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W E L C O M E R V C A . C O M














No. 131 Editor-in-Chief




Creative Director


Art Editor


Snow Editor


Music Editor




C O NTRIB UTING P H OTOGRAP H ERS JASON KENWORTHY, DOMINIC PETRUZZI, DANIEL RUSSO, TOBY OGDEN, TOM CAREY, BRIAN BEILMANN, JACK COLEMAN, ANDREW MAPSTONE, ADAM MORAN, DAVE NELSON, PAT EICHSTAEDT, JULIEN LECORPS, RYAN BOYES, ZACH HOOPER, TIM PEARE, MICHAEL LALLANDE, BOB PLUMB, PETER MORNING, BRYCE KANIGHTS, ARTO SARRI, ANTHONY ACOSTA, CAMERON STRAND, BRIAN FICK, DEVILLE NUNNS, GAGE THOMPSON, DEREK BAHN, TOM COZAD, BRUCE BEACH, ROBBIE CRAWFORD, RYAN DONAHUE, JOE FOSTER, SEAN SULLIVAN, STAN SIEVERS, CHRIS LOMENZO CONTRIB UTORS WILLIE MARSHALL, DANIEL RUSSO, JASON ARNOLD, GREG ESCALANTE, NATHAN SPOOR, TOM CAREY, TRAVIS MILLARD, DAVID CHOE, KAI GARCIA, MICKEY NEILSEN, PETER TOWNEND, HAMILTON ENDO, TAWNYA SCHULTZ, MIKE MURCIANO, GEOFF SHIVELY, CASEY HOLLAND, STEVE STRATTON, ROBBIE SELL, ANDREW MILLER, PAT TOWERSEY, RICHIE OLIVARES, ERIC MEYERS, KELLY SHANNON, JP OLSON, BRUCE BEACH, BONES Disclaimer: Although all best efforts are made to avoid the same, we reserve the right to publish unintentional mistakes and/or factual errors which may occur on a monthly basis. No responsibility is assumed by the publishers for unsolicited materials/articles/letters/ advertising and all submissions will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright and/or appropriate licensing purposes subject to Blisss’ right to edit and comment editorially. The views and opinions expressed in this magazine reflect the opinions of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of the publisher or the editorial team. Blisss Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising matter which may reflect negatively on the integrity of the magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form [print or electronic] without prior written consent from the publisher.

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ISSUE No. 131

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The boys and girls at Sanuk have just released their latest and greatest sandal, or is it a shoe, the Yoga Sling Cruz. This half-sandal half-shoe hybrid is a must-have for any Yogi or beach dwelling individual and comes in a variety of colors. It’s perfect for the everyday, casual lifestyle and the footbed is actually made from real yoga mats. Find your zen, slip a pair on and relax as your feet enjoy. Namaste Sanuk!


The first teaser for the movie Andy Irons: Kissed By God was released by Teton Gravity Research International back in October of 2016 via their Kickstarter campaign. The world premiere was nearly 18 months later and now the film tour is well underway. It’s gotten 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoe so it’s safe to say this is one of the more impactful films ever created by the surf industry. But this isn’t your typical “surfer movie,” but a film about bipolar disorder and opioid addiction seen through the life of three-time world champion Andy Irons. The film features in-depth interviews with Andy’s brother Bruce Irons, wife Lindy Irons, Joel Parkinson, Nathan Fletcher, Sunny Garcia and his fiercest rival, Kelly Slater. It’s the unfiltered, heart-filled, emotional truth of the highs and lows and the real life struggle that was the day-to-day of the Andy Irons. If you have yet to see the movie, we highly recommend it, but expect to leave with more than a few tears shed. Future tour dates can be found at www.


Hurley and Pendleton Woolen Mills have joined forces on collaboration to celebrate and preserve America’s National Parks. The collections feature boardshorts, tees, tanks, hats and of course the staple Pendleton blanket. Inspiration and design for the collection come from four of our countries most beautiful natural resources: Glacier’s National Park, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. It’s exactly what you’d expect from anything that either Hurley or Pendleton do – with style and comfort and at an affordable price. A portion of proceeds from the collection will be donated to the National Park Foundation, ensuring these wonders to be protected and enjoyed long after we’re gone.


If you’ve ever tried to lift your kid up off the front of your surfboard while in the water, chances are that you are well aware of the “slippery fish” syndrome (the name speak for itself). The clever folks behind SafeGrom have the ultimate solution. It comes in the way of a custom, cleverly designed PFD (personal floatation device) that has four strategically placed safety harnesses, making it much easier to lift your child to his feet. Available now in blue, carbon fiber or bright orange, the StokeVest also incorporates matte reflective properties and a built in safety whistle. But they’re just not all about the life jacket as they make a variety of useful products for your child: organic sunblock, changing ponchos, backpacks, hats, sunglasses and a stingray first aid kit. Get yours direct at or ask for it at your local shop.


I met Kyle Parsons from Indosole several years back when he wandered into our office telling us about a recent trip to Bali and the recycled flip flops he purchased that were made from old motorbike tires. From that trip, and after viewing first-hand the amount of trash and litter on the beaches of Bali, and knowing that he could something about it, Indosole was born. They are now a Certified B Corporation, meeting the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, all the while creating comfortable and fashion-forward footwear from recycled tires. They have set forth a quest to save one million tires from negatively impacting our environment, so next time your shopping for shoes or sandals do planet Earth a solid and get yourself a pair of Indosole.


Who ever thought anyone could reinvent the wheel? But that’s exactly what has happened when inventor David Patrick created the Shark Wheel. The Shark Wheel is a hybrid of a sphere and cube taking on the properties of both shapes while in motion. The science behind the wheel is nothing short of amazing with interlocking rings based on sine wave patterns, creating a thinner contact patch compared to a conventional wheel of the same width. Though its uses are endless, it has really attracted the attention of the skate and longboard skate world. Noticing this, the Shark Wheel team recently hired industry veterans Abraham Paskowitz (Brand Manager) and Mike Wetzel (VP of Sales) to spearhead their skate sector of business. With more than 60 years experience between the two of them, expect to see more and more of the Shark Wheel in the near future.














