reminds us of just how awesome Quiksilver Pro was (with a single photo)

Surfing blog posted this great photo of Kelly Slater scoring his perfect 10 at last years Quiksiver Pro, New York.

I can’t believe this was almost a year ago. I wish they came back, although I was told how the 2012 ASP World Tour was actually condensed due to the economy.

We still have the Unsound Right Coast Cup, which is presented by Quiksilver. That event has a waiting period that starts this Wednesday, Sept 5th. I’ll post the press release for that in a bit. In the meantime, go to surfbang for more amazing Quiksilver Pro, NY photos

Quiksilver (sort of) returning to Long Beach … sort of [LB Herald]

(Photo taken by SuperClearyPhoto – Tropical Depression Alberto comes to Long Beach, NY on 5-22-2012)

The Long Beach Herald is running a story on Quiksilver making a return to Long Beach this September (sort of). In his article titled Quiksilver returning to Long Beach … sort of, Anthony Rifilato writes:

[quote]Sixty-four of the best surfers on the East Coast will vie for $20,000 in prize money in the Unsound surf shop’s Right Coast Cup competition in Long Beach next month.

The event is being presented by Quiksilver, exactly a year after the city hosted the East Coast’s largest and most lucrative surfing event, the Quiksilver Pro New York. It attracted roughly 100,000 spectators to Long Beach to watch the world’s best surfers compete.

The two-day Unsound event, which has a five-day window from Sept. 5 to 9, comes at the peak of hurricane season, as did last year’s contest.[/quote]

This is not part of the ASP tour, so it won’t be of the same magnitude as last years Quiksilver Pro, but according to the article, there will be “Quiksilver merchandise, a Roxy surf camp for women, surfing demonstrations and more.” Hey, what about surfing legend Kelly Slater?

[quote]“It’s bragging rights to who’s the best surfer on the East Coast,” Juan said.

Added (Unsound’s Luke Watson), “You never know with Kelly. If there’s a swell on the East Coast, he might sign up.”[/quote]

Kelly Slater is from Cocoa Beach, Florida. Last time I checked, that is part of the East Coast.

Head over the Long Beach Herald for the full article: Quiksilver returning to Long Beach … sort of (August 22, 2012)

Updated: Let’s Kick Start A Fire (Surf Film Needs Your Help)

 Update: 4/14/2012: In a little more than 24 hours, more than $1100 was contributed to Fire & Water via Kickstarter and the project is on.  I can’t way to see it now!  Additional funds are still allowed via Kickstarter to the project if you still want to get involved in the film and be a part of what will be an amazing story.  My thanks to all the SBC readers that contributed.

Here’s the cliff’s notes:

Go to Kickstarter and consider contributing to this amazing project: Fire & Water.

And the rest of the story:

Last summer I told you about Shadows of the Same Sun, an amazing surf documentary made by Thomas Brookins about the roots of Long Island surfing in the Rockaways and Long Beach.  Brookins and the team behind that film are back and working on a new surf film about a local surf legend so many of us have never heard of.  It’s the story of surfing’s roots in New York and the hard-working blue collar firefighters who were, and still are, at the forefront of it.

Fire & Water is the tale of “Don “Gums” Eichin, from Long Island NY, who was one of a handful of pioneering surfers in the late 1950’s and 60’s that set out to make a life in Hawaii,” and then brought what he learned back to New York while becoming an NYC firefighter.

Brookins calls this film “an important lost surfing tale that is still being written today as Don’s sons, Eric & Randy follow in their father’s footsteps alongside good friends Brian Walsh & Casey Skudin.”

I had the chance to talk to Casey Skudin who’s known the Eichins since he was four and said Gums “was like a second father.”  Skudin grew up surfing with Gums, his sons Eric and Randy, and friend Brian Walsh, and then became a New York City firefighter.

That’s Skudin to Slater (in blue)’s right

I asked him what surfing with Kelly Slater and Travis Logie was like during the Quiksilver Pro‘s Bravest Vs. Finest surf competition.  He called it “the highlight” of his surfing career.

Skudin said that being a firefighter was “unpredictable,” much like surfing because the “waves and conditions are always changing” and noted more importantly that surfing was an outlet to “decompress and clear your mind after a long 24-hour shift.”  Skudin called Fire & Water “important” because it “will put a spotlight on surfing in NY, along with the people who surf it.”

