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Highest Paid Action Sports Athletes

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Have you ever wondered just how much your favorite action sports athletes are getting paid to “work”? I know I have. Thanks to Forbes Magazine we can all get a little insight into just how much these pros are raking in every year.

Action sports stars are starting to get noticed by a broader audience, and that has meant bigger paychecks, thanks to rich sponsorship deals.

shaun white lamborghini

Topping the list, and not to anyone’s surprise, is Tony Hawk. Shaun White’s not far behind though and at the rate he’s going, it won’t be more than a couple years before he passes up Mr. Hawk.

shaun white lambo

The list is rounded out as follows…

1. Tony Hawk – $12 mil/year
2. Shaun White – $9 mil/year
3. Ryan Sheckler – $5 mil/year
4. Travis Pastrana – $3 mil/year
4. Kelly Slater – $3 mil/year
6. Laird Hamilton – $2.5 mil/year
7. Paul Rodriquez – $2 mil/year
8. Danny Kass – $1 mil/year
8. Dave Mirra – $1 mil/year
8. Travis Rice – $1 mil/year

Excluded from the list are women athletes, not because Forbes is sexist, but they just don’t make the cutoff of earning $1mil or more per year. The highest paid females are estimated at making about $750,000 per year. Also notably missing from the list is Rob Dyrdek. His MTV shows, combined with his endorsements, are surely netting him at least a cool mil every year. Is there anyone else you can think of that is missing from the list?

Remember kids–if you want to grow up to be rich and successful, forget about spending 20 years in school to become a doctor or lawyer. Just drop out and build a vert ramp in your backyard.

shaun white lamborghini
Photo Credit: Kevin Ou

Posted in Industry | 7 Comments »

Mick Fanning Fired Up in ‘09

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

mick fanning

At this point, it’s no secret that Kelly Slater is making a run at his 10th world title and the rumored $10 million dollar bonus Quiksilver has offered him if he claims it. At this point, I’m not sure how Quik will make good on that offer, but alas. While many of us might rush to the conclusion that Kelly’s #10 is all but in the bank, there’s at least one person that isn’t quite ready to step aside and declare him the ‘09 world champ, yet.

Mick Fanning’s making no secret that he’s fired up and ready to duke it out on the waves with The King. In a recent article with Gold Coast, Mick admits that he just wasn’t motivated last year and pretty much rolled over, letting Kelly make him and everyone else look stupid. He’s letting it be known though that the same ‘burning ambition’ that brought him the title in ‘07 is back and he’s looking forward to battling it out with Slates.

“Last year was a really different year for me,” said Fanning yesterday… “I wasn’t all that motivated. The few years building up to (the world title) there was a lot of strenuous work and last year I wasn’t as focused on winning. I just wanted to enjoy a year and not be so flat out with it all. It was good to take a step back. It was a really good learning curve and for this year there are no distractions and everything is feeling good. I have put myself first again. I am fit and healthy and pretty excited and motivated for the year.”

If Kelly surfs on a completely different level from the rest of the top 44, as he did last year, no amount of words or ambition from Mick, or any of the competitors, will matter. It’s time to start talking about who will win the title in 2010… this year’s already spoken for.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

A Fly in the Champagne

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

kelly slater and andy irons
Credit: Transworld Surf

There has been a lot of hype recently about the trip that Transworld Surf organized for Kelly and Andy in the Mentawais. Not only is Transworld featuring the trip in next month’s mag, but looks like they’ve also made a movie out of it, in conjunction with Irons Brother’s Productions.

This should be a pretty awesome flick. Two of the world’s best surfers who’ve traded blows for years now(both on and off the tour), giving us an in-depth look at the rivalry from their own perspectives. Plus, with those two surfing some of the most epic waves in world, I’m sure the surfing will be pretty ok too.

