“Thank You SURFER Magazine”

7 12 2011

Last night I was up a little late, because last night I was running on Hawaii time.  The SURFER Magazine poll Awards went down and for the second year in a row they took place in the home of surfing on the North Shore of Oahu.  The awards are an annual reminder of whose opinions matter most in the world of surf, the fans.  Not the writers, or the judges or the bloggers or the surfers, the fans matter because without that base of people who follow surfing, whatever reason their’s might be there would be no industry.

The awards covered all aspects of the sport recognizing everyone from the best in freesurfing to the contest superheros we watch on tour.  As well there was a few tiny surfboards handed out for the film side of things and major achievements like the new “Andy Irons Break Through Award” which went to John John Florence and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” that saw SURFER founder John Severson recognized for his contribution to the lifestyle.

The thing I love most about surfing is it’s diversity.  By it’s very nature it is more freeing than other sports and therefore more free to interpret for the audience who takes it in.  Whether you want to see Kelly Slater win another world title as determined by judges with a predetermined set of rules and a potentially alternate agenda, or if you just love seeing Dane Reynolds piss around in head-high surf the sport is yours to enjoy.  And on this night all aspects of the game were recognized.

There were a few highlights from the night, Rabbit Kekai partying like he was 19, not 91 or the multiple curse words used on live TV were just a few.  Add to that the fact that there was a large amount of female surfers dressed to the 9’s and a handful of different liquor sponsors and just like that, we had ourselves a party!

But there was a plan for the night, and the show had to go on despite the fact that everyone in attendance would have been happy to just get crushed and watch wipe-outs all night.  The crowd eventually filtered in and the night got started with what seemed like an impromptu intro from Hawaii native Freddy P, and action sports emcee extraordinaire Sal “Al Makelela” Masekela.  All jokes aside, the awards themselves were pretty awesome.

For starters the night kicked off with Alex Gray winning the award for best barrel and accepting with a heartfelt tribute to his brother.

After that we got into the actual SURFER poll which breaks down the top surfers in the world as voted by the fans online, with social media and in the magazine itself.  The bottom of the list for the men was one of the most touching things I have ever watched as the Irons’ brother Bruce and Andy finished 10 and 9 respectively, with Bruce accepting both awards.  Of course this included the classic Bruce “I don’t give a F+CK! attititude”.

Then, just as I thought I was in for a touching night of speeches, tears and thank-yous, we got into the fun stuff, like Dane Reynolds making multiple appearances on stage and hot surfer chicks accepting awards and complaining about not being able to surf a contest on the North Shore…AND SO THEY SHOULD DAMMIT!  The surfers finished being counted and the drinks continued to flow.

The dancing went on late into the night and surf celebrity Bethany Hamilton even dropped a hint that she was looking to Dance With The Stars.  I won’t say I told you so if it happens, but you did hear it here first.

Here are the list of top pros and a nice little video paying tribute to the father of SURFER John Severson.  God I love this sport!

Men’s Top 10

10. Bruce Irons
9. Andy Irons
8. Jordy Smith
7. Joel Parkinson
6. Mick Fanning
5. Taj Burrow
4. Julian Wilson
3. Owen Wright
2. Dane Reynolds
1. Kelly Slater


Women’s Top 5

5. Sally Fitzgibbons
4. Alana Blanchard
3. Stephanie Gilmore
2. Coco Ho
1. Carissa Moore


-t

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Franch-Eye’s View Vol. 2

11 03 2011

Better Surfing Makes For Better Life.

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I spent last week on a rollercoaster. There was 5 straight lay days at the Quik/Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks, and each one toyed with my emotions more than the one that came before. What happened in the last few days of the holding period however, totally made amends for all of the sitting around waiting for surf.

The last few days of the contest were nothing short of game changing. The men’s contest was run when the waves were really pumping and the women ran when it was a little smaller, but still clean, lippy and fun. These small, rampy waves allowed for some of the most forward-thinking, progressive surfing I have ever seen. A handful of the sports most respected even went was far as to call it “The best women’s contest ever”

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Tyler Wright Just Being 16

I can’t argue that at all, mostly because the people saying this have been watching surfing longer than I have been alive. But also because this contest blew the doors off all that have come before it. It had all the makings of an epic surf contest, guys or girls. Fast surfing (they were clocking surfers and the top speed was a betty), progressive maneuvers (I saw more 360’s than a truck full of Xboxs) and neck-and-neck heats galore.

