Monday, February 28, 2011

Secret Peek! Rusty Prototype 9'4 x 29 x 4ish... keep it on the hush/hush!

A little bird sent me this snapshot of the wood veneer Rusty stando that will soon be hitting the water. This thing looks super fun- I'll see if I can get a ride report together about it. Check it out:

Looks clean... can't wait to give it a shot!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Storm of the Century... or not.

All the hype- none of the doom! The storm of the century- a view from my room:

Pretty killer view... a sweet spot to drink a glass of wine and wait for water spouts, tsunamis and sea serpents (we saw none).
So much rain and snow and hail and freezing rain.... or not. Winter time rates at a sweet little resort/spa... uncrowded parking lot with a seven degree slope and fresh asphalt... the cocktails in me said, "Carveboard" the frontal lobe said, "Broken hip". The brain won (must have been a survival instinct considering how dumbed down it was). But just wait 'til I go back!
The place had a cool, little bar tucked away downstairs- serving my favorite tequila: Don Julio 1942. Nice.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bah! More Rain... time to hole up somewhere plush.

It's going to be wet cold and rainy. The water will be polluted. No paddling this weekend. What to do? My solution? Get somewhere comfortable. So... I'm out of here again- this time I'm just up the coast, in a hidey hole that I like to go to when it's gnarly. We're talking big, fluffy bathrobes, giant flat screen TVs, room service and bathrooms with heated floors. Where? Fuggedaboutit... you find your own "port in a storm"!

I'm living in this and eating room service all weekend... you do what you want.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ripping at La Jolla Shores- Alexis Rovira gets the shot.

Yann is one of the stand out rippers up at the Shores- check out this shot that photog. Alexis Rovira grabbed:

Alexis' caption: Yann Quilfen gets a nice floater down at Green Wall-La Jolla Shores. Super humble guy who is fun to watch, you never know what he's gonna pull out of his bag of tricks.
What a killer shot- Alexis tells me that there's more where that came from- can't wait to see 'em and post 'em up. Good job!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This made the drive home really interesting...

Last weekend I bolted from San Diego for an annual get-together in Palm Springs. The event's been going on for eleven years, pulling together a bunch of my friends from the old UC Santa Barbara days. It's a tournament involving what could questionably be called a sport mixed with lots of heckling, joking and straight up insults. You know, the kind of thing guys do when they get together once a year, drink lots of beer and think they're cooler than they really are. I had a great time, even though I lost miserably (no doubt a result of being promoted to the "A" bracket- the fix was definitely in!). It was dumping rain in San Diego and I'd heard that snow levels would be as low as four thousand feet. Check out what I saw Sunday morning when I pointed the Ramble Machine west and started heading home:

Being a beach person, seeing snow jump across my windscreen like that was kind of jaw dropping. I actually pulled over to check it out and snap this photo- beautiful.
The snow actually screwed things up for me. On the way out of town, up the windy road that cuts across to the 15 freeway I was stopped by giant orange signs telling me that chains were required! Um, yeah right- got those with me, right next to my 8'6 Stamps and my fullsuit. The drive home ended up being a super roundabout, scenic tour around Ramona and Hemet (I think). I didn't mind because it was one of those early morning California days with awesome light and landscapes that I hadn't seen before. It was just a little too cold for trunks and flip flops... and that's where I draw the line- back to the beach!

I was so stoked they had these giant fans turned on- blowing winds toward the coast and giving us offshore winds. How considerate!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Adler Paddler Race, March 20th, Long Beach... I'm in- you?

I just saw this posting by Jodie Nelson for a benefit race for the son of Steve Adler. Check it:

Count me in on this one for sure. Here's a bit more information from Jodie's site (click here for details and a course map):

1st Annual ADLER PADDLER!!

Save the date March 20th, 2011!  Paddle With Purpose will be having its first event of 2011.  A lot has happened over the past year and Paddle With Purpose has been fortunate enough to be in the process of becoming a stand alone non-profit organization!!  We are in the process of being approved for non-profit status, establishing branding, getting the board of directors chosen, finalizing the mission statement,  as well as creating a new website!!!

We didn’t want to wait as we knew that one of the events we will have every year is the Annual ADLER PADDLER!  This event will take place every March on or around St. Patrick’s Day.  The purpose of the event is to Honor one of our dear friends Steve Adler who passed away suddenly last March from a genetic Ascending Aortic Aneurism.  Steve loved the sport of stand up paddling and  this will be a free event open for both experienced and novice paddlers, in hopes to get people out together enjoying this great sport.

