Monthly Archives: February 2012

Surfing for a Change – JBay’s Nuclear Battle

For Immediate Release

Jeffereys Bay Nuke Campaign
Contact Kyle Thiermann for media requests

“Surfing for Change: J Bay Nuclear Plant” is a new short film exploring the dangers of a planned nuclear power plant in the pristine shores of Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. Made by youth environmental activist, pro-surfer and filmmaker Kyle Thiermann, the film calls attention to the potential for environmental disaster if Eskom, South Africa’s national power company, locates the nuclear plant in the waters of one of the most famous surfing destinations in the world.

Featuring interviews with renowned environmental leader Van Jones, 11-time Surfing World champion Kelly Slater, documentarian Foster Gamble and local surfing activists, the film calls attention to the inherent dangers of nuclear power in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster — the largest nuclear failure since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown.

Underscoring deep concerns about what’s at stake, the film also offers a personal perspective from Takayuki Wakita, a Japanese surfer whose family lived 100 kilometers from the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant and now resides in J Bay.

“Surfing for Change: J-Bay Nuclear Plant” available for free through viral web outlets like YouTube, challenges young people to take action and use social media channels to support global opposition to the power plant, encourage exploration of alternative energy sources and points to decisions made by leading European countries to abandon nuclear power plants —Germany will end its nuclear power plant usage in ten years.

Thiermann hopes the film will aid the efforts of local residents who are fighting against a billion dollar initiative that promises employment opportunities in the short term; but risks future environmental catastrophe. “I met amazing people working to stop the plant from being built,” he said. “If it is built, the landscape would be transformed with the building of a power plant. And, the lives of these residents will also be transformed. And not for the good.”

“Surfing for Change” film series shows people who don’t consider themselves activists how to adjust simple daily actions to strengthen their local communities and protect the environment. His film Claim Your Change detailed how money kept in multinational banks is used to finance destructive projects worldwide. It inspired people to move hundreds of million of dollars of lending power into local banks and credit unions. Since then, he has made movies ranging from the importance of shopping locally to following a plastic bag to Hawaii. Kyle has surfed his way across Indonesia, Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Australia, Hawaii and throughout the US. For more information visit

Filipe Toledo Signs with Firewire Surfboards

For Immediate Release
February 2012

Filipe Toledo Signs with Firewire Surfboards

At 16 years old and hailing from Brazil, Filipe is developing and maturing as a surfer at a great time. The talent coming out of his home country is at an all time high and, through joining Gabriel Medina on team Nike, the path to success is laid out in front of him. Additionally, Filipe is the son of Ricardo Toledo, a nurturing ex-pro surfer that has been there to guide his son’s personal and athletic development, yielding a talented but humble teenager.

Over the course of the last 6 months, Filipe Toledo and his progressive surfing repertoire have thrust their way into the crosshairs of the worldwide surfing community. In August of 2011 at the US Open of Surfing, on arguably the largest and most competitive Juniors stage, Filipe claimed victory in a star-studded finals that featured superstars John John Florence and Kolohe Andino.

Filipe continued to impress in January of 2012 by stealing the show at the Billabong Pro Juniors event at Burleigh Heads by launching inverted maneuvers and defeating contest favorites. With a great finish, Filipe climbed to the 5th ranked junior in the world and established himself as an elite competitor for years to come.

“Filipe’s surfing looked great last year when he won the Junior Pro in Huntington Beach” said Marketing Director, Chuy Reyna, “but to see him tear apart junky Burleigh Heads on a Firewire he grabbed from the racks at the Firewire Currumbin store was amazing. Firewire is looking forward to growing alongside Filipe.”

“Firewire believes that refinements to the shape of today’s modern surfboards can only produce incremental performance benefits. Exponential improvements in performance require the ongoing development of new materials and construction methods which, in turn, will fuel new design opportunities.”

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Michel Bourez on Babies and Breaking into the Top 5 in 2012

From the ASP

COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia (Wednesday, February 1, 2012) – For the past 3 years Michel Bourez (PYF), 26, has been one of the standout performers at just about every stop on the elite ASP World Tour. The surfer known as ‘The Spartian’ has improved in leaps and bounds with every year he’s been on tour; in 2009 his rookie year he finished 21st, in 2010 11th and then last year 6th. We got in touch with Bourez while he was at home in Tahiti to congratulate him on the new addition to his family and talk about his goals for 2012.

