Tropical Distractions Benefit

“Tropical Distractions” An Art and Music Event to Benefit The Mission House Jax to be held at Nippers Beach Grille, Jacksonville Beach, Florida from 5pm – 10pm on BLACK FRIDAY November 28th, 2014.

 Join Local and International Artist as well as Local Rockers DARKHORSE SALOON Friday November 28th for the first annual Tropical Distractions art show at Nippers Beach Grille. Tropical Distractions will celebrate and strengthen the local community by donating all proceeds from our Silent Auction to the Mission House Compassion by the Sea in Jacksonville Beach. Our Silent Auction will feature a ton of Art from our contributing artists like Volcom’s own Jamie Browne, The Volcom Art Loft, Beth Haizlip, Chris Maslow, Clay Misner, Nico Suave, and photographers Jack Bates and Patrick Ruddy. Along with featured rad items from our sponsors like: Volcom, Electric Visual, Kicker Audio, Vestal, Nixon, Cycle Spectrum, Sunrise Surf Shop and much more. Sweetwater Brewing Co. will have a host of drink specials, and raffle opportunities so keep a lookout for your favorite Brew!

About The Mission House…

The Mission house was created, and is the only day facility to help meet the needs of the homeless adults at the beaches through compassion, faith and programs designed to provide assistance at an individual level. Today, our number one goal is to assist homeless people off the streets of the Beach and back to productive and self-sufficient lives.  Clients who eat and shower at Mission House for at least a week must meet with our case manager.  This is the only way that we can learn how they arrived at this point in their lives.  Each case is as unique as the person themselves.  The face of homelessness has changed dramatically over the years.  Due to economic conditions, family background and life situations each one of our clients has faced a trial in their life that they may not have expected.  We are here to assist them in planning a way back to an independent and positive way of life.

About Paint It Local…

The idea of Paint it Local was created during a fall internship with Volcom East. The issues of poverty, hardship, and economic downturn developed this quest of event promotion for bettering all communities at their core. Paint it Local connects local and international artists, local musicians, and the local community in an effort to help out the less fortunate. These art and music events celebrate the communities’ strength, and aspire growth in a bottom up manner.

About Tropical Distractions…

Tropical Distractions creates a platform for flourishing artists and photographers in the local community to build upon current success and blossom future artistic opportunities; Brings awareness to the less fortunate individuals here at the Beaches; Collaborates with people of the local community in our efforts to strengthen the Beaches at the core.

Executive Director at the Mission House Lori Delgado Anderson said:

“We are so grateful to Paint it Local and Volcom for having this incredible event to benefit Mission House.  We are proudly supported by our community.  It’s events like this and the people who support them that make us proud to be a part of the Beaches Community.  So many people that the Mission House serves will benefit from Tropical Distractions.”

The Give Back…

The festivities of Tropical Distractions at Nippers Beach Grille is an action packed night for friends and families of all ages, but the main objective is to give back to the Beaches through Mission House Compassion by the Sea. The way Tropical Distractions will raise money is through a silent auction and raffle featuring items from our participating sponsors. The silent auction items include: Volcom Gift pack (prohibit canvas backpack, 2015 Volcom Pipe Pro board shorts and tee, and a True to This movie box set), Nixon leather package (premium leather wallet, belt, green / heather gray 210 fitted), Vestal ZR2 gold men’s watch, 5 pairs of Vestal Republic Sunglasses, Kicker Audio Bluetooth home amphitheater system made for IPhone, IPad, and IPod, Kicker Audio KPw portable wireless speaker, Collin Provost signed signature Toy Machine model skate deck, and many more not listed.

The Artists…

Jamie Browne – is an artist from Sydney Australia, Jamie is fueled by his love for Rock ’n’ Roll and skateboarding and frequently partakes in both as well as a few cheeky beverages. Even from school his college days studying graphic arts, Jamie was always the dude in the back of the room filling his books with drawings of skulls, grotesque hands and other crazy stuff much to the dismay of his teachers but to the delight of his classmates. These days you’ll find Jamie working away in the dark depths of the VOLCOM art department drawing till his hand seizes up and his eye balls melt in his skull.  Jamie will have his art displayed and on sale at this event.

@Jamiebrowneart // //

Chis Maslow – Maslow is a Miami-based fine artist whose creative practice centers primarily around painting and sculpture. A former Los Angeles resident, Maslow graduated in 2003 from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with a degree in product development. He quickly grew into a notable clothing designer and produced for multiple labels in Southern California. A few years into his career as a fashion designer, Maslow found himself gravitating towards street art. Subsequently, after many years of experimentation with multi-media, Maslow realized a greater calling to fine art. Since his transition onto canvas, Maslow has shown artwork in galleries across the United States and has experienced equal success in curation as well. Maslow has been a resident artist at Viophilia since November 2013, and simultaneously runs a studio-gallery in his hometown of Melbourne, Florida.

