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Showing posts with label Surfers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surfers. Show all posts
Legendary Venice board shaper Guy Okazaki takes us through the history of surfing, our changing climate, and what it means to be a local.                                                                                          

Video Directed By Lindsay Sunada                                                  


Legendary Venice board shaper Guy Okazaki takes us through the history of surfing, our changing climate, and what it means to be a local.

Video Directed By Lindsay Sunada.


For almost 3 decades, Rockin’ Fig’s distinct, upbeat voice echoed across the sand and surf and through radio waves, giving play-by-plays over loudspeakers at countless surf competitions and for more 25 years giving the surf report on KROQ radio station for listeners across Southern California. The beloved surf shop owner of Rockin’ Fig Surf Headquarters in Huntington Beach died on Friday, July 16, of a heart attack. He was 64.

Rick “Rockin’ Fig” Fignetti — known for wearing his signature thick glasses, long wavy hair and goatee framing his stoked smile — got his start shaping at Chuck Dent’s surf shop, the same person who gave him his trademark name.

“One night, we were in the shop in the middle of winter, and I was dancing on the countertop. Chuck goes “you’re rocking Fig,” he recounted in a 2006 interview with the Register. “That kind of claimed it for me. People from way back when used to say, that Fig guy, he’s rockin’ out. It’s just one of those names that stuck.”

He started his own shop bearing his moniker, Downey calling his shop still the best deal in town. Fignetti employed countless young surfers to run his shop, which during a big swell would hang a “Gone Surfing” sign on the door when they were running late because the surf was too good. ”

“The most fair surfing businessman, ever,” Downey said.

He started doing the surf report for KROQ in the 80s when radio personality “Poor Man” wanted to learn to surf. Fignetti and surf champion David Nuuhiwa took him out for a lesson, then suggested Fignetti do a surf report for the show.



Fignetti admitted being nervous in those early days as hundreds of thousands of people listened in at 7:20 a.m. each morning, looking out at the ocean at sunrise and calling into the station to give a live report, long before the days of surf cam technology used in websites such as Surfline.

He did the KROQ radio surf report each morning for 25 years up until 2010. He also was the announcer for many NSSA events as well as being the voice of the U.S. Open of Surfing in Hunitington Beach.



Fignetti once talked about how surfing kept him young — and that he was living a life he loved.

“Something about surfing – it’s like the fountain of youth,” he said. “You don’t age if you surf all the time.”


An elderly homeless surfer and Vietnam veteran could not hold back his happy tears when a group of friends surprised him with a new van to get his life back on track. Thomas Dube, 69, from Malibu, California, had fallen on hard times during the pandemic, losing his home, his job, and seeing his car break down, trapping him in a beach parking lot for roughly three months. Within his local California surfing community, however, Thomas is well-loved – surfers saying he is always so positive and friendly, despite his situation. But one day, Kenny Fong, 49 – a surfer who is friends with Thomas – said he read a Facebook post from the 69-year-old that said he would like the next chapter of his life to be in heaven and that his life on Earth was done. Kenny and two friends, Steve Cary and Josh Foelsy, decided they needed to do something to boost Thomas' spirits, so they settled on a van that would allow him to sleep more comfortably and travel around. In total, the trio managed to raise around $5000 to purchase a 2007 Honda Odyssey. They then surprised him with the new vehicle/ Read the full story here: happilynews.com


From Koa Rothman :

"We are back in California and the waves are pumping! I scored some secret waves that we got kicked out of haha. We also scored Malibu first point as good as it gets with a million people out. Enjoy the video!"


From McCracken Films:

"Surfing by Jack Van Wagoner plus a full section of all the women surfers out at first point!"


Filmed, edited and colored by Kyle McCracken of McCracken Films. Follow @mccrackenfilms on Instagram

"Some high level Malibum surfing from father and son Zian and Ian Boyd plus some additional waves.. I think it's safe to say Zian looks the way everyone else feels like they surf. If you know you know."


Josh 'Bagel' Klassman is featured as a friendly, storytelling ghost in the new Netflix series "City of Ghosts" which highlights the history of Venice Beach and other LA neighborhoods that have changed over the years.
Cliff Simon, who played the villain Ba'al on the "Stargate SG-1" TV series, died in a kiteboarding accident Tuesday on Topanga Beach in Los Angeles. He was 58.

His wife, Colette reported the news via his Facebook Page.


