the inaugural Surf Park Central Surf Park Awards. Recap here, but for those short on time/attempting to preserve remaining brain cells, the shocker occurred when Spain’s Wavegarden snatched “Most Appealing Wave Technology” from the grasp of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch.

Audible gasps and shocked sighs filled the lushly wood paneled public library community room somewhere in San Diego.

Surf Lakes, Yeppoon clutching a bespoke monogrammed Occy clutch to breast. Waco, Texas taking the stage unexpectedly, standing there in front of Wavegarden saying, “Yo, Wavegarden. I’m really happy for you, Ima let you finish, but Kelly Slater made one of the best waves of all time. One of the best waves of all time.”


So much wildness that, as reported earlier, URBNSurf, Australia there just off Melbourne’s International Airport, almost didn’t hear its winning of “Most Appealing Surf Park Destination.”

Melbourne, a world-class city, would have been completely confident going against Yeppoon, Waco, Spain, Lemoore ahead of the awards but, as a surf journalist, I would like to call for a recount on the votes.

Berlin was on the list.

And so was Lemoore.

Surprising at it may seem, I have been to Melbourne’s Crowne casino and I have been to Lemoore’s Tachi Palace.

Sorta potato, potato there.

Much closer than it would otherwise appear.

Melbourne has superior fussy cuisine, Lemoore a superior Applebee’s Bar + Grill.

Potato, potato?

Where would you rather vacation?

Waco (in black) defends Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch as Wavegarden (in white) looks on befuddled.
Waco (in black) defends Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch as Wavegarden (in white) looks on befuddled.

Public shocked, flabbergasted as Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch wins “Most Popular Surf Park for High-Performance Surfing” but loses “Most Appealing Wave Technology” to Wavegarden at inaugural Surf Park Awards!

"Ima let you finish..."

Audible gasps, shocked sighs, filled the lushly wood paneled public library community room hosting the first-ever Surf Park Central Surf Park Awards, last evening, when the penultimate satin envelope, containing the winner of the coveted “Most Appealing Wave Technology” award, was opened.

Up until that point, there had been few surprises as master of ceremony Chris Cote, nattily dressed in a short-sleeved Hawaiian print button-up buttoned all the way up, announced the results of a global consumer opinion survey which had garnered over 2,000 votes.

Most popular surf park for beginners and intermediates: URBNSurf, Australia.

Most appealing deep water standing wave technology: City Wave, Germany.

Most appealing amenities: URBNSurf, Australia.

Most popular surf park for high-performance surfing: WSL Surf Ranch, US.

Kelly Slater’s brainchild, crowning California’s industrial farming Central Valley, has experienced somewhat of a renaissance of late, what with erstwhile grouchy surf journalists being won over by its charm, and Team Surf Ranch confidently, yet graciously, accepted the honor only smirking ever so slightly toward Team Surf Lakes Yeppoon.

Cote then began another patented charming spiel before segueing into “…and the winner of the most appealing wave technology is…”

Team Surf Ranch readied itself to stand and make its way up front, gingerly fingering the acceptance speech it had written last night.

“… Wavegarden, Spain.”

Audible gasps.

Shocked sighs.

Such commotion that URBNSurf, Australia also taking “Most Appealing Surf Park Destination” went almost unheard, Melbourne quietly happy not to have lost to Lemoore.

But Wavegarden taking out Surf Ranch for “most appealing wave technology”… what do you think about that?

Which would you rather dance upon?

Watch the drama unfold here.

John John Florence wakes up, talks WHOOP with middle bro Nathan.

A plastic wrist-band convinced me to temper combat sport training with surfing, respect sleep and achieve sexual transcendence!

When John John Florence and middle bro Nathan wake up all they can talk about is WHOOP!

The last time we spoke, me admitting a fitness strap had become the fulcrum on which my life now rests, the reader outraged we could pivot so hard to an advertorial-combat sports model, I revealed my latest existential crisis. 

Was jiujitsu actually gonna work in a surf fight? 

That story followed three previous stories detailing a year of Brazilian jiujitsu.

Exploring the nexus between the art of strangulation and surfing!

The blissful joys of hypoxia and the realisation that twinks raised on surf can roll with bears!


Confession: I was grotesquely complicity in the demonisation of the vulnerable adult learner surfer but through daily suffocation and strangulation learned to find common ground even empathy for VALS. 

Had I spent six days a week learning to operate a vehicle that was already obsolete? 

No need to go into details again, click here to read that bonanza of genius, but the realisation that strangling other men wasn’t going to have any real world effect, coupled with shock data from my fitness strap that showed the combat sports of jiujitsu and wrestling didn’t come close to surfing for fitness benefits, brought me full circle.

I would now apply the John John Florence model to my life.

Surf, sleep; examine breathing and recovery. 

(The WHOOP recovery algorithm tracks four key baseline metrics—resting heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep and respiratory rate.)

Two-time world champ Florence, who has been using WHOOP for three years, is the last custodian of the old way: talk softly, carry a big stick, surf with power and brilliance. A man whose approach is effortless and fearless.

