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Balaram Stack

Balaram Stack

From: Point Lookout, NY Age: 25

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09/05/91

Currently Living: Point Lookout, NY

Height: 5'9

Weight: 145

Sponsors: Skullcandy, Rockstar, Vestal Watches and Sunglasses, Freak Traction Lost Surfboards Sector 9 Skateboards Unsound Surfshop Moskova

Volcom Rider Since: Last friday

First Board: Don't remember the name but it was like a 5'11 from my older brother

Warm Ups: A surf check

What Gets You Motivated To Surf? Friends

Side Tracks: Friends, girls, parties, skateboarding

Music / Bands: A lil bit of everything a$ap rocky

Videos / Movies: Year Zero, Kids

Best Style: Your own

Random Information: Michael Dunphy's farts are the worst of all time

Favorite Volcom Jeans: Vorta

Favorite Boardshorts: Mod Tech Pro

One Thing You Can't Leave Home Without: My mind

Special Thanks: Everyone at Volcom and mom

RELATED NEWS + VIDEO

Surf
The Making Of “The Dock” | Go Behind The Scenes With Volcom’s Surf Team
This has got to be one of the sketchiest things we’ve ever done. I mean, would you pull the trigger on this concept and put some of the world's best surfers at risk? We’re in an age where everything’s been done. Where content gets exported by the dozens. Where repetition and derived ideas seem to be the norm. What breaks through clutter and what gets lost in 24 hours? There needs to be something more. So, we met up with our friends over at Stab and started talking about some potential ideas. When you enlist Stab’s wizardy and sunburnt minds to discuss surfing’s next move, you get oodles of high-to-higher outrageous, yet dangerously entertaining ideas. We labored over many of those ideas and found a winner. What was once a long and arduous process has finally come to fruition. And we’re truly passionate about it. Watch "The Dock" Benoa Harbour, Indonesia. What are we talking about? We’re talking about “The Dock.” A 100-foot floating dock that we put in the middle of a surf break and invited a select crew to try out. We knew it was time do something different. Something new. Something which our team riders would be stoked on, and something that we would have fun doing and showing to our audiences. It’s part of our DNA to keep things fun and embrace the strange. It’s a grocery bag full of first-time stunts and wildly-entertaining fails. The strenuous journey of anchoring this floating dock in the middle of a surf break can take its tolls, but it was all worth it. Noa hops, Imai falls, Yago attempts. Mitch going for broke. He is wearing the Volcom X Noa Deane Mag Vibes Stoneys Boardshorts While dangerous, unpredictable, and unsecured, towing this 100-foot piece of equipment out into the ocean at 4am in a foreign land feels like you’ve already won. Were you sitting at your desk editing a two-to-four-foot beach break clip or sitting on the beach filming perfect barrels? No, you were near the pinnacle of an out-of-left-field concept that no one thought was possible. But you were there, and you made it, although no one said it was going to be this hard. Did we say it was dangerous? There was the obvious threat of the dock breaking off and crashing into you, but there were others. There are wires, ropes, tons of waves, other surfers / surfboards, and the dock itself whipping around freely as if it had no boundaries. As Noa recalls, “It kicks like a snake. It does this weird snake thing and it whips right at the end.” Balaram had a near-serious injury when he was trying to make his way to safety after jumping off the dock over a wave: “For a split second, time slowed down and I was like, ‘I’m about to die, I’m going head-first into this thing!'” Balaram and his memorable time with the dock. Balaram ended up slipping off the end and went down pretty hard. The 100-foot dock broke away from its anchor and nearly tumbled over Ozzie (see video). But, it was all in good fun. It was a team of guys experiencing a first-of-its-kind, further stretched from their comfort zones than ever. “I like the chaos of everybody there going, ‘where are we going, where are we going!?’” said Ozzie. It’s always fun until it’s not. One of the scariest parts of the shoot was when a huge set rolled in and the dock snapped off the anchors and floated into shore, nearly tagging Ozzie and Imai. Luckily, our dudes have cat-like reflexes and managed to escape sure-injury. Imai recalls, “I dove under it and the thing went over, and my board was on the side and I had to take my leash off underwater because it was stuck.” After some minor repairs, the team got the dock back out into position and finished off their three-day mission. We should've known Stab would think of a gem-of-an-idea like this. We never thought this would actually be possible. We didn't think we were really going to go through with it. But, we did, and we are sure as hell glad we did. Thank you to Stab, our team riders, production, the crew, Candock, and everyone else who was apart of this project. We hope you enjoyed “The Dock.” Noa's wearing the Macaw Mod Boardshorts. Traffic jam. Noa leaps off the dock for another attempt.
