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A New Year: New places and faces

There’s something about surfing a new spot that brings out my inner child. It is one of few times I happily wake up at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning and make a mad dash 40 miles south of home.

Even though the term is “cabin fever,” I am re-naming it to “office fever” that hurtles me over the edge into temporary madness defined by computers, social media and fake grass. By the end of the week, my over-driven knuckles and fuzzy brain can only process the excitement of my crazed Saturday morning dashes.

I CONFESS…In my “adult” life experience so far, I’ve learned to appreciate the small happenings, the quick trips, the new places and faces even more than I did in in my college days. After my trip to one of San Diego‘s finer breaks, I concluded: I will always find time for mad dashes and random escapes sans cords, signals or text alerts.

Even through these mini-adventures, fun is still had and lessons are still learned.

My lesson: Remember to stretch your legs and get out of your bubble. You never know what kind of moments are in store for you.

A great way to start a new year.

A great way to start a new year.

How to Make the Best Coconut Smoothie

Going a bit coco-nuts

Going a bit coco-nuts

If you follow me on any social media, you know I’ve gone a little coco-nuts with my recent obsession with cocos. If one thing was consistent about my experience in Nicaragua, it was this:

Every morning my friend Katie would wake up at the crack of dawn to pry into one or two freshly picked young coconuts to create the most energy-inducing smoothie for our pre or post-surf sessions. For daily three-to-five hour surf sessions, this drink proved to be beneficial and never left us feeling hungry.

When our trip came to an end, Katie inspired me to take a crack at coconuts at home. So instead of caffeine with a standard breakfast,  I’ve been trying this smoothie every morning.

This ain't Jamba Juice

This ain’t Jamba Juice

I CONFESSI don’t use a machete to crack open my cocos, so I would like to caution anyone who decides to crack open a coconut for their first time. If you must use a fresh coconut, don’t jeopardize your digits and other appendages by whacking the coco with an 18-inch machete blade. Your fingers are more valuable than the 8-to-10 ounces of water and meat inside the coco. Be safe and use other tools to get into that coco. I use a large knife to shave off the top and a flat head screwdriver and meat tenderizer to break into the coco. *Many thanks goes out to my roommates who get to hear the incessant hammering :)*

Or you can simply purchase the water!

It cracked open nice and neat.

It cracked open nice and neat.

For this recipe, we will stick with the basic store-bought coconut water:

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces coconut water
  • 2-3 tablespoons of cacao powder (not to be confused with coco powder-unlike coco, this product does not contain any sugar)
  • 2-3 pitted medjool dates (the meat from these dates is thicker than other dates)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2-3 ounces coconut meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

*Serving size: 1*

What you might get from one young coconut

What you might get from one young coconut

Directions:

Blend all of the ingredients together in your licuadora (blender) and drink immediately! You won’t be disappointed. :)  In this recipe, it is best to use a young coconut because there is more water inside and the meat is less fatty. Experiment with other ingredients, too! Add some flax seed or maybe your favorite protein powder! Spinach can make your smoothie creamier, not to mention packed full of iron. Berries are tasty, too. I threw in some papaya and it made my smoothie super creamy! Whatever your palate wants, give it a try! My friend created a gingerbread coconut smoothie from fresh ginger and coconuts. I hope I get to try it! :)

I bought freshly pressed cacao powder in Chinandega, Nicaragua.

I bought freshly pressed cacao powder in Chinandega, Nicaragua.

Some info on coconuts: According to the Library of Congress, the coconut is loosely considered to be a fruit, a nut and seed, although it is formally considered a ‘drupe’ to botany freaks. A drupe is a fruit with a hard stony covering that encapsulates a seed. Drupes often have three layers and come in forms like avocados, peaches, pistachios and coffee beans.

Coconuts are also packed with protein, they have more potassium than a banana and contain tons of electrolytes and healthy fats–an overall amazing combination for surf fiends, like yours truly. However, if you are going for broke on your workout or surf sesh, do not solely rely on coconut water, as it does not contain much of the necessary mineral sodium that you loose when you sweat.

