The world’s best surfers on the ASP World Tour arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil today for the Billabong Rio Pro, the 3rd men’s event of 10 in this year’s quest for the best in surfing. This event runs from May 9-20.

This latest stop on the ASP World Tour also sees the men’s and women’s tours aligning for the first time since the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on April 3-14. Last year, Adriano de Souza beat Taj Burrow in the final, while Carissa Moore beat Sally Fitzgibbons on her way to winning the women’s world title.

Yesterday, Kelly Slater, who is currently sitting at the top of the overall standings, withdrew from the Billabong Pro Rio due to a heel injury sustained in Java. With Slater’s withdrawal, the current frontrunner spot on the ASP WCT ratings is up for grabs in Rio de Janeiro. At this time, Slater is followed by Adriano de Souza and Billabong’s own Taj Burrow is currently in third. Mick Fanning (fourth) and Jordy Smith (fifth) are both well placed to take advantage in Brazil.

The women, meanwhile, will be competing in their fifth event. Stephanie Gilmore is still out in front after two wins and a second place, but Sally Fitzgibbons (second) and reigning world champion Carissa Moore (fifth) are close behind.

We’re looking forward to watching the action… in hot and sexy Brazil. The LIVE webcast will be available at www.billabongpro.com.

Who do you think will be the hottest surfers to come out on top? Continue reading

Last Wednesday, May 2, 2012, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to approve a “motion aimed at outlawing recess skateboarding or “bombing,”” drafting a speed limit ordinance for skateboarders designed to prevent them from exceeding 25 mph.

The proposal is aimed to address a dangerous new skateboarding trend called “hill bombing” or “bombing.” Hill bombing is when skateboarders race down hills at high speeds, sometimes while weaving in and out of traffic and neglecting traffic laws, often at speeds surpassing 40 mph.

The proposal was initiated by the council’s newest member, Joe Buscaino, in response to the death of two skateboarders over the last year. In the last six months, two teenagers have died in San Pedro due to injuries sustained while “bombing.” The new skateboarding speed limit will resemble an existing speed limit on bicycles.

“There’s no brakes on these things,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander to KABC, a local ABC affiliate. Skateboarders “lose control, and they die or worse, end up as vegetables, brain dead,” he continued.

The ordinance would essentially require skateboarders to follow the rules of the road, including stop signs and traffic signals, and impose a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. Councilman Richard Alarcon also suggested an amending motion asking the departments of transportation and public works to brainstorm ways to structurally prevent hill-bombing on city streets and sidewalks.

Skateboarders, what do you think? Do you feel it is a violation of rights or a means of protecting you?

Image Source: SkateSlate.com Continue reading

Come out to the third annual Skate for a Cause this Saturday, May 5th 2012, at the newly renovated Etnies Skate Park, Lake Forest, CA. 10am-5pm. Tickets and proceeds benefit skate clinics for autistic children and their families.

Ryan Sheckler and the Sheckler Foundation will again host the festivities, a family friendly event that combines a world class skate jam and carnival. Nixon athletes scheduled to appear include Ryan Sheckler, Jason Ellis, Ryan Decenzo, Torey Pudwill, and many more.

All of the day’s events give skateboarders, sponsors and the community a chance to have fun while giving back to raise funds for A.skate. The A.skate Foundation is a non-profit that allows kids with autism to be a part of the social world through skateboarding. They hold clinics for kids with autism at no cost to the families, give grants to kids with autism for skateboard gear, as well as promote awareness and education.

The high octane skate jam promises to deliver a rewarding experience for all participants. Plus, the Cinco De Mayo carnival will offer traditional games, modified to utilize skate equipment and themes like Bearing Toss, Bull Pong, Dunk Tank, Ring Toss onto Indy Trucks, and Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Moreover, if you want to get inside the skate park and brush shoulders with the best skateboarders in the world, for a donation of $50, you’ll get out of the bleachers and into the action.

