Product Review: Waterborne Skateboards Surf Adapter + Carbon Complete Fleet

Fraught with the latest flat spell blues? Skip your last rock over Lake Pacific and grab a skate from Waterborne Skateboards. This UC Irvine startup company is known for its signature truck, the Surf Adapter, straight from the brains of UCI undergrad Patrick Dumas.  The Surf Adapter can turn any skateboard deck into a surfskate dream machine. Combine awesome adapter with carbon fiber deck, and your skate experience is now ruined for any other board. Good luck trying to find another option cause there ain’t one!

Shameless plug time! After their recent collab. with Penny Skateboards, word on the street is Dumas and team may be cooking up some more board fun goodies–see my article’s last quote.

Try:

Surf Adapter

Aries Carbon Complete

Scorpio Carbon Complete

Gemini Carbon Complete

…astrological readings not included.

The Scorpio carbon fiber board–get some.

The deets:

Equipped with the Surf Adapter, each carbon fiber deck ranges between 31-39” in length. The Surf Adapter works great on a standard skateboard deck AND is absolute MAGIC on a carbon fiber deck providing lots of flexibility and incredible durability. Not only is each board a smooth ride, lightweight and fast, but they also allow you to maintain control over your carves. Think hot knife through butter.
Combine any three boards with ramps, pools, sidewalks as flat as the Pacific (I’m not bitter) and some fun tunes…and …what is this ‘ ocean surfing’ thing, again…?

What I love:

Everything

How I’ll use it:

When Lake Pacific takes hold or parking garage skating urges occur

I wish:

I got the bro deal—the price is painful for a carbon complete

Price:

$59.99—Surf Adapter

$379-499—for a carbon fiber complete

 

Watch Patrick and the Waterborne team shred Newport:

Product Review: COR Surf’s Excursion Waterproof Travel Pack

If it’s not obvious already, I LOVE to surf Trestles…along with thousands of other folks from in and out of town. It’s not just about the wave, tho. I enjoy all aspects of the experience–walking there and back again, checking out the ever-evolving street art/graffiti and saying ‘hi’ to my fellow ‘Trestlers.’ While surfing Trestles for many years, I have learned that high quality equipment is essential for a top notch surf experience–and have specifically noted the evolution of my backpack.

It started with a simple drawstring sack used to carry records, which evolved into Dakine’s backpacks. At first I adored my Dakine pack, it went with me everywhere and endured all things ‘beach.’ It wasn’t until boating out to a particular break in Nicaragua that I noticed my Dakine was not 100 percent waterproof–I almost lost function of my DSLR camera because water invaded my pack. Add on my post-Trestles soggy bottom trek back to my car and you’ve got a surfer girl determined to find the perfect pack.

Enter COR Surf’s Excursion Waterproof pack.

The deets:

Designed for a two-seven day trip, this pack has removable interior laptop sleeve and pocket, a secret passport pocket, waist and chest straps, a top cinch strap for your towel. It is made of 100 percent TPU waterproof material–nothing is getting soaked unless you spill your drinks inside the pack–but of course, there’s a feature for that. Two drink holders made out of mesh material can be found on either side of the pack, although I like to keep mine on one side so it doesn’t bump into my board. Did I mention this particular pack carries 40 liters worth of stuff??

4-0.

If a magician were a surfer, this would be his dream pack.

What I love:

The depth…not like “letstalkaboutthemeaningoflife” depth…I mean, I can literally fit my entire head and shoulders inside (I’m also 5’3”), but the point is the pack is deep deep deep. I fit my wetsuit, towel, small stuff, change of clothes, and water with plenty of room to spare.

How I’ll use it:

Trestles and travel–seriously, this pack makes me want to travel (*cough* wheremysurfergirlsat *coughcough*)

I wish:

There was a separate area for my soggy wetsuit

Price:

On sale for $79.99

The Top Three Eco-Friendly Wetsuits

Winter is coming…

No really, winter IS coming and so are the chilly waters of the North Pacific.

It’s that time of year when the wind kicks up to offshore mornings and onshore afternoons and west/northwest swells cool down the water, much to the tourists dismay. A time where kelp forests become bushier and the fish escape to warmer waters–it’s wetsuit season!

Yay??

All things in this picture are necessary in Humboldt, Calif.