@Christophermaslow //

Clay Misner – is 27 year old surfer, skater and aspiring artist. He graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor in Fine Art. Clay was born and raised in Melbourne Florida, but now resides in Jacksonville Beach Florida. Clay specializes in mixed media, pop art, and illustrations. Clay has worked with numerous local clothing companies like Salt Life and Strata Clothing.

@Claymisnerart //!2012

Beth Haizlip – Encouraged by my parents to draw, paint, and appreciate art at a very young age

I knew I was destined to become an artist. I was born in Charleston, South Carolina and graduated from Florida Southern College in l980 with a Bachelor of Art Degree. I married my high school sweetheart, a navy pilot, and had an adventurous life living in California, Hawaii, Texas and Florida. In 1990 my family settled in Orange Park, Florida. I became an active member of The Florida Watercolor Society, The Jacksonville Watercolor Society, The St. Augustine Art Association, The Clay County Art Enrichment program for children, and The Art Guild of Orange Park ( where I served as president for two years and for whom I am currently publicity chairman. My paintings range from florals, tropical scenes and landscapes to still lifes and portraiture. I truly love it all! The more I paint, the bolder I become with my color, design and composition. Art appreciation and consistent painting habits are both an on-going learning process. I have gone to many workshops and classes, but I must credit a local artist and teacher, Gloria Travassos, for many of my accomplishments as an artist. She has taught me the importance of having good reference material, value sketches, strong compositions, and patience for creating a successful painting. Beth has taken numerous art workshops with artists Mary Whyte, Pat Weaver, Arne Westerman, Alex Powers, Betsy Dillard Stroud, Don Andrews, Morgan Samuel Price, Gerald Brommer and Mary Ann Beckwith. //

Nicole Holderbaum aka Nico Suaveis like nothing you’ve ever seen and no one you’ve ever met. Florida born and raised, Nico collaborates with local Strata Clothing.  She is an avid surfer, artist, and world traveler. Nico says “Live and love fearlessly.”

@Nicosuavalicious //

The Photographers…

Jack Bates- The thing I love most about photography, is you can stop a moment in time before it’s gone forever. Born and raised in Jupiter, Florida I made photography my career when I graduated from University of North Florida. I have had the opportunity to work for many businesses and photograph some beautiful weddings. Wedding photojournalism is key. The day needs to be documented properly so that years down the road we can look back and relive the moments through photographs. When it comes to documenting a special day, I have to be precise, paying close attention to my surroundings and interactions. My second main line of business would be marketing photography. Marketing photography to me is essentially great photographs that represent what that particular company does and offers. Most of the time, a business will reach out to me when they are either creating a new website or revamping their old one.

@Jackbatesphotography //

Patrick Ruddy- Patrick is based on the east coast of Florida. He studied at the University of Central Florida, and is currently the photo editor for Fluid Magazine. His work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines around the world, including the New York Times, Surfing, Transworld, Maxim, The Surfer’s Journal, PDN, and more commercial clients including Volcom, Hurley, SPY, Kicker Audio, Sector Nine, DaKine, O’Neill, Arnette, Rusty, and more. He lives in New Symrna Beach, Florida, close to family, friends, and his dog Jazz.

@Ruddyphoto //  

Contacting Paint it Local…

Want to get involved with Tropical Distractions?

Contact Us:

@paint_it_local // //

(321) 514-2869

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Volcom Beach Clean Up Event Hits Hong Kong!

Written in collaboration with Elijah Kislevitz, Volcom HK.

After seeing two of Volcom Japan’s beach clean collabs with Patagonia, and other successful Volcom beach clean events in California, our team in Hong Kong was eager to do one there at a local beach. So, who better to partner up with for our first one than with our friends at the Surf Hong Kong crew? We rallied them and tapped into their rolodex of campers.

There was no re-invention of the wheel on this one, just tried and true ingredients to spark interest and awareness in the community. Our goal? Make sure the inaugural event went smoothly, efficiently, and with good vibes-  BBQ, Good Tunes, Good People, Good Set-Up, and a Good Cause.

We distributed 60, 15 gallon collection sacks to teams of 2-3 people.  Upon signing up, the team was given a sack, a hat to keep the sun off their brow and a pair gloves to protect their hands.  When they filled it to capacity, they came back and received a coupon good for a hotdog & beverage, a 20% discount coupon for the local Volcom store, and a go at the silk screen to make their own commemorative T-shirt.   

Throughout the afternoon we had well over 100 people participate and max out all the bags.  It was great! But, it was also an indicator to all involved how even one of the cleaner beaches in HK is not immune to people’s negligence and the amount of waste we produce & dump into the ocean and on the beach….

