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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This has nothing to do with stand up paddling: Is College Worth It?

I'm a teacher and I get asked this all the time, the best (and admittedly lame) answer I could give is, "Yes. Why? Because it's fun." Well, I stumbled onto these guys and I'm blown away. I know, I know, you're going to tell me how lame they are or say something like, "Duh, everybody knows about the vlog brothers." I'm highly impressed, these guys are truly funny. Actually, it was meeting people like this that made college worth it for me- that and the hot chicks.

Here it is, "Is College Worth It?" check it out:

Monday, October 29, 2012

La Jolla Shores Sistas stand up paddlesurf Southern Baja!

Water photog and world class traveler Manny Vargas just got back from his Southern Baja stand up paddle trip with the La Jolla Shores standup paddle crew... the Sistas- check out their surf trip video:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stand Up Paddle Tanker Surfing: Chris Koerner on an ULI

Okay- this wave is on the list. I've got to do this someday. Hopefully, more info coming on this little stand up paddle surf adventure:

If that's not enough to get you fired up to give it a shot, check out Chris's little video clip:

Surf Magic... ever heard of it?

Penned something about a little session I just had- surf magic. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm enchanted by this place.

I've got a list of five waves I want to surf in the next ten years. I had this spot on the list but after checking out Surfline's spot check on it, I'm realizing it may be more of a mission than I'm ready for- the place is insane. Surfline did a great job getting audio commentary as well as stills- take your time and check it out it's worth it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Olas Escondidas

There's surf but you can't see it. Here's the deal, the water is warm so there's lots of water vapor in the air. It cools at night and forms fog. The land warms during the day and sucks the fog from offshore over the beach. Result: surf's hidden.... but it's there.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Get Ready for Winter Stand Up Paddle Racing

I remember my first race: Hennessey's one and only, river race from Laughlin to Needles (I think that was where we ended)... they said it was only 11 miles, it was actually 26... three quarters of the way through the thing I swore I'd never race again. 

Five frosty beers later, at the finish line, I was planning my next race. Racing's fun and if you haven't given it a go yet, the best way to get into it is in the Winter Racing series put on by SoCal Ocean Racing. See the piece I wrote about it here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Alternative Lifestyle

Cheap gas is now $4.65 a gallon. Which means that filling up my truck now costs me $120 bucks and a round trip ride to the DogPatch will set me back $60- you'll be seeing a lot less of me at the 'Patch, boys. A normal week of twice daily surf checks (that's a ten block round trip), once a week grocery runs (4 miles round trip) and maybe three errands (15 miles each) will see me burn through three quarters of a tank or about $90. I'll fill the thing just about 3.5 times in a month which adds up to $315 not counting that up the coast run to the DogPatch. Damn, life just got expensive- and I don't even drive to work; I make my one block, daily commute by beach cruiser every morning! 


I could fill up my Suzuki DRZ400 once every two weeks (that thing get's 50 miles per gallon around town) for about $12 and do everything I described above, except go to the DogPatch. So in a month, on my street plated dirt bike, I'll spend $24 or I can cruise the 4x4 and spend $315. And let's not forget the cool factor... dirtbikes rule!

A quick side topic. I've got a minor problem: getting my 8'4 Stamps stando down to the beach on the dirtbike. I don't have far to go- just five blocks each way on quiet residential streets. I guess I could look into the ready made (but far to wimpy) bicycle surfboard rack options or, and this is what I'm really going to do, I could get a custom rack fabbed up in aluminum for the DRZ. I figure if I can keep the fabrication cost under $300 I'll already be ahead of the game. Standby for some cool, custom board rack photos!

I never thought it would happen (famous last words) but the plain economic realities of living here in Kalifornia are going to force me to live an alternative lifestyle. All you have to do is check out the milkcrate-grocery-box I ziptied to my moto-rack to see that I've made some changes.

Read 'em and weep...
I used to think that I'd always be able to fire up the Ramble Beast and charge up and down the coast at will. It seems, however, that the intersecting trajectories of gas prices (upwards) with earnings (somewhat static) have finally triggered a lifestyle tipping point. Don't worry, I'm not getting a Prius. But, there will be fewer spur-of-the-moment road trips up the coast. No more, "let's just take the truck" spontaneity and a lot less of me at your break. Maybe that's a good thing.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Paying Gig: 5 years, 573,00 hits and 1200 posts later....

