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Showing posts with label Surfers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surfers. Show all posts


Allen Sarlo talks about his Total Knee Replacement at Saint John’s Health Center.
Banks Journal introduces their newest Comrade West Adler



Fourteen miles from the center of LA lies the famous seaside town of Venice Beach. What first started out as the 'Venice of America', a short lived residential concept by tobacco tycoon Abbott Kinney, the heavily neglected 2 mile stretch of coast quickly transgressed into the 'Slum By the Sea'. The waterways and canals that first drew so many people to the area on the Westside soon became clogged and unnavigable from local oil drilling. Corrupt politics, mismanaged money, and gang violence indirectly became a perfect melting pot for hippies, weirdos, punks and surfers alike. It was here where a homeless bum, Jim Morrison, started writing his first lyrics and booze induced poetry. Jack Kerouac called it a jungle. Andy Warhol called it plastic.


A few blocks inland and the scene transforms to a burgeoning mixture of foodies, socialites and techies. Locals know it as Abbot Kinney Boulevard where more often than not, money is no object. But there's still pockets of the ol' Venice stretch, just visit the boardwalk on any given day or night and you'll be bombarded by the sights, sounds, and yeah, smells. For some, it's a bit easier to navigate than the clogged canals and selfie taking influencers.


We meet West out front of his house. He's 18 and just graduated high school, drives an old Benz and has a couple small dogs that bravely try to chase us away until we bribe them with belly rubs. As the newest comrade to our Banks Journal team, we saw it only fitting to spend some time with the Venice local and (admittedly) make him remind us of what it's like being fresh out of school with nothing but surf on the agenda.

BANKS: Hey West! So tell me about yourself, were you born and raised in Venice?

WEST:
Yeah, not always in the same spot but yeah, Venice it is. I actually was in Topanga for a few years, but came back for my last year of school.

BANKS: How is it up in Topanga?

WEST:
It's cool man, just really far from basically everything. You're close to the valley I guess, but nobody wants to be close to the valley, it's hot and boring. Having to navigate traffic around that area is a nightmare. Surfing Topanga, was just as hard to get to as any of the other local breaks, and if you don't leave before the sun comes up you'll be stuck for hours. Both ways, even though I lived right there. I love surfing Topanga though, I like the left better than the right... if you know, than you know.

BANKS: Bit of localism there, huh...

WEST:
Oh yeah, it's always been like that, such a protected beach even though everyone surfs there. Everyone surfs there and everyone gets yelled at, but it still doesn't deter anyone from going out. It's kinda weird, kinda funny. I've seen people snap fins out of other boards there... Stuff like that isn't even a big deal anymore. I mean it used to be more when I was younger, but it's kinda phased out now, almost. Localism in general, how fast it phased out, was kinda crazy. I remember seeing people get their ass beat in the parking lot with lead pipes and that wouldn't fly anymore. BANKS: I wonder if it's because people film everything these days... WEST: Yeah, and just the volume of people that have moved to Venice or vacation here, is so insane. There's no way you could stop it all, even with heavy localism. It's like a horde of locusts. You can try to catch 'em all but you'll never be able to. It sucks haha. But hey, at least Venice has good food now! LA food used to be such trash. Now it's kinda become a mecca. I like that part about it, there's a few businesses that I appreciate being here that have added some value.

BANKS: What's your go-to spot to surf around here?

WEST:
The Pier. Although I've been finding these fun little novelty waves in, uhh, we'll say in Dockweiler. And yeah, more recently I've been surfing those but most often you can find me at the pier. Always the pier. There's always gonna be something I can stand up on there cuz the waves are usually shit around here. So at least I know it'll be working. It's close to my house, I know where to park, and I don't have to give a shit, I can just do whatever. It's Venice, it's a little fun, piece of shit wave.

BANKS: Welcome to LA.... What are you usually surfing on?

WEST:
It depends. Usually in the summer, there's a super fun peak that forms off the north side, so I'll surf a shortboard or something. I've been having a ton of fun on this Rabbit's Foot that I have, it's amazing. It's a Lovelace board that I actually got to shape with him back in 2014, but I just glassed it. It's been wrapped in plastic for like 4 years haha. That thing goes great around here actually, I was surprised. It's an asymmetrical finless, it relies more on channels with a bit of hull influence. There's a lot of different edges and concaves on the board, it's a trip, something you need to see and feel. I love finless boards, I've been surfing them since I was thirteen, I actually bought an alaia for my birthday that year. Like a 6'2" Wegener. It happened to be too big, pretty funny actually, because I traded that in for my first longboard! So that's when I picked up longboarding, kinda random haha.

