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Billabong Freewave Monster Maneuver

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

The winner of the final award for Billabong’s 2008 Freewave Challenge Mainland was announced Monday. Ryan Carlson’s 540 Rodeo Flip at his home break in Huntington Beach, Califonia was given the nod for ‘Monster Maneuver‘ of the year. Carlson’s mid-summer launch will be rewarded with $5,000 from Billabong. The maneuver, essentially the same one used by Jamie O’Brien used to win the inaugural Freewave Challenge, was the most-viewed clip of the year on Billabong’s video hub. Videographer Paul Cerone receives a healthy $1,200 for capturing and uploading the footage.

Aaron Cormican(New Smyrna Beach, FL), Cody Thompson(Jacksonville Beach, FL), Mason Ho (Sunset Beach, HI, and Zach Rhinehart (Oceanside, CA) rounded out the rest of the top 5 awards for Monster Maneuver, all of which will split up a purse of over $15,000 for their winning entries.

All the original clips can still be viewed by clicking on the Freewave video hub, as can clips from the first Freewave event last winter in Hawaii’s North of Oahu. The time and location of the next Freewave Challenge will be announced later this week. There was a large expansion by Billabong from the 1st format(2 categories) to the current challenge(5 categories), so it will be interesting to see how they switch things up for the next one. It’s gonna be hard to look anywhere but back toward Hawaii for the winter edition though; a quick view of last winter’s winning entries makes is evidence enough that this is where a contest like this belongs in the winter. Wherever they decide to hold it, look for Billabong to step up and progress even more with the Freewave Challenge.

Congrat’s go out to Ryan Carlson as well as the rest of the winners of the 2008 Billabong Freewave Challenge Mainland!

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Andrew Doheny Wins Billabong’s Small Fry Honors

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

16 yr. old Andrew Doheny’s combination of classic carves with an air-to-reverse finish just netted him “Small Fries” honors in the Billabong Freewave Challenge. The Newport Beach phenom’s display of style, grace, power, and dirty maneuvers brought him a healthy $3,000 for coming out on top. Noah Alani pulled in $750 for filming the wave at Lower Trestles.

While hurricanes set off a burst of wave activity on the East Coast late in the summer, Southern California saw an incredible string of south-swells as summer was just getting started. The result was loads of crazy footage coming out of Trestles in June. All three of the Small Fries finalists were video-clips from Lowers.

14 yr. old Kolohe Andino of San Clemente, Ca. flew down the line of a Trestles right, stopping along the way only to launch a couple of airs, on his way to winning the $2000 second-place prize. 15 yr. old Luke Davis cut-up a Trestles wall as well, earning him the $1500 third-place prize.

The Small Fries award is just one of five divisions and, according to the published Freewave rules, the Small Fries Award set out to decide “The best performance on a single wave by a surfer age 16 or under at the time of the ride.” The rankings of the finalists were determined by a voting panel made up of the surfers and videographers registered in the event along with select surfing media members from around the world.

There was an unbelievable amount of incredible entries sent in by the younger generation. These guys will all be fun to watch for years to come. Congratulations to Andrew Doheny for pulling down the “Small Fries” honors!

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Hines Gets Deep: Snags Billabong Freewave Challenge Gold

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

billabong freewaveThe results from the summer-long Mainland edition of the Billabong Freewave Challenge are rolling in. As expected, the combination of Jesse Hines, Hurricane Ike, and Outer Banks, N.C. ended up as the cream of the Best Barrel crop.

Billabong is on the hook to Hines for $3,000 as a result of his ghastly Outer Banks pit; Joe Cheshire, the man on the other end of the camera, will receive $750 for capturing the footage.

Geoff Moysa’s crisp Newport Beach barrel and Zander Morton’s up, down, and up again shack off the Gulf Coast of Florida, another product of Hurricane Ike, finished in 2nd($2,000) and 3rd($1,500) places respectively. Not too shabby a payday for spending a few precious moments in surfing’s holy room.
As sick as the footage of both Moysa’s and Morton’s waves were, this portion of the competition was essentially over the second Hines wave spit him out. The parade of hurricanes from mid-August on produced unreal surf along the East Coast and congratulations to Jesse Hines for being in the right place, at the right time, and for going all in!