"To Friends, family and fans,

It is with unimaginable heartbreak that I am sharing with you, that my beloved husband, Cliff Simon, passed away at 12:30pm on Tuesday March 9, 2021. He was at Topanga Beach, California and sadly passed away after a tragic kiteboarding accident. He was known to most of you on this page as the villain you loved to hate, Ba'al, from Stargate SG-1. But as he said, "acting is what I do, it's only a part of who I am."

And he was SO much more - a true original, an adventurer, a sailor, swimmer, dancer, actor, author. There is a gaping hole where he once stood on this earth. He was loved by too many to mention and had a great impact on so many lives. He was an amazing and much loved brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend.

He was and always will be the love of my life and there is unimaginable heartbreak. A small saving grace to this tragedy is that he was doing one of the things he loved most and passed away on the beach near the water, which was his temple.

I know this is a shock and will hit hard but we hope you can respect our need for privacy at this time.

I will end with this verse which Cliff loved and lived his life by:

"I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dryrot.
I would rather be a super meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet,
The proper function of man is to live,
not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time."

I ask that you please respect our family's privacy during this time."


Video from Darren Morrow's paddle out at Malibu.

Photos from the paddle out can be viewed on Celebrating the life of Darren Photo Album on the MSA Facebook Page.
After the massive North Pacific swells starting rolling in in mid-December, one incredible air- drop photo at Mavericks caught everyone’s eye, prompting Surfline to ask who it was. Turns out, the “mysterious 18-year old Mavs charger” is none other than Venice’s very own Beck Adler.
Photo: Billy Watts


After the massive North Pacific swells starting rolling in in mid-December, one incredible air- drop photo at Mavericks caught everyone’s eye, prompting Surfline to ask who it was. Turns out, the “mysterious 18-year old Mavs charger” is none other than Venice’s very own Beck Adler.

Interview by Nicole Lynch

So tell us Beck Adler, who exactly are you?

Haha. Well I grew up surfing Venice. I’ve always lived nearby in Marina Del Rey, Playa, Mar Vista just because Venice is so expensive, but I grew up surfing the pier. The thing that really started my interest in surfing bigger waves was pulling into closeout barrels at the pier with Yves and Pat Bright.


Beck Surfing Venice, January 9, 2015. Photo: Gary Adler


When did you start competing?

My dad [Gary Adler] signed me up for my first contest at eight years old. It was a Hurley Rip My Shred Stick at Tower 26 Ocean Park and I ended up winning! It was a fun contest for the groms but it got me really psyched and then I did another contest the next day and I won that one too, the Ocean Park 26 surf contest. After that I just kept doing more and more and kept going. I was always really scared of big waves when I was younger. Then at like 10 or 12 years old I started surfing with Yves and Pat and Justin Marchan, and they were really pushing me and slowly got me more comfortable in bigger surf. It wasn’t big waves but for me it felt big! It started by just going on closeout waves and you’re going to get pounded, but it builds confidence. And Yves knew that, he knew that if I wanted to get comfortable in bigger surf this is what you have to do, he told me and I listened.

Any other tips or is a lot of it just pushing your fear boundaries?

Pretty much a lot of it was just the more you do, eventually you’re going to start making those barrels then those bigger waves aren’t going to feel as big. Prepare for the best and train for the worst basically.

Your first trip to Mavericks was at 16, so this will be your third season? How did that come about?

My first trip was a little weird. I had been looking at Mavericks for a while, I knew I wanted to surf there but I wanted to surf Todos Santos first, which is a big wave in Mexico, because I heard it’s a little bit mellower – it’s still gnarly! – but a lot of people get introduced into big waves through there. Then this perfect swell at Mavs popped up, no wind and not too big. I mean, there is no such thing as small Mavericks, it’s always big when it’s breaking, but this was smaller.


Photo: Fred Pompermayer


I pretty much put this trip together in like an hour and a half. I couldn’t drive yet I didn’t even have my driver’s license, I had my permit! So I asked my dad to take me and he was like, “hell no I gotta work bro.” So I called up Dooma [Damien Fahrenfort] and he was out of town, but he said if you get a ride up there pick up two boards from my house and take ‘em, he gave me two boards to use.

I called a couple different people looking for a ride, I called Justin Marchand. He has always been like an older brother to me, taking me surfing my whole life and looking out for me in the water. He told me to put a plan together and said let’s go. We took my dad’s car and drove six hours in the middle of the night to get there.

