Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Action sports made me travel the world

Until I was 15, I never thought of traveling the world, France is a good country. However my life was about to change when I read World Stormrider Guide. At first I only checked the different break, but soon I became in admiration with the beauty that this world has to offer. I learnt about the cultures, traditions as well as hazards, etc..

Soon after I traveled in many countries throughout Europe, moved to the States, lived in Africa for 6 months. I have found that people who have never traveled outside their home country are a bit narrow minded, they usually think their is only one right way, their own.

In order to fully appreciate the experience, you have to be respectful, open and be humble.

Here a video that my wife Leslie showed me tonight that I personally find quite moving.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Billabong XXL nominee

Each year the most amazing big wave riders are travelling the world to to surf the biggest and gnarliest waves like in Tasmania, South Africa, etc...

All those pictures and video will be used to select the winner for the Billabong XXL who will win $50,000.

Friday, March 27, 2009

RIP Shane McCOnkey

BASE jumper Shane McConkey was killed earlieryesterday in a ski-BASE accident in the Italian Dolomites. McConkey experienced problems in the air after launching off a cliff with the expectation of deploying his parachute canopy and then gliding down to the ground

"He did a double backflip off the jump and he has these releasable bindings so they come off in the air and then he flies off in his wing suit," filmmaker Scott Gaffney, a longtime close friend of McConkey's, told ESPN Action Sports in an interview this afternoon via phone.

"But one ski did not come off. And when that happens the drag on the skis causes you to flip over, so the skis go over your head. So he was struggling with the one ski. Then he also got into a bad spin. So he may have never even pulled his pilot chute. And that's coming from JT Holmes, who Shane was with in Italy and who reviewed the footage of the accident. So the combination of the ski, the spin and the pilot chute, apparently. Because you can't throw the pilot chute like that; if you throw it while you're upside down and it wraps around the ski, you're done."

Rossignol in bad shape

I was looking at the first SIA report in December, the ski sales were sharply falling in stores by 16% from Aug/Dec 2008 compared to previous year.

Such a decrease in sale could seriously affect fragile companies such as Rossignol. My thoughts were confirmed this morning when I read the french news: Rossignol is planning to lay off 30% of its employees, i.e 450 employees worldwide but mostly in France that count for 275 employees.

Unlike Rossignol, Burton is doing a bit better due to strong brand recognition by laying off less than 5% of its staff and has decided to reduce employee salaries from 0 to 15%.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A good boardshop filling for bankruptcy

When I used to live San Diego, I went couple of times at Active and I found guys who were very helpful, had the passion for the sport and I had a great experience there. However Board Sports companies are in the same wagon than other industries so I learn today that Active is filling for bankruptcy.

We can't deny the fact that economy is down, that it is on a large scale that affect a lot of companies. However with that said there are opportunities everywhere and at any given year, I have never heard of a business saying: "it is such a great year, consumers spend thousands, there is no competition and it's a perfect world".

Down time just accelerate and show the true profile of companies and in that case bad management. The filling says: "these losses have been caused primarily by the Debtor's rapid over-expansion and market saturation, during which time the company's same store sales were decreasing substantially"

For sure they could have pull it off a bit longer if there was no recession but a company has to grow in revenue, otherwise an expansion is useless.

I would not be surprised to see quite a few companies filling for bankruptcy such as Spy that has never had a positive balance sheet in its creation in 1994.

600km of runs....

One thing I miss terribly from France in addition to our 350 cheese variety, that's correct there are more than white, yellow and orange cheese:), that's the 600km of runs in the 3 Vallees.

that will take you couple of weeks to ride all those slopes, not to mention you can get lost because it is so freaking big, check out my previous blog on the GPS o'neill Jacket.

What I also love about those villages in France, it's very rustic, restaurants are incredible and the vibe are off the hook.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Get some socks

Underwear and socks are quite frankly the last things I look for brandwised. I am not ashamed to say that I buy those are at Target, Sport Authority,etc... For those who loves brand to the tip of the dong and the toes: here is a good brand for you.

That's the ad commercial for socks from Toy Machine:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Danny Kass is the man

While Shaun White had to opts out due to an ankle injury that happened during the training period, other top Pro kept battling for the victory of the prestigious title.