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C.J. Hobgood Wins Billabong Pro Mundaka

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

cj hobgood wins billabong pro

C.J. Hobgood kept the party for Florida surfers rolling today with a last-minute victory over Joel Parkinson, a victory that saw him become the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka champion.

Although Dream Tour events in which an overall world champion is crowned early on sometimes end up with a funky, anti-climatic feel to them, the remaining contestants didn´t appear to be affected by all of the Slater-hoopla and put on quite a show at Mundaka. Mundaka itself held up rather well and, although spotty and inconsistent at times, made it´s case for remaining on the European leg of the 2009 world tour.

It´s been one of those years for Parko. It looked like he was on his way to ending his two-year victory drought before C.J. picked up a barrel-induced, buzzer-beating 8.57 to claim the victory in Spain. Having seen his good friend Mick Fanning win the ´07 world title, an inspired Parko came into the 2008 year chomping at the bit. Although coming close several times, the Gold Coast surfer has just been unable to lock down a win on tour this year. Just seconds away from ending his dry-spell, Parkinson took off on the first wave of the final set at Mundaka and left C.J. all alone to grab the winning wave.

Following the event, Parko praised Hobgood for grabbing the win and graciously gave him all the credit for the come from behind win. Hobgood deserved every bit of it, and with the win the former world champion now sits at #6 in the overall ASP standings, just a shade behind Adriano de Souza.
Congratulations C.J. Hobgood… winner of the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka

Billabong Pro Mundaka Final Results:
Final: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 18.50 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83

Billabong Pro Mundaka Semifinal Heat Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.80 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.50
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.66 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 6.70

Billabong Pro Mundaka Quarterfinal Heat Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.34 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 6.17
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.83 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 7.40
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.34 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.10
Heat 4: Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.16 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.24

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Kelly Slater One Heat Away

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

kelly slater billabong pro mundaka

That’s all that separates the greatest all-around surfer from an unprecedented 9th world championship. With his Rd. 1 heat victory at the Billabong Pro Mundaka today, Kelly Slater is now sitting just a single heat victory away from officially becoming the 2008 ASP world champion. While Taylor Knox and wildcard contestant Reubyn Ash(as well as many of the other surfers) had a brutal time figuring out the sloppy Sopelana beachbreak, Slater looked right at home in the Florida-esque bump and crumble. His 9.0 wave, which was highlighted by a massive punt, ended up as the overall high score of the day. “Where I surfed, the waves were better,” Slater said. “I had more options. I couldn’t really hear the scores, but once I did I could tell that Taylor was kind of struggling. Then I found a right with a nice open face and a big air section and that was my 9.00.”

Sopelana was messy and all over the place today. But with the forecast showing that Mundaka could be working tomorrow, Contest Director Mike Parsons left the decision to run today in the hands of the surfers. A vote was taken and the majority decided to go ahead an open the event. And why not? With Mundaka expected to come alive tomorrow you know these guys would much rather surf with only one other contestant out there competing for waves.

Action at the Billabong Pro Mundaka is expected to continue tomorrow. Everything is shaping up for the move over to Mundaka. There definitely needs to be a “kudos” sent over to Billabong and Go211 for their smooth webcast. That hasn’t always been the case with the tour this year so it was great to be able to catch the action from a functioning webcast. Stay tuned for more on Kelly’s 9th and the Billabong Pro Mundaka.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

If a Surfing Contest Happens and Nobody Shows Up….(Video)

Monday, September 29th, 2008

….is it still a contest? Here are the first round heat draws as the holding period for the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka gets set to open tomorrow. For whatever the reason, it looks like some of the fellas on tour decided to take a break from this one.

