Slater (pictured) with cheaper-than-yesterday merchandise.
Slater (pictured) with cheaper-than-yesterday merchandise.

Controversial surfboard manufacturer Firewire announces “once in a lifetime” American sale kicking domestic shapers square in the guts ahead of holiday season!

Everything must go!

It has been many years, now, since Firewire surfboards popped out on the surf scene. Founded by Nev Hyman in the middle 2000s, the computer drafted surfboard, pumped out of fancy machines in a giant Thai warehouse, are now ubiquitous in any lineup. The world’s greatest surfer, Kelly Slater, owns 70% of the business and uses the technology to create his Slater Designs boards under the Firewire banner along with Tomo and an assortment of longboard crafters.

Now, making boards in Thai factories then shipping them to the United States or Australia has long roiled domestic shapers who are saddled with higher taxes, more stringent environmental regulations, much increase for cost of labor, insurance etc. but it seems like the factions made a sort of peace and especially during the past three-year boom where surfing became very popular amongst the Covid-stuck.

Riches for all.

Everything that goes up, though, must come down and, per industry sources, surfboard sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Not horrible. Not great.

And here comes the trouble. Firewire, which appears have to overproduced through the good times, is, attempting to dump excess inventory in the United States via a “once in a lifetime” sale. Prices slashed by 20%. Retailers incentivized through a rebate program.

The margin for non-Thai board builders is between 30 – 40% which means, heading into the holiday season, they will all receive a swift kick in the guts from abroad.

The question for you. Is all fair in love and capitalism? Should surfers care about domestic board crafters or should they, rather, consider their surfboards similar to tennis rackets?

Globalism or protectionism?


World Surf League thrills ten-year-old boys, novelty buffs with shock announcement that it will turn its big wave surfing tour over to Guinness Book of World Records!


The World Surf League, which bills itself as “the global home of surfing,” has certainly tried to be a big tent. Or maybe not tried but attempted to at least pretend. There is, of course, the regular Championship Tour featuring high-performance surfing. There is the Longboard World Tour, though it has been chopped nearly unrecognizable with only a small handful of stops and sitting champions who are not allowed to compete. And there is the Big Wave World Tour which, hours ago, is no longer any sort of tour at all but rather a front for the Guinness Book of World Records.

Per the stunning press release:

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the WSL Big Wave Record Chase, the new model for verifying and celebrating Big Wave World Records. Through this new property, the WSL will continue its commitment to big wave surfing through a revamped strategy focusing on GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles for the women’s and men’s divisions across the paddle-in and tow-in categories. The WSL will host a total prize purse of $500,000, which will be allocated to athletes who achieve new world records for Men’s Biggest Wave (Paddle), Women’s Biggest Wave (Paddle), Men’s Biggest Wave (Unlimited), Women’s Biggest Wave (Unlimited).

“This shift is designed to elevate and refine the World Records property,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP Tours and Head of Competition. “By creating a more transparent process, rewarding the achievements of the athletes, and shining a light on their incredible achievements, we hope to build a platform to showcase the immense talent of big wave athletes.”

WSL Big Wave Record Chase: Submission and Review Process Submissions will be open to all big wave surfers who surf and capture their rides within the eligibility window. The submissions will be open via the WSL’s online portal, and submissions must be registered by the designated timeframe to be analyzed and considered for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title.

But do you recall perusing the Guinness Book of World Records in elementary school? Oh, I very much enjoyed learning who had the longest tongue, mustache, fingernails, hairiest family (pictured above) etc. and am thrilled that our big wave heroes and heroines have found a place alongside of them.

Rewarded achievements.

Light shone upon incredible achievements.

Immense talent.

Interestingly, it appears the tour is now open to you and me, as well, as long as we capture our rides within the eligibility window. Will you alter your business card to read “Big Wave Athlete?”

I’d recommend.

Quickly, though, while you are here, what is the “World Records property” that is being elevated and refined?

More questions than answers.

Come get a piece of the South Island pie.

New Zealand surf identity lists epic beachfront spread near “the Rincon of the South Pacific” for under one million dollars!

"Is this your lifestyle dream?"

In that search for a corner of paradise, that little piece of dirt where a man or woman can surf and ride mountains without the crush of crowd, and with Australia and the US lost and with Russian nukes aimed at Europe, eyes point towards the lower South Pacific. 

And, here, in the little South Island town of Kaikoura, population two thousand souls, the surf identity Negatron, who is famous, notorious to some, for his ability to manipulate a hundred different opinions into one coherent narrative on the BeachGrit commentary stream, is selling five-and-a-half acres of prime beachfront land for under one million US. 

When I asked for a description of the waves, the divorced plumber wrote, “One paddock over a fence to one of the most consistent waves on the East Coast with multiple boulder bottomed peaks and a 10 minute walk along the railways tracks to a right point that’s been called the Rincon of the South Pacific.”

Why’s he selling? 

“Divorce the main one but less mortgage more living. Five acres is 4.9 acres more than I need in my life.”

Negatron says he bought twenty acres from a local farmer and split it with another surfing family.

The selling agent’s prose is a little more flowery. 

