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Julian Wilson Gets His Own Surf Flick

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

julian wilson sushi roll

Young Gun, Julian Wilson won’t be chasing a world title anytime soon. Instead, he’ll be spending the next year doing what he does best, chasing swells and blowing minds as he stars in his own surf movie that’s backed by Andy and Bruce’s production company, Irons’ Brothers Productions.

“I’m not going to do the ‘QS next year; I’m going to do a movie,” Wilson said. “I’ll do a few events I can get wildcards into through Quiksilver, but I’m definitely not chasing them. It’s going to be all over the world. We’ll pick some locations, wait for the best swells and fly there. I’m excited about it.”

I’m pretty excited about it too. Julian is on his way to quickly becoming one of the best surfers in the world and is probably already one of the better air specialists, if not the best. His surfing style doesn’t mesh well with the ‘take-it-down-a-notch’ surfing that’s needed to compete on tour. He’s more comfortable pushing the limits and taking surfing to levels never thought possible, as you can see in the video below.

Julian doesn’t need judges to put limits on what he can and can’t do on a surfboard. The only one that should be putting limits on his surfing is himself, and so far it doesn’t appear he’s put much of a limit on it at all.

Posted in Surfing | 5 Comments »

Bede Durbidge: 5ones Top Surfer/Blogger of 2008

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

I guess finishing runner-up to the seemingly mythical Kelly Slater in the world title quest isn’t anything to hang your head about. Coming out golden on the ASP’s annual stop in Brazil, as well as finishing in the Top 5 at 7 of 11 WCT events also serves as solid achievements. But even with those remarkable additions to an already brilliant resume, nothing Bede Durbidge accomplished this year comes remotely close to the “White Fijian” receiving the honor of being named 5ones Top Surfer/Blogger of 2008.

bede durbidge

Reading Bede’s blogs throughout the year, posted by our friends at Surfer’s Village, has been an absolute pleasure. The quiet drive and humble nature of the Mada team-rider has jumped off the screen every time Bede has released his thoughts, opinions, and stories for the world to read. His latest post recapping his phenomenal year, as well as his bridesmaid to Slater status, was another great example of a thought process that will one day lead Bede to a world championship.

“Would I have wanted to have finished No. 1? Of course! But Kelly just had such an amazing year and was nearly unbeatable. That might have demoralized others on the tour but it didn’t me. Quite the opposite actually. I learnt heaps from this year, both from watching how Kelly went about remorselessly hunting down that phenomenal 9th world title, and from my own experiences.”

Congratulations goes out to Bede for another stellar year of surfing. It has been an absolute pleasure to get a glimpse into his world as he worked his way near the top of competitive surfing. Look for more of the same from Bede Durbidge in 2009, and keep your eyes open to see if Bede successfully defends his 5ones Top Surfer/Blogger of 2008 crown.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Kelly Slater 2008 WCT Highlight Video

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Kelly Slater had one of, if the most, dominating years on the ASP World Tour, ever. We don’t need to tell you though, you already knew that. You’ve seen all the news about it here, there, and everywhere. To be honest, I am about Slater’d out, at least until the Quik Pro gets underway. Doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this highlight video of Mr. Slater’s ‘08 season though. Enjoy!

[Via: Surf There Now]

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Victory For Trestles

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

The word just came out. The ongoing battle to preserve Trestles, San Onofre State Park, and the pristine habitat surrounding these iconic beaches just saw another victory go the way of Mother Nature.

Whispers of the hard fought victory have been flying around all morning, but the official word of the decision is now out: The Department of Commerce today upheld the California Coastal Commission’s objection to a proposal to construct a 16-mile toll road connecting California state Route 241 to Interstate 5 in southern Orange and northern San Diego counties.

According to the NOAA(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), The Secretary of Commerce determined that there is at least one reasonable alternative to the project. The department also found that the project is not necessary in the interest of national security.

The news of this decision is incredible and especially rewarding to the thousands upon thousands who have worked tirelessly in opposition of the toll road. Doing so with the hope of keeping such a majestic area just the way it is. The Surfrider Foundation has taken the lead on this issue and has been at the front lines of the battle for years. Needless to say, news of the victory at Trestles was thrilling for those involved with the organization. “We popped some champagne,” said Mark Rauscher of the San Clemente Chapter, “very cool.”

