Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mainland Redux?

One more time? Back down south? Could it be true...

Stay posted!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Big Chad Report: 10' Stamps Viking

I knew I was in trouble when I saw for the first time John doing a bottom turn with the new Stamps Viking model. It was the first time I had seen one of my paddle board friends really "surf" a stand up board. I knew it was going to change everything.

Paddle boarding for me changed from a very mellow long boarder mentality into thinking about true cutbacks, hard bottom turns and putting the board up in the lip. What I didn't know is that the speed it generates going down the line and the maneuverability that it offered were better than expected.

You can see from the photo this is not a long board nose, even if the board is ten feet long, and I notice not only when dropping in but it is also way easier to get up on top of the lip or the whitewash to get around sections.

I love the tapering of this board. Doesn't it look so sexy? I got a pintail, well a big guy's pintail anyway, and this thing turns fast. Every time I change change edges with this board it doesn't lag and slow down, it speeds up.

Stamps did a great job of keeping the volume almost the same as my last board even though this board has a much smaller and thinner nose and tail. The nose and the tail have made all the difference in the world.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Central Florida Got a Little South Swell Too

Editor's note: See, I take my eyes off the site for a couple of days and Capt. Ron posts up some kick ass pictures of Paddle Board John KILLING it... the photos were so good I just had to post them up again (after fixing them so they fit the site a little better). Stoked to hear from my East Coast Contributor, Capt. Ron. Check it out:

Here are a few pics of Hurricane Bill Swell last Saturday.
The best swell of the summer so far on the east coast. The Bahamas bouy was maxing at 20ft 18 seconds I bet the reefs off the Bahamas were pumping.

Capt Ron

Here are pics that were taken by Eric Diller of a local New Smyrna Beach Paddle Boarder we call "Stand up John" one of the 5 local standup boys here in NSB. Awesome Pics Eric.

John charges hard for an old retired dude...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beach Breaks can be Real Fun! But Sometimes...

Editor's note: I am happy to say that there will be a wider perspective at play here on If you haven't noticed, there have been posts put up by writers other than me... JWall, Big Chad, MdJ and others who've contacted me with a desire to share the stoke... and that's great! Today's post is the first of what I hope will be many reports from the East Coast. I've asked Capt. Ron to come aboard as an East Coast contributor and I'm sure he'll unleash some of his crusty wisdom onto these internet pages- and some radically cool photos, just like the ones posted below. Check it out:

A beach break
can make you start thinking maybe I should have stayed home and cut the grass or boy the garage sure does need cleaning out. Hurricane Bill Photos: New Smyrna Beach, Fl. Photos are by a good friend of mine Kem Mcnair during Hurricane Bill Swell.
Peace, Capt Ron

Did I remember to pay up my life insurance? This one might leave a mark... Click on this pic so you get a full view of whats going on. How much cussing would you do?

Maybe I should have washed the car today...

Yeah back in New York We always do off the lips in our 40ft P.O.S. Searay on 15ft breaking swells with the whole family on board. Unreal!!! Look at the guys in the forground duck diving for scale.

Where the boat is is Standup heaven when there is at least a 4ft swell running its 3/4 mile offshore and you can bring one all the way through. We call that spot Shark Shallows mostly because of all the sharks out there and its shallow. But be careful on a lunar out going tide you may end up 5 miles offshore.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Surf Check: Heat Wave.

We get heat waves here in Southern California. In San Diego, it's not so bad. We just open up all of the windows and doors, turn on the fans and move slow. If you reach the boiling point you pull the rip cord; grab the bike and bolt for the beach.

You want real summer heat?
You look for that in August, on the floor of the San Fernando Valley, somewhere near Sutter and Winnetka. You'll find it. The Valley get's frickin' hot. Spend time in that devil's cauldron and you'll leave with your scrotum so sweaty and pliable that it'll span your thigh-gap like a diaphanous curtain of warm bubble gum. That's hot, sticky hot.

