The Roundup: Modern Collective, Mick, Joel, Owen, Fuel TV, Shawn Stussy, Racism and the Wolfpack

30 10 2009

Larry Bertleman

What a week it was in surfing. The Euro invasion ended. Owen Wright dazzled but ruptured his eardrum on D-Day. The Bede train kept on rolling. Parko shined. But in the end Mick won. Again. Looks like we have a full-bore world title race on our hands. Pipeline will be very interesting. There should be some Hawaiian trialists ready to inflict damage and dash title hopes. Why the photo of Bertleman? Why not.

The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks this week in the world of surfing. If you have any suggestions, links, tips or just want to call me an asshole, email me at

No safety or surprise. The End. Chas Smith’s final installment from the Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal. Spoiler alert. Mick Fanning won. (Stab Magazine)

Get your popcorn ready. The Modern Collective film is almost here. (Surfing Magazine)

Is News Corp going to sell action sports channel Fuel? We can only dream they sell Fox News to real journalists. (Boardistan)

Joel Parkinson apologizes for off-color remarks he made about South Africa’s racial past and present. Can’t wait until he visits Germany. Or South Carolina. (Zig Zag)

Original ’80s hipster, shaper and artist Shawn Stussy has a blog. (Shawn Stussy’s Joint)

Strap on those dildos booties and ass-less chaps hoods. And I thought Humboldt Jetty was cold. (Arctic Surf Blog)

A Bra Boy faces court over alleged connections to a cocaine syndicate. (WA Today)

Is the Wolfpack taxing non-locals to surf Pipeline this winter? (Demon Factory)

Exclusive photos of ASP CEO Brody(ie) Carr’s arm wrestling match with Charlie Smith. (Slide Mag UK)

Endless pristine surf images to waste away precious work hours. Tell ’em large Marge Nug sent ya. (Aquabumps)


Who in the Hell is Travis Ferre?

29 10 2009
Travis Ferre

Travis Ferre logs some tube time in Mexico. Photo: DJ Struntz

You might not know the name now, but you will. Trust me. Travis Ferre is the new editor-in-chief for Surfing Magazine. Right now Surfing is documenting “what is now” in the surf world better than any other American surf mag. He was gracious enough to answer my questions about his background, the state of surf media and his enormous woody for the Modern Collective.–Nug

In April you took over the editorial duties at Surfing. Has it been a challenge to fill Evan Slater’s shoes?
No one will ever fill Evan Slater’s shoes. Evan would be disappointed if I only tried to fill his shoes. I’m trying to make my own.

What is your background? How did you find yourself as the editor-in-chief of one of the largest surf mags in the world?
I grew up in Huntington Beach. I started surfing when I was nine. Mostly because wax smelled good and my dad got me a cool little board shaped by Jeff Widener. I remember walking through HSS when it was on 16th street with my dad, wandering through, hugging all the rubber wetsuits and smelling the wax. I liked the lifestyle. It smelled good. I didn’t go to Huntington High School. I only dated their girls. I went to Marina High School. We were the Vikings. We almost beat Huntington’s surf team once when I was the captain.

My dad is an artist and a car painter. I couldn’t paint, but I liked to write. As I got older, I found out my dad’s best friend in high school was Chris Carter. He wrote the X-Files, but he started out as associate editor at Surfing Magazine. My dad always told me stories about their surfing adventures and getting in trouble and then how he went on to work at the magazine. I thought that would be a cool gig if emulating Kalani Robb ever failed — which it did.

I went to OCC (Orange Coast College) out of high school and traveled a bit with my friends, surfing and getting reckless. I decided I wanted to study English literature because you could drink while doing homework. I then set the goal of becoming an editor while sitting in my truck listening to an Interpol record. I transferred to San Diego State and that was really the turning point. I was sitting in a Shakespeare class, doing everything I could to relate that class to my future in surf writing when I sat next to Kimball Taylor. He recognized me from surfing Mission Beach and we got to talking. He told me he was a writer for Surfer magazine, I told him that I wanted to be an editor at a surf magazine. He tried to get me an internship at Surfer but they never called back. He then passed me on to Evan at Surfing and a couple days later I was in their office, writing stories for the website. Nathan Myers and Evan took me under their wing and I never left. Kimball still calls me Hamlet.

