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Newsletter Issue #11

Goeie Dag
Welcome back to another edition of the Coconut Wireless! We're featuring an interview with Z-boy Stacy Peralta this month, and we couldn't be more stoked. His film, Riding Giants is a big hit around here, and the skaters among us cut our teeth (and skinned our knees) watching his Bones Brigade videos from the 1980's. Stacy's impact on action sports has been gigantic, and we hope you enjoy this brief look at his life as a filmmaker, skater and surfer. We'd also like to welcome legendary surf artist Rick Rietveld to the site. We've been a big fan of Rick's for a while now, and we're proud to offer a wide selection of his works as both regular and enhanced giclees. You can check out the genius of Rietveld here. Hope the New Year is treating you well, and we'll be in touch.

Take 'er easypeace
Waveriders Gallery

Inside the Studio

Stacy PeraltaStacy Peralta is a true action sports legend. During his career as one of the top skateboarders of the late 70’s and early 1980’s, Peralta co-founded the company Powell/Peralta and helped push the business of skateboarding to astronomical heights. More recently, he directed the documentary Riding Giants, which chronicles the history of big wave surfing from the golden age through the modern era.

You were part of the creation of one of the largest and most influential skateboarding companies, and team, of its time. How did it all start?
Perhaps from surfing I learned that life is all about looking down the line. While I was skating professionally I could see that down the line, when my skate career was over, there was going to be nothing for me in the skate world unless I made it happen myself. I wasn’t being offered any lavish positions in any companies. So I began talking to various skate company owners hoping to find someone who shared a similar vision. I met George Powell, who was ten years my senior - at that time he had a very small company called Powell, and we found that we shared very similar ideas in regards to where we saw skateboarding going and what we wanted to do with a company. We spoke on and off for about six months until one day we decided to go into business together, the result was Powell/Peralta.

Your career as a filmmaker began with the classic Bones Brigade videos. Can you give us a history of how these movies came about and the lessons you learned along the way?
We were very inventive in our advertising and marketing and we were always thinking up new ways to reach the kids who bought our products. We realized early on that advertisements in magazines could only go so far as they are one-dimensional. This was during the early 80s and vertical skateboarding was going through its second birth - ie: leaving the walls behind for the air where things would really begin to take off for the next decade.  The magazines couldn’t capture the impact of this so we dreamed up doing a skateboard video. We did it strictly for promotional purposes, thinking it would play inside of skateboard shops as a point of purchase display. The VCR revolution was just beginning and we never imagined how fast it would take off. So what happened is that we finished the first video in the Spring of 1984 and we ended up selling about 30,000 all over the world as skaters for the first time could see a maneuver done in real time. The skate videos we did had a huge impact on the growth of the sport as they became manifestos of information that skateboarders shared, talked about and became inspired by.

The 1987 movie The Search for Animal Chin comments on the commercialized nature of skating in the 1980’s. Do you do you think that the early Bones Brigade videos may have ironically contributed to this commercialization, or were darker forces at work trying to capitalize on the then $300 million industry?
We all began to make money and we were making money because skateboarding was booming out of control all over the planet. Animal Chin was our way of not necessarily putting the brakes on but of checking ourselves and reminding ourselves why we’re doing this in the first place.

Obviously skating is still big business today, but there’s definitely soul in its practice. What do you think contributes the most to the artistic expression of modern skateboarding?
You can do it alone and you can do it virtually anywhere there is concrete. It takes so little. Surfing requires getting to the ocean and then there are the myriad of conditions you’re hoping for, snowboarding is the same. Skateboarding is simplicity itself and it has now become a savior for inner-city kids who have access to nothing but concrete.

Your career in TV and movies has spanned over 2 decades. What do you feel has been your biggest contribution as a writer and director to the world of skating and surfing?
If I’ve contributed anything I guess it would be my point of view and my love for both sports.

Following the award-winning documentary Dogtown & Z Boys, you switched gears to direct the critically acclaimed Riding Giants. What prompted you to change your focus from asphalt & concrete to sand and saltwater?
riding giantsRiding Giants was a film I personally wanted to see and it was a film I needed to get out of my system as I’ve been a surfer my entire life. There are so few surfing related films that actually tell a story and offer context. I thought it was about time that we have something that allows us to look back over our shared history and see the connecting points. Greg Noll was the initial inspiration for the film. Upon first meeting him and seeing how entertaining he is, I knew he would just jump off the screen.
Also, Riding Giants was the first documentary ever chosen as the opening night film of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. We premiered there in 2004, I brought Greg up on stage after the film and the crowd of 3000 gave him a standing ovation. It was a highlight moment in my life. I’ve since become very close friends with him.

Looking back on your life, is there any other direction you would have pursued other than surfing and skateboarding?
I don’t think so. Surfing and skateboarding are responsible for everything in my life. Just about everything good in my life has somehow or another come out of them. Skateboarding taught me how to be a film-maker and both surfing and skateboarding have been the core of my identity first as a boy and now as a man. My only regret, if I have any, is that I wish I could surf better waves more often.

Off the lip

“As for my own surfing, let's just say that when the waves start pushing 10 feet, I get this tremendous urge to make a sandwich.” -Bruce Jenkins North Shore Chronicles

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Sipping Jetstreams
Price Hike - Bummer!
Due to manufacturing costs, we’ve been forced to raise our prices on select posters! We’re able to maintain current pricing until Feb. 15th, but after that, these quality wall hangers by the likes of Rick Rietveld and Ron Croci will increase to $65 for unframed posters and $195 for the framed versions. Order now before the prices swell!

DVDs This offering of surf movies is a healthy cross section of wave riding on film and ranges from the classic to the quirky, any one of which will make a fantastic addition to your surf movie collection. View the collection here.

upcoming exhibits
Green Room artist Jay Alders will showcase his work at Surf Taco in Belmar, New Jersey on March 14th.  The show is located at 1003 Main St. and starts at 8PM.

Veteran lensman Sean Davey will select several premier images from his enormous catalog of work to offer as limited edition giclees on canvas. Each image will run in an edition of 30 and will be offered through Waveriders Gallery starting in mid-february.

Artist Robb Havassy has just released a new edition of his Surf Odyssey Surf Art Calendar. This beautiful 15 month wall calendar features almost a hundred pieces of art and photography by Robb, and a portion of the proceeds go to help Surf Aid International with their efforts to fight against disease in the Mentawais. This calendar can be ordered through Robb’s site and make a perfect gift for humanitarians and surf art connoisseurs alike.

rick rietveld
Rick Rietveld, a Southern California native, began surfing in 1971. After studying at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Rick co-founded the popular surfwear company, Maui & Sons, in 1980. He held the position of creative director for 10 years, during which time his artwork launched the success of the company's image and popular appeal. He has received several awards for his work, and has been featured in books such as Stoked: A History of Surfing as well as several magazines including Surfer, Surfing and Action Sports Retailer. Concerning his work, Rick says "My art tells stories of better lands, fairer seas, adventure, spirituality, beautiful women - but the story's ending is left up to the viewer. It's a reaction to my daily experiences ensconced in my passion of the surf and beach lifestyle that I have enjoyed for the past 40 years."

Surfriders Foundation

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