A New “How To” Year is Here

7 01 2016

So far for 2016 I’ve gone surfing twice. Saturday with the crew and Monday with a buddy in Carpinteria. After all, I had an appointment in Santa Barbara. For the most part, I’ve left the GoPro and Sony Camcorders at home, especially at the beginning of this year. It’s not so much a resolution to stop the madness (a movie every time I surf?), but a commitment to just surf and not have more surfing to do when I get home.

Those movies take a lot of time to put together. So based on a suggestion from one of my surf buddies I’ve decided to make them more of a “How To” vlog. He actually used the word podcast, but I think I’ll just stick to showing other surfers how to do certain things. Of course, not with the “this is the only way to do it” mentality. I know there are multiple ways to probably do some of the things I’ll show, but I’ll show what works for me.

So the first one I did I actually uploaded Dec 30th, 2015, but that’s because I didn’t put my movie on my newest surfboard together yet. It’s done, but I still have to narrate it.

So sit back and enjoy my first entry of 2016 on putting the rope through the center fin box leash hole. It’s intriguing. 😉

Again, I’m sure there are other ways to do this, but always remember to keep that rope short.

Thank you and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

Old Habits Die Hard, Bad Habits Need to be Murdered

14 10 2015

I got a new board, again. A 6’6″ Parole rounded pin tail, similar to a Lopez Lightning Bolt of the 70’s, but updated and with a 2+1 set up. I sold my 6’6″ Bonzer Egg and my 9’0″ Walden Magic Model 3 in order to pay for it, but after this weekend’s maiden voyage, and yesterday’s extra shot at it, I made the right choice.

The waves on Saturday were forecast to be overhead and I figured it would be a great opportunity to try it out. The tide was on the high side and the swell was more powerful than normal making for bad rips at my favorite secret spot. Rips like I’ve never seen in many years. I’m blaming that one on El Nino, but then, we’ve had some great waves so far this Fall.

With the larger consistent surf, a couple of feet over head on sets, I had to do a lot more paddling and duck diving than I normally would, which always leads to a little apprehension on my part. That apprehension is there because when it gets bigger I always seem to be out of breath, held under longer than I want, and feeling close to drowning. I know the “close to drowning” is a bit dramatic. However, when you wipe out and don’t know how much longer you can be held under only to think “what happens if I pop up and don’t have time to catch a breath before another one hits me?”, it makes for energy loss and fatigue. So yeah, it feels like I could drown.

I’m always confident I could save myself as I’ve done in the past, but still, it turns what should be a 2 hour session into a 1 hour session, or less. And I discovered the problem after I surfed that morning.

As a kid, I hated water going up my nose when I’d swim. I also hated holding my nose with my fingers as I felt that wasn’t something men should do, so I just sucked it up until a friend told me I should slowly blow air out my nose and that would help keep water out, and keep me from the necessary plugging of nose with my finger and thumb. Not bad advice, but it turned into a very bad habit that I realized is a problem, and one of the reasons I might not like waves over 8 feet after 34 years of surfing, which makes the bad habit that much older and harder to break.

It turned into blowing air out my nose every time I’m under water. Swimming, surfing, whatever. I paddle out, duck dive and blow air out my nose and when I pop up I need a breath. I wipe out and blow air out my nose only to be out of breath when I finally surface. That is a terrible habit I developed and didn’t even realize it until this last weekend’s swell.

My eureka moment made me realize that I needed to murder that habit for good, if I expect to surf some of the larger waves expected this winter. I’m still all about surfing, not surviving, so it will have to be good for me to paddle out, but coming to the realization that if I just stopped blowing air out my nose when I go under water will help me relax more when I’m under, will save my energy. I will have more air when I surface in case I can’t take a breath.

It might seem elementary to you, but really, that’s why it’s a “habit”. I made it that way and it’s not just old, but bad.

