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Global Surf Ind. updates: Mike Tabeling & Greg Webber


Industry News

Global Surf Industries updates include new boards, Mike Tabeling interview

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 February, 2008 : - - In January just gone, Global Surf Industries had its annual Global Conference. This conference saw all of our staff from Australia and the US and their partners come together for a week long meeting. During the week we did a number of work orientated things with regards to planning for 2008 and beyond.

We worked on the development of a joint vision for GSI and how we can be the best supplier to the industry worldwide. We have also set ourselves the goal to be a role model company in the way we operate on every level. We all agree that all of our goals, both personally and as an organization can and will be achieved with our focus and attention to the detail.

The other priority we always have is to live our company mantra that we are so passionate about – Life is better when you surf. For us we had a week of great waves, we had 60 different boards to ride and we all rode as many as we could.

Seeing everyone’s face each morning pick out which board they were going to ride was sensational. We had so much fun it seemed like a dream week. That week is now over and all of the team are back in their homes, planning demo days and our attendance at many of the contests and surfing festivals.

I hope you all get to experience a taste of what we did last week once in your life. It was fun for sure, I think the main take away is that we really are the lucky ones to have surfing in our lives and that – Life really is better when you surf.

Product Update

Stand Up Paddling - not just a passing fad: Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is taking off big time! Here at GSI we are all crazy about it! Our skill level ranges from beginner to legend - everyone has a smile on their face! It's a great sport for developing core body strength and can be enjoyed in all conditions: surf, bays, lakes, virtually any body of water!

Our 2008 South Point range has two SUP boards:

The Schaper 10'0" Bonga model: Carl Schaper designed this board with Bonga's input, the result is an outstanding high performance, wave riding SUP board. Bonga won the August 2007 C4 Waterman/Honolua Surf Co in Hawaii on a production model straight out of the box . Check out Bonga's win here.

The Timpone 11'6" Kalama model: Dave Kalama is a leader in the resurgence of Stand Up Paddling. The Kalama/Timpone design team have come up with a versatile SUP board, great for beginners through to advanced paddlers.


Big congratulations to Christopher Allen (USA) and Laurence Smith (Aus) lucky winners of the GSI VIP trip to the 2008 Noosa Festival of surfing.

Their prize includes return flights for them and a friend to Noosa for the week of the festival. Two boards from the GSI range; a chance to surf in the GSI invitational event; VIP status at all festival events; plus a two bedroom suite each at the luxury Emerald Resort, Hasting St, Noosa - a stones throw away from all the action - HOW lucky can you get?

Well done guys, and a great big thank you to the 10,000 people that entered our competition, you rock!

Proudly presented by GSI - 2008 Noosa Festival of Surfing

All systems are go, the count down, to the 2008 Noosa Festival of Surfing, is on! The 2008 Noosa Festival of Surfing is gearing up to be the best ever. With loads of entertainment, a Surf Expo, Surf Summit, free SUP clinics, a quality surf comp and much, much more. The Australian contingent of GSI is moving to Noosa for the week of the festival.

Come along to our booth at Surf Expo and meet board designers Bob McTavish and Steve Walden, world champion longboarder and South Point team rider, Bonga Perkins, view our 2008 range of boards or take one for a test drive from our Super Test Drive center.

Over the week GSI will be giving away $10,000 worth of surfboards in the village. If you are unable to attend be sure to check out the action via the daily video updates available on our web site and the web site's of our various media partners. The festival will run, 3 - 9 March, 2008.

Introducing Mike Tabeling

Mike Tabeling was one of the guns at the forefront of the modern era of surfing. In 1967, at age 17, he was ranked #2 in the USA. Mike surfed in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th world contests from 1966 - 1970. Today Mike lives in San Clemente, California. He surfs his local breaks, Trestles and San Onofre, 2 -4 times a week and is the GSI Territory Manager for Southern California.

Mike has a heart as big as he is tall - a very lovable character. He took some time out this week to answer a few questions...

TK: You started surfing when you were pretty young, what was your local break and who were your surfing buddies?

MT: Cocoa Beach, Florida USA my buddies were Bruce Valuzzi, Greg Thomas and Craig Nichols

TK: Being on the world tour in the 70’s, aged 17, must have been unreal! Do you have a favorite tour moment you can share with us?

MT: Probably watching this hot young 14 year old surfer ride Bells Beach. His name was Shaun Tomson.

