4x World Wake Surfing Champion, Ashley Kidd, has been out there carving a legacy. From championship runs to operating her own surfboard store and bikini line, she’s absolutely been living life in forward motion.
Recently, we caught up with the Blenders Brand Ambassador for a little Q & A as part of women’s history month, wherein we talk championships, business, and style:
Blenders: What inspires you to live life in forward motion as much as possible every week?
Ashley: Life can be ended at any second so always live up to your full potential and accomplish as much as you can!
Blenders: Your first wake surfing contest was the World Wake Surfing Championship in 2010, where you nabbed second place. What did that immediate success do for your confidence?
Ashley: I actually entered that competition not knowing whether I was good at wake surfing or not so it was a huge surprise for me to be recognized and actually receive my first sponsor at that time. That first competition was the beginning of my wake surfing career from then on I went to competitions and competed in the pro level on the wake surfing circuit, so I guess you can say that competition definitely boosted my confidence and changed my life!
Blenders: You’re now a 4X World Wake Surfing Champion. What was your favorite/most memorable pro competition and why?
Ashley: My favorite competition was the World Wake Surfing Championship in Las Vegas in 2014 when I won my first World title and Female athlete of the year award. It was literally the best feeling in the world!
Blenders: How fulfilling was it to become an entrepreneur (Cheekah Bikinis)?
Ashley: Knowing that I can start a business from nothing to something great was mind blowing to me. If you set your mind to something you can accomplish everything! I actually decided to close down Cheekah Bikinis because I realized that it wasn't my passion. It was a great experience that showed me I can run a company but it also really made me appreciate wake surfing so much more!
Blenders: What’s your fav pair of Blendz?
Ashley: I absolutely LOVE the A series and the Guava Queen North Park
Blenders: Imagine you need a walk-up song in baseball (or a WWE ring entrance jam, take your pick). What bop are you going with?
Ashley: Probably “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift because I would just walk in dancing... I know it's been so over played but it literally always puts me in a good mood lol.
Blenders: What’s your spirit animal?
Ashley: An Eagle! Haha, I am a strong person but also like being laid back and want to just fly around lol.
Organized by The Boardr and sponsored by Vans, the African Continental Championships park series went down this weekend in Cape Town and it gave South African hopefuls a chance to show out and earn a spot at the Park Series World Championships—and perhaps even the pro tour.
Ultimately, the Vans Park Series African Continental Championships that concluded Saturday, Sept. 15th was more than a regional showcase for local talent. It was a first-of-its-kind event in Africa that brought to life the area’s first public skate bowl. That’s the kind of sporting development we have a soft spot for, so we couldn’t help but shine a quick light on the results from this one.
Competition was fierce but there could be only one. (How very Highlander of us.)
It was Yann Horowitz who came away with top honors… and if that name’s at least vaguely familiar to you, well, there’s probably a couple reasons for that.
But first, here’s how the primary results broke down:
Yann Horowtiz, Age 27
Thalente Biyela, Age 25
Kalvyn Mac Millan, Age 29
Repping South Africa, the 27-year-old Horowitz stole the show and looks poised to advance beyond his 379th-ranked global ranking (remember, this isn’t the pro tour). Sponsored by the likes of adidas, Stance, RVCA, and Baseline Skateshop, Horowitz isn’t your average “outside the top 300”-type competitor. An outspoken ambassador for the game, Horowitz is a riser in South Africa and a guy that’s getting his voice heard. (He also happens to be gay but prefers to be known as a great skateboarder first-and-foremost; activist second). But no matter how you do or don’t know of him, he’s someone to watch.
You can follow Yann Horowtiz on Insta, @horoblitz.
P.S. The Vans Park Series Men’s Pro tour (going up a rung!) heads to Shanghai for the 2018 World Championships on October 26th-27th. As you can imagine, we’ll have some solid coverage for all of ya!
From Hawaii to Haiti to countless points in-between, it's summer somewhere, Here are a few shots of Blenders living in forward motion!
Maika being zen af here in what has to rank as a “Top 10” of summer poses.
Shades: Natty Ice Lime
The lenses of the 'Natty McNasty’ sunnies perfectly capture the hue of the ocean’s waves. Strong choice, Matt!
Shades: Natty McNasty
Blenders’ own Grace McLaughlin with a lil flower power and some seriously cutting-edge shades.
Shades: Wild Delilah
Eiji checks in this summer with an absolutely jaw-dropping self-portrait shot thanks to an assist from @enchantingpixels. A little post-production magic—there was a 2x6 board spanning the rocks that was later edited out. Very cool!
