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Nine Questions for Sensi Graves, Kiteboarder & Bikini Designer

About 10 years ago, Sensi Graves picked up a kiteboard in North Carolina, didn’t hesitate to shred it and never looked back. Much like how we fall in love with a board sport, kiteboarding took the Hood River local by the arm and led her down a path of adventure, friendship and, in 2012, to start a swimwear business. The elusive “perfect” action sports bikini constantly escaped the many who tried, and few seemed to conquer in the early days, which is exactly what lit the fire for Sensi–enter Sensi Graves Bikinis. Her suits were created and are designed out of the clear need for women who once struggled to enjoy action sports and still retain a feminine appeal during a swimwear fashion v. function era.
Fast-forward only five years later, and you will find women all over the globe kiteboarding, surfing, adventuring, diving, practicing yoga and playing volleyball in her bikinis. When I first saw a Sensi bikini in an online store, I thought the name to be fitting with surfing’s niche culture–very feminine and strong, much like her bikinis. Interestingly, it was kiteboarding that drove her to create a bikini line that looks good while staying put.

*All photos picture Sensi in action and are courtesy of Sensi Graves & Sensi Graves Bikinis.*

Read more on the woman behind the ‘kini:

Q: What made you want to create your bikini line?

A: The concept for Sensi Bikinis was born out of a need. The summer before I graduated college, I moved to North Carolina to coach kiteboarding. I was in the water every single day; teaching, kiting and surfing. Bikinis were my uniform and my recreational outfit. I quickly grew tired of adjusting my swimwear. We’d teach for three hour time blocks and my suits were just not comfortable to wear for that long. The pieces that were designed to stay on were frumpy and geared towards a much older audience. I was 23 and I wanted to look and feel good in my bikini, but I also wanted something that would perform. I decided it was time to do something about it–and Sensi Bikinis was born!BetsyLindsy_Grapefruit2

Q: What does Sensi Bikinis represent for women?

A: Sensi Bikinis represents a mindset that we are strong, powerful and beautiful creatures. We embrace and celebrate our bodies and not judge ourselves.  We empower our customers to get out there and try new things and want to give them the confidence they need to do what they love. For us, that starts with delivering a well-fitting, comfortable and supportive bikini that is, at the same time, fashionable, flirty and makes our customers feel good while wearing it–all while delivering peace of mind that it will perform. We want to show our customers what’s possible for us, as women!

Q: What is your most popular bikini right now and why?

A: We have a few current top sellers: the Colleen top and Kyla bottom and the Dawn top. Most recently, we’ve seen an uptick in the Jennifer bottom, the Katie top, and Elise bottom, which just won the 2017 SELF Healthy Living Award for “Best Two-piece that Stays Put.” Our designs are clean, unique and comfortable, which delivers all the best swimwear qualities.

Q: Tell me about your love for kiteboarding–what keeps you coming back for more?

SENSI GRAVES-lukas-stiller-DawnJennifer_TechnicolorKiteA: I learned to kite in 2007 when my dad brought my three brothers and I out to North Carolina. I hadn’t even really seen the sport before then and had no idea what I was in for. After two weeks, I fell in love and kept in touch with the school where I had learned. In 2009 I had the opportunity to move out to North Carolina for the summer to work as a kite instructor and I jumped on it. From that point on it was live, eat and breathe kiteboarding. I just fell in love.

My favorite part about kiteboarding is the freedom. You can take it so many places: in the waves, in the flat-water, on exploration missions… There are so many different aspects of kiting–whether you go for a solo soul cruise or are out with friends.

The community in our sport is also amazing, you won’t find a better group of people anywhere. I love that you can meet up with like-minded individuals all around the world and connect over this amazing sport.

Q: Do you compete?

A: Yes. I compete in a number of kite events throughout the year, namely on the Kite Park League World Tour. Our season just ended and I finished third overall.

Q: Have your ever tried surfing or any other extreme sports?

A: I love surfing. It’s by far the hardest board sport, you have to really watch and learn the ocean. But, once you’re on that wave, it’s the most exhilarating feeling. I can’t get enough. I’m also an avid snowboarder and mountain biker.TOBY2590

Q: Do you do any cross training for kiteboarding?

A:Kiteboarding is an all-over body workout, so many types of training get you in shape. Personally, I do circuit training, yoga and ride at cable parks. For the discipline of kiteboarding that I compete in (park riding), cable parks are the best cross-training that exists.TOBY5645

Q: What is your perfect kiteboarding day?

