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Is Whitey Back at San Onofre?

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

sharkSome say they are drawn in by the schools of grunion, others will tell you it’s the water content created by run-off from the nuclear power plant that sits perched atop the cliffs overlooking the popular surf spot. My personal hope is that it’s part of their plan to start thinning out the rapidly growing population of stand-up paddleboarders. Whatever the reason may be, great white sharks have been continually drawn in and attracted to the waters of San Onofre in Southern California, and they are once again turning heads and making their presence known.

“Over a one month period, ending with today February 1, 2009, I have had 3 encounters at the same location. The ocean floor at this location is primarily sand with a few scattered rocky areas. Only on one of occasion did we observe a seal swimming North about 100 yards offshore. It didn’t seem to be alarmed. In each case, we were paddling South toward the South end of the power plant. We were going to surf a beach break at that location. In each case, we saw the shark(s) at approximately the same location each time”

The month of January has been abnormally busy for white shark sightings in an area that is becoming known for it’s true resident locals…the kind that will eat you instead of just punching you out. While a few of the sightings have made headlines in area newspapers, a great place to keep tabs on the shark situation in San O’ and the rest of the Pacific Coast waters is Shark Research Committee. On top of documenting sightings and encounters without the hype that comes from trying to sell newspapers or drive traffic, there is all sorts of educational and informative content to be found there. The type of content that actually lets you know that while there have been many sightings in the area, the sharks who at times see fit to call San Onofre home have never bothered anyone. Do they make it a bit spooky at times? Definitely. Is it something to get worked up about? Nah, not really. And the numbers back me up on this. Just use caution my friends.

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

Seth Cravens Gets 20 to Life for Death of Emery Kauanui

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Seth Cravens was sentenced to 20 years to Life in prison today for second-degree murder of pro surfer, Emery Kaunanui. The incident took place almost two-years ago, on May 24, 2007, following a scuffle at the La Jolla Brew House after Emery spilled his drink on one of Craven’s friends. Although several in the know say the fight may have actually stemmed from an earlier altercation that took place over localism issues at nearby Windansea.

Craven and three of his friends followed Emery home after being kicked out of the bar. After losing a fight to Eric House, Emery was then punched in the jaw by Craven and knocked to the ground, crushing his skull. He died four days later in the hospital.

A 23-year-old man who punched a professional surfer once in the head during a fight in La Jolla, resulting in his death four days later, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison Monday in a downtown courtroom.

Cravens was a part of a group that call themselves the ‘Bird Rock Bandits’ which has been known to be territorial and violent for years. This time, things went way too far resulting in the life of another human being. There is no excuse for that. Justice has been served as best as possible, I suppose, since no amount of jail time will replace the life of another.

…. One Love!

[Source: 10news.com]

Posted in Surfing | 45 Comments »

Surfrider Condoms: 6 Pack for Only $1.36

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Next time you find yourself in a bind and you need to hit up the market real quick for some condoms, skip past the Trojans and grab some Surfrider Foundation condom strips instead. Okay, so maybe that’s not such a good idea considering the condoms are used. And the rubbing from the sand probably wouldn’t feel to good either. But hey, they’re only $1.36 for a six-pack.

surfrider condoms

What is a good idea though, is this guerrilla marketing campaign from Surfrider Foundation and world renowned ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. The campaign is called “Catch of the Day” and that idea is based on picking up real trash from beaches around the world, packaging it up as fresh fish, and selling it along side real seafood at various markets. Brilliant! Educating them fools on polluting the beaches and oceans. The only problem is see is the packaging they used for this campaign, styrofoam and plastic.

(more…)

Posted in Surfing | 5 Comments »

Moving Forward: The Pancho Sullivan & Myles Padaca Experience

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

myles padaca pancho sullivan

For a professional surfer, life after the limelight can be a tricky thing. Far too often we see guys who have worked their whole lives to rise to the top get lost in the mix as they move from their 30’s to their 40’s. All the attention that was once focused on them has moved on to the ‘next big thing’, and many times the sponsors who were coddling them and letting them know how great they were for all of those years end up chewing them up and spitting them out as soon as they’ve gotten all they can out of the rider.

This is why I really dug seeing the news of the endeavor taken up by two of the finest surfers to ever come out of Hawaii. Pancho Sullivan and Myles Padaca just launched Progressive Surfing, a new company dedicated to training up-and-coming surfers and helping them make it on the North Shore. It’s widely known in surfing that Hawai’i is the ultimate proving ground. Now surfers trying to break through to the next level can soak up the wealth of “Seven-Mile Miracle” knowledge held by the two legends. “The knowledge we’ve gained in managing our own competitive journey has given us unsurpassed insight into performing at the international level,” says Sullivan.”Over the years, we have worked with many coaches and physical trainers and we want to pass on this vital information to future generations of aspiring surfers.

