Fallen icon Billabong dumps Australian surf star three days after greatest triumph!

“Private equity killing core brands and philosophies…”

The swinging Gen Z tail-slinger and world #17 Liam O’Brien has been unceremoniously dumped by Billabong only three days after his greatest triumph. 

Liam O’Brien barely had time to celebrate his victory at the prestigious Burleigh Heads Boardriders Single Fin Classic, or feed the women on the headland driven mad by the scent of his healthy young flesh, when he received news Billabong wouldn’t be renewing his monthly stipend.  

Gracious in defeat, the twenty four year old whose heat strategy is to clench and unclench his talons into his enemy’s heart until it stops beating, wrote: 

“Thanks for everything @billabong it’s been an unbelievable ride. Special thanks to @bowie_ @rainoshayes @the_other_heff and everyone at the brand for 12 years of support and some awesome opportunities. I’m very grateful for the position I’m in and for what the future holds.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Liam O’Brien (@liamobr_)

The great surf journalist Sean Doherty wrote, “Blessing in disguise mate, onward and upward.”

Comments uniformly positive, 

Private equity killing core brands and philosophies show em mate that the true art is in the water anyways.

You put a film out like Wandering and still get dropped wtf does a man gotta do to stay sponsored these days !? Smash the crap out of 2024 LOB love watching you surf and your class out of the water with it , let’s go !

Liam you will be gold for whoever is lucky enough to pick you up – style in and out of the water- no better representative for any company.

What a privilege for Billabong to have had a talent like you for the past many years. You will always be an incredible ambassador for any brand that want to be associated with a Surfer of your caliber, who is also so smart, well spoken, kind, legit and just a great soul. Keep charging LOB.

The sacking brought no surprises, of course. 

Billabong fell on its sword years ago after flying too close to the sun, and is now the plaything of Authentic Brands Group, which also owns Quiksilver and RVCA . 

Italo Ferreira, a world champ, is gone. Griff Colapinto, out. The famed Pipeline A-team house was sold to an industry figure for six million bucks and Billabong, once a beacon of healthy living, recently partnered up with another brand to produced plus-sized womenswear. 

Liam O’Brien will now fill his wardrobe with Vissla, former Billabong head Paul Naude’s successful start-up and producer of BeachGrit’s Backward Fins range a few years back. 

Beautiful and anything but stupid, Liam first came onto my radar five years ago via an edit by Billy-Lee Pope.

He sent it to me a week before anyone else but while I pondered its suitability for patrons of this website, it started popping up everywhere else. Surfer, Stab, and so on.

I said to Billy, if he could get the keys to the file and change the song to something more appropriate to our audience, I would loose on BeachGrit.

After a short consultation, I chose a Rick James classic.

James was famous for having a very acid ejaculit after a long, and mostly satisfying, $7000-a-week crack cocaine addiction. When he died, the autopsy found alprazolam, diazepam, bupropion, citalopram, hydrocodone, digoxin, chlorpheniramine, methamphetamine, and cocaine, of course, in his blood.

The song, called Give It To Me Baby, encapsulates Liam’s approach to waves.

Give it hard and give it fast.

When I came home last night
You wouldn’t make love to me
You went fast to sleep
You wouldn’t even talk to me
You said I’m so crazy
Coming home intoxicated
I said I just wanna love you
I just wanna love you baby
That is why I’m so elated

C’mon girl, give it to me baby
Give it to me baby
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot till you’ve had enough
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby)
Just give it to me baby
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot till you’ve had enough

Give it to me
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
(Give it to me)
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
Give it to me, give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me
Give me that stuff
That sweet, funky stuff
Yoh ho, aw

(Give to me, baby)

When I was high as the sky
Out all night just dancing
You say let’s go home (c’mon Rick, I’m tired, let’s go home)
That’s the time I start romancin’
You say “how can I love you?” (how can I love you, baby?)
“When your body keeps on moving”
I say “wait til I squeeze you” (oh)
Maybe then you’ll start to groovin’ (c’mon girl)

Give it to me baby (give it to me baby)
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot like you had enough
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby)
Just give it to me baby
Give it to me baby (give it to me baby), I betcha
I’ll make you hot like you had enough

Give it to me
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
(Give it to me)
Give me that stuff that funk that sweet that funky stuff (say what)
Give it to me, give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me
Give me that stuff
That sweet, funky stuff
Yoh ho, aw

(Hey Girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
(Give it to me) what you say
(Give it to me) what you say
(Hey girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me
Give it to me (hey girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me
Give it to me (hey, girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me right away
Give it to me
Give it to me (hey, girl)
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me what you say
Give it to me

Sing along!

