Category Archives: Surfing News

Passenger Clothing: A UK Surf and Adventure Company


As surfers we are also travelers, or in this case we are “Passengers”. We become a Passenger each time we set out on a new adventure to uncover what is unknown to us. Surf trips are more than just sea-riding, its about the journey to your destination, the people you meet, the culture, and your experience as a wanderer.


Passenger Clothing stands for something more than just your average surf attire company. The company originated from its inspirational roots that are derived from the founder’s personal interests in traveling and exploring the great outdoors, music, art and photography, and the sea. These interests and hobbies certainly tie in well with surfing. How could you not be psyched about this company?

Another interesting aspect of Passenger Clothing is their Ambassador Program. The program not only just sponsors surfers, but photographers and film-makers, along with outdoor enthusiasts. The flip side of the program is called, the “Wandering Collection”, and it describes stories and explorations of people traveling around the globe. One story that would catch your attention and is certainly interesting to read about is “Lets Be Nomads”. It is about a Belgian duo who take an American school bus and turn it into a mobile hostel. Their plan is to venture around Europe to shred the mountains in Austria and Switzerland, and also search for unknown European surf breaks.

One of the newest members of the Ambassador program is Barry Mottershead. He is from Cape, Town, South Africa and is an extraordinary underground big wave surfer. He surfs a big wave break called, “Mullaghmore” in Ireland where he has lived since 2003. According to Mottershead, “Its one of the heaviest waves on the planet, and it really scares me. It scares everyone who surfs it, no matter who you are. Its also a very technical wave, and locks you into a huge tube from the start which is unique compared to other big waves”. Big wave riders like Mottershead have brave souls and deserve a lot of respect. They are always putting their life on the line, and it is simply inspirational to see them pull into huge waves and drop in.

Besides Ireland, Mottershead has also traveled and surfed in different countries like the Philippines, Namibia, New Zealand, and Australia, but he insists that Ireland is home. “In the end I realized what I had been chasing was right under my nose back in Ireland, and I focused on just spending my time here and just trying to live my dream” says, Mottershead.

Not only does Mottershead just surf, but now he operates his own kayak company out of the Sligo County in Ireland. The company is called, “Sligo Kayak Tours”, and was established by Mottershead in 2014. The tours go through the inland waterways and estuaries of Sligo, where you may find seal colonies, megalithic tombs, and ancient shell middens. “Its the only job I’ve ever had that I love” says, Mottershead.

If you are interested in learning more about Barry Mottershead and his adventure tales, check out the rest of the story on Passenger’s website under the Ambassador Program section. Or watch his short video biography by Red Bull called, “This and Nothing Else”, it was a really fascinating visual of his life and background.

Passenger has also released it’s Spring and Summer 15′ clothing. Check out their look book, they have some pretty impressive attire.

  Passenger_Be Inspired Tee_LR      Passenger Clothing_Lifestyle_004_HR (1)      Passenger_Custom Tee_LR

Passenger Clothing_Lifestyle_002_HR

Passenger Clothing_Lifestyle_001_HR  Passenger_Devon Shirt_LR 




Golden Boy Gabe Gets Fined


Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 12.53.17 pmIt was a rocky start (especially for Freddy P) to the inaugural world surf league season. The frustration showed, and personally, I loved it. For spectators, it was entertaining as hell even in the knee-high conditions. Josh Kerr was bashing his board like it was a bloke that slept with his misses. Then there’s Freddy P, who posted a whopping heat total of 1.13. Really Freddy? His rock stomp scored better than his only other wave. How does that even happen? Medina criticized the WSL commissioner, and gave Glenn Hall a very public warning. This left me with a few unanswered questions: What was medina going to teach him? Why didn’t Peter Mel let him continue to entertain us? What is going to happen to the Brazilian golden boy?

While theres a lot of speculation around the first two questions, we got the truth about the last one. Thursday, the WSL came out with the following decision on the Medina/Hall interaction: “The World Surf League (WSL) Rules and Disciplinary Committee has completed its investigation into the Medina/Hall incident from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Following conversations with both parties involved as well as reviewing broadcast footage, the Rules and Disciplinary Committee has determined that Medina was in violation of the athlete Code of Conduct and has been fined as a result. Medina’s efforts following the incident to amend any public misperceptions about his and Hall’s relationship have been noted and appreciated. We wish all competitors good fortune at the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.” While we don’t the know the amount Gabe was fined, I personally think he got off light. Thinking back to J-Bay, Jeremy Flores was fined AND suspended for verbally bashing the judges. By not suspending Medina, the Rules and Disciplinary Committee has essentially said: go ahead and bash each other, as long you don’t bash us, no harm done. I like to see the athletes get fired up and didn’t mind hearing the F-bomb dropped in the webcast, but it would be nice to see some consistency across the board with suspensions and fines.

J-flo sarcastically applauding the judges before his suspension.


Anyways, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach is approaching, and I can only hope these antics continue. Maybe we’ll see Jordy chuck a board from the top of the cliff, or Parko stab a grom with his fins after losing in round 1. In all seriousness, I hope there’s a decent swell for the Rip Curl Pro. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the best surfers in the world losing their shit, but I do want to see them actually surf.