Bunch of people are hating on Shaun which I don't really get as most of those guys are just fat asses who can't even launch a 180 on a bunny slope. Most talk is about talking sh$t about him, and I would prefer to read props on the others guys like Kass, Vito, Lago,etc..

Anyway the winner of this year US Open title is Danny Kass on a GNU BTX... His fith time since 2001. This dude has major style

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Best shoes ever...from a turtle perspective.

This would be such a funny ad for a footwear company!!! The only problem is that you have to find a horny turtle and desperate too.

Seriously I didn't know turtles were making such funny noises..weird.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Zen & Zero

I received this movie today in the mail, my bro got it for my Bday. The movie features five landlocked Austrians on a surf trip from Cali to Costa Rica that pictures perfectly the surf lifestyle for regular mother f$%king surfing guys.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nike SB Custom Serie

I started skateboarding 23 years ago, at some I had a decent level but after sereval broken bones. Skateboarding to me became more like something to fart around between snowboarding and surfing.

Nonetheless in all those years I saw many brand rising and falling. So when I started seeing Nike SB getting into skateboard I knew it would not be easy as Nike represents everything except skateboarding.

They had some big flops but since 2005, Nike SB has been rising and I would say one thing was sponsoring major skaters like Paul Rodriguez but also they original approach in their ads.

So here is the new Custom Serie 3, the theme is all about Skateboarding on cars. As far as I can remember I always saw car in skate movies and that is what Nike is trying to get: legibility.
By using innovative and historical theme, Nike can become progressively legit.

I am not a big fan of Nike, but those ads are killers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nixon: The Player in Rubber

I bought the SS Player 5 years ago and bought many models since. I was checking Nixon's website over the weekend when a new limited edition: the Player goes "Iconic"

Here is a copy /paste of their marketing campaign that summarize pretty well what is the Rubber about:

Beginning March 15th, 2009 Nixon’s “4 x 4” will introduce 4 Rubber Players in a single colorway to the world. On the 15th of each month from March to June a new surprise color will be released. Participating shops will be shipped only 4 Rubber Players each month. Each surprise color will be kept secret.

Like any hot item, the true value of the item doesn't really matter. while I agree $170 is a bit hard to swallow for a rubber watch, the fact it is ultra limited I have no doubt those will be gone as fast as Michael Jackson's London tickets. I still can't believe this weirdo sold out 50 concerts in few hours.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A wipe out that hurts just by watching it.

I was watching the new Standard Film trailer, Aesthetica which looks to have some pretty sweet footage however the Metallica soundtrack is not what I would have picked for a snowboard movie.

The last few seconds of the teaser, there is a slam that must hurt so freaking bad.

Here is a couple of snapshot. the quality is not that great but you get a feeling.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Three wave Hold down at Marevicks...

My worst wipeout was at Sunset Cliff in heavy 17 feets, I swore that day I could had drown. Check this video out and like me I am sure you will wonder how this Neil Matthies managed to survive a Three wave Hold down at Marevicks.

It is really scary sensation and I can't imagine what this guy had experienced, we are talking about getting pounded at Mav. It is a very humble experience, you realize that you are not invincible, that life can be over the next second...no promises that we will live until 100 years old.
In my case, I tried to stay calm at first but after few seconds what appeared to me to be 1 minutes, I started to panic as in white water you can't really swim up....he is the Man and I am glad he is able to tell his story to others.


Yep that's right, it sounds that most shops are trying to clear their inventory, which means massive clearance from left to right.

Two years I would have gone ballistic on all those great deals. However last year and this year as well has been a bit of a different story, so it has been frustrating not being able to buy.

Nonetheless I can't resist to those Gravis shoes, I have been a big fan since its creation. Go check out burton store

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Flexlite: technology inspired by windsurfing

My buddy Chris has been swearing by his Flexlite. The main problem with PU boards is that after a while, they look their mechanical properties and decrease in performance.
With an EPS core and PVC sheet foam, it gives extra durability and ding resistance.

The main difference with those boards is that they are tapered on the rails to give excellent flex pattern. In addition the epoxy gives a better flex response.

I haven't tried his board out yet, after all it's Florida so I may have to wait for a trip in Panama to test it but after few years of using his board, I haven't noticed one ding on it.

