Lost Files Of The Search

Lost Files Of The Search

Check out the unseen unreleased elder footage of Mason Ho and Keoni “Cheeseburger” Nozaki on The Search.

The Wave Bristol nearly ready to roll…

The Wave Bristol nearly ready to roll…

So the pool is filled, and we have heard rumour of perfectly peeling waves … but also that The Wave’s creator Nick Hounsfield is locked out! What is going…?!

Nick what’s happening? We are hearing there are perfect waves…

I’ve heard that rumour too! The Wavegarden team is on-site and working away on testing the equipment and apparently creating some incredible test waves. I can tell by people’s faces that something special is being made and having dinner with the Wavegarden crew last night I could tell they are confident and happy with what they have created.
I’m currently banned from the site and have been told I can’t come down until the team is ready to reveal the waves to me. I’ll not lie … it’s a bit frustrating, but sat next to my desk right now I have a warm wetsuit and a board which I’ve waxed a few times this week already!

It must be quite frustrating, but I bet it’s a bit like being a kid at Christmas. What are you doing to try and keep your mind off what’s happening?

It’s been difficult! I’ve been seriously tempted to head down for a sneak peek at progress – but at the same time the anticipation of seeing perfect waves peeling down the lake is huge, and I don’t want to ruin that moment. There is sooooo much going on right now that distraction is very easy. We have hundreds of workstreams running right now, so there is never a dull moment.

Have you asked anyone to break the no filming on phone rule and get you a sneaky glimpse? Binoculars?

Wouldn’t dare – my Head of Comms would kill me!

Has anyone else tried to sneak in to have a look yet?

Security is tight. The operational team is all on-site setting up the kitchen, shop, surf area, etc. and training on everything from our surf coaching programme to running the tills. They are working full steam ahead but imagine they will be seeing a lot of wave action when they have time to look up from what they’re doing.

Are you still on target for the opening – and what are the dates?

All on target. We are selling tickets for sessions from 4th November and getting very booked up!

Waving Not Drowning  

How did all this come to be, what does The Cove ride like and more…

Words by Steve England, originally published in Carve 197.

The Wave Bristol is coming. Back in July Carve sent a crack team down to the secret test facility in the Basque Country, along with The Wave’s creator Nick Hounsfield, to find out the story behind the project, and to test the wave. Our conclusion? Get excited!

Nine years ago, the story of The Wave kicked off. Nine years! It seems like yesterday that it was announced, but as soon as it was surfers were demanding where it would be and when it would be open. All it would take from Nick’s side was a massive amount of meticulous planning, hundreds of hours seeking the £26 million in investment needed, a change of plan halfway through as new tech arrived, a change of site, more planning, more investment and … Well, it’s not as simple as surfers like to make out. Strange that hey! Anyway, it is finally coming. It has been a long road, but after hearing what The Wave is about, the full story first hand and riding the prototype I think the wait will be worth it. More than that I’d say given some of the environmental and social aspects woven into The Wave the launch timing couldn’t be much better.

Wave tech
You have seen the videos, but no one ever really tells you what the wave is like. Weird huh? Anyway to fill you in on all the details here is the run down from personal experience. Just how does it ride compared to other tech and the ocean.
OK, so the prototype is a sixth of the size of the real thing, one-sided and the wave not as long. The take-off area is also smaller due to the size restrictions of the mountainous research lair. Given that here we go.

Lukas Skinner testing

The take-off has plenty of push on all waves – learner, a Waikiki type rolling wave, long tubes and Beast mode – the slabby setup. It is slightly different from the ocean where you see the sets coming and look down the line, so it is much more immediate, but once you have that sussed you are off.

Beast mode is a different matter. I had wondered why I saw Toledo, one of the fastest surfers in the world, late in and having some trouble coming off the bottom and pulling in. As it turns out, Beast mode on the prototype has a technical drop with little slabby ledge effect when you hit the bottom. You kind of need to tail drop it, then pull in. It caught everyone out for some while. The barrel is square and spits, and it hurts if you slap the water. Lukas was probably the only one who got it sussed (sorry dad!) and was almost standing in pits and getting spat out on the shoulder in the last session. It was pretty nuts. On the full-size Wave, the take-off will be more of a roll in and the barrel section longer. If it lives up to the promise people are going be getting shacked all day every day.