I feel like it’s nearly every week that we’re getting an email from the Slowtide crew announcing a new collaboration. And while the possibilities seem endless for towel company, we gotta credit them for collaboration work that’s always catching our eye. Latest to their ever-growing list is the Cabarita Bloom. They partnered with style master and air-extraordinaire Chippa Wilson for this vintage-inspired print with a touch of checkerboard. Everyone in the water needs a towel, why not get one that looks good, and with the options available on we’re sure there’s something for everyone.


Newport’s surf phenom turned super coach Dave Post paid us a little visit this past month and got us up to speed on his wife’s, Liz Post, latest venture, Tava Suncreen. Family owned and operator, they saw a need for sun care products made naturally and with environmentally mindful practices. They’re sourcing high-grade natural and organic oils, butters, plant extract and beeswax making safe mineral sunscreen, lip balms and other personal care products. Available at finer retailers and online, support the Post family while protecting your face and feel good about the environment all at the same time.


A blast from the past, we just got wind that one of our all-time favorite bands, The Line, will be performing Saturday, July 28th, up in Big Bear at the “Crafts N Cranks” festival. It’s been over 15 years since The Line has performed publicly so this will be something special for all their fans. “Crafts N Cranks” is a 2-day mountain bike extravaganza – part bike race, part beer festival with live music, carnival rides and tons of other festivities for all ages. The best part about this is that it’s completely free – all you gotta do is show up and get ready for a good time. For the adults there are over 40 craft beers on tap for tasting and for the kiddos there’s a zip line, wall climbing, Quick Jump, and Eurobungy. The Line takes the stage at 4:15pm followed a little later by Guttermouth at 6:45pm and then Red Bull premiers their there movie North of the Nightfall to round out the night.


Vans has partnered up with surf team rider Dane Reynolds and have just released an all-new surf lifestyle model named Paradoxxx. Anyone that knows Dane, knows he likes to push around on his skater and this, combined with some throwback Vans aesthetics, was the design inspiration for this model. Cool and collective as he is, the Paradoxxx incorporates dark denim suede and canvas uppers and incorporates the original Vans Flying V logo on the sides as well as a vintage Off The Wall label on the tongue.


There’s always been an ongoing inner-office argument about Basquiat and his “art.” Someone in our office claims it’s mere scribblings but collectors and a whopping $45.3 million dollars attest otherwise. That was the price Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Flexible (1984), sold for in Midtown New York’s Phillips auction this past month. I don’t know about you but that’s one heck of price tag – looks like we’re all in the wrong industry.


We here at BL!SSS are big fans of portability – surf trips, camping, boat missions… whatever. And that’s exactly why the nCamp Wood Burning Stove grabbed our attention. When packed up it sits at only 1.5 inches high and 9 inches wide, perfect size for throwing in your bag on the go. It utilizes twigs for fuel (but can also use other sources) and boils water in roughly three minutes, everything you need for a quick-strike mission. Get yours at – you won’t be disappointed.













Sundays Airlite // $59.95

Hyperfreak Ruins // $55


Rockies // $54.95


Sea Leg // $59.95



Phantom Holy Toledo // $65

Highline Samurai // $55


Savage Fuzed // $70


Mixed Scallop // $64.50

Waveline Trunk // $62

Lured // $55

Tandem // $50

Desert Storm // $79.95





Bruce Warp Pro // $95

Tropical Maui 20” // $59.95

Ariel View Performance // $56

Burch Stoneys // $62



Peeta, also known as Manuel Di Rita, is a graffiti artist since 1993 currently living in Venice. He is a member of the EAD crew (Padova, Italy), FX and RWK crews (New York City) and has participated, over the years, in jams, festivals and art shows all around the world. His work explores the potential of sculptural lettering, both in painting and in sculpture. To see more of Peeta art go What follows below is a self-bio describing the transition and importance of sculptural lettering. “In my pictorial, sculptural and mural compositions my geometrical shapes act as they interact with the surrounding environment. In particular, when painting on walls, I have always been aiming to create a dialogue with the structural and cultural parameters of the surrounding context, either architectural or not. Initially, my works only realized the sculptural quality of individual letters, namely the ones that spelled out my own moniker “Peeta.” Progressively, the fusion between traditional lettering and three-dimensional style has given life to a unique kind of visual rhythm. Today, through my anamorphic works I redesign the volumes of any kind of surface involved, thus causing with my paintings a temporary interruption of normality by altering the perception of familiar contexts and by so raising a different understanding of spaces and, consequently, of reality on a whole. Metaphorically, I want to neutralize preconceptions and urging the emergence of new perspectives. Anamorphism totally embodies the intent, always pivotal in my production, to reveal the deceptiveness of human perception, the fallacy of narrow and fixed points of view through visual tricks which, proceeding from the attempt to confer a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, ultimately reveal their will to deceive. Due to my turn towards anamorphic painting, I choose to transform also my traditional shapes in order to let them interplay with standard modules of architectonic structures, changing them from irregular and smooth to geometrical solids. Constantly running in parallel with my mural and painting activity, the role of sculpture comes to be essential for my overall production as it represents for me a direct contact with three-dimensionality in order to understand the rules of light and shadows and to reproduce them.”






This month we interviewed Patrick Gonzales, who lives and works in Dijon, France. We discovered his artwork on one of our favorite websites,, via their artist submissions. When we reached out to Patrick Gonzales we really didn’t know that much about him or his art. To find out what you are looking at read the interview. Many thanks, to BOOOOOOOM and Patrick Gonzales. To be honest I did not realize that your art was digital when I was first looking at it, I assumed they were drawings. We rarely feature digital art; can you tell us about your artistic process and how you got in to it? In 1998 I did graphic design training where I discovered digital. Digital art is a revolution, it is still in its infancy and of course it will not replace painting or photography. It is a new medium, new possibilities to express itself. My work is a mix of photography and digital painting done with a graphic tablet. Did your interest and inclination for art begin at an early age? Yes, exactly at 14 years old I started to be interested in art, drawing, art history and oil painting. That was about 20 years ago.



