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Showing posts with label Featured Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Featured Stories. Show all posts

The 25th Annual Venice Surf-A-Thon was held on Saturday, December 8, once again taking place at the Venice Pier. The contest is a grassroots local tradition that has evolved from a mentorship gathering for youth beset by gang violence to an inter-generational celebration of community. The contest has been a labor of love for it's founder Ger-I Lewis .
Ger-I founded the Venice Surf-A-Thon in 1993 after returning home from military service. "I wished to do something for the children , young adults and the community in general that is fun and has a positive influence on everyone." says Ger-I. "For sure back in the day the contest was edgy as so was I! Instead of handing out trophies at the beach like most contests, I incorporated the awards party to give everyone a chance to shine. Inviting local talent as well the bikini contest was also a strategy to enhance and create a Venice culture showcase. Well times have changed and folks have mellowed, the bikini contest is no longer a part of the event as many of the original contestants are grandfathers now! The event has a generational community expectation and Surf-A-thon has taken on a family atmosphere. Many world class surfers, celebrities, have supported and donated to The Venice Surf-A-Thon including Mimi Miyagi,Peter Destafino, Perry Ferral, C.R. Stecyk , Danny Trejo, Robert Trujillo (of Metallica), Noah Budroe, Chris Ward, Tonan, Tina Cheri, DJ Muggs, Kid Frost, and Beowulf. Moreover the contest has provided a an opportunity for surfers to get a start in competition surfing."


Here's the contest recap/resullts from Ger-I:

The contest started off early with Body surfing. First place went Steve Shop, 2nd to Place Mike Wood, and in Third place was Johnny.

Two Groms Mixed Heats followed. The Groms Mixed Heat #1 winners were Logan in First, Kay got Second, and Third went to Parker.




Groms Mixed #2 winners were Dean Pitari in First, Bradley getting Second, and Kay following with Third.


Girls division was next. First Place going to Mimi Sullivan, Second Place went to Oshi Massey, and Third Place was Kay (again).



Longboards winners were Mr Cortez taking First, Tonan Ruiz placing Second, and Third Place going to Billy Bong.







Continue on Page 2




Malibu's Jamie Brisick:

The text message came just before 7 a.m.: “Mandatory evacuation for the entire city of Malibu.” I grabbed my car keys, wallet, phone, laptop, writing stuff, and a change of clothes. It was Friday, November 9th. I was not worried. Malibu gets a fire nearly every year. Never do they creep down the Santa Monica Mountains, leap the Pacific Coast Highway, and take out homes where I live, in Point Dume.

But this one did. And it took out my home with an almost personal vengeance. Watching KTLA news with a friend in his Venice Beach studio the following evening, he pointed at the screen. “That looks like your house.” The camera zoomed in. “That’s definitely your house.” The shot—a firefighter blasting water at my inflamed bedroom—would play on repeat throughout the weekend. I became a kind of poster child for the Woolsey Fire.

The next few days threw into sharp relief my conflicted relationship with Malibu life. Many of my fellow-evacuees landed comfortably in Venice and Santa Monica. I received invitations to festive dinners and brunches at upscale eateries. Designer fashion labels offered free clothes to folks who’d lost their homes. A two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar gift certificate for luxury bedding showed up in my in-box. Compared to the extreme loss of life in the Camp Fire, it felt way too easy. Even in evacuation mode, we kept up our tenor of self-congratulation.

Meanwhile, I could not get back into Malibu. Roads were closed on the north, south, and valley sides. The “stayers,” several of them surfer friends of mine, posted on social media about “never feeling a stronger sense of purpose” and “being honored to serve their community.” The Point Dume Bomberos, a vigilante group that formed in the fire, were saving houses. Supplies were coming in by boat; surfers were paddling them to shore on longboards. Malibu moms were cooking up hot meals in jury-rigged kitchens. I was hit with a sense of fomo/shame. I’d got out of the fire, and now all I wanted was to get back into the fire.