“Punching high in presentation where design & execution come together in perfect harmony…this special coastal location with the internationally acclaimed Mangamaunu surf breaks on your doorstep sets the scene for this incredible lifestyle opportunity in the most pristine of natural environments, a rare opportunity to secure a setting that is beyond compare with overwhelming appeal. The private position allows for picturesque views that encompasses the ocean or the impressive mountain range to the north, set in a natural native bush environment. 

“Set on 2.23ha (5.51acres) surrounded by approximately 15 acres of protected native bush of which 2.5 acres are encompassed within this property. A true rarity this close to the ocean on the east coast, it enhances the natural landscape & offers a sheltered oasis from any sea breeze. This is home to many species of native Flora & Fauna, a wonderful place to explore to the sounds of the native birdlife. If you are a keen surfer, the famous surf breaks are only a hop, skip and a jump away. This once in a lifetime location makes you have the sense you are somewhere truly special, evoking the feeling of being on holiday permanently…is this your lifestyle dream?”

Examine a little closer and then buy here. 

Pete Davidson (pictured) in demand.
Pete Davidson (pictured) in demand.

Ordinarily placid residents of quaint San Diego surf town prepare for “paparazzi apocalypse” after famous first daughter Emily Ratajkowski revealed to be coupling with Pete Davidson!

First Brad Pitt, now this.

Encinitas, California, some thirty minutes north of San Diego and hugging the Pacific, is not used to much buzz. Residents enjoy waking up early, riding electric bikes down to Swami’s cafe for breakfast, or, if time allows, Pannikin coffee. Maybe going to drink a craft IPA at The Bier Garden after a little healthy pilates. A paddle at D Street or Seaside might follow, depending on Rob Machado’s whereabouts, before the sun is watched setting with many ooohs and aaahs about the gorgeous pastels.

Simple folk, living simple lives and, thus, not prepared for the bombshell that exploded in their simple Outerknown S.E.A.-swathed laps overnight.

For overnight the news broke that famous first daughter Emily Ratajkowski who graduated from San Dieguito High School and sometimes shops at Seaside Market is, in fact, dating the world’s most desirable man Pete Davidson.

Per Us Weekly:

A new romance. Pete Davidson and Emily Ratajkowski are dating, Us Weekly confirms.

“Pete and Emily have been talking for a couple months now,” an insider exclusively tells Us, adding that the pair are “in the very early stages, but both really like each other.”

Both ended relationships over the summer. Davidson, 28, split from Kim Kardashian in August after 10 months of dating. Ratajkowski, 31, split from husband Sebastian Bear-McClard in July after nearly four years of marriage and officially filed for divorce in September amid rumors of the producer’s infidelity. The exes share son Sylvester, 20 months.

Sparks started flying when mutual friends set up the model and the comic. “Pete makes Emily laugh and he loves how intelligent she is,” the source exclusively reveals to Us.

Davidson, who counts Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Larry David’s daughter Cazzie, and Kate Beckinsale as exes, has seen his stock rise incredibly over the years and there is not doubt that paparazzi will descend, en masse, upon Encinitas in order to snap photographs of the new happy couple.

Smashing into simple folk trying to enjoy a craft IPA at Modern Times. Blinding simple folk attempting to lick ice-cream cones from Gelato 101 in peace.

But how will these simple folk react?

Will they go to war against the shutterbugs like they did Arizonians many years ago?

Accept the spotlight and wear the fanciest hats when going out in an attempt to be discovered?

Currently more questions than answers.

To the victor... (Photo: SBIA)
To the victor... (Photo: SBIA)

Rip Curl bloodies mouths of competition, wins coveted “Sales and Customer Service Office of the Year” at tony Australian Surf and Boardsports Industry Awards!

Also Brand of the Year.

It was a night to remember for Rip Curl. The surfwear giant, last in the news for withdrawing sponsorship from sexy time Surfer (The Girl) competition, might have expected to do well as its team dawned Sydney’s famed Coogee Bay Hotel for Australia’s Surf and Boardsports Industry Association Awards, but not historically well.

Not mouth-bloodying brilliant.

The evening began with the Torquay-based brand nabbing the coveted Sales and Customer Service Office of the Year followed quickly by the Australian Account Manager of the Year (congratulations to Daniel Jenkin) before the dam truly broke.

Wetsuit of the Year.

Boardshort Brand of the Year.

Swimwear Brand of the Year.

Brand of the Year Large.

Six hefty awards in but a few glistening hours. Billabong gasping for air, clutching its only bauble, the Ladies’ Marketing Campaign of the Year (The Billabong x Steph Claire Smith Collaboration). Volcom dry heaving in the corner, trying not to soil its singular achievement, the Men’s Marketing Campaign of the Year (Welcome to “Beer’a’dise”).

Quiksilver escorted out of the hotel by security, lurching, spewing curses into the late spring air.

Entirely empty handed.

Industry watchers will certainly be curious as to how Rip Curl will lord the dominating performance over its rivals and also if Quiksilver, Billabong and Volcom might form an unholy axis of powers to destabilize the juggernaut.

Welcome to Beer’a’dise, Now Go to Hell.

View the glamor here.