An intimate look at the culture behind the waves and white sand of Hawaii's famed North Shore
by Hans Aschim in Culture on 25 July 2014
The North Shore of Oahu—quite likely the most photographed surfing destination in the world—is the go-to reference point for big wave-riding for both surfers and non-surfers. It is home to world-class breaks, sees some of the cleanest swells and hosts top international contests. Behind the corporate sponsors, product tosses, glossy magazine shots and tourist brochures lies a local culture with a deep respect for nature, the ocean and preserving the integrity of their community. With this in mind, Brooklyn-based photographer Cole Barash (known for his action sports and lifestyle photography) turned his lens away from noise of the crowd and hype. The result, is his 92-page book "Talk Story" anchored around John John Florence, a North Shore local who at 21 years old has the professional surfing world on his shoulders.
Shooting the project entirely on film, Barash took the risk of waiting months for his film to be developed before piecing together the narrative. The results are stunning, appealing to lovers of the sport as well as those with little to no attachment to it. In a sense, "Talk Story" is more of a documentary bordering on ethnography than pure surf photography.
There are boards, waves and the beach is always a few pages away, however there is also vulnerability, family life and emotion. Through this approach, a community emerges. It's one that Florence—described by Barash as soft-spoken and humble—despite his world ranking, appears to know his place in. Few photographers capture contemporary Hawaiian surfing culture with such deft attention to the social forces at play in the local communities. It doesn't hurt that Barash is highly skilled in managing light conditions and bringing forth rich textures in both landscapes and subjects.
Images courtesy of Cole Barash
The historic nameplate is reintroduced, drawing inspiration from its 1976 predecessor
by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 25 July 2014
In 1976 Aston Martin introduced the William Towns-designed Lagonda, a cutting-edge automobile unlike anything the market had seen before. Now, nearly 40 years later, the British brand announces a return to the bespoke program with an entirely new super saloon intended to revive the historic Lagonda nameplate. Following in the footsteps of Aston Martin's One-77, V12 Zagato and CC100 Speedster Concept projects, the new limited edition Lagonda model will draw direct inspiration from the aforementioned 1976 Longonda to reach a rarely seen level of luxury, only accessible through personal invitation.
Working off the brand's existing VH architecture, the unique cars will be hand-built, one at a time in Warwickshire, England—a facility previously established to exclusively produce the One-77 hypercar. Expect to see the use of carbon fiber in body panels alongside a range of top-level Aston Martin engineering techniques. The new Lagonda super saloon will only be available in the Middle East market upon introduction, though this may change over time. Keep an eye on Aston Martin for more news in the near future.
Images courtesy of Aston Martin and New Art Cars
The soft silicone plugs are convenient, comfortable and discreet
Among the chaos of logistics and pre-gaming when headed to a live show, hearing protection is often low on the list of priorities—and is only remembered when you leave with your ears ringing and buzzing. Merging convenience, comfort and sound quality is Venice Beach-based EarPeace, founded by music lover Jay Clark who wanted to protect one of his most valuable assets: his hearing.
Your average rock concert can run at 115 decibels, that's safe for your hearing for less than 30 seconds.
Made from hypoallergenic silicone, EarPeace earplugs have a small plastic filter that lowers the overall volume while preserving sound quality and reducing unnecessary background noise. (Compare this to foam plugs, which can block the very frequencies you're trying to hear.) They've recently launched an HD version of their original product, which offers a more durable tab and interchangeable filters for more volume customization: one filter offers medium protection (11 dB attenuation) and the other, high protection (14 dB attenuation). Upon testing them for the past few weeks, we enjoyed shows at a pleasant—no longer painful—sound level and by clipping the case onto our keyring, the ear plugs were always easy to access. Plus, they are discreet: EarPeace has three different skin tone options, so no Day-Glo colors or robotic-looking contraptions.
"Your average rock concert can run at 115 decibels," EarPeace founder Jay Clark explains to CH. "That's safe for your hearing for less than 30 seconds. If your ears are ringing or they feel dull after a show, that is a sign of some degree of hearing damage. Although hearing loss is devastating, tinnitus might be even more debilitating and can be caused by a single exposure to loud music. I know multiple music junkies/DJs whose fun ended because their ears never stopped ringing after a particular show and they developed hyperacusis. It's like flipping a switch."
They've been a staple at festivals around the world the past few years, offering limited edition co-branded EarPeace sets at Electric Zoo and SXSW to across the pond for Croatia's Dimensions, Amsterdam's Open Air, Japan's Fuji Rock and much more. "If you are going to convince people that hearing protection is cool and worth using, it needs to be associated with the events and experiences that people love," Clark tells CH. "Music fans want to hear the music clearly, comfortably and stay cool," finishes Clark. He also reminds us that hearing protection isn't just for live music and custom-built sound systems—EarPeace also works well for the daily commute on the subway, sporting games—and those incredibly loud bars where conversations are shouted.
A set of three plugs (case included) starts at $13 and is available from EarPeace online.
Images courtesy of EarPeace