I got in the following day with a makeshift press pass. Driving west past Surfrider Beach, the Pacific Coast Highway eerily quiet, I watched a set of waves peel across First Point, no riders. Malibu is one of the most crowded breaks on earth. The road closure would create empty lineups akin to the pre-“Gidget” days. I reached back and pawed the nose of my five-ten twin fin.

I passed places of great personal significance: the surf spot where I got my first tube, in 1978; the former home of the Malibu Inn, where in my tormented teens I consumed a half decade’s worth of soggy oatmeal and burnt coffee hoping to get closer to a particular waitress; the rocky outcropping where my late wife and I shared one of our last meals together, a picnic of cheese and avocado sandwiches, the shore break slapping and hissing below our feet. I started surfing in the late seventies. Malibu was my playground; it’s as close to my heart as any geographical place I can think of. But to be a surfer is to be a traveller. In my early twenties, I started travelling, and pretty much kept travelling.

The first sightings of the fire were just north of Pepperdine University. The charred hills took on a certain vulnerability, vegetation gone, trees skeletal, bald black curves in the midday sun. Born and raised in L.A., now fifty-two, I have come to understand that it’s essentially a race between the Santa Ana winds and the rain. If the rain comes first, the fire hazard is mitigated. But, if the fires come first, as they had now (and as they did last year, with the Thomas Fire and the ensuing mudslides in Montecito), we’re in big trouble.


Read the entire story on THE NEW YORKER


The last eight days have been truly remarkable and both good and bad. The stories we could tell would fill a library. The short of it is when many people evacuated these guys stayed behind, fought the fires & protected Point Dume Malibu on their own. The media has branded them as "surfers", which is true, however they failed to mention that they are also County Lifeguards, Off-duty FD, Woodsmen, Outdoorsmen, Production Coordinators & Ex-Military. Without all of their expertise in every different facet & their local knowledge of the canyons/streets, they wouldn't have been able to accomplish what they did. These MEN posted up on mountains overnight to spot fires, tactically strike Hot-spots, put out Flare-up's, coordinated boat deliveries and delivered of all the supplies in their trucks to the local elementary school where locals again handled the situation. This amazing Band of Brothers had their metal tested over the last 8 days, barely sleeping, barley eating, putting their bodies in harms way to protect what they love and never once complained. I’ve never been so proud to work with such a rare group of individuals. All I ask is that you post a picture tomorrow morning (Tuesday Morning) and give them a little love. That’s it….


If anyone asks “why the Bomberos?”…It's a nod to the old school Point Dume Bombers (As in to “Bomb" a wave i.e. drop in on a heavy wave). Here is a quote from Lyon Herron, a life long Point Dume Local and amazing surfer. “The bombers were an infamous group of true local Point Dume locals that regulated the point in not always the best way. Our take is to truly give back and teach history to the coming you about their home. Teach them how to earn respect and love one another. The Point Dume Bomberos today are a representation of our home that has given us so much. We stand together to keep our community strong and not let it fall apart."

Go Fund Me Page: Malibu Disaster Prevention & Relief
After the devastating Woolsey Fire, local MalibuVWbus heads back into Malibu:
It took out everything in its path...


Lifeguard Tower.


Leo Carrillo.


Burned VW on the side of PCH with a completely burned background.


That lucky gem in the background was the only thing besides the fence next to it that didn’t burn on this block. It still sustained heavy heat and smoke damage. The windshield melted to the dashboard.... You can also see the outline of the other Porsche in the garage with the garage roof covering it’s burned chassis. As for the Chevy, it didn’t do so well.


Burned house and VW style buggy.


Here is my mom and her house that was demolished by the fire. The cross she is holding was on her wall and survived the fire. This is a miniature version of the cross that Jon Krawczyk made. The big version he made sits across the street from the 911 memorial museum in New York City. Jon and his wife Dee Dee also lost their house which was right next to my moms house.


Eerie Scene.


Bummer. Looks like it was on the top of a lift in the garage and dropped onto another car below it.... There is another one sitting out front that survived. Not sure how bad it is though... The fire was so hot that it melted the windshield to the dashboad. It looks like it’s the only thing on the property that survived besides the fence next to it. We shut off the neighbors water meter that was still on and spraying water everywhere.


