Mar 23, 2013

Surfing Nostalgia

A beautiful and heartfelt article written by a man to whom I can relate.  Many dream of being a surf writer, and many of us surfers define ourselves by our sport.  This article shows an interesting evolution of this concept by writer Roy Harrell.

Almost 10 years ago to the day, I began to write this weekly column I called the Surf Report. At the time I had recently rediscovered the joys of surfing after a sabbatical of quite a few years, and rather naively reasoned that everyone shared my enthusiasm and would appreciate a weekly newspaper column dedicated to the sport of surfing. Some 520 columns later, I find myself looking back on a paper trail of a big section of my life. My children grew up in this column. My son, Roy, was 12 years old when I started. He’s 22 today.

During that decade of writing I bared my soul. I sent dispatches from every surf trip, every surf contest, every week, no matter where I was. I got up in the middle of the night in Hawaii to get my article in before the 8 a.m. deadline in order to compensate for the five-hour time zone difference. I tapped out my stories in Internet cafes in strange cities long before the days of WiFi. I’ve written from the Bahamas, from Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, California, and just about every state on the Eastern Seaboard.

I don’t know what drove me to do it. It certainly wasn’t the money. I got paid the same ridiculous pittance for 10 years without an increase. I guess you would have to say I did it for the love of surfing. I never was really that good at it, but boy, did I love it.

At one time the column was printed in as many as five different papers, reaching from Assateague to Salisbury, to Seaford to Milford. And thanks to the Internet edition, I heard from critics and readers from all over the world.

Back when I first started, the Delaware buoy was our only forecast and reporting tool. Nowadays, there are multiple sites that offer hourly forecasts, updates, and several surf cams strategically positioned around Delmarva. My article posted a week after I wrote it with generally no pictures. It was hard to compete. So I didn’t. I wrote about what interested me and hoped that it was interesting to others as well. Funny thing is, I think a lot of people that never surfed a day in their life found it more interesting than many surfers ever did. Little old ladies I met in the grocery store loved it.


But today is going to be my last Surf Report. Oh, I still love surfing, but maybe not quite the way I used to. Once upon a time, even though I wasn’t a very good surfer, I defined myself first and foremost as a surfer. I would have to say that isn’t the case anymore. Today, surfing is something that I do, it’s not who I am.

In fact, incongruous as it may sound to some of you, who I am today is a pastor of a small church called The Beach Fellowship, which I started here in Bethany several years ago. I worked a number of side jobs to support myself in that, and the surf column helped some in that regard. I still surf on a regular basis, and hope to continue for another 10 years at least. But I write a to a different tune nowadays. And I can only hope that I write better sermons than I did surf columns. I imagine they are just as confrontational at times though. I invite you to visit my church, which meets on the beach in Bethany during the warmer months at the end of Ocean View Parkway, 8 a.m. Sundays or you can visit online at www.surfersfellowship.blogspot.com.

There is an old adage popularized by General MacArthur which says “old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” Undoubtedly, you will still see my old red Suburban parked at North Side or down around 36th Street from time to time. But hopefully I will be surfing with a sense of relief, a bliss of anonymity that escaped me all those years when I was writing. And maybe, from a surfing point of view at least, I can finally just fade away.
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Mar 22, 2013

Surfboard Wax



Surfboard wax is an often overlooked necessity for surfers.  Imagine a slip-n-slide.  Now, imagine the slip-n-slide on a well-polished basketball court that moves up and down, side to side, bucking you off.  That's what surfing without wax is like– it's impossible.

Unlike snowboard wax, surfboard wax goes on the top of your board and gives you traction to planet your feet for big maneuvers.  Boards are rewaxed daily, and a fresh coat of wax makes a world of difference.  I wanted to explore wax a little bit, and I found that wax comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and forms.  Here are a few of the most notable (and, oddly, sexual) waxes...
Sex wax
A regular bar of Sex Wax

Sticky bumps multi-color surfboard wax
 Multi-color surfboard wax
Mighty Humps Wax
Mighty Humps Wax

Hang Ten Surfboard Wax
Hang Ten Surfboard Wax

Sex Wax Skull Surfboard Wax
Pink Sex Wax Skull
Surfboard Wax Comb
Various wax combs for removing wax from a surfboard

Girl waxing a surfboard

Girl waxing a surfboard
Waxing a surfboard

A freshly waxed surfboard
A freshly waxed surfboard

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Mar 21, 2013

The Serenity of Surfing

"Sometimes in the morning, when it’s a good surf, I go out there, and I don’t feel like it’s a bad world." -Kary B. Mullis 

