Surfline Takes $30 Million For New CEO

by The Editors on December 2, 2020

There was a time when we had a VIP, full access membership to Players, right? The glory days. But you know what? We hardly ever used it. That’s because we’re rarely interested in exactly how good the waves are. When we want to surf, we go surfing. We check the waves on the free site, or go down to the beach and look. Then we grab a board that is inversely proportional to the size of the waves and paddle out. Pretty simple, really. All this is to say we’re the wrong people to be making any kind of business judgements on the news that Surfling/Wavetrak has just closed a $30 million investment from the entertainment focused The Chernin Group (TCG) and put a new CEO named Kyle Laughlin (previously of Amazon, The Walt Disney Company, Yahoo, etc. . .) into the driver’s seat.

“Surfline has established itself as one of the largest and most respected surf brands in the world through a decades-long commitment to serving its global community,” said Mike Kerns, Co-Founder and Partner, TCG. “At TCG, we achieve growth by partnering with passionate teams, engaged entrepreneurs who build out of love, and world class management. With Surfline, we have that combination in Jeff, Kyle and the entire team.”

Okay. Some smart guys with a boatload of entertainment industry experience and a few great investment wins (Twitter, Pandora, Tumblr) plus a mixed bag of webish odds and ends wants to dump $30 million on What is their angle? It can’t be full-access subscription dollars. Do they see a big exit coming soon? If so, what is it? And why, would Mr. Laughlin be interested in a company with a slew of cameras pointed at beaches? If you know, please let us know.

For the rest of the official word, please follow the jump. Oh, and Jeff Berg is still playing an “active roll” as Executive Chairman. If you were worried.

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Burton Opens Company Store In Denver

by The Editors on December 2, 2020

Burton Snowboard’s new 6,500 square foot retail store in Denver, Colorado puts the company right where it will want to be when this whole COVID retail dilemma is over. The new shop is located at 2649 Walnut Street in the “RiNo Arts District.”

“We’ve been carefully planning and building our Denver store for years now, and it was so exciting to finally open our doors to the Colorado community just in time for the holidays,” said John Lacy, CEO of Burton. “We have a number of protocols in place to help our customers shop safely at the Denver store, including reduced store occupancy, as well as social-distance friendly services like curbside pick-up and phone orders. With Colorado resorts beginning to open for the winter season, our Denver Hub will be a convenient new place to pick up gear, then head to the mountains for some fresh air, and hopefully plenty of fresh snow.”

But it’s more than a retails store. The location also features a wholesale showroom, kitchen and multi-purpose rooftop penthouse. You know, for 2024 makeout parties. For the official word from Burton, please follow the jump.

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EPOKHE Eyewear Gets Jump Start

by The Editors on December 1, 2020

EPOKHE, the eyewear brand founded by Kai Neville, Dion Agius, and Mitch Coleborn is getting a little business jump in the form of former Oakley players Paul Higgins and Campbell North and Nathan McGregor CFO of Aizer Group.

Alongside Dion and Kai, other Epokhe shareholders joining the new entity are Mitch Coleborn, Jack Freestone, Taj Burrow, Chippa Wilson and Creed McTaggart. Founder and Design Director, Dion Agius, stated that “we are all so happy to have found partners with such extensive commercial wisdom and eyewear industry experience. The excitement that they have for the brand is contagious and feels like a whole new chapter for us. With this comes the back-end support for Kai and I to continue to explore the never ending creative possibilities with the brand, our surf team and our eyewear designs.”

A few good business heads, never hurts, right? For the official word from EPOKHE, please follow the jump.

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Thuy Nguyen Dies After Cancer Battle

by The Editors on November 30, 2020

The San Francisco skate scene lost a mover, uniter, and heroine on Friday, November 27, 2020 when Thuy Nguyen, the co-founder of SF Skate Club died after a 15 month battle with stomach cancer, according to a story on SF Gate. She was 41.

The SF Skate Club began as a summer camp in 2007. Nguyen, who had worked as a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District as well as a mentor at Friends of the Children in Hunters Point, noticed many of her young students had taken up an interest in skateboarding, but that there was a shortage of spaces in the city for them to safely practice their newfound skills. She left her teaching job to spearhead the organization with her husband Shawn Connolly, a longtime skateboarder who has been featured in Slap, Thrasher and Transworld magazines. Together, they purchased a 15-passenger van on Craigslist to take kids on outings to skate parks across the Bay Area.

Our thoughts are with Nguyen’s family, friends, and everyone who joined in with the SF Skate Club.

[Link: SF Gate]


Michael Schwab On Action Sports Investing

by The Editors on November 20, 2020

Michael Schwab (son of investment firm founder Charles Schwab) and managing director (and only partner) of Big Sky Partners says he began investing in what he loves at the age of 36, according to an essay posted on He calls it “adventure capitalism.”