A: Waking up to a slight breeze rustling the trees. Enjoying a leisurely breakfast and coffee with friends. Riding in a slider park in tropical weather until I simply can’t any longer. Eating a fresh lunch. Taking a nap. Finally, ending the day with a foil session (another discipline of kiteboarding) as the sun goes down.

Q: Any advice for people who want to try it?

A: Take a lesson. You’ll need the basics and it helps immensely to have someone there, holding your hand as you learn to control the kite. Kiteboarding is all about kite control. Get good at that first before you attempt the board.

Check out Sensi’s bikini designs in action on:
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Time of the Month: What Every Surfer Guy (and Gal) Should Know-PERIOD.

SC graffiti sign

Since the upsetting shark attack that occurred on April 29th at San Onofre’s Church break, there have been rumors circulating the lineup that the estimated 9-11-foot shark might have been drawn to the unsuspecting gal because she was on her period.

 All jokes and assumptions aside, no factual evidence was discovered, not even a drop.

In fact–read Surfline’s exclusive interview with the recovering victim here.

And since I’ve heard this hilarious rumor, most of the guys I happen to surf around seemingly shift their locations further away from me, which is great if I’m waiting for waves at the peak.

Hmmm, maybe I’ll finally paddle out to Lowers this summer. :D

[Paddles out to Lowers and yells in womanly agony: “Oh mah gah, these CRAMPS!!”]

While surfing at Salt Creek this past May, I not only noticed that everyone was huddled unusually close together at the peak, but I also noted that the topic of conversation was primarily about our infamous grey-suited landlord. Everyone’s ears seemed to perk up as each news development surfaced about the recent attack while a coast guard helicopter patrolled overhead.

Each person’s shifty eyes would widen as I paddled closer to the peak, until someone approached me mid-conversation and blurted:

“You notice how all of the attacks are on women? It’s because they’re on their period,” he jokingly said. “I’d not surf here if I were you. You could be putting everyone at risk.”

UM-what?

OH yes, my very educated friend, it’s true. Every woman you see in the lineup is just constantly bleeding–we are nothing more than swimming/paddling/surfing chum machines, and are using the ocean as our personal maxi pad. We purposefully decide to park it by you in hopes that one day our ocean animal friends will seek and destroy you, mwahahahahaha.

I CONFESS: In the middle of my dark inner monologue and lonely three foot bubble, I began to wonder…is it true? Does a woman’s fun “time of the month” necessarily attract sharks? I mean, we all have to wonder and at some point, I know we all HAVE wondered this borderline sexist thought.

“This is a misconception that a drop of blood drives sharks from miles away into a feeding frenzy,” said Dr. Chris Lowe, professor of marine biology and director of California State University-Long Beach’s Shark Lab. “Everybody who is in the water is exuding  many of the same amino acids that are found in blood. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, whether you’re having your period or not, you’re exuding many of the same compounds that a shark can detect.”

BOOM. Put that one to rest!  Dr. Lowe was recently featured in my piece: “Canary in the Coal Mine: Increase in Great White Shark Population is a GOOD Sign for Southern California

In addition to our male/female bodily …functions (?) being pretty much equal in the water, Dr. Lowe points out quantity, in this case, is also a factor to consider.

“The amount of blood a woman exudes during her period is miniscule,” said Dr. Lowe. “It’s not nearly enough to put an animal into that kind of feeding mode. So that’s very different from somebody who has a severe cut and is putting lots of blood into the water.”

Pictured is a juvenile great white shark off of Manhattan Beach. Photo credit: Cal State Long Beach Shark lab

Pictured is a juvenile great white shark off of Manhattan Beach.
Photo credit: Cal State Long Beach Shark lab

Additionally, menstrual blood is not really considered real “blood” that sharks interested in. According to Popular Science’s No, menstrual blood does not attract sharks, in addition to a shark like a great white’s ability to detect a trace amount of blood in only 100 liters of water (1/25,000th of an Olympic swimming pool!), even when sharks are snouting about, they are interested in marine mammal blood and guts–not ours.

Although it’s pretty inconclusive about what exactly sharks are inclined to attack in general, sharks have been documented to prefer sound instead of sight or smell, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northeast Fishery Science Center (NEFSC). For millions of years, sharks have been programmed to detect struggling prey and movement. Colors also play a role in a shark’s interest and there is a specific attraction to silver, white and yellow–the same colors as a shark’s prey.

