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filmszzah

 

In my youthful days, I painstakingly spent hours going through VHS tape and then using a camera and a vcr; I stitched together a wobbly, shaking masterpiece featuring my surfing and poor editing to boot!

These past few years, I have uncovered a lot of old footage spread across VHS and Super 8 film. So I am starting the process of getting the old media converted to digital format. With this being done, I can edit the poor parts out (which will be a lot) and concentrate on putting together the best parts for people to enjoy.

This is a snapshot of some of the old films:

There is the Sundek Classic with myself, Scott Brill, Jim Hogan, Todd Martin, and John Holeman surfing. There is also some of the demo performed by Rodney Mullins doing some freestyle skating.

There is skateboarding at several ramps and surfing by myself, John Holeman, and Kelly Slater.

To be honest, I have never done any editing with our modern software so this should be a learning process for me. If anyone has, and finds one program better than others (and easier!) then please let me know!

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Nut Smyrna

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Sometimes, as humans, we have to rationalize where our opt out point would be during certain events. Most of us are believers in self preservation or very realistic about what could happen during dangerous circumstances.

While others just slip on the old blinders and carry on as if things are going swimmingly.

This leads us to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. A place I have written frequently about in the past. A case study of the human ability to ignore obvious signs of detriment and a study in the game of playing the odds.

Which leads us to 9/18/2016. A day that 3 people were given a slight gumming by the ever present local shark population.

As one can notice from the picture above, the idea that 3 people were just bitten by sharks seems to be lost on this crowd. They say that you are more than likely to be struck by lighting in Florida than to be bitten by a shark  so to them the odds are in their favor.

Finally, at close to 8 p.m., I received this photo.

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One lone surfer sat bobbing in the sea like a piece of hot dog on a fishing line close to dark. He is that tiny white colored dot almost dead center in the picture. For those who are not in the know, dusk and dawn are a time of feeding for many predators and sharks are in this group.  He more than likely felt that he had outsmarted society as a whole as he was out enjoying the fun surf all to his lonesome and the rest of us could not fathom the source of his joyous evening. Or he was just depressed and had a crushing work week.

The end result? I never heard anything about a missing person or another attack. So he probably paddled in and thought to himself that all those dolphins were really nice for keeping him company and for circling his board to ensure he stayed safe.

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Hermine Visits Chipotle

My son and I were enjoying our tacos at Chipotle when the alert went off.

Lightning has been detected within 5 miles of your location.

The sun shone brightly. Within a few minutes the horizon showed a wall of approaching black. Then came the cracks of lightning and the accompanying booms of thunder.

Quickly I opened the weather app and saw a sight that I have not seen in ages.

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A pinwheel of reds, greens, and yellows.

Thus began a few days of  mild weather and tropical Armageddon.

Now a week later, we can always look back and view the week with a different set of eyes.

Last week was a mix of chaos, reflections, and a chance to shut some doors. For the United States, this storm made landfall during our last hurrah of the summer which is Labor Day weekend. The surf pulsed in with the mullet and there were a few exceedingly bad shark bites at my local beach.

So let us break down a few subjects:

  • The surf. Once again this storm took a path that caused me to miss what small window of good surf there was. I ventured out in a confused sea close to work one evening and met a sea of currents, chop, and muddling rookies on WaveStorm boards that set themselves up in the perfect way to block any good rides.
  • Work. Summer was not kind to us. We had to deal with an employee that seemingly was fishing for a lawsuit and constantly was having problems. We also had a supply problem that hindered my ability to do my complete job. So the soggy ending to our summer was bad for attendance but nice for the weary and down trodden.
  • My birthday! Had to work but…who cares! It is your birthday! At my old age, I find it wonderful to read the posts on Facebook from my friends scattered around the world. It is nice to see people take time out of their day to give you well wishes.
  • Lost chances. Imagine someone walks up to you and says that they will give you an opportunity. If you have $400 dollars, they will give you $10,000 dollars but you have a window of ten minutes. You run to the teller machine for the bank and you have $350.00! The man will not bargain. All or nothing. You would feel lame when it all fell through and you would question why you did not have more than $350 in the bank.

 

Well, I had a few things that did not go my way. I wakesurf and there was a simple contest to win a sponsorship. Due to work, I just could not find the time to get out on the water, let alone film and edit a video. So I let that one go by me.

Then I was also accepted to attend an event involving wave pools. It would have been a wonderful opportunity for me to do some mingling and maybe change course in my employment. Then I found out it came with a rather pricey (for me) entrance fee which put me out of the running again.

So this has been things. Along with another pricey car breakdown a month back and a car accident in a rental car that thankfully I was not hurt in. The crazy thing was that I was driving my rental to the shop to pick up my car when a guy whipped an illegal U-turn and plowed straight into the front of the car. A shocker to say the least!

But I am still staying positive and looking to the future!

 

 

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Knick Knacks

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I was digging through some files and found some clippings that I saved. Reading them put a big smile on my face. However, as flattered as I am from these, I was at a loss on how to keep them on my blog as a form of preservation without having it all seem like an ego issue for myself. Finally, I just said why not? They are just compliments and a kind gestures.

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The first item came from a post on a surf forum called 2ndlight.com. On the forum, someone posed a simple question and that was who was their favorite surfer on the site and why. There were many responses because my area is a hotbed of talent but my name came up overwhelmingly in the shortboard category.