The other main purpose of this event will be to raise funds for Steve Adler’s son’s college fund through sales of  event T-Shirts and an amazing raffle.  We will also use this event as a platform to raise awareness and educate people about Ascending Aortic Aneurisms.

So come on out for a fun or serious race around Naples island.  Just under 3 miles.   Bring down your paddle board, prone, or stand up, or borrow one from a friend.  If you don’t have a board we will have a limited amount of boards and paddles to rent on site for a donation to the cause.

When: March 20th 2011 / 9am for a 10am start
Where: Leeway Beach/Belmont Shores/ Long Beach/ Ca
What: Fun/Stroll for a good cause or Race/ for a good cause/  Just under 3 miles around Naples island
Good Fun, Good Cause, Good People, Great T-Shirts, Amazing Raffle, Amazing Sport, In Memory of a Great Man Steve Adler

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bah! Rain... I'm outta here.

Gray, cold, wet. See ya... off for a little reunion of sorts this Friday. I'm heading to the land of golf courses, pools and senior citizens. But at least it'll be sunny and warm... and I'll be lounging at the pool with an umbrella drink. Here's what I'm requesting for when I get back:

I'm not asking for anything XXL, just some fun runners, a little warmth and a few friends. Thanks Jeff Wallis for this and the following photos!
Maybe we could have a couple little meatball sections to chuck 'em up into... Photo: Wallis
And how about a couple of big, soft shoulders to practice our roundhouse cutbacks on? Is that too much to ask for? I'll be home Sunday- the order is in... let's see it. Please.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wooden would paddle.

I received a couple of emails about the last race, they got me thinking. Specifically, I wondered why it was that I cared about racing and why the outcome mattered to me. Fortunately, I have somebody to bounce these ideas off of. Ever heard of John Wooden? Of course you have- but if you haven't, let me fill you in.

John Wooden was, arguably, the greatest coach in the history of American sports. Until 2004, he was the only person ever inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both player and coach (1961 and 1973). As head coach at UCLA his teams won ten NCAA titles in his last twelve seasons including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. During his tenure, UCLA went on an 88 game winning streak and had four perfect 30-0 seasons. That's almost three years in a row without losing a game!

Obviously, this is a man who cares about winning. Right? Well, maybe. Here's what he says about winning (I'm excerpting this from one of my many Wooden books, this one is the last he published before he died in June, 2010. If you're interested in learning more about John Wooden, this book is a nice starting point: "The Wisdom of Wooden: My Century On and Off the Court"):

"I want to be clear about something: Winning or losing matters.... But my belief is that winning and losing are a by-product, offshoot, consequence of something more important.... My definition of success, my concept of what constitutes "greatness" in an individual or a team and how to achieve those lofty goals, is put in perspective with a simple directive: 

Do not judge yourself by what you have achieved but rather by what you could and should have achieved given your potential- if you'd never ceased trying to be the best you could be."

In the end, it's not where you've placed in the field but, rather, if you worked to your potential. And I've found that to be a much, much more difficult goal to achieve. I'll let you know when I get there.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Everyman Racer: Nobody to blame except myself!

Oh man, what a bummer! Before I explain, watch this video clip:

Did you see what happened there? One millionth of a second of losing concentration can lose you the whole race. I can understand how that happens. You're at the end of your race, exhausted, all you can think of is the finish line. It's that big orange buoy right next to the shore- finish at the buoy, finish at the buoy- catch the guys in front of you, feel like you're going to puke, push it, push it... glide on through. Yell out your number to make sure they get it- say it three times loud, do the gang-sign, number thing with your fingers to the guy with clip board and collapse onto the board. 

But guess what? Turns out you didn't really finish- you were supposed to finish to the left of the buoy not the right. Race over, no results. All in a millionth of a second of lost concentration. Kind of like the Japanese guy in the video. That was me at the Hal Rosoff race. I'd like to pass all kinds of blame around but that's not the Everyman way. The primary lesson here is: In racing, you've got to be sharp from start line to finish. 

Life has handed me this lesson a couple of times (Chainsaw Massacre- didn't run up the beach to the finish, Hennessey's World Championships- had to backtrack around a missed buoy, King's Race- didn't verify that my time was recorded) evidently it hasn't sunk in yet. I actually had a pretty good race, finishing in an unofficial 7th place at approximately 1:19:30ish (we all know who I was behind and who I was in front of) so it's a real bummer not to have a true posted result- maybe this time it hurt enough to get me to focus my mind for the next race.

