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July 15, 2012 | 0 comments

Cheering Cynthia on at her First Surf Contest!

Cynthia is my good surf buddy and we often surf together at local breaks, Santa Cruz and last year we took a trip down to San Diego with friends. She is super stoked and is always looking to improve as a surfer. To push herself, she entered into the Surfrider Pro/Am contest held at Linda Mar on July 15th. She wanted me to enter, but I don't do surf contests. I will get into why I don't do surf contests in a different post.

Jacob and I went down to the beach to support Cynthia and gave her a BirdSwell sticker for support. She rode her 7'0 board that has a custom BirdSwell design I created for her.

She took 3rd place in the 1st heat and 2nd heat and placed 4th over all. Great job on your first surf contest, Cynthia!

Cynthia with her BirdSwell board

Representing BirdSwell!

First Heat in Yellow

She caught the first ride of the first heat! An amazing long left - her favorite!

2nd heat in Blue


Linda Mar - probably the worst place for a surf contest. 1. Crowded 2. Windy 3. Close Outs

Ride Waves and Spread the Swell,
July 15, 2012 | 0 comments

Supporting the Stoke

7.11.12 - Happy Birthday Chris the Red!

Time: DP (6:30am)
Where: Bunnies
Surfed with: Jacob, Chris the Red, Cynthia
Swell Height: Shoulder High
Swell Condition: Some Clean Shoulders and Closeouts
Board: Tweetie P 7'10

Session Highlights:
Chris told us he wanted to do a dawn patrol session before work for his birthday. He lives and works in the East Bay (about 45 minutes from the ocean) so we invited him to stay at our house. 

Cynthia arrived earlier than us and gave us a report. JT was flat and Bunnies was chest to shoulder high with some clean shoulders and close outs. The clear decision was to go to Bunnies. We got ready in the fog and kept singing Happy Birthday to Chris. I think he enjoyed it.

Jacob, Chris and I went for the same wave. I was in the middle and realized I didn't want to go for it because I couldn't tell where they were going to end up. They ended up splitting the peak and caught a birthday party wave!

My last wave of the day was a swift left that took me all the way in. Fun morning!

Birthday Boy!

Bunny at Bunnies

7.14.12 - Chilly Aluminum Foil

Time: Mid Morning (9:30am)
Where: Bunnies
Surfed with: Jacob, Perrin
Swell Height: Waist - Chest High
Swell Condition: Some Clean Shoulders and Closeouts
Board: Tweetie P 7'10

Session Highlights:

Gloomy, foggy and conditions were minimal. Perrin and I planned to meet up because she was itching to go. She told me, "I've only surfed twice in the past 3 weeks. Feeling parched!"

We drove past all the usual spots and didn't see any exciting swell action. LM was crowded with 1 foot crumbly junk, Montara looked shifty and closed out, JT was completely flat but thankfully, Bunnies was empty and had swell.

I caught 2 waves right away and then the wind started to shift and made ocean look like crumply aluminum foil. However, we caught a bunch of waves and was a lot more fun that we expected. I also enjoyed being in the line up with awesome people.

Lessons learned from today's session:

1. Low to no expectations = Fun Surf Session

2. Just keep paddling (in surfing and in life)

3. Surfing has taught me patience (as far as waiting for the right wave to catch and learning how to surf) and this has translated into my every day life. (from Perrin)

Ride Waves and Spread the Swell,

July 08, 2012 | 0 comments

SF Windy

7.4.12 - Secret Swell - 4th of July Slop

Time: Mid Morning (9:45am)
Where: Montara
Surfed with: Jacob, Chris the Red, Sarah McG (from Boston)
Swell Height: Shoulder High
Swell Condition: Sloppy Left Shoulders
Board: 7'10 Tweetie P

Session Highlights:
The swell was poor all over the Coastside. Jacob wanted to check out a less known spot that is protected from the wind. From the cliff it didn't look that exciting, but we had already made the effort to search for swell. Sarah was also here visiting from Boston for a couple of days and we wanted her to go surfing with us. She use to surf with us back in Boston.

Both Sarah and Chris were excited to be in the ocean. They both commented that Jacob and I have become too picky and that we should just be excited to go surfing. They are probably right, but my 2012 resolution is, "Quality over Quantity" in all aspects of my life: surfing, design, clients, friends…life in general. Also, this was posted on a popular surf forum: Old Guy Sage Advice at OB and I think about how my surf mentor can't surf anymore because of his knees. Maybe I should quit complaining and just surf!

