Tuesday, March 31, 2009

San-O Follow Cam: Check it!

Here's a fun little clip:

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

San-O Surfing: Cloudy, windy... FUN

Had a really fun day meeting up with some fellow 'Zoners today at the San-O Dog Patch. The day started out looking fairly sour with a nasty little south wind blowing the small surf to rags. It was chilly too. But, like always, if you just fire up enough to get your ass of the beach, things start getting better. It's always like that. Camera Grom accepted a bribe of a breakfast at Tommy's to come up and shoot some vid of us snagging a few. Yes, I know I look ridiculous in that helmet cam... but I did get some cool shots- you're just going to have to check back to see my clip!

Here's Camera Grom's
cut of the day's adventures:

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Check this out: BeachSurf is back! If you haven't checked out this site yet- you should. Especially if you're an IB local or you just like beach weirdness. I'm stoked to announce that longtime beach lurker and IB local, Jeff Wallis will be running the show over there. If you like clean, homegrown, surf photography click on over and check out what he's got going on.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Going to San-O tomorrow 3/29/09: Who's in?

We're off to San-O tomorrow morning with a bunch of boards, The Grom and Big Chad. I bribed Grom into shooting video so if you're there and on a stand up board you'll probably make it onto his next web video. We'll be there from 7am to probably around 10am... anybody else showing up? Cross your fingers there may even be a little surf- tide will be low going high. Maybe some fun ones out there... see you there!

San-O's for the whole family! Photo: Zorro

Small but fun... bring your big boards! Photo: Zorro

Paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego. It's your turn to be cool. Give us a call and we'll put you on a board and get you started the right way: 619.213.6622 or john@paddlesurf.net click here for more lesson information and to meet, me, your instructor!

Friday, March 27, 2009

More SUP surfing...

Kiwi Kranking It. How's that little Zapper-mini? Kiwi throws it around pretty good. The water looks so nice in that photo... bring on those glassy summer mornings! Photo: J.Wallis

Go Pro freak job.
Check the little GP stuck right above the blade of the paddle. Fun stuff- even if it does get a little uni-dimensional at times. I'm on my magic 9'4" Tim Stamps shape called the Viking- running G10 3/2/1 Future sides and a 7" center... Sick! If there's a faster board in town, I haven't seen it. Such a sweet ride! Photo: J.Wallis

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just SUP Surfin'

What can I say? Just got a batch of clean photos from Jeff Wallis and I feel like posting 'em up. Got a problem with that?

Bob Hoff. Out of his 'hood and onto his clean new Dave Daum paddle board. I blew it and didn't get a chance to cruise the thing. Daum makes hot boards- they've got a real surfy look to them. Stoked to see Bob out cruising and laughing, the guy's always fun to surf with. Get 'em! Photo: J. Wallis

Kraig Surplus,
which isn't exactly his real name but it's what I call him. The genesis of the handle being the hardware shop that he owns in National City. K-Surplus- heard of it? This place is part nuts'n'bolts wonderland, part treasure trove. There's goodies stashed in those rafters- you could spend an afternoon just poking around. Here's the man himself poking around on the northside of the pier. Kraig's got that left wired, he knows just when to swoop in and snag the good ones; I've seen him do it hundreds of times. Exactly like he did right here!

Paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego.
It's your turn to be cool. Give us a call and we'll put you on a board and get you started the right way: 619.213.6622 or john@paddlesurf.net click here for more lesson information and to meet, me, your instructor!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eating and Dreaming: Somewhat Paddlesurf Related

So all this gray just got me in a funk. I felt like eating and sleeping a lot. So I did. Full rack of baby back ribs, hush puppies, corn on the cob and four slice of white bread. Unreal BBQ. If you haven't hit up Lil' Piggy's Bar'B'Q in Coronado yet- you're blowing it. Took two naps today, one after breakfast and one after aforementioned BBQ (would've been easier to say "lunch" right there but whatever- at least I didn't call the BBQ, uberBBQ, I absolutely hate the use of that word).

