Born to Surf

Mahalo Spirit Calls Surfers

What is it about Hawaii? I remember as a kid, arriving at Honolulu International after a 5 + hour flight from San Francisco. My sister and I were greeted by my cousins with fragrant Hawaiian Leis. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Driving into Waikiki, the smell pineapple engulfed you and you knew you were in a tropical paradise.

My cousins lived on Hickam Air Force Base so I got to hang out all summer in Hawaii.  We had the life of luxury. Hot malasadas in the morning and then some surfing. Afternoons were filled with sailing on their CAL20. Ala Moana, Pali Lookout, The Polynesian Cultural Center, Koi Carp, Poi (well maybe not the poi icon smile Mahalo Spirit Calls Surfers ) but Hawaii has it all. But the thing that makes Hawaii is the water. The temperature of the water varies from summertime high of approximately 82°F, to a low of about 76°F during the winter – that is amazing! Beginner waves and lots of surfboards for rent near the shore and bigger waves a short paddle out, make Waikiki the ultimate mellow surfing sport and explains why it’s probably the most photographed beach in the world – of course picturesque Diamond Head makes any picture look awesome.

Although prices are out of control (high) and the population has grown, Hawaii still maintains its spiritual draw for surfers and wannabe surfers – and those that just want to chill on the beach.

Mahalo bra – gone surfin’

andy hawaii old 300x300 Mahalo Spirit Calls Surfers


Don’t Go In The Water

Another Shark Attack (July 23, 2012) , this time in France (Reunion Island). What’s up?

Get high on Surfing

When people ask me what the “big deal” is about surfing, I always tell them it the spiritual pull (Nature’s beauty) and the natural high. I’ve talked to surfers that took acid trips while surfing Mavericks and I could never get the “reason” for that.  Why ruin a naturally awesome high with a fake high?  Just sayin….

And Jenayl Peters seems to feel the same:

There must be something in the water because Jenayl Peters likes to surf . . . a lot.

“The art and beauty of being right there in nature brings me pure happiness,” said Peters, a Thousand Oaks resident. “A good wave gives me a high that lasts all day.”

Now, the 21-year-old is experiencing a different kind of high. On June 16, Peters won first place in the 20- to-29-year-old division of the Roxy Waikiki Classic, a free amateur surf competition in Hawaii for girls and women.

from By Stephanie Sumell

Surfers for facebook 300x198 Get high on Surfing

Until next time – gone surfin’

Surfing this Christmas

The Christmas Season is a time to reconnect with family and friends and to celebrate the reason for the season – Jesus!  It’s also time to take advantage of a few days or even weeks off.  In NorCal, where the Pacific Ocean is as cold as the snow in Tahoe, a perfect day looks like this.

We’re up before the sun is warm in the sky – around 3:00 am.  We toss the surfboards in the back of the car and put the snow boards on top of the car.  Weary but stoked to be hitting the road, we set off on Hwy 101 and we’re off to Lake Tahoe.  We’ll cross the San Francisco Bay Bridge and as we pass Berkeley on the right we see the Campanile – Go Bears (UC Berkeley).  The concrete stretch from Matinez to Davis and on through Sacramento is grueling — we’re trying to stay awake and keep from being totally bored.  Fortunately there are some good tunes playing on the CD – we’re stocked with Switchfoot, Lighthouse, Pablo Cruise and Van Halen.  We take a quick pit stop at a 7-11 for coffee, donuts and a breakfast burrito.  The ride up takes about 5 hours.  Soon we’re in the foothills and once we hit Auburn, our energy level is on the rise.  We pass Donner Summit and of course star talking about the Donner Party who died in a horrible snowstorm.  Finally we’re turning onto Hwy 89 and almost to Alpine Meadows – that’s where we’re skiing today.  Sometimes we’ll ski Squaw Valley or Heavenly – but the vibe at Alpine is cool so that’s where were heading.  This will not be a cheap day – we’re looking at over 60 bucks for the day pass and we’re only gonna be here for a couple of hours. Despite our best pleas, we gotta pay the full rate.  But it’s worth it – beautiful day.  We’re on the slopes by 9:00 am.  Snow has just fallen.  Sun is out.  Yep, I can pretty much only think of one thing that might top this – so we’re off the slops and back in the car, heading back to the Coast and our final destination …. Bolinas.  The ride to Bolinas is another 5 hours but this time well track through Marin County.  Funky place, Marin … lots of throw-back hippies that settled in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  At one point, nearly all the who’s who in the San Francisco rock scene lived in Marin – Steve Perry from Journey, Sammy Hagar from Sammy Hagar and Van Halen fame, Van Morrison, Huey Lewis, Neil Schon ..and the list goes on and on.  We’re in Bo by 4:00 pm and in the water immediately.  Its’ getting a bit dark but there’s a good winter swell.  Even one hour is enough to get our groove going and as dark descends upon us, we’re starving. So we’re off to the Dipsea in Mill Valley for some grub – and by this time, you can imagine we’re looking pretty gnarly.  But good news, everyone at the Dipsea looks that way too so we fit right in.  Back on the road, heading over the Golden Gate Bridge on a perfectly clear San Francisco night, up 19th Avenue and through Golden Gate Park.  And finally home sweet home .

