Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fast times at Vans

Vans – Still “Off The Wall” After All These Years! 

One in a series of Surfrider Foundation Sponsor Stories

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at  

Everyone’s picking out swimwear this time of year, but there’s something else to put on our lists – summer sneakers. And no one does sneakers like Surfrider Foundation sponsor Vans.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel got to tour Van’s headquarters in Cypress, CA recently and couldn’t believe how much fun it would be to work there.

With people zooming around on skateboards and bikes there’s always something going on. And, where else would you find an indoor skatepark to test your latest moves?

Vans Cali Bro Tour team scopes out Vans Headquarters

Jenny Lamott, Manager of Corporate Services, and Chris Overholser, Senior Communicatons Manager, were excited to tell Vans’ story and show the inner-workings of Vans’ 104,000-square-foot creative hub and command center.

Lamott started her tour of the facilities by taking SurfWriter Girls to see Vans’ “Timeline” mural depicting the evolution of Vans and its products over the years. 

Then it was on to the Vans “mock store” – a retail set-up that looks just like a store you’d see in a mall. “This is where we test the merchandise mix and see how it will display in the actual stores,” said Lamott.

When it comes to developing new products, Vans is always looking for the next thing …and it’s essential to plan ahead. Lamott explained, “Vans has an 18-month lead time from when the designers put pen to paper to when the shoes come out.”

Since 1966, when Vans sold its first pair of deck shoes, the Cypress-based company has expanded to the point that it now makes shoes, sandals and boots for practically every sport or activity – street, skate, surf or snow. Vans has styles for skateboarding, wakeboarding, motocross, surfing, and more.

Its rugged shoes and sticky soles made them an instant hit with skateboarders. And the 1982 Sean Penn movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High helped Vans to branch out in the marketplace, turning Penn’s checkerboard shoes into must-have footwear.

Vans’ familiar, low-top Authentic shoes come in colors from Scuba Blue to Chili Pepper Red and even leopard prints.

And, the latest shoes to come on board are the ones in Vans’ new Hello Kitty Collection.

Hello Kitty takes Vans over

Hello Kitty and Sunny
In addition to creating the world’s most fun, colorful sneaks, Vans has a full line of sportswear. Whatever you need  – boardshorts, shorts, pants, knits, jackets, T-shirts, hats, or accessories – Vans has it on the shelf or, as its slogan says, “Off the Wall.”

For something truly unique, guys can go to Vans website page “Create Your Own Boardshorts.” This lets you choose the style, trim, pattern and colors you want for a custom look that’s just a click away.

 A strong supporter of the Surfrider Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter, Vans has sponsored beach cleanups and donated its resources to help protect the environment.

“Vans’ people are passionate about sports. The oceans and mountains are our playgrounds,” said Overholser. “We want to make sure the environment is there for future generations to enjoy. So, it makes sense for us to get behind groups that help the environment.”

Vans’ manufacturing methods and products are in tune with the Surfrider Foundation’s conservation goal to “reduce, reuse and recycle.” A member of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA), Vans is also part of The Sustainability Collective.

Vans is continually developing methods that enable it to leave a smaller eco-footprint and is active in promoting “pesticide-free, green living.” Its 106 SF classic après-surf sneaker features uppers made from hemp or recycled PET and water-based dyes and glues that are gentler on the environment.

There’s even a new “cradle-to-cradle” sandal – made out of recycled rubber, the sandal can be recycled again after it wears out to make new sandals.  

On Vans Gives Back Day, held twice a year, the company focuses on the environment and giving back to the community.

Vans does about 100 cleanups a year across the U.S. “Working with Surfrider has been a great experience for us,” said Overholser. “We’ve enjoyed taking part in the beach cleanups. It makes us aware of the trash that accumulates and needs to be removed.”

Vans also sponsors many skate-related events. One of these, A.Skate, utilizes skateboards to help autistic kids. And on Go Skateboard Day, at Vans Skatepark at The Block in Orange, Vans opens up the skatepark for free and gives lessons to everyone.. 

Vans Skatepark at The Block in Orange, CA

Vans is involved in the arts, too, sponsoring its Vans Warped Tour this summer, FYF House Parties concert events and  the  2012 FYF Fest in Downtown Los Angeles, September 1 & 2 .

With its headquarters in Cypress, Vans is just a quick trip away from the beach or mountains, making it easy to test its innovative shoes and sportswear. 

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SurfWriter Girls Reach Milestone

SurfWriter Girls Blog Celebrates 
One Year Anniversary!

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at  

Orange County environmental and beach lifestyles blog SurfWriter Girls is excited to be celebrating its one year anniversary on July 20th.

Let the fireworks begin!

Started by Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel to provide information about environmental ocean concerns and promote the enjoyment of the oceans and beaches for everybody, the blog has become a strong supporter of the non-profit Surfrider Foundation and a forum for sharing a wide variety of stories of interest to the beach community. 

Patti and Sunny reporting on their first Surfrider meeting

It’s been a busy and exciting year. SurfWriter Girls has posted over 50 feature stories. Some of the highlights of the past year include:

World Water Day

Earth Day

Protect the earth for all living things. Join in the dance!

Surfrider Foundation Ohana “Family” Day

Kohl’s volunteers at Ohana Day beach cleanup

Nike U.S. Open of Surfing

An interview with Surfing champion Brett Simpson

Surfrider Ambassador Jeff Deffenbaugh and Brett Simpson

Go Pro’s Surf Hero Camera

Hurley H20 Water for Humanity Program

Pura Vida bracelets helping the environment

Coral Reef Surf Shop and Wetsuits

CoralReef owner Tony Jones and Tiki

Orange County Auto Show’s eco-cars and beach rides

Green Expo in Huntington Beach

Pelican protection alert

Java Point Café – Surfers’ Coffee

Surfrider/Kohl’s Hacktoberfest Golf Classic

Tony Soriano and Greg Kishel are enjoying Hacktoberfest golf.

The International Surfing Museum

The Shorebreak Hotel

Huntington Beach Farmers' Market

Scotty B spices it up at the Farmers’ Market

Fred’s Cantina – Mexican Food with a Twist

Surf Artists with an environmental message

Surf Artist Nathan Gibbs

Making your garden Ocean Friendly

California’s Sea Otter Tax Deduction

The Three Amigos

SurfWriter Girls has been the perfect partnership for Sunny and Patti – putting Sunny’s public relations and sports writing talents to use and Patti’s writing background and experience in the business & entertainment industry.

It’s especially meaningful for us to be able to help promote the Surfrider Foundation and its efforts to protect the environment and get everyone on board to “respect the beach.” 

Many of our stories have come from working with Surfrider Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter Chairperson Tony Soriano and all the dedicated Surfrider volunteers and sponsors. 

Tony Soriano, Surfrider HB/SB Chapter Chairperson

We feel fortunate to be able to make a contribution to improving the quality of our environment and enabling people to see and experience all the joys our beach communities have to offer.  

SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti are looking forward to the next year and the new stories we will be able to share with our readers.

Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.