The coolest thing was that many of the people were locals that happened to be rolling through and wanted to get involved.  We received some great feedback on the event, and look forward to doing more in the future!  Huge thumbs up-

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Waves for Water x Odile Relief Project


We’re donating – can you?

As you likely know, Hurricane “Odile” caused massive destruction in the region of Baja Peninsula and Los Cabos, México leaving a quarter million people without electricity and without easy access safe water. Waves for Water is an effective organization that is mobilizing, on the ground to strategically address the situation. Clean Water + Disaster Relief Initiatives. Every donation counts.

Donate here =>

Also, if you are in the area, and able/willing to help please join the clean-up team at the Beach House Store in Cabo.

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Giving Back at the UnsOund Surf Pro 2014

Super excited to see the Give Back initiatives in place at the upcoming UnsOund Pro.

The first day will ignite the “Strong Island Lifeguard Challenge,” where West End local Balaram Stack will lead an East End lifesaving team against TJ Gumiela’s West End squad in a 30-minute team-style surf-off/ jetty sprint. The winning team will receive a $500 check benefiting the local charity of their choice.

In addition, longtime shop and event supporter SPY’s “STOKED Expression Session” goes down on Saturday. This mentoring session, where beach interaction and water assistance go hand-in-hand, will pair a dozen kids ages 14-18 from youth-focused nonprofit STOKED with a dozen pros including Cody Thompson, Pat Schmidt, Balaram Stack, Quincy Davis and Alex Gray for a lighthearted team competition where feel-good criteria include “best soul arch” and “best maneuver.” Love it!

Full details at


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Word on the Street: Dr. Jess Ponting

By Axel Eaton, Intern

The Center for Surf Research (CSR) has proven itself as a powerful gateway for surfers, students, and organizations.  In their own words it is ‘THE international hub for research on sustainable surf tourism and issues of sustainability affecting the industry and broader community.’  The man pioneering it all is Dr. Jess Ponting, a surfer himself, who wants to pave the way for a new generation of surfers and travelers that are committed to a sustainable future.

I shot Dr. Ponting a few questions to get some opinions and updates for our Word on the Street Series:

(AE) CSR has been sort of ‘under the radar’ lately, but it seems like a lot of things are on their way – One of them being Stoke Certified, an organization working in partnership with CSR. It is scheduled to launch its official website this year.  Stoke Certified will be the world’s first sustainability certification program to cater specifically to the surf tourism industry.

Is it the first of its kind? Is it modeled off of another industry?

(JP) Yes. The Center for Surf Research is the first research center of its kind to focus specifically on the sustainability of surfing, and in particular surf tourism.  Several programs have existed in the past, and some endure, modeled on Plymouth University’s surfing program, which really prepares students to work in the surf industry. Similar programs have existed in Australia, France and Spain as well. None of these have had a research/sustainability focus and none have addressed surf tourism. CSR was not modeled after another industry, surfing and the challenges and opportunities its presents are quite unique.

What was your motivation?

(JP) I love travelling to surf new places. Travelling with surf being the guiding force of a trip, it takes you to amazing places that most tourists never experience, it allows you to interact with local people on an equal footing in the water, and forces you to care about the quality of the local environment and the wellbeing of the local people you are forging relationships with. I’ve seen surfing be a negative influence in many areas it has moved into, particularly in the less developed world. I think that we can do better if we take the time to learn from mistakes and draw from existing knowledge on sustainable tourism development. I want surfing to be a positive influence wherever it goes. That was the motivation.

What is the toughest part of unveiling things that are the first of their kind?

(JP) Getting people to buy in to your dream when all you have to show them is bunch of ideas, some on a piece of paper, some still in your head. Getting high-level university administration to take the study of surfing seriously has been an ongoing challenge as well, but I think we are winning that particular battle.

Last time I checked, the Tavarua Island Resort was looking to obtain the first Sustainable Surf Tourism Certification.  I know from reading the Volcom Fiji Pro posts that they were already under way, and considering their footprint in many different categories.

(JP) The first surf resort in the world to be certified sustainable by STOKE Certified is the Matanivusi Resort on Fiji’s Coral Coast – it is a fantastic property with great access to Fiji’s lesser known, but equally awesome breaks, like Fiji Pipe and Frigates Passage. We’ve been working with Tavarua for three years now on sustainability considerations and they have been wonderful partners in helping us develop and trial our certification criteria. Their official status right now is ‘Benchmarked’ which means we have a full understanding of where they stand from a sustainability perspective, all that remains is for them to schedule an evaluation and become certified. Tavarua are particularly strong in the areas of social and cultural sustainability in addition to their financial support of local communities over the years, and particularly their approach to staff retention (basically there is no staff turnover at all, none). They are a sustainability leader.

