Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Papa Nui Combat Corsairs Caps Available Now.

A little bit of Ernest Hemingway and a lot of Admiral Halsey results in a pretty powerful concoction but add also the studied formula provided by Airedales off the Bird farm and graduates of Canoe 'U' and what you end up with is Papa Nui's amazing Combat Corsairs Cap. A cap absolutely necessary for a life spent under the fierce Pacific sun, a covering to protect from coral glare and the shimmer of Oriental waters.

Inspired by products 'field-made', the Papa's generous adaptation takes the A-1 sunvisor and builds on a period classic low profile four panel ball cap shape. The result is an aviators cap worthy of duty on every front. Choose a colour to suit your cover! Beach landing Brown or Jungle patrol Green.
Papa Nui's Combat Corsairs caps are produced by exclusive arrangement with the John Lofgren Clothing Factory Japan, so quality and integrity are an absolute.

This release is limited to 100 pieces world wide and the Corsairs Caps are available in sizes 57cm through to 61cm.

To join the Papa in this glory rousing salute to our heroes of the South Pacific, the Jar heads and Deck Apes the Blue Jackets and Brown shoes, the fighting Battalions on Sand and Sea, send $75 USD to the Papa's Pay Pal account, rocket_ace47@hotmail.com and receive the cap of your choice plus FREE airmail shipping to any location on the globe.

The Combat Corsairs Cap not your standard 782, get yours now!

* wholesale orders available on orders over 10 pieces, email the Papa.

The Papa announces.......

The Papa announces, All Japan Manufacture!
Papa Nui's Combat Corsairs Caps are produced by exclusive arrangement with the John Lofgren Clothing Factory Japan. Quality and Integrity an absolute.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pappy loves the Papa

"Men of the Battalion, as a veteran fighter ace I can tell you that you don't scratch 26 meatballs on good luck alone, what you need is to have the right equipment to do the job. This is why I fully endorse Papa Nui. The Papa know that a life spent under a tropical sun requires a cap of substance and his new Corsairs cap will give you the edge every time in the air or on the beach. Made to exacting standards from a solid 9 oz frog spot pattern Herringbone twill the Corsairs cap features an inspired A-1 sun visor extended peak and 4 panel ball cap construction. You're only as good as the gear you use and that's why I'm the best."

Semper Papa!

Major Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington.

Action Stations at the Papa production facility.

All hands are on deck at Papa Nui's production facility located somewhere in the South Pacific. The island is in full swing as the Union Specials sing their way stitch by stitch producing the finest quality caps this side of the atoll.


Wearing a prototype Papa Nui Corsairs Cap, Phyllis Jarman of Ypsilanti Michigan writes up a report in her workbook. Like many other Avenger Field pilots Phyllis only wears caps made by the Papa.
" The Papa ain't no 90 day wonder", says Phyllis, " He knows that you need a cap of substance for hunkering under when the sun is hot enough to shrivel you into a New England hag".

Style lines.

The Papa has always had a long love affair with loggers boots, from basic Georgia's back in the late 80's to Wesco smoke jumpers over the past decade. For the future however the White's lace to toe is looking pretty good!

Speedlines at Noosa

Word. Perfection.

Inspired! Mason Dyer Surfboards win the Papa Nui award for excellence.

The Papa has to love the boys down at Mason Dyer, Southern California. Their product line draws a wonderful linage back to WWII. Men after my own heart says the Papa. Check out the website dyerbrand.com, American made nostalgia at its best!

Portrait of Moloko.

This is a wonderful portrait of Moloko. For those of you in the know, Moloko heads up Papa Nui's native labour battalion and is responsible for keeping the Mary's nimble at their Union Specials.

A fin of beauty.

Dazzle Kook Box.

For the love of  Kook boxes, hollowed out paddle boards in the style of surf pioneer Tom Blake. Particular kudos goes to the black and white stripe board reminiscent of US Navy dazzle pattern camouflage. The Papa is much inspired and will one day create the dazzle log to confuse the enemy at his favourite point break.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair

The Papa's favourite WWII aircraft. Flown by the Navy and the Marines alike this baby had a 11: 1 kill ratio, wow,  now that's odds!
An endless source of fascination and inspiration:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

M.Nii tailor vs Birdwell Beach Britches.

There's a marketing concept that suggests that customers buy the 'why' you do something rather than the 'what'. If you accept this premise then you will understand that a product story becomes all important, sell your 'why' and then you're half way to success.
 For the past year or so I've been following the M.Nii surf wear brand, whose story is absolutely second to none.

