Quinn Matthews Photo Show | Laguna Beach, California

If you don't have plans tonight, then you need to check out Quinn Matthews photo show presented by Rusty. Quinn is a really talented photographer and has progressed as an artist since I first featured him on the site back in 2011. Additionally, he is a super cool guy from the handful of times that I have hung out with him. If you repost his Instagram Picture, then he will give you a 18x24 signed print! Did I mention there will be free drinks too? Art, Prints and Drinks, don't miss out! The show starts at 6pm and is tonight (Thursday, March 5th).

1294 Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA

Huntington Beach Snow Storm 2015

Huntington Beach, California is most well known for it's sunny weather, iconic beaches and upscale downtown district. But Monday morning, things looks rather different as snow/hail fell from the sky and covered the surrounding areas. Yes, it was snowing in California...at the beach! I have yet to see anything like this, despite living in Orange County my entire life and it is quite a view. The snow/hail did melt off by the mid afternoon, but for those who got to see it in person it was rather memorable. Anyone want to go surfing?

GoPro Mouth Mount | Ho Stevie

Getting good footage from your GoPro Camera is all about being as close to the action as possible, whether you are playing in the shorebreak at The Wedge in Newport Beach or pulling into heavy barrels around the world. While there are plenty of aftermarket accessories to assist your filming efforts, nothing provides such a unique view as a GoPro Mount Mount. It allows you to film exactly what you are seeing yourself and is 100x better than filming via a board mount.

Not looking to spend your entire paycheck on GoPro accessories? Then check out Ho Stevie's site where you can purchase one of these Mouth Mounts for $29.99! They come with everything you need to get started and will surely improve your GoPro footage. The only thing left to do is find the perfect music for your new Instagram video edit!

Keep Reading:
How Body Language Affects Your Surfing Performance

RNI All Films 3.0 Review | RNI Film Presets for Lightroom

RNI is a film emulation software designed specifically for photographers looking to get the look and feel of authentic film, with the ease of use associated with digital. They offer a variety of different packages that can be used with Lightroom and ACR. 

I decided to put their lightroom presets to the test and was pretty happy with the results. Installation was easy (I use lightroom) and editing pictures using my typical workflow was quick and efficient. Below you will find a handful of images edited with RNI All Films 3.0 Presets for Lightroom, since I don't have any recent events or photoshoots that I still need to edit. 

As you can see, the look you can get with RNI All Films 3.0 is somewhat old school and retro in its atheistic.  The great thing is that so many presets are included, that finding one that fits your photography shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure you spend some time going through each one and seeing which color profiles match you style. 

Stay tuned for a full review of the RNI All Films 3.0 Presets in the coming months!

RNI Film Presets

RNI Film Presets for Lightroom

RNI Film Presets for Lightroom

RNI Film Presets for Lightroom

RNI Film Presets for Lightroom

RNI Film Presets for Lightroom

Mason Ho | Made in Hawaii

Bethany Hamilton is Pregnant

I wanted to do a quick post to congratulate Bethany Hamilton and her husband on the announcement that they are expecting a baby boy later this year. The two were married in 2013 and Bethany is now 22 weeks along. She also said that she has continued surfing, though at much lower intensities than her previous competitive career. All that's left is choosing the perfect name!

Bethany is also one of the first professional female surfers to get pregnant and put her career on hold; something I think is really special. Dirks and Bethany may not have won The Amazing Race earlier this year, but they seem to be doing quite fine in their everyday life. Congrats again to Bethany and Dirks!

Sally Fitzgibbons Drops Roxy Sponsorship | An In-Depth Story

When Sally Fitzgibbons announced that she was leaving Roxy on December 23rd via Instagram, I suspected that there was much more to the story since many were unaware that she no longer wanted to represent Roxy; a suspicion that motivated me to do some investigating. After reaching out to Sally, the information I gathered starts tell a much more complete and accurate story.

Roxy was first notified of Sally's desire to leave their surf team earlier this past summer and she followed through with her decision a handful of days before Christmas. The main reasons include the need for a change and a fresh approach for 2015 and internal management changes at Roxy.

What's particularly interesting is that all the major female surf teams have a full roster of athletes, which means it is unlikely that Sally will sign with another major surf brand anytime in the near future. While it wasn't my place to inquire too deeply into personal finances, I can tell you that competing on the World Championship Tour incurs numerous expenses, which can be more difficult to cover if you lose (or leave) a sponsor. However, Sally has proven herself on the WCT and earned more than $650,000 in career earnings thus far and still has partnerships with Red Bull and Samsung. With that being said, this would be a great opportunity for a mainstream brand to sign Sally Fitzgibbons to a multi-year endorsement deal.

Perhaps the underlying message is that things are not always as they seem. I would have never guessed that Sally Fitzgibbons was thinking of leaving Roxy her team for the past 10 years, or that the management at Roxy was having problems. The surf industry is a small community of tight knit individuals who are afraid of saying the wrong thing, double-crossing the wrong person or being blacklisted for one mistake. A prime example of this is Damien Fahrenfort and Jake Paterson. So here's to Sally Fitzgibbons for being a trendsetter in a largely unexplored territory, as she isn't solely motivated by financial gains at the expense of her reputation, beliefs and opinions. Cheers!

Full Interview with Sally Fitzgibbons

What year did you start surfing for Roxy?
I started my career with Billabong when I was eleven but joined Roxy when I was fourteen which ended up being a successful ten-year partnership.

