Surf-A-Palooza: Dec. 27-Jan 3

Hellman or Healyman? During a recent large swell on the North Shore, hard charging Mark Healy, all 145 lbs. of him, was spotted paddling in to some to beasts at Phantoms, keeping the tow crew at bay.

Quiksilver pimps their newest creation the “Cell” wetsuit. Seams like a great idea. Less is more.

Bill Ogden dropped me an email. If you’re a surfer, and over 16 years old, you’ve undoubtedly seen Bill’s work, the most famous being “The Forgotten Island of Santosha” poster. Ogden’s other notable works include the Jantzen ads that graced the back cover of Surfer during the ’60s. But Ogden isn’t resting on his laurels. He’s got a bunch of cool stuff on this site. If you’re a fan of classic surf art, or art in general, go check out it out.

From the Not-Another-Half-Built-Building dept: Baja Escalara Nautica update. Chris Evans, of the Surfrider Foundation, sent me this link . Fill out the required fields at this website and Surfrider will send a letter to Mexico’s President Vicente Fox for you. From a pulled-back, objective, global perspective the idea of massive harbors up and down the Baja peninsula seems like a good idea. It should bring jobs for Mexicans, provide dollars for regional infrastructure, etc, etc. Look, the Mexicans have the sovereign right to do with their land what they will. However, as a surfer, I say, “Sovereignty be damned. Save the waves!”

Be sure to check out footage from the Pipe Masters at . Along those lines, rumor on the street is that Hansen’s Energy drink is entering the market place. Look for the Hansen’s Pipeline Pro (WQS 3-star). Michael Tomson (Gotcha fame) is marketing charge for Hansen’s and Mike Cruikshank will be dealing with team issues.

REEF signed Aussie ripper Mick Fanning to a 5-year deal. Mick rips and a world title is almost assured. His 2002 accomplishments: the ASPs 2002 Rookie of the Year, 8th place on the Surfer Poll awards, A ‘CT win at J-Bay. A smart move by Fernando and co.

Surfer lensman Patrick Trefz has compiled a fabulous collection of images into a book entitled “Visions of Surf City”. This is a must have for collectors of fine surf lifestyle pics. If you are a fan of “The Surfer’s Journal” series (Grannis, Brewer, Divine, Bolster) this book is for you.

Speaking of fine surf photos. I made a foray into Rob Gilley’s Pacific Surf Gallery the other day. The shot of Cardiff’s south peak reeling along pulls at my heart strings. On another photographic note, be sure to check out Tom Servais’s website to view Tom’s classic and timeless surf images. Prints available too!

Rise Above: Video Action Sports aligns itself with previously unclassifiable titles that might include such subjects as no holds barred fighting, midnight alligator wrestling or street hot rodding. According to a VAS email, “Rise Above Entertainment’s first releases include “Mischief” and “Mischief 3000” – underground import street racing titles, and “Pritchard vs. Dainton” – an antic-driven skating video from the U.K.. Coming in 2003 will be “Rites of Passage” – a gritty documentary on the mysterious world of no holds barred fighting, “Fighting Mad” – a compilation of somewhat shocking home video footage of fights blended with a hardcore metal soundtrack, and the heavily anticipated video featuring Wee Man and Laban (of MTV Jackass fame) appropriately titled “American Misfits.”” If you’re a fan of crazy video action, stay familiar with this new sub-label “Rise Above”.