I recall my friend Sean paddling out to a break in Humboldt–often known for it’s cold, rainy and sharky conditions. Shark encounters are more frequent near this area, as it’s located just north of the “Red Triangle” and instead of baby great white sharks, they get the big guys from our nightmares. Not quite megalodon proportions, but if you were to tell me marine biologists discovered one in this region, it wouldn’t surprise me.

Much like the topography, most whites cruising the Northern California coast are much much larger because they can handle the colder water temps, although, they do prefer the more temperate waters, such as most of the Californian, Australian and South African coastlines. In fact, fully developed great whites are warm bodied, so they can adjust to water temperatures.

Humboldt Redwood forests galore! Try to find the hobbit in this picture.

Humboldt Redwood forests galore!

After my friend paddled out to aforementioned peak, a girl approached him in a panic and announced:

“I’m on my period!! Am I going to get attacked by a shark??”

I picture my salty friend rolling his eyes after this comment, maybe even chuckling a little.

To conclude: If you’re on the rag, it does not mean you or you’re surfing/swimming buddies are on the menu.

Canary in the Coal Mine: Increase in Great White Shark Population is a GOOD Sign for Southern California

All photos courtesy of California State University-Long Beach’s Shark Lab.

All photos courtesy of California State University-Long Beach's Shark Lab.

Dr. Chris Lowe releases a juvenile white shark after successfully affixing a “smart tag” on its dorsal fin. 

As surfers and aqua/nature junkies, our interaction with the ocean and it’s wildlife plays a huge role in our peace of mind. If you’re any kind of nature enthusiast, you know that the ocean can be a serene place that can quickly turn into your worst nightmare. But once you choose to recognize both sides of this personality coin, the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” aspect is seemingly understood and accepted.

The bottom line is: No matter who you are or what you do, mother nature always schools us. ALWAYS.

Great white sharks are one of the most mysterious and evolved predators on the planet and, despite the overblown hype (read “Hollywood”), we know so little about their lives beneath the waves. Sharks are always lurking in the back of our minds, our thoughts fashioned by Hollywood’s wildest Sharknado fantasy. As of late, Southern California has acquired quite a bit of ‘shark media’ due to a tragic collision with our grey-suited landlord doing it’s “shark thing” and a young lady at San Onofre’s Church break doing her “human thing.”

{Read: Surfline’s exclusive interview with her here.}

Through the whispers of sightings that circulated our lineup gossip combined with mainstream media salivating over chunks of info/news leads, I craved scientific explanation and education.

A real encounter, much less an actual attack on a human is extremely rare…until recently, I thought.

After the attack, beach closures ensued every other day, surf reports included the latest shark spottings along with the shark’s observed behavior, lifeguard boats and coastguard helicopters constantly combed the coastline, and surf lineups became an uneasy, quieter and more vigilant space. The fear of great white sharks exploded into the public’s conscious as what felt like a scene from JAWS.

I CONFESS: for a hot minute, surfing in San Clemente felt like visiting Amity Island for the Fourth of July.

The difference being that no one is actually “lining up to be a hot lunch.”

The April 29th attack at San Onofre conveyed a logical and obvious conclusion, which was based on a classic case of mistaken identity that nearly cost the woman her life.

But we forget that for the past 15 million years, this toothy creature has been cruising the ocean as sort of a “clean up crew” doing the same thing it knows best: eat and make little sharks.

But why are we seeing more of our toothy acquaintance??

“It becomes difficult to empirically determine what the great white shark population numbers are,” said Professor, Marine Biology, California State University-Long Beach and The Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab Director Dr. Chris Lowe. “Based on our data, which uses a combination of fishery’s data, marine mammal bite data and human observation, the population is increasing.”

Recently featured on The Discovery Channel’s Shark Week in the  “Sharks and the City: LA” episode, we watched Dr. Lowe observe giant adult great white sharks from a steel cage in the chilly waters off of Guadalupe Island, which is located off of Baja’s Northern coast.

Pictured: Dr. Chris Lowe, professor of marine biology and director of CSULB's Shark Lab. Photo credit: Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab

Pictured: Dr. Chris Lowe, professor of marine biology and director of CSULB’s Shark Lab.

