My Favorite Boards

9 08 2015

In the past I’ve written about my favorite board being my Walden Magic Model 3 because it is such a great all around board. It is still at the top of my list of boards that if I could only have one board in my quiver, it would be the one. I can nose ride it. I can do a floater. I can cut back on a dime. It hits the lip pretty hard after I’ve cross stepped up to the nose and back. So as boards go it’s the one in my quiver I can ride from knee high to double overhead (not that I ride double overhead, but there could be a reason to do that on the right swell and spot).

Today, though, as I’ve shortened my boards again, and have 6 in the quiver, I’ve decided that I really can’t decide between two of them.

Lucky Lucke – Shaped by Ray Lucke in Camarillo, it is the first custom board I’ve had shaped for me since I was in High School. At 5’5″ it is my shortest board and at 22″ wide it is my widest short board. It’s green for my Yoda-ness and because it’s based on a Mini Simmons outline, it’s got the traditional twin-keel fin set up. I love this board when I ride it. It’s absolutely a dream in just under waist high to overhead surf. It’s probably the fastest board I have because it hardly has any rocker and being shaped like a longboard the rails are more parallel than any other board I have, even my two longboards.

Lucky Lucke

Bonzer Bumblebee – Shaped by Malcolm Campbell in Oxnard, I purchased this from a guy in Orange County from a Craigslist Ad. I had sold a 7’2″ Bonzer Egg because I wanted a shorter version, and this popped up. The first time I rode it was at Rincon on a chest high day and it immediately took over the Lucky Lucke as my favorite board in my quiver. It’s so fast and loose and at 5’10” and 20-7/8″ wide is my next shortest board. Also ridden from under waist high to a few feet overhead it’s not quite as easy to ride at the smaller sizes than the Lucky Lucke, but it has proven rideable in most stuff I’ve taken it out in. It is quite a fun board to ride and again, became my favorite short board right away.

Bonzer Bumblebee

That last movie wasn’t close to the best days I’ve had on it, but it was a good enough day.

I just finished repairing some dings on the Lucky Lucke and I’m so glad she’s ready to ride again. I missed her while she was down. It was what prompted me to write this. I love the Bumblebee so much that I rarely threw the Lucky Lucke in the car. You see, I have another Bonzer Egg, a 6’6″, that I’d throw in with the Bumblebee in case it was a little bigger than I expected, and a few times I’ve been glad I had it.

However, as I missed riding the Lucky Lucke I realized that it too has a place in my quiver that cannot be replaced. The only thing I can do when the Lucky Lucke is on it’s last leg is to go back to Ray and commission him to make me another one just like it. I love it that much.

I hope you have boards you can day dream about when you’re not able to surf. That’s what these boards are to me. I still even day dream about the 6’0″ Roy Sanchez Twin Keel Fish, the 6’6″ Bonzer Egg, the 9’0″ Walden Magic Model 3, and the 9’11” Bill Hubina “Smith Noserider”. I can’t help it. I love all my boards. I just have a couple of favorites.

Get out there and surf. Take care and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

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Being Friendly in the Water

29 06 2015

I hit the surf at 5:30 this morning. With appointments slated in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area it was an easy decision.

I first looked at Leo Carrillo. There was one other guy looking at it and honestly, it just didn’t look that great. Apparently I was only looking at it in between some of the better waves because that’s where I ended up, but not after going and checking in on my favorite secret spot.

The secret spot was working. However, no one else was there. I have promised my better half that I would not surf alone if at all possible so I headed back to Leo Carrillo.

As I pulled up there were two guys in the water and 2 more getting ready to head down. I really didn’t know at this point if it was going to support everyone. Admittedly, I am one of those that gets their game face on and lets the other guy be the first to say a friendly hello. Surfing is a selfish sport and one has to compete to get waves.

Today I told myself not to do that, but to start out saying hello to people right off the bat and not care whether they say hi back or not. One of the reasons I stopped saying it first in the first place.

I had my GoPro and my beach camera with me. My Campbell Bros. Bumblebee and my Ray Lucke Lucky Lucke. The Bumblebee has a GoPro mount, but the Lucky Lucke doesn’t and setting up the beach cam just didn’t sound appealing. I really wanted to just get back to the “essence of the stoke” that I had recently written about and all of that extra gear just takes it out of me, for some reason. Don’t get me wrong, I love the editing and putting together of the footage and will definitely keep making movies with my buds, but on my own I just wanted to start something new today.

