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Win a Firewire Surfboard Courtesy of DailyStoke

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

There are a lot of contests floating around the action sports world right now. The latest offering from DailyStoke seems to be one the better ones. Why better? Well, the reward is AWESOME and the barrier to entry is really low. All you have to do is leave the best comment and if selected, you win a Firewire surfboard of your choice.

Sign me up!

The rules are dead simple, even grandma could enter. All you have to do is leave a comment on any DailyStoke article with a valid email address (so they can contact you, should you win). That’s it. Good luck.

Posted in Surfing | 12 Comments »

No Holds Barred: Power Rankings are Back

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

The dust has settled following the trainwreck that was Surfline’s well-publicized dismissal of writer Lewis Samuels. It seems that both have moved on and gone back to doing what they do best. For Surfline, this means marketing swells and producing solid content. For Lewis Samuels, this means publishing unfiltered, uninhibited thoughts and opinions on anything and anyone associated with surfing’s ‘industry’.

power rankings

One of the biggest questions following Surfline’s bloody expulsion of Samuels surrounded the uncertain fate of his ASP World Tour Power Rankings. The rankings had become a hit on Surfline and were the place that most of us cut our teeth on the Lewis Samuels doctrine. They’re back now; and they’re as poignant and unrelenting as ever before.

“Anyone can win heats. It’s losing heats that distinguishes the real pros from the pretenders. Take Roy Powers for instance: the poor guy got absolutely shellacked by Michel Bourez in R1 – Roy only put up a 2.33 and 3.93 on his two scoring waves. The judges have been known to give Kelly Slater’s fecal matter scores like that for the turns it does while being flushed.”

Write or wrong, whether you agree with him or not…the sport of surfing needs a good dose of what Lewis Samuels brings to the table. The overbearing influence of advertising dollars combined with the chronic bro-bra’ism that plagues the industry often ends up leaving a lot unsaid, especially in regards to the World Tour. Does Samuels take it too far sometimes? Some might say he crosses the line every now and again; but maybe taking it too far is what’s needed in an industry where preserving and enhancing marketable images tends to be the bottom line.

“If Nathaniel Curran had surfed at Bells as well as Boal surfed, we’d be reading feature articles about his performance right now. Instead, Boal was arguably underscored against Californian Bobby Martinez in R2. The Frenchman surfed above himself, but was predictably rewarded with two sixes and a loss.”

When it comes to coverage of the Dream Tour, if you’ve read one event preview or recap you’ve read them all. All that really changes are the names and locations. Even quotes from the surfers themselves tend to be very predictable. I view the scribblings of Lewis Samuels as a welcome departure from the norm; an entetaining read that points out what most of us are already thinking. If nothing else, the Power Rankings offer a different perspective on what’s really taking place; a perspective that isn’t influenced by whether or not a certain point of view will result in the loss of advertising dollars. That type of writing isn’t exactly easy to come by these days.

“I mean, Surfline’s fact-checkers inform me Curran’s older brother Tim finished 6th in the world. His even older brother Tom Curran won three world titles. Brother Joe is a style master, cousin Lee Ann Curran is already winning WQS events… and family patriarch Pat Curran is on the shortlist for getting his face carved into surfing’s Mt. Rushmore. Does surfing talent run in that family or WHAT?”

You can find the Power Rankings and all of Lewis Samuels other diatribes at PostSurf.com

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Joel Parkinson: 2 World: 0…Shades of 2008?

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

joel parkinson rip curl bells beach 2009

Just two events into the 2009 ASP World Tour and it’s already starting to feel a bit like the 2008 version. Playing the role of Kelly Slater ‘08, Joel Parkinson appears to be on a mission to quickly eliminate any semblance of a world-title race. Parko completed the Aussie two-step yesterday, dominating local wildcard surfer Adam Robertson in the final heat of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. It’s the second time in Parkinson’s career that he’s found himself ringing the prestigious bell, and from the time the opening horn sounded there didn’t seem to be much doubt that the trophy would eventually be his. To put it mildly, Parko’s firing right now.