TK: You have been privileged to surf some of the best breaks in the world, what’s your favorite?

MT: Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa - (Mike loved it so much he moved his family there for 91/2 years!)

TK: You have done some shaping in your time, tell us a bit about that.

MT: I’ve only shaped a very few boards. I prefer to ride other shaper’s boards.

TK: Boards have changed quite a lot of over your life. Especially the high performance shortboards. How do you think you would go nowadays if you had the machinery the kids ride today under your feet?

MT: I can only imagine what that would be like. I look at what we used to ride and compare it to the modern performance board and ponder that exact same question. I know I’d have been an aerialist. It’s just me.

TK: You were inducted into the East Coast surfing hall of fame in 1996. What did that mean to you?

MT: It was recognition for the pioneering I’d done, but at the time I didn’t think of myself as a pioneer. I was just a surfer living the life. I didn’t know any other way. It was only later that I was able to look back and see that what I’d accomplished was something revolutionary.

TK: Watching you surf over the past week has been a treat! You still have the agility of a very young man – what do you do besides surfing to keep fit?

MT: I go to the gym, walk, skateboard, dive and SUP (Stand Up Paddle).

TK: The 2008 GSI range has some superb boards (I’m not biased or anything!) Do you have a favorite?

MT: No, I like them all, but if I had to choose, I’d say I have 4 favorites depending on the conditions: I like the Super Fish, of course, the Walden Magic 3 Epoxy, the new Modern with parabolic stringers ( it springs out of turns like a short board), and the Downing Mini Hune which I took to Fiji a few weeks back.

TK: Surfing and surf culture have been constant throughout your life. What does our mantra “Life is better when you surf” mean to you?

MT: It encompasses what I have always lived by. I’m a surfer and surfing has enhanced my life immeasurably. I wish everyone could know the feeling: Life is better when you surf. Truly though, anyone who surfs knows that it is good for you in more aspects than are obvious on the surface. It’s good for you spiritually, physically, and mentally.

Introducing Greg Webber - surfboard designer

Greg Webber started shaping boards at 10 years of age. He has had a few years to refine his technique and has certainly come up with some winners! Greg licenses his fantastic designs to GSI to sell all around the world. Our 2008 SLX range of Webber boards is certainly creating some hype.

I caught up with Greg this week for a chat...

TK: How old were you when you got into shaping surfboards and how did it come about?

GW: I started shaping when I was 10, but was born into an artistic family with a huge tool shed, so to make, repair or modify was standard...also, my dad said that if we all start surfing, we will need a lot of boards, so if one or more of us made boards that would be a good idea. At 13 he bought me a Makita electric planer so I could shape from blanks. New boards were just over $100 in '73 while cost at our level was only $45 so we had to do it our selves..(to save $3.50 we used to stringer our own boards!)

TK: Has shaping surfboards been your only career?

GW: Yes

TK: Ever been tempted to do anything else?

GW: Sure, all design interests me. Would like to write, make films and act too.

TK: What has been the highlight of your shaping career so far?

GW: Breaking new ground with curves and linking in with GSI - the biggest board manufacturer in the world.

TK: You like to experiment with different board and fin designs. Do you have an all time favorite design?

GW: No...they are all intermingled like a bunch of not quite perfect Aquatic organisms trying to find their place.

TK: We are getting heaps of positive feedback around the 2008 GSI SLX Webber boards. What do you think of the new range?

GW:I'm stoked with it...for the first time custom boards from famous shapers have been cancelled in order to buy a new SLX Webber double from a shop!

TK: How has the SLX technology improved your range with GSI?

GW: The drop in weight and more responsive flex has added even more life to some already responsive designs.

TK: How often do you surf and what is you favorite break?

GW: I surf about twice a week. My favourite break is Angourie, New South Wales, Australia

TK: Are your two boys into surfing?

GW: No..not yet...I don't push them to.

TK: Surfing and surf culture has been a big part of your life. At GSI our mantra is 'Life is Better When you Surf' - what does this mean to you?

GW: It's true, and probably the only valid mantra in surfing wank or hype or borrowing from nature for image, just the truth about the core of the activity itself. It's so vital to remember how key this mantra is...even in minimal surfing conditions, just one nice turn is like medicine for the mind.

More USA/Cen Amer. surfing news available here
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Mark Kelly

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