Well, I finally did it- I cracked the glass ceiling, I'm being paid to write. Why am I telling you this? I'm letting you know because I've been sensing some tension in the interwebs, a trembling in the ether... a warble in the Force if you will. Or maybe that's just the digital rumblings of a bunch of faithful readers pissed off at me for not posting anything lately. Sorry guys and gals, I've been distracted chasing a little supplemental income. In an uncommon step away from what we both love (stand up paddling in all of its forms), let me take you into my personal life and explain a little bit of my situation.

I've got a great job, my real one that is; I'm a science teacher here in one of the coolest high schools in San Diego. Why is it so cool? Because, we've got great kids, with huge hearts and mostly empty pockets. The school that I teach at qualifies for what is known as 100% Free and Reduced Lunch- in short, it's not the type of place that I went to school at and, if you're buying your own standos and paddles, I'm betting it's not the type of place you attended either. I love it, for the community around it and for the kids who find a way to make it here every day. I also love it because it's five blocks from, what can sometimes be, the grindiest, gnarliest left hand zipper for miles around. In a weird twist of all that I've known about California beach property, homes here on the West Side (beach) are not as highly valued as those on the East Side (inland), so we're kind of the black sheep of San Diego which is perfect for me since it allowed me to buy a home walking distance to the beach. Even better, the school that I teach at is a two minute bike ride to work from my home- so I'm set up, $5 gas be damned. 

Now, I think I may be an anomaly among educators (I know I'm going to piss somebody off here- sorry) but I'm the guy who never complains about our salary. In fact, I hate it when I hear my colleagues complaining about what they make- for two reasons: One, I've always felt that this was the choice I made and if it was not working out for me, I should find another way to make my living (the beauty of living in these here United States). And, two, dude- we only work 180 days per year! I'm afraid the second that fact is widely known, the gig is going to be up and our sweet deal will be gone. Don't get me wrong, we need the time off. By the time summer rolls around, I'm cooked; working with kids all days (who come with different abilities to act like good citizens- that's code for "act like a human") takes it out of you and a break to recharge the batteries and get fired up to do it all over again is a necessity if you want good teaching to happen. That being said, it's expensive to live here in San Diego and (I promise I'm not getting into politics here but I don't think our school funds are  managed very skillfully... just sayin') this year, our pay was cut by 7% and the school year cut short by 14 day! I know, that means more surf trips- I get it, but really that's not so great for kids and learning. As far as the paycut, I wish I could say I'd skip a latte now and then to make up for it but if you know me, then you know the coffee I drink comes from the bottom of the coffee food chain. 

So what have I done? Well, of course, I've been out hustlin'... which I believe is the American way. And it's been fun. I do have advertisers on this site who have been great (with the exception of one deadbeat company who has stiffed me completely and whose tile shall soon disappear from this site): Stamps has made me excellent boards and kept me in them for years, Boga - these guys have become good friends and their boards and customer service are top notch, Isle - my longest running sponsors have made it possible for me to teach stand up paddle lessons by giving me equipment, Bic and their SUP exec Jimmy Blakeny are a class act based on integrity and professionalism with good equipment that's just getting better and finally, the new kid on the block, Creed SUP and owner Randy who have believed enough in me to give me a full time writing job (I write their blog, here's an example of what I'm up to click here). Which brings me completely full circle as to why the hell there hasn't been as much new content this year: I'm fucking busy teaching during the day and writing at night! 

This site is my baby, however, and this baby needs to be fed (new bloggers would always ask me for advice and I'd say: Feed the blog- it's always hungry). And I shall feed it because it's been a life changer for me. Seriously, committing to this thing has changed me for the better, forced me to develop a writer's discipline, allowed me to meet some of you guys and, damn, finally allowed to develop some type of writing clarity (Miss Oakes, wherever you are, thank you!). Writing, I've found, is a passion and it's here that I get a chance to practice it, on you guys who've stuck with me all these years. So Thanks folks- I'm still here, I'm still contributing and I'm still stoked. Talk more soon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Paddle Surfing San Francisco: Fort Point

Stand Up Paddling Fort Point in San Francisco: These shots were sent to me by a friend in the city.

Photo: Yep, that's the Golden Gate in the background.

Photo: I hope the stand up paddlers were acting reasonably, it looks like one of them may have shoulder hopped a prone guy.

Photo: It's good practice to consider that your actions as a stand up paddler affect all who come after you- don't ruin it for the rest of us!