Senior Editor

The Inertia

The Inertia’s seventh annual EVOLVE presented by White Claw went off at the Rivian South Coast Theater in Laguna Beach Saturday, June 29th, and it was a hell of a party. Best of all, The Inertia was able to raise thousands of dollars for our friends at Surfrider Foundation, with half of the proceeds from the door and 100 percent of the raffle going to the important work they’re doing.

EVOLVE is all about uniting the brightest minds in surf and outdoors to share stories, learn a few things, and have a great time! And this year was, if I may toot our own horn, one of the best yet.

As mentioned, The Inertia partnered with Rivian, which hosted at its South Coast Theater, a historic venue that sits across from the glittering Pacific Ocean. Rivian restored the beautiful building into a gorgeous space that was perfect to host a gathering of amazing people. The line burst out the door as nearly 400 people waited on the sidewalks along Laguna’s historic Pacific Coast Highway.

Our featured change-makers included surfer/scientist/environmentalist Cliff Kapono, two-time Olympic champion snowboarder Jamie Anderson, Lucy Osinski  and Elliete Singleton from GRLSWIRL, as well as Laguna Beach local and three-time skimboarding world champion Blair Conklin, and Chad Nelsen, Surfrider’s longtime CEO. The whole night was well lubricated by our partners, White Claw, Athletic Brewing, Kona Big Wave, and Macchu Picchu Energy. Bellies were filled by Rasta Tacos.

First up, The Inertia’s founder Zach Weisberg took the stage alongside GRLSWIRL’s Lucy Osinski  and Eliette Singleton. GRLSWIRL is the world’s largest skate collective, and what they’re doing is rather inspirational. Its mission is “to unify people globally by cultivating authentic community through skateboarding,” and they are succeeding on a grand scale.

Next up was a snowboarding GOAT in Jamie Anderson. She is, as you know, one of the greatest competitive snowboarders ever. A two-time Olympic Gold medalist in Slopestyle (with a silver in Big Air), she’s shaped snowboarding for the better. Recently, she also became a mother. The Inertia’s Joe Carberry spoke with her at length about how having a child changed her outlook on snowboarding and life in general, and what the future holds for her and her family. Spoiler alert: it’s bright.

Next, Blair Conklin took the stage. In Laguna Beach, where he hails from, Conklin is royalty. He’s an incredibly bright guy, too, and after a short film reminding us once again that Conklin is at the top of the game when it comes to skimboarding, we talked with him about how he played a vital role in turning the once-niche sport into a global, viral phenomenon. He talked about some of his viral moments and why skimboarding is particularly suited for platforms like Instagram and TikTok before discussing his path as a social media entrepreneur.

Finally, Surfrider CEO Chad Nelson and surfer/scientist/environmentalist Cliff Kapono took the stage together. The Inertia’s Juan Hernandez picked their brains about how surfers can act as some of the most powerful champions for the ocean. Both Nelsen and Kapono are uniquely suited to speak on that subject, because they not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk. It was a moving conversation about just how important it is for surfers to ensure that the places we love are protected from the many threats facing them.

With the talking done, Sitting on Stacy took the stage. They shook the floors with their particular brand of “ska-flavored alt rock” while the audience finished out the night. Ears were ringing, shirts were sweaty, and the crowd left filled with good vibes, good food, and good drinks.

Thanks to everyone who showed up for another fantastic event celebrating just how wonderful our little culture is. We wouldn’t want to be sharing it with anyone else, and we’re already stoked for next year. See you then!

A special thanks again to our partners, who made The Inertia’s EVOLVE 2024 presented by White Claw possible, including: White Claw, Athletic Brewing, Segway, REI, Rivian, Kona Big Wave, Catch Surf, ISLE, Sister Betsy’s Surf Wax, Macchu Picchu Energy, and Surfrider Foundation.


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