ClichĂŠ artist question, but where do you get inspiration from? For this series, it is vague memory of my childhood, a return to the source where I lived in the countryside close to nature. I also admire the forests of Douanier Rousseau, and his naivety describes a feeling of abandonment of our society today, which is in opposition to nature. The interdependence between man and nature is the driving force of my work. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions, where can people check more of your art? My website, or Instagram, @patrick__gonzales.



BLISSS MAGAZINE // ISSUE NO. 131 photographer • michael townsend • @michaeltownsend model • jasmine villanueva • @jasminevilll agency • next models la • @nextmodels




Tom Schaar - stalefish



Sao Paulo was the place to be during the 1st and 2nd days of June as Vans held the very first Vans Park Series in Brazil with a custom built-to-spec park for the contest. The Cândido Portinari Park, located at the east zone of São Paulo city, played host the to the brand new skatepark, which was the stage for grinds, airs and so much more. We were there firsthand to witness the carnage and if you couldn’t be with us, this is what we saw at stop number one of 2018 Vans Park Series. It’s important to mention that Vans has done a sick job, the park itself is South America’s first-and-only VPS-certified park terrain course, built and donated by Vans. Inside the park, extremely high level of skateboarding was going down while outside the park there were workshops, giveaways, food and drink, and even a mini-ramp for all the locals to skate. The girl’s skating was up first and the girls were absolutely killing it. Sakura Yosozumi, from Japan, took the first place showcasing a technical style, you could tell she has spent a long time training in mini-ramps doing coping tricks. Her switch blunt was flawless. In second place, Yndi Asp surprised everybody not only by her skills but her perseverance, as she hit her head bailing right before the finals. It wasn’t enough to stop Yndi. Brighton Zeuner, at just 14 years old, ended up in 3rd place with a lot of style and flow. Another crowd pleaser was Nora Vasconcellos, always charismatic and the only one to flip on the course and the only one able to fakie grind over the love seat – she’s nuts. And on to the men’s… Luiz Francisco, aka Little Luiz, was the sensation of the contest. His runs were energetic and he owns the highest boneless in the 45. The kid could take his board up to his chest, making the crowd go crazy. He didn’t made to the top three, but for the local crowd, he was the winner. First place went to Tom Schaar, second to Pedro Barros and third for Tristan Rennie. It was an event for the record book and looking forward to many more in the future. The VPS Pro Tour spans across five countries, on five continents, over six months and culminates with the official Vans Park Series World Championships, to be held later this year in China. Learn more about the Vans Park Series by visiting



left to right, top to bottom: Chris Russell, Tristian Rennie, Chris Russell, Alex Sorgente - stalefish, Collin Graham, Roman Babich - backside smith grind, Corey Juneau - frontside blunt



left to right: Pedro Barros, Luis Francisco, Trey woods - heel flip indy, Sakura Yosozumi, Pedro Barros & Vinicius Kakinho





interview by josh love

Tal grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington,

where an obsession with skateboarding sparked a desire to photograph it. He purchased his first Nikon film camera in his early twenties and began documenting the many activities in which he took interest. While many professionals in the world of action sports can become calloused after years of involvement, Tal radiates pure optimism and carries a sense of genuine curiosity for everything and everyone around him.



PREVIOUS SPREAD: chase josey - tailpress. ABOVE: jess mudgett - steel bridge kick flip. RIGHT: austin thongvivong - backside flip. FAR RIGHT: josh redman - jaws.



You started taking photography seriously about fifteen years ago. With everything dramatically switching to digital these days, do you think it would spark your interest if you were just now getting into it? Yeah, I think so. As long as I was able to see passed all the digital dumping grounds and know that there are more uses for images than content for a social media account. I try to make as much physical stuff as I can, that is a big thing for me. That was the big push for the [Layers] art show we did, to make physical stuff. It’s not always convenient to make prints so it’s good to have a push to make something physical. Like something that won’t just die when a hard drive dies. It’s good to have stuff to put on the wall or on the fridge, or to send to somebody or throw on the floor. Whatever you want to do, as long as it’s there it’s better than only existing on a glowing screen. I’m really into craft and making stuff by hand, I was just doing some prints the other day, sizing them for these frames that my friend John Morgan made out of recycled skateboards. He cut them thin and made picture frames out of them, I made a bunch of prints to go in them and we’re going to pour some epoxy over them to make them solid pieces. It’s cool to do stuff like that.

Does anything change about your work when you are learning to shoot something new? I think you can learn or take influence from any particular activity and take it to another. I think that’s when you get some more interesting stuff. All those different activities have their own skills that you learn, basically from figuring out how to deal with problems that you have in the environments, you know? Like snowboarding can be tough, especially in backcountry, because you can’t just walk around and look at every possible angle like I will at a skate spot. If you’re in a good amount of powder it’s not easy to move in, and I don’t ever want to walk much closer than where I might shoot from because I don’t want to put footprints in the shot, so I am always kind of starting from the outskirts.

“It’s good to have stuff to put on the wall or on the fridge, or to send to somebody, or throw on the floor.”

You shoot a lot of different things, I’m curious about the evolution of your work. How did you end up shooting such a wide range of activities and products? I’ve taken the opportunities I’ve had to shoot a variety of things, a lot of that has been based on the locations I’ve lived. Obviously, being from a place where we were skating a lot, that’s something that I gravitated toward shooting. When I moved to Idaho I had this whole new world in front of me, where in the winter there was a lot of skiing and snowboarding that I was doing, and in the summer mountain biking was huge, so a few years down the line I got into that as well. When I had the chance to shoot different things I tried it. And I still do. I try to take opportunities I get and learn from shooting different kinds of things. If there’s something I think I can learn from, I do it.