And if you find yourself stewing in that pit? There's nothing to do but head west. Run the canyons and blow out onto the Malibu coast. Take that instant temperature drop right in the face. Bring your board. You never know, you might get lucky and find yourself in the front row of a full on California summer classic: high pressure blue skies, south swell. Time it right and it'll be a weekday which means you're paddling out to Secos with just a couple of other guys in the water. There might even be a late summer south pushing some head high screamers across the Body rock and into the cove.

The heat's my compass. When it gets hot, I head for water- things tend to get much better from that point forward.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fun little south swell in town

Jammed down to the beach and got a session in from 10am - 11am today. Fun little, southern hemisphere runners- mostly closing out but the water was warm (trunked it) and there were enough open sections to throw it up into the lip. Grabbed my little hour session and then jammed back to work. Not a bad way to go:

Photo: Play catch or smack the lip- your choice!

Stand up paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego! Get off your behind and get paddling. Click here for more information!

Photo: Chilling after a marathon session... dog's life!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ultimate Stand Up Paddle Vehicle

Sprinter Van? Please- every lemming's got one. Turbo-diesel, 4x4 Sportmobile... gauche- and so 2002. Ferrari... are you serious?

Here's what I'd roll:

'76 Dodge Tradesman
. Midnight black with electric blue pinstriping. Fender flares and mags.

Bubbled out tear drop window
, custom roof rack, sunroof and best of all....

GET DOWN TONITE! Matching custom, one-off, airbrush on both sides with matching wheel cover spray (see first photo). Tell me there's an 8-track in that baby with a bed and shag carpet. And I bet there's even room in there for my 9'4". Other rides may have the flash but this cat's got SOUL... And what do you want to bet the owner's a goofy foot....yeah. GET DOWN TONITE!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beach Shots

New south rolling into town. Here's a couple photos from the last one to get you revved up for what's knockin' on tomorrow's door. Check 'em:

Big Chad
comin' around the corner...

and hitting the Eject button.

A flash of purple.

Wishful thinking.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons Page

Greetings new stand up paddlers! Contact me ( for a great private stand up paddle lesson. Read below for additional information and testimonials about my lessons- let's get out and learn to SUP!

Stand up paddle lessons are a great way
to get started on the right foot, learn about the equipment and have fun. Here in San Diego, the water's warm and flat- perfect for taking your first strokes on a stand up board. Be sure to click here and scroll down to read testimonials from stoked clients. Check it out:

Private Stand Up Paddle Lessons in Sunny Beautiful San Diego!
Email: or 619.213.6622

Meet your instructor: John Ashley

Let's get out and paddle! I feel like I've been a teacher my whole life. I've lived and worked on Catalina Island teaching students how to sail and windsurf and have progressed to teaching Advanced Placement Chemistry, Marine Science and Biology in my high school classroom. Although the subjects may have changed, one thing has remained constant- I'm dedicated to showing others how to have fun and learn at the same time.

For the last few years I've been putting eager students onto stand up paddle boards. It's been really satisfying watching students learn all of the basics necessary to paddle safely and successfully. I've spent hours dissecting paddling and board handling techniques and have successfully adapted them for instruction. Developing the techniques into a cohesive, intuitive lesson has been challenging, rewarding and fun. I hope you'll give me a chance to introduce you to stand up paddle surfing- I'm hopelessly hooked and I know you will be too. Click here for more information about the lessons and for testimonials from my clients.

Learn to stand up paddle surf with us here in beautiful San Diego!
We specialize in private instruction. We are not a "Surf School" clone-farm latching onto the next thing to come along- we are dedicated stand up paddlers, stoked to share our passion with you.

Stop dreaming about it and do it! We're ready to get you on the water and paddling today.

Stand Up Paddle Surf Lesson 1 Flat Water Paddling:
This lesson is our best, most comprehensive, stand up paddle lesson. Our goal is to provide you with the basic techniques needed to safely paddle a stand up board. You will leave the lesson with all the skills necessary to paddle with confidence and safety. The lesson will last 1.5 hours and is packed with information. The lesson fee is $100/paddler, all equipment except wetsuit (often not required) is provided.