If only Transworld could get them to trade blows in UFC bout- now that would be exciting. The movie is coming out March 15th, 2009. Check out the trailer.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

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 »

Kelly Slater Wins 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters: Who Else?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

kelly slater wins pipeline masters

What more can you say? Kelly Slater continued his re-writing of the record books with an unheard of 6th Pipeline Masters victory today at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. Slater took out San Clemente, Ca. surfer Chris Ward in a rainy and slow final heat on his way to another incredible victory.

With the final being prefaced with an expression session that included Gerry Lopez, Rory Russell, Bonga Perkins, and Garrett McNamara, it was only fitting that the celebrations of legendary surfers continued with Slater taking home another win at Pipeline.

Congratulations Kelly Slater, winner of the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters.

Check back for a full Pipe Masters Recap-

Winners of the Pipeline Masters
2008 Kelly Slater 2007 Bede Durbidge 2006 Andy Irons 2005 Andy Irons 2004 Jamie O’Brien 2003 Andy Irons Hawaii 2002 Andy Irons Hawaii 2001 Bruce Irons Hawaii 2000 Rob Machado California 1999 Kelly Slater Florida 1998 Jake Paterson Australia 1997 John Gomes Hawaii 1996 Kelly Slater Florida 1995 Kelly Slater Florida 1994 Kelly Slater Florida 1993 Derek Ho Hawaii 1992 Kelly Slater Florida 1991 Tom Carroll Australia 1990 Tom Carroll Australia 1989 Gary Elkerton Australia 1988 Robby Page Australia 1987 Tom Carroll Australia 1986 Derek Ho Hawaii 1985 Mark Occhilupo Australia 1984 Joey Buran USA 1983 Dane Kealoha Hawaii 1982 Michael Ho Hawaii 1981 Simon Anderson Australia 1980 Mark Richards Australia 1979 Larry Blair Australia 1978 Larry Blair Australia 1977 Rory Russel Hawaii 1976 Rory Russel Hawaii 1975 Shaun Tomson South Africa 1974 Jeff Crawford USA 1973 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1972 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1971 Jeff Hakman Hawaii

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

Final Day for Pipeline Masters: On and Looking Good

Friday, December 12th, 2008

joel parkinson pipeline masters

The call for the final day of competition has been made at the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters. Kelly Slater is going for his 6th Pipeline Masters win, Andy Irons is right behind him with 4 and shooting for #5. Bede Durbidge and Jamie O’Brien are both shooting for their 2nd. The rest of the final 16 surfers would become a Pipeline Master for the very first time, enscribing their names into surfing’s history books forever.

A massive rainstorm pounded Oahu and left various parts of the North Shore under water. The storm has since passed, and in it’s wake left a building 6-8 ft WNW swell @14 seconds with wind out of the south/southeast. The weather in Oahu should be clear, leaving us with a beautiful day to complete the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters. Go to http://triplecrownofsurfing.com/ for all of the action.

Billabong Pipeline Masters Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Marcus Hickman (HAW) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 4: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) vs. Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kamalei Alexander (HAW)
Heat 7: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 8: Evan Valiere (HAW) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)

Winners of the Pipeline Masters
2008- ? 2007 Bede Durbidge 2006 Andy Irons 2005 Andy Irons 2004 Jamie O’Brien 2003 Andy Irons Hawaii 2002 Andy Irons Hawaii 2001 Bruce Irons Hawaii 2000 Rob Machado California 1999 Kelly Slater Florida 1998 Jake Paterson Australia 1997 John Gomes Hawaii 1996 Kelly Slater Florida 1995 Kelly Slater Florida 1994 Kelly Slater Florida 1993 Derek Ho Hawaii 1992 Kelly Slater Florida 1991 Tom Carroll Australia 1990 Tom Carroll Australia 1989 Gary Elkerton Australia 1988 Robby Page Australia 1987 Tom Carroll Australia 1986 Derek Ho Hawaii 1985 Mark Occhilupo Australia 1984 Joey Buran USA 1983 Dane Kealoha Hawaii 1982 Michael Ho Hawaii 1981 Simon Anderson Australia 1980 Mark Richards Australia 1979 Larry Blair Australia 1978 Larry Blair Australia 1977 Rory Russel Hawaii 1976 Rory Russel Hawaii 1975 Shaun Tomson South Africa 1974 Jeff Crawford USA 1973 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1972 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1971 Jeff Hakman Hawaii

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Pipe Masters Update: Pipe Passed Today, Possible Friday Finale (VIDEO)

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

andy irons pipeline masters

As expected, the rain and Kona winds have kept the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters from running it’s final day of action today. Conditions at Pipe are a sloppy, wind-blown 2-3 ft; nothing even close to being worthy of crowning a champion for the prestigious event.