That’s something I would have never even thought about. I’m a skateboarder and have little experience snowboarding, I can’t really imagine what it would be like going backcountry snowboarding. What does the process look like when finding spots and getting to the top of the mountain? A lot of what I’ve done is snowmobile access. So we’d ride snowmobiles out and find spots that were good for jumps or find lines that people want to ride. I have also done a bit of touring, so you’re on a split-board that comes apart into skis, or approach skis that have skins on them and you’re able to climb in the snow better. So there’s human-powered and snowmobile-powered routes you can go. Sometimes you use both in the same day, take the snowmobile out somewhere and then tour up to where you’re trying to get to.

At what point did you realize that you could do this full-time? While I was getting smaller magazine editorial kind of jobs I was working construction. I definitely didn’t jump headfirst into this like, “I’m going to be a photographer and it’s all going to work out.” It was a really slow build to get to a point where I was making a living as a photographer. I worked other jobs longer than I needed to. I worked in a shop repairing and tuning snowboards at night. I would be out all day shooting snowboarding and then go in and tune snowboards. There wasn’t really a scary leap. I’ve always lived below my means so I don’t remember there being a big stress making that jump. The bigger burden was trying to build up the gear I needed and keep it current because digital technology is constantly refreshing. How long ago were you able to switch to full-time? Probably six or seven years ago.



“There’s so much to explore, and so much that I want to explore that I haven’t.” Are there any particular photographers that influenced the way you shoot? Tons. I really liked the people that were doing something different. If you are used to looking at skateboarding a lot, and then you start looking outside of skateboarding photography—both present and in the past—you’ll see so much that will open your eyes to different possibilities and different ways that you can shoot, which I think is really cool. And I think I have always tried to pull inspiration from things outside of the activities that I shoot. Are you still equally as excited and curious about shooting as you were when you first started? Yeah! Probably even more now. There’s so much you can learn and things you can try. You can try different formats of cameras, or different lighting techniques, or different films. There’s so much to explore, and so much that I want to explore that I haven’t. How much time do you spend away from home every year? I always seem to be busy in winter. I’d say a third of the year is a good guess. I didn’t travel much growing up. Even in my early-mid twenties I didn’t go to any new places besides the west coast. All of this travel is a new experience to me, and a lot of the places I go I have never been to before, which is super cool. Every place that I get to go to that I haven’t been is a big plus. Was traveling ever a goal for you when you were younger? When I figured out that photographers got to travel it was a big motivation to stick with it and get to a point where people will have you on trips.



You document quite a bit of our generation’s interests. Do you feel like a lot of the things you shoot tell a story about our time period? Yeah, at least about us and the stuff that we are doing. I’ve always liked doing stories in a journalistic way, I like doing editorials. I think sometimes just being in different places gives you a chance to make really good images. I haven’t done much of that in the last couple years because I’ve been busy with commercial stuff. How do you feel about the future of photography and its role in a digital society? I think about a lot of classic photography, like Magnum photographers and photojournalists. I feel like that stuff is really important and the types of cameras and films give certain looks to time periods. It’s all very historical. I wonder what people will look back on from this generation. There is going to be so much bullshit with people taking pictures and video of every second of their lives. Where is all this going to go? And what will end up being important? It’ll be really interesting to see what we hold on to and how we use these images.

THIS PAGE - TOP: chase josey - crail. ABOVE LEFT: david gravette. ABOVE RIGHT: q man - burnside. OPPOSITE PAGE: kevin kowalski - loop grind.







WE RECENTLY SENT LONG TIME BL!SSS MAG CORRESPONDENT JASON KENWORTHY DOWN TO MAINLAND MEXICO TO TRACK DOWN ONE OF THE MOST MYSTERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS ON THE PLANET, SACRIFICIAL LAMB. IT WASN’T HARD FOR KENWORTHY TO FIND HIM, KNOWING HE WOULD BE IN ONE OF TWO PLACES, EITHER STANDING TALL IN A GIANT BEACH BREAK BARREL, OR SITTING ON THE SHOULDER OF A BOMB SHOOTING PHOTOS FROM HIS SKI. NOT ONLY DOES HE CAPTURE SOME OF THE BEST BARREL SHOTS AROUND, HE ALSO MANAGES TO SPEND MORE TIME IN THE BARREL THAN ANY PHOTOGRAPHER WE KNOW. HERE IS WHAT KENWORTHY WAS ABLE TO GET OUT OF HIM. These photos are amazing, but are you a better tube rider or photographer? Definitely know how to tube ride better than I know how to use a camera, hahaha! Who have you learned the most about photography and the industry from? Definitely Jason “Don Worthio” Kenworthy, a master at his craft and he can kinda play Ping-Pong… kinda. Who’s the Sea Wolf and is he the most tubed human alive? Greg Russ, and yes, Sea Wolf is the most barreled man on the planet. Tell me about the wave? Is it user friendly? It’s a pounding beach break and can be user friendly from time-to-time. Usually, it’s very demanding and can be unforgiving. Boards don’t last very long and serious injury is always a concern.



What kinda people come down there and succeed? Who comes down and crumbles? All walks of life show up here, definitely an international surf destination, cheap for the most part if you’re willing to rough it. Limited as far as girlfriend, wife, friendly accommodations but there are a few if you ask around. Without someone to change their diapers, spineless jellyfish or crybabies will not last. Tell me about Brian Conley and the movies you guys made together? What’s he up to now? He pretty much started to POV thing. Conley kills it barrel riding, spearfishing and fishing. He’s always improving his program and keeps the ball rolling. I had fun and learned some cool and useful surf photography techniques helping him on some of his movies. Conley is for sure one the reasons the POV movement is where it’s at today, he mastered it and motivated everyone who’d ever seen his movies clips to follow and learn from his expertise. GoPro doesn’t sponsor him, WTF?

“Without someone to change their diapers, spineless jellyfish or crybabies will not last.” Tell us about some of the injuries you and the crew have gotten while surfing. We’ve all been bruised and banged up pretty good over the years down here. From broken legs, necks, shoulders, lacerations, punctures and knockout blows to the head, blown out knees and separated ribs are all on the list of injuries shared by myself and my friends down here. As with every consistent heavy wave, you are always gonna get beat downs.