I got to put my theory to the test on Tuesday Morning. Though the waves dropped a bit, it was still overhead on the sets and I made sure to not let a lick of air out when I duck dived. It was a little harder to remember when I would wipe out, but I still even managed that and after surfing an hour, catching all kinds of waves, I still had energy after my hour was up. I know it wasn’t the same test as putting that into practice last Saturday, but it was a good test none the less.

As I surf more, big or small, I’m going to do my best to remember not to blow the air out. I never had a problem yesterday with water going up my nose, so that helped make it easier to handle. Hopefully I’ll remember that every time I go surfing. Or am in the water for any reason, for that matter.

I don’t know if you have a bad habit you need to murder, but remember, they may die hard, but you can be the killer of it.

Take care and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

They Say #ElNino is Coming

5 09 2015

I surfed a couple of times this week. Wednesday with Uncle Chris and yesterday with Gooch. Both days the forecast was 2 to 3 foot. Not stellar, but with the talk of El Nino I can see there’s something different in the water.

First, though the water felt warmer longer last year, the water temps at my favorite spot finally topped 70. I’ve been trunking it, or at the most a spring suit. Both days were way better than the forecast. There were set waves easily topping 6 or 7 foot faces. And that’s what the 2 to 3 foot forecast is, for face height.

That said, Gooch and I had it to ourselves from 6:30 to 8 yesterday. All alone. Mostly chest high waves, the two of us. It’s a huge reason we call it our “secret spot”. We know it’s no secret, but I know the typical places were already filling out yesterday and we had great, southern hemi waves to ride. With warm water!

It got us talking about the things El Nino was doing. One funny thing we saw were two seals swimming side by side. They looked like buddies. We never see two at the same time, so we blamed it on El Nino. Another was the tropical cloud cover we had which made it look like it was going to rain. We even saw a funnel cloud off in the south western distance. Definitely blaming El Nino for that one, too.

Anyway, we then talked about the stand up barrels we were going to get and that got me thinking more: risk vs. reward. I’m all about risk if the reward is there, but where surfing is concerned, I’m kind of happy with chest high to a foot or so over head. Heck! I’m fine with waist high to a foot or so overhead. So why do I care about a stand up barrel, that needs to be about 8 foot in the face for someone my size to be in a full stand up position? I’m not sure I do!

Anyway, I guess I’d paddle out to any size I could get out to and still be able to ride the waves. I don’t know exactly what that limit is, but I have a feeling I know what it is at my local breaks because there’s no way I’m paddling through double overhead waves to get out and surf closeouts. That’s the most likely scenario if El Nino plays out. The reward just isn’t there at a lot of the spots I surf.

Now, when I was a much younger man it mattered to me to say I paddled out in double overhead surf whether I caught anything or not. Today, though, I just want to surf. I want to catch the wave and ride it. Do turns. Sure, get barreled if its their, but I don’t want to be in survivalist mode. That’s when it’s just not fun anymore.

In 1982/83 I did surf at 16 and that El Nino I even caught great waves. I wrote about a near death experience a few years ago you can read about if you Click Here.

Anyway, El Nino is on the horizon and that’s good for our water situation in So Cal, as long as the snow pack in the Sierras breaks records. It’s also good for the surf situation because not all spots will be closeouts. It could be an epic time to be in Southern California. It’s also bad because we can expect flooding if the rains they say are coming, do come, which of course they will because of El Nino.

Anyway, if it all pans out, I guess the only surprise we’ll have is if it doesn’t happen at all. Then all that hype will be for naught.

Hope your favorite surf spot gets epic this winter and that it’s not survivalist conditions. Thank you and God bless.

Surfer Yoda

Just the Two of Us (For a little bit, anyway)

13 07 2015

Friday I had appointments set in Camarillo. It was an opportunity to surf, since there was swell in the water. Surfline’s forecast for my N. LA County area was 3 to 5′ with bigger sets, so how could I pass that up?