I also found, on your website, The Sustainable Stoke Catalogue which has not been released yet but is described as a fully featured material analysis and performance review of all “eco-labeled” products available on the market for surfers each season.  That sentence packs a punch and the work behind this project is unimaginable. Can you give us the inside scoop!?

(JP) The Sustainable Stoke Catalogue is still just an idea. We decided to prioritize the development of our study abroad program with Groundswell Educational Travel and the STOKE Certified program. Groundswell is now fully operational and will be running three sustainable surf tourism trips over the winter break to Fiji, Costa Rica, and Peru, which will yield 3 units of GE Credit in Cross Cultural Interactions in Sustainable Surf Tourism from San Diego State University. STOKE Certified is being launched before the end of 2014. Once these programs are established we will circle back on the development of the Sustainable Stoke Catalogue.

You are the Co-Editor of what looks like an amazing book that will be published soon – Sustainable Surf – Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World.   The book has been said to explore the cutting edge of the surfing world’s transition to sustainability.  What was that process like? With such a heavy topic, where does one start? Does the book establish an all-encompassing transition?  In essence, is there one overbearing principle that ties together the many transitions?

(JP) The process was intense. We (co-editor Greg Borne and I) gathered more than 40 thought leaders in surfing and had them write about what they though sustainability meant in the surfing world and what they thought the biggest opportunities and challenges were. We then collected all the contributions and locked ourselves in a room for two weeks analyzing the themes and came out with a logical structure for the book, and an introduction that ties everything together. We have an incredible range of contributors that include a host of world champions including Rabbit Bartholomew, Shaun Tomson, Fred Hemmings, Cori Schumaker, to the heads of the surf industry including the president of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Doug Palladini, former CEO and current Chairman of the Board of Quiksilver Bob McKnight, Volcom’s Sr. Director of Sustainability Derek Sabori (Yay), and a host of other stakeholders including the founder of Surfrider Foundation Glenn Hening, SurfAid Founder Dave Jenkins, Surfers Against Sewage founder Chris Hines, Sustainable Surf co-founder Kevin Whilden, National Surf Reserves founder and World Surf Reserves inspiration Brad Farmer etc., etc.

The book really starts the conversation amongst thinking surfers as to what the key challenges to sustainability are in our world. It allows a variety of view points to be held simultaneously and establishes, for the first time, a landscape of opinions and ideas to emerge. We hope this can be the basis for a clearer understanding of the issues and opportunities and allow for collaboration on sustainability initiatives moving forward.

You were just featured in the special edition of Surfer Magazine titled Oceans Under Siege as an ‘Agent of Change’ – a surfer committed to protecting our oceans.  Oceans Under Siege featured the frightening reality of climate change and showcased the opinions of people making a noteworthy impact on the environment.  The magazine covers the effects of pollution on our oceans and beaches, the aftermath/cleanup of Japan’s nuclear disaster, and Dustin Barca’s fight against GMO’s.  It’s great that Surfer Magazine covered the world’s environmental issues and their relation to surfing; however, there was never a discussion (good or bad) on the major surf brands and the products they produce and their actions for a sustainable future.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Surfer Magazine passed up an opportunity to applaud surf brands that are truly committed to the environment and ‘call out’ surf brands that aren’t?

(JP) Surfer Magazine exists at the pleasure of the companies who advertise in it. They are not in a position to openly criticize and expose poor practice or appear to support one brand over another. That’s why we need publications like Sustainable Stoke to step back and allow this discussion to take place outside the scope of corporate branding and advertising. I think it’s great that Surfer takes its opportunities to highlight good practices and change makers, but realistically it is not the right vehicle to ‘call out’ surf brands.

Speaking of brands, you’ve worked with a few over the years through your involvement with Surf Credits, namely the Volcom Fiji & Pipe Pro. What’s that been like and has it been successful and well received?

What role do surf brands play?  Are they an effective mechanism for a promoting a sustainable way of living?

(JP) Yes we’ve worked quite a lot with Volcom, but also with Vans, Oakley, Quiksilver and Spy, the latter two have actively supported our study abroad programs and research agendas. Volcom has supported our student interns and the SurfCredits program which has unfortunately become inactive since the change in ownership of the ASP and a lack of engagement between the ASP and the Corporate Social Responsibility platform that SurfCredits provides. On the whole the brands we’ve worked with have been receptive, it’s a matter of figuring out where the synergies are. Collaborations have to work for the brands as well. I think they can be an effective means of promoting a sustainable way of living, but work still needs to be done on figuring out how to build that into company messaging in a way that positively impacts sales and doesn’t blowout the bottom line.

During my internship here at Volcom, I’m to understand how we can (or if we should) effectively convey a sustainability message to our consumer. Ultimately I’m trying to form an opinion on whether or not our sustainability actions & messaging really matter to the consumer when it comes time to choose whether or not to buy from Volcom. 

