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Michel Bourez Wins Drug Aware Margaret River Pro

Author: Chris Cary
Video: ASP

In the day of the “heat analyzer” we all get to play scientist, sportscaster or critic, watching heats over and over at live speed and in slow motion until our daily lives pull us back to reality. To those fanatics who live and breathe surfing, the accounts below that date back to November of 2012 will be familiar. For the second year in a row, California played host to its second World Tour event with the O’neill Cold Water Classic. Something happened though that was totally unexpected: Michel Bourez DOMINATED the somewhat soft and small conditions with power surfing that had recently taken a backseat to the air game and people kept talking about it long after the festivities wrapped up.

Fast forward to the 2013 World Tour stop in Bali and its annual visit to Lower Trestles and the aggression that snapped people out of their “aerial honeymoon” reared its mean face again. In waves that airs were expected to pave the road to the final, Michel dropped 9-point ride after 9-point ride by keeping his rail in the wave and throwing the lip into the stratosphere. The power display was so gnarly it became difficult to imagine anyone else on tour matching it. To those keeping tabs, it was obvious, Michel had figured something out. His raw aggression had become calculated power.

After Michel’s 6-Star Prime win at Haleiwa in November of 2013, his inaugural World Tour victory got reclassified by the surf gods from “possible” to “inevitabile”. At Margaret River, judges were thirsty for power and Michel gave it to them. The early round saw tricky conditions at the main break, hollow conditions at the box, before finals day brought a deeper swell and the best waves of the event, setting the stage.

Michel cruised through his quarterfinals heat against good friend Nat Young to find himself up against King Kelly in the semis. Slater had a stranglehold on the heat up until the dying minutes, when a multi-wave set marched towards the reef and crossed the wires of the 11x World Champ’s competitive super-furnace. Kelly swooped on the first, which left Michel free to bag the wave of the heat, connecting three big maneuvers and earning a 9.37 to tip the scale. The momentum carried the Spartan past Josh Kerr in the finals and landed him the historic spoils of being the first men’s competitor to lay a World Tour victory on the historic Margaret River.

It was Michel’s day. The day he gathered his first world tour win. And the day that the surfing world collectively realized that there is a new permanent member of the top 10.

Taylor Jensen Wins the 2014 Australian Longboard Surfing Open

tjkingy-205 Photo: Mike Pinneo

ASP Press Release

The final day of the 2014 Australian Longboard Surfing Open saw the sport’s top rated surfers do battle in the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) divisions with Taylor Jensen (USA) winning the Legendary Pacific Coast Men’s Pro and Jen Smith taking out the Pretty Shady Women’s Pro.

Jen Smith, two-time ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion (2007, 2009) was dominant in the final against Rosie Locke (Sunshine Coast, Australia). Smith clocked 17.83 out of a possible 20 while Locke struggled to find the better waves in the final.

“This is the first ASP event I’ve done this year so to win it is really good, it’s a good set up for the rest of the year,” said Smith. “It’s a confidence booster – it makes me feel good about riding my single fin as I’ve never surfed an ASP event on a single fin before. To bring it out here and win this event is promising. The surf today was really fun, the tide was low and it was pretty ideal for longboarding.”

The Legendary Pacific Coast LQS Open Pro final was fiercely contested between two former ASP World Longboard Champions Taylor Jensen (2011 & 2012) and Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour, NSW/AUS) (2009). The American surfer Jensen came out on top even though he only pulled three waves during the 30 minute final for a combined two wave total of 16.10 (out of a possible 20). Current title holder Ingleby, pushed hard all the way through the final and only just failed to secure the win with his last wave falling 2.4 short of what he needed, giving him a total of 13.74.

“It’s my first serious event this year so it has got the ball rolling,” said Jensen. “I feel good and I’m in command. There’s some big events later in the year so I’ll just stay focused. I love the surf here, the water and the people are super nice and it’s just fun.”

