Waterman’s Gala History

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EVOLUTION OF THE BALL While surfing has been captivating people since the yonder days of wave-

Coast’s Surf Expo both hungry to grow and expand their geographical

riding Hawaiian kings, it wasn’t until the late-’80s that the brand of surfing

boundaries of operation, a tipping point was reached. In an attempt to

began its meteoric ascension into the global marketplace. What sparked

resolve this issue and set a tradeshow schedule most beneficial to the

this rise? At the time, it was industry titan Ocean Pacific (Op) along with

surf companies and shows themselves, a meeting was held at Surf Expo

innovative up and comers Quiksilver and Gotcha who were leading the

about how to start a trade association for the surf industry. The meeting

charge. A sportswear identity for surfing was born that was, for the first

included roughly 150 industry individuals, along with a lawyer familiar

time, truly palpable to the non-surfing masses. According to Gotcha co-

with trade groups. It was that night in 1989 that the idea of the Surf

founder Michael Tomson, he was “creating a fashion within the surf identity.

Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) was born. While companies

It was different, actually obnoxiously different.” It worked. All of a sudden,

within the surf industry were naturally competing against one another

apparel items such as denim jeans, shoes and jackets represented the

and tradeshows vied for more business, the critical consensus that was

surfing identity, and the global fashion industry took notice.

reached was that in order for individual companies to grow, the brand of surfing must grow as well. There was strength in unity.

As the industry burst wide open, stateside surfing tradeshows began to feud while trying to leverage themselves within the growing industry.

With Surfer Magazine’s Steve Pezman and Surfing Magazine’s Bob

With the West Coast’s Action Sports Retailer (ASR) and the East

Mignogna selected to co-chair the nomination committee for the newly

“Culturally, it’s the biggest surf industry event in the world. Nothing else matches it. SIMA and the Waterman’s Ball are really important because they give the industry unity; it’s the gathering of the tribe. We need to have the unity. We have to compete against each other in the business world—at retail, with our surf teams, who’s got the best surfers in the world—but at the end of the day, what I always say is, ‘surfing is our brand.’ That’s the brand we all live for.” — Peter Townend, ASP’s First World Champion 7


2 N D WAT E R M A N ' S B A L L E V E N T A N N O U N C E M E N T

3 R D WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L E V E N T I N T I VAT I O N

born SIMA, their first task was to assemble a Board of Directors. The

also raise money for nonprofit organizations focused on preserving

goal was simple: select a Board of Directors that carried the clout

the ocean. It was the perfect storm. By combining the contrasting yet

required to get as much of the surf industry as possible to unite under

symbiotic yearning the surf industry has for protecting the environment

SIMA’s umbrella. Their intention was to combine the big three of

and getting loose with good friends, SIMA hit the nail on the head.

Op CEO Jim Jenks, Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight, and Gotcha CEO

As Michael Tomson remembers, “The first Waterman’s Ball was

Michael Tomson. When approached, however, Jenks advised against

phantasmagoric, to say the least.” With creative minds such as Shawn

his own leadership position within SIMA. He acknowledged that SIMA

Stussy and Peter Schroff essentially transforming the entire venue into

would be in more prosperous hands under the leadership of Tomson

a walk-in art installation, tuxedo-clad guests enjoyed themselves amidst

and McKnight. While Op was huge, Jenks recognized that Gotcha and

the psychedelic surf wonderland.