billabong pro mundaka

(1st & 2nd advance to Round 2; 3rd finishes =33rd)
Heat 1: Kai Otton, Heitor Alves, Aritz Aranburu
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores, Michael Campbell, Ricky Basnett
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan, Pancho Sullivan, Nic Muscroft
Heat 4: CJ Hobgood, Roy Powers, Manoa Drollet
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez, Ben Dunn, Gabe Kling
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza, Jordy Smith, Tim Boal
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson, Tim Reyes, Mark Occhilupo
Heat 8: Kelly Slater, Taylor Knox, Reubyn Ash
Heat 9: Taj Burrow, Damien Hobgood, Marco San Segundo
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge, Tom Whitaker, Hodei Collazo
Heat 11: Luke Stedman, Jay Thompson, Daniel Ross
Heat 12: Chris Ward, Rodrigo Dornelles, Jihad Khodr
Heat 13: Dayyan Neve, Mikael Picon, Leonardo Neves
Heat 14: Dane Reynolds, Tiago Pires, Travis Logie
Heat 15: Fred Patacchia, Daniel Wills, Ben Bourgeois
Heat 16: Kieren Perrow, Royden Bryson, Luke Munro

No Mick, No A.I., No Bruce, No Neco, No Dean-o. Both Neco Padaratz and Dean Morrison are out do to injury. There has been no word on why Mick Fanning won’t be participating in the action in Spain. That is also the case with the Irons brothers, although Bruce stated in France that he was “over it”, and his surfing at the event fully backed that up, Andy no-showed his second round heat at the recent Quik Pro and apparently will not be taking part in Mundaka. With this being a Billabong event and Irons being one of, if not the biggest names to surf for them, him not appearing at the Billabong Pro raises some questions as to why.

Hopefully all is well for the 3x world champion. It’s a shame, when Andy and Mundaka coexist in top form it’s an incredible thing to see-

With both Mick and Andy out of the event, Billabong is left with Kelly Slater, C.J. Hobgood, and the almighty Occy as the only world champions taking part at the Pro Mundaka. Perhaps everyone is just conceding to Kelly, which would be sad. Or maybe there are circumstances around these no-shows that we don’t know about. Whatever the case, the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka is going to be without a few very familiar faces.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Operation Amped Hooked Up By Billabong, Quiksilver

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Operation AmpedSeeing the need for a helping hand, our friends at Quiksilver and Billabong opened up their stash recently and donated over 50 wetsuits from their surf schools to help Operation Amped raise funds. 5ones first covered the story of Operation Amped after one of our readers alerted us to them in August. They are a non-profit organization giving the gift of surfing to veterans who have returned from military service wounded. We couldn’t be more pleased to see the industry leaders helping them with their beautiful cause.

On top of the wetsuit donation, a couple dozen more rash guards, booties, hoods and other accessories were also donated to Operation Amped by Quik and Billabong. They will be sold between $100-$150 in order to purchase more surfboards, a banner, as well as a new website for the organization.

Anyone interested in purchasing any of the wetsuits or accesories can get more info by e-mailing thebenmalibu@gmail.com. This is especially ideal for surf schools and rental businesses. However, regardless of your reason for purchasing the items, the bottom line is that it all goes to an incredible cause.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Billabong’s Freewave Challenge Set to Close: Jesse Hines Gets Deep (Video)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

billabong freewave challenge

For all of my summer-lovin’ peeps out there, I hate to be the one to rain on your parade, but summer is quickly coming to an end. And while for most of us that means a return to school, an end to long post-work sessions in the twilight hours, and the dusting off of pee-saturated wetsuits, for Billabong it signifies the end of the three month holding period for the second installment of the Billabong Freewave Challenge.

The Freewave Challenge Mainland is the encore event to the inaugural and highly successful Freewave Challenge Hawaii. Billabong upped the ante on the mainland version by expanding from two to five categories. This means that unless someone goes Jamie O’Brien on us there will be five surfers pulling in a whole lot of cash once the judging for the event is completed, not to mention those who score some loot by finishing up in the 2nd to 5th place positions.