The size is fine – shoulder to head high with plenty of push, the prototype offers a lot of fun on lower intensity modes for loggers and intermediates too. The Wave promises to be slightly bigger, so all good on that front.

Alfie England testing

I’d say the wall moves slightly faster than an ocean wave, so you have to adjust your timing for full performance turns, but that will come given the frequency of your rides. The Wave will offer a 100m ride, which is plenty of time to tune those turns.

The key to wave pools commercial success and fun factor is frequency. Surf Snowdonia works well with three people on each side given the length of ride. It pushes your fitness. It’s tough to see The Ranch succeeding at our level – i.e. average wage surfers. One wave every 3 1/2 minutes means long waits, more substantial entrance fees, and it seems to be aimed at top earners and millionaires.
We tested the Cove at one wave every eight seconds with six of us in, all good surfers. Even in the shorter prototype, we couldn’t catch all the waves, and we tried for a while. It was intense. The Wave promises ten seconds per wave frequency and a longer wall, and more technical sections. That is 360 quality waves per hour. I can’t quite get my head around that scene at the moment. I reckon 20 waves in an hour will ruin all but the fittest.

If you imagine making waves in your fish pond or bath, you will see the water movement takes ages to subside. The backwash is what decreases wave quality at higher wave frequency at Surf Snowdonia and kills the commercial angles of The Ranch. Wavegarden has killed the backwash in the Cove. At eight-second intervals in a small pool, it has a negligible effect on the wave face. If you are a bit geeky about waves, like me, it’s pretty cool to see. At The Wave, it will be even less due to the learner slopes on the inside.

As a coaching tool, it is going to take surfers on a very steep learning trajectory. We watched beginners go from whitewater to being pushed into green shoulder high waves in two 20 minutes sessions. The Wave coaches are also going to integrate culture and etiquette into lessons which will be great.
On a high-performance level, the prototype had a poolside scene with replays. You can’t get that many quality waves with high-quality feedback in any other situation I can think of. The one thing that held back high-performance surf coaching is that the playing field never stays the same. The Wave promises repetition of wave faces, manoeuvres and instant feedback. Without getting too technical, the potential with the correct coaching is for performances to go through the roof. Even without coaching surfing that many constant waves will lift your game.

This is just the wave tech stuff. I haven’t mentioned all the other eco and social benefits. All up, it is a fascinating project, and of all the tech out there at the moment I think this is the one. But if there are any other wave pool developers out there reading this feel free to prove me wrong!

*Post testing we sat down with Nick for the inside scoop on all things Bristol:*

Why The Wave? What made you drop everything and set off on this journey?

Big question.
I guess it was several factors. I’ve been surfing for 41+ years and always wanted to get more involved in surfing on some level. The sliding door moment for me was watching my Dad passing away in front of my eyes after an operation to try and remove cancer that went wrong. I made a promise to him there and then that I’d do something that he’d be proud of and would make a big difference to people’s health and happiness.
I used to work in healthcare and was frustrated that I could only have limited input in helping people get active and healthy. So I started to plan a destination that got people outdoors, into nature and had an impact on their health, but in a relaxed and fun setting. That idea developing coincided with the release of the original Wavegarden technology. I’ll never forget watching a simple, stirring, minute-long video of a perfect wave running down an empty lake in a field surrounded by woodland. That was the “YOU ARE KIDDING ME!” moment when it all fell into place. Perfect waves, outdoors in nature, close to a city and delivering a healthy immersive experience for everyone to enjoy.

Where do you start on such a large project? How did you kick it all off?

