A record number of ISA World Junior Competitors are currently in Pedasi, Panama to compete for individual and team glory. This event, which brings together the best under-18 surfers from around the world, marks the third time that Panama Tourism and the ISA have partnered to host an ISA World Championship event.

Nearly 300 surfers are competing in three divisions (Boys Under-18, Boys Under-16, and Girls Under-18) over the course of eight days of competition at Playa Venao, a beach-break located on the Pacific Ocean side of the country.

The ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, sponsored by Dakine and presented by Billabong, officially began this weekend with the parade of nations and opening ceremony. On Saturday, the streets of Pedasi were flooded with the flags and the colors of the 31 competing nations, making this the largest juniors event in history.

“Regardless of the color of our skin, the country we come from, our religion or anything that may seem to divide us, we are all connected through surfing,” said Fernando Aguerre, the President of the ISA, in his opening remarks.

As a symbol of the global surfing connection, each team sent a flag bearer and a representative onto the stage after the Parade of the Nations came to a close for the traditional ISA Sands of the World Ceremony. Sands from home beaches are poured into a glass container, representing the peaceful gathering of nations through the love of surfing.

The action started yesterday with the schedule devoted entirely to the boys, with 48 Qualifying Round 1 heats running in both the Under-18s and Under-16s. USA’s Trevor Thornton and Hawaii’s Koa Smith emerged as top contenders as they finished their heats.

According to Surfline, the Official Forecaster of the event, waves should be increasing in size for the next couple days, capping out in the six- to seven-foot range. It should make for some interesting competition this week. The event ends next Sunday, April 22nd, when it will be the Finals and Closing Ceremony.

To check out the event webcast live, log onto dakineisawjsc.com/live. The day’s webcast begins at 8:00am local time (6:00am PST; 2:00pm in London). Continue reading

American chemist Eric Stroud says he’s found several substances that can repel sharks, and he wants to use his discovery to protect them.

Stroud, 38, used to work fulltime as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. Then, in the summer of 2001, after he and his wife noticed that the news was filled with stories of shark bite after shark bite in the Florida oceans, he turned his talents to developing shark repellents. Stroud has now been doing this for more than a decade, founding a company, SharkDefense, which aims to develop and commercialize shark repellents.

When Stroud started, he set up several kiddie pools in his basement, filled them with small sharks, and observed how the sharks fed, swam, and behaved. Then, one day in 2004, he accidentally dropped a large magnet from his workbench. He noticed some small nurse sharks dart away.

“That night, we put magnets into the tank and couldn’t believe [that] the nurse sharks were just extremely distressed and stayed away from them,” he says. It led to an AHA discovery: Magnets repel sharks.

Sharks possess electrical sensors, called the ampullae of Lorenzini, that look like tiny freckles on their snouts. Biologists believe sharks use these sensors to detect the heartbeats of their prey and to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field. Stroud believes the spinning magnet overwhelms and interferes with those electrical sensors. “It’s probably something like a bright flashlight across your eyes,” he says. “It’s just temporarily blinding, and you’re startled. And it’s not pleasant.”

They’ve tested other substances, too, and have found that some non-magnetic metals also interfere with a shark’s electrical sensors, including rare-earth metals like samarium, neodymium, and praseodymium.

Since many shark species are being over-fished (fishermen trying to catch other fish often catch sharks by accident), and some are endangered, Shark Defense’s main focus has switched to using repellents to protect sharks, and has created a magnetized fishing hook.

“We realized we could magnetize the fishing hook, and we can coat it with a rare earth metal,” he says. “It looks just like a regular hook, and we get the benefit of two repellents at the hook.” Some tests show a 60 to 70 percent reduction in the number of sharks caught.

Stroud received an award from the World Wildlife Fund for his invention, and he’s hoping to soon sell it commercially. In the meantime, he continues to refine the design, trying new combinations of metals and magnets, and observing how they affect different types of sharks.