BANKS: What's your quiver like now?

West: My favorite boards at the moment are:

9’4” Thomas Surfboards Harry model
7’0” 88 Surfboard (always finless)
5’8” Dead Kooks 80s model...it has sick green airbrushed flames.
5’3” Ryan Lovelace Rabbits Foot
5’1” Thomas Surfboards Fish

See more of West in action on his Comrade Page here .


Join Crap surf fam Jared Mell in Malibu for a classic summer day of beach and beers and south swell.


Local grom, now on the WSL QS tour, Noah Hill is still trying to make vlogs, unfortunately they're still bad...
Watch the new film from Jeff Ho and Vissla.                                                                                                                                                                            
    
    
    
    
    
    

Here are photos from the paddle out for Santa Monica ripper, Cove kingpin and Zephyr Team member Ronnie Jay at Topanga. If you were out there, you probably got some surfing shots in the complete photo gallery, check them out, the link is down below.

















You can find these and some more photos from the paddle out, all full size and in high-resolution, in this photo galley:

Ronnie Jay Paddle Out Photo Gallery


Photos of the surfing are in this post:
Click Topanga Surf Photos - Sunday 7-1-2018
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.








Back in 2004 while on Ozzfest, Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe kept posting photos of himself attempting to surf. When DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara saw them, he reached out and said they needed to ride the waves together, and they've been doing so ever since. Revolver recently joined the two singers in Malibu, California, to get an inside look at their love of surfing and how that love has bonded them together. "Surfing is a lifestyle," says Fafara, whose family started SunCult, a surfing board, wax and apparel brand. "It's the one thing that's kept me grounded," he adds. Blythe agrees. "Surfing is more about opening up myself to my surroundings and staying in the moment. There's not really much more of a visceral way to connect with the planet than riding waves."

By Chris Mauro.

Willy Morris (center) was part of Malibu's powerhouse crew in the 80s and 90s, along with Allan Sarlo (left) and Scott Daley (right).

News of Willy Morris' unexpected passing sent shock waves through surfing's tight-knit community Wednesday. While the cause of death is still unknown, several friends close to Morris are reporting he never woke up on Tuesday. Morris was one of California's most visible surfing stars of the 1980s before becoming a titan of the surf industry at Quiksilver, where he stayed for more than 15 years. Most recently he's been with Salty Crew, along with former pro CJ Hobgood.

Morris grew up in Woodland Hills, California, and while he was quick to venture the entire coast with his surf-stoked family, his early zone of terror consisted mostly of Malibu, Ventura and Santa Barbara. Whether it was his size, his talent, his bright colors or his huge smile, he was one of the first surfers who was genuinely embraced everywhere he went even during California's heavily-localized heyday.

He won the US Championships in 1981, and notched a handful of standout victories as a pro, including the Pro Class Trials at Sunset Beach, The Katin Pro Am, and the first PSAA event ever held in Carlsbad, California. Though his time on the World Tour was short lived he was a huge comforting force for emerging talents like Tom Curren and Kim Mearig, two fellow Channel Islands team riders who became World Champs in his wake.

As for his surfing talent, Morris was best known for being a standout in Hawaii. His most notable impact came in the 1984 release of The Performers, a landmark video by Quiksilver that's sadly no longer available due to music rights. The film was shot entirely on the North Shore of Oahu and featured Quiksilver's star riders like Gary Elkerton, Rabbit Bartholomew, Richard Cram, Chappy Jennings, Marvin Foster, and of course, Morris.

Willy's biggest impact came long after he was a magazine star. He was rarely spotted without his massive grin, and if it seemed like he knew every surfer on the planet it's probably because he did. He became one of the most successful sales reps in the industry, managing every major retail account on the West Coast, which he roamed regularly with his van filled with garment bags and boards of all types. He knew every kid behind every counter, and made an indelible impression on them. Star shop employees were sucked into his legendary weekend adventures that came in many forms: chasing powder in the mountains, huge waves up the coast, and lots of secret fishing holes But the golden ticket was an invite on his boat to sample some of his favorite waves off California's offshore islands.

Willy was responsible for millions of laughs, countless adventures, and a lot of love. He's going to be dearly missed.





The Bodega Boarder Crew Podcast is back with legendary shaper Scott Anderson ( Anderson Surfboards ) talking about growing up in Santa Monica, shaping his first board and why he still loves what he does.

Allen Sarlo getting some waves in Malibu. These photos were taken by Sunny Hunter






The latest Bodega Boarder Crew Podcast features some local flavor by politicking with Venice Beach local West Adler about growing up in Venice, the changing lineups, contest surfing, and much more.