SurfSanta wreath BTS blog Surfing this Christmas

Now where else on this planet could you do all of this in one day?

Merry Christmas!  Gone surfin’.  BTS

The Beatles were not Surfers

In California Girls, the Beach Boys sing, “Well East Coast Girls are hip, I really dig the styles they wear.  And the southern girls with the way they talk.  They knock me out when I’m down there.  The mid-west farmers daughters really make you feel alright.  And the northern girls with the way they kiss. They keep their boyfriends warm at night.  I wish they all could be California girls.”    The Beach Boys were writing a song that highlighted the California girls but really they were making a statement to girls all over.  Enter the Beatles who at the time were doing Bong hits under transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Yogi, by the way, was called the giggling guru which makes sense because the guy was always high.  So the Beatles decide they can save the world with Love.  They write back in the USSR as a parody of the Beach Boys (jealous no doubt of the Pet Sounds album). In his 1984 interview with Playboy, McCartney said (Wikipedia): “I wrote that as a kind of Beach Boys parody. And “Back in the USA” was a Chuck Berry song, so it kinda took off from there. I just liked the idea of Georgia girls and talking about places like the Ukraine as if they were California, you know? It was also hands across the water, which I’m still conscious of. ‘Cause they like us out there, even though the bosses in the Kremlin may not. The kids do. And that to me is very important for the future of the race.  Imagine, Paul talking about the future of the race.”  I think the problem is that the Beatles didn’t get enough sun and never surfed nor thought about surfing.  Now remember this was a time when the Beatles kept getting busted for dope.  Lennon did his give love a chance phase and his bed scene with Yoko. But love didn’t save poor John.  The giggling guru faded away – his “holiness” wasn’t so holy after all and he died.  Paul McCartney …. well he’s belittling US Presidents and their intelligence when Sir Paul (huh?) himself never went to school and for sure never set foot in a library.  So before all you Beatle fans go ragging-on-me, don’t get me wrong.  I think they were pretty good musicians and I like some of their songs.  But the bottom line is this, you need more than Love ……they proved it!  My message to Paul — get some sun and hit the beach… Gone surfin’. BTS.

The Surf Vibe Is In All Of Us

Have you ever noticed how many people are drawn to the ocean?  I mean you could say that some dorks are only on the beach to check out the girls and maybe vice-versa … but truly there seems to be an irresistible draw to the sea.  I recall surfing Bo during the early morning hours with a few dudes – it was way too cool to take in and you just sort of wished it would never end.  At Bo, people are so laid back that pretty much anything goes – on the beach, in the water … in the town (but that’s another blog).  And when surfing, I’m always amazed at how many people just stop and watch.  Maybe they’re waiting for the wipeout or perhaps they are scanning the horizon for a fin (can you say Jaws) – or maybe they too want to just vicariously experience the salt spray on their face and the exhilaration of speed as you accelerate into the wave.  I see the same vibe when people walk the piers where someone is fishing.  Everyone wants to know what was caught, and it never fails that folks look over the rail of the pier into the deep and then to span the seas.  And think about the big wave days when logically we know that we should be careful, instead we try to get as close to the waves as possible.  And the ocean’s draw is hitting everyone.  I recall Pacifica when the lineup was maybe 10 guys … and there were no girls.  Today on a weekend, you can’t even find a place to park at Linda Mar (Pacifica).  You could have 100 people (or more) in the water.  Go figure.  Even the son of the minister at our church started surfing NorCal once the family moved from the East Coast.  Then the pastor himself started surfing and now his wife is surfing as well.  You can’t stop it.  And that’s a beautiful thing.   

 The Surf Vibe Is In All Of Us


30 foot wave Wave hits ship

Check this out – the size of waves that are being surfed at Mavericks – dang…


Antarctic Cruise Ship Damaged by Massive Wave –

Surfing Costa Rica

Never been to Costa Rica, but Born to Surf will get there one of these days.   I found this article interesting and you might as well.

Gone surfing’. BTS.

A surfer’s paradise at Playa Guiones, Costa Rica.

Surfing Big Waves

As we all know (or we should know), the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational is ready to rock and roll.  That means, if big waves are forecast to find their way to land at Half Moon Bay (Princeton by the Sea), then it’s time for the big dogs with the big sticks to hit the beach.  The top big wave riders from around the world will make their way to NorCal for some awesome surfing.

I was thinking about Big Wave riding this weekend as I was checking out the surf conditions at Mavericks.  I personally have never surfed big waves (and can I define a big wave as anything over 6 – 8 feet).  I’m not really sure why.  I’d like to tell you that the occasion never arose but alas, I think I’m a bit spooked of the soup from a wipeout on a Big Wave.  And the truth-be-known, I’ve had many an epic day on waves in the 4 – 6 foot range. But the waves at Mavericks – they can get to be over 20 feet.

