Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 high school flick, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Shoe being belted against Spicoli's stoned skull is the Vans Off the Wall slip-on. Sales of the style soared after movie became a hit. | Photo: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

In bombshell moment of candour, president of multi-billion dollar shoe empire Vans Kevin Bailey says iconic maker of canvas slip-ons has “lost its edge”

“Have we hit a bump in the road? Yes. How much of this was our causing? Nearly all of it."

Only a few months after a dismal December quarter that saw Vans drop nine percent in sales and subsequently pull its sponsorship of the US Open and peel open the back door for some employees, its prez Kevin Bailey has shocked the market revealing “the brand has lost its grip on its image, as well as creative practices.”

“Have we hit a bump in the road? Yes. How much of this was our causing? Nearly all of it,” Bailey told Footwear News. “Our consumer said we want more style and versatility, but we kept pumping out Classics. When I wasn’t involved with Vans, I saw how much we spent on product development dwindle to places where no one spends that little.”

He ain’t wrong. 

Y’don’t have to trawl too deep into a surfer or skater’s wardrobe to find a dirty ol pair of Off the Walls or Authentics, shoes unchanged in almost fifty years.

It’s a brand with legacy, literally defining the word Authentic.

“Vans is one of the greatest legacy companies not only in skateboarding, but in the worldwide community of action sports,” says Stacey Peralta.

You’ll remember Pauly Van Doren, the legendary founder of  Vans, who was born just as the Great Depression was kicking into gear, died a couple of years back, aged ninety. 

Van Doren, a high-school drop-out, whose nickname was Dutch the Clutch, created the Van Doren Rubber Co in 1966 with his little brother, James, who died in 2011, and their pals Gordon, Ryan Emmert and Serge D’Elia. 

The first store, in Anaheim, California, sold American-made shoes direct to the public with the slogan, “Canvas Shoes for the Entire Family” at prices between two and four dollars a pair. 

On opening day, Pauly forgot to put cash into the register. 

“It was so stupid,” he said, telling customers to come back with the exact cash. “We sold something like 22 pairs of shoes that first day, and the remarkable thing is every single person came back and paid. Treat people like you would want to be treated.”


Taylor Swift (pictured) under siege. Photo: A music video
Taylor Swift (pictured) under siege. Photo: A music video

World Surf League Chief Erik Logan likely ultra peeved as arch-nemesis Taylor Swift launches mega stadium tour: “I’m watching you violate what you allegedly stand for. You’re the real bully!”

She's "the bad guy."

Yesterday, leading pop star Taylor Swift launched a mega tour to promote her new album Midnights and also others. The “Eras Show,” which launched in Rick Kane’s backyard, was dubbed a phenomenal success by the international press. Variety penned, “The three-hour, 44-song epic left them wanting more.” The Atlantic crooned, “Breaking: Taylor Swift is not simply a voice in our ears or an abstract concept to argue over at parties, but a flesh-and-blood being with a taste for sparkling pajamas and the stamina of a ram. All concerts are conjurings, turning the audience’s idea of a performer into a real thing, but last night’s kickoff of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour in Glendale, Arizona, heightened the amazement with Houdini-escapes-handcuffs physicality. After years of having their inner lives shaped by Swift’s highly mediated virtual output, 63,000 individuals can now attest to the vibrancy of Taylor Swift the person. Somehow, seeing her up close made her seem more superhuman.”

One person, though, was not pleased, no not pleased at all, and likely stomping about his Manhattan Beach digs, arms crossed, muttering words like “darn” and “flick.”

Yes, the World Surf League Chief of Executives Erik Logan has been on a wild ride, of late, attending hipster festivals to pat himself and his Chief of Sport on the back in front of a coffee urn audience, simple jacking crowd estimates from the recently wrapped MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal.


All perfect, or, rather, almost perfect.

For the aforementioned Swift, momentum actually real, is his arch nemesis and everyone knows how much it stinker-doodles to have an arch nemesis soar.

But don’t you recall four years ago when the then World Surf League President of Content, Media, Studios (since shuttered) adult male Erik Logan lashed out at the twenty-something-year-old girl and calling her a “bully.”

