Taylor Jensen has just become the WSL's World Longboard Champion for the third time. A huge accomplishment for a huge human. At 6'4 200-something he's called 'The Big Predator" by Firewire teammate and longboarding legend Wingnut - and Taylor has more than one legend in his life - his father in law is Australian legend Nat Young who won three Australian titles in 66', 67' and 69'. So championships run in the family. In threes. But in spite of his competitive nature and successful run when it comes to the contest side of surfing, he's not scared of jersey-less sessions, and experimenting with multiple styles of longboard and varied styles of shortboard as well. For example, the Slater Designs Omni which you'll see in the show notes for this episode. Regarding variety in his sessions, he shares; "I think that the different feelings you can get from all different kinds of boards is an amazing thing. It's so rare in any sort of sport." He continues that "In baseball, you have a bat and a ball and that's it. That's your game. but in surfing, you can have a different board for every condition. Every time it changes you can have something different. You ride what fits the surf. That's how you get the most enjoyment out of every single session." Sounds good to us.
By partnering with Mafia Backpacks in San Francisco and renowned designer Yves Bahar, Michael Stewart was able to build the Deep Blue Bag out of repurposed kite sails, boat sailes, and climbing rope from Yosemite. In the process, he pulled off what many would like to pull off on Kickstarter - complete funding for his Deep Blue Bag project, allowing him to bring Deep Blue Bags to the masses next year. But there is a lot more to Michael Stewart than designing surf friendly and environmentally minded accessories. At Sustainable surf, he and his partner Kevin Whilden manage The ECOBOARD Project, a third party 'eco-label' for surfboards that are made with a measurably reduced carbon footprint when compared to more traditional materials and production methods. Sustainable Surf also helps SUGA make yoga mats out of used wetsuits. They make sandals out of tires and fishing nets in collaboration with Indo Sole. They have even partnered with the city of Malibu to turn styrofoam waste into surfboard blanks and collaborated with brands like Rip Curl to eliminate over 90% of the waste at events like the Rip Curl Search San Francisco. All this and more in this brand new episode.
Over the past couple months, some of the most popular videos we've released have featured zero surfing. Shocking. Why? Because we're a surfboard company. And surfing is what we do. It's the reason we exist. And the most reasonable thing to assume is that surf videos would be the most popular videos we release. But it hasn't been the case over the past couple months. Instead, our most popular videos have shown the way we turn trash into paving stones, and the way Dan Mann turns trash into surfboards. Together these two videos combined for nearly 200,000 views on Instagram during the two week period they were released. This excited us because environmental sustainability is front and center at Firewire, and if our audience is as excited by it as we are, then that means more sustainability for everyone. More actions towards a healthy planet. Higher awareness of the environmental crisis. More people doing more than standing on the sidelines as climates change, species die, and the fate of our ocean becomes more uncertain. With these two videos in our rearview, Dan Mann and Mark Price hopped onto this episode of The Wire Podcast to talk about both Firewire's paver program and Dan Mann's interest in building things from trash. It's a fun episode that covers much, and we think you'll enjoy it.