In your opinion, how do we best engage the consumer?  Do they really care? Do they want to hear it? What level of sophistication are they at?

(JP) Great question. I tend to err in favor of the consumer being interested in sustainability. Now the demographic I work with is a little different to that of surf brands. I’m primarily dealing with surf travellers; the key demographic of surf brands is considerably younger. Having said that, I think it’s incumbent on organizations like the Center for Surf Research to work hard to develop a market for sustainable products as well as work with industry to develop the products themselves. STOKE Certified is all about doing this in the surf and snow spaces, initially in tourism, but more widely as well. CSR’s study abroad program, Groundswell Educational Travel, is also big on educating college-aged surfers about sustainability not just in tourism models but also in surf related purchasing behaviors more broadly. NGOs like Sustainable Surf are also working hard along these lines with their Deep Blue Life program – I think these efforts are super important as without consumer demand, the surf industry is a little hamstrung when it comes to putting sustainable products on store shelves.

Your Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University aims to facilitate a revolution in surf travel so that it benefits the communities where it happens.  You have probably devoted more time than anyone to understanding the surf industry, namely surf tourism, yet you aren’t directly involved with one surf brand.  Personally, I think this puts you in a great position to provide a valuable and somewhat objective opinion…

Because of your stature, if you were to ask challenges of the brands, what would they be? Something they could they be doing?  What are they doing that they could be doing more of? What’s something they should stop doing in your opinion?

(JP) In addition to committing to move surfing products towards sustainability over time (in the way that Kering, for example, is insisting that Volcom moves in that direction and is providing them with metrics and methodologies for that process), I would like to see brands engage more meaningfully in corporate social responsibility programs that support organizations engaged in creating demand for sustainable products. I would like to see more thought put into what results from corporate marketing strategies in terms of impacts in surfing destinations – you’re starting to see this with Volcom’s approach to staging surf contests, with the sponsoring brands who were adopting SurfCredits before the 2014 WCT season. It would be nice to see surf brands assume a more public role in tackling the global environmental issues that will threaten our sports (surf/snow) – I think that surfing is well placed to be a driver of social change once we all get pissed off enough that climate change is going to mean that our favorite reef breaks disappear, our breaks will be in permanent high tide, our snow seasons shorter. Once we start taking that seriously we’ll begin to demand better from ourselves and from others to protect what we love.

From Volcom: Special thanks to Dr. P for taking the time. To learn more about Axel’s experience here, go to the Center for Surf Research’s Blog for a reciprocal piece they did on him!


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Alex Gray Talks Surf and Careers With Kids of S.O.Y.

What a way to wrap up our Surf Days with the kids at Westside Costa Mesa’s S.O.Y. program! After spending 3 days surfing with the staff at S.O.Y. and volunteers from Volcom and Froghouse, the kids had the great opportunity to get some insight from world class, big wave CHARGER Alex Gray.

Before he arrived, Alex had asked, “What should I talk about?” but I think that was a formality, because Alex knew just what to say to remind these kids about the life lessons we learn as surfers, and about following your passion, sticking to it, and being triumphant – even if you are a little…scared.

I think my favorite life lesson and analogy of his was of relaxing in stressful times. The ocean, he reminded the kids, is so big, “you won’t win” so all you can do, in all that turmoil is to relax and go with it. “Wait for things to settle down a bit, and then use your energy to make your way through the opening.” He reminded the kids that sometimes life can throw situations at you that feel a little rough and tumble, but just like in surfing, you need to take a breath, relax, and let the situation pass. I think that’s a valuable reminder for most of us :)

Thanks Alex, for taking time out of what was one of the biggest days here in Newport to come and hang with us and talk story. We appreciate it, and I know it’s something the kids won’t soon forget.

PS Thanks, SOY for the Volcom Brownie!!

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Word on the Street – An Intern’s Perspective

By Jaime G. – Volcom Sustainability Intern

Intern - Jaime G. - Switch Frontside Big Spin Pic by Michael Joseph Perry

Hey Everyone! My name is Jaime Gutierrez and I attend San Diego State University where I am soon to be one of the first graduating classes to hold a degree in Sustainability. I have been working with Axel Eaton this summer as a Sustainability Intern and we’ve been working on everything from helping out with our recycling program here at Volcom HQ, to participating in beach clean ups with the dedicated Surfrider Seal Beach/HB Chapter, as well as having a blast learning how to surf with the enthusiastic kids of Costa Mesa through the “Save Our Youth” program. Working at Volcom HQ with Derek Sabori has really been an epic learning experience. It is great to be surrounded by people who share the same passion as you – whether it is surfing, skateboarding, or snowboarding, we are all shaped by our surrounding environments. For that reason, Volcom’s New Future is true to  keeping these board sports alive and well by fighting to keep our oceans healthy, protecting the air we breathe, and mitigating the consequences of climate change that can adversely affect board sports. Being able to apply my knowledge from school to real life scenarios alongside with my passion for skateboarding has been unreal and I couldn’t be more stoked!