Quiksilver were on the rapid rise with the younger generation and knew that having them as the initial leaders of SIMA would be the most

While the first Waterman’s Ball saw a modest yet enthusiastic turnout, it

effective. Pezman and Mignogna agreed, and Bob McKnight and Michael

was clear that more money could be raised to help protect and preserve

Tomson accepted their roles as SIMA’s first president and vice president,

the ocean environment. With an eager 25-year-old Tom Knapp on

respectively.

board, the 2nd annual Waterman’s Ball set out to do just that. Without sacrificing the “coolness” of the event, Knapp vowed to help raise a

Shortly thereafter in 1989, the Waterman’s Ball was born as a celebration

minimum of $50,000. If this marker was not reached, he even offered

of the establishment of SIMA and the uniting of the surf industry brands

to pay the difference himself. As Bob Mignogna recalls, “Tom Knapp

through the trade association. Also born was the SIMA Environmental

brought it into the new league. We were blown away with him and how

Fund, with its own Board of Directors tasked with overseeing the

good of a job he did raising money.” With Tom’s leadership, the $50,000

selection of beneficiaries of the Waterman’s Ball proceeds. The idea

marker was successfully surpassed.

was simple: throw an amazing party for the surf industry that would

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3 R D WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L P R O G R A M A N D B I D D I N G C A R D

4 T H WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L I N V I TAT I O N

Beginning with Surfrider Foundation as the sole recipient of money

was elevating the Waterman’s Ball to a world-class-level fundraiser—

raised, the SIMA Environmental Fund began expanding its list of

which meant spending money to make money—something that was not

beneficiaries in the mid-’90s to include organizations such as the

the focus in the past.” In doing so, Dick pushed forward with his vision

American Oceans Campaign and Orange Coast Marine Institute (now

to make the Waterman’s Ball one of the industry’s top events, as well

Ocean Institute).

as to raise exponentially more money for beneficiaries. In 2001, the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament was added, making the fundraiser

In the years that followed, the Waterman’s Ball steadily evolved.

a two-day Waterman’s Weekend event and further growing SIMA’s

Two key early additions that helped expand the event’s visibility and

credibility. That same year, SIMA brought on Terry McCann as executive

profitability were the creation of a collectable event calendar and

director and Sean Smith as marketing manager in order to further

the introduction of an annual honoree. Both of these additions were

contribute to SIMA’s professionalism and growth.

attributable to the formula used by other successful charitable events. With this in mind, the SIMA Board of Directors named Hobie Alter

Later that year, Paul Naude joined Dick Baker by becoming SIMA’s vice

as the inaugural Waterman of the Year at the 1993 Waterman’s Ball.

president and SIMA Environmental Fund’s president. Bringing over the

To make the occasion even more special, actor/environmentalist Ted

same industry wizardry that fueled his success at Billabong, Paul helped

Danson presented Hobie with the award the day after Ted’s sitcom

Dick transform SIMA into what it is today. When asked of the impact

Cheers ended its hugely successful 11-season run. Needless to say,

Paul had on SIMA and the Waterman’s Ball, Bob Mignogna answered,

visibility and credibility of the Waterman’s Ball were on the rise.

“Paul brought the combination of a ridiculous amount of passion for helping the surf zone environment as well as an insistence of proving

In 1999, SIMA saw the addition of Dick Baker to the Board of Directors

to everybody, including all of his employees and his competitors, that

and in 2000 he began his nine-year term as president. As current SIMA

he was going to walk the talk.” Since Paul has been the president of the

Executive Director Sean Smith notes, “What Dick brought to the table

SIMA Environmental Fund and of the Waterman’s Weekend committee,

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2 N D WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L L AY O U T A R T B Y P E T E R S C H R O F F.

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C O P Y R I G H T 19 93 . L O S A N G E L E S T I M E S , R E P R I N T E D W I T H P E R M I S S I O N .

PE TER SCHROFF’S PER SONAL D I S C O B A L L , WAT E R M A N ' S B A L L 19 93

2 N D WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L L A M P D E S I G N B Y P E T E R S C H R O F F

S T E V E J O N E S AT T H E 4 T H B A L L

4 T H WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L H E L D I N N O G U C H I ’ S SCULPTURE GARDEN

it has become routine for the Waterman’s Weekend to raise upwards of

Fast-forward 25 years, and both SIMA and the Waterman’s Ball are still

$400,000 per year. In 2007, after a truly memorable speech by Pearl

evolving. To date, the SIMA Environmental Fund has raised more than

Jam’s Eddie Vedder as Environmentalist of the Year, a milestone of

$6.5 million through the Waterman’s Ball for organizations dedicated

$500,000 was reached. As the president of the SIMA Environmental

to preserving and protecting our oceans, beaches and waves. As

Fund, Paul has also transformed the beneficiary selection process to

long as the environment needs help, the SIMA Environmental Fund

be the most efficient and thorough it has ever been. 2014 will boast 19

and Waterman’s Ball will continue their unwavering commitment to

carefully selected and efficiently funded beneficiaries.

protecting it.