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The ladies were putting on a show from start to finish in this contest and a lot of spectators claimed that they were watching the surfing and not the bikinis, which is a new concept for sure. In another epic story line the kids are alright. The average age of the final for woman was 18.25 (I did the math), and if it helps with perspective Kelly Slater has been a CT surfer for 20 years. Needless to say I am going to be glued to the Women’s World Tour this year right along with the men.

What I really want to talk about though, is the guy’s contest. The sick thing for me is that when the comps are in Oz, they run in the afternoon and evening here so catching heats is pretty doable. As a result of this, I got to see THE BEST competitive surfing I have seen. Ever.

Epic shit was happening left, right and centre…But mostly right, cause that’s how the waves break at Snapper.

My jaw dropped in round 3 when Hawaiian Dusty Payne knocked off White Lightning, Mick Fanning, it kind of sucked because I think the jaw was dislocated it never really came back up. Right after Dusty took down Mick world number 2 Jordy Smith lost his round 4 heat and didn’t get to sit out round 5, that luxury went to American Brett Simpson, who is a relative unknown in the world of elite tour surfing, but happens to be on my fantasy team (giggle).

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Taj With A "Hack" Off The Top

To the dismay of my jaw, and my heart rate, things were just getting going. It was the middle of the afternoon at Snapper, but the fireworks were clearly visible. Round 5 heat 3 featured Taj Burrow who was the most on point surfer of the contest and Adriano De Souza who is a young, fiery assassino hailing from Brazil. De Souza started the heat with a few bangers, but made one fatal error…He did the finger guns toward Taj, faux pas. After that TB hacked the shit out of every wave he stood up on. Seriously it was like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In total the heat had 4 nine-point scores more than most contests… I was frothing.

At this point it was close to midnight and I had no plans of going to bed. Jordy and Parko were up next. It was a super close heat the whole time, but Joel Parkinson looked to have it wrapped up. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and when Jordy took the heat on the last wave I had to change my boardies.

Lost in the moment, but never far from my thoughts was the fact that KS10 was, almost quietly making a case for elite tour victory number 46 and getting to hear everyone start rumbling about KS11.

Slates snuck past Ace Buchan in Rd. 5 and had a pretty breezy quarters and semis. Everyone at the event was primed and ready for the final. Slater vs. Burrow a duke out of drunken Aussie proportions. I don’t mean to sound rude with that comment, but the finals were on a Wednesday afternoon in the land down under, and the beach was overrun with spectators. It was a party.

Moving into the final, it was a coin toss as to who would take it, the best surfer of the event or the best surfer of all time. Even I was unsure, and Kelly is my boy! By this time, the interweb had locked on to the fact that shit was getting heavy and my connection started to slow. It was shitty, and so were the waves. If it wasn’t the world’s best in the water it would have looked amateur and two of the sports finest didn’t disappoint.

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Kelly kicked things off immediately with a five-point ride and Taj fired back a few minutes later with a three of his own. Kelly added a 5.27 and looked in control, until TB took off on a gem and threw down a 7.17 fuck me right?!?

Being the champ that he is, Kelly answered back with a 5.93, which was barely enough to earn the victory. The battle was well fought on both sides but it takes some thing special to K.O. the heavyweight king.

As I’m sure you can assume, this whole thing had me fired up and I have the ASP and it’s surfers to thank. You are all truly world-class athletes with the strength, stamina and skill set to rival any of the best in mainstream sports.

To the World Tour’s finest Kelly, Taj, Tiago Pires, and Jordy Smith as well as the ladies Tyler Wright, Laura Enever, Sally Fitzgibbons and Roxy Pro Champ Carissa Moore and the rest of the field for the men’s and ladies draw thank you. Thank you for some amazing days of top level surfing as well as thank you for once again showing me why this truly is the sport of kings.

Photos and Video Courtesy of ASP WORLD TOUR





Jesus Gives Thanks!

11 10 2010

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Is It Awesome I Found This Pic On YoBeat.com?

As we move closer to another snowboard season and the end of another calendar year a few things come to mind. One of them is how excited we all are for another set of months with snow on the ground for us to play in.

The other thing, and on a touch more serious note (I emphasize a touch) is what an amazing last 12 months it has been and how blessed I feel for having experienced everything that has come my way in the past year.

Not only am I now past the one year mark being back kicking it with the crew at Spareparts, where this all started but I have had the opportunity and the ability to have my thoughts go down in writing on streetjesus.net.

So many amazing people have crossed my path in the last year that I can’t possibly begin to name them all so let me start by saying thank you to all the people that I will no doubt forget to mention in this post. I am going to do my best to cover all my bases in as short a time as I can.