Shades: Tipsy Goat Polarized
Jumping off boats into azure Haitian waters, all while rocking a sick, zero-curvature mirrored look? Just a day in the life for James.
Shades: Blue Phoenix
Sun, surf, and a cold brew—Jordan hit upon a tough-to-beat combo while drinking in the fierce competition at last month’s Super Girl Surf Pro in nearby Oceanside. Peep our recap of the event!
Shade: Rolling Dice
Stephanie looking radiant in ‘Autumn Fire’courtesy of @stephenplopper.
Shades: Autumn Fire
Not many of the great skate flicks are mainstream, plot-driven movies. While some popular films use skateboarding as a theme tied to an overarching drama/comedy (say, 1986’s Thrashin’ with Josh Brolin) or are focused affairs that follow a customary documentary format (2001’s Dogtown and Z Boys), other skateboarding culture pieces operate a bit differently.
Today, we’re diving deep with a list of five genre classics that prove you don’t need an established plot or a strictly defined structure in order to make an impact...
We’ll kick off with a piece that’s widely considered one of the most influential of all time. The first video ever directed by the uber-talented Spike Jonze ( Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and, more recently, Her), Video Daysfocuses on a series of scenes of pros performing tricks, tied together by a fantastic soundtrack (Jonze would go on to direct a barrage of 90s music videos for Sonic Youth, The Beastie Boys, Daft Punk, etc.) and, in this case, the recurring appearance of a Blue Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency.
Video Days features the likes of Guy Mariano, Jordan Richter, Mark Gonzales, and then-pro-skateboarder, Jason Lee ( Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks II, My Name is Earl) .In fact, it would be this cult classic that’d eventually catch the attention of director Kevin Smith, leading to Lee’s placement in Mallrats.
A product of Costa Mesa, California’s Plan B Skateboards (founded 1991), Virtual Reality premiered at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Arts on June 11, 1993 and followed the largely disconnected but inspired format of Video Days. At the time, the Plan B team was comprised of Danny Way, Rick Howard, Rodney Mullen, Colin McKay, Matt Hensley, Ryan Fabry, Pat Duffy, Mike Carroll, Sean Sheffey, Sal Barbier, Aaron Artis, and Tony Ferguson, although Carroll did not make an appearance in Virtual Reality.
Director Spike Jonze returned in ’96 to leave his indelible imprint on Girl Skateboard’s Mouse. Yet again, the soundtrack was a revelation to many— if you were, say, only listening to punk rock at the time, your mind got cracked open and filled with fresh wonder. However, it was the assembled talent that makes this one so enduring in skating culture: Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Gino Iannuchi, Guy Mariano, Tim Gavin, Mike York, Chico Brenes, Daniel Castillo, Rudy Johnson, Eric Koston, and many more.
Speaking of Koston, feel free to peep our career retrospective!
Shorty’s would grow into one of the more prominent brands of the 1990s… but not before things hit critical mass with the drop of Fulfill the Dream in ’98. While this brand popularity would tail away near the start of the new millennium, Fulfill the Dreamstands strong to this day thanks to the contributions of the likes of Chad Muska, Peter Smolik, Steve Olson, Toan Nguyen, Aaron Snyder, Jesse Silvey, Brandon Turner, and Sammy Baptista.
P.S., here are some Shorty’s throwback photos from that era.
Alien Workshop, the independent skate company formed by Mike Hill, Chris Carter, and Neil Blender in 1990, felt a little extra ambitious around the turn of the millennium. In 2000, they teamed with Joe Castrucci to birth Photosynthesis, a skate flick in the vein of the aforementioned on this list—we’re talking a raw, real and gritty style with a scintillating soundtrack that helped shape the taste of music for many turn-of-the-century viewers.
Photosynthesisfeatures the considerable talents of Anthony Van Engelen, Anthony Pappalardo, Pat Corcoran, Jason Dill, Rob Dyrdek, Josh Kalis, Kerrry Getz, Mark Appleyard, Fred Gall, Danny Garcia, Tim O’Connor, Danny Way, and more. Fun fact: Dill claimed in 2014 that during his stint filming Photosynthesis, he consumed “a lot” of crack cocaine. Alrighty, then!
Three hundred world-class athletes—including the planet’s top surfers—took over Huntington Beach over the past nine days for a celebration of surfing and surf culture. There were outdoor movie showings, athlete meet-and-greets, concerts, and art installations.
Oh, and a lot of badass surfing.
It was the biggest surf event in North America this year and, now that it’s over, we wanted to hit you with results and highlights for anyone not fortunate enough to be in the area.
“Spoiler” alert: It was a special time for homegrown talent.