West's part starts at about the 30 minute mark.
Surfing was already an addiction for Taro Watanabe. Now, after a recent introduction to the international surfing circuit, Watanabe’s passion for the sport has reached a new level. The 15-year-old Malibu resident recently returned from the 2017 Vissla International Surfing Association’s World Junior Surfing Championship in Hyuga, Japan. The competition was held over a period of nine days, from Sept. 23-Oct. 1, and each surfer competed in six different heats.

Watanabe won an individual silver medal in the boys U16 competition. As part of Team USA, he helped his team take home a gold medal after narrowly beating Team Hawaii “It was a really cool experience, because I usually just surf nationally,” said Watanabe, a sophomore at Viewpoint School in Calabasas. “I would go to [different] places, but it would pretty much be against the same people.”

Watanabe said he had to adjust which board he used, going to a lighter one, because the surfing conditions in Hyuga were vastly different than the waves he normally rides at Topanga Beach in Malibu. “It was pretty cool, it was tropical like Hawaii and I didn’t expect that,” Watanabe said. “It was a good experience going there and meeting new people.” Watanabe said the waves were slower and a little weaker than he expected. Still, the experience as a whole, and his venture into international competition, had a lasting impression.
By Brittany Kapa
Surfing was already an addiction for Taro Watanabe. Now, after a recent introduction to the international surfing circuit, Watanabe’s passion for the sport has reached a new level. The 15-year-old Malibu resident recently returned from the 2017 Vissla International Surfing Association’s World Junior Surfing Championship in Hyuga, Japan. The competition was held over a period of nine days, from Sept. 23-Oct. 1, and each surfer competed in six different heats.

Watanabe won an individual silver medal in the boys U16 competition. As part of Team USA, he helped his team take home a gold medal after narrowly beating Team Hawaii “It was a really cool experience, because I usually just surf nationally,” said Watanabe, a sophomore at Viewpoint School in Calabasas. “I would go to [different] places, but it would pretty much be against the same people.”



Watanabe said he had to adjust which board he used, going to a lighter one, because the surfing conditions in Hyuga were vastly different than the waves he normally rides at Topanga Beach in Malibu. “It was pretty cool, it was tropical like Hawaii and I didn’t expect that,” Watanabe said. “It was a good experience going there and meeting new people.” Watanabe said the waves were slower and a little weaker than he expected. Still, the experience as a whole, and his venture into international competition, had a lasting impression.

“I learned that, because it was a team contest, you can never underestimate anyone because they’re from a certain country,” Watanabe said. “There are a lot of good surfers. For example, Israel, I didn’t even think there was going to be any good surfers.” Watanabe said there were some nerves going into the competition, but he tried to remain calm. “I was just surfing it heat by heat,” Watanabe said about the close competition. “I just tried to stay focused, and I just surfed my heart out.”

During his last heat Watanabe said he was not getting the waves he had hoped for. It was not until the end of his run when he finally got the breaks he was looking for. He rode two good waves back-to-back, putting him in first place. Then, Joh Azuchi, the Japanese surfer who competed after Watanabe, outscored him with an 8.6-point wave. It was enough to secure Azuchi the individual gold medal; Watanabe finished just 0.16 points behind Azuchi with a 16.44 final score and a silver medal. Team USA racked up 7,003 points to take home the gold, edging out second-place Team Hawaii’s 6,740 points. This was the second gold medal for Team USA, which also won in 2015.



The experience, for Watanabe, was humbling. He credits his practice in Kyokushin karate, in which he is a black belt, in helping him stay grounded. “It really helps me with respect and discipline,” he said. “It helps me respect everyone and it’s really humbling. They make sure you’re not a stuck-up kid.” The discipline Watanabe learned from karate has fueled his passion for surfing — a sport he picked up when he was 7 years old at the urging of his father, Masato.

Masato found professional surfing teacher and coach Brad Gerlach when Watanabe was 10. Gerlach has been working with Watanabe ever since. “In a nutshell, [Taro] has the drive to be the best, is humble, and has great guidance and support,” Gerlach said.

Watanabe practices between three and four hours during the week, often waking up at 5 a.m. to get in a couple of hours on the water before school. On the weekends, Watanabe said he is out in the water as much as he can be. “It’s an addicting feeling,” Watanabe said. “I feel like I have to go in the ocean every day and ride the waves and feel the breeze.”

Photos by Dave Mullen and WSL











Brazilian WSL Pro Wesley Santos is back in town and was throwing an air show at the Venice Pier with the local hotshot grom, Beck Adler.

Shot by Six12 Media.