Not too much surf to mess around with so I started going back through my old posts and eventually found my way to my other blog, BeachSurf. I stumbled across this old post and since it got me thinking about summer, I think it applies here. A little bit of a rant so scroll down to the bikini ending if reading pisses you off.

The Wilson Summer Cruiser:

Here's the next big thing for all you macro biotic, bark eating, global warming warriors out there. It's a hybrid (legs and gravity) surf exploration vehicle. The frame is composed of organically mined, shade harvested titanium. It's been green-manufactured in a carbon-guilt offset buying, Chinese factory. Our comrades overseas assure us that they are using non-under 5 year old (12 ok... you pay now) workers.

The bike features artisan crafted ball bearings and is co-op distributed. Noam Chomsky has described it as vintage, urban, "street" yet intellectual. Obama has called it, "edgy, yet sophisticated". The rig is Al Gore approved and Martha Stewart (pre-big house) designed. Take it with you all over the world! Bike breaks down and will easily fit in the hold of your G9 and most Lear Jets (not the small ones- those petite jets are so gauche).

This bike supports communities, it cannot be purchased at Wal-Mart. Look for it at alternative cyclo-boutiques in gated communities across the nation. We call it Everyman's Bike, ride this baby to the beach and save polar bears and honey bees. Pedal to the shores and stop heat waves in Bakersfield, Santa Cruz forest fires and the proliferation of crop circles! Limited quantities, get one now and make your neighbors hate you with jealousy.

Or, it might just be a nice way to get to the beach... you decide.
Finish this sentence. You've been a very...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunny and Glassy: Remember that?

I just met a local photographer, Jeff Wallis, who's been shooting surf photos in town for the last few years. He's got what you'd call a "sweet piece of glass" on the front of his Canon 40D. Check the resolution on these photos- killer. I think we'll be seeing more of Jeff's stuff in the future, be sure to check out the rest of his stuff at his myspace site. Thanks Jeff!

Dr. John
zipping on the Stu Kenson Zapper. Photo: J.Wallis

Spork swooping on his new 9'4". Funny how a little fin change really loosens things up. Spork's the only guy who SUPs the Alexander Gems... he's dropping to 8'6 for his next one. Photo: J.Wallis

Stand up paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego. You've read our posts, you've looked at our photos- now it's time to meet the mind behind the blog. Come learn to stand up paddle surf with me! Lessons available now! Get out on the water and nail those SUP skills before summer's here. For more information, testimonials and some corny photos of me, your SUP instructor, click here! See you on the water!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring-ish Surf Conditions

It may not be officially Spring but the surf says that it is. The last couple of days has been a bit frustrating. Early morning winds, mixed up gutless surf. Kind of a bummer, especially when you've got the internet and you can see just how good it's been everywhere else. All it takes is a few clicks and you'll find guys scoring somewhere in the world. In warm water, no less! But it also means that summer's right around the corner and we've got a couple of things lined up that make it something to get excited about...

a few shots from the weekend:

Big Chad.

Off the bottom...

Photo: Off the top.

Stand up paddle surf lessons in San Diego. Give us a call 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net for flatwater stand up paddle lessons.

We've taught more people than anybody in San Diego county. Click here for more information about your lesson and for testimonials from satisfied customers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meager Surf: Camera Grom's Vid

Thanks to Grom for editing this morning's blazing paddle surf action up for us. Happy we had anything at all to surf actually... it's been pretty dismal...

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Stand up paddle surf lessons
in sunny (almost) San Diego. Let us teach you how to stand up paddle surf safely- we'll start you on a nice, stable, beginner board on flat calm, protected waters. You'll learn everything you need to know to get started in stand up paddling. You'll laugh, you'll smile, you'll paddle your heart out! Contact us today: 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net also, be sure to check our lessons page for more information and some testimonials from satisfied students. Paddle- be happy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dave Craig: 6'10 x 29.5" x 4.25" SUP

Dave Craig made this custom stand up board for Mitch of Mitch's Surf Shop. Dave's been quietly shaping some of the sweetest boards in San Diego- and as you can see here he's not bound by tradition. He's getting tons of feedback from the crew at La Jolla Shores and they've been asking for shorter boards- and here you have it. I think this one's the shortest one that he's done so far and the reports are that Mitch is ripping on it. Once again, I really need to get up there and paddle with those guys sometime! Thanks for the photos Gail!

