On Friday February 19th we'll be hosting the release exhibition of the Vans x Yusuke Hanai Collaboration.
For any of you who are unaware with who Yusuke is and his amazingness here's a brief biography on him.
Yusuke Hanai was born in Japan in 1978. At the age of 17 Yusuke gained a new found passion in art after discovering the Grateful Dead album cover artwork of legendary artist Rick Griffin. In an effort to capture the spirit of Rick Griffin, Jack Kerouac and the '60's counter-culture movement of San Francisco, Yusuke left Japan for the United States in 2003 to study illustration at the Academy of Art College, San Francisco. Yusuke's artistic breakthrough occurred at the '06 Green Room Festival in Yokohama Japan when Laguna Beach based Wil Pennartz, owner/curator of The Surf Gallery was so impressed with Yusuke's sign painting that he invited him to participate in '07 The Happening in New York City. Expanding his illustration and fine art vision beyond his nostalgic roots, Yusuke continues to capture the hearts of many people worldwide. His artistic works have been exhibited in Australia, Brazil, California, London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. Yusuke is currently living in Japan, where he continues his artistic endeavors as an illustrator/fine artist.
The Vans x Yusuke Hanai Collaboration is inspired by modern mid-century details and illustrations. This collection showcases the Japanese artist's aesthetic and style, while adding a youthful Vans twist.
This is an event you definitely shouldn't miss! Free Tacos and Beer and a live performance by Mattson 2 as well!
Last night's dual event was amazingly fun. The turn out was larger than ever and everyone, including some tail waggers, had a ball. Jim Olarte hung out and showed everyone his new radical fiberglass sculptures while the crew from the Sano Surf Co. laid out all of their new, bedazzling brand launch threads. The libations flowed like a rhythmic ceremonial ritual and the rollicking compilation of tunes that played through the speaks had everyone psyched. Some surf celebs showed up to partake in the festivities as well. Tyler Warren, Colin Moran, and Karina Rozunko to name a few. Shop luminaries Andy Nieblas and Blake Hansen spiced up the scene with their inimitable personalities and generous hospitality. A lively time was had by all as you can see in the pictures below.
A few nights back Nick Cocores and Leah Pakpour of the Thalia crew stayed late to replenish our Crest Patch Hat inventory. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of how the process goes down. All of our Thalia patch hats are always hand-stamped in-house by our loyal crew. Thanks Mr. Green for capturing them in action.
Recently Eden Saul of Dead Kooks Surfboards stopped by and dropped off some of his new handcrafted gems. If you're not familiar with Dead Kooks Surfboards and who Eden Saul is here's a brief description of what this magical scene is all about.
Dead Kooks Surfboards are shaped by Eden on the Gold Coast of Australia. The surfboards are beautifully crafted surf machines, completely hand shaped by Mr. Saul and glassed locally [when in the states] at Moonlight Glassing Co. The shapes are retro inspired but with a good modern twist making them super functional and rideable in an array of conditions. And you can't forget the iconic acid resin swirls and color combinations that Dead Kooks is known for. Kooks Not Nukes!
Here are some pics of Eden doin' his thang in the shaping bay and surfing along with those beauts he just dropped off that are now available for you:
Here's Eden in his shaping bay mowing foam, creating yet another amazing board-
Close up foam mow-
Style for miles-
Van drop off-
The 4 New Gems-
If you missed the link above here's a direct link that'll take you to the page where you can grab any one of these amazing creations that were handcrafted by Eden- Dead Kooks
Along with capturing the pics above we were able to sit down with Eden for a few and pick his brain a tad, asking him everything from when he first started shaping to the music he digs. Here's what we got:
1.)When did you first start shaping?
I started shaping when i was about 17 just mucking around and making myself some boards, slowly figured out what i was doing, worked in a few shops cleaning up mess and making some of my own and thats where i really started to get a good grasp of the trade. Been tapping away at it ever since, still enjoying showing up at work everyday and having fun refining the boards i’m making.
2.) Who inspired you to start building surfboards, and name 2 of your favorite shapers of all time and why?
I guess i was inspired most by my mates and the people around me. Growing up in Lennox i had Dan Tomo making me boards when he was just starting out in his dad’s shed and i was still in school. I was getting a bunch of fish and random shapes from Dick Van Straalen also and he really opened my mind up, but there was a lot of guys really who i think got my psyched on it. For the most part i was just interested in the process and keen to experiment and see what i could make for myself, what worked and didnt.
Two favourite shapers of all time.. Bob Mctavish, he’s the real deal been around for ever, can shape anything, one hands a planer like a master and is still at it with the biggest grin on his face and a crazy amount of enthusiasm and excitement. Second, i dunno, maybe Eric Arakawa or something which is kind of left field, but if you want proper boards for Hawaii he’s the guy. He's been at it a long time, look at the guys he has made boards for over the years and its crazy. Very humble and just goes about his work, but he has those curves so dialled and makes some really beautiful refined blades for serious waves.
3.) If there’s a particular type of board you like to shape, more than any other, what type of board is it and why?
That seems to change week to week almost.. Ive been making a lot of very particular style of longboard for a while, drawing heavy influence from 67-68 Australian mals, lately though I've been really into refined fish stuff, blending some more modern foils and rails with old templates and seeing where that goes. For the most part it just depends what the waves are doing, what i’m surfing and whats got me excited.