I started with £500 and a strong vision on what The Wave could look and feel like as an experience. I spoke to key people like Tim Smit from Eden Project and Chris Hines (Co-Founder of Surfers Against Sewage and now Head of Sustainability at The Wave). I found the influential people in Bristol, and I described to them what the future of The Wave would look like. They all said it was a crazy idea and I should 100 percent do it!
From then on, it was about meeting as many experienced people as I possibly could and building a vast knowledge base of all the different things I needed to achieve to make The Wave happen. I was so naive, but tenacious and never believed it wouldn’t happen. I’m an optimist. I guess that’s my superpower.
I began to pull together a core team with the skills to help get me started, and we went to the Bristol media with the vision for the project. In many ways I had nothing except a great idea, but the people of Bristol rallied around me, the team grew, and The Wave was underway. Since then, it has been about surrounding myself with the best people, people who believe in the vision and have the right attitude and creating a team and culture to make it happen.
The Crowdfunding campaign was also a huge moment. Such an incredible response from the public was a real affirmation to us. It showed the investors that people wanted the project to succeed, and they were willing to pledge their hard-earned money to see it happen. We’re so grateful to every one of them.

It’s been nine years of hard work what have been your most challenging moments? E.g. changing tech, how that came about, planning challenges.

Four initial years working 100+ hours per week, unpaid, was a massive strain, particularly with a very young family, a building site of a house and me probably not entirely over losing my Dad. My wife Juliana has been a real rock! Along the way, we have had so many set-backs – changing the land, changing technology, three or four planning applications and two years of seeing over 230 investors to raise the money to get The Wave built. The highs have been high, and the lows have been full of lessons.
As our vision has grown, so has the wave technology industry. We were the first exclusive partner to Wavegarden back in 2011. From there, both our companies have developed, matured and got our products to a place where they are commercially very exciting. The new Wavegarden Cove technology is the right technology for us to deliver the vision of waves for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. That’s in our DNA, waves for everyone.

Skindog on the nose

How do you go about raising £26 million from a standing start? What have the investors seen in The Wave that has got them buying into surfing?

A dear friend of mine Craig Stoddart came on board to help raise the finance for The Wave. By the time he joined, I had secured the land, got planning, built a growing public following and had a very clear vision of what The Wave would deliver. Craig was the guy who helped turn that into a deliverable business model, which is ready for investment. He’s brought real credibility to the whole venture and with another fantastic guy, Nick Asheshov, we managed to get the investment secured.
The investors have seen a huge opportunity to be the leaders in a brand new industry that can deliver a tremendous amount of happiness to hundreds of thousands of people and create a profit, which will enable us to repeat it in many other locations. Combine that with a solid team who are committed to delivering the business with positive social and environmental impact, and you have a winning (investable) combination.

I believe you had to teach one of the investors to surf before he signed the paperwork. And halfway along a wave in the Basque country after a day coaching, he was hooked?

Yeah, that was a fun day. Our investor had never surfed and was going to watch. He then said to Fernando from Wavegarden that if he were able to teach him to surf in a day, he’d sign the contract. Suffice to say, we all did what we could to make that happen, and within 90 minutes he was sliding down a 1.8m wave face screaming “Where do I sign?” It was a great moment. I could have cried.

Surfers are pretty impatient when it comes to waves. As soon as you launched, everyone was asking when it was going to open. When you look at the overall picture in terms of advances in tech, the rise adaptive surfing, awareness of the benefits of social inclusion and the environment all the challenges seem to have led to a very timely project launch. Would you change anything?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I know what it’s like to be an impatient surfer. It’s taken a long time. I’ve been knocked back so many times, but it’s like surfing – through falling over, you learn to adapt, modify and get up again. The whole venture has taken so much longer than I originally intended, but it has allowed me to build a real depth to what we are delivering. My work as a Director of Surfing England and British Surfing and development of the adaptive surfing scene would never have happened if The Wave had been built quickly. Surfing coming to the Olympics has been another massive development since I started in 2011. The time is now for surfing, and I’m so happy to be a part of building the sport for the future, both with The Wave and my voluntary Director roles.

Everyone wants to talk about high performance, but tell us a bit about the other aims of The Wave – environment, local programs, disconnection, preserving surf culture.

