• Newport Beach Boardriders Coalition feature on Surfline

Billabong is proud to be at the forefront of the local boardriders movement here in the United States, and we are excited to be sponsoring the Newport Beach Boardriders Coalition. Surfline recently profiled the entire club and town showing why Newport Beach is unique to the entire surfing world. Here's a preview of the article.

Before Newport Beach became officially recognized as a city in 1906, before beachside homes went for rent for $500 in the early days, and before today, when that same 500 bones couldn’t rent you a cot in a closet, the US Government wanted nothing to do with the peninsular strip of coast.

In pre-Civil War America, a team of government officials surveyed the Balboa Peninsula by boat to determine whether the inlet could be turned into a harbor, but quickly abandoned the plan due to, “a frightful swell rolling and tumbling at all stages of the tide, making it dangerous to cross in boats of any kind.”

An aborted mission to develop the area, yes, but also Newport Beach’s first surf report. And an early indication of the town’s significance in the history of surfing.

From the Wedge to River Jetties, Newport’s plentiful waves are the pulse of the surf industry. Many major brands, media companies, movers and shakers have set up shop in or near the city limits. And with the industry in their backyard, formative beachbreaks in their front, the crop of kids coming out of Newport consistently strikes fear into other Southern California surf towns.

So, when West Coat Board Riders clubs were resurrected last year, it was projected that Newport Beach would dominate. That is, if they could pull off assembling a team.

“Maybe we were all burnouts 20 years ago,” said Grant Collins, a lifelong Newport local, about a past attempt to establish a club. “That’s why it didn’t work. But now, at my age, if you have the drive to do something, you do it. Back then, you throw it against the wall one time and if it doesn’t stick…”

“…if it doesn’t stick, then let’s go drinking!” Jamie Reidling chimed in, laughing.

“It’s much different now,” Collins continued, more serious, less wistful for the recklessness of youth. “And it’s much needed for the kids of today. Put down the phone, get off the Instagram. Come to BBQs, come hang out with older generations, and come surf together as a community.”

Read the entire feature here on Surfline.