Launching The Store & Giving Back

Finally, it’s been close to 2 years trying to figure how I can give back to the community and I am grateful for the generosity of so many people that have helped me along the way. I’ve had the best opportunities growing up in the Bay Area, esp. participating in youth programs that my family could never had afford without the generosity of individuals that expected nothing in return. I love surfing, I love photography and I love the Bay Area. I hope my photography can make the world a better place, even slightly.

I will be donating 25% of all sales revenues to a local youth program here in the Bay Area. Since launching the store, I have already zero’d in on a program and will be reaching out soon.

If you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to contact me.

Stay tuned for an update in the coming weeks. Be sure to check out the store by clicking here or head to the menu tab.

Passing Through Point Reyes Station

Point Reyes Station is a nice place to visit while traveling through to Point Reyes National Seashore. It was once a critical commercial district where  goods passed through via the Pacific Coast Railroad in 1875-1933. The commercial line provided a connection to ferry lines to San Francisco, Sausalito, Tomales Bay and 30 miles north to Cazadero (Russian River).

As a child I found railroad stations exciting, mysterious, and even beautiful, as indeed they often were. Paul Johnson

Writing this blog, I finally understand the railroad tracks while camping in Guerneville and floating down the Russian River (Jazz & Blues Festival on the Russian River is a popular music festival in the summer amongst San Franciscans). I can now understand the connection between San Francisco and Guerneville amongst city dwellers moving to Sonoma County. Here’s 24 things you can do on the Russian River.

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Profile shot of the abandoned boat at the Point Reyes Station in the lagoon.
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The dilapidated boat at Point Reyes Station and lagoon
Point Reyes Station Boat Skyline
The view as you walk behind the station to see the boat and lagoon.
Bird view of Point Reyes boat
Bird’s Eye View of Point Reyes Station

All prints are for sale. Please send me a message if you’re interested and which print. 

Be sure to hit that follow button or subscribe to my blog via email. See ya’ in the line up.

Surf Hack #1 – Wetsuit Repair with Aqua Seal

If you’ve been swagging along your old wetsuit and don’t have the money to buy a new one, a great product I was referred to by a friend is Aqua Seal.  This is an excellent surf hack, this stuff will close up those small holes and extend the life of your dying wetsuit.

aquaseal

We all know wetsuits are not cheap. If you want a temporary, short-term fix check out on Amazon for about $10.

I applied a bit of Aqua Seal on my Isurus, hoping that it will help get me through another winter without the need to a buy a new one. Overall, it seems to be working fine. However, once the seal begins to drift off from wear and tear, it might be a good idea to start thinking about a replacement.

I have been using the Isurus Elite 434 almost everyday for a little over a year and it’s beginning to show normal wear and tear. Overall, the Isurus Elite 434 is one hell of a wetsuit. I highly recommend it to anyone surfing around San Francisco Bay Area or cold water surf all year around. Good quality wetsuit and works like a charm. It is a bit expensive compared to other top notch O’Neill wetsuits.

Anyhow, hope the Aqua Seal is able to help you.

If you have any product recommendations, let me know.

Cheers.

Stay for it…

If something is worth having, something is worth waiting for. Here’s my music video to RL Grime ft. Miguel, Stay for it – one of the things I’m afraid of is getting old. If I could be anywhere in time, it’s now.

Visualization is key to Success

Growing up as an athlete, I use a lot of visualizations to picture what I want to accomplish. For example, as gymnast training 3 hours per day from pre-school until Freshman year of college, I learned to apply my visualizations to gymnastics. I remember constantly training for competition in still rings, floor exercise, pommel horse, high-bar and vault and reached to the highest level of difficulty using visualizations.

In order to accomplish a certain level maneuver at a particular difficulty level, you had to master the basics skills. And at the beginning of each and every competition I would visualize completing a maneuver, for example, how I was going to land a double, double (two back flips, two twists – high difficulty) on still rings and high-bar. Competition and achieving results requires focus, imagination and execution. I thank God my mother pushed me to keep practicing for as many times as I wanted to quit in high school. What I learned from gymnastics, I’ve been able to apply the same visualizations of success in my professional and personal life.

You have to visualize what you want to accomplish in order to execute.

Think about it, even successful athletes or entrepreneurs use visualizations to attain success.

Dreaming means ‘rehearsing’ what you see, playing it over and over in your mind until it becomes as real to you as your life right now. ~ Emmitt Smith

When I head to the beach, sometimes it takes me a number of times to ride down some big waves. Sometimes I fall and wipeout. But every time I do, I think about what I did wrong and what I could have done differently. I correct myself and visualize the exercise on how it should have been successfully completed. I do it over again. I apply the same technique to everything I do.
At the end of the day, you gotta feel some way. So why not feel unbeatable? Why not feel untouchable? Why not feel like the best that ever did it? ~ Conor McGregor
The power of visualization reaffirms confidence and a pathway to success. The first step in any plan is to visualize. Let your imagination run its course and you will soon find your actions following suit.
I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was. – Muhammed Ali

Wipeout Wednesdays! #mysurfblog

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How High You Are

I’ve been riding on a stoke for the longest time. Great exercise allows me to focus on specific areas in my life. Career, health and relationships and not to mention spirituality. Riding on a tear and it feels great. Here’s a video I created 4 weeks ago during the middle of summer right after my Southern California surf trip, completing my surf experience all along the Pacific Coast Highway. I was definitely riding high. In this music video, I capture Pacifica’s pier, the idea spurned while surfing in Venice Beach. While I was in the water, I thought about capturing the pier from a bird’s eye view, and it turned out great.

If you like my music videos, please subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow on Instagram. See you later!

Venice Beach, Los Angeles

The last surf break on my trip was a place I was warned not to go by numerous people. I’m happy I’m the type to hold no judgement until I experience it firsthand. Venice Beach was amazing.

No wetsuit.

Some of my best surfing happened at Venice Beach Pier. I was surprised at how strong the waves broke. I was expecting a very mellow break, but I had scouted Venice Beach Pier the day before and noticed there was a consistent 3-4 foot break right underneath the pier. I was even more surprised there were beginners there.

After surfing throughout Souther California, my confidence was up.