I got to the coast at my usual 5 am time and turned north on PCH from Malibu Canyon. There’s no reason to look at Malibu Point on a swell. I doubt at that time I would have found parking.

In the back I had both of my Campbell Bros. Bonzer’s. the 6’6″ Egg just in case, and the 5’10” Bumblebee. I didn’t really care which one I rode, I just wanted to make sure to check Zero’s, as you probably guessed from my last post.

Driving by Zuma Beach it was still dark. Heck, it was 5:15, but when I was turning off Malibu Canyon I could see the lights of Palos Verdes so clear. No fog this morning at all. Zuma wasn’t looking as big as the forecast, but I also didn’t stop to look. I had 3 spots in mind: Zero’s, Leo Carrillo, and my Secret Spot.

As I was seeing where Zero’s is on PCH I was quite surprised to see no cars parked near the gate. It meant the waves weren’t that good, or possibly the gate was open early, which is an anomaly there. However, the latter was true and as I pulled in the gate there were only two cars in the lot.

The waves weren’t bad. About chest high or bigger. One guy was out. The down side is it was really sectiony. That’s where the wave breaks in front of itself so your ride can be shorter if you don’t make it around the section. The guy out wasn’t and I didn’t really think I could, but it would be on my list.

I pulled out of Zero’s and headed to Leo. Of course, there were 12 cars on PCH already when I got up to it. About 4 guys in the water and many more getting ready. With the campground nearby I could only picture it being worse when the sun was up so I kept going.

As I pulled up to my Secret Spot there was one guy getting ready: Powder. It was good to see someone there I know and the waves were looking pretty good. I told him I’d meet him out in the water and since he was riding his 5’3″ I felt comfortable going on on the Bumblebee.

I set up the Beach Cam and though I could have done a better job of it, you can see the waves were pretty good and we were by ourselves. The Secret Spot isn’t really a Secret Spot, but because of mornings like this it always feels that way.

We were stoked to have all these waves to ourselves! The camera only lasted 29 minutes, so it missed the next 30 minutes, but eventually it got crowded. I’m sure it was the least crowded spot along there, though. As I drove by County Line on my way to my appointments there were cars lined up on both sides of PCH. It was looking like Malibu Point. So I felt pretty good that only 10 more surfers paddled out when Powder and I were nearing the end of our session.

It was a great morning to get wet. Great waves. Powder and I caught up on life. And I was ready to tackle the world.

Thank you and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

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

Drainpipes on the Bonzer Egg

18 03 2015

Last Saturday, 3/14/15, Pi day, I guess, I surfed with that buddy I’ve been mentioning that got me hooked on different boards. It was a normal Saturday to surf with the rest of the crew: Gooch, Gorilla, Uncle Chris, Spock, Ranger, Forest, etc. However, Cletus finally had a Saturday his oldest didn’t have Rugby and he asked me to go surf with him. I let the rest of the crew know my intentions and planned a day with Cletus.

His original thoughts were somewhere in Ventura County, like Port Hueneme, but it quickly turned to Drainpipes in the Malibu area because of the swell direction and previous day’s reports.

I hadn’t surfed that part of Zuma Beach in years. Multiple years going into possibly passing a decade. When I surf Zuma with or without the crew it’s usually around Tower 12. That’s more at the northern end close to Trancas and shy of Broad Beach, if you even know where I’m talking about. Drainpipes is at the southern end and is right out front of the entrance to Westward Beach. They call it Drainpipes for good reason and I had so many good sessions there when I was younger riding the typical Thrusters of the time.

The wave can suck out off the shallow sandbar and make a nice hollow wave on the right swell and tide.

This day I had my newest additions with me: a 6’6″ Bonzer Egg and a 5’10” Bonzer Bumblebee, both from the Kings of Bonzer’s Malcolm Campbell. Inventor of said board, and artist of the progression still today.