Holy mackerel! Looks like we won’t need the bat-shark repellant!

Continue reading

We drew awareness to World Water Day and the troubling statistic that 1 in 8 people do not have access to clean water. Clean water is good, but that doesn’t mean we need to infiltrate the environment with plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, the growth of plastic pollution continues to devastate our earth in alarming rates. Sadly, every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.

Here are a few sobering facts regarding just plastic bags. Yikes.

Fast Facts on Plastic Bags

  • Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. Look at this link http://plasticbagbanreport.com/ that counts the number of plastic bags consumed this year (as of this writing, almost 113 billion).
  • About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute. The U.S. goes through 100 billion single-use plastic bags. This costs retailers about $4 billion a year.
  • Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean refuse, after cigarette butts (2008).
  • Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down and a single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.
  • An estimated 3,960,000 tons of plastic bags, sack and wraps were produced in 2008. Of those, 3,570,000 tons (90%) were discarded. This is almost triple the amount discarded the first year plastic bag numbers were tracked (1,230,000 tons in 1980). (EPA)

So what does this mean?

The extremely slow decomposition rate of plastic bags leaves them drifting on the ocean for countless years. According to Algalita Marine Research Foundation, these plastic bags then cause the death of many marine animals (fish, sea turtles, etc.), when animals mistake them for food.

Moreover, when plastics break down, they don’t biodegrade; they photodegrade. This means the materials break down to smaller fragments which readily soak up toxins. They then contaminate soil, waterways, and animals upon digestion.

In order to stop this growing environmental hazard, we need to limit our plastic bag use and encourage a cultural shift away from use-and-toss culture. We encourage starting using re-usable bags since each reusable bag can eliminate thousands of plastic bags.

Finally, encourage your home state, similar to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, to enact plastic bag bans, or impose a tax for those who need to use a plastic bag.

We can all make a difference with just these little steps. Let’s ensure the ocean and our marine animals are safe! Continue reading

A Los Angeles City Council committee recommended last Wednesday that single-use plastic bags be banned from food store checkout lines across the city and that paper bags be phased out.

The council’s five-member Energy and Environment Committee unanimously passed a recommendation for a three-phase ban that would, if enacted, become “one of the most-far reaching measures in the nation,” according to Heal the Bay, a non-profit organization that advocates this ban.

The three phases of the ban are:

Phase 1:
For the first six months a ban would be enacted for plastic bags only. These six months would be used to educate the public about the ban.

Phase 2: For the following six months a 10 cent charge would be placed on paper bags.

Finally, Phase 3: After 12 months, there would be an outright ban in all of Los Angeles on both single-use plastic and paper bags.

The recommendation was favored by the committee and supported by environmental groups, although some believe such a ban would be more destructive than helpful, citing a loss of jobs.

According to Councilman Dennis Zine, “The City would provide time to work with retail businesses to help them adjust, and consumers would need to adapt. People will adjust. They’ll adapt … and learn to take [reusable bags] with them.”

A vote on the recommended ban is expected in the full City Council in the coming weeks. We hope this decision will embolden other cities, counties and states nationwide to take action. The time has come to eliminate plastic pollution at its source in order to protect our environment and economy.

Here are some great totes that can replace those plastic bags!

OBEY Full Speed Bag
Price: $20.00

BILLABONG Oshun Lover Bag
Price: $24.50

Sku No: A03018SND
Price: $32.50

ROXY Big Buddy 2 Bag
Sku No: 452N90NAT
Price: $42.00

Image Source: theintelhub.com Continue reading

The days are getting longer and the evenings are getting lighter. It only means that summer will be here before you know it. Get ready to hit the beach! But before you do, make sure you’re loaded with the right gear to make the most of your sun time.

ROXY La Playa Towel
Sku No: 454D57ROS
Price: $38.00

Ladies, you will look even more like the sun goddess you really are with the women’s Roxy La Playa towel underneath your tanned body. The towel is made of 100% cotton, it features a logo print, a rope fringe hem, and is perfect for lounging poolside or by the beach. Surf Amore!

