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Mark Healey Cover’s Stick Size With Eddie Invitee’s

Monday, December 29th, 2008

After an absolutely firing start to the 2008/2009 season on the North Shore, the swells that make the seven-mile miracle just that have apparently decided to take the holidays off. No worries though, we still have January and February to look forward to. This is more than likely the thought running through the minds of most involved with the ‘08/’09 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau.

Following a couple of near misses early on in the holding period, organizers for the premier big wave surfing competition look to January and February with hope and optimism that an opportunity to run the event for the first time since 2004 will present itself. In the meantime, Quiksilver and Mark Healey are keeping us posted on the updates and getting us the inside scoop on the inner-workings of the Eddie.

In Quiksilver’s latest video update, Healey polls some Eddie invitees on their prospective board choice for the event and the size of the board they will be charging with. The strategies are as diverse and varied as the competitors themselves. Everything from 9′0″s to 11 footers will be taken to Waimea as board of choice for the competition, some with one fin, others with three, and a few competitors looking to ride quads for extra speed and escapability in hopes of not being caught from behind by avalanches of white water.

The field for this season’s Eddie is as deep as talented as ever so let’s keep our fingers crossed that the North Shore comes back to life. In the meantime, I’m sure Mark Healey and Quik will keep the video updates rolling out.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Quiksilver Pulling out of January ASR Show

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

quiksilverThis is devastating news for ASR as Quiksilver just announced they are pulling all of their brands except for DC Shoes from the January ASR show in Long Beach. This includes both Quiksilver and Roxy in addition to smaller lines such as Quiksilver for Women, Raisins, etc.

Not only is this a direct blow to the bottom line of ASR, but Quiksilver, being the industry giant they are, will undoubtedly set the example for many other action sports brands. With retail sales off 30-60% this year, expect more companies to follow Quik and pull out.

ASR has really been struggling this year in finding ways to make it easier for buyers to attend. This isn’t going to make that struggle any easier. They haven’t really done anything innovative and until they do, that trend will continue going in a direction that hurts ASR.

The media game is changing- combine that with an economy that’s gone down the shitter and brands in our industry will continue to feel these negative effects until they can embrace and adapt. There’s a major shakeup coming and the ones who will end up on top are going to really have to rethink and change their strategies. It will interesting to watch, especially if you like carnage!

Posted in Brands | No Comments »

Get Ready for the Eddie Aikau: Video

Monday, December 1st, 2008

eddie aikauThe “Eddie”….the sound of those two words alone carry with them a mystique and level of respect that few other surfing competitions throughout the world come even close to matching. Otherwise known as the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest, the Eddie is still, as it has been since it’s inception, the premier big-wave riding event in surfing. And it is now officially open to run whenever Mother Nature decides to cooperate.

The call to run the Eddie hasn’t been made since 2004. That was the year Bruce Irons shocked the surfing world and claimed victory with an incredible winning wave at Waimea Bay. The standards for the Eddie are as high as any with one day of at least 20-foot surf needed for the call to be made. With all of the early swell activity seen on the North Shore already this year, hopes are high that the revered event will end it’s 4-year hiatus.

The names of those invited to participate are listed below. One that stands out is South Africa’s Grant “Twiggy” Baker. Twiggy added his 2008 Red Bull Big Wave Africa victory earlier this year to his stunning win at Mavericks in 2006. A win at Waimea Bay would be huge in securing his spot as one of, if not the premier big-wave surfer in the world right now.

Regardless, there is so much more to the Eddie than just a big-wave surf contest and I strongly recommend those who are unfamiliar with the story of Eddie Aikau to make an effort and seek out as much knowledge as possible regarding one of surfing’s greatest stories.