Surf
A Floating Dock in The Middle of a Surf Break - “The Dock”
“The Dock” is an exemplary piece of outlandish and strange antics we sometimes chase. It’s not that we want to… we have to. Breaking up the monotony of your daily videos cycling your feed to provide something different. Something we felt the need to do. What is The Dock? A 100-foot floating dock that we put in the middle of a surf break and invited a select crew to try out: Noa Deane, Balaram Stack, Ozzie Wright, Mitch Coleborn, Yago Dora, and Imai Devault. Sound enticing or ridiculous? Probably both. From the video you can see how sketchy the execution was, but the preparation was just as strenuous. The danger involved was also on everyone’s minds as the set up began. “It would just kill you if it hit you, yeah?” said Noa. The wires, the ropes, the waves, the unpredictability of the anchor were all threatening variables. Ozzie recalls, “The Dock’s been scary. At one stage I just came up, got my board, and saw it coming right at me. But I like the chaos of it.” What was once a long and arduous journey has finally come to fruition. And we’re truly passionate about. We hope you enjoy! Standing on a floating dock with an 8ft wave approaching can be a little frightening! Dock Lobster, Rattle Snake, Grey Mamba... call it what you want, this thing can be ANGRY! "Sittin on a dock in the line up, waisting time." The guys were psyching and splitting peaks.. Here's Imai with no option but straight! “I was kinda just stuck and wasn't sure what to do because Noa was going right and Yago left, and I was just stuck in the middle. So, I thought I could try to outrun the thing to the end and just jump off and go straight, but the wave caught up to me and knocked me right off my feet. I slid for what felt like forever haha, but it was probably equal to like 10 feet, but I have never laughed so hard I think ever!” -Imai Noa Deane was doing things no one has ever done before. Backside tail tap on the dock! Imai decided to take a dip! Balaram had his fair share of spills! See video for his wipeout. “The dock was one of those novelty things that you dream about. It was like the rock jump in One Hundred and Fifty Six Tricks that I watched Ozzie do a thousand times.... just a man-made version.” -Balaram Smiles all around! The guys claimed this to be one of the funnest thing they've ever done. L to R: Willy Aliotta, Yago Dora, Noa Deane, Balaram Stack, Ozzie Wright, Imai Devault. Yago Dora flew in straight from the Fiji Pro for just one day and didn't waste any time, he was going bonkers! It was really crowded on that dock! Yago is wearing the Macaw Mod Boardshorts. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! Balaram doing some sort warm-up stretch?! "Balaram jumped up and went six feet in the air then landed on the wire, so sketchy! It whips right at the end because it’s connected to a cable which adds extra tension.” -Noa Ozzie showing off his bag of 156 Tricks! From land it looked like they were walking on water. It was surreal. We lucked out and scored this peak for days straight with not a soul in sight. Ozzie being Ozzie and taking things to the next level! “The dock was angry! It wanted to get us, but we were too quick! It was a classic rumble trying to hustle our way on there altogether.” -Ozzie The Dock is fun and really sketchy at the same time. After all, what’s fun without a little fear?! Here, Mitch Coleborn tries to escape disaster.
Surf
Photographer Mike Nelson shares his favorite things about Long Beach, NY
Born and raised just across the way in nearby East Rockaway, surf and real estate photographer Mike Nelson has since lived in Long Beach, New York for the better part of a decade. From freezing beach blizzards to summer days with whales breaching, Mike has seen it all. On our recent New York City trip with Balaram Stack, Chris Pfanner and crew, we got a taste of fun in Long Beach, but wanted to know more so we decided to reach out to a long-time resident and homie for the full scoop! What makes Long Beach such a good place? Mike Nelson: Long Beach is a big city with a small town feel. Throw in the beach and NYC a short drive away, it's only dull if you want it to be. Best way to get around town in Long Beach? MN: During summer, a bike is the only way to go... In winter, a 4X4 will help you not get stuck in the snow. Recommended stop if you’re new to Long Beach? MN: I would have to recommend to stop by Unsound Surf Shop, they are loaded up with a great selection of everything surf, including all the latest and greatest from Volcom. If