Oh but do you feel the wonderful tang of holiday in the air this December 1st? The soft sound of sleigh bells jingling ring-ting-tingling too? Mistletoe, stockings hung by chimneys with care, gingerbread homes for candied children? Only the grumpiest, grinchiest local can deny that this season holds magic.
I was reminded of festive cheer when I visited my mailbox yesterday morning and discovered a full color bleed mailer for Kelly Slater’s sustainable outerwear brand Outerknown stuffed inside. It was addressed to someone else and I felt small guilt in breaking its seal but what was I to do? An adorable picture of a Saint Bernard wearing a scarf overlooking the words “Your OuterKnown sustainable gift guide. Gift thoughtfully. Gift better” was simply more than I could take.
The heavy card stock opened to a four paneled masterpiece of joy. There were salmon trunks and “swittens,” moleskin shirts and “reimagine cashmere” beanies, blanket shirt dresses and Breitling x Outerknown watches.
I bathed in its seasonal charm, almost able to smell chestnuts roasting by the fire with care, then, seeing as there was no way to order any of it from the mailer itself, went to my trash can and pitched it inside.
I’m absolutely sure the landfill will be joyously grateful.
Brazil enters morally murky waters by hosting animal abuse-adjacent world of dog surfing contests!
Would dogs, man’s theoretical best friend, chose to SUP?
There was a time, almost forgotten, when then the surfing powers resided solely in the nasty hegemony of Southern California with its “surf industry” and its “ Dino Andino” and its “Association of Professional Surfers” except that association actually resided on the even nastier Australian Gold Coast.
Dog surfing contests.
A fundamental destruction of animal rights?
Those selfsame animal rights posit, “Sentient animals are entitled to the possession of their own existence and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings.”
Would dogs, man’s theoretical best friend, chose to SUP?
Choose to become scored on closeout beach break?
Full rotation airs on the horizon?
Brazil, in any case, has entered the chat.
Heroes of Lake Changjin!
Surf world rocked by revelation iconic Pipeline house recently sold for $5 million not owned by Quiksilver but by Chinese consortium!
The surf world is in shock this morning after it was revealed the iconic “Quiksilver House” at 59-367 Ke Nui Rd was never owned by Quiksilver at all but had been rented off a Chinese consortium for the last dozen or so years.
Two days ago, we’d reported that after five years on the market and following a scissoring of fifteen million dollars off the asking price, the famous house, which once hosted Craig Anderson and his Lopez-inspired single fin, had been sold for $US4,950,0000.
It had last traded in 2009 for one-point-four mill.
A pretty good result despite the discounting and still a three-and-a-half mill capital gain for the beleaguered Quiksilver.
“Only a handful of surf spots in the world share the same reverence that Banzai Pipeline has. And when it comes to Pipe, there are even fewer properties that can claim they truly front this iconic surf break. For that reason, we’re proud to present 59-367 Ke Nui Road…otherwise known to locals and surfers as the Quiksilver House. A property steeped in North Shore lore and witness to the world’s greatest surfing events.”
After our story appeared, there was a flurry of direct messages to our Instagram account, including from North Shore standout and star of Quiksilver’s Performers movies, Mickey Neilsen.
“Get your facts right,” wrote Mickey. “We rented it! Never bought it.”
Rates for the joint were around a thousand bucks a night.
And an email from Quiksilver’s Simon Charlesworth, “Wanted to drop you a note to clarify Quiksilver never owned the house at Pipeline, it was always rented from a Chinese consortium who sold it earlier this year.”
Reds! Who knew!
The sale is good news, I’d suggest, now that the PRC is mounting a real slow and steady build-up to World War III over the little-ish island of Taiwan, which is still a hold-out from Chinese Reds ever since Chiang Kai-Shek and his KMT fled the mainland after losing the civil war in 1949.
One less staging point for a land invasion of Oahu, Pearl Habour, the sequel etc.
In other East v West news, the biggest thing in China right now is the stunning popularity of war movie The Battle at Lake Changjin, which tells the true-ish story of China’s glorious victory over wicked American-UN forces during the Korean War.
A billion dollars in gross earnings thus far this year.
It’s a very good film and it stars the hypnotic Wu Jing, who leads the 7th Company of the People’s Volunteer Army to an unexpected triumph against all odds.
Explosive new global study launched to determine if surfers are truly the “guardian angels of the sea” or simply full of vile self-congratulatory lies!
A shockwave is reverberating across the social scientific world, this morning, as it has been revealed that a potentially landscape altering study is being embarked upon seeking to determine whether surfers are the true “unsung heroes” when it comes to saving lives or the lowest form of self-congratulatory liars that ever paddled the seas.
Professor Rob Brander of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) first published a study nearly seven years ago that suggested surfers rescue as many people as volunteer lifesavers and that 63% of surfers feel they have saved a life.