The festival is located in the world-class surfing destination of Kingscliff, only 10 minutes drive from Snapper Rocks. Running from March 26 – 30, 2014 ALSO pays homage to the history of longboard surfing with surf vehicles and classic car display, the Miss Beach Girl competition, surf films, surf yoga, art and lifestyle stalls.

For more information click here


SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Feb. 22, 2014—The Surfrider Foundation’s Board of Directors and Staff gathered at the Talega Golf Club in San Clemente, Calif., to honor its 2013 Wavemakers. During this annual awards ceremony the Foundation recognizes individuals and companies for their outstanding volunteer efforts and support to fulfill Surfrider’s mission of protecting oceans, waves and beaches.


The Surfrider Foundation’s 2013 Wavemaker Award recipients:

Chapter Leadership Award (West)
Peter Snell
When approximately seven tons of crab gear and boat remains washed ashore at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (a marine protected area), Peter determined that the need to remove the debris was immediate, given the nature of the sensitive habitat and federally protected species that would be nesting in the area soon. Working quickly and efficiently, he organized numerous cleanups over dangerous and rocky terrain for three months. More than 2,000 volunteer hours were logged in the removal of all seven tons of debris from the protected area through successive cleanups.

Chapter Leadership Award (East)
Steve Tamar
Steve is the Vice Chair and Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) Coordinator of the Rincón, Puerto Rico Chapter. The chapter’s BWTF program is the largest in the Surfrider network. In 2012, volunteers tested 534 water samples accounting for nearly 20% of all tests performed nationwide. He has led the program since 2006 and writes and sends weekly, bilingual water quality reports to a list of 1400+ recipients. Under Steve’s seven years of leadership, the chapter has established itself as an authority in Puerto Rico providing some of the only beach water quality data available island-wide.

Development Award
Kay Treakle
Kay is the Executive Director of the Harder Foundation and has been actively involved in Surfrider’s efforts to promote healthy coasts in Washington since 2007. Among our funders in the Pacific Northwest, she is the strategic leader and central organizer, identifying needs and providing financial resources for important and underfunded projects. She frequently advocates on our behalf and on the value of grassroots organizing in achieving coastal conservation. Kay works tirelessly to connect us with new funders and other NGOs to create new partnerships and increase our effectiveness.

Environmental Leadership Award
LA Bag Ban Crew: Graham Hamilton, Juli Schultz, Craig Cadwallader and Alan Walti
These four activists led the efforts that resulted in the Los Angeles City Council voting 11-1 to ban plastic checkout bags at grocery stores and large retailers. The ban made LA the largest city in the nation to ban single use bags and is expected to eliminate a significant portion of the billions of bags that were consumed in the city each year that were creating a blight of litter in open spaces including parks, beaches, streets and rivers. Graham and Juli represented the West Los Angeles/Malibu chapter while Craig and Alan handled matters on behalf of the South Bay chapter. Their collaboration and the coordination between the chapters helped to ensure a victorious outcome.

Distinguished Legal Service Award
Senior Members of the Legal Issues Committee: Kris Balliet, Marc Chytilo and Steve Shipsey
These three attorneys and former Board Members helped to found the Legal Issues Committee (LIC) in 2007 and still serve in this critically important role. Each of them donates their time and provides insight and advice on litigation, legislation and federal policy. Their expertise includes beach access law as well as all state and federal environmental law. As the support structure for Surfrider’s Legal Department, the LIC offers technical knowledge, strategic advice and moral support. They are an integral part of the Surfrider family and a key force in advancing the organization’s legal campaigns.

Corporate Partner Award
Volkswagen of America
Volkswagen of America has been a proud supporter of Surfrider since 2012, donating generous funds for the Foundation’s clean water efforts and helping raise awareness through their Think Blue. initiative. As a supporter of our Clean Water campaigns, their donation has helped to fund the Blue Water Task Force (BWTF), Know Your H2O and Ocean Friendly Garden programs, all of which help to educate the public on improving water quality. Additionally, Volkswagen provided two, Surfrider branded, support vehicles for staff use at education, community and social events the organization attends throughout the year. Together, Surfrider Foundation and Volkswagen of America, Inc. are encouraging individuals across the country to Think Blue. by making positive changes in their lives to ensure our nation’s oceans, waves, beaches and waterways are clean and healthy for future generations to come. They recently signed on to partner with us again for 2014.