Very cool indeed. There is a good chances that the Transportation Corridor Agency(TCA) will pull a few legal options out of their crooked hat and this fight will continue. But for now, and hopefully forever, Trestles has been saved.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Surfing Bringing Positive Vibes to Addicts

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the methods being taken to combat them. A facility for recovering addicts in Cape Town, South Africa has begun using surfing as a tool in helping those who struggle with different forms of addiction, and they’re seeing success as a result of it. “People who have been using drugs for a long time need to fill their time and surfing offers that,” Hugh Robinson, the director and owner, said. “The biggest task for a recovering addict is finding new enthusiasm for life. Surfing gives that, it gets the juices going, new excitement and passion.”

The name of the facility is the Tabankulu Recovery Centre. The man heading the surfing program is Lenny Stolk, a 53 yr. old recovering addict himself who has seen surfing make all of the difference in working to overcome the vice’s that pulled him down. Mr. Stolk had been through different forms of treatment, but nothing provided him with the outlet and the opportunity for hope the way that surfing has. “I went to rehab but wasn’t interested. Then, one and a half weeks in, I just had a ‘vision’, call it what you like, and I gave up,” he said. “It’s easy to say no and go back to drugs and drinking, but learning to surf gives you a real sense of achievement, which is important.”

Since September, Stolk has taught about 20 people to surf and is seeking to help many more with their addictions by giving them the gift of surfing. Is it working? His students seem to think so. Catherine Pike, 22, from Fleet, Hampshire has been in the treatment facility since June. She is quick to note the difference that surfing has made in her personal battle. Before checking into the facility, Pike had never tried surfing. “There’s something spiritual about surfing. Being out in the ocean gives you time to think and reflect. Some days are worse than others, but when you get out there it clears your mind,” she said.

With surfing, every wave brings a new opportunity for hope. For those who struggle with addiction, an opportunity for hope is sometimes all they are looking for.

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

Occy: Surfing’s New Voice?

Monday, December 15th, 2008

occy

One of the pleasant surprises resulting from Mark Occhilupo’s retirement from competitive surfing this year has been his presence as a color commentator at Billabong sponsored WCT events. The webcast audiences for ‘CT events have grown in large numbers over the past few years and Occy’s silky smooth and unbelievably witty style is turning out to be pure gold in the commentary booth. Most of the commentators used in the various events have been……okay. But no one brings flavor, knowledge, and slick humor to the people the way the world champ does.

Scott Bass from Surfer put these Occy-ism’s together coming out of the Pipeline Masters-

“Santa Claus is more of a legend than Gerry and Rory, isn’t he?”
(this was as a Santa-suit laden Garrett McNamara SUP’d around Pipe as legends Gerry Lopez and Rory Russell went about their Masters expression session.)

“That’s a bit of a tongue twister isn’t it, ‘Rory Russell replica boards, hmmm yeah, don’t try that with crackers in your mouth.’”

“Dave Rastovich, there he is off in the jungle, cutting down trees and making surfboards. Rasta doesn’t cut down lots of trees, mind you. He only cuts down the tree that’ll make a good surfboard.”

“What was that stingray thinking? I hope he’s alright! That stingray had a bad wipeout.”
(An ASP cameraman captured a shot of a stingray leaping out of the water just in front of a bottom-turning Kelly Slater. The stingray looked like it was about to go for a ride in the wall of white water.)

The classic end to Occy’s brilliance came when word came that Joel Parkinson had in fact clinched the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title. An overjoyed Occy called Joel up live on the webcast with a cellphone, congratulated his mate on the accomplishment, and then proceeded to place the cell phone against the microphone so Parko could say a few things to those watching online. It didn’t work, but it didn’t matter. Occy once again lefty us with some of that pure Occy gold.