Print has fallen on hard times. Surfing and Surfer’s parent company (Source Interlink) filed for bankruptcy. The magazine even has a furlough tracker. Additionally, the recession has hit a lot the advertiser’s bottom lines, decreasing ad budgets. Is it difficult to produce a quality magazine that relies so heavily on advertising under these conditions?
Have you ever taken a furlough? It’s amazing. You take it on a Friday. Turn the phone off. Go surfing. Drink beer at lunch. Go surf again. You make happy hour. It’s the most inspiring thing our company has ever implemented. I’m so proud of them. As for making magazines right now: sure, it’s a bit tougher. The beauty of our crew though is we’re all young. We know no other condition. We’ll make you a 100-page magazine or we’ll make you a 300-page magazine. We don’t care. It’s going to be a good representation of what we’re into that month and it will matter. It will represent modern surfing. We’ll stay late. Work our ass off. Put everything we have into making it. We’re creative, we like the challenge.

Well there is the whole pay issue with the furloughs. But then again I think it was Nick Carroll who told me no one gets rich from writing about surfing (Except the aforementioned Chris Carter).
We’re not here to make money. We’re here because we love it. Sounds corny, cliché and predictable, but it’s true. We like doing this. A day off to go surfing so the corpos can get back on track is fine by us.

I preferred it when Surfing and Surfer were bitter rivals. They have been under the same corporate umbrella for a while now. Has this diluted the product?
Look at the December issues of Surfing and Surfer. They don’t even look like they were made on the same planet. The products are going their own directions and I’m fine with that. So is Joel Patterson. Joel and I make different products and for the first time in five to ten years, Surfer and Surfing have their own identity. We’re doing what we’re into. They’re doing what they’re into. And while we’re probably not going to send them donuts we shoved in our ass, our editorial staffs are pretty damn competitive. The fact that we’re under the same umbrella doesn’t dilute the rivalry much. We’ll get into a cocktail argument anytime but we’ll take furlough together the next day and it’ll be all good. They’ll ride Alaias and we’ll ride Protons.

Looking at the masthead I don’t recognize many of the names on the editorial staff, but I like what I’ve seen recently out of the mag. And I’m a fairly harsh critic. Is Surfing Mag like the 1972 Dolphins “No Name Defense?”
Sure. And Jimmy Wilson would be very happy to hear you make a football reference out of us. We’re all pretty unknown I guess, but we’ve had our share of Don Shulas on the sidelines to influence us though. Nathan Myers taught Stuart Cornuelle and I everything we know about making magazines, late night drinking and how to get shit done in this environment. He lives in Bali now but we still call on him daily.

Evan Slater passed down the formula of how to get a magazine of this caliber out on time each month. We’re just putting our spin on it now. We’re young. I’m 26. Stuart is 21. Our art directors are young. Photo team is young. We make a magazine for us and the people who are us happen to be our median age, so that works out. We do pride ourselves on that youthful energy, but we don’t intend on sacrificing the quality of the product.

We want to maintain a sense of sophistication, even if it is hidden beneath a bad word or Mitch Coleborn’s mustache. We don’t want to lose the legitimacy of the brand. We’re just here to make it relevant again. Lord knows anyone with a computer can be a critic, a journalist or a voice now. And we’re aware of that. Which is why we’re not afraid to make bold decisions or to run with a new idea. We’ve also begun to enlist new writers to the mag like Chas Smith and Jed Smith: young guys with guts who can write a good page. We like that. Guys who have a bone to pick with tradition. That’s why surf media has a tendency to get stale. It’s stuck on tradition.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kelly Slater: Another Happy Nugable Reader

28 10 2009

Kelly Slater

I met Kelly Slater in 1992. I was living in shared room entrenched in Newport Beach’s Ghetto with five other guys. Forty-Ninth Street. Mansions on the sand. Shacks across the street. Dennis Rodman lived within shouting distance. A weed dealer lived next to him. A venture capitalist and a coke dealer shared a flat on the opposite side.

