Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stamps 12'6 Carbon Fiber/S-Glass Racer... more pics

A few more shots of my new race board then I'm off to the Bay to log some miles...

There she is all padded up and Monster Paint sprayed, drying in the sun... such sweet lines. That's Tim, stoked to get that thing out of the racks and onto the water.
Top View
Love the resin swirl deck... my colors!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

No more excuses: Well, I've got it... STOKED!

Picked it up today... unbelievably cool: a board built to scale for a guy over 200lbs.. what???

Got a little practice paddle in on it today- board feels great... more to come! Thanks to Stamps for making such a killer board!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The guy who makes my standos makes these too...

Check out this cool little clip of pro surfer Brett Simpson (aka Simpo), 2x U.S. Open of Surfing winner getting a warm up surf on one of his new Stamps contest sticks... hmmmm... board looks like it goes really good- think there's any transfer over to Tim's stando shapes (yep, you're right, they're great boards too!)?:

The Return of Simpo from David Lee Scales on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stamps 12'6 Racer... a couple more shots... in my hands soon!

Crazy schedule right now with work, life and surf... so here's a couple more shots to keep you preoccupied. This one should be in my hands by the weekend.... and then there's the 8'4... wait 'til you see that one!

Mmmmm, I love the smell of carbon fiber in the sanding room- it smells like... victory.
Every time I see this shot I think.... J-lo. Don't know why, I just do.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My new Stamps 12'6 Racer... so close now, so close....

It's almost mine! Here's a shot of my new raceboard- I think it looks really good. Custom for me, check it out:

Carbon fiber bottom, S-glass top... Stamps had to really, really, get this one cleaned up. The glassers at the factory (I won't name the particular glass shop that was used- you just need to know that they did such a shoddy job that Stamps had to invest multiple hours fixing their sand-throughs and correcting their paint flaws... pm me if you've just got to know) didn't seem to care too much about detail work. Lucky for me, Stamps is a perfectionist and took the extra time needed to make sure the board was completed to his standards- even if that meant Sunday afternoons in the shop painting, sanding and re-glassing the glass shop's screw ups. Thanks Dude- the board looks great!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome back to reality...

Six weeks of summer break.... over. Today was officially the first day of school here in southern San Diego. Kind of weird to be starting school in July and I'm not too sure how happy I am about it. I liked the old days when summer was so long that you forgot what day it was. I'm not complaining- I enjoy what I do it's just that, well, I wanted to do so much more. But, I kind of ran short on time and inspiration. 

Fortunately, there's a couple of paddle surfing events on the horizon that I'm getting jazzed about. A couple of good surf trips and maybe a select local race or two. I'm not over and done with racing- it's just that it's taken a back seat to the surfing side of paddling. One bright spot- I got a look at my race board today. Stamps (who, by the way, just won the prestigious Seaside 70's surf contest again.... for the fifth time) sent me a little video clip of the board getting "tuned up" (more on that later). The board looks sweet and I'm excited to see how it feels out in open water. There's even a chance it'll be done by this weekend.

Life goes on- the boards keep coming and we keep our fingers crossed for more surf and sunshine. Undoubtedly, there's a bunch of fun days of stand up paddling still to be had this summer- it's just time to turn the page on my summer break and begin the next chapter. I'm ready, bring it on.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Northern Baja Stand Up Paddle Surf Trip: Sometimes Baja is sooo sweet!

Like when the surf get's really fun, it's just you and your friends and somebody on a stand up board gets barreled.... it can happen. Check it out:

Just the three of them... and me shooting pics watching them get fun little peaks like this all morning long. Sweet.

Down the line... not a great wave just an insanely fun wave.
And then somebody had to go and get....
BARRELED! Yeah, Doctor John- stuffing himself and his Plus-One stando into the hole!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stand Up Paddle Surf Baja: Patience, it's coming...

In Baja, timing is everything. Get there too early and you're sitting in the dirt, baking in the sun, swatting flies and walking the desert while the spot does it's best Lake Erie imitation. Get there too late and you'll run into camps of dazed looking surfers, sunburned but happy- all of them really excited to tell you how good it was yesterday. Do your homework, check your favorite forecast sites and try to show up a day or two before the swell hits. Getting there a little early will give you a chance to grab the prime campsite and to get out and get loose before it's go time.

