Here’s a little project I did for class. It’s a time lapse video shot by me from SLO to Morro Bay. There is also footage from from A-beach/Yerba Buena heading to Cayucos.
- Surfing vs Stand up paddle boarding(SUP’ing)
- Who’s entitled to the waves?
- Embracing the sport: kayakers/surfers starting to paddle.
- More possibilities: river paddling, surfing waves, not constrained to certain areas.
There is a long standing tension between surfing and stand up paddle boarding. Surfers constantly snark at the sport that they feel is invading their territory. It has especially become a huge issue in places like Hawaii and San Diego, where crowded waters are multiplying.
Brian Mircheff is a member of the Cal Poly surf team who has mixed feelings about stand-up paddle boarding.
“If they paddle out to sea they can stay there, no I’m kidding, but it really depends on their skill,”-Mircheff
“We were surfing north of lighthouse. It was huge out and the paddler was catching a ton of waves and riding them well. That was cool to see. Other wise if it’s at Pismo and their losing their boards its annoying and dangerous,” Mircheff said.
Embracing the Popularity
After designing kayaks, working as a guide, and competing for the U.S. kayak team, opening a shop was a natural progression for him. Originally Shay initially opened the shop with only kayaks in mind.
“To tell you the truth I only wanted to do kayaks,”-Shay
His girlfriend Emily is actually the reason he started to explore the idea of including stand-up paddling in his shop.
“My girlfriend had surfers ear really bad. She wanted to get into paddle boarding so I looked into ordering her one. We ended up getting 5 of them just to test out as rentals,” Shay said.
Since getting the boards, interest has been growing fast. People who don’t know a lot about stand-up paddling are intrigued by it. He is looking to order 10 more boards because of popularity.
“It’s interesting around here because the stand up deal is so untapped. I think its the fastest growing thing around right now,” Shay said.
Shay says that stand up is only going to gain more and more popularity on the central coast.
“The central coast is just starting to catch up to norcal and socal. The whole sport is growing, there’s no end in sight for it,” Shay said.
There are a lot of facets to stand-up paddling but his shops goal is to get more people really involved in the sport. If people don’t pick it up right away he’ll give you all your money back.
Rick Hayes is a student at Poly, avid kite-boarder, surfer, and stand-up paddle boarder. Stand-up paddling has become his favorite over the past few years.
“I like the freedom of it, you can see everything, you can go anywhere. You’re not constrained to being six inches above the water like surfing,”-Hayes
“Waiting for waves while surfing, your passive. With SUP no matter what size surf conditions its great to just be out on the water, see everything and go where you want,” Hayes said.
In Santa Barbara where he’s from you can do it every day of the year, even with the small waves.
He says during the winter people do get ridiculed for stand-up paddling in crowded surf spots.
“If you really know your stuff you can ride legit waves on stand-up paddle boards, people have ridden at jaws and mavericks. Its starting to get a lot more respect than before,” Hayes said.
“I have been called names, people are intimidated because you can catch more waves, they feel like your attacking their zone. I’ve been positve on the things I say back about it to promote the sport,”-Hayes
To avoid the crowd Hayes will go early in the morning, late at night, or in the middle of the night surfing with a stand up. A full moon or glow stick necklaces are used to light up the night water.
He says if you go smack dab in the middle of the day at a crowded spot every body will hate you. Hayes thinks it’s important for stand-up paddling carving out their own path. By finding different breaks and secluded spots only accessible with a paddle board, there won’t be as much tension with surfing.
On a typical day of paddling Hayes packs light and goes to explore for the day. While paddling you can stay out longer because you dont get as tired and you dont get as cold.
“Hungry, cold, tired if you can preserve those three things than you can surf all day. Stuff a pb&j in your wet suit and your set to go,”Hayes said.
Stand-up paddling and surfing will always exist as two different sport with similar influences. Many surfers and kayakers have began to embrace the sport and share the waters with everyone. If decide to try stand-up paddling there are many different options and styles to choose from.
- exercise/cross training
- lake/flat water paddling
- surfing waves
- big wave/outer reef surfing
Personally, I don’t see stand-up paddling going anywhere soon. So it should be embraced and let’s all learn to share the waters.
**Check out Vincent Shay in this video of him paddling San Luis creek.
- New surfing trends: wave pools and surfboard technology
- Surf inspired sports: Kite sports
- Kiting may be new but taking off fast
Innovative new ideas are taking over the surfing community and the boundaries of the sport are constantly being pushed. It made me start to think about sports that have branched out from surfing.
