Are You Experienced?

But first

Are You Experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

-Jimi Hendrix

Did you hear about Bob and Sue (not their real names of course!)?

Well, they got the axe today.

My co-management member launched into a terrible story. Basically, Bob was taking Sue, his manager, on business trips around the country. Bob was the Vice President of his department so maybe taking his manager was not a bad idea. Well except that he had a director. Which also just happened to be the husband of Sue. So he should have been going on the trips instead of her. But somehow he was talked out of going because his expertise was needed to hold down the fort.Sometimes loyalty does not pay off!

Some smart person in accounting noticed some tell tale clues and they were later terminated.

After her divorce and termination, Sue needed to gain a new line of employment. I was shocked to hear what she did next.

Sue is now a certified Life Coach. There to guide people to do the right thing.

In the surfing world and in our modern society; there are many Sues out there. People whom lack the qualifications, experience, or traits to be a leader yet have no qualms portraying themselves as being qualified. Thankfully in most cases, one would understand what they are getting. For example, most parents would figure out that their child’s Pop Warner Football Coach is probably not a former coach of the New York Giants. But in the surfing world, instructors and coaches often portray themselves to newcomers as if they have spent years traveling the world surfing Pipeline, Puerto Escondido, and Shark Island when the reality is that they spend their day on the beach towel watching when the surf size maxes out.

That can lead to a situation such as what happened the other day. A post on social media that made me do a double take.

A person with very minimal surfing experience was talking about their class they are taking to become a surfing instructor and they were going into the finer points of the local surf breaks. Some of the breaks in this area are pretty heavy and I am sure this upcoming instructor has never been out at.This person has limited water experience. They ended their post with their excitement to teach people to surf and were urging people to take to the seas under their guidance.

Some endeavors in life require commitment and experience. Lots of time spent building and honing your craft. Surfing is one such commitment. Sure there are a million surfers in the world, just as there are a millions of people who are not animal behaviorists that taught their dog to shake hands. There are far less folks in this world who can train animals such as dogs or cats to do a complete show. The number of people who have experience training a whale drops to a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the population of unskilled folks with the hand shaking dogs.

To anyone out there reading this that is new to surfing…Believe me…your instructor may seem friendly and they probably mean well but the odds are they have little idea beyond teaching you the basics of standing up. If your goal is just to take one class and be done…then this can be OK. But if you really want to learn the art of surfing then it would be prudent to research who in your local area has a proven track record of doing more than just churning out a thousand hunched over, foam-groveling minions on soft tops.

In my opinion, a real certified coach should have done a few of these items:

  1. Surf in extremely large surf. If they have never spent a day out at Pipeline or Puerto Escondido then they more than likely lack any idea on how to help you if the surf gets large. Sadly enough, if things in the ocean sour, your instructor may need to be saved themselves.
  2. Judged a real surfing contest. Even an amateur contest for the N.S.S.A. or a club contest will do.
  3. Coached someone from zero to at least top ten in their division.
  4. Coached for a surfing company.
  5. Surfed as a professional or been entered in an amateur event with a title at stack. This could be the N.S.S.A. Championships or I.S.A. World Championships. Wearing a Hollister shirt that says 1971 Laguna Surf Championships is a big no no!
  6. Posses a very keen understanding of body mechanics.
  7. Surf very well on a longboard and a shortboard. If your favorite board is a funshape or a pop out, then you are more or less pulling yourself out of consideration.

So what skills would you believe that a surfing instructor should have?

Oh yeah, this weeks Noise to Note! is Jimi Hendrix. To stick to the theme, I was looking for Are you Experienced. Sadly, I could not find a video for the song so the substitute is Voodoo Child. The video is long. Very long…but you can watch a person who has spent countless hours fine tuning their craft. Not someone who took a course and is trying to bypass real world experience.





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It was a warm sunny day…

There I sat on the guardrail taking in the peacefulness of the river basin that stretched out before me. Songbirds chased each other through the trees that grew out of the embankment of the marsh. I leaned back and felt the warmth of the sun. Oh yeah, I was supposed to be at work 40 minutes ago!

But first let me digress. My department is very small and contains several job groups. When one person calls off for their shift; it would be the equivalent of losing ten employees in a larger department.