We did alright, check out these surf shots:

This is Day 1, nobody around but Kiwi and me... that right is about chest high and fast. When it get's bigger, that thing breaks all the way across the shot and runs into a spot called the racetrack- you better be ready to gun it because it starts cranking down there... and it's shallow.
Day 2 or Day 3? I don't know... they all start blending together. The place is a cactus garden.
This place is a regular footed surfer's dream... all rights.
Well, not all rights. Here's Kiwi going left- there's actually a pretty thick, chunky little left wedge that throws a barrel if the swell is hard enough from the south.
More Surf Photos coming!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

PauHana Runs Yosemite River

Todd at PauHana just sent me this clip of himself running the Yosemite river- super cool. Check it out:

I really like seeing how stand up paddle is spreading itself across the land. Also cool to see how companies like PauHana are creating boards that go well in the rapids. Personally, I'd rather paddle big, scary, offshore bombies than take a boulder to the shin but I salute the guys and gals who are charging this stuff. Go get 'em Todd!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Baja Stand Up Paddle Surfing: At last you're there... now what?

If you're traveling with a bunch of feral stand up paddle surfers... that question is an easy one to answer: You hit it dummy! At least that's the rule with me- if you pull up and there's daylight and surf- you charge it. Here's a teaser pic of what we were surfing:

Kiwi- out there and on it... with not a whole lot of daylight left. Others have their own particular rules (set up camp first, make sure you're shade and you're bed are set up) that they follow before they allow themselves to grab a surf. My rule is- if it's there... get the hell out there. Even if you have to set up camp in the dark, it's better to wash the day's dust and grime off with a fun surf session than to lay there hoping it's still surfable in the morning.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

So you want to go to Baja Part II: Dirt roads have their own way of making you pay.

Once you hit the dirt roads in Baja something comes over you. I call it the Fitipaldi-syndrome. Basically, you start to think that you're a race car driver. No doubt about it, crashing through the hills, valleys and arroyos of Baja's back roads is really fun. You get the itch to go fast especially if you've dumped mega-bucks into a blingified 4x4 whose gnarliest offroad experience was navigating the speed bump into the Cardiff Reef parking lot. Man, you want to see what all those shocks and reservoirs and coil overs can do! 

I don't blame you. I admit, I probably drive a bit faster than necessary when my tires taste dirt- but you've got to remember one thing: If you're not careful, one day or another, it will be your time to pay the piper. And you better be prepared to fix whatever you break out there because most of the time, you're on your own.

Here we are... on our way to the point. Looks fun right? It is... just be careful- sometimes there are big dropoffs, chunky washboard sections and big rocks in the road. Any of these things can dent a rim, shake a fender loose or chew up a loose surfboard in the bed of your truck.
Once you get out there you realize- you're at least forty miles to the nearest pavement- that's why it's always a good idea to travel in pairs. A buddy team can leave a vehicle to get parts or gasoline or medical help. In Baja it's a good idea to have a backup/bail out plan.... and for God's sake bring a full set of tools because you never know what might happen out there!
See, this is the kind of thing I'm talking about! Kiwi busted out a shock on the way out to the point (yes, he did get four tires off the dirt at one point on the way out). Now, when you're packing the night before you leave, are you thinking that you might bust out a shock? Nope- not me. You do need to be thinking along those lines- so like I said before, bring a full set of tools and basic repair items like duct tape, electrical tape, bailing wire and spare fuses. Most importantly... bring a spare key!
Here's Kiwi, handling his rig. I'm fortunate to have a seasoned Baja traveller/friend in Kiwi. The guy comes prepared (although that is my wrench set right there) and has a can-do sense of being that I admire. To fix his broken shock, he pulled the wheels off his floorjack (yep, that's how he rolls) and pilfered the washers off the wheels. Next he unscrewed the nut off the shock mount and fed the new larger washers onto the shock and threw the now widened mount hole. Problem solved. Now imagine if you had no tools.... um, bummer for you.
Check back... the story continues (and we haven't even got to the surf part yet!)....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So you wanna do a Baja Paddle Surf trip? Here's what to expect...

I always receive a bunch of email about surfing in Baja. If you've never done it before- or if you live far from the border, a Baja surf trip sounds like a major expedition to exotic, wild lands. This is especially true if you've hunted around on the internet and read all the semi-fantasy accounts of banditos, run-away diesel trucks and barren, desert point breaks. You can find all the craziness you want down there- the place is still wild and there are adventures and all sorts of wackiness around every corner- that's what I love about the place (in addition to the people and the great food). But, for the prepared surfer the place is totally do-able, you don't need balls of steel and a military grade Hummer to find great waves and good times. Here's a play-by-play account of my latest trip down- read carefully and you may find some good info to help you out on your trip south of the border. 