So far his adventure capital investments have included a couple surf resorts, Kelly Slater Wave Co., Travis Rice’s Natural Selection Tour, and Meriwether Companies, the company that is planning a “wellness resort community” around Kelly’s La Quinta, California wave pool called Coral Mountain. This is his explanation:

The shift to investing in sports-related startups is unique because not a lot of large funds have touched it to date. It’s been kind of a fringe idea that has been looked at as dangerous or unapproachable, and I want to make it more mainstream. If you asked most people if they are into action/adventure sports, they would say no. I want to change that. I call what I am doing adventure capitalism. But, like any business, the risk is failure and loss of capital. I am investing alongside friends and family, and we are all passionate about the work and believe in the future of surfing, wellness, and adventure sports.

People who invest using other people’s money always seem to figure out a way to come out ahead on the deal, but seriously, we can’t imagine any of these “investments” returning much more than a few good, fake waves and some heli time. Then again, if Charles Schwab is your dad what kind of return on “adventure” investing do you really need?



The New Snowboarder’s Journal Is Here

by The Editors on November 19, 2020

Just a little reminder: don’t let the demise of corporate action sporting magazines get you down. A quality snowboard print magazine still exists. It’s hand-crafted (or at least published) in the heart of Bellingham, Washington under the long, morning shadow of Mt. Baker. That’s right, it’s The Snowboarder’s Journal. And volume 18, number 2 is shipping right now.

The new issue features an interview with Austin Smith, a profile of Kennedi Deck, a Stephan Jende gallery, plus Wyoming, Newfoundland, and much more.  to subscribe and, while you’re there, gift a subscription to someone you love.

[Link: The Snowboarder’s Journal]


A Paddle Out For Michael Tomson

by The Editors on November 19, 2020

On Saturday, November 14, 2020 a solid crew of surf world dignitaries, friends, and family gathered at Agate Street in Laguna Beach, California to celebrate the life of Gotcha co-founder and creative genius Michael Tomson. Tomson, who died from throat cancer on October 8, 2020, will be remembered for his hard charging, no apologies, grip on life in general and surfing style in particular. For more images of the paddle out from photographer  Jack English, please click the link.

[Link: Sea of Seven]


Jake Burton’s Best Business Suit

by The Editors on November 16, 2020

Jake Burton Carpenter’s final personal project was called Mine 77. With it he reportedly got to build, design, and create products for himself without thinking about the market, or Burton’s customers, or anything else that gets in the way of personal creativity. At least that’s the brand story.

Burton just dropped the latest collection (in commemoration of Jake) and it includes this rocket Gore-Tex 11-Pocket Coverall. Here’s what Timi Carpenter says about it:

We pulled out all the stops – Gore-Tex fabric, strategic durability patches, and a long list of features. Every detail has a purpose — that was always a big thing with my dad. He also loved pockets and this one has a shitload of them. 11 to be exact including one that’s insulated to protect you phone. Some pockets have magnetic closures for easy access while others are zipped for locking down your valuables.

Pull this on over a base layer and you’re good to go for all day powder blasting. No snow down the butt, no belly gap. Just all over function, warmth, and steez. Click the link to buy one before they’re gone (smalls and mediums are already sold out).

[Link: Mine 77]


Vuckovich, Nicolaus Join USA Skateboarding

by The Editors on November 12, 2020

USA Skateboarding has hired Miki Vuckovich as director of development and Andrew Nicolaus as men’s team manager. Good people for skateboarding’s Olympic push. Josh Friedberg, USA Skateboarding’s CEO agrees.

“I cannot think of a better person to fill the Director of Development role. Miki’s love for skateboarding and experience in the industry are perfect to help us further support the culture that brought skateboarding to the Olympic Games,” Friedberg said. “We had a ton of highly-qualified applicants for the Men’s Team Manager position. Andrew’s passion for helping skateboarders perform at the highest level put him over the top. I’m incredibly excited to wrap up this challenging year with these two amazing additions to our team.”

For all the details on both skaters and what they’ll be adding to USA Skateboarding, please follow the jump.

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Trevor Andrew Shows At Shanghai MAM

by The Editors on November 11, 2020

It’s actually a “duo solo” show for former snowboarder and Gucci Ghoster Trevor Andrew and Britain’s Phillip Colbert at Modern Art Museum Shanghai. Titled Neo Golden Age the show features a whole mess of bright colors, huge sculptures, large paintings, and installations of all kinds, according to a story on The Up Coming.

Neo Golden Age will be the pair’s largest solo show to date as they return to Shanghai. Utilising a wide array of forms, the maximalist space sparks a dialogue between the intertwined motifs of Colbert’s Lobster Land and Andrew’s The Real Big Deal. Packed with monumental lobsters, inflatable cacti and factory-like settings, Neo Golden Age engages with a unique, immersive presentation method, inviting viewers to step into a world of amplified pop culture and consumerism. 

Modern art, dog. Modern art. Half the genius is in the explanation, right? Check it out.

[Link: The Up Coming]