To Matty OC, Ry Willisko and Drew McOuat for straight up helping me live the dream while keeping a roof over my head. To Matty Evans, and Mark Ennis for helping keep rent at a reasonable amount so that I don’t have to live in my truck. Without you guys, none of this would have happened.

To Justin, Jesse, Levi, Mark, Craig, Adam, Anthony, Dylan, Scotty K and all the others who have made SJ a place that is full of fresh, relevant and banger content. I owe you all I huge bro hug. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

And Schmid. Dude-bro, you have taken my pure motivation and heart and shown me that I can do something worthwhile with it. You made me realize if I keep hustlin’ and grindin’ anything really is possible. Along this little trip we have been on over the last 10 months or so I have grown to respect you as a writer, self-taught web designer, creative genius and even more as a friend. I love you dude.

Action sports really have changed my life for the better and I don’t think I would still be here with the positive attitude I have without it. So I want take this chance to say a thanks to the whole action sports community for everything that you do, every day to make life better.

I thought the other day, how cool it would be to take all the dudes who live this shit everyday and figure out what we are thankful for. I took down a list of buds whose opinion I really value and asked them to tell me the moments, people and things that put a smile on their faces in 2010.

I want to kick it off with someone who I am also very glad I came across. It was years ago I met Ben McIntyre, but the kid never fails to amaze me with his absolute stoke, dedication and love for what he does best. Slays the shit out of everyday life. Here is Benny’s top 5 moments for Two Oh One Oh.

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Funnest. Kid. Ever!

For starters, Ben titled his email to me “12 Months of Awesomeness” and it truly was.

Ashley Leugner winning Canadian Nationals.
Ash goes out with the boys all the time and does more than keep up. She steps it up on a consistent basis and it all paid off when she took top spot this year behind the boat in front of the entire country’s wake community.

Travis Pastrana’s Double Cork 720 at X Games 15.
Although he didn’t manage to put both wheels down on this trick in the contest he truly showed everyone what is possible in action sports and really raised the bar for FMX as a whole.

Mark McMorris’ first win on tour at Shakedown.
Mark has shown everyone what he is really capable of in 2010 and this was a shining example of just how gnar he is. 16 and destroying it.

Bobby Brown’s PERFECT score in Ski Big Air at Winter X this past winter.
Switch Double Cork 1440 Misty Mute. Oh ya, and he followed it up with a win the next day in slopestyle.

TORSTIEN HORGMO.
Triple Cork, enough said. What a nice little cherry to go along with an amazing season and pushing the limits at the top of the greatest sport in the world.

On the heels of Torstien and on the topic of snowboard dominance, let’s get right into the brains of the Sunshine kids. First up, Jesse Bryksa. Jess never really gave me an order for these picks. Nor should he have, I mean how do you rank this?

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Creator Of The "Superpark Showdown"

Starting with Mark McMorris’ run at the Arctic Challenge.
Double Cork 10, Double Rodeo 9. Should have one the contest, and if instant scoring didn’t fail us all he would have. Mark had an all-around amazing season, and this showed us all how truly talented he is.

Sean Malto’s performance at Street League.
One trick for 150 000$. Kid is solid and deserved it 100%

Levi Ziegler at Woodward.
Switch Back Rodeos? Really? Pat Milbury asked him to be in his webisodes for the camp and he ended up with the opening shot for the camp’s first session. Love this guy to death and maybe this will get him to stop hating on me for going to “Mamma Mia” with my mom.

(SJ note – We have heard amazing things about Mamma Mia)

The birth of Streetjesus.
Fun fact, Streetjesus was never crucified. He is actually alive and living somewhere in the north end.

Lil’ Bryks’ performance at the fist annual “Bryksa Superpark Showdown”
Even though he was slightly intoxicated and the judging was far from professional, his Skate 3 skills spoke for themselves and he took home the gold. For the record there was a judging error and Mark McMorris was robbed of his deserved second place. That makes Cole Welter third, I hope that taking responsibility for this can end all the drama and I can move on with my life.

And with that we move forward and hear from Lil’ Bryks’ himself. This should be gnar-tastic.

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YEAH LARRY!

“Ahh man, been so stoked this year it’s hard to think of only 5…Daku, I think you can relate!”

“Yes my bro, yes I can!”

Haldor Helgason’s part in “Black Winter”
Going into the season I had never heard of these guys and now I know they are two of the funniest, steeziest hooligans in the sport and totally brought back the fun to snowboarding!

