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.

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.

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.

Evolution of a Surfer

I’ve been surfing for close to 2 years now. Yes, yes, you’re probably shocked. Whenever I tell people the duration of my surf life, people look surprised and then begin to tell me they are shocked like I lost all credibility of who I am.


It’s not about how long you’ve been surfing, it’s about how often you surf. Someone that surfs 3-5 times per week¬†vs 1-2 times per week will obviously progress a lot faster. I get about 12 hours per week, that’s about an hour per day, before sunrise and sometimes after I get off work. Not only, I surf with friends, guys that have been surfing for more than 10+ years. Thank you for the feedback and help guys!¬† I consider myself an intermediate surfer and I have a long way to go to get to where ¬†I want to be. However, I am excited to see what¬†I become.

Can you believe it’s been less than 2 years? ¬†(1 year and 8 months to be exact)

This my experience progressively riding shorter boards from the time I started until today. This is my journey discovering the type of surfer I will become.

First Surfboard: The Mini Mal

Specifications

Style: Surftech Wood Grain Mini Malibu

Length: 8’1″

Width: 22″

Thickness: 2.9″

Volume: 63.4

Style: Thruster

Material: Epoxy

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Yes, yes, you’re probably shocked.

The Mal was a difficult surfboard to learn on. But it gave me a lot of volume to paddle past the white water and into the lineup. This surfboard gave me a great foundation to build upon the basics. After learning on The Mal for 6 months, I transitioned immediately to a shorter board.

One piece of advice, once you learn the basics listen to what your body is telling you. Only you know what you’re comfortable with, but always start off with a longboard and transition from there.

The Mal was too long for me and I didn’t like all the weight it carried with it. I knew immediately my personal style was speed and maneuverability.

Second Surfboard: The Fish

Specifications

Style: Kane Garden Classic Twinzer Fish 

Length:¬†6’6″

Width: 21.25″

Thickness: 2.7″

Volume: 63.4

Style: Quad

Material: Epoxy

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This is my favorite surfboard and the most valued in my quiver. This baby goes. I immediately knew that a shortboard was going to be my style. Every set that came in, I caught and in some instances while surfing at my local break, longboarders would give me shit because I would out paddle them and catch their wave. If other surfers are “hating” I guess you’re doing something right. But that was when I didn’t know surf etiquette. I wish someone told me the rules. If you’re starting out make sure you read my blog, The Untold Rules of Surfing.

I love how The Fish does well in all types of conditions. It’s a solid board.

Third Surfboard: The Lazy Toy

Specifications

Style: LOST Mahem Lazy Toy

Length: 6’3″

Width: 22.5″

Thickness: 2.75″

Volume: 43.10

Style: Thruster

Material: Polystyrene Foam

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This is definitely a reliable surfboard in all types of conditions. This is a really fun surfboard where you can really excel with your pop-up and paddling. I love this surfboard and it’s taken care of me for the past year.

Only you know what you’re comfortable with, but always start off with a longboard and transition from there.

Fourth Surfboard: Tomo Vanguard

Specifications

Style: FireWire Tomo Vanguard

Length: 5’9″

Width: 19.25″

Thickness: 2.68″

Volume: 35.6″

Style: Quad

Material: Polystyrene Foam

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This is a serious board with lots of speed. This surfboard does well medium sized wave heights where I can maneuver quickly. I am beginning to focus on my turning where in the next 3 months you will see me cut in and out of waves. This is the type of surfboard I’ve been working hard to ride.

Here are a couple clips of my transition from The Lazy Toy to Tomo Vanguard. Can you believe it’s been less than 2 years (1 year and 8 months to be exact)?

Intro: The Duck Dive

Duck diving is a technique to help surfers get past sets of waves in order to reach the break. This technique is extremely helpful and can be valuable when surfing larger waves. However, without the right technique and timing it can be useless. Here’s some pointers on how apply a new technique if you’re having difficulty getting past white water.

Ducking and dodging haters all day

Things to consider before learning to duck dive

  1. How long is your surfboard?
    • Longer surfboards will be harder to duck dive with. Some are impossible Only short surfboards between 6’3″ and below.
  2. Do you know your surfboard?
    • Be one with your surfboard. I know it sounds corny, but it’s so true. Your surfboard is part of you, like your leg or arm. If you don’t know how to control your surfboard in or out of the water, how do you expect it to help you?
  3. Do you have access to a swimming pool?
    • It’s much easier to learn the basics of balance, paddling and maneuverability while in calm water. If you have the luxury of a swimming pool, you will learn much quicker.
    • Master balancing on your surfboard such as sitting down in the water. This will help with positioning and timing.
    • Learn how much buoyancy your surfboard has and how much strength it takes to push your surfboard down below the white water.
  4. How well can you paddle? Have you mastered paddling?
    • Once you’re popping out from the dive you need to paddle quickly and powerfully. We will cover paddling techniques in another post. 
  5. Where do you position yourself on your surfboard? Where is your chest? Where are your knees?

    • You will need to use your entire body in order to dive under the wave by pushing down as hard as you can.
  6. Timing is everything
    • Before duck diving under the wave, you need to time your dive at the exact moment the wave passes over you. If you get this wrong, you will be drilled and pushed back to shore losing critical energy while paddling out.
    • Count the number of waves that come in until there is a break. This is called a “set”.
    • Count the time in between each set
    • Once you figure out how many waves are in each set, this will give you an expectation of how many duck dives you need to make and how much time you have to paddle as hard as you can to the line up until the next set comes in. Yes, it’s like playing Frogs on Atari but in real life and in the water. Don’t get drilled.
  7. How far is the lineup?
  8. How deep is the bottom?
  9. What are the conditions you’re surfing in? What are the wave heights? Is there onshore or offshore wind?
  10. How long can you hold your breath?

It’s like playing Frogs on Atari, but in real life and in the water. Don’t get drilled.


Next, we will cover the technique and I will provide a tutorial. See ya!