I wasn’t sure why a few of my good friends had warned me. Maybe they had bad experiences with the wrong crowd. But I was out surfing most of the guys there. I was in the zone.

I’m happy I’m the type to hold no judgement until I experience it firsthand. Venice Beach was amazing.

If you’re ever in Los Angeles, you should most certainly stop by Venice Beach. There’s so much to do. There’s definitely some riff raff, but it comes with the territory. As long as you’re not disrespecting anyone or being a total douche, you should be fine.


At Venice Beach Pier in the summer, you do not need a wetsuit. Underneath the pier there are two specific breaks. On the right of the pier, there’s a good consistent left, and on the other side there’s a good right. You can surf both of them, but just remember, this is a high tourist, high traffic area. Be mindful of etiquette. Know the rules and let others have the right of way, even if you’re a better surfer. Let others catch waves and respect the right of way.

In Los Angeles everyone’s a star. – Denzel Washington

Surfing a Venice Beach was so much fun. The sun was out. A ton of people were out. The waves broke consistently and had some power and the people were friendly. I love Los Angeles.

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My cutbacks and consistency was above average, even with my hat. I wasn’t afraid.

If you want to grab a beer and watch the sunset, check out the Irwin Hotel. This was where I hung out until the end of my trip. Great way to end an amazing Southern California surf experience.

I surfed and caught the sunset. A great way to end my trip.

Recommendations

  • Go early and find parking on the street. This can save you $20.
  • If you do not have a surfboard, you can rent one.
  • No need for a wetsuit in the summer.
  • Position close to the pier.
  • Be mindful that this is a high tourist location and a lot more people in the water.
  • Have fun and bring sun block.
  • Avoid Santa Monica, way too touristy.

If you want to follow my blog or just check out my pictures hit the follow on Instagram below. Thanks for visiting, feel free to comment, like, share or follow. Thanks again!

Surf City, Huntington Beach Pier

After having an epic surf session at San Onofre Beach, I couldn’t resist stopping by Surf City, USA. Huntington Beach Pier was definitely one of the top destinations on this trip. I made it a goal specifically to surf here.

Driving from San Onofre and crashing in Orange County for a night, I woke up early and took time to scope out Huntington Beach. It was my first time visiting and I was amazed by what I saw. It looked a lot like Hawaii. On the main corridor of PCH, palm trees lined up adjacent to the highway with expensive looking newly built malls. I wasn’t able to find street parking and so I paid the $15 to park inside Huntington Beach’s parking lot.

Huntington Beach reminds me a lot of Waikiki

Checking out the pier, I was surprised I didn’t see too many surfers, but a lot of beach goers and a huge youth’s life guard training program. There were children ages 7-16 year olds excited to be apart of the program. That’s one thing about Southern California that I do not see very much in Northern California, lifeguards are plentiful.

Checking out the surf, I see a nice break closer to the pier. No wind and 3-4 ft. The weather was nice and hot and I couldn’t wait to get into the water. I decide to suit up.

I was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. I was very athletic, playing volleyball and softball. I did gymnastics for about ten years, too. Jasmine Tookes

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Working on my cutbacks was so much fun.

The water was a dark blue and at this point in the trip, I knew no wetsuit was needed. The paddle out was easy. It was a great feeling. I was already riding my stoke from San Onofre and my game was beginning to tighten up. I was consistent with every wave and my cutbacks were improving. There were a couple of surfers in the line up and there was plenty of space. I took a few lefts and a right. While in the water, I appreciated the coast guard. They were swinging by every 15 minutes driving past us, stopping to say hello and creating swell. It was great.

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Fun waves in Huntington Beach.

In all, Huntington Beach was another amazing experience. A different vibe, a friendly vibe and definitely memorable.

Recommendations

  • Pay $15 for parking, there are showers, clean and new bathrooms
  • There is a cafe alongside the parking lot and close to the showers. It serves burgers, smoothies and coffee. Nice outdoor seating.
  • Bring a tent if you plan to beach bum. Prepare to hang out the entire day.
  • Definitely family friendly, but expect to pay a lot more for a hotel. Very commercial with high end stores.
  • Beach vibes, many tourists, but there’s also that cool kid scene in the inner city.
  • Check out Sanchos Tacos close by. Amazing fish tacos!
  • Bring sun screen and a towel.
  • In the summer, bring a hybrid surfboard. I was riding my 6’6″ Lost Lazy Toy with board shorts and a shirt.

Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you enjoyed the write up about my experience. Feel free to like, comment, follow, share or subscribe on YouTube or Instagram. Remember to follow your stoke and make every day count!

Bird Rock, La Jolla

After my experience surfing Black’s Beach, I had ventured off into San Diego’s coastline driving from Torrey Pines along PCH all the way down Sunset Cliffs. One of the most family friendly beaches in San Diego, La Jolla’s Bird Rock.

This place rocks! Great for children and families especially on a holiday weekend. Make sure you bring food, water, towels, umbrellas and sunblock. Expect to be hanging out for the entire day.

Here’s the cam from Surfline.com of Bird Rock.

This break is very pleasant and you’ll love the scenery, views, water temperature and the way the wave breaks.

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Nice break in the middle of the beach.

The only drawback is that it may get crowded if you go too late in the afternoon or during a holiday. Close to Bird Rock, there’s shopping and restaurants on the main corridor. You can also check out Bird Rock Surf Shop if you need wax, sunscreen or equipment.

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It’s definitely worth taking a look and jumping in the water. But if you plan to surf, go early since it’s a very popular beach. If not to surf, definitely a great time with friends and family.

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Party wave at Bird Rock Beach
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Fun in the water at Bird Rock Beach
After surfing Black’s at Torrey Pines, it was time to let go of the wetsuit

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The water felt so good.
The sun felt amazing bouncing off my back while riding one down.

If you like my blog make sure you like, comment, share and follow. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the write up.

Today is one of those days. #mysurfblog #mellowdaze

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The Colt, El Porto Beach 

Los Angeles, CA is home to some wonderful beaches, I had to check out El Porto. Watching videos on YouTube, El Porto during the winter can be pretty epic with its barrels. I’ll have to visit again.

As for summer, El Porto was pretty chill. However, I’d rank the experience in difficuly to be in between Topanga and Zuma this far into the trip.