In Lesson 1
you will learn correct stroke technique, how to turn the board using four different paddle techniques, foot placement and stance, and, importantly, how to self rescue. In addition we'll discuss board selection and paddle sizing. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have about stand up paddling and am always available as a stand up paddle information resource.

The entire lesson is conducted in calm, flat waters. It is important for new paddlers to begin in relatively tranquil conditions. These conditions allow us to focus on the important elements of board, paddle and stroke. As a beginner, you can never get enough flat water paddle time. The more you paddle the better you get!

A word of advice: If you choose to paddle with one of the many San Diego "surf schools" who've tacked stand up paddle onto their menu of offerings be sure to ask where your lesson will take place. You will get the most out of your lesson if it is NOT an open water/ocean paddling lesson. Your first lesson should absolutely be conducted on flat, protected waters. Spend your time learning the basic skills necessary to build a solid paddling foundation- don't waste your time and money just learning to balance on the board... insist on a flatwater lesson!

The fee for Lesson 1 is $100/person. The lesson lasts an hour and a half with the majority of this time spent on the water. All equipment except a wetsuit (only needed in the winter) is provided.

Email: or 619.213.6622 please send dates and times that you'd like to paddle, I'll check them against the Lesson Calender for availability and get you set to paddle.

Click here for testimonials.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Schneider SurfBoards: Stuki model wood lam... nice!

Here's a board my friend Stuki's been getting super stoked on. This one's a 10'0 x 30" x 4.25" wood laminated Schneider Surfboards nose rider.

The wood lamination thing is a trip. The guys who do it use a big plastic bag that covers the whole shaped blank. The bag is then sealed and attached to an evacuation pump. The whole contraption is a called a vacuum bag because you suck the air out of the plastic bag creating a "hole" in the atmosphere that's called a vacuum.

If you create a vacuum,
the atmosphere will press against it (at about 16lbs per square inch!) equally from all sides, across the entire surface, creating a perfect, form fitting, compressive sleeve.

If you were going to use the vacuum bag to laminate a wood veneer onto a blank you'd place the veneer over the blank before evacuating the air from the bag. The atmospheric pressure pushing against the bag presses the veneer of wood onto the shaped foam core. The result is a foam core with a perfectly pressed wood veneer wrapped around it. Vacuum bags are such cool pieces of equipment. I frickin' love applied science.

Stuki should be back from his cross country paddle trip in the next couple of weeks... I'll try to squeeze a review out of him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8'10 Joe Blair For Sale: In San Diego- snap it up!

I've paddled this one. Pretty unbelievable that it can float and paddle a big boy like me (235lbs). I didn't get a chance to surf it but it's got a nice feel to it and I think it's probably a nice surfing stand up board. Here's your chance to get into a shorter stand up relatively cheap- I think Eric ( looking for something in the neighborhood of 800 bucks for it. The board's sound and at that price I think it's a good deal. Grab it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So I got to thinking: Dream Quiver

How great would it be to have the funds to, all at once, order a complete quiver of stand up boards? Here's what mine would look like:

1. I'd order two replacement Stamps Vikings- that shape is my daily driver, bread and butter board. Both of the boards would be 9'4"s (I'd leave the other dimensions in the hands of the guy who knows best- the shaper) shaped as carbon copies of each other. Of course they'd have to be sprayed Mahi-style. I'd leave one down in Southern Baja at my friend Tim's resort- that board would be stored and ready for surgical surf strikes when the chubascos start whirling in the early Fall.

2. There would definitely be room for a nice, light, nose rider. The shape that you'd want to ride on those high tide, chest high days when the waves are a little bit full. I'd go for a 10' Ninja model with the new single bump/round tail; a larger version of the board that Farmer Dave was ripping on in the Mainland Mex video. This one would be the call when you felt like walking the nose and throwing down smooth turns. It's definitely be a fun one to have around and I could see it getting some solid use.

Photo: Spork's got a dream quiver all figured out- the details of his collection are a little sketchy. But one thing is for certain, there'll be a lot of noses in that rack.