It wouldn't float me- but I think a scaled up 9'6 might do the trick! Credit: Gail

Photo: Short, wide, double bump swallow tail... Cool! I don't know what fins you're running there but if you've got access to them, you NEED to get the 3/2/1 G-10 material Future fins on that thing- seriously! Credit: Gail

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Big Chad Report

We just can't get enough video of ourselves! Isn't that true for us all? Maybe we are just camera sluts, but even when the surf isn't great we want to see the footage. Here is what we got from today. Not the best looking surf (it took about an hour of looking at it and waiting for the tide before we paddled out) but we ended up having a lot of fun and getting better surf than we expected.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Future Fins: G10 3/2/1 and the new Future Center Fin

I'm a lucky guy. I've got great friends. Tim Stamps heard I was experimenting with different fins and materials and next thing I know there was a "care package" at my door. You should know something about Tim; Stamps is always experimenting with fins, fin placement, cant, angle, foil etc., etc., etc.. I think what happened here is that he saw an opportunity to spread the sickness.

These ones came straight
from the Future fin factory - sweet 3/2/1s made out of the buttery G-10 material. I'm sold on this stuff. If you want to go faster and come out of turns with more speed than you went into them- you've got to switch over to serious fins. Futures made of G-10 are just so much more positive feeling- put your board on a rail and all the torque that you apply is directly transferred through the much stiffer G-10 material.

I'm going to report
back about the plan shape of these particular fins (3/2/1s) and how I think they uniquely apply to stand up boards- I've got a lot to say about them and I think they deserve their own posting.

Check out the new Future Fin stand up paddle center fin too. Interesting shape- this is Future's dedicated SUP fin. I surfed it in shin-knee high surf and can tell you that it's a great nose riding fin. The long blade produces snappy drive and the narrower base makes it a nice fin for step-pivoting the board when you're turning to catch a wave. We've got some better surf coming this weekend so I'll report back once I've got this thing up and flying.

It's killer that companies, like Future Fins, are stepping up to produce SUP specific products. We need 'em. Fins are such an important part of the stand up paddle equation- get out and try some different bites- you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gettin' Zapped!

Here's a couple shots from last Saturday's session. Super fun day of surf!

Photo: This board's a fun one. Rumors of some surf this weekend- time to take the 'Zap hunting?

Photo: Clean, cruisin'.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday. Flat and fun.

Here's a cure for the small surf blues: A big 'ol stand up paddle board. About 30 waves in 90 minutes of surfing. Seriously.

Three other guys in the water.
A peak all to myself. Pulled out the Mahi 2: 10' x 29.5" x 4.25"- a little heavier, a little less rocker... perfect for the small glassy waves that were almost unsurfable for all others.

The water was in the high fifties- this board is so stable I was dry for the first five waves. No suit needed. Paddle, surf, paddle back out. Repeat.

A stand up board quiver, that's a beautiful thing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Big Chad Report: Surf Video 3-7-09

I did something to my knee last weekend and though I was drooling over the surf this morning, I am not ready to get out there yet. But thought it would be fun to show up early and get some video of the regulars. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Interview: Geoff Hill of Baja Bound Insurance

It's the last thing you want to think about when you're packing up your gear for a surgical surf strike across the border- but it's a necessity and blowing it off could put you in a really bad place. If things go sour on the Baja Highway and you're not covered, you're going to the casa de clinky and it definitely ain't a four star stay. We're talking about Mexican Auto Insurance- a necessity when you're driving down south.

Photo: Write a policy, hit the lip. Geoff smacking one. Photo credit: Sean Cullen

We've always used Baja Bound Insurance. Their online service is easy to use, the internet service is fast and their rates have always been super competitive. Plus, we'd heard that these guys were surfers. I trust surfers. I tracked down Geoff Hill at Baja Bound for the story and came back with a few surf shots that were proof positive that these guys can throw both policies and buckets. Here's the scoop:

P.net: Hey Geoff, thanks for taking a couple of minutes to sit down with us and talk about Baja Bound. First of all what's your background?