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Key Observations

  • The paddle out was easy
  • 2-3ft waves – temp 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit
  • There’s North El Porto close to the jetty
  • Waves were break in between a gap of 30 ft apart – pretty much between street blocks i.e. 44th St and 43rd St.
  • Surfers positioned themselves 20 ft from shore
  • Loud noises from airplanes flying above (LAX’s runway is directly behind the beach)
  • Toxicity in the water – I could taste it
  • Sand break
  • I felt sewage pipes and also saw them while surfing – pretty much runoffs from LAX

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Recommendations

  • Bring a hybrid board I was riding my 6’6″ Lost Lazy Toy
  • Wear a wetsuit if not, board shorts and a jacket is okay
  • Park on the shoulder of the street
  • You can explore the break by driving down from North El Porto to El Segundo
  • There are showers, sandals could be useful for the walk down to the beach
  • Go early in the morning, this place can get packed
  • Noisey from the planes and may not be the best beach to relax and meditate
  • Toxicity is a concern be sure to take a nice thorough shower to wash yourself clean of the runoff

Zuma Beach, Malibu

After surfing Topanga Beach, I heard about the northern most beach from research and friends that grew up in SoCal named, Zuma Beach. Zuma has a 4-mile stretch of beach with plenty of space for volleyball and other beach activities. You can check out California’s Best Beaches for detailed information on the layout and what to expect here.

After arriving, I noticed some of the locals parked on the shoulder of highway. There was plenty of parking on the shoulder that gave you easy access to the beach, no need to pay parking. From what I’ve heard, Zuma Beach could be crowded. I surf in the mornings to avoid the heavy traffic and crowds in the line up. After I arrived at 8:00, there were only a handful of surfers out. It seemed like a pretty chill, but the real differences in comparison to other beaches I noticed took place in the water.

O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 3/2mm Reactor Full Suit, Black, X-Large

Observing the break and the current while also meditating.
Nice bit of aqua in the water.
4 mile stretch of beach.
North side of Zuma Beach

At first glance, Zuma Beach seemed to be pretty small with wave breaks of 2-3 ft. However, once I paddled out the waves appeared to be much bigger. The water crashes on sand break and in shallow water. If you time it correctly, you can duck dive past the wave, but if you don’t time it correctly you can get drilled.

O’Neill Wetsuits UV Sun Protection Mens Basic Skins Long Sleeve Crew Sun Shirt Rash Guard, Black, Large

The current was strong and I constantly kept paddling south. Zuma Beach reminds me a lot of Ocean Beach in San Francisco. There is a lot of open water and a strong rip current. You really have to pay close attention to your land markers just in case you get pulled out to sea. Since it’s open water along 4 miles of beach, you also have to pay close attention to the waves that come in.

O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 2 mm Hammer Short Sleeve Spring Wetsuit, Black, Large Short

Zuma Beach was the most difficult beach I surfed in Southern California for its large exposure to the sea and its stronger rip currents.
Recommendation:

  • Zuma Beach is a bit cooler a wetsuit is recommended 3/2mm
  • There is a strong rip current that will push you north
  • The waves crash closer to shore and bigger sets come in unexpectedly
  • Pay close attention to land markers

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O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 3/2 mm Superfreak F.U.Z.E. Zip Full Suit, Black/Bright Blue, Large

Topanga Beach, Malibu

After driving more than 6 hours from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I had one thing in mind. Check out the surf at my first stop, Topanga Beach in Malibu, California.

Great to see the reservoir filled to the brim in Bakersfield on Interstate 5.

Leaving on Saturday (07/03/2016) morning at 6:00AM PST, I arrived in Los Angeles around 2:00PM. However, the weather wasn’t as sunny as I’d expected. There was a brush fire and a gray overcast.

Taking Interstate 5 was the fastest way to get into the water. I had 8 days to complete my trip and to essentially do a tour along Southern California’s coastline.

My trip depended on available accommodations via Airbnb. Not too many were available that would accept pets since I had Daisy with me. Thing’s didn’t go as planned, however, I got lucky and booked some awesome Airbnb’s.

Once I arrived at Topanga Beach, I was a bit disappointed to see such small waves (1-3ft). But I was still excited to be in Los Angeles. I took a look around and surprisingly there was a huge brush fire happening in the hills overlooking the beach. Helicopters were flying in and out pouring flame retardant to contain the fire. People didn’t seem to be to alarmed and beachgoers acted like nothing was happening and continued enjoying their holiday weekend.

Observing from my car, the weather was still warm.

SAT 7/1

The water read 68-70 degrees! (surfline.com) I wasn’t too familiar with water temperatures in Southern California. A few friends suggested I would be very warm in a 3/2, but at that moment I decided to suit up. This was the beginning of my surf trip and as I surf throughout my trip, I become more comfortable with my own skin. It’s much better to surf with no wetsuit.

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Not as crowded as I’d expected and a nice right break.
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The overcast and the smoke from the fire.
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Catching my first wave at Topanga Beach.
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A small group of surfers riding longboards positioning directly in front of the T.
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It was a fun right break. Super chill.

Recommendations

  • Park on the street level since you have to pay for parking at the main entrance.
  • You do not need a wetsuit with temperatures from 66-70 degrees fahrenheit
  • Position yourself on the outside, surfers tend to group together on the inside
  • There’s a great seafood restaurant diner right across the street, check out Moonshadow’s.

8f4b1a2e4337056429f1347535685917O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 2/1 mm O’Riginal Jacket, Black, Medium

The Last Destination Completing PCH: Surfing Southern California

Finally, the opportunity has come. Southern California is the last region on my list surfing the Pacific Coast Highway, the West Coast (USA). I surfed Central California in Big Sur and up the Pacific Northwest (I wish I had my passport, I would’ve crossed into Vancouver, but it’s on the list for sure).

Surf trips are a way to reflect and enjoy life. The importance of well being, to meditate with nature is a way for me to recharge and attack my goals when I am back in the office.

Productivity is only effective when you’re at 100%.

Now back to the fun, Southern California is the mecca for surf culture outside of Hawaii (respect for the Polynesians who invented surfing, of course). There are many countries aside from the United States where surf culture can be found such as Australia, Brazil (Sao Paulo/Rio de Janeiro), Indonesia (Bali), United Kingdom (Cornwall), Spain, Portugal, France, South Africa, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and many more. But Southern California is definitely the place that made surf culture famous. Remember the Beach Boys?