Hopefully someone on the ASP is taking note. Finding a way to make Mark Occhilupo a full-time commentator for all of their events needs to be somewhere on their 2009 to-do list.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Longboarder Diaries: F@#%ing Longboarders!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

As line-ups around the world become more and more crowded, it’s becoming harder to get through a complete session without experiencing some form of surf-hatred. There are all types of haters in the water these days and they express varying degrees of this malicious energy. The inspiration for this post comes from a recent encounter with one of my least favorite and most obnoxious types: the passive-aggressive longboard hater.

haterade

So I’m paddling into a right from pretty deep and as I palm down to pop up, I see a another guy scrapping to get into the same wave, going left?! Wow! The guy’s going to need a 225 hp outboard to get into this thing, I’m already there and the left is closing out all the way down the beach. I bottom turn around his mush and keep cruising, not giving it a second thought. Then I hear some incoherent whining that ends with a squealing, high pitched, “dude!” I paddle back out to the guy, responding with an emotionally neutral, “sorry, what’s that?” Homeboy replies with a condescending, “I was going left on that wave, man.” I’m dumb struck by the guy’s audacity and can only respond with an, “oh.” It gets worse… As he paddles away from me, I can hear him mutter under his breath, “Fucking longboarders!” It gets funnier…he gets dumped on the very next wave. This after scrapping so hard it looks like he’s evading a shark napping at his heels.

This stuff happens all the time. In this case, the contrast of badass attitude and zero skill was hilarious, like watching the bad guy eat his own shit. But it’s not always so funny. Some line-ups have such a dense atmosphere of negativity that it affects the whole session. I know it can be frustrating as hell to be dodging ditched boards and kamikaze beginners all day, but it’s just as bad, if not worse, than having to deal with a bunch of headcases. So, let’s all learn something from the dumb-ass I was surfing with the other day. It’s a lesson that I feel ought to be applied both in the water and out. If you want to express some frustration, think twice. What’s worse, having your style cramped or being in a position or state of mind where you just can’t get over it?

caleb hanging 5

Look, I’m no surf saint. I’ve been known to throw underwater temper tantrums, be rude to my girlfriend after a lousy session, and have devilish thoughts about my fellow surfers while out in the line-up. I can honestly say, however, that regardless of whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of bad vibes, it sucks and it’s not good for yours, or anyone else’s surfing. As far as passive-aggressive longboard hatred goes, I think Robert “Wingnut” Weaver said it best in a Surfer Magazine interview a while back. “Take a lesson from the Samarai. They never judged the sword. They judged the man. Longboards don’t make people assholes. They’re born that way.”

Posted in Surfing | 3 Comments »

The 2009 Dream Tour Line-Up

Monday, December 15th, 2008

asp world tourWith the Pipeline Masters coming to a close last Friday, the dust has now settled and next year’s ASP World Tour picture is becoming clear. The departure of Andy and Bruce Irons from the 2009 door has opened the door for Marlon Lipke to become the first ever German on tour.

Speaking of Andy and Bruce, with both of them failing to end up in the Top 10 on the final ratings, this is now the first time in it’s 32 year history that no surfers from Hawaii ended ranked above the 10 spot. Freddy Patacchia was the highest ranked at #12. Hopes of bringing the title back to the islands will now be resting on his shoulders as he is the only Hawaiian returning from 2008. Kekoa Bacalso and Dustin Barca round out the rest of the small Hawaii contingent for 2009.

Take a look at how the 2009 ASP World Tour is set to be stacked-

ASP World Nos. 1-10:
1. Kelly Slater (USA),
2. Bede Durbidge (AUS),
3. Taj Burrow (AUS),
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS),
5. C.J. Hobgood (USA),
6. Adrian Buchan (AUS),
7. Adriano de Souza (BRA),
8. Mick Fanning (AUS),
9. Bobby Martinez (USA)
10. Jeremy Flores (FRA).

ASP World Nos. 11-27:
11. Luke Stedman (AUS),
12. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW),
13. Andy Irons (HAW),
14. Chris Ward (USA),
15. Kai Otton (AUS),
16. Tim Reyes (USA),
17. Tom Whitaker (AUS),
18. Kieren Perrow (AUS),
19. Dayyan Neve (AUS),
20. Bruce Irons (HAW),
21. Mikael Picon (FRA),
22. Dane Reynolds (USA),
23. Taylor Knox (USA),
24. Damien Hobgood (USA),
25. Heitor Alves (BRA),
26. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
27. Ben Dunn (AUS).

