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Quiksilver and Monsanto: bedfellows

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Quiksilver and Monsanto: bedfellows

Written by , Posted in Deconstructing SurfingenvironmentPoliticsSurfing
Quik kids shirt, Made in India
(5/29 EDIT: The Reliance Group of industries Quiksilver has joined up with in India deserves its own post. For a taste, see page 6 of this document and this article.)
Suicide has become the second leading cause of death in India among young adults. Of these, about 10% may be farmer suicides. While there is some contention about the numbers, there have been enough rural suicides in the Maharashtra region (India’s largest industrial region) to perk the attention of activists like Vandana Shiva who see a correlation in the suicides to Monsanto’s Bt cotton seed.
Monsanto illegally introduced Bt cotton technology in India in 1995 with the help of the World Bank who required the Indian government to deregulate the seed sector. As a result, Monsanto now controls 95 percent of the cotton seed market via “intellectual property” claims in India.
The sterile seeds that Monsanto provides to Indian cotton farmers has resulted in a major crisis leading to particularly severe suicide rates in those farmers who use Bt cotton seeds in 2011-2012.
While doing my research on sourcing after the Bangladesh disaster, I wrote: “Many of the men’s dressier [surf] clothing is made in India” and “Women’s [surf] clothing, perhaps due to the current fashion trends, is by and large made in India…”
Made in India
Quik kids shirt, Made in India
Quik kids shirt, Made in India
Further research has made it absolutely clear that while Quiksilver’s icon, Kelly Slater, is taking a stand regarding Monsanto’s gross misconduct in Hawaii with genetically modified organisms related to our food supply, he is missing an intimate Monsanto link to his own company, Quiksilver.
Quiksilver and Monsanto
In 2011, Quiksilver Inc. and Reliance Brands Industries joined business to launch a core action sports movement in India surrounding surfing.
Reliance Industries
Reliance Industries
Billabong "Made in India"
Billabong Girls, Made in India
What makes Quiksilver’s involvement in India resonate with outright hypocrisy and a frighteningChomskian “profit over people” corporatism is that Reliance Brands Industries has a direct connection with Monsanto via their Vice President, Santanu Dasgupta.
It is almost enough to brandish the fact that 95 percent of Indian cotton is Monsanto owned Bt cotton and the majority of Roxy/Quiksilver and many other surf brands are produced there, but it is quite another to willingly engage with a company who has as its VP, years of calculated involvement with the very devil you wish to publicly and politically position yourself in opposition to.
What the hell is going on here?

Join the Mexican Wave!

Andrew Cotton, pro British surfer rides the Mexican Wave to support children’s refuge, Misión México:

Surfers and non-surfers alike are being invited to ride the waves on International Surfing Day, Thursday 20th June, and all weekend, to raise funds for the children at Misión México who are learning to overcome their pasts and develop critical life skills through surfing.

Misión México is a charity like no other; it was established in November 2000 by Australian couple Pam and Alan Skuse, adoptive parents for children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned and from extreme poverty. This refuge has established a unique surfing community which they have pioneered in Tapachula, a coastal city in Mexico’s Pacific Ocean. Most of the children had never seen the ocean or knew how to swim before living at Misión México. Surfing teaches them water safety, lifesaving skills and gives them an escape from the harsh realities of their backgrounds. Their award winning documentary Somewhere Near Tapachula, directed and produced by Australian surfing film makers Stefan Hunt and Jonno Durrant, follows the lives of the surfing community. You can watch the trailer here  

The Mexican Wave will see UK pro surfer Andrew Cotton and surfers up and down the country take part in surfing events to raise funds for Misión México.

Andrew said "I first became aware of Misión México when Surfing GB contacted me as they were looking for UK ambassadors. I looked at the website with my wife Katie and we watched a few of the videos. It's such an amazing emotional story - it really made me want to be involved. My life revolves around the sea, surfing and my kids. Seeing the impact it was having on the children at Misión México after all they had gone through was unbelievable".

