Category Archives: Surf

Conceived by Hawaiian big wave surfer Shane Dorian following a near-lethal wipeout last year at Maverick’s, the Billabong V1 (for “vertical ascent”) inflatable big wave wetsuit has just received a pair of prestigious awards for design innovation.

Popular Science magazine awarded the wetsuit with a “Best of What’s New” Award and National Geographic Adventure magazine has given it their “Gear of the Year” distinction. The Billabong V1 wetsuit has also been featured in other top publications including Men’s Journal, Outside, and France’s L’Equipe.

Billabong wetsuit product manager Hub Hubbard worked with the world’s top maritime safety product manufacturer, Mustang Survival, to develop a suit with an integrated inflatable flotation bladder and CO2 cartridge that can be activated with a tug of a pull-cord. The V1 suit assists a surfer to reach the surface more swiftly after a severe wipeout, and has been called a “game-changer” in regards to big wave safety.

At this time, only Dorian has tested the suit. However, he has successfully tested prototypes in huge surf at Jaws, on Maui, Hawaii and at the legendary Cortes Bank, 100 miles off the California coast. The V1 wetsuit is now in limited production and a list of the world’s top big wave riders have already placed their orders for this winter season. It is not being sold to the general public at this time. A patent on the invention is currently pending.

“These awards are certainly a validation of the vision, time and effort put into the Billabong V1 wetsuit by both Shane Dorian and Hub Hubbard,” said Billabong USA Vice President of Marketing Graham Stapelberg. “Safety in big waves should always be the first priority, and for this reason Billabong is very proud to be associated with such an innovative product.” Continue reading

This past Saturday, November 12, began the final stop of the 2011 Nixon WTA (Winner-Takes-All). Now in its fifth consecutive year, The Nixon WTA awards custom, limited edition Nixon timepieces at four stops along the ASP World Tour. The four WTA challenges include: biggest air in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in May, the highest heat score in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, in July; heaviest wave at Teahupoo, Tahiti, in August; and the overall Triple Crown winner on the North Shore of Oahu in December. The WTA celebrates an achievement in the contest that may have otherwise gone forgotten.

The first stop of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is the Reef Hawaiian Pro, which began this past Saturday, November 12. The Vans World Cup of Surfing (November 25 – December 6) and Billabong Pipe Masters (December 8 – 20) will round out the Triple Crown events. The overall winner, based on accumulation of most points during those contests, will walk away with a Nixon WTA victory.

Earlier in the year, Nixon WTA titles and watches were awarded to Josh Kerr for “Biggest Air” in Rio de Janeiro, Jordy Smith for “Highest Heat Score” in Jefferys Bay, and Jeremy Flores for “Heaviest Wave” in Teahupoo.

The Nixon WTA and overall Triple Crown of Surfing winner will take home bragging rights and a custom one-of-a-kind black ceramic automatic Nixon 51-30 watch. This Swiss made mechanical timepiece is adorned with 50 black diamonds on the bezel, six black sapphires, 95 black diamond accents, as well as a Hawaiian flag on the dial. The one-of-a-kind watch is customized with an engraved caseback of the Nixon WTA logo, an etched Hawaiian flag complimenting the sidewall of the case, and is valued at over $10,000 USD.

Defending his claim to the Nixon WTA and overall Triple Crown title this year is three-time event winner (2008, 2009, 2010), Joel Parkinson.

We’ll keep you posted leading up to the final crowning on December 20th, but in the meantime, you can watch video of each of the Nixon WTA Triple Crown contenders at: triplecrownofsurfing.com. Continue reading

Whoa! Surfer Garrett McNamara may have caught the biggest wave ever surfed – a 90-footer off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.

Hawaiian big-wave rider McNamara caught the monster wave in Praia do Norte off the coast of Nazaré this last week. The Nazaré Canyon, a deepwater canyon that measures 170 kilometers long and 5 kilometers deep, is home to one of the only deepwater canyons that run all the way to shore. McNamara performed this feat during the ZON North Canyon Show 201.

According to Surfing Today, McNamara was tow-in surfing with Andrew Cotton and Al Mennie, both from the U.K., when he suddenly caught this giant wave.

“I feel so blessed and honored to have been invited to explore this canyon and its special town. The waves here are such a mystery”, McNamara said in a release.

Prior to this wave, the biggest wave every caught on film was San Clemente surfer Mike Parsons 70-foot plus wave at Cortez Bank in 2008.

The wave and the surfer will no doubt be featured at the Billabong XXL awards in April, where the year’s biggest and baddest rides are highlighted and recognized by the surf industry.

Congrats on an awesome feat! Continue reading

The 4th Annual California Surf Festival begins this Thursday, October 13th – 16th in Oceanside, California. Enjoy four exciting, action-packed days featuring multi-talented musicians, jaw-dropping surf film premieres plus appearances by today’s top surf pros and legends to celebrate the lifestyle of beach-goers and wave riders alike. This international event will bring people from all over the world to experience surf culture through films, music, art, photography and interaction with those who embody the culture as well as highlight the surf community of California. Proceeds will benefit the California Surf Museum (CSM).

Set against the back-drop of the CSM’s latest exhibits, attendees and guests will be entertained with a ukulele musical presentation and documentary, as well as several surf film premieres including the USA Premiere for the documentary, Oceanides, sponsored by Keep A Breast Foundation.

Other surf films to check out include Splinters, a top surf film that world-premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival, and is about the first-ever National Surfing Championship in Papua New Guinea and how it changed the lives of several surfers from the host village of Vanimo, and the return of the CSF’s first winner of the Big Shorts From Little Groms filmmakers contest, Victor Pakpour. He will showcase his first feature surf film, Blow Up, which you may remember was the flick Billabong sponsored for its world premiere this past June. Closing the Festival will be the annual Silver Surfer Award, which will be presented to San Diego’s legendary surfer and shaper, Skip Frye.

The California Surf Film Festival was produced as a benefit by the CSM in Oceanside, and will include, in addition to the three mentioned above, many other exciting and groundbreaking new surf films with many of the filmmakers in the audience.

For more information and how to purchase tickets, check out www.californiasurffestival.com.

Continue reading

ESPN The Magazine’s third annual “The Body Issue,” arrives on newsstands last week, Friday, October 7th. Over 20 athletes will appear naked, with their private parts strategically covered, as part of the issue titled “Bodies We Want.” LA Clippers Forward-Center Blake Griffin will be featured as one of the four covers. Soccer player Hope Solo, who is the Goalkeeper for the US National Team, New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, and Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler are on the other three. See all the athletes here.

“This is an issue in the short time we’ve been doing it that’s become pretty anticipated,” ESPN The Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chad Millman said.

Last year’s Body Issue featured Kelly Slater strutting his nakedness. This time, four-time surfing world champ Stephanie Gilmore takes her turn posing in her birthday suit. Stephanie, who was inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame last year in Huntington Beach, unveils her body, talks about being a pro surfer and staying in shape during the interview.

In addition to the bare body pictorials, the featured athletes also talk about insecurities, being self conscious, and how they feel in tune with their bodies while doing their sport.

According to Stephanie, on her inclusion in this year’s issue: “Why not? My thought was, Do it while the opportunity is there. Honestly, I was a little bit nervous, but I spend most of my time in a bikini anyway — although, posing naked goes a bit further than that. Of course, I was like, “Ahhh, I’ve got some insecurities,” but it was actually quite liberating.”

You go, girl! Continue reading