Stab Magazine | Gossip Girl: Dane Reynolds gets J-Bay wildcard, plus more!
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Gossip Girl: Dane Reynolds gets J-Bay wildcard, plus more!

Vibrations from the world of surf, like, right now… Dane Reynolds is a wildcard for J-Bay. And, he’ll be in France, too! After gifting Dane entry to Fiji, the WSL are now handing him another wildcard to the South African point that isn’t too dissimilar from his Rincon prep. Quiksilver put him in the draw on […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Vibrations from the world of surf, like, right now…

Dane Reynolds is a wildcard for J-Bay. And, he’ll be in France, too! After gifting Dane entry to Fiji, the WSL are now handing him another wildcard to the South African point that isn’t too dissimilar from his Rincon prep. Quiksilver put him in the draw on the Gold Coast and will again in France. It’s all a synonymous push from what fans want and what the WSL needs; Dane on tour. Since wildcards keep their points this year, Dane’s currently ranked 34th after his round five result in Fiji. And, J-Bay suits his skill-set. Remember Dane’s session at an overhead Moroccan pointbreak in Cluster? And, come Hawaii when huge QS points are on offer every week, he has a proven record there. The rule change is one of the smartest things the WSL has done for viewer entertainment. With his quarterfinal finish at Margarets, Jay Davies is in 32nd spot but another call-up isn’t a certainty. Place either gent in the draw and you have legitimate upset opportunities à la Mick Fanning at Margarets, and Adriano de Souza in Fiji. They’re the news leads a media organisation wants, and they’re what people click.

Photo: WSL

Kai, and the very reason why he’s still a threat on tour: If it’s a solid left, he goes in hard. Photo: WSL

Kai Otton has re-signed a clever three-year partnership with Reef. Why the smarts? Because Kai’s secured a consistent cash stream until he’s just shy of 40 years old, and with a young family that’s valuable piece of mind. It’s Kai’s second clever endorsement move, his first being in 2012 when he left Insight before it fell victim to the GFC. Kai’s been on tour since 2007 and he’s one of the best tuberiders in the field. He plays to his strengths and enters Fiji, Tahiti, Pipeline, big France and Portugal with a home ground advantage. The only way he’ll fall off tour is if waves drop below head-high. But even still, this new deal is a great insurance policy should that (unlikely event) happen. Vibrations say that Ottz still isn’t making the kind of cash Luke Davis and Mitch Crews are, but then again, Ottz isn’t showing up on Instagram with Ali Simpson (1.7 million followers) like Luke Davis did on the weekend. And in 2015, social fame is big currency. But Kai has solidified his spot on tour with performances like Fiji, and this signature takes care of his bottom line.

John, pre-injury and global surf heartbreak, in Brazil. Photo: 15 May 2015 | Photo: Igor Hossmann

John, pre-injury and global surf heartbreak, in Brazil. Photo: 15 May 2015 | Photo: Igor Hossmann

Now let’s look back at Fiji for a second, and while applause still reverberates for Mr. Owen Wright, the missing beat to the whole party was John John Florence. The thought of what his backside tuberiding would’ve looked like in that horrible magic hurts the heart. But it stung John more. So what did he do? He didn’t watch one heat. Not one minute. Instead, he hobbled out of his home, down to the marina, and bought a 35-foot monohull yacht to sail between the islands. John’s filmer, Erik Knutson, got him hooked on sailing. Erik grew up on the bigger fibreglass form and sailed the world with his parents. He introduced John to a small catamaran and the pair have taken it through some serious conditions in front of his house at Logs. The 35-footer + Logs = disaster and the vessel will stick to the open waters between the islands.

CJ Hobgood isn’t the only one retiring at the end of the year. There’s a number of MVPs who will take up what we’ll call a semi-retirement plan after Pipe in December. They won’t retire completely, because missing events like Fiji would sting the eyes. But we will see them get selective as the median age really kicks on in 2016. First event off the list will be Brazil. Rio isn’t marginally close to any residing city of the 35+ pro, jet lag will actually hospitalise you in this land, and nine times out of 10 LA’s dribble has better shape.

WSL

Nothing but love, Gabs! Photo: WSL

Because sharing gets us high here’s some internal gossip for you. Gabriel Medina hates Stab! Yes, the key-tappers encouraging that little content habit of yours have been blacklisted by the young World Champ. See, we had a concept cover we wanted to shoot with Gabs. All the moving parts were in play and ready to execute about 300 metres from his bedroom in Brazil. Then, Gabs’ team went silent. Charlie wouldn’t reply to our emails, our calls, our texts. And because time is money and money is living we asked Rip Curl if they’d spoken to the Champ’s entourage. Nothing. Finally the channels opened and the response came: Gabs’ crew felt a stock photo would do for our page one. Quarterly magazines are showpieces, not brochures and it was never going to fly. Once dialog ended on our part, Gabs’ bosses took up the conversation and Stab understands it was quite the one-way chat. Now we’re in the bad books. Made plainly clear by the ultimate act of modern day fury: Gabriel blocked us on Instagram.

Sally_Fitzgibbons_Piping_Hot

A smile that’d melt butter into a thousand shades of gold!

And on the womens’ side of the draw: You’ll remember Sally Fitzgibbons parted ways with Roxy earlier this year. There wasn’t cohesion between where Sally wanted to be, and where Roxy were going since Steph Gilmore replaced the Quiksilver Womens stickers with Roxy ones. Sally didn’t fit the cross-stepping, high-line trim of Roxy’s creative direction. She’s since signed a deal with Piping Hot as the global ambassador.
The former core surf brand started in Torquay in the 70s, spotted an opportunity to differentiate in the 90s and began supplying Target department stores. The company now has new majority owners in Saban Brands, and PH is positioned to move into the US market, MD Dan Castle told The Aus. While all the creative will remain with the Sydney HQ, it won’t be sold at a department store level like in Australia, it’ll roll-out through specialty store chains and Sally is the new face.
But surfing’s a renegade game, and once things start being consumed by ‘the rest’ they lose their shine with the core. That’s kinda what happened to Piping Hot after their mainstream move, and we’re hearing the stigma moved Sal’s other sponsors to hold emergency meetings regarding her positioning in the marketplace and whether it’ll be affected. Roxy is considered a premium brand, and in this domestic market, department stores and their surf brands traditionally sit on a lower tier. But Mambo (also owned by Saban since Jan) took a big swing at changing that stereotype with their rebranding. They were able to hold conversations with consumers both at a department, and specialty store level i.e. punters and core. It’s too early to see if Piping Hot’s rebranding can do the same, but Sally is so influential and such a classic Australian surf girl that she should be able to push the brand to success.

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