Among the plethora of brands, almost all of them come with a signature flex, feel and performance level. But what some might consider, as of late, is the touted term “eco-friendly.”

I originally wanted to find seven companies, but had to whittle it down to five that I thought used eco-friendly materials. BUT- based on my searching and many inquiries, I could only find three wetsuit companies who’s materials are eco-friendly.

Ironically, many of the products we use as surfers are, in fact, NOT good for the environment and yet, we have been cached into a ‘hippy-esque’ category. Everything from our sunscreen, to our surfboards and even our wetsuits somewhere down the processing line has a negative effect on our environment…until the last five years.

Eco-friendly is the new black and many marketing and branding campaigns have fallen into step with this attractive trend. There’s a lot to be said about this most hashtagged term when it comes to our marine environment and personal health.

But what does that mean when it comes to wetsuits?

To sum it up, wetsuit materials are most commonly comprised of closed cell neoprene, which basically translates to foam rubber. Their materials and processing tends to have an impact on the environment, and, thankfully, more surf and dive companies have been incorporating more environmentally-friendly processing and products into their suits.

Below are my top three wetsuits, which I based on overall production/processing and materials, wallet-friendly price and surfable functionality.

 

Patagonia

Patagonia's Yulex wetsuit

Patagonia’s Yulex wetsuit

Based In: Ventura, California

Mission: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Price Range: $129-$500

About: What started as a small company that made climbing tools is now one of the household names for environmentally-minded products for a wide range of outdoor activities like climbing, surfing, snowboarding, fly fishing and trail running. Patagonia’s goal, as a whole, is to reduce if not eliminate, pollution as a by-product of their business. They have successfully created a wetsuit by replacing non-renewable neoprene with a plant-based polymer, Yulex, a natural rubber from heva trees, which reduces CO2 emissions by 80 percent.

 

Picture

Photo Courtesy: Picture Organic Clothing

Photo Courtesy: Picture Organic Clothing

Based In:  France

Mission: Organic, recycled and bio-sourced products since 2009. The best possible environmentally-friendly and unique product designs that stand out for fresh colors and valued for good quality.

Price Range: $48.93-$352.88
*I did the math & converted euros to dollars–does not include shipping*

About: Their entire brand is dedicated to second-life and end-of-life products, which ranges from clothing, snowboard and skateboard gear and now, wetsuits and surf gear. It all started with their first recycled polyester boardshorts collection, which was derived from their snowboard outerwear and grew into European & international distribution, which includes the United States. Worried about carbon footprints? There’s an app for that, of course. Picture also has a carbon footprint calculator that allows you to trace your own impact when you buy their products.

There are currently no shops in the U.S. that offer this wetsuit brand right now. So, if you are interested in purchasing a suit, you might have to google around. In 2018 Picture’s clothing will be available in Confluence Kayak in Denver and Moose Joe and Paragon Sports in New York.

Everything is priced in Euros and don’t panic when you see a comma for pricing…it typically means a decimal. :)

Here’s a site that sells Picture Organic Clothing.

 

Vissla

ECOSEAS-DETAIL-3

Photo Courtesy: Vissla

Based In: Aliso Viejo, California

Mission: Advanced environmentally conscious materials designed and constructed for colder water.

Price Range: $99.95-$595.95

Just so you know: Vissla only offers wetsuits for men, for now. For ladies, their sister company, Amuse Society, features women’s suits and beach clothing, but the suits are not considered ‘environmentally-friendly,’ yet.

About: Vissla is a forward-thinking company who bases their designs and concepts around creative freedom–“a surf-everything, ride-anything mentality.” In terms of wetsuit-ery, they offer four different lines: 7 Seas, North Seas, Eco Seas and Premium Japanese. The Eco Seas wetsuit rubber is harvested from the rubber tree as opposed to neoprene and instead of solvent-based glues, Vissla uses a water-based glue that is completely solvent-free. Recycled plastic bottles serve as their interior and exterior jerseys–each wetsuits uses 45 recycled bottles.

Calavera Swimwear: Keeping Your Eyes on the Waves

 

IMG_8264We all love a good show, but when it comes to surfing, the only thing that should be center stage are the waves, right? As a woman who is consistently in the agua, finding the perfect bikini that is both stylish and functional has often been a challenge and has made me one helluva bikini connoisseur–a picky one, I might add.

Enter Calavera Swimwear.

