Really Billabong? Really?

16 11 2009


After four hours of surfing on a cold, gray November morning nothing satisfies those chilly bones like warm flannel. Nothing.

It’s a little-known fact Kurt Cobain did not kill himself over depression or drugs. It was flannel. You see, he was out drinking one night with Dave Grohl. Over whiskey they complained of the flannel phenomenon they launched. Kurt told Dave that night “if I see one more asshole wearing a flannel, I’m going to kill myself.” Dave thought Kurt was joking. The rest is history.

When did Old Navy start designing Billabong ads? Leave it to Billabong to make their franchise surfers look like gay lumberjacks.  Really Billabong? You are so much better than this.




31 responses

16 11 2009

Yes. Worst ad with the exception of Pull In underwear.

16 11 2009

“Really Billabong? You are so much better than this”… No Nug, they are not.

This is just a continuing symptom of a disease left undiagnosed until now. The current state of surfing has not added anything new to our culture and recycling has become it’s only muse, the crutch of a depleted artistic curiosity.

Why else would there be such a fascination with everything retro? I lived through that period of development, shaped my own boards, blazed my own travel trails and it wasn’t always that cool. It was hard and those lessons, for those who lived through them are not worth revisiting. Time to grow, not look back. Those boards sucked, that’s why we evolved further. If you ride an old school fish, you are a moron. Those boards track, catch rail and have to be nursed, the opposite of progression. Vintage single fins with candy pigment…. fucking dead dogs.

Children of this decade, find your own voice. Copying grunge may be your last theft now that the sixties, seventies, and eighties have all been strip mined. Will you steal that which has already been stolen? And how cool is it to be a corporate clone anyway? If everyone is cool, is anyone?

The surf “fashion” industry has grinded to a halt and reproduction is their only inspiration because they have lost the independence that defined the generations they copy.

Now corporations like Billabong sell the dream that never was because we were always aspiring to something more. Now, you children dream of something less, a billboard you can wear for the attention of equally failed intellectual curiosities. And you advertise their product with pride in the process of humiliating yourself.

Money has failed progression because the main goal is to allow those who follow to catch up. Not enough demographic in leaders, but the sheep have the numbers and are too insecure to follow their own instincts.

Chalk it up to the worship of “ease” and the technological distraction of “social networking”. Surf camps have replaced adventure. Will there ever be a significant change to a magic 6’1″? Don’t know about you, but I’ve been riding one for 15 years with nuanced differences. Have we met the end?

Dane, Jordy, Owen, Julien and that 14 year old brazzo freak are pushing limits in the water, but return to conformity once they hit the shore. The conformity of Money and it’s shallow end of an empty pool.

16 11 2009
Ross Clarke Bones

Did Billabong bring down the Twin Towers?

16 11 2009
Twilight Fan

I kinda like those Billibong ads.

16 11 2009

Mike…. Nice points… coulda said same thing in half the time… but it was articulate even if wordy and I’m down with ya.

Is Billabong stressing that they have missed the boat on all the young talent??… who is their next big thing… can’t think of anyone. Is that why they’re playing the retro card… future for them aint lookin to good.

Props to Mailman… check out his piece on the ASP site… while tempered (remember he does work for them) he made it clear that the recent changes aint gonna cut it… looks like he does listen to us loons spewing out our ideas and all. And gotta like the sense of humor of throwing him into BR’s masterpiece…. love the Mailman.

16 11 2009

@ Mike

Could we get your comments in a Readers Digest condensed version please?

16 11 2009

@mike(whose closet probably contains at least 3 pieces from billabong), i love people like you. Tell me, if the industry is so backwards, what are you doing to change it? or are you just another one of “those guys” sitting around whining?

16 11 2009

I must confess that I bought a quick flannel about two weeks ago. It’s really nice and keeps me super warm. It’s more like a jacket…it’s got that shit on the inside…what, dicks?!!!

16 11 2009

I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay
I sleep all night and I work all day
I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.
I go to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays I go shoppin’
And have buttered scones for tea.
I cut down trees. I skip and jump.
I like to press wild flowers.
I put on women’s clothing
And hang around in bars.
I cut down trees. I wear high heels,
Suspendies, and a bra.
I wish I’d been a girlie,
Just like my dear Papa.