On the way I got a call from Will Skudin who is a professional big wave surfer, one of the best ever, we were both on the same team at the time. He said here’s what you’re going to do: show up in the parking lot at first light, you’re going to paddle out and come sit on the jet ski with me in the channel and we’re going to look at the waves. So that is exactly what I did.


Photo: Audrey Lambidakis


Then I paddled out and ended up catching a few waves, it was a perfect first session. Everything I could have wanted happened. I had one wipeout, which honestly you never want to fall but I wanted the full experience and falling is part of it. It was a great day.

So what exactly is a Mavs wipeout like?

A wipeout is so hard to explain, the water is so cold first of all, so when you hit it’s that instant freezing cold down your spine which immediately spikes your heartrate. If you get sucked over the falls and into the lip which has happened to me, you get a couple seconds of complete calm and you just wait for it, and then you just get hit by a truck. Your limbs are all over the place and there’s water in your brain. We have pull vests so your hand is on the cord ready to go. I pulled for the first time this winter off a big swell.

In the wipeout after the famous shot [the one on Surfline]?

Yep, that’s the one.

Yeah, I think everyone felt a little pain for you after watching that one. I definitely had a sore back for a few days after that one.

Do you wear a leash?

We wear ultra thick leashes that don’t have Velcro. Two leash strings on every big wave board for Mavs, it’s double tied in and then the actual ankle strap is triple layers and there’s a pull pin, so if your leash is wrapped around a rock and you’re underwater, you pull the pin on the leash and it releases the ankle strap from the cord and your leash is off your ankle.

Because I saw that video of Twiggy’s wipeout [Grant “Twiggy” Baker] and his board just literally went up underneath the lip of that wave.

Yeah and he was right there with it! My board and I went in the lip on my wipeout too.

You don’t pull the pin on the leash every time. You only do that if you’re in rocks or your board is broken and there’s no need for it anymore anyway.

At Mavs if you fall on a wave and there’s a few behind it and the ski doesn’t have time to pick you up you’re gonna get pushed into the rocks. I’ve gotten pushed in there a couple of times. What happens is there’s a couple of gaps in the rocks where you’re either going to go through or bounce off them. I got bounced off one time and luckily there was a ski there, but if you pull the pin on your leash your board is either going into the rocks or through into the lagoon.

A lot of guys are super hesitant to pull the pin on their leashes at Mavs because it’s likely that their board will get broken if you do. Do you want your board to break, or you?


Photo: Ben Schutzer


What board are you riding out there?

9’3 or 9’8 Padillac – I have two but my 9’3 just snapped a couple weeks ago so I just ordered a new one. I’m pretty much only riding Pyzels.

How do you test a board like that?

We take them and paddle them just to feel them out, the pier to Breakwater and back just to feel them out paddling and maybe catch a couple waves on them. These shapers have it dialed, they know what to make for the wave so you just have to put your faith in them.

What’s is like working with Pyzel? How did that relationship come about?

It started at Rider Shack when I was working there, I met the Pyzel rep and they’ve been really good to me. They helped me out a lot, I text Jon and ask him what dims he thinks I should use. I get all my boards shaped down in Oceanside by DJ, they seem to be the best boards as far as I can tell.

Scotty Anderson was your first shaper, correct?

He is the man. Scott was my first-ever sponsor. I remember I walked into his warehouse with a dinged up board and he said, “Oh we’ll make you a new one.” I must have been 9 or 10 years old until I was about 16 I rode for him, a long time and he made me a lot of great boards.

As my surfing progressed it was a collaboration. We really played around with all different types of boards, epoxy, stringerless, you name it. Any questions I had he would answer them. I don’t think I would have progressed in surfing as much as I did without him for sure.

Who else has mentored you over the years?

My dad, both of my parents. They know what drives my passion in life, and they have been super helpful. My dad drove me around for 10 years surfing every morning, contests up and down the coast, he has been very supportive. My mom [Emma Adler] also made the lunches and was the backing of everything.

What’s it like being a kid from Venice and competing around Southern California?

I’m gonna be honest, it kinda sucked, I didn’t have anyone else from Venice going to events. There was a weird cliquey crew. Most come from wealthy backgrounds, I am from a different area and I’m the only one from Venice so it was definitely tougher. I’m not trying to make an excuse or anything but it would have been nice to have a buddy to go with. But now I’ve made a bunch of cool friends from it as well.