Word on the Street

Although I have spent my fair share working at Volcom HQ, I also had the privilege to work off-site and get a sense of how our sustainability initiatives are affecting the action sports industry as well as our local community. That said, I visited local shops such as Frog House in Newport Beach as well as Surfside Sports in our very own Costa Mesa and also participated in a very successful beach cleanup with Surfrider. Let’s just say I got more out of it than I expected. Not only did I receive some valuable insight, I was also lucky enough to meet some awesome people who are doing their part in making a difference in this world.

The overarching goal of this project was to see how the public views Sustainability and what they would like to see done. We also wanted to see if Sustainability attributes in our products at Volcom influence the customer in their purchasing decisions. We will use this data to help improve our Sustainability Department and respond to the needs and interests of our customers.

Duke at Surfside

One of the first people I was lucky enough to interview was Duke Edukas, the co-owner of Surfside Sports whose shop has been true to this industry since 1975. Not only is Duke helping out our surfers, skateboarders, and snowboarders with some of the finest products, but he also shares a passion for creating a better, healthier future. Another person who took time out of their busy workday to answer some of our questions is Sales Associate Tyler at Jack’s Surf Shop in busy Huntington Beach.  Thanks Tyler! As an avid surfer, Tyler has a direct connection with the marine environment and is fighting for cleaner, healthier beaches. We also interviewed Keith a Sales Associate/Surfer at legendary Frog House at Newport Beach. With Keith’s superb knowledge of the local surf scene, these interviews were far from dull.

A few questions were geared towards finding out what Sustainability means to the individual, what can Volcom do to improve Sustainability as a company, and if there hope for the new future.

In the Shops: Some of the opening questions we asked:

JG: What does Sustainability mean to you? What’s your connection with the environment?

“Sustainability means, to me, our caring about not just the “now” but about the future… the future of the world, our children, our grandchildren, etc. Unless we are responsible with what we do now the future won’t be as good as it could be. I live in this world… isn’t that connection enough? The air we breathe, the water we drink. California is going through a dramatic drought right now so we have to be careful and make sure we don’t destroy the environment for the future. We have to act responsibly.” – Duke, Co-Owner of Surfside Sports

“Sustainability means to me something that is durable and will last for a long time. If you break the word down, the ability to sustain gives it a deeper meaning when you look at the environment surrounding us. My connection with the environment is that I surfed this morning… its beautiful weather, especially when you’re out in the water. Seeing a plastic bag floating around is not something you hope to see… a lot of people need to do their part.” –Tyler, Sales Associate at Jack’s HB

“A way to produce new products from old products. The ability to not run out of a resource. As a surfer, there is a direct connection with the environment.” –Keith, Sales Associate at Frog House 

JG: Did you know Volcom has a Sustainability Department? If you did, any ideas of what goes on in that department? 

 “Yes I did, led by Derek “The Man” Sabori. I know you guys do “Giveback Series” that goes towards environmental efforts.” -Duke, Co-Owner of Surfside Sports

“Yes, because of the stone recycle logo.  I’d imagine trying to improve and find different materials and different ways to be more efficient.”  –Keith, Sales Associate at Frog House   

“No idea. I could imagine probably clean ups.” –Tyler, Sales Associate at Jack’s HB

Keith's Stoked!

The second realm of questions was to see how our efforts are affecting the public and how we can improve our Sustainability Department.

JG: We’re really excited about the work we’re doing and the progress we’re making – What can we do to let the public know more about our Sustainability efforts?

“I feel like it’s a delicate subject not to shove in someone’s face without sounding pretentious. I think subtlety is the best approach along with small things as the logo change… it’s something small but makes such a big impact.” –Keith, Sales Associate at Frog House    

“Recycled bags are a good way to start and spread awareness. I do feel like you guys need to hype it a bit more, market it a little better, post photos on Instagram, etc. Throw some posters up in our shop we get a lot of foot traffic in here!” –Tyler, Sales Associate at Jack’s HB

“More programs such as the donation of jeans that went to helping the homeless. It was a great deal.” – Duke, Co-Owner of Surfside Sports    

What would you like to see us do as a company in regards to Sustainability?

