Congrats to Billabong team rider Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31. Parko won the Bilabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons last Friday to clinch the 2012 ASP World Title. After 12 years on tour, he finally captured this accolade that had seemed so elusive for him. Prior to this win, Parkinson was just shy of the world title four times (2002, 2004, 2009, 2011).

Only Parkinson and reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, were in contention for the world title heading into the final day. Parkinson needed to finish one position higher to claim the title. With Slater’s loss to Josh Kerr (AUS), 28, in the semi-final, Parkinson’s dream became reality. Parkinson went on to beat Kerr in the final.

“It’s very surreal feeling. I’ve got to pinch myself,” Parkinson said from the podium. “I feel like I still have to man up and surf another heat. But it’s all over. It’s done. . . I don’t know who sent me those waves in that final. And thanks to Andy for pushing those things in. To mother nature. He always will be a part of this event. Whatever anyone does at pipe it will never come close to what Andy did. . . One day you wake up feeling good the next day you wake up feeling like a loser. This morning I felt like a Champion when I woke up. Like Andy (Irons) always said ‘I got this, huh?’ I dedicate this to my family, Dad who used to take me to contests when I was 10, my wife and my mom and kids, this is all for us.”

Want to know a few more cool facts about our 2012 ASP World Champ? Here are a few cool facts about Parko from the Billabong website:

Years On Tour: 12
Stance: Regular
Favorite Spot: Kirra, Snapper Rocks (Aus)
Main Shaper: JS, from JS Industries
Travelling Quiver: Three 6’2”x18-3/8×2-1/4; 6’6”x18-3/8×2-1/4
Favorite Surfers: Occy, Matt Hoy
Training: Surfing, Running, Cross training
Favorite Music: Anything from Donavan to Metallica
Other Interests: Cars, Watching my favorite footy team play

On the personal front, Joel married his high school sweetheart, Monica, and they have three children: two daughters, Evie and Macy, and a son Mahli.

Here is the road to how Parko finally clinched the title:

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: 5th
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: 3rd
Billabong Rio Pro: 2nd
Volcom Fiji Pro: 9th
Billabong Pro Tahiti: 2nd
Hurley Pro at Trestles: 2nd
Quiksilver Pro France: 3rd
Rip Curl Pro Portugal: 3rd
O’Neill Coldwater Classic: 5th
Billabong Pipe Masters: WINNER Continue reading

The 42nd annual SURFER poll awards were last week, and Kelly Slater (USA), 40, and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, took home the top honors. Kelly took home his 18th SURFER Poll No. 1 award, while Steph took her 3rd.

For the third year running, the best surfers, filmmakers, and who’s who of the surf world converged on Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu for the Biggest Night of Surfing. Awards were presented to the top surfers, as voted by fans, as well as the best movies and performances of the year.

Kelly won again this year. He first took the honor in 1993 when he was just 21 years old.

“It’s definitely nice to be recognized by the surfing community and to come out at the top position. I’m surprised John John didn’t get first. I also thought Dane was going to get it this year—maybe next year. I think they split each other’s votes. They stole the election from each other,” Kelly said.

This year saw two first-time additions to the Top 10. John John Florence, who in 2011 won the AI Breakthrough Performer Award, secured the second position on the list just behind Slater. Also making his SURFER Poll debut this year, Gabriel Medina became the first Brazilian to break the Top 10 on the coveted Poll. He also was awarded the distinguished AI Breakthrough Performer Presented by New Era award for 2012.

On the Women’s side of the Poll, the Top 5 from 2011 all remained on the list, with Alana Blanchard jumping up into the second position behind Stephanie Gilmore, who reclaimed the top spot for her third SURFER Poll victory.

“I am very excited about this year,” said Gilmore. “I was a little unsure of how it’d unfold, I wasn’t sure if I was going to come out on top because I didn’t win last year. I seriously had one of the best years of my life, and I guess everybody else thought that too. These awards are so important, because it’s the fans voting, so it means a lot.”