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Brain Conley in another cathedral. THIS SPREAD - TOP LEFT: Bruce Irons - gutter ball. LOWER LEFT: Darrell Goodrum on a howling offshore wall. TOP RIGHTT: Unknown soldier coming around the corner. BOTTOM RIGHT: Winter times blues.



“I watched Jamie O’Brien pack a proper 10-foot pit going switch on a left, that was impressive.” Is life on land more dangerous than in the water? Why? Depending on the swell and your talent level, life can be more dangerous on land than in the water. Usually more dangerous on land but if you don’t know what you’re doing in the water you can get smoked. You guys are hardcore, what made you drop everything and move there? Living outside the US is challenging sometimes but having consistent warm water barrels makes it all worth it. Who are the top three surfers ever down there? Sea Wolf, Conley, Todd Morcom and Bruce Irons. I saw Josh Kerr put on a clinic one time down here, pretty impressive.

What is the best tube you have ever seen down there? I watched Jamie O’Brien pack a proper 10-foot pit going switch on a left, that was impressive. I’ve witnessed so many barrels I couldn’t say which one is the best ever, but a few stick out in my mind. Must be nice living there, it’s so cheap to live, right? Some things are cheap compared to the US and others are more expensive, it kind of balances out. It also depends on your living situation. Housing is definitely cheaper on average than most of the US. What do your fellow countryman think about the wall? Waste of time and money.



OPPOSITE PAGE - TOP LEFT: Todd Morcom locked into a perfect drainer. BOTTOM LEFT: Carlos Hernandez - dream wave. BOTTOM RIGHT: Greg Olynger- definition of a nugget. THIS PAGE: Forest Morrow loving life.



interview by liz rice mccray

UK contemporary artist Paul Insect’s images combine sharpedge with sleek modernism, surreal renderings and playful absurdism in colorfully drenched canvases, alluring the viewers eyes to focus and take a deeper look at his take on classic portraiture. Since the 1990’s Paul Insect mysteriously started making his mark with witty stencils and street art… a living legend amongst the London art circles, his reputation grew internationally when in 2007 Insect’s solo exhibition Bullion, at London’s Lazarides Gallery, was purchased entirely by artist Damien Hirst just days before it opened. Damien Hirst later said when interviewed, “I can’t pretend I’m not in love with Paul Insect a little bit – but not in a gay way.” We must say when researching and taking in all of Paul Insects work we also felt the love for his artistry and declaring it; we love his paintings, his collaborative puppetry with creative partner Bäst and their performance short videos found on social media @paulinsect are breaking bounds of traditional puppetry. These puppet shows have become their own animals and have also been admired by Banksy and were included in Banksy’s dystopia installation Dismaland. Paul Insect’s art continues to evolve in all shapes, mediums and sizes and we are excited to watch it. Many thanks, Paul Insect, for your mark in the art world and for taking the time to answer our questions.







A question that you probably always get asked [some artists like it, and some find it repetitive], can you tell us where you draw inspiration from? And what are some of your consistent influences? People, different places and cities around the world, other peoples’ junk, I try to draw inspiration from everything around me, 40 years plus of influences.

My favorite question to ask, will you please describe where you are right now? This way everyone reading along can imagine the setting. It’s 8:30 a.m. in London, I’ve just walked my daughter to school, and I am now sat in my studio. I was in LA a few weeks ago and have just returned from five days in Athens. Now that we have a visual of your location, we must inform our readers that you prefer to stay hidden physically? Will you elaborate? I suppose I like my work to speak for itself, I see myself as just an object in the middle of all of that. I’ve never been one for selfies, unless it’s done in an artistic way, which then usually means you can’t see me. I work with other people who also like not to be known; it just makes life easier and being at your own openings with no one knowing who you are is great. Some people yearn fame; I just yearn creativity and production. When asked, “What do you do?” how do you answer? “I’m a painter…” “and decorator,” depending who it is. It can get too complicated if I start talking about puppets. And even more complicated when that person tells me they need someone to re-decorate their bathroom. Haha, so would you call yourself a multimedia artist? How would you explain your art forms and what materials do you mainly work with? Maybe. I enthusiastically like utilizing as many tools at my disposal to get an idea made. I don’t work with assistances, but I do work with film, music, performance, video and sculptural work using traditional materials like bronze to everyday rubbish found on the street to make the puppets. Combining different elements, rather like a paper montage, a Dada aesthetic. I like to see everything as art and inspiration from these side projects, or what I call them “distractions from my real work, the painting,” do filter their way back into those. So I suppose your right, yes, I could call myself a multimedia artist.

“Some people yearn fame; I just yearn creativity and production.” If you have to put to words the subjects in your paintings, what would you say? People looking for a better future. Will you tell us about your puppet collaboration with creative partner Bäst? The puppets with Bäst evolved from wanting to work on something together, but we did not want to do the typical thing of making a collaborative painting. Bäst was in London five years ago and we were talking about various ideas, the topic of puppets came up as I had a couple of tiny marionette in the studio I had bought from a street seller in Mexico City. By the end of the day he had started to build a head and I was building some arms and legs. The puppets are very much influenced by the street. They are only built with rubbish found on the street, which are then turned into people or objects we may have seen on the street. Instagram was a platform to show them quickly, with our only limitation being that the puppet had to be built and the film made in a day. That’s why some are more crap that others.

You are a legend and it’s an honor to interview you. The scope of your work is so very impressive, spanning decades. Can you tell us a little bit about your early beginnings as an artist? Legend is a big word. I’m not sure I would call myself that, and I don’t think I’ve been called that before, but thanks though! I did various things before I moved to London, my first job was with a small design group, I would use color copies, airbrushing and then paintbox computers to help design video cover sleeves for UK releases (Basic Instinct, Jacobs Ladder, etc.) all pre Mac/Photoshop. I did that for a few years then got a studio on the unpopulated street back then “Brick Lane” and setup “Insect” with another guy. It was an umbrella group making club flyers, record sleeves and at the same time working on the street. The main turn would have been when I started working with POW around 2003/4 after having an art show at a bar “Dreambags and Jaguar Shoes” in Shoreditch. Banksy had seen my street work/show and got in touch about making some work for POW. Some years later I had my first solo show with Lazarides at his gallery in Soho and from then I suppose I have been fully focused on my art.