Since the swell wasn't that great and crashing right into the rocks, my goal was to get one wave and call it a day. I didn't feel comfortable taking off on a lot of the waves because I am terrified of rocks. I don't want to get hurt or knocked out if I wipe out. I know how powerful the ocean is and it can take your life at any point. I know when to be cautious and today was one of those days.

It took about 40 minutes for me to catch one wave and it was worth the long left that I caught.

7.7.12 - Teaching MKB and Aerin

Time: Mid Morning (10:00am)
Where: Kyle's Spot
Surfed with: Jacob, Chris the Red, Sarah McG (from Boston), MKB and Aerin
Swell Height: Shoulder High
Swell Condition: Zippy Left and Rights
Board: 7'10 Tweetie P

Session Highlights:
Jacob finally convinced MKB and Aerin to go surfing with us. We needed to find a spot where the crowd factor was low and the swell wasn't too rough so Jacob could teach them.

They rented wetsuits and boards from our local surf shop, Sonlight. Dan and Robin, the owners, are really great and always helpful.

We drove right to HMB to search for waves. The JT was basically flat, Mirimar wasn't happening and finally Kyle's Spot looked good for both beginners and advanced surfing.

From the shore, the waves looked like they were closed out. However, when I caught my first ride I zipped down the line into a clean face. The shoulders were holding up and I caught a bunch of exhilarating rides. I am glad I brought Tweetie P because the drops were pitchy and needed the rocker for the fast drop ins.

Everyone had a good time and both MKB and Aerin said that they want to go again. I think that is a a good sign!

"All I need is a jet pack" -MKB

Stacked Quiver

Ride Waves and Spread the Swell,

July 01, 2012 | 0 comments

Swell Times

Last week was a really exciting week for me. I was asked to design a custom t-shirt graphic and an information card about BirdSwell for the US Open Surf contest in Huntington, CA. A couple days later, I was asked to go down to the contest to meet and talk with the Professional Surfers and give them the shirts and cards. Needless to say, I was super stoked and very grateful for this opportunity.

I was really occupied with this and didn't surf during the week. I also had a lot of work on top of this excitement.

6.24.12 - The best church is in the ocean!

Time: Mid Morning (10:30am)
Where: Montara
Surfed with: Jacob, Blaine, Tracey, Cynthia, Marica, Stan
Swell Height: Head High +
Swell Condition: Left Shoulders and occasional right drop in
Board: 9'0 Maroon Platoon

Session Highlights:
Montara is great when other spots are nearly flat. The swell comes off the sandbars perfectly and the rip currents are not strong. There is often a nice channel that you can paddle through to avoid ice cream headaches.

Today was a beautiful day at Montara. The channel was there and so were the waves! Maroon Platoon and Montara have proven to be a great combination for me. The higher performance longboard allows for a quick paddle out and a clean fast drop in on the steeper waves. I want to bring Tweetie P there and see how that board does because it has a lot of rocker and is built for steeper waves.

I caught a bunch of head high lefts, but the one lone right I caught was the most memorable with an exhilarating drop in. From Tracey's perspective, she said, "I saw you paddling, stop and then quickly pop up to make the drop." When I was on the wave, I thought to myself, "I will either make this drop or go over the falls." Thankfully, I made the drop!

Both Jacob and Tracey said that they saw me catch waves, disappear and then see my head reappear near the end of the wave. I am short, so the waves may have been a little bigger than head high on me, but on Tracey and Jacob (taller) probably head high.

After I caught my last wave, I was waiting for Jacob and Tracey to come in. I saw Tracey going for a great wave and she was in the perfect spot. It looked like she might hesitate taking the wave so I screamed from the shore to give her encouragement. She heard me and paddled harder and made the head high drop into a clean right. I am so glad she made it because it looked amazing from the shore! I know when others cheer for me to get into a wave it makes me paddle and try harder. Sometimes, it takes that little encouragement from someone else to take the wave.

God is in the waves

I re-waxed my surfboard because Cynthia looked at it and said, "Eww, gross!" HAHA! It looks much better now.

7.1.12 - Thank you for the waves, Montara!

