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Kelly Slater Arrested in Israel

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Kelly Slater was arrested in Israel over the weekend after getting into a small scuffle with the paparazzi. Slater, who is dating yet another supermodel (Bar Rafaeli), pushed a cameraman in an effort to prevent him from taking pictures of him and his new girlfriend.

After Kelly pushed the cameraman a brawl broke out Slater was arrested and taken in for questioning. He was later released. Apparently this isn’t the first incident involving Bar Rafaeli and the papo. Earlier this year her and then boyfriend Leo DiCaprio also created a scene.

This doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal and I’m sure no further actions will be taken against Slater. He was visiting Israel for the first time as part of efforts by the group “Surfing for Peace” to promote reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

kelly slater

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

When Trying to be Cool goes Wrong: Cardiff-by-the-Sea Surf Statue a Total Bust

Monday, August 13th, 2007

surf statueTo nobody’s surprise, a $120,000 bronze attempt to honor the surfing community was a failure. In Cardiff, Ca on July 22nd, a commissioned statue by the Cardiff Botanical Society entitled “Magic Carpet Ride” was unveiled. Since that time, a bunch of criticism has been raised from the surfing community.

If you are a surfer, you may be able to see right away why it might get criticism: He is scrawny, and his pose is off. Without knowing from Matthew Antichevich (the statues’ creator), it would be hard to know what the surfer is doing. According to him, the surfer is doing a “floater”. Doesn’t look like it to me. Last time I did a floater which was Saturday, my back definitely wasn’t that straight and my arms so bird-like. It looks more like a beginner trying to keep his balance. But if that was the case, he wouldn’t be getting spray from his measly turns. Not to mention, he looks a little whimpy. Which is why some pranksters took it up themselves to dress him up one day in a pink bikini top, skirt, and lucha lubre mask (see the pic at the bottom of this post). Apparantly Matthew, the creator of the statue has surfing experience himself. If that was the case, would he really name the statue “magic carpet ride”?

I don’t think it’s the statue itself however that caused the criticism. Matt Warshaw, the author of the “Encyclopedia of Surfing”, said:

“When outsiders try, more often than not, they get it wrong. And if they do get it right, surfers are too cool to even see it.”

He added that in this case it was a “misfire” because it didn’t accurately show a true surfing move. A Cardiff local and writer Chris Ahrens, mentioned how surfing is becoming overly popular as it is, with surf spots being overran by rookies. He also said:

“Our identity is being ripped off,” Ahrens said. “Surfing has become big business. They’ve taken our words, our styles.”

I can see where he is coming from, as most surfers are trying to slow the explosing of surfing popularity to protect the population of their home break. We don’t want to see statues erected to celebrate the sport of surfing; we don’t want more parking lots paved to near our favorite spots. We want clean beaches; we want the environment to stay entact; we want our good waves in our favorite spots to stay good. Surfers are probably mostly upset at the fact that they paid $120,000 for that piece of crap metal. They could have done a mass cleaning of the Cardiff water; or a huge beach sweep of pollution; or maybe use that money to stop companies along the coast from putting pollutants into the water. I am sure there are even better ideas I didn’t quickly think of.

With many good wave spots becoming super crowded and many surfers feeling “under siege”, a statue like this just adds fuel to the fire. As the Union Tribune reported, Surfer Magazine a few months ago had a pole asking readers what they thought about a new HBO series called “John From Cincinnati,” 15% said “Hollywood should leave surfing and surfers, alone – forever.” We are tired of movies like Point Break and Blue Crush which don’t depict the surfing scene at it’s core, and try to capitalize on the “glamor” of surfing.

Now that the statue is up, Hansens Surfboards is going to try and help clean up the mess. On his blog, Josh Hansen said:

“I am optimistic that with some effort from all parties involved we might be able to do something to fix the statue. Don’t quote me on this, but if there is any chance of a fix we will be involved.” I guess I am quoting him on it, but it will be interesting to see what that fix might be, beside melting it down. There is talk about turning it around and having it face the water as well.