Volcom was just then climbing out of the ghetto’s womb. This was long before the stock options. Long before the millions. They had stickers and T-shirts. Not much else. Kelly was staying two doors down with former Quiksilver marketing guy Taylor Whisenand. Our house was known for its parties. Massive ones with massive fines from the otherwise bored NBPD. Women, booze, drugs, you name it. The kind of place you hope your teenage daughter never steps foot in. Or your college daughter. Or your wife. A pool table rested in the main living area. There was sand and ungodly stains and green felt trying to escape the madness. It wasn’t Kelly’s scene but he would pop in for a quick game of pool or a little jam on the guitar. He was humble, funny and did not drink. We took care of the later for him.

Later that year he won his first world title. The house celebrated on the balcony with 12 packs of Natural Light and shots of no-name whiskey.

The following are two videos of Kelly Slater. The first was taken two days ago after his loss to Owen Wright, thereby eliminating him from world title contention.

The second takes us back to the year before Kelly’s first title. A simpler time. A happy time. Enjoy.

Photo: Sean Davey

The Beautiful and the Damned: The Chas Smith Interview

26 10 2009

Chas Smith

Chas Smith is a freelance journalist who calls Los Angeles home. He is slim. What some would call a tall drink of water. He is lanky. Not as lanky as Luke Stedman, but lanky nevertheless. His right arm is covered in ink.

Chas has created a buzz with his updates from the European leg of the ASP World Tour. Some loath him. Others love him. His writing has appeared in Vice, Stab and virtually every surf publication on Earth. He may be the best surf journalist working today. The word journalist is used loosely. His writing style is refreshing and breezy. Like a BMW gliding down Pacific Coast Highway with its top down. He has a taste for the finer thinks in life. Think champagne and French linen. He shares the same Christian name, but he is the anti Bukowski.

Currently, he is in Portugal covering the Rip Curl Pro Search for Stab and Surfing Magazine. In between drinking fermented beverages and arm wrestling ASP CEO Brodie Carr he agreed to answer a few questions for Nugable.–Nug

Where did you grow up and what is your background?
I grew up in a backwater town on the Oregon coast. A shithole. I moved to LA as soon as I graduated from high school and studied linguistics. I can’t remember why. I think it was because I wanted to be in the CIA like my uncle. His son surfed well. Now his son is in jail for robbing banks.

When did you develop a love of the written word?
I didn’t know “love” of the written word until I read Derek Rielly’s eponymous “Derek Rielly presents: Erotic love poems.” It was a smaller book that didn’t do well in the mass market, but a copy found its way into my trembling hands. I still remember the lines. “Touch my body. Put me on the floor. Wrestle me around. Play with me some more.”

Your stories at and from the European leg are entertaining and refreshing, yet the powers that be are giving you flack for being a little “creative.” It’s not like you are kidnapping the Top 45, taking them to Ibiza and feeding them massive quantities of Ecstasy.
That should be the ASP’s job. I don’t have any sort of budget. But Brodie Carr does. And Dave Mailman has the vocal prowess to do the play by play. “Jordy is now grinding CJ real good and…oh, it looks like Damien is getting jealous. Jordy is looking on-form.” etc. etc.

What is the story with your investment banker that travels with you?
She works for the investment arm of a large international Spanish-based bank. She has a BMW. She leaves for Angola soon where she will sit on the board of a smaller, shadier, but far more interesting financial institution.

I asked Derek Rielly if you are a Beverly Hills Bukowski? He said Charlie is not, in any form, a Bukowski. Charlie is John Horne Burns, is Bret Easton Ellis, is F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is Candace Bushnell. Discuss.
Derek is right. I loathe Bukowski.

I have completed several interviews for Nugable, but have never asked anyone who their sponsors are or to give any shout-outs. Is this proof I am not as retarded as most surf writers?
I love Matt Biolos. He is not my sponsor, nor did you ask me to give a shout-out but I just do. He is on the right wing fringe. He is angry. He shapes beautiful little rocket ships.

You suggested that Kelly Slater is care free and successful because he dates an 11 year old. Is it irresponsible journalism to suggest he is surfing’s Roman Polanski? And will there be a Chinatown II?
Frankly I don’t know if there is such a thing as responsible journalism. And have you seen Kelly’s girl? If she is a day over 12 I am shocked.

You called Mick Fanning boring. What would you call Marlon Lipke?

