I’ve definitely been sleeping on blog updates.
Silent movies are back in fashion… Gas is expensive, but the Ipad Two will soon be real cheap… Traveling on a cruise ship is a dangerous endeavor, but still not as risky as investing in a Greek treasury bond… And a Chinese dude learned how to play amazing basketball – for about two weeks.
On the political front, watching the Republican nomination process has been a delicious train wreck of infighting and political cannibalism. Herman Cain, a pizza mogul with some sexual peccadillos in his past, apparently thought that a “9-9-9″ catch-phrase and his black skin would be sufficient gimmicks to secure him the nomination. Texas good ol’ boy Rick Perry learned the hard way that the “raising money” part of a campaign is a lot easier than the “actually knowing things” part. An obese drug-addict named Rush Limbaugh somehow managed to alienate most of the female voting block in this country… while an adulterous pudgy relic from the 1990′s named Newt continued to spoil it for the rest of the conservative candidates like a drunk uncle who just doesn’t know when to leave a holiday dinner. And finally, it now appears that a filthy-rich white man who believes in magic underwear (yes, look it up) is going to be running against Barak Obama in November. Stay tuned.
But back to surfing… John John Florence ruled this season on the North Shore. In case you missed it, there was a last-second finish in the Volcom Pipe Pro that has apt comparisons to a classic Jordan fade away buzzer-beater of yore. Keiren Perrow won the Pipe Masters. (Kieren who, you say?.. Exactly. He’s a talented surfer and a super nice guy, but his victory was akin to the Jacksonville Jaguars winning the Superbowl). The Eddie Aikau contest was a no-go. And Taj Burrow set off the season with a stylie win at Snapper.
Here are some random visual highlights from the season…
The Pipe Masters circus is in town and it’s literally going down in John John’s front yard. He is about to win the Triple Crown. Just weeks later, he will defeat the elder statesman Jamie O’Brien in the final seconds of the Volcom Pipe Pro and thus graduate from a junior-varsity star to an outright legend. The event’s commentator and consummate wordsmith Chris Cote couldn’t have said it better – Jamie had poked a sleeping giant. The contest will be remembered for one of the single most exciting endings in competitive surf history. John Florence will absolutely dominate this season. But all the glory, winnings, and media fervor will seem incidental to him. His pure love of the sport is paramount. In this picture, Pipe is firing yet you can see in his eyes that he simply wants to go back out and surf.
In my opinion, Benji Weatherly is basically the honorary mayor of the North Shore. His wisecracking and wit seem to be a welcome addition to any gathering. He invited me to come with him for a drop by at Kelly’s place. In New York terms, I would basically be considered his “plus one”. I was grateful. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to “Ed”. I laughed and thought to myself, “of course there’s a rock star hanging out at Kelly’s beachfront house. He’s the 11 time world-champion.”. If Obama had walked out from the kitchen and handed me an ice cold Primo, I don’t think I would have been too surprised at that point. The atmosphere felt relaxed, but definitely exclusive. Kelly and Eddie are both absolute titans at what they do. I shot this picture in Kelly’s garage while he was showing Eddie some equipment from his board closet. I suspect that Eddie has an equivalent room in his house with all of his guitars that Kelly has gotten a similar tour of. Seeing this made me realize some of the parallels between what the two of them do. They both have experienced things that us civilians will never truly understand. The respect that they have for each other was palatable in the air.
Fending off drunk cougars and snagging barrels is not for the faint of heart. Parker is a champion. But there comes that point in the night where something has to happen to keep the party going. Is it going to be a “pro-ho” puking on the carpet? Is it going to be a fist-fight between two shirtless assholes that everyone wants to see get beat up anyway? Or is it going to be a young ripper taking charge and throwing on a snorkel & mask as if to say “it’s Tuesday night on the North Shore, you pussies, let’s throw this fucking shindig into gear!” Subsequently, early the next morning while his elders are listlessly sitting around shaking off their cheep-beer-and-frozen-pizza-hangovers and claiming that the “tide just isn’t quite right”, he’s out in the empty lineup getting the waves of his life with a smirk on his face…Talented and wise beyond his years. From one Santa Barbara native to another, I’m damn proud to have you reppin’ 805 for us, Lil’ Man.
While this photo was being taken, Joel’s son Mahli was playing with Axel, the son of the late Andy Irons. His eyes were fixed directly on Axel. It was a terrifically charming scene. Getting to witness the nascent friendship of these two kids and getting to capture this quiet moment of bonding was truly a heartwarming experience. Considering the family names that these kids both have, their lives will soon become much more complicated.
The Surfer Poll awards are televised locally in Hawaii and on few select cable channels stateside. It’s a great opportunity for the industry to put on a pair of long pants and a shirt with buttons, and get drunk together. But from a production point of view, well, let’s just say it ain’t The Oscars… When Bruce was introduced and called to the stage, there was a solid one-minute of dead air time while he was nowhere to be found. Freddy Patachia, who handled the hosting responsibilities like a gentleman and a pro, was driven to simply laugh and declare, “Come on, Bruce, this is live TV”. But you can’t put a photo booth, props, costumes, free tequila, and a bunch of surfers in a room and expect them to promptly avail themselves for the camera when directed – that might fly for a bunch camera-whore actors in Hollywood, but ultimately these surfers don’t really give a shit about the accolades. It’s just an open bar and an opportunity to hang with their buddies.
Tags: 805 Area Code, adultery, Bruce Irons, Camera hungry actors, Chris Cote, Conservatives, dead air time, Eddie Vedder, fat slobs, Fred Patachia, gasoline, Greedy White Men, hypocrites, Jeremy Lin, Joel Parkinson, John John Florence, Kelly Slater, Occy, Parker Coffin, Politics, pro-ho's, Republicans, Santa Barbara, Surfer Poll Awards, talk radio, wordsmiths