If you haven’t already heard about One Day Without Shoes, mark your calendar for April 10th. TOMS, the shoe brand (and clothing and eyewear brand, too), whose business is more of a movement than a traditional company, has set their annual One Day Without Shoes for next Tuesday.

As many of you already know, the TOMS business model is based on the premise of a worldwide movement called One for One, which combines commerce with social responsibility. The One for One vision is that for every pair of shoes TOMS sell, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Unfortunately, millions of children live without proper footwear, exposing them to injury and disease every day. But, over 1,000,000 pairs of shoes have been given to children under the One for One program since TOMS launched in 2006.

One Day Without Shoes hopes to draw awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by taking off our own. Some illnesses due to the lack of proper footwear include:

  • Podoconiosis: 4,000,000 have podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring soil-based disease
  • Hookworm: 740,000,000 people are affected by hookworm which can cause intestinal pain, weakness and cognitive impairment.
  • Dangerous Debris: 30,000 people live on one landfill in the Philippines, where many are without shoes and are exposed to broken glass, syringes and debris.
  • Jiggers: 1,890,000 Kenyan children are infected by jiggers, burrowing fleas that cause painful infection.

People in over 25 countries will begin hosting thousands of local events to celebrate this cause. Over 500 schools and 1400 companies will join in the effort. Celebrities who will go without their shoes to raise awareness include Lenny Kravitz, Charlize Theron, Donna Karan, Sara Bareilles, The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Kris Allen, Arianna Huffington, One Republic, Hands, Ryan Eggold, Matisyahu and dozens of others. Microsoft, AOL, Nordstrom and many other companies will participate. The official Twitter Hash Tag for April 10th, 2012 – #OneDayWithoutShoes.

Will you be joining the movement? For more information, check out: http://www.onedaywithoutshoes.com/ Continue reading

The nominees for the 2012 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, which recognizes the biggest waves and the best rides of the last year, were announced last week. Winners will be announced at the invitation-only Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards party at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California on May 4, 2012. The show will be webcast that night on YouTube’s Network A, and will be broadcast as a one-hour program on FUEL TV on Sunday, May 20 at 3 P.M. PT.

This year’s event marks the 12th-annual edition of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards, an event open to every qualified surfer at every break on every day of the year, and eligible if the action is captured by a video or still camera and submitted for judging by the XXL’s voting academy of expert surfers and lensmen. Over 1,000 images were entered into the event before being filtered down to the best five stills and single definitive video clip of each nominated ride.

This year’s swells have been widely regarded as the most spectacular ever seen in the sport of big wave riding. There are top five nominees in each of the XXL’s seven divisions, all worthy of being named an XXL champion and each with a shot at a share of the $120,000 in prize money at stake.

For the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year category, there are five very different waves for consideration, all ridden in very different regions around the planet: 1) SoCal native Nathan Fletcher for his earth-shattering barrel at Teahupoo, Tahiti, 2) SoCal native Greg Long for his paddle-in tube at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, 3) Australian Ryan Hipwood for his long, spitting pipe of a wave at Cloudbreak, Fiji, 4) Australian Jeff Rowley for a hair-raising late paddle drop and pocket ride at Jaws on Maui, and 5) Hawaiian Garrett McNamara, for his plunge into a massive face off the coast of Portugal, a feat that earned the big wave veteran global headlines in November.

Here are the nominees in three other categories, including Monster Paddle, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave, and Monster Tube. The nominees in the remaining three other categories will be announced on April 9, including Surfline Best Overall Performance Award (male), the Billabong Girls Best Performance Award (female) and the ever-popular Verizon Wipeout Award.

The nominees for 2012, in alphabetical order:

(Surfer prize $50,000 – Video prize $5,000)
Nathan Fletcher (San Juan Capistrano, California, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011. (Video by Simon Saffigna.)
Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, Australia) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011. (Video by Nimai Strickland.)
Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on May 19, 2011.
(Video by Alejandro Berger.)
Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011. (Video by Jorge Leal.)
Jeff Rowley (Torquay, Victoria, Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 30, 2012. (Video by Wangdu Hovey.)

(Surfer prize $15,000 – Photo/video prize $4,000)
Ken “Skindog” Collins (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 8, 2012. (Photos by Robert Brown and Frank Quirarte. Video by The Go Big Project.)
Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 4, 2012. (Photo by Fred Pompermayer. Video by Greg Browning.)
Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Hawaii, on January 4, 2012. (Photos by Bidu, Tracy Kraft, Bruno Lemos, Jason Murray and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Elliot Leboe.)
Jamie Mitchell (Gold Coast, Australia) at Todos Santos, Mexico on January 6, 2012. (Photo by Jason Murray. Video by Graham Nash.)
Dave Wassel (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 4, 2012. (Photos by Eric Aeder, Frank Berthuot, Bruno Lemos, Mike Neal and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Bruno Lemos.)

(Surfer prize $15,000 – Photo/video prize $4,000)
Andrew Cotton (Croyde, Devon, United Kingdom) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 8, 2012. (Photos by Andrew Kilfeather, Conn Osbourne and David Olsthoorn. Video by Jamie Russell.)
Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Priaia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011. (Photo by Wilson Ribeiro. Video by Jorge Leal.)
Axi Muniain (Zarautz, Basque Country) at Agiti, Spain on December 15, 2011. (Photo by Eric Chauche. Video by Walter Lang.)
Ollie O’Flaherty (Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 8, 2012. (Photos by Christian McLeod and Matt Strathern. Video by Mark Waters.)
Damien “Taco” Warr (Yallingup, Western Australia) at Cow Bombie, Western Australia on October 16, 2011. (Photo by Jamie Scott. Video by Rick Jakovich.)

