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Jordy Smith Inks Deal with Red Bull

Friday, February 20th, 2009

South African surfing phenom, Jordy Smith, has recently inked a deal with Red Bull. He’s the latest allstar to join the already stacked Red Bull surfing team, which includes the likes of: Andy & Bruce Irons, Jaime O, Mick Fanning, Ian Walsh, Julian Wilson, and many others.

jordy smith red bull

“To be part of Red Bull, it’s amazing. The surf team and all the opportunities it affords me, it’s like a dream come true. I’ll be a part of all kinds of crazy things, I can’t wait. Plus, it’s a great company. The support is phenomenal. The surf team’s not too shabby either. A crew of the best surfers in the world, what more could you ask for?” – Jordy Smith

Despite a relatively disappointing first year on the ‘CT, Jordy came awfully close to sealing a victory at Sunset this year. Unfortunately after making Sunset his bitch for the entire comp, he injured his knee on his first wave in the final heat. Recovery has been going well though and Jordy is expected to be near 100% for the upcoming Quik Pro at Snapper Rocks. Look for him to make a little more noise this year on tour.

Red Bull’s culture seems like it’s a much better fit for freesurfers, not competitive machines like Mick & Jordy. With that said, Jordy Smith is one of the most progressive surfers in the world and that’s certainly something that jives with Red Bull. It will be interesting to see what sort of ‘crazy things’ they have in store for Jordy. If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s Red Bull raising the bar to heights never seen before. Like Jordy, I can’t wait.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Don’t Be This Guy: Mav’s Surfer Messes Himself

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

The new crew at the helm of the Mavericks Surf Contest is spicing things up a bit and getting creative. Between doubling up the prize purse and reaching out to viewers who have probably never seen a surf competition in their lives, they’ve made quite a splash in the big-wave event scene so far, and they have yet to even put on a single competition at Mavericks. Now….it looks like they’re getting viral on us.

If you haven’t peeped the recent clip of a guy pulling a shark’s tooth out of his leg at Mav’s, you might want to give it a look. I have to admit, I watched that thing over and over for an hour and still couldn’t decide it it was legit or not. I leaned toward it being a fake, and a few of our readers backed me up on that notion. However after deciding it was a clever viral attempt, a friend of mine sent me an article detailing the near-miss at Mavericks. Who knows?

One of the main reasons I’ve had a hard time accepting the clip as being legitimate is that another similarly filmed clip is now floating around. It’s titled humiliation, and basically shows a surfer having the all too familiar problem of shitting himself upon seeing a set wave drill a guy attempting to drop in.

Both clips end the same way, highlighting the words “pain” and “humiliation” while directing viewers to the home of the Mavericks Surf Contest. Hence, the uneducated conclusion that they are merely a clever viral attempt by the new Mav’s Surf Contest crew.

The holding period for the Mavericks Surf Contest runs until March 31, stay tuned for more updates-

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Jamie O’Brien: The Deion Sanders of Surfing

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

One of the world’s best freesurfers is expanding his game. When news of Jamie O’Brien’s participation in the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro first broke, it sounded like a one-time foray by O’brien into the world of competitive sponging….a simple demonstration of his nearly unmatched knowledge, ability, and style on the wave sitting outside of his back door.

After bowing out of the event with a 3rd in his very 1st heat, O’Brien made it known that he’s not quite done with the sport of legend Mike Stewart. “I’ll be back bigger and better next year,” said J.O.B. after his valiant effort fell short.

jaime obrien bodyboard

In fact, in a post by our friends at EXPN, O’Brien went on to prophecy great things for next years event- “We’re all riding waves and I was stoked that they respected that. Who knows? Next year I want to make the finals. That’s my goal.”

Why not? I dig O’Brien’s venture into competitive bodyboarding and look forward to seeing what he can do if he puts a little more time in, especially with the event being held at Pipeline.

Even if you no longer partake of the sponge with any frequency, chances are you cut your surfing teeth on a Morey and have a a soft spot in your heart for riding waves in the prone position. If O’Brien brings the same mentality to bodyboarding that he does to surfing….Spongers beware.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Surf Simulator: The New Mechanical Bull

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

When I first laid on eyes on this Surf Simulator I have to admit, I thought it was super lame (like this). But after reading more about it from the boys at DailyStoke and realizing just what it is, I have no choice but to agree with their assessment.

The best part? Like a mechanical bull, simulators are controlled by an operator who can pretty much buck yo ass off at will. This thing might be pretty entertaining….after a few pints.