G.H: I was born in San Diego, and have lived most of my life here. I started surfing (shortboards) when I was 14 and it was totally life changing. To say that I was obsessed with surfing would have been an understatement!

P.net: Did you do contests or were you just surfing for fun?

G.H: I started doing local surf contests here and there, eventually ending up at UCSD where I was on the surf team for my last two years of college. Our team did all of the collegiate NSSA contests, which were a ton of fun. My senior year I was one of four surf team members with access to the key to Blacks - it was really amazing to have that privilege.

My main sponsors in those days were Ezera surfboards and Pacific Drive Surf Shop. Currently I am riding a 6’7” Resin8 epoxy by Sam Egan that I got from Marc Miller at Isle Surfboards. It is probably one of the best boards I have ever had.

P.net: Key to Blacks- are you kidding me? I'd probably never leave. Where else would you surf?

Photo: G.H. floating one. Photo credit: Sean Cullen

G.H: My favorite places to surf in San Diego are probably I.B. and a couple of spots that are boat access only….Blacks is great too…but the crowds are always a factor. Down in Baja…well…take your pick! There are so many classic setups there depending on the swell and how far south you are going. Baja Malibu, La Fonda, San Miguel, Punta San Jose and Scorpion Bay are just a few that come to mind.

P.net: So what's your all time favorite spot down there?

G.H: My favorite spot in Baja is probably Scorpion Bay. It is just so perfect and amazing. I have done a LOT of surfing in Baja: Two long trips to Scorpion Bay; four trips to Punta Cabra; three trips to Punta San Jose; and far too many weekend trips between the border and Ensenada to possibly remember. The Scorpion Bay trips were probably the most memorable because I was young at the time and had never experienced such perfect waves.

P.net: Any mishaps or weirdness in all that Baja traveling?

G.H: The only real mishap I have had on a Baja surf trip was spring break of 1992, which was my senior year in high school. It was the first time our parents let us go unsupervised, and we had an amazing trip. We hit a bunch of different spots near Camalu all week and just got super fun surf the entire time.

The very last night someone came into our camp and stole a bunch of stuff. At first we were really bummed about it, but then we realized that they only things they took were bare necessities - food and clothing. They had not touched our surfboards, wetsuits, video camera, radio or any of our wallets. We headed back to the border that day totally smelly and dirty, still wearing the clothes from the previous day, with big smiles on our faces!

Photo: I'm getting the feeling that Geoff put all that Baja time was put to good use. Photo credit: Moses Slovatski

P.net: How did the whole Baja Bound thing come about?

G.H: This is a fun story….Baja Bound started in 1994 as a drive-through service near the border in San Ysidro by John “Doc” Morton. He actually was a real doctor, and the insurance drive-through window was right next to his office, staffed by the nurses. His son Hank and I were high school buddies and surfed together a lot and eventually Doc got into surfing too….at the age of 50!

Doc started taking us to Baja for surf trips on the weekends, which were really amazing times for us. A few years later Doc was contemplating retirement, and Hank was doing web development. Hank and his dad talked about the idea of transitioning the business to an online service, and BajaBound.com was born. Hank launched the first website in fall of 1999. For the first few years I was always feeding him marketing ideas. He always said that if Baja Bound grew enough he would hire me. I came on board a few years later in January of 2003.

P.net: What's your role at Baja Bound?

G.H: My role at Baja Bound is marketing and business development. This includes handling advertising campaigns, building strategic partnerships, sponsoring events, doing search engine optimization for our website, and networking on both sides of the border. I do handle customer service duties on occasion as well when the phones get busy!

P.net: Mike (my brother) and I always use Baja Bound- I actually heard about it through a bunch of local guys who are hardcore Baja surf travellers and they recommended it to me. It seems like it is the standard for surf travellers who drive into Mexico. What do you think makes it special?