Cletus likes to go a little later than I do and though the rest of my crew was meeting up at our favorite secret spot around 6:30, that’s what time I was heading out with Cletus. He drove and brought two of his own boards. A 6’1″ T. Patterson Thruster and a 6’2″ Bonzer Octafish. That Octafish is also a Malcolm Campbell masterpiece.

As we pulled up to that southern part of Zuma we used to call “Free Zuma” you could tell there were going to be some fun little nuggets. Just in front of the bathroom were little A Frame peaks hitting waist to chest high. But you could see Drainpipes farther south a little bit bigger and with fewer to no people out. So we headed down that direction.

You can see from the vid it doesn’t seem to look as big as it really was, but the sets were pretty far apart, which meant we didn’t get very many of them when we were surfing more inside. I only put the waves we caught, and didn’t put in some we did just because we were out of frame coming into frame at the end, but we sure had a lot of fun. I rode my 6’6″ Bonzer the whole time and really felt like I caught some good waves. Cletus rode the T. Patterson and also had some really nice waves as you can see.

I most definitely want to throw Drainpipes back on the list of places to check. It’s so steep and fast compared to even Tower 12. More opportunities to get barrels. It’s no secret spot, but if I got there earlier on the right tide I’m sure there’d be no other place I’d rather be. And next time I’m taking the Bee out.

I hope to surf there again sooner rather than later, but until my next post, take care and God bless.

Surfer Yoda

PS – I did have the GoPro so here’s a shorter movie with my favorites.

How Do I Even Start Back?

8 03 2015

That is the question. Every hiatus I’ve started with “it’s been awhile since my last post,” or something to that nature. However, it really has been awhile. The last post was about a board I had made for me. My first custom board in 30 years. A 5’5″ Lucky Lucke by shaper Ray Lucke. I wrote that back in September 2014.

Since then, I’ve done some other experimentation of boards that I thought I’d never ride.

One was a 7’2″ Campbell Brothers Bonzer E-Wing Egg. Technically it was a Bonzer5 because it had the Bonzer 5 fin set up. If you’ve never seen the Bonzer 3 fin or 5 fin set up, here’s a link to their website, Bonzer5.com.

Malcolm and Duncan Campbell grew up in Oxnard and first shaped one of those boards with that 3 fin set up in 1972 when the shortboard era was in full swing. You can read on their site their cool story, so I won’t get into it here, but when I started surfing in 1981, I had seen some Bonzer’s. I went the typical route of the time, my first real surfboard being an MR inspired Twin Fin shaped by Greg Liddle (all the Malibu surfers know that name), then moving to the typical tri-fin thruster of the day, inspired by Simon Anderson. I was always afraid of that Bonzer. It just didn’t look like it would be easy to surf.

So here I am in 2015, 48 years old, doing the longboard only thing from about 30 years old to 40 years old, and I’m experimenting, with input from my buddy Cletus (He’s been the reason I’ve even looked at other than Fish alternates and I’m really stoked for his input. Here’s New Year’s Eve morning with me on the 7’2″ Egg and him riding a 6’2″ Octafish Bonzer5).

That Bonzer Egg was really quite loose for 7’2″. But it was 7’2″ and so I had to think about moving down in size.

Next up is one of the shapes they did for themselves between 1973 and 1978 called the Bumblebee. I picked it up from a guy in Orange County. It’s 5’10” and the 3 fin version. It was so similar in dimensions to one of my 6’0″ Fish that I sold that Fish.

The first time I rode it was at waist to head high Rincon. Wow! So loose like my Fish, but it held so much better! I liked sliding the tail on the Fish, but seriously, I just thought I had to live with that. After riding the Bumblebee and feeling the looseness without the slide I was so stoked on it. I even took it out on a knee to waist high day at Leo Carrillo just to see how it could handle the small stuff and it was loose! It was a day the Lucky Lucke would have been better, but I was not at all disappointed in the performance of the Bee.
This is a bigger day on the Bee and before work, so only a few waves. Also in here is a 6’6″ Egg I found for cheap. After selling the 7’2″ Egg and the 6’0″ Fish I had enough to pay back my savings account, and buy two boards!