VONZIPPER Hoss Sunglasses
Sku No: 12795313
Price: $90.00

Protect your eyes with sleek Von Zipper sunglasses. Von Zipper’s Hoss sunglasses have black frames with grey lenses that provide 100% UV protection. They feature base 6 spherical lenses, a handcrafted acetate frame, and impact resistant CR-39 lens. They also have stainless steel optical hinges, and a wire injected temple core.

ROXY Love Poem Dress
Sku No: 470139BMA
Price: $64.50

We didn’t even want to attempt to narrow down the swimsuits, but here’s a gorgeous dress for those of you who just want to hang out. The women’s Roxy Love Poem dress is made of 100% cotton. It features a retro slanted stripe, a halter top, an elastic waist, welt waist pocket, and a rope neck tie.


Sku No: C511574PBK
Price: $50.00

Don’t forget you’ll need to have the right pack to carry all your beach essentials, like this one from Nixon. It features a large-size easy access main compartment, front organizer pocket with additional interior zip pocket, outside zip stash pocket, audio pocket with cord port, Nixon mega-link shoulder straps, padded, reinforced & computer-stitched back panel, added webbing top handle, and custom molded zip pulls.

HONOLUA Stretch Five Boardshort
Sku No: 35M141NSTRBLK
Price: $55.00

Want premium shred capabilities? Choose the Honolua Stretch Five boardshort, which is made from stretch material allowing for lots of movement and flexibility. They feature a drawstring closer, two tone stripe down the left side, single side pocket with button and velcro closure, and Honolua patch logo on the lower left side.

ZINKA Nosecoat
Sku No: 9668540
Price: $6.00

Get the maximum sun protection you need and play it up with this bold blue shade, too. The Zinka nosecoat sunblock offers absolute maximum protection against the sun’s harmful rays. This is colored sunblock, not sunscreen, and is a proven formula that withstands the most extreme weather conditions. Not to mention, your nose will long darn cute in that color.

KEEP A BREAST I Love Boobies Bracelet
Sku No: 2701INDAST
Price: $3.99

By wearing a “I Love Boobies!” bracelet you are proclaiming, “I love my boobies, and I choose to take care of them!” It is a message about how important it is to appreciate, respect and love your breasts and yourself. It’s part of Keep A Breast Foundation’s “I Love Boobies!” campaign.

The Keep A Breast Foundation’s (KAB) Mission is to help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Colors available are Red, White, or Blue. And guys can support, too.

BILLABONG Pelly Boardshort
Sku No: 10M114TPELBLU
Price: $59.50

We’ve been raving about the Billabong/Andy Davis collection for a while, so here’s a chance to snag something sick from that lineup. This boardshort features the iconic pelican print artwork of the retro surf inspired artist. Drawstring waist closure, back pocket with button flap closure, collaboration woven label details, and 20″ outseam. You won’t go wrong.

BILLABONG Gypsetty Short
Sku No: 10J217TGYPBLK
Price: $42.00

How adorably sweet is this women’s Gypsetty short from the Billabong/Oracle Fox collaborative collection? The Gypsetty short is made of 100% cotton. It features a printed design, a pull on short, a scalloped lace trim, and an elastic waistband.

RVCA Civil Stripe Boardshort
Sku No: 10350091BURBUR
Price: $53.00

The RVCA Civil Stripe Boardshort is a striped polyester microfiber boardshort with zipper fly and tie front closure. Features RVCA patch logo on the lower hem.

OLUKAI Hiapo Sandal (not pictured)
Sku No: 101012222
Price: $100.00

The men’s Olukai Hiapo sandals feature a premium full grain leather strap with a pigskin lining and neoprene backer. An EVA midsole wrapped in premium full grain leather, an anatomically correct contour for a more personalized fit and sustained comfort over time. A full grained wrapped outsole with a non-marking durable rubber traction pods. Continue reading