You know, sports that have been inspired and influenced by surfing but have come into their own complete identity. The ones that have taken water sports to the next level.
-Kite surfing 10+ years
Patrick Rebstock is a Cal Poly student and has been surfing ever since he can remember. After dabbling a little bit in windsurfing without much interest, he found and fell in love with kite surfing.
What he loves about kiting is how it enables you to take advantage of a lot of different conditions.
“When it’s windy and when its not windy I can be at the beach at all times either surfing or kitesurfing,”-Rebstock
Conditions that are bad for surfing can be great for kiting. Kiting has a very similar style to surfing, except the kite is like having your own personal jet ski towing you around constantly he says.
When he is kiting, it’s just like surfing but with a kite. The board he uses to kite surf is the same board he uses to surf normally.
“Im trying to ride waves with the kite in the same way that I surf,”-Rebstock
Kite surfing isn’t super hard to learn, he says that all it takes is to be humble and patient. Of course prior board skills, surf skills and knowledge of the ocean is a plus.
What it’s’ really about is learning how to fly the kite. Once you get that technique down your golden.
-Floras Lake, OR native
-Kite boarding 8+ years
Reed Brady grew up on a small lake in southern Oregon. His parents run a windsurfing/kiteboarding school and bed and breakfast on Floras Lake.
His dad picked up the kiteboarding when it was just starting. Once the equipment got safe enough he taught his sons, Reed and his younger brother Josh.
Kite boarding as opposed to kite surfing has a different board. It is more of a wakeboard style board and your feet are strapped into the board. You can do different types of aerial tricks kite boarding. Kite surfing is more focused on wave surfing.
“My style is spastic, I just flail around until something happens. Kinda of an old school style with newer advance tricks,”-Brady
Back to the lake, Reed goes home during the summers to visit family and kite as much as possible. He says every summer they get busier and busier. It’s such a new sport, not everyone knows about it but it’s growing so fast each year.
Kite boarding is versatile, you can try it at any age and have fun.
Marielle Belick is a graphic design student at Cal Poly. Although she doesn’t know much about kiting she has seen them out at Morro Bay.
She says she would consider trying to learn if she knew more about it. Kiting is going to start emerging and people will start to become more familiar with it. Once people feel like it’s accessible more people will be willing to give it a try.
“What I love about kiting is that now I can go as crazy as I want. But when I want to take it easy, I can. It’s super easy on the body, any one can do it old and young,”-Brady
In it for life
These guys are wind chasers and water lovers. Kiting allows them to be in the water in all conditions and that’s the appeal of it.
It’s all about maximizing water time and really taking advantage of whatever the weather throws at you.
The sport is still fairly new, but is taking off fast.
“Every single year the sport completely changes and only gets better,”-Rebstock
If you want to see Reed and Patrick in their element check out these videos.
- Counterbalance 2010 Patrick Rebstock and Reed Brady from Patrick Rebstock on Vimeo.
- killedthewind – COASTAL CURRENTS from killedthewind on Vimeo.
*Side note: Reed loves kiteboarding a lot, his affections for the sport are displayed on facebook where he is “in a relationship” with kiteboarding.
Surfing and eating go hand and hand. After a long session your usually starving beyond belief. Here’s a map of South county surf spots and local favorite places to grub afterwards.
- Volcom Pismo contest
- Local girls
- Jaime Hannula
- Jeanette Ortiz
This weekend Volcom held it’s second to last stop on their totally crustaceous surf tour at our very own Pismo beach pier. This wasn’t the first time the tour graced the central coast with it’s presence. Volcom also chose to include the Morro Bay surf spot the rock in its tour as it’s second stop last august.
Although I was impressed by the big names, one thing really stood out to me. The girls were ripping! With less than perfect conditions and tiny waves they seemed to be making it work.
There was only one division for girls: 25 and under. Such a small group compared to the guys divisions, but they definitely held their own. I wanted to find some local girls and find out their perspective about growing up as local girl surfers.
-Central Coast native
-Started surfing at age 11
Jaime grew up surfing on the central coast. The only one of her siblings who stuck it out when their dad taught them all. Her whole family is from Morro Bay, naturally she says, making them a beach family. Jaime surfed her first contest at age 14 and started professional contests at age 18.