Andrew will give trustees of the charity their first ever lesson, sponsored by the Ticket to Ride Surf School in Perranporth, Cornwall. Ticket to Ride are also donating a half-day surf lesson as a raffle prize for a fundraising event at the Seiners Arms at Perranporth, at 2pm on Sunday 30th June.  

Everyone is welcome to join the Mexican Wave; for ideas on how to join the Mexican Wave people can check out!_news_48.htm and!/events/142263099295033/.

Follow the activities with #MexicanWave and everybody is welcome to donate through the donate website

Champ Interviews: Matt Renshaw

SST: Matt, can you tell us how you feel being crowned 2013 Champ?

MR: No words can describe it. I actually think that the SST is the rebel tour that there were rumours of on the WCT a few years back!

Matt Renshaw - Lord of the Dance, King of the Jagerbomb, Retro Sports Professional and your 2013 Champion

SST 2012/13 - Winners!


1st - Matt Renshaw

In the long and illustrious history of the Student Surf Tour, never before has there been such a closely fought battle over first place. With both Matt Renshaw (Swansea) and Sam Coad (Plymouth) tying on 200 points after 3 events, we decided to make them fight to the death. It was quickly pointed out that they live in different cities and Coad will only leave Newquay in an emergency, so based on the fact that Renshaw not only competed in all 3 events but also took the 'Show Up and Blow Up' at Croyde, a panel of experts agreed on crowning Renshaw SST 2013 Champion, with Coad taking a very honourable second place.


1st - Sophie Hellyer

With consistent form both in the sea and at the afterparty, Plymouth's Sophie Hellyer is the undisputed Womens champion for 2013. Taking 1st place in all 3 of this years SST events, Sophie finished over 100 points ahead of second place.

Both champions have won themselves a highly limited edition and collectible prize, a custom beechwood trophy that's been created by talented artist Kathy Evans.


Depsite a stirling effort from AUCB, Plymouth took the overall title with an impressive 1080 points. They bankrupted the surf club in the process, but it was all worth it to retain the title!

For a full breakdown of SST 2012/13 results, hit the link:

It's a great shame that we weren't able to finish the year off with one final SST competition, but situations conspired against us, and the tides were wrong, and the weather was bad, and we have full time jobs and other excuses, but we'll be putting together a 'Best of SST' in the next few weeks to remind you of all the good times.

Thanks everyone for your support in 2012/13, huge shout outs must go to (in no particular order):

Globe / for seeing our vision and enjoying what we do
Anything Surf / for having great banter, being a great shop and a supportive sponsor
Star Surf Camps / for providing awesome holidays in France
Rest Bay Lifeguards / for keeping us healthy and safe and then joining us to party
Porthcawl Surf School / because Hugh is a legend, a real gent, very understanding and patient!
The Welsh Surf Federation / Stu and the guys do a brilliant job and are supportive of the SST, even when we have no budget and arrive late
Malc's Cafe / for keeping us fed and watered for another year
Park Dean / for hosting the SST in Wales and Croyde... We're not allowed back but we still love you
Reef Surf Lodge / for giving us somewhere to stay in the cold month of February
ERA Water Safety / for buzzing around on a jet ski making sure everyone was safe, in freezing gales
The Thatch Croyde / for being the best apres surf piss up venue in the country
All our judges / Liam Dennis Green particularly, you all made this possible

If we've forgotten anything, we're really sorry...

What's happening to SST next year?

More info coming soon.

Renshaw, smashing it in Wales (Pic Tim Borrow)

Get well soon Glenn!

Pro surfer and amusing writer Glenn 'Micro' Hall is out the water for 6 weeks following an injury sustained at Fiji.

Get well soon Micro:

"Around 7 minutes remaining the perfect looking wave marches towards the reef. It's still 50 meters away and Jordy asked 'are you going bru?' (I'm not really sure if he said bru but he's South African so he probably did) My reply 'fucking oath!' We were right at the top of the reef where coral heads poke out of the water basically just to try and screw with your head. They pop up and say 'hey look at me, I'm sharp as fuck so don't fall off'. Plan A to get the 8.8 was to takeoff at the top of the reef and get barreled along the whole first section, through the second section and get a 10. At a wave like Restaurants this isn't wishful thinking. On the right wave out there you can barreled for an hour and a half, Fijian time.  This wave approaching looked like the exact wave I was waiting for, the perfect line,the perfect size, no chops up the face. This was my first chance at posting a real score..."

