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Bear Surfboarding History

Bear Surfboarding History

This is the first of three parts concerning the past and present of surfing: from its origins to the latest happenings, the articles will explore the art of riding waves from an historical point of view.

Surfing is a way of living, not only a sport: it has created cultural beliefs and changed lifestyles for good. But, when has all of this started?

The origins of surfing

Although there is no actual written record about the first surfers, historians agree that they must have lived on the Pacific coast. Peruvians claim their primate, stating that the first surfers were indeed Peruvian anglers, who used wooden boards during their expeditions in search of fishes.
Nobody knows when the first stand-ups precisely happened. Nevertheless, it is known that the wealthy people of the Sandwich Islands, the “ali’i”, were keen on the sport of “he’enalu”, meaning “wave sliding” in old Hawaiian: “he’e” stands for a solid-liquid transformation and “nalu” refers to the wave movement. The ruling system in Hawaii was the Kapu and it held royalty above the common people: they used to surf in competitions, in order to show their strength and their superiority to the commoners.

The Kapu also determined the size and materials of the boards:

  • The paipo, or kioe: a short board, usually used by children
  • The alai or omo: intended for commoners and made with a heavy wood, koa.
  • The kiko’o: larger than the omo but not as big as the olo.
  • The olo: the longest board, made from the wiliwili tree and reserved to the ali’i. It could weight up to 175 pounds.

Before cutting the tree, the craftsmen placed a fish, kumu, in a hole near the tree, as an offering to the gods.
After they had chosen the wood, the artisans shaped it with a bone or a stone adze.
When they had achieved the shape they wanted, they used to apply a kukui oil to make the surface glossier.

Surfing first records: Captain Cook’s journals

The first actual written records date back to the 18th century. James Cook was the Royal Navy captain and he had already travelled three times around the Hawaiian chain, in the fruitless search of a passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Tired and frustrated, in 1778, he decided to make his ships, Discovery and Resolutions, stop at the Big Islands of Hawai’i. Unlucky, that was not a very fortunate decision: at Kealakekua bay, Captain Cook was killed by Hawaiians when he attempted to kidnap their high chief in return of one of his stolen boats.
Captain Cook had begun taking notes about the Hawaiian cultural believes in his journal: it was lieutenant James King who revised and completed them.

The following paragraph is an extract taken from one of Cook’s journal entries.

The Western eye, unused to the Hawaiian sport, is skeptical, amused and quizzical:
“The surf, which breaks on the coast round the bay, extends to the distance of about one hundred fifty yards from the shore, within which space, the surges of the sea, accumulating from the shallowness of the water, are dashed against the beach with prodigious violence. Whenever, from stormy weather, or any extraordinary swell at sea, the impetuosity of the surf is increased to its utmost heights, they choose that time for this amusement: twenty or thirty of the natives, taking each a long narrow board, rounded at the ends, set out together from the shore. The first wave they meet, they plunge under, and suffering it to roll over them, rise again beyond it, and make the best of their way, by swimming, out into the sea. The second wave is encountered in the same manner with the first; the great difficulty consisting in seizing the proper moment of diving under it, which, if missed, the person is caught by the surf, and driven back again with great violence; and all his dexterity is then required to prevent himself from being dashed against the rocks. As soon as they have gained, by these repeated efforts, the smooth water beyond the surf, they lay themselves at length on their board, and prepare for their return. […]

Those who succeed in their object of reaching the shore, have still the greatest danger to encounter. The coast being guarded by a chain of rocks, with, here and there, a small opening between them, they are obliged to steer their board through one of these, or, in case of failure, to quit it, before they reach the rocks, and, plunging under the wave, make the best of their way back again.

This is reckoned very disgraceful, and is also attended with the loss of the board, which I have often seen, with great terror, dashed to pieces, at the very moment the islander quitted it.

The boldness and address, with which we saw them perform these difficult and dangerous maneuvers, was altogether astonishing, and is scarcely to be credited.”