Fresh off chasing swell in the Caroline Islands, 9x world champion Kelly Slater showed up just in time for his 3rd Round heat against wildcard Ezra Sitt. He promptly busted out his 5′10″ and proceeded to cruise to an easy heat win. A victory at Pipeline for a record 6th time would be icing on the cake for Slater, but he doesn’t appear to be too concerned about the event, and that could be trouble for the rest of the Pipe Masters hopefuls. “A win at Pipe would be great, but to be honest with you, it doesn’t really matter at this point,” Slater said. “Not that Pipe doesn’t matter, but I’m just enjoying not having the constant contest stress. If I win it is definitely a huge bonus, but in a way, I’d like to see somebody else win, someone who hasn’t won it before. I’ve got a couple, Andy’s got a couple, Bede won one last year. Maybe it’s Parko’s year or maybe Brucey will pull off another win here to finish his year off.”

The Brucey that Slater referred to would be the one and only Bruce Irons. Bruce looked completely in form in his first heat, but lost a very close heat to Tom Whitaker in Round 3. While he won’t be leaving full-time tour duties on a winning note, he has made it clear he’ll be back to compete soon enough. “I’m sick of people saying this is going to be my last event. I’m not going to be on tour officially, but I am still going to surf the Tahiti and Pipe events. You can’t get rid of me that easy.”

With only one full day needed to crown a champion, Randy Rarrick is hoping for a classic Pipeline finish. The swell forecast is showing a possible swell for Friday and another for early next week. Stay tuned to 5ones updates, and check out the vids below for some of the top 2008 Pipeline Masters footage so far.

Billabong Pipeline Masters Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Marcus Hickman (HAW) 14.56 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.83
Heat 2: Luke Stedman (AUS) 7.34 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.50
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 20.00 def. Dusty Payne (USA) 15.16
Heat 4: Tim Reyes (USA) 14.83 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.56
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.77 def. Ezra Sitt (HAW) 7.90
Heat 6: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.83 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.50
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.50 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 6.60
Heat 8: Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 16.50 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.86
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.26 def. Daniel Wills (AUS) 17.94
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.83 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 12.16
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 16.24 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 16.10
Heat 12: Kamalei Alexander (HAW) 12.56 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.00
Heat 13: Chris Ward (USA) 17.27 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.83
Heat 14: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.93 def. Shane Dorian (HAW) 12.63
Heat 15: Evan Valiere (HAW) 18.13 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.60
Heat 16: Andy Irons (HAW) 14.37 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.17

Billabong Pipeline Masters Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Marcus Hickman (HAW) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 4: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) vs. Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kamalei Alexander (HAW)
Heat 7: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 8: Evan Valiere (HAW) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Andy Irons Returns at Pipeline Masters

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

pipeline masters

The 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters became complete with the late entry of Hawaii’s own Andy Irons into the event. The 3x world champion is returning from a couple months off of competition and will be going strong after his 5th Pipe Masters’ crown. “I took a break for about a month and came back to the North Shore to train and get my rhythm back,” Andy Irons said. “The Pipe event has been in the back of my head for over a month now, and these past couple weeks of surfing and training have brought my confidence back to where it needs to be. I’m ready. I know I can win out here.”