“The sharks in Guadalupe, the sharks in the Farallon Islands and the sharks found along Southern California, at least the ones sampled so far, all show genetic relatedness,” said Dr. Lowe. “Even though adults may go to different feeding aggregation sites, genetically, they’re all quite similar, which means they’re interbreeding. The part we are interested in is whether that population is increasing, stabilizing or decreasing and that gets tricky to determine.”

Let’s rewind to 1994:

Aside from this year supporting a decade of flannel shirts, publicizing the O.J. Simpson murder trials and debuting many many saccharine Disney movies and teen-angsty sitcoms, this was also the year California voters ushered in  Proposition 132, which banned the use of nearshore gill and trammel nets. Primarily used to catch white sea bass, halibut and soup fin sharks, these fishing methods incidentally also caught marine mammals such as sea lions, dolphins and whales.

“Because that fishery had such bad by-catch of marine mammals and birds, it was brought to the voters,” said Dr. Lowe. “Since the banning of that practice, pretty much all of those species have come back, including white sea bass, which was a target in that fishery.”

The prop established a Marine Protected Zone within three miles of coastal Southern California and directed California Fish and Game to establish four new ocean water ecological reserves for marine research, among other items. Coincidentally, after 50 years of baby white sharks being caught and landed in these same nets, not only did Prop 132 come into effect, but also in that same year, great white sharks became protected by the state of California.

“The recovery of sharks and other predators was a collective effort, it wasn’t just protection,” said Dr. Lowe. “The other key part of the white shark’s success is that adult white shark’s primary food source, marine mammals, were also simultaneously recovering.”

Pictured is a juvenile great white shark off of Manhattan Beach. Photo credit: Cal State Long Beach Shark lab

Pictured is a juvenile great white shark off of Manhattan Beach.

However, per Dr. Lowe, these populations have taken decades to recover from otherwise complete depletion via over-fishing and inhumane treatment, which dates back to the early 20th century. These animals did not receive fishing protection until 1972’s Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits the “take” or harm of all marine mammals in U.S. waters. In addition, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, passed in 1976, provided further reform and regulation over the fishing industry. This act fostered long-term biological as well as economic sustainability of U.S. fisheries out to 200 nautical miles offshore–this act also supports fisheries as long as sustainable and biologically-friendly practices are utilized while rebuilding and contributing to back to marine environment.

“As a result, you see a big uptick in pretty much all marine mammals because two things were happening: Our commercial fisheries were going away because fishers could no longer afford to catch fish due to increased regulations and increased fuel costs and these marine mammal populations were really starting to take hold throughout the mid-90’s,” said Dr. Lowe.

Also hailing from the decade of disco were the Clean Water Act of 1972, which gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to implement wastewater standards and regulate pollutant discharge in the U.S., and the Clean Air Act of 1970, which was designed to control air pollution on a national level. The Clean Air Act was the first and is also considered to be one of the most influential and comprehensive air quality laws in the world.

“As I started to work my way down the food chain, I realized that despite all of the bad news the public is getting, there are actually some good signs,” said Dr. Lowe. “Many of these species of fish that marine mammals eat are greatly affected by water quality. When I started researching, even our water quality has gotten better over the last years. Additionally, in Southern California, we had some of the worst air quality that existed anywhere in the country. And now our air is cleaner with five times more people and 28 times more cars than it was 10 years ago.”

Despite the unfortunate attack, the fearful rumors and inquiring minds (like yours truly), after decades of regulation and concerted conservation efforts from passionate scientists, organizations and volunteers, great whites are bringing hope to marine biologists and conservationists.

Shark Lab grad student Connor White attaches a PAT tag to a juvenile white shark off of the Ventura coast. Photo credit: Cal State University-Long Beach's Shark Lab

Shark Lab grad student Connor White attaches a PAT tag to a juvenile white shark off of the Ventura coast.

“As I started to look at all of these things, I recognized that some things are getting better,” said Dr. Lowe. “Protection and conservation are actually working, it’s just taking decades to see the affects.”

As we remain vigilant during our surf sessions and interactions with the ocean, it is important to consider and respect who’s home we are entering. Although it’s impossible to predict an attack, pay close attention to basic signs of when to stay out of the water. The Discovery Channel’s 20 Ways to Avoid a Shark Attack is a pretty comprehensive list–it’s also important to listen to your gut.