Gabriel Medina – Grow up


So this is not the type of news I like to share… nonetheless, it is news that needs to be shared.

Gabriel Medina can surf. There's no one out there questioning that. But his out-of-water performances have made some fans skeptical about his character.

Gabriel Medina can surf. There’s no one out there questioning that. But his out-of-water performances have made some fans skeptical about his character. Photo by Tasha Rivard (Tash.0) @ 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters.

I would like to introduce young reigning world champ Gabriel Medina to the term “professionalism.” It is defined by the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary as: “the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” In professional surfing, that type of conduct extends far beyond one’s ability in the water. A rider’s out-of-water conduct reflects not only on himself, it also reflects onto his sponsors and on the sport as a whole. Medina simply doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a post heat interview (a professional context) vs. chatting with his buddies (not a professional context).

After claiming the 2014 World Title, Gabriel Medina exited the water mid-heat to celebrate. What's your opinion of this action?

After claiming the 2014 World Title, Gabriel Medina exited the water mid-heat to celebrate. What’s your opinion of this action?

Gabe, YOU CANNOT DROP F-BOMBS IN A PROFESSIONAL CONTEXT. It doesn’t matter who said what first. What you were doing in your post-heat interview at the Quicksilver Pro was whining like a sore loser. Your display yesterday cast a shadow of disrespect on more people than simply Mr. Hall. It also made you look like a stupid, selfish, arrogant jerk. Is that the impression you think a reigning world champ should give off? You are lucky that Peter Mel was PROFESSIONAL enough to take the mic away from you when he did and quick to kick some dirt over your juvenile remarks.

There’s another word you need to learn too. “Dignity.” I’ll let you look that one up for yourself.

Why you should pay very close attention to Silvana Lima


Who? If you’re a young reader, chances are she hasn’t been on the tour since you’ve been paying attention to it. If you’re like the rest of us, chance are you don’t care about women’s surfing anyway. It’s cool, I agree… the guys are generally more exciting to watch. But Silvana Lima is the exception to that rule. Here’s why:

2.) Every wave is over head.

She’s a whopping 4’9” tall, maybe 100 pounds soaking wet. You know how those 12-year-old groms can rip apart knee high slop on a potato-chip shortboard without sinking? So can she. AND SHE’S 30! Days one and two of the Roxy Pro at Snapper this past week only confirmed that.

3.) She’s the reigning world champ’s polar opposite.

Take everything you know about Stephanie Gilmore and flip it upside-down, then put the two side-by-side in the same heat. It’s actually somewhat comical. Everything about the two from hair color to height to surfing style to native language clashes dramatically. After her world title last year, Steph admitted to me in an interview that her air game needs work. Silvana’s is already solidified. So far in the Roxy Pro, Silvana and Steph have had two heats together and have gone blow-for-blow. We’ll get see them duke it out once more in the quarter final too, and many more times this year I’m sure. Where Steph (5’10”/146) has to awkwardly pump out momentum in dwindling conditions, Silvana can throw her fins out the back and power through snaps on soft faces. The only thing the two have in common is an infectious smile.



4.) She’s tactfully anti-establishment.

She’s not sponsored… Anymore. She used to be, back in the day. Billabong picked her up young as a rising star, but they dropped her cold turkey after she blew out her knees without thinking twice. (They’re going to be kicking themselves when she wins the world title this year – yes, I’m calling it.) She hasn’t had any interest in modeling from the get-go; she just wants to be the best surfer in the world. After being dropped she crowdfunded her way through her knee rehab and back into competition relying on people who supported her as a person rather than corporations who use their female riders for their bodies. I am so happy that she hasn’t signed back on with a major corporate sponsor; her blank board is essentially a big FU to Billabong every time she launches it. Anyway, instead of walking away from the sport, she’s been scrapping her way back into it one unfunded step at a time only adding fuel to a fire that Billabong didn’t believe in. She’s also just plain DIFFERENT. Instead of bouncing into the water in a bikini posting Instagram clips showing more booty than barrels, Silvana usually runs into the water in shorts and a T-shirt, has a tattoos (really awesome ones actually) all over, and warms up with capoeira (martial art). Her Instagram (silvanalimasurf) consists only of some really rad surf shots/clips, her french bulldogs, training moments, and some funny selfies with her friends. It’s so clear that she’s doing what makes her happy, and kicking serious a** at it.

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5.) She started from nothing.

Silvana is actually one of those stories. She grew up in Paracuru, Brazil She learned to surf on a piece of wood. When she did have money to spare with her early success on the tour, she gave it back to where she came from – She took care of her family first, obviously, but after her runner-up year she donated her winnings back to her city’s surf team.


I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a superfan… but you should be one too. She’s a complete game-changer. Even though she’s been cast out of the spot light for the past few years, she’s now back in full force and better than ever. Watch for this tiny Brazilian spitfire to be the much needed spark that women’s professional surfing needs to push the limits today and for years to come.

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John John Florence Claims Volcom Pipe Pro Title


John John Florence is no stranger to Pipeline/Backdoor. I mean, it’s essentially the kid’s backyard. The 22-year-old north shore local used his intimate knowledge of the reef to take home his fourth Volcom Pipe Pro title in a stacked final heat this past weekend.

