A friend told me to see the debut of Forbidden Trim without telling me what it was about, but when I rolled up on a borrowed bike and saw tan long-haired shirtless teens in short shorts skating barefoot in front of the classic Art Theater. I knew this was a homegrown event. Sitting on the curb I watched the world famous Alex Knost walk to the theater with a big cardboard box of merch on his shoulder. I knew it was him because he walks like he surfs; like a yogi balancing on his pinky toe while the rest of his body rolls all floppy against the rules of gravity.
I sat in the third row from the screen next to a kind stranger who hooked me up with a free ticket. I thought this was way to close to the screen, but then Alex and a gang of other local legends sat in the row in front of us. As it would turn out they were all in the movie together. I think everyone in the theater besides me was in the movie.
Forbidden Trim is a psycho-goofy-stoner 1960s’-inspired super-8 war-spy movie with random footage of long boarding and fake volcanos erupting. It has a bikini prancing blond gorilla woman, a lizard woman, a non-Chinese guy dressed up as a stereotypical Chinese guy, a gun-crazed war vet, a ski-mask wearing guy called “The Russian”, and a shit load of dudes walking the nose to an awesome surf guitar soundtrack. It’s not for mainstream audiences because of it’s sexist and racist themes, but it’s fun and you should watch it. I laughed out loud a couple times just for the retarded-on-purpose-ness of the film and audio quality. I was smiling through most of the flick, but then again I’m a white dude from the Valley, so don’t take my smile or ability to write a bad movie review to seriously.
Much like Forbidden Trim the Agenda trade show is fun and you should go if you can. It has surfing, skating, bikinis, t-shirts, shoes, beer, and all the other stuff that comes into play in Southern California. Which influences culture around the world. It seems like a homegrown event, but it’s a really big deal.
Dad Hats: I’m a dad and I own a hat like this. I probably have to stop wearing it now that it’s “trending”. Pretty much every exhibitor and attendee had a dad hat.
Valley Cruise Press: They work with the most lovable artist to make the most lovable stuff, even dad hats.
Hippy Tree: Mushroom print board shorts, BBQing from a tee pee in front of the convention center, and knowing they will do whatever the fuck they want because they are not industry slaves makes me love these guys.
Magic Carpet Yoga Mats: You might know they make cool prints on yoga mats, but you prolly didn't know they make baby mats! Baby yoga is a thing. Deal with it.
Juniper Ridge: Our favorite wilderness perfumers had their mobile distillation unit (old van) out front of the convention. I got to smell their new flavors and products while listening to the awesome music of CAN. They were on mushrooms. It was a beautiful scene.
Shop | Strands: Round beach towels are smart and beautiful. Get one!
Sanuk: If these shoes don't make your feet smile you've got some seriously depressed feet. One of their new shoes coming down the line is the Beer Runner (seen in blue here) designed to help you not slip in the beer isle on late night runs.
Poler: They continue to innovate and other companies continue to rip them off. It's kinda inspiring. I'm especially stoked on the new bag designs, fun patterns & color ways, and this tuff'lill waterproof paneled hat. Check out the line on the wall, it's collapsable, so you can take it beach combing and bust it out if you decide to do a little beach clean up while you're there.
Katin: They've been making surf trunks for watermen since like the 50s', but they've found a way to stay relevant with today's adventure seekers. They make a dad hat that say's "No Problemo".
Mokuyobi Threads: These packs are designed for futuristic space swimming Olympic athletes, so it's hard to belive they're actually made in the USA. Mokuyobi's set up was so freaking grand that if we gave out trophies for badassery they would have first place. Round backpacks may not change the world, but they do make it a more fun place to live.
Landyachtz: They make a ton of different boards, but this cruiser made of salvaged wood really grabbed my inner woodsmen. I want one to ride through the campground with a firewood bundle on my shoulder.
Element: They've got core skateboarding 100% dialed in. That's why it's so exciting to see what they're doing with their clothing, back packs, and shoes. Nearly all the apparel has some sort of green aspect to it that they don't make a big deal about. Weather it's military, work wear, or street inspired their styles are designed to hold up to any sort of sweatyness your day may bring. Plus, it was made in a solar-powered factory or some shit, so you can sweat guilt-free. Their women's line, Element Eden, had this rad denim collection with designs "borrowed from the boys". Girls get all the cool stuff.
Fjallraven: They make remarkably solid adventure gear designed to take far into the wilderness and it's always cool to see people wearing their fun colors in the city. I got my legs waxed at their wax station (dad joke).
Mowgli Surf: There is sooo much love and joy in everything these brohs make I just smile and pee my shorts a little with excitement whenever I see what's new with them.
Treats Skateboard Wax: It just hurts my brain to look at these sweet treat and know that it's wax intended to be rubbed on a curb to be grinded. I would grind upon these treats if I was a grinder, but I'm more of a slider
All Good: These folks come up with the craziest combinations. Like a sweat shirt with long mesh sleeves. Why? Because it feels good dummy. It might look weird, but weird is way better than normal.
Jungmaven: Hemp takes 1/3 the water cotton takes to grow, so everyone living in drought states should wear hemp. I'm looking at you California!
Big Bud: Everything I love about the sisterhood of extraordinary sisters.
Rastaclat: Was serving this crazy sweet treat called raindrop cake. I ate one and it didn't fuck me up. This brand makes shoelace bracelets and are all about spreading positive vibrations.
BANKS: They just got back from Japan and have mastered the art of peaceful photobombing. This guy is the one who told me to go see Forbidden Trim, so you know they know what is known to be homegrown. Plus, they make fancy clothing that balances fashion, sustainability, and full-on function. Dad's love this stuff.
Shaper Studios: There's this new process where artwork is printed onto fiberglass that is used to make a surfboard. There is also this old process of making surfboards with funny sandwich eating guys in shaping bays. Shaper Studios brings the old and new together.
Our Caste: In addition to making awesome men's apparel they make a damn good dry bag in a big variety of styles. I took one to Hawaii full of camera gear this year and that bag is now my champion of bags!
James Brand: A knife is a super handy tool, but when it's designed well it keeps you from looking like a tool when you whip it out to be a super handy human.
ART: Agenda is an art show too. I saw a wall-sized photo of a naked lady with a beer bottle up her vagina and some antlers on a surfboard. Aside from the fucked up stuff, it's nice to see stuff without logos in a trade show.
STAY WILD MAGAZINE: Our summer issue launched here. Check it out, we're on the rack with the big kids like Vice, Juxtapoz, Penthouse, and all the strictly surf & skate mags!
Long Beach: I love this city! Especially the East Village Arts District. I stay on the cheap at the Hotel Royal. The tailor at The Academy makes the only pair of pants I ever want to wear. Bob at Victorious always cuts my hair too short while he hums old soul music. The sidewalks are pure luxury to skate down. They have the smartest bike share program I've ever seen. The people are sweet as pie and always say "Hi". Heck, even the harbor rats are easy to get along with.
The best part of Agenda was the front row seating to the culture flourishing in Long Beach!