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The second item was from a post in which the question was asked to name the best surfers you had seen in real life. In this post, I was listed along with Kelly Slater, Matt Kechele, Damien and C.J. Hobgood, Scott Bouchard,and Bryan Hewitson. So I was humbled that someone felt that my surfing came to mind over many other well qualified individuals that I surf with regularly.

Finally, there is a post in which a surfer tells a story of going to the beach on a lackluster day. He sees a guy down the beach putting it down on the gutless junk and after the surfer goes in; he realizes it is me.

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So some pretty nice compliments which is always nice.

Finally, I will just say this.

I can not really say what motivates me. Sometimes I do enjoy some showmanship. I am not a daredevil with a death wish.

Mainly there is some voice I hear that overpowers my inner dialogue. When it is big and this wave pops up that looks extra hideous, my inner voice tells me that this is the one I have to try and tackle. When the voice tells me that I need to gun it for the shoulder, the louder voice tells me to put on the brakes and relax. That I will make it through whatever happens.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the show!

Also thanks to 2ndlight.com and The Boardheads and Doreen who took the first two shots on this post.

 

 

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Eyes Ahead!

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This is a very poor picture but it really illustrates a point that separates  we hero surfers on Mount Olympus and the sad masses below that are doomed to a life of blowing turns and struggling in the surf.

  1. As one can see, I am bringing this turn around to keep me close to the white water so I can connect this one to the shore. I am loading up to pop my board off of the whitewater to get me in a better position to connect this one in.
  2. Notice my head and you can see where I am looking. That is the top of the wave. Now look at the nose of my board. Facing down the line. I am spotting where I need to go far before I get there.
  3. Novices try to turn their entire body at once and usually wipe out or dig a rail and lose speed.
  4. The correct way is to turn your head first, then you upper body, then work your way down. You are using the upper body to create tension which pulls the lower body into place and correctly keeps the board on rail and creates the flow from turn to turn.

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Once again, the same concept. You can see that my shoulders are pulling my lower body back towards the steep part of the wave and that I am already checking out what is going on down the line and that I am seeing that it is not very walled up so another set up turn was probably done until the wave steepened up more.

So your mission is to focus on the wave and where you need to go and not to check out your feet or to not just force turns in one motion and ruin a perfectly good wave!

Get out there and charge! And as always I am free to answer any questions you may have in regards to improving your surfing.

Talofa!

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Divides

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Just a kid wandering through a jungle on a school day…

I have spoken many times about my rough start to surfing and to entering the teen years and also about the changes it brought. I will not lie. I was not always the best person in the world but I was a kid. A kid who like most kids feels that sense of invincibility and who also might feel that they are more capable than they actually are. And for me, I went from being someone who was very ignored and left out to being the center of attention within a few short years.

Unsettled and divided.

This is my life.

But always living on different sides of the fence. Climbing back and forth.

Being a normal teen at school and being some place far away. Being with my friends at the beach and climbing into my bed at home in an inland city. Never completely belonging anywhere.

To this day it is still like this. But as a kid, it was something I had to adapt to. Some of it was going on and at the time I had no idea how big it was until it was all over. Some things just happened. For the team mates of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan, it was just some stars aligning that brought them all together and I just happened to crash land at a good moment. Stories for books I guess.

Now I am climbing the walls again. Trying to regain some small portion of what I once had. Because the life on this side that I am currently stuck in is not for me.

 

 

 

 

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Free Ride?

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

You have a wonderful collection of stickers! Now get to work!!

This is to bring some clarity on a subject matter that no one really told me about as a grommet. As a grizzled veteran of the surf industry, I can now look back and see clear mistakes that I made and other kids made as well.

I really can not remember details but at some point in my early teens I was sponsored by a local Burger King to skate on their team. I can only remember the stickers that were planted on my board of the king himself. So Burger King was my first official sponsor.

From there I was picked up by a surfboard company and have had the pleasure of working with many brands. Some were a great fit. Some were not. Many went under during the course of my relationship with them.

The Free Gear!

First off, to state the obvious. When you are picked up by a team and are given something for free or at a discount; you have now entered into a different status. You are now employed because no one really gives you anything for free. So now, you have to work for what you were given.

Yes…work.

Even if you are the anti-hero type and wear punk clothes and flip off the cameras; your job is to now bring business to whomever is giving you gear. So whatever you think the parameters are, it is a great idea to work diligently within them.

At some point, I know I did one crucial no-no. I knew I was a good surfer and was bringing people into the shop so I began to grow tired of the circus that would occur every time the photographers would show up. So my move was to just avoid it all and surf.

The problem was that most industries, jobs, and even relationships work on a level of involvement. If you are not front and center, then you are soon forgotten. So being involved and showing a level of caring will go a long, long way.

The Jumper

This brings up another mistake that I saw many kids do. There they were at practice, pitching in and building relationships. Then came a big event and voila!! They were on a board from another company or with a different sponsor. Many sports operate in a bordered environment. So your reputation can quickly go south if you keep jumping ship and moving to other teams at any offer that seems better than what you are getting. No one wants to invest in someone and have them leave before getting anything out of the deal.

The Bottom Line

Treat your sponsors and your team status as a job and an opportunity. Be involved. Go on social media and plug them and explain why you are happy to be a part of their team. Get your friends stoked on them as well.

Also, treat them like a friend. Write an e-mail explaining what you are doing or drop in and tell them in person. Send pictures! Send a picture of you using their products.

In the long run, you can set yourself up for a job or more. I had a great relationship with a few management types who remembered me when they moved on to other companies and brought me to their new gigs.

It is all about what you make it.

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