Congratulations to Imperial Beach paddler Kiwi who finished in 3rd place at 1:16:12- homey killed it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

SUP4CANCER.... July 8 - 10, Hood River, Oregon

I was stoked to hear from my friend Tonia Farman. Tonia is a pro-kitesurfer from Hood River, Oregon for the past few years she's been putting together an event in Hood River that raises money for cancer research. If you can get up to Hood River this summer, definitely head to the Hood and check it out. Here's more info about the event:

The 3rd Annual Standup Paddle 4 Cancer benefits thousands July 8—10, 2011

This year’s Standup Paddle 4 Cancer heads into its 3rd year of physical and mental endurance, challenge, and fun in beautiful Hood River, Oregon to benefit regional cancer awareness, prevention, and survivorship programs.

The Standup Paddle Race events will challenge the most avid competitors with swell, currents, and wind conditions as part of the races. The SUP Race will consist of a 9-mile downwind race, a 4-person relay race, a full contact contest, and costume contest. Additional events at SUP4C include the Live & Silent auctions, All Day Live Music Stage, Full Sail Beer Garden, Food and BBQ, and SUP demos.

Raising over $300,000 for cancer programs up and down the west coast since its first year, SUP4C has blended the health and passion of the action sport community with the needs of the cancer care community for an amazing benefit.

SUP 4 Cancer has researched many deserved and impactful cancer programs to benefit from donor funding to come up with 4 amazing organizations that drive cancer research, awareness, prevention and treatment programs:

• Athletes for Cancer Survivorship Camps for Young Adults with Cancer – Hawaii, Oregon, California
• Pacific Cancer Foundation – Cancer outreach and support – Maui, HI
• The Next Door Inc. – Breast Cancer Prevention Program – Hood River, OR
• Children’s Hospital of Seattle -- Child Life Program – Seattle, WA

History of the Event: Initially started as Kiteboarding 4 Cancer in 2007 from one of the founder’s personal experience with cancer, Standup Paddle 4 Cancer was added in 2009, doubling in participation and spectatorship each year. The two events together evolved in 2011 as The Tenacity Games to include the many athletes from various other action sports who are driven to harness their physical ability and passion to fight cancer.

Now in our 5th year, Athletes 4 Cancer has raised and donated over $300,000 to regional programs that directly benefit lives affected by cancer. In addition, in 2011 Athletes for Cancer started hosting our own Survivorship Camps for Young Adults with Cancer, providing adventure instruction in a safe and supportive environment for survivors as they face life after cancer.

Athletes for Cancer is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, IRS tax ID #42-1737854. We fund our programs and charities solely through tax-deductible contributions from private individuals, corporations and foundations.

or Tonia Farman,, 541-490-9621
Athletes for Cancer
website:  facebook: SUP 4 Cancer 

Thursday, February 10, 2011


What do you need me to say... it's still going off... just got a note from a friend down there, "It's not stopping- it's better. Where are you?". I'm here. Sigh

Alive and kicking... with or without you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stand up bad/step off good.... right?

For the record, I really don't care what or how you surf. Really, I don't. Paddle out on a blow up Barney pool toy and go straight over the falls, doesn't matter to me and it really won't affect my session either. However, I do find it strange that there are those out there who hate stand up paddling but have no problem with something called a "step off". 

What? You don't know what a step off is? A step off is a way of putting a surfer on a wave that's too hard to paddle into or shifting so much that it's almost impossible to line up a peak (usually, big, shifty beach breaks are step off territory). If you want to step off you need a ski- one of those big triple person four stroke jobs and you'll need a driver. The driver buzzes around the line up with you sitting behind him on the back of the ski. You've got your arm around your board waiting for the driver to pick a good one for you. Using the power of the ski, the driver will drop into the wave really early (wait, isn't this kind of sounding like stand up paddling... just delete the driver and all the same elements are there, the mobility, the early drop in), setting you up perfectly for the wave. Now all you have to do is jump off the back of the ski, usually bellyflopping onto the board, right into the wave- scramble to your feet and drop in. Voila- the step off!

Step off sessions happen more often than you think. Check out this link. What you see here is a bunch of photos and a couple of video clips of some pro surfers getting ridiculously barreled at what they call an offshore surf spot (umm, good try with that one guys). I will guarantee you that not a single one of those photos or videos featured a wave that any of those guys paddled (crawled) into- they were all step offs.

How do I know? Here's a couple of glaring clues: 1. Watch the video clips. Any time you see a guy go buzzing by on a ski- that's the driver jetting to the inside to pick up the rider for another go at it. Basically, if you see a ski- a step off just went down.  2. Brian Conley. It seems all this guy does is step offs... check out any of his videos (My Eyes Won't Dry series) and you'll see what I mean. And, finally, 3. Check out that surf spot, it's the type of wide open beach break that would be hideously difficult to surf. Basically, if you didn't have the step off advantage you'd end up chasing peaks around all day hoping that you lucked out and were in just the right spot to grab a good one. 

