February 6, 2009

2010 Olympians Set To Wear Burton

T he 2010 Winter Olympics are approaching swiftly, and the U.S. Snowboarding Team is inching toward victory; starting with uniforms designed by snow gear heavyweights Burton. Burton also provided uniforms for the 2006 Winter Olympics, but this year they will be using GORE-TEX fabric for the official outerwear for the Team. Jake Burton says that the team will be “warm, dry, and free to do their best.” The designs for the uniforms will unveiled as soon as the qualifying team is revealed. Watch this space! Burton.com to check out Burton gear.


January 26, 2009

FLAUNT IT - Billabong’s All Girls Snowboard Series

Looking to shred for cash? Or maybe just catch some amazing female athletes? Look no further than Billabong’s Flaunt It All-Girls Slopestyle & Rail Jam. Qualifiers are currently being held here in the States and in Canada, with finals being held in Tremblant, Quebec. Even if you can’t set the snow ablaze with your skills, there’s sure to be some killer ladies out there on the slopes to check out.
Check out Billabong’s website for details.

– Nina

January 19, 2009

ROXY takes Center Stage at Winter X 13 in Aspen

Roxy team riders and X Games gold medalists, snowboarder Torah Bright and freeskier Sarah Burke return to Aspen for the 2009 Winter X Games, January 22-25, 2009 in a bid to reclaim gold.  Torah Bright, competing in women’s snowboard superpipe, is chasing her second gold, after claiming gold in 2007 and just missing out with second place finish in 2008.
Torah, a five-time veteran to the Winter X Games, has racked up a string of accolades in recent years including the 2008 US Open title, 2007 and 2008 Overall Opens Championships, 2007 and 2008 World Superpipe Championship title and 2007 Women’s Ticket to Ride (TTR) World Title amongst others.
The 2009 Winter X Games XIII will be held at Buttermilk Mountain Resort in Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado. Top athletes from around the world, including Shaun White, Candide Thovex and Travis Rice will be competing in skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobile events. The events will be nationally televised on ESPN and ABC, check www.xgames.com for details. For more information about Roxy’s snow team, go to www.roxy.com.

January 16, 2009

That Girl; 50 years later, surfing’s original icon, GIDGET is still at the beach

Fifty years later, Gidget is still at Malibu. It’s been five decades since the 1957 novella Gidget begat the 1959 movie of the same name, and that flick begat the surf culture explosion of the 1960s: Dick Dale and Miserlou, Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii, Frankie and Annette, Eric von Zipper, Jan and Dean. The irony—some say tragedy—of Gidget is that by looking back on the golden years of the 1950s, it effectively ended them. Some critics see Gidget as the Pandora’s Box that flooded Malibu, and the surfing world, with wannabes. Others say that crowds were inevitable.

But if anyone had any doubts about the sincerity of Gidget herself, Kathy Kohner, well, she’s still on the beach, at Malibu, talking to the characters who now inhabit the pit and cross-step in the wake of Kahoona, Moondoggie, Lover Boy, Lord Byron and the rest of the Malibu crew immortalized a half century ago.

Miki Dora called the 1950s The Golden Years for California surfing. As the squares were zooming past on PCH, heading for the aircraft factories and cashing in on the post-war boom, surfers didn’t seem interested in producing more than adrenaline and calcium deposits. Society didn’t pay surfers any mind, lumping them in with homosexuals, beatniks, artists, bohemians, and other nonconformists.

But surfing was fun in the 1950s, a secret thrill enjoyed by young people who had been exposed to the secrets of the sea during World War II and brought wartime technology like foam and fiberglass and planning hull theory and applied those materials and techniques to make surfboards lighter, faster, better. Back then, a small group of surfers had all the clean, classic California surf to themselves—and they were learning to ride it in ways that would change the world.

Kathy Kohner walked into the middle of all this around 1956 or 1957 and bugged the boys until they gave in and taught her to surf. At some point, Kathy got a nickname, as the clever surfers morphed together “girl” and “midget.” Having a nickname was part of being the in crowd back then: Gidget hung out with Kahoona, and Moondoggie, and Da Cat.

Kathy Kohner would come home from the beach with sand in her hair, a smile on her lips and a zillion stories about the bitchin’ time she was having at the beach. Her father was a Czech immigrant who had almost won an Oscar for Best Writing 1938. Papa Frederick turned his daughter’s stories into the novella Gidget in 1957, a very popular coming-of-age story which shed light on this new surfing phenomenon along the beaches of Los Angeles. Two years later, Columbia Pictures dedicated significant money, time and talent into making Gidget a feature film, casting Sandra Dee, James Darren, Cliff Robertson, Arthur O’Connell and the Four Preps.

