It’s been a few months since I came back, and I’ve been receiving requests for details of my latest adventure to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia) with my mom. I amgrateful for the opportunity to be able to share some of my favorite places with my mom. My mom is awesome!
I’ve visited Thailand back in 2015 and I regret not doing some of the things that were in reach when I was there. Fortunately this time around, I did everything I wanted to do in Thailand. In this blog series I will cover my first stop, Thailand, following Cambodia and Indonesia in separate series. I will outline where I stayed, what I did and provide some tips on traveling through.
I am supergrateful for the opportunity to be able to share some of my favorite places with mom.
My mom is awesome! I love my mom!
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Phi Phi Islands
Fortunately this time around, I did everything I wanted to do in Thailand.
24,000 people are estimated to die this year in road accidents
I am not the type of person to talk about depressing shit. But this is just fucking ridiculous. Thailand is such a beautiful country in that it has so much to offer, but has a major problem in implementing safety controls on its roads.
During the holiday week from December 24, 2018 – January 1, 2019, 478 people lost their lives in motor accidents reported by the World Health Organization. That’s on average 66 people per day. It breaks my heart.
Road accidents in Thailand
2nd in the world for road accident deaths, after Libya
24,000 people are estimated to die on Thai roads every year
73% of those killed are motorcyclists
36.9m vehicles ply Thai roads – it’s gone up by 30% in the last five years
I will keep it very simple, please beware of driving in Thailand. Please keep it safe and hire a driver. Please spread the word. Prayers to those that have lost their lives and to the families that have lost loved ones in road accidents.
Thailand, please make it safe. Please stop drunk drivers. Please enforce the law. Please save lives!
Ok. So it’s been pretty busy to say the least. I have been meaning to get to blogging surfing Uluwatu since I got back from Bali this past summer. I even created a video about it.
Bali is a magical place where everyone is an artist. Experiencing Bali definitely put life in perspective. One of the major lessons I learned while visiting Bali, is to relax and be yourself. The locals are really friendly, humble and understanding. I love Bali!
Uluwatu was at the top of the list of places to surf. This break is no joke! It’s fast, it’s scary and it’s beautiful at the same time. When I first arrived in Bali, I surfed Kuta and Seminyak at Double Six Beach. After 3 nights, I was not as prepared as I wanted to be. But traveling for only 2 weeks, I had to seize the opportunity.
At first glance, I was a bit nervous. All of my friend left me to explore a smaller, less intimidating break. However, I was determined to make my dream of surfing Uluwatu come true.
I paced for about 15-20 minutes examining the entry point through the cave. I also wanted to explore another entry point, but only to learn that there’s only one way in and one way out, through the cave. At this point, I had to muster enough courage to attempt the entry. I studied the surfers that were in the tunnel attempting to exit. I studied the proximity of the walls, the rocks, the waves and timing of each swell.
Once I was brave enough to enter, I took my time and paced my breathing. I knew that the biggest challenge was to remain calm especially with the adrenaline and excitement running through my body. I was 100% alert for any surprises.
Once I got past the tunnel, the swells came in fast. I lost my shirt about 20 minutes in. Once I got to the line up, there were about 15-20 guys out (this was about 12:20-1:00PM) and I knew it was going to be difficult competing for waves. I just needed one ride.
It took me 2 hours to figure out one of the breaks towards the right. I was not able to catch any of the waves with such a large crowd. I got anxious after observing and patiently waiting until I noticed another break in the middle of Uluwatu. There were only a handful of guys out there, and there was surely a reason. The waves came in much larger, faster and more powerful (this was on a small day 5-8′). After observing from the far side I took my chances and positioned myself towards the outside. At this point, I was not afraid, nor nervous. I wanted to catch a wave so bad nothing else mattered.
I caught my first in the video above and realized I had came and did was I was set out to do. Three seconds of bliss. I felt good. I felt exhausted. I felt accomplished. I felt lucky. I was grateful.
Thanks for following and hanging in there even though its been awhile since I blogged. Today is my 3 year anniversay on WordPress! So I guess I’m stuck to continuing another year. Until next time! See you in the line up!
Also, if you like my blog I am very active on Instagram. Check out and follow to see what I’ve been up to! Another big trip starts tomorrow!