Like I said, I don't care how you surf. In fact, step offs look really fun and I'd love to try it myself someday. But that's just me- I'll ride just about anything; boogey board, hand plane, surfboard, stando, kiteboard or wind surfer. Maybe the more you do, the less you care- which might explain the mindset of the anti-stand up coalition.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Futures Fins: Jamie Mitchell Battle of the Paddle Race Fin... Going In Today!

So excited to test drive Futures Fins Jamie Mitchell Race Fin today. I've got the Hal Rosoff Race in Newport this Saturday and I'm hoping to use this there. This thing looks sick- Ryan at Futures told me it was a special design just for racing in and out of the surf at the Battle of the Paddle. There won't be any surf in Newport Harbor but it does look like it will give me some directional stability (I'm a notorious zig-zagger... I like making the course a hundred yards longer). On it today for practice and I'll report back:

This one is in full carbon- feather light! This thing looks surfy too. I think after I paddle it in the raceboard, I'm going to stick it in my 10'6 and see how it surfs.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A race sponsor: supports the Everyman Racer... me!

Wow, I'm stoked! Lori and the family has decided to support part of my 2011 race season. This is great news because I plan on doing at least ten races this season in addition to the three biggies: The Hennessey's International Paddle Championships, The Battle of the Paddle and The Tahoe Nalu; for an Everyman Racer with an everyman real job- every bit counts. 

If I didn't have sponsors like Futures Fins (awesome stand up paddle race fins), Stamps Surfboards (great custom stand up boards), ProCam and Emerald City Surf Shop to help me out, there would be nobody out there to represent us commoners. So thanks BRG, welcome to the family- your help is greatly appreciated.

If you've been following the blog for the last few years you may remember that BRG was the first company to submit a stand up paddle specific product for testing. That product was the Kore Dry, water repellent, UV protective, long sleeve paddle shirt. BRG jumped in quickly to support stand up paddle racing by donating four shirts to our Imperial Beach paddle team for the first and only Hennessey's River Race from Laughlin, Nevada to Needles, California. Those shirts literally saved our skin, keeping us cool in the hot sun and drying instantly when we fell into the chilly river. 

Kore Dry: Loose like a tee shirt and silky smooth... fall in the water and you won't be covered in a clingy cold wet tee shirt.

Kore Dry shirts are popping up all over the place now, I've seen folks surfing in them at Dog Patch and racing in them at the Hanohano. I like to use mine when it's chilly out. The shirt fits loose like a tee shirt, it's super light and non-binding (perfect for the paddling movement), is UV protective and, best of all, is hydrophobic so water beads right off of it. If you're looking for a highly functional piece of paddling outerwear, definitely check out the Kore Dry paddling shirt.  

Best of all, when you order your Kore Dry shirt from you can type in the words PADDLESURF into the coupon area for a discount. 

What are you waiting for? Do it!

Support the Everyman Racer in his 2011 Season... contact for more information.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pinch me

I guess it must have seemed like it was too high tide. For some reason, nobody paddled to the peak that Dr. John and I were working over. We were laughing as we'd split the peak again and again. There were four other guys surfing the peak at Cages and a couple more to the north but that was it. I came out of the water feeling like I could tear phone books in half. It was that good. On it again tomorrow... pinch me so I know today wasn't a dream- going to be tough sleeping tonight.

Kind of like this. Photo courtesy of Manny Vargas.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Surfing is always better.

Racing's fun... but surfing rules. Here's why:

And more for tomorrow... I hope. Photo credit: Jeff Wallis

I've got something you're going to want... badly.

Guys build forts. We've been doing this our whole lives- starting with the cushions off of mom's sofa and then hodge podge tree houses cobbled together from cut off lumber and then eventually some mega-mansion for poker and fly-fishing in White Fish (not my style personally- but I think you get the idea.)

Customizing our rigs into Baja surf-mobiles, capable of extended surf-strikes into the Seven Sisters or down to the southern points past Abreojos is just an extension of this fort building trait. And I'm not immune. I've gone through three vehicles searching for the combo that will let me do it all with speed and reliability. And comfort. As far as comfort goes, I just put together something that is insanely cool- I'm going to give you just a peek at it right now but you'll be seeing more of it soon as I dial in the whole system. Check it out:

Never mind the custom welded, aluminum supports I had made to suspend my sleeping/cargo platform leg-lessly from the sidewall- what you want to look at is the little white box on the right. I think you know where I'm going with this....