The same day of the San Onofre attack, I happen to be in San Clemente and, of course, had a surf itch, but no board. After attempting to borrow one from a friend, I resolved to take my time and drive by the San Clemente Pier to check the waves.

I saw the brown murky water with a few crumblers rolling through–Man, it looks sharky, I thought, and decided against meeting my friend at SanO.

Somewhere around the same time this thought ran through my mind, the attack occurred at Church.

Sometimes it’s hard to define “sharky” waters or what your gut tells you, but as the old adage goes: when in doubt, don’t go out.

At the same token, it’s important to not let fear rule your surf sessions. According to The Fisheries Blog’s 10 Things More Likely than a Shark Attack, you have a greater chance of being hit by a comet or, my personal fave, are more likely to be injured by a toilet.

Stick that in your silver screen pipe and smoke it, Hollywood! Ahh, killer toilets!!

Sharks are incredibly necessary to our marine ecosystems and research indicates their presence is, to quote Martha Stewart: “a good thing.” According to Smithsonian Magazine’s What Happens When Predators Disappear, when an apex predator is removed from the food chain, their prey remains unchecked, which can not only cause an increase to the prey population, but it can also have devastating affects on plant life and the surrounding environment, including increases in bacteria and infectious diseases.

Two Shark Lab grad students prepare for an expedition with Dr. Chris Lowe.

Two Shark Lab grad students prepare for an expedition with Dr. Chris Lowe.

“The ‘canary in the coal mine’ for all of this, believe it or not, are the predators,” said Dr. Lowe. “When things at the top of the food chain, like white sharks and sea lions, start to come back, that means the rest of the ecosystem is showing signs of recovery because predators are the most sensitive.”

For more information about California State University’s Shark Lab and its research, click here.

Support marine and wildlife in your local area! Volunteer for coastal cleanups and marine protection observation.

 

Confess: How Does the Ocean Make You Feel?

Sometimes no words can describe how it feels to be in, near or on the ocean. There are times where one simple word pinpoints it all. Conversely, the ocean experience has produced many essays, books, poems, songs, art and even scientific studies. Like individual personalities, our ocean experiences are often unique and special.
In one word, I found out what the ocean means to some of my agua-junkie pals.
Mahalos to my friends who shared their photos and words!
"Wet."-Rob Grasska
"Wet."-Rob Grasska
"Wet."-Rob Grasska
"Alive." -Bekah Baylock
"Alive." -Bekah Baylock
"Alive."-Bekah Baylock
"Tranquilo."-Josh Baylock
"Tranquilo."-Josh Baylock
"Tranquilo."-Josh Baylock
"Home." -Devyn Hartnett
"Home." -Devyn Hartnett
"Home."-Devyn Hartnett
"Present."-Jen Castelo
"Present."-Jen Castelo
"Present."-Jen Castelo
"Life."-Lucho Soto
"Life."-Lucho Soto
"Life."-Lucho Soto
[dt_fancy_title title=”Confess:” title_size=”h3″ title_color=”title” separator_style=”dashed” separator_color=”custom” custom_separator_color=”#00dfef”]

How does the Ocean make you feel? Share your photo and include the hashtag:
#TheOceanMakesUsFeel

9 Simple Rules for Dating a Surfer

When it comes to the dating world, surfers can be a “special” bunch. One minute you think you’re going for a nice romantic walk on the beach, the next thing you know, you’ve got a DSLR in tow, no idea how to use it and your guy (or gal) is saying “Ok, babe! Just remember to hold down the button when you see me on a wave!”

Good thing for that  tan chiseled bod, right?

Sure.

If feelings progress from “eye candy” status and you do not partake in the salty agua pleasures, here are some pointers you might consider while dating your little surfer girl or boy. RESULTS MAY VARY.

How many fins do you think he's got on the face?   Always a crowd pleaser, Wedge can produce one heart-stopping drop after the next.

How many fins do you think he’s got on the face? Always a crowd pleaser, Wedge can produce one heart-stopping drop after the next.

    1.) Waves, baby…

It’s all about those bumps in the ocean. And he or she will probably want you to watch them surf, too. Don’t try to understand the obsession, just go with it. The more your significant other tries to explain their love for surfing, the crazier they might sound. Just keep in mind this is a part of their life that keeps them connected/sane/calm, so don’t try to take it away—or consider your relationship done-zo.