If you want to hear what more local surfers are saying about this statue, check out Surfer Mags Report.

And, if you feel like getting pissed off, read this guys lame rebuttle to the article.

Well, no matter what, some surfers had a field day with it:

Surf statue bikini

Posted in Surfing | 7 Comments »

Quiksilvers Young Guns 3: Movie A+, Online Marketing Big Fat “F”

Friday, July 27th, 2007

I haven’t watched Quiksilvers financials, but I bet the new team of riders that make up the Young Guns are a big part of their coming back to a Core image. Whether they were ever loosing money or not I don’t know but it seems that Quiksilver is coming back as a brand for Surfers as opposed to a brand for barneys from Ohio that have never seen a beach. Their riders are some of the best in the world, and I am not just talking about Kelly Slater. Dane Reynolds, Clay Marzo, and Ry Craike have been laying down some of the sickest sections in the latest videos. Young Guns 3 is no exception.

Check out the Trailer:

As always when seeing press releases on new products or events for Action Sports companies I am interested in the Online Marketing Campaign. While Young Guns 3 the movie may get an A+ the online marketing promo gets a big fat whopping F-.If you type in Young Guns 3 in Google Quiksilver doesn’t even rank on the first page. Now if you are Quiksilver and you spend hundreds of thousands if not a couple million on creating one of the sickest videos of the summer, don’t you think you would want to own that traffic?There is a site www.youngguns3.com, it is a site that has been up a while and was used as a viral campaign over the last year to get followers to vote on videos of pros and eventually choose who was to star in the new movie. It doesn’t look like it got a ton of traction, honestly it was the first I had heard of it and only because I did the search. BUT and a big BUT at that it still isn’t number one for the Google search. Quiksilver also posted 10 videos on YouTube that were labeled as Pre-Films with clips from the making and some seriously long sick surfing sections from the riders. Most were only getting about 2k views with some with about 10k. Now the surfing industry may not be entirely adapted to online media, but I would expect more views than that. It isn’t very hard to get videos to get over the 100k mark on YouTube. They didn’t even post the videos on their site, and I would think that would bring some serious views and traffic.Also if they would of laid out the Titles and Descriptions right for those videos and then linked to their urls, they would probably have one or two of them ranking in the top ten of Google for both Quiksilver and Young Guns 3. But I guess they wanted no one to see it?Once again a major player in the Action Sports industry falls very short when trying to market online. Can’t somebody get this right?

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

WiLDCOAST & Mitch Yost Use Social Media for Clean Water Fight

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Border beaches around Imperial Beach were closed 198 days last year due to sewage contamination from our amigos just south of the border. Sewage flows from the Tijuana River and new sources of pollution all along the Baja coast have been major causes of the beach pollution crisis for years.

WiLDCOAST has teamed up with Mitch Yost (Bruce Greenwood), from the new HBO series John From Cincinnati, to launch a series of public service announcements on YouTube to fight for clean water.

In the videos, Mitch Yost, the legendary Imperial Beach surfer is calling on surfers to ask congress to clean up border beach pollution.

“As a surfer I come to the ocean for sanctuary. It’s my church,” says Yost in the video filmed in Imperial Beach and Tijuana. “You wouldn’t want somebody dumping sewage in your church.”

So far the fight for clean water has been effective. Last week, WiLDCOAST scored a major victory when Senator Diane Feinstein publicly supported providing federal funds to have an additional sewage treatment facility built along the United States side of the border. Big thanks to all the letters, faxes, and calls from surfers from California and Mexico.

I think it’s great that WiLDCOAST is using social media to help with this fight. However, each of the videos have only received a few hundred visits each so far which means it hasn’t been nearly as effective as it could be. Its not uncommon for videos on YouTube to reach several million views fairly quickly. With that kind of exposure this campaign would make a much bigger splash.

Because I’m such a nice guy and I care so much about this cause I want to offer WiLDCOAST a few tips to help these videos spread using social media.