Clincis for 2009 are already being offered and run February through April, September, October, and December. More than anything though, this is just a killer example of surfers learning how to take the next step in their career. There is almost as much to learn from Myles and Pancho on the business side of things as there is at Sunset Beach.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Mick Fanning Fired Up in ‘09

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

mick fanning

At this point, it’s no secret that Kelly Slater is making a run at his 10th world title and the rumored $10 million dollar bonus Quiksilver has offered him if he claims it. At this point, I’m not sure how Quik will make good on that offer, but alas. While many of us might rush to the conclusion that Kelly’s #10 is all but in the bank, there’s at least one person that isn’t quite ready to step aside and declare him the ‘09 world champ, yet.

Mick Fanning’s making no secret that he’s fired up and ready to duke it out on the waves with The King. In a recent article with Gold Coast, Mick admits that he just wasn’t motivated last year and pretty much rolled over, letting Kelly make him and everyone else look stupid. He’s letting it be known though that the same ‘burning ambition’ that brought him the title in ‘07 is back and he’s looking forward to battling it out with Slates.

“Last year was a really different year for me,” said Fanning yesterday… “I wasn’t all that motivated. The few years building up to (the world title) there was a lot of strenuous work and last year I wasn’t as focused on winning. I just wanted to enjoy a year and not be so flat out with it all. It was good to take a step back. It was a really good learning curve and for this year there are no distractions and everything is feeling good. I have put myself first again. I am fit and healthy and pretty excited and motivated for the year.”

If Kelly surfs on a completely different level from the rest of the top 44, as he did last year, no amount of words or ambition from Mick, or any of the competitors, will matter. It’s time to start talking about who will win the title in 2010… this year’s already spoken for.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Put Down the Crutch: Be Your Own Surfline

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

big swell

Believe it or not… there was a world before Surfline, Wavewatch, and the rest. It may seem kind of hard to remember for some of us… but there really was a time when webcams and the marketing of swells wasn’t what dictated where we rode our waves. It was a time when studying the effects of certain wind directions and weather patterns on different breaks, knowing the coastline and reefs around your home, and the overall hard work a surfer put in was what he relied on to find his perfect wave. Now whenever the Pied Piper comes along and blows it’s horn with craftily created “Epic Swell Headed Your Way” headlines, it sends masses of it’s rats blindly running in the direction of the breaks that are being forecast to receive the bi-monthly call for all-time waves.

If you stop and think about it, becoming a junkie to these swell forecast sites doesn’t really serve much of a purpose. If the swell does in fact come through, and you follow the same forecast that the thousands of others dropping $X9.95 a year follow, chances are you’ll end up in something like this.

What has been more common than that as of late, are the swells being marketed as the swell of the century that end up failing to live up to all of the unnecessary hype. The amount of moaning and groaning over such a scenario has reached a staggering level over the past couple of weeks, and it’s time to re-emphasize the tried and true techniques of local knowledge, buoy-reading, and good old fashioned hard work in order to reap the benefits of massive, middle of the ocean storms.

So go ahead and drop you’re money if you must, some of these sites do feature decent content. Surfline is our favorite of the bunch. But as far as forecasting goes, you have access to almost all of the same information that they use. The only difference is they’ve figured out how to market it.

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

Ocean Minded Joins Forces with Pick Up 3

Monday, January 26th, 2009

dirty beach

Remember Cobi Emery, the 13 year-old founder of Pick Up 3 we wrote about a few months ago? His non-profit organization that is founded on the principle of simply picking up 3 pieces of trash every time you go to the beach has gained the support of environmentally conscious brand, Ocean Minded.

While beach clean-ups are a cornerstone of the Ocean Minded brand, they are just the first step in keeping our chosen playground clean. The Pick Up 3 program that Cobi has started is a natural follow-up to the beach clean-ups we regularly host, and is something that all of us can practice on a daily basis. It makes complete sense for us to have Cobi as brand ambassador, and we are thrilled to be working with him,” stated Ocean Minded’s Director of Marketing, Bob Tanner.

Cobi is an incredible individual who started this company at the ripe age of 9 with the goal of spreading this message as far as possible to help the environment. Although I’d say he has accomplished that goal, it doesn’t seem that he’s quite content. Which is great. Keep up the good work, little fellow. And seriously, picking up 3 pieces of trash is not hard. Whether your playground is the mountain or the beach, carry your weight and be mindful of the environment.

Cobi, we salute you!

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

A Fly in the Champagne

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

kelly slater and andy irons
Credit: Transworld Surf

There has been a lot of hype recently about the trip that Transworld Surf organized for Kelly and Andy in the Mentawais. Not only is Transworld featuring the trip in next month’s mag, but looks like they’ve also made a movie out of it, in conjunction with Irons Brother’s Productions.