For me, I never felt fatigued after surfing my brains out…Coconuts or bust!!

After I got back to the states, my Christmas list went a little something like this:

1.) Machete or big knife

2.) Swiss Army Knife

3.) Hammer and nails

4.) Water Purifier

…you get the idea. My dad’s response:

“So you want a treasure map, too?”

Only if it leads to perfect waves and coconuts, dad. ;)

Young cocos await their fate on a black sand beach in Nicaragua.

Young cocos await their fate on a black sand beach in Nicaragua.

Surf Speak in Spanish

It's times like these where communication is key...not to mention super fun!

It’s times like these where communication is key…not to mention super fun!

On my recent trip to Nicaragua, I found myself socializing with nothing but spanish-speaking locals. I was so stoked  because mi español became muy mejor and by the end of my week-long trip, I was helping my friends translate. There’s nothing like submerging yourself!

Cinco cocos verde.

Cinco cocos verde.

Daydreams of those perfect warm water barrels should include a little español because once you get down there, not only does everyone talk nothing but Spanish, but many people also might not understand much (if any!) English. Therefore: es muy importante para practicar su español!

I CONFESS: My practice did not begin until I was reading the safety guide while my flight rolled down the runway. The first thing I picked up really quick: this ain’t Mexico…people talk very fast! Time to buck up.

So while you continue to get shacked in your dreams, insert a little Spanish speak so reality won’t hit you like a ton of bricks being laid out for that awesome language barrier.

“Me gusta tubos en Nicaragua!”

Ok, snap out of the barrel/bikini/hot salsa dancing scene for a second and float back down to reality: no matter which Spanish-speaking country you decide to trip-it to, bring a Spanish-English dictionary. I don’t care how many apps you download onto your smartphone, you need a book. Other than draining your battery, apps tend to require a wifi signal and although most places might have a signal, it won’t be there all the time and readily available.

Iguana on a stick! Julio negotiates dinner options: green or black iguana?

Iguana on a stick! Julio negotiates dinner options: green or black iguana?

 Diccionarios are a cheaper safer route and won’t cost a pretty penny if it gets ruined. If your dictionary gets wet, simply lay it out in the hot sun and presto! It’s still readable. Iphone gets wet? That’s a $600 bummer.

So for you traveling surfers, assuming you made it beyond the aeropuerto and have reached your calle to an undisclosed locale, consider these words before paddling out to any pico:

Surfing (verb): ….Surfeo or Surf

Beach: ……………..La Playa

Surfboard: ………….La Tabla

Pico

Pico

Ocean (noun): …..Mar
Water: ……………..Agua
High Tide: ……….Marea Alta
Low Tide: ……….Marea Baja
Small waves: ….Pequeñas olas
Big waves: …….Grandes olas
Tubes or Barrels:…………….Tubos
Rocks: ………….Rocas
Cow:………………Vaca
Horse:…………….Caballo
Chicken:…………Pollo
Sting Ray: …….Pastinaca
Jellyfish: ………Medusa
Fish: ……………Pescado
Shark: ………..Tiburón
Boat: ………….Barco
Sand: ………..Arena
Wind: ……….Viento
Rain: ………..Lluvia
Sun: ………..Sol
Hot: ………..Caliente
Cold: ………Frío
Right: ……..Derecho
Left: ……….Izquierda
Island: ……Isla
Secret:…..Secreto
Puesta del sol

Puesta del sol

Paddle (verb): ……..Chapotear
Strong (strength):Fuerte
Strong (force): …….Fuerza
Happy: ……………..Feliz
Sad: …………………Triste
Tired: ………………Cansado/a
Fun: ……………….Divertido/a
Today: …………..Hoy
Tomorrow: …….Mañana
Tonight: ……….Esta Noche
Late: ………….Tarde
Near, close to: ..Cerca
Far: ……………….Lejos
Fast: ……………..Rápido
Slow: ……………Lento
Point: …………..Punta
Reef: ………….Arrecife
Shallow: …….Poco Profundo
Deep: ………Profundo
Beer: ………Cerveza
Wine: ………Vino
Food: ……..Comida
Moto:……..Motorbike
"Arena"