The row was over music rights, or some such. Swift’s music catalog had been sold to one Scooter Braun whom she, apparently, did not like and let it be known.

Logan was quick to pounce on the frail blonde, declaring publicly, “For someone who draws such power from being the ‘voice’ and against all the things you talk about, I’m watching you violate what you allegedly stand for. You’re the real bully.”


So how, do you think, is this powerful man on the rise plotting his revenge on “the bad guy?”

More questions than answers.

World champions Filipe Toledo and Gabriel Medina whoop it up at La Libertad in El Salvador!

World Surf League accused of being mouthpiece for El Salvador government’s “Sportwashing” of human rights abuses!

Should countries be able to use sporting events as a way to improve their reputation, even if they have a poor human rights record?

El Salvador has been using Sportswashing as a means of improving its international reputation, despite serious human rights abuses perpetrated by its government.

The troubled Central American country of six-million souls has turned to professional surfing, particularly through its partnership with the World Surf League (WSL), to generate positive media coverage and international attention.

The WSL, as you know, casts itself as a real progressive organisation, equality, equity etc, first to throw equal cash at the gals, allow biological men to surf as women, they don’t like plastic and so on.

However, all the good shouldn’t be used to deflect attention from the problematic aspects of the WSL’s partnership with El Sals government.

I would suggest, sponsor cash aside, the WSL has a responsibility to use its platform to promote positive change and to ensure that its events are not used as a tool for government propaganda.

Government abuses in El Salvador have been particularly targeted towards those who are seen as critical of the regime, including journalists, human rights defenders, and members of the opposition.

The government has been accused of using anti-gang operations as a cover for targeted killings of suspected gang members and their families, as well as other individuals who are deemed to be “undesirable” by the government.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least seven journalists were killed in the country between 2019 and 2021. Many more have faced threats, harassment, and intimidation from both criminal gangs and government officials. Critics argue that the WSL should use its platform to speak out on behalf of journalists and human rights defenders who are under threat in the country.

The use of Sportswashing by El Salvador raises important ethical questions about the role of sports in international politics.

Should countries be able to use sporting events as a way to improve their reputation, even if they have a poor human rights record?

And what responsibility do athletes, teams, and governing bodies have to speak out about these issues?

More importantly, do you remember what happened last year in El Salvador when brave Griffin Colapinto stomped eventual world champion Filipe Toledo into the dirty brown water? And Brazilian sports fans threatened grave retribution, including Death to Griff, and boycotts at the following event in Brazil, which never happened?

The Surf City El Salvador Pro runs from June 9 to 18 at La Libertad.

Dino and Kolohe (pictured) with way toward winning.
Dino and Kolohe (pictured) with way toward winning.

Dearly departed surfer reveals “sins of father” responsible for onetime-prodigy Kolohe Andino’s inability to win a single championship tour event!

"Back in the day, when Dino was a hot commodity, I worked at Victory Wetsuits..."

San Clemente’s Kolohe Andino is, without doubt, one of America’s greatest surfing talents. The still-young man, strong and proud, has grown up in the spotlight. Born to a professional surfing father and showing much promise early, a bright future perched easy on his broad shoulders. Andino went on to win more National Scholastic Surfing Association titles in history then burst onto the then-Association of Surfing Professionals ready to conquer the world.

Except… a decade-plus on and he has yet to win a Championship Tour event.

Not one.

Making matters worse, he is currently sitting well below the mid-season cut line with grim prospects of Challenger and Qualifying Series ahead.

What went wrong?

Surf fans have scratched a collective head for years but the answer to the riddle, and its possible solution, was just delivered from beyond the grave.

David Lee Scales and I get together weekly for a chat, as you know, and some fantastic characters who have been part of that ride. One of the most memorable was Drummer Dave. On yesterday’s program, Drummer Dave’s longtime friend The Ripper called in to share that his pal had lost his fight with cancer and was no longer with us. David Lee and I reflected on the laughs, with David Lee providing an old email that Drummer Dave had sent.

“I heard you guys talking about Dino Andino today and it reminded me of an encounter with him,” it began. “I thought I’d share.”