There are very few surfers as visually pleasing to watch as Joel Parkinson, his style is something that surfers throughout the world, including most of the fellas on tour only dream of. And much like the Slater of last year, Parko seems to be 100% in sync with everything the ocean sends his way. There’s still a long way to go, Parko will be the first to tell you that, but so far all signs appear to be pointing in the direction of a Joel Parkinson world championship.

joel parkinson

With that in mind, right about now is when the Dream Tour could really use someone in the form of an Andy Irons; someone to rattle some cages and shake shit up a little bit, someone to let everyone know it’s not quite time to bust out the champagne. It’s one thing that most of media has already handed Parko the title but you also get the feeling many on the Top 45 are actually pretty stoked on that idea as well. Hopefully someone rises up to challenge Parko soon or the ASP may just find themselves with another yawner second-half of the year. No one likes to watch a surf competition that’s sans the top surfers, and last year proved that mysterious illnesses and injuries tends to reach epidemic status right about the time the world title becomes out of reach.

Congratulations Joel Parkinson, winner of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach!

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

The Dirty Maneuver That Made Dusty Payne $50,000 Richer

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

“For fifty gees, a kid will try and change the world.” – Andy Irons

Dusty Payne was no doubt stoked beyond belief upon claiming the win at the Oakley Pro Junior Challenge in Bali this past October, pulling in $20,000 for a few days at the beach will do that for you. However, it turns out the next morning’s session, held in an alcohol-induced haze fueled by the previous evening’s debauchery proved to be a lot more fruitful for the 20 yr. old from Maui. On his second wave, Payne unknowingly secured another $50,000 as his massive launch has been deemed the winner of the 1st ever Kustom Airstrike. $70,000 in the span of two days isn’t too bad and Dusty has been on a tear ever since. Following his shenanigans in Bali, Payne barely missed out on becoming the youngest Triple Crown winner ever. In short…Dusty Payne is blowing up.

dusty payne kustom airstrike

“Dustin is wearing beige athletic shoes, black jeans and a t-shirt with the world Volcom spelled out above the heads of drunks. “That’s me,” he says, pointing to a stout redhead. He doesn’t know how right he is. We knock on the shelf of the hidden bookcase, the agreed signal. Harry the man from Kustom, steps out, hands over the monied coat and says: “Congratulation, you fruit, you’re fiddy gees richer.”

On a side note….it’s absolutely incredible to see the next generation of surfers explode right before our eyes. Kelly Slater just got taken out by a wildcard contestant for the second time in as many events (Julian Wilsen, Owen Right). Jordy Smith is on a tear and meeting the giant sized expectations that have been heaped on his shoulders. And guys like Payne, Dane Reynolds, Clay Marzo, Kai Barger, and so many others that make up the Under-25 crew just keep blowing minds in every direction. It’s an exciting time for surfing…so get out and surf!

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

Dirty Lickin’s: Come See Verizon Wipeout Award Nominees

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

We recently highlighted the finalists for this years Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, not it’s time to showcase the biggest wave-induced destruction caught on film in 2009. As stacked as the talent was for the Ride of the Year Award, the Verizon Wipeout nominees are equally loaded with jaw-dropping footage.

The 5ones pick? It’s a tough one, and my hat goes off to anyone who takes a beating like these and lives to ride another day, but it’s the complete obliteration of the legendary Ross Clarke-Jones at Pedra Branca, Tasmania that’s getting our nod for this one. As far as who actually ends up winning, well that will be decided by the public. Just head over to the Verizon Wipeout hub and let your voice be heard.

Let us know my friends….Who would you pick for the 2009 Verizon Wipeout Award?

