Advice For Volcom’s New Parents

posted by / Blogs, Editorial / May 6, 2011

Bonjour! Bienvenue! Comment êtes-vous? Je vais dire, vous êtes à la recherche si beau! Tellement belle!

I’ve been saying for years, whilst sipping various martinis, that our surf world is a bastion of luxury (whilst smoking various Gauloises). That it is high-end, exclusive, snooty, snotty. Luxurious. And earlier this week French luxury holding company PPR acquired Costa Mesa youth establishment company Volcom. The Stone!

PPR also owns personal favorites Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Gucci. And Volcom! The Stone! And if I may be so bold, I would like to give François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of PPR, some advice as he embarks on this brave new venture:


Use better materials! Like fur and red satin! Nylon and cotton and neoprene are played out in the surf. They are tired. Go experimental!

Remember that surfers are trim and good looking! Cut everything, from boardshorts to jackets, trimmer and better looking. Cut the T-shirts longer and make them boat-necked and keep some bag in the chest (trim T-shirts are out!) and use better materials! Like cashmere!

Sponsor Luke Stedman!


Andrew Doheny is a canvas awaiting paint. Photo: Tom Carey


The North Shore really isn’t the proving grounds! Avenue Montaigne and that glorious Champs-Elysees are! Volcom is a fashion brand, not a hardgoods company, and we all know that scientific super trunks are simply a trend. Look toward the Balboa peninsula for design inspiration. Aim to turn heads on the catwalks. Surfers are the sexiest and surf fashion should be the sexiest too.


Nate Tyler already has color coordination down. Photo: DJ Struntz


Put every surfer you pay (espec. Bruce Irons, Nate Tyler, Parker Coffin and Andrew Doheny) in YSL and Gucci and Balenciaga (shoes) whenever they go to awards ceremonies. Send tailors and fit them properly and let them wear Volcom T-shirts (boat-necked with a little bag) underneath suit jacket or let them put dollars or Euros in Volcom wallets but that is all. For awards ceremonies.

Populate the front rows of Paris, Milan, New York fashion weeks with the surfers you pay (espec. Bruce Irons, Nate Tyler, Parker Coffin, Andrew Doheny and Alex Grey). Let even the underage drink champagne. They will be the life of each party. Give them models for their paddle-fit arms.

Surfers are the sexiest. Declare it to the world!


Mitch Coleborn accessorizes nicely with ring and hat. And mustache. Photo: Tom Carey


Les hommes qui surfent sont comme des dieux! Comme tannées dieux! —Chas Smith

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  • Steven Hennings

    no more chas

  • Atticus

    Mate, you’re like nicotine addiction: I know you’re not good for me, I know you’re not clever, enlightening, and the sophistication you peddle should always be prefixed by ‘faux’.

    But yet I keep coming back.

    So who here is at fault? You, the purveyor of all that is cheap and tawdry in our surfy little world, or moi, the weak-willed addict who cannot help himself and clicks on the link only to be overcome with dirty, dirty guilt. Ergh…

    Or perhaps it is SURFING Magazine!

    Yes, yes…it is THEY who should be protecting ME from my own devious devices. THEY who gave YOU the platform to voice you’re derivative dross.

    Now that I’ve identified the target of my ire I must construct a PLAN!

    So pardon me while I light another cigarette, drink another coffee, pound another beer, and stare at some more porn.

  • befor u post remember…

    if you ignore this clown he will go away.

  • jokers!

    I love this stuff! Who else is writing anything interesting in this space? Chas is funny and the people can’t stop licking it up. Can you people? No way!

  • Fred Hemmings

    When are you guys going to cover the Sunny Garcia story?

  • Claude

    Whenever I read a Chas Smith piece, I’m left angry, offended and perplexed…by how utterly talentless he is. He’s neither funny nor insightful nor inventive. He’s not even provocative. He’s just a lame guy, mistaking choppy sentences and pop culture blather for substance.

    Put another way, he’s like that stinkbug buttwiggler claiming a mediocre snap, the kind you want to pull aside and say, “Pssst, dude, you’re not doing what you think you are.”

  • dirk

    Love it! It would be beyond rad if PPR did anything that you just mentioned.

  • Sven

    Careful, if you read too much — or especially if you comment — you WILL turn gay.

  • the truth

    Volcom was started by the funding of a watch company.

    It has gone full circle.

    If you ever pulled back the smoke-screens and mirrors, you would find some surfers that liked going down to El Moro, but found the funding not on their own.

    Therefore, it had a”underground feel” because those who started it were originally at Quiksilver and were tired of the prep direction.

    Just like Analog spins off of Hurley.

    Anything else I need to provide for you.

  • Whaa

    gayer then gay

  • Tommy Lee’s Long Tainted Foreskin

    Fur is kool. Neon green fur would be kool. No… that would be spectacular. I would get so wet if The Stone would create bell-bottomed board shorts. Specifically neon green fur bell-bottomed board shorts….. With tassels. Long draping tassels…. Not neon green though.

  • dman

    Man, This writer is so far up his own A$$. Please stop writing and find a NEW job.