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EVOLUTION OF THE BALL

17 T H A N N U A L WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L AT T H E S T. R E G I S M O N A R C H B E A C H R E S O R T & S PA , D A N A P O I N T 12


[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L 2 0 0 6 ; PA U L N A U D E 2 0 0 5; P E R F O R M E R W H I T E B U F FA L O 2 0 02 ; B E T H A N Y H A M I LT O N 2 0 0 4 ; S I L E N T A U C T I O N 2 0 03; B I L L S H A R P, P T, D A R R Y L V I R O S T C O 2 0 03; PA U L N A U D E , L A I R D H A M I LT O N , D I C K B A K E R 2 0 0 4 ; F R E D H E M M I N G S 2 0 02 ; B U D B R O W N E , K E L LY S L AT E R A N D B R U C E B R O W N 2 0 01 13


[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] 2 0 0 4 WAT E R M A N K E L LY S L AT E R ; 2 0 0 6 S I L E N T A U C T I O N ; 2 0 0 4 E N V I R O N M E N TA L I S T O F T H E Y E A R G R E G M A C G I L L I V R AY; K E N C O L L I N S , B R A D G E R L A C H , P E T E R M E L , M I K E PA R S O N S 2 0 01; G R E G N O L L 2 0 0 5; E N T R A N C E T O T H E 2 0 02 B A L L ; L A R R Y “ F L A M E ” M O O R E , TAY L O R K N O X A N D M I K E PA R S O N S 2 0 0 5; T H E A U C T I O N 2 0 0 5; T E R R A N C E M C N U LT Y, K O L O H E A N D I N O , D I N O A N D I N O , B O B B Y M A R T I N E Z A N D G I R L F R I E N D 2 0 02 14


WAT E R M A N S H A N E D O R I A N A N D P R E S E N T E R K E L LY S L AT E R AT T H E 2 012 B A L L 15


EVOLUTION OF THE BALL

Sima EnvironmEntal Fund PrESEntS

the 21st annual

Waterman's Ball

July 9, 2010

ReseRvation ConfiRmation

SIMA ENVIRONMENTAL FUND PRESENTS

The 22nd AnnuAl

WATermAn’s AUGUST 12, 2011 BAll reservATion confirmATion

A S A M P L I N G O F WAT E R M A N ' S B A L L C A L E N DA R CO V E R S A N D I N V I TAT I O N S .

HALLMARKS OF THE WATERMAN’S BALL FROM GUESTS TO INVITATIONS TO CALENDARS From its humble beginnings, the Waterman’s Ball has grown into

In 2004, former Surfer Magazine art director and talented graphic

one of the surf industry’s can’t-miss events. For the past decade, the

designer Joni Casimiro was commissioned to produce the annual

Waterman’s Ball has attracted a long list of high-profile attendees,

Waterman’s Ball Calendar. For nearly a decade under Joni’s direction,

topping out at more than 850 guests in its largest year. Each year surf

the Waterman’s Ball Calendar has boasted some of its most unique

industry executives, Southern California business leaders, friends of the

covers and designs, helping to make it a truly special book. The calendar

environment, media, surf legends and celebrities join together at this

became known for it pages featuring amazing surf photography and

premiere event to support important causes and honor those making

art, donated by surf industry artists and carefully curated by Joni. The

an impact on our industry and sport. Industry insiders know to get their

Waterman’s Ball Calendar also showcased each honoree for that year,

tickets to the Waterman’s Ball early, as the wait-list to attend this special

featuring tributes written exclusively for the calendar by well-known

event grows quickly each year.

industry journalists and rarely seen photos of the honorees.