BATB 3.
I think everyone would agree this was the longest most clutch performance of Prod’s career, so stoked for PRod !

My boy Larry (Mark) McMorris.
Back Double Cork 12 to take third spot at the Ante Up contest in Whistler. YEAH LARRY!

Meeting Chad Otterstrom at Woodward.
So stoked to spend some time with one of the pioneers of today’s snowboarding. He was such a rad dude and made the whole experince of Woodward so epic!

The creation of Streetjesus FER SURE.
Just always on top of the news in action sports and helping progress action sports not only in Regina but also in all of Saskatchewan. I love what Streetjesus is doing, whether it be snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, or any other action sport. Streetjesus is on it and keeps the kids informed on the next big thing.

“Those are my top 5 stokes for the year, again so much to be stoked on in the past and for the future. The Sun Shines on SJ!”

Levi Ziegler was a bit of a tough dude to get a hold of for this project, as I’m sure he was out poKing people like nobody’s business. But having the amazing persuasive powers I do, after a short while I got an answer out of him, and it was a good one.

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Do It Like... ZIEGLER!

The number one thing is the ultimate contest.
The Bryksa Superpark Showdown. One of the greatest brainchildren ever came from Jesse Bryksa and changed all of our lives forever.

The Team Shoot-Out.
This year blew minds. Transworld’s Team Shoot-Out is always pushing teams and riders to step up and change the video game. This year was no different.

Number 3 is “Skate 3”
Even though it might say that EA created it, I’m pretty sure the Lord invented this amazing game.

The McMorris bros.
Can they seriously get any more amazing? Riding with these boys pushes me to get better, so stoked to be able to grow up with Mark and Craig and learn so much from them.

Thank you for…Daku!
Seriously though, thanks most of all for Streetjesus.

PEACE!

After all of this went down with the boys, I figured I should step out of the Regina-area box and go with someone who is a little less local and get a wider perspective of the world of action sports. Who better than Streetjesus’ very own source and industry pimp Scott Kerslake. Scotty was witty, articulate and entertaining as always.

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The Man. The Myth. The Bro!

Number one was The Berrics.
Steve Berra is the creative mastermind behind the Battle at the Berrics. What started as a simple bro-down game of S.K.A.T.E has turned into the most popular site in the industry.

Number two, Street League.
Rob Dyrdek has single-handedly raised the bar for skate contests by securing and offering massive cash for wins and a National television deal. Dyrdek is exposing elite skateboarding to new audiences and ensuring that participation and interest in skateboarding continue to grow across the globe.

Number three was the 2010 Olympics.
I was fortunate enough to sit beside the first family of snowboarding while Shaun White threw down his gold medal run. His Double McTwist 1260 definitely upped the ante for Sochi in 2014.

(SJ note – Scott is a jerk)

Number four was February powder days.
If you live on the west coast you certainly know what a late start we got to the 09-10 season. Taking a break from the Olympic hustle and bustle, we took a trip to Mt. Baker in Washington and were blessed with almost two feet of fresh snow. It was epic!

The final piece to the five was simply, Innovation.
Companies that are working to make action sports better and push boundaries will be successful. I certainly appreciate the fresh thinking of new start ups that are trying to make a name in the game for themselves. Just today I read about a company called Smoking Snowboards who is combating online sales by offering discounts to customers who mention the name of their local shop when ordering a board.

Check em out here! Smokin Snowboads!

I really had to sit back and think after I read what SK had to say about things, as he pretty much hit every point I wanted to hit on. There was only one dude left to chime in and it is definitely the bro who’s opinion I value the most personally. Jefton has been on the coast with the fam for this holiday and managed to take some time out to hit me up with some picks and no doubter content for this piece.

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What's Up Streetjesus?

The number one pick is perfect evidence of why I love the way this kid’s mind works.

Chicks who wear slouchy beanies and tall hoodies.
What more needs to be said about action sports than a good old fashion nugget with some steeze?
Amen Jeff, Amen!

Number two is the obvious bro pick, Ryan “M’Fin’” Sheckler.
Direct quote from my boy “Thank you for always going sooo big, driving Ferraris and not being a total douche like all of your jealous haters.” Nail on the head again Jefton.

Number three was simple. The Backside 180.
The reason I get out of bed in the morning.

Number four, Devun Walsh.
Thank you for continuing to do Backside 180s (with the occasional Switch Back 3) and continuing to hit powy jumps in the Whistler backcountry. Also for not pushing your stance together and doing pretzels like some goof.