The Top 15 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfers in ranking order are:
1. Nathaniel Curran (USA),
2. Chris Davidson (AUS),
3. Michel Bourez (PYF),
4. Gabe Kling (USA),
5. Jihad Khodr (BRA),
6. David Weare (ZAF),
7. Josh Kerr (AUS),
8. Nic Muscroft (AUS),
9. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW),
10. Greg Emslie (ZAF),
11. Tim Boal (FRA),
12. Dustin Barca (HAW)
13. Tiago Pires (PRT),
14. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)
15. Drew Courtney (AUS).

The three 2009 tour wildcards went to injury applicants, Dean Morrison (AUS), Aritz Aranburu (EUK), and ASP WQS No. 16 Marlon Lipke (GER). Lipke will be the first German ever on the Dream Tour.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Andy Irons Taking 2009 Off, Billabong Backs Him Up

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

The bru’s over at Stab Magazine just released these juicy little nugget’s of industry information.

- Andy Irons will take next year off to chill and do some surf trips. He will aim for a wildcard in 2010. Billabong is backing him all the way, and has just given him a new five-year deal. (Parko’s just signed up for another five, too.)

- Wonder why Bobby Martinez has been shredding Pipe with no stickers on the nose of his board? He’s no longer riding for Reef. Despite the tough economic times (and his management persuading him to put ink on paper), Bobby walked away from an offer that was three-quarters of what he’d asked for. When he simmered down, Bobby went back to Reef, saying okay, I’ll take the deal, but Reef had withdrawn. It’s gonna be tough trying to find a company with $500k kicking round in its marketing budget right now. But Bob has signed some of the smarter deals in surfing. Remember seeing huge Monster energy drink green and black “M” on the bottom and deck of his board? Rumors suggest this nets him around $US300k.

- As always, Dane’s endorsements are the subject of constant speculation. The latest has it that the golden child is going to break his deal with Quik to join Analog. With Burton’s backing, Analog’s certainly got the cash. But Dane has not suggested he’s even thinking about moving, so the rumour remains unfounded.

The Andy Irons info actually makes a lot of sense. Time away from the Dream Tour has worked out well for past champions Curren, Occy, and Slater. And if Billabong is backing this, chances are there will be unreal amounts of fresh footage of Irons freesurfing to look forward to next year.

As for the industry as a whole, especially regarding sponsorships, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming month with the economy being what it is. Everyone is re-evaluating their financial strategies and chances are we’ll be hearing more stories similar to the Bobby Martinez/Reef situation.

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

A Highly Deserving Joel Parkinson Wins the 2008 Vans Triple Crown

Friday, December 12th, 2008

joel parkinson

If ever anyone deserved to have the cards fall their way, it’s the 2008 version of Joel Parkinson. At the end of what’s been a very successful, yet very disappointing year in competitive surfing for the Coolie Kid, Parko sealed his first ever Vans Triple Crown of Surfing victory the moment Kelly Slater put the finishing touches on his own Pipe Masters win.

After seeing good friend Mick Fanning win the world championship last year, Parko’s been a man possessed. Many expected Parko to break looses this year and follow in Mick’s footseps. He said himself that Fanning’s win lit a fire and made a world championship appear possible. Unfortunately he chose the wrong year to have what is ending up as one of his best years.

Between a psychotic Kelly Slater and a few tough breaks along the way, and even though he surfed out of his mind all year, he just could not seem to find his way to the victory podium…..until now. He had to sweat it out until the very last second of the year, but the moment Ward went down to Slater, and as a result of 5th, 5th, and 9th place finishes at Haleiwa, Sunset, and Pipeline, Joel Parkinson became the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing winner for the first time in his career.

Congratulations Joel Parkinson, winner of the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Joel Parkinson just joined this group of legends below-

(more…)

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

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