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SURFING

Style Looms Large for Cool Grommets

April 15, 1993|RICK FIGNETTI and DAVID REYES | Rockin' Fig is Rick Fignetti, a Huntington Beach surfer/shop owner. Times staff writer David Reyes has reported on U.S. surf teams competing in Bali and Brazil.

It's springtime, and Rockin' Fig was chock-full of adjectives for the new clothing lines coming out from the surf apparel companies.

Figgy: For hot looks, it's the thin, quick-dry nylon surf trunks. You wear 'em in the water, come out and the sun should dry 'em in 15 minutes! They retail for $32.

For me, the best thing about spring fashions is that surf shops hold their annual clearance sales with heavy discounts on winter wear. Advice for the smart shopper: GET ON IT!

Hey, you should see these new walk shorts and pants. It's the baggy look, right off the street and right onto the beach. Mostly darker colors, like the street attitude is still heavy on fashion Main Street.

Textures and length are the ticket this year. And the retro look, from crocheted bikinis to surfer trunks, are happening. Materials include poly-cottons, nylon and really strong cotton blends.

Walk shorts, like pants, are baggy too. Almost jam length, long enough to ride near the mid-calf. A coupla inches more, and they'd be called pants. Cotton shorts retail for $35.

It seems like all the grommets are coming in and buying a size or two larger than what they normally wear. Then they rush into the dressing room and start rollin' up the back of the waist to hold 'em up. Sometimes they just throw on a big ol' belt and cinch 'em down.

In walk shorts and pants, the new material is called brushed bull denim, a soft cotton that has a fuzzy look. They're quite comfortable. Pants retail for $45.

In bikinis, the thong and French and Brazilian cuts are strong. And, according to Orange County fashion writer Rose Apodaca, the old '60s-style crocheted knit bikinis are starting to be seen again. These suits retail from $50 to $70.

Like, what's next? A free Grateful Dead concert in Haight-Ashbury?

Apodaca adds that rather than a bare-all bathing suit, however, the crocheted numbers have a tighter knit where it counts.

Whew! I was worried there for a while.

Yeah, said Figgy. They're charging more for less. Watching some of these young ladies walk around in those thongs is almost like seeing a Reef Brazil advertisement come to life.

No explanation needed. Surfers know that ad very well.

And, the Figster says a nice tattoo blends well with any ensemble.

Riiight. I see a lot of the hard-cores with tattoos, you know, the Harley surfboard riders.

Harley surfboard riders?

Yeah, the guys who go for the skulls and dripping blood tattoos and maybe a cross or two. They're also sportin' skinheads, like Michael Jordan. Now, I ain't saying they're neo-Nazis, but their heads are just tapered for speed.

Jeez. What happened to the days when all you needed for beach chic was a white T-shirt, faded jeans, white socks and Jack Purcell tennies?

They went the way of old surf music, Dave.

And where is that, Fig?

To the surf museum.

CONTESTS: Huntington Beach surfer Jeff Deffenbaugh led Team Rusty to a first in the $20,000 Katin Team Challenge and also won the Katin's individual title at Huntington Beach Pier last weekend. Deffenbaugh beat Brian Jennings of La Jolla, who was second, Donovan Frankenreiter, of Laguna Niguel, who was third, and Kirk Tice, of Huntington Beach, who was fourth.

During an exhibition heat, Huntington pier fishermen hooked more than fish. One competitor was unharmed but exchanged heated words with an angler whose hook snagged his wetsuit. SURFER magazine editor Steve Hawk almost became a casualty paddling beneath the pier but narrowly escaped. Word of caution here: Fish swim below the water line. Have some respect.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, former world champion Damien Hardman of Australia took the Assn. of Surfing Professionals $100,000 Rip Curl Easter Pro title, defeating fellow Aussie Barton Lynch. For the ASP women's division, Australian Pauline Menczer was first in the $25,000 Quit Women's Classic at Bell's Beach, Australia. Menczer upset last year's tour champion, Wendy Botha of Australia, in one- to two-foot surf.

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