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What business can learn from the Rugby Cup Final

As a proud New Zealander, last weekend was one of the biggest in this year’s calendar: the final of the Rugby World Cup 2015 in the UK. The contest in the final was immense, as the two best sides in international rugby battled it out for 80 minutes for supremacy in the last game in what was, in my view, one of the best World Cups ever held. Throughout the seven weeks of the competition, there was so much passion and commitment, huge surprises and just great rugby – all held in an amazing, festival-like atmosphere, watched live by 100,000s of fans, all there to enjoy an inspirational international sporting event.   As I followed the All Blacks’ progress over...

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A surfer’s thoughts on the relationship between surfing and music

When I was a kid growing up in New Zealand in the 1970s I was surrounded by music. No one in my family played an instrument, but my parents, whose formative years were spent listening and dancing to rock and roll in the 60s, were relentless in their commitment to keeping the 60s going in vinyl form. From Elvis to the Beatles, the Stones to the Animals, Martha and the Vandellas, Swinging Blue Jeans, the Supremes, Brian Poole, Bobbie Vee and so on – the lid of the Radiogram would go up, the 33 or 45 put on, the auto start clicked down, the needle arm would rise and lay itself down to fulfil its role of delivering relentless rock...

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A surfer’s thoughts on passion over performance

I write this having just watched England play Australia in the Rugby World Cup pool match over the weekend, which Australia won pretty convincing. Right now the England camp must devastated – as will its supporters. As a New Zealander in the UK, the feast of World Cup rugby has been incredible this time around and has highlighted one very interesting aspect of sport that has always fascinated me – that of passion over performance. I’ve got a huge amount of respect for Stuart Lancaster and the English national rugby side. The skill and fitness levels are phenomenal and the commitment of all the players and the desire to win is without question. But it just seemed over the last...

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A surfer’s thoughts on Quiksilver filing for bankruptcy

I read with a bit of sadness this week about Quiksliver filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US. Too big? Lost its way? Direction led by money rather than passion? I don’t know the answer to this as I’m not on the inside. But as the owner of  Wave Native and a surfer that grew up in the 80s loving Quiksilver, Rip Curl and O’Neill and all they then stood for, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad at the fall of a surfing icon.  It does sound from the news reports as if this is a commercially strategic move by Quiksilver to put the company in better financial position, much like Kodak did a few years’ back. Quiksilver...

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Thinking back to when I starting surfing

I recently went camping with the kids and the boards down to Devon, promising to teach the kids to surf while we were down there. At nine and six years old, I thought the time was about right to get them excited about surfing like I was when I was a boy. My nine year old son took to the waves immediately, catching a (small) unbroken wave on his second go, standing up and riding the wave right in. The look on his face when he hopped off the board at the end of the ride, I’ll never forget – a look of overwhelming excitement. He was totally stoked. And, totally hooked, after one ride. The next day he was...

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