The Cleanest Line

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    2012 Dirksen Derby Snowboard Rally Race Kicks Off This Weekend at Mt. Bachelor – Follow Our Coverage

    by Gerry Lopez, photos by Abe Blair

    Dirksen_derby_1

    Josh Dirksen is a very social, genuinely friendly person with a lot of close friends all over the world. He has been a well-respected and well-traveled professional snowboarder for his entire adult life – a top competitor, free rider and now, for the past 6 years, as an event creator. The 6th Annual Dirksen Derby is Mt. Bachelor’s first snowboard event of the season and will happen this weekend, December 14-16, 2012.

    Editor's note: Follow Patagonia on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook for #dirksenderby photo updates all weekend long, as well as the Dirksen Derby Facebook page.

    The idea for it came from Josh wondering what else he could do with his snowboard career as far as giving something back to the community and having fun with his pals. A longtime contender at the well-known Mt. Baker Banked Slalom, Josh thought, with a little help from his friends and a few days of serious digging, he could create a fun rally race of some sort at his home mountain. The Derby naturally turned into a fundraising event when young, Bend local, Tyler Eklund, was tragically injured and paralyzed in an accident at the USASA Nationals in 2007.

    [Above: Josh and crew building this year's course.]

    Continue reading "2012 Dirksen Derby Snowboard Rally Race Kicks Off This Weekend at Mt. Bachelor – Follow Our Coverage" »

    Gerry Lopez Australian Tour Webisode 2

    by Patagonia Australia

    Gerry Lopez visited Australia in February making three stops along the coast for his book tour, Surf Is Where You Find It. Patagonia Australia has produced a series of three webisodes so you can listen to Gerry’s inspirational words and watch video from his trip. Check out Webisode 1 if you missed it.

    Gerry Lopez Australia Tour Webisode 1

    by Patagonia Australia

    If you missed the Patagonia Gerry Lopez Surf Is Where You Find It Australian Tour, don’t fear! Due to high demand we have produced a three-part webisode series of the tour. Watch Part 1 here, and listen to the words of wisdom and tales, new and old, from the man himself, Gerry Lopez.

    Introduced by good friend Wayne Lynch, Gerry and Wayne chatted about the yesteryear when surfing was in its infancy, the hundreds of waves they rode and sessions they shared.

    Gerry went on to reflect and comment on his book, Surf Is Where You Find It. Every word from Gerry was well thought-out, insightful and inspiring. Nothing could be said better than from the mouth of Gerry himself. If you were there, it was a life changing experience, if you weren’t you really missed it.

    This is the first of three webisodes, so make sure you don’t miss number 2, coming soon!

    What a Mess – Remembering a World before Plastic Pollution

    by Gerry Lopez

    Gerry-smile-2

    I spent a lot of time surfing a spot in Indonesia called G-Land. Remotely located on the edge of the Alas Purwo National Park, on the southeastern tip of Java, it was, relatively speaking, far from civilization. Actually, as the Indonesian sea eagle flies, it was only about 15 kilometers from the nearest village but with the terrain and local inhabitants in between, it might as well have been a million miles. Residents of that area included the Java tiger, herds of wild boars, the Indonesian wild water buffalo, the Komodo dragon, more deadly snakes than one could shake a stick at… well, I often wondered what I was doing out there with no more protection than a few surfboards.

    Patagonia surf ambassador, Gerry Lopez, shares a story today about life before single-use plastics. Read on for some rarely seen photos from the early days at G-Land and an opportunity to join the Plastic Pollution Coalition. [Above: With waves like this, who would want to do anything else all day long? Gerry at G-Land, sometime in the late '70s or early '80s. Photo: ©Don King]

    In the mid to late 1970s, we were permitted to build a temporary camp with some bamboo tree houses and a shack to cook in. The lack of human presence made the beaches – the only area we frequented – absolutely pristine. We brought our drinking water in glass bottles, the only containers available at that time. We dug latrines out in the jungle and burned all of our garbage. When the coming of the monsoons heralded the end of the surf season, we left.

    Continue reading "What a Mess – Remembering a World before Plastic Pollution" »

    Border Problems – or, What a Man Will Go Through to Film Gerry Lopez

    Gerry_Action1

    Editor's note: Fitz Cahall joins us today to share another behind-the-scenes story from the making of Tracing the Edge.

    Winter was fickle last year. Bryan and I were set to work with surfing legend Gerry Lopez. I’d already spent a day filming with him in Bend. He’d shown me every powder stash available on Mount Bachelor, his local stomping ground. We shredded six inches of light snow. I broke a helmet cam (that’s cool). We aggravated the marketing department (that was cooler). The ski patrol just shrugged off the marketing director’s radio calls (that was the best). Gerry introduced me to every liftie by name. The teenage rippers hucking rodeos asked his opinion on where to go based on the direction of the wind. An old retiree in a one piece stopped to share a joke. One thing was clear, Gerry was king. Mount Bachelor was the kingdom. If a run was great, he’d smile. If a run was littered with moguls, he’d smile and shrug, imparting some tidbit of wisdom. Like:

    “At the end every season, I make sure that I buy the patrollers a keg of beer for the end-of-the-year party. They work hard. It’s a way of thanking them … (pause) … and, you know, when they, maybe, find me some place I shouldn’t be, it’s not a big deal.”