 

 

 


Revelshine crew feat. Bros. Gudauskas.
Revelshine crew feat. Bros. Gudauskas.

Universally adored Brothers Gudauskas pivot to wine making after cruel Vans cut!

The boys are back in town (and this time bringing Shane Dorian).

Not two weeks ago, the world woke to the shock news that the Brothers Gudauskas, Dane, Tanner and Pat, had been cut from shoemaker Vans after twenty years of service. The trio was as instantly recognizable and Hansons or Jonases though twice as loved. Dane took to Instagram to announce the sad news being being typically lovely and kind.

“They supported us in our pursuit of every creative endeavor imaginable…” he wrote with zero scent of hurt feelings “…from developing travel shows to grom comps and board drives, not to mention creating a culture of open minded and innovative collaborators that continue to make up the Vans surf team, lead by original icons and mentors Joel Tudor and Nathan Fletcher.”

Surf fans, furious at the betrayal, wondered what might come next for the Tres San Clementines though didn’t have to wait long.

Wine.

Snowboard legend Jeremy Jones announced that the Gudauski had partnered with he, Lupita Nyong’o’s disgraced ex Selema Masekela, big wave stud Shane Dorian and others in a new wine offering named Revelshine.

“Excited to be getting into the wine industry with fellow heroes/cofounders,” Jones wrote in announcing Revelshine. “Lead by 5th generation wine maker (Jake Bilbro), we believe wine doesn’t need to come in a glass bottle to taste good, and we are leading the way for an industry-wide change — sourcing premium grapes from organic and sustainably farmed vineyards while keeping our carbon footprint the lightest on the market.”

Currently Revelshine is being sold in the California grocery chain Sprouts though, I’d imagine, if you asked your local food establishment they would be more than happy to carry it.

Do it for Dane, Tanner and Pat.

Or Jeremy Jones.

Or even Sal as he tries to rehabilitate his image.

Buy here.


Raglan beach shack, Whale Bay
Want your own slice of Raglan? A beach shack almost mythical in its beauty and brilliance?

Iconic beach shack overlooking one of the world’s greatest waves lists at an unbelievably low price!

Vendor seeks surfer who appreciates a good house and a cold-water left. 

One of the world’s best waves, or so I’m told  by my immigrant pals, is a lefthander on New Zealand’s north island called Raglan, but which is actually made up of three separate points. 

Y’got Indicators, Whale Bay and Manu Bay. 

You’ll recall we used Raglan’s Luke Cederman, a screwfoot who proved that surfing and comedy can sometimes be good bedfellows, as the protagonist of our time travel-themed wetsuit film, Once Upon a Time in New Zealand.

Now, one of the best joints at Raglan, 37 Whaanga Road, Raglan, Waikato if you wanna be precise, is on the market and seeks a monied surfer who appreciates a good house and a cold-water left. 

The house was built forty years ago by American carpenter Dennis Conquest, who made some of the first skateboard decks for Santa Cruz before hitting the road and settling in what was then the wildly quiet surf town of Raglan. 

“It was just retirement people. There weren’t any surfers yet, they were all people that had retired and wanted to go fishing,” he told the website One Roof. 

“I bought a piece of property in the early days when it was still a dirt road, and they did call us the Whale Bay losers because nobody wanted to live out here yet.”

It took Conquest fifteen years to build his Raglan masterpiece, his little family living in a caravan while daddy built the home of his dreams. 

Conquest is eighty years old now, proof that time sure do fly. One day you’re building a house, surfing to wash the sweat off, the next the joint’s block is too steep for your aged legs and, well, you’re only a few orbits off a visit to the great life beyond, better cash out now. 

The selling agent Mark Frost says joints around Whale Bay get between $1.2 mill and $2.5 mill, American dollars. 

Cheap, I think, if you don’t mind ice-cream headaches. 

The sales spiel is compelling.

Not only will its new owner get to own a slice of Whale Bay history, but they will get to enjoy the 4-story home with epic views across a number of world class surf breaks, stunning West coast sun sets, but also 2024 sqm (more or less) in Whale Bay with the addition of an amazing shed/ workshop where you can run a home based business, retreat or explore further accommodation options.

A massive highlight for this property is the original wood workers shed positioned below the home. This could be used as further accommodation, a home and income or you could create an amazing artist studio or yoga space amongst the native birdlife and foliage. The opportunities are endless…

This is truly a once in a life time opportunity to own not only a piece of Raglan history but to have stunning views of world class surf whilst living amongst the native back drop of Mt Karioi with opportunities a plenty within the awesome bespoke home and shed.