“Having Sustainability in all aspects of the brand.” –Keith, Sales Associate at Frog House

“I think you guys are on the right track listening to people like Derek who are on the fore-front of the movement within your company and if people like Derek are the fore-fronts within all the companies it will translate into a movement through our industry.” -Duke, Co-Owner of Surfside Sports    

“There’s a lot that can be done. Clean ups and product lines are a good start. They have influence on the everyday person. Going out and speaking to the community is another effective way since word-of-mouth is so powerful. Kind of what you’re doing right now.” –Tyler, Sales Associate at Jack’s HB

JG: Are you willing to pay more for an organic, responsibly grown cotton tee? Or an item made with Recycled Polyester rather than virgin poly? If so, what’s your limit?

“Yeah for sure. A few bucks here and there wouldn’t hurt for a good cause.” –Tyler, Sales Associate at Jack’s HB    

“I’d be willing to pay more if the fit was better or if there was some added benefit such as the fit, style, etc…but for the pure fact that it was recycled probably not.” –Keith, Sales Associate at Frog House   

“I am willing to pay more… limit? There’s no limit… with the stipulation that customers buy it. It’s all about that. If customers buy it, I’ll buy as much as they can shove down my throat.” -Duke, Co-Owner of Surfside Sports    

Lastly, we wanted to see what our fellow shops thought about the new future.

JG: Do you believe Sustainability initiatives in the action sports industry are influencing youth in any way?

“Absolutely. Every time we do something like that as an industry, it translates into a trickle-down effect to our younger clientele, our younger sports enthusiasts that we set the example and they’ll also live by.”  -Duke, Co-Owner of Surfside Sports         

Tyler's Hanging Loose

“I wouldn’t say so. From what I’ve seen, kids think the Earth’s going to be the same forever and ever. They’re just living in it, not really taking action. They just want to get out and surf… but if they see the beach really polluted they’ll think twice.” –Tyler, Sales Associate at Jack’s HB    

JG: With collective Sustainability efforts in the action sports industry, do you think we can make a difference?

“I think so… simply by setting an example for the youth. It has to start somewhere.” -Duke, Co-Owner of Surfside Sports 

“Absolutely. It comes down to  a lot of factories in China pumping out a lot of clothes and its whether or not those factories are willing to adapt to a larger picture.” –Keith, Sales Associate at Frog House     

Yes. Especially Volcom. Volcom has a huge “say so” in the action sports industry and pull in society. Volcom is a good company to make this change.”  –Tyler, Sales Associate at Jack’s HB 

At the Beach: Along with interviewing the local shops, we also found out how those passionate about keeping our beaches clean feel about our initiatives in Sustainability. Thanks to Surfrider for letting us help out on this productive day. I was fortunate enough to hear from those participating at the beach clean-up and met some folks such as Mike, Jessica, and Kylee. Each of these folks has their own unique background and perspective.

Mike, a long time surfer and Huntington Beach local had quite a few things to say.

JG and Mike Cleanin' it Up

JG: What do you think about our zero waste program where we are trying to aim for as little waste as possible after our events? It’s a great effort to have in mind.  Especially in a place like Hawaii. I bet the locals were really happy about that.

JG: Do you feel Volcom’s efforts in Sustainability are a good way to get our youth involved? Oh yeah… That’s a great way to teach them… because they probably do not get that in many other places… I doubt they get that much in school or society in general. Really good to focus on that especially if they are kids who are surfing and skating.

After having spent a few hours at the beach cleanup, there was a hard worker that caught our attention that was there from the start of the event. Her name is Kylee and she was taking charge of the sorting of trash to help make this beach cleanup more efficient. Volcom recognizes hard work and we made sure to hook Kylee up with some Volcom gear as well as an interview.

Kylee is 16 years old and attends Edison High School in Huntington Beach.

JG: We’ve been seeing you working hard all day sorting out trash from the beach cleanup. What drives you to be so passionate about cleaning up here? I originally started because I needed community service hours. But when I finished, I realized I really liked working here, helping out, and helping out with the environment so I kept coming back. I really like it.

JG: Did you draw this inspiration from your high school, friends, or just being a local here? Yeah just being a local here. Just seeing everyone littering… it’s your own beach… you just see it and want to help.

JG: What do you feel about companies such as Volcom making efforts in Sustainability? I think it’s awesome. What you guys are doing here is so awesome. I really support it. Thank you guys so much for doing this.

After having interviewed Kylee, we met Jessica who is with Surfrider. Just like the rest of the crew at Surfrider, Jessica was extremely passionate about making changes in this world to produce a better tomorrow. Here are a couple of things Jessica had to say…

JG: What do you feel about companies such as Volcom making efforts in Sustainability? It’s great but I feel you guys should improve on reaching out. Think about how many people like Volcom, but would like Volcom more if people knew they were trying to be environmentally responsible and spread awareness.  That’s where I believe a lot of these companies are lacking. They have these entire departments dedicated to Sustainability but no one knows…

JG: Are you willing to pay more for an organic, responsibly grown cotton tee? Absolutely. They’re marked up a little more but people are still buying. I wish more companies would be doing this.