“Arena”

Common phrases:
“How are you doing?” ¿Cómo está? ¿Qué tal?
“Please.” Por favor.
“Thank you.” Gracias.
“I want to go surfing.” Quiero ir a hacer surf.
“I would like to go surfing.” Me gustria hacer surf.
“Where are the rocks?” ¿Dónde están las rocas?
“The wind is strong today!” El viento es fuerte hoy.
“Do you want this wave?” ¿Qué quiere esta ola?
“I’m so hungry/thirsty!” Tengo hambre/sed!
“Where is the beach?” ¿Donde esta la playa?
“Where is the road?” ¿Dónde está el camino?
“Where is my dictionary?” ¿Dónde está mi diccionario?
“I want to learn to speak Spanish.” Quiero aprender a hablar español.
“I am having so much fun!” Estoy teniendo tan divertido!
“I was too late.” Llegué tarde.
“The waves are good today!” Las olas son buenas hoy.
The sweetest gato ever!

The sweetest gato ever!

 I hope this lista helps you! Remember to always bring your surf etiquette, too! Despite your attempts at Spanish, your actions will ALWAYS speak louder than your words. The locals know it, too. Be nice.
Buena suerte, amigos!

Hug Your Shaper

Time flies all too fast sometimes and before you know it, your calendar reads less than a month away from that anticipated surf trip. As you double check your passport’s expiration and take inventory of that healthy bikini/boardie supply, you realize the most obvious object is lacking: a proper board.

A few months ago, a new board did cross your mind and you thought about calling your trusty shaper, but …popped a tire on the freeway, girlfriend broke up with you, waves were (somehow) good…life. Now you’re down to the wire: T-minus 15 days and not only do you need a perfect board, but you need it SOON.

Terry picks out a template and I approve.

Terry picks out a template and I approve.

Suddenly, your shaper’s number gets stored in your favorites, you swing by his or her shop more often and take in some stories from the glory days, you shower them with baked goods or burritos, then comes the question:

 “So I’ve got this surf trip coming up…”

“Oh yeah? You need a board.”

“I leave in two weeks.”

“I can do it.”

Tension eased. Hello, eight hours of sleep!

Although most normal people give their shaper a fair warning before said ‘trip,’ some people tend to be procrastinators. *cough*me*coughcough*

And if you’re one of those special people, here are some ways to help your shaper not hate you:

1.) Feed your shaper! 

If you’re one of the lucky ones, like myself, and you get to watch the whole board shaping process go down, it is always a good idea to bring your shaper some grub. A happy shaper is a full shaper. Aside from frankincense and myrrh…a sacrificial goat or virgin… coffee and pastries work just fine, too.

 2.) Rock out to your shaper’s music.

I don’t care if you don’t like Quiet Riot or think Green Day is a sell-out band from your pre-teen days, quit your whining and let your shaper get into their groove. When you’re in my car, you get my tunes…same concept for the shaping bay. So throw up those hands, horns or lighters.

 3.) Update your shaper on your life history…or sit there and look pretty.

Is your shaper a talker or does he or she need some peace and quiet? Whatever it may be, try to accommodate. If they want to know all about how your date stood you up or where your dog picked up fleas or how state park’s been walling up lately, let it flow. But if he or she is the quiet type, respect that too. Some shapers don’t like yappers.

4.) Laugh at your shaper’s jokes…even if you’ve heard them already.

If you know Terry Senate, you know you’re in for it. He has a joke for every hour of the day and backs it up with a crazy story or two…then ends it by making fun of you, somehow…and somehow, you just continue to laugh. I think that is the man’s goal: to make you laugh from the second your enter his shop to the second you leave.