Tricky conditions presented for the final day. With the wind and swell direction, backdoor was holding her mouth open for some deep barrels throughout the day like Kelly Slater’s perfect 10 in the Quarterfinal round.

John John earned his winning scores early in the heat with a 9.0 and an 8.43. In second was his north shore neighbor Mason Ho with a combined total of 15.9. Kelly Slater took third place with a 9.0 and Sebastian Zietz topped off the podium with an 8.47.

With an early win at home under his belt, John John’s looking poised and ready to chase down the world title in 2015 starting with the Aussie leg at the end of February!




Tribute for Ricardo Dos Santos



At about noon on January 20, 2015, Ricardo Dos Santos passed away after fighting to stay alive from three fatal gunshot wounds. Dos Santos was only 24 years of age and had a bright surfing career in head of him. According to social media reports and other surf websites, the young Brazilian was trying to stop a group of locals from openly using, and probably dealing severe and dangerous drugs in front of children. Dos Santos, who has been trying to rid his local community of violence and crime approached the group of locals, and told them to conduct their private matters elsewhere. The frustrated and stubborn group of locals then began to walk away after the confrontation. Unfortunately, when Dos Santos turned his back and began walking towards his home, a member of the group named; Luiz Paulo Mota Brentano (25), pulled out a personal firearm and shot Dos Santos once in the back and two more times into the abdominal region, as Dos Santos turned around in utter despair. He was then quickly evacuated via paramedic helicopter to a nearby hospital, while he was still loosing a lot of blood from his wounds. Upon reaching the hospital, he slipped into a fatal coma, a coma Dos Santos would not wake up from. The Emergency Room team did all that they could to save the young Brazilian’s life, he was pronounced dead after a three hour long attempt to bring him back to life.

Brentano, who is surprisingly confirmed to be a police officer and was off-duty at the time of the event, is now in custody with his brother (17), who is identified as one of the accomplices in the tragic murder event. It is also known now that, Brentano has had a history of alleged misuse of police authority.

A message from the Dos Santos Family: “Our Ricardo is gone,” said his family moments after his passing. “He lived so much in his 24 years. It is a very hard time for us right now. We believe that there are better barrels where Ricardo is going and that he will be there getting barrels with Andy Irons. We want to say thank you to everyone for all of the support. Thanks for all of the opportunity for his life and career. Ricardo was so grateful for everything and for everyone.”

May our condolences from the DailyStoke community go out to friends and the Dos Santos family.

Ricardo Dos Santos is a recipient of the Andy Irons Forever Award in 2012 and Wave of the Winter for the year of 2012-2013. Dos Santos was an exceptionally awesome big wave tube rider and was awarded the Wave of the Winter award for an epic, unforgettable, ride in the tube at Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline.


Wave Works Surf Shop Review


Being apart of the surf industry and turning it into a reality is one of the ideal dreams almost every surfer has. Surfers attain this dream either at a young or old age. Some surfers want to be professional sponsored surfing athletes, others prefer to kick it and try to be free-surfers in hopes of getting sponsored to support their around the world travel costs, but some surfers like Dave Dodd aspire to one day own their own surf shop.

Dodd, 45, is a longtime Virginia Beach native and has grown up in the area all his life. Dodd finished his college studies at Old Dominion University and majored in business psychology. Besides surfing, Dodd plays bass guitar and skateboards. This dude is the real deal and certainly embraces “the hip surf culture”. He is currently a resident of Croatan beach. Dodd’s dream of running his own surf shop came true during July of 2013, with the opening of Wave Works Surf shop, which is located on the corner of 25th street and Pacific Avenue at Pacific Place Shopping Center.


Formerly a floor sales representative at Wave Riding Vehicles (Virginia Beach and Outer Banks Locations), Dodd did not see “a whole lot of room for advancement”, and was “tired of being a sales guy”. Instead he wanted to intensely pursue his dream of becoming the owner of his own shop and declare a state of independence to create Wave Works. Dodd specifically noted, “it was now or never” to open his own surf shop. In life there comes a time when all the right lemons are thrown at you, and it is simply an opportunity waiting to be seized, in order for dreams to become reality. According to Dodd, he is the guy, “living the Dream”.


Wave Works is not your ordinary surf shop; it is beyond your imagination. Most surf shops typically carry your average brands such as Billabong, O’Neil, Quicksilver, and Hurley. Wave Works has flown back into a time machine to revive the retro surf styles and attire of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Instead of the commonly seen brands in most surf shops, Wave Works sheds light on the smaller independent companies such as: Rhythm, Super, Katin, Hippytree, and Brixton. Besides the diverse clothing, Wave Works has everything a surfer needs from: Carver boards, trucks and wheels, skateboard decks, Xcel Wetsuits, and other surf accessories. Not only does Wave Works have a male section for clothes, but a female section as well. Wave Works also carries fresh surfboard brands that include: Super, Ultralite, and Sharp Eye. A used surfboard and consignment rack is available as well, and custom surfboards are ordered upon request.

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Currently, the Buy One Get One (BOGO) sale is still going on. Dodd is committed to helping out people, especially the locals when it comes to retail merchandise. Wave Work’s mission is to be a surf shop for the community that gives back to the people. Wave Works brings out good vibes and has a friendly atmosphere. There is no reason to frown upon this surf shop.