I would like to see Joel Parkinson win the world title, but his ankle injury might prevent this. Someone suggested you have special powers. If you deep throated Parko’s foot and ankle, would he then be healed and win the title?
Yes. And this is in the works.

How much is too much for a haircut? I heard you found a magnificent salon in Lisbon. Tell me about it.
It was the most magnificent. I think I paid 60 euros for my current cut. Too much? Maybe 300 dollars. Or 70 euros.

Finally, what will be etched on Charlie Smith’s tombstone?
I was your huckleberry.

The Roundup: Rebels, Dane Reynolds, Supertubos, Mundaka Pumping and Jamie O’Brien on Cloud 9

23 10 2009


What is this? Two updates in one day? The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks in the world of surfing. The Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal is underway. Round one was completed earlier today at marginal Lagido. Still no Supertubes (pictured above). Round two features some good match-ups highlighted by Kelly Slater vs. Owen Wright. Dave Mailman is providing  the webcast commentary.

Will the South rise again? For now the Rebel Tour looks like a non issue. Shawn Price breaks it down. (Faster Times)

In typical fashion Mother Nature turns on the tap at fickle Munduka just days after the event ended. (Surfing Stoke)

Dane Reynold’s newish, lo-fi blog has an update from Peniche, Portugal set to county music.  (Marine Layer Productions)

Jamie O’Brien’s switch 10-point tube at the Cloud 9 Invitational in the Philippines. (

Chas Smith is persona non grata in Peniche.  Exclusive photos of his investment banker. (

Long-time SURFER publisher Rick Irons jumps ship at the 50-year old magazine to slay the Dragon. (Boardistan)

This blogger has ideas on how the ASP can improve its online presence.
(Digital Surf Media)

A tribute to style featuring Tom Carroll, Richard Cram, Curren, Bob Cooper, Terry Fitzgerald, and Archy, Occy and MP. (Kurungabaa)

Aussie singer and actress Sophie Monk out Alanas Alana Blanchard. (WWTDD)

Rip Curl Announces 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search Huntington Beach

23 10 2009

Huntington Beach Pier

23 October, 2009 — Peniche, Portugal — Rip Curl International has today officially announced the coastal town of Huntington Beach, California will host next year’s Rip Curl Pro Search, stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour – to be held October 19 to 20.

The location has been a mystery to most all season, but today’s official press launch in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon unveiled the secret to media and the surfing industry.

“We’re excited about today’s announcement and even more excited to see the industry’s reaction to our decision to hold this year’s Rip Curl Pro Search in the pristine Orange County beach town known for its bar scene, pollution, cookie-cutter architecture, and less-than-average beachbreaks,” said Scott Hargreaves, Rip Curl Event Manager.

“The city has a tremendous amount of surf and we’ve decided to lock in Huntington’s ‘Taco Bell Reef’ as our event spot. On the right swell it can get halfway decent.”

“It had to be ‘somewhere,’ so why not Huntington,” Hargreaves reasoned.

Hargreaves said the event will be mobile and may utilize several spots during the event. “It’s wide open. Taco Bell Reef, just north of the pier will be the focal point where the world’s best surfers display their three-to-the beach gifts. But who knows? We may use Goldenwest Street or Brookhurst. I will guarantee the surfers will score during the 2-day waiting period.”

During the fall season Huntington fires from northwest ground swells, making it one of the most consistent waves on Earth. “We’re putting all our eggs in one basket,” said Surfline founder Sean Collins.

“Although it’s one year away, the chances of getting an offshore day or two are above average. If we’re lucky it won’t blow out until 10 a.m.”

This is the part of the release where I talk about how awesome Rip Curl-sponsored surfers are. So why don’t I just tell you. They are awesome. At least two of them will be pushed late in a heat.

And it’s an absolute certainty Mick Fanning or Taylor Knox will win the event. Also, if you don’t have Rip Curl rookie Kekoa Bacalso on your Fantasy Surfer team you are blowing it.

In a shocker, it was also announced all four wildcards will be Rip Curl surfers. Additionally, future world champion Owen Wright will be seeded directly in the semifinal.

The entire Rip Curl Pro Search Huntington will be webcast live on and, but the new tour changes may limit Rip Curl’s role in broadcasting the event. They may have to just rely on title sponsorship and prime advertising and banner placement–just like every other major sporting circuit that does not suffer from mild retardation.