(Surfer prize $5,000 – Still photography prize $2,000)
Kohl Christensen (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011.
(Photos by Brian Bielmann and Bruno Lemos.)
Nathan Fletcher (San Juan Capistrano, California, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011. (Photos by Brian Bielmann, Pete Frieden, Bruno Lemos, Tim McKenna and Benjamin Thouard.)
Tyler Hollmer-Cross (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on May 17, 2011. (Photo by Andrew Chisholm.)
Bruce Irons (Hanalei, Hawaii, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011.
(Photos by Brian Bielmann, Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer, Pat Stacy and Benjamin Thouard.)
Everaldo “Pato” Teixeira
(Florianopolis, Brazil) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011.
(Photos by Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer and Benjamin Thouard.)

For more details and to view all the still photos, go to www.BillabongXXL.com. Continue reading

Is the time of inland surfing here? That’s what Wavegarden hopes to accomplish with its man-made wave prototype located just outside of Zarautz, deep in the Basque Country of Spain.

After seven years of trial and error, this 30 yard pond lined in black plastic now offers waist high rip-able freshwater wave surges, and has captured the attention of the surf world, including Owen Wright, Mick Fanning, and Bobby Martinez. The reality for people of all ages and surfing levels to enjoy a “real” surfing experience beyond the oceans of the world is almost here.

The idea for Wavegarden started when engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch decided to combine their expertise in designing and building sport facilities with their passion for surfing. Their goal was to create the most realistic surfing experience in perfect waves. In fact, their entire team is composed of passionate surfers, whose aim is to share the amazing sport and healthy lifestyle of surfing with others not fortunate enough to live near natural waves.

The wave itself will provide rides up to 30 seconds in a “Pointbreak” style of wave, both right and left simultaneously. It will allow most surfers two decent turns (four if you’re Jordy). The wave size, speed, and shape can be altered at any time, even during a ride. The maximum height of the wave will be roughly 5.2 feet on the face. But, with enough skill a rider can achieve a tuberide of unheard of length. Moreover, it uses a low environmental impact and an energy consumption average of only 350kwh.

If all goes to plan, the technology will be pumping man-made waves down a river for the public to surf by the Spring of 2012. Wavegarden already has commitments for facilities in the Middle East, Europe and America, including WaveGardenHawaii, a 6 acre pool in Oahu.

For further info, check out http://www.wavegarden.com.

Image Source: http://www.wavegarden.com. Continue reading

It started in 2007 when the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Australia inspired 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses in Sydney to show their support for climate change action in the first ever Earth Hour event. 5 years later, Earth Hour has become an annual and global event.

It’s scheduled on the last Saturday of every March to closely coincide with the equinox to ensure most cities are in darkness as it is rolled out around the Earth. This year, Earth Hour will take place on March 31, 2012 from 8:30p.m. to 9:30p.m., at the participant’s local time.

From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Empire State Building in New York City, the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa to the Leaning Tower in Pisa in Italy, the world’s most captivating icons will go dark for Earth Hour 2012. Earth Hour will also extend to the International Space Station for the first time, where astronaut and WWF ambassador Andre Kuipers will experience Earth Hour watching over the planet for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Last year’s Earth Hour was the biggest year in the campaign’s five year history. More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. More importantly, members went Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet.

For 2012, with the power of social networks behind the Earth Hour message, Earth Hour organizers are hoping to attract even more participation to build a truly global community committed to creating a more sustainable planet. In February, Earth Hour launched its 2012 campaign, “I Will If You Will”, with the intention of engaging its growing global community to go beyond the hour and coordinate their efforts publicly through social media.

So, don’t forget to turn off all non-essential lights this Saturday for an hour. It’s a small gesture to show your commitment to the environment.

Image Source: guardian.co.uk Continue reading

Looking to view what will be a classic film of some of the best skating moves? “The Cinematographer Project,” TransWorld‘s 24th video, will be available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and iTunes worldwide March 30, 2012. Featuring 13 filmmakers and 145 skaters, this film collaboration is a culmination of years in the trenches and producer Jon Holland’s creative vision.

The premise of “The Cinematographers Project,” was to get the best filmers in the industry, let them go one-on-one with any skater of their choosing, and then give them total creative control in the editing room and splice the results together to create one rad skating compilation.

The participants include the industry’s premier lensmen: Jon Holland himself, Dan Wolfe, RB Umali, Lee Dupont, Mike Manzoori, Beagle, Chris Ray, Bill Strobeck, Benny Maglinao, Brennan Conroy, Russell Houghten, Torsten Frank and Chris Middlebrook.

“The Cinematographers Project” stars top notch skaters Jason Dill, Dennis Busenitz, Zered Bassett, Chaz Ortiz, Braydon Szafranski, Dylan Rieder, Mark Gonzales, just to name a few of the amazing shredders featured from around the world.

Transworld also created an online Cinematographer contest for anyone to participate in. There were over 130 entries, with Ohio native Dan Mizicko, winning overall. For his top efforts, Mizicko’s video edit is now included in the film, plus he was flown to L.A. for the premiere, got to stay at The Roosevelt, presented with an award at the TWS Awards, and showed his winning entry on the big screen! Due to the success of the contest, this will now be an annual Transworld contest and award at their premieres.

Transworld also picked 9 other runners-up to make up a Top 10 Finalists list, and are featuring them on their Facebook fan page. The video with the most Likes on March 30 will win the Fan Favorite award. https://www.facebook.com/pages/TransWorld-SKATEboarding/70659199626.

Here’s to the worldwide release of “The Cinematographer Project” on March 30.

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