 5.) Hug your shaper.

They put up with your crazy life schedule, they accommodate every nit-picky eighth of an inch, they breathe in some nasty shit, they make you smile and, above all, they help you get the greatest rides of your life.

The least you can do is hug them.

Man love at it's finest: "I love you, man!"

Man love at it’s finest: “I love you, man!”

The Art of Multitasking

C Street, me and my momma.

C Street, me and my momma.

October is one of my most favorite months to be a Californian. The weather starts to cool, kids go back to school, offshore winds pick up and swells from all directions linger around our coastline. However, much of this year’s October was spent rushing towards my cousin’s beautiful wedding at the end of the month. Most of my time and energy was spent booking flights, painting signs, decorating bottles, configuring a travel budget, packing, airports, driving…and planning time in between wedding madness to surf, of course.
 
Fortunate for me, my ingenious cousin picked a gorgeous venue in Nipomo, Calif.…a 15 minute drive to Pismo Beach. It also didn’t hurt that C Street in Ventura was an easy stop on the way up to Pismo, too.
 
After battling Los Angeles traffic for two hours, I felt it was time to take a pit stop in Ventura with my mom for a bite to eat and perhaps a look around. We stopped and shopped, I introduced my mom to Thai food and any store that read ‘antique’ on the sign, you can guarantee we were rummaging through milk glass, old cameras and horribly cheesy ‘gone surfing’ signs.
 
The afternoon northwest winds picked up and I decided C Street might still be worth a check. Even though the wind was up, there were still two-to-four-foot rights and lefts coming off the point. I paddled out and much to my surprise, the water temperature didn’t phase me and the people weren’t as grumpy as I thought they might be. Even though I was still technically in southern California, it didn’t feel like it at all.
C Street, inconsistent and uncrowded.

C Street, inconsistent and uncrowded.

 
As we made our way through Santa Barbara and arrived at the hotel that was situated across from the Pismo Beach Pier, almost immediately I concluded there will be surfing, come hell or cold water, 60 pound suitcases or google maps constant epic failures. *NOTE: Download the Waze app for maps and whatnot…works way better than Google!*
 
I was going to do it all…and with a smile.
 
The next day, I took my time waking up and found myself blurry-eyed in my 3/2 Patagonia wetsuit with surfboard in tow walking across hotel properties towards the pier. Overcast skies met a dark blue/grey ocean and fine brown sand. It was different here…no noise, no traffic, train or obnoxious tourists…just the sound of crashing waves and the occasional family peeling sand dollars and razor clam shells from the sand.
I took this opportunity to breath deep and absorb the peaceful atmosphere…Huge boulder islands sat plainly on the sand and in the water outside of the hotel’s cliffs, boiling with each ebb and flow of the 2 foot swells…I bet that cove can fire on a big swell, I thought.
As I pressed onward to the pier, little two to three foot waves rolled through. There were a lot of longboards in the water…I hope they’re not too aggro, I though as my feet found the silty bottom. I pushed off and began the paddle in the frigid 55 degree water with only my 3/2 between the Pacific and me.
Pismo Pier looking pretty chilly.

Pismo Pier looking pretty chilly.

 
As I sat just outside of the “crowd” of 6 people, I realized they were all college kids from Cal Poly discussing midterms, projects and megalodon theories. Ah please don’t talk about megalodon, I thought. Right before I paddled out, I spotted a large sea lion just inside and thought, that’s a good thing, right? I would be a toothpick for megladon compared to that fatty sea lion. Yep that’s what I will keep telling myself.
But being a toothpick for a toothy creature is not on my to-do list, so I paddled closer to the crowd. Waves came and went and I caught a couple and day-dreamed about scoring overhead  Moro Bay tee-pees, crowd: non-existent.
 