The high-performance element is exciting, and the training opportunities that The Wave will offer the likes of Lukas Skinner and other stars of the future is phenomenal. However, the project has always been about more than that for me. It’s about sharing the pure joy and fun of surfing with people of all abilities and convincing those who may not think it’s for them to give it a go.
We are developing education programs for schools and plan to work with youth and community groups, charities, mental health support groups etc. to bring surfing and its benefits to a broader audience. We have been actively involved in the UK adaptive surfing community for the last three years, and our whole site has been designed to be fully accessible. All of our coaches will be able to deliver adaptive surfing coaching, and we will have a wide range of specialist equipment on site.
We believe we have a real responsibility as a provider of surfing experiences to make sure we not only create great surfers but that they are also respectful, thoughtful and able to reflect on the real pressures we are all under on this planet. Socially and environmentally. We have been working with many relevant stakeholders within the surf industry (and beyond) to make sure we are celebrating and preserving natural ocean environments and cultures. We can use The Wave as a space that tells stories and help inform people about a range of issues in a fun, interactive and engaging way – rather than preaching!
We’ve got some incredible plans for the future, which I’m excited about, but first of all, we have to get the core experience right and then build amazing initiatives and programs off that success.

So we had a great day testing the wave, what impressed me most was the retention of quality at very high wave frequency. How does The Wave compare to the test facility – what rate will you be running at advanced setting, will the wave face height be 1.8 metres, and how long will the barrel section be?

Wavegarden Cove technology is awe-inspiring. Our facility will be five times bigger with a left-hander on the other side of the pier. Perfect waves, around every 10 seconds and we can set the number of waves per set to whatever we choose. Continuous mode is pretty hectic, but each wave is as good as the last. The Wave maxes out at 1.8m, but we can adapt the character of that wave, from a deep slabbing five-second barrel with an open face section to finish, to a fun open wall with performance and barrel sections. We are looking at the potential for around 13-second rides in the reef area.
Most importantly, the wave reforms over other reefs to create waves for intermediate and beginner surfers for further approx 15 second rides with gentler character waves. That allows for a big capacity for many different abilities. That is what makes this technology impressive and sets it far apart from all the other technologies.

Do you have a rough estimate of how many waves a surfer will be able to catch in the average fully booked one-hour advanced session?

It does depend on the final configuration, which we will be defined during our wet commissioning phase, but I can assure you that it is one heck of a lot of waves and all within an intense period. Tiredness will stop you surfing before anything else does. I’m sure you can vouch for that Steve!

Sure can. The continuous mode is insane! Everyone is looking at Waco and the air section, will The Wave have a tweaked section to allow air training?

We plan to have an air section in the wave – there is still hope that this 46-year-old will develop an air game! Seeing Lukas Skinner being able to practice airs and getting deep barrels within minutes of getting on the Wavegarden Cove in Spain showed me the real potential of what we are making. The advantage this gives us as a nation to take performance surfing to the next level is massive.

Are the left and right mirrored or slightly different setups?

They are identical, we have configured the lake to give equal opportunities for goofy and regular surfers.

Where do you see The Wave in nine years?

Honestly, right now, the sky’s the limit. We (The Wave Team and investors) all have the desire and ability to deliver many more of these destinations. London is in the immediate pipeline, and we have other projects in the early stage.
We want The Wave to deliver sustainable profits, positive social impact and be environmentally sustainable for the future. Eventually, I’d like to see our developments being “off-grid”, harnessing our own power, managing our own waste and growing our own food. That is the ultimate goal.
Most of all I want to see a really wide range of different people coming to Wave sites, experiencing the physical and mental health benefits of surfing, having a shedload of fun and leaving feeling happier and more connected to themselves and each other.
When we do that, I know my Dad will be proud.

Nick, the last time he saw a perfect wave pool wave.. Unlike his employees lol

Molecule X Nazaré: When electronic music meets big wave surfing

Molecule X Nazaré: When electronic music meets big wave surfing

Photos : @goledzinowski

 Quiksilver is supporting the first opus from the documentary series “Sounds of Surfing (S.O.S)” alongside the electronic music label Ed Banger and the audio equipment brand Sennheiser. Produced by LK RTEL and directed by Vincent Kardasik, S.O.S dives head first into the unexpected combination of big wave surfing and electronic music.