Again, 63% of surfers feel they have saved a life.
The numbers have haunted, Dr. Bander and colleagues all these nearly seven years and so are kicking off a new study to quantify the actual count of “guardian angel” surfers worldwide.
“It’s estimated that over 35 million people regularly participate in surfing – that’s a lot more than the entire population of Australia,” says Dr. Brander. “In Australia alone there are an estimated 2.5 million surfers, which is about 10% of the population. So we are really interested to see if we can get stronger data about surfers and how many rescues they might make each year at Australian beaches, and whether this is consistent the world over.”
Will the jig be up when Dr Brander and his colleagues start poking? Will it be revealed that surfers are unrepentant cons who will say anything for a pat on the back or true halo’d saints?
Which do you think?
Do you feel you have saved a life?
More as the story develops.
Malibu surf icon whose legend was dramatised in seminal teen movie “Gidget” reported missing somewhere in Venice area! “It is possible he is suffering from some age-related mental frailty and is wandering the streets of west Los Angeles”
Surfer, motorcycle racer, artist, hep-cat, and co-founder of The Royal Hawaiian crowd-clearing technique at Malibu, Billy al Bengston was one of the members of the Malibu pit crew in the 1950s who had all those lovely green walls to himself and friends, which included Miki “Da Cat” Dora, Terry “Tubesteak” Tracy, Kemp and Denny Aaberg and a Happy Few digging the secret thrill of surfing in the 1950s.
More importantly, Bengston was a serious player in the art world – one of the most influential California artists to move out of the 1950s into the 1960s – and is called by some “The West Coast Andy Warhol.”
On the night of November 28, surfer/ceramicist = surferamicist Cory Bluemling sent an alarming AT RISK/MISSING PERSON bulletin (by way of the California Highway Patrol and Malibu local Carla Rowland) alerting the public that an 87-year-old man named Billy Bengston was missing in the Venice area.
Cory wondered if this was the same artist/surfer whose art was so influential in the middle of the 20th Century, and whose nickname inspired the James Darren character in the 1959 movie Gidget.
Quick emails went around and there were responses from Kathy “Gidget” Kohner-Zuckerman,
“He lived on Mildred in Venice. Yes this could be a pix of Billy Al and I have not seen him in a long while. Age would be correct about… is this for real?”
And Phyllis “The Concrete Heiress” Tracy, wife of Tubesteak Tracy (RIP 1935 – 2018).
“Yes. I thought he lived in Venice.I hope he’s ok.”
So Venice and the age match up, so this missing person probably is the surfing world’s Billy Al Bengston, and that’s a worry.
“So what?” you sneer. “Who is this guy? What’s it to me? How does this affect my trip?”
According to Wikipedia,
“Billy Al Bengston (born June 7, 1934 in Dodge City, Kansas) is an American artist and sculptor who lives and works in Venice, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. Bengston is a contemporary artist probably best known for his work that he created that uses the radical Californian “Kustom Kar” and motorcycle culture. He used colors that were psychedelic and shapes that were mandala like.”
It’s all true, and the (2021 – 1934 = 87) matches up to the age of the missing Billy Bengston.
Fleshing out the Wikipedia, there is this from the Getty.edu webpage:
“Billy Al Bengston (born 1934) is a flamboyant character who, beginning in the late 1950s, combined art with professional motorcycle racing and quickly became a key player in the Ferus Gallery circle. He had five solo shows at Ferus from 1958 to 1963, as well as a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1968. The motorcycle imagery in several early works associated Bengston with West Coast Pop, as did his use of techniques and materials drawn from custom-car and motorcycle culture, while the polished surfaces he achieved with spray lacquer also connected him to early conceptions of Finish Fetish.”
Finish Fetish. Out of the 1950s and into the 1960s, Bengston was a sharp-looking, clean-cut dude with a moustache who – like Bruce Brown and John Severson and other surfer artists of that era – dabbled in surfing and motorcycles and brought inspiration from those pursuits to their art.
So what is the connection between this real Moondoggie and the fictitious character in the 1959 movie Gidget?
In the book, Moondoggie invents the name “Gidget” (a fusion of “girl midget”), and eventually gives the chirpy teenager his class pin. Asked by Longboard Magazine in 1997 if there was in fact any romantic relationship between himself and Kathy Kohner—the real-life Gidget and daughter of author Kohner— Bengston dismissed the thought. “She brought sandwiches to the beach. We ate them.”
Billy Al Bengston is 87 years old and while surfers like to think our kind are not prone to mental disabilities because surfers spend their lives bathing their brains in adrenaline and endorphins and other such sweet liquors (See: Dick Metz, Mickey Munoz, Gidget) it is possible Bengston is suffering from some age-related mental frailty, and is wandering the streets of west Los Angeles.
Please be on the lookout and let’s get Moondoggie home.