Coming soon to a hick bar near you! And if you happen to see this dude there riding the “wave” please punch him in the nuts for me.

surf simulator

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Blowing Up: The Ascent of Shaper Jon Pyzel

Monday, February 16th, 2009

If you ever want to know what a shaper is really all about, try taking a look at some of the guys who are riding his boards. What are the common traits in the group? Why is it that these particular surfers choose to ride the boards produced by the hands of whomever the particular shaper may be? Case in point: Matt Archbold, Mark Healey, Dave Wassel, Chris Ward, Jon Jon Florence…..All radical, fast, aggressive surfers, each with a unique style of their own. Which also happens to be exactly how Jon Pyzel shapes surfboards.

matt archbold on pyzel surfboard

I’ve personally never felt a board react and accelerate quite like the Pyzel boards that I’ve had the pleasure of riding. I realize that may come across as a homer statement when I’m doing a story about the guy, but oh well. The simple truth is that Jon Pyzel is making some of the top custom surfboards not only on the North Shore, but in the entire surfboard industry in general.

In a bar at a North Shore hotel that we will leave unnamed due to it’s cruel intentions, Jon Pyzel was recently kind enough to give up some of his time and offer up some of his thoughts on shaping, surfing, and just living the dream:

What are some of your favorite aspects of shaping surfboards?

The thing that I have the most fun with is shortboards, cause they’re kind of like the little race cars of surfing. They’re what you see people doing the most crazy things on so there’s so many little different refinements you can make on them that make a huge difference in performance. But then making boards for Pipe and other waves that are really heavy is pretty rewarding too. You see someone get a pretty crazy wave on one of your boards and your like “right on, that thing worked alright.” That’s pretty rewarding, I love it.

What else do you have cooking up right now?

Another thing I really am stoked on right now is towboards. I making one with 4-fins and I kind of hit on a pretty sick refine (as Mark Healey interjects: “that last one was the best one I’ve ever ridden!”) The first 4-fin I ever even made was a tow-board and it was just one of my own boards, and since riding that I thought, “these things work great.” So that kind of evolved into making regular boards with 4-fins, and actually even some Pipe boards, Mark’s got some quads that are working pretty good (Healey: “Yuuuuup”). They kind of lend themselves to bigger waves really well, they’re just really fast and really solid and don’t have a lot of drawbacks. They might not be as good as a super high performance shortboard, but they have some characteristics that lend themselves more to speed, drawn out lines…a different type of surfing and that works really well for big waves. You see a lot of guys now riding quad guns out at Waimea and different big wave spots.

Pyzel living the life of a shaper-

To me, I just really love surfing. And shaping boards is all a part of that. So my job is I go surf, then I go to work, and I’m still doing something involving surfing. And it just all works together. I’m not a world-class surfer, but I can still get an idea of what’s working or how boards feel, and just learn different shit about the boards I make.

Pyzel on one of the drawbacks of making great surfboards-

I have boards I make and guys will take ‘em from me. I had a board I made for myself a few months ago and I went surfing with Matt Archbold and he’s all “that thing looks pretty sick, let me try that.” So we ended up trading and he says, “Can I keep this?” And of course I said alright, better you than me, I’d rather have you go ride it. A board might not be an epic board for you, but it’s an epic board for someone.

Custom surfboards vs. shop surfboards-

There’s no strict formula, there’s no graph. I look at a lot of the bigger surfboard manufacturers and they have certain models in certain sizes. But who fits exactly those sizes? I know that some people do, I just think it’s kind of sad if they’re buying like that. Seems like you should get your board made for you if you can. There’s something about having someone make a board for you that’s pretty special. Surfing is such an individual thing, and to have it be a big, mass-marketed thing with some guy from the middle of nowhere, who’s never seen a wave, making you a surfboard just seems kind of wrong.

How the economy is affecting the surfboard industry?

Surfboards have gone in the way of mass-marketing for so long, but now there’s a backlash because people have way less money to spend right now, so guys who were going out saying “Oh I’ll pay $900 for that Firewire, I hope it works, looked bitchin’ when I saw it in an ad,” all of the sudden those guys are calling me and asking for something that’s exactly what they want. They end up paying less money and getting exactly what they want, knowing that it’s gonna work.

Pyzel’s thoughts on the direction shaping is heading-

6 months ago you would have thought the surfboard industry was revolutionized and everything’s different, and we’re all gonna be riding spaceships by now. And it’s funny how it all comes back. Surfers have ridden the same kind of feeling surfboard for so long, different shapes and all sorts of different stuff, but the feeling of the flex and the weight and how it responds has been the same for so long. We love that, it’s almost in our blood or something.