So imagine the groan I let out when I received the second text message in regards to a call out and this person was perhaps one of the best employees on my team. Thankfully the first one came the day before…Just as I was leaving work. So I had already committed to waking up early and getting a good start on the day.

As I turned the ignition key, I instantly noticed the gas gauge…low. Way to low to make an hour journey to work. But I was not worried because I was leaving early and the city traffic would be light.

As I approached the big intersection, I noticed the local gas station was entangled by a web of yellow caution tape. I surveyed every inch. Every pump but two were operational and a line of cars were fighting and jostling to get pole position to be the next at the pump. No thanks!!

So I drove onward, still in the direction of the highway I needed to get onto.

At the next mega-super gas station, it was bristling with action from pumps 1 to 60. I pulled in and entered the doors. When I got inside, I was shocked to see such a chaotic scene. Three long lines of customers, mainly landscape teams, stretching almost to the door. They were segmented by their neon colored vests and they were chattering among each other in foreign dialects. Some waving their breakfast sandwiches in the direction of the frantic cashiers.

The employees of the mega-station were a mess as well. Managers staring and pointing at screens and rubbing their foreheads. Running outside and calling on the radios to the employees who were pushing at buttons and turning a key.

I am sorry for this issue folks but pumps 1 through 60 have been rendered inoperable. No gas is available at this moment.

A collective groan came from the store. Now I must drive way out of my way to the next gas station and my valuable extra time I have given myself is becoming just the usual amount of time.

After fueling and driving, I get on the highway to slow traffic. Then later as I am approaching a long two way stretch in the middle of a river and a forest; I see all the cars far, far ahead swerving and turning and red brake lights slamming on. The entire operation goes from 75 m.p.h. to 0. Soon emergency vehicles slide by in the grass and after that came the helicopters.

So I noticed how beautiful the river was and instead of sitting in my car being upset like the rest of the miles long line; I left my car and sat in the warm sunshine and watched it all.

Guess what? At work my employees came in and figured out what was going on and started their day like they do everyday. When I came in, things were rolling along.

So I could have stressed out and decided that my day was ruined. But I didn’t. Later as I came into a room, I peered out the window and saw the ocean. And a cruise ship. And the dunes. This is where I work every day.



My view at work. Good days or bad.

Was this a bad day for me or a blessed day?








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Noise to Note! #107

Noise to Note!

I guess in life there are people like the artist known as Flying Lotus. People that are loved by artists. Yet, barely raise the eyebrows of the majority. Or record company executives.

Yet, the famous still clamor to be on his albums…his persona commits to the music…and the public tunes into Katy Perry.

Flying Lotus – Robo Tussin.

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Heading Towards Home


Today I attended a memorial service for an old departed friend. It was being held at a beachside town where I used to spend a lot of time but I must say that my feet had not touched the water there in countless years.

When I go into detail about my youth, I always start with Hawaii. It was my one and only home for years. We did move to Virginia for a few years when I was very young but long before I even thought of surfing we had packed up and moved back. Then we moved to Florida and my life changed.

I guess I began to lead a double life.

I remember one great swell and I was skateboarding by my house. A few of the skaters looked sad.

The waves are great today someone spoke…and we are missing it.

The waves are great I said. It was a really good day today. The other skaters wondered what I meant.

Did you go surfing today?

Of course!

So this was my life. Split between friends who lived miles apart. A lot of driving!

Welcome Home!

In the past few months I have heard this mentioned several times and yet, each time it was from someone cities…even continents apart.


My home is in Brazil. Where I can wait for my wife to finish work and play with my dog.


My home is in Florida with my family and my house.


My home is in Hawaii.

So I might not be able to pick a favorite but to answer the person today…

Yes…it is nice to be home.

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Noise to Note! #106

Noise to Note!

After a short vacation of 3 and a half weeks, I have decided to return to the grand mansion.

Since yesterday was Halloween and all…here is Social Distortion performing Mommy’s Little Monster from way, way, way back.

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Off Work

Somehow I am in Brazil!

Somehow I am in Brazil!

Bom Dia!

I am away from the super Sidewedge computer. Be back soon.

This is what I  see.

Poor Brazilian driving

Poor Brazilian driving 

What the!

What the!

As an American, my love of giant cups of coffee will ensure my return.

Ate logo!

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Noise to Note! #105

Noise to Note!

Calm music to ease fast times.

Labisch – Rain.

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