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

White Shark Season Heating Up in SoCal

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

great white shark

Looks like it’s that time of year again…As we come upon the one year anniversary (April 25) of the great white shark attack on Dr. David Martin in Solana Beach, whitey sightings and apparent near-misses are popping up with more frequency. Why this time of year? The consensus among marine biologists seems to suggest that white sharks from Northern California that migrate south for the winter to feed or give birth are making their way back. Breaks at Swamis, Oceanside, Newport, and a few others located along the Southern California coast have all experienced shark sightings over the past few weeks. However, it was a terrifying encounter off of La Jolla a couple of days ago that really has everyone making the occasional peek below…

“As I swam toward him I realized he had shot a White Sea Bass and it was tangled 60 feet below in the kelp. First dive down, I looked for it and saw the fish then looked around 360 degrees for any toothy predator, then came up. The WSB was at least 50 pounds. I asked my buddy if he needed help cutting up the kelp and bringing the fish up. He said “yes.” I made the 2nd dive to the fish. Once again, I scanned 360 degrees, nothing was around. I cut the kelp carefully so as not to cut the reel line. My knife was in my left hand and in my right hand I held the fish. I noticed the small green fish that frequent the kelp suddenly got spooked as I looked to my right. I saw a large dark object coming at me. That is when I freaked out seeing her nose, gums, and those teeth. I’m staring at the mouth of a 12 – 15 foot Great White Shark, 10 feet away and closing in.”

Keep in mind, Dr. Martin’s death last year was the first confirmed white shark fatality in over 50 years in the San Diego area. The chances of that happening again anytime soon are pretty much nadas… With that said though, who doesn’t like a good shark story? It’s our guilty little pleasure, and something to keep in mind when paddling out this time of year.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

New Format on Tap for 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

“It’s the best trophy you can win in surfing” -Kelly Slater

It’s a great change that’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. With the Rd. 1 call at the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach about to be made, we finally get to watch a webcast without having to sit through the typically unexciting and anti-climatic loser’s round that has been Rd. 2. The Bells Beach event will be the first ASP World Tour event to switch to the new format, essential eliminating a full day’s worth of competition and keeping the opening round of momentum rolling on with less chance of interruption. The top 16 surfers from last year’s final rankings won’t surf until the new Rd. 2, and from there it goes Rd. 3 and on to the quarterfinals, semi’s, and finals.

2009 rip curl pro bells beach

Good on Rip Curl for making the choice to implement the new format. “I think the new format will be a great addition to the Dream Tour,” said current world no. 2 Adriano de Souza. “It allows us to capitalize on three-day swell cycles and allows us to compete in the best possible conditions. I’m stoked to be seeded into Round 2 all season, but it could have its positives and negatives. I won’t have to worry about finishing in last place, but I won’t get a warm-up round to surf in. Everything is serious from the start.”

In the grand scheme of things, the historic event at Bells serves as a good barometer for what’s likely to take place on tour for the rest of the year. While the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper is a solid place for a surfer to launch a run for a world title, following up a stellar result on the Gold Coast with a poor showing at Bells kind of puts you back at square 1. Quik Pro. winner Joel Parkinson knows this, and following his 2 day long celebration of his win at Snapper, Parko got back to his ‘man on a mission’ surfing regimen. “After the Quik Pro, I spent two days partying with my family and friends, then got straight in to training the following week and for the last week or so I have been surfing non stop,” Parkinson said.

Following Kelly Slater’s 17th at the Quiksilver Pro, a lot of the talk has surrounded his choice of equipment. His self-made 5′4″, for whatever reason, just didn’t get him the scores that he is used to. Heading into Bells, and in true Slater fashion, Kelly remained noncommittal when asked about his potenetial board of choice for the event. “I’m not sure what my choice is until I hit the water,” Slater said. “I like trying new things but I also like to win heats when I travel halfway around the world. You also have to stick with directions that you choose to go if they have potential for something. I’m still working things out. I’m not altogether unhappy with my performance on the Gold Coast, just the result.”