Completing my surf experience along the West Coast is a milestone, after this I plan to go international (which I have already done in Vietnam). More to come!

Here’s the itinerary,

I can’t wait to surf all these amazing places and just soak in the rays. I’ll be hanging beach side with a Corona, be sure to hit the follow button to join me on my adventure. Surf’s up, dude!

You’ve got me reelin’

One of the very reasons why I started this blog was a way to channel my emotions. Music, photography, surfing it’s all about bringing out emotion. I always feel the same emotion when I’m sifting through my blog, like I was there at that very moment.

Looking ahead. #Tahoe #bigdreams #brightfuture #motivation

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Emotions are strong and they can be devastating if you don’t know how to channel them in the right way. That’s why music and photography can be so profound. Music helped get me through some really tough times. Photography reminded me where I came from and why it’s important to continue moving forward. But surfing, essentially allowed me to find my way.

Iration, Reelin

Needle on my compass is spinning
Imagination is winning
Can’t get my head right
I get the feeling that I can’t get back
Night driving, no headlights
you’ve got your reasons
And I know you’ve got your seasons
But I keep getting lost with you
But something in the way ya turned your back makes me wanna try to push through

Everything I’ve done since starting my Instagram helped me heal. It helped me find my purpose.

Hitting the reset button

When I’m having a bad funk, here are some things I do to get me back in my groove.

  1. Start over and get back to the basics. Relearn what you’ve been doing, whether it’s going back to your starter/beginner board or practicing your pop up.
  2. Take a break. At times, I get frustrated because I can’t achieve something simple that would normally be easy. This means, you need to take a break. Everyone hits a plateau and the only way to progress is do something different.
  3. Get advice. If you’re not getting the results you want on your own get a 2nd opinion and ask someone that knows what you’re trying to do.
  4. Research and check online resources for additional information. There are plenty of resources out there so go find some.
  5. Lastly, take a cold shower and reflect.

Hope this helped! Let me know what you do if you get burnt out or frustrated.

Today, Tomorrow, It’s Always Worth Living

Okay, okay, this might be somewhat of a rant. So my bad, just need to put it out there.

We’ve all lost battles, but never the war. It just bothers me that some people are cowards and never want to own up to their actions or responsibilities. This can be people in and out of the water.

But I’m talking about people in general, surfer or not. Be grateful you’re alive. It’s never over unless you throw in the towel. I guess that’s one thing I like about surfing, it’s a passion and gives you something to look forward to when you’re having a rough day.

Recently, I’ve seen some loved ones throw it all away. Not sure why they decided to end it… It’s a damn shame. If you’re still breathing, there’s always a chance.

If you don’t like who you are today, you can change tomorrow. Better yet, you can change now. You can make better decisions. You can always make a difference in someone else’s life or your own, starting now.

Whatever hardship I go through, I know I’ll make it back in the water.

If you know anyone that is suicidal, please help them. A simple conversation can make a big difference.

Here’s information on how to get help. People care.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24 x 7 chat and phone access to counselors.

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Walking out to a lovely sight. Exhausted. #mysurfblog

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Davenport, CA

Davenport is one of the oldest coastal towns in Northern California. During the 1800s after the Spaniards had discovered California’s coast. Davenport was founded and used as a whaling port during the mid-1800s by John Pope Davenport. Since the decline of whale hunting, Davenport transitioned to a pier used by merchants and travelers to restock their ships and/or deliver goods to be transported by train along California’s coast.

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To learn more about Davenport click on the links below,

California Beaches

TripAdvisor

Davenport Best Restaurants on Yelp

Davenport Roadhouse

Bonnydoon Winery

Davenport Wineries on Yelp

The Surf

I have yet to surf here, but every time I visit, I see a handful of surfers. You should be very cautious if you’re planning to take a chance here. The waves can be pretty big since it’s an openly exposed coast. I recommend Davenport as a place to visit. Not the best surf conditions, but I could be wrong.

Davenport, CA is a beautiful quaint town along PCH. Small, peaceful with lots of nature. I highly recommend visiting the winery, walking the train tracks and checking out Shark Fin Cove. Have fun!

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Mixing it up: Photoshoot with Yoko

I’ve been testing and exploring different types of photography lately. I am beginning to see a change in my style, from landscape to portrait and a hybrid of both. I am evolving as a photographer and my pictures are becoming more dynamic. My Instagram feed is already changing…some people may or may not like it. But whatever happens, I’m still having fun.
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Shout out to Yoko for being a great model.

10,000 Instagram Followers in 28 Weeks

I finally did it! It’s been an adventure to reach 10,000 followers. If you’ve been following 28 weeks ago, you know how I’ve grown. I was able to accomplish my goal of reaching 10,000 Instagram followers on April 20, 2017, the friendliest and hippest of days. What a surprise! I never thought my blog would get so many followers. I am grateful that my posts resonates with so many of you! Instagram has been a wonderful channel to share my experiences, opinions and passions with you.  I can’t wait to see where this road goes.

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In lieu of 4/20, stay lit. Unfortunately, I do not smoke anymore. But please, do the honors and light one up for me 🙂

My post 28 weeks ago

My post when I discovered Instagram as a channel to connect with others. And, the discovery of my second passion, photography. It’s been great connecting with you! 

My latest post that marked 10,000 followers

Thank you for following. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for your love. Thank you for listening.

Thank you for your help in mending a broken heart.

 

Paddle Conditioning: Out of the Water

When you’re in the water, you can’t rely on anything else but yourself. Your body is your ship. The stronger your body, the safer you will be when there’s nothing but you and water.

Here’s a simple exercise to condition your paddling. Remember to focus on high intensity, high repetition sets in order to build strength and endurance. This routine will condition the muscles that are used most while paddling out. A simple exercise routine that will take less than 30 minutes that will dramatically strengthen your core surf muscles. Ensure that you’re consistent, exercise in the morning or after every surf session. Remember, surfing requires strength and agility, we do not want to gain weight. We want to gain strength while being nimble.

Will you make it to land if you lose your surfboard?