Here are the 2012 SURFER Poll Results:

Top 10 Men
1. Kelly Slater
2. John John Florence
3. Dane Reynolds
4. Gabriel Medina
5. Mick Fanning
6. Joel Parkinson
7. Julian Wilson
8. Taj Burow
9. Jordy Smith
10. Owen Wright

Top 5 Women
1. Steph Gilmore
2. Alana Blanchard
3. Coco Ho
4. Carissa Moore
5. Sally Fitzgibbons

AI Breakthrough Performer Presented by New Era
Gabriel Medina

Congrats to all the winners, and you can watch the entire show at surfer.com. Continue reading

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and GRAMMY Award-winning musician Ben Harper have come together to create Boards + Bands, a fundraising initiative that merges the worlds of professional skateboarders and iconic musicians to raise significant funds for the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Hawk invited a select group of professional skateboarders to donate their personally ridden skateboards and submit the name of their favorite songs. Harper then sent those boards on to the appropriate artists with one simple message: “Please write the lyrics to this skater’s favorite song on his skateboard, and we’ll use it to create more skate parks for kids.”

The chosen recording artists have hand-written the lyrics on these one-of-a-kind skateboards, creating some cool works of art. The skaters and artists who have collaborated include Bucky Lasek and Adam Yauch, Rodney Mullen and Ben Harper, Jamie Thomas and Bob Dylan, Mike Vallely and Tom Petty, Steve Caballero and Metallica, Bob Burnquist and Ben Harper, Lance Mountain and Jimmy Cliff, and Tony Hawk and Paul McCartney.

The boards are currently on display at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles.

There’s only ONE more day left to bid on one of the amazing collaborative memorabilia, which are being auctioned at www.BoardsAndBands.org so hurry while you can. The auction ends tomorrow on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 7 PM.

Proceeds from the Bucky Lasek/Adam Yauch collaboration boards will specifically benefit a skatepark project in New York City. Since 2002, the Tony Hawk Foundation has helped to fund 512 public skateparks in 50 states.

For more info, go to www.BoardsAndBands.org. Continue reading

It has been a little over a month since Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Northeast surfing spots, like Long Beach and Ocean City, were utterly destroyed – surf shops were flooded and blown away, boardwalks were ripped apart and the beaches were severely eroded.

The storm surge hit on October 29, and became the most devastating storm to hit New York and New Jersey since 1938. It was also the costliest storm to hit the region, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around NYC. Many families along the Jersey Shore and Long Island lost their homes and the death toll totaled more than 110 people. Total damage in the US is estimated at over $63 billion.

Although most of the cleanup is done, there are still people powerless, homeless, hungry and cold on Long Island and in New Jersey.

Non-profit org Waves for Water is currently leading a multi-phase focused effort to remove storm debris and assist with other basic survival needs. They have already helped with local crews to remove debris and provide basic survival supplies, including food, water, and blankets. The next phase is to help sustain people until basic infrastructure can be restored, and then take the hardest hit area and assist with their rebuilding efforts.

If you’re looking for a way to help, our friends at Sector 9 are offering up a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Tee in either black or white. It’s made of 100% organic cotton, and best of all 100% of the sales proceeds of each tee will be donated to the Waves for Water Hurricane Relief Initiative to support their disaster relief efforts in New York and New Jersey.

For more information, on the Waves to Water mission, go to http://www.wavesforwater.org/. Continue reading

Men’s Health magazine recently released their list of The 100 Fittest Men of All Time, and the list includes both Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton, who rank at 35th and 41st respectively.

Here’s what it said about the two surfing mega-athletes:

41. Laird Hamilton
When big just wasn’t big enough, this surfer helped develop tow-in surfing, which gets surfers atop seemingly insurmountable waves with Jet-Skis and other personal watercrafts. Now, having conquered 80-plus-feet swells, Hamilton is taking his native Hawaii’s standup paddleboarding to the mainland and revolutionizing on-water workouts.

35. Kelly Slater
Surfing’s biggest star is proof that age is just a number. Slater’s both the youngest (at age 20) and oldest (at age 39) to win the Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship. As if that weren’t enough, he won it a record seven more times in between, earning him the title of the best competitive surfer ever.

Congrats Laird and Kelly for your well-deserved recognition.

The top spot is held by Michael Phelps (Swimming #1), followed by Bruce Lee (Martial Arts #2), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Bodybuilder/Actor/Politician) rounds out the top 3. Other notables include Tiger Woods (Golf #86), David Beckham (Soccer #16), Manny Pacquaio (Boxing #9), as well as James Bond’s Daniel Craig (Actor #50), and Mark Wahlberg AKA Marky Mark (Actor/Model #17).

For the full list, check it out at: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/fittest-men-all-time Continue reading