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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

$35,000 in Prize Money: US Open of Stand Up Paddle, Sept 9 - 11 Miami Beach, Florida

Wow- that's a lot of money for one stand up paddle event. Cool to see there'll be a cash winner in both the Open and Elite divisons. I'm all about giving the little guy a fighting chance. I'll post more info as I get it. Check here if you're interested in signing up now.

I can see it now: Miami Beach, crystal clear water, beautiful people- killer food, stand up boards... sign me up, I want to go!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Care and Feeding of the Ding Guy

If you check the cell phone "Favorites" of any serious surfer you'll find the name of a very important person set to speed dial. This is the guy you go to when bad things happen, when tragedy strikes, when your beautiful new baby gets wounded- yep, you guessed it, every surfer's only as good as their ding guy. A good ding guy can erase the pain that comes from seeing your beautiful new board marred by a nasty gash- a good ding guy can put the smile back on your face. Finding these repair geniuses is not easy- so when you get your hands on a good one you take care of them. You want them to smile when they see your number pop up on the phone, when you need a rush job (so you can get back in the water the next day) you want to be sure your board bypasses the chump line. Here's a couple of tips to get you on the ding repair guy's good side:

This is my ding guy... The Ding Devil. Nope, you won't find his number in the phone book- he operates on a need-to-know basis because he gets all the work he can handle without retooling up to a larger shop. This guy is a master ding repairer- his jobs are done right, the boards are fixed quickly and his prices are fair. He won't fix anybody's board- so if you get a chance to use his services, don't blow it!
Rule Number 1: If you get your board in the rack and it's in line to get fixed- don't bug the ding guy with daily phone calls! These guys are dealing with resins and hardeners all going off at different times- they're watching for drips, smoothing out runs and sanding it all to perfection. The last thing they need to do every five minutes is to stop and take a call from you. If you want your job to take the longest to get done, go ahead call the guy a bunch and see what happens. 

Yep- my new racer took a little donkey punch from a rock in the surf zone- bummer! No worries, though- The Ding King hooked me up with same day service and I was back out in the water the next day. Stoked! 

Rule Number 2: Tip early, tip often. If you ever want to be able to ask for a rush order, you better have paid your dues- literally. Be sure to tip the ding guy- drop an extra twenty spot on him when you pay. There's no faster way to a ding guys good graces then through his wallet- so crack that piggy bank and let it flow.

Ding guys don't usually let you hang around and watch them work. This is for a couple of reasons: 1. They don't want somebody poaching their trade secrets and 2. They don't like to be bothered. So if you do get a chance to hang out- be cool and better yet, be quiet.
Rule Number 3: Don't offer unsolicited advice. Now is not the time to offer your opinion of how the job should be done- basically, the ding guy doesn't really care how you think it should be done. He's going to do it his way- and by now you should trust that he knows what he's doing. Remember, you were born with two ears and only one mouth- use them in similar proportions.

Basic advice- but these three tips will go a long way to getting you onto the A-list with your ding repair guy. Good luck!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting back into the groove

Welcome me back! After a little hiatus I think I'm back to my old self- and ready to resume my usual posting routine. A couple bits and pieces to get you caught back up: 

New raceboard: I picked up my custom shaped, stock class 12'6 carbon fiber/S-glass hybrid race board a couple of weeks ago from Tim Stamps' board factory. The thing is insane. I call it the Poison Arrow because its color reminds me of those little poison arrow frogs that you can find up along the waterfalls in Costa Rica. How do I like it? I love it! I've been working out with it on my usual course (remember Homework?) in a variety of conditions. Today was the toughest- side to head on winds for the first two and a quarter miles, not a light breeze either- it was blowing hard enough to put little whitecaps on the water. And the return trip was no piece of cake either. It was blowing even harder out of the West putting the wind directly abeam of the board. Talk about fiddler crab syndrome- my right arm and shoulder were totally taxed, doing most of the work for most of the return trip. The board is fast though and very stable- I'm hoping that my comeback race, The Chainsaw Massacre, will feature nasty, choppy, windy conditions- in those conditions, the Poison Arrow excels. The thing's a streak of lightning coming down wind too- so a sweet downwind run back to the beach would be killer. Here's a couple of photos of the board: 

The Poison Arrow
Check out the LiftSUP handle that Stamps installed... carrying this thing is easy because of that handle, and also because the board is as light as a feather.
Baja: Northern Baja... check. Southern Baja... coming at you. You may recall that Kiwi and I chased a southern hemisphere south swell all the out to a remote northern Baja point break. Well, the urge to get rolling south again has grabbed me. It's looking like we'll be doing a two week southern Baja paddle surf trip here in late September. Stay Tuned!

There will be a lot more of this going on as we make our way south.

Monday, August 15, 2011

December in August...

Looking kind of bleak this morning- lots of gray, a little mist in the air... chilly. But there's waves! Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sweeping the beach

Had a great surf this morning. I love it when there's a south swell in town; the sets come sweeping up the beach. Here's a shot from the front seat- I snapped this right when I pulled up to check it out: 

Some fun waves- even better, the water warmed up a bit.
After the usual hour of shooting the breeze with the boys at the street end I jumped in for a quick couple of waves. Just like old times, I turned around and there was Big Chad- cruising down the beach on his custom 10' Stamps (Big Chad is a big boy- his board surf's well and keeps all 250lbs of him high and dry) . We set up camp just inside of the crawlers and grabbed all the left overs. Here's Big Chad cruising:

Coming down the line. We've got a cool, little local scene down here. It's not for everyone. It's especially vexing to those who like cake walk paddle channels and the predicta-peak regularity of the north county reef breaks- anybody can surf those waves. Want to impress me? Let's see you make something out of nothing at a snappy beach break- on your backhand.
Big Chad running to the hotel- or what's left of it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Win some/lose some

Just got back from my weekend in Vegas- super fun... definitely a winner over there. Just found out that I missed a mixed south swell situation that was lighting up my home beach like a Christmas tree... definitely a loser. You win some, you lose some. I'm ready to get back in the win column in terms of scoring surf... time to refocus my resources, time to come up aces!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Get... While the gettin's good

Vegas reaches out and tries to get her claws into you at all times- that's why there's slots in the airport. Fact is, you ain't a winner 'til your ass hits that plane seat. I'm almost free and I might almost be able to claim that I beat her... But not yet. Get this boy back to the safety of the beach!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vegas baby, Vegas

Up a couple c-notes on the craps table... Let's go hard ways... Pappa needs a new race paddle!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How about a couple of Baja photos?

When all else fails- I think about Mexico. Having Baja in my backyard is like having an instant escape valve- twist it on and forget about it all. Here's a couple more shots from our last down south trip:

Kiwi- checking the crays, mate. Yep, a couple of those guys were dinner that night. 

Surf field overview... fun stuff.
Dream time on the tailgate... with a beer back. That's the view from my sleeping platform in the back of my truck.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stand Up Paddling in New Hampshire... Check it out!

Super stoked to get this link from Clay Feeter over at The Stand Up Journal- check out how stoked they are on stand up paddle in New Hampshire:(click here).

The show that aired this has a 25 year run going in New Hampshire... pretty cool that they decided to feature our sport.

Clay tells me that after the piece was shot and shown, fifty people showed up for a stand up demo day at a friend's paddle shop- a fully landlocked, inland shop! Watch out paddle world, New Hampshire is coming up!