By this summer, Dodd would like to start conducting and setting up new surf contests for the local surfers around the area. All the money raised by the contests will be donated to charity.

Medina wins World Title; Wilson takes Pipe Masters


*** ALL PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR (Tasha Rivard, instagram: @tasharivard) ***

Sharing is caring. Both Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson had the best days of their lives yesterday.

Sharing is caring. Both Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson had the best days of their lives last Friday.

Well, that was exciting.

Friday, December 20th marked the final day of the Billabong Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in clean, classic 8-foot Pipeline conditions.

The Rundown:
– Gabriel Medina brought the first ASP World Title to Brazil.
– Both Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning were knocked out of title contention by Alejandro Muniz.
– Medina eliminated wildcard Dusty Payne in round 3, opening the door to the Triple Crown Title.
– Julian Wilson came out of the shadows, defeating Medina in the closest Pipemasters’ final to date, claiming both the contest victory as well as the Triple Crown.

That’s the gist. But in reality it was WAY crazier than that! So keep reading.

Conditions were favorable for the final day of the 2014 Billabong Pipemaster's

Conditions were favorable for the final day of the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters

After calling the remainder of the afternoon off on the previous day of competition (the best afternoon of the year I might add, but it was actually the right call at the time… but that’s an entirely different article) and with the Da Hui breathing down the ASP’s neck, commissioner Kieren Perrow had to get creative. Somehow, all of round 3 through the final heat would need to run between 8am and 4pm Friday to stay within the competition window and keep things legal. The result: shortened, overlapping heats – meaning more bodies in the water and ultimate priority were still factors in the equation.

This situation worked in favor of Gabriel Medina and Team Brazil (as they shall now be dubbed). Countryman Felipe Toledo fully admitted to intentionally blocking Dusty Payne’s waves in round 3, giving Medina an an edge (which he may or may not have needed) to knock the tenacious wildcard out of the competition while their heats overlapped. Alejandro Muniz turned the tide further in favor of Medina by snagging a buzzer-beating backdoor barrel to knock Kelly out in round 3. Muniz then sealed the deal in round 5 by taking down Mick Fanning, the last contender standing.


The majority of the crowd spoke Portugese and sported gold and green.

When Mick went down, the beach erupted. To make it more interesting, Medina was in the water about to begin his quarter-final heat against Felipe Toledo. The excitement overtook the young Brazilian who immediately broke into celebration as well. After lunging up, pounding his chest, and hugging everyone in the water including Mick, Medina paddled to the beach to be carried up by what seemed like the entire nation of Brazil. Fifteen minutes into the heat, the celebration was still going on. Finally, Medina decided to surf the rest of it. Did Felipe let him take waves? Maybe. Either way, Medina came out of the heat victorious and advanced into the semis.

Medina came to the beach to celebrate his World Champion Title mid-quarterfinal heat.

Medina came to the beach to celebrate his World Champion Title mid-quarter-final heat.

Gabriel Medina. Semi-final heat

Gabriel Medina. Quarter-final heat

Medina, semi-final heat

Medina. Putting on a show in the remainder of his quarter-final heat.

Meanwhile, Julian Wilson was quietly slashing his way through the ranks. When Julian entered the water for his quarter final, he didn’t come out until the end of the contest. (Because of the condensed heat structure, he had to remain in the water and change out jerseys in the lineup.) The 26-year-old Aussie had to surf 5 heats on the day before facing Medina in what would be one of the most exciting Finals in professional surfing.

Julian Wilson, Semi-final heat

Julian Wilson, Semi-final heat

Within the first minute, the two immediately exchanged blows in the final. The surfers both opted to favor their front-sides and split the peak for first wave that rolled through. Julian’s backdoor ride earned him a 9.93. Just seconds later, Medina turned around again and answered quickly with a perfect 10. on an even beefier backdoor barrel! Moments later, it was Medina again pulling an 8.0 out of the Pipeline with a fins-free finishing hack to top it off.

Julian Wilson stuck to his front side, picking off Backdoor gems

Julian Wilson stuck to his front side, picking off Backdoor gems


The begining of Medina’s 8.0

...and the end of it. The kid definitely knows how to finish with flare.

…and the end of it. The kid definitely knows how to finish with flare.

But the heat wasn’t over until the last exchange before the buzzer. On the beach, we could see the set standing tall on the outer reefs as it marched toward the lineup.


Julian Wilson found the wave he was looking for…


…but Gabriel Medina answered.

“I asked him [Medina] if he wanted the first or the second [wave]. He said the second so I went,” Julian said after all was said and done. “I knew I got the score but I thought he might have come back on it.” When Medina’s last-ditch score came up short, “I just face-planted into the sand,” Julian said.


Julian Wilson was all smiles in his post face-plant victory interview.

Julian took down the newly crowned world champ with a whopping combined total of 19.63 for the heat against Medina’s 19.20. Julian walked away with the Billabong Pipemaster’s victory as well as the Vans Triple Crown title.