So I changed into my wetsuit and jogged on down to the entry spot where I wanted to get into the water and along the way said hello to a guy waiting to go out. It was funny. He said hi back, but I could tell he didn’t really want to.

As I paddled out I made sure to say hello to the other guys as I went by. I wanted to hoot for them, even, as they were taking off on nice waves. After all, the surf was way better than that initial quick check I had made earlier.

After catching a few, I managed to get a nice one on the Lucky Lucke and had to put myself in a “cheater five” position. That’s just half a “hang ten”, but since the board is only 5’5″, there’s no way I’m hanging ten toes over. So a “cheater five” is getting those 5 toes out over the nose while keeping a foot back so the board doesn’t pearl. One of the guys paddling back out after his wave hooted for me while I was in that position. I guess coming at him it looked pretty cool, but I don’t know for sure.

When I got back out we started talking about his board as I was genuinely interested. I had already seen it wasn’t a typical thruster and he asked about my board. The next thing you know, we’re all talking about boards and hooting for each other’s waves, just having a great time sharing in the stoke of the morning.

I surfed for an hour because I had appointments to get to, but I sure had fun today. It helps to start out friendly. I’m going to try my best to stop the game face and just put on a goofy attitude. The best surfer is the one having the most fun, anyway. That would have been all 6 of us. Even the guy who didn’t seem like he wanted to say hi earlier was caught up in the friendliness.

Anyway, I hope you get to surf more and make it a time to share the Aloha in the lineup. It’s much easier when everyone gets along.

Thank you and God bless,

Surfer Yoda





Surfing – Pain Relief for Your Head

26 02 2012

This week was a tough week. I get migraine headaches every so often. I don’t believe I “suffer” from them because I’ve known people who get them everyday and have two or three prescriptions to manage the pain. However, I get the classic “Black Spots” (a kind of blurriness around the peripheral vision and spots in the center of it), that 20 minute warning sign of an impending sledge hammer to the head. It was “tough” because I got it on Wednesday and still had it Friday night when I went to bed.

4 am Saturday came and what a difference! I was preparing myself for our usual Dawn Patrol surf session. This day it was Gooch, Baby Gorilla, and Spock. We met up in the South Bay to surf El Porto. A side note here – Spock lives in Manhattan Beach and is always late. He is on time when we go to “My Favorite Surf Spot”, but have him surf around the corner from his house and….  😉

I love surfing with my buddies. I love surfing in general, but it really is great meeting up in the early morning hours before even dawn’s early light has preceded the sun coming up out of the east. Besides all of the Ibuprofen I had just taken the last 3 days, which really only softened the sledge hammer to a rubber mallet, getting ready to surf took it all away.

God has blessed me in so many undeserving ways. The feeling of knowing I’m going to surf, spend time with my buddies, and reflect on that time spent in something God created for us to enjoy, brings pure joy to my soul and a natural pain reliever to the head.

It wasn’t even that big, but it wasn’t really that small, as small days go. I’ve surfed small days and even those are super fun. I was riding my longboard, sort of walking on water. You know? Jesus walked on water. I’m not saying I do the same thing. I’m just saying how cool it is that He did. He hung out around water, too.

Another cool thing about being out in the Great Pacific is watching the sea life. I saw the usual sea gulls, pelicans, and a seal, but there was a guy fishing from the beach. I had just ridden a wave that brought me closer to shore and he was holding a big fish. At least three feet long. So I grabbed the GoPro off the nose of my board and ran up to the guy. He was holding a Leopard Shark. I took video of it as I had never seen one live before. It was an amazing creature and when he had let Gooch and me record it for posterity he released it back into the ocean. We paddled back out with it.  By the way, Leopard Sharks are harmless to humans.

When our surf session was over we all had our share of waves. Pure enjoyment. A natural high. So glad I have something to look forward to with good friends. Our next destination was breakfast at the Beach Hut, Baby Gorilla’s favorite spot (not really, but he puts up with it). I’ll be talking about our after surf breakfast joints in a later post, but suffice it to say, it’s great to have good friends to share surfing with and be able to talk about it at a meal afterwards.

Enjoy your week, Surferyoda