Congratulations, we hear you’ve had a baby boy! How’s fatherhood?
My son Kaoriki was born on the 9th of January and since then I don’t sleep very much. I talk about him everyday, he became the center of my life, you want give everything you have to your kids. My goals in surfing are much stronger because I will surf for him now.

Overall, how do you feel about your year on tour last year?
I feel good about last year, I was focused the whole year and finished 6th in the world. With such talented surfers on the tour it was amazing for me to do so well. I also really enjoyed the race for the Triple Crown which gave me some good experience.

It’s great to see you crack the top 10, was that your goal for last year?
Yes it was. To make the top 10 was a dream for me, it means so much to me. Now I can tell my son that his Daddy was 6th in the world!

What was your best moment on tour last year?
It was here in Tahiti, the waves were amazing and we finally got to surf the real Teahupoo. We also had a bonus with the tow session, it was huge and mental. I did get a good result in the contest, but I had an awesome time free surfing with the boys too.

You were one of the most consistent guys on tour last year what’s the key to your success?
Staying focused is the main key to my success. I worked a lot with Firewire to get some boards for all different conditions. I knew what I had to do to make heat because I’ve learned a lot on these last 3 years on tour.

What kind of training have you been doing in the off season?
I’ve been surfing a lot and when the surf is flat I do some work sessions out with my neighbours, nothing too tough, but enough to stay fit and ready for the upcoming season.

In 2009 you finished 21st, in 2010 you finished 11th and then last year 6th. You keep getting better every year, what can we expect from next year?
2012 will be different, I want to stay in the the top, but my goal now is to make the top 5. It’s going to be hard with all the rookies on tour, but if I’m consistent again this year, I think I will make it.

Will we see you as a World Title contender in 2012?
I don’t think so, I need to learn more again. The tour is long and hard and I plan to be a world title contender by 2015 because I know that I’m getting better with the time. I’m getting wiser too, I don’t rush things anymore.

What are you thoughts on the recent changes to the tour?
I like it better this way, but it does not change anything for me. If you have a goal to be in the top 5 that means you will make the cut for sure.

What events are you most looking forward to for 2012?
I’m looking forward for Fiji, I’ve never been there. I have watched that wave only in movies or during past event webcasts, it has been a dream to go there. I also need to make better result at trestles too, so I’m looking forward to that event. Teahupoo will be the main one because I’m home and I surf that wave all the time.

Thanks Michel, see you at Snapper.
Take care.

Taylor Jensen Begins his 2012 WLT Title Defense in New Zealand

COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia (Wednesday, February 1, 2012) – The 2011 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) is heading to New Zealand to contest the Hyundai Tour this week for the first event of the Australasian ASP Longboard Qualifying Series. The Hyundai Tour event is being held at Sandy Bay, Whangarei from Friday this week and will run through to Waitangi Day on Monday (3 – 6 February).

Jensen confirmed his entry late last week and will travel from California to contest the ASP 1-Star rated event.

“I just love being in New Zealand and seeing all my friends down there and being able to compete in the tour here and there. It’s one of the best run events in the world and it’s always a pleasure to head over for it,” Jensen said while packing for the long journey across the Pacific.

Jensen has the ASP World Surfing Awards to attend and receive his ASP World Title trophy at the end of February so figured a detour through New Zealand would work well with his travel plans.

He will only be in the country for a five day whirlwind stop taking in the Sandy Bay event before travelling back to his second home of Australia where he has not been in the last three months.

Jensen claimed his World Title in Italy last November after finishing runner-up in the final event of the year. It is the first time the American surfer has held the Title despite his amazing talent on the longboard.

“Not that much has changed really,” said Jensen. “I’m a lot busier now. I have a few more commitments than usual but other than that, things are still very much the same. I’ve managed to secure a few new sponsors so that’s been a huge bonus.”

Along with Jensen, the event has attracted a number of top longboard and stand up paddleboard surfers including world number 14 ranked Jared Neal (AUS) and number 21 ranked Mitch Surman (AUS). Surman placed runner up at the Sandy Bay event in 2011.

The Sandy Bay event is the first of three on the ASP Australasian LQS with two events remaining at Kingscliff, New South Wales and Perth, Western Australia. The top two surfers on the ASP Australasian LQS gain automatic qualification to compete on the ASP World Longboard Tour.

Entry into all events can be completed at under “events.” Complete the entry process online or download entry forms and send them in. The 2012 Hyundai Tour is expected to receive high entry levels at each location, so entries will need to be in well before the cut off dates to assure participants get a slice of the action.