I believe people, places and things mold us into the person we are at present time. What relationships/environments do you credit most in this moment to who you are? There are too many things that have changed me over the years to put down. It’s been 27 years since I moved to the East end of London, a place which has dramatically changed in that time, and has hugely inspired me and put me where I am now. London is an ever-changing city, a city that continually amazes. The many countries I have visited around the world are also key influences – New York to Palestine being a major moment.



Was it a shock when Damien Hirst purchased your entire solo show Bullion exhibition at London’s Lazarides Gallery days before it opened? That’s pretty legendary. It was a bit of a blur. It was my first gallery show and I tend not to think about it, as it was so long ago. Damien Hirst has always been a strong supporter of the emerging arts and new artists for many years before me. He is a big collector of art, and he in his own way, gave me a moment of freedom to develop. Is there a project that sticks out in your memory as pivotal to launching your career as a worldrenowned artist? Joining Instagram. (The only social media platform I use, and I don’t really use it that much.) Will you please tell us about some of your latest projects? I’m exhibiting at the Roger Gastman curated show “Beyond the Streets,” currently open in L.A. and I have a new screen print releasing via @avant_arte. I’m am just starting work on some new paintings for a solo show in Europe with my gallery “Allouche” early next year. I am making a small bronze edition with Bäst and various other projects going on, one being, helping my friend Jason with his project It’s a one-stop place where you can have your dead friend’s or relative’s ashes pressed into a record.



“I collect rubbish, can’t get enough of it. My home and studio currently look like a junk shop.” Wow, I need one of those records. Tell us, what kind of art do you like? Do you collect anything in particular? I like the art of nature. There is nothing better than a large electrical storm, tropical forest or an ant’s nest. I collect rubbish, can’t get enough of it. My home and studio currently look like a junk shop. Not to be depressing, but when it is all said in done, how would you like to be remembered? I feel I’ve not reached that Matisse on his deathbed moment creating his best work; I can only look toward what’s coming next. I doubt I will be remembered in a hundred years time, we can just about remember what happened yesterday, and in a hundred years time all people will be talking about is space travel, maybe air pollution and trips to the moon. If I am still remembered, then I would like to be remembered for maybe having brought some laughter and color into peoples’ lives.

Any last words, shout-outs, declaration of love or hate? Always love, don’t be hating. Thank you so much Paul for taking the time to answer our questions, I really enjoyed interviewing you.





I had been shooting with Judd for a few days when a friend from San Diego sent me a text, “You’re shooting with Judd? I see him out surfing and at the skatepark all the time, I think he is the best all around board rider I have ever seen.” Judd was 16 when we were traveling in Switzerland together, on his first backcountry powder film trip, shooting with Absinthe Films no less. Judd is humble, funny, oozes style and is extremely talented. Sometimes the next generation of kids pull moves that shake your faith in the future of humanity, but Judd is the exact opposite. He’s the one of the few who’s up to the challenge of carrying the torch – and the future of board sports is bright.





PREVIOUS SPREAD: This is one of Judd’s first real brushstrokes on a big-mountain backcountry canvas. Invest now, because you’re looking at snowboardings next Picasso. - Champery, Switzerland THIS SPREAD - TOP LEFT: It would have been nice to have crampons on the climb to this ridge, even for me, a veteran, but this was Judd’s first backcountry summit and knife-edge ridge walk. Dont look down. -Valais, Switzerland. TOP RIGHT: James and the Giant Peach, or Judd and the Giant Budd. - Champery, Switzerland. BOTTOM LEFT: You could ride tracked out chunder from the chairlift to the jump we were going to shoot, or you could hike 10 minutes, bag a mini summit, and ride this down to the jump. Judd chose wisely. - Champery, Switzerland. BOTTOM RIGHTT: How many other 16 year olds ride the backcountry in the Alps with Absinthe films? Zero. - Valais, Switzerland



You travelled a lot this past year, where are you now and what were some of the highlights? Yeah, it was definitely a crazy year. I just got back home from a surf trip with my dad in Indonesia. Highlights for this year were riding with you guys in Switzerland as well as hitting a bunch of different places. What was the contest scene like leading up to the Olympic team? The contest scene is super fun, but those events leading up to that qualification were super hectic. It felt like we were competing for like three months straight. It was the like the middle of January and I felt like the year was already over. Red won Olympic gold and Brock got severely injured in an avalanche last winter (he’s on the mend now). All three of you were in the running for the Olympic team, when the dude on your left goes to the top of the mainstream and the dude on your right nearly looses his life, how does that make you feel? I’m super stoked for both of them. Red is an insane snowboarder and it was super sick to see him win the Olympics. As for Brock, I’m really hyped that he’s still with us. Brock is one of my longer snowboard buddies and I couldn’t imagine not being able to ride with him. Would you make another run for the Olympics? Yeah definitely, competing is a big part of my snowboarding. I really enjoy competing and I would be stoked to be able to represent my country in the next Olympics. Why did you decide to link up with Absinthe Films and get into the backcountry? Justin hit me up and I was super excited to get the opportunity to experience the filming aspect of snowboarding. I’ve been doing competitions since I was super young and really wanted to see what is was like on the filming side of things. I heard John Jackson and Justin Hoystenki on the phone with you recommending different kinds of avalanche gear, is it true you bought your first beacon right before this trip to Switzerland? I actually had bought a beacon a while back but only used it once, but I got a new one before I went to the Alps. As for the other gear, I had no idea what to bring and it was super helpful getting recommendations on stuff like that. I wanted to be as safe as possible while I was there.