Since the early ’90s, Waterman’s Ball attendees have been gifted with an

As a sign of the times, 2012 marked the last year of the Waterman’s Ball

annual planning calendar. Over the years, the Waterman’s Calendar took

Calendar, as electronic calendars became the norm. However, in many

on a life of its own, becoming a coveted piece of collector’s memorabilia.

surf industry offices the collection of Waterman’s Ball Calendars can

With production originally overseen by a committee, in the late ’90s

still be found, serving as unique records of part of recent surf industry

freelance graphic designer Cindy Love took the reigns and helped

history.

develop the calendar into an even more unique keepsake. 16


WATERMAN’S CLASSIC GOLF TOURNAMENT This isn’t your typical industry. Would you expect a typical golf

on-course entertainment and contests. Surf industry brands bring

tournament? The Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament was added to

out their most creative and outrageous ideas—sometimes full-blown

the Waterman’s Ball fundraising efforts in 2001, turning the event into

productions—to entertain golfers and compete for the coveted Best

a two-day Waterman’s Weekend. Pro surfers turned golf lovers, such as

Hole Sponsor Award. Golfers need not worry if all the activities throw

Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Pat O’Connell, often join more than 140

them off their game, as it is also tradition to award the highest scoring

surf industry executives each year for a day on the links that is anything

foursome the Longest Day Award.

but ordinary. Capped off with an awards ceremony and luau, the Waterman’s Classic Traditional country club attire is not required as foursomes arrive in

has become a must-play tournament and a fun, memorable way to kick

their most creative team uniforms, aiming to be named Best Dressed

off the surf industry’s annual Waterman’s Weekend fundraising event.

Team. Golfers not only compete to win the tournament, but also enjoy

[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] T E A M R I P C U R L W I T H T O M C U R R E N ; T E A M B I L L A B O N G ; T E A M T I L LY ’ S W I T H PAT O ’ CO N N E L L A N D O CC Y; D I C K B A K E R ; T E A M Q U I K S I LV E R W I T H K E L LY S L AT E R ; T E A M R O X Y W I T H L I S A A N D E R S E N 17


[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] 2 0 0 5 WAT E R M A N A N DY I R O N S ; C H R I S E VA N S 2 0 0 5; M I C H A E L A N D K I M T O M S O N 2 012 ; E D L A M , R O B E R T “ W I N G N U T ” W E AV E R , J E F F D I V I N E , W I N G L A M 2 0 0 5; A N N O U N C E R S A L M A S E K E L A 2 0 0 6 ; E N V I R O N M E N TA L I S T S J A C K A N D K I M J O H N S O N A C C E P T I N G AWA R D V I A V I D E O 2 0 0 6 ; 2 0 0 6 L I F E T I M E A C H I E V E M E N T AWA R D R E C I P I E N T R A B B I T K E K A I ; L I S A A N D E R S E N , R A N DY R A R I C K , E D D I E V E D D E R 2 0 0 6 ; 2 0 0 8 WAT E R M A N M A R K O C C H I L U P O . 18


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EVOLUTION OF THE BALL

AWARDS AT THE WATERMAN’S BALL Each year the Waterman’s Ball honorees are presented with unique

and people to make the diorama as true to life as possible. Malcolm

awards that reflect the heritage of our sport and the individuals

handcrafts the mahogany frame that houses the diorama, as well. In all,

themselves.

one single diorama takes more than 100 hours to complete.