I don’t know why I got so blessed, but I’m so stoked to have them in my quiver. I’ve had 5 boards in my quiver since I got the Lucky Lucke and with the bartering and selling and buying I’ve done I still have 5. All different. And in the future if I’m in the market, another Campbell Bros Bonzer is in the mix.

I probably will have less and less video of my surfs as I move away from that addiction, but I am also hoping to not start these posts out with “it’s been awhile”. (That reminds me of the band Staind.)

Anyway, take care and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

My New Lucky Lucke – A Mini Simmons Story

6 09 2014

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few weeks, but I had to wait for the board to be finished. As an aside here, since then I’ve put the Magic Model 3 fin set up back to it’s 2+1 set up. It was nice as a single fin, but still best as it was intended.

I won’t bore you with rehashing the story about why I picked this board to be made for me. You can go back to my previous posts for that. Let’s just say, after I commissioned Ray to make my board, it was close to 5 weeks to completion. Mind you, Ray shaped it, glassed it with the resin tint, sanded it, and polished it. He did it all start to finish while losing some employees to laziness (they just didn’t show up for work).

When Ray called me to let me know my board would be ready for pick up in a couple of days I was so stoked! It was a Thursday and even though I wasn’t surfing that Saturday, I so wanted to go get it and my wife joined me to go pick it up. That was two weeks ago. I was sick that weekend, Hurricane Lowell was showing itself and Marie hadn’t yet gotten us to Big Wednesday. Leave it to illness to keep you out, but I knew by last Saturday I had to get that board wet no matter how weak I still felt. But I’m jumping ahead of myself.

So my wife and I went to pick it up and Ray had to make a trip to Santa Barbara so he wasn’t there yet when we got there. The cause of one of those surfers he employed not showing up for his assigned work day. One more aside – If you get a job, show up for work on time, all the time. It helps all who need you there and shows you care about more than yourself.

The unique and cool thing about that is I got to sit there and video him sanding and polishing my board. I really wish I could have videoed from start to finish, but that just isn’t possible living an hour away from his “surfboard factory”. I did get to video him resin tinting the glass one day, and also the sanding and polishing part. So I’m pretty stoked to hang out with him to do that. Ray is a very nice guy and likes what he does. He puts a lot of love and care into his creations.

So I took the board home and put it away for a week, taking it down to look it over and check it’s lines every once in a while. (I was in Bakersfield for Hurricane Marie’s Big Wednesday, and still up there Thursday, so no surfing on it, not that I’m sure I would have those two days anyway.) I finally got to wax it up that Friday before my surf with the crew. It was Labor Day Weekend (last week) and I was going to surf both Saturday and Monday. I even coaxed Spock into letting me use his Solo Shot for the day (Monday when he was back from Colorado) so I could have other footage of my days. You see, I didn’t want to mount my GoPro to the nose of my new board, yet. 1. It’s a new board, and 2. It’s only 5’5″ long and I wasn’t even sure it would get me above the waist when it did record.

So Saturday rolled around and I had borrowed a camera from my daughter to set up on the beach while I used my GoPro Wrist housing. What a fun first day! (I have my typical YouTube video, but decided to only post one video for this writing.) That board was so fun to ride. My buddies were making fun of it’s size, but really, it wasn’t that hard to catch waves. It’s got a longboard outline and it’s 22 inches wide, so with the shallower rocker, it made for catching waves as easy as on my Fish. It really was made for my favorite surf spot, too.

Lucky Lucke Mini Simmons from Shaping Room to Surfing from Surfer Yoda on Vimeo.

From the vid you can see one point where my buddy Spock dropped in the wave just in front of me and the speed I got on it catching up to him and then cutting back into the white water. It is the fastest board I’ve ever ridden. That Monday the conditions were even better for our favorite surf spot so the beach cam stuff also came out nicer.