Suddenly, a gal on a ginormous longboard paddled up and smiled “Hi! How’s it going?”
Non-local status revealed. Boy, that was fast.
The rest of her giggling girl clan paddled around me with one eye on the waves and one on me as I explained where I was from and why I was here.
Among these college girls were marine bio majors, business majors, accounting majors…we talked travel story, sharks (they seem to be a popular topic up here), diving, sand dollars, wipeouts… They couldn’t believe I didn’t have any booties on and told me to try Scuba booties. Scuba booties have a better grip on the bottom and just feel warmer. Noted, gals!
 
The wave of the day came through and all four ladies were on it together. As I hooted them into the wave, I knew it would break on top of them, but it was too late to warn. They didn’t care as they laughed their way over the falls and through the whitewash.
My hands took on deep purple hues and I knew the time had come to return to wedding madness. We all collected on the beach and they didn’t hesitate to give me a ride back to my hotel. I have a place to stay in Pismo! Yay!
What a good way to start a crazy day!
 
Although the next morning I stayed with the bridal party and opted not to surf, I heard it was firing. But, as my cousin’s Maid of Honor, I didn’t want to leave her side and the thought of surfing that morning felt unnecessary…besides, between 10 girls and 2 showers, I don’t think it would’ve been fair had I taken up the majority of the hot water to bring my purpled limbs back to life.
My cousin, Ashley, had a 1920's theme for her wedding. Pictured are me, Ashley, Kristy and Kerri.

My cousin, Ashley, had a 1920’s theme for her wedding. Pictured are me, Ashley, Kristy and Kerri.

The wedding came and went in a wave of emotion and glory. Speeches were made, dances were danced, cake was cut and rose petals tossed. For a brief moment, I breathed a sign of relief as I watched my happy cousin and her husband drive off into the chilly foggy Nipomo evening.
Ohh fog…maybe the surf will be glassy tomorrow!
Hmm check out is at noon, maybe between breakfast and packing up decor and clothes into two cars….
 
I paddled out Sunday morning and didn’t see my gals. It was still small, still foggy and still cold, but I didn’t care. Something about surfing in a new place with a lot of swell potential and kind people really made me appreciate my sense of adventure.
Oftentimes, we sequester ourselves to one city, one break, one peak…it isn’t until we venture out of that comfort zone do we learn to appreciate what we have and learn about how we can grow. If there is an opportunity to learn about a new spot, take it! Multitasking is an interesting art who’s end goal is to satisfy all parties. It seems as I grow older, the opportunities to venture out for my own selfish need become less and less.
 
I guess what I’m trying to say is: When you’ve got the chance, go for it. It might not come again for a long while.

2013 Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles

When it comes to wave quality, Lower Trestles has been the SoCal benchmark for decades. Photo:  Jackie Connor

When it comes to wave quality, Lower Trestles has been the SoCal benchmark for decades.
Photo: Jackie Connor

It’s that time of year, again!

The 2013 Hurley Pro will showcase 34 of the world’s top surfers plus wildcards Dane Reynolds and Mitch Crews at California’s most coveted peak, Lower Trestles. From September 15 through the 21, The Hurley Pro is stop number seven on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour. These surfers will carve, boost and annihilate their way to the top for a chance to win prize money, a bad ass trophy and valuable ASP points. The overall small surf that has prevailed for the past three weeks might make the beginning of this comp interesting, however a bit of south swell is forecasted for the final days…for now, it’s about gettin’ creative out there!