you're lucky you might just bump into frequent visitors Balaram Stack, Mike Gleason, Sam Hammer or other local legends. Favorite spot in Long Beach during the warmer months? MN: Favorite LB summer time spot would be any East End beach. Favorite spot to eat lunch near the beach? MN: This is a tough one, Long Beach is jam packed with great restaurants. So it depends on what I'm feeling, for example if pizza is on the menu, Gino's is the spot. BBQ then SwingBellies is the must have. If a quick sandwich is on the menu, then Brand's Deli is the go too and on those occasions that I'm on a health kick I have to hit the NY Acai truck. Favorite spot to grab a beer after a surf? MN: Best spot to hit for a cold one is The Beach House. They have like 20-30 TV's with all the major sporting events including surfing and if no sporting events are on there's always some talent to check out. Any significant changes you've noticed in Long Beach since you've been shooting it? MN: Changes in surfer? Beach go-ers? Styles? Well I've been shooting for a long time, so I've seen boardshorts that were way too short, then boardshorts that were way too long and now it's just about way too short again. The surf scene here has always been strong, but these days Long Beach is on a meteoric rise. Guys like Balaram Stack, Will Skudin and Tj Gumiela are not only taking Long Beach surfing to the next level, but the whole east coast. Do you plan on living there forever? MN: The dream would be to spend a month down in Central America or the Caribbean in the winter just to get a break from the cold, but I don't foresee moving away from here permanently, it's a great place to live. Long Beach in color. Mike's a big fan of evenings like this. Long Beach doing it's best California impression. Mike found this guy busting up a bait ball right up on the beach... Is seeing whales and other large ocean life common? MN: The past few years we have been seeing more and more whales right up on the beach. These days in the spring and fall when the water temps are right and the menhaden (whale food) are around, it's quite common to see multiple whales as well as pods of dolphins on any given day. I hope this is a good sign that our coastal waters are cleaning up and reaching an equilibrium. Fun waves in the city by the sea. Pat Schmidt is always up here surfing with Bal and frequenting local nighttime hotspots along side of Bal... Spectacular view during the end of a storm swell. One of Mike's favorite weekend spots. Mike Gleason's home of Long Branch is actually only about 15 miles from Long Beach (by boat )... The Jersey/NY connection has never been stronger anchored by Mike and Balaram. Best winter blizzard story? MN: My most memorable blizzard story, would be from Blizzard Jonas a few years back. Jonas dumped a rather large amount of snow on us overnight. I woke up at like 5am (the sun doesn't come up till about 6:45 that time of year) and spent 2 solid hours digging my car out and getting down to the beach (normally this is a 5 minute drive). I got down there and it was absolutely going off, no one around, no surfers, no humans nothing. It was a very strange sensation in such a crowded place. After about an hour, local-ripper, Joe Parrino, showed up and I finally had someone to shoot. Balaram embracing the storm. Balaram blizzard commute from his house to the surf spot. Balaram, this is pretty standard for this kid... Long Beach loves goofy footers and goofy footers love Long Beach. NYC morning glow. For more from Mike Nelson, give him a follow him on Instagram at @fullnelson_photo and check out the latest issue of Surfer Magazine (May '17) where Mike nabbed the cover shot of Balaram stuck on the lip in the moment when two waves converged into one another. Read more about that moment and the conditions that produced it on Surfer's website. No joke, that's @_balaram going sky high in the middle of the ocean and scoring the new cover of @surfer_magazine An insane capture from @fullnelson_photo #WelcomeToWater #TrueToThis A post shared by volcomsurf (@volcomsurf) on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:16am PDT
Surf
Balaram Stack in NYC - 4 Cities (Ep. 4), Volcom Surf
In our 4th and final "4 Cities" episode produced in collaboration with WhatYouth, we visit Balaram Stack in New York.
Surf
After dawn to well past dusk, New York City delivers
