So far Hurricane Sandy is only sending a few ripples, but should grow and intensify every hour. The above shot was taken at 1:30pm by Ray at Laurelton Blvd. We will be bringing you up to date pics and news as the storm makes landfall. Ray has promised to stay on the boardwalk willing to sacrafice life and limb to be the first to report any breaking news and epic surf pics.
Jake BurtonBurton Snowboards Founder and CEO, announced that Burton will be eliminating and/or shrinking some of its brands on their website. He stated that "... senior management team elected to alter the structure of Burton owned brands to better position the company, its retail partners and stakeholders for the future." Translation; a slow 2011 ski/snowboard season and faltering economy are hurting the company and cost cutting is necessary to stay in business. The biggest news is Foursquare, Forum, and Special Blend will be shut down or sold. Here is the summary;

Burton Snowboards: Unaffected
Channel Islands Surf: Unaffected
Analog: Ending surf gear, will become a winter gear only
Gravis: Moving HQ to Tokyo, will only be available in Asia
Anon: Helmets and goggles only
RED: Limited availability helmets and protection gear
Foursquare: Transitioning out of the business
ForumTransitioning out of the business
Special Blend: Transitioning out of the business
Are surf contests still necessary? It's a question that arises every few years when some of the most talented surfers are not on the world tour. Kalani Robb (self shot above using a GoPro cam) is poised to make a comeback without contests. The reclusive Dane Reynolds only entered one contest this year as a wildcard, and got 2nd place. If Kelly Slater retires but continues to chase perfect waves, will more people watch videos of him free surfing instead of the ASP Tour webcasts? Until recently the answer would be no, due to lack of coverage in remote locations. But with new camera technologies, the next generation of surfers no longer needs contests or large camera crews to showcase their skills. They will only need themselves.

Any surfer armed with a GoPro camera can capture themselves in 1080p HD resolution. No camera man? No problem. Mount the camera on a Soloshot tripod, put on an arm band, and the camera will follow you automatically. This revolution has already begun with surfers such as Kepa Acero who is sponsored by VSTR. Kepa travels the world solo and uploads amazing footage he shoots by himself. ZoSea Media recently purchased the ASP with the intention of making big changes by 2014. But in 2 years will contests still be necessary to showcase the 'best' surfers?
Kelly Slater has been knocked out of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal by Raoni Monteiro in Round 3. While winning a 12th World Title is not impossible, Slater has certainly put himself in a difficult position to make a comeback in the final events of the year. No one is counting him out yet.
The ASP is reporting that it has sold a majority interest to ZoSea Media. While the final details are emerging, by 2014 the world tour will be run by ZoSea, and the tour may have different sponsors and some specialty events. This move seems to be supported by the surfers, and one of the big changes will be some sort of pension plan for ASP surfers. We'll bring you more updates as they are released.
Have you ever wanted to feel like an enemy of the state with a creepy electronic drone tracking your every move? Well now you can! This s one of the coolest things I've come across in a while. No more begging your girlfriend to film you while surfing 2ft high mediocre waves. Sholoshot camera mount will follow you via an armband transmitter you wear while your surf, ride, kitesurf, etc. Just put your video camera on top of Soloshot, and you'll never have to say "did you get that?" again. Now while this is a great idea, and there is a way to lock your camera to the tripod, there is nothing preventing anyone from walking off with the entire assembly. So you still have to be nice to your girlfriend or your buddies on the beach to keep an eye on your stuff. Camera and pretty girl in the picture not included.
So King Slater captured his 51st ASP win this week at the Quiksilver Pro France. But the biggest news here is Dane Reynolds' 2nd place finish. This was Reynolds FIRST event of the season that he entered has a wild card, and he made the finals with ease. Reynolds embodies the true meaning of being a surfer by avoiding the spotlight while riding the best waves in the world year round, and keeping an open mind to everything like his own clothing line Summer Teeth. Imagine would it would be like if Reynolds focused more on competing? Slater's accomplishments show no sign of ending, but the big congratulations for this contest should go to Dane Reynolds.