Back in the day, when Dino was a hot commodity, I worked at Victory Wetsuits. I was the shipping guy and the iron on logo guy which by default made me the team wetsuit guy. Back then guys would get paid if they got a pic in a mag showing a logo. So the team guys would come in and get their suits and have me put logos where they thought they could get in a pic. Dino came in to get a suit and while he was waiting for me to do the logos he decided he would just go into the break room fridge and get something to eat and drink. The fridge was in the area that was an employee break room. It had a table with a coffee maker, micro wave, toaster oven, etc., the fridge, time clock, table for eating lunch, and a couch. Well Dino just dug in. All the people that worked in the warehouse were basically Chinese immigrants who worked in the gluing section or the sewing section, and I could see they were getting upset. I tried to tell Dino not to do it but he was just clueless and didn’t seem to get it. I wouldn’t want to accuse him of being high or anything but it wouldn’t surprise me. I told the boss about it and it was just swept under the rug because he was a team rider. It left a bad taste in my mouth for Dino from then on. And actually I find myself not allowing myself to even like Kolohe lol.


But also, a brilliant way forward for Kolohe? A breaking the log jam? I’d imagine all he needs to do is hire a food truck, pull it up in front of a factory where many Chinese laborers work, preferably one that makes wetsuits, and feed them all lunch.


And thank you, Drummer Dave.

Oz in Israel from a few years back and, inset, his Suffolk House, which you can buy.

Surfer-artist-minstrel Ozzie Wright, credited with creating modern hipster movement, lists redundant Byron Bay beach shack “footsteps from beach” with hopes of close to three million dollars!

Seven-thousand square feet of wildly fertile volcanic dirt one hundred footsteps from oft-times epic beachbreaks.

The Australian surfer Ozzie Wright, and musician wife Mylee, have listed their long-time family home in Suffolk Park, a short gambol south of Byron Bay, with hopes of close to three million dollars. 

The four-bedroom, two bathroom joint, with its adjunct studio, at 4 Beachside Drive is on seven-thousand square feet of wildly fertile volcanic dirt one hundred footsteps from oft-times epic beachbreaks.

“Sundrenched outdoor entertaining areas to the front and rear of the block enveloped by established tropical gardens and level lawns offering complete seclusion, there’s even room for a pool!”

Modest as is, unsurprising given the couple’s fleet of young kids, “There is definitely room to put your own mark on this property with a few personal upgrades and fully maximise your asset.”

Oz, who is forty-seven, and whose art and black-jeans-white-shirt approach to beachwear and homemade music inspired the hipster movement in the early 2000’s, ain’t no novice when it comes to buying, selling and renting houses. 

Two years ago, Oz listed for rent the holiday spread he and Mylee bought for $1.5 million in 2019, a dreamy beach shack on a quarter-acre of pristine national park dirt in Broadwater, one hour south of Byron.

Oz and Mylee’s Happy Sun House, is, as per the listing,  “a colourful beach shack perched on top of a hill, looking out to uninterrupted ocean views… A mystical meeting of beach and bush. A cosy and rustic shack not without things we love like, luxury linen sheets and a fully equipped kitchen… A truly blissful beach shack experience. A place where the sun hits the walls in a most beautiful way. An intentional space to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect to your creativity, gently allowing nature to ground down a busy mind.”

Four hundred bucks a night, if you want in, with a fifteen percent discount if you book for a week. A cleaning cost and service fee on top of that. Think three-ish gees for a week in a little slice of Australian heaven.

In 2018, Oz sold his two-storey Narrabeen house built in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright with its notes of Japanese Imperial Hotel, and which he’d owned since 2003 before moving out in 2013 and buying a house in Newport, a few suburbs north. (Later sold for 2.3 million.)

It was in the Narrabeen house, one hundred metres from the famous sandbottom left at 5 Loftus Street, that the surf movie classic Doped Youth was filmed in the summer of 2003-4. The movie, which was conceived and made by Ozzie and Waves editor Adam Blakey, starred Kelly Slater, Tom Carroll, Ozzie, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson and was released as a DVD with the magazine Waves.

Two years later 2015, the pair, with kids, joined the Sydney exodus north to Byron Bay, buying the house in Suffolk Park, which is currently for sale, for $1.15 million.