Back over at the Kickstarter page, Brookins said he was “very proud of the people and Firefighters in this film” and had  “no doubt… that people will fall in love with the characters in this film.”

So for those of you that don’t know, KickStarter is a website where anyone can contribute to projects in development – from gadgets to movies – to help amazing ideas become real.  Head over to the film’s KickStarter page here and consider pitching in.

Check out the film’s teaser below which is already looking amazing.  Help Brookins make Don “Gums” Eichin’s story a reality.  Right now the project is sitting at $8,892, $1,108 short of their goal.  Every dollar counts and there are only three days remaining so follow this link and toss in what you can.

You can read more about the film and an interview with the writer director here.

And you can follow the movie here on Facebook

In other surf film news, Long Beach Surfers Association and SMASH are hosting a Surf Movie Night at the Long Beach Cinema tomorrow night, where another movie focused on LI surfing will premiere.  “Stacked” focuses on the rise of Long Beach’s own Balaram Stack and the Quiksilver Pro.

And Stacked on Facebook 

4.5 Months After Irene (Friday Photography)

FEMA showed up last week to survey the leftovers from Irene and a lot of you asked why were they coming now after so much time has passed, and so many repairs have already been made.  That gave me the idea for this week’s installment of Friday Photography.  I went around to a few spots that I know received a walloping and took a look at what was there now.  This is by no means a survey of the entire City, just a quick snapshot (no pun intended).  Also take a look at some photos I put together right after Hurricane Irene to remember just how intense it was.

I really appreciate all the feedback I received last week and if any of you have some good shoot ideas, let me know.

4.5 Months After Irene

On the beach between National and Edwards, an emergency lane marker stands over the remnants of the brick and cinder-block walls that failed to hold the sea back

 Behind the empty lot next to the Allegria, where the sea wall burst flooding the street, a new lumber wall hovers over the sand.  Take a look at this photo taken as the storm hits shows the sea after it pushed through the former wall.  And here’s another view.

 The Lifeguard Shack: after being pushed off of its foundation, and then returned with the help of a crane, it’s in desperate need of a paint job.  See how it looked hours after the storm here

 Without a leg to stand on

 One of the shack’s shutters swings ajar

 After a much needed renovation, the new bathrooms at National Blvd were short-lived as they quickly became flooded and buried when Irene hit weeks later.  Now they sit boarded up and more buried than ever.

 At the beach entrance to the Allegria, the high water mark is still visible

 By New York Ave, the lifeguard station and snack shack were nearly destroyed.  October’s rapid push to rebuild their decks seems to have been abandoned as sand piles on the lumber.  Take a look at how it stood the morning Irene hit

 The west snack shack without any decking.

 After a blitz of sawing and hammering, now the new deck just waits.

 One of the many ramps destroyed by the storm surge.

 After Kelly Slater and Quiksilver rushed to rebuild the Magnolia playground, little has been done by the City.

 What once was a colorful, child-painted mosaic wall, now is open and exposed to the ocean

 Two colorfully-painted mosaic tiles sit buried in the rubble under the boardwalk.  These should be saved and used in a new wall.

UPDATED: LB on the cover of Surfing Magazine (Quiksilver is good for You)

(I got this one from the UNSOUND facebook page.)

Say, what’s that in the background on the cover of the January 2012 issue of SURFING MAGAZINE? Looks like Long Beach to me. And to top it all off, Kelly Slater getting amazing air! How is that for exposure? Long Beach is getting some major street cred (beach cred?) with the outside surfing community.

I believe this issue is available @ newsstands right now. If it’s not, you can always order it from the Surfing Magazine Website as a digital edition.

Don’t forget to read the rest of our Quiksilver is good for You articles.

Shaun Update: I just heard back from Surfing Magainze and they confirm the photo is indeed real and not photoshopped as I had speculated below.

They explained: ” To solve your mystery, the only photoshopping done to cover was to put mindF behind Kelly. Stay tuned for the Jan issue trailer to give you better clarity.”

Another riddle solved, thanks Surfing.  Now to a book store (do any of those still exist?) to buy a copy and hang it up!


Becoming Part of the Community (Quiksilver is Good For You)

The Quiksilver Pro was an unquestionable success for the City of Long Beach’s image, its businesses, and most importantly its residents.  This is event that should be encouraged to come back every year, and serve as another memorable date on the Long Beach calendar of events that friends and families look forward to year after year.  In what  will become a multi-part series, I bring you the first of “Quiksilver Is Good For You.”