By using his WHOOP, Florence has already determined the exact amount of days he must enter a hyperbaric chamber before a surfing contest (“On the third day my recovery would go down and then a day after it would shoot back up really high… I made sure I didn’t use it a day before a heat”) and says he talks to middle brother Nathan “all the time” about his WHOOP metrics. 

When they wake up all they talk about is WHOOP!

If I shared my bedroom I’d be the same!

“Before that we never thought about heart rate or anything. Now it’s all we can talk about after we’ve surfed for six hours,” says Florence.

On the metric Recovery, he goes hard, multiple surfs when it’s green, does light exercise mixed, called active recovery, a little swimming etc, when it’s in the red. 

I prefer to hammer hard day after day, not chasing the supreme triumph of Florence, but the occasional top of the surf and jiujisu charts. (You join online groups, compete against ‘em.) 

You wake up a couple of wild days of swell, you’re suddenly in the red. And you feel it. 

Been lazing around, green.

Y’feel that, too. 

A side bonus has been the incentive to punch up the numbers during long afternoons awash in libidinal heat, imagining a sword between the hips, undulating like an eel etc. Numbers track between five and fifteen. I record it as High Intensity Training.

Buy your WHOOP here, fifteen percent discount if you use the code BEACHGRIT at checkout. 

Next week: The pro surfer, not Florence, using a WHOOP to monitor his ailing daddy!

"It's morning in Orange County..."
"It's morning in Orange County..."

Southern California’s surfers attempt to secede from inland hordes as state re-draws district map: “There’s this localist strain that if the beach is in my neighborhood then I have rights to the wave that other people don’t have and that localist strain tends to be a very White, privileged one!”

Good Republicans dead.

The Golden State of California is a magical place where starlets sprout in Hollywood Hills, butterballs wash up on Malibu beaches, Facebook founders and CEOs e-foil patriotic lakes and the people live in wonderful harmony, all showering in the warmest rain of Papa Gavin Newsom.

Except every ten years a Hunger Games-like phenomena occurs wherein the public is carved into different voting districts and then utter hell breaks loose.

This decade’s edition has seen surfers emerging as a powerful bloc able to drag the entire fortunes of California with it.

Per a just-released report in Bloomberg:

California’s mapmakers will soon decide whether to keep the district as a coastal enclave or to redraw the map so coastal towns are joined with areas further inland. Surfers and other ocean lovers have argued they need to remain in a single district so they can speak with a unified voice in Washington. The seemingly nonpartisan issue could help shape the political future of Orange County, a traditional Republican stronghold where Democrats have been making gains.

To combat gerrymandering, California and six other states have taken the job of redrawing congressional boundaries out of the hands of partisan legislators and given it to independent panels. The state requires the panels to group together communities with shared social and economic interests. But such “communities of interest” are often proxies for partisanship, especially as the U.S. becomes increasingly polarized along lines of income, education, and race. And defining them can be subjective and fraught with controversy.

In Orange County, which hugs the Pacific just south of Los Angeles, some residents say that keeping coastal neighborhoods together would help promote the vital tourism that surfing brings and the lifestyle that goes with it.

And later…

Huntington Beach, with a population of 198,711, brands itself as Surf City USA (the moniker prompted a trademark dispute with Santa Cruz, six hours to the north; Huntington Beach prevailed in 2006). It’s home to Boardriders Inc., which includes the Quiksilver, Billabong, and Roxy brands of boards and apparel, and the surf forecasting company Surfline\Wavetrak Inc., as well as dozens of retail surf shops, the annual U.S. Open of Surfing, and the Surf Walk of Fame.

Surfing historian Scott Laderman says that while issues like coastal preservation and beach access can galvanize surfers, there’s not much else that unites them politically. “Looking historically at the surfing community, they tend to be an apolitical bunch,” says Laderman, author of Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing. “Most surfers will tell you that’s what they like about it—it allows them to transcend the everyday concerns that they might otherwise have to deal with and escape the social, economic, political turmoil of the outside world.”

But there are commonalities that have little to do with recreation, Laderman notes. “These tend to be overwhelmingly White, upper-middle-class areas,” he says. “There’s this localist strain that if this beach is in my neighborhood, then I have rights to the wave that other people don’t have. And that localist strain tends to be a very White, privileged one. It’s probably easier from a redistricting point of view to identify that as a surfing community of interest than a White, wealthy community of interest. That probably wouldn’t fly very well.”

Before putting the whole business into greater context…

It’s not unheard of for districts to coalesce around local industries. Coal mines in western Pennsylvania, oil refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, and tourism in central Florida have all been used to draw legislative maps. Still, Orange County’s surfers will have to compete with other interests.

Before ending with a banger.

“This was the place where Ronald Reagan said good Republicans came to die,” Smoller, the political scientist, says. “Now I think Orange County doesn’t know what it is—it just knows it doesn’t want to be Los Angeles. They want to retain their separateness, but they’re holding on by their fingertips because, like the rest of the country, it’s going to be majority minority.”

California surfers: Good Republicans dead.

Very Halloween, no?