February 2019, Nazaré: the musician and electro-music producer Romain de la Haye-Serafini aka “Molécule” (Ed Banger Records) set himself a new artistic challenge: to create music that emphasises the power of the legendary surf spot Nazaré by sourcing sound directly from the natural phenomenon.

Under the guidance of filmmaker Vincent Kardasik, the LK RTEL team and the world’s big wave surfing elite including Quiksilver team rider Othmane Choufani, Molecule literally submerged himself in the ocean and the in big wave surf culture, learning the codes from those who take on extraordinary swells, building a bridge and uniting two universes, with one common denominator: adventure.

Few electronic artists can claim to have the audacity of Romain De La Haye, alias Molécule. Musician, producer, DJ, Molecule is an adventurer, literally and figuratively speaking, who likes to confront extraordinary experiences and territories to nourish his imagination and extract an extraordinary sound and visual material. The result is powerful, abyssal music that takes shape in fascinating and moving performances. Thrills guaranteed.

“60°43 North” is the project that has made him “the pioneer of nomadic electronic music”. In 2013, he leaves on board an industrial trawler, with his “home studio” to compose music as close as possible to the storm. The result: the album “60°43 North” composed in-situ in 34 days without stopovers in the extreme conditions of the North Atlantic Ocean, bordering Iceland and Scotland.

In the winter of 2017, Molécule left again, heading for Greenland. He spent 5 weeks in a small, totally isolated hunting village. With the silences recorded on the ice floe, he composed the album “-22.7°C” entirely on site. An album that bears witness to the beauty and fragility of nature in a polar environment.

Molécule, about the SOS Project: “Used to extreme lonely adventures, this project has brought me more than any other to my own limitations. These monumental, almost animal waves once again showed me all the power and fascinating beauty of nature. Listening to these elements is for me an almost vital, necessary need.”

Vincent Kardasik (LKRTEL)

Vincent Kardasik is a producer and movie maker who founded LK RTEL in 2008. Since the very beginning, the Hossegor based company, hasn’t stopped pushing the boundaries of film production in surfing and beyond, playing to their strengths in digital cinema.

LK RTEL has international acclaim, and between filming campaigns for the biggest brands in the action sports industry, collaborating on cinema sets and advertising film sets, the team also find time to produce more personal and involved projects, such as Vague A l’Ame (2018) or this new project S.O.S, who sounds like a new inspiration to him: “Keeping in line with cinematographic documentaries, S.O.S is an extension of my work, with the objective of opening up the closed universe of big wave surfing and electronic music to the public, by humanising it”.

Pedro Winter, Ed Banger records

Pedro Winter is a world-famous electronic music DJ (Busy P) and funder of the label Ed Banger founded in 2003 and representing the French touch (Justice, Beakbot, Mr Oizo, Dj Mehdi, Busy P, Myd) in the four corners of the world. Pedro Winter is a big fan of action sports, and a longtime friend of the Quiksilver family. No surprise that this SOS Project has a special taste for him:  “I have been following Molécule’s work for a few years. The world is his studio, from a trawler to an igloo, we now find him at the foot of an ocean monster, Nazaré! Accompanying this kind of artist is a pleasure.’’

Othmane Choufani

Othmane is a big-wave surfer from Morocco and Quiksilver Team Surfer, who chases the biggest swells of the planet ans spends every winter few weeks in Nazaré. For hi the experience was totally unique: “It sounds funny to say it, but we were literally fishing for sounds, to the rhythm of the big waves. I’d say what really struck us the most when we finished a session, was to hear the loud thud of the impact of the wave on the water.’’


Creative Timeline of the Sounds of Surfing Project: 

  • February 2019: Recording the sound of Nazaré wave
  • June 2019: Molécule composes his works at Saint Jean de Luz (Basque Country), in the Quiksilver House, with a sea view.
  • July 2019: Mixing session at the Quiksilver Drop-In Studio + “Marées Alternatives” party in Bidart (South West of France)
  • Molecule EP and the 26-minute documentary Sounds Of Surfing will be released on January 17th, 2020. Stay tuned.