Peter Lawford one of the period celebrities known to wear M.Nii
   ("Makaha in the 1950s, was a surfer’s Eden. Situated on the west side of Oahu, the sun shined brightly, the prevailing winds were offshore, and the ocean shimmered in vibrant sapphire blue.
   Down the road, at a mom-and-pop tailor shop called M.Nii, some of the first surf trunks were about to take flight. It was a natural progression: first, local waveriders brought their “baggies” to M.Nii’s for repairs. Recognizing the need for durability and comfort, M.Nii built simple twill trunks made specifically for surfing. 
   With feedback from some of the best surfers of that era, he added stripes, wax pockets, patches. They earned a nickname: the “Makaha Drowner.”
  They were not just a pair of surf trunks; they were a memento, a badge of honor. The faded back-side spoke of six-hour marathon sessions in ten- foot waves. Those beads of sandy wax stuck in the eyelets smelled of coconuts. That stain on the cuff? Pork laulau. The more weathered and beaten your M.Nii’s, the more wholeheartedly you understood ‘Aloha.’)".

  Often however the 'why' doesn't always correlate to the 'what' and we are easily caught out and so with my nostrils imagining the smell of tropical trade winds mixed with pig roasting on a spit, I bought into the brand. An online order conveniently done, 'Makaha Drowners', black size 34", $150.00 plus an equally ridiculous postage charge and presto a few weeks later my trunks arrived. Excitedly I try them on, pulling them up fastening the lace waist and stepping in front of the mirror, as I move the trunks fall off my hips and down to my knees, ahh jesus too big!  I take them off check the size, 34" yes okay they should be right but they aren't. I visit their website and check the sizing chart page, 34" waist is a 34" waist and are designed to sit lower on the hips, okay so no big deal there, almost all mens bottoms these days fit low so I'm not surprised at all, still these do not fit anywhere on my body. I get the tape measure out and soon all is revealed, the 34" suddenly becomes 36". No mention of an oversized fit anywhere in the size chart I can find, and so I must assume the sizing is just    out of whack. So this is the point where I start getting the shits and ponder the question why can't companies just tell you what the actual size is? These shorts being vintage inspired are meant to be worn fitted and close so why is the waist oversized? 

 The M.Nii Makaha Drowner simple cotton twill no fuss construction $150 a pair.
Vintage styled rear pocket high on the hip so your not sitting on your wax.

  Still however that pork laulau lingers on, the palms are swaying and my hand reaches back into my wallet again for my credit card. There's so much history in this brand, I want, I need to be a part of it, the brand is talking to me, its calling me, its dialled into my sense of history, my sense of brand soul. Size 34" all wrong so I've got to be a 32", never been a 32" before but what the hell, go down a size and this will be fine. 'Makaha Drowners', khaki size 32", click, done. The weeks past, my imagination is running, khaki vintage style trunks, yes! In my mind I've an image of National Geographic magazine November 1943, A line of Naval swimming Instructors are standing along the edge of a pool in California observing aviation cadets undergoing water training, khaki trunks, blue cotton zip jackets, navy blue aviators caps, the reference doesn't go unnoticed its locked into my head for the pending summer season.
  The mail man arrives, package in hand, my new trunks! Again the ritual pulling of paper and cutting of carton, revealing my purchase. Here we go. I strip down and slide on my 'Drowners', they in turn slide right off! What! I can believe it, not again. The magical 32 inchers are yet another hoax sent to torment me. They don't friggin' fit and now I'm really really not happy. Out comes the tape measure again and these ones measure almost 35" in the waist, this lack of consistency is killing me, not only has the laulau dissipated but I feel like I've gone under in that Californian pool with the instructors looking on. 

 M.Nii khaki Drowners undergo a transformation. To make them wearable cost me another $45 in alterations I had the waist taken in and the length taken up. The existing length on the Drowners is an awkward one so the adjustment made all the difference in balance. The USN Jacksonville Florida patch is my ode to the National Geographic Magazine November 1943.

  All illusions are now gone and I begin to see the thing for what it really is, a great marketing campaign with a fantastic story masking a mediocre product. I dig a little deeper and take my blinkers off, these are a cotton twill short, not a bad quality either with a decent thread count. The construction? Yeah its alright, nothing special really though and certainly not a $150 worth of product that I can see, then I realised what I had just thought, and I had my answer, nothing special really! What had I thought was special? The story! The story encompasses everything a surfer could want and the people that reportedly wore them was everyone you wished you could have been, but at the end of the day there was nothing to the product other than the very clever vision of an ad company. M.Nii had closed decades and decades ago and if it wasn't for a couple of savy Californians who thought to revision the brand M.Nii would have passed into eternity along with many of the surfing legends that wore them. There was no continuity to the brand outside of that moment in history when everything seemed to revolve around the conquest of water mountains at Makaha and for me it took the best part of $400 in product, postage and alterations to realise this fact and to come to terms with the reality of this product falling short of all claims. 
  Sometimes we need an awakening, an opportunity to critique. Too often we accept new brands or new products within our sphere of interest and immediately jump into support them because we feel a need to validate others that are apparently in tune with ourselves. But the truth is not everything is good and some things are just damn disappointing and often there are those that will spin a great yarn so that they can tap into an energy and try to capitalise on it. I've learnt from experience, often quite expensive lessons as this post will attest but on the other hand I can also tell you there is great stuff out there right under our noses. I really had no need to look for surf trunks anywhere else but with Birdwell Beach Britches.