Back exercises will help you keep you head above the water while paddling and give your arms less friction while placing your arms straight down when paddling, rather than sideways which will cause more friction. Less friction, more speed.

Back Lifts, Bench Lifts – 4 Sets of 50 reps, click here to see the exercise. You can do this exercise solo with a bench in the gym.

Back Raise, “Superman – Lay on the floor face down and arch your back by raising your neck, hold arms straight and legs from the floor. Hold the raise for 60 seconds. After the 60 second hold, take a 10 second break and repeat. Do 5 sets.

Surfing is an individual sport to test your endurance.

Tricep exercises will help you strengthen your arms to give you more paddling power. Pulling your arms down in the water can be exhausting. With more tricep conditioning you’ll be able to pull more consistent paddles, each one being as powerful as your first.

Tricep Extensions – You can easily do this with equipment in the gym. This exercise will help you with your triceps which will strengthen your arms to give you more paddling power. Click here for the exercise. Do 5 sets of 50 at whatever weight you feel comfortable with. Make sure you feel some burn, but the focus is to increase reps and not weight.

Cable Rope Overhead Extensions – Click here for the exercise. Do 5 sets of 50 with a comfortable weight level.

After completing each exercise ensure that you take a small break, but you want to keep your heart rate up and move quickly. This exercise routine should take less than 30 minutes. Surfing is an individual sport to test your endurance. When you’re in the water, you can’t rely on anything else but yourself. Your body is your ship. The stronger your body, the safer you will be when there’s nothing but you and water.

Let me know what exercises you do to condition your paddling power. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Dealing with Localism

There’s always a different vibe you get when you’re surfing a different beach break that you you’re unfamiliar with. The Bay Area is a big playground with well over 30+ beach breaks you can find on surfline.com.

It appears that my Instagram following has been getting bigger and bigger, with more followers comes more opportunity for localism. I thought, now would be a good time to write about this subject continued from one of my earlier post when I launched my blog, The Untold Rules of Surfing.

Some feedback I heard from surfers,

  1. Don’t blow up our spot
  2. Too many beginners will come
  3. I like our spot hidden from the general public
  4. Keep it local
  5. Everyone’s a Kook (poser)
  6. It’s dangerous to encourage people to surf certain locations
  7. The locals will hate you
  8. Surfers shouldn’t blog
  9. You’re not an expert
  10. Respect it

There will be times you will be challenged by someone. It comes with all sports and/or hobbies. Without them, it wouldn’t be much fun. Here are my responses to people that think blogging about local beach breaks is a bad idea.

  1. Don’t blow up our spot
    • Most surfable spots are already known and public. Locals call themselves locals because they think they own the break. Anyone who isn’t Native American has no argument, even then nature belongs to all. Of course I only Blog of spots on Surfline or easily found.
  2. Too many beginners will come
    • Most beginners will only surf at easy beach breaks and during peak times such as weekend and afternoons. Go during non-peak hours or go to a more difficult beach break. People will come if they want to. You can’t stop them.
  3. I like our spot hidden from the general public
    • There are no hidden surf spots.
  4. Keep it local
    • This is by far the dumbest of all arguments. No one is a local. America is a country of immigrants.
  5. Everyone’s a Kook (poser)
    • We’re all Kooks. We all live and learn, and no one is an expert at everything.
  6. It’s dangerous to encourage people to surf certain locations
    • It’s even worst not to warn people. Safety comes when people know the rules or the dangers. Most deaths or injuries happen because people are not familiar with the strong rip currents or conditions. If they are warned they probably wouldn’t surf there. If they do, it may save someone’s life or prevent injury.
  7. The locals will hate you
    • The locals can hate the internet. All popular surf locations can be found if you look for it. It’s posted on websites and other blogs from professionals. I respect the locals and no one is taking over anyone’s neighborhood. Of course, be respectful of everyone and don’t pose a safety risk, know the rules in the line up and don’t bite off more than you can chew. There should be better rules communicated. Blogging helps that.
  8. Surfers shouldn’t blog
    • Surfers should be blogging and telling the world how surfing is awesome. Information is valuable. If you want to protect the culture or expertise, provide it. Most people aren’t aware of the risks.
  9. You’re not an expert
    • We are all experts of our own experiences and can share information based what we see. Information is valuable and may prevent someone from injuring themselves or others.
  10. Respect it
    • I’m not sure how blogging about a particular surf location is disrespectful. With the popularity of surfing rising and the deregulation of environmental protection laws, exposing beautiful beach breaks to the general public can help protect it . And shed light on the local history. People will be informed of why local history is important. Check out a few surf documentaries, Discovering Mavericks or Bra Boys.

If surfers try to bully you, brush it off and keep going. Also, never get into a physical confrontation unless you’re defending yourself. Confronting a brainless surf Nazi is not worth going to jail for or getting hurt over. Surfing is meant to be a positive experience, not an egotistical pissing match. Most people surf because of the experience that comes with it. I love surfing because no one can judge you. Most surf because its fun and gives them a channel to release stress from their daily lives. 99% of general public do not make a living from surfing. If you’ve been intimidated or belittled, don’t quit surfing because some jerk makes you feel bad. No one or their opinions will make the feeling of riding a wave less fun. Keep surfing.

Here’s a link to a list of localism at it’s worst from Surfer Today.

How to avoid or deescalate localism.

  1. Keep your cool
  2. Surf with a friend
  3. Avoid someone that appears to be agitated
  4. Try to mix in and don’t draw attention to yourself
  5. Observe the line up
  6. Try to identify the locals
  7. Be respectful and give locals the right of way
  8. Go during non-peak hours
  9. Do not argue or escalate the situation if you are being bullied
  10. Avoid the line up if its too crowded and surf where no one else is
  11. Surf at beach breaks at your level

There have been some notorious gangs and situations where people have been injured or killed over localism. Surfing’s popularity will continue to grow and local/city governments are beginning to crack down on violent gangs that believe public access to beaches are strictly for them. Here’s an article about the Lunada Bay Boys and how the public is taking action on preventing such localism.

Just remember, respect everyone, don’t be a jerk, be aware of your surroundings, don’t pose a danger to yourself and others and you won’t have any problems. Have fun out there.

Can’t Live Without You

What drives us do what we do? 

