Jeff Ho for Vissla

I can’t say I’m too interested in what the surfwear industry has been up to lately. This is a far cry from my grommethood, when I once made my dad drive forty five minutes so I could get a specific Hurley backpack I had spotted in Surfer Magazine (thanks Pops!). There is perhaps no surer sign of the surf industry’s decline than Billabong and Quiksilver’s muted merger into a single entity owned by a private equity fund. I can’t be sure, but something tells me that Oaktree Capital Management isn’t jumping into the surf business to make sure the rest of us stay stoked.

One recent project did catch my eye, though, and that was Jeff Ho’s recently announced capsule collection for Vissla. Jeff Ho is the legendary shaper behind cult Los Angeles surf and skate label Zephyr. Born in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, Zephyr helped usher in the sport of skateboarding and it also introduced the world to figures like CR Stecyk III.

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A classic Jeff Ho graffiti piece. POP stands for Pacific Ocean Park. Photo via Cave Gallery

To commemorate the launch of Vissla’s Jeff Ho collection, Surfline launched a feature on the Pacific Ocean Park Pier. POP Pier was a wave that broke in the shadows of an abandoned amusement park located directly on the beach in Santa Monica. I highly recommend checking out Surfline’s post, which features some amazing photos of POP Pier in all its dystopian glory. The shots of POP Pier make me think of the movie “Escape From LA” should have been.

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None other than Miki Dora surfing the POP Pier. Dora was apparently one of the few non-Dogtown locals who managed to surf POP without getting run out of town. Photo by Brent Lieberman, and originally posted on Surfline’s site.

It feels a little strange to write an ode to a spot that I, as an outsider with very limited surfing ability, would never have been allowed to surf in a million years. But what can I say? Zephyr, like its hometown of Los Angeles, combines grittiness and beauty into something undeniably compelling.

You can check out the Surfline feature on POP Pier here, and you can check out Jeff Ho’s Vissla collection here.

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