 My collection of Birdwell's, 9 pairs, the backbone of my surf kit. I just thought the M.Nii's would be a nice addition, but upon reflection.......

Perhaps its just that yearning for something new that leads you astray? Upon reflection I could have whatever I wanted through the Birdwell custom service, their talent for building surf trunks and my ability to imagine it is all I ever really needed in the first place.

 Custom Birdies for the Papa, three difference camo patterns for the Battalion.
 Did I really need any other brand? I think not, Birdwell's amphibious and airborne.
 Three pairs of frogspot camo Birdwells, three different fades. The oldest are about 6 summers old and have graced a thousand waves or more.

Of all the companies out there in the surf industry, Birdwell has been consistently servicing the beach community since 1961 and is now in its 4th generation of being family operated and that's a story that isn't made up. They have only recently redone their online webpage which previously was so antiquated that one had to conclude that they were just too busy in their workshop making great shorts that they couldn't be bothered with dealing with the new technology. I forgive them for that absolutely! Despite all the frustrations at times in the ordering process and some on the stupid online reviews I read from dopes who have no understanding of the brand, I will stand up anywhere and honestly say that Birdwell Beach Britches have never let me down, not in quality nor in performance. 
  Birdwell is something that you can't just make up, it doesn't flow off the end of a copy writers pen, nor does it need a press release to tell you its great, happening or the latest, it just is, and at the end of the day that is all that really matters, that is the story of Birdwell, 50 years of just getting on with the job, making great surf trunks.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Summertime with the Papa. Battalion Tees celebrate RHD tour.

The Papa Nui Atoll to Adelaide exclusive tee. A celebration of the amazing Papa Nui x RHD store collaboration tour.
Limited numbers available. Re-purposed vintage tees from a rag house rescue, hand picked, hand printed and hand stamped. 
Don't delay, as with all the works of the Papa, once they're gone they're gone.$50 Australian includes airmail delivery to any destination on the planet. Measure the chest of your favourite tee and let the Papa know. 
Email the Papa or go direct to the RDH ( Right hand Distribution Store Adelaide) website and talk to Andy and Akira.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Dreams, Deliriums and Dead mens clothing.

If you can believe all the scuttlebutt of late it would appear that the Papa has another one of his island projects on the boil.
Word from the Marianas to the Marshals, from the far flung Polynesias to the savage Feejees is that the Papa is engaged in an exclusive collaboration T-shirt with his good allies down at RHD Adelaide.
This Tee promises to carry with it the smell of warm climes and exotic locations and as always Papa Nui's sovereign cure for all winter ills, colds and catarrhs, that inherent glow of tropical sunshine exclusive to his residential abode.
But the living ain't always easy out here on the Atoll, No Siree! Sometimes the sheer remoteness of Papa's manufacturing facilities can create all sorts of difficulties. When raw material shipments were lost to I-types coming through the straights, Papa's entire delivery went to the bottom of the channel. How then to get a blank t-shirt to print? A call goes out, the base signals office, the sharkskin drum, a cry of dismay, a plea for help. Every able Zoom pigeon, Airedale and Sea dog, every Master of vessel, Sea bee and Blue jacket pitches in, until an idea surfaces a stratagem develops! From the most unassuming corner of the Island but from the darkest resources of the human mind, a mechanic steps forward, a crap shooting grease monkey from the motor pool Mafia, ' To hell with it Papa, lets just steal them!"
And so just like that the operation begins. a clothes line here, the base laundry there, the officers compound, the Admirals quonset, god forbid even graves registration oh no!
Until at last on Papa's doorstep a basket full of blank t-shirts appears. Some small, some large, some white and some yellowed with age, some holed and stained from distant battles of the campaign but each different from the next, each unique with its own story. A stroke of brilliance yet again, Oh Papa, what shall be grand in thee!
Papa Nui's RHD tee coming soon. Rag house rescue, old dirty and fucked up, hand sourced original fit tees, hand printed with water base inks, hand measured and hand stamped, limited quantities available, exclusive to Papanuisays.blogspot.com and the RHD store http://shop.righthanddistribution.com/

Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Recon.

 It's a beautiful day on Taratupa and this morning the sun is beaming through the palms and warming Papa's home isle. Always the avid photographer the Papa set off down to the base on the leeward side of the island to see what the boys were up to..........