If you're on Instagram you can follow @MalibuVWbus to see more of his photos.


California's surfing culture is very rich. Every year the Malibu Surfing Association holds their signature The Classic event at famous Malibu Beach. There you will find some of the best longboarders from California and other states. This footage from Longboardarian is a snapshot of the event. Recorded while Surf Aid had their specialty heat.
On Saturday, September 8th Malibu lit up with a head high south swell at the perfect angle for first point. The level of surfing was off the charts with longboarders perched on the nose and shortboarders throwing buckets of spray. Hoots were even heard from the judges tent as one epic performance after another fired up the beach.
Event Pro Dylan Goodale taking full advantage of an empty Malibu Lineup. (Photo by Grey Lockwood)

In partnership with Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) and the Classic Invitational, 11 teams competed and raised over $74,000 for SurfAid ’s Mother and Child Health Programmes. Foam Ballers Team Captain Zen Gesner and his teammates David Chokachi, Jon Mone, and Tom Triggs earned the prestigious Fundraising Cup after raising an astonishing $20,569 for SurfAid. Funds will help ensure SurfAid partner communities have access to clean water & sanitation, basic healthcare, and improved nutrition. Each of these factors have been proven to reduce maternal and child mortality rates by as much as 70%.
Zen Gesner, captain of the winning Fundraising Cup team, The Foam Ballers, flying down a perfectly groomed Malibu wall. (Photo by Gray Lockwood)

Zen shared this about their win, “An amazing day, shared with a fine group of amazing people, brought together for a true humanitarian effort…it just doesn’t get any better than this!”

It did get better for the Foam Ballers, as they were one of six teams who made it to the finals. Joining them were last year’s SurfAid Cup champs Team Becker, Team MSA, Malaria Sucks, Vote Pierson for City Council, and first-time competitors and the 2018 SurfAid Cup Malibu Surf Champions, The Relik Groms!

Sponsored by Danny Errico and coached by John Welch, the all grom dream team included up and coming longboarders Brooke Carlson, Haley Otto, John Michael Van Hohenstein, and Kevin Skvarna. Joining the Relik Grom team as their pro was Reilly Stone who as an 18-year-old out of Santa Cruz relied on his classic footwork to help lead the team towards an impressive final score of 368.
Kevin Skvarna of team Relik with classic Malibu Style. (Photo by Grey Lockwood)

John emphasized having the kids work together and they adopted an acronym that John learned a long time ago; TEAM - Together Everybody Achieves More. Their goal was to simply have fun and then everything else would fall into place. John was stoked with the teams results, “We were super blessed to have taken first place in light of the amazing teams we surfed with. On behalf of each and every Team Relik Grom member, we would like to congratulate all the teams that competed. You were all amazing!”

SurfAid takes a similar collective approach when working with our communities. Funds raised through the SurfAid Cup directly translate to transformational change in our communities. SurfAid ’s hand up – not a hand out philosophy is built to ensure lasting sustainability and the SurfAid Cup gives surfers a chance to work together to save the lives of mums and babies in places they love to surf.
Kevin Skvarna of team Relik with classic Malibu Style. (Photo by Grey Lockwood)


Check out all the photos:
SurfAid Cup Malibu Photo Gallery


SurfAid Cup Malibu 2018 Team Standings
Champions - Relik Groms
2nd - MSA
3rd - Becker
4th - Malaria Sucks
5th - Vote Pierson for City Council
6th - Foam Ballers
7th - Stay Committed Get Pitted
8th - Indoteak Design
9th - Dr. Dave’s Team
10th - Latigroms
11th - SurfAiders


SurfAid Cup Malibu 2018 Pro Roster:
Tim Curran
Leah Dawson
Dylan Goodale
Kyle Knox
Steven Lippman
Reef McIntosh
Mike McCabe
Johnny Noris
Reilly Stone
Kai Takayama
Joel Tudor
Tyler Warren


Video highlights from the 7th Annual SurfAid Cup Malibu
Beyond The Borders Of Era: Natas Kaupas Designs Handcrafted Surfboards With Shinola



He is known around the world as a legendary skateboarder, but there’s nothing Natas Kaupas loves more than creating, whether it’s for wheels–or waves.