The Sunday finals of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing saw two women left standing: current World #1 (and 6x world champion!), Stephanie Gilmore, versus Huntington Beach’s own Courtney Conlogue.
Spicing up this storyline is the fact that Conlogue was returning from injury. Despite this, she never pressed or appeared anxious. Instead, she wisely sat back and let Gilmore come out of the gate with fervor, the latter catching waves almost immediately but posting only decent scores. Conversely, Conlogue leveraged her knowledge of the area and wave behavior, grabbing and slicing the hell out of one of the best waves the final heat had to offer.
Ultimately, it led to a thrilling comeback victory for Conlogue.
"It's so great performing in front of my hometown," said Conlogue following the big win. "We spend so much time traveling during the season, and when you get your hometown vibe, there's nothing like it. You just absorb all that energy and use it as fuel for your fire."
"The win in 2009 was quite amazing for that time in my life, and now this one has its own special meaning for me. Coming back from injury, it's the first event I've felt 100 percent. Both of these wins here have been amazing and unforgettable.”
While Gilmore had to settle for runner-up, she managed to increase her lead in the 2018 World Title race.
It was a huge weekend for hometown heroes.
Like the women’s competition, the top of the podium on the men’s side was represented by Huntington Beach local, Kanoa Igarashi. He defeated Griffin Colapinto in an enthralling final, becoming the first back-to-back men’s U.S. Open winner since fellow Huntington Beach native, Brett Simpson.
The men’s final was a truly wild back-and-forth affair that opened with Colapinto scoring an impressive 8.00. The heat was on, and Igarashi’s initial 7.60 left him at a disadvantage. But he seized a chance in the waning minutes of the competition, stomping a reverse and laying claim to an 8.17 score in the final heat.
"That was the best heat I've ever had," exclaimed Igarashi. "On that last wave, I don't know, I felt like something just took over me and whatever I was going to do on that wave I was going to land it. When I stood up on that wave I knew I already had the score.”
"The whole contest I was just thinking about this final heat. I paced myself the whole time and let it all out at the end. It was a really hard heat, the waves were slow, but I just believed that Huntington was going to give me the waves and it did.”
Next week, the WSL Championship Tour reconvenes in beautiful Teahupoʻo, Tahiti in French Polynesia for the men’s Tahiti Pro starting this Sat, August 10!
Yeah… see, that right there is the epitome of living in forward motion. Tom may have only barely graduated high school but the dude is so ahead of the curve it’s ridiculous. He landed the 1080—basically the holy-dang-grail of skateboarding tricks—at the tender age of 12, making him the first skateboarder to ever do so (he repeated the feat in competition in Tehachapi, Calif in March of 2012). That’s just delightfully absurd. And so, once we had the pleasure of meeting the young man who is now ranked 5th overall in the world, we knew we had to work with him more closely.
Today, we’re stoked to officially announce our sponsorship of Tom Schaar and the kickoff of the #BlendLikeTom campaign.
Tom’s the youngest X Games gold medalist in history—an eight-timer now, to be exact. He’s the youngest Dew Tour champion. The youngest Vans Pool Party champion.The youngest Austin X Games “Big Air” gold medalist.
Have we mentioned that he’s young?
In all seriousness though, we knew that our youth as a sunglasses company and Tom’s bright-eyed and optimistic outlook was the perfect fit. And it didn’t hurt that we’re both products of San Diego County, too. Hence, Blenders x Tom Schaar has become a thing—and we couldn’t be happier to grow together.
As part of the celebration of this partnership and ahead of Tom’s big appearance at X Games Minneapolis 2018 on July 22nd, we’re also launching the #BlendLikeTom campaign.
#BlendLikeTom gives you insight into the mind of the phenom—a peek at what he’s into and how he styles himself. Today, we’re revealing the savvy skateboarder’s three favorite pairs of Blenders shades:
Cheers to the future. Frames are forgotten on these revolutionary, progressive sunglasses. Instead, the matte-black Superflash lenses flow unimpeded to each edge. The absence of frames doesn’t mean a void of detailing, either—gunmetal accents appear on the interior and flow along the temples, capping off one of our finest designs to date.
These bad boys are ice cold. Crystal clear frames meet azure mirrored lenses for an aesthetic that turns heads and quickens pulses. You’re going to make a splash rocking the ‘Natty McNasty’sunnies—we guarantee it.
If you thought we would never name a pair of sunglasses after an inebriated farm animal, well, you don’t really know us at all, do you? But funny names and shenanigans aside, there’s good reason that Tom digs these shades so much—they look damn good. The polarized smoke lenses and citrus gray semi-transparent frames are a killer tandem.
