Saturday, September 29, 2007

WildCoast Surf Contest: Stand Up Division!

Come on down to Imperial Beach this Sunday Oct. 7th and check out WildCoast's surf contest, The Dempsey. I was at the WildCoast office just today and got a peek at a couple of the raffle prizes. We're not talking a tee shirt and sticker give away- there were two cool retro style surfboards destined for somebody's living room wall - cool planks well worth the price of a couple of raffle tickets. See you there!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Boards they are a shrinkin'! Stamps 8'0

It's not fat, it's "differently skinny"

Check out this little fun mobile and tell me you wouldn't be curious to give it a spin. That's eight chunky, but lovable, feet of foam and fabric.

I'll post more info about this little beauty from Tim at Stamps Surfboards as it becomes available. You may have noticed that this guy isn't afraid of experimentation.

Keep your fingers crossed maybe I can get one down here sometime for us all to check out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

SUP Dog 2: Keep them coming!

Life is better with a dog on board!

Check out Chris and Magic at Dogpatch in San Onofre- Magic posted up, sniffing out the tube section!

Erik and Lily, east coast styling in Rhode Island- is that a martini in Lily's paw? Now that's classy.

I'm digging this- and it's pretty flat right now- so keep 'em coming! Who's got the best dog on paddle board photo?

Monday, September 24, 2007

SUP Dog?

You've seen Zoey and Scott- now here's two more:

Craig Kirstner and Blue- Paddling a California Lake, day dreaming about South Swells and warm water.

Tim Stamps and Cowboy: Cowboy checking the tail rocker on that freshy in the back of the Stamps mobile.

Send me "SUP Dog?" photos and I'll post 'em- let's see some good ones!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A short video clip by Capt. Shakey Hand

I don't think I'm getting any better at this video thing but here's something to look at from Saturday's event. Squint really hard and you might be able to make out the following surfers: Matt D., Bryce from La Jolla, Werner Paddle dude, Mike P. and Craig K. on my surfboard. If you've got some tips for me, let me know!

Been a while!

Jobs get in the way. I'm sure we'd all agree on that basic postulate.

As much as I'd love to be able to spend all of my time chasing down rumors of new stand up designs, talking with shapers and poaching forbidden waves- I've had to come to grip with the reality of my situation: I've actually got a gig that pays the bills and every September it's time to face the music. I know I'm preaching to the choir here. So that's my weak excuse for not writing much lately, and yes, to those of you out there who sent me email reminding me that it was my duty to update the site, yes, you were justified; thank you. Happily, I do have some news to report.

A new board in the house. As you can see, I've got a new ride. Tim Stamps calls it the Mahi. As in the fish- not so much for the design (although the tail and gut of this board is wide, kind of like a fish) but more for the paint job- which I'm digging more and more everyday.

This is my first full custom stand up board and it's everything I wanted for the waves I'm surfing here in Imperial Beach. The board is really fast. Best of all, and almost unbelievably, the board paddles better then most twelve footers out there (honestly).

Tim calls this shape the Commander (Check it out at his site)- and after a couple of sessions on it down here in our thumpy surf- I'm starting to understand the reason for it's name. The board takes command of the situation; from sucking out beach break to rivermouth power wedge the board just handles it. This is the stand up board that the Sultan of Speed, Terry Fitzgerald, would ride if he was hanging in California. Remember the power arcs he threw down in Five Summer Stories? That's were this board likes to be, banking high in the pocket like an Indy car swooping into the hip of a banked turn.
This is a ten footer for us thick guys. I've been on many of the smaller molded boards and although they seem to ride well they are a handful in almost any kind of chop. I wanted a legit ten footer that I didn't have to think about every time the wind came up- undoubtedly this board is it. If you are what MichaelF (what's up Michael!) likes to call "tuna class", that's 200lbs and up - this is your short board. If you run into me out in the water- don't hesitate to jump on it.

Tim Stamps:

Check Back: I've got a little story of Fins that I want to run by you.

Coming Soon: Video from the International Waterman Paddle and Surf Event at La Jolla Shores.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hot Off the Press: Events and Something New!

I'm pledged to secrecy on this one but I will give you this: You'll soon be seeing a lot of these 10'ers in the water! I'll pass along more info on these when I can- believe me once you know the mastermind behind this shape you'll want one- the guy is major.

In case you missed it, there are two events you need to be aware of, especially if you live in San Diego.

September 22, The International Waterman will host it's 1st annual Paddlesurf Event, follow the link for more information. There will be some boards available to test ride and evidently there are prizes too! It seems to be a low key event, with bring your own beverages and bbq items, the entry fee is fifteen bucks which gets you an event t-shirt as well as a water bottle.

October 7th, WildCoast will be running its 4th Annual Dempsey Holder Ocean Festival check the sidebar to your right for Dempsey Contest Info. This year we convinced Serge Dedina that there'd be enough interest in paddlesurfing to run a heat. Let's show up in full force to support all the good work that WildCoast does for us surfers, notably protecting all those lonely Baja point breaks we love so much. Each event costs $25.

Dempsey Online Contest Registration Info. and Waiver

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Update: Contact Info. for Custom Board Racks

There's been quite a bit of interest in the custom paddle board racks that I posted a couple of days ago. The man you want to contact is Tom Huber at Metal Trends in San Diego (

Tom's been busy lately building racks for surf shops in the area- he's become somewhat of a surf board rack specialist. Additionally, Tom's a surfer so he understands our special needs.