Growing up in San Luis Obispo, she had a tight knit surfing community.
“Surfers from as far north as Big Sur to as far south as Lompoc know and have surfed with each other before.”-Hannula
Growing up Jaime was one of the only girls competitively surfing around the area. She grew up surfing with the boys and they treated her like a sister. At home breaks since she is a local she has no trouble getting waves. However when she ventures to new spots she gets treated like everyone else.
“Girls as a whole have to be more aggressive in the water if they want to get waves”-Hannula.
-Started surfing at age 12
Like Jaime, Jeanette also attributes her surfing ability to her father. Although she started competing when she was 15 she wasn’t that interested in it. Once school started becoming more important she stopped competing but still keeps a few low maintenance sponsorships.
“Surfing has taken me all over the world and continues to do so, and thats all i could ask for.”-Ortiz
She says that Ventura, like the central coast has a pretty tight knit surf community. You always see the same people out at the same places on any given day.
When it comes to different treatment because of her gender Ortiz says that she hasn’t had many bad encounters.
“Ive actually had more good experiences with it, because guys will let me go on waves or let me surf localized spots.”-Ortiz
Skyler Oatman moved to SLO from Bend, Oregon and picked up surfing since moving out here. He says that girl surfers who shred tend to be a little more stand offish than others.
“Me being a new surfer, can get a pretty bummed when I get burned or snaked super hard by a girl.-Oatman
He says that regardless of gender there are going to be those personalities all over the line up.
“At the end of the day, boy or girl, vet or kook, if you show respect, you get respect,” Oatman said.
As a girl surfer myself, I can say that I appreciate the tight knit community of girl surfers out there. In such a small area like SLO were bound to run into each other out in the water!
- Latest news: surfing spooks
- Uncovering stories
- Problem solving
Lately I’ve been noticing quite the spike in news coverage regarding surfing incidents. From shark attacks to near death drownings, this past year has had it all.
Just this past month
- a local Santa Barbara man died surfing at hollister ranch.
- woman surfer Savannah Shaughnessy had her wipeouts featured on Surfline.
- Jacob Trette, socal surfer has near death accident at mavericks.
All of the recent stir made me want to hear more dangerous surf stories. Hoping to get insight into the feeling that all surfers have experienced: panic. Let’s face it surfing isn’t the safest sport in the world. Assuming a risk with each and every paddle out is a fact one must accept.
Every surfer has at least one story where they got a little spooked out in the water. I decided to go out and find those stories. There are a lot more tales out there than just those who get a news coverage.
Surfing is the perfect formula for disasters. Things are bound to go wrong when your sport involves,
Disasters and dangers make for great story lines right?
I set out on my journey to gather stories from surfers about near disasters in the water. I had a voice recorder and was all set to hear some spooky tales. However, I quickly ran into an issue.
In the heat of a panicked moment, people don’t seem remember the details. The last thing they’re concerned about is making sure to remember “how they felt” when gasping for air. Especially not after being held down by a monster set or getting knocked into a reef.
Sadly for me, people are more concerned with saving their lives than remembering good stories for my blog. Just my luck, darn!
When I interviewed Rachel Brady, a junior at Poly she had trouble remembering the exact details.
“The last thing I remember is being out in the water I don’t even really remember the wave that I got sucked over on.”-Brady
Kyle Collins a business senior at Poly had the same response. I asked to describe a time he’s been held under and how it felt.
“Im usually trying not to think in that moment. It happens so fast, when things are happening in real time it’s all reaction. I think you kinda go blank, I do.”-Collins
Zac Vanevery is a biomedical engineering senior, has gotten held under many times.”It feels a lot longer than it actually is when your under there,”Vanevery said.
I couldn’t get “in the moment” with any of the surfers and their experiences. I did end up getting some spooky stories though. Trying to capture these surfers feelings and stories on audio recording was difficult but fun.
What I did end up capturing was the reason why people keep surfing despite the dangers. It is so important to know your limits when your out there. However, if you don’t push yourself its difficult to progress. There is a fine line but its meant to be crossed within a reasonable comfort zone.
The consensus among everyone I talked to was, don’t be stupid. You know what you can handle and don’t push it until you feel your ready.
Zac Vanevery, Kyle Collins, and Rachel Brady all sat down with me and recounted some experiences they’ve had in the water.
