Another company has fallen upon hard times as the surf industry struggles to survive in a slowing economy. Billabong is worthless, and has been written down to a book value of zero according to Forbes magazine. Billabong's annual loss was $773 million, while its market capitalization is only $229 million. 

Yes, Billabong lost more than 3 times more than what its worth. How is that even possible? Lackluster sales and failure to differentiate their brand are 2 reasons. I also think sponsoring the Tahiti Pro is great way to burn through tons of cash with minimal returns. Billabong is currently seeking financing from private equity firms, but its more important for them to revitalize their products if they want to survive in the long run.
Billabong's videos from the Tahiti Pro really show the power of Teahupoo. If you want simulate CJ Hobgood's wipeout at home, drop in on your favorite halfpipe, right as you get to the transition, have your friend blast you in the face with a firehose. CJ took this one like a champ and kept on charging.
About midway through Round 4 in the Billabong Tahiti Pro, Kelly Slater was getting towed back out to the lineup when this happened. A scary moment considering the shallow reef and a 400lbs waverunner could have made a Slater sandwich. Tthe water patrol should pull you out of danger, not put you back into it, so it's no wonder the former champ was a little rattled. Luckily Slater was able to walk away and finish the non elimination heat in 3rd place, and eventually made it to the final.
After an entire day of surfing, the Billabong Tahiti Pro wrapped up with Adrian Buchan crowned the winner. He had 2 great waves scoring over a 9 on both, and Slater just couldn't find the right wave to take the lead. What's even more amazing is that in Round 4, Kelly Slater was on getting towed out by the jet ski when an incoming wave flipped it over and pinned Slater under it briefly. Despite coming in 3rd in that non-elimination round, Slater went on to defeat Joel Parkinson in round 5, Freddie Patacchia in the quarterfinals, and Kai Otton in the semi-finals. The guy truly is a machine. Congratulations to Adrian Buchan, and Slater's 2nd place finish which should put him back in the #1 spot on the ASP World Tour.
In the continuing search for strong and environmentally friendly way to manufacture boards, NSP has taken the next step with the Coco Mat Stand Up Paddleboard.

As explained by Popular Science magazine, 
"Designers begin to build the boards by separating and cleaning the coconut-husk fibers by hand. Next, they lay them out randomly, sandwich the layer of strands in fiberglass, and insert a polystyrene core. Finally, they place the construction into a vacuum mold and inject epoxy. Coconut fibers absorb less epoxy than other materials do, which reduces the weight of the board by as much as 30 percent. It also eliminates up to 40 percent of toxic materials from the process."

So is the coconut board worth the price? Maybe if you get some free coconuts with every purchase. But we're all for better ways to build boards. And until I can custom 3D print my own boards, I'll ride anything as long as it lighter and stronger than my previous board.
There was some fun surf on Long Island this weekend, so we spent more time surfing than posting, but now we just saw this video. Brad Domke getting towed into some overhead waves on a skimboard!?!? Without fins the takeoffs are sketchy but it makes for real easy reverses and shuvits. Just when you think you've seen it all...
What does Kelly Slater do when he needs a break from surfing after the US Open in California? He practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the top ranked Mendes brothers at the Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy

With many surfers doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu like the Moskova Team, black belt Joel Tudor, and countless others, it's no wonder Slater has caught the jiu-jitsu bug. It helps with strength, flexibility, cardio, using the most efficient movements, and staying clam under pressure. Remaining focused while defending a choke and teetering on unconsciousness can be eerily similar to staying calm when a big wave holds you underwater. Does anyone have any predictions when Slater will get his black belt? I predict it will be 5 years after his official retirement. So that could be anywhere from 2019 to 2025.

See an interview on Slater's passion for jiu-jitsu here from May on
The Billabong Pro Teahupoo starts in less than two weeks. Red Bull just started the next 21 Days web series. This time it focuses on tour veteran CJ Hobgood, and rising star Jordy Smith. Instead of following the rivalry and training Hobgood and Smith go through, this series shows how they balance their family lives with their time on the ASP World Tour. If the video isn't playing correctly, you can view it here on Red Bull's page.
When I grew up I had a swing set in my backyard. Eventually jumping off that got boring, so we built a mini half pipe in my friend Jeremy's backyard. Needless to say every mother got nervous when we went over to Jeremy's house to skate. I think it's safe to say if any of us had Bob Burnquist as a friend, our mom's would have forbade us from playing in his backyard.

Check out Oakley's new web series called Dreamland, that focuses on Bob Burnquist's mind boggling backyard ramps and how he became one of the world's best skateboarders.