When Carrie Birdwell Mann sewed her first pair of two-ply nylon Beach Britches in 1961 in her Orange County living room, a word was born. That word was “bombproof.”

Those hard-wearing trunks with the perfect fit became required kit for every surfer and lifeguard on coastlines around the world. Through word-of-mouth and tiny mail order ads in the surf mags, Birdwell became utterly ubiquitous.

Today, Birdwell maintains their bespoke traditions: The company still maintains the historically resonant Santa Ana factory, where surfers are still welcome at the factory store for fittings and new releases. Seamstresses, some with 40-year histories at the brand, still hand-sew each pair, each cut and built to the same bombproof standard.

TSJ is particularly proud of this authentic, “Made in California” relationship. 


In the densely populated surf-gear landscape, the true necessities in actually getting out there and sliding one are few but vital. Foam and fiberglass. A pair of trunks or sewn rubber. Wax. And, this side of Tom Blake, a skeg or three or five.

Since 1995, the year they launched their game-changing removable system, FCS has remained not only committed to surfboard fins as an essential hardgood, they’ve elevated it. From design innovations to multipurpose functionality to template aesthetics, FCS has in many ways changed the way we craft and ride surfboards, and is the go-to for some of the most respected shapers and surfers in the game.

Those foundational principles—an application to the next while bound in the traditional, are ones to which TSJ can relate.


The brainchild of surf industry principal and renaissance-man Paul Naudé, Vissla set up shop in 2013 as an antithesis to corporatized surfing. Their founding tenets and commitments are those bound up in the pursuit’s roots and live at its very core: DIY craftsmanship, forward-thinking creation, and a “ride anything, anytime” ethos. From shapers to carpenters, artists to photographers, high-performance punters to traditional cross-steppers, they’ve since built and continue to guide a stable as diverse, fully-formed, and authentic as can be found anywhere in surfing today.

Those beliefs are ones we at The Surfer’s Journal appreciate, and find equally familiar in our own work. As such, we welcome Vissla to the fold.


Though Vans sits comfortably as one of the largest apparel companies in the world, they have never wavered in their support of the core users who made their original “Authentic” shoe a universal hallmark of surfers and skaters, nor have they forgotten their sub-cultural start as a Southern California store-front all the way back in 1966. Today, Vans boasts the most eclectic surf team in the industry, from world tour professionals to alt-craft luminaries, and gives back to the sport in the form of event sponsorship all over the surf-spectrum map, from the Vans Triple Crown to the Duct Tape Invitational to the U.S. Open of Surfing.

As a family-owned title since being founded in 1992, The Surfer’s Journal can relate to Vans’ grass roots beginnings and continued commitment to the authentic, making this sponsorship/partnering feel particularly organic.


YETI was born from a marketplace void. Brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders, lifelong outdoorsmen, were frustrated with the performance of existing coolers: short ice-retention windows and under-spec construction led to critical failures and spoiled game. In 1996, they set out to build coolers that met their own requirements for life in the wild. Today, YETI represents the industry standard.

The Surfer’s Journal finds Yeti’s commitment to top-tier quality a fitting—and familiar—pursuit.

Rainbow® Sandals

When Jay “Sparky” Longley officially began making Rainbow® Sandals in 1974, he had one goal in mind: to build the best quality sandal in the world. His experience as a boutique leathersmith in the 60s gave him workshop bona fides, and trial and error led to one of our culture’s most dependable products. Today, Rainbow® Sandals crafts nearly 2 million pairs of hand made sandals a year.

A lifelong friend of the Journal, Longley and Rainbow® Sandals have been in the pages of TSJ since the first issue.


Patagonia sprang forth in 1970 from founder Yvon Chouinard’s coastal California blacksmith shop. A surfer and alpinist, Chouniard wanted to create an outdoor apparel brand without sullying the ethics of his beloved pursuits for the sake of profit margins. Today, Patagonia is a thriving, right-sized, privately held company known for the quality of their goods and the leveraging of Chouinard’s earth-first consciousness.

At The Surfer’s Journal, we relate and aspire to that sort of commitment. Perhaps that’s why the sponsor relationship between the two organizations rings especially true. We are both committed to the protection of our natural resources. Leveraging their reputation, Patagonia helped forge 1% For the Planet—a fellowship of like-minded companies responsible enough to pass along one percent of gross sales to non-profit environmental groups. TSJ proudly joined in that effort nearly a decade ago.