Surfing is many things.  Sometimes surfing is action, sometimes it's fear, sometimes it's excitement, sometimes it's aggravating, sometimes it's painful, but many times surfing is serenity.  Peace.  Bliss.  When you're on a wave, the rest of the world disappears.  I think that this feeling is best described through pictures.
Serenity of Surfing
Serenity of Surfing
Serenity of Surfing
Serenity of Surfing
Serenity of Surfing
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Mar 20, 2013

Surfing In Snow

Sometimes it's not the actual surfing that's the most beautiful part of the sport, sometimes it's the different surfing locations.  Different surfing locations inspire awe, evoke courage, and help to realize an inner peace..  Whether it's in ice or snow, the jungle, or the city, there are many different places where people surf.  Here are a few photos of different surfing locations.
Surfing in the snow
Surfing in iceDifferent surfing locations
Different surfing locations
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Mar 19, 2013

Better Your Best

Surfing is unique in that to fully embrace the sport, a surfer must immerse themselves in more than technical modifications to a jump shot or a curve ball.  Surfers have a special spiritual relationship with their sport and with the ocean.  Mickey Smith is a master at conveying this relationship, as you can see in my posts about Dark Side of the Lens and Esmerelda.

It just so happened that one of the partners of the company I work for, Mr. Peter Cline, had been tracking Mickey Smith when he was working with 180 Amsterdam.  He loved the work that Mickey had done with Dark Side of the Lens, and so hired him to direct a few spots for 180 Amsterdam's client Asics.  In Better Your Best, Mickey Allen creates the same connection he did with surfers and their sport with triathletes.  Enjoy the spot.

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Mar 18, 2013

Surfing Magazine Swimsuit Edition

As a... uh... update... to my previous post about Girl's Ripping, I wanted to share this with you.  Surfing Magazine's swimsuit edition is coming out soon and they're doing special promo videos on their Facebook.  Here's Chelsea...

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Mar 17, 2013

Esmerelda

Mickey Smith is about as talented as directors come.  He created Dark Side of the Lens, and described the emotional connection surfers have to their sport.  This time, instead of describing it, Mickey showed it through a unique lens in Esmerelda, a music video for Ben Howard.  The world of surfing in reverse.

This artful depiction of waves and surfing encompasses the spiritual connection that surfers have to the ocean and to waves.  Plug in your headphones, tune out your surroundings and enjoy this beautiful video.


Here is another music video that Mickey Smith made for Ben Howard:
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Mar 16, 2013

Exotic Creatures


I made a post about what to do when you're not surfing about the Long Beach Aquarium, but I had some extra photos.  At the Long Beach Aquarium, there are a huge host of creatures (yes, even some birds).  When I visited, I took photos of some of the most exotic species including the Saw Tooth Shark.  See the photos below (you'll recognize which is the Saw Tooth).  You don't want to run into one of these in the water.

We were also able to feed and hold tropical birds that live around the water where these exotic species of marine mammals are found.  When you're out surfing, try not to think too hard about what's lurking underneath.

Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
Exotic Creatures Long Beach Aquarium
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Mar 15, 2013

The Heart & The Sea

'The Heart & The Sea' is a film from independent Australian filmmaker Nathan Oldfield.

Over three years in the making, 'The Heart & The Sea' explores the joy that lies at the very centre of a surfing life: family, friends & a shared intimacy with the sea. Filmed in Australia, New Zealand, France & Spain, this is a gently refreshing & quietly enchanting contribution to the surf film genre.

The film is beautifully shot, and showcases surfing through an artistic lens.  Enjoy the old-school shots and riding styles.


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Mar 14, 2013

Long Beach Aquarium

I promised a post about what to do when you're not surfing on Offshore Winds' Facebook Page.  What better to do when you're out of the water for a month than discover what's going on underneath the water.  I took a trip to the Long Beach Aquarium and decided to take a few snaps.  Enjoy the photos...
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
Long Beach Aquarium
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Mar 13, 2013

Up In The Air



The aerial is arguably surfing's most flashy moves.  For the younger groms, it might even be the ultimate goal.  Airs keep on getting more and more complex.  It started with a little boost off the lip, and now people are doing 540s and backside rodeos (more to come on these in a later blog, if you're confused).  Just ask longboarding has evolved (see New School v Old School Longboarding), so have airs.  19 year old Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina is revolutionizing the aerial.  With his strong core and light weight, Gabriel is busting out huge airs in contests and in free surfing.  See his video at the bottom of the post for more.
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial
Surfing Aerial

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