Entering Mexico at the San Ysidro station.... busiest border crossing in the world. Interestingly, it's become congested going into Mexico. In the old days, there was nothing but a couple of concrete posts at the crossing into Mexico. Now there's a Mexican Secondary inspection area. When you cross into Mexico there's a light that either flashes green or red. Red means you need to pull into the Mexican inspection area, green usually means proceed into the country but lately, every time I drive over, when the light flashes green, a little guy blocks traffic and makes me pull over for the inspection. It was true this time too. For some reason, they don't want you bringing firewood into Baja. I had mine in an empty trashcan- no problem. Kiwi had his filling up the bed of his truck... big problem, senor. We both ended up being able to bring the firewood in... but who knows, next time we may have to dump it.
Just past the border you'll see a sign for the Rosarito cuota. The cuota is the toll road that runs from just outside of Tijuana to Ensenada. The cuota is well maintained, fast and relatively cheap to use. This is the first toll station as you leave Tijuana. I think the fee for my truck was close to three dollars. The toll collectors are friendly and honest and will take bills as large as twenty dollars.
Ohhh, my favorite hangout spot: The Meat Market. There's always something cool to see down there- keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready. No this isn't a bar- it's actually a carniceria... or meat market in Engish. I just thought it was funny- you know, "Meat Market" as in, "this place is a Meat Mar..." okay, I think you get it. 

More to come!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baja: Always an adventure!

Just got back into town from a little northern Baja surf excursion. Stoked. We scored fun waves, unreal food and a bunch of good times. Here's a couple of photos, too tired to post a full report... don't worry, it's coming!

This spot takes southern hemisphere south swells really well- the more southerly the better!
Kiwi said he was going fishing (note the beer nestled into its cozy) and came back a winner... looks like a cray feast, eh mate?
Check back for the play-by-play report!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Off to Northern Baja...

Gonna intercept these southern Hemis... truck's loaded, board's loaded... beer, rum, beans and eggs. Full disclosure when I get back!

I am Still here and getting ramped up. One from this morning

Well Absolute Trip Surf and SUP board factory is almost complete. The crew is tuned up and ready to start powering out some boards and paddles. Here is me giving the 8'6" channel bottom a test run this morning in a little freak July swell. Boards are working good. My race boards are are winning trophies and I have been making some fat sick little fishy prone boards.

5'9" 17.25"-21.25"-17.25"x2.25"
Custom Rasta theme to match the kids tail pad I like it....
Peace to all and More waves Please,
Capt Ron Neff

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Covewater Classic, July 16th... Santa Cruz's Premier Stand Up Paddle Event

Wow- just got the press release on this event and I'm pretty blown away- tons of stuff happening in Santa Cruz. Check out what the good people at Covewater Paddle Surf have put together:

Covewater Paddle Surf Hosts Weekend of Stand Up Paddleboard Event Firsts
Premiere SUP Race, Race Clinic, and Movie Screening Offer a Variety of Fun Opportunities

Santa Cruz, CA – June 30, 2011 - Covewater Paddle Surf, Northern California’s first dedicated stand up paddleboard shop, announced a weekend of first-time stand up paddleboard (SUP) related activities taking place July 15-16th geared toward both enthusiasts and newcomers to the fast-growing sport.  The Northern California premiere screening of two inspirational SUP movies Friday night at the Rio Theater will set the stage for the First Annual Covewater Classic SUP Race on Saturday the 16th in Capitola.  The weekend’s events will also include a race clinic, free SUP demos and a raffle of sponsors’ SUP products.
While countless surf movies have made their Northern California debut at Santa Cruz’s Rio Theatre over the decades, the SUP Movie Screening event July 15th represents the first stand up paddling movie premiere night. The film Destination 3 Degrees chronicles two women’s adventure paddling each of the nine Hawaiian Islands’ treacherous channels while raising awareness of the oceans’ plastics pollution. Morgan Hoesterey, one of the world’s elite female paddleboarders featured in the film, will be on hand to provide an introduction.  The second film, Lake Tahoe Circumnavigation, captures the journey of elite paddlers Jay and Anik Wild as they attempt to paddle the entire 72-mile length of Lake Tahoe shoreline – non-stop.
The SUP Movie screenings will benefit non-profit organization Save our Shores to further their ocean conservation efforts in the Monterey Bay.  "Save Our Shores is excited to be included in a fun community event like the Covewater SUP Film Screening,” said Colleen Bednarz, Communications and Outreach Coordinator for Save Our Shores.  “We hope these films inspire people to think outside the box, try new things, and take action for the ocean right here in our own backyard - the beautiful Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary."
The main event on July 16th, the Covewater Classic Stand Up Paddleboard Race presented by Surftech, features a 7.5-mile elite race, a 7-mile open race, and a 2.5-mile recreational race.  The unique course will attract paddlers from all parts of the state, as well as elite paddlers from as far away as Hawaii and Florida.  There will also be free SUP demos available from Surftech and Paddle Surf Hawaii, and a raffle with great prizes from our sponsors, including a Surftech 12’6 Bark Competitor valued at $2175.
To kick off the weekend, Covewater is also offering a SUP Race Clinic on Friday, July 15th, 3:30pm at Cowell’s Beach.  Led by elite competitive paddlers Jay Wild (subject of Lake Tahoe Circumnavigation) and Morgan Hoesterey (Destination 3 Degrees), this is a great opportunity for experienced racers to hone their technique and for newcomers to the race scene to learn the basics.  Morgan recently won the women’s title in the Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race on June 25th in Capitola.
“Stand up paddleboard races have really exploded the last couple summers”, says Covewater owner and race director Scott Ruble.  “There are really fun and welcoming short races for beginners, and longer, highly challenging races for the more experienced paddlers.  Participants and spectators alike leave the event stoked and looking forward to the next one.”