I am not going to deny it. I fell in love in Bali. I fell in love with Bali. I love Bali. Back in Los Angeles I continue to think about her. I guess that’s when you know you’re in love. I’ve tried to shake it off. I’ve tried to explain it to myself that LA is my true love. But so is Bali…
I guess being in love isn’t a bad thing. Better to love than not to love at all.
Here are some pictures to help me explain why Bali is my love…and why I think about her daily.
A lot has happened in the last 2 months since coming back from Bali. I’ve moved to Los Angeles to live out a dream! I guess you can say, I’m livin’ the dream. I think the older you get, the more initiative you have to do what you’ve always wanted to do before it’s too late and life passes you by. Why did I move to Los Angeles? I think I’ll save that story for another blog.
I’ve created some new videos of my experience in Bali and I have to say, Bali is magical!
Here are some past photos I’ve been posting on Instagram. My bad I haven’t been blogging! But I will pick it back up within the next couple of weeks. Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram for the latest.
After two years of aspirations and surfing domestically, it’s time to travel into international waters, Indonesia. Dreams of Indo are being realized and I have one goal in mind, surf. After working my ass off for the last 4 years and training at my local break almost every day, my mind, body and mental state are ready to take on world class waves.
I am certain my surfing will be in tip top shape after surfing heavy close outs almost every day at Ocean Beach. Bali’s waves are longer, consistent and dreamy. I can already see myself shredding in and out of the curl and pulling back to get barreled.
I will be spending over a week in Indo and I plan to hit up most of the South West of the island. My first stop is to check in our villa and head out. I will be bringing my 5’9″ Tomo Firewire Vanguard 2. This baby will do nicely.
My Indo Surf List
Stay tuned for some insane shots. And don’t worry, I will be bringing you along, just be sure to follow on Instagram for up to date video clips of my trip. Watch me live out a dream. Barreled in Bali.
Northern California offers a balance between urban wilderness and scenic peaceful landscape. I’ve been showing you many parts of the natural landscape outside of the urban areas. San Francisco is a busy, bustling epicenter for business, innovation and liberal lifestyles. You can literally live any way you want without much judgement. As long as you’re not imposing your own lifestyle upon others.
I’ve always appreciated The Bay Area For it’s diversity and freedom to be who you are. There’s no right way or wrong way of living.
In this photo spread by Matt Morton, it captures the urban jungle. Getting lost in San Francisco is similar to disconnecting through surf.
Matt’s perspective and creativity provides so much of what I love about home. There’s always an opportunity for adventure.
Be sure to check out Matt’s IG profile and follow for more wonderful snap shots of San Francisco. Welcome home!
This past weekend USA Surfing hosted a pre qualifications for the 2020 Jr Olympic Girls team and I was lucky to catch the tail end of the competition. If you surf and use a wetsuit, you should be familiar with Santa Cruz and the O’Neill brand. This shoot took place at the famous Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, CA.
Steamer Lane is world famous for its legendary surfing community and wetsuit innovator Jack O’Neill. Not only, it’s world class waves which have attracted surfers from all around the world. Steamer Lane is a special place where the waves are long and the sunsets alluring.
From San Francisco, Steamer Lane is approx. 1.5 hours away. Not the best place to surf, unless, you live there since it does get crowded and at times territorial. But if you’re visiting, be sure to stay a few nights and surf early morning.
If you’re in between sessions, you can hike, grab a drink or head to the wharf to get some clam chowder or the beach boardwalk with plenty of entertainment to keep you busy.
Remember, respect the locals and have a good time!
It’s been about a year (one year and two months to be exact) since buying my last wetsuit, the Isurus 434 Elite. After using it for more than a year it finally gave in to wear and tear. The Isurus is a top of the line wetsuit, no doubt. It took on some heavy sessions and 8 months in normal use it finally started to show some tears. Overall, the Isurus 434 Elite is a great wetsuit. But, the Isurus falls short to the O’Neill Pyrotech.
A couple of things I noticed about the Isurus wetsuit and all of my other ones, even most wetsuits in the market. The neoprene, material and most importantly the stitching fall short vs the O’Neill Pyrotech.