16 11 2009

Cdubs, imagine a world where someone doesn’t wear someone else’s advertising? I live in that world. It’s not imaginary. I own no corporate surf clothing. It’s really not that hard, though I did escape Orange County.

Why would I want to “change” them? Your position is one of some absorbed fuck who can’t see the light of day amidst the commerce. These companies do not define anything, think for yourself. They are not in control, you control them with your dollar. Stop patronizing that which you don’t agree.

Sorry for the long read boys and for challenging your intellect Mark.

Trauser, your quik pendleton is a cumdumpster…. just sayin….

16 11 2009

Wow, this is worse than I thought. Some one who has the intelligence and balls to write an informed, articulate piece gets lambasted by the very clones the surf clothing people are targeting. Interesting. Stop riding retro fishes (they don’t work), dress how you want and not how others tell you, and quit quoting Monty Python. Good on ya MIke!

16 11 2009

Jeff, Your poem epitomizes the whole Billabong ad. Super funny.
Mike’s right on! BTW, I don’t own any surf industry clothing either.
Furthermore, if you fu.ks want the line-up less crowded stop buying their F-ing clothes and supporting the proliferation of Cameron Dias-surfer-want-a-bees. As far as going retro, let’s get back to the day when you would want to list “surfing” on your resume.

16 11 2009

@ Ross Clarke Bones

The trade towers were brought down by The Project for a New American Century, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Weekend at Bernie’s Bin Laden died 12-14-2001, he’s not the perpetual boogey man and he was not of Afghan descent.

Money is playing you, stop paying it.

16 11 2009
Paul Bunyan

Guys, it’s just a piece of fabric that has been around for hundreds of years. It is not going to overthrow the World. It has been in and out of style every few years starting with Rob Roy. Currently there are about two hundred clothing companies with flannel clothing on the market. This is not a conspiracy fronted by Surf brands with the intension of robbing us of our souls. It’s just a fashion trend and will be replaced by something else next year.

The origin of the word is uncertain, but a Welsh origin has been suggested as fabric similar to flannel can be traced back to Wales, where it was well known as early as the 16th century. The French term flanelle was used in the late 17th century, and the German Flanell was used in the early 18th century.[2]
Flannel has been made since the 17th century, gradually replacing the older Welsh plains, some of which were finished as ‘cottons’ or friezes, which was the local textile product. In the 19th century, flannel was made particularly in towns such as Newtown, Montgomeryshire[3], Hay on Wye,[4] and Llanidloes[5]. The expansion of its production is closely associated with the spread of carding mills, which prepared the wool for spinning, this being the first aspect of the production of woollen cloth to be mechanised (apart from fulling). The marketing of these Welsh woolen clothes was largely controlled by the Drapers Company of Shrewsbury.[6]
Originally it was made of fine, short staple wool, but by the 20th century mixtures of silk and cotton had become common.[2]

In North America, flannelette, commonly referred to as flannel, was commonly thought to be the fabric of woodsmen, lumberjacks, tough men, and farmers. Today it is commonly used for children’s winter pyjamas as well as pyjama pants for adults. It is good at keeping warmth in, so often is favored among blue collar workers in cold environments.
In the US, due to its popularity in the Pacific Northwest (especially in Seattle, Washington) and Vancouver, British Columbia, flannel there has become associated with grunge fans and music. This idea was even further popularized by the fact that many rock, metal and, most notably, grunge musicians from the early-mid 1990s often wore clothing made from it. In addition, West Coast gangsta rap shared the style with the alternative music scene for much of the 1990s. Flannel has been thought by some to be a fashion statement. Currently, flannelette plaid shirts are the newest trend in much of America, and they are being sold in luxury clothing outlets such as Abercrombie and American Eagle. Also, there are clubs in the Philadelphia area, one of which is known as “Flannel Fridays”, whose sole requirement for membership is being “plaid clad”, or wearing flannel on Friday. Skateboarders are also known to wear flannels.
In Australia and New Zealand, flannelette is associated, in a derogatory manner, with Bogans[7] and Westies[8].