Who’s in-it-to-win-it this year? Who’s on your Fantasy Surfer team?? :)
11-Time World Champion, Kelly Slater. Photo: Jackie Connor

11-Time World Champion, Kelly Slater.
Photo: Jackie Connor

I’ve got my eye on San Clemente local all-star and comeback-kid Kolohe Andino. Ever since Andino was a grom, I watched him sky-rocket to the top of NSSA, onto the world tour and then disappear out of the lime light as quickly as he came. But after days of YouTube video clips and watching him tear up the pitiful peaks at crowded Lowers in-person, I think he’s just getting warmed up. Stretch your knuckles, journalism peeps, it’s gonna be a bumpy write.
And of course there is the 11-time world champ, Kelly Slater, who’s dominated this event for the past three consecutive years, one of which was his 50th win of his professional career…will Kelly make 2013 his fourth in-a-row? He certainly can pull out all the stops, especially in those final minutes. As for Sunday, Sept. 15th, we will see Kelly paired with Brett Simpson in heat six, said an ASP article.
Kelly Slater throws some spray at the 2012 Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles. Photo: Jackie Connor

Kelly Slater throws some spray at the 2012 Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles.
Photo: Jackie Connor

Or what about wonder-boy Gabriel Medina? Every time I’ve seen him on a wave on Lowers, he destroys the left with airs and combos that make my eyeballs spin in their sockets.
Who will meet in the final? Parko/Kelly? Andino/Florence?
Time, waves and skills will tell.
These stipulations about the 2013 Hurley Pro are based on no inherent facts about these athletes other than what I’ve observed. Call it what you will, but I’d really love to hear YOUR opinion more than mine! Rep it in the comments!
2012 Hurley Pro runner-up Joel Parkinson may not have won the final heat, however he went on to become the 2012 World Champion. Here, he shows why he's World Champ. Photo by: Jackie Connor

2012 Hurley Pro runner-up Joel Parkinson may not have won the final heat, however he went on to become the 2012 World Champion. Here, he shows why he’s World Champ.
Photo by: Jackie Connor

See you peeps on the opening and final day! I will be covering this for San Clemente’s Patch.com, so for opening and final day tweets, you can follow me!
Instagram: @jackiecmonkeee
Can’t make it down to Trestles? Watch the live webcast here!

What To Do When It’s Flat

Flat but pretty view of Dana Point.

Flat but pretty view of Dana Point.

The dog days of summer are almost over and soon enough the groms will be back in school and hopefully some form of swell will grace our coastline. Until then, we have minimal surf in Socal waters and I don’t know about you, but I’m slowly going crazy.

Some say this has been the longest flat spell we’ve had in years. Coupled with unseasonably cooler water temps and no significant swell on the horizon, it’s a recipe that can spurt either craziness or creativeness among surfers.
 So step back from that ledge and listen up! Here are a couple of ways to stay out of the loony bin during a torturous flat period:

1.) Stay in shape!
A lot of methods can fall under this category and if you don’t have the  budget to travel in search of swell, it’s always good to keep that bod toned for the next swell that WILL show up soon. Go for a hike or run, take up a new activity like paddleboarding or join a bootcamp. Go on a snorkel adventure, swim laps, pump iron. Even if it’s just 20 minutes a day, staying physically active is an important part of any daily routine. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, exercise improves your mood and relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety along with a bunch of other benefits like warding off diabetes and improving cognitive function. So the square root of Pi is….? By keeping yourself active in between summer flat spells, you’re already a step ahead of the gang physically and mentally.
Stand Up Paddleboarder Nick Lanfranco stays in shape during a severe wave drought.

Stand Up Paddleboarder Nick Lanfranco stays in shape during a severe wave drought.

2.) Fix Up Your Stick
Every board could always used a new wax job and a ding check. Try not to cry too much when you recall epic days as you scrape that wintertime wax coat off. Be assured you will be riding some waves soon enough. Go the extra mile and buy some wax remover and make that board shine like a new penny! You might find dings that are causing your board to take on water. Repair them! There are a thousand different ways to repair surfboard dings and I’m certainly no master. But if you need ‘Surfboard Ding Repair 101,’ here’s a decent vid. Who knows? You might be thankful this flat spell happened before your board “randomly” decided to de-lam.
3.) Go on an adventure!
No swell in your neck of the woods? Maybe it’s time to take a day or weekend trip to a road less traveled. Get out of the bubble and find a spot that might have a little more exposure to swell. Bring a longboard or a fish and a couple friends. Make the most of it and stop a local restaurant or farmer’s market for lunch, crack jokes, share music or talk story. Even if you don’t score surf, know that you had some good times with friends and you experienced a new place.
There are all kinds of fun activities to do when there is no surf!