Jon Pyzel on pro-surfers who don’t like surfing-

It’s pretty funny how pro-surfers in general are not into surfing. I kind of get bummed out about that stuff. Or I hear about certain unnamed individuals who don’t ever surf, just hate surfing. And I’m thinking, are you fucking kidding me? I don’t want to work! I just want to kick it all day and go surf too. And some of those guys don’t want to go surfing, that just bums me out. And then there’s people like Mark and Jamie Sterling. The kind of guys that if they didn’t get paid, they would be racking up a credit card bill or playing poker or whatever they had to do, groveling to go surfing. I’m stoked, I love seeing good surfers and I’m glad everyone’s getting paid to go do it, but don’t fucking complain about it. That’s unreal.

The Stats
Name- Jon Pyzel
Hometown: Santa Barbara, Ca.
Family: Wife, 2 girls: ages 10 & 5
First Wave: Hammonds in Santa Barbara
Years Shaping: 10
Shaping Influences: Jeff Bushman, Eric Arakawa, Matt Moore

jon pyzel

Posted in Surfing | 6 Comments »

Maverick’s Surfer Pulls Shark Tooth out of his Thigh

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

greg long mavericks

Depending on where you grew up, or wherever in the world you currently find yourself, the answer to the above question could include breaks from any of the four corners of the earth. Without a doubt, Mavericks in Northern California would find itself in the top 5 of that list. And if the video below of this Maverick’s surfer pulling a shark tooth out of his thigh is actually authentic, Mav’s may have just bumped itself up a notch as far as “heaviest surfers” go.

How’s the line at the end? “You sure you don’t want us to call 911? Well good, cause the wind is coming offshore now.” I have to say, I’m personally a little skeptical that this is legit, although I wouldn’t put it past any of the guys regularly charging a wave like Mav’s to pull something like this off.

Posted in Surfing | 5 Comments »

Bringing Back Kirra

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Us human beings are a pretty wild species. For whatever reason, we’re having a pretty tough time figuring out that trying to “play god” usually doesn’t work out very well. Hence, the latest campaign by our friends at the Surfrider Foundation- Bring Back Kirra.

We all know that Kirra’s one of the iconic seven wonders of the world, and it’s buried under sand. But I like to think that it’s not dead, it’s just buried and we need to do a bit of an archaeological dig and reclaim the mysteries of Kirra.” – Rabbit Bartholomew

While on the outside the Kirra campaign doesn’t appear to have the environmental impact as that of the Trestles campaign, it’s still worthy of the spotlight it’s been given lately, recently climaxing in a massive paddle-out that saw the likes of Mick Fanning, Rabbit Bartholomew, Dean Morrison, Joel Parkinson, and over 1500 other passionate supporters of the cause take part to show there support in restoring one of the world’s truly great waves to what it once was.


Just looking back, I think the last time we had it good was 10 years ago. Now you walk where you used to surf. You know, it’s really sad. There’s a 1000 people here, probably even more backing everyone to getting in the right frame of mind and hopefully getting through to the government.” Mick Fanning

If you’re a bit unfamiliar with the history of the situation at Kirra, Surfrider CEO Jim Moriarty recently posted a smoothly informative article on just that, and had this to offer up to 5ones when asked why it is that the Kirra campaign is so crucial- “Kirra, like Pipe or Rincon, was a natural marvel. Unfortunately, the last time it achieved perfection was earlier this decade. The loss of Kirra is a classic case of people thinking they can control nature. The campaign to Bring Back Kirra is a fight to reinstate the break to its former glory.”

So how can he help restore this marvel to what it once was, especially when most of us find ourselves thousands of miles away? It’s actually pretty simple-

1. Sign the petition to build international recognition regarding this issue.

2. Understand why Kirra was lost in the first place. When your local town talks about managing their beaches with “nourishment” and seawalls… a flag should be raised.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Sea Shepherd Drops In On The Japanese Whaling Fleet

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

japanese whaling

In case you have yet to hear, at this very instant there is a battle raging in the Southern Ocean between the Japanese “research” whaling fleet and anti-whaling activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. In recent days, Sea Shepherd reported that there had been a second collision between their ship, the Steve Irwin, and the Japanese harpoon vessel, Yushin Maru 3.

