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‘Resurface’ Documentary to Show Ocean’s Positive Effects for Military Veterans

The ocean has many remarkable benefits to our ecosystems and society, one of which is it’s rehabilitative effect on individuals suffering from physical or psychological hardships, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The upcoming documentary Resurface features the story about United States Marine Corps infantryman Bobby Lane who, while on tour in Iraq, suffered two traumatic brain injuries when his troop was hit by five roadside bombs within an 11 day span.

After returning home where he suffered many sleepless nights along with thoughts of suicide, Lane traveled from Texas to California to learn how to surf–his final bucket list item. Now Lane credits surfing with saving his life by helping him cope with his post-combat struggles.

Resurface showcases candid video footage and extensive research about water’s effect on the human brain. The documentary highlights the therapeutic outcome of surfing through the support of organizations who are dedicated to serving United States veterans.

There is an innate reason why the act of surfing puts people in such a good mood!

Based out of the San Francisco Bay area, Resurface  Director Josh Izenberg and Producer Scott Stillman CONFESS their insight on the film’s aspirations and message. Read on!

Photo Courtesy: Zachary Hill

Photo Courtesy: Zachary Hill

What are Resurface’s’ main goals?

Josh: First and foremost to make a great film and tell a great story, as a filmmaker. We want to raise awareness around the powers of surf, movement and being out in the world in general, as a therapeutic way to heal.

We want to really humanize and tell the story about people with PTSD from a veteran’s perspective. There is a big gap between what veterans go through and what civilians and non-military think and understand about the military experience. One thing we would like to do is close that gap just a little bit and let some of these vets tell their stories

Scott: From a personal standpoint,  I just started surfing a few years ago and felt a new level of peace and connectedness. It was amazing to feel that and to then discover that there are actually people out there who teach surfing as a way to rehabilitate PTSD, depression and traumatic brain injuries. I wanted to be involved in raising awareness for that issue because I really do think there are therapeutic benefits to being in and around the water.

What was the most helpful resource for your film?

Photo Courtesy: Wynn Padula

Photo Courtesy: Wynn Padula

Josh:  I think the biggest resources, by far, have been the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation and Operation Surf. This is huge. If we just said ‘hey let’s show up with our cameras and you guys do your thing,’ it would not have been enough.

Scott: We also interviewed Dr. Wallace J.Nichols, Marine Biologist. He wrote the New York Times’ best seller Blue Mind, which has really been the anthology of the most recent research and studies about the benefits of water and people. He was pretty insightful in his interview and his book was a helpful resource, too. He is providing the academic research side to this project. The science and the data are actually backing up what we feel.

What were some of the obstacles that you overcame while working on this piece?

Josh: The waves are unpredictable. It’s tough to shoot in the water, even when the waves are perfect in addition to making trips to southern California. We are totally dependent on good surf. Sometimes the waves weren’t always doing what we wanted them to do. It’s tricky but we made it work.

Scott: We really hope we can get the Kickstarter funds to finish this film because we want to get it out there. I think it’s going to be really powerful to accomplish the goals that Josh went over earlier.

Photo Courtesy: Zachary Hill

Photo Courtesy: Zachary Hill

What can the viewer do to make a difference?

Josh: We want to get the word out about the film and the campaign, so contribute to the Kickstarter campaign and also share it among like-minded folks who would be interested in participating.

Any parting thoughts about ‘Resurface?’

Scott: I would love to screen the film at different organizations that work with veterans and also even take it to the Veterans Affairs hospitals and set up screenings there.

I think it comes down to a knowledge gap where people don’t even know that organizations like Jimmy Miller and Operation Surf are out there. The more we can speak to the community who are in touch with veterans, the more likely they become involved with programs like these. Even in the middle of the country, where there is no access to the ocean, there are organizations that work with veterans going kayaking or fly fishing on the water.

Even if it’s not surfing, just being around the water is helpful.


 

Resurface is expected to release Fall 2015. Please donate to the Resurface Kickstarter Campaign and support this film’s production and message!