I would soooo recommend this board for anyone wanting to go to a smaller board and wants something different. With all of the retro/alt board choices out there, this is definitely one you should have in your quiver. There are a lot of choices and when my buddy Dirk was helping me make my decision on which one to go with I had considered the Infinity Tombstone or the one he rides shaped by Larry Mabile called the Ghostbuster. I’m sure I would have loved any of those boards, but I really am glad I got my Lucky Lucke from Ray. We have mutual friends and even if we didn’t, he is very friendly and fair on pricing.

Here are some links to his stuff – Ray’s own blog spot; His website; and the Deep Magazine interview.

I was in the San Luis Obispo area this last week, Wednesday and Thursday. I usually try to surf up there. The waves weren’t that great and I couldn’t meet with the sales rep Thursday I had set up to meet, so I headed back towards home. I looked at the waves as I was driving through Ventura and ended up going out for an hour at South Ventura Harbor Jetty. The Lucky Lucke was the only board I had with me. It’s a little more pounding at that beach break and even though it was waist to chest high, it can be a powerful wave. The board performed really nice in steeper, hollower waves. I really believe this will be my “go to” board for the future.

Thanks so much, Ray, and I look forward to the next board I get and having you shape it!

Thank you and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

The Single Fin Experiment

3 08 2014

As I sit here watching the Men’s Semi Finals of the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, live on the internet, I thought I’d write about an experiment I did yesterday. It happened to be inspired by the very same US Open of Surfing from Friday’s Duct Tape Invitational.

The Duct Tape Invitational is the longboarders showing their stuff in between the pro surfing qualifying and Jr. Rounds. I love it because I just love surfing, whether I watch the pros on the WCT, or the Jr’s, or even the longboarders. If I understand it correctly from the announcers, they are required to have a board at least 20 lbs in weight, 9’2″ in length, and it must have only a single fin and no leash plug. My guess is that if it has a leash plug, so what, just don’t wear a leash. Another cool thing about the contest is they encourage sharing waves by offering extra cash for the best shared waves.

As I was watching it, I knew Saturday was my surf day with my crew and our forecast was 1 to 2 feet. That said, I figured I’d be riding my longboard, which today is the 9’0″ Walden Magic Model 3 that I have written about in the past. It has a 2+1 fin set up, a single fin that is 7″ long and two small side biters, about 3″ or less, I haven’t measured them.

In the garage I have a 9’8″ Kennedy single fin with a 9″ Josh Farbrow fin in the box, so I thought I’d experiment a little and remove the 2+1 off the Magic Model 3, then attach the 9″ JF fin. I wasn’t sure how much of a difference it would make, but I have ridden one of my Magic’s in the single fin set up with the 7″ that came with it and it rode fine. A larger fin was going to make the board feel bigger, though, and I wanted to see if my nose rides would get better.

The first couple of waves I rode I could tell right away it felt slower and bigger, but as I got used to it, I could also tell that I was going to love trying it out and experimenting. I was already able to get 5 toes over on it in the old set up, but I wanted to make it less a cheater five and try to get my feet closer together. A few more waves and I really felt comfortable up there. I got my back foot on top of the logo, which is the farthest up I have gotten it.

It was a really fun small day and as I continue down the road with the single fin experiment, I will be adjusting the fin back in 1/4″ increments. Gonna try to hit it tomorrow before work, but with the possible swell picking up I’ll probably ride one of my fish. No Mini Simmons, yet.

Until next post, take care and God bless,

Surer Yoda

Can Surfing Be Considered “Going to the Gym?” (How Do You Stay Fit?)

25 07 2014

I’m going to make a case that there are similarities, so please read the whole thing before you close your mind to my question.