My fav room is the bedroom overlooking the lines of corduroy.

Bedroom in iconic Raglan beach shack
Wanna wake up here?

Buy? Examine in great detail here. 


Texan Erin Brooks wins fight to compete for Canada at Paris 2024 after “sadistic” citizenship rejection overturned

"She just broke down in tears She was just so excited. It was a really special moment."

Following the “cruel and sadistic” rejection of Erin Brooks’ Canadian citizenship a few months back, the country’s immigration minister Marc Miller has done a switcharoo and gifted the kid her prized new passport. 

Sixteen-year-old Erin Brooks was born in Texas and raised in Hawaii to Canada-born daddy, Jeff, a second-generation Canadian. She wanted to compete for Canada at the 2024  Paris Games, had proved her lineage, her ability to speak a passable version of French (unlike most Quebecoise) and was considered a favourite at Teahupoo given her formidable skills at a wave that gives the reigning men’s world champ night terrors.  

A fait accompli for Erin Brooks to join Team Canada, non?

Oui mais no, said the Canadian government.

Erin Brooks had some heavy hitters on her side, howevs.

Don Chapman, the author of The Lost Canadians: A struggle for citizenship rights, equality and identity, contacted the family and told ‘em he was going to move heaven and hell to get her into the Canadian team.

When I spoke to Chapman in October, he said he went to the seat of power in Ottawa and was peppered with questions about Erin Brooks. They wanted to know her full story, her culture and identity.

“They’re denying her identity,” he had said. “Erin Brooks could go compete for a lot of other countries but in her heart and her identity she’s Canadian. But they don’t want to give the appearance of her jumping the queue.”

To point out the absurdity of Canada’s citizenship laws, he got me to read about a recent decision by PM Justin Trudeau to gift a new life to a girl who ran away from her parents in Saudi Arabia.

“She had no connection to Canada, nothing, never stopped foot in Canada and Trudeau reaches out and says we want you, we’ll protect you.”

Today’s change of mind by the Canadian government, came after a ruling by Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice that it’s “unconstitutional for Canada to deny automatic citizenship to the kids of foreign-born Canadians citizens who grew up abroad.”

“I love Canada. I have never been prouder to wear the Maple Leaf,” Erin Brooks said in a statement.

“To Minister Marc Miller and MP Jenny Kwan (a critic of the government who advocated for Brooks), you have changed my life. I believe that I will do something truly special for my country thanks to your gift of citizenship.”

It was fitting that Chapman broke the news to Erin Brooks over the phone. 

“She just broke down in tears She was just so excited ” Jeff Brooks said from California where his daughter had been competing. “It was a really special moment.”


Erin Brooks (pictured) flying the Maple Leaf.
Erin Brooks (pictured) flying the Maple Leaf.

Yet another defection from United States as Canada officially accepts surf prodigy Erin Brooks to Olympic team!

Maple leaf waving high.

The United States of America, once a proud Olympic power, cannot win for losing, these days. The nation that has won more gold, silver and bronze medals than any other celebrated, initially, when surfing was accepted as internationally respected. But cheers soon turned to jeers as native born talent fled for other pastures.

In surfing’s Tokyo debut, you’ll certainly recall, Huntington Beach’s Kanoa Igarashi won silver for Japan.

And in the upcoming Teahupo’o running, the American phenom Erin Brooks has a shot at the podium for… Canada.

Per that dastardly Globe and Mail:

The 16-year-old Brooks was born in Texas and grew up in Hawaii but has Canadian ties through her American-born father Jeff, who is a dual American-Canadian citizen, and her grandfather who was born and raised in Montreal.

Brooks’ citizenship bid was initially turned down. But Immigration Minister Marc Miller has had a change of heart, it appears.

Surf Canada confirmed the government’s change of heart.

Do you think these betrayals (Igarashi, Brooks, etc.) will lead to changes in U.S. policy? I am currently in San Francisco and just toured Alcatraz for the first time. “The Rock,” hovering in the middle of the bay, served as one of the most notorious prisons on earth until 1963. The cell blocks etc. are still largely intact and I would imagine could be reconstituted as sporting re-programing facilities fairly easily.

Mandatory singing of The Star Spangled Banner at 6:30 am followed by readings from Kid Rock’s “Redneck Paradise” before a hot dog and dill pickle luncheon.

USA, USA, USA.