Gents, it’s time to forget about our lovely Ms. Blanchard’s  notorious bottom turns for a second and consider what a woman really wants out there in the deep blue. At the end of the day, girls just wanna have fun, and, let’s be honest, for the everyday surfer girl, we want to look good and nail solid backside hacks without the full moon view or surface from a luscious duck dive or turtle roll with all of our goods intact.

Or we just plain want to be in, on or near the water with no worries. Period.

Calavera swimsuits does just that: both stylish and very functional suits designed and manufactured in Los Angeles, CA, this suit stays put on the bod and has become a staple ‘kini in my surf gear.

DSCN3362 (2)“We test our suits in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, one of the toughest waves in the world, with the idea that if they hold up in those conditions, the suits will hold up for anything,” said Calavera Swimwear Founder Anna Jerstrom.

I decided to put the Reversible Halter Top Stripe and the Core Hipster Bottoms to the California test a-la point and beach breaks. This suit saw San Clemente State Park’s hollow waves, Salt Creek’s insiders and overhead Trestles, and (on the gentler side of things), Doheny’s soft right handers. It did not budge from my bod–not to mention I felt like the female version of James Bond in the water. The top is specifically designed to avoid strain around the neck, which makes it very comfortable for hours of activity.

 

Instead of elastic bands around the edging, Calavera features ties that don’t wear out as fast as your standard bikini. You can also can tie them yourself and adjust the “hold” for your bottoms. I love this feature because all too often, elastic quickly becomes shot in the sun and salt water, which ultimately retires the bikini.

In addition to awesome designs, color palettes and solid functionality, Calavera ships their bikinis to you sans plastic wrapping! Environmentally conscious efforts, especially plastic reduction, are a major bonus that I look for in companies these days.

Calavera has passed my bikini test with flying colors. No matter the duck dive, wipeout or turn, everything stays on AND in comfortably throughout my ocean activities. And I feel great in my suit!!

To all of your surfer girls and athletes out there: I challenge you to give their ‘kinis a shot at your homebreak.

Whether your rip, glide or flounder, this bikini will stay on you. The only show the boys should be watching is that last hack you just pulled in the critical section, right? ;)

DSCN3364

 

Product Review: Avasol Sunscreen

Winter is upon us and besides this intro already sounding like a Game of Thrones quote, it’s still essential to put on your best armor against that shiny ball in the sky. During the cooler months, we often forget  the sun is still strong enough to eventually turn our cute mugs into a texture reminiscent of a leather couch. Instead of avoiding the warm rays and essential vitamin D all together, go outside and enjoy within the safety of an all-around awesome sunscreen.

My version of “Valyrian Steel?” Avasol.

Who: “Ava” is the Samoan word for “respect” and “Sol” translates to the sun. “Respect the sun”

What I Love: From simple, sustainable and organic ingredients right down to the biodegradable packaging, Avasol won my sunscreen heart. Whether it’s surfing for several hours, miles of hiking adventures or exploring any type of outdoor terrain, this product goes where I go. I have been using this mineral-based sunscreen for the past year and have never been burned.

Originally, I found Avasol through one of the team riders’ social media posts, Waterwoman Liz Clark. Not only is she an all-around amazing human being through her sailing and surfing adventures, but she is also a terrific advocate for all things sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

Why: Because it’s just that awesome. All of the ingredients are organic and are well within my pronunciation capabilities, the smell is addictive and it stays on your dome or bod for several hours. How can you avoid a product with ingredients such as organic coconut oil, shea butter, plankton extract and cinnamon extract. Save your best lobster impersonation for Halloween!

How: Visit their website and make a wise purchase.

Cost:

  • $19.95 for 1 ounce of the Surfer’s Barrier stick which comes in three different shades and two different SPF’s.
  • $29.95 for a 2.5 ounce reusable bottle of the Environmental Defense cream.
  • $25.95 for the Environmental Defense cream refill

Extra Advice: If you’re like me and are a skin care freak, once you are out of the sun, I recommend removing this sunscreen with a makeup remover cloth or a gentle soap and baby wash cloth. Ultimately, I refer to Avasol as my “surf makeup” because it covers up really well and looks/feels like a thick water-resistant base makeup. Although it is a mineral-based sunscreen and it doesn’t seem to clog my pores, it does feel heavy on the skin.

