This means war.
One day, we will gather our children around our feet, order them to sit and begin to speak using our most serious baritones. “Children,” we will say, “it is time to learn about the great surf industry that was once fruitful and bold, about fierce brands like Quiksilver, Billabong, Volcom and Hurley…”
The children will likely interrupt at this point and ask, “Beard oil companies?”
“No!” we will roar in response.
“Not beard oil companies!” but then will have to correct ourselves. “Yes, they are beard oil companies today but they were not always such. They once produced t-shirts and trunks that would be desired and sponsor teams of professional surfers who would wear the logo with pride and belong to it.”
The children, still confused, will ask, “They belonged to beard oil companies?”
And we will, likely, give up.
But it is true, there was a time when the brands meant something, their surfers were identified and poaching one was a direct affront.
Thankfully, we have surfboard shapers carrying the mantle and look, a major coup just announced as Channel Islands has poached Hawaiian stud Barron Mamiya from rival Sharp Eye.
But what do you think the mood is San Diego, where Sharp Eye calls home? Revenge being plotted? Fear that small wave world champion Filipe Toledo might be next? Landing with Mayhem?
What about the mood in Ventura, where Channel Islands calls home? Much toasting but also surveying the landscape? Who might be next to bring over to the tri-hexagon?
Exciting days, in any case.