One of the biggest concerns I heard before the QPNY came to town was “they are taking advantage of the city” or “they are just here to make money.”  I’ll admit, I too was concerned about what the City was giving to support this and what it would get in return.

The first hint that I had that Quiksilver may actually be interested in more than just raiding the city with pro surfers and draining our wallets with branded merchandise was in July.  It wasn’t during a surf movie premiere or a surfing event.  It was during the Long Beach Waterfront Warriors 5k run.  When I saw the flyers and picked up my tee – I couldn’t help by notice it was branded “Quiksilver Foundation.”

I talked to the guys over at LBWW and they confirmed that they were approached by Quiksilver who offered assistance in supporting the event.  That eventually became t-shirts.  Remember this event was in July, the Quiksilver Pro wasn’t until September.

Fast forward to now, I’ve talked with Ryan Ashton, the director of the Quiksilver Foundation, and was blown away by all the support they gave this City during (and before) their two weeks here.

(The O’Neil family with pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons/ Photo Credit Patch/ Jeff Wilson)

To summarize, Ashton confirmed all sorts of different community support:

  • Sponsored the Waterfront Warriors and O’Keefe Foundation with tees for their annual events
  • Sponsored the Michelle O’Neal Foundation volleyball tourney with some product from Roxy and entered a team in the comp
  • Raised funds through the sales of our foundation tees and wristbands that will be split amongst the four groups, Waterfront Warriors, O’Keefe Foundation, Michelle O’ Neal Foundation and the Danny Bobis Fund
  • Placed “Buckets for Bobis” on the checkout counter in the merch tent
  • Donated a surfboard that was signed by all the pro surfers who competed to Rachel Bobis for her fundraiser on October 15
  • Separately, pro female surfer Sally Fitzgibbons donated one of her own boards as part of the raffle during the Michelle O’Neal Foundation volleyball tournament

And then, there’s the cleanup of the Magnolia Playground.  The Quiksilver Foundation coordinated efforts on Saturday, 9/10 to work with the City, the Long Beach High School Surf Team, and other volunteers to finally bring the Magnolia Playground back to life.

That playground has long been a favorite of parents, children, and those that may act like children.  When Irene hit, the playground’s seawall was destroyed, and sand and rubble covered everything.  With the help of the Quiksilver Foundation – and of course the kindness of many of this City’s citizens – the park was greatly improved.

And as an added boost to the volunteers’ efforts, the Quiksilver Foundation was able to get a certain surfer to come down and help out for a bit – and pose for a photo op.  Kelly Slater was snuck under the boardwalk and absolutely shocked everyone by saying hi during the cleanup.

(Photo credit Patch/Joley Welkowitz)

What I want to emphasize here is not “wow, Quiksilver donated some shirts,” or “wow, they gave away some free crap,” but that they didn’t have to do any of this.

There’s a certain sense of entitlement that I’ve noticed through town.  “Well, what are they going to do for me?”  Frankly, Quiksilver doesn’t have to do anything.  They’ve paid for their permits like any other business has to.  They’ve hired their own workers and equipment.  They are spending their time and money, not the City’s.

But, Quiksilver stepped up and decided it wanted to be a member of this community, not just a business passing through.  And they did an admirable job considering how much crap they’ve gotten from some in the City.  They’ve become involved with some of our biggest charities and causes.  They helped clean-up after the hurricane.  And they’ve helped – and continue to help – the Bobis family.

Quiksilver is doing good for Long Beach, and can only continue to do this if they receive support from the residents, and the City Council.  Consider a phone call (516) 431-1000 ext. 1001) to City Hall, an email (Charles Theofan), a letter, or showing up at a council meeting (Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 pm in the 6th floor conference room) to let your voice be heard.

Saturday’s Event Schedule

At 9AM tomorrow (tentative) the bravest versus finest surf comp will go down at National Blvd.  Kelly Slater and Taylor Knox will be in the water supporting the surfers representing the Police and Fire Departments of New York City.  So yes, Kelly Slater will be surfing at National tomorrow morning.  Get your last glimpses because I’m sure he’ll be leaving Sunday.

Also, Roxy will be running all sorts of events on the beach for the girlies and I’m sure there will be other free surfs and entertainment presented by Quiksilver

Of course, the Michelle O’Neil Volleyball Tournament is tomorrow.  I’ve heard whispers that some of the pros have made a team and may be competing.