   2.) Expect global maps and charts to be part of your internet browser favorites/wall decor.

Don’t be surprised if  your browser’s homepage is NOAA, Surfline, The Inertia…A typical surfer loves to travel in search of the endless break, the endless summer, the endless beer bottle/coconut farm/smoothie…whatever “endless” journey they have in mind, know that there will be a map or chart on the wall depicting this journey…or a dream scene from it.

"Look at that huge trench off the coast of..." (expect that to be your next vacay spot.

“Look at that huge trench off the coast of…” (expect that to be your next vacay spot.)

3.) You will always know what the weather’s doing

You’re the first one who knew it was going to be 85 degrees in the middle of February and you dressed approps…that’s a plus, right? You’ve got your surfer to thank for that.

4.) Your dates will be based around the tide schedule

Let’s just hope your surfer significant other understands that meeting the parents is not as “tide-friendly.”

5.) Expect sand in the bed

Unless your surfer significant other is OCD, know that your bed sheets will inherit the beach. If sand critters are beginning to establish colonies and form hierarchies under the sheets, that’s when you might want to establish boundaries…and a terrific outside shower system.

Clearly you do not want this in your bed...unless you like overnight exfoliation.

Clearly you do not want this in your bed…unless you like overnight exfoliation.

 6.) You may travel to locales you didn’t know existed. Bring a hat, sunscreen and distractions.

Where the heck is Lombok? Don’t see a Groupon travel special for that one. FYI: Most surfers base their travel  around maps, charts (see ‘Wall Decor’), last minute web rates and friends with standby hook ups… The words “all-inclusive” don’t register to the briny haired.

7.) You like talking on the phone or texting for long periods of time?

TOO BAD. Those charted journeys often require several days with no cell service or if your surfer is still local, they might just be in the water–of course: the day I see someone chatting away on their phone in the lineup is the day I quit– This is a reality you will have to face. If your surfer has a travel bug, investigate your phone’s international coverage and remember apps like “What’s App,” “Viber” and Skype. It’s important to chime in while they’re submerged in a foreign country and possibly surrounded by dangerous happenings…like other half-naked, tanned and chiseled bods.

Feeling a little lost in translation? Don't fret.

Feeling a little lost in translation? Don’t fret.

8.) Do not attempt to decode surfer jargon.

Whenever he or she is around fellow surfers, it’s as if they speak another language, right? Don’t stress. This is what surfers like to refer to as “frothing” and it’s completely normal. Surfer Today has a decent basic surf speak guide.

Your first test: “Bro, did you see that perfect A-frame peak I scored on the outside?! Dude, that set was macking!! My alaia launched an air on the inside right over the kook chillin’ on that airplane wing!”

Tales can become as tall as the barrel they chat about...unless the have a camera.

Tales can become as tall as the barrel they chat about…unless they have a camera.

9.) Listen to their stories

So you’ve heard about how a shark fin surfaced three feet in front of them after their skag gashed their leg open for the ten millionth time… or that time they caught a “30 second barrel” at Huntington Pier…or the double over head wave they scored at Trestles with no one out. It’s always good to just smile and listen, even if the tales grow taller by the day.

Disclaimer: This is based on no sociological or anthropological research other being a surfer girl for the past 11 years. There are many surfers out there who do not adhere to the stereotype, these are known as your “gems.” GO FOR IT…dude.

The ‘Oh Shit’ Files-Vol. 2: Hurricane Norbert

Storm patterns have turned my weekends into glorious photo bliss coupled with daily surfaris up the coast. A few weeks ago, Hurricane Norbert graced our coastline with waves aplenty and warm water temps that I will surely be dreaming about six months from now. The category 3 hurricane veered up the baja coast and onto the inland southwestern region of the U.S. and delivered a much-needed dose of rain …now if only he swung a little more west, California’s serious drought problem might have been temporarily staved.

Save that water people!!

Until then, my journey plopped me in front of Newport’s finest carnage-inducing break: Wedge. Whether you surf, sponge or skin it at Orange County’s premier balls-to-the-wall sandbar slab, Wedge will do more than ‘kick your ass.’ It will turn you inside out, grind you in sand and spit whats left of you out onto the shoreline.

It might be wise to seek some sage advice from a seasoned pro or local before setting a toe in the water. I wonder who would be considered Wedge’s ‘Turtle’….brah….or would that be ‘bro’…?