This should be a pretty awesome flick. Two of the world’s best surfers who’ve traded blows for years now(both on and off the tour), giving us an in-depth look at the rivalry from their own perspectives. Plus, with those two surfing some of the most epic waves in world, I’m sure the surfing will be pretty ok too.

If only Transworld could get them to trade blows in UFC bout- now that would be exciting. The movie is coming out March 15th, 2009. Check out the trailer.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

The “Eddie” 101

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

The Eddie…. For surfers, the mere sound of those two words alone incites an unexplainable feeling of reverence, respect, and awe. The holy grail of Big-Wave surfing competitions, the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau is an event that goes far beyond determining which surfer rides the mammoth waves of Waimea Bay better than the rest. Year after year, whether the call is ever made to run it or not, the holding period for the Eddie serves as a time to reflect on the roots of our great sport, as well as revisit the legend that is Eddie Aikau.


Photo Credit: Hornbaker

But what about our friends who are on the outskirts of surfing and unfamiliar with why it is the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau is so revered? How do we adequately explain to those unfamiliar with the Eddie just why it is that even the slightest chance of the call being made to go will send a buzz throughout an island of a million within minutes? How do we help them to really understand the sacred nature of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau? Well, we can start with the help of our friends over at Quiksilver, who along with the Aikau family, George Downing and Da Hui legend Eddie Rothman established the highly revered and sacred event.
The “Eddie “101-

Eddie Aikau was not the first, nor the greatest surfer to ride Waimea Bay.

Waimea Bay is not the biggest wave in the world.

Yet over the years, these two names have grown synonymous with big-wave riding, showing that meaning isn’t found in a title, but by living with passion.

These two names – Waimea Bay and Eddie Aikau, have risen over the decades because they represent those essential qualities of big wave riding that are also essential to life: dedication, respect, and commitment to the point of putting your life on the line.


Photo Credit: Joli

They are timeless: Waimea’s wave is today just as it was for the first-known riders 60 years ago, and just as it will be to those 100 years from now. Eddie’s story of a humble Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard who became an icon for living true to himself and to his ancestry, will stand the test of time in the same way.

In life, meeting and surviving our greatest challenges provides us with our most exquisite moments. That resulting “high” is precisely the lure of big waves to big-wave riders. Many of us can’t even imagine what it must be like to stand on the edge of a wave so big, hence our amazement with those who do. Waimea provides the perfect setting for us to stand close and witness the enormity.

But while most of us will never personally realize riding Waimea, we can appreciate what it takes because we know we will all face our own “Waimea” in life. For us, the thrill comes in that brief moment as we watch a surfer dangle perilously in the lip, on the knife-edge of a thrilling takeoff or a horrific wipeout; that gladiator-like fascination in each of us that forces us to contemplate the fine line between success and failure; life and death. It is precisely at that point that the experience of life is most acute and that we all share common ground: the surfer and the spectator; the maoli (native) and the malihini (visitor); the rescuer and the rescued.

That is big wave riding.

That is Waimea Bay.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Smooth Move: Andy Irons Officially Stepping Away From Dream Tour

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

“This year is all about surf trips, and being anywhere but sitting on my ass at home. I want to chase swells all year long with my friends, and do a couple of select Billabong contests as a wildcard.” – Andy Irons, Freesurfer

andy irons freesurfer

The cat is now officially out of the bag. 3x World Champion, 4x Pipeline Masters winner, holder of 4 Triple Crown of Surfing titles, and one of the best all-around surfers to ever step foot on a board, Andy Irons, is stepping away from the ASP World Tour in 2009.

Whispers of Andy’s upcoming year off have been floating around for some time now. You could sense something just wasn’t right for the Kauai native as far back as his opening heat of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in ‘08. Something was missing, and the only surfer to put fear in Kelly Slater’s mind appeared to be a shell of his former self. For whatever reason, the passion and the fire inside seemed to be non-existent.

Riding a wave of support from the Billabong team, and following in the footsteps of little bro. Bruce, A.I. will relinquish his 2009 spot on the Dream Tour and pretty much just travel, blow minds while surfing the best waves throughout the planet, and stock up on endless amounts of fresh new material for our viewing pleasure.

“Bruce’s decision messed with me a little bit. Yeah! Imagining him surf perfect waves without me anywhere around is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. There is a big difference in retiring from the tour and taking a break, though.”

I absolutely love that Billabong is deciding to back Irons up on this move. I always felt like Andy slogging around some of the shitty surf that goes on throughout the course of the tour is kind of a waste. And it’s not like he’s retiring for good. In fact, if he actually does decide to return, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see a re-charged Andy Irons come back in 2010 and unleash hell on the rest of the tour.

Until then, we get to witness one of the all-time amazing surfers blow up on the types of waves he should be riding, waves that allow his aggressive, attacking style to be let loose on. And we’ll all be better people for it. You can count on it, Andy Irons is going big in 2009

Make sure you check out the full interview on Surfline.com.

Posted in Surfing | 3 Comments »

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