Saturday, October 18, 2014

Boards for miles! Boards for sale!

So there is a pretty amazing surfboard auction happening over in Western Australia at the moment. There are 111 boards up for sale - you can check out the boards up for auction via this link.

There are some pretty wild creations in there, this one chief amongst them:
OLE Olson Twin Fin

1961. 8’11" X 21 ½". Built in 1961 by Bob, he remembers only making one of these, one of the first ever twin fins. Double glass on fins and black stripes with OLE logo. Fully restored.


Tom Blake Paddle Board

1946. By the Catalina Equipment Company of Los Angeles. Tom Blake was a forerunner of surfing design and is credited with being the first person to put fins on surf boards. A champion athlete he was a fine surfer, swimmer and board paddler, having won many titles at the three pursuits, both in Hawaii and America. 16’ long and of a hollow design with ribs inside.

And this one I'd love to have. It's is one of only two of the 111 boards that are in any way associated with women (the other is one of Layne Beachley's boards):

Joe Larkin Single Stringer

C. 2008. This is a replica of the board that Joe made for Phyllis O’Donnell with which she won the 1964 world titles held at Manly. Signed by both Joe and Phyllis this board is 9’ X 21". It has the classical "D" fin of its era and is a clear board with 4 black pinstripes. Phyllis, by winning this competition became Australia’s first World surfing champion.

Anyway, board lovers... get involved!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oh Chanel! You've done it again.

So, it has come to this. And obviously, I can't let such a thing go by without posting it here in all it's contrived, luxury, haute couture, ridiculous glory. Here you have it, Gisele Budchen, supermodel, not riding a not waxed surfboard:

(Note: I cannot find who the surfer - the actual surfer doing surfing - is in this clip. Can you please let me know when you find out! Seems weird they've not said...)

The thing is that it's just so 'bad rad', so beyond reality that it's hardly worth saying much. It feels like watching an action film - those films like X-Men or Iron Man or Pacific Rim, that are so filled to the brim with sexism, racism, homophobia, false history and incredulousness that I really can't be bothered critiquing them, and thus find myself going back for more. This clip is the same in that it's 'So fashion! Much Chanel! Very surf!' that it becomes a parody of itself.

And Chanel is no newcomer to this. They've been making sporting accessories and using surfing to promote their clothes, scents and aesthetic for some time now (those hyperlinks are all to previous posts of mine on this topic). Vogue has been a part of this too, with Steph Gilmore and Laura Enever willing participants in the pose-y oddness of it.

While Cori Schumacher rightly takes a more critical direction on talking about this, this time I see it as another case of co-opting and using the idea of surfing, the image of surfers and surfer girls to sell stuff.* It's gross, sure, but I'm not sure what to make of it - what it might mean. It's just Baz Luhrmann having another  self-indulgent laugh.

I hope you watch this 'behind the scenes' clip because it really is crazy. It reminds me of the guy I wrote about yesterday. I mean, as much as I love listening to guys tell me who "women" are and what we can do - sorry, who "The Chanel Woman" is and what She can do - at some point, it's just funny. Especially when it's this expensive.

Maybe NZ is having a chilling out effect on me, but in the case of this Chanel clip I just found so silly that I laughed. I mean, look at her face while she's getting massively barrelled:

Haha. Stop worrying about your stupid boyfriend and enjoy the moment, character-played-by-Gisele! After all, you're surfing! Right?

Oh, and P.S.:

Grease - You Are The One That I Want from rodrigo fischer on Vimeo.

*The books I link to by Fiona Capp, Kristin Lawler and Krista Comer are all great and you should check them out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Looks like a chick's board"

Today I went surfing.

The last few weeks have been driving me mental with what I've come to realise are dreaded seasonal winds. They're strong and relentless and filled with rain, and they've been getting in my head and stressing me out. As in, I've a constant headache for the past couple of weeks. Over the weekend, however, they relented and I was back on the beach and back in the sea. Bliss!

So today when I noticed the wind coming up again, I rushed down to get some waves before carrying a longboard became impossible. The waves were solid and long and fun.* Sets were coming through wide and cleaning up the lineup, so my longboard and I sat wide to keep out of the period carnage.

The crew out were chilled and quiet. People say hello and give you a smile or at the very least, a head flick. It was mainly shortboarders of course, but there was one other longboarder and a couple of SUPs out too. One of the SUP guys paddled over to me and, as happens a lot here, commented on my board and we exchanged a few words.

That's a really nice board. Looks fun.

Yeah, thanks. I love it! It goes so well for me.

Looks like it was made for you. 

It was! Gary Burden made it. 

Yeah right. Looks like a chick's board.

At first I thought I'd misheard him, so I checked.

Did you say it looks like a chick's board?

Yes, a chick's board.

I laughed and explained, Well, it was made for me, and I'm a chick, so I guess that's just how things worked out.

Yeah. A chick's board, he said one last time as he paddled off. I kept laughing. I didn't get the feeling that he was trying to be insulting or patronising, but you never know. I mean, maybe he's Regina George in disguise...

Of course, he's a middle-aged white guy on a SUP, so he's a surfing cliche all of his very own.

I'm not exactly sure what makes my board look like a 'chick's board'. It might be the beautiful turquoise blue fabric that's across the nose.

But I can't take much credit for that. The fabric was Gary's and he suggested it would look good. He was stoked on it, actually. Maybe it's that a chick was riding it? Nonetheless, as it turns out, I ride a chicks' board.


*Wind's in it now so don't bother.

Friday, October 10, 2014

'The sea' and 'Blue-green sea with steamer'

I love seeing new perspectives on the sea - ways of imagining the ocean that I've never dreamed of. Noah Sabich presented me with images like this today, when posted this very beautiful and evocative paintings by Emil Nolde (1867-1956) on Facebook. 

The Sea (date unknown)

Blue-green Sea With Steamer (date unknown)
Emil Nolde (7 August 1867 – 13 April 1956) was a German painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and is considered to be one of the great oil painting and watercolour painters of the 20th century. He is known for his vigorous brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals. Nolde's intense preoccupation with the subject of flowers reflect his continuing interest in the art of Vincent Van Gogh. (Via ArtStack)
(image found via the perpetually stoked and always inspiring, Noah Sabich on FB)

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Feminism and famous people

So, feminism has become a real talking point among female celebrities lately. Popstars and TV and movie stars have been coming out in droves to associate themselves with the gender politics, and clearly stating what feminism means to them. Sometimes I find the way this appears like a trend a bit uncomfortable, and sometimes it becomes a little simplified into soundbites. But I can't deny how pleased I am that it's encouraged conversations about what feminism is, what its political goals are, and enabling the kinds of highly publicised activism that they have the pull to get media coverage for. While some of these seem like self promotion (I'm not linking to these), others are a reflection of personal beliefs. Angelina Jolie's participation in the 'Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict' is a good example of this, as is Emma Watson's recent speech to the UN. 

Mostly, I'm just stoked that so many women are owning their feminist politics. I mean, seriously, sequinned leotard and all, check out Beyonce.

Pretty amazing.

Lena Dunham has been really explicit and engaged in these issues in her TV show Girls, and these little clips promoting her book are pretty clever and funny.

Also, I know I've mentioned this before, but this interview between Tavi Gevinson and Lorde is excellent.

There is no real point to this today, except to say... Yes.