In Santa Monica, surfing has always been just as important as skateboarding. Skating and surfing are a natural way of life, and growing up in this community led Natas to the art he creates today.

“Growing up and using local shapers, you’d get custom boards. You’d always think of the designs, the airbrushes and the colors. That part is pretty natural—deciding how you want your board to look,” he says.

Santa Monica was nurturing in that way, Natas says. He began surfing and skating both at a very young age, and he loved watching the locals, skating pros like Jim Muir or Jay Adams, zoom by.



“It was almost like a bigger brother kind of feeling,” Natas says. “There was some mentoring, especially on the art side. Wes Humpston, one of the original Dogtown artists, would give me pens and little pointers.”

Despite watching the local pros skate around Dogtown, Natas developed as a skateboarder much on his own. He recalls spending time alone, experimenting and woodshedding tricks.

Nowadays, Natas finds inspiration in the community and collaborates with many artists and craftspeople on various projects.

“These sports are very expressive, and a lot of people consider it an artform. There’s a lot of creative people involved in surfing and skateboarding. And you have this perfect canvas,” Natas says. “You have this tradition of silk screening and adding graphics to skateboards and colors on surfboards. I find it inspiring.”

His latest creations, in collaboration with Shinola , are limited-edition surfboards and beach towels. The two share a similar design—two Ws that pay homage to West Washington Boulevard, the previous name of what is now Abbot Kinney Boulevard and the location of the Shinola Venice store. Natas describes the style as a bit looser, drawing inspiration from traditional 1960s boards with a resin tint and acid splashes.



“The thought was to bring a little bit of that without looking overly traditional,” Natas says. “I wanted to push that a little bit.”

Natas likes to draw from the past, often turning to hand lettering and vintage books for inspiration. He sees today’s great skateboarders—or “rippers” as the skateboard community calls them—learning tricks from history.

“I really love watching this current generation of rippers that pick and choose of era. They don’t stick to just one,” Natas says.

Curating this artform—pulling from tradition while simultaneously challenging it—is no easy task. Natas notes that crafting in traditional ways is a slow and difficult process. These surfboards require a lot of engineering, and shapers and glassers have many variables they must take into account. With hydrodynamics, every detail matters, from the contour of the bottom to the shape of the fin. Crafted by hand with a planer and a saw, these boards require the expert eyes and hands of the shaper.

“There’s a lot of craftspeople involved, people you need to trust and communicate with. Up to a fraction of an inch will make a huge difference,” Natas says.



This kind of commitment to quality drives all of his creations, and it is one of the many reasons that drew Natas to collaborate with Shinola .

“I’ve been doing projects with Shinola for a number of years now, and I really get along with the way they operate—the transparency and the honesty,” he says.

For Natas, quality hinges on reliability, especially when you’re skating the streets or surfing the ocean.

“I’m attracted to things that are of quality because of the reliability. When I go surfing or skating, I don’t want to wonder if this thing is going to break in my hands or not perform the way I want it to,” Natas says. “With quality products, you don’t get left high and dry, and you get to enjoy things to the fullest.”

Quality doesn’t come quickly, but it’s always worth the wait. Shaping can take a long time because of the many elements involved in the creation, Natas says, and shapers are notorious for taking longer than they say.

“It’s a running joke in the surf community: ‘Is my board done yet?’” Natas says.

One thing that is never done for Natas is creating. Whether it’s a new project, painting for fun, or making crafts with his toddler, Natas lives for it all. And though this leaves him with little time for waves or wheels, he still tries to sneak in a surf or a skate whenever he can. Because for Natas, life in California—surfing, skating, creating—never gets old. More at Shinola


Big city, bright lights: everybody we know can be found here. Jack Coleman and a full cast of characters descended upon the 'bu for a lengthy board meeting on this most recent south swell. Palms were greased, deals were made, and the majority shareholders were pleased with their return on investment. Enjoy this edit of the multi-shredder conglomerate of Southern California.