2008 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Invitees:

1. Andy Irons (Hawaii)
2. Brian Keaulana (Hawaii)
3. Brock Little (Hawaii)
4. Bruce Irons (Hawaii)
5. Carlos Burle (Brazil)
6. Clyde Aikau (Hawaii)
7. Darryl Virostko (California)
8. Grant “Twiggy” Baker (South Africa)
9. Greg Long (California)
10. Ian Walsh (Hawaii)
11. Ibon Amatriain (Spain)
12. Jamie O’Brien (Hawaii)
13. Jamie Sterling (Hawaii)
14. Kelly Slater (Florida)
15. Keone Downing (Hawaii)
16. Makua Rothman (Hawaii)
17. Mark Healey (Hawaii)
18. Michael Ho (Hawaii)
19. Noah Johnson (Hawaii)
20. Peter Mel (California)
21. Ramon Navarro (Chili)
22. Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia)
23. Rusty Keaulana (Hawaii)
24. Shane Dorian (Hawaii)
25. Sunny Garcia (Hawaii)
26. Takayuki Wakita (Japan)
27. Tom Carroll (Australia)
28. Titus Kinimaka (Hawaii

Previous Winners:
1985 – Denton Miyamura (Hawaii)
1986 – Clyde Aikau (Hawaii) – Eddie Aikau’s younger brother
1990 – Keone Downing (Hawaii)
1999 – Noah Johnson (Hawaii)
2000 – Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia)
2002 – Kelly Slater (Florida, USA)
2004 – Bruce Irons (Hawaii, USA)

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Kelly Slater Confirmed for ‘09 Quiksilver Pro…Already

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

kelly slater

For a man who’s made an art form out of keeping everyone guessing, committing to an event that is still 4 months out is pretty… un-Slateresque. None the less, amidst a hectic promotion schedule for his new book ‘For the Love’, Kelly Slater has made it be known that he will be throwing his name into the hat for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in March of next year.

This is quite a departure from his 2008 ‘maybe, maybe not’ approach for each event. However with an unprecedented 10th world championship acting as the carrot in front of his nose, the decision to show up at Snapper was likely not a difficult one. “The Quiksilver Pro and the Gold Coast are two things very special to Kelly,” said event spokesman Johnathan Jenkins. “He has always claimed the waves of the Gold Coast are among his favourites in the world.”

Kelly’s 2008 victory at Snapper Rocks, one which saw him out defending champ Mick Fanning in front of thousands of screaming Gold Coasters, served as a catalyst for Slater’s unreal run to his 9th world championship. Another win at Snapper in March would be a massive way to start his run to #10.

Knowing this, commiting to Snapper at this point makes complete sense for Kelly Slater. “His non-committal reputation is pretty legendary among the surfing community,” said Jenkins. “But his competitiveness always seems to get the better of him. If I was a betting man I would be putting my money on him going for 10 titles.”

I think I speak for most when I say we all look forward to witnessing the magical run for 10.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Quiksilver Stock Closes Under $1

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Overall stock prices were battered again today, and notable action sports heavyweight Quiksilver stock closed at $0.88. What does this mean for one of the oldest and most recognizable brands in the action sports industry???

Moody’s Investors Service lowered the brands ratings on the apparel maker (NYSE: ZQK)., due to weakening liquidity and reliance on short-term debt following the sale of its Rossignol ski equipment business. Last week, Quiksilver finalized the sale of its Rossignol to Chartreuse & Mont Blanc. It had been trying to sell the brand, which had been incurring operating losses, for most of the year. Quiksilver received 30 million euros, or $37.5 million, for the Rossignol deal.

Moody’s said the company has weakened liquidity following the sale, and also received smaller-than-expected leverage from the sale. While the deal was considered a positive since it was losing money, “Quiksilver funded the seasonal build in Rossignol’s inventory through the date of sale, and the net cash sale proceeds (which were reduced in the revised final purchase price) were insufficient to retire the associated working capital debt,” Moody’s said in a statement.

The New York Stock Exchange requires companies to maintain an average closing price over 30 days of at least $1. If a company receives a non-compliance notice from New York Stock Exchange, it has six months to take action before the stock could be suspended from trading or delisted. Nasdaq announced about three weeks ago that it was temporarily suspending its $1 rule for three months because of market turmoil.

Other action sports brands such as Volcom, closing at $7.08, and major industry retail Pac Sun have also felt the beating of the market as their stocks closed down today as well. Pacific Sunwear closed today at $1.18, seemingly following in Quiksilver’s downward path. As the holiday season approaches, the need for big Q4 numbers is immeasurable if we expect to see any future and longevity in the brands there were once the foundation of the action sports industry.

Posted in Brands | No Comments »

A Few Good Kelly Clips (Video)

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Kelly Slater

It’s good to be king. The surfing world is all things Slater right now, and for good reason. Since winning his 9th world championship last week in Mundaka there has been an absolute whirlwind of fresh press popping up regarding Kelly’s run. The chatter surrounding Quiksilver’s offering Kelly Slater a $10,000,000 bonus for winning #10 started long before he took to the water for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast to kick-off his campaign for #9.

