What Do Tequila & Surfboards Have In Common?

May 14th, 2011 | By | 3,276 Comments

Now tequila and surfing have more in common than just Baja trips.
Agave is cleaning up its reputation, as well as cleaning up surfboard manufacturing. Turns out, there’s another side to the cactus, far removed from bad Spring Break memories, whistles and oversized hats. “Que onda,” you slur? Introducing Barry Snyder’s agave shred stick. How much will one of these agave surfboards run you? Think 30 bottles of this moneybag’s “$100” devil’s juice (roughly 150 bottles of the stuff us peasants drink ‘round these parts). At $3K, we’d say you’re about as likely to see one of these in the line-up as you are to see Mr. Youshoulabeenhereyesterday getting barreled on anything over 2ft.
Ah, yet another way agave is making you go green.


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Heal Japan X SWELL Swim Show

May 13th, 2011 | By | 3,127 Comments


Laguna Beach, CA, May 7th-

The suits were amazing, the girls were hot and place was packed. Saturday’s SWELL-sponsored Heal Japan swim show was packed with all the things we love about summer…bikinis, babes, and cold beers…all in a [completely selfless, of course] effort to raise money and awareness for Heal Japan.  A special thanks to our sponsors, including swimwear brands: Eberjey, Salt Swimwear, Billabong, Tigerlily, Luli Fama, Tyler Rose Swimwear, L*Space, Lolli Beach Candy, Maaji & Splendid!

Check out the suits on SWELL
Read more about Heal Japan and the benefit show HERE

View more pictures after the jump (more…)

Blackout Billy’s Band of the Week – Bad Brains

May 12th, 2011 | By | 8,510 Comments

Bad Brains are an American punk band that formed in Washington, D.C. in 1977. Mention the name “Bad Brains” to anyone today and you’ll likely get an overwhelmingly positive response.

As one of the single most important pillars of American hardcore, Bad Brains have a pure and definitive attitude that most artists only aspire to achieve. They’re simply one of the most important and influential American bands who garner the same respect as the Sex Pistols, Black Flag, The Clash and The Ramones.

Known for their high energy and over-the-top live performances, the band’s crucial evolution of melding punk and reggae into an innovative style has yet to be copied. Their impact can be felt in many musical circles and the Brains today have impacted virtually every working punk band that exists. Although the Bad Brains have released only a handful of albums during their lifetime, they’re classic rasta-punk hybridization is revolutionary, making them musical icons.

Formed by vocalist H.R, guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer & drummer (H.R.’s younger brother) Earl Hudson in the early 1980s, Bad Brains were influenced by both reggae and rage-fueled, hardcore punk. During the time the band originally formed these influences were surfacing in the U.K. punk band scene. Although there were shades of these influences appearing in the U.K. punk scene the Bad Brains took it a step further by pioneering the crossing of these two genres and bringing a legendary sound that nobody had ever heard before.

They managed to maintain an intensity and sense of anarchic, rage-fueled blitz while shifting gears from punk to reggae to punk. H.R. has dug deep into his bag of voices and pulled them all out. Whether it’s his soul-deep rastafari hymns or his bile-encrusted nasal falsetto of speed-rap chatter, his vocal virtuosity and compelling innovation continues to be unchallenged today. Darryl Jenifer and Dr. Know bring some of the most inimitable and timeless musical jousts while their interplay with the drummer, Hudson, has always driven the Brains’ energy and intensity.

By melding punk with reggae, Bad Brains has become one of the most quintessential American hardcore punk bands of all time.

About Billy: Job Title: Harp player to help soothe work environment for fellow employees. “I guarantee that I’ve pee’d in my wetsuit more times than you during one continuous surf session” – Billy (World Record holder for the longest surf session)

Swell Summer Catalog, Featured Photographer: Jim Russi

May 12th, 2011 | By | 2,733 Comments

About the man behind the lens of the 2011 Swell Summer Catalog (and the 2008 Summer catalog, for those of you who have been following)…Jim Russi


So how does a guy turn a week long vacation on the North Shore of Oahu into a 30-year stay, a house at Pipeline, and a career as one of the best surf photographers in the world? It’s been a long road for Palos Verdes native Jim Russi who started his journey as the photo editor of his high school newspaper, and later earned a degree in fashion and advertising from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara.
After graduation, Russi headed straight to the North Shore where he learned his degree hadn’t prepared him for the complicated curriculum of the “school of surf.” Such as, how, when and where to swim out, and with whom. However, Russi quickly received his “masters” in water photography with mentoring from Dan Merkel and Aaron Chang. (more…)