1) Tags & description – these videos on YouTube don’t use a very good description or tags. There are a lot of people searching for video clips from “John from Cincinnati” on YouTube and I would leverage that by including those keywords in the description and tags. I would also use surfing related keywords as those are highly searched as well. There probably isn’t too many people search for Mitch Yost or Imperial Beach.

2) Blog & press relations – WiLDCOAST should be leveraging their industry contacts to have the larger surfing websites and blogs post these videos. Press releases sent through mass newswires aren’t very effective because they’re often ignored and they don’t reach the masses. This could reach far beyond surfing websites as well, there are a couple of very large environmental blogs that would eat this stuff up.

3) Social media – Where is the MySpace page that’s been set up for this campaign? What about submitting the videos to social news sites like Digg & StumbleUpon? These would be great ways to reach huge masses of people to help spread this campaign.

4) SEO – YouTube videos are very easy to rank on Google. All you need to do is use proper titles and descriptions on your videos and then throw a small link building campaign at them, which wouldn’t even been necessary with steps 2 & 3. The video would then start showing up when people search for keywords like “John from Cincinnati”, “clean beaches”, and so on and so forth.

5) HBO – Surely there is some way that WiLDCOAST could partner with HBO to show these clips at the end of the episodes and direct them to a special URL where people could sign up and take action for this cause.

Hopefully WiLDCOAST will see these tips and implement them so this campaign will make bigger waves (pun) and we as society will wake up and realize the damage that’s being caused to our beaches and oceans.

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

SurfBoardBuilders.com: Custom Surfboards Online

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Surfboardbuilder.comHave you ever wanted to ride a custom surfboard made by some of the best shapers in the industry? What about having the convenience of building and designing it online? This is all now possible with SurfBoardBuilders.com.

Through the site you can choose the style of board you want and the shaper. Board specs are completely customizable – from thickness, length and tail type, to fin set-up, glassing options and color. Currently there are 11 shapers on the site to choose from with plans to add up to 20 to 30 in the near future.

This is a great alternative to off-the-shelf boards for surfers of all levels. Often times, off-the-shelf boards are imports made in factories by people that have never even seen the ocean. The quality is usually questionable and prices are marked way up says Scott Yankton, SurfBoardBuilders.com co-founder.

We’re about giving surfers access to the innovators and the trendsetters in the industry. You are not getting a knock-off design made by someone in a factory who’s never seen an ocean.

SurfBoardBuilders.com says that prices are comparable to what you will find in local surf shops.

I went through the process of designing a surfboard through the site and it was very easy to do and straightforward. Everything is very customizable so you can be sure that the boards truely are one of a kind and unique to only you.


Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Tomorrow/Today: TransWorld Surf’s First Film

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

TransWorld Surf announced today the release of their first surf film. The film is called Tomorrow/Today and is set for full release on October 15th, 2007. TransWorld Surf teamed up with Metalstorm Entertainment to produce the film and it will be sponsored by Quiksilver and DC.

There is a short trailer featuring Clay Marzo available on the TransWorld Surf website, you can view it here.

TransWorld Surf

Posted in Brands, Surfing | No Comments »

Surf Industry Healthy and Growing

Monday, July 9th, 2007

According to a recent study from the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) the surf industry is on a two-year sales increase of close to a billion dollars. So what exactly does this mean? Sales from 2004 to 2006 have increased from $6.52 billion to $7.48 billion (14.5%) with no signs of slowing down.

The SIMA study contributes the growth to the mainstream popularity of surfing, purchasing power of women, brand diversification, and the industry’s loyalty to core distribution channels. Brand diversification is one major factors now that most apparel companies have gone beyond the traditional shorts and t-shirts into full lines of both soft and hard goods. Women’s sales in the industry are up 32% in the same period.

The Internet is also a major factor in driving growth. In 2004 only 6% of sales could be attributed to the web. In 2006 that number has increased to about 25%. What’s a little disappointing is that only 23% of retailers use the Internet as a sales channel, but those who do are seeing close to a 30% increase in sales.


Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

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