Time: Morning (8:00 am)
Where: Montara
Surfed with: Jacob, Cynthia, Manabu
Swell Height: Chest High with occasional Head High
Swell Condition: Clean Rights and Lefts
Board: 9'0 Maroon Platoon

Session Highlights:
Once again, every spot was flat besides Montara. From the cliff, it didn't look that great. However, the waves were bigger than we expected. Happy surprise!

Cynthia had been saying that the water was around 59 degrees. I was super excited and surfed sans boots and gloves. Summer temperatures are here!

We all caught a ton of fun waves. At one point, I was even kind of hot from the long paddle back. There were some lulls between sets, but the set waves were worth waiting for. I had a blast this morning!

I have been playing my ukelele a lot more and I brought it with us this morning. After the session, I played a thank you song to Montara for the beautiful waves!

my ukelele

Ride Waves and Spread the Swell,
June 23, 2012 | 0 comments

Surf Bounty!

Jacob and I really made up for our sick week and surfed 4 times this past week. The wind has also seemed to die down. Summer is here! 

6.19.12 - Mother Ocean is by far the best netti pot!

Time: Dawn Patrol (6:45am)
Where: LM
Surfed with: Jacob
Swell Height: Shoulder High
Swell Condition: short shoulders with a lot of close outs
Board: 9'0 Maroon Platoon

Session Highlights:
Last week, I caught a head cold and gave it to Jacob. Our colds limited us from going into the ocean, but we finally decided we couldn't take it any longer! 

I was able to make it into the line up easily and I even caught a wave right away. It felt really great to be back in the ocean and surfing again. At times, I was having trouble breathing because I still had a lot of head congestion. I could also feel a lot of pressure on my chest when I was lying down on the board. The ocean is a great netti pot! It cleaned me out and I could breathe better afterward. I knew I was weak and was happy to have my longboard.


6.20.12 - Happy International Surfing Day!

Dawn Patrol (6am - Cynthia wanted to get out early and beat the crowds!)
Where: LM
Surfed with: Jacob, Perrin, Cynthia, Darren and we met Marcia
Swell Height: Shoulder - Head High
Swell Condition: Right Shoulders and Close Outs
Board: 9'0 Maroon Platoon

Session Highlights:
The surf crew met up to celebrate International Surfing Day (ISD). Perrin said she wasn't going to be able to make it and said her surfboard was in the shop getting fixed. I said she couldn't miss ISD and offered her to borrow one of our boards. She said she was heading up to Tahoe in the morning and couldn't make it down from the East Bay. I told her she could stay the night at our house since we live five minutes from the ocean. By offering both room and board, I finally convinced her to go surfing. I am an enabler for surf and fun!

We woke up at 5am to meet everyone at the beach at 6am. It takes me 20-30 minutes to wake up! We met at LM and it didn't look that great. However, we all found waves and had a great time. It was a beautiful morning with the sun rising over the mountains. I am glad we surfed early because by the time we got out out at 7:45am there was a big crowd.


 6.22.12 - Lovely Montara

Time: Dawn Patrol (7am)
Where: Montara
Surfed with: Jacob
Swell Height: Chest - Shoulder High
Swell Condition: Clean Mellow Right and Lefts
Board: 9'0 Maroon Platoon

Session Highlights:
Jacob and I paddle out into the empty ocean. The sun was hiding and the fog was creeping over the Montara mountains. The waves were mellow longboard waves. We enjoyed having the ocean to ourselves and started off the morning with fun waves.

New beach art in the north end Montara parking lot

The shore pound got me on the way back in and I ended up with sandy hair.

6.23.12 - Home Sweet Rockaway

Time: Late Afternoon (4pm)
Where: Rockaway
Surfed with: Jacob
Swell Height: Waist with an Occasional Chest High
Swell Condition: Mushy Right and Lefts
Board: 8'6 Red Wonder

Session Highlights:
Jacob and I live in Rockaway Beach and we have only surfed there 1 time before. The previous time was really intimidating. It was on a large swell with a lot of current. It really spooked me and has made me really hesitant to surf there again. Rockaway can be dicey and dangerous because of the large boulders and the rip currents.

It was really fun on a small swell. I am glad we surfed there since it is 2 minutes down the road from us. Some people say I should be scared of Montara, but Rockaway definitely seems a lot more dangerous to me. I guess if I surf Montara and have tried the Pacifica Pier, I should be able to surf Rockaway on a bigger swell. Surfing there today gave me more confidence. Maybe I will try it on a bigger swell…we'll see.

Ride Waves and Spread the Swell,

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