Why do people have  a certain lifestyle?

Why are some hobbies more popular than others? 

What makes us who we are?

Why do people spend time and money on their interests?

Passion.

Here’s a quick 3 minute clip I threw together in 5 minutes. Hopefully, the lyrics are clear.

 

 

Sharp Park – Don’t get cut. 

Sitting at the break with no wind, sun in full force and consistent swell with wave heights of 6-8′ and no one around. I caught some great ones I’ll never forget. I was lucky.

As summer approaches, winter swell is slowly fading. During the peak season, Bay Area swell can reach as high as 60′ waves, Mavericks. But even the average wave heights are 20-30′ which can be deadly in most conditions.

Sharp Park is one of Pacifica’s dangerous beach breaks and isn’t surfed by most locals, Sharp Park Killer Waves and Man drowns trying to save wife. However, I caught a lucky break and experienced one of the best surf sessions this Spring. But was cognizant of the rip tide.


Conditions were ideal with light onshore winds and WNW swell waves reaching 6-8′. As you approach the beach, Sharp Park has a very steep sand break and a very strong rip current. It’s rare to see people in the water, approach with caution and read the warning signs. The strongest rip currents are located closest to the pier as there is a 3′ drop where the water breaks.

Sharp Park is known for its amazing view of the Bay along Mori Point, adjacent to Sharp Park Gulf Club and is home to Pacifica’s Pier. Many local fisherman and those across the Bay come to the pier because it’s the only public pier that  doesn’t require a license to fish or crab.

As deadly as Sharp Park is, it’s also stunningly beautiful.

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If you’re interested in surfing here, make sure you observe the conditions. There are no cams on Surfline and not much forecasts to go by. Sharp Park consists of sneaker waves that will pull unsuspecting beachgoers out to sea, including dogs. The riptide is very powerful and there is also a heavy undertow. The conditions, in my opinion are similar to Ocean Beach and maybe a bit more dangerous.

If you surf here, go during low wind and low tide. Specifically, low tide because it will be a lot easier to get in and out of the water. Due to the steepness of the beach the riptide is powerful when it crashes and can knock you over and pull you out. The break is biggest closer to the pier and smaller as you go towards the south end of the beach. The best time to surf here is during Spring and Summer where most of the Bay Area waves are small. You will still see 6-8′ waves during small days in the Bay Area at Sharp Park.

It’s a bit of an illusion when you observe from onshore, but when you’re face to face with the wave at Sharp Park you will see a much thicker and powerful swell.

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I’ve always had my eye on Sharp Park and the waves here. They look so perfect when they break compared to popular surf locations in the Bay Area. The experience was amazing, rare and I knew I was lucky. Sitting at the break with no wind, sun in full force and consistent swell with waves heights of 6-8′ with no one around. I caught some great ones I’ll never forget. I was lucky, and I knew it.

Sometimes you just got to ride it out. #mysurfblog #tbt

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My Favorite San Francisco Quotes

If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.

William Saroyan

I head back to Fort Point and with a lot more experience and confidence after surfing every day at sunrise. After thinking about my surf routine, I realized how lucky I am to be living in the Bay Area. It’s quite the playground. I’ve surfed at all known surf breaks and am exploring local beach breaks only known through word of mouth by locals. I hope to surf them all.

For a full list of known beach breaks, check out Surfline (SF-San Mateo) or Wanna Surf (California).

Fort Point is beautiful because the view from the water at the Point is overwhelming: the Bridge overhead, the Marin Headlands to the northwest, Tiburon and Belvedere to the northeast and all of San Francisco straight inland. – Surfline

Read Surfline’s Surf Report of Fort Point here.

Fort Point resides underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Most are surprised that there’s actually a break that’s surfable there until they see it. Most surfers will not attempt to surf here. Why? Because it’s a localized surf spot and can get pretty territorial, but it’s also dangerous since there’s no easy entry and the break is surrounded with boulders and jagged rocks. If you’re brazen enough to surf here, you should read my blog on how to enter the water here.

 

San Francisco has only one drawback: ’tis hard to leave.

Rudyard Kipling

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I don’t know of any other city where you can walk through so many culturally diverse neighbourhoods, and you’re never out of sight of the wild hills.  Nature is very close here.

Gary Snyder 

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There’s no question this is where I want to live.  Never has been.

Robin Williams

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Any one who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me.

Anthony Bourdain

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San Francisco has always been a haven for misfits and weirdos. I’m both of these, which is why I came here.

Michael Franti

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It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world.

Oscar Wilde

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The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain

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East is East, and West is San Francisco, according to Californians. Californians are a race of people; they are not merely inhabitants of a State.

O. Henry

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I grew up in San Francisco. And so I’m informed in a certain kind of way about, you know, believing in democracy and believing in America. And I’m a very ardent patriot.

George Lucas 

Hope you enjoyed reading my favorite San Francisco quotes and checking out my blog. See you in the line up!

 

 

 

Ocean Beach, OB, The Beach

OB or The Beach, as locals call Ocean Beach is one of the most dangerous surf breaks in San Francisco Bay Area. This weekend offered some pretty amazing weather since we’ve been having record levels of rainfall. I finally get a chance to blog about surfing OB.


I’ve surfed OB in the past and had a few good sessions and other times, I just got my ass kicked. It definitely made me realize of how human I really am. But for some reason, I keep coming back for more.

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OB is for advanced surfers brave enough to undertake a strong undertow, powerful rip currents and big waves. OB is a difficult beach break and not to be underestimated. Be careful. Watch and observe other surfers and definitely keep your eye on the incoming swell.

Here’s why.

  1. Very strong current that can pull you out to sea. OB is a non-swimming beach. (There have been 4 reported deaths in 2016).
  2. Constant paddling which means you’re going to be exhausted. The vastness of the beach and strong currents move you when you’re in the line up.
  3. The undertow is stronger than most beach breaks and will pull you down for an extra 2-5 seconds. Do not panic and make sure you remain calm while tumbling in the water.
  4. 3.5 mile long beach – when you’re in the water its hard to locate yourself and there won’t be many people around. Remember your land markers to identify where the current pulled you. Hopefully, not out to sea.img_4340-1
  5. Paddling out is difficult and sometimes impossible.
  6. Waves are big, the biggest in Northern California with average waves heights of 10-15′.
  7. Hard to discern where the wave breaks since there’s a long stretch of beach and different sets of swell coming in at different times. Be aware and always pay attention. img_4337
  8. Sneaker waves will appear before you. If you’re not observant, you will get drilled.
  9. No one is out there and NO lifeguards. You’re on your own.
  10. Great Whites live here and have been spotted hunting close to the lineup (see video below).