4.) What are your thoughts on pop outs, soft tops, etc types of boards that are sold at cheaper prices compared to boards that are completely hand shaped by a craftsmen like yourself?
It is what it is. I surfed El Porto the other day and this couple were on the beach warming up with their Wavestorms and the pair of them had the fins all in backwards, it was great. The people buying those boards aren’t up for spending well over $1000 on a boards so its kind of irrelevant. That said those people seem to clog the line up and get in the way all too often, then again its allowing people to get into surfing and creating a wider customer base so maybe there is so positive side to it, i’m trying to see some good in a pretty ugly side to the mass marketed scene.
5.) A lot of people think boards are expensive. We understand that profit margins for hand shapers is super slim. Are you able to make a decent living off of building surfboards? Do you think there will ever be a time when profit margins will increase for the hand shapers of the world like yourself?
I dont think boards are all that expensive, relative to the time and work that goes into it, the skill and years of experience from the guy shaping it, the laminator, the sander, etc. Its messy, hot, dusty work, its not all that glamorous. There’s not a whole lot of guys building boards making big bucks, they are doing it cause they love doing it. I make a living from it but over the last 5 years if i looked at the hours i’ve put in and what i’ve made i could off taken a shitty job somewhere and probably made way better cash but I’m happy with what I'm doing and its not all about the bank balance. A lot of people get hung up on the purity of handshapes but i’m sure if you offer them a profiled cut for a few hundred less than a handshape it’d interesting to see just who many want to part with the extra cash. I take my hat off guys like Tyler Hatzikian who are taking the craftsman thing to another level and charging accordingly.
6.) Where’s your favorite spot to surf when you’re not building boards?
Lennox point, i grew up surfing there its just down the road from home and on its day is up there with about as good as any other righthand point i’ve found.
7.) Name 3 of your favorite bands that you dig listening to.
Beastie boys, Nick Cave, Brian Jonestown Massacre.
8.) Name 3 of your favorite surfers of all time and why.
Shuan Thompson, I remember wanting old VHS with my dad and was always blown away by his whole approach, his style, he just draws such clean lines and made it work. Joel Tudor for pretty much the same reasons, such a clean and classic style and approach, everyone knows he rules on a log but he gets it done at pipe and some heavier stuff to so credit where its due. Lastly Curren, well he’s number one actually, i don’t think that even needs an explanation.
9.) What would you consider your biggest triumph to date is?
The life i’ve created for myself probably. I work a job that i etched out for myself and love doing, I get to make boards for my mates and some of the most talented people going and travel around doing that. I’m pretty happy with how things are.
10.) If you could give one piece of advice to anybody who’s thinking about building a surfboard what would it be?
Give it a crack, it’s crazy how your first board always seem to go kinda good even though it probably sucks, but you put so much time and love into it that somehow it just works.
KOOKS NOT NUKES!
We were able to sit down and do a little interview with the Seager Co. crue and here's what we got.-
When did you start Seager Co. and how did it all begin?
Seager came together pretty organically actually.
We had the same interests and were passionate about Seager so we put our heads together and got to work. And we haven’t looked back since. We launched our website this past June and have continued to grow as friends and as a brand.
Name two things that inspired you guys to start Seager and why?
We’re all inspired by the values and ways of the Old West as well the simplicity of the surfing lifestyle.
What gave you the idea of doing some collab tees with us and why did you choose our shop for yer launch party?
We knew we wanted to be in Thalia from the get go. It’s such a unique shop and its selection of quality brands are exactly what we wanted our product to be surrounded by. So having our launch party there was perfect.
The collab tee came about from a conversation with Nick about Seager and about the future of the brand. To us, the collab tee was a big stepping stone, and something we’ve always wanted to do. We’re stoked with how well the shirt came out.
What other cool stuff do you guys have in the Seager line?
We have a new set of corduroy hats coming out and also a quality jacket that we are pretty damn excited to release. There are a lot things in the works that you should keep an eye out for.
Where’s seager based out of?
We like to think of it as a two-headed company based out of La Jolla and Newport Beach.
On a given day do you grab your log, retro style fish hybrid, high performance shortboard or does it completely depend?
It depends on the swell and on who you askin. We’ll usually bring our logs and retro single fins out and make a nice day of it
If Seager created a music playlist what would be on that list?
It would have about 5 straight hours of Johnny Cash, some Neil Young, Willie Nelson, the Growlers, and of course our friends Roah Summit.
Name 3 of your favorite movies of all time and why?
The Good The Bad and the Ugly cause it’s a freakin classic
Wet Dream cause Tyler Warren shreds
Honey I Shrunk the Kids cause its hilarious
Whats your biggest triumph to date?
I think we all have different opinions on our biggest triumph. But we can all agree that getting into Thalia was a huge check off the box for us.
The support we’ve received from our friends and family has been a great triumph for us too, I don’t think any of us expected how much people were going to show their support and connect with the brand like they have.
If you could tell anybody one thing who’s thinking about starting a clothing line what would it be?
People are always going to identify you with what you make. So make it because you love it.
Malibu's finest has gotten crafty and busted out some custom air brushed tees for Thalia Surf. Releasing two fresh designs that are exclusive to our shop, we've got a small handful available to sell and hope ya dig the handmade vibes from los valley boys. The tees were delivered along with a 6 pack of warm beer and a video of how they put it together. The tees can be bought by visiting the Brothers Marshall Page here.