There has been a lot of spectulation about Andy’s personal life and his decision to take a break mid-tour. None of that matters, Andy Irons is one of the best ever to surf the legendary left and his presence in this years event makes an already epic surf contest that much more exciting. Kelly Slater with his 5 Pipe Master’s titles is the only person ahead of Andy at Pipe. If Irons can clinch the title in 2008, he and Slater will share the record for the most victories at Pipeline. That alone will have Andy chomping at the bit to get in the water.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Dane Reynolds Speaks On His Injury/Return

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

dane reynolds air

There are few young surfers in the world who get me amped about what’s possible in surfing and the direction our sport is headed the way Dane Reynolds does (Clay Marzo and Dusty Payne being a couple of the others). When Dane went down with an ankle injury following the Billabong Pro Mundaka, he left a noticeable void on the Dream Tour. With Kelly wrapping up the world championship so early and Bruce and Andy Irons going on sabbatical, Dane was one of the few guys left that really made the tour exciting to watch. Just like Slater, you really have no idea what you’re going to see on every wave he takes off on. Dane is single-handedly progressing the sport the way few others have.

Dane is working on making his way back from the brutality he imposed on his ankle. For the first time since injuring himself in Spain, Dane has opened up on his blog about the injury and where he’s at in the recovery process. Check the video, the very wave he injured himself on is a testament to how talented Dane Reynolds is.

His goal is to make it back by the time the Pipeline Masters rolls around and he seems cautiously optimisic about it. We look forward to his recovery and wish the best for the man Slater calls “the best surfer in the world right now by a mile.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Freesurfing Vs. Competitive Surfing

Monday, December 1st, 2008

While the freesurfing vs. competitive surfing debate has been going on as long as I can remember, 2008 has seen the ongoing contrast of ideas and views on the issue reach a fevered pitch. Bruce Irons deciding to bail on the ASP World Tour, Kelly Slater continuing to establish his unimaginable legacy on that same tour, and Dane Reynolds having a debate with Dane Reynolds on his future with the Dream Tour are just some of the examples of why the freesurfing vs. competitive surfing debate has been especially fresh on our minds in ‘08.

rob machado big air

In my eyes this debate has always been an easy one. There’s plenty of room in this world for both to thrive. A healthy freesurfing movement allows guy like Dave Rastovich, the Malloy brothers, Jamie O’Brien, and Donavon Frankenreiter to continually blow our minds, each in their own respective way. I really dig the fact that it is becoming more common for the big boys like Billabong and Volcom to sponsor guys and just let them do their thing. I have the sneaking suspicion that we’re going to see truly incredible things from Bruce Irons as the gates of the WCT pen open up and he’s able to roam about the globe and single-handedly progress the sport in ways that only he can.

While Bruce goes about his business, the ‘CT will continue on without him. As it does, the storylines and the rich history it produces year after year will go on right with it. This is what makes competitive surfing such a beautiful thing. In fact, the whole motive for this post came as a result of 22 yr. old Michel Bourez’ victory at the first leg of this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The Tahitian not only claimed victory with his inspired performance at the Reef Hawaiian Pro, but he also secured a coveted spot on the 2009 Dream Tour with his win at Haleiwa.

When you follow surfing, it can be easy to forget the real life aspects that take place with the surfers who have battled to get to where they are at today. Competitive surfing is full of inspiring stories of hard work, dedication, perseverance, broken hearts, and the realization of dreams. In the euphoric days following the Reef Hawaiian Pro, Michel Bourez told his story in his own words. In doing so, he once again reminded myself, as well as thousands of others, what it is that makes the world tour and competitive surfing so special.

michel bourez

“I still have that picture in my mind of coming in from the water and seeing the crowd and seeing all my good friends running down to see me and that was such a good feeling and something I’ll never ever forget. To win an event in Hawaii under that pressure was just incredible. I keep repeating myself here, as I still can’t really believe it.” -Michel Bourez-

So as far as the competitive surfing vs. freesurfing debate goes, it’s pretty simple….there’s plenty of room in my world for both. Hopefully this is the case for you as well. Both aspects of surfing are full of stories, images, history and so much more, all of which you don’t want to miss.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

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