Rd. 1 of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is on it’s way, you can catch all of the action HERE.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Kustom Airstrike Madness

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Leave it to $50,000 to bring about one of the greatest collections of big maneuver surfing shots ever assembled. If you want to catch a glimpse of just how far aerial surfing has come in recent years, all you gotta do is suss out the Kustom Airstrike homepage. Kustom first announced this contest and hefty grand prize back in August and, from the looks of things, the announcement didn’t fall on deaf ears.

Kustom Airstrike

How it is Kustom will go about picking the winner is beyond me. The clips put together by the Dusty Payne, Clay Marzo, Pat Gudauskas and many more are truly special; a visual witness to the potential held by the next generation of surfers. The Gudauskas air in particular is silky smooth and happened to come on the last day of the contest period. If he ends up pulling in the win, he probably ought to hook his brothers up for their herculean effort to get the footage in on time.

“Since Pat was so far away from the things we deem normal like a phone and internet, he and his brothers Dane and Tanner made the hour and a half drive to the nearest town in “hopes” of finding internet so they could enter the clip. They didn’t even know if the waiting period was still open for Air Strike so they made the trek on a whim and let me tell you how stoked we are that they did.”

So for the judges of the Kustom Airstrike- good luck on this one. For you and I- let’s just sit back, pop a cold one, and enjoy the show.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

WTF: SUP’s Now Available at Target

Monday, March 30th, 2009

target supAnd all of you SoCal, South Shore, Oahu, and other surfers that frequent stand-up paddleboard havens thought things were bad now. Apparently Target has just made a gangsta version of a SUP available for purchase. That’s right wave-hogs and wannabe’s….for $600 big ones you can soon be sweeping your way across the ocean, poaching waves from peak to peak, and putting everyone around you in danger of having one of these massive planks end up smack dab on the side of their head.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding, when done correctly, with respect, and in it’s true form is a beautiful thing. The images of surfers like Garret McNamara pulling his SUP deep into a Pipeline pit or Bonga Perkins flowing down the line at Makaha show the potential this new sport holds.

However, it’s the inexperienced an uneducated riders that show up in masses to already over-crowded waves that have left many with a bad taste in their mouths regarding SUP’s. Finding yourself in the fall line of some over zealous weekend warrior who happens to be riding a mini-cruise ship is not a fun position to be in. Unfortunately, even more so once Costco and Wal-Mart follow Target’s lead, there’s gonna be a whole new slew of SUP’ers armed and ready to fire at a break near you.

Summertime is just around the corner…I hope you’re ready.

Posted in Surfing | 3 Comments »

“The Oscars of Surfing”: 5ones Pick for R.O.T.Y.

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Looks like it’s just about time for Billabong to start shelling out again. The nominees for the 9th version of the Billabong XXL awards were recently announced and the talent is as stacked as ever. With their press release reference to being known as surfing’s version of the academy awards, Billabong obviously sees this show as head and shoulders above the other award shows currently featured in the industry.

billabong xxl awards

“The winners will be announced on Friday, April 17, 2009 at the ninth-annual invitation-only awards gala at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California before 2,250 surf world VIPs. The entire night’s festivities will be webcast live on the event website and will also be the focus of a one-hour television special airing on the ESPN2 network on the evening of May 29.”

The grand poobah of the XXL is the Ride Of The Year award. With top honors pulling down a smooth $55,000 between surfer and filmer, the winning team will no doubt be able to finance plenty of post-XXL awards show debauchery for all of the contestants nominated. Our pick? It appears it will once again come down to rides from Teahupoo or Shipstern’s Bluff. Shane Dorian’s 2008 winner at Teahupoo bodes well for Garrett McNamara’s 2009 entry. However, based on the opinions of a focus group that consisted of some of Nicaragua’s top up and coming rippers, we’re going to make the call that Ryan Hipwood’s bit of madness at Shipstern’s Bluff will indeed win top honors this year.

On a side note, If Mark Healey’s wave at Yeti doesn’t end up pulling in the win for Monster Tube, there could very well be rioting in the streets. To grab a look at all of the finalists, just head over to Billabong XXL’s home site.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

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