 

Photo Courtesy: Owen Bissell

Photo Courtesy: Owen Bissell

Keep up with the latest news about the film on:

For more information about how you can get involved with these amazing organizations, visit:

The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation

~and~

Operation Surf

 

[sharify]

You Missed Out

January 25, 2015–San Clemente, Calif….where were you?

Marine Layer Productions: One from the Archives

I CONFESS: Just can’t escape the surf stylings of Mr. Reynolds charging heavy (and not so heavy) Ventura surf…like it’s no biggie. Cold, windy and heavy conditions, especially when there are thick neoprene layers and booties involved, will usually send me packing. However, Dane Reynolds surfs this spot like a summer day in Nicaragua. Here’s one from the Marine Layer Productions archive, folks!

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.”

#HurricaneMarie

If you were held captive inside an office like me during one of the biggest swells in 20 years on August 27th, 2014, your only outlet was: ###SoCiAlMeDiA.### As I arrived to work a bit embittered, random Facebook, Instagram and Twitter checks ensued. With every epic media update, my stomach twinged, my jaw dropped and mouthed in the stereotypical surfer fashion: “No waaay.”

I’ve never felt like such a social media stalker as I watched thick wedgey peaks plow through all corners of the California coast.

*Repeatedly bangs forehead against desk while the drone of the computer mocks all senses*

Some popular hashtags:

  • #hurricanemarie
  • #hurricanemarie2014
  • #bigwednesday
  • #thewedge
  • #waveporn
  • #purpleblob
  • #newportbeach

Despite the fact that I didn’t shoot the coveted Wedge pumping out 30 foot walls or Newport Point doing it’s best Pipeline impersonation, I managed to squeeze in some quick photos of certain spots before and after work…sans carnage…sadly.

The line, yes there was a LINE, to get onto the Newport peninsula was comparable to the city’s popular Fourth of July or Christmas parades. My terrific ‘love’ for crowds and parallel parking combined with the setting sun left me in a time crunch, so after one U-turn , my wheels were rolling towards Laguna and Dana Point. Newport be damned.

After narrowly escaping a park ranger’s citation (but not her lecture about possibly killing an endangered pocket mouse), the sun set over the corduroy-ed Pacific and I finally felt like my freelancer-self, again.

I’m alive!! I said, as I skipped to my car with blurry photos in tow, the park ranger glaring behind me.

Big Wednesday 2014 not only woke up the Pacific, but also reminded me of my passions that no amount of social media or any computer/smart phone can replicate.

 

The ‘Oh Shit’ Files

It’s great to see photos of perfectly shaped waves that make you salivate and re-think jobs, relationships and other potential long-term life investments. This is not the case…just big, not-so-gnarly walls of water mowing over some brave weekend warriors at Trestles last weekend.  I just happen to have my camera, albeit not the right lens, however, I caught some closeout fun at Upper Trestles on this last swell. Jobs, relationships and long-term life investments saved.

Enjoy the sorta-carnage. For real carnage, get your butt to The Wedge on the next south swell.

Boys will be Boys: Six Tips for Surfer Girls Traveling with Surfer Boys

It’s common knowledge that the mass majority of surfers in the lineup are guys. Okay ladies, let’s face it: the likelihood of an all-girls surf trip to Mexico is pretty slim. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve traveled to Mexico by myself, survived and loved it, however, not many of my surfer girlfriends are as eager to hop the border and rough it to find perfect un-crowded waves. Call me ‘crazy’ for going to Mexico by myself on my first excursion, call me ‘insane’ for the second trip with a bunch of boys. I don’t care. My end results were fun times with no regrets.

Testosterone is everywhere on a guys trip and every once in a while, they might think you’re cool enough to include in their boys club, but I don’t blame you if you re-consider and decide to wait until Mexico’s drug war has ended and kidnappings are at an all-time low.
But if you’re as impatient as I was and pale at the thought of empty points breaking without you, here are few tips about traveling with the boys:

1.) Let them be Boys
You are on this trip to surf and surf some more. They are on this trip to do the same along with all the beer guzzling contests, dirty jokes, burps and farts intact. Deal with it. Bodily functions are a-plenty, so if you have a weak stomach, perhaps you shouldn’t have gone on this trip. Bring a nose plug.

