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“We Convinced Them To Extend Our Trip And Raise The Budget”

Three intrepid Rusty riders take a risk and reap a 24-hour reward in Oaxaca.

Words by Christian Bowcutt

Noah Hill, Hunter Jones, and Mick Davey were two weeks into their Oaxacan surf mission — with very little to show for it.

Which is weird. Salina Cruz is normally the “old faithful” of surf trips, especially in the summertime, with south swells kissing every nook, point, and cove of that chiseled Mexican coastline.

But, the crew had gotten skunked. “It was a tough trip in terms of waves. The entire middle of the trip was almost flat and there were a couple of days we didn’t even surf,” explained Noah Hill. “Pretty much all of the barrels you see are from the very last session of the trip. It’s that classic surf trip thing — you’re there for two weeks but it’s that one day of waves you get that make it all worth it.”

A professional surfer’s life seems like the mix between a rock star and a trustafarian — until clips aren’t being got and a company’s investment isn’t generating a return.

“That’s the thing about Salina Cruz though, the waves are so perfect. All you need is a little bit of swell,” Noah said, “and it’ll be fine. You’ll get the clips you need. And that one day made it all make sense.”

If you’d like more Noah (including his 720 attempts), take a gander here.

In between the trio’s first days of turn-and-air-friendly waves and last-day tube heroics, they had some time to indulge in some local delights.

“We were hanging with the Mexican crew down there when it was flat and we ended seeing places we never would’ve seen normally.” Noah explained. “We went to these secret little beaches where the true Mexican people vacationed at and just drank on the beach and ate these like delicious little Mexican pizza things [they’re called “tlayudas” and are a Oaxacan delicacy] all day and it was really fun.”

But, after a few days of exiled exuberance, the three amigos finally locked into the kind of surf they had traveled so far for (and that Rusty had sunk some healthy coin into).

I then asked Noah if there’s anything else about the trip he’d want to comment on. “Hmm I’m trying to think if there’s anything about the boards or something like that I could say.” Noah pondered, “But nah, I don’t want to force anything cause then it might sound stupid. I’m just grateful for the trip.”

An honest man, we can get behind that.

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“We Convinced Them To Extend Our Trip And Raise The Budget”

Three intrepid Rusty riders take a risk and reap a 24-hour reward in Oaxaca.

Jul 20, 2024

The North Shore Has Chosen Its Olympic Favorite

Go John,

Words by Jack O'Neill Paterson

The islands ache for Olympic gold.

The outdoor sports brand Florence, formerly Florence Marine X, has gathered the community to hype-up their supreme leader, John John Florence.

The clip is heartfelt and surprisingly moving. It features old videos of a pocket-sized John with an albino mane and spaghetti arms, barely able to lift his surfboard. We see brothers Nate and Ivan, and we see mum-John embracing her adolescent boys a decade before they’d become the best surfers on the planet. 

Mostly, though, we see high-profile shakas from the likes of Wolfpak founding father Kala Alexander, UFC champ Max Holloway, and the original banana pancake, Jack Johnson. 

Never to be overlooked: Uncle Kimo of Stab in the Dark fame.

But wait, hasn’t somebody done this before? 

Last year, Quiksliver released a pump-up video for world title hopeful Griff Colapinto, which was, rather remarkably, narrated by Hollywood kingpin Matthew McConaughey. Throughout, many charitable shakas were donated from the titans of the San Clemente community. 

Griff, despite the support, was swiftly dispatched by Ethan Ewing on finals day.  

The question must be asked: Does a cinematic hype-up video enhance performance, or is the weight of so many high profile hand gestures too much to bear?  

We’ll find out how John responds to the pressure of high-budget theatre at the Teahupo’o Olympics, coming July 27.

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The North Shore Has Chosen Its Olympic Favorite

Go John,

Jul 19, 2024

The Worst Way To Break Your Surfboard

Sheldon Simkus is not a paid actor.

Words by Pedro Ramos

Bad news travels fast, and if you weren’t anywhere near the East Australian coastline recently, Sheldon Simkus has some to deliver.

A week-long swell turned the wave tap on from southern New South Wales all the way north to the Sunshine Coast, offering plentiful opportunities for those who like to stand on fiberglass: beachies, points, reefs, bombies — your call.

The favorable wind and swell patterns created a mid-winter wonder that resembled a run of groomed and solid surf that’s usually reserved for autumn months.