Either way at Wedge,“…you’re gonna get drilled.”

Just a Quickie to Mexico

South-bound feels so good to hashtag…post…Tweet…or vocalize…whatever your communication fancy, tell it to the world, be stoked and unplug, if only for a day.

A couple of friends and I crossed the U.S./Mexico border for a couple of days and had the time of our lives, san distractions. Some times it is SO necessary to shut off the noise from everyday life and seek out another adventure that’s beyond a desk, phone or face-to-face.

Mexico’s great for that.

I CONFESS: I’ve got that old familiar itch and I intend to scratch it.


 

Good friends=Good times

Good friends=Good times

 

International Surfing Day: June 20, 2013

Go surf and do your part!

Go surf and do your part!

One of the most important days of the year will be here soon:

International Surfing Day! June 20th, 2013!

Okay, so maybe it pales in comparison to your son or daughter’s birthday, grandparent’s golden anniversary or other such annual celebrations. However, if you’re a surfer or ocean lover who works 9-5, it is a day that might require you to scan a medical dictionary for a random 24 hour illness, forge a doctor’s note, put your pasty butt into some boardies or suit and find something to do in the water or on the sand.

Do it.

As ocean-minded people, we should always find a way to give back to our beaches that continuously provide us with some of our best life experiences.

The Surfrider Foundation is a great resource to find your local beach clean-up as well as ways to get involved with other charitable activities.

Every little bit goes a long way!

Every little bit goes a long way!

Here are some ideas to consider for June 20th,:

  •  Go Surfing…and pick up some trash, too:

Well, DUH. Whatever you decide to ride, get out there and catch some wavos. Oh and while you’re at it, pick up some trash. Don’t deny it. Whether it’s in the sand or the parking lot, even the water, trash is there. And that is very LAME. If you have no time to give a beach clean-up a-go, it doesn’t hurt to pick up a few pieces of trash on your way to the water. Find a sanitary way to scoop it up and put it in the nearby trash can. A little bit can a go a long way! This awesome organization agrees with me.

  • Join a Beach Clean-Up!

There are organizations all over the states and the world that would froth for your time to clean up your local beach. Get involved!!

  • Do Your Homework

If you can watch swell charts and wind speeds on an hourly basis, you can keep up with the issues facing your local breaks and wildlife:

241 Toll Road

New Jersey Fracking

Florida Panther

Off Shore Drilling in Alaska

Washington Water Quality

Water Efficient Landscaping for Texas

  • Be a Smarty Pants!

Take the time to understand the laws and regulations that govern this country’s environment and you’ll be A-Okay.

So get out there, ride some waves, pick up some trash and smile at the locals! Good vibes for all!

Happy International Day of Surfing!!

A Little Litter For Thought:

Litter Item

Time to break down

Glass bottles

1 million years

Monofilament fishing line

600 years

Plastic beverage bottles

450 years

Disposable nappies

450 years

Aluminum can

80 – 200 years

Foam plastic cup

50 years

Plastic bag

10 – 20 years

Cigarette filter

1 – 5 years

Source: US National Park Service; Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, Florida

San Clemente

Dreamin’ Again…

Photo by: Sean Jansen

The sun outside my office dissolved behind a roof of stratus clouds and the night quickly crept in today. I miss my daily over-dose of vitamin D.  Although the surf has been scarce this season (and convieniently occurs when I’m off work), I can’t help but feel the swell future will be brighter.

After starting a new 9-5 office job, I’ve had to make some adjustments to my schedule and have never appreciated the ocean as much as I do now. Any inkling of swell sends me into a ravenous fury of excitement and frustration to plug each of my toes into the sand and then the Pacific rather than a stale pair of black heels. The suits I get excited about are my wetsuits and bikinis.

A little summer surf sesh in San Clemente.Photo by: Sean Jansen

A little summer surf sesh in San Clemente.
Photo by: Sean Jansen

November was a mellow month for surf in southern Cali, it seemed, and I couldn’t be more obliged. Had it been firing, so would my newly proclaimed bosses…and by their standards, it would’ve been my crazy ass for disappearing to places unknown. Despite this I still am planning on disappearing to parts unknown soon, but for now (and the majority of the time), hello beloved weekends and random “sick” days!!

Here’s to plenty more tales from parts unknown and weekend warriror days!

To check out more of my friend Sean’s amazing surf/nature photos, click HERE!