For additional info on SKATE FOR A CAUSE, go to shecklerfoundation.org. Continue reading

If you don’t have plans next weekend and want to be part of a fun event that also helps out a good cause, check out the 2012 Standup for the Cure event at the Newport Dunes on Saturday, May 5.

Funds raised will support the OC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with every $125 raised enabling a mammogram. The event is $35 and runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the clinic targeting the Guinness World Record of the largest Stand Up Paddleboard lesson with 250 or more participants starting at 9:45 a.m.

Whatever your level – from novice to expert – the event promises something for everyone. The event aims to set a world Record with a Standup Paddleboard clinic led by world-class Standup for the Cure ambassadors including Zane Schweitzer, Matt Hughes, Brendon Light, Jayson Campbell and Daniel Hughes.

The Newport Dunes is visible from Pacific Coast Highway and the paddling course will wind its way through the scenic harbor. “We chose Newport Dunes for the visual ‘pink’ impact we can make. Nothing draws your attention like hundreds of paddlers wearing pink,” said Mike Muir from presenting sponsor Riviera Paddlesurf.

After participants paddle through the course, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse will provide lunch. A happy hour by Kona Brewing Company will have live music by Crimson Crowbar. A showing of “Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story” will round out the late afternoon. Riviera Paddlesurf, Yolo Board, Rogue SUP, Starboard and others will supply loaner boards and demos for new paddlers.

“Standup for the Cure’s May 5 event is an opportunity for families, friends and survivors to raise money and ultimately save lives by doing something they love. This is a great opportunity to learn how to paddle a Standup Paddleboard and meet the pros that are leading this new revolution,” commented event director Dan Van Dyck, whose mother is a 38-year breast cancer survivor.

Teams or individuals can signs up here. Bonus! If you register by May 1st, you’re guaranteed a free Victory SUP Jersey! Find out more information at www.standup-for-the-cure.org. Continue reading

Surfers have long had a stereotypical reputation of being laid-back and non-confrontational. But, based on the Malibu City Council meeting earlier this month, it is clear that if issues that affect surfers come to the forefront, they won’t just sit idly back.

On April 9, approximately 300 surfers, activists and residents (more than 2% of the Malibu population) watched the Malibu City Council debate the fate of Malibu Lagoon, a beautiful pool of water and wetlands fed by Malibu Creek and filled with wildlife. One year ago, the City Council deadlocked 2-2 in an explosive debate over a plan by the state and big environmental groups to dredge up and then re-sculpt the poorly circulating lagoon.

On one side, the project is enthusiastically backed by major environmental groups such as Heal the Bay and the Surfrider Foundation, plus California Governor Jerry Brown. However, others feel that the dredging plan destroys nature to save it.

Given that the lagoon has played a dominant part of the election campaign, three surfers ran grassroots campaigns, with citizens ultimately electing political newbie Skylar Peak, 27, a surfer, former lifeguard and civic activist on Election night, which was the following night, April 10. Peak, whose win makes him the youngest member in the history of the Malibu City council, hopes to act as a bridge between the warring sides. Peak opposes the dredging, but comes to the issue with an open mind. “Both sides think there’s something wrong,” says Peak.

Bulldozers are set to dig out major parts of the lagoon and wetlands starting June 1. Scientists concede that many creatures will die and the lagoon – today rich in bird life – will become a muddy and unappealing construction site, only to re-emerge with a cleaner, if aesthetically different, ecosystem.

Additionally, there are concerns regarding a 2005 study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that detected high levels of Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a superbug staph in the sand between the lagoon and the ocean.

The dredging plan calls for the lagoon’s water to be drained, treated and dumped in the Pacific. But would dumping the lagoon’s water, even if treated, shift this hard-to-kill superbug to the ocean, and possibly make people sick?

The issue remains that the lagoon is in dire need of fixing and something needs to be done.

So, whose side are you on?

Image Source: latimes.com Continue reading