Kelly accomplishing that remarkable feat in Spain last week has eliminated the variable from the issue and turned speculation into a legitimate question. While it’s still officially unknown whether or not Quiksilver has thrown out such an offer, the mere fact that this is even a consideration is unreal. I would be through the roof if someone was even considering paying me $10 to surf the best waves around the world for a year, let alone $10 million.

Surfer Mag’s Chris Mauro penned a solid Kelly piece that sheds some light into just where Kelly is at in his career and puts into perspective the fact that he has reached a point of dominance at 36 yrs. of age. Will a 36-year-old Andy Irons have it in him to win a title in 2014? Will a 36-year-old Mick Fanning have it in him to win another one in 2017? Will Jordy perhaps stand a chance in 2024? I guess anything is possible, but the chances of it being their 9th world championship for any of the surfers mentioned by Mauro are, at best, very slim. Especially given Irons apparent disinterest in the tour at the moment.

Surfing guru and WQS Tour Manager Al Hunt brought up an interesting comparison between Slater and his reign and Lance Armstrong’s 7 Tour de France victories. Over the past few weeks that have led up to Slater’s #9, stories of Armstrong’s return to cycling and the drama surrounding that have far outnumbered any mentions of Slater’s utter dominance in competitive surfing. It’s never really bothered me that networks like ESPN don’t as much of a mention in respect to Slater. I’ve just never really understood the rationale behind it.

Apparently there is more of an interest is an MMA brawler named Kimbo Slice getting knocked cold in 14 seconds then Kelly Slater winning his 9th world championship in a 16 year span. It’s too bad, but for whatever the reason the vast majority of news/sports networks would rather cover some big dude get pummeled for a few seconds over the brilliant performance that took place in Kelly’s title-clinching heat (pay attention to the 00:45 second mark, how he pulls off that floater is still beyond me)

Regardless of how the rest of the world regards Kelly Slater and what he is accomplishing, the surfing community is well aware of just how incredible what we are witnessing Slater do really is.

It’s definitely good to be king, but right now, it’s even better to be Kelly Slater.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Ace’s Big Day in France

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Adrian “Ace” Buchan couldn’t have scripted it any better himself. To not only make his first ASP World final, but to go on and beat Kelly Slater when all signs pointed toward Kelly walking through the heat on his way to sealing his 9th world championship is something that will stay with the up and coming Aussie surfer for the rest of his life.

ace buchan wins quiksilver pro

He wasn’t supposed to win that heat, Kelly winning #9 at the Quiksilver event was supposed to be the springboard for the chase to #10. Someone forgot to mention that to Ace. “I can’t believe it, to have Kelly in the final and to beat him, I am speechless,” Buchan said. “He is my hero. I have watched him win five events this year – he has just been phenomenal. He sets the bar so high for all of us guys, I am really thankful that surfing has got such a great custodian.”

To but it mildly, Ace Buchan has balls of steel. Before the ‘08 Quiksilver Pro France, Buchan had yet to advance beyond the quarterfinal round in his career on the WCT. On his way to his victory in Hossegor, Ace took down a streaking Dane Reynolds in the quarters, handled a resurgent Damien Hobgood in the semi’s, and then temporarily kept Slater from officially regaining his throne that sits atop the surfing world. “I tried not to think about it paddling out for the final,” Buchan said. “I had visions of him winning the title but I just tried to focus on myself and what I had to do out there – get two really good waves. Luckily Kelly did not get that one at the end.”

Kelly is now relegated to waiting until the upcoming Billabong Pro Mundaka to seal the deal on 9 and render the rest of the year on tour, as far as world championship races go, completely meaningless. As the closing minutes ticked away toward the end of the 35 minute heat in what becoming sloggy beach-break, it looked like Slater was getting ready to post another come from behind victory. It’s been a year full of them for Kelly, but it just wouldn’t happen for him today and left him with visions of adding an extra five minutes onto the back end of the heat with Buchan.