I’ve been to Mavericks a lot – but always on the beach and never really ready to surf.  But I did grow up surfing NorCal waves where the waves are extremely heavy.  So multiply my sense of heavy 3-fold and we’re talking some pretty gnarly waves.

And while the waves are big, it’s the threat of a wipeout that gets your mind thinking….what if….

A big wave at Mavericks can push a surfer 20 – 50 feet under water.  Dang …. and while the lifestyle of surfing has been marketed to show the energy and raw beauty of surfing as well as the action on the beach (particularly in Southern California), for surfers who surf the big waves at Mavericks, it can be a life and death experience.  Unfortunately it was death for Mark Foo, who perished surfing Maverick’s on December 23, 1994.  Foo took off on a wave that was almost 20 feet high.  He wiped-out and unfortunately paid the ultimate price.

A wipeout surfing big waves is brutal. The first (and worst) thing that can happen is hitting your board on the way down off a steep drop, and becoming unconscious.  That may have been what happened to Foo.  Once you’ve wiped-out, you’re in the whitewater which has been likened to being a Born to Surf, Surf T (shameless plug) in a washing machine.  The spinning is relentless.  And once you finally stop spinning, you need to determine which way is up. It’s not as easy as you think because you’re pretty disoriented.  So you look up hoping to see light at the top of the water.  Surfers may have less than 20 seconds to get to the surface before the next wave hits them. Sometimes the waves come faster and the mass of the wave drags you down until you’re totally sapped of energy. Even in smaller waves this has happened to me.  And the water pressure at a 20–50 feet can even rupture eardrums – now that could ruin your day. (what did you say – joke la)

Surfers are tremendous athletes.  They need incredible balance as well as an almost surreal understanding and appreciation for the ocean.  And they need to be in incredible shape to handle the inevitable wipeout.  Can you say, “hold your breath.” And isn’t that what we always do when we see one of these surfers wipe out?

For me, I think I’ll sick to my 4 – 6 foot waves.  For the big dogs – that’s why they’re the big dogs.  I thoroughly appreciate and respect these dudes!

So what’s up at Mavericks right now?  Well at 3:18 PM, on Saturday December 4th, the waves are almost 6 feet.  Wind is light at 12 MPH.  If the waves cooperate, the Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational will happen between December 1 and February 28th.

Pray for surf … and pray for the safety of the surfers when the Mavericks event “is on.”

bts highsurf 220x300 Surfing Big Waves

Surf’s Up – BTS

Surfers have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

According to Wikipedia, “Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.”

And if you think about it, as surfers in the United States, we do have a lot to be thankful for.

First of all the fact that surfers can even make a living off of surfing is amazing – only Australia and South Africa are other countries where this could happen.  And don’t get me wrong, I know there are many great surfers from around the world, but how many can actually call surfing their career and make some good money?  We gotta be thankful for that.

And money is not the only thing for surfers to be thankful for. Location! Location!  Location!  There are so many places where surfers can surf. In Santa Cruz you have Cowells for beginners and Steamer Lane for advanced surfers. Surfin’ with the sea otters – how cool is that?  You have spots all over the US and not forget where it all started – Hawaii.  So we gotta be thankful…

And we can be thankful for the fact that we don’t have troops walking the beaches with machine guns and nor are we worried about some country lobbing bombs in our direction.  We’re thankful for that.

And while I know we’d all like our beaches to be cleaner, at least we’re not surfing with oil and dead chickens washing up on shore.  I’ve been there and done that – not good. So I’m thankful for that.

There remains the growing fascination of surfing in the United States. While Island nations around the world have a natural affinity for the water and hence surfing, even land-locked Americans in Ohio or Minnesota feel the call of surfing.  And why not, (a plug J), we’re all born to surf.  The success of surf companies like Quiksilver, Billabong and Born to Surf are proof that the surf culture has penetrated the very soul of the United States. Think about it.  When you have your board on the top of your car – whether that car is a hot ride or a piece of crap, you still get people looking at you; longing to have that experience you’ve had of being in the ocean and catching a wave.  We gotta be thankful for that.

Then there’s the accessibility of surfing – in SoCal you can walk, bike, skateboard or drive to your favorite surf break. In NorCal you can surf with sharks and rarely get munched.  In Florida, you’ve got warm waters and save for few bull sharks, really nice conditions. You gotta be thankful for that.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – Turkey Day in the US.  The weather forecast for Santa Cruz is mainly sunny skies with a high of 59F. Winds will be light and variable.  The forecast for Newport Beach is sunny skies with a high of 69F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.  At Bolinas we’re looking at sunny skies with a high of 57F. Winds light and variable.  And at OB in San Diego, mainly sunny with a high near 65F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.  You gotta be thankful for that.

So my plans for tomorrow —- get up early and catch a tasty buzz.  Then relax with the family for a big turkey day dinner.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and sweet potatoes.   I’m thankful for that!

Gone surfin’. BTS.