Editors Note: In the August issue of SURFING [Sex, Money, Power; blessing shelves and iPads], we crafted a small feature about money in the surf industry, about trends and happenings. How much does a ‘QS guy get paid? What’s it cost to sponsor a WT event? What’s happening to the regional pro? Stuff like that. Our editor-at-living-large, Chas Smith, noticed a trend among emerging brands, which he details below. (Or should we say, blw?)
Vowels are not very cool. Arabs know this. They write without A, E, I, O, U or even Y. The Vietnamese know this. They name most of their young Ng. Madonna knows this. Her newest, totally hot album is titled MDNA. And the surf industry knows this, too. RVCA was our first entry into the linguistically cool zone of being almost voweless, leaving a simple dangling “A” like an appendix. Like a not-fully-evolved reminder of what we were (did you know the human appendix is a holdover from when used to eat tree bark?). AMBSN, VSTR, BRXTN followed suit, slashing the vowel either entirely or almost entirely. Luke Davis knows, his new line with reef, RESRV, contains only one. Fantastic, Luke! Hacking the unnecessary.
Arabs, the Vietnamese, Madonna, the surf industry and Luke Davis know that vowels don’t look very good. Their shapes are too round — except for “I” and “E” — and round is fat and fat is ugly. Vowels are also very selfish. They insist we learn them first, as children. We learn that every word has a vowel somewhere in it, anchoring it. And then we discover “rhythm” and fail spelling tests because we spell it “rithem” only aping what we learned. We must buy vowels on Wheel of Fortune, spending hard earned dollars to secure their services. What makes them special enough to be bought? Nothing. It is a holdover from when humans howled like dogs. Vowels are rude taskmasters. Arrogant pricks.
I am very pleased with RVCA, AMBSN, VSTR, BRXTN and Luke Davis. They make good products and send a good message. I look forward to the day that the entire surf industry beats back the vowel horde. I welcome QKSLVR, BLLBNG, RP CRL, NLG, GLB, HRLY and VNS. I welcome SRFNG magazine.
Fck y vwls! Fck ff nd g t hll! —Chas Smith