The very beginning of a very long party

Oh, all wasn’t lost for Dusty Payne, by the way. At the end of the day, he still had the highest combined heat total of the Triple Crown – a 19.64 (0.01 better than Julian’s) which he earned in the final of the Reef Hawaiian Pro, granting him the Hawaiian Airlines Best in Class award. Don’t you just love it when everybody wins?

*** ALL PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR (Tasha Rivard, instagram: @tasharivard) ***

Gabriel Medina: 2014 WCT Champion



Pipeline ended the 2014 WCT title race resulting in the first ever Brazilian winning the title. Gabriel Medina clinched the title as well as a spot in the record books next to Kelly slater for the youngest surfer to win a WCT title. The emotions showed when the horn rang and he realized he was this year’s champion. After making his way to the beach for a short celebration, Medina paddled back out and surfed his way into the finals falling just short of winning the Pipe Masters. Congratulations Gabriel Medina.

Pipeline Predictions

Photo: Noyle

Photo: Noyle

The north shore is coming alive, anticipation is building, when the next swell arrives, the Billabong Pipe Masters begins. As I ponder over whether I should start Seabass or Kolohe on my fantasy team, I came to the realization that no matter how much research I do, or what my gut instinct tells me, there is no predicting the results at Pipe.

2013 Pipe Master's Champion: Kelly Slater Photo:ASP

2013 Pipe Master’s Champion: Kelly Slater

Contradicting what I just said in the opening paragraph, I’m going to give you my predictions anyways. The old adage, “save the best for last”, yeah that wont apply hear, I’m going to get right into the thick of things. Lets start out with Kelly; title contender, tour veteran, regular footed, finely tuned competitive machine. Round 1, Slater squares off with Adam Melling, and Dusty Payne. Melling suffered an injury about half way through the season that seemed to throw him off a bit, but is coming off a fifth place finish in Portugal to finish the year strong. Dusty has been grinding out the WQS, and stands to qualify for the CT. Recently he won the Reef Hawaiian Pro, and finished second at sunset proving himself to be a worthy opponent at Pipe. While this will be no easy heat for Slater, I have no doubt Kelly will win the heat and advance ultimately into at least the quarter finals.

Photo: ASP

Photo: ASP

Gabriel Medina is surfing against Dion Atkinson and a lucky wildcard. This heat is on my radar for a couple of reasons. Looking back at Portugal, Medina had the opportunity to put the title in the bag, but slipped up and finished in 13th.. Incase you didn’t see it yourself, heres a quick recap of Medina’s loss in round 3. Medina pulls into a quick little barrel, throws two mediocre turns, and you guessed it, a claim to finish it off.  You’re probably thinking, “whats the big deal, he didn’t get the score he needed on the wave”, but wait, HE LEAVES THE WATER WITH TWO MINUTES STILL ON THE CLOCK WITHOUT RECEIVING HIS SCORE ,WITH THE TITLE ON THE LINE. What he was thinking, we will never know; maybe the nerves are getting to him, maybe his drama coach cancelled a class, who knows. With the poor result in Portugal, and ever-building pressure of the world title within reach, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Medina psychs him self out and self destructs.

Freddy P in his natural habitat under the lip at Pipe.

Freddy P in his natural habitat under the lip at Pipe.

Freddy P is going to come out of the woodwork at Pipe. He doesn’t have any spectacular results this year, but has been calmly squeaking by under the radar. He’s proven himself at Pipe in the past; which leads me to expect the native Hawaiian will put on a good performance for his home crowd. Although, he is facing Kolohe and Logie which will be a tough first heat; all three surfers always grind it out until the horn sounds. I picked Pattachia for a couple of reasons, the main one being I think his fitness will prove to be a determining factor. I’ve been following Freddy and Kolohoe on instagram for quite some time, and there are a few obvious differences, in terms of dieting.

Example A:

Freddy P eating local fruits and vegetables

Freddy P eating local fruits and vegetables

Kolohoe enjoying a nice bowl of lucky charms

Kolohoe enjoying a nice bowl of lucky charms













There’s a reason the old guys like Kelly and Freddy still rip. I’m not a nutritionist or anything, but I think eating healthy could have a pretty significant effect. Side note though, Kolohoe is ranked higher then Freddy on tour so I guess the lucky charms are working.


John John Florence is the surfer to watch for. Comfortably sitting at a respectable 4th in the rankings with no shot at winning the title makes him the perfect candidate to be a catalyst in possibly, surfing’s biggest upset. Looking back at last years Pipe Masters, John John beat Medina in round 3 and continued on to narrowly lose to Kelly in the finals. I’m hoping for Medina and John John to get a heat together again this year. Putting the surfer polls, surfer of the year, against the number 1 ranked surfer this year would be the heat of the century. I honestly feel bad for Mitch Coleborn, and Matt Wilkinson, drawing John John in round 1. Don’t take this as me bashing Coleborn and Wilko, but John Johns barrel skills are undeniable. He surfs Teahupoo switch for the hell of it, who in their right mind would want to draw a heat with someone like that. Ultimately I expect John John to win the whole event, placing second in last years event and a strong finish to the tour this year puts Florence on top of the podium.