If you're interested in checking out his work, head down to The Surf Hut in Imperial Beach (710 Seacoast Drive). Tom was able to reconfigure the shop's board room; the room used to hold 40 boards, he's tripled that capacity to 120! Go check it out, you won't believe it.

Here's a couple of more photos of his work:

Top Photo: A Mickey Munoz UltraGlide at The Surf Hut. Jesus (the owner) needed to get the twelve footers up off the floor, here's Tom's solution.

Middle: A little detail of the "Sky Racks", check out the wide arms on those babies, perfect for our big boards- nice pads too.

Bottom: These are my racks, they are freestanding and can hold my stand up boards and four of my surfboards. The cool thing is since they're custom made you can have Tom make them to fit your needs.

Coming Up: There are some cool stand up paddle surfing events just around the corner- check back for information about two of them: The 1st Annual International-Waterman Stand Up Paddle and Surf Event (September 22, 2007) and the 4th Annual WildCoast Dempsey Holder Ocean Festival (October 7, 2007) which will include a stand up paddle surfing heat for the first time in its history.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer's End

If you live in California, like me, summer's over. I don't mean over as an official designation- but informally, the kids heading back to school after Labor Day signal an end to the long days of easy living . It's simple enough to figure out, just go shopping. Shorts are going on sale, Hawaiian shirts have been stacked on the clearance tables; every surfer knows it's prime time to buy a springsuit. This summer's done, that we know for sure.

Now, this wasn't the greatest summer for surf, off the top of my head I can recall maybe four decent little swells- nothing much over head high, a few surprise wind swells and too many flat days. I guess if you assigned value to this summer by counting only the number of surfable days, you'd conclude that it was pretty much a failure. Fortunately, I think we're a little more multi-dimensional then that. In fact, the more I examine what was done these last few months, the more I'm certain that this summer will be one that I'll ruminate on for many years. To me, this summer was like a dream.

Ultimately, this was the summer of the stand up board. I could not have imagined the places it would take me. For starters, my June trip down the Baja peninsula struck a spark in me. I rode the paddle board the whole time (well, almost the whole time, I did surf once at low tide on my Fish at Cerritos), not as a consolation choice but as a primary board. It was on that trip that I began to realize that this may be what I was meant to surf, this was my glass slipper- it fit (call me Cinderella though and we might have a problem). The trip was magic, not just for the surfing but for the time I was able to spend with my brother, one of the best people on Earth. I got to see him get excited about paddling too, that's something I'll never forget; the birth of his sickness, and it's all my fault. At our age, with our responsibilities, it is a rare thing to be able to pull off a trip of that length- it's one I'll never forget.

Without a doubt, this was a summer of sharing. I can honestly say that in the last twelve weeks, I've put at least thirty people onto my Big Red stand up board (I should be in sales). Some were people I knew, many were complete strangers, some were gnarly locals finally admitting that deep down they too wanted a shot at the fun, one was a grandma, another easing into his first summer of retirement (what's up Jim!), one was my cousin (yes Vinh, in the outside shower you may...) and to be honest, some were just hot girls in bikinis. Different as they were, they all had one thing in common- they were smitten! I know of at least six who've since went out and purchased boards. Sharing is a priceless act, you can't put a dollar amount on the smile spread across a friends face as he paddles back from his first wave on the big board (yup, I saw that wave Steve). My most satisfying "sharing" moment; putting my wife onto a board and watching her figure out that she is an absolute natural at paddling- how cool is that? In terms of spreading the paddle surfing love, this summer was a winner.

This was the summer I discovered that I like to write about, well, stuff. It was in early summer that this paddle surfing blog was born. Talk about taking me to strange and wonderful places! I didn't know that I was conducting my first legitimate interview until I was in the middle of it, and for the record, totally unprepared (sorry Stu, yes it is easier if I ask you the questions- would've been better if I had actually prepared some questions). The needs of the blog allowed me to spend the day watching surfboards being born, enabled me to poach forbidden waves and ride and review equipment that I could never afford (although, upon further study I've found that my reviews fall under the heading of "never met a paddle surf product that I didn't like", got to work on that). The needs of the blog also kept me up way into the morning writing and rewriting articles about such things as rolls of carbon fiber. The late nights were worth it though because this summer I learned that my writing was useful (albeit to a small number of people, but still...); thank you for the useful, constructive and encouraging responses. This summer there was even controversy and intrigue, but that will have to wait for another day, another blog.

As a farewell gift, summer gave us one last nice south swell. The wind and tide decided to work out their differences and gave us a shot at our local spot. We surfed it through the tide change, one good friend (you killed it today Chad) and me. The waves were fun, head high, a little sectiony, some just giving up and closing out- but, to us, out there in the sunshine, the day was a total success. Exactly like this summer.

Top Photo: Another chance to share with a good friend; his first time on the Big Red- the smile says it all, let the games begin!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Zoey crankin' a lipper with human on board!

Denis Poroy sent me this photo of Scott Chandler surfing with Zoey the Jack Russell terrier.

Hey Zoey, too bad that dude's on the back or you would've gone fins out on that turn!

Check out the drops of water coming off of Scott's paddle blade; Poroy's a pro and has a gnarly camera (kind of like Spicolli's Dad who had a "gnarly set of tools"). I think that's what is known in the trade as "tack sharp".

Keep sending them Denis!

Watch Out: We may be going live!

I was only going to post one thing tonight but I got so excited about figuring out how to put up video (I'm not the techy that I might seem to be- small leaps get me excited)that I had to post this short video. It's me surfing my home beach, small waves that day but... fall and winter are right around the corner!