Read the rest of Glenn's blog entry here:!blog---fiji-1--micro-0/cv3j

Wave Garden - New Site

Now company owners Nick Hounsfield and Tobin Coles have identified land at Washingpool Farm in Easter Compton and Over Court Farm in Almondsbury as the new site for the project.

Mr Hounsfield and Mr Coles say they are confident the operation will open towards the end of next summer, creating between 40 and 50 new jobs.

At 40 acres, the new site is considerably bigger than the initial project.

It would accommodate a surfing lake measuring 300 metres long by 150 metres wide, which would be built using technology developed by a Spanish company.

The lake is almost twice the size of the one proposed for the Portway site and has pushed the cost of the project to £6.2 million – an increase of £1.2 million.

The open-air development would create perfect waves up to 1.6 metres high at a rate of 120 waves per hour, allowing experienced surfers to enjoy a 20 second ride.

The lake would not be floodlit but could be lit by underwater lighting and the company says its operation is silent. Surfing sessions would be restricted to daylight hours.

Father-of-three Mr Coles, 40, said a "sizeable" amount of the money needed had already been secured and that they had "identified the main investors".

The larger lake will have three separate areas for beginners (Bays), experts (Reef) and surf schools (Harbour).

Two people will be able to use the reef area at a time, with up to 30 able to use the bay areas.

An entrance fee of £5 would be paid to use the site, which would include parking, with charges to surf of about £15 for an hour.

People would be able to walk, cycle or use a solar-powered electric cart to take them to the The Wave: Bristol site, approximately 300 yards from the car park.

Mr Hounsfield, 39, who lives in St Andrews with his wife and three children, said: "We want people to have the feeling of leaving technology behind and going into nature – that fits with our ethos."

He added that the development would have no effect on the Volksfest that takes place at Washingpool Farm each year and said the presence of MoJo Active Outdoor Activity Centre nearby made the prospects of planning permission more likely.

"The rest of the land will be landscaped sensitively, with a sense of both gardens and an arboretum," he added. "We want people to feel like they are entering woodland."

Also on site will be a large timber structure housing a cafe, changing rooms and an education centre.

The car park is likely to be able to hold 250 vehicles but people must book if they are using their car.

The Wave: Bristol team have spoken to planners and have been "encouraged to move to full application".

The company would not reveal whether it had bought or was planning to lease the site.

Mr Coles, 40, of St Andrews, said: "We are very confident and excited – this is the one we have been looking for.

"We are very close to the city but still able to create something with an outdoor feel. It really ticks all the boxes."

Mr Hounsfield, an osteopath, added that they were now consulting with local parish councils and residents about the plans.

"Now that we have the land agreed we are working up our plans for the site," he said.

"We have had preliminary discussions with South Gloucestershire Council and will soon be talking to local residents and people more widely in South Gloucestershire and Bristol, to gather feedback on our proposed plans.

"We have sent a letter to residents and are talking to local elected representatives to explain our proposals. We will be contacting them in the coming weeks about how they can get involved and have their say."

The project has also received the backing of Business West.

Executive director James Durie said: "It is fantastic that the team behind The Wave: Bristol has secured a site close to the city. We are right behind this exciting project, which not only will bring surfing to Bristol and the surrounding area but will also give local people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to be outdoors, have fun and get in touch with nature.

"Surfing is so much part of the life in the south west and this project is great news for local and the visitors we attract."

To help with the project, The Wave: Bristol has enlisted Chris Hines MBE, founder of Surfers Against Sewage and the director of sustainability at the Eden Project for more than five years. Also on board are horticultural consultants Sue Minter – former President of the institute of Horticulture – and Jekka McVicar, the current President of the Herb Society.

For more information, visit

Caravan for sale

We're going to be selling our mobile events HQ this summer, it's fully road legal and everything works. 