Photo: ASP

Photo: ASP

I’ve never really been a fan of Mick. I don’t know why, just something about him gives me a weird vibe. He kind of reminds me of the kid that always treated middle school gym class likes it was the Olympics. Even though I don’t like him, never more have I wanted to see him to win. Mick Fanning drew Aritz Aranburu and a wildcard, which should be a relatively routine heat. I think Mick Fanning will surf well throughout the event, he has the nerves and experience to be able to compete under pressure. Unlike Medina, I don’t expect and mental lapses from the tour veteran.


My prediction for the final is John John and Mick Fanning, with John John posting a heat total of 18.57 and Mick a 17.96. John John’s laid back, relaxed style versus Mick Fanning’s competitive, try hard-esque attitude would rival the Kelly, John John heat at Teahupoo. As I said before though, there is no predicting Pipe. Who knows, maybe by some divine miracle all of my predictions will come true, but more than likely Pipe will prove me wrong yet again.

Will Gabriel Medina bring the WCT title to Brazil in 2014?


Gabriel Medina could possibly be the first Brazilian to bring the coveted WCT title home to Brazil, if he should best veterans Slater and Parko. Medina, at the ripe age of 20, has the chance to be on the same pedestal as the legend him self, Kelly Slater, to share the record of the youngest surfer ever to win a WCT title.

Medina roughly has a one-stop advantage over Slater and Parkinson. Should Kelly or Joel have any hopes of robbing the young Brazilian of his title dreams, they need to perform at their highest level in the remaining three events. Looking back to last year’s tour, the tour veterans had strong showings in the ongoing and upcoming events. Mick Fanning, who is currently sitting in 4th in the rankings, is the defending champion of the Quiksilver Pro France, Parko had semi-final finishes in all three remaining events, and Kelly’s dominance at pipe last year, set the stage for an exciting finish to the title race.

Throughout the 2013 season Medina didn’t win a single event, eventually resulting in a 2nd or 3rd round finish in a majority of the events. In the upcoming days of the Quiksilver Pro France, the results of Slater, Fanning, and Medina, will ultimately determine the 2014 WCT title race. If Medina slips up and loses in the round of three or four, it will create the opportunity for Slater, Parko, and possibly Mick Fanning to determine the outcome of the 2014 WCT title race. As the rankings stand thus far, the “ball” is in Medinas court, he has the ability to determine whether the WCT title visits Brazil for the first time ever, or returns to Australia or the United States.

Photo: ASP

Photo: ASP





Firewire continuing a good thing – Linear Flex Technology (LFT)!!!


FirewireSurfboardsFollowing on the heels of the introduction of the new LFT construction in 2013, Firewire has expanded the LFT models to include all the Firewire/TOMO colabs, as well as top selling models such as the Unibrow, Dominator and Spitfire. (See our past Dailystoke Reviews on the Unibrow and Dominator)

Recently there have been comments made about the performance potential of composite stringers”, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, ”Firewire has once again helped lead the charge with the introduction of LFT almost 9 months ago, and the expanded models now offered in that tech”.

technology_linear-flex-technologyLFT incorporates Firewire’s new SPRINGER HD, a 0.75” (18 mm) wide aerospace composite that runs down the centerline of the board.

Inserting a high-density material down the center of the board does create engineering hurdles. For example, time the SPRINGER HD will compress far less than the surrounding EPS core, creating the ‘ridging’ effect often seem on a PU surfboard as the surrounding foam collapses on either side of the stringer.

LFT-Cross-Section-sWe prevented this by stopping the SPRINGER HD approx.10mm below the top deck, and we added a durable top deck skin to board. This durable material adds structural integrity while simultaneously working in tandem with the SPRINGER HD to optimize the overall flex pattern. The end result is a durable surfboard with lively flex that will maintain its hi-performance characteristics over time.

The Dailystoke will hopefully get our hands on a LFT model soon so we can give you our first hand read on the tech…if it performs as well as the other Firewire technologies, we’re sure it will be a winner!  As always, thanks for reading…and be sure to tell a friend.

– Shaper

Exciting news from Firewire Surfboards – Pyzel Surfboards Collaboration!!!


FirewireSurfboardsAfter the successful collaboration with Tomo Surfboards (see the Dailystoke Tomo Review for more details), Firewire has entered into a similar arrangement with Pyzel Surfboards. For the Dailystoke staff, this is a dream collaboration…we have been passonate patrons of Pyzel’s boards for years, and think that this collaboration will be a win-win for everyone involved – most importantly, the consumers!!!pyzel-surfboards

Jon Pyzel is clearly one of the best short board designers around”, said Firewire CEO Mark Price, “and we are excited about the opportunity to combine his high performance designs with Firewire’s innovative flex technology”.

jpyzelJon Pyzel commented, “Looking at past and present surfboard technologies, I believe that Firewire is ahead of the curve, utilizing some of the most advanced and groundbreaking types of alternative construction available today”.

Jon continued, “I also really appreciate the fact that they are committed to keeping the environmental impact of their board building process to a minimum through the use of bio-resins, citrus based cleaning products (in place of Acetone), and recycled packing materials. Furthermore, Firewire is run by a bunch of surf stoked people who love what they do and are just as excited about surfboards as I am”.