Watch an amazing father-daughter bond while Malibu's Frankie Seely and her dad, Mitt talk about surfing, fatherhood and how girls are treated differently out in the water. This short film is by Too Pretty Brand





Perillo, Sarlo, Meador and the Brothers Marshall revive classic surfcraft at Malibu

“Malibu is one of the best waves on the California coast,” Bird says. The legendary cobblestone right-hander typically calls for flatter boards with straighter rails and Bird knows just what to curate from his shed of diverse surf craft for that. A couple of sub six-foot classics and two traditional single fin logs.

Malibu’s resident rippers Dillon Perillo and Colton Sarlo trade-off an early model 5’10” Mark Richards twin fin from Gordon & Smith, and a pink 5’10” Terry Fitzgerald shape with a unique fin setup, a board shaped for first ‘CT World Champion Pete Townend.

For the loggers, Bird pulls out a 9’6″ Gary Propper model from Hobie Surfboards. “This thing at Malibu should blow some peoples’ minds,” Bird says about the board. After scoring a few waves on it, Chad and Trace Marshall share the same sentiment. However, the regularfoot Brothers Marshall didn’t experience the same magic on the 8’6″ Hobie Corky Carroll model, but goofyfoot Kassia Meador scored a few noserides on it and summarized the board as “epic.”
Santa Monica ripper, Cove kingpin and Zephyr Team alumni passes away with early Alzheimer’s at 66.




So young, it seemed, for a guy whose energy and smile seemed to light up any spot he chose to surf. As a top dog on the fabled Zephyr Team, Ronnie held down the Santa Monica surf scene during the 1970’s with a dynamic blend of exceptional ability and unquestioned authority, especially when it came to some of the more localized breaks like the old P.O.P. Pier, where he virtually ruled The Cove. Yet there was nothing dark about Ronnie’s presence in the water or on land. Stacy Peralta, a junior Zephyr Team member at the time, remembers Ronnie’s impact:

“Ronnie wasn’t just the hottest guy around, he was an inspiration. He lifted our entire beach every time he went in the water. And not just by how good he was, but with his spirit, with his sense of humor.”


L: Jeff Ho. R: Ronnie Jay. Photo: Dana Woolfe


An electrician by trade, in a different era Ronnie’s power-hungry surf style might have led him down another path.

“He was a really, really good surfer,” says Peralta. “In this day and age he probably could’ve had a career as a pro. But he was ahead of his time in his thinking. Back in the mid-‘70s, I got sponsored to go to Australia for the first time as a pro skateboarder. And I remember Ronnie coming to me and saying, “You’re getting an opportunity guys like me never got. You’ve got to respect that. Other guys might go down there and throw TVs out hotel windows, but not you. Respect it, and remember that you’re representing us.”

Ronnie Jay continued to surf hot, continued to be the local’s local, even when he began showing troubling symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Though his cognitive abilities waned, his interest in surfing never did — the sands and waves of his youth providing a constant touchstone right up until the end.


"Whenever you walked into Jeff Ho's Surf Shop in the 70's, Ronnie was easily recognizable with his high pitch voice and his friendly demeanor." recalls Robert Terris. "You knew you were at a special place in a special time. Some guys in the shop had ego's but not Ronnie you could easily talk to him about board design with their surfboards on display for sale. I got to surf with him several times in my late teens and early twenties at Bay St. And I also had Ronnie in my same heat in a Pacific West Surf Contest down at Bay St in the early 80's. I'll always remember Ronnie and the other's hanging in the Jeff Ho Surf Shop talking Story and drinking Carrot juice in the mid 70's not to many other's were into health foods like those guy's were in the 70's. I will miss Ronnie's friendly smile ingrained into my memory. Aloha Ronnie you belonged to a golden age of Surfing's past."

Ronnie’s ashes will be returned to the waves he loved at a small memorial to be held at Topanga Point on July 1st, 2018.