On a Tuesday afternoon at the end of October, I drove up into the badlands of Pacific Palisades, to the home where Kathy lives with her husband of 44 years. She didn’t end up marrying Moondoggie as the movie would suggest. She married a decent chap named Marvin Zuckerman, and they live happily in a 1950s-era home on a street overlooking a canyon, in a neighborhood that’s warm and sunny and quiet.

Fifty years after the movie, Kathy is the subject of a documentary by Brian Gillogly called The Accidental Icon. It’s all about the Gidget phenomenon: who Kathy was, who her father was, how Kathy first started going to the beach, and how it all morphed into a cultural phenomenon. I watched the documentary sitting in Kathy’s living room, feeling transported back to the 1950s myself. Kathy was taking care of her ailing husband and flitting in and out to answer questions and ask others. At one point she chided me for taking photos in her living room. At another point she took exception to my implying she was a Valley girl: “The Valley? I didn’t know what the Valley was back then.”

The Accidental Icon covers a lot of territory, interviewing everyone from Layne Beachley to Sally Field to Allen Sarlo about how the movie affected their lives. Beachley admits that she was known as Gidget on the beach for many years, until she went out in the world and kicked ass and imprinted her name forever in the minds of the surfing world. Sarlo has been dealing with the post-Gidget crowds at First Point going back to the 1970s, but he admitted that he loved the TV show Gidget, because it came on just before Gilligan’s Island and F Troop. And Sally Field, who portrayed Gidget in the TV show, said that even after movies and Oscars and a great deal of success, she has a special place in her heart for the little surfer girl who could. Don’t we all?

January 16, 2009

Heirs Apparent—The Next Generation of Female Surfers takes the stage

Every sport evolves, but at the moment, women’s professional surfing is being reborn. At press time, seven girls under the age of 21 are in the process of knocking down the door to the big leagues—the Women’s World Champoinship Tour—and forever changing how we think of women’s competitive surfing.

In the past six months we’ve watched young women qualify for the WCT in record time, sign unprecedented sponsorship deals, and decisively defeat household names to win WCT events—doing it all with style, grace, and the kind of progressive modern surfing once thought of as strictly for the guys.

This explosion of young talent isn’t gender specific—men’s surfing is experiencing a similar explosion of highly talented tweens—but the rate at which young girls are claiming the mantle of high-performance surfboard riding is, at the moment, nothing less than staggering.

—Christina Scannapiego

(Left: Alana Blanchard; photo by Russi)







(Left: Laura Enever; photo by Chris Carey)







(Left: Sage Erickson; photo by Russi)

January 16, 2009

Gear Contest: Enter to Win a treasure trove of winter gear!

A PERFECT 10! Whether podium-ing at contests, at home in Mammoth perfecting her switch spins, or gracing the first TransWorld Snowboarding cover of the season, pro snowboarder (and esteemed PiperGirl Ambassador) Hana Beaman’s got a winning style. With a quick wit, Hana represents all that is truly ‘chill’ about female snowboarders.

Wanna Win? Here’s how: Upload your shred pix to PiperGirls.com and Hana Beaman will hand pick the winner. *And don’t forget that you have to be a PiperGirl to enter to win! Check out PiperGirls.com for more information.

What’s in the package? Full Vans outerwear and boots, a selection of adorable hats from Few and Elm, VonZipper goggles, and Grenade gloves. On top of all of that booty, Nixon will outfit you with a slew of accessories. STOKED? We Thought So.

January 12, 2009


Surfline’s Darlene Conolly weighs in on the pros and cons of life on the road.

The call of the surf is strong, but maybe a little tedious. Find out how one editor might just have had enough. Surfline.com

January 5, 2009

Osiris’ Annie Sullivan is home for the Holidays

Osiris team rider Annie Sullivan has fun riding and reading. In college, totally pro, and back in the OC, Annie lets us in on the life of a young up-and-comer.

Pretend you’re a young, beautiful and talented professional skateboarder. Now come back down to earth and read about one instead. Annie Sullivan, team rider for Osiris tells us all the gossip.

Check out this and a whole bunch of other fun stuff at osirisgirls.com

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