Firewire is introducing two Pyzel colab models this year. In addition, Firewire teamriders can now get Firewire technology in custom designs from Jon. The recent World Tour wins by Sally Fitzgibbons and Michel Bourez on designs by Nev and Jon is a perfect example of how the Pyzel Colab broadens the range of options for Firewire’s current riders and future team prospects.winners_rio_02-300x183

The first Firewire/Pyzel release will be the Pyzalien, hitting retail mid-2014, while the Slab will be introduced around September 2014.

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits. Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success. In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards. Currently their surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.firewire-pyzalien

Firewire has been put to the test many times via our often brutal, and candid, Dailystoke reviews.  Time and time again, they have proven themselves as not only one of the best surfboard manufacturers; but, also as one of the biggest influences and driving forces behind the future of the surfboard industry.  Their technology and shapes keep getting better and better and with each new one we ride, we come out asking how the heck they do it!  With more collaborations like this new one with Pyzel, there is no doubt in our mind that we the consumers, are in for some amazing surprises and advancements in the next few months!!!  firewire-pyzalien-logoKeep your eyes peeled for more on this exciting new collab and our fingers are crossed that we will be able to give you our read on this new line with another Firewire review!!!  As always, thanks for reading…and be sure to tell a friend.  See for more.



Exciting News Update – Firewire Teamriders Dominate ASP Rio Event 2014!!!



 In unprecedented affirmation of the performance characteristics of Firewire’s parabolic rail, EPS/Epoxy sandwich construction, Firewire teamriders Sally Fitzgibbons and Michel Bourez won their respective divisions at the 2014 Billabong Rio Pro.

This is a very big deal for both Sally and Michel and we are so stoked for them,” said Firewire CEO Mark Price, “and I’m equally stoked for Nev Hyman and our entire product development and production team who continue to produce some of the best performing surfboards in the world”.


The man, they myth, the legend – Mr. Mark Price himself

Price continued, ”When Firewire first came on the scene there was understandably a lot of skepticism about the technology, but I think that today’s result cements Firewire’s credibility as a viable alternative to the traditional center stringer polyester surfboard.  And that bodes well for future development around new materials and construction methods”.


Michel Bourez proving he and his boards have the right stuff

Firewire believes that minor refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits.  Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials, construction methods and radical shape, which, in turn, will fuel new design success.  In addition, with the increased eco-consciousness of today’s consumer, Firewire is constantly refining our raw materials to decrease the environmental impact of our boards.  Currently our surfboards emit only 2% of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that conventional polyurethane boards do throughout their lifespan.


Sally bringing home a win for Firewire

The Dailystoke team has been a strong advocate of Firewire’s technology for years and it was only a matter of time until their boards dominated the podieum.  Congrats to Michel, Sally, Mark, Nev, and the entire Firewire team!  Keep up the inspiring work everyone…







US Open Photobomber…and Kelly Slater’s O-Face


Parko trying to get the job done in the final

A beautiful site to behold, but make sure you check IDs

Kelly boosts a nice one on his way to dispatching Parko

Kelly with his best O-face

Owen Wright after his ridiculous air show in the Bud Light Expression Session

Split peak anyone?

I hate to see you go…

Slater Defies His Age: Wins His 50th World Tour Event at Trestles


You could say Kelly Slater feels pretty at home at our favorite Southern California cobblestone point break.  He won his first event here over 21 years ago as a high schooler, and no one could have guessed that he would win 50 world tour events in the two decades following.

On that foggy Thursday morning, with 10,000 beautiful spectators enjoying the 4-6 foot south swell, my money was on Kelly from the start.  His poise under pressure, ability to recover from mind-bending arial maneuvers, and overall command of that skatepark of a wave puts him ahead of even the most progressive of surfers 20 years younger.  Sure, everyone saw Heitor Alves’ rodeo flip on Sportscenter, and it was nothing short of amazing, but Slater’s the whole package.  Now just 6,000 tour points behind the lead, and looking very strong going in to the second half of the season, he is clearly hungry for world title number 12.

But what a spectacle Hurley puts on in the interest of brand promotion.  The Hurley Pro Trestles rivals any other temporary major sporting event when it comes to sheer production value, short of Formula One racing.  The digital coverage, aerial footage brought to you by remote control helicopter, a flawless live stream, and classic commentary from the likes of Benji Weatherly and (my favorite hometown hero) Rob Machado.  Is it a clothing line, or something more?  When a Volcom catamaran started patrolling the outside of the lineup, ruining the broadcasted shots, Hurley event organizers swiftly dispatched the San Clemente Lifeguard gunship to escort the intruder out of the contest zone.   For some reason, the pirate ship wasn’t an issue…

As usual though, the event was truly a pleasure to attend.   After the marine layer burned off,  tanned bodies in tiny bikinis (including Brazilian men, unfortunately) littered the shoreline in perfect 80 degree weather.  If you’ve never seen this wave break, or been witness to a world tour event, it should rocket to the top of the bucket list.  You’re not getting any younger, but it looks like Kelly is…

Is the “Momentum generation” still relevant?


While watching each World Tour event over the past few years, I’ve found myself in a constant state of struggle over supporting the new guard versus the old. I grew up with the Momentum generation. I was in high school while they were hitting their stride on tour. They were the innovative youngsters, changing the way we all looked at surfing… even the judges.