(we have nowhere to store it and staff all going abroad from July onwards)

Anyone fancy it or know anyone that might?

It's perfect for use as a mobile office for a surf school or events company, the oven/sink has been removed and replaced with a working/desk area and the shower/toilet is now a surfboard rack. 2 x double beds which fold down from ample seating areas, and there's a whole bunch of built in storage. It has 2 brand new tyres and the spare is in great condition.

It's a 1993 caravan in sound condition, the graphics have been wrapped professionally by Perran Signs.

Offers around £1500 for the caravan

(the car is for sale as well, 2005 Mondeo Estate with tow hitch, 2.2TDCi in the highest spec including cruise control, privacy glass, full leather, 124k, full service history... Averages 48mpg but have seen 66mpg, will still return 36mpg when towing the caravan and is faster up hills WITH the caravan on the back than a Hyundai i20 with 2 people in it, as we discovered during the convoy to Croyde)

All enquries to

Best thing in UK Surfing?

It's all banter and jokes when we get drunk and claim to be the best thing in UK surfing, but it's a bit different when someone else says it.

Pretty uplifting article to read after a long Easter Sunday, we at SST were pretty stoked to see this nugget in our Facebook news feed

(note - this genuinely isnt written by SST staff!):!all-that-is-right-about-the-sst/c1h1m

"The SST keeps me connected with regular updates interspersed with genuinely amusing anecdotes and the regular-ish photo of Alana Blanchard…"

Great to hear our social media marketing strategy is working...!

Don't click Like

What is Facebook coming to...?

Pretty sure within a year or so Facebook will just be a clutter of businesses using 3rd party apps to post and chat to each other, judging by the amount of companies in our news feed offering 'automated facebook posting services'...

Hopefully these automated businesses can sit and chat to each other on facebook all day long and those of us that are still real, genuine, warm, feeling, living, breathing human beans will have shut down our FB accounts and be on beaches drinking coconut juice and going surfing whilst those human beans that are cold and numb and brain dead will continue to click Like on automated facebook posts, sharing pointless images to win stock that doesn't exist whilst selling mobile phones or car insurance or working in banks or in PR.

Until then, why not take a look at our France trip? 

It's going to be wickedbad fun and you won't be able to get on Facebook so you'll be forced to actually live life and have real fun (not just Facebook fun such as clicking like and share) because everyone knows Facebook friends aren't real friends and Facebook fun doesn't count.

You won't want to click Like or Share because you'll be in a pine forest in Southern France with real friends and real sunshine and real beers and having real fun, that you can like and share in real life with real people.

There is nothing automated about any of our posts, they're always from the heart, and if we say you're going to win a free T Shirt, you probably will... Except Kieran, because we still haven't got around to posting it yet and have run out of Large T Shirts, sorry buddy, we will make it up to you somehow...!

Big love kids, big love.

Someone has real fun whilst Tim Borrow has fun capturing the fun on Camera so it can go on Facebook and be turned into fake fun for everyone to Like and Share and pretend they were there, but really only Tim and the surfer were there, and only the surfer was in the barrel... this could be you.

SST Croyde - Photos

The following are all shot by Matt H-B of AUCB:

Joaquin Munoz (Plymouth) We know that because we recognise the board...
Alex Johnston, maybe? And possible Matt Renshaw?
Matt Renshaw? Anyone know?
The surfer in Orange is winning in the 'get closest to the shore' battle. Sadly the judges don't use this criteria anymore
Joaquin Munoz (Plymouth)
Who's this? Can you get a bright spray on your board for the next event please?
Joaquin  'I've got a bright orange board' Munoz AKA Pigeon (Plymouth)
Josh Cleaver (Plymouth), who also has a bright surfboard
Grab rail barrel much?! Who's this? Blue rash vest, Semi Final?
Josh Cleaver (Plymouth)
Pigeon... Again
Matt Renshaw (Swansea) dropping in and...
Getting pitted, so pitted
First ever surfing competition! Disqualified for having the rash vest inside out... Only joking, our sponsors pulled out becuase they're broke, so we don't mind!
Who's that, Pigeon again..? Cleaver? We reckon it's Pigeon
Looks like Alex Johnson, and Matt Renshaw, and someone else...