While “trolley pusher” might sound like an insult, the term actually refers to someone who has absorbed and put into practice the invaluable wisdom of Mick Fanning.

Edited by Jesse Little — who also filmed and edited Sierra Kerr’s first signature edit, “Pre-Kerrsor” — Sheldon Simkus’ new upload documents Sheldon’s prodigious talents in the water and graceless demeanor on land. It features the most awkward board break we’ve seen since Dion Agius’ involuntary attempt at a vasectomy, and certainly one that’s harder to explain to your shaper.

The resulting smile could only come from someone who gets surfboards for free.

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The Worst Way To Break Your Surfboard

Sheldon Simkus is not a paid actor.

Jul 18, 2024

Brisa Hennessy Enters YouTube Space With Paradisiacal Punch In The Face

“It’s so fun when you don’t get hurt!”

Words by Pedro Ramos

With a runner-up finish to Tahitian tube siren Vahine Fierro and a string of semifinals or better at every event except Portugal — where she was forced to withdraw with a busted eardrum — Brisa Hennessy left Tahiti wearing the WSL yellow leader’s jersey.

A season like that cannot be attributed to happenstance. Though we rarely get to see a surfer’s private efforts and struggles, in the first installment of Brisa’s new vlog, we get a glimpse behind her preparation for the Tahiti Pro.

Despite her experience at reef breaks graced by South Pacific groundswells, Brisa spent an entire month in Tahiti ahead of the event. In her corner were her mother, her Olympic coach Kahea Hart, and local liaison Tereva David, who was coaching her specifically for the event.

Doing the Laird’s work.

If the consecutive falls, fails, and reef scars seasoned with fresh lime don’t bring to mind the characters of Rick Kane in North Shore and Anne Marie in Blue Crush, perhaps the visible progression of Brisa’s backside tube technique over the episode will.

Starting with “the worst wipeout of my entire life”, Brisa keeps getting feedback from Hart, adjusts her approach, and packs a few bombs to the cheerful incentive of Carissa Moore, certainly helping build confidence and momentum.

While Tahiti boasts zero income tax, its waves charge a hefty toll.

When a big swell arrives, Brisa and Molly opt out and join the peanut gallery while Gilbert Teave and Eimeo Czermak steal the show. Robbo, Griff, and LOB also show an appetite for the square and heavy, and Balaram attempts to surf without a board. Tour Notes vibes.

The episode features an extensive highlight reel of downtime on the island. Brisa prepares a clam coconut curry with breadfruit from scratch, celebrates Mother’s Day, checks out coastal real estate opportunities, surfs fun and uncrowded Small Pass and not-so-uncrowded Papara, goes foiling with Erik Knutson, and ushers in a new generation of female chargers with the WSL Rising Tides program.

Brisa upgrades her muscle memory at baby Teahupo’o, days before her second career final at the wave.

Hennessy’s evolution is apparent throughout the episode, and Tereva David’s tips proved to be game-changing in unlocking a part of her surfing that was there but left untapped. “Why haven’t I been doing this my whole life?” she said after figuring out an easier way to make barrels.

Sit tight for Part 2 and a much-needed behind-the-scenes look at the women’s tour. And Brisa, if you haven’t already, you should consider sending Tahiti Tourisme an invoice for this.

Read The Stab Interview with Brisa Hennessy.

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Brisa Hennessy Enters YouTube Space With Paradisiacal Punch In The Face

“It’s so fun when you don’t get hurt!”

Jul 16, 2024

Watch: Stab High Japan On A Ch11 Handycam

A cinematic odyssey directed by Mr. Chuckles.

Words by Jack O'Neill Paterson

Dane Reynolds and Hunter Martinez possess the remarkable ability to take past events and recast them as a revolutionary concepts that you find yourself longing for — surfing mediocre waves, working in a surf store, and, in this instance, attending Stab High Japan

The Ch11 crew entered four surfers in the pro-division draw: Micky Clark, Jake Kelley, Eithan Osborne, and Dane Reynolds. Eithan, who once caught a fly with chopsticks whilst delightfully inebriated, went on to win the entire comp (which you won’t see here*).

The eight-minute dad-cam offering from Chapter 11.tv includes magnetic cameos from the likes of Harry Bryant, Holly Wawn, and Toby Cregan. 

Well worth your time.

*Read our Stab Interview with the champ to get more insight into his thoughtless victory.