Fast forward twenty years. Only two of those heroes from my youth remain on the elite tour today. On one hand you have Kelly Slater, whose freakish ability to continue innovating and staying at the cutting edge of surfing is awe inspiring and surreal. On the other, you have Taylor Knox, who continues to say he’s surfing better than ever before, though his performance is hardly inspiring. Like a tired old warhorse, he trudges on, but a quick preview of his sections from almost any surf video of yore will prove that his best days are far behind him.
Purists will argue that Taylor’s patented cutback, fluid style and powerful hacks should be embraced by judges and studied by the younger surfers on tour. Purists be damned. I love Taylor’s steez and wish I had it, but I’ll bet you Taylor wishes even more that he had an air game. I wanted to root for him the past few times he drew Gabriel Medina or one of the other young talents in a heat. I really did want to cheer him on, this hero of my youth. But… I found myself jumping out of my seat with excitement at every ridiculous punt Medina lofts.
Medina and Taylor are a perfect comparison of where surfing is now versus where it came from. The difference between their approaches is night and day. Youth versus age. Excitement versus get ‘er done. Explosiveness versus tried and true. The fact that Medina is the better of the two is obvious. Yet, perhaps ironically, Knox and Medina are only a few spots apart in the back of the World Tour rankings. Rankings aside, any guy on tour will tell you, Medina will win his first World Title soon, while Taylor clearly missed his window. If Medina has the staying power of Slater, he can still be earning titles long after Taylor is eligible for AARP membership.
Is the Momentum generation still relevant? It’s legacy most certainly is. Kelly Slater definitely is.  But, Taylor Knox might want to consider the path of the rest of his peers and leave the highest level of performance to those who are performing at the highest level.

Did Freddy P really interfere with Michel Bourez’ wave?



The backdrop:

Bells Beach during the 2012 Rip Curl Pro. Second round, heat five. Fred Patacchia vs. Michel Bourez.

The wave:

A clean head-high line unloads on the bank. The Spartan strokes into it in the pocket, while Freddy P. paddles in just a few yards inside, all eyes on where he’s going, without even a glance toward the pocket.

The incident:

Freddy P. gets to his feet and takes a quick look back, only to see Bourez charging towards him. Freddy quickly hits eject and kicks over the back. Michel, undeterred, goes on to hack the wave to pieces.

The call:

Freddy got hit with an interference call, meaning his second highest score in the heat would be halved.

The result:

A hobbled Freddy P. tore the bag out of everything he could get, while the rattled Spartan dropped the oversized ball and couldn’t put enough of a score together to take the win. Even with the interference, Fred survived to surf another day.

Why the interference?

If you look carefully at the moment of the incident, you can see an ever so subtle hesitation on the part of Michel Bourez. But, even a millisecond of hesitation can make or break a score. The line Michel might have drawn had Freddy not paddled in may have very well been the same, but… allowing Freddy’s pop up sans interference would open the door for others to do the same.

You might not agree with the call (especially after seeing Bourez proceed to demolish the wave), but that’s how priority positioning works. You wait your turn and take your wave. You never interfere with the surfer with priority’s scoring potential. And, whether you have priority or not, you always, always, always keep an eye on where the other guy is.

The lesson:

Mistakes happen, but cooler heads always prevail.

Give back to surfing by donating for surf history


Surfing is one hell of a selfish pursuit, but we all give into it. Every now and then we get a chance to give back, but how often have you blown off a beach cleanup, a Surfrider Foundation meeting or the like for a surf? Now, there’s a perfect opportunity to give back. Now, you can donate and be a part of surf history by helping fund an award winning filmmaker’s drive to complete a previously untold surf story.

Thomas Brookins, my good friend, neighbor and the award winning director of the New York City surf history documentary, Shadows of the Same Sun, has taken to Kickstarter to raise the necessary funds to complete his latest surf documentary, Fire and Water.

Per the official Kickstarter page:

This is the story of Don “Gums” Eichin, from Long Island NY, who was one of a handfull of pioneering surfers in the late 1950’s and 60’s that set out to make a life in Hawaii. Don was joined by some of surfing’s greatest legends, testing their skills in the big waves of Hawaii’s Northshore; surfing Oahu’s Banzai Pipeline, Wiamea, and “Gums”, the infamous spot named after one of Don’s worst wipeout. Returning to NYC in the late 60’s, he became a New York City Firefighter during one of the most dangerous times in NYC history. Living a life that is no less than legend, his passion for surfing, the ocean and firefighting passed through a generation inspiring his family and friends to surf and become FDNY Firefighters.
This film is an important lost surfing tale that is still being written today as Don’s sons, Eric & Randy follow in their father’s footsteps alongside good friends Brian Walsh & Casey Skudin. It is an eye opening look at how surfers from New York have always been there and how these surfers gained respect amongst surfers from all over the world.

Thomas Brookins has worked tirelessly to piece this story together, breaking his wallet and even battling cancer along the way. He’s now turning to all of us, the surfers, to help fund the film’s finish.

Bring out your inner Aloha, get out your credit card, head to the official Fire and Water Kickstarter page and take an active part in seeing this unique surf story find its ending.