This one time, at Croyde...

This is a Student Surf Tour Guest Contribution:

This one time, at Croyde…

The Croyde SST trip of 2013 will almost definitely go down in history at Swansea Uni Surf Club. By the standards of the whole weekend we started out pretty well; standard meet at carpark and off we go. Only problem was, there’s always the one awkward bastard who wants to bring his longboard, and by awkward bastard I mean me. After an hours delay the board doesn’t make it and we set off with Captain Joe giving the mini bus praise for its cruise control, the only praise it ever got believe me!  

The moment we arrived in Croyde things started to go wrong. After a pretty crappy surf at last light up at Putsborough we all jumped in the bus to head down to Ruda to find that the mini bus wouldn’t start with the battery being miraculously flat. After almost an hour of standing around the car park in torrential raining failing to jump start the car we gave up and phoned the RAC to come and rescue us. 

It was definitely one of those nights you see in horror films with the rain hammering against a window and the wind moving the van back and forth and imaginations running wild, so it was a big relief after 2 hours of expecting to be murdered when the RAC turned up and sent us on our way. Caravan beds have never seemed so comfy.

The next day didn’t start well with the mini bus getting stuck in the mud which resulted in very messy clothes and a pretty turned up patch of turf (sorry Park Dean). 

Sunday was when shit really hit the fan though. It started off pretty innocuously, albeit with everyone nursing some brutal hangovers most managed to get 2 or 3 surfs and another group decided to go up to Woolacombe to check out a possible secret wedge. 

Time was creeping on and at 7.30pm those of us left at the caravan got a phone call from a random number to break the terrible news that the mini bus keys had been lost to Poseidon and that 4 of the group were stuck outside the mini bus, jogging around in their wetties to try and ward off hypothermia. 

Luckily we still had one driver and a car left so they were sent out to pick them up, while the rest of us set about panicking due to essay deadlines and in one person’s case, a flight to America to catch….

The AA were phoned, and did square root of f*ck all as they kept us on hold for about an hour and couldn’t break into the mini bus. At 12am things still weren’t sorted and tensions were running high with the risk of new job inductions being missed due to car keys being locked in the bus and the small matter of the plane to America leaving in roughly 12 hours’ time. 

It’s at times like this that our mothers really do come in handy, with Matt Renshaw’s mother coming to his rescue and driving up from Cornwall to get him home in time for his job induction. 

After just over 1 hour sleep though, running about on a beach doing sprints and swimming out back in 4ft surf doesn’t seem like my cuppa tea. The French contingent to our trip also rescued us with the guy who needed to catch a plane getting a lift back to Swansea with them. That still left about 9 of us left in Devon with no way of getting home and stress levels through the roof.

The next morning was pretty hectic with several phone calls to the Uni Sport Office and Days Rental and the AA. Once again the AA proved their worth by doing nothing apart from offering to tow ONLY the minibus to Taunton to a Ford dealership that could then have a key reprogrammed for a huge price. That left us the small problem of getting 9 people plus surfboards from Croyde to Taunton with no transport... 

In the end it was decided to get a courier to bring a spare key down from Swansea, again for a pretty hefty sum of money and a long wait on the beach. It wasn’t all bad though; we saw Lyndon Wake boosting some pretty impressive 360 air reverses that day and sampled the wonderful pasties that Croyde has to offer and we did eventually get home by 1am on Tuesday. 

If anyone does find a Ford key registered to CV62 VBK though please send it to Swansea University, we could do with some luck.  

Apart from everything going wrong though the weekend was pretty sick, especially Saturday night which got pretty messy thanks to Globe’s Show up and Blow up and big thanks to The Thatch too. 

I would say hope for the same again next year but a return to Croyde may be unlikely at this stage, and to hope for another lost key would be idiotic.

Nice on SST, see you at Gwithian.

PS. The lost Mr Blobby suit has now been found, at least that’s one less thing to worry about…

(Written by Harri Rogers)