Venice Beach. Photo: SIX12 Media


Yeah I’ve heard Ricky Massie talk about how lonely it was for him on the QS being a Mexican kid from Venice.

I know it was hard for me I can’t imagine what that was like for him!

Who are some of your other sponsors?

I currently don’t have contracts so I’m living on nickels, trying to surf. But I’m talking to companies right now so it’s exciting. Buell has amazing wetsuits. Pyzel. Blenders Eyewear is a new sponsor and they’ve been helping me out giving me super nice glasses and snowboard goggles, Matunas all organic wax, super nice and sticky I love it. And obviously Rider Shack has been the most consistent and helpful sponsor my entire career. Jeff [Glass] has been nothing but good to me my whole young life, I can’t say enough good things about Rider Shack.

How has charging big waves impacted the rest of your surfing?

It’s weird, I think I’ve had more big wave sessions than small waves this winter. It has been the craziest year because Mavs has broken every day for 2.5-3 weeks which is unheard of! It has just been crazy. I have no desire to do anything but chase big waves right now.

This has been a huge year for you between chasing down massive barrels in Mexico, again this year at Mavericks, hanging with the big leagues in some of the heaviest conditions.

I told myself that I would be at Mavericks every single time it breaks this winter not knowing what I was getting myself in to! Obviously I wasn’t out there every time it broke or I’d be dead, just physically broken. But I’ve made 80-90% of the sessions.

What’s is like navigating the lineup? I mean, you’re out there with some of the biggest names in surf. That audio from Chumbo [Lucas “Chumbo” Chicana] was amazing.

Its super interesting, you have your pro guys and they are going to go on the big ones. But then you have your local guys too and they are going to go on the fucking big ones too, they are the best guys at Mavs. You have to respect them, it’s their wave and they’re better than anyone. I know them all now, I paddle out and I’m saying hi. Everyone is rooting for each other, everyone wants their waves, but everyone is amped when you see people on it. You want one but to see your buddy on one too you’re amped! It’s a team effort, you have to be safe, everyone wants to come home.

There is definitely a hierarchy. The guys that have been surfing there for 20 years, they get whatever waves they want. You gotta find your place in the lineup.

After three years I guess you’re starting to chip your way up there too?

Yeah, I’m definitely sitting in a different spot than I was at the beginning of the winter.

What is next for you? Do you plan to compete in the QS again?

I’m headed to Todos Santos Island now with by buddy Jojo Whelan and then I’ll go back to Santa Cruz for another Mavs swell.

I definitely want to do the North American regional QS, I still love competing I still love shortboarding, that is never going away. But for right now with how the world is going I just want to surf these big waves. Once the QS resumes [post-COVID], I will surf go surf the QS. That is, if there’s NOT a Mavs swell. Big waves are currently taking priority.

I know you said your mom is supportive, but how is she handling this big wave decision?

My mom is hilarious, I called her after the wipeout and said, “Sorry I didn’t call you for a couple of days you were probably worried.” In a British accent she’s like, “I don’t worry about you babe.” I’ve just always been doing something dangerous, when I was little I was up in a tree or racing my skateboard off a ramp or something. For her, she’s not a surfer so I just kinda want to get her out into the lineup so she can see what it’s like, but she trusts me and I’m not going to go on a wave I’m going to die on. I mean, there’s always that potential.

My dad is a surfer so he gets it and he’s way more worried than my mom! That wave I fell on the big day, that air drop, my dad texted a bunch of people to make sure I was okay.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, I want to say thanks. I definitely feel the love from the community. I’m super grateful, everyone from Venice has been supporting me so much and it really means a lot to feel that love from my hometown.


Beck with his dad, Gary, and brother, West.



We just found out this heart breaking news, legendary shaper Scott Anderson lost his battle with cancer today.

Mollusk Shaper Series video of Scott Anderson, from 9 years ago, by Trace Marshall







I really was in a very bad place, and surfing started as an escape, but turned into my salvation. I'm so super stoked on this video and I invite you to celebrate it by ordering a bottle of my hot sauce on Amazon Prime!

Venice's Glen Walsh, aka @glenice_venice the Paddle, Paddle Paddle Daily Venice Pier Surf Reporter, is one of the surfers featured in The LGBTQ+ Wave. A short film about the history of LGBTQ surfing. From Cori Schumacher to Matt Branson to Keala Kennelly to Tyler Wright, the history of LGBTQ surfing runs deeper than most surfers realize.