Much like the ancient Hawaiians honored their chiefs, the chief of

Malcolm’s work does not stop there. Each diorama is accompanied by

the Waterman’s Ball—the Waterman of the Year—is presented with a

a miniature replica surfboard, which he also creates. The surfboards—

traditional Hawaiian koa wood paddle. The inaugural Waterman of the

favorites picked by the honorees—are patterned after their full-size

Year, Hobie Alter, was first presented with the paddle in 1993 and it has

counterparts, hand-shaped from foam and finished with polyurethane

been tradition to present a paddle to the Waterman of the Year ever since.

resin. All deck art and laminates are carefully hand painted. According to Malcolm, “They take twice as long as a full-size board to make. I do

Beginning in 2002, talented San Diego-based artist Malcolm Wilson was

my best to be accurate. A surfer’s relationship with his or her surfboard

commissioned to handcraft beautiful dioramas with miniature replica

is intimate. Kind of like a horse to the cowboy. I know, I talk to my

surfboards to serve as awards for all the honorees. Over the past decade,

surfboard all the time.”

every Waterman of the Year, Environmentalist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient has been gifted with these special keepsakes.

The Waterman’s Ball honorees are always blown away and most gracious when presented with this very personal award and work of art. Leroy

The awards are a labor of love for Malcolm. The process starts by asking

Grannis, the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award winner was one of the

each honoree their favorite beach or surf break, as well as their favorite

first recipients of these awards, and Malcolm says, “He told me many

personal surfboard. Once the surf break has been chosen, Malcolm

times how special it was to him. That feels good.”

travels there to surf and take pictures; if the locale is too far to travel to see in person, Malcolm studies photos, images from Google Earth and

It couldn’t be more appropriate for honorees as special as those

personal stories to familiarize himself with the selected location.

recognized at the Waterman’s Ball to be presented with these one-of-akind awards.

The diorama is first sculpted from clay, which takes more than 50 hours to create. A rubber mold is created from that clay pattern and then a tinted clear resin casting is made. The piece is meticulously hand painted and extra details are added such as palm trees, cars, street lamps

D I O R A M A O F V E N I C E B E A C H B R E A K WAT E R F O R B R A N D O N B O Y D O F I N C U B U S ( L T O R ) : C L AY S C U L P T U R E , A L M O S T C O M P L E T E ; R E S I N C A S T I N G F I N I S H E D ; F I N A L C O M P L E T E D AWA R D. 20


B E L O W : A R T I S T M A L C O L M W I L S O N D I S P L AY I N G AWA R D S H E C R E AT E D, A N D H O L D I N G T H E T R A D I T I O N A L K O A W O O D PA D D L E A L S O P R E S E N T E D T O T H E WAT E R M A N O F T H E Y E A R .

A SAMPLING OF D I O R A M A S C R E AT E D OVER THE YEARS BY M ALCO L M W IL SO N.

“I enjoy creating my diorama surf breaks, especially for the award winners’ favorite places. Although I may never travel to most of these breaks around the world, I get to know them intimately through my research and creating the finished sculpture. The Waterman’s Ball awards are my favorite job every year, and I enjoy feeling like I am contributing to such a worthy cause.” — Malcolm Wilson, artist and creator of the Waterman’s Ball awards 21


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[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] J O N R O S E A N D PA M E L A A N D E R S O N 2011; 20 07 E N V I R O N M E N TA L I S T E D D I E V E D D E R ; A R T AU C T I O N 20 07; WAT E R M A N T O M C U R R E N 2010 ; S I L E N T AU C T I O N 20 07; E N V I R O N M E N TA L I S T R O B E R T F. K E N N E DY, J R . 2010 ; F E R N A N D O AG U E R R E 20 0 8; S A L M A S E K E L A , B O B M C K N I G H T A N D F E R N A N D O AG U E R R E 2011; S I M A P R E S I D E N T D O U G PA L L A D I N I A N D W I F E H A L L I E 2010. 23


