Corky Carroll

Billabong wasn't a no-show at trade show

Last week I was telling you about my day at the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) trade show in San Diego. This is where the companies involved in the action sports industry show off their new products.

I mentioned that I was amazed that some of the biggies in the surfing industry did not attend this year and one of them was Billabong. Well I was wrong on that one -- they were there and I just somehow missed them. This is not surprising as I am a total geek at these shows.

Anything catches my eye, possibly the butt floss sting bikini booth or something, and I walk right past six other things. Anyway, Billabong is one of the main surf wear companies and it is good to know that they were there after all. It shows their good support for an industry that is feeling the effects of this recession severely. Good on ya Billabong.

Also I was talking about the new products that did get my attention. Another one was the booth showing the new "green foam" surfboard blanks. These two dudes Joey Santley and Steve Cox have figured out a way to produce usable surfboard foam made from the foam dust and small pieces of previously considered waste from shaping room floors.

So instead of toxic waste we have more surfboards. Very very extremely cool. They estimate that normally about 20 percent of the foam blanks used to make surfboards ends up as waste and winds up in landfills. Their company is called ReSurf Recycling and its mission is to help clean up the surfing industry.

They have another project in the works to make "green" wetsuits from the same wasted rubber left over in the production of surfing wetsuits. This just backs up the old theory that "one man's waste is another man's treasure." One day you might be riding a surfboard and wearing a wetsuit made totally out of recycled materials. You will be ripping and warm and at the same time saving the planet.

Another cool product I saw was the Goofboard. These things are kind of like the old "Bongo Board" or the current "Indo Board," which are basically pieces of wood that roll back and forth over a rounded block of wood that resembles a roller. Really fun and a great way to break your neck at the same time, what could be better than that?

Well the Goofboard is a bit different in the fact that they roll on a cylinder that can be placed either horizontally under the board or vertically, thusly allowing a truer surfing feel. My son Tanner tried it out and was stoked. He wanted to see me do it but I am not real fond of doing face and/or butt plants in public -- especially surfing public. It's embarrassing enough when I surf these days, but at least then the water is a soft landing.

Wow, not to change the subject in mid column, but while writing this I just got an email from my old pal and long time surfing partner Mike Doyle. Mike is one of the all-time great surfing legends and one of those dudes who has kept himself in great shape into his golden years when if he stuck to the program like most of the rest of us he would be fat and feeble.

But nooooo. He looks like he is in his 40's and actually is in his late 60's. He still surfs all the time as well and is a great skier and snowboarder. He just sent me a bunch of photos from Joey Cabell's 70th birthday party up in Aspen, Colo. Amazing. I can't believe Joey is 70. This is yet another of those dudes who refuse to blend in and is still shredding waves and mountains.

Joey was one of the top surfers in the world during the 1960's and 70's and also a world-class skier. He was one of the original four guys who started the Chart House restaurant chain. The first ones were in Aspen and here in Newport Beach.

Former World Surfing Champion Nat Young is also in the photos and looks sleek too. What's up with these guys? One of these days I am gonna have to drop the chalupa I guess. But geeze, I love food.