- Glassed over-recycled art
- Brown Bears-music
Two local surfers and Poly students are getting creative. One chooses art through reusable materials, and the other through music. Both are expressing creativity in their own ways.
–WHO: Taylor Engen Cal Poly political science junior.
–WHAT: Glassed Over a glassware company specializing in cups and candles made from bottles.
–WHEN: Conceived summer of 2010.
–WHY: To help reuse resources like glass for products you can enjoy.
–HOW: Used wine bottles+soy wax+decoration=glassed over candles.
Q & A
I sat down with Taylor and asked him a few questions about Glassed Over.
Q: How do you get your materials?
A: “I go around to local restaurants and ask them to donate their old bottles. Some have been more willing than others. I also have friends that help me out and give me bottles. People are starting to get stoked on it.”
Q: Are you artistic?
“I like to find random things to do. I’ve been super into art for a long time, always spray painting surfboards and stuff. I think it’s fun. Were actually starting to make sea glass too. We use all of our broken pieces and put it into a rock tumbler all night and it makes the most beautiful sea glass.”
Q: What inspires you?
“I find myself being fascinated with bottle and their shapes. It’s kinda become a stupid obsession of mine to check out different bottles and get ideas. These days vintage stuff is pretty popular so I burn the labels and give it that old feel.”
Q: What’s your favorite part about it all?
“The cool part of it is that we are reusing materials.”
“I call it upcycling. A form of recycling except we’re making something better than it was before,”-Engen
Q: Future goals?
A:”I’m trying to team up with local wineries and make candles out of their wine bottles. It would be cool because then people could have something to take home from their visit.”
Q: Explain the step by step process.
1. Find a bottle-some donations, some dumpster dives.
2. Distinguish cup or candles: wide=candles, thin=cups.
3. Cut bottle
4. Sand rim
5. Dress it up with artwork and finishing touches.
–WHO: Newly formed local band, Brown Bears.
–WHAT: A folk, blues, and jazz influenced band.
–WHEN: Saturday, January 29, 2010
–WHY: To perform their first show.
–HOW: Owner welcoming to performers.
Q & A
Phillip Chehade is an industrial technology junior and the singer/keyboard player for Brown Bears. He gave me some insight into the musical community.
Q:When did you start playing music?
A:”I started playing piano pretty intensely when I was in first grade. My parents started me out with classical training and keyboard theory. I was supposed to practice every day, but you know how kids are. In fifth grade I fell in love with jazz. I was a pretty wierd little kid all into jazz.”
Q: How did the band start?
A:”All of my friends I knew that were musical just decided to get together and make a band. It’s been a long time, I’ve wanted to be in a band since I was in high school. Pat Bang plays the upright bass, Ansley ray does vocals, Myles Wittman plays trumpet and Armaund plays harmonica, mandolin and guitar.”
“Finally this year three weeks ago made it happen. That was our first show, it wasn’t perfect, far from it, but it was so much fun,”Chehade.
Q: What is the bands style?
A:”Mostly blues and folk cover songs. This was only our first show.”
Q: How did you get your name?
“I really like bears, a lot of 50’s style bands had animal names. The Monkees etc. I like animals so we just settled on Brown Bears,”-Chehade.
Q: What do you love about music?
A:”You definitely connect with other musicians. When you can jam with someone its so much fun like a bonding experience.”
Q: When did you pick up surfing?
A:”Senior year of high school I started surfing. I commited my freshman year of college to surfing.”
Q: How does it compare to music?
A:”Its way harder. But I love surfing even when I fail at it i like being in the water. I’ve always wanted to do it, the lifestyle seems ideal to me. Good food, friends, surfing always seemed right to me. It’s been frustrating learning but overall so worth it.”
Q: Surf community vs music community?
A:”It brings a similar connection. Its definitley an art form, so beautiful. Music is the same way it has its structure but engrained with style. Surfers all can have their own style .”
“Everytime I play music its a different experience and I feel surfing is the same way,”Chehade.
In honor of their first performance, the owner of SLOdoughCO created a donut just for Phil. Brown Bears very own specialized donut called “Da Phil”. Complete with bananas, peanut butter, cream and chocolate.
“The donut was delicious, it made me like the Brown Bears that much more,” Rachel Brady, social science junior and concert goer said.
Surfing is only one way to express yourself, creativity comes in all forms. Get inspired by:
- -or donuts!