Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

The Tour Without Taj It’s like a sad Friday night in

I’m about to walk down the trail at Lowers to watch the contest. Live. Yep, fuck it, I wanna watch some surfing. And make sure there is still free beer at contests. I remember Jay Larson said he surfed because there was “Free beer at contests” in an old issue of Surfer Magazine. I need to make sure that’s still happening. I have a fear it is not. (Update: there is!)

Another thing that has me kicking rocks while walking down the trail is the absence of Taj Burrow. The weight of that statement is burying me alive. It’s not right. Just the other night I had some dinner in San Clemente (where it’s highly likely you’ll run into a few of the world’s best grabbing Acai after hitting the gym). And on this night I did see a few. I saw Joel Parkinson drinking red wine. And I saw Nat Young passing by the restaurant, but he had opened toed shoes on and I don’t think the restaurant we were eating in allowed that. At this point in my life I don’t even know who’s right or wrong in that situation. In this instance, Nat did not stay. But it got me thinking back to last year, Taj’s last event at Trestles. Why? Well, because one night, he was leaving dinner with some friends. I think he lost earlier that day. But he was not glum. Or despondent. He was Taj. Smiling and enjoying his fucking night. Our two friend groups staring each other down, everyone’s eyes filled with Friday Night Lights. There was nothing to do but go sing Karaoke. Both groups aimed in the same directions, and what happens after is blurry, but everyone was there. Stephanie Gilmore and Laura Enever did a nice rendition of something. I remember that. And all was well. It was good old fashioned fun at the Lowers Pro.

I bring this random night up, because, frankly, I miss Taj. I miss his enthusiasm for surfing. Competitively and non competitively. Because with Taj, his love of it all didn’t stop when he put his board down and took his jersey off. He lives like he’s always surfing Rocky Point. Or Lowers. Or home. With zest and panache. Sick style. The intensity displayed in flashes, but his smile always shining in between. And before I start shedding a tear, I will leave and go down to the event and I will see who on this Corporate Tour will take the torch. I like watching surfing. I’m going down there. But I want to see who can make these heats a little hotter. And the San Clemente nights still fun. Because right now, with no Taj in town, I’m considering a movie in my room tonight. —Travis

Watch Taj in Panama is Certain: 

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A good looking cutting room floor Issue 17 is ready for ink, here’s a peek

Full disclosure: We didn’t plan it like this. But as we’ve learned along the way, that’s so very OK. Hell, that’s what we’ve been doing in here since day 1: not sticking to the plan. Being spontaneous and open minded. And that’s the story with Issue 17. It’s got a bunch of chipped teeth, backfires…

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Memo from the Editor’s Desk Day 4 of 2017…

I chugged my pint of 2016 a few days ago but I’m still looking for 2017’s heartbeat. Even the ocean is still on break. But we’re not. We’re currently putting the final touches on a new issue (holy shit it’s number 17!) and have inched ourselves even closer to announcing some very exciting new projects,…

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A North Shore gathering for Dylan RVCA and Mark Oblow create a Hawaiian night that can only happen on the North Shore

Things happen on the North Shore that don’t and can’t happen anywhere else. I’m now thoroughly convinced of that. The other night at the RVCA Pipeline house we held a small bbq along with Mark Oblow and RVCA and a very limited number of our Dylan Rieder issues. The waves had fired all day long…

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A Day With Uncle Gavin Beschen On location in Hawaii for a new episode of “4 Cities”

We met up with Gavin Beschen at Sunset Beach. He was checking the surf in his truck and we had just pounded Haupia pies from Ted’s Bakery. We walked up and found him on the boardwalk checking the waves. He told us to follow him up the hill and said he had some boards we…

Waikiki

What Youth on the North Shore “We are not Subway”

We land in Honolulu before midnight and immediately make our way to the Thrifty Car Rental place to grab our car. Everything was sorted we thought. And were told. I know because I told everyone and sorted it. What Youth is back on the North Shore finally. Been a few years and we’re pretty excited. That’s when the aloha…

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What Youth Fire Update: We’re good Can’t say the same for some of our neighbors

Early Friday morning we got word that the units behind our building had caught fire. Assuming it was merely a dumpster fire, I thought nothing of it for about 15 minutes. A little research proved otherwise: This was BIG. A real fire. Explosions. It was all over the news. And our building was definitely in…

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The Shape of Art To Come Let’s make sure we take advantage of this

Yesterday I stood inside a church and looked at a ballot with measures on porn and weed and a presidential battle between a woman and a rich guy with traits I usually label as “asshole.” It was a bizarre 20 minutes. But I did my part. I voted, put my sticker on my shirt and walked…

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The Dylan Rieder Issue: On Sale 11-22-2016 We teamed up with Mark Oblow to create our 16th issue and devoted it entirely in loving memory of Dylan Rieder.

This one means a lot. And it’s off to print today. After learning that we lost Dylan to his fight with leukemia last month, we immediately shelved all in-progress plans for Issue 16, got with Mark Oblow and discussed creating something special and memorable for one of the most influential people we’ve ever met.  Thanks…

John John Florence, Surfing, World Champ

John John Florence is the World Champ And we’re backing that big time

While we were sleeping, John John Florence became the World Champ. He sliced and diced his way through Portugal, and in making the final, and with Jordy’s semifinal loss, we got us a John John crown. And this is nice news to wake up to. Because John John deserves this. We all deserve this. It’s…

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Dylan Rieder: 1988-2016 R.I.P. to one of the greatest of all time

It’s strange to type this. Hard to believe what the keys are putting down, but Dylan Rieder has passed away from complications with leukemia. He was 28 years old. Dylan’s influence is ingrained so very deeply in skateboarding and everything he touched, and forever will be. Happy to have had the pleasure to spend time…

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I’m Home! But Have No Idea Where I am After a month in the Old World, I’ve returned to a disheveled homeland

I just got home from a few weeks away. I think it’s called holiday. Or vacation. Depending where you’re from. First one I’ve ever tried. And holy shit do I recommend it. I surfed beautiful waves in Portugal, strolled ancient streets of Lisbon, ate extremely well in San Sebastián, biked through a forest in France…

“There are no beers for Media” Another downtrodden day for the WSL press corps

It was Sunday. I felt like watching surfing and I am fortunate to live within a stone throw of a ‘CT venue that shall remain anonymous, but it is in Europe, is not in Portugal and is within a country renowned for cheese and wine. You get the picture. Some friends and I have media…