Volcom's fondness for summers in New York City stretches back to when the Skate Team would hole up in the city for weeks at time, as was documented in 2008's All The Days Roll Into One (), that offered a glimpse behind-the-scenes into the constant ups and downs of trying to skate on demand in a hectic city. Today our trips to the city are shorter but more frequent, including this past summer's trip for the premiere of Holy Stokes! A Real Life Happening that included a solid afternoon traversing the city, followed by the Volcom X Antihero NYC skate mission in July to film for the last fall's Volcom X Antihero collaboration. Fresh on the heels of the Volcom X AntiHero trip, a new set of Volcom crew showed up to continue our NYC summer fun. Balaram Stack, Jordan Trahan, Arto Saari and Austin Amelio (of The Walking Dead Fame, and a true skater in his own right) joined Chris Pfanner who extended his stay for another couple days of madness. The plan? To take in as much of New York as possible the following day! Street spots, skate parks, underground bars, good eats, drinks and beaches were all on the list. Morning stoop life with Chris Pfanner in the Volcom Bleed Dot shirt The squad easily located their Airbnb by the broken chairs and destroyed skateboard decks littering the front patio from the skate team's stay for the Antihero shoot. Inside we were greeted to a bevy of leftovers including fruit, granola and anything else deemed too healthy for consumption by the skate team. All adult beverages however had been put to good use and the house showed signs of good times. We would be hard-pressed to out due them. Morning stretch in the Volcom Stone Made Atwell shorts and a pale wash solid tee. Stories of New York go something like: freezing in the winter, hot and muggy in the summer. Luck was on our side and we were blessed with sunny days and cool breezes. We headed to the BQE Lot first thing for a skate sesh. Getting grimy and trying a few tricks under the bridge is always fun. Pfanner ollied the cement launch ramp and Trahan filled his time with kickflip wallride to fakie attempts that had us scratching our heads. Next thing you know, a five-minute storm comes out of nowhere blasting gutter-dirt and rain into our faces. After seeking shelter, we rinsed off with an open fire hydrant spewing sweet relief from the reemerged sun, just like in the movies! Little rain can't stop the Pfann man from ripping! Antihero team must of been here too... Balaram in the Cross Mag tee finding shelter under the BQE during a quick afternoon shower. Where to next? Pfanner in the Tetsunori tee. Austin Amilio cooling off from the summer heat. The temperature can soar midday in New York and a bike is a great way to explore the city without the constant pushing of a skateboard. Balaram, a New Yorker since he was 5, showed us his way to the beach without breaking a sweat. Bikes and surfboards easily fit on the train to Long Beach too and before long we were amongst sand, blue water and summer breakers. Related: Balaram Stack In NYC - 4 Cities (Ep. 4), Volcom Surf Riding around on bikes is one of the best ways to explore the city. Balaram Stack in the Volcom New Future tee. Cruising through the streets. Should we take a train to the beach?! The Volcom Mod Tech Surf Bag is ready for anything. Down to the trains in the Shred Head pocket tee. Waiting for the train to Long Beach, NY. Austin Amelio taking in the down time on the way to Long Beach. Go ahead and Pet It tee. Made it! After a dip in the Atlantic, the new Long Beach Skate Park, opened in 2015, is a short ride opposite the beach. A fun little park with a flow section and a small bowl. Just watch out for the rent-a-cops who enforce code regulations with gusto! They’ll pour out a grown man's full beer on a hot day just to show their might! Related: Photographer Mike Nelson shares his favorite things about Long Beach, NY Back in the city and ready to ready to take in some libations? Dustin Dollin knows bars and recommended we hit an underground bar called Berlin. It was a fine time dancing shoulder to shoulder with only red lights illuminating the young crowd. We even saw Macaulay Culkin there, but he told us "no photos after midnight." That's a good policy to have... so with that we'll end the story of our day here. Visit New York City, skate! Head to Long Beach, swim and skate! Go to bars and dance underground! We did and we recommend it! Balaram takes a quick dip. Volcom Mag Vibes & Magxplotion Stoneys Boardshorts. Arto takes a break from behind the lens to have Pfanner blast over him at the little Long Beach Skate Park.
Surf
Volcomgratulations To Our Team
The Volcom Family is a wildly diverse group of talented human beings: surfers, skaters, riders, musicians, artists, and committed creative individuals who simply refuse to settle. They are more than just dreamers. They are doers. The diehards. Pushing it further. Sweating every detail, unwilling to relent. They are uniquely driven souls whose actions speak much louder than words. Charging forward in all environments and fueled by an unyielding dedication to craft. This crew—our crew—is the raw embodiment of Volcom’s TRUE TO THIS ideology. Channeling their energy, their potential, and their passion. They are collectively shaping tomorrow, today. Volcomgratulations to our team. photo: Daniel Cabral