As we wind down one more trip around the sun we wanted to review a few of the highlights that distract from our otherwise challenging world. We would never want to downplay the many tragedies that unfolded this past year, both natural and of the human kind, but sometimes our little world does offer a momentary escape from those realities. Thank God for that.
In no particular order, here are some of our favs from 2019.
Nic Von Rupp. Damn, big year for Nic. It’s not easy being a traveling, mostly non-competitive surfer these days and the need to get out and be seen to ensure those coveted sponsorship funds is vital. We once labeled Nic “the hardest working man in surfing” and we still back that 100%. Huge cold slabs, reeling left points, Nazare, etc., the guy was everywhere in 2019 but also keen enough to have it all properly documented and distributed. A very professional act and we hope to see more of him in 2020.
Beatrice Domond. Yes, we do slide into skate from time to time and this Fairly Normal episode, featuring Beatrice Domond, was right in there amongst it. Tompkins, Lower East Village, and other locations within NY’s core skate scene, Beatrice rolled us through the ‘hood as only a true local can. An absolute bright light, Beatrice was simply a joy to work with and a true inspiration to inner-city girls everywhere.
Planetary Punt. What a concept: a local artist from Santa Cruz, Tim Ward, decided to use his company, Life at Sea, to generously promote a $20,000 winner take all video driven best air contest. Well, as most of us saw the boys came out swinging and all the usual suspects were in the running as the deadline approached. In the end, only one was standing: Lucas Rogers. With his pal “Snacks” behind the lens, Lucas lofted a huge, super clean, full rotation and took home the cash. No literally, a box full of actual cash. Nice guy, great story.
Sophie Flores. If you get your coffee at a certain local french brasserie in the OC, you may have seen her behind the counter. Her unique look and keen sense of style are unmistakable. We asked her to do a little shoot for our Girls We Adore series and the results were stunning.
Follow her @sophielynn
William Aliotti. Another hard-working Euro, William has been popping up with more frequency of late. His ode to the twinnie, Catch Fish, as well as the subject of our latest Fairly Normal episode, shows that William has all the good, and is just oozing stoke. He did the comp thing for a bit but now mostly focuses on riding some alt-style equipment with a very new school approach. We find that refreshing.
Craig. “The Quieter You Are, The More You Can Hear” is simply all of what’s good in surfing wrapped up with a bow on top. Obviously, Craig is one of the most entertaining surfers today and this little flick proves that in spades. Call it steez, style, flair, whatever, Craig can paint a wave like few others and with his pals, Dav Fox, Kai Neville, and others pulling the production levers, “Quieter” was easily one of the year’s best releases. Not many can make a 6′ 8′ single look so damn good!
Bobby Martinez. Watching Bobby’s “Home Cooking” was an instant throw back to a previous day. Although a few years have passed since Bobby was considered a top pro, not much has changed in the water. Well, we didn’t forget and obviously his backside hack never got the memo either as the man from Santa Barbs can still attack a righthander with the best of um. Good to see ya again Bobby.
Alex Knost. An enigma if there ever was one, Alex confounds the surfing world with his truly eclectic style both in and out of the water. His latest vid project, “Tan Madonna”, checked many creative boxes. He answers to no one (Well, maybe to Vans and RVCA a little) and has earned every inch of respect despite the often maligned opinions that leave his doubters scratching their heads over what is simply just a very deep passion for the arts. Yes folks, his surfing is an art form of which will never fit into the preconceived stereotypes that lead to safer paths. Not Alex, not ever.