Improve Your Surfing – And More! Pt. 1

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Jr. finals of the Easter Surfing Festival.

 

Surfing is not an easy sport. So I will start off with the disclaimer:

If you are out of shape or have an injury; please consult a professional and get it done the correct way. Do not wing it and further injure yourself.

Now back to the fun!

Be What You Want!

If you have followed my blog, you may have caught the stories about my childhood. I was a frail pint-sized kid in Hawaii with poor motor skills. I was awful at just about everything I did. Yet, I knew I was going to be a professional surfer after opening up the first magazine that I ever laid eyes upon.

Is this realistic? For a 40 year old parent learning to surf; probably not. But we all have the power to improve. To achieve this we have to lose some things to gain in the long run. We have to lose the fixed mindset that hinders us.

I am not good at math.

I have terrible balance.

I can not do that!

If you have this mindset then you are right! You will not do it! You gave up before you worked to conquer the obstacle that you believe is in your way.

Coaching Alex

Growing up, I lived a few blocks from the beach. By the time I came to my current hometown, I was already a solid surfer. So moving inland only took a few shifts in focus and I was on my way.

Later, I was given my first role as a surf coach for a surf shop. I began to scout out some talent to add to the team. Through a tip and a stack of letters I found a kid named Alex. Alex was a decent surfer for his young age but he was a far better skateboarder. From watching him skate, I noticed that he had developed a great style and his mechanics were decent too. I knew that this would provide the base to build and improve his surfing. I signed him up as fast as possible!

As we begun to surf together more frequently, he was always checking in and soliciting feedback on what he needed to work on. This separated him from the other kids as they waited for me to give feedback and were not as active in applying what I was teaching them.

With this attitude, he was eventually collecting trophies and doing well in an area known for the talent pool. I also made a big decision. We were in between two districts. One had talented surfers but the exposure level was lower and so was the overall depth of the field. He could easily qualify through this district.

The other was far harder and in fact it was the top district in the United States at that time. Qualifying would be extremely difficult. I signed him up for the second one. Competing against the best is the sure fire way to improve yourself.

Oh yeah! Alex lived 45 minutes from the beach on a good day and he was a minor so he had to get people to drive him if his parents could not go. So yes, you can be a bit inland and improve too! No excuses!

Now for you!

Step 1.

Decide that you can improve your surfing! If you are just dropping in to my site out of curiosity and surfing is not your thing then do not worry. This applies to a lot of other areas including your job performance, your eating habits, or whatever it is you are aiming to do. You do not have to set your goals as being a 75 year old pilot of a rocket to Mars if it is not feasible. Everyone wants to be decent and you can be a competent surfer and improve where you are at now.

The next steps will be coming very soon.

I promise!

And as usual…Feel free to ask any questions regarding your issues in the water. From basic questions to the super technical; I will gladly give advice.

 

 

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Noise to Note! #138

Some psychedelia infused into your music will only spruce things up a tad.

So will some reverb on the vocals and songs crafted upon the feel of riding down an empty highway on your bike.

Ask The Cult or The Jesus and Mary Chain.

The Black Angels – Bad Vibrations

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Gift in a Box

Way back in a small box, under other boxes; lies a few minutes captured.

The video is of my friends and I skateboarding. Our times came together and now over time we have all grown up and followed different paths.

The neighborhood has changed. Skate spots were buried for apartments and strip malls. Wooded areas cleared. Progress for some.

And it has dreams and futures extinguished. Young lives cut short. So families and friends can for a few moments have their departed ones back.

Pine Hills at that point was a special place. A combination and chemistry of the right people and a great geographic location. Many ramps and many ditches and people arrived there that were a bit surprising. But it allowed us to skate with people who were much better. A club close by that played cutting edge music. There was a lot going on.

So enjoy…Even if it is to laugh at the tube socks or the poorly designed ramp. Or the Sweeper my friends and I did on the ditch…an awful skate trick from the 80s that died a rightful death!

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Noise to Note! #137

Noise to Note!

The Pretenders – Talk of the Town.

And sorry to Mullet Killer…I know he wants more videos with senior citizens dancing and camera shots panning out from inside a microwave.

Next week, buddy!

 

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Noise to Note! #136

Noise to Note!

 

I have spoken about this part of writing before. Sometimes you just can not scrape up an idea if your life depended upon it. Other times, you are churning out draft after draft of subject matter. You have more ideas for posts than what you would want to publish in a week.

A month ago, I was searching YouTube and other music sites for anything that would inspire me. This past week, songs have been leaping into my lap like my wacked out Pitbull, Baxter.

So for this week…Kitchens of Distinction. Drive that Fast.

Regular guy rock!

 

 

 

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Transporting Boards – Minus Mayhem!

 

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A Valiant Attempt.

Winter is departing in the northern hemisphere and as the temperature rises; surfers, experienced and not head to the call of the sea. For the past few weeks I have been seeing some huge mistakes being made by the novices that could damage your board and other people and vehicles.

The Science of it all

Your surfboard is a finely tuned aerodynamic craft. It has curves so it can fit into the wave face depending on the type of waves you ride and the boards have an upward lift on the nose and the tail. For some types of waves, the center of the board will be flat (low rocker).

Takeoff

Cleared for Takeoff!

Now imagine the board being ridden. The upward part of the nose when pressure is applied to the back will lift up because of the curve along with the pressure you are putting on the board. If you rode the board upside down, the board would be forced downwards. The nose would be scooping downwards and the curve would pile the water onto the board as well.

Now imagine the same thing but now with the force of air instead of water. From sticking your hands out the window as a child, you know that cupping your hand downwards will cause your hand to want to drop. Anything protruding above the flat surface with wind meeting it will be met with resistance. If something is not properly secured and wind can get under it; we know that the force of the wind will try to pry the object up in the least secured area.

Which way to go?

Now to add your surfboard to the equation.

With the force of the wind traveling across your car and being funneled up your windshield, you would not want your board to be facing upwards. An upside down board is pressing down and not lifting up so this lessens the stress on the racks and your board.

What happens if your racks start to fail or board begins to slide?

You need something to stop your board from flying away and that something is your fins!

Carplane

Pedestrian Punisher! photo by Daniel Colburn

So the correct way to strap your board on the roof is fins forward with the straps just behind the fin(s) and with the board upside down. Putting your board in a bag is a great idea too because trucks and other situations can lead to your board taking a direct hit from flying road debris.

So make your beach trip enjoyable! Be safe and be aware!

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The Winning Warrior

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Photo: Ross Bullard

 

A good friend of mine set me a picture just after Owen Wright won the first WCT event for the 2017 season. The event was held at Snapper Rocks in Australia. The picture he took was just before the finals between Owen Wright and Matt Wilkinson. Neither of the two are in the picture at all.

The picture is of Mrs. Wright and Mr. Wilkinson. The parents of the finalists. What the live broadcast missed was of two proud parents. Parents that had driven their children to a thousand surf contests and were now seeing them realize their dreams. During this course of time, they would bond over the events and of having their children become friends themselves. Both have shared sponsors and both support each other out of the water.

Sure it is competition. Someone will win and someone will finish runner up. However, at the end of the day it is just important to enjoy your job, forge relationships, and be proud of the experience as it is to win. If you do things right; hopefully at some point you will win. Winning is pretty empty when you are winning by yourself.

Thanks to my good buddy Ross Bullard for the pics, the surf reports, and the great friendship!

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