2.) Bring a good book or a pair of headphones.

Get ready for hair metal mixes, mass drunken sing-a-longs to a garden variety of rap songs, dirty jokes you didn’t know existed and fart smells that will fry your nose hair. Think I’m kidding? Think again, chica. But don’t be bitter, this is a boy’s trip and you’re, well, the minority. It doesn’t hurt to occasionally force-feed a little Cyndie Lauper down their throats, either. You would be surprised by the music middle ground you can reach with a group of guys. Who knows? There might be a closet Taylor Swift fan among the group.
But there are times when those dirty jokes or fart noises can get out of hand. Tired of hearing Metallica’s ‘Creeping Death’ for the 10 millionth time? Remember to come prepared with your head gear equipped with your favorite tunes.

3.) Know Your Limits and Plan Back-Up Activities
If you don’t want to stay up for that third keg of beer or you’d rather not surf the spot swarming with seals, let your guy friends be their gnarly testosterone selves. Go for a hike, surf a different spot or take some ‘you’ time. After all, traveling with all boys might make you forget that you are, in fact, a girl. Celebrate all that is feminine while they hunt for bone-crushing barrels that break in inch-deep water. But if you can hang, go for it! You will only command more respect among the Y-chromosomed. Just try not to emasculate them in the process. But, know your own limits so they don’t have to cut the trip short due to your cute cocky self scoring a broken limb or head injury instead of a sick drainer.

4.) Stroke Their, um, Ego
Despite the over-stated machismo image stereotyped for surfer boys, there is a secret sensitive Sally whose feelings and ego can get hurt. Guys aren’t made of stone, so always stay positive and patient. Make them feel good about their attempt at breakfast or their supposed ‘sense of direction.’ Most of all, compliment their waves. Whether they’re ripping or taking dives over the falls, find something good about that ride. A little ‘yeeww’ goes a long way.

5.) Why Can’t We Be Friends?
If you intend to hook up with one of the guys, stay home. Putting that dynamic into the mix can add an awkward vibe to the trip and tends to create jealousy or resentment among fellow compadres. Be cool and try not to cloud a male bonding experience with your cute, um, assets. Keep your pants on. If sparks fly, try to wait until you’re in familiar territory. Besides, I bet he will respect you that much more if you play a little hard-to-get and show him that he’s not the center of your universe…for now.

6.) Laugh
Perhaps the most important point of all: laughter is key. Yeah, boys can be gross, smelly and downright annoying, but really, just laugh. Don’t deny it, your inner tomboy busted with laughter when your buddy chugged four Tecates then proudly belched his A-B-C’s. Unless you’re sitting in the U.S./Mexico border traffic, the ipod’s gone stale and your buddy continues to drink until he unwittingly trades his passport for more tequila which consequently shoves you’re crew into the secondary line, let it fly. Besides, I’m guessing if you’ve made it to the end of this article, you probably aren’t 100 percent girly-girl, anyway. Ain’t no smirking and mouthing ‘what an idiot’ to a home girl who’s not there! Laugh it off.

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

 

Marine Layer Productions: ‘Loaded’

LOADED. from Marine Layer on Vimeo.

In between random rain clouds, chilly weather and office walls that barely shield the death metal tunes that hammer throughout the warehouse, I find comfort in Dane Reynolds latest surf film concoction Loaded –brought to the masses by Marine Layer Productions.

Loaded takes you from warm to cold, boardies to booties, mushy to hollow through the stylings of Mr. Reynolds, Craig Anderson, Noa Deane, Taylor Knox, Nat Young and red-haired Andrew Doheny….for a second I thought he was Alex Knost on a short board.

From Anderson’s long wavy locks whipping around his often shirtless bod through heaving barrels to Reynold’s chop-hops through cold shitty mush (and of course making it look impossibly fun), to Knox’s almost-airs, I’m stoked. My dull Thursday afternoon has turned into new music purchases and daylight savings anticipation (March 9th!) while my mouse quietly hovers over the ‘pause’ button in between segments.

Thanks, Marine Layer Productions.