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Watch: Stab High Japan On A Ch11 Handycam

A cinematic odyssey directed by Mr. Chuckles.

Jul 16, 2024

Tosh Tudor’s South Coast Sojourn

Straight lines only.

Words by Pedro Ramos

Nepotism has a magical way of unlocking doors that would otherwise stay firmly shut. However, what you do once you enter that coveted room is entirely up to personal effort, dedication, and abilities.

Still months away from turning 20, Tosh Tudor has managed to step out of his father’s shadow and into the shade cast by aquatic teepees of his own making across the globe. 

After treating us to Tube Therapy, a signature film serving more cones than an ice-cream parlor, Tosh has returned to drip-feeding us visuals of his recent exploits.

“Elite, elite, elite! Backside barrel riding is of the next dimension!” — Jimmy Wilson

In “Soirée,” Tosh makes another strong argument for having his tube riding skills called “elite” by photographer Jimmy Wilson.

Wandering through the South Coast of New South Wales, Tosh appears to be at the right place/tide/time. Almost as if another Vans team rider could’ve shared geo coordinates with him…

There’s very little goofs won’t do to avoid going right.

While you’ve previously seen some of these waves scored to death metal to match their intensity, Tosh opted to juxtapose his poise in waves of consequence with an instrumental, quasi-elevator tune by Solange. It’s almost tongue-in-cheek, like pairing a violent curb-stomping scene with the sound of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

Worth 2:45 of your busy schedule.

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Tosh Tudor’s South Coast Sojourn

Straight lines only.

Jul 15, 2024

Watch: “Makai”

A cinematic portrait of Hawaiian-born, African American surfer Julian Williams.

Words by Seth Gabrielsson

Our protagonist walks outside, the camera slowly pushing toward the doorframe. The exterior world expands in the frame like John Ford’s iconic shot in The Searchers, except instead of the Old West it’s the deep greens of Oahu’s North Shore, and in place of John Wayne is Julian Williams, a Hawaiian-born African American surfer.

As he stands barefoot in Hawaiian suburbia, sea-spray suddenly starts falling from the sky and onto his face. He speaks candidly but it rings confessional – “The ocean is not just for them, it’s for all of us.”

Such is the message of MAKAI, a cinematic portrait of surfer Julian Williams as he speaks to his experiences as a black surfer on the North Shore of Oahu. Shot on glorious 16mm film, director Loris Russell interweaves Williams’ introspective narration with bold, languid camera movements that speak to his inner world and the coastlines of Hawaii and California. 

Floating beds, womb-like rocks, lefts become rights, re-enacted board thrashings against the American flag hanging flaccid on a windless day. It strikes us as the type of film made by a non-surfer (sorry Loris if you are), but in a good way – like through the lens of someone who can appreciate surfing as an emotional act, as part of someone’s personal history. 

If you read our last piece on the history of black surfing and aquatic cultures, be sure to watch this more impressionistic — and at some points surreal — six minute short film of what surfing is like as a perceived outsider.

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Watch: “Makai”

A cinematic portrait of Hawaiian-born, African American surfer Julian Williams.

Jul 15, 2024

Tragic Boat Incident At 6-Foot D-Bah Leaves One Man Dead, Another Hospitalised

Today ain't the day for boating.

Words by Jack O'Neill Paterson

Early this morning, as six-foot offshore peaks peppered the QLD-NSW oceanic border, a 6.5m half-cabin runabout capsized while attempting to cross the Tweed River Bar. 

Emergency services responded to reports of two men clinging to the overturned hull. One man was rescued and taken to Tweed Heads Hospital, while the second, winched lifeless from the ocean by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew, couldn’t be revived. 

The two men reportedly launched in the dark from the Kennedy Drive boat ramp around low-tide, which is said to be the worst time to do so, and were promptly upended by a wave.  

The entire incident went down before 6am. 

Meanwhile, just around the corner…

The east coast points have been lighting up over the last couple of days, with the swell peaking this morning. What possessed the two men to attempt to punch through an unpredictable and shifting Dbah on a small fishing boat before sunrise, remains an ill-fated mystery.  

At the time of rescue, neither men were said to be wearing life jackets. 

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Tragic Boat Incident At 6-Foot D-Bah Leaves One Man Dead, Another Hospitalised

Today ain't the day for boating.

Jul 13, 2024