If you can muster the courage and the strength to surf OB, it’s quite the experience. OB reminds you of how human you really are.

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For more information on Ocean Beach, check out Magic Seaweed’s forecast here.

If you’re interested in surfing OB, make sure you’re ready to put in work. If it’s your first time and you don’t know the conditions, visit the surf shops and ask. Also, watch from the beach and observe conditions. Safety first.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SURF OB IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER.

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If you’re ready, then go with someone that’s brave enough to surf with you.

If you’re enjoying My Surf Blog, make sure you subscribe, like and follow on Instagram for a daily dose of adventure. Can’t wait to see you in the line up.

Rise and Shine: Exploring Lake Tahoe 

Lake Tahoe is an adventure bordering California and Nevada state lines. I never really got a chance to explore it, so this time after snowboarding I made it a point to explore the lake and it’s many local corridors.

Here’s snap shot of my route which only took 4 hours to complete. My favorite site was Emerald Bay and Sand Harbor Beach (seen below). I haven’t uploaded to my Instagram so you get exclusive content here on My Surf Blog. Make sure you subscribe.

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The Surf in Newport South Jetty

I had caught the sunrise at Yaquina Point Lighthouse and then drove 5 minutes towards Newport South Jetty. Newport South Jetty is south of South Beach, Oregon and is a popular local surf spot. It’s protected by the jetty so you get more consistent waves when wind is a factor. There are hosted surf competitions here and the waves can be pretty big from 8-12′. As I arrived, the parking lot was empty and a few local surfers prepping for the morning session. They were pretty surprised to see me and probably were wondering where I was from. It was all chill vibes.

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I have this wetsuit and it’s a great one for all year around cold water surfing Super Freak 5/3mm, click on it for more information.
The two local surfers headed in as I was undressing and waxing my board. During my prep (15 minutes) I observed 4-5 cars pull up and park. The driver would get out and feel the wind chill and jump right back in, then exit the parking lot. I saw this for 15 minutes. I didn’t blame them, it was a cold blistering 33 degrees Fahrenheit 0 degrees Celsius. While scoping out the surf, I never saw sand so white. It was frozen, but the surf looked amazing. Scroll all the way down to see it for yourself. One note, my GoPro stopped recording when I almost got barreled. I know. It was awesome!

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For more information on Newport click here.

Here is a list of all known surf locations in Central Oregon, click here.

Stand with Standing Rock

I am a huge proponent of preservation and conservation. As you can see through my adventures, I try to learn as much as I can about the history of the places I’ve surfed and the natural wonders I’ve visited. Being a Californian, Native American tribes as the Ohlone (Northern California – Surfing Wine Country), Esselan (Central California – Big Sur, Big Surf), Tongva (Southern California – I have yet to visit thoroughly and blog very soon) are pinnacle to California’s history and protection of state parks.

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*The Sioux Standing Rock Stamp/Logo is to express my belief that we should protect our home, our sacred land what we love. It is not to state that Sioux Tribe own or settled in these areas which the Ohlone Tribe once inhabited.

This is my local break, my home. I will do anything to protect it. Rockaway where the Ohlone Tribe inhabited.

One modern social issue that I want to talk about is Standing Rock and the North Dakota Pipeline. Since Donald Trump had been inaugurated one of his promises during his campaign was to push the illegal construction of the North Dakota Pipeline through. His argument is that it will create jobs in oil and steel industries. This was one of Donald Trump’s key promises in creating jobs in failing industries. As the world moves forward, we need to invest in solar and clean energy. Building this pipeline will only exasperate and elongate our reliance on fossil fuels. Native Americans and all people have the right to protect natural lands against corruption and pollution. 

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Join the fight!

If you want to support the Sioux Tribe and organizations against the construction of DAPL, please be aware of who you’re donating to. If you would like to purchase merchandise to support Native American communities check out Honor The Earth, OXDX, Official Standing Rock Gear at Omaze. For official news join the Sioux Facebook Group.

This is my home. This is my local break. What if someone decided to build an oil rig right in the middle of the ocean in plain sight of this view? The threat of oil spills in the water is scary. No surf is scary.

Avoid buying from opportunists, read this blog from Soul Style about purchasing from people that are trying to profit from Native American hardships here.

There will be an official protest on February 22, 2017 and a rally in Washington, DC on March 10, 2017.

Join the Standing Rock Facebook Group to fight against corruption!

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Yaquina Light House & Bay Bridge

The Yaquina Light House along the Pacific Coast Highway is Oregon’s first and oldest light houses to use a revolutionary lens to warn sailors of the coastline.

The Yaquina Head Light, also known early in its existence as the Cape Foulweather Lighthouse, is a lighthouse on the Oregon Coast of the United States. Wikipedia
Address: 750 NW Lighthouse Dr, Newport, OR 97365
Height: 92′

The Yaquina Bay was once Oregon’s booming oyster bed estuaries located next to Newport, Oregon where South Beach is located. The Yaquina Bay was also an important transportation hub to help settlers transport goods along the Yaquina River and into the  Pacific Ocean. A main transport hub to San Francisco and Seattle. 

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I was able to catch the sunrise at the Yaquina Light House and Yaquina Bay Bridge. My adventure continued down to South Beach where there is epic surf. Then to Seal Rock where I was able to  meditate and relax after an epic surf session.

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Need new hiking shoes? These are awesome.

My recommendations

  1. Newport is close to Seaside and Oceanside – I didn’t get to explore those two other towns. Make sure you have enough time to stop by. Along PCH there are restaurants and plenty of surf shops to rent a surf board.