"Very proud and honored to be featured with so many awesome LGBTQ+ surfers," Glen says, "Especially my Boyz Robby Arroyo Smith and Jake Denike! Discussing our collective experiences in and out of the water!"



Check out Glen's clothing line at ShopGlenice.com



One of the key figures in the early evolution of skateboarding from a wholesome, contest based "sport" into the freewheeling art form that it is today was Tony Alva.

Tony is now 63 years old, the oldest professional skateboarder in the world, is considered by many to be the godfather of modern day skateboarding. Alva’s brand of aggression and bravado in the 70’s set the stage for the way skateboarding would be forever defined.

Vans’ The Tony Alva Story chronicles T.A.’s humble beginnings on the streets of Santa Monica to his rise to superstardom as part of the legendary Z-Boys, his inevitable drug-induced implosion and his ultimate rise from the ashes to accept his rightful place as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations of skateboarders the world over.

The film premiere will be followed by a Q & A hosted by Christian Hosoi with special guests Tony Alva, directors Rick Charnoski & Coan "Buddy" Nichols, Peggy Oki, and Elijah Berle.

Written & Directed by Rick Charnoski & Coan "Buddy" Nichols/Six Stair Productions

Starring: Tony Alva, Jeff Grosso, Wynn Miller, Steve Olson, Shepard Fairy, Gus Van Sant, Josh Brolin, Jeff Ament, Glen E Friedman, Robert Trujillo, Brad Bowman, Pete Zehnder, Jeff Ho, Stacey Peralta, Elijah Berle and more.


Taro Watanabe makes a run to Mexico to get some waves during the pandemic.



A new video uploaded of Laird Hamilton from the Hurricane Marie swell.




Athletes, coaches, and long time friends Ryan Schafer and Tully Chapman discuss a broad range of health and fitness related topics on their Bourbon And Balance Podcast

This week they interview Solo Scott from Venice Beach, California. Solo tells us his story about growing up in California, skateboarding and surfing, and eventually touring the world as a professional surfer. Listen to the podcast in the player below:







Originally posted by Ross Furukawa on the Santa Monica Daily Press

Local entrepreneur, extreme sportsman and original Dogtown local Mike Vaughan passed away suddenly on June 18th. He was 48 years old.

A third generation Santa Monican, Mike attended Grant Elementary, John Adams Middle School and Santa Monica High School. Many locals knew the Vaughan family, they owned DSJ Printers on Pico Blvd for many years.



Mike started his printing career at DSJ, then launched his own printing company, Positive Existence Printing. Mike built Positive Existence to become an industry leader, printing movie posters, point of purchase displays and many of the billboards you see throughout Los Angeles.

Mike served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs council and the Santa Monica YMCA.

In 2005, Mike started Pro Sup Shop with his then-partner Nikki Von Reisen, Ross Furukawa and his father, Mike Vaughan Sr. Through insight, hard work and a long term vision, Pro Sup Shop became the largest Santa Up Paddle board business in LA County, operating at Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey.

Mike touched the lives of many through Pro Sup Shop. He introduced thousands of people to his love of the ocean through this accessible water sport, and was always generous with his time, resources and skills with anyone who showed interest.

He was instrumental in facilitating and building Stand Up Paddleboarding as a team building, social activity, and found it a great way to network with everyone on the water.



Mike played a huge role in starting the Santa Monica Pier Paddle and Ocean Festival, one of the largest water sports events on the West Coast.

A true waterman, Mike competed on a national level in Stand Up Paddleboard racing, eventually cracking the top 5 in his class. He would jump off his board to try to catch sharks with his bare hands. He paddled from San Pedro to Catalina, ran a marathon, then paddled back. He competed in the San Diego Bay to Bay 20 mile race in 10 ft swells during a winter storm. He never quit.

Mike was always the first to go out and the last to come in. He was always the guy who caught the biggest wave, surfed closest to the rock, and got stuffed in the deepest tube.



Most of all, he had a passion for sharing his love of sports and this infected everyone around him.

Mike Vaughan is survived by his wife Jennifer, son Cole, father Mike Vaughn Sr, mother Linda, brother Matt and sisters Diana, Christine and many nieces and nephews.



Join Bobby Hundreds on Venice Beach in Los Angeles as he starts his day with a ritualistic solo surf session. Amongst all the noise and distractions, his morning routine gives him pause for thought and a moment to catch his breath in preparation for the day ahead; remaining driven by what lays out of view, beyond the horizon.