Did this sponsorship deal end because a renewal agreement could not be agreed upon or was there a dispute that caused the deal to end early?
After working on my book 'Live Like Sally' last year it gave me reason to reflect on what I have achieved in surfing the past 10 years and I concluded I was extremely proud of my results and profile I have created. What it also made me do was look at what I want to do over the next 10 years and I decided staying under the umbrella of Roxy wasn't for me. I began to think about starting my own brand and will be partnering with Spartan Sports (an experienced sporting goods company) to help bring that dream to fruition. I’m not sure what the brand will end up looking like yet but I am excited about the opportunity.

How do you about no longer riding for Roxy? Was it a tough decision or did you feel like this is the right time to switch to a new team?
It was an unusual feeling but one that is part of growing up; everyone can expect to change jobs several times over their career. When I peeled the sticker off the nose and looked down it did feel strange for the first few surfs but I am use to it now.

Will this change in sponsorship affect any of your surfing equipment, training regiment's etc?
It will be business as usual for me in 2015. I have my ongoing partnerships with Red Bull, Samsung, Firewire Surfboards and FCS as well as some exciting new partners looking to come onboard this year. I am still looking for a major partnership to occupy the nose of my board :)

Was leaving Roxy a financial decision or were there other motivating factors?
I am not too sure how Roxy is sitting financially but I know in 2014 there were some management problems that helped me make the decision to move on. I indicated to them in July that I was looking to move on. It was a leap of faith to leave a major sponsor and one that I had been with for so long without already having a new one in place but I have a motivated team of amazing people around me to help the change be a successful one.

What are you looking forward to most for the 2015 season?
The thing I am most looking forward to is a clean slate and another opportunity to win the World Title. It was an extremely close title race last year where I won 2 world tour events (Fiji & Brazil) and made 2 other finals so I look forward to converting some of those other opportunities. I always get excited about improving my surfing!

Will you be announcing a new sponsor?
These things take time and as I am looking outside the surf industry it may take a little longer. One exciting partnership I can announce is with X-Dubai where I will be helping promote Dubai as an extreme sporting centre for the world. They have some exciting plans they are looking to activate over the next two years.

Anything else?
I just released my first mobile App called Sally Fitzgibbons Surfing for Android and Apple IOS… just for fun. On those long flights when I am not reading a good book I can fill in some time playing my new favorite game and thinking about my surfing :) 

Read More Articles About Sally Fitzgibbons:
Sally Fitzgibbons | 2014 Women's World Title Race
Interview with Sally Fitzgibbons | 2013
Surfing Around the Globe With Sally Fitzgibbons
Interview with Sally Fitzgibbons | 2011

Free Diving x Onyx M-24 Belt Pack Inflatable PFD

Going free diving is a great activity that can be done year-round here in California. It also complements surfing, as conditions are best when the surf is relatively small. However, many are hesitant to participate due to the variety of dangerous scenarios that can occur without warning. The most notable being exhaustion, getting tangled in Kelp, getting smashed on the reef or becoming disoriented. 

The biggest threat is the time that it would take to receive medical aid or support from lifeguards when things go wrong. For example, when I go with my friends in Laguna a Beach, we explore coves, beaches and reefs that are secluded and we rarely see anyone. This is a unique experience, but not the best for personal and group safety.

More recently, I've been brainstorming on ways to make free diving safer for everyone involved. My best solution thus far is to wear a Onyx M-24 Belt Pack Inflatable PFD or similar product. I have one for when I go Stand Up Paddling, but think it could be repurposed for free diving. 

First and foremost, it can aid someone who is close to drowning from exhaustion; whether it's yourself or someone you are with. Not only is a potential drowning a very serious situation, but it can also put others in your group at risk if the drowning victim starts pulling others underwater. Instead you could deloy the inflatable personal floatation device to keep the victim above water. 

If a fellow free driver got hurt, started cramping up or needed assistance back to shore, the Onyx M-24 Belt Pack Inflatable PFD could also be very helpful. Additionally, the PFD is bright yellow which would attract attention from those on the beach. This could encourage someone to call 911 before you reach shore or swim out to assist. 

Sure, experienced free divers might not have a need for this. But if free diving is just a hobby that you and your friends enjoy, it might be worth it to reduce risk. Of course, free diving is still a dangerous activity and it's important to know your personal limits and not exceed them. It all comes down to personal responsibility and you should never place yourself in a situation that you can't get yourself out of. Nonetheless, a Onyx M-24 Belt Pack Inflatable PFD is a good backup plan for when things go wrong.  

2015 Haala Denim Kickstarter Campaign

I first talked about Haala Denim at the end of 2014 and hinted at the fact that they were planning on launching their first Kickstarter Campaign. So I am excited to officially announce that the 2015 Haala Denim Kickstarter campaign has started. In just a few short days, they have raised more than 1/3 of their goal and are going strong. I'm pretty confident that they will surpass their $15,000 goal in the next 37 days.

Let's face it, Kickstarter campaigns all come down to what you get for supporting one's campaign. This campaign offers rewards ranging from tote bags to a chambray sport shirt. Oh and you also have the chance to get a pair of their premium denim jeans at wholesale prices! It's an opportunity that doesn't come around very often, so don't miss out!

Want to learn more about Haala Denim? Check out my original story here!

If These Fins Could Talk...

They would recall the countless ocean rescues I assisted with as a junior lifeguard

Those who couldn't swim, were drifting into the pier or got in over there heads

They would tell you what it feels like to get sucked over the falls on a set wave

They would describe how powerful The Wedge in Newport Beach is

They would reflect on many free diving adventures in Laguna Beach

And the 37+ times that I jumped off San Clemente Pier

Most importantly, these fins would tell you that the ocean is a place where I clear my head

And contemplate life's greatest mysteries

If these fins could talk, they would tell some great stories

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