The holding period for the virtual surf competition began with the summer solstice and coincided with an unreal period of swell in the Southern California area. This got the action going early for the Freewave Challenge and Trestles became the scene for a lot of the top entries. Not to be outdone, the East Coast got into the action with the recent threesome of Gustav, Hanna, and Ike. The past few weeks have seen a lot of classic pre-hurricane surf pump out incredible waves. This has resulted in a slew of entries coming in from up and down the Gulf and East Coasts.

Once the official holding period of the Freewave Challenge comes to and end next week, judging of the top rated rides begins. The final rankings will be awarded in mid-October and cash and prizes will be handed out accordingly.

To throw your two cents in on which rides you think are deserving, head on over to FreewaveChallenge.com and take a look at the entries that have come in so far.

How’s this entry for Best Barrel?? Jesse Hines ridiculously deep shack provide by Hurricane Ike at Outer Banks is far and away my top rated clip in that category.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

2008 ASR Recap

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Twice a year the action sports industry comes together to showcase and display what they have in store for the upcoming year. ASR, the Action Sports Retailers tradeshow, brings together not only the big players of the action sports industry, but gives up and coming brands the opportunity to launch their brands to the industries who’s who. One major difference that’s notable this year is the absence of the major footwear companies. Brands such as Sole Technology (Etnies, ES, Emerica), and Globe have opted out of attending the show. Being that ASR is heavily influenced by skate and surf brands, the absence of these brands is quite apparent. But this may be a grand opportunity for other brands to step up and shine in their place. With such a void of the presence, other themes and brands are catching people’s attention.

Noticeable surf brands that were showing what they could bring to the table were your obvious contenders, Quik, Bong, Hurley, Volcom, and Lost. There were a lot of other notable brands that also were making an unexpected presence at the show as well. Smaller brands that focus on surf like Ezekiel, Lost, and Fox all made the push to showcase their spring lines.

Since the main focus of the show is to highlight the spring lines, there was no shortage boardshorts, swimwear, walkshorts, tanks and tees. Bright colors and geometric graphics still prove to hold strong and look to continue through until next year. Neons and fluorescent colors seem to still highlight the slimmer shorter silhouettes of boardies and shorts. Always leading the pack and pushing the envelope with the boardshorts is Billabong. All the boardshorts on display looked to be leaning toward the shorter length, veering away from the standard over the knee boardies that have been the standard in the industry for many years. Jumbo all over graphics, mixing geometrics with animal prints, the Billabong assortment proved to be new and exciting while stilling to their roots as clean and wearable boardshorts.

billabong boardshorts

One notably cool disply on the ASR floor was the Quiksilver compound. They had a total of 4 booths at the show to exhibit their range of men’s, core, and woman’s divisions as well as a full set up for Roxy. Between this massive layout they displayed their timeline in boardshort history. The lounge exhibit held cases of boardshorts from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today to give buyers and visitors a like a brief history not only of what Quiksilver has brought to the surfing community, but how it shaped and set the standard for the industry throughout time. Most interesting of all was to see how the styles of today can truly be accredited to how things use to be as fashion has seem to come full circle within action sports.

quiksilver boardshorts

quik boardshorts

Though the show was much calmer this year, there was nothing subdued about the brands and activity that was still in attendance. It will be interesting to see how the industry moves into the Fall 2009 season. This week the east coast gets a taste of what is to come for the Spring 2009 season as we move to Orlando, Florida for Surf Expo.

Posted in Industry | 3 Comments »

Billabong Expanding Rapidly

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Billabong has been on quite a roll lately. Having already made some incredible pick-ups in the form of Sector 9, Xcel Wetsuits, and it’s latest $100 million acquisition of Da Kine Hawaii, they are now setting themselves up for a move into Russia.

The plan is to set-up shops in Moscow and St Petersburg as well as a wholesale business to replace its existing distributorship. While a country like Russia may not exactly seem like an ideal location for a surf shop, the success of Billabong in Germany and Italy give them quite a bit of optimism for success with this move. Over 40% of sales growth alone was seen in Germany during the 2007-2008 year.

Posted in Brands | No Comments »

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