Billabong is asking for photos to show why life is better in boardshorts, and it will help others, too. Billabong has teamed up with SurfAid International, the non-profit humanitarian organization whose aim is to improve the health, well-being and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. Tsunami relief, providing clean drinking water and reducing the affects of Malaria are all part of SurfAid’s daily mission.

For every photo shared, Billabong will donate $1 to SurfAid, and your entry also gives you the opportunity to win great prizes. Their goal is to gather 50,000 images to raise $50,000 for this great cause.

Weekly Prizes
A weekly winner will receive boardshorts, towels, backpacks and other cool stuff.

Major Prize
The best 50 images as judged by Billabong will come together to make a pair of LTD Editions photo print boardshorts. The owner of these top 50 photo’s will all receive a pair of these Boardshorts signed and number by Taj, Parko or Occy.

Ultimate Prize
A trip to Bali for you and 3 friends.

Life’s better when you’re helping others! For more information, go to http://www.billabong.com/lifesbetter/.

Of course, if you need or want some boardshorts, we’ve got you covered here at Becker: http://beckersurf.com/guys/clothing/boardshorts/

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Last week, Surfline wrote a story featuring the current and favorite reading lists of a half dozen surfers, including Gerry Lopez, Kelly Slater and Dane Gudauskas. It’s great insight, and a cool list to know when you’ve got some downtime and want to pick up a good read.

Here are a few of the favorites:

Surfing legend Gerry Lopez is all about being in tune with life and how to be a healthier human inside out:

  • Hero, The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda
  • Light on Yoga, B.K.S Iyengar
  • Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.
  • The pH Miracle, Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, by Robert O. Young, PhD and Shelley Redford Young

11 Time World Champion Kelly Slater looks to best sellers for his reading pleasure:

  • Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) by Richard P. Feynman
  • What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

World Traveler Dane Gudauskas likes books that give him a philosophical view of the world:

  • Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  • The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity by Daniel P. Reid
  • The Annotated Sailing Alone Around the World by Captain Joshua Slocum

Surfer Dan Malloy who is also a traveler, rancher, and filmmaker, likes his books to teach him:

  • Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
  • In the Sweet Bye and Bye by Margaret Kilgallen
  • The East West Interviews by Gary Snyder

To check out the full list, go to http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/reading-for-surfers_66362/.

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The race for the ASP World Tour starts this Saturday, so who do you think will win it all this year? Are you betting that Kelly Slater, at 40, will take title #12?

Well… with Owen Wright, Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, and Jordy Smith (just to name a few) all in the running, we can pretty much guarantee that there will be some pretty stiff competition for Kelly.

We can’t wait to watch it unfold once again. Here’s the ASP World Schedule:

Dates  Site Event Prize
Feb 25 – Mar 7 Gold Coast,Qld, Australia Quiksilver Pro presented by Land Rover $425,000
Apr 3 – 14 Bells Beach,Victoria, Australia  Rip Curl Pro presented by Ford Ranger $425,000
May 9 – 20 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   Billabong Rio Pro  $500,000
Jun 3 – 15 Tavarua/Namotu, Fiji  Volcom Fiji Pro $425,000
Aug 16 – 27 Teahupoo, Taiarapu, French Polynesia Billabong Pro Teahupoo $425,000
Sep 16 – 22 Trestles, California, USA Hurley Pro $425,000
Sep 28 – Oct 8, South West Coast, France Quiksilver Pro France $425,000
Oct 10 – 21 Peniche, Portugal    Rip Curl Pro  $425,000
Nov 2 – 12  O’Neill Coldwater Classic Santa Cruz $425,000
Dec 8 – 20, Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii  Billabong Pipe Masters     $425,000

For more information, log onto ASPWorldTour.com.

Image Source: bnqt.com

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California’s South Bay is renowned for its punk and reggae roots, but recently, the local music sound has been evolving toward eclecticism. Bands have been weaving in folk-based elements to their sound, trending toward Americana, Country, and Bluegrass roots, and creating a new music category, Whiskey Honk.

One of these bands is Bullys & Matadors, consisting of three Hermosa Becker Surf employees (yes!), Steve Huante (dobro resonator guitar, vocals) and Kira Lingman (hollow-body Casino guitar, foot-tambourine), and Rachel Togut (cocktail drum kit, percussion, back up vocals).

Huante is both a South Bay and local music veteran, RUHS class of 1999. Lingman and Togut, both 2005 Mira Costa grads, are surprisingly, new to being in a band.

Together, the three of them create a sound that’s a cocktail of Blues n’ Country, Jazz, and just plain ole good beer-drinkin’ music. Huante describes it as a blend of Rock, Country, and Blues, but acknowledges that they also dabble in Flamenco and are willing to try anything. He says, “It’s a couple hours of good live music with a great-looking, ripping pair of girls on cocktail drums and guitar, and a Mexican-hybrid of Elvis and Johnny Cash who ate Glen Danzig.”

The Bullys’ set runs through a variety of “countrified” covers, including those of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Patsy Cline to Billy Idol, Misfits, and Tiger Army. But, they also filter in a number of originals, with songs like “Drunk On You,” “Six String Slinger,” and “Whistle Arrow.”

“We’re hoping to have an album completed by the end of the year,” says Huante. “Goal is to have a full length out by this fall, and we’re almost there as far as enough original material – just have to tighten ‘er up a bit before dropping money on recording.”

Up for hearing them live? They’ll be playing at our Becker Hermosa Grand Opening Celebration this coming Saturday, February 25 from 12pm – 7pm, along with bands, Whitley Heights and The Parted. Join us for a day of celebration, ping pong, giveaways, and of course, cool tunes!

For more info on the band, check out their site: http://bullysandmatadors.wordpress.com/

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We know that the ocean is awesome, but marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols believes that humans have an actual inherent, deep-seated “need” for aquatic environments. According to an article from Outside Magazine December 2011, Nichols is trying to scientifically reveal that oceanic environments actually produce neurological benefits such as mood elevation, stress reduction, and better memory. Yes!

In the past couple of years, Nichols has become a sought-after speaker, giving dozens of presentations, from TEDx to adventure-travel trade shows to environmental symposiums. We’ve seen tons of data on rising sea temperatures or plastic pollution or disappearing creatures, but he believes that the best advocate for ocean conservation is if we study our own minds, and scientifically prove all the neurological benefits that the ocean brings us.

Nichols has launched a campaign to create a new field of study he calls neuro-conservation. He hopes to inspire cognitive scientists to examine these fundamental questions, since we all intuitively know there’s something uniquely calming and contemplative about the ocean, but research hasn’t actually validated this.

Hopefully we’ll be a step closer to unraveling the mystery of mind and nature, and the connection between the two. For more information on Nichols’s efforts on the link between neuroscience and ocean science, check out his site: http://www.100blueangels.org/.

One step closer to truly proving that nothing is a better mood elevator than a good surf session!

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