  • capitalist

    Unfortunately, this is actually a road that surfing may need to go down in order to get the right level of sponsorship into events. Basically surfers will be asked to endorse products that speak to people with a higher disposable income (they don’t need performance boardshorts btw). However, I can’t honestly say that I endorse any of it. I think it’s just one of those necessary evils. Smile boys.

  • the truth

    good to see Kolohe lose yesterday.
    the americans got trampled…keep believing in the image

  • chuck

    outside the sport sponsors are the Only way surfing is going to go ‘mainstream’ weather we like it or not. target, nike, budweiser, ford, and so one. of course, a french fashion icon could be a bit disturbing .

  • KIMO

    Volcom is no better or worse than Sponge Bob dolls, Barbie figurines, and Teen Beat. Crass consumerism. The only good news for us is that a couple of “us,” that is, real surfers, Wolcott and clan got filthy rich off of taking risks and working hard.

  • Dumb Fuck

    I haven’t purchased any of their shit since like ’04 (well, surf clothes in general.) Damn, they were on fire back when they first opened that la brea store and had ozzie’s paintings in the back. They’re still pretty cool though, i guess.

  • Bolivia

    volcum is cool. all the surf brands have sold out. only left over grassroots brand left again is Lost… and boy are they the crappiest brand ever. i guess Billadong is still considered “privately owned’ but those guys are led by the biggest a-hole in the whole industry Paul Nahdork. so please dont believe anything the ads are saying everyone is just out for your wallet.

  • Sheen

    Chas Smith is my hero

  • esdee

    Oh god, how good is Chas Smith!

  • jon crotch

    the industry could be bought by Kmart for all I care…. bunch of bright lights and douches

  • RS

    Roses are red…
    Violets are blue…
    If surfing wasn’t so gay…
    I’d love Volcom too…

  • jim

    bolivia— …lost clothing is owned by La Jolla Sports Group, owners of metal militia, truth soul armor and a variety of other high class brands. Definitely not grassroots. …Lost surfboards on the other hand are a different story, still grassroots, and biolos is legit.

    Still sucks that “Youth Against Establishment/Anti Corpo Volcom became that which it rejected for so many years” although I don’t fault wooly or anyone else at the helm for cashing out as any of us would if put in a similar situation.

  • Jason Miller

    @jim Actually, that is no longer true. As reported on Shop-Eat-Surf in January:

    “Lost and the La Jolla Group are ending their licensing agreement before it was due to expire, and Lost partners Joel Cooper, Matt Biolos and Mike Reola are taking Lost clothing in-house.”

    So now Lost is controlled by its founders once again.

  • jimmy p

    if chas wasnt such a tool in real life and thought maybe he was trying to be funny ,id like what he is saying. but have been around this fag long enough to know he’s the mother of all tools. this guy try s way to hard to have style and be cool. keep popping your collar d-bag your ripping.

  • jimmy p

    I gotta be honest because ive sat around my room for a while thinking. Im have hurt feelings cuz when I see chas at the parties he doesnt talk to me and I am to scared to talk to him. Its easier to post my opinion then to do something in real life and even if I wanted to do something im not invited to where the cool people are. So sorry about my meaningless chicken shit life.

  • Barry

    Wadda, wadda – I was going to trash this piece but then I realized it was too boring to read properly after the first paragraph…
    I was going to trash the comments but then i realised Chas’ fan boys are even more boring than he is…
    I wasn’t going to trash Chas’ feminine appreciation of the surfer alpha male because I realise he’d be much happier writing for a fashion magazine and is stuck with Surfing mag because he lacks the necessary brains, sophistication and style – and well… i just feel sorry for the guy.
    I was going to point out that most surfers are not thin and trim. I’ve seen Slater and he’s well built but not slender. In fact he has a stocky build…. But what’s the point? – Facts just get in the way of the fiction Chas and his merry band of pyramid scheme trolls would like to promote.

  • Barry

    P.S. Does Andrew Doheny’s Canvas really need attention from your frantic and frenzied paint brush Chas?… 😐

  • jason walker

    who gives a fuck.
    the surf industry is dead, too much cock sucking, not enough talent and far too many smart asses who cant really write.
    my call is, you`ll all be working for far less in years to come when you should be earning more, if its not already happening.
    same old page rates and far more expenses.
    did i mention a serious lack of fucking respect.

    oh yeah, grow some balls the lot of you and ask why the whole garcia and jeremy story has not been picked up and covered.
    scared are we ?
    chas, your eager kid with something to proove, get on it !!!!!!!!

    surely quiksilver are not that threatening are they ?
    whats brody got to say about it ?
    why no media release after it all went down about suspensions etc etc ?

    your all poofs for not covering it.

  • Barry

    do you know what blog you’re on jason? get a grip on yourself man -this is no time for hysteria. you must be hysterical if you think chas has been feigning contempt for people like you all the time and what he really wants is a pat on the shoulder and some goomba props. disconnect your balls from your brain, dude.

  • Adam
  • jimmy p

    Stop fucking posting inertia shit! Its boring as hell and know one gives a shit asshole. Journalism ha ha ha ha. Assholes.