mad phat dope sick ill fresh wicked bad rockin rad

August 2, 2006 at 5:11 pm | Posted in becky, misc | Leave a comment

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. It was sick! The US Open is the highest rated qualifying surf event for men and women in North America. It’s also the most heavily attended (you can imagine what this does to parking on my street). This year the U.S. Open went hand in hand with the Beach Games (do they always? I don’t know). The Beach Games featured skateboarding, BMX, FMX and beach volleyball. I was hoping to get some interview time with some of the greats like Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, and Rob Machado, but to no avail. Kelly Slater and Andy Irons didn’t even compete (WTF?) and Rob entered the competition late and surfed the early morning heats (and who expects me to get up at 8:00am to see those?). But overall, the whole weekend was great. Sofia Mulanovich won the women’s open. She surfed amazingly, and the Americans loved her accent. Rob Machado rocked it, coming out on top after losing last year in a close final with Andy Irons. Roy Powers came in second, much to the dismay of many of the ladies (who don’t care how well he can surf, just that he looks pretty doing it [not that he can’t surf]).

To get a feel for how things went, I have included some of the highlights of the weekend, and some things that overshadowed the games.


1. Getting hooked up with VIP passes (in a way which didn’t involve sleeping with powerful men) . These things were like gold. Most of the athletes couldn’t even go where we went. We spent parts of the day in the Surfer’s lounge drinking Sobes and eating some new brand of chip that some moto x guy just came out with.

2. The O’Neill Tow At aerial demonstration. Several of the best “radical surfers” were there, being towed by jet skis, which launched them into insane maneuvers. Also, watching that one dude surf right through the pier. That was crazy.

3. Sitting at the beach for hours, soaking up the sun and watching the sports (and probably getting cancer).

4. Watching the Grand Master skate-off at the Soul Bowl.

5. Meeting skaters, surfers, FMX and BMXers who’s names I don’t know and really don’t care about.

6. Seeing the Huckin Chicken (Jeff “Ox” Kargola) in action! woohoo! I had that Burger King Huckin Chicken song in my head the entire weekend. Which was annoying for everyone considering I don’t know any words except for “big huckin chicken”. I barely know the tune.

There were a few things that I felt overshadowed the games. Here they are in all their (non) glory.

1. The shameless amount of promotions EVERYWHERE. Granted, from an advertising perspective, this was brilliant. There were tents all over the beach which offered free stuff–hats, wristbands, airbrush tattoos, keychains, drinks, etc. Everyone on the beach became billboards and bumperstickers. Hot girls wearing practically nothing, with O’Neill airbrushed across their stomachs? You know people are looking at that! Attractive men wearing Corona hats? Beer never sounded so good! Genius! It made me want to puke. Until I got my pink Tonik senorita trucker hat that I am completely in love with. But, hey, at least I’m representing health insurance!

2. The Secret Machine. WTF? Everywhere I turned I saw hats and t-shirts saying “the machine is NOT evil”, or protestors toting signs that said “stop the machine” or “the machine is evil”. What is this secret machine, you might wonder. Secret Machine is a new surf film by Globe. Sonny Miller was hired to work on the film and recently disassociated himself with it, making this statement:

“I’m all for pushing things forward” says Miller, “but to develop some kind of secret machine that spits out surf films is taking progression way too far. It’s just not true to the essence of what we do and now that I know what their intentions are, I won’t be a part of it any more. I think the machine is evil.”

Since then, he has been organizing boycotts and protests to the film. I was curious to find out what the fuss was about (i.e. what the hell is he talking about? i mean, could he be more vague?). After some scanty research online, I found this statement that Globe made in response:

“Don’t believe Sonny Miller. For over 20 years, Globe has stood for quality and innovation, but today, our reputation has been attacked by Sonny Miller, the renowned surf cinematographer and recent member of our Surf Film crew, in allegations made against our methods and principles. Sonny Miller has filed claims and made public statements featuring misinformation about Globe and its upcoming Surf Film, to be released July 29th 2006 in Laguna Beach, CA. Globe strongly objects to the claims and encourages the surfers everywhere to make up their own minds.”

I still have no idea what is going on. Machine? What does said machine do that is so evil? I found a statement from a “concerned group” which said:

“We know Globe is releasing its film with some very disturbing secret machine generated surfing in it,” said Peter Townend of the ActivEmpire, a brand management, athlete representation and events consultancy. Adding, “It’s like taking those dream cartoons you used to doodle on your school notebook and turning them into life. It’s completely killing the soul of the surf video.”

Wow, this sounds serious. The constant use of the words secret machine was leading me to believe this was some big crazy joke or publicity stunt. I mean “secret machine”? “disturbing”? Is it the last days? I asked some protestors “what’s the machine?” and they couldn’t even answer me. They had no clue! All they did was hand me a flyer and tell me to read the second paragraph (because they had no clue!). I finally found something that alluded to what the secret machine was/does. “An advanced, machine-generated light and sound experience“. Ahhhh. Okay. So…to sum up, after extensive research, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only people who even care or understand (care) what this is about are a few surfers (obviously not the ones in the film) and filmmakers (obviously not the ones who made it). I would probably totally care if someone would actually explain it to me. Thanks for almost ruining my weekend by making me do research.

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