I work for a company that pays me a salary. In that capacity I am in the field, not behind a desk at an office. Sometimes I have to go into the office, but most of the time I am in the field, and occasionally working from a desk at home. I don’t really have set hours, but let’s just say for arguments sake, I work a standard 8 am to 5 pm shift. Being salaried, I don’t really take a full hour for lunch, unless I’m out with others for some reason, and I really don’t start at 8 am, it’s more like 6 am. I am sometimes on my laptop after 5 pm, too. I’m a clock watcher, though I’m not a legalist about what time I work or don’t work.

I say all of this because I know friends and colleagues who take an hour or so at the gym 3 to 5 mornings a week, and they do it before going into the office. Some have start times at 8, but really get in at 7 and that’s fine. They get up early, travel to the gym and can shower and be ready to go for work without any problems.

For myself, part of my field work includes selling products with sales people. Maybe training, asking customers points of pain questions, and in general, promoting my company. I really like my job and love my territory, which includes the coastal area between the South Bay and San Simeon. Sometimes the sales people I am going into the field with have me meet up with them around 9 am. I did their job at one time so I know that can be a standard time to meet.

In Los Angeles, there happens to be a lot of traffic around rush hour. I know that’s a new revelation to some of you, but stay with me; I hate traffic. I know I can leave my sleepy little town by 5 am and reach just about anywhere within a 60 mile radius in one hour. That’s because at 5 am there isn’t much traffic. There are a lot of cars on the road, but it’s moving along pretty swiftly.

Now, it’s summer time and the sun is almost up at 5 am by June 21st. It’s light enough to see the waves most of summer by 5:15 or 5:30. If a sales rep says, “Let’s meet at the Malibu Pier at 9am”, what would you do? Here’s what I’ve done: I got up at 3:30 am, done my normal routine to get ready to leave and beat traffic and left by 4:30 am to get to the Malibu area unmolested by slower cars and surfed for an hour. I never take longer than an hour on a work day, but I have to ask, “How is that different than someone getting up early to go to the Gym?”

This is that very session.

I guess I’m writing this because one of my co-workers mentioned to me that some of the other employees, not even my managers or higher ups, are thinking that I’m surfing too much. I don’t understand that, but I stopped posting as much on Facebook and Twitter about it, and stopped advertising my latest movie (they really take about 30 minutes to put together, anymore) because of those “complaints”. I can only call them complaints cause to me that’s what they’re doing. However, my work gets done, I’m organized, and I’m able to rinse off with fresh water and look all business when my surf session is over, so I’m unsure how they can even tell. I usually have to volunteer that I surfed that morning.

What’s funny about the surf sesh above is I was out of the water and dressed by 7 am, and sitting behind my laptop answering e-mails, researching products, providing quotes, and basically doing the job I would have done at 7 am before my 9 am appointment with the sales rep I was meeting that day. And we had a hugely productive day.

I’m sure I would have had as productive a day without the surfing, but I love surfing. More than going to the gym. I don’t even have a gym membership, so does it matter if I take that time to surf? Apparently it does to some.

This week I was meeting in Manhattan Beach at an account with a sales rep. Another 9 am first appointment set. Here’s what I did that morning:

I hope no one misunderstands me. I’m not trying to start an argument about what I do or don’t do for my company. I just know that there are some things that are possible to do and still get your work done. I think some of these people think I’m surfing all day and getting around to my work, but if you ask my direct sales reps that I work for, they’d tell you they usually always get a hold of me, or a timely reply. That I take care of the customer. That I’m organized. Etc.

Anyway, for those who like to motocross, or things much harder to get to, I realize you probably have a harder time doing that before work. However, there are some things you can do to stay fit before work, and going to the gym for an hour isn’t the only thing.

I hope I helped some people understand that just because I surf on a weekday doesn’t mean my work isn’t getting done. Maybe it sounds like I’m trying to justify it, but you can draw your own conclusions.

Get out there and get or stay fit so you can continue to do what you love. If I don’t surf, I walk 4 miles in an hour. 🙂

Take care and God bless,

Surfer Yoda