The Stable, Fistral Longboard Classic 2019 Contest Report

The Stable, Fistral Longboard Classic 2019 Contest Report

If last month’s Saunton Longboard Classic was a gentle and fond kiss goodbye from summer, last weekend’s Stable Fistral Longboard Classic was an ‘Oy-You-Spilled-My-Pint’ roughing up from the encroaching winter.

Early morning at North Fistral saw a plucky band of BLU longboarders peering determinedly through the mizzle into the scowling remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo. Four foot or so of sullen grey Atlantic steel clattering angrily down onto the dirty golden sand of Newquay did little to dispel the tension.

Sam Bleakley.

With Ben Skinner and Adam Griffiths  on Surf Relik duty, reigning Men’s Open Champ Ben Howey ‘man down’ with a broken hand and Welsh stylemaster Elliot Dudley having gone AWOL to Colombia, the division was as wide open as some of the big left-handers thundering across the bay. Fistral local Jordan Zervas, Renaissance Man Sam Bleakley and blast-from-the-past Tom Fisher made the running in Round 1, and made up 3 of the 4 finalists. Devon’s Jack Gregorius, last year’s U18 Junior Champion, completed the line-up. With Sam on the rights and everyone else on the lefts, it was Tom ‘I never win!’ Fisher who prevailed, beating Sam by less than half a point in what can only be called a Hollywood finish.

Being a rescheduled event, the turnout was slightly down on normal. This didn’t stop Emily Currie and reigning Champ Claire Smail taking it all the way to a surf-off in the Women’s division. With one event win and a second place each, they took to the hollow right-handers for a dual to the death in the deepening gloom of dusk. It was Claire who managed to hold her nerve, stick her turns and retain the perpetual trophy for another year.

With Sam Bleakley now qualifying as a Master and Jason Gray missing in action, it was down to Falmouth’s Adam Chell to stand as the last line of defence between Sam and a possible double title victory. His 21st birthday may be a long distant memory, but Sam stills surfs like one. For a second successive contest he surfed in as many heats as Jordan and Arthur, and they’re both teenagers. Adam had been surfing well all day, finding the same lefts that had been good for Tom and Jordan, but nothing was going to stop the Bleakers roadshow and he unleashed a flurry of turns, cross-steps and long, long noserides to combo the rest of the finalists. Ridiculous.

The Grand Masters saw one of the finest ever upsets in a semi-final, with Ray ‘Your name’s not down, you’re not coming in’ Lee squeezing past Adam Zervas. With commentator Anton having to eat his ‘One Wave Ray’ banter, the pair faced off again in the final. Normal service was resumed as Adam delivered a turn hard enough to break hearts, smooth nose work and even had time for a quick shampoo head-dip in the hollow mid-tide lefts. Ever youthful Welsh legend Colin Bright took second and Ray third. Sadly Paul ‘Keeno’ Keenan had to leave mid-event.

Despite numbers still being on the low side, the junior divisions were well contested. Arthur ‘Not You Again’ Randell blitzed the U16 Cadets, we were treated to the welcome return of Barnaby Innes after several months of not surfing, and the stylish early surf career moves of Lola Bleakley and cousin Izzy Henshall. The U18 Girls saw Esmee Gregorius and Tegan Blackford look the most comfortable in the bigger stuff, and it was Esmee’s uncanny wave selection skills that saw her take the win, consistently finding lefts that simply refused to close out. In the U18 Juniors, Jordan Zervas once again ripped the win from Arthur ‘I’ve run out of nicknames’ Randell with his last wave of the heat in an almost exact replay of the Saunton Longboard Classic. When Jordan moves up out of the division, it’s going to take some stiff competition to get between Arthur and the trophy. Great start also for Thorr Marner, getting into a final in his first BLU event.

The Single Fin was decided in a one-off five man final which, despite being closely contested and no less exciting than the Open, once again raises questions about the lack of entries. There may need to be some discussion with the body of more traditional loggers to find out what’s going on. It DID however give Steve Burley a chance to get his paws on a trophy. I’ve never seen such a face-splitting grin for a 4th place finish. It looked to be heading for another Sam Bleakley win until the final couple of minutes when Jordan Zervas managed to get back in sync with the left-handers that had served him so well all day and lay down three of the highest wave scores of the heat.