“It’s cool that it came down to a wave in the end, at least it made it interesting,” Slater said. “Truth is though, Ace was more in sync with it. He got those open face ones and did the turns. I had one wave I surfed pretty good on that I knew was going to get me back in it. Then I just needed a chance in the end but there wasn’t quite enough time – I should have pushed for a 40-minute final.” Needing just a mid-range score to pull of the comeback, Kelly scrambled for one last wave in the closing moments of the heat. However it just wasn’t to be. “Maybe if there would have been a punt section where I could have done a big air I could have possibly gotten the score, but I knew that score wasn’t going to be close. It’s frustrating though, to be so close – literally one score away from winning the title. I guess at this point I’m two heat wins from winning the title.”

All Kelly needs to do is finish 9th or better at Mundaka and the circus begins for his march to a 10th world championship. And while #9 for Slater is inevitable at this point, #1, as far as tour victories go, is nothing but sweet for the man they call Ace.

Final Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Final:
Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.74 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 15.16

Semifinal Quiksilver Pro France Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.90 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.97
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.17 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.83

Quarterfinal Quiksilver Pro France Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.93 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.40
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.33
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.34
Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.34 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.00

Round 4 Quiksilver Pro France Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.50 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 9.33
Heat 2: Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.66 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.00
Heat 3: Mick Campbell (AUS) 14.00 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 11.17
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.27 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 14.77
Heat 5: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.33
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.50 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 10.66
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.50 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.57
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.67 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.50

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Slater Almost Wins Again, World Title Races Continues (Kind Of…)

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

ace buchan quiksilver pro

While the eventual crowning of Kelly Slater as this year’s ASP World Champion is inevitable, Australia’s Adrian “Ace” Buchan wasn’t about to just sit by and let it happen in France. Buchan topped Slater in the final heat in Hossegor today and won the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France. Buchan finished the final with a score of 15.74 and held off any Slater-esque comebacks to narrowly top Slater’s total of 15.16.

While everyone looked to the Aussies to keep Slater’s 9th on hold, most of us didn’t expect it to be Buchan. This very impressive win vaults him in to the Top 10 of the ASP World Tour rankings and ensures the overall world title race will continue at the upcoming Billabong Pro Mundaka.

Congratulations Adrian “Ace” Buchan, winner of the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France! Stay tuned to 5ones for more info on all of the day’s action at the Quik Pro.

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Durbidge Ousted, Dane Takes Out Jordy at Quiksilver Pro

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

And then there was Taj…

taj burrow and quiksilver pro france

With Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning taking early Rd. 2 exits at the Quiksilver Pro France, Bede Durbidge and Taj Burrow were left as the only two surfers who could essentially prevent Kelly Slater from winning his unprecedented 9th world championship in Hossegor. With Bede’s Rd. 3 loss at the hands of Michel Bourez today, Taj is now the only surfer blocking the path to #9 for Kelly if he pulls off the victory at the Quik Pro.

There really wasn’t a whole lot Bede could do as the wildcard Bourez was absolutely on fire throughout their heat. Another one of Tahiti’s amazing surfers looked right at home on on the 3-5 ft. beach break. Bourez posted a near perfect score of 19.57 on his way to ending Durbidge’s run in France.

Taj is continuing to surf as well as he ever has on tour and posted a Rd. 3 victory over Gabe Kling. His surfing appears almost flawless right now and his Firewire boards seem to really be on point and working well for him. It’s almost a shame that he’s performing so well in the same year that Kelly Slater decide to go mental on everyone else.

Speaking of which, Kelly posted another one of his come from behind victories with his win over France’s Joan Duru. Kelly has struggled with the wildcard surfers this year and really had to put in some work to avenge his Rd. 1 loss to Duru. Slater’s run continues with a Rd. 4 match-up against his good friend and fellow long-time tour veteran Taylor Knox.

In a heat that will go a long way in deciding ’08’s Rookie of the Year honors, Dane Reynolds once again took out Jordy Smith in the battle of highly-touted surfing phenoms. Watching these two surf against each other is always exciting and will likely be that way for years to come. While at times on tour it appears that Dane would rather be somewhere else, he really seems to light up for his heats versus Jordy. Hopefully this will be the case for Dane’s Rd. 4 upcoming heat versus Taj.

The swell at Hossegor is forecast to drop slightly, but conditions are actually expected to improve. The word from Quiksilver is that tomorrow will be the final day of competition and a winner of the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France will likely be decided. The way things are looking, we may also have a crowning of the 2008 ASP world champion. Stay Tuned!

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 »

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