16 11 2009

Mike’s a genius! Astute observations of an “industry” mired down by a deepening identity crisis. But hey, what do you expect from a bunch of “business men”(?) that have to work through a recession lacking the flock of buyers such as the baby boom (60’s-70’s growth) and the baby boom’s, baby boom (late 90’s industry growth? The industry desperately needs more 14 year olds with parents that buy the crap (Volcom, et al) or a foreign market that can afford to buy the rags they mass produce for the U.S.

Final Notes: (1) The coldest weather a Pro’s in Bongs ad ever experienced is when the heat went out at the hotel. (2) Even Sara Palin would have ceased the opportunity to wear her best flannel with her foot firmly planted on fresh dear kill while holding the muzzle of a rifle! (3) What do you all think about Rob the Chob as Jesus, the new Nike make over, just in time for Christmas?

16 11 2009

Poncho has restored my faith in humanity.

Elwood, what do you think of Paul Bunyans brevity?

16 11 2009

Man, it sure is nut-numbing cold outside…but it’s always summer inside this stylish and functional quik flannel…just sayin’ mayne!!

16 11 2009

I wear flannel and I didn’t realize I was gangsta. I thought flannel was just functional. Thanks Paul, I enjoyed the read. By the way Pancho, Sara Palin sometimes wears flannel? Really? And a rifle? I’m appalled and intrigued at the same time. Rob you are right. Don’t buy and the line ups will shrink. At least in the OC where conformity reigns supreme.

16 11 2009

I love wearing my boyfriends flannel when its cold outside…I had no idea he was gay 😦 I will definitely have to ask him about it :/

16 11 2009

@ Mike…

Sorry couldn’t get through all of Paul’s piece…. Liked your post but still waiting on you to comment on Jordy in Modern Collective.

Kinda over the flannel talk…. ready to get back to PE, Homo fun, and giving Trauzerstain a reason to roll out with his Jizz posts.

16 11 2009

I had no idea that it was Old Navy that revived flannels. I thought it was Urban Outfitters.

16 11 2009


Dude, he does look like jesus…and goddammit, if flannel is good enough for jesus, then goddammit, its good enough for Trauzer.

16 11 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

Now THIS was an excellent comments thread. Reminds me of the halycon ol’ days. Good on ya boys n’ girls.

17 11 2009

Paul Bunyan, the historical context you imparted there was– yawn–boring. I think the piece was an homage to the homoerotic undertones in the advertising campaign, not a snub to this time-honored, working-man’s textile. Savvy?
Fucking surfers, man.

17 11 2009
The Internet is Making Me Stupid « Nugable

[…] « Really Billabong? Really? […]

17 11 2009
Paul Bunyan

Three Surfers wearing Flannel and holding Axes is somehow suggestive of Homosexuality? Boy, I didn’t see that one!

17 11 2009
Dave Mailman

Would it surprise all of you to know that I love flannel?!? Best thing ever. My first was from L.L. Bean from freshman year in high school… But the best are the cheapy specials from highway rest stops and the hunting gear isle in the local supermarket.

@Elwood, yes, I listen. And yes, I did pull some punches…

@Mike, I really want to meet you in person sometime. If you are as interesting in person as you are in your comments, it would be cool to sit down and drink some of your personal home brew beer together. You do brew your own right?!? Organic veggie garden at least?!? Maybe we can invite Blas and Nug, too! Not Mark though… Obviously!

17 11 2009
Occy's Mum

Yeah, my son looks like a fucking gay twerp in that ad. Poor lad.

17 11 2009

This comment thread is turning into a Mike slurp fest. I am seriously close to puking in the Carlsbad City Library right now.

17 11 2009

Hey Davo,

I’d love the party, but Blasph would have to wear a corporate mask and hide behind a shadowed curtain with a deep voice projection machine with his 3 kids. “Daddy, why are we hiding, the party looks fun!”

Then Mark would try to punch me and the police would bust Dave for the green bud he bought to lure Nug to the “party”.

I say, the fun’s already been had and let’s call it a night, shall we?

23 11 2009
Breaking News: Billabong Aquires Swell « Nugable

[…] One thing is for certain, they should have a large selection of flannel. […]

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