Outstanding Contribution Award
The Surf Channel
The Surf Channel Video On Demand television network is found on cable, satellite, telco and digital. They went out of their way to produce several videos leading up to the most recent Trestles hearing in San Diego. They pushed action alerts encouraging our members to attend the meeting and then spent all day (nearly 8 hours) at the hearing culminating in the creation of a video capturing the victorious hearing outcome.

Surf Industry Partner Award
Rarely do performance, conservation and sustainability come together. Firewire has done this in their product, which could be said to share the core elements of Surfrider’s mission of “protection and enjoyment.” Mark Price and the Firewire team have worked with us to drive engagement in our mission via membership offerings, social media contests and deeper connection with our surfing roots. They are now expanding this highly successful partnership to all of continental Europe.

Coastal Impact Award
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Senator Whitehouse is an ardent supporter of coastal and ocean protection. He has argued before the US Supreme Court to protect Rhode Island’s public wetlands from development, and led an investigation into a devastating oil spill in Narragansett Bay; he made sure the fine resulting from that spill, which was the largest in the state’s history, was used for conservation. He founded the Senate Oceans Caucus to promote creative, bipartisan policy solutions that protect our oceans, our coasts, and the people and economies that rely on them. He has worked diligently to protect the ocean and coast from unnecessary oil exploration. A true ocean champion, Senator Whitehouse’s contributions in 2013 include his outspoken support for continued BEACH Act Funding and his current work to protect the National Ocean Policy and NEPA process through Congressional deliberations on the Water Resources Development Act Conference Committee.

2013 Surfrider Foundation Board of Directors
Chair, Sean Ahlum; Vice Chair, Walter Wilhelm; Secretary, Meredith Blascovich
Meg Caldwell; Lisa Pierce Fiedelholtz; Mike Harmon; Rick Kuykendall; Jim Lindberg; Michael Marckx; Steve Rabineau; Tony Radaich; Brooke Smith; Shaun Tomson; Rob Wells; David Wilmot

Recognition of Staff
20 Years: Michelle Kremer and Chris Keys
15 Years: Lori Booth
10 Years: Steve Blank, Nancy Hastings and Laura Lee
5 Years: Kyle Lishok

Firewire Launches Linear Flex Technology (LFT)


For Immediate Release
January 2014

Firewire’s product development is focused on three things: exclusively using epoxy resin and EPS foam cores, achieving lighter and stronger surfboards through sandwich construction, and optimizing flex to enhance performance. Though LINEAR FLEX TECHNOLOGY (LFT) may appear to be a simple construction employing familiar design philosophies found in traditionally built surfboards, nothing could be further from the truth.

LFT incorporates Firewire’s new SPRINGER HD, a 0.75” (18 mm) wide aerospace composite that runs down the centerline of the board, representing the next generation in our SPRINGER technology. Unlike the original balsa SPRINGER build which only added stiffness under the front foot, the SPRINGER HD runs the entire length of the board and plays a pivotal role in optimizing flex from nose to tail.

Inserting a high-density material down the center of the board does create engineering hurdles. For example, deck compression over the SPRINGER HD would be less than the surrounding EPS core. Over time, the deck would develop a raised area adjacent to the SPRINGER HD, akin to the ‘ridging’ effect on a PU surfboard as the surrounding foam collapses on either side of the stringer.

We addressed this issue in two ways. Firstly, the SPRINGER HD stops approximately 3mm below the top deck, ensuring that the surrounding EPS compression will not lead to ‘ridging’. Utilizing our proven sandwich construction methodology, we also added an extremely durable material to the top deck of the board. This ‘deck-skin’ now serves as an additional buffer against the ridging effect while simultaneously working in tandem with the SPRINGER HD to optimize the overall flex pattern of the LFT build. The end result is a durable surfboard with lively flex patterns that will maintain its hi-performance characteristics over time.