What was it like showing up in the Alps that first day with Absinthe and knowing that you guys were headed straight out into the backcountry? It was an awesome experience. I landed in Zurich at like eight in the morning and we immediately went to the backcountry. I was pretty star struck as well because when I walked out Justin and Mikkel were waiting for me. Mikkel is a huge inspiration in snowboarding for me. It was super cool being able to learn tips and just be in the backcountry with him. What is the craziest trick you’ve landed on a park jump and what’s the craziest trick you’ve gotten in the backcountry? I’ve done triple corks on park jumps but the most I’ve done in the backcountry is a back seven, haha. It’s so much different out there.

“I really enjoy competing and I would be stoked to be able to represent my country in the next Olympics.”

Experience obviously plays a major role, and the fact that you can’t just take 100 laps on a powder jump, but what is it that makes jumping in the backcountry different than the park? There’s way more work that goes into hitting a powder jump than a park jump. You really want to land first or second try because you know you’re not gonna get that many try’s at it. Landing in powder is super tough too. I saw you get frustrated a few times, like moments when Mat Schaer would just stomp, stomp and stomp, and you weren’t getting clips. What was it like riding with someone who already had the backcountry on lock while you were still fresh? It was tough for me because I knew how to do those tricks but I couldn’t land them. Mat Schaer is a freak of nature; he’s a machine in the backcountry and makes it look so easy. Remember when we walked that ridge in Switzerland? It was your first time on top of a type of mountain that you really, really don’t want to fall off of. It can be scary as fuck up there, tell me about the feeling of climbing that mountain and being on top. The mountains make you feel so small. Being up there was super sick but I was really scared. It was so steep on both sides and the only time I felt comfortable was when my feet were strapped in. It’s so cool though. What do you have planned next winter? Any Goals? Any shoutouts? I think I’m just going to continue to compete and hopefully film! I really just want to continue to have fun on my snowboard. Thanks for having me!





The 20th annual retro-style surf event known as Vissla’s Cosmic Creek went down over the first weekend of June this past month. Every year we scratch our heads and wonder how the boys and girls of Vissla are going to outdo themselves for next years’ event and they somehow always seem to up the ante. With Thomas Campbell artwork adorning this years’ entire build out, it’s quite easy to say they’ve done it again. Anyone who hasn’t participated or checked out the Cosmic Creek event, it’s unlike any surf contest you’ve ever seen. The entire beach turns into a throwback an era past, where tie-dye and twin fins ruled the beach. In the event itself modern surfboards are a big no-no, as contestants must select their shred stick from a quiver of supplied single and twin fins from the 70’s and 80’s. The surfer’s really get into it as their style, techniques and maneuvers literally go back in time. This year they added a new division, the Body Surf Expression Session by DaFin, encouraging anyone and everyone to get into the water, kick around, and enjoy what Mother Nature has provided. But Vissla’s Cosmic Creek doesn’t end where the sand does, as D’Blanc once again hosted a free concert Saturday night at the Bluff Park with live music by Night Beats and TOPS. But that wasn’t the only live music; both Saturday and Sunday saw on-the-beach performances by Seacliff, The Alive and Hypnosis. But the real action was in the water and Kevin Schulz became the man of the event. He took top honors in The Performers (Pro) division as well as top honors, along with Jason Bennet, in the Creators & Innovators division. For full results and to watch a video recap, log onto

PHOTOS // JERMIAH KLEIN, PAUL NAUDE & JASON NAUDE left to right: 20th anniversary of the best contest ever held Mark Cunningham & Pat O’Connell 45 – 54 Division Corey Colapinto with a cheater five Artist Thomas Campbell Tyler Warren, smooth as butter Seacliff, most talented mini-musicians on the coast Dylan Graves oozes 70’s era Creators & Innovators finalists Andy Neibles soul-arched his way into the Pro final





In the midst of writing this, the Salty Crew “Find Refuge in the Sea” movie is literally premiering at Huntington Surf & Sport just down the road from our headquarters. Their Newport premier went down less than a week ago, across the street from our offices, at The Board Club. Though it wasn’t the premiere screening, it was our very first time seeing the flick in its entirety. Personally, I was eager and curious to check it out and see how’d they would blend the fishing and surfing in a way that appropriately express the stoke that both activities bring to me. I knew it would be a challenge but also knew that if anyone could pull it off it would the Salty Crew team. And pull if off they did, as they took a nostalgic approach, with an old school-esque narrator breaking down their adventures south of the border. The flick itself, as stated by the title, was an on-thewater adventure of the Salty Crew cast jumping on a boat, literally out the backdoor of the office, heading south into Mexico, with surfboards, fishing rods and no agenda. The cast consists of Duane Diego, Matt Meola, CJ Hobgood and Lucas Dirkse and documents the refuge found while traveling hundreds of miles down the coast of Baja in search of fish, waves and a good time. There are guest appearances by Damien Hobgood Greg Trompas, Brandon Wahler. And by the time you’re reading this their tour will have ended, but I’m sure the Salty Crew will have it posted somewhere for all fans to enjoy.


PHOTOS // JAMES TULL left to right: Tom Ruiz & Albert Shim Find Refuge Road Warrior Find Refuge Grassroots shop premier – Val Surf Thousand Oaks Josh, Reefy, Ethan & Jacob Duane, Damian & Lucas Brandon Wahlers with friends and family Salty Crew Airstream invades the Outer Banks Hayden & Jarel Lane Salty Crew Aqua East, Neptune Beach, FL takeover



SHARING THE GOOD GRIND Enjoy at Si d e c a r D o u g h n u ts , C rew Co ffe e a n d C remer ie, J ava Po i n t H B , Co ffe e D o s e, N e i g h b o r l y Co ffee.





Amyl & The Sniffers are your dad’s 70’s era dirty magazine collection you stumbled upon as a kid. Only they’ve been hiding in Australia and were presented to us by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard who flew them out to accompany them on their current US tour. The Sniffers made their soft debut in LA at the Moroccan Lounge before casually taking over the Hollywood Palladium, where I met up with them before the show. The mullet clad quartet is angry, cheeky, commanding and if they weren’t dominating every stage across the states at the moment, they’d be eating stuff off a 70’s New York sidewalk.