Now, we can’t promise that rocking any of these three sunglasses will have you landing a 1080 any time soon, but we are positive you’ll be looking your best and ready to seize the day in any of Tom’s picks.
Stay Blended, friends, and remember to follow along as Tom competes at the highest level on July 22 in Minneapolis!
We’re gonna guess that most of you missed at least a few of the below articles and, well, you probably shouldn’t have.
After all, we’re certainly not the only ones posting good content on the web. From The Red Bulletin to Barstool, here is some of the best this month had to offer across sports, campus culture, and entrepreneurship.
Terry Crews is an everyman that does everything. A former NFL player turned TV and commercial star ( Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Old Spice), he’s also an author and a furniture designer, too. (Yes, really!)
Bonus: If you didn’t have a healthy enough appreciation of Terry Crews before, watch his Hot Ones interview here and just try not to love the man.
The 31-year-old actress whom The Rock calls “tougher than new rope” is cool as hell, not afraid to drop a timely “f-bomb,” and redefining what it means to be a “Baywatch babe.”
Shout out to Barstool for writing a headline that also doubles as the synopsis—makes our job easier. But yeah, 50/50 whether this is cute or way overkill, but in his email (attached below) the dude seems pretty normal, so we’ll give the benefit of the doubt. And yes, he did find his Tinderella. Talk about shooting your shot!
The son of Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, opens up on spending much of his formative years in Maui, traveling with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings in his youth, his love of surfing, and his burgeoning golf game.
You don’t have to be a pro to get close to Everest. Three Nepalese trekking guides spoke with The Red Bulletin to plan a thrilling four-day, three-night itinerary.
“Drink Talk Learn (DTL)” sweeps the nation, with topics including “Hidden Meanings in Classical Music — Acid Trips, Soviet Defiance, and Jaws,” “An Exploration of Shadow the Hedgehog’s True Moral Compass,” and our personal favorite, “Dogs with Jobs — Occupations for the Canine Individual.” Plan for your next party accordingly!
There are a ton of Christmas films out there. And we dig most of them. Sadly, we work with a word count here, and there’s no way we can cover every gem in the available catalogue.
With that in mind, we’re gonna keep it pretty modern here. No cheesy-but-classic-and-lovable It’s a Wonderful Life selections, and while we love stuff like The Nightmare Before Christmas, that’s sorta a hybrid (is it a Halloween or a Christmas movie?), so consider that an honorable mention for now. Instead, below we’re picking some obvious choices and a couple of curve balls, keeping it heavy on the comedy because that’s totally our speed.
Remember: This list is far from comprehensive but any of these are a great choice alongside some spiked egg nog this holiday season!
You know this one, so you hardly need the background. But it’s a modern classic starring SNL-alum Will Ferrell as “Buddy” the Elf, an adult man with a hilarious identity crisis. It’s wickedly quotable and meme-able, too. Make sure you whip yourself up a nice meal of candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup (the four main food groups, after all), and sit down to revisit this one this holiday season.
Penned by the folks behind Crazy Stupid Love and sprinkled with some Coen Brothers magic, this may not seem like an obvious choice at first blush but it’s so unique in many ways that we had to include it. Billy Bob Thornton’s “Santa” character is so hilariously profane (most f-bombs in a holiday movie ever?) that it would seem a shame to leave it off this list due to its wickedly edgy style alone.
You saw this pick coming a mile away, but who can argue with it? The first Vacation flick is a superlative entry into the “road trip” pantheon of films—it’s effectively at the head of that genre—and Christmas Vacation had a similar effect on holiday films. Chevy Chase has never been better, Cousin Eddie’s always a damn hoot, and there’s just nothing not to like about this classic.
C’mon. You knew we weren’t leaving Home Alone off this list. It’s so baked into the public consciousness that its exclusion would have been a sin. And after all, watching Harry and Marv go through a repeating loop of total anguish never gets old:
A bit of a surprise pick here and, for some of you, a “deep cut” from the early 1980s.
If you’re unfamiliar, Trading Places is a take on Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper theme, wherein two guys from separate sides of the track have their lives flipped. Dan Aykroyd goes from top broker to hopeless destitute, while Eddie Murphy ascends from homeless man to commodities kingpin. The film centers around the nature vs. nurture argument but it’s also a holiday flick. Not only does it take place during Christmastime, but the themes have some religious trappings, as well.
Most importantly, Trading Places is a blast and features incredible talent, including Jim Belushi, Jamie Lee Curtis, and the aforementioned Aykroyd and Murphy. A must-watch flick.