On the Sea Shepherd website, founder and captain Paul Watson describes the encounter as follows-

“We told them to not continue their illegal whaling operations and that we would be blocking the stern slipway of the factory ship. They decided to test our resolve and apparently expected us to retreat when they charged in ahead of us to make the transfer.”

The transfer that Captain Watson refers to is that of two Minke whales between the harpoon vessels and the factory ship that processes the catch. Sea Shepherd accuses the Japanese fleet of being in violation of the 1986 International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling, while the Japanese insist that they are acting legally under a program of lethal scientific research. Meanwhile, the showdown in the Antarctic has become an annual event, marked frequently by violent confrontations between the two groups, inciting public outcry both in favor and in opposition to commercial whaling.

The debate is extremely complicated and I don’t think there will ever be a consensus, compromise, or any kind of solid agreement between those for and against harvesting whales. From my experience as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, however, I can say that what I have seen of Japanese fishing ethics and practices as a whole is disgusting and lacks regard for the greater welfare of our planet and her oceans. Furthermore, as a biologist, I am extremely skeptical of any Japanese research that is based entirely on lethal methods, produces so few peer-reviewed papers, and is being implemented as a means to resume large scale commercial whaling. And finally, as a surfer and lover of all things marine, I know that in the last 100 years (and no, it wasn’t just Japan’s fleet responsible) we came damn close to losing some of the Earth’s most ancient and radical creatures. And all for what? I want to see to it that the ideologies, traditions, and other things that drive this kind of over-exploitation be confronted and condemned.

With that said, I give props to Sea Shepherd for continuing their brave fight and drawing global attention to the issues surrounding this struggle.

Posted in Surfing | 27 Comments »

Surfer’s Ear: The Cold Water Monster

Friday, February 6th, 2009

If you’re blessed enough that all you surf is warm-water, tropical breaks, then Surfer’s Ear is probably not something that you ever need to be super concerned about. But for the rest of us who have to deal with cold-water, wetsuits, ice-cream headaches, and generally freezing our tushies off for the sake of catching a few waves, Surfer’s Ear is something you better be paying close attention to.

surfers ear

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Surfer’s Ear, aka Exostosis…

Surfer’s Ear is the common name for exostosis, abnormal bone growth, within the ear canal… …Over time irritation from cold wind and water cause the bone surrounding the ear canal to develop lumps of new bony growth which constrict the ear canal. The condition is so named due to its prevalence among cold water surfers. Cold water surfers experience surfer’s ear at about six times the rate of warm water surfers… …The condition is not limited to surfing and can occur in any activity with cold, wet, windy conditions such as kayaking, sailing, diving. Most avid surfers have at least some mild bone growths (exostoses), causing little to no problems. The condition is progressive, making it important to take preventative measures early, preferably whenever surfing.

A few weeks ago Transworld put together a really good resource on Surfer’s Ear. You should definitely check it out as it’s packed with tons of good info and links. Sometimes it just better to see it with your own eyes instead of reading about it. Thanks to the boys over at Surf Donkey, we can do that. They put together a little video series where Lance, who is actually suffering from Surfer’s Ear, visits the Doc who breaks it down on video in Layman’s terms.




Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

While We Wait: One on One with Mark Healey

Friday, February 6th, 2009

That’s what this is all about. Getting paid through professional surfing is just my scam to keep the whole ocean lifestyle alive. Some people write fraudulent checks, I’m a professional surfer.” -Mark Healey

The NPAC has been fairly quiet as of late, yet hope still exists that the 2008-2009 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau will get the call to run. However, while we wait, we thought we would pass along some thoughts and insight from one of the truest watermen in the sport today.

There are few surfers out there who take advantage of the opportunities that exist for the world’s best today while staying true to the person they are right down to the very core. Between the amount of money and business that’s involved in surfing today, the publicity and responsibilities that go with being sponsored, and the infinite distractions that exist and constantly pull a person away from the ocean and lifestyle that go with it, you don’t see as many professional surfers who have been able to maintain an intertwining of their lives with the ocean. This is what made me jump at the opportunity to chat with O’ahu’s Mark Healey.

mark healey

While our eventual discussion touched on subjects ranging from the Eddie to the freesurfing vs. competitive surfing debate, nothing seemed to get Mark more stoked than talking about the three large papio he and Sasha landed in just a short amount of time earlier that evening. This, in a nutshell, is Mark Healey. An impressive surfer, an impressive human being, and an impressive representative of Quiksilver.

These are some of thoughts bestowed upon us by Mark Healey in what ended up being an extremely enjoyable and insightful round-table conversation-


Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

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