It will be a dream come true to be able to surf in front of the fans at Huntington again,” said world number-one Mick Fanning.

About Huntington Beach: Although true surfers know Santa Cruz is the real “Surf City,” Huntington lassoed the official distinction after a lengthy court battle with the crunchy grove city to the north. Huntington was home to surfing heroes like Bud Llamas, John Parmenter, the Deffenbaughs, Herbie Flecther, Brad Gerlach and rising star Brett Simpson. Its best surfers are usually underground legends that develop cocaine or alcohol addictions. Tattoos and smoking hot divorcees are its chief exports.

About Rip Curl: Rip Curl International is an Australian wetsuit and surfwear manufacturer based in Torquay,Victoria. They make warm and flexible neoprene using revolutionary, patented processes. The suits usually last about 3 months. Approximately two months longer than any Hurley wetsuit. Unless you know someone who works for Rip Curl or shop the discount rack at clearance department stores, you probably don’t own a single item of Rip Curl clothing. They also make high quality watches. But if you are going to spend that type of money I would recommend a Rolex instead.

Inside A Transworld Surf Editorial Meeting Part II

20 10 2009


Inside the Transworld headquarters in Carlsbad, California.

Editor Chris Cote storms in…

Chris Cote: Okay, quiet down everyone. As tradition dictates let’s give thanks to our savior, leader and mentor… aSalaam ‘Alaykum Sal Masakala!

Everyone: Sal Masakala aSalaam

Chris Cote: Okay brozas. Welcome. Research tells us we aren’t so doing hot in several key demographics. Sure… we have the whole pre-teen and clergy crowd down skippy, but we ain’t testing well in Middle America.

Liam Ferguson: Yes! Mid-dul America! I already have the ad department working on Cheeze Whiz and Walmart.

Chris Cote: Okay bros…any ideas?

Liam Ferguson: (Stands up…stretching…) I have to excuse myself. I have a fundraiser sponsored by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and the NRA. Duty calls.

Justin Cote: (coughing…places hash pipe gingerly on boardroom table… ) Boat trip… Indo.

Chris Cote: Uh, wasn’t that your idea last month?

Justin Cote: Okay. Bass fishing excursion with tow-ats on fan boats? Kind of a Deliverance meets Modern Collective vibe.

Chris Cote: Awesome. That’s not a half bad idea. Mitch Coleburn did look pretty saucy with that moustache in Surfing Mag.

Casey Koteen: Uh…I don’t think there are any waves where there’s bass fishing.

Chris Cote: Heck there’s no waves on the entire East Coast but that still doesn’t stop Eastern Surf from producing a magazine every month.

Casey Koteen: Good point.

Aaron Checkwood: (adjusts monocle…speaks in a thick German accent) All of these photos are crap. (slams fist)

Chris Cote: Here we go again.

Justin Cote: How about a NASCAR photo feature. No… I got it. How’z about you send me and Chris Ward to Colorado and do the whole Bubble Boy thing. ‘Where’s Wardo. Is he in the balloon? Am I retarded for watching this?’ It will be huge. Cross promotion and all that shit.

Casey Koteen: Lost would pay top dollar for that type of placement. AND…we can interview Wardo’s alarm clock.

Justin Cote: Do they have alarm clocks in jail? I’m just sayin’.

Chris Cote: Hey broza? Why don’t we just have Wardo edit the issue? The Joel Tudor SURFER issue was huge. When Transworld turns 50 I suppose we’ll start mailing it in too.

Aaron Checkwood: Uh guys? There’s a world title race going on. Joel Parkinson?…Mick Fanning?….ring a bell?

Justin Cote: Come on Cheekwooooood! Fuck those guys. It’s all about Dane Reynolds yo. Ry Craike…Dusty Payne….Julian Wilson…represent bitches. You know we care even less about the WCT than Volcom.

Chris Cote: That’s right… we know who our daddy is. (nervous laughter) Okay, we’re done here. This meeting is adjourned. All Hail Masakala!

Everyone: Sal Masakala aSalaam

Click here for Part 1 of Inside a Trasworld Surf Editorial Meeting