Covewater Classic Film Screening: Friday, July 15th 6:30 PM, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
Admission $10 / Advance tickets $8 / Students (w/ID) $8 / Ages 16 & under free
Sponsors raffle giveaways at intermission
Advance tickets available at Covewater Paddle Surf, 726 Water St., Santa Cruz
Covewater Classic Stand Up Paddle Race: Saturday, July 16th, 7:00 AM, Capitola Beach, Capitola, CA
Race Registration is open now at  Race entry is $40 - $48.  Post-race lunch in Capitola Village included.
Covewater SUP Race Clinic:  Friday, July 15th, 3:30 PM, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
Registration available now at and at Covewater Surf Shop.  $30.
To learn more, visit
About Covewater Paddle Surf
Opened in April 2010, Covewater has quickly become Northern California’s stand up paddling headquarters.  The first fully dedicated stand up paddling shop on the west coast north of Santa Barbara, Covewater stocks more than one hundred paddleboards and demo boards, dozens of paddles and provides a variety of stand up paddling lessons and rentals.  Covewater was voted “Best Stand Up Paddle Business” by readers of the Santa Cruz Weekly and Good Times Santa Cruz in 2011.
Media Contact:
Scott Ruble, Co-Owner/Race Director
(831) 227-6611

Friday, July 1, 2011

Blade compression shorts and trunks by Oakley: Racing, Surfing- these are pretty sweet!

Oakley makes gear. We know them for their super technical lenses and sun glass systems but what you're going to find out is that they've been doing a whole lot more with their time. Check out these trunks:

Not so much a pair of trunks as a system: compression shorts underneath and super techy, super stretchy trunks over the top.
Oakley calls these trunks the Blade. The system is composed of a compression short that, "focuses power and increases strength output." and a pair of four way stretch trunks that are worn over it (Oakley calls their stretch technology, O Stretch). Of course if you like walking around in a pair of compression shorts that look something like Lance Armstrong's Tour de France cast off, lycra stretchies, then, by all means, go for it.

The stretchy, compression short part of the program.
The idea with compression, according to Oakley, is that, "Oakley Blade enhances blood flow and oxygen delivery to working muscles and improves proprioception (muscle awareness and focus)." I do know that my racing buddy, Kiwi has been paddling and racing in his Blades and has reported less leg fatigue and soreness in his weak knee.

The trunk side of it- four way stretch, welded seams, hydrophobic material and salt water durable... all the good stuff you'd expect from a pair of high quality trunks.
The trunks, by themselves, are pretty trick. I especially like the care given to the seams which are welded instead of stitched. What that means is that there are no raised sewing junctions to slowly eat away at the tender parts of your undercarriage (okay, I'll go there.... ball rash... you know what I'm talking about) or inner thigh. Additionally, the zipper on the wax pocket is a high quality, sealed looking job that is resistant to corrosion- zippers typically die a quick death in salt water environments.

If this much thought went into the zipper selection and seam construction- odds are you're looking at a high quality piece of surf gear.
I haven't had a chance to give these a run but I'm stoked to try them out. If you've been out racing around southern California, you've seen compression garments all over the place- the technology has definitely taken hold. As far as surf gear, my buddy and Oakley rep Andrew described the place for these trunks really well. He said, "Imagine if you were taking off on an Indo boat trip and you had to grab trunks that would absolutely not let you down- you could just grab this system and you'd be covered- done."

Blade will only be available at three stores in San Diego county so if you're interested in getting a pair for yourself you'll need to go to Emerald City in Coronado (get down here this weekend and you'll get to check out Oakley's lab-on-wheels, the O-Lab) or SurfRide in Oceanside and Solana Beach. Blade retails for $110.