At the moment you’re touring the US with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, who you flew over with from Australia. How’re the states treating you? Are you sick of burgers yet? States has been unreal. We’re seeing heaps of this place. It’s really different to Australia so it’s sick in its own way. Everything is big and filled with sugar. Gizz crowds are crazy. Not sick of burgers yet, the fellas can go and go. In and Out!!

From what I hear, this band was a bit of an accident and just kind of formed on a whim. Are you continuing with that approach as you put out more music? Is that how this US tour came about? We always have fun with it and just roll with the punches and try and take/make oppurtunities as they come. At the same time we’ve been writing and recording our first full length and we’re gonna make sure it’s something we are proud of. We just do what we do and try not to think about it too much. I respect that theres business too so I like keeping What’s been the freakiest city so far? control of what’s going on so it doesn’t end up somewhere Probably LA everyone famous and rich and the houses are far away from us. pink. We weren’t allowed shoes on where we stayed.

Are you noticing any similarities/differences between the Australian and American music scenes? It’s hard to say. It’s more psych rock and we’re seeing different kinds of people in bigger rooms. It’s lit. We very rarely get AA gigs in Aus so it’s crazy seeing 10 year olds and 39 year olds all at the same place. Which bands in oz are we missing out on over here? I could go forever but If you look up the Antifade bandcamp it’s full of treasures, pretty much everything they put out is top notch. Coloured Balls. Nasho and Pist Idiots are ripper Sydney bands. Heaps. Cosmic Psychos!

Last but not least, what is the secret to cutting a perfect Is your song “Stole My Push Bike” based on a true sto- mullet? Short on the top long on the back. Ain’t no tricks to it, that’s ry? Did you ever get it back? When we recorded it it was kind of a piss take of a song by the best part. a Melbourne band called WOD. They have a song called “I stole your pushbike” but after we released it some street urchin actually did come into our front yard and tried to steal it.

What were you all doing before the band? Nothing special.







THE CASBAH - SAN DIEGO,CA // MAY 31ST 2018 Wand is an ever-evolving entity. They’re a band I’ve seen more times than I can count that has somehow brought something new to show on each occasion. As the inaugural ceremony for their colossal EP, Perfume, was held at San Diego’s Casbah on May 31st, we were spared no injustice. With an eclectic song variety and a cosmic collection of old and new, Wand fans were left mouth agape and are probably still trying to gather themselves as you read this.

REVIEWS BY ROB MOLT Father John Misty / God’s Favorite Customer / Sub Pop J. Tillman, AKA Father John Misty, you are so insufferable. You’re the guy who says he hates getting your picture taken, while making sure to always set up the shot and look off camera first. Why is it I cannot open a music blog or magazine with out seeing that “I’m so bored” look on your face? I’m beginning to think your beard, unbuttoned dress shirt and sport coat that give you that “I’ve been busy” look, need their own agent before they get completely blown out. If there is a day that no one sees a photo of your face, did that day even happen? My editor requires a photo of each album I review. Of course the album has your picture on it, make sure not to smile! So now even I’m promoting your face. God’s Favorite Customer is a really good indie-folk record, full of wit and a unique narrative. Melody’s Echo Chamber / Bon Voyage / Fat Possum Melody Prochet’s second album, Bon Voyage, was almost three years in the making. The French psych-pop artist had changed her collaborator (her now ex-boyfriend, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker) and suffered a near fatal accident, resulting in a canceled tour and the album being put on hold, understandably. It’s now released and is as rewarding has her fans had hoped. It’s a wide sweep of emotion, sounds and tempos. The opening track alone has an album’s worth of instruments and production tricks: grainy string sections, close-mic’d drum rolls, twittering flute, double bass, and a breakdown into beatboxing and synthesized record scratching. The album is all over the place in the best possible way. Welcome back Melody, we missed you. Kanye West / Ye / Def Jam It turns out Kanye West is a Trump supporter. Which is too bad because I don’t listen to Trump supper music. Therefore I wont be giving this album a review other than Ye is a really stupid name for an album. John Coltrane / Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album / Impulse! Did I already write about the time I wasted half a day on a work trip looking for John Coltrane’s house? I was on a surf and skate shop tour through the Northeast and I found myself in Dix Hills, NY, where Coltrane once lived and recorded. After pitching my wears to the local surf shop I asked them if they knew where the jazz musician’s house was. They didn’t, but suggested I try the deli next door. The deli didn’t even know that Coltrane’s had graced the small Long Island village. The gas station guy just said, “No.” This release is the unearthed tapes of the classic 1963 quartet, recorded from a session that was lost for decades after its master tape was destroyed by Impulse Records to cut down on storage space. The seven tracks making up this album were recorded from a spare copy Coltrane gave to his wife. I never did find his house. REVIEWS BY MAX RITTER The Get Up Kids / Kicker / Polyvinyl It’s hard to believe we are approaching twenty years from the release of TGUK’s landmark album Something To Write Home About. Fun fact: Vagrant Records co-owner John Cohen borrowed money from his parents, who had mortgaged their house in order to fund the production of that album. Imagine selling that idea to your parents. Kicker nostalgically reminds us of why that was a risk worth taking. Etran de L’air / No. 1 / Sahel Sounds This is the best party/wedding band in all of the Northeast of Niger for the last twenty-five years that you’ve never heard of, but we will guarantee you’ll love. Spiritual Jazz 5 / Various Artists / Jazzman Everyone needs a various artist collection of rare classic jazz renditions for the Ron Burgundy within, right? You know, for that post news network battle comedown. Culture Abuse / Bay Dream / Epitaph This sophomore album from the San Francisco-based punk band is heavily infectious and lyrically full of heart-warming lessons of empathy, yet still rough enough around the edges to mask your insecurities.






WYLeR @lowersluke

Favorite Surfer: Mason Ho

Age: 12 Hometown: San Clemente, CA Sponsors: Rip Curl, Huf Footwear

Photo: Jack McDaniel




BL!SSS Magazine| July 2018 | #131  
BL!SSS Magazine| July 2018 | #131