3. For those big water, winter days I'd like to pick up a 12', relatively heavy Viking Reef Cruiser. This would be the board I'd chose for catching the big, outside rollers that come steaming through in the winter months. The key on this one would be to keep it pretty beefy. On waves with a lot of push and built in speed, a bigger, heavier board gets you in earlier and builds speed like a locomotive. All that inertia just powers through the chop and smooths out the ride when you get going really fast. I'd like to see the tail pretty foiled too- giving the thing some bite off the bottom.

4. Finally, I'd pick up one of those Grim Rippers. If you ever get a chance to see one in person, you'll want one too. They look too fun to pass up. I'd go with something in the 8'6" range and I'd definitely go with a quad set up. I think on shorter stand up boards the quad really starts to work- maybe on the shorter boards you can get your foot back over the fins to power them up properly. The shorter stand ups are whole different take on the stand up game- I think they may be particularly suited to the pop-up peak, take-off-and-jam conditions that we get down here on the beach breaks. In any event, I'd be stoked to pull one out now and then.

That's my dream quiver- what's yours?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stamps 7'6" Grim Ripper

I try to just drive on by when I know I'm getting close. The place is like the Death Star though- the tractor beam is too powerful. And just like Darth, the dude inside can be wickedly cruel...

"You're going to want to see this little 7'6" I'm padding up right now". Are you kidding me? A simple Jedi mind-trick is all it takes to get me veering off the southbound 405 and down the Westminster offramp. Resist? Yeah right- my mind's too weak. And Stamps? Yoda called it, "The force is strong in this one." Check out this hot new stick:

Somebody in HB
is going to be really happy, really soon.

I know for sure this one's 7'6"
the other dimensions were something like 28.5" wide x 3.75" thick... I think.

Hand grips on every board
and Monster Deck Grip up on the nose... check the size on this thing... this is a little carving tool!

Super clean
... and curvy!

If big Luke Egan
can rip quads on the short stand-o so can you!

The trade mark Stamps airbrush getting cleaned up and acrylic sealed. Sweet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to the fun stuff: Bring back these days...

Not too much to surf lately. Wind's been on it, swells too west and lined up. Here's a flash back to a couple of late spring sessions- water was cold but the waves were clean. And really fun. Check it out:

Pinky on his standard issue 11'6" Isle stand up boards quad fin. Clean cruising.

I don't have much to say about these two shots- except, "Please send more!"

Ready to do this? Learn to stand up paddle surf in sunny San Diego, California! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email Need more information about me and the lessons? Click here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The JWall Report: SUP-ROW!

Editors Note: I'm picking up contributors to the blog. This set of photos is the first in a series of now-and-then-posts from Jeff Wallis, we're calling it The JWall Report. If you're not familiar with JWall, he's the photog. who's been responsible for all the surf shots on BeachSURF (if you haven't clicked over, you should, lots of good stuff- some paddle surfing shots, some surfing lots of beach life mania). JWall's earned the right to be a contributor- here's his first post:

Ok this thread is titled SUP-ROW, Stand Up Paddler-Right Of Way! It seems that the stand up guys catch a bunch of flack on occassion for hogging waves and what not. So in their defense this 4 shot sequence (CLEARLY) shows that the SUP guy is already in the wave and surfing, while the Longboarder is trying to get into the wave and as a result causes the ENDO! I rest my case cuz the pics tell the entire story!

Lip Chuckin': Schwack!

Are you here for lessons? Click here!

you just need to hit it.

This is what you don't want to see if you're ducking this wave- that's a big boy getting ready to ride the roof.

Land it and ride away. Easy, right?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pedal to the metal

If at all possible, go fast.

Kiwi, front footed and driving.

The best thing about accumulating speed is scrubbing it off.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Meaty: Here's a couple more photos from the last swell...

Big Chad Report: Chad posted these up but didn't write captions so I'll fill 'em in... all photos from Kylie K. Check 'em out:

Kiwi, 9'6" Stu Kenson Zapper, late, pulled it. Rad.

John Tomolsoff: about to take it to the back of the head- just after he buckled his 9'0 Stamps Viking. Double ouch.

Big Chad
streaking on his Viking... nice paddle position.