Firewire believes in the continued improvement of modern day surfboards through the optimization of flex, the development of new technologies and the inclusion of greener raw materials to reduce environmental impact.

For more info, please visit our LFT page here.

Sales Contact US: mike.milliken@firewiresurfboards.com
Sales Contact AUS: raz.mehlsen@firewiresurfboards.com
Sales Contact International: brion.lange@firewiresurfboards.com
Media Contact: chris.cary@firewiresurfboards.com

Michel Bourez Wins Reef Hawaiian Pro – Takes Early Triple Crown Lead

Photo Credit: ASP

HALEIWA, Oahu/Hawaii (Sunday, November 24, 2013) – Tahiti’s Michel Bourez has won the REEF Hawaiian Pro, the $40,000 prize purse, and takes an early lead of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing hydrated by vitaminwater®. Bourez, 27, built momentum through the earlier rounds of this competition and was clearly unstoppable by the final. He survived a late charge by Haleiwa local Fred Patacchia, 31, and was well clear of Jeremy Flores (France) and Dion Atkinson (Australia), who finished third and fourth respectively. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing now moves north to Sunset Beach for stop No. 2: The Vans World Cup of Surfing, which will likely commence Tuesday.

This is Bourez’s second victory at the REEF Hawaiian Pro, having first won here in 2008. His combination of stylish power surfing and impeccable wave selection made him the man to beat through the final rounds of competition today. A strong surfer in big waves and a great Tahitian tube rider, he is definitely capable of winning the Vans Triple Crown this year.

“It’ still a new feeling,” Bourez said. “The first time I won it, I was super happy for making the tour and this time, you know, I worked so hard to make the final and especially to lead the Triple Crown and it’s a good feeling. They keep saying the guy who wins the Haleiwa contest has a lot of chance to win a Triple Crown.

“I feel great, I feel good in my body and my boards are going well and, hopefully the waves will be good at Sunset. I got second two there years ago so I hope I make another final this year.

“Coming here, I felt great. I’ve been training for the past month, and just to come here solid, I feel like yeah, I deserve it.”

Fred Patacchia would have loved nothing more than to stake his claim in front of a hugely supportive home crowd, and his scores in the final were his best of the day. But Bourez kept him off the larger waves on offer and made no mistakes, leaving Patacchia knocking on the door.

“I’m a little frustrated, you know I would have loved to have won but I really put a campaign on in the last six minutes of that heat,” said Patacchia. “I had a rocky start but I feel like I threw the kitchen sink at it. Michel just opened up really well and he surfed really well throughout the whole event. I am disappointed, I would have loved to have won, but at the same time I feel I did my best. It’s a great confidence boost going into Sunset and I take it as a positive.

“I would love to win on a Triple Crown. I would love it! It would just make my life! But I know it’s a hard thing to do. I have a game plan set for this Triple Crown, I’m trying to execute it and I think if I don’t win it it, I think I’ll get fairly close to it.”

Frenchman Flores, 25, had a solid run through the REEF Hawaiian Pro, and as a former champion at Pipeline is definitely in the Triple Crown race.

“Like Sunny Garcia says, the Triple Crown is the best thing after a World Title, and I believe it,” said Flores. “Three events and really powerful waves. At the same time you can surf smaller waves like this year, so you have to adapt to everything. So the Triple Crown winner has to be good in every condition and that is what makes it so special.

“It was definitely a tough contest. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really ready in terms of boards and stuff, so I just kept borrowing boards. So making the final, kind of scratching to find my way into the final was pretty cool. I didn’t really expect that.”