There are all kinds of fun activities to do when there is no surf!

4.) Take a deep breath and don’t go insane
No matter which side of the coast you claim, flat spells can happen to the best of us. Distract yourself from slowly going crazy with activities and hobbies. Remember to take deep breaths. Ain’t no shame in snorkeling or body surfing shore break. Get out there and appreciate Mother Ocean for the other forms of oceanic entertainment she provides.

Stay Classy, U.S. Open

 

The surf industry has its ups and downs, peaks and valleys…and of course, where would an extreme sport be without an extreme competition followed by extreme behavior?

While we can probe into the psychological aspects of an adrenaline junkie and how it relates to the surf culture’s constant need to usher in self-proclaimed machismo behavior, I don’t think I will waste your time.

Nope, I’m just going to bitch.

The 2013 U.S. Open of Surfing brought to the lime light two amazingly talented athletes naming Brazilian Alejo Muniz as the men’s champ and (my favorited) Hawaiian Carissa Moore as the women’s champ (Yay, Carissa!). However, among the week-long HB “dustbowl,” a recipe for a prime time donkey show ensued: Combine alcohol with an already dehydrated sun scorched local and non-local crowd, near-naked bods, free live music -Trust me! It was SO hard to avoid the Modest Mouse show-and mix equal parts of the over-sexed sport of surfing, top with some testosterone and cops and, my friends, you’ve got yourself a shameless shit show.

Gross.

Gross.

Over-turning port-a-potties? Gross.

Fights? Expected.

Throwing a stop sign into a store and then looting the store? Wrong. Lame. Stupid.

On Aug. 31 1986, the OP Pro broke out with a rash of fires, vandalism and riots.

On Aug. 31 1986, the OP Pro broke out with a rash of fires, vandalism and riots.

I hope you enjoy the drunk tank as much as I enjoyed my Monday morning YouTube catch-up watching the exact reason why sponsors are so easily scared away from our sport.

Thanks for throwing our surf culture back to the 80’s.

Stay classy, U.S. Open.

*It should be noted: a correction was made to the title of this entry. While it originally stated ‘Stay Classy, Huntington Beach,’ it was my own conclusion the more accurate origin of the craziness was the U.S. Open.*

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

Beach Creepers Beware

Girls just wanna have fun..without being creeped.

Girls just wanna have fun..without being creeped.

Beach season will soon be alive and well! Bikinis and boardshorts of all shapes, sizes and colors will grace our beaches like newly designed couture on a New York runway.

As much as I love a cute colorful bikini, sometimes I sketch about the attention it attracts:

The Creeper.

You know him…or her, even. They blatantly stare at you, jaw agape, while you change and check the surf. Even though you pull your wetsuit on as fast as you can, they slowly inch their way towards you, eyes not moving from your bod. They’re usually just hanging out by a trash can or a lifeguard tower, a place where you have to cross paths on your way to the water. Though you don’t make eye contact, their stare burns your skull as you calmly make your way to the safety of the water’s edge. For your sake, let’s just hope it’s high tide.

Wonka likes the surfers.

Wonka likes the surfers.

One evening before my usual surf sesh, some creeper stood directly in front of my peripheral, smiled and stared at me as if I was a juicy rib eye while I put on my wetsuit.

He stood there long enough to create an uncomfortable silence and I knew what was coming next.

“You come here often?” he said.

I rolled my eyes and breathed a heavy sigh while I zipped up my suit.

I could feel my face burn and my fists clenched as he continued on with his ‘overly-stoned surfer hippy’ facade.

“Nope,” I curtly stated.