With the salty business done and ex-Hurricane Lorenzo remembering it should be raining buckets, we retired to the welcoming warmth of main event sponsor ‘The Stable, Fistral’ for the presentations. Aside from the awesome food and drink, you know you’ve definitely got a spono worth clinging on to when they paint part of their premises in the style of your contest poster!

Trophies, prizes and winnings dispensed, the BLU are now on a break until 2020, which just happens to be our 25th anniversary year. From the germ of an idea concocted after the Oxbow exhibition contest in 1994, it’s been a hell of a ride so far. Here’s to the next part of the journey!

Massive thanks to our event sponsors, without whom we would not be able to keep the BLU boat afloat:
The Stable, Fistral
Fistral Beach
Newquay BID
Ocean & Earth
Surfing England
Also huge congratulations and thanks to all competitors, staff and judges from Minnow and the committee. You’re the beating heart of the BLU and you do what you do with style, humour and enthusiasm no matter the conditions.

Win Dakine Trusted Kit

Win Dakine Trusted Kit

Da Kine have been making surf kit since Rob Kaplan came up with an innovative surf leash in 1979 on the north shore of Hawaii. In Hawaiian slang, “Da kine” means “the best” and they have made every attempt to live up to that label. This month we have a full Da Kine surf pack to gives way including.


Going on a quick strike? It’s always smart to bring a backup board. This surfboard bag is designed for hauling two boards with fins. Durable and lightweight, the bag features dense 3/8-inch padding to guard against dings and a full-length heat shield on the bottom to guard against the sun while exposed on the roof rack. A travel-friendly shoulder strap frees your hands for easy travel transitions. Fits up to two boards while keeping the bottom board hidden from sight. “How many boards are you taking on board today?” “One!” Standard…
RPP: £165

The Kainui Team Leash is optimized for surfing peaks up to a couple feet overhead. Dakine’s years of dedication to leash innovation and craftsmanship including a streamlined design featuring a 1/4-inch (6.5mm) urethane Dura-Cord for maximum strength with minimal drag, durable Opti-Flex leash ends, and a comfy 1.5-inch molded neoprene cuff. The high-performance Kainui Team surf leash is offered in 6-, 7- and 8-foot lengths.
RPP: £29

Big wave surfer and aerialist Albee Layer relies on these traction pads when dropping into Jaws and sticking airs. This three-piece pad features 25 mm vert wedge tail kick and a 7 mm center arch plus custom beveled edges and localized cutouts for enhanced board feel. It features biodegradable foam and marine-grade 3M® adhesive.
RPP: £38

The Cyclone Collection is a family of super-technical and durable wet/dry packs and bags. With roll top design, waterproof welded wetsuit pocket and coated Cordura Ripstop construction, it’s extremely water resistant—perfect for keeping towels and tech dry before your session, and keeping your soaked wetsuit contained after it. It\ll even take your laptop and sunnies and its got an Integrated board-carry system. This is a super-solid midsized wet/dry pack with lots of functionality and plenty of space.
RRP: £130

To enter

To enter just email us your name and address to dakine@orcasurf.co.uk with the answer to this question;
“Who is the top Da Kine team rider currently sidelined from the WSl world tour with a knee injury?”

Upsets at La Grav

Upsets at La Grav

HOSSEGOR, FRANCE – OCTOBER 7: Jeremy Flores of France advances to Round 4 of the 2019 Quiksilver Pro France after winning Heat 2 of Round 3 at Le Graviere on October 7, 2019 in Hossegor, France. (Photo by Damien Poullenot/WSL via Getty Images)

Quiksilver wildcard Marc Lacomare (FRA) posted the day’s upset as he eliminated the current World No. 2 Filipe Toledo (BRA) in their Round of 32 matchup this morning. The Hossegor local found the tubes in a lineup he knows perfectly and built a healthy 12.83 total while Toledo struggled to identify the right opportunities. The Brazilian answered with a deep and technical barrel ride for a 7.10, the highest single score of the heat.