However if you are concerned by the environment, you may want to look at Firewire because PVC is not exactly what I would call eco-friendly material.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gangsta snowboarder...give me a break

When I used to rent a room in Leucadia, CA few blocks away from the beach, I would see all those kids living in multimillion dollars houses and trying to look like homies with clothes that could fit Jabba the Hut.

My wife grew up in trailers with crack dealers neighboors. She explained to me those guys would wear big clothes to hide weapons...Maybe those kids want to look hardcore so that their mummies would give them Mc Donald's instead of a fillet mignon.

Now about Technine, how can you be gangsta lookin when snowboarding is not exactly a cheap sport, not really some gears that you need for survival.

It is just plain retarded to have those punk kids faking they are from the hood doing trick that are not even that good.....check this movie out from Technine
That is for sure the worst movie that I have watched this year.

I don't mind the lack of style of those clothes, but I mind the attitude: breaking boards, walking like you have a 15lbs dingdong, moving arms like a scare crow...that's what really get on my nerves.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cappel's website....bikinis: WTF

When I was a teenager I used to love Reef girls, I still do but not like putting posters on my bedroom wall, and any way my wife would not let me.

I bet showing booties on their ads helped Reef to get where they are now. At first sight, Back shots of women has nothing to do with the product itself, sandals. However I would argue that it has everything to do with it: from Brazil, beaches, summer: sandals mean vacations and as a results the pursue of any kids dream, i/e looking at chick in bikinis.

Several companies have tried that road in the surfing business as well as outside the surfing community, like Cappel.

Unlike Reef, the pictures look more like a Victoria Secret catalog...and quite frankly why chicks are wearing the guys clothes and half naked chicks are also doing the girl section.
I could have understood the irony of doing guys in girl clothes and viceversa.

In my opinion that's a very poorly marketing campaign for 08/09 that says: "hi guys we couldn't really come up with any good concept this year so let's put some legs and boobs so that kids will look at our website".

At least last year, they did a pinup feel (like in the 50s), pictures were originals and it was a good concept. This year looks like they did not have any budget to do anything so they just picked up few girls next door to wear their stuffs.

Cute girls are still nice to look at, but nowadays teenagers have access to anything online with a big X so I am not sure if a Victoria Secret imitation will convert them into loyal customers.

If you are gonna buy their products because you saw a chick wearing a bra, that doesn't bother me but now would you buy the product if it was Calvin Klein model all trimmed up, I bet you wouldn't. 70% of men are snowboarders so I decided to ask girlfriends who snowboards to give me their opinion...their impression went from "where are the hot dudes??" to "poor marketing scheme".

There are so many good brands out there with excellent products and positive concepts, that I am gonna rate this brand a big F.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bring some fun to boots....

Well I can't really say I am super original with mine cuz I have Black Salomon boots but ehhh I would love to spark a bit of fun on my feet, so here is tow model that sounds pretty sweet:
Nike boots and the Vans Jamie Lynn.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fly in the Champagne

There has never been so much rivalry and hype between two great athletes: Kelly Slater and Andy Irons. Which is presented in Fly in the Champagne documentary taking both surfers to Mentawais.

I have seen the trailer, but can't say much.. filming two of the best surfers, it can't be a shitty movie but the concept doesn't seem to be much different from any other movies....maybe it is like Blule Horizon: Andy Vs. Rasta lifestyle.

The movie is produced by the Irons Bros Production. The filmmaker Matt Beauchesne, who has produced many award winning films, such as The Campaign Series and Billabong’s new film Trilogy, is managing Irons Brothers Productions.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snowboard hard case....shipping with peace of mind

Today it's my Bday and I got a sweet gift from my wife Leslie, she spoiled me with the Sporttube series 3 so that we can transport our gear with peace of mind.

However my snowboards are under the bed to prevent the dogs from hiding so now I am going to have to find something else to stuff under it.

Anyway let's go back into the case..the list is pretty long but they have thought about lots of details and it definitely look pretty sweet.

More details to come.....and millions thanks for my wife for finding me cool gifts to help me go snowboard.

Monday, March 2, 2009

i found headwear

Despite their sucky website and the typical mission statement "the brand based on friendship, creativity and the desire to maintain and promote a precious lifestyle" that sounds like 50 other brands...I really like what ifound is doing with their beanies: original artwork and they seem not to take themselves too seriously.