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News, Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Brick + Mortar: Almond Surfboards & Designs

July 11, 2013

Surf shops are a dime a dozen in Southern California. Everything from wholesale warehouses to small, boutique businesses. Some are soulless, others are awe inspiring. Boards being built, shorts being sewn – the essence of 1960s surf culture still alive in some. Authenticity is important, though. The big brand stores selling so much of the same shit; shirts with swirly logos and crazy color combos. Apparel and accessories not made in America. Profit margins being of the utmost importance. Almond Surfboards and Designs was a different story, though. Founded in 2008 by Dave Allee and a handful of friends, Almond is “the premier lifestyle brand of the Surfer+Craftsman… a collaborative effort of friends who enjoy making things the old fashioned way.” I can get into that. So when we were in So-Cal a few weeks ago, we took some time to visit their new store in Newport Beach.


It sits on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway, a rather infamous stretch of pavement that has transported surf seekers since the early 1940s. It’s unassuming from the outside. A grey(ish) blue building with a small sign in the window. But when you walk in, the tall ceilings and exposed air ducting, the assorted surfing shapes on one side, clothing and accoutrements on the other, you realize this isn’t going to be an ordinary experience. And then there’s Dave. A handsome young man in his late-twenties, Dave couldn’t have been more inviting. He showed us around the shop; boards and bikes and small wooden skateboards and all kinds of clothing. He talked about crafting things in California, his passion for producing. He smiled when we explained what it’s like to be a surfer from Seattle. Genuine is what I would say. A damn fine dude.


We spent three or four hours inside their shop. Karissa found a few things she couldn’t live without, including a Pepto-Bismol pink Lumberjack that was hiding in the corner (unfortunately she couldn’t afford to keep it). We walked out with that warm fuzzy feeling you can acquire only when you surround yourself with the stoked. People that honestly appreciate our salty lifestyle. So-Cal or anywhere else. We seek the same thing. And the guys at Almond Surfboards and Designs are doing their part to keep people interested in our ideals.





Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.



June 27, 2013

Review Haiku:
Dark & Stormy Day,
more bails than the Dark Knight,
Ouch! @ 2:40




9ft & Single

June 24, 2013

Deus Ex Machina presents 9’ft & Single. A Short Film by David ‘Pretty Boy’ Schaap. Held in Canggu, Bali… the event drew a  list of talented logger enthusiasts, traveling from far and wide to attend the festival.



June 12, 2013

On a trip from north to south, from the most crowded spots to unknown breaks, PENINSULA is the tale of a journey to discover and describe where surfing in Italy came from and what it is like nowadays. Peninsula is a freedom collage about surfing and surfers, about friendship and rivalries, about environmental issues, climate and a bit of history. entirely shot in 35mm, 16mm and super8 film.

Onde Nostre / Block 10

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Film Review: Secret Sound Underground

June 10, 2013

The surf video is a tricky art form. The subject matter – surfing – must constantly remain the main focus of the art which leaves little room for a filmmaker to be creative and contribute. Storyline, cut-aways, filters, editing and overall tone are the limited utensils that allow a film to stand out. In Secret Sound Underground, Jack Coleman is well aware that in order to make an impression and to project his art he must utilize the few film tricks allotted him.

Coleman’s Secret Sound Underground scraps storyline, taking an approach that is a collage of surfing from places like Indonesia and Mexico while being completely stamped with fucked-up b-roll footage likened to a methadone addict’s wonderful and terrifying dream. The film is abrupt and abrasive, breaking from normal surf film form. Though the film is reminiscent of Morning of the Earth and other psychlike 70s surf culture Coleman adds his own schizophrenic artistic voice making Secret Sound Underground unique. The dreamlike, removed aura of the film is partly attributed to the exotic Southeast Asian influence seen in the cut-away footage.

Like good art, this film is not easy. Secret Sound Underground is a piece of art that needs consideration; it is not a purely entertaining straightforward surf film nor is it a rhetoric film (which is so popular these days). Overall, Secret Sound Underground is a well scored, well edited meditation on drugged-out surf culture that is sure to weird out your parents.


Get your own copy of Secret Sound Underground here.


Almond Wetsuits x Yoshihiro Sayama

May 31, 2013

Almond Wetsuits are designed in California, and built by Yoshihiro Sayama at his wetsuit shop in Hiratsuka City, Japan. Sayama has been hand crafting wetsuits from start to finish, for forty years.

Video & Edit: Chad Cress
Music: “Hope Valley Hill” by Helios

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Book Review: The Plight of the Torpedo People

May 27, 2013

I buy a lot of books. My wife would tell you too many. A nasty habit I acquired from my old man. Buy three, read one. But coffee table books don’t count. Because you can’t really “read” them. You pick it up on occasion, peel through a few pages, ogle some images and then return it to its home on the hardwood (cause glass coffee tables should have stayed in the 80s). This book, however, is an exception, as it accompanies Come Hell or High Water, a body surfing film made by Keith Malloy. Now, to be completely honest, I didn’t watch the movie until after I’d already browsed through the book. Maybe a mistake. But the images inside The Plight of the Torpedo People are incredible, and as far as I’m concerned, they can be appreciated with or without an introduction to their importance. There are also screen grabs from the film, which offer the “reader” a window into the world of a surfer sans stuff. A poem by Mark Cunningham captures their connection – Torpedo People pulling to big peelers, falling down the face, escaping underwater. A connection us above water wave riders can’t have. It’s a beautiful book. One that’ll make you wanna pick up a pair of fins and swim out when it’s shitty. Or when it isn’t.



Pick up your own copy of Plight of the Torpedo People

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.


Morning Coffee, Afternoon Tea

May 24, 2013

New by Drew. Morning Coffee, Afternoon Tea features one full day of beach-combing in Florida with Justin Quintal and Joe Pulido.

Music: Nina Simone and Rodriguez
Images: Drew Miller