The most relieved athlete today was Dion Atkinson, 27, from South Australia. Atkinson entered the REEF Hawaiian Pro with work to be done if he is to qualify for the 2014 elite ASP World Championship Tour. With this result, he climbed into qualification position today, has taken off a little pressure going into Sunset, and will now be looking to maintain form in order to make his pro surfing dreams come true. He surfed consistently through this event, made few errors, and kept a calm, focused approach through the rounds.

“I came 5th here about four or five years ago and I’ve been sort of struggling since, so to put it together when I really needed to qualify, I’m pretty rapt right now,” said Atkinson. “I kinda surprised myself in a few heats with just holding my nerve and just felt really good and comfortable.

“I’m just going to go into Sunset with the same attitude, no pressure, and if I loose or win, it’s gonna be on my terms and I’ll give it a good go. I love coming to Hawaii. Haleiwa and Sunset are probably the two events I look forward to all year.”

Next stop: Vans World Cup of Surfing, Sunset Beach, from tomorrow through December 6.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing hydrated by vitaminwater® is the world’s premier series of professional surfing events that will culminate with a 2-man battle between Kelly Slater (USA) and Mick Fanning (AUS) for the 2013 men’s ASP World Title. From November 12 through December 20, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, $960,000 in prize money and a number of highly coveted titles will be offered across three ASP sanctioned events, including the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series champion.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is webcast LIVE via http://vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/vtcs13


1 – Michel Bourez (PYF) 17.17pts (9.44; 7.77) – $40,000
2 – Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.33pts – $20,000
3rd – Jeremy Flores 13.93pts (FRA) – $12,000
4th – Dion Atkinson (AUS) 9.73pts – $10,000

(1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=5th; 4th=7th)
H1: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.37pts ; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.50pts ; Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.80pts ; Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.12pts

H2 : Michel Bourez (PYF) 16:33pts ; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 15.00pts ; Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.33pts ; Josh Kerr (AUS) 4.00pts

(1st & 2nd advance; 3rd=9th; 4th=13th)
H1: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.86pts ; Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.17pts ; Yadin Nicol (AUS) 11.93pts ; Matt Banting (AUS) 9.44pts
H2: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.60pts ; Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 14.60pts ; Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.30pts ; Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.27pts
H3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.96pts ; Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43pts ; Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.70pts ; Hodei Collazo (EUK) 8.27pts
H4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.67pts ; Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.34pts ; Nathan Yeomans 12.87pts ; Evan Valiere (HAW) 9.87pts

Share the Stoke Surfboard Giveaway


Share The Stoke Foundation foundation has just kicked off their first ever Surfboard Giveaway Contest. Its a contest set up for kids across the US to film, post and promote their own video demonstrating how they Share the Stoke in their community. If you play your cards right, campaign for some votes and wind up taking the prize, well, you win a Firewire.

For more info, check the video and also head over to the contest page here: http://a.pgtb.me/BbmcSj

What Nanotune Does For Your Surfboard

nanotune-website-header-logoBy now you have seen NanoTune stickers on Firewires and pros’ surfboards alike as well as a bit of their press across the social media wire. So what exactly does NanoTune do? Have a look at this video to find out. The NanoTune team has put together a cool clip that visually demonstrates why boards with NanoTune go faster. Its all about reducing friction and turbulence. With an underwater camera mounted to the bottom side of a paddle board to maximize the demonstration, its easy to see what is going on. Above all else, the results in the field stand on their own as undeniable and that is exactly why Firewire has stepped up to factory tune all our boards with NanoTune. We feel that we are headed into a time where people will be paying attention to what goes on the BOTTOM of a board and that is a good thing! More speed for everyone!

For more info, check out their site.

Firewire Joins the ECOBOARD Project

For Immediate Release
March 2013

sustainable-surf-verifiedFirewire has joined The ECOBOARD Project, an important environmental initiative focused on the verification of our surfboards’ eco-credentials by the non-profit SustainableSurf.org (SS). SS is dedicated to helping the surfboard industry transition to more eco-friendly materials and business practices, with the ultimate objective of lowering Continue reading