G.H: Baja Bound is special for a number of reasons. We really go out of our way to provide the best customer service for our clients, and it shows with the number of friend referrals we get. We have also worked really hard to create a website that is full of great travel information and by far the easiest way to get Mexican insurance. Everyone in our office has lived in Mexico and traveled quite a bit down there, so this is much more than a job for us. We love Mexico!

Photo: "I was one of four surf team members with access to the key to Blacks." So we'd assume you've been in this position at least a million times before... right? Photo credit: Moses Slovatski

P.net: Mex is rad. Definitely. Which Mexican insurance companies do you guys work with?

G.H: We work with two great underwriters, Genworth Seguros and ACE Seguros, and have a very good rapport with both of them. This allows us to assist any of our clients who might need help in following up on a claim, and we are happy to help them!

P.net: Now that we've got you here, is there anything that traveling surfers need to know about vehicle insurance in Baja that they probably don't know? Any little known facts or common misconceptions that surfers should know about?

G.H: Two main things come to mind: First, personal items carried in your vehicle such as surfboards, wetsuits, cameras, laptops etc. are not covered by any Mexican auto insurance policy. (This is also true with auto insurance policies in the U.S) These items are covered by either a homeowners or renters insurance policy, so make sure you have those items covered before your next trip!

Second, if you have an accident or loss, you MUST report it before leaving Mexico and get an adjuster to the scene and obtain the proper police reports. Often times, people have a loss and wait until they come back to the U.S. to report it. At that point, it is hard to prove that the loss actually happened in Mexico, and the claim may be denied.

P.net: Good to know! What about this, what if a surfer gets in an accident in Mexico and gets put into jail- does having a Baja Bound policy provide him any protection or legal assistance (will it get him out of jail)?

G.H: Yes. All of our insurance policies come with legal aid and bail bond included.

P.net: So what does a surfer absolutely need to know if they get into an accident in Baja?

G.H: I think the same rules apply no matter where you are traveling in the world. Make sure everyone involved is OK and safely out of the way of any other vehicles passing on the road, then call for help (066 is the Mexican equivalent of 911). At that point, do your best to stay calm and be thankful you bought Mexican insurance!

P.net: Okay Geoff, thanks a bunch for all the information. One last question: How do you feel about stand up paddle surfers?

G.H: I feel pretty good about paddle surfers….I am probably going to end up being one in the near future!

Photo: The crew at Baja Bound.

P.net: Right on Geoff we'll see you in the water!

G.H: All right, thanks John.

Contact info:
Baja Bound Insurance Services


Stand up paddle surf lessons in San Diego. Give us a call 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net for flatwater stand up paddle lessons.

We've taught more people than anybody in San Diego county. Click here for more information about your lesson and for testimonials from satisfied customers.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back Foot Drivin': Stu Kenson Zapper

Get your foot back over the quad fins and drive this thing down the line. That's the name of the game with the Zapper. Stu pushed the wide point and volume back so it's an easy half step back to the tail to start jamming. What's cool is from the paddling position it's super easy to be back in the sweet spot.

Check it out:

Photo: Nice lines. Believe it or not this board is a ridiculously fast paddler and far more stable than you'd suspect. I'm well over two hundred pounds and have had no problems zipping all over the line up on this one. In a quiver this might fill the "big, short board" slot- it's the board you could use on a meatier waves and longer paddles and still have the loose feeling of a shorter board. Versatile.

Photo: Super secret bottom contours... actually Stu told me what was going on- but there's so much happening there I couldn't catch it (or really understand it) all. Whatever it is, it all comes together in a package that produces nice drive and good flow down the line.

Bumps off the tail keep her loose off the top. I was surprised at how quickly this board comes around off the top- especially on backhand snaps. Those are tough turns on a stand up board- on this board they were pretty intuitive.

More data points
are still needed on this board, especially in some open face race-track waves (of which we've had very little in the last couple of days) but so far the initial results are in and we're stoked!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Options: Comin' at ya

Here it comes; what are you going to do? Smack it, floater, carve across the falling lip- maybe just enjoy the view. It's all good. Me? I'd smack it. I've got issues.