    [Gerry Lopez, still hucking cliffs in his 60s. Photo: Fitz Cahall and Bryan Smith]

    Continue reading "Border Problems – or, What a Man Will Go Through to Film Gerry Lopez" »

    Tracing the Edge - Episode 8 with Gerry and Alex Lopez

    Whether he's on glassy Indonesian waves or fresh Bachelor powder, 61-year-old Gerry Lopez understands the ins and outs of carving. How did the Pipeline master end up landlocked in Oregons high dessert? It's a family thing.

    The next episode of Tracing the Edge revists Colin Haley and will air on September 22. To catch up on the series, visit patagonia.com/tracingtheedge.

    [With thanks to Bryan Smith and Fitz Cahall.]

    A Look Back at the Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo

    The Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo came to the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Saturday May 16 & Sunday May 17, 2009. Patagonia and Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD) were on hand for the festivities. Here's a look back at the show.

    [Video shot and edited by Tim Davis]

    More photos and video after the jump.

    Continue reading "A Look Back at the Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo" »

    Gerry Lopez Shares the History Behind our Cotton Board Shorts

    by Gerry Lopez

    Patagonia_cotton_board_shorts If you've browsed the men's board shorts collection on Patagonia.com, you've no doubt noticed, and probably wondered about, the Men's Cotton Board Shorts. Gerry Lopez gives us some background on these very unique (especially in today's market) surf shorts:

    Our board shorts line has a new addition with a long history. The Patagonia Cotton Board Shorts, or Palaka shorts as they were originally known, come with a special heritage in not only the surf world but old Hawaii as well.

    When I started surfing in the late 1950s, Palaka shorts were one of the earliest fashion statements of an emerging surf culture. Surf shorts were a hard thing to come by back then, none were available commercially. Surfers in the know would go to specialty Japanese tailor shops like Take’s in Waikiki or H. Miura’s in Haleiwa to order a pair of custom fitted shorts. More often than not, the material of choice would be Palaka cotton. One of the reasons for choosing this print was because many of the best surfers in Hawaii already were wearing it. But also because it was a sturdy fabric that was comfortable after several washings and would last through many years of hard use. It must be remembered that surfers of that period wore their shorts all day, every day, every month throughout the year. These shorts, quite literally, were lived in.

    Continue reading "Gerry Lopez Shares the History Behind our Cotton Board Shorts" »

    The Day Aloha Returned

    Sc_staff_alex_tray_kgerry_ltim_e508 Ray King, the manager of Patagonia Santa Cruz, sent the following dispatch from Gerry Lopez's book tour:

    Not since 1969 had the Aloha visited Santa Cruz California. True, there are bits and pieces of it floating around, but true and pure Aloha has been vastly missing. It was May 3rd, 2008 on a clear blue day with a nice little two to four foot south swell. The day had taken some string pulling to accomplish but it was now happening. The venue was set at UCSC’s media center; books and tickets were being sold at the Patagonia store, and the UCSC bookstore. The money from the ticket sales ($5 each) was going to the Ride a Wave foundation and the UCSC Recreation Department Scholarship Fund. The day’s events were scheduled and it was go time. Something was in the air: Aloha. Gerry Lopez was in Santa Cruz on a book signing tour for his new book, Surf is Where You Find It.

    [Some of the staff from Pat. Santa Cruz pose with the man (L to R): Alex, Ray, Gerry and Tim.]

    The coconut wireless was buzzing as many of the town’s ambassadors of surfing, forgotten friends, worshipers, and self appointed mayors started to gather around the return of their king. I got the phone call from Gerry, “were about four miles from the beach, meet us there.” By the time I got there a small and very happy crowd had gathered. Most of this crew was with Gerry in one way or another with their Aloha flowing. As we chatted, surfers from all walks of life started to approach Gerry, most he knew from their visits to Hawaii. As the sun beat down and the temperature rose we knew it was time to hit the water. Gerry and his buddies were using SUPs (stand-up paddleboards) but I opted for my trusty 10’4” noserider. The place we surfed is fairly “private” but the line-up was not. In an attempt to avoid the crowd we decided to paddle in between two spots and found ourselves on a nice rolling point-like wave. It was glassy and consistent with two to four foot waves but, of course, some bigger sets came in to Gerry.

    Continue reading "The Day Aloha Returned" »

    Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland - Talkin' Pipe Pt. 6

    The Talkin' Pipe video series concludes with Gerry and Jock riffing on Kelly Slater and Backdoor. If you're new to the series, visit the Talkin' Pipe page at Patagonia.com to watch parts 1 - 5. And while you're there, consider picking up a copy of Gerry's new book Surf Is Where You Find It.

    Gerry Lopez book Sadly, this is the last video in the series. Our thanks go out once again to Devon Howard and the crew at Patagonia's Cardiff Surf Shop for hosting the event and sharing this footage. To get on their event mailing list, contact STORE_CARDIFF@patagonia.com. Special thanks as well to Gerry and Jock for making the trek to Cardiff, and to Jeff Divine and Surfer Magazine for the amazing photos.

    [Big shoutout to Amy Williamson for filming the event. Thanks Amy! Sorry for the typo in the credits.]

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