<This is the only time I justify a lie.>

While his pathetic attempts to make conversation turned to more personal matters, I assumed an aloof disposition coupled with short answers and minimal eye contact in hopes to drive him away. Didn’t work. He was from L.A. Go figure.  Hmm, what to say, what to do…

I used to teach preschool and it was the most fun job I’ve ever had. However, establishing boundaries among the little ones is essential, unless you want to go crazy.  Like children, it seems the male-dominated surf culture needs a few boundaries.

Some guys think because women wear bikinis and/or revealing wetsuits, it gives them the ‘okay’ to make a pass or two…or three. Wetsuits, bikinis and the like are merely a preference in expressing how proud we are of our bodies we work so hard for..or simply because we want to minimize tan lines. Respect that.
However, I will say some of us wearing scantily clad items definitely ask for the unwanted attention.
Regardless of what we choose to wear in the agua, here are a few guidelines that either gender might consider when some hottie passes through their radar:

1.) STOP STARING!!
Didn’t your mamma ever tell you it’s rude?!  Just like pointing, in most cultures, it is rude to stare at someone while they are trying to change in their wetsuit…or walk down the beach…or paddle out..or duck dive a wave. If you think they’re hot stuff, perhaps leave it at that. If you stand a chance, decide your angle and make sure it’s AFTER their attire is on. Be respectful and avert your eyes. If you cross my path and stare while I struggle to get my wetsuit on, my glare will cut you like a katana blade.

Unless it's your good friends, this is the time to NOT take a picture. Dave gets ready to surf Hazards in San Louis Obispo, Calif.

Unless it’s your good friends, this is NOT the time to take a picture. Dave gets ready to surf Hazards in San Louis Obispo, Calif.

2.) Watch your mouth.
Really? You’re dropping one-liners? Dude, I left one-liners at the bar…three years ago…and even then, they were dumb. Their coolness factor died in middle school…circa 1998. How old are you, again?

3.) The wax on your deck is not for writing numbers on.
On more than one occasion, some guy thought it would be cute to write my number down in his wax via fingernail. Can it not wait ‘til I get to the beach? Most of the time, I don’t like giving my number out on the beach, much less in the water. I ain’t thinking about yo’ punk ass whilst I be throwin’ spray!

 

4.) Just because I’m being nice does not mean I want to share waves with you!
For every wave you decided to ‘share’ with me, you lose 30 minutes of my time. Several local guys will be dropping in on you shortly.

5.) Quit talking balls to me.
You’re so badass because you surfed Uluwatu, huh? How big was it, again? 14 feet or 4? The scar on your face ain’t from the reef, sweetie. I can tell a a bitch slap when I see one.  A very wise man once told me: “A musician never tells you how good he is, he shows ya how good he is.” Can we translate that into surfing? Hmm? Humbleness is waaaaay hotter.

6.) Unless you’re Dave or Chav, I don’t like being sprayed in the face by your cut-back.
Good for you, you can throw buckets! Now, can you aim it at the guy who was dishing out the one-liners?

At Lower Trestles, anything is possible.

At Lower Trestles, anything is possible.

 

 

7.) Gettin’ aggro does not make you cool.
While I’ll admit there is a time and place to be aggressive, unless you’re at Lowers and 10 people decide to ditch their boards while you paddle out, chillax. Yelling at groms does not get you brownie points, either…unless those groms have dirtier potty mouths than a 60-year old sailor…which is possible…at Lowers.

8.) Yes, I have been to the gun show…
…repeatedly, thanks to you and 20 other dudes.

9.) No, I don’t want you to shape me a board.
I just met you. Besides, I have a shaper…and he’s the jealous type.

10.) RESPECT
Not just me, but also yourself. …when you can’t respect yourself, who else will you respect?

 

Now go forth, former creepers!! Quickly become un-creepified before someone knocks your front teeth in!

We’ll all know you really didn’t hit the reef.

Reefs hurt more than bitch slaps.

Reefs trump bitch slaps.