Number five straight up gave me shivers.

Tyler Daku – The Franchise.
The best friend a person could ever ask for.
Thanks bud, you know they feeling is mutual!!

I didn’t really know what else to add after all the kind words and straight up truths told by the dudes I love the most. There were a few things I would like to throw in that might have gotten lost in all the awesome that was 2010.

Cam Sinclair for comeback of the year. This kid BROKE HIMSELF OFF early in the year attempting the new benchmark of FMX, the Double Backflip. Many people thought he would never return from the injury, let alone regain the magic of pre-injury Sinclair. Cam showed them all what was up and landed the very same trick in several big contests later in the year and is now back ripping like always! Chea Cam!

In the wake world Harley Clifford showed us all what is possible by going virtually undefeated all season and taking home top prize at the Parks Double or Nothing contest. Harley is young, talented and ready to take the world by storm. Watch out as this kid is no doubt the next big thing in wakeboarding and has all the skills to take the entire sport to the next level.

Garrett Reynolds from the BMX universe totally made me take a step back. I followed BMX religiously for years and haven’t seen anyone really step up and take over the game like Garrett since Dave Mirra was nicknamed “The Miracle Boy” years ago. Similar to Clifford he is unsanely talented and has what it takes to force BMX into the mainstream and make EVERYONE take notice. Props to both of these young slayers along with all the other kids who deserve some mention from the past year.

You all know how I feel about Curren Caples if you read my piece on Alli about the shred. The McMorris’ on snow and kids like Dane Tudor on skis, Ryan Dungey and Levi Sherwood in the moto scene and Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith on the ASP WCT.
At the end of it all it really boils down to the fact that action sports have given us a ton to cheer about in the last little while with no doubt there is more on the way in the immediate future.

I’m glad all the boys were willing to throw down and tell me what they got stoked on, so that I could pass it on to all of you. Sorry for the epic long post, but I really feel like if you made it this far that you share my sentiment and feel very lucky to be in the place we all are. The most amazing, inspiring, thankworthy place in the world, this life is a straight up gift!

I LOVE ACTION SPORTS!
Thank you all!





Jordy Smith Wins At J-Bay

19 07 2010





JBay Day 1…. Surfing Is So Awesome

15 07 2010

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HEALTHY CROWD AT SUPERTUBES

Today marked the start of my SECOND favorite event on the ASP World Tour. The Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay South Africa.

Although my boy, and regular SJ comment poster Matty Evans thinks I was sleeping all day, rest assured I was keeping up to date while doing laundry and eating Quiznos!

When JBay is firing it is one of the best-looking, cleanest waves on tour. Although it is bigger, and therefore “gnarlier” it is still a close second for me when stacked up again the September venue of Trestles. (Thanks to Mike Haney and Surfride Foundation for that!)

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GLAD TO SEE ANDY BACK!

That does not however mean that JBay plays second fiddle to any wave on tour when it comes to awesomeness. And today was a perfect example of why. Perfectly clean, crispy 4-6 footers peeled down the right-handed point break all day setting the stage for absolute gnar-awesome groovy-ness!

And of course my boys were on fire. 9, 9, 9-time ASP World Tour champ Kelly “Greatest Surfer of ALL-TIME” Slater put on a show hacking chunks out of the top of his waves, and getting under the lip like your 2 front teeth. Kelly spent his heat against Damien Hobgood and Shaun Joubert showcasing his skills and walked away on top with a heat score of 15.93.

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KING KELLY - GOING FOR 10

Red Bull team rider, current World #2 (behind Kelly) and Oneil Hyperfreak Jordy Smith was also fire today at his hometown point break. Jordy showcased his signature aggressive powerhouse style with clean turns and hard-breaking manoeuvres throughout. No easy feat considering the pressure he must be feeling sitting near the top of the tour and surfing at home.

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RED BULL GIVES YOU WIIINGS!

Those 2 weren’t the only ones absolutely fisting the waves at JBay today. Solid mid-teen scores went up in respected heats featuring Jeff’s second favorite Irons brother (Andy), Bobby Martinez, Taj Burrow, former World Champ Mick Fanning and Quiksilver’s Dane Reynolds. Needless to say this is shaping up to be one fantastic freakin’ JBay.

As always keep it stuck on streetjesus.net as when I am not at work, or sleeping you can expect more love towards awesome wave número dos.

Chea!

Also, peep ASP WORLD TOUR and BILLABONGPRO.COM for a shit-ton more!








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