Left chasing an average number, Toledo went to the air but came up just short and Lacomare added another scalp to his list on home turf. When given the same opportunity in 2017, the Frenchman eliminated Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Julian Wilson (AUS) on his way to an incredible 5th place finish in Hossegor.

“I just focused on trying to catch the good waves and it was much tougher than I originally thought,” said Lacomare. “I really only got two in 45 minutes but fortunately I made them count. It’s really emotional to compete here at home in front of so many friends and family, and it’s nice to surf in good waves.”

Slightly diminished by a back injury sustained at the recent Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown, Toledo will have to settle for a second, equal 17th place result in France, and will need to make his last two events of the 2019 Championship Tour count for a shot at a first World Title.

“I did everything I could on that last wave but unfortunately that wave was really short,” said Toledo. “Congrats to Marc, he started the heat really well and that made all the difference in the end. I was really confident out there thinking one wave would come my way, so I waited but it was just not my day.”

HOSSEGOR, FRANCE – OCTOBER 7: Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil wearing the yellow Jeep Leader jersey advances to Round 4 of the 2019 Quiksilver Pro France after winning Heat 9 of Round 3 at Le Graviere on October 7, 2019 in Hossegor, France. (Photo by Laurent Masurel/WSL via Getty Images)

Medina Finds Resources to Keep Impeccable French Track Record

A few heats later, reigning 2X WSL Champion and current Jeep Frontrunner Gabriel Medina (BRA) scrapped through a low scoring affair against young wildcard Marco Mignot (FRA) to keep his France impeccable track record unscathed. Mignot had the better start and had Medina against the ropes for the vast majority of their 46 minutes battle, but the Brasilian managed to come back in the dying moments of the heat and eliminated Mignot in equal 17th.

“I tried to get my waves but it was a challenge,” said Medina. “I’m stoked to make it through and just hope conditions get easier from now. I feel like I haven’t really surfed yet although I’ve taken so many waves in these first two heats.”

Portugal’s Frederico Morais found the first gem of the morning, locking into a bomb in the first heat to post a 9.17 out of 10. Unfortunately that wave came late in the heat for Morais, whereas World No. 3 Jordy Smith (ZAF) had built a strong combination with two barrels early on. Morais got a final opportunity on his backhand but failed to exit the barrel and the South African Smith moved on to the Round of 16.

“I think every heat is important regardless, whether it’s guys trying to re-qualify or for myself eyeing down the title race,” said Smith. “I need to get a win, it’s really simple for me. You just have to focus on getting those good waves, France is one of those locations that can go any way, with the tides and those beach breaks. Frederico got one of the best waves of the event and nearly made another one, if he did I could have been comboed, so I was just lucky to kind of chip away.”

After five events on the sideline due to a shoulder injury, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) kept his return to competition just as triumphant as on opening day, taking a buzzer-beater win over the 11X World Champion Kelly Slater (USA). The Italian, considered by many on the beach as a Hossegor local, found a deep cover on a long right and posted an excellent 8.33 to turn the heat and eliminate the Floridian.

HOSSEGOR, FRANCE – OCTOBER 7: Frederico Morais of Portugal is eliminated from the 2019 Quiksilver Pro France with an equal 17th finish after placing second in Heat 1 of Round 3 at Le Graviere on October 7, 2019 in Hossegor, France. (Photo by Damien Poullenot/WSL via Getty Images)

Kolohe Andino (USA) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) advanced into the Round of 16, as opposed to Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) who fell short in his battle with Jack Freestone (AUS). In the ‘bubble-battle’ between Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Yago Dora (BRA), respectively 20th and 22nd on the rankings, it was Dora who came out on top despite Colapinto’s highest score of 8.23.

The French contingent lost half his representatives today with Mignot, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) and Joan Duru (FRA) edged out in the Round of 32. Jeremy Flores (FRA), Michel Bourez (FRA) and Marc Lacomare (FRA) will keep the blue, white and red flag going into the Round of 16.