One of the main reasons why I decided to jump back to O’Neill is because of the new Techno Butter technology. The O’Neill Pyrotech is a top of the line wetsuit for serious surfers. It’s on the top line because of the material and advanced construction of the wetsuit. It seriously feels like an extension to my skin. If you look closely, the wetsuit is constructed as a single suit, rather than being assembled and stitched together. The Pyrotech does not have external stitching exposed. This is huge since I noticed my Isurus showing tear beginning with it’s stitching. O’Neill designed the Pyrotech using neoprene as the main assembly method. It’s phenomenal.
The wetsuit is very comfortable and warm. The Techno Butter Air Firewall against your skin feels similar to a fleece. It’s very soft and stretchy. Surfing in San Francisco the water can get down to 41-51 degrees during winter and having a high quality wetsuit is critical.
The O’Neill 4/3 Pyrotech is worth every penny. If you’re looking for a good wetsuit this winter, you will not regret buying the Pyrotech. You’ll catch more waves and leave the beach with a smile every time.
Starting this blog I simply wanted to capture the daily surf lifestyle in the San Francisco Bay Area scene and thought it would be fun to document my experiences at different beach breaks. I never thought anyone would find it. Saying that, I never thought about being a photographer which is my 2nd passion after surfing, of course.
Reflecting back, this year was a well accomplished one, I have to admit. It was my best and biggest year yet, professionally and personally. I believe everything is based on timing. Like surfing, you have to wait for the best time to paddle out so you don’t needlessly exert energy or get caught on the inside where the sets are breaking.
I was at a cross roads on whether I wanted to continue blogging or documenting my experiences. But this is more than enough to tell me to keep going. Thank you again for following and your continued support and encouragement. I get so much joy from surfing and being in nature. I get even more joy paying it forward. Happy New Year!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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
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.
In all, Huntington Beach was another amazing experience. A different vibe, a friendly vibe and definitely memorable.
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.
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!
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.
This break is very pleasant and you’ll love the scenery, views, water temperature and the way the wave breaks.
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.
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.
If you like my blog make sure you like, comment, share and follow. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the write up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Zuma Beach. One of the most popular beaches in the area, Zuma Beach is located on the north end of Malibu.
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.
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.
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.
When I’m having a bad funk, here are some things I do to get me back in my groove.
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.
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.
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.
Research and check online resources for additional information. There are plenty of resources out there so go find some.
Lastly, take a cold shower and reflect.
Hope this helped! Let me know what you do if you get burnt out or frustrated.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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,
Don’t blow up our spot
Too many beginners will come
I like our spot hidden from the general public
Keep it local
Everyone’s a Kook (poser)
It’s dangerous to encourage people to surf certain locations
The locals will hate you
Surfers shouldn’t blog
You’re not an expert
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.
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.
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.
I like our spot hidden from the general public
There are no hidden surf spots.
Keep it local
This is by far the dumbest of all arguments. No one is a local. America is a country of immigrants.
Everyone’s a Kook (poser)
We’re all Kooks. We all live and learn, and no one is an expert at everything.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep your cool
Surf with a friend
Avoid someone that appears to be agitated
Try to mix in and don’t draw attention to yourself
Observe the line up
Try to identify the locals
Be respectful and give locals the right of way
Go during non-peak hours
Do not argue or escalate the situation if you are being bullied
Avoid the line up if its too crowded and surf where no one else is
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.
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
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.
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.
There’s no question this is where I want to live. Never has been.
Any one who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me.
San Francisco has always been a haven for misfits and weirdos. I’m both of these, which is why I came here.
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.
The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
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.
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.
Hope you enjoyed reading my favorite San Francisco quotes and checking out my blog. See you in the line up!
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.
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.
Very strong current that can pull you out to sea. OB is a non-swimming beach. (There have been 4 reported deaths in 2016).
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.
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.
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.
Paddling out is difficult and sometimes impossible.
Waves are big, the biggest in Northern California with average waves heights of 10-15′.
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.
Sneaker waves will appear before you. If you’re not observant, you will get drilled.
No one is out there and NO lifeguards. You’re on your own.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lots of hotels to choose from. I stayed at Comfort Inn for $68 for one night.
Make sure you have time to explore Ecola State Park – I wish I had more day light.
Seal Rock is close, but don’t over stay. Head to Ecola State Park.
Bring a camera – this is what I use and if you like my pictures you can check out my equipment here.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.