[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] 2 0 0 6 WAT E R M A N B O B M C K N I G H T; 2 0 07 B A L L ; B O B H U R L E Y 2 012 ; 2 0 0 8 E N V I R O N M E N TA L I S T J A C K S O N B R O W N E ; S I L E N T A U C T I O N 2 010 ; A U D I F E AT U R E D I N T H E L I V E A U C T I O N , 2 012 ; G L E N N B R U M A G E A N D R O B E R T “ W I N G N U T ” W E AV E R 2 012 ; L I S A A N D E R S E N , J AY “ S PA R K Y ” L O N G L E Y 2 0 0 9 ; 2 012 H O N O R E E S S H A N E D O R IAN, W IFE DAR R EN CO LLINS ACCEP T IN G FO R SE AN CO LLINS AN D J E AN - M I CH EL CO US T E AU. 24


T H E V I E W F R O M A B O V E AT T H E 2 0 0 6 WAT E R M A N ’ S B A L L . 25


EVOLUTION OF THE BALL

WATERMAN’S BALL SILENT AUCTION SURFBOARDS, SURF ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Surfboards, surf art and surf photography always have, and continue to

Gallery in Laguna Beach, California, the Waterman’s Ball silent auction of

be, the centerpiece of the Waterman’s Ball silent auction. The stunning

surf art and photography continues to grow over the years. The art and

array of original surf art, classic photography and beautiful surfboards

photography have become such a focal point of the Waterman’s Ball that

are almost a visual overload, and a who’s who of talented artists and

an impressive 100-foot art wall is constructed each year to professionally

craftsmen in the surf industry.

hang and display the pieces for bidders to enjoy.

As Waterman’s Ball chairman Paul Naude says, “The Waterman’s Ball

The highly anticipated surfboard section of the auction has long been

silent auction is a dream for collectors of surf art, photography and

curated by Royce Cansler, industry veteran and surfboard aficionado.

boards, not to mention an excellent platform to spotlight the artists. It is

Taking up half of the garden courtyard, the display of surfboards up for

quite a draw and a large piece of the fundraising event’s success. Each

auction each year ranges from heritage shapers to collector pieces to

year it is exciting to see this section of the silent auction attract crowds

hot new shapers featuring the latest in design and style. Whatever your

of admirers and anxious bidders.”

taste, the Waterman’s Ball auction is known for putting one of the finest collections of surfboards on display and paying tribute to the craftsmen

Curated under the direction of Will Pennartz, formerly of The Surf

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who represent the heart and soul of surfing.


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[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] 2 0 0 9 WAT E R M A N R O B M A C H A D O W I T H K I D S ; 2 011 E N V I R O N M E N TA L I S T J E F F E R S O N WA G N E R ; 2 0 0 9 B A L L AT T H E R I T Z ; J A N E ’ S A D D I C T I O N P E R R Y FA R R E L L W I T H W I F E E T T Y L A U ; T H E 2 010 B A L L ; 2 0 0 9 P R E S E N T E R G E R R Y L O P E Z ; C H R I S C O T E A N D F U E L T V AT T H E B A L L 2 010 ; 2 013 H O N O R E E S F E R N A N D O A G U E R R E , P E T E R T O W N E N D A N D I N C U B U S’ B R A N D O N B O Y D ; 2 0 0 9 A R T A U C T I O N . 28


[ F R O M T O P, L E F T T O R I G H T ] 2 0 0 9 E N V I R O N M E N TA L I S T D AV E R A S T O V I C H ; K E L LY S L AT E R A N D K A L A N I M I L L E R 2 012 ; PAT O ’ C O N N E L L , A . J . C O L L I N S 2 012 ; J O E L C O O P E R F R O M L O S T, B O B M I G N O G N A , A N D J I M M O R I A R T Y, F O R M E R E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R O F S U R F R I D E R F O U N D AT I O N ; S I L E N T A U C T I O N 2 013; N O R B G A R R E T, DY L A N S L AT E R 2 012 ; F E R N A N D O A G U E R R E A N D F L O R E N C I A G O M E Z G E R B I 2 012 ; 2 013 AT T E N D E E S ; N B A L E G E N D B I L L WA LT O N 2 012 . 29