Big Wednesday is a 1978 American coming of age film directed by John Milius. Written by Milius and Dennis Aaberg, it is loosely based on their own experiences at Malibu. The picture stars Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, and Gary Busey as California surfers facing life and the Vietnam War against the backdrop of their love of surfing.

Raised in Southern California, Milius made Big Wednesday as an homage to the time he spent in Malibu during his youth. Milius and his friends George Lucas and Steven Spielberg famously agreed to exchange a percentage point of Big Wednesday, Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind prior to the release of the three films throughout 1977-1978. Spielberg in particular was certain that Big Wednesday was going to be a box office hit, opining it was like “American Graffiti meets Jaws“, two of the decade’s most successful films.[2]

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Banks Journal in store nowioiiox ss

The Banks Journal mission is simple – to merge style & function
with a sustainable approach to design and development.

OUR STORY

Banks Journal is a modern clothing label inspired by coastal living and a love of design. Thanks to its founders, it’s infused with a unique blend of Japanese and Australian heritage. Masa Shibahara and Motoo Noda grew up under the neon lights of Tokyo. Tim Cochran and Rama McCabe spent their childhood in the creative hub of Byron Bay.

These contrasting perspectives of the world come together as Banks Journal to create the contemporary coastal look and feel of the brand.

These four individuals have combined their vast industry knowledge and experience to shape a label with offices in Byron Bay, Tokyo and Newport Beach in Southern California

OUR APPROACH

When it comes to crafting our product, we aim to take a modern approach to design with a fine regard to the details.

Our actions have a direct impact on the world we live in, and it is our responsibility to make an effort to preserve it. We value and take every opportunity to reduce the footprint of our everyday journeys, with the hope that it will bring forward positive change and progression.

Our innovative collective of surfers, designers, artists and photographers are all bound by their curiosity and share the desire to make the world a better place.

We embrace the everyday journeys we take with optimism in our hearts. It’s through this yearning for adventure that we aim to add utility and function to everything we produce.

A bit of stretch here, a little waterproofing there, means we achieve functionality without sacrificing our signature understated style.

OUR NAME

In Australia we call them sand banks. You know, those magical formations on the ocean floor at your favourite beach break that shapes the wave? We like the name because sand banks are constantly changing and evolving and we have the journal to capture these changes along the way.

OUR LOGO

It’s a reflection of banks on the beach and a balanced approach to our lives.

OUR SUSTAINABLITY

Since day one we wanted to take a sustainable approach to design and development. Growing up in Byron Bay, Tim and Rama were ingrained with a deep respect for their natural surroundings from early on. With this in mind, the choice was simple for us to utilise as many environmentally friendly materials as possible.

We’re proud that all our tees and the bulk of our fleece, are made with organic cotton. We use PVC and phthalate free inks across all our screen printing. We use re-purposed soda bottles to create the polyester that’s used in all our woven labels across every product we make. This same process is also implemented for a large portion of our boardshort development. Along with these measures, we also use FSC approved paper for all our swing tags and catalogues.

We’re not perfect, but we’re working hard to improve the way we produce everything we make.

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Volcom History

Volcom History

Richard Woolcott and Tucker Hall, set off on a snowboard trip that would forever change their lives. Tucker had just been laid off from work but that wouldn’t stop him from attending his routine Tahoe trip to visit Nathan Fletcher and Mark Gabriel. After riding four days of fresh powder, Richard called work with the excuse that they were snowed in and extended his stay. For more than a week, they awoke every morning with two new feet of snow. It was their first real experience riding powder and the new obsession wouldn’t stop there.

Two weeks later Richard quit his job to take some time off and snowboard. He and Tucker had also talked of starting a clothing company during the Tahoe trip but nothing was really finalized. Later that spring, the two came up with the idea of starting a riding company based around the three sports they enjoyed (snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing). With an initial $5,000 from Richard’s dad, they started the process. First came the name, then came the stone and Volcom was born.

Continua a leggere Volcom History