JG: What would you like to see us do as a company in regards to Sustainability? I wish none of the processes with clothes went overseas… think about all the fuel that is being used shipping clothes back and forth.

Outro: After interviewing some of these charismatic, awesome folks, we found out how people felt about Sustainability and our efforts in trying to create a better new future. We also found out some areas we can improve on. Ultimately, receiving this input from “the word on the street” is truly valuable. Learning how we can shape our future from one-another, face-to-face, human-to-human is truly the best way to get on board in making a positive difference in this world. That said, I’m convinced that Volcom is committed to help create a better, healthier, new future that our next generation (and many more) can enjoy. There’s still a lot more work ahead, though…











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Alex Gray x The ECOBOARD Project

This guy rips AND is standing by his ECOBOARD. Developed by our friends at Sustainable Surf, the ECOBOARD Project label is the first, independent 3rd party, consumer facing “eco-label” for surfboards. It verifies the use of more sustainable materials in the surfboards we ride,  and ensures they are made with the latest advancements in green chemistry, and recycled and renewable materials.

Big thanks to Alex Gray for taking the time to share his thoughts…Be sure to ask for the ECOBOARD label on your next board. Hopefully, your shaper/glasser knows about it. If not, you’ll be glad you turned them on to it!

Thanks Nathan Peracciny for another great piece!

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Stoked on the 2nd Annual SOY Surf Days!

By Axel Eaton, Sustainability Intern

Such an amazing time spent with the fun-loving and free-spirited youth of West-Costa Mesa!  For the second year in a row, we spent three days with the organization SOY (Save Our Youth) teaching kids how to surf as part of our Give Back Series.

Save Our Youth was founded on the idea that teenagers needed an alternative to gangs and the temptation of the streets. As a non-profit agency providing a worthwhile option to an at-risk lifestyle, SOY provides a challenging and healthy environment where teens receive mentoring, tutoring, and college preparedness.

Each morning we met about fifteen kids at Orange Street @ 7am.  Despite waking up early the kids were absolutely fired up and ready to go!  Case in point, some of them were so eager to surf that they’d often be in the water before I could even put my wetsuit on.  Mother nature blessed us with perfect waves & conditions with 2-4ft waves and an ocean temp of 68 degrees.

After practicing our technique on the beach we hit the waves for a solid 3 hours or more of surfing, bodysurfing, and boogie boarding!  For most of the kids it was their first time surfing… They blew my mind!  Many of them were getting up and taking waves all the way to the sand as if they’d been doing it for their entire life.  I’d often joke with the kids, “Are you sure this isn’t your first time surfing??”.

Volcom employees like Richie, Jake Hoose, Jack Morrisey, Deniz Pasinli, Jamie Gutierrez, McKenna Gunderson, and Katie from The FrogHouse volunteered as surf instructors.  Also, surfboards were borrowed from Richie and The Froghouse.  Thanks to everyone who helped out!!

Thanks to the Froghouse for their support!

We surfed until we got hungry and then came in for a tasty breakfast from Shirley’s: bagels, coffee, and orange juice.  YUM!  We filled up on caffeine and didn’t waste anytime getting back in the water.

I have been giving surf lessons to family and friends for the past three years.  Surfing with the SOY kids is special; they are so cool!!  First off, they’re fearless and always wanted the biggest and gnarliest waves.  Also, each and every one of them is kindhearted and respectful to their peers and environment.  Finally, it seems like they constantly radiate good vibes and have a fun time no matter what situation they’re in.

The Save Our Youth mission is: nurturing the teen community to make positive decisions in life.  This is evident in the way the kids were acting; I believe that the organization has done an exceptional job in providing an environment for the kids to mature and become well-rounded citizens in their community.

Check out these photos that capture the excitement!

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Volcom Teams with Surfrider HB/Seal Beach Chapter Beach Clean Up in Bolsa Chica

Hey!  I’m Axel Eaton and I attend the University of California Santa Barbara.  This summer Jamie Gutierrez and I have been working for Volcom & Derek Sabori as Sustainability Interns.  I could not be happier; working at the Volcom HQ is such an empowering experience – I am constantly surrounded by amazing people who are doing extraordinary things.

On Saturday, we teamed up with Surfrider Seal Beach/HB.  Long story short, it was an epic day at the beach!  We encouraged all of the volunteers to pick up trash and they could, in return, earn some awesome Volcom sunglasses, hats, and much more.  We rewarded the most hard working and enthusiastic volunteers with Mizu water bottles andtons of Volcom gear.  169 Volunteers showed up on Saturday morning and collectively picked up 258 POUNDS OF TRASH!

Thanks to everyone for doing their part to keep our beaches clean!  Who knew that cleaning up trash could be so fun?



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