When I’m not near a bathroom sink *cough*Trestles*cough*, my routine is: Rinse face with fresh water, wipe off Avasol with cloth, rinse once more with fresh water and apply regular daily moisturizer with spf.

So enjoy the outdoors and respect the sun! Life is too short to live inside behind “The Wall.”

 

dana pt sunset

Board Review: Slyde Handboards

There are so many ways to ride waves these days! Our entire niche industry is obsessed with the perfect ride–we spend hours, days, months, years crafting the perfect tool to score the best wave. In the past, 18 foot wave sliders designed for Hawaiian kings have since evolved to logs with D fins or Stand Up Paddleboards to cruise point breaks. Maybe you were a connoisseur of lunch trays–Del Taco was your favorite–it had just the right type of slick bottom to glide along the face of the wave. What was once a tray evolved to a plane and now a proper board…swallow tail, carbon fiber with plenty of room for your specifics.

Enter Slyde Handboards.

Innovation and style meets a handboard perfectly crafted for riding all types of waves with minimal spray.

Let’s get one thing straight: these are actually boards…not trays, nor hand planes–BOARDS…for your hand.

I met with Slyde Handboard Owners, Steve and Angela Watts at Salt Creek and the waves were anything but playful for my board demo–full swell, overhead with a dropping tide.

“After a whole year of  R&R, we are just now releasing every shape and are excited,” said Angela. “These wedge shape boards are great for  the every day person because they can use it in big or small waves.”

Waves poured in from all angles at Creek and it seemed The Point or Gravels were the places to be.

Let the body-slamming begin!

After easing into a few insiders, I was hooked. It’s compacted fun, I thought, as one sandy wedge dredged through the inside–ones I conveniently avoided and Steve wholeheartedly plunged into.

“The Wedge boards are designed specifically to ride a wave as far as you can,” said Steve. “I’ve ridden waves all the way from out the back to the inside…you can do cutbacks with this and it sticks you to the face of the wave really well.”

My favorite thing? I can take this anywhere! Airport excess baggage fee instantly gone.

So–does it torture you to watch that perfectly peeling hollow shore break go un-ridden? Try out The Bula. Want a good starter board for all wave types? Check out The Wedge. Customize at will!

One thing I can’t promise–the places the seaweed and sand sneak into.

Pictured are The Wedge, The Wedge featuring a carbon fiber deck and The Bula

Book Review: “Legacy of Stoke: A Collection of Stories that made us Surfers”

 

Photo courtesy: Joseph Tomarchio

Photo courtesy: Joseph Tomarchio

In the middle of a crowded lineup maelstrom, it is always good to reflect on what brings you back to the ocean to ride those lumps of water. During weekend warrior sprints to populous breaks, sometimes we forget what draws us back to these same spots–OR–what makes us pile a hefty truck with apocalyptic supplies to seek out empty forgotten peaks—besides the beefy local who’s board you dinged last Sunday.

Face it–you weren’t always a shredder and you might have someone or something to thank for your salty introduction. Author Joseph Tomarchio’s book “Legacy of Stoke: A Collection of Stories that made us Surfers” showcases anecdotes from the every day surfer’s first time experiencing what it means to be “stoked.” From beautiful Hawaiian surf prayers to a gritty tale about fighting the temptation to paddle out during an all-time swell or study for an exam, each short story showcases tangible moments many of us have experienced post-salt water intro.

Much like surfing a new peak and experiencing the local surf banter, each of these excerpts has a unique voice describing their first time standing up on a board or beating the odds against a physical incapability just to be in the water. Heartfelt and inspiring, this book will pull at your heartstrings while you fondly recapture your own experiences, sans sunny Sunday with a beefy local’s close encounter, of course.

One of my favorite featured excerpts:

“Of a whole year of devotion, probably no more than a day was spent truly on my feet and surfing, so I couldn’t view such a moment without an ardent, frustrated desire, a bear-religious craving for wholeness. Unlike so many other passions: while on might, I suppose, wish for a bloom to remain in blossom, for a ripening grape to hang always on the vine-yearnings…for fleeting beauty and youth, the understandably hopeless hope that we might freeze our world’s better moments-the wave’s plenitude is rather in the peeling of the petal, the very motion of the falling fruit.”

For more information about “Legacy of Stoke: A Collection of Stories that made us Surfers” or to submit your own story, click here!