  2. Lots of hotels to choose from. I stayed at Comfort Inn for $68 for one night.

  3. Make sure you have time to explore Ecola State Park – I wish I had more day light.

  4. Seal Rock is close, but don’t over stay. Head to Ecola State Park.

  5. Bring a camera – this is what I use and if you like my pictures you can check out my equipment here.

No Valentine Needed

It’s been a great couple of years being single. Honestly, you can get a lot done without distractions or someone weighing you down. If you’re happily married or in a relationship, good for you. You’re lucky.

But if you’re not, well, take solace in sunsets. One day you’ll find the right person.

Here are pictures of my favorite sunsets that helped me get through some break ups or soul searching times. 

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If you've ever been heart broken or if you're single on Valentine's Day, this is for you. – TD ❤ ______________________________________________________________ • Travel to discover an identity. 👁 • Surf to heal mind and body. ❤ • Explore to grow and learn. 🌲 ____________________________________________ You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. Steve Jobs ________________________________________ @focalmark #unlimitedsunset #sunsetlovers #sunset_madness #sunset_pics #sunsetsniper #sunset_stream #sunset_hub #sunset_universe #ig_mood #MoodyGrams #sombresociety #sombrescapes #vzcomood #main_vision #Soft_Vision #exklusive_shot #california #streetsofsf #igerssf #onlyinsf #visitcalifornia #wildbayare #focalmarked

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Don’t do it! But if you are interested in ideas of getting your EX back, check this out.
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If you’re having a bland relationship and want ideas on spicing things up.
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If you’re moving forward and having a hard time adjusting, meditate with the Buddha experience.
Click Here!

Surfing Vung Tau, Vietnam Part 2

Arriving in Vietnam from Thailand, I was a bit nervous since this was a solo trip to surf. I left my friend back in Thailand and I wanted to explore the country that I was from. My parents immigrated to Vietnam during the Vietnam War. My mother was in her early 20s and had arrived in Beaumont, Texas in 1977. I heard a lot of stories about her journey to the United States and the horror stories of making it out alive with my sister and a few friends. Those stories I heard as a child were only words. Arriving in Vietnam, those words became more real.

The surf in Vung Tau was a bit choppy when I arrived. I stayed at a resort across the street from the beach and close to the only surf club in Vung Tau.

Checking out the Surf

After the war, it appeared there were a lot of comrades. Russians were the only other foreigners I saw while in Vung Tau. The Vung Tau Beach Club was owned and operated by a Russian family. I thought to myself, maybe if the United States won the war I’d see Americans rather than Russians. But then, I realized my life would be a lot different. I wouldn’t be American and wouldn’t be writing a blog,  I wouldn’t be a surfer. I was a bit grateful, honestly.

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The surf at Vung Tau wasn’t exactly ideal conditions. On some days you could see some decent waves from 3-4′. Mostly, there were kite surfers since there was a lot of offshore winds and a combination of onshore winds. A mixed bag and a bit choppy.

*Offshore winds help give waves a cleaner break since waves head into the direction of the beach. If winds are pushing the waves back and heading in the direction of the ocean this helps surfers catch more consistent waves that don’t close as quickly.

The Search

The Russian surf club owner kept insisting I enroll into his kite surfing class for $100 USD (keep in mind I can eat for $5 per day). But I was only looking to rent a surfboard ($25 per day). He was reluctant to rent me a surfboard so I sought elsewhere. A French woman I met at the club told me there was a man on the beach with a surfboard. She told me he was much cheaper than the Russian ($5 per day), but it was difficult to find him. At least I spoke the language so I had faith I could find him. However, Vietnamese people don’t surf. There is no word in Vietnamese to describe surfing.

A memorable moment on this trip was finding the only Vietnamese guy in Vung Tau with a surfboard for rent.

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After speaking with the French journalist I began walking down the beach asking everyone in Vietnamese if they know a guy with a surfboard for rent. Everyone looked confused, so I began drawing out a surfboard in the sand. After walking for 20 minutes and no success, I find a group of friends laughing alongside a jetski. I asked them if they knew who I was searching for and they all gave me a blank look until I drew the surfboard and they all laughed. I had found him!

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I happily paid the man $5 USD and he exchanged the surfboard. It was a shortboard without any wax and came with a leash made of rope. I couldn’t complain since this was the only surfboard on the beach. I began to paddle out, the water felt warm. No wetsuit needed. I got to the line up and observed the break. The owner of the surfboard came out as well and he smiled at me while circling with a tourist on the back of his jetski. It was an amazing experience. I just sat in the water watching the waves, listening to the wind and taking it all in.

Finally, after 3 unsuccessful attempts I caught a 4′ wave. Nearly 30 minutes had passed and I was stoked. I stayed in the water for another 30 minutes and called it a day.

Surfing Vung Tau was a memorable experience. Something I will never forget. However, it was the journey of finding the surfboard that made it special.

The road ahead is only going to get harder. Bigger waves, bigger dangers. Am I ready mentally and physically? I don't know. Keep training. #mysurfblog _____________________________________________________ • Travel to uncover an identity. 👁 • Surf to heal mind & body. ❤ • Explore to grow & learn. 🌲 ___________________________________________ The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can. -Mike Dooley ___________________________________________ @focalmark #nature_perfection #awesome_earthpix #ourplanetdaily #fantastic_earth #unlimitedplanet #earth_deluxe #allnatureshots #jaw_dropping_shots #unlimitedsunset #sunsetlovers #sunset_madness #sunset_pics #sunsetsniper #sunset_stream #sunset_hub #sunset_universe #california #streetsofsf #igerssf #onlyinsf #visitcalifornia #wildbayare #focalmarked _____________________________________________________________

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I hope you enjoyed reading my experience and thanks for visiting. Next on the Vietnam Series, stories of war, love and family. My first hand account of meeting my relatives and listening to their stories. Make sure you subscribe to get the latest blog.

A New Chapter: Moments

Time passes us by so quickly, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what needs to be done, or what needs to be accomplished. Time works against all of us. I, myself, try to get things done as quickly as possible which leaves more time for photography and surfing. I guess 1 year from today when I look back at my life, I’ll have a collection of memories to relive 🙂

Here’s a quick video I compiled this past weekend to remind me to keep doing the things that make me happy.  Photography is becoming  a bigger part of my life, discovered through surfing. I can’t wait to see where this new chapter takes me.

The full Youtube video was suspended due to Jay Andre management’s removal. It had over 10,000+ hits. 😳

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