We’ve always had a soft spot for Tim Allen and this one was likely a fixture of your childhood. While Allen never really made it as a silver screen leading man after leaving Home Improvement, The Santa Clausemade you think it was possible for a hot second. It’s humorous without being tasteless, heartfelt without coming across as smarmy. In short, it’s pretty great.
In the eternal argument that continues to rage—“Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”—let us here at Blenders unequivocally answer: Yes, it is. It doesn’t matter that it’s a film about killing terrorists—we see Christmas trees and lights during it all and, by golly, that’s good enough for us. No matter what time of the year, watching it makes us think of the holidays. It’s a treasure.
And because you’ve all seen the movie by now… here’s the famous end scene. " Yippee ki-yay."
OK, look, you don’t “need” to follow any of these peeps, but sometimes you just want some cool ass stuff to pop up on your feed, and if you’re lacking that these days, we feel confident adding any of the below movie and television stars will spice up your Insta experience.
Chris Pratt just keeps it real. He isn’t afraid to post stunningly brief captions or long, rambling, stream-of-thought paragraphs. He’s just as likely to talk about Jurassic World as he is collecting baseball cards as a kid or gazing at beautiful sheep (really). He’s pretty unfiltered, always polite, and often funny—after all, who can forget the #WHATSMYSNACK series?
How cool is Jamie Foxx? (His real name is Eric Marlon Bishop, btw.) An Oscar winner who’s done comedy, drama, the big screen, the small screen, and even music, the dude has been killing the game for a long time now. Follow his Insta for celeb cameos (Ice Cube, Dave Chapelle, Denzel, et al), sick rides, and heartfelt, rather personal video messages for his fans.
If you’re a Pitch Perfect fan, love Aussies, or simply need an extra dose of IG humor in your life (maybe @mytherapistsays, @fuckjerry and @dogsbeingbasic just aren’t enough for ya), Rebel Wilson’s a stellar celeb to turn to. Like Foxx, she loves addressing her fans via video, although she often puts a decidedly goofier take on it all. Just take this example of her, a “princess room,” and an “Anne Hathaway wax model.”
You’d think Norman would be pretty pre-occupied with all that The Walking Dead stuff, but nah, he seems to have plenty of time to curate one of the most prolific Instagram accounts around. Tons of art, selfies, and, of course, zombies await! Oh, and Dave Chapelle, again, because he seems to pop up everywhere.
OK, so “Steve” from Stranger Things doesn’t post super duper often, but when he does he’s got some gems. Like this treasure of a pic above of him and co-star Finn Wolfhard (“Mike”). Or the time “Billy” got the better of him yet again.
Need a gift idea this holiday season? You could do worse than the ideas below
Actually, that’s probably a lie. Each of the below are likely to be among the funniest—and in some cases, worst—gift ideas you’re going to find. Every one is either currently available for purchase or was a real gift someone put together for a loved one. Well, “loved one,” in this case.
Let’s dive right into this holiday hilarity.
Know someone struggling in the realm of romance? Netflix itself not enough to set the mood and their generously applied Axe body spray isn’t doing the trick? Gift them this $17 aromatic candle. And yes, this is real, and you can order it here.
We’re not quite sure what this smells like, but we’ll leave you with the official description:
“Turn off the lights and light up NETFLIX & CHILL as the soft aroma crafts that desperate atmosphere that can only come with a $7.99 internet subscription. Let’s hope your date lasts longer than the loading screen.”
Yes, again, this is real life, we assure you. This “quartz accurate” CD clock ships with a clear plastic easel display piece and is the perfect gift for any Belieber. Actually, scratch that—it’s the perfect prank gift for anyone you know that despises the Biebs. Order away!
Hoverboards of questionable quality have already made a name for themselves after exploding into flames, but why not revisit last year’s big trend with an electric scooter that obnoxiously features a speaker system?
That’s right. If there’s a special d-bag in your life, you can really up their douchiness by gifting them this. Imagine your friend or family member awkwardly scooting into a party on this thing while blasting a choice Nickelback song from the Bluetooth speakers. As a bonus, keep in mind this contraption is also clad in gaudy chrome and features flashing LED lights on the front, top, and around the wheels. Perfect. Order now!
Source: Bored Panda
If you know your memes and have some time on your hands, you can easily recreate this “gift” to infuriate anyone in your life you feel deserves it. Scroll down through the image to see the progression of this epic troll job.
This one isn’t so much the gift itself s it is the context. The above, taken from a Reddit thread on most embarrassing Christmas gifts ever received, is comedic gold.
What do you get someone that has no affinity whatsoever for the Snakes on a Plane movie? Why, back-to-back years of Snakes on a Plane holiday gifts, of course, including the soundtrack. Bonus points if the soundtrack doesn’t even play.